2018 was a wild ride, and on one of our final broadcasts from Washington, D.C. we’re celebrating the music that moved us the most.
Van Halen’s 5150 was a turning point for the legendary party rockers for more than one reason. The replacing of original front man David Lee Roth with rocker Sammy Hagar was what was driving headlines, but the real news was in the music. Revved up, radio-friendly, and raring to go, this “new” Van Halen supplemented often questionable machismo with synths, honest-to-god pop hooks, and, most radically: Feelings.
Washington Post Pop Critic Chris Richards and Broke Royals’ Philip Basnight are joining us as we reconsider one of the most divisive albums of Van Halen’s career, reveal it’s secrets, and more.
This, dear listener, is what dreams are made of.
On her latest LP Goners, Laura Gibson is taking on grief and the joy that can be found through grieving, and the result is her strongest record yet. Lush, adventurous, and human AF, Goners drags the listener down to the bottom, where it may be dark, but at least you’ve got good company.
PLUS: Maryjo Mattea is in pretty much ALL of the bands in Washington, D.C., and on her new single she’s being joined by good friend Cody Valentine (Allthebestkids) for a potent tale of personal empowerment and the joys that are out there waiting for us when we set ourselves free.
The members of The Skiffle Players — Neal Casal (Circles Around The Sun/Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks), Cass McCombs, Farmer Dave Scher (All Night Radio/Beachwood Sparks), Aaron Sperske (Father John Misty/Beachwood Sparks) — are some of the most respected musicians on the scene today. So when they find the time to get together for a new Skiffle Players album, you’d best believe it’s going to be something special. Skiff, the collective’s second LP, expands on the foundation they laid with 2016’s Skifflin’ and hints at a blindingly bright future that looks a lot like the past that they’ve been celebrating.
On paper, an album about heartache, anxiety, and ancient aliens doesn’t seem like something that would work (or should even exist), but on Pyramid Theories, Mink’s Miracle Medicine are singing about those themes and more resulting in their best release to date.
We’re catching up with the Melissa Wright of this Appalachian-based duo to dig into the trials of life as a creative, edibles, woodworking, aliens, and how their remarkable new album came to be.
On her new album Lake Accontink, Marian McLaughlin invites the listener along on her quest to try and make sense of the many ways in which we impact and are impacted by the environment, and what it all may mean in the long run. We’re sitting down with the Baltimore-based musician to talk about what inspired her self-described “music for the Anthropocene Epoch,” the perils of capitalism in the modern age, the joy of playing in a room with one-hundred other guitarists and much more!
To call Chicago’s Makaya McCraven, just a drummer would be doing the multi-talented musical truth seeker a grave disservice. Over the past few years, McCraven has been refining a production technique that mixes live jam sessions and impromptu performances with radically creative editing to produce some of the most exciting jazz of the modern day. On Universal Beings, an album recorded in four different locations with four distinct groups of musicians at each, McCraven seems to have perfected this technique, and the result is one of the best albums of 2018. Meditative, complex, smooth, and even funky, Universal Beings points to blindingly bright future for not just McCraven, but jazz as a whole.
PLUS! Saxaphonist, vocalist, and DMV native Braxton Cook is back with a new album No Doubt, and we’ve got a listen to it’s title track to help you get hip to this remarkable talent!
Just in time for Halloween, we're talking about the music of one of the most revered cult films in history:The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
Joining in the fun as we celebrate this culture-shifting masterpiece are our good friends Sean Barna, Philip Basnight, and very special guest, DC drag queen extraordinaire, DONNA SLASH!
So come up to the lab, see what's on the slab, and always remember: Don’t dream it, BE IT!
In 2016 Chicago rapper Noname (Fatimah Warner) stepped out of the shadows of her collaborators to deliver Telefone, one of the best albums of 2016, and easily one of the best hip-hop debuts in recent memory. One move to L.A. and a good bit of growing up later, Noname is BACK with her first “official” album, Room 25. Self-produced and self-released, Room 25 is an ambitious step forward for one of music’s brightest talents, and we’re joined by special guest Philip Basnight (Broke Royals) to discuss what makes it so great, and what we’re looking forward to from Noname in the future.
Plus! Washington, D.C.’s very own Dupont Brass is back with a new EP Halftime that’s all about enjoying yourself, and we’re spinning its first single.
With over eight million copies sold worldwide, four Top 10 hits, a “unique” reputation in cinematic history, and more, it is no wonder that the “heart of rock and roll” beats strong with Huey Lewis and The News bar room masterpiece thirty-five years after its release. Sports wasn’t just the sound of a band finally arriving on the scene, it encapsulated everything that was important to being goddamn American in the early 80’s even if it was all just a fantasy that has since faded, like so many Schlitz Tall-Boys, into the dark night of history
In 2017, a longtime friend of the podcast Seán Barna was living in New York City and wrestling with some serious life questions. How could he survive as an artist? Did he even WANT to make music anymore? Moreover, did he have anything left to say? In 2018 he found some of those answers through a fateful friendship and a handful of spontaneous studio sessions from which his latest EP, Cissy, was born.
We’re sitting down with Barna to talk about the creation of Cissy, the power of drag queens, struggling artists, and song, and winding down our time in the basement with our friend who was there at the beginning.
Over the past few years, Israel Nash has been building a solid catalog of cosmic folk and country from his home-base in Dripping Springs, Texas, and now he’s taking the show on the road. We sat down with Nash before his recent stop in Washington DC to talk about his most recent album Lifted, the power of recognizing the beauty of nature, and how our connection to each other is the key to building a better world.
Artist/poet/father/musician Lonnie Holley has experienced the best and worst of modern American life in his 68 years on the planet, and on his latest project MITH, he pours all of that and more into a powerful meditation on blackness, our humanity, and how to survive in our darkest of nights.
Join us as Kevin and special guest Wes Covey try to unpack some of what makes MITH, not just the best and most essential album of 2018, but the year’s most important.
Morphine’s Cure For Pain is an album that revels in finding hope in the darkest nights of our souls. For twenty-five years the weird magic conjured by Mark Sandman (2-string bass/vocals), Dana Colley (sax), and Jerome Deupree (drums) has remained singular in its sound and remains (oddly) peerless to this day.
This week we’re celebrating their remarkable achievement by taking a deep dive into one of the greatest albums ever made PLUS checking in with friend-of-the-pod, author, musician, and native Bostonian, Ryan Walsh to get a first-hand account of the band in it’s prime.
PJ Sykes is a man of many talents - Photographer, political activist, cat-dad, musician - these are but a few of the many hats he wears. But this week we’re talking with him about a role he’s filled for over seventeen years now - label head.
Founded in 2001, Cherub records has been the home of not just PJ’s music, but eccentric releases from the Richmond, Virginia scene and beyond. Tune in as we take a tour through his musical past with bands like Kids Techno, A New Dawn Fades, Graceland Grave Robbers, and his recently put on hiatus project, Hoax Hunters!
Shooter Jennings is a man of many moods and talents, but on his new album Shooter, he's returning to his Country roots. A celebration of the Hank Williams Jr, and all of the troublemakers and rabble-rousers that came before and after, Shooter is bursting with debauchery, heartache, and something sorely missing from today's Country music: fun.
PLUS! We're sitting down with the true savior of Country music - Wheeler Walker, Jr. - to discuss his upcoming album and tour, why the Nashville machine continues to give one of it's own the cold shoulder, and much, much more.
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, this group of rock and roll veterans (between them they've recorded and toured with the likes of St. Vincent, The Apples in Stereo, The War on Drugs, The Deathray Davies, Baboon, Daniel Johnston, and more) got together and decided to form "greatest band in the world. Maybe." and so it was that Motorcade was born. Armed with an ear for the past and a heart for writing great f@#@ing songs, Motorcade's debut defies expectations and is one of the best albums of 2018.
Luna Honey’s new album Peace Will Grind You Down, finds the the humanity in the darkness while Blood Orange’s Negro Swan serves as a guide on how to make it through it. We’re checking in with both on our latest feels-packed episode.
U2's finest hour wasn't lifting us up singing about MLK, a spiritual celebration of the history of American music, or even future pop from the edges of our imagination: It was an insistent, eccentric, and infinitely prescient project that almost wasn't, named Zooropa.
Over the past few years, Israel Nash has been building a solid catalog of cosmic folk and country from his home-base in Dripping Springs, Texas, and his, ahem, uplifting new LP Lifted is the latest product of his time in the proverbial desert. PLUS we’re sitting down with Joachim Cooder to talk about his latest EP, Fuschia Machu Picchu!