Local Wire

Marah

Meanwhile, in a back room somewhere in northern New Jersey . . .

"Do you know why I've gathered you here for this important meeting?"

"No, Boss," replied the eight members of the E Street Band in unison.

"Have you heard the new Marah album?" Springsteen hissed through clenched teeth.

"You mean, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry?" Clemons responded. "I listened to it; it's pretty good . . ."

"Pretty good, Big Man?!" Springsteen roared, slamming his hand down on the table. "Except for maybe one or two songs, they hardly sound like us anymore! It's more like . . . like . . . the Replacements, or Elvis Costello."

"Calm down, Boss," Little Steven reasoned. "Is that such a bad thing?"

"You listen to me -- this family has finally gotten inside the indie rock community. We got the Hold Steady and the Constantines in our pocket. And I was grooming Marah to continue our traditions long after we're gone, but now these kids think they can flip and go do their own thing, their own sound? This is about legacy. This is about respect. Nobody messes with The Boss, got it?!"

"Whaddaya want us to do, Boss, whack 'em?" Weinberg asked.

"Nah, not yet. They're getting too high-profile anyway. Federici, Tallent -- go to the show and see if you can convince 'em to get back in line. Tell 'em to cover 'Raise Your Hand' at the gig, or else . . ."

"You got it, Boss."

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Michael Alan Goldberg