Tag Archives: dayton

Of CD Wallets and Road Trips

When Katy and I were dating, she in Dayton and I in Raytown, we faced long, monthly drives to see one another. I tried to sell her on this drive by telling her it was only about as long has playing through her 10 favorite CD’s in the car.


We’re preparing for a trip back to Dayton next week, and I’m packing my CD wallet. I know, it’s 2012 and I should just load up my phone with MP3’s or stream songs from Google Music or something, but the car we’re taking only has a CD player. (I’m not complaining…15 years ago, this would have been a luxury, right?) I think MP3 players have made me lazy, dumping tons of music onto a player with no real intentions of getting to much of it.

I’m not sure I can even articulate what makes a good road trip album. It certainly needs driving beats, and there needs to be some amount of predictability. Nostalgia’s important, too, as my favorite albums make for great road trip albums. (Many of which, I owned on tape and got stuck in the tape deck of a couple different Escorts I had in college for months on end.) But then again, some just tend to be a solid, unflashy album in a band’s catalog. Sometimes I just need an record that will sound good in my particular car at the time. Finally, I take new albums on trips because a 10-hour drive is a great chance to wear in a new one.

Here are a few* that make my list. I’ll let you decide what criteria they meet.

  1. Get Happy!! – Elvis Costello and the Attractions (F-Beat/1980)
  2. Dear Science – TV on the Radio (Interscope/2008)
  3. Red Medicine – Fugazi (Dischord/1995)
  4. Forever Changes – Love (Elektra/1967)
  5. After Dark – various artists (Italians Do it Better/2007)
  6. Bloom – Beach House (SubPop/2012)
  7. a CD I burned with both Object 47 & Red Barked Tree by Wire
  8. Some Racing, Some Stopping – Headlights (Polyvinyl/2008)
  9. Feelings – Motel Beds (Fictionband Mechanics/2010)
  10. Your Future Our Clutter – The Fall (Domino/2010)
  11. Never Hear the End of It – Sloan (YepRoc/2007)
  12. 25 Years of Hits – Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone/2009)
  13. Slideling – Ian McCulloch (Cooking Vinyl/2003)
  14. Oranges & Lemons – XTC (Virgin/1989)
  15. Sex Change – Trans Am (Thrill Jockey/2007)
  16. Wake Up! – The Boo Radleys (Creation/1995)
  17. The Chaos – The Futureheads (Nul/2010)
  18. You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever – Orange Juice (Polydor/1982)
  19. The Loudest Sound Ever Heard – The Choir (Galaxy21/2012)
  20. OX4: The Best of Ride – Ride (The First Time Records/2002)
  21. Last Exit – Junior Boys (KIN | 2004)
  22. some last minute selection by Robert Pollard or Guided By Voices

*My wife reserves the right to edit the final list any time before Saturday.

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Episode 104: Take your brain, it’s time to go!

Guided By Voices’ difficult yet well-executed 1994 album, Bee Thousand.

Summer school starts next week, and I’m teaching seventh and eighth grade math. I anticipate it’ll be a busy June.

With this week off between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer school, I’ve watched my son and listened to a ton of music. Fueled by our purchase of tickets to see Guided By Voices in September, making a mix CD of Pollard-related tunes and a friend finding a lot of 36 Guided By Voices-related CD’s for $60 on the internet, much of this listening has been to Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard and Boston Spaceships. I’m kind of a nerd, but Pollard can deliver a killer pop hook when he wants to. He’s also quite the wordsmith, when he puts his mind to it.

Anyway, I know you want the goods, so here goes.

  1. “Something to Say” – The Action (Rolled Gold | Parasol | 2002)
  2. “Brain” – The Action (Rolled Gold | Parasol | 2002)
  3. “Somebody Made for Me” – Emitt Rhodes (Emitt Rhodes | Dunhill | 1970)
  4. “Echos Myron” – Guided By Voices (Bee Thousand | Scat | 1994)
  5. “The Unsinkable Fats Domino” – Guided By Voices (Let’s Go Eat the Factory | Guided By Voices Inc. | 2012)
  6. “Wild” – Beach House (Bloom | Sub Pop | 2012)


Radio Free Raytown – Episode #104 (6/1/12)

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Episode 72: In the End, Everyone’s Happy

4-4-1's classic album, Sacrifice

For the past two weeks, when I’ve not been listening to the new Radiohead record, I’ve taken refuge in jangly pop.  Or perhaps more accurately, I’ve interrupted my usual pattern of voraciously listening to jangly pop bands with the new Radiohead album.  (Don’t worry, I’ll probably discuss The King of Limbs in a future episode.)

At any rate, Dayton’s Motel Beds have released two fantastic albums in the past two years.  Both are incredibly solid slabs of moody power pop that you’d expect from the town that birthed Guided By Voices.  I think Motel Beds is an awesome band, and I hope you dig the show.

  1. The Lights #9 – Motel Beds (Sunfried Dreams / independent / 2011)
  2. Pinkies – Motel Beds (Feelings / Fictionband Mechanics / 2010)
  3. Mr. Fool – Let’s Active (Every Dog Has Its Day / I.R.S. / 1988)
  4. Beautiful Places – 4-4-1 (Sacrifice / Broken / 1988)
  5. Never Let Me Go – Bono and the Million Dollar Hotel Band (The Million Dollar Hotel: Music From the Motion Picture / Island / 2000)
  6. Kentish Town – Tracey Thorn (Love and its Opposite / Merge / 2010)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #72 (3/4/11)

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Concerning Year-End Lists…

There seems to be an expectation that if one is a discerning music enthusiast, he must develop year-end lists with best/favorite albums from that year.  I always wait until the year is actually over to create such a list.  (And if you’re lucky, in a month or two, you’ll receive a copy of the annual Song’s in Jon’s Beard, a mix CD of my favorite songs from the year.)

I am unsure whether I am hesitant to make a definitive statement or whether it really is that hard to decide.  One thing I can say is that Katy and I continue discovering some really good releases from 2010 (like the new Motel Beds album).  So if I had made a list two months ago, like a friend of mine, I would have missed quite a few excellent records.

All that said, I’ll try to have a list created and annotated by the end of January.

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First Date

Eight years ago today, I went on my first date with Katy. I had driven to Kettering, Ohio, overnight and arrived early in the morning. Later that day, we went to see the first Lord of the Rings movie. Then she took me to see local band, Shrug, perform at Canal Street Tavern, one of the coolest venues I have ever been to.

What she didn’t know, however, was that Jettingham was opening for Shrug. We had never heard of the band, and there I sat with her on our first date, with this Blink 182-wannabe band taking the stage. It played a song titled something like, “We Didn’t Sleep Together, We Were Just F*cking.” Later, the singer announced that the band was proud to be on the soundtrack for American Pie 2.

Good times.

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Treasure hunt.

radio free raytown horsing around milwaukee airport

Horsing around in the Milwaukee airport.

We just got back from Dayton, where I scored some sweet vinyl, but had to carry it all back on the plane.  I got everything from Hank Ballard to Lonnie Liston Smith to Pet Shop Boys.  I found them all at Gem City Records and the new Half Price Books in Dayton.

I should remind everyone to keep submitting ideas for the next episode’s theme.  I have received some really good ones so far, so the proverbial bar has been raised.

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