How can two Joes Bag o’ Doughnuts like us hope to reckon with the fact of a living deity like Madonna? By admitting from the start that we only scratch the surface of the surface of this episode’s topic. But we’ll track the lion’s share of Madonna’s career from when she first popped in 1983 to her album “Music” in 2000. And we pick a few of the mind-melting number of iconic moments she packed into the 17 years in between. It’s Madonna Ciccone on “Music Raygun.”
We’re kicking off Year Two of this podcast by returning to the theme of our first episode. Sort of. That episode was about Prince. This episode is about Prince’s hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kirk has more Prince-associated artists to talk about. Paul looks at the big alt/punk bands that came from the Twin Cities in the ‘80s, plus some classic Minneapolis artists. It’s another episode of us being on different sides of the same coin. All that, plus we introduce a brand new segment to the show!
We’re wrapping up the first year of our podcast with a second helping of Music Raygun B-sides. That means looking back to past episode themes for bonus clips that we left out (or didn’t know about) the first time around. There’s a clip each from our episodes about the Jackson dynasty, Halloween, dance, Charlene deGuzman, the holidays, "Bad," Los Angeles and funk. Plus two from even older episodes. But you’ll just have to listen to find out which ones. Catch you on the flip side. Get it?
Music Raygun is finally focusing on the funk. Typical to their tastes, Paul leans toward the early funk years of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, while Kirk prefers the vibe of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. There are some favorites and some lesser-known acts. And the mix shows you how funk has influenced other musical genres, from rock to R&B to hip-hop and beyond, since its invention. That’s the kind of funk that we like. And then you make the ugly face. That’s funky.
Kirk and Paul already paid tribute to their respective hometowns of Cleveland and Providence, so now it’s time to acknowledge their shared current home: Los Angeles. All the clips in this episode feature bands from LA. But Kirk and Paul skew hard to their different favored genres. Kirk brings rap, R&B and funk to the table. Paul prefers garage rock, punk and power pop. And Angelyne makes an appearance, naturally. It’s a schizophrenic good time. Just like Los Angeles itself! We love/hate you, Butt Town.
Happy New Year, raygunners! In celebration of 2018’s dawn, this episode is something a little different. Kirk and Paul watch just one video. Well, two videos. It’s one music video, plus a short “making of” segment about it. And it’s Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” the Martin Scorsese-directed long-form music video that turned 30 a few months ago. “Bad” is 18 minutes of MJ at his most extra, at least up until that point. It’s equal parts genuinely cool and deeply corny. So there’s a lot to talk about.
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, wonderful solstice and cool Yule to everyone. We know a lot of people say they hate Christmas music, and to them we ask: Are you listening to the right Christmas music? We hope you’ll find something to like in our holiday playlist, which includes Grace Jones, The Ramones, Kurtis Blow, Kaela Kimura and more. There’s also a holiday treat from the worst boy band of all time. And Paul and Kirk reflect on a year without George Michael in the world.
For the first time on “Music Raygun,” our guest is the topic. Charlene deGuzman is a musician, dancer, comedian, writer and advice columnist. She and Paul look back at her time as a member of Stomp, as Hannah Montana’s drummer, as the creator of a YouTube video that’s been seen more than 51 million times, and as maker of many more wonderful things. Her upcoming film is “Unlovable,” which she wrote with Sarah Adina Smith and Mark Duplass, and stars in with John Hawkes and Melissa Leo.
For the second time on “Music Raygun,” our topic for this episode is no topic at all. It’s our first sequel episode as we bring you another grab bag of videos. We’re looking at an assortment of our favorite clips that more or less defy categorization. That means Elvis, Chakha Khan, Captain Beefheart and Anita O’Day all in one podcast. And that’s just to name a few of the wild artists we visit in this episode. Wesley Snipes is in there somewhere too. It’s a pod-boy bouillabaisse.
We’re joined by special guest Isabel Nelson, a friend of the show and, like Kirk, a trained dancer. That’s why the focus of this episode is dance. Isabel and Kirk are here to speak intelligently about the art form, with thoughtful comments rooted in their education and experience. Paul’s here too, to say his dumb opinions based on nothing. We’re talking about Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse, Boogaloo Shrimp and many others. It’s an especially visual episode, so be sure to check out the featured playlist for yourself.