It's rare when a music documentary can capture the raw poetry a music fan experiences with their favorite album, and The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town attempts gallantly to do just that for Bruce Springsteen's 1978 classic. HBO airs the film Thursday, only three weeks after it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the Boss himself in tow to promote.
In 1976, Springsteen was both at the height of talents and on a forced sabbatical thanks to a lawsuit with his former manager. On the heels of the breakout success of Born to Run, the band found themselves locked out of recording for two years, so Springsteen and the E Street Band rehearsed and worked out nearly 70 songs before whittling it down to the 10 that make up Darkness on the Edge of Town (two of the songs cut, "Fire" and "Because the Night", ended up becoming big hits for The Pointer Sisters and Patti Smith).
The Promise, the title itself a song that didn't make the cut, culls handheld camera footage from the studio, interwoven with interviews with current day Bruce Springsteen, (Little) Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg (ex-Team Coco) and more. "More than being rich or famous or happy, I wanted to be great," says Springsteen at one point, reminiscing about the album's process. Springsteen is one of the rare artists who managed to achieve it all in time, and while at the film's conclusion, we were left wanting more, there's an expanded reissue on the way that will serve that very purpose.
Meanwhile, Minnesota supergroup Gayngs is easy listening with a not-so-easy twist. Made up of a rotation of members from Bon Iver, Megafaun, The Rosebuds and more, Gayngs started out as an appreciation of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen but has turned into something much more than just some tongue-in-cheek gimmick, impressing fan after fan on their current tour. The 10-piece ensemble will pack on to the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon stage on Monday, and if we're lucky, they might placate us with a cover of Alan Parsons Project's "Eye in the Sky," as shown below:
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, October 4
Tuesday, October 5
Wednesday, October 6
Thursday, October 7
Friday, October 8
Saturday, October 9
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake