Schmilco-time! Whether you know Wilco, or don’t know Wilco, then try getting to know Schmilco, as we’ll be doing in today’s episode. Though a bit of a left turn for a band that has practically earned a council seat in the hearts of a generation, Schmilco is a dreamlike saunter that dazzles in moments and reflects in others. Speaking of reflection, our topic [@ 1:41:41] takes to heart your hosts’ prior experience of today’s band and reflects on the notion of “second-hand bands”, i.e., you know ’em… you like ’em… but do you *know* them? It’s a common experience, one that can twist our perceptions of an artist for better or worse. So let’s separate the bull from the malarky and have a podcast about it, shall we?
This week, Crash Chords takes a gander at Message to Bears, the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Jerome Alexander, and his latest album Carved From Tides. Though replete with talented session musicians, this one-man show tugs at our heart-strings and challenges us with a few head-scratches before spurring a scintillating topic on lyrical expression at [1:28:50].
This week, Crash Chords undertook a slightly heavier project. We’ve rejoined the wondrous world of soundtracks—our first in over three years. This time, it’s to discuss the sparse yet pointed soundtrack to the video game ‘Life is Strange’ by DONTNOD Entertainment. Chronicling the story of an 18 year-old girl named Max who discovers her ability to control time while attending the Blackwell Academy, ‘Life is Strange’ is a story about friendship, right & wrong, and most of all, about consequences. Today we’ll be strolling through the game, dissecting its myriad of outcomes, and finally attempting to “get a feel for it” from the songs that were chosen to adorn some of the game’s key scenes. So either pick up, rent, or watch the game (via this 5-episode no-commentary Let’s Play of ‘Life is Strange’ by Xenonz Kenway), and help us wrestle with the implications of Max’s time-shattering actions together. We highly suggest it, as, you see…
THIS EPISODE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Perhaps one of the funkiest bands in Britain, The Heavy is on the workbench today along with their album Hurt & the Merciless, brought to us courtesy of listener José (Nokjaw). We’ll be looking at the inns and the outs of this raucous release before taking on the subject of music comparison — that is, the long-held practice of comparing one artist to another. Is this tactic of any meaningful use to the music community, or does it hinder one’s ability to perceive ingenuity? All of this and other things too, here, in this episode… today.
Some have called him the greatest American songwriter — a merit worth examining as Paul Simon’s music continues to retain its luster from generation to generation. But should the acclaimed discography of Paul Simon tint our analysis of the musician’s latest album, Stranger to Stranger? …Hardly! Let’s feign ignorance together and investigate Paul Simon’s 13th studio album for all it has to offer. And don’t forget to stick around to the end as we launch into a fun and surprisingly multi-faceted discussion on cell phone audio, retracing its evolution, and predicting its future.
This week, our project is an album called Stranger Things Have Happened by English singer/songwriter Clare Maguire—on the face of it, an album that’s split in tone, and potentially in theme. Can we wrestle our hearts with an album like this? We hope you will, because the gems are without a doubt, a reward in themselves. Partially influenced by jazz, lounge, soul, and dreampop, we encourage you to experience this album with us and join us in pondering its many distinctive flavors. Afterwards: film soundtracks and the power to save the film in question. A pipe dream? Are soundtracks tethered at the hip, or fiercely independent?
As a band, Radiohead has been known for a great many things… Well, as of today, let them be known as a certified Crash Chords feature! So go forth, and spread the word! And if you, perchance, harbor some opinions on this band, then you might enjoy our objective take on the band’s much-anticipated album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Join us for another roundtable “excavation” as we peel back the layers of this multi-faceted work. Afterwards, stick around for some thoughts on the role that imagery plays in music, i.e., pitting the “pure feelers” against the more optically sensitive listeners.
Today’s guest, Johnny Caligula, was “born in the back of a traveling show”… his “momma did dance for the money they’d throw.” At the age of 30, he decided to follow her example and took up the ancient, sexual art of burlesque. Fortunate to receive guidance from the likes of Lefty Lucy, Mary Cyn, and Sarah Tops, Johnny regales us with tales of his latest exploits in burlesque (along with some insights into the business), before presenting us with this week’s album pick: Coloring Book by the prominent collaborator of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Chance the Rapper. After a lengthy group analysis, be sure to stick around to the bitter end for some quick plugs on Johnny’s upcoming shows!
How long have you waited for this? Five years? On top of another eight? Sure, Blink-182 may not be known for their timeliness as of late, but luckily fans’ memories run long (as their latest album California and its chart-topping status would suggest). Leaping at the chance to imbibe another record of mockery and melody, we’re taking on California this week with open minds and open hearts. Join us, will you? Then, [at 1:39:23], a hypothesis: Is there such a thing as ‘too many hooks’? Steeped in that magical crowd-pleasing nectar, are a series of good hooks worth celebrating or shunning? Are you a cautious fish… or would you take the bait?
Get ready to melt at the sound of MAGMA, the latest release by the Queens-based [France-uprooted] metal band called Gojira. We’ve just got one question: Is Magma as hot as they say? Well, at great risk to our personal safety, today we’re dipping our toes in for a full-fledged analysis to tackle that question. Join us, brave listeners, and don’t fear the heat. Also, stick around [at 1:29:28] for a broad discussion on metal itself. Is metal truly a genre, or is it simply a tool? What can be made of the plethora of sub-genres under the metal banner, and do these labels help or hurt curious metal fans?