Mar 032012
 

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

In this week’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In a busy Mr. Moderator let’s the music do the talking. There will be words; they just won’t be coming out of your host’s mouth. Almost all the tracks played tonight are demos, alternate takes, live bootleg records, and so forth. There’s even an unreleased rehearsal recording. Enjoy. Hopefully this busy stretch will ease up and I can grab time with our long-promised guest Townsman.

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[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your iTunes by clicking here. The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player.]

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Jan 062012
 

"Put a quarter in the jar, Pete!"

When you get to the 1:25 mark of Pete Townshend‘s demo for “Doctor Jimmy,” from the spectacularly fascinating Quadrophenia box set, listen closely and tell me what’s missing from the album version, the version we know so well and listened to while trying to make sense of our teenage angst.

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Jun 032010
 

My First Band: Rock Town Hall’s Talent(less) Search has hit The Main Stage! (Click song titles to play.)

With little, if any, prodding a dozen artists known within – and in some cases without – the Halls of Rock have submitted a total of 17 formative demo recordings as well as 1 painfully formative live track. The recordings were created from 1974 to as recently as 2008. Some are as tentative and misguided as could be expected. Some are downright impressive in their early articulation of their creator’s vision. Most are in that awkward space between, where perhaps many musicians of any stripe spend the majority of their musical lives, edging closer to daylight but rarely forgetting how wrong it can go. Although some spirited jibes are likely and expected, this is not about how wrong it went but where our young contributors were headed. Let’s hear it for our brave contributors!

With the assistance of RTH Labs, the demos have been loaded to stream from our customized RTH My First Demo Player™. To hear a track, click on the song title listed on the cassette case. A window will appear providing some details on the demo, but for the start of this event the artists’ identities will be kept anonymous. The RTH Artist Scrabble Key graphic, on the following page, includes the identities of the artists when they recorded their tracks. In some cases the recordings were made by bands containing Townspeople or Friends of the Hall, in which case those band names are listed. Feel free to pin the artist names to each track. Eventually a key will be provided to associate the contributing Townspeople by their RTH handles. Artists are free to step forward with additional details or responses to comments whenever they feel like doing so.

Those of you who did not contribute an early demo but have experience making one are more than welcome to add your tales to the record.

Some possible topics for assessment and discussion are provided on the following page, but feel free to take this where it needs to go. So enough of my yapping, it’s time to check out the nascent recordings of our dozen young artists and tell them how the music makes you feel, man!
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Jun 012010
 

This could be your first demo tape!

The long-awaited Rock Town Hall Talent(less) Search: My First Demo will launch this Thursday, June 3! Townspeople and Friends of the Hall (Martin Newell, Big Dipper’s Gary Waleik, and Ben Vaughn) have contributed a total of 17 demos (and 1 live track) from their young and innocent days of attempting to change the way we listen to music, or at least of attempting to justify their increasingly wandering attention in school and/or at their day job. Now, in as many as 36 years later, perhaps these artists will do just that!

With some suggested criteria, Townspeople will be invited to comment on these early works. It is likely that discussions will take unexpected turns. Prizes will be awarded, long-lost bandmates will be reconnected, we will all feel…something more deeply about the music-making experience. At the appropriate time the artists can choose to provide additional background on the making of their tracks.

A few days of shame, laughter, self-awareness, and (most importantly) healing are in store. If you’re as excited as we are, check back throughout the week. Notify your friends, especially friends in the music industry. Who knows, somebody just may get discovered!

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May 172010
 

This could be your first demo tape!

A premature premonition of Ronnie James Dio’s impending death, circa 1984, so rocked a Townsman and his old college buddy that they quickly picked up pen, axe, and other tools of the recording arts and bashed out the following number.

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Our colleague, who wishes to remain anonymous, hopes that along with providing solace for fans of Dio that this ancient recording will inspire participants in Rock Town Hall’s Talent(less) Search: My First Demo, coming soon!

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May 082010
 

This could be your first demo tape!

You may remember the call for submissions to what should be a remarkable Rock Town Hall experience of shame, laughter, self-awareness, and (yes) healing. Rock Town Hall’s My First Demo Talent(less) Search will provide Townspeople and Friends of the Hall an opportunity to reveal their one or two of their earliest demos or live recordings in an anonymous, streaming fashion. Townspeople will then be invited to comment on these early works, see if they can identify the young and innocent artists, and so forth. Prizes will be awarded, long-lost bandmates will be reconnected, we will all feel more deeply something about the music-making experience. At the appropriate time the artists can choose to reveal themselves and provide background on the making of their classic tracks.

In short, this should be a very meaningful activity, and it will only be more meaningful with your first demo in the mix! I know some of you have been digging through your archives for that elusive recording. I know some of you may be reading about this activity for the first time and are already thinking about what you might submit. I know some of you are chicken. [Mr. Mod makes juvenile, taunting chicken noise.] Don’t be chicken!

We’ve received 9 submissions to date. This will work best with a baker’s dozen (ie, 13 for our Townspeople on the metric system). The bravery of folks who have submitted to date will not go unrewarded, and those of you who submit a revealing, youthful recording by Monday, May 17, will also experience the spiritual rewards promised by this exercise.

If you’d like to submit an early demo or live recording for Rock Town Hall’s My First Demo Talent(less) Search, please write me at mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. Thanks!

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