Jan 122022
 

Greetings Fellow Citizens,

Since it’s been quiet around here, it might be a good time for an All-Star Jam! Plug in your axe, take your amp off standby, grab your sticks, figure out which bass string is E and let this thread open the door to intelligent rock and roll discourse!

1. What do you think of this performance of “Let My Love Open the Door?” Do you have any comments on the song, the performance, the fashion choices or anything else?

2. You’ve been given the opportunity to form a band for your favorite underrated songwriter or singer/front-person. Who is the “star” and who is in the band? You want to put together a surprising yet appropriate group. What unlikely or never-considered musical collaboration would you put together?

3. Uh-oh, your favorite underrated songwriter turned out to be difficult to work with! You’ve decided to scrap that band and put together the worst possible band, just to be creatively vengeful. Who is in this band now?

4. Have you ever been to a show headlined by a known artist (ie not a “local” band) where the audience cleared out? Who was the artist and why did everyone leave?

5. What is the best guitar solo in the Beatles catalog?

6. Do accordions belong in rock music?

7. Odd meters (talking songs in 5, 7, etc): are they pretentious? Do you have a favorite song in an odd meter?

8. What have you been listening to lately? Have you found any interesting music that is new or new to you?

I look forward to your responses, citizens.

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  23 Responses to “All Star Jam!”

  1. 1. What do you think of this performance of “Let My Love Open the Door?” Do you have any comments on the song, the performance, the fashion choices or anything else?

    I actually like the song itself but the fashion choices and arrangement are very much “of a time” and that time was one of bad fashion and arrangements. Phil Collins’ drumming is great, the fretless bass is annoying, and everything else falls somewhere between.

    2. You’ve been given the opportunity to form a band for your favorite underrated songwriter or singer/front-person. Who is the “star” and who is in the band? You want to put together a surprising yet appropriate group. What unlikely or never-considered musical collaboration would you put together?

    Since last May, I’ve been posting “Birthday Supergroups” on Facebook. The first one is still probably the best: Joey Ramone on vocals, Pete Townsend on guitar, Dusty Hill on bass, and Phil Rudd on drums.

    If I’m starting from scratch, I would have the guy from the Knack and Marc Ribot on guitar, Duck Dunn on bass, Jim Keltner or Jim Gordon on drums, and the singer songwriter would either be Paul Kelly or Peter Case.

    3. Uh-oh, your favorite underrated songwriter turned out to be difficult to work with! You’ve decided to scrap that band and put together the worst possible band, just to be creatively vengeful. Who is in this band now?

    Anthony Kiedis and Natalie Merchant on vocals, John Popper on harmonica, CC DeVille on guitar, Jaco Pastorious on bass, Terry Bozzio (or pretty much anyone who played drums for Zappa). After the 4 count, everyone could just go apeshit and play as many notes as possible without regard to what else was going on in the song, while Anthony Kiedis did his Joe-Rogan-as-a-rock-star schtick and Natalie Merchant scolded everyone.

    4. Have you ever been to a show headlined by a known artist (ie not a “local” band) where the audience cleared out? Who was the artist and why did everyone leave?

    No but there are some where the audience should have, like when the Dead backed up Bob Dylan

    5. What is the best guitar solo in the Beatles catalog?

    The one in their best song: And Your Bird can Sing

    6. Do accordions belong in rock music?

    Yes: roots rock, Rain Dogs, etc

    7. Odd meters (talking songs in 5, 7, etc): are they pretentious? Do you have a favorite song in an odd meter?

    If they feel natural then I don’t think they are pretentious, like Money by Pink Floyd (which might be pretentious for other reasons), Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, or Hey Ya by Outcast. On the other hand, if it feels self conscious like Happiness is a Warm Gun, or some Radio head songs, then maybe they are pretentious because they feel more like a musical flex than a song idea. My favorites are probably the Eleven by the Dead or I Say a Little Prayer.

    8. What have you been listening to lately? Have you found any interesting music that is new or new to you?

    Left to my own devices, I’m still just listening to a lot of podcasts and an audio book about Robert Moses (66 hours long for fuck’s sake!). But my kids continue to expose me to new music, some good, some “meh”. The music is generally not new, but it’s new to me. The good stuff includes things like Sundress by ASAP Rocky(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec3LoKpGJxY), Hell and back by Bakar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdrNvQ4YCng), Right as Rain from Adele’s first album (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2ZmMjgp6JE), Hey Lover by the Daughters of Eve (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwyzBdBJAH0 How did I never hear this before?), and a bunch of Kanye, Meek Mill, and even the occasional Lana Del Rey song. The “meh” stuff includes most of the trap music I hear.

  2. 1. That song falls into the category of so many solo McCartney songs. It doesn’t seem substantial enough to be worthy of such and important songwriter as Townshend, but I find myself singing along despite myself. Like Mac’s Let Em In. That’s a good live version of it. Don’t like Phil’s Hawaiian shirt. Don’t like Pete looking like he wandered off the stage of The Nutcracker. He also has a Klaus Nomi thing happening with his hair. It was hard to look cool in the 80s.

    5. Solo”s”! The guitar solos on The End is a Beatles fanatic’s Mt. Olympus. Getting to hear the 3 of them trade off like that is gratifying on so many different levels. And reading the studio notes of how they did it all together in the same room simultaneously AND as a one-take Charlie! Allow me this adjective one time: Magical.

  3. 5. I have to agree with ‘And Your Bird Can Sing.’ There was a story floating around awhile back about some dude who painstakingly learned the solo and was crestfallen when informed it’s double-tracked. That might be a Rock urban legend.

    6. Yes. My first Rockabilly overdose was a Dave Edmunds show. I don’t know his name, but the accordion player was ripping it up. And if you hear uptempo Zydeco, it definitely rocks.

    7. ‘Hold Your Head Up’ by Argent- pretty much the only Prog band I’ve ever tolerated- is in 5/4.

    8. Head over to the old internet and look up Dea Matrona. Survey many of their songs and they will impress with their range and potential. Plus, they are arguably the handsomest band ever.

  4. trigmogigmo

    1. What do you think of this performance of “Let My Love Open the Door?” Do you have any comments on the song, the performance, the fashion choices or anything else?

    The performance is off-putting. Totally agree w/ cdm about the super annoying fretless bass. I have always liked this song, but this rendition is sub-par. It lacks the precision of the album track and Simon Philips’ drumming, although I wouldn’t really blame Phil Collins as this looks to be a hastily thrown together affair. Speaking of Phil, the Jimmy Buffett wardrobe does not work. (By the way, I learned at some point that the narrator of this song is supposed to be God rather than Pete. It’s a little less charming now.)

    

2. You’ve been given the opportunity to form a band for your favorite underrated songwriter or singer/front-person. Who is the “star” and who is in the band? You want to put together a surprising yet appropriate group. What unlikely or never-considered musical collaboration would you put together?

    Maybe I will take Matt Johnson of The The, and force him to front a power pop band comprised of Graham Maby on bass (Joe Jackson), a resurrected Bruce Gary on drums (The Knack), and Elliot Easton on guitar (The Cars).



    3. Uh-oh, your favorite underrated songwriter turned out to be difficult to work with! You’ve decided to scrap that band and put together the worst possible band, just to be creatively vengeful. Who is in this band now?

    Oh, Matt, you horrible person! Put down your guitar and rely on your new backing band: Don Henley on drums, Les Claypool on bass, and a resurrected Lou Reed on guitar.



    5. What is the best guitar solo in the Beatles catalog?

    GREAT choices by cdm and chickenfrank. The first thing that popped into my head was “Taxman”, but I feel bad that it’s apparently Paul playing.

    

6. Do accordions belong in rock music?

    I cannot think of a good example but if it works, OK.



    7. Odd meters (talking songs in 5, 7, etc): are they pretentious? Do you have a favorite song in an odd meter?

    If they groove, they can be great! Trying to think of a good example. XTC’s “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul” feels natural in 7/8. Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks” I think goes between 5/8 and 6/8 fairly easily. I find 5/4 can sometimes sound as natural as 4/4 but can’t think of an example other than one of my own tunes at the moment.

 I dig the 80’s/90’s-era King Crimson that throws in odd meters while still rocking, like the middle of “Three of a Perfect Pair”, or “Elektrik”.

    8. What have you been listening to lately? Have you found any interesting music that is new or new to you?

    I stumbled upon a reference to a song “Chaise Lounge” by some group called “Wet Leg” and looked it up. Effectively catchy and simple. Is it too precious and stupid, or just enjoyable?

    https://youtu.be/Zd9jeJk2UHQ

    I am enthralled by the discovery of The Dirty Knobs’ “I Still Love You”. Wow! A colossal riff that is, I don’t know, Zeppelin-esque? and the rest of the guitar arrangement is so cool.

    https://youtu.be/wwBolUahbOI

  5. 1. Oh, and Pete Townshend looks like Fred Armisen doing an imitation of Pete Townshend.

  6. Spot on, SLO!

  7. 5. I think And Your Bird Can Sing harmony solos are actually done by George and Paul. Paul keeps moving up the Beatles Power Rankings.

    8. I heard one new thing (for me at least) when listening to college radio in the car. The band is named Idles and the song was Grounds. It has a really strange post-punk sound and arrangement, and the singer’s very pronounced English (Cockney?) accent is a treat. Small p political kind of lyrics. Is this a band everyone knows already and I’m just late to the party?

    There’s a crappy video for the song too where the music starts 30 seconds in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRkUt9VnaR0

  8. Great to hear there is another Paul Kelly fan. I feel like we are few and far between in the US. I’m really familiar with Under the Sun, So Much water, and my entry point, Gossip. I have a few of his other albums though, including one he put out a few years ago. I’ve thought about putting a band together to do a one-off show at Fergie’s or something but I only know one other person who would turn up for it.

  9. Trigmo, I dug Chaise Lounge. It is enjoyable. The video helps carry the humor of the song too. Precious, but it works.

  10. BigSteve

    1. What do you think of this performance of “Let My Love Open the Door?” Do you have any comments on the song, the performance, the fashion choices or anything else?

    I’m a big fan of fretless bass (I own one myself) and especially of Mick Karn. The Tin Drum album is perfection, and I can’t imagine it without his sound. I think his bass is mixed poorly in this song. Phil Collins is playing like he should be wearing shorts. Pete’s eyes look like he woke up in a Soho doorway.

    5. What is the best guitar solo in the Beatles catalog?

    Slow Down

    6. Do accordions belong in rock music?

    Yes, especially if Garth Hudson is playing one. Zydeco is technically not Rock, but I had the pleasure of catching zydeco master Beau Jocque at Rock’n’Bowl in the early aughts, and it was about the most rocking thing I’ve ever seen.

    7. Odd meters (talking songs in 5, 7, etc): are they pretentious? Do you have a favorite song in an odd meter?

    They’re not always pretentious, but I’m kind of pro-pretension. King Crimson’s Red is my favorite. It features an assortment of odd meters.

  11. BigSteve

    8. What have you been listening to lately? Have you found any interesting music that is new or new to you?

    I’ve been reading Small Town Talk, Barney Hoskins’ book about Woodstock NY and the music scene there radiating out from Albert Grossman. So I’ve been immersed in lots of that, stuff that I know (the expanded reissues of Stage Fright and Cahoots, early Van Morrison, late Hendrix, and especially Bobby Charles), plus lots of stuff I missed (Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Paul Butterfield, Todd Rundgren, Great Speckled Bird, early Bonnie Raitt, etc.).

    My favorite albums of last year were Prime Ribs by Sleaford Mods, Live in Paris by the Master Musicians of Jajouka, Fire by The Bug, and the album Floating Points made with Pharaoh Sanders titled Promises.

    For more recent releases, I like the new Caetano Veloso, Meu Coco, Ben LaMar Gay’s Open Arms to Open Us, the recent Sunn O))) album, Metta-Benevolence, and former Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker’s album of solo jazz guitar, Forfolks.

  12. “Phil Collins is playing like he should be wearing shorts. ” Hahaha!

  13. Let me know when you have the Paul Kelly show as I’m another fan. I started with those same albums and bought a few others in the decade that followed but none grabbed me in the same way. Way way back in the early days of the pandemic in 2020 I bought a two disc best of as a way to catch up but that is still on the shelf unplayed and I’m still not caught up.

    When you do the show, make it a Robbie Fulks-type mash-up and do both Paul Kellys. Include the early ’70s southern soul Paul Kelly. He did some really great stuff:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Giia2Y_Jdc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMkq9VebrsQ

    He put out another album in the mid-’90s called Gonna Stick & Stay that was throwback great. This is a cut from that
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZrzi7Z5mXI

    I like the southern hemisphere Paul Kelly just fine but i think the southern US Paul Kelly is my favorite.

    Who can name two other artists with the same name?

  14. BigSteve

    “Who can name two other artists with the same name?”

    Mick Jones — Foreigner/Clash

  15. I thought there was a Last Man Standing eons ago about people with the same name in different bands but it turns out it was just a side bar to the Songs with the Same Name thread.

  16. I keep thinking of ideas for threads and Geo keeps telling me “that’s already been done”. And it’s likely they were done by me 😏

  17. Chiming in late with two comments.

    That Wet Leg thing was great. There was a live four song set on Youtube that maintained the quality standard. I saw they were touring in March, but after being booked in a small room, Philamoca, and moved up to a larger room, Underground Arts, the show was already sold out. road trip to New York or DC maybe?

    In the list of Woodstock of Woodstock related acts, BigSteve mentioned, Geoff and Maria Muldaur whose “Pottery Pie” album is excellent. He also neglected to mention Karen Dalton, whose “In My Own Time” album is arguably the best of the scene.

  18. BigSteve

    I knew Geoff Muldaur name mainly because he had sung harmony with John Cale on Guts and Darling I Need You on the Slow Dazzle album. I enjoyed the Geoff/Maria duo albums, but they were basically unreconstructed folkies who never learned how to write songs. This is the exact opposite of Bobby Charles, who apparently never learned how to play even minimal guitar or piano. He would write the songs in his head, and somehow transmit them to musicians who had to work out the chords on their own. I’m still bowled over by that.

    I tried with Karen Dalton, but I just couldn’t handle her voice at all. Reading about her backstory didn’t help. When I read about this period nowadays, I often am amazed that anybody produced recordings of any value, given the amount of drugs and alcohol that were being consumed.

  19. I really like that Dalton album but understand that the voice can be as much of a turn off for some as it is a turn on for others. The Harvey Brooks production on that record is really cool. For example, he plays a really busy, complex line on “In a Station” but also can strip the bass down to a primitive repetitive droney line that sounds like a gifted post-punk beginner (think Wobble) for “Something on Your Mind.” There’s a recently released straight style outtake of SOYM that sounds like it might be the exact same vocal take with a very standard country rock feel arrangement. There’s no way that that version would have had the impact of the original which has landed in a million soundtracks. That change let the backing match the otherworldliness of the vocal.

  20. garlic salt

    As the resident youngin’ I was really just excited to answer the last part of this question, but I’m going to answer the rest of them as well.

    1. I have similar opinions to others. I think it’s a little overdone and tacky. I enjoy me a good tele but other than that not much to love for me.
    2. My ultimate band is going to be a backing band for Art Alekasis in an attempt to force him back to his cowpunk roots. This will consist of Country Dick Montana from the Beat Farmers on Drums (and backup vocals), Gram Parsons on guitar, and Murray Hammond from the Old 97s on bass.
    3. Alright, now to mess it up. I’m going to put Adam Duritz on guitar and backup vocals because I think there’s no way he won’t try and take center stage, Neil Peart to ruin the country sound, and Thundercat on bass because that is essentially having another lead guitar.
    4. Honestly, I haven’t been to many big shows lately, mainly because I find that I enjoy local bands and smaller shows more than the big ones, so I’m going to have to skip.
    5. The best guitar solo in the Beatles catalogue is Dig A Pony for me. But I don’t listen to much Beatles so that’s probably not the best.
    6. Yes. Wholeheartedly. Almost every instrument belongs in rock music in some context or another.
    7. I enjoy them when used tastefully. It can be excessive or overused but when it sounds good it can sound really good.
    8. Alright here’s my short list of local Philly bands I think people should really check out, along with a short descriptor. I’m trying to limit it to people I’ve seen in a basement. Gloss: funky r&b indie group (listen to Play Myself Again), Attack Dog: punk, interesting production since it’s all done by one dude in GarageBand (listen to Young Lion), Heatloaf: indie, has really interesting harmonies (listen to: shoulder to die on). Finally, this is the best band I’ve seen in the past while, Florry. They a fantastic band with a rather large amount of people. When I saw them they had a guy play lap steel but I’m pretty sure they have a pedal steel player now. Check out this video of them playing at PhilaMOCA. Skip to 16:37 for my personal fav song.

    https://youtu.be/UZ6M86ylBXk?t=997

  21. I’M not the resident youngin’?? Now I feel basic and random.

    8. Appreciate the local recommendations. Checking them all out now.

  22. Garlic Salt, I’d love to see that cowpunk band although I think you need a sloppy but righteous rock guitar player for lead. Maybe someone like Westerburg or Steve Jones.

    Cool recommendations: US Paul Kelly from Al and Heatloaf from Garlic Salt.

  23. Checked out the Florry. I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re particular about on key vocals, (I’m not and I found the two-part disharmony, I think mostly on the guitar player singer to be appealing), but hang in for her guitar solo which is very good. She would work as the righteous rock guitar player in the aforementioned cowpunk band

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