It’s time for everyone’s favorite (and perhaps only) virtual band! Although we’ve inspected the work of Damon Albarn before, this is our first chance to take on the Gorillaz, an unrelated ensemble of animated musicians — 2-D, Mudoc, Noodle, and Russel — who, as far as we’re concerned, are behind the music we’re hearing. On their latest album, Humanz, the Gorillaz introduce a bevy of artists, both old and new, to help with the project and take on its variety of subjects. Let’s follow along! And save room for a brief discussion on the subjectivity and flexibility of rating criteria where art is concerned.
Oczy Mlody? …Otshee Mwodee? …Oxycodone? …Whatever it is, it’s the latest creation by alt rock veterans, The Flaming Lips. Inspired by phrases from a Polish translation of Erkine Caldwell’s novel ‘Close to Home’, Oczy Mlody is certainly a head scratcher, easing us into a dreamlike haze, surprising us in moments, and challenging our rating system like never before. Stick around after the analysis [@2:12:34] for a discussion on evolving perspectives, multiple mindsets, and the effort to avoid our own echo chambers.
Batten down the hatches… Tidal Wave, the seventh studio album by 17-year rock veterans Taking Back Sunday, is our task for the week. Despite some occasional changes in the band lineup, the group has retained enough stability to turn out albums with consistency and class. We hope you’ll honor that consistency and join us for an analysis of the group’s latest creation, Tidal Wave. Afterwards, stick around to [2:02:20] for a preview on a little experiment of ours: Does music stack up to the 7 Basic Plots of plot-writing (as are often found in literature)? Are the journeys equatable, or does music simply go rogue?
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?
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.
…And into the “200s” we go! To inaugurate “Season 5” of the Crash Chords Podcast, we’re sitting down with a group favorite: the music world’s funk-tastic, alt-rock failsafe for over 30 years running, the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Specifically, we’re looking at their brand new release The Getaway (their 11th studio album!) And then, being that we’re taking on such consistently funky veterans, our topic briefly examines the rarity of finding bands that are joined at the hip, and who withstand the test of time.
You may know Blue Man Group from their long-running, head-turning stage productions, but in the years since their formation in 1991, the core group has also compiled a modest discography of original LPs. Their third LP, entitled Three, was released this April and showcases the group’s innovative and trademarked palette of instruments, including new contrivances of PVC piping, chimeulums, tubulums, traditional cimbaloms, and other mystery sounds! While we’re on instruments, join our topic at [1:30:28] as we debate the etiquette and ethics of borrowing proprietary musical devices.
Today Matt welcomes Ayron Jones, the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Ayron Jones & The Way. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, the band’s latest releases are the singles “Boy from the Puget Sound”, and, as of this February, “Lay Your Body Down.” They also have a full-length album from 2013 called Dream. Hear Ayron chat about what it was like growing up in Seattle during the grunge movement and how it affected his musical development. He also talks about what it was like working with Sir Mix-A-Lot and having him produce the album Dream. Enjoy some final notes on Ayron’s love of playing live as well as his hopes for the band’s next tour.
This week’s album adventures are brought to you by listener Mark H. who has suggested we dive into the acronymic namesake of a curious collaboration: Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand & Los Angeles-based Sparks. Together, they form the “supergroup” called FFS, sporting a sole self-titled debut (FFS). Join us in this intensive analysis and share your thoughts! (We even throw in the bonus tracks to honor the FFS deluxe version.) True to form, we also take a few moments at the end to expand on Ep. #179‘s “Bonus Tracks” discussion by adding some thoughts and theories on the thematic applications of bonus tracks.
Need something to muse on? Muse on us! (…Musing on Muse.) That’s right; since we’re returning to a band we haven’t touched since Ep. #16, we’ll of course be counting on some growth from both fronts for our analysis of Muse’s latest album, Drones. Finally, be sure to check out 1:27:48 for a special topic hosted by Jon & Steve—sans Matt due to travel plans—on the early stages of a Crash Chords “debate” series poised to begin in 2016. Suggestions? Reservations? Contentions? That’s the idea! Let’s hear ’em all in the comments section!