Jun 232015

There are many things I don’t give much thought to. Yet today, “One of Our Submarines Is Missing” by Thomas Dolby, popped into my head. I loved this song when I first heard it and I still enjoy it in all its Ur New Wave production frippery. I even remember that it did not appear on the US release of Dolby’s breakout album, though it was on the (much pricier) UK version. Then I tried to recall other favorite Dolby tunes. “She Blinded Me With Science” is the obvious one, as imprinted in all of us as a Motown hit. “Europa and the Pirate Twins” still stirs psychic zephyrs of of breezy longing for a innocent love that I maybe experienced in the briefest of flashes in my late teens and early 20s. Then I tried to remember other Dolby songs. I couldn’t. I can’t. Ok, maybe “Radio Silence,” but I’d argue that’s just good, not great.

The challenge is not to look up Thomas Dolby songs on Google. The challenge is to come up with a Dolby song or songs that you think are as defensibly great as the three as I mentioned above, and then defend your choice(s) in the Hall like a gentleman with a one spectacle eye glass and some unnecessary though fetching steampunk headwear. Bonus points to Dolby for being an early progenitor of the Steampunk look. Bro-wear, such as khaki or relaxed fit, get no such bonus points.

Apr 042013

I got to thinking about The Beatles’ “Tell Me Why” this morning. What a joyous, swinging, grin-inducing song! A song about being in an utterly miserable state! You just can’t help but rock along to it in the car, at your desk, by the washer/dryer, despite the psychic devastation! I’m sure there are many other songs like this out there, but can one knock Tell Me Why off of its pedestal?

Feb 122013
Wings Over Nashville.

Wings Over Nashville!

Wings over Nashville! Paul, Linda and the band when they were living on Curly Putman, Jr’s farm in the summer of 1974.



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Nov 192012

When was the last time you caught a live performance where the band was working it so hard, was so focused as a unit, that it was like witnessing a steam engine with the throttle open wide? A performance that induced in you a giant shit-eating grin? I’ve seen a lot of great performances, and many great recent one’s to boot, but I have to go back a-ways to land on a show that meets this criteria. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

Jul 292011

In a rare, reflective moment, the white suits over at RockTownHall Labs were recently gazing bleary-eyed at the various records and cds contained in the climate-controlled vault when, in an even more rare moment of sudden group awareness, and without the aid of the RTH topic generator, it occurred to several of us that we own records we haven’t listened to in years, records we can’t seem to get rid of.

Was this (anal) retention the result of some childhood trauma? A clinging to nostalgia for our 17–23 musical coming-of-age demographic frollic in the rock ‘n’ roll sun, after which our musical tastes ossified along with the bones in our lower spine (males only)? A passive form of denial, or at least an unwillingness to deal with the clutter, physical and emotional, of our present and past, respectively? Are we really ever going to play that third Psychedelic Furs record ever again? The CCR Best of record? Hasn’t culture blunted our need to spin those songs ever again in our own homes? And what of all those ’90s bands that had a great song and so we bought 3–4 albums and some 7-inches by them hoping in vain that they’d replicate the success? RTH Labs now invites our readers to stand up, state your name, and join the conversation in a show of healing and in a concerted effort to  move onward past the doldrums of self-inflicted record collection melancholy.


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