The two sounds Tommy Prine says he remembers most growing up were having the AM radio on or his father (renowned singer/songwriter John Prine) workshopping tunes at the kitchen table. Journeying through adolescence, his eclecticism later manifested through acts like Outkast and System of a Down. But now, on the heels of This Far South — his debut album that dropped earlier this summer — Tommy has found his own unique voice that marries his mom’s Irish wisdom and his dad’s dry Midwestern/Southern wit. On today’s show, Tommy shares why Radiohead’s “Videotape” speaks to him, his experiences working with Nashville talents Ruston Kelly and Gena Johnson on This Far South, and how the artwork for this album feels like both an ending and a beginning. Visit tommyprine.com for your dates, socials and more.
In her family, Louise Post says that there have been three usual career paths: Join the clergy, practice medicine or become an artist. Thankfully she followed the latter. In 1992, Louise co-founded Veruca Salt with fellow vocalist/songwriter Nina Gordon, and the quartet became one of Chicago's biggest exports of the alternative-rock era. The duo's buzzsaw guitars pushed hit singles like "Seether," "All Hail Me" and "Volcano Girls" into the stratosphere, and despite some years apart, the full original lineup reunited for the much-heralded 2015 full-length Ghost Notes. This week, currently on tour promoting her new solo album Sleepwalker, Louise talks about harmonizing with her dad growing up, gravitating toward the women in her favorite bands, why she continually has "dreams of songs," and the inspiration for Veruca Salt's ode to vinyl, "Victrola." Stop by LouisePost.com for more info on Sleepwalker, social media and more.
As a child of the 1970's, vinyl records were intrinsic to Ben Harper's understanding of and approach to music. “If somebody came to the house and said 'We're gonna repossess either your refrigerator or your turntable,'" he states today, "they would've been hauling out the fridge.” Growing up, the 3x Grammy-winner and heralded lap steel guitarist/vocalist's taste jumped from Ozzy Osbourne to Robert Johnson to Funkadelic to Jackson Browne on any given day. To get to those places, he points to varied avenues of discovery, from the underground world of skateboarding to his family’s folk music shop and museum. That same diverse recipe eventually led to an equally unique list of collaborators over the years, including Ringo Starr, Eddie Vedder, Harry Styles, Natalie Maines and The Blind Boys of Alabama. On today’s program, Ben recounts an emotional day spent with soul legend Solomon Burke, finding the blues buried in hip-hop, and the importance of communicating with our former selves. Ben's latest album Wide Open Light is out now, wherever you get physical or digital music. Visit benharper.com for tour dates, socials and more.
Prior to releasing some of the most memorable songs to come out of the 90’s, San Francisco’s Counting Crows were subject to a major-label bidding war, thanks in part to something rather unheard of in the industry: a massive, 15-song demo tape. Not only did this show a deep well for vocalist and lead songwriter Adam Duritz to pull from, but this prototype already came with early versions of future bonafide hits like "Mr. Jones" and "Round Here." To an alt-rock audience who didn't necessarily grow up with Van Morrison, The Band or R.E.M., Adam and company filled that void and then some, with their first three albums selling over 10 million copies between them. Today, Adam spills why their upcoming co-headlining tour with Dashboard Confessional has been 20 years in the making, which records he spun every morning while recording the band's landmark debut album August and Everything After, and how that title track (which never made the original 1993 release) is now finally available, specifically for vinyl lovers. Counting Crows' latest -- Butter Miracle: Suite One -- is available wherever you find music. Visit countingcrows.com for live dates, socials and more.
On his second album released earlier this year, Love You Anyway, Grammy-nominated and Nashville-based R&B artist Devon Gilfillian sets today's political activism against a backdrop of stunning soul music that finds inspiration both from the past and the future. Having gained acclaim touring with a genre-spanning list of icons (from Mavis Staples to Michael McDonald), he recently told NPR that his music could be viewed as "a pill wrapped in peanut butter": Sneaking in a message, while calling everyone out to the dancefloor. Before hitting the road this month on separate tours with My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter and Trombone Shorty, Devon spends today discussing his obsession with Pharrell's production work, why his love for vinyl flourished in his teens, and his recent performance in support of the Tennessee Three, on the steps of the state capitol. We also learn how a conversation with Chaka Khan led to him recording Marvin Gaye's legendary album What's Going On front-to-back, for a special vinyl-only release. You can find Love You Anyway wherever you get music, and visit devongilfillion.com for tour dates, socials and more.
Whether you hailed from Gainesville, Grand Forks or Green Bay in the late 90's, it wasn't rare to hear criss-crossing vocal shouts, razor-sharp guitars and drums with jazz-like precision, all blasting out of your local VFW hall. That's partly thanks to Braid, four modest Midwesterners who funneled their obsessions with Fugazi, Jawbox and Gauge through a roulette wheel of glorious rhythmic shifts and six-string swan dives. During their original run, the quartet were known to be workhorses, releasing new songs as immediately as they wrote them, and putting thousands of tour miles on the odometer. The culmination of these efforts took the shape of Frame & Canvas, their third album, released in 1998. Recorded and mixed in just five days, it became much more than a benchmark for Braid's then brethren; these twelve tracks grew to influence each punk rock generation (and variation) that followed, with Rolling Stone even listing it as one of the top five emo albums of all-time. On today's show, returning guests Bob Nanna (vocalist/guitarist), J. Robbins (engineer/producer) and Polyvinyl Records co-founder Matt Lunsford discuss the album sessions and original release, as well as the new 25th anniversary remix and remaster, along with mastering engineer Dan Coutant of Sun Room Audio. For social media, upcoming F&C anniversary tour dates, and to purchase this latest reissue, visit polyvinylrecords.com/artist/
Ahead of the March 31st release of their latest record -- Continue as a Guest -- New Pornographers ringleader and vocalist/songwriter A.C. Newman talks about imposter syndrome, finally putting out an album with the much-beloved Merge label, why his songwriting approach lies somewhere between The Pixies and Burt Bacharach, and how one particular garage sale set the stage for their critically-acclaimed debut LP, Mass Romantic. Follow @acnewman on Twitter and Instagram, and visit thenewpornographers.com for tour dates, music and more.
If any band personified a record collection with ADHD, it was The Dismemberment Plan. Connecting the dots between soul, post-punk and experimentalism, the quartet also brought dark humor, deep grooves and an appreciation for music history to the forefront, over five albums and millions of miles on the road. On today's show, vocalist Travis Morrison delves into the go-go scene of Washington DC, the artists that influenced his improvisational nature on stage, and a long-lost reel-to-reel that connected Travis' parents during the Vietnam War. The Dismemberment Plan's 2001 album Change will be reissued on sky blue vinyl for this year's Record Store Day, April 22nd. Follow both @travismmorrison and @thedplan on Instagram, and visit recordstoreday.com for more details.
Enjoy this encore presentation of a July 2020 episode of Vinyl Emergency.
Los Angeles native Robert Fisher has designed records for some of the most popular acts of the alternative rock boom, including Beck, Weezer and No Doubt. But starting with 'Nevermind' onward -- including all posthumous releases following Kurt Cobain's death -- Robert is most recognized for being Nirvana's sole art director, creating iconic album covers, sleeves for singles, box set packaging and anything else relating to arguably the most important band of the last 30 years. Recently, Robert launched the @NirvanaBucket Instagram feed, dedicated to his body of work for the group and showcasing rare flyers, tapes, scrapped ideas and even items Kurt provided him for inspiration throughout their partnership.
On today's show, Robert discusses how the final version of 'Nevermind' came to be, as well as stories surrounding Beck's 'Odelay' and Urge Overkill's 'Saturation'. His latest project for Nirvana is on the 'Live & Loud' 2LP set, released last summer, capturing the band's 1993 performance in Seattle for MTV. Visit flyingfishstudio.us to check out more of Robert's work.
NPR has separately crowned both Jaimee Harris and Mary Gauthier with some well-deserved accolades over the last few years: The former was recently referred to as "the next queen of Americana-folk" (thanks to a new album, Boomerang Town, dropping on February 17th), while the latter's "The War After The War" (from her record Rifles & Rosary Beads, co-written entirely with U.S. veterans and their families) won the organization's coveted Song of the Year prize in 2018. Together, they've forged an artistic and romantic relationship that has helped their individual careers thrive. On this episode, the pair discuss their appreciation for vinyl, supporting each other in sobriety, and how artificial intelligence will change the future of songwriting.
After a number of years in small-market television journalism, 7x Emmy-winner Anthony Mason joined CBS News in 1986 and has quite literally done it all: from being a chief correspondent in London and Moscow, to handling Q&A's with American presidents. But maybe most notably, Anthony has now become a go-to confidant for musicians of all stripes. Carving his own path on the network thanks to a lifelong passion for songwriting, he's profiled legends like Elton John, Mick Jagger, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin. Plus, for up-and-comers seeking credibility, an interview with Anthony can rival a glowing review from Pitchfork or Rolling Stone, so non-household names like Charley Crockett and King Princess are given a new, nationwide audience courtesy of a conversation with today's guest. On this episode, Anthonly divulges how UPS once lost his entire record collection, what momento he took from a then-shuttering Tower Records in the late 2000's, and how he's navigated some incredibly personal moments with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond and John Mellancamp. Follow @anthonymasoncbs on Twitter and Instagram.
With razor-sharp guitars, breakneck rhythms, unrivaled harmonies and a socio-political worldview that disavows much of punk rock's anarchistic nature, Bad Religion has inspired countless bands over their 40+ year existence. Even their iconic logo, known by fans worldwide as "the cross-buster," has become synonymous with the genre itself. This is all without mentioning the inspirational trajectory of vocalist/songwriter Greg Graffin, who is seen as one of the genre's most vibrant and educated minds, earning a PhD in zoology from Cornell University and having written multiple books on evolution and theology. On this episode, Greg discusses the influence of his parents' divorced record collections, refining his vocal delivery over the years, and why he classifies his latest book, Punk Paradox: A Memoir (available now, wherever you get literature) as a "novelistic biography." The band also released their own collaborative autobiography, Do What You Want, in 2020.