Sep 232014

Hey, did you see this?

I know that you all enjoy movies and film almost as much as you do your music, so here’s a perfect marriage of the two, thanks to our bearded, cycling, kale-eating friends at Pitchfork. Knock yourself out; I know I did.

I would agree with a number of these entries, and think the group of films/songs representing numbers 15-1 are pretty accurate (with the exception of The Lovers on the Bridge. What? If you’re going for a colossal failure, let’s revisit Ishtar. At least that’s about a couple of song writers.) I appreciate the inclusion of two of my favorite song/scenes from film, the use of “The Madison” in Band of Outsiders and “California Dreamin'” in Chungking Express (and snappy little films, to boot).

However, I’m guessing that you, like me, will also take umbrage at a few of the entries. What?!: These Days is rated higher than Saturday Night Fever? And if you’re going to include the great “Heart of the Sunrise” from Buffalo 66, why not include the trailer (which, IMHO, is one of the best film trailers ever spliced together)?!

There are some glaring omissions. How could you leave out these cheekbones? That attitude? Or those bees?

Members of Rock Town Hall! Put aside your remote controls! Take your fingers off that turn table arm! Rip off those headphones! We can do better than this! What are your quintessential movie pop music moments?

Aug 182014

After the reveal of cherguevarra’s recent Mystery Date, Mr. Royale and I got to riffing about the name Michael. Let’s cut to the chase here: Is there an uncooler rock (first) name than Michael?

Michael Bolton. Michael Buble. Michael Feinstein. Michael McDonald. And some of you would add Michael Stipe. Honestly, are there any rockin’ Michaels? Or is there another first name that better signifies earnest schmaltzy music?

For those few cool or semi-hip Michaels out there, why did they go by Michael rather than the arguably cooler Mike, Mick, or (even) Mickey?

Lastly, if we agree on Michael, what would be his female counterpart? Tiffany?

Jul 312014


So, a couple of days ago, an impromptu RTH West Coast gathering occurred over Burmese food and over-priced but delicious Philz Coffee, and surprisingly, after Mr. Mod, E Pluribus Gergley, Slim Jade, and I had exhausted discussions about the weather, possible driving routes south, and the pros and cons of life at a California institute of higher learning, the conversation turned to music. Mr. Moderator shared a recent experience: he had visited the home of Townsman Sethro who apparently is quite the audiophile and who had wanted to demonstrate his amazing new configuration of speakers and audio technology. To do so, he played Blonde on Blonde. Mr. Moderator, who appeared to have become a bit jaded about the benefits of speaker placement, then described the epiphany of the experience by saying that it sounded like Dylan was sitting right there in front of him in the room.

Which got me thinking to the first nice stereo I owned: it was in the early ’90s, I was still in grad-school but I finally had a decent paying job and was able to buy a small system that had pretty good sound. Rather than breaking a bottle of champagne over it’s bow, I wanted to chose a meaningful song to listen to, and I chose this:

I chose the song because one of my best friends was in the band, I loved the song, and I figured the variation in sounds (coyotes, the rising swell of distorted guitars) would be a good way to test out the new stereo. I was not disappointed.

So…what would be the first song you would choose to play on a really great sound system? Or what have you chosen in the past?

Jul 032014


I just saw this posted on a fellow musician’s FB page; he had added several NSFW comments.

I’m interested in your thoughts…

Jun 302014


Mr. Royale and I just returned to the States after 9 days in Italy and an additional 4 in London. Whilst I cannot claim to have conducted extensive research on the pop music of Sorrento, Florence, Rome, or London, my brief listen to the radio, via taxi rides and cafe culture, yielded the following observations:

  1. Both countries are stuck in a 1980s time warp.
  2. American music is played frequently; Italians don’t listen to much Italian music.
  3. Much of the music was re-mixes of American music from the ’80s. Especially Michael Jackson.
  4. For variety, the DJ would occasionally play something from the 1970s.
  5. The DJ Plan B was something that sounded like an outtake from a Eurovision contest or off of yet another Hotel Costes soundtrack.
  6. A full, cooked English breakfast does taste better when accompanied by Small Faces.

From our city wanderings, we were also puzzled by the preponderance of Pink Floyd t-shirts. We didn’t hear any actual Pink Floyd music, but for whatever reason, new versions of vintage PF t-shirts and album covers were all over Italy.

I’m calling on Mod, who I know lived for a while on The Continent, and any of the lot of you to share your observations of the music-listening habits of our RTH brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.

Ciao, Cheers, LMKR



 Posted by
Jun 022014

So last night, Mr. Royale and I got our aging butts out of suburbia and headed into San Francisco to the new San Francisco Jazz Center. Marc Ribot was performing there for four nights, with each night highlighting one of his different styles; we chose to see him in his Los Cubanos Postizos incarnation. The band did not disappoint: Marc and the other three original members were in amazing form, and it was a pleasure to watch their interactions, their nods, their signals to each other. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen or heard such fluid intra-band communication.

But there was something really wrong about the night: the venue. The show started at 7:30 (not the doors, the music), and we got there late (early? at 6:30) and hadn’t eaten dinner, so decided to grab a quick bite in the Jazz Center’s restaurant, “South.” Inside the white and glass interior, we were able to eat healthier, more expensive versions of classic Southern cuisine. I love me some biscuits and collard greens, but Ouch! the price tag was a bit rich. After rapidly making our way through our meal, we dashed inside just in time to catch the start. We sat in amphitheater-style seating (noting the plastic armrests and drink holders that could hold $12 plastic cups of wine), in an air-conditioned, large, battle-ship grey room. Our fellow music appreciators were seated around the small stage, but when the tempo sped up, folks got up and politely went to the back of the room to dance. The one act of debauchery I saw during the two-and-a-half-hour show was a woman skipping up to sit in a vacant seat in the front row. She lasted about 25 seconds before a clean-cut middle-aged man escorted her out. We were done, walking out the door, by 10 pm. All in all, it felt like a Disney Theme Park, an IMAX theater, a cleaned up, safe-for-aging-beatnik fans experience. I have seen the future and it is me?

I don’t know what I was expecting. I was happy that I wasn’t surrounded by jerks holding their phones up to take pictures or video, and this was certainly the first show in recent memory that I didn’t want to yell at some nearby couple, “Get a room!” But something was really missing. Fast-tempo latin music seems to need more than such a slick, comfortable venue. Where was the funk?

I could continue ranting about these weird juxtapositions of band and venue. I’ve seen plenty of bands in crappy music halls, beer-stinking bars, high school gyms, and hangar-like arenas. Sometimes the space was too small for the loudness of the band (I’m talking to you, Moon Duo). Sometimes a horrible show was redeemed when I heard the same set in a different space (Hello, My Bloody Valentine). Sometimes the smell of weed heightened the experience (Tame Impala!) and sometimes I thought, WTF (Arcade Fire?).

Please join me in my further understanding of how a band’s venue heightens or detracts from the musical experience.



 Posted by
May 052014

So there’s this band that started out in San Francisco that Mr. Royale I like, Deerhoof. We particularly enjoyed this track, “Flower,” from their 2003 album, Apple O’.

Fast forward a few years; the band has moved east and has released a few more albums, including most recently our favorite, the 2012 Breakup Song. On that disc, there’s also a song entitled, “Flower,” but it sounds a little like this:

Continue reading »


Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube