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Vinyl Emergency

Musicians, album collectors, record label owners and beyond describe how the influential medium of vinyl has shaped their lives and careers.
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Vinyl Emergency
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Jan 31, 2023

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. 

Jan 17, 2023

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.

Dec 6, 2022

Even during their 90's heyday -- with popular singles like "Fall Down," "Walk on the Ocean," "Something's Always Wrong" and "All I Want" ruling the radio -- Toad the Wet Sprocket vocalist and songwriter Glen Phillips recognized that they weren't "the cool kids," often being the least edgy band on any alt-rock marquee. But Glen says it's that same overt self-awareness that has both kept Toad fans around and stirred his current creativity: Releasing a new album based solely on minimal songwriting prompts, and leading a community choir made up of all genders, ages and backgrounds. On this episode, Glen discusses an early love of disco, the visual aesthetics of the 4AD label, his brother's forensic devotion to synthesizers, and why the cover art for Toad's second album Pale is still being studied in graphic design classes. Visit glenphillips.com for social media, tour dates and to get his latest solo release, There Is So Much Here.

Nov 15, 2022

Influenced equally by Elizabethan composers and pop radio, Dessa consistently dissects the human condition, while deftly defying genre tags. A member of the Minneapolis indie-rap collective Doomtree (and championed by playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda), her interest in examining behavioral science has fueled multiple careers in creative writing, music and live poetry, as well as spawned TED Talks and her own BBC Radio program on not just how our brains work, but why. During this episode, Dessa shares the impetus for her latest book, previous and upcoming collaborations with the Minnesota Orchestra, the myriad of condiments that travel with her on tour, and the 30-year impact of Liz Phair’s groundbreaking album Exile in Guyville. Visit dessawander.com for literature, vinyl, tour dates, social media and more. Her aforementioned radio series Deeply Human is available however you listen to podcasts.

Nov 1, 2022
As a longtime character actor, John Ross Bowie (of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and ABC’s Speechless) partly attributes his eclectic musical tastes — ranging from Patti LuPone to the Cro-Mags to the Grateful Dead — to his father, who exposed him to television, film and theatre early on. Yet, his new memoir No Job For A Man, originally conceived as a light read on the in's and out's of being a working actor, eventually turned into something deeper: a book about his father's disdain for John's chosen profession, and changing the definition of manhood. On this episode, John connects the dots between punk rock and Broadway, as well as takes listeners -- geographically, no less -- through his favorite record stores growing up in New York City. No Job For A Man is now available wherever you get books, plus you can visit tacocatrecords.bigcartel.com to pre-order the album Dumb Music for Smart People (from John’s 90's trio Egghead.), remastered and on vinyl for the first time. Watch the new Egghead. music video for "Neighborhood Palm Reader" here via YouTube, follow @johnrossbowie on Instagram and subscribe to John's podcast about acting, Household Faces, wherever you listen.
Oct 18, 2022

"People ask us, 'What's your favorite record?' Our answer is 'The one we're going to hear next week.'" That anecdote on today's show from Greg Kot is why he and his Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis have inspired legions of music journalists for decades: Between emotional reactions to pop music and intellectual analysis of art-rock, they consistently remain curious. As former critics at the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times respectively, they have seen weird fads, legendary careers and physical media come and go, documenting it all -- whether in print, via the web or on the air. On this episode, Greg and Jim dive into their own early obsessions with vinyl, whether or not we can truly judge someone by their record collection, and why music criticism shouldn't be a solo project. Find Sound Opinions wherever you hear podcasts, or at soundopinions.org.

Oct 4, 2022

Counting himself as part of the last pre-internet music generation, North Carolina native and singer/songwriter Caleb Caudle believes the things that matter take time -- whether sending handwritten postcards randomly to fans or making sure a vinyl release invites listeners fully into his world through artwork. And that kind of dedication ultimately creates hope in a post-pandemic music industry. On this week's episode, Caleb discusses renting his first turntable from his high school library, record shopping in nearby Winston-Salem, how being an avid history buff turned him into a pro wrestling fan, and recording his new album Forsythia -- which, in some ways, he originally projected as being his final release -- in a cabin built by Johnny Cash. Forsythia is available everywhere Friday, October 7th with unique vinyl variants available via indie record stores, Amazon and calebcaudle.com, where you can also find tour dates, social media and more.

Sep 20, 2022

From the first moment of S.G. Goodman's latest album Teeth Marks, one hears a voice and a lyrical wisdom that feel perfectly worn in -- like that of an artist who's been crafting decades worth of masterful, soul-baring material. What's all the more astounding is that Teeth Marks is only her second record. Amongst many accolades since that album's release, the publication Bitter Southerner defines it as "driven by love, sometimes by defiance, but always by a delight in singing out... like the declaration of an artist who knows exactly who she is, backed by a band that blows the roof off the studio." On today's show, S.G. shares her affection for Herb Alpert's "Ladyfingers," some candid struggles with diagnosed OCD, the unique way in which her Marantz receiver was acquired, and the underappreciated comforts of house slippers. Find tour dates, social media and more at sggoodman.net.

Aug 23, 2022
Sporting one of the most recognizable voices within 90's/00's indie-rock, Davey von Bohlen is known for his youthful exuberance and lyrical Easter eggs over twenty years with bands like Maritime, Cap'n Jazz, The Promise Ring, and the low-key side-project Vermont. On this episode, Davey shares an early obsession with The Guess Who, similarities between songwriting and his experiences coaching basketball, and something The Promise Ring used to call “Get Up Kids Math” while out on the road. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Vermont's second album Calling Albany is being released on vinyl for the first time, available for pre-order at castledangerrecords.com. Limited 25th anniversary colored vinyl pressings of The Promise Ring's seminal second album Nothing Feels Good are dropping soon as well, available for pre-order at tpr.ffm.to/nothingfeelsgood. Follow @daveyvonbohlen on Twitter.
Aug 9, 2022

Enjoy this encore presentation of the podcast with Motion City Soundtrack drummer -- and host of the podcast Bizarre Albums -- Tony Thaxton, from early in 2021. We will be back with new episodes soon!

Jul 19, 2022

Enjoy this encore presentation of the podcast with singer/songwriter Emma Swift from August 2020. We will be back with new episodes soon!

Jul 5, 2022

Enjoy this encore presentation of Episode 101, with accomplished graphic designer Aaron Draplin.

Jun 14, 2022

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.

Jun 7, 2022

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!

May 24, 2022
Whether through monstrous riffs in Botch or innovative, live sound manipulation in Minus the Bear, David Knudson is regarded as one of indie-rock's most mind-blowing guitarists. Where many musicians would use effect pedals to just obscure or amplify, David's insane finger-tapping talents and masterful footwork -- often tweaking things on the fly, in front of a live audience -- brought a human heart to MTB's most locked-in rhythms. In support of his first solo album, The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything (released earlier this month), David visits today to discuss his favorite Botch and MTB artwork over the years, obsessing over seven-inches in his youth from Seattle's Fallout Records, and how his creativity has flourished since becoming sober. Pre-order his new album on vinyl from davidknudson.bandcamp.com, and follow @davidknudson on Instagram.
May 10, 2022

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.

Apr 26, 2022

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.

Apr 5, 2022
With his ninth solo record overall, released in February, Frank Turner has claimed his first-ever number one spot on his native UK albums chart. To put icing on that cake, FTHC is his most personal album yet, whether speaking directly about the passing of longtime friend and musician Scott Hutchison or his evolving relationship with his transgender father. On today's show, Frank discusses how FTHC's major themes touch on acceptance, how heavy metal became his first musical love, and which American restaurant chain he's dying to eat at during his upcoming 50 States In 50 Days tour, starting in June. Visit frank-turner.com for details, socials and more.
Mar 22, 2022
For over a quarter-century, Mike Park has been releasing iconic punk, ska and more through his DIY record label Asian Man. Along with Mike's own various music projects, Asian Man helped introduce now long-tenured bands with cult followings (Alkaline Trio, Less Than Jake) to a worldwide audience, and his activism led to large tours like Ska Against Racism and Plea For Peace, aimed at educating ska and punk's growing audiences about humanitarian causes and the contributions that people of color have made to those genres. Today, Mike shares how his love for ska first blossomed, his favorite album artwork over Asian Man's history, continuing to be inspired by the 924 Gilman community, and why he's told some bands to simply avoid record labels altogether. Follow @mikeparkmusic on Twitter and hit up asianmanrecords.com for socials, online ordering and more. 
Mar 8, 2022

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.

Feb 15, 2022

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.

Jan 25, 2022

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.

Jan 11, 2022

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.

Dec 21, 2021

This year, the record industry hit arguably its greatest bottleneck yet: Though Taylor Swift and Adele have recently delivered two of the largest vinyl sales weeks of the modern era (with revenue on an incline for physical indie retailers during the pandemic), COVID-19 has made materials like PVC, cardboard, dyes, shrink wrap, paper for inner sleeves and even wood pallets increasingly harder to find, afford and ship around the world. Thus, an album by your favorite artist that comes out digitally today may not see a physical vinyl release for months. On this week's episode, Billy Fields (VP of Sales, Account Management for an arm of Warner Music Group), Eric Astor (President/CEO of Furnace Record Pressing) and Dustin Currier (an independent, Chicago-area musician whose latest album on vinyl has been delayed due to the aforementioned circumstances) participate in a roundtable discussion separating fact from fiction around these headaches, and how their own personal stake in promoting, releasing or pressing music has been affected. 

Dec 14, 2021

Here's a brief update on what you can expect for our final episode of 2021, airing next week, and what's coming up in early 2022!

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