The right soundtrack can transform a so-so sexual encounter into something memorable (just ask Hollywood producers). And the wrong soundtrack? Well, that can really screw things up, as it were. Imagine: You’re feeling all lovey-dovey and want to hold your lover’s face while you make sweet missionary love… and then your partner puts on some hardcore punk. And what about when your partner wants to do it to Bob Dylan and you just plain don’t?
As a musician who tours by bike and train with the Pleasant Revolution, and also powers performances by pedaling, Heather Normandale already has a lot of green cred. But her environmentalism doesn’t stop with her methods of traveling or amplification; She also finds the inspiration for her music in the natural world. Her current project looks to the source of all life on the planet: water.
Forgive me while I geek out for a minute. But the other day I met the legend Milton Glaser! Milton Glaser is a design legend. That cannot be overstated. The man created the “I Heart New York” logo, arguably the most copied design in the world. I spent the afternoon with Milton. We talked about…
Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello jam on the SPECTACLE stage.
As someone once wisely noted, “There’s nothing you can say that can’t be sung,” and so it proved to be during the nearly four hours that Bruce Springsteen and I shared the Apollo stage for our SPECTACLE taping.
Given Bruce’s generosity in song and conversation, it’s little wonder our performance yielded two full episodes. There is very little I can add by way of recommendation. He was good enough to sing almost every song we discussed, and even one we didn’t really know.
Suffice to say that the version of “Point Blank” with which the Imposters and I opened the evening, as well as my heartfelt but vocally fatigued solo rendition of “Brilliant Disguise,” are two of my favorite Springsteen songs. Sadly, neither could be accommodated in the final edit.
I am sorrier still that Nils Lofgren’s wonderful performance of “Like Rain” – a song that I had loved since his days in Grin – could not be placed in the narrative either. I hope it emerges one day. Nils’ contribution to preparations for the evening’s collaboration between the Imposters and he and his E-Street Band colleague Roy Bitten was invaluable.
Five weeks or so after the taping, I found myself back in New York, just as Bruce and the E-Street Band were playing a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden.
It was among the shows in which entire albums were performed, and I was delighted to find that Bruce was performing what is still my favorite of all his records, The Wild, The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle, from which he had performed “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” on SPECTACLE.
I’ve spent a lot of time with this album, and it was remarkable to hear it re-animated in every detail with such nuance and vitality. It was stranger still to find myself walking out to sing Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” during the show’s finale.
But then it occurs to me that during the SPECTACLE encounter Bruce and I found ourselves talking about other artists and their music as much as our own experiences.
In some cases this was a departure from those previous occasions when we had shared the stage. So here are some songs that you might enjoy by those very artists.
The bands Rolling Stone review and write about are predominantly men, except for the obligatory cover stories on pop starlets showing their tits. Rock radio almost entirely turns its back on female singers. And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame typically inducts only men. Rock and Roll is a sexist world. And gays love…