Today Matt welcomes burlesque performer and producer Matt Knife, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. The producer of his own show Homo Erectus, Matt Knife discusses his performing & producing career, including some of the recent projects involving your host, Matt Storm: specifically, The Pink Room Burlesque’s tribute to Mulholland Drive. He chats about his style of performance, what it’s like to debut a new act that’s never been performed before, and his background in theater production and costuming (and how that’s informed his burlesque career). On these subjects and Matt’s other artistic endeavors — including his love of painting — here’s presenting Matt Storm and Matt Knife.
Grab your passport. Today we’re taking a trip through the island of Ushant — that is, Eusa (in Breton) — the inspiration for EUSA, the latest album by Ushant resident and French composer Yann Tiersen. As Crash Chords has never before had the opportunity to sit with a pure piano work, EUSA keeps us on our toes as we discuss Yann Tiersen’s trademark style and the album’s mysterious sequence of introductory “paths”. We chat about imagery, minimalism, what is and isn’t certainty/reality, and then let our hair down with a topic on good ol’ fashioned boredom in a media-rich culture.
Brace yourself for Love Streams… the “streams” being the conjurings of one Tim Hecker, a Canadian electronic artist who, with the help of his Icelandic colleagues, has turned out a record that focuses more on the indistinct (and occasionally indistinguishable) textures/soundscapes than on more well-defined figures. Sporting a whirlwind of choir, woodwinds, static, and plenty of food for discourse, we’ll be analyzing Love Streams from top to bottom before indulging ourselves in a topic on music listening habits. From time and place to ambiance and mood, how do we slice up our daily routine to accommodate the wide world of music? When a specific mood is on the docket, who should accommodate whom?
Take a risk on FISK! Overdue for some band bonding, today’s “evening with” presents the NYC-based punk garage band called FISK, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Freddie Heinemann, drummer Brandon Jacobs, and the latest addition, CiCi Young (a punk rock bassist from China who makes a late appearance in today’s episode — so stick around for her abridged, yet fascinating life story). On topics such as “making it” in the music business, the pitfalls of perfectionism, vexing venues, and the trials & rewards of playing in NYC, we’re glad to feature FISK in the limelight of their new EP Stun to Kill, and, as always, to feature their music: two studio tracks and a live & local performance at the Crash Chords studio.
Schmilco-time! Whether you know Wilco, or don’t know Wilco, then try getting to know Schmilco, as we’ll be doing in today’s episode. Though a bit of a left turn for a band that has practically earned a council seat in the hearts of a generation, Schmilco is a dreamlike saunter that dazzles in moments and reflects in others. Speaking of reflection, our topic [@ 1:41:41] takes to heart your hosts’ prior experience of today’s band and reflects on the notion of “second-hand bands”, i.e., you know ’em… you like ’em… but do you *know* them? It’s a common experience, one that can twist our perceptions of an artist for better or worse. So let’s separate the bull from the malarky and have a podcast about it, shall we?
Today, Matt welcomes Joe Adragna, an indie rock singer/songwriter hailing from New Orleans, who performs under the moniker The Junior League. Upon the release of his single “The Stars In Our Eyes” (off the record Also Rans), Joe chats with Matt about being a multi-instrumentalist and what it’s like to have full creative control over a record. They also chat about the New Orleans music scene, his song-writing process, and what it’s like to put together a live show as a one-man band. Finally, with some notes on Joe’s favorite hobby, reading—and his love of non-fiction in particular—here’s presenting Matt Storm and Joe Adragna.
This week, Crash Chords takes a gander at Message to Bears, the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Jerome Alexander, and his latest album Carved From Tides. Though replete with talented session musicians, this one-man show tugs at our heart-strings and challenges us with a few head-scratches before spurring a scintillating topic on lyrical expression at [1:28:50].
This week, Matt speaks with the owners of Continental Recording Studio, based in Long Island City, Matt & Mike Gevaza. With Mike serving as the company’s chief engineer/producer while Matt focuses on the business development side of things, the two brothers have grown their studio into a thriving outlet for artists of all kinds, right in the heart of New York City. With our host, Matt, they discuss the origin of the studio, their background as musicians, and the struggles faced by a physical recording space in the modern music landscape. They also chat about the variety of artists they have recorded, the future of the studio, and their presence on YouTube with a new series called Uncomfortable Covers.
This week, Crash Chords undertook a slightly heavier project. We’ve rejoined the wondrous world of soundtracks—our first in over three years. This time, it’s to discuss the sparse yet pointed soundtrack to the video game ‘Life is Strange’ by DONTNOD Entertainment. Chronicling the story of an 18 year-old girl named Max who discovers her ability to control time while attending the Blackwell Academy, ‘Life is Strange’ is a story about friendship, right & wrong, and most of all, about consequences. Today we’ll be strolling through the game, dissecting its myriad of outcomes, and finally attempting to “get a feel for it” from the songs that were chosen to adorn some of the game’s key scenes. So either pick up, rent, or watch the game (via this 5-episode no-commentary Let’s Play of ‘Life is Strange’ by Xenonz Kenway), and help us wrestle with the implications of Max’s time-shattering actions together. We highly suggest it, as, you see…
THIS EPISODE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Perhaps one of the funkiest bands in Britain, The Heavy is on the workbench today along with their album Hurt & the Merciless, brought to us courtesy of listener José (Nokjaw). We’ll be looking at the inns and the outs of this raucous release before taking on the subject of music comparison — that is, the long-held practice of comparing one artist to another. Is this tactic of any meaningful use to the music community, or does it hinder one’s ability to perceive ingenuity? All of this and other things too, here, in this episode… today.