Jun 092012

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

On tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Shut-In Mr. Moderator tries one more time to rally a few Townspeople to join him for a screening of the upcoming Rock of Ages. He also passes along a gauntlet regarding the new Saint Etienne album thrown down by our old friend The Great 48. Finally, he discusses the final scene in the American remake of Wings of Desire, whatever the hell that was called. Good tunes to boot, including Bob Welch’s finest moment!

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/RTH-Saturday-Night-Shut-In-81.mp3|titles=RTH Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 81]

[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your iTunes by clicking here. The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player.]


  3 Responses to “Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In: Rock of Ages, Saint Etienne, and Wings of Desire”

  1. ladymisskirroyale

    A difficult show for me on several counts. I guess I can overlook your lack of enthusiasm for the movies of Wes Anderson – I get that his tightly organized little microcosms aren’t for everyone (but really, you can resist “Bottle Rocket” and “Rushmore” and the excellent soundtracks that Anderson includes?). And then moving on and trashing another favorite cultural icon, “Wings of Desire”? Ouch! (Although I do agree that that American remake was just too horrible, and Wenders’ follow up to WofD was not very good, too. But check out “Lisbon Story” and the main character who is a sound recordist and you may soften your feelings…)

    But St. Etienne?! I would like to read Great48’s comments – I’m not sure what his post was about and what he was hoping listeners would get out of St. Etienne. What I would encourage even the Bad Attitude Club to do is just take a taste of each of St. Etienne’s albums and I think that they would find even a little crumb that they would like. The band shifted in style (and record labels) over the years but continuously make references to pop culture, including lots of music that I think is appreciated by The Hall. Cracknell, Stanley and Wiggs clearly love music.

    Whereas The Bad Attitude Club may find the first three albums too twee and/or electronic, they include great pop melodies and some nice production work (see the band taking a bow to The Beach Boys with the title of their second album, “So Tough.”) 1998’s “Good Humor” reflected a big shift in sound and in record label: they moved to Creation/SubPop and lost a lot of the electronica gloss. Here’s a favorite track of mine from this album:

    The next two albums, “Sound of Water” and “Finisterre” were more experimental and ambient (but boring).

    But this new record sounds promising. And even if our listeners don’t like the sound of the band, the album’s theme of nostalgia and sentimentality for the music of our youth is one that is frequently revisited here on this site (and was a good segue way for the Bob Welch track). Plus even the most jaded among us will probably enjoy looking at the album cover, which is a map of a fictional city, with all the streets and roads named for streets and roads mentioned in pop and rock songs.

    Also, our listeners may also want to check out “Saint Etienne Present Songs for Mario’s Cafe,” a compilation of other artists’ songs the band chose to reflect the soundtrack for a fictional “caff” where people meet, listen to and talk about music. As the liner notes read, this is how the members of Saint Etienne met and worked together. Included are songs from Tony Hatch, The Bobcats, Candy and the Kisses, The Kinks, King Tubby, Chairmen of the Board, Honey Cone, The Foundations, among others.

  2. Bottle Rocket is so much better than the rest of Anderson’s films put together, in my opinion, that it doesn’t seem like it was made by the same person. Maybe it was helped (for me) by the fact that it’s his first movie. I enjoy the soundtracks to his movies to a point. I’d like them better if they weren’t used in his movies to substitute for having the ability to actually show how humans emote. Sorry, ladymiss, Wes Anderson’s on my short list of people I’d sucker punch if I ran into him on the street.

    My problem with all the Wenders movies I’ve seen (3 or 4) is that they start out GREAT then fall into a bunch of existential Jim Morrison poetry bullshit. Paris, Texas is another example. I’ve actually watched Wings of Desire a few times hoping that I’d like it past the point where I lose it. I never do. I wouldn’t sucker punch Wenders if we met on the street, but I’d ask him what the fuck makes him trail off into all those soul-searching monologues after he’s set up a brilliant scenario that any intelligent viewer should be able to piece through in his or her own mind.

    Having the benefit of owning that entire Saint Etienne album (yes, I bought it), I can say that I appreciate the humanity they put into their music. There are some songs on that new album that made me feel embarrassed listening to. They sounded like early Madonna, like “Holiday” or whatever. If a friend walked in on my listening to those songs I feared I’d have those black rubber band things up and down my wrists and my t-shirt collar cut out to partially expose a shoulder. Yikes! But you know what? They seem to make that music with love. The singer has personality. It’s a good album. Considering they’re often mining styles of music I can’t stand my saying that much may make it a great album. I haven’t felt this way about an album full of music I typically don’t like since the first Yaz album, or something like that.

    Sorry we can’t agree on everything, but glad we can disagree on some things with feeling! If you care one whit for Wes Anderson you would be wise to keep him far away from me:)

  3. jeangray

    Not even “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”???

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