Oliver Wang

EP91: Comeback Albums and Mailbag Special

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Show: 
Heat Rocks

We here at Heat Rocks took a break from recording episodes in order to recharge our batteries. We thought we'd celebrate our return with an episode partly dedicated to our favorite comeback albums.
In the second half, we rummage through the Heat Rocks mailbag and answer listener questions about great debut albums, summer jams, the weirdest record sleeve finds, and more!

Show Tracklisting:

  • Mariah Carey: Butterfly
  • Dr. Buzzards Original Savannah Band: Cherchez la Femme/ Se Si Bon
  • Mariah Carey: Breakdown
  • LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out
  • LL Cool J: Milky Cereal
  • Jay-Z: December 4th
  • Jay-Z: Dirt Off Your Shoulders
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Black Spasmodic
  • A Tribe Called Quest: We The People...
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Solid Wall of Sound
  • D'Angelo: Send It On
  • D'Angelo: Devil's Pie
  • Brandy: Brokenhearted
  • Joe Budden: Pump It Up
  • Young Gunz: Friday Night
  • Jay-Z: Show Me What You Got
  • The Rebirth: This Journey In
  • The Internet: Wanna Be
  • Missy Elliott: Sock It 2 Me
  • Digable Planets: Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
  • Digable Planets: Black Ego
  • Prince: Diamond and Pearls
  • Cissy Houston: Warning - Danger
  • Floyd Anckle: Hey Pocky A-Way
  • Johnny Nash: Cupid
  • Chaka Khan: Caught in the Act
  • Skye: Aint No Need

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Pop Rocket: The Final Episode

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Show: 
Pop Rocket

**Warning - this episode contains lots of tears**

For the final episode of Pop Rocket, the panel convene to give listeners one last All About, one last Jam, and they look back at the past four and a half years, and all the various milestones they’ve shared with one another and their listeners while doing the show--marriages, deaths, birth, book deals, finding a new home, and so many other memories. It’s raw. It’s wonderful. In addition, we’ll hear phone calls from listeners and friends of the show about what Pop Rocket meant to them. Plus, Guy shares the best abortion joke he’s ever heard.

Lastly, Wynter and Karen reveal their new, upcoming podcast, and how you can stay in touch with them beyond Pop Rocket.

ALL ABOUTS
Margaret: Broad City series finale
Karen: Gentleman Jack
Wynter Veep
Guy: Long Shot

That's My Jam

Margaret: George Harrison-If Not for You

Karen: The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

Guy: Christine Anu, David Hobson - Now Until the Break of Day

Wynter: Sid Vicious - My Way

Announcement
Karen Tongson and Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh have a new podcast in the works called Waiting to X-hale


Waiting to X-hale Podcast

Waiting to X-hale is a brand new woman-of-color driven podcast hosted by Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and Karen Tongson, revisiting the pop culture and transformative social issues that defined Generation X. Our discussions, debates, and instructional interludes will let you see your favorite (and least favorite) aspects of GenX culture in a way that sheds new light on both then, and now. A special preview episode is dropping in early June with regular episodes recurring after Karen returns from her book tour in July.

For more information, sign up for the Waiting to X-hale newsletter, and follow the show on Twitter:
@waiting2xhalepd

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

EP86: DJ Rashida on OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
DJ Rashida

The Album: OutKast Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)

Antwan (Big Boi) Patton and Andre (Dre) Benjamin began collaborating in 1992 and paired their genuis presenting it for the world to see on their debut project SouthernPlayalisticadillacmuzik which released on LaFace records in the spring of 1994.

LA’s own DJ Rashida sat with us to talk southern charm, the musicality of this album, black consciousness through the lyrics, what made the interludes so compelling and why this album stands the real test of time.

More on DJ Rashida

More on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik unless indicated otherwise):

  • Hootie Hoo
  • Arrested Development: Tennessee
  • Call of da Wild
  • True Dat (Interlude)
  • Welcome to Atlanta (Interlude)
  • Ain't No Thang
  • Funky Ride
  • Ain't No Thang
  • Claimin' True
  • Crumblin' Erb
  • Myintrotoletuknow
  • Flim Flam
  • Git Up, Git Out
  • Player's Ball
  • Player's Ball (Reprise)
  • The Roots: Proceed
  • Society of Soul: E.M.B.R.A.C.E.

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP85: Moby on Joy Division's "Closer" (1980)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Moby

The Album: Joy Division Closer (1980)

Moby has been in the game for over three decades, making punk, electronic, alt-rock, dance, and everything in between. When we heard he was coming on Heat Rocks, we had no idea what album he'd pick, but we knew it was going to be some absolute fire.

Joy Division were pioneers, blending genres and helping create and popularize the sound that would become post-punk. Unfortunately, Closer would be Joy Division's final album. On May 18th 1980, just weeks before Joy Division's first tour in America, lead singer Ian Curtis took his own life. Factory Records released the album a few months later, and the remaining members would go on to form New Order.

We sat down with Moby to talk about post-punk, the wildly varied music scene on the East coast in the 80s, and the shift from Joy Division to New Order. We chat about Ian's deteriorating mental wellness and Moby's own experiences playing with New Order and covering Joy Division songs. Grab a chair, this conversation goes deep.

Moby's new book, "Then It Fell Apart" is out now. Cop it at your local bookstore.

More on Moby

More on Closer

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Closer unless indicated otherwise):

  • Twenty Four Hours
  • Moby: Natural Blues
  • Heart and Soul
  • Joy Division: Wilderness
  • Decades
  • Atrocity Exhibition
  • Nolan Porter: Keep On Keepin' On
  • Joy Division: Interzone
  • The Eternal
  • Moby: New Dawn Fades
  • Atrocity Exhibition
  • Twenty Four Hours
  • Isolation
  • Atrocity Exhibition
  • The Nonce: Mix Tapes
  • Elliott Smith: No Name No. 5

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP83: Karen Tongson on The Carpenters' "A Song For You" (1972)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

The Album: The Carpenters' A Song For You (1972)

dulcet (adjective) used to describe a sound that is soothing and soft, like the dulcet harmonies in a 70s pop song or the dulcet tones of a harp.

It seems like Karen Carpenter invented dulcet tones. Her velvet buttery vocals floated and soared on songs like "We've Only Just Begun", "Top Of The World", "Close To You". Alongside her brother Richard, she created a signature sound built around layered arrangements and harmonies.

Our guest, Pop Rocket's own Karen Tongson, sat with us on Heat Rocks to deep dive into the Carpenters seminal, Close To You, their second studio album released on August 19th, 1970. We talked about what made Karen Carpenter's voice inimitable and extraordinary, how the Carpenters invented the power ballad, Karen's enunciation and lower register, and listened to acapellas that made us all swoon.

Karen's book "Why Karen Carpenter" makes its debut on June 1st and will cover all the ground we didn't in this episode, sans music, but Heat Rocks recommends that you listen to music of The Carpenters in prep!

More on Karen Tongson

More on A Song For You

Show Tracklisting (all songs from A Song For You unless indicated otherwise):

  • Hurting Each Other
  • Goodbye to Love
  • The Carpenters: We've Only Just Begun
  • Donny Hathaway: A Song For You
  • A Song For You
  • Piano Picker
  • Crystal Lullaby
  • I Won't Last A Day Without You
  • Diana Ross: I Won't Last A Day Without You
  • I Won't Last A Day Without You
  • Intermission
  • The Carpenters: Rainy Days and Mondays (isolated vocals)
  • Goodbye to Love
  • Road Ode
  • I Won't Last A Day Without You
  • Top of the World

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP82: Sy Smith on Meshell Ndgeocello's Plantation Lullabies (1993)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Sy Smith

The Album: Meshell Ndgeocello Plantation Lullabies (1993)

When Plantation Lullabies first hit the scene back in 1993, there wasn't anything really like it. Meshell Ndgeocello was a bald, badass, and bold woman with bars talking about sexuality, racism, and gender relations while paving the way for neo-soul music and artists.
Plantation Lullabies gave us many, many things, and Sy Smith (who has played alongside Meshell for years) came by the studio to talk to us about it. We discuss the impact it had on neo-soul, the shades of funk and go-go throughout the record, and the freedom it offered to black America.
Settle in, because this episode and this album are essential to any Heat Rocker.

More on Sy Smith

More on Plantation Lullabies

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Plantation Lullabies unless indicated otherwise):

  • Soul On Ice
  • Sy Smith: Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete
  • Dred Loc
  • If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)
  • Picture Show
  • Shoot'n Up and Gett'n High
  • If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)
  • Plantation Lullabies
  • I'm Diggin' You - Like An Old Soul Record
  • Dred Loc
  • Call Me
  • Untitled
  • Meshell Ndegeocello: Nocturnal Sunshine
  • Meshell Ndegeocello: Rush Over
  • If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)
  • Soul On Ice

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP80: The Art of Sampling #1, James Brown's "In the Jungle Groove" (1984)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks

The Album: James Brown: In the Jungle Groove (1986)
This is the first of what will eventually be four episodes, released quarterly, that focus on the art of sampling. As Morgan explains in this episode, sampling isn't simply a key aesthetic within pop music styles, especially hip-hop, it's also an important way through which the past becomes present, allowing us to rediscover artists of yore. No artist in the 1980s benefitted more from this than James Brown.
By the end of the decade, Brown's long funk discography had seemingly been mined thousands of ways over but if you had to trace things back to a ground zero, you'd find In the Jungle Groove, the 1986 compilation from Polydor that practically felt designed for sampling, especially by highlighting some of Brown's fiercest and funkiest tracks, complete with new edits and remixes, none more far-reaching than "Funky Drummer," a former 45-only jam that the comp not only released in its full form but also took Clyde Stubblefield's iconic breakbeat and looped it into its own standalone track. 
For our inaugural Art of Sampling episode, we revisit In the Jungle Groove and talk about both our favorite songs off the comp as well as our favorite uses of those various tracks. Listen to how we give it up and turn it loose.  
More on In the Jungle Groove

Show Tracklisting (all songs from In the Jungle Groove unless indicated otherwise):

  • Funky Drummer
  • Digable Planets: Where I'm From
  • N.W.A.: Fuck Tha Police
  • Public Enemy: Fight the Power
  • Funky Drummer
  • Nas: Get Down
  • The Incredible Bongo Band: Apache
  • Nas: Made You Look
  • Masta Ace Incorporated: Boom Bashin'
  • George Michael: Waiting For That Day
  • Skull Snaps: It's A New Day
  • The Winstons: Amen Brother
  • Public Enemy: Bring the Noise
  • Funky Drummer
  • Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose
  • Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing
  • Keek and Qagee: Don't Say It, Sing It
  • Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose
  • Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
  • Gang Starr: Gotch U
  • CeCe Peniston: Finally (Remix)
  • Full Force: Ain't My Type of Hype
  • Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
  • Hot Pants
  • I Got To Move
  • Showbiz and AG: Diggin' In The Crates
  • Cypress Hill: How I Can Just Kill A Man (Blunted Remix)
  • Funky Drummer

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP78: Heartbreak Radio on the "Chungking Express" soundtrack (1994)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Lady Imix
Guests: 
DJ Phatrick

The Album: Chungking Express Soundtrack (1994)
Legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai has long been known for how he integrates pop songs into his films and soundtracks. Chungking Express, Wong's breakout international hit, was no exception as he worked  in everything from '60s folk pop to '70s reggae to '90s alternative in the mix, alongside an original score by longtime composer partners Roel Garcia and Frankie Chan. To discuss the melding of sound, image and story in Wong's fanciful tale of two cops and the women who (may or may not) love them, we brought in the hosts of Heartbreak Radio, Lady Imix and DJ Phatrick.
Heartbreak Radio which began as an internet show devoted to the sounds of "beautiful sadness" and now it broadcasts every two weeks on KQBH LP, 101.5 FM, a micro-transmitter station out of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Imix (aka Sol) and Phatrick (aka Patrick) are now old hands at the sounds of love and longing and it was obvious why they'd want to muse on the music of Chungking Express. Together we talked about how Wong Kar Wai's movies use pop, how the right song can enhance a character and whether or not Oliver is bugging out when he says that he can't stand to hear "California Dreamin'" anymore.
The MaxFunDrive is in full swing! If you like what we do, please consider becoming a monthly supporter. We love making this show and we are able to make it because of your support! Head over to maximumfun.org/donate now!

More on Lady Imix and DJ Phatrick

More on the music of Chungking Express

Show Tracklisting (all songs from the soundtrack of Chungking Express unless indicated otherwise):

  • Fornication in Space
  • Things in Life
  • Heartbreak Interlude
  • Flying Pickets: Only You
  • Los Indios Tabajara: Always in My Heart
  • Nat King Cole: Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
  • What A Difference A Day Makes
  • Urge Overkill: Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon
  • California Dreamin'
  • Lee Moses: California Dreamin'
  • Fornication in Space
  • Things in Life
  • Dreams
  • What A Difference A Day Makes
  • Dreams

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP77: Illa J on Prince's "Dirty Mind" (1980)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Illa J

The Album: Prince Dirty Mind (1980)

Dirty Mind, Prince's third album, arrived on the scene in the late fall of 1980, and brought with it a salaciousness we hadn't known heretofore. The album, a mix of punk, funk and disco allowed Prince to play with gender and genre as well as sexual innuendo and double entendre.

Beatmaker and producer Illa J sat down with us to talk about why Dirty Mind for him is an all time heatrock, what makes the album impossible to stop bumping and how Prince was on time and ahead of his time all at the same time.

This episode was short and sweet - just like Dirty Mind. Check it.

More on Illa J

More on Dirty Mind

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Dirty Mind unless indicated otherwise):

  • Uptown
  • Illa J: Enjoy the Ride
  • Partyup
  • Dirty Mind
  • Prince: Controversy
  • Dirty Mind
  • When You Were Mine
  • The Bangles" Manic Monday
  • Sister
  • Partyup
  • When You Were Mine
  • Head
  • Gotta Broken Heart Again
  • Vanity 6: Nasty Girl
  • Britney Spears: I'm A Slave 4 U
  • Uptown

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

*updated EP76: Nick Waterhouse on Jackie Shane's Any Other Way (2017)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Nick Waterhouse

Dear Heatrockers,

On a recent episode, our deep dive into Jackie Shane's "Any Other Way", we unintentionally misgendered Ms. Shane and the late Wilmer Broadnax. Although some of this was addressed at the start of the episode, we'd like to take the opportunity to apologize to members of the transgender community and anyone who found our choice of words offensive and insensitive. We have re-cut the episode to remove the discussion of Broadnax and we pledge for the future to do a more thoughtful job in choosing our language in a respectful and accurate manner. Thanks to all of you who sent us feedback on this; we appreciate your input and support.

The Album: Jackie Shane Any Other Way (2017)

This week's episode focuses on the life, career and resurgence of soul singing trans pioneer Jackie Shane, who spent much of the 50's and 60's alongside Frank Motley and the Motley Crew band enthralling Toronto audiences with her voice, her presence and her realism.

We were thrilled to be joined by another old soul, singer Nick Waterhouse, a cool kid from the best coast whose sonic leanings hearken back to a time and type of rhythm and blues. He came to share the Jackie Shane's influence on him as a singer, the splendor that was her life and the songs that moved him from her seminal 2017 compilation album, Any Other Way.

This one's too good to miss!

And be sure to check out Nick Waterhouse's new self-titled record releasing 03/08.

More on Nick Waterhouse

More on Any Other Way

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Any Other Way unless indicated otherwise):

  • New Way of Loving
  • Nick Waterhouse: Wreck the Rod
  • Stand Up Straight and Tall
  • Walking the Dog
  • Any Other Way
  • Frank Motley and the Hitchhikers: Hook & Sling
  • Money (That's What I Want)
  • Dual Trumpet Bounce - Live
  • Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - Live
  • Comin' Down
  • Money (That's What I Want)
  • Violent Femmes: Blister in the Sun
  • Stand Up Straight and Tall
  • Money (That's What I Want) - Live
  • Walking the Dog
  • Shotgun - Live

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

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