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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: October, 2016
Oct 31, 2016

Bill and Brian welcome WXPN music director and podcaster (soundcloud.com/ddmusicpodcast) to discuss the final chapter of Neil Young's so-called "ditch trilogy," Tonight's the Night (1975, Reprise). Still reeling from the drug related deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry, Neil Young cast off the folk and country tinged sound he was known for with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and his own chart topping album Harvest in favor of a more raw rock and roll sound. Dan talks about discovering the depth of Young's music through a friend before diving into his entire catalog (including the Geffen years!) during his time at college. Brian, Bill, and Dan then discuss how "raw" might be describing the audio quality instead of the emotions on the album, camping, Nils Lofgren's excellent guitar (and piano), which Neil Young song should never be covered by anyone, what alcohol the band was drinking for the sessions (it was tequila), which Neil albums we love the most (other than this one), and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Oct 27, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill and Brian decide to continue the conversation about Pearl Jam by focusing on a song from guitarist Stone Gossard's 2001 solo album Bayleaf called "Pigeon." We talk about how Stone's songwriting fits in with Pearl Jam's sound and why this is a great power pop song with a cool power chord based riff. Also, we get into some listener emails that include listener lists of top 5 Pearl Jam albums, cool untitled songs from Live on Two Legs, and a bit about Todd Rundgren!

Oct 24, 2016

Podcaster Jim Hanke (vinylemergency.com) makes his second appearance on the podcast to help Brian and Bill talk about Pearl Jam's Yield (1998, Epic). Coming off a bit of a downturn in their career, some would say creatively as well as commercially (but not us), Pearl Jam went into the studio looking to use each member's songwriting contributions and came out re-energized with one of their best albums. Jim talks about the ubiquity of the band's music in his life before Bill, Brian, and Jim then discuss how Bill and Jim are mirror images as PJ fans, ripping off Led Zeppelin, Eddie Vedder getting precious lyrically, Brendan O'Brien's excellent production, the Dismemberment Plan, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Oct 20, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! With Brian jet setting about the globe (aka taking a long weekend trip to Chicago), Bill tackles some more Amy Winehouse by taking a listener suggestion and talking about her  duet with Tony Bennett, "Body and Soul" from his 2011 album Duets II. Bill talks about the scene in Amy documentary where she has to overcome some initial nerves to create a wonderful performance. Also, Bill reads some lister emails about great track sequencing, the Rolling Stones, U2, Led Zeppelin, and Fran Zappa v. Tom Waits!

Oct 17, 2016

Bill and Brian welcome future podcasters (Indie Heroes, available soon) David Hillier (also a journalist) and Chris Barrett (who works in the West End) to the podcast to talk about Amy Winehouse's Back to Black (2006, Island). British singer songwriter Amy Winehouse was immediately noticed by the public, as much for her music and voice as for her tabloid escapades. With producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, she hit the charts in a big way with her second and final album before her untimely death at the age of 27. David and Chris talk about what it was like watching the British tabloids take hold of her before they really got to appreciate her music. Then Bill, Brian, David, and Chris make their way through the album track by track!

Oct 13, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Brian and Bill continue discussing Tom Waits by...talking about Norah Jones? That's right, Norah Jones covered an obscure Waits song on 2004's Feels Like Home. We talk about how Jones tried to pull away from the glut of female singer-songwriters that dominated the early aughts as we analyze what makes this song cool. We also read some listener emails that help fill in some info we missed way back when we talked about Guns'n'Roses on the show. And we get talking about what albums we think are well-sequenced, prompting Brian to discuss the many virtues of the Beatles' Abbey Road!

Oct 10, 2016

Bill and Brian are joined by podcaster and musician Joe Galuppo (diningroomradio.net and joegaluppo.bandcamp.com) to talk about Tom Waits' Bone Machine (1992, Atlantic). Waits, with his idiosyncratic musicianship and distinctive voice, emerged from a 5 year hiatus to create one of the tentpole albums of his career. Joe talks about how his cool dad, noting his son's taste for the unusual, pointed him toward Tom Waits. Brian, Bill, and Joe then discuss how death permeates the album as a theme, the echo-filled concrete studio it was recorded in, Wait's unique vocal performance, a train made of bones, Fight Club and masculinity, Frank Zappa, and more as we make our way through the album track by track! 

Oct 6, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian and Bill talk about Scott Weiland and Dean DeLeo's acoustic performance of "Plush" off their 1992 debut Core. We talk about the song's structure, Dean's chord style, Scott's excellent vocal skills, and whether or not Led Zeppelin was cool in the 90s. We also read some listener emails about our mind reading prowess while discussing Ben Folds and what musicians play like Elliott Smith.

Oct 3, 2016

Musician Zach Calhoun (from Cadet, cadetcadets.bandcamp.com) joins Bill and Brian to discuss Stone Temple Pilots transformative sophomore effort Purple (1994, Atlantic). After debuting with the 8 million-selling Core (home to mega-hits "Plush," "Creep," and "Sex Type Thing"), STP fell into grunge's bottom tier as far as critics were concerned. Purple was the band's successful attempt to right the ship and show the world there was quite a bit more to them than just power chords. Zach tells us how he discovered this album via his brother's cassette tape and it helped shape his love of alternative music. Bill, Brian, and Zach discuss the albums cool artwork, how people who say that only one song off an album is good don't get it, Weiland's powerful voice, the negative stigma surrounding the band, Dean's awesome chord voicings, Robert's wild bass playing, a little on Weird Al, Chester Bennington and the band's legacy, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

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