#327: Blind Love by Ratcat

April 18, 2017

We’ve reviewed plenty of bands from Australia over the years, but rarely have we revisited an album that boasts a number one single. This week we’re checking out the band Ratcat, and their 1991 album Blind Love, which scored a number one hit on the ARIA charts with “Don’t Go Now.” Contorting the sunny pop of The Beach Boys in a similar fashion to The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ratcat layer on disparate sounds like 60s surf and 80s new wave. It is an interesting combination, but does it work? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - That Ain’t Bad

3:34 - History of the Band

9:35 - Yes I Wanna Go

17:37 - That Ain’t Bad

19:19 - Don’t Go Now

Outro - Baby Baby

 
 
 
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#326: Roundtable - Sophomore Slump Revisited - Eight Arms To Hold You by Veruca Salt

April 11, 2017

It’s time to revisit another sophomore album from the 1990s and compare it to it’s successful freshman effort. In this case, we’re checking out the 1997 album Eight Arms To Hold You by Veruca Salt, who scored a platinum album and three charting singles with their 1994 debut American Thighs. Though initial sales were strong, after Volcano Girls the singles fell off, and the reviews were not as positive as the first time around. Some pointed the finger at producer Bob Rock, known for his work with big rock and metal acts like Metallica and Motley Crue. But was it really necessary to point any fingers? To determine what went right, what went wrong and how it sounds twenty years later, we’ve assembled a veteran group to for this roundtable: Chip Midnight (Kids Interview Bands), Jeff Takacs (Rocketfuel Podcast) and Jim Kopeny (Chicagoist).

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Volcano Girls

13:58 - Straight

18:49 - The Morning Sad

25:08 - Don’t Make Me Prove It

40:00 - Venus Man Trap

Outro - Shutterbug

 
 
 
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#325: Small Speaker Joyland by Violetine

April 4, 2017

This week’s requested review takes us back down under to check out Melbourne, Australia’s Violetine and their 1998 one and only album Small Speaker Joyland. Dual vocals, fuzzy guitars and an urgent rhythm section give Violetine a little something extra, and some quality chorus melodies don’t hurt either. Though the band didn’t make a dent stateside, we think there might be something to this Aussie three piece worth checking out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Birmingham

14:38 - Surrounded

17:06 - Red

19:20 - Fuzzanova

28:45 - Finer Place

Outro - Any Day

 
 
 
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#324: Digging Your Scene - Roundtable Discussion on Los Angeles in the 90s

March 28, 2017

For our next installment of the Digging Your Scene roundtable series, we are exploring sights and sounds of Los Angeles in the 1990s. To help us do so, the following guests joined us:

Brian Klein of Scout B Entertainment - his first time on the show, Brian moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s, starting as an intern at Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label as well as employee of Aron’s Records, he has worked in management and promotion of dozens of bands and currently manages Fitz and The Tantrums among others.

Kellii Scott of Failure - making his third visit (#211 & #239), Kellii moved to LA in the 80s and played in a number of bands before joining Failure, later drumming for Blinker The Star, Campfire Girls, Veruca Salt and more. Failure are currently wrapping up the Pledgemusic campaign for the 20th anniversary live recording of their 1997 album Fantastic Planet.

Shawn Michael Foster, director - also making his third visit (#64 & #236), Shawn moved to LA in the latter half of the 90s and started as music video director for bands such as Stabbing Westward, Chevelle, Sugarcult, Drive-by Truckers and many more. He is currently working on a television pilot and videos for Los Kingdom.

We talk music clubs, weekly papers, records stores and more, plus reminisce about bands starting out that made it big and those that should have but never did, plus muggings, drugs, tangents and more tangents. It’s a lively, loose conversation that would have taken place at the Rainbow Room in 1998 if we had a time machine and a bunch of cash. Also, what’s the coolest thing currently about Ohio according to Kellii Scott, who shares some details on the next Failure album.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - LA Medley (Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Beck, Rage Against The Machine, Tool)

Outro - Stuck on You by Failure

Previous Episodes Referenced:

#060: Cheer Up by Plexi with Michael Angelos and Michael Barragan

#072: August Everywhere by Blinker The Star with Jordon Zadorozny

#156: Villa Elaine by Remy Zero

#200: Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 by Guns ‘n Roses with Chip Midnight

#201: Interview with Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom

Be sure to join us at Patreon to listen to bonus content from this episode.

 
 
 
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#323: Interview with Eli Janney of Girls Against Boys and the 8G Band

March 21, 2017

This week we get to chat with Eli Janney, who you may know as the keyboardist, bassist and backing vocals in Girls Against Boys. You may also know him as the producer for such bands as Brainiac, Ryan Adams, Skeleton Key, Jesse Maiin and many more. You may also know him as the man who remixed tracks by artists such as the Sneaker Pimps, Ruby, Hooverphonic, Enon and more. You may also know him as the current keyboardist and associate music director in the 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers. What we’re saying is, Eli is a busy guy, because that doesn’t even include his music engineering and mixing credits, as well as his other work in television and film. We talk to about how he ended up in the world of late night television all the way back to his time working at the legendary Inner Ear recording studio with Don Zientara that documented so much of the ‘80s DC punk and hardcore scene. We learn how GVSB formed, the trials of a touring with a keyboard in 1992, and what it means to be in a band with a distinct and recognizable “sound” and how that both focuses and restricts creativity. All this and much, much more.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Let Me Come Back

Outro - Boogie Wonderland

 
 
 
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#322: Shuttlecock by Super TransAtlantic

March 14, 2017

Our latest Patreon pick revisits the one and only album from Super TransAtlatnic, the 2000 release Shuttlecock. You may be familiar with the band thanks to their contribution to the 1999 American Pie soundtrack, or the fact that 3/4′s of the band were previously called Saigon Kick (the 1/4 from Extreme, to round out the equation, so to speak). Either way, the sound of STA won’t come as a shock - guitar riffs paired with melodic vocals and harmonies that recall the layered assault of The Smashing Pumpkins one minute and power-pop-punk of Marvelous 3 the next. It’s big, loud and hooky, but is it any good? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Super Down

12:44 - Shuttlecock

19:02 - Superstar

22:09 - Dumb

27:18 - Satellite

Outro - Can’t Stand Losing You

 
 
 
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#321: Twisted Willie - A Tribute To Willie Nelson

March 7, 2017

There were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of tribute albums in the 90s to feature a wide array of talented artists with varying results. Thanks to a Patreon subscriber suggestion, we’re checking out the 1996 release Twisted Willie - A Tribute To Willie Nelson. As with all tribute albums, some artists and bands stay close to the original version while other radically reinterpret, and that’s the case with Twisted Willie. We definitely found interpretations we liked and others that left us scratching our heads - tune in to find out which ones.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Shotgun Willie by Tenderloin

14:48 - She’s Not For You by Mark Lanegan

17:15 - Home Motel by X

19:34 - I’ve Seen All This World I Care To See by Jerry Cantrell

29:44 - Time of the Preacher by Johnny Cash

Outro - Bloody Mary Morning by Supersuckers

 
 
 
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#320: Interview with Tim Kasher of The Good Life & Cursive

February 28, 2017

Tim Kasher of The Good Life and Cursive has a new solo album out this March (No Resolution) on a new label (15 Passenger). We talk to him about the why he decided now was the time to start the new label away from Saddle Creek and the plans for reissuing late 90s Cursive material later this year. We discuss the transition in the mid-00s from writing as a band to writing alone at home and how that changed not only his writing style, but the way he sings. We chat about his current move out to Los Angeles, as well as his previous relocation out west a decade ago to work on films and his experience writing screenplays, and the independent film he recently completed. All this and much more, including how Tim identifies with Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and which trip-hop band is a major influence.

Also, make sure to visit 15 Passenger and pre-order the new album before the release date of 3/3/17 and be entered into contest to win all the releases from the label forever.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - An Answer for Everything

Outro - Break Me Open

 
 
 
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#319: Electronica in the 90s Roundtable

February 21, 2017

Remember Electronica? Well we do, and we’re not quite sure what it was, so we’re hosting a roundtable discussion this week to talk about the explosion of electronic music that hit MTV, radio, Billboard and more in the late 90s. To help us figure out what it means, we’ve got a pair of guests, returning regular Andy Derer from The Andy Derer Show, and a first time visit from our old college radio music director Matt Shiverdecker, currently of the Austin-American Statesman Austin360. We look back at the origins of Electronica, revisit four pivotal albums from 1997, and how this all evolved into the ‘00s juggernaut that is EDM (or Electronic Dance Music). 

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Medley (The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, The Crystal Method & Filter, Daft Punk)

12:25 - Setting Sun by The Chemical Brothers

27:09 - Around The World by Daft Punk

37:10 - Firestarter by The Prodigy

43:12 - Busy Child by The Crystal Method

Outro - Ray of Light by Madonna

 
 
 
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#318: Upstyledown by 28 Days

February 14, 2017

Thanks to our friend Gavin in Australia, we’re checking out 28 Days from Melbourne and their sophomore album Upstyledown from 2000. Though it charted at #1 on the Australian ARIAnet album chart, the band failed to make a dent in the United States, which seems like a missed opportunity considering the band combines the sounds of late 90s/early 00s pop punk and rap rock into a familiar sound. Though the band has an ear for hooks and it sounds good, we revisit the “timeless” vs. “dated” production debate and wonder whether some of the musical and lyrical choices were the right ones. If you’re a fan of bands like Zebrahead, Sum 41, Biohazard, Phunk Junkeez, etc., this might be a lost gem waiting to be discovered.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Rip It Up

7:19 - History of the Band

11:53 - Sucker

14:06 - Song for Jasmine

19:02 - Information Overload

Outro - 16 Kill The Fake (Seshoo) (Featuring Uzumaki)

 
 
 
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