We're wrapping up another season of "Music Raygun" with our fourth B-sides episode. Twice a year, we look back on the previous six months' worth of episodes and revisit those topics for one more video clip each. Something that almost made the cut the first time around, something we forgot the first time, or something new we've discovered since. This time, you'll find B-sides for "Zbigniew Rybczynski," "New Jack Swing," "Off-Brand Picks," "TV Theme Music," "Bass," "Nile Rodgers," "Halloween II," "Dance III," "Boy Bands" and "Janet Jackson."
Janet Jackson's been a long time coming on "Music Raygun." We've talked about Michael Jackson. We've talked about the Jackson family dynasty. We've done an episode about Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. All along, we've insisted that Janet would have an episode of her own. Now that day has arrived. It starts with Janet's first TV appearance at age 8. And it ends with her 2018 Billboard Music Awards performance at age 52. And along the way, Kirk and Paul each name their top three Janet Jackson songs.
It’s the 50th episode of “Music Raygun.” Can you believe it? Did you think we’d last? Did you expect us to make it this far? Is anyone even listening? Anyway, the first 50 were only the beginning. There’s a lot of “Music Raygun” still to come. But this time we’re opening up the old grab bag once again. That means the theme of this episode is no theme at all. We’re talking about a random assortment of music we like. And we hope you’ll like it too.
It’s our third dance-themed episode. And that means the lovely Isabel Nelson is back in the room. She pops and locks (not really) with fellow dancer Kirk and uncoordinated buffoon Paul. This episode has Janelle Monae, the movie “Fast Forward,” and a “Soul Train” line. It’s got Christine and the Queens, “Dance Fever,” and soul music on “The Lawrence Welk Show.” Plus much more. You’re going to want to see all the actual dancing from this episode’s videos. So be sure to check out the video playlist.
Merry everything and happy always to you raygunners. It’s that special time of year when, for some people, the spirit of Christmas somehow transforms a lot of music that normally would be cheesy and unlistenable into something warm and cheerful. Kirk and Paul are two of those people, so here’s another holiday treat of an episode. Even if you don’t like Christmas music, there’s something here for you to enjoy. Like Kool Moe Dee. Or Tom Waits. Or GG Allin. What says Christmas better than GG Allin?
We’re taking a look at the career of Nile Rodgers, the genius guitarist, songwriter and producer behind Chic as well as hits from by Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, INXS and Daft Punk, all of whom are featured on this episode. And that’s not even to mention the hits he wrote and/or produced for Madonna, Duran Duran, the B-52s, Bryan Ferry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga and more. Nile Rodgers is a titan of music and an interesting character, and this episode is lots of fun.
We’re doing something different on this episode of “Music Raygun.” Instead of talking about pop music, we’ll listen to some classic TV themes. From which TV shows, you ask? Here are some hints: a working-class sitcom from the ‘70s, a working-class sitcom from the ‘80s, a British sci-fi show from the ‘60s, a children’s show from the ‘70s, and more. But hey, you ask, don’t you cover any pop-culture shows from more recently than the 1980s? Hahahahaha, what the heck podcast do you think you’re listening to?
Back in January 2017, your hosts recorded what’s now the show’s lost pilot episode. (Paul accidentally destroyed the file trying to teach himself audio editing.) The subject of that episode: What was the first boy band? And that discussion came from Paul and Kirk having the same debate with their co-workers many months earlier. Now, finally, it’s our long-awaited boy bands episode. This ‘90s-heavy episode takes you from Menudo to One Direction, with most of the big names in between, and some you might’ve forgotten you remember.
Clanking chains. Creaking door. Spiderweb. Boo. It’s Halloween. This time of year gives us an excuse to do what rock and roll was invented for: worshipping Satan. And that’s what we’re doing on this episode of “Music Raygun.” There’s a visit from the god of hellfire to bring us fire. Lou Reed tears the flesh from off of his own skull. The Beach Boys sing a Charles Manson song. And perhaps the most terrifying thing of all: Simon and Garfunkel. It’s the spookiest podcast of the year.
We’re gonna add some bottom so that the dancers just won’t hide. Your thumbs’ll slap and your fingers will pop because it’s time to take a deep dive into bass guitars and bass guitar players. We’re talking Verdine, Bernard, the Ox, Flea, Bootsy, Thunder Thumbs and more. There are Stingrays everywhere you look. And the question on absolutely every bass guitar player’s lips: What would River Phoenix think? All of that and so much more on this funky episode of “Music Raygun.” It’s on the one, baby.