Tom plays drums for Modern Colour, Lou, writes and takes pictures for the Spirit Newspaper, and sleeps maybe sometimes. Dan and Tom have a spirited conversation about levels of success in music, managing your own band, Quest Love, Dan's rudimentary drum skills, and Tom's much, much better drum skills.
It's a truly unique conversation to have with someone who refers to their stage personae entirely in the third person. David Sweeny is Johnny Showcase, but Johnny is not David, at least not entirely. Blurring the lines is a main topic between David and Dan as they discuss the origin of the character, being both a piece of theater as well as an honest to goodness funk band, and how it's all about the live show experience in the end.
It was both strange and also incredibly fitting to have my best friend since youth/longest running musical collaborator James Hearne on the mic back in February. What was supposed to be a quick promo piece about his upcoming record became a full conversation about his move to the Hudson Valley of New York, how he's treating his new musical direction by fully embracing country music, and what it's like being your own boss after years and years of collaborating with others.
Dan thinks Abi Reimold's new record 'Wriggling' is an adventurous, challenging piece of work. It's a pretty uncomfortable record, both sonically as well as thematically. Abi talks about seeing herself as an artist but not as a musician, reading her own reviews, her love of photography, and a unique way to not actually do a real guitar solo. Plus, her live, stripped down solo performance is not to be missed. Also, Dan gives a heartfelt shout out to Gordon Downie of the Tragically Hip and his re cent news of illness.
Carolyn Lederach helps run Philadelphia's SoFar Sounds concert series, takes photos for countless music outlets, and is an important fixture to the Philly scene. Dan and Carolyn talk about being involved in the not-as-glamorous parts of the music world, wading through a 'dude-heavy' music industry, and how someone has to step up and tell a band what to do.
On her way through Philadelphia on tour, Arsena and her band stop by to chat and play. Dan and Arsena talk touring, spirituality in art, doing it all yourself, and how she is a "six year-old musician" (the number of years she's been playing). Dan crams the full band down into the basement studio, and the result is impressive. Also, Dan pays his respects to Prince, remarking on his truly unique way of controlling his career himself.
It takes Dan and Avi most of the way through the conversation to figure out where they've met before, but they get there. Avi is an amazingly talented pianist/singer-songwriter, and he and Dan talk about choir teachers, 'Peter and the Wolf', using social media for good rather than evil, and how asking for what you want is always the way to go.
Bruno fronts his band Former Belle when he isn't playing guitar in the indie rock powerhouse Cruisr. With such a busy touring life, it was well worth it for Dan to sit down with Bruno and talk touring, loneliness, settling, and getting to work with the guys you looked up to growing up. At the end, Bruno plays a song off his new EP, "Foreign Bed", out on Randm Records.
Dan and Marcus met back in 2010, shared a stage one awesome night, and then never really saw each other again. Flash forward to now, and Marcus is in the chair for a long-awaited conversation. Dan and Marcus talk hip-hop, New York City, Philly, sampling, live bands, and the everlasting drive to make your art fun, fresh, and challenging.
WXPN and The Key are mainstays of Philadelphia music. It's only fitting that Dan sits down with The Key helmsman John Vettese for a chat about curating content on the internet, musical roots, and keeping an open mind amidst the onslaught of so much music. Also, Dan features a track from the forthcoming Dear Forbidden album, 'Glitter and Dissonance', so stay to the end!
Dan and Nik get right to it, talking famous frontmen, meeting your heroes, growing up amidst a ton of musical influence, and also a certain jam band. (It's Phish. They talk about Phish. It's gonna be okay.) Nik shares his journey from Jersey to NYC back to Philly, fronting two of the cities most entertaining bands.
Dan always knew Noelle as "the zombie piano girl", but that is only the surface. Noelle talks about her new production that combines theater, musical performance, and audience interaction. She talks about being an abuse survivor and how she's going to wave that flag for anyone afraid to put it out in the open. Mostly, they talk about how none of us really have it "together". Also, Dan rants about having his identity stolen, and congratulates the Philly music community for coming together to defeat a very restrictive piece of city legislation.
Dan finally gets Stephen Lorek from Shark Tape to sit still and chat, and it was worth the wait. They delve into the deep, dark recesses of what goes through your head as you're making a follow-up to a successful record, and how, in the end, it's all about playing music with your friends. Plus, Dan gives his farewell to David Bowie.
Happy New Year to all! Dan sits down with two Washington DC musicians, Ben Tufts and Jackie Francis, and the three of them have themselves a ball. The talk goes from the TV show "Psych" to how each of us has weird ways of thinking about music theory to cooking and everywhere else. And Jackie plays a track from her new album, "The Sea", available everywhere the Internet exists. So much fun is had.
A band may put on the performance of the night, but there's usually a person or two behind the night. Dan talks with one of those people, Jeremy Hebbel from Gable Music Ventures, a music event promoter out of Wilmington. They talk about what makes a great show, what all sides of the table can do to make it great, and how to keep things going even when life hands you little "challenges". Also, Dan plays a new track from Venice Sunlight's upcoming 2016 album, "Vs. The Swingers And The Saints". Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from 25 O'Clock! 2015 was great, 2016 will be even better.
Dan talks with Josh Kinney, editor and re-founder of the Philadelphia Evening post, dormant for 200 years. They talk about growing up bookish, a love of history, and how to meet your business partner on Tinder. Also, Dan plays a new track from Ben Hughes (Episode 12), off his newest and last album-a-month of 2015.
Sometimes the coolest folk aren't even in bands at all. Sometime they're in the Peace Corps. Dan talks to Melissa Eckstrom, who is currently stationed in Jamaica for two years of Peace Corps service. They talk about travel, service, endearing yourselves to the locals, and what you do once you actually get to where you're supposed to be. It ain't easy, it ain't always pretty, but it's great work and she's thrilled to be doing it. Also, music from Dann Pell at the end from his new album "Rose Blues".
Dan talks with singer-songwriter Matt Wheeler about the usual: origins, influences, songwriting process, etc. But they get into it deep as they explore why people need to label Christian music separately from other music, and what it means to weave your faith into songs that are meant for everyone to get something out of. Also, they both agree that marriage is hard, but also great. (Really edgy, guys.)
We're taking a quick break from our usual thing. This week, The Legendary Dobb's closed its doors for good. This comes right on the tail of the North Star Bar discontinuing live music as well. So Dan chats with a few of his Philly music colleagues about what they think about all this: Is the Philly scene in trouble? What did they think about Dobb's in general? How do we keep things happening? For Philly music folk, this is close to home. For anyone else, it's a unique glimpse into the Philly music scene. Hope you all enjoy!
Dan helps Drew celebrate his 30th birthday with a career spanning chat about this amazing jazz musician. From Drew's early obsessions with Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, to getting schooled as a pianist and trumpeter, to working on an old-time steamboat, to managing his own career as the most in-demand Jazz-era bandleaders in the area, we cover it all. Plus, he plays the piano like a madman! Live on the show! How cool is that?
We're back from all the live show fun and games to the ol' standard "One Guest/One Show" order of business. Dan sits down with songwriter/performer Courtlyn Carr for an in-depth chat about her roots in rural Maryland, her time in Nashville, working yourself out of being pigeon-holed as one kind of singer, and the unique pace and vibe that is the Philadelphia music world. Also, Dan gives his Pope Weekend wrap-up. Spoiler: we all lived and everything was mostly fine.
Let's all head back to South Street for one more night of live 25 O'Clock! Featuring phenomenal chats with Drew Harris, Alec Stewart, and Dave Dehart. Same Bridgeset Sound! Mostly different audience! Dan keeps it together for two weeks of shows in a row! Enjoy another wonderful evening from Philly Podcast Festival.
Dan's been talking about this one for a while, and now it's here. Listen to conversations with songwriters Scott Ratinoff, Rachel Schain, and Ben Hughes (returning from Episode 12) in front of a live audience at Bridgeset Sound, right on South Street in Philadelphia. The laughter is real. The applause is real. The motorcycles are real. Enjoy Part 1 of a two-part series of live shows from Philly Podcast Festival!
Philly Music Lab co-founder/Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra member Alexandra Cutler-Fetkewicz sits down in the studio. We talk about her time at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY (Dan's hometown), working outside the orchestral world, and the near-fatal car crash that changed everything. Plus, the advantages of teaching young players not only how to play, but how to survive the grind of being a working musician.
There are a lot of firsts this week. It's the first time Dan has had two guests at once, and those guests are Edward Everett and Becca Todd, the two voices of Pilkington. Enjoy a frank conversation about what it's really like to be in a band, the fear of asking for things, and how Pilkington arose out of the ashes of the very ambitious Panic Years. Also, it's the first live performance in the new studio!