Jun 032020

I feel like I should be but I’ve never been a big fan of Patti Smith. She certainly has cred. And when I see videos like this, I love her:

So respectful, so humble, so human, so pure. And then there are the rave-ups like “Gloria”; who could not like those?

And there’s PJ Harvey. Townsman Geo has suggested I check her out and mentioned this video:

It is a pretty short list of Dylan covers that I love and this makes that list.

Please advise me Rock Town Hall. Patti Smith: yeah or nay? PJ Harvey: yeah or nay? Why? Where to start?

May 262020

This is a simple one and may be a brief one. I can think of only a few songs that meet my criteria but I’m counting on the Hall to know more.

I need songs that give props to other singers. This is not the mere mention of someone’s name. And it’s gotta be more than one name. You’ll know what I’m looking for when you listen to this song. Multiple singers and songs are specified.

I’m starting off with this one because I think it will be unknown to many people. And because it’s a killer.

According to Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles 1955-2002, this song didn’t chart. I can’t find out much about The Brothers Two. This was released on Crimson Records, a Philly label whose biggest hit (I’d guess) was The Soul Survivors’ “Expressway To Your Heart.” I can’t recall if it was a local hit in Philly, and I’d just be guessing as to where or when I got the single.

EPG, what do you know about this?

As with all Last Man Standing threads, don’t bogart this thread! Please limit yourself to one entry per post. In other words, if you’ve for 15 songs in mind, post them one at a time, ideally one after every other participant thinks he or she has drained the last entry.

Last Man Standing starts now!

May 012020

A friend of mine recently sent me this description of Steve Winwood:

Not an arrogant asshole, written classics, outplays virtuosos live on stage, catalog is essential, sold millions of albums solo (some self-produced and self-played all instruments), led/joined influential bands, and songs covered by various genres. He’s Rock & Roll’s Swiss Army Knife.

I thought it a pretty apt, very RTH-type description/metaphor but I couldn’t think of any other Rock & Roll Swiss Army Knives. Any help?

Is there a perfect Rock & Roll Duct Tape? Rock & Roll WD-40?


This Is Us

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Apr 012020

Here are some things I would have commented on during the interregnum since October 2016:

I would have continued championing Dylan’s Sinatra period as he released Triplicate. Here’s Dylan doing “Once Upon A Time” at a Tony Bennett 90th birthday tribute. Dylan does it far better than Bennett, as does Sinatra.

I would have mentioned the Len Price 3, one of my favorite “new” bands of the last 15 years.

I would have raved about Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Review “documentary.” Personally, I love the phony bits in this; it’s so Dylanesque I’m surprised he hasn’t thought of it before. Hmmm? And you have to love the film if only for the performance of “Isis,” which immediately joins 1966 and the first Letterman performance as the best Dylan live performances.

And speaking of Dylan, Robbie Fulks’ album 16, a cover of Dylan’s Street Legal, is as great a Dylan cover set as you are going to hear. Little is a replication of the original; it’s a wonderful reinterpretation in much the way that Dylan reinterpreted Sinatra.

And speaking of Robbie, his collaboration with Linda Gail Lewis, Wild! Wild! Wild!, is another great one, on record and especially live.

And it was plenty of fun seeing Mott the Hoople in NYC last spring. Ian Hunter giving Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher another chance to be in the spotlight and dress up glam. Bender pulled it off and Fisher had moments where he seemed to know where he was. At 64, I was one of the younger members of the crowd, many of whom were glammed up as well, even those with walkers and, I kid you not, in one case a walker and an oxygen tank. Not exactly all the young dudes.

Oh, and as long as we are talking about fun concerts, the oldies show with Freddie Cannon, Lou Christie, Bobby Rydell, and Darlene Love was lots of fun. Even if I didn’t get to hear Darlene sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” live (apparently November 5 is too early for that); that was rectified this past December.

What would you have written about in the last 3½ years?

Jun 242016

As I browse through the listings on dimeadozen, I often chuckle at the names of heavy metal bands. “This can’t be real?!?!”

Here is a simple quiz. There are 12 band names. Some are real, that is, they are taken from dimeadozen listings, which are in the Heavy Metal category; others are names I made up. Your challenge is to identify which are real and which are the result of me having too much time on my hands. No cheating, no researching; all you can do is look at the list.

Jun 132016

As I mentioned in the When Band Members Go Solo thread, I saw Ian Hunter Saturday night. It was a fantastic show. No surprise there as every one of the half dozen or so times I’ve seen him was great but this may have been the best. He gets better with age. And he rocks hard! I’m not quite sure how he can do it; he turned 77 last week.

As I watched his inevitable encore – “All The Young Dudes” – I was reminded of a thread opportunity that I’ve thought of periodically over the years but never acted on. Better late than never.

Hunter is a great, great songwriter, responsible for a slew of fantastic songs in his solo career and all the Mott songs you know and love. All that is, except for the most famous Mott song, the David Bowie-penned “All The Young Dudes.”

I’ve always thought it “unfair” or “sad” or some other not-quite-exactly-right adjective that a band/artist who primarily write their own songs should have their most well-known song be the product of another songwriter.

And at the times in the past when I have thought about this thread, I thought of 2 other acts which fit this category. Of course, as I write this I can’t remember one of them.

Can you identify the one I do remember? Or the one I can’t? Or another?-

Jun 052016

Axis came out in early 1968, and I probably got it within a few months of that. I’m not sure how familiar I was with Hendrix at the time but I remember the album being pretty cheap at Korvette’s and so picked it up. It was on Track Records and so was an import of some kind; why it was at Korvette’s or cheap I don’t know. I loved it immediately and still do. No other Hendrix album has replaced it for me. There’s that period bit “EXP” opener, the jazzy “Up From The Skies,” the heavy psych of “Spanish Castle Magic,” the funky pop of “Wait Until Tomorrow” (with the great opening line “Well, I’m standing here freezing, inside your golden garden”), the classic rock of “Little Wing,” the ’60s philosophy of “If 6 Was 9,” and on and on. I even love Noel Redding’s contribution, “She’s So Fine.”

It’s an album that’s a perfect hyphenate: pop-rock-jazz-funk-blues. Deep & frothy. Heavy & light.

And so it’s always been my favorite Hendrix album but I can’t help thinking: “How much of that is because it was the first?” I don’t feel like I hear this opinion too often. Are You Experienced? or more often Electric Ladyland are what you hear about, but I’ll take Axis over either of those.

What do you think? Am I right or wrong? And do you have analogous “first” albums by other artists where you feel the blush of first love may be coloring your rock-crit bona fides?


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