Magnus

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About Magnus

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 01/24/1978

Profile Information

  • Location
    Silver Spring, MD
  • Gender
    Male
  • Springsteen fan since?
    First heard Bruce in '89, diehard fan since around '93 or so
  • Does Mary's dress wave or sway?
    Well, "as the radio plays" rhymes with "sways"
  • Interests
    Bruce, rock music, history, Lego, cooking, other nerdery...
  • Sex?
    Yes!

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  1. So here's my review and thoughts on the movie. I don't watch many movies - especially in the cinema, but the trailers had been very promising and I remember enjoying the book the movie is based on. So of course I went to see the preshow last Monday. To address one of the obvious questions - it is hard for many Americans to understand Bruce Springsteen's popularity abroad. Sure, we know he's a massively talented songwriter and live performer, but he's so American, how can people living somewhere else relate properly to what he's singing about? In my experience, the America he sings about (which appeals to American fans for its very familiarity) is fascinating for its novelty to non-U.S. audience, and his liberal politics tend to go down well in places that don't put capitalism on a pedestal. This movie covers that a little, but what it does really well is to show just how well Bruce's songs translate in their relateability to a listener immersed in a different culture. Intergenerational clashes between teens and parents who just don't understand each other very well; ostracized feelings of being on the outside looking in; the urge to escape from stifling places we call home, but that offer limited prospects for the future - these are not American themes, they are universal topics. Javed is exactly at that confusing point in life where popular music really can feel genuinely life changing - or even life saving. The movie draws countless parallels between Javed's life in and Bruce's own formative experiences as a teen. Used Cars and My Hometown are not featured in the soundtrack, but they would have fit in very well - in fact there there are scenes that seem tailor written to fit those songs. But this is first and foremost a story of coming of age, and of the personal nature of fandom. And I suspect the film wouldn't have impacted me the way it did if I didn't see so much of my former self in the protagonist. It's almost impossible for me to talk about the movie without talking about my own life, as it touches on so many memories of mine. This obviously isn't my story - I moved from England to Norway in 1989 when I was 11, so my immigrant experience was very different from Javed's. And my parents (who I generally got on with quite well) were far more supportive of my passion for music. I do recall growing up in Thatcher's England, though I was younger and largely oblivious of popular culture, fashion, music, and politics. But I remember generally feeling like an awkward social outsider as a teen, sensing that I was missing out on things. And then of course there was the discovery of Bruce Springsteen: For me this happened in 1989 when I was 11, right after having moved to a new country. The movie veered into the musical genre a little too much for me, which I find cheesy and unappealing, but it sort of forced me to process very familiar songs quite differently from how I usually do, which was interesting. Watching the movie sometimes feels as awkward as listening to Queen of the Supermarket, but (just like with that song) this isn't a bad thing - because it is about an awkward guy. I found myself cringing a lot, but a lot of that was just me squirming at the discomfort of my own memories of being a weird, angsty and earnest teen who had just found his own key to the universe. Bruce's music would go on to sustain me for life, but being one of his fans really wasn't cool for a kid in middle and high school in the '90s, and it didn't help me make many friends at the time. I don't think I've ever seen a movie that connected this much to my own life - it was a powerful thing and I was sitting there close to tears a few times. It's a little longer than it needs to be, and the ending is a little predictable and rushed. But I'm very, very glad this movie got made. For Bruce fans, many of us will relate to a lot in the movie, but it's also a reminder that Tramps like us are not all the same. Bruce's music and message truly does transcend borders, generations, cultures, and religions. Of course the real test will not be whether the fan community embraces it, but how it fares at the box office. Most of the reviews so far have been positive, and I do hope the viewing public gives it a chance. It is a good time to go back and re read the book it is based on - Greetings from Bury Park by Sarfraz Manzoor.
  2. I was thinking of this too. This is probably the one show where Danny shines the most. He isn't overshadowed by the rest of the band - he's just in his zone doing his thing.
  3. I would also have preferred this. Actual official live albums, with professional artwork and liner notes.
  4. It is hard to pick a clear favorite from the Joad and D&D tours. In a top 5 list both of those tours should be represented and probably Bruce on Broadway too. I am not a huge admirer of the Christic shows in the same way that many fans are. I'd probably rate Bridge '86 as his all time Greatest ever acoustic show. Not because it was his best per se, but because of what it represents and its historical significance. If you think of Bruce's career changing after the BitUSA era, the Bridge Benefit '86 really is the beginning of that.
  5. I'd love a 73-74 show, but were there actual legit rumors that we'd get one? Or was it just the usual monthly wishful thinking?
  6. I'm very excited about this release. I've always held that Bridge' 86 was unfairly overshadowed by the more celebrated Christic shows from four years later. It's a unique performance, very unlike any of the subsequent solo tours he's done. Performed around the same time as Live 75-85 was being released as a summary statement, this show marks the beginning of Bruce's post-BitUSA career - and the first of many many efforts he has made to reclaim Born in the USA from the misunderstanding masses. The alternative versions of familiar songs are wonderful and one-off. The trio of Bruce, Danny, and Nils was creative and musically dynamic. It is a familiar enough that you feel you feel you are with old friends, but different enough that you know you're in for something new.* Most Bruce shows sprawl - even the acoustic solo shows that are closer to the two hour mark have a depth and epicness to them. Bridge '86 accomplishes a lot in a short amount of time, and somehow doesn't feel rushed. Bruce really was ahead of his time with this one. You can think of Bridge '86 as the MTV Unplugged album that Bruce Springsteen never released. It's a shame that he didn't have an actual Unplugged album in him in the early '90s when he had the chance. Perhaps he rightly sensed then that the '92 band wasn't up to a show like this and didn't want to detract from his new band by performing alone. Bridge '86, welcome to the Nugs Club! * The combination of "unplugged Bruce with one or two E Streeters" would also be used to great effect in 1988, when Bruce was joined by Clarence at the SOS Racism show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLQYZPp3ix4
  7. I don't know what my Top 5 would be exactly (I mean how do you fairly compare all the Nugs complete shows?) But there one thing I know for sure... Live 75-85 would be in my number one spot.
  8. You never can tell! Now bring on Cleveland '74
  9. I don't tend to complain that Nugs releases don't sound better, I tend to observe that, as a non audiophile, I am more interested in hearing a show I don't already know well then hearing an improved version of something I know by heart. There have been exceptions of course - but I'm more interested in something I haven't heard already or something representing an era that has been neglected so far by Nugs than a sound upgrade to a 78 radio broadcast show or whatever.
  10. And just imagine, next week we could be getting Wembley '92!
  11. After a '92 show, I'd guess we'll get something from 75-84. What I'd really love would be something from '73-'74 or '76-'77.
  12. 6 minutes left! Sit tight, Take hold!
  13. This is no story song - and between this and Hello Sunshine, the impression I am getting is that this album is not going to be compared to ToL or D&D any time soon. The song is atmospheric and the big exciting new thing here is that Bruce's voice is the closest I've ever heard it come to Roy Orbison. Lyrically it is sparse and repetitive, relying more on the chorus than most of his songs do. This could be a radio friendly album we'll have to see.