October 8, 2007

More Springsteen

This album has caused a bit of a buzz, partially because it is Springsteen, and mostly because it is so political. Salon reviewed it the other day, and yesterday, Bruce found himself on 60 Minutes. I like his music and SOF and I saw him in concert before we were married, so we have a shared connection to his music and even listened to his crappy albums when he disbanded the E Street Band. I thought the Rising was the best post 9-11 album, and just loved his Pete Seeger sessions. I bought Magic last week and think it has some very good songs. I don't think it measures up to his best early work, but it is pretty good. And maybe it is not as good because it is so intensley political. And that is what the 60 Minutes interview focused on. I caught this exchange:
"I guess I would say that what I do is I try to chart the distance between American ideals and American reality. That's how my music is laid out. It's like we've reached a point where it seems that we're so intent on protecting ourselves that we're willing to destroy the best parts of ourselves to do so," Springsteen says.

Asked what he means, Springsteen tells Pelley, "Well, I think that we've seen things happen over the past six years that I don't think anybody ever thought they'd ever see in the United States. When people think of the American identity, they don't think of torture. They don't think of illegal wiretapping. They don't think of voter suppression. They don't think of no habeas corpus. No right to a lawyer … you know. Those are things that are anti-American."

"You know, I think this record is going to be seen as anti-war. And you know there are people watching this interview who are going to say to themselves, 'Bruce Springsteen is no patriot,'" Pelley remarks.

"Well, that's just the language of the day, you know? The modus operandi for anybody who doesn't like somebody, you know, criticizing where we've been or where we're goin'," Springsteen says. "It's unpatriotic at any given moment to sit back and let things pass that are damaging to some place that you love so dearly. And that has given me so much. And that I believe in, I still feel and see us as a beacon of hope and possibility."

and then this:
"What needs to be said, in this country at this moment, in your opinion, what needs to be said?" Pelley asks.

"I think we live in a time when what is true can be made to seem a lie," Springsteen says. "And what is lie can be made to seem true. And I think that the successful manipulation of those things have characterized several of our past elections. That level of hubris and arrogance has got us in the mess that we're in right now. And we're in a mess. But if we subvert, the best things that we're about in the name of protecting our freedoms, if we remove them, then who are we becoming, you know? Who are we, you know? The American idea is a beautiful idea. It needs to be preserved, served, protected and sung out. Sung out."


Bootleg Blogger said...

As an aside, I saw a video of Bruce's wife playing a new song of hers with Bruce in the background playing harp- it was REALLY good. I figure a bad Springsteen song still a good bit better than a lot of stuff passing for music lately.


ubub said...

This is more of a "stuff passing for music lately" story than a Springsteen story.

The other day, Lovely Ms. A and I were having dinner at a restaurant and we were trying to figure out who was singing the song that came on. We both remembered it from the early '90s. Lisa Stansfield, she guessed. I said that I thought it was Taylor Dayne (because that was the kind of music she was into when we met. That and Prince. Always Prince). She agreed that I was right, then said, "when do you think they stopped making my kind of music?"

So I launched into this brilliant piece about how Nirvana's Nevermind helped to make what had been "alternative" part of the mainstream, how it was the catalyst that brought us all kinds of great music at the expense of late '80s, early '90s dance pop acts like Lisa Stansfield and Taylor Dayne. It was a real watershed moment, music history and we lived through it. I was really on a roll, I mean en fuego. Instead of looking all fascinated she just kinda smiled and waited it out. (she does that).

Then she laughed and said, "NO, when did they stop making Behind the Music." Maybe I'm the one who's getting old, but at least they never stopped making my kind of music.

Streak said...

BB, I agree. I think my response to this latest album is that from a musical perspective, it has few surprises. That isn't bad, of course, and Springsteen does it better than many. My music tastes have broadened (partly--but don't tell him--because of Ubub's influence) and so I am more aware of some aspects of music. That said, we still pop in Bruce's Live in Barcelona dvd when we want to watch/listen to a great show.

Ubub, speaking of you, I am positive that your rant/lecture WAS in fact brilliant. And I can absolutely picture the Lovely Ms. A just waiting for your conclusion, and enjoying your tangent ever so much.

Hell, it makes me smile hearing about it.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Actually, ubub, I think that has more to do with the volume at which we listened to our music back when we thought we were indestructable:-). BB