Let's tie a bow on "Music Raygun" season five. It's been six months already, which means we're closing out another season by looking back on the season's episode themes to take one more bite of those apples. It's a B-sides episode, sweet pals. This one features bonus clips from "Teen Angst," "Girl Groups," "Philadelphia," "Piano," "Todd Rundgren," "Smooth Jazz," "Def Jam Recordings," "San Francisco," "Duets and Collaborations" and "Guitar." Crunch. Chew. Yum!
A few episodes of "Music Raygun" have had musical instruments as their themes, namely saxophone, bass and piano. Well, there are only a few instruments left to cover as long as we're talking about your basic rock band, so here's one about the bedrock of the genre: the guitar. We're talking about Link Wray, George Benson, J. Mascis, Wendy Melvoin, Kevin Shields, Robert Quine and plenty more.
Isabel Nelson is back for another dance episode and we've got ballet comedy, a dancing teenage Kelly Ripa, Fred Astaire and Barrie Chase doing "word jazz," Spain by way of Bollywood, more clips from the movie "Fast Forward," basketball a la Lawrence Welk, classic "SYTYCD," a Japanese hip-hop dance squad, Toni Basil and the Lockers, and Beyonce and the Bugaboos. Is that enough for you??
Just like "Music Raygun" is a collaboration between Paul and Kirk, all the video clips on this episode feature musicians singing or otherwise working together. These duets span the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s. One of them has Michael Jackson, and no, it's not a duet with one of his siblings or Paul McCartney.
The music of San Francisco is a lot more than the fabled San Francisco sound. The city's given the world its share of punk, new wave, light rock, disco, power pop and R&B. Grace Slick and her band show up here too, but without the psychedelia.
Every 10th episode of “Music Raygun” is a “grab bag” with no specific topic discussed. But for this grab bag episode, there’s a theme: summer. What does that mean? Songs about summer, songs Kirk and Paul remember from particular summers, or just songs that “feel” like summer to them. So celebrate summertime with two people who don’t particularly even like summer, but love summer music. It’s the summer grab bag.
Nearly 60 episodes deep into this podcast but we’ve never before focused an episode on an iconic record label. Better late than never as the first label we chose for an episode topic is the iconic Def Jam Recordings. In addition to the holy trinity of the label’s early years—Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys—this one’s got Oran “Juice” Jones, Slayer and the Bangles. Plus lots more.
We’re celebrating Kirk’s birthday as he picks the clips for this entire show. It’s the long-promised “Music Raygun” smooth jazz episode. All the greats of smooth jazz are here, like Grover Washington, David Sanborn, Bob James and even Sting for some reason that makes sense in Kirk’s brain. In fact, this whole episode is like taking a long look inside Kirk’s brain. Don’t fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a smooth night.
Singer. Songwriter. Producer. Multi-instrumentalist. Power pop godfather. Technologist. Innovator. Born to synthesize. That's Todd Rundgren. He's the musical genius behind Nazz, Utopia and a long solo career full of hits from "Hello, It's Me" to "Bang the Drum All Day." And he's produced a vast and varied group of other artists. Like Badfinger, the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Hall and Oates, XTC, the Psychedelic Furs and more. This episode covers Rundgren and several of the other artists mentioned. He's Todd Rundgren, a wizard, a true star.
In an episode that focuses on one instrument, Paul and Kirk look closer at some of the great pianists in history. Like Chico Marx. And Dennis DeYoung, of course. Kirk finally realizes, thanks to a little help from "Russian Doll," that he loves Harry Nilsson. Oscar Peterson teaches Dick Cavett to play piano like any of the great jazz pianists. Wolfgang humiliates Antonio right in front of the Holy Roman Emperor. Some snot-nosed college-boy piano player shows Billy Joel how it's done. Plus lots and lots more.