Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Springsteen’

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

"Atlantic City"

The Hold Steady covers Bruce Springsteen

Image via War ChildWar ChildWhen The Hold Steady get likened to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, it’s usually in reference to the big, raucous, arena-sized bar-rock that the latter invented and the former aspire to. So it kind of made sense that the two would be paired up for the 2009 War Child: Heroes benefit compilation wherein artists covered their inspirations, but the song selection was a bit curious. “Atlantic City” comes from Springsteen’s 1982 record Nebraska and being a solo-billed album with a stark, acoustic presentation it doesn’t feature Springsteen’s usual backing band doing what they do. Not that that stopped The Hold Steady from pretending they were on their redo, doing it up big with piano and sax and all those E Street accoutrements.

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn’s solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes comes out this week and it doesn’t go quite as far as Springsteen did with Nebraska in switching things up from the expected, it’s a leaner, darker work as well. And just this week, Springsteen announced the March 6 release of his new record Wrecking Ball; Rolling Stone has details on that while DIY and The New York Times have feature pieces on Craig Finn. And oh, a new Hold Steady record is also in the works.

MP3: The Hold Steady – “Atlantic City”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Atlantic City”

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

"The River"

Crooked Fingers covers Bruce Springsteen

Image via MergeMergeWhy post a Crooked Fingers track when this Summer, all anyone is talking about with regards to one Eric Bachmann is the Archers Of Loaf reunion? Because said reunion isn’t coming to Toronto – at least not this Summer – and Crooked Fingers are.

The band, consisting of Bachmann and who knows who else this time out, were last heard from on last year’s Reservoir Songs 2. As the name implies, it was a sequel to 2002’s Reservoir Songs, both EPs of cover songs as interpreted by Bachmann and band. Some of the selections on the first volume – like the Prince and David Bowie/Queen tunes – were rather left-field but the Springsteen song? Not so much. Bachmann’s rasp is perfectly suited to The Boss’ tale of smalltown desperation, and if anything the sparer, banjo-led arrangement of the Crooked Fingers version makes theirs even more haunting.

Crooked Fingers will be at The Horseshoe on July 3 and no, I don’t think a couple of Archers requests would be out of line. Their new album Breaks In The Armor comes out in October. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band suffered a huge loss last week with the passing of saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Their last album was 2009’s Working On A Dream.

MP3 Crooked Fingers – “The River”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “The River”

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

"Dancing In The Dark"

Ted Leo covers Bruce Springsteen

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFrequently when picking covers for the week, I like to choose unexpected combinations of artists and tunes that might reveal heretofore hidden influences or depths of meaning. And sometimes, it’s just so obvious that you can’t NOT go with it. This is one of those times.

Ted Leo and Bruce Springsteen – both proud sons of New Jersey (okay Ted was born in Indiana but he grew up in the Garden State) and both amongst the hardest working – and maybe sweatiest – men in rock. Leo is a legend in indie rock circles, Springsteen a legend pretty much everywhere. So that a Boss cover or two is a regular occurrence in Leo’s live repertoire is not much of a surprise. Here’s a double-shot of Leo doing one of Springsteen’s most famous tunes which, as he succinctly puts it in the live solo recording from Pontiac, Michigan in December 2008, “needs to be rescued from its production values”. The second version is a live solo acoustic take from an indeterminate time or place.

Leo’s new album The Brutalist Bricks is out next week. Springsteen released Working On A Dream last year and is, amazingly, not currently on the road.

MP3: Ted Leo – “Dancing In The Dark” (live in Pontiac, MI)
MP3: Ted Leo – “Dancing In The Dark” (acoustic)
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Dancing In The Dark”

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

The National cover Bruce Springsteen

Photo via Rate Your MusicRate Your MusicIf this were a perfect world, then rather than Bruce Springsteen have played here this past week and The National rolling in for a show at the Kool Haus next Thursday, both would have found themselves in town at the same time. And of course, the Boss somehow would have found his way down to the National’s show and joined them onstage for the encore, where he’d have joined them on his Nebraska tune which they’d covered for the opening night of the New York Guitar Festival back in 2006. And it would have been epic. And of course, Bruce would have still managed somehow to do this while playing this standard three-hour show – maybe ducking out during an extended sax solo. Perfect world, remember?

But, of course, this is far from a perfect world – a fact I’ve been very much reminded of lately – so we’ll have to accept that Springsteen will be enjoying a homecoming in East Rutherford, New Jersey the evening that The National kick off a short tour here in Toronto. But considering they’re not technically touring Boxer anymore, it’s not unreasonable to think that the set list could contain a few surprises – some new stuff, certainly, although we’re told not to expect a new record till next year, but maybe also a cover or two? Maybe this one?

The live recording from the New York Guitar Festival originally appeared as the b-side on the Apartment Story 7″ and again surfaced on the audio portion of last year’s A Skin, A Night/The Virginia EP documentary/b-sides compilation package.

MP3: The National – “Mansion On The Hill”
Video: The National – “Mansion On The Hill” (live in NYC 2006)
Video: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – “Mansion On The Hill” (live in NYC 2000)