Completely Conspicuous

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November 2021
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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