May 132021

It’s been a while – the standard text is below. Not sure Mr. Mod wants to continue to be the contact for the “mockcarr option.” I’m trying SoundCloud as a host for this music, and they may pull it down since it is likely copyrighted. But in the meantime – what are your impressions of this track? And do you have any idea which well-known musician plays a prominent role in this production?


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!


  31 Responses to “Mystery Date!”

  1. All right, the return of the Mystery Date! I love it. I’ll see if that email address for me still works. Now, let me play along. Thank you for posting this!

  2. First, major props to MIA Sammy Maudlin for that hilarious intro video. I forgot how funny it was.

    Sounds like it’s taking a page from The Police, but the singer doesn’t sound all that English. I’m always suspicious on these that I’m being set up; that it’s an actor’s vanity project rather than someone primarily a musician. I can’t offer a guess with any confidence.

  3. cherguevara

    I agree, the singer doesn’t sound English, and isn’t. But this isn’t an actor’s vanity project, this is a legit, famous for being a musician, musician.

  4. Is it Sir Bob Geldof? Recorded…after “I Don’t Like Mondays” and maybe even after Band-Aid but before Live Aid, is my guess. I’d have guessed pre-“Mondays” except the recording quality feels too good to be an early demo or pre-major label record.

  5. cherguevara

    Not Bob Geldof! This recording is straight outta North America! It probably wouldn’t help to mention that our mystery date changed his style, his famous recordings sound nothing like this.

  6. I thought you might have flim-flammed me by writing “not English”, but he was British instead, but you cleared that up. You didn’t show your hand in your response to Scott that we should or shouldn’t be focusing on the singer or not.

  7. cherguevara

    You could focus on the singer.

  8. BigSteve

    It sounds like the kind of fake reggae a jam band would try.

  9. Happiness Stan

    Not a clue, I’d have guessed a Brit putting on an accent, so not even warm there. The production sounds like recorded in a hurry mid nineties, would that be even close?

  10. How about Little Steven? He’s got just enough of an unformed personality and abundance of confidence to try something like this.

  11. cherguevara

    Your mystery date is not from the 90’s, though that is the era when he came into the limelight. I don’t know if there is a rock genre that is the opposite of jam bands, but I’d there is one, our mystery date is of that opposite genre.

  12. trigmogigmo

    The style might yield a guess at the era of the recording. To me it sounds like this had to have been created by someone who had heard The Police and Men At Work. I’ll guess this was recorded in the mid-80’s.

  13. Mmm, not *from* the ’90s, but that’s the decade where he “came into the limelight.” Metal may be the opposite of jam bands. Metallica goes back to the ’80s but broke in the ’90s. It’s got to be James Hetfield!

  14. cherguevara

    I believe ’83 is the year of this recording, and it does sound like that.

    James Hetfield is a funny guess! Not correct, but some good thinking. I’ll hint this is not west coast music.

  15. God damn, this driving me nuts. That voice sounds so familiar. And there are a few melodic turns that are making me think I’ve heard this before.

  16. My problem is I don’t think I can name very many musicians that came into the limelight in the 90s. Is it Rivers Cuomo?

  17. cherguevara

    Nope! If this singer is also playing an instrumental part in this song, it’d be the rinky-dink steel drum synth.

  18. Do I know this piano hook from a hip-hop song? It sounds really, really familiar and I can’t tell if it’s just a common roof or if I heard it in a song that my son was playing.

  19. Lenny Kravitz?

  20. cherguevara

    Ooh, I think there may be some early Lenny Kravitz recordings out there that are in more of an 80’s pop style – but this isn’t him. I can’t speak for the keyboard hook being in a hip-hop song. I kind of doubt it, but don’t know.

    Think Lolapalooza. And it’s not what’s his name Perry from Jane’s Addiction.

  21. A couple of comments. It sounded to me like someone in the early to mid-80’s doing a very derivative take on copping the Police before he found his own style and leaned into it and became famous. It has the earmarks of a low budget studio recording, not atrocious sounding but just kind of flat.

    I would’ve guessed Eddie Vedder because I could imagine him having that kind of fluid identity at that time, but you said not West Coast and I think he is from San Diego..

    In the immortal words of someone, “I’m thinking’ here but nothin’s happening.”

  22. Not West Coast, big in the 90’s, Lollapalooza. Is it a precursor to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones?

  23. trigmogigmo

    I have a very definite guess re-listening to the vocal carefully… yeah, I hear this guy’s voice clearly now. I’ll email my mockcarr guess.

  24. Mrs CDM says Adam Duritz and I’m on board with this answer.

  25. cherguevara

    Our mystery date did not write this song, though he is known for writing his material now. But it’s not the Bosstones, or any band that sounds like reggae or ska. This guitarist definitely has been studying Andy Summers’ chord voicings and chorus effects!

    Mr. Mod, forward trigmogigmo’s guess to me,. I’ll will verify!

  26. Fred Durst?

  27. So not counting crows?

  28. cherguevara

    Adam Duritz is a good guess, but no. Same on Mr. Nookie. Our date is very much a viable artist to this day.

  29. Just sent you Trigmogigmo’s guess via FB Messenger. It looks like a contender!

  30. cherguevara

    Congratulations Trigmogigmo, but beware this mystery date – he wants to f*CK you like an animal! Yes, it’s Trent Reznor in a band called “Option 30,” from Meadville, PA. This recording was apparently made in 1983, later released by the studio engineer, capitalizing on Reznor’s name. These guys must’ve ruled the Allegheny College music scene!

  31. trigmogigmo

    Cool! Your hint about Lollapalooza got me thinking about that era of performers. Although I didn’t think of NIN being part of it, suddenly the nasal tone on some of his mid-range vocal lines in that tune really jumped out at me as very recognizable, even though most of it is not.

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