Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Undertow Podcast 21 on Kill Or Be Killed 16.

A new episode of The Undertow Podcast was released this weekend:  in episode 21, Robert and I focused on the latest issue of Kill Or Be Killed -- namely, issue 16, released this past Valentine's Day shortly after Undertow episode 20.

As always, Robert and I had a blast recording the episode, and listeners can find the podcast on TK iTunes and at Podbean.

At the end of the episode, we both had a few musical recommendations, with Robert recommending Bruce Springsteen's understated 1982 album Nebraska as I focused on The Breeder's hit album from 1993, Last Splash.

I loved the Last Splash singles when I first heard them in high school, but I didn't "get" the album when I got the CD from a used bookstore.  I finally connected with the deep cuts -- understanding the album as a whole, and falling head over heels -- last year, when my high-school reunion prompted a review of all my old music from the 90's.

I since found more obscure songs on YouTube and tracked down an import copy of the album's 20th anniversary 3-disc rerelease ("LSXX"), for which the Last Splash lineup reunited in 2013.  That lineup has released a new album this month -- their first since Last Splash, and the first for the Kim Deal-led band in ten years -- and All Nerve is really, really good.

(My favorite track is one I hope gets some play at baseball stadiums this year, ironically or otherwise:  SPACEWOMAN.)

I mention that, like another upcoming recommendation, The Breeders' Last Splash-era music rewards listening at multiple levels:  the singles are perfect gems of pop music, the album has a great groove blending punk and surf music, and the rare tracks include some great covers, including songs from The Who, Aerosmith, and (in a live version of a track from their debut Pod) The Beatles.

A few B-sides have their English bassist Josephine Wiggs singing lead vocals, and that's just about the only proper preparation one can have for the All Nerve track MetaGoth.

And any fan of Last Splash simply must check out All Nerve.

For our listeners who may not be all that familiar with The Breeders, here are the music videos from the Last Splash era, including songs (and versions) that can still ALL be found on LSXX.

  • "Cannonball," their first single from Last Splash and their biggest hit, reaching #2 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks in the U.S.
  • "Divine Hammer," the single version
  • "Saints," another single version, released in the subsequent Head to Toe EP
  • "Safari," the title track from the Safari EP, released the year before Last Splash, with a guitar solo by Tanya Donelly, who would soon lead the band Belly
  • "Shocker in Gloomtown," also from 1994's Head To Toe, a cover of a short, fast song by the obscure but prolific band Guided by Voices, another band hailing from Dayton, Ohio.
I warn you, these songs have a way of getting stuck in one's head.

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