Friday, January 30, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #67: January 30, 2015

This has actually been a mild winter, but you wouldn't know it from the onslaught of snow we got this week. Thirty inches of snow is enough to make you want to get away to somewhere warm. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played an hour of songs for getting away from the cold.

The abominable playlist:

Hour 1 
Artist - Song/Album
Girlpool - Alone at the Show/The Le Sigh, Vol. 2
Erase Errata - Watch Your Language/Lost Weekend
Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love/No Cities to Love
The Joy Formidable - A Heavy Abacus/The Big Roar
Cult of Youth - God's Garden/Final Days
The Weather - 1983/Waters Electric
Ultimate Painting - Central Park Blues/Ultimate Painting
Stag - She Plus Me/Temporary Machines
Young Adults - Void/Old Kids-Void
Kal Marks - Where a River Starts and Ends/Life is Murder
Les Savy Fav - Rage in the Plague Age/Let's Stay Friends
Future of the Left - Plague of Onces/Curses!
Run the Jewels (feat. Zach de la Rocha) - Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)/RTJ2
The Tragically Hip - Blonde Solid/Unreleased
Constantines - Draw Us Lines/Tournament of Hearts
The Joel Plaskett Emergency - Written All Over Me/Truthfully Truthfully

Hour 2: Getaway songs
LCD Soundsystem - Time to Get Away/Sound of Silver
Joe Strummer - Island Hopping/Earthquake Weather
Shellac and David Yow - Holidays in the Sun/Halloween 1998
Max Webster - A Million Vacations/A Million Vacations
The Robot Ate Me - On Vacation/On Vacation 2
Brendan Benson - Cold Hands (Warm Heart)/The Alternative to Love
Sloan - Burn For It/Parallel Play
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Sweat/Orange
Peter Gabriel - The Rhythm of the Heat/Security
Robert Plant - Burning Down One Side/Pictures at Eleven
Eagles of Death Metal - San Berdoo Sunburn/Peace Love Death Metal
Spinal Tap - Warmer Than Hell/Back From the Dead
Motley Crue - Red Hot/Shout at the Devil
Prince - Play in the Sunshine/Sign o' the Times
Ohio Players - Fire/Fire
The Afghan Whigs - Somethin' Hot/1965

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 361: All My Friends

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

Show notes:
- Check out Matt's book, The Indestructibles: Breakout
- How friendship has changed over the years
- Rarely have long conversations with people anymore
- Jay: Have closer relationships with podcast guests than anyone else
- Matt: Internet has helped save friendships
- Letter writing is a lost art
- Email replaced letters for a while
- Fewer phone calls with friends
- Jay: Still stay in touch with certain groups of friends
- Seems like people at work go out less anymore
- Friends you've never met
- Making friends on the Interwebs
- Matt meets people through book publishing world
- Reconnecting with people from childhood can be awkward
- Losing touch with friends who aren't on social media
- Friends from different interests, jobs
- To be continued

Stag - She Plus Me
Cult of Youth - God's Garden
Young Adults - Void
Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Stag song is on the EP Temporary Machines on Pop Maelstrom. Download the song for free at KEXP.

The Cult of Youth song is on the album Final Days on Sacred Bones Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Young Adults song 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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Trust Fund Challenge #8: Hot Wheels (1969)

A little late posting this one, but it's a good 'un. In this episode of TFC, Ric and I watch a couple of old shorts from the Hot Wheels cartoon show, an actual thing that aired in the late '60s. It's a blatant toy commercial masquerading as a cartoon, but it features voice acting from the likes of Casey Kasem and a young Albert Brooks. We definitely had some fun with it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #66: January 23, 2015

It's no fun getting sick. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played an hour of music about sickness to commemorate the week of illness that ripped through my household. Fortunately, the colds have moved on, but the rock always kicks arse.

The Dr. Hibbert-prescribed playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave/No Cities to Love
Chastity Belt - Time to Go Home/Time to Go Home
Boom Said Thunder - Carnivore/Summer Twin
Krill - Peanut Butter/Krill-Ovlov-LVL UP-Radiator Hospital split 7-inch
LVL UP - Big Snow/Krill-Ovlov-LVL UP-Radiator Hospital split 7-inch
Ovlov - Ohmu Shell/Krill-Ovlov-LVL UP-Radiator Hospital split 7-inch
Radiator Hospital - Half Empty/Now & Then/Krill-Ovlov-LVL UP-Radiator Hospital split 7-inch
Swings - Phlegm/Detergent Hymns
Pile - Number One Hit Single/Magic Isn't Real
Daephne - Driving Down a Country Road Blasting Weezer/Family Vacation Demo
Nazz - Hello It's Me/Nazz
Pulp - I Love Life/The Peel Sessions
Frank Black and the Catholics - Suffering/Frank Black and the Catholics
Ween - The Mollusk/The Mollusk
Devo - Jerkin' Back and Forth/New Traditionalists
Big Chief - Map of Your Failure/Platinum Jive

Hour 2: Here comes sickness
Mudhoney - Touch Me I'm Sick/Superfuzz Bigmuff
The Monkeywrench - Call My Body Home/Clean as a Broke-Dick Dog
Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick/Era Vulgaris
The Rolling Stones - Dear Doctor/Beggars Banquet
The Black Crowes - Hotel Illness/The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Aerosmith - Sick as a Dog/Rocks
Van Halen - Somebody Get Me a Doctor/Van Halen II
Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin - Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk/Reverse Shark Attack
Gang of Four - Anthrax/Entertainment!
Metric - Sick Muse/Fantasies
Destroyer - Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever/Destroyer's Rubies
Pixies - Break My Body/Surfer Rosa
The New Pornographers - The Body Says No/Mass Romantic
Dinosaur Jr. - Feel the Pain/Without a Sound
Morgen - Welcome to the Void/Morgen


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #65: January 16, 2015

Twenty years is a long time. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, hour 2 looks back at music from 20 years ago, when "Seinfeld" and "Friends" were entrenched in the pop culture zeitgeist and the Internet was this weird thing we were all learning more about.

The "No Soup For You!" playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Two Inch Astronaut - No Feelings/Foulbrood
Restorations - Separate Songs/LP3
The Shivas - Stalking Legs/You Know What to Do
Nude Beach - For You/77
Nai Harvest - Buttercups/single
Johnny Foreigner - In Capitals/You Can Do Better
Ty Segall - The Man Man/Sleeper
Elliott Smith - Alphabet Town/Elliott Smith
The Feelies - The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness/Crazy Rhythms
Aerosmith - Lick and a Promise/Rocks
Paul and Linda McCartney - Monkberry Moon Delight/Ram
The Flaming Lips - Drug Machine/In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Jarvis Cocker - Homewrecker!/Further Complications
Art Brut - The Replacements/Art Brut vs. Satan
The Replacements - Shooting Dirty Pool/Pleased to Meet Me

Hour 2: 1995
Radiohead - Just/The Bends
Pavement - Rattled by the Rush/Wowee Zowee
The Pursuit of Happiness - No Reason/Where's the Bone
Rancid -  Time Bomb/...And Out Come the Wolves
The Muffs - Oh Nina/Blonder and Blonder
Cibo Matto - Birthday Cake/Cibo Matto EP
Urge Overkill - The Break/Exit the Dragon
Sonic Youth - Skip Tracer/Washing Machine
Chris Whitley - Din/Din of Ecstasy
Yo La Tengo - Tom Courtnay/Electr-o-Pura
Helium - Pat's Trick/The Dirt of Luck
Jennifer Trynin - Better Than Nothing/Cockamamie
Belly - Super-Connected/King
Bettie Serveert - Tomboy/Lamprey
Mike Watt - Chinese Firedrill/Ball-hog or Tugboat?
The Amps - Tipp City/Pacer
PJ Harvey - Meet Ze Monsta/To Bring You My Love

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 360: Reeling in the Years, 1988 (Part 3)

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1988. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded before Thanksgiving via Skype
- Check out Brian's radio show Unsolicited Mixtape
- Jay's #4
- The Pursuit of Happiness combined hard rock crunch with girl group harmonies
- Brian's #3
- Skipping a day of college to see TMBG in Cleveland
- Jay's #3
- Public Enemy scared white people
- Brian's #2
- The Lounge Lizards were punk rockers who played weird jazz
- Jay's #2 and Brian's #1
- First full-length from the Pixies
- Jay's #1
- Jane's Addiction straddled the line between hard rock and alternative
- Brian: Able to look back at these years without emotion
- Next up: 1993

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

Restorations - Separate Songs
The Shivas - Stalking Legs
Nai Harvest - Buttercups

The Restorations song is on the album LP3 on SideOne Dummy Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Shivas song is on the album You Know What to Do on K Records. Download the song for free at KEXP.

The Nai Harvest song is a single 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.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


The definition of friendship has evolved over the years, and not just in the way it does when one moves into adulthood and tends to spend more time with family. As we get older, we certainly find we have less time to spend just hanging out with our friends, whether it's because of family responsibilities, work or just plain laziness.

But social media has also allowed us to stretch that definition to places it has never gone before. While we may have more "friends" than ever in the digital sense, we've become increasingly more isolated to the point where we may never see those we consider our best friends in a calendar year, even though we only live a few miles away from each other. And if the friend in question isn't on social media, forget about it; out of sight, out of mind takes on a whole new meaning when someone isn't on Facebook.

For years after graduating from college, I made genuine attempts to get together with my closest friends at least a few times a year. That got harder to do as people started families or moved further away. Starting in the late '90s, email became a good way to stay in touch with friends and about a decade later, most of us (but not all of us) ended up on Facebook. Unfortunately, all these great communication tools don't necessary translate into closer friendships. It's more like base maintenance: checking in periodically for status updates.

Fast forward to now: Getting together with old friends happens less often. It really takes an effort to organize a gathering. And they still happen from time to time, usually in the form of family-oriented cookouts or house parties. Sometimes there are group meet-ups at bars or restaurants with former co-workers or other friends. But more often than not, we've all become homebodies, and for good reason.

Of course, friendship takes on many forms. I have a fair number of friends I've met via social media, whether through following them on their podcasts or blogs or just meeting them through mutual friends on Facebook or Twitter. Some I've met in person, some I haven't. In some cases, I have more contact with them than I do with some of my oldest friends.

Often I feel as though I could do more to stay in better touch with my friends, but it's hard. And I try not to beat myself up about it, because it's not like they're calling me, either. I guess all we can do is just keep trying.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #64: January 9, 2015

This week's Stuck In Thee Garage featured a pretty diverse array of music, both in hour 1 and in the collection of songs about loneliness in hour 2. It can't always be uptempo, fun stuff, y'know.

Here's the playlist, little buddy:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Flight of the Conchords - Business Time/The Distant Future
Greg Dulli - Paper Thin Hotel/Old Ideas With New Friends
Murder Vibes - Not Alone Tonight/Murder Vibes
Thom Yorke - youwouldn'tlikemewheni'mangry/single
Mondo Generator - Mental Hell/Dead Planet
Rollins Band - Tearing/The End of Silence
Glenn Danzig and the Power and Fury Orchestra - You & Me (Less Than Zero)/Less Than Zero soundtrack
The Riverboat Gamblers - Hey! Hey! Hey!/Something to Crow About
My Goodness - Cold Feet Killer/Shiver + Shake
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Colleen/Living With the Living
Hoodoo Gurus - Tojo/Stoneage Romeos
Curve - Horror Head/Doppelganger
Pavement - Unseen Power of the Picket Fence/No Alternative
Flake Music - Spanway Hits/When You Land Here, It's Time to Return
Superchunk - I Guess I Remembered It Wrong/On the Mouth

Hour 2: Songs about loneliness
Matthew Sweet - Sick of Myself/100% Fun
The Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely/Sucking Wax
The Smiths - Unlovable/Louder Than Bombs
Craig Wedren - Alone in Love/Lapland
Drive-By Truckers - Goddamn Lonely Love/The Dirty South
The Smithereens - Blue Period/11
Jesse Malin and St. Marks Social - Lonely at Heart/Love It to Life
Eagles of Death Metal - How Can a Man With So Many Friends Feel So All Alone/Heart On
Guided by Voices - I am a Scientist/Live at Threadwaxing Space, NYC, 6/25/94
New York Dolls - Lonely Planet Boy/New York Dolls
Peter Gabriel - I Don't Remember/Melt
Rush - Subdivisions/Signals
The New Pornographers - Adventures in Solitude/Challengers
The Raveonettes - Dead Sound/Lust Lust Lust
AC/DC - Ride On/Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Completely Conspicuous 359: Reeling in the Years, 1988 (Part 2)

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1988. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:
- Recorded before Thanksgiving via Skype
- Check out Brian's radio show Unsolicited Mixtape
- Elton John had another crappy comeback
- Bands formed in '88: Bad English, Breeders, GVSB, NIN, Jawbreaker, Mudhoney
- Bands that broke up: The Cars, Grim Reaper, Loverboy, Plasmatics
- Our honorable mentions
- Brian: Talking Heads' Naked featured Johnny Marr on guitar
- Jay: First got into Camper Van Beethoven with Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
- Prince had Lovesexy out, taking the place of the Black Album
- Cowboy Junkies scored a big hit with cover of "Sweet Jane"
- Jay: HMs include Smithereens, Soundgarden, Keith Richards, B.A.D., Run DMC, Waterboys, Sonic Youth, Living Colour, Metallica, Plant, Church
- Brian had a substitute teacher who sang the praises of Queensryche
- Brian's #5
- CDs led to longer album run times in late '80s
- Jay's #5
- Dino Jr. toured behind Bug a few years ago
- Brian's #4
- Leonard Cohen discovers synths
- Comparable to Destroyer's Kaputt
- To be continued

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

Flake Music - Spanway Hits
Wanted Man - Pardon Me If I Stare
My Goodness - Cold Feet Killer

The Flake Music song is on the reissue of the band's 1997 album When You Land Here, It's Time to Return on Sub Pop. Download the song for free at KEXP.
The Wanted Man song is on the band's self-titled EP, which is available for free on Bandcamp.

The My Goodness song is on the album Shiver + Shake on Votiv Music. Download the song for free for a limited time at 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, January 04, 2015

Do It

It's a new year. As always, I make the same resolutions of self-improvement: Get in better shape, play more guitar, write more, etc. I don't always follow through, but I try.

This year, I'm going to try a few different things. I'm hoping to lose 15-20 pounds because I stopped running a few weeks ago to stop damaging my injured heels, and I've been indulging in holiday snacks and beer on the regular. I need to do some kind of physical therapy to get back to running in the spring, but I haven't figured out exactly what yet.

I had been taking guitar lessons with a local guy for parts of the last two years and had to stop in September because my schedule was just too damn busy. Need to get back at it, but I'm going to try to do it on my own just because there's too much going on. I learned a bunch of riffs from songs over the last few years; I'd like to improve my technique.

I had lots of good ideas last year for blog posts that never materialized because I was too busy with other things: podcast, radio show, running column, coaching soccer, watching sports, going to concerts, spending time with my family, etc. Most of my blog posts were show notes posts about the podcast and radio show, or concert reviews. I want to produce more writing specifically for this blog. I was inspired by listening to an interview Marc Maron did on the WTF podcast with longtime Letterman staff writer/novelist Bill Scheft, specifically talking about his writing process. He mentioned a book called The Artist's Way that encouraged writers to do "morning pages," which basically involves starting each day by writing something; the site 750 Words explains the principle. I realize it's not going to be possible to do it every morning or even every day, but I want to write more essay-type posts about a variety of topics, so I'm going at the very least start some blog posts every morning, even if I need to finish them later. I've got ideas already, so there's no excuse not to do it other than laziness.

It's so easy to have ideas and not follow through on them. As recently as November, when National Novel Writing Month was going on, I signed up to try and do it again and didn't even get one day's worth of writing done. It's about being organized and efficient, but a lot of times it just involves kicking yourself in the butt and doing something. 


Friday, January 02, 2015

Stuck In Thee Garage #63: January 2, 2015

Sure, 2014 was in many ways a flaming bag of dog doo, but I've got no complaints about the rock music that emerged last year. Today on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played two hours of the best rock of the year.

It was a stone groove, my man.

The Merry New Year! playlist:

Artist - Song/Album
Speedy Ortiz - American Horror/Real Hair EP
Soccer Mom - Orejas/Soccer Mom
Two Inch Astronaut - Foulbrood/Foulbrood
Krill - Turd/Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears EP
King Tuff - Headbanger/Black Moon Spell
Mastodon - High Road/Once More 'Round the Sun
Death From Above 1979 - Right On, Frankenstein!/The Physical World
The New Pornographers - War on the East Coast/Brill Bruisers
Sloan - Keep Swinging (Downtown)/Commonwealth
The Hush Now - Panda/Sparkle Drive
Gold-Bears - From Tallahassee to Gainesville/Dalliance
Broncho - What/Just Enough Hip to Be Woman
Ryan Adams - When the Summer Ends/Paxam Singles Series Vol. 1
Against Me! - Dead Friend/Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Cloud Nothings - Psychic Trauma/Here and Nowhere Else
Stickers - Outlet/Swollen
Big Ups - Fresh Meat/Eighteen Hours of Static
Spoon - Rent I Pay/They Want My Soul
Ava Luna - Daydream/Electric Balloon
Damaged Bug - Photograph/Hubba Bubba
Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal/Sunbathing Animal
Radiator Hospital - Five & Dime/Torch Song
Johnny Foreigner - Le Schwing/You Can Do Better
Ty Segall - Feel/Manipulator
Gord Downie and the Sadies - Crater/And the Conquering Sun
Young Adults - Old Kids/Old Kids-Void
The Afghan Whigs - Parked Outside/Do to the Beast
Bob Mould - The War/Beauty & Ruin
Benjamin Booker - Wicked Waters/Benjamin Booker
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - J Smoov/Wig Out at Jagbags
The War on Drugs - Red Eyes/Lost in the Dream
Hallelujah the Hills - Pick Up and Old Phone/Have You Ever Done Something Evil?