Audiofile Quality

Too clever by half.

I am the crow of desperation
I will effect your validation
I spin relentless variation
I scramble in the dust of a failing nation
I was concealed
Now I am stirring
And I have waited for this time.
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
I remember King David,
With his harp
And his beautiful, beautiful songs;
I answered his prayers,
And showed him a place
Where his music belongs

It's not too far from here;
Come get up off your knees
If you're looking for ways to please...

Sing me no psalm;
You're not King David.
Sing me no high,
Hushed Glory Be:
Sing it to one,
One of the broken
And brother you're singing,
Singing to me

Sing me no deep
Hymn of devotion;
Sing me no slow
Sweet melody:
Sing it to one,
One of the broken--
And brother you're singing,
Singing to me.
The Boss
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Jefitoblog always has the best bootlegs. He's got connections and apparently a lot of free time, and he's a nimble and engaging writer, um, to boot. (Sorry.) And he's laid hands on more live Springsteen than you can shake a stick at. Personally, I wouldn't shake a stick at any Bruce; as much as I like the complicated tunes, I respect the pure force that is The Boss.

When I first heard Springsteen, it was in The AM Years. There was FM in the world, of course, but there was only AM in the carpool. That's how we rolled. I had no idea who Bruce Springsteen was--AM's idea of edgy music was "Only the Good Die Young"--but I still recall puzzling out the torrent of words in the infamous 1977 #1 single from Manfred Mann's Earth Band. I can't really say they did justice to the Boss; but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be pleased to hear it again, because I'm a sentimental fool.

Anyway, once I had my own radio it was AOR in the afternoons after school. There Bruce was already a fixture, mostly years-old cuts from Born to Run (1975). Darkness at the Edge of Town was out by then, but AOR was always very conservative in its concept of mass taste; it's hard to sell soft drinks to a kid who's just heard "Something in the Night". For all that it's a minor song, I still love "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" for letting the horn section rock the whole song. I was never a big fan of Springsteen; I'm afraid the next few years involve collecting the complete works of Pink Floyd, along with dark musical secrets not to be revealed here.

Ah, but then came Born in the U.S.A. (1984). It may be impossible to imagine the impact of that album from the present day, when Bruce has become a kind of rock elder (oxymoron of the week?). At the high-water mark of the Reagan Administration, this earnest young progressive was pleased to see a powerful, patriotically American figure who refused (out loud) to pretend Reagan was some sort of messianic Gipper To Us All. The deal was sealed for me when I saw The Boss play one of his patented marathon arena concerts; despite the massive rock sound, the stories Bruce told between songs seemed as unforced and intimate as listening to a cousin from out of town over beers on the back porch. Best arena performance I've ever seen.

Of course I can't guarantee that these 2005 recordings will convert you if you don't already care. But if you care at all, care now; the files won't last forever!

I'll whet your appetite with a pair of live tracks I picked up on the internets, recorded 10 years apart before hometown crowds in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The first is unplugged, the second is from the ongoing and apparently incredible Seeger Sessions Band.

Atlantic City (Asbury Park 1996)
I'll post an edit (with the intro at the end removed) later.

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? (Asbury Park 2006)
Turn it up and prepare to man the barricades, I mean levees, I mean barricades.

posted by Rah @ 10:30 AM  
  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous jefito said…

    Hey, thanks for the blove!

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger countrygrrl said…

    excellent choice but i got there too late!!! file expired!!! boo...nevermind i will just have to be quicker on the uptake!!!

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