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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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Aug 13, 2018

Bill and Brian get into the indie-pop bliss that is Nada Surf's The Weight Is a Gift (2005, Barsuk)! Bill talks about this album accompanying him on long drives home in NJ, and Brian breaks down his new knowledge about guitar effect pedals. And of course we have a track by track review, discussing this work by Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, Ira Elliot, Louie Lino, and Chris Walla.

Aug 6, 2018

Musician Tyler Plazio (tylerplazio.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Blink-182's seminal pop-punk album Enema of the State (1999, MCA).

Check out this week's sponsor, forhims.com!

Jul 31, 2018

Musician and podcaster Chris Tull (Weekend Quality) joins Bill and Brian for one final episode in the old studio to discuss XTC's landmark album, Skylarking.

We talk about the contentious relationship between main songwriter Andy Partridge and producer Todd Rundgren, the album's overarching theme of birth, life, and death, Colin Moulding's generous songwriting contributions, and Dave Gregory's idiosyncratic guitar-playing all while going through the album track-by-track.

This episode sponsored by Songfinch and Zip Recruiter.

Jul 16, 2018

In a special summer episode, Bill and Brian call each other up to discuss the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.

Jul 9, 2018

While Bill is vacationing with his wife and celebrating their wedding anniversary, Brian has decided to gaze shoe-ward with longtime friend Dan Drago of the 25 O'Clock Podcast, and producer, engineer, studio owner Alex Santilli of Spice House Sound.

Together, we unpack My Bloody Valentine's 1991 opus Loveless. Alex offers insight into how an album that is technically incorrect can still sound wonderful, while Dan makes us believe that soulmates may actually exist!

 

This weeks sponsor: ForHims

Jul 2, 2018

Musician, producer, author, podcaster (what doesn't this guy excel at?) Jesse Cannon lends his experience and knowledge to Bill and Brian to help us discuss Refused's (apparent at the time) swan song The Shape of Punk to Come (1998, Burning Heart/Epitaph).

Check out all things Jesse Cannon at jessecannon.com!

Jun 25, 2018

Bill is joined by musician and podcaster Jim Laczkowski (nowplayingjim.com) to discuss Neko Case's Blacklisted (2002, Bloodshot/ANTI-).

This week's sponsors:

For Hims and ZipRecruiter!

 

 

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!

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