Apr 032020
 

Our old friend mikeydread got in touch to pass along this piece on a disappointing album. I think this is a nicely balanced expression of disappointment, not the kind of thing we’d hear from smack-talking E. Pluribus Gergely.

You’ve all had enough time to reflect on Nashville Skyline, and I really don’t think Bob Dylan is a Townsperson, so you won’t need to worry about missing out on advance copies of his next Bootleg Series: On a scale of Bad to Meh to Great, how do you rate this album?

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Apr 012020
 

O-to-the-M-to-the-G. I’ve been so excited about this trial balloon of an RTH second coming (at Easter time no less!) that I couldn’t pick one from the pile of posts that I was considering to use to say “Hi Again Townsmen!”. Sad that it turns out to be one that just came to light:

Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne singer, dead at 52 from Covid-19

Mr. Moderator turned me onto Fountains of Wayne years ago and I was hooked from the first song he played me- Radiation Vibe which is also the first song from their first self-titled release.

My now 21yo son started learning to play guitar about 8 years ago and I turned him on to FOW. He sang Stacy’s Mom at his 5th grade karaoke graduation celebration. He had to ask the DJ to play it as it wasn’t on the “kids approved” list that his elementary school requested. (The apple doesn’t fall far.)

A few years later I took him to his first concert- Fountains of Wayne at The Roxy. He loved it. I bought him a t-shirt that he wore years after it fit.

Actual t-shirt
not actual size

He felt that that single experience with his dad effected his life in such a profoundly positive way that, because the shirt no longer fit, he did this-

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Apr 012020
 

Ever have one of those moments when you reflect and say to yourself, “It’s time I try being a better person; it’s time I give [insert thing you’ve never liked] a chance”? I had one of those moment last week, when I decided to give ZZ Top a chance.

Social distancing has opened my mind and heart to all sorts of things I’d normally not watch on Netflix, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab series. How much more annoying could a ZZ Top documentary, That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, be than a 6-part series featuring Paltrow and her fellow vocal fry lackeys self-obsessing over touchy-feely subjects that first came into being to make us better people spiritually, not worse?

To my surprise and delight, to my edification as an evolved, better person, the ZZ Top documentary was not bad at all. I realized at least 5 things from watching this program:

  1. The members of ZZ Top are way more articulate and engaging than I was expecting.
  2. Billy Gibbons is and always has been much thinner than I realized. (What is with the insertion of the middle initial F, though?)
  3. The band spend most of its career looking like regular, cowboy dudes, which was a much less annoying Look than their bearded, sharp-dressed man shtick of the MTV age. I barely paid any attention to ZZ Top in their first 10 years, but had I, I would have been much less put off by simply looking at them. Hearing those old songs again, I still don’t get much pleasure out of them, but their instrument tones are sweet. Their surge in popularity thanks to the MTV hits explains so much of what I don’t like about that band. Had it not been for that evolution in their career, I could have happily ignored them through the glory years of RTH and saved Townsman hrrundivbakshi much heartache.
  4. I still don’t care for Prince.
  5. Beside some footage of vultures sitting back by drummer Frank Beard, which we’d uncovered years ago in our Bullshit On series regarding the alleged tour featuring livestock, there’s nothing more to prove that bison and bucking broncos and whatnot actually shared the stage with the band. Come on, an entire segment of the doc highlights this part of the band’s mythology, including an interview with a rodeo clown who was supposedly hired to wrangle the animals, and we don’t even get a still image of a bison sharing a mic with Dusty Hill? I smell a page taken from the playbook of that Scorsese doc on Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review.
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This Is Us

 Posted by
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?

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Mar 302020
 
A sound salvation

Townspeople,

We hope you are healthy and abiding by your community’s social distancing practices. I’m keeping my hands as clean as Chris Martin’s.

COVID-19 has thrown us for a loop. I don’t know about you, but all this time shut in the house has made me long for an outlet that not even social media can satisfy. I need to mix it up with my most-intimate music-loving friends. I need to call bullshit with you on some things and, more importantly, have bullshit called on myself.

I’m not alone. A few of you have reached out to me and my close, personal friend sammymaudlin to ask if we could re-open the Halls of Rock, at least until we make it through this global pandemic. We’re brushing up things just enough to give us the rock-nerd shelter we may need to have the intimacy to kindly attack sacred cows, analyze the influence of facial hair on an artist’s musical development, and get a report on the Bill Wyman documentary on Netflix. This emergency trial re-opening of Rock Town Hall can even provide a safe haven for a discussion of Bob Dylan‘s new 17-minute song about the assassination of JFK, which I’ve been afraid to listen to without you.

Who knows where this goes? I hope it helps us through the coming months, if that’s what it’s going to take to get back out to clubs and backslap with friends.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you need a refresher on how to navigate things, how to post new content, simply how to log in. Of course, there is an auto-reset, if you’ve forgotten your password. Who could blame you?

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Mar 252020
 

Townspeople,

Can it be? Will our time spent in relative isolation give us the opportunity to get back to the Halls of Rock?

Stay tuned.

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 Comments Off on Is This Thing On?
Oct 312016
 

This LMS invites you to submit rock songs by rock bands /musicians that directly reference other rock band members / rock musicians by name. This being the ROCK town hall, I am specifically including the aforementioned requirements. More specifically:

  • It’s gotta be rock on both sides: a rock artist mentioning a rock artist. I think Abba mentioning Joan Baez would be straying too far afield, if it happened!
  • It must be a mention of person; mentioning a band not does not count.
  • It can be just a first name or last name if it’s clear who it’s talking about. “The walrus was Paul” would count, except that:
  • It cannot be a band mentioning a member of that same band, unless it’s about an ex-member.
  • Also, Bob Dylan is out as a mentionee. There was already a whole thread dedicated to Dylan mentions!

Here’s my starter submission to kick things off:

https://youtu.be/UNZbP3ZVem4

The Smithereens’ “Behind The Wall Of Sleep”:

“and she stood just like Bill Wyman / now I am her biggest fan”

One mention at a time, please!

 

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