Forum Comments

New Archive: November 26th, 1996
In The Circuit - Bruce
Scott Peterson
Dec 05, 2022
FINALLY just listened to this one, and just about the time I was thinking, man, even for him, Bruce is just ON FIRE tonight! As he's giggling and laughing and giving the songs his all...he brings it way the hell down for "Shut Out the Light" and down it stays for some time. A couple things struck me, and perhaps this first is far from original but it wonder if this night wasn't when he really started thinking about putting the band back together. I know it's usually putting together Tracks and the Hall of Fame induction, but so much of this night (and the previous Freehold show) were about looking backwards in a way he'd seemed to avoid for most of his career and, seemingly, finding it delightful. (Yes, there's an irony in saying that a guy who wrote compulsively about his experiences growing up avoided looking backward, but I trust the folks on here understand that I'm talking about going backward musically on a personal level.) The other thing is that when we talk about Most Underrated E Street Band member I don't feel Sooze Tyrell gets her props and based entirely on this show that is a miscarriage of justice. She is fabulous here, with absolutely sumptuous solos and accompaniments. It's perhaps weird to consider her an E Street Band member, and maybe she's not. But if she is, she's a damn worthy addition. By 2002, the band also included Soozie Tyrell (violin, guitar, vocals). Tyrell had earlier worked with Scialfa touring with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and sporadically with Springsteen dating back to the early 1990s. Whether Tyrell became as full-fledged a member as the others remains unclear. Some press releases refer to her as a "special guest", the cover notes of Live in Barcelona list her as a "with" member, the liner notes of We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions refer to her as "violinist with the E Street Band", and some press releases don't mention her at all. When asked about the lack of mention in a press release prior to the Magic Tour, Springsteen just said in response, "Soozie will be with us."
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New Album Review: Bruce Springsteen’s “Only The Strong Survive” (2022)
In The Circuit - Bruce
Scott Peterson
Nov 29, 2022
So I finally finished the album (some time ago, but just realized I hadn't posted and how you must all be simply hanging on my every word), and I really dig it. Sure, it'll be towards the bottom of any of my Springsteen album rankings, but it's not at the VERY bottom, and is above at least two or three others. One of the things I really like is how committed he almost always seems to the material. I've seen it referred to as a karaoke album, and I don't think that's really accurate...but I have to admit I've felt that way about his covers this century far more than I've liked. One of the many amazing things about Springsteen is just how great a cover artist he can be. Up through the Tunnel of Love Express tour, at the very least, he was up there with the Beatles as one of the truly great cover artists in history. Whether playing a cover more or less straight or deconstructing it, changing the feel, or stripping it down, his covers were almost without exception fantastic. But this century it started to feel way more pro forma, starting with the Vote for Change tour. It was SO COOL to see him performing with the likes of REM or Pearl Jam, but especially towards the beginning of the tour, you got the feeling he didn't really know their songs and was just reading off the teleprompter, rather than truly feeling them. Compare and contrast that with not just his famous reimagining of "I Want You," say, or "Trapped," but even how clearly thoroughly he truly knew and loved "Running on Empty." He obviously knew and loved these songs, and that alone made a big difference. And I'd love to hear subsequent volumes from him, including going into country, as he said. But I'd also fucking love it if he just released a series of, essentially, a solo tour of him going through his own catalog but even more covers--Elvis, Dylan, Seger, James Taylor, Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Prince, Wilco, whomever. Provided he actually put his all into it, and didn't just...you know...coast on being Bruce fucking Springsteen.
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New Album Review: Bruce Springsteen’s “Only The Strong Survive” (2022)
In The Circuit - Bruce
New Album Review: Bruce Springsteen’s “Only The Strong Survive” (2022)
In The Circuit - Bruce
Scott Peterson
Nov 23, 2022
So I finally listened to the album today--or, rather, I listened to the first half. As you can probably tell by the delay, I was not terribly enthused. I wasn't disappointed, either, I was just kinda...there about it. Liked the first couple songs released, but... [insert shrug emoji] But I had to drive somewhere, so I put it on and...I kinda loved it. That may be too strong. I really, really liked it, far more than I might have expected. Although it makes sense, in retrospect. This weekend I put on, as I do about once every year or so, the 70s soul compilation Rhino put out years ago, Can You Dig It? And without exception, every time I put it on, it just makes me happy, and I listen for the almost entire 8 hours of its runtime. I was trying to figure out why I love 70s soul so much, when for the most part soul from the mid-80s on up does little to nothing for me. I realized that part of it is very simply that back then they used real (and great) musicians. And the difference between having, say, Al Jackson Jr or Willie Hall playing drums and some Roland drum machine is simply night and day for me. The other thing is that what draws me to popular music, in most cases, are the melody and the voice. I love a good guitar solo and I like kickass drums, especially if they've got the funk, but it's really the melody and the voice, in most cases. And it doesn't need to be a "good" voice--not only do I love Dylan and Neil Young and J Mascis but, for the most part, I don't actually like most of the famously "great" voices all that much--it just needs to be a voice that, for whatever reason, resonates with me. Brilliant lyrics are a huge plus. But despite Dylan and Springsteen being amongst my very favorite favorites ever, they're really not necessary. As Peter Gabriel once said, "There have been many great songs which have had really appalling lyrics, but there have been no great songs which have had appalling music." So as long as the lyrics aren't actively bad, I'm good. I admit, I can get a bit tired of too many straightforward love songs. On the other hand, as Aimee Mann once said, when asked why all the songs on her new album were about love, something like, "what else is there to write about? How tough life is for a musician on the road?" Which means that I was primed, whether I knew it or not, for this new album. And damn if it hasn't work so far. The fact that several of the tunes have reminded me, in places at least, of Western Stars (mainly but not entirely the strings, I think) is certainly a point in its favor. I remember a discussion, WAY back in the day--the old Lucky Town listserv, maybe? Or its successor, the Bruce's Place email list?--about what the truest of Bruce fans would rather listen to, a cover of a Bruce song, or Bruce covering a song. It wasn't even a close call for me. I'd almost always want to hear, in order, Bruce singing his own stuff, Bruce covering someone else's material or, in a very distant third, a cover of a Bruce song. So. Will I come back to this often? I don't know. So far I vastly prefer it to The Seeger Sessions, but then I greatly prefer soul to folk. I suspect I'll listen to it quite a bit more often than High Hopes or Human Touch, but those are pretty low damn bars to clear. I reckon time'll tell.
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Random Bruce Thoughts
In The Circuit - Bruce
Scott Peterson
Nov 22, 2022
That is a GREAT dream!
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FUCK YOU BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
In E Street Tour 2023!
Scott Peterson
Nov 19, 2022
I don't disagree that he comes across as rich and in a bubble. And on the one hand, should we be surprised? There's that great story from years ago about when Noel Gallagher met him for the first time, and how he kind of fell in love with Bruce, due to how much of a hardcore music fan Bruce is. But the thing that always hit me, and which I don't recall anyone else mentioning, was that when Bruce arrives at the restaurant--which was in the south of France or Italy, if I recall correctly--it's on a yacht that pulls right up to the restaurant, said yacht belonging to and delivering Calvin Klein. Now. On the one hand, most of us on here think Bruce is either the greatest or at least ONE of the very greatest live acts of the past 50 years. And don't we think people should be compensated for their work? Whether blue collar or artist? And from the bit we've learned over the years, we know that everyone in what will be a very, very large band this time out will be very nicely compensated--in some cases, seemingly, because they won't be getting another payday like this, possibly for another six years, if ever. I don't doubt Garry, say, does fine between tours, but it's also not hard to imagine that a tour like this will equal the next (or previous) five years combined for him, never mind Jake or Soozie. Finally, as disappointed as I am by all this—and I am, I really truly am—one of the thoughts that comes back to me again and again is that he's seemingly happier as a person than he's ever been before in his life. And the "things were better in 1978" or '81 or '84 or '87 or 1999 or 2012 or whichever time period you personally think was the best, well, whichever it is, unless it's after 2014, we now know there's a very good chance he was in a terrible place, mentally and emotionally. Meaning the Bruce most of us love best was a desperately unhappy one. And the one who's finally—in what is essentially his old age—finally happy, is the one who's disappointed us. I hate being disappointed. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm not. (You might also think I'm being flippant or attempting to be humorous, but I'm really not.) But for years I've had the very conflicty feeling that my being totally happy with Bruce almost has to coincide with his being very unhappy, and that's...not a great feeling. Maybe, on balance, it's okay that I can't afford to ever see him again if it also means he's not so depressed he's incapable of getting out of bed for years.
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Congratulations! It's a girl.
In I don't wanna go home
Scott Peterson
Nov 17, 2022
"then called his mother" oy
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Every Bruce Springsteen Studio Album, Ranked by Steven Hyden
In The Circuit - Bruce
Albums I've Listened to Today
In Confess your infidelities
New Archive: November 26th, 1996
In The Circuit - Bruce
Scott Peterson
Nov 04, 2022
YES! Love this tour!
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