Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

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Kush
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Kush » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:14 am

Hi Diane and Steven,

I have to say I really enjoyed the halftime show. A fantasy of sound and light was promised and that was what BS & E Street delivered. After admonishing us to step back from the chicken fingers and guacamole dip and turn the TV all the way up, they launched into highly edited versions of Tenth Avenue, Born to Run, Working on a Dream (the only one off the new album) and Glory Days. I have always thought Glory Days was one of his best songs lyrically but never could get into the melody much but I think for the first time I really enjoyed the live version. Some edits to suit the occasion: the protagonist was a football player not baseball and the "speedball" was changed to a "Hail Mary". Springsteen has always considered himself primarily an entertainer for the masses and the masses were certainly glued to the TV sunday evening. There was an element of of Hollywood fantasy - Clarence Clemons looked very much like Darth Vader in the black gown thing and when Springsteen, Steve and Patti sang in trio formation also in black (in Glory Days i think it was), they reminded me of the evil trio from Krypton in Superman II.
Diane I hope you are able to catch it again sometime and banish the negative thoughts. The Soul Driver live version is fantastic, but the studio version isnt that great. Will get back on the Working on a Dream album later on and I'd like to hear from Steven too about it if you have heard it.

In the meantime a change of gears, I leave you with Springsteen's spiritual brother from the southern hemisphere Johnny Clegg and These Days. Springsteen could have written this - lyrically and musically.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v5A7wwZRDM



p.s.
And since when has Big Man needed a back up section?
a few extra horns never hurt anybody - the more the merrier!
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:32 am

Hi Kush,

I haven't yet bought the new CD. Should be able to do so shortly. Please don't
let that delay any comments by you, though. I've gotten a bit circumvented
by a Motown containing DVD . I know Springsteen could convey lots of Motown
songs quite well.
Last edited by Steven on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Diane
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Diane » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:45 am

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. Yes I guess it was supposed to be over-the-top. It's just that in a usual concert, the energetic and comedic/theatrical elements are part of the backdrop to the music and flow naturally from the build-up. I thought they seemed forced/false in that performance. I don't like to see Bruce compromising like that, particularly when it was such a significant event.

My computer broke recently and I need to get my speakers sorted out cos listening to youtube is a bit torturous right now. I will listen again then, see if I can tune into it differently, Kush. Also then can listen properly to other stuff, like Johnny Clegg - haven't heard that one - lyrics seem good.

Glory Days live is usually excellent. See also the youtube of it in Paris 85 with Bruce n Clarence lamenting getting old - brilliant. Yes, Soul Driver on the album is not up to that very fine "outtake" from the (Un)plugged dvd.
Kush wrote:
And since when has Big Man needed a back up section?
a few extra horns never hurt anybody - the more the merrier!
Yes but Clarence's simple strong sax sound is part of the E Street since forever. Is nothing sacred?

I thought the same thing when I first heard Queen of the Supermarket. Tramps like us, baby we were born to nip down to Tescos for a pint of milk and a tin of beans?? Then I realised there was the Springsteen-typical theme of finding salvation in the mundane. And everyday places can be a source of inspiration, even supermarkets. But he must have written it at least a bit tongue-in-cheek. Each night I take my groceries and I drift away, I drift away. What?:-). In the bbc radio interview last week Bruce said that people in supermarkets don't look like they want to be shopping; they, and I quote, "look like they'd rather be screwing on the floor." Blimey. In supermarkets over here people look like they'd rather be asleep. It's a fun song anyway and I like the catchy tune, and the vocal harmonies. Patti's vocals towards the end of the track are very nice, as they are in Surprise Surprise. That's one song reviewed. More in a while.
Last edited by Diane on Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:54 am

Hi Diane,

Just a quick response to your first paragraph -- agreed. It felt like a pop
extravaganza, more suited to the likes of any number of other entertainers.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Diane » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:02 am

Cheers Steven - nice to know it wasn't just me less than blown away. I normally find Bruce at his best in the rockin mode he was in at the Super Bowl. I think that's why I freaked a bit when I saw he'd deviated from his usual lengthy and effortless way of being the live rock superhero. I am properly wired for sound now though, have listened again and that's made a big difference. I am coming 'round more to Kush's way of thinking. For twelve minutes I'd've preferred two complete songs and less fooling, but that's beside the point cos of the ocassion. The hyped-ness was part of the deal. It was the deal. The cut-down songs blended well and sounded pretty good in fact, all four. The album version of Working on a Dream is a bland skip-over track for me, but with a rockier feel, it came alive, live. A positive review from me after all:-O

Re. WoaD the album - That smooth, plum in the mouth 60s sound is not usually my cup of tea, and fortunately I didn’t go on about how I don’t like those four songs (five if you include Queen of) before I’d listened a few times, because I am loving them, and even though the lyrics are unexceptionaI, you have to be glad of the warmth and sense of acceptance/contentment in them.

This Life:
This life, this life and then the next
with you I have been blessed
what more can you expect


Tomorrow Never Knows:
He who waits for the
day’s riches will be lost
in the whispering tide
Where the river flows
tomorrow never knows


Kingdom of Days – In the recent interview he said this one is about how in the presence of someone you love, time is momentarily obliterated.
With you I don’t hear the minutes ticking by
I don’t feel the hours as they fly
I don’t see the summer as it wanes
Just a subtle change of light upon your face.


And Surprise Surprise. Sounds like a happy birthday song he wrote for Patti.
May the rising sun caress and
bless your soul for all your life


~~~~~

Lucky Day is a great song, can’t wait to hear that one live.
When I’ve lost all the other bets I made
Honey you’re my lucky day


And having heard it a few times, I’m in love with The Queen of the Supermarket, even though, or because, the words are utterly daft. Totally in love with that song, wanna play it loud for hours, along with Lucky Day.

Life Itself I have yet to get to know. I don’t like the music and have been skipping over it. Will have to come back to that one cos the lyrics seem quite dark and interesting. Like all the best things in life.

Good Eye is a great blues rock number. The huskily screamed vocals are just right. Plus I am a fan of lyrics like these that are short n sweet (just three, three line verses) and simple but with a bit of punch. I had my good eye to the dark and my blind eye to the sun.

When it’s out on dvd I’ll see The Wrestler film. The song is rightly acclaimed for how it simply and sympathetically portrays a man invested in the sad identity of a loser. But I felt I'd already heard it enough before I bought the album and haven't been playing it.

The Last Carnival - a conclusion to Wild Billy’s Circus Story and a poignant tribute to Danny. (The part of Bruce’s eulogy to Danny that is copied in the lyrics booklet is lovely also.)

Sundown, sundown
They're taking all the tents down
Where have you gone my handsome Billy?

Sundown, sundown
The carnival train's leavin' town
Where are you now my darlin' Billy?

We won't be dancing together on the high wire
Facing the lions with you at my side anymore
We won't be breathin' the smoke and the fire
On the midway

Hangin' from the trapeze my wrists waitin' for your wrists
Two daredevils high up on the wall of death
You throwin' the knife that lands inches from my heart
Sundown

Moonrise, moonrise
The light that was in your eyes
Has gone away

Daybreak, daybreak
The thing in you that made me ache
Has gone to stay

We'll be riding the train without you tonight
The train that keeps on movin'
Its black smoke scorching the evening sky
A million stars shining above us like every soul livin' and dead
Has been gathered together by a God to sing a hymn over your bones

Sundown, sundown
Empty are the fairgrounds
Where are you now my handsome Billy?


Notice Bruce is asking a lot of questions these days –
Is there anybody alive out there?
Can you hear me?
Where are you now my handsome Billy?

The thing in you that made me ache/ Has gone to stay. A beautiful and powerful line. Reminds me of my lost people and things and makes me imagine what it would be like, losing things that I do have, or I might have.

That’ll do for now. What Love Can Do, Outlaw Pete and Life Itself to come but I'll give this album a rest for a few days after tonight.

Much looking forward to your impressions Kush and Steven.

ps Do you think Queen of is a total parody? It is either a complete send up of old Springsteen themes, or, is meant to be taken seriously in parts in keeping with the album's reflection on getting older (and spending more time in supermarkets than on motorbikes). Could be it is both. I can hear Bruce's ever-ready laughter in response to reactions to this song.
efc

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by efc » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:58 pm

I enjoyed the half time entertainment at the Super Bowl, not for musical reasons, but from relief that Springsteen kept his mouth shut on the political front.

One of his beefs at every concert, whether in the US or beyond, was that that nasty Mr Bush participated in rendition. You bought a ticket to hear his music, Bruce would oblige with his innermost thoughts, criticism of rendition amongst other things.

What Bruce didn't explain was that Clinton started rendition. And for all the talk of the annointed one closing Gitmo in a year (without explaining how he's going to do it - ie. can he) he hasn't cancelled rendition.

Can't wait for Springsteen to criticise that :)
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:46 am

Hi Diane and Kush,

"Tonight's the night" (like Rod Stewart sang) for purchasing "Working On
A Dream" (should schedule allow it). :D Earlier today, found myself
singing "Darkness On The Edge of Town" in an old-timey Dylan sort of
way. Never thought of this before, but Dylan could have probably have
covered this song accousticaly back then (or now, if he really wanted to)
... as if he'd written the song himself. -- Testament to the
power of Dylan and a remarkably good song, i.m.o.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Diane » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:41 pm

Enjoy, Steven. It's a good album, varied, warm, and still with a tinge of darkness on the edge. Lots of complexity in the music - it will be v. interesting to hear how the band does this live.
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Kush
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Kush » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:54 pm

Good Eye is a great blues rock number. The huskily screamed vocals are just right. Plus I am a fan of lyrics like these that are short n sweet (just three, three line verses) and simple but with a bit of punch. I had my good eye to the dark and my blind eye to the sun.
Just a short note for now. The above is a good point. Blues lyrics are simple but very effective and then repeated often with a punch line coming at the end of repetitions.The interesting thing is that this form (with some variation but essentially repetitions with a punchline at the end) is also true for eastern qawwali music coming out of the sufi tradition. Blues roots come from the slave plantations and further back from Africa. Qawwali music come from northern India and Pakistan. Either two very different cultures came up with the same idea or there was a common ancestral form at some point in the oral tradition being passed down. To loosely quote Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan "You have to repeat every word, nay every syllable, until all meaning is exhausted from it."

Or maybe I have had way too much caffeine this morning.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:50 pm

Hi Diane and Kush,

Had a first listening to the CD (part of a "Deluxe" set with a DVD included), and
I did enjoy it. Overall, an "A" grade by me. The only song that had a second
listening, so far, was "Queen Of The Supermaket." As of now, it's my favorite on
the CD. Some of the production values of the songs are incredible. Haven't
seen the DVD yet. Oh yeah, if Lizzy should check in on this thread and
should she have heard "Outlaw Pete," she may hear a striking similarity
to a plaintive verbalization on it to Harry Chapin's "Sniper" song. I
know she is familiar with Chapin. Springsteen almost surely internalized
a past hearing of Chapin, I'd bet. Not a bad thing, i.m.o. Have to get
back to work now.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Kush » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:37 pm

Hi Steven & Diane,

Queen of the Supermarket I think is one of those songs that LC said "will move easily from lip to lip" (or words to that effect). You may call it fantasy or teenage pop or whatever but it has that x-factor. And I think one of its attractions is that people can relate to its innocence. I actually know a couple very well and the song could have been written about them - the girl was a checkout girl at a gas station and the guy would always go to that particular gas station to fill up (and pay cash so that he could talk to her) and now they've been married five years. Queen of the Gas Station.

I'm in love with the queen of the supermarket
As the evening sky turns blue
A dream awaits in aisle number two
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:33 am

Hi Kush,

Good comments. This song will appeal to teenagers, and beyond. The guy is a
working guy at the end of a working day. That's where the innocence carries itself
beyond only adolescent crush/teenage years. "Innocence" is exactly the word that was presenting itself to me as I enjoyed the song. The innocence and over-the-topness*
of "love" as appearing in the song, isn't only tolerable, it's refreshing. And when
adults have a virginal kind of experience, in spite of past knowledge and
feedback-giving situations that could jade them -- it can sometimes work out, as is the
case with your friends from the gas station. Likewise, I've a friend, who, about
20-25 years ago kept stopping at a diner for coffee. He said that he
thought the young lady behind the counter "liked" him. Now, this guy
is older than the former Queen Of The Diner. Had a prior bad marriage
and was divorced. The former wife left him with two young kids for him
to raise. And I stopped in there with him numerous times. Wasn't my
favorite place for coffee-to-go, but okay. The young lady was shapely
and he was/is my buddy. They've been married, happily now, for about
20-25 years. She's now the Queen Of The Refrigerator, but she's his
extremely large and, in his eyes, still beautiful, I'd guess, Queen to him.
Not saying that large isn't or can't be beautiful; it didn't become
not so to this person with his wife.

And there's a dreamy element to most of the songs on the CD, including this one
(at least to me). And sometimes, a bit of dreaminess makes some good things
quite real. Hope you are having a good weekend.

* "love" in the song is as up there as "everlasting kiss" from Born To Run.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by lizzytysh » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:24 am

Hi Steven ~

I haven't heard Bruce's album, yet; just a couple way-too-brief snippets. That parallel between that song and Sniper is interesting. I've thought of Sniper a lot, as so many of the mass killings on campuses and elsewhere have occurred; so, I'm not surprized that the song got written. Its treatment probably was inspired by Chapin, as you've suggested. It's a very impacting song, so it makes sense that Bruce might allow its influence.

Speaking of supermarkets and romance [ha. and isn't that where we've always been told is a good place to go to meet someone, if not at church ... ;-) ? ]...
KURTIS THE STOCK BOY
AND
BRENDA THE CHECKOUT GIRL


In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice
came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register 4. Kurtis was
almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the
call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the
new check-out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was
only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find
out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card
and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only
to see her start walking up the road. Next day, he waited outside as she left
the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she
accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again,
outside of work. She simply said it wasn't possible.

He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn't afford a
baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted
his offer for a date for the following Saturday. That Saturday night he arrived
at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The
baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, "Well,
let's take the kids with us."

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not
taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet
her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis
thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a
paraplegic with Down Syndrome.

Kurtis asked Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't
come with us?" Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman
with two kids, especially if one had disabilities - just like her first husband
and father of her children had done. Kurtis was not ordinary - - - he had a
different mindset.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the
movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he
needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and
brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda
knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life
with.

A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children.
Since then they have added two more kids.

So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl? Well,
Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona , where he is currently employed
as the quarterback of the National Football League Arizona Cardinals and has his
Cardinals in the hunt for a possible appearance in the Super Bowl. Is this a
surprise ending or could you have guessed that he was not an ordinary person.

It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. He has also been the NFL's Most Valuable Player twice and the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Steven
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:18 pm

Hi Lizzy,

That's a "touchdown" of a story you posted. Thanks for having done so.

Both Springsteen and Chapin touched upon primal grounds with respect
to their songs' respective main characters (in "Sniper" and "Outlaw Pete")--
with regards to mattering to others... being significant. And even the
word "matter" is kind of elemental (as a physics related word). Frankl
and others have spoken of "need for meaning" and that kind of thing.
Springsteen, in his way, of "connections." And, in its (mattering) perceived absence,
though people may feel a void, the opportunities in the shopping aisles
and elsewhere, (often, mostly organically) sometimes don't present themselves to
people, or if they do, they may do so as obstacles. The little booklet in the
CD/DVD of "Working On A Dream" has some nice artwork. Interesting
enough, where the lyrics for "Queen Of The Supermarket" appear,
there is an illustration of a shopping cart. At first glance, this
particular illustration may appear as bars or a cage and not as
something related to opportunity. I've got to run soon. People
are going to be waiting. :)
Last edited by Steven on Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Post by Steven » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi Diane, Kush, et al,

Last night, saw "The Wrestler." Among movies that disappointed me, this one
has to be at or near the top of the list.
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