#349: Alternative Country Roundtable Discussion

September 19, 2017

In the 1990s the term alternative country appeared, we’re talking the bands, the sound and influences. What is alternative country an alternative to? Country? Rock? We dig into the unique aspects that separate alternative country from its more mainstream counterparts and the sounds that help create it. We talk some of the biggest influences upon 90s alternative country, including Gram Parsons, Neil Young, the punk rock from labels like SST and more. We talk about our favorite 90s alternative country albums, and which artists today are carrying the alternative country torch. To do so, we’re joined by returning roundtable guests Eric Grubbs of Dallas ObserverJim Kopeny of Chicagoist and Jim Hanke of Vinyl Emergency.

Songs in this Episode

Intro - Are You Ready for the Country by Neil Young

16:42 - Blue by The Jayhawks

29:08 - Postcard by Uncle Tupelo

47:36 - California Stars by Billy Bragg and Wilco

1:01:32 - Dancefloors by My Morning Jacket

Outro - Hot Burrito #2 by Dinosaur Jr (Flying Burrito Brothers cover)


#348: Talk Show by Talk Show

September 12, 2017

What happens when you remove Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots - you get Talk Show. Attempting to fill the hole left by Weiland’s drug problems in 1996, the DeLeo brothers and drummer Eric Kretz recruiter former Ten Inch Men frontman/guitarist Dave Coutts to take the lead on this self-titled release from 1997. The album failed commercially and band quickly dumped Coutts to welcome Weiland back into the fold. We revisit the album with fresh ears to try to figure out if Talk Show was a missed opportunity for listeners or a misfire by the band. We also delve into the career trajectory of Stone Temple Pilots to determine if Talk Show was a harbinger of things to come for the band as they chased radio friends sounds (i.e. “Down”) and relevancy in the 2000s.

Over at Patreon, we take a few minutes to discuss if any band successfully pulled off the lead singer switch, whether with an existing band (like AC/DC or Alice in Chains) or a new outfit (Audioslave).

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Hello Hello

14:08 - Peeling An Orange

15:34 - Everybody Loves My Car

24:16 - Wash Me Down

28:28 - Ring Twice

Outro - So Long


#347: It Means Everything by Save Ferris

September 5, 2017

The debut Save Ferris album It Means Everything is everything you know and love/hate about 90s ska-punk. The snappy snare, the upstroke guitar lines, the energetic horn stabs - all the hallmarks of the familiar 90s sound utilized by early No Doubt, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and others. Save Ferris don’t break the mold, but they do add a few extra layers, inserting a distorted guitar from time to time, as well as taking advantage of Monique Powell’s pipes to slow down the tempos into classic reggae and dub influenced grooves. Neither of us are ska punk aficionados, or really fans for that matter, but did Save Ferris win us over? Tune in to find out. 

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Come On Eileen

18:11 - Lies

22:56 - SuperSpy

32:20 - The World Is New

Outro - Goodbye


#346: Transmission by The Tea Party

August 29, 2017

From up north comes The Tea Party, creating a stew of eastern scales, industrial rhythms and Zeppelin-esque dramatics. Their 1997 sophomore release Transmission is the quintessential headphones album. Though only a three piece, they pile on a wide range of non-traditional instrumentation to create a unique, swirling sound that goes big rock in the vein of The Cult or Led Zeppelin while grounding with industrial rhythms at home on a Nine Inch Nails or Stabbing Westward record. All while frontman Jeff Martin bellows and shrieks like the lost cousin of Jim Morrison and Ian Astbury. It can be exciting and overwhelming just a few bars apart - we try to figure out which way the overall experience leans. Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Temptation

15:11 - Gyroscope

17:54 - Psychopomp

22:05 - Babylon

Outro - Alarum


#345: Mindfunk by Mindfunk

August 22, 2017

Sandwiched between 80s metal and 90s alternative, Mindfunk occupy the same limbo space as Mother Love Bone and Saigon Kick. We’re checking out their self-titled 1991 debut, a mix of big metal riffs, groove rock with funk influences and some slow burn nods to what would later be called desert or stoner rock. While Jason was familiar with this from when it was released and bought it on cd when it came out, Tim had never heard a note prior to reviewing the record. Does it still hold up for Jason? Is it a worthwhile discovery for Tim? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Sugar Ain’t So Sweet

14:17 - Bring It On

16:55 - Sister Blue

22:21 - Blood Runs Red

Outro - Innocence




#344: Interview with Greg Glover of Arena Rock Recording Company

August 15, 2017

Greg Glover, co-founder of the Arena Rock Recording Company stops by for a lengthy chat. After some initial Goonies talk, we revisit our recent review of Harvey Danger’s Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone to fill in some blanks and learn some information about the behind the scene machinations involving the record business. We cover Greg’s childhood and college days, running a fanzine and how he got into “the music industry.” He share how Superdrag ended up being release number one for Arena Rock and the story of how they returned to the label years later. We get into reissuing previous releases, and how the Mineral rereleases came together, as well as the dreaded “unsolicited demos,” signing Elf Power, MTV and 1980s, dinners with Seymour Stein at Sire, how to get free shipping and much, much more.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - NA Kicker by Superdrag

8:12 - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger

15:34 - Private Helicopter by Harvey Danger

40:20 - Lighting The Way by Superdrag

47:34 - Let It Out by The Life And Times

Outro - Calling All Lovers by The Sheila Divine


#343: Compilations Albums of the 1990s Roundtable

August 8, 2017

From charity comps to label samplers, the 1990s may have been the peak decade for compilation albums. We discuss the qualities that make a worthy compilation album with our guests Keith Sawyer from WMBRJim Hanke of Vinyl Emergency and Eric Peterson of Love That Album. We pick our favorite comps and favorite compilation-only tracks, and discuss whether compilation albums are still relevant in the age of streaming music playlists.

We’ve got over ten minutes of bonus content over at Patreon this week.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Sexual Healing by Soul Asylum (Marvin Gaye cover), from No Alternative

13:14 - Riot on the Rocks by The Hellacopters, from Riot on the Rocks Vol. 1

20:35 - Effigy by Uncle Tupelo (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover), from No Alternative

42:03 - Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman) by Counting Crows, from DGC Rarities Vol.1

Outro - Compilation Blues by Sonic Youth, from DGC Rarities Vol.1


#342: Lovesongs for Underdogs by Tanya Donelly

August 1, 2017

With her first solo outing, Tanya Donelly attempts to balance her indie rock past with a radio friendly approach. 1997′s Lovesongs for Underdogs, our latest album selected by our Patreon voters, came with the burden of Tanya having been a part of numerous successfully and respected indie rock group, including Throwing MusesThe Breeders and Belly. Striking out on her own with a bevy of players, she shows off a wide array of songwriting styles all grounded by her sharp and hooky melodies.

Songs in this Episode

Intro - The Bright Light

8:25 - Pretty Deep

12:01 - Lantern

14:06 - Bum

19:45 - Clipped

Outro - Breathe Around You


#341: Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? by Harvey Danger

July 25, 2017

Harvey Danger being tagged as a “one hit wonder” can be both a blessing and a curse. Is the rest of the album criminally overlooked, or does it pale in comparison? We put it to a vote on our Patreon page, and our patrons made Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?, released in July 1997 our latest review. Reviews at the time were mixed, but this album and band have gained their share of advocates, who praise lead singer Sean Nelson’s witty and self-deprecating lyrics and the tight power-pop-punk songwriting of this and their follow-up album, King James Version. One of of us thought this was a start-to-finish gem worthy of revisiting, and one of us thought the brilliance of Flagpole Sitta set the rest of the album up to fail. Disagreement!

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Flagpole Sitta

9:21 - Radio Silence

14:48 - Carlotta Valdez

Outro - Jack The Lion


#340: Guitar Gods of the 1990s Roundtable

July 18, 2017

For our latest roundtable we aim at the heavens and request an audience with the gods! The guitar gods, that is. The 60s had Clapton and Hendrix, the 70s had Page and Blackmore, the 80s had Eddie and a slew of gunslingers, now it’s time to christen the guitar gods of the 90s. First, we try to figure out what exactly elevates a guitarist to god status. Then we open the floor for nominations. Some of the names will be familiar and expected, while others may be more obscure and surprising. To help us, we’re joined by returning guests Andy DererEric Grubbs and Joe Royland.

 Make sure to visit Patreon for over fifteen minutes of bonus content from this episode at https://www.patreon.com/digmeout.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Guitar God Medley (Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Dinosaur Jr., Pantera)

13:28 - Bulls on Parade by Rage Against The Machine

27:50 - No More Tears by Ozzy Osbourne

33:09 - Chemical World - Intermission by Blur

1:00:21 - Tired of Sex by Weezer

Outro - Pull Me Under by Dream Theater