Tag Archives: music

Plotting my next move.

It will probably be another week or so before I post my 100th episode. It will be a special show, with my friends discussing some of their favorite songs (as opposed to my usual monopolization of your time). These are dear friends who have influenced my own tastes, and they contribute some great conversation and enthusiasm.

And like any of the other 99 episodes that have preceded it, you can expect a rather eclectic mix.

Tagged , ,

Episode 93: It’s a New Generation

Thinking about The Lassie Foundation, I reflect equally on its mind-blowing output during my formable college listening years as well as all the bands it referenced in its playing (that I would, in turn, get hip to).

The band’s first EP and first two full-length albums still stand up well alongside the best work of bands like Medicine or The Boo Radleys, so it’s easy to revisit them and not just defensively snap to your friends, “Well, you just had to be there.”

Wayne Everett and Eric Campuzano (the primary forces in The Lassie Foundation) were responsible for much of my musical discoveries in college.  When I read them name-drop Ride, The Boo Radleys, Loop, The Beach Boys and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in interviews, I immediately sought out any of those bands’ records I could find.  (Remember, this was still before Napster…it took me a year to find even one CD by The Boo Radleys!)

In retrospect, I was bound to be smitten by The Lassie Foundation’s work.  The band was a collective of guys from Starflyer 59, Fold Zandura and The Violet Burning…three of my favorite bands at the time.  But The Lassie Foundation was totally different than those bands; it had a cool, surfy, California vibe.  Enjoy, and remember, enlightenment is its own reward.

You’re welcome.

  1. “I’m Stealin’ to Be Your One in a Million” – The Lassie Foundation (California | Velvet Blue Music | 1996)
  2. “I’ve Got the Rock and Roll for You” – The Lassie Foundation (Pacifico | Shogun Sounds | 1999)
  3. “She’s the Coming Sun–She’s Long Gone” – The Lassie Foundation (Pacifico | Shogun Sounds | 1999)
  4. “Conquer Me” – The Lassie Foundation (El Rey | Shogun Sounds | 1999)
  5. “Look All Ways” – The Lassie Foundation (I Duel Sioux and the Ale of Saturn | Grand Theft Autumn | 2001)
  6. “Face Your Fun” – The Lassie Foundation (Face Your Fun | Northern | 2004)
Tagged , , ,

Fall bands (not to be confused with the band, The Fall)

I didn’t have time for a show this week (and I imagine that, upon Ian’s arrival, it’s unreasonable to expect them to arrive weekly).  My friend runs an excellent coffeeshop here in Raytown and, recently, Low’s music has been in heavy rotation at his store.  That, and the leaves cluttering my yard, have got me thinking a lot about fall music.

So I decided to compile a list of artists that almost excusively release make plangent, autumnal music.  For this discussion, I’m intentionally avoiding one-off fall albums.  Someone like Beck has released a couple great fall albums, Sea Change and One Foot in the Grave, but I wouldn’t consider him a fall musician.  I wanted to make a list of artists’ who always make fall music.  You know, guys like Nick Drake, whose catalog is to this season what the second chapter of Luke is to Christmastime.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it includes artists who usually appear on my annual fall mixes.  As a courtesy, I have posted a link to a song by each artist.  The songs may not be the artists’ best, but they are surely indicative of their work.  (My choices are also limited by what’s available on YouTube.)


  1. Nick Drake
  2. Bela Bartok
  3. Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon)
  4. Grant McLennan (The Go-Betweens and Jack Frost)
  5. Simon and Garfunkel
  6. Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500 and Luna)
  7. The Innocence Mission
  8. Low
  9. Robert Deeble
  10. Junior Boys
Tagged , , , ,

Fall eletronica.

I don’t usually associate electronic music with this season of the year, but Junior Boys deliver with this sparse, chilling tune, “Playtime.”

Tagged , , ,

Episode 92: Wake that Sleepyhead in You

Anticipating Ian’s arrival in a few weeks (if he’s punctual), one of the things I’ve been considering is responding to and teaching discernment with coarse language.  And because I’ve been on a Sonic Youth kick recently, I’ve specifically thought about cussing in music.

I’ll spare you most of my thoughts and conversation with my wife, but I can say that I am convinced parents must model for children a healthy respect of language.  I don’t think this involves overreacting to my son when he inevitably drops a minor curse word…and on the other end of the spectrum, it obviously doesn’t mean I should mean that I should cuss like a sailor.  I guess I have some time to figure things out before he gets old enough that it matters.  You know, maybe I have enough time before then to write a book…

Enjoy the show.

  1. “No Room” – Two-Pound Planet (No Sense of History | Alternative/Stunt | 1992)
  2. “(I Got A) Catholic Block” – Sonic Youth (Sister | SST | 1987)
  3. “Surgeon” – St. Vincent (Strange Mercy | 4AD | 2011)
  4. “Natural Frost” – Welcome (Sirs | FatCat | 2007)
  5. “Salad of Speech” – 100 Flowers (100 Years of Pulchritude | EMI | 1990)
  6. “Okay, I’ll Admit That I really Don’t Understand” – The Flaming Lips (Zaireeka | Warner | 1997)
  7. “Listen, It’s Gone” – The Ocean Blue (Beneath the Rhythm and Sound | Sire | 1993)
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Episode 91: Phasers on Stun

A while back, I called up a record store in Indianapolis to order a super-limited edition 12″ single The Flaming Lips recorded with Neon Indian.  After giving the clerk, Dan, my credit card information, we began discussing uber-obscure, hazy and psychedelic garage bands.  During that conversation, I remember Dan saying he listens to so much music that he doesn’t really stick with one record for very long…say less than two weeks.

Whether it’s due to owning too much music or it’s a sort of musical attention deficit disorder, I feel much the same.  While this may be problematic to some, I find that wearing out new albums always points me back to my all-time favorite artists and records.

I love 60s jazz and 90s indie rock; they are like musical comfort foods to me.  Enjoy.

  1. “Knife Rape” – Mothguts (III | Thor’s Rubber Hammer | 2009)
  2. “Spectrum” – Andrew Hill (Point of Departure | Blue Note | 1964)
  3. “Mykologics” – Mouse on Mars (Niun Niggung | Thrill Jockey | 1999)
  4. “Kazuality” – Blonde Redhead (Fake Can be Just as Good | Touch and Go | 1997)
  5. “Phasers on Stun/Sola Kola” – Yatsura (We Are Yatsura | Che Trading | 1996)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #91 (9/28/11)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

This week’s rotation.

I’ve been listening to a lot of good records lately, in no particular order.

  1. Strange Mercy – St. Vincent (4AD | 2011)
  2. Tango Boys – Motel Beds (Fictionband Mechanics | unreleased)
  3. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division (Factory | 1979)
  4. The Law of Things – The Bats (Flying Nun | 1990)
  5. The HMV/Parlophone Singles ’88-’95 (disc one) – Morrissey (EMI | 2009)
  6. Home Cookin’ – Jimmy Smith (Blue Note | 1959)
  7. Siberia – Echo and the Bunnymen (Cooking Vinyl | 2005)
  8. Bounce Around – Minisnap (Magic Marker | 2008)
  9. Don’t You Rise – The Bats (Slumberland | 2009)
  10. Lo-Fi Feeling – The Tambourine Club (independent | 2011)
You can get Lo-Fi Feeling for free from The Tambourine Club’s website.
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Episode 90: All Forgotten Youth

A short drive from Dayton, Ohio, Yellow Springs is the perfect town for autumn.  Lots of trees, old timey shops along a main street and a small, private college.  One of the attractions used to be a music store called Dingleberry’s in the middle of town.

I clearly remember my first visit to Yellow Springs.  (While dating, Katy and I took turns traveling to see one another, she in Dayton and I in Raytown.)  I had made the trip to Dayton, and Katy wanted to take me to get ice cream at Young’s Dairy Farm on the outskirts of town.  On our way through town, she introduced me to Dingleberry’s, which was convenient as Echo and the Bunnymen had just released a live album that I needed to buy that would, in turn, introduce her to the band.

Fast-forward almost nine years, and we’re expecting our first child.  We’ve decided upon the name Ian (which, coincidentally is the name of Echo and the Bunnymen’s frontman).  This week, I dedicate my show to music made by guys named Ian.  Enjoy.

  1. “Proud to Fall (Extended Mix)” – Ian McCulloch (“Faith and Healing” single | Sire | 1989)
  2. “Do It Clean” – Echo and the Bunnymen (Crocodiles | Korova | 1980)
  3. “Merchandise” – Fugazi (Repeater | Dischord | 1990)
  4. “Lucky You” – Lightning Seeds (Jollification | Epic | 1993)
  5. “Interzone” – Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures | Factory | 1979)
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Episode 89: Keep on Dreaming

One wall from Danny Gibson's show, Quietly Contributing

Danny J. Gibson's show, Quietly Contributing, at 1819 Central.

Attending the opening of Danny Gibson’s new art show, Quietly Contributing, last week was quite the tear-jerker.  Gibson created posters for so many of my friends’ shows.  (And many of those folks were in attendance.)  Eventually, I also employed him for some work on posters and album artwork.

To accompany and promote the show, 35 artists have donated songs to a free digital compilation album.  If you don’t already have it, get it now.  I play one of the album’s songs, from my friend Dan Billen, this week.  It’s a cute, classy tune, begging for inclusion on the soundtrack to the next Jared Hess flick.

Oh yeah, and then there’s Eddie Hazel, one of my favorite guitarists.  This is the dude responsible for Funkadelic’s 10-minute masterpiece, “Maggot Brain,” a song so overpowering that I want it played at my funeral.  I’ve been rocking his lone solo album, Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs, a lot recently.  I don’t know why it’s taken me 89 episodes to play on of his songs, but I finally did.   And you’re welcome.  Enjoy.

  1. “Wall Street” – Battles (Gloss Drop | Warp | 2011)
  2. “California Dreamin'” – Eddie Hazel (Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs | Warner Bros. | 1977)
  3. “Corner of the Sky” – Cut Copy (Zonoscope | Modular Recordings | 2011)
  4. “Let a Dreamer Dream” – Dan Billen (DJG Was Here | independent | 2011)
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Episode 88: The Light on a Stranger’s Face

Halstead, jockin' my style.

Finishing the field experience for my master’s degree in school leadership had me pretty stressed out two years ago.  So Neil Halstead’s mellow show during spring break at the Jackpot Saloon in Lawrence came at precisely the right time.  (Although the timing meant all the college kids had fled for the week and only a handful attended, the quiet atmosphere fit my mood and the show.  Halstead didn’t come to rock, but to sooth us with melodies.)

This week, I focus on Halstead’s work.  As could be expected, a 25-minute podcast cannot cover everything an artist creates in 20 years, but I hope you get a glimpse of his genius.  He doesn’t bludgeon the listener with his cool artsyness, instead he relies on melody, songcraft to convince.  Enjoy.

  1. “Brigther” – Slowdive (Just For a Day | Creation | 1991)
  2. “Alison” – Slowdive (Souvlaki | Creation | 1993)
  3. “Who Do You Love” – Mojave 3 (Out of Tune | 4AD | 1998)
  4. “Seasons” – Neil Halstead (Sleeping on Roads | 4AD | 2002)
  5. “Kill the Lights” – Mojave 3 (Puzzles Like You | 4AD | 2006)
  6. “No Mercy for the Muse” – Neil Halstead (Oh! Mighty Engine | Brushfire | 2008)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #88 (8/26/11)

Tagged , , , ,