Some have called him the greatest American songwriter — a merit worth examining as Paul Simon’s music continues to retain its luster from generation to generation. But should the acclaimed discography of Paul Simon tint our analysis of the musician’s latest album, Stranger to Stranger? …Hardly! Let’s feign ignorance together and investigate Paul Simon’s 13th studio album for all it has to offer. And don’t forget to stick around to the end as we launch into a fun and surprisingly multi-faceted discussion on cell phone audio, retracing its evolution, and predicting its future.
This week, our project is an album called Stranger Things Have Happened by English singer/songwriter Clare Maguire—on the face of it, an album that’s split in tone, and potentially in theme. Can we wrestle our hearts with an album like this? We hope you will, because the gems are without a doubt, a reward in themselves. Partially influenced by jazz, lounge, soul, and dreampop, we encourage you to experience this album with us and join us in pondering its many distinctive flavors. Afterwards: film soundtracks and the power to save the film in question. A pipe dream? Are soundtracks tethered at the hip, or fiercely independent?
This week marks a special episode of the series with your host, Matt, forgoing his usual interview to get candid & cozy with you—yes, YOU—the listener. Sit back as he gently inundates you with a barrage of events, updates, media recommendations, and some words of wisdom. In the way of events, he pitches some upcoming shows where he’ll be DJing and stage managing as Stormageddon. Listeners can also enjoy a brief rant on what should be the values of all artists—nay, persons alike, those being the tenets of professionalism & integrity. Then, prepare yourself as Matt bombards you with a series of updates, name-drops, & recommendations: from podcasts to movies, music, games, and theater. He discusses the ‘art of the playlist’ and invites listeners to check out some of his favorite compilations (all of which can be found on his Spotify page). With some final thoughts on a prospective Q&A series that caters to listeners of the series and lovers of music, here’s presenting Matt Storm (a.k.a. Stormageddon).
Photo of Stormageddon by David L. Byrd
As a band, Radiohead has been known for a great many things… Well, as of today, let them be known as a certified Crash Chords feature! So go forth, and spread the word! And if you, perchance, harbor some opinions on this band, then you might enjoy our objective take on the band’s much-anticipated album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Join us for another roundtable “excavation” as we peel back the layers of this multi-faceted work. Afterwards, stick around for some thoughts on the role that imagery plays in music, i.e., pitting the “pure feelers” against the more optically sensitive listeners.
Today’s guest, Johnny Caligula, was “born in the back of a traveling show”… his “momma did dance for the money they’d throw.” At the age of 30, he decided to follow her example and took up the ancient, sexual art of burlesque. Fortunate to receive guidance from the likes of Lefty Lucy, Mary Cyn, and Sarah Tops, Johnny regales us with tales of his latest exploits in burlesque (along with some insights into the business), before presenting us with this week’s album pick: Coloring Book by the prominent collaborator of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Chance the Rapper. After a lengthy group analysis, be sure to stick around to the bitter end for some quick plugs on Johnny’s upcoming shows!
This week, Matt welcomes a singer/songwriter hailing from Stoney Creek, Ontario named Aaron Little. With his latest single, “Nobody To Talk To”, off his upcoming record It’s About Time (out on August 26th), Aaron touches upon his new record with Matt, discussing the inspirations behind it. He also chats about the music scene in Canada and how it might differ from the scene here in the states. Moving on to his background, Aaron lets us in on how his songwriting is affected by such factors as his music influences, his education, and whether he’s playing with a band or as a solo artist. And so, with some final notes on the difficulties and challenges of being a modern indie artist, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Aaron Little.
How long have you waited for this? Five years? On top of another eight? Sure, Blink-182 may not be known for their timeliness as of late, but luckily fans’ memories run long (as their latest album California and its chart-topping status would suggest). Leaping at the chance to imbibe another record of mockery and melody, we’re taking on California this week with open minds and open hearts. Join us, will you? Then, [at 1:39:23], a hypothesis: Is there such a thing as ‘too many hooks’? Steeped in that magical crowd-pleasing nectar, are a series of good hooks worth celebrating or shunning? Are you a cautious fish… or would you take the bait?
Get ready to melt at the sound of MAGMA, the latest release by the Queens-based [France-uprooted] metal band called Gojira. We’ve just got one question: Is Magma as hot as they say? Well, at great risk to our personal safety, today we’re dipping our toes in for a full-fledged analysis to tackle that question. Join us, brave listeners, and don’t fear the heat. Also, stick around [at 1:29:28] for a broad discussion on metal itself. Is metal truly a genre, or is it simply a tool? What can be made of the plethora of sub-genres under the metal banner, and do these labels help or hurt curious metal fans?
Today, Matt welcomes back another “crossover guest” — that is to say, a guest who made an appearance on our other series, the Crash Chords Podcast, in Episode #77. That guest would be the rapper, writer, director, producer, and video editor hailing from New York City, known as Hops. Given the opportunity for a second interview, Hops updates Crash Chords on his latest exploits. Having stepped away from rap temporarily to work on a dance record, Hops discusses his current job doing video editing for Fortune.com as well as a short film he’s directed called Take Me With You. Seeing as there’s plenty afoot for the talented producer, the two also discuss the current state of the film industry and media’s effects on modern-day society.
…And into the “200s” we go! To inaugurate “Season 5” of the Crash Chords Podcast, we’re sitting down with a group favorite: the music world’s funk-tastic, alt-rock failsafe for over 30 years running, the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Specifically, we’re looking at their brand new release The Getaway (their 11th studio album!) And then, being that we’re taking on such consistently funky veterans, our topic briefly examines the rarity of finding bands that are joined at the hip, and who withstand the test of time.