Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Indie Scene in the 90s Part 1

The scene for music was quite different in the early 90s, internet was in its infancy, boy bands and cookie cutter pop teen divas were produced as quickly as they could be consumed in the popular media. Different music needed a different outlet and that is where local venues and college radio propelled any acts that dared to go against the true and tried formula for popular success. After all, this was the era where CDs were sold in record amounts, where entire businesses thrived on selling this weeks #1 plastic champion.

Independent record labels like SubPop and Merge really gained traction in the early 90s and signed acts that sounded different then the mainstream while contributing to the distinct 90s indie sound. A bit of the crunchy guitars, a dash of punk/grunge influences, unique instrument use, and anything but refined vocals contributed to the new sound.  

Indie giants like Pavement, Sebadoh, Superchunk ruled these college airwaves and with the advent of the internet have received critical acclaim and cult followers. 

Rather than explain the in's and out's of all of the great independent artists that came from this era, I will be making a three part playlist displaying distinct works and sounds from the era. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Long Absence, slow posts.. more 8tracks : Space Disco & Psychedelic Soul

Hey all,

I have had a whirlwind of a year. Between my father passing away, getting into graduate school, and the subsequent work involved with working while going to school... this blog has been neglected. However, it still gets a fair amount of hits everyday and I believe that I should at least post some of the mixes I have been making on 8tracks. 

For those of you that are Daft Punk fans:
 If you want to see where their inspiration came from look no further than Italian Space Disco. It's a time when the moog and electronic music came together to create something awesome. Please do not get turned off by the title disco. This is by no means Saturday Night Fever in space, this is rather a collection of really talented composers fully embracing the sounds and captivations of space. Its really ahead of its time and you can see obvious comparisons to modern electronica. 

Here is Space Disco Part 1 & 2.  More about the tracks on the website- I do not think liner notes are shown in the small player. 

Another period mix, in the 1970s Psychedelic Funk broke through and the crunchy guitars and soulful vocals got their fair share of Acid infusion. Psychedelic Funk was the baby gem that help perpetuate to the movement towards hard blackspliotation era funk and soul. Great tracks, some with electronic and weird sounds sprinkled through give a nice backdrop to a unique time period in soul & funk. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Concert Etiquette: Unspoken Rules

We have all been there, pushing up front to get a prime spot to see a band perform. There are a few unspoken rules to attending a concert and it seems like there is always one guy or girl that significantly destroys a concert experience for either the attendees or the performer.

Instead of whining and complaining about it here are a few of the unspoken rules. Just so that we are on the same page:

1.) Requests 

There is a time and a place for requests at a concert. In fact requests can be a cool way to let the performer know that you hope they play a specific song. But hold fast drunken frat boy, it is never ok to request a song DURING a song / solo or in the middle of an important speech. Also, if the performer acknowledges your drunken stupor and politely says no or shakes their head, that is your cue to shut up.  Also shouting "Free Bird" and more recently"Wagon Wheel" is dumb. As a remarkably smart man once said, Don't Be Dumb.

2.) Pictures

Pictures are awesome and a great way to document the unique live experience! However there is a right way and a wrong way to take pictures at concerts. I have no qualms with people taking pictures, in fact I love pictures, but maybe your self-ies with your bff or boyfriend in the front row kissing while the band is playing probably isn't a great way to document the night. Especially, if its during a really personsal song.

3.) Talking

"OMG did you hear about Kristen and her ex? He is such a creeper right" - if you are talking about nothing related to the band throughout an entire concert and you are in the front row... You are doing it wrong. It's disrespectful to people around you and the artist. If you want to talk and listen to the band in the background then by all means do so, but in the back.  Also, if you are turned away from the stage for a majority of the time its kinda awkward and distracting. I came here to see the band, not watch you talk to your friend about what mixer is happening on friday.

4.) "The Train"

Your friend is up front and you want to push your way up to meet them. We have all been there, it is acceptable to let someone through to meet up with your friends or if you are returning from the bathroom/bar/etc. However, please don't have a train of people behind you. I have seen this happen with 15 people in tow. Not Cool.

5.) Drinks

Drink up. Don't put an open drink on the ground for later. It will end all over the floor and on peoples shoes. Your loss really. Don't waste your money.

6.) Intoxication

It is expected at concerts, thats fine by me. But if someone asks you to do something reasonable like get off the floor, or stop shouting "Free Bird", or stop talking... DO NOT BE ANNOYING.

So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back on Air

After a near two-month hiatus, my radio show, Sirens on the Rocks, is back on the air at WZBC Newton. To those in the Boston area, tune into 90.3 from 7-10 a.m. on Tuesdays. The concert report, which is read periodically throughout the day (8:30 during my time slot), is of particular interest to the showgoers and moviegoers in the immediate area. Free tickets are given out to some of the best venues around, including the Middle East Lounge, Great Scott, and the Coolidge Corner Cinema.

If you hail from outside the hub, check out the show as well as other programs put on by WZBC at the stations website.

Requests are welcome! Give a shout to the on air DJ's at 617 552 4686.

For now, here's a tune for your listening pleasure. It's by the South Carolina outfit Coma Cinema, who are kind enough to put up all their songs for free on their website.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: A Touch of Brian

The Mixtape continues...

After reconstructing half of my music collection, I have re-categorized some of my musical collection based on production styles. This mix titled "A Touch Of Brian: Brian Wilson Productions" is a nice little nugget of the sounds and production style of Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson. It is pretty easy to see the influence of Phil Spector on Wilson's production style. Some of these tracks like "Pamela Jean" feature Brian as a back up vocal, while others like "After the Game" could easily be a discarded instrumental around the Pet Sounds era.  Sit back and enjoy these rarities and gems that sit neatly between the Ronnettes and Beach Boys.


  1. The Survivors - Pamela Jean
  2. Paul Petersen - She Rides For Me
  3. American Spring - Fallin' in Love
  4. Sharon Marie - Story of My Life
  5. The Honeys - Pray for Surf
  6. Glen Campbell - Guess I'm Dumb
  7. Sharon Marie - Run-Around Lover
  8. The Survivors - After the Game
  9. American Spring - Shyin' Away
  10. The Honeys - The One You Can't Have
  11. Rachel and The Revolvers - Number One


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