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The Great Albums

Two indie rock musicians, Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson, dive into the fandom of great rock and pop music and how it connects to their lives through the lens of the medium they care for most, the album. Episodes frequently include guest contributions from musicians, podcasters, and journalists and always culminate in a track by track review.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 4, 2018

Musician, blogger, and label head Jeff Fiedler joins Bill and Brian to discuss Robert Palmer's Clues (1980, Island).

May 28, 2018

Bill and Brian are joined by musician Chris Fox (rubybonesband.com) to talk about the Walkmen's Heaven (2012, Fat Possum Records)!

May 21, 2018

Bill and Brian discuss Paul McCartney & Wing's Band on the Run (1973, Apple). Brian talks about listening to this album while driving around the American Southwest. Then we get into the criticisms of this album (that we disagree with), the band recording in Nigeria, Linda McCartney's musicianship, Denny Laine's contributions, Tony Visconti's arrangements, Macca's craftsmanship and our own songwriting, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

May 18, 2018

Bill and Brian open their hearts and open the mail bag and read some emails from our fine listeners.

May 14, 2018

Bill and Brian have a little fun by resurrecting the format of Bill's old podcast, High Fives, and count down their top 5 songs sung by the other person in the band. We make sure to not repeat any past songs already covered on the show (no "39" by Queen, no Dan Bejar, no Ringo, etc.), but we think we've got some pretty good tunes featured in their stead. Check it out!

May 7, 2018

One of Bill and Brian's favorite musicians and storytellers Jim McGee returns to the podcast to take us on a journey through 10(-ish) great songs from one of his favorite bands, Aerosmith. We start at the beginning with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry writing songs on a water bed, make our way through the drug fueled 70s and their initial success into Perry and Brad Whitford's leaving the band, and then back in the saddle. Jim talks about his inability to play like Joe Perry, showcases his vocal skills as a Steven Tyler sound-alike, and shares the story about how he had to buy Just Push Play 3 times. That and more as Jim shares his favorite Aerosmith songs!

This week's sponsor: ZipRecruiter!

Apr 30, 2018

Bill and Brian are joined by musician Tom Losito (www.thevaughns.info) to discuss the Posies' Frosting on the Beater (1993, DGC). Tom tells the gents about discovering the band via a LastFM deep dive. Then Bill, Brian, and Tom discuss what "power pop" means to Tom, the Posies' lack of a signature sound and evolution through the years, Jon Auer's cool guitar tones, Ken Stringfellow's pop sensibility, the band's signature harmonies, Mike Musburger's killer drums, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

This week's sponsor is the very lovely Blind Tiger Record Club. Check'em out!

Apr 23, 2018

Musician Jack Linden (Rose Boulevard, Karma Gambit) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Big Star's second album Radio City (1974, Ardent). Jack talks about his "power pop" phase and how influential this sound has been on him as he starts his new project, Karma Gambit.Then Bill, Brian, and Jack discuss the absence of Chris Bell and that influence on Alex Chilton and the band, Andy Hummel's songwriting chops, Jody Stephen's underrated drum skills, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

And support this week's sponsor: Blind Tiger Record Club!

Apr 16, 2018

Podcaster Jesse Jackson (Set Lusting Bruce, Next Stop Everywhere) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Paul Simon's Graceland (1986, Warner Bros.). Bill, Brian, and Jesse talk about the world-spanning influences on the music like zydeco, isicathamiya, and mbaqanga, the political difficulties and possible faux pas Simon faced with apartheid South Africa, Ray Phiri's take on that and his great guitar riffs, that bass fill Bakithi Kumalo knocked out of the park, the King of the Bayou Clifton Chenier, maybe a few name drops for the Boss himself, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

And, of course, check out this week's sponsor: Blind Tiger Record Club!

Apr 9, 2018

Podcaster and musician Dan Drago (www.25oclockpod.com and themunrowesrock.bandcamp.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Phish's Billy Breathes (1996, Elektra). Dan talks about a buddy introducing him to Phish amidst all the grunge and punk he was listening to in the 90s. Then Bill, Brian, and Dan discuss the time Brian met Tom Marshall, carpe diem vs stop and smell the roses, not comparing Phish with the Grateful Dead by comparing them with the Grateful Dead, the strengths and weaknesses of Phish live vs. album recordings, Trey Anastasio's great guitar tone, Steve Lillywhite's impressive production, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

 

Make sure to support this week's sponsor, Blind Tiger Record Club!

Apr 2, 2018

Musician and internet personality Chris Dubrow joins Bill and Brian to discuss the Kinks' Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970, Pye/Reprise).

Mar 26, 2018

Bill and Brian watched Once (2007), the magical indie musical directed  by John Carney and starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, and talk about our favorite scenes, favorite tunes, and breakdown some romantic entanglements presented in the film.

Mar 19, 2018

Music/entertainment reporter for nj.com and The Star Ledger joins Bill and Brian to discuss Fugees' second and final album the Score (1996, Ruffhouse/Columbia). Bobby talks about how a deep dive into this album while preparing a retrospective celebrating its 20th anniversary helped him learn to fully appreciate this work. Then Bill, Brian, and Bobby discuss Bobby's interview with Wyclef Jean, the themes on this- as Lauryn Hill describes it - "audio film," pass-the-mic style posse cuts and pop singles, the Boogah Basement, what Pras Michel is up to nowadays, the production of Jerry Duplessis, John Forte, Salaam Remi, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Make sure to support our sponsors for this week's episode:

Learn from the best in the world at MasterClass.com/great!

Blind Tiger Record Club...Your vinyl. Your choice.

Mar 15, 2018

Bill hangs out at Brian's pad for a change as we talk about Martin Shkreli's conviction and what it means for that one of a kind Wu-Tang Album, read some listener emails about definitive live versions of songs, and visit Facebook to debate the best guitar solos of the 90s!

Make sure to check out Lowlight's latest single, "Can't Stop now, available on Spotify, and see the band on tour with the Pretenders this Spring! Visit www.lowlightnj.com for details!

Mar 12, 2018

Musician Dave Mooney (davemooneymusic.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Joni Mitchell's influential relationship album Blue (1971, Reprise). Dave talks about Spotify algorithms doing him a solid and making sure Joni's music crossed his plate. Then Bill, Brian, and Dave talk about the album's sparse production, the value of speculating on an artist's biographical info, Graham Nash and James Taylor's influence on the lyrical content, Stephen Stills lending his talents, accidental Christmas songs, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Mar 5, 2018

Podcaster BJ Kahuna (Rock and/or Roll, Cheap Talk with Trick Chat) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Cheap Trick's In Color (1977, Epic).

And for all your hiring needs, check out this week's sponsor ZipRecruiter. Our listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free by visiting ziprecruiter.com/album!

Feb 26, 2018

Bill and Brian are joined by musician Jaime Parker (alpharabbit.bandcamp.com and meekobrando.bandcamp.com) to talk about indie artist Kevin Devine's sophomore effort Make the Clocks Move (2003, Triple Crown Records).

And make sure to check out this week's sponsor, MasterClass! Learn from the best in the world at masterclass.com/great!

Feb 22, 2018

Bill and Brian pick up the digital phone to have a relaxed conversation about Brian preparing for a show at the Stone Pony, Quincy Jones' epic rants, and some listener emails that touch on Boston, Elliott Smith, Ben Folds Five, and the Eagles!

Feb 19, 2018

Musician Adam Bird (aBirdmusic.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Hole's breakthrough sophomore effort Live Through This (1994, DGC).

Feb 12, 2018

Author and professor Jonathyne Briggs joins Bill and Brian to discuss Blondie's breakthrough third album Parallel Lines (1978, Chrysalis). Jonathyne talks about underestimating the band as a singles band in his youth before really digging into their catalog after they reformed in the late 90s. Then Bill, Brian, and Jonathyne discuss sexism in the NYC punk scene, Mike Chapman's dictatorial production, Debbie Harry's voice, the excellent rhythm section - Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison, Robert Fripp's guest spot, disco and racism, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Feb 5, 2018

Musician Nick Palmer joins Bill to talk about iconic, landmark "punk" album London Calling (CBS/Epic, 1979) by the Clash. Nick describes working his way back from Green Day to picking up Combat Rock and not understanding how anyone could call it punk. Then Bill and Nick talk about Nick's fandom forming fully, the important dichotomy of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, Paul Simonon's surprisingly good bass despite his own self-deprecating description of it, Topper Headon's killer drums, some left wing politics, the Spanish Civil war, Guy Stevens throwing chairs, and much more as we make our way through the album (mostly) track by track!

Jan 29, 2018

Podcaster Matt Kelly (hmnpodcast.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Norah Jones' massive breakout debut Come Away with Me (2002, Blue Note). Matt shares how Jones' blend of melancholy jazz and country helped him process the death of an important family member who passed shortly before this album was released. Then Bill, Brian, and Matt discuss the possible influence of Willie Nelson, Starbucks albums, how Jesse Harris may be the luckiest guy, Lee Alexander's soft country style, Jones' own songwriting, a genius idea for a dramedy film starring Paul Rudd and featuring these songs, summer romances, a bit about Ryan Adams, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Jan 22, 2018

Bill takes the weekend off, leaving the program in Brian's questionable hands. But he recruits solo artist, bandleader, and Yarnspinners Podcast maestro Brian Rothenbeck (http://rothenbeck.com) to be the guest co-host. Together, the two Brians and special guest Jay Gogel (of The Adventuring Party) dig deep into Ben Folds Five's final album, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999, 550 Music). Brian recalls a sad breakup that echoes "Don't Change Your Plans," while Rothenbeck recounts his futile attempts to turn his old Sam Goody customers on to the music of The Promise Ring. Gogel breaks down the level of difficulty of some of Ben Folds' music while all three marvel at the writing contributions of drummer Darren Jessee and Moog-playing of bassist Robert Sledge. All this and more as we break this lost classic down track by track!

Jan 15, 2018

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Noordzy of psychedelic afro-cuban surf jazz band El Noordzo (nachtrecords.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss the eponymous album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967, Verve). Mike talks about falling in love with a Velvets' best of he found at a random used record shop, before we get into talking about Nico's contributions as a vocalist, Tom Wilson punching up the sound, the effect Andy Warhol had on the band, John Cale vs. Sterling Morrison on bass, Lou Reed's version of a Manhattan Bohemian, Mo Tucker's primal rhythms, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Jan 11, 2018

Welcome to the first ever Liner Notes edition of the Great Albums podcast, a semi-monthly version of the show where Bill and Brian get to relax a little, read some listener emails, make corrections, and possibly chat about some new topics. In this episode we read some listener emails about loving Boston as a kid, giving the podcast a second chance, some top songs of 2017, guests helping the podcast get some context, and some cool local bands from other parts of the world.

Check these out:

www.thedaydreamers.ca

www.goodnightgolddust.com

janetleekim.bandcamp.com

 

 

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