All posts filed under: Podcast

Songs of Freedom

Songs of Freedom, Episode 6: Appropriation

The sixth episode of Songs of Freedom focuses on the subject of cultural — especially musical — appropriation, using the inexplicable success of the “Harlem Shake” meme as a jumping-off point. Matthew Bolin and Lyana Fernandez discuss the difference between the meme’d Harlem Shake versus the actual dance, noting not only the lack of sample clearance by Baauer in constructing the “tune,” but the almost total dominance of white individuals taking part in this meme. Is it just a multi-layered form of cultural appropriation (or misappropriation)? Or does it go beyond even ignorance, and straight to what can be labelled “hipster racism”? This leads to discussions of what is “real” versus “artifice” and how that affects discussions of artists such as Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake for example. Furthermore, the idea of whether appropriation can ever actually have a positive connotation is debated, and possible examples of it are given. Matthew and Lyana also discuss whether only white fans are brought into the fold when white artists appropriate black culture, or whether, for instance, Eric …

Kenny Aronoff

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 19: Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff. For liner notes geeks like you and me, the name alone conjures up at the very least, the thought of that one really awesome drum breakdown, one which arguably put Aronoff on the radar of many for the first time. When you get the chance to interview someone like Aronoff, it’s a bit intimidating. Your mind starts to spin as you think about all of the records that this guy has been a part of…..and all of the people that he’s played with and still plays with. But as I discovered the first time that I got the chance to speak with Kenny, he’s an awesome dude. Mellow, humble and down to earth. Which is why when we started sketching out our wishlist of folks that we wanted to talk to here on the Radio Hour, I put Kenny on my short list. It didn’t take much more than sending an email his way to nail something down. From there, it was just a matter of finding a day that would work with …

Danny Seraphine

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 17: Danny Seraphine

In the rock milieu, drummers are hardly ever famous in their own right; unless you happen to sing while you’re swinging the sticks, like Phil Collins or Don Henley (or, around Popdose, Andy Sturmer), it’s exceedingly unlikely that the garden-variety fan will ever have any idea who you are (or notice when you’re fired). Just ask Danny Seraphine, who co-founded the pioneering “rock band with horns” Chicago in 1967 and held down its rhythm section until 1990 — then had to watch from the outside while the band’s ever-dwindling core of original members hit the sheds every summer with a growing cast of replacements. For Seraphine — who told his side of the Chicago story in his memoir, Street Player — his painful divorce from the band he helped start was enough to send him into a musical hibernation that, for awhile, seemed to be permanent. But the drums never stopped calling him, and in 2006, he surprised longtime fans with California Transit Authority (CTA for short), a cheekily named collective dedicated to fulfilling the …

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 16: Roger Clyne

While we love our share of music that is deep and introspective, sometimes you just want to have some good sarcastic fun. Roger Clyne &  the Peacemakers definitely make music that treads across a wide range of emotions, but at the core of it all, Clyne and his rebellious gang of music-making diablos aren’t taking things too seriously. Clyne’s name might not resonate with you at first mention, but you’ve definitely heard his songs. As the leader of the Refreshments in the ‘90s, he unleashed two albums with the band including the tongue twisting Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy. During the course of our conversation, we found out from Clyne that the album title of Fizzy was a deliberate verbal atom bomb meant to break up the pretentious tone at alternative and rock radio at that time. It worked. If you were working in rock radio at the time that Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy came out, it definitely left an impression with its title alone. Adding to their blitz of activities, the lead single …

Ugly Kid Joe

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 15: Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe

As we reach Episode 15 of The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, today’s guest might seem a little bit unusual at first glance. But if you’ve been following along as we’ve unveiled each installment of the Radio Hour, you’ll realize that in fact, taking advantage of the opportunity to talk music and business with Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe falls right in line with what this podcast has always been about. What is common about each of our conversations that we’ve had along the way during the first 14 episodes is that we’re always seeking to get insight into not only the latest project, but also the method behind their overall creation process. Beyond that, from a business standpoint, how did they get it done? What sort of challenges were encountered along the way and if there was a period of rebuilding, how did they face that? These are some of the topics that we touch on during our conversation with Whitfield, who joined us on the phone to talk about Stairway to Hell, …

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A Fine Mess, Episode 1: David Baerwald Interview

If you’ve been a Popdose reader for any length of time, you probably know that talking with creative people about their art is one of my favorite things to do — I never get tired of it. But because I often tend to interview artists when they’re promoting a new release, our discussions are often constrained in a number of ways; whether it’s time, commerce, or deadlines, something gets in the way of really settling in for an in-depth conversation. So for awhile now, I’ve been mulling over the idea of a podcast that would try and slow that process down a little — create a space where we can set aside release cycles and talk about an artist’s creative journey and their current relationship with the muse. I was hung up for a long time on a title, but then it struck me that with this show, I was really trying to illustrate the fact that every artist’s approach is unique; that while we see recurring themes in the creative process, there’s no formula …

Jim Peterik

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 9: Jim Peterik

When you get an offer to speak with a guy like Jim Peterik, it’s an opportunity that you really sink your teeth into. As Jeff points out during our conversation, Peterik, whether he realized it at the time or not, was writing songs that were (and would become) the soundtrack to the youth of many. While Peterik is perhaps best known for his work as the keyboardist and songwriter for Survivor, his songwriting success extended well beyond that project as he wrote songs for artists ranging from .38 Special and Sammy Hagar to REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Beach Boys in more recent years. Jeff and I really enjoyed having the chance to pick his brain on songwriting (something which he says is still “50% inspiration and 50% perspiration), the business side of things and more than anything, we just enjoyed the chance to hear Jim tell us a few of the stories behind the songs and at times, simply how he was able to get it all done. And how does he continue …

Marti Frederiksen

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 6: Marti Frederiksen Interview

Over the past two decades, songwriter/producer Marti Frederiksen, today’s guest on The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, has been the magic man helping to glue together big rock sounds for artists like Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, Buckcherry, Daughtry and Motley Crue. He also worked on several of our favorite projects, whether it was providing the vocal voice for the fictional rock band Stillwater in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, or producing the sorely underrated 1998 Wishpool album by Alabama-born rockers Brother Cane. Frederiksen was also at the helm for Can’t Slow Down, the most recent Foreigner studio release that (despite all of the odds stacked against it) was one of those “I can’t believe this is so good, but it totally is” albums, a complete return to form for the veteran classic rockers. Working across multiple genres, Frederiksen is probably best known in recent years for his work as the musical conscience for Aerosmith. He first came together with the “Bad Boys from Boston” in the mid-’90s, coming on board during the sessions for the 1997 …