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Tag Archives | Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen gives Lorde the Royals treatment in New Zealand

Sticking with his recent trend of covering a local musician, Bruce Springsteen opened his Auckland, New Zealand show Saturday with this acoustic take on Lorde’s hit “Royals”:

Springsteen’s take on “Royals” is actually pretty solid, which I didn’t think would be the case when I first saw the headline. As with most debut covers, the highlight is the instant the audience recognizes what song Springsteen’s playing and reacts.

I’m seeing Springsteen for the 40-somethingth time April 12 in Virginia Beach, Va. (still need two tickets though, so if you have any extras, please let me know). I’m hoping we’ll get a cover—or repeat guest appearance—from Williamsburg’s Bruce Hornsby.

Listen to Ice Cream Headache—The Podcast with not-so-special guest me

Ice Cream Headache — The PodcastI joined the ranks of Carlos Mencia, Weird Al Yankovic, and Ronnie Milsap this week as a guest on Ice Cream Headache—The Podcast. The hosts, Brian and Murdock, “best buds who love indie rock, comedy and TV” are so cool they didn’t even tell me which originally scheduled guest cancelled on them.

Download Ice Cream Headache—The Podcast’s episode 49 on iTunes or Podcrunch. “The guys get ready for the holidays and chat with travel/food writer Zach Everson about the art of the written word and why becoming a [Bruce] Springsteen super-fan was initially just an economic decision.”

We spent about 40 minutes in their studio chatting about stalking Pete Townshend (a smart move if you’re his would-be biographer), my getting stalked by Richard Marx (maybe), media theory (be provocative but without being a dick), the death penalty (abolish it), getting checks from Rupert Murdoch (cash them), Eater Louisville (read it), and what Jethro Tull does in concert that’s the apex of live rock and roll (listen to the podcast for that anecdote).

Thanks again to Brian and Murdock!

Bruce Springsteen and me: Together at Fenway Park

In the run-up to Bruce Springsteen’s Nov. 3 concert at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center, I’m sharing five of my favorite videos on Louisville.com (having seen Springsteen in concert 50 times, I’m a subject matter expert).

I left off my very favorite live clip though: set to Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy,” this compilation from Fenway Park on Sept. 7, 2003 shows me jumping around like a 13-year-old girl at Justin Bieber concert (1:55, 3:48 and 3:51). But hey: Fenway Park. Second row. Springsteen.

Recommended Internet consumption: Springsteen, X-47B drones, and Olympic sex

David Remnick in The New Yorker, “Bruce Springsteen at Sixty-Two”—”‘When you are that serious and that creative, and non-trusting on an intimate level, and your art has given you so much, your ability to create something becomes your medicine,’ [Patti Scialfa, Springsteen's wife a member of the E Street Band] said. ‘It’s the only thing that’s given you that stability, that joy, that self-esteem. And so you are, like, “This part of me no one is going to touch.” When you’re young, that works, because it gets you from A to B. When you get older, when you are trying to have a family and children, it doesn’t work. I think that some artists can be prone to protecting the well that they fetched their inspiration from so well that they are actually protecting malignant parts of themselves, too. You begin to see that something is broken.'” Read more.

Graham Warwick in Aviation Week, “A Twist of the Wrist — How to Drive an X-47B”—”Standing off to one side at last week’s press unveiling of the US Navy’s X-47B unmanned combat aircraft system demonstrator at NAS Patuxent River was a guy with what looked like a Borg cybernetic implant on his arm.” “That guy” = my brother. Read more.

Sam Alipour in ESPN The Magazine, “Will you still medal in the morning?”—”At the 1976 Montreal Games, three-time Olympic diver and four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis, appearing in his first Olympics at age 16, developed a kinship with the boys on the Soviet Union diving team and soon found himself partying in their rooms. ‘Once events were over, our entire diet was caviar, vodka and Russian champagne. It was crazy,’ Louganis says. He was particularly struck by the Russians’ sense of sexual liberation. ‘Culturally, they’re more openly affectionate toward each other, which I just drank up, since I was still discovering who I was. But I had my eyes on one Soviet. I’d curl up in his lap; we’d hug and cuddle. I felt so protected.’ It didn’t progress beyond that, Louganis says. ‘He was hooking up with one of the other male divers on the team’ — not to mention married.” Read more.

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Why is Joe Biden in trouble for ‘chains’ but Bruce Springsteen isn’t for ‘shackled and drawn’?

Vice President Joe Biden, Bruce SpringsteenVice President Joe Biden campaigning in Virginia on Aug. 14, 2012, as quoted in The Washington Post:

“Look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the —he said in the first hundred days, he is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They are going to put y’all back in chains.”

Bruce Springsteen’s “Shackled and Drawn,” from 2012’s Wrecking Ball:

Gambling man rolls the dice, workingman pays the bill
It’s still fat and easy up on banker’s hill
Up on banker’s hill, the party’s going strong
Down here below we’re shackled and drawn

I suspect Biden is drawing criticism for “put y’all back in chains” while Springsteen isn’t for “shackled and drawn” because

  • the supposedly appalled are more interested in political gain than improving the lot of the supposedly offended
  • Biden’s quote fits an existing narrative about the gaffe-prone VP, and no one loves existing narratives more than the press trying to fill a 24/7 news cycle
  • the line isn’t offensive, but just a common analogy

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From Idaho to China, 2009 was a fun year for traveling and writing

How can a year in which you got an action figure of yourself be anything but great?

How can a year in which you got an action figure of yourself be anything but great?

Recently the Internet has featured an abundance of laments about the disappointment that was 2009. I disagree; 2009, you were a good one.

From Kamiah, Idaho (population 1,160) to Guangzhou, China (population 10,045,800), I experienced and wrote about some amazing places this year–and had a blast doing it.

Some highlights:

On a personal note, I’ll be closing out 2009 or beginning 2010 with a new daughter–my wife and I are expecting our first child any day now. Look for articles in early 2010 about traveling with an infant: we’ve already made plans to bring her to Milwaukee, Chicago, and San Diego.

Best wishes for a great 2010!

Springsteen fans take offense at my Bonnaroo concert review for focusing more on boobies than Brucie

While I’m on the subject of people getting angry about my articles, my review of Bruce Springsteen’s performance at Bonnaroo (scroll down to June 13) angered some fans:

Backstreets Ticket Exchange: Ridiculous Bonaroo review on the Setlists Page (free membership required)

In case you don’t want to sign up, here’s the initial post:

What was that?

Referring to the crowd as “young, stoned, and dirty.” The talk of the Phish fan who lit up a bowl at the end. I’m sure there was an element that looked different than your average Bruce show but to throw out all the stereotypes was pretty sad. You can throw out some different stereotypes for the typical Bruce show for every review but why insult the crowd in your review? What does that have do with the show itself? I didn’t find it funny or entertaining at all. Next time, just have your reviewers stick to the music if you can.

The rest of the 53-post thread is a mix of positive and negative reviews of my review (apparently the word “boobies” draws a lot of ire–who knew?).

The author, of course, stands by his piece: By Springsteen’s lofty standards the show was good, not great (although it was still the best performance I saw at Bonnaroo). Nothing about the music stood out.

Backstreets readers are diehard Springsteen fans. What would make the show special for them was the environment and the audience, not the set list or performance.

The new Backstreets, with my article in it, is out now

The spring/summer 2006 issue of Backstreets, with my aforementioned article on military themes in Bruce Springsteen’s show on Veterans Day in Norfolk, VA, was released this week. Titled “A long, long way from home: Trust, faith, and fear on Veterans Day in Norfolk,” the article is on page 78.

It’s interesting being on the writing side of a publication—as of late I’ve mostly been editing. If the editors made any changes to my article, I didn’t notice them. And I’m happy with the title (magazine editors, not the writer, pick the title).

My only concern with the layout is that the colored background, which looks great, might make photocopied versions hard to read. And I’ll need copies to send as clips with future queries to magazines.

If you’re interested in picking up the issue, your best bet is ordering it from Backstreets’ website. Some Tower Records, Borders, and Barnes & Nobles carry it as well.