You may have some catching up to do (or some skipping to do) if the following doesn’t tickle your fancy… Video game music! Today, we’re looking at a smattering of the old and the new (mostly old). But no, this isn’t a fit of nostalgia, nor a “best-of” playlist; it’s a collection of remixes, specifically of select projects by the popular YouTuber Smooth McGroove whose multi-layered ‘a cappella’ game theme covers seemed all-too-ripe for the not-so-tender techno touch. Released through GameChops, the album Smooth McGroove Remixed features the work of ten different producers who’ve worked tirelessly to bring these themes from your childhood, and from YouTube fandom, to, of all places, the dance floor! In the course of our analysis, we’ll be expressing our individual experiences with each iteration of the evolving theme-work before tackling a hefty post-album discussion on the mounting importance of Creative Commons.
Today we’re exploring the junction point of indi artistry, hip hop, comedy, and candidness… namely the self-described “Rhyme Minister” from Bromsgrove, Mr. Dan Bull. Having cultivated a devoted online following, in part owed to file sharing culture, Dan Bull is known for penning delightful odes to games and other media, for his comedic twists on familiar subjects, and for his intimate manner of encapsulating his own life experiences. On his latest album, Hip Hop Hooray, Dan Bull tackles subjects cheerful, silly, grim, and dire, offering fodder for celebration and analysis alike. Join us as we peer into the mouth of this “vicious beast”, and as we briefly address the topics of file sharing and fan art at the top of the show.
Today Matt welcomes Stache Novak, a burlesque dancer, host and everyman hailing from parts unknown but currently living in NYC. Having met Stache through his cousin (the delightful Matthew Holtzclaw) Matt and Stache discuss his love of dance and how his show at The Slipper Room in NYC—Stache Novak’s Midnight Fingers—came to be. Stache lays it bare as they discuss his questionable choices and carefree lifestyle. They also get into his sensitive side and go deep into his upbringing, which has heavily informed his artistic drive in life. And so, from Stache’s origins in burlesque to the music that inspires him, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Stache Novak.
The groundhog has seen its shadow… and in that shadow… lurks CORIMA. If you’ve never heard of the ‘Zeuhl’ genre, then—just for the moment—spare yourself from culling through the 11-album discography of Magma (the genre’s progenitor), and instead dive into Amaterasu, the third album by a vibrant and imaginative group based out of L.A. Taking after the jazz/prog leanings of its Zeuhl predecessors and the fully-enabled “anything goes” attitude of the RIO (Rock in Opposition) movement, Corima is all about fusion, yet also free of inhibition. The result: a two-piece, multi-movement concept work called Amaterasu. In this episode, we begin with an overview of Zeuhl before taking off on a roller coaster of an album analysis.
Time to put on your computer & electronic music caps. Fusing the instincts of two overseas composers, Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux, Two Changes (an album released through Paralaxe Editions) is a two-track experience like no other. From techno, to ambient, to industrial, to the jazz noir finishings of pocket trumpetist Eben Bull, Two Changes offers a little bit of everything with no shortage of spectacle, and occasionally, stupefaction. And so, after another pre-album preamble, concerning electronica and track length, @0:18:42 we explore and assess the inner-workings of Two Changes‘ only pieces, “The Same River Twice” and “A Different River Once.” Join along!
Today Matt welcomes playwright, actor, and producer Ngozi Anyanwu. Writer of the play Good Grief, which starts its run in LA at the end of February, Ngozi is also one of the producers of the NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival. She has also acted in Mysteries of Laura, Limitless, and Law & Order: SVU just to name a few. With Matt, Ngozi chats about how Good Grief came to be and also how she began writing—specifically playwriting. They chat about the origins of the NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival, the changing landscape of the arts, and the similarities and differences between her many talents.
Feeling classy? We’ve got quite the episode in store for you today. First, we’re switching things up by placing our topic—a multi-pronged preamble for today’s album—before the analysis instead of after. As a grand introduction to Chambers by Chilly Gonzales, we properly thank Doug Ferguson of the Music A to Z Podcast for recommending it, we talk a bit about their podcast, a bit about Chilly himself, and for our topic we address our own experiences with classical music over the years and reflect on the nasty habit of classical “avoidance”. At last, once we’re all warmed up, starting approx. 20 mins. in we begin to tackle Chambers, an album of twelve bite-sized neo-Romantic works featuring Chilly at the piano accompanied by Hamberg’s Kaiser Quartett. So sit back, dive in, check out the Music A to Z Podcast (as well as Doug’s last request), and indulge in the vast multiverse that is music and those who love discussing it.
Welcome to our “official” inaugural episode of 2017! To kick off the year, we’re looking at a well-known pillar of the music industry: Sting and his twelfth solo album since departing The Police (and first solo rock album in more than a decade), 57th & 9th. In an outward and inward-looking album where Sting takes a hard look backwards and a hard look at his surroundings at the same time, how does 57th & 9th fare as a work of art? Press play and contribute! Also, @1:57:35, we turn in our New Year’s “homework”, assigned to us back in ep. #222. In a frenzied search for weird and wild forms of art, we discuss six music genres that appeal to us—or repel us—in style or concept, all in an attempt to stump our colleagues. What niche genres do you find appealing?
Today Matt welcomes the core members of Cyn Factory Burlesque, producers/performers Mary Cyn, Sarah Tops, and Johnny Caligula, and performer Dick Move. All hailing from New York, New York, the guests share their stories on how Cyn Factory started and how each member joined the group. Mary chats about the other shows she has produced including Original Cyn and Epic Win Burlesque; Dick and Johnny chat about how they found their dynamic in sharing the stage as hosts; and they all share some of their favorite moments from performing at The Bier Baron in Washington, DC, their self-proclaimed home away from home. And so, from the future of Cyn Factory to their connections in the industry, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Cyn Factory Burlesque.
Well, it’s been one hell of a year, and one hell of a week! Today we bring you the last episode of our 5-day series, our annual broad look at a year’s worth of albums analyzed. These ‘year in review’ episodes represent our most cherished opportunity to shower additional praise, to re-analyze, to reiterate, and occasionally to rectify our past weekly instincts. Though we try our damnedest, it’s impossible to fully digest albums on a week-to-week basis, so we’re constantly re-examining. We’ll start off with our rating changes, head over to our category prizes, take on the ever-so-maligned booby prizes, and then of course share with you our top picks. We have high hopes for 2017, high hopes for music, and high hopes for all of you! Thank you for another great year and we hope to see you next week.