Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” eulogizes Giants Stadium’s forthcoming destruction

While high-profile tours collapse under the weight of a headliner’s recent mistakes, at least the Boss continues to trudge throught the great American landscape. Only a week after Bruce Springsteen turned 60, he and his E Street Band kicked off their five-night stint at Giants Stadium with a new song paying homage to the institution. Seen above, “Wrecking Ball” poetically recounts the history of the New Jersey landmark but also adds an extra touch of whimsy. For Springsteen, a New Jersey native, the track also parallels a trip down memory lane, expressed in vivid images detailing his own storied career.

Per EW.com

That’s not the only treat Springsteen gave me and tens of thousands of other fans last night (pictured), though. He opened the show with a brand-new song, “Wrecking Ball,” penned in tribute to Giants Stadium. “I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago,” he began, eliciting loud cheers while strumming an electric guitar alone. As he reached the chorus, Springsteen seemed to be taunting the eroding force of time itself: “Bring on your wrecking ball/Come on, take your best shot/Let me see what you got/Bring on your wrecking ball.” (And was he really just talking about the stadium, or did I detect a more personal note of 60-year-old rock’n’roll defiance in there too?) When the full band kicked in a few moments later, Giants Stadium went wild for one of the last times ever. It was an inspiring start to another of the marathon three-hour shows Springsteen still manages to put on night after night.

These concerts will be last performances ever at the Meadowlands, which will be demolished in 2010 after the NFL calendar has concluded. I hope they play the song on repeat during the demolition.

  

32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors include Bruce Springsteen and Dave Brubek

The Kennedy Center Honors is our nation’s highest tribute to performing and cultural artists. In past years, the Center has recognized Brian Wilson, Diana Ross, Steve Martin, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson, Roger Daltrey, and Pete Townshend. Bruce Springsteen, Dave Brubek, Grace Brumby, Mel Brooks, and Robert de Niro will be honored at this year’s event.

“This year, the Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals whose unique and abundant artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world,” said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman. “With his hilarious movies and musicals, Mel Brooks has created comedic gems that will keep us laughing for years to come. Dave Brubeck’s genius has dazzled us for six decades and has helped to define an American art form. Grace Bumbry helped to break the color barrier on her way to one of the most illustrious operatic careers in the 20th century. One of America’s greatest cinematic actors, Robert De Niro has demonstrated a legendary commitment to his characters and has co-founded one of the world’s major film festivals. With his gritty and honest songs that speak to the everyman, Bruce Springsteen has always had his finger on the pulse of America.”

The 2009 Kennedy Center Honors takes place on December 6th. The event will be broadcast on CBS on December 29th at 9:00 PM (ET/PT).

  

Jace Everett: Red Revelations

Jace Everett is billed as a singer/songwriter, and he is one, yes. But since singer/songwriter has become a genre that usually implies a single person with a guitar or piano, it’s probably more accurate to just call Everett a rocker in the Americana vein. Everett is best known for being the dude behind the song “Bad Things,” which is the opening theme for HBO’s “True Blood” (and this album’s closing track), so the guy already had somewhat of a launching pad for his career. Which brings us to Everett’s new (and third) album, Red Revelations, a serviceable collection of tube amplifier- and Fender guitar-charged rock songs. At various times, Everett channels Elvis and Johnny Cash and Mellencamp and Springsteen, but most closely resembles Chris Isaak, and while the songs are rocking and entertaining enough, it’s not likely that you’re going to be humming most of them a few minutes later. And Everett also drops into that Elvis “Thank you, thank you very much” lower register a bit too often than he needs to. Regardless, there are a few standouts, like the upbeat “More to Life (Cmon, Cmon),” which has gang harmonies that give the track a Huey Lewis & the News feel, and “Little Black Dress,” which features some pretty slick guitar work. (Weston Boys 2009)

Jace Everett MySpace Page

  

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me: 15 Great Bands We Used to Hate

They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression…unless you’re a musician, of course. In what other world can you hate something with the white-hot fire of a thousand suns, only to discover one day that a switch involuntarily flipped in your head that makes you think, “You know what, I really like these guys!”? Truth be told, it happens to us nearly every day, and most of the time it’s with a band or artist that we as music reviewers are supposed to love unconditionally but, for whatever reason, we just don’t. Or at least didn’t up until recently.

Call this the companion piece to our list earlier this year of bands that we just don’t get – which was almost universally misinterpreted as a staff-wide condemnation, rather than each writer speaking for himself – only with a much more positive vibe. The Bullz-Eye writers bare their souls and confess to previous biases that have since turned to heartfelt crushes (or at the very least, tolerance of a band’s existence). The list of acquired tastes is a who’s who of Hall of Famers, critical darlings, and…Cobra Starship? Who let that guy in here?

Flaming Lips
My first exposure to the Flaming Lips was seeing the video for “She Don’t Use Jelly” on MTV’s “Beavis and Butthead” show, which immediately pegged the Lips as a novelty in my mind (and not one that I even enjoyed all that much). How could one not see novelty in a song with a character who spreads Vaseline on her toast? This was kid stuff, and yes, I could be a silly kid, but where I drew my lines of tolerance for silliness were admittedly very arbitrary (example: I unironically enjoyed Mister Ed). As such, I completely shut out the Lips.

Fast forward five years later: I was just about finished with college, working at a record store, yet still very skeptical when a respected friend and coworker slipped me an advance copy of The Soft Bulletin in 1999 (10 years ago already?). His taste was generally pretty spot on, so I gave it a shot. From the first song, I heard a completely different band, one that was drawing inspiration from one of my all-time favorites – Brian Wilson. I came around almost instantaneously upon hearing “Race for the Prize,” and even grew to dig “She Don’t Use Jelly” too. How stupid could I have been all that time? Blame it on my youth. – Michael Fortes

Guided by Voices
The buzz was loud and clear on Bee Thousand, the lo-fi masterpiece by Dayton alt-rockers Guided by Voices. This was the record that everyone positively had to own, so I borrowed it from a friend of mine…and totally didn’t get it. The songs aren’t finished! Are these demos? When lead singer Robert Pollard – whose last name should be a synonym for ‘prolific’ – saw a song to its completion, as he did on “Tractor Rape Chain,” I was definitely into it, but too many of the songs felt like piss takes to me, so I politely stayed off the bandwagon. Five years later, he made “Teenage FBI” with Ric Ocasek, which I loved, but still didn’t buy any of their records. Then they dropped Human Amusements at Hourly Rates, a compilation of Pollard’s more, ahem, finished songs, and I finally bit, and the disc scarcely left my CD player for months afterward. And then, of course, the band broke up just when I was beginning to appreciate them. Luckily, they recorded 16 albums in 17 years before calling it quits. The only question now is: which one do I start with? – David Medsker

To read the rest of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me: 15 Great Bands We Used to Hate,” click here.

  

I Swear I’m Gonna Make You Love Me: 15 Great Bands We Used to Hate

Chances are, you don’t love all the same music you were passionate about five, 10, or 20 years ago. Some artists seem like a perfect fit for us at first, but we slowly outgrow their work — and with others, it’s just the opposite, and the stuff we couldn’t stand to listen to winds up becoming some of our favorite music. It’s a common experience among music lovers, and one shared by the Bullz-Eye music staff in a new feature called “I Swear I’m Gonna Make You Love Me: 15 Great Bands We Used to Hate.”

Taste is subjective, of course, and we have all sorts of odd reasons for being rubbed the wrong way by music, whether it’s the vocals (in his essay about coming around on Coheed & Cambria, James B. Eldred describes lead singer Claudio Sanchez as sounding like “the bastard lovechild of Geddy Lee and Neil Young”), subject matter (Michael Fortes dismissed the Flaming Lips as “kid stuff” after hearing “She Don’t Use Jelly”), or even an allergic reaction to hype (Mike Farley was tired of Kings of Leon before he even heard a note). But it’s funny how our tastes change over time — we burn out on some stuff, experience new things, and develop an appreciation for what once drove us up a wall. Hence Jason Thompson’s slow-burning love for the Velvet Underground (“Life without them now would be pointless”), Taylor Long’s hard-earned Sleater-Kinney fanhood (“I like them so much now that I’m embarrassed it took me so long to “get” them”), and Jamey Codding finally overcoming his “irrational aversion” to Tom Petty.

And those are just a few of the artists mentioned in the article. See how the Bullz-Eye staff’s tales of musical evolution match up with your own by following this link!

  

Related Posts