Month: December 2017
1. Oxbow – Thin Black Duke
2. Lardo – Sinking
3. christian fitness – slap Bass Hunks
4. Mountain Goats – Goths.
5. SEMINARS – Pricks Die Young
6. Magpies – Annex
7. Crystal Fairy – s/t
8. Dead Rider – Crew Licks
9. Out – Swim Buddiess
10. Fever Ray – Plunge
1. Palm – Shadow Expert ep
2. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
3. Maximum Busy Muscle – s/t
4. Bon Air – the Blue Line
5. Fox Face – Spoil + Destroy
6. Radioactivity – infected/Sleep
7. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
8. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
9. God Eaters – Xuma
10. Arto Lindsay – Cuidado Madame
all numbering relatively arbitrary
Josh #10: arto lindsay – ilha dos prazeres
Josh: Danger Lady, this is fantastic, very much in the vein of what his recent solo career has been like. It’s this very odd combination of the Brazilian music he’s been playing for a number of years, but he’s still doing weird atonal guitar and he’s singing more melodically but it still sounds like Arto Lindsey. So there’s definitely an experimental edge to it… he played in Chicago… a few months ago with the Beauty Pill and it was just incredible.
Conan: Oh, I thought you meant he played in the BAND Chicago. I was like: where’s that record?
Josh I’d pay good money for that.
Conan “huh, they took an unexpected left turn on that one!”
It was an amazing show and this is a relaxing and romantic kind of record, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
Conan #10: Fever Ray – This Country
Conan: Number 10 for me is a band called Fever Ray, which is 1/2 of the Knife. This is the second Fever Record, I really love the first one it’s a weird, moody, messed up record. I dig it a lot, I dig this one as well, it’s kind of more of the same. I know some people that listen are super not down with Electro stuff or anything remotely that isn’t guitar bass and brash drums and stuff.
Josh: Geez, they are going to hate a lot of my countdown.
Conan: But I think everything that she does is wildly innovative and interesting. We talked a little bit during the break about that last the Knife record. It’s a harsh listen, but it’s awesome and I love that for a band that became so popular off of what was a very simple electro-poppy song with universal appeal, they just say: “ok, that’s done, we’re doing this now!”. I feel to a lesser degree perhaps, the same stuff happens with the Fever Ray material. I like that her viewpoints are LITERALLY written on her face for this record.
Fever Ray – This Country
Josh #9 god eaters – Signs of the Times
Josh: number 9 is a band we’ve discussed previously, as we’ve definitely played with them, seen them recently and they played Conan’s 40 birthday Party, the God Eaters.
Conan: To be perfectly clear, they would be on this list even if it was not for all of that friendship and cross pollination.
Josh: Oh yes, the friend rock, the only reason there are so many friends on this list is that that is what I listen to. That doesn’t have any affect on how amazing they are, and how much you should check them out.
Conan: Yes, this record kicks ass, this would definitely be on my list as well… I guess it would be a conflict of interest, because they play with *ME* as well. But I love it too.
Josh: Oh, don’t doubt that next year when we do this the Body Futures record will probably be on mine.
Conan: Right, so the God Eaters, it’s your pick… but one of the things I like about them is that they are a difficult band to describe. In mood and feel they remind me of the Minutemen, without sounding that much like the Minutemen.
Josh: Yes, and we were talking about this just recently so if you do listen to the show on a regular basis you will have heard something that sounds just like this. It’s how their sound is psychadelic in that it becomes enveloping, and there is some of that with the Minutemen as well. That there is so much going on with so few elements, but there is a lot happening within it. I feel like they echo some of that. Although they sound nothing like the Minutemen at all. It’s the precepts.
Conan: It’s a hell of a record, I’m sure they’ve already outdone it at this point. This is Zuuuma… that’s how you pronounce it right?
Josh: I would think so.
Conan: Hopefully it’s not exzema. Maybe it’s excema?
Josh: maybe, but the song we’re going to listen to is called Signs of the times.
Out – Wound Up.
Conan: This is a record, I feel was very popular amongst our circles, but needs to be heard by more people. It’s most of the band Minutes, but they should be given due difference on their own. It’s the band OUT, or OOT of you are Canadian.
This is off a record called Swim Buddies, because I guess hanging out and going to the pool or the river or something is at thing people like to do right?
Josh: Sure! They seem to like doing it.
Conan: Yeah! They like it.
Josh: But yeah, they discussed a little bit of our lists beforehand and…
Conan: NO DUPES!!! NO DUPES!!!
Josh: Exactly, we’re trying to get as many different songs out to you as possible, but they certainly would have been on my list. They are a fantastic band, they have a TRIUMPH.
Conan: Yes, they have a triumphant aspect to what they do… it comes from the fugazi/hoover-esque DC world, but there is definitely an element of what they do that… especially when they are all singing together… excuse me… SANGING.
Josh: Sanging! Sanging those unison vocals.
Conan: It’s a good record man, all the songs are pretty rock solid and there are some fist pumpers. This is put out by former guest of the show Jon Solomon.
Josh: friend of the show!
Conan: others have said it more eloquently myself, but to reiterate, this would have been on both of our lists if not for the NO DUPES rule.
Josh #8 Vince Staples – Homage
Josh: Number 8! I am still woefully underinformed when it comes to modern hip hop. I try my best to keep up with it, i’ve got some friends that try to keep me up with it. This is one that really stuck with me. Vince Staples, big fish theory. Just has a real fresh, awesome, noisy, weird fun sound. He has great flow. his lyrics are fantastic, there’s a real unique thing going on here. I listen to this one a lot.
Conan #8 Dead Rider – The Listing
Conan: my number 8 is from a little band from Chicago called Dead Rider. This is yet another in a series of records that… A good friend of mine once said: “I don’t know how music like this is made by humans.” i’m inclined to agree.
Josh: I feel that way about a lot of Dead Rider stuff, yeah.
Conan: It’s disconcerting, immediately familiar, but yet suddenly bizarre, everything about this band is just bad ass. This record managed to sneak through without me knowing about it. And suddenly i’m like: I’m in! I’m buying it immediately. Then I just listened to it on bandcamp and didn’t and decided that I really did need to buy it. It’s great, there are a lot of different moods to Dead Rider. It was hard to pick a song, but I picked this one specifically because the last movement has an auction announcer in it.
Josh: they call it an Auctioneer.”
Conan: yeah, yeah… Auctioneer. Thanks, Josh.
Radically unique and interesting band, super awesome… this is the listing!
josh #7 Julie Byrne – i Live Now As A Singer
Josh: My number 7, the album is called “Not Even Happiness” and the artist is Julie Byrne. This is a really wonderful, very mellow, beautiful… not really singer-songwriter thing, it’s there but there are interesting textures going on. The songs are so good, and her voice is so wonderful. I think Acme records had it as their record of the day when it came out, an instagram or a facebook post or something…
Conan: shout out to Acme records!
Josh: What Up Acme Records? Clicked on it on a whim, looked it up on bandcamp… and it’s just great late night listening.
Conan #7: Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy
This is a record, I think a lot of people forgot about. The Crystal Fairy record came out really early in the year. This is the collaboration between Buzz and Dale of the Melvins and former guest of the show Teri of Le Butcherettes… oh, and Omar from at the drive in, Mars Volta, and all that.
Josh: oh, sure why not!
Conan: It’s bad ass! To a certain degree it kind of sounds like a Melvins album with Teri singing. I’m totally ok with that. She’s one of my favorite front people period, former quest of the show. This is pretty much a product for me.
Josh: test marketed directly for Conan Neutron
Conan: I was trying to think of there was a way to make this more for me?
Swap out Omar for David William Sims or something?
Josh: Guest appearance by Malcolm Young?
Conan: Yeah! he managed to sneak in a guest appearance before he died. Anyway, this is Crystal Fairy… off of the album Crystal Fairy, with the song Crystal Fairy.
Josh # 6 Radioactivity – Infected
Josh: this is a 7″, not a full length. This is more indicative of the fact that I got into Radioactivity this year. They’ve been around a couple of years. Kind of an offshoot of the Marked Men
Conan: Oh yeah, ok!
Jiosh: so there were two big offshoots I got into… Mind Spiders last year, and this year I was DJing Tony Weber’s art opening at the Black Bird. Tony Weber who is in Heavy Hand
Conan: Who put out a great record this year too!
Josh: he was doing an art opening at the BlackBird and I was DJing and he came by with some records, after putting all his art up, he joined me for some records and one of the ones he played was off the last album and I was like: “What the fuck is this? It’s tightly wound… not really garage rock, got some of that vibe but too well produced. Tight and dry, and fast. It feels like everybody is playing their instruments at the fastest possible tempo all at once. It’s very well united and the songs are catchy as fuck.
Conan #6 Magpies – Next Three Exits
Conan: Next song for me is former guest of the show, very RECENT guest of the show. Hank Donovan’s band Magpies…
Josh: very recent indeeed.
Conan: Not as recent as the last guest, but very recent indeed. Great record! So this is Magpies from Missoula Montana, I think a lot of people slept on this. In fact, I *KNOW* a lot of people slept on this.This scratches the itch of people pining for the more rock based Sonic Youth stuff. That just likes cool, weird guitar rock. Co-ed vocals. Everybody killing it. I like the rest of their stuff, I like everything they’ve done. I think this is the best thing they’ve done.
I think it’s a really great record. That’s my story and i’m sticking to it.
Josh: and that’s the WAY it is…
Josh #5 Fox Face – Toxic
Josh: speaking of recent guests of the show, my number 5 is spoil and destroy from fox face.
Conan: awesome record, picked up the vinyl copy of that recently.
Josh: Super great record.turned out fantastic…
Conan: I wish we could have played more of it on the show when we had them on!
Josh: But now is your opportunity to play a little more.
I mean, you heard a couple songs from it that night if you go back to that episode it’s still there.
but I wanted to play their cover of Britney Spears: Toxic
Conan: oh yeah! it’s pretty bad ass.
Josh: I love it, I love how it’s still obviously that song, but they transform it and make it theirs. It’s a transformative cover.
Conan: first time I heard it, I was like: “what is this? I feel like I know this? OH! It’s Toxic.”
Josh: I think I told this story in the episode, but i’ll tell it again… first time I heard them play it was at a PRF in Chicago and Lindsay says: “I hope you guys likes Britney Spears”, and everybody chuckles they look at each other like: “Why are they laughing? This is serious.” And then they played this amazing song.
Conan #5 SEMINARS – Gaslight / Blacklist
Conan: Alright, we’re only halfway through… calm down
#5 is alive, baby!
He’s got laser lips
That’s his insult to the other robot. Your Mother, Laser lips!
Oh man, i haven’t seen short circuit in awhile.
You know the Indian dude in short circuit isn’t Indian?
Josh: oh yeah, he apparently took that role and did a lot of research to get the accent right. Apparently he put everything into it…
Conan: You could also just hire an Indian dude. I mean that’s probably what I would do, but if you want to do it the hardest way possible and insult an entire culture.
ANYWAY, speaking of insulting!
This is SEMINARS – Pricks die young. Let’s get something straight here people. this is a kick ass rock and roll record, this is mean and hard. If you are into riffs, things that are powerful and immediate and in your face. Songs that get in and get the fuck out. This is your record. This is another one I feel like people should be more hyped on.
Come on people.
This is James from Police Teeth, it doesn’t have any of the Police Teeth pop hooks or anything, but it’s got all those Police Teeth riffs though. SEMINARS has grown into it’s own band, and this is their best record.
It kicks ass, and i’m very pleased to have it on my #5 pick for 2017 play this loud, go break some parking meters and put a brick through a bank window
Josh #4: Bon Air – the Blue Line
Josh: …and here’s another record you should get right now
Conan: number four, you shall adore.
Josh: you should go get all these records right now, spend $10 each on bandcamp i’m sure you can find them all there. Well most of them anyway.
Conan: Click through our buy link to…. no, we don’t have that.
I don’t give a shit about that.
#4 is Bon Air: the blue line.
It’s a hell of a record, it’s good wistful power-pop that rocks harder than that.
Conan: A little Sugar in there… both the sweetener and the band.
Sam does a very interesting thing where he splits his guitar into a bass, he has a splitter and it’s a whole thing where it’s a two piece and it has a bigger sound than that.
You don’t have to know any of that stuff to listen to this by the way.
Josh: It’s true, i’m trying to think of things to talk about. Besides: “This band is real good, I like ’em!”
Conan: It’s real good, I listen to it, you should listen to it, it’s real good.
Josh: I really do love them, the songs are so fantastic and i’m going with the title track. I bring up the power-pop again because a lot of it was home recorded and it sounds fantastic, but this and another song were recorded at Ardent studios, home of Big Star.
Conan: oh yeah! Of course.
Josh: and on this track, Sam actually played Chris Bell’s guitar.
Conan: Well, fuckin’ A.
Josh: and this song is so wonderful… it’s called the Blue Line
Conan #4: Mountain Goats – Shelved
Conan: number 4 for me is a record by a band I dearly love, who quite frankly haven’t put out a record I dearly love in awhile.
Josh: REALLY, that’s interesting.
Conan: This is the Mountain Goats The last record I really loved by them were All Eternal’s Deck, which I thought was fantastic. I thought the last couple were fine, it’s ok.
Josh: I dearly loved Beat the Champ. I thought that was a top 5 record for them.
Conan: It’s got some tunes, there’s a little light jazz aspect to it I wasn’t loving so much. liked the show, loved some of the songs. but the latest record… GOTHS.
Conan: top to bottom bad ass, and also kind of different somehow then anything they’ve done before but also very indicative of what they do.
Josh: Well, there’s no guitars right.
Conan: Yeah, and it’s very much a celebration not just of goth culture, but chosen family subcultures in general.
Josh: Which is not something he hasn’t written about before.
Conan: Yes, but it’s a slightly different way. It’s really cool. This song has a part that straight up sounds like New Order and I never would have expected it from a Mountain Goats record. And i’m totally into it, I think this is something where if you are a casual Mountain Goats record it might be time to check in with this record. I think it’s bad ass and one of John Darnielle’s best and I say that as not a fan of the last couple records.
Josh: Disagree hard!
Conan: Hey, I love the artist. I don’t know what to tell you.
that’s one of the nice things about the Mountain Goats.
I still love the Mountain Goats
There are records of his that other people are particularly huge on that i’m like: “that’s ok. it’s fine” but he’s always a good songwriter and he’s doing different things. If you are inclined to him at all, there’s a Mountain Goats record for you out there and this might be it.
Conan: I think this might be… so this is Shelved, my favorite song off of the Mountain Goats record called: GOTHS.
Conan: that is the Mountain Goats with shelved off of GAWTHS, which is my number 4 slot… some pronunciation right
Josh: that’s what they call them out here.
Conan: Got some gawths going down to the bat cave
Josh: Oh ya! The basement is just fulla gawths, oh boy.
Conan: Oh you got Goths, you gotta spray for that.
Josh: aw jeez.
Conan: You gotta fumigate!
John Darneielle, Come on the show.
Josh: Please, yes, alright… I was going to say that I promise we won’t be this punch drunk but.
Conan: I promise nothing.
Josh #3: Maximum Busy Muscle – Failure
Josh: We’re up to my number 3, it’s Maximum Busy Muscle.
Conan: MAximum… BIZZEEE… Mus-CLE.
Josh: from Athens, GA… we got to see them at a number of PRF events, one of their drummers is Erika of Motherfucker
Conan: conflict of interest of alert. Also: former guest of the show!
Josh: But she’s a later addition to the band, they started as a TWO piece. Just guitar and the drums with Mary, and just evolved into this wonderful four headed thing.
It’s kind of funny, the Motherfucker press line is “fist in the air rock”, this is a total headbanger. Some of these songs… especially this song we’re going to play Failure. Is the protoypical song on the record for me… immediately your head is banging… I’ve got short hair and i’m still doing it!
Conan: “I can’t even headbang properly and i’m still doing it so hard right now!”
Josh: But then there is so much more beyond that there’s so much to listen to with the way the drummers interact, how they interact with Adam on bass. All kinds of crazy shit, so it’s heavy and fun. If you took all the ponderous stuff out of early Don Cab. It just rips! it’s a ripper.
I love this record, i’m so glad that it finally got done and I got a hold of it, and you can get a hold of it too on the bandcamps.
Conan: A lot of what they do kind of reminds me of some of the stuff that Big Business does. In a good way, where it’s a heavy groove but something anchors it and it goes around a thing or idea. I can’t believ eI didn’t pick up this record, I was literally in the room when they got them and I just gapped on it. Cool story.
Josh: Cool story, buddy. Well, I suggest you join the rest of the people and pick up this record. This song is called failure.
Conan: alriiiight, that’s failure off of Maximum Busy Muscle
Josh: It’s a rocker
Conan: Right, if you are into that kind of thing, i’m not… i’m more of a light jazz dude.
Josh: yeah, I bet you are. Is that your next pick.
Conan: Here’s some light jazz everybody!
Conan #3: christian fitness – Bruce Hated Puppies
Conan: I think there’s been a christian fitness record on every best of since I started doing them, I think… i’ll probably get a correction soon. Motherfucker puts out a lot of records, and they are all great! It’s Andrew Falkous, aka: Falco of Future of the Left and mclusky. He’s appeared on the show so many times, I’ve LITERALLY lost count. One of my favorite human beings and artists. This is off the record: Slap Bass Hunks.
Josh: How great is that? How great is that?
It’s pretty wonderful. I feel like if you know mclusky and Future of the left, you know what you’re getting into with christian fitness, but I mean that in a good way. It’s like a pleasant surprise, like being given a cupcake.
Conan: Except the cupcake is incredibly sardonic and shouting.
Josh: that’s cool, i’m still going to eat it.
Conan: “I’m still going to eat you!”
This is a strange analogy.
Josh: In a weird way, but it’s still good
I feel like Flco would probably appreciate it.
Anyway, this is the song on Slap Bass Hunks that is the biggest earworm for me. This is one I invite you to listen to, get on bandcamp…
Josh: Bandcamp is great.
Conan: We love bandcamp.
This is Bruce hated Puppies, off Slap Bass Hunks by Christian Fitness.
Those songs get in… get out… and do exactly what they are supposed to do. As Tony Ash said to me: “What a weird chorus! I love it, but what a weird chorus!”
And he’s NOT WRONG.
Josh: He’s not wrong!
Josh #2: power trip – if not us then who
Conan: what you got next for us? We’re down to the NUMBER TWO RECORD OF 2017!
Josh: as much as that matters… it’s definitely on my top 10 list and whatever.
Conan: People love arbitrary designations, we’ve established this.
Josh: I can’t get used to it! …
12/14 Darren Jackson
Hello, friends, and thank you for joining Conan and Josh for another episode of Protonic Reversal! Today’s guest is Darren Jackson of Kid Dakota, whose album So Pretty is about to get its first vinyl issue. We discuss that, and:
-the So Pretty cover art
-a Low connection
-Shifting production ideas
-Spy mission band recruitment
-Lack of overdub ideas
-Selling the story instead of the music
-How the image fills in the vacuum
-Assessing the Kid Dakota discography
-The lasting popularity of a landmark early record
-Leaving room in the song for the listener
-Recording the new album
-and the next one upcoming!
-When your best album doesn’t catch on
-Getting burned out, recharging and focusing
-An unexpected soundtrack opportunity
-Vietnamese bootleg website…
(stream and download – Episode 107)
12/7 Hank Donovan
Hey, everybody! Welcome to another episode of Protonic Reversal! Today’s guest on the phone with Conan and Josh is Hank Donovan, of Magpies and Rattlesnake cables. Our discussion includes such topics as:
-Finding musicians in a small city
-a college-dependent scene
-Gear discovery problems
-Joining a three piece in progress
-Being a listener vs. listening as a musician
-Unintentionally starting a cable company
-Making cables cool, making something that lasts
-the Rattlesnake brand
-Not trying to hang out
-Tim Midyett’s Travis Bean baritone
-Hank’s Bean journey
(stream and download – Episode 106)
Hail hail! Welcome to the Home of the Protonic Reversal. Today’s episode features another great in-studio guest (man, we’ve been lucky with these!) Keith Brammer, from Die Kreuzen, Wreck, Crime and Judy, et cetera! This wide ranging conversation touches upon such topics as:
-The weird novelty of listening to one’s own music
-Production quality and choices (You can do anything, and THAT’S what you want?)
-Punk as an encompassing thing vs. an ossified set of rules
-Bands whose sound indicated their record collection
-Solidifying songs in practice vs. at shows
-“I guess I can do that one and not feel physically ill.”
-Starting with no preconcieved notion of the “rules”
-Working at the top of your skill level, whatever it might be
-“A wide swath of nonsense and garbage” back then, just like now
-Touring and booking shows is definitely better with cell phones
-Lee Ving is the nicest
-The incredibly bad logic of throwing a shoe at a band
-Recognizing the opportunity for a situation that will make a great story
-Telling the Rick Nielsen story again (deal with it)
-“Gone Away” as the most realized DK song
-Daydream Nation doesn’t entirely lend itself to being played live
-The celebrated utility of a dry erase board in the practice space
-Doing useless demos for Mechanic Records
-Wasting the money of major labels
-Wreck, and the Carnival Strippers
-Picking a movie for your song to be in: PCU vs. Speed
-All roads lead to D.O.A.
-Discovering bands way later than everyone else
-Picking bands to open the reunion shows, and doing the reunion shows in general
-Tom Hazlemeyer’s Bash
-Creating something that didn’t exist
-How just being able to fuck with people’s heads is extremely rewarding…
(stream and download – Episode 105)
Good hello, and welcome to another episode of Protonic Reversal! Today’s EXTENDED episode features our in-studio guest, Tim Midyett (of Mint Mile, Bottomless Pit, Silkworm etc.) Our wide-ranging discussion features topics like:
-the Gerry Todd Show
-The Dancing Imperative
-12-string baritone guitars
-baritones: not guitars, not basses
-not actually sounding like Pavement or much of anything else
-a band in a room, playing together at the same time
-the combination of people can be more than the sum of the parts
-solo vs. band
-Tim’s Electric Banjo Jamboree
-the incidental concept record: Firewater
-dealing with bullshit in various ways
-delineating between projects
-Justin the excellent pedal steel player
-Not interfering with what the band brings to the songs
-taking all the most rocking songs off the album
-Steve Albini’s instincts are the opposite of commercial
-Modesto is terrible
-coming from the big city with real amps
-it’s better to be able to find your community with the internet than it was before, pretty much
-Seattle in 1991
-no offense to Cat Butt
-the touring years
-easing back on touring to keep the band alive
-The Bottomless Pit of Partying
-learning bass via post-punk
-abstract album cover design indicating the contents
-New Order dealing with being of Joy Division
-putting the off topic song on the EP that’s otherwise all about fucking
-the three good clubs in the world
-breaking up the band
-how Andy fixed Doug Martsch’s guitar
-Midyett Rub and Tim’s turkey tips
-the multiple Silkworm tribute bands and the amazing skills of Chris, Chris and Evan
-if no one cared when you started, no one will care if you don’t stop
-a weird sloppy mix of Neil Young and speed metal
-”Man, that’s great, good for me.”…
(stream and download – Episode 104)Weeeeeeeeeelllllllllllll howdy, folks! It’s time for another groovy installment of Protonic Reversal! In today’s episode, Conan and Josh chat with Nick Skrobisz of the kickass Baltimore band Multicult. Topics include, but are not limited to:
-Baltimore scene report
-the Oakland van break-in
-Katamari Damacy-ing the equipment (a step up from Tetris-ing)
-Gear as a filler subject
-the elegance of early Danzig
-Good band names
-Music that doesn’t cater to the audience
-Getting one over on the world
-Delivering a series of feelings
-No, really, Baltimore scene report
-DC’s proximity effect
-If ya get hungry…
-Tour advice/booking plot