Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 345: Reeling in the Years, 1996 (Part 1)


Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1996. 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
- In '96, Jay was 28 going on 29
- Brian: 13 going on 14
- Grunge was fading, pop was back in a big way
- Two versions of "The Macarena" were on top 100 singles chart
- Brian: At the time, didn't feel like a pop year
- Bush made an album with Steve Albini
- Lots of unsuccessful followups: Ugly Kid Joe, Kriss Kross
- Metallica's Load lived down to its name
- Strange year for Van Halen: Twister soundtrack, followed by greatest hits album with two DLR songs
- VH went through three singers in a matter of months
- Michael Anthony, Everyman
- We deconstructed VH III in eps 315 and 316
- Nickelback's first album came out in '96
- KISS reunited with original lineup
- Hip hop went mainstream
- New acts on the rise, like The Roots, Outkast, Wu Tang Clan
- Roots of nu metal
- The death of rock criticism with David Fricke in Rolling Stone giving U2's new album a five-star rating
- Rolling Stone typically hands out good reviews to old-school artists like U2, Dylan, Stones
- Last time U2 did anything interesting was 1997's Pop
- The U2 backlash is fierce
-  To be continued

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

Music:
Whirr - Mumble
Withered Hand - Black Tambourine
Super Medusa - Doomed Boy

The Whirr song is on the album Sway on Graveface Records. Download the song for free for a limited time at Amazon MP3.
The Withered Hand song is on the album New Gods on Slumberland Records. Download the song for free as part of the Slumberland Records 25th Anniversary Sampler on Amazon MP3.
The Super Medusa song is on the EP of the same name, which is available for free download at 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, September 27, 2014

Rocks Off

I've been remiss about posting regularly all year, just because I've been pretty damn busy with stuff. But also the last few months I've slacked off because my old laptop went off to that great scrap heap in the sky and it's been a slow process to figure out how shit works with Windows 8 (seriously people, it's crazy bananas). I just figured out how to get photos off my iPhone with this new machine and uploaded a bunch to the Flickr, so here's a quick report of the three kickass rock shows I attended in the last five weeks or so.

Way the hell back in mid-August, I ventured into Great Scott in Allston for the Pretty & Nice farewell show, although I really went to see the opening acts: Ava Luna, Krill and Infinity Girl. And also hang out with my good friend Senor Breitling. Infinity Girl opened with a hot set of shoegazy rock that featured some new songs from an upcoming release. I was especially excited to see Krill and they didn't disappoint. The band's brand of off-kilter indie rock (Shudder to Think is a good comparison) was excellent as expected, with singer-bassist Jonah Furman leading the Krillers through a too-short set. I look forward to seeing them headline a show in the near future. Ava Luna's an interesting act out of NYC, combining quirky indie rock with funk grooves, a la Talking Heads circa Remain in Light. I only caught a bit of Pretty & Nice's set because it was getting super-late and I was super tired, but the tunes were catchy.



Ten days later, I was at the Middle East Upstairs (apparently the downstairs was close for repairs or something) on a Tuesday night to see the mighty Titus Andronicus. It was the band's second straight night at the Middle East and the end of a quick New England tour for the New Jersey stalwarts. I arrived midway through the set of openers Liquor Store, a fellow Jersey act that featured the original Titus drummer as frontman. The trio played punked up hard rock that sounded like Motorhead meets the Dictators; just tons of super-loud fun.

When I last saw Titus at the Sinclair in November 2013, Patrick Stickles and crew played a few songs from their upcoming album, the follow-up to 2012's Local Business. The album was supposed to be out this year, but apparently this tour was a last road run before they went into the studio finish the new record. The set featured a good chunk of new material as well as some old classics, and packed club was throbbing with energy as the band's diehard fans chanted the old ones and listened intently to the new ones. The guys from Liquor Store joined Titus for the set-closing cover of the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash," with Stickles taking off his shirt and doing his best bony Jagger impression. Hot, sweaty and loud, like great rock shows should be.



Fast forward a month and three days to last Friday at Great Scott. A lot of my friends were across town seeing PODS (featuring Ben Deily of the Lemonheads) reunite after many years for one of the Pipeline anniversary shows, but I was fired up to see the great and prolific Ty Segall, whose new album Manipulator has been blowing up. Opening acts Boytoy and La Luz played fine sets, the latter impressing with a surf guitar-girl group sound that was quite good (although this dead-tired individual was getting a little sleepy, lulled by the hypnotic sounds).

Segall came out and the whole joint started shaking, literally. I've seen some raucous rock shows in that place but I'd never experienced the floor shaking like that. Segall ripped through a powerful 70-minute set, firing off screaming psych-rock guitar solos like he was being electrocuted. Segall and his backing band, which featured the talented Mikal Cronin on bass and backing vocals, wore Bowie-esque glitter makeup and their overall sound had a glam punk feel. He played most of Manipulator and several off 2012's Slaughterhouse. At one point, Segall threw himself into the crowd, where he played guitar while being held aloft by the audience. It was an electrifying moment among many. I would've welcomed another 20 to 30 minutes, but Segall and band left it all on the stage. One of the best shows in recent memory for me.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #51: September 26, 2014

Technical shenanigans prevented this show from airing last week and nearly scotched it this week; the good folks at BFF got it working about 20 minutes in today. This week, hour 2 focused on songs from albums that defied the sophomore jinx (and yes, I realized too late that the Peter Gabriel song is from his third album; it's still a good song, so just enjoy it already).



The doubly good playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Ryan Adams - When the Summer Ends/Paxam Single Series Volume 1
Bob Mould - The War/Beauty & Ruin
Interpol - Everything is Wrong/El Pintor
Pete Molinari feat. Barrie Cadogan - Hang My Head in Shame/Theosophy
Naomi Punk - Television Man/Television Man
Hooray for Earth - Airs/Racy
Creepers - Stuck/Lush
Death From Above 1979 - Cheap Talk/The Physical World
Sloan - Keep Swinging (Downtown)/Commonwealth
Benjamin Booker - Wicked Waters/Benjamin Booker
Diarrhea Planet - Spooners/Adult Swim Singles Series 2014
Mastodon with Gibby Haynes - Atlanta/Adult Swim Singles Series 2014
Sleep - The Clarity/Adult Swim Singles Series 2014

Hour 2: Sophomore slump busters
Frank Black - Thalassocracy/Teenager of the Year
Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces/Whatever and Ever Amen
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me/Rid of Me
Superchunk - Throwing Things/No Pocky for Kitty
Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945/In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea
The New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed/Electric Version
Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm/Favourite Worst Nightmare
The Hold Steady - Cattle and the Creeping Things/Separation Sunday
TV on the Radio - Province/Return to Cookie Mountain
LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum/Sound of Silver
Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio/This Year's Model
The Police - Contact/Regatta de Blanc
Peter Gabriel - No Self Control/Peter Gabriel (Melt)
Pixies - Debaser/Doolittle
Neil Young - Everybody Knows This is Nowhere/Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
The Stooges - Loose/Fun House
Black Sabbath - Jack the Stripper-Fairies Wear Boots/Paranoid


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 344: Stardom in Action


Part 3 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion about society's obsession with celebrity. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- The Brits love them some Arctic Monkeys
- Matt learns how to do Twitter
- Getting followed by dead authors and weirdos
- Desperate for celeb RTs
- Positive Twitter interactions
- Jay: Old friend has been writing about celebrities for a few decades now
- PR jobs require a different mindset
- Meeting your heroes can be problematic
- Searching for Jagger
- In the presence of Howard
- Rock star deaths
- Dying young does wonders for an artist's legacy
- Brando's death isn't well remembered...by Matt, anyway
- How dumb would we be if we had money?

Music:
SW/MM/NG - Some Dreams Come True
Gold-Bears - From Tallahassee to Gainesville
Weekend - Hazel

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

The SW/MM/NG song is on the album Feel Not Bad on Old Flame Records. Download the song for free from KEXP.
The Gold-Bears song is on the album Dalliance on Slumberland Records. Download the song for free as part of the Slumberland Records 25th Anniversary Sampler on Amazon MP3.
The Weekend song is on the EP Red on Slumberland Records. Download the song for free as part of the Slumberland Records 25th Anniversary Sampler on Amazon MP3.

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, September 21, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #4: Stefanie Powers Meets Sasquatch. He's Gorgeous.

Yeah, it's been a while between episodes of Trust Fund Challenge. We actually had one up briefly about a month ago, but the YouTube copyright cops got it taken down promptly. Bastages. Anyhoo, here's the latest installment, the first of a two-part episode of "The Six Million Dollar Man" in which Steve Austin takes on Bigfoot, as well as a some weird alien types featuring a super-hot but oddly obscured Stefanie Powers. As you can imagine, Ric and I have some fun with this one.



I was a huge fan of this show as a kid and especially this episode. Needless to say, it's not quite as awesome as I remember it. Sort of.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 343: Baby I'm a Star


Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion about society's obsession with celebrity. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Scandal rags are still popular
- Celebs and social media can lead to trouble
- Now everyone's got a camera to catch your every mistake
- Michael Richards was beloved until he screwed up
- People will turn on celebs in an instant
- The strange life of Tom Cruise, Entertainment Robot
- Doing interview junkets must be mind-numbing
- Supreme Court nominee was rejected in the '80s because of pot smoking
- The media mastery of Bill Clinton
- Public perception matters
- Asking the wrong question
- Jay: Meeting Stephen Colbert was pretty cool
- Jay: Sat next to Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block on a flight once
- People will stand for hours just to get shown on The Today Show
- Suing Naked Dating reality show for...being naked
- To be continued

Music:
Creepers - Stuck
Naomi Punk - Television Man
Hooray for Earth - Airs

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

The Creepers song is on the album Lush from the All Black Recording Company. Download the song for free from Stereogum.
The Naomi Punk song is on the album Television Man on Captured Tracks. Download the song for free from KEXP.
The Hooray for Earth song is on the album Racy on Dovecote Records. 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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #50: September 12, 2014

I spent the last two days running from Cannon Mountain to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire as part of the Reach the Beach Relay. As a result, I didn't get to actually listen to the episode of Stuck In Thee Garage I produced this week, but hour 2 was full of songs about running up mountains and pushing through the pain to get to the finish line.




The playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Sloan - Cleopatra/Commonwealth
The Hush Now - Sorry Sugar Well.../Sparkle Drive
Hamilton Leithauser - Alexandra/Black Hours
Death From Above 1979 - Trainwreck 1979/Manipulator
The Wytches - Digsaw/Annabel Dream Reader
Ty Segall - The Faker/Manipulator
Little Racer - Dancing/Modern Accent
Aan - Spiritual Provisions/Amor Ad Nauseum
Love - Alone Again Or/Forever Changes 
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - We Call Upon the Author/Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Creature with the Atom Brain - Black Out, New Hit/I Am the Golden Gate Bridge
The Afghan Whigs - Now You Know/Gentlemen
Consonant - That Boston Life/Consonant
Magnolia Electric Co. - Leave the City/What Comes After the Blues
The Replacements - Alex Chilton/Pleased to Meet Me

Hour 2: Songs for a 200-mile relay race
Centro-Matic - Take the Maps and Run/Fort Recovery
Wugazi - Killa Hill/13 Chambers
Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away/Houses of the Holy
Meat Puppets - Climbing/Meat Puppets II
Iron Maiden - Run to the Hills/Live at the Palladium, NYC 6/29/82
The Gories - On the Run/Garage Swim
Kyuss - Freedom Run/Blues for the Red Sun
Fu Manchu - Burning Road/The Action is Go!
Mondo Generator - I Never Sleep/Dead Planet
Bang Camaro - Push Push (Lady Lightning)/Bang Camaro
Eagles of Death Metal - I Like to Move in the Night/Death by Sexy
The Hold Steady - Runner's High/Teeth Dreams
Greg Dulli - Early Today (and Later That Night)/Amber Headlights
Ted Leo - Keep on Pushing/Live in 2007 on The Interface
Van Halen - Push Comes to Shove/Fair Warning
Fleetwood Mac - That's Enough for Me/Tusk




Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 342: Your Famous Friends


Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion about society's obsession with celebrity. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Celebrity deaths
- Jay: Robin Williams' death hit me hard
- We don't have royalty so celebs fill that role
- Getting rich doesn't necessarily equal happiness
- Americans are surprisingly fascinated by the British royal family
- Dealing with fans could get annoying after a while
- Matt was at Boston ComiCon hyping his book
- Check out his YA superhero novel The Indestructibles
- Saw some minor celebs like Jason Momoa and John Barrowman
- What do you say to an actor or musician you admire?
- Matt met Susan Sarandon while working at Museum of Science
- Jay: Met my favorite hockey player and I was a dork
- Many movies filmed around here and people flock to watch
- People will do anything to get onscreen
- Worked with a guy who was on a short-lived reality show
- Matt went to college with actor Charlie Day
- The lameness of celeb interviews during sports telecasts
- To be continued

Music:
The Wytches - Digsaw
Aan - Spiritual Provisions
Little Racer - Dancing

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

The Wytches song is on the album Annabel Dream Reader on Partisan Records. Download the song for free from KEXP.
The Aan song is on the album Amor Ad Nauseum on Party Damage Records. Download the song for free from KEXP.
The Little Racer song is on the EP Modern Accent on PaperCup Music. 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.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #49: September 5, 2014

Birthdays are always a big deal, but first birthdays are huge accomplishments. Which is why it's exciting that both Stuck In Thee Garage and BFF.fm celebrated their first year of existence this week. I was one of the first DJs to jump on board when the station kicked off last September; I actually recorded the first show before we went on vacation in August but the station launch didn't happen for a few more weeks.

It's been fun to watch the station really grow into a presence on the San Francisco rock scene, amassing a full schedule of radio shows hosted almost entirely by live DJs in the BFF studios. I, along with several others, create pre-recorded shows for the station from afar; it'd be awesome to do one live in the studio someday, but I don't get to San Francisco too often (last time was 1999).



At any rate, kudos to Amanda and Forrest Guest for successfully kicking ass with BFF. The station literally started on a beat-up laptop and has become a force to be reckoned with. I'm proud to be a small part of it. And I'm having a blast doing this show.

Speaking of which, here's this week's show:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Operators - True/EP1
Owl John - Red Hand/Owl John
Twin Peaks - I Found a Way/Wild Onion
Benjamin Booker - Violent Shiver/Benjamin Booker
Ty Segall - The Singer/Manipulator
The New Pornographers - Dancehall Domine/Brill Bruisers
Tomten - Mother Minnow/The Farewell Party
Dilated Peoples - Cut My Teeth/Directors of Photography
Allah-Las - Had It All/Worship the Sun
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Come on Over (Turn Me On)/Sunday at Devil Dirt
Hallelujah the Hills - You Got Fooled/Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
No Joy - Hare Tarot Lies/Wait to Pleasure
Okkervil River - Black/Black Sheep Boy
Flagland - My Apartment/Tireda Fightin
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Chartjunk/Wig Out at Jagbags
Beck - Asshole/One Foot in the Grave

Hour 2: Celebration
Mission of Burma - Birthday/The Obliterati
The Beatles - Birthday/The White Album
Bullet Lavolta - The Gift/The Gift
Gang of Four - Return the Gift/Entertainment!
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams/Kick Out the Jams
Clarence Reid - Funky Party/Funky Party single
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The High Party/Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead
The Replacements - Swingin' Party/Tim
Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day/Led Zeppelin III
The Who - Time is Passing/Odds and Sods
The Modern Lovers - Dignified and Old/The Modern Lovers
Guided by Voices - Old Bones/Let's Go Eat the Factory
Black Mountain - Old Fangs/Wilderness Heart
Matthew Sweet - Get Older/100% Fun
Pavement - Gold Soundz/Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
The Sports - Who Listen to the Radio?/Don't Throw Stones
Joe Jackson - On Your Radio/I'm the Man
The Ramones - Let's Dance/Ramones


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 341: Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Part 2 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 it directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Recorded at More Lost Time world HQ
- Check out our new web series Trust Fund Challenge
- Playboy Records had Barbi Benton signed to a deal
- RD: Hef likes "female impersonator impersonators"
- Benton guested on many '70s TV shows like Fantasy Island and The Love Boat
- She released five albums that hit the country charts
- Worked on Playboy After Dark
- Show had many great musical guests
- Playboy Records made HJFR keep Reynolds in the name after he left
- HJFR had their biggest hit in '75 with "Fallin' in Love"
- Drake sampled it and was sued by Playboy Enterprises
- Poor Dennison
- Singer Dan Hamilton died in '94 of Cushing's Syndrome
- Three subsequent singles bombed
- Album only went to #82, even with a #1 hit
- Bad distro
- Band probably didn't make much money from sales
- MST3K had a good HJFR reference
- The King's last hit


Music:

Owl John - Red Hand
Benjamin Booker - Violent Shiver

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

The Owl John song is on its self-titled album on Canvasback/Atlantic. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Benjamin Booker song is on his self-titled album on ATO Records. 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.