Interviews and anecdotes with musicians, album collectors, LP manufacturers and beyond about our connection to vinyl records.
Episode 147: Will Johnson
Growing up learning to play drums to his favorite LP's, Will Johnson earned an affection for the album as a beginning-to-end document from an early age. Aside from nearly two decades fronting the influential four-piece Centro-Matic, Will is known in Americana/indie-rock circles as being a serial collaborator: He's joined forces over the years in some capacity with Jason Molina, David Bazan and Jay Farrar among others, while also drumming for Monsters Of Folk, featuring Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Jim James. If that weren't enough, he's released seven records to date under his own name, but in March he dropped perhaps his deepest solo endeavor yet -- his first novel, titled If Or When I Call. On today's episode, Will speaks about his meticulous recording process, alphabetizing his record collection during the pandemic, the song Jason Isbell wrote about Centro-Matic, the recent loss of Hank Aaron, growing up with Sheryl Crow as his babysitter and which box set he never goes on tour without. Visit will-johnson.com to keep tabs on everything Will's up to, and support your favorite local bookstore by purchasing If Or When I Call from indiebound.org.
Episode 146: Sara Watkins
Over the last twenty-five years with acclaimed acts like Nickel Creek, I'm With Her and Watkins Family Hour (as well as her own solo material), Sara Watkins has become one of the most prolific musicians in folk and bluegrass. Dig into your record collection, and you'll also find her work on albums from Steve Earle, The Decemberists, Mandy Moore, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett and Father John Misty, to boot. Her latest solo release is Under the Pepper Tree, an album of lullabies, hopeful songs from kids films and tender melodies that have otherwise served her into adulthood. Today, Sara discusses the origins of Under the Pepper Tree (especially how she envisioned the album on vinyl from the very beginning), how her dad crafted a makeshift turntable out of a sewing needle and paper, and how one Nickel Creek fan went from the front row on the band's recently-released live album to testing the trio for COVID. Under the Pepper Tree is available now on New West Records, wherever you get music. Find Sara's socials, upcoming live dates and more info at SaraWatkins.com.
Episode 145: Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Beginning strictly as a dance-a-long live show, Koo Koo Kanga Roo has exploded over the last decade -- thanks to digital streaming and word of mouth from elementary teachers -- becoming a hugely popular duo amongst toddlers and grade school kids. Whether rapping about the unbridled joys of pizza, rainbows, monsters or fanny packs, Bryan Atchison and Neil Ostad are approaching 150 million views on YouTube as of this recording, and have collaborated or toured with Frank Turner, the Aquabats, the Harlem Globetrotters and members of Doomtree. Today, Bryan and Neil discuss Koo Koo's history, lessons they absorbed from Asian Man Records founder Mike Park, getting spoofed by Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa this past Halloween, and the logistical nightmare of traveling with vinyl overseas for the first time. Plus, Jim's son George makes his first official appearance on the podcast as he meets his favorite band! You can pre-order Koo Koo Kanga Roo's new album Slow Clap on vinyl and find videos + social media at kookookangaroo.com. Bryan and Neil's podcast Banter Buddies can also be found wherever you listen.
REPOST: Braid's Bob Nanna & Chris Broach (Feb 2017)
Enjoy this encore presentation of Episode 46, recorded live 01/14/17 at Pinwheel Records (Chicago) with vocalists/guitarists Bob Nanna and Chris Broach from Braid.
Episode 144: Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)
A songwriter and record collector since the age of 8, Patterson Hood's musical education was through his father's record collection. But what separates David Hood from a lot of dads is the fact that he's a renowned session bassist and producer who has worked with anyone from Aretha Franklin to Willie Nelson -- appearing on classics like The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" and Etta James' "Tell Mama." Patterson eventually formed Drive-By Truckers in 1997 and despite a rotating cast through the years, including Jason Isbell and Spooner Oldham, his partnership with co-songwriter/vocalist Mike Cooley has spanned nearly four decades and has fueled DBT's cult-like following. On this episode, Patterson describes his love for the test pressing process, playing it cool when you're neighbors with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, why the band has been so prolific within the last year, and how the Truckers recorded their first seven-inch on their very first day as a band. Follow Patterson @dbtph on Instagram, and visit drivebytruckers.com for news and updates.
Episode 143: Tony Thaxton (Bizarre Albums / Motion City Soundtrack)
What do Hulk Hogan, Ed McMahon, the Pink Panther and Hamm's Beer all have in common? Tony Thaxton, host of the podcast Bizarre Albums, joins us today to discuss the unique, obscure or oddly legendary records these pop culture icons created, as well as other LP's put out by actors, athletes, fictional characters and auto companies over the last half-century. Plus, we talk about our mutual fascination with the documentary film Bathtubs Over Broadway, a must-watch for any record collector. Find Bizarre Albums however you listen to podcasts, and follow the show on Instagram, @bizarrealbums.
Jim does an amazing job interviewing artists/musicians from all genres. He has a vast background of all types of music and his research for each show is evident. Well done and highly recommended!
A great podcast
Jim does a great job with this podcast. I love hearing his guests talk about their experience with vinyl whether it be stuff in their collection, memories from their childhood, or hearing themselves on a record for the first time. The host has great questions and you can tell he has done his homework on the subjects. Keep up the great work! - CH
For music lovers, not just vinyl lovers!
This podcast is for all fans of music. It’s filled with great stories, great albums and it can really help introduce you to artists you might not have ever heard of. Awesome for music discovery! Keep up the good work and I’ll keep listening!