hrrundivbakshi

hrrundivbakshi

Mar 072021
 
Harumph.

In some cases because I do not sufficiently enjoy (which does not necessarily mean dislike) what little I’ve heard over the years, and in some because it just always seemed like the kind of music I would not like, I have chosen not to own any music made by the following artists. I have not listed any artists that you might easily guess that I would avoid.

  • I do not own any music made by Van Morrison
  • I do not own any music made by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
  • I do not own any music made by the Flaming Groovies
  • I do not own any music made by Roxy Music
  • I do not own any music made by Mott the Hoople
  • I do not own any music made by Sam Cooke
  • I do not own any music made by Lou Reed
  • I do not own any music made by Television
  • I do not own any music made by Iggy Pop (solo)
  • I do not own any music made by Nick Cave
  • I do not own any music made by Husker Du (though I keep thinking about it)
  • I do not own any music made by Dwight Twilley
  • I do not own any music made by Tom Petty
  • I do not own any music made by Joni Mitchell
  • I do not own any music made by BB King
  • I do not own any music made by the Residents
  • I do not own any music made by Yes
  • I do not own any music made by Pink Floyd
  • I do not own any music made by Elliot Smith
  • I do not own any music made by Zwol

How about you? Who do you not own any music made by… uh… whose is the music that you do not… er, what music don’t you… uhh… you get the idea.  

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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Feb 282021
 

About halfway through the recent RTH Zoomfest, somebody brought up the topic of the Replacements, kinda/sorta as a “butwhatabout” response to a typically outrageous EPG suggestion that nothing good came out of the 1980s as far as music was concerned.

Townsman cdm gamely offered to put together a Replacements playlist that he thought might win EPG over, or just put what he thought was the Placemats’ best on display, or provided a succinct overview of the band’s output, or something. We moved onto other topics, touching on — oh, I don’t remember; it was all a bit of a blur after someone started gabbing about Wishbone Ash.

Anyhow, the Replacements blah-blah inspired me to cue some of their music up for my afternoon walkabout, and I chose an LP I remembered somewhat fondly: “Pleased To Meet Me.” Sadly, I was surprised by how much of it just kinda sat there for me, after about 25 years.

Having said that, there were two tracks that still sounded sublime to these ears: “Alex Chilton” and “Skyway.” I’m not going to bother posting a link to “…Chilton,” because I feel certain Gergles will find a reason — probably having to do with the gated reverb on the snare — to hate it. Neither am I going to post “Skyway,” because E. Pluribus Gergely’s tastes, by his own admission, run closer to things like Christopher Cross and Poco than the Replacements.  So instead, I’m posting “Sharing the Night Together” by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Company.

EPG, I demand that you explain the beauty and the brilliance of “Sharing the Night Together” by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Company!

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Feb 272021
 

About halfway through the recent RTH Zoomfest, somebody brought up the topic of the Replacements, kinda/sorta as a “butwhatabout” response to a typically outrageous EPG suggestion that nothing good came out of the 1980s as far as music was concerned.

Townsman CDM gamely offered to put together a Replacements playlist that he thought might win EPG over, or just put what he thought was the placemats’ best on display, or provided a succinct overview of the band’s output, or something. We moved onto other topics, touching on — oh, I don’t remember; it was all a bit of a blur after someone started gabbing about Wishbone Ash.

Anyhow, the Replacements blah-blah inspired me to cue some of their music up for my afternoon walkabout, and I chose an LP I remembered somewhat fondly: “Pleased To Meet Me.” Sadly, I was surprised by how much of it just kinda sat there for me, after about 25 years.

Having said that, there were two tracks that still sounded sublime to these ears: “Alex Chilton” and “Skyway.” I’m not going to bother posting a link to “…Chilton,” because I feel certain Gergles will find a reason — probably having to do with the gated reverb on the snare — to hate it. But I am posting “Skyway,” because, hell, that song got even more beautiful with the passage of time.

EPG, I demand that you acknowledge the beauty and the brilliance of “Skyway” by the Replacements!

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Feb 222021
 

Greetings! I’ve always carried around a certain amount of guilt for having introduced the brainless fun and games that, in my view, contributed to the sickening of RTH (Mercury Version). So it’s with no small amount of trepidation that I unleash my latest bit of tomfoolery on our nicely recuperating RTH. Despite my fear of derailing the healthy, thoughtful discourse that we seem to be enjoying, it seems to me that — in between dutifully foraging for fruits and berries, painstakingly poking termite mounds with broken twigs, and performing complex mating and dominance displays — us monkeys also need a few moments of scratching fleas, yawning, and nibbling on the crusty bits we pull off of each others’ anuses. And it is in that spirit that I introduce my latest creation, entitled simply: What Is It?

In the game of “What Is It,” your job is simple: I, the Quizmaster, will provide you with a list of names of things — bands, albums, tours, infamous behaviors, hair styles, quotable quotes, guitar nicknames, what have you. Some may be real; most will be fake. Your job is to tell us what you think the things are. Your answers don’t have to agree with mine, and they don’t have to correctly identify the “real” things in the list, if in fact there are any. Just answer, to the best of your ability, the question: What Is It?

Example — I say: Bow-legged Ida. You say: The name Jim Dandy gave the washboard he played in Black Oak Arkansas. Got it?

Here we go:

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Dec 242020
 

Flunk Punks “Guitar Tech” Paul Shields, with THE INFAMOUS YAMAHA DT 175 IN THE BACKGROUND!

Happy holidays, Rock Town Hall members and hangers-on!

As has become a bit of a tradition ’round these parts, on this festive day of the year, I present you with the annual telling of my greatest moment of rock embarrassment — namely, the story of The Day I Rode My Motorcycle On-stage at School Assembly and Proceeded to Suck Mightily. This year, however…there’s more!

First of all, there are pictures to share, culled from dusty old photo albums–including, as you’ll see above, a picture of the actual motorcycle! I wish I had pictures of all the members of the “band,” but there seem to be just a few in my possession. Perhaps more illuminating, I’ve managed to gather a few recollections of the event from other members of the Flunk Punks! This year, I managed to track down two: David “Bertie” Bertram and Peter Horn. Peter was characteristically taciturn about the whole affair, but Bertie remembered something I’d long since forgotten: the Flunk Punks “groupies!”

Anyway, the story proceeds below, followed by our star witnesses’ commentary. Enjoy, and–best wishes for the season, RTH!

HVB

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May 032020
 

Recently, I decided to answer a question on Faceblearrgh that nobody had actually asked me — namely: “hey, HVB. Can you name 10 albums that are absolutely perfect?” Like a gladiator, I rose to my own challenge, and, facing myself as disdainful Caesar in the stands, recited my list, boldly, proudly, flawless disc by flawless disc, as the hungry lions circled. I was thoroughly pleased as I watched myself lift my royal thumb towards the sky in approval of my own bold opinions.

But, no, I’m not here to tell you which albums made my list — nor am I asking you for yours. We’re supposed to be above that kind of shit here in the Halls of Rocke Towne.

I will, however, spend a few moments explaining why one album from my list — an album you’ve probably never heard, called “Powerage” — is not just the best album in AC/DC’s career; it may also be one of the best albums ever made.  

Howzabout we *not* start with a discussion of Angus Young’s “manic”/“slashing”/“angry”/whatever guitar playing. That is a thing, for sure, but yawn. Ditto for the overall quality of the songs, musically speaking. Those are givens here. No, I want to talk about the lyrics.

Lord knows, Bon Scott has a well deserved reputation for writing leering single-entendres about big butts, crabs, booze, and the general, universe-wide, triumphant reality of feeling good (as opposed to the pointless pursuit of being good, or things that actually are good). But there’s a strong current of Bon’s songwriting that speaks to ordinary losers, and about the stacked decks, con artists, and rich dickheads that keep them down.  

To be clear, “Powerage” features a few fine songs about sexual frustration (“Gimme a Bullet”), romantic rejection/betrayal (“Kicked In the Teeth”), actually-scary S&M perversion (“What’s Next To the Moon”) and so forth, and they’re all surprisingly compelling — no, really — but most of the record is about (are you ready for this?) the class war, and whether or not Bon thinks it’s worth your time to fight in it.

Most of the time, he doesn’t seem to think there’s any point. His characters revel in the freedom their lack of status grants them (“Riff Raff”), find humor in their own materialism and harmless hypocrisies (“Down Payment Blues”) — or he sings from his own heart about the perpetual unfairness of capitalism (and his cynical wish to be the top dog), as in “Sin City.”

But, meta-analysis aside, here’s the last point I want to make: Bon’s words *sound* great. Any student of Chuck Berry (as Bon was) knows that’s the really important thing. Do the words sound good? Do they make your reptile brain happy? Are they good to your earhole? Do they make you want to sing along? All across this working man’s hard rock album, the answer to those questions is a full-on, beer-drenched “yes.”

“Powerage” by AC/DC is flawless, and Bon Scott’s lyrics are a big part of the reason why. I have spoken.

HVB

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May 022020
 

Last night, I plowed through a whole shit-ton of extremely unfunny sketch comedy from the SNL rip-off “Fridays,” in order to catch some fine performances by the likes of the Clash (fantastic; their first US TV performance), Graham Parker (good), Pat Benatar (don’t laugh — why is “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” not held in the same esteem as Blondie’s hits from the era?), and others.

But the performance that really made me sit up, notice, and newly appreciate was this one, by a guy I’ve always relegated to the second tier of 1980s/90s rock-for-dudes-who-eventually-traded-their-jeans-in-for-pleated-khakis.

I began to wonder if I’d gotten early Petty all wrong. Was he — at least at one point — the American Lowe/Parker/Costello? Can you show me what I should listen to in order to figure Tom Petty out? Who was this guy?

I look forward to your responses.

HVB

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