Sunday, March 18, 2018

Found Object: Spin the Black Circle

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.

My love for rock music has been a constant in my life since the late '70s, when I started listening to the radio regularly. As a young tween in the Toronto burbs, the first station I really listened to (besides listening to Blue Jays games on CKFH 1430 AM) was 1050 CHUM AM, which played a wide swath of popular music. This included rock (1979's top 100 songs list included Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Styx and Foreigner) disco (Bee Gees, Village People, Donna Summer), new wave (Blondie, the Knack, the Cars, Boomtown Rats), pop (Billy Joel, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart) and middle-of-the-road (Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Anne Murray, Dionne Warwick). Each week, the station published a chart of its top 30 songs (and its FM counterpart did the same with a top albums chart) in the Toronto Star; I used to cut them out and still have a pile of them in the basement somewhere.

But it was around this time that I started buying 45s. I only picked up a handful at the time; they were cheap (under $1, I believe) and fun, but I soon started buying albums instead. Still, I picked up "Let's Go" by The Cars, "The Logical Song" by Supertramp, "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles, "Weekend" by Wet Willie, "Dream Police" by Cheap Trick and this classic, Joe Jackson's "I'm the Man":

I can even remember when I bought this...sort of. I don't remember the exact date or anything. I do remember that I was with my mom at an Eaton's department store in the Toronto area in late '79 and while she was off shopping for whatever boring stuff she needed, I was in the record section perusing through the stacks. I was obsessed with this song from the first time I heard it on the radio. Couldn't get enough of it. Still can't, really. I got into Jackson a year earlier when "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" came out, but this song was so uptempo and catchy, it made me a fan for life.

As I mentioned, I had also started buying albums and they became the focus of my music obsession. I started getting singles again in the mid-'80s as a way to get B-sides: I've got a bunch of 45s from Iron Maiden, U2, and Def Leppard for that purpose. I would add them to cassettes of the albums they came out with. In the late '80s, I picked up a few random 45s of pop hits when I knew I didn't want to necessarily get the album. By that point, the cassingle started to pop up in stores so I picked up a few of those for B-sides. Then by the early '90s, it was CD singles. And then, of course, MP3s. Now, everything's getting pushed aside in favor of streaming. But me, I still like to own music.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #215: March 16, 2018

A dare is a funny thing. It's usually someone challenging you to do something you don't want to do, or shouldn't do. And a lot of times, you end up doing the dumb thing. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about dares in hour 2. I triple dog dare you to check it out.

The coup de grace of playlists:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Sloan - Have Faith/12
Shopping - The Hype/The Official Body
Shame - Friction/Songs of Praise
Shell of a Shell - Problem/Already There
Screaming Females - Fantasy Lens/All at Once
The Breeders - Archangel's Thunderbird/All Nerve
Judas Priest - Lightning Strike/Firepower
Fu Manchu - Intelligent Worship/Clone of the Universe
Wo Fat - Riffborn/Midnight Cometh
MGMT - Little Dark Age/Little Dark Age
A Tribe Called Quest - Melatonin/We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
Danielle Luppi & Parquet Courts - Lanza/MILANO
Yo La Tengo - Polynesia #1/There's a Riot Going On
Jeff Rosenstock - TV Stars/POST-
Special Explosion - Fire/To Infinity

Hour 2: Dares
The Clash - Police on my Back/Sandinista!
The Replacements - I Will Dare/For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986
Iggy & the Stooges - Gimme Danger/Raw Power
The New Pornographers - Challengers/Challengers
Great Grandpa - Teen Challenge/Plastic Cough
Franz Ferdinand - Eleanor Put Your Boots On/You Could Have It So Much Better
Material Issue - Chance of a Lifetime/International Pop Overthrow
The King Khan & BBQ Show - Truth or Dare/Invisible Girl
Aztec Camera - Jump/Knife
Richard and Linda Thompson - Wall of Death/Shoot Out the Lights
The Tragically Hip - Daredevil/Day for Night
Drive-By Truckers - Lookout Mountain/The Dirty South
The Misfits - Where Eagles Dare/Misfits
UFO - Shoot Shoot/Strangers in the Night
Black Sabbath - Supernaut/Vol. 4
Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine/The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Guided By Voices - Mag Earwhig!/Mag Earwhig!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #214: March 9, 2018

Things move quickly these days. Blink and before you know it, a year has passed. Or a decade, or two. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs from 1998 in hour 2. There's something about it that really works.

The painfully awkward but ultimately cool playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Soccer Mommy - Your Dog/Clean
Remember Sports - Up From Below/Slow Buzz
Mien - Earth Moon/Mien
Titus Andronicus - Above the Bodega (Local Business)/A Productive Cough
Eels - The Deconstruction/The Deconstruction
Stove - Dumb Phone/Is a Toad in the Rain
Painted Doll - Hidden Hand/Painted Doll
Ty Segall - Despoiler of Cadaver/Freedom's Goblin
Marvin Gaye and Ratt - I Heard It Round and Round the Grapevine/Mashup by Bill McClintock
Superchunk - Bad Choices/What a Time to Be Alive
Partner - Comfort Zone/In Search of Lost Time
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Mainland/Mainland
Moaning - Artificial/Moaning
Vundabar - Acetone/Smell Smoke
Thunder Dreamer - Capture/Capture

Hour 2: 1998
Sloan - She Says What She Means/Navy Blues
Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945/In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea
Buffalo Tom - Rachael/Smitten
Queens of the Stone Age - Regular John/Queens of the Stone Age
Pulp - Party Hard/This Is Hardcore
Girls Against Boys - Park Avenue/Freak*On*Ica
Cat Power - Cross Bones Style/Moon Pix
Beck - Tropicalia/Mutations
Spoon - Reservations/A Series of Sneaks
The Afghan Whigs - 66/1965
Rancid - Bloodclot/Life Won't Wait
Rocket From the Crypt - Eye On You/RFTC
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Attack/Acme
The Tragically Hip - Poets/Phantom Power
Frank Black & the Catholics - Suffering/Frank Black & the Catholics
Jerry Cantrell - Cut You In/Boggy Depot
Pearl Jam - Brain of J./Yield

Friday, March 02, 2018

Stuck In Thee Garage #213: March 2, 2018

Humans are nosy by nature. We're untrustworthy. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about spies and spying in hour 2. Whether it's espionage, private detectives or just plain stalking, this week's playlist runs the gamut.

The top secret playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Courtney Barnett - Nameless, Faceless/Tell Me How You Really Feel
Speedy Ortiz - Lucky 88/Twerp Verse
Screaming Females - I'll Make You Sorry/All at Once
Hot Snakes - Death Camp Fantasy/Jericho Sirens
Superchunk - Reagan Youth/What a Time to Be Alive
Fu Manchu - (I've Been) Hexed/Clone of the Universe
Robert Plant - New World.../Carry Fire
Pugwash - Everyone Knows That You're Mine/Silverlake
Buffalo Tom - Cat vs. Mouse/Quiet and Peace
The Spook School - While You Were Sleeping/Could It Be Different?
Palm - Heavy Lifting/Rock Island
Bethlehem Steel - Finger It Out/Party Naked Forever
Infinity Girl - Redder/Somewhere Nice, Someday
Makthaverskan - Siren/III
Alvvays - Saved by a Waif/Antisocialites
Jen Cloher - Great Australian Bite/Jen Cloher

Hour 2: Spies
Pavement - Embassy Row/Brighten the Corners
Protomartyr - Clandestine Time/The Agent Intellect
Idle Bloom - Some Paranoia/Some Paranoia
Peter Gabriel - Intruder/Melt
Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives/My Aim is True
Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - Detective Daughter/Knives Don't Have Your Back
Poster Children - Detective Tracy/Toreador Squat
Big Boys - Detectives/Recorded Live at Raul's Club
Fugazi - Public Witness Program/In On the Kill Taker
Beastie Boys - Sabotage/Ill Communication
Judas Priest - Electric Eye/Screaming for Vengeance
Frank Black - The Vanishing Spies/Teenager of the Year
Kristin Hersh - Secret Codes/Wyatt at the Coyote Palace
The Hush Now - Spyglass/Sparkle Drive
The National - Secret Meeting/Alligator
Talking Heads - Life During Wartime/Fear of Music
Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues.Bringing It All Back Home

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 487: Dig for Fire (Solo Beatles-Living Colour, Part 2)

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss musical blindspots: I dig into Paul McCartney's RAM and Brian checks out Living Colour's Time's Up. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Brian: Glover's vocals are too showy on Reid's songs
- Second half of album is more varied
- Back in the days of super-long albums
- Living Colour would switch styles in the middle of songs
- Bands would go platinum with no radio play
- Taping music off the radio
- RAM was credited to Paul and Linda
- Whimsy with a dark undercurrent
- Homemade-sounding album recorded in an NYC studio
- Critics hated it when it came out
- Macca rarely plays these songs live
- Next up: Living Colour's Stain and George Harrison's Brainwashed
- George's problematic solo career
- Here's to long rock docs
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 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