Dig Me Out - The 90s rock podcast
#529: Eyewitness by Shades Apart

#529: Eyewitness by Shades Apart

March 2, 2021

The balance between the "pop" and the "punk" in "pop-punk" can be tricky, especially when a band comes from the latter scene. On the Shades Apart 1999 album Eyewitness, the punk of the 90s (i.e. Green Day, The Offspring, Blink-182, Rancid, etc.) is represented more in the songwriting than the speed, something a lot of those bands would incorporate as time wore one. But Eyewitness goes one step further by adding subtle yet effective ska and reggae flourishes more akin to The Police than Less Than Jake. With producer Lou Giordano behind the board, the band crafts a well-manicured sonic pallet but like many, falls victim to the late 90s/early 00s guitar tones that haven't aged as well as the songwriting.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Edge Of The Century

19:35 - Stranger By The Day

31:14 - One Starry Night

37:03 - Chasing Daydreams

Outro - 100 Days

 

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#528: Tokyo An*l Dynamite by The Gerogerigegege

#528: Tokyo An*l Dynamite by The Gerogerigegege

February 23, 2021

Count to four. Do it seventy-five times, only interrupted by blistering feedback, screaming, and manic drums. And do it in about thirty-one minutes. That is Tokyo An*l Dynamite by The Gerogerigegege. In the world of experimental and avante-garde, noise has been tackled by artists as big as Neil Young and Lou Reed. Sonic Youth made a career out of crafting feedback into a symphony of melody. But if punk is about stripping rock 'n roll down to components and putting in the hands of the most rudimentary players, Tokyo Anal Dynamite might be the most punk rock album ever made.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Rock 'n Roll

Outro - Atama

 

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#527: Cats and Dogs by Royal Trux

#527: Cats and Dogs by Royal Trux

February 16, 2021

Despite what the million-dollar deal with Virgin Records might have implied, Royal Trux we're never going to be hitmakers. The label bought their cool factor based largely on the 1993 album Cats and Dogs, their first to embrace the songwriting end of their lo-fi aesthetic that danced on the edges of 90s rock via critical praise and underground hype. Part droning Velvet Underground, part deconstructed Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones, with touches of Sonic Youth and Pavement, Royal Trux concocted a stew of brittle, off-kilter blues without a hint of irony. The result is occasionally blistering, but not without fragile moments that sound like collapse is imminent.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - The Flag

15:48 - Let's Get Lost

18:38 - Up the Sleeve

25:42 - Turn of the Century

37:22 - Driving in That Car (with the Eagle on the Hood)

Outro - The Spectre

 

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#526: Neil Young In The 90s

#526: Neil Young In The 90s

February 9, 2021

Neil Young has always been one to buck convention and follow his own muse, but the 80s saw him fall out of favor with mainstream audiences as he explored rockabilly, synthesizers, hard rock, traditional country, etc. with half-baked results. By the end of the decade, he was back on solid footing with Freedom, setting up Young's renaissance in the 90s. 1990's Ragged Glory paired him again with Crazy Horse, marking the start of a decade that found him touring with a variety of taste-making young acts, like Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, who backed him on the generational crossover album Mirror Ball. Unlike many well-known acts from the 70s and 80s that continued in the 90s, Young might have been the most fully immersed in what was actually happening in 90s rock and pop culture.

 

Song In This Episode:

Intro - Downtown from Mirror Ball

17:47 - Love To Burn from Ragged Glory

22:25 - Harvest Moon from Harvest Moon

37:56 - Peace And Love from Mirror Ball

49:31 - Big Time from Broken Arrow

Outro - Arc

 

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#525: Clutch by Clutch

#525: Clutch by Clutch

February 2, 2021

While stoner and desert rock has been associated primarily with California bands like Kyuss, Fu Manchu, and Sleep, in reality artists across the country were putting their own spin on Black Sabbath's tracks like "Sweet Leaf" for decades. Bands like Monster Magnet in New Jersey, Corrosion of Conformity in North Carolina, and Clutch in Maryland have each contributed to 90s rock and beyond. On Clutch's sophomore self-titled album from 1995, the band tone down their freshman punk and louder tendencies, dialing back the distortion and locking into 70s psychedelic head-nodding grooves paired with the occasional frantic jammy freak out. The dividing line for listeners is vocalist Neil Fallon, who possesses one of the most otherworldly heavy voices that can bellow with the best, but is unafraid to explore funkier, sing-songy melodies that may not be for everyone.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - Big News II

15:31 - Rock N Roll Outlaw

23:42 - Spacegrass

30:40 - Droid

Outro - Seven Jam

 

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#524: Rid Of Me by PJ Harvey

#524: Rid Of Me by PJ Harvey

January 26, 2021

With three decades of records to look back on, it's safe to say Polly Jean Harvey doesn't stand still for long. From the minimalist blues of To Bring You My Love to the eerie piano pieces of White Chalk, Harvey has become indie rock's David Bowie, evolving her style steadily and consistently, often at odds with expectations. On her second album as PJ Harvey, Rid Of Me stands the test of time thanks to her raw and intimate approach while unleashing Pixies-ish punk and Bo Diddley blues rhythms. Harvey plays in a big sandbox, and her handpicked producer Steve Albini is game, giving plenty of space for light and dark to crash and thrash.

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - 50ft Queenie

16:19 - Rid Of Me

27:03 - Dry

32:52 - Me-Jane

44:03 - Yuri-G

Outro - Missed

 

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#523: Frizzle Fry by Primus

#523: Frizzle Fry by Primus

January 19, 2021

While much is made of genres like punk breaking through and topping the mainstream of 90s rock, the late 80s success of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour and Faith No More just as successfully pushed underground/alternative funk metal onto MTV. In 1990, Primus unleashed their twist on the sound with the progressive rock-influenced debut Frizzle Fry. Within a few years, thanks to catchier and catchier tunes paired with creative videos, the band would graduate from Headbanger's Ball to 120 Minutes to daytime rotation, solidifying them as a definitive band of the decade. But what to make of their first studio release, which finds Les Claypool's unendingly inventive approach to bass paired with equally stellar musicians in drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander and guitarist Larry LaLonde. If progressive rock, funk metal, or Claypool's distinct vocal and melodic approach aren't to your taste, is there still something worth checking out?

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro - John the Fisherman

18:18 - Too Many Puppies

28:50 - The Toys Go Winding Down

47:45: Harold of the Rocks

Outro - To Defy the Laws of Tradition

 

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#522: Albums of 1991 Roundtable

#522: Albums of 1991 Roundtable

January 12, 2021

Is there a more crucial turning point for 1990s music and 90s rock than 1991? Artists released important albums weekly that would shape the decade (and even entire careers) such as Pearl Jam, U2, Soundgarden, Gun 'n Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primal Scream, Blur, Metallica, and more. Then there were the underground bands that lurked on college radio and outside the Billboard charts like Slint, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Mr. Bungle, Fugazi, Ride, Uncle Tupelo, Mudhoney, and Throwing Muses. It's the debut of Lollapalooza, the year trip-hop and desert / stoner rock would begin their ascension, the year Freddie Mercury released one last album with Queen before his passing, and the year "grunge" became a word everyone knew. It's a super-sized episode with lots of guests and lots to cover.

 

Songs In This Episode:

1991 Medley (Unbelievable by EMF, Rusty Cage by Soundgarden, There's No Other Way by Blur, Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet)

 

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#521: Yank Crime by Drive Like Jehu

#521: Yank Crime by Drive Like Jehu

January 5, 2021

Few bands can really be described as influential, most either affecting the latest pose or regurgitating a nostalgic vibe. On the other hand, some bands are so ahead of the curve, it can take time for the rest of the world to catch up. That's the case with Drive Like Jehu's sophomore 1995 album Yank Crime, which in the worlds of 90s rock, sounded like a runaway train of mixed up genres - post-hardcore, math rock, emo, post-punk, and more that weren't invented yet. It's not speculation to call this record and this band influential - members of At The Drive-in, Deftones, Modest Mouse, Jimmy Eat World, and more have weighed in over the years on DLJ's unique place in 90s rock canon.

 

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Here Come The Rome Plows

22:22 - Luau

32:22 - New Intro

Outro - Do You Compute

 

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#520: Season Ten - Year In Review

#520: Season Ten - Year In Review

December 29, 2020

Our look back at Season Ten of the podcast, during which we hit milestone episode five hundred, is a great recap to a not so great year. Our Patreon community continued to support us and lead way, picking interesting and unexpected albums to revisit via individual selections and our monthly polls. It allows us to check out noteworthy 90s bands we had previously missed like Mudhoney, that dog., Neutral Milk Hotel, Dig, Morphine, and PJ Harvey, as well as discover a bevy of lesser-known acts such as Ricaine, Odds, Cosmic Psychos, Giants Chair, and more. From the Hindustani jazz fusion of Indian Ocean to the 70s funk of Big Chief, our sonic pallet was once again expanded thanks to our patrons, who also helped us launch our Discord community, which lead to our new weekly Box newsletter. We looking forward to moving into 2021 and Season Eleven!

 

Songs In This Episode:

Intro/Outro - Dig Me Out by Sleater-Kinney

 

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Listen to the episode archive at DigMeOutPodcast.com.
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