Interviews

Episode 365: Johnny Fantastic of Stronger Sex

Episode 365: Johnny Fantastic of Stronger Sex

Synth-rock provocateurs Stronger Sex have gone through several lineup changes over the past few years, but on their debut LP There Is No Stronger Sex the (now) duo of Johnny Fantastic and Leah Gage (both veterans of the DC DIY scene) have found their "final form," and the result is an electric and aggressively danceable album that is one of the most exciting releases of 2018. On our latest episode, Johnny Fantastic is joining Kevin in the basement for a frank discussion about the band's history, the importance of queer representation in the arts, dog-walker life, the value of personal identity, and the ultimate inevitability of Seán Barna.

PLUS! Luna Honey's debut LP Peace Will Grind You Down is landing in July, but we've got a taste of what the latest addition to the Blight Records has in store for you right here and right now!


Episode 354: Ryan Walsh, author of 'Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968'

Episode 354: Ryan Walsh, author of 'Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968'

Creation doesn't happen in a vacuum, and in Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, author (and Hallelujah The Hills frontman) Ryan Walsh explores every weird, fantastical nook and cranny of Boston that surrounded and seeped into Van Morrison's soul-bending masterpiece. We're sitting down with Walsh to discuss how he brought this story to life, the eternal value of having your mind blown, and a history of his hometown that has remained largely untold until now.

Tune in, drop out, and slip into the slipstream for a fascinating conversation about one of the all-time-great books about rock and roll and the forces that shape it.


Episode 337: Andrew Grossman of The North Country

Episode 337: Andrew Grossman of The North Country

Washington, DC's The North Country has changed a lot in its seven years of making music. One thing that has remained consistent is front-man Andrew Grossman's commitment to creating electric and innovative pop and folk music pushes artistic boundaries as much as it honors them.

On our latest episode, we're sitting down with Grossman to talk about the past and future of the band, what it takes to stay dedicated to making art in the nation's capital, Sean Barna, their new Ardor EP, and much, much more.


Episode 316.2: Aaron Abernathy - The Interview, Part Two

Episode 316.2: Aaron Abernathy - The Interview, Part Two

 

Aaron "Ab' Abernathy is a music man. He 's a soul man. He is a man of faith. The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement runs through his blood. And he poured all of this and more into the and album that is as much a soundtrack to 2017 as it is a timeless statement on flawed nature of the human condition, Dialogue.

On part two of this very special episode, Kevin and Marcus K. Dowling sit down with the singer/songwriter to discuss how Dialogue came to be, how he hopes it can help open up discussions about old issues that still burden our society today, and much more. 

Come on and #beapartofthedialogue on part one of a two-part interview with one of the most indispensable voices of 2017: Aaron Abernathy.


Episode 316.1: Aaron Abernathy - The Interview, Part One

Episode 316.1: Aaron Abernathy - The Interview, Part One

 

Aaron "Ab' Abernathy is a music man. He 's a soul man. He is a man of faith. The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement runs through his blood. And he poured all of this and more into the and album that is as much a soundtrack to 2017 as it is a timeless statement on flawed nature of the human condition, Dialogue.

On part one of this very special episode, Kevin and Marcus K. Dowling sit down with the singer/songwriter to discuss how Dialogue came to be, how he hopes it can help open up discussions about old issues that still burden our society today, and much more. 

Come on and #beapartofthedialogue on part one of a two-part interview with one of the most indispensable voices of 2017: Aaron Abernathy.


Episode 302: Faunaphor (Louis Weeks & Noah Berman)

Episode 302: Faunaphor (Louis Weeks & Noah Berman)

Together or apart, long time musical collaborators Louis Weeks and Noah Berman have been creating some of the most forward thinking pop music of the past few years. When they started working on their latest project, it was familiar, yet different, and called out for something new. Out of this new collaboration, Faunaphor was born along with an exciting new phase of these old friends careers.

At the beginning of the Summer Louis and Noah joined Kevin in the basement to talk about And There I Was, the debut album from Faunaphor, what comes next and the inescapable pull of John Wick.


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 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 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...


Episode 269: Jamal Gray

Episode 269: Jamal Gray

Musical shaman Jamal Gray (Nag Champa, CMPVTR CLVB) is a creator, an educator, a motivator, a instigator, a father, a son, a being of the universe, and, most importantly, one of the the most vibrant and important voices in #newDC's burgeoning creative scene.

For the next hour and change he's here in the basement preaching the new gospel for the most powerful city in the world. Hang out for a while. Get illuminated. 

PLUS! Jules Hale's tape project Den Mate found a home last year on DC's Babe City Records, and her atmospheric self-titled debut LP was the result. Get a taste of one of DC's best with the track "Insomniac", then get obsessed. 


Episode 259: Bobby Thompson of Revelator Hill

Episode 259: Bobby Thompson of Revelator Hill

After years of laying down the blues as a solo act and sideman extraordinaire, Washington, DC based guitarist Bobby Thompson and some of his closest brothers in arms have joined forces in their new band, Revelator Hill.

It's a conversation you don't want to miss when Bobby drops by the basement to chat about the new album, growing up on a steady diet of rock n' roll, over-the-top guitar nerdery, and more!


Episode 235: Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

Episode 235: Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

Kingsley Flood frontman Naseem Khuri has built his career writing songs about social injustice and the importance of sticking up for the "little guy"

On their latest album, Another Other, he's turning his observational acumen inwards to explore not just how we relate to others, but, more importantly, why.

Khuri joined us in the basement a week before America's historic election to talk about the new album, writing introspectively versus observationally, the band's upcoming LP release show in Washington, DC on 11/19, and much, much more. 


Episode 233: Jenn Wasner of Flock Of Dimes

Episode 233: Jenn Wasner of Flock Of Dimes

Jenn Wasner has spent the better part of the past decade slaying as one half of indie powerhouse Wye Oak. Earlier this year, she released her long-in-the-works solo project, If You See Me, Say Yes, under the name Flock Of Dimes.

Predictably, it TOO, slayed.

Before a recent tour stop in the nation's capital, Wasner joined us to talk about how Flock Of Dimes came about, creating versus destroying, relocation, and the power of small actions on the world around you. 

Did we mention how much Jenn Wasner slays?


Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Episode 232: Skylar Gudasz

Singer/songwriter Skylar Gudasz's debut LP, Oleander, is a sublime exploration of modern romance that wears its influences on its sleeve and is bursting at the seams with humor, heart, and class. It's also one of the best albums of 2016.

When she's not busy making great albums, Gudasz can be found palling around on stage with members of Big Star, Wilco, R.E.M., and more.

She's KINDA a big deal.

Lucky for you, Skylar had time to hang out with us in the basement to talk about her unique approach to songwriting, the making of Oleander, performing with music legends and much more.

Guys...we're gonna need you to get hip to this, OK?


Episode 231: Death

Episode 231: Death

In 1971, history was made when brothers Bobby, Dannis, and David Hackney got together to jam, and inadvertently "created" punk music in the process. That history wouldn't be discovered until almost 40 years later, and having their story told in the documentary A Band Called Death in 2013the group is touring again, making new music, and finding new fans everywhere they turn.

More importantly, their story has now been recognized by the recently opened National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC, where a piece of their legend is now a permanent exhibit in the latest addition to the Smithsonian.

We caught up with the band the weekend of the museum's opening to talk about their history, their legacy, and so much more. 


Episode 229: Sara Watkins

Episode 229: Sara Watkins

Over the course of her career, Sara Watkins (I'm With Her, Nickel Creek) has stretched the boundaries of bluegrass, toured the world, and collaborated with legends of the music industry, all the while continuing to shape her own formidable legacy.

Right now, she's sitting down to chat with us about her new album Young In All The Wrong Ways, how she got hooked on music and more. 

For realz.


Episode 223: Aaron "Ab" Abernathy

Episode 223: Aaron "Ab" Abernathy

Aaron "Ab" Abernathy has built his career on helping artists like Black Milk and Slum Village elevate their art, but now he's breaking out on his own with his new album, Monologue.

A potent combination of autobiography and R&B retrospect, Monologue is a capital "S" SOUL record, that recounts Abernathy's formative years growing up outside Cleveland, Ohio. We sit down with Aaron to discuss the origins of the album, why his high school experience had such an important impact on his life even today, and the power of art and truth in times when we need help the most.

PLUS! Hailing from the Bay Area, R&B outfit The Seshen's second LP Flames and Figures is out on 10/14 and we've got a taste of the first single for you to get on down to. 


Episode 205: Franz Nicolay and The Humorless Ladies of Border Control

Episode 205: Franz Nicolay and The Humorless Ladies of Border Control

Franz Nicolay is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, true punk philosopher, and now…an author.

The Humorless  Ladies of Border Patrol chronicles Nicolay and his wife Maria’s tour through the underground punk/DIY scene of Russia and the Ukraine and is unlike any travelogue that has come before it. Immersive, poignant, and a treat for the senses , Ladies is the next step in an already vital career for Nicolay that is required reading for fans of music, punk, or just gaining a new perspective on the world we all share.

But enough of us gabbing. How about we let Franz tell you all about it…