Jun 112016
 

Pete-Townshend_empty-glass
My oldest son, who recently got his first turntable for his 19th birthday and who has proceeded on a heart-warming (mine), wallet-emptying (his) vinyl binge, sent me the following text while I was at the gym this morning:

When I go to record stores I see lots of solo albums by different artists but I never want to buy them cause I’m not familiar with the music and I know lots of artists suck when they go solo. For example, Ive seen lots of Fogerty solo work and McCartney solo work but I don’t know if it’s good. Can you think of the best artists who went solo so I know what to buy and what to avoid?

Good question, right? One of those questions I sometimes get from people young enough to be my kid that makes me think we need to follow Rock Town Hall with a next-generation spinoff. I’m not sure, myself, whether Pete Townshend’s Empty Glass is actually good. I can advise him on solo John Fogerty (“Eh…”). His question reminds me that I need to warn him to tread lightly with any other solo (or in any way post-Move) album by Roy Wood beside Boulders, which he borrowed from me last week and liked a lot. I’ve had mixed feelings about Pete Townshend, the Occasional Solo Artist, for years. Should I finally buy a used copy of Empty Glass? I’ll have a talk with him about McCartney and let him know that there’s really no difference between McCartney solo and Wings and that there’s nothing McCartney has done post-Beatles that is worth anything but a greatest hits collection beside the nearly amazing Band on the Run. (I know some of you stand behind Ram, as well. I’ll be fair and represent your thoughts on that album.)

What solo albums by musicians primarily associated with being members of a long-running band would you recommend my boy check out? Don’t suggest Van Morrison, because he spent his first couple of years in Them. Likewise, as I remember perceiving things at his age, my son still thinks of and likes Lou Reed as a solo artist before thinking of him as the guy from the Velvet Underground.

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Jan 112016
 
Mom!

Mom!

On this week’s very special episode of Saturday Night Shut-In Mr. Moderator reflects on his experiences with David Bowie’s lyrics.

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Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 146: Bowie’s Lyrics by Mr Moderator on Mixcloud

[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital library by subscribing to the Rock Town Hall feed.]

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Dec 112015
 
Mom!

Mom!

On this week’s episode of Saturday Night Shut-In Mr. Moderator reflects on an afternoon trip to a local record store. And related topics.

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Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 145: It’s a Wonderful Life by Mr Moderator on Mixcloud

[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital library by subscribing to the Rock Town Hall feed.]

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Sep 012015
 
Mom!

Mom!

This week, Mr. Moderator revisits records that made a deep, lasting impression on him from the first time he dropped the needle (or pushed PLAY or clicked a link). What records stuck with you and wove their way into particular moments in your life?

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[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital library by subscribing to the Rock Town Hall feed.]

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Aug 012015
 
Mom!

Mom!

This week, Mr. Moderator broadcasts (almost) live from London, England! Stay tuned for a killer track from Saccharine Trust, among other highlights.

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[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital library by subscribing to the Rock Town Hall feed.]

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Jun 102015
 

UPDATED: I’m bringing this post back to The Main Stage to celebrate the following blockbuster piece from The A.V. Club. Do the math!

http://www.avclub.com/article/four-columbia-house-insiders-explain-shady-math-be-219964

Filmmaker Chris Wilcha captured what it was like working at Columbia House during this boom time in a low-key, first-person documentary called The Target Shoots First. Wilcha—who started off in the marketing department as an assistant product manager and was soon promoted to product manager—took a camcorder to work and captured the absurdity and mundanity of the company at that moment in time. He filmed scenes not just in the company’s New York offices, but also at the massive Terre Haute, Indiana, manufacturing, customer service, and distribution center (which employed 3,300 people in 1996) as well as an amusing Aerosmith in-store appearance and a trade-show rendezvous with David Hasselhoff.

Previously…

Can remember the first 12 records (or cassettes or 8-tracks) you received from Columbia House for just 1¢? If you’re from a younger generation, can you recall your introductory BMG order? If you’re from a younger generation yet and have no idea what I’m talking about, think of those first free downloads you received from eMusic, but without your parents getting mad at you for forgetting to send back the following month’s default “featured” lp and now owing money for the latest Barbara Streisand album, which you don’t want to be caught dead with owning.

Speaking of those default selections that would get sent to your house each month, what’s the biggest turd you ever got stuck owning?

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