Western Stars: a film by Bruce Springsteen

Okay, full disclosure: I’m not really a Bruuuuuce fan. Yes, like every other Springsteen not-actually-a-fan fan, I have a handful of tracks that I trot out every year or so when I’m taking a long drive, working through daddy issues, or collapsing under the strain of bein’ a hard workin’ man.

Springsteen’s nineteenth studio album is called Western Stars, and instead of touring it, he’s decided to make a concert reel to promote it. It was showing at our local multiplex, so my smarter half (a Bruce fan from years back) dragged me along to see the great man perform the album live, in his shed. Well, I say ‘shed’, but it’s actually a barn, and when I say ‘barn’ it’s actually big enough to hold a band, an orchestra, a bar, all his mates, and a film crew … Anyway, the seats in our local picture house recline, so at the very least I was expecting a decent nap. I was also expecting about ninety minutes of self-indulgent rambling interspersed with a few songs about travelling long and dusty roads.

Well, I was wrong …

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Musical interlude: Wintergatan

A half-dozen of my friends sent this to me  within a few hours of each other. If you like music and you like clever mechanical puzzles then Wintergatan and the Marble Machine is well worth four minutes of your time. Amazing.

Band big-up: Future Islands

I don’t do band shoutouts that often, but I caught this lot on Jools Holland’s Hootenany (I think I’m saying that right), on New Year’s Eve. Possibly the best live performance I’ve seen all year (and I’ve seen Simple Minds and The Clash on the same night).

Not sure how to describe the lead singer’s performance. Er… mesmerising. Yes, let’s go with mesmerising.

Well worth a watch.