Rob Harvilla's 60 Songs that Explain the 90s

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I am digging this series of podcasts from Mr. Harvilla. Anyone else listening to them?

Thus far, he's done 45 - 60 minutes on the each of following songs:

You Oughta Know
Hey Jealousy
C.R.E.A.M.
The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
November Rain
Mind Playing Tricks On Me
All I Want For Christmas is You
Mayonaise
I Want It That Way
Make 'Em Say Uhh!
Cannonball
Enter Sandman
You Get What You Give
Gonna Make You Sweat
Nuthin' But a G-Thang
Just a Girl
No Scrubs
Hunger Strike
Juicy
Man! I Feel Like a Woman
Stinkfist
Common People
Dreaming of You
I Got 5 on It
Scenario
Hyperballad

I have enjoyed his writing in the past, and he's got some pretty good angles for most of these pods. The I Got 5 on It episode, in particular, was really enjoyable to me.

TrumpPence a Bag (B.L.A.M.), Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:29 (three years ago) link

some nice couplings there:

The Rain (November Rain) (Supa Dupa Fly)
Mayonaise (I Want It That Way)
Gonna Make You Sweat (You Get What You Give)
Just a Girl (Nuthin' But a G-Thang)

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:49 (three years ago) link

Sounds interesting, but appears to be a Spotify thing, not available as a podcast.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Sunday, 25 April 2021 19:59 (three years ago) link

It pulls up via PocketCasts, someone might have a bootleg RSS feed.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Sunday, 25 April 2021 20:36 (three years ago) link

It is a Spotify thing - it's from The Ringer, and they're now owned by Spotify.

TrumpPence a Bag (B.L.A.M.), Sunday, 25 April 2021 21:19 (three years ago) link

two terrible tastes that taste worse together

Joe Bombin (milo z), Sunday, 25 April 2021 21:19 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Loved the latest episode on Nothing Compares 2 U

nate woolls, Thursday, 3 June 2021 07:40 (three years ago) link

Thank you for recommending this. I've been making my way through and have really been enjoying Harvilla's voice. Good, simple concept of using 60 songs to tell bigger stories of trends, artist trajectories, and different genre pockets.

So far my favorites have been "All I Want For Christmas is You" and "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" Had a good laugh in the latter when he said, "Mystikal had the same relation to the beat as the Kool Aid Man had to a brick wall."

Indexed, Monday, 14 June 2021 18:38 (three years ago) link

From the episode on Third Eye Blind:

We're talking songs that make you want to smooch your also-married-to-someone-else high-school sweetheart in the back of your minivan in the parking lot at your 15-year high school reunion.

enochroot, Tuesday, 15 June 2021 23:34 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

holy fucking shit @ young Rob's interpretation of "Take Me Home Tonight"

possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard (in the "My Heart Will Go On" ep)

Assume you mean Eddie Money's song? I was thinking how it and the PSB' "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" appeared within a year of each other, and the way each brings in this legendary female pop voice halfway through the record in a way that's so haunting. I'd do a poll if it wouldn't be so wildly lopsided. (I do like "Take Me Home Tonight.")

clemenza, Thursday, 4 November 2021 17:52 (two years ago) link

yes, Eddie Money's song. As a young boy, Rob thought the song was a cautionary tale about the possible results from a one night stand. The lover from that night, voiced by Ronnie Spector, shows up at Eddie's doorstep to plead "Feed my little baby. Feed my little baaaaabbbaaaaay." The idea that she's singing "feed my little baby" and like that is just too much.

Definitely an interesting/creative mishearing.

clemenza, Thursday, 4 November 2021 19:46 (two years ago) link

I knew who the Jerky Boys were through my older brother, but I never owned an album or saw the movie. I cannot believe Pablo, Honey is named after a Jerky Boys call. I even started listening to PH more after Turrican's thread (and blowout). How does a band survive this?

Oxnard Jeweler (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 18 November 2021 18:30 (two years ago) link

the "no scrubs" episode was the only one i've heard and it was pretty enjoyable

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 18 November 2021 18:49 (two years ago) link

I wish they'd put all of the songs referenced in each episode in the playlist

Oxnard Jeweler (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 18 November 2021 19:01 (two years ago) link

I've listened to most of them. Highly recommend the "Wonderwall" episode.

Indexed, Thursday, 18 November 2021 19:06 (two years ago) link

These are really good. I started bingeing them which was a mistake because Rob's normally very satisfying vocal cadence starts to feel gimmicky, but as long as I don't listen to more than 2 in a row I find most of the episodes immensely enjoyable, and usually pretty insightful. He also has really good guests most of the time, who actually have specific knowledge about the artist or scene in question and aren't just the usual suspects on the podcast circuit. And the interviews never overstay their welcome.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 22 November 2021 21:07 (two years ago) link

Rob occasionally drops an oddly sensual "yeah" while the guest is talking.

Oxnard Jeweler (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 22 November 2021 21:48 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

^lol

yeah that's gonna do it for me and message boards pic.twitter.com/GxI1gKnaf9

— rob harvilla (@harvilla) June 16, 2022

circles, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 16:21 (two years ago) link

I am a regular listener to the show and enjoy it and how much I enjoy it surprisingly does not correlate with my own enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the song being profiled. Some of my least favorite music has been some of my favorite shows which is not the norm, for me anyway.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 18:47 (two years ago) link

lol none stuck out in these last two eps

Herby Dutch Baby (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 7 July 2022 05:10 (two years ago) link

This is a great podcast. Is there a thread on ilm for music podcast recommendations?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 7 July 2022 15:59 (two years ago) link

The Mary J. Blige episode was one of the best, really outstanding stuff. I immediately emailed a musicologist professor who taught "Women in Music" when I was school, to tell her she ought to give it a listen.

Attached by piercing jewelry (bernard snowy), Thursday, 7 July 2022 17:02 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

this podcast just illuminated - for me, for the first time - the potential double meaning of the title of Blink-182's second album Dude Ranch

both hilarious and horrifying

alpine static, Sunday, 24 July 2022 22:34 (two years ago) link

as soon as he mentioned the possibility, i was like oh, got it, say no more

circles, Monday, 25 July 2022 03:58 (one year ago) link

yes, that was good insight

look like Farley smoke like Marley (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 25 July 2022 04:58 (one year ago) link

whoa

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 25 July 2022 08:30 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

i wonder what internal spotify nonsense caused them to stop appending the song being discussed at the end of the episode. could it really be as dumb as the episodes being original content that they don't have to pay rights for but the songs being stuff they do have to pay for, so it helps their bottom line if not everyone who listens through the episode also plays the song?

circles, Sunday, 13 November 2022 15:27 (one year ago) link

i have no idea but it probably won’t be a case of them paying or not paying for the song it will be a victim of some larger agreement between spotify and a rights holder about whether or not “spotify original” podcast content can contain their music (and it might be different per territory)

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 13 November 2022 16:55 (one year ago) link

yeah its weird bc the song was not actually embedded in the episode -- queueing up an ep would add the podcast followed by the song, separately. So that doesn't quite track. But can't really imagine what else the reason would be.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Sunday, 13 November 2022 17:08 (one year ago) link

oh i see. hmm dunno.

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 13 November 2022 17:08 (one year ago) link

maybe they just gave up on the "podcast+song" experiment? i've never heard of it outside of the mentions on this show.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 13 November 2022 17:44 (one year ago) link

I see these are available on non-Spotify feeds, will check it out

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 13 November 2022 17:46 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

In today's episode re "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, Rob refers to "the great critic Neg Raggett."

I can proudly say I once served the great Ned Raggett a drink at the Pasadena McCormick & Schmick's, nearly 16 years ago now.

TrumpPence a Bag (B.L.A.M.), Thursday, 26 January 2023 03:41 (one year ago) link

I've listened to a ton of these now and it's great. Haven't listened to the last few because the songs weren't enticing (Hootie, Lisa Loeb, etc), but I know he goes way beyond the title artist and I probably should, huh?

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:16 (one year ago) link

xp Pretty sure I called up Ned while he was doing a radio show c. 1999, and we briefly chatted about the Dead C.

Vexatious litigant (morrisp), Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:28 (one year ago) link

Hootie one was good. Makes a good case for the band's strengths and the underappreciated world-weariness or social commentary in their lyrics. It does open with a lot of 80s baseball card material and "my life as a sports fan" material; that didn't do as much for me, but many here might find it very sweet and charming!

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:37 (one year ago) link

i need to dig into this more, i listened to an episode ages ago & really liked it

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:40 (one year ago) link

Hootie and Lisa were both fantastic!

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:53 (one year ago) link

^seconded.

peace, man, Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:48 (one year ago) link

I’m up to episode 58 and there hasn’t been a dud episode so far. I could listen to this guy recite the phone book.

Agnes, Agatha, Germaine and Jack (Willl), Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:03 (one year ago) link

lol at the Enjoy the Silence episode being structured around the "For the Masses" tribute album, a mostly forgotten album I listened to a whole lot in the late-90s and which actually got me back into depeche mode at the time

silverfish, Thursday, 26 January 2023 19:29 (one year ago) link

Ok I'll eventually get around to those eps (even though sports talk is equally unenticing)

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 26 January 2023 19:31 (one year ago) link

I like the way he tells stories and his eye for banal personal details, so even the sports talk wasn't a total deal-breaker for a sports-hater like myself. YMMV of course.

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 26 January 2023 20:42 (one year ago) link

lol at his pronunciation of Basildon

nate woolls, Thursday, 26 January 2023 22:51 (one year ago) link

you can find "sports talk" in the works of David Berman as well

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 26 January 2023 23:13 (one year ago) link

Not to take anything away from the great Ned Raggett but I do like his subtle habit of always referring to critics as "the great music writer x" or "the great critic x", just bigging up his colleagues.

I've tried to get both my 90s music-obsessed friend and his 90s music-obsessed 14 year old stepson to listen, without success.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 26 January 2023 23:16 (one year ago) link

my partner likes 90s music and absolutely hates it.

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 26 January 2023 23:21 (one year ago) link

yeah i have a lot of indie-music blindspots tbh lol

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 29 July 2023 00:08 (eleven months ago) link

The Low tribute was really nice, even if it literally skipped over the middle period with my favorite albums (I know I'm in the minority though). The rest was kinda in one ear out the other, I think I just haven't been in the mood for this lately.

Random Restaurateur (Jordan), Tuesday, 8 August 2023 18:58 (eleven months ago) link

Funny, I'm not a big fan of TMBG, but his personal essay at the start made me laugh more than a couple times. I actually liked a bit of the discussion, too, even if many of its points were made in the essay.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 August 2023 19:12 (eleven months ago) link

three months pass...

The "Birdhouse in Your Soul" episode is fantastic

Indexed, Monday, 27 November 2023 22:22 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Sublime episode was kind of shit, no?

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 00:17 (seven months ago) link

TBF I think Sublime is more than kind of shit. Maybe if you’re tuned into their wavelength you’d have dug it. But Rob’s impassioned defences of the indefensible have swayed me — or at least been interesting — in other cases. But I didn’t take literally anything away from this ep.

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 00:19 (seven months ago) link

yeah i liked his stanning them & enjoyed Yasi guesting but it didn’t sway me

they can’t all be winners

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 16 December 2023 00:44 (seven months ago) link

Didn’t it seem like a fake stan? A forced stan? Like his heart was just not in it. And neither was Yasi’s, I don’t think. Altho hers a bit more than his.

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 05:21 (seven months ago) link

Not that I want to belabour the point. DON’T GET INVOLVED

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 05:21 (seven months ago) link

RUDE

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 16 December 2023 05:44 (seven months ago) link

Discouraging words!

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 06:22 (seven months ago) link

not my favorite ep of this great show, but to call it "shit" is... well, RUDE

4 Non Blondes episode going well so far. but the Secret Samadhi shout-out has psyched me out cause I've been editing down a shortlist of wtf lyrics for a poll, and now it'll look like I'm just jumping on the bandwagon.

not the one who's tryin' to dub your anime (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 16 December 2023 13:08 (seven months ago) link

timing of the puff daddy episode (one day before the allegations came out) was kinda hilarious

the world is your octopus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 16 December 2023 13:26 (seven months ago) link

not my favorite ep of this great show, but to call it "shit" is... well, RUDE

love is
what I got

stuffing your suit pockets with cold, stale chicken tende (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 16 December 2023 13:48 (seven months ago) link

I actually found Rob's defense of Sublime pretty effective. But then, I was a Sublime-liker in my bygone days of youthful naivete, before I learned to hate them. I was actually kind of annoyed that he spent most of the episode talking about songs besides the one the episode was ostensibly about. I know relentless digression is the house style, and I'm there for it most of the time, but it felt like he'd rather talk about any song besides Santeria, which made the whole thing feel sort of perfunctory.

feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Saturday, 16 December 2023 14:52 (seven months ago) link

I enjoyed the 4 Non Blondes ep, it gave me some context for a song that I've never liked, but I can at least now appreciate in some sense.

feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Saturday, 16 December 2023 14:55 (seven months ago) link

yeah i liked it too
i never hated the song tho and i do kinda like Linda Perry

leslie is a good guest too, i like when she’s on

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 16 December 2023 16:08 (seven months ago) link

Agreed. Hate What’s Up w/a passion (much more than most of the songs on the RS list or the ones his straw poll unearthed) but the episode delivered.

lethbridge-pfunkboy (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 16 December 2023 17:26 (seven months ago) link

mr veg lived in SF back in the late 80’s-early 90’s and remembers Perry from when she waitressed at a bfast place on Market in the Castro, I think Squat & Gobble maybe? - she would call out the names for the waiting-to-be-seated list for breakfast & he said you could hear her 5 blocks away

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 16 December 2023 20:27 (seven months ago) link

Enjoyed the "What's Up" episode a lot but wow, the excerpts of other songs from that 4 Non Blondes record were just ghastly.

thewufs, Monday, 18 December 2023 15:14 (seven months ago) link

haven't heard the episode, but the first track on the 4 non blondes LP ("Train") is easily the best thing on there

the world is your octopus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 18 December 2023 15:35 (seven months ago) link

-"pendantic"
-"Zola Neale Hurston"

Sorry, just had to put that somewhere.

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Monday, 18 December 2023 15:37 (seven months ago) link

being a bit pendantic with that second one

Natural Wine • Danny Devito • Virginia (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 18 December 2023 15:46 (seven months ago) link

the Zola Neale Hurston thing must be killing him... he just went through an exercise of documenting and atoning for past mispronunciation/misnomers, in the recent book-launch live show ep.

not the one who's tryin' to dub your anime (Doctor Casino), Monday, 18 December 2023 16:50 (seven months ago) link

lol right? poor rob

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 18 December 2023 17:04 (seven months ago) link

Zola? Jesus.

Natural Wine • Danny Devito • Virginia (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 18 December 2023 17:12 (seven months ago) link

lol

peace, man, Monday, 18 December 2023 17:24 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

4 Non Blondes episode going well so far. but the Secret Samadhi shout-out has psyched me out cause I've been editing down a shortlist of wtf lyrics for a poll, and now it'll look like I'm just jumping on the bandwagon.

― not the one who's tryin' to dub your anime (Doctor Casino), Saturday, December 16, 2023 8:08 AM bookmarkflaglink

cleaning out my notes document, figured it was time: Secret Samadhi by Live: its bathetic and grotesque lyrics

not the one who's tryin' to dub your anime (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 3 February 2024 16:21 (five months ago) link

the last few episodes have all been really great imo - Lenny Kravitz, Cher, Goo Goo Dolls & especially the George Michael one last week, loved that one

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 3 February 2024 17:33 (five months ago) link

The discussion w Wesley Morris on MJ, Black & White & everything after it is one of the best conversations he’s had recently imo.

Harvilla & Morris both mention the “Think Twice” podcast a few times - I highly recommend it if you are at all curious, it’s really good.

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 9 February 2024 02:41 (five months ago) link

The Jay-Z one was another rare ep where the guest portion outshined the main bit.

(also speaks Jay's catalog that every clip he played had me saying "that's the one you chose?!", when there could have been five other classics from most of the records)

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Wednesday, 21 February 2024 15:42 (five months ago) link

The discussion w Wesley Morris on MJ, Black & White & everything after it is one of the best conversations he’s had recently imo.

Harvilla & Morris both mention the “Think Twice” podcast a few times - I highly recommend it if you are at all curious, it’s really good.

― werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 9 February 2024 02:41 (one week ago) bookmarkflaglink

Thanks, I binged this last week and agree that it was excellent (except the ads which were truly horrible but that's almost everything these days)

This is Dance Anthems, have some respect (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 21 February 2024 16:51 (five months ago) link

Agreed, the Jay-Z conversation with Wosny Lambre is great, it provides so much context for what it was like to encounter Jay-Z in the overall stream of '90s New York rap. Really enjoyed it.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 21 February 2024 17:01 (five months ago) link

yeah it was def one of the best conversations of the series, no question

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 21 February 2024 19:25 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Glory Box intro rant about the whooping crowd is very good.

papal hotwife (milo z), Thursday, 14 March 2024 19:29 (four months ago) link

RIP

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Thursday, 14 March 2024 19:34 (four months ago) link

I’ve gone back to listen to the ones I hadn’t already heard before I listen to the final ones. Quite odd listening to the earlier episodes that feel more “scripted”, less conversational I guess.

hamicle, Thursday, 14 March 2024 19:41 (four months ago) link

sigh i will miss this show
excited for whatever he does next

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 14 March 2024 20:26 (four months ago) link

he def gets a legit lol or two out of me every episode. like the jay z one where he was reading the ten commandments to funk flex bombs sound fx

infinite wiggles (Spottie), Thursday, 14 March 2024 20:46 (four months ago) link

'lets go mount sinai'

infinite wiggles (Spottie), Thursday, 14 March 2024 20:50 (four months ago) link

so funny

i want a playlist of all the songs he played at open mic nights — when he said he did Hallelujah i screamed ROB NO

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 14 March 2024 23:02 (four months ago) link

So Rob’s next project is hosting a BBC podcast series (i think) with Courtney Love! starting in April

https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/2024/bbc-radio-6-music-and-bbc-sounds-announce-courtney-loves-women

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 25 March 2024 18:03 (three months ago) link

Oh man - I had to stop halfway through the Smells Like Teen Spirit episode because I couldn't stand Love's ramblings. Rob basically just smiled and nodded while she jumped around all over the place and talked more about herself than Nirvana.

Hopefully he's got something better lined up after this.

octobeard, Monday, 25 March 2024 19:16 (three months ago) link

i loved that episode so as always, mileage varies!

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 25 March 2024 19:21 (three months ago) link

I'm in favor of this Odd Couple remake, but he strongly implied that he'll be doing another podcast for the same company with the same team, so I assume this is in addition to that.

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Monday, 25 March 2024 19:26 (three months ago) link

yeah, my reax to that news was "ugh, that sucks, and it seems like it would be painful for Rob." (i'm sure he doesn't feel that way and is excited.)

his half of that episode is approximately 10 times better than listening to her ramble.

alpine static, Monday, 25 March 2024 19:32 (three months ago) link

I enjoyed her rambling. Anyway it's not like he has to edit the podcast, that's whose doing the real work here.

Jordan s/t (Jordan), Monday, 25 March 2024 19:42 (three months ago) link

I don’t fault anyone for loving the Courtney, but I couldn’t take it — she (who has done WONDERFUL work) didn’t talk about the work at all; it was who wanted to or did fuck whom and who was on what scene at which moment and all that social shit.

Now, this is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the creation of a scene, probably as important as the music (or more), but her ep was just Not For Me.

It was on a accident (hardcore dilettante), Tuesday, 26 March 2024 04:37 (three months ago) link

omg

this is not directed at hardcore dilettante but to anyone else with something in the hopper re courtney

god forbid i be naive enough think that this would be a good thing to mention for Harvilla’s career bump and that geez might be an interesting series

and more fool me for forgettig that the very mention of Courtney’s name is like summoning a flock of winged monkeys who feel it is important to point out how bad & hated & idk insane she is or whatever

i ask you all please absolutely knock it the fuck off

it’s boring, depressing, and lame

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 26 March 2024 05:36 (three months ago) link


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