Jul 082013

216px-Pittsburgh_Pirates_MLB_Logo_svgWhile reading about the surprising success of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, I noticed that the columnist referred to the team with the familiar insider’s nickname of the “Buccos” a few times. That reminded me of how the Montreal Canadiens were sometimes called the “Habs” instead. It’s odd because a team name is a nickname already. Why would you need an insider’s nickname to the nickname?

A band’s name is a nickname too, but sometimes the hippest of the hipsters need to prove their deeper band loyalty by referring to their favorites by their second-level nickname. Are there a lot of these? Ask your friends Whitey and Lumpy for the band nicknames that can only be associated with a single band and must be obviously recognized as that band’s nickname. Easy one: Everyone knows your talking about The Beatles when you say the Fab Four.



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Jun 092013

stewart_copeland_laMissing friend of the Hall Raggers had a great faux rock band name called Annoyer. His idea was that it was a heavy metal band along the lines of Destroyer. Since it never materialized, I’m going to steal his name and apply it differently.

If you were forming a band comprised of the most annoying personalities in rock and roll, who would get invited? This is not a call for musicians that make annoying music. This is meant to gather the most annoying personalities in rock. You may even like the music they play, but know that their personalities are so objectionable that there would be multiple homicides even before the tour bus pulled out of the parking lot.

A couple of names I’d put on the roster would be Stewart Copeland on drums and Ted Nugent on lead guitar. I’m basing their inclusion on Copeland’s interview on Costello’s Spectacle and on everything I’ve ever seen Nugent say or do. Offer a replacement if you have someone even more annoying than those two. Who else gets the call to fill out the band?

Sep 172012

John, how many songs should George get?

I’m a 2per. So is George Harrison, and so is John Entwistle, and so is Dave Davies. That’s the term I’m slapping on a person in a band with a dominant songwriter who typically gets two of his songs included on each album among the principal songwriter’s songs. When I brought up the concept to E. Pluribus Gergley of RTH discussing who the best 2per is, he responded in his typically open-minded way that there’s nothing to discuss. It’s George Harrison. So I sat on the topic until I thought of a different angle on it.

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Jul 162012

Your headline, please.

Last night Bruce Springsteen invited Paul McCartney to join him on stage for his show’s fantastic finale in Hyde Park in London. Despite the enormity of this musical event, representatives from City Council pulled the plug while Bruce, Paul, and the band were still playing because it was getting too late! It’s like a soundman giving Jesus the  “2 more minutes” sign while he’s delivering the Sermon on the Mount.

What’s the appropriate use of a lyric, album title, etc. to create the Daily Mail’s morning  headline for the story? I’m going with ‘Because the Night’ ends at 10:30. Others?

Jun 272011

Every songwriter hits a dry spell with lyrics. When they do, many that have been writing for awhile go this old trick: they write lyrics about the very song they are singing at that time. They sit there with their instrument and sing about sitting there with their instrument to tell you more about the song they are sitting there singing about. Jane! Get me off this crazy mobius strip! George has one of the better examples in this vein because it’s not just about the song he’s singing, but really a funny reaction to the legal troubles he had when accused of ripping off “He’s So Fine.” Still, it’s a song about the song itself.

OK, LMS: What other songs have a lyric that makes reference to the same song being sung?

Jun 212011

I’m far from a Pat Travers fan, but I really dig his live version of “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights).” It’s from Live! Go for What You Know. Real catchy title, right? It’s an average blues boogie that 1,000 other bands probably play, or there are 1,000 similar songs you could play instead. Their version is kind of sludgy and proggy, so there isn’t a lot going for it yet. Regardless, when this live version came out in 1979, I found it a huge FM radio treat. I really enjoy how well the audience holds up their end. I love how each time Pat hits the payoff line Boom Boom, he guides the crowd with a “right here,” “what is it?” and  the audience hits it mark perfectly with a clear and clean “Out go the lights!” Maybe they all got together beforehand to practice. I asked the audience if they had room for another member, but they never got back to me.

What other songs come to mind where the live version is far superior to the studio version? Any others where the crowd energy or participation gets a big part of the credit?

Aug 022010

Adrian is the hot one.

I understand that the number of citizens interested in this performance review will be small, but those among the interested deserve this. I sat 20 feet from the Adrian Zmed performing a song-and-dance retrospective of his career. The chicken-missus and I went on a cruise of Alaska. Skipped the comedian and the magician, but I was intent on having good seats for Zmed. He was on the ship for one night only. Unfortunately, the show was copywritten, so all photos and recording devices were prohibited. Continue reading »

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