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2 hours ago, Silvia said:

But in the trailer he doesn't talk that much about his music, more about the precious life lessons. Broadway was similar.

Good point, well made! I think I still have that real 'jewel box of a record' phrase floating around in my head.

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55 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

its weird

all these years listening snd analyzing lyrics and stories and now when he tells us what they really mean .... ?

has an ever so tiny little bit  of the magic has worn off ?

should he just shut up and sing ?

and yet the autobiography was so beautifully written 

i think that at his stage in his life/career maybe he just has an urge to set the record stuff about what in his heart ?

I kind of feel this. I think the more artists try to control the way people experience their work, the more they end up flattening that work out - if there's one central meaning, and Bruce is going to tell me in so many words what it is, then there's less for me to do as a listener. More of a message, less depth and layers, if that makes sense. I think that's why a lot of artists avoid talking about the meaning of specific works, tend to shy away from biographical criticism, and so on. But Bruce seems to be actively inviting biographical criticism lately, and I wonder if it's his control-freak nature at work - trying to gain some kind of control over his legacy as he approaches his threescore-and-ten. I think he might be overdoing it. I liked the autobiography a lot, and the Broadway show as well, but after all that self-analysis I was kind of enjoying the way "Western Stars" just appeared in a vacuum, with no interviews. I figured maybe Bruce thought it was time to back off and let the music stand on its own. Apparently not.

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2 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

its weird

all these years listening snd analyzing lyrics and stories and now when he tells us what they really mean .... ?

has an ever so tiny little bit  of the magic has worn off ?

should he just shut up and sing ?

and yet the autobiography was so beautifully written 

i think that at his stage in his life/career maybe he just has an urge to set the record stuff about what in his heart ?

This is such a good point, Daisey.  There was endless guessing and analysis here of his songs and what they could mean, and now when he’s maybe going to explain them a bit, people say, “He’s talking too much!”

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1 hour ago, Nausikaa said:

I kind of feel this. I think the more artists try to control the way people experience their work, the more they end up flattening that work out - if there's one central meaning, and Bruce is going to tell me in so many words what it is, then there's less for me to do as a listener. More of a message, less depth and layers, if that makes sense. I think that's why a lot of artists avoid talking about the meaning of specific works, tend to shy away from biographical criticism, and so on. But Bruce seems to be actively inviting biographical criticism lately, and I wonder if it's his control-freak nature at work - trying to gain some kind of control over his legacy as he approaches his threescore-and-ten. I think he might be overdoing it. I liked the autobiography a lot, and the Broadway show as well, but after all that self-analysis I was kind of enjoying the way "Western Stars" just appeared in a vacuum, with no interviews. I figured maybe Bruce thought it was time to back off and let the music stand on its own. Apparently not.

i don't blaim him for setting the record straight on things but you put it so well about him protecting his legacy but that its pairing back the depth and layers

as the listener, thats our job, our work, our shear of the burdon/ euphoria of the revelation 

when an album comes out i fixate on every snippet of info, every press release, every interview

and then suddenly there is an info overload and there is no room for me to interpret and put my spin on the meaning and direction of the art im enjoying 

i have to back away and come back after the hype has died down and make that record my own again 

25 minutes ago, Kburke said:

This is such a good point, Daisey.  There was endless guessing and analysis here of his songs and what they could mean, and now when he’s maybe going to explain them a bit, people say, “He’s talking too much!”

its a really hard one 

but if we are talking about the actual magic trick 

well my dad was in the magic circle and my young childhod was full of magic 

the number one rule of magicans is don't tell how the magic  tricks work

but also don't forget  that - i think the word was patter? the telling of the story is still important in the context of the trick

Bruce once said words to the effect of rock stars tell the truth, actors portray a lie

i mean i love the song Randolf st - i love all his stories about growing up and small town Freehold because someone said he taps so deep into the ground water of his hometown that water is connected to everyone's hometown no matter where you grew up

and my heart trully breaks to know he has depression and i feel quilty for loving the songs of his darkness the best, those manic tours where he didn't want to leave the stage because that's all he had

i want him to be happy at home with Patti

But I want a performance of western stars in an empty paramont theatre with how ever many other musicians his heart desires, where the passion of the music, the lyrics, his singing, his playing, one two three four and then its up to me to work out how to interpret that raw emotion that is the art of Bruce Springsteen 

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9 hours ago, bobfan1976 said:

Yes, you would. Again, listen to Dylan, his singing voice has altered radically, his speaking voice is almost identical to his much younger self. I'm only going on the short clips, and I have no idea how 'live' the live vocals are, but Bruce's singing sounded very strong on the clips for Western Stars. Much stronger than what I heard on the Broadway release, where he did (to me, anyway) sound a lot croakier.

I disagree, Bob's speaking voice doesn't sound like his younger self, there's a good deal of wear there, of aging. But it's not as pronounced as his singing of the past 10-plus years or so, as his voice has been pretty shot from around 2006-on (with some minor improvement around 2017 or so, for a while at least [I haven't been following]). And yes he does sound younger than than Bruce when speaking, unlike Bruce's strong singing voice. I agree with the opinion one gave that with Bruce it's (at least partly) an affected style of speaking.

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I really like Bruce to talk about his songs - his life, his thoughts on existence, of meaning in this world.

It doesn't detract from my own interpretations. I can still infuse the songs with the meaning my own life and background give them. But it enriches me profoundly to know where he was coming from when he wrote the songs.

Just one more facet...

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His most meaningful talking is (should I say was?) what he says at the concerts. The intros and the interludes. That's when I think what he says comes straight from somewhere deep down inside his soul, with very little self-censorship.

I watched the Broadway just once when it got aired, I loved it for what it was, but I've never felt the need to watch (or hear) it again. I tried once, and it didn't move at all, so I stopped.
The GOTJ tour, on the other hand, is the tour that keeps affecting me deeply, especially because of what he had said on stage. It was still very personal, but it wasn't so self-centered and preachy. 

Just my thoughts. I'm not trying to criticize the movie, it's just how the trailer made me feel. I love his speaking voice and what he has to say very much. It just that he seems stuck with this re-evaluation of his life for so long now... Quite common for elderly (old?) people, I know. As if there isn't anything in his future he finds appealing. He's 70, I don't think I can fully comprehend this fact. 
 

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Wait a minute … this film of Western Stars. It's going to be on a limited release … dear … and him talking about himself. Again?

If so I'll await the dvd.

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8 hours ago, soulcrusader78 said:

I disagree, Bob's speaking voice doesn't sound like his younger self, there's a good deal of wear there, of aging. But it's not as pronounced as his singing of the past 10-plus years or so, as his voice has been pretty shot from around 2006-on (with some minor improvement around 2017 or so, for a while at least [I haven't been following]). And yes he does sound younger than than Bruce when speaking, unlike Bruce's strong singing voice. I agree with the opinion one gave that with Bruce it's (at least partly) an affected style of speaking.

Well, people have been debating Bob's voice since the year dot. For me, the  only period that I really cannot listen to is live from 2008-2012; that rasping he did on every single song, and Tempest, was just unbearable. I think it picked up, relatively speaking, around 2013. I do think his speaking voice is pretty similar, not identical, to his younger self though.

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8 hours ago, berlintramp said:

I really like Bruce to talk about his songs - his life, his thoughts on existence, of meaning in this world.

It doesn't detract from my own interpretations. I can still infuse the songs with the meaning my own life and background give them. But it enriches me profoundly to know where he was coming from when he wrote the songs.

Just one more facet...

This entire post is exactly how I feel.  

I just think that now that he is getting older, he wants to share his thoughts as much as he can, in as many ways as he can.  I for one am extremely grateful to have as much of that as possible.  Amongst my Bruce Buds our saying is ‘never enough Bruce!’  

If you don’t want to hear any more of his thoughts, there’s a simple solution.  

To me, Broadway wasn’t a ‘vanity project,’ it was a gigantic ‘thank you’ to us fans.  I was lucky enough to have gone three times.  My only regret is that I wasn’t able to go a few more times.  

I’m very much looking forward to this WS film, and am thrilled it’s been made.   

He’s very much aware, now more than ever, that one day he (like all of us) will be gone; and all of these ‘tangible’ items will remain.  I feel like he simply wants to add as much to his ‘legacy’ as possible while he is able.  

But like everything... the BTR book, Broadway, any one of his albums, whatever... if you’re not interested, don’t waste your money.   

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12 minutes ago, rosiejaneymary said:

To me, Broadway wasn’t a ‘vanity project,’ it was a gigantic ‘thank you’ to us fans.  I was lucky enough to have gone three times.  My only regret is that I wasn’t able to go a few more times.  

I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.  The vast majority of fans were shut out, except for those living relatively close and those with plenty of spare money.  He could at least have toured the show to a few different places.  But he clearly didn't want to for various reasons, so no, not a thank-you to the fans, he was pleasing himself.

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9 minutes ago, Rizla said:

I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.  The vast majority of fans were shut out, except for those living relatively close and those with plenty of spare money.  He could at least have toured the show to a few different places.  But he clearly didn't want to for various reasons, so no, not a thank-you to the fans, he was pleasing himself.

i agree everything Bruce has done over the last few years has been about him. it does seem about his legacy has become more important to him for some reason. 

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I have a love/hate relationship with the (appropriately-initialized) SoB project. Watching the video and listening to the soul he poured into that show, I was completely gripped. There were times I cried so much I had to stop watching, times where my chest got tight and I couldn't breathe. It was magnificent and moving.

But on the other hand...I never got to go! New York isn't even that far away for me, and I couldn't go. Because SoB was a RICH MAN'S GAME. Power to you if you had the cash to burn on attending a show or two or three, as well as the time to waste on actually procuring a ticket and scheduling a trip. That or good luck, I suppose. But it was the first time since my traveling fandom began in 2008 that I was utterly and completely shut out of attending. And maybe this sounds petulant but to extend that one step further - Bruce shut me, a young working man trying to lead a life exactly like the folk he writes about in his songs, out, because for the first time in his career he demanded ridiculous rockstar celebrity-worshipping prices.

If it was truly a thank you to the fans, he could have negotiated fairer prices and/or taken the show on the road a bit. What a far cry from "we don't play no private parties." But of course, better he had done the show and created that amazing masterpiece of a performance than not done it at all.

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38 minutes ago, Rizla said:

I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.  The vast majority of fans were shut out, except for those living relatively close and those with plenty of spare money.  He could at least have toured the show to a few different places.  But he clearly didn't want to for various reasons, so no, not a thank-you to the fans, he was pleasing himself.

I do understand what you mean.  But trust me, I don’t have plenty of spare money.  I was lucky to get tickets for approximately what any B’way show would cost.  Admittedly that in and of itself is expensive... I don’t go to B’way shows that often.  

But I also know a few people who got $75.00 tickets, and a few who won them from a Sirius radio contest, and even more who got free tickets to the preview shows.  IDK how this was specifically negotiated, but knowing quite a few people who work on B’way, I do know the ticket pricing is set more from the theatre than the artist. 

Yes, a Broadway residency is clearly not going to be accessible to a lot of people.  Even if you live nearby.  So again, I completely understand the frustration of fans who wanted to go but couldn’t.  I still don’t view it as a ‘vanity project,’ but just something different he wanted to try. 

When I said it was a ‘thank you’ I meant the content of the show.  Which (although I know it’s not at all the same) was accessible, (CD, Netflix...) to anyone.  

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I'm trying to sort out my thoughts about all this, so apologies if it's overly wordy.

Telling stories about his life, and letting those stories stand alongside his music and interact with it, is something Bruce has always done, and I find it fascinating. When he does something like that famous live version of "The River" where he talks about his draft physical, he's essentially inventing a new genre - a short piece of flash-nonfiction that has no explicit connection to the song that follows it, but that sets a tone that makes that performance of it different from any other. It reminds me of the way Kipling, in his short-story collections, would bookend the stories with poems that were only sometimes explicitly about the stories. There's a complicated, shifting interaction going on between forms and genres, and in Springsteen's case, between memoir and fiction as well, that makes the work more interesting and harder to pin down.

And when he's just focusing on memoir - as he does in the book - I think his thoughtfulness and willingness to dig into the stories and try to figure out why he did this or that is all to the good. It's when he starts bringing that kind of analysis to bear on the art itself that I get a little twitchy.

Springsteen has always had a tent-preacher, motivational-speaker side to him, which I think is one reason why people connect so intensely with him as a person, not just an artist. And it's all based in personal honesty - there's a confessional quality even to something like "Don't make no difference what nobody said/ ain't nobody like to be alone," where he's pulling the curtain off his own self-deceptions in order to keep us from doing the same thing. He's a moralist, and that's part of his art. But it's not all there is to it. That moralistic quality is usually balanced out by a whole lot of other things - storytelling, and character studies, and goofiness, and fun, and the general freedom of the artist. And to me, a huge part of the joy of Springsteen is that balance of opposing forces that makes up his character and his music, which is why I love The River and don't love GOTJ, even though I think there are brilliant things on GOTJ. Right now, I'm worried that the balance is off. I'm worried that he's getting too focused on what it all means, what he represents to his fans, what message he wants to send, and forgetting that the art itself needs room to breathe.

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There are a lot of fans who aren't huffed because they couldn't go … or could but wouldn't spend that much money in case it's needed elsewhere. There are lots of fans who simply saw it as a vanity project and shook their heads.

I like most of the new album - love Moonlight Motel - but it's not so good that I'd spend a lot of money to see this 'project'.

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27 minutes ago, bettertohaveloved said:

There are a lot of fans who aren't huffed because they couldn't go … or could but wouldn't spend that much money in case it's needed elsewhere. There are lots of fans who simply saw it as a vanity project and shook their heads.

I like most of the new album - love Moonlight Motel - but it's not so good that I'd spend a lot of money to see this 'project'.

Well, frankly, when I saw it on Netflix I felt that I hadn't missed much.  It was very cleverly scripted and performed to seem impromptu and spontaneous, but he was basically reading extracts from his autobiography - which I'd already read.  I would a thousand times rather see Bruce with the E Street Band - although ...

.... I'm still a bit miffed by the so-called River Tour in which I went to three shows and still did not hear every song from The River (just checked and it was 11 out of 20 across the three, so just over half).  The promise was certainly broken there, Bruce.  :angry:

As for the Western Stars film, I'll see it if I get an opportunity - I can afford a cinema ticket.

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I mustn't have paid attention to the trailer and I still haven't read the books. Looks like I'll be giving this a miss.

I'm happy with the album and don't need anything else. Midnight Motel rounded everything up for me. I'm happy.

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29 minutes ago, bettertohaveloved said:

There are a lot of fans who aren't huffed because they couldn't go … or could but wouldn't spend that much money in case it's needed elsewhere. There are lots of fans who simply saw it as a vanity project and shook their heads.

 

Guilty.

It feels like a nest building period of his career. He's earned it.  He's old now.

 

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30 minutes ago, bettertohaveloved said:

There are a lot of fans who aren't huffed because they couldn't go … or could but wouldn't spend that much money in case it's needed elsewhere. There are lots of fans who simply saw it as a vanity project and shook their heads.

I like most of the new album - love Moonlight Motel - but it's not so good that I'd spend a lot of money to see this 'project'.

I haven't seen BBTL and most probably won't go and see the Western Stars 'project', basically because I believe (and I hope I'm right!) that I'll be able to see them in the comfort of my own home sooner or later (am I going to regret saying that? :lol:).  I saw SoB on Netflix, and only watched it the once.

But to see the Western Stars album performed live in a small, indoor concert/theatre setting ... yes, I'd pay a lot of money for that.

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3 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

It feels like a nest building period of his career. He's earned it.  

Not just him raking in more money. Still, make hay while the sun shines etc etc.

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20 hours ago, Nausikaa said:

 But Bruce seems to be actively inviting biographical criticism lately, and I wonder if it's his control-freak nature at work - trying to gain some kind of control over his legacy as he approaches his threescore-and-ten. I think he might be overdoing it. 

I can't believe some of these comments.  Inviting biographical criticisms?  Not that I'm sure what that even really means.

He's saying what he feels like saying and what's important to him at this stage of his career, if he's criticized for it that ain't on him.  Lots of us love how he's opening up and still evolving as he goes - whether or not any other artist does or doesn't do the same is irrelevant for me, I love Bruce precisely coz he ain't anyone else.

After the trailer for the new film Western Stars was shown, men in my workplace have told me that has even brought them to tears - the reflection and rumination of an aging artist whom they love and can relate to.  In addition for those of us who struggle on a daily basis with mental illness can appreciate how he talks about the destructive side of his nature - it adds so much depth and meaning to his work it ain't even funny..  

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2 hours ago, rosiejaneymary said:

 

To me, Broadway wasn’t a ‘vanity project,’ it was a gigantic ‘thank you’ to us fans.  

I dunno if it was a thank you or not, but I do think it's ignorant as hell to say it was a vanity project.  How the hell would anyone know that ferchrissake?

Artists change shit up all the time, if anyone could pull that stunner of a run off so well it was him.  

Don't like what someone does and accuse them of engaging in a vanity project.  

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2 hours ago, HeroOfVirtue said:

 Watching the video and listening to the soul he poured into that show, I was completely gripped.

Wait, does soul pouring equal vanity pleasing?  

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