9 episodes

An oral history podcast about and with members of Trip Shakespeare, a Minneapolis-based quartet who earned a loyal cult following for their playful but literate alternative art-pop. In early 1985 when Harvard anthropology grad Elaine Harris answered an ad looking for "wicked percussion hands" posted by English major Matt Wilson. Harris and Wilson would relocate to Wilson's hometown of Minneapolis and found Trip Shakespeare, along with John Munson, a Chinese-language major at the University of Minnesota. After issuing a debut LP, 1986’s “Applehead Man,” on local label Gark Records, the band soon expanded to include Dan Wilson, a graduate student in art and Matt's elder brother. With a more fleshed-out harmonic sound the band released their second album, 1988’s “Are You Shakesperienced?” on Gark, then Twin/Tone. In late 1989, the band signed with A&M, releasing “Across the Universe” in April of 1990, followed by “Lulu” in September of 1991. With each subsequent release the group showed off a maturing command of its unique approach to the pop music form with increasingly higher production values and studio experimentation. Neither album could match the success they achieved as a live touring act, and after Trip Shakespeare recorded a six-song EP of cover tunes entitled Volt, A&M rejected the project and dropped the band. (Twin/Tone records would belatedly release Volt in 1994.) Elaine relocated to her hometown in the Boston area. Matt Wilson continues to write and record his music through various solo and band projects. Dan and John went on to form the band Semisonic, scoring a hit with the now-classic 90’s alt-rock single “Closing Time.” Podcast host Morgan Taylor plays together with Munson in the Grammy-nominated music-and-art project Gustafer Yellowgold.

SHAKESPEARICON SPOTLIGHT Morgan Taylor

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 42 Ratings

An oral history podcast about and with members of Trip Shakespeare, a Minneapolis-based quartet who earned a loyal cult following for their playful but literate alternative art-pop. In early 1985 when Harvard anthropology grad Elaine Harris answered an ad looking for "wicked percussion hands" posted by English major Matt Wilson. Harris and Wilson would relocate to Wilson's hometown of Minneapolis and found Trip Shakespeare, along with John Munson, a Chinese-language major at the University of Minnesota. After issuing a debut LP, 1986’s “Applehead Man,” on local label Gark Records, the band soon expanded to include Dan Wilson, a graduate student in art and Matt's elder brother. With a more fleshed-out harmonic sound the band released their second album, 1988’s “Are You Shakesperienced?” on Gark, then Twin/Tone. In late 1989, the band signed with A&M, releasing “Across the Universe” in April of 1990, followed by “Lulu” in September of 1991. With each subsequent release the group showed off a maturing command of its unique approach to the pop music form with increasingly higher production values and studio experimentation. Neither album could match the success they achieved as a live touring act, and after Trip Shakespeare recorded a six-song EP of cover tunes entitled Volt, A&M rejected the project and dropped the band. (Twin/Tone records would belatedly release Volt in 1994.) Elaine relocated to her hometown in the Boston area. Matt Wilson continues to write and record his music through various solo and band projects. Dan and John went on to form the band Semisonic, scoring a hit with the now-classic 90’s alt-rock single “Closing Time.” Podcast host Morgan Taylor plays together with Munson in the Grammy-nominated music-and-art project Gustafer Yellowgold.

    Ep. 9 LULU Deep Dive with John Munson - Side B

    Ep. 9 LULU Deep Dive with John Munson - Side B

    International LULU month continues! Morgan and John flip the platter and disappear into the grooves in this deep dive of Trip Shakespeare's LULU album - Side B.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Ep. 8 LULU Deep Dive with John Munson - Side A

    Ep. 8 LULU Deep Dive with John Munson - Side A

    Morgan and John straddle the gaps in Matt Wilson's memory and get deeper into the lore and tech of recording of Trip Shakespeare's LULU album.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Ep. 7 LULU Deep Dive with Matt Wilson - Side B

    Ep. 7 LULU Deep Dive with Matt Wilson - Side B

    Morgan talks with Trip Shakespeare frontman and songwriter Matt Wilson about the creation of the LULU album on its 30th anniversary.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Ep. 6 LULU Deep Dive with Matt Wilson - Side A

    Ep. 6 LULU Deep Dive with Matt Wilson - Side A

    Morgan Taylor gets into the brain of Matt Wilson to see what's left of his thirty year old memories of creating Trip Shakespeare's swan song album from 1991, LULU.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Ep. 5 Elaine Harris Speaks - Part 2

    Ep. 5 Elaine Harris Speaks - Part 2

    Nearly struck by lightning and almost crushed by the Pearl video horse? Woah. Here's part two of Morgan and Elaine talking through her unique journey and experiences drumming for Trip Shakespeare.

    • 58 min
    Ep. 4 Dan Wilson Talks Trip Shakespeare

    Ep. 4 Dan Wilson Talks Trip Shakespeare

    Even famous songman Dan Wilson himself speaks with host Morgan Taylor about his tenure in the pre-Semisonic band called Trip Shakespeare. The conversation includes in-depth stories of the band's early days and discussion of songwriting with his brother Matt.

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

DrNeau ,

Juice

These episodes are juicier than a watermelon.

Braxton Hix ,

The Feather I Will Always Keep With Me

Great oral history from members of this enigmatic band, which charted its own musical territory at the end of the 20th century and produced numerous profound recordings.

Intrepidly veering between poetic and bombastic folk-rock, Trip Shakespeare’s troika of lead singers flew their angelic vocal harmonies over unique rhythms, thoughtful musicianship, and some of the most exquisite lyrics and melodies of the era.

That work of this merit is not better remembered makes this podcast all the more valuable. Kudos to musician/host Morgan Taylor who plays the role of expert enthusiast and jogs each band members’ memory to tell the history of an innovative and singular American band.

Turker ,

Thank you!

Fun, informative and funny. I am pinching myself that this podcast actually exists. My friends and I saw them at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS at least ten times back in the day. Good to see their legacy is revered in this way.

Top Podcasts In Music

You Might Also Like