With "Born in the U.S.A." Springsteen is entering into a dialogue with the American public, asking them about Vietnam, "Is this what you want our country to be associated with? Is this really the America we live in? Can we do better?"
Springsteen investigates in detail, through his music, the idea of "the American Dream." To be more precise, though, Springsteen looks hard at the idea of socioeconomic mobility often associated with the American Dream.
In Tim Tebow, I trust. Indeed, you might even call me a Jew For Tebow. Having been born in New York City myself, I feel it is my honor and duty to possibly welcome Tim to his new home town: New York City resident.
Three months ago I couldn't have told you the difference between Bruce Springsteen and Rick Springfield. If asked back in August what my favorite music was, I would have answered with some version of punk.
When I think about Bruce, I think about Bob. Please don't cringe -- I promise this isn't a flashback to the first days of Bruce Springsteen and the inescapable comparison to Bob Dylan. Bob is my dad's first cousin.
Like Dylan, Springsteen masterfully channels negativity and despair into a grand series of musical vignettes, demonstrating his mastery of crafting desolation into an opportunity of musical and emotional enlightenment.
Here is the raison d'etre of this blog: call and response. A central element of African American cultural traditions, "call and response" is both a form of democratic pedagogy and a way of tapping into what educational theorists call "multiple intelligences."
Bruce Springsteen doesn't just talk a good game. Here, then, are some of my very favorite songs from the most beloved Boss in America, and perhaps the most authentic and admirable spokesman for our times.
"I wrote a song about my high school girlfriend who broke my heart and have been milking it ever since. The irony of it is, it's the very first song I ever wrote and it's the song that's pinned on my back, kind of like 'kick me.'"
Wrecking Ball stands as Springsteen's best album release in almost thirty years. It's both wrenching and jubilant; looking back and looking forward; steeped in sorrow as well as celebratory and undaunted.