PLAY DISC

Jon and Harrison Porobil host biweekly long form discussions about full albums of pop/rock music

About the show

Every other Tuesday, Jon and Harrison Porobil sit down for about an hour to discuss a full album of music. We will cover many genres from many different time periods—the only common theme is that we think these albums are interesting. We'll discuss concept albums, singles collections, genre explorations, all-time classics, buried treasures, interesting failures, and more.

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • BONUS DISC - Interview with Grace Rowland of The Deer

    Episode  |  August 4th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 1 min
    51st street, an argument for observation, anne marie, art, austin, austin tx, bonus disc, food, grace park, grace rowland, interview, kutx, mary sue, music, music commentary, paradise, play disc, songwriting, stephanie bledsoe, the deer, the swan dive

    The Deer frontwoman Grace Rowland called in to discuss the latest PLAY DISC episode about her band's debut, some of the real stories behind the songs that Jon & Harrison had speculated on, and the creative process.

  • Episode 020: The Deer - An Argument for Observation (2013)

    Episode  |  July 28th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  59 mins 40 secs
    51st street, all the leaping, an argument for observation, anne marie, army ants, as women go, austin, austin texas, austin tx, cannabis, drug addiction, food, grace park, grace park and the deer, grace rowland, jesse dalton, kutx, mary sue, music, music commentary, no code, paradise, play disc, texas, the deer, the swan dive, through your blood, tx

    For our (checks notes)... TWENTIETH EPISODE, Harrison and Jon discuss an album that came our way from the PLAY DISC Request Lottery, The Deer's debut album An Argument for Observation. After a brief aside about Jon's recent success in a songwriting competition, we discuss the album's crypically poetic lyrics, its themes of drug addiction, and various other aspects of this beautiful indie folk album.

  • Episode 019: Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006), featuring special guest Dan McCoy!

    Episode  |  July 14th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr 1 min
    a widow's toast, a.c. newman, alt-country, anti-, at last, country, dan behar, dan mccoy, dirty knife, dogma, folk, fox confessor brings the flood, hold on hold on, john saw that number, lewis carroll, lion's jaws, margaret vs. pauline, maybe sparrow, music, music commentary, neko case, neko case and her boyfriends, play disc, rickroll, star witness, that teenage feeling, the flop house, the needle has landed, the new pornographers, the sadies, the walrus and the carpenter, use it

    Special guest Dan McCoy joins Harrison and Jon to discuss an album of his choosing, Neko Case's 2006 alt-country masterpiece Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. We discuss our connections to the album, Case's relationship with the alt-country genre, the unusual song structures and Case's powerful voice, and more!

  • Girls Aloud - Chemistry (2005), featuring Matt Latham, Part 2

    Episode  |  July 2nd, 2020  |  Season 2  |  45 mins 8 secs
    britpop, chemistry, girls aloud, matt latham, music, music commentary, pick a disc, play disc

    In part two of our guest-stravaganza with Matt Latham from Pick A Disc, we talk about the status of Chemistry as a concept album and its outre song structures, then pick our key tracks!

  • Girls Aloud - Chemistry (2005) Featuring Matt Latham, Part 1

    Episode  |  July 2nd, 2020  |  Season 2  |  40 mins 35 secs
    britpop, chemistry, girls aloud, matt latham, music, music commentary, play disc, pop idol, popstars

    Jon and Harrison welcome Matthew Latham, host of the Pick A Disc podcast, to discuss an important British pop group that never made so much as a tiny ripple in the music world across the pond, Girls Aloud, and their 2005 album Chemistry. We discuss the group's origins in reality TV, the history of the British tradition of racing for that Christmas Day #1 single, and the various personalities of the five women who make up Girls Aloud.

  • Episode 017: Suburban Legends - Day Job (2012)

    Episode  |  June 3rd, 2020  |  Season 2  |  1 hr
    alan menken, anderson.paak, andy samberg, arigato, big d and the kids table, brass section, brooklyn 99, can’t stop it, come back home, dance like nobody’s watching, day job, disney, disneyland, dude alert, elton john, emergency, girlfriend’s pretty, hair metal, horn section, howard ashman, i just can’t wait to be king, japanese, just be happy, less than jake, love fair, lyrics born, my friend, npr, open up your eyes, pop punk, punk, reel big fish, reggae, ska, skate punk, snack break, streetlight manifesto, suburban legends, take the next step, the lion king, the little mermaid, the mighty mighty bosstones, the red hot chili peppers, tim rice, under the sea, video game music, vince walker, whoa

    Harrison finally indulges his passion for ska music and brings for discussion Day Job, the 2012 album by California combo Suburban Legends! We talk about what ska is and what it means to Harrison, the musical journey Suburban Legends has taken, the tradition of ska bands covering Disney songs, and more!

  • Episode 016: Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003)

    Episode  |  May 19th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  55 mins 53 secs
    a lack of color, barsuk records, ben gibbard, chris walla, dcfc, death cab for cutie, death of an interior decorator, emo, expo ‘86, helter skelter, indie rock, john roderick, lightness, music, music commentary, passenger seat, patty lynn, pitchfork, play disc, post-rock, request lottery, robert christgau, rock, singer-songwriter, stylus magazine, the beatles, the new year, the postal service, the sound of settling, the wind and the wave, tiny vessels, title and registration, transatlanticism, we looked like giants

    Past interview guest and current Request Lottery winner Patty Lynn picked Death Cab for Cutie's 2003 album Transatlanticism for us to talk about. It was the first time listening to this seminal indie-rock album for both Jon and Harrison, and they have some thoughts!

  • Episode 015: Linda Ronstadt - Hasten Down the Wind (1976)

    Episode  |  May 5th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  58 mins 51 secs
    asylum, buddy holly, country, crazy, david geffen, dawes, down so low, easy listening, folk, genre, give one heart, hasten down the wind, if he’s ever near, jenny lewis, john hall, karla bonoff, laurel canyon, linda ronstadt, lo siento mi vida, lose again, mandy moore, orleans, patsy cline, pop, pop rock, rastafarianism, reggae, rivers of babylon, rock, ry cooder, singer, singing, soft rock, someone to lay down beside me, that’ll be the day, the tattler, tracy nelson, try me again, vocalist, warren zevon, willie nelson

    Jon brings forward Linda Ronstadt's 1976 album, Hasten Down the Wind. We discuss Ronstadt's unfair malignment, her stratospheric success in the 70s, her surprising connection to Warren Zevon, and the bonafides (or lack thereof) to this album's "Reggae" song, among other things.

  • Episode 014: Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady (2013)

    Episode  |  April 21st, 2020  |  Season 2  |  58 mins 43 secs
    androids, black identity, bootsy collins, chuck lightning, code switching, dance apocalyptic, dance pop, deep cotton, dorothy dandridge eyes, electric lady, erykah badu, esperanza spalding, fritz lang, ghetto woman, givin' em what they love, good morning midnight, hip hop, it's code, janelle monáe, look into my eyes, mark mothersbaugh, metropolis, miguel, miguel pimentel, music, music commentary, nate wonder, nichelle nichols, our favorite fugitive, play disc, pop, primetime, prince, q.u.e.e.n., queer identity, robots, rock, sally ride, solange, solange knowles, star trek, suite iv electric overture, the chrome shoppe, the electric lady, we were rock & roll

    Harrison brings Janelle Monáe's second full-length album The Electric Lady for discussion. We cover its status as a science fiction narrative (and the extent to which that matters), the album's numerous guests and themes of black and queer identity, and gush about how perfect the dance-pop songs are.

  • BONUS DISC - Jon Interviews Dan Bern!

    Episode  |  April 14th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  58 mins 1 sec
    12-string guitar, amazon, amazon prime, blonde on blonde, bob dylan, celebrities, chuck plotkin, dan bern, donald trump, facebook live, folk, folk rock, guitar, gun control, hand injury, jon flower, judaism, los angeles dodgers, matt latham, matthew latham, music, music commentary, mythology, pandemic, piano, pick a disc, play disc, politics, pop rock, quarantine, regent street, rock, social media, the internet, the stinky and dirty show, tiger woods, yasiel puig

    Dan Bern, independent singer/songwriter and the subject of last week's episode, agreed to join us for an interview! Harrison wasn't able to make it, but Jon and Dan shared an hour long conversation about Regent Street, coping with a pandemic, Dan's songwriter-for-hire work, and much more!

  • Episode 013: Dan Bern - Regent Street (2019)

    Episode  |  April 7th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  57 mins 56 secs
    adam schlesinger, all kinds of time, america without the people, antisemitism, bob dylan, dan bern, dan bern and the international jewish banking conspiracy, david byrne, dear tiger woods, deregulation, donald trump, fifty eggs, folk rock, furry walls, get him to the greek, gorbachev, gun control, hand injury, hari kondabolu, jewish, judaism, kobe bryant, mass shootings, matthew latham, music, music commentary, negotiation, not perfect, once in a lifetime, one song, piano, pick a disc, play disc, regent street, singer songwriter, take the guns away, talking heads, the clap, the international jewish banking conspiracy, tiger woods, yeah yeah oi oi, yeltsin

    After a guest appearance on Pick A Disc in which he discussed Dan Bern's self-titled debut, Jon returns to PLAY DISC to discuss Dan Bern's most recent album, 2019's Regent Street. Things get serious as Jon and Harrison discuss the political content of the album and how they relate to Bern's expression of his Jewish identity.

  • Episode 012: King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

    Episode  |  March 24th, 2020  |  Season 2  |  58 mins 47 secs
    21st century schizoid man, alistair crowley, casey kasem, dan bern, doc hammer, doves, epitaph, folk, fusion, greg lake, i talk to the wind, ian mcdonald, in the court of the crimson king, jackson publick, jazz, john bonham, jojo's bizarre adventure, kanye west, king crimson, led zeppelin, m62 song, mellotron, michael giles, miles davis, moonchild, music, music commentary, nailhouse, nietszche, nuclear bomb, oppenheimer, peter sinfield, play disc, power, progressive rock, red, robert christgau, robert fripp, rock, roundabout, scp, spinal tap, the court of the crimson king, the manhattan project, this is spinal tap, venture bros, yes

    Listener (and PLAY DISC Request Lottery winner!) Billy Callis brings for discussion King Crimson and their 1969 debut, In The Court of the Crimson King. Jon & Harrison discuss this album's reputation and its place in the canon of Progressive Rock, among other things.

  • Episode 011: Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind (1983)

    Episode  |  March 10th, 2020  |  Season 1  |  56 mins 50 secs
    alfred lord tennyson, bruce dickinson, decemberists, die with your boots on, dune, flight of icarus, frank herbert, future of the left, guitars, heavy metal, iron maiden, josh ritter, lord tennyson, metal, music, music commentary, nicko mcbrain, play disc, quest for fire, revelations, rhythm section, rock, still life, sun and steel, the charge of the light brigade, the trooper, to tame a land, where eagles dare, you need satan more than he needs you

    Harrison brings for consideration Iron Maiden's 1983 album Piece of Mind. Throughout our hour of discussion, we ponder whether a single perfect song can elevate the entire album it's on, and our relationship to heavy metal music.

  • BONUS - Jon & Harrison interview Glenn Case

    Episode  |  March 3rd, 2020  |  Season 1  |  1 hr 6 mins
    all star, april fools, brother machine, emergency & i, glenn case, growth, guitar, hip-hop, jamuary, jonathan mann, leap day, mc frontalot, music, music commentary, nerdcore, nerdcore hip-hop, no fake fridays, play disc, rock, rock band, seth gibbs, sifl & olly, singer songwriter, smash mouth, song a day, song fight, the def author, the dismemberment plan, the frontalittle squad, the grammar club

    In a special bonus episode of PLAY DISC, Jon & Harrison interview Glenn Case, independent singer/songwriter and occasional member of The Grammar Club, about his various projects, his insanely prolific output, his positive attitude, and his brand-new album Growth!

  • Episode 010: Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (2014)

    Episode  |  February 25th, 2020  |  Season 1  |  56 mins 32 secs
    8 dogs 8 banjos, appalachian music, bluegrass, bo burnham, bob dylan, brushy mountain conjugal trailer, chance mccoy, cory younts, country, country and western, critter fuqua, dearly departed friend, doc's day, gill landry, hillbilly music, johnny cash, ketch secor, kevin hayes, morgan jahnig, music, music commentary, o cumberland river, ocms, old crow medicine show, play disc, remedy, shit creek, soggy bottom boys, sweet amarillo, sweet home, the warden, wagon wheel

    Jon brings for consideration Old Crow Medicine Show's 2014 album Remedy. We discuss how the band's critical appeal often conflicted with its genre, and the joys of enjoying a bluegrass album on its own merits.

  • Episode 009: Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons... (2008)

    Episode  |  February 18th, 2020  |  Season 1  |  58 mins 15 secs
    ant, anthony davis, atmosphere, can't break, cigarettes, dreamer, erick anderson, god loves ugly, guarantees, in her music box, like the rest of us, me, music, music commentary, nate collis, o. henry, painting, play disc, puppets, sean daley, shoulda known, slug, smoking, the skinny, the twilight zone, the waitress, timeghost, tom waits, when god gives you ugly, when life gives you lemons, when life gives you lemons you paint that shit gold, wild wild horses, yesterday, you, your glasshouse

    Harrison brings for consideration Atmosphere's 2008 album, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. We discuss the album's themes of class struggle, failure, and coping mechanisms, and engage with how our lives have changed in the decade since we first heard it... facing the dreaded TIMEGHOST in the process!