Completely Conspicuous

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August 2019
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Syndication

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's album Blues for Allah.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- The Dead's 7th studio album, came out in September 1975

- The band's highest-charting album until 1987

- Very non-commercial record

- Jay: The best thing about the album is the cover

- Moved in a much different direction from previous album

- Band had stopped touring after From the Mars Hotel

- Mickey Hart was back

- Also in 1975, Zeppelin had released Physical Graffiti, Talking Heads and Sex Pistols played their first shows, disco started hitting the charts

- Phil: Very sparse, subdued jazz-rock album

- Studio songs are blueprint, but they change after repeated live playings

- Dead fans were used to changing sounds

- The live show was the thing

- Commercial success was less important to the band and its fans

- Some songs on this album went on to become concert staples

- Not a lot of bands that have fans following them around the country: Phish, Afghan Whigs, Pearl Jam, Tragically Hip

- Album has a Middle Eastern feel; a few years later, they played in Egypt

- Jay: Liked the first few songs, then it started to meander

- Next album was live album Steal Your Face, which many fans didn't like

- Next we'll listen to Terrapin Station and Cornell '77

- Springsteen's live shows are long, but full of songs (as opposed to long jams)

- Phil just saw Apocalypse Now for the first time

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.

Direct download: CompCon_513_082719.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:53pm EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's album From the Mars Hotel.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ on the 13th birthday of the podcast

- The Dead's 7th studio album, came out in June 1974

- Watergate hearings were the big news story

- Beer was a lot cheaper back then

- In '74, there was a good variety of rock acts releasing important albums, plus funk

- Mars Hotel had some classic Dead songs

- Phil Lesh sang two songs, which was rare, and Bob Weir had one

- Garcia is in prime form on this record

- The Dead was touring with the "Wall of Sound," a massive "distortion-free" speaker setup

- Playing larger venues

- The cost was so high that they eventually quit touring for a few years

- Maybe the last great Dead studio album

- The Grateful Dead Movie was taken from the final shows of this tour

- Working out new songs in the live setting

- Rivalry between lyricists Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow

- The Dead would play with guest musicians from time to time including Pete Townshend, Branford Marsalis, Santana, Huey Lewis

- The Dead probably got some airplay on FM rock radio in the '70s

- Rock radio has changed a tremendous amount over the years; it's mostly corporate, formatted now

- College and online stations have the most freedom

- Second-tier album in the discography

- Pretty representative of the Dead's sound

- Next: Blues for Allah

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.

Direct download: CompCon_512_082119.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:38pm EST

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Gary Barth as we discuss the concertgoing experience.

Show notes:

- Recorded in Gary's car on the way to the show

- Driving before and briefly after an Iron Maiden concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA

- Jay: Big fan of club shows

- Like to get up close to the stage

- The downside of theater shows

- Some shows are made for big venues

- Getting your face melted by Ty Segall

- Demographics: We're the target market for Maiden, but often among the oldest when seeing newer acts

- If you were 30 when you saw Maiden during their early days, you're pushing 70 now

- Still weird to be "the old guy"

- No institutional knowledge of what came before

- Gary: Raised our kids on the Beatles

- Jay: My kids love Taylor Swift; at least she writes her own songs

- I listen to a lot of pop these days when I drive the girls around

- Making the kids listen to your music

- Gary: We played Beatles Rock Band a lot as a family

- Will we still go to rock shows as senior citizens?

- No such thing as guilty pleasures

- We both love the Bee Gees

- Jay: Traded the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack for a Zeppelin album

- Reconciled with my disco-loving childhood

- People who watch a show through their smart phones

- Making Gary self-conscious about phone use at concerts

- Artists who ban cellphone use at shows

- After the concert

- We paid extra to park in a lot to get out earlier

- High energy, over-the-top stage show

- Saw some people with toddlers

- Fun to go to a big show with friends

- Gary's next show: Raconteurs in September

- Jay's next show: Sleater-Kinney in October

- Gary plays about 20 shows a year

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.

Direct download: CompCon_511_081219.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:35pm EST

Celebrating 13 years of podcasting with part 1 of my conversation with guest Gary Barth as we discuss the concertgoing experience...while we drive to a concert.

Show notes:

- Recorded in Gary's car on the way to the show

- Driving to an Iron Maiden concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA

- Gary's first concert: Huey Lewis and the News in 1985

- Huey's got rock cred

- All the big shows back in the '80s were at hockey rinks

- Many bands now play smaller theaters and clubs

- Jay: Used to go see arena shows only back then

- Arenas in Worcester, Portland, Providence

- Shows were cheaper back then, but we had less money

- People would get really wasted before concerts

- The guy who sat behind us and still missed the entire Maiden show

- Getting rides to concerts from parents

- Gary plays in a Grateful Dead cover band, Deadbeat

- Listening to some "nice hahd rawk"

- Jay's (very) short-lived high school band

- Jay: Liked a lot of metal and hard rock in high school, turned away from it in the '90s

- We both started listening to Maiden again in 2006

- Bands don't make money from selling albums anymore

- Saw Drive-By Truckers at the local theater in Beverly

- Go see Deadbeat at the Bull Run in Shirley, MA on 8/9

- Cover bands are doing pretty well these days

- Heavy Metal Cul de Sac

- Bands keep touring into their old age

- The Iron Maiden guys are all in their 60s but put on a high-energy show

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_510_080519.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:39pm EST

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