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Putnam
02-02-2009, 10:35 AM
I thought I'd just keep my disdain for Springsteen's performance between me and the other counters (who know from frequent repetition that I disdain rock performers who don't know when to quit), but evidently I'm not the only one who thinks the half-time show was rotten.


The 10 Unforgivable Sins Of Bruce Springsteen's Performance
Posted Sun Feb 1, 2009 7:13pm PST by Rob O'Connor in List Of The Day (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AtVDmfZmixUo34qlh.QaLE7LwSUv/SIG=11ifi9lp8/**http%3A//new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/listoftheday)

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/listoftheday/119897/the-10-unforgivable-sins-of-bruce-springsteens-performance-at-the-super-bowl/



Everything else aside, Bruce was simply too corny for his own good. It was embarrassing. . . . Rock 'n' Roll, as antiquated a notion as it is these days, is supposed to stay apart from Show Biz. This was pure Cheeze-Whiz.
I wouldn't necessarily choose the points on this list, and I certainly wouldn't limit the criticisms to 10. I'd have pointed out the number of times when Bruce was gasping for air instead of singing a word, the fact that he wasn't even trying to fake the guitar playing, the whittled down, speeded-up song renditions, and more.


For the sake of all that is good, the line has to be drawn somewhere, sometime by somebody against these geriatric rockers.

duke dynamite
02-02-2009, 11:37 AM
Yeah, he blew that performance. EPIC FAIL.

Prince by far has been the best in recent history.

kester99
02-02-2009, 11:42 AM
It's not an age thing, I think. It's a 'lost your way' thing. There are players who stay as hot as ever well past Bruce's age.

DisplacedKnick
02-02-2009, 11:46 AM
I switched to the Stupid Human Tricks show on ABC after the first song. My roommate in college loved Springsteen - 25 years ago. I wonder if last night would've cured him - it looked like what you'd see in a "washed up performers" karaoke bar.

Putnam
02-02-2009, 11:50 AM
It's not an age thing, I think. It's a 'lost your way' thing. There are players who stay as hot as ever well past Bruce's age.

In Blues and jazz, certainly, it is common for an artist to gain prowess as he gets older. BB King at 82 is a living national treasure. But in rock?

idioteque
02-02-2009, 11:56 AM
Ever since the Janet Jackson incident happened, the NFL has been hell bent on corny halftime performances designed not to offend anyone. The Boss may have just been doing what he was told.

Major Cold
02-02-2009, 12:02 PM
Do you have to be 70+ to be a half-time performer during the Superbowl? It is all Justin and Janet's fault. I like Bruce. I like Paul. I like the Stones. I appreciate Prince's talent. But this gig should be the climax of someone's career.
Lets get local stars that are on the uprising playing this show. I not expecting bands that I like exclusively. But give someone else some play.

*BTW I don't think the Superbowl halftime show is the climax of said performers. But what is actually? A curtain call?

Bball
02-02-2009, 12:44 PM
I thought Springsteen's performance hit all the marks and was the best SB performance I can remember. I thought McCartney was good at the time and maybe side by side I'd feel differently and maybe Springsteen is getting a bump in my mind from being the most recent...

I could've done without the ref throwing the penalty flag routine but the rest was fine by me. ...And I'm not a Springsteen fan. I can respect what he does and his career but I don't have a huge collection of Springsteen music or listen to him much at all.

It makes me wonder what some people expect for a halftime act. The followups to the Janet Jackson/Timberlake debacle have all been good. If it wasn't for the 'wardrobe malfunction' that performance would be a forgotten lame performance that just filled 10 mins between halves... like many others before the NFL apparently realized they need true musicians and professional performers... not just flavor of the month or famous for being famous people.

-Bball

Putnam
02-02-2009, 01:06 PM
I suppose it did compare favorably to other Super Bowl performances. I hadn't thought of it that way.

I was a pretty good fan of Bruce, saw him 3 times, and my criticism of last night's performance has everything to do with how it compared to what he was like when touring for The River and Born in the USA.

travmil
02-02-2009, 04:02 PM
Best SB performance you can remember? Really? Aerosmith killed it when they were up there. The Stones were great. Prince was incredible. That's three off the top of my head that were better than being ordered to put down my guacamole and worship at the altar of Springsteen.

Bball
02-02-2009, 05:58 PM
Best SB performance you can remember? Really? Aerosmith killed it when they were up there. The Stones were great. Prince was incredible. That's three off the top of my head that were better than being ordered to put down my guacamole and worship at the altar of Springsteen.

Wasn't Aerosmith paired with Britney somehow or was that a different performance? That's the mental picture I have of the Aerosmith SB although I might be confusing it with some other awards show or sporting event. I mean if 'cheese' is the problem nothing is more cheesy than pairing Aerosmith with Britney.

The Stones were fine, but again, if one of the complaints is about a rock band/ musician being too old to rock then these guys would have to be on the top of that list.

Prince I thought was incredible as well... but I didn't think it eclipsed Springsteen.

What this thread tells me is that there's no way to please everyone. Worse, it tells me that people think their view is the only view no matter how subjective the criteria is in reality.

I don't know that the SB halftime needs to be cutting edge or trendy. It just needs to be professional. It has become an extremely large stage and it needs to be handled by professionals who have some sense of place in the event. That immediately puts a unique spotlight on the performers and quickly limits the pool to choose from.

U2 hasn't been mentioned as a SB act but I think they deserve mention here as well.

I just don't think a performer should be trashed for the reasons I've seen listed (especially after following the link to the blog). A lot of work by a LOT of people goes into these productions. I didn't see Springsteen do one thing to tarnish the event or try and become bigger than the event. And he has one of the best bands in the business. That craziness at the blog about diminishing returns based on the size of the band is written by a pure fool.

I try to remain as open-minded as possible about different eras and genres of music. I've worked with a lot of acts (though not necessarily of the stature of those mentioned here.... well... I have mixed house for BB King concert so I guess that counts for something) and I hate to see a performer needlessly trashed when he's hit his marks and subjective criteria is mixed up with professional criteria.

I would've selected a different song than 10th Avenue Freeze out but that doesn't take away from what Springsteen put into the performance.

MagicRat
02-02-2009, 06:33 PM
I've never really cared for Springsteen, but I thought that was pretty good. I'm going to run out and buy the new album and some concert tickets.......

Putnam
02-02-2009, 07:56 PM
I've never really cared for Springsteen, but I thought that was pretty good. I'm going to run out and buy the new album and some concert tickets.......

I think I detect understatement. Didn't you have a Springsteen ticket for your avatar for a while?

count55
02-02-2009, 09:35 PM
Guys...I've seen "Up with People" perform at halftime of the Super Bowl at least three different times.

Bruce was fine.

kester99
02-02-2009, 09:38 PM
Guys...I've seen "Up with People" perform at halftime of the Super Bowl at least three different times.



Those indeed were 'glory days.'

Doug
02-02-2009, 11:03 PM
There's a limit on what you can do in 12 minutes. Bruce was fine. Maybe he tried a little too hard, but he still did OK (apart from the ref).

I don't think I would want to see Buffett attempt it. Although Fins, One Particular Harbor, and Margaritaville might fit OK.

On another note, the National Anthem was lip-synced. Here's the producer's own words:

“That’s the right way to do it,” Minor said. “There … [are] too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”


**** that. Sing it live or let somebody else do it.

grace
02-02-2009, 11:16 PM
On another note, the National Anthem was lip-synced. Here's the producer's own words:

“That’s the right way to do it,” Minor said. “There … [are] too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.”


**** that. Sing it live or let somebody else do it.

I say play the tape of Marvin Gay singing the National Anthem. Nothing will ever beat that.

Peter_sixtyftsixin
02-02-2009, 11:43 PM
I think we should be like the Cardinals and shock the world. How about Indy gets Converge for the halftime show when we host the Super Bowl.

Bball
02-03-2009, 12:03 AM
I think we should be like the Cardinals and shock the world. How about Indy gets Converge for the halftime show when we host the Super Bowl.

You've just scared me into realizing that the Indy SB could feature Mellencamp. I'm not sure Mellencamp has maintained the gravitas needed for the gig. He'd put on a fine show for fans, but I believe the non-fans and casual viewers would have a field day with complaints about Mellencamp based on what I've seen with the ripping of Springsteen.

Aw Heck
02-03-2009, 12:35 AM
Bill Simmons liked it...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090202&sportCat=nfl


And Bruce ended up nailing the halftime show -- seriously, the guy is two years younger than my dad -- even unleashing one of his patented "slide across the stage" moves and slamming his crotch into a cameraman. That led to Lynette's openly admitting that she enjoyed seeing Bruce's package come flying at her in HD. Is anyone alive out there tonight? Here comes my crotch! Incredible performance. He even did the "spitting all over the microphone" routine with Little Stevie. My Bruce fix was satiated in every respect.

BTW, I'll take aging, past-their-prime rock stars over crappy, disposable pop stars. Is anyone seriously yearning for the days of N Sync and Britney Spears halftime shows?

Peter_sixtyftsixin
02-03-2009, 01:18 AM
You've just scared me into realizing that the Indy SB could feature Mellencamp. I'm not sure Mellencamp has maintained the gravitas needed for the gig. He'd put on a fine show for fans, but I believe the non-fans and casual viewers would have a field day with complaints about Mellencamp based on what I've seen with the ripping of Springsteen.

I don't understand how I did that since I said they should get Converge to play, but on a similar note...I said Mellencamp would play Indy last night during the halftime show.

Bball
02-03-2009, 01:38 AM
I don't understand how I did that since I said they should get Converge to play, but on a similar note...I said Mellencamp would play Indy last night during the halftime show.

Because you got me thinking about the Indy SB and who the musical act would be...

Peck
02-03-2009, 03:15 AM
And for no reason...

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BJ_-XF0D5Jc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BJ_-XF0D5Jc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

able
02-03-2009, 05:33 AM
You really do not want that translated :D

(yes it is Dutch)

Major Cold
02-03-2009, 08:32 AM
paging Rasko...

ABADays
02-03-2009, 09:28 AM
I switched to the Stupid Human Tricks show on ABC after the first song. My roommate in college loved Springsteen - 25 years ago. I wonder if last night would've cured him - it looked like what you'd see in a "washed up performers" karaoke bar.

Washed up? Isn't he up for an Academy Award for the title song from The Wrestler? I also thought I read where his latest album debuted at #1 but I could be wrong there.

DisplacedKnick
02-03-2009, 10:44 AM
Washed up? Isn't he up for an Academy Award for the title song from The Wrestler? I also thought I read where his latest album debuted at #1 but I could be wrong there.

Dunno whether he's officially washed up or not but watching him perform gave me the willies - sort of like going to a singles bar and looking at people in their 50's getting their groove on. Pretty much cinched my not getting Elton John/Billy Joel tix (not that I would have anyway).

Might have something to do with having seen him live over 25 years ago. There was a definite creepiness factor at work for me.

avoidingtheclowns
02-03-2009, 11:39 AM
Washed up? Isn't he up for an Academy Award for the title song from The Wrestler? I also thought I read where his latest album debuted at #1 but I could be wrong there.

he didn't get an oscar nom but he won a golden globe for that song.

ChicagoJ
02-06-2009, 11:28 AM
I've never really cared for Springsteen, but I thought that was pretty good. I'm going to run out and buy the new album and some concert tickets.......

Coming to Chicago again? We've got tickets, but they are upper level. Appears to be a sellout although there might be some singles available.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

I wish he'd played Ramrod instead of Glory Days, which is just one of his worst songs in the first place. But they stole the "what time is it?/ Boss Time!!" bit from Ramrod to make it fun. Too bad about the referree but you get the sense that NFL network needs to drop in a few props like that. The "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" stage slide seemed out of place in Freeze-Out, which has always been tightly choreographed anyway.

The thing that disturbed me, when I finally got home and got to re-watch it last night, was how hard it was for him to climb on Roy's piano. He had to climb a riser and it didn't look pretty. It wasn't that long ago ('99, and perhaps 2003) that he'd make that in a clean jump. And Clarence and Nils have had their hips replaced recently.

That's what happens when you bring it night after night after night for 35+ years. They can't/ don't bounce around as much. But they can play as well as they ever have, which doesn't translate well to the halftime show and in comparison to the lip syncers that have been on stage in recent years.

ChicagoJ
02-06-2009, 12:09 PM
In Blues and jazz, certainly, it is common for an artist to gain prowess as he gets older. BB King at 82 is a living national treasure. But in rock?

Bruce and Neil Young are the only two that continue to crank out new material with regularity and have the, uh, "guts" to play it in concert alongside their classics. Is some of Bruce's/ Neil's new stuff "sub-par"? Yeah, but they've had a handful of regrettable releases in the past and they've overcome it over an outstanding career.

I guess Henley and Frey get honorable mention, they finally put out an album after working on it for almost a decade. And the Stones at least put out a new album before each tour, even though it feels more rushed than what Bruce, Neil, Don, and Glenn are doing.

Otherwise, all of their contemporaries (Joel, Petty, Mellencamp, Buffett, etc.) have been playing nearly the same "greatest hits" show for a decade or more, if they are even trying (Seger, Browne, etc.) They're the ones just cashing in. But classic rock fans love it, they'd rather Bruce re-create the Born in the USA tour than say anything new and revelant. I never expected rock-and-roll to become the equivalent of Linus's security blanket, but it has.

kester99
02-06-2009, 12:35 PM
I was not going to weigh in anymore on this, because Putnam is just a maniac on this subject, and all know it, but....

There are a number of 'rock' players who continue to shine in their middle and late middle ages. Who you focus on depends on your taste in rock. Springsteen, Mellencamp, Buffet, Joel? Only one release of their's has ever been in my collection.

Robin Trower, Van Morrison, Little Feat, Richard Thompson, John Hiatt, Sam Bush...artists that I follow, rockers of various flavors...have all produced very good work in recent years. Buddy Miller, at 56, is arguably the best rock guitarist (selling mostly country records) working today. Steve Earle, at 52, could kick all our arses. I do look to younger artists for fresh sounds, however. And if the slamming of nuts into a camera is your idea of rock'n'roll, then younger artists will definitely win the day there. Think of the broken hips!

I'm into the sounds, not the show.

And finally, rock is blues. As Townes Van Zandt said: There are only two types of music. There's blues. And there's zippity do dah.

SycamoreKen
02-06-2009, 06:30 PM
I used to be a huge Springsteen fan and still am to some extent. I'm glad he didn't do Born In the USA because that song was always interpreted wrong, much of it due to Springsteen himself. I enjoyed the show, especially 1oth avenue, that was probably my 2nd favorite album after B2R, but Born to Run seemed forced and tired. I guess its just not the same when you are old and married. Glory Days was perfect in that he is really doing what the song says.

I thought it was good overall.

Putnam
02-06-2009, 07:45 PM
I appreciate all these comments, and as Kester kindly points out, I am a maniac on this issue.


I hope it is clear that I've never meant to criticize anyone's personal enjoyment. Anyone may, if he wishes, enjoy the 2009 version of Bruce or any other performer. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from enjoying it.

All I mean to say is that Bruce 2009, and very many other aging performers, are parodies of themselves. They aren't merely a step slower. They are their own Weird Al Yankovics.

When an old man sings, "Hope I die before I get old," he is lying. When he sang it forty years ago he meant it, and lying is different from telling the truth.

When a young and virile man sings, "Girl, you'll be a woman soon, Soon you'll need a man" it is a nice lyric about wooing. When an old man sings the same lyric, he is a pervert.

Bruce's Working on a Dream is a poor lyric. It is incohesive and incoherent. Hardly any of the stanzas holds together to make any sense, and it is hard to perceive any clear imagery in the song. One stanza says:

Rain pourin' down, I swing my hammer
My hands are rough from working on a dream
I'm working on a dream


But none of the other stanzas correspond to this, and even within the space of two lines he causes confusion. We have to guess what the heck he means. It seems as likely he's talking about masturbating as a real hammer, though Bruce hasn't traditionally done that. Really, we don't have to bother making a guess about the meaning, since he loses interest in this image and drops it himself by the start of the next stanza.

If you ask how I know this is a bad lyric, I answer that I know that one is bad because I've heard a good one:


Now I swing a sledge hammer on a railroad gang
Knocking down them cross ties, working in the rain
Now don't it feel like you're a rider on a downbound train


The whole of Downbound Train makes sense, even down to the fine detail that he was out of shape ("I ran till I thought my chest would explode") as he burst into an empty house where no one is waiting for him. Downbound Train is objectively a better work of literature, a better musical expression, than Working on a Dream, and I think it is pathetic that so many people won't admit it.

As Jay rightly says, a few aged rockers have learned to deal with their situation. I'd put John Hiatt at the top, but there are several. I wish them well. But I still think we'd all be better off listening to younger performers in the full blush of their creativity than squeezing these old lemons for their last drop of juice.



And finally, rock is blues.

A Box of Frogs, maybe. A Band of Gypsies, certainly. But are you saying A Flock of Seagulls is blues? 'Cause it isn't.


.

kester99
02-06-2009, 08:27 PM
Not rock, by my standard....more the zippity doo dah.

avoidingtheclowns
02-06-2009, 08:33 PM
A Box of Frogs, maybe. A Band of Gypsies, certainly. But are you saying A Flock of Seagulls is blues? 'Cause it isn't.

you could make the argument for depeche mode though.

kester99
02-06-2009, 08:38 PM
Initial shock that someone else has heard of Box of Frogs is wearing off.

Putnam
02-06-2009, 09:08 PM
I could see Depeche Mode.

You could make a case for Husker Du.

But Wang Chung? I don't think so.

ChicagoJ
02-07-2009, 01:24 AM
John Hiatt, yes. But he never had a lot of commercial popularity so he doesn't have the "JUST PLAY THE CLASSICS, DUMMY!!" pressure that is given to these other artists. I like John, but its not like rock radio has just started ignoring him now. We could go on and on about the evils of rock radio, but the universe of artists likely to play a Super Bowl in this day and age generally starts and stops with rock radio.

Putnam, I'd encourage you to take a look at the lyrics to This Life from Workin' on a Dream. Masterful. This new album has some misses, for sure. But some real gems as well.

We reach for starlight all night long but gravity's too strong
Chained to this earth we go on and on and on
Then a million suns cresting where you stood
A beauty in the neighborhood
This lonely planet never looked so good

This life, this life and then the next
With you I have been blessed, what more can you expect
This life, this life and then the next
I finger the hem of your dress, my universe at rest
<!-- END lyrics --><!-- spacer -->

ChicagoJ
02-07-2009, 01:32 AM
Glory Days was perfect in that he is really doing what the song says.

This is why I utterly hate that song. Its even more misunderstood than Born in the USA and My Hometown. Bruce really blasted us over the head with irony on that album.

Born in the USA was not a feel-good patriotic song, it is about the disgusting way that the people back home treated Vietnam vets.

My Hometown isn't about nostalgia, its about racial tension and economic blight.

Glory Days isn't about how great it is to relive the past, because time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of Glory Days. This is Bruce telling us that he never wants to be the aging rock star on stage singing his old hits with nothing new to say.

But in that environment, he can't play The Promised Land and Ramrod. Some of his best songs but songs that aren't familiar to the general public. He's got a new album to promote so we get Working on a Dream, which shares a similar theme to Promised Land, and he's got to play a song that everybody knows, so we get Glory Days, but he steals the "what time is it??/ Boss Time!!" section of Ramrod to play to the crowd. So for one 12-minute blast into national consciousness, I guess he does have to tell us boring stories of Glory Days.

Putnam
02-07-2009, 12:21 PM
J, thanks for the mention of This Life. I agree: those are very good lyrics.

I suppose the ability to write good lyrics can stay with an aging artist longer than other abilities. The virility to perform the stage antics and (if necessary) live the rock and roll lifestyle are the first to go. And most performers can probably still play the instruments longer than they can hit the vocals.

Los Angeles
02-07-2009, 06:40 PM
As a very big blues and classic rock fan, I'm very satisfied in the latest trends in rock having nothing to do with either.

EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic, nor am I saying this to "preserve" the past. I just really like the new stuff. Bjork, Beck and Radiohead are the most influential (rock) artists to come out in the last 20 years. They don't play no blues, and they are better for it.

Los Angeles
02-07-2009, 06:58 PM
This is a good opportunity for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to chime in:



Is this on?
Wooooooo

That’s right
I’m talking about the blues
I said I feel so good baby, ohh
I’m talking about the blues
Rolling Stone magazine
On the telephone baby

Talk about the blues,
right now, ohh
Look out, yeah, ha ha ha
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, thank you for letting me into your home
I’m gonna do it right now,
I’m gonna talk about the blues, ohh

Rolling Stone magazine, Coming on the phone, baby
Talk about that fashion, Haa!

Uh!

[I use the microphone like the drummer use a tree]

hey, Spin Magazine wanna tell you where you at
But I ain’t getting with that or MTV

Make up your own mind ladies and gentlemen

[That’s bull**** man, you know what I’m talking about]

Do your own thing, Yeah
'Cos that’s a rock and roll blues we did

Rock 'n' roll, yeah
Rock 'n' roll, get real, c'mon
Right now ladies and gentlemen, right now, right now
We’re gonna bring it on down, everybody, do it

Stay with me baby because I got something I want everybody to hear right now ladies and gentlemen

I don’t play no blues
I play rock and roll
that’s right the blues is number one
The blues is number one ladies and gentlemen but there’s something I gotta tell you right now

I do not play no blues, I do not play no blues
I play rock and roll
Get it
I play rock and roll
Yeah, that’s right baby, come on momma
Do it baby
I said I feel so good
I said I feel so good
I said I feel so good baby
I said I feel so mother****ing good
Oh

That’s right, whoo
Oh behalf of myself, Mr. Judah Bauer, Russell Simins and everybody at Rolling Stone magazine I'd like to say

Rock 'n' roll

[I know you had something to do with what happened to my brother]


EPOhmZlAnUo

ChicagoJ
02-08-2009, 11:56 PM
As a very big blues and classic rock fan, I'm very satisfied in the latest trends in rock having nothing to do with either.

EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic, nor am I saying this to "preserve" the past. I just really like the new stuff. Bjork, Beck and Radiohead are the most influential (rock) artists to come out in the last 20 years. They don't play no blues, and they are better for it.

You already know this, but while half of my iPod is Springsteen (and U2), when the radio is on I'm looking for new music to listen to.

My only problem with the new music is that the stuff that is popular enough to get on the radio is generally from over-produced bands that have not played together in a live setting often enough to put on a good show. (A decade ago, Third Eye Blind was the poster child for this - they should have been good live, but did not 'click'.) The ones that are good live are unknown to me because I don't have time to invest in tracking them down and learning their stuff. The fragemented distribution/ get-to-know-them channel is a problem for me.

Bball
02-09-2009, 12:08 AM
Now you've guys have brought this discussion to an interesting point. It appears to begin with (at least some of you) people were comparing Springsteen 2009 to Springsteen 1985 to Springsteen 1975.

I just turned up the TV and watched it for what I considered it to be: the halftime musical act at this year's Super Bowl. All I was watching/listening for was some energy, live performance, and seeing how well the performer connected with the audience. To that degree I thought Springsteen did very well. ...And I was also watching for the technical end of things but that is beside the point.

Ever since the wardrobe malfunction I've thought the SB has done a much better job with the halftime performance. I do consider it an 'adult' performance but not due to any XXX rated events...

But the complaint seems to be these recent acts are old... shadows of them former selves. Does that mean they should go away? Does that discredit them from performing their music live? And if you can still play, but can't leap as high, does that mean it's time to hang it up?

And musically, Springsteen is very solid. His band is one of the best in the business. Maybe he does have to call his shots a little more and can't quite hit the notes he once could, or maybe he's just grown smarter about how to use his voice over the long haul, does any of that mean that not only should he hang it up but that he shouldn't be the SB musical act?

Of course they could hire Green Day but does anyone trust Green Day not to do or say something inappropriate once the 'moment' is there and the adrenaline is flowing? And if Green Day does play it straight, how long before someone calls them sellouts?

I'm sure there's a line where it's better to fade away and let people remember you closer to the top of your game... but IMHO as long as a performer can still connect with the crowd and bring them that special connection that only a live performance can, I think they should do it. I don't think it's fair to compare them to themselves of a decade ago... particularly if it's not a big picture comparison.

But is the SB and it's huge worldwide audience the place for it? Hmmmmm.... I think it's been fine so far with the dinosaur acts they've chosen but that pool is limited.

avoidingtheclowns
02-09-2009, 12:23 AM
You already know this, but while half of my iPod is Springsteen (and U2), when the radio is on I'm looking for new music to listen to.

My only problem with the new music is that the stuff that is popular enough to get on the radio is generally from over-produced bands that have not played together in a live setting often enough to put on a good show. (A decade ago, Third Eye Blind was the poster child for this - they should have been good live, but did not 'click'.)

that and stephen jenkin's unlistenable voice.



The ones that are good live are unknown to me because I don't have time to invest in tracking them down and learning their stuff. The fragemented distribution/ get-to-know-them channel is a problem for me.

two places to start: here (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=40947) and here (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=37100)

Putnam
02-09-2009, 09:20 AM
But the complaint seems to be these recent acts are old... shadows of them former selves. Does that mean they should go away? Does that discredit them from performing their music live? And if you can still play, but can't leap as high, does that mean it's time to hang it up?

That is my complaint, yes. I would have them hang it up. There is plenty of vibrant, fresh talent out there. The accusatory finger points toward the patrons as well as the performers.

There are two aspects of the complaint. The first is that they can't perform as well as they used to. The second is that performing that music at their age is absurd.

zqfFrCUrEbY


Grace Slick has said, " I hate seeing sixty-year-olds on the rock-and-roll stage. they look stupid." I just figure, who am I to argue with Grace Slick?

Bball
02-09-2009, 02:42 PM
Grace Slick has said, " I hate seeing sixty-year-olds on the rock-and-roll stage. they look stupid." I just figure, who am I to argue with Grace Slick?

I've had the Grace Slick quote in mind for some time as this thread developed. I figured there'd come a point I'd mention it. I was just about to post it in reply to your post when I saw you had posted it.

I think it's an excellent springboard for this discussion... except I have to leave now. If someone hasn't picked up the torch on this topic I'll probably do it when I get in later this evening.

ChicagoJ
02-09-2009, 03:05 PM
Maybe their relative sobriety (vs. the rock-and-roll norm) helps keep the E Street-ers relevant today.

But Springsteen has always been the exception to nearly every regular rock-and-roll rule.

Time and Newsweek at the same time. Composing a rock-and-roll album on the piano. Playing a four-hour show when others would only play 100 minutes.

This last tour, most shows were just a tick over two hours. Bruce knows he can't pull off the four hour marathon show anymore. But two hours of Springsteen at age 59 is vastly superior to most other options.

Now, in general, rock and roll stars don't age as gracefully. So conceptually I can agree with Putnam's theme. But this is the wrong artist for most of those arguments.

Truth be told, at this age I personally enjoy Bruce's "solo" tour - just him, a piano, pump organ, and a rack of about thirty guitars to pick from - as much as I enjoy the E Street Band party. In that setting, Bruce is no longer "rock star", but "highly versatile performer" when an outstanding catalogue to pick from. Or as Putnam suggests, it best displays his long history as a songwriter while allowing him to be a performer/ entertainer.

I listed to an interview with Clarance Clemons from the post-Super Bowl broadcast last night. He's had both knees replaced between the last tour and now. Nils Lofgren had both hips replaced in that same period. Danny, of course, has passed away. This is a band that still loves to play together, still connects to a multi-generational audience, and still performs thier music at a high level. Maybe thier stage antics have simmered down a bit with age. Again, sobriety seems to be paying dividends here - so why not let him do what they were meant to do?

Los Angeles
02-10-2009, 12:34 AM
You already know this, but while half of my iPod is Springsteen (and U2), when the radio is on I'm looking for new music to listen to.

My only problem with the new music is that the stuff that is popular enough to get on the radio is generally from over-produced bands that have not played together in a live setting often enough to put on a good show. (A decade ago, Third Eye Blind was the poster child for this - they should have been good live, but did not 'click'.) The ones that are good live are unknown to me because I don't have time to invest in tracking them down and learning their stuff. The fragemented distribution/ get-to-know-them channel is a problem for me.

Third Eye Blind has numerous modern day equals - many of whom have appeared on American Idol. In my opinion, the Faux Rock genre is just as guilty of producing crap music as R&B and Pop-Country. the real artists in all of those genres are the producers, who have perfected the art of the contract/promotion stew.

I don't know if there's a magic answer to this problem.

But you can still discover new music, just learn to judge it for what it is.

I would say that you should separate good songs from good albums from good live shows and leave it at that. For example, the Skylarking album from XTC remains in my top ten all time albums, and the band has never toured to support it or anything else since its release. Music can be great without the live show.

One of my favorite albums of 2008 was Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut. It was the perfect combination of Paul Simon's Graceland, The Talking Heads, The Violent Femmes and The Police but with hilter-kilter intelligentsia lyrics and a modern indie backbeat that was oh-so catchy. WOW what a great album!

I went to see them live at the El Rey in Los Angeles. I won't get into details here, but they were awful. Awful as in debacle awful. Uhg.

Recently, I saw The Duke Spirit at the Roxy and was completely floored. HOLY CRAP! Why aren't these guys selling out stadiums?!? Well, because while thier album is great, it doesn't contain that one catchy "hit".

In my opinion, music discovery should start on a personal level and work outward from there. Don't think that anyone - nomatter who they are - are good live after only an album or two. If it happens, it is a very rare treat indeed. Instead, sample bits on blogs and on pitchfork and other indie music web locales. forget the 90% you hate and investigate the 10% you like. in four years if that band is still creating stuff you like, buy a ticket. Odds are they are polished by now.

But one band I KNOW has cut its teeth in the live way is the Hold Steady. any Spreingsteen fan should at least appreciate the energy they exude.

Pig Nash
02-10-2009, 12:43 AM
I went to pitchfork music festival last july and I can definitely vouch for you LA. Vampire Weekend was less than impressive. The Hold Steady was awesome and the other band that really impressed me with how close they got to the album was Fleet Foxes, which surprised me in an outdoor setting for it to sound so crisp and clear.

LA you have really good taste, XTC is one of my favorites. I probably like Black Sea the best.

Los Angeles
02-10-2009, 12:58 AM
Big Fleet Foxes fan here. They remind you of what it was like to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for the first time. Yes, the album is that good.

Pig Nash
02-10-2009, 01:07 AM
You on last.fm LA? I haven't been using it much lately but I want to take a look through your stuff to see if I should check anything out.

Another example is one of my favorite songs of the past year, Golden Age by TV on the Radio, was performed live on SNL on saturday (that sounds redundant) and wasn't that good.

Times New Viking is supposedly very good too, but I can't get past the fuzz on the album version of what they produce, and that's coming from a Mountain Goats fan.

Also, sorry to sidetrack this already sidetracked thread more. On the original topic, I thought Bruce was ok. I'm not a huge Boss fan but it was entertaining. On the second topic, I agree with J that I think that as a rocker ages, as long as they don't become a greatest hits only performer, I don't have a problem with them.

Los Angeles
02-10-2009, 01:23 AM
No, I'm not on last.fm. The closest I've come to an online music fan presence is Sam's threads on PD.

But I can easily direct you to where I tend get my music tips (ouside of freind recommendations):

- Sirius Satellite Radio Ch 26/ XM Radio Ch 43 "XMU" (the new one)

- Indie1031.com (recently pulled off the air in LA, but continuing to broadcast online)

- and a few indie music blogs like Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla vs Bear, and Indianapolis' own My Old Kentucky Blog.

Los Angeles
02-10-2009, 01:35 AM
Oh - and back on subject - I find the notion that Rock and Roll performers must only perform while young and retire before the crowsfeet show to be insulting and perhaps even racist. Nobody accuses black artists of not being "fresh" and "relevant" when they take their 50's 60's and 70's acts on the road. Nobody demands that Aretha Franklin hang it up just because the kids don't buy her records.

But as soon as the Stones tour without leaning on new material people claim that they are washed up? I call bull**** on that noise. If Paul McCartney can still bust out the Beatles hits to a crowd of 40,000, I say more power to him.

I mean - for Pete's sake - this is music we're talking about, and it is - by definition - simultaneously timely AND timeless.

MagicRat
02-10-2009, 08:13 AM
so why not let him do what they were meant to do?

As Bruce put it in his last 60 Minutes interview:
"What else would I do? You got any clues? Got any suggestions? I mean, am I going to garden?"

Going back to earlier in the thread, and the issue with the hammer imagery in Working On A Dream, I thought that was the same hammer as the "If I Had A Hammer" hammer. Now that I know it's talking about masturbating I'll have to rethink the whole song.

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

:eek:

I always thought the Downbound Train sledgehammer was an actual sledgehammer.

Jay, I don't have a ticket for Chicago, yet, but I haven't ruled it out. If I catch a good ticket drop I'll probably grab one.

LA, you had recommended The Hold Steady a while back and I a couple studio albums and a live at Lollapalooza album and have enjoyed them. Good call.

Putnam
02-10-2009, 09:13 AM
Going back to earlier in the thread, and the issue with the hammer imagery in Working On A Dream, I thought that was the same hammer as the "If I Had A Hammer" hammer. Now that I know it's talking about masturbating I'll have to rethink the whole song.

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

I always thought the Downbound Train sledgehammer was an actual sledgehammer.



MagicRat, the Downbound Train hammer is clearly and plainly a real hammer, because he tells us what kind of hammer it is and he tells us that he uses it on cross-ties while working a road gang. That is a clear, vivid, excellent lyric.

The Working on a Dream hammer has no such associations or descriptions. It is just out there. I don't believe the song is about masturbation, but I believe it is vague to a fault. (I don't believe Kiss the Frog by Peter Gabriel is about a frog, either!)


Apart from certain mean-spirited nonsense, this thread is made some good conclusions.

Many of Grace Slick's songs were particular to youth, and in her case integrity dictated that she stop singing them when she herself had grown old. It may have been a drug-addled mind rather than integrity that led her to stop performing, but the two ionfluences worked toward the same end.

As J has said, Bruce has probably kept as much integrity on stage as any aging performer. He's the wrong exemplar for my argument.

As BBall has said, the SuperBowl halftime show is a peculiar setting. It is not fair to conclude from a rushed and cheesy performance there that a performer has jumped the shark altogether.

And finally, J says it best when he marvels that rock music has become, for many people, a sort of "Linus' security blanket." I'm not subject to that temptation myself because nearly all of those aging artists seem as ludicrous to me as the octogenarian version of "My Generation." Others may see it differently.

ChicagoJ
02-10-2009, 10:56 AM
Jay, I don't have a ticket for Chicago, yet, but I haven't ruled it out. If I catch a good ticket drop I'll probably grab one.


If you catch a "drop", let me know. I wouldn't mind upgrading. We had a technical glitch during the purchase process and ended up much higher than I'd like to be.

Curious what the second US leg will be other than Detroit and Cleveland. Surely Milwaukee will be in there? It doesn't look easy to try for multiple shows this time around.

Los Angeles
02-10-2009, 12:50 PM
Oh - and back on subject - I find the notion that Rock and Roll performers must only perform while young and retire before the crowsfeet show to be insulting and perhaps even racist. Nobody accuses black artists of not being "fresh" and "relevant" when they take their 50's 60's and 70's acts on the road. Nobody demands that Aretha Franklin hang it up just because the kids don't buy her records.

But as soon as the Stones tour without leaning on new material people claim that they are washed up? I call bull**** on that noise. If Paul McCartney can still bust out the Beatles hits to a crowd of 40,000, I say more power to him.

I mean - for Pete's sake - this is music we're talking about, and it is - by definition - simultaneously timely AND timeless.

Boy do I sound like a jerk in this post.

Sorry everybody. Don't drink and post. ;)

ChicagoJ
02-10-2009, 04:35 PM
Mr. Rat,

They dropped some today. Not sure if you'd call them good or not.

Actually, there is a single in 323, which is where we already have tickets. Hoping for better during the next drop, if there is one...