While stepping outside of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service - inarguably two of the most influential names that indie rock has birthed in the last two decades - lead singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard has acquired a stunningly diverse range of collaborators, from The Monkees to Chance the Rapper. On today’s show — as DCFC approaches the fall release of their tenth album, Asphalt Meadows — Ben describes why the pandemic changed his vinyl listening habits, how he’s fallen randomly into some of the aforementioned collaborations, and the band’s explosive (literally) new video, directed by Lance Bangs. We also discuss Yoko Ono, AC/DC, Pharoah Sanders, and Ben’s soft spot for former Milwaukee Brewer Gorman Thomas. Pre-order Asphalt Meadows, via deathcabforcutie.com or wherever you get music, prior to its release September 16th.
Enjoy this encore presentation of Episode 110 with guest Matt Earley, president of acclaimed vinyl pressing plant Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland. PLUS a sneak peek on next week's guest!
Popular female country artists like Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris have scored major pop crossover hits, made huge splashes in the vinyl market and perform for sold-out crowds across the United States, yet barely have a blip on country radio. Though far from a new phenomenon, it’s one that has drawn battle lines over the last two decades between gatekeepers of a genre dominated by white males and a rightfully fervent opposition seeking accountability, diversity and equal representation. On this week’s episode, music journalist Marissa R. Moss (Rolling Stone, Billboard) explains how she tackles these issues and more in her new book, “Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be” (available today, May 10th). We also dive into why Sturgill Simpson’s latest record is best enjoyed on vinyl, the rise of Nashville’s Black Opry, and how life events influence how we hear and appreciate music. Visit marissarmoss.com for more information about “Her Country,” and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @marissarmoss.
Despite not setting out to make concept albums 100% of the time, Tim Kasher — leader of influential indie-rock mainstay Cursive — realizes that artwork, connecting songs in post-production, and other methods have made his LP’s feel like sweeping, thematic gestures to his fans for twenty-five years. This week, hot off the release of his new solo full-length Middling Age, Tim recalls the days of commercials for albums on television, the importance of beloved Omaha record store The Antiquarium, and his recent stint on the TV game show Chain Reaction. Plus, whether the community aspect of Saddle Creek’s heyday could survive today’s landscape, and why he’s attracted to songs about songwriting.
Much of what we love about vinyl records is separate from the vinyl itself: Photographers, illustrators and more play an important role in helping fans connect emotionally or otherwise with their favorite recording artists, especially in the age of social media. Today, three accomplished individuals — portrait photographer Alysse Gafkjen, muralist Kim Radford and live photographer Josh Weichman — discuss their first big breaks in the music industry and specific methods used to capture their best work, as well as advice for the next generation of visual artists.
As co-hosts of the podcast Who Cares About the Rock Hall?, comedians Kristen Studard and Joe Kwaczala examine the history, politics, annual inductions and just-as-annual snubs within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Originally launched as a simple way for two friends to discuss music, the show has gotten the duo unprecedented access to those behind-the-scenes and in the know -- even arguably swaying a vote or two. This week, Joe and Kristen discuss the hall's controversial start, this year's nominations, how doing the podcast has influenced their views on music fandom, and why voting for less total inductees speaks volumes. Follow @rockhallpod on Twitter and Instagram, plus subscribe to Who Cares About the Rock Hall? wherever you get podcasts.
With 25th anniversaries occurring or looming for some of his earliest work with Alkaline Trio, Slapstick and Tuesday, Dan Andriano is set to release yet another chapter in a storied career next month -- Dear Darkness, his first LP with backing band The Bygones. On today's show, Dan discusses the importance the suburbs play in the story of Chicago punk rock, what kickstarted his interest in writing songs in the studio, and how some of Alkaline Trio’s most visceral album artwork came from both organic and practical means. Dear Darkness is out everywhere February 11th on Epitaph Records. Visit danandriano.com for social media, album pre-orders and more.
Championed by some today’s biggest names on the fringes of country music, singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah released her most recent album, Wary + Strange, last year to rave reviews. Upon its release, Pitchfork dubbed the record “an intensely personal document (that) examines the realities of being a Southern Black LGBTQ+ woman in songs both defiant and vulnerable.” One of those tracks in particular, the Grammy-nominated “Black Myself,” matches a hypnotic groove and gritty distortion with lyrics addressing the horrors of chattel slavery and the Brown Paper Bag Test, making for an unforgettable statement that channels both Odetta and Public Enemy. On today’s episode, Amythyst discusses “Black Myself” in detail, as well as growing up with an audiophile father, being intrigued as a kid by a particular Santana album cover, and how an a cappella Tori Amos song inspired her to share her most personal struggles. Visit amythystkiah.com for tour dates, social media and more.