It’s time once again for the Popdose Music Roundtable, wherein the staff gabs about any music, new or old, that has been moving us over the past month…

Keith CreightonGranular Tales — the first CD by the Woodentops in more than 25 years — and a total return to Giant-era greatness. Also obsessing over an advance copy of the three disc C86 deluxe reissue on Cherry Red (who superbly spotlighted the same UK indie guitar pop scene with last year’s Scared to Get Happy collection). Come for the sonically pristine remastering, stay for the miles and miles of editorial gold in the liner notes. I am in heaven — kiss another box of crappy, hissy cassettes goodbye. 

Speaking of hundreds of crappy cassette quality songs (bootlegs), I am excited and nervous about the new Prince deal with Warner Brothers. Will “Witness 4 the Prosecution” finally become the #1 song it was destined 2 B?

Finally, wondering why Charli XCX keeps scoring mega hits with other artists (Icona Pop, Iggy Azaela) and not herself when last year’s True Romance was utter perfection.

Dw. Dunphy – Keith, I’m still kind of baffled by the Prince deal. It had to be, it was inevitable, but with all the animosity that went down between the two entities it seems impossible. If you had told me he would be working with the WB again, as Prince no less, at the start of his “symbol” and NPG Records phase, I’d have thought you were off your bean.

The inevitable part is that, in order to make the Purple Rain anniversary set a big deal, aside from the fact that the original CD is tinny and harsh and begged for remastering, WB needed extra material. They got what Prince gave them. Meanwhile, as befits the legend, the guy probably has five albums worth of unreleased material that was recorded at the same time and could have been on Purple Rain. The immoveable object versus the unstoppable force.

I suppose everyone has to rethink his years of madness of “stockpiling my vaults for no one but myself” as the masterstroke of genius. He recorded his own insurance policy.

I picked up the new Gazpacho album Demon, and was so taken by it that I’ve been seeking out the back catalogue. That would include March of Ghosts, Missa Atropos, Night, Firebird, and When Earth Lets Go.

I’ve also been enjoying the new one by The Choir called Shadow Weaver.

One week I attempted to get into Goblin, an Italian prog band most known for scoring Italian “giallo” or horror movies… movies by Dario Argento, for example. I couldn’t get through my sampler. It just didn’t hook me.

But thanks to Popdose’s Jeff Johnson, I did get the CD of Bruce Broughton’s score for Young Sherlock Holmes, and that was particularly fun.

Jack Feerick – This month I’ve been listening to deep cuts from a couple of one-hit wonders.

Finally tracked down Sloper, the third album by Irish alt-rockers An Emotional Fish, which was (barely) released in 1994 after the band had been dropped by Atlantic. After the ocean-sized roar of the self-titled debut and the heavier, grungier sounds of Junk Puppets, this one was both a left turn and a way forward — a lighter feel, prettier songs, a surprising and pervasive C & W tinge. It points towards the country-cabaret vibe of Jerry Whelan’s post-Fish project the Mudbug Club, which I gather is still — twenty years on —  a popular draw around Dublin.

Also tracked down a record that, until last month, I had no idea even existed — the second album from The Millions, straight outta Lincoln, Nebraska. Also from 1994, also on an indie label, also after being dropped by a major (Polygram, in this case). Opposite trajectory, moodwise — while the debut M Is For Millions felt youthful and exuberant, Raquel is dark, dark, dark. It’s a slow grower; but whatever its flaws, I’m glad that it’s out there in the world. I don’t get this kind of surprise much, anymore.

Dunphy – While I don’t have it yet, I anticipate this being a big May listen for me: the ParaNorman soundtrack by Jon Brion is expected to darken my doorway in a few weeks.

jon-brion-01Thierry Côté – Jon Brion? *swoons*

I’ve been visiting and revisiting a lot of U2 records lately. This has been in part the product of going heavy on my data usage this month and being able to afford to stream music on my phone of late, but it’s mainly the result of Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman’s excellent loosely U2-themed podcast, U Talkin’ U2 To Me?, which has quickly become one of the few podcasts I must listen to as soon as a new episode appears.

Despite the fact that the topic of U2 at this point is more the springboard for hours of comedy than the real theme of this podcast (as an aside, “You can’t spell ‘Bonobos’ without ‘Bono'” has to be one of the most effective sponsor tagline I’ve heard in a long time), the show’s been successful in making me go back and listen to pre-Joshua Tree U2 with fresh ears — I was never a fan of “earnest U2”, my favourite part of the group’s output being the Achtung Baby-Zooropa-Pop period — and I’ve even come around and played No Line on the Horizon for the second time. Spoiler: there probably won’t be a third time for that one. Also, Bono’s lyrics have not been getting better with time.

Robert Ross – Since I sat through that Dave Clark Five PBS program a few weeks ago, I managed to cull a fairly solid “best of” from each of their original Epic albums.  DC5 aside, it’s been, what I think, is a healthy mix of items — some of the things I’ve listened to for review and enjoyed — like Broken Gold — but then the 2nd and 3rd Nazz albums; some Taj Mahal, a lot of Stax, a shit-ton of XTC (the early stuff, hearkening back to my youth), The Dickies, Sham 69 and Matthew Ryan’s Boxers, which is glorious.

Ann Logue – Very happy about the Aztec Camera High Land Hard Rain re-release, the Aimee Mann – Ted Leo collaboration, and Muppet Christ Superstar. Beyond that, I’ve been listening to a lot of Motown, which is my go-to genre whenever I’m bored with what’s new.

Ross – I should note that this morning’s commute music was the beauty of The Hollies — up until Graham Nash left.  Sort of a good lead in to this upcoming Crosby, Stills & Nash thing I’m about to submerge myself in since we got tickets for their July show.  Solo and CSN stuff — not like I’ve never heard any of it before…

Dunphy – Can I be blunt? That Dave Clark show was the biggest, most blatant piece of fluff puff I’ve seen in years. PBS should be ashamed.

Ross – Couldn’t agree with you more, D.W. I was going to review it but what good could I say about it?  Especially the later part — that stupid musical, “Time”.  Where were the other Four of the Five?  A snippet of the late Mike Smith and that’s it.  Jesus — talk about a control freak.  About the only redeeming thing was seeing the different opening segments to Ready Steady Go.  But yes indeed — a shitshow.

Dunphy – It takes a lot of nerve to say that the Dave Clark Five had more of an impact than, say, The Kinks, which survived nearly three decades.

Ross – I’m sure Elton was paid handsomely for his bullshit.  

I know — that made me squirm.  Oh, let’s see:  The Beatles, The Stones, THE FUCKING WHO (always part of that triumvirate), The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Small Faces…

Anyone but the fucking Dave Clark Five.  I’m sorry; Herman’s Hermits were more relevant.

Dan Wiencek – I’ve kind of been all over the place this month. Been listening to a lot of Zappa; I never really knew the Mothers stuff that well, so have been going back to that. Some Parliament, the Skylarking reissue, the Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Books (Thought for Food = way cool), and Todd Terje’s It’s Album Time. Favorite release of the moment is probably Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive; check out “Bobby Tanqueray” for a fun listen.

David Medsker – The new Kaiser Chiefs is getting the most play at our house. Better than the last two records, so that’s good. Taking the boy to see them in Cleveland. Very excited about that.

Côté – I’m not crazy about “Bobby Tanqueray”, because it veers dangerously close to an Amy Winehouse imitation, but the title track is the best Bonnie Raitt song in years and “What About Me” is a great blend of that gorgeous voice with a bit of Little Feat funk. 

Matt Springer – First, oh my lord Annie, how did Muppet Christ Superstar escape my notice? I was obsessively listening to the original right before Easter, as seems to happen every year, and was looking for weird alternate versions. That is pretty brilliant.

Thierry, I’m so happy to find another fan of “You Talkin’ U2 To Me?” and it’s put me in a U2 mood as well. I’ve never been a huge fan; the record I listened to the most was probably All That You Can’t Leave Behind, honestly, which says it all right there. But Achtung Baby entered my mind through osmosis back in high school and it’s been fun to revisit that era, when they were really all over the map creatively. So many great songs.

So yeah, it’s really been a “me too” month for me. I’m also listening to the Skylarking reissue, thanks to Dan Wiencek’s excellent review; that is one perfect little gem of an album. I’ve started listening to the Ted Leo/Aimee Mann album as well, although it’s not wholesale grabbing me; there are some good songs, however. And as per usual, Springsteen, Springsteen, Springsteen. More live shows and that Record Store Day EP, American Beauty. They’re toss off outtakes but damn are they catchy.

Beau Dure – I checked out some of the new tunes from what passes for The Samples these days — Sean Kelly and whichever guys he rounds up at a given time. It’s both pretty good and really frustrating. You always have to wonder what would’ve happened if Sean Kelly had a decent manager to tell him when he’s going off the rails, then kept the band somewhat intact over the years. Anyway, I recommend the environmental tune “Fukushima.”

I’m also listening to a couple of new Suzanne Vega tunes — “I Never Wear White” playfully goes against type — and for some reason, The Zombies.

Ross – Any time is a good time for The Zombies.  Those vocals of Colin Blunstone are pure silk. I have a Suzanne Vega DVD I have to watch for review, but I can listen to her anytime.  LOVE her.

Feerick – A lot of media types are suddenly remembering that the Zombies existed, after “This Will Be Our Year” was used in an episode of Mad Men.

Chris Holmes – I got a thrill hearing that song being used. And hey, the more people that are exposed to Odessey and Oracle the better.

Ross – Ah, if they only used something from The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Medsker – I finally checked out Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, at the suggestion of a friend’s son’s girlfriend (follow that?). First thought: where’s Margot? Second thought: this is pretty, but I’m getting sleepy.

Ross – We were in the car on a gorgeous Sunday morning, driving with the windows open and “Brief Candles” came on — just perfect.

Michael Parr – This past month has been wall-to-wall Afghan Whigs. “Parked Outside” kicks two metric tons of ass and it is just the first song! Much like the Toad the Wet Sprocket record from last year, the band managed to pick up where they left off, without sounding like they went back in a time machine. I’m also astounded at the fact that they managed to not sound like the Twilight Singers.

Against my better judgement I’ve been listening to the Diarrhea Planet. My (almost) 16-year-old recently told me that he thinks its cool that his dad is a hipster—I argued the point at the time, yet here I am listening to, and enjoying the shit out of (pun intended), this despicable hipster-iffic band.

Dunphy – Forgot that one. Absolutely true — Do To The Beast is a monster, and one that you don’t often get when a band arrives “in medias res.”

Wiencek – Yeah, imagine the looks on their faces when “Pow R Toc H” starts playing.

Side note 1: “Lucifer Sam” is one of the coolest songs ever.
Side note 2: I was shopping in a Grocery Outlet (Portland discount chain) last week and Syd Barrett’s “Octopus” was played over the PA.

Ross – Hearing Barrett in a grocery store would be great.  My cousin was thrilled to hear the ‘Mats at his local Kroger in Indy, but I hear a lot of good music at our local Trader Joe’s — and some woman did stop me and asked where I got my Big Star shirt from.

That whole debut from the Floyd is an all-time masterpiece.  And pretty much a perfect album for what it was when it was.  I loved Syd — he’s still a hero.

Jeff Giles – As I type this, I’m listening to Adventures in Real Time, the upcoming full-length from Dylan Gardner — the 17-year-old wiz kid responsible for this bit of viral madness. Highly recommended for all you power pop junkies.

Marshall_Crenshaw-13Ross – Can someone explain to me why you can’t say “power pop” to Mr. Crenshaw?  Since Mr. Giles just used that phrase, the random thought crossed my mind.

Medsker – From my chat with him…

The EPs will have one new track, one cover, and one re-recording of one of your earlier songs. Very smart — indeed, downright shrewd — move on your part.

I guess, yeah. I think so, too. (Pause) Why do you think it’s shrewd?

I think it’s shrewd because the people who follow your type of music are huge lovers of cover tunes. That’s going to be catnip to…I don’t want to say power pop, because I know that’s a dirty word in some circles…

It is.

…but you have to acknowledge that a significant portion of your fanbase comes from that group.

(Disagreeing) Mmmmmmm. I don’t know. I really rankle at that particular term. Nobody ever comes up to me at the end of a gig and says, “Boy, that was great power pop.” Nobody walks up to me with a t-shirt that says ‘Power Pop,’ or anything like that. Sometimes when people write something about me and I see that term in it, man, I wanna punch the person that wrote it. Well, anyway, go ahead.

(Can’t go ahead, too busy laughing)

Well, I’ll just say this: the idea of my stuff being shoved into this narrow little subcategory really bothers me, you know? I just don’t think that categorization does justice to what I do. I never wanted to be put in that slot, ever.

Of course not. No artist wants to be pigeonholed like that. It’s just something that writers do to make things convenient for themselves.

Yeah, the hacky ones.

But If you’re having a quick, rapid-fire conversation with somebody, and someone says, “Well, what do they sound like?,” it’s helpful in that instance. It’s not fair, but it can be helpful.

Yeah, but I just sound like myself. That’s what I sound like. Anyway, go ahead.

Ross – It’s time to take my salad and switch gears — everyone should be celebrating the 60th birthday of the one and only, the great (and I do mean GREAT) Captain Sensible.  One of the finest people to ever wield the mighty axe.  Proud to know him — proud to have worked with him.

About Mr. Crenshaw — that’s like him saying to me that he wasn’t into the British-jangle thing.  What?  Who played Lennon in Beatlemania?  Or wrote a piece of perfect jangle like “Whenever You’re On My Mind”.

Côté – Speaking of Barrett-era Floyd, I heard a lot of that sound scattered throughout Gord Downie’s very solid recent album with the Sadies, Gord Downie, The Sadies, And the Conquering Sun. First single “Crater” is some of Downie’s best snarling in years:

Also, that the album has hints of early Floyd shouldn’t come as a surprise since the Sadies’ live covers prove that they are clearly big, big fans:

Ross – Definitely need to check that out later when I get home.  Just trying to think of what fits the landscape of today.  Feeling good — yet mellow — but not wanting to get into a whole hippie bag.  Maybe some Jimmy Smith.

Creighton – To go back a few threads…

U2 Zooropa — there may be better albums in the catalog, but this is the one I listen to the most. A majestic, poetic work of genius. That and the “Until the End of the World” soundtrack offer a great one/two punch.

I love The Faint’s new Doom Abuse album and was planning on writing it up for Popdose, but the only thing I could say to do it justice is re-post Annie Zaleski’s review from AV Club and say “mega ditto”.

Has anyone heard the Honeybear Song? Great song? Or the world’s greatest song?

Giles – Well, I’ll never watch another video Keith sends. How about the rest of you?

Feerick – I bet if you slowed that down about 25%, it would sound juuuuuuuuuuuuust like Donovan.

Ross – I still have a very soft spot for October, especially after someone at Island was smart enough to add “A Celebration”.  That was the tour when I saw them open up for The Teardrop Explodes.  ’81 was a great year, musically, especially if you were 16 and living in New York City.  I can always listen to October and Boy and enjoy them.

Creighton – This is the stuff kids find on YouTube — whatever you do, do NOT play “The Duck Song.” As for Honeybear, after the 355th play, it is quite a rush. Come to think of it, Honeybear sounds like Prince from his “Camille” period. Perhaps it will show up on the Sign O The Times deluxe reissue.

Robert Cashill – Try Goblin after viewing Argento’s Suspiria — their music works best in context. Other soundtrack recos: Alexandre Desplat’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (what does he have in store for us with Godzilla?), the new and improved remaster of Tangerine Dreams’s incredible score for Thief, and Ennio Morricone’s delightful score for Danger: Diabolik, a French CD but also downloadable via Amazon.

Scott Malchus – Stuck in the ’80s on the west coast. I’ve been working on this serial novel I’m going to publish on Popdose and since it’s set in the late ’80s, my iPod has been on a steady rotation of songs from ’85, ’86 and ’87. I created a “soundtrack” for the book, and I’m just about sick of it. I have to begin listening to something from the past five years or I’m going to go mad.

Adrian Belew - 1992 - Inner RevolutionGiles – Speaking of old music, I’m also on kind of an Adrian Belew kick this week after writing up the 25th anniversary of Mr. Music Head for Ultimate Classic Rock. How is that record 25 years old? Also, how the hell is it out of print? And why do I not own a copy?

Ross – That record is 25 years old like Chronic Town is 32 years old.  Time flew right past.  Or In The City is 37 years old.  And getting those records when they came out…

Dunphy – Toward the end of March I had my Adrian Belew binge. While I don’t have Mr. Music Head, I did play the reflectivity off of Young Lions, Inner Revolution and Here.

Giles – Listening to Inner Revolution right now!

Dunphy – “The War In The Gulf Between Us” still makes me cringe a little, but on the whole, it’s a really fun album. I love that crazy, psychotic solo in “Member of the Tribe.” “Heaven’s Bed” has the fattest groove.

Giles – I love that Belew developed his skronky technique because he didn’t know anything about studio technology and was just trying to imitate the sounds he heard on the records he loved.

Rob Smith – My house needs new windows, and new windows are very expensive, so I’ve taken on a bunch of freelance writing assignments, mostly on topics like OSHA regulations, ergonomics, and health and wellness.  Not the most exciting stuff, and, truth be told, there are days and evenings when I have a great deal of trouble concentrating on my work.  I’ve found a solution that helps me, maybe 65 or 70 percent of the time (which, if you do this kind of work often, you recognize as a great percentage), and that’s the music of the great stoner instrumental band Karma to Burn.

I have a tangential connection to the band — their guitarist, William Mecum, is my good friend’s brother, though I’ve not seen him in probably 25 years — and have followed their trajectory over time, but have only really gotten into them in the last four or five years, since they returned from a lengthy hiatus. Their music—a heavy, riff-centric, downright evil concoction—occupies the side of my brain that wishes to be doing anything other than writing about OSHA regulations, enabling the other side to form words and type them.  My Spotify playlist collects all their stuff, minus the occasional vocal track and most of their first record, and gets set to “Shuffle” only after I’ve played the song “Thirty” (their song titles are all numbered) three or four times.  I play them a lot.  They apparently have something new coming out this year, and I am very much looking forward to hearing it.

On the other claw, my quieter moments the last few weeks have been spent with the forthcoming record by Edie Carey and Sarah Sample, called ‘Til the Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort.  My friend, kindie P.R. goddess Elizabeth Waldman Frazier, sent me the album, and it’s just beautiful—an intimate collection of covers, perennial favorites, and a smattering of originals.  I love Carey and Sample’s versions of Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You,” the Dixie Chicks’ “Lullabye,” and the Stephen Foster favorite “Slumber My Darling,” the latter of which features a gorgeous string arrangement. The harmonies and production on the record provide some solace when the noises both inside and outside my head get to be a bit much.

Giles – I have that Carey/Sample record sitting on my desk, but I haven’t unwrapped it yet. Thanks to your endorsement, I will.

Smith – There’s a bunch of stuff I want to write as soon as I get clear of some shit; a review of that album is one of them.

Matt Wardlaw – Annie Zed and I have been really stoked about the reunion of the original Veruca Salt lineup. I picked up the Record Store Day EP that has two new songs from the upcoming album as well as “Seether” on the flip side. If you loved the first two albums, you’ll love the new songs — they recently premiered one of the new tracks on Stereogum alongside a lengthy interview.

Jump directly to the video for “The Museum Of Broken Relationships,” which is on the second page of the interview here.

The new album is out this summer….Annie can probably share the release date. Can’t wait.

Giles – Does this news sadden people who have enjoyed Nina Gordon’s solo career? This idea fascinates me.

Ross – Just as an exercise on my ferry ride home tonight, I thought I’d go back and try to work my way through an album I never liked/listened to all the way.  I tried R.E.M.’s Reveal.  It still didn’t work. I don’t know why but that album irritates me.

Dure – I play Nina’s Tonight and the Rest of My Life a good bit, but I’m a sucker for happy reunions. I’m still hoping Steven Page goes back to Barenaked Ladies one day. (Though I also hope Page goes to Broadway at some point — he has the voice and the comic-acting skills to be great.)

Dave Steed – Karma to Burn is a fantastic group. My biggest fear is that someone will convince them to add vocals again which were only on the first record an a track here and there. And those vocals will come from well known artists who will ruin it.  Karma to Burn featuring the Voice of Queensryche.

If anyone is into metal here, Triptykon’s new album might be the most perfect metal release in years. Tom G. Warrior took the best of late Celtic Frost and made it even darker. It’s a record that truly cannot be pigeonholed into one genre.

Creighton – I am quite excited about the prospects of new Veruca Salt. I saw them blow the roof off Metro opening for Liz Phair back in the day. I liked the Nina Gordon solo stuff — and Louise’s torrid collaboration with Dave Grohl (the Touch soundtrack). As good as American Thighs and Blow it Out Your Ass were, the band was a ton of hype, with only a little payoff. Now is the chance for some sonic redemption.

Medsker – Nina Gordon, sigh. And to the Popdoser who slept with her (conveniently for you, I don’t remember which one did), well played. Also, fuck you.

Côté – Tonight… is a great album, in no small part because of Jon Brion’s work on it. At times, it sounds a bit like a bonus Aimee Mann LP.

“Volcano Girls” and “Seether” are two of the best rock songs of the 1990s though—it’s not that small a payoff.

61mBteXhaALCreighton – Ann Logue might be the only other Popdoser to remember the tremendous amount of pretentious hype the Chicago media gave Veruca Salt as they suffered through a major label bidding war prior to Minty Fresh releasing American Thighs. Watch the next big thing struggle with the pressures of fame without even having a record in the bins.

The singles were good. The albums were marginal. The persona was insufferable. “Shimmer Like A Girl” made most of it somewhat worthwhile. 

Logue – Ah, yes, Veruca Salt. So much hype. I know the second drummer, Jimmy Madla. But he has a restaurant to run these days.

Dure – Is there any truth to the rumor that Dave Grohl was responsible for the Veruca Salt breakup? Back in the days in which he was dating every woman in alternative music?

Medsker – For what it’s worth, I like Eight Arms to Hold You, and I love how angry that record makes people.

Ross – I remember we had an album of Jon Brion’s when I was at Atlantic that they would not release.  To this day, I’m not sure if they ever did or if he ever got the tapes back and released it himself.

Dunphy – If you mean Meaningless, he self-released it. If you mean something else, then I am now running out the building like a penguin on fire to scour the interwebs.

Ross – Dw., I don’t remember — I was there from ’96 to ’02.  And I know the powers-that-were wouldn’t release it.

Dunphy – Ah, according to Wikipedia, which is never, ever, ever wrong:

Meaningless is singer-songwriter Jon Brion’s 2001 debut solo album. Initially slated for release on Lava Records, the album was ultimately released independently by Brion on his own “Straight to Cut-Out” label, sold through his website and CD Baby.

Lava being an Atlantic imprint which at one time had Porcupine Tree and Jill Sobule (for reader who may not have known). That is so strange. That album has nothing but singles potential. I wonder what the blacklisting was about.

Giles – Lava. Wasn’t that the imprint headed up by former Great White WEA Hope Jason Flom?

Wardlaw – Yep. Flom was also immortalized in song on one of the tracks on Kid Rock’s Devil Without A Cause album to boot…..might have been the title track, now that I think about it. I didn’t realize it was Flom who signed Lorde to Lava, now a Universal imprint.

Giles – I had no idea Lava was still around!

Ross – Yes, indeed.  Jason’s office was a few doors down from mine.  We had several good albums that were either shelved or released to die.

Giles – WEA was a goddamn mess during that period. They should have just shut everything down after the horrible ’95 purge.

Ross – If memory serves, Flom went to Virgin and in the Universal dismantling of EMI, he remained with the Virgin group. Nothing ever changes with these goddamned major label mergers. I came in right before the ’96 purge -more than half the Atlantic staff was let go in a two-day bloodbath.  It was like the scene in The Ten Commandments, when the plague of death was creeping overhead — in this instance, known as the H.R. department, going through the halls with their hit list.  Boxes were put outside some office doors before the bodies were even cold…

Wardlaw – There was some good stuff that came out in that era though and I was recently reminiscing on the subject with a former Atlantic publicist. At the top of the list was the extremely underrated Daylight album from Duncan Sheik. Also enjoyed the Big Wreck album In Loving Memory Of… and other stuff that caught my ear included The Gufs album Holiday From You and the Mighty Joe Plum album as well (which had the misfortune to come out around the same time as the Matchbox 20 debut album). 

Giles – There’s always good stuff. But Warners, Elektra, and Atlantic had an (overall) outstanding corporate culture before that ’95 bloodbath, with labels that all reflected a definite aesthetic. Now they’re just logos.

Ross – Jeff — completely right.  When Roger Ames came in, that’s when the WEA group was gutted and became just logos instead of stand-alone labels under that corporate umbrella.  When they let us all go (my department, the art department), it was like a Mafia hit.

Parr – I wish I had stayed in touch with my old WEA rep; he was a good dude. 

Medsker – Warner Brothers still has a little bit of an identity, but other than that, Jeff’s dead right. You used to be able to look at a band and get a sense of what they’re like solely because of the label they’re on. Today…no. *reaches for cane*

Ross – None of the people I worked with are even in the industry anymore — all very good people, many of whom I remain friends with, 12 years after.  That was the next-to-final straw for me.  I had one more label job after that and that’s when I said “fuck this; I have a life to live.”