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Aug 10 2015

Tandem With The Random 034 – Decoder Ring Theatre Revisited (08.10.2015)

Tandem With The Random 034 – Decoder Ring Theatre Revisited (08.10.2015)


The podcast FINALLY returns from hiatus…sort of. This episode doesn’t feature anything really new, but does revisit previous conversations with Toronto-based Decoder Ring Theatre’s Gregg Taylor. File size: 23 MB. Time: 50 min., 26 sec. Host: Brian Kelley.

Aug 10 2015

Show Notes for TWTR Podcast 034 – Decoder Ring Theatre Revisited (08.10.2015)

Decoder Ring Theatre's The Red Panda

Decoder Ring Theatre’s The Red Panda

The podcast FINALLY returns from hiatus…sort of. This episode doesn’t feature anything really new, but does revisit previous conversations with Toronto-based Decoder Ring Theatre’s Gregg Taylor. File size: 23 MB. Time: 50 min., 26 sec. Host: Brian Kelley.

Links related to Gregg Taylor/Decoder Ring Theatre:

Interact with Tandem With The Random:

Aug 03 2015

Yet another podcast status update (finally)

Last year, I went about challenging myself physically with a series of athletic events — a 10-mile run, a half marathon, and a pair of triathlons (a sprint and an international). This year’s challenges have been all about becoming a father for the second time back in March and — with my wife — adapting to life and work with a 3-year old and newborn sons. Honestly, the triathlons and the long-distance races were much easier.

So things had to be omitted from life and one of things was this podcast. I just didn’t have the time to track down guests and write and record and edit, etc.

In early July, I was thinking about repackaging some old interviews into new podcasts, just to ease back into it and see where I could fit it in. Of course, just as I decided that, I broke my left hand in the clumsiest of ways (I tripped going up the stairs in my house and slammed by hand into the trim of the moulding that goes up our stairwell). Now, when time is at a premium, EVERYTHING is taking me so much longer…so even less time for podcasting.

But something happened in the podcasting world in recent days that I feel I need to discuss — and I’ve interviewed the podcaster involved a couple of times in the nine years I’ve been doing this, so I’ll share those chats again.

Even though the podcast in question is out there, the creator has asked listeners not to share any spoilers until August 7, so I’ll try to put the podcast up next Monday, August 10.

 

Jan 23 2015

No-Hit Wonders: Winter Gloves – “Invisible”

This is the fifth and final installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.

Winter Gloves – “Invisible”

I stumbled onto “Invisible” by Montreal-based Winter Gloves on SiriusXM’s The Verge channel. It was love at first listen and I downloaded their first full album, 2008′s About a Girl, just before going on a three-hour road trip for work. I couldn’t stop playing that album in the car.

Their follow-up CD, 2010′s All Red, was also really good, but I was a bigger fan of “Dancing Your Heart Out,” a track from their 2011 EP titled Heart Out (see bonus video below).

Winter Gloves had a decent following in their native Canada, but they never really broke out in a big way despite a SXSW appearance and stints as opening act for bands like Tokyo Police Club and the Naked and Famous. Actually, I had the chance to see Winter Gloves and Naked and Famous in Brooklyn back in August 2011–and that show was amazing. I had high expectations for Winter Gloves as a live act, and they did not disappoint.

Alas, the band’s lead singer/songwriter, Charles F., has seemingly moved on with a new solo project called Dear Frederic, which released a five-song EP called Outlast in 2014. The title track of that EP was one of my favorite songs from last year and you can listen to it below.

BONUS VIDEO

Winter Gloves – “Dancing Your Heart Out”

Jan 20 2015

No-Hit Wonders: Oppenheimer – “OK, Let’s Take This Outside”

This is the fourth installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.

Oppenheimer – “OK, Let’s Take This Outside”

I was exposed to Oppenheimer when the pop/electronica duo from Belfast, Ireland, opened for They Might Be Giants in Philly in November 2007. I immediately took a liking to them and wanted to hear more from them. I loved their first two albums, their self-titled debut and its follow-up, Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It. But the duo called it quits in late 2009 after starting work on a third album. This Racket Takes Its Toll was eventually released in 2012–three years after the duo’s last performance together–and included material that did not appear on the first two records.

You may have heard Oppenheimer’s music on television shows like How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, but they unfortunately failed to garner mainstream success despite some really fun, catchy songs. And they were a pretty good live act, too.

BONUS VIDEO

Another cool thing about Oppenheimer was that they used my home state of New Jersey in the title of a song that appeared on Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It. Here is “Fireworks are Illegal in the State of New Jersey.”

Jan 20 2015

No-Hit Wonders: Fossil – “Moon”

This is the third installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.

Fossil – “Moon”

“Moon” by the northern New Jersey-based band Fossil was a minor college/alternative radio hit in the mid-1990s. The song was the lead track and first single from the band’s 1995 self-titled debut album, which followed the release of an EP titled Crumb the year before. The song’s clever lyrics and driving guitars make this a really fun song.

In addition to decent airplay of the accompanying video (above)–an homage to sci-fi “B” movies–on MTV, “Moon” was played quite often on 106.3 FM WHTG, a popular modern rock station located in Eatontown, N.J. That was how I heard this great, little-heard/mostly forgotten gem from the ’90s.

This October 2012 post by Alternative Nation looks back at Fossil and reports that singer/guitarist/co-founder Bob O’Gureck was making a living as a real estate agent in New Jersey. However, a Google search these days turn up a lawyer named Robert O’Gureck based out of Jersey City, so I wonder if that is him.

Again, this song should have been a huge hit.

 

Jan 19 2015

No-Hit Wonders: Lost Tricks – “All Around U”

This is the second installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.

Lost Tricks – “All Around U” (rdio sign-in required)

rdio sign-in required

In September 2008, I attended a special Ben Folds performance at the SoHo Apple Store in New York City. While waiting in line outside the store, someone started handing out copies of a self-titled EP from a band called The Lost Tricks. After the Ben Folds show and spending some time in the city, I took PATH back to Hoboken, where I had parked my car. Because I couldn’t get any of my usual radio stations up there and there was too much interference to use my iPod’s FM transmitter, I popped the Lost Tricks CD into my car stereo. It turned out to be five tracks of piano-pop goodness. My favorite song was the one spotlighted above, “All Around U,” with “FreeMan” (see video below) a close second.

Lost Tricks (the “the” was dropped at some point) was the music project of actor/musician Trev Oswalt, who was based in Brooklyn when that EP wound up in my hands. However, he was originally from Oregon. A few years later, Lost Tricks was no more and it’s hard to find anything recent that refers to the band. BUT…I did find a Trevor Oswalt with a photography business based in Portland with a studio in New York City, and based on a profile photo on the company’s Facebook page, I’m pretty confident it’s the same Trevor Oswalt.

But, man…that Lost Tricks EP is amazing. It’s such a shame so few people ever heard it.

Lost Tricks – “FreeMan”

 

Jan 19 2015

No-Hit Wonders: Pitty Sing – “Radio”

This is the first installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.

Pitty Sing – “Radio”

It was some time in 2004 or 2005, and I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike on my way to a weekend sports writing gig I had back then. I was listening to my favorite radio station, 88.5 FM WXPN, and the on-air person announced the next song was from a Brooklyn-based band called Pitty Sing. The song they played was “Radio” and it didn’t take long to check all the right boxes on my checklist of musical preferences.  Arena rock drum intro…check. Driving, distorted guitar riff…check. Synths…check. 80s pop/rock sensibilities…check. Catchy chorus…check.

I reached for a pen and a scrap of paper and wrote down the name of the band and the song title so I could quickly find and download it from iTunes when I was back at my computer.

Unfortunately, as this In Music We Trust article from 2005 points out, the marketing for “Radio” was somewhat mishandled and this great dance-pop/rock song never really went anywhere–aside from apparently being pre-loaded into Creative Zen, Microsoft Zune and other MP3 players.

Amazingly, there are many similarities in sound and style to The Killers, whose mega-successful Hot Fuss was released around the same time as Pitty Sing’s self-titled album, so you would think a wide audience was primed for that type of sound. Yet, The Killers became international stars while Pitty Sing faded into oblivion.

Pitty Sing’s leader, Paul Holmes, went on to form another short-lived band called Paul and the Patients. Today, he calls himself an “artist, composer and producer working in NYC and L.A.” and can be found on SoundCloud.

As a YouTube comment under the video notes: “In a just universe, this would have been a monster hit.”

 

Jan 13 2015

Podcast to return January 26 after “No-Hit Wonders” blog series

The retooled Tandem With The Random podcast will return Monday, January 26, 2015, and will feature a discussion based on a series of blog posts the preceding week (January 19-23) focusing on “No-Hit Wonders”–now-defunct music acts who produced songs that became favorites of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley without ever garnering mainstream “hit” status.

There are so many “No-Hit Wonders” to choose from, but the blog series will focus on these:

  • Pitty Sing – “Radio” – Monday, January 19
  • Lost Tricks – “All Around U” – Tuesday, January 20
  • Fossil – “Moon” – Wednesday, January 21
  • Oppenheimer – “OK, Let’s Take This Outside” – Thursday, January 22
  • Winter Gloves – “Invisible” – Friday, January 23

Stay tuned.

 

Dec 31 2014

Podcast status for 2015

So…we’re about to enter 2015 and the last four times the calendar has turned to January, I have brought back the Tandem With The Random podcast for another season.

But this year is a little different. The full-time job I started in August 2014 doesn’t allow me the flexibility I used to have in conducting research and interviews. I also have limited time to work on the episodes themselves. Plus, I may be doing some behind-the-scenes production work for a couple of side projects.

More importantly, my wife and I have a second son on the way in late February/early March, so that will further limit time to devote to this little hobby of mine.

But I want TWTR to continue so I’m going to try a new format that doesn’t rely so much on interviews–although I may try to conduct a few “virtual” interviews by e-mailing questions to people and asking them to record their responses into a digital file they can send back to me.

For the most part, though, I envision the 2015 version of TWTR to be short, story-based episodes featuring mostly just me talking. This way, I’m not waiting on interviews and can get a few of these “in the can” and ready to post before the new baby comes along.

Stay tuned…and Happy New Year!

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