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.

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Friday Heavy: May 13, 2022

This week, we discuss:

1. Primitive Man – “Insurmountable”
2. Friday Heavy playlist full of SLOW, enveloping, massive and crunchy tone and big feedback
3. National Network of Abortion Funds

Transcript

Note: our transcripts are mostly AI-generated for now. 

Cliff: Welcome to Friday Heavy, your guide to the world of aggressive and abrasive and loud music

brought to you by the folks behind TuneDig. I am Cliff.

Kyle: and I’m Kyle don’t clench your teeth like that. Cliff,

Cliff: My dentist told me the same thing.

Kyle: Each episode we cover for those of you who are joining us for the first time. Welcome for those of you who are joining us for the not first time. Welcome back each episode, we cover three things, one brand new release, and why we think it will be worth a spin.

One playlist we’ve curated to explore a heavy sub genre or artist or scene, et cetera. And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly of all one organization doing critical cultural impacting work in their community so that you can do something with all that punk rock, energy and guilt. Let’s get into it.

Cliff. It’s a very good week to need heavy music. And this might be the heaviest one so far in terms of new releases, what are we talking?

Cliff: We’re going really hard on all fronts for the next like 18 minutes. So buckle up. This week, we’re going to talk about primitive, man. We are fixing our eyes on the latest release from this band who we’ve seen a number of times. Kyle really pulled me into their orbit. Primitive man describes themselves as planet earth first and only death sludge band.

So, we’re on the right track there. New LP is called insurmountable out today on closed casket activities. Now we have gotten to cover some really great punk and hardcore on this podcast already. But primitive man is already going to kind of say that. From what we’ve discussed for sure. Now, especially to the train does not the right word, but trained ear for heavy music.

Okay. Primitive man is a really good example of why we chose the word heavy to try to talk about this range of music that we’re talking about anyway, because yes, they are planet Earth’s first and only death sludge band. But like, you can even hear. 30 seconds of what we’ll play. It’s also noise and it’s drone and it’s, I would go so far as to call it like a new form of doom, um,

because they’ve, they’ve really captured the zeitgeists of that sub genre itself. And it’s scary in a way that black Sabbath must have been

scary when you first heard black

Sabbath.

Kyle: I would prefer instead of genre words that we use words like scary or slow or tall or dark or molasses, or kill you in your sleep. I don’t. I, if you’re like me, those genre labels probably mean nothing to you and are like the difference between colors of white paint in home Depot, swatches. So just bear with us for 60 more seconds and get to the audio snippet and you’ll understand what we mean.

Cliff: The first

year.

Kyle: this is why cliff. You normally get more literal disruptors from cliff and you get stuff like a hunter S Thompson, trying to write about the sound of a bag full of marbles, going down a staircase in his hotel room.

Cliff: listening to primitive man is like trying to hold up an Advil with your eyelashes.

How’s that?

Kyle: And if you don’t, someone will kill you.

Cliff: So they’ve released a single 11 minute single called cage intimacy. so, like I said, honestly, the first 30 seconds of this are not only going to touch on the reason that genre is don’t work here.

Um, but also quite honestly, this is about to be as accessible as this band gets at all. Uh, so you’re about to get the idea.

 

Cliff: And then whatever you just felt about whatever you just heard this. On another level entirely when you.

see them live, whatever they’ve decided to do. everyone in the audience is trying to hold up an anvil with their eyelashes together and failing, uh,

every it’s massively intense And you need to get some serious ear protection.

If you want to enjoy a primitive man show at all, uh, because they are going to play, at least at this point, they’re going to play at a really tiny room and they’re going to play it sun. Oh. Levels. It’s going to hurt. Like I watch

people hurt every time we

see primitive,

man.

Kyle: And I hurt. I feel like I know there’s someone listening to this. Who’s like, these guys sound insane. None of this sounds like a thing I would voluntarily do with my body and my attention. And I’m like, well, what about all those people that have kids? That’s an insane choice to getting married is an insane choice.

I don’t know, man. Life is pointless. Try, and hurt your body with sound waves once in a while. So anyway, that’s our five-star review of insurmountable out today on closed casket activities, uh, which by the way, is this sick, sick label. And it didn’t Dawn us on us until just before recording to this.

And it didn’t Dawn on us until right before recording, this how much we apparently love all things closed asset. They gave us end. They gave us some full of hell. They gave us gatekeeper Gulch, uh, soon to be rip and Cindy area. Uh, nail’s portrayal of guilt, twitching, tongues, vain, who we covered in the first episode of this.

So shout out to close casket. Thanks for all you’re doing for the world of heavy music. Very, very sick stuff coming out of your label. So insurmountable go listen to it, however you want, and then send primitive man, your money through shows. They. We’ll probably be in your town. Soon-ish they are relentless tours cop their merge.

They have sick March and through a D a direct donation of your variety.

Cliff: So Kyle every week, uh, I, feel like I’m giving you an insurmountable task. Oh, oh. I just referenced the record. That was great, buddy. I feel like I’m giving you an insurmountable task with a, with a playlist, but we always say, we’ll see how this comes together. So how do you even play list this and how did you achieve this this

pinnacle.

Kyle: I I logged on to doom and selected the hurt me plenty skill level, and just said, give me that. But for my ears and body, the playlist can all be fun. If this one doesn’t work for you, go back to the, DIY punk flyer. Wasn’t from a few weeks ago.

Cliff: Yeah, the theme of this episode is not uplifting.

Okay,

Kyle: Yeah, this is this one’s bleak. Um, so I think the thing to know about this kind of music that I came to a sort of a terminal velocity from desert rock, like Kayas eventually led me to this. This kind of music is a way of, I guess, Sabbath. Everyone to this, like with everything else this kinda music is a way of life.

Like either you were born to play in a band like this, and it just comes naturally to you. Or this music probably scares you. At least a little it’s slow V like very slow on purpose. It’s enveloping, tonally, and volume wise. It’s got massive and crunchy tone. It’s like insane guitar tone. That’s a little different than anything you’ll hear anywhere.

And huge, huge, typically fairly harsh feedback. Uh, very different than someone who uses feedback to sort of like mellow and harmonious. And it is for my money, the heaviest stuff there is, there’s no heavier music than you can make. Like you can go in the drone and noise or death grips or chaotic lightning bolt, whatever type of direction.

That’s harder. That’s harsher. This is the heaviest matter. In the universe, this is blackest ever black here. So this has its origins in our peak downloading days where like you and I would scour the hyper niche blogs. And we would just follow the related artists recommendations as far as they’d go like, oh, I like this band.

I’m going to go check out. Our week. I like this band. I’m going to check out Knuth Grush and you have all these bands on your iPod. 30 days later that you’re like, I don’t know what any of this shit is, but I’m going to put it on shuffle. And I was back when you could download whole discographies straight from the blogs on media fire, and then you’d make up for the guilt of SN, but spending all your money that you already didn’t have on shows in March.

So shout out to the early and mid two thousands. I also threw in some, I guess, less harsh stuff like electric wizard, cause groove helps break up the monotony on there, but frankly, thinking of a song like funeral Apolis as a palette cleanser is, hilarious. But I, think it ventures to be some of the lighter fare on there, but it’s, that’s like one of the heaviest songs I knew.

Again, if you’re at the holy shit, why would I even venture to do this place? Cause this is like two and a half hours of face smackers. Um, the recommended listening scenario is. One, if you’re just curious about the outer limits in one direction and you go and explore it and you’re like never going back there, but glad I got a postcard at the gift shop after about two or three bourbon drinks, when you need just like a tidal wave of loud, and there are days where that helps and you like can’t do scream therapy or when you’re doing hard labor, like if you’re chopping wood or you’re building something in your backyard and you just need.

Pain to offset the pain. Like when you have a headache and you pinch the part between your thumb and your index singer to focus on something else, it’s a real good for that. Um, so if we haven’t sufficiently scared you off or intrigued you in a weird dark way, the playlist is called primitive and we’ll share it in the thread.

Cliff: I love it. Another possible angle in case we haven’t caught somebody yet, I can also see, you mentioned this kind of somehow being the Terminus of desert rock for you in a single direction. Another would be. If you’re a person who likes Melvins or especially if you kind of got in a little bit to Harvey milk at Athens, the band like this is sort of like, if everything just gets evil, it’s like the evil termination of all of that sense of like super, slow, super heavy rift stuff that kind of felt good or felt classic rock.

This is the end of

the

road.

Kyle: That’s super, super spot on. It’s like the Rick and Morty episode where they go to the spa and they suck the evil versions of themselves out. the, original version that’s both of them is the Melvins. The S the cleanse diversion of them is torch. And the dark version is every band on this playlist.

Cliff: I love it. We did

it.

Kyle: We did it. it’s, it’s a week where you could use the gnarliest music you’ve ever heard. and every week, you know, we talk about an organization doing meaningful work in their community are hoping we do that as to make you aware of an underlying societal situation, and then show you that the people around you, uh, are often the most powerful partners in making change.

Because they’re already working on doing that this week, buoyed by the sounds of primitive man, we are filled with the rage of a thousand suns. So I’m going to try to use my nice words and we’re going to keep ourselves focused because we collectively have to because a majority of the. Literally unelected and completely unaccountable Supreme court will be telling America that they can now be arrested and sentenced for even attempting to receive health care in the form of an abortion.

Um, this is already happening unconstitutionally and yes, this will disproportionately harm the poor and minorities, like always. Yes, this gives the already violent police, something new to enforce with their own biases. And these justices are fully aware of this and fully don’t care. And you could argue that they were put in place for exactly this purpose.

And yes. Finally, you can give up the idea that there is something redeeming here. Or that this is not as bad as it seems. It turns democracy upside down and it puts our system of government into question as a whole. They did this on purpose, knowing that Americans favor access to abortion nearly two to one.

And yet this is where we are. So cliff, what can we do?

Cliff: Yep. We’re going to, we’re going to keep each other focused. We’re going to focus on what we can do, man. Oh, First stop is, and we’re always going to encourage people. If you’ve listened to tune, dig at all in the past, you’re going to have heard us say that. First stop. When we notice that something like this is going on is to listen to the folks who have been telling us that this was happening.

There are a lot of people who told us this day would come. So what we’re going to do here is we’re going to reflect on our assumptions as people. And we’re going to be more thoughtful than ever about where our money and where our energy goes about this. Um, because to quote the title of a blog article, that meant a lot to me at the time.

Uh, no one is coming it’s up to.

So I want to start just by calling out Mariame Kaba is a well-known prison, industrial complex abolitionist and organizer and author of books that we both love. Like we do this till we free us. I want to just read a tweet from her. I think this will put us in the right place.

She said I’m already seeing calls to donate to planned parenthood and NRL, et cetera. What are they going to do? What marching orders have they issued to regular folks? What is the money you donate to them going to facilitate? Not a cent for me. She said,

At abortion funds on A national level. And so others have echoed this call to support abortion funds right now.

And others have echoed specifically supporting the national network of abortion funds. So that’s who we’re talking about. They’re a non-profit

whose stated mission is to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive.

Justice their website, which is abortion funds.org offers a really easy process for connecting with local organizations that can support the needs of any person needing an abortion. If you’re listening to this, you probably already know this, but you know, someone who has had an abortion, you love someone who’s had an abortion, whether you know that.

Or not. So, this network of abortion funds helps with the financial and logistical needs of arranging this procedure because it’s, it’s a lot, right. The lie. And a lot of people need support so we can support the in and out. With donations or direct membership or purchases from their store. They’ve got some like really cool merge, honestly.

They will connect you with your local abortion fund as well, so that you can help people access this very medically necessary procedure. While her injustly evil people impose their religion on our bodies. Okay. You can use this organization, not only to support overall abortion funds, but also to get connected with the ones in your area so that people in your community have access to the care that they need.

And I’m really calling this out personally. I’m a, I’m a former. Planned parenthood and monthly donor. And for myself, reading up on abortion funds, specifically, local ones was really necessary work for me. Uh, and so by sharing this, me and Kyle, we’re hoping that it will benefit others kind of within the sound of our voice. so that is the national network of abortion funds and you can check them [email protected] And if you have not heard of an abortion fund as a concept before, I would encourage you to, especially if you kind of reacted to that, take a deep breath, go learn some more about it and try to understand when and why people might need access to this procedure so that you can help them.

Because we’re, we’re about to need all the help that we

can get. Anything else.

Kyle: I don’t think so. Look out for the others and outcasts take care of yourself. You find the power. This has been Friday heavy and we will be back in two weeks.

Cliff: Go to tunedig.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter for links to the new release, the playlist and the organization that we talked about today.

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. 😎

SEASON 6

Season 6—featuring our most eclectic selection of albums yet—concludes July 1, 2022.

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.