Dec 312010


Tonight’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In is bigger, better, and longer than ever! The roughly 33 minutes and 33 seconds of a typical episode can’t contain our year-end festivities. We’ll look back over the past year of growth and rock analysis. About midway through the program Mr. Moderator will conduct an exclusive telephone interview with a former Beatles’ associate and Apple Corps division head! Then Mr. Mod will make one final effort at interesting even a single Townsperson in the humble delights of Be-Bop Deluxe. All along the quest to reach 100,000 distinct visitors to Rock Town Hall in one month rages on. Tune in and see if you can’t do your part to push us past this goal!

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[Note: The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player. In fact, you can even set your iTunes to search for an automatically download each week’s podcast.]

Dec 312010

I hear a bunch of you asking: Who’s Bobby Farrell? How can you not know! He was the strange, somewhat spastic dance accompanist to the three chicks who made up the meat and potatoes of awful Euro-disco supergroup Boney M. You know, Boney M: the guys who brought you “Ma Baker,” “Daddy Cool,” “Rivers Of Babylon,” and many, many more awful mega-global disco smash hits in the 1970s. (And by “global,” I guess I mean everywhere but the USA.)

We like to make fun of Mr. Farrell in the Hall—and to a certain degree, he deserved it. One of the original—pun intended—pop stars manufactured by the same guys who brought you Milli Vanilli, he kind of didn’t do anything besides jump around a lot and growl a few words into the microphone. And that’s what he did in live performance; in the studio, he did nothing at all.

Still, Bobby Farrell died on December 29, and that’s not a good thing. He amused us, and gave us all something to make fun of. Lots of people are worth less to me than Bobby Farrell was. He brought me joy.

Even in death, Bobby Farrell has given us one more thing to marvel at: the fact that he died somewhat mysteriously in St. Petersburg—the same town—and on the exact same date—as Grigori Rasputin, who Farrell used to “play” onstage during performances of Boney M’s smash 1978 hit of the same name! Eerie!

Anyhow, here’s looking at you, Mr. Farrell. The increasingly un-showman-like business of pop music will be a lesser place without you.



Dec 312010

December brought a wealth of strong contenders:

Townsman Oats, from the Weezer thread:

As for writing about the same subject matter as Lou Reed, I wasn’t aware that once Lou covered a topic as it was meant to be covered, that meant the topic was then off-limits to all other songwriters, as there was no possible way anyone could ever find something new to say about something Lou already wrote about. Maybe Rivers should have been completely tone-deaf, grown a mullet and hired some jazzbo sidemen.

Townsman hrrundivbakshi had this spot-on analysis of the Cut the Crap-era Joe Strummer interview.

However, the winner of December’s Comment of the Month award goes to Townsman gregg, who first checked in with long-lost cousin as part of our report on Jim Morrison’s pardon. More recently, he followed up with an old friend, who it turned out was the eyewitness he had in mind. For his dogged pursuit of The Truth and, better yet, the rekindling of old friendships, and because of its historical relevance, this latest follow-up is our winner! Congratulations, gregg, and make sure your cousin and friend share in your honors!

I was there with my ex wife at the concert. Everybody made a big deal out of Jim Morrison pulling it out on stage. No one did anything to the girls that were exposing themselves in front of the stage. They were throwing bras and underwear up on the stage at Jim. He was feeling the mood! The view (the girls) was wonderful for me. The concert itself was terrible. It was the worst I had ever heard from them. They sang almost every song off key. Jim was really drunk. At the same time this was going on, they were rioting outside. They had oversold the concert and people were trying to crash the gate.

Dec 302010

Will Your Mystery Date Be a Dream or a Dud?

Thanks to Townspeople who played along with, in my opinion, the biggest dud of a Mystery Date to date, and thanks to Townsman dbuskirk for the album, which I believe he thought sounded like a trial run for Boston. But as someone pointed out, Flower Travellin’ Band‘s “Slowly But Surely” at least unintentionally delivered David St. Hubbins-worthy chuckles. This song was from 1973’s double-live set, Make Up. Don’t worry, as with all Revealed posts we’ll leave you with at least one more track.

The band, first known as Flowers, was founded in the late-’60s by Yuya Uchida, who by this time had become friends with John Lennon after touring with The Beatles in 1966. Inspired by the likes of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane, the band’s first album was, in fact, nothing but covers of their newfound-favorite psych-blues-rock bands. The album cover, as I learned while composing this piece, would have qualified for an old Last Man Standing/giveaway competition.


The Make Up tour, you will be interested to know, what recorded on a tour that, originally, was supposed to have featured the band opening for The Rolling Stones. The Stones had to cancel, however, because Mick Jagger was facing a drug bust. Lucky Mick! There are some other odd facts to be found about the band, including mid-’70s work with Frank Zappa, one guy doing a 1980 album with The Wailers, a 2007 reunion and 2008 reunion album, and a planned 2010 tour, which was canceled when one of the members died.

I know you want to hear more from this album. Why not a long track that showcases all the band’s musical strengths and emotional range?

Flower Travellin’ Band, “Look at My Window”

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Dec 292010

Let’s review the ground rules here. The Mystery Date song is not necessarily something I believe to be good. So feel free to rip it or praise it. Rather the song is something of interest due to the artist, influences, time period… Your job is to decipher as much as you can about the artist without research. Who do you think it is? Or, Who do you think it sounds like? When do you think it was recorded? Etc…

If you know who it is, don’t spoil it for the rest. Anyone who knows it can play the “mockcarr option.” (And I’ve got a hunch that one of you knows this one.) This option is for those of you who just can’t hold your tongue and must let everyone know just how in-the-know you are by calling it. So if you know who it is and want everyone else to know that you know, email Mr. Moderator at mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. If correct we will post how brilliant you are in the Comments section.

The real test of strength though is to guess as close as possible without knowing. Ready, steady, go!

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(Thanks to the Townsperson who gave me this album many moons ago. Now keep your trap shut!)

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