After a six-year hiatus, the Celtic Rock staple of many-a merry pub crawler, Flogging Molly, has returned with a new album called Life is Good. (Isn’t it though?) Let’s spend an inordinate amount of time answering that particular question without answering it at all. Also, let’s talk about the music. Then, after all the ‘weighing ins’ and ‘reflecting upons’, let’s ponder the question of musical self-honesty.
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?
Clear your day for Leonard Cohen. (Well, a least a portion of it.) With his soft vocals and poetic flair, Leonard Cohen has been speaking to a generation of poets as well as musicians ever since the 1960s. Today we’ll be speaking to both camps as we take on Cohen’s latest album You Want It Darker. Also, stick around for a brief compare & contrast discussion on universality and general appeal vs. the personal effect and specificity.
[Edit: This episode was released three days before Leonard Cohen’s unfortunate passing. We are deeply saddened by his loss and we hope this episode is taken as a celebration of his work, despite its ill-timed release. The following interpretations of his final album and life’s work are opinion-based and, we hope, considerate of his legacy.]
Today Matt welcomes Zeiss, a singer/songwriter hailing from Lindenhurst, NY. With a rich Rock and Roll background and an album out called Indecisive Station, Zeiss chats with Matt about the writing process for the album, how long it was in the works, and the inspiration for many of the tracks. With Matt, Zeiss also tackles the importance of performing live and emphasizes how much he values a strong “live music” scene in an artist’s life. He also talks about the role his family has played in his music career before getting into some upcoming projects (including a new single and another album). He even expressed his wish to branch out into other genres — such as opera!
Let’s see what Iggy Pop is up to! In his new album called Post Pop Depression, Iggy is joined by collaborators Joshua Homme and Dean Fertita (both of Queens of the Stone Age fame), as well as drummer Matt Helders of the Arctic Monkeys. Join us in a discussion of how the album fares and feel free to comment at leisure. And don’t forget about our topic… Retirement: or When to Call it Quits & Why. Enjoy!
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.
Yup… we’re back to Steam Powered Giraffe. And it’s a special double disc day! The Vice Quadrant, the fourth installment of the steampunk / “broadway”-esque act (chronicling the adventures of three antique malfunctioning musical robots) was released September 2015, and, as promised in their previous release MK III, they’re in spaaaace! Although today marks a rare third visit to an artist for us (after episodes 39 & 72), the “space” sales pitch was simply too tempting to resist. We will, however, bite the hook on one count: being a double disc, an unstreamable album, and an extra long episode, this one’s likely just for the SPG fans. If you count yourself in that crowd—but still have a critical ear—then join us in this hefty analysis and share your thoughts below! Hopefully our ‘Disc Two’ “bookmark” at 1:23:30 will help manage your time.
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.
This week we seek something HIGHER! Perhaps we’ll find it in Chris Cornell’s solo album, Higher Truth? Won’t know until we dive in. Climb aboard won’tchya? Afterwards, stay on board for a giant discussion on the concept and usage of the ‘Extended Play’, i.e., the EP. Not too big and not too small… why is this thing still around?! How did it start? How was it used? How IS it used? How SHOULD it be used?! Enjoy!