Kirk’s on vacation, so pinch-hitter-in-chief Katie Willert is back in the “studio” to fill in for the Kragman. She and Paul are taking it easy for the Los Angeles summer heat wave, eschewing a themed episode entirely. Which means it’s time for another “Music Raygun” grab bag episode. Paul goes weirdly nostalgic for this one, digging up a bunch of vintage clips while Katie keeps things ever-so-slightly more current. But other than that, be prepared to follow your hosts wherever the wind and their fancy takes them.
For the first time since the second episode, we’re focusing strictly on music videos from a specific era. In this case, 1995-97. Given the age gap between Paul and Kirk, and their musical tastes, they experienced those years very differently from each other. But that only means this is an especially interesting and eclectic episode. So what were you doing in the mid to late ‘90s? Maybe you’re in for some reminiscing. Or maybe you’ll hear some tunes from 20-plus years ago that are new to you.
Here’s a new entry in the show’s series profiling music from different cities, states and regions of the USA. This time it’s a long look at Detroit, Michigan, aka Detroit Rock City, aka the Motor City, aka Motown. Detroit is a storied music metropolis that’s generated countless legendary artists. But Paul and Kirk avoid those mythical names to focus on the somewhat lesser-known singers and bands to emerge from the city of the straits. That doesn’t mean this episode doesn’t kick ass, though. Oh, it kicks ass.
Once again, “Music Raygun” welcomes a past guest back for another episode. Isabel Nelson returns to talk a bunch more about dance with Kirk, a fellow trained dancer; and Paul, a clumsy, oafish idiot. Baryshnikov makes a long overdue appearance, Marlon Jackson reminds us why he used to be “the dancingest Jackson,” Willi Ninja teaches the world how to vogue, and lots more. Just like our first spotlight on dance, this is an especially visual episode, so be sure to check out the featured playlist for yourself.
It’s time to snuggle up with your lovers under those covers, because you’re listening to the Quiet Storm on Music Raygun. Paul and Kirk welcome back Katie Willert to join them once again. This time they’re talking about slow jams, aka baby-making music. What constitutes a “slow jam” is open to interpretation. But one thing’s for sure: If you put the songs from this episode on an unlabeled cassette tape and play it for someone you invited to your dorm room, you’ll be dry-humping in no time.
Even if you don’t recognize the names of producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, you know their work. Because they’re responsible for dozens of the biggest pop hits of the last 30-plus years. Original members of The Time (as in Morris Day and the Time), Jam and Lewis are also the answer to the question, “Why is Prince’s egomania responsible for Janet Jackson’s entire music career?” And, as a human Prince encyclopedia, Kirk of course has a comprehensive knowledge of all things Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Last April, we gave you our first “Rebel Girls” episode of the podcast, so this year we wanted to make it an annual tradition. Here’s a bunch more badass woman in rock music, including Lunachicks, Liliput (nee Kleenex), Luscious Jackson, Screaming Females, Daddy Issues and more. We'll watch Regis and Kathie Lee try to get to the bottom of the New York hardcore scene in the mid-'80s. Wendy O. Williams drops in because she’s the patron saint of all true rebel girls. And who’s covering Debby Boone?
We went back to the bag for Music Raygun No. 30. The grab bag, that is. We’ve got a real rando-crando mix of artists, songs and videos for you in this episode, including Bad Manners, BadBadNotGood, Beefheart, Blossom (Dearie, that is) and other names that don’t start with the letter B. We also traveled through time to watch some ‘60s TV shows. And we figured out why the Little River Band’s is the music you hear when you die. So go ahead and grab our bag. (Sorry.)
When last we looked at hip-hop through the years, they were 1988-89. This time, they’re 1992-93. Kirk was finishing college. Paul was in elementary school. But they both have vivid memories of listening to hip-hop at the time. Gangsta rap got attention for the right and wrong reasons. Meanwhile, the Native Tongues sound carried on in A Tribe Called Quest and newcomers like Digable Planets. So here’s a heavy dose of nostalgia for the early ‘90s. We miss you, Golden Age of Hip-Hop. W.R.O.Y.
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.”