These Things Matter Podcast
  • These Things Matter Podcast
  • These Things Matter Podcast

Kevin and Taylor decided that they’d engage in a bit of self-indulgence for their 150th episode. The two hosts sit down and talk about their current top five albums. Whose list is made up of all white dude punk bands and whose has Joni Mitchell? The answer may surprise you! (it won’t actually surprise you).

Join us on April 30th at the Oriental Theater for our THIRD ANNIVERSARY SUPERGROUP SPECTACULAR featuring a live podcast taping and a live performance by the THESE THINGS MATTER SUPERGROUP! Get your tickets here!


This past weekend I was back in my hometown in Nebraska. I had to go sift through my old bedroom at my mom’s because she is selling the house I grew up in. As I was grabbing old shirts and VHS tapes I came across artifacts of my teen angst. Mixtapes, letters from girls, letters to myself; items I stashed in the cracks of my closet. Located in a spot where only I could find them, it was like a secret message from my former self. Young Ol’ Kev knew that I would need these again one day to remind me of who I was and how I felt. More than that, I needed these things to remind me of how much has changed and how much things will continue to change. Holding on to these scraps of paper brought me comfort in a moment when I felt like I was finally letting go of my childhood. I moved out 10 years ago, I rarely went down in that old room, but knowing that I’d never be able to go back down there and lay on the floor to listen to albums until 3 am made it feel like a connection was being severed. Those boxes are now in the office of my apartment that I pay for by DJing a pop-punk night. If you stay true to your younger self change isn’t always so bad.

Few bands have stayed as true to themselves as Alkaline Trio. While their peers have gone on “hiatus,” launched acoustic americana projects, or started podcasts, Trio has continued to put out good records that don’t stray too far from what made them so beloved. The band’s recent run of show in Denver, where they will be playing their entire discography over four nights, is proof that they have no intention of slowing down. For these shows they will be playing their most recent album first then performing their oldest album second. It’s like the fad of album nostalgia shows on steroids. The first night at Summit Music Hall on Wednesday, Trio played MY SHAME IS TRUE and GODDAMMIT.

The crowd was mostly made up of aging pop-punk dudes. There was an abundance of beards, black hoodies, and bad backs milling around the venue. Matt Skiba, Dan Adriano, and Derek Grant all entered the stage to thunderous applause and they looked great. Alkaline Trio are aging better than all of the Trio tattoos in the crowd. Adriano looked especially fit; his necklace and t-shirt made him look like a yoga instructor. They opened with “She Lied to the FBI,” the first song off of MY SHAME IS TRUE. The song has an almost timeless Trio sound. The problem with Alkaline Trio is that they’re taken for granted because a lot of their sound seems so obvious, but they are so good at making incredible songs seem effortless. If I heard the songs from MY SHAME IS TRUE five hundred times like I have their early stuff I’m sure they would become favorites too. Alkaline Trio songs are like a good sitcom, the more times you experience it the more enjoyable it becomes. There is a comfort in the familiarity not unlike the box of junk that sits in my office.

As they were wrapping up MY SHAME IS TRUE I noticed that the crowd was pretty subdued. There was no pit, circle or otherwise, and everyone was conducting themselves like rock show veterans. That is until the first few chords of “Cringe.” The place exploded. Everyone started pushing. Beer flew across the air. We were all just conserving our energy, apparently. It’s not Warped Tour ‘03 anymore. “Cop” followed at full throttle and the pit grew bigger. Despite the newfound life in the crowd there was a noticeable lack of crowd surfing further proving the experience and maturity of the audience. Trio flew through GODDAMMIT like the album had just came out. Until Matt Skiba jumped the gun and started playing “Trouble Breathing” when the band was on “Southern Rock,” but considering he is playing every album this week in addition to his work as the new Tom DeLonge in Blink-182 this is completely forgivable.

They rounded out the set with Skiba leading a sing-a-long of “Sorry About That,” which transported me back to all the parking lot sing-a-longs after local punk shows when I was a kid. Once everyone got good and emotional, the band came back out and Matt Skiba said, “This song is called ‘My Friend Peter.’” The crowd went nuts and rightfully so, Trio couldn’t leave us all on such a low key note giving the audience one last chance to throw a beer in the air. Alkaline Trio put on a frenetic and fun show that seamlessly blended their newest work with their oldest. It was like a plane crash that never hit the ground. The night was a perfect walk down memory lane while continuing to looking forward.



These Things Matter Podcast - Elvis Presley
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Jim Norris
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Elvis Presley

Jim Norris is a Denver treasure. He’s the owner of 3 Kings Tavern and Mutiny Information Cafe, two of the best venues/stores/coffee shops/bars/pinball arcades/green rooms in all of Denver. Jim is also an Elvis Presley fanatic, as the black velvet painting hanging at 3 Kings will attest. Jim has been a hip-shakin’, side burn-admiring, Elvis glasses tattoo-having devotee since he was a little kid, and we have tons of fun talking all about The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll with the King of South Broadway.

Slip on your blue suede shoes kids and jump on in!

These Things Matter Podcast - Wayans
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Janae  Burris
  • These Things Matter Podcast - In Living Color

“You can do what you wanna do… in living color”. When that song came on, our guest comedian and improvisor Janae Burris, knew the party was starting. For 5 seasons (3 or 4 if you only count the Wayans years, which maybe you should) IN LIVING COLOR brought raunch, sex, fly girls, homeboys, soul singers, old bluesmen, gay film critics and sleazy infomercial hosts to network television, and that was just David Alen Grier! Join us as we discuss one of the most groundbreaking shows ever on television. We give it two snaps up, a twist and a kiss.

And be sure to follow Janae on Twitter and the Denver comedy scene!

These Things Matter Podcast - Nebraska
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Zach Peterson
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Alexander Payne

Comedian Zach Peterson is a Nebraskan through and through. His Omaha roots are evident as he talks about his love of fellow Nebraskan Alexander Payne. From the Great Platte River Road Archway to the adult emporium outside of Omaha, Payne knows his Midwestern realism. He brings this realism to Hawaii and Northern California wine country as well, and we bring it to this week’s episode! (Boom!)

Be sure to catch Zach on his podcast (which he co-produces with friends of the show Kevin White and Goodrich Gevaart, and on which Kevin’s Denver version will soon appear) Arguments and Grievances, plus listen to his new podcast Getting Around To It. Oh! And Zach is also one of the producers of Chicago’s The Comedy Exposition, a fantastic comedy festival coming soon to a Chicago near you!!

These Things Matter Podcast - The Breeders
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Hutch Harris
  • These Things Matter Podcast - The Breeders

Mr. Hutch Harris is a rock star and a burgeoning stand-up comedian AND a Breeders super fan. Kim Deal and the gang have been influencing him musically and otherwise for a couple decades now, and he joined us to talk about his love of this ultra-90s supergroup.

Be sure to catch Hutch in his home town of Portland, slinging the funnies, and on his upcoming Hutch and Kathy tour! Oh, and of course, listen to The Thermals, you dorks! Duh!?

  • These Things Matter Podcast - Jake Browne
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Futurama

You know how sometimes you randomly spit out the Millennium Falcon’s transponder code? Or the names of Spock’s parents? Or how you always carry a towel like the Hitchhiker’s Guide decrees? You may in fact be a Futurama fan. Our guest, journalist and podcaster Jake Browne, is just that. His eyes light up when talking about Fry, Bender, Leela and all the rest of the gang. He goes into long diatribes about the merits of the show, and does not want to hear your “it’s coming back on Netflix!” theories. Join us as we talk about a Simposon’s spin-off-ish that has just as crazed of a cult following!

And be sure to catch Jake’s marijuana coverage in The Cannabist, the best home-grown pot journalism blog around!

These Things Matter Podcast - Garth Brooks
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Christie Buchele
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Garth Brooks

Kevin’s comedy niece, Christie Buchele, joins us today to gush about a man who was once described as looking like a “thumb with a hat”, Mr. Garth Brooks. The number 2 best-selling artist of all time – he just passed Elvis – reminds Christie of growing up with her dad out on the industrial plains of Colorado. There was a time when you couldn’t escape his music, and though he may never return to the height of his popularity, Garth seems to be poised for a comeback any time soon. Will “Friends In Low Places” replace our national anthem? Will the thunder roll? Christie hopes so!

Be sure to watch for Christie on your local comedy standing-up stage, or listen to her podcast with friend of the show Haley Driscoll called EMPTY GIRLFRIEND! Take ‘er home, boys!

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Hey guys! Just wanted to post my set list from my DJ gig at Music for Myopia – an evening of music celebrating Mark Mothersbaugh and Devo at the MCA Denver. My selections were all very DEVO/Ohio/80s/New Wave/Electronica inspired. It’s very that.

Set 1:

    Stereolab – “Percolator”
    Depeche Mode – “Everything Counts”
    Brian Eno – “No One Receiving”
    Mission Of Burma – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”
    David Bowie – “Joe The Lion”
    Patti Smith – “Gloria”
    The B-52’s – “Private Idaho”
    Pere Ubu – “The Modern Dance”
    Suburban Lawns – “Janitor”
    The Three O’Clock – “Jet Fighter”
    Nick Lowe – “So It Goes”
    Suzi Quatro – “48 Crash”
    Sparks – “Amateur Hour”
    Delta 5 – “Mind Your Own Business”
    Magazine – “The Light Pours Out Of Me”
    Gary Numan – “M.e.”
    The Cure – “A Forest”
    Joy Division – “Transmission”
    The Weirdos – “Happy People”
    Sparks – “Angst In My Pants”
    The Soft Boys – “I Wanna Destroy You”
    Brainiac – “Juicy (On a Cadillac)”
    The Stranglers – “Peaches (Album Version)”
    Rachel Sweet – “Who Does Lisa Like?”
    Television – “Friction”
    Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – “We’re Normal”
    Wire – “I Am The Fly”
    Paul McCartney – “Temporary Secretary”
    Kraftwerk – “Numbers”
    Tones On Tail – “Go!”
    Yaz – “Situation”
    Gary Numan – “Are ‘friends’ Electric?”
    The Human League – “(Keep Feeling) Fascination”

Set 2:

    Sparks – “Tryouts for the Human Race”
    Siousxie & The Banshees – “Cities In Dust”
    New Order – “Age Of Consent”
    The Smiths – “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
    Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “Enola Gay”
    Blondie – “Atomic”
    Split Enz – “I Got You”
    Peter Gabriel – “Shock The Monkey [Explicit]”
    Eurythmics – “This Is The House”
    Missing Persons – “Words”
    Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner”

When I was in my late teens few things made as much sense as a Taking Back Sunday song. The lyrics paralleled my life so accurately that it felt like singer Adam Lazzara had telekinetic powers. As I got older I realized I was just a cliche. But that’s the most important part of the emo cliche: the belief that no one could possibly understand what you’re feeling because you’re so unique and deep.

Then you hear a record that articulates your feelings better than you ever could. As a result Adam Lazzara became a cult figure to me. He had a reverse mullet, I had a reverse mullet. He had lyrics from his favorite band tattooed around his elbow, I had lyrics from my favorite band tattooed around my elbow. I would scour the internet for anything Taking Back Sunday and stay up late at night re-watching their legendary set at the Tulagi in Boulder wishing I could be front row screaming back into Lazzara’s face.

I kept up with their rivalry with Brand New and their partial break-up that spawned Straylight Run like it was Brangelina. When I finally saw Taking Back Sunday at Warped Tour ‘04 I felt an adrenaline rush that made my head spin. Towards the end of “Bike Scene” a girl passed out in the pit. The band stopped and everyone helped carry the girl out. Lazzara turned to the crowd and said, “What happens when someone falls down?” And in unison the crowd yelled, “Pick ‘em up!” Without missing a beat they went right back into the last part of the song with, “You got me right! Where you want me!” It was awesome. I grew to cherish that moment with each passing album and show of diminishing returns. By the time I was out of college I had a normal haircut and would only listen to TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS when I was alone.

As I walked into the Summit Music Hall on Wednesday night one thing was clear; even though I had moved on, Taking Back Sunday had gotten bigger. The stage was adorned with three giant LED screens that seemed more appropriate for a Kanye West show and an almost comically tall drum riser. The band took the stage and opened with the ballady “Flicker, Fade”. An odd, but not totally annoying choice.

It was their second song, “What’s it Feels Like to Be a Ghost?” and its opening riff that ignited the audience. During the song the screens played a black and white loop of a cartoon ghost dancing in sync with the song and it was obvious where Lazzara had been picking up his dance moves. The screens really began to enhance the show until they played “Stood a Chance”. The screens flashed rainbow colors like a low rent Katy Perry show. The song itself isn’t terrible, but it was a clear reminder that it’s an Imagine Dragons world they’re just living in it. Any moment of realization that my favorite band had become an emo Kings of Leon was quickly brushed aside when they played “Timberwolves at New Jersey.” I was transported right back to 2004, but this time it was the original TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS line-up, something I thought I would never see. Later in the show, Lazzara gave a special shout-out to original guitarist John Nolan and it seemed that Nolan finally forgave Lazzara for nailing and bailing his sister.

Taking Back Sunday devoted about half of their set playing songs of their last two albums. It was the first time I heard a number of them and was interesting to see them switch gears. The music, while maintaining an emo base, has drifted closer to radio rock. Lazzara’s signature mic spinning was still there, but more controlled and less elaborate than in the past. Instead of diving into the crowd with the mic around his neck he preferred to groove around like a laid back Mick Jagger.

For the encore, they started with one of their worst songs, “Call Me in the Morning”. It shamelessly panders to the radio ballad form without any of heart or self-awareness that made TAKING BACK SUNDAY so great. This song is worse than teenage poetry. Most of the crowd under 25 years-old really seemed to love it, which made me depressed and feel old. Thankfully, they hooked me back in with “Cute Without the E”. The generational divide in the crowd was summed up during the song when a teenager with black swoopy hair tried to climb up the back of a 30-something bald guy with glasses to crowd surf. The guy shrugged him off and pushed him back hard. The kid looked like he’d never been yelled at in his life. I hope he never forgets that moment, especially when he becomes the bald guy.

“MakeDamnSure” was the last song of the evening, and one of the last songs they released to which I felt any connection. It was a nice way to appease both the swoopy haired kids and the 30-somethings. That deft ability is probably why Taking Back Sunday has been able to continue selling out tours and release new records. Unlike a lot of nostalgia acts, Taking Back Sunday didn’t exclusively play their landmark album. They didn’t need to. They have spent the past ten years making new records for each new batch of angsty teens. Those newer records aren’t TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS, but they might be for the kid who doesn’t know any better. They’ve adapted and remained relevant. Much like Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday has neither burned out nor faded away.