Because Bruce Springsteen

I’ve been listening almost exclusively to Bruce Springsteen since last Wednesday. Let me tell you about how this has come to pass.

So I was reading this thing over at Stereogum, “Edgy and Dull: 20 Covers of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire,’ Rated.” I’m pretty sure I saw it promoted on Facebook. I clicked on it because I’m a person who keeps a list of my favorite Springsteen covers and I wanted to see if my picks for “I’m On Fire” were on the list. They were. I listened to the covers by Chromatics and Bat For Lashes a few times. I wished I could sing “I’m On Fire” at karaoke, which got me thinking about Springsteen songs that I could maybe sing at karaoke, which landed me at Patti Smith’s “Because the Night.”



Springsteen started writing “Because the Night” while recording his fourth album, Darkness On the Edge of Town. He gave the song to Smith, who reworked it for her album, Easter. I know this because I have watched the The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story, a documentary about the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town Story included in a box set reissue of the same name. One of my favorite scenes is Springsteen sitting at the piano, working on “Because the Night,” looking at a notebook with handwritten lyrics as he bangs on the keys. I watched this documentary with my dad in 2010, on Christmas morning, shortly after he’d unwrapped the box set.

I should mention at this point that my dad is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. The memories I have of driving in any of the family cars we’ve had over the years, windows down, listening to The Boss are innumerable. Most of our Christmas celebrations include a loud singalong to Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s live recording of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” If it weren’t for his fandom, I very highly doubt that I could name the original lineup of the E Street Band, that the never-included-on-an-album “Thundercrack” would be my favorite Springsteen song, or that I would have seen Springsteen live more than any other artist.

Anyway, I was trying to find the clip of Springsteen playing “Because the Night” in this documentary, which got me to listening to Darkness on the Edge of Town, which I’ve probably listened to a million times because I think my dad has had it in his car’s CD changer for the past ten years. But I don’t think I ever really listened to it, because I never thought anything about it – like, as an album – until this past week. And what I think now is that I love it and it might be my favorite Springsteen album. It does include a lot of my favorite Springsteen songs.

Here is one:



And another:



And another:



One last one:



Once I realized that, I started making a Spotify playlist of all of my favorite Springsteen songs, which I’ve been adding to – and listening to – since Friday. I subjected my friends to this playlist on Saturday, while we were driving through Brooklyn on our way back from the beach. (Actually, I started playing it when I had run out of fun-timey playlists while we were sitting in traffic on one block in Bed-Stuy for about 30 minutes because of a street festival.) I’ve been listening to it on the subway. I’ve been listening to it at work. Basically, I’ve been listening to it…a lot.

So I guess hit me up if you want my playlist, which I will be guarding carefully until it’s totally finished. There’s no better music for the last few weeks of summer than Bruce Springsteen. If you don’t believe me, ask my dad.


Yesterday was my 27th birthday. I celebrated all weekend – several of my good friends also have birthdays around this time – and I can honestly say that it was THE BEST. Thank you, thank you to everyone who partied with me or sent a nice message or whatever. The effort was much appreciated.

And now, just because, here’s a playlist of some stuff I’ve been listening to recently. Enjoy!

Five Things I Liked This Week

Another week has passed and my summer of doing pretty much nothing continues to be delightful, in case you were wondering. I pass the time by reading things on the internet, thinking about researching for a thing that I want to write, making playlists that mostly have the same songs on them, and checking my horoscope constantly. I can’t say that I’m unhappy about this? I’m going to have to find some motivation soon, but for now this feels chill.

While I read a lot of stuff I liked this week, I picked these five to share with you (mostly because I saved them on Instapaper):

1. “The Down and Dirty History of TMZ” by Anne Helen Petersen (Buzzfeed)

2. “Why I Have to Be So ‘Rude’” by Jia Tolentino (The Hairpin)

3. “The Jenny Lewis Experience” by Jeff Himmelman (The New York Times)

4. “Grandmas Rise Up Against Millenials’ ‘Grandma’ Lifestyle” by Cathy Lew (The New Yorker)

5. “‘Jesus Loves Winners’: How ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ Found Cult Success As A Flop” by Louis Peitzman (Buzzfeed)

And while I’m telling you what to read, let me urge you to check out this thing I wrote for my friend Sarah’s project, Ten to Life, last week!


Femmes Noirs

Yesterday, I saw Out of the Past and Leave Her to Heaven, two films that are part of the Femmes Noirs series currently at Film Forum. I really liked them and will hopefully catch another Femmes Noirs double feature before the series ends. Both films are playing again tonight at 10:15, so if you have not made plans and live in New York and don’t mind staying up late, you should totally go!

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) is in gorgeous Technicolor and stars Gene Tierney and Cornel West. Here’s the trailer:



Out of the Past (1947) stars Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. Here’s a clip I found on the internet:



I hope to follow this post up with a complete ranking of Gene Tierney’s outfits in Leave Her to Heaven.

Five Things I Liked This Week

This week was sloooooow. I had a lot of time for reading, so I mostly worked my way through The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – which I’m almost done with – and re-read a few of the chapters in Songs in the Key of Z just because I felt like it. The one really exciting thing that I did this week was…finally book a flight to London! I’m going for a week in November, so hit me up with all of your suggestions. I’ll also be stopping over in Iceland for two days at the end of the trip, so if you have any suggestions for that, I’m all ears.

Here are five things I liked this week:

1. “The Men Who Dare to Be Demented” by Katie Notopoulos (Buzzfeed)

2. “Scout’s Honor” by Rosecrans Baldwin (Oxford American)

3. Fly Art

(This is a Tumblr of classic artwork mashed up with hip hop lyrics.)

4. “The Letters That Warren G. Harding’s Family Didn’t Want You to See” by Jordan Michael Smith (The New York Times)

5. All of the songs I’ve been listening to this week, on one playlist