Out of Obscurity

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Obscurity Quiz Lo-fi Bedroom Pop with DJ Karev & DJ Keep Roomie

Our voice of the youth returns to share her views on lo-fi music, hipster bedroom pop, and what she thinks counts as obscure, with another ranking of five albums from famous to largely unknown.

Scheduled Digression 3: NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts with DJ Keep Roomie & DJ Karev

NPR’s Tiny Desk official page:  https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/ 

Wikipedia lists all the Tiny Desk concerts:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Desk_Concerts 


Structure:  Introducing DJ Karev & comparing her listening habits to teenage cousins recorded previously (up to 5:06); Background on “Tiny Desk” concerts on National Public Radio (NPR) (up to 12:57); DJ Karev’s concert-going experiences & which ones we’ve actually seen live in person (up to 15:30); DJ Karev’s Top 5 Tiny Desk picks (15:30-29:47); Transitioning from a boy band to a “serious artist” (27:24-29:47); DJ Keep Roomie’s Top 5 Tiny Desk picks (29:47-1:00); Is DJ Karev allowed to explore music on her own, or does DJ Keep Roomie assign it all to her professorially? (46:05-49:00); Authenticity versus performance in pop, and notably excluded hip-hop in our picks (as well as early Tiny Desks) (50:10-55:35); DJ Poseur’s other four picks (1:00-1:12); Other “freak-out jams” (1:12-1:14); When will concerts return?  (1:14-1:17); Criteria for a good or bad Tiny Desk concert and whether we’ve liked any artists/bands/musicians less after seeing them in concert (whether on a Tiny Desk or in person) (1:17-conclusion)


DJ Karev’s Top 5 (in order discussed):  Phoebe Bridgers, Ben Folds, Eskimeaux, Adele, Harry Styles


DJ Keep Roomie’s Top 5 (in order discussed):  Billy Corgan, Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin, Aldous Harding, Cate Le Bon


DJ Poseur’s Top 5 (in order of preference): 1. Cornelius, 2. Gogol Bordello, 3. OK Go, 4. Y La Bamba, 5. Cate Le Bon

Scheduled Digression: Asian Edition 1 - Supermarket 超级市场 with Chiara & 小刘 (Xiao Liu)

For anyone who want to practice listening to Mandarin, the raw audio is also available.  This version edits it out for brevity.

Supermarket may be the most prolific, if not the most famous, Chinese band making genre-defying experimental electronic music.  They can sound like synth-pop, post-rock, and dystopian soundscapes, all in a way that could only come from the PRC.

Structure:  Favorite songs & albums (up to 8:40); Evolving sound, comparable bands, & hardships (up to 18:18); The concert in Fangshan, Beijing (18:18); Activities while listening (29:00); Lyrical themes (35:00);  Use of samples —> industrial, post-punk, goth (39:47); Lyrics in foreign languages & bands with clearer roots (47:35); New Pants, Miserable Faith Big Band TV show winners & more commercial bands (54:38); Political control of music in China (59:51) and  Quitting (昨天) film.

EKR2: Grand Drive “True Love & High Adventure” & T.W. Walsh “Songs of Pain & Leisure”

Purchase our picks here:  https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/1502455?ev=rb 





Or, if you must, stream them:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lH4lL-zgluCwIrg-9nWkQ2sANlbyYibuM   https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_k8vCZXorL1l8UYwX-mrAx1v4jyZc5uqDw


GD RIYL:  Jayhawks, Golden Smog, Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Radar Bros., Calexico, Devendra Banhart, Mercury Rev

TWW RIYL:  Pedro the Lion, M.Ward, Built to Spill, Radar Bros., Neil Young, Dinosaur Jr.?

D&tCotW RIYL:  Dylan, Springsteen

Episode structure:  “True Love & High Adventure” until (27:00).  Consideration of Alt. Country & genre until (31:29), then switching to “Americana” and Danny & the Champions of the World until (38:10).  Nick Lowe as an Americana musician until (41:10).  Former bands (i.e. Pedro the Lion) & solo work until (41:40).  “Songs of Pain & Leisure” & “Blue Laws” quoting Scaruffi.com at (42:45) DJ Keep Roomie’s tastes (51:08)  RIYLS take big swings & misses (52:10) Austin City Limits, M. Ward, Dan Bern (from 55:20)

Obscurity Quiz Alt. Country with DJ Keep Roomie

Midterm exams have slowed our production schedule, but we're gearing up for an episode on two fine albums approaching alt. country from different angles.  Consider this Obscurity Quiz a quick background on some fixtures of the subgenre and a teaser for the upcoming alternative hootenanny of opinions.  

EKR1: Kacey Johansing - “Grand Ghosts” & Shilpa Ray “Door Girl”

Purchase our picks here:  https://kaceyjohansing.bandcamp.com/album/grand-ghosts



KJ RIYL:  Cate Le Bon, Aimee Mann, Julia Holter, Anna Calvi, Elanors, Liz Durrett

SR RIYL:  Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Holly Golightly, Patti Smith, The Gossip, Blondie, musical storytelling/autobiography generally


Episode structure:  “Grand Ghosts” until (24:50), “Door Girl” until (1:04:20) when we bring up a topic for a future “Scheduled Digression” about best albums of every year we’ve been alive.

Obscurity Quiz Female Vocalists in the 2010s with DJ Keep Roomie

An old friend from college steps up to the challenge and the world of user ratings on AMG to rank six of his favorite albums of the 2010s from obscure to famous.  A preview for a coming episode on Shilpa Ray’s “Door Girl” and “Grand Ghosts” by Kacey Johansing, as well as lists of your favorite albums for every year you’ve been alive.

ESolo1: Solenoid “The Narcissist” & others in IDM

A deep dive in to the discography of Solenoid, one of the most under-appreciated founding fathers of IDM (“intelligent dance music”), unfortunately (but appropriately) lacking a cohost.

RIYL references:  Mike Paradinas/planet μ catalog, Aphex Twin/Rephlex catalog, Plaid, Squarepusher, Richard Devine, Kraftwelt

The Igloo Magazine interview with Solenoid:  https://igloomag.com/profiles/solenoid-reduced-to-data 

His nearly-full discography (incl. purchasing options):  https://www.discogs.com/artist/379-Solenoid 

YouTube channel full of impostors:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7iuU7lZu1DUFA9Xf-yIDuw 

Scheduled Digression 2: (How) The Youth Are Listening

Two brothers united in path dependency against country music, not united enough to collaborate on a family streaming plan.  They like music as much as anyone, but not so much as to appreciate their parents’ unique tastes.  A fraternal house divided, one prefers classic rock; the other, hip-hop.  The answer to the question:  “Is the album doomed?” may surprise you.  They are used to instantaneous, 24/7 access that allows them to share music they like without having to buy the record, a stereo, or even going home to their PC to download or stream it.  The pluralize “vinyl,” while music doesn’t have “a” beat but needs to have beats to be enjoyable.  They are exotic creatures indeed, but can they be trusted with the future, especially something so vital as the future of music?  Tune in to this very special OoO Scheduled Digression to find out!

Structure:  Jonathan (0:00)  Vincent (30:00)

Obscurity Quiz OG1

This is a semi-regular OoO feature to test cohosts’ relative knowledge of the albums we talk about on the show and others that are more well known (but not necessarily “better”!).  The level of fame or obscurity on OoO is generally operationalized by the number of user reviews for the album on the All Music Guide (AMG, www.allmusic.com ). 

DJ Poseur asks the cohost to rank about five albums from the most famous to the most obscure, assigning each a letter (from A to E) for short.  Listeners can follow along and see if you can do as well as our co-host contestants.

This is the first OoO appearance by Optimus Grimes (OG).

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