Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Computer Blue

There I was, minding my own business last Saturday when I turned on my laptop. And nothing happened. I could hear the fan, but no display. I went out for a while and came back and still nothing. Turned it off and on again and still nothing. Eventually took it to a friend who had a repair dude check it out and sure enough, it's a clear case of Computer No Worky. This wasn't a total shock, because the laptop got a Blue Screen of Death two months ago, so I knew death was imminent.

The GPU is fried and is beyond saving. Fortunately, the repair dude removed the hard drive and I'll be able to retrieve the photos, Word docs and MP3s on it. Most of my shizz was on a 500GB external HDD, but I'm a little concerned about that as well because I've tried to connect it to my work laptop and Deb's Macbook and it's not showing up. Hoping it's just a bad cable or something.

ANYHOO, what this means is there's no episode of CompCon or the radio show this week. I had hoped to create them on my work machine, but since the external drive isn't working and it's got most of my music on it, the endeavor's pretty much moot. So I'm off to get a shiny new laptop this weekend, which is exciting, I guess. And also a bummer because that's an expense we didn't need right now, but it can't be helped.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #48: August 22, 2014

This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I once again paid tribute to my homeland with an hour of Canuck rock. There's plenty of great stuff to choose from, and plenty of music from not-so-obvious artists.

The hoser-laden playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Spoon - Inside Out/They Want My Soul
The Hush Now - Arthur Come On, Really You Can't Be Serious/Sparkle Drive
Soccer Mom - Dry Mind/Soccer Mom
Blonde Redhead - The One I Love/Barragan
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Crushin'/Sea When Absent
Kingdom of the Holy Sun - Thirteen Eyes/Thirteen Eyes EP
Krill - Infinite Power/Lucky Leaves
Broncho - Class Historian/Just Enough Hip to Be Woman
Stickers - Old Nirvana/Brother Keith EP
Scruffy the Cat - Moons of Jupiter/Moons of Jupiter
Teenage Fanclub - What You Do to Me/Bandwagonesque
Bueno - The Street/Skinpop EP
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Hold Tight!/Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
Cameo - Word Up!/Word Up!
Rod Stewart - You're My Girl (I Don't Want to Discuss It)/Gasoline Alley

Hour 2: Canadian bacon
A.C. Newman - Submarines of Stockholm/Get Guilty
Fancey - Rock and Roll Rhythm/Fancey
Destroyer - Your Blues/Destroyer's Rubies
Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)/Broken Social Scene
Constantines - Hard Feelings/Kensington Heights
The Tragically Hip - Looking for a Place to Happen/Fully Completely
The Pursuit of Happiness - Hate Engine/The Wonderful World of The Pursuit of Happiness
Sloan - She Says What She Means/Navy Blues
April Wine - You Could Have Been a Lady/On Record
Fucked Up - A Little Death/David Comes to Life
Death From Above 1979 - Blood On Our Hands (Justice Remix)/Blood On Our Hands
Wintersleep - Black Camera/New Inheritors
The Dears - Blood/Degeneration Street
Teenage Head - Bonerack/Teenage Head
Japandroids - Sovereignty/Post-Nothing
METZ - Get Off/Metz 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 340: Behind the Lines

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we examine the back story of '70s hitmakers Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded at More Lost Time world HQ
- Check out our new web series Trust Fund Challenge
- The adventures of Steve Austin Astronaut
- Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds were synonymous with '70s AM pop
- "Don't Pull Your Love" was their first big hit in '71
- Singer does an Elvis impression
- Song written by Lambert and Potter, who had hits with many artists
- Guys from HJFR were in the T-Bones, who had a hit in '60s with "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach Is In)"
- An "offshoot" of the Ventures, an instrumental band that made tons of records covering hits
- Session musicians made the albums
- T-Bones were put together to tour and later they formed HJFR
- The Wrecking Crew was a famous session band that cranked out hits
- Reynolds left HJFR in '72
- Second HJFR album stiffed
- Ric: A bunch of Ventures albums probably don't have the Ventures on them
- HJFR replaced Reynolds but contract with Playboy Records required them to keep old name
- Many bands are named after the musicians
- To be continued

The Hush Now - Arthur Come On, Really You Can't Be Serious
Kingdom of the Holy Sun - Thirteen Eyes

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

The Hush Now song is on the forthcoming album Sparkle Drive. Download the song for free at Soundcloud.
The Kingdom of the Holy Sun song is on the self-released EP Thirteen Eyes. 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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Motor Away

We've been back for a week, but here's a quick wrap-up of our recent vacation trip to Virginia. Just a few days before we were to hit the road to Williamsburg in our ol' minivan, we took it in to get some work done on the brakes and found that there was a lot more that needed to be repaired (shocks, struts, other crap). We weren't sure what it would cost at first and were already considering whether we needed to buy a new vehicle if the repair bill was too obscenely high. Ultimately, we ended up dropping some serious cash to fix it, but hopefully (fingers crossed) we can get at least another year out of it. That said, we decided to rent a car for the trip because we just didn't feel comfortable doing the 12-hour drive in our minivan. We rented a GMC Terrain, which is a smallish SUV, so we had to really cram all our stuff in it, and headed down to NJ on Thursday, 7/31 to stay the night at Deb's brother's house before making the drive to Williamsburg.

The rental car was okay, not great, but it had satellite radio, which was fun. We listened mainly to the 1st Wave channel, which featured mainly '80s alt-rock, but I also jumped around to some of the other channels ('90s alternative, college rock, classic hard rock, and even hair metal). The drive down wasn't bad. We hit some congestion around DC as we expected, but nothing too awful.

We got to Williamsburg before we could check into our condo, so we went to Colonial Williamsburg to check it out for a little while. We saw the courthouse and ammunition magazine and a few other things before we went to check in. It started raining after we got there, so the girls ended up swimming indoors that night. It ended up being a busy week. On Saturday we hit Colonial Williamsburg again for half a day, which was also rainy, so we decided to go to Water Country USA figuring there wouldn't be long lines. It worked out great; it wasn't raining while we there and we went on pretty much all the big water slides. I thought I lost my contacts on one of them, but it turned out they were just blasted up under my eyelids and slid back down a few minutes later.

Sunday morning, we went to a ropes course called Go Ape, which was a lot of fun. It had five different courses that included zip lines, rope swings, rope ladders and other stuff way fairly high up in the woods. We were all strapped in pretty good so even if we fell off one of the courses, we didn't have far to fall. Nobody fell, though, and the girls did great. We had to do some convincing to get Lily to go on the first "Tarzan Swing," which was a big rope swing into a vertical net that you grabbed onto and then climbed to get on a nearby platform. I have to admit I have a slight fear of heights, so it took a little mental coaxing to get myself to let myself just jump into the air for those zip lines and rope swings; tons of fun, though. I only had one time where I was a little stuck; you had to walk across by putting your feet into rings and I got one caught on my leg for a few minutes before I could extricate myself. But all in all, it was a blast.

On Monday, we hit Busch Gardens for the first time. We got there early on a cloudy day, so there were no or short lines for the first bunch of rides we went on. The rollercoasters there are enormous, with serious vertical drops and lots of loop-de-loops. Again, Lily was hesitant at first but we got her to go on a few and she got into it. Nobody got sick and nothing broke down, so it was a success. We stayed most of the day. Tuesday was a relaxing day; we drove to the William & Mary campus and checked it out for a little while and then just hung by the pool. Wednesday, we drove to Virginia Beach, which is about 90 minutes from Williamsburg. I went for a run on the concrete boardwalk and then we chilled at the beach until about noon, when a thunderstorm rolled in and the beach was cleared. We hung out instead of leaving and eventually the sun came back out and we were back on the beach. We hit some serious traffic on our way home around 7, but at least we had dinner before we left.

On our last day, we went to Busch Gardens again and rode the big coasters until around lunchtime. Then we went back to the resort and hung out by the pool. Friday's drive home was long and arduous; we missed the DC traffic but hit awful traffic all through New Jersey. Took us 13 hours in all to get home, but we made it in one piece.

Stuck In Thee Garage #47: August 15, 2014

It was a long week for everyone (although certainly longer for some than others). This week's installment of Stuck In Thee Garage was designed to give listeners two hours to kick out the jams: an hour of great mostly new rock and an hour of music to take your mind off the sad and maddening shit going on in the world. That's not to say you shouldn't be paying attention to what's going on, because you damn well should, but sometimes it's good to let it rip every once in a while.

The playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Ty Segall - Susie Thumb/Manipulator
Stickers - Sacajawea/Swollen
Dope Body - Weird Mirror/Natural History
Nancy - I Want You Bad/Nancy
Spoon - Rent I Pay/They Want My Soul
Twin Peaks - Boomers/Sunken
J. Mascis - Every Morning/Tied to a Star
Hooray for Earth - Keys/Racy
The Cherry Wave - Under Dull Grey Skies/Under Dull Grey Skies
Mooncreatures - The Shallows/Sand Maps
Jenny Lewis - She's Not Me/Voyager
Sharon Von Etten - Taking Chances/Are We There
Bleached - For the Feel/For the Feel
Sugar Stems - We Only Come Out at Night/Only Come Out at Night
Ghost Pains - Kids for Rent/Stealing Tomorrow
Pets - Dream City/Get Turned On

Hour 2: Rip this joint
Joe Jackson - Friday/I'm the Man
The Rolling Stones - Rip This Joint/Exile on Main Street
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor/Whatever People Say I Am, That's What's I'm Not
The Jam - Non Stop Dancing/In the City
The Police - Canary in a Coal Mine/Zenyatta Mondatta
Maximo Park - The Coast is Always Changing/A Certain Trigger
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke/Songs in the Key of Life
James Brown - Hot Pants (Parts 1 and 2)/Make It Funky-The Big Payback
King Khan and the Shrines - Torture/The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines
Pizzicato Five - Twiggy Twiggy/This Year's Girl
Run DMC - It's Tricky/Raising Hell
Eagles of Death Metal - Keep Your Head Up/Death by Sexy
Rocket From the Crypt - Come See Come Saw/Scream Dracula Scream
Van Halen - Little Guitars (Intro)/Diver Down
Van Halen - Little Guitars/Diver Down
AC/DC - Problem Child/Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
The Stooges - Real Cool Time/The Stooges
The Dirtbombs - Get It While You Can/Dangerous Magical Noise

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 339: Reeling in the Years, 1989 (Part 3)

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1989. Listen to the episode below or download it directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Check out Brian's comics podcast The Hour Cosmic
- Jay's #3
- Neil Young rebounds from a long, strange decade
- Led to a fruitful stretch of albums
- Jay's #2
- Bob Mould moves beyond Husker Du
- Inspired new direction and sound
- Our picks for #1 are the same
- Pixies at their peak
- Doolittle covers all facets of the band's sound
- Brian saw them several times when they toured behind Doolittle in the last decade
- Brian: Latest live incarnation of Pixies is more energized
- Bad choice for first single with "Bagboy"
- Frank Black was prolific, but he can't keep up with Bob Pollard
- Next up: 1996
- Popular music was shifting again

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

Ty Segall - Susie Thumb
Spoon - Rent I Pay
J. Mascis - Every Morning

The Ty Segall song is on the album Manipulator on Drag City Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Spoon song is on the album They Want My Soul on Loma Vista Recordings. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The J. Mascis song is on the album Tied to a Star on Sub Pop. 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.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Eight Miles High

Checking in from Williamsburg, Virginia, where we're on vacation for the next week. We've been keeping ourselves busy with visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Water Country and a ropes course in our first few days here, but I wanted to take a little time to celebrate an anniversary today: Eight years ago on this very day, I created the first episode of Completely Conspicuous.

It's hard to believe the show's been a going concern since 2006, when podcasting was still a new and strange development. Now podcasting's fairly mainstream, at least in terms of the number of shows and the audiences they've grown. It hasn't become the huge moneymaking platform that some predicted it would, but it's been interesting see how some folks have indeed used a podcast to create new careers for themselves. Certainly folks like Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick and Adam Carolla have been able to reach new heights and build audiences and followings and yes, make some money out of the deal.

That certainly hasn't been the case for me, but then, I never thought it would. CompCon's been a labor of love and something that I've enjoyed doing over the years for the sheer fun of it. When the show was part of the Podshow network, I ran ads to cover my expenses, but when Podshow/Mevio started falling apart, I was just as happy to pay my $20 a month to have Libsyn host the show.

I've never had a huge audience and honestly have never cared to pimp the show to get one. I like talking to people about things that interest me. Fortunately, I've had friends who have contributed greatly to the show over 338 episodes: Jay Breitling, Ric Dube, Brian Salvatore, Matt Phillion, Brian Lewandowski, Phil Stacey and many others. I thank all of them for helping make the show what it is.

I'm still going to keep cranking out the episodes as long as I feel like doing the show. Hopefully you'll listen in. If not, that's cool, too.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #46: August 1, 2014

Rock music comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. I try to play as much of it as I can each week on Stuck In Thee Garage. This week's show includes plenty of great new music in hour 1 and an hour of music featuring colors in the title in hour 2. Next week, I'll be playing a rerun during my time slot on because we're on vacation and I can't put a new show together.

In the meantime, time to go completely mental, I must say.

The totally decent playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Stickers - Outlet/Swollen
Wimps - Distraction/Party at the Wrong Time
Cretin Girls - Walk the City/Cretin Girls
Gymshorts - Owed to the Bank/No Backsies
Ex-Cult - Mister Fantasy/single
Lost Boy? - If I Had a Chance/If I Had a Chance
Ava Luna - Daydream/Electric Balloon
Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It/Entertainment!
Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath - The Wizard/Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath
Damaged Bug - Photograph/Hubba Bubba
Kindling - Sunspots/Spike & Wave
Miserable Friend - Snuff Me Out/Thought About Stabbing You 
Thalia Zedek Band - Fell So Hard/Six
Swearin' - Mermaid/Surfing Strange
Marnie Stern - The Package is Wrapped/This is It and I am It and You Are It...
Veruca Salt - Don't Make Me Prove It/Eight Arms to Hold You
The Upper Crust - Ne'er Do Well/The Decline and Fall of the Upper Crust

Hour 2: Colors
R.E.M. - Orange Crush/Green
Husker Du - Green Eyes/Flip Your Wig
Los Campesinos! - The Black Bird, the Dark Slope/Hello Sadness!
Blue Oyster Cult - The Red and the Black/Tyranny and Mutation
Funkadelic - Red Hot Mama/Standing on the Verge of Getting It On
The Black Angels - Black Grease/Passover
The Foxboro Hot Tubs - Red Tide/Stop Drop and Roll!!!
Stephen Malkmus - Black Book/Stephen Malkmus
The New Pornographers - Entering White Cecilia/Challengers
Beck - Pink Moon/b-side
Maria McKee - If Love is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags)/Pulp Fiction soundtrack
Led Zeppelin - Black Country Woman/Physical Graffiti
Greg Dulli - Golden Boy/Amber Headlights
Thin Lizzy - Emerald/Live and Dangerous
Drive Like Jehu - Golden Brown/Yank Crime
Mung - Red Light/Safe and Sound
Sloan - Golden Eyes/Never Hear the End of It