Episode 38: Album Dissection: Shake It Up

EP38“Dance all night… go go go!”

It’s time for Dave and Donna to pull apart The Cars’ fourth album, Shake it Up. Loved by many and a big success for the band (the title track became their first Top 10 single), this album also represents a departure from the heavier ‘rock’ emphasis of their earlier music — at least, as far as Donna is concerned. The two take a close look at the shifts and nuances that moved The Cars into a new realm of creativity.

There is SO much packed into this episode! Things you never knew about Alberto Vargas’ early career, insights into the odd recording style at Syncro Sound, and Dave’s attempt to answer the “slug” lyric challenge (which is always on the table, by the way). They also wind their way around the ins and outs of the background vocals and the little ‘sneak peek’ threads of Heartbeat City woven through this album.

And then the questions…

  1. Do the underwater sounds of “Since You’re Gone” make for a good album opener?
  2. Would Ben have handled “A Dream Away” better than Ric?
  3. Should “A Dream Away” have meshed with “It Could Be Love”?
  4. What was Benjamin’s true comfort zone during their Friday’s performance of “Think It Over”?
  5. Does anyone have a ‘shaker pin’ available for a reasonable price???

And that’s not even all of it! Tune in to find out how in the world they get to talking about Ben in a leather rabbit suit, recommendations for Dante Tomaselli’s doorbell, line dancing to “Victim of Love,” and Donna pressuring Dave to get a full sleeve of tattoos. Lots of fun and frolic to be found in this episode!

Don’t forget… Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, be sure to subscribe, share and comment. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

Grab your headphones and dive into Episode 39 — don’t let nothing get in your way!

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Episode 37: ORRbots, ORRbs, ORR Not?

ep37If you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that the NiGHT THOUGHTS podcast is all about having fun diving deep into anything and everything ‘The Cars’ and discussing it with a moderate degree of intelligence, a generous helping of humor, and a bit of unavoidable immaturity. This episode is a little different, though…

After careful consideration, Dave and Donna revisit the tough topic of the fanaticism that snakes its way through the Benjamin Orr fanbase. The intent is not to target individuals, but to call out behaviors that cast a pall on fan group dynamics: words and actions that hurt innocent members and dishonor Ben’s legacy.

They make it clear they are not discussing the average fan; it goes beyond that. Dave and Donna take a look at embellished authority and acquaintance, fake romances, and excessive spirit-world experiences. They also examine the possible reasons why this sort of thing is even an issue. While they handle this dark discussion with the respect and sobriety it deserves, they do throw in a little humor here and there to break the tension.

Dave also offers a sincere invitation to anyone who has a struggle with this topic (either good or bad, especially if you feel like it is YOU that is being talked about) to let him know directly. If you’d like, he will arrange for you to come on NiGHT THOUGHTS as a guest to discuss your side of the issues at hand. Use any of the links below to make your thoughts known:

  1. Find us on Facebook.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ).
  3. Connect with us via our audio outlets: Youtube (at the link below), iTunes or Soundcloud.
  4. Email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com.

As always, wherever you connect with us, be sure to subscribe, share and comment.

The show closes with an optimistic letter on the Midnight Scroll, and Dave and Donna both look forward to returning to their usual ‘podcast shenanigans’ for their next recording: a dissection of The Cars’ fourth album, Shake It Up.

Until then, grab a cup of coffee and brace yourself for a visit to the dark side.

Episode 36: Album Dissections: Panorama

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The non-scientific studies continue as Dave and Donna tackle their third album dissection. Considered by some to be the ‘dark horse’ of The Cars’ varied catalog, Panorama offers an intriguing look into a band that has not only managed to stay relevant for 40 years, but to stay true to themselves, as well.

Following their usual protocol, Dave and Donna start with facts and visual observations abour the album, and then dive into the meat of it, layer by layer, investigating what the critics didn’t like about it — and if those opinions were really justified. Because really, how can you NOT love this album? Even John Lennon was a fan, and after all, this record saved ‘teenage Davy’ from a pummeling by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend (“Panorama makes peace!”). And you’ve got Benjamin laughing, Ric screaming, and video game noises before there were video games. This record has it all!

What do you think? Is David physically playing those relentless cymbals in “Panorama” or is it a drum machine? Do you think Benjamin is a natural vocal ad-libber? Is Panorama a self-centered album lyrically? How in the world did “Don’t Go To Pieces” NOT make the track list? Are Ric’s younger years reflected in “Misfit Kid?” Which song off of this album would YOU choose to be your personal ‘grand entrance’ soundtrack?

bufordThere are other shenanigans worked into this episode, too. Dave compares Donna to Buford T. Justice from Smokey and The Bandit, causing her to explain why she censors herself verbally. There’s a plug for the hilarious film Turbocharge: The Unauthorized Story of The Cars, written by David Juskow — don’t forget to like that Turbocharge Facebook page! Another great film (and just in time for Halloween!) is Dante Tomaselli’s re-released horror masterpiece, Desecration. Warning: it’s not for the faint of heart! Dave and Donna wrap up the show on a light note as two sweet friends send their thoughts to the Midnight Scroll, and Rico delights us with an inspired poem contemplating the holy depiction of the members of the band.

Now don’t forget… We want to connect with you! Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, be sure to subscribe, share and comment. Let us know your thoughts — email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy!

Episode 35: Turbocharge!

This episode has been on the bucket list for a loooong time, covering a topic we weren’t sure would ever be fully explored! But 2018 continues to be “The Year of The Cars” in all sorts of crazy and unexpected ways!

my writing at the rrhofIt kicks off with Dave giving an update on his recent trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “Cars Car-ma” swooped in and made it possible for Dave to attend a special listening party of The Cars Live at The Agora 1978 in the Foster Theater, and what he reveals to Donna prompts her to utter her first swear words on the show ever!

Once she recovers herself, Dave and Donna dive into the details of the elusive-but-highly-sought-after film Turbocharge: The Unauthorized Story of The Cars. Created by comedian David Juskow back in 2008, the film has been sitting on a shelf… until recently. Dave got it in his bonnet to convince Juskow to make it available to the Fanorama. Juskow was gracious enough to allow Dave and Donna a private screening, and to give them permission to podcast about it and promote the film while he figures out how and when he’s going to release it (hopefully SOON).

ep35aDave and Donna go over the background, plot, cast list, and highlights of this hilarious film, while doing their best not to spoil anything for future viewers. They also discuss the amazing and varied roster of musical artists that contributed to the soundtrack. Truly, this movie is just so funny, and SO relevant to the Cars’ fandom, that we want everyone to be able to view it! To show your support for getting it released, please like Dave’s Turbocharge Facebook page. Follow this link:

 fb.me/turbochargethemovie

Heck, you can even tweet to David Juskow and let him know you’re eager to get your hands on it! Hit him up at @davejuskow and give him the word. While you’re there, follow him and listen to his podcast. He’s pretty funny. 😉

The episode closes out with the Midnight Scroll, where

  1. David gets challenged to a Gilligan’s Island trivia showdown by sweet Sherry through the blog,
  2. Superfan Judi gives some love to Katrina’s rocking band, The Debutantes,
  3. new listener Donna connects Panorama with West Side Story,
  4. and faithful friend of the show B.B. shares some Ric-esque new lyrics. Fun, fun!

You can be on the Scroll, too — contact us! There are plenty of ways to get in touch with NiGHT THOUGHTS:

  1. Follow the podcast on Twitter! @TheCarsPodcast. If you’re looking for the hosts individually, Dave goes by @night_spots and Donna is @sweetpurplejune.
  2. Join the action on Facebook:  http://www.facebook/groups/nightthoughtspodcast/. Lots of fun stuff going on over there!
  3. Drop us a line for the Midnight Scroll! Send it to nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. We love to get mail!
  4. Subscribe and write a review of the show on iTunes: bit.do/itunesnightthoughts
  5. Take a listen through Soundcloud: bit.do/soundcloudnightthoughts
  6. And of course… youtube! Subscribe and comment –we love it! bit.do/nightthoughts

Enjoy —

and don’t forget to LIKE that Turbocharge page on Facebook! fb.me/turbochargethemovie.

Episode 34: Album Dissections: Candy-O

episode34Time to pull the cover back on Candy-O, The Cars’ second record, and take a closer look at what’s under the hood (cheesy Cars pun — groan!).

After blasting onto the music scene with their iconic debut album, many critics were prepared for the follow-up offering to fall into the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’ but instead, they were treated to a splendid sequel that proved The Cars’ success was no accident.

Dave and Donna start their study with some background information on this unforgettable album, and then move to the ‘physical examination’ (non-biological), commenting on everything from the band’s style to the cover art (complete with Vargas impersonations). From there they dive into the music, taking each side song by song and sharing their observations, while also exploring questions like:

  1. What did Ben’s mom say about putting things in his mouth?
  2. Are the lyrics to “Let’s Go” lecherous? (Please excuse Donna’s Paul Stanley impression!)
  3. Did RTB choose the wrong song to end the album?

They also discuss such nuances as:

  1. Elliot’s mastery of the outro
  2. The progression and variety of moods from beginning to end
  3. The sometimes puzzling semantics of Ric’s lyrics

The Midnight Scroll this week includes some wonderful insight from Cars fan and fledgling bass player, Katrina. She shares the musical experience she’s gained playing with her band, The Debutantes. Then our good friend, Judi, writes in to clarify the meaning of the phrase ‘Benjamin Orr Trifecta,’ and also inspires Dave to examine himself to determine if he is a ‘fandango.’ Thank you, ladies!

To close out the show, Dave drops a hint about the exciting topic they’re tackling in Episode 35… but not enough of a hint for the impatient Donna. Haha! Be sure to listen through the end and see if you have an idea of what’s coming.

Contact us! There are plenty of ways to get in touch with NiGHT THOUGHTS:

  1. Follow the podcast on Twitter! @TheCarsPodcast. If you’re looking for the hosts individually, Dave goes by @night_spots and Donna is @sweetpurplejune.
  2. Join the action on Facebook:  http://www.facebook/groups/nightthoughtspodcast/. Lots of fun stuff going on over there!
  3. Drop us a line for the Midnight Scroll! Send it to nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. We love to get mail!
  4. Subscribe and write a review of the show on iTunes: bit.do/itunesnightthoughts
  5. Take a listen through Soundcloud: bit.do/soundcloudnightthoughts
  6. And of course… youtube! Subscribe and comment –we love it! bit.do/nightthoughts

Enjoy!

episode34

 

 

Episode 33: Happy Pod-iversary!

episode33On July 3, 2017, Dave and Donna indulged in a crazy idea to start a podcast all about their favorite band, The Cars, and it’s carried on far longer than either of them thought possible! Join them as they celebrate their first year by remembering how it all got started and taking a look (and listen) back over some of their favorite moments from the first 33 episodes.

daveshirtFrom there Dave takes on the task of interviewing a woefully unprepared Donna, which leads to thoughts on things like huckleberries, her writing, Dave getting slapped by his mom, favorite breakfast cereals, and what Donna would ask Benjamin if she had the opportunity.

donnatshirt

Dave changes things up toward the end by reading some of the crazy comments posted on Cars videos on Youtube before they get to the Midnight Scroll (thank you Liz, Judi, and Harold!), and then they finish up the episode with sincere and hearty thanks to several dear friends of the podcast.

All in all it’s been an AMAZING year! We’ll just keep on doing our thing until we run out of things to say (or until Dave gets lynched), and hope that we can continue to bring people together through a mutual love for The Cars. Thank you SO much to everyone who listens!

Now don’t forget… We want to connect with you! Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, subscribe, share and comment. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

Episode 32: Album Dissections: The Cars’ Debut

episode32aThirty-two episodes into this podcast all about The Cars and we haven’t even gone deep on each individual album! Well, now is the time. Dave and Donna put the band’s self-titled debut album under the microscope and offer their keen (and sometimes gushy) observations about what critics have called “a genuine rock masterpiece.”

Their detailed analysis includes:

  1. Speculations on ‘the real surprise’
  2. The untold story of the “OOF!” on “Don’t Cha Stop”
  3. Hidden meanings revealed: Wisenheimer or Einstein?
  4. Exploring the layers of “I’m In Touch With Your World”
  5. Donna’s interminable praises for “Bye Bye Love”
  6. Discovering a new phenomena: the Benjamin Orr Trifecta.

A quick apology: Donna brings up Dave Raymer’s cover of “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” but mistakenly says that it’s the way he draws out ‘tonight’ that she loves. It’s actually his treatment of ’cause’ that has her addicted. Take a listen here to see what she’s talking about:

From there they move into The Midnight Scroll where we get to meet new listener Susan H, and learn her backstory about how she came to love Benjamin Orr and The Cars. Thank you for the wonderful letter, Susan! We also get to hear from our faithful friend Harold from Florida, who offers some kind words about topics on our recent episodes. In between, Donna can barely hold it together as Dave shares the latest letter from our old pal Rico, who gives us the lowdown on the Staten Island Tribute Rockfest.

Episode32b
Graphic by @night_spots

Don’t forget… Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, subscribe, share and comment. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

And now dive into Episode 32 — enjoy!