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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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!
Enjoy this encore presentation of the podcast with singer/songwriter Emma Swift from August 2020. We will be back with new episodes soon!
Enjoy this encore presentation of Episode 101, with accomplished graphic designer Aaron Draplin.
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.