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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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Oct 16, 2017

Bill and Brian are joined by podcaster Steve Fiorillo (inthemixpod.libsyn.com) to talk about Meat Loaf's legendary album Bat Out of Hell - Songs by Jim Steinman (1977, Cleveland International/Epic). Steve talks about inheriting his love of Mr. Loaf from his mother and how "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" is one of his earliest memories of music. We get into comparing and contrasting Springsteen with Meat Loaf and the timelessness of the albums production. Then Bill, Brian, and Steve chat about how this whole album is about sex, Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg (temporarily) defecting from the E Street Band, Todd Rundgren being coerced into some of the best guitar playing of his career, more about how this album is pretty much just about getting laid, Edgar Winter's sick sax solo, Phil Rizzuto's naivete, that the album is seriously all about Steinman's intercourse related dark humor, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Oct 12, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill is joined by special guest, musician and songwriter Tyler Plazio (soldiersofsuburbiaband.com), as we get really tangential to discuss that time that Billy Corgan teamed up with David Bowie to perform "All the Young Dudes" at Madison Square Garden. We end up with our longest BST yet as we talk about the importance of going to college, the best age and era to listen to the Smashing Pumpkins, vinyl vs. Spotify, How Tyler got into Bowie, the Mott the Hoople version of the song, how awful Warped Tour is nowadays, how Bill missed out on seeing Green Day in a small venue, how Tyler got to live that dream, Soldiers of Suburbia's new EP Eating Cigarettes, the stigma of "creative differences," a listener email about punk music being almost completely informed by its fans, how that relates to rap, and the unlikely revival of guitar music.

Oct 9, 2017

Bill and Brian are joined by podcaster James Anderson of Unabashedly Obsessed (unabashedlyobsessed.com) to talk about the Smashing Pumpkins breakthrough album Siamese Dream (1993, Virgin). James tells the story of playing N64 in a friend's basement, being blown away hearing the Pumpkins for first time, and how it led to purchasing the album at Walmart, a circumstance that forever shaped how he listened to the album. Bill, Brian, and James then get into the band's evolution through the years, how Billy Corgan wishes he could resequence the album, D'Arcy Wretzky and James Iha's lack of involvement in the recording, Jimmy Chamberlain's kick ass drumming and natural tones, Butch Vig's big guitar sounds and love of acoustic tracks, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Oct 5, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian quickly derail their own conversation about Saves the Day and their growth on their Stay What You Are follow up In Reverie by espousing the coolness of Nada Surf and their own transformation into indie power pop kings worthy of all the respect. Then they read some emails about how cool the Genuine Imitation Life Gazette is, Frankie Valli's involvement with the Watertown demos, and "songs that belong to the dance floor."

Oct 2, 2017

Musician and songwriter Matt Koerner (feenynj.com) joins Bill and Brian to talk about early aughts pop punk innovators Saves the Day and their breakthrough album Stay What You Are (2001, Vagrant). Matt shares his experience discovering the band as a teen pop punk devotee. Then we get into what it's like listening to a band from your hometown, Weezer's interactions with the band, Chris Conley's evolution and maturation as a songwriter and artist, Rob Schnapf's influence as producer, how this isn't Say Anything, Eben D'Amico's groovy bass, Bryan Newman's ability to make Matt air drum, the Muppets, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Sep 28, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian take a listen to and chat about some Four Seasons, songs that belong to the dance floor, and we read some listener emails about songs that make commercials.

Sep 25, 2017

Bill and Brian are joined by podcaster Mike Derrico (rockunderfire.com) to chat about Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' often overlooked, pop psychedelic masterpiece the Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (1969, Philips).

Sep 21, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! It's slim pickings for some interesting options of Nick Drake covers, but we hit the jackpot with Robyn Hitchcock's version of "Parasite." Bill and Brian discuss Sebadoh's cover of "Pink Moon" and Joe Boyd's arrangement, before getting into some listener emails about Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and teenage Luther Dickinson's contributions to the Replacements' "Shootin' Dirty Pool" (both odor and guitar).

Sep 18, 2017

Musician Kevin Newcomb (funwhileyouwait.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Nick Drake's Pink Moon (1972, Island).

Sep 14, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian follow up our Replacements' conversation with Tommy Stinson's follow up band, Perfect, and their tune "Miss Self-Esteem." We talk about how this band remained under the radar, especially in comparison to Tommy's other post-'Mats effort  Bash & Pop. Then we get into some listener emails about bands naming themselves after songs, Paul Westerberg's counting abilities (or lack thereof), and in defense of "Nightclub Jitters."

Sep 11, 2017

In a special crossover episode, Bill and Brian welcome Randy and Dan from That Dandy Classic Music Hour (thatdandyclassicmusichour.com) to finally return to covering a Replacements album with their 1987 classic Pleased to Meet Me (Sire). Bill and Brian discuss the band's history and their newfound hi fi sound before cutting to our conversation with the Dandy Classic guys where we delve into Paul Westerberg showing off his lead guitar skills, Jim Dickinson's contributions, Chris Mars' art career, Tommy Stinson's post-'Mats bands Bash & Pop and Perfect, and of course everyone's favorite teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait (the film) as we make our way through the album track by track!

For more of our conversation with Dan and Randy, including how we discovered the band and our top 5 songs from the album, make sure to take a listen to the Dandy Classic episodes for the next two weeks!

Sep 7, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian discuss Pearl Jam's surprise hit "Last Kiss," the band's staying power, a listener email about second chances, and an indie rock version of the Traveling Wilburys.

Sep 4, 2017

Bill and Brian take the stage at the Nashville Rock n Pod Music Expo to chat about what makes Pearl Jam's Backspacer (2009, Monkeywrench) a great album. Featuring some special guests culled from the convention floor!

Aug 31, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian dive into the deep waters with Modest Mouse (get it?) to discuss a favorite of theirs "Dashboard." We get into the contribution of Johnny Marr and the influence of disco. Then we read some listener emails letting us know some good songs covered by the Modest Mouse and a little appreciation for Frightened Rabbit.

Aug 28, 2017

Indie August draws to a close as Bill and Brian welcome musician and producer Derrill Sellers (lowlightnj.com) to the podcast as they make their way through Modest Mouse's the Lonesome Crowded West (1997, Up) track by track!

Aug 24, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian keep spreading the gospel of Frightened Rabbit (pun intended if you take a look at the theme of this parent album) and chat about "The Woodpile." We talk about the evolution of the band's sound as we compare and contrast them with their "cousins" the National. Then we read some listener emails that brightened our day, share some indie rock fantasy supergroup lineups, and discuss some good non-fiction reads about great music.

Aug 21, 2017

Bill and Brian continue Indie August, spending a couple hours delving into one of their new favorites and what they consider a modern classic, Frightened Rabbit's The Midnight Organ Fight (2008, Fat Cat).

Aug 17, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian get only semi-tangential from our Rilo Kiley episode and chat about Jenny Lewis' "She's Not Me." We talk about Ryan Adams' smooth production, the excellent guitar solo, and whether or not the the 70s gloss is a simply a hipster trope. Then we read some listener emails about Sebadoh (and how, no, we weren't criticizing Lou Barlow's post Dinosaur Jr project), best female guitarists, and the Singles soundtrack!

Aug 14, 2017

Singer songwriter Lance Scott Greene (not-poprecords.bandcamp.com) joins Bill and Brian as we make our way through Indie August to discuss Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous (2004, Brute/Beaute). Lance talks about discovering the band via a discman into the tape deck of his friend's busted old 90s sedan. Then Bill, Brian, and Lance discuss these songs inspiring Lance as a songwriter, the multitude of genres featured on the album, the Birch Hill in NJ, Jenny Lewis' powerhouse vocals, Blake Sennett's intricate guitar work, which songs most benefit from Jason Boesel's drums, country vs. R&B, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Aug 10, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill and Brian take a deeper dive into Lou Barlow's non-Dinosaur Jr project Sebadoh and their song "The Freed Pig." We talk a little about what Brian loves about this lo-fi gem and the band's place maybe outside the shadow of Dinosaur Jr. Then we get into some listener emails about A Mighty Wind, transgender issues, and film soundtracks in the 21st century.

Aug 7, 2017

Bill and Brian kick off Indie August with podcaster Josh Flanagan (ifanboy.com) joining them to discuss Dinosaur Jr's You're Living All Over Me (1987, SST). Josh explains how his 'mid-life crisis' helped him dive into a band that has been circling him for decades. Then Bill, Brian, and Josh discuss the band's interpersonal dynamics, Murph suffering under J's dictatorial arrangements, the band's tenuous relationship with Homestead Records, how J Mascis' guitar shredding skills are integral to his songwriting, referencing a Big Muff that isn't a vagina, which album Brian would pick if he had to choose between Lou Barlow's many projects, and more as we make way through the album track by track!

Jul 31, 2017

Podcaster and WXPN music director Dan Reed (soundcloud.com/ddmusicpodcast) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Afghan Whig's Gentlemen (1993, Elektra) in front of a live audience at the 2017 Philadelphia Podcast Festival.

Jul 24, 2017

Bill and Brian continue having fun on their summer vacation, but in the meantime, we won't leave you without an episode. So we hung out and spent some time chatting about the legendary musicians that ruled the rock and roll studios in the 60s, the Wrecking Crew. We talk about the film based on this loose collection of musicians, Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Carol Kaye on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, a host of other musicians, some of the songs they contributed to, the producers they collaborated with like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, and even a little bit about the Monkees as we talk about about what made these people great! 

Jul 17, 2017

On a very special episode of the podcast, Brian and Bill take a break from the weekly grind, spreading the love of our favorite albums to spread the love of one of our favorite films instead. We dive into Christopher Guest's 2003 mockumentary A Might Wind. We chat a little about This is Spinal Tap, 80s hair metal, the Guest style of filmmaking, the excellent contributions of this ensemble cast, the well crafted and funny tunes, and much more as we laugh our way through a recap of what we love about this movie!

Jul 6, 2017

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian and Bill follow up our Wu-Tang talk by discussing one of their most successful members Method Man and his hit featuring Mary J. Blige "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By." Our chat about the time period this was release quickly turned into a deeper examination of cultural appropriation, bias, and why it might be okay for two white guys to have a serious discussion examining what makes some rap music great. Also, we round up the emails and responses to our Jimmy Eat World episode. We'll be back in two weeks with a very Summer Special episode!

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