Weaving together the political and the personal

“Others have written about the complicated ways that Bruce Springsteen weaves together the personal and the political and how this interweaving has developed over time.  I’ll mention some of these themes but won’t spend a lot of time exploring or illustrating them:

1)  First and foremost, the healing and transcendent power of love and community.  This is, perhaps, one of the most central concerns of his life.  His songs are full of it.  The ecstatic sense of abandon, fusion and joy at his concerts feature it.  Wrecking Ball is a good example of this.

2)  Mutual recognition and embrace of the Other: Springsteen’s songs are full of images of people making the choice to—in the end—see their commonality rather than their difference.  The Ghost of Tom Joad Continue reading

Diary of a depression fighter: Missing the music

On this wonderful trip through Ireland and Scotland – on my way to my first ever Springsteen shows – I have encountered depression quite unexpectedly.

One of the reasons for this has to do with the lack of opportunity to really immerse myself in the music, as I have become used to.

At home Bruce’s music has become integrated into my whole life. I usually go to bed with either The Promise or 18 Tracks, I work on The Rising, BTR, Darkness, The River. For some reason I often have Backstreets on repeat while I am hurriedly preparing to go out. I daily work out on any of the live concert DVD’s.

For others this looks like obsession. For me it has become a way to help me handle life.

My family – although I love them dearly – are not fans. On the trip there has been only opportunity for short indulgences into Springsteen music. There was no privacy and no me time.

After two weeks I have realized that the music is loosing its power for me, because I do not absorb enough of it. I even started to find it difficult to remember why I REALLY am on this trip.

The tour is over and we are stationed in Edinburgh at the moment. Today’s Bruce Brunch on The Hawk helped a lot to make me feel part of the Springsteen community again.

The dream is alive again. And Sunderland is drawing near. 🙂

The

Ten years after the horror

After a wonderful week in nature, out of reach of cell phones or internet (thank heavens for my MP3 player!), I came back to the stark reality of what happened ten years ago and still feels impossible to believe (never mind understand). In 2001 I was struggling with life in general and depression specifically, so I protected myself by trying to avoid most news about what happened. But of course that was impossible. Today I remember three specific articles I read in the aftermath of 9/11. Each of them carried so much of the goodness that can come out of evil, that I was lifted up 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

The Rising

I really admire people who have the skills and musical know how to put Springsteen’s work under words. This wonderful review of The Rising is an excellent example:

“Yes, life is very confusing, we’re just trying to get on with it.” — Art Carney as Harry Coomes in Harry and Tonto.
The many voices that come out of the ether on Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising all seem to have two things in common: the first is that they are writing from the other side, from the day after September 11, 2001, the day when life began anew, more uncertain than ever before. The other commonality that these voices share is the determination that life, however fraught with tragedy and confusion, is precious and should be lived as such. This is a lot for a rock album by a popular artist to claim, but perhaps it’s the only thing there is worth anything.
On this reunion with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen offers 15 meditations — in grand rock & roll style — on his own way of making sense of the senseless.

Read on at: http://classicrockreview.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/bruce-springsteen-the-rising/