Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Exchange With The Brians From Volcano Vinyl

...wherein they make me internet famous...

I listen to podcasts during my commute, and I love interacting with podcast hosts on Twitter. Some respond, some don't, and I guess it's the younger generation that are most interactive. Recently I checked out Volcano Vinyl, which has a cool premise: these two musicians with record collections listen to a whole album and discuss it in real time. We had the following exchange:

Here is the episode in which they address me, as I might have predicted, as a dude. (I have since updated my Twitter bio.) They were super nice about it, though, and just seemed genuinely glad that someone is listening and has ideas about it.
Below, I continue my response, which obviously cannot be contained by 140 characters.

Again, I'd like to thank you guys for being so nice about my snarky tweeting. Everything I have to say is all in good fun, and no offense is meant, but that doesn't mean my tweets always come across that way. Now, to clear up my slight disingenuousness: Your podcast was not the ONLY inspiration behind the #OffMyLawn tweet. I also had in mind the many many episodes of Gilmore Guys that I screamed at in my car on my way to/from work for the past year or two. So there's that.

I have a lot to say about all this, but I will try to limit my remarks to A) answering the questions you posed on vv074 & B) constructive criticism. Everything is a matter of taste, and podcastland is a wild west landscape where there are no rules, so I'm not implying that there's anything wrong with the way you're doing the show. I just want to share my reactions to the episodes I heard, and hope you find some of it useful.

I discovered VV through Player FM, which is the app I listen through. (I guess they suggested it to me because I recently fell in love with "The Life of a Song," which I highly recommend to EVERYONE.) The first episode of yours that I listened to was vv059: Get the Knack, and I was put off by your insistence that "My Sharona" is the only song anyone knows from it. I was about 10 years old when that album came out, and I remember singing along with "Good Girls Don't" on the radio (which is pretty disturbing when you think about it). I submit as further evidence that the immortal "Chipmunk Punk" album included not one, not two, but THREE Knack songs from their eponymous debut. So there!

Next, I decided to try vv019: Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes. I thought I would be more in my element there, because I'm not familiar with it: it came out the year after I was born, and there wasn't a ton of R&B in my house when I was growing up. (I've since tried to make up for that.) Thanks to Google Play Radio though, I had heard his version of "Walk on By." I believe it was that song that prompted my tweet: I couldn't believe you weren't aware of the Bacharach&David/Dionne Warwick songs of the 60s, "Walk on By" arguably being the most famous (others include Alfie, Do You Know the Way to San José, I Say a Little Prayer, The Look of Love, etc). I realize I'm being completely unreasonable here: you didn't grow up with 70s AM radio, and you can't be expected to know what you don't know. Even as I'm yelling at the sound system in my car, I'm laughing at my own ridiculous attitude. However, you kept remarking that the choices Hayes was making were "bold for a debut album," and then found out halfway through that it wasn't his first album. I just think if you had hit the wiki before you recorded the episode, your opinions would have been better informed, allowing you to dig in deeper with your observations. But then I kind of think, "Who cares? You found out, and we all got to listen in on the learning experience, and anyway, exactly how much do you need to know before you listen to an album, and..."And now my head hurts.

At this point, I'll list the other eps I've listened to, and try to wrap this up.
vv048: Desperado (do NOT get me started on the Eagles. They were my favorite band for the first 15 years of my life. I have no objectivity. But for the record, Glenn Frey was from Detroit. And they are NOT cheesier than Fleetwood Mac! Come at me!)
vv69: Chillin' by Force MDs (but you knew that)
vv001: Toto
vv002: Mirage
vv070: Yeezus (dunno if this counts b/c I got partway through & couldn't take any more)
vv007: Rio (I loved Sing Street, btw)
vv073: Boston (ended up yelling at you during this one because TWICE you both missed lyrics in the chorus that had been repeated 80x! I was like, "Am I the only one listening here?!" Then again, maybe that was Toto. It's all a blur now.)
vv074: Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (hilarious that this was my episode because I own it on vinyl, or at least I used to. I gave most of my records away.)

I'm not a musician, so I appreciate the stuff you guys notice about the individual instruments & choices being made. Of all these eps, I most enjoyed the Fleetwood Mac & Boston, and I don't think it's coincidence that you guys knew something about their music beforehand.
So the bottom line is that, in my for-what-it's-worth opinion, your show is at its most enjoyable when your opinions are well-informed. Which probably means I should listen to episodes with later-era albums, but man, I hate post-80s music like poison! Did I mention I'm old?

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