June 2012
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Categories

Archives

© 2012 Firstyme - All rights reserved.

Firstyme WordPress Theme.
Designed by Charlie Asemota.

David Brooks: Springsteen Communicates With Power of Particularity

Thanks to the BrisbaneTimes.com.au; David Brooks; July 1, 2012

Bruce Springsteen ... <em>Born in the USA</em>, but many of his fans were not.

Bruce Springsteen … Born in the USA, but many of his fans were not. Photo: Getty Images

They say you’ve never really seen a Bruce Springsteen concert until you’ve seen one in Europe, so some friends and I threw financial sanity to the winds and went to follow him around Spain and France. In Madrid, for example, we were rewarded with a show that lasted three hours and 48 minutes, possibly the longest Springsteen concert on record and one of the best. But what really fascinated me were the crowds.

Springsteen crowds in the US are hitting their 50s, or deep into them. In Europe, the fans are much younger. The passion among the American devotees is frenzied, bordering on cultish. The intensity of the European audiences is two standard deviations higher. The Europeans produce an outpouring of noise and movement that sometimes overshadows what’s happening onstage.

Here were audiences in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula singing word for word about Highway 9 or Greasy Lake or some other exotic locale on the Jersey Shore. They held up signs requesting songs from the deepest and most distinctly American recesses of Springsteen’s repertoire.

The oddest moment came mid-concert when I looked across the football stadium and saw 56,000 enraptured Spaniards, pumping their fists in the air in fervent unison and bellowing at the top of their lungs, ”I was born in the USA! I was born in the USA!”

Did it occur to them at that moment that, in fact, they were not born in the USA? How was it that so many people in such a faraway place can be so personally committed to the de-industrialising landscape from New Jersey to Nebraska, the world Springsteen sings about? How is it they can be so enthralled by the mere mention of the Meadowlands or the Stone Pony, a New Jersey nightclub?

My best theory is this: when we are children, we invent these detailed imaginary worlds that the child psychologists call ”paracosms”. These landscapes – sometimes complete with imaginary beasts, heroes and laws – help us orient ourselves in reality. They are structured mental communities that help us understand the wider world.

We carry this need for paracosms into adulthood. It’s a paradox that the artists who have the widest global purchase are also the ones who have created the most local and distinctive story landscapes. Millions of people around the world are ferociously attached to Tupac Shakur’s version of Compton, or J.K. Rowling’s version of a British boarding school, or Downton Abbey’s or Brideshead Revisited’s version of an Edwardian estate.

Millions of people know the contours of these remote landscapes, their typical characters, storylines, corruptions and challenges. If you build a passionate and highly localised moral landscape, people will come.

Over the years, Springsteen built his own paracosm, with its own collection of tramps, factory closings, tortured Catholic overtones and moments of rapturous escape. This construction project took an act of commitment.

The most interesting moment of his career came after the success of Born to Run. It would have been natural to build on that album’s success, to repeat its lush, wall-of-sound style, to build outward from his New Jersey base and broaden his appeal. Instead, Springsteen went deeper into his roots and created Darkness on the Edge of Town, which is more localised, more lonely and more spare.

That must have seemed like a commercially insane decision at the time. But a more easily accessible Springsteen, removed from his soul roots, his childhood obsessions and the oft-repeated idiom of cars and highways, would have been diluted. Instead, he processed new issues in the language of his old tradition, and now you’ve got young adults filling stadiums, knowing every word to songs written 20 years before they were born, of places they’ll never see.

It makes you appreciate the tremendous power of particularity. If your identity is formed by hard boundaries, if you come from a specific place, if you embody a distinct musical tradition, if your concerns are expressed through a specific paracosm, you are going to have more depth and definition than you are if you grew up in the far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism, surfing from one spot to the next, sampling one style then the next, your identity formed by soft boundaries, or none at all.

(Maybe this is why younger rock bands can’t fill stadiums year after year, while the more geographically defined older bands, such as U2, Springsteen and the Beach Boys, can.)

The whole experience makes me want to pull aside politicians, business leaders and maybe everyone else and offer some pious advice: Don’t try to be everyman. Don’t pretend you’re a member of every community you visit. Don’t try to be citizens of some artificial globalised community. Go deeper into your own tradition. Call more upon the geography of your own past. Be distinct and credible. People will come.

Bruce Springsteen And The Song Of The Working Man

By Todd Leopold, CNN–http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/18/showbiz/bruce-springsteen-wrecking-ball-working-man/?hpt=hp_c1

Editor’s note: In a rare press conference earlier this year, Bruce Springsteen spoke to reporters about his life and his music. He opens up in a new film premiering today on CNN Digital.

(CNN) — Ask Bruce Springsteen where he gets his ideas, and he’s likely to take you back to a house in Freehold, New Jersey, torn by anger and disappointment.

It’s not the popular image the singer often projects.

At various points in his career, he’s been the savior of rock ‘n’ roll, an American hero, a working-class poet and, perhaps above all, the icon of the Church of Bruce (or, if you prefer, “Bruuuuuuuce”), with fans hanging on to every utterance, every ticket stub. He’s a guitar god, a multimillionaire, a family man.

But Springsteen hasn’t forgotten.

“The deepest motivation comes out of the house that I grew up in and the circumstances that were set up there, which is mirrored around the United States with the level of unemployment we have right now,” he told European reporters in an intimate discussion about his new album, “Wrecking Ball.”

The conversation — a rare chat for the often press-shy musician — was filmed by director and Springsteen archivist Thom Zimny and turned into a short film, interwoven with music and video from “Wrecking Ball.” Springsteen’s publicists approached CNN about premiering the film after discussions about interviewing Springsteen at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. This is its American premiere.

Diehard Springsteen fans have certainly heard some of these stories. In concert — marathons that can run three hours or more — he frequently transitions between songs with monologues about his life. The ones he’s told about his father, Douglas Springsteen, are like closely examined scars.

Even at that, the heartfelt way he discusses his childhood in the film may surprise people: He sits on a bare stage with French TV personality Antoine de Caunes in a Paris theater, reporters arrayed in the orchestra seats, answering with measured, thoughtful observations.

Watch this video

Rare look at rocker Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen performs in Seville, Spain, in May 2012. The press-shy musician appears in a short film by director and Springsteen archivist Thom Zimny, who has interwoven music and video from the rocker's latest album, "Wrecking Ball."Bruce Springsteen performs in Seville, Spain, in May 2012. The press-shy musician appears in a short film by director and Springsteen archivist Thom Zimny, who has interwoven music and video from the rocker’s latest album, “Wrecking Ball.”
Springsteen at the 2012 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival in March 2012 in Austin, Texas. Themes of joblessness, corporate greed and governmental responsibility run through "Wrecking Ball," which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart in early March.Springsteen at the 2012 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival in March 2012 in Austin, Texas. Themes of joblessness, corporate greed and governmental responsibility run through “Wrecking Ball,” which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart in early March.
Known for his lengthy and intense concerts, Springsteen performs with the E Street Band in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2012. His concerts are marathons that can run three hours or more.Known for his lengthy and intense concerts, Springsteen performs with the E Street Band in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2012. His concerts are marathons that can run three hours or more.
Springsteen attends a screening of "The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town" at the Rome Film Festival in Italy in November 2010. The documentary examined his 1978 album, "Darkness on the Edge of Town," which marked a turning point for the musician and his band.Springsteen attends a screening of “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town” at the Rome Film Festival in Italy in November 2010. The documentary examined his 1978 album, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” which marked a turning point for the musician and his band.
Springsteen joins opera singer Grace Bumbry and actor Robert De Niro at a December 2009 reception for Kennedy Center honorees hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House.Springsteen joins opera singer Grace Bumbry and actor Robert De Niro at a December 2009 reception for Kennedy Center honorees hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House.
Springsteen and the E Street Band put on a rousing halftime show at the Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida, in February 2009.Springsteen and the E Street Band put on a rousing halftime show at the Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida, in February 2009.
Springsteen performs at a rally for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in Cleveland on November 2, 2008, two days before the election.Springsteen performs at a rally for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in Cleveland on November 2, 2008, two days before the election.
Springsteen performs with the E Street Band in Frankfurt, Germany, in May 2006. The singer is generally known as inspiring and upbeat, but there's also an angry side to him.Springsteen performs with the E Street Band in Frankfurt, Germany, in May 2006. The singer is generally known as inspiring and upbeat, but there’s also an angry side to him.
Springsteen, who has earned a reputation for being outspoken about his political views, greets supporters with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry at a Miami rally shortly before the 2004 election.Springsteen, who has earned a reputation for being outspoken about his political views, greets supporters with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry at a Miami rally shortly before the 2004 election.
Springsteen with guitarist Steven Van Zandt in Madrid, Spain, in 2003. The two have been playing together since the early 1970s.Springsteen with guitarist Steven Van Zandt in Madrid, Spain, in 2003. The two have been playing together since the early 1970s.
Springsteen celebrates with Clarence Clemons, left, and Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a 1999 event in New York.Springsteen celebrates with Clarence Clemons, left, and Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a 1999 event in New York.
Springsteen is joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a rally opposing Prop 209 in Los Angeles in 1996. The initiative was a ballot measure banning affirmative action by government in California.Springsteen is joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a rally opposing Prop 209 in Los Angeles in 1996. The initiative was a ballot measure banning affirmative action by government in California.
Tracy Chapman, Sting and Springsteen appear at an Amnesty International benefit concert in 1988 in Philadelphia.Tracy Chapman, Sting and Springsteen appear at an Amnesty International benefit concert in 1988 in Philadelphia.
Springsteen delivers one of his passionate performances during the 1985 "Born in the U.S.A. Tour'"in Los Angeles. Already a star for a decade, that album made the singer a phenomenon.Springsteen delivers one of his passionate performances during the 1985 “Born in the U.S.A. Tour’”in Los Angeles. Already a star for a decade, that album made the singer a phenomenon.
Springsteen during the "Born in the U.S.A" tour in Oakland, California, in 1985. The singer bristled when Ronald Reagan invoked his name and music in a campaign speech at the height of that album's success.Springsteen during the “Born in the U.S.A” tour in Oakland, California, in 1985. The singer bristled when Ronald Reagan invoked his name and music in a campaign speech at the height of that album’s success.
The singer and the E Street Band -- clockwise, top right, Garry Tallent, Springsteen, Max Weinberg, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Roy Bittan and Steve Van Zandt in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 1979.The singer and the E Street Band — clockwise, top right, Garry Tallent, Springsteen, Max Weinberg, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Roy Bittan and Steve Van Zandt in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 1979.
Springsteen and Clarence Clemons during the "Born to Run" tour in 1975.Springsteen and Clarence Clemons during the “Born to Run” tour in 1975.
Springsteen in 1975. The singer made the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines that year.Springsteen in 1975. The singer made the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines that year.
Springsteen in 1973 on the Jersey Shore, where he grew up.Springsteen in 1973 on the Jersey Shore, where he grew up.
Almost 40 years after his first album, Springsteen remains a source of fascination.Almost 40 years after his first album, Springsteen remains a source of fascination.
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
Springsteen through the years
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

>
>>
Photos: Springsteen through the yearsPhotos: Springsteen through the years

The relationship between father and son was fraught when Bruce was a teenager. Doug Springsteen, who died in 1998, held jobs in a rug factory, as a cab driver and as a prison guard. None seemed to last long. At one point the Springsteens were forced to move in with Bruce’s grandparents; at another, they rented.

Doug Springsteen was not a happy man at the time, and his son’s late-night activities, playing in clubs and bars along the Jersey shore, didn’t help matters.

“Some nights, [Doug] just sat in the kitchen of the South Street house, drinking beer, with all the lights off,” writes Marc Dolan in a new Springsteen biography, “Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Bruce has described his teenage self coming home late, hoping to tiptoe past the elder Springsteen. Often he didn’t make it, and their conversation would descend into a furious argument, one that only ended when his mother intervened.

“My father struggled to find work. I saw that was deeply painful [and] created a crisis of masculinity,” he said in the Paris talk. “And that results in a house that turns into quite a bit like a minefield.”

American reality vs. the American dream

Almost 40 years after his first album, 1973′s “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” Springsteen remains a source of fascination. “Born to Run” (1975) made him a star; “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984) made him a phenomenon. In the last two decades his albums have ranged from the brooding (“The Ghost of Tom Joad”) to the loose-limbed (“The Seeger Sessions”), with perhaps the best received — 2002′s “The Rising” — meditating on 9/11.

His latest album, the pointedly political “Wrecking Ball,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart in early March, Springsteen’s 10th chart-topper. He’s also the subject of two 2012 biographies: Dolan’s and a forthcoming volume by Peter Ames Carlin (who has written biographies of Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney).

Review: “Wrecking Ball” has strong moments

Though the new album has generally earned positive reviews, the politics that undergird it — and Springsteen’s determination to talk about those issues, such as joblessness, corporate greed and governmental responsibility — have received their share of catcalls.

“He should stick to music rather than interviews in which he offers social commentary,” wrote Peter Wehner in the the conservative journal Commentary, dismissing Springsteen as “a $200 million poor boy from New Jersey.” Wehner has been an official in Republican presidential administrations going back to the Reagan era.

It’s not the first time Springsteen has come under fire. He has been considered out of touch, overrated and, especially in our contentious age, a reciter of “shallow left-wing talking points,” in Wehner’s description. The latter complaints have followed Springsteen at least since 1984, when he bristled at being invoked by Ronald Reagan in a campaign speech.

For Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball” is of a piece with his other work — which, as he’s said more than once, describes “the distance between American reality and the American dream.”

“There is a feeling of patriotism underneath,” he said of “Wrecking Ball.” “At the same time it’s a very critical, questioning, often angry sort of patriotism.”

A call to attention

Anger is the wellspring for plenty of great rock ‘n’ roll: Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business,” the MC5′s “Kick Out the Jams,” the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” and pretty much every 17-year-old’s decision to turn his amp up to 11. As Springsteen himself has said, “You can never go wrong pissed off in rock ‘n’ roll.”

But anger is usually overlooked in the popular image of Bruce Springsteen. He’s often portrayed as a distinctly American bard, passionate and reassuring, celebrating the open road and eulogizing the past, especially if the present consists of boarded-up Main Streets and closed-down factories.

But it’s there, in lyrics hissing like hot lead: “You’re born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else’s past” (“Adam Raised a Cain”); “I’m 10 years burning down the road / Nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go” (the oft-misunderstood “Born in the U.S.A.”); “The road of good intentions has gone dry as a bone” (“We Take Care of Our Own”).

As Springsteen told an audience at SXSW in March, he has taken the message of the Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” seriously, both literally and metaphorically.

“That’s every song I’ve ever written,” he said. “That’s all of them. I’m not kidding.”

It’s no act, said Dolan. But it has become a means to an end: a way to inspire his listeners and call attention to social justice.

“As he’s gotten older, he has come to believe more in the power of bringing people together with that music and sending them out into the world with ideas that need to be acted on,” Dolan said.

Doug and Bruce Springsteen became close in later years, but the early memories never left Bruce. “I think a lot of the anger that surfaced in my music from day one comes out of that particular [time],” he told the European reporters.

Springsteen added that some people may not want to hear the anger, or any reminders of real-life anguish. They’ll have their own interpretations. “You put it out there and people hear it, and then it’s up to them,” he said.

But Springsteen will keep pushing forward and asking questions — about himself, about culture, about America and the world. It’s probably why he is seen in so many different ways.

“It’s funny,” said Dolan. “When you do readings about Bruce Springsteen, everybody comes up to you and tells you who they think Bruce Springsteen really is. And all of their opinions are different.”

There’s nothing Springsteen can do about it except be himself — anger, compassion, hope and all.

Bruce Springsteen: The Myth Of The Particular!

by Alva Noë

 Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band perform, on May 13, 2012 in Sevilla, Spain.

Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images

Does Bruce Springsteen’s broad appeal lie in the conviction with which he conjures up a New Jersey working-class identity, one with hard boundaries, as David Brooks writes in The New York Times? Politicians could learn from the Boss, offers Brooks: “Don’t pretend you’re a member of every community you visit. Don’t try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. … People will come.”

Brooks has a point. Springsteen’s popularity may be tied to the seductive power of the traditional. But this is not to his credit.

The greatest rock artists play with identities, they don’t inhabit them. Think of the way the Rolling Stones moved from blues to country and western, from funk and disco to psychedelia. We find equally soft boundaries and playful identities in the Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Bob Marley. The same can be said for Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Beside artists such as these, what Brooks calls Springsteen’s “particularity” reads more like rigidity than authenticity. When I hear Springsteen I am sometimes reminded of Law and Order episodes with all those forced New York accents.

The very idea of authenticity — this is what lies behind talk of particularity — is bogus.

Muddy Waters’ distinct Chicago sound is indebted to the contribution of the Chess brothers, Jews from Poland who produced his first records and sometimes played on tracks. Soft boundaries anyone? And what about Robert Johnson, so-called father of the Blues, who died in the 1938 at the age of 27. It turns out that his seminal status stems in good measure from the fact the he came of age listening to the juke box and was able, like the Stones later on, to jump from style to style.

The point is, it’s soft boundaries — Brooks’ “far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism … sampling one style then the next … ” — all the way down.

Brooks may be right that people will come if you hawk a fake tradition. God help us.

Bruce Springsteen Voted Best Act At Isle of Wight Festival

The Boss, Pearl Jam, Madness and Biffy Clyro top NME.COM’s users’ poll

Bruce Springsteen voted best act at Isle of Wight Festival

Photo: PA

Bruce Springsteen has been voted the best act at the Isle of Wight Festival by NME.COM users.
The Boss played a three-hour set last Sunday (June 24), finishing with a cover of ‘Twist And Shout’. Opening with ‘Badlands’, Springsteen joked with the crowd about the coverage of the weekend’s weather, before a career-spanning set ending with classics ‘Born In The USA’, ‘Born To Run’ and ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’.
In second place were grunge rockers Pearl Jam, who closed the second day of the festival with a two-hour set including rarities from their back catalogue and a Beatles cover – ‘Rain’, in tribute to the weather.
In third place were Madness, while Biffy Clyro followed in fourth place – they warmed up for Pearl Jam with a ferocious set including spectacular pyrotechnics and material from their forthcoming sixth album.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds came in fifth place, followed by Elbow, Miles Kane and Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers.
NME.COM readers’ top ten best acts at Isle of Wight Festival are:
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Pearl Jam Madness Biffy Clyro Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Elbow Miles Kane Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers The Vaccines Feeder

We get it, Grandpa, you’re hip to Springsteen

We get it, Grandpa, you're hip to SpringsteenBruce Springsteen and Barack Obama   (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

Rich old conservatives love The Boss and they really, really want everyone to know it

By

Good lord, give it a rest, boomer political pundits of America. We know you like Bruce Springsteen — everyone does, he’s one of the most popular and successful musicians in the history of popular music — and we don’t care that you went to his show last week or whenever. We don’t! No one does!

I love Bruce. I think his best album is probably “Tunnel of Love” though I listen to “Born in the USA” more. I am seeing him at New Giants Stadium in September. There, isn’t that boring? Like boring but also trying too hard and oddly boastful? Don’t you just … not care, that I like Bruce Springsteen? That is how America feels about you, David Brooks and Jeffrey Goldberg and Heritage Foundation assistant director of strategic communications Mike Brownfield.

People who live in the D.C. area and work in or write about politics for a living are among the least cool people on the planet, be they old or young, so it is always hugely embarrassing when they attempt to write about the bits of popular culture that they enjoy. It is already embarrassing enough when professional music writers go weak-in-the-knees for The Boss, as evidenced by everything Rolling Stone has published on the man for 35 years or so, but it is so much sillier when khaki’d old Ivy League grad suburban Maryland mega-mansion-owners get real about their magical, personal connection to a man whose career is in part a celebration of the exact opposite of them. (Is it the old guy version of the young white liberal blogger/pundit’s fixation on “The Wire”? No, but both things are tiresome.)

And so we learn today from Mr. Brooks that “they say” (who?) “you’ve never really seen a Bruce Springsteen concert until you’ve seen one in Europe,” and then he tells us the story of how he and his friends went around Europe spending hundreds of dollars on tickets to Springsteen shows in Spain and France and they enjoyed themselves very much. The success of Springsteen is, apparently, some sort of object lesson in staying true to your (geographical?) roots, and not being too “eclectic,” or something, who the fuck knows. The column literally has this line in it: “Did it occur to them at that moment that, in fact, they were not born in the U.S.A.?” I don’t know, David, do Clash fans realize that London is not actually calling them?

The Friday Morning Listen: Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA (1984)

Posted by

Maybe it’s just me but I’m getting sort of tired of the steady stream of articles and books that attempt to apply scientific analysis to our perception of music. Do we really need to know why certain intervals elicit certain emotions. And what brain waves were induced after hearing minor chords? Or why that signature riff from Jaws was scary? (Hint: It might be the sharks?)

What ends up happening with most of these arguments is that we find that there might be a cultural element to our reactions. Yeah, imagine that. So listeners in Indonesia have no issues with microtonal intervals whereas in the West they make our eyeballs spin counter-clockwise. I don’t need a scientist to tell me that.

Besides, there’s a lot more to our perceptions of music than just the actual notes. Though some critics will try to discount it, it’s nearly impossible for a person to divorce their perceptions of songs from the environment in which they were first encountered. You met somebody and fell in love while listening to the Marshall Tucker Band’s Carolina Dreams. A summer romance revolved around Supertramp’s Give A Little Bit. A relationship fell apart and you spent the better part of a chilly winter listening to Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville. The emotions and the music are forever conjoined. Science has little to do with it.

I was actually thinking of this not because of the recent research, but because of the 4th of July. The weather has finally been heating up and with it are the memories of that summer of 1984 when Bruce Springsteen released Born In The USA. I’d just graduated from college, moved in with my girlfriend, and started my first job. Those were all big events, but there was still a lot of kid in me. So Bruce was around for a bunch of drunken pool parties and barbecues (and more than a few regretful Sunday mornings, truth be told).

Lots of fans put this album at or near the bottom of the E Street pile. It’s not my favorite either. But its commercial nature is pretty much irrelevant to how I react to the songs. When I hear that title track or “Glory Days,” or “No Surrender,” or “Bobby Jean,” I’m 23 again, with my whole life stretching out before me. As I’ve grown older, that distance imparts a different kind of spin to how I hear the music. It’s not just the songs. It’s the songs and who I was then…and everything in between.

My mom loved Born In The USA. She also loved watching the Boston Pops celebration on the television. That was after we’d grilled and eaten way too much food and then had a slice of her American flag cake. Me and TheWife™ (and TheStepSon™, TheDaughterInLaw™, and the new Grandbaby#1™) will all be on vacation together this week. I feel a little Bruce and some cake comin’ on. It’ll be awesome.

Does science maybe have something to do with it? Probably, but I don’t care.

Bruce Springsteen; Twist & Shout Video & brucespringsteen.net!

The Springsteen Information Center wants to thank brucespringsteen.net the official website for Bruce Springsteen for this post.  Bruce springsteen.net is valued for their insight, passion and most of all, their journalistic integrity.  Because of  sites like brucespringsteen.net, we can offer you all of the official and latest news for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band right here on The Springsteen Information Center. If you get the chance, you should subscribe to the brucespringsteen.net website.  Here is the video of Twist & shout from the Isle of Wight concert. There are also two photo galleries from the last few show.  Thanks to Jo Lopez, the official photographer for brucespringsteen.net.  here is the link for brucespringsteen .net. Enjoy!

www.brucespringsteen.net

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/vNAG0yViy8I?feature=player_embedded” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Old Music: Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band – Rosalita (Live 1978)

If you can look at this clip and not want to join a rock’n'roll band, you have a very hard heart indeed!

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/3qFdcHo7Z7w?feature=player_embedded” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

  I came very late to Bruce Springsteen. Very late indeed. In fact, if you’d told me I’d ever be one of the adoring throng at a BFI event queueing up to shake his hand and have a photo taken with him, I’d have laughed at you, and pointed out that I once left an E Street Band gig an hour early out of sheer boredom. What changed?

In his blog about Springsteen last week, Dorian Lynskey wrote about the “leap of faith” Springsteen requires. I think that’s especially the case with those raised on some kind of musical dogmatism – in my case, that’s 80s indie, with its suspicion of big American rock above all things. Springsteen requires you to embrace the corn: you have to accept that the most important American rock star of the last 40 years does not really care about that most crucial of rock traits: coolness.

My Damascene moment came in a basement in Soho, on a sweltering night in May 2005. My colleague Laura Barton and I had started a monthly club night and she insisted we finish our first event by playing Born to Run. I scoffed. You can’t dance to it. It’s got that breakdown in the middle where all you can do is stand still. It will clear the dancefloor.

It won’t, she insisted. It will fill the dancefloor, even if people are just standing there waving their arms around. She was right; I was wrong. At two in the morning, the entire clientele of Push bar was bellowing, as loud as it could: “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run!” And, in one of those moments of staggering comprehension that I thought only happened in second-rate novels, I understood: Bruce Springsteen compels you to happiness by sheer force of personality, or – at this point in his life and career – by his sheer mythic persona.

This isn’t just my favourite Springsteen clip; I think it might be my favourite live clip of anyone. The studio version of Rosalita is great enough: as pure an expression of a young man’s joy about being alive, in love and playing rock’n'roll as you could imagine (in those lines: “This is his last chance/ To get his daughter in a fine romance/ ‘Cos the record company, Rosie/ They just gave me a big advance!” you can hear someone marvelling at the madness of being handed a big wedge of dollar bills to do what he’s been doing anyway, for years, for much smaller wedges of dollar bills). In this clip, you can see how the joy spreads, from Bruce to band to crowd, until even someone viewing a clip 34 years later can’t help but be bowled over.

The first woman crawls out of the crowd for a kiss around 1’50″ in. She’s followed by another 15 seconds later, and Springsteen offers a single clap, and a cry of “All right!” as if he’s telling every man in the audience: “Hey! This is what being a rock’n'roll singer’s all about!” Another 20 seconds in and there’s a third. Springsteen turns to face her, both hands palm-up, his face, a cartoon grin. If he could, he’d send his eyes out on stalks. By the end of the song, he’s been wrestled to the floor, three women trying to get a piece of him. It makes me laugh out loud: these aren’t prepubescent girls, these are women who’ve been so moved and excited by the previous three hours – Rosalita’s normally at or near the end of the set – that they can’t contain themselves. Springsteen has achieved the sole real purpose of rock’n'roll: he has taken people out of themselves.

These are all the things that would once have horrified me about Springsteen: now they are the very things I adore. This stuff is corny, but it’s sincere, and even when it’s not sincere – for no one can “mean it” for three hours a night, 150 nights a year, for 40 years – the muscle memory of truth is there in everything he does. The corniness is a means of communication: it’s as if Springsteen knows it will be too cringeworthy to simply state his belief in what music can do, so he dresses it up in the clothes of the preacher, the huckster, the snake oil salesman, in order to smuggle his message in as a joke. By the time he’s finished, though, it’s no joke.

I don’t get the urge to jump onstage when I see Springsteen. But I do things I don’t do at most gigs: I do sing along at the top of my voice; I do dance badly; I do punch the air. For a few hours I shed my embarrassment. It’s like a drug.

I’ve got a musician friend who, a few years ago, sang Rosalita onstage in New York with Springsteen. The New York Times, covering the show, said my friend was “barely able to contain himself: he seemed about to burst”. I can’t blame him.

Musicares, Grammys To Honor Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street BandBruce Springsteen, left, Max Weinberg and Steven Van Zandt perform during the 54th Grammy Awards. ( Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

By Todd Martens

June 28, 2012, 8:26 a.m.

Listen quietly. That soft hum heard in the distance isn’t your television set or your tinnitus. It’s a medley, one slammed together by an all-star cast of pop stars and a reminder that the 2013 Grammy Awards are not all that far away.

OK, so we don’t actually know what the medley is yet, but the Recording Academy, the music industry body that hosts the Grammy Awards, is already making noise regarding next year’s ceremony. This morning, the academy revealed that Bruce Springsteen will be feted as the 2013 Musicares Person of the Year. Musicares, the charitable spinoff of the Recording Academy, is to host an A-list gala two nights before the Grammys on Feb. 8.

It’s typical for the Musicares honoree to receive a lengthy tribute section on the Grammy telecast. Paul McCartney was recognized in 2012, and he performed twice on this year’s broadcast, once with new song “My Valentine” and another with the grand finale medley comprising “Abbey Road,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End.” The show-closing performance featured an assist from none other than Springsteen.

Springsteen, of course, is no stranger to the Grammy Awards. He opened the 2012 show with his recent single, “We Take Care of Our Own.” Its accompanying album, “Wrecking Ball,” was released in March of this year and should be considered a favorite for multiple Grammy nods, especially with its heavy political and social undercurrent. To date, he’s received 20 Grammy Awards.

The Musicares Person of the Year recognizes a musician’s artistic and philanthropic efforts. “Bruce Springsteen is a truly gifted and renaissance artist of our time, a national treasure, and an exemplary humanitarian,” Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow said in a statement. “His career is a testament to the power of creative excellence, and his contributions as a philanthropist speak to the tenacity of the human spirit.”

As part of the Musicares acknowledgment, Springsteen is to be the guest of honor at the charitable ball two nights prior to the Grammy telecast. The fundraiser is one of the most-coveted music industry events, as it features a host of pop stars past and present reinterpreting the works of the honoree.

At this year’s event, a bevy of unexpected artists tackled the McCartney catalog. The event’s guests spanned from young pop princess Katy Perry to veteran pop music institution Tony Bennett, with the Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Alison Krauss, Duane Eddy, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Diana Krall and Sergio Mendes joining them.

The 2013 Grammy Awards ceremony is to be held at Staples Center on Feb. 10 and broadcast live for the East Coast on CBS.

Bruce Rodgers on Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Wrecking Ball Tour

Thanks to Marian Sandberg & LiveDesign for this article

Photo Todd Kaplan

Bruce Rodgers of Tribe inc, known for his work as production designer for such mega shows as the Super Bowl Halftime Show for the past few years, as well as countless concert tours, was brought in for the Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s Wrecking Ball Tour to serve as production design consultant. Rodgers worked alongside the band’s longtime production/lighting designer Jeff Ravitz of Intensity Advisors, for what he calls “a design that is all about supporting the lighting design and the way the audience feels and sees Bruce and The E Street Band.

 

“I worked with the entire Springsteen team to collectively refine, explore, question, create, and solve the designs for this production. This is a classic process where we all think of ideas and ‘what ifs,’ and mix new ideas with the knowledge and experience that each team member brings to the table,” says Rodgers, adding that the team is led by “the great tour director George Travis,” also working with other Springsteen/E Street veterans, including FOH sound engineer John Cooper, production manager George Stipanovich, lighting director Todd Ricci, Peter Daniel of Pete’s Big TVs, video director Chris Hilson, and video engineer Paul Whitfield. “These guys have done so many shows with Bruce that they are well aware of the needs for their departments, and they know the venues that the tour will visit along the way. It’s always fun to throw in crazy ideas that I know may not ever work, but it’s fun to rattle these great minds.” Because the band comprises legends that Rodgers calls “larger than life,” he notes that the music itself and the band members’ personas “provide enough entertainment value for ten concert designs, so the design must serve as a foundation for their presentation.” For Rodgers, that means keeping sightlines clear, giving the band close proximity to the audience, and allowing for stage tech visual contact and access. “The vibe goal was to remain raw and old school—1970s back to the basics—with nothing flashy or literal but everything detailed and strong in feel,” he says. “Personally, I used visuals of motorcycles, the photography of Danny Clinch, and vintage rock photos for inspiration. Ultimately Bruce and the band, George, Jon Landau, and I determined the placement of the band member’s home positions, but ‘The Boss’ figures out the show moves and sets the natural feel of each performance.”

 

Photo Todd Kaplan

For visuals on the tour, Pete’s Big TVs has provided its new DigiLED MC7 high resolution LED panels, built specifically for this outing, mostly for I-Mag to give a more intimate feel to the performances. “Unlike most I-Mag shows, video director Chris Hilson and video engineer Paul Whitfield have turned this basic task into an art,” says Rodgers. “The way they manage the shots is tied perfectly with the lighting design and performance. Their challenge is following and covering this performance, which changes nightly and is super difficult when the goal is to keep each shot and transition magical and seamless.” Charlie Terrel advises and supports potential content. The team from Pete’s Big TVs includes award-winning camera operators David “Legs” Driscoll, Kim Hampton, Mike Colucci, Will Farnham, and Matt Travis, with Rob Villalobos on robotic camera. Phil Summers is the LED tech.

One of the challenges in touring this iconic group is the various arenas, theatres, festivals, and stadiums the tour visits. “George T. and George S. are so fast and knowledgeable, and drive how the production adapts and moves from site to site,” says Rodgers. “It’s amazing to watch this team work, because they’ve been at it for many tours and have always brought a high level of excellence to their road shows. It’s a real honor to just be part of this group of people. The goals are to always keep the layout familiar from one site to the next. This is also a testament to the excellent thought put into the stage build by Tait Towers, led by Aaron Siebert.

“Our constant default that Bruce looks back for is the audience, which does look great on those big screens,” adds Rodgers, who notes that he uses Vectorworks, Autodesk AutoCAD,  Autodesk 3ds Max, Adobe Photoshop, “plus hand and pencil” for his design concepts.

Related Articles

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Wrecking Ball Tour

Jun  6, 2012  3:03 PM

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band is on tour yet again, this time in support of Wrecking Ball, with longtime collaborator Jeff Ravitz providing lighting design and Bruce Rodgers of Tribe inc, lending some stage design….