February 20, 2018
You may know him from the "avant-punk" of 1990s Shudder To Think, but you'd probably been listening to Craig Wedren in some way in the last twenty years. From his frequent collaborations with writer/director David Wain on the various Wet Hot American Summer television seasons and movie, Role Models, Stella and Wainy Days, to his recent work on shows like Fresh Off The Boat, GLOW, Powerless, Hung and Blunt Talk, or his contributions on films such as Velvet Goldmine, School of Rock, Search Party, Wanderlust and many more, Craig has put his ear for 70s rock radio and 80s MTV to work. He stops by to talk about his latest solo release, Adult Desire from 2016, and discuss the virtual reality component that took us back to the immersion of yesteryear when audio and visual worked in thoughtful tandem. We also discuss his years spent in the Cleveland area, fronting teenage coverbands and enjoying the sounds of the Michael Stanley Band and Donnie Iris on WMMS, his apprehension writing music for 1990s based television, watching director and former Lemonheads bassist Jesse Peretz burn a suitcase on tour, and of course, KISS, plus so much more.
Intro - I Am A Wolf, You Are The Moon from Adult Desire
5:26 - Are We from Wand
12:07 - Safe Home (Live) from Adult Desire
38:52 - Main Title Song from Role Models
50:11 - Spin Doctor-ish Song from Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later
51:06 - Pearl Jam and RHCP-ish song from Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later
1:15:46 - Until Summer by BAby
Outr - I Am A Wolf, You Are The Moon from Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
February 13, 2018
There are independent artists, and then there is Ani DiFranco. Forging her own path since starting Righteous Babe Records at age nineteen, busking tapes out of the back of her car in Buffalo, NY, DiFranco has remained as proficient and relevant for three decades. After a string of critically acclaimed albums and a well received live album, she released Little Plastic Castle in 1998 and was nominated for a Grammy for Rock Female Vocalist. Known for her folk rock staccato, Little Plastic Castle opens up the sound to incorporate horns, extra percussion, keyboards and more, and finds her breaking the rapid-fire delivery for songs built around mood and groove. Those alterations provide her with a large sonic pallet to play with, but come with some questionable choices, which left us split on what we liked and didn't like about the album.
Intro - Glass House
9:03 - Fuel
12:26 - Pulse
15:25 - As Is
19:44 - Independence Day
22:52 - Pixie
Outro - Little Plastic Castle
February 6, 2018
Like so many previous artists and bands referred to as "power pop," The Tories debut album Wonderful Life from 1997 came and went with little fanfare. Perhaps it was timing, as the early and mid-nineties alternative rock gold rush led to a unwieldy number of releases, most which got lost in the shuffle. Perhaps it was due to the label, which specialized in East Coast jazz and house music instead of California pop rock. Or was it the songs? No, it wasn't the songs. The Tories have the songs, as well as the melodies, the harmonies, the guitar fuzz, everything you expect when the chemistry is right, and creates a power pop album worth checking out. Along with our Patreon special guest, we try to figure out what went right and wrong with Wonderful Life.
Intro - Flying Solo
13:39 - Gladys Kravitz
23:40 - Happy
29:12 - Spaceships in the Sky
Outro - Not What it Appears
January 30, 2018
"We live in urban hell, we destroy rock and roll." Those were the closing sentiments of the 1991 single Motown Junk by the Manic Street Preachers, a band of Welsh nihilist iconoclasts who declared greatness from the start, aligning themselves with The Clash, Public Enemy and Guns n' Roses. Four albums and the disappearance of one member later, the band was no longer a confrontational blitzkrieg. 1998's This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours is the sound of a band collectively exhaling and confronting both the past and their heartache, while building upon the success achieved on the previous album, Everything Must Go. On TIMTTMY, the band embraces a clean pop production that would propel the single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" to number one in the UK, trading in guitars for organs, electric pianos and sitars. We revisit the record recognizing now that the band would continue on the path of deconstruction with Know Your Enemy three years later and the synth heavy Lifeblood in 2004. In fact, it would take almost a decade to recapture the guitar driven bombast on 2007's Send Away The Tigers. It's a fascinating if uneven attempt to pair pathos and pop sensibility that works for some but not all.
Intro - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
13:38 - Ready for Drowning
17:43 - Black Dog on My Shoulder
26:45 - Tsunami
41:20 - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Outro - The Everlasting
January 23, 2018
There was a brief flicker of a moment at the end of the 90s, before the garage rock rival of The Strokes and White Stripes, before the post-post-punk of Interpol and Bloc Party, before Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional took emo to the mainstream, that the American underground punk of the New Bomb Turks and Rocket From The Crypt were going to have their moment. At the same time, across the pond in Scandinavia, it took the shape of The Hellacopters signing to Sub Pop and veterans Turbonegro refining their sound with the 1998 release Apocalypse Dudes. Maybe it was wishful thinking that those who previously embraced AC/DC, Motley Crue and Buckcherry would find common cause with the action rock crowd, one that favored Iggy and Stooges as much as Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd. While The Hellacopters and Gluecifer traffic'd in their own brand of riffage gymnastics, Turbonegro added an extra layer - social and political commentary via bombastic lyrics and outrageous stage presence. In retrospect, it may have all been too much, like the layer upon layer of guitar tracks that would make Billy Corgan crack a smile. It's confrontational, it's explicit (earmuffs for the kids!) and it's also a lot of fun.
Intro - Get It On
13:19 - Rock Against Ass
23:14 - Humiliation Street
27:15 - Don't Say Motherf*cker, Motherf*cker
32:42 - Zillion Dollar Sadist
Outro - Are You Ready (For Some Darkness)
January 16, 2018
It's time to travel back twenty years and revisit the albums of 1998. What albums were overlooked upon release that have gained critical acclaim and fans in the years since? Which albums were big releases that have stood the test of time, and which ones have failed that same test? Are there albums we bought back in 1998 and immediately regretted the purchase? And what are our favorite albums from this wildly divergent year that witnessed the rise of nü-metal bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit along with the pop of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, that also featured new albums from major artists like Madonna, the Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins. To help us dig into it all, we're joined by Andy Derer of The Andy Derer Show, Chip Midnight of Kids Interview Bands and Jim Hanke of Vinyl Emergency.
Intro - 1998 Medley (Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Semisonic, Beastie Boys)
15:54 - Starfighter Pilot by Snow Patrol
23:18 - Poets by The Tragically Hip
36:29 - Something' Hot by The Afghan Whigs
51:02 - At My Most Beautiful by R.E.M.
1:08:25 - California Stars by Billy Bragg and Wilco
1:12:29 - Car Radio by Spoon
Outro - Ray of Light by Madonna
January 9, 2018
We haven't reviewed much (or any) European progressive gothic doom metal shoegaze trip-hop, so thanks to our latest Patreon pick, we're checking out the 1998 double-album How to Measure a Planet? by The Gathering. The question we ask is - how to measure a band that is equal parts Massive Attack, the Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Dream Theater and Slowdive? What we do know is that in the age of overlong compact discs, a double album had better be worth it, and like most 90s double albums, the indulgence doesn't quite live up to the output. However, there is definitely something unique and interesting happening, providing us with a true album that sounds best listened to as a whole rather than searching for singles. The ambitions are grand, but surprisingly it is the restraint in both the playing and production that make HTMAP? an album that both reinterprets the past and forges a path for bands of the 2000s.
Intro - My Electricity
15:31 - Liberty Bell
26:03 - Travel
29:44 - Great Ocean Road
Outro - The Big Sleep
January 2, 2018
On their third full-length album, Adelaide, Australia's The Mark Of Cain enlisted Henry Rollins to produce their rooArt debut, 1995's Ill At Ease. The band scored a number one on the independent album chart and managed two successful Triple J singles. Recalling Rollins work with his own Rollins Band, as well as post-hardcore bands such as Helmet and Quicksand, Ill At Ease succeeds and suffers thanks to lead singer and guitarist John Scott, whose guitar riffing alternates between inspired and generic, and whose voice maintains a consistent bark. But while there are all the hallmarks pinning this band to its 1990s influences, we also discovered sounds reminiscent of the alternative metal of 2000's band like Mastodon.. Give a listen and share your thoughts on Ill At Ease.
Intro - First Time
9:52 - LMA
13:43 - The Contender
21:14 - You Let Me Down
Outro - Point Man
December 26, 2017
Another season is complete, so we’re looking back at our favorite album discoveries, roundtables, interviews and more from 2017. We also pick our five favorite tunes from season seven, which featured everything from the guitar power pop of Brendan Benson and pop punk of Ruth Ruth to the Indian-meets-Britpop sounds of Cornershop and alternative fuzz of Violetine. We also give a sneak peak of 2018 - discussing some of the early reviews picked by our Patreon patrons and our various roundtables.
Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Tre earphones to test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase.
Songs in this Episode:
Intro - Dig Me Out by Sleater-Kinney
7:43 - Freak by Silverchair
11:44 - All Sideways by Scarce
17:53 - I Think I’m In Love by Spiritualized
29:08 - Crosseyed by Brendan Benson
32:23 - Uptight by Ruth Ruth
37:38 - 6am Jullander Shere by Cornershop
40:53 - The Bright Light by Tanya Donelly
Outro - Temptation by The Tea Party
December 19, 2017
Formed after the untimely death of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Arc Angels pick-up the Texas blues-rock torch on their 1992 self-titled release. Pairing the seasoned rhythm section of drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon with guitarist and singers Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton, the band expands upon Vaughan’s blues template and mildly dips its toes in more pop and radio friendly territory. At times it works, but at other times it comes off sound like imitations of better known tunes. We discuss, as well as where this fit in the early 1990s landscape.
Songs in this Episode:
Intro - Living In A Dream
8:54 - Too Many Ways To Fall
17:58 - Shape I’m In
23:34 - Good Time
27:02 - Spanish Moon
Outro - The Famous Jane