Sep 092011

This week’s Mystery Date was submitted by Townsman misterioso.

Let’s review the ground rules here. The Mystery Date song is not necessarily something I believe to be good. So feel free to rip it or praise it. Rather the song is something of interest due to the artist, influences, time period… Your job is to decipher as much as you can about the artist without research. Who do you think it is? Or, Who do you think it sounds like? When do you think it was recorded? Etc…

If you know who it is, don’t spoil it for the rest. Anyone who knows it can play the “mockcarr option.” (And I’ve got a hunch at least one of you know this one.) This option is for those of you who just can’t hold your tongue and must let everyone know just how in-the-know you are by calling it. So if you know who it is and want everyone else to know that you know, email Mr. Moderator at mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. If correct we will post how brilliant you are in the Comments section.

The real test of strength though is to guess as close as possible without knowing. Ready, steady, go!

[audio:|titles=Mystery Date 090911]

  40 Responses to “Mystery Date”

  1. Congrats to tonyola for using his mockcarr option – and Mad props! for playing it rather than giving away the goods. May the rest of you have fun sharing your impressions of this number, seeing how close you can dance around the flame of our Mystery Date’s identity.

  2. tonyola

    Thanks. I think I can safely say without giving anything away that this one will surprise some people.

  3. mockcarr

    Sounds Strummery in vocal, but not in execution, so not 101ers. Ian Hunter?

  4. 1979 London?

  5. pudman13

    Sounds to me like a pub rock band. I’d be very surprised if they weren’t British. The production is pretty smooth and I would not only suggest it’s from later than the golden era of pub-into-punk, but I’m guessing it may well be from the 90s. Am I totally off base?

  6. misterioso

    Very interesting and quite reasonable suggestions so far, but things are not always as they seem…

  7. misterioso

    Oh, you slyboots.

  8. BigSteve

    Yeah I know what this is too. For some reason I listened to this artist’s output from this era a couple of weeks ago. I still have the vinyl rips from those albums I bought when they came out. And I agree that people will be surprised. If I hadn’t listened to this so recently, I might not have been able to put my finger on it.

  9. People got off to a great start and since then no one has picked them up. How does this make you feel?

  10. misterioso

    Confused and frightened.

  11. BigSteve

    Without knowing who it is, do you like it?

  12. machinery

    Early Ian Hunter?

  13. machinery

    sorry mr. carr, you already guessed that.

  14. Not particularly. It doesn’t seem to go anywhere and it seems like someone who is consciously trying to write in a particular style so that they can cash in on a then current musical trend.

  15. misterioso

    cdm, which trend or style do you mean?

  16. That’s a really good guess/impression, regardless – and it’s shocking that any of us would think this about this artist.

  17. Keep ’em coming. I’ll reveal all on tomorrow night’s Saturday Night Shut-In. I don’t know, we may be headed down to Urges, in Atlantic City.

  18. ladymisskirroyale

    Graham Coxon?

    Or a put on English accent?

  19. cherguevara

    Good one, I liked it. Give the hints so far, I’m thinking it is from before the original punk era. This is a whim of a guess based entirely on the drum sound as it plays through my laptop speakers – they sound well recorded. Better sounding than the punk era, not contemporary either. I’m thinking pre-punk, maybe early 70’s and since it sounds British, I’ll say it’s American. It’s not some weird Memphis “Rock City” offshoot kind of thing, is it? I could almost imagine this being something like The Dead trying to rock out a bit more, perhaps a sideman moonlighting on lead vocal. Because the more I listen to it, it sounds more like a rowdy blues-based number than punk. But the Strummer-like vocal is really hard to pin down.

    What is this?

  20. This might sound odd but I’m getting a Billy-Joel-doing-a Joe Strummer-impersonation vibe.

  21. misterioso

    Good reasons for thinking so.

  22. misterioso

    Blimey! Could be, milady.

  23. ladymisskirroyale

    Whoever it is really ripped off The Jam’s “A Bomb in Wardour Street.”

  24. I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

  25. Funny you should point that out, ladymiss. Driving into work this morning I thought I had a great idea for a tune. I activated the recorder function on my phone to help me remember the tune. I hummed out that type of melody but with a 1966 Beatles sound/rhythm in my head, like “Rain.” Then I hit RECORD again and hummed it in the rhythm of a Clash song. Then a few minutes later I realized that I was ripping off that Jam song. Now, 18 hours later, I read your comment and realized that I had this Mystery Date song buzzing around my head. But no, our Mystery Artist did not rip off The Jam!

  26. All shall be revealed a little after 6:00 pm on Saturday. You do a fine antic hay with these speculations!

  27. bostonhistorian

    It’s got kind of a New York Dolls stomp to it, but it’s not punk since I can’t think of many punk songs which would so prominently feature “rock and roll” in the lyrics. So, American between 1974-1976? The guitar solo seems very glam rock though. Damned if I know.

  28. BigSteve

    It’s definitely true that this vocalist, usually fairly recognizable, is singing in an uncharacteristic style.

  29. No idea, so I cheated and did some research. Now that I know, I wouldn’t have guessed it in a million years.

  30. Thanks for keeping the artist’s identity to yourself, and welcome to the fray!

    Our Mystery Date’s identity is revealed on tonight’s newly posted Saturday Night Shut-In.

  31. pudman13

    Now that I know what it is, I’m actually more surprised that it’s from 1976 than I am by the artist. It really sounds like a post-1977 pub-rock song, as I said before. This song really rocks. Anyone want to comment on the style and quality of the rest of the album?


    So there it is, “Rock and Roll Time,” by Roger McGuinn, off his 1976 album Cardiff Rose. The song was cowritten by McGuinn with Kris Kristofferson and Bobby Neuwirth. The album was produced by (and this is likely where you were getting your Ian Hunter/Clash impressions) Mick Ronson, who played on the album along with other members of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue band, which is what ties all these disparate forces together. Thank you, Bob, and thank you, misterioso!

  33. cherguevara

    Wow. Never, never would’ve guessed that.

  34. I liked Bobby Neuwirth as Lilith on Cheers.

  35. BigSteve

    You’ve got to wonder what McGuinn was aiming for with that vocal. Had they been listening to Nuggets? Before the take did Ronson say “Sing it like that guy in the Count Five”?

  36. I don’t know, but I would be more interested in a 2-hour documentary or 400-page book on the making of this specific song than any other collective moments in McGuinn’s career.

  37. With a 30 minute bonus feature on the DVD of why you would think it important enough to change your name from Jim to Roger. Huge Daltrey fan?? WTF.

  38. misterioso

    I cannot claim comprehensive knowledge of McGuinn’s solo work, but I thought I knew the Cardiff Rose record though I don’t own it. I heard this song recently–for the first time?–and was as startled as many of you, by the uncharacteristic singing, the proto-punk sound, the whole package, really. I can only assume it was the a by-product of the wackiness of the Rolling Thunder Revue.

  39. Damn, I should have listened to this sooner. They played it on the Underground Garage Channel on Saturday morning, so I could have nailed this one.

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