Cosmic America 6: Katy Lied

cosmicOn this episode of Cosmic America, we tackle the midway point of Steely Dan’s primary studio phase — 1975’s Katy Lied. Once described as “an epic bardic saga” on some message board that I read in the late 90’s, this album captures the Dan as they transitioned fully from a touring outfit to a pure-studio outfit. The army of session musicians who would come to dominate later albums had started to assemble on this one, and the album ended up hosting some lesser-known but incredibly important songs in the band’s canon. Musical cleverness and lyrical obliqueness fully on display throughout this one.

Be sure to subscribe to Cosmic America on iTunes, and tweet us with your musical thoughts and review ideas at @doctorgc and @akmccarthy. Thanks for listening.

Cosmic America 5: The Gilded Palace of Sin

cosmicWe’ve gone through a full cycle of our album reviews, so now it’s back to stage one — the “One-album wonder” category. Even though the second album from this band was okay, the first album was a masterpiece, and we’re glad to get a chance to review it here. It’s The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers, and it’s a sadly overlooked album for a large cross-section of the music listening audience. One of the “Old Testament” albums of the country-rock hybrid that would come to dominate the Southern California sound over the next decade, this album is a slab of genius, the full flowering of a sadly neglected partnership between troubled genius Gram Parsons and the workmanlike Chris Hillman. Country rock? Soul? Balladry? Electrified folk? Nudie suits? All of that and some social commentary to boot on this album.

Be sure to subscribe to Cosmic America on iTunes, and tweet us with your musical thoughts and review ideas at @doctorgc and @akmccarthy. Thanks for listening.

Cosmic America 4: Led Zeppelin in Inglewood 1975

cosmicCosmic America heads for the “IMPORT” section of the record collection, tackling Led Zeppelin’s last live show in the United States in 1975, in Inglewood, CA. This immensely long show (close to 4 hours) is arguably the last time a US audience saw Zeppelin in full fury. It’s a bit of a ragged show in places, but still maintains the grandiose sound and reputation that the quartet had built for themselves. Touring in support of the recently released Physical Graffiti album, this show ended up being a fascinating live showcase for songs from both that album and from Houses of the Holy. If you’re hunting for this show on torrent sites, it’s labeled “Deep Throat”, mostly (entirely?) because Linda Lovelace intros the band when they come out.

Be sure to subscribe to Cosmic America on iTunes, and tweet us with your musical thoughts and review ideas at @doctorgc and @akmccarthy. Thanks for listening.

Cosmic America 3: Summerteeth

cosmicAfter a week’s hiatus, Cosmic America is back in your kitchen with more music talk. For this episode, we delve into a classic from 1999, Summerteeth by Wilco. This album saw the band fully shed the alt-country label that had been stuck on them since their inception in 1995, with frontman Jeff Tweedy and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett embracing a Wilson/Spectoresque approach to production, marrying complex overdubs to emotionally vulnerable lyrics. This one got missed by most of the alt rock crowd, and its place in Wilco history is forever overshadowed by its successor, but this is a damn fine album in its own right.

Be sure to subscribe to Cosmic America on iTunes, and tweet us with your musical thoughts and review ideas at @doctorgc and @akmccarthy. Thanks for listening.

The Drop Zone E5 – September Reset

dropzoneThe Premier League season is six games old, and we take the time to evaluate what we’ve seen so far. We talk about City’s impressive start, United’s problems, and the title contention chances of Spurs, Liverpool, and Arsenal. We also talk about the teams that seem the most imperiled, and discuss the destiny of Leicester City.

Cosmic America 2: The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society

cosmicIt’s Episode 2 of Cosmic America, and we take the opportunity to step back in time to late 1968, for The Kinks’ classic (yet largely forgotten) The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. We share our favorite songs, talk about the positives and challenges of the album, and try to set the historical context.

Get at us on Twitter – @doctorgc or @akmccarthy – if you’ve got questions, suggestions, or comments.

Cosmic America E1: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

cosmicOn this inaugural edition of Cosmic America, we break down a rock and roll classic steeped in the kind of rock mythology that most artists and albums could only dream of. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, by the Eric Clapton-led Derek & The Dominoes, gets the full breakdown treatment, as we talk about the stories behind some of the songs and the recording process for the album. We pick our favorite songs from the album, talk about the most underrated songs on the album, and discuss whether the flow of the album ends up working.


The Drop Zone E4 – Premier League preview


dropzoneAfter an extended summer break, the boys are back with a new episode of The Drop Zone! In the magic hour of the 2016/17 campaign, we talk about several important issues, including:

  • Who’s getting sacked first?
  • Whither Leicester?
  • Which of the two Manchester clubs is going to win the league?
  • Which two world-class managers are most likely to miss out on Champions League play this season?
  • What teams will finish in the top four?
  • Is there a big surprise in store for the league this season?
  • Which teams are destined for the actual drop zone?

Theme music courtesy of

SportsPolitik Soccer – Brexit Copa Euro

spspOn this edition of the SPSP, we get some honest-to-goodness political talk in as we chat about the Brexit, specifically talking about the potential issues for the EPL and English soccer in general. We also chat about USA-Argentina, the inherent flaws in the US national team setup, and the prospects of the third place game. Finally, we talk about the Euro knockout stages, and share our predictions for the bracket.

The Drop Zone E3 – Euro and Copa Update

dropzoneZach and Galen chat about the ongoing travails of Euro 2016, focusing on the surprises from the group stage and the troubles that certain teams (Austria, England, Sweden, Germany) have had so far in the tournament. What has worked and what hasn’t, and why?

The guys also delve into a robust conversation about the tactical setup of the USA going into tonight’s semifinal versus Argentina. What’s your lineup and formation for the game?

Theme music courtesy of