Discord & Rhyme: An Album Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

031: Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)

My, my, my! Brian Eno is the producer’s producer, so it only makes sense that Producer Mike would eventually get around to him. Eno is renowned for producing classic albums for U2 and Talking Heads, pioneering and naming the genre of ambient music, and composing the seven seconds that comforted Windows 95 users as they learned how to use the Start button. Today, Mike guides Dan, John, and Rich through Here Come the Warm Jets, Eno’s 1974 solo debut, released shortly after Roxy Music proved too small to house both his ego and Bryan Ferry’s. Warm Jets was composed and produced piecemeal in the studio, which Eno saw as its own instrument, and the result is a taped-together masterpiece filled with overdubs (one song contains 27 tracks of piano). It can take some time for the noisy blur of Warm Jets to coalesce into identifiable, hummable pieces, but we’re hoping to help ease you into the madness.

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030 (feat. Shivam Bhatt): Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory (1999)

Progessive metal titans Dream Theater are one of those “love them or hate them” bands that everybody seems to have an opinion on. Phil firmly falls into the “love them” category. On this episode, he and the crew take on one of Dream Theater’s most well-known albums, 1999’s “Metropolis Pt. 2 - Scenes From A Memory”, and get into the nitty gritty about what they like about it and what they don’t like about it. There’s a lot more discord on this episode of Discord And Rhyme than average, as the crew ranges from lovers (Phil) to the more skeptical (everyone else).

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029: Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (1997)

Arguably the rock-geekiest band of all time, Hoboken indie-rockers Yo La Tengo have internalized seemingly every album they've ever heard, and they mix these diverse influences into distinctive and tasty musical stir-fries. Sometimes they're noisy and deliberately sloppy, sometimes they're gorgeous and pensive, but they're almost always engaging, and I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One is simultaneously their most accessible and their most eclectic album to date. It also happens to be Will's favorite album ever, so get ready for a heapin' helpin' of superlatives as he hosts this in-depth look at its 16 songs, along with fellow YLT fans Dan, Mike, and Rich.

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028: The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children (1969)

We are commemorating the 50th anniversary of two world-changing events: the Apollo 11 moon landing and the release of To Our Children’s Children’s Children, the Moody Blues’ very best album. At least, that is the opinion of the five of us on this episode, and we did our very best to convey why we love this music with all our hearts. Dense but accessible, spine-chillingly beautiful, and toweringly ambitious, To Our Children’s Children’s Children pushed the band’s sound as far as it could possibly go. We can’t possibly express how much we love it in a mere two and a half hours, but we sure tried.

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027: The Jam - Setting Sons (1979)

Get jammed by Discord & Rhyme! This week, we spotlight British punk rockers the Jam, specifically their 1979 post-punk opus Setting Sons. John, Rich, Dan, and host Ben unpack Paul Weller's dark subject matter and make the case that it can still result in fun — and even uplifting — music. It doesn't hurt that the band's spare, crackling energy makes even the dourest songs danceable, and that the 20-year-old Weller's worldview — cynical and biting, but somehow still hopeful — transcends the grimy streets of late-1970s England. Join four Yanks (plus one expat in an edifying guest appearance) as we discuss how Paul Weller's message resonates with us — even 40 years later, even Over Here, and even in our decidedly un-punky mid-thirties.

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026: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica (1969)

This week, the Discord and Rhyme crew settle in for a breezy, fast ‘n bulbous chat about one of the most infamously impenetrable albums of the 20th century. Sure, we could have made it easy on ourselves and chosen one of Captain Beefheart’s shorter, more accessible records, but where’s the fun in that? On this episode, Dan guides Mike, Phil, and Rich through Beefheart (and the Magic Band)’s 1969 magnum opus Trout Mask Replica, a double (yes, double) album that, depending on who you ask, is either a hugely influential, groundbreaking masterpiece or completely unlistenable noise. Listen as we discuss the insane story behind how the album was made, list the dozens upon dozens of bands and artists who have scrapped the album’s sound for parts in the decades since, and break down why people who enjoy it aren’t just trying to prove how cool they are.

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025 (feat. Dave Weigel): Yes - The Yes Album (1971) and Drama (1980)

It’s Discord & Rhyme’s 25th episode, and we’re celebrating by tackling not one, but two Yes albums (with more in common than they appear to have): The Yes Album from 1971, and Drama from 1980. In this double-length episode, Rich, Phil, and Amanda join forces with Prog John and (making a return appearance) with Washington Post reporter David Weigel, aka Prog Dave, aka The Man Who Wrote The Book On Prog. Yes has one of the craziest histories of any major band from the 1970s onward, marked by a willingness to replace anybody at any time, most notably demonstrated by the time that they responded to the departure of their singer and keyboardist by replacing them with The Buggles, and this episode features a deep dive into the history of Yes and the circumstances that led to one of the least likely lineups ever formed. Join us for a discussion of one of John’s very favorite bands, full of silly sing-alongs, ridiculous listicles of yesteryear, and one of the most scorching hot takes this show will ever produce.

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024 (feat. Libby Cudmore): The B-52’s - Wild Planet (1980)

SURPRISE!!! We just thought we’d drop by, for an episode that’s truly a Discord & Rhyme party out of bounds. This week, Rich turns his watch back to late ‘70s Athens, GA, where you were either a student, a townie, or one of the artsy deadbeats in between. The B-52s fit into that last category, and the quintet had no artistic inspirations — they just sort of alternated between hanging out and crashing people’s parties, until a fateful encounter with a flaming volcano rum drink birthed the band proper. You most likely know the B-52s from their late ‘80s MTV comeback hits “Love Shack” and “Roam,” but we’re delving into their 1980 sophomore album Wild Planet, which captures every side of the band’s unique vibe, as well as how all five members contributed to their signature sound. And we’ve got a B-52s-sized panel for you: Rich is joined by Amanda, Phil, Ben, and special guest Libby Cudmore, who we hope will make a return visit to Discord & Rhyme’s wild planet.

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023: Kate Bush - The Dreaming (1982)

Discord & Rhyme’s panel is just a power trio this week of John, Rich, and host Producer Mike, but that didn’t stop them from covering an album with some of the headiest concepts in popular music. On 1982’s The Dreaming, Kate Bush opines on the futility of squeezing the totality of human knowledge into your puny brain; tells a tale of a heist caper that’s more about the anxiety of pulling off a heist; and puts you in the head of a Viet Cong soldier who’s about to throw a grenade — and that’s just the first three songs! Mike loves The Dreaming because the music sounds like it’s “happening in some non-Euclidean space inside Kate Bush’s head,”  and if you’re only familiar with her already out-there hits like “Running Up That Hill” and “Wuthering Heights,” the pure sonic experience of this album may be overwhelming. But if you sit back and let the weirdness in, this is music unlike anything else on this plane of reality.

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022: Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties (1974)

Yeah, yeah, we know, I got a fever, yadda yadda. At this point, Blue Öyster Cult are probably best known for the 2000 Saturday Night Live sketch “More Cowbell,” where Christopher Walken repeatedly demands that the band play up the faint cowbell in their 1975 hit single “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” and we all had a good laugh. But the sketch barely scratches the surface of the fascinating, strange depths of BÖC’s music. The band started off as basically a vessel for the vision of rock critic Sandy Pearlman, who filled their lyrics with convoluted mythology and gave the band rock music’s very first decorative umlaut. And despite their goal of being “the American Black Sabbath,” BÖC didn’t really sound like any rock music of the time, to the point where Eric Bloom could call his rhythm guitar “stun guitar” and nobody would think to ask why. In this episode, Phil leads Dan, Mike, and Rich through Secret Treaties, the pinnacle of the band as a cohesive vision, featuring a lyrical cameo by Patti Smith and the story of a U.S. Supreme Court justice who steals people’s eyeballs. You know, like people do.

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