28 August 2008

Bad Scooter Searching for his Groove

Walking through Whole Foods today, a song comes on over the sound system.  A familiar intro, and that memorable horn part, and then "Tear drops on the city..."  

For the longest time, I not only didn't like Springsteen, I actively disliked his music.  It seemed cheesey, like something out of a bad '80's police movie, and "10th Avenue Freeze-Out" (the song mentioned above, for those not familiar) was no exception, although I think you could probably say that it also had a hand in changing that.  

In college, I took a course in the History of Rock and Roll as part of my music minor.  One of the optional proects was to audition for and play in one of the three bands formed from the class, playing a mix of music written by our classmates, and covers.  Myself and a two other gentlemen (one of whom is likely reading this) formed the horn section for one of the bands (well, horn/viola section.  "Let's Get It On" has a violin part.  Who knew?)  (What?)  Anyway, these covers proved to be a bone of contention.  We, the horn section, wanted to play something with an interesting part, like a ska cover.  Something fun.  The hipsters who comprised the rest of the band, formed before we were added, had already decided on a shortlist of covers to choose from.  Guess what, no ska.  What do we (they) end up choosing?  The aforementioned "Let's Get it On"*, and "10th avenue".  We didn't quite revolt, but let's just say things were a little testy for a while.  Funny thing, though:  I think it ended up being our most successful song.**  It sounded good, it ended up being decently fun to play, and the audience really seemed to enjoy it.  

The point that I'm getting at is that my dislike for Bruce Springsteen began to erode during that experience.  It took a couple years before he made it on to my playlist, but it was that experience that got me to stop rolling my eyes whenever I heard one of his songs.  

*Which we decided upon after our guitar player reproduced that crazy guitar effect perfectly while fuckin' around before practice.

**Ok, "Let's Get It On" was our most successful song, but that's just because the crowd (well, the guys at least) really enjoyed hearing our two female lead singers sing it together.

ps.  For some very interesting and over the top (way way WAY over the top) covers of Springsteen songs, check out an album called Darkness On The Edge of Your Town by Paul Baribeau and Ginger Alford.  


John said...

That class... four years ago, more than anything else put me on the path towards declaring a music major. The covers were fun, but I liked working with the original music, writing our own horn lines and turning songs that people in the class wrote into reality.

Up to that point music hadn't really been a creative process, only replicating a prescribed set of notes.

But yeah, those were good times. What was ridiculously long the name of the band?

Dennis said...

Woody Sunshine and the Electrifying Conclusion

iamthebrillo said...

I took that class too, my senior year. I loved it. Especially when the professor let me and my roommate give the lecture on heavy metal.

Andrew M said...

This post was a few years ago, but I just stumbled upon it today doing a google search for "Woody Sunshine and the Electrifying Conclusion."

This is Andrew, one of the drummers in Woody Sunshine. It was good to read this article although I do take exception to being referred to as a "hipster" (truth be told, I thought I wanted to be one at the time, but was far from it; And also, I figured you probably threw that term out rather flippantly, so no worries), but this was an interesting read.

I remembered you guys suggested the Bosstones song "So Sad to Say" which I grew to really enjoy quite quickly. At the time, however, it was a bit late in rehearsals. That and Dicky Barret's voice was a bit far removed from the female singers we had at the time. So yeah things were tense as you described, but things worked out in the end.

The concert was a total blast and I enjoyed rocking the cowbell next to you guys and trying to pick up your stage moves. And you were correct, Let's Get it On was the best received song of the night. I remember we got all the bands up to sing at the end.

Anyway, I'm not sure if you'll read this but I hope you are doing well. Which horn player was this? Dennis?

Dennis said...

Yeah, in retrospect my annoyance was really with the professor for waiting so late in the process to attach us to you guys. I understand that may be how it actually goes in that industry, but for the purposes of that class, it made us feel a little like employees, rather than part of the band. Fun project, though.

Andrew M said...

Hey, just a heads up, I synced Christian's audio to a video source someone in one of the earlier bands shot.