137 episodes

A podcast about music...kinda.

KINDA NEAT Lee Shaner

    • Music

A podcast about music...kinda.

    Episode 144: OutWest

    Episode 144: OutWest

    OutWest talks their unique blend of country tinged post-emo, growing up in a sleepy beach town called Ventura, being in bands by the time they were preteens, and perform the title track of their Through Highways EP

    
    Lil Racecar and Gravelust grew up together in Ventura, a sleepy beach town north of LA, south of Santa Barbara. It’s known as a small mecca for pop-punk and surfing, but it might’ve birthed the next big thing in post-emo. Already being dubbed “country trap,” I think they’re more than a gimmicky subgenre. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find them at their best trading contemplative lines over vaguely country twanged acoustic guitars. Sure there are occasional 808 subs and machine gun high hats, but it’s the songwriting that will keep you around.
    The duo met around junior high and each knew about the other making music. It wasn’t until Gravelust heard  Lil Racecar’s experiments with autotuned melodic rap they realized they should be working together. Products of the music internet, whereupon regional influence is essentially nullified, SoundCloud filled their heads  with all sorts of cross genre hybrids. Gravelust’s love for industrial pop like Depeche Mode, and Racecar’s modern rap influence inspired much of their early collaborative efforts. But a fateful trip, getting f****d up in the desert, caused a realization that their direction should take a more country / western turn.
    OutWest is still young, 18 and recently out of high school. They’re still honing their sound and will surely evolve over time, but I think they have a very interesting base and the songwriting and chemistry is there. They remind me of music I would’ve cried to as a lovelorn teen. The passion is clear in their voices, and their tunes would be as fitting around a campfire as they would be at a festival. Hear us talk about growing up in a sleepy beach town, early music experiments and much more.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 144: OutWest appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 144: OutWest appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 sec
    Episode 143: Omar Apollo

    Episode 143: Omar Apollo

    Omar Apollo talks growing up Chicano in Indiana, learning to be a musician in the last 2 years via YouTube tutorials, and growing up a Kinda Neat fan (awww shucks)

    
    Omar Apollo surprised me in a lot of ways. Beside dad issues, an ongoing personal theme of this show has been “people will surprise you.” It ties into plenty of old adages, but we tend to paint a picture of who a person is before we meet them. Every time I do this, I come to find out I’m completely wrong in my assumptions. With Omar‘s dreamy vocals, purposefully polished lo-fi aesthetic, and multi-instrumental self-produced musicianship, I made the assumption he might be an “industry plant.” I thought he’d come in to the studio dressed to the nines with a small entourage of label execs. Nope. People will surprise you.
    Turns out Omar is a really f*****g normal 21 year old with an above average curiosity for music. I say that because until 2 years ago he claims to not have had any outstanding musical talent. He wanted to impress his dad so he started taking vocal lessons…on YouTube! It was via that glorious site he learned to play the guitar, make beats, and produce his own records. So what are you doing with your time on YouTube?
    Needless to say the last two years have been fruitful. His recent Stereo EP is receiving good reviews and garnering him a strong fanbase. His numbers are on the rise, and this summer he’ll be playing shows and touring with heavy hitters. So he’s definitely a name to watch. Beyond that he gave me a little bit of personal flattery because he and his team have been actual KN fans since our humble beginnings in 2013. They even cracked a few jokes about past guests that only true viewers would’ve gotten.
    Tune in for a conversation that swayed more towards goofiness and good times than anything too serious. We talk about growing up in Indiana, his immigrant family, and his lack of media training.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 143: Omar Apollo appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 143: Omar Apollo appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Episode 142: Epic Beard Men

    Episode 142: Epic Beard Men

    Sage Francis & B. Dolan talk forming Epic Beard Men, growing up in Rhode Island, their storied pasts in rap music and perform “Five Hearts” Live in studio


    Epic Beard Men is the collaborative effort of Sage Francis and B. Dolan. The two have been touring and working together for a decade now and finally decided to team up for a full length effort. Their release Season 1 was an exercise for the established solo acts. Songwriting and conceptualizing music as a team was a new experience for both of them. Their immense performance chops, and vast knowledge of rap styles and history shine through on the project.
    Full disclosure: Sage Francis was one of my favorite rappers when I was about 20 years old. He was the second artist I ever opened a show for (the first one was MC Paul Barman). Dudes like him, Slug of Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, and Grouch of Living Legends made me feel a little less weird for growing up as a white kid loving rap music and wanting to participate. Mark and I used to post on Sage’s Strange Famous message board. Sage was a known curmudgeon online, blocking people that reached out in even the most polite way. My friends and I were terrified and intimidated to meet him back then. Needless to say I’ve wanted to try my hand at interviewing him for quite sometime.
    I found out about B. Dolan through my Sage fanboying. Dolan has always been an excellent rapper and technician. His deft ability with words led him to the spoken word poetry scene that was thriving in the early 2000’s. The fact he and Sage were both from Rhode Island and rapper / poets led to fast friendship. I’ve always respect Dolan’s outspoken political activism. His “Make Racists Afraid Again” hats were one of the first MAGA protest items I recall seeing. It was a pleasure meeting him for the first time. Felt an instant comfort and kindred bond with him, prolly because we look like long lost cousins.
    Tune in to hear us talk about their stories. While both completely unique, they have many surprisingly similar themes.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 142: Epic Beard Men appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 142: Epic Beard Men appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Episode 141: Hunnah

    Episode 141: Hunnah

    Hunnah talks about her parents’ amazing journey from Ethiopia to Canada, being an extremely studious youth, her older sister forcing her to sing in public the first time, and performs “Think About It” live in studio

    
    Hunnah is one of the purest vocal talents we’ve ever had on the show. Jaws drop and spines tingle as soon as she begins to belt out notes. Still a relative unknown at this point, she gained traction and attracted music industry insiders via her YouTube cover videos. Having heard a few unreleased originals, I can vouch for her potential as a future powerhouse.
    Born in Toronto to Ethiopian immigrants, Hunnah’s childhood was relatively strict. Raised in church, no cable tv, and a strict regiment of classical piano lessons led to her being an excellent student. While she didn’t love the piano lessons, eventually her musicality began to show itself through her voice. Her older sister, who wouldn’t directly compliment her talents, forced her to sing in front of the school music teacher. Her sister’s vague acknowledgement led to her pursuing her singing and the rest is (the beginning of) history.
    Hunnah is simply darling. She was a joy to converse with and an easy conversationalist. Her family history is intriguing and her work ethic is commendable. Highly recommended episode that’ll lead to you bragging to your friends about how early you were in a few years.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 141: Hunnah appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 141: Hunnah appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Episode 140: ROLE MODEL

    Episode 140: ROLE MODEL

    ROLE MODEL talks moving from Maine, getting into film school despite horrendous grades, his inbox flooding with A&R emails after 200K plays, and performs “i don’t rly like u” live in studio

    
    Tucker Pillsbury, soon to be much better known as ROLE MODEL, still has a boyish charm. In a movie he’d be the artsy kid next door the cheerleader secretly has a crush on. At 21 years old, he’s only recently begun leaving his quaint Maine upbringing to explore the world. His songwriting is already world-building and impressive. I can only imagine how the music will develop as he continues his personal growth.
    Raised the son of a “ski bum,” Tucker picked up a video camera initially to film his friends skiing. This led to him learning to edit short films and music videos. Despite terrible grades in school, his talent with a camera didn’t go unnoticed. He was accepted into the film school at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. It was there he had his first drink, first smoke and eventually made his first song.
    Like many humble beginnings on our show, ROLE MODEL’s first song attempts were in a dorm room. He admits his early work was derivative auto-tune reliant rap that didn’t really feel like him. Working out the kinks went quick though. A couple years later, he’s released his Arizona In The Summer EP. The addictive four song project lends itself to playing on repeat for hours. Tucker was serendipitously in LA the week I heard “i don’t rly like u” and we’re excited to have found the time to feature him.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 140: ROLE MODEL appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 140: ROLE MODEL appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Episode 139: phem

    Episode 139: phem

    phem Talks Growing Up in the Valley, Being an Accomplished Drummer, the Lowest Lows that Led to Major Self Discovery and Performs “Blinders” Live In Studio

    
    phem is the latest and most permanent iteration of Liv Marsico’s creative alias’. She’s been making music for years in the LA scene. Cutting her teeth in the Low End Theory world, I first heard her on Nocando‘s “Little Green Monsters.” At the time she was making waves with her band Liphemra. She also as a hired gun drumming for studio sessions and touring acts. An accomplished jazz drummer, phem went to a creative arts high school where the emphasis was on musicianship.
    But while working on Liphemra, Liv felt uncomfortable in her own skin, and living space. Renting a dingey recording space, and living illegally in it, her life hit an uncomfortable low. Thankfully a strong support group helped her out of the situation, and she emerged stronger. Now more comfortable with herself, her art, and her sexual identity (“I just like people, man”), phem is ready for her moment. “Blinders” is a fantastic summary and, in turn, elevator pitch of her music and personality. I was instantly drawn to the song and think you guys will be as well.
    Go check out phem’s latest EP Can’t Kill Me and hear our long convo about her journey. We talk about growing up in the valley and commuting for school. She reveals her lifelong relationship with drumming. We get in depth about her low point living out of a studio. Then, of course, she performed an excellent rendition of “Blinders” live in studio.

    –Lee
    The post Episode 139: phem appeared first on KINDA NEAT.
    The post Episode 139: phem appeared first on KINDA NEAT.

    • 1 hr 10 min

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