music, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 6: Zwan, the great lost Smashing Pumpkins spinoff

When the Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000, the talented, tortured genius of Billy Corgan was on display again in Zwan, a band with the Pumpkins’ monster drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, future Pixies bassist/vocalist Paz Lenchantin, and dual guitarist Matt Sweeney and David Pajo. It’s a pity it didn’t work out. 

Links: 

Featured photo is from Zwan’s SNL appearance.

A slightly abridged version (no Spotify music) of this episode is also available at or on its way to Apple, Google and Spreaker/iHeart.

music, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 4: Albums revisited: Fables of the Reconstruction, R.E.M.

Housekeeping note: If you prefer other platforms to Spotify, good news — I’m re-editing previous episodes for Spreaker, Apple and Google, where episodes will be available for a limited time. See next post (above, since this is reverse chronological).

This episode won’t be on other platforms because it’s dependent on music at Spotify.

In 1985, an up-and-coming band from Athens, Ga., released a quirky album that seemed a little puzzling to themselves, let alone a general audience. But in retrospect, how important was this album to the band’s development? And how good is it in its own right?

This is a Spotify/Anchor exclusive, taking advantage of the feature in which we can embed songs. If you’re a Premium user, you should get the whole song (though you can skip it if you like). Otherwise, you get 30 seconds, not of my choosing.

A few links:

music, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 3: Today’s awful(?) music, with Dave Lifton

Fellow soccer lover, Popdose alumnus, freelancer and early 50-something Dave Lifton joins me to discuss why today’s music sucks. Or does it? Our conclusions may surprise you. 

At the end, you’ll hear either 30 seconds (Spotify users) or the full blast (Spotify Premium users) of Metric’s Gimme Sympathy, comedian Matt Braunger’s take on white privilege, Jason Isbell’s 24 Frames and The Pretty Reckless’s’s’s Take Me Down. The discussion makes reference to those things and a few others things, such as: 

The bit with Julianne Moore dissing Twilight is from the film Crazy Stupid Love, which is great in places and cringe-worthy in others.

One clarification: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s WAP is due to be included on Cardi B’s next album, but it’s been more than a year since the song was released. The point about the single standing alone without an album release still seems valid.

Finally, check out the New Orleans radio station Dave mentions at WWOZ.org

sports, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 2: Sports make the rich richer

The insistence upon exalting athletes and selling dreams of everything from Olympic gold to Ivy League college admission is turning sports into a miserable experience, especially for us parents and our kids. Also, Bull Durham is one of the best movies ever. Also, how do you explain 9/11 to a second-grader?

This episode has some audio glitches that I hope to squash in future episodes. At one point, I think I picked up some extraterrestrial communications. If the aliens invade, episode 3 of this podcast might take a while.

Links from this episode:

music, x marks the pod

X Pod Episode 1: The MTV generation

Episode description: We wanted our MTV. We got our MTV. We got Nirvana. Then we got pushed aside by the Millennials while the Boomers kept an iron grip on things. We’re Generation X, and this podcast is going to amplify our voices.

Links from this episode: