TuneDig is an in-depth and informed conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music — one album at a time.

In each episode, we go down the rabbit hole to spend a while in the strange world we discover. We take an honest look at creativity in all its complexity—from writing and production to history and cultural impact.

We promise you’ll learn something new every time, no matter how much you already love the album we explore.

Episode 50

Maggot Brain

Funkadelic

Before uniting one nation under a groove, the lysergic lords of chaos in Funkadelic harnessed wild lightning into an amulet called Maggot Brain, bestowing the bearer with raw, dark power stronger than any force known to man. Between reaching our 50th episode and coping with the “maggots in the mind” of today’s universe, it felt like the right time to free our minds. We hope y’all’s asses will follow.

Transcript

Cliff: You’re listening to TuneDig, a conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music, one album at a time. I’m Cliff Seal.

Kyle: And I’m Kyle Stapleton. Each episode we talk about a single album in depth, unpacking it through conversation to understand what makes it worth appreciating and learning a little bit about life along the way.

Cliff: If you’re listening for the first time because we’re covering an artist or a record you love, we promise you’ll learn something new or gain a new perspective by the end of the episode.

Kyle: And if you’ve stuck with us for multiple episodes, you know by now that you’re bound to expand your horizons. As we share a clear entry points for artists you may never have tried to get into before.

Kyle: At long last, we’re celebrating Maggot Brain by Funkadelic.

Cliff: All right. We got to 50 regular episodes and we promised ourselves that when we got here, we would talk about exactly, maggot brain we, we did it, we made it, uh, we made it through some fun times, uh, and have talked about a ton of records, but we’ve been waiting to talk about this one on purpose for a long time.

And specifically Kyle, I have physically restrained aura for 49 episodes. Uh, and so now we can be free. My dude. And let’s finally talk about. Not just fun delic or P funk or George Clinton or anything like that. But specifically maggot brain and everything that flows out of it.

Kyle: 50 episodes, isn’t a lot in podcast land, but when everyone is a little world unto itself, a little art project, then 50 episodes in what, three years, four years that we’ve been doing this two, two of which barely count.

I’m glad that we’re here

Cliff: two of the years, barely count all the episodes.

Kyle: all the episodes count all the episodes count massively. Yeah. Especially anything 2020 and on for

sure.

do you remember the first time that you saw, or like became aware of George Clinton? The entity

Cliff: no, I don’t.

Kyle: I’m wondering if it’s this, because my thesis in my own life is that the first time I saw him was in the movie.

Good

Cliff: Oh, no. Yeah.

Kyle: In the in the asylum scene with the multicolored hair and they start dancing to the like late seventies PFU song, right?

Cliff: Yeah. This is deep in the recesses of my memory, but yeah,

Kyle: yeah, yeah.

So I I pulled that out of the depths of my brain, like 48 hours ago, just like when did this attraction to the voodoo start for me.

And I think it was good burger. I think it was actually Keenan and Kel that did it for me, but I, I arrived there after doing the five whys around well, maybe it

was hip hop, right.

Cuz I know I

love

sampling a lot

and we’ve

we covered that extensively on this

podcast. And

when you get into early and mid

nineties, like west

Cliff: coast, thick syrupy, hip and

Kyle: outcast too.

there’s a lot of PFU all over it and that’s because George Clinton allowed their music to be sampled

Freely. So I think you can draw a line all the way back to there, but then you encounter George Clinton, the character, who was also an NBA jam. He was an unlockable character in NBA jam

So there was like a weird, weird heady psychedelic nineties moment for George Clinton.

Cliff: are definitely two touch points. I did

Kyle: where there’s just like a general, what the fuck?

Yeah.

Around the whole thing. And you’re like, I have to know more,

Cliff: no amount of research has resolved that sensation. however,

Kyle: so then outcasts comes around and our, love of outcasts and it’s sort of like centrality to how we understand everything about music, uh, is very well documented in the 50 episodes and, and other tentacles in this podcast. We don’t need to go into that. But I don’t remember. And I’m almost kind of glad that I don’t the moment that it led to maggot brain, cuz even if you get through atomic dog and you get through flashlight and you get through Bootsy Collins and you just wait and wait

and wait through

dozens of albums and dozens of people and

thousands of stories

and all these people say, and Funkadelics the shit, Funkadelics the greatest

thing ever, whatever. Right?

to the joke that you just made, you are still in no way prepared for what happens when you drop the needle on this record. we were listening to it as we were setting up the equipment and it’s still like every, listen, if you come in with fresh ears present, you’re still like, whoa, it’s still the run.

That’s a little too long. It’s

the hill. That’s a little

too high to climb. so I’m. I like could not be more excited to be talking about it’s a top 10 favorite record of mine

all time and we

saved

it for the, for the first milestone.

but it’s gonna be a good one.

Cliff: but Kyle, why?

Kyle: So I want to set it apart from every record that we’ve talked about this season, cuz I, I think if

I had to draw a motif around

the season, cuz they always seem to like have a thing like each season kind of has a vibe.

Cliff: Humans are meeting, making machines.

Kyle: Yeah. Nothing means anything, but like let’s try anyway.

Right?

Cliff: I at once agree with you and acknowledge that. We’re definitely just making it up as we go along and seeing a little bit of that in

Kyle: Yeah. A hundred it’s it’s totally like the devil concise scripture for its purpose.

Don’t you

Cliff: definitely. Yeah. But it does have a feel that we can talk about and refer to afterwards.

Yeah, for sure.

Kyle: So this season, for reasons that we can

retroactively apply has really been about like feeling it’s been a very introverted season, right? It’s

been very like

inward spirit. You think about Alice Coltrane, you think about Badu. You think about me without you, you think about Olivia Rodrigo. almost without

exception. The Season has been

very inward, very, very like tapped into the individual consciousness. This

is about power.

This is about collective power and the, hypothesis that I would like to advance today about this record that I haven’t seen advance quite explicitly enough in the ample literature, a again, sort of like cul and a lot of great writing about this.

this

musically is the most powerful thing. There is this record should scare the shit out of you. No matter how much you love music, no matter how ready you feel like you are to

handle it.

This record is

dark. It’s voodoo.

It’s strong, it’s overpowering. It will

make

you the baddest motherfucker of all time, but it’s, it’s the deal with the darkness.

I don’t

wanna get overtly religious, cuz I feel like that would fly in the face of all things. Funkadelic, the P funk empire,

but like

you gotta know, you’re you’re using the world’s hottest chili pepper in your stew. when you bring maggot

brain

into the party,

Cliff: we’re gonna have to bring a lens to it though.

Cuz we can probably acknowledge pretty quickly upfront that. If you’re trying to get in through the door that quotes the lyrics from, oh, I don’t know, wars of Armageddon. And you start hearing things like, um, more Peter to the eater, more power to the pussy, more pussy to the power, right on, right on.

You’re not gonna go. Okay. That matches with what Kyle just said.

Kyle: said.

Cliff: about it being super serious and dark and heavy and, but like and yeah, I did, I did give that my, uh, uh, silliest audio book, narrator voice, for sure. Uh, I’m glad that’ll be,

Kyle: I’m IRA glass here to talk about mag

brain

Cliff: That’ll be audio graphically framed for me and repeat it back to me at some point in the future.

Um, hopefully in a great moment, but there’s a thing to tap into for sure. I think. The best part though, about being able to tap into what you’re talking about and get at the power while being able to acknowledge and see the like silliness of George Clinton, especially right? there’s all kind of story around that to help you contextualize George Clinton in that moment, including his band members, just basically saying things like that’s the album cover is him sabotaging us.

like, so, so clearly there’s, there’s like a nonchalant on a very different level, that, that happens in here. But I love that the sequencing of the record gives you the door to enter by because to get to the power that you’re talking about. you can’t casually come in by way of hit it and quit it. I don’t think. And, and get, at least if you’re not somebody who’s

Kyle: imagine if back in your minds is the first thing

Cliff: like it’s

Kyle: don’t shuffle this record.

Yeah.

Cliff: It doesn’t quite unveil itself to you. I think the same way it does. If you sit with an Eddie Hazel intro into what’s happening and why, and what are the depths of like emotion that are being explored, because if you approach it with the like, um, well, a bunch of dudes said they did a bunch of acid and then cranked out a funk record TDA well, you’re gonna miss like the whole thing pretty much.

Kyle: That’s true. I almost wanna see how weird we can get

before

Cliff: we even like,

Kyle: get into anything. If you’ve never heard this record, if you’re totally cold

or if you know of this record and you’ve heard

some of it and you’re

not really initiated.

I

actually think perhaps the best place we can start

is to just have people

jump in to

the

title track.

Yes With Like not a ton of

Cliff: Yeah.

Kyle: so this record wildly opens with an 11 minute save for an intro monologue, instrumental pretty much only guitar, unless you’re listening with headphones song, the title track from this record that, I don’t wanna editorialize too much. I would almost encourage you to like, pause this and go over to the streaming service of your Listen to it really loudly. Listen to it a second time and like, make sure you’re not doing anything else. be all the way with it. And then come back. this is a song that. in whatever guitar list, best guitar solos of all time is listed at a measly 71 or something I would go on record as saying like, this is the guitar solo, there’s freebird, there’s stairway, there’s two or three Hendrick songs, watch tower voodoo child

the list that I’ve read that was cited give too much credence to it, just on the merit of if you like guitar, and if you find yourself able to be affected by what a guitar can do, I don’t know of a more affecting guitar song in the world.

Cliff: Yeah. I’m gonna go in on this. Let’s do it. I’ll editorialize. You said you wouldn’t happily

Kyle: great

Cliff: yes. To everything you said, for sure.

I think coming back to this record always reminds me really specifically, obviously, of this song, but it reminds me of how this song needs to be in a, a place kind of in the memory palace of my music brain. It needs to be in a different place than it slots into normally. Yeah. Cause like, yeah, to your point, this is one of the greatest guitar solos we have on record.

It’s also just standard E minor pentatonic, simple, super repetitive basic stuff. and it’s got a little bit of wa used in the right place. It’s tasteful. But mostly it’s super simple and straightforward. And to me it, technically it’s nothing, right.

Kyle: It’s not cliffs of Dover

Cliff: in that. Right.

and wow. Yes, that’s really good contrast. It’s it’s specifically not any of that. Uh, let me show you how I can play guitar. Right, right. But specifically, it’s just using a simple blue scale and it’s doing something here that I hope through records we’ve talked about over the years, like, you know, Zeppelin and cream and all that, like every now and then you come across a guitarist who understands how to use the blues lyric.

This is a very, very, very hard thing to do. Like Jimmy Hendricks did it well, and yeah, there’s plenty of Jimmy Hendricks on this record, but you can’t just listen to Jimmy Hendricks and then do what he did. Like it doesn’t work that way. You can’t, you can’t imitate the way Jimmy Hendricks was playing because he was channeling blues as a way of playing guitar as a vocalist at the same time.

And he was doing so much and so different so quickly that. Jimmy Hendricks doesn’t have to be your need to be the only like black guitarist who was any good at anything like Eddie, Hazel belongs there. The fact that he couldn’t like, I guess, hold it together necessarily after this and the band kind of never existed this way afterwards, um, is, you know, an outcome of the type of drugs that get talked about on this record, but also is exactly why this record like S so hard and why it’s worth talking about and telling other people about cuz this crew never existed.

again, and the, the

Kyle: the center was too powerful to hold. Yeah.

Cliff: But like the combination of things that converge here to create this Eddie, Hazel guitar solo are all those little elements that it, it, it takes to like pick apart and appreciate like. One, let’s go ahead and map in this story. Good grief.

If I hear another person, uh, try to talk about psychedelic drugs. I’m gonna lose my mind, uh, when they try to tell the story of this record. So there is cool.

Kyle: love I love right before,

right before it, we started recording. You said you can divide all of the writing about this album into two camps. People who have also done psychedelics and

people who haven’t

Cliff: with a hundred percent certainty on both sides, I think what we can do is take a little step back from the narrative or the story because George Clinton likes he wants to play with the story.

he doesn’t care about, uh, accuracy of this particular

Kyle: This is a man who came down from a spaceship on stage or literal spaceship, but ass naked during a sly stone this, this, guy’s not interested in three dimensional reality as it exists for most people,

Cliff: he is unserious sun raw.

And like no one asked for that. So but you know, the, the story spun, right? Oh God.

Kyle: I had a kid, give me a pass

Cliff: I don’t know who, I don’t know who we just offended or if I’m offended or not, Fun RA is really fun now. Um, now, now that’s what I call cosmic

Kyle: Um,

Cliff: Good grief. Um,

Kyle: didn’t care so much about this shit, I’d be more mad at

Something like that.

Like, I, I will defend in person any casual joke that I make about any of this, because I care so

deeply about this music.

Like I, I would dedicate.

hours of my life. Yeah.

To a conversation about how

important

this music and this, this consolation

of people

Cliff: is I know you would.

Yeah. That’s why my iPhone has a two and a half hour timer. And it’s gonna make

Kyle: a real

Cliff: loud noise if we go too long. But you, the, the story is something along the lines of, they took a bunch of acid and then George Clinton said at a Hazel play, as if you just learned your mother died. Now here’s where like every single time I heard the story, like all of them were slightly different versions of it.

The dividing line, you could, you could draw were all the people who had clearly never been a part of, um, this type of reality altering, um, anything, all went. So they took a bunch of acid and then George Clinton told him that his mom died and then they recorded the whole thing with him thinking that his mom died.

I’m like, mm. I, I gotta be honest with you. I highly doubt that. That’s kind of how it went down. I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody take a musician dose of acid before, but that’s not something you wanna like go waste a day on and just see if we. Scare someone shitless and see if they could just happen to crank out the best guitar solo that’s ever been written.

so it was probably something like, here’s your motif dude, and I’m sure they were on a lot of drugs, but like I want to encourage anyone listening to peel back a little bit of the story. Okay. Um, people on Mondo doses of acid cannot correctly record and produce entire pieces of music.

Okay. So I’m sure that there’s a little bit of glossing over that happens to make the story more interesting. But I do definitely think that what we do here there in that solo really is a very drug enabled, but like mentally centered story of the prompt,

Kyle: I, I will say George, in

his,

uh, sort of unreliable narrator biography

said

specifically before he started, I told him to play, like his mother had died to picture that

day. Right.

What he would feel, how he would make sense of his life, how he would take a measure of everything that was inside him and let it out

through So, So yes, confirmed that. it it’s more evocative than literal

Cliff: and that’s important because,

Kyle: and when he started playing, I knew immediately that he understood what I meant.

said.

Cliff: Yeah. Yeah. Like that’s important just because if we’re talking about how good this is and how much feel there is in story to it, it’s really important that you not picture someone who did this accidentally on a lot of drugs. Eddie Hazel did this masterfully through fully through, through such a, uh, uh, a control of the blues and an idea of how to use playing that draws.

I mean Delta blues, and a lot of older blues where you slow down and you play one note to make points. Mm-hmm, , he’s doing that as he introduces all of this stuff. So not only is he channeling a lot more blues than funk at all here. But it, it all like comes together and adds up into this interesting moment of like, well then George Clinton recognized what had happened and makes the choice to say, let’s literally take down all of the backing tracks.

Right. Which, to slam back on the other side of this, everyone else who I did listen to who talked about this record on a podcast or in a book or did agree that after listening to the version where the, the instruments are. Yeah. He, he totally made the right choice.

Kyle: 100% which is

yeah, bold.

Cliff: So

this is the end of my little, uh, mini diatribe on this one, but it’s like, I wanted to put those pieces together because it’s the combination of Eddie Hazel doing what he did in that moment, responding to a prompt, playing off what George Clinton wanted him to do, killing it in that moment, getting it on record, but also having George Clinton recognize, oh, this is like something different just happened.

Mm-hmm and I literally need to change the way we normally do songs to draw out this feeling basically, cuz he understood the assignment so well, and like those things piling on top of each other and interacting not only is not random or like purely drug fueled or whatever, but like is so much of the magic of mag brain specifically.

That’s not just the magic in general of like PFU and parliament. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah.

Kyle: he went on to say in, in a later passage, which by the way, he dedicated like four pages total to mag brain, which I think speaks to how expansive the P funk universe

is.

in the, um, and, and that a lot

of people have a lot of different entry points, but

he said, but after talking about Eddie’s performance, but there’s a science behind the art.

It’s one thing to hear that kind of performance in the studio and another thing to communicate it. Yep. And have it come through on a record, When Eddie played originally, it was over a more traditional, slow band jam. I took all the other instruments off the track, and then I echo plexed everything back on itself, four or five times.

So he didn’t just lower everybody else in the mix. He created the sort of atmosphere around the thing to really amplify it and give it space. He said that that gave the whole thing an eerie feel, both in the playing and the sound effects. There’s a noise at the beginning of a song that’s a chattering or chewing, and people sometimes asked if it’s the sound of maggots feasting on the brain. I can’t say that it was, I was just trying for something fucked up and novel mini groundbreaking effects happen that way. he used the example of slide in the family stone who are a Great. And also sort of unreliable, contemporary, they’d recorded a song called sex machine a year bef a few years before, and it sounds like slides vocals are electronically processed. In reality, he was singing through a toilet paper, roll covered with paper and feeding that through a Wawa pedal back at Motown, they used to stomp on Coke boxes to get percussion noises.

I was doing that with the mixing board and all along, trying to monitor how it was making things

Cliff: that yeah, that, that back and forth of. Expressive guitar playing specifically with blues and then the, the emerging creativity of everyone. Probably what driven, probably heavily inspired by dub, like the, all this, all the stuff in the production ingenious. Uh, I’m running outta cool words to talk about like how everything that we talked about in, um, especially in that king Tubby record, uh, episode that we did, but like

watching

people innovate on literally just pumping electrical signals into quarter inch cables into metal machines back out of ’em into other metal machines, like having all that happen while everyone was learning to play guitar like this, while psychedelia was taking off while, while they get inspired to make sound effects, which range in their effectiveness on this particular record.

Uh, I, I, I do not stand the fart noises on the last song, but we can, you know, come back to that later. but Mag brain, the title track, really to me opens the door as a guitar player, because first of all, this was probably the first time in the entire history of this podcast, where I really do feel like I learned something different in specific about the record by learning to play the like it, it has a feel to it, and it reinforces the expressiveness and the simplicity of the whole thing, because like, you’re re when you’re listening to it, there’s this like, surely there’s more sensation to it.

Like where where’s the magic coming from. If these are pretty simple notes and that feeling doesn’t really go away when you learn to play it. But what that connected to for me was other songs in general from that era. Um, but specifically for me, since I like love. led Zeppelin so much, like thinking about the times where Jimmy page became expressive in lyrical.

Um, you know, he was kind of known for that anyway, but the, the two moments that remind me of maggot brain are first of all, heartbreaker where they, the whole band drops out. Right. And he just starts talking. pretty much on guitar

Kyle: too, too fast

on the studio version on

two,

but then you get to the, I think the BBC version is the

like really, really good live version. where he learns to slow that down and say, it with a little more authority.

Yeah.

That’s a, that’s a rip and

solo

Cliff: Yeah. So like that the heartbreaker interlude. And then since I’ve been loving you where they are. In both of those cases. And I know you love that song. So like, I, I, I don’t bring it up with a lack of reverence, but like in, in, in, listen, man, before

Kyle: start

talking about this song.

Cliff: I’ll need like a reverse trigger warning.

Kyle: I love that song because

Cliff: of you. We, okay.

Kyle: We were

umpiring. And we were

doing that tournament up

on the other side of town where they put us up in a hotel umpire for the weekend, which was like such a degenerate thing to do, to give

high school dudes,

a hotel room and just be like, have fun, don’t die. but we,

Cliff: we, we didn’t,

Kyle: we didn’t, we didn’t by the grace of something.

we drove around looking for food and some trouble to get into. And we were listening to, I think, early days,

latter days.

and I was like, not that familiar with the deep cuts of led Zeppelin. I was like a rock block, appreciator of upset. And it was raining. I will never forget. It was like raining just a little.

And since I’ve been loving, you came on. It didn’t phase you because you grew up on zap. I remember the energy in the car. Somebody was in the truck with us and I don’t

remember who. um, and that song came on

and it was like, wait, you know,

like when Donald Glover tells the story of getting the childish Gambino name through the Wutang name generator, everybody was fucking around. And then the name came up and he was like, hold on, we have to take this seriously. Now, like those first notes came in on the guitar and it was rain on the windshield.

And I was like, Nope Nope, nope, stop, stop. I can feel the universe shifting at this moment like this. This is going to change my consciousness. I knew to name that tune for my consciousness in four notes.

Cliff: That one, because, well, we’ll just turn everybody else onto this if they’re not already onto it. But the reason that one in particular, since I’ve been loving you is so good and such a good comparison. I think to this, uh, to maggot brain, the title track is like in, since I’ve been loving you led Z and stole, you know, basically all their songs , they’re, they’re redone blues.

Um, I just happen to think that it’s okay. The way that they did it. Yeah.

Kyle: I don’t like that comparison cuz it’s still good. It’s not like they didn’t chain restaurant.

Yeah.

Cliff: Yeah. But in that song, it, the lyrical content of it is straightforward, but the idea overall is that through the guitar playing you’re further in the mind of the person kind of telling the story about basically like I’m, I’m losing my mind being in a relationship with you.

And it’s the combination of all the it’s slow. It’s quiet. it’s not.

Oh, the, the guitar lines up with the other instruments. And then later it gets loud with the other instruments and then it’s a solo. Like it grows, it speeds up, it gets louder. It slows back down. Like you, you hear it, you can’t, it gets really precise.

You can’t, and then it comes back in, then it builds up. Then he is yelling right now. It’s like, I’ve lost it now. And now, like we’re talking through the solo, it’s brighter, it’s louder. It’s clear. But it’s using some of the same, like expressive little hooks that he used before. And that’s maggot brain.

it’s an even simpler, quieter. I just found out that the progenitor of my existence no longer exists. How might that feel? Certainly not complex. Like jazz doesn’t belong there, you know? So to be able to channel it so specifically and easily and not overdo it is itself such mastery.

and we don’t have too many examples of that in Blue’s guitar, but it’s incredible to see it here, cuz outside of this, to me, the best examples are like, you know, the fourth movement on a love Supreme where John Coltrane literally tries to tell you a Psalm with the saxophone totally different style, but

Kyle: that you invoke Psalm to episodes in a row, two very different albums yeah. In a row. But so much of this record is about death and is about oblation and, I do, and I don’t want to scare people a little with the wink of like this record is about the darkness, but alright. The record came out in July of 1971. after two records that were recorded in 1970, George Clinton himself has said it’s about trying to capture all the energy of the psychedelic era, but like the better writings around this will tell you contextually, you know, this is mid Vietnam war. This is the dissolution of the hippie era and all the promises that like peace, love and understanding. And what, so 69, ultimately failed to bring, well, George Clinton described it as weather, which I think is interesting like cuz to think of this record as a force of nature or cosmic for, he said there was lots of weather outside the souring of hippie culture, inner city rot, both legitimate and illegitimate mind expansion. So there’s like lots of drug culture happening. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say how much drugs of all kind had taken a hold of popular culture and counterculture. and lots of weather inside, lots of crazy shit going group of people. And

he said it, it all came together. So probably also worth jumping to there’s an amazingly wild

backstory the parliaments to

Cliff: parliament, to Funkadelic,

Kyle: to,

you know, from the

late fifties to 71, getting here,

it’s a wild

cultural time.

but a thing

that

was unbeknownst to me, and

if you’ve listened to this

podcast for any amount of time, you’ll probably be surprised to know that I was surprised by this.

this is a Detroit band.

And Detroit coming out of the Motown era. And for many decades since has struggled with

that inner city rot that alluded to.

but this band had the same management as the MC five and the Stooges and toured a great deal with Ted NuGen the Amboy Dukes.

So like psychedelic counterculture, does not give a fuck punk, like straight up the wildest stuff. 50 years ahead of its time. 50 years later, punk

rock

On the one hand and then sort of a lineage in vocal soul groups and Motown

has an origin being signed to a Motown subsidiary and ties to Barry Gordy.

So there’s like sort of an insane mish mashing of cultures

there to begin with. Just,

very much like when a cold front meets a warm front type of thing and it creates a hurricane,

very

much the, the cultural conditions Is it worth going back and telling a little bit of that story? Or should we just point people to links us?

Cliff: to me the history of, all the PFU stuff. I think, I feel like is a little bit more easy to get a grip on, through a documentary or something like that pretty quickly. I mean, definitely anything that helps connect a touchpoint here, but at the same time, like all these songs are so good. there are elements that I don’t necessarily hear other folks talk about and be able to expound on.

So to me, I’d, I’d rather start diving into the.

Kyle: let’s go. Let’s do it.

Cliff: Cool. Because in between the bookends of, uh, whatever psychedelia is happening, here are a bunch of songs that don’t quite sound like those bookends and they are all awesome. They’re all super good. first of all, I, I don’t wanna over invoke, the lead Zeppelin type of rock during the same time, but just to be clear, like what, once again, this was 1971, as you said.

So like, this is Zeppelin four time, so this is all happening around the same era. And, and so it’s not that unusual that things would sound that similar, but,

Kyle: and Sabbath’s paranoid. Would’ve been in the fall of 70. So this is when things were

really starting to get metallic and larger

and intense.

Cliff: But the move of I’m gonna give you a really dramatic opening track.

and it’s gonna take up like a side and now I’m gonna drop into a darn LA LA. That is so like that’s so yeah. Yeah. Like this is such a great funk record because they are playing with pieces that aren’t traditionally funk. To like push back on it and spread out and make room before. Like they don’t even really get to a funk song until like the third track.

And they’re, they’re pushing it out with, can you get to that? Which is hooky is already apparently a revamp of a song they’d been doing as the parliaments, which you’ve been growing, yeah. And everyone else on planet earth has mentioned that it did get sampled, uh, in real world, by slay bells. The only reason I’m also willing to bring that out.

Is well, because that’s off treats and if you’re gonna , if you’ve, if you’ve never heard treats by slay belts, you just have to, that really has nothing to do with this record or even this genre or anything. Uh, but that’s always worth calling out because that’s either a, I hate this or I just found my party rock, for a while.

but again, that was another place to me where they’re ostensibly a funk band nailing the British blues idea, just doing almost cookie cutter level stuff, but doing it at the same time, all the other bands were doing it. And to me that just provides like an extra layer of like humor to this record that they’re, crushing the thing they are literally doing the thing that Eric Clapton spent his whole life trying to actually do well once.

And they’re casually doing it here and then never doing it again. And that’s being in a great blues band and making a great blues record. Anyway, I had to get

Kyle: 1, 2, 2, yeah. Two things one. Fuck Eric Clapton forever.

Cliff: we just keep getting rider as it goes along.

Kyle: Yeah. don’t ask us to comment when he finally passes away. two, I knew that this

was sampled by slay bells and I’ve never really thought about the fact that not really any of this record has been sampled.

That much. And this is a band that’s been sampled extensively. Like the drum break other than funky drummer by James Brown?

So

they laid the foundation for hip hop sampling in many ways, but this record is

like, you

kind of can’t touch it. It doesn’t lend itself to that. and you know, there’s probably like

deep type

things.

I’m, I’m overlooking, I know there’s an atmosphere that sampled something. I feel like there’s killer might. Sample at one point. so there are, there are a handful of

things, but there aren’t going straight from the atmosphere of maggot brain, which just wanna reiterate is like a really wild

way to

open a record.

Just very countercultural counter

capitalist, for sure.

And then going into the almost

hippie fireside Jam. not really about love and understanding. it’s about a soured relationship.

And this is another place where the, Clinton bio autobiography comes in handy.

Cuz he

about making the

personal universal and how like the thesis statement of

Funkadelic was to, to go upward

and outward. He was like, if we tried to

win on the merits

of like deeply niche,

deeply personal love song type things.

we, we would lose every time to

the

smokey Robinsons to

the whatevers. I’ll plug the book quickly just to say like it illustrates the, the razor that George Clinton dances on all the time between genius and insanity, the documentaries will tell you the same thing. He’s extraordinarily well

read. He’s

very articulate. He can jump between a ton of subjects. it gets into the kind of cult of personality thing around George Clinton. So it’s kind of surprising when you hear

how CRAs and very like lowest chakra, this music is.

Cliff: yep.

Kyle: But can you get to

that as really interesting, because

it’s about, in this relationship,

your mouth is writing a check that your ass can’t cash is essentially

like the thesis of the thing.

but he invokes the MLK speech about, you know, the, the check has come back marked insufficient funds and just to casually be able to take a love song and invoke the civil rights

movement. Yeah And, and the great orator who had recently been assassinated. It’s kind of wild. Like that’s

a, That’s a choice creatively.

And, and then he puts it all in this big acoustic guitar, Phil specter, wall of sound

rapper that glosses it’s a piece of candy. And then there’s some broccoli inside. If you really are, are willing to, to dig at it,

Cliff: He likes doing that.

Kyle: It’s a good move. It’s like an impossibly hard move to think your way to, it’s the kind of thing that, the more instances of it, you find the more, there’s a like, oh, there was somebody with a natural talent or, or like sort of an unspeakable genius, who just kind of arrived at it.

Who just knew that like, all right, I have this basic framework of a British blue song, but then to know, to do the brainstorm and push it. One degree, two degree, three degrees And to make

Cliff: it’s almost like it’s the only way where you could get George Clinton to get a point across like this, because he’s such an unserious person that if he took it with too much weight, you would be, it would be like sus Well, okay. Okay. You’re not the person that I wanna take serious bits from, but like I’m glad you called that Al cuz the casual toss to it almost gives you not almost, it gives you enough space to engage with it without having to evaluate the source, of the nod itself. And I think that ends up being really helpful.

Um, it also helps you navigate, brain twisting complex concepts, like hit it and quit it.

Kyle: Which I don’t give a fuck is one of the best songs. Ever I,

Cliff: that riff is so

Kyle: I have this playlist that I’ve had forever. It was on, it was the title of a, of a burnt CD that I had in high school. That then became the title of a playlist on my iPod. That then became a running playlist on my Spotify, 10 feet tall in Bulletproof after the Garth Brooks song. There are songs that make you feel like you cannot be killed by anyone or And quitted is one of those

songs. Where you walk like, a cartoon character that’s like strutting over the curvature of the earth. there’s an animation or, or I think there’s like a TikTok trend where people will do some like strut and shit to them changes by Thundercat.

And there’s one video specifically where I’ve seen where somebody has like the mounted

fisheye and they’re walking, like the grateful dead animated character guy. like they’re sort of made

of putty,

but like, they don’t give

a fuck. right.

That’s

Cliff: sorry. That sentence was ridiculous.

Yeah.

Kyle: Two camps of people. If you’ve experienced the world through a psychedelic lens where the

rules physics

and colors and things don’t

matter totally instantly you’re gonna be yep. I’ve been out on a Saturday. And I know exactly what this dude is talking about. I have been out in public with my sunglasses on inside, like what’s up. And then there’s a whole other camp of people that will never get that and probably should stop

listening to

frankly.

Cliff: Yeah. Like it’s, it’s not that you can’t get it. If you don’t do drugs, like it’s that, that premise itself is really stupid. And only people who don’t do drugs, have the premise to begin with. Like you don’t, you don’t need a special magic way to look at it. You just need to put down the defenses that tell you everything here is inherently stupid.

Cuz it was made by people on drugs, Like, no, no, no, no. you, you’ve got to meet a person in your life. Who’s capable of doing incredible things on drugs to understand. That’s not how it works for a lot of people. And especially people like this, you don’t come to be a professional musician by not being able to hold your tab so to speak in a recording session, you know?

but that doesn’t mean also therefore that hit it and quit. It must be like the most monumentally important or constantly unfurling deep, complex song. It’s. The best riff. It’s just the best song to turn on loud. I texted you the other or I something in our slack. And I was just like, have you ever been doing the dishes and then hitting and quit hitting when it comes on.

And just like all of a sudden you remember that things can be okay,

Kyle: doing

Cliff: the dishes is okay. Doing the dishes is great. I love doing the dishes. This feels good. I can totally clean these dishes. and I’m I hate dancing. I’m dancing in a room by myself. Cuz like this song just ripped straight up.

Kyle: I’ll put it this way.

You,

you know how they.

almost outright

banned cigarette ads cuz they were too effective. Like they made cigarettes look too cool.

Yeah. This song is a cigarette ad. This song is like, Hey, do

you wanna be somebody that people look at? And they’re like, this guy fucks. Hit it than quitted as that song. When we

talk about deal

with the devil thing, we’re talking about the, the riff and

hit it. And quit it Where instantaneously.

you feel it in your

literal spine? And you’re just like,

well, there goes the rest of my day. I’m gonna

text Wow I’m gonna text everybody that I know to go to the bar

Right now

I’m gonna lose this Saturday.

Cliff: what made you text me? I listen to ahead

Kyle: Heather straight

Cliff: If you’re my friend, you’re gonna get this.

Kyle: straight

Cliff: That is

Kyle: my friends now like maggot brain maggot brain.

Cliff: Yeah.

Kyle: I have my favorites list down to the people who really

know me.

it’s also a great, moment for Bernie ORL. I think sort of the other thing to know about

the, staggering illegal genius of George

Clinton is the way.

the PFU empire is a talent factory. And to your point, this lineup that would never exist again is bonkers beyond comprehension. So we mentioned Eddie Hazel, who was a session man before these three Funkadelic records went on to play with the temptations, did a solo record that is beyond compare and vastly underappreciated, and then died In near obscurity in the popular culture. you have Billy Bass Nelson, you have Tiki Fullwood on the drums who was

literally stolen by miles

Davis After miles Davis heard war of Armageddon.

You have

a whole ton of great backup vocalists. You have tall Ross on this. and then you have Bernie worl.

Who’s had this incredible career since, who was like a, a sophisticated songwriter keyboard player. but who also did the vocals on hit it and quit it.

and a lot of the organ lines and, and keys that you’ll hear on the record really sort of amp up the proceedings. They create a lot of the texture that makes the record

great, but you

can be forgiven for not picking up at first that a different person sings lead vocals on almost every song on this

record.

and it’s

Bernie Royall on this one in all of his almighty

Cliff: to hold lead vocalism at a distance, uh, is in very interesting and almost specific phenomenon to this crew. And I, a few people cited as at least potentially the reason they may not. Commercially connected.

which does make some sense, but even outside of that, cuz um, the point of everything isn’t just to make money or not. beyond that, the approach to being able to have whoever singing, including like, you know, depending on which documentaries you’ll watch, you’ll learn that some people were singing on those albums for a long time before they ever got their name on anything.

Um, just like a big rotating cast of characters, but

Kyle: A 15 year old girl from the neighborhood, like wasn’t in the band for a long time,

Cliff: Yeah.

Kyle: sang on the records.

Cliff: but there’s, there’s something communal about that for sure. That you can feel and sense, but it’s, you know, it’s the Funkadelic way of doing it.

It’s not the fellow Kuti way of doing it for instance. Right. Yeah. That’s right. But, yeah. And then, with the next song, you and your folks, me and my folks, speaking of being sung by a different person, that ones song by Billy Nelson. and

Kyle: I, I always wanna call Billy Bass.

like so, so disrespectful.

watching him in

Cliff: the documentary.

Kyle: And

like, he, he probably got the raw deal of all the people, whoever came into the George Clinton

orbit,

he’s like an intense sort of incendiary dude. He was the guitarist

in the parliaments in parliament Funkadelic. And then they found Eddie Hazel and he, and Eddie basically had a conversation like Eddie discovered Jimmy Hendricks and was like, I can play like this guy.

And then Billy was like, all right, I’ll move to bass.

Cliff: The you were the guitarist and now you’re on bass. Cuz we founded other guitarist as a move.

Kyle: always

loved that move. Yeah.

Cliff: On the other hand you got to stay in Funkadelic playing the bass.

Kyle: Yeah.

Cliff: pretty sick outcome.

Kyle: Yeah. The role that would be occupied by Bootsy Collins

after this

Cliff: wild. it is truly wild. How good some of these people had to have been at their instruments for things like that to have occurred all. It’s just hard to

Kyle: express that Well I mean when

you get shot out of the exit velocity. Like you, you come in via James Brown and another person leaves to mid seventies, miles Davis.

I mean, this is the, European G league or whatever , but it’s the greatest thing in the world, you know, it’s just like you throw ’em in this blender and they’re gonna come out

diamonds

cuz they were doing tons and tons of shows.

for years and years.

Cliff: But then cuz I’m gonna keep rolling cuz I’m I’m pumped to like pulls here is here.

So on possibly like the basis song out of all of them, even on a record with hit it and quit it. basis in terms of lyrical ideas. Okay. We get it dude.

Kyle: a S E S T. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Cliff: Fair point. this is one of the greatest songs Hendricks ever did. like this song is awesome. Eddie Hazel is not only. Once again, playing guitar like Jimmy Hendricks in a way that doesn’t sound like someone trying to imitate Jimmy Hendricks, but also he’s doing vocals This is a hard rock song for coming outta 1971. Like this, this was really pushing on some edges that it’s hard for us to see because I mean, you know, I love to talk about, how metal emerged over time during all of that. But like, this is some super heavy, deep purple level pushing on hard rock to make pretty wild sound type stuff.

it’s fast. It’s really awesome guitar playing. It’s really fun. The reason I like to just, I, I just wanna call out the lyrical theme is cuz like it doesn’t matter. it’s about how, uh, don’t do heroin. Um, that’s your, that’s the point? Um, so there you go. Take that message home with you. That’s great. Once again, drawing that really clear dividing line, uh, between people who have been familiar, um, with psychedelic drugs, and not, this is not a confused or unusual thing to state, um, that taking psychedelics is okay, but taking heroin is not, I, I heard a lot of people be confused about this idea because in their Excel spreadsheet, all of those things are under the column drugs.

and they do some pretty different things. you know, uh, uh, uh, heroin kills people. acid is never, never killed anyone ever. So they’re very different classifications. so I just wanted to like, go ahead and draw that out once again, because heroin ripped through the music scene for sure. And ruined a lot of careers and apparently negatively impacted Eddie hazels for sure.

But, just like set it aside and hear the. Absolute like 71 rock excellence of this song that belongs in a playlist of, you know, Spanish castle magic. Like it, it belongs in a playlist with all these other classic rock songs. And we don’t think of it that way. And I don’t know why. And listening to it actively makes me upset about it.

I don’t know why we couldn’t appreciate Eddie Hazel, the way we could. A lot of other guitar heroes from this

Kyle: think the records too is from the stop. I think the record’s too scary. I don’t know of another time and we have whole nother podcast devoted to heavy and counterculture music. I’ve never seen the word scary, like, or this record scared me.

Cliff: Yeah.

Kyle: Directed at a record, in any record in the history of metal, I feel like I

saw scary,

directed at magnet brain more than I’ve seen it directed at rain and blood, which is nothing scared the shit outta me, like rain and blood when I was younger.

But, it’s a thing also on this song, you could do a close text reading if you love repetition of the lyrics. and there is a thing around class consciousness like you and you and yours and me and my, and this thing. And we all gotta get together and whatever, but it’s not really saying anything too much about it too explicitly.

It’s just like this thing’s over here that thing’s over

there whatever, like the, the Groove’s going on. be cool if we didn’t have to talk about this, but also the groove will go on regardless. there’s almost a Zen to the intensity of

it all.

Cliff: Yeah. I, I think we talk a lot about not writing intentionality onto places that we don’t know, uh, were intentional on albums. And I think, it would be a mistake to assume that it was really intentional the way that they lightly touched on things, lyrically like that.

But regardless of whether they intended it or not, it works really, really well because it keeps you in the mood. But remind, well, like you said, it kind of just reminds you of like, yeah, no matter how far in you go, no matter how much acid you take it once the problem. Still exists. That thing that we’re talking like class consciousness, the conflict, the war it still exists.

It doesn’t go away. You don’t magically forget about it because you did enough drugs. In fact, in a lot of cases, you, you will have the opposite experience, uh, where now that problem gets magnified. And you’re thinking a lot about it, but it’s nice the way that they can. It’s nice. What a fucking Mr.

Rogers thing to say, it works here. The way they’re able to touch on those and then come right back to the, to the funk, to the groove, whatever, and move forward with it. So it doesn’t sit too heavy or too serious, but you never go too far without remembering that there’s a center to the whole thing.

Kyle: And if you wanna push in harder,

on all of that, if you

want to get

more explicit

with all of those things with fungo delic, I think they do on the

next record.

just skip forward to America, eats its young sprawling double album. The statue of Liberty is literally eating the heads of babies on the cover. this is more motif and atmosphere and that’s more narrative explicit around some of those things. Like I, I think the most probably explicit outside of the song titles that you’re gonna get with that

is, is like the monologue

in maggot brain. It’s all, it’s all kind of esoteric. Right? It’s reflecting on the times, but it’s not, It’s not an answer. It. The whole thing is a question, right?

we’re in this. I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to get in it. So I don’t know. Let’s just get off our as of jam, I

guess,

actually

Probably the most

explicit

it not

in the lyrics itself, but in the liner notes. so George Clinton was, I don’t know, let’s call it intrigued by a cult, offshoot of Scientology, the process church of the final judgment,

again, depending on who you read, they will draw linkages of different

strengths to Charles Manson.

so you know, it,

it gets kind of dark

in that regard a little

like

calling the whole thing into question type of thing.

Cliff: Well, yeah, there did not appear to have been great people underneath everything here. I don’t know how to say that more, uh, gracefully, not necessarily everybody involved in this crew, um, treated women with respect over time, or generally was a decent human This is one of those where we’re gonna have to allow space for

Kyle: you definitely

have to set

the music apart from some of the things that, that you learn.

Yeah.

Cliff: To me, that just adds to the darkness though, that you’re talking about, that’s a bit of it to

Kyle: me. It’s almost like what you have to do to get to that power.

Like all the, all the gates of conscience that you have to go through to get to the, the really like

Cliff: yeah.

Kyle: to unblock the other 90% of your amygdala, uh, which

is very much what they did here.

And, and a lot of what that blockage comes from is fear. A lot of time, like fear is a very natural, driver in the human brain, but in the liner notes, they allow this, process church of

the final basically have like

editorial real estate.

And they just fully excerpt part of their literature in the

Cliff: liner notes.

Kyle: And

the whole thing

is about fear. And it, the first line of it

is fear the root of

man’s destruction of himself. so I would just Google, like Funkadelic. Mag brain liner notes and read the whole thing. It’s very long and weird.

And if you’ve been around drug people, if you’ve been in like

Cliff: drug culture,

Kyle: again,

not trying to harp on that too much, but it is, it’s definitely a parallel tracks to society where there’s like people who live

in the music world

and people who don’t, when you hear people alluding to things like that and interviews, it’s that

kind of thing. Like you’re going to meet types

of people in and around the music world that you fundamentally will not

come In

square life, in a studio at a

bar

backstage on the bus, whatever,

like

There are weird characters that, you don’t have any

precedent for dealing with their motivations

or the choices that they will make, or the actions that they will take or how things can turn on a dime in a

minute

in a backstage room or whatever.

Season three of Atlanta is probably like the, one of the best indicators of, like sheds light on some of that stuff be better and less comic leave than, than a lot of those things like, If socks is inexplicable to you, if you’ve watched season three, then just like, just hang out,

Just meet make

friends with the band and spend time away from your office job.

Like, I’m not asking anyone to replicate our twenties, but, I mean, it’s just like a hole beneath the surface of the earth. thing.

so you you’ll run into people that say things like the things in these liner notes, but fear of people, fear of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of our closest friends, fear of isolation, fear of contact, fear of loneliness, fear of involvement, fear of rejection, of commitment of sickness, of deprivation, of inadequacy, of emotion, of God, of knowledge, of death, of responsibility, of virtue, of sin, of guilt, of punishment, of damnation, of the consequences of our actions and fear of our own fear.

How many of us recognize the presence in ourselves of these? And if some of us recognize some of them, are we prepared to see the full extent of them? Do we know just how afraid we are and do we know the effect that our fear has on our lives? Do we know how completely

we are governed by our

Cliff: fear?

Kyle: So on the one hand, you’re like, this is totally insane and scares me to death. But on the other hand, you can see where a person like George Clinton would not knowing all the things, or maybe knowing all the things on paper about this cult, this sect, whatever, be like this motherfucker’s spitting. I’m gonna pick up a little bit of what this is putting down and maybe bring it into my own thing without thinking about like the contextual implications

Cliff: Yeah.

Must have been wild to bring that record home in 1971. if, if any, uh,

Kyle: on one level to just have your parents hear it, but on a second level to have your square. Like golden, greatest generation, whatever dad with a crew cut op, open it up or see the skull on the back cover and then open it up and read that and be like, oh my God, exactly.

Cliff: Mere years after people are like, I think black Sabbath is literally Satan. I’m like,

Kyle: no, like in the same time

as this.

Cliff: Yeah, yeah. That’s what I’m

Kyle: 60, 9 70 Yeah Yeah Yes.

Cliff: Like getting scared of all that. And I’m sure to some degree, there’s the overlap with the feeling of visually receiving this album before you hear it, right?

Like naturally you’re gonna get scared. I mean that, that looks like an actual, you know, kind of horror movie type thing from that time period. Like it’s, it’s, it’s wild looking. Um, I, you know, as, as we love to talk about with no real purpose, uh, definitely that’s shifting the relationship between like visuals and how you feel about the music nowadays.

Um, but I, I can’t help, but think that that was a really strong part of it to begin with, um, that like you couldn’t have, you literally couldn’t have picked up that record and looked at it on any side without being confronted by, by something that would make pretty much anyone uncomfortable to any degree, a headless woman, a skull.

Um, and then they’re in the middle of religious staff FEO

Kyle: The interesting thing somebody wrote was how it took that idea that, black was associated with bad and, and, or evil and white

with good.

And it showed joy in black or in

dark, and you know, this is maybe you can say this is maybe an overread of some of the imagery on the cover, but, the woman’s face on the cover is not dirty. It’s very like pristine.

Is she screaming or is she like singing ecstatically? Her hair is very nice. There are no worms or anything in the dirt on a record where the title literally has maggot in it.

Um, it just sticks and stuff, but it otherwise looks kind of nice. It’s lit very well.

so is it. Is this bad in this piece of cover art, should I be scared of it?

or do they love it? Is this like a cool, good environment to them?

Cliff: be the judge, I don’t know. Yeah.

Kyle: If you, and if you don’t know and you err on the side of negative, then you’re just, you’re bounced out of the whole thing. if you’re intrigued by it even a little, then you’re in a world that you’re told

immediately about the covers. oh, this is gonna be

something different.

Cliff: Yeah. Speaking a different, I also can’t stop recording on this episode before we make sure that we touch on wars of Armageddon at the end, because this, I am increasingly feeling like is the Genesis of a significant amount of music that I have come to love in my life, because a very big, big fan of Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s guitar, any, whatever you would want to call what he does with a guitar.

and I feel that I understood a lot about him very quickly. The more that I kind of studied this song. but one of the reasons I think that that’s the case, and I feel like how you’re one of the only people on earth who will connect with me super quickly about this, the Mars VTA specifically and Omar playing the way he plays.

No, none of that would work without drumming.

Kyle: Mm-hmm

Cliff: not any of it. N his like wayward. Shit is interesting, but only works because he can come back and hit this crazy, like ginger baker level stuff that just comes right back in. And all of a sudden they’re driving into another groove. And, you know,

Kyle: be because on their classic records, they had a drummer whose two greatest influences were John Bonham and Billy

Cliff: Yep.

Kyle: COUM and Moish

new orchestra.

So like crazy, crazy Noy jazz stuff. And then. Big groove, funk rock, but also very unpredictable fills rhythmically and, and

whatever, but but,

both very powerful, hard hitting strong drummers, which you

Also find here

Cliff: Yeah. Yeah. Tiki. Fullwood the drummer who who’s. I mean, ha ha has not, uh, phoned it in at any point in this record, but like has their star moment on this one, for sure.

Drummings incredible. It not only, yes. It reminded me of why the guitar work in the Marsal can work with the good drummer. Um, but it also reminded me of can just that whole like, oh yeah, we’re gonna, we’re gonna find the groove and we’re gonna play the groove until the groove literally stops.

And to me, even here specifically in wars of Armageddon, like that’s where another place I feel musical styles converging in that moment in a way that feels historical it’s it’s can and all of that CRO stuff. Right. But it’s also.

It’s fellow Coote. It’s the, it’s the, we’re gonna keep doing this together over and over and over again as a group.

It’s, it’s everyone singing and dancing and doing stuff at the same time, because the song is going on forever, but there’s no drop in the intensity as if to recognize the song is about to go on forever. It’s just at a hundred until it’s not

Kyle: a marathon of sprints. And, how interesting that all of those things that you’re mentioning are in totally different parts of the world.

A little bit unbeknownst to each other, based on

what seen all converging right around the same time, you know, 1969 to 1972, where it’s just

like

everything’s electrified and let’s see how long the beat

can go. Let’s just see what can

wars of Armageddon is an interesting one, cuz it gets called free

jazz

Cliff: lot.

Kyle: But I, that I feel that just struck me as like people not having the terminology for they’re they’re just blowing it out.

Essentially.

Cliff: I took that as people correctly drew the line from that song directly to asking Tiki Fullwood to like miles Davis, having Tiki Fullwood work with him after this because of this song straight to miles Davis’ on the corner, which like, yeah, that, that line should be drawn.

That makes sense. That doesn’t mean that this is early jazz right. It, it, it just means it progressed into something that became something that we, we had to come up with a lot of words from all Davis.

Kyle: yes. was Still,

still sort of inexplicable

And seventies miles, where he was really

trying to freak it after bitches brew and an silent way, bitches brew being heavily influenced by rock and roll.

Exactly. And then they sort of

loop back around each other in like infinity shaped,

hyper

Cliff: loops. Yeah.

Kyle: but I mean, there are scores and scores of things to explore. If you like wars of Armageddon the best on this record. something like the Mars, Walter, certainly something

like can

even, interestingly, I don’t know that I would personally recommend this, but.

These songs started to spread out in part because George Clinton had been exposed to live grateful dead and how

they were one of the that were

pushing it past the 10 minute mark. So like just the idea of pushing it to push it. Uh, was a thing

that was very interesting So,

so there are people that are doing like more dangerous, less hippieish things than the dead, but like taking

that idea certainly of,

of the jam

band.

Um, so that’s a, that’s a thread that you

can pull at.

If,

if something in wars of arm again and stir something

Cliff: did you just tell people to listen to the grateful dead if they liked this song? Is that what just happened here?

Kyle: Not that explicitly listen. I know we’re going,

Cliff: I was like, foundations of our friendship are unraveling

Kyle: so far around, we’ve left a

blast radius around that band to try to not talk about them.

Or anything that they have

influenced really more anything that they’ve influenced. Right. I think like, we’d be hard pressed not to show some respect to Garcia and you’d have to, as a John Mayer, guitarist, apologist, and that’s now what he’s

Cliff: you’d to is accurate. Yes. I would have

Kyle: have to

you’d begrudgingly give them

that. right A

little bit, at

least. And we have a lot of friends whose musical tastes, we respect who are big Deadheads,

Cliff: like

Kyle: even metal bands that we get into as the dudes in those bands have gotten older. Like sadly, a lot of them have gotten into the dead.

You’re like I know there’s something there. I know by episode a hundred or something, there’s probably gonna be

a

Cliff: dead episode in

Kyle: the whole time

will just be like, all right, well,

so I’m not explicitly saying if you like wars of Armageddon listen to dead live in Europe, 72, no fucking way.

Absolutely not. You’re gonna be weirdly let down if you think that’s me being literal. but I think go explore the context of people spreading jams out

Cliff: Yeah.

Kyle: yeah. The proliferation of live, as a context for appreciating music and how like the sort of confluence of festivals and all day live shows and drug culture and whatever,

Cliff: I was being a little facetious, cuz I’m a little asshole, but like, well I did wanna draw that out though, because what I did hear, especially from George Clinton, when he talk about the dead was like the idea that the music was communal.

Like it was right. The, the live performance partially belonged to the people who were there to see the live

Kyle: which is super punk without them. Exactly. Even realizing

Cliff: it at all.

Kyle: Yeah.

But you know, you think about, alright, so in a lot of ways to mainstream consciousness Failla and what was happening in Nigeria, hadn’t reached the Western

consciousness. At that time

We were only two years off of Woodstock. When

this happened.

We were less than a decade off of Beatles at Shay stadium.

That was 64,

I think, Monterey was 67. And that was a

convergence of things

like Otis Redding. And that was Jimmy Hendricks’s us

debut

Cliff: And the who? Yeah Yeah.

Kyle: And who. so like that had just happened.

So it was just kind of occurring to people that they could go get fucking freaked out by noise. In a place 30 miles or less from them at any given time. You know, we take it for granted now, but like that was, this was the moment at which that started becoming more of like a, a part of the consciousness in the 15, 20 years before that you would go to an auditorium or whatever and see buddy Holly for a nickel and

then.

go home, you know, just like going outside to a field or a stadium or whatever.

This was kind of revolutionary

stuff. We take for granted now, but it was in its

infancy then. So

that’s all I was getting at. cliff.

Cliff: Well, I want, thank you for helping me like support and wrap back up to this little bow that I’d love to put around this because that to me is the biggest takeaway for anyone who’s not already sold on this record.

Otherwise I hope you’ve enjoyed talking about what is a super fun record. Um, just, it’s just fun. It’s awesome. It’s fun. It’s good. all the simple stuff is there, but the, the bit you’re talking about there, where there is a thing that’s being tapped into that is additional is a, a, a thing that makes maggot brain specifically.

Really interesting and kind, and kind of magical to me because it’s, every bit, the dramatic freaked out fuzzy psychedelic rock record that we love with a great guitarist with great drumming, with great bass, with good vocals, like good hooks, everything. Right. It’s got all the pieces that are there, but as much as I love led Zeppelin, for instance, not tapping into an undercurrent of historical class consciousness.

when I listen to, uh, led Zeppelin three, you know, uh, it’s

Kyle: been a long

time since I rock and roll was under to the bourgeoisie.

Cliff: sure, but not one that they understood while they were singing it. Cuz they were

Kyle: in the days of my youth I was taught what it means to be a man. It’s not about growing up under the labors of

capitalism.

Cliff: want you to squeeze my lemon. Like

Kyle: the juice

is capital. right

Cliff: But like, so

Kyle: a Marxist reading at the linens, the, the linen song

Cliff: oh man. But it’s like, that’s the extra that I think you get from this, when you engage with it as a serious record while acknowledging that there’s this like silly shit about it, it’s silly in the same way that telling weird mythical stories is a part of a lot of full rock that like pirates are a part of some metal.

Like it’s fine. There’s this little extra that you get to pile in there and be fun and have fun with it. But underneath all of that is some seriously good instrumentation. And underneath of that is some seriously interesting, like historical context that connects this record to a lot of people. And is.

Mentally and historically like siphoned off from their true influence. I think in music like maggot brain puts you to me right back at the kind of center point that, that you can kind of see spreading out, across, you know, back into the parliaments in the fifties, but forward into everything else that they would do from there.

Um, and that’s yet, again, like a reason why we’ve wanted to talk about this for so long, why we saved it, why we took it so seriously to be able to talk about it at the right moment. Um, cuz every time I come back to this record, I feel that I should have been listening to this record

Kyle: I,

wanted to yell out yes. In the middle of your

sentence because that is the thing it’s a great

record musically. But more than anything, it’s a secret handshake. To the point about it being siphoned off, it’s a thing that not enough people know

but when people do know about it, I always described, I think this is my second, maybe only my second, probably my third piote reference of the season.

I always describe that as a teenager. It’s like, when people knew that song, I knew a thing came with that. Like, are you cool, man? You know, like a little, little bit of a win. somebody who knows maggot brain and gets

maggot instantly. It’s like when you see a with a leather jacket in the bar and it’s got, a cool pen on the lapel, it’s got a STIs pin on You’re like I’m gonna buy that person You

just know, right.

When somebody starts talking about maggot brain specifically, they’re PFU fan. Sure. But if somebody’s

like,

Cliff: yo, let

Kyle: me tell you about this maggot brain

or they put on hit it and quit

it. On the jukebox at the bar. You’re like, I, I wanna seek that person

out.

So probably the takeaway, if there is one is

if you’ve ever wanted to be that person in your life, this is a record worth committing to

Cliff: put, hit in and put it on, on the jukebox and then turn around to the rest of the room.

Put your hands on your hips and look around and wait for friends to appear. Who’s cool.

Kyle: If you have to tell people that you did it, you’ve, you’ve already missed the mark. You’ll never become a, a, you’ll never learn the secret handshake by telling people I would like to know the secret handshake but there are two or three other strong suggestions for how to become a magnet brain person buried in this episode.

if you’re, if you’re willing to listen to some of the motifs. So, uh, we’ll see you on

the other side.

Cliff: Yes, sir.

a lighthearted feel to this. Once you let it get in your bones, that the moments that start sticking out to me during active listening are more. just these like, Oh, that was funny.

Oh, that’s funny. What happened?

there?

Kyle: I hesitate to call out every dissonant moment on the record. We’ve spent so much time describing as metadata and present. Um, similarly in something about John Coltrane, the first three or four minutes of that, it feels like, suspended animation. When you look back on somebody you’ve lost in your life, you have this sort of stuck in Amber feeling of like a warm memory of that person. Right. And it’ll stay that way forever. It’s a projection of that person and it captures that feeling so well, you know, the sort of stasis of the way you hold a memory in your spirit, you hold somebody else’s spirit inside of yours and then around four 20. it’s like, Hey, let’s check in with Pharaoh Sanders and he’s doing the full ass will Ferrell glass, case

of emotion, just like, and then it’s back into the CESA.

So I’m like, okay,

thanks buddy. I mean, it’s, it’s hilarious because Pharaoh Sanders is like an incredible inimitable sacks. One of the all-time greats

Cliff: literally inevitable, like literally

Kyle: Yeah. If you,

if you find yourself getting into jazz and anything that we’ve talked about or other sources you’re led to finally get you over the hump into being a jazz fan Pharaoh Sanders is absolutely

something that you should push into the same way that Charles Mingus and free jazz is eventually somewhere.

You should try. If you really love music, you know, you can put one foot in that hot tub and be like, Nope, absolutely not.

But Pharaoh Sanders is a great place to go. So we’re not trying to trivialize, but, but once you are fully familiar with it and aware, and you can look at the whole thing with loving kindness, there, there, is kind of a,

a silliness

Cliff: Oh, I

Kyle: mean it’s very much

a that’s the stages of

grief thing,

Cliff: Yeah. Yes.

Kyle: does get to a little bit of that delirium and you can read it as delirium one time and read it as mourning wail another time, you know, it just, you can sort of project onto it, whatever you want. And it’s great art in that sense.

Cliff: Yeah. I do think, although this isn’t the only way to get into jazz, uh, for, for people who maybe feel like they haven’t like, this is a good opportunity for you to get into this place that we’re kind of describing because when you, when you get enough jazz under your belt to sort of not be so bothered by what they’re trying to do all the time, you don’t think so much.

about it. You start to feel like, no, for real, they’re laughing on stage. They’re smiling. They’re making eye contact, the things they’re doing. They’re challenging one another. once they get to this level, especially the stuff when we talked about with miles Davis, he’s nearly antagonistic with how he plays.

Right. They’re talking to one another, they’re challenging one another in these moments in there, they’re doing lighthearted things because they’re also masterful, but they’re trying actively to elevate one another in those same moments. And they’re able to play music with a wink, Like whatever that actually feels like, like that’s what jazz can get into, in here.

It’s this very unique moment of being able to have that lightheartedness, but also be able to have that sitting on top of like a pool of deep seriousness and sadness. I mean, that’s. That’s not quite the type of combination you’ll get from jazz. Even when you get the best stuff, you’re going to tend to have something more like it’s sad or it’s intense, or it’s questioning, or it’s experimenting, or it’s, it’s going in a direction or something else.

Whereas this just sort of like brings everybody into the room in this close with the door. You’re here. This is as much as we’ve got in this room. This is the moment that we’re having in the room. We’ll never have this moment again. I mean, every listen to this record sounds like an individual, listen, that’ll never happen again, somehow, especially the more you give yourself to it.

And that is, it’s hard to convey the, the order of magnitude difference that this is from just when someone does good music and they do a good record. Like, all right, you nailed that concept. That idea. It was great nine out of 10, 10 out of. 10. Four and a half Mike’s whatever you know, you crushed it. But this one is like,

an artifact of something that will it’s. So it’s so perfect, it’s almost never going to be able to happen again. It feels like because how could it sit on the other side of that intense sadness, the way that it does? Like how could it possibly be positioned here? But that’s why I love it every time.

I think these thoughts I come back around, to like once again, we’re just sitting on meditation thoughts. We’re just sitting on the same thoughts over and over again. Why does it feel lighthearted and serious at the same time? Because it’s neither of those things.

Kyle: I, I had described it to you at one point as an infinity stone, it just always existed and it has an inherent.

It, it evokes that feeling for me, which is why I love that

there’s

that

track Shiva loca, which sent me down a whole rabbit hole. And we just kept like, holy shit. holy shit. Holy shit. When we were in messaging, um,

roughly

translates or evokes in some way to the cosmos we live in. Right? So in the midst of what is ostensibly a deeply personal and affecting

record, She finds a broader context to, to place this in. and in the Hindu tradition, there is a holy Trinity, the tremor T the Trinity of Supreme divinity, the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified as a triad of deities. Um, and Shiva is the destroyer. So the, the own symbol of Hinduism is considered to have an illusion of the Trinity where the a U and M

phonemes

of the word are considered to indicate creation, preservation, and destruction, adding up to represent Brahmin, like, all right, there is a lot in her pursuing this study and it being a study where there’s like a lot to unpack period, right?

Giving words and images and stories

to

break. And to

physiological

cycles and naturally occurring things in the world. so Shiva is another rabbit hole. I would encourage you to like pause the tape and go down. Creation ends at the point, of

we’re Lord Shiva lives, essentially when manifestation is withdrawn back into the great void.

this is when Lord Shiva begins his Shiva tan dive, his famous cosmic

dance from his dance. The destructive energies are released and activated, uh, and that dismantles all of the creatures. in his benevolent aspects, he’s depicted as an omniscient Yogi who has an aesthetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with his wife Parvati and his two children.

and his fierce aspects. He’s often depicted slaying demons. He’s also known as out a Yogi Sheever regarded as the patron, God of yoga meditation and the arts. So there’s that whole thing of creation through destruction and like moving the universe forward by pushing through the great void was such a potent image for me of like, that’s what grief that’s the form that grief took for Alice was like the most cosmic thing possible is I have faced the great void and I’m in a, push it through, into the, the greatest creation possible.

And

there’s almost a thankfulness in that. Like if I had to be in this, if I had to go through it, like the, the great God Shiva, I.

I

have found my way, just like, dad’s an incredible lesson for me to take away and you can wrap it up and live, laugh, love cliche. It’s like when, when you’re going through hell, keep going.

But it’s, it’s,

more than that, you know, it’s like the two things can only exist with each other a little bit, and we’ll always be dancing with one foot on each side of that knife. So like appreciate when you have that cosmic balance. I’m grateful to have seen that executed

so beautifully here.

Cliff: Oh yeah. I’m sure there’ll be times like this again, in our existence on this planet, but one thing we can say everyone has experienced grief recently.

It is, it is the year 2022. everyone on this planet has experienced grief, uh, in the fairly recent. past. This is an opportunity for you to figure out how to allow yourself to be both created and destroyed, right? How to sit with this, enter into this moment where someone else was experiencing and then translating the depths of their grief into what it could mean for them and what their evolution was and how they can sit with it and learn and grow.

want to encourage you to do the same thing. Just use this record. Seriously, take us at face value as much as you can about it. Um, we try not to make overly big deals about, you know, listening to music and certain really specific context in order to be able to enjoy it or anything like that. But like, if you haven’t listened to this serious. let yourself process some of your grief with this music.

Sit, be quiet, lay down. Or, you know, get vertical, like I wanted to do, earlier, I guess, but like be still input this on and don’t move. Don’t do anything sit and let this come to you because there’s so much in this that I think you can only get by not trying to extract out of it but by actually just sitting with it, letting these things come to you and letting yourself kind of process what the spiritual moment was, for everybody on this record,

Kyle: I’d like to close with one parting thought that’s words that don’t belong to us.

I’ve

done so many other times in this episode, uh, Josephine Livingstone wrote the review for Pitchfork, which is a rare instance of me wanting to prop up a Pitchfork review, let alone end with it. but the writing of Josephine Livingstone in general is beautiful and transcendent and every word of this review will damn near bring a tear to your eye.

But the end of this review, I think closes better than any way that we possibly could. She did what

the

liner notes suggested. She laid on the floor of her apartment and meditated to this record. And she said, when I finally opened my eyes, a beam of sunshine flooded through my apartment, like the cascading harp at the center of the album, the sun beam seemed to say to me that art is the only thing that exists beyond death.

Shadows don’t exist without light each defines the other Alice Coltrane made journey. And so cheetah Nanda from an in-between place amid the unlocatable flow of different emotions, different lives, different traditions. Coltrane’s music is a journey this record says and a destination, all of its own.

Kyle: Go to tunedig.com for your chance to win a free vinyl copy of the album we just covered. And follow us on Instagram and Twitter for even more info about the album, including playlist links to interesting articles and videos and even some stories that didn’t make the episode. Most importantly, though, please support your favorite local record store, concert venue, or buy merch from a band you love. Thanks for listening.

DAILY ALBUM CALENDAR

We’ve curated an entire year’s worth of albums to spin, one for every single day.

If you’ve listened to TuneDig, you already know these 366 picks span history, genres, and cultures. Each day presents an album that’s fundamentally different than the one that came before it, and the one that comes after.

Original "Bitches Brew" Art

To celebrate the endless creativity of Bitches Brew—and especially its famous album artwork—TuneDig partnered with two incredible Atlanta-based artists to create one-of-a-kind, handpainted gatefolds.

With the spirit of the original art in mind, each artist brought their own vision to life. These pieces will spark conversation for any jazz fan.

Each piece includes a new vinyl copy of Bitches Brew. 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist, so take this opportunity to support the arts in the raddest possible way.

Seriously. There’s literally only one of each. Make it yours. 😎

TuneDig Episode 53: Ravi Shankar’s “Three Ragas”

Ravi Shankar lived one of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary lives, bearing witness to—and making—history all around the world. To many (especially in the West), he personified an extraordinarily complex style of music and the cultures from which it was borne, and he worked hard to make it look easy.

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TuneDig Episode 52: Alain Goraguer’s “La Planète Sauvage”

Gather ’round, sommeliers of the strange and crate-digging boogie children, for something “Strange! Frightening! Fascinating!” awaits. The soundtrack to Cannes 1973’s Jury Prize-winning film is a dazzling, surreal, avant-garde hymn to cosmic knowledge and compassion and a secret handshake among real heads. If you’re after a trip to a new dimension, here’s your one small step for man.

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TuneDig Episode 51: Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”

Marvin Gaye’s well of soul power ran mighty deep, and deep into his career, he pulled up a bucket of ice-cold, silky smooth champagne called “I Want You.” Come for the lush instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and Leon Ware clinic; stay for the stories. For our return from hiatus, we observe a titan in his element, reflect on the pain that built him into one, and consider how to reconcile our feelings when complicated messengers deliver beauty to our door.

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SEASON 6

TuneDig Episode 50: Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain”

Before uniting one nation under a groove, the lysergic lords of chaos in Funkadelic harnessed wild lightning into an amulet called Maggot Brain, bestowing the bearer with raw, dark power stronger than any force known to man. Between reaching our 50th episode and coping with the “maggots in the mind” of today’s universe, it felt like the right time to free our minds. We hope y’all’s asses will follow.

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TuneDig Episode 49: Alice Coltrane’s “Journey in Satchidananda”

The story of Alice Coltrane — an accomplished bebop pianist from Detroit who transcended into something far greater before walking away from public life altogether — is a glimpse into what it means to be truly free. Alice’s masterpiece "Journey in Satchidananda" is a cosmic dance that sparked creation from destruction. And in a time when we’re all desperately searching for a spark of meaning and hope, Journey abides abundantly.

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TuneDig Episode 48: Heart’s “Little Queen”

Take a moment to appreciate Ann and Nancy Wilson, who kicked down the doors of rock ‘n’ roll’s boys’ club with their peerless guitar work, soaring soul vocals, and tight songcraft. 1977’s Little Queen — an oft-overlooked gem in the classic rock canon — offers a snapshot of those elements at their most urgent and pure, powered by the Wilsons’ simple motivation (as described by their producer): “It was a war.”

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TuneDig Episode 47: Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra”

When you think of “electronic music,” what comes to mind may not be a genre you deeply love — hip-hop, house, new wave, or even dub reggae — but all of it owes some debt, scientifically or otherwise, to Tangerine Dream. Dig in with us as we study a prime example of the band’s brand of effortful innovation, where they patiently and persistently labored at the cutting edge of electronic technology to open a portal to new worlds in our minds.

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TuneDig Episode 46: Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR”

Did you catch one of 2021’s biggest albums, or like us, did you almost overlook it? If you have any expectations of pop music, "SOUR" will likely subvert them. Teenage dream this is not; it’s an exquisitely universal portrait of a weird time to be alive.

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TuneDig Episode 45: Fela Kuti’s “Expensive Shit”

The story of Fela Kuti — one of the most famous people on an *entire continent* passionately struggling to liberate power to more people — is absolutely one worth deeply knowing, regardless of whether you find yourself drawn to Afrobeat or (cringe) “world music.” But once you know it, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Fela and Afrika 70 as their revolutionary grooves rewire your brain in magical and meaningful ways.

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TuneDig Episode 44: Meshuggah’s “ObZen”

Meshuggah’s ObZen—an artifact of human creativity pushing the limits of what’s possible—will quite literally make you hear music differently. If you’re looking for a new musical adventure, and especially if you don’t think you like “heavy” or “weird” music, consider this your sign to push past your comfort zone.

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TuneDig Episode 43: mewithoutYou’s “Catch For Us the Foxes”

A misunderstood wise man once said “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.” In our most personal and vulnerable episode yet, we do some seeking through the lens of songs that fill us with the bravery and sincerity to love ourselves and others fully. Dig deep with us as we fish for words about our tiny place in the universe and dance with gratitude for our ability to do so.

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FRIDAY HEAVY

For lifelong headbangers and the musically curious alike, a new podcast from TuneDig is here to push your palette with aggressive, abrasive art. Each short, fast-paced episode offers (1) a new metal, punk, noise, or experimental release we recommend, (2) a related playlist we’ve curated, and (3) a heavy issue to consider and an organization doing something about it. Join us in the void.

SEASON 5

TuneDig Episode 41: Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew”

Let’s be clear: "Bitches Brew" is a challenging record, even to some of the best musicians in the world — but all of them say it’s worth the investment. It’s the kind of trip that, even if we *could* draw a map, it wouldn’t take you there. Let go of the need for meaning and enjoy the ride with us. We can promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you end up.

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TuneDig Episode 40: Fiona Apple’s “Tidal”

On the heels of one of 2020's most acclaimed albums — Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters — we revisited Apple’s debut Tidal and wound up working to extract ourselves from the mostly male gazes that made its reception … much different. We arrive at a question much like writer Jenn Pelly had: “People would constantly prod Fiona on how an 18-year-old could write songs as mature as these ... Why did they not ask instead how she became a genius?”

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TuneDig Episode 39: Death Grips’s “The Money Store”

The modern world is accelerating beyond our control, shaping our reality in ways we can’t yet perceive or understand. Enter Death Grips, an art project capturing the chaotic energy and illustrating the absurdity of our hubris in trying to harmonize the surreal and extremely real — never more perfectly than on 2012’s prescient "The Money Store".

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TuneDig Episode 38: Augustus Pablo’s “King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown”

Reggae music is easy to take for granted, but its impact is underappreciated and massive — in the case of dub in particular, everyone from Radiohead to Johnny Rotten to Run-DMC owes it a debt. Augustus Pablo and King Tubby together created what’s regarded as “one of the finest examples of dub ever recorded.” Join us as we dive into the culture, history, and unique engineering experiments that made it possible.

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TuneDig Episode 37: Rihanna’s “ANTI”

By every measure — sales, awards, chart-toppers, global name recognition — Rihanna is objectively as big as the Beatles ever were. In fact, ANTI is so big it’s still on the charts, a record five full years later. Take a closer look with us at “the record you make when you don’t need to sell records”, and get a taste of the true freedom that comes from focusing on your inner voice when faced with insurmountable expectations.

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TuneDig Episode 36: Son House’s “Father of Folk Blues”

All American music traces back to the blues, and deep at the root sits Son House. That the recordings on "Father of Folk Blues" even exist is something of a gray area that cuts to the heart of the great American myth, but wherever you land after hearing these stories, you’ll find that what matters most is what the great Muddy Waters once said of House: “That man was the king.”

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TuneDig Episode 35: Melvins’s “Stoner Witch”

The futility of describing the Melvins has stretched critics in the direction of absurd words like “Dadaist” for nearly 40 years now. They’ve belligerently flogged any attempt to pinpoint their essence simply by being themselves, but "Stoner Witch" remains a reliable mall directory for the Melvins’ vast and wild discography. Grab yourself some pretzel bites.

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TuneDig Episode 34: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”

We should talk about Dolly the way we talk about Prince. Her extraordinary kindness and unique kitsch both make her universally loved, but what gets left out of the conversation is the very thing that made her famous: the music. Join in as we focus attention on the sonics and songwriting of the low-key masterpiece "Jolene".

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TUNEDIG RADIO

SEASON 4

SEASON 3

SEASON 2

SEASON 1

BONUS TRACK EPISODES

Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

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WHO WE ARE

We're Cliff (right) and Kyle (left). We’re two dudes born and raised in ATL with day jobs in tech and sustainability, respectively.

We met in middle school, and in one way or another, music’s been the thing that’s kept us close for the two decades since — whether it’s sharing and talking about new music (like this podcast, except in our texts or over beers), going to shows, or working with our favorite record stores to help them survive and thrive.

We started TuneDig as a little art project that connects us more deeply ourselves and to the world through the infinite gift of music. We hope you’ll join us for the conversations, let us know what you think, and share discoveries of your own.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.