Blood on the Tracks

Bruce Springsteen Johnny 99

How Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” ended up an unlikely political statement

“Born in the U.S.A.” wasn’t a message of conservative optimism, and neither was this.

Jim Sullivan’s “U.F.O.” and the story of his strange disappearance

How the California singer/songwriter’s 1969 song possibly foretold of his disappearance six years later.

Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” captured cruel detachment in the face of tragedy

Blood on the Tracks returns with a Southern gothic tale of suicide and unconscious cruelty.

Pharmakon Bestial Burden Blood on the Tracks

Pharmakon’s “Bestial Burden” is a harrowing dirge of survival

The sound of a struggle for survival against one’s own body.

Jesse Presley Nick Cave Tupelo

The Firstborn is Dead: Two musical epics about Jesse Presley

When two similarly twisted songwriters dive into the same story of dark Americana.

Gloomy Sunday Hungarian Suicide Song

How “Gloomy Sunday” came to be known as “The Hungarian Suicide Song”

The strange story of one of pop music’s most macabre songs.

Lisa Germano A Psychopath

Lisa Germano’s “A Psychopath” is an arrangement of real-life horror

A song that could very likely keep you up at night, because what it depicts is real.

Nick Cave Stagger Lee

The murder ballad of “Stagger Lee” created a gruesome legend

A tale told over and over again for 100 years kicks off our new series.