Completely Conspicuous

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Syndication

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2009.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5s: Arctic Monkeys, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Patterson Hood, Alice in Chains, Obits, Eels, Tragically Hip, Brendan Benson, Neko Case, Heaven and Hell
  • Phil's #5: Yeah Yeah Yeahs make foray into dance rock
  • Judas Priest makes good pump-up music
  • Jay's #5: Trippy prog-metal from Mastodon
  • Phil's #4: Neko Case is a force of nature
  • Jay's #4: Art Brut with an entertaining collection of ripping artsy punk  
  • Phil's #3: Slow-burning solo excursion from Patterson Hood
  • Jay's #3: Anthemic punk/classic rock mix from Japandroids
  • Phil's #2: Phish returns after a 5-year break
  • Jay's #2: Jarvis Cocker with the kickass Albini-recorded solo ripper 
  • Phil's and Jay's #1:  Monster supergroup debut from Them Crooked Vultures
  • Jay saw TCV in Boston on their only tour
  • Always cool to see someone from Zeppelin play live
  • Favorite songs: "Angela" (Jay), "Elephants" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_636_050824.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2009.

Show notes:

  • In 2009, Phil had a newborn and was expecting another
  • We had a global pandemic in '09 (H1N1 swine flu)
  • Biggest selling album in the world was by Susan Boyle
  • Black Eyed Peas had a big year
  • U2 had an album out, but didn't make much of an impression on us
  • Phil's non-top 5s: The Dead Weather, Son Volt, Wilco, Jason Isbell, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, A.C. Newman, Titus Andronicus, Deer Tick 
  • To smarm or not to smarm
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_635_050124.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2008.

Show notes:

  • Phil's #5: My Morning Jacket changes things up
  • Jay's #5: Big space rock ripper from Black Mountain
  • Phil's #4: Springsteen-inspired indie rock from the Gaslight Anthem
  • Jay's #4: Stephen Malkmus gets jammy 
  • Phil's #3: Tom Petty's early band Mudcrutch gets back together
  • Jay's #3: Sloan with an economical power pop release
  • Phil's and Jay's #2: Dark, inspired record from the Gutter Twins
  • Phil's #1: Brooding classic from Death Cab for Cutie 
  • Jay's #1: The Hold Steady hits an anthemic peak 
  • Craig Finn is an atypical yet terrific frontman
  • Favorite songs: "Stay Positive" (Jay), "I Will Possess Your Heart" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_634_041224.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2008.

Show notes:

  • In '08, Phil became a dad
  • M.I.A. with the Clash fakeout intro
  • Phil's non-top 5s: The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus, Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, the Raconteurs, Beck, R.E.M., JJ Grey and Mofro, Sloan, Drive-By Truckers, Black Keys
  • The Kelly Gruber Effect
  • The other Phil Stacey releases his debut album, as did Scarlett Johansson and Bronson Arroyo
  • Jay's non-top 5s: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Black Angels, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Destroyer
  • Green Day was punk until they weren't
  • Phil: Hearing the Kinks for the first time
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_633_040324.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2007.

Show notes:

  • Phil's #5: Sharp alt-country debut from Deer Tick
  • Jay's #5: Nick Cave rocks out with Grinderman
  • Phil's #4: Compelling raunch rock from QOTSA
  • Jay's #4: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists with another quality ripper
  • Phil's #3: Soulful belter Sharon Jones with a great throwback
  • Jay's #3: Radiohead's "pay what you want" experiment
  • Labels were not happy that they took the risk
  • Phil's #2: Dad-rock kings Wilco with a mellower affair
  • Jay's #2: The original Dino Jr. lineup with their first album since '88
  • Phil's and Jay's #1: Spoon breaks through with a classic
  • The decline of rock as a popular genre
  • Favorite songs: "Don't You Evah" (Jay), "Impossible Germany" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_632_030624.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2007.

Show notes:

  • In 2007, Jay had a kid starting kindergarten; that kids graduates from college soon
  • Zeppelin played two reunion shows
  • Separating the music from artists' bad behavior
  • Daughtry had the #1 selling album of '07
  • Phil's non-top 5s: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, the National, St. Vincent, Jason Isbell, Okkervil River, Buffalo Tom, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Arctic Monkeys 
  • Let's hear it for Dad Rock
  • On Madonna's career
  • Discovering music through commercials or movies
  • Music services
  • Jay's non-top 5s: LCD Soundsystem, the Dears, Tim Armstrong, Black Francis, Thurston Moore, Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Ray Davies, Beastie Boys
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_631_022824.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2006.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5s: The Black Angels, Mission of Burma, Twilight Singers, The Tragically Hip, Girl Talk, Iron Maiden, Lemonheads
  • Phil's #5: Beck's last really good album, especially the first half
  • Jay's #5: First solo release from Pulp's Jarvis Cocker
  • Phil's #4: Last Drive-By Truckers album with Jason Isbell expands their world view
  • Jay's #4: Expansive and excellent outing from TV On the Radio
  • Phil's #3: Droney, psychedelic fuzz from the Black Angels
  • Jay's #3: Yet another great one from the Hold Steady
  • Phil's #2: Sharp debut from Jack White-led Raconteurs
  • Jay's #2: Sweeping double album from Sloan, chock full o' power pop goodness
  • Phil's #1: Guitar greatness from Doug Martsch and Built to Spill
  • Jay's #1: Audacious debut from Arctic Monkeys
  • Arctic Monkeys caught on with a whole new audience
  • Favorite songs: "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor" (Jay), "Goin' Against Your Mind" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_630_012324.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2006.

Show notes:

  • First episode of the year
  • In 2006, Jay had two little kids
  • Phil was having fun
  • When you don't know anybody playing the festival
  • Top-selling album of the year was High School Musical soundtrack
  • The Who released an album in 2006
  • Phil's non-top 5s: Neko Case, Destroyer, the Hold Steady, the Walkmen, Dylan, Heartless Bastards, Tom Petty, Eagles of Death Metal, Black Keys, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Jay: Check out Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_629_011624.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:59pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2023.

Show notes:

  • We're in there like swimwear
  • On to the top 10 lists
  • Breitling's #10: Return to from by Fog Lake
  • Breitling's #9: Frog's new release unexpectedly has received critical praise 
  • Kumar's #9: Another consistenly great album from Protomartyr
  • Breitling's #8: Minimalist excellence from Colleen that tests Jay's French pronunciation skills
  • Kumar's #8: After an 11-year absence, the Hives' formula de rock still kicks ass in 2023
  • Breitling's #7 and Kumar's #10: Yo La Tengo still bringing the heat, opening the album with 7-minute feedback-laden ripper
  • Kumar's #7 and Breitling's #6: Supergroup is actually super, Voltroning into a monster act
  • Kumar's #6: Return of the rock with Queens of the Stone Age, chock full o' bangers from a super-tight band
  • Breitling's #5: Philly represent with Golden Apples dropping indie pop/rock with the fuzz bass and some wooder ice
  • Kumar's #5: SF's Pardoner brings an assortment of guitar sounds from the last 50 years to their latest slack masterpiece
  • The '90s sound (and look) is still thriving
  • Breitling's #4: More of the Philly goodness with Purling Hiss with the lo-fi hooky guitar rock
  • Kumar's #4: Indie power-pop supergroup Eyelids delivers the super-catchy goods
  • Breilting's #3: Bay Area shoegaze concern Blue Ocean returns with a weird and rewarding album
  • Kumar's #3: Sharp, concise indie post-punk from Kansas-via-Boston act Sweeping Promises  
  • Breitling's #2: Ohio-based indie act Connections connects with melodic rockers; RIYL GBV, Feelies
  • Kumar's #2: New Zealand post-punk that smashes through with punchy, catchy rippers
  • Breitling's #1: Long-awaited reunion album from American shoegaze icons Drop Nineteens does not disappoint
  • Kumar's #1: Going into Hellmode with Jeff Rosenstock, who has been consistently releasing excellent albums for the last several years; additional layers of maturity and depth make this release all the more satisfying 

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_628_122623.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2023.

Show notes:

  • Recorded at Clicky Clicky HQ
  • The 14th year of "Year in Music" episodes
  • Taylor Swift is big, but not bigger than Starbucks
  • Breitling making fun of Croz
  • Perfect synergy: The Stones tour sponsored by AARP
  • Hall v. Oates
  • KISS passes the torch to digital avatars of themselves
  • The "new" old Beatles song
  • Check it out on the YouthTube
  • Spotify blows
  • The kids love the streaming and whatnot
  • Check out Parcheesi Redux Tuesday and Thursday on Mixcloud
  • Also check out Brad Searles' show The Almanac on the first Wednesday of every month
  • Shout out to the Rollins Archive
  • Breitling's honorable mentions: Ted Pauly, Everything But the Girl, Cupid and Psyche, Everasting and Zilla, Superchunk
  • Kumar's honorable mentions: Pile, Model/Actriz, Yves Tumor, Fucked Up, Shame, PJ Harvey, Peter Gabriel, Marnie Stern, Replacements' "Tim" reissue, Breeders' Last Splash reissue, Feelies live album of VU covers
  • To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_627_121923.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2005.

Show notes:

  • Jay's #5 and Phil's #4: New Pornographers with another all-star power pop classic
  • Phil's #5: Early '70s singer-songwriter jams from Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
  • Still in the era of artists putting out overlong albums
  • Jay's #3: Spoon expands their sound, grows their popularity
  • Phil's #3: A powerful R&B belter from Sharon Jones
  • Jay's #2: Queens of the Stone Age with a punchy follow-up to a monster hit
  • Phil's #2: Beck with an Odelay-esque release with a nod to Latin music
  • Phil's #1 and Jay's #4: Sleater-Kinney drops a monster rock album 
  • Jay's #1: Another winner from The Hold Steady, blending big riffs and nerdy scenester tales
  • Jay makes a Rush joke
  • Favorite songs: "Jumpers" (Phil), "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" (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. 

Direct download: CompCon_626_110823.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:40pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2005.

Show notes:

  • In 2005, Jay was dealing with tiny children while Phil was newly married
  • Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Pink Floyd briefly reunited
  • Jay: Listened to a lot of songs via MP3 blogs
  • Jay's non-top 5s: White Stripes, Black Mountain, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Wolf Parade, Against Me!
  • Phil's non-top 5s: Sufjan Stevens, Son Volt, Bright Eyes, Neil Young, Trey Anastasio, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Southern Culture on the Skids, North Mississippi All-Stars
  • Random cocaine references 
  • Wilco with a good live album
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_625_110123.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2004.

Show notes:

  • Phil's #5: Arcade Fire with a rousing debut about suburbia
  • Jay's #5: First album from Mission of Burma in 19 years kicks serious butt
  • Phil's #4: The last U2 album Phil enjoyed
  • Zebra once opened for their Zeppelin cover band
  • Jay's #4 and Phil's #3: Drive-By Truckers unleash another powerful concept album about the South
  • Phil's #2: Brian WIlson finally releases unreleased epic album Smile
  • The Beach Boys went from "America's Beatles" to an oldies joke band
  • Jay's #2: Another excellent album from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  • Jay's #1: Debut from the Hold Steady combines '70s riffs with indie rock
  • Phil's #1 and Jay's #3: Mark Lanegan with a world-weary masterpiece with a little help from his friends
  • Favorite songs: "Hit the City" (Phil), "Positive Jam" (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. 

Direct download: CompCon_624_092723.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2004.

Show notes:

  • In 2004, Jay became a father for the second time, was a diaper-changing machine
  • Phil got married, saw the Red Sox and Patriots become champions
  • Jay: Got an iPod, downloaded a ton of music
  • Pixies reunited, Phish broke up
  • Many bands take hiatuses
  • The tale of Mr. Jimmy
  • William Hung becomes famous
  • Phil's non-top 5s: Wilco, Black Keys, Beastie Boys, Patterson Hood, Umphrey's McGee, the Killers, Green Day, Twilight Singers, Eagles of Death Metal, PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand, TV On the Radio, Tragically Hip 
  • Phil invents new words
  • Green Day rejuvenates itself
  • Jay's non-top 5s: The Walkmen, Death From Above 1979
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_623_091923.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:28pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2003.

Show notes:

  • Phil's #5: Raucous debut from NYC's Yeah Yeah Yeahs, featuring the electric Karen O
  • Jay's #5: Radiohead combined electronic and guitar-driven sounds
  • Radiohead albums kept leaking early on file-sharing networks
  • Phil's #4: The Shins hone their super catchy pop sound
  • Jay's #4: An indie rock gem from the Wrens that still awaits a follow-up
  • 20 years of starts, stops, indecision and disagreements
  • Phil's #3: My Morning Jacket combined indie rock, Southern rock, folk and jam band sounds
  • MP3 blog bands abound
  • Jay's #3: Another kickass release from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  • Leo is one of the great unsung artists of our generation
  • Is Springsteen overrated?
  • Phil's #2: Drive-By Truckers add Jason Isbell and step up their game
  • Jay's #2: A departure for Sloan, but one jam-packed with great songs
  • The only Sloan album without an Andrew Scott song
  • Phil's #1: The White Stripes expand their sound and totally blow up
  • The Stripes made a lot of noise with minimal instrumentation
  • Jay's #1: Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers unleash a classic album as a tribute to late friend
  • Favorite songs: "The Hardest Button to Button" (Phil), "Teenage Wristband" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_622_091223.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2003.

Show notes:

  • In 2003, Jay had a toddler and found out another kid was on the way
  • Started downloading a lot of music via blogs
  • Jay saw Pat DiNizio, Gord Downie, Radiohead, Guster
  • Phil got engaged, saw a lot of Red Sox games
  • Coed softball struggles
  • 50 Cent had the #1 song of the year
  • A lot of number bands on the charts
  • What's the deal with Kid Rock?
  • Phil's non-top 5s: TV On the Radio, Warren Zevon, Jason Molina, Black Keys, Jet, Outkast, Ween, Lucinda Williams, Bowie
  • Jay's non-top 5s: Gord Downie, Electric Six, Dizzee Rascal, Stephen Malkmus, Zeppelin
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CC_621_090523.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2002.

Show notes:

  • Phil's #5: Coldplay's second album turned them into superstars
  • Jay's #5: Spoon returns to an indie and begins a long stretch of excellence
  • Phil's and Jay's #4: Strong release from the Tragically Hip highlights their varied strengths
  • Phil's #2: The last great Foo Fighters album caused a lot of turmoil for the band
  • Jay's #3 and Phil's #1: Beck with another sad bastard folk-rock masterpiece
  • Jay's #2: Killer debut from Interpol was part of the hot NYC scene of the early '00s
  • It's hard for some bands to live up to a great first album
  • Phil's #3 and Jay's #1: Queens of the Stone Age reaches new heights with help from Dave Grohl on drums
  • Favorite songs: "No One Knows" (Jay), "End of the Day" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_620_081523.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2002.

Show notes:

  • In 2002, Jay became a first-time dad and didn't get much sleep
  • Jay turned 35, Phil turned 33
  • Phil was newly single, met his current wife
  • John Entwistle died the classic rock star death
  • Napster officially called it quits after lawsuits
  • Owning music is an outdated concept now
  • Nickelback had the top song of the year
  • Charts had a mixture of nu metal, hip hop and pop
  • Phil's non-top 5 albums: Doves, Sleater-Kinney, Flaming Lips, Spoon, Trey Anastasio, Dave Matthews Band, Interpol, Black Keys, Sonic Youth, GBV, Tom Petty, Bowie
  • Jay's non-top 5s: McLusky, Hot Snakes, Trail of Dead, Elvis Costello, Broken Social Scene  
  • We never saw a lot of the rock videos of this era
  • This was the age of the MP3 blog    
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_619_080823.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:20pm EDT

Celebrating the podcast's 17th birthday by talking to Amanda Guest about the 10th birthday of the radio station she founded, BFF.fm.

Show notes:

  • Amanda was last on the podcast 10 years ago talking about moving to SF and launching BFF.fm
  • Plenty of surprises along the way
  • She was a DJ at the Salem State College (now University) station for 18 years
  • Commercial radio was already being automated in the mid-'90s
  • Built a studio in the Secret Alley in SF
  • A lot of the DJs at BFF now weren't alive when Amanda was DJing in the '90s
  • Shorter attention spans: Newer DJs are doing one-hour shows
  • Jay has been doing a show for BFF since the station started
  • "Where's Koomdogg?"
  • Building exposure through a crazy boat DJing gig
  • Became a nonprofit in 2015
  • Amanda was hired as the GM of the station, now doing it full-time
  • Went from dues-based organization to nonprofit
  • Allows BFF to fundraise and get grants
  • Celebrating the station's 10th birthday with events throughout the city
  • Amanda plans to stay involved but wants to retire at some point
  • SF went into COVID lockdown early and stayed in it the longest
  • Studio had to shut down so BFF enabled DJs to broadcast from home
  • Found free space in the SF Ferry Building so were able to broadcast from there
  • The future of radio won't get less corporate
  • Not a lot of commercial stations for indie music, except for college stations
  • Amanda: Big electronic music movement happening in SF
  • Looking for new music
  • The DJ as curator
  • BFF has 120 shows on the schedule, most done live in the studio
  • Different approaches to show construction
  • Great achievements in song segues
  • Jay: Coming up on 500 episodes of the radio show

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.

Direct download: CompCon_618_080123.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2001.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5 albums: Von Bondies, Radiohead, Sloan, Frank Black & the Catholics, Guided By Voices, Fugazi
  • The joy of shopping for imports
  • Phil's #5: Great distillation of classic rock from Sweden's The Soundtrack of Our Lives
  • Jay's #5: Indie folk-rock on first solo effort from Gord Downie includes spoken word
  • Phil's #4 and Jay's #3: Breakthrough album from the White Stripes blew up several months after it came out
  • Jay's #4: The Strokes led the return of guitar rock with a NYC-centric sound
  • Highlighted in the book and documentary Meet Me in the Bathroom
  • Phil's #3: Spoon with a strong release after getting dropped from a major 
  • Phil's #2: Another great album after getting dropped came from Wilco
  • Phil's #1 and Jay's #2: A masterful double album about the duality of the Southern thang by Drive-By Truckers
  • Jay's #1: Impressive release from Ted Leo & the Pharmacists showcased a melding of diverse rock styles
  • Favorite songs: "Timorous Me" (Jay), "Ronnie and Neil" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_617_072423.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2001.

Show notes:

  • In 2001, Jay found out he was going to be a dad and also went back to his old employer
  • Jay turned 34, Phil turned 32
  • Phil got divorced
  • 9/11 was a defining generational moment
  • Jay: Saw concerts by Radiohead, Gord Downie, Tragically Hip, PJ Harvey, Built to Spill, Buddy Guy
  • Apple launched iTunes music store and the iPod
  • Napster got sued into oblivion
  • Pop was big but garage rock started getting popular
  • Lifehouse had the #1 single of the year?
  • Scott Stapp wrote a pump-up song for the Marlins
  • Phil got recruited by a Scientologist
  • Phil's non-top 5 albums: Gorillaz, R.E.M., DMB, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Fugazi, Stephen Malkmus, Pete Yorn, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan 
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_616_071823.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the first half of 2023.

Show notes:

  • Running down our favorite albums of the year so far
  • Kumar's #10: Pile diversifies its sound
  • Breitling's #9 and Kumar's #8: Yo La Tengo keeps on Yo La Tengoing 
  • Kumar's #9: Dangerous sounding debut from Model/Actriz
  • Breitling's #8: Continued excellence from Protomartyr
  • Kumar's #7: Excellent third release from Washer, giving off Meat Puppets vibe
  • Another great act on Exploding In Sound
  • Breitling's #7: Fog Lake returns with a compelling slowcore release; may or may not be Shady Canadians
  • Breitling's #10 and Kumar's #6: Perennially pissed off hip hop from UK Grim
  • Breitling's #6: Lo-fi folk rock stalwarts Hands and Knees return with a strong release
  • Kumar's #5: Yves Tumor mixes shoegaze, alt-rock and funk into a powerful concoction
  • Breitling's #5 and Kumar's #4: Legit supergroup Boygenius delivers the goods
  • Breitling's #4: Bully with another excellent rock album
  • Tom Cavanaugh tangent time
  • Kumar's #3: Catchy hardcore from Fucked Up represents a more spontaneous recording process
  • Breitling's #3: Quick collection of rippers from New Zealand's Guardian Singles
  • Kumar's #2: UK act Shame pushes out of their post-punk comfort zone
  • Breitling's #2: Going back to Philly with Purling Hiss, bringing hooks and attitude to the party
  • Kumar's #1: Power pop awesomeness from the indie all-star band that is Eyelids
  • Breitling's #1: Jangly indie pop straight outta Columbus with Connections
  • Kurt Loder tangent 
  • Anticipated/newer albums: Drop Nineteens, Speedy Ortiz, Palehound, PJ Harvey, Queens of the Stone Age, Jason Isbell, Jeff Rosenstock, OSees, Blur 

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_615_071123.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:28pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the first half of 2023.

Show notes:

  • Recorded at CompCon HQ
  • Concerts are back
  • TicketMaster is still a mess
  • Nobody's buying CDs
  • The Beatles and AI
  • Parcheesi Redux is in its third year
  • Talking about the band Toronto and their hit "Your Daddy Don't Know," covered by the New Pornographers
  • The kids are alright
  • Rock music is still around, although it's a minor part of the music business
  • Breitling's bubbling under albums: Everything But the Girl; Depeche Mode; Sharp Pins; OK Cool; Reds, Pinks and Purples; Pile; Squitch; Mui Zyu
  • Jay's bubbling unders: The Hold Steady; The New Pornographers; Ron Gallo; Quasi; Mudhoney
  • To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_614_070323.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2000.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5 picks: Hot Snakes, Rollins Band, Fu Manchu, Pearl Jam
  • Phil's and Jay's #5: Diverse offering from the Tragically Hip
  • Phil's and Jay's #4: More accessible effort about living in NYC by PJ Harvey
  • Phil's #3: Bluesy debut album from North Mississippi All-Stars
  • Jay's #3: Electrifying major-label debut from At the Drive-In
  • Featured in Dan Ozzi's book Sellout about indie acts who sign with majors
  • Phil's #2: Phish blends some different styles into their jam band formula
  • Jay's #2: Queens of the Stone Age's second album takes a big leap onto the rock scene
  • Phil's #1: U2 bounces back with a back-to-basics release
  • Phil: Feeling down about what was once his favorite band
  • How bands age 
  • The last really good U2 album
  • Jay's #1: Radiohead totally reinvents their sound, embracing electronics
  • Phil's not feeling it
  • Favorite songs: "Optimistic" (Jay), "Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" (Phil) 

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_613_061323.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 2000.

Show notes:

  • In 2000, Jay got married
  • Jay turned 33, Phil turned 31
  • Jay: Went to SXSW, saw Modest Mouse, Fu Manchu, Bevis Frond
  • Pivotal year for the dotcom boom
  • Albums were leaking on Napster before they came out
  • A better year than '99 in terms of stuff we liked
  • Top 100 songs were predominantly pop
  • Phil's non-top 5s: Ween, Sleater-Kinney, Outkast, White Stripes, Rage Against the Machine, Ryan Adams, New Pornographers, Doves, Neil Young, Steely Dan, the Hives 
  • Phil's out on runs scaring old ladies 
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_612_060523.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1999.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5s: Frank Black and the Catholics, Sebadoh, Matthew Sweet, Piebald, Fu Manchu, Superchunk, Songs: Ohia, GBV
  • Phil's #5: Third release from Rage Against the Machine continues their anti-capitalist bent
  • Jay's #5: Flaming Lips complete their transformation into a different sound
  • Phil's #4: Dave Grohl continues to fight Foo and get more commercial-sounding
  • Jay's #4 and Phil's #3: Built to Spill with the triumphant peak of their terrific '90s run 
  • Jay's #3: The final Pavement album has only gotten better with age
  • Phil's #2: Debut of Rilo Kiley was financed by Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall
  • Jay's #2: Beck gets funky, continuing extreme genre shifts from album to album
  • Phil's #1: Widespread Panic melds a lot of styles in a listener-friendly jam album
  • Jay's #1: Back-to-back #1s from Sloan with a semi-autobiographical masterpiece
  • Favorite songs: "Climb to Safety" (Phil); "Friendship" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_611_041923.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1999.

Show notes:

  • In '99, Jay turned 32, Phil turned 30
  • Y2K was looming
  • Phil got married, Jay got engaged
  • Ireland on New Year's Eve
  • Pop was on the upswing
  • Nu metal and Woodstock 99
  • Music sales were high, but MP3s were about to take a big bite
  • Santana made a huge comeback
  • Phil's non top 5 albums: Magnolia soundtrack, Sleater-Kinney, White Stripes, Wilco, Sheila Divine, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Moby, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 
  • The pickings were slim overall in '99
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_610_041223.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1998.

Show notes:

  • More of Phil's non-top 5s: Monster Magnet, R.E.M., Hole, Dave Matthews Band
  • Jay's non-top 5s: Tragically Hip, Monster Magnet, Jerry Cantrell, Frank Black and the Catholics, Beastie Boys, Rocket From the Crypt, Rancid, Cat Power
  • Phil tells of a magical mixtape service
  • Phil's #5: Moe with a jazzy jam band album
  • Phil says he's not a "Moe-ron"
  • Not hating on Steely Dan
  • Jay's #5: Silver Jews with downbeat indie rock classic
  • Phil's #4 and Jay's #2: The debut from Queens of the Stone Age kicks serious ass, combining stoner rock with robotic grooves
  • Jay's #4: Followed up Odelay with the experimental Mutations
  • Phil's #3: A fun release from the Beastie Boys
  • Jay's #3: R&B-influenced album from Afghan Whigs was last before they broke up
  • Phil's #2: Phish's 7th album featured a "cow funk" sound
  • Phil's #1: Big breakthrough from Fatboy Slim paved the way for DJ as frontman
  • Jay's #1: Sloan with a '70s vibe, from arena rockers to sunny AM pop
  • Favorite songs: "Praise You" (Phil), "She Says What She Means" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_609_031523.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1998.

Show notes:

  • 1998 was 25 years ago!
  • Jay turned 31, Phil turned 29
  • The one-hit wonders were abundant
  • Alt-rock was fading in popularity
  • MTV was predominantly airing programming that wasn't videos
  • MP3s became another way to share/steal music
  • Paved the way for Napster and eventually the near-collapse of the music industry
  • Pop was taking over: Britney, Backstreet Boys, N Sync
  • Artists who started out great and then just sold out/sucked
  • Phil's non-top 5's: PJ Harvey, Mercury Rev, Drive-By Truckers, Pearl Jam, Government Mule, Mark Lanegan, Jerry Cantrell, Tragically Hip, Neutral Milk Hotel 
  • The Hip played at Woodstock '99 (correction: it was the weekend after JFK Jr.'s plane crash)
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_608_030823.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1997.

Show notes:

  • Jay's non-top 5 albums: Cornershop, Yo La Tengo, Elliott Smith, Chris Whitley, Portishead, Ween
  • Phil's #5 and Jay's #4: Ben Folds Five's breakthrough with piano-driven snark
  • Phil's #4: Third album from Sleater-Kinney features Janet Weiss' debut on drums
  • Phil's #3: Elliott Smith's lo-fi folk got a boost from Good Will Hunting
  • Jay's #3: Built to Spill with another of their epic '90s releases
  • Phil's #2: Dylan makes a triumphant return
  • When artists stop writing new material 
  • Jay's #2: A masterful release from Pavement
  • Phil's #1 and Jay's #5; Second Foo Fighters album establishes Grohl and his band as a musical force
  • Jay's #1: Radiohead reaches new heights on its third album
  • How Jay learned to love Radiohead
  • Favorite songs: "My Poor Brain" (Phil), "Karma Police" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_607_021423.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1997.

Show notes:

  • In '97, Jay hit the big 3-0, Phil turned 28
  • Big year for partying
  • Alt-rock one-hit wonders abounded: Marcy Playground, Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth
  • Boy bands, hip hop, female singer-songwriters
  • Phil's "bubbling under" albums: U2, Led Zeppelin, Bjork, Bowie, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, Guided By Voices, Whiskeytown, Steve Earle, Prodigy, Radiohead, David Byrne 
  • U2 lost the plot with "Pop"
  • The interesting career of David Byrne
  • To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_606_020723.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

This week, I'm joined by guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the resurgence of role-playing games.

Show notes:

- Recorded in Salem, Mass.

- Last time we recorded for the show was two years ago

- Time is passing quickly

- Jay: Going into the office once a week now

- Matt: It was an extrovert's world for a long time

- Matt's still writing YA books

- Matt has been running Dungeons & Dragons games since pandemic started

- Unprepared for the number of people who wanted to jump in

- Matt: Didn't have enough friends to play in high school

- Was going to start doing it for corporate retreats when COVID hit

- A legal dispute over licensing with Hasbro

- Jay: Was a total comics nerd in high school

- D&D made a comeback thanks to Stranger Things

- A D&D movie is coming out with Chris Pine

- Tom Hanks starred in Mazes & Monsters, a "Satanic panic" movie about D&D

- Stopped buying comics when there were bills to pay

- Matt: Plenty of non-D&D role-playing games are popular

- Played Vampire: The Masquerade in the '90s

- Matt does a podcast called The Ravenfolly Institute that follows D&D campaigns as they happen

- Matt's super-productive in his spare time

- Working on an "adult" gritty fantasy book

- Book industry is in "dire need of reform"

- The first of Matt's books is getting an audiobook

- Struggling to get through Dune (the book)

- Matt's learning how to play a Dune role-playing game

- Listens to a lot of RPG podcasts; helps you learn the game

- D&D has had peaks and valleys of popularity since the mid-70s

- On its 5th edition; went back to older style but streamlined

- The stigma of being a nerd is gone now

- Board games in general have become popular again

- You get what you put into playing RPGs

- A lot of mystery-themed games

- Matt: Storytelling is storytelling, whether it's books or RPGs or podcasts

- Matt's the D&Dealer

- Gotta have the "math rocks"

- Also does sister podcast Characters & Class

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.

Direct download: CompCon_605_012423.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:30pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1996.

Show notes:

- Phil's #5: Cowboy Junkies score with their first album of originals

- Jay's #5: Sebadoh with a sprawling collection of rockers and ballads

- Phil's #4: Soundgarden's last album of the '90s turned away from their big hit

- Jay's #4: Frank Black with another album of quirky greatness

- Phil's #3: Phish with a fan-friendly studio release

- Jay's #3: Cinematic-sounding crime saga from the Afghan Whigs

- Phil's #2: Double album that was the breakthrough for Wilco

- Jay's #2: After a brief breakup, Sloan comes back with a power pop classic

- Phil's and Jay's #1: Beck blows up with a spectacular album that explores multiple genres

- Favorite songs: "New Pollution" (Phil), "G Turns to D" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_604_011723.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:57pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1996.

Show notes:

- In '96, Jay turned 29, Phil turned 27

- Days of little to no responsibility other than work

- Adventures in sports gambling

- Tougher year to come up with top 5

- The Macarena was all the rage

- Phil's non-top 5s: Rage Against the Machine, Fiona Apple, Sleater-Kinney, Tragically Hip, Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Moe, Tracy Bonham, Luscious Jackson, Sublime, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, Cake, Silver Jews

- Rolling Stone lists are sheer clickbait

- Jay's non-top 5s:  Soundgarden, Superdrag, Posies, D Generation, Weezer, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

- To be continued

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_603_011023.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we count down our favorite music of 2022.

Show notes:

- On to our top 10

- Breitling's #10: Archers of Loaf returns with a different sounding release

- Kumar's #10: Fontaines D.C. evolves its sound

- Breitling's and Kumar's #9: Radiohead offshoot The Smile with an interesting return to early '00s sound

- Breitling's #8: Pleasant surprise album from Palm

- Breitling's #7: First Sub Pop album from Frankie Cosmos

- Bernice taking over the couch

- Breitling's #6: Shimmering pop brilliance from The Beths

- Kumar's #6: A nostalgic rocker from Oceanator

- Breitling's #5 and Kumar's #7: Horsegirl bursts out of nowhere with a lo-fi banger of a debut

- Kumar's #5: Another strong release from Toronto's Kiwi Jr.

- Breitling's #4 and Kumar's #8: Harking back to '85, band full of DC punk vets lands a massive post-hardcore statement

- Kumar's #4: Triumphant return by Titus Andronicus overcoming setbacks

- Breitling's #3: METZ side project Weird Nightmare is "peak Jay (Breitling)"

- Kumar's #3: Afghan Whigs combines old collaborations with new sounds

- Breitling's #2: A "modern shoegaze classic" from Helens

- Kumar's #2: Sloan delivers another classic power pop album that they developed during the pandemic

- Breitling's #1: Side project from Johnny Foreigner principals as Yr Poetry

- Kumar's #1: Smart-ass and cynical look at being in an band from PUP

 

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_602_010223.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 12:33pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2022.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky/Parcheesi Redux East HQ

- We've been doing this for 13 years!

- Kumar: Went to some more shows this year

- Breitling went to zero shows in 2022

- Things to look forward to in '23: The Cure returns, Drop Nineteens, Hallelujah the Hills' DECK project, Johnny Foreigner, Fucked Up, Blue Ocean, Peter Gabriel

- Kate Hudson is supposed to be releasing an album

- The varied talents of Fred Armisen

- In '22, the music industry continued to struggle

- Fewer revenue streams, fragmented audiences, content glut

- Diaper payola

- Even established acts can't sell new albums anymore

- Artists are selling directly to their audiences through Patreon, etc.

- Breitling's honorable mentions: Photon Band, Flyying Colours, Bitchin' Bajas, Kal Marks, Sun Airway, S.C.A.B., They Are Gutting a Body of Water, Kiwi Jr.

- Kumar's HMs: Kal Marks, Built to Spill, Wet Leg, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Alvvays, Superchunk, Spoon, Jon Spencer and the HitMakers, Archers of Loaf, Black Angels, OFF!

- Albums that came out early in the year feel like they came out much longer ago

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_601_122622.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1995.

Show notes:

- Jay's non-top 5s: Mike Watt, Bjork, Guided By Voices, Boss Hog, Rancid, The Amps

- Phil's #5: Bjork's second album embraces the quirkiness

- Jay's #4: Jawbreaker's major label debut was a total bust, but it's really good

- "Selling out" was a big deal back then

- Phil's #3: The debut of Elastica was fully formed, but band disappeared a few years later

- Jay's #3: Pavement's followup to their big break was dismissed as too weird, but now is considered a classic

- Phil's #2: Neil Young teams up with Pearl Jam for strong release at the peak of PJ's fame

- Jay's #2: Horn-powered kickass blast of an album from Rocket From the Crypt

- Phil's #1 and Jay's #5: Dave Grohl emerges from Nirvana's shadow with first Foo Fighters album

- Jay's #1 and Phil's #4: PJ Harvey changes up her sound and goes theatrical and atmospheric

- Favorite songs: "Meet Ze Monsta" (Jay), "Alone + Easy Target" (Jay)

- Next: Best of 2022 with Jay Breitling

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_600_122122.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1995.

Show notes:

- First show in quite a while

- In '95, Phil turned 26, Jay turned 28

- We both saw a lot of concerts that year

- Big deaths: Jerry Garcia, Eazy E, Shannon Hoon

- Musings on Cleveland, where the Rock Hall of Fame opened in '95

- Jay saw a doubleheader of a Bruins game and a Chris Whitley show

- Singles charts were leaning toward pop and lighter fare

- Is band loyalty still a thing?

- It's okay to not listen to every album in a band's catalog

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Belly, Garbage, Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Phish, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, RHCP, Sonic Youth, Matthew Sweet, Pavement, Ben Folds Five, Morphine, No Doubt, Throwing Muses, Green Day, Natalie Merchant, Son Volt, Smashing Pumpkins

- It's a rare double album that can't be cut down to a single album

- To be continued

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_599_121322.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1994.

Show notes:

- Jay's non-top 5s: Superchunk, Jeff Buckley, Drive Like Jehu, Rollins Band, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Helmet, Pulp Fiction soundtrack, Mark Lanegan, Nirvana

- Phil's #5: Pearl Jam's third album gets a little adventurous and rough-edged

- Jay's #5: The Tragically Hip gets more atmospheric after more straight-ahead rockers

- Phil's #4: Debut album from Jeff Buckley showcases his vocal range and a flair for different styles

- Jay's #4: The super-prolific Guided By Voices brings lo-fi rock into the forefront

- Phil's #3: Nirvana reinvented the Unplugged format in a historic recording

- Jay's #3: No sophomore jinx for Pavement, who broke through in an indie rock way

- Phil's #2: Soundgarden breaks through to the mainstream

- Jay's #2: Frank Black does a Bob Pollard impression with a lot of short bursts of awesomeness on his second solo album

- Phil's #1: Green Day explodes into popular culture with a classic blast of snotty pop-punk

- Jay's #1: An abrupt shift in sound from Sloan that led to them getting dumped by Geffen and briefly breaking up...but it's amazing

- This was the peak of the '90s indie rock scene

- Favorite songs: "Longview" (Phil), "Coax Me" (Sloan)

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_598_110122.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:19pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1994.

Show notes:

- Back after a two-month summer break

- In 1994, Jay turned 27, Phil turned 25

- Steely Dan was touring again

- Jay: Life improved in '94 on job and home front

- Jay: Saw a ton of shows including Pearl Jam, Afghan Whigs, Rollins Band, Cracker, Soundgarden, Buffalo Tom, Blues Explosion, Tragically Hip, Sugar

- Debating the merits of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

- Phil's kids love the pop music

- Phil went to the infamous Green Day show at the Hatch Shell

- Top singles were all pop and hip hop, lots of ballads

- Big year for indie rock

- Grunge peaked and major labels started signing bands from non-Seattle locations like Chicago, San Diego, etc.

- Pearl Jam sued TicketMaster and tried to do a tour of non-TM venues, but it fizzled

- Cobain's death was a pivotal moment

- Woodstock '94 didn't get as much press as '99

- Other newsy events: Baseball strike, OJ Simpson chase, Eagles started charging $100 for concert tickets

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Alice in Chains, R.E.M., Hole, Beastie Boys, Weezer, Phish, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Sugar, Dinosaur Jr., Luscious Jackson, Beck, Liz Phair, Veruca Salt, Stone Roses, Jesus and Mary Chain, Portishead, Stone Temple Pilots, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

- What is emo? Also, what is internet?

- Weezer started out strong, but now they're a parody of themselves

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_597_101822.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:36pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about movie fandom.

Show notes:

- Recorded while driving to Tree House Brewery

- Watching scary movies as a kid

- The Shining still holds up

- Favorite directors: Kubrick, Scorsese, Tarantino

- Jay: After Hours is a fun movie; similar plot to Into the Night, which came out around the same time

- The current state of prestige TV is giving movies a run for their money

- Better Call Saul is the latest great show

- The early days of the pandemic led to watching lots of movies

- Great time to catch up on old favorites and things you missed

- The greatness of The Decline of Western Civilization, Part 2

- U2 was riding high until they released the movie Rattle and Hum

- Lots of movies filmed in our area

- Jay: After we had kids, didn't go to an adult movie in the theater for years

- Movie dates used to be a big deal when we were younger

- Don't do it that much anymore

- The movie viewing experience at home is much better than it used to be

- Phil hasn't been to a movie in a theater since the pandemic started

- Watching edited versions of movies on network TV

- We interact differently with movies today

- Movie recommendations: Jay recommends Prey, The Limey, Burn After Reading, No Country For Old Men, Something Wild, After Hours

- Phil recommends Bernie, I'm Thinking of Ending Things

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.

Direct download: CompCon_596_082322.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

Celebrating the show's 16th birthday with part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our love of movies.

Show notes:

- Recorded while driving to Tree House Brewery

- Phil remembers seeing "Bambi" in the theater and "Halloween" a little early

- The interesting career beginnings of Kurt Russell

- Jay: Watched a lot of Disney movies as a kid

- Drive-in theaters were fun

- Getting into James Bond movies

- Jay's early favorites: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters

- Getting scolded during E.T.

- Date movies: Titanic was a weepy scene

- In recent years, Jay takes his daughters to MCU movies

- Sandler movies run the gamut

- Seeing an R-rated movie with a friend's family

- Watching adult content with your parents is seriously awkward

- Jay became a Mel Brooks fan as a pre-teen

- Watching old movies during the early days of the pandemic

- Eddie Murphy's '80s standup wouldn't fly today

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_595_081622.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1993.

Show notes:

- Jay's non-top 5s: Urge Overkill, Living Colour, Matthew Sweet, The Pursuit of Happiness, Paw, Fugazi

- Some good comps and soundtracks: No Alternative, Sweet Relief, Judgment Night

- Phil's #5: Belly with a strong debut

- Jay's #5: Dinosaur Jr. straddles the line between alt- and classic rock

- Jay's #4 and Phil's #3: Smashing Pumpkins break through on sophomore effort

- Jay's #3: Electrifying, raw second album from PJ Harvey

- Phil's #2: U2 takes an interesting left turn with Zooropa

- Jay's #2 and Phil's #4: Nirvana's abrasive followup to Nevermind

- Phil's #1: Liz Phair with an audacious debut out of nowhere

- Jay's #1: A dark look at modern romance from the Afghan Whigs

- Favorite songs: "Mesmerize" (Phil), "Debonair" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_594_072622.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:30pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1993.

Show notes:

- In 1993, Jay turned 26, Phil turned 24

- Jay moved to Middleton, Mass.

- Phil saw the Breeders, Belly, Lenny Kravitz

- Jay saw Nirvana and the Breeders, Midnight Oil, Lollapalooza

- Big year for hip hop

- Hair metal was dead

- Phil's non-top 5s: Pearl Jam, Lenny Kravitz, Breeders, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Afghan Whigs, Uncle Tupelo, Frank Black, Juliana Hatfield, Morphine, Velvet Underground, Bjork, Cracker, Mazzy Star, Dinosaur Jr., Big Head Todd and the Monsters   

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_593_071222.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the first half of 2022.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky World HQ

- Breitling's #5: Papercuts with a solid effort featuring gratuitious Mellotron

- Kumar's #5: Spoon serves up a quality dollop of Spoon

- Breitling's #4: Elvis Costello in his occasional rock mode

- Kumar's #4: The Smile fills the gap between Radiohead albums with a pretty damn good album

- Kumar's #3: Oceanator brings the heat with revved-up guitar attack and a Doofenshmirtzian name

- Kumar with the prog-rock contacts

- Breitling's #3: WEMA is a London-based Tanzanian electronic act playing hypnotic worldbeat

- Kumar's #2: Superchunk with a strong but restrained effort looking at life during a pandemic

- Breitling's #2: Debut EP from SF act Neutrals that pushes shorter indie rock songs into long songs

- Kumar's #1: Toronto punk-pop act PUP with a great concept album about a band named PUP breaking up

- Breitling's #1: Debut album from Chicago's Horsegirl is full of "wall-to-wall bangasauruses"

- Looking forward to new releases from Kiwi Jr., Built to Spill, Ty Segall, Sloan, Afghan Whigs

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_592_070522.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the first half of 2022.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky World HQ

- Breitling's laptop is acting up

- Concerts are mostly back

- Kate Bush sees a resurgence in popularity

- R.I.P., the iPod

- RL Mathews discovers the new stuff

- Breitling's honorable mentions: Graveyard Club, David West, Big Cream, Peaness, Golden Apples, Stomptalk Modstone, Pillow Queens, Pinchpoints, Flash Hits

- Kumar's HMs: Papercuts, Kurt Vile, Savak, Sasami, Kids on a Crime Spree, Yard Act, Adulkt Life, Mister Goblin, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Elvis Costello

- Good reissues from Pavement and the Flashing Lights

- Kumar's #10: Pink Mountaintops bring the psych/sludge/synth pop

- Breitling's #10: Lo Fi Legs, a musical band with a terrible name and good indie rock

- Kumar's #9: Dan Bejar brings a little more danceability to the latest Destroyer joint

- Kumar's #8: Jon Spencer's back with a fun record

- Breitling's #8: Spiritualized is worth repeat listening

- Kumar's #7: Wet Leg proves they're not a one-trick pony

- Breitling's #7: Tremendous release from Pet Fox, featuring doods from Ovlov and Palehound

- Breitling's #6: Yawners with the Spanish indie rock

- Kumar's #6: Moody change of pace from Fontaines D.C.

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_591_062122.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1992.

Show notes:

- More of Phil's non top 5s: Soul Asylum, Screaming Trees, Kyuss, Jayhawks, Grateful Dead, Rage Against the Machine

- A few more from Jay: Helmet, Faith No More

- Phil interviewed hockey players who liked RATM

- Jay's #5 and Phil's #4: Buffalo Tom hones their craft with their third album

- Phil's #5: Neil Young turns down after a few years of extreme volume

- Jay's #4: Beastie Boys with a killer album distinguished by more instrumentation from the boys themselves

- Jay's #3: The Tragically Hip's best album gives off a distinctly Canadian vibe

-  Phil's #3: The Singles soundtrack captured the Seattle sound

- Jay's #2: Pavement brings the slacker rock on their debut

- Phil's #2: R.E.M. at the peak of their commercial powers

- Jay's and Phil's #1: Bob Mould starts a new chapter with Sugar

- Favorite songs: "Hoover Dam" (Phil), "Summer Babe" (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.

Direct download: CC_590_053122.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1992.

Show notes:

- In 1992, Jay turned 25, Phil turned 23

- We both worked at local newspapers

- The so-called grunge explosion kicked into full gear

- Jay: Saw lots of great shows, including Lollapallooza, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney

- "Bohemian Rhapsody" was back on the singles chart thanks to Wayne's World

- Metal was phasing out

- Keeping the band brand going

- Jay's non-top 5s: Afghan Whigs, Sloan, Rollins Band, Black Crowes

- Phil's non-top 5s: Luscious Jackson, Phish, Lemonheads, Cracker, PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Bettie Serveert, Mudhoney

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_589_052422.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:17pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1991.

Show notes:

- Phil's #5: The debut of an unknown band called Pearl Jam

- Album had a slow build, didn't really get big until spring '92

- Jay's #5: Smashing Pumpkins' debut is a guitar feast

- Phil's #4: Prince's last great album, according to Phil

- Jay's #4: Under-the-radar power pop genius from Scotland

- Gene Simmons sued over the album cover

- That time Simmons covered "Firestarter"

- Phil's #3: Lenny Kravitz peaks on this second album

- Phil's #2: U2 changes their image and sound

- Shifted from Americana to German electronic sounds

- Jay's #2: Soundgarden blasts into the stratosphere

- Pissing off old people

- Jay's #1: Matthew Sweet breaks through with a power pop classic

- Great guitarists guesting, including Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd

- Phil's #1 and Jay's #3: Nirvana's revolutionary sophomore effort

- Suffers from overexposure on classic rock stations now

- Favorite songs: "Divine Intervention" (Jay), "Breed" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CC_588_051822.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1991.

Show notes:

- In '91, Phil graduated from college; Jay worked at the Peabody Times newspaper

- A big year for rock, although a lot of the impact wasn't felt until the following year

- Seeds for alt-rock explosion had been sown in the previous few years

- Still a lot of classic rock, hair metal and pop on the charts

- Freddie Mercury died, Lollapallooza tour started

- Bryan Adams was in full balladeer mode

- The evolution of Marky Mark

- Clapton still sucks

- Neither of us was a fan of the Use Your Illusion albums

- Albums were way too long in the CD era

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Temple of the Dog, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr., Pixies, A Tribe Called Quest, My Bloody Valentine, Tragically Hip, Neil Young, Massive Attack, Primal Scream, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers

- Jay's non-top 5s: Elvis Costello, Nation of Ulysses, Fishbone  

- Rockit Records, R.I.P.

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_587_051022.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1990.

Show notes:

- Our top 5 albums of '90

- Phil's #5: Jane's Addiction with a sprawling classic

- Jay's #5: Sophomore release from Living Colour explored a lot of different styles

- Phil's #4: Sinead O'Connor blows up with her second album

- Her SNL appearance in '92 caused serious controversy

- Sinead is alive and well

- Jay's #4: Kim Deal goes out on her own with the Breeders

- Phil's #3: Phish comes into their own with second album

- The jammier acts played the Northeast college scene in the late '80s/early '90s

- Jay's #3: Public Enemy blasts through with a strident, political album

- Phil's #2: Sonic Youth streamlines their sound on their major label debut

- Jay's #1: Fugazi continues sticking it to The Man on their first full-length album

- Phil's #1 and Jay's #2: Neil Young and Crazy Horse crank up the amps and embrace feedback

- Phil saw this tour with Sonic Youth and Social Distortion opening

- He might be making the best current music of his peers

- Favorite songs: "Fuckin' Up" (Phil), "Merchandise" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_586_041222.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1990. Listen to the episode below or download directly (right click and "save as").

Show notes:

- Recorded in person at CompCon World HQ

- In '90, Jay turned 23 and Phil turned 21

- Phil's short career in foodservice

- Jay was a newspaper reporter in Peabody, Mass.

- Controversies over 2 Live Crew, Milli Vanilli and Madonna

- Lots of scenes happening: Alternative, New Jack Swing, Madchester, Seattle

- The era of the Jock Jam

- Albums that didn't make Phil's top 5: Uncle Tupelo, Allman Brothers, Pretenders, Living Colour, Breeders, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Pixies, World Party, Happy Mondays, Ride, Mazzy Star, Sundays, Cowboy Junkies, Replacements, INXS, Social Distortion, Bob Mould, Black Crowes

- Questions around the November Rain video (which came out in '91)

- Jay's non-top 5s: Afghan Whigs, Flaming Lips, Midnight Oil, Mark Lanegan, Robert Plant

- To be continued

 

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.

Direct download: CC_585_032922.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1989.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom during a blizzard

- Our top 5 albums of '89

- Phil's #5: Tom Petty finds renewed success with a solo album

-Jay's #5 and Phil's #4: Nirvana's sludgy debut hints at future success

- Jay's #4: The Beasties go sample crazy and blow up the sophomore slump

- Phil's #3: Phish with an auspicious debut

- Jay had a run-in with a pre-fame Trey Anastasio at the UNH newspaper

- Jay's #2: Bob Mould shifts gears in his solo debut and launches new phase in his career

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: Pixies follow up a stone cold classic with another one

- Phil's #1 and Jay's #3: Neil Young triumphs after a rough decade

- Favorite songs: "Hangin' on a Limb" (Phil), "Wave of Mutilation" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_584_020822.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1989.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom during a blizzard

- In '89, Jay turned 22 and graduated from college, Phil turned 20

- Early seeds of Seattle and Manchester sound

- GNR became huge

- Milli Vanilli was enjoying some short-lived success

-Big year for pop

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Bob Mould, The Cure, B-52s, Stone Roses, The Ocean Blue, XTC, De La Soul, Replacements, Joe Jackson, Galaxie 500, Fugazi, RHCP, Lenny Kravitz, Tragically Hip, Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt, Tin Machine, Lou Reed, Dylan, McCartney, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stones, Grateful Dead

- George Jefferson, prog fan

- Phil saw Stones, Who, McCartney, the Dead, the Cure, B-52s; Jay saw R.E.M., Elvis Costello

- Jay: Faith No More, Soundgarden, Elvis Costello, Cult, Mudhoney, Buffalo Tom, Nine Inch Nails

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_583_020222.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1988.

Show notes:

- Recorded while driving home from Trillium Brewing in Canton, Mass.

- Phil's #5: Sonic Youth focuses their sound 

- Jay's #5: J. Mascis and Dino Jr. get more melodic while still delivering a heavy sound

- Phil's #4: U2's first controversial album still provides a lot of memorable moments, overshadowed by the movie

- Jay's #4 and Phil's #3: Living Colour's debut showed off their many talents

- Jay's #3: Debut from Toronto's The Pursuit of Happiness combined hard rock, neurotic singer and girl group backing vocals

- Phil's #2: R.E.M.'s last album before they became superstars

- Jay's #2: Public Enemy at the peak of their powers

- Phil's and Jay's #1: Los Pixies creates the template for the '90s alt-rock explosion

- Favorite songs: "Gigantic" (Phil), "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_582_011122.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1988.

Show notes:

- Recorded while driving to Trillium Brewing in Canton, Mass.

- In 1988, Jay turned 21 and Phil turned 19

- Jay: 21st birthday was pretty rough

- Phil tells tales of good decision-making

- Jay's long, strange trip to the Monsters of Rock show: Long drive, short show

- Big year for pop artists on the charts

- Phil's Whitesnake story

- Big soundtracks: Cocktail, Dirty Dancing

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Keith Richards, Mudhoney, Jerry Harrison, Jane's Addiction, Cowboy Junkies, Brian Wilson, Smithereens, Smiths, Pogues, Waterboys, Dinosaur Jr., Tracy Chapman, Public Enemy, Traveling Wilburys

- Jay's non-top 5s: Fishbone, Bobby Brown, Iron Maiden, Robert Plant, The Church, Metallica

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_581_010322.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:41pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our top albums of 2021.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky World HQ

- On to the top 10

- Breitling's #10: The Reds, Pinks and Purples with an ephemeral pop release on Slumberland

- Kumar's #10: Raw collection of rippers from Juliana Hatfield

- Breitling's #9 and Kumar's #8: Instant classic from Ovlov

- Kumar's #9: IDLES shifts gears with some stylistic changes

- Breitling's #8: Chime School with a quality jangle-rock album

- Breitling's #7: More Slumberland goodness from the Umbrellas

- Kumar's #7: St. Vincent digs into a late '70s vibe

- Breitling's #6: Toronto's Ducks Ltd. with an excellent Feelies-esque record

- Kumar's #5: Baltimore hardcore screamers Turnstile explores different sounds

- Breitling's #4 and Kumar's #2: Dino Jr. continues to kick ass

- Kumar's #4: Kiwi Jr. is another Toronto act working the '90s slacker rock vibe

- Breitling's #3: MBV-esque shoegaze from Fleeting Joys

- Kumar's #3: Parquet Courts moves into danceable Talking Heads territory

- Breitling's #2 and Kumar's #6: The War on Drugs fully embraces a mid-80s FM radio sound

- Breitling's #1: Blue Ocean with a shoegaze/post punk compilation of two EPs

- Kumar's #1 and Breitling's #5: More Bay Area-based slack-rock awesomeness with Pardoner

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_580_122121.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:48pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2021.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky World HQ

- Fully boostered podcast

- We've been to concerts

- Some shows have been postponed or canceled

- Physical media is disappearing

- Vinyl shortage

- We're still doing our Internet radio shows (Parcheesi Radio, Stuck In Thee Garage)

- Tiktok is becoming a way to break music

- What the f are NFTs?

- Our favorite music, starting with the ones that didn't make our top 5

- Breitling: Mogwai, Lilys reissue, Fievel Is Glauque, Spirit of the Beehive

- Kumar: Ducks Ltd., Courtney Barnett, Jeff Rosenstock, Black Country New Road, Dry Cleaning, Fiddlehead

- Breitling: Stomp Talk Modstone, Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders/London Sympathy Orchestra, Palberta, Kiwi Jr., Colleen, Fog Lake

- Kumar: Chubby and the Nuts, Mdou Moctar, The Bevis Frond, Sleaford Mods, Colleen Green, TV Priest, Bachelor, Shame

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_579_121421.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:19pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss rock stars and retirement.

Show notes:

- Recorded recently via Skype

- Will we see KISS JR.?

- Will bands bring in replacements after the original members are all retired/dead?

- Plenty of good cover bands out there who can probably outperform the originals

- The "officially licensed cover band"

- Hologram concerts are still trying to get off the ground

- Fan base is also getting older

- The big money these days is in hip hop, pop and country

- Meanwhile, revered indie artists like Lou Barlow are playing living room/backyard shows

- Who's going to stadium shows?

- We don't like large venues

- Bands like VH should release archival live shows like Neil Young

- Sammy Hagar's living the good life

- Bands that are outstaying their welcome

- When bands you like are disappointing

- Checking out Canadian classic rock radio

- Nobody in 1991 would have predicted Dave Grohl would be the face of rock n' roll 30 years later

- Will rock ever make a comeback?

- Might end up like jazz, blues, bluegrass

- Lots of interesting new rock coming out all the time

- Commercial rock radio is pointless

- It's easy to release albums, but tough to find an audience

- Brian: Spotify's new music algorithm works well

- Singers have a tougher time replicating their heyday

- Iggy Pop has aged gracefully, believe it or not

- We should take better care of artists

- So hard to make a living as a musician these days

- Jay: As a journalism major, I feel their pain

- The band Sloan has carved out a nice niche in Canada

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.

Direct download: CompCon_578_110221.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss rock stars and retirement.

Show notes:

- Recorded recently via Skype

- David Lee Roth recently announced his retirement

- Should more aging rock stars retire?

- Robert Plant isn't trying to be the Golden God anymore

- Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford can still deliver high-energy metal performances

- Shut it down, Clapton

- Ozzy's been doing retirement tours for 30 years

- KISS keeps playing "final" tours

- DLR actually predicted his retirement in a 1991 video

- Jay: Never saw Dave play with VH

- VH changed the hard rock game

- Dave and Sammy are different kinds of clowns

- Dave only did a few solo albums after 1991

- DLR's image radically changed as his looks did

- Bands keep touring into their 70s and 80s

- Grant Hart looked pretty rough toward the end of his life, but kept touring

- Similar to athletes who don't know when to hang it up

- Ringo Starr has the right idea: Let the young guys do the heavy lifting

- Ozzy and Sharon have issues with writing credits

- 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.

Direct download: CompCon_577_102621.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1987.

Show notes:

- Recorded in the backyard of CompCon HQ

- Jay's non-top 5 albums: Terence Trent D'Arby, Pixies, The Cure, Prince (The Black Album), Sonic Youth, Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses

- It's easier to listen to bro-country or classic rock than look for new music these days

- Phil's #5: GNR's debut took a few years to really take off

- Jay's #5:  The Cult goes for a hard rock sound

- Jay's #4 and Phil's #1: U2 with a massive mainstream breakthrough

- Phil's #3: The Cure with a killer double album

- Jay's #3: R.E.M.'s last album on IRS, embracing a big rock sound

- Phil's #2: The Grateful Dead go mainstream

- Jay's #2: The Replacements' last great album

- Jay's #1 and Phil's #4: Prince tries out many styles, makes social commentary

- Favorite songs: "One Tree Hill" (Phil), "Sign O' the Times" (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.

 

Direct download: CompCon_576_101221.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 12:07am EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1987.

Show notes:

- Recorded in the backyard of CompCon HQ

- In '87, Phil was 17 going on 18, Jay was 19 going on 20

- The Bangles had the #1 single of the year with "Walk Like An Egyptian"

- Another big year for movie soundtracks

- A lot of female pop artists hit big

- Jay: Concerts I saw included Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Motley Crue, Jon Butcher Axis and U2

- Phil: Saw INXS, U2 twice, Sting, Smithereens

- Bruce Willis released an album

- Starship churns out the crap

- Many bands changed their sound in the '80s to stay "relevant"

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: INXS, Hoodoo Gurus, the Smiths, Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr., Jane's Addiction, Midnight Oil, 10,000 Maniacs, George Harrison, Sinead O'Connor, Bowie, The Tragically Hip

- The meteoric rise and quick decline of INXS

- That time Husker Du went on the Joan Rivers Show

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_575_100521.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our favorite music of 1986.

Show notes:

- Recorded in the backyard of CompCon HQ

- Phil's #5: Solid effort from the Pretenders, which was basically just Chrissie Hynde at this point

- Jay's #5: Metallica hits their high point

- Neighborhood dogs start chiming in

- Phil is a big fan of Ratt n' Roll

- Phil's #4: The debut of the Van Hagar era

- Eddie fully embraces synths, poppier sound

- Didn't realize until recently that the riff of "Best of Both Worlds" is identical to Kool and the Gang's "Celebration"

- Jay's #4: David Lee Roth's out VH's VH

- The best Dave solo album

- Phil's #3 and Jay's #2: R.E.M. starts embracing power chords

- Jay's #3: John Lydon teams up with studio musicians to create a classic

- Steve Vai, Ginger Baker and others show up

- Phil's #1: The Smiths in the middle of a strong run of albums

- Johnny Marr elevates this album

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: Husker Du's last great record

- First major label album featured more pop hooks

- Grant Hart and Bob Mould each bringing in great songs

- Favorite songs: "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (Phil), "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely" (Jay)

- Check out my Spotify playlist "Hits of the Year," which collects all the favorite songs we picked from 1970 onward

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.

Direct download: CompCon_574_092121.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about the music of 1986.

Show notes:

- Recorded in the backyard of CompCon HQ

- Jay was 18 going on 19 in '86, Phil was 16 going on 17

- Nine of the top 10 selling albums of '86 came out the year before

- Older artists make comebacks

- Pop and hair metal were big

- Boston finally released its third album

- Phil's non-top 5s: Talking Heads, Smithereens, Prince, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, XTC, Bad Brains, Gene Loves Jezebel, Love and Rockets, World Party, Dead Milkmen, B-52s, Luka Bloom, Feelies, Joe Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Sonic Youth, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Steve Earle, DLR

- Jay's non-top 5s: David & David, Peter Gabriel, Iron Maiden

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_573_091421.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

Celebrating the show's 15th birthday with a look back at some key moments over the years.

Show notes:

- Going the clip show route

- Episode 2: The early days

- Episode 72: The first guest, featuring Jay Breitling

- Episode 141: Talking about mixtapes, including recordings I made when I was 13-14

- Episode 146: Talking to Amanda Guest about college radio

- Episode 186: My visit to Seattle, which got off to a strange start

- Episode 253: Ric Dube and I break down "Smokin' In the Boys Room"

- Episode 315: Brian Salvatore and I torture ourselves by listening to Van Halen III

- Episode 494: Talking about drug-related concert experiences with Phil Stacey.

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.

Direct download: CompCon_572_080321.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:31pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about growing up as sports fans.

Show notes:

- Recorded on the way home from Tree House Brewing

- We still don't get esports

- Bands who sing songs about sports

- Weezer at the Winter Classic

- Short attention spans and sports

- Sports gambling is big business

- Super Bowl prop bets are popular

- Shohei Ohtani is the greatest baseball player we've seen in a long time

- Luck is a big factor in fantasy baseball

- The occasional Toronto championships

- Some people don't like sports

- Getting blown off by Rickey Henderson

- Jay: Both daughters played competitive sports

- Roped younger daughter into becoming a Leafs fan

- Watching your team lose sucks, but it's not the end of the world

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.

Direct download: CompCon_571_072721.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about growing up as sports fans.

Show notes:

- Recorded on the way to Tree House Brewing

- Phil: Grew up watching sports with his dad, playing sports with his brothers

- Watched a lot of tennis in the late '70s/early /80s

- Both read the sports page of the local paper

- Collecting sports cards was a big hobby

- Jay: Began watching hockey with dad, quickly became obsessed

- Played street hockey with the neighborhood kids

- Phil: We played outside with no supervision all day

- Now we don't let our kids go anywhere on their own

- Imagining you're a pro athlete

- Memories of church league hoops

- Jay: We played "foot hockey" (aka soccer with a tennis ball) every day at recess

- Street hockey got serious, playing teams from across town

- No fun playing sports against your boss

- Jay: Parents wouldn't let me play organized youth hockey

- Didn't play sports the first two years of high school because of multiple moves

- Good way to make friends

- Jay: Played a lot of sports after college

- Played soccer, hockey, golf, tennis

- It's no fun when people start acting like jerks

- Started getting involved with coaching youth sports when kids started playing

- Some parents take their kids' sports way too seriously

- Let your kids enjoy themselves

- Sports fans can be really dumb

- Going to games as a kid

- Baseball is a major sport, but it's getting tough to watch a whole game on TV

- The kids love the e-sports

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_570_072021.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:39pm EDT

Part 3 of my in-person conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2021 so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon World HQ

- Still with the fan noise

- Kumar's #7: Sleaford Mods with perennially pissed off minimalist post-punk

- Breitling's #6: Multi-instrumentalist Colleen with hypnotic ambient album

- Kumar's #6: More IDLES-y post-punk from across the pond with TV Priest

- Breitling's #4: More Slumberland bedroom pop goodness from the Reds, Pinks and Purples

- Kumar's #5: St. Vincent goes for a late '70s Bowie vibe

- Kumar's #4: Jeff Rosenstock revisits his ska-punk roots with a remake of his 2020 album No Dream

- Breitling's #3: Blue Ocean with release combining two EPs of shoegaze

- Kumar's #3: Excellent guitar-heavy ripper from Juliana Hatfield

- Breitling's #2: Pardoner with a hot rock release reminiscent of Pavement and Parquet Courts

- Kumar's #1 and Breitling's #5: Kiwi Jr.'s second release of sardonic slacker rock

- Breitling's #1 and Kumar's #2: Dinosaur Jr. with a great collection of songs

- Let's go see rock shows!

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_569_070621.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

It's part 2 of my in-person conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2021 so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon World HQ

- Still with the fan noise

- Kumar's bubbling under picks (aka "Bubblahs"): Lots of cool UK post-punk (Black Country, New Road; Squid; Yard Act; Sleaford Mods; TV Priest,; Dry Cleaning), The Hold Steady, Mdou Moctar, Guardian Singles,Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Teenage Fanclub, Iceage, McCartney, Ex-Hyena, Fridge Poetry, Glitterer, The Dirty Nil  

- Breitling: We're living in Blade Runner/cyberpunk times

- Regional lingo

- Minor sax resurgence

- Difference of opinions on The Weeknd

- Breitling's #10: Stomp Talk Modstone with a collection of Chinese shoegaze

- Kumar's #10: An EP of lost songs from The Tragically Hip's 1991 Road Apples sessions

- Breitling's #9: Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders/London Symphony Orchestra with a cool collab

- Kumar's #9: Shame's second release is full of fun, fiery post-punk

- Breitling's #8: Fog Lake with a droning take on isolation

- Kumar's #8: Striking collab between Ellen Kempner of Palehound and Melina Duterte of Jay Som

- Breitling's #7: Palberta puts it all together

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_568_062921.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:18pm EDT

It's part 1 of my in-person conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2021 so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon World HQ

- Apologies for the loudness of the fan! Pretend you're skydiving!

- First time together since December 2019

- Kumar: Check out Mdou Moctar, West African guitarist on Matador

- Rollins and his listening habits

- Breitling: Watching a lot of rock docs

- Concerts are coming back and we're going to some

- Oh great, the Eagles are touring again

- Plenty of reissues out; gotta make money somehow

- Streaming continues to be the main way to listen to music

- Remembering the days of the Walkman and then later MP3 players that held 8 songs

- Breitling's still producing a weekly radio show called Parcheesi Redux

- Internet radio shows and podcasts are filling the gap left by commercial radio's stagnancy

- I'm still doing my radio show Stuck In Thee Garage on BFF.fm

- Breitling's bubbling under picks: Lilys reissues, Mogwai, Fievel Is Glauque, Spirit of the Beehive

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_567_062221.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we count down our favorite albums of 1985.

Show notes:

- Recorded IN PERSON at CompCon world HQ for the first time since February 2020

- Phil and Jay's #5: R.E.M. follows up two classic albums with a quirky effort

- Band gradually grew in popularity

- Phil and Jay's #4: The Cult hits the right combination of goth and hard rock

- Ian Astbury's lyrics were appropriately cryptic

- Phil's #3: An out-of-left-field pick with the Dead Milkmen's debut

- "Bitchin' Camaro" was the "hit"

- Jay's #3: Pete Townshend's solo peak

- He's mainly focused on Who tours since then

- Phil's #2: Talking Heads delve into Americana

- Surprisingly, their best-selling studio album

- Jay's #2: Husker Du continues their hot streak

- First of two releases in '85

- Robert Palmer covered "New Day Rising"

- Phil's #1: Conflicted about picking the Smiths thanks to Moz being a d-bag

- Phil was an early fan, at least among his peers

- Jay's #1: The Replacements keep getting better with each album

- The band kept self-sabotaging through their entire career

- Favorite songs: "Bastards of Young" (Jay), "Barbarism Begins at Home" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_566_060821.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:59pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the music of 1985.

Show notes:

- Recorded IN PERSON at CompCon world HQ for the first time since February 2020

- We were scheduled to record a podcast the weekend that everything shut down last year

- In '85, Jay was 17 going on 18 and Phil was 15 going on 16

- Jay: Finished high school, started college

- The year of rock charity

- We are the World featured a disinterested Dylan

- Dylan starred in the movie Hearts of Fire a few years later

- Live Aid was a huge event on both sides of the Atlantic

- Also, Farm Aid, Sun City and Hear 'N Aid

- DLR left Van Halen

- The PMRC hearings led to those Parental Advisory stickers that told kids where the good stuff was

- Lots of pop on the singles chart

- Phil belted out "Easy Lover" under hypnosis

- Phil's favorite non-top 5 albums: Hoodoo Gurus, INXS, Tears For Fears, Dire Straits, Jesus and Mary Chain, Tom Waits, The Cure, Husker Du, The Pogues, U2, Prince, Sting, Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Del Fuegos, Til Tuesday, Waterboys, Meat Puppets, The Indestructible Beat of Soweto

- Jay's non-top 5s: Robert Palmer, Fine Young Cannibals, Camper Van Beethoven, Big Audio Dynamite, Rush, Robert Plant

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_565_060121.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:16pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the music of 1984.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil's #5: A strong return for the Pretenders

- Half the band died after the previous album

- Jay's #5 and Phil's #3: An interesting new direction for U2

- Moody, atmospheric production from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois

- Phil's #4: Audacious debut by the Smiths

- Another influential college rock act

- Phil as the edgy alt-rock kid at freshman orientation

- When bands split up into two versions and keep touring

- Jay's #4: Another great record from the Replacements

- Paul Westerberg's songwriting continued to mature

- Jay's #3: An epic double concept album from Husker Du

- No fancy reissues for SST releases

- Phil's #2: A classic live album from a band that released a great one only a few years earlier

- The expanded version's better than the original

- Jay's #2: R.E.M. continues building their legacy with a second standout album

- A lot of fans jumped off the bandwagon after the next album

- Phil and Jay's #1: A tour de force from Prince

- All killer, no filler

- Favorite songs: "Life During Wartime" (Phil), "Purple Rain" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_564_042721.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:31pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the music of 1984.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil was 14 going on 15, Jay was 16 going on 17 in '84

- Phil: Watched a lot of MTV

- "College rock" was emerging

- Music was drenched in synths

- Jay: Saw my first concerts

- Hair metal was making a splash

- Thrash metal was new and exciting

- Billy Squier's tough year

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Bowie, Kinks, Deep Purple, Dio, Van Halen, Ratt, Springsteen, Los Lobos, Sade, Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Minutemen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Replacements, R.E.M., Run DMC

- Phil loves him some Ratt

- Jay's non-top 5s: Rush, Iron Maiden, The Cars, INXS

- Saw INXS a few years later at Radio City Music Hall

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_563_042021.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the music of 1983.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil's #5: U2's second release of '83

- Captured the band's fiery live show

- Jay's #5: Iron Maiden continues its U.S. breakthrough

- Part of the mainstream acceptance of metal

- Phil's #4: The solo debut of Stevie Ray Vaughan

- SRV got a lot of comparisons to Hendrix

- Jay's #4 and Phil's #3: Talking Heads' highest-charting album

- Several songs were overshadowed by Stop Making Sense versions

-Jay's #2: Replacements start hitting their stride

- The start of a great run of albums

- Jay's #3 and Phil's #1: U2 busts out in the U.S.

- Phil: Still disappointed to miss them on this tour

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: R.E.M.'s studio debut was massively influential

- Jay: Saw them on Letterman making their network TV debut

- Favorite songs: "Surrender" (Phil), "Talk About the Passion" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_562_040621.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the music of 1983.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay was 15, Phil was 13 in '83

- Jay: Moved to NH from WA halfway through the year

- Was pleasantly surprised by the variety of radio stations in Boston area

- First year CDs went on sale in the U.S.

- The U.S. Festival made a splash that summer

- KISS took off their makeup

- The Police had the #1 song of the year

- Some good pop songs among the top 100 singles

- Phil's non-top 5 albums: Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Dio, Bowie, Huey Lewis, Yes, Neil Young, Madonna, the Fixx, the Police, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, B-52s, Genesis

- Jay's extremely brief time in a band

- Jay's non-top 5s: Robert Plant, Metallica, Kinks, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ozzy Osbourne

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.

Direct download: CompCon_561_033021.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Eric Green as we pay tribute to the cassette tape.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Eric with the Mr. Belvedere reference

- You had to be sneaky to tape record a concert

- Physical media holds its allure for fans of a certain age

- Never got into 8-track tapes

- Jay: Have a bunch of blank tapes, but haven't made a mixtape since 2000

- Eric: As a kid, made a mini-audio documentary about Van Halen on cassette

- Metallica started tapers' pit at their concerts

- Then a few years later, they led the charge against Napster

- Eric: Still purchase music on vinyl or CD, some MP3

- Don't listen to cassettes as often anymore, but will pop one in when the mood hits

- Bootlegs are the big thing he goes back to

- Jay: Wrote on my blog about the various mixtapes I made over the years

- Tapes definitely transport you to a different time

- Do greatest hits albums matter anymore?

- Reissues of great albums are popular

- Some bands like the Who or the Stones have a ridiculous number of hits comps and live albums

- Fond memories of the cutout bins

- Various cassette storage methods

- Jay: Got rid of the jewel cases for most of my CDs

- Sometimes vinyl and cassettes can sound bad

- Cassettes were great for comedy albums

- Jay: Had to get Eddie Murphy's Comedian album on tape so my mom wouldn't hear it

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.

Direct download: CompCon_560_032321.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Eric Green as we pay tribute to the cassette tape.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Eric's first time on the show since '15

- R.I.P. to Lou Ottens, inventor of the cassette tape

- Eric: Got into music via cassettes in the '80s

- You could make your own mixes

- Jay: Would tape songs off the radio in late '70s/early '80s

- Jay: Currently have hundreds of tapes but nothing to play them on

- Tapes were cheaper than vinyl or CDs

- Fun memories of browsing in record stores

- Tapes were big for bootlegs

- Huge in the early days of hip hop (The Get Down is on Netflix)

- Home taping didn't ruin the music industry, MP3s did

- Guardians of the Galaxy helped popularize cassettes

- CDs were initially marketed as indestructible and perfect sounding

- Jay: Spent hours listening to tapes in the car or on a Walkman

- To be continued

 

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.

Direct download: CompCon_559_031721.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1982.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil's #5: Steely Dan singer goes solo

- Jazzy feel is a logical extension from Gaucho

- Jay's #5 and Phil's #3: R.E.M. makes its debut with iconic EP

- Influential on many bands who followed

- Different sounds coming out of the underground

- Phil's #4: His image has been tarnished, but Michael Jackson released a monster album

- Videos from this album broke a lot of ground

- Being mistaken from MJ

- Jay's #4: Peter Gabriel stays weird but starts breaking through in the U.S.

- Dark subject matter and interesting sonics

- Set himself up for huge commercial breakthrough in a few years

- Jay's #3: Mission of Burma's first full-length album

- Wasn't well-known, but very influential on alt-rock artists

- Played with U2 in Boston

- Jay's #2: Another influential debut release, this time from Bad Brains

- Ferocious live performers

- One of the great album covers of all time

- Phil's #1: A jazz-influenced masterpiece from Joe Jackson

- No guitar to be found

- Very cosmopolitan feel

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: Prince breaks through to the mainstream

- Prince didn't care what anybody thought about him

- In the middle of an incredible run of great albums

- When mixtape songs are taken too literally

- Favorite songs: "Breaking Us In Two" (Phil), "Delirious" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_558_030921.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:10pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite music of 1982.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Callback to the CompCon eps looking at '82-2000 with Brian Salvatore a while back

- My lists changed since then

- In '82, Jay turned 15, Phil turned 13

- Jay: The only full year I spent in Washington state

- Jay: Was big into hard rock and metal, which I listened to on my Walkman

- John Belushi died; the woman who sold him the drugs had ties to the Band and Gordon Lightfoot

- Top single of the year was Olivia Newton-John's "Physical"

- Phil's non-top 5 picks: Pete Townshend, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Jerry Garcia, Lou Reed, The Who, Tom Petty, XTC, Talking Heads, Billy Squier, Genesis, Duran Duran, Rush, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, English Beat, The Clash, Men at Work, Stray Cats

- Senses Working Overtime was almost the name of this podcast

- The power of MTV to make or break artists back in the '80s

- Phil had a connection to Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats

- Jay's non-top 5's: Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Misfits, Scorpions, Phil Collins, The Cure

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_557_030221.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss life after close to a year in pandemic lockdown.

Show notes:

- Tough to not see friends

- Matt runs Dungeons & Dragons games via Zoom

- Surprising number of people are into D&D

- It's a good escape from the world

- Like a weekly therapy session

- Companies use D&D for corporate retreats

- Games have grown in popularity during the pandemic

- Jay: We started playing a family dominoes game every Saturday

- Jay: Played the board game Pandemic years ago

- The CDC's zombie announcement

- People will run toward the zombies

- Going to movies seems so far away

- Jay: Like going to concerts, don't love going to movies

- Tough time to be a theater actor

- Miss going to bars

- Will masks stick around after the pandemic ends?

- Toilet paper hoarders

- Matt ordered TP last April; it arrived in October

- Waiting for normalcy

- Matt: Look forward to seeing nieces and nephews again

- Want to do activities involving other humans

- We miss traveling

- Jay: Wasn't overly disappointed to not go to a June work conference in Phoenix

- Matt hated getting ready to go places, but liked it once he got there

- When you can't find parking during a pandemic

- Some people don't care about doing the right thing

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.

Direct download: CompCon_556_022321.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss life after close to a year in pandemic lockdown.

Show notes:

- Haven't talked for the show since November 2019

- Coming up on the first anniversary of everything getting locked down

- Matt was already used to working from home

- Matt writes YA superhero/fantasy books including The Indestructibles series

- Hasn't been able to go to fantasy or comics conventions

- Jay: Miss the interaction of being in the office

- Now used to the WFH life

- Strange to spend all day at home with your family

- Matt has been working remotely for over a decade

- Companies will probably do away with full offices at some point

- Matt: Working in an office forces you to plan for inefficiency

- WFH requires self-discipline

- Definitely tougher for folks with small kids

- Matt dealt with the challenges of ancient Wifi technology in 2010 in Ireland

- Employers will have to adjust post-COVID

- Commuting sucks and people aren't going to want to do it as much

- The lockdown wasn't good for Matt's writing focus

- Too much going on in the world

- Last March, we all assumed things would be back to normal soon

- Matt: Lost the full-time gig, now juggling multiple freelance jobs

- Doing photography shoots exposes you to lots of germs

- Masks let you be more anonymous than you once were

- Running with a mask is a little challenging

- 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.

Direct download: CompCon_555_021621.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1981.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay's #5 and Phil's #4: The Stones have a massive hit with a collection of outtakes

- Followed up with a massive stadium tour

- Jay's #4: Prince keeps getting better but not yet breaking through to the mainstream

- Pushing the envelope with explicit content

- Phil's #3: J. Geils Band's pop breakthrough

- Was "Centerfold" banned by WCOZ?

- Jay's #3: Fair Warning was my favorite Van Halen album

- Darker tone than other VH albums

- Phil's #5 and Jay's #2: Rush hits the sweet spot with Moving Pictures

- Side 1 is flawless

- Phil's #2: An underrated U2 record, even by U2 fanatics

- Got into it when it came out

- Phil's #1: The Police reach commercial success

- Hit their pop potential while maintaining their unique sound

- Jay's #1: Going out there with Mission of Burma's debut EP

- Hugely influential on scores of alt-rock bands who came later

- Favorite songs: "Demolition Man" (Phil), "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_554_020921.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1981.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay turned 14, Phil turned 12 in '81

- Jay started the year in Canada, finished it in the U.S.

- No good radio station, listened to a lot of my own stuff

- Phil: Started buying my own music in '81

- Listened to a lot of Casey Kasem's American Top 40

- "Bette Davis Eyes" was the #1 single of the year

- REO Speedwagon had a big year

- K-Tel used to make big hits compilations

- Ozzy bit the head off a dove (and later a bat), horrifying moms across America

- MTV went on the air in August '81 (Jay didn't have it until '85)

- Stones' massive tour was sponsored by Jovan Musk

- When Jon Anderson of Yes teamed up with Vangelis

- Phil's not-top-5 albums: Foreigner, Loverboy, The Cars, The Who, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Go-Gos, The Kinks, ZZ Top, X, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Genesis, Phil Collins, Tom Tom Club, David Byrne, Grace Jones, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Pretenders, Duran Duran, The Cure, Black Flag, Billy Squier, Prince, AC/DC

- Jay's not-top-5s: The Gun Club, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Def Leppard, Sabbath, April Wine, Triumph, Rush's live album, Motley Crue, Rick James

- Anthony Michael Hall IS Mutt Lange (in a crappy Def Lep biopic)

- To be continued: Our top 5 albums

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.

Direct download: CompCon_553_020221.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1980.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay turned 13, Phil turned 11 in '80

- Phil's #5: The (English) Beat with a fun release

- Jay's #5: Ozzy comes back from the dead (career-wise, anyway)

- Album was later re-recorded to replace rhythm section's parts to avoid paying royalties; original version was restored

- Jay reps for the NWOBHM

- Phil's #4: Rush tempers its prog leanings with newer influences

- Jay's #4: Bowie wraps up a brilliant decade with another classic

- Phil's #3 and Jay's #2: Talking Heads embrace African sounds

- Adrian Belew boosts the sound with sick guitar work

- Jay's #3: Peter Gabriel continues with his impressive solo career

- Phil Collins debuts his gated drum sound on this album

- Phil's #1: U2's debut is filled with youthful exuberance, mistakes and great songs

- Immersing yourself in albums with your Walkman

- Jay's #1 and Phil's #2: Pretenders debut with a perfect combination of pop, punk and attitude

- Chrissie Hynde was a veteran of multiple scenes over decades before the Pretenders

- Pretenders peaked early

- Favorite songs: "A Day Without Me" (Phil), "Mystery Achievement" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_552_012621.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1980.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay turned 13, Phil turned 11 in '80

- U.S. boycotted the Summer Olympics

- Major deaths: Lennon, Bonham, Bon Scott, Ian Curtis, Darby Crash

- Sony Walkman went on sale in the U.S.

- Solid Gold made its debut

- Blondie had the #1 single of the year with "Call Me"

- Disco was fading, new wave and hard rock was gaining prominence

- The never-opened Christopher Cross album

- A lot of good albums came out this year

- Phil's favorite non-top 5 albums: The Feelies, The Jam, Soft Boys, Elvis Costello, X, B-52s, The Clash, Joe Jackson, Devo, Dire Straits, Blondie, Loverboy (!), UB40, Genesis, Prince, Pete Townshend, J. Geils Band, Steely Dan, Bowie, VH,  

- Jay was out of the music loop for 6 weeks in early '80 while in India

- "Have you seen Kumar's grades?"

- Jay's favorite non-top 5 albums: The Police, VH, X, Prince, Townshend, Feelies, Joy Division, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, The Beat, Squeeze, The Cure, Teenage Head, The Cars, John Lennon

- To be continued

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.

Direct download: CompCon_551_011921.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1979.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay turned 12, Phil turned 10 in '79

- "My Sharona" was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100, lots of disco

- Rod Stewart hit it big with "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"

- New wave was getting attention

- A wealth of great albums

- Jay's favorite non-top 5 albums: The Knack, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Supertramp, AC/DC, Joe Jackson with two classic albums

- Phil's non-top 5 faves: Bob Marley, Blondie, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Gang of Four, XTC, Michael Jackson, Neil Young, The Cars, The Police, The Kinks, Van Halen, Elvis Costello, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Prince, Talking Heads

- Phil's #5: Joe Jackson's killer debut is just packed with great, punchy songs

- Jay's #5: Pink Floyd with an epic concept album, their last great record

- Phil's #4 and Jay's #2: Neil Young ends an amazing run of albums with a killer (and heavy) record

- Jay's #4: Van Halen with a powerful sophomore album that expands their sound

- Phil's #3: Tom Petty's breakthrough record

- Jay's #3: Joe Jackson's second amazing record of '79

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: The Clash mixed a lot of styles on their masterpiece

- Phil's #1: Phil loves the B-52s, who exploded on the scene with an amazing debut

- Favorite songs: "The Guns of Brixton" (Jay), "Dance This Mess Around" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_550_122820.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1978.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Jay turned 11, Phil turned 9 in '78

- Big festivals, including Texxas Jam

- Lots of disco on the singles chart

- Phil's favorite non-top 5 albums: Ramones, Blondie, The Who, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Jerry Garcia Band, Bob Marley, Rolling Stones, The Jam, Devo, Bob Seger, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Little Feat, Big Star, Marvin Gaye, Springsteen, Warren Zevon, Cheap Trick

- WKRP in Cincinnati on DVD and music licensing (UPDATE: Turns out a bunch of the music was restored on a recent DVD set)

- Cheap Trick At Budokan is one of the greatest live albums ever

- Jay's favorite bubbling under albums: The Police, Rush, Dire Straits, The Who, Peter Gabriel

- Phil's #5: Neil Young revisits the laid-back sound of Harvest

- Phil's #4 and Jay's #4: Talking Heads explore a more danceable sound

- Phil's #3: Debut from The Police made a big splash

- The long journey of Andy Summers

- Jay's #3: Contrasting opinions on Some Girls, but has some great Stones songs

- Jay's #2: Elvis Costello and the Attractions with an angry classic

- Phil's #1 and Jay's #5: Debut from The Cars has no bad songs

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: A revolutionary debut from Van Halen

- Favorite songs: "You're All I've Got Tonight" (Phil), "Running With the Devil" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_549_122120.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:25pm EDT

It's part 2 of my Zoomtastic conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2020.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- On to our top 10

- Kumar's #10: Dan Bejar with another great cinematic Destroyer album

- Breitling's #9: A hooky rock record from Bully

- Kumar's #9: METZ with an accessible yet pummeling record

- Breitling's #8: Spectres with a disconcerting release

- Kumar's #8: Jeff Rosenstock has become a reliably excellent indie rock stalwart

- Breitling's #7: Hop Along's Frances Quinlan goes solo

- Reppin' for the new movie Sound of Metal

- Kumar's #7: Boston act Eldridge Rodriguez with a sweeping, epic album

- Dog walkin' time

- Breitling's #6: The Psychedelic Furs with the superb comeback album nobody expected

- Kumar's #6 and Breitling's #4: Sadie Dupuis (aka Sad13) branches out with a pop-driven release

- Breitling's #5: A true banger from IDLES

- Kumar's #5: The Coriky album is as close to a Fugazi reunion as we're gonna get

- Kumar's #4: Greg Dulli delivers a compelling solo release

- Breitling's #3: Fiona Apple unleashes a bold and uncompromising record

- Kumar's #3: A pissed-off Bob Mould with a timely blast of angry anthems

- Breitling's #2: Happyness with a quirky collection that echoes an Elliott Smith-Teenage Fanclub mashup

- Kumar's #2: Protomartyr predicts everything and continues to get better

- Breitling's #1: Phoebe Bridgers hits the big time with a masterpiece

- Kumar's #1 and Breitling's #10: Run the Jewels with a vicious, vital hip-hop record that captures the desperate vibe of 2020

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_548_121420.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:50am EDT

It's part 1 of my Zoomified conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2020.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- This podcast is not affiliated in any with MovieFone.

- The first time in nine years that we're not talking the year in rock in the same room

- No live shows after early March

- Breitling last saw Hallelujah the Hills at Great Scott last November, Kumar saw Drive-By Truckers at Somerville Theater in March

- Devastating economic impact on all the non-musicians who work to put concerts together

- If approved, Save Our Stages act would aid live venues

- Many independent Boston-area venues have already closed

- Great Scott may reopen in a new location

- No touring means no income for many smaller artists

- Streaming royalties need to be updated and increased

- The Breitlings enjoyed Strange Brew recently

- Plenty of livestreams, free, for charity and for profit

- Bandcamp Friday has been a good way to help out artists

- Online radio has been fun

- Breitling is doing a show with a couple of fellow Wesleyan DJs called Parcheesi Redux

- Parcheesi Redux Thursday (along with the other shows) is on Mixcloud

- Kumar's show, Stuck In Thee Garage, is in its 7th year on BFF.fm

- Great way to discover new music

- Our favorite music

- Breitling's picks from the midyear that didn't make his top 10: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Soft Pink Truth, Gigi Masin, Peel Dream Magazine, Mandarina Duck, Destroyer

- Kumar's midyear picks that didn't make final top 10: Flat Worms, Dogleg, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Drakulas, Car Seat Headrest

- More Breitling on-the-bubble picks: Susie Derkins, Hum, Coriky, Mountain Goats, Milky Wimpshake, Somerset Thrower, Nothing, METZ, Bob Mould, The Brother Kite, Paper Birch

- More Kumar honorable mention picks: Psychedelic Furs, Kestrels, Fontaines D.C., Pearl Jam, Lo Tom, Disheveled Cuss, Emerald Comets/Ex-Hyena

- Next week: We count down our top 10 albums

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_547_120720.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1977.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- A startling number of great releases in '77; a lot of terrific debuts

- Singles chart was topped by disco and pop: Rod Stewart, Andy Gibb, Streisand, KC and the Sunshine Band, Engelbert Humperdinck

- Jay's non-top 5 faves: Ramones had two albums, Sex Pistols, Johnny Thunders, the Damned, Richard Hell, Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick had two, Bowie had two, Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Rush, Neil Young, The Clash, Wire, Max Webster 

- Jay: My dad had disco mixtapes,

- This was recorded before Johnny Lydon said he had flea bites on his dong

- Phil's non-top 5 favorites: Grateful Dead, Television, Jackson Browne, Billy Joel, Elvis Costello, the Kinks, AC/DC, Dead Boys, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, Wire, Clapton

- The cover of Queen's News of the World scared young Phil; Kmart had a cleaned-up alternate cover

- Jay's #5: Peter Gabriel's solo debut went in new directions, combining art rock and new wave

- Phil's #5: A fiery, concise debut from the Clash (UK only)

- Jay's  #4: Guitar rock meets post punk from Television

- Phil's #4: Bob Marley breaks through in the U.S.

- Jay's and Phil's #3: Talking Heads' debut didn't sound like anything else

- Jay's #2: Iggy Pop worked with Bowie in Berlin to produce an electronic-influenced sound

- Phil's #2: The ubiquitous Fleetwood Mac album is getting popular again

- Remains vital despite massive overplaying of certain songs

- Jay's #1: Elvis Costello burst on the scene with biting lyrics, catchy classics

- Phil's #1: The controversial Steely Dan with a jazzy, meticulous opus

- Favorite songs: "Watching the Detectives" (Jay), "Josie" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_546_112420.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:08pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1976.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- America was all about the Bicentennial in 1976

- Disco was picking up steam

- Arena rock and MOR was huge

- Phil's non-top 5 favorites: Eagles, Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Bowie, Zevon, J. Geils Band, Rolling Stones, Boz Scaggs, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, Wings, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Seger, Modern Lovers  

- Like a lot of '76 records, don't love a lot of them

- AC/DC re-released Dirty Deeds five years later in the U.S.

- Bob Seger liked the double entendres

- Jay's non-top 5 faves: Max Webster, Blondie, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty

- Phil's #5: Jerry Garcia solo release spawned some Dead staples

- Jay's #5: Aerosmith continues their strong mid-70s run

- Phil's  #4: Petty's stellar debut

- Jay's #4: Zeppelin releases a sprawling, epic album

- Phil's #3: Dylan's last great album for a while

- Jay's #3: Bowie releases yet another masterpiece

- Jay's #2: Rush doubles down with a sci-fi classic

- Phil's #2 and Jay's #1: The Ramones burst on the scene with an influential debut

- Phil's #1: Stevie Wonder with an epic double LP

- Favorite songs: "Beat on the Brat" (Jay), "Sir Duke" (Phil)

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.

Direct download: CompCon_545_111720.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1975.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- RIP to EVH

- We both saw VH in 1986

- In '75, Phil turned 6, Jay turned 8

- "Love Will Keep Us Together" was the #1 song of the year

- Disco was starting to emerge

- The S.N.A.C.K. concert

- Phil's non-top 5: Parliament, Burning Spear, Patti Smith, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Dylan and the Band

- Jay's non-top 5: AC/DC, Rush, The Who, Supertramp, Springsteen, McCartney/Wings

- Phil's #5: The Who tries some different sounds

- Jay's #5: Pink Floyd follows up a classic with another classic

- Phil's #4 and Jay's #3: Bowie moves into another phase

- Jay's #4: Queen breaks through with "Bohemian Rhapsody"

- Phil's #3 and Jay's #2: A gut-wrenching release from Neil Young

- Phil's 2: Dylan's 15th album is one of his best

- Phil and Jay's #1: A double album that highlights all the different facets of Zeppelin's sound

- Favorite songs: "Tonight's the Night" (Jay), "In the Light" (Phil)

- Things were happening

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.

Direct download: CompCon_544_102020.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Brian Salvatore as we remember the greatness of Eddie Van Halen.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Last spoke in late March but feels a lot longer ago

- We've been fascinated by Van Halen's career, the good and the bad

- Eddie had dealt with cancer before

- Death still came as a shock

- Plenty of musician deaths this year: Neil Peart, Andy Gill, David Roback, Kenny Rogers, Bill Rieflin, Bill Withers, Adam Schlesinger, John Prine, Florian Schneider, Pete Way, Peter Green

- Eddie was iconic and eternally youthful

- Brian: First video I remember seeing was "Jump"

- Played on Letterman a few times

- Jay: Stopped listening to VH in '91 and didn't again for almost a decade

- The "Right Now" video was surprising

- Dropoff in quality after Roth left

- 2012's A Different Kind of Truth was a decent way to go out

- Hopefully there will finally be some archival VH releases

- Who buys greatest hits albums?

- Eddie's guest appearances

- Jay: First became aware of VH in 1980 when Women and Children First came out

- Eddie had been quiet for several years

- Roth was doing a Vegas residency and opening for KISS just before the pandemic shutdown

- Missing live music

- Plenty of livestreams to check out

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.

Direct download: CompCon_543_101320.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1974.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil finally got a haircut

- In '74, Phil turned 5, I turned 7

- Capt. and Tennille got married, Sonny and Cher got divorced

- "The Streak" was a big hit

- Phil: Looking back, liked more songs than albums in '74

- Not a long list of albums we liked

- Radio was the main source of how people discovered music at that time

- Phil's likes: Linda Ronstadt, Little Feat, Bob Marley, Lou Reed, Gram Parsons, Big Star, Van Morrison, Clapton

- Jay's likes: Rush's debut album, Genesis, The Who, Queen, Steely Dan, Aerosmith, Zappa

- The various, very different, phases of Genesis' sound

- Queen is more popular than ever

- Jay's #5: Supertramp's breakthrough

- Phil's #5: Another great Stevie Wonder album

- Jay's and Phil's #4: Neil Young with a mellow classic, powered by "honey slides"

- Jay's #3: Big Star with an underrated power pop gem

- Phil's #3 and Jay's #1: Bowie closing out his glam period with a bang

- Phil's #2: Steely Dan featured a ton of guest musicians

- Jay's #2: Lou Reed releases a killer live show

- Phil's #1: Joni Mitchell hits it big with a jazzier sound, with help from Cheech & Chong

- Backed by Tom Scott, who later was bandleader on both the Pat Sajak and Chevy Chase late night shows

- Favorite songs: "Raised on Robbery" (Phil), "Diamond Dogs" (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.

Direct download: CompCon_542_100620.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1973.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" was big in '73

- Dark Side of the Moon spent 741 weeks on the Billboard albums chart

- Big singles from Jim Croce, Paul Simon, Roberta Flack, Stories, Joe Walsh, Stealers Wheel

- Jay's bubbling under albums: Wings, Queen, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Sabbath

- Marvin Gaye: Not a subtle man

- Phil's bubbling under: Bob Marley and the Wailers, ZZ Top, Grateful Dead, Gram Parsons, Rolling Stones, ELP, Iggy and the Stooges

- Jay's top albums: NY Dolls, Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zep

- Dark Side of the Moon has been so overplayed over the years, but still a great album

- Phil's top albums: Allman Brothers, Elton John, Bowie, The Who, Led Zep

- The ridiculous coincidences of HBO's Vinyl

- Quadrophenia is the last great Who album

- The underrated John Paul Jones

- Jay's favorite: Iggy and the Stooges with a blistering comeback

- Full of snarl and punk attitude

- Phil's favorite: Pink Floyd

- Favorite songs: Jay - "Search and Destroy"; Phil - "The Great Gig in the Sky"

- R.I.P., Chadwick Boseman, who was amazing in Get On Up, a 2014 biopic about James Brown

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.

Direct download: CompCon_541_090920.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1972.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Re-recording because of audio issues

- Missed the podcast's 14th birthday

- In '72, Phil turned 3, Jay turned 5

- Big tours going on: Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, McCartney

- Different concept of band longevity back then

- A lot of soft rock on the singles chart

- Phil's faves: Neil Young, Bowie, Elton, Stones, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, War, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Lou Reed, Big Star, Stevie Wonder, Little Feat

- Pete Townshend's solo debut

- Jay's faves: Sabbath, Steely Dan, Stones, NY, Lou Reed, Big Star, T. Rex, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music, Bowie

- Favorite song from favorite album:  "Jack Straw (live)" (Phil) and "Moonage Daydream" (Jay)

- Did audiences appreciate what they were seeing back then?

- Sometimes people have too much fun at shows

- Next time: 1973

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.

Direct download: CompCon_540_090120.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT

It's part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the year so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Breitling's #10 and Kumar's #8

- Jangly indie pop sounds from Australia

- The lack of touring is really hurting bands and fans

- Breitling's #9

- A Matmos side project, "a niche of a niche"

- Kumar's #10

- All-star post-punk act out of LA

- Kumar's #9

- The loud/loud dynamic

- Breitling's #8

- Solo album from singer of Hop Along

- Breitling's #7

- Ambient electronic from an Italian musician in his 60s

- Bandcamp Friday has been a big hit this year

- Kumar's #7

- New band from Ian MacKaye, Amy Farina and Joe Lally

- Harking back to Fugazi's sound

- Kumar's #6

- Texas-based act with members from the Riverboat Gamblers and Rise Against

- Breitling's #6

- Another great Slumberland release

- Breitling's #5

- Dream pop from the Ukraine

- Kumar's #5

- Indie rock stalwart continues evolving his sound

- Kumar's and Breitling's #4

- Another cinematic effort from Canuck genius

- Breitling's #3

- Powerful release overshadowed by the pandemic

- Breitling's #2 and Kumar's #1

- Political hip hop as an art form

- Never more timely

- Kumar's #3

- Atmospheric new release from an alt-rock OG

- Kumar's #2

- Striking record from Boston-based indie rock act

- Breitling's #1

- UK indie act "like Elliot Smith making a Teenage Fanclub record"

- Looking forward to new releases from Sam Prekop, Katie Day, Bob Mould, IDLES, Fontaines DC, Psychedelic Furs

- When will concerts happen again?

- Probably dependent on a vaccine

- Liability is a big factor in whether shows come back

Completely Conspicuous is available through the Apple Podcasts 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_539_071420.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

It's part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the year so far.

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.

Direct download: CC_538_070720.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1971.

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.

Direct download: CompCon_537_063020.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

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