Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let me be the one that shines with you..

live at Oslo Spektrum, January 27th 2009

Just came in the door after a great concert. It was my first Oasis gig and the guys delivered the goods. By no means the best show I've ever been to, but they did what they were there to do and they did it in style. The lightshow was close to fantastic. A real psychedelic treat with videos made special to fit the different songs. Liams voice was a bit rusty but he realy shone on "I'm Outta Time" from the Dig Out Your Soul album. Noel were equally great on "The Masterplan". Still both me and my girlfriend settled on "Slide Away" and "Supersonic" as our favourites of the night.

Here's what they played:

Fuckin' in the Bushes
Rock and Roll Star
The Shock of the Lightning
Cigarettes & Alcohol
The Meaning of Soul
To Be Where There's Life
Waiting for the Rapture
The Masterplan
Slide Away
Morning Glory
Ain't Got Nothin'
The Importance of Being Idle
I'm Outta Time
Wonderwall (with false start)
Don't Look Back in Anger
Falling Down
Champagne Supernova
I Am the Walrus

I even made a Spotify-playlist of the setlist, just push here if you got Spotify.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2008: The year in review

Well, in a way at least. Here it is, my top 15 albums for 2008. At this point, just a list - but there may be some lines about each album later.

1. Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers

2. The Gaslight Anthem - The 59' Sound
(SideOne Dummy)

3. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

4. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
(Sub Pop)

5. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
(Sub Pop)

6. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst

7. Motorpsycho - Little Lucid Moments
(Rune Grammofon)

8. Grand Archives - Grand Archives
(Sub Pop)

9. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinology
(Lost Highway/MCA)

10. Gary Louris - Vagabonds

11. David Vandervelde - Waiting for the Sunrise
(Secretly Canadian)

12. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
(Warner Bros.)

13. Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch

14. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

15. Howlin' Rain - Magnificent Fiend

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

1. Lost in the Flood
Taken from the album "Greetings from Asbury Park" (Columbia, 1972)

The finalè has come, and at number one we got an album track from Bruce Springsteen's debut Greetings from Asbury Park. That was the very first Springsteen album I owned. I got it for Christmas in 1989 or 1990 I think from an uncle. Then at the age of seven I didn't think that much of it, but after I grew up a little I understood how good this music really is. So when I look back, it's one of the best presents I ever got. Thanks uncle.

So what's so great about this song then? Well, first of all - everything. Three verses, three characters. Very emotional, good story telling in a poetic way and a lot of words. At this time in his career Springsteen used as many words as a line could make room for, sometimes even more. That gives these early songs a kind of flow that the later songs may lack - though they have gotten the less is more treatment which are different, but equally good.

The best thing about "Lost in the Flood" is just the feeling it gives me, the chills I get when Springsteen comes to the end of each verse and just lay every emotion he has in his body in the lines that ends with lost in the flood. The way you just understand how something bad has happened.

"He rides head first into a hurricane and disappears into a point
And there's nothin' left but some blood where the body fell
That is, nothin' left that you could sell
just junk all across the horizon, a real highwayman's farewell
And he said: "Hey kid, you think that's oil? Man, that ain't oil that's blood"
I wonder what he was thinking when he hit that storm
Or was he just lost in the flood?"

Or like in the last verse.

"..And that cat from Bronx starts lettin' loose
but he gets blown right off his feet
And some kid comes blastin' round the corner but a cop puts him right away
He lays on the street holding his leg screaming something in Spanish
Still breathing when I walked away
And somebody said "Hey man did you see that? His body hit the street with such
a beautiful thud"
I wonder what the dude was sayin' or was he just lost in the flood?"

So there you go, my personal favourite Bruce Springsteen track.

The album version:

Bruce Springsteen - Lost In The Flood

Found at skreemr.com

And the version that I think is the best ever recorded of the song. Live at the Hammersmith in London 1975. Which is also available on cd. Also on dvd if you buy the Born to Run boxset.


Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

2. Highway Patrolman
Taken from the album "Nebraska" (Columbia, 1982)

"Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good.."

The second song on the list from the Nebraska album. That just shows you how good that album is, maybe not your raised fist in the air crowdpleaser but maybe Springsteens most reflected and best album lyrically. When it comes to storysongs at least. An almost perfect folk-album.

I have talked a lot about that I think a lot of Springsteens songs are like movies, and this song in fact has been made in to a movie. Sean Penn wrote an directed the movie The Indian Runner in 1991 which is based on this song. The main characters in the movie are the brothers Joe and Frank Roberts from this song. Even the storyline and plot in the movie are almost identical to the narrative in the song. Great song, great movie.

Another thing about this song is the reference to the folk song "Night of the Johnstown Flood", or what is believed to be a folk song. I have never heard it, but some sources on the web has listed a song in the same vein in Harry Smith's Anthology of Folk I think. In my opinion I believe that Springsteen included this little title just to set a scene, and even get people to think about the Johnstown flood which ruined a whole city back in 1889.

But, it was the song we were talking about. For me the best thing about this song is the narrative. It tells the story of one brothers reflection on his life, and dealing with his brother who is a lot different from him, but not that different after all. No matter how different you and your brother are, you are still blood and you would do anything for each other.

"Well the night was like any other, I got a call 'bout quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head there was
a girl cryin' at the table and it was Frank, they said
Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
Well I must of done one hundred and ten through Michigan county that night

It was out in the crossroads, down 'round Willow bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates behind the wheel was Frank
Well I chased him through them county roads till a sign said Canadian border five
miles from here
I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear.."

Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman

Found at skreemr.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

3. The River
Taken from the album "The River" (Columbia, 1980)

This may look like an obvious choice since this song has become an evergreen and something larger than life. But if you look beyond the clichès and 80's classic rock radio you will find yourself looking at one of the best songs ever written. Songs don't just become classics without reason. The hardest part about writing about this song is that most have been written before, then again, the good part about writing this is that I can tell you what I find so fantastic about this song. It's not like I need to explain to you how it goes, I believe that each and every person who is older than say twenty five can sing you the chorus of "The River". I think you should go out and test that, just ask any random guy or girl.

So why is this song about a factory worker who gets his highschool girlfriend pregnant and then gets layed off work so damn good. Well for me it's a couple of lines in the last verse which to this very day gives me chills every time I hear the song. In fact, I wait the whole song just to hear those heartbreaking words.

"..Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
or is it something worse.."

That my friends is a whole book in just four lines. I get a lump in my throat and chills down my spine each and everytime. Just the way he delivers the lines, it's like his voice just can't take it anymore. Those lines tells a lifetime of stories, not only the story of the two people in this song, but people everywhere. Anyone who ever had a dream shattered will nod to those lines. Timeless, heartbreaking and real.

Bruce Springsteen - 112 - The River

Found at skreemr.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

4. Racing in the Street
Taken from the album "Darkness on the Edge of Town" (Columbia, 1978)

At first glance this is a car-song and not much more. Then look again, the cars are just a vehicle (no pun intended) for the real movie that goes on in this song. That said, even I, that don't even got a license thinks that the "sixty-nine Chevy with a 365" just sounds amazing. And that has nothing to do with the car. It's just the line that flows so good.

For me this story starts after he met this girl on the strip with a dude in a Camaro from L.A. Of course our hero blew that Camaro away and took his girl home. Now that girl sits at home and worries about our hero when he's out racing.

"But now there's wrinkles around my baby's eyes
And she cries herself to sleep at night
When I come home the house is dark
She sighs "Baby did you make it allright".."

But the best part of the songs comes in the lines that follows, and this is why this song is number four in this countdown. Perfect imagery and another of Springsteen's movie songs.

"She sits on the porch of her daddy's house
But all her pretty dreams are torn
She stares of alone into the night
With the eyes of one who hates for just being born
For all the shut down strangers and hot rod angels
Rumbling through this promised land
Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins of our hands.."

Bruce Springsteen - Racing In The Street

Found at skreemr.com

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

5. Atlantic City
Taken from the album "Nebraska" (Columbia, 1982)

How do you follow up a megaselling album like 1980's The River. Certainly not by releasing an album of homemade demos with just you and your guitar. Well, that was exactly what Bruce Springsteen did. The plan was as far as I know to use this songs as just demos for an album with the fullblown E-Street Band, but both Bruce and the recordcompany thought the demos were worth releasing as they were. Thank God for that. That decission made for one of my absolute favourite Springsteen records, if not my very favourite. Nothing is out of place on Nebraska. The songs are great, the lyrics are more than great and the coverpicture and albumart fits the songs perfectly.

And you even get sort of a hit, yes this song "Atlantic City" was a sort of a hit. It still gets played at almost every Springsteen concert. So, what is this song to me. For me the whole of this song boils down to one very line. The line that may be one of the best lines ever written in popular music history. A line that is a whole novel of it's own.

"Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.."

The rest of the lyrics are also great, but not as universal as that line, or two lines if you will.

Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City

Found at skreemr.com