Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 538: The Middle of Nowhere

It's part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the year so far. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- R.I.P., Great Scott
- Big blow to Boston rock scene
- Venues, bars, restaurants are going out of business all over the country
- Breitling and college friends have resurrected their old radio shows on Mixcloud
- Parcheesi Redux is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Now 17 weeks in
- Music industry is at a standstill
- Touring has ceased altogether
- RATT's back, baby (thanks to Geico)
- Livestreams have become a thing
- There's no money in album sales anymore
- Breitling: Have been listening to more music this year
- Breitling's faves outside the top 10: Jesse Gallagher, Hum, Phoebe Bridgers, Katie Day
- Kumar's on the bubble picks: EOB, Jeff Rosenstock, Peel Dream Magazine, Porridge Radio, Savak
- Next time: On to our top 10

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 30, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 537: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1971. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- The disappointing ZZ Top Sixpack box set
- Early Bob Seger is good
- Started seeing more solo albums
- The rollercoaster ride of Doors fandom
- Jay's faves (not #1): Rolling Stones, McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic, Sabbath, Lennon, Bowie, the Who
- When you've heard songs you love too many times
- Jay's #1
- Zeppelin's pinnacle
- Don't need to listen to it anymore
- Licensing songs to death
- Don't understand people who listen to the same music they did 30 years ago
- Country music is the new pop
- Phil's faves: Allman Brothers, Sly Stone, John Prine, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Joplin, CSNY, Elton, Traffic, Nick Drake
- Phil's been listening to a new album every day during quarantine
- Phil's #1
- The Stones were in the middle of a killer run
- A band that was greater than the sum of its parts
- A few more from Jay:  T. Rex, Kinks, Yes
- Yes really stretched out in concert
- Genres are too restrictive
- You like what you like
- Duran Duran's great
- Discovering music through videogames
- Favorite song from favorite album:  "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" (Phil) and "When the Levee Breaks" (Jay)

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts. 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 23, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 536: Kicking It Off

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1970. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- Phil's got some quality hockey hair going
- Now, we're going to go through our favorite albums of each year from 1970-2020, starting with '70
- We were both under the age of 3
- Pretty varied list of favorites from that year
- Popular music was splintering into many different genres
- FM radio was pretty freeform
- Radio was the main way to discover music back then
- Some interesting tour pairings
- Altamont was an abrupt end to the hippie era
- Big deaths in 1970: Hendrix and Joplin
- Phil's favorites (except #1): The Who, CSNY, Neil Young, Led Zep, Van Morrison, Derek & the Dominoes
- Jay: Not a Clapton fan
- Phil: Kinks, Beatles, George Harrison, McCartney, Miles Davis, Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Chicago, James Taylor, Elton, Stones
- Phil's #1
- The Dead's best studio album
- Jay: Deep Purple, Hendrix, Funkadelic, Black Sabbath, Stooges 
- Some bands were releasing two studio albums a year
- Jay's #1
- The best live album ever
- The Who at their best
- In the midst of a great string of albums
- Favorite song from favorite album:  "Candyman" (Phil) and "Young Man's Blues" (Jay)

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts. 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 3, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 535: Built to Last

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the final Grateful Dead studio album Built to Last. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- Built to Last released on Halloween 1989
- Jay had just graduated from college, Phil was a junior
- Jay: Don't remember this album even coming out
- Phil: It's not memorable
- Felt like band was going through the motions
- Brent Mydland dominated the album with four songs
- He was suffering from depression; died a year later
- Maybe Garcia and Weir didn't have enough good material
- Fall '89 Dead shows are considered the band's last great run of concerts
- Tried the same recording technique as previous album but it didn't work
- Garcia said Mydland's songs were better
- Final song is really bad
- Phil: They had enough material to record another album
- You can find version of them online
- Garcia started getting into drugs again
- Concert performances suffered
- Band members started doing other projects
- A couple of decent songs on this album
- Mydland songs seemed like they'd fit in a different genre
- Phil: He was good in concert
- The Dead didn't need another hit album
- Jay: At the end of this journey, have more of an appreciation for the Dead
- Definitely some bad records
- Can appreciate the live performances to a point
- Jay: I respect the fanaticism of Deadheads; not for me, but that's okay
- No more guilty pleasures; you like what you like

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts. 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, May 26, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 534: In the Dark

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead album In the Dark. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded via Zoom
- We originally planned to do this in early March, but then something happened
- In the Dark was released in July 1987, seven years after the last Dead studio album
- Phil had just graduated from high school, Jay was going into junior year of college
- The band had been playing the songs in concert for years
- Jerry Garcia had gone into a diabetic coma in '86
- Had to re-learn how to walk, talk, play guitar
- Band was renewed after his recovery
- CDs were just starting to get popular
- We both didn't get CD players until 1989
- First CDs: Phil's was 10,000 Maniacs, Jay's were Cult, the Who, Joe Jackson
- The Best of Steve Miller was a college staple in the '80s
- Recorded live in an empty theater
- "Touch of Grey" was all over MTV and rock radio that summer
- Very catchy single
- Phil: Album was breath of fresh air after two disappointing releases
- "Touch of Grey" resonated with Boomers as well as younger listeners
- New fans were known as "Touch heads" by veteran fans
- People were going to Dead shows for the scene, not the music
- Released videos for "Hell in a Bucket" and "Throwing Stones"
- The one clunker is sung by keyboardist Brent Mydland
- Jay: His vocals didn't seem to fit
- They ladled on the synths
- Phil: Mydland was good at harmonies
- Vocals sounded like Kenny Loggins or Bob Seger
- Phil: Listening to at least one album he hasn't heard every day
- "West LA Fadeaway" may have been inspired by Belushi
- Phil gives it a B+
- The success of "Touch of Grey" was so unexpected
- Next up: We talk about the last Dead studio album

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. 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, April 14, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 533: Long Distance Runaround

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss quarantine life. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded recently via Skype
- What's the first thing you'd do post-COVID?
- All the big movies got pushed back to later in the year or 2021
- Some movies are going straight to streaming
- When will we feel comfortable at crowded concerts again?
- If touring slows down, how will musicians survive?
- Artists may have to go directly to fans for support
- Lou Barlow started a subscription service
- Artists have done similar things for years: Rundgren, Prince
- Might see more music made by artists stuck at home
- Suddenly we have a lot of time to listen to records
- Jay: Daughter's into the Beatles now
- When you know songs you hate by heart
- Appreciating '70s-era McCartney
- Bad production really stands out on mix playlists
- Does anyone remember dynamics?
- Self-improvement activities to catch up on
- Brian: No time to do any of it so far
- Jay: Want to alphabetize my records
- No guilty pleasures: Making peace with disco
- Brian: Need to organize music room
- Jay: Hope to pick up the old guitar
- Bill Rieflin, R.I.P.

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. 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, April 7, 2020

Completely Conspicuous 532: Life During Quarantine

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss quarantine life. Listen to the episode below or download directly.


Show notes:
- Recorded last week via Skype
- Homeschooling is hard work
- A month in, the hoarding continues
- Brian's second-grader has a lot of schoolwork
- Brian was down in Florida to spend a few days at spring training
- Had planned to visit family in Arizona in March, but decided not to
- Virus moved quickly
- Brian saw Jonathan Richman concert in March
- Jay: Was supposed to fly to California for a conference in March, but it was canceled
- Had tickets to Archers of Loaf concert in mid-March that was canceled
- Jay: Working from home full-time
- Brian: Trying to find non-screen activities for the kids
- We're spending a lot of time with our families, which isn't a bad thing
- We've never had a situation like this where everything is shut down
- A lot of people are out of work or unable to work right now
- No sports to watch during one of the best times of year for sports
- Sports may come back without crowds in attendance
- When will things go back to normal?
- Kids' school sports, activities are on hold
- Touring musicians are losing a ton of money
- South Korea was able to shut everything down and come out on the other end
- One person can do a lot of damage
- Spring break idiots
- Adam Schlesinger, R.I.P. (this was recorded before he died)
- Washing our hands more than ever before
- Missing out on draft beer
- We're lucky to be able to work from home
- How will the economy bounce back?
- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. 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.