Musician Chris Nova (rubybonesband.com) joins Brian and Bill to discuss Spoon's tongue twister of an album title Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007, Merge). Chris talks about discovering the band through hit teen drama the OC. Then we discuss how consistent the band is, Brian's favorite Spoon album A Series of Sneaks, Bill's problem with the band, Britt Daniel and Jim Eno's influence on the production of the album, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track.
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian and Bill chat a bit about the Band's version of "Atlantic City" from their 1993 album Jericho. We fill in some of the group's history up through the 90s and marvel at Levon Helm's musicianship. We then read a listener submitted fun fact about James Mercer and Elliott Smith. And to round it out, we make a request of the listeners for some details on what they want to hear us talk about!
Bill and Brian welcome thegreatalbums.com blogger Chris Villalta to the the podcast to talk about the Band's Music from Big Pink (1968, Capitol). Chris talks about discovering the Band at the LA Grammy museum and thinking they looked like a bunch of dudes from the 1920s. The we get into Richard Manuel's unique voice, the Band's effortless musicianship, the friction between Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson, an interesting narrative that Chris weaves through the album's lyrics, Garth Hudson's influence on the group, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian and Bill talk about the Shins' "New Slang," which is really a way to spend time talking about the 2004 Zach Braff film Garden State. We talk about whether the film holds up, how it's important to people from different generations, and how it has stuck with us over the years. Then we read some listener emails about great, recognizable drum parts, cellos, and the maturity of Nirvana's In Utero. Also, make sure to check out Make Dad Read Comics where Bill got to talk about the Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness!
*Note: the book that Bill can't remember at the end of the episode is Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent.
Bill and Brian go sans guest for the first time in months to discuss an album that came to us around the same time back in our college days, The Shins' Chutes Too Narrow (2003, Sub Pop). The band formed as primary songwriter James Mercer's new project out of a band called Flake Music back around the turn of the century. Quickly signed to indie Sub Pop, the band had modest success with their first album, 2001's Oh, Inverted World. With Chutes Too Narrow, they gained some buzz and finally broke through after actor/filmmaker Zach Braff featured their song "New Slang" in a key scene in his 2004 film Garden State. Bill and Brian discuss discovering the band early in 2004, being a little underwhelmed by their live show, Brian's summer memories as an unwilling participant at Otacon, Brian's summer memories of his family trying to set him up with a pretty girl, Bill nerding out over utopias and dystopias, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian talk about Dave Grohl's introduction to the world as a lead singer with the Nirvana b-side "Marigold." We talk a little bit about the "what ifs" that surround the career of Nirvana had Kurt Cobain lived and how this song got recorded during the In Utero sessions. Also, we reveal a winner for our Neil Young/Lookout Joe contest and read an email from a former guest on the podcast!
Bill and Brian are joined by musician/singer-songwriter Tyler Plazio from Soldiers of Suburbia (soldiersofsuburbiaband.com) to talk about Nirvana's In Utero (1993, DGC). A couple years after the enormous success of their major label debut, Nevermind, the band and frontman Kurt Cobain felt pressure to craft a worthy follow up that also represented their artistic vision. They hired producer Steve Albini, kept recording time to a minimum, and attempted to maintain their punk ideals with a noisy and concise album. Tyler talks about discovering the band as a young guitar player after a bandmate told him to cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit." He also reveals how In Utero was a bit of a grower for him but is now one of his favorite albums. Bill, Brian, and Tryle also discuss Krist Novoselic's vision for the album, Dave Grohl's awesome drumming, Cobain's views on gender, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!
It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian follow up our conversation about Leonard Cohen with an REM song that curiously has Cohen listed as a writer although there was no collaboration between the artists. This leads us down memory lane as we discuss our college days and out first band together. Then we read a listener email about how we joined him on a Christmas day adventure and his own additions and recommendations for great albums that came out in 2016.
Bill and Brian kick off 2017 with an appreciation for the late songwriting titan Leonard Cohen. They are joined in studio singer/songwriter/voiceover artist Justin Pope (justinpopemusic.com), a lifelong Cohen fan. Along the way, the trio discusses why it might not be the best idea to follow your idol to the same college, especially when said idol graduated 44 years earlier and hasn't lived there in nearly as long. We also opine on the difference a producer can make and whether or not recording a bad version of "Hallelujah" is even possible as we make our way through 11 great Leonard Cohen tunes!