Monday, December 17, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 502: Telling You How We Really Feel

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- Featuring special guest/studio audience member Ric Dube
- On to our top 5 selections
- JK's #5
- An unexpectedly great album from a member of the Strokes
- JB's #5
- Weird shoegaze straight outta Philly
- JB's #4
- More excellent Philadelphia indie rock
- JK's #3
- Angry, angular UK rock act that has listened to the Fall
- JB's #3
- "I had difficulty finding fault with this record"
- Esteemed YoLa-ologist in the house
- YLT keeps doing its own thing
- JK's #2
- Another fine double album from an interesting Toronto act
- Where hardcore meets prog
- Lots of guest vocalists
- JB's #2
- Sweeping orchestral material, hot jams
- Bands still make videos for some reason
- Picking and choosing from the catalog
- JK's #1
- A political record released early in the year that still resonates
- Fiery live show to go with the album
- Countering a master of distraction
- The kids with the vaping and the pot smoking and the whatnot
- It's a strange time to be alive
- JB's #1 and JK's #4
- Bit of a grower
- A darker, moodier album than her previous work
- Terrific live performer
- Dube: Became a fan by complete accident
- Doobs recommends the Salad Boys
- New stuff on the horizon: Bob Mould, Pedro the Lion, Mike Krol, Swervedriver, Telekinesis
- Johnny Foreigner reunion seems unlikely

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, December 11, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 501: Make With the Counting Down Already

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- Featuring special guest/studio audience member Ric Dube
- JB's #10/JK's #9
- On-again, off-again band led by Steve Hartlett
- Ah, the old "sweatpants-with-beers-stuffed-down-the-legs" deal
- Reminiscent of "Bug"-era Dino Jr.
- JK's #10
- Labelmates of Parquet Courts with similar sound
- The downside of "Music Limited"
- JB's #9
- Boston act traffics in "millennial mopery"
- Lo-fi, self-released effort
- Stickin' it to the Man with his Bandcamp URL
- JK's #8
- Released on 1/1/18
- Fueled by political frustration and anger
- A "fun protest album"
- JB's #8
- Brand new record from a UK supergroup
- Long-awaited followup to 2007 debut
- Rhythmically diverse look at British culture
- Whither Gorillaz?
- JK's #7
- The 12th studio album from power-pop masters
- Four songwriters who each wrote three songs
- Consistently great
- The fun of hunting down B-sides and rarities before artists started releasing compilations/reissues
- The ability to fall asleep on your feet while at a rock concert
- JB's #7
- A good record from a guitar wizard
- Less volume than his main gig
- "Relatively understated throughout"
- JK's #6
- An expansive effort from a prolific indie act
- Branching out their sound with more danceable songs
- Voicing political outrage
- JB's #6
- Venturing into jazzier realms
- Led by one of the more interesting guitarists of last 25 years
- Avant-rock/jazz; "it's not like Kenny G"
- Next: The top 5

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, December 4, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 500: Less Rock, More Talk

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ
- Featuring special guest Ric Dube
- The decline of rock's popularity
- Album sales are way down
- That time the Melvins hit the Top 200 albums chart
- Apple's going to work with the Amazon Echo soon
- Breitling pays for the Amazon Music "Talky Talky"
- The youths don't pay for physical media anymore
- Ric's family has Spotify, he has dedicated streaming of his own collection
- Modern country is doing big business, relatively speaking
- Pop music is doing well
- Most rock acts make money through touring, not albums
- The Stones are still touring
- Mick and Keith were considered "old" in their mid-30s
- Breitling: The year's music really picked up in the second half
- New Mary Lattimore release is enjoyable
- Ric: Enjoying Brian Eno's latest release, which is a $30 app
- Kumar: Honorable mentions include Tony Molina, Slaves, Thin Lips, Arthur Buck, Buffalo Tom, Joyce Manor, Swearin, Stove, Screaming Females
- Breitling: Master System, Palm, Superchunk, Frankie Cosmos, Kurt Vile
- Next: We count down our top 10 albums

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, November 20, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 499: Live/Dead

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's first official live album, Live/Dead. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Live/Dead was released in 1969
- There weren't a lot of live albums released then
- The band did it as a make-good to the label after some poor-selling albums
- Recorded at the Fillmore West
- Songs evolved in live setting
- At the time, it was unusual to play extended jams
- Music fans really focused on albums back in the heyday of vinyl
- The first thing you hear on the album is 23-minute "Dark Star"
- Now for the tuning section
- Phil: Have listened to 250-300 Dead bootlegs
- Bootleg tape trading was huge in the '70s and '80s
- Archive.org, Nugs.net have tons of Dead shows
- On a lot of '70s-era live albums, bands went in and re-recorded songs or parts of songs
- Some bands perfectly recreate their studio sound
- "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is reminiscent of Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You"
- When this album came out, FM radio was in a very experimental place
- Some stations would play album sides or even entire records
- "St. Stephen" is a standout
- Jay: I've been impressed so far
- Phil explains the Dead to his kids
- Seeing a dude doing coke off his dashboard at a Dead show

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.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 498: Aoxomoxoa

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's third album, Aoxomoxoa. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Aoxomoxoa was released in 1969
- A big year for rock music
- Tons of legendary albums came out: Zeppelin, Who, Beatles, Neil Young, Stooges, MC5, Stones
- First two Dead albums were commercial failures
- Went way over budget in studio, stuck to their guns
- Very experimental sound
- Robert Hunter contributed lyrics to most of the album
- Songs featured eccentric characters, way out lyrics
- Plenty of drugs were part of the process
- The old West, the devil, the rose were recurring themes
- First album ever recorded using 16-track technology
- Band spent $180k on the album
- Jay: A lot to like about this album
- "Dupree's Diamond Blues" sounds like a Kinks song
- "What's Become of the Baby" is 8 minutes of weirdness that should have been left off album
- When bands release unnecessary hits compilations
- There was a definite '60s resurgence in the mid-80s that led to growth in popularity of the Dead at colleges
- And then jam bands really caught on: Phish, Allman Brothers, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic
- Iconic Dead skull and lightning bolt logo was released in '69
- Phil: Band was very good at mobilizing fanbase
- Dead merch is so unique and well-known
- The confounding popularity of "Africa"
- "China Cat Sunflower" is a Dead classic
- Some songs evolve in concert, some don't get played at all
- Aoxomoxoa sounds like the Dead
- Jay: Jams can be fun, but you don't necessarily want to put them on a record
- We'll listen to more live stuff vs. studio albums going forward
- Next up: Live/Dead

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.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 497: Anthem of the Sun

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's second album, 1968's Anthem of the Sun. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Anthem of the Sun was recorded in 1967, released in '68
- Very experimental, similar to Zappa's song splicing in the '70s
- Studio and live performances mixed together
- An early concept album
- Songs would evolve through the years in performance
- Robert Hunter makes his first appearance as a lyricist on this album
- Producer grew frustrated with the band and left during the recording
- The sound of "thick air"
- Triple kazoo attack
- The Dead must have been a shock to fans of bubblegum pop
- Live, the Dead mixed up their shows every night
- This album sounds more jammy, like you would expect a Dead album to sound
- A lot of covers of bluegrass, country, jug bands, blues
- Pearl Jam adopted the Dead practice of releasing official bootlegs of shows
- The Dead used to do more audience banter, but recent incarnations of the group just play with minimal talking
- Anthem of the Sun was the next step in the evolution of the band's sound
- Next up: Aoxomoxoa

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.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Completely Conspicuous 496: Dead Ahead

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we dig into the catalog of the Grateful Dead, starting with the band's 1967 debut. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Other podcasts have focused on catalogs of U2, R.E.M., Phish, The Tragically Hip
- Looking at the Dead album by album
- Phil's a tie-dyed in the wool Deadhead, Jay has only superficial knowledge of the band
- Phil: Got into the Dead in the mid-'80s, saw them live in '89
- Attracted by the musicianship, lyrics
- Live is where the band really shines
- Songs would be played live years before it showed up on an album
- Band's biggest hit, "Touch of Grey," was first played live in '82 but became a single five years later
- Self-titled debut has a different sound than the one they evolved into
- Recorded in four days
- Only got up to #73 on album charts
- Mostly covers of folk and jug band songs
- Band took a lot of speed during recording, which shows in the songs
- Garcia rips on guitar throughout
- Not too much jamming on record
- Psychedelic rock was starting to happen in general
- Live versions of these songs were much longer
- Most Dead shows were 2.5 to 3 hours
- Jay: Really liked "Cold Rain and Snow," "Viola Lee Blues"
- "Sitting on Top of the World" bears some resemblance to Allman Brothers
- Phil: Garcia was very prolific, always playing guitar
- Bob Weir gave up the short shorts for cargo pants
- John Mayer plays with Dead and Co. now
- Surviving Dead guys are in their 70s now
- Not your typical Dead album
- The band didn't like how it was recorded
- Next up: Anthem of the Sun

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.