Mar 262011

Sounds of the Hall in roughly 33 1/3 minutes!

This week’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In find Mr. Moderator in a particularly mellow mood. What’s that line from that Clash song, “Who gives you work, and why should you do it?” Sometimes a Townsperson’s got to sit back and reflect on the week that was—and the week that sometimes seems it will ever be. We’re taking tonight’s episode “under glass.” Enjoy.

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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 automatic download of each week’s podcast.]

Mar 252011

Excluding bands in matching suits, how many examples of bands performing (live or on video) in uniform can we cite? Also excluded are bands merely posing for a cover photo in uniform (eg, XTC on a few covers) and bands in non-functional costumes (eg, KISS and GWAR). The uniform(s – they need not be matching) must be related to a profession.

I’ll start with the following video, which I’d never seen until the other day: Continue reading »

Mar 252011

Spring is in the air, which reminded me of this old post. It’s a time for spring cleaning as well as a time for getting on your hands and knees in the garden, pulling out weeds and getting real dirty.

This post initially appeared 3/20/08.

Here’s a real simple set of questions:

Take a bath, already!

1. Name a band/artist you’re pretty sure you’d like better if they had a bath – that is, if they took a little better care of their presentation, be it more thoughtful arrangements, better sound, more focused Look, etc.

Meat Puppets‘ first two albums were interesting enough for me, but it wasn’t until they “took a bath” for the making of Up On the Sun that they really clicked for me. (Shortly thereafter they’d scrubbed themselves up too much, but that’s another matter…)

Get his sneaks!

2. Name a band/artist you’re pretty sure you’d like if they loosened up a bit, if you and your friends could scuff up their brand-spankin’-new white sneaks a bit.

Crowded House was in this category for me for a number of years until someone finally scuffed up their sneaks over the course of their third and fourth albums. There were outright holes in their canvas Docksiders by the time of the excellent Together Alone.

Mar 242011

I recently caught a set by the new band of a fellow Townperson, during which they played “My Maria.” I’ve always loved this song but I only had the version by the Gear Daddys.

So I went to buy the original version by BW Stevenson on iTunes and was interested to see that he also did the original version of “Shambala,” the only song by Three Dog Night that I can stomach. Thinking that I may have stumbled onto an as-yet-untapped source of hidden pop gems, I clicked on compilation entitled BW Stevenson: His Very Best. It consisted in its entirety of “My Maria,” “Shambala,” and a remake of “Sunny.”  Three songs, that’s it.

This may be one of the first instances of honest marketing that I’ve come across, and it made me wonder, if the record labels were really being candid, which other artist are  most deserving of a “Best Of” EP or even a “Best Of” single?

One-hit wonders are excluded from consideration, obviously. But what about bands like the Mamas & the Papas (one of my all-time least favorites)? Surely, their “Best Of” could be distilled down to “California Dreaming” and one other song that I’ve never heard, couldn’t it?

Please keep in mind we’re talking about paring down a “Best Of” compilation, not an original album. I don’t want the Mod to seize this as an opportunity to reiterate his misguided notion that Exile on Main Street would somehow be better as an EP.

Mar 242011

It had been awhile since I watched this. I think it’s even better than The Who‘s legendary “live” performance of “Join Together.” Also, is there any better example of why Dick Clark may be Rock’s Consumate Pro? As a control freak and generally protocol-obsessed tight ass I can’t imagine how poorly I would have reacted to this scene had I been in Dick’s shoes.

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