Aug 132012

Which one's Spice?

It was with great trepidation that I tuned into the Olympics closing ceremonies concert late last evening. It was bound to not rock, but I can’t resist any chance to see what’s left of The Who, and somewhere I saw a rumor that Kate Bush would perform, which would have been quite a rare thing.

What did you think of it? Was anything worth your while? Who was lip syncing? Here’s my jar full of 2 cents:

I watched some of the Olympics off and on. The track and field is my favorite. I am amazed at the power of the sprinters and the sustained pace of the distance runners.

Overall: A strange trip. It was as bad as you might expect but worth a few moments. Fortunately the fast-forward button worked. God Save the Queen.

Sep 092011

As our recent playoff series to determine, once and for all, the Best Song on the Original Nuggets got underway and Townsfolk began debating the essential “Nuggetness” of the entrants, I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be funny if, like Woody Allen pulling Marshall McLuhan out from behind a wall to correct a pontificating moviegoer in Annie Hall, I could pull Lenny Kaye out to set us straight on our interpretations of the Nuggets collection he compiled for Elektra Records under the direction of Jac Holzman? Of course the regulars at Rock Town Hall are not the type to pontificate unduly, right? We keep it all in perspective, but still, Lenny Kaye had struck me as a sort of godfather to our shenanigans. He’d get where we’re coming from.

In short time he wrote me back, saying he’d be happy to chat. “Sounds like fun,” he wrote. “Went to the link, seems everybody has different ideas on what actually is Nuggets…” I was psyched.

A week later we were on the phone, waiting for the near-hurricane that swept through the northeast to hit. Lenny was as cool and friendly as his work and stage demeanor would suggest. His enthusiasm for his work in compiling this landmark collection of oddball psych-pop singles 40 years ago was impressive. Nuggets wasn’t some youthful fling for Lenny Kaye; the experience was clearly a springboard to and, to this day, a guiding light in his work with Patti Smith and beyond.

On our best days, as I see it, much of what we work to culture and share in the Halls of Rock is our initial, personal sense of love for music and the role it’s played in our lives. I couldn’t help thinking, while talking to Lenny Kaye, of my initial experiences with Nuggets in my late teens, how the album helped validate my childhood take on music and give me and my like-minded rock friends a toehold in developing our musical identities. My childhood friend and musical partner in crime Townsman andyr and I knew the significance of his old Disco Teen ’66 hits collection, which we used to analyze as yon’ teens. By freshman year in college, however, a thousand miles away from my blood brother, that album meant nothing to the new rock nerds I was befriending. Nuggets spoke to all of us, regardless of shared experiences and regional differences. The hyper kid from North Jersey, the wiseass from the suburbs of Chicago, and the long, lanky, laconic kid from Colorado all found this collection as stimulating and inspiring as I did. It was a happening.

As for my silly Annie Hall fantasy, fear not: Lenny’s not the type to put down any of us. I hope you’ll enjoy this chat at least half as much as I did. Read on!

Aug 302011

With the Nuggets Divisional Playoff Series completed, only 2 songs remain to determine—once and for all—the Best Song on the Original Nuggets Compilation. The Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night” outlasted a fierce field on Side 1 and then beat The Nazz’s Side 4 winner, “Open My Eyes” to progress to this round. Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction,” won Side 3 before readily dashing the dreams of enthusiastic supporters of Side 2’s “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” by The Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

Two songs remain. This Friday, September 2, 2011, only one song will be deemed—once and for all—the Best Song on the Original Nuggets Compilation. For the sake of rock history, please make your vote count!

Once and for all: What's the Best Song on the original Nuggets compilation, "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" or "Psychotic Reaction"?

  • "Psychotic Reaction" (Count Five) (66%, 31 Votes)
  • "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" (The Electric Prunes) (34%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Aug 262011

By a 2:1 margin, The Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night” beat The Nazz’s “Open My Eyes” in the Side 1 vs Side 4 Nuggets Divisional Playoff Series to progresses to the Finals in Rock Town Hall’s playoffs to determine, once and for all, the Best Song on the Original Nuggets Compilation.

While the rock world patiently awaits the outcome of the album’s other Divisional Playoff Series, between the Thirteenth Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me” and the Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” (voting runs through 11:59:59 pm this Saturday, August 27), chew on this great little story that Prunes’ singer James Lowe passed along last week, when notified of his band’s inter-division showdown:

After I left the EP I engineered the next 2 Nazz albums, Nazz Nazz and Nazz III (and 4 subsequent Todd Rundgren albums after that).

Todd played me “Open My Eyes” to show me what they had done on their first album. I had never heard it. Good record. Small world!

Thanks for remembering.


Aug 242011

As ongoing Nuggets Divisional Series showdown between Side 1’s “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night” (The Electric Prunes) and Side 4’s “Open My Eyes” (The Nazz) plays out (voting is open through August 24th at 11:59:59 pm!), it’s time to open the battle between the inner sides in this effort to determine—once and for all—the Best Song on the Original Nuggets LP.

This divisional battle pits The 13th Floor Elevators, whose “You’re Gonna Miss Me” narrowly edged out The Remains’ “Don’t Look Back” and The Seeds’ “Pushin’ Too Hard,” against runaway Side 3 winner “Psychotic Reaction,” by The Count Five. One team, I mean, song enters this round in peak form, having had to earn every vote it accumulated, while the other stormed through the competition with among the purest fuzztone riffs in rock history. Voting runs through 11:59:59 pm on Saturday, August 27. Then, on Monday, August 29 we begin the championship showdown!

SHOWDOWN (choose one): What's the BETTER song between the division winners of sides 2 and 3 of the original Nuggets?

  • The Count Five, "Psychotic Reaction" (72%, 33 Votes)
  • The 13th Floor Elevators, "You're Gonna Miss Me" (28%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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Aug 222011

It’s showtime! Round 2 of the Nuggets Divisional Series (NDS) gets underway with a SHOWDOWN between the winners of albums sides 1 vs 4.

The Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much to Dream Last” night lived up to its top-seed status by outlasting a tough Side 1 field that included The Standells’ “Dirty Water,” The Knickerbockers’ “Lies,” and The Strangeloves’ “Night Time.” This stomping psychedelic classic, in my opinion, outdid the mighty Rolling Stones in that legendary band’s efforts at recording a “turned on” classic.

The Prunes’ scene-setting album opener will go up against The Nazz’ “Open My Eyes,” which jumped to an early lead against the compilation’s least-gripping songs and easily outdistanced a late challenge from The Premiers’ “Farmer John.”

Efforts to reach “Open My Eyes” composer Todd Rundgren were unsuccessful, as he could not risk missing his hair salon appointment for touching up his blond highlights, but James Lowe, lead vocalist and autoharpist of The Electric Prunes responded to Rock Town Hall’s questions regarding the creation of his band’s masterpiece. No joke! Check out his excellent anecdotes…after the jump! And vote for the winner of our first NDS match-up!

SHOWDOWN (choose one): What's the BETTER song between the division winners of sides 1 and 4 of the original Nuggets?

  • The Electric Prunes, "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" (Side 1) (62%, 41 Votes)
  • The Nazz, "Open My Eyes" (Side 4) (38%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 66

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Continue reading »

Aug 202011

The first round of Rock Town Hall’s playoff series to determine—once and for all—the best song on the original Nuggets compilation moves toward interdivisional play as we kick off the process to determine the Best Song on Side 4. Competition should be unexpectedly fierce, as the comp’s gentlest and grooviest numbers mix it up.

Review the songs on Side 4, then make your choice. As always, you are encouraged to state your choice for BEST SONG on Side 4 in the Comments section (you must be registered to add comments, if you’re not already registered, please do so: the more chatter the merrier) and place your vote in the poll associated with this thread. The winner of this album side will move onto a playoff against the winner of Side 1. Voting on the BEST SONG on Side 4 is open through Sunday, August 21.)

What is the BEST SONG on Side 4 of the original Nuggets LP?

  • Nazz: “Open My Eyes” (50%, 17 Votes)
  • The Premiers: “Farmer John” (26%, 9 Votes)
  • The Chocolate Watch Band: “Let’s Talk About Girls” (15%, 5 Votes)
  • The Mojo Men: “Sit Down, I Think I Love You” (3%, 1 Votes)
  • The Third Rail: “Run, Run, Run” (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Sagittarius: “My World Fell Down” (3%, 1 Votes)
  • The Magic Mushrooms: “It’s-a-Happening” (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Review Side 4 contenders…after the  jump!


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