Chris Richards

Episode 396: Van Halen's '5150' [Discologist]

Episode 396: Van Halen's '5150' [Discologist]

Van Halen’s 5150 was a turning point for the legendary party rockers for more than one reason. The replacing of original front man David Lee Roth with rocker Sammy Hagar was what was driving headlines, but the real news was in the music. Revved up, radio-friendly, and raring to go, this “new” Van Halen supplemented often questionable machismo with synths, honest-to-god pop hooks, and, most radically: Feelings.

Washington Post Pop Critic Chris Richards and Broke Royals’ Philip Basnight are joining us as we reconsider one of the most divisive albums of Van Halen’s career, reveal it’s secrets, and more.

This, dear listener, is what dreams are made of.


Episode 369: The Sounds of Washington, D.C., Part 5 - harDCore

Episode 369: The Sounds of Washington, D.C., Part 5 - harDCore

Known to most of the world as a political playground, Washington, D.C. is a city where decisions that shape the course of, not just American, but HUMAN history, are made every day. More than that though, D.C. is a city where cultures collide resulting in a creative class that produces some of the most compelling and diverse art in the world. Built on the legacy of jazz and go-go, D.C. is on the cusp of a creative explosion and bringing everything from hip-hop to indie rock into the fold.

In part five of our Sounds of Washington, DC series, Chris Richards (pop music critic for the Washington Post) is joining us to talk about the bone-crushing sounds of one of the cities most renowned exports: harDCore. From Bad Brains to Genocide Pact and everything in-between, it's about to get loud on the latest episode of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast.


Sturgill Simpson @ 9:30 Club - 2/13/15

Sturgill Simpson @ 9:30 Club - 2/13/15

Over the past year, Sturgill Simpson has gone from being a relative unknown operating on the fringes of Nashville, to not just one of the year’s biggest success stories thanks to his Meta Modern Sounds In Country Music, but potentially one of music’s biggest artists. (For the sake of discussion, let’s put the ‘country’ label down for the time being.) With multiple gigs on Letterman under his belt, an exponentially growing fan base, and a year-end feather in his cap of signing with Atlantic Records, it would seem that Simpson has arrived. That last point may give those who cling to the “outsider” image that’s been cultivated in the press (and, to a lesser extent, by Simpson himself) pause, until they consider that in 2014 the world came to him, not the other way around.

When we reported on Simpson’s also-sold-out performance at the Birchmere last year, the entire review could have been summed up as “jaw-dropping.” Even though the locale might have changed, not much else has. 


Episode 55: Chris Richards, Washington Post Pop Critic

Episode 55: Chris Richards, Washington Post Pop Critic

Washington Post Pop Critic Chris Richards has covered Bad Brains, Lady Gaga and everything in between. In this episode of the podcast he sits down with us to discuss his job as music critic for one of the most prestigious publications in the world, his “infamous” review of Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, the state of modern music criticism, and more. Music nerds, this one's a must! 


TRACKING: Paint Branch - "Brighton Beach"

SOUNDS LIKE: 80's power pop, a lost track from the 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' Soundtrack
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:  Ominous and compelling musical atmosphere

“Brighton Beach” opens the debut album, “I Wanna Live” from former Q and Not U band mates John Davis and Chris Richards, coming together from a five year break as Paint Branch.

With a murky mix of guitar and vocals, “Brighton Beach” creates an overcast winter’s day with a foreboding sense of reaching for something that gets more distant with every grasping attempt to bring it back. Over the course of the song, a couple tries to find common ground in old familiar places but finds that the places can’t help them recapture what has passed.

By the time the song is over, the question is no longer, “Is anybody out there but you and me?” but “Is anybody out there?”  The soaring “wooo”s at the end feel like a final hymn as the relationship is laid to rest.

Despite its gloom, what makes this song compelling and beautiful are the vocal harmonies between Davis and Richards, conveying no bitterness, only loss and regret, and the jangling guitar that speaks when the singers are silent.