9 episodes

Adam Rabin and Greg Skillman have been writing songs together for almost 30 years and there’s even a chance you may have heard one of them. In "Whale Helmet," the songwriting team discuss tracks from their catalog and their creative processes, inspirations, and philosophies. This is all done with the irreverent and left-field humor that helps define their work.

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    • Music

Adam Rabin and Greg Skillman have been writing songs together for almost 30 years and there’s even a chance you may have heard one of them. In "Whale Helmet," the songwriting team discuss tracks from their catalog and their creative processes, inspirations, and philosophies. This is all done with the irreverent and left-field humor that helps define their work.

    WH08: Vibbis T’Quahlahhop

    WH08: Vibbis T’Quahlahhop

    This magnificent 57-second opus apparently touches on default values in iPad games; the long-standing tradition of men annoying their wives; self-amusement as our primary goal; the making of a music video; writing with a one-minute limit and, of course, The Residents' "Commercial Album;" and Greg's personal belief system of Gamutology.

    Songs featured: Neb Crabula "Vibbis T'Quahlahhop"

    • 18 min
    WH07: Endless (pt. 2)

    WH07: Endless (pt. 2)

    More than just a song title, the writing process for this song has proven to be endless. We talk about its origins in the early 90s and how the song is still evolving and spreading out years after it was first released. We also get into the recording process, the role of Tarot in the lyric writing, and endless variations on a theme.

    Songs featured

    Elephants of Scotland "Endless (pt. 2)" from Execute and Breathe [2014]
    Mahout "The Lighthouse (An Endless Variation)" - podcast exclusive
    Adam Rabin "A Tapir in Prague (An Endless Variation)"
    Adam Rabin "Endless (pt. 2) [Demo]".

    • 35 min
    WH06: The Stampede of Mules – Eddie, Get It Together – The Sniper

    WH06: The Stampede of Mules – Eddie, Get It Together – The Sniper

    What started out as a two-fer quickly becomes a three-fer. So, it's Triple Shot Tuesday and here's a set from Mailbox. We discuss the nature of the brain and instinctive Ginsburgian writing; our different approaches to writing lyrics; the stupid kids party known as poetry slams; songwriting in front of an audience; unique vocal deliveries; and the parallel Universe of animals.

    • 32 min
    WH05: I’m Jitter Boy

    WH05: I’m Jitter Boy

    Adam talks about his first ever espresso. Greg talks about the time somebody buried his hair. Other topics include musically interpreting the stages of the coffee rush, creating your own light, finding the perfect caffeine balance, times when Adam ruined Greg's lyrics, and being either pandering or self-indulgent.

    Songs featured: Mailbox "I'm Jitter Boy" from How It Is Nowadays [2003] and Neb Crabula "Choices" [podcast exclusive!]

    • 41 min
    WH04: Trains That Never Come

    WH04: Trains That Never Come

    The guys get heavy on this one. For real. Greg and Adam talk about why this song wasn't on the 4th Elephants of Scotland album, and - for that matter - why there hasn't been a 4th album yet. They also get into it about which songs work better with the band vs. solo; why solo albums happen; embracing the wrong notes; the power of saying goodbye; and moving on from grief and loss.

    Songs featured: Adam Rabin "Trains That Never Come" from The Badger Flies at Dawn [2018] and Greg Skillman "My Train Song" (podcast exclusive!)

    • 35 min
    WH03: My Head

    WH03: My Head

    Greg and Adam go back to the first CD they worked on together from 1996 and discuss songwriting as therapy; the dangers of taking pride in your work; the parallels with EoS' "Mousetrap"; the Zen of the selfish moment; anxiety as a muse; and The Meat Puppets.

    Songs featured: Mailbox "My Head" from Chameleon In A Kaleidoscope [1996] and a demo of "My Head" from 1994.

    • 25 min

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