Posts tagged "Bruce Springsteen"

Searching Our ‘Spirits’ In The Boss

This wonderful reflection on desire and Bruce Springsteen comes to us from Ben Self:

“It’s… that rush moment that you live for. It never lasts, but that’s what you live for.”

– Bruce Springsteen, Time Magazine, 1975

I’ve always loved the use of the term “spirits” as a synonym for hard liquors. It speaks to what is most alluring in booze and any number of other mind-altering substances and pleasures—that feeling of being transported to another higher, perhaps lighter, warmer, state of consciousness by forces within us that are beyond our control. It’s a kind of ravishing and unhinging of the mind and…

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Another Week Ends: Monastic (Olympic) Masochism, Successful Children, Justified Paranoia, Mumford and Sons, Edward Gorey, Creedal Colbert and the Return of PZ’s Podcast

1. As the Olympics wind down (and Morrissey gets his London back), we would do well to read Heather Havrilesky’s jaw-droppingly insightful piece “The Loneliness of the Person Watching the Long Distance Runner” that appeared in the NY Times Magazine last week. She absolutely nails the religiosity at the heart of much contemporary athleticism. And she even touches on how we instrumentalize suffering in a distinctly theology-of-glory-like way, i.e. as a means of self-salvation. Which is a bit ironic, since as far as cultural commentators are concerned, I consider Havrilesky a gold-medalist:

If the ’70s and ’80s were marked by a…

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The Thing That Eats at Bruce Springsteen and Always Will

Maybe you’re like me and have tuned Bruce Springsteen out these last few records. A couple songs here and there have grabbed your ear (list at the bottom of the post), but by and large, when you want a Springsteen fix, you don’t reach for anything he’s put out in the past decade. If you’re being honest, you might even admit that Tracks is your favorite thing he’s been involved with since the 80s. You miss the character studies, the wordplay, the exuberance. You liked it better when the politics were less didactic and more clearly rooted in autobiography. You…

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Who Put That Hole in My Bucket? The Difference Between Bruce Springsteen and Hank Williams

A few weeks ago, DZ brought our attention to the terrific keynote speech given by Bruce Springsteen at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX this past March, in which he basically spent an hour going over his musical influences. It’s really great. At about the 37 minute-mark, he begins to talk about country music and (one of my heroes) Hank Williams. Says The Boss:

I remember sitting in my little apartment, listening to Hank Williams Greatest Hits over and over. And I was trying to crack his code because at first it just didn’t sound good to me….

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Another Week Ends: Jeremy Lin, Scientism, Cosmism, Clergy Burnout, Tearjerkers, Springsteen’s Advice, 30 Rock, and Garbage Pail Kids

1. The Linsanity continues! But this time the hubbub has to do with a powerful (and unexpected) instance of off-court forgiveness. Last week, Jeremy Lin invited the ESPN employee who was fired for writing an offensive headline about Lin to lunch. Newsday spoke with the journalist in question, Anthony Federico:

Federico apologized after he was fired, calling the headline’s play on words ["chink in the armor"] “an honest mistake.” Lin said at the time that he accepted the apology and added, “You have to learn to forgive.” Apparently, he meant it. A member of Lin’s family reached out to Federico via…

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Another Week Ends: John Carter, Obesity FAILs, Mary Karr on Suffering, Winning!, Friends with Kids, Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and Community Returns

1. “I am not Jesus, but I have the same initials.” Thus sang Jarvis Cocker on the classic Pulp track “Dishes” (at bottom), and it now looks like he has a new contender to the throne, Tim Riggins himself, Mr. John Carter of Mars. That’s right: Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton’s first live-action feature is out this weekend, and the consensus thus far is that there’s no consensus. Some claim that it’s an overblown mess, others that it’s the sort of exceedingly fun pulp adventure that doesn’t get made anymore. But Stanton is a filmmaker that I trust over any…

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Don Henley and The Heart of the Matter

I’ve hear this song a million times (mostly in department stores and elevators), but when I heard it again yesterday, I was struck by its Christian understanding of forgiveness. It may be from the 80’s and it may sound a little too much like Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, etc. but it’s an underrated rock gem.

Henley seems to write about an old soured relationship that has reentered his life. He relives the pain of this lost love and he tries to come to terms with its meaning. In the fog of his mixed motives and competing emotions he arrives…

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Springsteen in Preacher Mode: "Rosalita" Live at The Hammersmith Odeon 1975

Early Springsteen is such a different beast from later Springsteen. Almost unrecognizable when compared with the (largely) by-numbers stuff he’s been putting out this past decade. Yet, even though the breathlessness of his first couple of records may come off a tad too Dylan/Morrison derivative at times, the energy and melodrama are all vintage Bruce. Nebraska notwithstanding, I prefer his first three records, hands down, to the rest of his catalog, with E Street Shuffle on par with Born To Run as his best. This is pre-muscles Bruce, pre-BRUUUCE Bruce for that matter – he’s just this slinky street-rat hipster…

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Hard Times, Recession Depression, and The Whole Duty of Man, Pt II

“…his only reasonable transaction in that commodity would have been to buy it for as little as he could possibly give, and sell it for as much as he could possibly get; it having been clearly ascertained by philosophers that in this is comprised the whole duty of man — not a part of man’s duty, but the whole.”
– Charles Dickens from Hard Times

My last post and this one were inspired by the powerful words of Dickens above. Just a lonely portion of a paragraph in a book that no one thinks is his best. And it is a…

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In Memoriam

A belated post for Memorial Day:

A friend of mine who is a Marine Lieutenant Colonel asked me recently if he had ever told me why he felt so strongly about coming to adult Sunday school and learning about the gospel. I told him that no, he had never mentioned it. I will never forget what he said next, and I hope he does not mind me sharing it here.

He turned to me squarely and said, “It’s because after two tours in Iraq, I want to understand why: why I came home, and so many men and women that I knew…

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The rhythm is going to get you

This clip of 12 year old Tony Royster Jr. struck me as an obvious musical interpretation of Luke 2:42-47.When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they…

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