Monday, December 31, 2012

Lyrics Spotlight: "Jungleland"

"The midnight gang's assembled
And picked a rendezvous for the night."
--Jungleland, Born to Run

Who doesn't love "Jungleland"?  Seriously.  Point that person out to me, so I can mock him for his overwhelming lameness.

I feel that same way about New Year's Eve, one of my favorite nights of the year.  People will often complain about New Year's Eve, saying that they have too much pressure on them to find something fun to do.  This complaint is frequent among the "party" holidays, such as Halloween and St. Patrick's Day.  These folks need to gain some perspective - if going to a friend's place to hang out and drink is your biggest source of stress, you are leading a pretty darn good life.  New Year's Eve isn't much more complicated than assembling your favorite gang at midnight and picking a place to meet.  I'd suggest going to that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light.

(On a side note, this concludes year one of  On behalf of Steve and OB, we would like to thank you all for reading.  Have a great New Year!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Video Spotlight: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Thanks to Your Friday Bruce Fix for alerting us to this version of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Bruce Springsteen. Your Friday Bruce Fix posted a really fun collection of Bruce's holiday music last week and we strongly encourage you head over to the site to watch them all (and check back each Friday):

I wasn't familiar with this performance before but according to YouTube it was performed with the Max Weinberg 7 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in 2003. It's a cover of a Darlene Love song and that gal sure knows how to celebrate the holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Drinking With Springsteen

I recently discovered a novelty website called Drinkify.  Basically, you enter a musician, and it gives you a recommendation of what to drink while listening to them.  As a world-renowned Springsteen blogger, it was my duty to see what they recommended to drink while listening to the Boss.  The results will surprise you:

6 oz. Cognac.  Served neat.

Needless to say, I was horrified.  While slowly sipping room-temperature brandy may work for some of Bruce's musical turns (I can see it aligning well with the saxophone solo in "Jungleland"), it is hardly a drink that encapsulates the Springsteen experience.   I feel most of his songs work well with just chugging some random American lager.

Anyway, my specialty has never been in creating drinks, but rather naming drinks (as previously discussed, a good name can take you a long way).  So, I'll do my part and propose a few possible Springsteen-themed drinks, and you'll have to let me know what would go into them:

Born To Rum
Bobby Gin
Brandy's Room
American Gin (41 Shots)
4th of Vodka, As-bourbon Park (Brandy)

And yes, I could go on with drinking portmanteaus all day, but I'll stop for now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Video Spotlight: Merry Christmas, Baby (Conan O'Brien 2002)

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is Bruce's famous Christmas song but for my money, "Merry Christmas, Baby" is his best Holiday tune. This song has the groove and immediate passion that you expect from a Springsteen song, Holiday themed or not.

This video is extra fun with Conan O’Brien playing back-up guitar and The Max Weinberg 7 all in for the fun, too, some with Santa hats. Bruce is really having a great time too, grooving and slinking all around the stage. Could there be anything better than seeing Bruce walking up to you in the audience of the Conan O’Brien show during Christmas time? This is what the Holidays are all about.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Video Spotlight: All Alone on Christmas by Darlene Love

Technically this isn't a Springsteen video but it does feature the E Street Band, along with Darlene Love... and Macaulay Culkin?!

Released in 1992 as part of the Home Alone 2 soundtrack, this is my favorite Christmas pop song of all time. Even though I must have heard it in Home Alone 2, I wasn't aware of it until I heard it in Love Actually and even then, had no idea the E Street Band was involved until I found the music video last year.

When I first discovered the video, it felt like I'd drifted into some eggnog induced haze. The E Street Band intercut with clips from Home Alone 2? Macaulay Culkin sitting atop Clarence Clemons' shoulders? Max Weinberg in what may or may not be a Christmas-themed pajama shit? The fact that this video existed, let alone that it apparently used to be played on VH1, felt like a Christmas miracle in itself.

The most distinctly E Street element is Clarence's powerful saxophone work. But listening closer you can hear Max's fierce drumming around the 2:50 mark. On top of that, it's written by Steve Van Zandt. This incredibly catchy, emotional song is an example of Van Zandt's brilliant grasp of pop music. The following lyrics also feel very E Street to me:

The music plays all night in Little Italy,
The lights will be going up on old Rockefeller's tree

Also featured on the track are Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici and the Miami Horns.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Video Spotlight: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Buffalo, NY - 11/22/09

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" has been a fan favorite at Springsteen's winter concerts for years.  This video is from the last concert of the Working on a Dream tour, which turned out, sadly, the last time Clarence Clemons would perform with Bruce and company before his death the following summer.  Even in his last show, however, Clarence is giving it his all.  He begins with his amazing laugh that even the jolliest of all fat men would have a tough time duplicating, and raps it up with a rip-roaring saxophone solo.  Clarence's performance brings out a more youthful side of Springsteen, spinning like a top on stage.  Clarence ignites the crowd, and Springsteen feeds off their energy; it is this dynamic, perfected over 30 years, that made them one of the strongest bromances in American rock-and-roll.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Springsteen Video of the Week - I'm Goin' Down

There isn't anything particularly unique about this fan-video but there's something about the variety of the photos and the simplicity of the transitions that I think fit so nicely with the song. "I'm Goin' Down" is one of my favorite songs and it has to be a contender for one of the happiest sounding sad songs of all time. The pictures in the video enhance the upbeat vibe so for once, I'd suggest you ignore Bruce's lyrics and just enjoy the music.