Countdown Kid # 96: Livin’ in the future

The E Street Band reunited for The Rising in 2002, but I would argue that the classic E Street Band sound didn’t return until 5 years later with this track off Magic. The groove is lifted straight from “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” with Clarence’s burly sax still blowing Bruce down the street just as it did 30 years earlier. 

The lyrics are a study in denial. Even with all of the walls of his life crumbling down upon him, the narrator tricks himself into believing everything is fine in the chorus with his own little imaginary time machine: “We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet.”

Even the band is in on the ruse, negating the dire lyrics with a good-time assault that even features some happy-go-lucky “sha-na-nas” at the end. Only Danny Federici’s organ solo lets some anguish Continue reading

Countdown Kid’s Top 100 Springsteen songs: #100 – Devil’s Arcade

This song, the closing track off Magic (not counting the “hidden” track “Terry’s Song,”) shows some signs of strain as it attempts to be the all-encompassing anthem to sum up the disparate themes of that standout album. Still, it swings for the fences with such gusto that it’s still quite powerful, a damn impressive track that hits far more than it misses.

Where it does miss is in the fact that the hugeness of it can be a bit overbearing. From the atmospheric opening to the slow build-up to the thunderous climax, it groans with the weight of all of the effort that was clearly put into it to create a memorable album closer.

Compare it to the simple but unsettling “Wreck On The Highway” off The River, or the desperately romantic “Valentine’s Day” off Continue reading

Two hours of Bruce on an empty stomach

It is 03:55 on a hot and sticky summer night in SA, a world away from New Jersey where Julian Garcia has driven himself to work through everything wet and cold nature has to offer. I drag myself out of bed to switch on the computer. I am tired, did not get to bed early at all. On the bedside table my book and pencil are waiting, because experience has taught me if I dosed off somewhere during Groove it all night on Homegrown Radio NJ, I do not remember anything that was played before the snooze. But this morning I briefly consider Continue reading

HGRNJ – Top 10 for the last decade

Just in case somebody has not seen it yet – here is Julian’s top 10 Springsteen songs for the last decade:

10. Devils and dust
9. You’re missing
8. My city of ruins
7. Outlaw Pete – a surprise to me
6. Working on a dream
5. American land
4. Girls in their summer clothes
3. Long walk home – my personal number 1
2. Lonesome day – a huge surprise to me
1. The rising

HGRNJ – Best of Bruce for the last decade – last ten

Here are Julian Garcia and his panel’s choices for the number 11-20 best Bruce songs for the last ten years. NB. In no specific order.
1.   Mary’s place – The Rising
2.   I’ll work for your love – Magic
3.   Radio Nowhere – Magic
4.   The Promise – The Promise
5.   Waitin’ on a sunny day – The Rising
6.   Kingdom of days – Working on a dream
7.   The wrestler – WOAD
8.   My lucky day – WOAD
9.   Pay me my money down – Seeger Sessions
10.  Save my love – The Promise

Girls in their summer clothes (Magic)

Well the streetlights shine down on Blessing Avenue
Lovers they walk by, holding hands two by two
The girls in their summer clothes … pass me by … I have read that this line is seen as a description of the disillusionment of a man in mid-life, when he still has the desire to charm the girls, but the young ones are not impressed any more (or nobody at all?). But strangely the picture in my own head is that of a very young boy, gathering his courage to go out and do all kinds of wonderful things – and they pass him by.
I like the following clip, because it shows his interaction with the crowd so clearly:
– lots of comments on the site from people who where there, even on that video.
Full lyrics at:

… A kid’s rubber ball smacks off the gutter ‘neath the lamp light
Big bank clock chimes
Off go the sleepy front porch lights …
Just beautiful!
And amazing that he can still write about rejection like this, when all of us know what happens when he just as much as sit on a bench at the beach for a little while!