Monday, July 21, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #3: Turnabout (1979)

Trust Fund Challenge is back with a new episode. This week, Ric and I watch the 1979 pilot of Turnabout, a body-switching "comedy" starring Sharon Gless and John Schuck (yes, him again) as a couple who magically switch bodies. I have no memory of this show airing, even though I was watching a ton of TV as a young 11-year-old that year. Of course, the show only lasted six episodes, so it was gone in a flash. And there's good reason for that, as you'll see in this episode.

Still, there were some big names involved, including the show's creator, a young Steven Bochco.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Littlest League Possible

There are certain live rock experiences that shouldn't be missed, and a Guided by Voices show definitely falls into that category. I don't know how I made it through the '90s without seeing them at least once; I've liked them since the glory days. Somehow I just missed them the umpteen times they came through Boston. But I caught them on their reunion tour of the classic mid-'90s lineup a few years back and it was transcendent. After initially balking this time around because of the ticket price, I bit the bullet and got one. And I'm glad I did: Last Saturday at the Paradise, GBV delivered a 45-plus song set that didn't let up, providing all the boozy power pop fun one could hope to expect from Dayton's finest.

Much of the material drew from the prolific band's most recent albums, Motivational Jumpsuit and Cool Planet, but there were plenty of classic GBV nuggets to go around: "I am a Scientist," "Echos Myron," "Tractor Rape Chain," "A Salty Salute," "14 Cheerleader Cold Front," and on and on. Robert Pollard was in fine form and feeling no pain (friends had seen him and band ripping it up before the show, and the beers and booze were flowing onstage as well); his between-songs repartee ("60 is the new 35," he cracked at one point) was hilarious as usual. The band's other main songwriter and singer, Tobin Sprout, was given plenty of room to do his material and it was uniformly excellent.

Openers Crystal Stilts turned in a solid performance with their '60s psych-rock influenced sound, but it suffered from a lack of dynamics. Hopefully, they're picking up a few pointers on this tour from the seasoned veterans taking the stage after them. With six albums released in the last two years, GBV's going stronger than ever. If you get a chance to see them, don't question why, just DO IT.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #44: July 18, 2014

This week's episode of Stuck In Thee Garage was a fun one. Not only did I play a ton of new music (including Speedy Ortiz, The Hush Now, Priests and Sylvan Esso) and pay tribute to the late Tommy Erdelyi (aka Tommy Ramone), Hour 2 featured a bunch of songs with women's names in the title (hat tip to Phil Stacey for the suggestion). It's amazing how many there are and how many of the usual suspects I managed to avoid. I did not play Misty.

Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Speedy Ortiz - Bigger Party/Adult Swim Singles Series 2014
Radiator Hospital - Five & Dime/Torch Song
Dead Stars - Wasted/Slumber
Priests - New/Bodies and Control and Money and Power
The War on Drugs - Eyes to the Wind/Lost in the Dream
Sylvan Esso - Coffee/Sylvan Esso
Flyying Colours - Not Today/Not Today
The Hush Now - Panda/Sparkle Drive
Dana Buoy - Preacher/Preacher EP
My Psychoanalyst - Bupkiss/Choreomania
The Shalfonts - Mother's Boys/Grant Mansion
The Ramones - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend/Blitzkrieg Bop/Ramones
The Ramones - Questioningly/I Just Want to Have Something to Do/Road to Ruin
The Replacements - Kiss Me on the Bus/Tim

Hour 2: Women's names
The Ramones - Judy is a Punk/Ramones
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Brenda/Orange
The Pursuit of Happiness - Carmalina/The Wonderful World of The Pursuit of Happiness
Jarvis Cocker - Angela/Further Complications
Mission of Burma - Nancy Reagan's Head/The Obliterati
Sloan - Step On It, Jean/B-sides Win: extras, bonus tracks and b-sides 1992-2008
The Apples in Stereo - Liza Jane/Dimension Mix
Lifter Puller - Katrina and the K-Hole/Fiestas + Fiascos
De La Soul - Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)/3 Feet High and Rising
Sleater-Kinney - Jenny/Dig Me Out
Public Image Ltd. - Annalisa/Public Image
Against Me! - I Still Love You Julie/Crime EP
Guided by Voices - Jane of the Waking Universe/Mag Earwhig!
Johnny Foreigner - Harriet, by Proxy/You Thought You Saw a Shooting Star, But Yr Eyes Were Blurred
The Beatles - Sexy Sadie/The White Album
Ben Folds Five - Kate/Whatever & Ever Amen
Cheap Trick - Oh, Candy/Cheap Trick
AC/DC - Whole Lotta Rosie/Let There Be Rock

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 336: Album vs. Playlist

This week, it's an episode of Driving With Kumar as guests Dave Olson and Phil Stacey join me to discuss whether the album is an endangered species. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded on the way to Fenway Park
- A BBC radio exec proclaimed the album is about to be extinct
- "Playlists are the future"
- Phil: Listen to a lot of albums by new or unfamiliar artists on Spotify
- Much different listening experience when we were kids
- Dave: Worked in restaurants as a kid and brought mix tapes to listen to
- Albums brought more lasting satisfaction
- Phil: Song order is interesting
- Sometimes an album only has 1 or 2 good songs
- Deep cuts
- Hunting for B-sides
- Digging through back catalog
- The vagaries of bubblegum pop
- Kids don't listen to albums as much anymore
- Phil likes the jam bands
- Commercial radio is in rough shape
- Music sales are a fraction of what they once were 20+ years ago
- The power of licensed music in movies and TV
- MTV used to be a huge music influencer
- The vinyl resurgence
- Mixes or playlists can have interesting choices
- Offending people with mixtape selections

Speedy Ortiz - Bigger Party
Dead Stars - Wasted
Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

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

The Speedy Ortiz song is part of the Adult Swim Singles Series. Download the song for free at Adult Swim.
The Dead Stars song is on the album Slumber on Old Flame Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Parquet Courts song is on the album Sunbathing Animal on What's Your Rupture? 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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #43: July 11, 2014

Sometimes life is like a wacky cross-country car race. You never know what's going to happen along the way. That's where Stuck In Thee Garage comes in handy, because you've gotta have good music, right? This week's show featured an hour of music from Merge Records in hour 2 to celebrate that legendary indie label's 25th anniversary.

The Dom Deluise Memorial Playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Radiator Hospital - Leather & Lace/Torch Song
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Coming Down/Only Run
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Jackson/Lose
Tom Vek - Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)/Luck
Cloud Nothings - Psychic Trauma/Here and Nowhere Else
Wussy - Teenage Wasteland/Attica!
The Afghan Whigs - Royal Cream/Do to the Beast
Electric Six - I'm the Bomb/Fire
Death From Above 1979 - If We Don't Make It We'll Fake It/Heads Up
D Generation - No Way Out/No Lunch
Rollins Band - Wrong Man/Weight
David Bowie - Stay/Station to Station
Jeff Beck Group - Plynth (Water Down the Drain)/Beck-Ola
Led Zeppelin - Out on the Tiles/III

Hour 2: Merge Records 
Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway/Foolish
Spoon - Don't You Evah/Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Bob Mould - The Descent/Silver Age
Telekinesis - Car Crash/12 Desperate Straight Lines
King Khan and the Shrines - So Wild/Idle No More
Mikal Cronin - Weight/MCII
Archers of Loaf - Wrong/Icky Mettle
Eleanor Friedberger - State at the Sun/Personal Record
Divine Fits - What Gets You Alone/A Thing Called Divine Fits
Destroyer - Sublimation Hour/Streethawk: A Seduction
Neutral Milk Hotel - Two-Headed Boy/In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea
Teenage Fanclub - It's All in My Mind/Man-Made
Redd Kross - Stay Away from Downtown/Researching the Blues
Robert Pollard - Pill Gone Girl/Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Wild Flag - Future Crimes/Wild Flag
Ex Hex - Hot and Cold/single

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 335: Halfway Down the Stairs

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the first half of the year. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky World HQ
- JB: Ava Luna does not fake the funk
- JK: Johnny Foreigner comes back with another excellent album
- They also dropped a surprise live album recently
- JB: Soccer Mom's full-length debut did not disappoint
- JK: Protomartyr has an interesting back story
- JB: Engineer Jeff Zeigler has worked on most great recent albums out of Philly
- Nothing's Guilty of Everything is exceedingly loud but pretty
- Wear earplugs, kids
- JK: Parquet Courts continues to refine their sound
- The Strokes were another band who came out to much acclaim
- Critical comparisons are often ill-informed
- JB: Perfect Pussy is female-fronted hardcore
- JK: Stephen Malkmus has had an interesting and rewarding solo career
- JK: Bob Mould keeps the rock vibe going
- JK: Afghan Whigs release first album in 16 years, don't miss a beat
- New Spoon album coming out
- JB: Looking forward to new records from Lubec, White Laces, Golden Gurls, Hush Now
- JK: New Mascis and Titus Andronicus due out soon
- Plenty of great stuff out there

Johnny Foreigner - Le Sigh
Soccer Mom - Orejas
Protomartyr - Come & See

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

The Johnny Foreigner song is on the album You Can Do Better on Alcopop. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Soccer Mom song is on the band's self-titled album 100m Records. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Protomartyr song is on the album Under Color of Official Right on Hardly Art. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
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, July 06, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #42: July 4, 2014

July 4th means a lot of things to Americans, and one of the most common ways we celebrate it is to fire up the ol' barbecue grill. And hopefully, listen to some good music. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I featured an hour's worth of songs about America, and not the Lee Greenwood flag-waving stuff, either. And hopefully you can dig 'em any time you're preparing some fine cuisine.

Fire it up:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Japandroids - Fire's Highway/Celebration Rock
Wolf Parade - Language City/At Mount Zoomer
A.C. Newman - Drink to Me Babe Then/The Slow Wonder
The Pursuit of Happiness - Completely Conspicuous/Where's the Bone
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Vad Hande Med Dem/Revelation
Parquet Courts - Duckin' and Dodgin'/Sunbathing Animal
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!/Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Paul Westerberg - Drop Them Gloves/PW & the Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys
Black Grape - Kelly's Heroes/It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah
Faith No More - Everything's Ruined/Angel Dust
Mastodon - Aunt Lisa/Once More 'Round the Sun
Aerosmith - Lick and a Promise/Rocks
Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning/Thunder and Lightning

Hour 2: Independence Day
X - 4th of July/See How We Are
Frank Black - Freedom Rock/Teenager of the Year
David Lee Roth - Yankee Rose/Eat 'Em and Smile
Bad Religion - American Jesus/Recipe for Hate
Circle Jerks - Fortunate Son/Unfortunate Son
Circle Jerks - When the Shit Hits the Fan/Unfortunate Son
Big Black - The Ugly American/The Hammer Party
The Nation of Ulysses - The Sound of Young America/13-Point Plan to Destroy America
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Loyal to My Sorrowful Country/Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead
Cat Power - American Flag/Moon Pix
R.E.M. - Ignoreland/Automatic for the People
Descendents - Statue of Liberty/Milo Goes to College
XTC - Statue of Liberty/Live in Ann Arbor 1980
Soundgarden - 4th of July/Superunknown
Phil Lynott - Ode to Liberty/The Philip Lynott Album
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited/Highway 61 Revisited
Neil Young - Rockin' in the Free World/Freedom