Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 371: V for Victory


This week, I talk to filmmaker Eric Green about the release of his documentary on the mid-'80s Boston music channel V66. Listen to the episode or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- We last spoke in 2012, when Eric was still working on Life on the V
- Previously appeared in episodes 231 and 232
- Movie's now out on DVD and in film festivals
- In 1985, MTV was still growing and smaller music video shows were on
- Two Boston radio veterans wanted V66 to be like a radio station
- Audiences who are unfamiliar with V66 have enjoyed the movie
- Long post-production process
- Cast and crew screening was in early 2014
- Founder John Garabedian quickly realized V66 couldn't just show videos
- Needed other programming to keep viewers
- Added wrestling, sports and lifestyle shows
- Original cut of movie was 2 hours
- Connecting to the Boston community
- Good response at festivals
- Developing other projects
- Great time for music documentaries
- Eric: It's as much a business story as a music story

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, April 17, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #77: April 17, 2015

Much has changed in the world since 1985. Technology has certainly advanced by major leaps and bounds, we're much more paranoid than we used to be, and people no longer find Chevy Chase to be likable. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played music from 30 years ago in hour 2 and it was a lot of fun, indeed.



The Dr. RosenRosen-prescribed playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Flagland - Awesome Song, Kerry Jan/Flagland/Washer EP
Washer - Clid/Flagland/Washer EP
Geronimo! - Low Fruit on the Vine/Buzz Yr Girlfriend Vol. 4 - Why Did You Leave Me?
Jesse Malin - Turn Up the Mains/New York Before the War
Red Red Meat - Rosewood, Wax, Voltz + Glitter/Bunny Gets Paid (20th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue)
Flout - Rainchecks/Gims
The Prefab Messiahs - College Radio/Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive
Nai Harvest - Gimme Gimme/Hairball
NEEDS - We Forgot the Records to Our Record Release.../Needs
Pinkshinyultrablast - Holy Forest/Everything Else Matters
Hard Left - Hard Left Rules OK/We Are Hard Left
Surf City - Spec City/Jekyll Island
Charly Bliss - Urge to Purge/Soft Serve
Funkadelic - Whole Lot of BS/Maggot Brain
Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft/Shaft
James Brown - Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine/Funk Power 1970: A Brand New Thang

Hour 2: 1985
Prince and the Revolution - Pop Life/Around the World in a Day
The Power Station - Get It On (Bang a Gong)/The Power Station
Husker Du - Celebrated Summer/New Day Rising
The Smiths - How Soon is Now?/Meat is Murder
Sonic Youth - Brave Men Run (In My Family)/Bad Moon Rising
Camper Van Beethoven - The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon/Telephone Free Landslide Victory
R.E.M. - Feeling Gravity's Pull/Fables of the Reconstruction
The Cure - In Between Days/The Head on the Door
The Cult - Hollow Man/Love
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey/Psychocandy
The Replacements - Bastards of Young/Tim
Minutemen - Political Nightmare/3-Way Tie (For Last)
Black Flag - Paralyzed/In My Head
Dinosaur Jr. - Forget the Swan/Dinosaur



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 370: Above the Din

This week, it's my conversation with Bryan Hamill about how music discovery has evolved over the years. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at a noisy pub in Cambridge, Mass.
- Check out Bryan's blog The Ash Gray Proclamation
- Pre-gaming prior to Swervedriver show
- Bryan used to find out about music from radio (WBCN, WFNX) and magazines
- The inevitable teenage metal phase
- Older brother introduced him to bands like the Neighborhoods and the Replacements
- Record reviews and tips from friends were important
- Boston rock scene was pivotal, then and now
- Worked in radio for several years
- Started blog 9 years ago to champion indie rock scene
- Scours Soundcloud, Twitter, Spotify for new music
- Major labels are less important now
- Nobody plays indie rock on radio other than college stations
- Bands make money through playing shows and selling merch
- Records sales are no longer a factor
- Tips from publicists and bands
- Bands don't have to compromise because chances of success are slight
- As a teen, found music by combing through stacks at record stores
- Boston still has great clubs to see new music
- Corporatization of radio is bad for everyone
- Rock is niche music now
- As a genre, rock is in a down cycle

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, April 11, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #76: April 10, 2015

Dreams are strange and unpredictable and often nonsensical, but they're almost always interesting. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played an hour of new music and an hour of songs about dreams.



Two out of two Coreys agree on this playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Creative Adult - Ring Around the Room/Ring Around the Room EP
Pinkwash - Cancer Money/Cancer Money 7-inch
Hard Left - Holiday/We Are Hard Left
Viet Cong - Silhouettes/Viet Cong
JEFF the Brotherhood - Black Cherry Pie/Wasted on the Dream
Sick Sad World - Skateboarding Girl/Fear & Lies
Two Gallants - Incidental/We Are Undone
Turnover - Take My Head/Peripheral Vision
Kuroma - Passionate People/Kuromarama
Father John Misty - Bored in the USA/I Love You, Honeybear
Shana Falana - Go/Set Your Lightning Fire Free
Swervedriver - Never Lose That Feeling/Live at the Sinclair, Cambridge MA 3/27/15
Grounders - Drawing Space/Grounders
Diamond Youth - Spinning/Nothing Matters

Hour 2: Dreams
Blondie - Dreaming/Eat to the Beat
Cheap Trick - Dream Police/Dream Police
The Posies - Dream All Day/Frosting on the Beater
Midnight Oil - Dream World/Diesel and Dust
Fred Schneider - Bad Dream/Just Fred
Metric - Dreams So Real/Synthetica
Diarrhea Planet - Field of Dreams/I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Van Halen - Little Dreamer/Van Halen
Lightning Dust - Dreamer/Infinite Light
Eels - In My Dreams/Hombre Loco
The Pink Mountaintops - While We Were Dreaming/Outside Love
The Walkmen - Thinking of a Dream I Had/Bows + Arrows
Deer Tick - The Dream's in the Ditch/Negativity
Jonny Polonsky - I Don't Know What to Dream at Night/Hi My Name is Jonny
Ringo Deathstarr - God's Dream/God's Dream
The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream/Lost in the Dream
Firehose - Tien An Man Dream Again (live)/Lowflows: The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93) 
 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Trust Fund Challenge #11: Mayberry B.F.D.

This is a fun installment of TFC (well, they're ALL fun, but this is really fun), featuring Pray For the Wildcats, a long lost TV movie from 1974 with an amazing cast: Andy Griffith in balls-out psycho mode, William Shatner playing an uber-wuss, Robert Reed as a befro'd corporate weasel, Marjoe Gortner as a hippie toolbag and Angie Dickinson playing a superhot lady (natch). There's a whole lotta motorcycle riding through the desert, a fair amount of Griffith being all evil and shit, and some over-the-top hamminess from The Shat. It's where the hippie dream went to die, man.


Completely Conspicuous 369: Light Up the Sky

Part 2 of my conversation with author Greg Renoff about his upcoming book on the early days of Van Halen. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

 

Show notes:
- Check out Greg's Van Halen Rising page
- Book is out Oct. 1
- Getting blurbs, reviews, photo permissions
- Publisher ECW Press released Neil Peart's books
- Book will feature previously unpublished photos
- Backyard parties were how the band grew
- New VH tour on the way
- Greg: Had an inkling it would happen
- Roth's solo career
- Greg: Became a VH fan because of "Jump"
- Roth stopped focusing on vocals after first few years
- New live album's shaky vocals
- Modern production techniques
- Is there a new studio album on the way?
- Next up for Greg: Possible work on unnamed artist's autobiography
- VH has a passionate fan base
- Afterword talks of the band's legacy

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, April 03, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #75: April 3, 2015

Control is a tricky thing. Some people spend their whole lives trying to gain control, while others revel in the ability to let loose and careen out of control. The balance is difficult to achieve. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage in hour 2, I played songs about loss of control.



The state-approved playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Jeff Rosenstock - Hey Allison!/We Cool?
Geronimo! - They Put a Hook Inside Me/Buzz Yr. Girlfriend Vol. 4: Why Did You Leave Me?
NEEDS - Walk, Cycle or Take Transit Like Jehu/Needs
TV Colours - The Neighbourhood/Purple Skies, Toxic River
Dreamsalon - Soft Stab/Soft Stab
Talk in Tongues - Time's Still (For No One Yet)/Alone With a Friend
Nai Harvest - Spin/Hairball
Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator/Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Ty Segall - The Crawler/Manipulator
Pile - Hot Breath/You're Better Than This
Parquet Courts - Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth/Content Nausea
Swervedriver - Son of Mustang Ford/Raise
My Bloody Valentine - (When You Wake) You're Still in a Dream/Isn't Anything
Ride - Kaleidoscope/Nowhere
Slowdive - Brighter/Just for a Day
Sloan - Lucky for Me/Live at Vermonstress 10/11/92

Hour 2: Loss of control
Joy Division - She's Lost Control/Unknown Pleasures
U2 - Out of Control/Boy
Ben Folds - Zak and Sara/Rockin' the Suburbs
Van Halen - Loss of Control/Women and Children First
Motorhead - Fast and Loose/Ace of Spades
D Generation - Too Loose/No Lunch
Thin Lizzy - Wild One/Fighting
The Rolling Stones - Rocks Off/Exile on Main St.
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - Let Go/L.A.M.F. - the lost '77 tapes
Mission of Burma - Let Yourself Go/The Obliterati
The Cult - Wild Flower/Electric
King Khan and the Shrines - So Wild/Idle No More
Sebadoh - Emma Get Wild/Bubble & Scrape
Wild Flag - Boom/Wild Flag
Phantom Tollbooth - Asleep Under Control/Beard of Lightning
Sparta - Taking Back Control/Threes
The Dambuilders - Smooth Control/Ruby Red
Bad Brains - The Regulator/Bad Brains





The Brown Sound

I've always lived in predominantly Caucasian areas: Toronto (although by the time we moved away, it was by far the most diverse place I've ever lived in), Washington state, New Hampshire and now here just north of Boston. There certainly have been times in my life when I've been acutely aware of my non-whiteness, but for the vast majority of the time, it hasn't been an issue.

As the child of immigrants, I grew up entirely North Americanized: food, pop culture, sports, music, movies. It's not that I wasn't exposed to Indian food or culture, but I gravitated towards the stuff that was around me. Hence, I'm a big hockey and baseball fan, I liked hard rock and metal and now indie rock, alternative comedy...you know, stuff white people like. Fact is, I don't have a whole helluva lot in common with Indian dudes other than the obvious stuff. I also enjoy that I confound a lot of common stereotypes over here about Indian guys: I'm not a doctor, I don't have an accent and I don't smoke copious amounts of weed like the dude in the friggin' Harold and Kumar movies.

So it was with interest that I read a Pitchfork column last week on the lack of minorities in indie rock. The author made some decent points, and certainly it is pretty white, but I don't get the sense that there's some big conspiracy preventing indie rock artists of color from succeeding. I just think there aren't that many of them. I also think the author undersold the number of brown artists or members of bands who have emerged on the indie scene over the years by just focusing on the four who "look like" her: M.I.A., Heems, Dapwell and Natasha Khan. She couched them as the only "prominent" ones, and that may be true, but prominence isn't easy to achieve in these days of easy access to everything and drastically reduced music sales. And there's a smattering of brown peeps working in rock these days: Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, Tony Kanal of No Doubt, The Kominas, Amal of Big Ups, Sonya Balchandani of The Big Sleep, Supriya Gunda; and beyond the rock genre, you've got Norah Jones, the jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and that dude who just left One Direction.


Still, that's not a lot when you consider how many white faces there are in indie rock and rock in general. But how do you get more diversity in these scenes? More kids need to be inspired to make music. Culturally, I think it's happening more now than it used to, but Indian kids (at least me and the ones I knew as a kid) were encouraged to focus on academics and not so much the other stuff. It's also why you don't see a whole lot of athletes of Indian descent in North American sports (although an Indian dude was just signed by the NBA's Sacramento Kings). It's just not a priority for a lot of Indian kids. Plus we tend to be on the pipsqueaky side.

As for me, well, I'm just your typical old Indian guy who goes to indie rock shows, plays hockey and runs a lot. Nothing to see here.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 368: In a Simple Rhyme


Part 1 of my conversation with author Greg Renoff about his upcoming book about the early days of Van Halen. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Check out Greg's Van Halen Rising page
- Book is out Oct. 1
- Greg's a college professor
- Fan of arena rock and guitar as a kid
- In grad school, wrote his disseration and a book about a traveling circus
- Many parallels to a rock tour
- Wanted to learn more about VH's beginnings
- Interviewed people around the scene starting in 2009
- Eventually talked to Michael Anthony, Ted Templeman, Donn Landee
- Started at the bottom and worked up
- Dug into the myths around VH's major label signing
- Eddie's beginnings on guitar
- VH hit a lot of dead ends along the way
- The first big tour really made the band
- The fine art of choosing opening acts
- Getting a book publisher isn't easy
- Putting together the book proposal
- Finished writing in summer 2014
- 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.