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13 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
Album Review: Go to School by the Lemon Twigs
Can innocence survive cruelty? The Lemon Twigs explore the effects of cruelty on innocence on their new album, Go To School, an allegory about a chimp who goes to school for human kids.
11 minutes | Sep 10, 2018
Album Review: Old Rockhounds Never Die by Odetta Hartman
Something Old, Something New The past and the present come together on this innovative album that seamlessly blends old-timey songs with fresh new beats.
13 minutes | Sep 7, 2018
Album Review: Be the Cowboy by Mitski
Indie Pop's Rising Diva Cowboys Up On the surface, Mitski's new album, Be the Cowboy, is full of sweetly melancholic songs about love and loneliness. But on closer look, it's a serious commentary on the heartbreaking differences between who we are, how we present ourselves, and what others perceive.
31 minutes | Sep 3, 2018
Bonus Episode: The Summer Before the Summer of Love: How Rock Became Art
How did rock n' roll transform from teenage dance music to serious art? Host Bobby Waller explains in this bonus episode on rock's coming of age.
13 minutes | Aug 26, 2018
Album Review: Wild, Wild, Wild by Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
Alt-country star Robbie Fulks collaborated with Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis's sister) to create "Wild, Wild, Wild"--an album that pays tribute to the raucous spirit of early rock n' roll. The album is full of wit, grit, and cleverly-crafted lyrics that showcase Fulks' songwriting acumen and Lee's timeless vocals (she's 71!). Many of the songs reflect Lee's rich life experiences as a first-generation rocker and celebrate the musical influences that helped shape the genre. Listen in as host Bobby Waller reviews the five most memorable stanzas "Wild, Wild, Wild."
17 minutes | Aug 13, 2018
Are We Not Men? Has Devo's Debut Album Stood the Test of Time?
It's been forty years since the release of Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo! Host Bobby Waller explores the meanings behind the band's name, debut album title, and song lyrics. Learn why this quirky band's satirical social commentary feels as relevant today as it did in the early days of MTV.
16 minutes | Jul 28, 2018
Album Review: Automata II by Between the Buried and Me
Critics are calling Automata II by Between the Buried and Me a prog metal triumph. But what is prog metal? And what's going on tin this dark tale of mania and manipulation?
18 minutes | Jul 9, 2018
Album Review: Please Don't Be Dead by Fantastic Negrito
The album title "Please Don't Be Dead" references blues artist Fantastic Negrito's brush with death in 1999 that left him in a coma for three weeks. Host Bobby Waller shares the fascinating back story of this drug-dealer-turned-Grammy-winner whose new album warns us of the perils of our times while artfully avoiding divisive political rhetoric.
21 minutes | Jun 28, 2018
The Pizza Effect: How Angelique Kidjo brings the Talking Heads' album "Remain in Light" full circle
How is Angelique Kidjo's remake of classic Talking Heads album like a pizza? Host Bobby Waller explains how Kidjo's take on Remain In Light is an example of what sociologist of religion call "the pizza effect." The pizza effect describes what happens when an element of one culture (pizza) is more fully embraced by another (America) and then it gets exported back to the culture of origin (Italy), often with raised status. Through this album, we'll trace the fascinating path of the "pizza" of musical styles that have traversed the shores of the American and African continents.
24 minutes | Jun 15, 2018
Album Review: God's Favorite Customer by Father John Misty
Critics are calling Father John Misty's new album "raw" and "honest". But what exactly does it take to write honestly? Host Bobby Waller looks at the techniques FJM uses to communicate frankness in his writing.
18 minutes | May 29, 2018
Sarah Shook's new album about heartache is making people laugh. Here's why.
When host Bobby Waller listened to Sarah Shook's new album, Years, he laughed. Out loud. Several times. Why would this country punk album full of dysfunction and dive bars be funny to anyone? In this episode, Bobby looks at the lyrical and musical components of Years through the lens of comic theory to find the subtle and surprising ways Shook takes her listeners to the intersection of heartbreak and humor.
26 minutes | May 7, 2018
Is Kendrick Lamar's DAMN Pulitzer-Worthy? A Lyrical Analysis
Kendrick Lamar's album, DAMN, recently won the Pulitzer Prize for music - the first ever awarded to an album that wasn't classical or jazz. In this deeply reflective concept album, Lamar, a self-proclaimed Christian, looks at the current-day context of the Black experience in America through the lens of the Old Testament. He explores theological questions such as why does God allow innocent people to suffer, what does it mean to be God's chosen people, and how do those who are cursed return to God's good graces? Host Bobby Waller will guide you through this musical exploration of Lamar's theology and answer the questions: Is this serious art? - and - Is this particular album worthy of a Pulitzer Prize?P.S. For an in-depth exploration of Lamar's previous album, To Pimp A Butterfly, check out the podcast Dissect.
24 minutes | Apr 18, 2018
Album Review: Liberty by Lindi Ortega
A Tale of Betrayal, Revenge and Redemption in the American West Critics are calling Lindi Ortega's tribute to the music of spaghetti westerns one of the best concept albums of 2018. But what IS a concept album? And what's the concept behind Liberty? ----more---- Album News BEST SELLERS: My Dear Melancholy by The Weeknd The World is Yours by Rich the Kid CRITICS' PICKS: Care for Me by Saba Isolation by Kali Uchis BOBBY'S PICKS: Years by Sarah Shook & the DisarmersCali Got a Brass Band by Element Brass Band OF NOTE: Johnny Cash: Forever Words Damn by Kendrick Lamar receives a Pulitzer Subscribe to this Podcast Apple • Android • RSS • Email
24 minutes | Apr 3, 2018
Retrospective Album Review: Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends Turns 50 On the surface, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends are about as different as two albums can be. But on closer inspection of the lyrics, the similarities are striking. Host Bobby Waller explores this groundbreaking concept album by one of America's most revered folk duos. ----more---- Album News Best sellers: ? by xxxtentacion and Hardwired… to Self Destruct by Metallica Critics' picks: Cinema Box by Holger Czukay and Orquesta Akokan's self-titled album Oddity: Virtue by Voidz Bobby's pick: 137 Avenue Kaniama by Baloji Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
23 minutes | Mar 20, 2018
Start Making Sense: A Lyrical Analysis of David Byrne's American Utopia
Have you ever noticed how often David Byrne uses the word house in his songwriting? Host Bobby Waller takes an in-depth look at the former Talking Heads frontman's favorite word and how its use in Byrne's new album reflects a change of thinking from burning down to building up our metaphorical homes. New Feature: Album News! Starting with this episode, we take a few minutes at the start of the show to let you know what critics are saying about new releases, what albums are topping the charts, and which artists will be releasing new albums. ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
11 minutes | Mar 5, 2018
Album Review: By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile
Master Brandi: Zen and the Art of Forgiveness How much is Brandi Carlile's new album about forgiveness? And how much is it about something bigger? ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
15 minutes | Feb 19, 2018
Retrospective Album Review: The Kick Inside by Kate Bush
Forty years ago this week, Kate Bush released the album that would make her the first woman in UK history to chart with a song she herself had written. But what made this hugely influential album so different than the standard pop fare of the day? ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
16 minutes | Feb 5, 2018
Album Review: I Like Fun by They Might Be Giants
What happens when the troubling zeitgeist of our time catches up with the world's most beloved fun-time band. ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
13 minutes | Jan 22, 2018
Album Review: POST- by Jeff Rosentock
Jeff Rosenstock takes an inward look at politics in what some critics are calling the first great album of 2018. ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
8 minutes | Jan 8, 2018
Album Review: Soul of a Woman by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
In 2016, three musical legends hammered out their final albums in the face of death, but only one of them stayed focused on a brighter future. ----more---- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email
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