busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, December 29, 2015

    the clock says it’s time to go… now… 

    lemmyi’m doing this new thing to motivate myself away from the computer during this Christmas vacation.

    when i wake up i take the charger off the macbook and when the battery runs out it’s time to go outside and see what LA has to offer.

    right now it’s at 10% but it’s draining fast because i have a video of Los Lobos playing with Jerry Garcia in the background. a little tune you may have heard “La Bamba”  in 86.

    there was a time when i would wake up early and uber all day and all night. those days are over. i pick and choose.

    my hands and arms were in such pain this year that i had to buy all these lotions and salves. none of it worked. i sacrificed a goat (its always the goats). didnt work. then i tried driving less. that didnt work.

    i tried heavy breathing, extra tacos, sex with women(!), positive thinking. nothing.

    and then i threw money at the problem: i bought a variety of compression gloves and arm sleeves and holy cow it worked and my hands and arms are better than ever.

    but i never want to abuse them again because theyre my money maker. theyre whats letting me tell you right now that i love you. theyre whats letting me tell you that we’re already at 6 per cent with a bullet. theyre what lets me wipe the poop from my crack after i take a dump. imagine you couldnt do that. imagine you needed to make a robot to do that for you.

    but how you gonna build a poop cleaning robot when you aint got no hands or arms that work because you drove all night like springsteen

    through the wind, through the rain,

    the snow, the wind,

    the rain

    hearrrrrrt and soul

    no robot poop machines gonna do nothing for you the way i can.

    even with one hand writhing in pain,

    like what most of 15 was for me.

    but thats all in the rear view now.

    3 per cent

    holy cow.

  2. Sunday, December 6, 2015

    saw Joy last night 

    jennifer lawrence

    starring jennifer lawrence, robert di nero, and bradley cooper

    the whole time im thinking, “i bet jennifer lawrence would be a cool girlfriend.”

    and then they played this springsteen song

    on the piano.

    just the piano.

    not even the words

    except through your heart.

    and i was all, fuck yeah david o.

  3. Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    it was Born to Run’s birthday yesterday, it’s 40 

    born to run

    i took a long walk last night for a few reasons. one was because i wanted to rest my hands.

    the other was because uber has hired way too many cars and i didnt get one ride after work.

    so i walked.

    and as i walked i listened to Born To Run on its birthday and was amazed as always.

    im a weirdo. if i love a record i wont play it. i dont want it to get old. i never want to be bored of Born to Run.

    bruuuucehow do you start a record with Thunder Road? hows that even possible? it’s possible if thats your only song. or maybe if you only have two good songs.

    but when all of the songs are ridiculously good and different how you gonna just have a screen door slam as Mary’s dress sways?

    when Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out comes on you realize Thunder Road was just an alley to TAFO’s oop?!

    what?

    it was all just an intro for The Big Man?

    no wonder from the coastline to the city all the little pretties raise their hands.

    “Night” i can live without. perfectly fine. and for sure id take it on one of Bruce’s current albums, but what the hell is this Backstreets? probably the most overlooked tune on this record. just as dramatic as any of the others. just as idealistic. just as emotional.

    theres a reason the best Bruce zine back in the day was called Backstreets. fuck.

    side two and there’s Born to Run. a song so iconic and perfect when i listen to it i think about the time i walked past this normal apartment house and its door was open and i could see inside and above the couch was a framed print of the Mona Lisa.

    its like who puts the mona lisa in their house? are they being ironic? is it a beautiful joke? is it the funniest joke in the world?

    how about this for the funniest joke in the world: springsteen was about to be fired from Columbia. his first two records (the wild and the innocent, and greetings from asbury park) were not really flops, but the label were disappointed with their sales. they wanted to give Bruce just

    one. more. chance.

    and that last chance turned out to be the mona lisa: born to run.

    the joke is today labels dont give bands three records. you get one. one and done. theres no vision theres no patience. theres no artist DEVELOPMENT. as much as i love bruce’s first two records, and trust me LOVE is the word, theyre not born to run.

    and that song. holy.

    that song is so strong its almost ashame that something has to follow it. who bats after The Babe?

    big man and bruceGehrig. and in this case that’s She’s The One.

    another anthem. another pleading wolf in the moonlight

    With her long hair falling / And her eyes that shine like a midnight sun

    oooooooooooh ohhhhhhhh shes the one!

    fuck bon jovi.

    bon jovi has no shes the one following no born to run. fucking fakers. yet radio wants to pretend they do.

    but we’re not done. theres still two songs left on this record. the super 70s Meeting Across The River which is basically the origin story of The Sopranos

    and then Jungleland

    it’s almost as interesting to think about how Jungleland ends than to think about what happens in it because it ends like three times. and the whole band is involved, just like how they are through the album.

    its a team effort.

    Meeting is about a dark, solo, borderline evil and definitely illegal venture

    but Jungleland is about a team.

    so as much as we are right to praise Bruce on the 40th birthday of one of music’s finest rock records, we also gotta give it up to the E Street Band for delivering something so mighty and so strong that it makes so much of todays robot music feel as shallow and ridiculous as it is.

    happy birthday Mary and Wendy, Scooter and The Big Man

    it is right for all the little pretties to raise their hands

  4. Thursday, October 17, 2013

    springsteen officially records suicide’s “dream baby dream” 

    theres a new movie out right now called CBGB. it’s about the famous punk club in nyc.

    it’s kinda dumb but also kinda good. it be great to watch if youre sick at home and you see it on netflix.

    or if youre on a plane ride somewhere.

    one of the 70s-era bands it mentions superfast is Suicide, who were not punk in sound, but in spirit.

    The Boss, Bruce Springsteen covered one of their tunes “Dream Baby Dream” in 2005 on an organ and it blew everyones minds. Usually it ended the show.

    even Suicide loved it. Alan Vega of Suicide told the Springsteen lovin Backstreets Magazine “A lot of bands have done my stuff, Suicide stuff […] Thank god, finally somebody did their version of it. [Bruce] interpreted my song, he did it his way, and such a great way that I’m going to have to sing it that way, or not sing it at all anymore! … On my death bed, [Springsteen’s version will be] the last thing I’m going to listen to. I’ll play it at my funeral.”

    the other day Bruce went into the studio and properly recorded the tune and thanked the fans for the hugely successful year-and-a-half world wide wrecking ball tour.

    then they put together a video of the fans, the band, and, in its most touching moments, the fallen members of the E Street Band.

    strangely the tune isn’t for sale on itunes or anywhere else, not even as a single. its odd because if it wasnt obvious how much bruce respects Suicide, this is what he said in 2005 “You know, if Elvis came back from the dead, I think he would sound like Alan Vega.”

    well alan vega aint dead, boss, so im sure his bank account would appreciate the boost merely on songwriting royalties alone.

  5. Monday, September 23, 2013

    today is bruce springsteens birthday, he’s 64 

    Bruce Springsteenfor a very long time i had a bruce springsteen poster over my bed.

    def all through college.

    one reason was in 1984 when born in the usa came out, and catapulted the jersey rocker from arenas to stadiums, i saw the light at the LA Sports Arena.

    it was right around this time of year. the album was so popular in part because nearly all the songs were so good. how is that possible on your 7th album? (Shut up U2’s Joshua Tree).

    But seriously almost all of these songs got heavy radio (and MTV) play from 84-86:

    Side one
    1. Born in the U.S.A.” – 4:39
    2. Cover Me” – 3:27
    3. Darlington County” – 4:48
    4. Working on the Highway” – 3:11
    5. Downbound Train” – 3:35
    6. I’m on Fire” – 2:37
    Side two
    1. No Surrender” – 4:00
    2. Bobby Jean” – 3:46
    3. I’m Goin’ Down” – 3:29
    4. Glory Days” – 4:15
    5. Dancing in the Dark” – 4:00
    6. My Hometown” – 4:34

    One of the biggest lessons I learned from Born in the USA was about backlash.

    Even though the themes are relatively tame (except for the title track), some people had just had ENOUGH of springsteen and his alleged nationalistic tornado that blew around the planet on a world tour that filled the biggest venues in the land.

    While sitting in the very back of the LA Coliseum with 100,000 of my closest friends i thought about those haters. And I concluded that no matter what you do: write love songs, raise awareness about local homelessness, and freaking rock the house each and every night: some people just gonna hate.

    So relax. You will never do anything as successful as this album and tour. So if they’re gonna protest and talk trash about Bruce, of course they’re gonna hate on you too. So rock and ignore the buzzing feedback. If anything shove that guitar right in the amp and bring more.

    Happy birthday Boss.

    Heres a totally unrelated concert:

  6. Thursday, July 22, 2010
  7. Sunday, September 28, 2008
  8. Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    bruce springsteen 


    we shall overcome: the seeger sessions
    columbia records

    bruce springsteen was the first ticket that i ever paid over $100 for. the year was 1985. the show was one of seven to be played at the sports arena here in los angeles.

    i paid $115 to sit on the other end of the arena from the stage but not too far up. it was four hours long. i sang to every word. i went alone but i was there with 20,000 people who all felt the same way: the show was priceless; it was worth the LA traffic, it was worth the parking, it was worth the struggle to get tickets to see bruce springsteen at the peak of his popularity.

    back in those days some critics compared him to dylan, some to elvis, some to u2. as u2 gets older they seem to be following along the same path as the boss – they seem to be showing their age too. and its unpretty.

    this new collection of folk classics from the rich catalogue of pete seeger isnt as much of a tribute as it is an acknowledgement. not just that there are no more born to runs or rosalitas in our favorite rockstar from new jersey, but there arent any nebraskas left in him either.

    its a new orleans death march. its a gleeful procession into the casket. its the last bloom of a wild flower determined to show one final sprout of color.

    and ultimately its a testament that there is only one bob dylan, who has “traditional” albums before far better, and in a way where the songs become his. when dylan released Froggie Went A Courtin’ on 1992’s “good as ive been to you” he owned it. when bruce does it here, he fumbles, which is tough since the production is so clean and sterile.

    the difference is theres no soul in the latest springsteen offerrings. you can say what you want about him marrying patty scalfia, but when he did he jumped the shark. his life might have been better but his music was forgetable, flat, and flimsy. the twinkle left his eye, the muscle left the melodies, the sweat was gone from the songs.

    brass bands play and pianos tinkle on this collection but it may as well have been made by robots as theres no heart or majesty. theres no risk or reward. the devil is in the details and theres no sin therefore theres no salvation.

    so why the picture of madonna? because she has taught us all how to age. shes taught us all how to keep pushing the envelope as we get older and squeeze out kids. shes taught us how to keep risking cuz she never stopped.

    madonna will be in indio this weekend with the hipsters, and bruce will be in palm desert with the other old people who enjoy stale safe folkpopblues.

    what mr bruce springsteen needs to do if he wants to make emotional music again is remember what it was like to write those first three records he made. he needs to remember what it was like to write those second three records. and if he cant remember he needs to quit using musicians that smell good, he needs to stop using producers who drive imports, he needs to stop playing guitars that sound right, if he wants to make a blues record or a folk record he needs to drink and get punched in the gut a few times, hard.

    and he needs to stop singing like the goateed springsteen and recapture what it was to sing like the scrawny bearded hungry springsteen. or at least grasp why johnny cash could sing a nine inch nails tune in a way that would make you cry.

    if the boss was smart he’d record his next album in a basement or a nut house or a haunted hotel or in the projects with the brothas whove never heard of him and dont give a shit if they did. and he needs to do some real songs like hank sr, robert johnson, morrissey, dylan, and billie. and he needs to be pissed off the entire time. tom waits could produce, but i recommend george bush. of course i’ll executive produce which will entail holding two signs. one that says sucks the other that says really sucks.

    good non-dance records sound like they were recorded at night. this one was obviously recorded in sweden at noon. it’s plastic. its a pretty girl with makeup and hairspray and liposuction. we wanted a real woman with scars and scrapes and chipped nail polish with a dozen stories to tell as she smoked 100s and sipped out of a dirty glass.

    when the pogues kick your ass at “jesse james” it proves that you live in a bubble that needs to be popped.

    on the busblog scale of one to four stars this one gets one star. a pity star. for this is the record i would play for someone if i wanted to get them pissed off.

    soxaholix + leonardo + bicycle mark interviewed me over the phone

  9. Tuesday, July 30, 2002

    today is the official bruce springsteen hype day 

    Bruce Springsteen and for that i reluctantly jump on the bandwagon because i love bruce, even now as he is losing his magic.

    bruce hasn’t released a complete album since 1984s “born in the usa,” but it’s cool. even that record was produced so poppy and sappy that i cant even really listen to much of it, and i don’t know the last time i played it all the way through. fortunaely super strong songs like “im on fire” “bobby jean” and “no surrender” still hold up big time for me and remain classics. and i would love it if he would rerecord “dancing in the dark” darkly.

    and even though its so cliche to say, what i really love is his older stuff like “darkness on the edge of town” and “nebraska”.

    “born to run” is almost like staring into the sun, tunes like “jungleland” and “meeting across the river” are a little too much nowadays, but “shes the one” and “backstreets” still give me a chill.

    and “thunder road” remains one of the few songs that ive happily committed to memory after long drives on the freeway in the dark singing to myself.

    “a screen door slams, mary’s dress waves… and like a vision she dances across the porch as a radio plays… roy orbison singing for the lonely.. hey that’s me and i want you only…”

    “the river” is the first record that got me into the boss. i was a kid listening to the rock and roll station when he released that one to much hype and i heard “point blank” on the fm and it nearly blew my mind. this was when songs like “another one bites the dust” was being played when billy squire’s “stroke me” wasn’t on. so when hilburn goes on and on about the gritty stark production of the river, he forgets that bare bones was in. springsteen had the hard core lyrics and earnest delivery. huge difference.

    “greetings” and “the wild, the innocent, and the e street shuffle” are gems that i keep in a special place. totally fun, happy records that i never tire of.

    post-born in the usa the only record that i really liked was “live 75-85” which did a decent job of capturing the live shows, which, of course, are impossible to bottle. a friend of mine once said that seeing springsteen was like going to a really great baseball game. its big, loud, everyone’s happy, and you don’t need a scorecard to recognize all the players.

    later she would say that seeing U2 was like going to a great church.

    lately springsteen’s shows have been a little too much like church: somber, forced, ritualized, predictable, fewer and fewer spontaneous miracles, little cleansing after the service, attendance because we “should” not because we’re dying to.

    but the boss is back with his old band. he’s back with his wife, his pals, his fans, and all the hype that he deserves. he’s an american icon, like it or not. he’s been the poet laureate of rock who keeps getting his ass kicked by the poet laureate of folk.

    in a perfect world, bruce would ask me to produce his new record and i would say, first thing i want you to do is throw out any song that john cougar or tom petty could do better than you. next thing i want you to do is write this next record like its your last record, and not in a sentimental way, but in a way that will resonate for generations to come. live up to the hype, bro. bring back the passion of “mean streets” the fun of “rosalita” and the passion of “im on fire”. i’ll let you do one folk tune, but it’s got to be as good as “johnny 99” or “atlantic city” but lots of people have to die in the song and it has to be set in the old west.

    i want to hear clarence blow the horn, not doodle. i want him to compete against the guitars, not provide ambience. i want to hear nils do a guitar solo that makes me think, ok, that’s why you have four guitars on stage. i want to feel the might of the mighty max weinberg. i want to hear a song that i will be forced to memorize again.

    these are the demands, i am sure, that weigh heavy on the shoulders of the patron saint of asbury park, but i wouldn’t ask these things if i didn’t think he was capable of achieving them.

    wanna see the bruce springsteen that i think of when i had his poster over my bed for 10 years? go rent “no nukes” and watch how he played guitar on his back atop the grand piano. i know he’s older now. but he’s not aged. neil young sure as hell proves that you can rock with gray in your hair.

    rarely do i buy cds any more from the store, but today i will buy the rising, and im sure i will be disappointed and im sure that i will not want to hear the stories of the tragedy of 9/11 that bruce allegedly based a lot of this new material around.

    but it’s cool. the boss doesn’t need my $15 but he deserves it. and any time he puts out new music i’ll be right there searching for even a nugget of those magically rocking past glory days.

    celebrating: the engagement of coulter and heather.