Completely Conspicuous

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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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