Completely Conspicuous

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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 1971.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Zoom

- The disappointing ZZ Top Sixpack box set

- Early Bob Seger is good

- Started seeing more solo albums

- The rollercoaster ride of Doors fandom

- Jay's faves (not #1): Rolling Stones, McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic, Sabbath, Lennon, Bowie, the Who

- When you've heard songs you love too many times

- Jay's #1

- Zeppelin's pinnacle

- Don't need to listen to it anymore

- Licensing songs to death

- Don't understand people who listen to the same music they did 30 years ago

- Country music is the new pop

- Phil's faves: Allman Brothers, Sly Stone, John Prine, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Joplin, CSNY, Elton, Traffic, Nick Drake

- Phil's been listening to a new album every day during quarantine

- Phil's #1

- The Stones were in the middle of a killer run

- A band that was greater than the sum of its parts

- A few more from Jay:  T. Rex, Kinks, Yes

- Yes really stretched out in concert

- Genres are too restrictive

- You like what you like

- Duran Duran's great

- Discovering music through videogames

- Favorite song from favorite album:  "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" (Phil) and "When the Levee Breaks" (Jay)

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_537_063020.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

It's part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we count down our favorite albums of 2019.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Breitling's #4

- Former Boston act now relocated to Nashville

- Perfecting her sound

- Kumar's #4

- Introspective album that topped my midyear list

- Sweeping, synth-driven songs

- Breitling's #3

- Worthy follow-up to classic mid-'90s indie pop release

- Expansive and experimental

- Kumar's #3

- Return to rocking from for NJ punk stalwarts, produced by Bob Mould

- Surprisingly succinct from a band known for 8-minute epics

- Breitling's #2 and Kumar's #6

- Majestic final release from artist who tragically took his own life right after it came out

- Backed by the band Woods

- Kumar's #2

- Third release from Toronto punk-pop act

- Writing about frustrations of getting older

- Breitling's #1

- Recently released instant classic from Boston indie rock act

- Frontman Ryan Walsh wrote album after dealing with struggles writing his book about Astral Weeks

- Kumar's #1

- Veteran Canadian power pop act with another great release

- All-star team of musicians

- Darker feel than some of their other albums

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_524_123119.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

It's part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we count down our favorite albums of 2019.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- The top 10

- Breitling's #10

- A surprising solo debut from a veteran rock legend

- Kumar's #9

- Raw shoegaze effort from Brooklyn act changing its sound

- Breitling's #9

- Electronic album with an analog feel released late in the year

- "Crust ambient"

- Kumar's #8

- Power pop-punk album about the aftermath of broken relationship

- Great album cover

- Breitling's #8 and Kumar's #10

- Strong release from shoegaze pioneers

- Trying some different things

- Breitling's  #7

- Shoegaze duo from California that likes to take its time

- All killer, no filler

- Berniece's sleep aggression

- Kumar's #7

- Second release from indie legend's latest band

- Embracing '80s hard rock sound

- Breitling's #6

- Used to call this band the Steve Miller of indie rock

- Opinion has changed, especially with the latest release

- Sound is augmented by female singers

- Kumar and Breitling's #5

- Latest in an strong stretch of releases from this punk/alt-rock legend

- Sounds as good as he ever has

- Unusually upbeat

- Next: Our top 4 albums

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_523_122419.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

It's part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of 2019.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- This program is not affiliated with Moviefone

- A decade of talking rock

- Near

- Breitling: Had time to listen to a lot more music this year

- The Billie Eilish vs. VH debate has been raging for a while

- Kids don't know or care about music from 10 years ago, let alone 35

- A lot of butthurt older music fans getting worked up for no reason

- Most kids have zero interest in classic rock

- Listen to what you want

- The "OK Boomer" phenomenon

- When music becomes something on in the background

- Breitling needs to see Idiocracy

- The albums that didn't make our top 10 lists

- Breitling: Floating Points, Rroxy More, Top Down Dialectic, Katie Dey, Max Richter

- Kumar: Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, Mark Lanegan, Trinary System

- Mission of Burma's second act may be done

- Breitling: Juana Molina, Bedroom Eyes, Lubec, DIIV, Tullycraft, She Sir, Snowball II

- Kumar: Sleater-Kinney with a controversial new album; Janet Weiss pushed out of the band

- Breitling: Would have been better received under a different band name like Unicorn Butt

- Kumar: Pixies, Palehound, Kim Gordon, Pile, Black Mountain, Sebadoh, Fontaines DC, Telekinesis, Hold Steady, Desert Sessions, GBV, Wilco, Plague Vendor, Oh Sees, Nick Cave

- Breitling: Better Oblivion Community Center, Florist, Big Thief

- Next: Our top 10 albums

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_522_121719.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:17pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the decade in TV and movies.

Show notes:

- Going over some of our favorites of the decade

- Jay: Haven't seen a lot of critical faves

- Both enjoyed Blackkklansman

- Toy Story 3 is the best of that series

- Matt: Beasts of the Southern Wild was a stunner

- In the Loop is profanely excellent

- Jay never saw Inside Out; Matt says it's borderline educational

- The traumatic sadness of Disney movies

- Don't ban offensive old movies

- Stereotypes in older movies stick out

- The series 24 was so over the top about torture and terrorists

- Writing for women's roles in the '80s was pretty awful

- Post-9/11 jingoism

- Good Sorkin: The Social Network

- Bad Sorkin: The Newsroom

- When older celebs are trending on Twitter

- Matt: In praise of Monsters

- Timothy Olyphant is great

- Matt needs to watch Justified

- Black Mirror is predicting everything

- The Americans is an excellent show

- Matt hasn't seen Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul

- Orphan Black features an amazing performance by Tatiana Maslany

- Bill Hader elevates himself from comic genius to dramatic auteur on Barry

- Russian Doll came out of the blue

- The People Vs. OJ Simpson was excellent, with a bizarre performance by John Travolta

- The sneaky genius of Legends of Tomorrow

- Dark on Netflix is a German show that is brilliantly out there

- Downton Abbey: Cultural phenomenon that doesn't make sense

- The Leftovers got better when it went beyond the book

- The Marvel shows on Netflix were surprisingly good (except for Iron Fist)

- The fight scenes in Daredevil were intense and creative

- So much content out there that it's impossible to see it all

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_521_120319.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the decade in TV and movies.

Show notes:

- This decade has flown by

- 10 years ago, Matt was getting ready to move to Ireland

- Hard to rank the best movies and TV because there's so much we haven't seen

- Recording on the day that Disney+ launched

- Some bugs because of the huge demand on day 1

- Biggest change is the move to streaming content

- Binge-watching has become a huge trend

- Spoilers abound

- Jay: Don't read reviews until after I've watched something

- HBO's Watchmen series is pretty good

- So easy to fall behind on a show

- Shows switch to different streaming services

- We're so distracted that many people are doing multiple things while watching a show

- Short seasons are appealing because you can finish them quickly

- Rare to watch shows live

- Matt watched final season of LOST from Ireland, live with his family via a laptop

- Similarly, there's so much new music being released but a lot of it doesn't get heard

- Radio stations play a lot of the same music over and over

- More and more original programming on non-traditional outlets: PlayStation, Amazon Prime, Apple+

- So many streaming services available now

- The end goal is to replace your $200 cable bill with an equal amount spent on streaming services

- Jay: Cut the cord three years ago, went to all streaming

- You can't get everything

- Takes a long time to decide what to watch sometimes

- Sometimes we watch two different things while in the same room

- Seeing movies in a theater is great, but dealing with other people isn't

- Stay off social media if you don't want spoilers

- Jay: 10 years ago, I was watching late night talk shows every day

- Now, watch clips online the following day

- Jay: Haven't seen a Star Wars movie since 1983

- Something to be said for holding onto hard media

- Bringing back dead actors using AI

- Deep fakes are freaky and amazing

- Superhero movies became big moneymakers in the last decade

- The Shining happened because Kubrick was at a low spot and needed a hit

- The new Fantasy Island reboot is a horror movie

- 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_520_112619.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead bootleg Cornell '77.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Talking about Dead show recorded on 5/8/77 at Cornell University

- Phil: Listened to this hundreds of times

- Jay: Very impressed by the bootleg

- Phil: The show was so random

- Dead had taken some time off from touring from '74 to '76

- By spring of '77, band was firing on all cylinders

- Phil's parents wouldn't let 8-year-old Phil see the Dead on that tour

- A lot of live albums are unnecessary

- But a great live recording is transcendent

- Phil: Early Chicago with Terry Kath on guitar was a great live act

- The Dylan and the Dead live album was a dud

- Phil Lesh: The Heineken Years

- Clapton's MTV Unplugged album was awful

- Jay: Solo Clapton is terrible

- Phil doesn't like Thin Lizzy

- The Dead has 36-minute versions of songs on their bootlegs

- Phil has around 125 Dead boots

- Figuring out which songs flow well into others

- Phil: The version of "Morning Dew" on this bootleg is the best

- Plenty of snow at that show, inside and outside

- Love when bands change up the setlist every night

- When you get sick of songs you love

- Somehow we start talking about "The Day After"

- AC/DC's music is more complicated than you think

- Phil would set his time machine to 5/8/77

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_519_111919.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's 1977 album Terrapin Station.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- The Dead's 9th studio album

- Band had signed with Clive Davis and Arista

- Album was produced by Keith Olsen, later known for slick AOR albums by Eddie Money, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Heart

- Phil: Would get a tattoo of the Terrapin cover

- Cover of "Dancing in the Streets" is pretty lame

- Live, the cover turns into a long jam (duh)

- Donna Godchaux was featured a lot on this record

- Side 2 is an side-long suite written by Hunter and Garcia

- Band didn't tour for this album after Mickey Hart got in a car accident

- The tour before this album was legendary for Dead fans

- Tried songs out live before they made it to studio recordings

- Side 1 closes out with a Donna G. song that sounds nothing like anything else the Dead has done

- The Godchaux marriage was splitting up while they were in the band

- Olsen erased Hart's drums on one song and replaced them with strings

- Lyrics on Terrapin Station are pretty dense

- Relatively short album for the Dead at 35 minutes

- Phil: These songs got better in the live setting

- Jay: A lot of filler on side 2

- Album feels like a contractual obligation

- Dead & Co. plays part of the title suite now

- Phil: Not a John Mayer fan, but he's a good guitarist

- Jay: Not a fan of this album

- Next: Cornell 5/8/77

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_518_111219.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:33pm EDT

It's part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we conclude our countdown of our favorite albums of the decade.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Kumar's #3 of the decade: Parquet Courts cements their post-punk presence (2014)

- Impressive body of work with an art-rock vibe

- Breitling's #2: Johnny Foreigner's self-produced magnum opus (2011)

- Breitling was running a JF-themed blog for a while

- Kumar's #2: A punk explosion of political anger from Superchunk (2018)

- Still vital after all these years

- Breitling's #1: Post-punk legend Walter Schreifels' debut solo album (2010)

- Sincere folk rock with incredible hooks

- Kumar's #1: Bowie's final album was a masterpiece (2016)

- Recorded in secret with an unknown jazz band

- He thought he had more time, but died a few days after the album came out

- That's a decade

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_517_110519.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

It's part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the past decade.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Breitling's top 10 aren't ranked in order

- JB's #10: 2014 compilation of singles by Cookies

- Experimental stuff, hooks galore

- JK's #10: Magnum opus by Titus Andronicus (2010)

- Sprawling album with lots of guest stars, loosely based on Civil War

- JB's #9: Breakout 2013 album from Speedy Ortiz

- Hot '90s indie rock sound

- JK's #9: Double album from Toronto's Fucked Up (2011)

- Sound of hardcore singer fronting Velocity Girl

- JB's #8: Dan Bejar brings the heat in 2011 with Destroyer

- Catchy '80s yacht rock vibe

- JK's 8: Jeff Rosenstock's post-election response (2018)

- Deals with disappointment and hitting your 30s

- JB's #7: Snowball II with an early '90s homage (2017)

- Produced by Kurt Heasley of Lilys

- JK's 7: Epic 2013 release from Queens of the Stone Age

- Near-death experience led to different lyrical approach

- JB's #6: The only War On Drugs worth fighting (2014)

- Adam Granduciel's mainstream breakthrough, attracting scorn from Mark Kozelek

- JK's #6: Arctic Monkeys continue evolving their sound (2013)

- Incorporated funk and hip hop beats into their indie rock

- JB's #5: Infinity Girl's debut for Topshelf (2015)

- Underappreciated shoegaze masterpiece

- JK's #5: Bob Mould's first album with Narducy and Wurster (2012)

- First of a strong stretch of ass-kickers, on par with his work with Sugar

- JB's #4: She Sir's 2014 release is painstakingly crafted

- Shimmering shoegaze

- JK's #4 and JB's #3: Courtney Barnett burst on the scene with strong 2015 debut

- Interesting lyrics combined with hot rock guitar

- To be continued: Our top picks

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_516_102819.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

It's part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the past decade.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- We did this 10 years ago, a little differently

- Ten years is a long time inside a car

- The shift from downloads to streaming

- Not everything is available from streaming services

- iTunes didn't die, it was just split up

- Music can also disappear from streaming services

- Original MP3 players only held a handful of songs

- The kids like the vinyl

- Concerts business has evolved: Bands are playing smaller venues

- Who the hell are the Chainsmokers?

- Bands we like can't fill hockey rinks

- Nobody's making money off albums

- It's all merch

- Vinyl and box sets are big bucks

- Lots of reissues

- Albums that didn't make our top 10

- Breitling: Releases from Lubec, Funeral Advantage, Hop Along, LCD Soundsystem

- Kumar: LCD Soundsystem, Grinderman, Arcade Fire, Wild Flag, Sloan, Destroyer, METZ, Savages, Speedy Ortiz, Kurt Vile, Ex Hex, Protomartyr, Run the Jewels, Ty Segall, The War on Drugs, Jeff Rosenstock, IDLES, Fucked Up, Sharon Van Etten, PUP

- To be continued: On to the 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: CompCon_515_102219.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Steve Zisson as we discuss the new sci-fi short story anthology he compiled, A Punk Rock Future.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Take 2 of our conversation after the first one didn't record

- A Punk Rock Future is available on Oct. 8

- Book mashes up Steve's love of punk rock and science fiction

- Inspired by other self-published sci-fi anthologies

- Steve and I go back to the late '80s when we were both newspaper reporters

- Later worked together at three different companies

- Zisson: Love for sci-fi started with the original Star Trek series

- Wrote sci-fi in his teens, but then went into journalism

- Jay: Realized that chemical engineering wasn't the path for me and decided to go into journalism

- Zisson: Got into music in the mid-'70s, including early incarnation of the Cars (R.I.P., Ric Ocasek)

- Was going to see bands like Queen, the Kinks, Roxy Music before checking out early punk acts

- Saw Ocasek and Ben Orr's pre-Cars band Cap'n Swing at a small club in Nahant, Mass.

- Then a year or so later, sees the Cars playing at UMass right before they hit it big

- Then would go see the Clash, the Jam, and local Boston punk acts like the Neighborhoods and DMZ

- Zisson got back into writing sci-fi around 2012

- Would dedicate time to write in his spare time

- Discovered a lot of great young writers

- Got a few stories published in well-known sci-fi journals and sites

- More ways to get published now, but more competition, too

- Used to be primarily U.S. writers, now more international

- Came up with the idea for the book after 2016 election

- Drew parallel to late '70s and talked to some writers about "a punk rock future" as an anthology idea

- Put the call out for stories and got over 400 submissions

- Started a Kickstarter to raise $5,000 to pay the authors selected

- Enlisted former Webnoize colleagues to help read the submissions

- With music now, there's so much out there, it's impossible to keep up

- The goal of the project was to get it done and showcase the authors

- One of the authors, Sarah Pinsker, has a new book out that's getting good buzz called A Song For a New Day

- A Punk Rock Future is available on Amazon and at indie bookstores

- Don't confuse Steve Zisson with Steve Zissou

- Next up: Get some more writing done

- Maybe do an anthology of really short stories, like an album of 2-minute songs

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_514_093019.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 11:25pm EDT

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

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

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

- The band's highest-charting album until 1987

- Very non-commercial record

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

- Moved in a much different direction from previous album

- Band had stopped touring after From the Mars Hotel

- Mickey Hart was back

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

- Phil: Very sparse, subdued jazz-rock album

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

- Dead fans were used to changing sounds

- The live show was the thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Phil just saw Apocalypse Now for the first time

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

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

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

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

Show notes:

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

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

- Watergate hearings were the big news story

- Beer was a lot cheaper back then

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

- Mars Hotel had some classic Dead songs

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

- Garcia is in prime form on this record

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

- Playing larger venues

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

- Maybe the last great Dead studio album

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

- Working out new songs in the live setting

- Rivalry between lyricists Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow

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

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

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

- College and online stations have the most freedom

- Second-tier album in the discography

- Pretty representative of the Dead's sound

- Next: Blues for Allah

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

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

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

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

Show notes:

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

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

- Jay: Big fan of club shows

- Like to get up close to the stage

- The downside of theater shows

- Some shows are made for big venues

- Getting your face melted by Ty Segall

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

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

- Still weird to be "the old guy"

- No institutional knowledge of what came before

- Gary: Raised our kids on the Beatles

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

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

- Making the kids listen to your music

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

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

- No such thing as guilty pleasures

- We both love the Bee Gees

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

- Reconciled with my disco-loving childhood

- People who watch a show through their smart phones

- Making Gary self-conscious about phone use at concerts

- Artists who ban cellphone use at shows

- After the concert

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

- High energy, over-the-top stage show

- Saw some people with toddlers

- Fun to go to a big show with friends

- Gary's next show: Raconteurs in September

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

- Gary plays about 20 shows a year

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

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

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

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

Show notes:

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

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

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

- Huey's got rock cred

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

- Many bands now play smaller theaters and clubs

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

- Arenas in Worcester, Portland, Providence

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

- People would get really wasted before concerts

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

- Getting rides to concerts from parents

- Gary plays in a Grateful Dead cover band, Deadbeat

- Listening to some "nice hahd rawk"

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

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

- We both started listening to Maiden again in 2006

- Bands don't make money from selling albums anymore

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

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

- Cover bands are doing pretty well these days

- Heavy Metal Cul de Sac

- Bands keep touring into their old age

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

- To be continued

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

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

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

It's part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the year so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Breitling's #6

- Changing his take on "Steve Miller Band for millennials"

- Kumar's #6

- Band recently relocated to Nashville

- Breitling's #4

- Another accomplished Boston indie rock act continues to evolve its sound

- Kumar's #5

- Don't call it a comeback; fuzzy power pop from low-key indie rocker

- Breitling's #3

- Reissue of mid-'90s release from San Jose hardcore trio

- Definitely check out the reissue of Silkworm's In the West

- Kumar's #3

- Scrappy pop punk from Toronto band

- Breitling's #2

- Veteran act with inspired new release

- Kumar's #2 and Breitling's #5

- Inspired by '80s riff rock

- Breitling's #1 and Kumar's #4

- A triumph from a legendary rock god

- Possibly as good as anything from his previous bands

- Kumar's #1

- Out of left field for me, but a great sweeping folk pop record

- Female solo artist who has come into her own

- New albums coming from Titus Andronicus, Sleater-Kinney, Redd Kross, Purple Mountains, possibly Ava Luna

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_509_070219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

It's part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling as we discuss our favorite music of the year so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Breitling's bubbling under albums: Purple Mountains, Katie Dey, Ava Luna, Coaches, Fennesz, William Basinski

- Kumar's not-quite top 10: Swervedriver, Piroshka, Cherry Glazerr, L7, Jenny Lewis, Flat Worms, Hash Redactor, Versing, Kiwi Jr., Business of Dreams

- Breitling's #10

- Veteran indie pop act from Seattle

- Kumar's #10

- Fuzzy power pop that's short and sweet

- Breitling's #9

- Shout out to Matt Graves

- Glittery guitar pop from Austin

- Kumar's #9

- Vital post-punk noise straight outta Dublin

- Breitling's #8

- Shoegaze from prolific LA band

- Kumar's #8

- Welcome return from indie rock veterans

- Breitling's #7

- Blistering EP from great Boston indie act

- Perry Farrell's face

- Kumar's #7

- Western Canadian stoner rock

- Next week: Our top 6 albums of the year so far

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_508_062519.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Jay Breitling as we discuss the year in rock music so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Back for the attack

- Kumar: Just back from Philly

- Coming up in December: We pick our favorite music of the decade

- Apple is doing away with iTunes, but it's not that big a deal

- Some people are freaking out, but there are other options

- It was good for making playlists

- Kumar: Still need downloads to build radio show playlist

- People don't need to own music anymore

- Kumar: Use free versions of Spotify and YouTube to stream

- Somebody stole a bunch of Radiohead outtakes, band responds by putting it up for sale on Bandcamp

- Breitling's curb vinyl haul

- The Dio hologram tour is ongoing

- Our verdict: Stay home

- The festivals keep going

- The Woodstock 50 debacle

- Our verdict: Festivals suck

- Breitling may want to choke you

- Reality show people are annoying

- Ja Rule explains it all

- Both of us have gone to fewer concerts this year

- We like watching the rock videos on the YouTubes

- Whither Arsenio?

- Next week: Our favorite albums of the year so far

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_507_061819.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's album Wake of the Flood.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Jay: Knew nothing about this album until recently

- First album on the Dead's own label

- New phase for the Dead: No Mickey Hart, the Godchauxs arrive, Pigpen had died

- Shades of jazz fusion

- Three years after their last studio album, American Beauty

- Material was well-honed in concert before making it to studio recording

- Horns featured throughout

- Phil: Live versions of these songs are better

- Two big shows with Allman Brothers and the Band that summer

- The rise of Frampton

- Nobody cares about live albums anymore

- "Stella Blue" is a standout track

- On the merits and demerits of Rush

- Back when AOR stations would play album sides

- Pulled back on the country influence of previous two albums

- No immediate "hits"

- Touring is one of the few ways bands can make money nowadays

- Ultimately, not one of their best, but a piece of the puzzle

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_506_031919.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's live triple album Europe '72.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Triple album documenting the Dead's European tour

- Displays new Americana sound

- Mickey Hart's gone, Keith and Donna Godchaux join

- Full tour was documented on a 73-CD box set

- Letting it all hang out at an Oregon show

- Garcia and Weir released solo albums this year

- The Dead's influenced ranged wide, eventually including members of punk/indie acts like Black Flag and Meat Puppets

- Greg Ginn, noted Deadhead

- The greatness of "Jack Straw"

- Later covered by eventual guest keyboardist Bruce Hornsby

- Grateful Dead keyboardists : Spinal Tap drummers

- "A long f-ing album"

- Unrelated: The Dirtbombs rule

- "China Cat Sunflower" sounds very different here than the original

- This is Peak Dead

- The band captured the communal live experience and attracted a huge following

- When you party too hard before the show

- Pigpen's last hurrah

- "Morning Dew" is stretched out to 10+ minutes of apocalyptic jam

- Tangent: Janelle Monae is great

- Variety is important

- No more guilty pleasures

- Waaaaaaay off topic

- The strange career of Robert Palmer

- Phil: Europe '72 is like comfort food

- Next up: Wake of the Flood

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_505_030519.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's album American Beauty.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Cover art could also be read as "American Reality"

- Also released in 1970; recorded a few months after Workingman's Dead came out

- Even more countrified, Americana-sounding

- Mickey Hart was on his way out, less involvement

- Featured on Freaks and Geeks episode where Lindsay gets into the Dead

- Half the album features "hits": Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, Truckin'

- Very low-key record

- Play Ripple at Phil's funeral

- On 50th birthday playlists

- Phil's idea for a playlist: 5 songs from every year of his life, no repeat artists

- Around this time, the Dead started really growing their fanbase

- Dead fans started following them on tour

- A lot of guests, including David Grisman

- This album isn't as dark as the previous one

- Another fairly concise record

- The Dead played the old Boston Tea Party club (now House of Blues) on New Year's Eve 1969

- The sound on this album is more timeless than the original acid-rock

- Jay: Just say no to DMB

- Phil: More into the Dead's music than the scene

- Truckin' is autobiographical, all about touring and getting hassled by the Man

- Ends the album on an upbeat note, with some ripping lead guitar

- Next up: Europe '72

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_504_020519.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's 1970 album Workingman's Dead.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- First show of the new year

- Workingman's Dead is the band's 4th studio album

- First of two releases in '70

- Recorded in nine days

- Stripped down sound, less psychedelic

- Garcia and Robert Hunter wrote the whole album

- Folk, country, Americana elements

- Rock was moving away from psychedelia, toward singer-songwriters and acoustic sounds

- Bookended by two of the band's biggest songs

- More of an emphasis on vocals like Crosby, Stills and Nash

- "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" as a torture device

- Phil: Prefer live Dead, but still break out the studio albums on occasion

- Warm sounding record

- "New Speedway Boogie" is about Altamont

- Recently covered by Courtney Barnett

- Hunter's solo releases are all over the place

- Jay: Only heard two songs before

- Fairly concise album; not much jamming

- Moved away from acid blues into a new direction

- "Easy Wind," sung by Pigpen, was the outlier

- Like the Entwistle song on a Who album

- "Casey Jones" evolved in an interesting way over the years

- Talking about cocaine

- Next up: American Beauty

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_503_012919.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:56pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Featuring special guest/studio audience member Ric Dube

- On to our top 5 selections

- JK's #5

- An unexpectedly great album from a member of the Strokes

- JB's #5

- Weird shoegaze straight outta Philly

- JB's #4

- More excellent Philadelphia indie rock

- JK's #3

- Angry, angular UK rock act that has listened to the Fall

- JB's #3

- "I had difficulty finding fault with this record"

- Esteemed YoLa-ologist in the house

- YLT keeps doing its own thing

- JK's #2

- Another fine double album from an interesting Toronto act

- Where hardcore meets prog

- Lots of guest vocalists

- JB's #2

- Sweeping orchestral material, hot jams

- Bands still make videos for some reason

- Picking and choosing from the catalog

- JK's #1

- A political record released early in the year that still resonates

- Fiery live show to go with the album

- Countering a master of distraction

- The kids with the vaping and the pot smoking and the whatnot

- It's a strange time to be alive

- JB's #1 and JK's #4

- Bit of a grower

- A darker, moodier album than her previous work

- Terrific live performer

- Dube: Became a fan by complete accident

- Doobs recommends the Salad Boys

- New stuff on the horizon: Bob Mould, Pedro the Lion, Mike Krol, Swervedriver, Telekinesis

- Johnny Foreigner reunion seems unlikely

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_502_121718.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Featuring special guest/studio audience member Ric Dube

- JB's #10/JK's #9

- On-again, off-again band led by Steve Hartlett

- Ah, the old "sweatpants-with-beers-stuffed-down-the-legs" deal

- Reminiscent of "Bug"-era Dino Jr.

- JK's #10

- Labelmates of Parquet Courts with similar sound

- The downside of "Music Limited"

- JB's #9

- Boston act traffics in "millennial mopery"

- Lo-fi, self-released effort

- Stickin' it to the Man with his Bandcamp URL

- JK's #8

- Released on 1/1/18

- Fueled by political frustration and anger

- A "fun protest album"

- JB's #8

- Brand new record from a UK supergroup

- Long-awaited followup to 2007 debut

- Rhythmically diverse look at British culture

- Whither Gorillaz?

- JK's #7

- The 12th studio album from power-pop masters

- Four songwriters who each wrote three songs

- Consistently great

- The fun of hunting down B-sides and rarities before artists started releasing compilations/reissues

- The ability to fall asleep on your feet while at a rock concert

- JB's #7

- A good record from a guitar wizard

- Less volume than his main gig

- "Relatively understated throughout"

- JK's #6

- An expansive effort from a prolific indie act

- Branching out their sound with more danceable songs

- Voicing political outrage

- JB's #6

- Venturing into jazzier realms

- Led by one of the more interesting guitarists of last 25 years

- Avant-rock/jazz; "it's not like Kenny G"

- Next: The top 5

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_501_121118.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 11:35pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Featuring special guest/studio audience member Ric Dube

- The decline of rock's popularity

- Album sales are way down

- That time the Melvins hit the Top 200 albums chart

- Apple's going to work with the Amazon Echo soon

- Breitling pays for the Amazon Music "Talky Talky"

- The youths don't pay for physical media anymore

- Ric's family has Spotify, he has dedicated streaming of his own collection

- Modern country is doing big business, relatively speaking

- Pop music is doing well

- Most rock acts make money through touring, not albums

- The Stones are still touring

- Mick and Keith were considered "old" in their mid-30s

- Breitling: The year's music really picked up in the second half

- New Mary Lattimore release is enjoyable

- Ric: Enjoying Brian Eno's latest release, which is a $30 app

- Kumar: Honorable mentions include Tony Molina, Slaves, Thin Lips, Arthur Buck, Buffalo Tom, Joyce Manor, Swearin, Stove, Screaming Females

- Breitling: Master System, Palm, Superchunk, Frankie Cosmos, Kurt Vile

- Next: We count down our top 10 albums

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_500_120418.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's first official live album, Live/Dead.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Live/Dead was released in 1969

- There weren't a lot of live albums released then

- The band did it as a make-good to the label after some poor-selling albums

- Recorded at the Fillmore West

- Songs evolved in live setting

- At the time, it was unusual to play extended jams

- Music fans really focused on albums back in the heyday of vinyl

- The first thing you hear on the album is 23-minute "Dark Star"

- Now for the tuning section

- Phil: Have listened to 250-300 Dead bootlegs

- Bootleg tape trading was huge in the '70s and '80s

- Archive.org, Nugs.net have tons of Dead shows

- On a lot of '70s-era live albums, bands went in and re-recorded songs or parts of songs

- Some bands perfectly recreate their studio sound

- "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is reminiscent of Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You"

- When this album came out, FM radio was in a very experimental place

- Some stations would play album sides or even entire records

- "St. Stephen" is a standout

- Jay: I've been impressed so far

- Phil explains the Dead to his kids

- Seeing a dude doing coke off his dashboard at a Dead show

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_499_112018.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 4:48pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's third album, Aoxomoxoa.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Aoxomoxoa was released in 1969

- A big year for rock music

- Tons of legendary albums came out: Zeppelin, Who, Beatles, Neil Young, Stooges, MC5, Stones

- First two Dead albums were commercial failures

- Went way over budget in studio, stuck to their guns

- Very experimental sound

- Robert Hunter contributed lyrics to most of the album

- Songs featured eccentric characters, way out lyrics

- Plenty of drugs were part of the process

- The old West, the devil, the rose were recurring themes

- First album ever recorded using 16-track technology

- Band spent $180k on the album

- Jay: A lot to like about this album

- "Dupree's Diamond Blues" sounds like a Kinks song

- "What's Become of the Baby" is 8 minutes of weirdness that should have been left off album

- When bands release unnecessary hits compilations

- There was a definite '60s resurgence in the mid-80s that led to growth in popularity of the Dead at colleges

- And then jam bands really caught on: Phish, Allman Brothers, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic

- Iconic Dead skull and lightning bolt logo was released in '69

- Phil: Band was very good at mobilizing fanbase

- Dead merch is so unique and well-known

- The confounding popularity of "Africa"

- "China Cat Sunflower" is a Dead classic

- Some songs evolve in concert, some don't get played at all

- Aoxomoxoa sounds like the Dead

- Jay: Jams can be fun, but you don't necessarily want to put them on a record

- We'll listen to more live stuff vs. studio albums going forward

- Next up: Live/Dead

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_498_111318.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's second album, 1968's Anthem of the Sun.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Anthem of the Sun was recorded in 1967, released in '68

- Very experimental, similar to Zappa's song splicing in the '70s

- Studio and live performances mixed together

- An early concept album

- Songs would evolve through the years in performance

- Robert Hunter makes his first appearance as a lyricist on this album

- Producer grew frustrated with the band and left during the recording

- The sound of "thick air"

- Triple kazoo attack

- The Dead must have been a shock to fans of bubblegum pop

- Live, the Dead mixed up their shows every night

- This album sounds more jammy, like you would expect a Dead album to sound

- A lot of covers of bluegrass, country, jug bands, blues

- Pearl Jam adopted the Dead practice of releasing official bootlegs of shows

- The Dead used to do more audience banter, but recent incarnations of the group just play with minimal talking

- Anthem of the Sun was the next step in the evolution of the band's sound

- Next up: Aoxomoxoa

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_497_110518.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we dig into the catalog of the Grateful Dead, starting with the band's 1967 debut.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Other podcasts have focused on catalogs of U2, R.E.M., Phish, The Tragically Hip

- Looking at the Dead album by album

- Phil's a tie-dyed in the wool Deadhead, Jay has only superficial knowledge of the band

- Phil: Got into the Dead in the mid-'80s, saw them live in '89

- Attracted by the musicianship, lyrics

- Live is where the band really shines

- Every show was different

- The solo work from Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir was pivotal as well

- Songs would be played live years before it showed up on an album

- Band's biggest hit, "Touch of Grey," was first played live in '82 but became a single five years later

- Jay: More into hard rock, metal as a kid

- Got into alternative and punk

- Would hear some Dead songs on classic rock radio

- The tribute comp Deadicated introduced me to more Dead songs

- Self-titled debut has a different sound than the one they evolved into

- Recorded in four days

- Only got up to #73 on album charts

- Mostly covers of folk and jug band songs

- Band took a lot of speed during recording, which shows in the songs

- Garcia rips on guitar throughout

- Not too much jamming on record

- Psychedelic rock was starting to happen in general

- Live versions of these songs were much longer

- Most Dead shows were 2.5 to 3 hours

- Jay: Really liked "Cold Rain and Snow," "Viola Lee Blues"

- "Sitting on Top of the World" bears some resemblance to Allman Brothers

- Phil: Garcia was very prolific, always playing guitar

- Bob Weir gave up the short shorts for cargo pants

- John Mayer plays with Dead and Co. now

- Surviving Dead guys are in their 70s now

- Not your typical Dead album

- The band didn't like how it was recorded

- Next up: Anthem of the Sun

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_496_102918.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:41pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our rock n' roll regrets.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Jay: Gave away a bunch of vinyl in the '90s

- Price gouging vinyl-loving hipsters

- Looking for bargains

- Young entrepreneurship gone wrong

- Taping music off the radio

- In praise of Barooga Bandit

- Phil: Wish I'd seen shows at some historic venues

- Jay: Bands I once liked that I now regret liking

- There should be no guilty pleasures

- Coming to terms with disco

- Some early '90s radio staples now ring false

- Getting rides to concerts from parents

- Jay: Not going to club shows earlier

- Only went to hockey arenas and amphitheaters

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_495_081418.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:26pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey about our rock n' roll regrets.

Show notes:

- Recorded at CompCon world HQ

- Phil: Bands I never got to see

- Missing artists before they died

- Sometimes it's for budgetary reasons

- Jay: Saw Neil Young last month for the first time

- The time Phil got dosed at a Cure show

- Phil: Not being old enough to see certain artists in their prime

- Following bands on tour

- Jay: Not sticking with the guitar

- Been playing on and off for decades

- Short-lived band experiences, including Bea Arthur's Revenge

- Phil: Giving away CDs and mixtapes

- Mixtapes can tell a lot about someone's personality

- Jay: Still have all my cassettes

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_494_080818.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the first half of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Our top 5 albums of the year so far

- JB's #5

- Post-rock quartet from Philly

- JK's #5

- A New Year's gift

- Channeling post-election angst

- JB's #3

- Hook-laden pop from Kevin Kline's kid

- JK's #4

- Back to basics from power pop masters

- JK's #3

- Hot rawk from a dependably excellent band

- JB's #2

- Sprawling lo-fi indie folk

- JK's #2

- Came out of left field

- Punchy power pop

- JB's #1

- Exhilarating release for this band's Saddle Creek debut

- JK's #1 and JB's #4

- Very political record

- Please save us, Fugazi

- JB: Still surprised at the lack of political music

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_493_072418.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the first half of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- On to the top 10

- JB's #10

- Side project of the late Scott Hutchison

- JK's #10

- Welcome return of alt-rock faves

- The laid-back recording style of Steve Albini

- JB's #9

- Ambient music via Philly

- JK's #9

- Boston alt-rock icons back with a vital new record

- JB's #8 and JK's #7

- Another fine album from an Aussie rocker

- JK's #8

- The evolution of a band's sound

- JB's #7

- No new Johnny Foreigner release, but this works

- JB's #6

- Minimal electronic act from the city of Brotherly Love

- Good chillout music

- JK's #6

- A solid solo release from another alt-rock legend

- Surprising political bent on a few songs

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_492_071718.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:24pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the first half of 2018.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- The sudden album drop: Drake, Kanye, Beyonce/Jay Z, Rosenstock

- Who needs major labels?

- Charts are meaningless when the kids just stream music

- Country may be the biggest selling genre right now

- Pop tours are struggling

- The flipside of convenience

- YouTube as last resort for streaming

- The floppy disk as music storage device

- Package tours now mix up genres and eras

- Breitling: "I imagine the Wang is sizable"

- Our favorite music: The bubbling unders...or also-rans

- Breitling: Ben Leiper, Kamasi Washington, Speedy Ortiz, GAS

- Kumar: Ty Segall, Hot Snakes, Screaming Females, La Luz, Poptone, Beach House, Janelle Monae, Painted Doll, Judas Priest

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_491_071018.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss social media dependency.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- The political climate is disturbingly fascinating

- O, Canada?

- It used to be easy to fall out of political favor

- Howard Dean's scream

- The lack of competition

- No alternative party

- Navigating social media to victory

- Coming up with an escape plan

- Watch out for gators

- Connected to social media all day but don't look at it all the time

- Your info is constantly being collected by FB, Google, Amazon, etc.

- Wandering through the social media graveyard

- FB Messenger was banning people based on supposedly private conversations

- Matt's adventures with drunken late-night purchases like the Ab Zapper

- Buying swords on QVC

- The desperate need for social media likes

- Matt: No withdrawal symptoms when disconnected from the internet

- Consequences for social media faux pas can come quickly

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_490_061918.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss social media dependency.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- Back from a little hiatus

- Using the phone at the urinal

- Matt: Detached from social media while in Canada

- We're online all day for work

- Jay: The kids love the Instagram

- Twitter can be a cesspool

- Let Me Google That For You

- When Star Wars nerds get ugly

- Twitter can often be a license to be a jerk

- People can be "rock stupid"

- The compulsion to tweet

- Arguing with family members on social media

- The mute function on FB is helpful

- Matt: Writer Twitter drives me nuts

- Don't click on the comments!

- Anime geeks solving their arguments in a civil manner

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_489_061218.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss musical blindspots: I dig into George Harrison's Brainwashed and Brian checks out Living Colour's Stain.

Show notes:

- Jay: George Harrison's posthumous release

- Never heard anything from this on the radio

- Took repeated listens for it to click

- Ends with George and his son chanting together

- Harrison's solo work after first album is noticeably flawed

- Harrison worked on this album for 14 years

- Jeff Lynne production doesn't overwhelm Brainwashed

- Jay: All three solo Beatles albums I listened to were good

- Brian: The third Living Colour record is more aggressive

- Very angry, dark album

- Timely lyrical themes that would work today

- Doug Wimbish brings a different sound to Living Colour

- Industrial sounding, lots of sampling

- Band split up in '95

- Album was out of print for years after a lawsuit over its name

- Watching rock stars age is strange

- Robert Plant's stayed true to himself

- Next up: Jay will explore the Mountain Goats catalog, Brian will check out Buffalo Tom

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_488_032818.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we discuss musical blindspots: I dig into Paul McCartney's RAM and Brian checks out Living Colour's Time's Up.

Show notes:

- Brian: Glover's vocals are too showy on Reid's songs

- Second half of album is more varied

- Back in the days of super-long albums

- Living Colour would switch styles in the middle of songs

- Bands would go platinum with no radio play

- Taping music off the radio

- RAM was credited to Paul and Linda

- Whimsy with a dark undercurrent

- Homemade-sounding album recorded in an NYC studio

- Critics hated it when it came out

- Macca rarely plays these songs live

- Next up: Living Colour's Stain and George Harrison's Brainwashed

- George's problematic solo career

- Here's to long rock docs

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_487_022718.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:27pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the power of the written word.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- The popularity of comics has moved beyond just comic books

- The collector's market collapsed in the late '90s

- We make less time to read nowadays

- Audiobooks and podcasts are popular with people trying to multitask

- Mark Hamill's interesting career

- Attention spans are shrinking

- Binge-watching vs. reading

- Long-form storytelling is alive and well on TV

- Being professional on social media

- When things you liked don't age well

- Retroactive criticism

- Hate-sharing for fun and profit

- Outrage fatigue

- Picking careers that become obsolete

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_486_020618.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the power of the written word.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- Everything's great

- Content has a different meaning these days

- Gotta grab readers much more quickly

- We read full articles more infrequently

- Rarely go directly to newspaper sites

- Jay: Use Feedly, which is like the old Google Reader RSS feed aggregator

- RSS feeds are archaic now

- Facebook's News Feed is pretty light on actual news

- People "liking" products on social media

- Matt: Shorter stories seem to do better than longer novels

- e-readers are good and bad

- Internet publishing took away the gatekeeper so anyone can publish now

- Now there's so much out there, you can't tell the good from the bad

- Paperbacks are making a comeback, like vinyl

- Putting "girl" in a book title is trending

- Dino erotica is a thing

- Fun with keywords

- Doing chart battle with werewolf smut

- Jay: Finally got a Kindle last year

- Matt: Amazon is the devil that pays on time

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_485_012918.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 2:38pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite albums of 2017.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- JB's #4

- A surprising shoegaze comeback

- JK's #4

- Dan Bejar hits the sweet spot

- JB's #3

- The greatness of Father/Daughter Records

- Interesting songs that grab you

- JK's #3

- A man of constant reinvention

- JB's #2

- A strong farewell from a beloved band

- JK's #2

- Harking back to a signature sound with some new twists

- JB's #1

- Strong set produced by Kurt Heasley of the Lilys

- JK's #1

- Two great tastes that taste great together

- Very conversational, ramshackle

- Some great box sets/archival releases from Husker Du, Replacements, Acetone

- Anticipated releases: Yr Poetry, Buffalo Tom, Sloan, Ty Segall, Arctic Monkeys, My Bloody Valentine

- Shout out to Ollie

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_484_010218.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:05pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite albums of 2017.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- JB's #10

- Tommy Stinson can still bring it

- JK's #10

- A welcome return after 17 years

- JB's #9

- A turnkey post-shoegaze solution

- JK's #9

- Double LP return for the great Ted Leo

- JB's #8

- A different sound for She Sir

- JK's #8

- Strong effort marred by bizarre on-stage incident

- When artists you like do bad things

- JB's #7

- Breitling digs on the ambient music

- JK's #7

- Mixing hooks in with blistering rockers

- JB's #6

- Juana Molina continues to explore

- JK's #6

- Strong career progression from consistently interesting artist

- JB's #5

- Former schoolteacher turned electronic artist

- JK's #5

- Double album recorded while the artist was dying

- Each song was about a person in his life

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_483_122617.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 11:21am EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about the year in indie rock.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Eighth annual year in review

- Rock isn't part of the top 40 conversation anymore

- Apple is going to stop selling downloads and iPods

- Music as a service

- Does higher quality audio really matter?

- People who died

- Pat DiNizio recently passed; the Smithereens had a fine career

- Other notable deaths: Petty, Downie, Cornell, Berry, Domino, Allman, Hart

- The Year of Punishing Bad Behavior

- Albums that didn't make our top 10 lists

- Breitling: The War on Drugs recalls mid-80s classic rock

- Also dug St. Vincent, Lali Puna, Wet Trident, Lubec, Charly Bliss

- Kumar: War on Drugs, LCD Soundsystem, Wolf Parade, Protomartyr, Ron Gallo

- Lots of music to like this year

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_482_121817.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:16pm EDT

This week, it's part 1 of my discussion with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots with Brian listening to Living Colour while I dig into early solo Beatles records.

Show notes:

- Brian listened to Vivid, Jay listened to John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

- Adventures in Skype

- Jay: Wasn't familiar with much of this album

- Very raw, exposed album for Lennon

- Lennon didn't release many albums before he died

- Yoko plays "the wind"

- Embarrassment of riches after Beatles broke up

- The Living Colour/In Living Color conundrum

- Brian: Not a misplaced note on this album

- Impressed with the political content

- Jay: Saw videos on MTV and taped a concert off the radio back in '88

- Vivid was out for over a year before "Cult of Personality" hit big

- Living Colour confounded expectations

- Mick Jagger helped get them a record deal

- Next: Jay listens to McCartney's Ram and Brian checks out LC's Time's Up

 

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_481_121117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

This week, it's part 2 of my discussion with Phil Stacey about how we deal with losing musicians we love.

Show notes:

- Replacing a beloved band member is tough

- Tom Petty's legacy

- Steely Dan's interesting catalog

- The problem with hearing the same songs over and over

- The lighter side of Prince

- Prince's prolific later years

- A master of any style

- Jay: Downie's loss hits harder now because I'm around the same age

- Making the most of your last years on Earth

- The real shockers are the younger ones

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_480_111617.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

This week, it's part 1 of my discussion with Phil Stacey about how we deal with losing musicians we love.

Show notes:

- Gord Downie died a few weeks ago

- Many high-profile music deaths in last few years

- Musicians are getting older, but also some tragic deaths

- Phil: Elvis Presley's death was memorable

- Lennon's death was shocking

- Phil: Cobain and Jerry Garcia's deaths hit hard

- Jay: The plane crash that killed Randy Rhoads stands out

- Lemmy, Bowie and Prince all died within a few months of each other

- Chris Cornell's death earlier this year came as a surprise

- Many big-name musicians died this year: Gregg Allman, Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Grant Hart, Walter Becker

- You tend to dig into the back catalog

- Bowie's death kicked off a rough 2016 for music fans

- Losing Prince was a gut punch

- Jay: Saw the Tragically Hip many times over the years

- Downie released a posthumous double album

- Very captivating live performer

- Watched a lot of concert videos and documentaries on YouTube after he died

- Downie focused on indigenous people's rights in his last few years

- To be continued

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_479_110917.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

This week, it's part 2 of my discussion with Phil Stacey about albums that changed our lives. 

Show notes:

- Jay: Was a nerdy kid who listened to music all the time

- Phil liked college rock, but never got the Violent Femmes

- Jay: Loved Red Hot Chili Peppers back in the day, but can't stand them now

- Back and forth on the Eagles and Doors

- Of Linda Ronstadt and Barney Gumbel

- Grunge makes an impact

- Alt-rock: Peter Gabriel, R.E.M., U2

- Phil: Big Smiths fan

- The first Pretenders album is a classic

- Neil Young's '80s odyssey

- Phil loves the Dead

- Jay: Got into funk and jazz in late '90s (P-Funk, James Brown, Miles Davis, Coltrane)

- Phil: Listened to Beck's Sea Change a lot after getting divorced

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_478_103117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

This week, it's part 1 of my discussion with Phil Stacey about albums that changed our lives. 

Show notes:

- Phil: At age 6-7, hearing older kids listening to Aerosmith

- Heard a lot of easy listening music

- Had a music-loving uncle who introduced him to the Who, Hendrix, Talking Heads

- Jay: Listened to AM rock station in Toronto

- Bought 45s of Queen, Cheap Trick, Joe Jackson

- Phil: U2's Boy was a huge album for me

- Jay: Got Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy

- Zeppelin got me into rock

- B-52s were revolutionary

- You can't make your kids love your music

- Jay: First rock album I bought was Supertramp's Breakfast in America

- Phil: Revolver was a pivotal Beatles album

- Jay: Got into early '80s hard rock

- Rush's Moving Pictures was a big one

- To be continued

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_477_102417.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:11pm EDT

This week, it's part 3 of my discussion with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots. Brian will learn about Iron Maiden while I dig into Frank Zappa.

Show notes:

- Brian listened to Somewhere in Time, Jay listened to Sheik Yerbouti

- Deja vu all over again

- Brian: Somewhere in Time is the most dated, least raw of the three albums I listened to

- Band didn't play to its strengths

- Victim of mid-'80s production

- Dickinson vs. Di'anno

- The disappearance of metal in the '90s

- Bon Jovi has thrived over the decades

- Not their best, but some Maiden classics

- Jay: Saw Maiden live a few months ago

- Zappa's Sheik Yerbouti finds him exploring the wackier subject matter in depth

- Released three albums in '79 alone

- Musicianship is incredible, feat. Adrian Belew on rhythm guitar

- Zappa released a ridiculous number of albums

- Xenochrony technique took parts from different songs and spliced them together

- Brian: Not in his top 10 albums, but close

- Went even more off the rails on Joe's Garage

- Next, Brian will listen to Living Colour while Jay will explore solo Beatle albums

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_476_101717.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss our uncertain world.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- Escapism is tempting

- Shopping by alcohol content

- Is ignorance bliss?

- Dumb and happy

- Cynical about politics at all levels

- Corruption is rampant

- Appearances count

- Politics have never been this divisive...or have they?

- Internet comments are the worst

- Social media enables morons to spout off

- Journalism burnout

- Shooting a guy in the face is quaint now

- Does uncertainty = depression?

- We haven't given up yet

- We solved nothing

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_475_101017.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss our uncertain world.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Echo and the Sea

- Recorded before the Las Vegas incident and Trump's visit to PR

- Everything's uncertain

- Don't know what to expect from the news

- Trump: Savvy or master of chaos?

- Twitter as distraction

- Social media amps up the anxiety

- FB as the center of vitriol over every conceivable public issue

- The weather is slamming us with unpredictable events

- Selling the BS

- Clickbait's gonna get ya

- Much ado about kneeling

- Scandal recovery

- Controversy du jour

- Punisher fans can be scary

- Twitter roulette

- Ah, the threat of impending nuclear war

- The relentless news cycle

- The difficulty of just enjoying life

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_474_100317.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:22pm EDT

This week, Brian Salvatore and I discuss more musical blindspots. Brian will learn about Iron Maiden while I dig into Frank Zappa.

Show notes:

- Brian listened to Number of the Beast, Jay listened to Apostrophe

- Brian: No surprises on Number of the Beast

- Familiar with half the album

- Liked the fast and heavy stuff, not the slower songs

- Jay: This was my introduction to Maiden

- The transition to more epic material

- Ozzy transcended the metal downturn of the '90s

- The power of album covers, good and bad

- The beginning of Maiden's prime

- Jay: Apostrophe was Zappa's 18th album

- "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" was a hit

- More straightahead rock than jazz fusion

- Memorable songs: Cosmik Debris, Uncle Remus, St. Alfonzo's Pancake  Breakfast

- Zappa live albums are different experiences

- High-level playing countered by sometimes dumb lyrics

- Zappa pioneered sampling and recording techniques

- Next up: Sheik Yerbouti for Jay, Somewhere in Time for Brian

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_473_082117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

This week, Brian Salvatore and I discuss more musical blindspots. Brian will learn about Iron Maiden while I dig into Frank Zappa.

Show notes:

- Jay: Somewhat familiar with Zappa's hits and guitar work

- Intimidating catalog; more than 100 albums released

- Brian: Knew a few Maiden songs but never a fan

- Listened to 1980 self-titled debut

- Liked the faster songs and Paul Di'Anno's vocals

- Enjoyed punk-inspired energy and Steve Harris' bass

- Production sounds good

- Maiden's sound has evolved over the years

- Jay listened to Zappa's 1969 album Hot Rats

- Only one song with vocals, and those are by Captain Beefheart

- Ian Underwood is major contributor, playing all keyboards and horns

- Very different sound than Zappa had in mid- to late- '70s

- Next up: Apostrophe for Jay, The Number of the Beast for Brian

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_472_080417.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:58am EDT

Another installment of Driving With Kumar as I discuss my recent European vacation.

Show notes:

- Spent over two weeks in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin

- Went to London in '96

- Less drinking on a family vacation

- Elderly passenger in distress

- Hotel room in London was tiny

- Walked nearly 100 miles the entire trip

- Ran along rivers in the four cities we visited

- Ate a lot of pub food

- London has a lot of great history and architecture

- Paris was beautiful

- Hit the Eiffel Tower on the first night

- Major military/police presence at tourist attractions

- Several terrorist incidents before we went, but nothing happened while we were there

- Only three days of sun the whole vacation

- More daylight

- Out of the U.S. news cycle

- Being aware of your surroundings

- Wary while running in Paris and Dublin

- Missed American beer

- Visited my brother in Belfast

- Explored Northern Ireland scenic sites

- Saw several Game of Thrones filming locations

- Went to the Guinness brewery

- Wifi was at a premium

- Good to be back home

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_471_071817.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:26pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the year so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- JB: The Orb released a remix EP

- JK: The prolific Ty Segall does it again

- JB: Vagabon brings fresh take to indie rock

- JK: Boss Hog's first album in 17 years

- JB: The evolving sound of Spoon

- JK: The consistently excellent New Pornographers back with another winner

- JB: Juana Molina returns with a strong, out there release

- JK: Mark Lanegan incorporates electronic music into his sound

- JB: Snowball II with a release that recalls The Lilys

- JK: Afghan Whigs release their best record since reuniting

- JB: Tommy Stinson brings back Bash & Pop with hooks galore

- JB: Slowdive's reunion album gives the people what they want

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_470_062317.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:51am EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite music of the year so far.

Show notes:

- Recorded at Clicky Clicky world HQ

- Plenty of great rock music, but not on the charts

- It's all about playing live; rock radio exposure is nonexistent

- Billy Squier still gets the airplay

- Nobody's figured out how to make money from streaming music

- Get pumped for Husker Du bootleg box set

- More rock deaths: Berry, Cornell, Allman, Geils

- Rise in musical activism

- Albums we want to hear

- Breitling: Ride, Palehound, Wet Trident

- Kumar: Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett, Ted Leo, Buffalo Tom, Queens of the Stone Age, Deer Tick, LCD Soundsystem

- Bubbling under albums

- Breitling: Tara Jane O'Neil, Opin, The xx

- Lubec's coming to Boston in August

- Kumar: Chastity Belt, Bash and Pop, Cloud Nothings, White Reaper, At the Drive-In, Black Lips

- Our favorite albums so far

- JB: Spirit of the Beehive combines psych and shoegaze

- JK: Run the Jewels keeps on rolling

- Zach de la Rocha's hardcore past

- JB: Yr Poetry is a Johnny Foreigner side project

- JK: Japandroids bring the rock anthems

- JB: Different sound for Pile

- JK: More anthems from Los Campesinos!

- Cello vs. violin

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_469_062017.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots. Brian listens to another Sloan album while I check out a third record from Ween.

Show notes:

-Win-win situation

- Brian had Sloan's "The Double Cross" and Jay had Ween's "Quebec"

- Brian: My favorite of the three I listened to

- Beatles comparisons

- Brian will go back and check out rest of Sloan catalog

- No solo albums, but Murphy had TUNS project

- Jay: Really enjoyed Quebec

- Most cohesive of the three Ween albums Jay heard

- Dean and Gene were dealing with some issues

- "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" is an epic album closer

- Next up: Jay will listen to Frank Zappa and Brian will check out Iron Maiden

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_468_061617.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with Brian Salvatore about musical blindspots. Brian listens to another Sloan album while I check out a second record from Ween.

Show notes:

- Brian: Impressed with the progression of Sloan's sound

- Jay: Hadn't heard anything from The Mollusk previously

- Plenty of genre jumping

- Nautical theme

- Elements of prog, psych

- Brian: My favorite Ween record

- Ween varies playlists from show to show

- Brian: Between the Bridges is steeped in the '70s: Big Star, Sweet, T. Rex, Fleetwood Mac

- Interesting sequencing and flow

- Confusing the title with Between the Buttons

- Last Sloan album gave each band member a side's worth of songs

- Brian: Almost exclusively listen to albums in full

- Jay: Will listen to albums, but also use shuffle mode on iPod

- Brian: Also listen to a lot of music on Spotify

- Next up: Quebec for Jay, The Double Cross for Brian

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_467_060717.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:38pm EDT

This week, Brian Salvatore and I talk about delving into the catalog of bands we don't know much about. Brian will learn about Sloan while I dig into Ween.

Show notes:

- Each of us picks a favorite artist of the other that we don't know much about

- Jay listened to Ween's Chocolate and Cheese, Brian listened to Sloan's Twice Removed

- Both 1994 releases

- Both of us had heard a few songs before

- Jay: First heard Ween on Beavis and Butt-head, wrote them off as novelty act

- Brian: Twice Removed starts off strong, flows well

- Big power pop vibe

- The album that got Sloan dropped by Geffen

- Each band member writes and sings

- Were signed as part of the alternative explosion of the early '90s

- Self-release most of their albums now

- No indie rock radio stations anymore

- Jay: Chocolate and Cheese is great fun

- Wide range of styles, from funk to psychedelic to just weird

- Great guitar work from Dean Ween

- First Ween album done in a studio

- Walking the fine line between funny and stupid

- Phish has covered "Roses are Free"

- Ween plays jam band festivals sometimes

- Next up: The Mollusk for Jay, Between the Bridges for Brian

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_466_053117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

This week, I talk to guest Brian Salvatore about the legacy of the late Chris Cornell.

Show notes:

- Brian: Was never a huge fan of Cornell's early singing style

- Rediscovered his love for Soundgarden in recent years

- Jay: First heard him when Temple of the Dog came out in '91, then got  Badmotorfinger

- The greatness of Mother Love Bone

- Soundgarden was perfect bridge between '80s hard rock and the new sounds of the '90s

- Jay: Saw Soundgarden in small club in early '92 and then again a few months later at Lollapalooza

- Kim Thayil's guitar playing complemented Cornell's voice well

- Jason Everman, the Zelig of grunge

- The diverse nature of the Seattle acts of the '90s

- The pressure of being the "responsible one"

- Cornell's final tweets were upbeat

- Hard to read into his lyrics

- Most of Cornell's songs were dark

- His death hit hard because he was ours

- Feels like more '70s touring acts have more living members than '90s bands

- The drugs were more prevalent in the '70s and '80s, but the '90s acts paid the price

- Cornell's first solo album Euphoria Morning is really good

- Less impressed with Audioslave

- Soundgarden leaves a terrific body of work

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_465_052417.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:13pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about the evolution of the music blog.

Show notes:

- Breitling recently shut down his fine music blog Clicky Clicky

- Some band reunions shouldn't happen

- A whole new target audience for newer live acts

- The kids wanna snap

- Some bands can make a living selling merch and playing small live gigs

- No time for comics anymore

- The inflated price of vinyl

- Zines were the music blogs of the '80s and '90s

- Kumar: A buddy in Washington state got into punk, started a zine

- The convenience of blog software

- The blog as reference tool

- Our work at Webnoize is mostly gone now

- Clicky Clicky lives on via Facebook page

- The blog had a hardcore audience

- Not in it for the numbers

- Cutting through the crap on Twitter

- Quality, not quantity of posts

 

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_464_051617.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about the evolution of the music blog.

Show notes:

- Breitling recently shut down his fine music blog Clicky Clicky

- MP3 blogs soon evolved into something less legally risky

- Wrote about music for other online pubs: Splendid EZine, Junkmedia

- Had a personal page and then launched Clicky Clicky in 2006

- Contributors had other commitments, life got busy

- Breitling now writes for Vanyaland

- In their heyday, music blogs presented artists who weren't pushed by major labels or corporate radio

- The "Celestial Jukebox" is here

- Breitling: Listening habits have changed

- Used to frantically search for new music; now digging into albums

- Peak music blog year was 2007

- Blog bands: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand

- Many people started music blogs to get free stuff

- Some bloggers have moved on to mainstream gigs

- Podcasting has become commonplace

- YouTube stars are now gaining popularity

- Make way for Jacob Sartorius

- To be continued

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

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

Direct download: CompCon_463_050917.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

This week, it's my conversation with guest Christian Douglass as we discuss what life would be like without the Internet.

Show notes:

-  Recorded on the road in a snowstorm

- What if the Internet went away?

- Back to mid-'90s technology

- We'd have to talk to each other

- Generational dip

- The Lou Grant Revolt

- We'd lost a lot of conveniences

- The kids and the promposals

- People are constantly glued to their phones

- #oldmanrant

- We need the Internet

- Social media has replaced a lot of actual human interaction

- Phantom thumb

- TV and radio would be more important

- Making conclusions based on just the headline

- Library book etiquette

- The drive home

- Things could get bad

- Economy would tank

- Overcoming the dependency

- Not necessarily life or death

- Instant info gratification

- Are we ready to get primal?

- Taking a timeout

- Addictive by design

- Kids would have a tough time

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_462_040417.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1991.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Brian's #3

- The final Pixies album with original lineup

- Jay's #2

- Do we need to hear Nevermind again?

- Symbolically historic

- Raw vs. polished

- Brian's #2

- Tribe Called Quest brought a serious jazz feel to their sound

- Focused on the groove, not samples

- Jay's #1

- Matthew Sweet swings for the fences

- Sick guitar work from Lloyd and Quine

- Susanna Hoffs doesn't age

- Brian's #1

- Mike Mills gets his due

- Peter Buck's mandolin phase

- Still plenty of great records we didn't discuss

- The Costello-McCartney experiment

- School of Fish had the song of the summer of '91

- What's next?

- The early '90s were chock full of good stuff

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_461_032817.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1991.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Albums that didn't make our top 5 of '91

- Brian: Feelies, Slint, Prince

- Skipping a Prince show

- Jay: Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Temple of the Dog

- Brian: Firehose, De La Soul, Cohen tribute, Jonathan Richman

- No more "Hallelujah" covers, please

- Tribute albums were big in the '90s

- Jay: Tragically Hip, Dinosaur Jr., Fishbone, Nation of Ulysses, Swervedriver

- Jay's #5

- Soundgarden's game-changer

- Brian's #5

- Primus makes its mark

- Jay's #4

- The best Smashing Pumpkins album

- Corgan's off the rails now

- Brian's #4

- Ween's weirdest record

- Jay's #3

- Teenage Fanclub went from unknowns in the U.S. to indie darlings

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_460_032117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1991.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Wrapping up our look at the music of the years 1980-1999

- 1991 really kicked off the '90s musically

- Brian was 9, Jay was 23

- Alt-rock took off in '91

- Big year for Metallica

- Plenty of pop and one-hit wonders

- Bryan Adams and Color Me Badd had strong years

- Big efforts from A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, NWA and Public Enemy

- Styx had a song land in the top 100 singles

- Rock radio was still rooted in classic rock

- Billboard switched to Soundscan charts

- Freddie Mercury died on same day as Eric Carr of KISS

- Van Halen's slide into irrelevancy

- Since '91, VH has released three albums with three different singers

- Red Hot Chili Peppers hit their peak

- Albums Jay liked in '91: RHCP, Live, Spin Doctors

- Quintessential '90s tunes

- Talking Heads officially split

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_459_031517.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:10pm EDT

This week, I've got an installment of Driving With Kumar, in which I discuss the endless amount of entertainment content available to consume.

Show notes:

- Driving to work

- The joys of binge-watching TV

- So much to watch, so little time

- Book reading has suffered

- No time for comics

- Tons of music available to listen to whenever you want

- More music released now than ever before

- Listen to podcasts throughout the day

- Again, a ton of podcast content to choose from

- Recently cranked through 22 episodes of U Talkin' U2 to Me

- Rarely watch shows live

- Went to all-streaming setup for TV

- Never go to the movies anymore

- Glut of content calls for better time management

- It's an on-demand world

- Plenty of shows I've never seen

- It's all about portion control

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_458_030217.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss Hollywood's love of reboots.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- Docudramas like The People Vs. OJ Simpson are doing well

- Reboot of 24 sans Jack Bauer

- Why would you remake a perfect movie?

- Flip the concept

- Matt's book idea

- Need to reward original stories

- Pixar's doing great work

- The Marvel series on Netflix have been good

- Experimental episodes can be fun

- So much TV to watch now

- Luke Cage broke new ground

- Watching foreign shows and running out of episodes

- Remaking European shows for American TV

- Matt needs to watch Terriers and Justified

- The greatness of Walton Goggins

- Shows that are difficult to watch

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_457_022117.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:46am EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss Hollywood's love of reboots.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- Unnecessary reboots

- The Ghostbusters remake was controversial

- Westworld was a hit, but most viewers probably didn't see the original movies

- Michael Crichton's trial by fire as a director

- Channing Tatum is the mermaid in the new version of Splash

- The Rock's in everything

- DC's TV shows are good

- Matt Fraction's comics reimagining of Hawkeye is excellent

- Deadpool is a cavalcade of dick jokes

- Penny Dreadfal mashes up classic horror characters

- Beauty and the Beast live-action remake

- Rebooting in advertising: the Most Interesting Man in the World, Col. Sanders

- Reboot vs. continuation

- The Muppet Babies effect

- The many Punishers

- Taken, the TV show

- Getting manipulated by This Is Us

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_456_021417.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:30pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss Hollywood's love of reboots.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- All about recycling ideas

- Some reboots are self-referential

- The Brady Bunch Movie kicked off the reboot as parody

- Johnny Depp: Master of the Reboot

- Nic Cage's recent career choices

- Some improve on the original or have a different take

- Westworld, Bates Motel

- New TV shows based on Lethal Weapon and Training Day

- The industry's too risk-averse

- Comic book movie franchises reboot constantly

- So many different Batmen

- How long will Batfleck last?

- Daredevil: Netflix show is much better than the movie

- Stephen King's cocaine years

- "The hamster just fell off the wheel"

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_455_020817.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite indie rock of 2016.

Show notes:

- Breitling's #4

- Frankie Cosmos is fronted by Kevin Kline's daughter

- Engaging pop record

- Kumar's #4

- Very political album from Drive-By Truckers

- Breitling's #3

- Classic C86-style guitar pop

- Good advice: Don't pay the ferryman

- Kumar's #3

- Another outstanding release from Jeff Rosenstock

- Digs into Millennial angst

- Breitling's #2

- Lambchop's new album isn't about the First Lady

- First single is 18minutes long

- Kumar's #2

- Iggy's last hurrah?

- Josh Homme and friends provide backup

- Breitling's #1

- Johnny Foreigner explore life's beauty and disappointments

- Album came with a script

- Kumar's #1 and Breitling's #6

- Bowie goes out on a high note

- Put a lot of effort into the packaging

- Explorations of mortality from a man who knew he was about to die

- Looking forward to new albums in 2017: Cloud Nothings, Los Campesinos, Feelies, LCD Soundsystem, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ty Segall, Run the Jewels

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_454_011017.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:57pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite indie rock of 2016.

Show notes:

- Kumar's #9

- PUP comes into its own on second album

- Breitling's #8

- A more experimental release from Hallelujah the Hills

- Kumar's #8

- Car Seat Headrest's album had to be recalled thanks to Ric Ocasek

- Breitling's #7

- Preoccupations expanded the sound of their debut (as Viet Cong)

- Dumb band name controversy

- Kumar's #7

- Continuing a triumphant stretch of rock records from Bob Mould

- Defying the effects of age, unlike other aging rockers

- "More barn!"

- The Feelies can't stop/won't stop

- Breitling's #6 will be discussed later

- Kumar's #6

- Parquet Courts is an interesting act that has evolved quickly

- Breitling's #5

- Straight outta Portland, OR

- Lubec adds layers to its sound

- Kumar's #5

- Heavy space rock from Vancouver

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_453_010317.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Jay Breitling about our favorite indie rock of 2016.

Show notes:

- We are not Moviefone

- Rough year for musician deaths

- Trump's top 3 albums

- A return to protest music?

- Clicky Clicky HQ is fully Alexa-ized

- The kids love the vinyl (well, the hipsters do, anyway)

- Albums are back, sort of

- Crowdfunding albums is becoming more prevalent

- Breitling's bubbling under albums: A Giant Dog, Thin Lips, Bent Shapes, Yr Poetry, Pinegrove, Horse Jumper of Love, Guillermo Sexo, California Snow Story

- Kumar's: Used Cassettes, Savages, Dino Jr., Radiohead, Split Single, Preoccupations, Descendents, Johnny Foreigner, Terry Malts, Hallelujah the Hills, Kristin Hersh, I Don't Cares, Nick Cave, Gord Downie, PJ Harvey

- Downie teamed with comics artist Jeff Lemire on combo album/graphic novel

- Breitling's #10

- Cold Pumas back with a hot new release

- Kumar's #10

- Possibly the last Tragically Hip album

- Different sound courtesy of producers Kevin Drew and Dave Hamelin

- Breitling's #9

- Boston's Strange Passage reminds of early Ride

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_452_122716.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1990.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Jay's #3 album of 1990

- Public Enemy was controversial

- Homophobia was pervasive back then, especially in hip hop

- PE scared white America

- Brian's #3

- They Might Be Giants was in the middle of a classic run of albums

- Song-a-Day Hotline

- Jay's #2

- After a decade of weirdness, Neil Young re-established himself as a rock icon

- Took Sonic Youth and Social D on the road

- Brian's #1 and Jay's #5

- Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly teamed up

- Deal stepped out of Black Francis' shadow

- Brian's #2

- Pixies release their surfiest album

- When 3/4 of Pixies crossed paths with some interesting neighbors

- Jay's #1

- Jane's Addiction's tour de force

- Scored an accidental video and radio hit with "Been Caught Stealing"

- Starts out fast and punchy, ends with side 2 of long, epic songs

- Perry Farrell's transition from out-of-control rock freak to hippie uncle

- One more year to go: 1991

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_451_122316.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 9:05am EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1990.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Albums that just missed our top 5 of the year

- Alice in Chains inspired a ton of copycat acts

- World Party paid homage to many influences

- Brian was a big Pantera fan in high school

- Social Distortion's classic era

- Living Colour came into their own with second album

- Warren Zevon teamed up with the non-Stipe members of R.E.M. to do a covers album

- Elektra comp Rubaiyat featured unlikely covers

- Mark Lanegan's first solo album established his dark bluesy side

- Ride was on the crest of the shoegaze wave

- Brian's #5

- Ween established their eclectic reputation

- The strange journey of Sim Cain

- Jay's #4

- Fugazi at the peak of their powers

- Brian's #4

- Primus at their least jokey

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_450_122016.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:24pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1990.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Things are getting weird

- The Decline of Western Civilization docs are fascinating

- In 1990, Jay was 22-23 and Brian was 8

- The '90s were still kicking off

- Pivotal events were still yet to happen

- Stevie Ray Vaughan died young

- 2 Live Crew came to prominence

- Oh, Milli Vanilli

- Disposable pop seemed to fade for a while

- Hammer and Vanilla Ice

- Madonna: Publicity generator

- Metal was tailing off after a strong decade

- Hip hop was getting stronger

- New Jack Swing was the thing

- Alternative rock was paving the way for Nirvana's breakthrough

- Pop charts were topped by the likes of Wilson Phillips and Roxette

- Sinead O' Connor's wild year

- Bands formed: Bikini Kill, Cracker, Body Count, Spin Doctors

- What about Tool?

- Broke up: Death of Samantha, Game Theory, Starship

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_449_121416.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:43am EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the aftermath of the election.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- Keeping friends after the election

- It's getting personal

- The canary in the coal mine

- Reading things that you know will annoy you

- Forced lefty

- Giving up on the presidency

- Don't encourage the Kardashians

- Romney's changed, man

- Matt's next book is changing because of the election

- Forget art forged from pain, we'll take mindless pop

- Social media as free therapy

- The Electoral College's relevance

- Changing demographics

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_448_112916.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the aftermath of the election.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- Jay: Not moving to Canada

- None of those celebs is leaving the country

- Enthusiastic votes for Trump

- Parallels to Brexit

- Plenty of protests when Obama was elected

- Scandals didn't hurt Trump

- Clinton was a very Republican-safe candidate

- Covering politics for a newspaper can change you

- When Matt was dissed by the new Lt. Gov.

- Oh, Gary Hart

- Politicians and sex

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_447_112216.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Phillion as we discuss the aftermath of the election.

Show notes:

- Check out Matt's book Like a Comet: The Indestructibles Book 4

- Thought this was going to be a very different show

- Didn't expect a Trump victory

- Social media was raw the day after the election

- Family and friend disagreements

- You can't change anybody's mind on social media

- Friendships are ending over the election

- Hiding or unfriending people

- Plenty of blame to go around

- People don't fact check things before passing them along

- Thanksgiving could be disastrous this year

- Many people may avoid it altogether

- A whole group of people got left behind and Trump tapped into that

- A deplorable soundbite

- Promising everything

- We're insulated in Massachusetts

- Oh, Florida

- Dealing with post-election feelings

- Racist and dumb is quite the combination

- To be continued

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_446_111616.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:14am EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1985.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Jay's #5

- Brian: "I'm a major label sellout guy" when it comes to R.E.M.

- R.E.M. started getting rock radio airplay in '85

- When MTV News was a thing

- The evolution of Stipe

- Brian's #2

- The Pogues: A love 'em or hate 'em band

- Shane McGowan has teeth now

- Jay's #2

- Two great Husker Du albums in '85

- New Day Rising gets the edge over Flip Your Wig

- Rock concert business was focused on arenas in '85

- Indie rock acts had to forge their own way

- Brian's #1 and Jay's #5

- Camper Van Beethoven's interesting debut mixed a lot of styles

- Jay forgot about the Replacements

- Trouble Boys, the Replacements bio, is excellent

- Mats reunion may not be over

- Jay's #1

- Pete Townshend's last great work

- Ambitious project about the London projects where he grew up

- Since then, he's focused on Who tours and licensing

- McCartney can't stop/won't stop

- Next up: 1990

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_445_110816.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:24pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1985.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- Bands that formed in '85: Bevis Frond, Big Dipper, Crowded House, Guns 'N Roses, Hootie and the Blowfish, Jane's Addiction, Radiohead

- Bands that split up: Minutemen, Hanoi Rocks, Kajagoogoo

- Brian's bubbling under albums: Prince, Minutemen, Jonathan Richman, Angst, Big Audio Dynamite

- The importance of Mick Jones

- Jay: Smiths, INXS, Cure, Dinosaur Jr., Rush, Jesus and Mary Chain

- Brian's #5

- Beat Happening specialized in lo-fi pop

- Brian's #4

- Not the best Talking Heads album, but a decent one

- Jay's #4

- The Cult established their goth sound

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_444_110116.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Brian Salvatore as we look back at the music of 1985.

Show notes:

- Check out Brian's podcast Input/Output

- 1985: Jay graduated from high school, started college in the fall

- Jay was 17 going on 18, Brian turned 3

- Jay: Listened to a lot of AOR, hard rock, metal

- Started getting into U2

- The year of rock charity

- Undercurrent of college rock

- MTV was growing

- Style over substance

- Strange collection of songs on the Hot 100

- A lot of songs released in '84 carried over to '85 charts

- Hard rock and metal albums were selling well: Ratt, Dokken, Twisted Sister

- Indie rock's influence wouldn't be felt for a few more years

- The launch of VH1

- PMRC hearings put spotlight on explicit lyrics

- Warning labels had the opposite of intended effect

- DLR left Van Halen in '85: Did he jump or was he pushed?

- DLR's book is fascinating and insane

- Rock bios are a mixed bag

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_443_102516.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:32pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with author Greg Renoff as we discuss the rise and fall of the guitar hero.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Buy Greg's book Van Halen Rising at Amazon or get a signed copy from the Van Halen Store

- Flash guitar in the '80s: VH, Motley Crue, Ratt, Quiet Riot

- Ratt was once replaced on a bill by Molly Hatchet

- Billy Squier's downfall

- Molly Hatchet unsuccessfully tried to pull a "ZZ Top"

- The hair metal bubble burst

- The '80s shredder trend

- Fast forwarding to the solos

- Oh, Vinnie Vincent

- Looking for the new Warrant

- The influence of Guitar Hero

- Learning about Slash

- We need guitars

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_442_101916.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:13am EDT

This week, it's part 1 of my conversation with author Greg Renoff as we discuss the rise and fall of the guitar hero.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Buy Greg's book Van Halen Rising at Amazon or get a signed copy from the Van Halen Store

- Greg: As a kid, started playing stepfather's old acoustic guitar

- An uncle got him into Hendrix, Clapton, Leslie West

- Jay: First guitar hero was Jimmy Page

- Zeppelin II was the gateway

- Greg: Realized early that I'd never be able to play like Eddie VH

- Jay: Played guitar on and off over the years, never seriously

- Childhood friend plays in a Journey cover band

- Greg: Guitar was a good way to blow off steam

- Big band Hendrix?

- Jay: Other early favorites were Pete Townshend and Dave Davies

- The evolution of Clapton

- Early '70s were marked by great players like Iommi, Blackmore and Michael Schenker

- Jay: Got into Sabbath and Ozzy in the early '80s

- Gary Moore was an underrated guitar monster

- Building your music collection via music clubs

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_441_101116.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

Part 2 of my conversation with guest Matt Wardlaw as we discuss the decline of rock radio.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Check out Matt's podcast Lost Together

- Van Cherone: Matt defends Van Halen III

- Eddie VH's lack of new material

- Buy Greg Renoff's great book Van Halen Rising

- Eddie sounds good again

- Age is becoming a factor

- Jay: Saw both DLR and VH in 1986

- The MTV effect

- Early '80s video production values

- Videos pushed songs to greater success

- In defense of "We Built This City"

- Videos boosted careers of artists like ZZ Top, the Cars and Huey Lewis

- Rock stations added non-music programming

- Satellite radio is nice, but not a must-have

- Matt uses Apple Music

- Bands aren't making much money from streaming

- The money is in touring and merch, not albums

- Home taping didn't kill the music industry

 

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_440_100416.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 5:59pm EDT

Part 1 of my conversation with guest Matt Wardlaw as we discuss the decline of rock radio.

Show notes:

- Recorded via Skype

- Check out Matt's podcast Lost Together

- Matt first got into radio as a kid in Odessa, TX

- Jay: Started listening to AM rock stations in Toronto in late '70s

- Matt later moved to Cleveland area, heard a lot of Canadian bands on radio there

- The enduring popularity of Trooper's "Raise a Little Hell"

- The thrill of the chase: hunting for B-sides and imports

- Learned about music via radio and magazines

- Countless hours in record stores

- In Boston, the rock stations have dwindled

- Cleveland's WMMS has gone part talk, part classic rock

- Curated radio experience is becoming more rare

- Jay: Listen to combo of podcasts, college radio and online stations

- Matt had a metal show for several years

- Classic rock acts can't get new stuff played anymore

- Playing new material live vs. "the hits"

- Billy Joel stopped making new music in early '90s

- Touring is where the money is for classic rock acts

- To be continued

 

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

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_439_092816.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 7:35pm EDT

Part 3 of my conversation with guest Phil Stacey as we discuss fantasy sports.

Show notes:

- No interest in daily fantasy sports

- Big ad blitz when daily fantasy leagues hit the scene

- The kids love the gambling

- Sports gambling is much easier now

- Vegas now has an NHL franchise

- The Super Bowl is more spectacle than game

- "I call him Gamblor"

- Senior citizens take buses to casinos

- Playing in multiple leagues is no guarantee of winning money

- When the commissioner is dishonest

- Like pickup sports, you want to have fun with friends in fantasy leagues

- The single worst pick in fantasy hockey history

- Let's hear it for Lichtenstein

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. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blog Clicky Clicky. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

Direct download: CompCon_438_092016.mp3
Category:Completely Conspicuous -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT