Friday, February 16, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #212: February 16, 2018

Valentine's Day brings in a lot of money every year. But for those of us who think it sucks, I played anti-Valentine's songs in hour 2 of Stuck In Thee Garage this week. Hang in there, people.



The unforgettable playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
The Spook School - Bad Year/Could It Be Different?
Shame - One Rizla/Songs of Praise
Pugwash - Why Do I/Silverake
Dream Wife - Somebody/Dream Wife
Ty Segall - She/Freedom's Goblin
Savak - Loma Prieta/Cut-Ups
Fu Manchu - Don't Panic/Clone of the Universe
Converge - Trigger/The Dusk in Us
Quicksand - Illuminant/Interiors
St. Vincent - Young Lover/Masseduction
Destroyer - Ivory Coast/ken
Jeff Rosenstock - Powerlessness/POST-
The Fall - Hey Student/Middle Class Revolt
The Fall - O.F.Y.C. Showcase/Your Future Our Clutter
Sonic Youth - Rowche Rumble/4 Tunna Brix

Hour 2: Anti-Valentine's
Jeff Rosenstock - Beers Again Alone/We Cool?
Foo Fighters - Alone + Easy Target/Foo Fighters
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - All By Myself/L.A.M.F. - the lost '77 tapes
Crystal Castles - Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)/Single
Wilco - Born Alone/The Whole Love
The Black Angels - Better Off Alone/Passover
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart/Permanent
The Cars - Since You're Gone/Shake It Up
The Smithereens - Alone at Midnight/Especially for You
Red Red Meat - I'm Not in Love/Red Red Meat reissue
The Walkmen - The Rat/Bows + Arrows
The Strokes - Alone, Together/Is This It
Interpol - Obstacle 1/Turn on the Bright Lights
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends/Sound of Silver


Friday, February 09, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #211: February 9, 2018

Obsession is a funny thing. It can lead people down some pretty dark roads. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about obsession in hour 2, running the gamut from obsession with love, sex, power, death or music.

Whatever the case, there's a whole lot of crazy going on.




The sledgehammer playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Hot Snakes - Six Wave Hold-Down/Jericho Sirens
Ty Segall - Every 1's a Winner/Freedom's Goblin
Shame - Tasteless/Songs of Praise
Car Seat Headrest - Cute Thing/Twin Fantasy (Final Masters)
The Spook School - I Only Dance When I Want To/Could It Be Different?
Dream Wife - Hey! Heartbreaker/Dream Wife
Superchunk - Erasure/What a Time to Be Alive
The Breeders - All Nerve/All Nerve
Buffalo Tom - In the Ice/Quiet and Peace
Pugwash - The Perfect Summer/Silverlake
Lefty's Deceiver - Helena Heartbreak/Lefty's Deceiver
Hockey Dad - I Wanna Be Everybody/Blend Inn
Melkbelly - Twin Lookin' Motherfucker/Nothing Valley
Water From Your Eyes - Out of Town/All a Dance
Black Nite Crash - The Things We Do/Nevergreen
Ought - These 3 Things/Room Inside the World

Hour 2: Obsession
Eagles of Death Metal - I Only Want You/Peace Love Death Metal
Nancy - I Want You Bad/Nancy
MC5 - I Want You Right Now/Kick Out the Jams
The Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict/Singles Going Steady
Queens of the Stone Age - In My Head/Lullabies to Paralyze
Black Sabbath - N.I.B./Black Sabbath
Jane's Addiction - Ted, Just Admit It.../Nothing's Shocking
Bob Dylan - I Want You/Blonde on Blonde
Elvis Costello - I Want You/Blood & Chocolate
Peter Gabriel - No Self Control/Melt
Sebadoh - Prince-S/Harmacy
Arctic Monkeys - Cornerstone/Humbug
Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place/Kid A
David Bowie - Sound and Vision/Low


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 486: Content Mismanagement

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the power of the written word. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea
- The popularity of comics has moved beyond just comic books
- The collector's market collapsed in the late '90s
- We make less time to read nowadays
- Audiobooks and podcasts are popular with people trying to multitask
- Mark Hamill's interesting career
- Attention spans are shrinking
- Binge-watching vs. reading
- Long-form storytelling is alive and well on TV
- Being professional on social media
- When things you liked don't age well
- Retroactive criticism
- Hate-sharing for fun and profit
- Outrage fatigue
- Picking careers that become obsolete
 
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, February 02, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #210: February 2, 2018

Collaboration can be a great way to make interesting art. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs featuring team-ups in hour 2. Everything from supergroups to cameo appearances. It's totally bodacious.



The non-bogus playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive/What a Time to Be Alive
Ought - Disgraced in America/Room Inside the World
Jeff Rosenstock - Melba/POST-
Water From Your Eyes - Let It Ring/All a Dance
Makeness - Loud Patterns/Single
Motorcade - Desertion/Motorcade
LCD Soundsystem - Call the Police/American Dream
Roadkill Ghost Choir - Classics (Die Young)/False Youth Etcetera
Grand Courriers - Tempted/Single
Bad History Month - Being Nothing/Dead and Loving It: An Introductory Exploration of Pessimysticism
Deer Tick - Tiny Fortunes/Deer Tick, Vol. 2
Camp Cope - The Opener/How to Socialise & Make Friends
Alyeska - Stones/Single
Danielle Luppi & Parquet Courts (feat. Karen O) - The Golden Ones/MILANO

Hour 2: Team-ups
Rancid - Junkie Man/...And Out Come the Wolves
At the Drive-In - Rolodex Propaganda/Relationship of Command
Danko Jones - Invisible/Sleep is the Enemy
PJ Harvey (feat. Thom Yorke) - The Mess We're In/Stories from the City, Stories form the Sea
Desert Sessions - A Girl Like Me/The Desert Sessions, Volumes 9 and 10
Mark Lanegan Band - One Hundred Days/Bubblegum
Beck - Orphans (feat. Cat Power)/Modern Guilt
Jesse Malin - Broken Radio/Glitter in the Gutter
The Needy Sons - Too Thin/Vis-a-Vis
Dinosaur Jr. and Del the Funkee Homosapien - Missing Link/Judgment Night soundtrack
Reeves Gabrel - You've Been Around/The Sacred Squall of Now
Elastica and Stephen Malkmus - Unheard Music/Suburbia soundtrack
Divine Fits - What Gets You Alone/A Thing Called Divine Fits
Mike Watt - Chinese Firedrill/Ball Hog or Tugboat
Frank Black and Teenage Fanclub - Handyman/The John Peel Session EP
Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union/The Monitor


Monday, January 29, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 485: Word is Bond

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the power of the written word. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea
- Everything's great
- Content has a different meaning these days
- Gotta grab readers much more quickly
- We read full articles more infrequently
- Rarely go directly to newspaper sites
- Jay: Use Feedly, which is like the old Google Reader RSS feed aggregator
- RSS feeds are archaic now
- Facebook's News Feed is pretty light on actual news
- People "liking" products on social media
- Matt: Shorter stories seem to do better than longer novels
- e-readers are good and bad
- Internet publishing took away the gatekeeper so anyone can publish now
- Now there's so much out there, you can't tell the good from the bad
- Paperbacks are making a comeback, like vinyl
- Putting "girl" in a book title is trending
- Dino erotica is a thing
- Fun with keywords
- Doing chart battle with werewolf smut
- Jay: Finally got a Kindle last year
- Matt: Amazon is the devil that pays on time
- 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, January 28, 2018

Found Object: Comics Relief

Editor's note: Found Object is a new recurring feature that's part writing exercise, part old guy reflections. Each entry is about a different piece of detritus that I've collected at some point in my life.

I've always enjoyed reading, but when I was around 9, I started getting into comics. I had enjoyed the old Batman series in reruns over the years, as well as the Spider-man cartoon from the '60s. Right from the start, I was a Marvel guy: Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, Captain America. I didn't have a lot of disposable income at the time, so I would pick them up occasionally.

A few years later, I got a little more serious about comics collecting, mainly because I got caught up in the storylines. The Hulk and Spidey had prime-time live action shows, but the monthly comics were what I was into. I would get them at the mall, at convenience stores, wherever I could find them. When we moved to Washington state, there was a comics shop within bike riding distance of my house, so I was a regular. It was the first time I had heard of having the store hold your issues for you. I'm still not sure how I was able to afford getting all those books, plus music, plus other stuff I was into. I had an allowance, but that was pretty much it. I had a paper route for a short while in Washington, but that was it until my junior year of high school in New Hampshire when I got a job at Market Basket.

I kept buying comics regularly through high school and college, although once I was at UNH, I was only able to pick up my books and read them once a month when I was home. By this point, I was getting more into music and once I graduated, I stopped buying them because I couldn't keep up. Marvel started publishing twice monthly for some of the hotter titles, which just added to the backlog. But I held on to my collection (which was probably around 2500 comics) for another 11 years or so, through many moves on the North Shore, until I got married. We bought a house a few months after getting married and I agreed to sell my collection; I didn't get much for it because thanks to eBay, everybody was selling collectibles and the market was flooded. I kind of regret not holding on to certain titles, but what are you going to do? The pictured giant-sized compilation was in a box of stuff in our basement, purchased in 1980.



I now purchase the occasional trade compilation of newer titles I've heard good things about or older ones that I enjoyed back in the day. I've toyed with getting a Comixology subscription to get access to all the Marvel titles but I don't have the time to read all that stuff, so I've passed. But I enjoy watching the various superhero movies and TV shows with my daughters, who are big into it all. They haven't gotten into reading comics, though. Not sure why, but I think there's so much good work being done in bringing those stories to the screen that reading the books might be a bit anti-climactic for them. Which is fine, but I'll always treasure the many hours I spent reading new comics in my room while listening to music. It was an essential part of my childhood.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Found Object: Trade Secret

Editor's note: Found Object is a new recurring feature that's part writing exercise, part old guy reflections. Each entry is about a different piece of detritus that I've collected at some point in my life.

Back in August 1988, the world was a much different place. I was 20, doing an internship with the Peabody Times after my junior year at UNH. Back in the late '80s, a career as a newspaper reporter was still something that made sense. You weren't going to make a lot of money, but it was a respectable profession and one that didn't seem to have an expiration date. 

Back then, newspaper internships were pivotal things. Not only did they give a prospective employer a glimpse at your skillset, they also give you an idea of whether you want to get into the business. It was one thing to write for the college newspaper, but another thing entirely to prove your worth for a daily paper. There were plenty of folks who had moved on to careers in journalism, but there were also those who couldn't handle the pressure of daily deadlines.

When I showed up in Peabody in June of '88, I found out that it wasn't going to be much of a challenge. My predecessor couldn't hack it and nearly quit after a month; he stuck around, but it was clear that he wasn't carrying a lot of weight. By the time I showed up, the editor of the Peabody paper was so desperate to not have the intern quit that she basically told me I could do whatever I wanted. I could've spent the entire three months doodling on a piece of paper and it wouldn't have mattered. But I wanted to make this my profession, so I wasn't about to waste it. I wanted to dive in. At first, there was a lot of puff pieces, mainly because there were three other reporters in the office to take the weightier stories. However, one of the reporters left in early August, which meant I was able to take on some more of the burden. More than anything, it proved that I was able to do the job.

So there I was on August 9, working on a story in the Beverly office of Essex County Newspapers, when I read on the AP sports wire that a big trade had gone through late in the day. This was a time before sports talk radio and Twitter and constant sports coverage, so I had no idea that the greatest hockey player of all time would be dealt at the peak of his powers. Indeed, Wayne Gretzky, who was coming off his fourth Stanley Cup win in five years with the Edmonton Oilers, was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. It was one of the biggest trades in sports history, especially given the fact that Gretzky was literally the best player in the sport and coming off a dominant stretch with Edmonton. Reading that he was getting traded was shocking, to say the least. There had been big trades before: Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and many other stars had been traded, but none had been as key at the time of their trade as Gretzky was.






The trade of Gretzky to the Kings was a big deal for the NHL in terms of establishing itself in warm weather areas. The Kings had been in LA since 1967, and had had stars like Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitaille, Rogie Vachon and Dave Taylor, but Gretzky brought a whole new level of star power to the team. He attracted a whole new level of attention to the Kings, bringing in Hollywood celebrities and showcasing the game to a new audience. Even though the Great One was unable to bring a Cup to LA (although he did take them to the 1993 Cup final vs. Montreal), he generated so much interest in the game south of the border that it inspired a whole generation of American players.

The Kings eventually won Cups in 2012 and 2014, and while Gretzky was long gone at that point (he was traded to St. Louis in 1996 and retired in 1999), there's no denying the impact he had on hockey in California and the U.S. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done with Edmonton had he stayed (they won another Cup in 1990), but he clearly paved the way for U.S. hockey to reach many more kids.

I can still remember driving home from Beverly to Kingston, N.H., on August 9, 1988, shocked to the core that one of the greatest hockey players in history had been traded. A few weeks later, I headed back to Durham, N.H., for my senior year at UNH. A year later, I was back in Peabody, having been hired at the Times as a reporter. I was on to my career in journalism. How was I to know that things would change so radically for the entire newspaper industry? But in 1988, I was on the right track.