Should’ve Been Done Long Ago: “Ohio” Part 4

Neil Young, New York 1970 photo by Joel Bernstein This is the fourth and final post of our initial discussion of Neil Young’s “Ohio.” Here are the first, second, and third posts. I know, I know. On the fourth post on Neil Young’s “Ohio,” you’re thinking that I should have … → read more

Springsteen Pays Tribute to Victor Jara

Bruce Springsteen performed a tribute to the late singer-songwriter Victor Jara on September 12 in Chile. The performance was part of the Wrecking Ball tour, and fell coincidentally on the 40th anniversary of the Chilean military coup which led to Jara’s death. To honor Jara, Springsteen played a cover of … → read more

Lament(s) for the Late A.D. — American Skin, pt. 3

This is the third post in a series on Bruce Springsteen’s “American Skin (41 Shots)” and related songs. Read the first post here, and the second one here. “We don’t want to bring our politics to ya…” Remember that quote from Sam Cooke on our post about Bob Dylan’s voice? … → read more

Fingerprints on your imagination – American Skin, pt. 2

We decided to extend the discussion of Bruce Springsteen‘s “American Skin (41 Shots)” into two weeks. As a coincidence, we launch this post on The Boss’s 64th birthday–a celebration, of sorts, of his extraordinary body of work, developing many of the themes we discuss here week to week. Introduction I … → read more


“Cain and Abel,” by Titian When I wrote last year about Jesus and the murder ballad, I thought I would finish that week by looking back to other Biblical stories that also provided symbols for music in this genre.  I now remember why I didn’t do it then.  There’s too … → read more

A good man is hard to find (and so is a good woman)

Hell’s Half-Acre, a small badland in Wyoming (Note: This is the third post about Bruce Springsteen’s song “Nebraska.” The first post explored the song’s relationship to the case of spree killers Charlie Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate. The second post placed the Starkweather-Fugate story, and thus the song, in the … → read more

Badlands and bad seeds

In a previous post on Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” (the song, not the album), we saw how The Boss ripped the song from the headlines, chronicling the murder spree, conviction, and pending execution of the killer Charlie Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate. But, actually, that’s not quite so. Some … → read more


Bruce Springsteen and Columbia Records announced today that they will release “‘Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band Live in Dublin” on June 5 as a concert DVD and a separate two-CD set release. The two-CD set and DVD will feature 23 songs recorded during shows that the gave at The … → read more