Cosmic America 20.5: The Beck Mini-episode

We’re soft-launching Cosmic America (again!), with a new format and some nifty new recording techniques. Here, we talk about a couple of songs off of Beck’s 1998 classic album “Mutations”.

Episode 1: Another Podcast?

Another podcast? Another podcast! Here’s Matt and Greg talking about things. The NBA Trade Deadline that happened last week? Someone finally breaks it down. The Last Jedi? We’ve got takes. The Olympics? These two Jews have watched some of it. Please join us on maiden voyage. We’ll get better. We promise, or your money back.

The Drop Zone – Season 2 Episode 1 – Premier League Preview

The season is afoot! We charge into the 2017-18 Premier League season with an hour-long examination of the overarching storylines, transfer business, and overall roster health and construction of the top 7. We then give predictions for the upcoming year.

Cosmic America 20: Fleet Foxes

Okay, so we took a long hiatus with Cosmic America, mostly because Alex moved four time zones away. We’re going to have some new episodes soon, I promise! In the meantime, here’s one of the last episodes taped before Alex moved away — this one focuses on Fleet Foxes’ eponymous debut LP. Like Crosby, Stills & Nash in an echo chamber with a bunch of funky electric folk guitarists, this song sort of defied immediate classification, and ended up creating a furor in the indie rock scene. Their output since this album hasn’t been nearly as melodic, so it’s important to go back and pay respects to an album that now seems as frozen in time as it sounded when it was first unleashed on the landscape almost a decade ago.

Cosmic America 19: Through Toledo

This could end up being the most obscure album we review on Cosmic America, but that doesn’t make it less deserving of your listenership. Through Toledo was a little-known album released by little-known indie artist Greg Laswell in the mid-2000s, which stands as one of the more well-constructed breakup albums that we’ve heard in a while. You may know a few of the songs, which filtered their way into the pop culture whirlpool during the late 2000s. Listen on YouTube here.

Cosmic America 18: City to City

Let’s stay in the seventies on this episode of Cosmic America, as we delve into a masterful pop record from Scottish artist and industry misanthrope Gerry Rafferty. This album spawned a huge hit in Baker Street, but the rest of the album ends up holding up pretty well 40 years later. Somehow underappreciated despite being incredibly solid and tuneful throughout. You can check out the whole thing (which really is worth listening to if you haven’t already heard it) on YouTube, or buy it on Amazon.

Cosmic America 17.5: Elton John or Billy Joel?

Is it cooler to like Elton John or Billy Joel? Cosmic America investigates…sort of. By “investigates”, I mean we talk about the topic for 10 minutes.

Cosmic America 17: 11-17-70

It’s live album week at Cosmic America, so we delve into an artifact from the early stages of Elton John’s career. Recorded in a New York City studio, broadcast on radio, and then widely bootlegged, 11-17-70 (or 17-11-70 if you’re British or annoying) is an interesting look into an Elton John that was still focused on 50’s era rock and roll as his primary artistic motif. Not a lot of songs, but certainly a lot of energy. You can check out the album on iTunes, or you can listen to the unedited radio broadcast here.

Cosmic America 16: Grace

This edition of Cosmic America sees us jumping forward into the mid-90s, focusing on the album Grace by Jeff Buckley. A critical darling when it came out, the album was the only full artistic statement from Buckley before his untimely drowning shortly afterwards. Does it hold up 20 years later? Does the “Hallelujah” cover force the album into transcendence? Lots of questions about this one. Take a listen. And check out “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” and “Lilac Wine” while you’re at it.

Cosmic America 15 – Mad Dogs and Englishmen

For this episode of Cosmic America, we check out the touring outfit of Joe Cocker (and Leon Russell), which traveled across the United States in 1970 under the group name Mad Dogs and Englishmen. This live album stands as a document to that series of shows, and while it’s certainly an interesting listen in a number of places, it falls short of the sort of all-time status that the aura of the band might seem to demand. Standout tracks include Space Captain, Delta Lady, and the cover of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire.