Sunday, 27 March 2011

Clicked too soon

Well bloomin' heck - I was trying to make a small alteration to the layout of my blog and clicked on the wrong thingy.  Now I can't get it back to how it was.  So this week's page features an interim design.

I will spend the next few days deciding on something new.  This won't be an entirely unpleasant experience but I liked the old page.  I had spent a long time deciding on that image.   I hate it when I go to the supermarket and can't find my usual items because they have changed the packaging.  Now I am forced to change my own design.   Reckon I will go for something completely different.

So I was at home on Tuesday morning looking after our poorly cat and I ventured into the territory of day time TV.   After channel hopping for a bit I found an episode of Homes Under The Hammer.  Go on then I'll admit it I love anything to do with houses and interior design.  All these awful makeover programmes are right up my street.  Don't ever send that 60 Minute Makeover lot to me though!

Anyway here's this couple buying an old cemetery keeper's house in Knaresborough.  Lovely house but unfortunately surrounded by graves.  There must be a person working on this programme who has one of those jobs that I would really like.  He or she chooses the background music appropriate to the on screen scenario.  So what to choose for a grave yard? - 'Spirit In The Night' of course.  I must say I was a little surprised - it's quite an obscure track - perhaps the producer is a Springsteen fan.

And who would have guessed it - Jose Mourinho listens to our man.  He says "I listen to Bryan Adams, I listen to Sting, I listen to Bruce,"  I have to thank my brother in law, Trevor, for giving me that little snippet.

It's no secret that Lady Ga Ga is a fan.  Her quotes are all over the web this week 'I'm actually really obsessed with Bruce Springsteen'.  Well join the club love!!

You might remember a couple of weeks or so ago I talked a bit about Bruce cover versions and mentioned Graziano Romani.  Well we now have his album of covers which on first playing is OK.  I'll listen a time or two more and let you know next week what I really think. I'm quite open to other people's interpretations of Bruce songs so at the very least it will be interesting.  There are a couple of tracks that I am not familiar with - at least I don't think I am - sometimes I know the song but not the title.

And on the subject of tracks I don't know - this is a new one on me.  Well actually I thought it was new but it is actually on an album of 'Born To Run' outtakes that I probably only listened to once the first time we downloaded it.

Anyway thanks to callmejoe on Greasy Lake for bringing this one to my attention - love the song and love the fact that I can still find some new-to-me Bruce stuff after all these years.  On my to-do list this week - listen to all those outtake CDs we have.

By the way I gave in today and bought Arcade Fire.  They shouldn't be allowed to stock non-food items in the supermarket - it's far too tempting.  I haven't listened to it yet - another thing for the to do list.

And to finish this week what do you think of this chap????

You can find him here

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Life Is Still Worthwhile If You Just...

The problem with doing a weekly blog is that if something happens the day after I write it’s old news by the time I sit down to do the next post.

So here is some out of date News about Bruce's first car. 

I’ve mentioned previously that Mike and I had a brief flirtation with classic American Cars.

Mike has always hankered after a chevy truck

but I covet a convertible - with fins of course.

Bruce's car would suit me fine but unless a lottery win is coming our way I don’t think I will be putting it in our garage any time soon.  Actually it wouldn’t fit in our garage but then if we won the lottery we would be able to afford a new garage ... hmm actually the car might cost so much we wouldn’t have any left for the garage!

We bought The Dropkick Murphy’s album this week.  It’s a new genre of music for us but I am liking it.  'Peg O’ My Heart' is fab.  We knew Bruce was going to join in at some point - after all that’s why we bought the album, but knowing didn’t make it any less sweet.  So at the beginning of the second verse we looked at each other and smiled.  Smiled because it is unmistakably Bruce: smiled because although the first verse is good the second verse is ten times better: smiled because... well just because Bruce makes us smile.  

Of course we all know by now that Bruce appeared in Boston on Friday and I'm sure this made you grin as big and wide as a Cheshire Cat.

Don’t you just love how even on the worst of days Bruce can make you smile.  Some folks might think my Springsteen obsession is strange and I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am that I have found something that enriches my life so much.  Most of us are lucky enough to have friends and family who make our lives worth living.  Not everyone has that something extra which can make some days special - I’ll say it again - something that makes you smile even in the tough times.
Last week we went to a postcard fair.  Mike was looking for some old postcards to introduce into his genealogy blog.  Now the people there were mostly middle aged men wearing slacks and anoraks - I mentioned to Mike that many of them were likely to be going on to spot some trains.  I didn’t understand their interest but when I stop and think about it can appreciate that they are passionate about something.  Finding that elusive postcard will make them smile.  


Bruce had another recent outing - this time at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction thingy. There's a short clip here.


Spotted an interesting little snippet on Backstreets news this week:-
Checking in this morning with WMGK morning host John DeBella, Little Steven was asked about "the latest" with Bruce and with the E Street Band:

You know Bruce -- he's always got an album in his pocket, he's always writing something. I don't know this for a fact, but I expect him to possibly put something out that's more of a solo nature, before we get back together. Only because he's so prolific, still, after all these years... I expect him starting to have a backlog of songs, just in terms of the time that have passed.


And to round off this week? - Well a couple of hours ago I nipped to the local supermarket for some cheese.  They were playing ‘Girls In Their Summer Clothes‘ over the PA.  

It made me smile.  

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Well I’m listening to The Killers - Sam’s Town - at the moment.  This album falls into two of our buying categories.

1. They are influenced by Bruce
2. It’s a critically acclaimed album

So whilst we weren’t sure whether we would like it we gave it a go. The Springsteen - esque nature of the album might be apparent to some but I can’t really detect it.  Maybe I’m looking for the obvious - you know - a kind of light bulb moment when I think wow! that sounds like Bruce.  That moment has never arrived but I really like the album.

I am listening to this today because my search for Bruce stuff has taken me to this blog   The Killers 'When You Were Young' is number 17 in the list.  We have been here before because both 'Born To Run' and 'Jungleland' have featured previously.  Although I don’t know this person I find I am interested in his choice of music simply because he likes Bruce.  I haven’t heard of some bands/artists in the list.  Some of his choices I agree with and one or two would be pushing towards my list of all time dislikes!!

I really like the idea and I am tentatively considering putting together a list of my favourite Bruce songs to do a similar thing.  Deciding why you like a song is quite a task though.  Sometimes you - well - just like it and that doesn’t make for very interesting reading. Anyway I’m not even sure whether I would be able to choose, say, my top 50 but at least I would have a list of every song to hand - in the CD rack.

Trying to decide on my faves, If I were to include any artist, is an impossible task.  I can’t even remember half the tracks I love. Whenever I've tried this before I've always come unstuck at a point where I have to choose between songs by the same artist.  Which do I pick? and in the case of Bruce would this mean that my top 100 would include 80 Springsteen songs and 20 others!

This week, on the radio, I heard 'The First Cut Is The Deepest' by P P Arnold.

I love this song and this is the definitive version (sorry Rod - you know I'm still a fan).  I like the way verse is gentle but it builds up towards the chorus and then those drums and horns (trumpets?) are just great. One for my top 100 I think.

I also heard 'Anchorage' by Michelle Shocked today.

Now this is an example of a song I like for no reason that I can put my finger on.  Perhaps it’s just the tune because I usually find myself singing along.  Not sure if this one would make the top 100 though.

This knotty problem of why I like a song had occured to me earlier in the week when two Springsteen tracks popped up on my iPod.   I don't really love Working On A Dream (the album).  I played it a lot when it was new in an effort to embrace it but - no. For me, the lyrics are kind of lazy and I find them really repetitive.  The obvious is Surprise Surprise Surprise etc etc etc. but it’s not the only example of a line being oft repeated.

I thought this was why I hadn’t fallen in love with the album but now I’m not so sure.  The first song on the iPod? ... I’m going down down down down I’m going down down down down - you know the rest.  The second? ... My love love love love love love love love will not let you down!  Now you can’t deny that each is somewhat repetitive but I love them both.

And whilst we are talking about being repetitive the news this week is the repeat release in May of The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town.  OK it has a couple of other bits with it - the set from The Carousel and the Q and A session with fans.  More from Shore Fire here

Now I've got the documentary and seen it a couple of times on the TV. I downloaded the Carousel set and copied it to DVD (shhhhh - is this illegal?) but I haven't seen the 'conversation with the fans'.  I assume it's out there somewhere but I haven't looked.   I was hoping for the rest of the Carousel set that hasn't previously been broadcast but perhaps they (whoever they are) are saving that for later.  Will I buy it? Don't think so but.... if I pop into HMV I won't be able to resist having a look to see if it's there and if it is? - well it might just shout out 'Buy me buy me!'

My and finally this week is something that made me chuckle from a Yahoo! message board :-

Bruce Springsteen at Apple???
11-Mar-11 03:25 pm    
I live in vegas and just visited 2 store locations.
Lines are just huge with people waiting for their ipad 2's. I thought they were selling Springsteen tickets as that is the last time I saw people lining up for stuff to buy.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

If Bruce Likes It...

A bit off the wall this.  On Radio 2 this week they have been trailing a program about George Formby - that’s the British entertainer - not to be confused with George Forman the American boxer and champion of the grill.

He died when I was very young but my dad used to sing ‘Leaning on a Lamp Post’ and ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ and most British people of a certain age will know, at least, a few lines from a Formby song.

During the trailer Stuart Maconie mentions that maybe Springsteen would have approved of his (Formby’s) portrayal of the average man.  Well I’m not sure about that, but perhaps George would have appreciated the innuendo of ‘Pink Cadillac’ or the comedy in ‘Sherry Darling’.  Could Bruce have been leaning on his very own lamp post when Cynthia passed by? 

I see from HMV that the new Dropkick Murphys album is released over here on 14th March.  Now although the name rang a bell I can honestly say I had never listened to anything they had done prior to my quick listen to ‘Peg O’ My Heart’.  I must say I really liked it so I’m considering going out to buy the album next Monday.  The Question is do I really like Celtic Punk?

This is one of the less obvious benefits of being a Bruce fan.  He seems happy to let us know who he likes by endorsing them in some fashion (couldn’t resist that!).*  The songs played over the P.A. before a concert for instance, or as in this case, a collaboration. My policy veers towards the if-Bruce-likes-it-it-must-be-good philosophy so our CD racks have quite a selection of Springsteen approved music.  Still trying to come around to Arcade Fire though.  They are obviously popular but I’m not so sure.

The latest rumours on a tour suggest 2012.  I’ve settled myself to this now so we are planning our 2011 without Bruce.  We are going to see Nils in Bradford on 3rd June (full list of dates here) but other than that nothing planned yet.  

Anyway Clarence is apparently in no shape to go on tour judging by this interview.  He's still at the forefront of someone's mind though. According to this blog Julian Casablancas of The Strokes cites Clarence's 1985 hit with Jackson Browne as an influence. Blimey I'd never seen this before!  It's very eighties.

And lastly this week to make up for that which, to be honest, I didn't really like I offer you this fabulous post about 'Jungleland'.

* For you non Springsteen fans out there he has a particular way of phrasing his words during interviews.  In some fashion is a favourite phrase.