We find John Lennon in the throes of wicked productivity during his "Lost Weekend." This time, instead of producing an album for himself or for Harry Nilsson, or writing with David Bowie, he's helming the boards for Mick Jagger on a funky version of an old blues standard. They are joined by Jim Keltner on drums and Cream's Jack Bruce on bass along with a host of Stones-related sidemen to produce what Brian believes is the best post-Exile Stones-related thing available.
Brian flies solo this week for a full episode, deciding to tackle one of John Lennon's less-regarded, but no less amazing albums; 1974's Walls & Bridges. Recorded during Lennon's legendary "Lost Weekend," W&B finds its creator at a personal and professional crossroads. And by the time we get to the end, Lennon has logged two Top 10 hits (including his first #1) and come to the realization that - while going out and having fun every night might be great for a little while - there's truly no place like home. Success achieved.
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian discuss Gin Blossoms' "Til I Hear It from You" from the Empire Record soundtrack. Bill explains the legendary cult 90s film to Brian as they break down what makes the song great!
Bill and Brian delight in sharing their admiration for what may be a sometimes overlooked gem from the early 90s, the Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience (1992. A&M). Known as a hardworking band that loves the rigors of touring, the Tempe, AZ natives spent years toiling in obscurity, even spending over a year promoting this album, before they finally broke through to the mainstream with their third single "Hey Jealousy." The success was unfortunately timed, however, as founding member and principal songwriter Doug Hopkins, who had been dismissed from the band for drug and alcohol related issues before the album was even released, committed suicide shortly after his song ascended the charts. In this episode, Bill discusses how he started his deep dive into the band's catalog and began to see them as more than just a 90s nostalgia act after catching a performance at Six Flags Great Adventure. Bill and Brian also talk about how terrible Deep Blue Something really is, the canonization of NME, how alcoholism has touched our lives, when bass players should pull the root note 8th notes out of their bag of tricks, what BPMs are considered mid-tempo, the difference between overdrive and distortion, soloing off key, how long it takes to write a song, which Buddy Holly-esque pre-rock'n'roll melody is the best on the album, how life isn't over at the age of 29, and a track by track review!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian waxes rhapsodic about one of his favorite songs and how it manages to blend free jazz, rock and roll, classical, and the avant garde to create a profound new sound. He takes a few emails from listeners, as well, shedding insight into how exactly The Strokes drumming is so precise. Brian also touches on the Ice Cube v. Gene Simmons "Is rap music eligible for the rock hall of fame" controversy.
Bill and Brian had a lot to do as Easter came early and Bill was prepping for his extensive trip to India, so they made it easy on themselves by sitting down to talk about another 10 great songs! We discuss songs from the Dollys, Frank Sinatra, Emitt Rhodes, Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Teenage Fanclub, Nada Surf, Plumtree, Band of Horses, the Decemberists.
It's Bonus Song Thursday! And that means Brian and Bill once again join forces to discuss a single song. This week, we follow up our conversation with Savannah Pope of SpaceCream (spacecreamband.com) about David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by discussing a slightly less regarded section of his discography in the 80s, "Let's Dance." We talk about Nile Rodgers and Stevie Ray Vaughn's influence on the song as well as Bowie's career trajectory through the 80s. Additionally, we read some listener feedback that questions Bill's supposition that the Age of the Album started in 1964 and continued through till 2007, which leads Brian to metaphorically climb to the roof of the house and shout literal expletives.
Savannah Pope, singer for LA based glam rock outfit SpaceCream (spacecreamband.com), joins Bill and Brian via the magic of Skype to discuss David Bowie's seminal glam album the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972, RCA). What more needs to be said about Bowie that hasn't been done in the months since his death in January? He was an iconic artist that defined glam rock for many. On this episode, Savannah shares how she discovered Bowie as a teenager at reform school and helps us define exactly what glam rock is. Bill, Brian, and Savannah discuss the many phases of Bowie's career, what androgyny means creatively, the rock opera behind the music, Bowie's relationship with sanity, strange connections to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and John Williams, the meaning of the word "creature," mellotron, and as always a track by track review!