Bruce Springsteen and the artistic necessity of cultural appropriation

The Boss’ new album will be composed of entirely culturally appropriated songs, a collection of “soul music” covers, but that is inherently a good thing.  Harold Bloom’s seminal The Anxiety of Influence reveals why all art, if not all ideas entirely, can be seen as the product of cultural appropriation.  Bruce Springsteen is just the… Continue reading Bruce Springsteen and the artistic necessity of cultural appropriation

Duran Duran and the magic of the aging rock star

From Paul McCartney to Bruce Springsteen with Duran Duran in between, nobody imagined rock stars would still be performing decades after their debut, continuing to captivate fans around the world.  There was no template for this in the early 1960’s but the music and the live performance is a magic all its own. Everyone, or… Continue reading Duran Duran and the magic of the aging rock star

Bruce Springsteen broke Ticketmaster

Somehow, the ticket broker service has lumbered on over time, immune to the radical upheaval of business other business models in the internet age, passing none of the technology savings onto the consumer, and becoming a near monopoly that charges ridiculous fees of up to $500 per ticket.  Who doesn’t want to pay $5,000 a… Continue reading Bruce Springsteen broke Ticketmaster

My father’s favorite Springsteen song

My father was a car guy and “Racing in the Street” was a natural choice for him in many ways, but the darkness underlying the song hints at unexplained emotional depths, mirroring some of his own demons, and how he wished something better for his own children. My father passed away a year ago this… Continue reading My father’s favorite Springsteen song

Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City:  The personal and the universal connect in a timeless and versatile classic

The entire Nebraska album was recorded by Bruce Springsteen alone in his house on a 4-track cassette.  At points, you can hear the creak of the rocking chair he sat in, but these meager beginnings do not limit the songs’ collective scope, power, and impact.  “Atlantic City” combines it all in one haunting track. Bruce… Continue reading Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City:  The personal and the universal connect in a timeless and versatile classic

Bruce Springsteen: A conservative critique of his latter day anthems

It’s easy to conclude “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “We Take Care of Our Own” are fundamentally liberal songs, pushing liberal policy ideas, given Mr. Springsteen’s own far-left leanings, but is that truly the case?  As the Boss himself used to say, trust the art, not the artist to unlock an underlying message of… Continue reading Bruce Springsteen: A conservative critique of his latter day anthems

My Hometown: Springsteen’s 1984 classic is the timeless tale of our own era and proof he’s worth every penny

The country is still convulsed with racial tension, frequently culminating in riots.  The riots and unrest have claimed countless businesses on countless streets, and the manufacturing industry that once was the heartbeat of America remains largely in decline.  Springsteen could release the song next week and it would remain as powerful as it was 40… Continue reading My Hometown: Springsteen’s 1984 classic is the timeless tale of our own era and proof he’s worth every penny

Backstreets: Is this somewhat forgotten classic actually Bruce Springsteen’s best song?

Rich lyrics with interpretations ranging from a heterosexual high school couple sneaking away from their parents to drink beer, to heroin addicts trapped on the outskirts of town, to gay lovers hiding their affair, combine with a melodic, rocking composition to create an unforgettable song.  It’s part Shakespearean Sonnet, all rock and roll, a true… Continue reading Backstreets: Is this somewhat forgotten classic actually Bruce Springsteen’s best song?

Springsteen’s Thunder Road: Still brilliant and seminal whether or not Mary’s dress “sways” or “waves”

It’s rare when a single work of art, much less a single song running less than five minutes, encapsulates the full genius of an artist in one fell swoop.  “Thunder Road” is precisely such a work; everything that makes Bruce Springsteen truly great is present and all you need to do is listen. There is… Continue reading Springsteen’s Thunder Road: Still brilliant and seminal whether or not Mary’s dress “sways” or “waves”

Springsteen’s Ghosts: Living proof that a truly great rock song can be written in any era by an artist of any age

To my knowledge, there aren’t many arena rock anthems about dead musicians haunting the singer, but somehow Springsteen manages to pull it off by blending the old and the new, combining old things in new ways in classic form.  Who says an artist can’t produce some of their best work at 70 years old? It’s… Continue reading Springsteen’s Ghosts: Living proof that a truly great rock song can be written in any era by an artist of any age