Dig Me Out - The 90s rock podcast
#567: Today‘s Active Lifestyles by Polvo

#567: Today‘s Active Lifestyles by Polvo

November 23, 2021

Out of the fertile Chapel Hill, North Carolina scene emerged Polvo at the start of the 1990s. Their sound is lumped into math rock, a term the band themselves reject, but the elements are there - progressive rock filtered through an indie lens. On their 1993 sophomore album Today's Active Lifestyles, you'd be hard-pressed to find any evidence of Jethro Tull, Yes, or Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But King Crimson meets Sonic Youth? Now we're warmer. Guitar lines criss-cross with noise and bends that lesser bands would likely turn into a messy dirge, while Polvo creates a singular sound unto themselves.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Sure Shot

20:25 - Thermal Treasure

30:11 - Action vs. Vibe

39:42 - Lazy Comet

Outro - Gemini Cusp

 

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#566: Give It Back! by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

#566: Give It Back! by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

November 16, 2021

The 1990s definitely saw its fair share of pastiche in music from The Rolling Stones raunch of The Black Crowes to the underground Los Angeles swing revival that briefly bubbled into the mainstream. Out in San Francisco, The Brian Jonestown Massacre was taking full advantage of the Haight-Ashbury vibes to experiment with sounds old and new, dabbling in shoegaze, psychedelia, jangle-pop, and more. On their sixth album, 1997's Give It Back!, the one and only with future Black Rebel Motorcycle Club founder Peter Hayes, the band puts all the elements to use on slinky bass-driven jams like "Super-Sonic" and "Whoever you Are" while also finding time to bliss out on tracks like the sitar-driven "Salaam." But it's not all good vibes, as the bands more evil half of the namesake shows up on the disturbing noise collage "Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request," and "#1 Hit Jam" is definitely not.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Satellite

13:53 - This Is Why You Love Me

18:55 - Whoever You Are

25:05 - Super-sonic

34:00 - Servo

Outro - Salaam

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#565: P.H.U.Q. by The Wildhearts

#565: P.H.U.Q. by The Wildhearts

November 9, 2021

Almost six years to the day, we revisited the debut album Earth Vs. The Wildhearts by the UK hard rock band. All the ingredients were there for us to love and champion this band, but for various reasons, we were both underwhelmed and disappointed. Thanks to a member of our Patreon Union, we're giving The Wildhearts a second shot with their 1995 follow-up P.H.U.Q. Far from a sophomore slump, the second album by the band pulls successfully from metal, hard rock, and power pop to create a riff-laden record that matches it on the vocal front with big, sugary hooks and loads of backing vocals.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Nita Nitro

18:14 - I Wanna Go Where The People Go

21:46 - Just In Lust

27:46 - Getting It

37:14 - Caprice

Outro - Naivety Play

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#564: Exile on Coldharbour Lane by Alabama 3

#564: Exile on Coldharbour Lane by Alabama 3

November 2, 2021

Country, blues, and gospel are a winning combination. So are mixing trip-hop with acid house. But what if we threw that all into a big stew, layered it with a John Prine cover, Jim Jones (of Jonestown infamy) audio samples, and a druggy, capitalist critiquing, night-on-a-bender lyrical bent that also stayed away from strident political commentary while being entirely political? A big stew, eh? That's what Alabama 3 are serving up on their 1997 debut album Exile on Coldharbour Lane. If the band name sounds familiar, and you were alive at the start of the 21st century, you probably heard their track "Woke Up This Morning" introducing the weekly exploits of one Tony Soprano. Hearing that song gives listeners a nice primer on the band, but they do much more with their sixty-minute run-time, even if occasionally indulging a bit too much, like any fully exploited bender.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Woke Up This Morning

18:42 - Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

24:44 - Sister Rosetta

39:46 - Mao Tse Tung Said

1:07:34 - Peace in the Valley

Outro - U Don't Dans 2 Tekno Anymore

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#563: Built to Perform by Phantom Blue

#563: Built to Perform by Phantom Blue

October 26, 2021

Just like how the 1990s produced hundreds of alternative bands signed to major labels that barely made a dent in radio, MTV, or Billboard, the 80s had their fair share of obscure and forgotten acts of might-have-beens. Those rock bands that straddled the line between the two decades often suffered the worst, coming in at the tail end of hair/glam rock dominance into the emergent alternative and college rock scene ready to explode. Phantom Blue is a perfect example of this interesting time, a band whose 1989 debut is more in line with 80s metal, while their 1993 follow-up (and last) record Built to Perform shows growth in multiple directions, incorporating the drop-d riffing of Soundgarden and Alice In Chains flawlessly with Guns 'n Roses licks and energy.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Better Off Dead

15:32 - Lied To Me

21:11 - Little Man

31:01 - My Misery

Outro - Time to Run

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#562: Bands From the 90s Reuniting Part 2

#562: Bands From the 90s Reuniting Part 2

October 19, 2021

Band reunions aren't new, as some of the best-selling and most well-known bands have gone on hiatus or broken up for extended periods of time. Back in 2015, we discussed 1990s rock bands that had broken up and gotten back together. Six years have passed, and more bands have reunited, released material, or at least toured. We decided to revisit the topic and discuss bands like Swervedriver, Hum, The Psychedelic Furs, The Vapors, Guns 'n Roses, and many more who have been back in the studio (either to record or rerecord) and hit the road together.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Step Into You by Hum

11:50 - Thread by Shades Apart

18:09 - Don't Believe by The Psychedelic Furs

34:50 - Amputation by The Jesus And Mary Chain

47:00 - The Colour of Love by The Smashing Pumpkins

Outro - Mary Winter by Swervedriver

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#561: I Become Small and Go by Creeper Lagoon

#561: I Become Small and Go by Creeper Lagoon

October 12, 2021

Before Creeper Lagoon scored a minor hit with "Wrecking Ball" on their 2001 major label, radio-friendly alternative rock album Take Back The Universe and Give Me Yesterday, the band released a much more intimate debut. 1998's I Become Small and Go, co-produced in part by John King of The Dust Brothers, finds an even balance between catchy indie-pop, and more produced and layered tracks. Using a host of loops, oddball sounds, and other studio tricks gives tracks like "Wonderful Love" just enough earworm material to balance with the more subdued songs like "Sylvia." Unfortunately, the band can't hold up the momentum, and the album takes a noticeable dive in quality towards the end, but that doesn't erase what is a re-listenable record.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Dear Deadly

17:16 - Wonderful Love

20:23 - Sylvia

24:04 - Drink and Drive

Outro - Empty Ships

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
#560: Bone Machine by Tom Waits

#560: Bone Machine by Tom Waits

October 5, 2021

He's an outlier, an enigma, an iconoclast, an original. We're talking about Tom Waits, whose career is more closely tied to the 70s and 80s, but who released his Grammy Award-winning album Bone Machine in 1992 just as the first wave of grunge was talking off in 90s rock. Trying to compare Waits, and this album in particular, to any of his contemporaries, is a fool's errand. Sure, there's a bit of Nick Cave here, some Mark Lanegan there, even some Morphine and Beck, but Waits is often on another planet entirely. Using a collection of non-traditional percussion instruments (some homemade) combined with buzzing guitars and ramshackle pianos, to create a junkyard orchestra. It often sounds like it's falling apart before it even starts, but Waits can bring it together with his vocals, even if they are the most divisive aspect of a Tom Waits album.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - I Don't Wanna Grow Up

17:26 - Black Wings

24:49 - That Feel

29:54 - Whistle Down The Wind

34:26 - Goin' Out West

Outro - The Earth Died Screaming

 

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#559: Guilty Pleasures Roundtable

#559: Guilty Pleasures Roundtable

September 28, 2021

In popular culture, whether it's music, films, books, or television, the idea of a Guilty Pleasure has existed as long as people have formed opinions on entertainment. High versus low art, serious versus inconsequential, intimate versus manufactured - everyone has their own criteria. We discuss the power of shame, such as when a once-popular genre falls out of favor, or when the personal behavior of an artist can affect an audience, the phrase can take on an even more serious interpretation. 

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Barbie Girl by Aqua

Outro - I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred

 

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#558: Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives by Wellwater Conspiracy

#558: Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives by Wellwater Conspiracy

September 21, 2021

Members of Seattle's biggest bands of the 90s rock scene were often dabbling in side projects, like Temple of the Dog, Mad Season, and Brad. Matt Cameron and John McBain had previously played together in Hater, and along with Soundgarden bassist Ben Sheppard started Wellwater Conspiracy By the time they got around to album number two, Sheppard left, leaving Cameron and McBain to make the 1999's Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives, along with some friends. One of those friends is Josh Homme, not long after the end of Kyuss and just as Queens of the Stone Age is starting up, who hops on board for vocals on three tracks. Cameron tackles most of the rest and does a nice job with some 60s-influenced garage rock tunes that wouldn't sound out of place on a Hives record. Unfortunately, the side-project nature of the band leaves room for lots of noodling and experimentation. Some good, most not, which turns what would have been a tight, rockin' record into a much more bloated affair in need of a editor.

 

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Good Pushin'

13:09 - Compellor

20:55 - Right Of Left Field

23:38 - B.O.U.

28:07 - Van Vanishing

Outro - Red Light Green Light

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
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