As was correctly pointed out to us, here on the Great Albums podcast, we have not featured much music that has been made by women. This was certainly in no way on purpose, and we want to rectify that. We have some great albums from female artists coming up in a few weeks, but to tide us over, we made another song-centric episode featuring music exclusively by women. We even get to cover a little more new ground and discuss electronic music and performance art! Featuring Metric, Laurie Anderson, Chvrches, Liz Phair, Nina Simone, and Of Monsters and Men, Brian and Bill bust open a metaphorical 6 pack as we guide you through what makes these tunes great!
Guitarist extrodinaire and all around wonderful person Jim McGee joins Brian and Bill to share his exceptionally well told stories about his experiences with Neil Young and as a fan of On the Beach (1974, Reprise). No lie, this is one of our favorite episodes ever. We talk about how Jim searched far and wide for this album, eventually finding a vinyl taco with a surprise inside!
Bill and Brian are charmed by "music business big wig" Lisa Grosso (you can check out her PR outfit, Effective Immediately, at ei-pr.com) as we talk about one of The National's long list of critically acclaimed albums, Boxer (2007, Beggar's Banquet). Despite the band's affinity for complex rhythms and ornate orchestration, we discuss how The National stays rooted in rock and roll. Obtuse lyrics and a gravelly baritone vocal are also analyzed in depth as we listen to the album one song at a time.
War! Huh! What is it good for? Talking about U2, that's what! Brian and Bill welcome on Nando of the Mad Bracket Status podcast (madbracketstatus.com) and writer for pop-break.com to discuss his overall love for U2 and specifically this album. The guys get into talking about why this album was chosen over other U2 albums that some consider superior, how Bono and RDJ are so alike, and how Adam Clayton brings the big funky bass. We even stumble upon a pretty decent "In Defense of Bono" argument. But the best part is always when we hit the play button on each track of the album and remind ourselves what makes the music so good.
In revisiting another one of our favorite artists, Brian and Bill welcome singer, songwriter, and musician Jesse Elliot (jesseelliot.com) to talk about Weezer's Pinkerton (1996, DGC). We address honesty, heartbreak, and the stigma of being labeled a weirdo as we discuss the album, track by track.
Go big or go home, boys. So we went with one of the biggest albums, both sonically and in legacy, that has ever existed. Writer and director of The Once and Future Nerd (onceandfuturenerd.com) Christian Madera skypes in to help Bill and Brian tell you what makes Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run (1975, Columbia) so great. But seriously, do we really need to tell you? Just listen to that darn thing! A masterpiece. Unfortuantely, our recording didn't come out quite as flawless. There was a skype call drop that we couldn't quite cleanly edit out, so please forgive our minor production snafu. Now let's go murder some lions!
Bill and Brian welcome musician, songwriter, and singer Jaime Parker (of the Timid Roosevelts and Physical Thing) to the podcast to discuss Arcade Fire's Funeral (2004, Merge). We find these Montreal natives had quite a bit to say about growing up, eventually coming to the conclusion that the tititular "funeral" must be one for childhood. That may not be right, but it sounded cool. We also discuss some of our own experiences with death and, on a lighter side, 4D movies (amongst other things). As usual, we let the album itself guide our discussions as we listen to it track by track.
Bill and Brian welcome photographer, videographer, and Bill's wife Beanie Zee (beaniezee.com) to the podcast to talk about influential Britpop band Oasis (who also achieved massive worldwide success with this album). Former crushes, the evolution of Britpop, the art of the tracklist, Teenage Fanclub, sibling rivalries, and more are all discussed as we make our way through the crossover hit (What's the Story) Morning Glory (1995, Creation), one track at a time. Also, you'll hear quite a bit of podcast mascot, Murray the basset hound, whining and pacing in the background.
Bill and Brian talk about indie kids' favorite sons of New Jersey, the Wrens, and their early aughts comeback/first-time-most-of-our-generation-heard-them album The Meadowlands (2003, Absolutely Kosher). Upside down guitars, lo-fi production, and essay-like lyricism dominate the discussions about the music. Also, talking about the greater legacy that the Wrens will leave behind forces Bill and Brian to acknowledge their own fears and anxieties about being aging songwriters in original local bands. All this thanks to a song-by-song breakdown of one of THE defining indie rock records!