Thursday, December 31, 2015

Get Old Forever: My Favorite Albums of 2015

Editor's note: You can hear me and Jay Breitling run down our favorite albums of the year on CompCon (parts 1 and 2) and I'll be playing two hours of my fave rock jams of 2015 on Stuck In Thee Garage on Friday. 

Sometimes it's hard to put years in perspective when you're still so close to them. From a general news standpoint, 2015 was flat-out fucked. Crazy-ass mass shootings on the regular, idiotic acts of aggression from pretty much every global power and some up-and-comers, a dogshit political system dredging up the lowest of the low in the latest U.S. presidential election folly.



But fortunately, I'm not here to talk about that crap. I'm here to talk about the rock, and in 2015, it was good. So without further ado, here are my 15 favorite albums of the year.

15. METZ - II
No sophomore slump for this Toronto trio. Just more lacerating punk blasters that don't let up. No love ballads here, folks. All ass-kicking all the time.


14. Stove - Is Stupider
It was a sad day when Steve Hartlett decided to end Ovlov, but fortunately he decided to keep forging ahead with Stove, which is essentially him doing everything. And by everything, that means bringing the Dino Jr.-esque rock jams with aplomb. Would have made the top 10 if it had come a little earlier in the year.


13. Faith No More - Sol Invictus
Faith No More called it a day in 1998, a good 15+ years after forming in the Bay Area. Frontman Mike Patton kept working at a frantic pace with his various projects, but he reunited with FNM in 2009 for the occasional live show over the next few years. The reunion finally resulted in a new album this year, and it was as ferocious as anything FNM did in the '90s. It was a good year for reunited rock bands.


12. Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born to Lose You
Speaking of reunions, Swervedriver also released their first album since breaking up in '98 (and reuniting for occasional gigs in the last few years). And like Faith No More, it was like they never left. Just glorious shoegaze anthems from a band that specialized in such rock goodness.


11. Kuroma - Kuromarama
Kuroma is the brainchild of Hank Sullivant, formerly of the Whigs and a touring guitarist for MGMT. This album came out of left field for me, but it was a beautiful surprise: Cool psych-rock with an inherent poppiness that shines through. Super-catchy and super-good.


10. Eagles of Death Metal - Zipper Down
Before the events of November 13 in Paris made Eagles of Death Metal a household name for all the wrong reasons, the release of Zipper Down marked a glorious return to the hard rock boogie that Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme traffic in. It's an album of good-time jams that seems about as far from terror attacks as you can get. Sadly, the band and the album will always be associated with the Bataclan tragedy, but it's nice to see that they're going to keep forging ahead and will play Paris in the spring.


9. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
Patrick Stickles is nothing if not a big idea guy. Always has been. This time around, Titus rolled out a 93-minute double album rock opera that delves into manic depression and drugs both over- and under-the-counter. And oh by the way, it rocks most steadfastly. Always interesting and thoroughly impressive.


8. Pile -You're Better Than This


This Allston band just keeps getting better. Constant gigging has honed Pile's chops to the point where every show is a must-see experience. You're Better Than This is a good document of the band's sound, as mastermind Rick Maguire leads the group through various death-defying twists and turns. Far from conventional, the closest comparison I can draw is the Jesus Lizard, which produced similarly jagged sound blasts two decades ago. Maguire isn't a lunatic exhibitionist like JL's David Yow, but his yowling vocals and whisper-to-a-scream song structures certainly resonate similarly. Tempos shift and shimmer, guitars thrash and trill, drums thunder and brush. An immersive experience that rewards listeners looking more than standard rock songs.


7. Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching


Yet another album from an interesting local post-punk band led by a deep-thinking and unconventional frontman, Krill made tremendous strides in 2015 with an excellent record and killer live shows...and then promptly broke up. Singer-bassist Jonah Furman's reasons for breaking up the band are unclear to me, but it's a damn shame because Krill was pretty goddamn great. A herky-jerky yet super-tight trio, Krill is distinguished especially by Furman's quirky yelp and his super-deep lyrics (mein homie Jay Breitling does a superlative job deconstructing them in his excellent review of the album). Like Pile, Krill built a large local following among indie rock fans and bands alike before deciding to go out on a high note. In retrospect, maybe "It Ends," the final song on A Distant Fist Unclenching, was actually foreshadowing what happened several months later. Whatever the case, Krill will be missed.


6. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
Rock reunions are a dime a dozen these days, it seems. And a lot of them are inevitably disappointing cash grabs (ahem, looking at you, GNR...it hasn't happened yet, but c'mon). Not the case with Sleater-Kinney, who surprised everyone in January with a new album, tour and box set. A decade after the band's last record, S-K delivered a short (32 minutes) but impressive album that ranks up there with any of their previous recorded output. A lot had happened in that time off: Carrie Brownstein became a comedy star on "Portlandia" and had also formed the excellent Wild Flag with S-K drummer Janet Weiss, who kept busy by playing with Stephen Malkmus and Quasi as well. Corin Tucker had formed her own band and released two albums, in addition to starting a family. But after secretly recording No Cities to Love, the band sounded like they picked up where they left off. Tucker's vocals are as powerful as ever, the songs careen and pummel and Weiss pounds the drums with fury. The songs are short, catchy bursts of punk energy. Hopefully, this will lead to more down the road.


5. Mikal Cronin - MCIII
Already established as a prolific and prodigiously talented artist both on his own and with his pal Ty Segall, Cronin's latest expands his poppy garage-rock sound with orchestral flourishes and melodies that entrench into your brain pan. There are still flashes of fuzz guitar, but they're part of a tuneful whole as opposed to the be-all, end-all. "Say" is a catchy rocker that intertwines guitars with horns, "Made My Mind Up" is an upbeat guitar-driven tune, and "Feel Like" and "I've Been Loved" are melancholy slow numbers. Side 2 is a concept suite of songs that build slowly, rock furiously on "Gold" and "Ready" and then settle back down with the wistful album closer "Circle." It remains to be seen whether Cronin appears on the new Segall record (which is out next month) and plays bass in Segall's band like he did before MCIII came out. Cronin may just have moved into a new level of indie rock stardom for that, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did it anyway.


4. Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
After taking the indie rock world by storm in 2013 with Major Arcana, Speedy Ortiz could have followed it up with a similar collection of '90-echoing guitar tunage. Instead, Sadie Dupuis and crew explored some new sounds and ideas on Foil Deer and create a satisfying and interesting sophomore release. "Raising the Skate" states the mission plan ("I'm not bossy, I'm the boss") and Dupuis never lets you forget that she's calling the shots. New guitarist Devin McKnight of Grass is Green seamlessly steps in to replace former axe dude Matt Robidoux (although in truth, McKnight joined the band in early 2014) and gives the songs a muscular rawk sound. Dupuis, who left her gig teaching poetry at UMass Amherst, is adept at writing interesting turns of phrase and gives the band a lyrical depth not seen in most young bands. Speedy isn't content to color between the lines: "Puffer" has almost a pop-R&B feel, marking a departure from the sound on the band's debut, while "Dot X," "My Dead Girl" and "Zig" are filled with twists and shifting tempos while remaining ever tuneful. A bold statement from a promising band.


3. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
If you're an Australian rock fan, Courtney Barnett's success in 2015 (which included a Grammy nomination) probably didn't come as a surprise because she's been bouncing around playing in bands in Melbourne for a few years now. But here in the U.S., I only heard of her last year when a few of her EPs were re-released. And even then, I wasn't prepared for how great her solo debut is. I heard some comparisons of her sound to Nirvana's Nevermind, but I think Barnett reminds me much more of Stephen Malkmus, both vocally and musically. She has a wordy, almost talk-singing style at times, while the band rocks furiously at times and laconically at others. Barnett's lyrics are wordy ruminations on the mundane aspects of everyday life but her laid-back delivery is compelling, especially on slow-burners like "Small Poppies" and "Depreston." But on upbeat numbers like "Pedestrian at Best," "Dead Fox" and "Elevator Operator," Barnett and her band prove they're no slouches in the rock department.


2. Palehound - Dry Food

Palehound is another act led by another strong female fronter, Ellen Kempner that blew up (at least in the indie rock world) in 2015. Right off the bat, the album opener "Molly" is driven by a powerful riff and uber-catchy chorus and we're hooked; it's my favorite song of the year. Kempner, 21, is a skilled guitarist whose licks are all over  the album; even slower songs like "Easy" feature hot skronkity guitar breakdowns at the end and the '70s AM Gold of "Cinnamon" has a tasty riff that runs throughout. The introspective lyrics are reminiscent of Kempner's one-time roommate, Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis, with several songs contemplating the after-effects of a bad breakup. The title track is quiet and devastating: "You made beauty a monster to me/So I'm kissing all the ugly things I see." Live, the band is terrific. Kempner and Palehound have a bright future ahead of them.



1. Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?
My favorite album of the year is from a guy I'd never heard of before. I saw a tweet from Weezer's Rivers Cuomo repping the excellence of We Cool?, so I figured I'd check it out and it grabbed me right from the start. The Long Island-based Rosenstock's sound on his second album definitely has some Weezer-esque elements, but there's also the world weary punk fury of Titus Andronicus in there as well. Starting with the lead track "Get Old Forever," the album takes a sardonic yet thoughtful look at life in the protagonist's early 30s, watching as his friends get married and real jobs while he's still playing punk rock/getting drunk alone in bars/being a general fuck up. There's nothing maudlin about the songs, though: "You, In Weird Cities," "Hey Allison!" "Beers Again Alone" and "Hall of Fame" are anthemic singalongs that get more rousing each time you listen to them. Rosenstock balances out the heaviness with quieter songs like "All Blissed Out" and album closer "Darkness Records." These songs should be all over rock radio...if there was a rock radio that played music like this. Rosenstock is no rookie; he's been in various punk bands since the late '90s. If there was any justice in the world, he'd be huge. In the meantime, let's hope he keeps making albums like this.



Honorable mentions: Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect; Infinity Girl - Harm; Destroyer - Poison Season; Viet Cong - s/t; Mike Krol - Turkey; Nai Harvest - Hairball; Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated at Last; Chandos - Rats in Your Bed; Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter; Wilco - Star Wars; Mac McCaughan - Non-Believers; The Woolen Men - Temporary Monument; The 20/20 Project - Tapes and Crates; Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls; Jesse Malin - New York Before the War; Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - Under the Savage Sun.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 404: Top of the Rock

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2015. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 

Show notes:
- JK's #5 album of the year
- Productive collective out of the Bay Area
- JB's #4
- What's next for Jonah Furman?
- JK's #4
- JB's #3
- Dark, crazy guitar ambience
- JK's #3
- Another indie darling blowing up big
- JB's #2
- Another great shoegaze act makes its mark
- JK's #2
- A local indie act does well nationally
- JB's #1
- Marriage of electronic and guitar rock
- JK's #1
- Topped midyear list, still holds up
- Looking ahead to 2016
- Next week: Our favorites of the first half of the decade (2010-14)

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.

Killed By Death

News of Lemmy Kilmister's death filtered through social media yesterday afternoon, only four days after he celebrated his 70th birthday. It wasn't a total shock, because the man had been battling various ailments for the last several years (including a hematoma and an irregular heartbeat). According to the Motorhead Facebook page, he finally succumbed to an "extremely aggressive cancer" that he only found out about on December 26.

Whatever got him in the end is irrelevant. Lemmy WAS rock 'n roll. How else do you explain a 50-year career in music for a guy who looked like he should be on a wanted poster instead of an album cover? You could call him a rock 'n roll Zelig, but unlike the movie character, Lemmy was no enigma. He kicked around in a variety of bands in his teens and early 20s, roadied for Jimi Hendrix and then joined space rockers Hawkwind in 1972. He switched from guitar to bass and created the distinctive, aggressive bass style he later became known for, which basically sounded like he was beating the crap out of it.

Three years later, he was kicked out of Hawkwind after getting busted on the Canadian border for drugs. Lemmy went on to form Motorhead, a loud and dirty hard rock act that found favor with both heavy metal and punk audiences. The band released 22 studio albums, nine live albums and 10 compilations. Chrissie Hynde cites Lemmy as a big influence in the Pretenders; she had befriended him after moving to London in the late '70s and he encouraged her to pursue her dream of forming a band. Lemmy also mixed easily with the burgeoning punk and metal scenes. Who didn't want to hang out with him?


I first became aware of Motorhead in 1980 after watching a concert aired on CBC and immediately was a fan. Ace of Spades is one of the greatest rock albums ever. Even as the original lineup fell apart and various members came in and out of the band, Lemmy was the one constant. One of my big regrets is never seeing Motorhead live, even though they toured constantly.



There's still great rock music being made, but there will never be another Lemmy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #110: 12/25/15

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, there's no denying that there's plenty of great music associated with the holiday. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played Christmas rock in hour 1 and an assortment of non-holiday jams in hour 2. Even Scrooge himself would dig the hip grooves. Or something like that.



From the Ghost of Christmas Playlists:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Julian Casablancas - I Wish It Was Christmas Today/Phrazes for the Young
T. Rex - Xmas Jingle/T. Rexmas!
T. Rex - Christmas Bop/T. Rexmas!
The Dollyrots - Run Run Rudolph/Single
The Dandy Warhols - Little Drummer Boy/Single
Pearl Jam - Let Me Sleep/1991 Christmas Single
The Flaming Lips - Christmas at the Zoo/Clouds Taste Metallic
Neko Case - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis/New Coat of Paint (Songs of Tom Waits)
Low - Just Like Christmas/Christmas
The Knife - Christmas Reindeer/Single
The Hives and Cyndi Lauper - A Christmas Duel/A Christmas Duel
Run the Jewels - A Christmas Fucking Miracle/Run the Jewels
Future of the Left - The Real Meaning of Christmas/How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident
AC/DC - Mistress for Christmas/The Razors Edge
The Walkmen - No Christmas While I'm Talking/Bows + Arrows
The dBs - Christmas Time/Christmas Time Again
R.E.M. - Merry Xmas Everybody/Single

Hour 2
The Besnard Lakes - Golden Lion/A Complex Coliseum Museum
Battleme - Shake Shake/Habitual Love Songs
Sun Club - Tropicoller Lease/The Dongo Durango
Cheap Trick - No Direction/Bang Zoom Crazy Hello
Coaches - That Not This/Shush EP
Quilt - Eliot St./Plaza
Froth - Saccharine Sunshine/Bleak
Eugene Quell - London Pollen/I Will Work the Land
Pete Astor - Sleeping Tiger/Spilt Milk
Slingshot Dakota - Doreen/Break
Frameworks - Time Spent/Single
The Clash - Death or Glory/London Calling
The Clash - Straight to Hell/Combat Rock
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Coma Girl/Streetcore



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 403: Rank and File

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2015. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 

Show notes:
- More music out than ever before
- JK: Immersed in top 40 pop against my will thanks to my kids
- JB's honorable mentions
- Ava Luna is the Steely Dan of indie rock
- JK's honorable mentions
- Some notable comeback albums
- JB's #10
- JK's #10
- The insanity of the Paris concert tragedy
- JB's #9
- JK's #9
- The ever-prolific Patrick Stickles
- JB's #8
- JK's #8
- Constant touring hones a band's sound
- JB's #7
- JK's #7
- JB's #6
- Exploding in Sound is the indie rock label of the moment
- JK's #6
- JB's #5
- For those not about to rock, we salute you
- To be continued

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, December 18, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #109: December 18, 2015

Space: The final frontier. This weekend marks the opening of one of the most anticipated space-themed movies of all time. Not recalling the name of it right now. Anyhoo, this week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about space in hour 2. [Insert joke about the show being out of this world or something.]



The Schwartz-supported playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
!!! - Ooo/As If
Tulips - Jitterbug/Doom & Bloom
Joanna Gruesome - Honestly Do Yr Worst/Peanut Butter
Coaches - Elizabeth Warren/Shush EP
Gold Muse - Easy Dance/Easy Dance
Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Out of/Elizabeth Colour Wheel EP
Kindling - Sunspots/Spike & Wave 7"
Swings - Fever/Sugarwater
Beliefs - Leaper/Leaper
Slav - Yes, Officer/Not a Tape
Nonsense - Lavander/S/T
Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin'/b'lieve i'm goin' down
Stove - Dusty Weather/Is Stupider
The Spook School - Vicious Machine/Try to Be Hopeful
The Count Five - Psychotic Reaction/Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
The Sonics - Strychnine/Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
The Seeds - Pushin' Too Hard/Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
The Amboy Dukes - Journey to the Center of the Mind/Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era

Hour 2: Space, man
Husker Du - Books About UFOs/New Day Rising
Van Halen - Outta Space/A Different Kind of Truth
Grinderman - Honey Bee (Let's Fly to Mars)/Grinderman
Adrian Belew - Looking for a UFO/Young Lions
Sufjan Stevens - Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois/Come On, Feel the Illinoise!
Golden Gurls - Cars on Mars/Typo Magic
De La Soul - Transmitting Live from Mars/3 Feet High and Rising
Danger Doom - Space Ho's/The Mouse and the Mask
Lifter Puller - Space Humping $19.99/Fiestas + Fiascos
David Bowie - Life on Mars/Hunky Dory
Ash - Girl from Mars/1977
Purling Hiss - Water on Mars/Water on Mars
The Dambuilders - Rocket to the Moon/Ruby Red
Foo Fighters - Down in the Park/The Colour and the Shape b-side
Pretenders - Space Invader/The Pretenders
Monster Magnet - Space Lord/Powertrip
Circle Jerks - Deny Everything/The Unfortunate Son


 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 402: Everybody Wants Some

This week, I'm joined by author Greg Renoff as we discuss the response to his new book about the early days of Van Halen. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 
Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Buy Greg's book Van Halen Rising at Amazon or get a signed copy from the Van Halen Store
- We last spoke in March (eps 368 and 369) before the book came out
- Great response from readers
- Selling well on Amazon, was reviewed in Rolling Stone
- DLR's role in the band's early days surprised some
- Roth defied the odds to become a star
- Gene Simmons was an early supporter of the band
- Roth had different musical interests than the VH brothers
- Greg: Not sure what next writing project will be
- Meeting readers at book signings is fun
- Launch party in Pasadena featured VH's original bassist Mark Stone
- Visited neighborhood where VH played backyard parties
- The revolutionary sound of "Eruption"
- VH's disappointing live album
- Debate over what's in the archives
- The future of the band is murky
- Little released output from Eddie over the last 15 years
- Dave's role in the band is much different now
- DLR could be reuniting with his Eat 'Em and Smile-era band for some shows

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, December 11, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #108: December 11, 2015

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2015, I paid another visit on Stuck In Thee Garage this week to a quarter century ago. Hour 2 of the show featured songs from 1990 and man, that stuff still holds up. Our new teacher would like you to shut up and listen.



This playlist is not a toomah!

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Eugene Quell - Song for Marla and Lucas/I Will Work the Land
Pete Astor - Really Something/Spilt Milk
Kurt Vile - Dust Bunnies/b'lieve i'm goin down
Strange Faces - Still Lit/Stonerism
Sunwolf - Dreamers/Follow the Dreamers
Cross Record - High Rise/Wabi-Sabi
Palm - Ankles/Trading Basics
Salad Boys - No Taste Bomber/Metalmania
All Them Witches - Talisman/Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
Merchandise (feat. Dum Dum Girls) - Red Sun/Single
Big Nice - Upwards/EP 1
Palehound - Seekonk/Dry Food
Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Lucid (live)/EP B-Side (Live)
Protomartyr - Clandestine Time/The Agent Intellect
Teenage Fanclub - Escher/Thirteen

Hour 2: 1990
Jane's Addiction - Stop!/Ritual de lo Habitual
Mother Love Bone - Come Bite the Apple/Apple
Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots/Goo
Buffalo Tom - Birdbrain/Birdbrain
Adrian Belew and David Bowie - Pretty Pink Rose/Young Lions
Bob Mould - It's Too Late/Black Sheets of Rain
The Pursuit of Happiness - Survival/One Sided Story
Pixies - Is She Weird/Bossanova
The Breeders - Iris/Pod
Ride - Dreams Burn Down/Nowhere
Soul Asylum - We 3/And the Horse They Rode In On
The Replacements - Merry Go Round/All Shook Down
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Farmer John/Ragged Glory




Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 401: Reeling in the Years, 1992 (Part 3)

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1992. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 
Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Jay: Rollins Band broke out with The End of Silence
- Jay's #5
- The best album from The Tragically Hip
- Brian's #5 and Jay's #4
- Pavement's first stab at greatness
- The Pavement reunion was disappointing
- Brian's #4 and Jay's #2
- Brian's #3
- 1992 was a banner year for Alice in Chains
- Dirt was unrelentingly dark
- Jay's #3
- Jay: The album that got me into Buffalo Tom
- Saw them play Let Me Come Over front to back earlier this year
- Brian's #2
- Found at CMJ conference: Balanescu Quartet does Kraftwerk
- Sugar was a great combination of Bob Mould's worlds
- Came out at the right time as alt-rock was hitting
- Brian's #1
- With Kerplunk, Green Day laid blueprint for future success
- Jay's #1
- The Afghan Whigs set up a great decade melding rock with R&B
- A few others we missed
- Next year to tackle: 1983

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, December 04, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #107: December 4, 2015

'Tis the season of money: Sales, shopping and store profits. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I play songs about commercialism in hour 2. Sure, the economy may be struggling, but people are spending money nonetheless, regardless of whether they actually have it. At least we've still got the rock.



The "Looking Good, Billy Ray" playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Fast Romantics - Julia/Single
The Gods Themselves - Tangerines/Pink Noise
Futurebirds - Deadbeat Hits/Hotel Parties
Idle Bloom - Some Paranoia/Some Paranoia
Stove - Wet Food/Is Stupider
Bloodhounds on My Trail - Old Fools/Escape II
Holy Esque - Strange/Submission
Palmas - Sweet Water/To the Valley
Jackson Boone - Runaway/Natural Changes
The Ocean Blue - Breezing Up/Cerulean
Wimps - Leftovers/Super Me
Strange Faces - Don't Feel Bad/Stonerism
White Reaper - Sheila/White Reaper Does It Again
Tedo Stone - Back Down/Marshes
Foo Fighters - Savior Breath/Saint Cecilia EP
Video - Drink It In/The Entertainers
Timmy's Organism - Back in the Dungeon/Heartless Heathen

Hour 2: Commercialism
Fugazi - Merchandise/Repeater
Nirvana - Serve the Servants/In Utero
Casket Salesmen - I'll Take That for a Dollar/Sleeping Giants
Spoon - Don't Buy the Realistic/Telephono
Art Brut - Slap Dash for No Cash/Art Brut vs. Satan
OFF! - I Need One (I Want One)/OFF!
Bruce Springsteen - Used Cars/Nebraska
The Who - Odorono/The Who Sell Out
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Piece of Crap/Sleeps With Angels
The Replacements - Customer (live)/Simply Unacceptable
The Capitol Years - Mounds of Money/Let Them Drink
Eagles of Death Metal - Stacks o' Money/Peace Love Death Metal
The Flying Lizards - Money (That's What I Want)/The Flying Lizards
Spinal Tap - Gimme Some Money/Back from the Dead
Totally Mild - Money or Fame/Down Time
They Might Be Giants - Dead/Flood Live in Australia
Kuroma - Big Bad Money/Kuromarama
Hot in Snakes - Audit in Progress/Audit in Progress
Gang of Four - Return the Gift/Entertainment!



Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 400: Reeling in the Years, 1992 (Part 2)

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1992. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 
Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- Brian: A friend was at the Eagles of Death Metal show in Paris but escaped unharmed
- Security at club shows is minimal
- Post-9/11 concert experiences
- Bands formed in '92: Brainiac, Bush, Shellac, Sugar, Weezer
- Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" is a great song
- Bands that broke up in '92: Bullet Lavolta, Europe, Fine Young Cannibals, Feelies
- Albums that didn't make our top 5
- Brian: Nirvana, Late!, GBV, Ween, They Might Be Giants, Beasties, R.E.M.
- Jay: Lemonheads, Rage Against the Machine, Sloan, Neil Young, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees
- Tom Scharpling does the best version of "Killing in the Name Of"
- Jay: Saw Alice in Chains at a small Boston club in late '92
- Automatic for the People was the last great R.E.M. album
- To be continued

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, November 27, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #106: November 27, 2015

Watching television is as much of a modern Thanksgiving tradition as any of the other Turkey Day standbys. Who among us on Thanksgiving or the day after hasn't ended up a motionless, drowsy blob on the couch for hours on end watching movies, sports, parades or pretty much anything else? This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about TV in hour 2. So sit back and enjoy as the tryptophan flows through your veins.



The playlist is heeeerrrre:

Artist - Song/Album
Stove - Ex-Punk/Is Stupider
Beach Slang -  Young & Alive/The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us
Royal Headache - Carolina/High
Idle Bloom - No Body/No Control - Some Paranoia
The Spook School - Friday Night/Try to Be Hopeful
Swings - Sea/Sugarwater
Maszer - Fata Mirage/Single
Future Punx - Post-Wave/This is Post-Wave
!!! - Lucy Mongoosey/As If
Eagles of Death Metal - Save a Prayer/Zipper Down
The Foetals - Malted/Meet the Foetals
Protomartyr - Pontiac 87/The Agent Intellect
Faith No More - Cone of Shame/Sol Invictus
SIMO - Long May You Sail/Let Love Show the Way
Infinity Girl - Blood and Dirt/Stop Being on My Side
The Ocean Blue - Between Something and Nothing/The Ocean Blue

Hour 2: TV
Colleen Green - TV/I Want to Grow Up
Naomi Punk - Television Man/Television Man
Sports - Reality TV/All of Something
Titus Andronicus - Anxiety Block/Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape, Volume 1
The Stooges - TV Eye/Fun House
Black Flag - TV Party/Damaged
The Germs - Media Blitz/ (GI)
Minutemen - There Ain't Shit on TV Tonight/Double Nickels on the Dime
Bad Religion - Television/Stranger Than Fiction
The Nation of Ulysses - Channel One Ulysses/13-Point Program to Destroy America
Public Enemy - She Watch Channel Zero?!/It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Colour Television/Primary Colours
Mission of Burma - Second Television/Unsound
Lou Reed - Video Violence/Mistrial
Matthew Sweet - Does She Talk?/Girlfriend
Cheap Trick - The Ballad of TV Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)/Cheap Trick



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 399: Reeling in the Years, 1992 (Part 1)

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1992. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 
Show notes:
- Recorded via Skype
- In '92, Brian turned 10 and Jay turned 25
- Hot 100 chart had a lot of pop, R&B, some hip hop
- But alternative rock was booming
- "Baby Got Back" was #2 song of the year
- Clapton's Unplugged album was huge
- The greatness of early Dire Straits
- Pat Smear in the Chili Peppers?
- The evolution of Guns 'N Roses
- Axl's vampire voice
- Labels got rid of the CD longbox
- Once it was about hifi, now nobody cares about audio quality
- Big year for rock weddings
- Concert for Life paid tribute to the late Freddie Mercury
- Wayne's World appealed to both of us for different reasons
- Hair metal died in the U.S. but remained huge in Europe
- Montreal fans rioted because of Axl's antics
- Arena shows were de rigeur in the '70s and '80s
- Bands play much smaller venues now
- To be continued

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, November 20, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #105: November 20, 2015

After the events that occurred last Friday in Paris, music fans needed to vent. I know I did. So on this week's Stuck In Thee Garage, I played new rock but also an hour of songs that displayed the power of rock in hour 2. Music should be cathartic. Just ask this guy:



The Rage in the Cage playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Eagles of Death Metal - Complexity/Zipper Down
Titus Andronicus - Fired Up/The Most Lamentable Tragedy
The Beastie Boys - Pass the Mic/Check Your Head
Palm - Crank/Trading Basics
Sally Crewe - The Payback/Later Than You Think
Talk in Tongues - She Lives in My House/Alone With a Friend
Red Red Meat - Flank/Jimmywine Majestic reissue
Destroyer - Hell/Poison Season
Nosferatu D2 - A Man at War With Himself/Older, Sadder, Wiser
Los Colognes - All That You Know/Dos
Donovan Wolfington - Manchac/How to Treat the Ones You Love
Sports - The Washing Machine/All of Something
Pinecones - The Love Song/Sings for You Now
METZ - Wait in Line/II
Big Chief - All Downhill from Here/Platinum Jive
Helmet - Rollo/Betty
Motorhead - The Hammer/Ace of Spades

Hour 2: The power of rock
Grinderman - Get It On/Grinderman
The Afghan Whigs - Honky's Ladder/Black Love
Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil/Shout at the Devil
The Upper Crust - Rabble Rouser/The Decline and Fall of the Upper Crust
Thin Lizzy - Fighting My Way Back/Fighting
Mudhoney - Douchebags on Parade/Vanishing Point
Mission of Burma - So Fuck It/The Sound The Speed The Light
New Bomb Turks - Bullish on Bullshit/Information Highway Revisited
PJ Harvey - Who the Fuck?/Uh Huh Her
Descendents - Everything Sux/Everything Sucks
Public Enemy - Rebel Without a Pause/It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Run DMC - King of Rock/King of Rock
AC/DC - Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution/Back in Black
Drive-By Truckers - Let There Be Rock/Southern Rock Opera
The Cult - Bad Fun/Electric
The Who - Long Live Rock/Odds & Sods





Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 398: All Over But the Shouting

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

Show notes:
- Order Matt's book The Entropy of Everything: The Indestructibles Book 3
- Don't get sick!
- Studies can be scary
- Apply some logic when reading studies
- People live in fear of everything
- We love to get worked up about studies
- Studies with no research on long-term effects
- Studies seem to have lost all value
- Outrage only lasts for about a week and we move on
- Nobody wants to take the time to verify
- Are cell phones dangerous? Let's hope not
- Studies: Everything gives you cancer
- We're all gonna die!
- Only thing Wall-e got wrong was everyone was happy
- Pixar wants to make you sad
- Near-death running experiences

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, November 13, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #104: November 13, 2015

It's a dark time right now, what with the terrorist attacks in Paris that went down a few hours ago, including a shocking hostage situation/massacre at an Eagles of Death Metal show. In times like these, it's tempting to stop all types of mundane everyday activities and focus on the horror and shock unfolding. But dammit, we have to carry on.

With that in mind, here's the playlist and recording of the Stuck In Thee Garage episode that aired earlier today on BFF.fm. Hour 2 featured songs about movies. If nothing else, music, like movies, can help us escape the reality of horrific situations like these, even if it's just for a little while.


Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Palm - Egg in a Frame/Trading Basics
Swings - Dust/Sugarwater
Mike Krol - Left Out (Attn: SoCal Garage Rockers)/Turkey
Rodents - Calm Down/The Hand Cut Record Club
The Spook School - Richard and Judy/Try to Be Hopeful
Worriers - They/Them/Theirs - Imaginary Life
Broken Gold - Turning Blue/Turning Blue EP
The Foxymorons - Permanent Frown/Fake Yoga
The Dead Weather - I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)/Dodge & Burn
Think No Think - 432 Dreams/432 Dreams
All Them Witches - Dirt Preachers/Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
Pink Mountaintops x White Lung - Chinese Watermelon/CONS EP Vol. 3
Trashlord - Cones of Dunshire/Strange Mangers-Trashlord split
Lou Barlow - Redeemed/Brace the Wave
Ringo Deathstarr - Heart and Soul/Single
Moving Panoramas - Tonight/One
Poster Children - Jeremy Straight/Toreador Squat (Re-remaster)

Hour 2: Songs about movies
Sloan - Set in Motion/Never Hear the End of It
They Might Be Giants - Road Movie to Berlin/Flood Live in Australia
St. Vincent - Actor Out of Work/Actor
Thrush Hermit - From the Back of the Film/Clayton Park
Two Inch Astronauts - Cigarettes, Boys, and Movies/Foulbrood
Frank Black - Two Reelers/Teenager of the Year
Hallelujah the Hills - Home Movies/Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe/The Stage Names
Jason Isbell - Brand New Kind of Actress/Sirens of the Ditch
David Bowie - Cracked Actor/Aladdin Sane
Van Halen - Dirty Movies/Fair Warning
Ozzy Osbourne - No Bone Movies/Blizzard of Ozz
Gary Numan - Films/The Pleasure Principle
Beck - Movie Theme/The Information
The Gaslight Anthem - Film Noir/The '59 Sound
The Hold Steady - Slapped Actress/Stay Positive


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 397: Recent Studies Show...

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

Show notes:
- Order Matt's book The Entropy of Everything: The Indestructibles Book 3
- Surviving Halloween in Salem
- Endless barrage of studies
- You can find a study to prove just about any point
- Pick and choose the result you want
- Going down the WebMD wormhole
- Studies get picked up by mass media
- People don't verify the research, just pass it on
- Morning TV shows are an empty void
- Recent study says processed meat causes cancer
- The research-industrial complex
- Watch out for Big Vegetable
- The folly of the Farmer's Almanac
- The influence of pharma companies on research studies
- Too much TV as a child dident make us dumm
- Rarely watch TV now without social media interruptions
- Studies don't necessarily change behavior
- To be continued

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, November 06, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #103: November 6, 2015

One great thing about living in the Boston area is the local music scene. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played music from Boston artists in hour 2. It was a wicked pissah.

But best not to bother this guy.



The Depp-approved (not really) playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Eleanor Friedberger - False Alphabet City/False Alphabet City
Wolf Alice - Giant Peach/Live at SXSW 2015
Beach House - One Thing/Thank Your Lucky Stars
Protomartyr - Cowards Starve/The Agent Intellect
Nosferatu D2 - The Kids From 'Fame'/Older, Wiser, Sadder
Strange Mangers - Lurker/Trashlord Split
Trashlord - Empty Cloud/Trashlord Split
Froth - Postcard Radio/Bleak
Tim Foljahn - Plain as Day/Fucking Love Songs
Beeef - Down/A Beeef EP
Timmy's Organism - Get Up, Get Out/Heartless Heathen
Viet Cong - Newspaper Spoons/Viet Cong
Ty Segall - The Feels/Manipulator
Sleater-Kinney - Fade/No Cities to Love
Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World/The Physical World

Hour 2: Boston
The Cars - Touch and Go/Panorama
Mission of Burma - Fame and Fortune/Signals, Calls and Marches
Bullet Lavolta - Between the Lines/Swandive
Buffalo Tom - Suppose/Big Red Letter Day
Orbit - Wake Up/Libido Speedway
Swirlies - Tree Chopped Down/Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - Turn Your Damper Down/Dig Thy Savage Soul
The Sheila Divine - The Innocents/Single
Hallelujah the Hills - Try This Instead/Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
Mean Creek - My Madeline/Local Losers
Palehound - Easy/Dry Food
Speedy Ortiz - Dvrk Wvrld/Foil Deer
Eddie Japan - Fight Song/Keep Safe Boston 2014 for Planned Parenthood
Pile - Baby Boy/Dripping
Soccer Mom - It's Probably Not Your Fault/Soccer Mom
The Freeze - This is Boston, Not LA/Token Bones



Friday, October 30, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #102: October 30, 2015

Halloween's always a fun time of year, at least if you're into scary stuff and costumes and all that. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I play a full two hours of music for the occasion. There's some scary stuff, some creepy stuff, some quiet stuff...but it's all good.



The Igor-approved playlist:


Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath/Black Sabbath
Bloodrock - D.O.A./Bloodrock 2
Lou Reed - Kill Your Sons/Sally Can't Dance
The Kinks - Killer's Eyes/Give the People What They Want
Radiohead - Bodysnatchers/In Rainbows
The Hives - Die, All Right!/Veni Vidi Vicious
Desert Sessions - Dead in Love/The Desert Sessions Vol. 9 and 10
Misfits - 20 Eyes/Walk Among Us
Eagles of Death Metal - Kiss the Devil/Peace Love Death Metal
Blue Oyster Cult - Hot Rails to Hell/Tyranny and Mutation
Primus - Bob/Pork Soda
The Horrors - Jack the Ripper/Strange House
Alien Sex Fiend - Now I'm Feeling Zombified/Curse

Hour 2
Spoon - The Ghost of You Lingers/ Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Paul Westerberg - Ghost on the Canvas/PW & the Ghost Glove Cat Wings Joy Boys
Rival Schools - The Ghost is Out There/Pedals
Sonic Youth - Ghost Bitch/Bad Moon Rising
Alice in Chains - Them Bones/Dirt
House of Pain/Helmet - Just Another Victim/Judgment Night soundtrack
Faith No More/Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. - Another Body Murdered/Judgment Night soundtrack
Mastodon - Halloween/Once More 'Round the Sun
Metallica - Creeping Death/Live in Toulouse, France 11/22/84
Violent Femmes - Country Death Song/Hallowed Ground
Johnny Foreigner - Eyes Wide Terrified/Waited Up 'Til It Was Light
Joseph Arthur - Killer's Knife/Crazy Rain
Black Francis - When They Come to Murder Me/Svn Fingers
The Police - Murder by Numbers/Synchronicity
Jarvis Cocker - This is the Night/Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire soundtrack

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 396: Movin' and Groovin'

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Mike Heyliger as we discuss the trials and tribulations of moving. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").
 

Show notes:
- Check out Mike's blog Popblerd and his podcast Blerd Radio
- Jay: Haven't moved since 2000, but moved a lot in the '80s and '90s
- TVs used to be a lot bigger and heavier
- People used to always move around September 1
- Jay: Used to borrow the newspaper delivery van for moves
- Mike: Upcoming move back to New York will be like going to a different place
- Narrowed list down to a handful of cities to settle down in
- Mike: Currently conveniently located near Boston-area clubs
- Watertown is a quiet community, but Boston Marathon bomber was caught there
- Tough times for journalism majors
- Mike: Took a while to get used to earlier Boston closing times
- It's easier to stay out super late when you're younger
- Drunken work parties are always interesting
- You don't want to be the drunk one
- Alcohol-fueled fun can lead to awkwardness at work
- Mike: Been working from home for several years
- Looking forward to separating work from home life
- It's tough being the person on the other end of the speaker phone
- Mike: New office will have an open floor plan
- You have to be conscious of people around you in an open office

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.