Dan fronted Arizona cow-punk band Green on Red from 1979 to 1992, releasing seven albums and three EPs, and has since released four solo albums and some collaborations, growing increasingly literary, with two of his recent albums accompanied by novels.
We discuss two tracks from The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings (2018): “A Killer Now” and “Sky Harbor,” plus “La Passionaria” from Can o’ Worms (1995). We conclude by listening to “Who Knows” by The Slummers from Love of the Amateur (2010). Intro/outro: “Sixteen Ways” by Green on Red from Gas, Food, Lodging (1985). More at marlowebillings.com.
Elizabeth got her start in the psych-punk band Meowtain in Olympia, WA, emerged as Globelamp in 2011 with an EP, was briefly a touring member of Foxygen, and has put out three albums since 2014.
We discuss “Everything’s a Spiral” and listen to “Black Tar” from Romantic Cancer (2018), “Controversial/Confrontational” from The Orange Glow (2015), and “Warrior” from Star Dust (2014). Intro: “Hex” from Meowtain (2012). For more, see facebook.com/globelamp.
Phil founded New Zealand’s Split Enz with Tim Finn in 1972, recorded a seminal punk single with Suburban Reptiles, had an Australian #1 hit with The Swingers, then moved to solo and soundtrack work until 2006, since which he’s recorded five thickly textured solo albums including extensive one-man-band work.
We discuss the title track from Flightless Bird (2019), “Kite Flying Day” from Play It Strange (2014), and “Lamplight” by Schnell Fenster from The Sound of Trees (1988). We conclude by listening to “No One’s Best Man” from Novelty Act (2016). Intro/outro: “Sweet Dreams” by Split Enz from Second Thoughts (1976).
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Andrew has put out nine albums and a few EPs of piano-and-vocal-based pop using various band names since he was in high school in the late ’90s.
We discuss two of his Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness tracks: “Blue Vacation” from Upside Down Flowers (2018) and “Synesthesia” from The Pop Underground EP, then “Me and the Moon” by Something Corporate from North (2003), and conclude by listening to “Swim” by Jack’s Passenger from The Glass Passenger (2008). Opening music: “I Woke Up in a Car” by Something Corporate from Leaving through the Window (2002). For more, see andrewmcmahon.com.
Stevie has been recording pop tunes and/or wild experiments nearly continually since the late 60s, with hundreds of albums, many of them compilations of home recordings.
We discuss “Pop Music” and “Take Back” from Afterlife (2019) and “The House Is Not in Order” by R. Stevie Moore and Alan Jenkins and the Kettering Vampires from The Embodiment of Progressive Ideals (2018) and conclude by listening to “I H8 Ppl” by R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner from Make It Be (2017). Bonus songs: “Pervert” from World War 4 (2016) and (at the end) “Goodbye, Piano” from Phonography (1976). Intro: “I Like to Stay Home” from Glad Music (1986). For more, see rsteviemoore.com.
Ian has released ten studio albums and three EPs since 1993, starting as an Austin guitar hero and evolving into an eclectic, subtle Seattle songwriter who teaches songwriting courses.
We discuss “1000 Blackbirds” from Toronto (2018), the title track from Strange Days (2017), and “Abilene” from Luminaria (2004). End song: “Sad Affair” from El Sonido Nuevo (2011). Intro: “Satisfied” from Ian Moore (1993). For more, see ianmoore.com.
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Peter started in hardcore punk and used the blues to add depth for his band the Chrome Cranks, which released four studio albums and a live album in the mid-1990s then another in 2012. Since then he’s been a music journalist and author, writing about the Ramones, the Band, and others, with occasional musical projects. We discuss his new single “Bomb Train Blues” (2018) with the band Young Skulls, Chrome Cranks tracks “Dark Room” from Chrome Cranks (1994), and “Rubber Rat” from Ain’t No Lies in Blood (2012). We conclude by listening to “Purge 4” from Purges by Peter Aaron and Brian Chase (2016). Intro/outro: “Hot Blonde Cocktail” by the Chrome Cranks from Love in Exile (1997). For more, see peteraaron.org.
Steve started producing tracks for dance clubs in 2007, changing his style in 2013 to slow down, carve out space for spontaneous performance, and develop “audio alchemy” over a few EPs and two recent albums.
We discuss “Equinosis” from the Mercurial EP (2018), “Superluminal Sound” from his Soul Science album (2016), and the title track from his Wanderlust EP (2013). We conclude by listening to “Origins” by Hedflux and Alex Delfont from Kin (2018). Opening/closing: “Music Is My Weapon” (2007). For more, see hedflux.com.
Portland-based singer-songwriter Rachel has released 10 albums of off-kilter, usually piano-based, lyric-heavy indie rock since the mid ’00s.
We discuss “Maker” and “God” (plus the intro “Gyre”) from Run Tiny Human (2018), “Taxidermy” from World so Sweet (2011), and “Ormolu” from Ormolu (2006), and also listen to “We’ll Have A” from Falimy (2014). For more, see racheltaylorbrown.com.
Sam has released sixteen albums of catchy, textured pop music since 1983.
We discuss “I Want to Be You” and “Tears in the Ground” from World on Sticks (2018), “How to Dream” from Fan Dance (2001), and conclude by listening to “When I’m Alone” from Push Any Button (2013). Intro: “Baby I Can’t Please You” from Martinis and Bikinis (1994). For more, visit samphillips.com.
After starting in the ’80s with the Trolls and the Bastards of Execution, Dusty has released six albums as a solo artist since 1997.
We discuss a new, unreleased song “Pardon My Love,” then “Man in the Mirror” from Gliding Toward Oblivion (2018) and “High Flyin’ Bird” by GIANTfingers from around 2003. We conclude by listening to “(Art at) the Speed of Life” by the Dusty Diamonds from 1994. Intro/outro: “Karma” from dust! (2000).
Lincoln established the Seattle-based singer/songwriter vehicle Red Jacket Mine in 2003, made three albums and an EP with them, and in 2017 released his first solo album, the jazzy, live-in-studio Trembling Frames.
We examine “Desperate Tormentors” and hear “How To Escape” and a bit of “Memory Up and Die” from that album, and discuss Red Jacket Mine: “Apricot Moon” from Lovers Lookout (2009) and “Jesus’s House” from Hello, Old Cloud (2008). For more, see lincolnbarrmusic.com.
Seth Swirsky was a highly successful staff songwriter for over 20 years, and has put out three solo albums and three albums as The Red Button since 2004. He’s a huge Beatles fan and has released a Beatles documentary Beatles Stories and has multiple books about psychology and baseball.
We discuss his heavily covered and sound-tracked tune “Love Is a Beautiful Thing”; you’ll hear the version by Al Green from Don’t Look Back (1993), then “Matchbook Cover” from Seth’s album Watercolor Day (2010) and “Picture” by The Red Button from As Far as Yesterday Goes (2011). The end suite is “Shine/Circles and Squares/Go” from his album Circles and Squares (2016). Intro music is from the title track to Instant Pleasure (2004). For more, see seth.com.
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John is an amazing guitarist who started in the late-’60s British blues boom, had his first compositions set to tape with Darryl Way’s Wolf in the early ’70s, then joined the latter line-ups of jazz-prog legends Soft Machine (replacing Alan Holdsworth) in the late ’70s. He’s collaborated with luminaries like violinist Stéphane Grappelli, guitar great John Williams, and Andy Summers from The Police, and released eight solo albums prior to teaming up with former members of Soft Machine for another six albums.
We discuss “One Glove” by Soft Machine from Hidden Details (2018), his rendition of Rodgers and Hart’s “My Romance” from I Didn’t Know (2004), and “Venerable Bede” from Ash (1994). We conclude by listening to “Blue Breeze” by John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe from Out of the Sky (2015). Intro/outro from “Huffin'” by Soft Machine from Alive and Well: Recorded in Paris (1978). For more, visit john-etheridge.com and softmachine.org.
Byron is an in-demand session/touring bassist whose main band since 2004 has been NYC’s Ollabelle. We talk about “Losing You” and “Gypsy Wind” from his debut solo album, Disappearing Man (2018), plus “Gone Today” by Ollabelle from Riverside Battle Songs (2007), and finish with”Horizontal Man” by Lost Leaders from their 2014 eponymous album. Intro: “Heaven’s Pearls” by Levon Helm from Electric Dirt (2009). For more, visit byronisaacs.com.
Lindsay has released four albums and an EP of depressed alternative rock under the band name Gretchen’s Wheel since 2015, providing a modern model of accessible yet professional DIY recording.
We focus on Black Box Theory, covering “Untethered,” “Tatyana,” and “Plans,” plus “Save the Day” from Sad Scientist (2017). Intro: “Total Loss” from Fragile State (2015). For more, visit gretchenswheel.com.
Tara has long been building her heavy metal guitar skills, but has only recently gone public, building a huge social media following and now releasing Evil Enough, an album featuring musicians who’ve played with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.
We discuss “Antidote” and “Banished from My Kingdom,” and close with “Unbreakable.” Opening music: “Gui-Tara Rises.” Hear more at taralynch.com.
Shawn started as a ’60s folk singer, went to England to cavort with the greats of classic rock, and emerged in the ’70s with ten albums of eclectic, progressive music with shamanic lyrics delivered with a twang.
We discuss “Woman” from Second Contribution (1971), “A Christmas Song” from Faces (1972) and “Mr. President” from Furthermore (1974), then play two songs from his new album, Continuance: “C’mon Round” and “Bach to the Fusion.” Opening music: “I’m a Loner (I’m a Drifter)” from I’m a Loner (1964). For more, see shawnphillips.com.
Phil was a core member of Roxy Music through the ’70s and early ’80s, has released 10+ solo albums since 1975 and many collaborations—appearing on around 80 albums in total—with an experimental yet tasteful guitar that’s sometimes mistaken for a keyboard or something else.
We discuss “No Church in the Wild” from The Sound of Blue (2015), which is a cover of the song by Jay Z and Kanye West based around a sample from Phil’s song “K-Scope” from the album of that name (1970). We then talk about “Wish You Well” from 6:00pm (2004) and the title track from Diamond Head (1975). Finally we listen to “Magdalena” from Live in Japan (2017). Intro music: “Over You” by Roxy Music from Flesh & Blood (1980).
For more, visit manzanera.com.
Nick has released 22 albums as The Bevis Frond since 1986, alternating jangle-pop with psychedelia and power-guitar rock… pretty much anything ’60s-flavored.
We discuss “Longships” from Example 22 (2015), “Opthalmic Microdots” from White Numbers (2013), and “Coming Round” from London Stone (1992). We conclude by listening to “Portobello Man” from Valedictory Songs (2000). Intro: “He’d Be a Diamond” from New River Head (1991). Hear more at bevisfrond.bandcamp.com.
As bassist/co-frontman for XTC, he released around 14 albums between 1978–2000, and for the first time since, he has a new release, the Great Aspirations EP now under the name TC&I.
We discuss “Scatter Me” and “Kenny” from this 2017 release, plus “Say It” an 2002 XTC song, and conclude by listening to “Where Did the Ordinary People Go?” the final 2005 XTC single. Intro music: “Making Plans for Nigel” from Drums and Wires (1979). For more, see facebook.com/tcandimusic.
Sarah has recorded five solo albums since 1997, starting with traditional folk songs, sometimes guitar instrumentals, and now focusing on originals that mix British and American folk in a style influenced by Joni Mitchell, among others. She has lately pared back her songwriting to ensure that every note counts.
We discuss the title track and “The Silence above Us” from If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous (2018) and “Hardwick’s Lofty Towers” from The Plum Tree and the Rose (2012). Closing song: “Yellowstone” from Walking into White (2015). Opening instrumental: “The Day of Wrath, That Day,” also from the new album. For more, see sarahmcquaid.com.
Aaron was born into show business, staring young in L.A. in the early ’00s with All Hours, then went solo, moved to New York, became an actor, and has now released his first album in seven years, Wry Observer.
We discuss the title track from that album plus “Brooklyn at Dawn” (the intro music is from that too: “The Last to Die in Battle”). Then we look back to “Box Office Stud” by All Hours (2004) and finish by listening to “Bright Lights” from the album Aaron David Gleason (2010). Learn more at aarondavidgleason.com.
Amy has recorded nine albums of emotionally stark but often artistically decorated original folk music, punctuated by cover tunes like the opening music here, Townes Van Zandt’s “Buckskin Stallion Blues,” which appeared in the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
We discuss “Mouth to Mouth” from The Autopilot Knows You Best (2000), “The Nightjar’s Blues” from The Cimarron Banks (2010), and “Natural Arc” from Songs for Creeps (2006), which also contains our closer, “I’m A-Gone Down to the Greenfields.” Visit amyannelle.bandcamp.com.
On NEM#15, Craig introduced us to his songwriting style: How a hardcore aesthetic informs even his most syntho creations, and how whimsicality and beauty can coexist harmoniously. Craig has since then released the Adult Desire album, and returns to talk to us about the song “Safe Home/Fadeland” and about the Adult Desire 360 VR application. Intro: “Amnesian Wedding March.” Outro: “I Was a Soldier.” Visit craigwedren.com.
Arrica has released five albums and three EPs of floaty, poetic, California rock since 2006.
We discuss “Whole Lotta Lows” and “X-Ray Eyes” from Low as the Moon (2017) and “When the Clouds Hang This Low” from Let Alone Sea (2011). We conclude by listening to “On and On” by Dear County from Low Country (2016). Intro music: “Sail Away” from Antebellum (2010). For more, visit arricarose.com.
Alejandro started as a punk guitarist for the The Nuns, moved to Austin in the ’80s and became a songwriter with True Believers. He has since put out 14+ solo albums of story-driven, lyrically intense, stylistically varied Texas rock.
We’ll be discussing “Beauty and the Buzz” from Burn Something Beautiful (2016), “Sally Was a Cop” from Big Station (2012), and “Pissed Off 2AM” from With These Hands (1996). End song: “Velvet Guitar” from A Man Under the Influence (2001). Opening: “Hard Road” from True Believers (1986). More at alejandroescovedo.com.
Annie fronted British symphonic rock band Renaissance for nine albums starting in 1971, but only in the late ’80s became a lyricist. She’s now released eight studio albums and two new Renaissance albums.
We discuss “Blessing in Disguise,” the title track from her 1994 album; “Grandine il Vento”, the title track from Renaissance’s 2013 album, and “Precious One” from Annie’s The Dawn of Ananda (2000). End song: “Symphony of Light,” also from Grandine il Vento.
Opening music: “Introlise” from Annie in Wonderland (1977) and Renaissance’s “Northern Lights” from A Song for All Seasons (1978). More at anniehaslam.com.