Sep 012015



This week, Mr. Moderator revisits records that made a deep, lasting impression on him from the first time he dropped the needle (or pushed PLAY or clicked a link). What records stuck with you and wove their way into particular moments in your life?

RTH Saturday Night Shut-In 144

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  5 Responses to “Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 144: The First Time Ever I Heard Your Record”

  1. Mod,

    GREAT SHOW! Both music and stories.

    That Frownland is one in your face chunk of music. There are other songs on Trout Mask like Ella Guru, Pachuco Cadaver or Fallin’ Ditch that throw a little lifeline hook to reel you in, but Frownland does not give an inch.

    I first heard Pere Ubu’s “The Modern Dance” record and it hit me a little like Frownland, too dense to get into without a lot of acclimation. When I later heard the earlier singles stuff like the one you played and Final Solution, everything made a lot more sense.

  2. Thanks, that one was fun for me to do. I’m glad it made sense to someone else.

    Have we never talked Pere Ubu in all the years we’ve known each other? I always assumed you were completely on board with them, as you are Beefheart. I think you know how much I love those early singles and the first 3 albums.

    Yeah, “Frownland” isn’t the kind of song from that album that I can simply pop on for pleasure, like the ones you mention (and my favorite from that album, “Moonlight in Vermont”), but it’s like a Beefheart reduction (the cooking term).

  3. I wasn’t crazy about them when I heard The Modern Dance and I saw them live at that time and liked them but didn’t love them. My problem with that record and their sound at that time was just the lack of space: the synthesizer is thick and fuzzy and the rock band is kind of clunky, leaving almost no room to breathe. I preferred Dub Housing and when I got that collection with the early singles, their interesting mix of atonal noisy synthesizer slathered over a chunky garage rock foundation made more sense to me and helped me appreciate the whole package. Today, the guitar layering at the beginning of 30 Seconds sounded great. On Modern Dance the single guitar line up had a much more conventional, almost rudimentary rhythm guitar sound, just a little too square for me.

  4. David Bowie’s “Lodger” is a big one for me. In high school, my buddy and I listened to it driving around in his Mustang, while everybody else was cranking Van Halen. I know some people find it weak, but I still put it on a couple of times a year.

  5. cliff sovinsanity

    Sorry for the late comment, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show from beginning to end. I may be inspired to put together a similar show in the future.

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