May 062020

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again: the RTH speed round known as Dugout Chatter. All we ask is that you provide gut answers to the following would-be burning questions. If you’re new to these parts, this is a great time to jump in and get your feet wet. If you’ve been around forever, your voice must be heard. Who knows, maybe one of our old friends like Mwall or The Great 48 will resurface?

  • During this global pandemic, as many workers have been able to work from home, we can be sure that Andy Partridge isn’t suffering. But what musician may be most challenged by working from home?
  • When we can get back to gathering for concerts, which artist is most likely to feature branded masks at their merch table?
  • Is there a musician, even Ozzy Osbourne, who could do a worse job at keeping the public informed and on point than our blessed President Trump?
  • There’s not much in the way of music media for hardcore fans like ourselves as there is for hardcore sports fans, which I also happen to be. In lieu of actual sports, sports media outlets have dug deep into “What if” pieces, Top 10 lists, and deep-dive statistical analyses. With the live music world pretty much at a standstill, beside Zoom and Facebook Live performances, is there an RTH-worthy deep dive we’ve long toyed with but never undertaken?
  • With all that’s going on – social distancing, previously unimagined anxieties, desperately seeking toilet paper – have your listening habits changed in any ways?
  • All joking aside, what will it take for you to feel comfortable going out to see a show again?

Stay healthy. Stay relatively sane.

Apr 072020

Remember when we used to have a little morbid fun over rock ‘n roll deaths with celebrations featuring the “He was a great…man” tag and clip from Alex Cox’s Straight to Hell? Those were the days.

Now, a COVID-19 tag has come into existence. I don’t like this tag. It’s not funny at all. Today, producer Hal Willner, who I first knew of as a musical director for Saturday Night Live and then the brains behind a series of underground star-studded tribute albums in the early 1980s, died from coronovirus. He was 64, right about the age for someone to feel more fondly over a Delaney & Bonnie trifle than anyone from another generation might feel. Terrible.

Apr 012020

O-to-the-M-to-the-G. I’ve been so excited about this trial balloon of an RTH second coming (at Easter time no less!) that I couldn’t pick one from the pile of posts that I was considering to use to say “Hi Again Townsmen!”. Sad that it turns out to be one that just came to light:

Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne singer, dead at 52 from Covid-19

Mr. Moderator turned me onto Fountains of Wayne years ago and I was hooked from the first song he played me- Radiation Vibe which is also the first song from their first self-titled release.

My now 21yo son started learning to play guitar about 8 years ago and I turned him on to FOW. He sang Stacy’s Mom at his 5th grade karaoke graduation celebration. He had to ask the DJ to play it as it wasn’t on the “kids approved” list that his elementary school requested. (The apple doesn’t fall far.)

A few years later I took him to his first concert- Fountains of Wayne at The Roxy. He loved it. I bought him a t-shirt that he wore years after it fit.

Actual t-shirt
not actual size

He felt that that single experience with his dad effected his life in such a profoundly positive way that, because the shirt no longer fit, he did this-

Mar 302020
A sound salvation


We hope you are healthy and abiding by your community’s social distancing practices. I’m keeping my hands as clean as Chris Martin’s.

COVID-19 has thrown us for a loop. I don’t know about you, but all this time shut in the house has made me long for an outlet that not even social media can satisfy. I need to mix it up with my most-intimate music-loving friends. I need to call bullshit with you on some things and, more importantly, have bullshit called on myself.

I’m not alone. A few of you have reached out to me and my close, personal friend sammymaudlin to ask if we could re-open the Halls of Rock, at least until we make it through this global pandemic. We’re brushing up things just enough to give us the rock-nerd shelter we may need to have the intimacy to kindly attack sacred cows, analyze the influence of facial hair on an artist’s musical development, and get a report on the Bill Wyman documentary on Netflix. This emergency trial re-opening of Rock Town Hall can even provide a safe haven for a discussion of Bob Dylan‘s new 17-minute song about the assassination of JFK, which I’ve been afraid to listen to without you.

Who knows where this goes? I hope it helps us through the coming months, if that’s what it’s going to take to get back out to clubs and backslap with friends.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you need a refresher on how to navigate things, how to post new content, simply how to log in. Of course, there is an auto-reset, if you’ve forgotten your password. Who could blame you?


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