Schmilco-time! Whether you know Wilco, or don’t know Wilco, then try getting to know Schmilco, as we’ll be doing in today’s episode. Though a bit of a left turn for a band that has practically earned a council seat in the hearts of a generation, Schmilco is a dreamlike saunter that dazzles in moments and reflects in others. Speaking of reflection, our topic [@ 1:41:41] takes to heart your hosts’ prior experience of today’s band and reflects on the notion of “second-hand bands”, i.e., you know ’em… you like ’em… but do you *know* them? It’s a common experience, one that can twist our perceptions of an artist for better or worse. So let’s separate the bull from the malarky and have a podcast about it, shall we?
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 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 a singer/songwriter hailing from Stoney Creek, Ontario named Aaron Little. With his latest single, “Nobody To Talk To”, off his upcoming record It’s About Time (out on August 26th), Aaron touches upon his new record with Matt, discussing the inspirations behind it. He also chats about the music scene in Canada and how it might differ from the scene here in the states. Moving on to his background, Aaron lets us in on how his songwriting is affected by such factors as his music influences, his education, and whether he’s playing with a band or as a solo artist. And so, with some final notes on the difficulties and challenges of being a modern indie artist, here’s presenting Matt Storm and Aaron Little.
Get excited for the man, the myth, the legend—who you’ve just now heard of—Matt Dorsi! Currently a member of the indie rock band Blue Spruce (and formerly a member of East Coast Ghost), hear the Woodstock–Williamsburg transplant chat about the trials and tribulations of band breakups and the all-around rewards of being a bassist, songwriter, and up-and-coming audio producer. A relentlessly talented solo act, we kick off the show with Matt’s own compositions and then an interview before diving into Matt’s album pick: the 2012 LP by The Menzingers called On the Impossible Past. Enjoy!
Today, Matt welcomes Austin Aeschliman of Smashy Claw, an experimental rock duo from Longmont, Colorado consisting of guitarist Austin and keyboardist Nathan Long. A veritable engine for new ideas, Smashy Claw is currently engaged in a year-long project to release a new song every week, each accompanied by a brand new YouTube video. Presented for general entertainment (and to spur public interest in the group), these songs are currently compiled into Smashy Claw’s newest record, Claw Machine. With Matt, Austin discusses the band’s name & its inception, his early influences and what spurred him to start writing, as well as the band’s writing process. Also touching upon the band’s primary sources of inspiration, Austin discusses plans for the future of Smashy Claw and their involvement with The FuMP, of which former Autographs guest Insane Ian is also a member. Filled with macabre imagery, surrealist overtones, and brought to life by its talented animators, Smashy Claw’s YouTube channel won’t disappoint. So go ahead, check it out, and support the project.
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.