Van Halen’s 5150 was a turning point for the legendary party rockers for more than one reason. The replacing of original front man David Lee Roth with rocker Sammy Hagar was what was driving headlines, but the real news was in the music. Revved up, radio-friendly, and raring to go, this “new” Van Halen supplemented often questionable machismo with synths, honest-to-god pop hooks, and, most radically: Feelings.
Washington Post Pop Critic Chris Richards and Broke Royals’ Philip Basnight are joining us as we reconsider one of the most divisive albums of Van Halen’s career, reveal it’s secrets, and more.
This, dear listener, is what dreams are made of.
Hearing Colter Wall’s voice--described as “Johnny Cash’s [voice] in the morning” — coming out of his wirey, 23-year old frame is surprising and exhilarating the first time you hear it. The road-weary tone and rustic storytelling on his most recent album Songs of the Plains are also remarkable given the current state of popular country music. Colter Wall’s sound is a throwback that has launched him into a constellation of contemporary country artists (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton) linked by the producer of Wall’s first two full-length records, Dave Cobb. Cobb has said that his work is driven by unique voices that can carry a story. At Colter’s 9:30 Club his voice was clearly the main attraction.
Marcus Strickland at City Winery in Washington, D.C. - 11/20/18 (Photo by Kevin Hill)
On paper, an album about heartache, anxiety, and ancient aliens doesn’t seem like something that would work (or should even exist), but on Pyramid Theories, Mink’s Miracle Medicine are singing about those themes and more resulting in their best release to date.
We’re catching up with the Melissa Wright of this Appalachian-based duo to dig into the trials of life as a creative, edibles, woodworking, aliens, and how their remarkable new album came to be.