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?
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?
Time does fly doesn’t it? It’s already our 200th episode and our fourth anniversary! We hope you’ve had a good four years. We’ve had some ups and some downs, album-wise. That’s why today we’re going up, up, UP! To the top of the charts, that is. Like our previous anniversary episodes, we’re stepping outside the normal sequence of events today in order to tackle a special project. This time ’round, we’ll be looking to see what the Billboard charts have in store for us. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the top 10 hit singles for the week leading up to this recording: the week of June 25th. Follow along with us in the Spotify playlist as we countdown to #1, and join us as we dare to challenge the undisputed sales champions of pop. Who will win? I think they already did…
Ready to rummage through Junk by M83?? We certainly are. The veteran French electronic music band, fronted by Anthony Gonzalez, has been quite up-front about some intentions surrounding its seventh studio LP Junk, leading us to some fairly heated debates. In our topic, for instance, at [1:49:40], we launch into a debate on the evolution of aesthetic values. Does time, in fact, validate? Weigh in!
Today, Matt welcomes the lead singer and bassist for The Dollyrots, Kelly Ogden. The Dollyrots’ newest album is a live album called Family Vacation: Live From Los Angeles, released alongside a DVD of the same name! The album is essentially a live greatest hits of the band’s 16-year long career. Hear Kelly and Matt chat about how the band has evolved over the years and where it’s headed in the future. She chats about her life as a rock n’ roll mom, and how that’s affected her writing, touring, and especially scheduling. She also chats about why the band decided to release a live album instead of a new LP, why they included the cover of “Brand New Key”, and what that song meant to Kelly specifically.
This week we take on the latest release by pop rock mainstays Panic! at the Disco: their 2016 album Death of a Bachelor. We dissect the album top to bottom and, as always, invite some active contributions in the comment board. After that, you’ll DEFINITELY want to tune in for our topic at 1:36:03 to hear us discuss the concept of “newness”. That’s right… new, novel, fresh, creative… whatever you call it, “newness” seems to be at the heart of what we’re after when our “comfort art” is all but spent. But is this always the case? After all, what makes something NEW anyway? Can anything be truly new? Or, are all things new, and we’re just scraping to recognize patterns? Come and join us in this timeless critics’ crisis! We’d love to hear from you.
Today the Crash Chords Podcast welcomes the magician extraordinaire, sought-after special effects consultant, and delightfully entertaining Matt Holtzclaw! In an opening interview, Matt shares with us some tales from his long career, his stint on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, and the essence of what magic means to him as an art form. But wait! For Matt’s last trick, he conjures up an album for our weekly group analysis. That album—Paper Gods by the synth/pop darlings of the 1980s, Duran Duran. So go ahead and join us on this magical journey and don’t forget to check out Matt’s upcoming shows (posted on the magician’s webpage).
Remember our ancient Matchbox Twenty episode? Well, as you may or may not know, the band’s frontman Rob Thomas has had a solo career for over a decade, and we just thought we’d check in to see what his latest solo excursion, The Great Unknown, is all about. Join us in today’s unsparing analysis, listen to our afterthoughts, and then share yours below! Also, don’t forget to check out our big discussion at 1:43:17 on the trials and tribulations of bonus tracks and exclusive media. Sick of it all yet? Can’t get enough? We want to know!
Today we’re tackling No No No by Beirut. Negative much? With an album called No No No, that might be a required state of mind going in. Then again, the music seems to conflict with that idea. Confused yet? Don’t be. I’m just the show notes, what do I know? Press play already! As for the topic, head to 1:15:11 for a discussion on the foreground/background nature of lyrics. Do they slap you in the face or fade into the instrumentation? Does the music steer the message or does the message steer the music? We even grapple with the nature of the subliminal, and much, much more in today’s episode of the Crash Chords Podcast.
Today’s album, Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots, explores the many ugly heads of ‘insecurity’. Fun times! But there’s a catch… The artist (the author and musician) is very much a part of the tale, which leads to a rather — wait for it — “meta” plot-structure. Yes, that label, “meta” (as groan-worthy as it has become in pseudo-academic culture), adds a strong dimension to Blurryface. That being the case, starting at 1:34:55 we take some time to explore the use of “meta” elements in other pieces of music, as well as some common fallacies that have erupted from the word itself.