Without the influence of J. Robbins, the indie-rock landscape from the 90's through today would be missing a specific tonality, seeped heavily in both nuance and bite. From his songwriting and musicianship in bands like Jawbox, Channels and Burning Airlines to his production/engineering work with The Promise Ring, Jets to Brazil, Texas Is The Reason, Shiner, The Dismemberment Plan and a slew of others, he's a widely respected architect of the sound we know as post-punk. Hot off the recent announcement of Jawbox's upcoming summer tour (the band's first in over 20 years), J. discusses his early love for orchestral soundtracks, how he feels the Jawbox of 2019 can be a better band than they were during their initial run, and why his one-off collaboration a decade ago with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla for NPR remains one of his lifelong favorite experiences. Online, you can visit www.jawbox.band for their schedule, social media, merchandise and discography, as well as jrobbins.bandcamp.com.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse client base than that of Portland, Oregon's Draplin Design Co. From corporations like Nike and Ford to some of his favorite bands (Dinosaur Jr., Old 97's) to the Obama administration and NASA, Aaron Draplin's visual talents run the branding gamut. But out of all the work he's ever done, designing for vinyl records remains his favorite gig. On today's episode, as we discuss his record shopping habits, prized LP's and stories of meeting his musical heroes, you'll learn that the only thing brighter and bolder than Aaron's designs is his own personality. Visit draplin.com to check out Aaron's catalog of work, upcoming speaking and workshop engagements, and to order all things DDC. His 2016 book Pretty Much Everything is available via Amazon or your favorite retailer. He's also @draplin on Twitter and Instagram.
This year brings with it several anniversaries for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone: 2019 marks his 50th birthday, two decades as part of The Autumn Defense (formed with Wilco bassist John Stirratt) and subsequently 15 years within Wilco itself. Entering the band during a pivotal shift between A Ghost Is Born's riveting complexities and the more serene nature of Sky Blue Sky, Pat has been a welcome key to the influential sextet since day one, serving up piano, guitar, vocal harmonies and a myriad of other accoutrements. On today's milestone 100th episode from his home in Nashville, Pat reflects on his family's strong ties to show business, the upcoming loss of his neighborhood record shop Fond Object, creating album artwork from thousands of unearthed slides, why John Lennon’s death sparked his deep dive into the Beatles and how Big Star's third album changed his life. Follow Pat on Instagram @sansonic1, and keep current on tour dates and more via wilcoworld.net and theautumndefense.com.
Since being founded in 2011, Cincinnati-based indie label Soul Step has been running a unique business model for musicians who are unable to afford the massive investment of getting their music on vinyl. By Soul Step fronting and recouping all production costs, then splitting profits 50/50 with the artist for a short run of impeccably colored and incredibly limited pressings, everyone from the label to the band to the listener benefits. On today's show, Soul Step owner Melvin Dillon explains the company's ethos, his relationship with the expert record manufacturers at Wax Mage and more about this creative endeavor that's helping musicians express themselves on wax and helping collectors fill their shelves. For label news, their online store and social media, visit soulsteprecords.com.
An obsessive record collector since third grade, Josh Berwanger's adoration for glam-tinged rock and synth-heavy new-wave led to the formation of indie quintet The Anniversary, who toured heavily in the early 2000's behind a pair of full-lengths for the Vagrant label at its zenith. On today's program, Josh dishes about his days behind the counter at Lawrence, KS record store Love Garden, spotlights some rare finds in his collection, remembers how having the band's music on vinyl was always part of their record contract, and shares his thoughts on how scaling vinyl production back could benefit the industry long term. We also dig into his latest project Radar State, formed with longtime pals Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids and Gadjits drummer Adam Phillips. Check out the band's tour dates and social media, plus pick up their debut LP "Strays" released by Wiretap Records, at radarstate.bandcamp.com.
Andy Barron has made a career of visually documenting life on the road for musicians, both on stage and off, over the last decade. He’s currently Chris Stapleton’s official tour photographer, and he’s done similar work for groups like Foster The People and Switchfoot. His résumé also sports freelance photography for the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, Joy Williams and New Kids On The Block. A native Californian but now based in Nashville, Andy discusses how to keep things fresh while taking pictures of the same tour night after night, how that same schedule helps you from regretting not taking the perfect shot, how listening to vinyl compares to seeing a film in a movie theater versus at home, how those seeking out a full visual and audio experience with an album benefit due to his hard work, and he dusts off some rare gems in his vinyl collection from Beck, Sigur Rós and Starflyer 59. Check out andybarron.com as well as @chrisstapleton on Instagram to view Andy’s photography, and follow him @andybarron on Instagram and Twitter.
For over two decades, Polyvinyl Records -- which started in the small Midwestern town of Danville, IL -- has been releasing various offshoots of indie-rock with touches of folk, hardcore punk, chamber pop or new wave, including records from Braid, Japandroids, Of Montreal, Joan of Arc, Deerhoof, Alvvays, Beach Slang, Jeff Rosenstock, Matt Pond PA, Owen, Jay Som, Mates of State and countless others. On today's show, Polyvinyl co-founder Matt Lunsford remembers the hands-on DIY nature of the label’s first releases, the early importance of documenting a scene (along with co-founder and wife Darcie), how long their lead time is at pressing plants for a label of their caliber and adapting quickly to how listeners consume music. Plus, we’ll learn more about recent or upcoming Polyvinyl releases from American Football, Pedro the Lion and Rainer Maria. Shop for the label's music, merch and take advantage of their massive holiday sale at PolyvinylRecords.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @polyvinylrecords, or on Twitter @polyvinyl.
Eric Astor — CEO and President of Furnace Record Pressing in Virginia — returns to the show to discuss last month’s 2nd annual Making Vinyl conference in Detroit and Furnace’s recent addition of several new record presses. Plus we go over this year’s Record Store Day Black Friday releases with former podcast guest Nick Digilio from WGN Radio in Chicago.
Though much of this year's Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, TN was sidelined due to weather-related safety concerns, we still managed to chat with Dawes lead vocalist/guitarist Taylor Goldsmith, soulful singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews and Ireland's Grammy-nominated Hozier, who all shared their thoughts about the importance of vinyl in a digital world, and how the medium has influenced their own work. For details on Pilgrimage Festival, visit pilgrimagefestival.com.
Our special guests this week are Grammy-winner John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars), acclaimed singer/songwriter Erin Rae, sibling vocal duo The Watson Twins, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Oates of Hall & Oates, Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, photographer "Cowtownchad" Cochran and former Vinyl Emergency guest Austin Lucas, all providing great stories about their appreciation and personal history with vinyl, recorded live at various locations during Americanafest 2018 in Nashville, TN! For details on Americanafest, including how to join the Americana Music Organization, visit AmericanaMusic.org.
With a long history in journalism covering audio and home entertainment, Shane Buettner began boutique vinyl reissue label Intervention Records in 2015, with a focus on albums from the late 70's to early 2000's that he felt weren't getting the proper, or any, treatment on wax. Inspired by the Music Matters Jazz label and priding himself on overseeing every aspect -- from working with the original analog tapes to art restoration to sleeve printing and assembly -- Shane has released high-quality, in-demand reissues from Everclear, Joe Jackson, Erasure, Judee Sill and more over the last three years. Most recently, Intervention has partnered with 90's power-pop king and former Vinyl Emergency guest Matthew Sweet to reissue and remaster his catalog from 1991-1995, all of which were originally recorded entirely to analog: Girlfriend, Altered Beast, the never-before-on-vinyl Son of Altered Beast EP and 100% Fun. On today's show, Shane discusses what the music industry learned from Neil Young's Pono experiment, how farm-to-table restaurants relate to the vinyl world, and his new website -- vinylreviews.com -- which aims to create a community where listeners can share their thoughts on specific pressings and packaging. We also do a deep dive on how our ears and brains take in music, and why audio source transparency is so important to vinyl's resurgence. Visit interventionrecords.com to pick up Shane's quality reissues, and follow @intervention_records on Instagram for needle drops, pressing updates and more!
In the footsteps of groups like The Band or The Flying Burrito Brothers, who still exude country rock coolness 50 years on, comes Nashville's Great Peacock. Since their 2015 debut, they've been hailed by publications like No Depression, American Songwriter and Paste for their powerful, poignant mixture of folk, rock, blues and Americana, while sharing stages with Margo Price, Dr. Dog, Colter Wall and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd -- guitarists and co-songwriters/vocalists for the quartet -- sit down backstage at hometown venue 3rd & Lindsley to discuss their connections to vinyl, their favorite music documentaries, whether an artist's name on the front of their records takes away from the album's visual art, how My Morning Jacket's Tom Blankenship and Carl Broemel ended up contributing to Great Peacock's terrific new album Gran Pavo Real and more! On September 13th, they'll perform at Musicians Corner at Centennial Park in Nashville as part of Americanafest 2018, and you can visit GreatPeacock.com for further tour dates, their social media, etc.
Check out details on our brief upcoming hiatus, and what you can expect when we return.
Milwaukee-based Americana duo Dead Horses have performed anywhere from coffee shops to opera houses since their formation in 2010, and their profile is only getting larger: While on the road supporting their latest album My Mother The Moon this year and next, they'll play Colorado's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, as well as a Jamaican and Mexican cruise alongside Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls, Billy Bragg and Jason Isbell. Singer/guitarist Sarah Vos and double bassist Daniel Wolff talk today about their relationships with vinyl, getting their own LP's pressed without a label, working with former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer and more. PLUS they'll grace us with two live acoustic performances which you can also download separate from today's episode at deadhorseswi.bandcamp.com, with proceeds benefitting Texas non-profit RAICES -- the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. For Dead Horses tour dates, social media and more, visit deadhorses.net.
Enjoy this repeat of our interview last year with film and television composer Dave Porter. You can hear Dave's music on "Preacher" and "Better Call Saul," celebrating their season premieres on the AMC Network on June 24th and August 6th, respectively.
Although he toured the world fronting garage-rock kingpins The Mistreaters in the early 2000's, Chris Schulist has never lost his affinity for the boom-bap style of 80's and 90's rap. Dope Folks Records -- a Milwaukee label he co-founded in 2010 with friend John Kuester -- is fueled by a passion for crate digging; Dope Folks primarily represses underground or deep cut 12" rap singles with minimalist packaging in limited quantities, even working with legendary acts like Black Sheep and Tha Alkaholiks. If that didn't keep him busy enough, Chris is also a partner in the popular Milwaukee restaurant The Vanguard (with fellow garage-rock veteran Jim McCann of the Baseball Furies), serving unique sausages and cocktails to everyone from WWE wrestlers to headlining comedians like Bill Burr to Chris' old pal Jack White. On today's show, Chris details how his uncle got him into record collecting, which Sesame Street record has the best bass lines, why Kiss makes it increasingly tough for their fans to stick with them, and much more. For the best in classic (or should've-been-classic) rap, visit dopefolksrecords.bigcartel.com and follow them on Facebook @dopefolks. For amazing brats while in Milwaukee, visit vanguardbar.com and follow their Instagram, @vanguardmilwaukee.
A daily must-visit for record collectors everywhere, Discogs.com launched in 2000 with the lofty goal of cataloging every piece of recorded music in history. Fast-forward nearly two decades, and Discogs has over 9 million different releases currently documented. They've also got a popular mobile app, a busy digital marketplace that fuels the vinyl community worldwide, and sister sites that similarly catalog books, comics, posters, films and recording gear. Discogs CEO Chad Dahlstrom joins us today to talk about his own record collection, the site's recent ban on bootlegged and pirated material, building relationships with artists and labels, updates we can expect in the future and much more. Follow @Discogs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, we debut some brand new music from Ohio quartet Curtail!
Founded in 1964, Stoughton Printing Company is a leading provider of quality music packaging and production planner Rob Maushund is at the helm of getting that superior work out the door and into record stores around the world. From working first-hand and directly with King Tuff, Jack White or Thurston Moore to Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Gillian Welch or Father John Misty, Rob's 30+ year career at Stoughton has led to literally thousands of astounding record packages, earning Grammys and other industry accolades. On this episode, Rob shares his thoughts on the inaugural Making Vinyl Conference in Detroit this past fall, the history of the tip-on jacket process, and how musicians can explore a vast realm of packaging options without spending a fortune. Visit stoughtonprinting.com for more information, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @StoughtonPrinting. Also check out @OldStyleRecordJackets on Facebook.
In 1962, soul vocalist and songwriter William Bell was sharing stages with Jackie Wilson and Gladys Knight, before a phone call from his mother and a letter from the U.S. government halted his blossoming career. Today, Andrew Winistorfer from Vinyl Me, Please tells us about their new reissue of Bell's debut LP (originally released by Stax), and what it's been like to get to know the 78-year-old Bell himself while working on the project. Also, Jim speaks with record collector friends Perry Day and Mike Pecucci to get their angle on Record Store Day, as well as Pinwheel Records owner Scott Schaaf, as he prepares for their biggest day of the year.
President and CEO of Fairfax, VA's Furnace Record Pressing Eric Astor has seemingly done it all within the record label / disto / CD and vinyl pressing universe over the last 20+ years, with zero sign of stopping: Furnace is soon adding 16 new and refurbished vinyl presses, likely solidifying them as the second largest vinyl pressing plant in America. Today, Eric chats about his previous and current companies (including ORGMusic, VinylStyl and Lumberjack Distribution), as well as what these new machines mean for not just Furnace's output, but for the current bottlenecking experienced across the board by today’s vinyl manufacturers. Visit FurnaceMFG.com and ORGMusic.com for more information!
Within the last five years, U-Turn Audio has gone from the Kickstarter dream of three east coast college students to one of the biggest names in turntables. In a fanatical vinyl market, they've managed to stand apart by making each deck to order, keeping their manufacturing in Boston and offering audiophile-like quality at a price tag that's nearly half of those of their largest competitors. U-Turn's customization factor is also a huge selling point, with listeners having the ability to add a pop of color, a higher-end cartridge, a cue lever and more to an already stellar piece of equipment. Co-founder Ben Carter drops in this week to discuss the company's genesis, how the audiophile community influenced U-Turn's original designs, the endless debate between belt-driven and direct-driven turntables, his affection for Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" and the impact of Pennie Smith's iconic photo on the front of The Clash's "London Calling," plus dealing with feedback and customer satisfaction in the age of social media. Visit uturnaudio.com to learn more!