hrrundivbakshi

hrrundivbakshi

Jun 012021
 

There I was, all ready to uncork a new RTH Glossary entry on you — “pullin’ a Daltrey,” meaning over-enthusiastically singing somebody else’s words, in a way that suggests you’re not entirely sure you know what they mean. I even knew what tune best exemplified this behavior. But when I sauntered in through the doors of YouTube, looking for a performance of “You Better You Bet” that would show you what I was talking about, I was crestfallen. In my mind’s eye, I could see our titanium-throated mega stud punching the air with his fist and twirling his mic, bursting out of a rock power squat while owning lines like “especially, when you say YES!” and “… I look pretty crappy SOMETIME!” But then… this. What a let-down. How can I explain what pullin’ a Daltrey means if Daltrey won’t even pull one for me?

Can any of you find a video clip of The Who, or any other band or artist, that better showcases this glossary term?

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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May 252021
 

Greetings, fellow Rock Town Hall loiterers! I come before you today with a simple thought experiment — something to get you scratching your chin for a moment or two, to distract you from the cares of the day. So wedge your monocle firmly into your eye socket, pour yourself a dry martini, lean back, and let’s begin.

Here’s what I have in mind: there are songs that common wisdom might lead one to believe are essentially flawless. When was the last time, for example, that you heard anybody trash-talking “She Said, She Said” or “Superstition” or “All Down the Line”? I submit, however, that perfection does not exist, and that whatever track we submit to the RTH hive mind, at least one of us can find something wrong with it. And that’s what I want us to do. Think of this exercise as our beloved “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice About…” series, but backwards.

We’re going to do this like a game of tag. I’ll start by saying:

Well, I may be nitpicking, but I just can’t stand the way Hendrix sings “two riders were approaching… and the wind begin to howl” in his version of “All Along the Watchtower.” Would it be too much to ask Jimi to sing “begins,” or “began”? It drives me crazy! Now, “Waterloo Sunset” — now that’s a perfect song!

… and whoever jumps in next shares at least one reason why “Waterloo Sunset” is not at all perfect, starting with the words “Well, I may be nitpicking, but…”, and finishing off their comment with a nod toward the song they believe is without flaw.

Make sense? Then why not join in the fun by nitpicking “Waterloo Sunset”?  Come on — show us just how petty you can be!

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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May 052021
 

Until somebody far cleverer than me takes the time to post something meaningful and thought-provoking, I intend to continue clogging the RTH pipes with meaningless drivel and pointless fun and games — like this post, in which I’ve taken the liberty of running some easily identifiable lyrical snippets through online translators thusly:

English > Afrikaans > Albanian > Amharic > Basque > English

Your job is simple:  deduce what the original lyric actually says.  Here we go:

  1. Motorhead: If you want to bet, I’ll tell you I’m your husband – they win, they lose, it’s the same for me
  2. Beatles: Keep your head up, relax and swim
  3. Girl, you found me. You found me so I don’t know what to do
  4. There is a back seat now, my lover is always covered and I will talk until my dad speaks
  5. Elvis Costello: Oh girl, it’s fun to watch after so much, and I realize you weren’t surprised by how you look
  6. He’s like me, he’s like me and we’re all together
  7. ZZ Top: Get up, go down, take the word, my way, I don’t ask for much
  8. Prince: If you want to kiss me and your photo, browse
  9. Dylan: How many steps does it take for someone to call?
  10. I get up and nothing falls on me. If you have any difficulties, I have seen the most difficult ones in the area

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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Apr 272021
 

Please identify these albums. To assist you, I’ve zoomed in on at least one of the hands featured on the front cover — I imagine that should be enough to help. I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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Apr 232021
 

Earlier today, I fell down an internet rabbit hole while looking at posters for obscure music festivals from the late 60s/early 70s. My question for you is simple: which, if any, of these festivals would justify a trip in RTH’s notoriously vomit-inducing time machine? Note that you would have to live as the locals do upon arrival — camp in the mud, eat bad concert food, politely refuse a nibble of the ‘shrooms being passed around, etc.

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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Apr 142021
 

In life, there are innumerable things we just know to be true: being loved is better than being lonely; cruelty is bad; freedom is better than slavery; racism is wrong, and so forth. There’s really no point to explaining exactly why we believe these things are true — they’re just not up for debate, and debating them essentially proves that you’re a fool, an asshole, or insane.

In the world of rock nerdery, there are similar articles of faith: Jimi Hendrix was a great guitar player; the 1960s was an unparalleled decade of growth and creativity in popular music; the Beatles were great.

Now, just because everybody agrees with something doesn’t make it easy to defend. But sometimes, like some of us did in debate club, we have to try, just to keep our wits sharp, and to make sure we don’t believe in important truths for false reasons.

It’s in that spirit that I hope we can come together to examine all the real, true reasons why “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard is glorious, while Pat Boone’s version is awful. Is it okay to say you like Little Richard’s version because it has more of what EPG calls “animality”? Is animality just a code word for “Black”? Do we cringe at Pat Boone’s version because it’s so “white”? Does Little Richard’s version have more “soul”? How does one measure such a thing? At the end of the day, are we really talking about race when we talk about the vast qualitative chasm that separates these two versions? Or is that just me?

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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Apr 012021
 

In preparation for a long-overdue post on the mystery that is Carlos Santana (coming soon to a Rock Town Hall near you), I was plowing through some vintage Santana performances, and came across the above, from 1977.  It’s not the greatest version of “Carnaval/Let the Children Play” I’ve ever seen or heard, but I was really taken by the performance of Pablo Tellez, the band’s bassist at the time.  As I watched him dig in to his instrument (watch in particular at 2:56, and again at 3:54), horsing every note out for maximum impact, I thought (paraphrasing one of my favorite scenes from “Master and Commander”):  that’s bassmanship, people; my God, that’s bassmanship.

Bassmanship, in my view, is the ability to stroke the thunderbroom in such a way that you bring extra life, extra swagger, extra joy, and extra extra to an entire band’s performance.  It doesn’t mean adding more bass-as-cock-extension hip thrusting, or more Lee Sklar tastiness, or more in-the-pocket/locking-with-the-drummer-whatever-that-actually-means-ness.  It means doing what Tellez is doing:  making you enjoy the music more by watching the bass player love what he or she is doing.

Who’s got bassmanship?  Well, this guy is the all-time heavyweight champion, in my view.  Just watch.  Don’t tell me he doesn’t know full well just how much he lifts the entire band with his subtle in-place sashay.

Or Dan Hartman, leading Edgar Winter’s White Trash into a whole ‘nuther groovy dimension in this live rendition of “Frankenstein”:

Bruce Foxton?  Oh, yeah; bassmanship.

You know who doesn’t have any bassmanship?  Bill Fucking Wyman.  I actually really dig his playing, but on stage?  Give me a break.  It’s like watching mold grow.

Just thought I’d share.  

HVB

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