The last couple of years have been huge for Jason Isbell. The Alabama-born singer-songwriter’s latest album Weathervanes won the Grammy for Best Americana album this year. He also snagged a role in Martin Scorsese's film, Killers Of The Flower Moon, which is up for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. There was also a critically acclaimed HBO documentary released last year about the making of Isbell’s previous album with the 400 Unit, Reunions, that put his personal life on full display. On today’s episode I talk to Jason Isbell about his exhilarating experience filming Killers of the Flower Moon and how he prepared to act in scenes opposite Leonardo DiCaprio (heads up—there are some major spoilers in this conversation). Jason also contemplates how he will write about the dissolution of his marriage, and why he struggles to write a balls-out rock song. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Jason Isbell songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We’re halfway through Black History month and although we didn’t intend to rerun some of our older conversations to celebrate the month, after realizing we needed to do something to mark Usher’s Super Bowl performance and the release of the new Bob Marley biopic “One Love,” we figured we might as well keep going and celebrate the whole month long…because now we have a country album from Beyonce on the way. Beyonce released two songs from her upcoming album the night of the Super Bowl—“16 Carriages” and “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM”—to a rapturous response. Not only are the songs good. But they sparked a lot of meaningful conversations about the usefulness of genres, the way marketing shapes our listening and gatekeeping in music. Those are all things very close to Rhiannon Giddens’ heart. As a black banjo player, steeped in the Americana tradition—and its Transatlantic roots—she’s been living this conversation her whole career. Rhiannon also happens to play on the song “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” with Beyonce. Which just this week hit number one on the country chart, making her the first time a black woman has ever held that spot. So let’s flash back to when we had Rhiannon on Broken Record back in 2021 to speak with Bruce Headlam about her album They’re Calling Me Home.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Since releasing their critically acclaimed debut album, Brutalism, in 2017, the British band IDLES have dropped four other albums in quick succession. The band’s bombastic sound brilliantly balances joy, chaos, and an often critical take on the powers that be. IDLES latest album, TANGK, was produced by the band's guitarist Mark Bowen, Kenny Beats, and Radiohead producer, Nigel Godrich. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Joe Talbot and Mark Bowen from the greenroom of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon about their tumultuous creative partnership. They also explain how Mark helps temper Joe’s sometimes passionate rage, and Joe breaks down why he will forever despise England’s monarchy. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite IDLES songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Last week we revisited our conversation with Usher to celebrate his Super Bowl performance and the incredible career resurgence he’s had over the last couple of years. In thinking about our catalog, I thought there was another conversation worth revisiting - Malcolm Gladwell speaking with Ziggy Marley about the cultural influence the tiny country of Jamaica and Ziggy’s dad, Bob Marley, have had over the last half a century. The Bob Marley biopic One Love was released in theaters yesterday. I hope anyone familiar with Bob Marley will go see it at some point. If only to keep the conversation about his songs and his political thinking alive and to guard against his legacy becoming further whitewashed and commercialized. So listen Malcolm’s conversation with Ziggy from a couple of years back, see the movie and then spend some time with the Marley catalog and with some of the other great music to come out of that era from Prince Buster to Alton Ellis and beyond.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In the minds of many rock fans, Duff McKagan will forever be known first and foremost as the bassist for Guns N' Roses. The band’s white-hot reign in the late '80s through the early '90s is the stuff of hedonistic, hard rock legend. And for anyone interested in reading a detailed account of that wild ride, check out Duff’s memoir, “It’s So Easy and Other Lies.” After turning 30, Duff got sober, eventually left GNR, and then went on to play stints in Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction—and he helped form the supergroup, Velvet Revolver. In 2016, he rejoined Guns N' Roses following their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Outside of his contributions to big name rock bands, Duff has also been releasing solo material since the early '90s. His latest album, Lighthouse, signals a new musical direction for Duff—one that focuses on reflective, personal lyrics and stripped-down rootsy-rock. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Duff McKagan about his decision to leave the heroin-infested punk rock scene in his hometown of Seattle for LA. He also shares stories about Axl Rose and Slash while recording Appetite For Destruction. And he reminisces about the time his musical idol Prince was trying to get Duff to reveal the real reason why Guns N' Roses broke up. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Duff McKagan songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1 hr 1 min
Four decades into his career, Usher is at the peak of his powers. In the year since he was on Broken Record, Usher became the king of the Las Vegas strip. According to Billboard, he grossed over $100 million dollars during his beloved Vegas residency. To celebrate his much anticipated halftime performance at this year's Super Bowl, along with his upcoming arena tour, and the release of his new album “Coming Home,” here's Justin Richmond's conversation with the one and only, Usher.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Countless decisions, large and small, aided The Beatles’ ascent to the top of popular culture. The release of their debut single, “Love Me Do,” in the UK in the fall of 1962 was one of those decisions. Their debut on American television was another. In this first episode of season two, Paul McCartney and Paul Muldoon discuss the early evolution of The Beatles. Season Two of McCartney: A Life in Lyrics comes out weekly starting February 7th, and features the stories behind songs like Yesterday, Band on the Run, Here, There and Everywhere, Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me) and many more. Follow the show to learn more about Paul McCartney’s songwriting process, the creation of Wings, the development of McCartney’s bass playing over the life of The Beatles and more! Binge the entire season early and ad-free starting February 7th by subscribing to Pushkin+ on our Apple show page or at pushkin.fm/plus. “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” is a co-production between iHeart Media, MPL and Pushkin Industries. The series was produced by Pejk Malinovski and Sara McCrea; written by Sara McCrea; edited by Dan O’Donnell and Sophie Crane; mastered by Jason Gambrell with assistance from Jake Gorski and sound design by Pejk Malinovski. The series is executive produced by Leital Molad, Justin Richmond, Lee Eastman and Scott Rodger. Thanks to Lee Eastman, Richard Ewbank, Scott Rodger, Aoife Corbett and Steve Ithell.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
James Fauntleroy is one of the most prolific pop songwriters of the past 15-plus years. Some of his most prized placements include writing songs for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. He’s also contributed background vocals to songs by Travis Scott, Jay-Z and his longtime friend, the late Nipsey Hustle. Similar to his music industry idol and mentor Babyface, James Fauntleroy is also an artist in his own right. While his songs have lived on streaming platforms over the past decade, in December James released his official debut album, The Warmest Winter Ever—a Christmas album put through the Fauntleroy filter. On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to James Fauntleroy about why he decided to drop his debut album well over a decade into his career. He also explains how hundreds of his songs were stolen and posted online by international hackers. And why he considers both Weird Al Yankovic and John Mayer among some of his biggest musical influences. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite James Fauntleroy songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1 hr 1 min
The Baltimore-based synth-pop band Future Islands was first thrust into the national spotlight in 2014 after making their TV debut on The Late Show With David Letterman. The band’s unassuming frontman Samuel T. Herring danced ecstatically around the stage seething with emotion. The performance quickly went viral, making it one of Letterman’s most memorable live appearances of all time. At the time of their big break, Future Islands had already released three albums and been touring relentlessly for nearly a decade. And while they would become one of the most prominent bands on the festival circuit for the next several years, Future Islands has always maintained a sense of unparalleled raw vulnerability on-stage—in part because of the deeply confessional nature of Sam’s songwriting and electric stage presence. On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring about the band’s latest album, People Who Aren’t There Anymore. Samuel also describes the physical toll his energetic performance style has taken on his body over the years. And his long-held gripe with guitar-based music. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Future Islands songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sleater-Kinney has long been a safe space for band members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. What started as a group born out of the feminist punk riot grrrl scene in Olympia, Washington in the early 90s, has grown into a life-affirming artistic endeavor. In late 2022, tragedy struck when Carrie’s mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident overseas. In the months after, Carrie found a respite from her immense grief by playing the guitar for hours on end, and writing new music. Sleater-Kinney’s latest album, Little Rope, is in part a meditation on Carrie’s grief, but it’s also proven to be a triumph for the band. Corin Tucker, who handles the bulk of the singing on the new album, has been racking up rave reviews, including one from the New Yorker who noted that Corin’s performance is the most dynamic and flexible of her career. On today’s episode, Bruce Headlam talks to Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker about their intimate recording relationship, and how their sometimes opposing approaches to creative work complement one another. They also talk about the matriarchal nature of the early Olympia music scene, and why they wanted their new album to sometimes sound gross and obnoxious. You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Sleater-Kinney songs HERE.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.