Podcast – That Dandy Classic Music Hour
Classic album reviews and analysis. Track-by-track. And a bit of fun thrown in. With your hosts Randy W. Hall & 'Handsome' Dan Minard.
info_outline Chris Cornell Part 1 05/18/2018
Chris Cornell Part 1 Let's face it, if you're interested in this program, odds are you were either a Music fan and/or a Chris Cornell fan and know most or all of the details of losing him a scant few weeks ago so we'll save you reading the saddening details yet again. The idea of this show is to express how much of a fan Dan Minard and Randy W. Hall were, and are, of Chris Cornell. First in Soundgarden, then as a solo artist, and also in one-off Temple of the Dog and his well-known supergroup Audioslave. In Part 1 we discuss our own fandoms and how he was one of Dan's all-time favorite singers and how he has a degree from Cornell (as a student of the man, not the college) and his esteemed membership in the exclusive online community known as Knights of the Soundtable (it's as awesome as it sounds 😄). Randy recalls how he got into Soundgarden his junior year of high school and how he considers 'Badmotorfinger' his all-time favorite Cornell featuring album. We also broach the touchy topic of his ill-fated 2009 solo project "Scream" because we're anything if not thorough. In Part 2 we discuss each of our favorite Cornell-sung songs in detail and Randy ( who's never met a list he doesn't like) reveals his eleven fave songs in descending order). Dan rolls his eyes and plays along as we pay tribute to one of the best voices of a generation and grieve yet again another legends untimely passing. This time it's most definitely personal.
info_outline Adrenaline Pumpin Songs - Part 1 05/07/2018
Adrenaline Pumpin Songs - Part 1 Today’s list show is made up of Dan and Randy’s high-octane, balls-to-the-wall most adrenaline-pumping favorite songs of all-time! So if you’re dragging ass and need some audio Red Bull this show is for you. No Coldplay, Barry Manilow or Celine Dion on this program! So crank it up and get ready to get lit (that’s some mild foreshadowing people!).
info_outline DandyTheWhoP1 04/23/2018
DandyTheWhoP1 The Who are legends. Aside from the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin are as big as rock n’ roll gets. And, believe it or not, the band are one of Dan Minard’s all-time favorites and inspirations. So it’s about time we did a show on them. The challenge is it’s hard (pun intended) to settle on just one album. ‘Who’s Next’, ‘Tommy’ and even ‘Quadrophenia’ all deserve the Dandy Classic treatment on their own merits but we decided to go ahead and just do a two-part retrospective on the all-time greats. Part one we talk about how Dan and I each got into the band and discuss the personalities of all four original members and how they formed together like Voltron to be the best live rock band on the planet. In part 2 we give our Top 10 favorite songs to kind of discuss the music itself in more depth. Also Dan shares what it was like to actually be in London the day bassist John Entwhistle died in July, 2002. Ordinarily I’d write and pontificate in this space but I’m running out-of-time and I’ll let the podcast do the talking for a change. We know you’ll enjoy this episode if you dig one of rock n’ rolls greatest treasures. So without further ado I give you The Who!
info_outline What Does Music Mean To You? - Part 1 04/09/2018
What Does Music Mean To You? - Part 1 Music makes the good times better and the bad times bearable. Thanks to my Dad I got into music at an early age. He was always playing his records and some of my earliest memories involve his massive collection of 45’s in those classic cases and the musty smell. When I’d start choosing my own music it was cassette’s I’d buy because a Walkman was cheap and portable (although the first album I bought was Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on LP with some of my First Communion money). When we finally got cable in 1987 it was MTV and VH1 I watched on a daily basis hypnotized by the hits of the day, be it “Hysteria” by Def Leppard or “So Emotional” by Whitney, or a flash-in-the-pan like Johnny Hates Jazz or The Escape Club it captured and led my young imagination and lit the fire for me to love collecting and listening to music for pretty much every day of my life since those hair-metal rich days of the late-80’s until this very day. I began to keep my own Top 25 and eventually Top 40 music chart as a means for cataloging and interacting with all the music I was listening to. Dutifully I’d keep this chart in a spiral notebook as if anybody besides me cared whether “I Remember You” by Skid Row or “Cherish” by Madonna was #1 on my chart. As time went by I became more aware and curious about the music that came before my era of Top 40 awareness. Since my parents were divorced I had hours alone in my Dad’s basement to comb the shelves and see what grooves my Pops was jamming to before he had 3 kids. The Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin and so much Motown were the highlights. It also turned out there was a lot of dreck too before my time, as those K-Tel compilations featured some truly awful dreck that even my unrefined ears could tell didn’t age well. In fact I clearly remember the aural affront of “Seasons In the Sun” by one Terry Jacks and “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band as serious offenders to my developing musical taste. Also, as Dan and I pivoted to angsty teens, we would discuss and introduce different musical artists and ideals to each other. Sometimes we’d agree. Occasionally we’d differ. But we were brothers in our mutual misery and coming-of-age stories and music was the soundtrack. We were the perfect age to be swept up by grunge and the third wave of hip-hop which paved the way for rap to rule the pop charts. As the times changed I began to make my own money and the CD age took hold. Emboldened by the ease of signing up for record clubs like Columbia House and BMG I jumped whole-hog into getting as many albums as I could get my hands and ears on. So many mix tapes were made it became its own form of therapy or entertainment. I was never a drinker or into drugs. I believe music had a huge hand in that (along with Dan). I simply couldn’t afford that bad habit and all the music I was buying 😄! At this point Music was a huge part of my identity and what I was genuinely enthusiastic about. I loved discovering a new up-and-coming act but also reveled in going back-in-the-day and finding the forefathers of what informed the music of today. I also genre-hopped and took pride in the notion I could listen to the latest Tori Amos release one minute and follow-it-up the next by listening to a Classic Funkadelic LP. Over time I went wide and deep. As the years have gone by music has been along every step of the way. From the finding and losing and finding again of love. From adolescence into adulthood and currently into middle-age. From inner city Detroit, MI to the beautiful suburbs of Nashville, Tn. From running a college radio station to being a parent of two my constant companion. As for what else music means here’s some quick hitters: Passion Community Connection Going to shows Heartbreak Intellectual curiosity Emotional Stereotyping Happiness Critical evaluation Meaning Hype Anticipation Discovery Disappointment Supreme creativity Growth Stagnation Cultural Salve for the wounded Rhythm Dancing Eclecticism Standing for what you believe Essential Friendship Music is all these things and more. Like all great art it means what you mean and it depends on your mood at the time. Be it pop, rock, rap, soul, country, Emo or some bastardization or amalgamation of any of the above it’s both personal and communal. And it’s the reason you and I are here for this podcast. So that’s probably the most important takeaway of all. Thanks for including us on your musical journey.
info_outline ONYX Bacdafucup, PART 1 03/26/2018
ONYX Bacdafucup, PART 1 Has it really been 25 years since Onyx released their debut record ‘Bacdafucup’?! As a guy of 42 this album hit the streets during a pivotal time in my development and, believe it or not, had a bit of an impact. While it’d be a stretch to say I pull this album out and listen to it very often, it’s always an interesting time capsule when I do go down Memory Lane to see how the four-man crew of Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, Sonny Seeza (aka Suave) and Big DS have aged in the intervening years. So when Dan Minard said he wanted to do this album I reflexively chuckled because my knee-jerk reaction is one of a rap group that’s known more for their personas as a gang of oftentimes cartoonish thugs as they are for their art amongst most who remember them at all. Still, it seemed like one of those unlikely things that might pay off in more rewarding ways. Well I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what happened! So if you see this come up in your podcast queue and you’re skeptical I’d definitely say give it a chance. Upon really re-evaluating the album it struck me how much talent as M.C.’s they had (for the most part), and for such a young crew they had a gift for phrasing that most seasoned rhymers never get to. Produced by Run DMC legend Jam Master Jay and Chyskillaz the album is full of good tracks and you'll see how they influenced artists from Eminem to the Wu-Tang Clan and even 50 Cent. Also for all his craziness, Sticky Fingaz was a real revelation, much like Snoop Dogg was when Dr. Dre discovered him. Also, the main three figures in the group (Fredro, Sticky and Suave) had a real chemistry as a collective that got lost in the hype. In this episode Dan and I recount the emergence of Onyx in late 1992 when their first single, “Throw Ya Gunz” was a bona fide sensation among the youth who liked to watch pay-for-play cable network “The Box” as it was played ad nauseum for months prior to the ‘Bacdafucup’ LP dropping. When it came out in the spring the pump was primed to at least be hailed by the audience of people who loved hardcore hip-hop. It’s one thing to be momentary street legends and genuine crossover artists, which happened when their second single “Slam” crossed over to pop radio, peaking improbably at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in an era where that guaranteed platinum album sales (which is what happened). Much like “Jump Around” did for House of Pain, it gave Onyx an audience that otherwise wouldn’t have considered their brand of rap previously, for better or worse. While much of this record is better than you remember it, some of it is hopelessly of-it’s-time and out-of-touch. But that doesn’t mean it all isn’t worth delving into and discussing. We also pepper the pod with personal stories from Dan having a random pitbull spend the night to Randy having one of the all-time awkward moments with his boss over 'Blacvaginafinda'. So join Dan and I as we get live like wires and use our trademark humor to both entertain and inform. At least that’s our story and we’re sticking (see what we did there?) to it!
info_outline Danzig Part 2 01/15/2018
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info_outline Carol King, Tapestry - Part 1 12/11/2017
Carol King, Tapestry - Part 1 I think everyone who has even a passing interest in popular music knows Carole King’s Diamond certified album “Tapestry” helped revolutionize singer-songwriter music for female performers in the 1970’s and beyond. It was a landmark album and artistic statement whose impact is so far-reaching it’s practically immeasurable. Practically every woman who’s stepped out in front of an audience behind a piano owes Carole King at least a small debt. As Female Artist Appreciation Month rolls on here at Dandy Classic Music Hour we get to this seminal masterwork by an artist who’s written, or helped write, over 100 hit songs in her staggering career. Writing with her ex-husband Gerry Goffin for the famous Brill Building throughout the 1960’s, King finally launched her own solo career out in front of an audience as the 1970’s dawned. Her first album “Writer” did respectably but no one could have expected her sophomore record to stay on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts for over 300 (!) weeks, good for second best of all-time. Featuring #1 hits ‘So Far Away’ and ‘I Feel the Earth Move’ the album has been a fixture on several radio formats for the last 45 years and counting. The forlorn ‘Too Late’ is the song for anybody who’s gone through a trying relationship. Also showcasing her own version of previous hits ‘You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)’ and ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ the album is so saturated with well-known songs that it’s likely you know at least half the album having never heard it all the way through. Thanks to the hit show “Gilmore Girls” the song ‘Where You Lead’ enjoyed a second life that introduced King and ‘Tapestry’ to a new generation and reminded an old one of her prowess as a songwriter. Throw in ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ and the jaunty storytelling of ‘Smackwater Jack’ and you’ve got the ingredients of a world-beating album. So come join us as we talk about how Randy’s Dad wore one particular song out, how King is one of Dan’s heroes and we talk about ‘The Facts of Life’ and how much fun it is to say ‘Martika’and ‘Sookie’! All this and more as we get inspired talking about one of the all-time Classic Albums this week.
info_outline Fiona Apple, Tidal - Part 1 11/27/2017
Fiona Apple, Tidal - Part 1 Fiona Apple – Tidal (1996) In the mid-90’s it was a halcyon time to be a female artist. From the piano stylings of Tori Amos, to songstresses like Sarah McLachlan to female-lead bands like Garbage and Belly, the world of rock had lots of ladies representing. And today we open up our Female Artist appreciation month of December a week early by featuring one of the most unique artists of the era in Fiona Apple as we discuss her debut album, Tidal. Apple was 18 when she recorded most of the record but to listen to it now and you’d never think this was a teenager, and more likely a world-weary thirtysomething who’d seen it all. From her smoky-soulful voice to her arresting way around a lyric and how she could phrase it, she sounded extremely accomplished despite her lack of real-world experience. Hailing from New York, Fiona was just as inspired by literature, and particularly Maya Angelou, as she was by torch-singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. Not only that she had pathos that were real and undeniable to give her the artistic fuel she needed to run on. Teaming with Jon Brion, he fleshed out the musical arrangements and gave a deft touch to producer Andrew Slater’s discovery in the musical wunderkind that Apple was. Buoyed by the Sgt. Pepper’ed single ‘Criminal’, the ten track album was an exotic and immediate listen for a musical landscape that was in a transitionary state to younger, fresher artists, most of them disposable pop stars. It wound up winning her a Grammy and propelling the album to triple platinum status. Not that Fiona is concerned with such sales figures, but it helped to validate those who believed in her and what she was capable of in terms of reaching a broad audience. Upon closer inspection it’s frankly startling that someone could come up with music so classical sounding in such a vapid time in commercial music with poetic and thought-provoking lyrics that read like very personal diary entries. Is this what Sylvia Plath or Dorothy Parker would’ve sounded like had they the talents of Fiona Apple? Lucky for us we have Fiona herself to bring these ten tracks to light and to the record stores. Starting with the tough-talking and hip-hopish “Sleep To Dream” we are introduced to Apple as MC as she eviscerates the subject of her scorn in expert form. She also manages to give women everywhere a rallying cry when they wanted dudes everywhere to know they had their own hell to raise. Moving on to the explanatory and exploratory “Sullen Girl” we learn of the source of so much of her angst can be traced to her being raped as a 12-year old and having the aggressor “take her pearl and leave her washed ashore leaving an empty shell of her”, which serves to give her pain a voice and maybe soothe those with the same traumatic experience. Next up is the powerhouse and first single “Shadowboxer”, where Apple puts her full vocal range on display and shows the world that even an attractive young girl can break it down and be strung along by a player who captures her fancy. The aforementioned “Criminal” reminds everyone everywhere that when the chips were down and she needed a hit single, all she needed was 45 minutes while her band was out to lunch to fulfill the mission and give us all a classic track with surprising instrumental heft. And who can forget the ‘Lolita’-ish video? “Slow Like Honey” is late-night jazz as Fiona offers to show you her ‘secret’. “The First Taste” starts as one thing and opens up into a Sade-like jam she and her band must’ve had a grand time conjuring. After all is said and done, is there a much better way to conclude an album than the guitar wizardry on full display in “Carrion”? For the guys at Dandy Classic this album holds up exceedingly well and is even more of a marvel 21 years (!) since its release in 1996. For Dan it’s a reminder of the prowess of one of his musical heroes and what a strong example she is of a true artist. For Randy it’s a chance to rediscover an album he hasn’t listened to much since the mid-90’s but always knew was a tour de force. Not only that we get some fun lyrical misinterpretations as well as lots of good friendly banter as we get ‘Chickcember’ started off right (and early).
info_outline The White Stripes , White Blood Cells - Part 1 11/13/2017
The White Stripes , White Blood Cells - Part 1 This week on That Dandy Classic Music Hour we welcome back a previous guest, Jeff Popp who was on our Pearl Jam 'No Code' episode, to talk about fellow Detroiters who've relocated to Middle Tennessee, Jack White and his legendary duo, the White Stripes and their commercial breakthrough 'White Blood Cells'. With his ex-wife, Meg White, the Stripes used a huge sound to make blues-based garage rock with a punk flair for a new generation of rock fans at the turn of the millenium. Getting their start in the cannibalistic rock scene in metro Detroit, the pair staked out their claim to a national audience by crafting an idiosyncratic blend of simple and straightforward rock songs played in a timeless style with an indie sensibility few could approach. Not only that, they fashioned a clean and relatable look (like a candy cane) that older and younger rock fans alike could rally behind. But all of that would've fallen flat or been a fad if Jack and Meg didn't deliver the songs to back it up. On this, their third album, and last on an indie label, they hit upon the balance of good-sounding and not overly esoteric, songs that rocked the house and also showcased Jack's unique vocal approach. Part Robert Plant, Ray Davies and God-knows-what-else, he gave the tracks the vocal power they needed to win the day. Starting with the salvo of 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground' the band comes out with a clear statement of intent that this is a band that is to be reckoned with. Next we get the rollicking stomp known as 'Hotel Yorba' (one disgusting place in real life) and Jack White's warped sense of humor. Moving along we arrive at the undeniable groove of 'I'm Finding It Hard To Be a Gentleman' before giving way to the surf-y and inspired new millenium classicism of the caffeinated 'Fell In Love With A Girl' and it's immediate awesomeness that made millions know who the Stripes were and made Jack and Meg household names for the first time. Not only that but we get the slack-jawed wonder of 'The Union Forever' and it's creepy organ grind. Dan, Randy and Jeff are divided on the greatness of 'Offend In Every Way' with yet another hummable riff. Throughout we discuss the Detroit music scene and the garage rock scene in general in 2001 and 2002 when this album was gaining acclaim. Amongst other threads we get into whether or not Jack White was a drama student, how good were the Racounteurs, and our experiences watching the band live (as an added bonus one of us was there when Jack decked Jason Strollermeister from the Von Bondies back in the day as well). Also one of us contends this album may even be, gasp, overrated. Or maybe that's just click bait ;). All of this and more as we get all Detroit, via Nashville in this episode. It's definitely not one you'll want to miss, so just push play already, will ya?!
info_outline Mix CD Roulette Part 3 11/06/2017
Mix CD Roulette Part 3 Third time the charm? Maybe yes, maybe no but it was one helluva show. If you're a regular listener of That Dandy Classic Music Hour you probably know the drill on this concept show as this is our third go-around with it. What Dan and Randy do is grab six random mix CD's that Randy's made over the years and assign them a #1 through 6. Then we roll a dice and whichever # it lands on we grab the corresponding disc, load it into the computer without knowing the songs on it, and then play the songs live on the air as they comment to what songs come up in real-time. Part time capsule, part free-style and all awesome it really is a fun time as literally any song can come on and we have to react as it plays. Quick wits and a crazy sense of humor win the day and hopefully we entertain you for 18 songs. Join us as we get a lot of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood burning talk in this show and see where the winds of chance take us.