December 11, 2019
The 90s were a fickle time. Fads came and went, stars were made and just as quickly left behind. Austin's Fastball had what it took for the long haul, but it hasn't been easy. Lead by the dual songwriting chops of Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga, the band broke big on their second album with hits like "The Way," "Out of My Head," and "Fire Escape." But, as it often happens, by the time the follow up came out the crowd had moved on. They've never really gone away though and they even released a solid new album recently called The Help Machine. Drummer Joey Shuffield joins us to talk about how it all goes down and how they keep it together I especially wanted to hear about the incredible rock band he was involved in in the early 2000s called Young Heart Attack. If all you know is the hits, Fastball deserve a deeper listen.
December 4, 2019
Imagine this - one of the greatest rock singers in history decides to leave his hugely successful band and you've been selected to take his place. That's what happened with Johnny Edwards. Though it was the beginning of the 90s, Foreigner's Mick Jones felt that even though Lou Gramm was out of the band there was still enough gas in the tank to keep things going. He recruited Johnny and they recorded Unusual Heat, a solid rock album that never really stood a chance. This scenario wasn't entirely new to Johnny as he took over vocal duties on latter day versions of both Montrose and King Kobra (both stories are nuts!). Along the way he fronted many of his own bands, but none of them really took off and he eventually left music behind. Today he's a regular working man and sings in an excellent blues rock band called Bleu Phonque on the side. Nobody has a story quite like Johnny's, you're going to love this!
December 1, 2019
Walter Egan's 1978 smash "Magnet and Steel" will follow him around wherever he goes, deservedly so, but what gets lost sometimes is the absolutely stellar power pop album he made in 1983 called Wild Exhibitions. It featured his last hit "Fool Moon Fire", but didn't get the attention it deserved then, and still doesn't, so we attempt to right that wrong. In this Deep Dive, Walter and I shed light on this hidden gem, while also gliding over his entire career. We love Walter and hope that you will discover an album you must have in your collection.
November 27, 2019
There's never been anyone like Mike Watt. He's an American treasure at this point. There's the Minutemen. Then fIREHOSE. Then about a million other projects of various size including a period with Porno For Pyros, another with Iggy and the Stooges and even an appearance on a Kelly Clarkson record! One of Mike's recent projects is the Jumpstarted Plowhards - a collaboration between him and guitarist/singer Tony Congelliere with a a rotating roster of drummers. Their first release of a projected series, Round One, hit the streets a few weeks ago. In this wide-ranging chat, Mike touches on just about everything including his former bandmates D Boon, George Hurley, and ed fROMOHIO, his stint with Iggy, his philosophy on life as a musician and collaborator, and much more. There simply is no one else like him. We're lucky to have him!
November 20, 2019
In a decade that churned through artists as tastes and fads changed weekly, Everclear managed a heckuva lot of hits. Storming the gates with the hyper-catchy "Santa Monica," the guys dropped radio staple after radio staple like "Everything to Everyone," "Father of Mine," "I Will Buy You a New Life" and the list goes on and on. By the 2000s, the wave was starting to die down, but the band never really went away, even if the players came and went. The mainstay has always been leader Art Alexakis, a one-of-a-kind rock personality. Art recently released the solo album he's been threatening to do for years with the all acoustic Sun Stories. In this conversation, Art is honest about the Everclear albums he isn't crazy about, the time he was on the "O'Reilly Factor", the Summerland Festival he heads, the great 2015 Everclear album Black is the New Black, and tons of other stuff. He's one of the great personalities in rock and we're lucky to hear from him!
November 17, 2019
Cinderella may have been put to bed years ago, but frontman Tom Keifer has been slowly building up his solo project for a while now and it just keeps getting bigger. The Tom Keifer Band recently released the new album Rise and completed a US tour (another leg is taking shape early next year). In this short conversation, we discuss the difference between his current band and his old one, how he views his legacy, the state of his health (he's undergone several throat surgeries over the years, but is back on the mend), his spiritual views, and his working dynamic with his wife, Savannah. Tom could be seen as a Maverick who's followed his muse from day one and produced a lot of killer rock and roll in the process.
November 13, 2019
The last few years have been a blur of prolific activity for Juliana Hatfield. There was the anti-Trump album Pussycat from 2017, there have been side projects with Paul Westerberg (The I Don't Care's) and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws (Minor Alps), and there have been albums of new material (2019's Weird and 2015's Whatever, My Love), but what is a wonderful new focus for her are these albums of covers. In 2018 she released Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John to wide acclaim and this week she drops the follow up, Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police. This wonderful collection brings new depth to these classic tunes and presents them in a new light completely unique to her. We discuss all of this as well as her favorite albums and bands, her love life, her feelings about accolades, and much more. She's a total delight and full of great stories!
November 10, 2019
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Jon engages in conversation with his 12-year-old daughter Georgia, discussing their love of Kiss and counting down their top 5 songs. This was done quick and dirty, no editing, no production. Hope you're all impressed!
November 6, 2019
The summer of 1991 belonged to bands like EMF. When they took over the world with their debut single "Unbelievable," it signaled a change in the sound of mainstream music where white British guys merged alternative rock with dance music, hip-hop and skate culture. Coming out of the gate with a song as big as that one, you'd think EMF would continue on, but such was not the case. Like so many others, they suffered the dreaded sophomore slump on the second album and barely released a third before hanging it up. Frontman James Atkin talks openly about how difficult those years were, but is also in a very good place today teaching children at a local school and recently releasing a solo album called Popcorn Storm. We also discuss how they found their sound, their style, and how Andrew Dice Clay got in there. Enjoy!
October 29, 2019
Sometimes you just have to wonder why some bands don't make it. Take the Hollywood Stars. Brought together by famous impresario Kim Fowley, the guys were meant to be a West Coast answer to the New York Dolls. After some stops and starts, the band finally released their debut album in 1977, but it didn't show what the band could do, it under-performed, and the band broke up ending the potential for greatness. Guitarist Ruben De Fuentes enjoyed the LA music scene of the period and went on to play with 80s versions of classic psych rock bands like Steppenwolf and Blue Cheer. Thankfully, as vinyl junkies began discovering the band in later years, the Hollywood Stars are back in business! In 2013 their great lost album from 1974, Shine Like a Radio, was finally released (it features the original version of "King of the Nighttime World" made famous by Kiss) and earlier this year another collection of hidden gems, SOUND CITY (named for where it was recorded), was released and it's excellent. Ruben is an example of a guy that has devoted his life to rock and roll. Enjoy!
October 23, 2019
Flesh For Lulu had it all. They mixed the Stones' swagger with the New York Dolls' grease and added a healthy dose of 80s glam to perfection as evidenced on possibly their best known hit, 1987's "I Go Crazy" from the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. But, it all ended too quickly and now it never will be again. Lead singer Nick Marsh passed away in 2015 of cancer, putting a permanent end to this wonderful band. Guitarist Rocco Barker tells us the full story - how his first band Wasted Youth was bigger than FFL, how the band he and Nick started after FFL, Gigantic, never quite got off the ground, his experience in reality TV, crazy ex-girlfriends, drugs, family, money, and his new career as an eyeglass maker (you read that right). He's a wonderfully entertaining bloke and Flesh For Lulu deserve a rediscovery. Enjoy!
October 18, 2019
In part 2 of our crossover episode with Reliving My Youth, Jon and Noel countdown their Top 10 soundtrack songs of the 90s.
October 16, 2019
Red Rockers were all set to be the "American Clash." They may have started as the go-to punk band in their native New Orleans, but when they wrote the 1983 hit "China" for their second album, not only did their style change, but MTV played them incessantly, recognition soon followed, and original fans screamed "sell outs!" Unfortunately, the switch to a more commercial sound only led to moderate commercial success. Other than the still beautiful "China" they never quite got off the ground. When it ended, bassist Darren Hill didn't really find success again until he began playing with, and then managing, Paul Westerberg. From there, his roster of clients grew to include luminaries like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, New York Dolls, Dropkick Murphys, and the late Roky Erickson. Darren tells fascinating stories about all of these great people like what makes Paul tick, why was Roky special, working with former guest William Wittman on Red Rockers' final album Schizophrenic Circus (and why it has one of the worst covers ever), and the pop culture store he runs in Providence, RI. So many great stories here and you know we just scratched the surface. Enjoy!
October 14, 2019
It's that time again, Hustlers and this time Jon and Jan are joined by Brad Page of the I'm In Love With That Song podcast. We're honored to have the man with the buttery voice slumming it with us knuckleheads. Not only do we recap the last three months of episodes, but we also discuss bad publicist experiences, we get an update on Jan's love life, whatever happened with HustleFest, and who was it that cut our interview short? And good news - no airports this time! Enjoy!
You can find out information about the band that closes out this episode at the link below.
October 11, 2019
Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is busy these days. First of all, November sees the release of the new book The Ballad of Jethro Tull. For the first time ever Ian, along with former members of the band, tell the full story of their musical formation and legacy. You can preorder this beautiful new book now and get your name printed inside. You will also receive an mp4 of Ian reciting new tracks "The Ballad of Jethro Tull" and "Marmion".
In addition, Oct. 18th sees the release of the 40th anniversary deluxe edition of the Tull album Stormwatch. This album marked the conclusion of a folk-rock trilogy that included 77's Songs From the Wood and 78's Heavy Horses and was the last JT album to feature several original band members. This 4CD/2DVD set includes new production of the original album by Steven Wilson, a live concert from March 1980, and a book telling the history of the album. If you're a Tull fan, you won't want to miss out on both of these goodies!
The Ballad of Jethro Tull book is published by Rocket 88 Books
Jethro Tull ‘Stormwatch: 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition’ (4CD / 2DVD) is released on Rhino
October 9, 2019
Martha Wash has one of the most recognizable voices in pop history. Well, maybe a better word for it is "utilized." She has sang on some of the biggest club/dance hits of the last 40 years and you may not even realize it. In the 70s she and her friend Izora Rhodes began singing back up for disco legend Sylvester, becoming known as Two Tons O' Fun. This lead to their own record deal and two albums released under that name before changing it to the Weather Girls. Then came "It's Raining Men," a giant hit and an anthem in the LGBT community. From here the dance hits just kept on coming - "Everybody Everybody" and "Gonna Make You Sweat" among them. With the success did not come the credit or the money, an issue Martha fought the law for and won changing the music industry forever. All told she's sang on 12 #1 dance hits and today is heavily involved in First Ladies of Disco, who will be appearing on the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. She's also changing it up musically, just listen to her last album, 2013's Something Good, which is so good and not dance music at all. She has an incredible story that everyone should hear. Enjoy!
October 4, 2019
We lost another good one recently. To discuss the great Eddie Money we bring back Steve "Eddie" Rice of the killer Bay Area rock band Eddie and the Tide. Money produced their album Go Out and Get It in 1984 for what we think may be Eddie's only production credit of his whole career. Steve shares stories about what Eddie was like to work with, the jokes he told, his approach to songwriting and even a somber recent phone call they had that may have implied Eddie knew what was down the pike. Once again, we're so lucky to hear wonderful artists like Steve talk about other wonderful artists like Eddie from first-hand experience.
October 2, 2019
It almost didn't happen for George McCrae. In fact, the whole thing was a total fluke. He and his wife Gwen sang back up on recording sessions around Miami with his focus more on managing her career than pursuing his own. But when Harry Wayne Casey wrote a new song that was too high for his register, he asked George, who happened to be around, if he would sing it. That song, 1975's "Rock Your Baby", went on to be one of the biggest selling singles of all time, selling at least 11 million copies, and went #1 all over the world. Success like that is almost impossible to replicate, and George was no different. He continued in music for years, even singing back up on a Bill Wyman solo record, but nothing else took off. He even went back to working normal, blue collar jobs. Thankfully, Europe re-embraced Disco eventually so he moved there and is performing to enraptured audiences. In fact, in February, he will be a part of the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. His story is unlike anyone else's. Enjoy!
September 27, 2019
This month we welcome back the fantastic Robert Tepper (ep66) to discuss his 1986 debut album No Easy Way Out. True, the title track from Rocky 4 is one of the greatest AOR songs ever and was a decent-sized hit, but when it came time to release the full album his label was on to other things. We discuss the creation of the songs, who played on them, and how royally Scotti Bros. botched this thing! In addition, Robert releases his new solo album Better Than The Rest today! We also get into that and hear a couple tunes. Robert's the man and you're going to enjoy this one!
September 24, 2019
In 1995 "Lump" was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And it became a hit. That was followed up by "Peaches," another weird one that reached the same status. Where did these funny, but rocking (novelty?) songs come from? Who writes songs like this? The band is literally called The Presidents of the United States of America? It all seemed like someone was playing a joke, but the tunes were undeniable and millions of people snatched up the album. Unfortunately, it didn't last. The sophomore slump descended on the follow-up and they never regained their footing. PUSA frontman Chris Ballew made a drastic move - he turned his attention to children's music and now performs under the name Caspar Babypants. You learn in this chat that he views this work as a calling he's incredibly passionate about. We also talk about the history of the band and those great songs as well as the pros and cons of having a band name associated with certain elected officials. Chris is a great guy who's doing exactly what he feels he was put on earth to do. Wish we could all say that.
September 20, 2019
After too long a layoff, The Hustle and Suburban Underground come together again this time to play recent music from legacy artists. You may be surprised to find out that some of the bands you loved back in the day have made quality music in the last few years that's just as good as material from their peak. In here we play newer songs by Animotion, The Waterboys, Bad Religion, Robert LaRoche, The Motels, Yes, Blondie, Nick Heyward, The Outfield, Liam Gallagher, Bruce Foxton, The Ocean Blue, and Deep Blue Something. If you hear something you like, please support the artists!
September 19, 2019
To celebrate the life and work of Ric Ocasek we welcome back former guest Fred Pineau (ep70), guitarist of the Atlantics. The Atlantics were an excellent Boston-based power pop band who came up through the ranks alongside Ric and the Cars in the 70s. Fred talks about his relationship with Ric, what he meant to the Boston scene, what the his legacy will be, and shares stories from back in the day. Fred's one of the best storytellers we've ever had on the show, and we're grateful he agreed to come back for this special tribute.
September 17, 2019
When people talk about alternative rock band Dramarama, what you'll often hear is that they were "before their time." Though they came to prominence in the mid-80s, their aggressive, but melodic power pop sound was a perfect precursor for the garagey 90s. Through the help of tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer, the band exploded out of LA in 1985 with "Anything Anything" that set records and still kills. The band released quality work for a decade before eventually calling it quits. Bassist and founding member Chris Carter turned his attention to radio and has been the host of Breakfast With The Beatles, the longest running Beatles radio show, for decades now. He also produced the Rodney doc The Mayor of Sunset Strip. We talk about the history of Dramarama, including the real story behind their appearance on VH1's Bands Reunited, but then we also go deep on the Beatles with Chris answering loads of listener questions. It's a little bit of everything in this one, all of it good!
September 11, 2019
Among the many fantastic British shoegazer bands of the early 90s, Great Yarmouth's Catherine Wheel were among the very best. They exploded out of the gate with Ferment in 1992, one of the best debut albums by anyone ever, and kept the train rolling for most of the decade until the "wheels" finally came off at the dawn of the new millennium. While it lasted they managed to impress and work with top-of-the-line producers like Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk), Gil Norton (Pixies) and even Bob Ezrin. Bassist David Hawes discusses the dynamic within the band, the thinking behind each album, what it was like working with those producers, and why he left the group before their last album. David is also a big music head and record collector so we discuss some of his all-time favorite albums and vinyl stories. These guys were so good! Enjoy!
September 3, 2019
It feels like UB40 have always been in our lives. Maybe that's because they practically have. Last year the guys celebrated their 40th anniversary with a tour that was so well received, it's carried over to the 41st year. And to mark the occasion, in 2019 they released their best album in decades, For The Many, which hearkens back to their early days like nothing else they've released in a while. Guitarist and founding member Robin Campbell and I discuss this victory lap, as well as some of their definitive albums and classic songs. Unfortunately, there is also some drama in there, as there often is. Former lead singer Ali Campbell, Robin's brother, left the band about 12 years ago and is also touring with the UB40 name. Robin's version of UB40 recruited a third Campbell brother, Duncan, to take over lead vocal duties. It can be confusing, but what isn't confusing is that UB40 have over 40 years of great music to enjoy and For The Many continues that tradition.
August 30, 2019
For August's Deep Dive we welcome back another legendary producer, this time it's the great Rupert Hine (ep158)! We go behind the scenes on the creation and recording of The Fixx's 1983 masterwork Reach The Beach. This landmark album produced three top 40 singles including "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Saved By Zero" and is their biggest seller moving 2 million copies. We also cover how the band found their sound and discuss the singular mind of lead singer Cy Curnin. We're so lucky to hear from legends like Rupert!
August 27, 2019
Ahh the 70s. That period of burgeoning hard rock and soft, smooth sounds. Among the many artists filling the airwaves with ear candy were England Dan and John Ford Coley. The successful duo racked up half a dozen or so hits in the second half of the decade. Songs like "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" and "Nights are Forever Without You" provide touchpoints to simpler times, back when AM radio was king. The pair even scored a hit with a TODD song! But, like many 70’s duos, the partnership ended in the early 80s. The final nail in the coffin was a disagreement over one song; a song that Dan goes on to record solo for country radio. In this conversation, JFC discusses the glory days, how Dan's death in 2009 affected him, how Yacht Rock has given him a new lease on life, and his latest album Eclectic. So, kick back, relax, put on your sailor hat and prepare to set sail with one of the titans of soft rock. All aboard!
August 20, 2019
Singer Dolette McDonald felt ever-present in the 80s. Her striking voice, and equally striking looks, made her feel front and center while she was supporting musical giants like Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and most notably Sting. When he left the Police and went solo, he brought Dolette along for the ride. This is on celluloid forever in the Bring On The Night documentary, as well as those amazing Amnesty International concerts featuring Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Chapman. Her talents also landed her gigs with the Stones, Tears For Fears, ABC, the System, Steve Winwood and even Donny Osmond! She tells insightful stories about all of these people, as well as her own struggle with her sexuality and journey out of the closet and into personal happiness. This is one of the best conversations we've ever featured!
The Incomparable And Prolific Dolette McDonald
August 14, 2019
Gene Loves Jezebel personified the 80s. A strikingly garish style mixed with a perfected merge of goth and pop music that many 80s bands tried to nail and couldn't. Along the way, alternative radio gobbled up hits like "Desire," "The Motion of Love" and "Jealous." Unfortunately, rock history is riddled with brothers that can't get along and GLJ are no different. Twins Jay and Michael Aston have been feuding at various levels for 30 years to the point where Michael maintains the Gene Loves Jezebel name in the States, while Jay runs with it in the UK. In this conversation, Jay and I discuss what's at the heart of this squabbling, but also great stuff like his 2017 album Dance Underwater, what it means to have "riff master" James Stevenson in the band, and his current tour with Modern English and the Alarm. It's a messy, frustrating and often confusing musical history overwhelmed by sibling rivalry, but the music itself lives on and is as bright and excellent as ever. Enjoy!
August 7, 2019
Is there a more lovable song than "Mary's Prayer" by Danny Wilson? It's always welcome, always warms your heart, always makes you sing and smile. That song, which reached #23 in the US in 1987 was written and sung by this week's guest, Danny Wilson frontman Gary Clark. As much promise as the band had, they only managed two albums before calling it quits at the end of the 80s. Gary spent the dawn of the 90s starting a few other groups and working on solo material to no avail. As luck would have it, he eventually began collaborating with the right people and he went on to write many hit songs for other artists like Natalie Imbruglia and Demi Lovato. After years of success, he got a call from movie director John Carney ("Once") and was asked to do the music to the wonderfully beloved 2016 film "Sing Street". Today, that relationship has even more projects in the works! So, this seemingly one-hit wonder has made it work successfully for over 30 years. Who knew!
July 30, 2019
If you were a kid of the 80s with an eye towards the inventive new wave music coming out of the UK, no doubt you saw the name Dave Bascombe everywhere. This influential producer/engineer/mixer lent his talents to some of the most important alternative and pop albums of the decade. His name graces the credits of landmark albums like Depeche Mode's Music For The Masses, Peter Gabriel's So, and Tears For Fears' Songs From the Big Chair. Among the other giants we discuss in this conversation are Genesis, Level 42, Echo and the Bunnymen, Red Box, Danny Wilson, james, Erasure, the Silencers, the Lightning Seed, the Verve and even more recent artists like Lady Antebellum, Chromeo, Alpine Stars and Goldfrapp. Oh, and even Bon Jovi makes an appearance! Consider for a moment some of the timeless music that has passed through Dave's fingertips. Enjoy!
July 28, 2019
This month we're honored to bring back the legendary producer Ron Nevison as we discuss Heart's 1985 comeback album. The Wilson sisters were not in a good place until Capitol Records revived their careers, but it came with some stipulations that the girls still aren't happy about. Despite them distancing themselves from the people they were at this time, we love the record and Ron gives us all the behind the scenes info. Plus, the girls are reunited and back out on tour AND this record turned 34 this month. Enjoy!
July 24, 2019
Has any rock god from the 80s been torn down only to rise back up more often than Kip Winger? His band Winger stormed out of the gate in the mid-80s with giant hits like "Seventeen" and "Headed For a Heartbreak" but the naysayers and bullying quickly overwhelmed an otherwise successful career. After grunge wiped all of them out, Kip retreated to the desert to reconnect with his muse eventually resulting in a celebrated foray into classical music. While he still tours with the guys in Winger, his creative juices really flow when he's getting Grammy nominations for Best Classical Contemporary Composition or releasing his brand new score to the musical Get Jack. Ultimately, Kip won the war and is finally reaping the praise he deserved all along. We talk about it all in here, enjoy!
July 19, 2019
Noel Fogelman from Reliving My Youth podcast and Jon team up again to countdown their top 20 soundtrack songs from the 90s. Here's part 1 where we go from 20 to 11.
July 16, 2019
Modern English will forever be known as the band that gave us "I Melt With You." Those guys achieved the miraculous feat of recording a song that has been embraced by every generation since it's release in 1982 (contrary to popular belief, the song was not actually a hit originally). In this entertaining conversation, frontman Robbie Grey discusses the spoils of a song that's evergreen and we discuss a lot of the band's output that gets overshadowed including their 2016 album Take Me To The Trees. Modern English are hitting the road this week with The Alarm and Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel, which is sure to be an incredible show. Get to know the guy behind the song!
July 13, 2019
Former guest Robert LaRoche has just released the best album of the year. In his brand new EP, A Thousand Shades, the former frontman for 90s power poppers The Sighs creates six songs reflecting a dark, but beautiful, night of the soul. LaRoche and I discuss the sad break-up that inspired these songs, how he's never lost his knack for hooks, and who all contributed to the album. Do yourself a favor and make some time to sit with A Thousand Shades and really let it sink in. You'll be better for it.
July 9, 2019
Guitarist Randy Jacobs has a list of credits a mile long. The Detroit native's career goes back over 40 years and includes just about every genre there is - including a few years with Bonnie Raitt here, a couple with Paul Kelly there, etc. A guy doesn't get asked to play with the likes of Michael Henderson, Seal, Tears For Fears and Bruce Hornsby if he doesn't know what he's doing. But he may be best known as a member of the wholly unique supergroup Was (Not Was). He even co-wrote their biggest hit "Walk The Dinosaur." These days, when he isn't recruited to work with Depeche Mode or General Public, he's focused on his blues rock group with saxophonist Mindi Abair the Boneshakers. They just released a solid new album, No Good Deed, a couple weeks ago. Settle in and hear many stories from a guy who's been in the game longer than some of us have been alive!
July 8, 2019
The boys are back and fielding a full team this time (sorta) as Jon and Jan welcome sometime producer Paul Underwood of Glory Days Radio and Chief Marketing Officer Andy Schaal. We discuss the last few months of episodes, awkward listener reactions, even more awkward facebook interactions with former guests, and some listener questions. Jan was traveling and only able to chime in once in a while, so we were especially glad to have our two great friends with us this time around.
July 2, 2019
People often forget that one of the biggest bands of the 70s was Flint Michigan's own Grand Funk Railroad. They may forget this because the band isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they have a bunch of hits, but they haven't been played to death like "Stairway to Heaven," and they aren't written up continuously in Rolling Stone magazine. Original member and drummer Don Brewer and I discuss why this might be and how he feels about it. We also hear the stories behind several GFR hits and notable album tracks, what it was like being produced by Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa, and the current state of the band which includes original member Mel Schacher and "new guys" Max Carl and Bruce Kulick, but not original member Mark Farner. Since it's Independence Day in the US this week, let's celebrate by remembering how great THE "American Band" still is!
June 29, 2019
For June's episode of Deep Dive we welcome back legendary guitarist Marco Pirroni (ep 200) to educate us on the creation and recording of the breakout album by Adam and the Ants, 1980's Kings of the Wild Frontier. This is really the album that made Adam a star and titillated music lovers who wanted all they could get from the swashbuckling pirate with the Indian stripe across his nose. Where did these styles and influences come from and why did it work so well? No one else has ever sounded like the Ants did at that time. Enjoy!
June 26, 2019
Since their buzzworthy debut in 1989, Hershey Pennsylvania's Ocean Blue have never strayed from their perfect mix of the Smiths meets the Cocteau Twins to the delight of their rabid fanbase. Today these fans have reason to rejoice because they guys have just released a new album, Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves and it's just good as anything else they've done in the last 30 years. In this conversation, frontman Dave Schelzel and I recount their entire career, what was happening behind the scenes for each album, as well as in his personal life. Today Dave is a lawyer, so we discuss how he works new music into his life. We also chat about their producer and former guest of the show Mark Opitz. The Ocean Blue are a top 10 all time favorite band of mine and Dave is by far one of our most requested guests, so we're extremely honored to hear from him. And check out the new album!
June 18, 2019
William Wittman is another producer/engineer/mixer whose name may not sound familiar, but who no doubt has worked on scores of songs you know and love. His first major work was on Cyndi Lauper's monumental She's So Unusual. Included on those sessions were the guys from The Hooters, which lead to WW doing their breakthrough Nervous Night. The same team went on to help craft Joan Osborne's smash Relish. From there, the hits just kept coming with albums by The Outfield, The Fixx and Scandal. He's also worked artists like the A's, Graham Parker Mick Jagger and Pat Benatar. In the 90s he played in his own band Too Much Joy, which also paved the way for him to continue as a professional musician. Today you can find him slapping the bass in Cyndi's band as well as serving as her musical director. And finally, a young William once passed up an opportunity to hobnob with rock's ultimate royalty because he was so dedicated to finishing a job, well...that and...he really had to pee. 😂
June 14, 2019
Mike Peters has a lot going on. His band The Alarm have a brand new album called SIGMA dropping on June 28th and lead single "Blood Red Viral Black" is an indication that the band is as fiery and powerful as ever. They are also kicking off a North American tour in July with Modern English and Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel. Plus he's still running his vital cancer organization the Love Hope Strength Foundation that finds bone marrow matches at Alarm concerts. And he was recently awarded an OBE by the Royal Family. Oh, and he's successfully fighting off cancer, as is his wife Jules. We discuss all of this as well as the prospect of a full Alarm reunion in this open and honest chat. Enjoy!
June 11, 2019
This week we welcome another music academic, Allmusic.com critic Mark Deming. Mark has been a contributor to the platform for many years and in this conversation we discuss how he became a rock writer, what music criticism even means today, and , of course, we debate a bunch of stuff like why some artists are lionized no matter what they do and why others never get the credit they deserve. As much as I love and rely on music critics for documenting a historical record, I take issue with what I perceive as a "groupthink" mentality among the tribe. Why do they all seem to like the same things? We get into all of it. Is there anything more fun than debating music with smart people? I think not!
June 4, 2019
Remember in the 90s when electronic music was poised to take over the world? Groups like Portishead, Chemical Brothers, and Olive were doing something so innovative it seemed techno and trip-hop would become the new norm. Well, it didn't really work out that way. Among some of these innovative artists was a duo from Liverpool called Mulu made up of producer Alan Edmunds and singer Laura Campbell. The two only released one album called Smiles Like a Shark in 1997 that featured excellent singles like "Desire," "Filmstar," and one of the greatest singles of the 90s, "Pussycat." Unfortunately, they never got a chance to release that second album. Today they lead pretty normal lives, but occasionally pursue their musical urges, thankfully. This conversation is fun because we start out trying to tell the Mulu story, but mostly end up talking about our favorite music and the many artists they met during their time in the game. We hope you discover some new songs to make you happy and check out the link below to go deeper.
May 31, 2019
Wang Chung are releasing a special new album today called Orchesography which re-imagines some of their biggest hits and deepest cuts in a classical setting. You may have already seen the video for "Dance Hall Days" which had a real viral moment when it was released about a month ago. Hearing these classic songs in this new context adds a freshness that is sure to delight listeners. Frontman Jack Hues (ep 163) returns to discuss the impetus of the idea, how the songs were recreated, and his recent collaboration with Syd Arthur on a 22 minute version of Beck's "Nobody's Fault But My Own" that will blow your mind and is available for purchase on iTunes. Check it out, it's worth your time!
May 28, 2019
You might consider South London's Kitchens of Distinction forebears of the shoegazer genre that defined alternative rock in the UK in the early 90s. Fronted by bassist Patrick Fitzgerald, the Kitchens perfected the art of layering swirling guitars into infinity creating some of the most gorgeous noise ever recorded. But, after four albums in 6 years without a major breakthrough, the band called it quits in the mid-90s. Since then Patrick has had numerous side projects including Fruit, Lost Girls, Oskar's Drum, and his solo work under the name Stephen Hero. Oh, and he also became a doctor. Patrick and I discuss the legacy of KOD, the challenges of being an out and proud gay man in those days, the nature of his work in medicine, the new album he's completing, and a disastrous tour they did with Suzanne Vega back in the day. He's just about the sweetest man you'll ever know. And here's a link to the last Oskar's Drum album, 2018's Degenerate Art, which is fantastic. Enjoy!
May 25, 2019
In 1986 David Bowie did his buddy Iggy Pop a solid offering to help produce a new album and bring him the commercial success he so richly deserved. Bowie threw together a crack team including guitarist Kevin Armstrong and recorded Blah Blah Blah. The album featured the hit “Real Wild Child” and brought Iggy some mass success. But was it art? Kevin returns (ep 187) to go deep on the recording process. We also chat about his new excellent solo album Run. Enjoy!
May 21, 2019
Whether you know the name or not, chances are you've rocked out to scores of songs produced by the legendary Ron Nevison. Can you believe he first got his feet wet engineering The Who's Quadrophenia? And then Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti? From there he applied his genius to albums by the likes of Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, UFO and the Babys. And that was just the 70s! In the 80s he produced the finest pop rock available, guiding smash hits by the likes of Heart, Jefferson Starship, Survivor, Europe, Eddie Money, Chicago, Ozzy and, of course, Kiss. The 90s featured quality work by Meat Loaf, Vince Neil, Bad English and Damn Yankees. We get into ALL of them! Ron's in the process of writing a book, so the stories come fast and loose. If you like rock and roll, you will love this conversation with a true icon.
May 14, 2019
If you looked up New Wave or Power Pop in the dictionary, one of the skinny-tied artists you'd see next to The Knack would be the great Greg Kihn. He's practically the poster boy for that unmistakable sound bubbling up in the late 70s when long-haired rockers were cutting their hair and their songs shorter and embracing the new wave. This transition scored him some huge hits like "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)", "Jeopardy" and "Reunited", but then he sort of disappeared. What happened was a temporary stop doing morning radio turned into a couple decade long new career. In 2017 he released his first album in many years, Rekihndled, and now he's back on the road playing the hits. It's been quite a ride!