Day 2! While it might seem that the word “folk” gets applied to just about everything these days, English songwriter Richard Dawson has the apparent distinction of existing both at the primeval and pioneering fronts of that genre. With his unusual cracked vocals crooning over a broken (yes, literally broken) guitar, Dawson gives us Peasant, transplanting us to a Britain of very long ago, where not everything is as it appears and where coarseness and beauty are one and the same. Let’s unpack this project together and share its most attractive (and its most contentious) qualities. Also, what warped or broken instrument would you care to play? We’ve got ours, let’s hear yours!
Another dip into the wide world of electronica, this week we’re tackling an industrial techno album called Performance by Age Coin. Formerly of the band Lower, the duo behind Age Coin are Kristian Emdal and Simon Formann who, according to their label Posh Isolation, have (in Performance) divined “a cracked bump & flex from the condensation of a joyride.” Well! Cryptic orders aside, we hope your ears are as prepped as ours for a full analysis of Performance as well as a discussion on the inevitability of comparison and the mono-directionality of taste. Feel differently? Comment!
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!
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.
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 rejoice in the first guest appearance of our new writer, Tony Catalano! Answering up our earlier, less-refined analysis of Flying Lotus’s Until the Quiet Comes (back in CCP Ep. #19), Tony thrusts us into the artist’s latest project, You’re Dead! — this time with the combined force of the entire Crash Chords think tank. But first, we kick-start the episode with Matt’s detailed account of his journey to see the play Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and presented by the Public Theater. This clever Hip-Hop narrative of Alexander Hamilton’s life—and ultimate feud with Aaron Burr—runs until May 3rd. Finally, after the album, we talk to Tony about Tony, covering his background in jazz, his life as a copywriter, his ambitions for the website, and of course, the eternal theme of objectivity.
This week we explore the much-awaited solo project of Damon Albarn, the English singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist behind such projects as Gorillaz and Blur. His album is called Everyday Robots, and we’re breaking it down. Afterwards, we discuss the conflicts of passion and fluidity in songwriting, particularly with respect to concept albums. Often conceived from a singular inspiration and executed with a singular ambition, it’s easy for artists to overlook aspects of their work when a theme takes center-stage. Does this leave audiences wanting more or does it blow over with the more concept-minded clique?
Welcome to our favorite Calgarian’s special day! That’s right, the renaissance man of the Indi-Folk world, Chad VanGaalen, has released a new album, Shrink Dust, the subject of today’s analysis. We also take some time to discuss fans’ expectations of a given artist’s work based on prior conditions. Artists may often govern our tastes, but our tastes certainly don’t govern them! Ergo, some personal tales. Enjoy!