What took you so long?

“Basking in the Sun Though Wary of a Storm

“The album begins with songs about the state of the world: the Iraq war in “God Bless This Mess”; what Ms. Crow calls “a little apocalyptic diatribe” in “Shine Over Babylon”; thoughts of a flooded New Orleans in “Love Is Free”; and visions of scarcity and riots in the near future in “Gasoline,” a cowbell-bonking rocker with the joyful chorus “Gasoline will be free!” (At rehearsal, it easily segued into the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”)

She made a full-scale video for “Love Is Free” but has also released cheap, quick ones for “Shine Over Babylon,” “Gasoline” and “God Bless This Mess” on her Web site and YouTube. For “God Bless This Mess,” in which she sings that the president “led us as a nation into a war all based on lies,” she took her guitar and sang in front of the White House. “You roll out of bed, no hair, no makeup, totally guerrilla, fall out of a van with a couple of guys with video cameras,” she said, “and it’s on YouTube a couple of days later.””


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