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.
This week, Matt welcomes Sharon Knight, a Celtic/folk vocalist and mandolinist, hailing from San Francisco. With her latest album Portals and a music video for her single “Porcelain Princess” now released, Sharon chats with Matt about how long she was working on the new record and what went into creating the music video. They also touch upon her tour life, how she got started in music, when she started playing mandolin, and her Celtic/folk influences. With time to throw in her future plans and some information on the visual art she creates, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Sharon Knight.
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.