Episode 148: The Rock and the Mirror

Ryan and Matt listen to and discuss Billy Joel’s “Glass Houses.”

Matt and Ryan listen to and discuss Billy Joel’s Glass Houses.


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4 Comments on “Episode 148: The Rock and the Mirror”

  1. Chris Morgan #

    Is there some sort of Spotify playlist or whatever consisting of the albums you are considering for this quarter a la New Synths and New Guitars? I’d be interested to see what’s on there.

    I’ve been a Billy Joel fan since college, in part led by Chuck Klosterman who was out ahead of the reprisal of Billy Joel that has happened in recent years.


  2. Mark Lee OTI Staff #

    Well, actually:

    The guitar solo at the end of “Sometimes a Fantasy” is not an example of two hand tapping technique. Though it is indeed virtuosic in a way that’s not dissimilar to the hair metal that would become so prominent in this decade, it’s not quite the same as what Van Halen does on, say, “Eruption.”

    Exhibit A:


    Notice that he’s finger-picking with his right hand, but not striking the fretboard with his right hand the way Van Halen does in…

    Exhibit B:


    (There is plenty more heavy metal guitar pedantry where this came from.)

    (I also don’t think we’ve ever brought up the topic of two hand tapping on this site, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. And of course happy to talk about this, and hair metal in general, at any time.)


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I guess you’ve answered the enteral question: What is the sound of two hands tapping?

      (Man did it take restraint not to say that during the podcast.)


  3. Mark Lee OTI Staff #

    Can we talk about the line “I was stranded in the combat zone” some more?

    I’d always assumed this was a reference to Vietnam, as opposed to some sort of generic rough urban neighborhood a la Bed-Stuy, but someone on genius.com points out that it might actually be a reference to a neighborhood in Boston:


    I actually prefer to think of it as a Vietnam reference, as it brings in a whole other dimension of PTSD and wartime trauma to this story. And it also opens up a portal to “Goodnight Saigon,” which Joel would release 2 years after this song.


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