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always try to drink a blackberry wine

November 19th, 2012 by kevin

louisville saved my life.

it’s hard to believe a vacation involving this guy could save one’s life …



but this trip had everything …


flowers …


records …


leaves …


young love …


retards …


fuck monkeys … (seriously, this was written in the concrete in front of the highlands tap room where two summers ago we witnessed the fuck monkeys become the world’s greatest american barroom rock-n-roll band (vol. 1) at 4am. i shit when i saw this. the highlands taproom stands on hallowed ground.)


bruce … (bruce turned my corner for me. i was alone, in a particularly geriatric section of the yum! center in downtown louisville, and i was uptight for a spell. but bruce … bruce did what bruce does. by the third song, hungry heart, bruce was crowd surfing. three hours later, i was rocked to my loving core. thanks, yet again, boss. you’re doing real work out there, everyday. making rock and roll kids remember they’re rock and roll kids. good on ya, mate.)


noel at the palace theatre … (even though the show was incorrectly billed [noel was not a co-headliner, but an opening act for snow patrol. re-read that. noel gallagher opened up for snow patrol. that being said, noel was beautifully amazing. tight, fantastic set. his version of wonderwall LEVELED the place. and we left after his set and went to cumberland brews and had a late night meal and beers and got on just swimmingly. but another 45 minutes of noel woulda been fan fucking tastic. poor, poor, promotion folks. great, great set, however, noel.)



assorted rock stars …


food in old firehouses …


food in old churches …


beer angels …


black jesus …


white jesus …


lefty’s on clearance …


presidential balls …


babe’s bat … (notice the notches around the louisville slugger logo. he carved one of those everytime he hit a home run.)


that’s a giant at number one …


and another …


world series champion bats … (and congrats on that mvp, buster.)


shoeless joe vs. the black crowes …


still life …


the kid …


sticks …


free public …


super fruits …


ah …

cheers cp and katty and dewey and bruce and noel and that fucking doll face at the cedar door.

i needed that.

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boo boo

October 31st, 2012 by kevin

i wanted to be fozzie bear this halloween.

stay in character. walk around telling hacky jokes all night. wakka wakka wakka!

no such luck though. tis the season for endless job applications and paper grading, etc.

fun is in short supply these days … but, in the words of the immortal artie lange, “WAH!!!”

fun, however, gets a jump start this weekend.


saturday: little band from new jersey called bruce springsteen and the e street band.

sunday: little band from manchester called noel gallagher’s high flying birds.

i. can’t. wait.

louisville: hide your sheep.


here’s my lefty pumpkin.


and here’s lefty.


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i went out for a ride and i never went back

October 13th, 2012 by kevin

band’s been on a bit of a restructuring hiatus lately. jimmy left to focus on his family and work and what not.

e, d, and i are still pressing on, but finding where to go without jimmy isn’t really the easiest of decisions. we were a four piece band. played a lot of shows like that. lotta time. things just start to sound the way they sound like the sky is blue. sometimes that creates its own challenges over time, but it just becomes who you are. jimmy made a lot of amazing sound in that band and it’s really strange to think about moving forward without him.

but … we’ve got some ideas. and while it won’t be the same, it’ll be kind of fun to figure it out. it’s about the journey and all that. so they say …

and while we sort it all out, schmitty brings it solo to the good people of baton rouge with our friend clay parker up at garden district coffee.


nice night. chicago mel in town. rode bikes up to the gig. got our coffees warmed up nice by the owner. candlelight and great music and close friends.

sitting there last night started to open up some emotions about leaving here. the time is coming. the hell that is preparing these job materials and applying for these jobs kind of overwhelms the reality that another chapter is drawing to a close.

i’m home here now. not that i’m thrilled about everything baton rouge has to offer on a day to day basis. not that i’m not excited to dream about the next chapter. where i’ll end up. the possibility of having a few extra dollars at the end of every month. new places. new faces. all that.

but riding up to listen to a friend play music at a friend’s coffee shop with a friend and walking in and knowing that you’ll know a few other people in the room really well is a comforting feeling.

today, too. watching the geaux tigers game over at schmitty’s on the couch. schmitty and dave getting drunk and being cynical about the game. the grandbouche family hanging out joking about the overwhelming seriousness of it all. everybody enjoying themselves. lindsey cranking out great food. lefty and weezie laying on the back of the couch. just another thing that you find you’re going to miss. those things it’s hard not to take for granted when they’re happening.

just kind of. i don’t know. makes you sad. time passing. chapters winding down. futures uncertain.

but at least there’s baseball. and i’m finally getting over this fucking illness i’ve had all week. and life is funny. you never do know.

geaux giants.

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hell broke luce

September 11th, 2012 by kevin

it’s easy tell when fall is teasing us down here, because lefty refuses to get out of bed in the morning.

one day, he just flexes his profound stubbornness that says, ‘fuck you, man. it’s warm here. you get up. i’ll get up when you bust out the food.’

needless to say, all living things are blissed out in south east louisiana the last three days. august and september are soul killers here, particularly post-hurricane, when the sweat, swass, and bugs are over the fucking top. general misery pervades.

speaking of misery, how bout that presidential election?

i don’t know how facebook will survive this election cycle. if Facebook was ever becoming an intolerable landscape full of self-righteous blathering before, politics seems to kick it into overdrive.

i’m in a weird position with facebook that a lot of people i’ve talked to have shown similar sympathy for. i hate it. and because i hate it, i turned off all email notifications so i wouldn’t continually get alerted whenever some mass non-story i was tagged to gets 100 comments. but then i never checked the actual site, and someone sent me a message about something they wanted me to meet them at, and i missed it because i never check the fucking site. so now it’s like there’s no point at all to being on it. yet, it’s sort of like the new email. like there are a bunch of people that i’m glad i can reach out to on facebook if i ever needed to because that’s the only way i have to get ahold of them. it’s a quandary, liz lemon. a quandary …

so i’ve been checking it every few days lately so i don’t miss anything ‘important’ and i catch glimpses of what i hate about it so much. i guess it makes people feel better to get on there and vent their hatred at the other half of the country. no debate. one sided rants. there’s such an, ‘oh yeah, take that!’ tone to it. makes me nuts … i quess you could make the same argument about a blog, and i suppose it’s theoretically just another web 2.0 outlet for expression (which sounds so innocent, doesn’t it?). but i don’t know. i feel like i get to say what i think here, and who cares? no ads. no popularity contest. just one guy’s thoughts. take it or leave it. there’s an unnatural performative element on facebook that i personally find unnerving and somewhat negative. and i think there’s something about the format of the site – the forced homogenization – that stifles real critical thought and engagement. if you’re not there to get laid or to share your baby pictures with grandma, i really don’t get it. on the subject, check this cartoon out.

maybe you’ve all seen that one 1000 times on facebook, but it was new to me. amusing ourselves to death. hmm …

speaking of amusing ourselves to death and the presidential election cycle, here’s the best song/video i’ve seen in a decade. $2 billion a week in iraq and afghanistan. hmm …

tom waits. hell broke luce.

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dead birds

July 28th, 2012 by kevin

been doing more reading and note taking than proper dissertation writing the last few days. sometimes you fall down these theory holes. it can be, you know, ‘fun’ at times. not fun like actual, human fun, but, you know, enjoyable. invigorating (on a good day). and i feel like i should have fallen down a few hundred more by now, as the more i discover, the more i realize i don’t know much about all this stuff. this job becomes more and more humbling every day.

but anyway, fell into a hole dug by georges bataille yesterday. i know little to nothing about this guy, really. philosopher, poet, wrote some erotica. got involved with the surrealists for a spell. sexy name. another fab frenchie …

i found him in a derrida essay called “from restricted to general economy.” it’s derrida reading bataille reading hegel. and i should probably be reading batman cartoons, but i digress …

i thought this passage was pretty lovely. (and “Negativity” here doesn’t mean bad vibes or being a negative asshole … it’s more like, in a dialectical argument, say, something like, i don’t know, let’s say you have two political beliefs, one old and outdated and one new and innovative, and they enter into an argument, and the new one “defeats” the old one, meaning it becomes accepted or whatever and renders the other obsolete. that’s the negative functioning of the dialectic, meaning you only move forward by negating the other side. that’s a crude as hell depiction, but, anyway) the passage:

“The privileged manifestation of Negativity is death, but death, in truth, reveals nothing. In principle, death reveals to Man his natural, animal being but the revelation never takes place. For once the animal being that has supported him is dead, the human being himself has ceased to exist. For man finally to be revealed to himself he would have to die, but he would have to do so while living – while watching himself cease to be. In other words, death itself would have to become (self) consciousness at the very moment when it annihilates conscious being. In a sense this is what takes place (or at least is on the point of taking place, or which takes place in a fugitive, ungraspable manner) by means of a subterfuge. In sacrifice, the sacrificed identifies with the animal struck by death. Thus he dies while watching himself die, and even, after a fashion, dies of his own volition, as one with the sacrificial arm. But this is a comedy! Or at least it would be a comedy if there were some other method of revealing the encroachment of death upon the living; this completion of the finite being, which alone accomplishes and can alone accomplish his Negativity which kills him, finishes, him and definitely suppresses him …Thus it is necessary, at any cost, for man to live at the moment when he truly dies, or it is necessary for him to live with the impression of truly dying. This difficulty foreshadows the necessity of spectacle, or generally of representation, without the repetition of which we could remain foreign to and ignorant of death, as animals apparently remain. In effect, nothing is less animal than the fiction, more or less removed from reality, of death.”

sometimes the theoretical claims bleed over into art. those are the good moments 🙂

on to other deaths:

i just bathed lefty at 11 pm because he rolled in a DEAD BIRD on our nightly walk. he was rolling away, just having at it. i called, he looked up and then kept rolling. when that happens, he’s found something particularly vile to roll in. this time … dead bird.

so i remembered tonight, too, that i had found this old shower head in my garage recently that i had brought over from the old house. it’s one of those models where you can take the shower head in your hand and move it around. i never really understood the point of those things, beyond some kind of kinky shower play, maybe, but it turned out to be fantastic for washing the dog.

for the last three years i’ve been using a big tupperware container and just dumping it … repeatedly … over lefty come bath time. and lefty has so much fur and undercoat fur and more fur and he’s short and i’m bending over the tub and you never could get him we enough to lather up and then you could never get all the soap out of him. it was horrible. we both hated it.

for some reason, when i got to the new house (three years ago now), i thought i would need to turn off the water to the house to change the shower head (?) i know … i don’t know what i was thinking. and i knew how to do that at the old house but i’ve never found the shutoff here, so i just forgot all about the shower head project. i mean, i of course remembered every time it came time to wash the dog, but, you know, the drive to take action had kind of passed.

but when i went to l.a. to see murph earlier this month, she had replaced her shower head all by herself. i asked her, ‘murph, did you have to turn off the water to the house to do that?’ she was like, ‘what? no, i just changed it.’

a ha!

if murph can change her own shower head …

i changed the shower head. i even found thread tape in my tool box.

washing the dog was soooooooo much less awful.

clean and fresh.

both of us.

thanks, murph.

another night of washing the death away …

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we’re trying to have a civilization here

July 24th, 2012 by kevin

four seconds of seinfeld to set this up. i think this was in response to george telling jerry he wanted to figure out a way to have sex and eat at the same time:

for me, part of what it means to live in a civilized society is for citizens to not need to possess the means to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. this is where i deviate from some of my dear friends on the issue of guns. i start from this premise: the notion of civilized society for me is one where i do not need to possess the means to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. i believe we have evolved to this point, much in the same way we don’t keep slaves or make women wrap their heads in scarves when they leave the house. this is a positive effect of civilization.

in america, the average person’s possessions don’t include very many means to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. think about it like this: i own a car, as do most americans. i could, theoretically, kill thousands of people with my car. it would be tricky, but i could do it. for example, if i could somehow get my car onto the jazz fest grounds when the springsteen show was letting out, i could run over a shit load of people, killing many of them, until enough legs and and bones and hair and flesh got caught up in my wheel wells and caked around my axles like wet red, clumpy mud to ultimately grind my car to a halt. if i had a big truck with high clearance, i could do a lot more damage. i could kill thousands of people with my car if i really wanted to.

but i could also drive my car to work, and to school, and to the grocery store, and right past churches. i can put a canoe on top of my car, or my bike, and go somewhere and float/ride around. i could take a girl into the back seat and make out with her. i could fill the trunk with dirt and go home and plant a garden. there are literally thousands of things i have the freedom to do with my car in addition to killing thousands of people with it.

but, really, outside of your car, what else does the average person own that you could, theoretically, kill thousands of people with? your mower? tractor? weed wacker? some kitchen knives? baseball bats? your ax? shit … even your chainsaw is not going to do much for you. you could kill people with any of those things, for sure (i’m reminded of george carlin famously saying that you could beat a guy to death with the sunday new york times if you really wanted to), but it wouldn’t be efficient at all. you could kill so many more people with your car than with any of the stuff the average person owns in their house or garage.

but what about guns? a lot of people own guns. by most estimates, there are enough guns in this country to arm 90 out of every 100 americans (that’s man, woman, and child). there’s guns all over the place.

so let’s say you own a shotgun. what can you do with it? well, you could shoot animals, either for sport or for food or in self-defense. you could shoot people, too. for self-defense, most likely, but you could also shoot them for sport or for food, i suppose. the shotgun gives you the freedom to kill animals for sport or for food or in self-defense and the occasional person or two for the same reasons. but you couldn’t really kill a high volume of people with a shotgun unless they were well contained. you only get a few shots and then you have to reload, and that takes time. people run away. or hit you over the head with something while you’re reloading.

same thing goes with a pistol. you could shoot animals with a pistol, i guess, but it’s more likely that you keep it in your house in the event some asshole tries to break in and hurt you. you could then shoot that person. (of course, statistically speaking, it’s much more likely that your two-year-old will accidentally shoot himself in the head with your handgun than you will defend your home against invaders with it, but those statistics are also the result of people being incredibly stupid. if you’re not an idiot, you can have a handgun in your home for protection and have it be next to impossible that anyone other then you could accidentally take possession of the gun.) and you can use the handgun to kill people, sure, but you couldn’t really kill a large, large number of people with a pistol for the same reason as with the shotgun. you have to reload. and you have to actually be a pretty good shot with a pistol to kill people with it, and be pretty close to them to boot.

arguably, you’d have better luck killing lots and lots of people with your car than with either a pistol or a shotgun. even though a car does thousands of things in addition to killing people, and shotguns and handguns are designed only to kill people and animals and can do nothing else, a car is still a much more efficient means of killing many human beings than a pistol or a shotgun – if used correctly.

what about assault weapons, then? well, far fewer people own assault weapons than cars and pistols and handguns, for starters. you don’t hunt with an assault weapon, i don’t think. some asshole somewhere probably does, but all the hunters i know would tell anyone hunting with an assault weapon to go fuck themselves (if, of course, that person was not holding the assault weapon at the time). and, again, i guess you could use an assault weapon to kill a home intruder, much in the same way you could use an eighteen pound sledge hammer to kill a fly or water your begonias with a fire hose. you could do it that way … it just seems like the wrong tool for the job. inefficient.

what assault weapons are designed for, primarily, is to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. there is a reason the marines don’t go into battle with shotguns and pistols. they’re not hunting or defending their apartments. they’re trying to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. they use the right tool for the job.

and the assault rifle is really a hell of a tool for the person who wants to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. if you own an assault weapon and three thousand rounds that can shoot 60 rounds a minute, ideally, theoretically, you could kill 60 people a minute. think of it like a trick pool shot: you line up 60 people of roughly the same height and put them shoulder to shoulder in a circle and stand in the middle of it with the assault rifle. with a little practice, the “minnesota fats of assault rifles” could get to the point where he could drop all of them in one go. i’m certain of it. it’d be a hell of a trick, no doubt. that kind of ability would put you high in the running for the million dollar prize on america’s got talent. but it could be done. i’ve seen some pool shots on espn that i thought were impossible when they were described, but people always knock them down. it’s easy to forget that there really are a lot of skilled, talented and determined people out there.

now, of course, outside the vacuum of the lab, killing 60 people a minute would never happen. in the field, you’d never really be able to kill 60 people a minute with an assault rifle, no matter what the manufacturer promises. it’s like the gas mileage sticker on a new car … it’s an idealized estimation. under perfect driving conditions, you can get 27 mpg highway. but as well all know, in the real world, there are no perfect driving conditions. so you’re never gonna enjoy that kind of idealized production from your assault rifle out in the field. now, perhaps if you’re in a room full of deaf people you’d fare a bit better, maybe, because it’s the sound that scares people, typically. people hear shooting and they start going ape shit and running all over the place. now you’ve got moving targets. your mpg starts falling like you’re driving 95 into a headwind at that point. less than perfect conditions.

so, basically, what we’ve got here are two options for the person who wants to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible: your car or an assault weapon. a car is good; we’ve discussed you could do a lot with a car. but it’s got it’s limitations. first of all, you can’t get indoors as easily with a car. and inside is typically where you want to be, ideally, if you want to kill as many people as possible: walls keep people from running away. much more containment inside than in an open field, for example. you can’t get your car into a movie theatre or an office building or a school or church that easily, and in some cases, it’s just impossible. you could carry an assault weapon just about anywhere, however. the beach, work, the 30th floor of the skyscraper downtown, a christian rock festival, your church. as long as the place you want to go doesn’t have metal detectors, you’re free to pretty much open fire wherever you want. you have a freedom with an assault rifle that you just don’t have with a car.

so basically, for the average person, of the two most readily available options for efficiently killing as many human beings as possible, the one that provides the most freedom and flexibility is the assault weapon. it doesn’t have the same breadth of uses as the car, of course. you can’t take your wife out to dinner in an assault weapon, or take your family up to the mountains in an assault weapon, or give your neighbor a ride to the doctor’s office in an assault weapon. but if you had to choose one of the two readily available options for efficiently killing as many human beings as possible, i think the rational choice is the assault weapon, if only for the freedom it provides you to use it in a diversity of contexts.

but, going back to my beginning premise, i guess all this troubles me.

for me, living in a civilized society means that i do not have a reason to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. i think living in a civilized society means saying, ‘hey, friends, neighbors, countrymen … i believe in us as a community bound together by similar beliefs in freedom, civility, and justice enough that i will not seek out the means to efficiently kill as many of you as possible.’ as part of the contract of living in a civilized society, i offer this as my end of the bargain.

therefore, i do not see owning machinery designed with the singular utilitarian purpose to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible as a right. now, i am not about to say i’m not going to reserve my right to keep a shotgun in the closet just in case some asshole decides to come in and try to rape my wife or steal my kids. that kind of personal responsibility helps keep each other in check. i believe in that sincerely.

but i don’t see my inability to own machinery designed with the singular utilitarian purpose to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible as something that has been denied or foresaken me. i, instead, willingly surrender this right as a duty. i offer this to my as a symbolic gesture that says, ‘i, as a citizen in this civilized society, do not believe it is necessary for the betterment of my community that i should possess the means to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible.’ and i am grateful that i live in a society where i do not see this as necessary.

and as for the apocalypse, and the coming social breakdown, and fighting in the streets, and the uprising against the government, and all the other reasons for why citizens need to amass these means of efficiently killing as many people as possible … i don’t know. i have a hard time taking this argument seriously. and even if that sad, tragic day comes when everything we know about civilization collapses and we are left fighting for our lives in the streets, there are still going to be many more mass killings happening in the meantime that have nothing to do with the ‘fear the government’ militia argument. and what if that day of armageddon or apocalypse or social decay doesn’t ever come, and we’re praying for the worst for no reason? i don’t know.

and as for the argument that asks, ‘what if criminals were the only one who could get assault rifles?’ how can you really use an assault rifle in the way it was intended without committing a criminal act? i mean, sure, you can collect them and take them to the range and what not. but to really use them as intended, as an efficient means to kill as many human beings as possible, is to commit a criminal act (unless, of course, you’re a member of an army, when it’s legal to kill as many human beings as possible). so that argument is fuzzy for me, too.

i’m not offering a solution. i’m not providing an answer or suggesting a ban or a law or any specific change in policy. quite frankly, i think it’s too late for anything to be done on the gun front even if it would work. if tomorrow they never allowed anyone to buy another assault rifle, assault rifles are already out there en masse. they don’t spoil. they’ll be around for a good long while.

the cake is set. and we, as a nation, are a community that is heavily armed and always will be. and some of us sincerely believe it is the right of every american to possess the means to efficiently kill as many human beings as possible. in other words, every citizen can own as many cars and assault weapons as he or she can afford. personally, i understand the reason for the car. it’s an effective killing machine, for sure. but it does so much more. i have a harder time understanding the social need for assault weapons.

but i don’t pretend to have an answer. i simply believe a more rational – and much less ideological and religious – discussion could take place on all sides about how our present reality – that every citizen can own as many assault weapons as he or she can afford – impacts what it means to our efforts to try to have a civilization.

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dog days

July 9th, 2012 by kevin

vintage geaux tigers shirt, with murph wall art, in front of deco blue hair salon. silverlake, 2012.


geaux 4th of july wall art.


geaux lions


geaux flaming lips! this picture is putrid, but in the midst of it are the flaming lips playing at the varsity in baton rouge in late june. they were attempting to break a record by playing 8 shows in a 24 hour period and traveling by bus. baton rouge was the second to last stop followed by new orleans. the givers opened up, from lafayette, and then the lips arrived, making their way one at a time through the crowd to the stage. they had two sets of equipment that leapfrogged them along the tour, but they still all came in carrying gear. michael first. then kliph. then stephen. then wayne. wayne wasn’t carrying anything, because he was wearing furry mittens and was being followed by a film crew. they played three songs (two and a half, really). a sabbath cover, a new song called ‘i’m working at nasa on acid,’ and the first verst of race for the prize. then they booked it. kinda weird, but hey, it’s the lips. not bad for a thursday afternoon for $20. they broke the record, too.


geaux garden. thanks to chicago for the plant infusion from, well, chicago. and thanks hooch for the bucket tips. i’ve got a fleet of buckets going now, growing peppers, tomatoes, and okra. if i ever go to prison, i will know how to grow fresh produce, which would be extremely valuable on the cigarette and narcotics market.


geaux summer. probably the last year for the $40 pool. you spend more time cleaning shit out of the pool than you do actually relaxing in it, but it hits the spot a few times a summer in a big way.


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the first time ever i saw your face

June 1st, 2012 by kevin

the lips are at it again. this time with my homegirl erykah badu on vox and her bold ass, bare ass, hot ass sister, nayrok on WOW!

erotic, provocative, beautiful, strange …


thanks again, wayne and co. every few months, y’all remind us to keep on keepin’ on.

life is erotic, provocative, beautiful, strange, perfect …

and fun.

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NOLA, part II

May 19th, 2012 by kevin


between the end of the semester grading/administrative horse shit and trying to get this dissertation happening and will burke setting the town on fire before he left, i was so wore the fuck out yesterday. fell asleep through all of the second half of the celts/sixers game last night (what happened?) and the first half of the lakers/OKC game (fucking lakers …) and then slept for nine hours once i hit the bed.


soul tired.

feeling much, much better today.

and thank god willie burke left town before someone got arrested. or someone killed willie burke.


so jazz fest was a few weeks ago now, but …

we went on saturday, me and murph and chicago and nunes. had a pretty normal jazz fest day.

ate some african beef in a pita with couscous and yogurt, saw some great ragtime at the economy hall tent and the carolina chocolate drops at the fais do do stage and listened to a little cee lo green (great band) and saw the great tom petty and the heartbreakers.

we had to fight the jazz fest horde to see tommy, but that band smokes. mike campbell was on fire. deep cuts all night, including one tom introduced as one he had “a particular fondness for,” which is also one of my favorites called, ‘have love, will travel’ from the album the last dj. kind of a track buried in the depth of the whole catalogue, but it’s a gem.

“how about a cheer for all those bad girls!
and all those boys that play that rock’n’roll!
they love it like you love jesus
it does the same thing to their souls”

here it is:

saturday night murph and i had a great time in the city, riding bikes around with nunes and chicago (although the nola streets killed my flying pigeon bike, a bicycle in name only, apparently), drinking in an irish bar in the quarter listening to a pretty good shitty cover band. good stuff.

sunday … bruuuuuuuuuuuuce!

so i was on a mission on sunday, and god bless murph, she was down to be on it with me.

we walk in about 2 pm, head directly to the stage area, and there’s space everywhere. seriously, the sidewalk that was a parking lot the day before for petty was empty at this moment. i say to murph, ‘this is our opportunity! if we stand right there, and don’t move for five hours, this is where we’ll see bruce springsteen.’ murph says, ‘let’s do it.’


we had three bottles of water and we hunkered down. watched dr. john’s funky strangely weird set. then endured the horrible 45 minutes of people shoving and trampling and getting ready for bruce.

and then … bruce!

“Badlands,” Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978

i’m already crying here. seriously, they opened with badlands. 130 thousand people instantly singing, ‘you gotta live it everyday, let the broken hearts stand as the price you gotta pay!’ wow.

“We Take Care of Our Own,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

the new shit rocked. the new record is awesome. i had no idea how political bruce had gotten in the last decade. i mean, you hear the records, and it’s all there. but live … he’s testifying. he’s pissed. he’s bad fucking ass. still looks amazing. maybe not 1975 limber, but still a fucking stud. and his voice is FOR SURE better than ever. guy brings it soul power style on every word. listen up kids. this is how you do it. this set was tailored to the nola crowd, too. this one kicked it off: ‘from the shotgun shacks to the superdome!’

“Wrecking Ball,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

again, the new record is incredible. anybody pitching a tent on wall street that doesn’t know this record front and back doesn’t know which way the wind is blowing. bruce has an audience, and they don’t all agree with him (more on that in a second), but he is getting the message out there with balls and compassion and guts. this song just moved the shit out of me. again, 130 thousand people … ‘come on and take your best shot, lemme see what you got, bring on your wrecking ball!’ i’m getting chills typing this, still. one of those moments …

“Out in the Street,” The River, 1980

the e street band, man. horns. swagger. fuck …

“Death to My Hometown,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

another new political, irish tinged march. sounded like a weapon. full grown band, man …

“My City of Ruins,” The Rising, 2002

another poignant nola number. call back to the post-katrina show, a show no less that 6 people, real music fans who’ve seen a million shows, have told me was by far the greatest music experience they’ve ever seen. this might have been when bruce said something to the effect of, ‘times are hard, now’s not the time to cut services to those who need them most,’ and the rednecks in front on me almost had their heads explode. seriously, grumbling and scuffling and bitching. southerners are funny … they all profess to love jesus, but don’t like the idea of services for the poor. i tend to think that jesus wasn’t anything more than someone like bruce in his time. probably a charismatic guy standing up for the little man. nothing more, nothing less. bruce surely has a better band, though.

“How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live,” We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006

the rednecks are now completely baffled, but the band is so good they’re coming around to this horns driven anthem … the power of music. man. too good to walk away, so they’re listening. cause bruce ain’t yelling at them or talking down to them. he’s saying his peace and having a great fucking time doing it. working his fucking ass off. rhetorical strategies, people … they’re important.

“Jack of All Trades,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

telling you, these new tunes hold up. another mournful nod to the working class, with just enough hope to still be the boss.

“Something You Got” (originally by Chris Kenner; Dr. John joined the stage for this)

this was fascinating. dr. john comes up, bruce says something like, ‘i first met this guy in the early 70s, back in his gris gris period, and he scared the shit out of me.’ dr. john says something to bruce like, ‘what you want me to play?’ he starts something, one of those slow, weird, funky dr. john piano riffs, the band slowly creeps in. obviously, this is completely off the cuff. max’s eyes are glued to dr. john the whole time watching for changes and stops. they get rolling. little steven doesn’t play a note, but he starts to walk off toward the horns and compose, on the fly, with hand signals, a horn arrangement that the horns fall right into. bruce starts doing the same to the background singers. you could see him making big, exaggerated, “oooh!’ faces to them that they start following. by the third verse, the whole band is locked in. on the fly. in front of 130K. fucking. amazing.

“O Mary Don’t You Weep,” We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006

the seeger tunes just kicked ass, all of em. this is the tour he was on after katrina, so there seemed to be a little extra connection with these tunes and the crowd.

“Prove It All Night,” Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978

fucking classic.

“Johnny 99,” Nebraska, 1982


“Waitin’ on a Sunny Day,” The Rising, 2002

by this time, i’m finally realizing i’m at an e street band show. i get why everyone, since i was ten years old, has been saying, ‘you gotta fucking see this guy live!’

“The Promised Land,” Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978

more classic.

“The Rising,” The Rising, 2002

i always found this tune incredibly moving. so haunting and violent. chills, tears.

“Lonesome Day,” The Rising, 2002

at this point my eyes are rolling back in my head.

“We Are Alive,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

the boss in the audience. the boss pretty close to us. look! there’s the boss!

“Land of Hope and Dreams,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

whores and gamblers.

“Pay Me My Money Down,” We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006

sing sing sing along sing sing along

“Born to Run,” Born to Run, 1975

crying like a baby, here. seriously, one of my all time favorites. arguably the greatest rock and roll song ever written.

“Dancin’ in the Dark,” Born in the U.S.A., 1984

everyone’s dancing, even the old woman behind us. when i say old, i’m saying 70s. up and rockin’ the whole show. dancing her ass off to this one.

“Rocky Ground/When the Saints Go Marching In,” Wrecking Ball, 2012

‘this one’s for you.’ beautiful tune from the new album that they took into this dark version of when the saints go marching in … bruce did this solo post katrina as his last song. this version had the band, a beautiful horn arrangement … so moving. they took it back into rocky ground and brought the house down.

“Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” Born to Run, 1975

with the house in pieces, they pull this fucker out. place is going nuts. one of the coolest points of the night, though, happened after the line (‘here comes the important part!’), ‘when the change was made uptown and the BIG MAN joined the band!’

the band stops playing, and bruce was just holding this sign to his chest that said, ‘new orleans loves clarence!’ probably a good minute silent screaming session from the audience. place went fucking nuts. i’m tearing up writing this. so heavy. then … snare hit … ‘from the coastline to the cities all the little pretties raise their hands!’ fucking incredible.

check this out (not a bad youtube vid, although the clarence part is at 2:00 if you wanna just …):

we walked out stunned. murph was such a trooper. hung in there the whole time. we had a blast! it was amazing.

we grabbed beers and smoked sausage on the walk to the car. just took it all in.

i’m still blissed out, i realize.

the only thing i took from this show was that i need to see the e street band as many times as i can from here on out. they’re playing in philly around my b-day.

hmm …


we were close!




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May 11th, 2012 by kevin

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