Somebody Likes It
Hosts: Shane Bartell, Kevin Newsum, & Ryan Newsum
Hello my little chickadees, and welcome to “Somebody Likes It.” The 3 of us will drink copious amounts of liquor and talk about an album that, while very important to a lot of people, none of us have really spent any time with. This doesn’t mean that said record is a cult classic, nay dear reader, as our intent is quite contrary to that line of thinking.
Years after crafting a sound so unique that a fledgling movement spun up around it, Portishead walked away from notoriety and their Trip-hop roots that influenced so many. Away from the dark corners and come-hither beats, punctuated by Beth Gibbons’ pained yarns of yearning and regret, away from all of it. Until they didn’t. Borne to some degree out of the threads they continued to explore after their first two pivotal LPs, the band’s literally named Third release finds them still uncertain, still haunted, but still certainly curious and exploratory. Hell, there’s even a ukulele that makes an appearance. Pretty sure no one saw that twist coming. What happens if you take the Trip-hop out of Portishead? You’re about to find out.
It’s safe to say that if you have been pushing out music for the past 51 years, you’ve probably got a little something for everyone. It’s also a pretty good chance that not everything in your catalog is going to elicit the same enthusiasm from all audiences. For those of you who appreciate early Prog Rock, you probably like the Genesis 1972 release Foxtrot a hell of a lot more than 3/4 of us did. Lauded by many to be one of their top three albums, Foxtrot also marked a change in direction for the stage presence of the band, launching Peter Gabriel from a relatively unknown instrumentalist and vocalist into a strange and surreal performance-art superstar. The lyrics are sometimes cryptic and the music devoid of anything resembling a hook, but one can’t deny the level of talent and expertise buried these epic arrangements.
It’s hard not to wax a certain amount of nostalgic about the year you’re born: it is, after all, what lights the candle of your days. That’s not lost on Josh Rouse, who reminds us that much is revealed by the concept albums an artist releases. Rouse has long revealed a wandering attention span, but when it comes to the AM gold of the early 1970s, he lets his gaze linger. But does it land?
What do you say about Axl Rose? Where do you start? Tiny bike shorts? His interest in guitar players with interesting head gear choices (black top hat with silver conch shells/an upside down KFC bucket)? His Noel Gallagheresqe inability to properly use words when describing things (Noel-“SLOWLY walking down the hall, FASTER than a cannonball”/Axl-“wait for the thunder and the rain to QUIETLY pass me by-yai-yai”? Since his actual nom de plume is W. Axl Rose, off stage, does he prefer to be addressed as W. or Axl?
So many mysteries, so little time. Maybe there are answers to some riddles contained within the album Appetite for Destruction, come along on our journey…
You’ll never accuse Archy Marshall (better known as King Krule) of waxing trite: Marshall, the artist by way of producer, has always been as versatile and fearless as he has been precocious. He forged a bumpy, art-indulged childhood into unpredictable, relentless artistic visions as a young adult, and it seems to be taking him places: with The Ooz, his latest release, he’s stitched together a potentially rich opus of personal and sonic deconstruction. It’s not an easy listen, but then again, neither are those shady corners of the darkest recesses of our mind that help make us who we are. It’s alchemy, and it’s messy.
We figured out somewhere along the way that our Holiday Mixtape show wasn’t an annual tradition, actually. Mostly because we skipped doing it last year altogether. In retrospect, it’s probably better this way: Christmas songs tend to feel like abrupt departures from the norm, with a set of rules all their own, and a certain ascribed timelessness that may ensure a somewhat Stepford Wives sameness but also, when the chips fall just right, a perpetual seasonal bonus for the performer in question. Which, let’s be honest, is probably why many of the more recent holiday tracks happen.
It’s with these greater thoughts in mind that we present our 2017 Holiday Mixtape show, in which we unwrap a few ditties you know and a great many you won’t. Consider them conversation starters while you’re spiking the eggnog.
As I write this, I am currently consuming the Jim Jarmusch documentary about the Stooges, Gimme Danger. This means nothing, other than the fact that it turns out the Stooges hung out with Nico, and that ridiculously beautiful German model had a hold (artistically!) with two massively influential bands. She is most known, of course, for collaborating with the Velvet Underground on their first record. Which leads me to my real point: Lou Reed. Lou led the aforementioned VU, and by most accounts, was a cantankerous asshole. Let that not lead one to assume that he was an untalented cantankerous asshole, for he was not. In 1989, Mr. Reed released the solo effort, New York. Suffice it to say, some love love this record, others quite less so. Critics were pretty hip to it, but they aren’t always right. Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that you should check in to a spirited debate about a document of pre-Giuliani New York, and decide for yourself. -Ryan Newsum
Going to college—in and of itself, sans context—isn’t entirely remarkable. Literally thousands of people do it. But when you’re the lead singer of a coffee-infused punk band in the early 1980s, and your down time en route to picking up your Ph.D in Biochemistry is spent at the intersection of extended adolescence and minute-long thrash-centric “nerdcore”, people tend to notice.
And that’s before we get to scribbled, iconic mascots. The Descendants Milo Goes To College is an exercise in differentiation: in what happens when we have to grow up, but do so defiantly. And, apparently, in two minutes or less.
It’s kind of a trick question: when your band sounds a little gloomy to begin with, how can your audience tell when you’re despondent?
Maybe that’s not fair. Maybe it’s possible that Bloodflowers, The Cure’s 2000 LP and, per Robert Smith, the end of a trilogy that began with Pornography and continued with Disintegration, is less a swan song and more of the meandering treatise you find when your prior formula’s brought great fame but there’s not much new left in the tank.
I, for one, actually enjoyed hearing The Cure in a bit of less popularly refracted light, but the average listener, expecting hits, won’t find as many here. Is this album a denouement in disguise? The end of a chapter? You make the call.
Start by forgetting all you think you know.
Every day is Christmas when you’re an LA Garage scene musician, and the songs are presents you can’t unwrap quickly enough: they tear through them with reckless abandon, and like musical easter eggs, there always seem to be more in waiting, right around the corner.
That same fertile musical playground encouraged the inception of Cory Hanson, who cut his teeth backing linchpin acts like Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, and the first couple of releases by his act—Wand—only cemented that association. So, of course, Hanson did something next that no one saw coming. He scrubbed his entire approach.
When fans are used to you spitting out two fierce records a year, contemplating a new release to the tune of Plum comes as a surprise. A retooled lineup, thoughtful variances, and shared songwriting duties confounded expectations further. But when the sunlight hits needle on vinyl here, the results are, well, noticeable.
Join us as we pull back the curtain.
Let’s get into the Dream Syndicate (or perhaps not, as they didn’t get into much of anything from the years 1989-2012).
Here in 2017, they’re back with new work, How Did I Find Myself Here? Spirited discussions ensue as to whether they have moved on from their previous incarnation (ca.1989), from the “Paisley Underground,” a scene in Los Angeles that I’m pretty sure I would have been all over had I been A) there and B) of legal age in the eighties (and which also spawned The Bangles, who will forever be my ‘band in the closet’).
Also, PM Dawn makes an appearance, and this is important.
Hey, it beats another sex scandal, right?
Wolf Alice…Wolf Alice? It’s one of those band names like 10,000 Maniacs that reminds you that band names are less about musical content and more about what’s funny when you are having beers after band practice…
Are anthems nature or nurture? Maybe that seems a question easily answered, but think again: whereas so many of today’s musical tentpoles are crafted to be cranked up to Eleven at your local stadium du jour, Tom Petty’s highlighted catalog seemed birthed without the grandiosity later afforded to it by its audience.
Petty tracks weren’t anthems because they loomed large, they became anthems as they soundtracked our daily to and fro, our impromptu sing-a-longs and rolled down windows. They were easy and omnipresent without overstaying their welcome.
This week we take a look back at the legacy of an act just preposterous enough to live next door. He could have been from anywhere, as it turns out, he almost seemed from everywhere.
By now, we’re familiar with the Blackalicious mojo: Gift of Gab throwing obsessive, complicated rhymes over the steady propulsive backbeat dropped by one Chief Xcel, a formula that’s earned the pair accolades. But all rocket ships launch from somewhere, and it’s clear word spread about the duo during production…how else might we factor the parade of guest turns on their first full-length, from Cut Chemist to Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha to, well, Harry Nilsson?
Okay, maybe Nillson didn’t ‘actively’ participate, but that doesn’t mean Blazing Arrow is less than a tempting stew of influences and co-conspirators, stirring intrigue and a quickened pulse. Friend of the show and music journalist Chad Swiatecki drops by as we try to unpack where the head bobs begin, exactly.
Join us this week, as we discuss Band of Horses’ 2006 (turns out, debut LP, after an EP), Everything All the Time.
If you love $29,000 refrigerators, majestic arpeggios, bizarre Gene Simmons infomercials, and mid-aughts sweet-sounding (if not-quite profound) proper debut for Ben Bridwell’s personal majesty, you should definitely tune in.
Shane believes that this band deserves a greatest hits collection, and he could be right. But here, in my estimation, is the genesis of that.
Let’s be honest: Hug Of Thunder, for all of its good intentions, kind of sounds like something made by Hasbro: perhaps a giant, fluffy, crime-fighting machine—the likes of which, for all we know, could actually be one of the members of Broken Social Scene, the Toronto-based and terribly talented music collective that burst on the scene with an iconoclastic by way of shamelessly celebratory catalogue years ago, until momentum finally waned with a substandard release in 2010.
The good news is that they’re back, and inspired to move listeners to action (or at least empathy) in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, they reconvened to knit together a stripped-down by way of purposeful collection of tracks. Many of the usual players are here, your Kevin Drew, Leslie Feist, Emily Haines and so on. It’s an all hands on deck setting, and while Hug Of Thunder may not pack the unique punch of their best early work, this is the sound of musicians (however many multitudes) on the same page, enlightened and emboldened.
We also play a rousing game of ‘Broken Social Scene, Odd Future or a Town in Saskatchewan,’ so that’s something too.
Whatever you think of Cracker — they’ve been the subject of chart busting platitudes and some indie derision alike — it’s hard to understate the importance of David Lowery’s contribution to popular music. That’s a fact. Beyond his role in crafting earworms that burrowed their way into car stereos in the 90s, his determination to alter the landscape of musical compensation is fundamentally altering the way Spotify and others do business. But this being a music review show, let’s start with some crusading guitars.
Pioneer of “trucker country,” Jerry Reed, turns out, falls in my sweet spot. The man was rapping (albeit with a country twang) before that was a thing, could finger-pick his way out of a wet burlap sack, and was pretty damn funny while doing so. I generally don’t care for my music and humor intertwined (see: Tenacious D), but apparently if the songs deliver, caution to the wind. The man is probably best remembered for playing second-fiddle to Burt Reynolds in the Smokey and the Bandit movies these days, but the man could deliver a hook. Can’t promise that my good buddies (breaker 1-9) on the show will rise to my level of enthusiasm, but that’s their loss. Tune in and figger’ out why Jerry Reed’s Essential compilation earns its moniker.
I can sum up the way a lot of people feel about the Everly Brothers by telling you the props Ryan brought in to our show when we discussed It’s Everly Time by (wait for it) The Everly Brothers. Ryan shows up carrying a paper bag which he subsequently removed a loaf of Wonder Bread and a bottle of Cream Soda. And I get it. That’s how a lot of people feel when they think about the Everly Brothers. Malt shops and shit. American Graffiti. I, however, am not one of those people. I, for the most part, hate the music of the 50’s and very early 60’s that isn’t Jazz. But there is an ethereal shimmering mournful quality to their harmonies that to my ears removes any of the usual parodies. Now don’t get me wrong, some of the songs on It’s Everly Time skirt that line, but the harmonies always suck me in.
Of course the dudes couldn’t stand each other. So sit back, make yourself a Mayonnaise sandwich on Wonder Bread and wash it down with a cold Ice Cream Phosphate (whatever the fuck those were), and enjoy It’s Everly Time…
In this case, buzz begat buzz when Oakland’s Melina Duterte drunkenly uploaded a batch of hastily recorded tracks to Bandcamp, and launched a sensation.
Better known as Jay Som, her pop-up indie darling status seems only cemented since its home baked inception, an arrival marked by her legit label debut, Everybody Works. Duarte’s ascent, begged by some clear experimentation and sleeve-worn influences, lands to varying degrees, but know this: occasionally bedroom pop can register as both confessional and self-assured, and it’s that intimate confidence that makes this release intriguing, and the touchpoint of this week’s conversation. Curl up and listen in.
Somehow I’ve managed to find myself concurrently watching the second installment of The Decline of Western Civilization (The Metal Years) whilst writing this up, which is pretty much apropos of nothing, other than if you haven’t seen this brilliant documentary, you definitely should.
Another work worth investigating is Uncle Tupelo’s debut record, No Depression. Few bands can claim to have at least in some part founded a genre (in this case, alt-country, a.k.a. “y’all-ternative”), but in this instance it’s apt. I’ve heard so many bands with lineage from this it’s hard to quantify.
These guys are now better known for the bands they directly spawned, namely Son Volt and Wilco. Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy co-quarterbacked a fantastic band that burned brightly and, ultimately, wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
So strap in, grab a load o’ chaw (and maybe listen to a little Minutemen interspersed with Hank Williams if you need to warm up),and join us.
What a fucking tragedy. I’m not talking about when they took Surge soda off the market, or the final season of the A-Team, or even how all the eagles died because of all the DDT and shit. No, I am referring to Billie Holiday’s life. Essentially birth to death it was non-stop sadness, for no reason other than that she was a proud, independent, other-worldly talented woman of color, with a heroin and alcohol addiction that would ultimately claim her life at age 44. She was handcuffed to her death bed while suffering from end-point liver disease but (!) she still found time in her life to become, if not the finest female vocalist of the 20th century, someone very much in that discussion. I highly urge anyone remotely interested in the history of 20th century music (with a strong stomach) to read up on her.
So I picked this record Lady in Satin, the last album recorded while she was alive, for a reason. It’s not the sassy, meter-bending, I don’t give a shit Billie Holiday that recorded Strange Fruit in 1939. It’s a broken woman close to the end of her life that sounds 30 years older than she was. And I wanted to explore that. And damned if it still wasn’t brilliant. Genius is genius. No matter what the fuck cards the Fates kept dealing Billie Holiday, they couldn’t take that away from her…
We’ve been spending lots of time in the 70s, it seems, almost to the point of pricing shag carpeting. Oddly, Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak, their undisputed US breakthrough record and the peak of their notoriety, takes me back…to 2009, when ‘Jailbreak‘ became my antidote to (or respite from) the endless cycle of Michael Jackson tracks on jukeboxes immediately following his passing.
Jailbreak (the song) always seemed to cleanse the palate of the room, if only for the moment, then, and it’s perhaps at least a little ironic that Thin Lizzy also featured a shooting star frontman (an unfortunate double entendre) — Phil Lynott, himself gone too soon. There are some chunks of the Lizzy catalog that are certainly less memorable, and who could blame modern day listeners who have been oversaturated by the prominence of the tracks they know too well. What we cannot hear with fresh ears, might we still appreciate for its immediacy? Only one way to find out.
Hi. Are you ready to be confused? Yes? Good, because I sure am. On this week’s Somebody Likes It, we cover The Yardbirds’ 1966 LP Roger the Engineer. Also known as Over Under Sideways Down. Oh, and also known as The Yardbirds.
If that weren’t confusing enough, about half of this record is sixties ground-breaking psychedelia, and the rest is Chicago-style mid-twentieth century blues.
This band spawned the careers of Jeff Beck (on this record), Eric Clapton (not on this record), and Jimmy Page (also not on this record). Should be monumental, right?
In fits and starts it is, but we don’t all agree on this. Before I give away the store, just know that there’s a lot of “there there,” except where there isn’t. Feel free to be as annoyed/intrigued/entertained as I am.
Lots of people go through a hippie phase. Usually in High School, or maybe Freshman year of college. Maybe you decide to drop out of college for a year, buy some kind of old van, and follow String Cheese Incident around the country selling burritos in the parking lots of their shows. I’m saying, it happens. Now, imagine your hippie phase in the ACTUAL 60’s. Yeah, that’s some deep ass shit. Well, looks like that’s what Van Morrison decided to do with his 1968 record Astral Weeks. An almost stream of consciousness, jazzy-folk song cycle, it tells the story of me getting an imminent nap. One thing I regret is being unable to find any pictures of what the band was wearing during the recording sessions. I imagine fringe.
If you peer into the festival hero shot of Michael D’Addario leaping through the roof of The Lemon Twigs’ SXSW showcase, you’ll note the giant X on his hand: despite the fawning praise, D’Addario, brother Brian and company might be primed to break big this year (they won SXSW’s Grulke Prize for Best New Act) — but they’re still not old enough to drink.
The D’Addarios, 17 and 19 at the time of the album’s recent release — spread their wings from a musical household in Long Island, fired up a couple of power mullets, and began sculpting the type of clever, influence-on-your-sleeve indie craft that turns heads and sets a band up to play undercards on the summer festival circuit. They’re young, they’re undaunted. But do they stick the landing?
Pull up a chair as we unpack their kickoff LP and sort out just what happens when a couple of upstarts Do Hollywood.
For as prolific and talented an artist as he was, this was an inscrutable man. We find him here, at the top of his talent (arguably, see also Jackson 5), and nailing it on every track. Also, this is super disco, which can play out however your mind leads you, given your leanings. Brilliant record, and let’s all give a “hee hee” and “sh’mon” in his memory. If you aren’t one of the 20 million people that already own this album, pick it up on Amazon…
At this point, it can be difficult to separate the legend of Joy Division from an honest account of either of their (intentional) releases, but here is what we know: on the eve of their first American tour with The Buzzcocks, frontman Ian Curtis hung himself in his kitchen. Technically, that’s where Joy Division ends.
The rest of the band, in the intervening years since, have gone on to great fame as New Order, but that hasn’t extinguished the fervor over the band they were — the twitchy, angular, frenetic gyrations of Curtis, set to increasingly haunted lyrics, and seasoned with the jaunty bass lines of Peter Hook, the buzzing syncopated guitar riffs of Bernard Sumner, the precise beats of drummer Stephen Morris. Their ascent from kids at a Manchester show, blown away by the first Sex Pistols gig — to seasoned, genre defining post-punk outfit, is well documented.
Of the two records, the final one, Closer, foretold looming clouds on the horizon. But how does it hold up, beyond the Manchester scene, the kid with HATE spelled out on his coat, and a bass guitar for 40 quid? Sit a spell and find out…
Long time listeners may recall Matt Muñoz. He keeps popping up on the show, and is the person that first showed us our unofficial theme song Pink Pannies. Well ole Matt dropped on by the show this week, and took the whole damn thing over. First he picked Louder Than Bombs by the Smiths as the record of the week (giving me a backdoor into getting another Smiths album on). For A Few Minutes With, we watched Childish Gambino ride a roller coaster with a giant stuffed bear on 3005 and finally on A Current Affair we all watched Khalid get someone’s location on Location…
All 3 were great fun, so I think we will let him drop back by…
By any measure, mixtapes are always an exercise in nostalgia. In fact, whenever one of these milestone shows pop up and we start paddling the raft to Mixtape Island, we can’t help but share stories about the time when we made a mix for someone, and all the ensuing nuances: the sequencing, those tracks that you’d since forgotten that stopped you cold in the moment, and lastly (but not unimportantly), how it went over. It’s probably best that we’re not eighteen forever. Evidence to that effect: the simple mixtape doesn’t quite cut it for us anymore.
For this show, we each picked a track from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s to get to know a little bit better, with curious results. If you think you know someone — really know them – imagine what they’d add to a mixtape made especially for you. I guarantee the real thing will throw you curveballs.
I’m not a sadist. Really. Just because every so often I bring out something like Slippery When Wet or Open Up and Say Ahhhh! that doesn’t mean I enjoy torturing the other show hosts, it just means I enjoy a lively discussion (after all, I have to listen to those albums too). But if you were to just listen to Kevin and Ryan you would think I stuck them in a closet with a Ray Stevens album on repeat (hmmm, note to self: Ray Stevens).
So in the spirit of peace, I brought something to the table I was pretty sure Ryan was gonna eat up and go back for seconds! The Gotobeds – Poor People Are Revolting” did the trick. All the late 70’s post punk/mid-90’s indie rock you could ever want to find in one album. So please enjoy. And don’t start bitching next time I show up with that Ray Stevens record (they call him the streak…)
Once you get past the intrigue of her backstory (PS Eliot drummer with her now Waxahatchee-fronting sister Katie, collaborator with her ex in the apostrophe sporting band Swearin’), Allison Crutchfield — freshly minted solo artist — weaves a tangled-by-way-of-intriguing tale on her first full length LP, Tourist In This Town. She may be angsty, but she isn’t without something relevant to impart, and what’s with so much interesting music coming out of Philly these days? Join us as we break it down (just the one time), and hit us with your suggestions at messagesomebody AT gmail.com.
Otis. In addition to being one of those artists that one can cite by first-name only, he can be included in the great pantheon of those that nobody doesn’t like. Possessing arguably the best voice of his generation (if not claiming the mantle “voice of his generation”), Otis Redding, tragically, left us way too soon.
Somehow, however, I had managed to never listen to an entire Otis Redding record from start to finish. Ladies and gentlemen, I have rectified this egregious oversight.
Tune in to this week’s episode where we discuss, among other things, small planes, bumper stickers, an iconic song that got flipped on its head, and an, um “extemporaneous” Stones cover.
Oh, and the worst Neil Diamond song ever makes an appearance. So, there’s that. Which still gives me a broad smile.
What the hell is up with Sweden! Those motherfuckers know their way around a melody. You could spend all day making mix-tapes of Abba or Cardigans songs, but instead let me propose this. You should maybe consider listening to this episode of Somebody Likes It wherein we discuss the album Passive Agressive by Swedish band Radio Dept. That record is already a mixtape of sorts, as it is a collection of singles and b-sides. Maybe we liked it, maybe we didn’t. That’s a mystery you’ll need to unravel yourself. If you’re up to it. Chicken. Bok-bok…
Somewhere, embedded in the occasionally cracked warble of Evan Stephens Hall (which sounds like the name of a room they might play), Montclair, NJ’s Pinegrove caught stride with 2016’s Cardinal release. They presumably spent much of the rest of the year touring and floating on the accolades of reviewers’ laudatory sentiment; and to be certain, there are some high points at play, including one that begged an ironic comparison to a Tim Conway picture.
But we wonder why some can’t follow that twangy doesn’t always equal country, that unpolished tracks are occasionally built that way on purpose (to the consternation of some), and how wearing your influences on your sleeve can sometimes work wonders, or occasionally seem a yarn not yet fully woven.
It would be hard to overstate the prolific nature/work ethic/buxom beauty/absolute sweetheart nature of this week’s subject of Somebody Likes It, one Ms. Dolly Parton, with her 1973 record Jolene.
If anyone has any doubt as to the grandeur of what they’re about to encounter, just take a look at the cover–which if one weren’t lucky enough to encounter the over-the-top (literally, this hair has to be seen to be believed) fashion of 1970’s ladies in the South, well, you’re in for a treat.
It’s too bad that Ms. Parton only has time to write more songs than virtually anyone else on the planet, found an amusement park, act in mostly-credible movies, and somehow not manage to come off as completely full of herself. Which she probably, by all rights, ought to be by this point. and hey, maybe she is–I’ve never met the lady–but I doubt it. Tune in and decide for yourself.
Prolific singer-songwriter Jason Molina released 19 albums, more than a dozen EPs, and many more singles between 1997 and his death in 2013. This week, we give a listen to the 7th and final release under the moniker Songs: Ohia; Magnolia Electric Company.
For our first podcast of 2017, we welcomed special guest Matty Wishnow and what he affectionately refers to as an anthem for his 40s, Songs: Ohia. Magnolia Electric Company is at times haunting in its presentimental lyrics that feel like a farewell from a man that was clearly dealing with demons that would claim his life only 10 years later. The album, recorded by Steve Albini, marks a departure from previous Songs: Ohia releases and sets a new direction for Molina’s work that he would release under the Magnolia Electric Co. band.
Shane tries to lift the mood during A Few Minutes With by reminding us that just because you can ask a girl to “sex you up” with your flip-up sunglasses and big-shouldered jackets in 1991, doesn’t mean you won’t be changing tires in Oklahoma in 25 years. And as a crisp, refreshing final course, Kevin brings us Sydney’s Middle Kids with their single Edge of Town.
Not all artists who grow up under dubious circumstances emerge as groundbreakers on the other side, but essentially, that’s at least one dimension of Anderson.Paak’s multifaceted rise.
Paak — aka the erstwhile Breezy Lovejoy — has come a long way from a bumpy childhood that saw him crafting tracks in his bedroom, to a stunted stint as a marijuana farmer, to a first record that caught the attention of one Dr. Dre, who had him guest on no less than six tracks of his comeback effort.
It seems even when he wasn’t on the map, Paak was never far from its focus. His second album, Malibu, had the full attention of tastemakers, and the forecast has called for steady praise ever since. Join us as we bend an ear and figure out what all the fuss is about And as always, route us thoughts of your own at messagesomebody AT gmail.com.
Outside of the empirical truism that ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’ is an amazing song title (and that’s not even arguable), Beach Slang are a study in certain contrasts and other constant consistencies. Lead singer James Alex fronts a punk act chiefly constructed of members half his age, and for all of his lyrical angst, his spins around the block have brought some noted success.
There have been seriously noted (and politely discussed) brushes with the law, the band has broken up onstage and requested immediate refunds for the audience, and yet, somehow, they not only continue — but manage to wax prolific. I chose The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us not because it was their current record (it isn’t), but because it seemed to be the exclamation point on a band recklessly rising toward something. Or maybe rising beyond something.
Tune in and find out what that is exactly.
Hey remember that time Ronald Reagan tried to un-ironically use one of the most ironic songs of the Eighties Born in the USA (copyright Bruce Springsteen) as a campaign song? Well, the palm to forehead that followed for a lot of people 32 years ago became more like a GIF on an endless repeat this year…
Springsteen was blue collar when blue collar wasn’t cool. Springsteen put his damn money where his mouth was long before billionaires co-opted his populist stories, albeit with none of the sincerity or clarity or pathos, or fucking anything other than a line to elicit applause. (CUE: Born in the USA!!)
I know Podcast Overlord Chris hates it when I tip my hand, but this time I think I have to. There is probably not a musical moment on Born to Run that I can relate to. But the STORIES are heart racing and badass and sad and real. And he really has a talent for making the everyday/mundane feel immediate.
I am so bewildered by what is going on in our world right now…why people that are afraid of losing everything in an instant because they are living paycheck to paycheck would put their faith in a person that cares nothing in ANY way about the fact that they are living paycheck to paycheck. These songs celebrate those people living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t know that I will be pulling down Born to Run off of my stack of records anytime soon, but god dammit Bruce Springsteen, I get you now.
And thank you. We fucking needed you this year…(CUE:Born in the USA!!!)
What we may lack in sheer volume of listener feedback, we make up for in quality. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves: Exhibit A in that regard, a terrific note we received from a listener named Michael, who wrote after lending an ear to the Travis episode, and suggested a record (a few records, actually) that we might consider that he knew — but we might not know — so well.
Chief among them, his musical connection to one Mic Christopher, a dearly departed musical pal of famed frontman of The Frames’ Glen Hansard. At any rate, Michael suggested that we either cover Skylarkin (Christopher’s breakthrough — and last — record) or, perhaps, might we consider one of The Frames’ early works?
In the end, we landed on The Frames Fitzcarraldo with the single off of Skylarkin taking center stage in our A Few Minutes With segment.
Lots to wrap a noggin around here, but never let it be said we don’t heed a great letter. Send yours to messagesomebody AT gmail.com, and until then, lend us an ear to see just what Hansard was up to before he’d fully made himself known –
When I was a small child, I played my A Chipmunks’ Christmas 8-track non-stop until the tape unwound itself all over the living room floor and I could no longer play it.
It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that, not only was that album extremely annoying, but its demise may have been aided more by the hands of a family member and less from the shelf life of a standard 8 track tape.
The point I’m trying to make is that not everything you love at a point in your life stays as dear to your heart as you mature. The Flaming Lips’ Transmissions album does not match the extreme bipolar apex for me as did that album of singing fictional chipmunks but I did find that my initial enthusiasm for it waned with age. Perhaps it’s due to the band’s ability to mature and put out even better releases, or maybe my dad took a pencil to the precious ribbon of fidelity and ripped it from it’s armor plated case.
Also in this episode, Ryan et. al. introduce me to missed opportunities in the form of Candyman’s Knockin’ Boots and Kevin takes us all to the Souvenir Rock Shop courtesy of Savoy Motel.
Any band that can take a stance against “rubbish” vs. “rubbers” to turn down a slot on “Top of the Pops” has my vote. Dig this record, but do find them very serious. Like Karl Marx on spring break serious. Awesome to find these guys on many best-of lists, but sorta near the bottom of said aforementioned. Listen for yourself, and break into individual discussion groups after. There will be a test.
Much has been made of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie’s terminal condition, and Canada’s responded by treating the band as something of a national treasure, clear up to the prime minister, including a final concert live broadcast viewed by, if the numbers are correct, a full half of the country.
It seems that long ago ‘The Hip’ (again, Canada) achieved critical mass, and it’s with that idea in mind that we dive into their 1998 release Phantom Power. Deemed by some the last record of their most fertile period, this one couldn’t be more Canadian if Bob and Doug McKenzie popped up in hockey jerseys on the cover. It’s a sociological exploration with a musical answer. Tune in.
It would seem that I couldn’t rest until we’d covered the other of the mighty triumvirate of proto-punk bands (see also: Iggy and the Stooges, The New York Dolls), and thus unearthed this 1969 classic-to-many.
I won’t get into it too much here, but all I can say at this point is…balls. Balls for having your debut album recorded live. Not “in the studio” live first-takes, but a genuine live performance (although, if memory serves, it was a mesh of two nights). But also, balls all the way through, as these dudes were clearly of the take-no-prisoners and also fuck-you-The-Man! You can’t tell me what to do!
Detroit clearly had some shit going down back in the day.
Hey ya’ll! Have you heard about this Elvis dude? Me too! Didn’t he shake that “pelvis” on the T.V. that one time?
I, of course, had been aware of the myth of Elvis Presley, but I had never actually “listened” to him. To me the whole myth of Elvis (one word) had completely superseded any actually enjoyment of the music Elvis had put out there, other than the parts of hits we all collectively know (we can’t go on with…you ain’t nothing but a…wise men say…). He was larger than life, and his larger than life persona was more than actual music to me…as much as The Beatles or Nirvana are for some people, 60 years after Elvis dropped his first record Elvis Presley.
I don’t think we all loved this record equally, but we all loved it, if for no other reason because it is incredibly obvious after listening to it that you can see the launching pad of what popular music would become for the next 50 years and that is humbling… But we also all loved it caused the shit is just good.
As producer Todd Rundgren reportedly put it as he recorded the glam-punk-whatever pioneers that he’d seen at Max’s Kansas City: “Get the glitter out of your asses and play.” It’s up to debate however much glitter ultimately was expelled from various band members’ sphincters, but there’s little debate as to the effect that The New York Dolls had on both punk and (what ultimately became) glam rock/glam metal. For good or ill, they were there at the beginning.
Also, singer David Johansen inexplicably morphed into novelty one-hit-wonder Buster Poindexter in the 80’s with his hit Hot Hot Hot, so there’s that.
This week, we’re joined this week by third-time-offender and music journalist-about-town/the nation Chad Swiatecki, who was gracious enough to provide commentary to make the rest of us look smart.
“I put in work, and watch my status escalate” – Guru
You wouldn’t call them a Gang, exactly (as two constitutes a pair), and hard to argue that they were the brightest stars in their own right, at least compared to some of their contemporaries, but if they were anything, Gang Starr were hotly anticipated by those in the know. Guru and DJ Premiere dropped records eagerly gobbled up by scores of the hip hop loving public, and carved out a niche at the intersection joining literate and clever. And downright danceable.
As so often happens, all doesn’t always end well, but occasionally that’s what makes the ascent all the more memorable. Drop the needle on this one and dig in with fresh ears.
A couple of years ago I used to go to happy hour at a bar where the beautiful Scottish bartender was fond of listening to Poison, Warrant, Ratt and countless other mid-80’s hair metal bands. I never could figure out how that kind of music aroused passions good or bad. Well, after listening to Poison’s Open Up and Say Ahh I still feel that way, but I can’t say the same for Ryan and Kevin…step inside and get rocked won’t you?
The Music Men put together another mixtape for ya, this time in honor of Memorial Day, as they talk about all the songs on their collection…
Welcome to another riveting installment of Somebody Likes It. Wherein our heroes brave the beginnings of another endless Texas summer heat wave to bring you beautiful musings on the 2009 inaugural release from London’s Fanfarlo, Reservoir. Ryan spends the first 20 minutes speaking into the wrong end of the microphone. Kevin learns us on how Ted Leo & The Pharmacists went from garage band to music superstars overnight through the miracle of musical theater. Ryan wraps it all up with the catchy, if someone annoying, Spirits from The Strumbellas. Next up… join us for our retrospective Memorial Day Mix Tape show as we take a look back at some of our favorite one-hit-wonders. Until then!
For whatever reason, singer songwriters who write obsessively hook-laden, occasionally Beatlesque pop-rock tracks tend to be overlooked (or outright dismissed) by certain tastemakers. Such seems to have been the case with Brendan Benson, who you may know as the other chief songwriter from The Raconteurs, but who also arguably perfected undeniably catchy ditties of his own craft. Which brings us to Lapalco, a well received if under publicized effort that helped hone some summer rock for the ages.
Serendipity is, apparently, a real thing. Mr. Matt Munoz, longtime friend of the show, had as much (or more so) of a need for this album to show up in his life just when I re-discovered it and just so happened to contact Shane a week before we were already set to cover this record.. A sorely somewhat-forgotten genius record that bridges Radiohead and every misbegotten relationship you’ve ever had. It’s forlorn, and it’s beautiful. And we talk about it in this week’s Somebody Likes It.
You know what’s cool? When you go out to a bar and some drunk asshole is going on and on about a record, or tv show, or movie they REALLY love and you just have to sit there and take it. Well, imagine 3 drunk assholes doing that, and you’ll be hot on the case of what we are doing the next 3 weeks with a thing we call “I Like It” (really selling it huh)? This week, I’m up and I picked The Smiths-The Smiths, the debut album by my favorite band The Smiths (duh). A fine time was had by all. Not sure if it makes for good radio, but any time you are talking about the straight up weirdo tortured genius that is Morrissey, interesting tidbits are bound to pop up.
This is what happens when your studio is in the house you inhabit with your bandmates, you’re bitter (or maybe just tired) about record labels and smarmy A&R guys, and you notice the onset of what has to be middle age, or at least the realization that for all your effort, maybe this thing that you’ve loved all of these years just doesn’t love you back.
And then The Meadowlands drops, the founder of Pitchfork loses his collective shizz and writes a glowing review that can’t help but pique the curiosity of the masses. Tune in for the twists and turns that happen next.
Ladies, this week’s edition of Somebody Likes It is brought to you by Mother’s Best cornmeal and flour, with just a dose of mid-twentieth century sexism. I speak, of course, of Hank Williams’ I Saw The Light, a delightful compilation of down-from-the holler hucksterism and genius-level early country music. If you like your biscuits light and fluffy and your country music both heart and ground-breaking, then get on out of the kitchen and join us for a little Hank Williams. In the spirit of the proceedings, I showed up a little tipsy, but then, so did Hank.
Also, Shane gave us the gift of Canada’s answer to The Village People, The Skatt Brothers’ Life at the Outpost, which one should experience at least once before one dies, while Kevin enlightened us as to up-and-comer Trapper Schoepp, burgeoning young Milwaukee talent.
Well, we gone and done it. Got in bed with ole Kenny G. and did us a jazzy record. Sounds like a bunch of fucking Mr. Rogers Going To The Land Of MakeBelieve-ass bullshit if you ask me. Ryan was able to give it his highest approval rating “I didn’t hate it”…you’ll have in to see how the rest of us felt about it.
Human frailty isn’t exactly a novel conceit, nor are we surprised by youthful angst, but then again, those sentiments aren’t always delivered in authentic ways, by burgeoning and sincere anti-ingenues. Such is the dilemma we faced when peering into the tattered world of Julien Baker, a twenty-year-old artist whose solo foray forced the often raucous music world to stop and take note. Is it possible to wax both fragile and rebellious? We’re not sure either.
This week’s episode of Somebody Likes It sees us discussing The New Pornographers’ debut record Mass Romantic. I (Ryan) am apparently incapable of restraint when expressing my undying affection for the title track, and am pretty charmed (if less so) by the rest of the record. Shane, on the other hand, is less enthusiastic, and very nearly went swimming with Neko Case once. Turns out, “power pop” isn’t really Shane’s bag, but it may just be the case of too much of a good thing. Or too many talented cooks in the kitchen. Tune in and decide for yourself. Also, the title track is amazing, and I might have brought that up at least once. Cheers…
Remember last week when i encouraged you guys to go seek out the cover of Night Moves by Bob Seger? Did you do it yet? That was a pretty easy homework assignment…so if you failed that motherfucker, you are officially out of the class…
Doesn’t really matter what we think about this album, some of us loved it, some of us…didn’t hate it, but eh, ya know…but that god damned album cover staring back at you? That’s the shit dreams are made of…bad dreams, bad-ass dreams!
Welp, I kept hearing about this up-start band called the Rolling Stones and I figured since we over here at Somebody Likes It Central Command are nothing if not full of lots of emotions of pity for the “little guy”, I thought I would throw them a bone and pick one of their albums. Exile on Mainstreet ain’t no George Thorogood, that’s for sure, but I feel confident if these guys keep it up, they might just “break on through to the other side” (The Doors) one of these days…
As cliched as it sounds, Sadie Dupuis might actually be some sort of tour de force: the chief creative element behind the ascending Speedy Ortiz (which, best I can tell, is neither speedy nor boasts an Ortiz), Dupuis recently knocked out an MFA in poetry, which she wields to hone razor-sharp lyrics on Speedy tracks. This band swims in the same hip kids pond that New England influences Pixies, The Breeders and Dinosaur Jr. first explored, and it may not be a shock that we have a tendency to think that’s noteworthy.
I just exhausted myself with all the tittering I did coming up with “Jam Puns” writing the previous version of this. Then, when I finished composing it in all of it’s majesty, I sat back to gaze upon my masterpiece…And then it struck me I FUCKING HATE PUNS! There is a burning hatred inside of me for puns. Tell the truth though, I now can see the allure in writing them.
Anyway, we reviewed the album “All Mod Cons” by the Jam. Now I’m getting all nervous that I’m inadvertently dropping puns everywhere. Better get out while I’m ahead.
To paraphrase Ryan, Peepshow by Siouxsie and the Banshees is the only record we’ve talked about that on first listen is disappointing because of how high a bar the opening track sets. Yeah, Peek-a-Boo (the song) is pretty much a home run. That’s all I’m gonna say about this one, because I get in trouble when I open up too much.
Siouxsie Sue sure is an interesting name. I wonder if it’s spelled that way on her birth certificate.
The band so nice, we reviewed them twice (note to self:you need to coyright that)…we first came across Canadian group Land of Talk last year during Podcast Overlord Chris Cox’s visit to the show last year when I picked their song “Quarry Hymns” for A Few Minutes With.Well for this go-round Kevin had us listen to the full-length that spawned that song, “Cloak and Cipher”. Let’s just say we didn’t hate it. Is that enough suspense for you?
Usually when we do these mix-tape shows, there is considerably more fun and frivolity to be had (though there is plenty of that to be found in this episode). By now, you guys know “the drill”…we pick a bunch of Bowie songs, and discuss them. Just felt like this would be a way we could honor his life through the prism of Somebody Likes It.
When Ryan suggested we listen to Clarence Carter’s 1986 ode to sexy time Strokin’ I couldn’t wait! Not only had we never devoted an entire show to just one song, but this song in particular is chockablock with subtlely and context! So I showed up to Mark’s garage with an armful of notes…
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that i had misheard Ryan and we were actually going to talk about The Strokes 2003 sophomore album Room on Fire! Whoops!
Listen closely (or not that closely if that’s how you prefer to listen) to the beginning of this episode and I clearly state that I expect everyone to stick to a discussion of Workingman’s Dead and to try and stay away from those all too iconic Grateful Dead live show images…What follows is an hour of hackey-sack jokes, sad attempts to noodle dance in the garage, and goofs on the chaos of a Dead live show in general (these are all things we assumed happened, cause we never actually attended a Grateful Dead show and hung out in the parking lot making burritos)…
Tahiti 80 are nothing if not pleasantly contradictory, or, at least, that’s what we’re more or less led to believe after basking in the warm glow of their debut album, Puzzle. They shared an affinity for indie bands when singer Xavier Boyer and bassist Pedro Resende met at university, and that affection for American stylings led, of course, to a band that sounds, well…completely French.
Silver Bells: Steve Martin, Paul Simon & Billy Joel. Twelve Days of Christmas: Bob & Doug Mackenzie. Centro-matic: Fuselage (It’s Starting to Look Like Christmas Once Again). James Brown: Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto. The Pogues: Fairytale of New York. The Pretenders: 2000 Miles.
Remember that shitty song Everything Zen by Bush? Awful awful song. Well this album isn’t that. It’s like the opposite of Bush. Zen Arcade (the seminal 1984 record by Hüsker Dü) landed in our laps this week, and let’s just say it definitely wasn’t what we expected it to be. I (and the rest of those people that talk into mics on this show) had previously only been familiar with Bob Mould’s post Hüsker Dü output, and that was a world away from THIS weird-ass hardcore punk concept record. Spirited discussion of it ensued.
This week we listen to the album Sylvan Esso by the band “Sylvan Esso”…well, not exactly a band, but it is two people making music, so not exactly a solo act. I guess I could have said “duo”, but somehow that just doesn’t feel right. We all agree that singer Amelia Meath has a honeyed voice that makes one weak in the knees…but that’s pretty much all we agreed on.
Somewhere around the time dinosaurs walked the earth and Prince Charles started wearing Lady Diana’s clothes, I spent a summer working in radio.
Those were odd days — or nights rather — plugging in commercials in the middle of the night to avoid the radio tax shows we were running (aka ‘ratings juggernaut’), and I used to take chances, mostly to keep myself awake beyond the darkness. Occasionally, that meant thumbing through a reservoir of old LPs from the station’s previous incarnation as an Album Oriented Rock enclave. Among those ruins lay the quirky sheen of Steely Dan, and from there on, my wee hours took to Fagen and Becker’s brand of jazz-rock urban dystopia.
If you are sitting at a bar after recording a podcast, and you are trying to explain to someone what your podcast is about, Television quickly becomes a “who’s on first”. It’s really hard to tell someone what you are doing a podcast about when you say Television and you immediately have to say “the band” Television…which is weird cause nobody EVER says “television” when referencing a television, they say “T.V…
There are a few musical artists that nobody hates. Willie Nelson, Bob Marley, Van Morrison. Marvin Gaye. Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. Billie Holiday. Even if you don’t want to listen to them, you still kind of love them. Even if it’s a begrudging love, you still love them. Admit it. Stevie Wonder is one of those artists. This album should have been a much more challenging album to listen to than it was. We talk all about it this week…
Couple of weeks ago I had my first real Early 80’s “After-School Special Teenager Vs. Dad Fight” with Chris Cox! I was like (and I’m paraphrasing, even though it would be so easy for me to pull up those e-mails if I weren’t so damn lazy), ” WHAT THE HELL?! Chris Cox, get out of my room! Maybe I totally got the order of episodes F’d up, but even if Doves is a week away from when I said it would be WHO CARES!” And then Chris Cox was like “No problem. Well just try and fix it if/when you can.” And I was like “YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD!” and then I totally forgot to fix it. Which is pretty embarrassing when you consider that I don’t smoke pot..or do sacrifices… or jump out of windows in an attempt to fly, or anything else people were really worried about in those after-school specials…
Fine. Maybe it was my fault this once. Whatever fault that might be…maybe this time I should just own up to it. You win, Chris Cox. We listened to Doves The Last Broadcast this week, and not Iggy and The Stooges Raw Power…you win this time. But you have to admit that I sure do have a tin ear for dialogue. Rest assured I will soon be submitting my “Shitty Re-Enactment Dialogue Resume” to Investigation Discovery…
I never found the Three Stooges very funny, but a few days ago I was up late and caught a few episodes on AMC and they aren’t half bad..wait, what are you whispering to me over the tubes that make up the internet? —rustling of papers—
Boy is my face red. Different Stooges I guess? I’m being told I’m not supposed to write about the Moe, Larry, Curley shit, but a band that we listened to? Get it together Bartell.
Well it sure seemed to me if you are gonna rub peanut butter all over your chest you might be one step away from doing “The Curly Shuffle”…except the music on this record was a good deal better than “The Curly Shuffle”…and there wasn’t a woo-woo-wooo to be found on it.
I feel like I want to…NEED TO…say something about how I felt about this album…but Chris Cox has told me that when I am doing these write-ups to keep it in my pants…so I won’t say anything about this record…I might have told you that it is the best god-damned thing I’ve heard in years…that it marries Josh Tillman’s incredible gift for melodies, crazy ass lyrics, and brilliantly over the top production in a way that somehow is even better than his 2012 album “Fear, Fun”. I might have said that listening to it makes me want to run outside, climb on my roof, and yell at the world that the world (at least my neighbors that are probably calling the cops on me already) is seriously losing the heck out if they (the world) haven’t heard this album…but I won’t do that.
If you had told 17 year old Shane that he would barely even remember who The Darling Buds were 20 years later, I’m sure he would have just tried to get you to buy him beer…
Kevin…or Keving, as I originally wrote (pretty sure that’s his AD&D Paladin character…look, if you people are unhappy with my bullshit “funny-pants” routine then fire me), took the week off because he was busy feeding his family getting a new job and visiting Chicago (that’s the most exciting excuse I could come up with), so we had perennial fave guest Matthew Munoz jump in at the last minute…He suggested we talk about The Darling Buds – Crawdaddy.
ASK…and ye shall receive! (borrowed, nay, stolen from Michael Jordan or some other important athlete I’m pretty sure). We finally got around to answering the question, “So, what’s the chance you look up from your collective 4 navels for half a second, and listen to a record that a member of the unwashed masses thinks might be an interesting listen”?
Remember the first time you asked yourself “What the fuck is a Wonderwall”? Cause you heard that song by Oasis, and had no idea what the hell Liam Gallagher was yelling about? At one time Wonderwall was a cultural touchstone pretty much on par with the Kennedy Assassination, and the Challenger Explosion, but I feel like we as a country have pretty much forgotten that. And that’s shameful. Shame on us.
I very clearly remember the first time I heard Doo-Wop (That Thing), the single from Lauren Hill’s break-out solo record from 1999. I was sitting in a car in horrible Portland Oregon rush hour traffic with my room-mate Mary, and after the song ended we looked at each other, nodding in wordless acknowledgement of how great the song we just heard was. I remember thinking that it sounded like the future of R&B, but as my life was in transition at that time, I never really followed up on exploring that.
This week, we took a dive into The Jesus and Mary Chain’s game-changer Psychocandy. Despite the fact that it kinda sounds like it was recorded in a burned-out warehouse, this record, nevertheless, is the lynchpin between The Velvet Underground and the shoegaze movement of England in the early 90s. The Reid brothers were certainly scaring something up inventive here, and scads of lads (and lasses) picked up that mantle and ran with it. Wish that Shane had been able to join us, as I’m certain that he’d have plenty to spill on this one…
So this week Phil came back and we managed not to talk about nasty stuff this time around. In fact, this time around we bandied about the term “Dad-Rock” and whether or not it was a pejorative. Also, we couldn’t remember each other’s names much of the night, making for great confusion. Oh, I guess I should mention that we talked about Sukierae by Tweedy. The band consists solely of Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco fame) and his son, which is another Dad-rock angle I suppose.
HAHAHAHAHA! Well, don’t get me wrong I had to suffer through it too, but still HAHAHAHAHAHA! This week I picked Styx’s 1983 back-masked classic Kilroy Was Here as my torture device, err, album to listen to. You all remember Killroy Was Here right? It spawned the huge hit “Mr. Roboto” a song that has aged as well as a yogurt cup left out in the sun. I highly recommend everyone take a listen.
Once upon a time, there were three long time friends that decided to record a very opinionated music oriented podcast. Then one day, “Dad” went on vacation and “Little Brother” and “Other Dude” decided to “fuck shit up”…and “Producer Mark” a.k.a. “The Adult” let them run amok.
Ok, that is getting tedious. Basically Kevin went on vacation, and Phil Ajjarapu joined Ryan and Mark and myself in a spirited discussion of the Ramone’s third album Rocket to Russia…A fine time was had by all.
Instead of the way we usually do things, in which we all rotate picking the 3 segments, Mark would take over the show and pick the album, the video in A Few Minutes With and the song for A Current Affair. It was so much fun to just turn it over to him, and be surprised with his ideas. So for your listening pleasure, here is Producer Mark Hijacks the Show…The Who Sells Out is how we start things off.
So in order to celebrate our first 365 days on ONEOFUS.NET we decided to do a supersized mixtape show for you guys. A mixtape show is pretty much the same as a regular show, only instead of just discussing one album, we all pick videos to surprise each other with, and alternate until no man is left alive. Or something like that. Also it was supposed to tie in with Memorial Day, but we couldn’t even get our shit together enough to even do that. Regardless, we think it’s a pretty amusing show and we hope you do too.
Well we did it. It was daunting at times. It was a (TINY) mountain we climbed, aided by little else but Ryan’s beef jerky supplies and Mark’s generous supply of and generous gift of various whiskies. We set out to achieve a goal and we did it. WE…DID…IT. All the naysayers accusing us of laziness (me) can just go bite a pillow, cause we did it. We finished our 3 week long exploration of albums we hadn’t discussed before that were produced by bands we had. It was pretty damn monumental in the scheme of things.
This week we listened to Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys, and this time there was barely even any discussion about how they were yelling at Ryan…
WEEEEEEEK TWWWWWOOOOOOO!!! of our super exciting (super lazy?) idea to revisit bands we’ve previously reviewed. This week it’s my pick, Pavement’s Brighten the Corners, proving that I’m extra lazy as I just picked another record off of Matador’s mid-90’s roster. It was fun to compare Pavement and Yo La Tengo! Well, not exactly “compare” as much as not even compare them at all.
Well it’s week one of “Let’s re-visit other albums by bands we’ve discussed before”. Cause you know, we’re are lazy and unimaginative. Or to take the party line, we want to go back and see other sides of bands we’ve talked about before. We’ll do this for a few more weeks, all leading up to our first GIANT MEMORIAL DAY MIXTAPE SHOW.
Kevin keeps getting ideas. This week, he suggested that in honor of The Moontower Comedy Festival, an event here in Austin that draws comedians from all over, we listen to (then discuss) another comedy album. Some of you may remember that when Kevin wrapped up his paternity leave a few months ago, for his comeback record he chose a Dimitri Martin record, which while fun, was a little challenging to discuss.
This time around he picked Whiskey Icarus by Kyle Kinane and we had REAL LIFE COMEDIAN(and friend of Kyle’s) JT Habersaat on the show to help us out. That proved to be a great idea and I think you guys will agree.
This week we crack the 50’s with Frank Sinatra’s ode to lost love In the Wee Small Hours. As I suspected going in, it was way too easy to get caught up in the myth of Frank Sinatra, and it took a lot of concentration to stay on task and discuss the actual album. But let me tell you, we did it. We got it done. I think you would have expected nothing less than the literal and minimal accomplishment of what we are supposed to do.
This week, we spend some time getting to know chaos. Both in the body of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Fever to Tell”, and in Mark’s garage. Both an existential and recorded. But damn, sometimes I think you need to unravel a little bit so you can feel alive! Sometimes you need to stare into a yawning chasm in order to appreciate feeling alive. I should know, cause I felt a little more alive after recording this week’s show.
Courtney Barnett sure is blowing up these days, so of course we had to jump on board, ’cause you know us. Hell, we even listened to a Taylor Swift song during A Current Affair this week. Not that I’m comparing Taylor Swift and Courtney Barnett, Barnett is Australian for goodness sakes! Oh, and they sounds nothing alike. If I were to compare their similarities I would say it’s kind of like comparing Slayer and The Smiths. So, kind of soundalikes, but also not at all. Lots of people throw around Bob Dylan comparisons when they are talking about Courtney Barnett and Ryan is one of those people.
I’ve been told by Chris Cox to try and stay away from discussing how we felt about any albums when I write these things. But I’m gonna make a slight exception in this case. I got a text from Ryan a few days before I had listened to All The Right Reasons by Canadian powerhouse Nickleback.
Well, SXSW came and went, and all of were still of (relatively) sound mind and body, so we decided to congregate in Mark’s garage and do the show. This week we were joined by our good friend Marcus Rice and we graciously allowed him to choose this week’s album, Heaven or Las Vegas, The Cocteau Twins 1990 effort. A fine time was had by all and much spirited discussion ensued.
I thought maybe we should step up our game here, so I picked one that came out a few months ago Tetsuo and Youth by Lupe Fiasco. I had been aware of Lupe when he first started putting records out, but had lost sight of him in recent years. As Ryan put it “This is the best album we’ve talked about that I’ll probably never listen to again.” But you can make up your mind on that yourself. For A Few Minutes With, Ryan continues his stellar run of picking great videos from the 80’s with his choice of We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.
The history of the world is full of brave heroes. Men and women that took on things that no one else would consider touching with a pole of any length. Well, I think you can add Kevin, Ryan, and Myself to that list. Who else would have had the huevos grande (that’s big balls for those monolinguals) to take on a critical discussion of Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks”? But don’t worry, it ended up being lots of fun and not too inflammatory. Also, it marked a return to our roots as it once was: just the 3 of us back in the garage.
Episode 30 – Sonic Youth: “Goo”
This week at the show there’s a bit of a wrench thrown into the works. Namely, Chris (me, who’s writing this week’s text), one of your heroic leaders at OneOfUs.net. I’m a big fan of what these guys do at “Somebody Likes It“ and had been talking with Shane about coming on the show to talk an album up for some time now. And that some time…is now. I brought in one of my favorite records, showing my age, the unexpected 1990 pop masterpiece by Sonic Youth, “Goo“.
In addition to going over the album du jour, we talked about “Quarry Hymns“ by Land of Talk and “Hero“ by Family of the Year.
Ryan made it on time this week, and he came through the door with AMAZING video from the 80’s tucked under his arm. But more on that in a minute. I came through the door with a bundle of pre-packaged Buttery Nipple shots, and let me say they were exactly as delicious as you might think. For our album this week, Kevin picked “The Modern Lovers” 1976 Eponymous album. All I had known about The Modern Lovers prior to this listen was that Jonathan Richman was the main dude, and all I knew about Jonathan Richman prior to this listen was he was in that movie where Ben Stiller got his dick stuck in his zipper. But I’m sure glad I got the chance to listen to it.
This week, it’s “The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society” by…wait for it…The Kinks (wouldn’t it have been wonderful if I dropped in C and C Music Factory right there?). I love the British Invasion, I think the Beatles were the most confounding and amazing band ever, most of my all time favorite bands and records hail from The British Isles…but somehow the Kinks had mostly fallen off of my radar. And that’s not for lack of people nudging me toward them (looking at you Darin Murphy). Long story short, I finally understood all of the comparisons to Blur- Parklife I’ve heard over the years.
We had some new developments in the garage this week that both unleashed Kevin from his production role, and encouraged his usage of “Dad Pun Humor”. While this show was extremely fun for us, I can’t really tell you that you will be free from some freewheeling “humor”, a lot of which involves old-dude 80’s sitcom Newhart. Which is such an obvious go-to seeing as how we are discussing RUN-DMC’s 1988 mixed bag of tricks “Tougher Than Leather”.
So, the major new development for the show this week is that Mark Couvillion will be taking on the role of show producer, and while he won’t always be picking up a mic, he will be in the room with us…fact-checking, more fact-checking, being utilized as an ally, making us wrap up “discussions that are going no-where”, and other “grown-up” stuff like that. YAY PRODUCER MARK!!!
This week you get the return of guest Matt Munoz, the craziest video of the 80’s (courtesy of Van Halen), and the debut of our new segment “A Current Affair”, wherein we discuss a song released within the 12 months preceding the show. For the inaugural segment I picked “Bridges” by the New Zealand duo, Broods. Let’s see if you catch the twist at the end of the video cause these fucking knuckle-heads sure as shit didn’t.
ALSO! We talk about the Jellyfish record, “Spilt Milk”. I had previously scorned Jellyfish because of their stupid early 90’s clothes, but turns out, they weren’t as bad as their clothes were.
In anticipation of reviewing Sturgill Simpson’s album “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music” I decided to take a bunch of acid and mushrooms and remind myself of how Psychedelic Thought and Eastern Philosophy had such incredible commonalities…
I wanted to run down those squiggly avenues where there was a convergence of my ideas of reality and my ideas of what I wanted reality to be. Or that’s what 19 year old Shane and only 19 year old Shane would have done…
Kevin is back after his paternity leave and as he was picking the album for this week’s episode, he decided to throw us a softball. Oh wait, actually he decided to alter the format of the show: this week he picked our first comedy album. The comedy album in question is Demetri Martin’s 2012 record “Standup Comedian”.
This week we took on LCD Soundsystem and Ryan and I disagreed a lot. But I’m WAAAAAAYYYYY less interested in that discussion than I am in what we listened to and talked about during A Few Minutes With.
Camper Van Beethoven. Well who the fuck knew? I had heard stuff before, but in my head they had kind of defined the mid-80’s “let’s throw everything at the wall, and fuck it, let’s try and be funny at the same time” ethos I found so spread all over the place during that period of time. But this damn album, “Key Lime Pie”, got my attention.
Did I like listening to Shuggie Otis’s album “Inspiration Information”? Yeah, I did. A lot. So did everybody else recording this show with me. It’s not often you get to see the blueprint of a musical paradigm.
Episode 20 – Spiritualized: “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”
Well, we fucking did it. We went ahead and recorded a show without Kevin. The only adult “Somebody Likes It” has really known thus far. I wasn’t sure that Ryan and I could hold the motherfucking jalopy together, but god was willing and the creek didn’t rise (and with a liberal dose of help from Mark) we got it done!
WE DID IT!!!!! (Cue America the Beautiful at an ear-splitting volume. And little shiny shit falling from the ceiling)
We discussed “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space” by Spiritualized. Along with the best damn album title ever, this thing is a pretty solid listen! I guess we made fun of Ryan’s choice of snacks (again) and started getting used to recording this thing in a new garage.
Oh and wait. I forgot about this week’s “A Few Minutes With”. Well, not as much forgot as punched myself in the god-damned forehead in an attempt to forget. And here’s where stuff gets kind of complicated. See, I had just assumed that Kevin, with his DAD HUMOR and SADISTIC HUMOR had, as his final pick for a month or two, given us the hilarious-for-half-a-listen-two-summers-ago “What Does The Fox Say”, to get in one last sadistic swing. Well, turns out, Mark thinks that shit is HILARIOUS. So, I guess that seals the deal. Mark is just as much the voice of Adulthood as Kevin ever was. Except Kevin never had an animatronic fox that danced around his garage and sang the song. So I guess Mark has him beat there.