This Pier Lights Our Carnival Life Forever

Song: 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Album: The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle
Year: 1973

Mom,  do we have to invite Uncle Bruce to Thanksgiving? He just gets drunk and spends all night telling rambling stories about one summer where he got all slutty down on the boardwalk.

Oh god, he brought an accordion.

Yes, Uncle Bruce, you have told me about the time you almost died on a tilt-a-whirl. That sounds very scar—what? I don't really understand what men wearing high heels really has to do with this story. And the detailed descriptions of the public sex you were having back then is a little inappropriate for the dinner tab—what? No, that's a Super Nintendo, not a "pleasure machine," please stop calling it that.

Rating: 4 auroras rising behind us out of 10.

This makes me feel: boooored. And... itchy?

Bruce fun fact: Springsteen wanted a children's choir to sing on this song, but they never showed up for the session. WHERE ARE THOSE KIDS?

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 4.39.18 PM
Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 4.39.18 PM

Top Youtube comment on this song, as voted by me: ....EVERY GUY.

The Hungry and the Hunted

Song: Jungleland
Album: Born to Run
Year: 1975

I've been attempting to review this song for like four days. It is very, very long and I keep getting distracted in the middle. Millennials, right? This was recorded in the days before podcasts, but that's really what it should've been classified as. What a chatterbox. But I get why he goes on and on and on here—there's a lot going on in Jungleland.

The protagonist of this song is named The Magic Rat, so we're obviously off to a great start. He appears to be dating a girl who doesn't own shoes. The police—oh, pardon me, the "Maximum Lawmen"—are not a fan of these guys; it sounds like they're not a fan of music either. Maybe Jungleland is some sort of Mennonite community? Anyways, some of the kids in town have a battle of the bands and then Magic Rat seems to wind up dead. The official report is that his "own dreams gun[ned] him down," but I suspect the police may be covering something up. I hope the Jungleland judicial system implements some sort of investigative task force.

I can't remember if I've asked this before, but has Bruce Springsteen ever written a musical? I get the impression that he really wants to. I'm envisioning a lot of sleeveless plaid shirts and a lot of very athletic leaping. Ideally a chorus of steelworkers, too.

Oh man, just did the very minimum amount of research (thanks Wikipedia! No, I'm still not giving you any money!) and apparently John Malkovich (!) used this song in his 1980 production of Balm in Gilead as a background for a "choreographed tableau of street denizens miming a tragic slice-of-life." So I guess this just confirms what we all already kind of expected: Malovich and I share a brain.

Rating: 7 out of 10 guitars being used like switchblades.

This makes me feel: exhausted and dramatic. I want to dance! I want to live! I want to drink warm beer on top of a car hood and then take a nap!

Fun Bruce fact: Apparently someone did try to make a musical of B's music in 2002 but didn't get the OK from the Springsteen camp. Probably because they didn't want any competition for the incredible Broadway show of his own that he's been working on in secret for 30 years. (Working title: Babes in Jungleland!)

The Clouded Wrath of the Crowd

Song: Growin' UpAlbum: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ Year: 1973

Pretttty earnest, but I like the contrast of the abstract verse lyrics with the hyper-literal chorus. It might be about the war but it also might be about going to space, or maybe just about performing at a high school talent show. I have only done one of those things in my life so it's hard to say if all of those things conjure the same feelings for sure.

If I can just make a request to the sort of people who insist on "jamming" on their guitar around the campfire: maybe think about subbing this one in for Wonderwall every once in a while? Could be fun?

Rating: 4 growth spurts out of 10. This makes me feel: like deleting my Livejournal. Springsteen fun fact: He grew up downwind from the Nestle chocolate factory so everything smelled delicious all the time. WHAT A TOWN!