Jul 172012

Last week a guy I only know through Internet means but really enjoy “seeing” posted something about how much cooler Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac are than Bruce Springsteen. I’m not a fan of either band, but thoroughly dig 6 to 8 songs by each band. Stevie Nicks solo, however, is atrocious. What’s that “Tears Like a White Winged Dove” song, or whatever she’s going on about? She should have been gagged once that thing hit the airwaves.

I can understand Boss Backlash as well as anyone, but although I once did a few weeks’ time trying to convince myself of the “genius” of Lindsey Buckingham, the long-running mystification of Fleetwood Mac baffles me. They were a pretty cool, pretty weird mainstream band with a half dozen killer songs. However, I’m too old and was too-cool-for-school as an outwardly dorky teenager to pretend these days that “Landslide” and deep cutz from Buckingham’s Go Insane album should get me looking off into the distance or reflecting on missed opportunities to snort mounds of cocaine.

Fleetwood Mac, Steely DanABBA, and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band have been discussed here before, I’m sure. Who approved their Critical Upgrades? Each band has its charms. I’m not immune to the best songs by those bands in small doses, but for the last 20 years their stature as Important Mainstream Rock Artists Who Were Hipper Than We Originally Thought has exploded. I can’t buy into this. There were hipper bands then, and there have been hipper bands since. The fact that they were relatively hip doesn’t make them hip. I’ve scoured enough used bins to find relative gems from an era’s music I generally (and probably rightfully) ignored.

What I want to know is which of these bands will lose their Cinderella powers first? Whose limo will turn back into a pumpkin? I think the clock is ticking on at least 2 of the following 4 artists, while 1 artist’s belated hip status is ascending. What do you think? What other bands fall into this category, and what perhaps rightfully looked down-up (by music snobs) ’80s artists are now becoming unfathomably hip?

Which '70s mainstream band that became hip long after the fact is due to revert to its previously uncool status first?

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May 062011

Copyright 2011 Rock Town Hall/sammymaudlin.

You thought we forgot, didn’t you? Rock ‘n roll never forgets. It’s the Seeg’s birthday today. He’s a year older than he was last year. He’s better than ever. On every level. Happy birthday, Bob! Following is a little treat from Wayne Cochran. Continue reading »

May 052011

Per Townsman misterioso‘s request in our recent appreciation of Bob Seger‘s “Night Moves” we are conducting a Mach Schaudown Battle Royale Texas Death Match between Jay Ferguson‘s “Thunder Island” and the Seeg’s “Hollywood Nights.” The videos follow. Please analyze and compare performances, hair (including facial hair) and overall Look, gear, audience participation, etc. I will ask misterioso to moderate discussion. Then you be the judge of which artist brings it best!

Jay Ferguson, “Thunder Island”

Bob Seger, “Hollywood Nights”

NEXT: Place your vote! Continue reading »

May 042011

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’m finally ready. Ready to take a bold stand in shallow waters. Ready to ask for a massive critical upgrade for Bob Seger‘s “Night Moves.” This song — this grossly overplayed FM rock radio staple, this iconic coming-of-age saga, sung by Rock Town Hall’s gravel-throated patron saint of unintentional Rock mediocrity, Bob Seger — people, this song is Great!

I ain’t lying, and I ain’t crazy. The length of my years has taught me to open my eyes and ears to many things I sneered at as an ignorant youngster: funk music, lefty politics, agnosticism, and now this. And why not? Can you find any real, substantive flaw in this song? More to the point: can you name a song that covers the same lyrical ground better?

Let’s pause for a moment and consider just how hard it must be to write a song that involves wheat fields, Chevys, and young love. I point you in the direction of the collected works of John Cougar Mellencamp to see how not to do this. But Seger’s “Night Moves” is different.

There are so many — oh, how do I say it — moments in this song that just don’t sound like utter bullshit, when they otherwise totally should. You’ll find a few in the first half of the song: “we were just young and restless and bored”; “out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy” — Alex Chilton, eat your heart out!

Then, we grow up: “I woke last night to the sound of thunder. How far off, I sat and wondered.” Ow! Seeg, you got me again! This is followed by one of those minor miracles in performance that turn into private “wait for it” moments — the way dude sings the next line: “starting hummin’ a song from nineteen sixty two…” when the song comes full circle, eventually blossoming into one of Rock’s great everymanworkingbloke outchoruses — “workin’ and practicin’.”. Just workin’ and practicin’. Isn’t that all we ever do?

Come on, people — we make a lot of good-natured fun of Bob Seger ’round these parts. Can I at least get an “amen” on the Greatness of his “Night Moves”?


Apr 022011

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

This week’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In is takin’ it to the streets, as Mr. Moderator broadcasts live on location from Atlantic City’s Urges! That’s right, it’s a Saturday Night Shakedown, and you’re invited! See if you won’t shake a tailfeather.

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/RTH-Saturday-Night-Shut-In-22.mp3|titles=RTH Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 22]

[Note: The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player. In fact, you can even set your iTunes to search for an automatic download of each week’s podcast.]

Jan 022009

In a recently posted poll I hoped to give you an opportunity to include write-in entries for this year’s upcoming RTH Foyer of Fame’s Second Annual Partial Lifetime Achievement Award and Chili Cookoff, but some genius spammer has apparently found a way to immediately load our polls with write-in responses that are, shall we say, off topic. The RTH Foyer of Fame is an important event, and we want to make sure that your voice is heard as the selection committee deliberates nominees.

As of this writing, nominees include John Mellencamp, J. Geils Band, Joan Jett, and the Doobie Brothers. We’re curious to know your thoughts on the mediocre merits of these nominees and see what other artists you might feel are worthy of the Foyer’s consideration.
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