Kevin Hill

Episode 300: Generation Soundcloud with April + Vista

Episode 300: Generation Soundcloud with April + Vista

Soundcloud is one of the most ubiquitous "tools" used by artists and industry professionals alike since the collapse of the MP3 blog culture. Communities have built up within it, artists have been discovered through it, and 

Earlier this month, the music service announced that they were laying off 40% of their workforce, closing two offices, and, it was discovered, may only have enough cash to run for another 50 days.

On our 300th episode (!!!) Kevin, Marcus and special guests April George and Matt Vista (April + Vista), are discussing what this collapse could mean for artists, the blogosphere and the industry at large, and figuring out how to save the music industry in the process*

PLUS: Thoughts on the future of the cast, and a listen to a track that is nearest and dearest to our hearts. 

*Spoiler: We don't save the music industry


Episode 299: In The Dark - Grateful Dead [Discologist]

Episode 299: In The Dark - Grateful Dead [Discologist]

By 1987 the Grateful Dead's long, strange trip was starting to wind itself down, but a surprise hit single ("Touch Of Grey") would catapult the band back into the spotlight, inspire an entirely new generation of fans whose size would, in the end, play a large part in the band's untimely demise.

To celebrate it's 30th birthday, a group of proud Deadheads recently spent a Friday night in the basement with Kevin to talk through this divisive landmark in the band's history and try to figure out if it's just true that "every silver lining's got a touch of grey" or if the Dead were, at long last "going to hell in a bucket."


Episode 298: Big Fish Theory - Vince Staples

Episode 298: Big Fish Theory - Vince Staples

With a string of mixtapes, EP's, and one LP behind him, hip-hop's Vince Staples has been making a mark on the new-rap landscape for years now. On his new album Big Fish Theory, he's taking the art form into the future and bringing us all along for the ride.

Kevin, Marcus Dowling (Decades/Capital Wrestling), and Joe Lapan (Songbyrd Music House) dig into this landmark effort from the young MC, and consider what this means for the future of hip-hop, where Staples is going to land once he comes down from the stratosphere, and much, much more. 

PLUS! Get to know the superfly jams of R&B/jazz/hip-hop supergroup The Pollyseeds before their album Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol 1 drops on 7/14. (This Friday!)


Episode 297: Gaming The Playlist - Spotify and You

Episode 297: Gaming The Playlist - Spotify and You

 

In a recent article on artist advocacy site CASH Music, journalist Liz Pelly investigated "The Secret Lives Of Playlists", and what she found out has sparked another cycle of controversy for the world's largest provider of streaming music, Spotify.

Is payola running rampant in the world of playlists? Is that really a problem? Do streaming services have a "moral" obligation to artists or has the label system simply evolved, meet the new boss, same as the old boss? Casey Rae (The Priest They Called Him: William S. Burroughs & The Cult of Rock 'n' Rolland Michael Kentoff (The Caribbean) join Kevin in the basement to try and navigate this hyper-complicated landscape and hopefully come up with some answers.

PLUS! Indie-Folk collective The Good Graces are back with a new LP (Set Your Sights) and we've got listen to one of it's best tracks for ya!


Episode 296: OK Computer - Radiohead [Discologist]

Episode 296: OK Computer - Radiohead [Discologist]

With one of the biggest rock hits of all time ("Creep") and a genre defining guitar-rock classic (The Bends) under their belts, Radiohead had little left to prove when OK Computer was released in the Summer of 1997. Despite that, what they achieved was an album full of fear, anxiety, and beauty that quite literally changed the course of rock music as we know it.

On the latest installment of our Discologist series, we're taking a look at everything that made this modern-day masterpiece great, why it has withstood the test of time, and how its techno-phobic, anti-fascist themes are almost horrifically as relevant today as they were twenty years ago.


Episode 295: Is This The Life We Really Want? - Roger Waters

Episode 295: Is This The Life We Really Want? - Roger Waters

Roger Waters, one of the founders of the legendary Pink Floyd, has always had a keen eye for isolation, oppression, and political justness. On his fifth solo LP, Is The The Life We Really Want?, he's turning that gaze on the United States and recruited a group of powerful "newcomers" (Johnathan Wilson, Jessica Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius) to bring his stark vision of our present and future to life. 

Join Kevin, Michael Kentoff (The Caribbean) and Casey Rae (The Priest They Called Him: William S. Burroughs & The Cult of Rock 'n' Rollas they dive deep into this savage political statement, Waters career, and much much more.

Happy Birthday America. 


Episode 293: Adiós - Glen Campbell

Episode 293: Adiós - Glen Campbell

Besides playing a part in crafting what we know as popular music during his stint with the famed Wrecking Crew, Glen Campbell, with his over 80 singles placed on the charts, is one of the biggest country stars of all time. In 2011, Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and a farewell tour, documented in the film I'll Be Me, quickly followed. Since then the rhinestone cowboy has released a handful of heartfelt LP's, EP's, and live sessions, but on Adiós, his latest and last, it's time to finally say goodbye.

Marcus Dowling and Michael Kentoff (The Caribbean) join Kevin in the basement to consider the this legend's career, his final statement as an artist, and what we can all learn by knowing our history. 


Episode 292: Melissa Wright and Daniel Zezeski [Mink's Miracle Medicine]

Episode 292: Melissa Wright and Daniel Zezeski [Mink's Miracle Medicine]

Together, Melissa Wright and Daniel Zezinski are known as Mink's Miracle Medicine, and from their trailer in Harpers Ferry, WVA they're making music that might just heal what ails ya. On their first full-length House of Candles, the duo explores country, folk, and even punk traditions to deliver a stripped down set of poignant (and often hilarious) songs centered around relationships, small-town life, and existing in the modern age. Recently the duo paid a visit to the basement to talk about minimalism, Patsy Cline, the joy of a good riding mower and much, much more.

PLUS! DC synth-pop "revivalists" Loi Loi are dropping a five song EP on Blight Records later this year, but you can check out the first track "1985" right here, and right now!


Episode 291: The Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Episode 291: The Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

From his stint with the legendary Drive-By Truckers, to a run of solo albums with his band the 400 Unit, it's always been clear that Jason Isbell is a master songwriter. With 2013's Southeastern, a newly sober Isbell was embraced by the world at large and has been winning awards and selling out shows ever since. 

On The Nashville Sound, Isbell is putting his band front and center and delivering some of the strongest songs of his career...except one. Join Kevin, Paul, Eduardo, and Marcus (Dowling) as they dig deep into this national treasure's latest, consider the art of songwriting, and take a serious look at what being woke in 2017 can, and should mean. 

PLUS! We've got a killer track of of Mink's Miracle Medicine's debut LP, House Of Candles! Fans of Neko Case/Patsy Cline... GET IN HERE!


Episode 290: Reflections Of A Floating World - Elder

Episode 290: Reflections Of A Floating World - Elder

There's really no other way to say it: Music journalism is kind of in the sh@#@er in 2017. We're panling up in the basement to consider how things got this bad, could we all have done anything to stop it, and, most importantly, where do we go from here?  

Elder is a metal/prog band from Boston. We like Elder. Elder has a savage new album out, Reflections Of A Floating World. We like savage things. Seems like a thing we'd need to talk about, yea? 

PLUS! Colin Stetson is back and he's bringing his friends! This time the "heavy metal" wizard is diving headfirst in to metal/prog with his new band Ex Eye (featuring Stetson, Liturgy's Greg Fox on drums, Toby Summerfield on guitars, and Shahzad Ismaily on synths) and  and the results are as wild as you would expect. "Xenolith; The Anvil" is your first taste of this righteous sonic assault that's coming for all of us later this month. 


Paul Simon @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 6/9/2017

Paul Simon @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 6/9/2017

These are the facts:

  1. Paul Simon is one of the greatest songwriters of our time.
  2. Paul Simon is also 75 years old, and, by his own decision is coming to the end of his run as a performer.
  3. Paul Simon is celebrating as much with “one last tour” around the world

So why does it feel like last Friday’s show was a revival instead of a goodbye?

After a subdued set from opener Sarah McLachlan, Simon and his band took the stage Friday night to a sold out amphitheater nestled in the woods of Columbia, MD. Merriweather Post Pavilion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year has hosted some legendary shows in the past and so it goes that this night, may go down as one of Paul Simon’s finest hours.


Episode 289: Seán Barna Returns

Episode 289: Seán Barna Returns

On his first full length Pictures Of An Exhibitionist, singer/songwriter (and, full disclosure, one of our brodawg's) Seán Barna is getting in touch with his feelings and delivering a savagely raw set of songs that chronicle his adventures in LA and Washington, DC over the past few years. Kevin and Marcus (Dowling) are sitting down with the "dark lord" of folk to talk the ins and outs of Exhibitionist, life after DC, and more.

PLUS! Instead of giving up on being a musician after suffering a crippling health crisis, Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm poured her experiences into her new EP, Hi From Pillows (out NOW on Local Woman Records). Part art, part activism, Pillows tackles important issues that affect us all, exploring them through a slightly-honeyed indie-folk lens. Check out the single "Thorns" from this gem of an EP.


Episode 288: Miles Mosley

Episode 288: Miles Mosley

Besides being one of the founding members of the mighty West Coast Get Down, bassist Miles Mosley's resume (Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill...) reads like a who's who of the biggest names in music. Earlier this year we reviewed his stellar debut solo LP, Uprising, and recently we had the chance to sit down with the master innovator before his ground shaking show at Songbyrd Music House right here in Washington, DC. Join us and get delivered some TRUTH about music, life, and existential excellence from one of modern music's most electric voices.

PLUS!  Cameron Graves (also a founding member of the West Coast Get Down) is one of the most innovative keyboard players on the modern jazz (or any) scene. On his new album Planetary Prince, he's pulling out all the stops and taking the listener on an intensely cosmic jazz odyssey...that also happens to be one of the best albums of 2017. Tune in, and drop out with the lead off track from this funk and soul infused triumph, "Satania In Our Solar System."


Episode 287: Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live...and more

Episode 287: Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live...and more

In 2010 Memphis's legendary Big Star, one of the most influential bands in rock n roll history, was set to finally get their due, but it was not to be. Just days before a planned showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX, frontman/chief songwriter Alex Chilton passed away, and what was meant to be a celebration and validation of their remarkable career instead became joyous wake featuring some of the biggest names in music. Fast forward to 2017, and the magic of the touring version of that celebration, a band that features original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, dB's mastermind Chris Stamey, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Kronos Quartet, Robyn Hitchcock, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Dan Wilson (Semisonic), and newcomers Skylar Gudasz and Brett Harris, has been captured on film in the new documentary Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third LIve...and more

Kevin and neighbor Michael are digging deep into the film's soundtrack to to to find out why Big Star was such an important band, ponder the power of tribute, and speculate where this collection of master musicians should go from here. 

PLUS! Skylar Gudasz's Oleandar was one of the best albums of 2016. We've got a track to help remind of of that very important fact. 


Episode 286: Get Shown The Light - Grateful Dead - Part 2

Episode 286: Get Shown The Light - Grateful Dead - Part 2

On part two of our epic exploration of the Grateful Dead and their latest box-set Get Shown The Light, we're digging into what many fans consider to be the greatest Dead show of all time: Cornell 5/8/77.

Hop on the bus and join KevinAndre, and Eduardo as the head to the end of their long strange trip to uncover the truth about the Dead, pay their respects, and figure out what being a Dead fan means now, over 20 years after the band's untimely demise. 


Episode 285: Get Shown The Light - Grateful Dead - Part One

Episode 285: Get Shown The Light - Grateful Dead - Part One

Despite being one of, if not THE, greatest American rock n' roll bands, the Grateful Dead are just recently getting their proper due. With hundreds of hours of shows recorded by fans and the band available online, connoisseur's have always looked toward the official releases for the purest shot of cosmic truth that they can find.

And now they have their holy grail.

In part one of a two part journey, Andre and Eduardo are joining Kevin in the basement to dig into Get Shown The Light, the latest release form the Dead archives that chronicles the band at a time that many consider to be their peak: May 1977.

Tune in, turn on and come hang out with us for a while as we geek out over one of our favorite band's music, their mythology, and why it's still relevant today. 


Episode 284: From A Room: Volume 1 - Chris Stapleton

Episode 284: From A Room: Volume 1 - Chris Stapleton

After years of working in "the biz," in 2015 songwriter Chris Stapleton finally staked his claim as one of the biggest names in Nashville with his debut LP, Traveller. Now he's back for round two with super-producer Dave Cobb in tow and one of the most legendary rooms in recording history to help guide the way.

Has Stapleton deliver another mega-hit for the country machine, or is his sophomore effort something else completely? Eduardo and Marcus are joining Kevin in the basement to work through the masterful, yet often frustrating, next step for one of music's most powerful voices. 

PLUS! Set the wayback machine to 2004 and check outJason Isbell (That Nashville Sound, Southeastern) singing about crystal meth in a backyard in Richmond!


Episode 283: Rock N Roll Consciousness - Thurston Moore

Episode 283: Rock N Roll Consciousness - Thurston Moore

Sexual assault and harassment has plagued the music industry since it's earliest days. Th e latest band to write a chapter in this sad story are New York pop-punkers PWR BTTM. Over the past few weeks, the world saw the band literally fall apart before its eyes afte singer, Ben Hopkins, found himself the subject of serious and credible accusations of sexual assault, an act that is antithetical to message that the LGBTQ-friendly duo has been preaching in their music and at their shows since their inception. Kevin, Marcus and Eduardo are sitting down to take a hard look at sexual assault in the music industry, what people can do to protect themselves from these situations, and, most importantly, what can all of us to help the survivors of these most heinous of acts. 

Sonic shaman Thurston Moore is back with a new solo LP, and loads of feedback to spare. But is the world better with yet another piece of wax in it, or is rock-and-roll best left as an art that lives on the stage? Kevin and Eduardo are getting real with the rock legend's latest.

PLUS! Montreal's She-Devil were the big hit of this years SXSW, and now their debut, self-titled LP has finally landed. Get a taste of what everyone has been talking about with 


Episode 282: Sign O' The Times - Prince [Discologist]

Episode 282: Sign O' The Times - Prince [Discologist]

Thirty years has passed since Prince dropped the strangest, most complex, and possibly best album of his career. A mash-up of Prince's past, present, and future, Sign O' The Times wasn't just Prince's boldest artistic statement to date, it was a game-changer for the artist AND the multitudes of artists that would (try to) follow in his footsteps for years to come.

Join Kevin, Marcus Dowling, Sarah Godfrey, and special guest Timothy Anne Burnside from the National Museum of African American History and Culture for a deep dive into what made this album so special and why its secrets, subtleties, and lessons are still being revealed and discovered to this day.


Episode 281: Jason A. Mullinax

Episode 281: Jason A. Mullinax

Jason A. Mullinax is a father, multi-instrumentalist, music nerd, educator, creative lifer, and, most importantly, the author of his remarkable new album, Time Being.

Come hang with us in the basement for a while as we talk to Jason about a lifetime in music, the intersections between outer-space and modern pop, and pretty much everything in-between.

Let's get cosmic, kidz...