Friday, December 9, 2016

Episode 282: The Producer's Chair #2

Episode 282: The Producer's Chair #2
Pat welcomes World Cup Soccer player and music aficionado Alexi Lalas to the Co-Host chair to play songs produced by their favorite producers. Kyle is our favorite producer and he twists the knobs for this episode.
From December 8, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis

00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. There's a third ass seated squarely in the studio, a man by the name of Alexi Lalas. Sound familiar to you sports geeks? Alexi is a retired soccer player who played in the 1994 World Cup and has played for teams like the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Kansas City Wizards. Now Alexi is an analyst for Fox Sports and is a big fan of Rock Solid. So he's here!
00:05:00 Alexi and Pat immediately bond over Ratt and Cheap Trick. Ratt is Alexi's favorite band. He loves both the music and the videos, he loves the Ratt lifestyle. "Those hair metal guys always looked like they fell into a basket of women's clothes and then popped out," says Pat.
00:10:00 Pat chats with Alexi about the gentleman's game of soccer. Or football. Or footie. Or foot. Or fuh. Alexi loves soccer because it best approximates life: "Life isn't fair, soccer isn't fair." When Pat went to an LA Galaxy game, Paul Stanley sung the national anthem. Not the Starchild's finest hour, according to Pat. It was very awkward when Paul levitated over the audience with fireworks shooting out of his boots.
00:15:00 After weighing the various Kiss solo albums, talk turns back to Ratt and the legal issues involved with the band. Much like Queensryche and Asia, there were two versions of the band Ratt, one fronted by Bobby Blotzer and the other with Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini. All these Ratts, looks like there's an infestation happening..... huh..... come on people, give it up for the ladies in the audience. As you can tell, Alexi REALLY LOVES Ratt. "Does your wife like the music you like?" asks Pat. "No" responds Alexi immediately.
00:20:00 Pat and Alexi discuss having a CD collection vs. ripping the CDs to MP3. Then they get into Alexi's past role as a General Manager for various soccer teams. Like a music producer, Alexi was "in charge of the product on the field and monetizing that product off the field." Basically, make the soccer team (read: album) the best soccer team (read: album) it can be so soccer fans (read: music fans) will spend money on that soccer team (read: album). Alexi now works in television and is very fortunate to still be making a good living in sports.
00:25:00 Alexi not only has a passion for listening to music, but he also has a passion for making music. He's been putting out albums since the 90s and it's been a lot of fun for him. Pat compliments Alexi's music, saying it's a lot better than a lot of other celebrities who try to sing. Alexi is aware of the stigma that surrounds someone like him, a soccer player, releasing music but he doesn't mind. He just loves making music.
00:30:00 Pat plays some of Alexi's music. Off the album So It Goes, the song is called "Sense". All of Alexi's music is self-produced. Pat commends him for having a good ear. Alexi loves simple, pop-driven rock songs. Pat looks up the album on iTunes and it has one review, in which the writer describes losing their virginity to the album. Ahem.... Goooooooooal!!!!! Pat plays a song from another album, Infinity Spaces, called "Giving Time".
00:35:00 Alexi has a new album called Shots. Pat plays the song "Big Break". Pat is flabbergasted at how great this music is. And it is! "Kyle, can you believe this soccer hound...?" sputters Pat. He can't even finish the question, he's so stunned. Alexi tries to put out an album every couple of years.
00:40:00 Pat plays another track from Shots called Paper Crown. A little more about Alexi's background: Alexi stands for Alexander and he is Greek. When he was on the U.S. National Soccer Team, he had wild red hair and a big goatee in his heyday. Alexi says this was deliberate because he wanted to put on a show. Alexi was also inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. His father was a professor, his mother was a writer. They supported him in athletics, but they never expected him to go into soccer.
00:45:00 Pat asks the hard questions: What is Alexi's favorite Kiss album with makeup? The greatest hits album Double Platinum. Ranking the four solo Kiss albums: 1) Paul Stanley 2) Ace Frehley 3) Peter Criss 4) Gene Simmons. WOOOAH, Peter beats Gene. Alexi can't put Gene third simply because of his version of "Wish Upon a Star." Sorry Gene, you shouldn't have broached Mr. Cricket's territory. Anyway, we move on to

There is a new Black Star Riders album coming out in 2017 called Heavy Fire. Pat plays the song "When the Night Comes In".
00:50:00 Alexi really digs it. Pat plays a little of Ricky Warwick playing "Jailbreak" acoustically in the studio back on his episode. FINALLY, we get to the topic at hand. We go back to the Producer's Chair! Pat and Alexi each picked a music producer and they will play songs from that producer's discography. Pat and Alexi try to determine exactly what a producer is. He's not an engineer or technician, he's not grabbing cables left and right. He's more of a DP or a director. They want to try to guess the other's producers.
00:55:00 Pat kicks things off with his first song. Off the album We're an American Band, it's Grand Funk Railroad with "We're an American Band". Alexi doesn't know the producer. It is.... Todd Rundgren! Pat finds that with a lot of Todd's production work, he makes the bands and artists sound like his own work. He also picked Todd because it's an eclectic list of artists.
Alexi's first song is "Back on My Feet Again" by The Babys off their album Union Jacks. Pat correctly guesses the producer, Keith Olsen. Keith has a lot of big names under his belt.
01:00:00 Up next for Pat is "Love My Way" by The Psychedelic Furs off the album Forever Now. Pat surmises Todd has made more money off of other people's music than his own.
Alexi's next pick is by Fleetwood Mac. Off their self-titled album, it's "Rhiannon". Keith Olsen is the man responsible for bringing Buckingham Nicks and Mick Fleetwood together. So you're welcome, planet.
Another self-titled album on display. Pat plays "Personality Crisis" by New York Dolls.
01:05:00 After looking up current day pictures of David Johansen (Kyle: "He kinda looks like someone wearing a Stephen King mask"), Alexi plays his next pick. Off the album Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, it's Rick Springfield with "Kristina". Alexi specifically picked Keith because of his association with Rick. Pat is still trying to get Rick on the show.
01:10:00 This is the reason why Todd Rundgren probably has six houses. Pat plays "Bat Out of Hell" by Meat Loaf off of Bat Out of Hell. Todd Rundgren was the lynchpin of the album, he brought all the pieces together and made everything coherent and cohesive. Because lord knows when the Loaf goes off the rails, he goes OFF THE RAILS. We hear a little example of such with a new Meat Loaf song called "Skull of Your Country." Cut, print, perfect.
01:15:00 The next Olsen artist is a band called Lynch Mob. The song is "Heaven Is Waiting" off their self-titled album. Lynch Mob is the band that Dokken's George Lynch started after leaving Dokken.
This band is the first band Pat ever saw live because they opened for Kiss on the Dynasty tour. It's "Don't Ever Let Me Go" by New England off the album Walking Wild. Kiss manager Bill Aucoin discovered the band, which led to Paul Stanley producing their debut album.
01:20:00 Alexi plays his next song, "Is This Love" by Whitesnake off their self-titled album. Alexi remarks that this ballad is better produced than others. And like the Fleetwood Mac self-titled album, it was a reboot of the band.
Pat's next Rundgren project is the band Bourgeois Tagg. It's the song "I Don't Mind at All" off the album Yoyo. One of those "oh yeah, I know that one" songs.
01:25:00 Up next for Alexi is another Rick Springfield album, Rock of Life. The song is called "Honeymoon in Beirut". One of Rick's fewer selling albums, but Alexi and Pat both like it a lot. Pat has it signed and framed on the wall in Francis Manor.
01:30:00 After telling again the classic story of getting snubbed by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo for an autograph, Pat plays "Dancing Barefoot" by Patti Smith Group off the album Wave. Pat picked it because it exemplifies the diversity of artists that Todd worked with.
Alexi goes to a classic for his next Keith Olsen pick, Foreigner with "Hot Blooded" off the album Double Vision.
01:35:00 Pat and Alexi extol the virtues of Foreigner, then Pat delves into more Todd Rundgren production territory. It's "Baby Blue" by Badfinger off the album Straight Up. George Harrison started the production on the album, then Todd came in to finish it up as the cleaner.
01:40:00 Oh no. The Bad Memories Express is entering the station. Alexi plays "Treat Me Right" by Pat Benatar off the album Crimes of Passion. Pat is getting flashbacks to that fateful night. One minute he's in the studio, the next he's in a back alley in Danang holding a bloody Crimes of Passion in his hands; a Vietnamese hooker dead at his feet. "It's not my fault," screams Pat to Kyle. "It's not my fault!" Alexi remarks how his first concert was Pat Benatar.
01:45:00 Up next for Pat is a band Todd worked with twice, The Tubes. First up, the song "Prime Time" off the album Remote Control. Pat notes how the lead singer Fee Waybill sounds similar to Todd. Then Pat plays "Piece by Piece" off the album Love Bomb and notes how it sounds a lot like Todd's band Utopia. Pat is driving his kids crazy with The Tubes.
Alexi returns to the Rick Springfield well with "Jessie's Girl" off of Working Class Dog.
01:50:00 Alexi considers "Jessie's Girl" to be a perfect pop song. Pat fondly remembers pining over the girl that another guy had. But Pat bided his time, they eventually broke up, and Pat got the girl. "Funny eventually won out," he beams. Well in that case, where does Pat come in? *ba dum bum* FOLKS! Pat plays "Can't Stop the Music" by Hall & Oates off the album War Babies.
01:55:00 We go again to Pat Benatar. Alexi plays "Promises in the Dark" off the album Precious Time. This is Pat's favorite Benatar album.
Pat moves on to XTC. The album is Skylarking and the song is called "That's Really Super, Supergirl". Pat is wishy-washy on XTC; some he likes, some he doesn't.
02:00:00 Alexi's next example of Keith Olsen production work is a real left turn for the artist. It's "All I Ever Wanted" by Santana off the album Marathon. It's Carlos Santana using a poppier sound to get commercial success, one he would use to greater effect later on with "Smooth" and Supernatural and all that stuff.
02:05:00 Speaking of pop, Pat's next artist is Shaun Cassidy doing a cover of The Who's "So Sad About Us" off his album Wasp.
Alexi keeps the ball rolling with .38 Special. Off the album Strength in Numbers, the song is "Somebody Like You".
02:10:00 After Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman split up, Jim hooked up with Todd for his... wait a minute... SOLO ALBUM? Jim Steinman has a solo album?! Well yes, apparently so, according to the information. Pat plays "Bad for Good" off the album Bad for Good. Pretty much all the people on Bat Out of Hell are on this album... except, of course, for Meat Loaf. Meat Loaf would eventually record most of the songs himself.
Power ballad duet time! Alexi plays "Almost Paradise" by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson off the Footloose soundtrack. Pat and Alexi bond over their shared love of Loverboy.
02:15:00 How appropriate that Todd produced a song with Pat's wife's name in it. Pat plays "Pilar (Things Here Are Different)" by Jill Sobule off the album Things Here Are Different.
02:20:00 Pat and Alexi chat a little bit about the band Toto. Pat tries turning Alexi onto the album Turn Back with the song "Gift with the Golden Gun." Alexi says he'll look into it, then plays his next Keith Olsen pick. It's Sammy Hagar with "I'll Fall in Love Again" off the album Standing Hampton.
02:25:00 We've heard one Rick, let's hear another one. Pat plays "Guitars and Women" by Rick Derringer off the album Guitars and Women.
Alexi gives apologies to other bands that Keith produced like Scorpions, Starship and The Grateful Dead. His last pick is "The Confessor" by Joe Walsh off the album The Confessor. Pat feels like Henley and Frey were not Joe's biggest fans, even towards the end of Frey's life.
02:30:00 Pat and Alexi talk about various documentaries about the Eagles, Tom Petty, and Foo Fighters. Pat tells his story about meeting Peter Bogdanovich, who directed the Tom Petty documentary.
02:35:00 Pat's last Rundgren song is by Cheap Trick. Off the album Next Position Please, the song is "Borderline". Pat tells another story, this time of riding his bike eight miles to a record store in a mall to buy this album.
02:40:00 Thanks so much to Alexi for coming onto the show. He's as passionate about music as he is about kicking a ball into a net. And that's a lot of passion, let me tell you. Alexi and Pat agree that you should unapologetically love the music that you love. You can find Alexi on Twitter @AlexiLalas. He's a regular commentator on Fox Sports talking soccer. And all his albums are on iTunes and Spotify. Just beware: Some other artists used his name for their music, so be advised as to which Alexi Lalas albums you are purchasing/listening to. To quote Patton Oswalt, if it sounds like "Tom Waits gargling hot chunks of asphalt," it ain't him.
02:45:00 We are way past normal play time, way past extra minutes, and way past penalty kicks. The show ends with "Seems So Long Ago" by Alexi Lalas off the album Shots.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:30:00 Sense So It Goes Alexi Lalas Pat
00:30:00 Giving Time Infinity Spaces Alexi Lalas Pat
00:35:00 Big Break Shots Alexi Lalas Pat
00:40:00 Paper Crown Shots Alexi Lalas Pat
00:45:00 When the Night Comes In Heavy Fire Black Star Riders Pat (New Music Roundup)
00:55:00 We’re an American Band We’re an American Band Grand Funk Railroad Pat
00:55:00 Back on My Feet Again Union Jacks The Babys Alexi
01:00:00 Love My Way Forever Now The Psychedelic Furs Pat
01:00:00 Rhiannon Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac Alexi
01:00:00 Personality Crisis New York Dolls New York Dolls Pat
01:05:00 Kristina Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet XTC Alexi
01:10:00 Bat Out of Hell Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf Pat
01:15:00 Heaven Is Waiting Lynch Mob Lynch Mob Alexi
01:15:00 Don’t Ever Let Me Go Walking Wild New England Pat
01:20:00 Is This Love Whitesnake Whitesnake Alexi
01:20:00 I Dont Mind at All Yoyo Bourgeois Tagg Pat
01:25:00 Honeymoon in Beirut Rock of Life Rick Springfield Alexi
01:30:00 Dancing Barefoot Wave Patti Smith Group Pat
01:30:00 Hot Blooded Double Vision Foreigner Alexi
01:35:00 Baby Blue Straight Up Badfinger Pat
01:40:00 Treat Me Right Crimes of Passion Pat Benatar Alexi
01:45:00 Prime Time Remote Control The Tubes Pat
01:45:00 Piece by Piece Love Bomb The Tubes Pat
01:45:00 Jessie’s Girl Working Class Dog Rick Springfield Alexi
01:50:00 Can’t Stop the Music War Babies Hall & Oates Pat
01:55:00 Promises in the Dark Precious Time Pat Benatar Alexi
01:55:00 That’s Really Super, Supergirl Skylarking XTC Pat
02:00:00 All I Ever Wanted Marathon Santana Alexi
02:05:00 So Sad About Us Wasp Shaun Cassidy Pat
02:05:00 Somebody Like You Strength in Numbers .38 Special Alexi
02:10:00 Bad for Good Bad for Good Jim Steinman Pat
02:10:00 Almost Paradise Footloose Soundtrack Mike Reno and Ann Wilson Alexi
02:15:00 Pilar (Things Here Are Different) Things Here Are Different Jill Sobule Pat
02:20:00 I’ll Fall in Love Again Standing Hampton Sammy Hagar Alexi
02:25:00 Guitars and Women Guitars and Women Rick Derringer Pat
02:25:00 The Confessor The Confessor Joe Walsh Alexi
02:35:00 Borderline Next Position Please Cheap Trick Pat
02:45:00 Seems So Long Ago Shots Alexi Lalas Pat

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