I Drank Cheap Beer And Heard All These Great Local Bands During My Misspent Youth

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High Hopes–Met And Exceeded!

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Local columnist for the Post-Standard Sean Kirst (and a Bruce fan), once wrote a column about the best one-night rock show ever in Syracuse. He picked a 1957 rock and roll caravan, where up to 10 groups traveled together and each played 3-4 of their hits. These caravans were a big thing in the 50’s and 60’d–a musical revue with girl groups, soul, rockabilly and crooners all sharing the bill.

The May 13th performance of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in Albany, NY reminded me of this style of show. The difference of course is that Bruce & the E Streeters were the only band–and the music may have been even more diverse.

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High Hopes

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I’ve lived with the new Springsteen album for about a week, while recuperating at home from an illness. In fact, my illness prevented me from going out and picking up the record on opening day. Many thanks to my brother-in-law for picking it up during the first week–and helping Bruce to his 11th #1 rated Billboard album.

This is an interesting and difficult record–more of a Bruce buffet than a classic Springsteen epic–an “odds and sods” collection of cover songs, studio versions of familiar songs from E Street Band live performances and a final letting go of some songs that missed the cut for prior albums (especially the Rising.) This album calls Bruce fans’ bluff: were we serious when we said that we wished Bruce put out more material or are we willing to wait for albums only after painstaking production and careful sequencing that results in good songs being left on the cutting room floor?

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2014 Rock Hall of Fame–The Also Rans

This year, in an attempt to give some transparency to the voting process, the Hall set up an online fan poll as a way for fans to vote for their favorites. Of course, the process wasn’t real. Fans could only vote for the 16 acts that had been pre-chosen by the mystical forces of the Hall. Vote totals also didn’t guarantee induction–just ask Deep Purple and Yes, the third and fourth highest vote getters in the poll. It’s all a crap shoot. And I, for one, like it this way. More stuff to debate whilst listening to good tunes.

The Hall selected 16 acts to be on this year’s ballot. One more time and I’ll move on: “Hey Rock Hall–J. Geils Band and Warren Zevon. Just sayin’!”

10 did not get selected. Here’s how I feel about the one’s left behind:

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Class of 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

OK–the best part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction process is arguing about the decisions–pro and con. It’s like the sabermetric guys going ballistic over ballplayers inducted (and not inducted) into Cooperstown–except with rock stars! On this post, I’ll limit myself to the decisions on the 6 that made it into the Hall. The next post will be on the 10 that were snubbed. Oh–but one note on a band not nominated. J. Geils Band, dudes! C’mon!!!

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