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25 O'Clock

Music, creativity and community. Artists of all walks from Philadelphia and beyond. In depth conversations and intimate live performances, all with your host, Dan Drago.
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Jun 13, 2018

For the 100th episode, Dan sits down with his brother, Dave, to talk about what it is to be a producer, a musician, and a creative person. Taped at Dave's studio in Western New York (1809 Studios), the two brothers talk about how each of them have helped shape each other's path, and clue each other in on things they might now have already known. Thanks to all the listeners over these 100 episodes, it's been a blast, and there are plenty more to come.

May 28, 2018

Think of this episode as a sort of 'night before'. With the 100th episode nearly upon us, Dan put together a look at some of the highlights of the last three and a half years of the show. Listen to selections from conversations from Joe Reinhart, Kyle Pulley, Marley McNamara, John Vettese, and more. Musical highlights, too! Enjoy a look at just a few of the many great episodes over the years.

May 16, 2018

On the eve of his departure for Portugal, Brian and Dan talk about Brian's jazz training, love of the saxophone, his time with Swift Technique, and his album under the name 'Bison’s Big Bang’. Brian recounts his early days as a music student in Philly, and how studying the dynamic of different kinds of jazz groups helped inform his own record, 'Pure Imagination’.

May 2, 2018

Growing up on a beach resort in Italy, loving opera and Motown, and having a very healthy obsession with good food, Valentina talks on all these things and more. From her former band, Sunshine Superman, to her newer solo work and her work with her folk band, Sparkle Pony, Dan and Valentina cover a lot of ground, and still manage to geek out about food, too. 

Photo by Lisa Schaffer

Apr 18, 2018

Dan met Luke pretty recently at a Philly DIY gathering about press and promo, and was impressed by his knowledge of how to get your band out there. After listening to Luke's band, Port Arthur, it was a no-brainer to get him on the show. Dan and Luke talk Luke's classical training, his knack for arrangement, his record label Hickory Lane, and their impressions of Philly and the music and art therein.

Apr 4, 2018

Sarah Puleo and Eric Zrinsky of goodnight/goodluck sit down with Dan to talk about their new EP, 'Missing', working with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along) at The Headroom, and how letting go of careerist expectations can result in a much more satisfying experience as a band.  

Mar 21, 2018

MH the Verb, aka Marcus Harris, comes back for an hour full of great conversation and insight. Afro-futurism, touring, Oakland and the Bay area, A Tribe Called Quest, the tumultuous year that was 2016, and the making of his new record, ‘Afronaut’, are all on the table as Dan and MH catch up. They try their best not to be cranky old dudes, and are mostly successful.

Mar 7, 2018

From her upbringing in State College to her time at Berklee to her arrival in Philadelphia, Ellen Tiberio-Shultz has been building an impressive body of music. Dan and Ellen talk about playing house shows as a teen, the trappings of "authenticity", her complicated feelings about her music education (being one of the only women studying guitar amidst a "sea of dudes"), and the amazing people she's met along the way who have helped her become the musician she is now. 

Feb 21, 2018

It's great to check back in with a past guest and see what's been going on. Andrew Corkery was on back in the summer of 2016, and this time, he's brought along bandmate Ed Flynn to talk about what they're up to. Touring, covers, and growing up in New Jersey are all talked about, and we check out a track from their album, 'Almost Lifelike'.

Feb 7, 2018

Andrew Chalfen fronts the post-punk instrumental band I Think Like Midnight, and plays one mean guitar. With a new record, 'This Land Is Your Mind' (produced by Brian McTear), out in the world, Dan and Andrew talk Andrew's upbringing outside Boston, their love of the late Tommy Keane, and still being on the hunt for new music that wows them. Stick around to the end for a preview of the new record with the track 'Daychord'.  

Jan 22, 2018

Andrew Harris fronts The Naked Sun, a folk-rock band that's releasing it's third record, 'War With Shadows'. Dan and Drew talk about the band working with producer Brian McTear (War On Drugs, Kurt Vile), the writing process, the importance of singing together, and the age old battle with squirrels in your garden. 

Jan 10, 2018

Dan and John Faye have been trying to sit down together for nearly two years, and it is well worth the wait. John talks about his long rollercoaster of a music career, from signing to a major label in the mid 90s (The Caulfields) to releasing nearly a dozen independent releases since. Taking the next year off from his usually non-stop performance schedule, John talks about focusing on his memoir, '1-Way To Avalon', and how it's shaping up to be anything but the typical rock n' roll bio.

Dec 27, 2017

Dan talks to Paul, a young and incredibly accomplished electronic musician, about his massive body of work and the unique way he's chosen to string it all together. Paul makes music under more than a dozen different project names, and they all intertwine in some way. It's a bit of a head trip, and thankfully Paul has it all jotted down in a notebook to keep it straight. It's a spirited conversation about making music, having visual elements play a role, and the joy of losing yourself in the work. Check him out at forestkids.bandcamp.com.

Dec 13, 2017

Brian is a multi-genre, one-man entertainment machine. Dan and Brian talk about the perils and triumphs of on-stage looping, the advantages of peaking early in middle school (neither of them seemed to have mastered that), and the love of two dudes for Steely Dan and Genesis. From his travels to his live show to building his own gear out of necessity, Brian takes you through the life of a solo artist trying to make a larger-than-life show. Check him out at brianfitzy.com.

Dec 6, 2017

Concluding their conversation, Dan and Chris talk about how Chris got into the behind-the-scenes world of a music venue, and how it helped inform his understanding of how the music scene works. 

Nov 29, 2017

Dan talks with former Pattern Is Movement drummer/current talent buyer at Johnny Brenda’s Chris Ward, and it is epic. In Part 1, Chris takes us through his days touring in PIM, his relationship with bandmate Andrew Thiboldeaux, backing up St Vincent early in her career, and how he evolved his understanding of arrangement, songwriting, and production to help the group achieve their adventurous and experimental spirit.

Nov 15, 2017

Dan takes a field trip to Spice House Sound to talk to house engineer Alex Santilli about being a incessantly questioning child, the joy of taking things apart (and mostly putting them back together), and the drive to create a studio space where bands can do their best work. They chat driving in Connecticut, their mutual love of electronic music, and how to stay relevant as a studio these days. Check out spicehousesound.com to see their amazing studio.

Oct 31, 2017

"One of the bands I interviewed came back and said 'So, do I have to pay you?' I [said] 'What? Look, if anybody tells you that you have to pay to be interviewed, run!'" -Shane Weller

Shane is the creator and host of Know Love Philly, a podcast about Philadelphia artists, musicians, and creators. Sound familiar? Shane and Dan dive right in, talking podcast gear, interviewing, their love of the Philly DIY Collaborative, and the joy of being the captain of your own ship (the ships being our respective podcasts). 

Oct 17, 2017

"[W]e've written songs and we're like 'Oh shit! We have our bridges, everything makes sense!' It falls into place because [our] glue has finally dried."
- Kelly Derrig, on Canyon Ride's new line up and songwriting process

Canyon Ride are Kelly Derrig, Ryan Kosinski, Chris DeSaye, and Cam Clark (who you might remember from Ep79) are a country-rock group that's gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years. They were gracious enough to let me interview all of them at once as a sort of part conversation/part mini-concert. The band plays songs off their new EP, 'Wasting Time With Ghosts', and talks about their origins, their new beginnings, and how a band is, at it's core, a group of good friends. 

Oct 4, 2017

The show is back! Welcome back! Dan talks with bassist and all out charming son-of-a-gun Jonathan Colman about his work in the face-melting dance band Muscle Tough, his many day jobs (eg. "Lunch Lady Man"), and his approach to creating, practicing, and how the next gig is the always the best gig.  

Aug 16, 2017

"[There's] no such thing as a bad piece of gear. There's a right piece of gear. And a really nice piece of gear can do a lot of things well, but even the worst piece of gear can do one thing really well. And you just gotta find what that is."
-Kyle Pulley on recording

Kyle and Dan sit down and get right to it, talking about the need for editing, bass playing tips (Kyle plays bass for Thin Lips, a stellar Philly band), forming The Head Room with friend Joe Reinhart (Hop Along), and how he's worked very hard to become a better and better producer with every session. Kyle produced the most recent Pine Barons record, as well as worked with Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog), and is a key part of the Philadelphia music scene.

Note: The show is taking a brief late summer/early fall break, and will be back with new episodes in mid to late September. In the meantime, check out the archive at 25oclockpod.com for episodes you may have missed. See y'all real soon.

Aug 9, 2017

"I just like how [the blues are] open to interpretation. I'm terrible at playing songs like they're supposed to be played. I just kind of learn them and just start doing my own thing."

-Cam Clark

The first thing Dan and Cam start talking about is the Rolling Stones, so you know they're in good company together. Cam hails from the great state of Minnesota, spent some time in Boston, and has been part of the Philly scene for quite a few years now. He talks about his many albums with Midwestern Exposure, the evolution in style over the years, and how taking part in some folk workshops helped him focus on making their latest release, 'The West'.

Aug 2, 2017

"I think performance is a muscle on some level. I was really, really bad at it when I started out. I would shake, my hands would shake, and I'd have a complete nervous breakdown and still manage to do it. [...] And now, that's not a thing. Mostly."
-Alec Stewart

Last time Dan and Alec talked, it was Ep25 as part of the first live show ever. Two years later, they finally get back to it. A more casual, careening episode than most, Dan and Alec converse about music both in and outside of Philly, the craft of playing and writing, the importance of a good open mic, and reminisce about their time in the city's music scene. It's a great, candid talk between two guys with some history, who mutually admire and respect each other as musicians as well as just being two nerdy music dudes.

Jul 26, 2017

Dan does the show in front of a crowd at Bridgeset Sound as part of the 5th Annual Philly Podcast Fest. On deck is Drew Mercadante, electronic musician, composer, producer, and all out schmoozer. Following Drew is Bruno Catrambone of Former Belle and Cruisr, talking about his new music, his touring, and the ever-present struggle of being onstage. Huge thanks to the Philly Podcast Fest organizers, Bridgeset Sound, the guests, and the outstanding audience. 

Jul 11, 2017

"I have three band rules for our band, and one is 'Failure to rock is not an option.'"
- Hawk Tubley

Dan and Hawk talk about Hawk's amazing journey through the world of music, which took him from California to Montana to New York City to Alabama to Philadelphia, where he resides today. Along the way, Hawk (also called George) played with bands like the Freeloaders, Partial to Mabel, and his own group, Hawk Tubley and the Ozymandians. Hawk explains the difference between free jazz and free improv, the many modes of Sun Ra, playing with Oteil Burbidge and Marshall Allen, being on Letterman in 1984, and that's just the start. He's got a new record out called 'Pond Kings In April', so go get it. 

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