Sep 242007
 

The discussion about Meditations vs A Love Supreme reminds me of a facet of record collecting I’ve noticed many times before. The first album you acquire by an artist is the one that will always be your favorite by that artist. [Note the First Album Exclusionary Rule – if you start following an artist with his/her/their first album, said first album is not necessarily going to be your favorite, though it frequently may be.]

For example, I resisted Tom Waits for a long time. Then at some point in the mid-80s, I was in a chain record store in Nashville, and I bought a remaindered cassette of Rain Dogs. I loved it. I have bought pretty much every Tom Waits record since that time (plus the one before it, Swordfishtrombones), and I’m a big fan, but I will never love any Tom Waits CD as much as I love Rain Dogs.

This pattern has been repeated for me many times over. Does your experience match this pattern?

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Sep 242007
 


Townspeople,

I SUMMON you to carry the day! I’m sure you’ll agree with me that what we most need around here is that shocking, bold statement on the state of rock, an overlooked gem, an overrated classic, a new release, etc that blows our minds. This is more than an All-Star Jam; this is your Rock Town Hall. Seize the day!

Beside, Mr. Mod’s hip deep in responsibilities today. Thanks.

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Sep 222007
 

Great 48: sadly, must ask you to recuse yourself from this quiz, as I feel certain you’d know who these two dudes are. The rest of you — first one to identify the nappy-headed Robert DeNiro lookalike and his exasperated buddy gets a patented RTH No-Prize.

I look forward to your responses.

HVB, Quizmaster

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Sep 222007
 


So Glam Rock seems to be the brief musical era Townspeople most suspect offers previously uncovered gems to even rock know-it-alls like ourselves. Can anyone among us point in the direction of cool Glam Rock that goes beyond the 3 or 4 artists we likely know?

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Sep 202007
 
Good Charlotte

Townsman dbuskirk, the man who turned Joe Strummer onto the Ethiopian DJ scene, recently was spotted behind the velvet ropes of Rock Town Hall’s inner sanctum, heard touting the wonders of

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. “This is the greatest Beatles cover ever!” proclaimed dbusirk to Links Linkerson and a few other visually impaired thought leaders in rock.

According to dbuskirk, one of the Hall’s finest tastemakers, Dada was a vocalist from Ghana in the early ’70s. This track is from a comp he’s never been able to find called, Money No Be Sand. As dbuskirk puts it, “It’s pretty jaw-droppingly gorgeous. What RTHer couldn’t throw themselves behind this version, with it’s junkyard band opening and gospelly vocal?”

Can you resist this, Townspeople?

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Sep 202007
 


Many years have passed since we first gained the ability to “file share” and otherwise download .mp3s without the permission of artists and record labels. Some of us may recall a day when we found this practice “immoral” or, at least, “objectionable.” I’m sure most of us with these memories next remember our first rationalizations for the unauthorized downloads we began making.

“I only download stuff that’s out of print.”

Slap Happy, “Who’s Gonna Help Me Now?”

“I only download major label stuff.”

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“When I really like something I’ve downloaded I make sure to go out and buy the CD.”

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Sound familiar?

Driving home last night I heard an upcoming preview for a segment on this evening’s NPR’s Marketplace show about illegal downloads. A person interviewed in the preview clip said something to the effect of, “Would you ever say it’s all right to walk into a record store and steal a CD?”

I thought about this for at least a half a second: I would never say that’s all right. However, with each new unauthorized download I occasionally make (and I make plenty more authorized ones, if you need one more rationalization), I do not equate illegal downloads with theft. In fact, this evening I began wondering if downloading was akin to – I haven’t quite put my finger on it – something like sightseeing, after you’ve already paid your way on vacation. Are these .mp3s floating around out there the information highway’s form of natural wonders, cool roadside diners, license plates from distant states?

I’m also curious: is there anyone left who refuses to download unauthorized tracks on what I’m sure is solid moral ground? All these blogs any of us may visit – is there one Townsperson among us who resists the urge to click on an .mp3?

I look forward to your thoughts on this matter.

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