Jun 242016

As I browse through the listings on dimeadozen, I often chuckle at the names of heavy metal bands. “This can’t be real?!?!”

Here is a simple quiz. There are 12 band names. Some are real, that is, they are taken from dimeadozen listings, which are in the Heavy Metal category; others are names I made up. Your challenge is to identify which are real and which are the result of me having too much time on my hands. No cheating, no researching; all you can do is look at the list.

Sep 052014

I’ve noticed some startling parallels in how the roles of certain members of different bands match up, making me think that rather than arising organically from a mutual love of music, these bands were assembled by the record industry, or more likely the Illuminati, from templates. For instance:

Rolling Stones/Grateful Dead

Brian Jones is to the Stones as Pigpen is to the Grateful Dead

  • Defined the image early on
  • Largely influenced the band’s musical direction in the beginning only to be eclipsed by band mates

Mick Taylor = Keith Godchaux

  • Virtuoso brought in once they were established.
  • Feelings of being under-appreciated by audience/bandmates cause them to leave their once-in-a-lifetime gigs.

Ron Wood = Brent Mydland

  • Solid, unobtrusive player
  • Goes along to get along

Mick Jagger = Bob Wier

  • Of the two main band members, he is seen as being much more uncool
  • Actual contributions to the band are frequently underestimated

Keef = Jerry

  • Always given the benefit of the doubt by the fans.

Bill Wyman = Tom Constantine

  • Nobody really cares
  • Possibly just photo fodder to make the other members look more interesting/attractive

Are there any other two bands where individual member’s roles match up so neatly?

Aug 252014


Naming a band is not as easy as it seems. Ideally, the name will convey a lot of information, giving the general public a clue about what to expect without feeling to forced or overwrought.

  1. What is the greatest gap between a good name and bad music?
  2. What is the greatest gap between a bad name and good music?
  3. Which band name, regardless of the quality of the music or the name itself, seems the most inappropriate choice for that given band?
  4. Which band name seems like the people naming it were trying too hard?
  5. Which band name seems like the people naming it couldn’t give a shit?
  6. What would you name a band and what type of music would your band play?
Apr 172014

Hey, gang! It’s time once again for another thrilling installment of our longstanding RTH fun-n-games activity called “Line, Please” – in which we seek to answer probing questions of the day through carefully selected rock and soul lyrics from years past.

In previous editions of this activity, we’ve looked for lyrical explanations for various issues – news trends, political/religious movements, sporting events, etc. — which have been top of mind for us as our collective human experience has unfolded. Today, though, I want you to search the annals of rock lyriciscm to find answers to personal struggles of the human condition. I want answers, mind you – not just references. So, for example, if I ask:

“I am tired of my boring, pointless nine-to-five existence — yet family obligations keep me shackled to my empty, unrewarding career. Is there a way I should approach at my professional life to give it purpose?”

You might answer:

“Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend!”

Get the idea? Good. Here are the perils of the general human condition I hope Rock can address:

I am growing old, and am deeply concerned that I have yet to accomplish anything of any substance. How can I accomplish something meaningful with my life – or be happy with my meager achievements to date? Line, please.

My children are growing up so fast, and as they develop into independent people, they see less and less relevance in the things I believe. How can I best avoid judging them as they grow? Line, please.

I love my wife/husband, but sometimes fear that the “spark” has gone out of our romance. How can we recapture it? Line, please.

There’s no denying it; my body is aging, and I have reached the point where growing older means working harder to simply stave off sickness and death. What can I do to stay truly healthy, in mind and body, as I grow older? Line, please.

My career has afforded me the luxury of buying many of the things I want most. Yet, this materialistic pursuit of things brings me no joy. How can I best turn my earnings into true satisfaction with my life? Line, please.

Feel free to add any life challenges I may have omitted. I look forward to your responses.


Jan 092014

On a whim I went searching for video footage of Peter Blegvad performing anything from his 1983, Andy Partridge-produced album, The Naked Shakespeare. I’ve always loved this album. Colin Moulding contributes bass to a few songs. Terry Chambers may appear as well. I need to dig it out and digitize it.

Anyhow…to my surprise, I found a clip of Blegvad lip-syncing “Karen” on Top of the Pops, or some English show like that. The video is mildly not safe for work owing to the appearance of a tastefully naked butt.

Anyhow…rather that attempt to strike up an in-depth conversation over the works of Blegvad, I thought I’d do my part by simply exposing him to some of you and then launching a Last Man Standing on Name Songs. There’s one catch: We must list them in alphabetical order, beginning with my entry, “Karen,” a name that begins with the letter K.

It shouldn’t be hard to list a name song beginning with an L, M, N, O, or P, but we’ll see how far we get toward the end of alphabet. We will exclude the letter X from play. How many name songs are written to Xavier? (NOTE: If we can get through Z one time, we can consider eliminating that letter from play in the second round.) If we get all the way through to J, we will start over at K.

Got that? Let the first name song, beginning with L, appear in the Comments!

UPDATE: Comments are set to close sometime tomorrow (1/20/14). Consider the conclusion to this Last Man Standing a race against the clock!


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