Sep 102011

Sounds of the Hall in roughly 33 1/3 minutes!

Our planned live Shakedown at Urges in Atlantic City has been postponed due to damage the club suffered from recent flooding along the east coast. We will make it down to Urges for one last summer jam before summer is too far in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, enjoy tonight’s studio broadcast.

In this week’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In Mr. Moderator reveals the identity of yesterday’s Mystery Date and generally gets lost in the music. Get lost with him, won’t you?

[audio:|titles=RTH Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 44]

[Note: The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player. In fact, you can even set your iTunes to search for an automatic download of each week’s podcast.]


  64 Responses to “Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In: Urges in Atlantic City Flooded”

  1. tonyola

    I have a love/hate attitude towards Tom Waits. He’s a never-less-than-interesting songwriter and a clever and sometimes brilliant musician. There’s tons of great music on his albums and he’s a good yarn-spinner too. The problem is his voice. Gawd, it’s horrible. Not merely bad but downright painful to listen to. It sounds like he’s either throwing up or tearing out his larynx. I’d enjoy his records so much more if there was even an attempt to sing like a regular human rather than some fucked-up street-wino crossbreed between Captain Beefheart and Wild Man Fischer.

    Interesting version of “Band of Gold” that I’ve never heard before. How many other pop hits have dealt with wedding-night impotence? As for the Mystery Date, I have an observation or two that I’ll discuss in another post later on, as I don’t want to spoil Mr. Mod’s show.

  2. Nice show, Mod. I really liked that song playing in the background. Who was that again? Terry somebody?

    Tony, I’m a huge Waits fan and I know what you mean. It took me a while to get comfortable with the voice. But I think he’s a guy with a bad voice who knows that he has a bad voice and tries to at least do something interesting with it, often by sort of going into character and singing from the point of view of the song’s narrator. Very few people liked their first sip of gin either. But you listen to some very challenging music so I suspect you’ll eventually be able to make your peace with his voice.

    As for this particular Waits song, it’s nothing that we haven’t heard before but I’m not tired of hearing it yet.

  3. tonyola

    I’ve tried for 30 years to make peace with Tom Waits’ voice, and it’s still a nearly fatal flaw for me. Adopting a bad voice to get into a character is one thing, but that means Waits is in character all the goddamn time. Maybe he should get a better singer for his songs. Perhaps Lou Reed is available (heh heh). Oh well, I’ve never really liked gin either.

  4. I saw Roger McGuinn perform in Gainesville, Florida (free concert on UF campus) at the end of 1976 as part of his Thunderbyrds tour. It was a pretty good and solidly rocking show – he performed his recent songs like “Rock and Roll Time” as well as some Byrds tunes like an extended jam on “Eight Miles High”. It was nighttime on an open grassed plaza and I remember Roger had a white translucent guitar that appeared to have multi-colored, blinking Christmas Tree lights inside. When Cardiff Rose was released in 1976, it seems the track that got the most airplay was the pirate tale “Jolly Roger” – again, pretty atypical for McGuinn.

  5. tonyola

    By the way, Kris Kristofferson recorded a country honky-tonk version of “Rock and Roll Time” in 1974. Yeah, he wrote “Me and Bobby McGee” but how did this hoarse schmuck ever have a music career?

  6. BigSteve

    Yes, I saw that tour too, but in a club in Baton Rouge.

  7. That was some old Terry Riley piece, something in line with Steve Reich’s old “Come Out” piece, in which a minimalist built something around taped voices. I just heard Reich on NPR, by the way, talking about a new piece he composed using these techniques to commemorate 9/11. Pretty cool.

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    Another enjoyable show.

    I had been thinking about writing a post entitled, “What is it going to take to get Mr. Mod to listen to Post-Punk Music?” and then you played ESG. Mr. Royale and I were VERY surprised. ESG’s song, “UFO” is one of the most frequently sampled songs:

    And we’re going out to buy that Matthew F. album today…

  9. I like ESG a lot, and I have for a long time, but I can’t stand that “post-punk” term. I’m totally game for a friendly thread on the subject of “post-punk” as a genre. I’ll flesh out some initial “Con” ideas and invite you and Mr. Royale to set up your own “Pro” post. We could run them together and invite Townspeople to hash it all out. Think about it! I’ll say mean things, but I trust you’ll know they are being said with love and respect.

  10. I’ll say it again, as I say every few shows: the idea for Saturday Night Shut-In has always been that it will become a space for other Townspeople to put together their own 30-35-minute shows. My offer stands, if anyone’s ever interested in taking a slot. We can talk offlist about the technical aspects.

  11. ladymisskirroyale

    Let’s do it!

  12. “ladymisskirroyale, you ignorant…!”

  13. By writing songs like “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” among others.

  14. tonyola

    Yes, I suppose some would view that as a positive…

  15. Some tastee licks on that Jefferson Starship song.

  16. Like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson . . .

  17. tonyola

    Those guys are completely off my radar and besides, it doesn’t change the fact that Kris is a terrible singer.

  18. misterioso

    (The) Eagles.

  19. misterioso

    Hello! Wrong section.

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    Just out of curiosity: Why ESG? Of all the interesting bands to come out of that time period, why that one? Let on – you danced the night away at the Factory the night they debuted there!? There must be some personal connection.

  21. I will do this eventually.

  22. The simple reason is because they sound so good. I like the minimalism. I like their voices. I like the vibe that that Joy Division producer, Martin Hannett (?) captured. And it’s all fun. They sound like a fun ’60s girl group dropped into a trash can.

    A little backstory also goes with my friend sethro’s initial purchase of that first EP: high school-era sethro, andyr, and I (along with our then “faux bassist” Duncan, who only only bothered to learn 1 out of every 5 songs in our repetoire and simply turned the volume off on his bass and mimicked playing on every other 4 songs – TAKE THAT, White Stripes, Sleater-Kinney, and today’s other bassless bands!) traveled to NYC to hand deliver the demo tapes of our first band that we were pretty certain were going to get us signed. One tape was dropped off at 99 Records, which is where the ESG cover stood out to us and sethro bought it.

    We did not get signed on the strength of our 17-year-old demos.

  23. misterioso

    tony, his music career should have peaked when he was mopping the floors at Columbia studios in Nashville while Dylan was recording Blonde on Blonde.

  24. ladymisskirroyale

    Me too.

  25. Great show. A nice reminder that not all Jefferson Starship and Roger McGuinn solo stuff is horrible (Love Too Good is my favorite from Jefferson Starships from that era).

    I saw Roger — solo acoustic — a few years ago at The Barns of Wolftap and heard Jolly Roger for the first time. It inspired me to go get Cardiff Rose, which is really a pretty good album. Love his cover of Joni’s Dreamland on that. The whole experience of seeing him live made me almost forgive that stupid McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman song that got drilled into my head in the late 70s — Don’t You Write Her Off — yuck. I don’t think it’s really a forgotten classic, just forgotten.

  26. misterioso

    Okay, okay. I basically hate Jefferson Airplane/Starship and it may be damning them to note that they were clearly at their best as a lite rock act with songs like Runaway, Count on Me, and of course Miracles. Those really walk a fine line separating tuneful mellowness from unlistenable dreck like Marty Balin’s solo hit Hearts. Preferable, at any rate, to the Mickey Thomas era that lay ahead.

  27. Thank you for seeing the light, misterioso. I have faith that one day you will see what I’m talking about with “Kokomo.”

  28. misterioso

    Uh, not bloody likely.

  29. tonyola

    I love it how people here keep trying to defend the indefensible (yours truly included). Mr. Mod is still out to convince us that Mike Love somehow saved the Beach Boys from flaming death, even in the face of evidence like “Santa’s Goin’ to Kokomo”. Yep, this nauseatingly cloying bit of artificial sweetener is another Love product.

  30. I’ll say it again: without Love the early Beach Boys would have been a footnote in rock history. There may not have been a mid-period Beach Boys, and mention of them later than that would have been as a footnote to their role in the Manson Family. Love’s relative manliness and hipness, in the early years, gave them a foot in the door for Brian to create their deeper works. Like his NBA nephew, Love was the power forward in The Beach Boys, working the low post, boxing out, taking hard fouls… The rest of those guys were like one of Paul Westphal’s run-and-gun Suns teams.

  31. misterioso

    Having almost zero affection towards or interest in early Beach Boys, this is hardly a selling point for the Love man. It is true that if there had been no early Beach Boys there may have been no mid-period Beach Boys, which is sort of like saying if there had been no Black Death there may not have been a Renaissance.

  32. tonyola

    That’s like saying without Tony Sheridan, the early Beatles might have been a footnote in rock history. 🙂

  33. No it’s not! Mike Love is the voice of many of the band’s most rocking hits. All those cars and chicks and surf songs would have sounded like shit if they’d relied on the soft-voiced, big-assed Wilson brothers to put them across. I know you guys are in the realm of joking, but I do get sick of the torch-bearing that goes on for the Wilson brothers while the Love faction gets tarred and feathered. Without Love and Jardine, the Beach Boys would have been toast – or should I say Bread. Get over it: Mike Love is an asshole. Was anyone in that band that reputable a character? Maybe Carl, but Brian and Dennis have/had their character flaws and severe lapses in judgment. I’m not speaking to those who don’t care that much for the band, especially those who don’t dig the earlier hits. I’m speaking to those of you who consider yourselves Beach Boys fans. Man up and face the Love!

  34. “Face the Love”…I need to write that healing song!

  35. Good God, Man. Have you taken leave of your senses?? Did you just defend Mike Love for his machismo and hipness? No sports analogy is going to overcome the image of ML mincing around the stage with the mic held at the end of his fingertips, wearing one of his stupid hawaiian shirt/cap combos, singing in his weak nasal whine. One of the BB’s biggest weaknesses was their lame stage presence, and Love carries the majority of that cross. He sang Brian’s songs acceptably. He’s a terrible front man. Put someone with even one testicle in front of that band, and they may have been a more worthy rival to the British invasion.

  36. I know it sounds whack, but I did say RELATIVE machismo and hipness, didn’t I? Who’s more macho and hip in that band? Dennis had the All-American square jaw, but it was a glass jaw. The guy was relegated to pretending to play his instrument. Love could kick anyone’s ass in that band. I’m not saying his could kick the ass of even the peaceful Graham Nash, if you set The Beach Boys in a steel cage match against The Hollies, but in terms of intraband “bigs,” I’m putting Love in the low post.

  37. tonyola

    Straw man argument alert! You’re setting up Dennis Wilson’s supposed unmusicality to deflect criticism of Mike Love. It is very true that Dennis couldn’t play at first, but he took it upon himself to learn and after a few years became at least as competent on several instruments as the other non-Brian members. He also became a decent songwriter over the years and occasionally took the lead singer role. Let’s not forget that Dennis came out with the acclaimed Pacific Ocean Blue which not only matched The Beach Boys Love You in sales but also completely showed up Love’s pathetic Celebration solo attempt.

  38. tonyola, first you refer to Dennis’ eventual ascent to “decent” status, then you make the case that his solo album matched a horrible Beach Boys album in sales? And you have the nerve to critique my approach to this argument? You’ve got balls, my friend!

    Mike Love sang some of the biggest hits in the band’s history. The other guys, beside Jardine, couldn’t sing that way. I know his voice technically sucks, but he’s got a lot of personality, and it’s a personality that millions of people can identify with. He was the band’s frontman in a greater sense than what’s on the surface. Just like Dennis actually LOOKED like he spent some time on a beach, the young Love came off like the most credible VOICE behind those tinny songs about cars and chicks. The band’s introspective side has ruled the day historically, but in the band’s prime they were soundtrack music to trying to get laid, like so much rock ‘n roll music is when it first hits people.

    It’s sad that I have to work so hard to get anyone to give Love his props. You guys really should be bigger men and admit that Love had a lot of personality in his prime, and not just the “asshole” personality for which he’s become appropriately known. Love Hate is an extreme version of the contortions “cool” Beatles fans (myself included, if I’m not careful) put themselves through in an effort to deal with all the crap McCartney’s turned out.

  39. Yes! A good, old fashioned rock-nerd slap fight about which Beach Boy is the most macho. This is why I come here. Next up: which band is better looking, Bachman Turner Overdrive or the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

    If I understand you correctly then I agree with you, Mod. All the Love haters are Monday morning quaterbacking this thing. If the Beach Boys broke up prior to Pet Sounds, Mike Love wouldn’t be so reviled and Brian wouldn’t be so revered.

  40. tonyola

    Are you aware that The Beach Boys Love You came right after the most successful non-compilation BB album in ten years, 15 Big Ones? Yep, the much-ballyhooed and ultimately sad “Brian’s back!” record. That album spent 27 weeks on the charts and got as high as #8, so there was no question that the Beach Boys were still a marketable name. The fact that Dennis Wilson could match its immediate successor in sales was an accomplishment. Wilson’s album also got a lot of critical acclaim. For a “minor” member of the Beach Boys, Dennis did OK. Bill Wyman should have had his solo success.

    Your lost-cause devotion to Love is genuinely touching. We’ll put you in the corner with the William Hung Fan Club, the Amiga Users Group, and the Yugo Sports Car Club.

  41. tonyola

    And if Paul McCartney had died in 1966 like all the Paul-is-dead freaks said in 1969, his musical sainthood would never have been tarnished by Back to the Egg and Broad Street.

  42. misterioso

    That is some funny back and forth on ML. Mod, here’s the thing, though: your concession that ML may be an asshole seems to see that as a personal failing, separate from his BB persona, whereas what you call his “asshole personality” is precisely the same thing as his BB persona. Long, long before I knew anything about ML as a person or a personality or even what his name was (and long before “Kokomo”) he was That Really Annoying Guy in the Beach Boys. As it was it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Still and all, Mod, it must be noted that your completely misguided tenacity in defense of the indefensible is not without its admirable qualities. High five!

  43. tonyola

    Oh, and Atlanta Rhythm Section was better looking. Especially with this guy.

  44. I haven;t looked yet but is it the bass player? It’s the bass player isn’t it? That’s their trump card…

  45. Ah jeez… I’m all for a low slung bass but not at the expense of having your polyester encased belly hanging over the top of it.

  46. BigSteve

    I think what Mod’s saying about the early Beach Boys is pretty obviously true. Counter-arguing with examples from the late 70s doesn’t contradict his interpretation of the pre-Smile Beach Boys.

  47. Can someone please Photoshop me in front of W.’s “Mission Accomplished” sign? Thank you, cdm, for interpreting what I was trying to say. And thanks, tonyola, for the opportunity to engage in yet another old-fashioned rock-nerd slap fight! 🙂

  48. Yes, I’m aware of that. Are you aware that Hitler once had the popular support of a nation? I don’t care if that album and Dennis Wilson’s album spent more time on the charts than Dark Side of the Moon. They’re crap compared with what the Beach Boys are known for. I’m sorry if I’ve offended fans of Dennis’ album. I know that means a lot to a few of you, and I’m not about to take shots at you for liking it. Comparing the “statistics” of these ’70s releases with any of the band’s prime-time releases is no contest, it’s comparing CFL stats to NFL stats.

  49. Right back at you. Behind every successful man is a woman, they say, right? Well, behind every successful band is an asshole.

  50. misterioso

    Right, behind. Not in front. (Simple anatomy tells us this, by the way.) Of course, the Beach Boys already had Big Daddy. They needed a second asshole as a front man?

  51. hrrundivbakshi

    Now THAT is a statistical assertion we should attempt to prove or disprove with our collective brainpower. Let’s not leave it up to RTH Labs — surely we can address this issue face-on to parse its merits?

  52. hrrundivbakshi

    I mean — come ON. Who was the asshole in Herman’s Hermits?

  53. tonyola

    Yay – Mr. Mod just proved Godwin’s Law! It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%).” Congratulations!

  54. Sore loser?

    (I trust you know I’m joking.)

  55. tonyola

    You certainly must be joking because I haven’t lost. Nyah.

  56. Amen misterioso — Mike Love seemed like a prick when my 10 year-old self heard his stage banter on Beach Boys Concert for the first time.

  57. mockcarr

    That would be like saying who’s the asshole in a hula hoop factory Is it Noone, or no one.

  58. mockcarr

    No, I’ve got Mod’s back here. To win (or be successful) an asshole is required. Sooner or later.

  59. I just figured this one out: it’s their #1 fan, E. Pluribus Gergely!

  60. I think the Beach Boys represent a particularly troublesome iteration of the need for an asshole in a band. You need an asshole, but you also need a genius (you-know-who). So the asshole has to live with the fact that he will always be, at best, a distant second when it comes to talent. But he will never realize that, otherwise he wouldn’t be an asshole.

    I guess I’m an auteur-ist, so I’m more drawn to potential assholes who also happen to be the resident genius, like Neil Young, with his constant dropping and re-dropping of backing bands.

  61. mockcarr

    Yeah, and in certain bands, there are multiples.

  62. That’s funny: I always thought the early BB success had more to do with the harmonies than with the lead vocals. But, hey, if you want to claim that Love’s war-whoops for the libido of the white male are somehow significant, I won’t stop you–even if your claim that the singer’s “everyman” persona bespeaks individual talent strikes me as somewhat paradoxical.

  63. And Moe was the smart one in The Three Stooges.

    As long as we’re playing, what if: The BBs would have been better served just starting with Dennis as the lead singer. He had way more charisma, he could sing, and they could have had a real drummer, and no A-hole ML dragging them down.

    Also the “every band has to have an asshole” argument is completely wrong. The Nixon’s Head doesn’t have an asshole. None of you guys are a-holes. Oh, wait a minute, that means …

  64. ladymisskirroyale

    Very family systems theory of you, Oats.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube