Friday, August 26, 2016

Stuck In Thee Garage #142: August 26, 2016

Much good art has been created because of broken hearts. Rock music is no exception to this axiom. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played breakup songs in hour 2. Music is a good release valve for romantic angst, and it usually does the trick. Although maybe not for this poor sad sack:


The tough luck playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Thee Oh Sees - Dead Man's Gun/A Weird Exits
PJ Harvey - The Ministry of Defence/The Hope Six Demolition Project
Dinosaur Jr. - Tiny/Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
Descendents - Fighting Myself/Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Krill - Jubilee/Krill
Cool Ghouls - Brown Bag/Animal Races
Johnny Foreigner - Don't, Just Don't/Mono No Aware
Pixies - Um Chagga Lagga/Head Carrier
Alice Bag - Programmed/Alice Bag
Lizzy Rose - Walk the Walk (You're a Whore)/Crocodile Tears
Twin River - Knife/Passing Shade
Mercury Girls - Holly/Continental Drift
The Spook School - Gone Home/Continental Drift
Tigercats - Rent Control/Continental Drift
Wildhoney - Horror Movie/Continental Drift
Diarrhea Planet - Hot Topic/Turn to Gold
Used Cassettes - Ducati/Rock 'n Rills
Black Mountain - Constellations/IV

Hour 2: Breakup songs
Ben Folds Five - Song for the Dumped/Whatever & Ever Amen  
The Clash - Train in Vain/London Calling
Crystal Castles (feat. Robert Smith) - Not in Love/Crystal Castles (II)
Prince - When You Were Mine/Dirty Mind
The Smithereens - I Don't Want to Lose You/Especially for You
Matthew Sweet - Don't Go/Girlfriend
Bob Mould - Can't Fight It/No Alternative
Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Bringing It All Back Home
Neil Young - Only Love Can Break Your Heart/After the Gold Rush
The Pursuit of Happiness - Back of My Mind/The Wonderful World of...
Rod Stewart - (I Know) I'm Losing You/Every Picture Tells a Story
Smashing Pumpkins - Soma/Siamese Dream
Led Zeppelin - Since I've Been Loving You/III

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Completely Conspicuous 434: Reeling in the Years, 1995 (Part 2)

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1995. Listen to the episode below or download directly.
 

Show notes:
- Recorded live from Brian's back porch in Ringwood, NJ
- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output
- Brian's bubbling under albums: ODB, Morphine, Boss Hog, Hum
- Brian Salvatore: Humbuster
- Jay's bubbling under: Rancid, Mad Season, Elastica, Matthew Sweet, Yo La Tengo
- Brian: White Zombie, No Doubt, Oasis, Presidents of the USA, Smashing Pumpkins, Goo Goo Dolls, Flaming Lips, Bowie, Sleater-Kinney
- Jay: Urge Overkill, Chris Whitley, Helium, Garbage, Bjork, Wilco, Neil Young, Jawbreaker
- Brian's #5
- Rancid blasts through an excellent album
- Jay's #5
- One of the two Rocket from the Crypt albums released in '95
- Melding horns with punk guitars
- Brian's #4
- Kim Deal's non-Breeders band
- "The most GBV-sounding Breeders record"
- Josephine Baker was not in the Breeders
- Jay's #4
- Pavement's post-breakthrough record
- The original title didn't cut it
- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Grace, Too

As has been well documented here and elsewhere over the last several months, it's been a tough year for rock n' roll and mortality. Seems like every time we turn around, there's horrible news about beloved rock luminaries. If Bowie and Prince and Lemmy weren't enough to crush my goddamn spirit, the news in May of Gord Downie's terminal brain cancer really did a number on me. Not so much because I haven't experienced death before--that's certainly not the case--but because Downie and the Tragically Hip have meant a lot to me over the years. But his decision to do one last tour, which wrapped up last night in the Hip's hometown of Kingston, Ontario, was heartening for all of us, not the least of which the folks who are dealing with the trials and tribulations that come with a cancer diagnosis.

Earlier this week, I saw the great LA punk act X play at Brighton Music Hall with all four original members--quite the feat considering guitarist Billy Zoom had been diagnosed with bladder cancer last year. But the 68-year-old Zoom was declared cancer-free by the end of 2015, although he still has been undergoing chemotherapy and possibly surgery to prevent a recurrence. The band played a rollicking set to a sold-out room, and Zoom sounded as good as ever, despite remaining seated on a stool for most of the set. He still had his trademark grin going as he played, and even got up to play sax on a few songs. Given that nobody expected him to be back on the road again not so long ago, it was a triumphant night.

Last night, I watched the Hip's final show, which was livestreamed by the CBC and looked pretty damn great. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance, and there were live viewings held at bars and restaurants and homes all across the country. The band played for nearly three hours, with 30 songs and three encores. Downie was in fine form--his vocals were a bit ragged at times and he occasionally stumbled over lyrics despite having teleprompters on stage, but it didn't matter. Given that the guy's had a craniotomy and chemotherapy in the last several months, not to mention has had to absorb the enormity of having a short amount of time left on this earth, it's fucking amazing he was able to function at all, let alone do what he does. There were 15 shows on this Canada-only tour and they were snapped up in seconds. If they had been able to venture down here, I would have been there. But I was happy to be one of the thousands watching from home.


It was a stirring and emotional performance. The Hip played old favorites from their early bluesier records, underrated deep tracks from 2000's Music @ Work, a few from their excellent new album Man Machine Poem and a few gut-wrenchers. "Fiddler's Green" from 1991's Road Apples was written for Downie's nephew, who died at the age of 5; the band didn't play it for a decade or so because it was too tough for him to take. Playing it last night was especially poignant.

And then there was "Grace, Too," which has always been a rallying cry for the band since its release on 1994's Day for Night. Last night, Downie appeared to really be struggling with his emotions during the final section, tearing up before dropping the mic and then quickly getting it together again. "Scared" from the same album was another stunner, especially with its closing line: "I've got to go, it's been a pleasure doing business with you."


Downie wasn't as talkative as he was in the past, but he peppered the breaks with the occasional shout-out to Trudeau, comments about the band's history in Kingston and thanks to the fans for their support over the years. He made no mention of his condition or the future, he just kept singing and jumping around in his classic sweaty, herky-jerky, Gordo style. The final song of the night was the acoustic "Ahead by a Century," the 1996 song that has been a staple of their live shows and the gateway for many younger fans into the band. "No dress rehearsal, this is our lives." As the band left the stage for the final time, the CBC cameras panned around to catch many weeping fans in the building; no doubt this was the case with the folks watching the stream around the world as well.

Much as Bowie left his fans with the final gift of the magnificent Blackstar album, Downie gave this gift to the Hip's fandom, dragging his cancer-ravaged body through one last tour, one final farewell. There's no telling how long he actually has, but we do know that there's no coming back from glioblastoma, the tumor Downie has in his temporal lobe. I've read reports that he has a solo album already recorded that could see the light of day. The Hip and Downie have made no statements about whether last night was their last official act as a band. If it was, then what a way to go. And if it's not--if somehow Downie is able to continue to work or is able to survive--who can complain about more from the Tragically Hip? (Well, someone probably would, but fuck them.) Downie and the Hip don't owe anybody anything. All I can say is thanks.

[UPDATE: Holy shit, somebody uploaded the whole goddamn show. Sweet!]
Tragically Hip - A National Celebration from bobcageon on Vimeo.
 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Completely Conspicuous 433: Reeling in the Years, 1995 (Part 1)

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1995. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

 

Show notes:
- Recorded live from Brian's back porch in Ringwood, NJ
- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output
- Baby Ben hanging out
- In 1995, we were on to the second-generation grunge bands
- Bands were copying Bush and Stone Temple Pilots
- Brian was 12-13, Jay was 27-28
- Jerry Garcia died
- More '95 deaths: Eazy E, Shannon Hoon
- Back then, you checked out music based on a review
- Blind Melon's rise and fall
- Beatles released new song
- Bill Berry had a brain aneurysm during an R.E.M. show
- Van Halen released their last Hagar album
- Superhero movies in the '90s
- Singles charts had a lot of R&B, some jam rock
- Jay tells his Trey Anastasio story again
- Cursing Greg Ginn
- Jay: Listened to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness for first time in 20 years
- Formed in '95: Blonde Redhead, N SYNC, Pedro the Lion, Eels, Sleater-Kinney
- Broke up in '95: Grateful Dead, Bronski Beat, Dire Straits, Drive Like Jehu, Oingo Boingo, Kyuss, Sugar
- To be continued

 Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stuck In Thee Garage #141: August 12, 2016

Sometimes it really does feel as though time passes in the blink of an eye. Was 1996 really 20 years ago? It certainly was a very different time in my life, but it doesn't feel like it was two decades ago. And yet here we are. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I play songs from '96 in hour 2. It's cooler than a Minnesota winter, don'tcha know?



For Pete's sake, here's the playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Dinosaur Jr. - Goin Down/Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
Descendents - Beyond the Music/Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Teenage Fanclub - I'm in Love/Here
Martha - Goldman's Detective Agency/Blisters in the Pit of My Heart
Used Cassettes - Sergio Leone/Rock 'n Rills
The Swagger - She Gonna Blow My Mind/The Swagger
PUP - Sleep in the Heat/The Dream is Over
STFU - What We Want/What We Want
Hit Bargain - No Body/Hit Bargain
Wye Oak - Watching the Waiting/Tween
Rogue Wave - California Bride/Delusions of Grand Fur
Modern Baseball - Everyday/Holy Ghost
Hallelujah the Hills - The Dangers are Doubled/A Band is Something to Figure Out
Crocodiles - Telepathic Lover/Dreamless
Parquet Courts - Keep It Even/Human Performance
Diarrhea Planet - Ruby Red/Turn to Gold

Hour 2: 1996
Weezer - Pink Triangle/Pinkerton
The Posies - World/Amazing Disgrace
Sloan - 400 Metres/One Chord to Another
Beck - High 5 (Rock the Catskills)/Odelay
Brainiac - This Little Piggy/Hissing Prigs in Static Couture
Frank Black - The Marsist/The Cult of Ray
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (feat. PJ Harvey) - Henry Lee/Murder Ballads
Eels - Your Lucky Day in Hell/Beautiful Freak
Sebadoh - Worst Thing/Harmacy
The Tragically Hip - Springtime in Vienna/Trouble at the Henhouse
Screaming Trees - All I Know/Dust
Pearl Jam - Smile/No Code
D Generation - Disclaimer/No Lunch
The Afghan Whigs - Double Day/Black Love
Wilco - Monday/Being There

 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Completely Conspicuous 432: Sound and Vision

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the first half of 2016. Listen to the episode below or download directly.
 

Show notes:
- Kumar's #4 and Breitling's #3
- Hallelujah the Hills releases another fine album
- Kumar's #3
- Third in Bob Mould's kickass trilogy
- Don't wait on a Husker Du reunion, Mould's current band is the real deal
- Indie rockers in their 50s are still bringing the heat
- The problem with being U2
- Breitling's #2
- The Car Seat Headrest kids are playing the rock
- Kumar's #2
- Possibly Iggy's last rock record
- Breitling's and Kumar's #1
- Bowie's last album, released three days before he died
- A consistent electronic sound
- Breitling: Looking forward to new Johnny Foreigner, Eros and the Eschaton, Urusei Yatsura comp, reissues from Rocketship and the Lilys
- Kumar: Anticipating new albums from Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr. and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!
 The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Stuck In Thee Garage #140: August 5, 2016

If there's one thing in short supply these days, it's thinking. So much energy is generated before an actual thought takes place. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about thinking in hour 2. That doesn't change the fact that most thinking on social media is along these lines:



The thoughtful playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Protomartyr - Born to Be Wine/2016 Adult Swim Singles Program
Descendents - Shameless Halo/Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Diarrhea Planet - Bob Dylan's Grandma/Turn to Gold
Krill - Happy/Krill
Used Cassettes - President/Rock 'n Rills
Free Pizza - Sighing/Berlin, DE
Versing - Medicine Man/Nude Descending
DMA's - Timeless/Hills End
Pinegrove - Aphasia/Cardinal
A Giant Dog - Too Much Makeup/Pile
Hot Hot Heat - Kid Who Stays in the Picture/Hot Hot Heat
Steve Gunn - The Drop/Eyes on the Lines
Cosmonauts - Be-Bop-a-Loser/A-OK!
Johnny Foreigner - Undevastator/Mono No Aware
Radiohead - Desert Island Disk/A Moon Shaped Pool
Consilience - Grim/Under Our Beds

Hour 2: Thinky
Lyn Collins - Think (About It)/Think (About It)
Beck - Think I'm in Love/The Information
The Cars - Think It Over/Shake It Up
Sloan - People Think They Know Me/Never Hear the End of It
Dinosaur Jr. - I Don't Think So/Without a Sound
Queens of the Stone Age - You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire/Live at the Melkweg, Amsterdam, 6/24/02
Jane's Addiction - Standing in the Shower...Thinking/Nothing's Shocking
Hot Snakes - Think About Carbs/Audit in Progress
Cloud Nothings - No Thoughts/Here and Nowhere Else
Aerosmith - Think About It/Night in the Ruts
Rollins Band - Thinking Cap/Get Some Go Again
Fu Manchu - Thinkin' Out Loud/California Crossing
Lou Reed - Think It Over/Growing Up in Public
Yo La Tengo - Before We Stopped to Think/Stuff Like That There
Matthew Sweet - Thought I Knew You/Girlfriend
Pavement - Father to a Sister of a Thought/Wowee Zowee
Sebadoh - Think (Let Tomorrow Bee)/Bubble and Scrape
The Fall-Outs - One Thought Too Much/Summertime