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Crash Chords Podcast

Music Podcasts

The Crash Chords Podcast is an eternal war for artistic scrutiny. Follow along with our intensive album analyses by diving into the album yourself first — using our Spotify play buttons, when available — and then join us in asking the hard questions. Expect guest panelists, broader topics concerning music as an art form, episode specials, and surprise performances.


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The Crash Chords Podcast is an eternal war for artistic scrutiny. Follow along with our intensive album analyses by diving into the album yourself first — using our Spotify play buttons, when available — and then join us in asking the hard questions. Expect guest panelists, broader topics concerning music as an art form, episode specials, and surprise performances.






CCP Ep. #251: Colors by Beck

Beck returns (or did he really ever leave) with his newest album Colors, although the guys had to stop themselves from putting a 'u' in there. Unlike previous releases, Beck goes for dance with new pop producer Greg Kurstin, which may have wound up being a strange tribute to the 80's. But Beck never really cares for labels, does he? ...Should he? Continue reading


CCP Ep. #250: Fifth Anniversary Special | The Honest, Earnest, Authentic, and True Podcast

A Critical Look at Criticism: It's our FIFTH anniversary! That's five seasons at fifty episodes a piece, covering nearly that many albums, topics, as well as debates over what many would consider a trifling corner of cultural discourse. Five years has taught us that music truly is a boundless medium. And so, in our album discussions---incorporating everything from literary analogies to politics, psychology, sociology, life, love, pain, sorrow, and ever more complex conditions---we strive to honor artists' hard labor by (at the very least) participating in combined acts of analysis, brainstorming, ruthless criticism, and garrulous adulation. It's a mixed bag, but we hope, a fruitful one. In this episode, we will be: • Reflecting on the project; • Discussing the barriers between criticism and analysis; • Championing the merits of fact-checking; • Discussing logical fallacies, laws, and rhetorical gibberish; • Citing examples of specific critics and critical works, from Glenn Gould, to Pitchfork, to Yahtzee, and RedLetterMedia, where language, rhetoric, and satire have all aided the work, for good and for ill; • Coming to terms with our own fallacies, clichés, and internet nonsense. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #249: Migration by Bonobo

Day 4! It's our last episode of the season, before our anniversary episode, and the project is Migration by Bonobo, the one-man project of British DJ Simon Green. Green describes Migration as "a study of people and spaces"; we'll briefly touch on that, but we're also interested in the artist's crafty use of texture and soundscapes. Let's have some analysis, some debate, and finally take a look at the idea of a cathartic experience vs. an antidotal experience. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #248: Somersault by Beach Fossils

(More like summersault, am I right?) Known as Beach Fossils, the unassuming Brooklyn-based low-fi indie rock band's latest release is a head-scratcher alright --- enjoyable, catchy, yet difficult to explain apart from our, admittedly, singularly-minded compulsion to conform it to the summer season. Let's kick off the episode with a discussion on the ambiguous "summer album" before diving into Somersault itself by the Beach Fossils. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #247: Peasant by Richard Dawson

Day 2! While it might seem that the word "folk" gets applied to just about everything these days, English songwriter Richard Dawson has the apparent distinction of existing both at the primeval and pioneering fronts of that genre. With his unusual cracked vocals crooning over a broken (yes, literally broken) guitar, Dawson gives us Peasant, transplanting us to a Britain of very long ago, where not everything is as it appears and where coarseness and beauty are one and the same. Let's unpack this project together and share its most attractive (and its most contentious) qualities. Also, what warped or broken instrument would you care to play? We've got ours, let's hear yours! Continue reading


CCP Ep. #246: Dying Surfer Meets His Maker by All Them Witches

And we're back! It's time to play catch-up as we post some episodes from lost weeks and proceed to count down to our 250th episode, our 5th anniversary spectacular! Expect an episode of the Crash Chords each day 'til Saturday 7/22 --- that's five episodes for five years. Today's episode gets a bit on the 'trippy' side as we explore All Them Witches' 2015 release, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, a work of neo-psychedelic proportions with a blues heart. You know the drill: let's break it down, build it up, tear it down again, and have some fun. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #245: Life is Good by Flogging Molly

After a six-year hiatus, the Celtic Rock staple of many-a merry pub crawler, Flogging Molly, has returned with a new album called Life is Good. (Isn't it though?) Let's spend an inordinate amount of time answering that particular question without answering it at all. Also, let's talk about the music. Then, after all the 'weighing ins' and 'reflecting upons', let's ponder the question of musical self-honesty. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #244: Black Origami by Jlin

Funneled through the gates of Footwork and IDM are the sounds of Black Origami, a confluence of rhythmic theses, footnotes, and diatribes produced by composer/DJ Jerrilynn Patton (Jlin). Though only her second album, Black Origami is born of a collaboration with Indian dance & movement artist Avril Stormy Unger, and of a kind of artistic freedom she has long been seeking. Let's explore the album together and then return to a fond old subject: objectifying the subjective---or vice-a-versa! Continue reading


CCP Ep. #243: Noenemies by Flobots

Where were you in September 2012? We were fumbling through the Flobots' last album, The Circle in the Square. And now, after many moons, we're tackling them again, hopefully with steadier hands and heads. Jonny 5, Brer Rabbit, KennyO, and company are back at it, releasing their first album in that timespan, Noenemies. We'll discuss the current state of Flobots, the new album and its content, while touching briefly on "having your back against the wall" so to speak---confronting the 'thens' and 'nows' of critical consideration. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #242: Every Where Is Some Where by K.Flay

Make way for K.Flay, the indie pop & rap artist whose introspective approach to songwriting and blend of singing styles warrant some proper dissection. Tackling her most recent LP, Every Where Is Some Where, we invite you to join us as we inspect the highlights and mull over a variety of details. With plenty of praise and plenty of debate, where do you stand in the track-by-track? Also stick around for a discussion on the fine line between comfort and propaganda. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #241: Humanz by Gorillaz

It's time for everyone's favorite (and perhaps only) virtual band! Although we've inspected the work of Damon Albarn before, this is our first chance to take on the Gorillaz, an unrelated ensemble of animated musicians --- 2-D, Mudoc, Noodle, and Russel --- who, as far as we're concerned, are behind the music we're hearing. On their latest album, Humanz, the Gorillaz introduce a bevy of artists, both old and new, to help with the project and take on its variety of subjects. Let's follow along! And save room for a brief discussion on the subjectivity and flexibility of rating criteria where art is concerned. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #240: All the Way by Diamanda Galás

Today we're surveying the front lines of musical sensibilities. Avant garde singer, pianist, composer, and painter Diamanda Galás isn't your everyday rom-com soprano. With a voice that's been known to induce fear in a single note, bolstered by a three-and-a-half octave range, Diamanda's followers range from fringe jazz cats to left field metalheads. Let's let the work speak for itself; in this case, the work consists of peculiar re-workings of traditional jazz tunes… with a couple of surprises as well. The album is called All the Way, borrowed from its titular track, a cover of the familiar Frank Sinatra tune. Follow the originals with the provided playlist! We'll explain them as we go. Also stick around for a discussion on the necessity of surveying all sides of the spectrum---good/bad, ugly/beautiful, moral/immoral---for only then do we have sufficient context for passing judgement. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #239: Rosetta by Vangelis

Let's traverse the cosmos to check in on our oft-mentioned composer of all things 'space', the one and only Vangelis. Although marrying electronic music to space-oriented themes is fairly intuitive, Vangelis, who cornered the market on it, also happens to have a penchant for paying homage to specific space missions. This time around, that homage is Rosetta, the musical play-by-play of the eponymous ESA probe's voyage to Churyumov–Gerasimenko [comet 67P]. From the origins of the comet to Rosetta's decade-long journey, to its dramatic end-of-mission impact---and let's not forget about our brave little lander Philae---Vangelis has more than enough fodder for some juicy composition, as do we for some juicy discussion! Oh and our topic, you ask? Totally unrelated… SPACE. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #238: Drunk by Thundercat

At the behest of listener (and former guest Devin Jackson Mullen of Anxious Kids Make Good People), today we're taking on Drunk, the latest project by Thundercat, the stage name of grammy-award winning bassist Stephen Bruner. Composed by Bruner, but with the help of long-time collaborator Flying Lotus and a myriad of guest artists, Drunk is a 23-track wormhole that explores the inventive and demented mind of the talented bassist --- under any and all of life's circumstances. Let's explore the album together before broadcasting a monster monologue [@2:19:21 - @2:40:24] covering the ethics of criticism, a response to an artist, and some changes to the format of the series. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #237: Atlas by FM-84

Put on your speedos and roll, yes, roll down your windows. Today we're surfing through some retrowave, a genre that's all about those bygone times... but who's kidding who: those times are the 1980s. With a debut album called Atlas, FM-84 (the mostly one-man project of Col Bennett) introduces vocalists Josh Dally, Ollie Wride, and Clive Farrington to help him with his first LP. The idea certainly caught our attention, as did its striking album cover, but ultimately, does it pass the album test? We'll hash out a few discussions along those lines while for our topic we wrestle with the question of whether nostalgia is a prerequisite for just about everything we enjoy in some fashion. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #236: Actually, Extremely by Snooze

We are actually, extremely, keenly, and especially excited for today's album. (Really.) You'll want to stick it out to the end for this one as we've got a lot of material lined up for discussion courtesy of math rock band Snooze and their debut album Actually, Extremely. If you're unfamiliar with math rock, take a chance on the genre, take a chance on Snooze, and take a chance on us! Let's kick it off with some album art silliness and dive deep into some hardscrabble analysis. We also have out some pre-monologue monologues concerning---hoo boy---police brutality and how it is discussed. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #235: Performance by Age Coin

Another dip into the wide world of electronica, this week we're tackling an industrial techno album called Performance by Age Coin. Formerly of the band Lower, the duo behind Age Coin are Kristian Emdal and Simon Formann who, according to their label Posh Isolation, have (in Performance) divined "a cracked bump & flex from the condensation of a joyride." Well! Cryptic orders aside, we hope your ears are as prepped as ours for a full analysis of Performance as well as a discussion on the inevitability of comparison and the mono-directionality of taste. Feel differently? Comment! Continue reading


CCP Ep. #234: Headspace by Issues

Once again, we're reaching deep into the grab bag... a mysterious album brought to us by a mysterious listener: The Mysterious Mark H. Past harbinger of Black Messiah and FFS, Mysterious's latest recommendation came with precious few clues, apart from it being dubbed "a curveball", thus distinguishing it from his previous picks. Without letting on too much, the album is called Headspace by the band Issues. (And do bear with us, as, in all great mysteries, the "big reveal" is nothing without its share of red herrings.) Also stick around for a light discussion on personal thresholds for musical components. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #233: Zombies on Broadway by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

You might know him from Something Corporate, or even from Jack's Mannequin; well now, know him from his official solo project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. As the artist appears to have settled on the new stage name (for now), today we'll be looking at the second solo album released under that moniker, Zombies on Broadway. Afterwards, stick around for a discussion on how experiencing a live show or a studio album first can affect one another. Continue reading


CCP Ep. #232: Oczy Mlody by The Flaming Lips

Oczy Mlody? ...Otshee Mwodee? ...Oxycodone? ...Whatever it is, it's the latest creation by alt rock veterans, The Flaming Lips. Inspired by phrases from a Polish translation of Erkine Caldwell's novel 'Close to Home', Oczy Mlody is certainly a head scratcher, easing us into a dreamlike haze, surprising us in moments, and challenging our rating system like never before. Stick around after the analysis [@2:12:34] for a discussion on evolving perspectives, multiple mindsets, and the effort to avoid our own echo chambers. Continue reading