Friday, November 28, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #59: November 28, 2014

We're all a little lethargic today, in that post-Thanksgiving haze. But this installment of Stuck In Thee Garage radio hopes to wake you up a little with two hours of kickass rock music, including an hour of songs about family. Just a little music to enjoy while you're digging into a turkey leg.


The leftover playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
King Tuff - Eyes of the Muse/Black Moon Spell
Thee Oh Sees - Savage Victory/Drop
TV On the Radio - Careful You/Seeds
The Both - The Gambler/The Both
The Black Lips -  Body Combat/200 Million Thousand
Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin - Drop Dead Baby/Reverse Shark Attack
Mikal Cronin - Green and Blue/Mikal Cronin
Sebadoh - Inquiries/Defend Yourself
Redd Kross - Choose to Play/Researching the Blues
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Keep Me Waiting/Lenses Alien
Purling Hiss - Lolita/Water on Mars
Low Fat Getting High - Can't See Anymore/Low Fat Getting High
The Black Black - The Plan Is...There Is No Plan/Boogie Nights
The Amputees - Ted/Amputees
The English Beat - Save It For Later/Special Beat Service
The Police - Miss Gradenko/Synchronicity
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Wings Off Flies/From Her to Eternity

Hour 2: Songs about family
The Beach Boys - Child is Father of the Man/The Smile Sessions
Cheap Trick - Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School/Cheap Trick
Elvis Costello - Daddy Can I Turn This?/When I Was Cruel
PJ Harvey - Down By the Water/To Bring You My Love
Danzig - Mother/Danzig
The Upper Crust - Tell Mother I'm Home/The Decline and Fall of The Upper Crust
Buffalo Tom - The Kids Just Sleep/Skins
Gang of Four - I Will Be a Good Boy/Songs for the Free
Jarvis Cocker - Fat Children/Jarvis
War - Me and Baby Brother/Deliver the Word
Urge Overkill - Sister Havana/Saturation
Alice in Chains - Brother/Sap
Elliott Smith - Christian Brothers/Elliott Smith
Frank Black and Teenage Fanclub - Sister Isabel/The John Peel Session
Beastie Boys - The Cousin of Death/The Mix-Up
Guided by Voices - Uncle Dave/Learning to Hunt
Van Halen - One Foot Out the Door/Fair Warning






Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 353: The Fake Headlines

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss media-driven hysteria. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Check out Matt's new book, The Indestructibles: Breakout
- Reading newspapers was once a thing
- Boston was a strong two newspaper town
- The Herald used to delight in tweaking the Globe
- Election ads go for the blue collar vote
- "Like hugging a Chicken McNugget"
- When your new boss is an uninspirational leader
- Matt: The end user is the product
- Pop-up ads are the worst
- People don't want to hear bad news
- It's entirely possible to avoid anything you disagree with
- Nobody wants to find middle ground
- News networks try to ratchet up the hysteria
- Fragmented workplaces
- Friends who aren't on social media are easily forgotten
- Jay: I don't talk to anyone on the phone anymore
-Another Charlie interruption
- To be continued

Music:
King Tuff - Eyes of the Muse
Greylag - Yours to Shake
Dream Police - Hypnotized

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

The King Tuff song is on the album Black Moon Spell on Sub Pop. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Greylag song is on the album Greylag on Dead Oceans. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Dream Police song is on the album Hypnotized on Sacred Bones 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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Trust Fund Challenge #7: Satan's School for Girls (1973)

The latest installment of Trust Fund Challenge finds Ric and I tackling a classic old TV horror flick produced by none other than Aaron Spelling, Satan's School for Girls. This 1973 ABC movie of the week featured two future Charlie's Angels, Kate Jackson and a very young Cheryl Stoppelmoor (aka Cheryl Ladd), as well Roy Thinnes, Lloyd Bochner and Pamela Franklin. The film definitely influenced other, more well-known movies and even inspired a "modern" update in 2000 starring Shannen Doherty. Settle in and grab a gigantic glass of wine...


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Don't Wanna Lose

Sometimes when you go to a rock show, you're going to see the headliner and you hope the opening acts are okay. Occasionally you hit the jackpot and all three are great. The latter was the case in late October when I made my way to Great Scott on a Thursday night to see Ex Hex, Speedy Ortiz and Pile. I hadn't seen Speedy before, but I was also looking forward to seeing Ex Hex again (saw them open for Rocket from the Crypt in April) and Pile (who I saw opening for Obits a year earlier).



Pile played a strong opening set, including a few new songs. Their last album, dripping, came out in 2012, so hopefully a new full-length is coming out in the not-too-distant future. Led by singer-guitarist Rick Maguire, Pile is yet another of an incredible stable of excellent bands on the Exploding in Sound label. The Boston band specializes in slow building, pummeling rockers and they put on a punishing live show. Definitely a band to watch.

Here's where the surprise of the night took place for me. The show had been billed as Ex Hex headlining with Speedy Ortiz as second on the bill, but Maguire announced that Ex Hex was coming up next and I thought he was joking. Turns out he wasn't. Which is fine, but I had just purchased a ticket to one of the shows in Speedy's upcoming residency at Great Scott in December, so I was looking forward to a longer set from Ex Hex. But Mary Timony's power trio came out and cranked through a 40+ minute set that included pretty much the band's entire new album Rips (which certainly does) and a cover of the Boston punk classic "All Kindsa Girls" by the Real Kids. Timony's clearly having a blast playing '70s and '80s inspired riff rock, and she's got able co-conspirators in bassist Betsy Wright and drummer Laura Harris. The band just kicks ass all over the place; I could've watched them play for another hour (or more).

The show was sold out and the place was jammed and rockin' for Ex Hex, but curiously, a bunch of people left after Ex Hex's set. It may have been because of the switcheroo or the fact it was getting late on a Thursday night, but honestly, those are both lame reasons to leave. Speedy Ortiz is an excellent band and I for one was looking forward to the rock. Fronter Sadie Dupuis was wearing a long pink wig that she called her Nicki Minaj look (she even spit a few Minaj verses); she threw it off about halfway through the 45-minute set. The band mainly played songs from their debut Major Arcana, but also debuted a few new songs. Speedy's relentless touring schedule has resulted in a tight sounding combo; guitarist Devin McKnight from Grass is Green joined the band in May after Matt Robidoux left and he meshes well with the group. It was an enjoyable set, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in December.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #58: November 21, 2014

Riffs are one of the building blocks of great rock music. A great riff sticks in your head and makes you want to hear that song over and over again. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I dedicated hour 2 to songs with great riffs, but songs that don't get played to death on classic rock radio.

Riff Randell knows what I'm talking about:






The rock n' roller-approved playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Parquet Courts - Pretty Machines/Content Nausea
Menace Beach - Fortune Teller/Ratworld
The Fresh & Onlys - Fascinated/Play It Strange
Sloan - You've Got a Lot On Your Mind/Commonwealth
Guided by Voices - Gold Star for Robot Boy/Live at Threadwaxing Space, 6/25/94
Brass Bed - Be Anything/Be Anything
Safety Net/Iroquois/Plastic Heart
Thee Oh Sees - I Was Denied/Warm Slime
The Rationales - All the While/Keep Safe Boston 2014 For Planned Parenthood
Hallelujah the Hills - Affectionate Darlings 4 Life/Keep Safe Boston 2014 For Planned Parenthood
Corin Ashley - Jellyfish/Keep Safe Boston 2014 For Planned Parenthood
Mick Jagger and the Jim Keltner Orchestra - Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup)/Bootleg
Squeeze - Slap and Tickle/Cool for Cats
The Jam - Town Called Malice/The Gift
Nick Lowe - Switch Board Susan/Labour of Lust
The Vapors - Spring Collection/New Clear Days

Hour 2: Riffs
Fu Manchu - Evil Eye/The Action is Go!
Fugazi - Merchandise/Repeater
Helmet - Unsung/Meantime
The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog/The Stooges
AC/DC - Let There Be Rock/Let There Be Rock
Van Halen - D.O.A./Van Halen II
Ozzy Osbourne - Steal Away (The Night)/Blizzard of Ozz
The Ramones - Loudmouth/Ramones
Elastica - Line Up/Elastica
The Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys/Pretenders
Drive Like Jehu - Golden Brown/Yank Crime
Rocket from the Crypt - On a Rope/Scream Dracula Scream!
Rollins Band - Earache My Eye/Sub Pop Singles Club
Eagles of Death Metal - Cherry Cola/Death by Sexy
Sloan - Money City Maniacs/Navy Blues 
The Pursuit of Happiness - The One Thing/One Sided Story

Stuck In Thee Garage #58 by Koomdogg on Mixcloud


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Back It Up

I don't care who you are; every once in a while, you're going to do something so stupid, it defies rational belief. That happened to me last week when my external hard drive suddenly just crapped out. It actually wasn't so sudden; when I got my new laptop in August and connected the external HD, which contained hundreds of gigs of data (mostly MP3s, but also photos and documents), it started making this loud clicking sound. I Googled it and read that it likely had something to do with the power cord. However, if I had delved a little deeper, I would have discovered that it was the warning sign of bad things to come.

Ultimately, I should've known better because the drive itself was four years old, purchased when my last computer died on me.What I should have done a long time ago was back up the backup, either with another piece of hardware or via the cloud. I had made a note to myself several months ago to investigate backup services like Carbonite, but just never got around to it. The thought of copying all those files gave me pause. Stupid.

So when the drive just stopped working last week and wasn't showing up on my desktop, I knew I was screwed, although I was hopeful the data could simply be retrieved like it was when my old laptop died. Unfortunately, a buddy of mine said it was likely the thing was completely fried. I spent much of the next several days lamenting my stupidity and investigating data retrieval possibilities, which were either expensive or long shots, or both.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I was reading about how to attempt to get the hard drive out of the device when I figured I'd connect the HD one last time to see if it showed up. And sure enough, it did. I got an error message and tried to repair the drive, but when that didn't work, I just tried to copy all the files over to my laptop. I thought I was successful but I'm discovering some of them didn't copy over, but most of them did. I was so relieved that I essentially had a second chance.

Of course, I need to determine a backup solution for the laptop so I'm not stuck with all my eggs in one digital basket. But rest assured I will, because I don't want to go through that feeling again. It was like I had lost a bunch of my possessions in a fire, but one that I set myself. Here's to lessons learned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 352: Hype It Up


Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss media-driven hysteria. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").



Show notes:
- Jay and Matt, bitchin' and drinking beer
- Enough with the pumpkin beer
- We've both worked in the media
- There's always a hot topic to get upset about
- Ebola's got everybody worked up
- It's been around for 40 years, but finally made it here
- Ebola response became a political football
- Before that, it was terrorism
- John Grisham made a controversial comment, which was forgotten after ISIS and Ebola dominated headlines
- CNN, Fox News, MSNBC amp up the stupid
- Twitter is the go-to source for news these days
- Matt was at Rhode Island ComiCon
- People love to be outraged
- Angry tweet from a low-level celeb can cause a stir
- Mixing up your social media accounts
- The end user is the product
-Dealing with clickbait
- To be continued

Music:
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith - Vessel
GravelRoad - Green Grass
Wimps - Stop Having Fun

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

The Dan Mangan + Blacksmith song is on the album Club Meds on Arts and Crafts. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The GravelRoad song is on the album El Scuerpo on Knick Knack. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Wimps song is on the album Repeat on End of Times Records. Download the album for free at Gimme Tinnitus.

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, November 14, 2014

Love is a Song, Not an Answer

Continuing recaps of my recent adventures in rock...

I became aware of the Spotlight Tavern, a bar on Rantoul Street here in Beverly, after the Caspian show last month. I mean, I knew it was there but I had never gone in before that night. Turns out it's a nice little dingy rock club with a decent beer selection. And then I looked it up online and discovered that Kal Marks, a fine Boston band on Exploding in Sound, was playing there the following Tuesday and I figured I had to go. Plus it was an early show with doors at the decidedly non-rock hour of 6 p.m., which meant I'd be home early. And it was $5 to get in.


I was one of about 20 people there, most of whom were associated with the three bands on the bill. The show was opened by Notches, a NH-based trio that played a thoroughly entertaining brand of snotty punk rock. The bassist told me afterward that they all go to UNH, although he briefly attended Endicott College here in Beverly. They were selling a cassette for a "name your price" fee; I gave 'em $5.

Second on the bill was My Dad, a math-rock act out of Chicago. They were pretty interesting and loud as hell, although the bass player was having some serious technical issues throughout their half-hour set. Good stuff and definitely a different sound than notches.

Kal Marks headlined and a played a strong, if brief (35 minutes), set. The band is on a hot label and indeed was written up in Stereogum just the day before the show; it was weird/cool to see the Beverly gig listed with their tour dates. The following night, they played O'Brien's in Allston, although there was a seriously nasty rainstorm going on; I'm glad I saw them on a nice dry night five minutes from my house. They seemed a little bewildered at the earliness of the hour (I think they took the stage at 8:30), but I was a little bummed they didn't play for at least 40-45 minutes. Maybe they wanted to get home. What they played sounded great, and granted, they've only got one full-length (2013's Life is Murder), an EP and a forthcoming EP to draw on for material.

I hung out for a little while and got some merch and was still home by 9:30. Hopefully, the Spotlight gets more cool bands to play there, because I could definitely get used to that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 351: Say Say Sayer


Part 2 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we look at the career of '70s pop star Leo Sayer. 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
- In '77, Sayer hit it big with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"
- Jumped on disco bandwagon
- Hit #1 and was on charts for 17 weeks
- Had a song in top 40 from Nov. '76 to Feb. '78
- "When I Need You" also hit #1
- Ric: Skate park memories
- Smoothed out all the edges
- We listened to a lot of kind of stuff at college newspaper
- By the mid-80s, Sayer was a distant memory
- "More Than I Can Say" was originally written by guys from The Crickets
- Half country, half Fleetwood Mac
- Sayer started doing covers in the '80s
- Ric loves Anzac biscuits from Australia
- "Sheetwood Mac"
- Sayer had some UK hits in the '80s
- Ric talks up the post
- What happened to Beck?
- An Australian artist remixed "Thunder in My Heart" in 2006 and it went to #1 there
- Sayer did Beatles covers for All This and World War II, a pseudo-documentary that bombed
- Voiced Dan the Forest Ranger in Canadian cartoon called The Raccoons on Ice

Music:
Menace Beach - Fortune Teller
Thee Oh Sees - I Was Denied
The Fresh & Onlys - Fascinated

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

The Menace Beach song is on the album Ratworld on Memphis Industries. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The song from Thee Oh Sees is on the album Warm Slime on In the Red. Download the song for free at Epitonic.
The Fresh & Onlys song is on the album Play It Strange on In the Red. Download the album 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.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Stuck In Thee Garage #57: November 7, 2014

It's that time of year when the days are getting shorter, especially when Daylight Savings Time ends. Last weekend, we made that shift into more darkness and less daylight. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, hour 2 featured songs marking that little bit of time travel and the results were most excellent.



The decidedly non-bogus playlist, dude:

Artist - Song/Album
Ex Hex - Waste Your Time/Rips
The Vaselines - Inky Lies/V for Vaselines
Nude Beach - Yesterday/77
Camper Van Beethoven - Grasshopper/El Camino Real
Against Me! - Paralytic States/Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Happy You - Giggle/Giggle
The New Pornographers - Marching Orders/Brill Bruisers
Spoon - Do You/They Want My Soul
Benjamin Booker - Have You Seen My Son?/Benjamin Booker
Scissorfight - Lamprey River/New Hampshire
The Upper Crust - Persona  Non Grata/The Decline and Fall of The Upper Crust
Aerosmith - Nobody's Fault/Rocks
Prince - Housequake/Sign O' the Times
Funkadelic - You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks/Maggot Brain
Fred Wesley and the J.B.'s - Doing It to Death/Doing It to Death

Hour 2: The end of Daylight Savings Time
Joe Jackson - Got the Time/Look Sharp!
Parquet Courts - Borrowed Time/Light Up Gold
Cheap Time - Kill the Light/Garage Swim
Jay Reatard - In the Dark/Singles '06-'07
Parliament - Flash Light/Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
Peter Wolf - Lights Out/Lights Out
The Foxboro Hot Tubs - Dark Side of Night/Stop Drop and Roll!!!
Sleater-Kinney - Night Light/The Woods
Johnny Foreigner - Dark Harbourzz/Grace and the Bigger Picture
Stephen Malkmus - Dark Wave/Pig Lib
Ladyhawk - Night You're Beautiful/Shots
Yo La Tengo - When It's Dark/Popular Songs
Bill Janovitz - Cold Again/Walt Whitman Mall
The National - Mr. November/Alligator
Mark Lanegan - Down in the Dark/The Winding Sheet
Billy Squier - In the Dark/Don't Say No
Dio - Rainbow in the Dark/Holy Diver




Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Completely Conspicuous 350: More Than I Can Say


Part 1 of my conversation with guest Ric Dube as we look at the career of '70s pop star Leo Sayer. 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
- Just watched the 1969 grindhouse flick The Babysitter
- Rated X then, pretty tame by today's standards
- Our society's pruder in some ways, more open in others
- Leo Sayer was discovered by David Courtney and Adam Faith
- Ric: Sayer was less threatening than Elton John or Barry Manilow
- Adam Faith was a British teen idol in early '60s
- Sayer and Faith had a falling out over money
- Sayer struck out at first
- Roger Daltrey recorded a Sayer song
- Sayer's version of "Giving It All Away" sounds like Elton
- Some weird album covers
- Dube: Sayer looked like a mime who sings
- British guys who sound American and vice versa
- To be continued

Music:
Nude Beach - For You
The Vaselines - Last Half Hour
Happy You - Chummy

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

The Nude Beach song is on the album 77 on Don Giovanni Records. Download the song for free for a limited time at Amazon MP3.
The Vaselines song is on the album V for Vaselines on Rosary Music. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Happy You song is on the self-released album Giggle. Download the album for free (in exchange for your email address) 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.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Gone In Bloom and Bough

In the music industry these days, it's no easy feat to make your bones as a band that plays nothing but instrumentals; hell, it's hard enough for bands that have vocals. And yet Caspian has managed to carve a nice little niche for itself over the years, like fellow instrumental rock acts Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Last month, the band celebrated its 10th anniversary by playing a show in its hometown, which just happens to be the little North Shore city in which I make my home. Caspian had played at a city-run block party last year, but I never actually saw them because I was down the street in a penned-in beer area.

The sold-out gig was at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly, Mass., a cool old venue that reminded me a little of the Orpheum in terms of its ornate features and old-school charm.



I managed to find out about the show as it was going on sale and scored myself a nice front-row center seat. Of course, the band invited fans to come up front, so I ended up standing the whole time anyway, but that was no big deal. Derek Archambault and Jay Maas of Boston hardcore act Defeater opened the show with a sharp acoustic set; the band had previously taken Caspian out on tour.

I own one Caspian album, The Four Trees, and a live EP, but I wasn't concerned. The group's music consists of intricately constructed soundscapes that build to crescendoes and wash over the listener. Bandleader-guitarist Philip Jamieson and his cohorts (which included two other guitarists, bass and drums) got right to business with an eight-song, 50+-minute opening set. Jamieson didn't say much other than to thank the audience on occasion, but vocals aren't the story with Caspian.

It was great to just get lost in the sound and light show. The second set ran another 40 minutes or so, and the band came out for an encore that included "Hymn for the Greatest Generation," which was dedicated to late bassist Chris Friedrich, who died last year. The show closed with a new song that was very much in step with the band's sound. There was an after-show down the street at the Spotlight Tavern with a couple of bands slated to play; I hung out for while with my friend Brad but we ended up leaving after talking to Jamieson. Hopefully the band will keep rolling for another decade.

Trust Fund Challenge #6: Clutch Cargo (1959) "Operation Moonbeam"

The latest installment of Trust Fund Challenge features a series of Clutch Cargo shorts from the late '50s. The show featured the creepy "Syncro Vox" technique of superimposing live action human lips over the mouths of animated characters' faces. It was basically done to save money but man, is it disconcerting. Years later, Robert Smigel revived it to hilarious effect on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, but Ric and I have some fun with it in this episode.