Midweek Music: Songs for the 4th from The Boss

Some songs for you from the Boss on Independence Day…

The first, is “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” from his first album, Asbury Park. The video is from Live at the Hammersmith Odeon back in 1975. You can get the DVD through Netflix and it is the kind of performance that leaves you speechless. The album is one of my favorites. And “Sandy” is about as beautiful and moving song as you’ll hear anywhere at anytime.

This next one has been around in the live shows for years and is now on the newest album, Wrecking Ball. There is a lot of what is great about America in this song without any triumphalism.

You can’t talk about Independence Day and Bruce without his “Independence Day” from The River.

And this final one because it’s what you expected and it’s epic live.

Thursday’s Random Thoughts

1. Been watching X-Files while sick. I can only assume they don’t film on sunny days and could not afford proper lighting.

2. I have not had bacon in a few days…which I think explains me not feeling well.

3. If a pastor has to use hyperbole and call something “Satanic” to get people’s attention, I can only assume their attention is not needed.

4. Either I have a fever or it’s June in Alabama.

5. We are a culture in which men struggle to talk to each other in a way that does not include ridicule.

6. The other night I ate Cookie Crisp cereal while my wife played Lego Star Wars. Midlife crisis?

7. Just watched a documentary on Mark Twain. Hard to like a a guy who rails against a world for the things he laughs about within himself.

8. Thought I could not love Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town any more than I already did. Then I watched the documentary. Twice.

9.  So a bunch of reporters went through my emails and walked away convinced I was awesome.

10. Someone asked me if I would be doing any giveaways on this blog when my book is released. I asked them what they thought I should give away.

Midweek Music: Springsteen’s ‘The Promise’

Summertime weather has hit Birmingham with highs at 90. Sweating is easy. The night air is no longer crisp. It hangs on your before it drips back into the darkness. The honeysuckle is intoxicating. And for some reason, every year, at this time and for the next couple of months I want to hear the voice and songs of Springsteen. With windows down. Roof open. Volume up.

The only album that has been able to pull me away from Adele’s ’21’ is Springsteen’s The Promise. Released late last year but recorded back in ’77 – ’78, it is a double album of songs from the Darkness On the Edge of Town sessions. I just picked it up a few days ago. So far, I’ve found it to be nothing but great after about 5 listens. But I’m one of those who rarely hears a song by The Boss and does not like it.

Below is a trailer for the album.

“Ain’t Good Enough For You” is Springsteen doing classic soul pop.

And the first tune on the album, “Racing In the Street” is incredible. Below is a live version from ’78. Recorded in Jersey.

What about you? What do you feel like you have to listen to in the summer?

Midweek Music: 10 Albums I May Be Listening To In 10 Years

I would highlight a new artist but all I really want to listen to is Adele’s newest album. So here are 10 albums from 10 different artists I think I may be listening to 10 years from now:

1. 21 by Adele – I can’t stop listening to this album. It gets better every time I listen to it. It’s a sonic, vocal and musical masterpiece.

2. Moondance by Van Morrison – Flawless throughout, I never tire of these songs. So many moonlit nights had air filled with the sound of Van singing these tunes.

3. Live at Royal Albert Hall by Bob Dylan – This is easily my favorite Dylan album. These 2-disc piece of history marks his move from acoustic troubadour to bluesy pop icon.

4. Abbey Road by The Beatles – Genius.

5. Lady In Satin by Billie Holiday – Lady Day’s last recording, recorded just weeks before her death and released just after, it is a stunning, hypnotic piece of art. Though technically not her best singing, it is her singing that makes this one her best.

6. Blue Train by John Coltrane – Almost every sermon I’ve ever preached should should this album as a footnote.

7. Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys – I get chills every time Sloop John B starts. Every. Single. Time.

8. Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen – Americana. Gothic. Haunting. Beautiful. Stories.

9. Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield – I’m not sure there would be a Duffy or an Adele without Dusty. Every song is incredible and full of heart-rending soul-deep beauty.

10. Mack the Knife: The Complete Ella in Berlin by Ella Fitzgerald – I bought this on my birthday while living in St. Louis.  Autumn was in full swing, winter winds not far behind. And I can’t listen to this album without that moment. That was 10 years ago.

Sure, I could list more…what are some of yours?