Friday, June 30, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 30

Finally!  The last day! My favorite song at this time last year!  Let's do this!

Last year, Bruce was in the middle of his River tour, and man did it deliver.  During the summer last year, I was probably listening to "Meet Me In The City", as well as many other tracks from The Ties That Bind (although I've never really given it a proper review - something to remember for a future post).  While the new songs have been mostly forgotten, "Meet Me In The City" still brings up fond memories of 2016.

That's it!  Challenge completed!  Now, if anybody ever asks if I listed 30 Springsteen songs, I can say a resounding "Hell yes."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 29

Two more to go!  For day 29, I have to pick a song from my childhood.  While I'd love to say my mom sang Springsteen songs as lullabies to me, that sadly is not the case.  However, as I grew up in the late 80s/early 90s, Springsteen was everywhere and unavoidable.

"Born In The U.S.A." doesn't seem to get much play on the radio nowadays, but I swear, back 25-30 years ago, it was everywhere.  While my memory may be fuzzy, I'm willing to bet it's the first song that I knew was sung by a guy named "Bruce Springsteen".  The entire Born In The USA  album was probably the soundtrack for a lot of 80s babies.

What Springsteen song reminds you of your childhood?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 28

We're in the home stretch with a strange one - a song that makes you feel guilty.  Unlike a guilty pleasure, which I ranted about two weeks ago, today I actually have to pick a song that I feel bag when I rock out to.  Let's go:

"Trapped" is a fantastic cover, and a great song to see live (the coordinated fist-pump is a bit corny, but I dig it).  However, it's about a guy in a terrible relationship, which makes it somewhat difficult to relate to, as I've never really felt caught or manipulated by a significant other.  Being in a very loving relationship, I definitely feel guilty when I'm blasting a song about how awful someone's partner treats them.  Still, it's pretty catchy.

What Springsteen song makes you feel guilty?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 27

Day 27 is pure wish-fulfillment: what song do I wish I could play?  Not going to lie: I often walk down the streets with my music blasting in my ears, fantasizing about playing in front of thousands of adoring fans.  Is that relatable, or just sad? You decide.

As I've already shared an embarrassing way I listen to "The Promised Land", I might as well share that one of my rock-and-roll dreams is going up on stage and nailing the harmonica solo.  I think it's best for all parties if I never try to make this a reality.

What Springsteen songs do you wish you could play?

Monday, June 26, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 26

I'll totally have to cheat today.  It took about 5 years of piano lessons in the mid 90s, as well as a couple weeks dicking around on a guitar, to realize I have no musical ability.  So, my options here are incredibly limited.  But, we'll give it a shot.

"Waitin' On A Sunny Day" has a fairly simple chord progression - C, Am, F, C, G.  Just play that over and over again, and you've got "Waitin' On A Sunny Day".  Sure, there's a solo in there, and some different chords at the end, and the F chord is kinda hard, but you can kinda sorta strum something that sounds like "Waitin' On A Sunny Day".  Just take my word for it, because I won't show you in person.

Do we have any musically inclined people?  Can you play any Springsteen songs?  Comment below!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 25

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions - angry, happy, sad, weddings, and funerals.  We take yet another turn today with a song that makes me laugh.  While Springsteen can often be humorous on stage and in interviews, his songs are often dour.  Yet I still didn't find today all that much of a challenge:

Bruce has some silly songs such as "Sherry Darling" and "Working On The Highway", but "In Freehold" is always the one that gets me, especially the line about his Catholic education.  I don't want to spoil all the jokes, so give it a listen yourself.

What Springsteen songs make you laugh?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 24

We get a little dour here today, talking about what song I want played at my funeral.  Not that I really care, because I'll be dead.  Ah well.

From The Rising, "You're Missing" would be a great tear-jerker at any funeral.  I want my friends and family bawling their eyes out, and this would definitely set the mood.

Bruce has a bunch of great funeral songs, so what's yours?  Are you going for super-sad, or perhaps something lighter to make people feel better at your funeral?

Friday, June 23, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 23

Day 23 is a piece of cake, since I'm already married, and, of course, had Springsteen songs played there.  But there is a story:

My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life (duh), so of course "Rosalita" had to have been played.  Well, it was nearing the final 20 minutes of the wedding, before the venue would viciously give us the boot.  We hadn't heard a Bruce song on the dance floor in over an hour ("Dancing in the Dark"), and asked the DJ what his final few songs would be.  His choices were fine, but they weren't "end of the wedding" worthy.  So, we told him to scrap all that and immediately put on "Rosalita".  He did, and it was a highlight of the wedding.

What song do you want played at your wedding (or, if you are already married, what song was played)?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 22

Like the previous day, today seems to be splitting hairs with a prior day.  Not a song like day 4 that MAKES you sad, but a song you listen to WHEN you are sad.  Again, this is open to multiple interpretations, so let me present, and subsequently defend, my choice:

When I'm sad, I'm looking for a specific type of song.  I don't want an escapist song that ignores my problems and tells me everything is sunny and happy.  And yet, I don't want to wallow in misery with a sad song that makes me want to kill myself.  The intersection of this is "happy-sad", those songs with happy beats and sad lyrics (see: the Cure).  Bruce has plenty of "happy-sad" in his catalog, and "I'm Goin' Down" is among his best.

What songs do you listen to WHEN you are sad?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 21

For day 21, I have to pick a song that I listen to WHEN I'm happy.  This is not to be confused with day 3, which was a song that MAKES me happy.  Got it?  Moving on:

Well, I usually listen to a lot of Springsteen when I'm happy, so I just grabbed this one at random.  "Blinded by the Light" is a great listen WHEN you are happy: you get to hear Bruce at his youngest and most ambitious, and know that it's just going to get better for this young kid.

So, what Bruce song do you listen to WHEN you are happy?  And don't you dare list a Bruce song that MAKES you happy.  Rules are rules, got it?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 20

Day 20 is a weird one - a song that I listen to when I'm angry.  The image of my head of being so incredibly angry that I run to my computer and pull up a must-listen-to song is quite amusing.  There's a couple ways you can go with this, I guess, such as picking a song that will calm you down, or perhaps a song you can scream along with to vent your frustrations.  I'll go with the latter:

"Because the Night" has one of Bruce's scream-ier choruses, which is why it worked so well in Patti Smith's punk-poet setting.

What Bruce songs do you listen to when angry?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 19

As opposed to the recent struggles I've had with this challenge (negativity based ones, ones with unclear instructions, oddly dated questions about the radio), this is a lob over home plate.  Just a song on my favorite album.  Easy peasy.

While I'd love to make the case that Darkness on the Edge of Town is better than Born To Run, I just feel like taking it easy today.  We all know Born To Run is Bruce's best album, so let's put aside any squabbles and embrace it.

What's your a song from your favorite Bruce album (which, as I just said, is Born To Run - come on, you know it is right)?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challnege, Day 18

Given that everyone carries around smartphones, and you can access every song ever made at any time, day 18's "song you wish you heard on the radio" seems quaint.  But I'll answer anyway:

I've written plenty of times about "Livin' In The Future".  It feels like it should've been a hit, and I would love to still hear it on the radio (or in live shows, or at dentist's offices, or at weddings).

What song do you wish got more radio play, or anywhere play?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 17

Let's see - a song I hear too often on the radio?  This is another one of those "negative" days, so I'll spare you being negative about being negative (But seriously, who complains about hearing a song on the radio too much?  You can switch the channel!  And, come on, can we really have too much Bruce on the radio?)  Being in New Jersey, you'd think I hear a lot of Bruce on the classic rock stations, but somehow I end up hearing a ton of Billy Joel.  Have I written enough words to post the song yet?

I'll just go with this, as it is probably my least favorite of Springsteen's big hits.  Also, we are heading to peak summer, so I fully expect to hear this song on Q104.3 over...and over....and over....

Any Springsteen song that's a bit too radio friendly for your tastes?

Friday, June 16, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 16

Today is another one of the "negative" days, where I have to talk about a song I used to love but now hate.  Again, a difficult challenge, as even as I start to fall "out of love" with a song for whatever reason (usually being overplayed), I still retain fond memories of that initial attraction, and rarely go to hating it (with one major exception - Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'").  And, the fact that I hate so few Springsteen songs to begin with adds another layer to the challenge.  Therefore:

As I've referenced many time, Live in NYC was my true first introduction to Springsteen.  "Two Hearts" was the third track on the album, and therefore received a lot of plays (it was sandwiched between "Prove It All Night" and "Atlantic City", which is like being in the 8:30 slot between Friends and Seinfeld).  Being a new Springsteen fan, it was among the first Springsteen songs I fell in love with.  However, as I listened to more music, it was easy to see that this was one of the lesser hits.  I wouldn't say I hate it now, but I don't hold it in such high-esteem anymore, and rarely am I thinking "Man, I could really go for listening to 'Two Hearts'."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 15

Oh, we're halfway there!  Day 15!  Another peculiar challenge, as I'd have a difficult time describing myself with words, let alone a song.  Anyhoo:

Does "Growin' Up" describe me?  Well, the lyrics are pretty vague and silly enough that you can make it mean anything.  Plus, I used the acoustic version from Tracks for the mother-son dance at my wedding.  If someone needs to describe me, I'll pass the job to my momma, as I'm sure she'll let you know how special I am!

What song describes you?  Got a better answer?  Are you still reading?  Just 15 more days!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 14

Here's another challenging one: finding a song no one could expect me to love.  I mean, I've been writing about Springsteen since 2012 (including doing this ridiculous challenge with just his music), so could anyone be surprised by any Springsteen song I'll pick?  Well, I'll pick one anyway, and try to come up with some justification:

So I guess people would expect me to love "Janey Don't You Lose Heart", but probably don't expect me to REALLY love it.  It's easily one of my favorite songs from Bruce's 80s work, having fallen in love with it during a live performance back in 2008.  And yet, shockingly, I have not written about it on the blog at all.

So, that's my reasoning for today.  What Bruce song would people not expect you to love?  Give it a shot in the comments.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 13

I don't really like the term "guilty pleasure".  It is commonly used to describe some work of entertainment that you enjoy but is considered "dumb" by an arbitrary, nebulous critical community.  Personally, I feel that if you enjoy a song/movie, then you have nothing to feel "guilty" about - you are liking this song for a particular reason that is being overlooked by this mysterious elite group that have deemed it unworthy.  Now, if someone got their jollies by kicking puppies, that's a true "guilty pleasure"!  (Perhaps I'm taking a bit too literally.)  Anyway, my point is that you shouldn't feel shame in merely enjoying a song.  Rant over.

So, as I clearly showed that I have no idea what a "guilty pleasure" is, I'll go with "Ain't Got You" from Tunnel of Love.  It's a song that Steven Van Zandt hated, and it signals Bruce's move away from the E Street Band, giving it two reasons I could feel guilty about enjoying it.  But man, I do love that Bo Diddley beat.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 12

OK, this one is even trickier than yesterday.  A song from a band I hate....that also has Bruce Springsteen in it.  Yeesh.  Here we go:

Here is "Roll of the Dice", by Springsteen....and the other guys.  These were the replacements to the E Street Band that Bruce used in the early 90s.  Much like the Smashing Pumpkins replacing D'arcy Wretzky with similar skinny goth girls, the not-E-Street band had eerily similar clones, including a man who was certainly not Clarence Clemons.  Fortunately, this period did not last too long, and by the end of the decade, Bruce had reunited with the E Street Band.  Still, I do love "Roll of the Dice".

What's a song by a band you hate....that also has Bruce Springsteen in it?  Are you going to go with my pick from the early 90s, or perhaps do you have a deep hatred of Steel Mill?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 11

Welcome to day 11, and we've got ourselves a weird one.  A song from my favorite band?  I mean, I could just pick any Springsteen and the E Street Band song and call it a day.  But, I'll not phone it in that much:

Here we've got "The E Street Shuffle", from The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle.  So, I'm not just picking any song with the E Street Band, I'm picking a song that identifies itself as my favorite band.  Impressive?  Just 19 more to go.

What's your favorite band that Bruce Springsteen is in?  Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 10

Day 10 - the big fat hen of days.  Today's challenge is to find a song that makes you fall asleep.  That' odd challenge.  It could be interpreted negatively - in that a song is so boring that it puts you to sleep.  However, I'll go with the positive interpretation - that the song puts you in a nice, relaxed state and sweeps you away to dreamland:

"Jungleland" is perfect for this.  It's slow, and long (it takes me a while to fall asleep).  But, once I get to that beautiful sax solo, I'm in the perfect state for a nice nap.

Which songs make you fall asleep?  Feel free to answer in the either positive or negative reading.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 9

Day number 9 brings us an interesting question: what Bruce song can you dance to?  Well, there are plenty, but I'll tackle it as: what song can you dance to WELL?  Sure, you can hit the dance floor during many Bruce songs, but most of the time you'll look like a drunk wearing his shoes on the wrong feet.  So, how can you look impressive with Springsteen blaring through the speakers?  Bruce, fortunately, provided an easy answer:

Sure, it's corny, but it's a set of moves.  Everyone knows the "Dancing in the Dark" dance, and there's not much of a gap between the best "Dancing in the Dark" dancer in the world and the worst "Dancing in the Dark" dancer in the world.  Given the overwhelming Caucasian-ness of Springsteen fandom, this song is a welcome relief to those without rhythm and/or flow.

What are your favorite Springsteen songs to dance to?  Or, what are your go-to dance moves when Springsteen is on?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 8

Day 8? More like Day Great!

As we careen past a week of Springsteen songs, we encounter yet another day that could have multiple answers.  While Bruce can write some crazy lyrics, there's easily a handful of songs we all know by heart.  Here's the choice for today:

When I first got into Springsteen, I was obsessed with "Thunder Road" - it could easily have been the choice for day one of the challenge.  I tried to insert "Thunder Road" lyrics into most aspects in my high school / early college days, whether it be in my Facebook profile, AOL Instant Messenger away messages, or anything else that reminds me of how old I am.

Feel free to add your favorite Springsteen songs you can karaoke to without a screen in the comments.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 7

Lucky day 7!  Like yesterday, today is another easy choice where the only issue is choosing between dozens of potential songs.  Let's just dive right in:

This was LOS writer Steve's first dance song at his wedding.  In fact, he wrote about choosing the song on this blog.  Steve has been happily married for over six years, and his family has grown (two kids, with a third on the way).  "Happy" was not a Springsteen song I paid much attention to before his wedding, so it has immediate association with this event every time I hear it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 6

Day 6 Day 6 Day 6!  Yes, I've ran out of introductions to this.  24 more, folks.

Today is another easy day where the only question is which song to choose.  While a sense of location plays a part in a lot of music, Springsteen has excelled in using his music to create vivid environments, not just about New Jersey but from coast to coast and the flyover country in between.  However, being a Jersey boy, I'll just take the easy choice:

While specifically calling out Asbury Park, I think "Sandy" is the perfect soundtrack for any Jersey Shore town (Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, etc.), capturing that lazy, carefree atmosphere of the perfect summer night.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 5

Here we are, five days in, covering the topic of a song that reminds you of someone.  As a person who knows some people, I found this actually to be easy.  There's a lot of people to choose from, like my mother (who helped get me into Springsteen), my fellow LOS writers (all huge Springsteen fans), etc.  And I may talk more about these people in future entries (stay tuned).  But, today I'll go with a song that helped someone get into Springsteen:

"I'm On Fire" is my wife's favorite song.  Before she met me, she had a general knowledge of Springsteen, knowing the big hits and radio staples.  So, as we began dating and she discovered my disturbing affinity for the Boss, I tried to make her a convert.  While she may never be the Springsteen crazy that I am, she instantly gravitated to "I'm On Fire", and it is clearly her favorite Springsteen song.  I always loved "I'm On Fire" too, but it is now closely associated with my lovely lady.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 4

Today, we take a swing in the complete opposite direction of yesterday, and talk about a Bruce song that makes me sad.  Now, as mentioned yesterday, most Bruce music makes me happy.  I can even rock out to the more depressing Bruce songs (and so can Bruce, apparently, as shown by that amazing guitar solo that has worked its way into "Youngstown" over the years).  And, it doesn't help that I'm fairly emotionally dead.  With that being said, here's a Springsteen song that make the room seem a bit dustier:

While "Bobby Jean" has a bit of an uplifting swing, the emotional core of the song really connects with me.  It drips with nostalgia, striving to recover things we've lost and go back to the way things were.  I'm even nostalgic when hearing a song about nostalgia, remembering embarrassing moments from my life.

So, what Bruce song makes you sad?  Bruce has a plethora of downers, so this should be much easier for others, unlike this old soulless robot.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 3

Onto day 3, which is a slam-dunk.  Pretty much any Bruce song makes me happy, even the depressing ones.  I've probably written about this before, but Bruce's music just "centers" me - whenever I'm feeling nervous or overwhelmed, I put on Bruce and it brings me back down to Earth.  So, for today, I'll pick "My Love Will Not Let You Down":

While The Rising was the first Bruce studio album that started my fandom, it truly began with the Live In New York City concert album.  Popping in the CD and being blasted with "My Love Will Not Let You Down" always reminds me of my first foray into Springsteen, and will always make me happy.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 2

As we enter the 30 Day Challenge's second day, we reach a very controversial topic: your least favorite song.  Now, I try to keep this blog positive and upbeat.  There's too much negativity on the Internet, so why bother doing the same thing everyone else is doing?  Plus, our wonderful world is full of diversity - songs you hate can be adored by other people, and vice versa.

But this song stinks.  Yes - I know this is just a throw-away B-side, but....why Bruce?  It's just three minutes of noise.

Bruce has his share of clunkers (especially in the last few albums), so my least favorite song may vary day-to-day, but I have no hesitation giving "A Night With The Jersey Devil" the honors in this challenge.

Want to rage impudently on a random Internet blog?  Share your least favorite Bruce song in the comments.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The 30 Day Song Challenge, Day 1

A few weeks ago, fellow Legends-of-Springsteener OB sent me the above list entitled the "30 Day Song Challenge".  Now, usually I don't go for these Internet shenanigans, as I'm a very private person (if you couldn't tell from me openly sharing every single thought I've had about Bruce Springsteen over the last 5 years).  I feel these lists are best left for the youth of today, who actually feel things like happiness and sadness when listening to songs and aren't emotionally dead inside.  However, OB proposed an interesting twist: do this list with only Bruce Springsteen songs.  Seeing as I've been light on material for this blog over the last couple years, I figured what the hell.  So, let's start things off with:

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

Like I said, maybe them kids can easily choose a favorite song, but not me.  Honestly, this isn't a true answer, as my top Springsteen song is constantly rotating.  Songs like "Thunder Road" and "Rosalita" have held the number one position for long stretches.  However, "Atlantic City" has consistently been in my top five for as long as I could remember.  So, given the consistency of my love for this song, I'll start the challenge with it.

Are you up for the challenge?  Leave your favorite song in the comments.