The April 1st comeback of the 2007 supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets (formed by Alex Turner and Miles Kane) has unveiled Everything You’ve Come to Expect, an album brought to us courtesy of listener José (Nokjaw). Let’s all dive into the album together before confronting our topic [at 1:41:15], which explores the physical limitations of musicians and how certain artists have managed to overcome them.
Today Matt welcomes singer/songwriter Khaled Dajani from New York City. Recently having released an EP under the moniker Songs for the Birds, called Volume 1, and an album called Luci under his given name, Khaled chats with Matt about his early influences and when he first started writing. They dive into the evolving NYC music scene, into how social media can be both a blessing and curse for the modern musician, and into his versatility and love for all—or most—genres. He even tells us of the origin of his band name Songs for the Birds.
This week we take on the latest release by pop rock mainstays Panic! at the Disco: their 2016 album Death of a Bachelor. We dissect the album top to bottom and, as always, invite some active contributions in the comment board. After that, you’ll DEFINITELY want to tune in for our topic at 1:36:03 to hear us discuss the concept of “newness”. That’s right… new, novel, fresh, creative… whatever you call it, “newness” seems to be at the heart of what we’re after when our “comfort art” is all but spent. But is this always the case? After all, what makes something NEW anyway? Can anything be truly new? Or, are all things new, and we’re just scraping to recognize patterns? Come and join us in this timeless critics’ crisis! We’d love to hear from you.
Today Matt welcomes Ayron Jones, the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Ayron Jones & The Way. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, the band’s latest releases are the singles “Boy from the Puget Sound”, and, as of this February, “Lay Your Body Down.” They also have a full-length album from 2013 called Dream. Hear Ayron chat about what it was like growing up in Seattle during the grunge movement and how it affected his musical development. He also talks about what it was like working with Sir Mix-A-Lot and having him produce the album Dream. Enjoy some final notes on Ayron’s love of playing live as well as his hopes for the band’s next tour.
Today, Matt welcomes Jared Sochinsky, lead singer of the band Parade Grounds.
Fresh off an EP released last July called The Wait, hear Jared chat with Matt about how he got his start in music. Also hear him discuss his experiences performing in New York, how children have affected his music & writing, and the music video shoot for the title track of his new EP. Also addressing Jared’s major inspirations, and some plans for the future of the band, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Jared Sochinsky.
This week’s album adventures are brought to you by listener Mark H. who has suggested we dive into the acronymic namesake of a curious collaboration: Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand & Los Angeles-based Sparks. Together, they form the “supergroup” called FFS, sporting a sole self-titled debut (FFS). Join us in this intensive analysis and share your thoughts! (We even throw in the bonus tracks to honor the FFS deluxe version.) True to form, we also take a few moments at the end to expand on Ep. #179‘s “Bonus Tracks” discussion by adding some thoughts and theories on the thematic applications of bonus tracks.
For the last Autographs of the year, Matt sits down with Bassist Peat Rains and Cellist Bryan Wilson of You Bred Raptors?, the inquisitively-titled, enigmatic instrumental band based in Astoria, Queens. Infused with funk, folk, jazz, classical, and alternative rock, the band’s discography is available on Bandcamp along with their latest LP, Grant, which was released in November of last year. Avid buskers, Peat & Bryan speak with Matt about what it’s like trying to make a living as full-time musicians in New York, and how the city’s ever-changing music scene continues to impact performers. They also discuss their differing tastes, their writing process, and their residency at the show Sleep No More.
Remember Afterbirth Monkey’s visit back in Episode #95? No? Well, luckily your memory only has to be half that good to welcome back our guest, Rachel Schenk: a.k.a. actress extraordinaire, burlesque artist, & 1/2 of Afterbirth Monkey. So, with all of THAT to deal with, we immediately launch into all the inns, the outs, and the split-ends of her exciting career(s), including her current role in The Restaurant, directed by Eric T. Ford. Finally, for the featured discussion, tune in at 21:10 as we dive straight into Rachel’s album pick of the week: California Nights by Best Coast. Join us for the long haul! We won’t bite.
Today we welcome special guest Anja Keister, a producer & performer at D20 Burlesque gifted with a rich musical background. More than prepared to discuss her album choice, Anja starts by sitting down for a warm-up interview. Join us as we discuss Anja’s uniquely-conceived acts, her trials, and her inspirations. Then, join us once more as we dive into Anja’s album pick of the week (20:37). Anja’s choice: Beat the Champ by The Mountain Goats. As The Mountain Goats’ 15th studio release, Beat the Champ is actually a journey through songwriter John Darnielle’s childhood love of dirt cheap, small circuit wrestling. For more details, you’ll just have to experience it. Then visit us for the analysis, and thank Anja for the selection!
Many thanks to José (Nokjaw) for today’s fan-pick, The Great Pretenders by Mini Mansions! The fans of two other bands will also be pleased as the Mini Mansions ensemble was forged out of the hiatus of Queens of the Stone Age (bringing over bassist Michael Shuman), while today’s album, The Great Pretenders, has seen the addition of Alex Turner (from Arctic Monkeys). Influences aside, let’s see how this latest project compares! Finally, stick around for a discussion on the importance of ‘challenging music’—that is, music that confronts us head-on and forces us to do a little more work than we’d like to. What are the benefits of a challenging work, and how to quantify it?