“Radio Dial,” the fourth album by Jason Myles Goss, was one of my favorite albums of 2012 (my Popdose review is here). The Brooklyn-based, Boston-bred singer-songwriter writes moving and melodic folk-based character studies, many of them dealing with themes of struggle and survival. He has just released the video for one of its best songs, “Black Lights.”
The track is about a once-promising boxer on the downside of his career. Despite his constant aches and pains, he’s addicted to the roar of the crowd – even when he’s getting pummeled – and that’s why he keeps can’t give it up. Goss smartly starts with the chorus, which details the narrator’s current condition.
All I see are black lights
Rushing through like headlights
The screaming of the crowd tonight
Pulls me in just to let me go
And all I have are bad nights
Wrapping knuckles, taping hands tight
The calm after a fistfight
Is the hollowest sound I know
From there he chronicles his rise from the mean streets to a nationally ranked welterweight. But his shot at the title ended in disaster, and he’s been unable to get back to where he once was. The beaten athlete’s struggle for redemption has been covered in song before, notably by Warren Zevon’s “Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)” and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler,” but “Black Lights” is more poignant than the former and more melodic than the latter.
The video for ‘Black Lights” was produced by Rhapsody Productions and shot on Chicago’s South Side, including McGarry’s Boxing Club. Check it out below, then head over to Goss’ website and buy “Radio Dial.”