Completely Conspicuous

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November 2020
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss our favorite albums of 1970.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Phil's got some quality hockey hair going

- Going to go through our favorite albums of each year from 1970-2020, starting with '70

- We were both under the age of 3

- Pretty varied list of favorites from that year

- Popular music was splintering into many different genres

- FM radio was pretty freeform

- Radio was the main way to discover music back then

- Some interesting tour pairings

- Altamont was an abrupt end to the hippie era

- Big deaths in 1970: Hendrix and Joplin

- Phil's favorites (except #1): The Who, CSNY, Neil Young, Led Zep, Van Morrison, Derek & the Dominoes

- Jay: Not a Clapton fan

- Phil: Kinks, Beatles, George Harrison, McCartney, Miles Davis, Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Chicago, James Taylor, Elton, Stones

- Phil's #1

- The Dead's best studio album

- Jay: Deep Purple, Hendrix, Funkadelic, Black Sabbath, Stooges 

- Some bands were releasing two studio albums a year

- Jay's #1

- The best live album ever

- The Who at their best

- In the midst of a great string of albums

- Favorite song from favorite album:  "Candyman" (Phil) and "Young Man's Blues" (Jay)

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

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

Direct download: CompCon_536_062320.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the final Grateful Dead studio album Built to Last.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- Built to Last released on Halloween 1989

- Jay had just graduated from college, Phil was a junior

- Jay: Don't remember this album even coming out

- Phil: It's not memorable

- Felt like band was going through the motions

- Brent Mydland dominated the album with four songs

- He was suffering from depression; died a year later

- Maybe Garcia and Weir didn't have enough good material

- Fall '89 Dead shows are considered the band's last great run of concerts

- Tried the same recording technique as previous album but it didn't work

- Garcia said Mydland's songs were better

- Final song is really bad

- Phil: They had enough material to record another album

- You can find version of them online

- Garcia started getting into drugs again

- Concert performances suffered

- Band members started doing other projects

- A couple of decent songs on this album

- Mydland songs seemed like they'd fit in a different genre

- Phil: He was good in concert

- The Dead didn't need another hit album

- Jay: At the end of this journey, have more of an appreciation for the Dead

- Definitely some bad records

- Can appreciate the live performances to a point

- Jay: I respect the fanaticism of Deadheads; not for me, but that's okay

- No more guilty pleasures; you like what you like

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

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

Direct download: CompCon_535_060220.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:53pm EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead album In the Dark.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- We originally planned to do this in early March, but then something happened

- In the Dark was released in July 1987, seven years after the last Dead studio album

- Phil had just graduated from high school, Jay was going into junior year of college

- The band had been playing the songs in concert for years

- Jerry Garcia had gone into a diabetic coma in '86

- Had to re-learn how to walk, talk, play guitar

- Band was renewed after his recovery

- CDs were just starting to get popular

- We both didn't get CD players until 1989

- First CDs: Phil's was 10,000 Maniacs, Jay's were Cult, the Who, Joe Jackson

- The Best of Steve Miller was a college staple in the '80s

- Recorded live in an empty theater

- "Touch of Grey" was all over MTV and rock radio that summer

- Very catchy single

- Phil: Album was breath of fresh air after two disappointing releases

- "Touch of Grey" resonated with Boomers as well as younger listeners

- New fans were known as "Touch heads" by veteran fans

- People were going to Dead shows for the scene, not the music

- Released videos for "Hell in a Bucket" and "Throwing Stones"

- The one clunker is sung by keyboardist Brent Mydland

- Jay: His vocals didn't seem to fit

- They ladled on the synths

- Phil: Mydland was good at harmonies

- Vocals sounded like Kenny Loggins or Bob Seger

- Phil: Listening to at least one album he hasn't heard every day

- "West LA Fadeaway" may have been inspired by Belushi

- Phil gives it a B+

- The success of "Touch of Grey" was so unexpected

- Next up: We talk about the last Dead studio album

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

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

Direct download: CompCon_534_052620.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:45pm EST

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss quarantine life.

Show notes:

- Recorded recently via Skype

- What's the first thing you'd do post-COVID?

- All the big movies got pushed back to later in the year or 2021

- Some movies are going straight to streaming

- When will we feel comfortable at crowded concerts again?

- If touring slows down, how will musicians survive?

- Artists may have to go directly to fans for support

- Lou Barlow started a subscription service

- Artists have done similar things for years: Rundgren, Prince

- Might see more music made by artists stuck at home

- Suddenly we have a lot of time to listen to records

- Jay: Daughter's into the Beatles now

- When you know songs you hate by heart

- Appreciating '70s-era McCartney

- Bad production really stands out on mix playlists

- Does anyone remember dynamics?

- Self-improvement activities to catch up on

- Brian: No time to do any of it so far

- Jay: Want to alphabetize my records

- No guilty pleasures: Making peace with disco

- Brian: Need to organize music room

- Jay: Hope to pick up the old guitar

- Bill Rieflin, R.I.P.

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

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

Direct download: CompCon_533_041420.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:19pm EST

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss quarantine life.

Show notes:

- Recorded last week via Skype

- Homeschooling is hard work

- A month in, the hoarding continues

- Brian's second-grader has a lot of schoolwork

- Brian was down in Florida to spend a few days at spring training

- Had planned to visit family in Arizona in March, but decided not to

- Virus moved quickly

- Brian saw Jonathan Richman concert in March

- Jay: Was supposed to fly to California for a conference in March, but it was canceled

- Had tickets to Archers of Loaf concert in mid-March that was canceled

- Jay: Working from home full-time

- Brian: Trying to find non-screen activities for the kids

- We're spending a lot of time with our families, which isn't a bad thing

- We've never had a situation like this where everything is shut down

- A lot of people are out of work or unable to work right now

- No sports to watch during one of the best times of year for sports

- Sports may come back without crowds in attendance

- When will things go back to normal?

- Kids' school sports, activities are on hold

- Touring musicians are losing a ton of money

- South Korea was able to shut everything down and come out on the other end

- One person can do a lot of damage

- Spring break idiots

- Adam Schlesinger, R.I.P. (this was recorded before he died)

- Washing our hands more than ever before

- Missing out on draft beer

- We're lucky to be able to work from home

- How will the economy bounce back?

- To be continued

Completely Conspicuous is available through Apple Podcasts and anywhere else you get podcasts. Subscribe and write a review!

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

Direct download: CompCon_532_040720.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:09pm EST

This week, I'm joined by author Greg Renoff as we discuss the new book he wrote with legendary rock producer Ted Templeman.

Show notes:

- Greg's first book was 2015's Van Halen Rising

- Five years later, people are still discovering it

- Wrote about the early years of VH from a fan's perspective

- The band filled a void when their debut came out

- That book led to Greg's new book, Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life in Music

- Templeman came to book signing for Van Halen Rising

- Greg later pitched the idea of a book about Templeman

- Book looks at his start as a musician and the albums he worked on as a producer

- Renoff wanted to add more structure to Templeman's recollections

- Book's out on ECW Press on April 21

- Took a few years to put together before the editing process

- Did a lot of interviews with Ted, exchanged many emails

- He didn't want to dwell on controversy too much

- Book starts with his childhood in Santa Cruz through the last album he worked on with the Doobie Brothers in 2010

- Didn't cover every album he worked on

- He was a talented musician in his younger days, as a jazz phenom and then a minor pop star

- Heavily influenced by Tito Puente

- Got into producing with the Doobies in '71, and later Captain Beefheart, Little Feat, Montrose

- Not in touch with the VH camp anymore, but appreciative of his work with them

- Worked with Van Morrison a few times

- Templeman was on TV with his pop group Harpers Bizarre, but he didn't see a future in performing

- Was interested in production and moved behind the scenes in 1970

- Nearly got out of the industry

- Started at the bottom listening to tape submissions

- Found the Doobie Brothers demo

- VH already had the harmony vocals, and Ted incorporated those (and provided some) on most of those albums

- By the time he got to VH, Ted was intent on finding bands a radio hit

- Worked with a wide range of artists from Carly Simon to the Bulletboys

- Sometimes he was brought in to finish projects that others had started

- Currently interested in streaming and following certain artists

- Initial book launch plans have changed because of COVID-19

- Hoping to do joint interviews eventually

- Greg plans to do another VH book

- Started work on it, but will get back to it once coronavirus restrictions are lifted

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_531_033120.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:31pm EST

This week on Quarantining With Kumar, I talk about how life has changed drastically in a short period of time because of COVID-19.

Show notes:

- Recorded while driving around to get some essentials

- Day 5 of self-quarantine, working from home

- The state of Massachusetts has pretty much closed all non-essential businesses

- We haven't experienced anything like this before (in my lifetime)

- Life after 9/11 was weird, but got back to normal fairly quickly

- Some states have implemented "shelter in place" rules

- Social distancing is the big buzzword

- Public gatherings are outlawed

- Spring breakers defied warnings

- Everything's getting canceled: Sports, trips, concerts

- We need to stay home to keep virus from spreading

- Most people I know are complying with the quarantine

- Musicians are doing livestreams instead of concerts

- Optimistic this will end soon, but it's hard to tell

- Watching out for older folks who are more susceptible to virus

- Some people are freaking out with conspiracy theories

- Got to ride this thing out

- Stay positive

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_530_032120.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 2:43pm EST

I talk to Phil Stacey and Dave Olson about baseball's cheating scandal while we drive to a rock concert.

Show notes:

- Recorded on the way to see the Drive-By Truckers in Somerville, MA

- Not the first cheating scandal in MLB, but this has a different feel

- Houston Astros accused of stealing signs on the way to 2017 World Series

- Every team cheats in some way or another

- "If you're not cheating, you're not trying"

- Corked bats, scuffed pitches

- Baseballs were juiced last year to generate interest

- The sport is fading in popularity

- Too slow for short attention spans of today's society

- Steroids in the late '90s were ignored in favor of home run records

- Did the punishment fit the crime?

- Astros were fined and lost draft picks, but could have been worse

- MLB didn't expect this to blow up; former Astro revealed it in an interview

- Public reaction has been loud

- Two other teams have fired their managers who had connections to Astros that season

- Did MLB and the teams coordinate these actions?

- MLB wants this to go away and it's not

- Other teams and players are upset about it

- A pitcher sued because Astros lit him up and he was out of the majors

- Astros are going to be booed mercilessly all season on the road

- We don't know how much the sign stealing helped them

- Houston will get some big TV ratings this season

- Brought to you by Google Maps

- Altuve was a heroic figure, now tarnished

- MMA and pro wrestling are resonating with a younger generation

- A lot of baseball teams struggle to fill the seats

- Young kids would rather watch eSports, where other people play video games

- Easier to cheat in baseball or basketball

- Astros intern figured out how to steal signs and convinced management to adopt it

- Astros players should expect to get hit by a lot of pitches this season

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_529_030320.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:03pm EST

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

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- '90s butt rock is alive and well in New Hampshire

- Marlins will soar, according to Scott Stapp

- Commercial rock radio is dying

- In the mid-80s, rock radio was thriving in the Boston area

- Brian has satellite radio

- GNR/Smashing Pumpkins touring this summer

- The evolution of Sugar Ray's sound

- Mark McGrath is always working

- The Cameo economy

- Talking to musicians

- The ubiquity of Henry Rollins

- The musician deaths have always been plentiful

- 10 years ago, we lost Jay Reatard, Teddy Pendergrass, Doug Fieger, Mark Linkous, Alex Chilton, Malcolm McLaren, Dio

- So many big names in rock are getting older

- Eagles have continued to tour without Glenn Frey

- Surviving members of Nirvana have reunited for charity shows

- Rush will never play another show

- R.E.M. has never performed together since their breakup

- More fun with Cameo

- Don't wait to see a band you like

- Jay: Trying to see bands I haven't seen before

- Making up for lost time with some bands

- Some bands sound better than ever: Dino Jr., Ween

- Ozzy's looking pretty rough these days

- Some artists you don't want to see anymore

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_528_022520.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:24pm EST

I'm joined by guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss rock stars and aging.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Brian's first appearance on the show in two years

- The rock deaths keep on hitting us hard

- Neil Peart's recent death was surprising and shocking

- Brian: Not a big Rush fan, but respected them

- A couple of really good documentaries about the band

- Rush followed their own path

- Andy Gill of Gang of Four kept touring and recording right until he died

- Big deaths that impacted us

- Jay: Peart, Gord Downie, Bowie, Prince, Tom Petty

- As a kid, remember Randy Rhoads, Bonham, Bon Scott, Keith Moon

- Later, Cobain and Layne Staley

- Tortured artist syndrome

- Meanwhile, the Stones keep chugging along

- Brian: McCartney is still amazing live into his 70s

- Neither of us has seen the Stones live

- Brian: Regret not seeing classic acts at least once

- Prince played crazy long shows

- Getting harder to stay out super late

- "Farewell tours" tend to often be false alarms

- A little more urgency to see certain artists who are older

- A lot of reunion tours these days: Jawbreaker, Hot Snakes, Jawbox, Hoodoo Gurus

- Will young artists today have the same longevity as the older artists now?

- Touring's the only way to make money these days

- Not even worth it for older acts to release new material now

- Radio won't play new music from legendary acts

- Classic rock fans don't want to hear new music, they just want the hits

- You know what you're getting from a new AC/DC record

- Many bands continue on after members die

- Replacing iconic singers with unknowns

- Alice in Chains has recharged their career somewhat post-Staley

- Sublime's singer/leader died before their big album came out

- 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_527_021820.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:11pm EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead album Go to Heaven.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- The Dead transitioning into a new decade, the '80s

- Cover may have given fans the wrong idea

- Short outing at only 38 minutes

- One of the least favorite studio albums among Dead fans

- Phil: A real mish-mash

- Contractual obligation: Third studio album in four years

- AOR was getting big

- The Godchauxs were gone

- Brent Mydland brings a smooth Michael McDonald vibe that is off-putting

- Grateful Dead keyboard players : Spinal Tap drummers

- Some Dead classics on this album: Alabama Getaway, Althea

- Didn't make another studio album for seven years

- Jay might go see Dead & Co. with Phil at some point

- Phil: This is their second-worst album

- Lost Sailor doesn't work

- Three straight Weir/Barlow songs

- Saint of Circumstance could be an '80s sitcom theme song

- Bob Weir loves the short shorts

- Hey, we used to wear them, too

- Mickey Hart eventually got into world music

- Mydland's Easy to Love You could have been a pop hit

- Album ends with a rave-up cover of Don't Ease Me In

- Phil: In defense of U2's Zooropa

- When we next convene, we'll talk about late '80s Dead

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_526_021120.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:08pm EST

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead album Shakedown Street.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- First ep of the new decade

- Shakedown Street came out in '78

- Lots of musical stuff happening: Disco, punk, new wave, hard rock

- Disco wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be

- Jay: No guilty pleasures: If you like it, you like it

- The Dead were coming off a triumphant '77

- This was a contractually obligated studio album

- Lots of influences thrown in: Funk, disco, African jazz, rock

- Met with savage reviews

- The version of "Good Lovin'" here pales in comparison to the live version, especially when Pigpen sang it

- The last album with Donna and Keith Godchaux

- Title track gets slagged as bad disco, but we dig it

- Shakedown Street is now the name of the merch area at Dead & Co. shows

- Pressure was on from Clive Davis for them to have hits

- This album was produced by Lowell George of Little Feat

- Seen as a disco album, but it's pretty diverse musically

- The Dead weren't a great studio band

- Mickey Hart stepped up with three songs

- Phil: "I Need a Miracle" might be the best song on the album

- "Stagger Lee"  has an interesting history; versions were covered by many different artists

- Jay: The Nick Cave version is the best, and the most profane

- Album was scattered because of different influences plus substances

- "All New Minglewood Blues" is a pretty rockin' cover

- Dead appeared on SNL that year

- Ends with a Garcia-Hunter love ballad that works

- Jay: Liked about half the songs on the album

- Next: 1980's Go to Heaven

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_525_020420.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:09pm EST

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