Hetepsa (Briana Mills) and Nu Ra (Mark Cave) chat with Dan about growing up in 'Uptown Philadelphia', going to a unique ag/tech high school and competing in farm competitions, and their path to forming Camp Candle and making their extraordinary music. They riff on old radio classics like 'Quiet Storm', talk about live shows, writing together, and the ever-changing city that is Philadelphia.
With his brand new release, 'Cissy', in tow, Sean and Dan delve into the deepest parts of that record. They also talk about Sean's journey from classical percussionist to 'slutty folk' musician, Bob Dylan, recording the record at a breakneck speed over a few days, and the chaos that is this modern landscape.
On her way through Philly on tour, Emily takes time out to talk to Dan about living in Buenos Aires, her love of words and languages, South American time management, and how the US looks these days to an ex-pat. Emily performs two amazing songs, one in Spanish, and is a voice you should acquaint yourself with right away.
Jacopo may be Italian born, but he's been all over the world and back, and it shows in his music. Part gypsy folk, part Balkan, part moody rock, all original, Dan and Jacopo talk about his many records and travels (including his 500 mile hike of the Camino de Santiago). Improvisation, touring Europe, the kazoo, and The Cure: it's all covered (and more) in this conversation.
In Part 2 of this conversation, Dan and Rocco talk in detail about Rocco's project, New Speedway, and the new record, 'Total Babe', out on Time Castle Recordings. The nature of psychedelia, working with limitations, and what it all even means when it's done live: all this and more gets hashed out here.
Rocco Renzetti was the first Philly musician Dan met when he moved to the city so many years ago. Dan and Rocco talk about Rocco's upbringing in the Philly during the years when the city wasn't the most desirable place to hang out, and what they think about it being a destination nowadays for music and more. Rocco details his former project, Elevator Parade, and how his following project, New Speedway, began to form out of it, as well as the many forms of psychedelia that have influenced him.
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.
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.
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’.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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).
"[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.