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].
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.
You may know Blue Man Group from their long-running, head-turning stage productions, but in the years since their formation in 1991, the core group has also compiled a modest discography of original LPs. Their third LP, entitled Three, was released this April and showcases the group’s innovative and trademarked palette of instruments, including new contrivances of PVC piping, chimeulums, tubulums, traditional cimbaloms, and other mystery sounds! While we’re on instruments, join our topic at [1:30:28] as we debate the etiquette and ethics of borrowing proprietary musical devices.
We’re tackling Arca! Specifically, Mutant by Arca! An experimental / electronic mosaic of emotion, Mutant is an exposing project for the 26-year-old London-based Venezuelan producer, Alejandro Ghersi. Mutant may also be a challenge for certain listeners, but why falter now? Dive in with us, headlong! Also, stick around at the tail end for some brief musings on BIAS — that is, textural bias, structural bias, the creativity bias, and the “discomfort” bias. ALL kinds of bias!
Welcome to today’s discussion on Varmints by Anna Meredith, the Scottish composer most recently known for drifting between contemporary classical and electro-pop. Varmints flexes her composers’ muscles and takes her “maximalist” sensibilities just a step further, but how big of a step? Let’s find out together! And of course, check out [1:59:02] to hear a self-analytical discussion on our practice of podcast “pre-listens”, i.e., a group run-through. If we assume that tastes are contingent on whatever we’re exposed to, then what about the people we listen to music with? Do friends and colleagues affect our enjoyment of music, like a contagious wave of laughter? You tell us!
Today, Matt welcomes fellow Brooklyn resident, content creator, and internet personality, Mike Rugnetta. You might know Mike as host of the Idea Channel for PBS Digital Studios, or as host of the podcast Reasonably Sound. He’s also a composer (among other things). With Matt, Mike discusses the origins of the Idea Channel, a YouTube series self-described as examining “the connections between pop culture, technology, and art.” He talks about the show’s development, the origin and impact of his uniquely thorough Comment Response videos, and the active community surrounding the series. He also talks about his work with Reasonably Sound, along with his background in theater, music composition, computer science, and critical theory, all of which inform his many projects. Finally, with some inevitable asides on comics, movies, and video games (not to mention a brief hosts’-hat switcheroo), here’s presenting Matt Storm and Mike Rugnetta.
This week we’re diving deep into the world of Lord RAJA (the solo project of New York-based producer Chester Raj Anand) and his latest release, PARA. Join us as we dissect the trials and triumphs of this eclectic album and stick around for our topic (at 1:28:48): an honest discussion of the two-headed monster called “Feedback”. What do we want out of it? Should we want anything? And can it can make the world a better place? Press play to find out!
Today we’re taking on a long-awaited “listener pick” from Doug Ferguson of the Music A to Z Podcast (one of the subjects of our 150th Episode Special‘s “music podcast” overview). Thanks to Doug, we’ll be diving into the album VEGA INTL. Night School by Neon Indian, a project of indie-electronic composer Alan Palomo. Neon Indian was also discussed in Music A to Z’s episode, “N Is For Neon Indian”, so give that a listen as well! Finally, we wrap up with a quick predictive experiment: The “thirty-year rule”… 2040s style! What elements of today’s music could potentially make their way into cultural rotation for a thirty-year resurgence? Hopes? Fears? Let’s hear ’em in the comments! And don’t forget to give Music A to Z a follow!
Welcome to the first episode of 2016! Join us as we kick off the new year with a new microphone and Björk’s torrid divorce album, Vulnicura, released early last year. Afterwards, we dive into some more heavy material concerning music at large: how easy it is to grow “out of touch”, internet marketing, and postcapitalism! Should be a fun year…
Try to keep pace as we have some fun with Run, the latest release by the electronic rock band Awolnation (fronted by Aaron Bruno). Poke around the album yourself first and then join us in the analysis! Or, go ahead and fast forward to 1:36:05 for a great conversation on the impact of ‘vagueness’ in music. (We’ll try to keep this as specific as possible.) Enjoy!