Host Pierre de Gaillande interviews musicians and discuss the intersection of music and politics, and the meaning of protest music in the modern era. Guests perform live or select a recording that fits into their idea of "protest music," and we talk about their artistic trajectory.
PPP #26: Eleni Mandell
Eleni Mandell is an LA-based singer-songwriter who has been making some of the best music you'll ever hope to hear since her first album, Wishbone, came out in 1996. She's an astoundingly prolific artist with a huge discography, and she's collaborated with such heavy hitters as Nels Cline (Wilco), DJ Bonebrake (X), Joey Waronker (Beck), and Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes), putting out one great album after another. Her songs have been covered by the likes of Jackson Browne, Harper Simon, and Van Dyke Parks, and she continues to perform with her solo project as well as the four piece female miracle harmony ensemble The Living Sisters, and her side-project The Grabs. I met Eleni on tour in 2006 in Nashville, and I've since had the good fortune to work on some recordings and share a stage with her on a number of occasions. We spoke about the continuing struggle of being a creative person, a parent to twins, and a working human being in these challenging times. She also shared a sneak peak of her newest project Teardrop Ghosts with her husband and musical partner Milo Jones.
Playlist available on Spotify:Theme song; Marchandise by Pierre de Gaillande, from the album franglais. (originally Merchandise by Fugazi.) Give Them All a Kiss, by Pierre de Gaillande with vocals by Eleni Mandell (originally Embrasse les Tous by Georges Brassens.) Circumstance Air, Box in a Box, Just Herself, I'm Old Fashioned, My Twin, Put My Baby To Bed, Nickel Plated Man, and Two Faces by Eleni Mandell. Francais Un by Eleni Mandell, with Pierre de Gaillande, vocals. Empty Locket by Eleni Mandell and Milo Jones. Lemon Tree by Teardrop Ghosts, Eleni Mandell and Milo Jones. Political Disco by The Grabs.
PPP #25: Tony Scalzo
Episode 25 of Pierre Pressure Podcast features very special guest Tony Scalzo from the band Fastball. Tony is a talented and prolific songwriter who wrote a string of hits for his platinum-selling band Fastball in the late 90s. He grew up in Orange County, California and moved to Austin, Texas where he still lives today. We have a lively chat about growing up behind the Orange Curtain in the 80s, his musical trajectory starting with piano lessons, playing in marching bands, joining his first cover band at 14, then jumping into songwriting and playing at Hollywood clubs, becoming politically aware after a blissfully ignorant childhood, moving to the progressive town of Austin, Fastball's trajectory through the music industry, and lots and lots of politics. He performs a brand new song, Seat at the Table live and acoustic.
Music: Theme song; Merchandise by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande, from the album franglais. Big Flag by Pierre de Gaillande. The Way by Fastball, The Bed I Made by Tony Scalzo. Big League Game by Electric Kool Aide. Seat at the Table (live acoustic) by Tony Scalzo. Wagen by Vibafemba. Out of My Head by Fastball. Bad Things by Machine Gun Kelly (featuring Camilla Cabello.) White Collar and All Gone Fuzzy by Fastball.
Election 2020 Actions: Be a poll worker - https://www.elections.ny.gov/BecomePollworker.html Register friends to vote - https://voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/MotorVoter/ Write postcards - https://postcardstovoters.org
PPP #24: Bill Frisell
After a three month hiatus due to Covid 19, Pierre Pressure Podcast is back! For the new season, Pierre focuses on the tradition of protest music, and how it can inspire us to speak up, stand up, and sing out about what we think needs to change in our fractured society. Pierre Pressure Podcast is extremely honored to have special guest Bill Frisell on this first reboot episode #24.
Bill Frisell is a groundbreaking guitarist, composer and arranger. One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s, Frisell came to prominence as a stalwart for ECM Records. He went on to work in a variety of contexts, notably as a member of the New York City Downtown Scene where he formed a long partnership with John Zorn. He was also a longtime member of Paul Motian's groups from the early 1980s until Motian's death in 2011. Since 2000, Frisell's eclectic output as a bandleader has emphasized folk, country music, and Americana. Frisell has put out an astonishing amount of music, spanning all genres and styles as a bandleader and a collaborator with artists including John Zorn, Charlie Haden, Petra Haden, Richard Hell, Ginger Baker, Earth, Vic Chesnutt, Arto Lindsay, Fred Armisen, Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III, Lucinda Williams, and many, many others.
Pierre spoke to Frisell about his start as a clarinet player, the connection between breathing, speaking, and his unique guitar tone, his long time collaboration with Hal Wilner who died tragically from Covid 19 this year, his work with John Zorn, his appearance on the fabled, short-lived, David Sanborn-hosted TV show Night Music which featured a collaboration with Sting and Rufus Thomas, his foray into film music, and the meaning of protest music in our current era.
www.billfrisell.com Photo: Monica Jane Frisell
Music: Theme song; Aime-Toi by Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, performed by Pierre de Gaillande, from the album franglais. Electriciousness by Pierre de Gaillande. Come Together, Masters of War, A Hard Rain's a Gonna Come, Change is Gonna Come, by Bill Frisell. You Will be Shot by John Zorn. Little Brother Bobby by Bill Frisell. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers, performed by Sting. Satellite by Elliot Smith, performed by Petra Haden and Bill Frisell. Music from The Great Flood by Bill Morrison, music composed and performed by Bill Frisell, with Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, and Kenny Wollesen. Bonanza Theme, by Bill Frisell. Torture Garden by John Zorn. We Shall Overcome by Bill Frisell.
Election 2020 Actions:Be a poll worker - https://www.elections.ny.gov/BecomePollworker.html Register friends to vote - https://voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/MotorVoter/ Write postcards - https://postcardstovoters.org
PPP # 23: PANDEMIC #2
Part 2 of Pierre's Pandemic Podcast features two guests from Episode 22 and some new guests discussing life during the coronavirus lockdown. Pierre checks in on the phone with two people who had Covid 19 and recovered, a doctor and a nurse practitioner working with patients in New York City, two musicians, a public defender, and someone living in Carriacou, a remote island in the Carribean. Don't miss this episode filled with tales of resilience, ordinary madness, quiet heroism, frustration and laughter in the face of unprecedented strangeness.
Guests: 1: Spider, nurse practitioner in Brooklyn, NY 2: Daria, musician in Beacon, New York3: Sid, public defender in Brooklyn, NY4: Genevieve, education administrator in Brooklyn, NY 5: Izzy, musician in Bushwick, NY 6: Wendy, retired in Carriacou, Grenada7: Jonathan, cardiologist in New York, NY
Songs: Merchandise, written by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande. HIV by Ween. Pettin' in the Park by Daria Grace and the Prewar Ponies. Valley Winter Song by Fountains of Wayne. Still Ill by The Smiths. Biological Speculation by Parliament. Time to Get Ill by Beastie Boys. Come Sail Away by Styx. Four Senses on Alert by Pierre de Gaillande. Close to You by Karen Carpenter.
PIERRE PRESSURE PANDEMIC PLAYLIST is available for streaming on SPOTIFY.
PPP# 22: PANDEMIC PLAYLIST
A very unusual Pierre Pressure Podcast. In this episode, Pierre called his friends in New York, California, and Florida to see how they are getting by during this world-wide quarantine. These guests range in age, gender, profession, and location, from musicians to prisoner advocates to BnB owners to school lunch administrators, they have all been deeply affected by the corona virus. I asked them all to tell me what music is getting them by during this historic catastrophe, and I made a playlist on Spotify with their suggestions (see link below.) Shortly after this taping, the first guest, "Spider" contracted the Covid 19 virus and is in good condition at home. All other guests are coping with this unusual time in their own ways. There will be further call-in shows as this quarantine goes on.
PIERRE PRESSURE PANDEMIC PLAYLIST is available for streaming on Spotify:https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6eKaZ7z3EwQlSfEoRIhkWN?si=XbZKaGh2S6CzEWO1rc6RtA
Guests:1: Spider in Brooklyn, NY2: Jack Grace in upstate New York3: Kevin in Polk County, Florida4: Gretchen in Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY5: Scheffer in San Francisco, CA6: Izzy Rock in Bushwick, NY7: Basquali in Hudson, NY8: Kelsey in Brooklyn, NY9: Zoe in San Franciso, CA
Song: Corona by Minutemen, Four Senses on Alert by Pierre de Gaillande, Night Fever by BeeGees, I Die: You Die by Gary Numan, Pandemic songs by Jack Grace, I'm Clean Now by Grouper, Gold Sounds by Pavement, I'm Still Standing by Elton John, Pressure by Billy Joel, Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem, We Will Never Exist by Sitar Metal, It's the End of the World As We Know It by REM, My Corona by Zdoggmb, My Struggles by Missy Elliott.
PPP #21: CHRIS WELLS
Chris Wells is the founder of The Secret City, and he is a high priest of art. He's been known to tower over people in platform shoes, he leads a congregation of art worshippers, his performances make people feel high, and he was raised in the high desert of California. In this episode we discuss what it means to create transcendental, communal gatherings outside the umbrella of "church." We talk about the somatic response of fight, flight, or freeze, trying to heal the wounds of empire, gay politicians wearing "straight-face," people who let their dogs lick their face, and the performance of being a Reagan-loving, church-going young man. We also discuss Chris' journey into being a radical fairy, dissect the so-called Irish potato famine, queers in the woods, gay liberation not assimilation, and his ongoing mission to bring art-based, ecstatic spectacle to a divided world. A lot of ground is covered!
Episode sponsor: Cats Who Can Type. Opening music: Marchandise by Bad Reputation (French cover of Merchandise by Fugazi). Pixxlatd Cock by Pierre de Gaillande. Songs: Famine by Sinead O'Connor, Hold Me Baby by Christie and the NoNos, Compared to What by Les McCann and Eddie Harris. End music: All One by The Snow.