Why I admire Bruce Springsteen: Reason 5 – A man who can actually multi-task

1978 plat voor meisies Crowd surf val Pauline SmitWatching Bruce and The Band onstage (on DVD – never had the opportunity to see him live) I realized that I am watching something very rare – a man who can do quite a few things at one time! In my world, that is a scarce and wonderful gem to find.
He keeps the band together, he works the crowd and the cameras, he is all over the place and at the right moment back at the mike stand again … and he still finds the time to actually sing and play the guitar. And to remember the words – well, mostly … And remember in which city he is – well, mostly … And stay on his feet – well, mostly!
No, I am not negative about him using the teleprompter nowadays, or about the one time he shouted out the wrong city, or the few falls he had on the 2009 tour. We are all human, and he has never pretended to be less human than the rest of us. What I do admire, is the way he took those things in his stride, made a joke about it when he could, and just went on. Those are things us humans often find virtually impossible.

PS. So wonderful that after this was written in on 20 Aug. 2011 I had the opportunity to see Bruce and the ESB a whole six times. Also that he has never fallen or forgotton his lyrics after that (as far as I know). One cannot think it is possible, but he still works on and improves his act.  In these nearly three years my admiration for him has just grown and grown.

Countdown Kid # 95 – Jackson Cage

1980s blou frokkie, ligte stewelsSpringsteen has always had a knack for dissecting the lives of the downhearted. “Jackson Cage” is one such character study, an incisive look at a girl whose life is a prison that’s caused only in part by circumstance. His point here is that sometimes people can be beat down so much that they fail to realize that there’s a way up, and they end up only contributing to their own misery.

“Jackson Cage” is one of the many songs on The River that are all about the economy and efficiency of the package; it’s why the album is one of the rare double LP’s that doesn’t feel bloated. The band sinks their teeth into a tight arrangement with all the pieces interlocking brilliantly. Bruce also zigs when you would expect him to zag in the instrumental section by dropping a harmonica solo into the thunderous rock background.

The lyrics are effective because they don’t pull any punches. Bruce’s words make it clear of the consequences here: “Every day ends in wasted motion/Just crossed swords on the killing floor.” This doesn’t seem like hyperbole, because this girl is dying inside little by little.

Springsteen wails in the lead-up to the chorus with the strangled voice he used on Darkness On The Edge Of Town, valiantly trying to get through to this girl. He knows that ultimately it’s up to her to turn the key, but his powerful argument at least should show her to the door.

Original post at http://countdownkid.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/bruce-springsteen-countdown-95-jackson-cage/

Looking back!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

A great thank you to everybody who shared my ups and down during this great Bruce year!

See you up the road!

A knee-jerk reaction

The dictionary describes the term a knee-jerk reaction as a very predictable reaction, without thinking.

In some way this was true for my reaction when I stumbled upon the tracker for the Springsteen show in Oslo a few days ago. Except that my reaction was not predictable in any way. But without thinking it certainly was.

Or maybe it was predictable. Maybe it was just me who did not Continue reading

Mothers’ Day Blues

For some reason today I remember all the wrong things, the things the loyal daughter of a deceased mother should have forgotten long ago.

No, I do not dwell on the negative. Normally.

I also don’t only remember bad things.

I remember how I slept in her bed after my father’s death.

I remember how she let my baby bunny Continue reading

Bruce back at school? Really?

I was just ready to start bloggingthis morning about yesterdays news (from Britain!) that Bruce has gone back to college, when I woke up to the news that this really was a huge and hilarious mistake. A real April Fool joke getting realized by the end of May! (If you have not seen it, be sure to read the original articles on Blogness.)
My first thought on the original article was that I am not really that surprised – was just wondering how he could have been attending classes on an American campus without anybody noticing. And tweeting about it! Impossible.
What got me thinking was the info in the article, which even for a Continue reading

Just two old buddies chatting …

If there is a Springsteen lover/believer/fan alive who have not heard Bruce talk with Little Steven at the Underground Garage, do yourself a favour and rush to http://undergroundgarage.com/.
Lovely stories, like the one about Bruce’s mum hiring a guitar for him … And how he would buy surfing magazines just to look at the guitars ads … And how he strung a base guitar with Continue reading

Advice Bruce could offer the Idols

I loved this post on Blogness:

In consultation with Official Blogness Correspondent Anne Haines, we offer up a few possibilities.

  • Appropriate stage attire (“Black t-shirts. You gotta wear black t-shirts. If it’s chilly, wear two of  ‘em in layers.”)
  • How to more or less gracefully eject snot rockets whilst vocalizing. (“Let’s face it, kids, even rock stars have boogers.”)
  • What is and is not an appropriate song to use for hauling small children up onstage (“Sunny Day,” yes, “Reno,” no).
  • Correct pronunciation of “Jimmy Iovine” (“Rhymes with Continue reading

Some really good news!

Dreams still come true, even today in this hard land of hope and dreams. Let me tell you about my wonderful surpise.

Yesterday morning at 3:00am South African time, I tuned in as usual to Julian Garcia’s Groove it all night on Home Grown Radio NJ (available on internet). During the show Julian was kind enough to mention that I listen to his programme from SA and that I am a great Bruce fan, with no hope at all of ever seeing a live show. He also mentioned that he felt bad for not replying on my enquiry about daylight saving in time to make sure that I caught the previous show. Which of course, I really appreciated and had totally forgiven him for, since it was really my own responsibility Continue reading

About men, but not only for men

Here is an excerpt from a well-written post at http://roadtohomeplate.com/2011/03/23/music-for-the-road-bruce-springsteen/
It gives a wonderfull view of the men about whom Bruce writes. (And no, I don’t fully understand why I, as a woman, can relate to the music so easily. Maybe the three men in my life have something to do with it.)

… They’re the guys that work with their hands, that break their backs for the families they’ll be growing soon enough. Yes, they’re men.
I’ve always affiliated these men with the music of Bruce Springsteen. That’s not to say they’re the men who Continue reading

Best live act!

Here is an excerpt from a well-written reaction on Bruce and the Band being rated as the best live act in rock and roll:
(For the full post, check the blogroll.)

… nobody comes close to holding an audience in complete rapture for 3 hours night after night after night like Bruce and the band. Each show I’ve seen has been a roller coaster ride of emotions featuring flat out Continue reading

Springsteen and Bellow

A very interesting comparison between these two great artists:

… this Thanksgiving, I will be giving my thanks to writer Saul Bellow (1915-2005) and musician Bruce Springsteen (born 1949), two poets who beautifully sing the song of America.
Putting Bellow and Springsteen together may baffle some of you. Their works obviously occupy very different Americas at very different times.
Bellow is the Jewish intellectual chronicling the anxieties and comedy of the cosmopolitan city-dweller in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Springsteen is the Jersey guitarist channeling the lost dreams of the working class Everyman in post-Vietnam America.
Read on at:
http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2010/11/24/mean-street-thankgsiving-thanks-to-bellow-and-springsteen/

Jimmy Fallon on dressing up with Bruce

Well, I suppose the whole world knows by now about the Neil Young parody and Bruce joining in as his 70’s self. I just love this background story from Rolling Stone:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/68404/235967
And yes, I know it takes op too much space on my home page, but I still cannot resist posting the whole thing here.
It was surprising enough to see Bruce Springsteen performing Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” with Jimmy Fallon (as Neil Young) earlier this week — let alone doing it as his bearded 1970s self. Fallon tells Rolling Stone how it all came together. “We have a great writer, Mike Dicenzo,” Fallon says. “It was his idea to do the Neil Young [parody], and ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and ‘Pants on the Ground.’ We were tryin’ to think of [another one], and he was like, ‘Dude, I think I found the song: we should do ‘Whip My Hair’ by Willow Smith.’
And I listened to the song and went, ‘Oh my God, it could be great.’ “We were just gonna do that as Neil, but in the meantime, we’d been Continue reading

Images of the country I love (1)

In it’s first week of life this blog has given me a lot of pleasure. And I have heard from a wonderful variety of people from various countries. Which made me realize I should maybe add something to this blog as a special gesture of thanks to the troubled country I so dearly love.
So from time to time I will share some photographs which have nothing to do with Bruce, but everything with me. Just to show that I do have other interests than The Boss! The photographers are mostly my husband and two sons, while I usually trail behind and take snapshots of them for the family album.

Table Mountain as seen from Bloubergstrand (which means blue water beach)
Photo by Little Brother
See more at http://www.panoramio.com/user/4761793