#334: Interview with Jody Porter (Fountains of Wayne & The Belltower)

June 6, 2017

This week we chatted with Jody Porter, who just released his third solo album this past March, Pacifier. Jody started out in the early with The Belltower, a dreamy/shoegaze band featuring Britta Phillips (later of Luna) that garnered positive press in the UK but ultimately dissolved. However, a late addition to the band named Adam Schlesinger would later form Fountains of Wayne, who Jody would join after their debut was recorded. Spending the rest of the run with the band until they ended in 2013, Jody released his first solo album Close to the Sun in 2008, followed by Month of Mondays in 2013 via Kickstarter. We talk about all that, his vast guitar collection, his earliest musical recollection learning instruments and playing bands all the way up to recording demos on Garageband for the latest release.

Download Pacifier at CDBaby / Stream it at Spotify

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Valerie Sometimes by Jody Porter (from Pacifier)

7:22 - Lost In Hollow by The Belltower (from In Hollow EP)

38:31 - In The Beginning by Jody Porter (from Pacifier)

48:51 - The Last Chapter by Jody Porter (from Pacifier)

Outro - Supercollider by Fountains of Wayne (from Welcome Interstate Managers)

 
 
 
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#333: Whirligig by The Caulfields

May 30, 2017

This week a requested review gives us a chance to revisit the 1995 debut album Whirligig by The Caulfields. A confection of jangly guitars, story-telling lyrics and power pop melodies might remind some of 70s and 80s masters like Elvis Costello or Cheap Trick, but The Caulfields forge their own path, for better or worse. When done well, they have few peers among 90s bands. Unfortunately, the highest highs are betrayed by some pretty low lows. We try to sort it all out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Devil’s Diary

10:17 - Alex Again

14:00 - Hannah, I Locked You Out

20:59 - The Day That Came and Went

28:06 - Alex Again

Outro - Breathe Under Water

 
 
 
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#332: Batman & Robin soundtrack

May 23, 2017

We gave our Patreon patrons the opportunity to vote one four different releases from May of 1997, and the consensus winner was eclectic soundtrack from the Batman & Robin movie starring George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Alicia Silverstone and more. A mixed bag for sure, there are some clear gems and some awful groaners. We sift through track-by-track and try to find more of the former than the latter. What is worth a revisit? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - The End Is The Beginning Is The End by The Smashing Pumpkins

10:53 - Look Into My Eyes by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

13:46 - Gotham City by R. Kelly

21:12 - Lazy Eye by Goo Goo Dolls

27:08 - The Bug by Soul Coughing

34:15 - True to Myself by Eric Benét

Outro - The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning by The Smashing Pumpkins

 
 
 
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#331: Cockamamie by Jennifer Trynin

May 16, 2017

The winner of our first quarter Patreon contest stops by with his free requested review pick - 1995′s Cockamamie by Jennifer Trynin. Though part of a fertile 90s Boston music scene, Jen Trynin is a bit of an anomaly, self-releasing her debut album prior to a major label bidding war. Her guitar playing shifts between familiar alternative pop and more angular riffing with a rock solid rhythm section. But ultimate, it’s the songs that matters. She managed to score a minor hit with “Better Than Nothing,” but how does the rest of the album fair? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Better Than Nothing

5:17 - Happier

8:59 - Knock Me Down

17:54 - Do It Alone

Outro - One Year Down

 
 
 
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#330: Duran Duran In The 90s

May 9, 2017

We’re back with another “In The 90s” roundtable, our chance to revisit a popular artist from the 1980s and see how they navigated the shifting musical landscape of the 1990s. With fourteen Top 40 hits and two number one singles in the U.S., Duran Duran were one of the most successful artists of the 80s. However, they entered the new decade on the decline, their fifth album Big Thing failing to resonate with fans or critics the way their previous four releases had. How did their 90s output fare in comparison? To help us navigate through their catalog, we’re joined by Annie Zaleski (Salon, AV Club), Chip Midnight (Kids Interview Bands) and Keith Sawyer (WMBR).

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Duran Duran Medley (Come Undone, Ordinary World, Electric Barbarella)

9:21 - All She Wants Is (from Liberty)

18:23 - Too Much Information (from Duran Duran/The Wedding Album)

28:36 - 911 is a Joke (from Thank You)

36:31 - Out of My Mind (from Medazzaland)

Outro - White Lines (from Thank You)

 
 
 
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#329: Interview with Marko DeSantis of Sugarcult, The Ataris and more

May 2, 2017

Musician, label owner, DJ, writer, teacher - you name it, Marko DeSantis has probably done it. You probably know him as the guitarist in pop punk band Sugarcult, and he shares the history of their formation, as well as his involvement in bands such as The Ataris, Nerf Herder, the Swingin Utters, Bad Astronaut. Marko shares his experiences growing up in Santa Barbara, CA, and contributing to the upcoming Sweet Relief “Strange 80s” benefit show.

Make sure to visit our Patreon page for bonus content.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Pretty Girl (The Way) by Sugarcult

Outro - Lately by The Ataris

 
 
 
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#328: Cheap Trick (1997) by Cheap Trick

April 25, 2017

Our Patreon subscribers helped us pick an album from April of 1997 to review, and thanks to a tie-breaking coin flip, we’re checking out the self-titled Cheap Trick album. It’s actually the second self-titled album from Cheap Trick, the first being their debut from twenty years earlier. To help us dissect this record and provide historical context on this era of the band, we’ve enlisted Colin Gawel of Watershed, League Bowlers and formerly Why Isn’t Cheap Trick In The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame? to lend a hand.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Say Goodbye

9:12 - Anytime

15:05 - Carnival Game

17:51 - It All Comes Back To You

Outro - You Let A Lotta People Down

 
 
 
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#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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