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Everything posted by Floom2

  1. Ultimately, JJ, you do get to decide what all of this means. No worries. Be safe, be vaxxed. Love you. -Chris
  2. You should try Katrina and the Waves There are listeners who will cling to their particular bias, no matter any evidence to the contrary. obviously a concert setting is going to be (at least with the full band) an exciting event. We are with 10’s of thousands of people, the anticipation of the show has been building all year and now we are HERE IN THE ARENA AND THERE HE IS AND THERE’s THE BANDANNA AND HERE’s THE SONG WITH THOSE UPLIFTING HAPPY LYRICS: BORN DOWN IN A DEADMAN’S TOWN! yeah, I get it. I actually do understand, sort of. I saw shows on that tour, I stood and sang the lyrics. But in the midst of my fan mania I didn't lose sight of the song and what it meant. Springsteen has said, many times, of his earlier shows, that if you want to get to the payoff of the exhilarating spine tingling rim shaking earth shattering BANG of the E Street Band that exists at the END of the show you've got to pay the price early in the show and listen to the tough stuff. JJ I do get your point. For me, rock and roll was sometimes about joy and celebration and sometimes about something else. I try to understand what the artist is trying to convey. Obviously I'm going to experience the art through the lens of my life, but I'm not going to, for example, mistake the movie Pulp Fiction for a romantic comedy, just as I am not going to ever hear Born in the USA as a happy gleeful celebration of the greatness of America. Peace, baby.
  3. Listen harder. Sticking with the record at issue and ignoring the obviously gleeful and uplifting Nebraska, and Tom Joad: certainly if Springsteen’s music can be summed up simply: there are songs that include elements of tragedy, there are songs that include elements that are positive and songs that run the gamut between heartbreak and hope. We all, ultimately, get to choose our particular meaning that these songs provide us I prefer to use clues, like the lyrics, that will help me determine meaning. Even a song as seemingly upbeat as Working on the Highway…isn’t upbeat at all anyway, Springsteen is ultimately a man that seems to believe in hope and redemption But hope and redemption aren’t even necessary without sin and darkness No one who is perfect needs redemption and if life were always great and fabulous no one would need hope as an obvious aside, describing the song Born in the USA as happy, fun and uplifting requires real intellectual dishonesty. Nothing remotely happy fun or uplifting happens to the guy in that song. I do believe that Springsteen is all about forging ahead and fighting against the darkness but he also sings about the times when life’s dark forces prevail That’s kinda the whole point of his entire ouvre, and to miss that, after listening to the guy for decades… jeepers
  4. I can agree with all of this except that the song is tinged with hope. ‘Nowhere to run, nowhere to go.’ unless of course we consider: ’I’m a cool rockin’ daddy…’ as a somewhat hopeful closing. I always thought that was a throwaway line, but maybe it’s Bruce’s way of saying that hey, life has been pretty terrible for me but I can still dance.
  5. I read this yesterday. None of the things this guy actually talks about are in the released version of the song. No one who hears BITUSA has any idea of any of this so none of it has any bearing on the song. His discussion of the racial aspect of the song is ridiculous. There is no indication in the song as it was released that ‘yellow man’ is antiracist. i don’t think Springsteen was a racist when he wrote the song. He was simply creating a character who had adopted a common view of a war time enemy. Also, he needed a word to rhyme with ‘jam’, ‘hand’, and ‘land’ and yellow MAN sorta works.
  6. Born down in a dead man’s town. The astute listener will make the quick determination that our protagonist has a tough road ahead. The first kick I took was when I hit the ground You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much ‘Til you spend all your life just coverin’ up Our protagonist is a victim of some kind of physical violence in childhood. Again, the impression of the life of the protagonist is bleak. Got in a little hometown jam So they put a rifle in my hand Sent me off to a foreign land To go and kill the yellow man. Our protagonist is now 18 and is in trouble. A pregnant girl? Nope. “They” put a rifle in his hand. “They” is the man, the justice system, which invites the obvious conclusion that our man committed some kind of crime, a crime involving property, most likely, as a violent felony would have garnered prison time. This verse underscores that our protagonist is poor. The sons of the wealthy are able to dodge the wheels of justice. Come back home to the refinery Hiring man says, "Son, if it was up to me" I go down to see the V.A. man He said, "Son, don't you understand?" Yup, even with his veteran status our protagonist is unable to find work. Somehow, even the VA won’t help. This is Springsteen’s way of illustrating the supposed many ways that American society let down Vietnam veterans. And yes, the VA is an unwieldy ineffective bureaucracy. In any case, our protagonist has no prospects, either because he is an unemployable loser or because every employer and the government are against him. You decide. Had a brother at Khe Sahn Fighting off the Viet Cong They're still there, he's all gone He had a woman in Saigon I got a picture of him in her arms A truly great verse showing a close relationship with another soldier and perhaps also showing a changing attitude about the Vietnamese. Down in the shadow of the penitentiary Out by the gas fires of the refinery I'm ten years burning down the road I've got nowhere to run and nowhere to go Ten years later our protagonist is deep in his struggle and unable to get out. A crushing bleak verse. Born in the U.S.A. I was born in the U.S.A. I was born in the U.S.A. Born in the U.S.A. And the chorus. For me, this is the kicker: There is no American Dream, it’s over for men like our protagonist. You’ve been sold a bill of goods. I guess for others who need this to be something else, the chorus means that even if your life is absolute sh*t and you’ve been abused by your parents and your government and employers everywhere, everything is still great because you were born in the usa. That’s a completely absurd conclusion to draw from the lyrics, but there it is. No rational reasonable person who has any knowledge of recent American history and actually makes an effort to understand what is going on with this song should feel great when they hear it. It's a complete indictment of America. You may have a different notion of America, and plenty of people do, but to actually believe that this is some rollicking anthem of America's greatness is bizarre. Born down in a deadman's town
  7. I think it’s excellent that Springsteen was open minded enough to use the template for conservative Americans in his most well known song. and Trumpers have always been with us, even in 1984. They just voted for Reagan
  8. I’m really not sure what you’re getting at. If anything, BITUSA is an anthem to a guy who grew up beaten, got busted and was given the option to go to jail or enlist. That was very common in the 60’s. He was a loser. He got out and continued to be a loser. He fought in a war for reasons he never understood, He was never able to get a job, he blamed the government for his problems. He’s a model trumper the song is brilliant. A perfect encapsulation of the American working class in the 60’s as written in the 80’s by a guy who never served or worked in a factory
  9. I think the song BITUSA holds up fine. It’s a fairly accurate portrayal of a particular type of person at a particular time in America.
  10. I love an acoustic The Rising. Of all of the 9-11 cultural creations, that, for me remains the most moving.
  11. For reasons passing understanding, or maybe just given that I am feeling every bit of my age this afternoon, this concert is precisely what I need. I intend to immerse myself in mid 80's Springsteen for the rest of the day. 36 years burning down the road, still standing.
  12. Cartoon Bruce and a throwback to the Summer of When I Was Younger. love this.
  13. Re: the shushing. he’s just trying to get his music heard. Maybe you’re right in that rock and roll is better as ROCK AND ROLL and he’s spent years wasting his time trying to convey something more profound than womp bop a loo bomp a womp bam boom.
  14. Because they are human. Humans do terrible things. All the time. Every day. Terrible things are happening to humans. There are artists who dare to attempt to convey the entire scope of the human experience. Every opinion counts but I never thought The Rising was supposed to life anyone up. The title song is about doomed firemen. While the music is seemingly uplifting, the story, nonetheless, is about a bunch of guys who were moments from death. Sure, the song underscores the bravery of these men, but the end is the same. And like it or not, the firemen were dead before the end of the first verse. Come on up for The Rising. The chains that bind me, indeed. They had no choice. It's really a brilliant song, but uplifting? It's tragic from beginning to end. The Rising is the trick that Springsteen talked about in his first Broadway show. That record is filled with ghosts. as far as Springsteen shushing the crowd: Shush. You were probably the guy yelling for Glory Days (and missing the point) when he was playing One Step Up. There are plenty of musicians that play tunes that require nothing of you. Lotsa those country bumpkins sing about the never ending glory of america and the blessed purpose of it's fab citizens. Listen to them. Lee Greenwood...there's a guy who could blow coke with the best of them and suckered every patriotic american in the country to buy his ridiculous record. Happy Independence Day everyone. At least you know you're free, if you're the right sort.
  15. The sound was too muddy, the vocals typically were not great. Many reasons. I've heard some pretty terrible audience boots.
  16. Yup. I can remember hearing Boston Breaker (that vinyl boot, one of the Boston shows) for the first time in the early 80’s. I hate audience boots but that show...wow. ‘77 was something indeed. Springsteen has been legendary forever ‘74, ‘75 (where is that pristine sounding Bottom Line box set, dammit) and every year since. we are all, I believe, fortunate to have seen the guy at all, anywhere, anytime
  17. If I may continue: Context matters. So, while we can hear (for example) Highway 61 with 2021 ears, context tell us that Like A Rolling Stone reached a peak of number 2 on the Hot 100 the week of September 4, 1965 flanked by Help (The Beatles at #1) and California Girls (The Beach Boys at #3) both excellent songs but of quite a few degrees less than Like A Rolling Stone. The rest of the Hot 100 that week was filled with rock and roll pap. Excellent music, for sure, but nothing that changed the landscape like Dylan. So is Highway 61 "better"? Hmmm... I can understand your position, and I love Time Out of Mind but those three foundational recordings (BIABH, HWY61 and BOB) are stand alone examples of Bob Dylan. Thankfully Dylan has had other splendid recordings (BOTT, for one). I will always prefer sloppy rock and roll to whatever the other alternative is, so while Springsteen et al may have been playing at a higher level with better stage gear over the last 10-15 years, give me that desperate We Have Everything To Lose We Have To Blow The Roof Off The Joint attitude that was Springsteen in '78. He was playing for his life, like there was no tomorrow. Certainly by 1984 the game was over and he was the clear winner. It's the fight to get to the top that gets it done for me. Good discussion. Thanks. Dylan in '76 was pretty excellent.
  18. I think this is a fair argument. The good news is that there are tons of simply stunning shows to listen to so we can really nail down the best 60 or 70 performances
  19. I saw that tour in Philly and in Frankfurt, Germany and was brought to tears both times. Especially in Philly. That version of She's The One was like an atomic bomb going off in the Spectrum. And in Frankfurt, outside, a beautiful afternoon and the band killing it. Loved that tour. He's is arguably the single greatest live performer in rock history. I'm pretty sure Bruce himself doesn't view '78 as his best tour, he's been pretty clear about how much he's loved his bands' playing within the last 15 years or so.
  20. Hmm... Fair points. But you're not exactly correct. We cannot discount the complete career of an artist. Whether a particular listener (let's use you as our example) is fully aware of an artists history matters not a bit. You could appear in full form at the age of 20 in 1985 and fall in love with 1985 Bruce Springsteen, and that's great You, as having appeared magically, fully formed, would have no prior knowledge of Springsteen But Springsteen existed in 1985 as a result of all that he did before that. His records, his tours, his place within American culture was a result of all that he did to get to BITUSA and that tour in '85. The 1978 tour, within the scope of Bruce Springsteen's career, led to everything else. Just because you weren't there doesn't mean it wasn't foundational to his myth and place in our culture. In short: '85 doesn't happen without '78. Regarding your comments on Dylan: ??? Hmmm... Dylan doesn't get to make Time Out Of Mind without first having made Highway 61. Dylan is Dylan on Time Out Of Mind because of all that he did before. Most music obsessives (Tramps like us) are very possessive of the artists they love. It's tough to realize that we may have missed an artists' peak. Every artist has one. Sure there are stones fans that like Steel Wheels more than they like Exile, or Sticky Fingers. And that's fine. it's crazy, of course, but it's fine. If some 12 year old kid suddenly discovers REM because his neighbor plays Shiny Happy People one day and the kid hears it and loves it doesn't mean that Shiny Happy People is the pinnacle of REM's career. The foundational record for REM is not Out of Time, a record I happen to love. I've always felt an obligation to trace the artists I'm interested in back to their beginning. As an aside, this Berkeley show is stellar. A '78 version of Night, a second set Adam Raised A Cain, The Promise. This is a brilliant show. Racing in the Street is particularly excellent. Our man was dead on point for this show. A great performance by one of the most important American artists that ever lived on the most important and best tour of his career. And you guys complain.
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