Friday, September 22, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #192: September 22, 2017

Weather can be pretty unpredictable in general, but lately things have been pretty crazy. Hurricanes have been pounding the hell out of the Caribbean, Texas and Florida; earthquakes have been slamming Mexico and extremely dry conditions out West have led to some scary forest fires. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about stormy weather in hour 2. It's okay, though. I don't think the heavy stuff's coming down for quite a while.

This playlist is having the game of its life:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Washer - Tooth & Fist/All Aboard
Gold Class - Twist in the Dark/Drum
A Giant Dog - Angst in My Pants/Toy
Infinity Girl - Don't Believe/Somewhere Nice, Someday
Deer Tick - Don't Hurt/Deer Tick, Vol. 2
Noah Gunderson - The Sound/White Noise
Ted Leo - Run to the City/The Hanged Man
Death From Above - Statues/Outrage! Is Now
Dead Stars - Friends/Perfect Patterns
Male Gaze - Wha Do Wha Do/Miss Taken
Beaches - When You're Gone/Second of Spring
The Feelies - Been Replaced/In Between
Guided By Voices - Paper Cutz/How Do You Spell Heaven?
Living Colour - Always Wrong/Shade
At the Drive-In - Pendulum in a Peasant Dress/inter-alia
Queens of the Stone Age - Head Like a Haunted House/Villains

Hour 2: Stormy
Minutemen - Storm in My House/Double Nickels on the Dime
Mission of Burma - Weatherbox/Vs.
Pixies - Stormy Weather/Bossanova
Pavement - Rain Ammunition/Peel Session 12/16/92
A.C. Newman - Thunderbolts/Get Guilty
Dinosaur Jr. - Pierce the Morning Rain/I Bet on Sky
Ava Luna - Hurricane/Takamatsu Station
The Wildhearts - Stormy in the North, Karma in the South/Riff After Riff
Black Mountain - Stormy High/In the Future
The Replacements - Dose of Thunder/Tim
The Cult - Rain/Love
Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning/Thunder and Lightning 
The Police - Shadows in the Rain/Zenyatta Mondatta
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand the Weather/Couldn't Stand the Weather
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Like a Hurricane/Live at Fukuoka 3/8/76


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #191: September 15, 2017

Persistence can be good or bad depending on how you use it. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about persistence in hour that was good. Maybe not as good the persistence of getting a robot butler to serve you beers on the regular, but still pretty damn good.

The bleep blorpity playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Infinity Girl - The Winner Always Talks/Somewhere Nice, Someday
Ted Leo - Moon Out of Phase/The Hanged Man
Dead Stars - Happy or Sad/Perfect Patterns
Death From Above - Never Swim Alone/Outrage! Is Now
Oh Sees - The Static God/Orc
Rainer Maria - Possession/Rainer Maria
Palehound - Room/A Place I'll Always Go
Maneka - Tiger Baby (feat. Jordyn Blakely)/Is You Is
Darto - Character Study/Human Giving
A Giant Dog - Bend Over/Toy
Great Grandpa - Pardon My Speech/Plastic Cough
The Stevens - My New Hideout/Good
Jen Cloher - Strong Woman/Jen Cloher
The National - Turtleneck/Sleep Well Beast
The Afghan Whigs - The Spell/In Spades
The War on Drugs - Holding On/A Deeper Understanding

Hour 2: Persistence
David Bowie - Boys Keep Swinging/Lodger
Sloan - Keep Swinging (Downtown)/Commonwealth
Bleached - Keep On Keepin' On/Welcome the Worms
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me/Rid of Me
Eddie Kendricks - Keep on Truckin' (Part 1)/Eddie Kendricks
The Night Marchers - And I Keep Holding On/See You in Magic
The Afghan Whigs - I Keep Coming Back/Gentlemen
Max Webster - Drive and Desire/Universal Juveniles
Led Zeppelin - I Can't Quit You Baby/Led Zeppelin
Queens of the Stone Age - You Can't Quit Me Baby/Queens of the Stone Age
OFF! - I Need One (I Want One)/OFF!
Husker Du - Keep Hanging On/Flip Your Wig
Bob Mould - Keep Believing/Silver Age
AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n Roll)/T.N.T.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #190: September 8, 2017

Birthdays are things to be savored. In the case of Stuck In Thee Garage, today's episode marked the fourth birthday of the show and of, the station that has hosted it. Thanks to Amanda and Forrest Guest, the masterminds behind BFF, for their perseverance and drive to make the station the success it has become. I love doing the show every week.

I celebrated with the traditional birthday meal:

The jerky playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Ted Leo - The Future (Is Learning To...)/The Hanged Man
Wolf Parade - You're Dreaming/Cry Cry Cry
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Over Everything/Lotta Sea Lice
Death From Above - Holy Books/Outrage! Is Now
Oh Sees - Animated Violence/Orc
METZ - Mess of Wires/Strange Peace
A Giant Dog - Photograph/Toy
Cults - I Took Your Picture/Offering
Loud Sun - Teen Pyramids/Sea Grave
Queens of the Stone Age - The Evil Has Landed/Villains
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Cure for Death/The Echo of Pleasure
EMA - Down and Out/Exile in the Outer Ring
Kevin Morby - City Music/City Music

Hour 2: Four
Mondo Generator - Four Corners/A Drug Problem That Never Existed
Nine Inch Nails - The Four of Us Are Dying/The Slip
Temple of the Dog - Four Walled World/Temple of the Dog
Titus Andronicus - Four Score and Seven Part One/The Monitor
Bright Eyes - Four Winds/Four Winds EP
Drive-By Truckers - The Fourth Night of My Drinking/The Big To-Do
The New Pornographers - Three or Four/Twin Cinema
Los Campesinos! - Here's to the Fourth Time/Sick Scenes
The Tragically Hip -  Toronto #4/Music @ Work
Okkervil River - The Next Four Months/Black Sheep Boy
De La Soul - 4 More (feat. Zhane)/Stakes is High
The Blood Brothers - 1, 2, 3, 4 Guitars/Young Machetes
Rollins Band - Volume 4/Weight

Friday, September 01, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #189: September 1, 2017

Australia may be half a world away (or more), but it's made a major impact on the world of rock music. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs from Australian artists in hour 2. It's better than a bloomin' onion.

This playlist is back in black:

Hour 1:
Artist - Song/Album
Dead Stars - Smarter/Perfect Patterns
METZ - Drained Lake/Strange Peace
Queens of the Stone Age - Feet Don't Fail Me Now/Villains
A Giant Dog - Fake Plastic Trees/Toy
EMA - I Wanna Destroy/Exile in the Outer Ring
Warm Digits - Growth of Raindrops (feat. Sarah Cracknell)/Wireless World
Current Swell - It Ain't Right/When to Talk and When to Listen
Gibraltar - Cold/Let's Get Beautiful
Fotoform - I Know You're Charming/Fotoform
Maneka - My Boy Seth (feat. Sam Rosenberg)/Is You Is
The Stevens - Thristy Eye/Good
Great Grandpa - Expert Eraser/Plastic Cough
The War on Drugs - Nothing to Find/A Deeper Understanding
Broken Social Scene - Skyline/Hug of Thunder
Darto - I Am/Human Giving

Hour 2: Oz
AC/DC - Dog Eat Dog/Let There Be Rock
The Angels - Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again/The Angels
Hoodoo Gurus - Tojo/Stoneage Romeos
Split Enz - I Got You/True Colours
Radio Birdman - We've Come So Far (To Be Here Today)/Zeno Beach
Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning/Diesel and Dust
The Saints - No Time/(I'm) Stranded
Grinderman - Love Bomb/Grinderman
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand/Let Love In
The Church - The Unguarded Moment/The Church
The Living End - Long Live the Weekend/State of Emergency
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - I Don't Wanna Play No More/Primary Colours
Courtney Barnett - Dead Fox/Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Tame Impala - The Moment/Currents
Beaches - Bronze Age Babies/Second of Spring

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Forget That You're Young

Oh, hi there. It's been a while. I always get great ideas for posts and then I see a shiny object and suddenly, it's two weeks later. I've definitely been meaning to write a post about the great European vacation we took this summer, but wanted to get some photos ready and know. Anyhoo, there I was today minding my own business and sifting through the mail when I saw something addressed to me that said it had a card enclosed. Figuring it was some sort of credit card offer, I opened it out of curiosity and pulled out this abomination:

The dreaded AARP card! It didn't come out of the blue. I'm three weeks away from the big 5-0 and I knew someday they'd start hitting me up to join. Still, it was a bit jarring to hold it in my hand. I mean, I'm not looking for senior discounts just yet. I know life is flying by as I see my girls get older and I notice my body getting creakier. But that doesn't mean I'm giving in to age just yet. I'm still running and working out and playing hockey and listening to the rock music and doing all the other stuff I've been doing for the last few decades. I don't need to certify my geezerdom by joining an association, especially one that my mom is an active member of.

And besides, I've got three whole weeks of my 40s left. Back off, oldsters! I've gotta live my life, which means doing stuff that those AARP buzzards wouldn't dream of, like cliff diving and mountain climbing and running with the bulls. But first, I need to get some sleep. Yeah.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #188: August 25, 2017

Saying goodbye is never easy, but goodbyes can inspire plenty of art. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about goodbyes in hour 2.

This playlist should live long and prosper:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Ted Leo - You're Like Me/The Hanged Man
Downtown Boys - Lips That Bite/Cost of Living
Rainer Maria - Suicides and Lazy Eyes/Rainer Maria
The Church - Another Century/Man Woman Life Death Infinity
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Falling Apart So Slow/The Echo of Pleasure
Oh Sees - Jettison/Orc
Mark Lanegan Band - Beehive/Gargoyle
Beaches - September/Second of Spring
She Sir - Mirror, No (We're the Same)/Rival Island
Nine Inch Nails - The Lovers/Add Violence
Male Gaze - African Ripoff/Miss Taken
At the Drive-In - Continuum/inter-alia
Black Lips - We Know/Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?
Lo Tom - Covered Wagon/Lo Tom

Hour 2: Goodbye
Split Single - Last Goodbye/Fragmented World
Drive-By Truckers - Goodbye/A Blessing and a Curse
The Black Crowes - Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye/The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Mexican Slang - Goodbye/Demon
Tom Vek - I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes/We Have Sound
Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye/Grace
Soul Asylum - Endless Farewell/Hang Time
O Positive - Say Goodbye/Only Breathing-Cloud Factory
Ty Segall - Wave Goodbye/Slaughterhouse
Ozzy Osbourne - Goodbye to Romance/Blizzard of Ozz
Grinderman - Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man/Grinderman 2
Queens of the Stone Age - Long Slow Goodbye/Lullabies to Paralyze
Van Halen - Happy Trails/Diver Down

Monday, August 21, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 473: Dig for Fire (Maiden-Zappa, Part 2)

This week, Brian Salvatore and I discuss more musical blindspots. Brian will learn about Iron Maiden while I dig into Frank Zappa. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Brian listened to Number of the Beast, Jay listened to Apostrophe
- Brian: No surprises on Number of the Beast
- Familiar with half the album
- Liked the fast and heavy stuff, not the slower songs
- Jay: This was my introduction to Maiden
- The transition to more epic material
- Ozzy transcended the metal downturn of the '90s
- The power of album covers, good and bad
- The beginning of Maiden's prime
- Jay: Apostrophe was Zappa's 18th album
- "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" was a hit
- More straightahead rock than jazz fusion
- Memorable songs: Cosmik Debris, Uncle Remus, St. Alfonzo's Pancake  Breakfast
- Zappa live albums are different experiences
- High-level playing countered by sometimes dumb lyrics
- Zappa pioneered sampling and recording techniques
- Next up: Sheik Yerbouti for Jay, Somewhere in Time for Brian

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #187: August 18, 2017

We spend much of our lives avoiding or getting stuck in various types of traps, whether they're emotional, physical or mental. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about getting trapped or stuck in hour 2.

Admiral Ackbar would approve.

The playlist lure would prove too great:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Anymore/The Echo of Pleasure
Beaches - Void/Second of Spring
Sheer Mag - Meet Me in the Street/Need to Feel Your Love
Living Colour - Come On/Shade
Sweet Spirit - Pamela/St. Mojo
Jen Cloher - Shoegazers/Jen Cloher
Benjamin Gibbard - What You Do to Me/Bandwagonesque
Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs - Tough/Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs
Daniel & the Real Feels - Wreckin'/Classic Entertainment
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires - Underneath the Sheets of White Noise/Youth Detention
Deap Vally - Grunge Bond/Femejism Unplugged
Ruby Fray - Honor/Honor
Great Grandpa - Fade/Plastic Cough
Waxahatchee - Hear You/Out In the Storm
Girlpool - Static Somewhere/Powerplant
Turtlenecked - Lepers/Lepers
Rips - Damaged/Rips
Guided By Voices - Steppenwolf Mausoleum/How Do You Spell Heaven?

Hour 2: Trapped
Swervedriver - She Weaves a Tender Trap/99th Dream
Creepers - Stuck/Lush
Bullet Lavolta - Trapdoor/The Gift
Jay Reatard - Trapped Here/Matador Singles '08
The Black Lips - Trapped in a Basement/200 Million Thousand
Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings/Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
White Reaper - Wolf Trap Hotel/White Reaper Does It Again
Craig Wedren - Stuck/Lapland
The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations/Boys and Girls in America
Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle with You/Stealers Wheel 
Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again/Blonde on Blonde
R.E.M. - (Don't Go Back to) Rockville/Reckoning
Radio Birdman - Locked Up/Zeno Beach
The Dirtbombs - They Have Us Surrounded/We Have You Surrounded
The Afghan Whigs - What Jail is Like/Gentlemen


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #186: August 11, 2017

Let's face it, there are a lot of things in this world that can stress you out, not the least of which is the possibility of global thermonuclear war. Regardless of whether you take the current back and forth between our president and the leader of North Korea seriously, the mere possibility of nuclear missiles being fired is getting plenty of people a tad nervous. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about anxiety in hour 2.

I'm sure everyone in positions of power is as level-headed as this guy:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Chelsea Wolfe - 16 Psyche/Hiss Spun
Great Grandpa - Teen Challenge/Plastic Cough
Marika Hackman - Times Been Reckless/I'm Not Your Man
Living Colour - Program/Shade
Male Gaze - All Yours/Miss Taken
Guided By Voices - The Birthday Democrats/How Do You Spell Heaven?
Lee Ranaldo - New Thing/Electric Trim
She Sir - Private Party/Rival Island
Mhostly Ghostly - Bleed Over/A Faceless Fiction
Jesse Malin - Meet Me at the End of the World/Meet Me at the End of the World
Arkells - Knocking at the Door/Morning Report
Palm - Sign to Signal/Shadow Expert
Palehound - Flowing Over/A Place I'll Always Go
Milked - Caledonia/Death on Mars
Black Lips - Can't Hold On/Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?

Hour 2: Anxiety
David Bowie - Five Years/The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds/With Teeth
Black Francis - Threshold Apprehension/Bluefinger
Titus Andronicus - Anxiety Block/Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape Vol. 1
Del Fuegos - Nervous and Shakey/The Longest Day
The Feelies - The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness/Crazy Rhythms
Peter Gabriel - Here Comes the Flood/Shaking the Tree: 16 Golden Greats
Interpol - Leif Erikson/Turn on the Bright Lights
Radiohead - Burn the Witch/A Moon Shaped Pool
Preoccupations - Anxiety/Preoccupations
VIDEO - Nothing Lasts Forever/The Entertainers
Black Beach - Nervous All the Time/Shallow Creatures
Sweethead - Mortal Panic/Mortal Panic EP
Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown/Nervous Breakdown EP
The Buzzcocks - Something's Gone Wrong Again/Singles Going Steady
The Clash - Four Horsemen/London Calling

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #185: August 4, 2017

Thirty-five years ago, the world was very different. Ronald Reagan was in his second year as president, MTV was still a fledgling cable station with a small audience and the Me Decade of the '70s had morphed into the Yuppie paradise of the '80s. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs from 1982 in hour 2. It's a pretty wide-ranging collection of songs.

From the playlists of Police Squad:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
The Afghan Whigs feat. James Hall - You Want Love/Single
Nine Inch Nails - Not Anymore/Add Violence EP
Broken Social Scene - Protest Song/Hug of Thunder
Guided By Voices - Just to Show You/How Do You Spell Heaven?
Cloud Control - Rainbow City/Single
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Altered Beast III/Murder of the Universe
Alvvays - In Undertow/Antisocialites
Jen Cloher - Forgot Myself/Jen Cloher
Moss Lime - I Always Get What I Want/Zoo Du Quebec
Ron Gallo - Put the Kids to Bed/Heavy Meta
Dead Stars - Pink Clouds/Perfect Patterns
White Reaper - Crystal Pistol/The World's Best American Band
Matthew Sweet - Trick/Live at KUTX
Lo Tom - Find the Shrine/Lo Tom
Top Down - Wanna Be Alone/Rough Roads
B Boys - Energy/Dada
Spoon - First Caress/Hot Thoughts
Chastity Belt - Used to Spend/I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone

Hour 2: 1982
Mission of Burma - Dead Pool
The Clash - Car Jamming/Combat Rock
Lou Reed - Waves of Fear/The Blue Mask
Bad Brains - Banned in DC/Bad Brains
Misfits - 20 Eyes/Walk Among Us
Motorhead - Iron Fist/Iron Fist
Robert Plant - Pledge Pin/Pictures at Eleven
Van Halen -  Hang 'Em High/Diver Down
Scorpions - Blackout/Blackout
Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Coming/Screaming for Vengeance
The Jam - Town Called Malice/The Gift
The Cure - A Short Term Effect/Pornography
INXS - Don't Change/Shabooh Shoobah
X - The Have Nots/Under the Big Black Sun
Prince - All the Critics Love U in New York/1999

Friday, August 04, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 472: Dig for Fire (Maiden-Zappa, Part 1)

This week, Brian Salvatore and I discuss more musical blindspots. Brian will learn about Iron Maiden while I dig into Frank Zappa. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Jay: Somewhat familiar with Zappa's hits and guitar work
- Intimidating catalog; more than 100 albums released
- Brian: Knew a few Maiden songs but never a fan
- Listened to 1980 self-titled debut
- Liked the faster songs and Paul Di'Anno's vocals
- Enjoyed punk-inspired energy and Steve Harris' bass
- Production sounds good
- Maiden's sound has evolved over the years
- Jay listened to Zappa's 1969 album Hot Rats
- Only one song with vocals, and those are by Captain Beefheart
- Ian Underwood is major contributor, playing all keyboards and horns
- Very different sound than Zappa had in mid- to late- '70s
- Next up: Apostrophe for Jay, The Number of the Beast for Brian

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #184: July 28, 2017

Dancing and music have been intertwined from the start. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs about dancing in hour 2. They may not make you want to do the Batusi, but they're a lot of fun.

The Jackrabbit Slim's-approved playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Broken Social Scene - Vanity Pail Kids/Hug of Thunder
Wolf Parade - Valley Boy/Cry Cry Cry
Waxahatchee - Hear You/Out in the Storm
Nine Inch Nails - Less Than/Add Violence EP
Wand - Plum/Plum
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Have a Heart/Pretty Years
Captain, We're Sinking - Trying Year/The King of No Man
Thunderpussy - Velvet Noose/Velvet Noose
Elf Power - Ten Dollars on the Ground/Twitching in Time
Lee Ranaldo - Circular (Right as Rain)/Electic Trim
Milked - Picking Up/Death on Mars
Palehound - Turning 21/A Place I'll Always Go
Land of Talk - World Made/Life After Youth
METZ - Cellophane/Strange Peace
Christian Fitness - Other Men's Wives/Slap Bass Hunks
Boss Hog - Formula X/Brood X

Hour 2: Dance, you fools
David Bowie - John, I'm Only Dancing/The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Echo & the Bunnymen - Bring On the Dancing Horses/Songs to Learn and Sing
PJ Harvey - The Dancer/To Bring You My Love
Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance/Rhythm of Youth
Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool/Sheik Yerbouti
Frank Black - Dance War/The Cult of Ray
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor/Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!/Hold On Now, Youngster
Joy Division - Transmission/Single
Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing/The Idiot
Fugazi - Last Chance for a Slow Dance/In On the Kill Taker
Pavement - We Dance/Wowee Zowee
The Rolling Stones - Shake Your Hips/Exile on Main Street
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Chicken Dog/Now I Got Worry
Kool & the Gang - Jungle Boogie/Wild and Peaceful
Ohio Players - Fire/Fire

Friday, July 21, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #183: July 21, 2017

The world of rock music is cyclical. Every so often, there's a renaissance. It happened in the early '90s and it happened again in the early '00s in New York. The book Meet Me In the Bathroom is an oral history about the scene that sparked with the rise of the Strokes, Interpol and the Rapture, among others. Today on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played music inspired by the book in hour 2.

The escape-proof playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Male Gaze - Pale Gaze/Miss Taken
Rips - Spell/Rips
Turtlenecked - Bronze Bull/Lepers
Ulrika Spacek - Full of Men/Modern English Decoration
The Suburbs - Hey Muse/Hey Muse!
Lo Tom - Pretty Cool/Lo Tom
Girlpool - Soup/Powerplant
Froth - Sensitive Girl/Outside (briefly)
She Sir - DBS/Rival Island
Benjamin Booker - Motivation/Witness
Bash & Pop - Shortcut/Anything Could Happen
The Besnard Lakes - You Make Loving Fun/Rumours Revisited: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Classic 1977 Album
Two Inch Astronaut - Name Out of Mouth/Can You Please Not Help
Ty Segall - Thank You Mr. K/Ty Segall
At the Drive-In - Hostage Stamps/inter-alia
The Afghan Whigs - Light as a Feather/In Spades

Hour 2: Meet Me in the Bathroom
The Strokes - Take It or Leave It/Is This It
Interpol - Say Hello to the Angels/Turn on the Bright Lights
The Rapture - Crimson Red/Get Myself Into It
The Ramones - 53rd & 3rd/Ramones
Beastie Boys - Sure Shot/Ill Communication
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Bellbottoms/Orange
Jonathan Fire*Eater - When the Curtain Calls for Me/Wolf Songs for Lambs
LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum/Sound of Silver
!!! - When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Karazzee/Louden Up Now
TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me/Return to Cookie Mountain
The White Stripes - Why Can't You Be Nicer to Me?/De Stijl
The Mooney Suzuki - 99%/Have Mercy
Yeah Yeah Yeah - Gold Lion/Show Your Bones
The Kills - Love is a Deserter/No Wow


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 471: Continental Divide

Another installment of Driving With Kumar as I discuss my recent European vacation. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Spent over two weeks in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin
- Went to London in '96
- Less drinking on a family vacation
- Elderly passenger in distress
- Hotel room in London was tiny
- Walked nearly 100 miles the entire trip
- Ran along rivers in the four cities we visited
- Ate a lot of pub food
- London has a lot of great history and architecture
- Paris was beautiful
- Hit the Eiffel Tower on the first night
- Major military/police presence at tourist attractions
- Several terrorist incidents before we went, but nothing happened while we were there
- Only three days of sun the whole vacation
- More daylight
- Out of the U.S. news cycle
- Being aware of your surroundings
- Wary while running in Paris and Dublin
- Missed American beer
- Visited my brother in Belfast
- Explored Northern Ireland scenic sites
- Saw several Game of Thrones filming locations
- Went to the Guinness brewery
- Wifi was at a premium
- Good to be back home

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #182: July 14, 2017

There's nothing like a few weeks away to remind you of the things you love about home. One of those things is doing Stuck In Thee Garage, and I celebrated my return to the show by playing songs about and from Europe in hour 2. I focused on London, Paris and Ireland, since those were the places we went on vacation.

The bumbling yet brilliant playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Courtney Barnett - How to Boil an Egg/2017 Split Singles Club
Buffalo Tom - The Seeker/Single
Radiohead - Man of War/OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017
Turtlenecked - Boys Club/Lepers
Male Gaze - Wha Do Wha Do/Miss Taken
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Digital Black/Murder of the Universe
Lo Tom - Lower Down/Lo Tom
Waxahatchee - Never Been Wrong/Out in the Storm
She Sir - Dark Glass Tomb/Rival Island
Palehound - If You Met Her/A Place I'll Always Go
Palm - Walnut/Shadow Expert
Milked - Oscillate/Death on Mars
B Boys - Discipline/Dada
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Cumberland Gap/The Nashville Sound
Mark Lanegan Band - Emperor/Gargoyle
Ride - All I Want/Weather Diaries

Hour 2: Europe
Destroyer - European Oils/Destroyer's Rubies
The Clash - Safe European Home/Give 'Em Enough Rope
The Clash - London Calling/London Calling
Billy Bragg - A New England/Life's a Riot with Spy vs. Spy
The Breeders - London Song/Title TK
The Libertines - Don't Look Back Into the Sun/Single
Phil Wilson - Up to London/God Bless Jim Kennedy
XTC - Towers of London/Black Sea
Maritime - Peopling of London/Human Hearts
The Walkmen - French Vacation/Everybody Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone
Husker Du - Eiffel Tower High/Candy Apple Grey
Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi/Single
The Boomtown Rats - Up All Night/Mondo Bongo
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God/If I Should Fall From Grace With God
Thin Lizzy - Roisin Dubh/Black Rose: A Rock Legend

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea

Vacations are fun, but they also present unique challenges. Exploring new places, keeping everybody happy, getting your bearings in unfamiliar situations. I'm a creature of habit, so getting out of my normal routine can be off-putting. We're in the middle of a 2 1/2-week trip to Europe, which is why there hasn't been any activity at the Blizznog lately.

We left June 25 for London, where we spent four days packed with sightseeing before taking a train to Paris. We went from a cramped budget hotel room in London to a nice AirBnB just 10 minutes from the Eiffel Tower. Today, we arrived in Lisburn, Northern Ireland to visit my brother and his wife. I'll provide deets and pics of the fun when we get back, which is July 11. The trip actually ends with a few days in Dublin. More later!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #181: June 23, 2017

We spend most of the year pining for summer to come. And then when it's here, we complain that it's too damn hot. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs for summer in hour 2. Summer is a time for adventure, like that time when you and your buddy partied with that dead dude all weekend.

Check out the playlist before rigor mortis sets in:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Queens of the Stone Age - The Way You Used to Do/Villains
The Black Angels - Currency/Death Song
B Boys - Another Thing/Dada
Superchunk - Up Against the Wall/I Got Cut
Milked - Goodbye Durango/Death on Mars
Rips - Delay/Rips
Palehound - Carnations/A Place I'll Always Go
Rainer Maria - Lower Worlds/S/T
Land of Talk - What Was I Thinking/Life After Youth
Girlpool - Kiss and Burn/Powerplant
Benjamin Booker - Off the Ground/Witness
Swet Shop Boys - Birding/Sufi La
Palm - Walkie Talkie/Shadow Expert
Lo Tom - Another Mistake/Lo Tom
Wavves - You're Welcome/You're Welcome
Mark Lanegan Band - Blue Blue Sea/Gargoyle
Chastity Belt - 5 am/I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone

Hour 2: Summah
Pavement - Summer Babe (Winter Edition)/Slanted and Enchanted
Johnny Foreigner - Feels Like Summer/Grace and the Bigger Picture
Ween - Chocolate Town/Quebec
Led Zeppelin - Tangerine/Led Zeppelin III
Max Webster - Summer's Up/Live in Ottawa 11/11/77
Blue Oyster Cult - This Ain't the Summer of Love/Agents of Fortune
The Amps - Tipp City/Pacer
Bad Brains - Sailin' On/Bad Brains
Queens of the Stone Age - Feel Good Hit of the Summer/Rated R
Art Brut - Sound of Summer/It's a Bit Complicated
Paul Weller - Roll Along Summer/As Is Now
Yo La Tengo - The Summer/Fakebook
Velvet Crush - Weird Summer/Teenage Symphonies to God
Ryan Adams - When the Summer Ends/1984 (Paxam Single Series Vol. 1)
Soul Asylum - Summer of Drugs/Sweet Relief (Benefit for Victoria Williams)
The Afghan Whigs - Summer's Kiss/Black Love
The Tragically Hip - Summer's Killing Us/In Between Evolution
Jane's Addiction - Summertime Rolls/Nothing's Shocking
Jeff Rosenstock - June 21st/WORRY.

Completely Conspicuous 470: First and Foremost

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the year so far. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- JB: The Orb released a remix EP
- JK: The prolific Ty Segall does it again
- JB: Vagabon brings fresh take to indie rock
- JK: Boss Hog's first album in 17 years
- JB: The evolving sound of Spoon
- JK: The consistently excellent New Pornographers back with another winner
- JB: Juana Molina returns with a strong, out there release
- JK: Mark Lanegan incorporates electronic music into his sound
- JB: Snowball II with a release that recalls The Lilys
- JK: Afghan Whigs release their best record since reuniting
- JB: Tommy Stinson brings back Bash & Pop with hooks galore
- JB: Slowdive's reunion album gives the people what they want

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 469: Listen Up

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the year so far. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- Plenty of great rock music, but not on the charts
- It's all about playing live; rock radio exposure is nonexistent
- Billy Squier still gets the airplay
- Nobody's figured out how to make money from streaming music
- Get pumped for Husker Du bootleg box set
- More rock deaths: Berry, Cornell, Allman, Geils
- Rise in musical activism
- Albums we want to hear
- Breitling: Ride, Palehound, Wet Trident
- Kumar: Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett, Ted Leo, Buffalo Tom, Queens of the Stone Age, Deer Tick, LCD Soundsystem
- Bubbling under albums
- Breitling: Tara Jane O'Neil, Opin, The xx
- Lubec's coming to Boston in August
- Kumar: Chastity Belt, Bash and Pop, Cloud Nothings, White Reaper, At the Drive-In, Black Lips
- Our favorite albums so far
- JB: Spirit of the Beehive combines psych and shoegaze
- JK: Run the Jewels keeps on rolling
- Zach de la Rocha's hardcore past
- JB: Yr Poetry is a Johnny Foreigner side project
- JK: Japandroids bring the rock anthems
- JB: Different sound for Pile
- JK: More anthems from Los Campesinos!
- Cello vs. violin
- 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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #180: June 16, 2017

Even though time doesn't actually move any faster than it ever did, it feels like the years are flying by. How is it possible that 2007 was an entire decade ago? It was the tail end of George W. Bush's second term as president, people still cared what Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan did and the Sopranos finale had everyone talking. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played songs from 2007 in hour 2 and the results were pretty, pretty good.

The superbad playlist:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Deer Tick - It's a Whale/Deer Tick, Volume 2
Superchunk - I Got Cut/Single
Rips - Damaged/Rips
Land of Talk - Heartcore/Life After Youth
Chastity Belt - Complain/I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone
Hovvdy - Problem/Taster
Two Inch Astronaut - Snitch Jacket/Can You Please Not Help
Lo Tom - Overboard/Overboard
Young Guv - Traumatic/Single
Neil - Not a Love Song/Black Flowers
Horse Jumper of Love - Spaceman/Horse Jumper of Love
Gothic Tropic - Major/Fast or Feast
Clustersun - Raw Nerve/Surfacing to Breathe
Christian Fitness - Footballers Have Feelings Too/Slap Bass Hunks
White Reaper - Judy French/The World's Best American Band
Boss Hog - Rodeo Chica/Brood X
Cloud Nothings - Up to the Surface/Life Without Sound

Hour 2: 2007
Radiohead - Bodysnatchers/In Rainbows
Of Montreal - Suffer for Fashion/Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Bloc Party - Hunting for Witches/A Weekend in the City
Arcade Fire - Black Mirror/Neon Bible
Grinderman - Depth Charge Ethel/Grinderman
Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick/Era Vulgaris
El-P - Flyentology/I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Modest Mouse - Dashboard/We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Marnie Stern - Vibrational Match/In Advance of the Broken Arm
Joel Plaskett Emergency - Drunk Teenagers/Ashtray Rock
Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm/Favourite Worst Nightmare
Dinosaur Jr. - Been There All the Time/Beyond
The White Stripes - Bone Broke/Icky Thump
Les Savy Fav - Pots and Pans/Let's Stay Friends
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Down Boy/Is Is
M.I.A. - Paper Planes/Kala

Friday, June 16, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 468: Dig for Fire (Ween-Sloan, part 3)

Part 3 of my conversation with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots. Brian listens to another Sloan album while I check out a third record from Ween. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
-Win-win situation
- Brian had Sloan's "The Double Cross" and Jay had Ween's "Quebec"
- Brian: My favorite of the three I listened to
- Beatles comparisons
- Brian will go back and check out rest of Sloan catalog
- No solo albums, but Murphy had TUNS project
- Jay: Really enjoyed Quebec
- Most cohesive of the three Ween albums Jay heard
- Dean and Gene were dealing with some issues
- "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" is an epic album closer
- Next up: Jay will listen to Frank Zappa and Brian will check out Iron Maiden

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 467: Dig for Fire (Ween vs. Sloan, part 2)

Part 2 of my conversation with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots. Brian listens to another Sloan album while I check out a second record from Ween. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Brian: Impressed with the progression of Sloan's sound
- Jay: Hadn't heard anything from The Mollusk previously
- Plenty of genre jumping
- Nautical theme
- Elements of prog, psych
- Brian: My favorite Ween record
- Ween varies playlists from show to show
- Brian: Between the Bridges is steeped in the '70s: Big Star, Sweet, T. Rex, Fleetwood Mac
- Interesting sequencing and flow
- Confusing the title with Between the Buttons
- Last Sloan album gave each band member a side's worth of songs
- Brian: Almost exclusively listen to albums in full
- Jay: Will listen to albums, but also use shuffle mode on iPod
- Brian: Also listen to a lot of music on Spotify
- Next up: Quebec for Jay, The Double Cross for Brian

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #179: June 2, 2017

Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega died this week at the age of 83. He was notorious as the military dictator of Panama for much of the 1980s, but when U.S. forces invaded the country and apprehended him in 1989, he holed up in the Vatican embassy. The Americans then blasted loud rock music at him for three days as part of their attempt to drive him out of the embassy. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I played music to roust a dictator with in hour 2 of the show. Things got loud.

This playlist should be cranked up to 11:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Two Inch Astronaut - Can You Please Not Help/Can You Please Not Help
Chastity Belt - Stuck/I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone
Girlpool - Sleepless/Powerplant
Black Lips - Come Ride With Me/Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?
A Tribe Called Quest - Ego/We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
Run the Jewels - Thursday in the Danger Room (feat. Kamasi Washington)/RTJ3
The New Pornographers - Clockwise/Whiteout Conditions
Spiral Stairs - The Unconditional/Doris and the Daggers
Deep State - Idiot Waster/Thought Garden
The Wedding Present - Kill Devil Hills/Going, Going...
Clustersun - Antagonize Me/Surfacing to Breathe
Froth - Briefly/Outside (briefly)
Baked - Stuck at Iron Mountain/Farnham
At the Drive-In - Tilting at the Univendor/inter-alia
Dead Moon - Walking on My Grave/What a Way to See the Old Girl Go
Mastodon - Word to the Wise/Emperor of Sand

Hour 2: Anti-Dictator Machine
Jane's Addiction - Mountain Song/Nothing's Shocking
Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Licensed to Ill
Beck - High 5 (Rock the Catskills)/Odelay
Fu Manchu - Evil Eye/The Action is Go!
Black Sabbath - Supernaut/Vol. 4
Soundgarden - Loud Love/Louder Than Love
The Stooges - T.V. Eye/Fun House
Big Chief - Locked Out/Platinum Jive
The Posies - Hate Song/Amazing Disgrace
Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights/You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
Sonic Youth - Youth Against Fascism/Dirty
Future of the Left - Arming Eritrea/Travels With Myself and Another
Funkadelic - Super Stupid/Maggot Brain
Bad Brains - Big Take Over/Big Brains
Van Halen - Atomic Punk/Van Halen

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 466: Dig for Fire (Ween vs. Sloan, part 1)

This week, Brian Salvatore and I talk about delving into the catalog of bands we don't know much about. Brian will learn about Sloan while I dig into Ween. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Each of us picks a favorite artist of the other that we don't know much about
- Jay listened to Ween's Chocolate and Cheese, Brian listened to Sloan's Twice Removed
- Both 1994 releases
- Both of us had heard a few songs before
- Jay: First heard Ween on Beavis and Butt-head, wrote them off as novelty act
- Brian: Twice Removed starts off strong, flows well
- Big power pop vibe
- The album that got Sloan dropped by Geffen
- Each band member writes and sings
- Were signed as part of the alternative explosion of the early '90s
- Self-release most of their albums now
- No indie rock radio stations anymore
- Jay: Chocolate and Cheese is great fun
- Wide range of styles, from funk to psychedelic to just weird
- Great guitar work from Dean Ween
- First Ween album done in a studio
- Walking the fine line between funny and stupid
- Phish has covered "Roses are Free"
- Ween plays jam band festivals sometimes
- Next up: The Mollusk for Jay, Between the Bridges for Brian

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stuck In Thee Garage #178: May 26, 2017

It's never easy for music fans when you lose an icon. Unfortunately, we've had a lot of practice lately so we're getting good at dealing with the loss. This week on Stuck In Thee Garage, I paid tribute to the late Chris Cornell in hour 2. There was plenty of good stuff to choose from, and I tried to pick songs that haven't been overplayed on rock radio these last 25 years or so. Including a few selections from this movie:

This playlist is looking California, feeling Minnesota:

Hour 1
Artist - Song/Album
Girlpool - It Gets More Blue/Powerplant
Loose Tooth - Day Old Glory/Big Day
Black Lips - We Know/Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?
White Reaper - Party Next Door/The World's Best American Band
Top Down - Drink Forever/Rough Roads
Christian Fitness - Nobody Likes a Snitch/Slap Bass Hunks
The Cairo Gang - Real Enough to Believe/Untouchable
Eyelids - Falling Eyes/Or
Cende - What I Want/#1 Hit Single
Spoon - Tear It Down/Hot Thoughts
The Mountain Goats - Rain in Soho/Goths
Mark Lanegan Band - Drunk on Destruction/Gargoyle
The Afghan Whigs - Copernicus/In Spades
Horse Jumper of Love - Dirt/Horse Jumper of Love
Imaginary People - Half Step/October Alice
Thee Oh Sees - You Will Find It Here/An Odd Entrances

Hour 2: Cornell
Soundgarden - New Damage/Badmotorfinger
Chris Cornell - Birth Ritual/Singles soundtrack deluxe edition
Chris Cornell - Seasons/Singles soundtrack deluxe edition
Soundgarden - Head Injury/Ultramega OK
Soundgarden - Gun/Louder Than Love
Audioslave - Cochise/Audioslave
Chris Cornell - Flutter Girl/Euphoria Morning
Temple of the Dog - Call Me a Dog/Temple of the Dog
Soundgarden - Into the Void (Sealth)/Rusty Cage single
Alice in Chains - Right Turn/Sap
M.A.C.C. - Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Sun)/Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
Temple of the Dog - All Night Thing/Temple of the Dog

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Completely Conspicuous 465: New Damage

This week, I talk to guest Brian Salvatore about the legacy of the late Chris Cornell. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Brian: Was never a huge fan of Cornell's early singing style
- Rediscovered his love for Soundgarden in recent years
- Jay: First heard him when Temple of the Dog came out in '91, then got Badmotorfinger
- The greatness of Mother Love Bone
- Soundgarden was perfect bridge between '80s hard rock and the new sounds of the '90s
- Jay: Saw Soundgarden in small club in early '92 and then again a few months later at Lollapalooza
- Kim Thayil's guitar playing complemented Cornell's voice well
- Jason Everman, the Zelig of grunge
- The diverse nature of the Seattle acts of the '90s
- The pressure of being the "responsible one"
- Cornell's final tweets were upbeat
- Hard to read into his lyrics
- Most of Cornell's songs were dark
- His death hit hard because he was ours
- Feels like more '70s touring acts have more living members than '90s bands
- The drugs were more prevalent in the '70s and '80s, but the '90s acts paid the price
- Cornell's first solo album Euphoria Morning is really good
- Less impressed with Audioslave
- Soundgarden leaves a terrific body of work

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. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Head Down

The spate of musician deaths in the last few years has been partially the result of age. So while it's been difficult to accept the loss of greats like Bowie and Lemmy and Chuck Berry, it's sort of understandable. What's tougher to deal with is when someone dies younger. Certainly, Prince's death was a surprise; at 57, it still seemed like he had a lot of years left. And then there are younger rockers who have died--like Cobain and Layne Staley--while shocking and sad, neither came as a surprise given the path they were on.

The death this week of Chris Cornell is tougher to take. At 52, he was still relatively young and vital. And really, of all the big stars of his generation, he seemed to have his shit together. Obviously, it's come out in the last day that police believe Cornell may have committed suicide, and that he's battled depression throughout his life. Still, he always seemed so with it, especially compared to contemporaries like Cobain, Staley, Andrew Wood, Shannon Hoon, Scott Weiland, etc. If you were to tell me a 50something rock star just died but made me guess who, it would have taken me quite a while before I guessed Cornell. He was always supremely confident and really, a guy who had it all: talent, looks, family, success.

I first learned about Cornell after reading a Rolling Stone review of the Temple of the Dog album in the spring of 1991. I was unfamiliar with Soundgarden at the time, but after picking up the TOTD CD, I was quickly sold on the band, especially Cornell's powerful vocals. Later that year, I bought Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger and was bowled over by the monster riffs, the general dark aesthetic and the way it was so much better than all the hair metal crap that was being released at the time. It came out a few months after Nevermind and Ten, but it was the first of that trio that I owned.

Soundgarden was the bridge between the hard rock I grew up on and the alternative rock I grew to prefer. They were able to straddle those worlds, touring with Guns N Roses and Skid Row pre-"Smells Like Teen Spirit" and then firmly ensconced in the alternative world after that. A big reason for that was Cornell, who was the Robert Plant of his generation: handsome, charismatic and in possession of THAT VOICE. He stood in stark contrast to his angst-ridden peers; unlike Cobain, Vedder, et al, Cornell seemed to be perfectly comfortable in the spotlight. He would be screeching at the top of his lungs on metallo-punk scorchers like "Beyond the Wheel" one minute and then crooning acoustic numbers like "Seasons" the next. And then he'd cover "Billie Jean" and do an album with Timbaland (the latter of which, admittedly, was ill-advised).

I saw Soundgarden three times: at Avalon in April 1992, at Lollapalooza a few months later and at Fitchburg State College in 1994. Cornell was a terrific live performer and sadly, I never saw him again. Soundgarden split up in 1997 and reunited a few years ago. In between, he released some solo albums (including 1999's excellent Euphoria Morning) and teamed up with 3/4 of Rage Against the Machine to form the ultimately disappointing Audioslave. I wish I'd caught one of the recent SG tours, but I never expected Cornell to be gone so soon.

Right now, we're dealing with grief and speculation. Why did he do it? His family says he wasn't depressed and wouldn't have committed suicide. I've seem some lame-ass articles analyzing his lyrics, but that doesn't really hold water. Cornell wrote about death and darkness his whole career; there was no sudden change in his attitude. But that's the thing about people with depression: it's possible for nobody else to know what they're thinking and how far they would go to deal with those feelings they may have. Somebody who may seem really on top of things could be in serious trouble, but others may have no idea. When Robin Williams took his own life three years ago, it was jarring and troubling, but he always had a pretty manic personality. Cornell always seemed so chill. Just goes to show you never really know what's going on in someone's head.

The other guys in Soundgarden have to be thrown for a loop right now. The band was in the middle of a tour and had been working on new music. And last November, Cornell did a tour with Temple of the Dog, the side project he created in 1991 to remember Andrew Wood. I watched an entire show from that tour on YouTube and Cornell was chatty, appreciative and in command. Certainly didn't seem like someone who was depressed. Even as recently as last Sunday, he posted a Mother's Day message to his wife that was very positive and upbeat. Looks can be deceiving, I guess.

There has been a lot of loss in the last two years. This one has hit me hard, just because he's from my generation and I've spent so much time over the last three decades digging his music. Hopefully, if we can get anything good out of Chris Cornell's death, it will be to encourage other folks dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts to get help before it's too late.