Musician/engineer/bartender Allen Epley talks with artists of all walks and at all levels of success about their own unique journeys and jobs they've worked in order to follow their passions. Many successful musicians, actors, filmmakers, composers, and comedians still have side gigs that afford them the ability to create their art for us. Some get to work in their chosen field and some work jobs that are convenient and make that buck. It is this unique hustle that's at the heart of this podcast. How exactly does the sausage get made when there are bills to be paid? And what drives these maniacs to make our desperate lives better with their art when the pay-off often fulfills their hearts but not their bank accounts?
Episode 129 - Trevor Shelley de Brauw
Trevor Shelley de Brauw took 26 months to get Covid and waited even longer to release his new RLYR record (Gilead Media), the Pelican guitarists side project and secret hook up. The new self-titled record, their 3rd, is an orchestrated love letter to guitar rock riffs, post hardcore surges and ambient waves. Pelican is also busy as they face a Euro tour starting late May in support of the reissues of their first three records with rarities included on Thrill Jockey, and now welcome home original guitarist Laurent LeBec after a long successful tenure with Dallas Thomas of Swan King.
Episode 128 - Martin Bisi
Martin Bisi has owned BC Studios since 1980 when he started it with Brian Eno and Bill Laswell and has been witness to it's growth from gritty avante-garde hub of the No-Wave scene in which he was foundational, working with Lydia Lunch, Swans, Foetus and Sonic Youth into a largely gentrified but still arts-centric village. He's a pioneer for his work with early hip hop artists like Afrika Bambaataa and his solo work is as ambitious and free as his no-rules production style with a large catalog under his wings. His newest work is with the band NEONNOONE and is on par with his finest releases. An inspiring and unquenchable talent.
Episode 127 - Evan Patterson
The pandemic offered Evan Patterson an opportunity he hadn't had in years; to take some time off from touring with his earth-shaking band Young Widows, his solo outfit Jaye Jayle and with his ex-wife's band Emma Ruth Rundle after he played 210 dates in 2019. The breather has given him perspective on making music and why he does it. It also gave him time to refine his artistic and screen printing skills again, and a chance to try his hand at carpentry, which turns out he's also got game at. With new music from Young Widows currently percolating, Evan is optimistic and prolific in this Louisivlle springtime, and now he's even looking forward to touring again in the very near future.
Episode 126 - Michelle Bacon
Bassist/Drummer/Journalist Michelle Bacon found her calling late in the game to start playing in bands (Frogpond/Other Americans/Katie Guillen and the Drive) and also have her finger on the pulse of the Kansas City music scene as Content Creator and Data Manager at 90.9 The Bridge. She has witnessed and participated in the growth of the talent pool in KC and has been able to assist the evolution of the scene at the Bridge. But when she founded The Band That Fell To Earth, a collective of musicians from the KC over the past 30 years who unite for the past 6 years to celebrate the music of Bowie, her level of influence shot sky high, as did her confidence. She's also curated a powerful series called Sound Minds that addresses mental health within the arts, which is often overlooked.
Episode 125 - Scott McCloud
The rock and roll Scott McCloud grew up with in the 80's was a fantasy of glitz and glam far beyond the most ambitious of his dreams, until he heard punk rock in DC, and it all seemed very possible. Inevitable, even. His bands Soulside in DC and then Girls Against Boys out of NY were both highly influential heavy-weights. Between those bands, New Wet Kojak and Paramount Styles, this man has made over 20 full lenth records, influenced thousands, lived all over the world, with his stylishly tortured vocal delivery being his most enduring trademark. Now living in Vienna with a young family, he's prepping for tour in October in support of the reissue of House of GvB.
Episode 124 - Dr Debra Lynn
When Conductor/Composer/Educator Debra Lynn cold-called Stewart Copeland's management about helping him stage a collegiate production of his opera, The Invention of Morel, she wasn't holding her breath. And yet, as fate would have it, they were working together not long after to stage it and have since collaborated on Police Symphonic arrangements and other projects, they remain tight with she as his "mentor" he says. We talk about the overlap in writing processes despite different worlds of music, the elements are about throwing paint on the canvas without forethought, and how her synesthesia allows her to see instruments as colors. She also sang and studied under my dad Arnold Epley and I can see his influence on her in the best way.
Allen is truly a gem and this is an amazing podcast to listen to. Doesn’t matter who the guest is, it’s always a great conversation. Entertaining must listen!
For creatives of any stripe
Epley has gathered a great assortment of artists whose work continues to inspire. The 100+ and counting shows are filled with great conversations where he ably frames their stories with a kind wit and humor that shows such a genuine regard and friendship full of mutual admiration. I’m of the generation who were in their twenties through the 90’s boom and bust of major labels signing these bands I loved and this show has brought me a clearer understanding of what the careers of these bands I so greatly admired were really like and how they continue creating today. Thank you, Allen Epley, and all of your guests for this gift.
The episode I needed
I’ve loved most episodes of this podcast, the Ken Andrews episode was everything I had always hoped this would be. Relating to jamming for hours and recording everything and then going fishing for gems and inspiration. “If I can’t turn my system on in 30 seconds I record on my phone.” So great. So familiar. I love it big A. Please keep it up. Keep it safe. See you in Birdhands in MPLS