October 13, 2020
Author Adam Steiner joins us to talk about the creation and cultural impact of Nine Inch Nails' album "The Downward Spiral," one of the most influential and artistically significant albums of the twentieth century.
Steiner goes deep into Trent Reznor and his state of mind during the recording process, the deeply disturbing music and videos he created, and the chilling location where the album was recorded.
September 29, 2020
Author Brad Schreiber takes us on a guided tour through the past 100 years of politically-conscious music, from Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan to the Bob Marley, the Dead Kennedys and NWA.
Covering a wide variety of genres, including reggae, country, psychedelia, rap, punk, folk and soul, Schreiber tells fascinating stories about the origins and the impact of dozens of world-changing songs, while revealing political context and the personal challenges of these legendary artists.
September 15, 2020
In this episode, we stretch out a bit and examine "Gunning For Hits," a music-based graphic novel series. Set in the shady New York City scene of the mid-80s, this music business thriller stars Martin Mills, a record company talent scout with an inscrutable past, and his attempts to sign a rock band that will conquer the world.
Author and creator Jeff Rougvie knows his stuff. He was the former Director of A&R for Rykodisc, one of the great independent music labels. He worked with both David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Frank Zappa, amongst many other artists, to bring their catalog reissues to compact disc on the innovative label. Rougvie takes us inside the the music business, his Gunning For Hits series, and the world of graphic novels.
September 1, 2020
Every song tells a story, but every song also has its own story — the ideas or events that inspired it, the songwriters who created it, the artists that recorded it, and the impact that it made.
Fiona McQuarrie tells us some fascinating tales that will appeal to music lovers, readers interested in popular culture, and anyone who wants to find out more about songs that they love. And who knows? You just might end up discovering a new favorite tune.
August 19, 2020
Often called "the bible of alternative rock," Trouser Press was a highly influential music magazine in the '70s and 80s. We speak with Ira Robbins, who was a founder, writer, editor and publisher with the magazine and the series of "Trouser Press Record Guides" that followed.
Robbins has recently put all 94 issues — in their entirety — online at www.trouserpress.com, and is adding new content as well. He's recently authored a new novel, based in the glam-rock music world, called "Marc Bolan Killed in Crash."
August 4, 2020
Highway To Hell was AC/DC's infamous last album recorded with singer Bon Scott, who died of "death by misadventure," in London in February of 1980. Scott's demise has forever secured the album's reputation as a partying primer and a bible for lethal behavior, branding the album with the fun chaos of alcoholic excess and its flip side, early death.
Author Joe Bonomo talks with us about this album, the power of adolescence, the durability of rock & roll fandom, and the transformative properties of memory. Why does Highway To Hell matter to anyone beyond non-ironic teenagers? Find out here.
July 21, 2020
From Bessie Smith and The Supremes to Joan Baez, Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift, and scores more, women have played an essential and undeniable role in the evolution of popular music including blues, rock and roll, country, folk, glam rock, punk, and hip hop. Today, in a world traditionally dominated by male artists, women have a stronger influence on popular music than ever before.
Editor Evelyn McDonnell talks to us about “Women Who Rock,” an all-out celebration of 104 of the greatest female musicians. McDonnell takes us into the selection process, how the book was organized, and the profiles and illustrations of the musicians, all written and composed by women writers, journalists, and artists.
July 7, 2020
During his 30 years in the photography business, Jimmy Steinfeldt has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to the Ramones. Jimmy was first published in 1985 in SPIN magazine. Rolling Stone soon followed, publishing a classic photograph of Madonna from the “Like A Virgin” tour.
Jimmy tells us about the Minneapolis music scene in the '80s, and the difference in shooting in LA, the biggest market in the world. He also takes us backstage to give us the backstory on his shoots, including Johnny Cash, Dee Dee Ramone, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others!
June 23, 2020
Singer, songwriter, and producer Wayne Warner details his relationship with country music’s major record labels, the common practices in making hit records, and tell us about his experiences with great artists he has worked with, including Taylor Swift and Bonnie Tyler, as well as many country legends.
But how did Nashville react to his fierce independence, and his adoption of two African American sons? A brutally honest conversation with the man whose hit, “Turbo Twang” reached the top of the country charts, gives us a look behind the curtain of Nashville's famous Music Row.
June 9, 2020
Roy Christopher traces the story of how hip-hop invented the twenty-first century and tells us how the hallmarks of hip-hop — allusion, self-reference, the use of new technologies, sampling, the cutting and splicing of language and sound — would come to define the culture of the new millennium.
Christopher takes in the ground-breaking work of DJs and MCs such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Rammellzee, alongside writers like Philip K. Dick and William Gibson, and links graffiti and DIY culture to present a fascinating continuum of music of the past, present, and future— all tied to hip hop.