Apr 202013

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

My Sunday-themed episode of SNSI was already in the chute and ready to go before the events of last Monday afternoon. In the aftermath, I decided to postpone that episode in favor of a tribute to the great city of Boston. As the week went by, I questioned whether to go ahead with the Boston episode in case there were those still affected by the events or those that might be overwhelmed with the deluge of constant media updates. With the city and surrounding areas still healing I thought that the tribute episode might be “too soon.”

So, I’ve decided to return to my Sunday-themed episode and graft the tribute to the end of that episode. So if you wish not to listen to the Boston episode simply stop the show after the RTH “bumper” following the Etta James song. I chose not to talk and simply play some great songs. The Boston episode is by no means complete or definitive and should not be taken as such. It draws heavily on songs and bands that are familiar.

It isn’t unusual to make some personal connection when tragedies like this happen. Perhaps you have lived in Boston, or walked down some of the streets where the bombings took place. Maybe you know someone who was there on Monday. For me it wasn’t simply that I am a marathon runner, but rather that my wife is always waiting for me at the finish line. I’m even more determined in the future to one day cross that finish line in Boston and see her waiting there.

Life is fragile, but our common resolve to make this world worth living will forever be strong.


Sundays + Boston

[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.]


  11 Responses to “Rock Town Hall’s Saturday Night Shut-In: Sunday Morning, Going Up + Bonus: Boston Tribute”

  1. cliff sovinsanity



    The Shirelles – “I Met Him on a Sunday ’66”
    The Barracudas – “On A Sunday”
    Small Faces – “Lazy Sunday”
    The Sunday Group – “Edge Of Nowhere”
    Bobby Darin – “Sunday”
    Beck – “Sunday Sun”
    Booker T. & The M.G.’s – “Sunday Sermon”
    Elizabeth Cook – “Sunday Morning”
    Etta James – “Sunday Kind Of Love”


    Willie Alexander – “Mass Ave.”
    The Del Fuegos – “Sound of Our Town”
    The Neighborhoods “ No Place Like Home”
    Jonathan Richman – “Fenway”
    Gene Clark – “Boston”
    Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “Bridges, Squares”
    The Walkmen – “Lost in Boston”
    The Freeze – “This Is Boston, Not L.A.”
    The Standells – Dirty Water

  2. A nice portrait of the garage-ier perspective of Boston. It’s true, we all make personal connections: I feel one simply because I used to bartend in 3 different spots along that stretch of Boylston, and I recognized my ‘hood’, as it were.

    It’s also true: “Sea Change” is vastly underrated.

  3. cliff sovinsanity

    I completely come clean in my ignorance of the music history of Boston. I’m wondering if there is a book or compilation out there (besides the out of print DIY Mass Ave) I could pick to help fill in the gaps. I lost that DIY compilation TWICE. My CD and my digital copy.

    Also, I intentionally left out some “upbeat” Sunday songs. Blondie’s “Sunday Girl” and of course J.Jackson’s “Sunday Papers”.

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    I had friends in several Boston bands in the late 80’s – early 90’s.

    Check out: Cudgel, Swirlies, Treat Her Right/Morphine, the Lyres, Buffalo Tom, Velocity Girl, (Pixies – duh), No Man (Roger Miller), Human Sexual Response, O Positive, Throwing Muses (although I consider them a RI band), Birdsongs of the Mesozoic…

    Ah, the rock and roll venues: TT the Bear’s, The Middle East, The Rat(skewer), The Plow and Stars, The Channel, DV8, Spit.

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    Very enjoyable show, Cliff. It’s always a pleasure to hear Jonathan Richman. I always have mixed feelings about The Walkmen: I love the music but his vocals always seem to be in the same 5ish-note range; I liked that track, though.

    Speaking of voices, Elizabeth Cook’s was like fingers on a chalk board (but the music was all right). That’s my big issue with a lot of female country singers: their voices often seem so tinny.

    That Bobby Darin song was a surprise!

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    I’ve got some Buffalo Tom, VG, Lyres. I held back on including The Pixies because of the titles and lyrical content of their songs. (I Bleed, Wave of Mutilation, Break My Body, etc). Yikes.
    I’ll check out the others.

    I was even worried about including the Richman song because it mentions Beth Israel hospital.

  7. This was a really good show, cliff. Thanks. I didn’t mind the Elizabeth Cook version of “Sunday Morning,” but it seemed perfunctory. There were a lot of hints to the original arrangement without enough commitment to her own alt-country leanings, or whatever it is she’s into.

    The Bobby Darin song was fun!

    The Boston segment was great to hear, too. Boston was my favorite rock city to visit and play. The clubs we typically played (TT the Bear’s, Green Street Station [?]) brought out kids who liked underground music but clearly had a meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n roll upbringing. Too often, in the mid-’80s, I felt, local underground scenes were loaded with clueless kids who probably got the shit kicked out of them in high school and didn’t even like music until they got to college – or worse, the kids in high school who were doing the shit-kicking when they weren’t listening to terrible mainstream ’70s rock that they suddenly ditched when they got to college.

    The kids in Boston seemed like they grew up loving various strains of guitar rock before coming to punk rock, much like how I imagine a young 2000 Man’s development in Cleveland. When we played in Boston we felt like we were playing to our friends, even though no one but chickenfrank had roots up there. When their bands came to Philadelphia, they brought out the few dozen like-minded kids in our town.

    I was talking to my Mom on Saturday. We agreed that despite those Boston accents and the issues Philly sports fans have with Boston sports fans in terms of franchise rivalries and weird fan claims to underdog pride/arrogance, the past week’s events gave us reason to feel kinship with our fellow, gritty, east coast city dwellers.

    I wore my “Green Monstah” t-shirt to the Phillies game Saturday night. I was planning on pulling off my sweatshirt and letting my Boston Strong spirit fly, but it was FREEZING at Citizens Bank Park. I had to buy a 3/4-sleeve baseball shirt at the game to give me an added layer of protection as I could only last through 7 innings of one of the worst Phillies games I’ve ever seen.

  8. bostonhistorian

    For an overview of music in Boston, longtime Boston-area music critic Brett Milano’s book “The Sound of Our Town” is pretty good. I think he might have compiled that Rhino CD of Boston bands. There is also a documentary about Boston hardcore that’s nearing completion. I’d throw in Scruffy the Cat as one of the great 80s Boston bands as well.

    Thanks for your kind words about Boston Mr. Moderator. It’s been a strange strange week with the bombing and the aftermath hitting much much too close.

  9. misterioso

    Perhaps this is the right time and place to say this. This whole “Sweet Caroline” thing has to stop. I had hoped that after last year’s Red Sox debacle that they might quietly put “Sweet Caroline” in mothballs, or at least save it for the playoffs if and when they make it back. But no. And then I hear that in the aftermath of the bombings that other cities, in their eagerness to be kind and express solidarity, I assume, played “Sweet Caroline” as a “salute to Boston.” And then over the weekend Neil Diamond flies in to sing but not synch along with “Sweet Caroline.” Please, I am begging some higher power to put an end to this. It was cute, like, maybe for the first season when they started doing it. Ha ha, so good, so good! Ok! But it’s way past enough already. Stop. Cue up “Roadrunner” already. At least it makes sense as a Boston anthem.

  10. bostonhistorian

    It was never cute. The first time I heard it at Fenway I was appalled and I remain appalled. In Milwaukee they played the Theme from Cheers. That makes a hell of a lot more sense than Sweet Caroline.

  11. hrrundivbakshi

    Is it a Caroline Kennedy thing? That’d be creepy.

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