Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 349: When I Get Old


Part 2 of the latest installment of Driving with Kumar as I share some thoughts while driving to my 25th college reunion. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- No regrets about college years
- Could have graduated a semester early, but chose to stay for full year
- Got a job before I graduated
- Worked first few months at newspaper while also working weekends at supermarket
- Moved to Massachusetts after a few months
- Lived in 10 different places in a decade
- One apartment I shared with three women; a year later, it was all guys
- Nearly got married in mid-20s
- Went to Homecoming in '93 and passed on a party to go home and watch World Series
- Toronto won Series on Joe Carter HR that night
- Went up to UNH a lot the first few years after college
- On drive home
- Lots of drunken kids when I arrived at 2:30
- Wandered around through a mass of partying young people
- Eventually found class of '89 tent and my old roommate
- Saw some folks I hadn't seen in many years
- Only saw a little of the football game
- Overwhelming feeling of oldness, but had fun

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

Music:
Ty Segall - Feel
Wormburner - Somewhere Else to Be
The Pharmacy - Masten Lake Lagoon

The Ty Segall song is on the album Manipulator on Drag City. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Wormburner song is on the album Pleasant Living in Planned Communities on Dive Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.

The Pharmacy song is on the album Spells on Old Flame Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.


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, October 26, 2014

Now You Know

It's crazy to think it was almost a month ago, but I've just been so busy that it's only now I'm posting about going to the Afghan Whigs' return swing through Boston on September 30. The first time through was in May at the Paradise and that was a sold-out ass-kicker of a night. This time around, the band played the Royale, a larger venue, on a Tuesday night; unfortunately, the cavernous room  was not filled to capacity.

But those who were there witnessed an amazing show, led off by the always interesting Joseph Arthur, who played solo with a guitar and a paint brush. The latter was used to create a painting on an easel on stage while he was singing a song (which he later offered for sale at his merch table). Arthur's a talented performer who has toured with the Whigs and the Twilight Singers in the past.




The Whigs are known for their rabid fan base, especially the group called The Congregation (who I recently joined), whose members are known to follow the band on tour. This particular show had plenty of "Congos" in attendance, including folks who had flown in from various locales, and it didn't disappoint. Unlike the band's last appearance in Boston, frontman Greg Dulli was in good spirits; at that gig, he chastised certain members of the audience for taking flash photos throughout the show and one tall doof in front of me who was filming much of the show. This time, he basically said we could take whatever photos we wanted.

The Whigs were aided by Steve Myers, who provided soulful backing vocals and smooth dance moves on several songs (as he did on the 1998 tour for the band's album 1965) and Arthur. In addition, the band's super-enthusiastic and youthful monitor tech, Ryan, was brought out from behind the board to join the band on guitar on a few songs. Even though he was likely a zygote when Gentlemen was made, the kid knew every word and was clearly having the time of his life. The band, which has been touring for most of the year, was totally locked in and bringing its A game, whether playing hard rock, slow jams or funk.

The band's 70-minute set was filled with songs from 2014's Do To the Beast, but classic Whigs tunes were sprinkled throughout: "Fountain and Fairfax," "Debonair," "Gentlemen" and "Now You Know" (which Dulli said the band hadn't played in 20 years) from the Gentlemen album (about to be reissued in a nice set with lots of extras), and "Step Into the Light," "John the Baptist" and "Neglekted." There were the requisite snippets of covers, including Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk," the Beatles' "Getting Better" and Bobby Womack's "Across 100th Street," which led into the night's epic closer, "Faded" from 1996's underrated Black Love. Although I would've loved for the band to play another 20 minutes or so, it was a terrific night from a terrific act. There are some rumblings the Whigs may swing through one more time on this tour, and hell, I'd go. There aren't many sure things in this world, but a Greg Dulli-led band is always sure to be great.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #55: October 24, 2014

Who doesn't love the weekend? Most of us spend all week thinking about what we're going to do once the weekend arrives. Musicians are no different. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, hour 2 is devoted to songs about the weekend.



Playlist at Bernie's:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Sleater-Kinney - Bury Our Friends/No Cities to Love
Death From Above 1979 - Virgins/The Physical World
The Cherry Wave - Whitey/Avalancher
Pond - Waiting Around for Grace/Man It Feels Like Space Again
The New Pornographers - War on the East Coast
Sloan - Carried Away/Commonwealth
Ty Segall - Feel/Manipulator
Kal Marks - Parking Lot/Life is Murder
My Dad - Kitten/Mouth Bleeder 7-inch
Notches - Sammy Sosa/Normal Demo
Helmet - In the Meantime/Meantime
Titus Andronicus - No Future Part Three: Escape from No Future/The Monitor
The Flaming Lips - Mountain Side/In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Swervedriver - Girl on a Motorbike/Mezcal Head

Hour 2: Weekend songs
The Easybeats - Friday on My Mind/It's 2 Easy
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday/The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Kaiser Chiefs - Saturday Night/Employment
David Bowie - Drive In Saturday/Aladdin Sane
The Henry Clay People - Saturday Night/Somewhere on the Golden Coast
The Spinanes - Sunday/Manos
Joe Jackson - Sunday Papers/Look Sharp!
Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell - Lazy Sunday (The Chronic-WHAT-Ills of Narnia)/SNL
Frank Black - Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day/Honeycomb
Mark Lanegan - Ugly Sunday/The Winding Sheet
Neil Young - Out on the Weekend/Harvest
The Hold Steady - The Weekenders/Heaven is Whenever
Art Brut - Good Weekend/Bang Bang Rock & Roll
Buffalo Tom - Lost Weekend/Skins
The Living End - Long Live the Weekend/State of Emergency
The Waldos - Seven Day Weekend/Rent Party



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 348: Reunited...and It Feels So Old


Part 1 of the latest installment of Driving with Kumar as I share some thoughts while driving to my 25th college reunion. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").


Show notes:
- Coached in a youth soccer tournament before driving up to University of New Hampshire
- Haven't gone to a college reunion before
- Still see many friends from college on occasion
- Nearly flunked out freshman year
- Switched from engineering to journalism and turned it around
- Worked for newspaper for six years after college
- Journalism majors use theirs skill in different ways now
- College was my first time away from parental discipline
- Real partying began when grades improved
- Did not drink in high school
- First weekend in college, that changed
- Freshman year roommate had a tough time
- Sophomore year roomie was super busy with activities
- Moved off campus junior year
- Unlucky in love
- Always hung out with both nerds and jocks
- Ate a lot of junk food
- To be continued

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

Music:
Sleater-Kinney - Bury Our Friends
Coaches - amisarewaswere
The Cherry Wave - Whitey

The Sleater-Kinney song is on the forthcoming album No Cities to Love on Sub Pop. Download the song for free (in exchange for your email address) at Stereogum.
The Coaches song is available for free download at Bandcamp.

The Cherry Wave song is on the forthcoming album Avalancher and available for free download at Bandcamp.


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, October 17, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #54: October 17, 2014

Cover songs are a dime a dozen. But it's when an artist can provide a unique take on another artist's song that covers become worth a listen. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I play an hour of covers that make the grade in one way or another.



Doing the right thing with the playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
The Hush Now - Cyclops/Sparkle Drive
So Cow - Get Down Off That Thing/The Long Con
Ex Hex - Don't Wanna Lose/Rips
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas - Caught Up/Secret Evil
Mini Dresses - In Two/Three
Electric Six - Alone With Your Body/Human Zoo
Prince - This Could Be Us/Art Official Age
Idiot Genes - Partaker/Lousey
Miracles - Quarantine/Quarantine
The Soupcans - Pop Hit III/Vintage Pizza Party Cassette
Pampers - Monkey Drip/Live on WFMU's Cherry Blossom Clinic
Vats - Slow Eyes/Today
Joseph Arthur - Travel As Equals/Redemption City
Buffalo Tom - Staples/Let Me Come Over
Matthew Sweet - Super Baby/100% Fun
Arctic Monkeys - Brick By Brick/Suck It and See
Bad Religion - Hooray for Me.../Stranger Than Fiction

Hour 2: Covers
Queens of the Stone Age - White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Era Vulgaris B-side
The Smashing Pumpkins - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)/Live on WZRD 3/16/89
Soundgarden - Fopp (Ohio Players)/Screaming Life-Fopp
Arctic Monkeys - Red Right Hand (Nick Cave)/Crying Lightning
Dios Malos - Asshole (Beck)/I Want It All
Uncle Tupelo - I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges)/'89-'93: An Anthology
Judas Priest - Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez)/Sin After Sin
Dread Zeppelin - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)/Un-Led-Ed
Paul Anka - Jump (Van Halen)/Rock Swings
David Lee Roth - Tobacco Road (The Nashville Teens)/Eat 'Em and Smile
The Breeders - Happiness is a Warm Gun (The Beatles)/Pod
The Wildhearts - Waiting Room (Fugazi)/Stop Us If You've Heard This Before, Vol. 1
Deervana - Radio  Friendly Unit Shifter (Nirvana)/Live at the Brooklyn Bowl 9/13/13
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Pressure Drop (Toots and the Maytals)/Live in Philly 1999
Buffalo Tom and Grant Hart - Pink Turns to Blue (Husker Du)/Live at the Cabaret Metro, Chicago 12/3/00
David Bowie - Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground)/Live at Nassau Coliseum 1976




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 347: Reeling in the Years, 1996 (Part 3)


Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1996. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Check out Brian's new radio show Unsolicited Mixtape
- Brian's #5
- Olivia Tremor Control made Brian's favorite Elephant 6 album
- Jay's #5 and Brian's #4
- Frank Black had a tough task following up Teenager of the Year
- Moved to a rawer sound
- In the middle of an excellent stretch of solo music
- Jay's #4
- Weezer's underrated (at the time) masterpiece
- Brian's #3
- Ween goes to Nashville
- Serious musicianship behind silly songs
- Jay's #3
- Afghan Whigs' Black Love was a cinematic concept album
- Serious Quadrophenia feel on the ballads
- Brian's #2
- Fountains of Wayne's debut was also underrated
- Jay's #2
- Sloan bounced back from short-lived breakup to put together a brilliant album
- Trading a Ween mix for a Sloan mix
- Brian's #1
- Pinkerton was the first album Brian liked and his friends didn't
- Serious dropoff in quality since then
- Jay's #1
- Beck followed up Mellow Gold with an amazing album
- Brian: Midnite Vultures is the best Prince album of the '90s
- Next up: 1988

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

Music:
Ex Hex - Don't Wanna Lose
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas - Caught Up
Mini Dresses - In Two

The Ex Hex song is on the album Rips on Merge Records. Download the song for free for a limited time at KEXP.
The Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas song is on the album Secret Evil on Instant Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Mini Dresses song is on the EP Three and available for free download at Bandcamp.


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, October 10, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #5: Mickey's Fire Brigade (1935)

In the latest installment of Trust Fund Challenge, Ric and I watch a classic Mickey Mouse short from 1935. We discuss the wacky hijinks of firefighting cartoon characters, a possible cow udder-slip, duck stereotypes and the Mormon obsession of the short's director.




Stuck In Thee Garage #53: October 10, 2014

War is hell, but there are some pretty great songs about it. This week's Stuck In Thee Garage features an hour of such music, in addition to the usual combination of fine new and old rock music.

Even fake war is hell:



The playlist, if you will:

Hour 1 
Artist - Song/Album
Purling Hiss - Forcefield of Solitude/Weirdon
Goat - Words/Commune
Death From Above 1979 - Right On, Frankenstein!/The Physical World
Spoon - Outlier/They Want My Soul
Broncho - What/Just Enough Hip to Be Woman
Deerhoof - Paradise Girls/La Isla Bonita
Sloan - Three Sisters/Commonwealth
Makthaverskan - Asleep/II
Peter Matthew Bauer - Philadelphia Raga/Liberation!
Johnny Cash - Rusty Cage/Unchained
Big Ups - Fresh Meat/Eighteen Hours of Static
Death to Slater - Caffeine Pill Freakout/single
Melvins - Dr. Mule/Scion 10 Series Music Release
Benjamin Booker - Slow Coming/Benjamin Booker
The Smashing Pumpkins - Pug (Matt Walker Reimagined 2014)/Adore: Chalices, Palaces and Deep Pools
Parquet Courts - What Color is Blood/Sunbathing Animal

Hour 2: Songs about war
The Cult - Peace Dog/Electric
Iron Maiden - The Trooper/Piece of Mind
Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls/Live at  Toulouse, France 11/22/84
Circle Jerks - Making the Bombs/Unfortunate Son
OFF! - Borrow and Bomb/OFF!
The Clash - Charlie Don't Surf/Sandinista!
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bomb. Repeat. Bomb./Living With the Living
The Afghan Whigs - I'm a Soldier/Unbreakable
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Soldiers Get Strange/Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Drive-By Truckers - That Man I Shot/Brighter Than Creation's Dark
Neil Young - Love and War/Le Noise
Mudhoney - Hard-On for War/Under a Billion Suns
Flaming Lips and Cat Power - War Pigs/Austin City Limits
Max Webster - Oh War!/High Class in Borrowed Shoes
OFF! - Vaporized/OFF!