Thursday, July 30, 2015

Coming Soon - Born To Run Month!

Last year, we did a deep dive into Born In The USA, providing videos, links, and analysis regarding each song.  This year, in honor of Born To Run's 40th(!) anniversary, we're going to do it all over again!  Please join us this August as Steve, OB, and myself go through one of the greatest albums of all time, track by track.  It all starts next Tuesday, so make sure to be the first in (the imaginary Internet) line.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Under the Influence of Springsteen: Third Eye Blind

If you wanna see me
You know I'm easily found
Just climb the stairs where we used to live
Wrap your fist 'round my heart
Yeah, you know how it pound, pound, pound
- “Everything is Easy”, Third Eye Blind

Okay, so this one is a bit if a stretch. In fact, I didn't even notice it myself. The AbsolutePunk review had to alert me to this slight “Darkness on the Edge of Town” reference. But it's an excuse to talk about one of my other favorite bands, Third Eye Blind.

Third Eye Blind’s fifth album Dopamine was just released last month, nearly 20 years after their debut album. So they certainly don’t share Bruce’s prolific level of output. But there are two distinct similarities: their sense of location and their propensity to tell sad stories set to a snappy beat.

In terms of location, their hometown of San Francisco penetrates many of their songs, even when it’s about its absence and the feeling of being an outsider in locations like New York City ("Motorcycle Drive By"), Los Angeles ("Forget Myself"), or London ("London").

Third Eye Blind has gone through several band member rotations and it’s clear that Stephan Jenkins is the heart and soul of the band while the rest are “salaried employees” (to quote Max Weinberg talking about The E Street Band).

Lyrical complexity is one of Third Eye Blind’s strongest traits (the music speaks for itself and Jenkins has stated its importance to him in interviews). Like Springsteen, this complexity can lead to frequently misunderstood songs. But Third Eye Blind’s music gets misconstrued in a way different to Springsteen’s. Bruce’s stories are usually straightforward with clear characters that have clear - if misguided - motivations. Jenkins' lyrics on the other hand often need a Lit major and/or a pervert to decode them. For example: “But the light, it falls on my castle walls; And my basketballs pelt me with bricks in my dreams” – An Ode to Maybe

What these two bands have most in common though is that they so effectively set downbeat stories to upbeat tempos. Songs like “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Blinded,” and now “Everything is Easy” are dirtier, angst-ridden variations of the classic Springsteen "happy/sad" song we dance our hearts out to like “I’m Goin’ Down,” “Livin’ in the Future,” or “Bobby Jean.”

What do you think? Is Third Eye Blind truly under the influence of Springsteen? Or are these passing coincidences?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Be Part Of The Legends Of Springsteen Army!

Hello loyal readers.  Today's post will be a slight departure from the norm.  You see, for over three years, we've been providing you with semi-regular Springsteen goodness, from covers to live performances, from album reviews to general silliness.  So, as we close in on our 500th post, I feel that we've earned enough creative capital to take a small moment to get on our knees and beg.

You see, like all amateur bloggers, we dream of a day where the majority of our daily hits don't come from random Russian websites.  Therefore, we rely on you, the reader, to help us out!  So, here's five simple ideas you can do that won't take up too much of your time and would generally help us out.

5. Use Our Amazon Affiliate Link.  This is very simple.  If you need to buy something on Amazon, simply click on the link in this bullet point, or on the Amazon advertisement on the bottom right corner.  Then, continue shopping as you normally would.  This price doesn't change for you, but Amazon will kick us back a small percentage of what you buy.  Now, I'd rank this as the least important way you could help us.  We are not in this for the money, I assure you.  However, Steve just recently had a baby, I am going to get married, and OB has....various hobbies.  So, any little bit that we make would be greatly appreciated.

4. Be A Follower.  While we may not have exhausted every facet of social media (who has the time, really?) we do have a Twitter account that you can follow.  Also, you can join the "Followers" section of our blog, which is located on the right sidebar.  These two options are the easiest, most passive thing you can do to help us.  Let's pump those stats!

3. Submit An Article.  This is easily the most labor intensive item on the list, so feel free to skip this one.  However, your three lovely writers must confess to having bouts of Springsteen-fatigue, and have occasionally taken breaks from the blog.  So, perhaps you, the reader, can help by contributing content.  We have had several guest posts in the past, which have been very well received.  There are tons of reasons to try your hand at writing for Legends of Springsteen.  Perhaps you have a unique perspective on Springsteen that we haven't tackled.  Or, you could have your own blog that you'd like to promote, and writing for us could help you attract more readers.  Or maybe you just want to have one idea that you are dying to share on the world wide web, but don't want to set up an entire blog of your own.  To submit an article, simply e-mail, and we will do all the editing and formatting for you.

2. Tell People.  Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing, so if you like what you see here, please spread the word!  You can share links to your favorite articles via all the tradition social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit), or you can tell a friend, or you can shout "LEGENDS OF SPRINGSTEEN DOT COM" from your roof.  It's all good, baby.

1. Leave A Comment.  Truly, hearing back from our readers would be the greatest inspiration of all.  Unless you tell us that we suck, which would hurt.  However, if any article inspires you to add your own $0.02 for all the Internet to see, please do so!

So, that's your mission, should you choose to accept it.  I apologize for the interruption in our regularly scheduled posting, and promise to be back shortly with another post where you can just watch the YouTube video and ignore our writing underneath.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cover Spotlight - "I Want You"

Today, let's spotlight this wonderful, high-quality recording from 40 years ago.  It's one of the most unique Springsteen covers I've heard, as he takes Dylan's "I Want You" and completely re-arranges it.  Owing a lot of its flavor to Springsteen's own "For You", this version's marked by a haunting violin and various tempo changes, giving it an ethereal feel.  It is a new front-runner for one of my favorite songs covered by Springsteen.