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EarWax is Amoeba Music's first podcast! Hosts Hilary and Cody chat about new releases and in-store events, so you are always up to date on the goings on of the world's largest independent record store. Each week, we tell the story of one particular album. How was it made? Where does it exist in our history? What effect did it have then, and how does it affect us today? EarWax is two longtime record store clerks doing what we do best - learning about and sharing the stories behind the albums ...
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Nothing like a healthy dose of synth pop and British government, and that's just what we have this week! Pet Shop Boys' "Actually" is 80s perfection, tackling big issues using outrageously smart songwriting and catchy hooks. The content of "Actually" is still extremely relevant, and this record has aged as well as the Boys themselves. Clever, earne…
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We've got the silky smooth Swingin' Sixties coming your way this week! Dusty Springfield was a staple of the era, with hits in both the US and the UK. A fixture on the charts and on TV, Dusty's pop vocal stylings ran perpendicular with the rock zeitgeist. But she had a finger on the pulse, and could sense the tide turning in the late 60s. "Dusty in…
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Make sure your mouthguard is in, because we're trying to kick some teeth in this week! PJ Harvey had risen to fame rapidly, and that had taken its toll. Having taken some time away to get right, she charged back onto the scene with her second record. With Steve Albini behind the boards, Rid of Me packs all of the punch of peak 90s rock, with the ad…
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Get prepped to jump, jive, and wail from start to finish, the EarWax crew is covering The Wildest, Louis Prima! With Keely Smith, Sam Butera, and the Witnesses alongside him, Louis Prima set Las Vegas on fire, five sets a night between 12 AM - 6 AM. The template that Vegas lounge acts would follow, Prima and his crew were going to give you a pro's …
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How many power chords do you have? Because this week we've got plenty to spare! Thin Lizzy had been more or less given one final shot to break big. Despite big creative differences, perhaps a little too much "hydration," and maybe not enough discipline early on, the crew behind Jailbreak all recognized the stakes. Packed with rock radio staples and…
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Hunker down, because we've got a record full of absolute bangers this week. Part electronic, part disco, part hard rock and all teeth, this duo found their footing with a series of remixes, before heading into the basement of an old club and chapel to record what would be their first studio album. Justice's debut album † (Cross) brings the heat. Wi…
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Come on now, you know we got geared up for this one. One of the heaviest hitters in the world music conversation, Buena Vista Social Club's self-titled debut is this week's focus on EarWax! Let's head to Cuba (by way of Mexico, if you're Ry Cooder), find some legendary Cuban musicians, get them in the studio and see what magic unfolds. After their …
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We love our shiny, glossy pop albums here on EarWax, and this week we've got one that is among the shiniest and poppiest - Carly Rae Jepsen's "E•MO•TION." After rocketing to the top of the charts with the monster single "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen needed to take some time to figure out where she fit in the pop landscape, and more importantly,…
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We are heading into familiar territory this week as EarWax revisits the Newport Jazz Festival! Cody and Hilary pick up four years after we last left Newport to tell the tale behind Muddy Waters' incredible live album "At Newport 1960." This record is an absolutely scorching set of blues set against a weekend that was marred by capacity limits, Berm…
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Looking for a breezy jam to cruise into the summer season? Nah, we're hitting you with beats, bars, and Vince Staples' debut album. Cody and Hilary talk about our responsibilities as fans, how to respectfully engage with weighty material, and how in the pocket Vince Staples is throughout this whole record. Weaving together a tapestry of matter-of-f…
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Are you having a wonderful day? Full of joy perhaps? Just really, fully, live/laugh/loving life? Welp, good luck! Hilary and Cody careen through Nine Inch Nails' magnum opus, "The Downward Spiral." Trent Reznor was fully in his bag on this one, and it pushed him into places that would take a good long while to rebound from. What does it say about u…
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Worlds and genres collide as the EarWax crew welcome our first guest onto the show! Post-hardcore meets indie rock as Jeremy Bolm (Touché Amoré, The First Ever Podcast) joins Cody and Hilary to dive into Rilo Kiley's indie masterpiece "The Exection of All Things." This album is where LA meets Omaha, where success meets sustainability, and where Ril…
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Tease your beehive hairdo waaaaaaay up, and put on your most gorgeous flowing dress, the GOAT girl group makes their EarWax debut! Our first 60s record is Motown perfection, although the Supremes' rise to the top was anything but perfect. Ultimately, they became standard bearers for both the label and the genre, and the hits from this record are ab…
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Let's dismantle systemic oppression with post-riot grrrl! Hilary and Cody dance and groove to the infectious, crackling first album by Le Tigre. Fronted by the legendary Kathleen Hanna, Le Tigre is a response to the implosion of a movement she championed. Le Tigre talks about all of the stuff you're gonna hear in the riot grrrl scene, but it candy-…
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Okay...so you need a 32nd episode. Well, let us impress upon you how much we loved covering Shania Twain's ridiculously influential album "Come On Over." Cody and Hilary weave through the career path of the Queen of Country Pop, and all of the struggles and successes that culminated in the making of this album. You want catchy? Got it. Songs built …
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What better way to usher in the Leap Year than to cover an artist who is arguably even more unique? Alice Coltrane is one of the most dynamic names in jazz history. Cody and Hilary explore her journey to this record, and Ptah's journey from ancient Egypt to 1970. This lineup is absolutely stacked with jazz legends, and they are all locked in and ta…
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Everyone get real serious...now throw that all away and gear up for a total vibe of an album - Flying Lotus' "Until The Quiet Comes." Cody and Hilary talk about floating bathtubs, lucid dreaming, and Adult Swim. All of these are integral to Flying Lotus, a true master whose talents are on full display on this record. A seamless blend of jazz, hip-h…
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Light some candles, turn off the lights, and slip into something a bit more...comfortable. We've got a whole vibe this week. Hilary and Cody break down the funk, the grooves, the voice, and the poetry that is D'Angelo and his second album - Voodoo. Chock full of absolute stars, this album's personnel is a who's who of 90s soul, with D'Angelo at the…
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Make sure you're properly stretched, because this episode is full of backflips, stage dives, and a raucous dose of hardcore royalty. Cody and Hilary explore the dichotomy that is Bad Brains. They are immensely talented musicians who helped shape a genre that relishes in its simplicity. They are furious bursts of faster-than-life music, followed by …
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Grace - a name, an attribute, a vibe, and an attitude. And this week we are covering an artist and album that is all of these and so, so much more. Hilary and Cody put on their sharpest shoulder pads and strike their most stunning poses as they talk about Grace Jones' "Nightclubbing." Full of ambitiously reworked covers and autobiographical origina…
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We're pulling out all the big guns at once for this one. You want legends? Psh, how about five of them? No big deal. Here's a few names you might have heard: Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and George freakin' Harrison. Cody and Hilary chat about this most super of the supergroups; from the storybook way they came together to the bri…
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We found 1994 so cozy last week that we're staying right there for our twenty-fifth episode! How about a trip down to Texas to visit an absolute icon - Selena! Amor Prohibido is a flashpoint for Tejano music, and a huge influence on Latin music's injection into the pop consciousness. Hilary and Cody talk about the value of "crossing over" onto the …
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Put on your comfiest baggy pants and unopened-condom-as-accessories, we are talking 90s slo-jams this week! Cody and Hilary weave through the history of one of the top girl groups of all time, and the album that simultaneously solidified their place in the R&B lineage and almost put them out of business. TLC is a group whose collective voice shines…
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Put on your leather jacket, chaps, hat, vest, and anything else that has studs - EarWax is going metal once again! Hilary and Cody headbang their way through Judas Priest's unbelievably charged record "Stained Class." Acting as the bridge between the godfathers and the new wave of British heavy metal, this album showcases proto-thrash riffs, toweri…
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We are back and getting crazy with the Cheez Wiz! This week we are taking on the smorgasbord of sounds and genres contained within Beck's "Midnite Vultures." Hilary and Cody jump headfirst into this amalgamation that somehow sounds like the weirdest party album you'll hear. Beck is in full control of the show, and the result is a fascinating look i…
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Ho-ho-holy good grief, we have a truly special one this week! Hilary and Cody unwrap the story behind a legendary holiday album - A Charlie Brown Christmas. Ever wonder who those kids are on the recording? They're just kids, of course! Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelson understood the necessity for authenticity. This soundtrack has transcended beyond…
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Holy buckets and holly jolly everyone, we made it to episode twenty! Sharon Jones & tTe Dap-Kings usher in our first holiday season with their brilliant, groove-filled album "It's A Holiday Soul Party." This album is set in a very specific, interesting period of time for the group, and for Miss Sharon Jones personally. The result is a record full o…
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Surpriiiiiiissssse!!! We are back with a fury, and there's hardly a better album to get back into the swing of things than this absolute groove. Cody and Hilary dive into the B-52s second album, and man does it go in. "Wild Planet" takes no prisoners, tackling topics from a poodle abandoning its owner for another dog, to tips on how to save a flail…
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Hurry, hurry, step right up and follow us into an episode filled with beats, bars, and the God MC himself. This week's episode sees Hilary and Cody marveling over the second album from Eric B. & Rakim. We flip out over the exquisite samples (shout out Bob James!) and Rakim's mastery of flow and rhymes. Studios get blacked out, there's a feud over c…
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What have we here? A two...or one and a half-for one deal this week! Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" is a masterclass in melody and weaving styles together. With folks such as Jon Brion, Questlove, and Mike Elizondo contributing, this album really shows us an artist stepping into and owning their artistry. Cody and Hilary explore the story be…
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Get yourself right for this one, we're headed into the wild world of punk funk, the 80s, and Rick James. Hilary and Cody wade through the legend of Rick James, touch on the storied history of Motown, and chat about an album that is simply a masterclass in groove. Street Songs is the album most representative of Rick James's vision. Bombastic, opule…
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We've made it to our 15th episode, and our spooky season selection is frightfully good. Cody and Hilary tackle "Murder Ballads" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. An album full of betrayal, mayhem, and plenty of murder, it also has a sense of humor about itself. The total body count is into the dozens, and we had a great time trying to keep a running …
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"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns, and those who dig." Maaaan have we got one for you all this week. Our first venture into soundtrack territory, and you know we were gonna swing for the fences. How about some Morricone mixed with some Clint Eastwood to make everyone feel like a badass? Hilary an…
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*Please imagine the following description being in crisp, three part bluegrass harmony. The Chicks are the focus of this week's episode, and wow is it a ride. Riding the success of two monster records, "Home" was poised to keep pace, or even outpace, everything they had done to that point. However, their momentum was brought to an abrupt halt on th…
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"My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud." - Henry Rollins Brace yourself, we're headed into the hardcore scene this week. Hilary and Cody keep their heads on a swivel as they navigate the early 80s, and Black Flag's "My War." Anger, defiance, and intention coarse through this album's veins. Two years of turmoil explodes from the title track and …
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Let's head to the Mississippi Delta for episode 11! Hilary and Cody peel back the curtain on one of music's most mythological figures - Robert Johnson. Behind the legends and stories existed a very real, very human musician. With a spirit that drove him to roam, and a vision on achieving greatness, Robert Johnson developed a style and sound that wo…
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We have made it to ten episodes! Let's celebrate with some of the cleanest grooves and smoothest jams you're gonna hear in rock - Steely Dan. Cody and Hilary dive into the Dan's debut, and chat about everything from a Thin Lizzy soundalike track, to a song that maybe-but-not-definitely-although-most-likely was a scathing criticism of a member of th…
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We are back with another one of those block rockin' beats! This week, Hilary and Cody charge head first into a nonstop jam. The Chemical Brothers' second album is a force to be reckoned with. Boasting appearances by Noel Gallagher and Beth Orton, drum tracks twisted and warped into club beats, and plenty of electronica and hip-hop influence, this a…
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This week's record is packed with venom, darkness, and plenty of ass-kicking - Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Juju." Siouxsie and the Banshees' influence is irrefutable, and their fingerprints are all over the advent of goth rock (whether or not they dig that idea is another story haha). Cody and Hilary discuss the addition of two key members, bringin…
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"I was born at Newport." - Duke Ellington The power of a single performance can alter any artist's trajectory, even for the most legendary musicians. This week, Hilary and Cody flash back to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1956. Duke Ellington and His Orchestra are gearing up for a make or break headlining show. That night's set, and the record that foll…
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"It's almost required with major artists that there's some duality. And I've got duality everywhere." - George Michael Some folks have an otherworldly ability to craft pop music, and George Michael undoubtedly has a seat at that table. In this episode, Cody and Hilary explore the record that served as his most complete artistic statement. Meticulou…
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What makes a genre...a genre? When does an album move from one genre to another? Or, more importantly, does any of that really matter? Cody and Hilary delve into Deafheaven's "Sunbather" in our fifth episode. An album exploding with self-reflection, frustration, and power, it catapulted Deafheaven into the spotlight. Ten years after its release, it…
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"Beep beep, who got the keys to the jeep?...Vrooom!" Our first venture into hip-hop covers a true titan of the genre. With her debut solo record "Supa Dupa Fly," Missy Elliott's confidence and willingness to bet on herself paid off many times over. Hilary and Cody discuss Missy Elliott's partnership with Timbaland, the groundbreaking music videos, …
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"I don't know where he comes from, but I've got a good idea where he's going." - Kris Kristofferson about John Prine Let us fill in those blanks on our third episode! Hilary and Cody dive into John Prine's debut, self-titled record. From losing a staring contest to oatmeal to an unflinching look at the reality for many soldiers returning from comba…
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"Take me on a journey..." Oh, we're about to do just that! On the inaugural episode of EarWax, hosts Hilary and Cody give the rundown on who we are, the framework for the show, and what we hope to accomplish with Amoeba Music's very first podcast. For our first Album of the Week, we're looking at Donna Summer's "Bad Girls." Full of bangers and ball…
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We're back for round two! Cody and Hilary examine the beginnings of DEVO and their inimitable first album - "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!" (Cody fumbles the title in the intro. Don't worry, we're pointing and laughing too!) DEVO's debut put the world on notice of something uncompromisingly different. From a wild Stones cover to crashing a Sun…
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Introducing EarWax, Amoeba Music's first podcast! Hosts Hilary and Cody chat about new releases and in-store events, so you are always up to date on the goings on of the world's largest independent record store. Each week, we tell the story of one particular album. How was it made? Where does it exist in our history? What effect did it have then, a…
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