When Chad gifted us an unopened pack of ProSet Super Stars MusiCards featuring "10 Hot Photocards with facts and photos of your favorite rock, rap & pop stars" from 1991, your hosts immediately reacted, "That's an episode!" We opened the pack on the pod and provided our instant reactions to artists that were - if we knew them - prominently involved in our late elementary and early high school lives. This was a fun episode, and you're likely to get a smile from some of the musical artists discussed. Who did we find in the pack? Listen and find out!
Your hosts take in a performance by The Raconteurs, and one of the conditions to enter the venue was to secure your cellphone in a sealed pouch. This wrinkle added to the mystique for Michael who had yet to see Jack White perform. The hosts discuss the merits of the "no cellphone" policy and how it was implemented before talking about the performance itself. The show was great, though Michael wondered if the concert (15 songs) was long enough; he created two polls on Twitter to get feedback from others and shares the results with Chris. The origins of concert expectations for your hosts are explored, and Chris heavily endorses the approach of going into a show with low expectations and being mindful.
After viewing the first episode of Stranger Things Season 3, your hosts discuss the vastly different reality parents and children experienced in the mid-80s including crowded malls and the ability to wander around town without parental supervision. We explore why everyone seems to assume the world is more dangerous now even though statistics and research indicate that crime has *decreased in recent decades. We talk about the freedoms we had as children and whether or not we'd allow our children to experience the same independence - and whether or not society would even allow that these days. We also discuss mall culture and how that has changed over time. Even though we have better technology to know where our children are 24 hours a day, we rarely seem to let them out of our sight now. Is this a good thing?
We're joined by Duane Sibilly to process the visual and emotional feast that was Avengers: Endgame. The discuss what worked the most in the film, identify he film's Most Valuable Player, and explore how it concludes this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We also ponder how Endgame gives additional life to past MCU films and wonder how well the film will age given the complex questions and potential plot holes that arise with too much prodding into the time-travel business. We share our thoughts on the final moments for some of our heroes and explore how the MCU films might be saving the movie-theater experience.
Your hosts consume The Dirt by Mötley Crüe and talk about the thoughts and emotions that arise when listening their music, which was created by guys who tormented, injured, murdered and raped (according to Nikki in the book version) people. We talk about our first exposure to Mötley Crüe in the 1980s, and how their image was cultivated for maximum shock value. We try to figure out the best way to approach artists that have complicated and troubled behaviors, and wonder if you can - or even should - separate the art from the artist.
Your hosts are joined by Chad once again (he previously appeared on our Yacht Rock episode in August 2018) to explore the concept of The Vault, a place where overplayed songs are retired for a period of time so they can reclaim their powers. Michael encourages Chris and Chad to justify why The Vault is necessary, and a list of reasons is presented for why some songs need to be put to rest - at least for a little while. Other songs get Rocket To The Sun status as the hosts discuss music that has been pounded into the ground for decades. Laughs are had, barbs are tossed, and a teen drama television series is righteously defended.
We take the Presidents Day holiday to record a new episode and give each other an update on our son's behavior. Chris prods me on my lofty expectations for my two-year-old son, and I encouraged him to follow his son's diet of recreational activities. Chris brings up the topic of the Grammys, and discusses how they seem even more irrelevant than usual. The hosts ponder if an organization like the Grammys is losing prominence as the pace of the music accelerates and the scope of music broadens. The conversations expands to discuss the Oscars, and how the film industry in heading in a similar direction. The hosts debate over whether awards shows do (or should) mean anything to a wide audience given that they are still decided by a group of people that are older, wealthier and whiter than the general population.
Your hosts briefly detail how the polar vortex scraped their original plans for this evening, which involved a brewery and a night of music trivia. Michael introduces a topic that has been burning his mind, which is the various forms of nostalgia that seem to be spinning in the news. The possible looming death of GameStop is discussed including how purchasing trends of physical media seem to be declining to the point of extinction. Chris talks about some of the unpleasant aspects of the GameStop experience, and Michael ties this into other efforts to capture the attention of similar demographics with nostalgia efforts in games like Dungeons & Dragons and franchises such as Transformers and Star Wars. Chris and Michael detail their reactions to Bumblebee, which both agree was a quality movie that "felt" like it was right out of the 1980's. Michael inquires about the problems with nostalgia, and wonders if the glossed-over-the-rough-edges Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is a sign of people being too keen to celebrate nostalgia in a safe way while overlooking reality.
We're back with an emergency episode about Weezer's Teal Album. We discuss our shared confusion about the aims of the artistic endeavor while going through the album track-by-track, and explore why a popular band from the mid-90's still inspires such blazing-hot takes across the internet. Chris and I talk about what makes a good cover album, or even a good cover song. We throw around the question, "What is the best Weezer album?" while being completely self-aware that Saturday Night Live already executed the best version of this conversation! As a bonus, I got to test out a new microphone and headset combo for the podcast, so it feels good to be back. Stay tuned for more episodes in 2019!
Your hosts recount a somewhat harrowing return trip from Montana and the hilarious Yacht Rock episode from the summer. Michael complains about the lack of instruction manuals in modern video games, and the hosts transition to discuss a recent concert they both attended to see Dead Sara. Michael talks about his appreciation for the band and thorough enjoyment of the intimate venue while Chris explains the "Minnesota Nice" politeness of Twin Cities' concert crowds. We review the Gritty phenomenon, and examine the costs and benefits of pop culture and news cycles moving so - damn - fast. Michael shares his initial shock at the adult themes and sexism that are presented for one character early in Octopath Traveler, and we close out the show by lining up future episodes.