Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #2: Holmes and YoYo (1976)

The second episode of Trust Fund Challenge features Ric Dube and I watching the mid-'70s cop-with-a-robot-sidekick (I know, THAT old cliche) show Holmes and YoYo. This show was from the creator of Get Smart and only last about half a season. I actually remember it being on the air, mainly because of co-star John Schuck, who played the robot and was on many shows, including MacMillan and Wife.


Let Yourself Go

Getting older requires certain concessions. You have to realize that you're not 25 anymore and act accordingly. Part of that means your body doesn't bounce back as quickly as it once did. As a runner, I've found that my body doesn't deal with marathon training the way it did 10 or even five years ago, so I don't do marathons anymore.

But that doesn't mean I've given up on challenging myself. I've been doing a lot of shorter races lately and doing fairly well, but I felt like there was something missing. A few months, I was chatting on Facebook with a running buddy of mine and came to the realization that I needed to have a good challenge to keep myself interested. We had talked about doing the Merge Records 25K in North Carolina in March, but he had an injury that prevented him from properly training for it. I probably wasn't ready for such a distance, but I realized that a fall 25K was definitely possible. The Around Cape Ann 25K is a tough race that I did 10 years ago--the course runs along Route 127 in Gloucester and is super hilly. At the time, I swore I'd never do it again. But after thinking about it, it seemed like the perfect challenge for me.

There's nothing like hills to get you in shape. I got out there this morning for an 11-mile run that was pretty damn tough, but definitely doable. I was able to run up each hill from O'Maley Middle School to the Rockport line and back. I'm hoping to get out there several more times before race day on Sept. 1. I'm still having issues with my heels; they're both very sore, although once I get going they don't bother me. It was only my left one until about a month ago, when my right heel started bothering me. I ran in my last pair of shoes for about two months too long and unfortunately I'm paying for it now. I'm hoping I can keep going without any more issues.

Last week, I ran the New England Running Company 10-Miler and kicked ass, finishing in 1:15:58, a PR for that distance. It was a somewhat hilly course along Route 127 in Beverly, but I was familiar with it since I run that route pretty much every weekend. I don't usually create playlists for road races anymore, but I thought it would be fun to do one for this race since it was a little longer than I've been running lately. I tried to pick songs I haven't used in the past and I had a good mix; it worked out so well that I finished to Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," which is about as kickass a song as there is to run with, let alone carry you through the finish line of a 10-mile race.

The playlist:

James Brown - Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
Funkadelic - Super Stupid
The Jam - In the City
Panthers - Goblin City
Grinderman - Honey Bee (Let's Fly to Mars)
Queens of the Stone Age - Mexicola
Ovlov - The Well
Frank Black - Thalassocracy
Hot Snakes -  Kreative Kontrol
The Night Marchers - All Hits
Drive Like Jehu - Here Come the Rome Plows
Rocket From the Crypt - Middle
Rocket From the Crypt - Born in '69
Rocket From the Crypt - On a Rope
Mission of Burma - Let Yourself Go
The Dirtbombs - Motor City Baby
Mudhoney - I Like It Small
The Riverboat Gamblers - Hey! Hey! Hey!
Pup - Reservoir
Metz - Wasted
New Bomb Turks - Id Slips In
Kam Fong - Get Behind Me Satan
Future of the Left - You Need Satan More Than He Needs You
Iron Maiden - The Trooper
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Mastodon - The Wolf is Loose


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #41: June 27, 2014

Write about what you know. It's an old maxim and one that many musicians take to heart from time to time. This week's Stuck In Thee Garage features songs about being in a band in hour 2, as well as a fine assortment of rock music in the first hour.



Prepare to be rocked most steadfastly:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Hallelujah the Hills - We Are What We Say We Are/Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
Protomartyr - Bad Advice/Under Color of Official Right
Fucked Up - Warm Change/Glass Boys
Dum Dum Girls - Under These Hands/Too True
Lubec - Almost Vince/The Thrall
Bob Mould - Glass Pill/Beauty & Ruin
Johnny Foreigner - Dark Harbourzz/alwaysthebarmaidneverthebar
Ringo Deathstarr - God's Dream/God's Dream
Mastodon - High Road/Once More 'Round the Sun
Torche - In Pieces/Harmonicraft
Death Angel - Bored/Frolic Through the Park
Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love/The Chess Box
Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs/Rockin' the Suburbs
Swervedriver - Blowin' Cool/Mezcal Head
Jay Reatard - It Ain't Gonna Save Me/Watch Me Fall
Descendents - When I Get Old/Everything Sucks

Hour 2: Song about being in a band
Art Brut - Formed a Band/Bang Bang Rock 'n Roll
AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock n' Roll)/High Voltage
Tenacious D - The Road/Tenacious D
Motorhead - (We Are) The Road Crew/Ace of Spades
Joe Jackson - The Band Wore Blue Shirts/I'm the Man
Wild Flag - Electric Band/Wild Flag
The Tragically Hip - Family Band/World Container
Sloan - Money City Maniacs/Navy Blues
The Postal Service - Such Great Heights/Give Up
Pavement - Range Life/Live at the Palace, Hollywood, 4/24/94
Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer/Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Spoon - Sister Jack/Gimme Fiction
Les Savy Fav - Pots and Pans/Let's Stay Friends
The Rolling Stones - Torn and Frayed/Exile on Main Street
The Replacements - Treatment Bound/Hootenanny
The Monkeywrench - Notes & Chords Mean Nothing to Me/Clean as a Broke-Dick Dog




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 333: The Long and Winding Road


Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Lewandowski as we discuss working, childhood homes and corporal punishment. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Brian: Writing for a prepper show called America Unplugged
- Getting your news from Pat Robertson
- Visiting your childhood home
- Jay: Toronto suburb I once lived in tripled in size within a few years
- Brian hasn't been back to Buffalo since '93
- Corporal punishment was once acceptable
- Brian: Worst punishment was kneeling
- Don't eat your vegetables, kids
- Louis CK is doing his own thing
- Brian saw Eels (without Steve Perry)
- Unconventional frontmen
- Jay: Never had to see the Wiggles
- Dan Zanes' children's music is pretty listenable
- Brian liked Raffi
- The Creationism Museum looks fun
- Preparing for the End Times
- Great ideas come in unlikely places
- Dream journals
- Brian has similar dreams over and over
- We worked out some issues

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

Music:
The Afghan Whigs - Matamoros
Lubec - Almost Vince
Dum Dum Girls - Under These Hands

The Afghan Whigs song is on the album Do to the Beast on Sub Pop. Download the song for free from Soundcloud.
The Lubec song is on the forthcoming album The Thrall. Download the song for free from Bandcamp.

The Dum Dum Girls song is on the album Too True on Sub Pop. Download the song for free from 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.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Borrowed Time

Midweek club shows are not optimal when you have to get up at 6 a.m. the next day, but sometimes you just have to make an exception. This was the case last Tuesday (6/10) when Parquet Courts and Protomartyr played at TT the Bears in Cambridge. Fortunately, I got a ticket early because it was sold out and packed to the gills. PQ is a hot act right now in indie rock circles and Protomartyr is making some noise as well.


Opening act Sweet John Bloom acquitted themselves well, blasting out a quick set of lively punk rock. Protomartyr actually started up before their announced set time, which never happens. The Detroit band is one of the unlikeliest looking bands around; based on their dark, arty post-punk sound, one would expect them to be a bunch of scrawny, mopey disaffected types. Instead, singer Joe Casey looks like a math teacher, dressed in khakis and oxford shirt, with a bit of a paunch and clearly about a decade older than his bandmates. Bassist Scott Davidson is big and burly with long hair, while guitarist Greg Ahee and drummer Alex Leonard were clean-cut guys who could've passed for many of the audience members in attendance. Looks aside, Protomartyr's a terrific band. Casey's disaffected yowl was difficult to make out over the din created over the act's 40-minute set of tight, short blasts of rock. Bracing stuff. PQ's Sean Yeaton and Austin Brown joined the band for their last two songs. Protomartyr's getting some buzz and is a band worth watching.

Parquet Courts has garnered a fair amount of attention lately: Appearances on the Fallon and Meyers late night shows, comparisons to Pavement and critical raves abound. There's some traces of Pavement in their sound, but I'd say PQ reminds me more of the New York post-punk sound of the late '70s: Television, in particular. The Brooklyn (originally from Denton, Texas) band ripped through a hot set of rock, featuring material from the new Sunbathing Animal album and their previous effort, Light Up Gold. Guitarists Brown and Andrew Savage traded lead vocals, with the latter handling the majority of the songs in the 65-minute set. The band is tight, with guitars clean and locked in for the most part, although there was a long jam late in the set that stood out from the slew of sub-3-minute songs. The band never came out for an encore, even as the majority of the crowd waited for about five minutes for them to return to the stage. Always leave 'em wanting more, I suppose.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #40: June 20, 2014

Summer's here! Or it will be in a few hours. Nevertheless, it's a glorious time of year, even if some of us still have to keep working in the salt mines while others frolic in the sun. This week's Stuck In Thee Garage featured an hour of songs about or inspired by summer, and it was good indeed.



The dazed and confused playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Protomartyr - Want Remover/Under Color of Official Right
Parquet Courts - Black and White/Sunbathing Animal
The Vaselines - One Lost Year/V for Vaselines
The Hold Steady - Big Cig/Teeth Dreams
Soccer Mom - Sundown Syndrome/Soccer Mom
Kittyhawk - The Daily Dodger/Droughts-Frameworks-Kittyhawk-Prawns split
Jawbreaker Reunion - E.M.O./Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club
The Henry Clay People - Working Part Time/Somewhere on the Golden Coast
King Khan and the Shrines - I Got Made/Idle No More
Romeo Void - Never Say Never/Benefactor
Champion Lover - Read My Mind/Champion Lover
Grinderman - Worm Tamer/Grinderman 2
Diarrhea Planet - Lite Dream/I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Future of the Left - Why Aren't I Going to Hell?/How to Turn Off Your Brain in an Accident
Helmet - Sam Hell/Betty
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Eight Day Hell/So Divided

Hour 2: Summer
The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer/Stay Positive
Velvet Crush - Weird Summer/Teenage Symphonies to God
Sloan - Summer's My Season/B Sides Win: extras, bonus tracks and b-sides 1992-2008
Po Po - Bummer Summer/Dope Boy Magic
The Stooges - No Fun/The Stooges
Fu Manchu - Burning Road/The Action is Go
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Sweat/Orange
The English Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom/I Just Can't Stop It
Tim Armstrong - Into Action/A Poet's Life
James Brown - Get on the Good Foot (live)/James Brown's Funky Summer
Ike Turner Presents the Family Vibes - Garbage Man/Confined to Soul
Sly and the Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Greatest Hits
The Black Crowes - Black Moon Creeping/The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
The Stone Roses - Elephant Stone/The Stone Roses
Art Brut - Summer Job/Art Brut vs. Satan




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 332: It's a Living


Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Lewandowski as we discuss writing for reality TV, early jobs and freelancing. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Brian's doing freelance work for The Sportsman's Channel
- "Inhumane interest stories"
- Worked on a Sarah Palin-hosted show
- Writing ads for a new Penn Gillette show
- Jay: Never seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- Tales of Brother Dave, who once had a following
- Supermarket jobs
- Working on the night crew
- Brian's brush with a suicidal/homicidal security guard
- Bill Murray's showing up in random places
- When you're younger, you tend to bond more closely with co-workers
- Brian's getting along with himself these days
- Working from home
- Brian took a break from comedy but is now writing jokes again
- Back up your online work
- To be continued


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

Music:
The Vaselines - One Lost Year
Jawbreaker Reunion - E.M.O.
Kittyhawk - The Daily Dodger

The Vaselines song is on the album V for Vaselines on Rosary Music. Download the song for free from Soundcloud.
The Jawbreaker Reunion song is on the album Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club. Download the song for free from Bandcamp.
The Kittyhawk song is on the Droughts/Framework/Kittyhawk/Prawn split. Download the song for free from 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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #39: June 13, 2014

Crime doesn't pay, but nobody said crime didn't rock. Or songs about crime, anyway. This week's Stuck In Thee Garage features an hour of songs about crime and punishment. Not sure if there are any songs about a clown robbing a bank, though.



The criminally good playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Parquet Courts - Bodies Made Of/Sunbathing Animal
Bob Mould - I Don't Know You Anymore/Beauty & Ruin
Fucked Up - Sun Glass/Glass Boys
Jack White - Alone in My Home/Lazaretto
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires - The Company Man/Dereconstructed
Drive-by Truckers - When He's Gone/English Oceans
Treat Her Right - I Think She Likes Me/Treat Her Right
Lazy - Party City/Lazy: Epitonic Saki Session
Bottomless Pit - Fleece/Bottomless Pit: Epitonic Saki Session
Superchunk - Detroit Has a Skyline/Superchunk: Epitonic Saki Session
Haunted Hearts - Initiate Me/Initiation
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Simple and Sure/Days of Abandon
The Afghan Whigs - Matamoros/Do to the Beast
The Fresh & Onlys - Animal of One/House of Spirits
Gold-Bears - Record Store/Are You Falling in Love?
Los Campesinos! - Little Mouth/Benny and Jolene soundtrack

Hour 2: Crime and punishment
The Clash - Police on My Back/Sandinista!
Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money/Live at the Record Plant 7/27/78
The New Pornographers - Breakin' the Law
Wild Flag - Future Crimes/Wild Flag
Peter Gabriel - Intruder/Melt
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer/Talking Heads 77
Cheap Trick - The Ballad of TV Violence/Cheap Trick
The Von Bondies - This is Our Perfect Crime/Love, Hate and Then There's You
The Pink Mountaintops - Cold Criminals/Axis of Evol
Iggy Pop and James Williamson - No Sense of Crime/Kill City
The Afghan Whigs - Going to Town/Black Love
D Generation - Capitol Offender/No Lunch
The Kinks - Holloway Jail/Muswell Hillbillies
Two Gallants - Las Cruces Jail/What the Toll Tells
AC/DC - Jailbreak/Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 331: Reeling in the Years, 1986 (Part 3)


Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1986. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").


Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Check out Brian's comics podcast The Hour Cosmic
- Brian's #3
- Feelies' second album was very influential
- Jay's #3
- R.E.M. debuts heavier guitar sound
- Band kept going too long
- Brian's #2
- They Might Be Giants got off to great start
- Lots of NJ love
- Jay's #2
- Husker Du's amazing stretch
- '80s production techniques hurt some great albums
- Grant Hart dominated Candy Apple Grey
- Brian's #1
- Camper Van Beethoven released two albums in '86
- Jay's #1
- '86 was the year of thrash
- Metallica at their best
- Drawbacks to sound fidelity with MP3, but convenience is worth it
- Hair metal also thrived in '86
- Next up: 1989

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

Music:
Los Campesinos! - Little Mouth
The Fresh & Onlys - Animal of One
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Simple and Sure

The Los Campesinos! song is on the soundtrack to the movie Benny and Jolene. Download the song for free from Stereogum.
The Fresh & Onlys song is on the album House of Spirits on Mexican Summer Records. Download the song for free from KEXP.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart song is on the album Days of Abandon on Yebo. Download the song for free from 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, June 08, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #1: Super Goop (1976)

I'm proud to unveil the debut of a new project Ric Dube and I have been working on for months: Trust Fund Challenge. Call it a video podcast, call it a web series, but the general idea is Ric and I play video store workers who stand to inherit $1 million from the store's late owner if we watch all the weird videos he kept stored in a locker. Each episode has us watching and commenting on rare pop culture detritus that Ric has collected over the years. You don't ever see us, but you hear us cracking wise throughout. It's obviously rooted in the MST3K tradition, but with our own spin on it.



Episode 1 is Super Goop, a 1976 animated short that purports to show the marketing savvy behind popular children's cereals. Ric actually watched it in school as a child.

We've recorded several episodes of TFC already and I believe they're going to come out monthly. If you know Doobs, you know there's no end to the variety of obscure video he's got at the ready. This has been a blast to work on and we hope you dig it as well.


Friday, June 06, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #38: June 6, 2014

After an unintentional week off, Stuck In Thee Garage was back at it this week. Hour 2's theme was songs for graduation, as is certainly befitting this time of year. High school and college graduations are happening all over the place right now. It's certainly a wistful time, marking the end of a pivotal time of one's life and the beginning of another. And even if you're like me and graduated 25 frickin' years ago, it's still a great memory.




The "no respect at all" playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Fucked Up - Paper the House/Glass Boys
Les Savy Fav - The Equestrian/Let's Stay Friends
Savages - Strife/Silence Yourself
Mudhoney - Touch Me I'm Sick/Mudhoney on Top! KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live on Top of the Space Needle
Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp/Boy in da Corner
James Brown - Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved/MOJO Presents James Brown's Funky Summer
Guided by Voices -  Males of Wormwood Mars/Cool Planet
Black Francis - Dead Man's Curve/Nonstoperotik
50 Foot Wave - Pretty Ugly/Free Music EP
The Tattered Saints -  Last Train/Last Train
Parquet Courts - The More It Works/Tally All the Things That You Broke EP
The Germs - Lexicon Devil/Lexicon Devil EP
LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk is Playing at My House/LCD Soundsystem
Of Montreal - Suffer for Fashion/Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Queen - Tie Your Mother Down/A Day at the Races

Hour 2: Songs for graduation season
The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm an Adult Now/Love Junk
Nirvana - School/Live at the Pat O'Brien Pavilion 1991
Steely Dan - My Old School/Countdown to Ecstacy
Drive-by Truckers - Days of Graduation/Southern Rock Opera
The Lemonheads - Black Gown/The Lemonheads
The Who - Leaving Here/Odds and Sods
Bad Brains - Leaving Babylon/Bad Brains
Against Me! - Don't Lose Touch/Searching for a Former Clarity
Radiator Hospital - The Great Escape/Something Wild
Guided by Voices - As We Go Up, We Go Down/Alien Lanes
Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Bringing It All Back Home
Supersuckers - End of an Era/Devil's Food
Rush - In the End/The Fifth Order of Angels live 1974
Krill - Unbounded Nameless Future/Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears EP
Queens of the Stone Age - Suture Up Your Future/Era Vulgaris
Robyn Hitchcock - I Wanna Go Backwards/I Wanna Go Backwards
OFF! - I Got News for You/OFF!
Van Halen - Happy Trails/Diver Down



Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 330: Reeling in the Years, 1986 (Part 2)


Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1986. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").


Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Check out Brian's comics podcast The Hour Cosmic
- Sammy Hagar's lyrical prowess
- Sam Halen?
- Jay: Saw VH and DLR touring separately in summer of '86
- The sad tale of Jason Becker
- Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour featured U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting
- Led to ill-fated Police reunion
- Bands that formed or released debut albums in '86: NWA, 2 Live Crew, Buffalo Tom, Pixies, Throwing Muses, Goo Goo Dolls, Firehose, Big Audio Dynamite
- A comeback of sorts for Neil Young
- Ramones album was plagued by bad '80s production
- Jay was conflicted about XTC's "Dear God"
- Brian's #5 album
- Jonathan Richman's mostly under the radar career path
- Jay's #5
- Eat 'Em and Smile out-Van Halened Van Halen
- Brian's #4
- Mark Sandman's pre-Morphine act, Treat Her Right, released debut
- Jay's #4
- John Lydon put together a crack session band including Steve Vai and came up with a great album
- Lydon was set to tour in Jesus Christ Superstar but show was cancelled
- To be continued...

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

Music:
Superchunk - Untied (live)
Bottomless Pit - Fleece (live)
Lazy - Party City (live)

The Superchunk song is part of the band's Epitonic Saki Session. Download the set for free at Epitonic.
The Bottomless Pit song is part of the band's Epitonic Saki Session. Download the set for free at Epitonic.
The Lazy song is part of the band's Epitonic Saki Session. Download the set for free at Epitonic.

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.