Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Plausibly the Best of 2011

The year is nearly over. But before we put 2011 in our rearview, let's take a moment (or roughly 47 and a half minutes) to reflect on the year that was.

Below are selections from what I consider the best records of 2011. For those of you with obsessive compulsive disorder, don't fret. I'll be putting them in list form in the near future, along with many "honorable mentions."

I welcome all agreements/disagreements, Either post them in comments section or tweet them at me. But before you work yourself into a frothy rage over my selections, do try and remember that these things are subjective.

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Not Necessarily the Best of 2011


It seems like every year, many major companies publish their best of the year list weeks before the year ends. (See example above.)

We here at the Unblinking Ear prefer to be patient with such things. Also we like to procrastinate.

The next edition of the podcast will likely feature what we've deemed to be the best music of 2011. The podcast below, however, might contain some of it as well. Which ones in particular? You're just going to have to wait to find out.

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Business As Usual

Greetings loyal podcast listeners and accidental search engine stumblers!

We hope you enjoyed our previous podcast featuring nothing but new music. It generated so much buzz around the Twitterverse, you'd think we were Brodus Clay or something.

Alas, playing only music from new releases was a bit of anomaly. Instead, we've got our usual mix of new music, old music and new releases of old music. But I swear, it's good stuff, not a bunch of leftovers like so much congealed post-Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.

And even if you don't think this current podcast is especially superior to the one prior, you can't deny that it's a minute longer. Enjoy!

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Zeitgeist, Baby

Here at Unblinking Ear HQ, we've noticed over the last couple of months a large amount of music press/internet babble devoted to deluxe reissues of albums that came out 20 years ago*. There's nothing wrong with that as we here at Unblinking Ear celebrate rock history as well and have also been known to have something of a 90s fetish.

However, what use is nostalgia when it overshadows the vital work happening in the here and now? There has been such a deluge of terrific new releases over the past few weeks and months that we've been struggling to keep up. In fact, the amount of fine new records has been so great that we've decided to eschew the past temporarily and devote this edition of the podcast entirely to brand new music. With so much, so good coming out recently, it was actually rather easy to acompliish.

The next podcast will surely feature some fine music recorded many years prior mixed with equally fine music of the present. But for now... dig the now.

*Incidentally, the actual best album of 1991 was Eleventh Dream Day's Lived To Tell.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Going Live

It seems as though live podcasting all the rage of late. Marc Maron, Julie Klausner and Paul F Tompkins among others have recently hosted live versions of the podcasts to great acclaim and have netted millions of internet dollars in the process.

In my ongoing effort to prove that I can imitate successful people, I'll be doing the same. This Saturday, I'll be hosting the first ever Unblinking Ear Podcast LIVE at the Diamond in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

It will be much like my usual podcast, only instead of it being 45 minutes or so, it will run, I don't know, four to six hours. Other bonuses include:
  • The songs I select will be played through a full sound system rather than your tiny computer speakers.
  • Listening to said songs while drinking alcohol in the company of other living humans rather than alone in your dirty apartment, staring into the middle distance.
  • The possibility of having a conversation with ME! (If you can get past my entourage.)
Another difference is that I won't be talking in between set over looped RZA beats to back announce the songs. The good folks at the Diamond are fans of my podcast but when they play it in the bar, they find the talking distracting.

What's that you say? That this is just a DJ gig and I'm trying to pass it off as something more grandiose and exciting?

You've got a lot of nerve, hypothetical person.

DJ Paul Bruno presents
The Unblinking Ear Podcast LIVE!
Saturday, November 5th
@ The Diamond
43 Franklin St
(between Quay St & Calyer St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
10 pm
FREE!

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Last Year in the Demo

(My near future.)

I celebrated my 34th birthday last week. Thus, it's my last year in the coveted 18 to 34 target demographic. This means that at this time next year this podcast will become totally irrelevant. It will more closely resemble on CBS procedural crime drama than a place to hear exciting new music. Better listen while you can!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: More Songs About Bowling and Prozac

Back to our regularly scheduled programing. After our biannual "punkquinox" edition of the podcast, it's been a whole month since we've rolled out a "normal" podcast. Thus, we've had a lot of new music to catch up on, and there's a whole bunch of it on this podcast. Hear it and know what the kids* are listening to.

*The kids are apparently much more likely to (still) be listening to Alien Ant Farm.

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Autumnal Punkquinox 2011

The equinox arrives in just a few days, which means it’s time for one of our special all vintage punk rock editions of the Unblinking Ear Podcast.

I know that even at this late date, some of you still have trouble wrapping your head around the whole punk thing. Hopefully, this report from 20/20 news magazine below help you get a handle on it. No word on if Hugh Downs sold the Lewd and Rude Kids records featured to supplement his social security income. (Via WFMU and Dangerous Minds.)



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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Avenue Obstructed

Earlier today, WFMU's Evan "Funk" Davies (pictured left) commented on the post for my previous podcast that the download link was broken.

I don't know exactly how this went unnoticed for two weeks (a fortnight!) by myself or my loyal listeners. It couldn't be that this podcast doesn't inspire the unmitigated devotion I assume it does, right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: In Dreams

This young lady has dreams about the Unblinking Ear Podcast.

If you dream about this podcast as well, I invite you to please share your dreams in the comments. Leave out no detail, no matter how filthy or freaky.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: All Grown Up


There's a lesson here. I think it's that if you commit suicide but leave your child with a lot of money, they may wind up using it for cosmetic surgery and awful text tattoos.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: The Plus Means Better

(Are you in Darby's circle?)

This is the first podcast I'll be promoting through posting in Google+, which, as far as I can figure thus far, is like a less user-friendly version of Friendster. But there are circles for some reason. In any case, I'm sure the folks at Google know what they're going and it should be every bit as successful as Google Buzz.

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Vestigial Blues

The following Unblinking Ear Podcast is brought to you by antibiotics, without which I'd still be feeling great pain in various unnecessary body parts like tonsils and wisdom teeth. Instead of assembling this podcast, I'd be sick in bed having fever dreams. Granted, said dreams might be more entertaining than this podcast. But until technology gives us a device that allows others to see visual representations of our dreams ala Dr. Hugo Strange, this will have to do.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Aaaaaand, we're back

Yes, after a short hiatus, the Unblinking Ear Podcast is back. Aside from a much needed facelift on the blog itself (hey's it's 2011!), there are a few minor changes to the podcast as well. First and foremost, I won't be doing the podcast weekly anymore. I'm going aim for twice a month. To make up up for the decreased frequency, the podcasts are going to be a bit longer as well. I think it's going to work out well. I already have a bunch of songs picked for the next podcast. More time and more care are probably a good thing.

Anyway, give it a listen at let me know what you think.

Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: On Hiatus

This past New Year's Eve, I was on my way home from a night of revelry when I decided on a resolution. I would post a new podcast once a week. Surely, this consistency would yield more exposure for the podcast with listeners knowing they could expect one regularly. Given that my brain was trying to reconfigure itself back to normal functioning after several hours of ingesting Four Loko and hashish, I probably should have known this wasn't the best idea in the world.

By all conceivable measures, the weekly Unblinking Ear Podcast has been an abysmal failure. Downloads have been declining steadily. The podcast I posted last week received about 21% of the downloads of my last podcast of 2010. Perhaps I'm flattering myself here, but I think this may be a case of too much of a good thing. Its frequency devalued the podcast as a commodity (in as much as anything that's free can have value). The weekly arrival made each podcast less an event than part of a routine. At worst, it became a regularly scheduled irritating bit of self-promotion from yours truly. Basically, doing the podcast on a weekly basis had the exact opposite effect that I anticipated. Oh, Four Loko, why did I believe you?

The task of assembling each podcast, which drains more than a few hours of my week and changes the way I listen to music. I find myself listening to new releases less for the experience of an album and more as a survey of the best tracks to play. I'm listening to more records but spending less time on each particular album. I'm absorbing more information but not maximizing my enjoyment of the experience. That's also more or less the reason I haven't been doing any writing on the blog, as some of you have noticed. Superficial listening is not conducive to analysis.

Between my general burnout and its lack of success, there's really no reason to keep doing podcast weekly. So I'm going to take a little break to recharge. The podcast will be back eventually, in all likelihood sooner rather than later, probably a few weeks. Hopefully, it won't be like a Mets injury where one can tack a month on to the projected time. Once it does come back, it will no longer be weekly. I've been considering making the podcast longer to compensate for doing less on them, which is a definite possibility.

In the meantime, enjoy this edition of the podcast. And I will be trying to focus on getting some writing done in the interim, so you can probably look forward to a bit of that.


Download the latest The Unblinking Ear Podcast
Or Subscribe via iTunes

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Three Years and Counting


(The traditional gift for a third anniversary is leather. If you must, just buy me a drink instead.)

Three years and a few days ago I posted my first podcast.

In that time I've done 73 podcast and played hundreds of bands.

541 to be precise.

And here are all of them:
  1. AC Newman
  2. The Action
  3. The Addicts
  4. The Adverts
  5. AK-47
  6. Alan Milman Sect
  7. Alternative TV
  8. Alice Cooper
  9. American Music Club
  10. Angry Samoans
  11. Animals and Men
  12. Anti-Band
  13. Apache Dropout
  14. Arc In Round
  15. Art Attacks
  16. Article 58
  17. Babylon Dance Band
  18. Bad Posture
  19. Babies
  20. Barbara Manning
  21. Bardo Pond
  22. Bare Wires
  23. Bartlebees
  24. Bass Drum of Death
  25. Bassholes
  26. The Bats
  27. Beach Boys
  28. Beach Fossils
  29. The Beat
  30. Beauty Supply
  31. The Beets
  32. Belreve
  33. Best Coast
  34. Better Beatles
  35. Bettie Serveert
  36. Bevis Frond
  37. Beyond the Implode
  38. Big Star
  39. Bird Nest Roys
  40. The Birthday Party
  41. The Bizarros
  42. Black Market Baby
  43. Black Tambourine
  44. Blue Orchids
  45. Bobby Soxx
  46. Boomgates
  47. Bottomless Pit
  48. Box Elders
  49. The Boys
  50. Brain Eno
  51. Brommers
  52. Busted Statues
  53. Buzzcocks
  54. Cabaret Voltaire
  55. Can
  56. Captain Beefheart
  57. Cardinal
  58. Carolee
  59. The Cat's Miaow
  60. Cause Co-Motion
  61. Chain Gang
  62. Chain and the Gang
  63. Chameleons
  64. Charles Bradley
  65. Cheap Time
  66. Cheap Trick
  67. Cheveu
  68. Chills
  69. Chris Carpenter
  70. Christmas
  71. Chrome
  72. The Chosen Few
  73. Cinema Red and Blue
  74. Circle X
  75. Classic Ruins
  76. The Clean
  77. Clinic
  78. Cloud Nothings
  79. Colin Newman
  80. Come
  81. Comsat Angels
  82. Consonant
  83. Coral
  84. Coloured Balls
  85. The Cramps
  86. The Creation
  87. The Creepers
  88. The Crescendos
  89. Crime
  90. Cruddy
  91. Crystal Stilts
  92. Cyclops
  93. Daniel Francis Doyle
  94. Dantalian's Chariot
  95. David Bazan
  96. David Kilgour
  97. Davila 666
  98. The dBs
  99. DC Snipers
  100. Dead Boys
  101. Dead C
  102. Dead Fingers Talk
  103. Death
  104. Deerhunter
  105. Defnics
  106. Desperate Bicycles
  107. Destroyer
  108. The Dicks
  109. The Dictators
  110. Died Pretty
  111. Dieter Meier
  112. Dikes of Holland
  113. The Dils
  114. Dim Stars
  115. Dinosaur Jr
  116. Dirt Shit
  117. Dirty Looks
  118. Dirtbombs
  119. Disappears
  120. Distractions
  121. Dog Eat Dog
  122. The Dogs (US & France)
  123. Dolly Mixture
  124. Double Negative
  125. Dr. Zeke
  126. Drive Like Jehu
  127. The Dream Syndicate
  128. Drunks With Guns
  129. Duchess of Saigon
  130. Dum Dum Girls
  131. Easybeats
  132. Eat Skull
  133. Eater
  134. Eddy Current Suppression Ring
  135. Electric Eels
  136. Eleventh Dream Day
  137. The Embarrassment
  138. Embrace
  139. Endtables
  140. Eppu Normaali
  141. Eternal Summers
  142. The Ex
  143. Ex Humans
  144. Fairport Convention
  145. The Fall
  146. Fang
  147. The Feelies
  148. The Fems
  149. Fey Gods
  150. Filth
  151. Flamin Groovies
  152. Fleetwood Mac
  153. Flesh Eaters
  154. Flipper
  155. The Flys
  156. Freestone
  157. The Fresh and Onlys
  158. Fucked Up
  159. Fugazi
  160. Futureheads
  161. Gaunt
  162. Gem
  163. Gene Clark
  164. The Germs
  165. Girls
  166. The Girls
  167. Girls At Our Best
  168. Go-Betweens
  169. Golden Error
  170. Goodnight Loving
  171. Gordons
  172. Grass Widow
  173. The Great Excape
  174. Great Plains
  175. The Great Unwashed
  176. Grifters
  177. Guided By Voices
  178. The Gun Club
  179. Gun Outfit
  180. Guv'ner
  181. Halo of Flies
  182. Hank IV
  183. The Haskels
  184. Thee Headcoats
  185. Helium
  186. Helmettes
  187. Henry's Dress
  188. Herman's Hermits
  189. High Tension Wires
  190. Home Blitz
  191. Homosexuals
  192. Honey Bane
  193. Honor Role
  194. Hot Snakes
  195. Huggy Bear
  196. The Hunches
  197. Hüsker Dü
  198. Idle Times
  199. Ike and Tina Turner
  200. The In Out
  201. Inferno
  202. Japanther
  203. Jawbox
  204. Jay Reatard
  205. Jean-Paul Sartre Experience
  206. Jet Bronx and the Forbidden
  207. Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio
  208. John Cale
  209. John Felice
  210. John Wesley Coleman
  211. Johnny Moped
  212. Johnny Thunders
  213. The Kent 3
  214. Kevin Ayers
  215. K-Holes
  216. Kidnappers
  217. The Kids
  218. The Kinks
  219. Kilps 1988
  220. Kriminella Gitarrer
  221. Kurt Vile
  222. Kistomized
  223. La Peste
  224. La Sera
  225. Lame Drivers
  226. The Laureates
  227. Lazy Cowgirls
  228. Lee Harvey Oswald Band
  229. The Leftovers
  230. Lemming
  231. Les Olivensteins
  232. The Lewd
  233. The Like
  234. Liket Lever
  235. Liliput
  236. Lilys
  237. Lime Spiders
  238. Liminanas
  239. The Lines
  240. Lipstick Killers
  241. Little Claw
  242. Lois
  243. Lollipop Shoppe
  244. Long Blondes
  245. Look Blue Go Purple
  246. Lost Sounds
  247. Lou Reed
  248. Loudon Wainwright III
  249. Love
  250. Love of Diagrams
  251. Lyres
  252. Ma'am
  253. Magick Heads
  254. Magik Markers
  255. Mannequin Men
  256. Mantles
  257. Marked Men
  258. Mars Classroom
  259. Master's Apprentices
  260. The Mayfair Set
  261. Mayyors
  262. Mecca Normal
  263. Mekons
  264. The Men
  265. Meth Teeth
  266. Method Actors
  267. Mick Farren
  268. Micronotz
  269. Mind Spiders
  270. Minutemen
  271. Mirrors
  272. Mission of Burma
  273. The Misunderstood
  274. Modey Lemon
  275. The Monorchid
  276. Moon Duo
  277. Moonhearts
  278. Mort Subite
  279. Motards
  280. Motorhead
  281. The Move
  282. Moving Sidewalks
  283. Moving Targets
  284. Muffs
  285. MX-80 Sound
  286. My Dad Is Dead
  287. My Teenage Stride
  288. Myelin Sheaths
  289. The Mystic Tide
  290. Naked On The Vague
  291. Nasal Boys
  292. Nation of Ulysses
  293. The Nazz
  294. Negative Approach
  295. Negative Trend
  296. The Neighborhoods
  297. Neil Young
  298. The Nerves
  299. Neu
  300. New Bomb Turks
  301. New Pornographers
  302. New Year
  303. Nitwitz
  304. NNB
  305. No Joy
  306. Nocturnal Projections
  307. Nodzzz
  308. Noh Mercy
  309. Nothing Painted Blue
  310. Nothing People
  311. Nubs
  312. The Obits
  313. OBN IIIs
  314. OFF!
  315. The Only Ones
  316. Opus
  317. The Oranges Band
  318. Oxford Collapse
  319. The Pagans
  320. Pain
  321. Parting Gifts
  322. Pastels
  323. The Patti Smith Group
  324. Paul Reekie
  325. The People's Temple
  326. Pere Ubu
  327. Phil Ochs
  328. Photobooth
  329. Pierced Arrows
  330. The Pin Group
  331. Pink Fairies
  332. Pissed Jeans
  333. Pleazers
  334. Polvo
  335. Ponys
  336. Pop. 1280
  337. The Pop Group
  338. The Prefects
  339. Pretty Things
  340. Prisonshake
  341. Proud Scum
  342. Protex
  343. Psychedelic Horseshit
  344. Psychic Ills
  345. Psycho Surgeons
  346. Public Image Ltd
  347. Puffy Areolas
  348. Purling Hiss
  349. Pylon
  350. Quintron
  351. Radio Birdman
  352. Randoms
  353. Rayon Beach
  354. Reading Rainbow
  355. Real Kids
  356. Really Red
  357. Reactions
  358. Red Asphalt
  359. Red Krayola
  360. Red Transistor
  361. Reigning Sound
  362. The Reruns
  363. Restricted Code
  364. Richard Hell
  365. Richard Thompson
  366. The Rich Kids
  367. The Rings
  368. Rip Offs
  369. Rivals
  370. Robert Wyatt
  371. Rock-A-Teens
  372. Roger Miller
  373. Roky Erickson
  374. Ron House
  375. Ronnie Mayor
  376. Rose Tattoo
  377. Rot Shit
  378. Roy Wood
  379. Rozz
  380. Rude Kids
  381. Running
  382. The Ruts
  383. Saccharine Trust
  384. Sado-Nation
  385. The Saints
  386. Salem 66
  387. Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves
  388. San Francisco Seals
  389. Satan's Rats
  390. The Satellities
  391. Screaming Urge
  392. Scritti Politti
  393. Scrotum Poles
  394. Sebadoh
  395. Severe
  396. Shannon and the Clams
  397. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
  398. Shop Assistants
  399. Sic Alps
  400. Silkworm
  401. Silver Apples
  402. Simply Saucer
  403. Singles
  404. Siouxsie and the Banshees
  405. The Skinnies
  406. Skrewdriver
  407. Slant 6
  408. Sleater Kinney
  409. The Sleepers
  410. Slices
  411. The Slits
  412. Slug Guts
  413. Smith Westerns
  414. Snuky Tate
  415. Soft Boys
  416. Soft Tags
  417. Some Chicken
  418. Sonic Youth
  419. Sonics
  420. Sonic's Rendezvous Band
  421. Sorry
  422. Sort Sol
  423. Soul Ayslum
  424. Spider Bags
  425. Spinanes
  426. Spoon
  427. Spring
  428. The Squad
  429. Squirrel Bait
  430. Steve Harley
  431. Stiffs Inc
  432. The Stooges
  433. The Stranglers
  434. Strapping Fieldhands
  435. Stuart Murdoch
  436. Styrenes
  437. Sugar
  438. Suicide Commandos
  439. Suicide Squad
  440. Superchunk
  441. Super Wild Horses
  442. Swamp Rats
  443. Swell Maps
  444. Tallboys
  445. Tall Dwarfs
  446. Tampax
  447. Tapeworm
  448. Team Dresch
  449. The Teardrop Explodes
  450. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  451. Teenage Fanclub
  452. Telefones
  453. Television
  454. Television Personalities
  455. Terrorways
  456. Thee Oh Sees
  457. Thermals
  458. This Kind of Punishment
  459. This Poison!
  460. Third Bardo
  461. Thomas Function
  462. Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments
  463. Thought Criminals
  464. Throwing Muses
  465. Tights
  466. Tim Cohen
  467. Times New Viking
  468. Tommy Keene
  469. Too Much
  470. Toys
  471. Trash
  472. Tre Orsi
  473. Triple Hex
  474. The Trend
  475. Troggs
  476. True West
  477. TV Ghost
  478. Twink
  479. Twinkeys
  480. Two Tears
  481. Ty Segall
  482. Tyler Jon Tyler
  483. Tyvek
  484. Undertones
  485. The Unholy Two
  486. Unnatural Helpers
  487. Unrest
  488. Urinals
  489. Urge Overkill
  490. Uzi
  491. V-3
  492. Vagrants
  493. Vaselines
  494. Vast Majority
  495. Vee Dee
  496. The Verge
  497. Verlaines
  498. Versus
  499. Vicious Visions
  500. The Victims
  501. Victor Dimisich Band
  502. Vivian Girls
  503. Vomit Launch
  504. Vomit Pigs
  505. Volcano Suns
  506. Vulgar Boatmen
  507. Wanda Jackson
  508. Warmers
  509. Waves
  510. Wavves
  511. The Wedding Present
  512. Weekend
  513. Weirdos
  514. Wetdog
  515. The What's New
  516. Whines
  517. White Fence
  518. White Mystery
  519. Wild Flag
  520. The Wipers
  521. Wire
  522. Witchfynde
  523. Women
  524. Wooden Shjips
  525. Wounded Lion
  526. Woven Bones
  527. Wreckless Eric
  528. Wrong Words
  529. X
  530. Xray Eyeballs
  531. X-Ray Spex
  532. XYX
  533. Yo
  534. Yo La Tengo
  535. The Young
  536. Young Marble Giants
  537. Yung Wu
  538. Zero Boys
  539. 21-645
  540. The 3Ds
  541. 45 Grave

Last year, I posted a similar list and asked for suggestions of artists I haven't played. If you made a suggestion and I didn't play it, feel free to suggest it again.


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Monday, May 09, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Hammer of the Gods

Anybody see Thor this past weekend? I haven't and unless it includes a Sweet cover, I probably won't.



(Thanks to Can't Stop The Bleeding for the link.)


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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Christ Has Risen... Now What?

(It's in the Bible, people.)

I hope none of you are suffering from the post-Easter blues. It's an emotional roller coaster of a holiday, where the faithful deal with the suffering portrayed in the passion play by imagining some kind of zombie-like scenario and then getting a sugar high.

The Unblinking Ear Podcast is here to help you deal with those feelings of ambivalence, good Christians. And from whatever havoc those chocolate covered peeps have wrought on your digestive system.


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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Record Store Day Hangover

(Saturday morning outside Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ)

This podcast will not include any of the exclusive goodies offered by labels for Record Store Day. So you will not be hearing anything from the Fucked Up David's Town "compilation" nor Pink Floyd rocking live in London with Syd Barrett nor the long awaited (by me) debut single from Wild Flag.

This because I had the temerity to go to a record store in the afternoon when all that was left of "limited" releases was a Kings of Leon 10 inch and the Beady Eye singles box. I could make the case that Record Store Day rewards opportunists more that it does people who, you know, actually buy records regularly but I'll just let you listen to my latest podcast and let someone else make those points instead.


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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Unadorned

Instead of my usual attempts at cleverness and meta-commentary that accompany the posting of a new podcast, I thought I'd take a more direct approach this time:

The latest edition of the Unblinking Ear Podcast contains new music from the Feelies, Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls, OBN IIIs and Quintron as well as a psychedelic classic, a punk obscurity, a 90s alternative rocker and a goodie from WFMU's Free Music Archive.

Okay, that was really boring. I promise not to do it again.


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Monday, April 04, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Mixed Emotions

(Copyright: World Entertainment Entertainment)

This was a weekend of conflicting feelings.

While I'm glad the Mets took two out of three from the Marlins to open the baseball season, Javier Vazquez is on my fantasy team so I really didn't want him roughed up quite so badly.

While really wanted CM Punk to get a clean win over Randy Orton , I knew that WWE never jobs Orton so I picked him in my Wrestlemania pool. (I was right. I lost the pool anyway.)

And while I'm happy for you that you have a new boyfriend, I still totally want to make out with your face.

Wait. I probably shouldn't have said that last one.

No conflict about the below podcast though. It's pretty great, if I do say so myself.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Shameless Self-Promotion

(It will look like the above. Except it will be night. Also, I don't know if that lady will still be on the phone.)

I'm assuming most of you enjoy this podcast from the comfort of your home. However, should you feel the need to shake up your shut-in existence and leave your dirty apartment, I'll inform you that I'll be DJing this Wednesday night at Daddy's in Brooklyn, playing much of the same music I play on this podcast.

I know outside can be big and scary but this is your chance to watch me drink in person. If you're wondering how to identify me, just look for the most handsome guy in the room. Then ask him if he knows me and maybe he'll point me out.

This Wednesday, April 30th also marks the anniversary of a very inspiring historical event. To commemorate it, I'll be playing a heavy amount of 80s punk rock, at least until someone asks for something "not quite so loud."

Facebook event is here, if you're into that sort of thing.


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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Vernal Punkquinox 2011

(My egg didn't balance.)

It has now become a tradition here at Unblinking Ear HQ, that every first day of spring and first day of fall, we will present to you a podcast of nothing but vintage late 70/early 80s punk rock. We think it's a fine way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

It's either this or I take my acoustic guitar down to the local open mic and delight everyone with a version of "The Circle Game."



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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Monday Entertainment

(© 2011. Used without permission.)

By now, the weekly Unblinking Ear Podcast has hopefully become part of your Monday routine, helping to relieve (or enhance) the dreariness of beginning the working week anew.

However, we merely provide aural entertainment. What's the best thing to gaze your eyes upon while putting off all your work until you can "deal with it on Tuesday?"

Well, you could go with The AV Club's Inventory lists or Tom Scharpling's recaps of The Celebrity Apprentice, both excellent choices. But for my money, nothing beats the brilliant, absurdist webcomic known as Ghost Throat. While it's still in its infancy (we haven't even met the titular character's sidekick, Most Intelligent Fish, yet), the comic has delivered plenty of laughs already with its playful surrealism. It's an aesthetic that's back lacking far too much in comics of late, probably ever since the indie comix scene decided that navel gazing, not humor were what made one an auteur. Check out the Ghost Throat website for weekly updates and follow them on Twitter.

Oh, and listen to the new podcast.



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Monday, March 07, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Small Potatoes, Bigger Fish

I don't have much to say this week. WFMU is in the middle of their annual fund raising marathon. You should give them money. I'd hope you'd know why but if you don't, I wrote a little essay here. I was told the grammar was poor, which may well be true.




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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Keeping Track

(The above reference is incorrect)

It's been brought to my attention that some of you would like a track list for this podcast. There's a few reasons I've elected not to post one.

First of all, I like the element of surprise. When one hears a song as a blank slate, their reaction will be honest. If the listener has heard of the artist before, even just giving their name means that preconceived notions could be at play,

Secondly, giving out a track list threatens this quasi-legitimate podcast with legal action. I don't think this podcast serves much purpose other than giving promotional exposure to the artists represented, but the fact remains that it's their intellectual property used without explicit permission, so someone could easily see it differently. It's probably doubtful that it would come to that but I really don't need Google shutting down this blog.

And finally, as someone pointed out for my very first attempt at podcasting, a track list means that one could just scan the songs and seek to listen to them on their own or simply absorb the information without actually listening to it. It kind of makes the work I put into it counterproductive.

My solution for a while was to stick the track list in the iTunes "lyrics" tab for anyone who wanted it. But one day I forgot and no seemed to care, so I stopped this step entirely.

However, it appears at least a couple of you do care. So from now, I will resume putting the track list in the lyrics tab. I'm also going to "hide" the track list in the comments for each blog post. This way it won't be visible on the main page on the blog and can simply be ignored on individual post by not scrolling down, if that suits you.

Hopefully, we won't see any repercussions from this action. If we do, we'll deal with it. If anyone is an expert on "fair use" laws, feel free to contact me.


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Releases: Casual Victim Pile 2 and Bass Drum of Death

Regional compilations are tricky things. Ostensibly intended to document a specific scene, they often fall victim to the seemingly contradictory flaws of insufficiency and inclusion. Any scene worth its salt has at least a handful of groups worthy of exposure to the outside world. The trouble is there aren't usually enough of them to fill an album. (Two of the best regional comps, No New York and Laughing at the Ground both feature only four bands.) So, for the sake of occupying space and the misguided notion that more acts, regardless of their quality, equals more legitimacy, the listener is treated to aural cronyism: "Those dudes aren't very good but they're nice guys so let's put 'em on the record. Hey, does your cousin with the four-track have to a song to give?" Even some of the more celebrated regional compilations fall victim to this. There's 11 bands on Flex Your Head. How many of them can you name?

This makes the accomplishment that is Casual Victim Pile 2 all the more amazing. The record is a sequel to last year's Casual Victim Pile, which in itself was a revelation. This collection of 19 bands from Austin, TX (with a few from nearby Denton) was one of the best records of 2010, with a handful of its bands also individually releasing some of the year's best albums. While many regional comps scrape the bottom of barrel to fill out space (never mind creating a worthy listening experience), CVP was practically overflowing with awesome cuts, more than enough to make any scene proud. Almost inconceivably, CVP2 features another 18 Austin bands, all of whom offer their own distinct flavor of rock music. Some names are familiar to me (Cruddy, Rayon Beach, Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves). Those who aren't give me enough of a taste to make me crave more (pretty much everyone but especially The Dead Space and Serious Tracers). Unlike the original compilation, CVP2 is not being released on Matador but rather Matador founder/owner Gerard Cosloy's more D.I.Y. 12XU imprint. Don't let the decreased exposure or worry of diminishing returns disuade you. Casual Victim Pile 2 is every bit the record its predecessor was. And the whole shebang is streaming for free on bandcamp.

It's been over a year since we lost our friend Jay Reatard. It goes without saying that we can never replace the man, but those mourning the loss of his music would do well to check out GB City, the debut album from Oxford, MS's Bass Drum of Death. Formerly John Barrett's Bass Drum of Death, this group is essentially a one man recording unit, much like Mr. Reatard's early recordings. Also like Mr. Retard, Mr. Barrett has a knack for snotty, hook-laden punk rock with a surprising amount of complexity and depth. An extremely promising debut.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Checking In

I've been doing this podcast on a weekly basis for about two months now. I have to admit I'm a bit worried it's not going well. Certainly, downloads have been down, though this may be due to a shorter window of time for people to "catch up" with the latest edition. But there are other nagging concerns: Does routine make it easier for the listener to take the podcast for granted? Has the duty of assembling a podcast once a week (as opposed to whenever the hell I feel like it) led to some questionable music choices on my part. There's also the issue of the fact that I've been spending my efforts on the podcast and not doing any writing for this blog. (Though that will be rectified sooner rather than later.)

So in honor of Presidents' Day, and public opinion effected (and affected) creatures that all politicians are, I present a poll for you to fill out below. Let me know what you think and feel free to add further thoughts in the comments.

What are your thoughts on the Unblinking Ear Podcast now that it's being done on a weekly basis?


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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: My Crumbly Valentine


The highlight of my Valentine's Day thus far is undeniably the free cookie I got with my Subway-brand sub, as shown above.

I suspect that the highlight of your Valentine's Day will be the podcast below.

Some of you might deny this, stating that you'll surely be getting laid at some point today.

However, if that were true, would you be spending your time with things like "podcasts" or "blogs" or "music" in the first place?

I think not.


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Monday, February 07, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Let's Get It Started

(She's no Sheryl Crow)

I don't want to say that this podcast is more musically rewarding than last night's Super Bowl halftime show...

Actually, you know what? I will go ahead and say that.


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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Ready to Rumble

(Vegan, scruffy beard, Asian girlfriend. Look at this wrestling hipster.)

I apologize for the relative lateness of this podcast.

I usually spend my Sunday night assembling the podcast for posting on Monday morning but last night I watched the WWE Royal Rumble. I then occupied the rest of my night with composing a 1500 word letter of my thoughts on the event to send to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Online.

Am I joking? Let's just say that if there's anyone out there who wants to pay me to write about professional wrestling, I will gladly listen to offers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Hermitude

(Above: The view outside my apartment.)

Doing this podcast on a weekly basis works out fairly well when I decide I'm not going to leave my apartment for an entire weekend.

This is not due to some isolationist/perfectionist impulse but rather because it's 20 degrees colder than it should be for any living thing it exist here in New York City.

However, if you listen to this podcast and come to the conclusion that I put a lot of extra time into it, feel free to continue to think that.


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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Podcasters Do It Weekly

I have to admit doing this podcast on a weekly basis has presented some challengers.

For example, trying to come up with something interest to say when I post a new one.

I can hear some of you now saying "Well that never stopped you before."

Har har. You're so funny, hypothetical straw man.

In lieu of clever comment, I'll just give you this still from the 1983 film Joysticks:


(Note: I discovered the above via the recent book Destroy All Movies, which is immensely entertaining and needs to be owned by everyone.)


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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: 2010 (Again)

(Above: another thing I somehow missed in 2010)

Welcome to this edition of the now weekly Unblinking Ear Podcast.

In our previous installment, we heard some of the best rock music of 2010. Here, we hear the music I missed 2010 but is worthy of your attention. For the past month or so, many have been publishing their best of the year lists. I've spent that time going through the ones from people I respect and listening to their picks which I hadn't heard. I'm not even close to done and I've already found enough stuff to fill an entire podcast. And there's more where that came from. Hopefully, I'll be done with 2010 by the time Pazz and Jop rolls around. Expect the next couple of podcasts to be peppered with previously unheard (by me) 2010 releases, along with a bunch of new records and, of course, the old stuff from when curmudgeons like me thought music really had it going on.

For now, I'll tip my hand and cite these fine people with fine taste as sources from which I'm swiping content. I have the feeling that some of the more waggish of you will comment that this podcast is better than my actual "best of" podcast. You know what? I might agree with you. Full credit goes to these folks:

Nate Knabel
Doug Mosurock
Jay Hinman
Brushback
WFMU's Terre T (Coming Soon)
WFMU's Evan "Funk" Davies
WFMU's Jason Sigal
WPRB's Jon Solomon
Matador Records Staff and Artists
Goner Records Staff
Chunklet Staff


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Monday, January 03, 2011

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Goodbye 2010!


This is the audio companion to the best of 2010 list below. It's also not a bad audio companion for the beverage above.

At this point, I'd also like to give you my new year's resolution for 2011:

(pauses for drama)

In 2011, the Unblinking Ear Podcast will be done on a weekly basis.

A new podcast will be available every Monday for the entire the year.

That's the plan. If I falter, feel to remind me that I'm letting the world down.

For now, let's listen to the year that was as we glare at the vista of our future.



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