After two years and nine months, the weekly Positive Cynicism podcasts are coming to an end on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network. After a year and a half of having rotating co-hosts, the decision to move the shows to the Positive Cynicism Podcast Network has been made in an attempt to better brand the shows.
Thanks to Greg Mehochko for the opportunity and encouragement to start Positive Cynicism. Thanks to Kevin Hunsperger for letting me guest on numerous episodes of My123Cents. This is by no means a bitter split, it’s just the next evolution in the podcast landscape.
Greg and I are in talks for a new podcast for Jittery Monkey. Stay tuned for future announcements. For future installments of the Positive Cynicism shows, follow @chadsmart on twitter and stay tuned to www.positivecynicism.com
For the first time in the history of the Wonder Why series, we’re looking a two One Hit Wonders. Kajagoogoo hit the charts in 1983 with the single “Too Shy.” Two years later, after being fired from the band, Limahl charted with the theme song to the film, “The Neverending Story.”
@chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break down the career of both the band and the artist to see if they worked better individually or together. For the first time in the history of the Wonder Why series, the reason for only having one hit may have been discovered. Listen and see if you agree with their insight.
July 2019 on the Positive Cynicism podcast is all about celebrating the 20th anniversary of 1999. The first episode examines the social events of the year as well as events of the ’90s as a whole that led to 1999.
In a bit of shocking revelation for @chadsmart, the 90’s saw the rise in cynical attitudes. @TheTravisYates helps break down sports, music and politics to reason out why and how cynicism rose to popularity and if there are any ways to swing the level back to the positive side.
With the recent success of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman” soon to hit theaters, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb take a break from overanalyzing one hit wonders to warm up their singing voices and break down the musical biopic genre.
From “The Buddy Holly Story,” “La Bamba” and “Amadeus” to “Selena,” “8 Mile” and “The Dirt,” Chad and Mike delve into the world of musical cinema to discuss what makes a good biopic, what tropes are overused and what musical artists’ story would make a great film.
Time to jump back into the time machine and examine another One Hit Wonder* from the ’80s. This month @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break down the career of English band Scritti Politti. Hitting the U.S. charts in late 1985 with The Perfect Way, Scritti Politti were poised to follow up their British success. Or so it seemed. Unfortunately, future songs wouldn’t fare as well.
Mike gives all the details on the band’s formation and post The Perfect Way career while Chad adds very little to the conversation. After the discussion of Scritti Politti, it’s time for the Picks of the Month. Chad chooses the return album of an early 2000’s pop star while Mike goes with one of the 1990s/2000s alternative heavyweights.
Pick up some fresh gear in the Jittery Monkey shop (www.jitterymonkey.com/shop) and listen to all the shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network.
Part of the appeal of pop culture is ability to suspend disbelief and escape reality. In this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss falling in love with film due to the escapist nature of the blockbuster film vs. the realism of adult aimed films (no, not those adult films).
As the 2019 Oscars get closer, Chad tried to watch nominated movies and realized he was bored by the serious nature of the majority of the films. This realization opened up the pathway to explore other topics regarding the nature of present day films.
The latest edition of Wonder Why features an artist whose musical career was short-lived due to a more successful television career. That’s not really a spoiler given the prolific nature of Tracey Ullman’s body of work over the past thirty years. Taking her comedic career out of consideration, could Tracey Ullman’s musical career lasted beyond her one hit in 1984?
That’s the focus @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb examine. Breaking down Tracey’s album “You Broke My Heart in 17 Places” track by track, with discussion about Stiff Records staff and song writer Kirsty MacColl the dots are connected to artists and people ranging from the Beach Boys to Alice Cooper to Charles Manson. And of course, there’s talk about The Simpsons.
Wrapping up the episode, Mike and Chad give their picks of the month. What do they think you should be listening to at the start of 2019? What are the options for next month? Will Mike say “interesting and fascinating?” Will Chad work in a reference to the band Extreme? All these questions and more you weren’t asking are answered in the episode.
For their first episode of 2019, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett start the show discussing Eric’s most anticipated films of 2019. From there, Chad explains how the cost of going to the movies keeps him away from the theater which leads to a bigger discussion regarding the price of extracurricular activies.
As 2018 comes to a close, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb take a break from the normal Wonder Why formula as the month of nostalgia on Positive Cynicism continues. From discussing their first albums and concerts to their memories of Mtv, Chad and Mike stroll down the musical memory lane.
‘Tis the holiday season and with it comes the feelings of nostalgia. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Travis Yates (@PopCultIQ) discuss why nostalgia conjures strong feelings. From the simple pleasures of our youth to the yearning for how things used to be, what is the driving force for nostalgia? Not only in our personal lives but in the pop culture realm of entertainment. Everything old is new again. From movie and television remakes to “toys” being geared more for collectors than kids, there is a growing sense that nostalgia and name brand recognition matter most.
What affect will this have on the current generation of kids when they hit middle age? What will they be nostalgic about to their kids? Chad and Travis try to answer this question.
This month on Wonder Why, Chad “Limited Effort” Smart and Mike “Rabbit Hole” DeKalb attempt to talk about Sly Fox’s 1986 hit “Let’s Go All The Way” and figure out why the duo of “Mudbone” Cooper and Michael “Not Hector” Camacho didn’t find success with any follow up singles.
Breaking down the history of Sly Fox does get a bit funky at times. Find out the interesting use of the back beat of “Let’s Go All the Way” as well as what a couple of clowns had to do with exposing one of Mtv’s worst kept secrets.
Once they’ve exhausted the history of Sly Fox, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb give your their holiday picks for the month.
Strike up the band cause we’re getting The Party started on the latest edition of Positive Cynicism’s monthly series Wonder Why. @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break out the festive hats (or are those mouse ears) to discuss the pop group The Party’s biggest hit and career. Formed by members of the new Mickey Mouse Club, The Party hit the charts in 1991 with a cover of the Dokken classic “In My Dreams” off their second album In the Meantime In Between Time. Unfortunately, the dream would end after a few weeks on the charts. The group would release one other studio album before the party was over.
Chad and Mike break down the In the Meantime album while giving their impressions on why the group didn’t reach the success of other similar early 90s pop groups. There are some interesting cover song choices and interpretations on the album.
After the discussion about The Party, it’s time to reveal the picks of the month. This month’s choices are a southern country/rock band from Nashville and a purple phenom from Minnesota.
“Ain’t it funny how a melody sounds like a memory. Like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night.” Eric Church sings those lines in his song “Springsteen.” While he was referring to how a song makes him think back to a concert, music can also spark the memory of a movie. When used correctly, songs become married to specific cinematic scenes. In this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different ways music is used in movies and offer up their top five soundtracks.
We’re traveling back to 1996 asking deep philosophical questions on this edition of Wonder Why. Traveling from Anchorage, Kentucky to New York City, we examine the career of Joan Osborne. Is she a folksy Americana singer? Soulful funk singer? Or Top 40 Pop singer? Based on the sound of her Top 10 hit, “One of Us,” audiences expected one sound but listening to her album Relish, might have been surprised at the other songs.
In addition to the discussion about Joan Osborne, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb give their picks of the month. This month they choose an actor/musician and female alternative icon.
The show concludes with the reveal of choices for the September edition. Bust out the converse, track suits and gold chains.
The seventh edition of Wonder Why is one for the books. Taking a trip back to the summer of 1970, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb examine the hit and “career” of English artist Ray Dorsett, pka Mungo Jerry. Mungo Jerry had a summertime hit with “In the Summertime.” A catchy jingle that peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart and then Mungo Jerry was only heard from again if you were in Europe. Why was there not a follow up hit?
Before the discussion begins, Mike talks about attending a recent concert by previous Wonder Why artist, Thomas Dolby. After the Mungo Jerry discussion, Mike and Chad turn the focus to their picks of the month. Find out what Gary Cherone, Tupac and Scott Caan have in common.
Another month, another edition of Wonder Why. This month, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb examine the career of 80’s hair metal band, Autograph. Opening for Van Halen and scoring a top 30 hit with their debut single, “Turn Up the Radio,” Autograph looked poised to make it big on the charts in 1985. Unfortunately, their success peaked with the first single. After the first album, Autograph continued to record throughout the 1980s releasing two more albums before the band members decided to go their separate ways.
Since the breakup, Autograph have reformed and released new albums including their 2017 release, Get Off Your Ass. During this edition of Wonder Why breakdown the career of Autograph and offer their assessments of why the band’s career didn’t reach continued heights alongside other 80s metal bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Ratt.
Wrapping up the show are the picks of the month. Find out why Mike thinks everyone should keep a Bob Marley CD in their car. While Chad advocates for everyone to buy Butch Walker’s latest (and every) album.
Positive Cynicism Episode 40: Wonder Why; The Proclaimers.
Once again, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb try to understand why certain bands only had one Top 40 hit in the United States. This month they examine the duo of Scottish twins, Charlie and Craig Reid. The Proclaimers, as the twins are collectively known, achieved their US success in the summer of 1993 even though their song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) was was their 1988 album “Sunshine on Leith.” How did a five year old song finally break into the Top 40? What did The Proclaimers do before and after the success of their “one” hit? Why does everyone in Scotland proclaim the duo as a national? Who is the Doctor who used a Proclaimers song as his wedding song? All these questions and more are answered in a very thoroughly researched discussion.
Wrapping the episode is a discussion of what acts to book on the 2020 ’80s Cruise.
Twitter handles of Podcasts you should listen to after finishing Positive Cynicism
The madness of March brings the next installment of the Wonder Why series. This monthly feature examines the career of artists who achieved success with one hit song. This installment @chadsmart and @mikedekalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) break down the interesting career of Thomas Dolby. From session musician to professor, Thomas Dolby has perhaps one of the most interesting careers of any “One Hit Wonder.”
If you have any suggestions for future Wonder Why segments or any ideas for future shows, leave a comment on the Positive Cynicism Facebook page or on Twitter.
The second installment of Wonder Why is here. @chadsmart and @mikedekalb break down the one and only album by Joey Scarbury to see if any other song on the album lives up to the standard set by Joey’s hit single, “Believe It Or Not (Theme from The Greatest American Hero).”
I hope they talk about the song being referenced on Seinfeld.
And don’t forget you can subscribe to the show on any (or all) of the following platforms:
As the three part series looking at the changing musical landscape of 1991 wraps up, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb examine the popularity of Pop music along with the resurgence of Country music and emergence of the Grunge movement.
On the newly revamped Positive Cynicism @chadsmart is joined by @MikeDeKalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) to examine the impact music had in 1991. First up is a breakdown of all the major Rap/HipHop albums released during 1991 and how these releases fit into the changing landscape of the genre.
Episode 5 and I’m sitting down with a longtime friend of mine, Justin Holman. Justin is an avid 80s cartoon lover of titles such as Transformers, GI Joe, Voltron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. Basically, if it’s in this picture, Holman is a fan:
Justin the creator has inked for Marvel and recently started sketching again as a fund raiser for Toys for Tots.
Plus, Justin is forever linked to a Marvel film as a song he performed with his band was on the soundtrack for……..