Today I’m joined by singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow, on the eve of her new album release, to wax rhapsodic about the 2013 debut LP by friend of the show Melody Pool, ‘The Hurting Scene’. We unpack Melody’s wielding of emotional restraint to create tension, her unaffected skill as a vocalist, her literate lyrics, the emotional impact of songs like ‘Henry’, Tia’s history covering Melody’s songs and how she inspired her songwriting, why Tia makes me feel like an old man and I dig into the archives to revisit a classic conversation with Melody herself about the recording of the album.
On another format-busting episode of MFA, hosts of Light the Fuse podcast Drew Taylor and Charles Hood return to the show to bash out the eternal rivalry in spy movie world - James Bond vs Mission Impossible. Using the enduring James Bond movie formula - from gun barrels to gadgets, leading ladies to leering bad guys, we compare and contrast the two franchises and see where they differ, and more interestingly, how they’ve grown more and more similar through this current century. Plus we speculate about the casting of the next Bond, and instigate an entire new spy movie franchise which could eclipse 007 and Ethan Hunt.
1 hr 54 min
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and one of the best drummers of her generation Stella Mozgawa joins me for a look at the legendary Brian Eno’s final 70s pop masterpiece (before his turn into ambient music) Before and After Science. We delve into the most interesting man in rock’s creative process, how he used the studio as his instrument and enlisted collaborators from Robert Fripp to Phil Collins (and we defend Phil’s legacy), why it’s a good thing that Eno has kept his archival vaults locked, how Warpaint have used Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards in the studio, and why you should always turn down dinner invitations from an EGOT.
Longtime friend of the show and one of my favorite people in the world to talk music with, writer/director/showrunner Brian Koppelman (Billions, Rounders, Ocean’s 13) joins me to talk about Lou Reed’s mid-career classic ‘New York’ album. We talk about how Lou got sober and political simultaneously, the powerful simplicity of the music and the carefully crafter lyrics that Reed agonised over, Brian’s memories of living in NYC when this album was released, how the city looms large over both Lou and Brian’s writing, how Brian has deployed Lou’s songs in his TV series ‘Billions’, Lou’s enduring influence and much more.
Today a friend of the show becomes a subject of it, as emerging singer-songwriter Essie Holt joins me to rave on Megan Washington’s 2010 debut album ‘I Believe You Liar’. We talk about the benefits of discovering artists at live shows, Meg’s iconic ARIAs performance of ‘Sunday Best’, the will in song form ‘Underground’ and whether it holds legal legitimacy, songwriting as therapy, being the victim in your songs, how releasing music has changed over the last ten years and more.
328. Paul Kelly biographer Stuart Coupe on excavating the legendary artist’s early years for his new book
Today, author and broadcaster Stuart Coupe joins me to discuss his new Paul Kelly biography and some of the lesser known tales from Paul’s life and career. We talk about Paul’s early years, why he struggled to be part of a band, the albums that Paul doesn’t want you to hear and why he’s made them unavailable, why Paul is Australia’s answer to Elvis Costello, what it’s like to write a book about someone you used to manage, how Paul went from being sceptical of the book to an enthusiastic contributor and why Paul didn’t mind losing his luxurious hair.
1 hr 7 min
Beatles nerds rejoice again, as synth queen Seja Vogel joins me to delve into the album that brought Paul McCartney back to the toppermost of the poppermost in 1973, 'Band on the Run'. We talk about Paul’s uneven solo trajectory after the Beatles breakup, the volatile story of how the album was made in Lagos (band members quitting, stolen demo tapes, Fela Kuti, etc), Paul’s drumming, the use of synths on the record, covering Let Me Roll It, how McCartney has become the ambassador to Beatledom, our experiences seeing Paul live, our love for Nineteen Hundred and Eight-Five and Mrs Vanderbilt and the song we think should’ve been left off the album.
326. Legendary director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Double Jeopardy) on six songs that have influenced and inspired him, from Leonard Cohen to Willie Nelson
Legendary Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Breaker Morant) joins me to discuss five songs that have influenced and inspired him from throughout his life and career, plus we talk about the process of shaping the music for his classic film Tender Mercies, the challenges of licensing songs for movies, how he approaches working with screenplays and writers as a director and the projects he’s working on now. Bruce’s six songs are: Dick Powell - Lulu’s Back in Town Elizabeth Welch - Yesterday Leonard Cohen - I’m Your Man Tim Carroll - What’ll We Do Til Then? Lizz Wright - Leave Me Standing Alone Willie Nelson - What Was It You Wanted? Willie Nelson - Last Man Standing
Today, Tony-nominated musician and actor Sarah Stiles (Tootsie, Billions, Avenue Q) joins me on the release day of her new EP ‘You Can Ukulele With Me’ to celebrate the wonderful world of Cyndi Lauper. We delve into loving the album as a kid, her intense emotional reaction to seeing Cyndi sing ‘Time After Time’ in person, the real feminist themes of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, Cyndi’s incredible music videos, her vocal influence on Sarah, how Sarah’s album eschews the traps of most actors-turned-musicians and whether some music legends have unknowingly already played their last gig.
Today we’re bringing you the first in a new regular feature on the podcast. Once a month, I’ll be joined by a guest from music, movies, politics, literature or more, but not to discuss their favorite album. These will be compelling conversations about their favorite film, or book, or maybe even important world events. Today, friend of the show, Emmy-winning writer/director Jeff Greenstein (Friends, Will & Grace, Mom, Desperate Housewives) returns to delve into the eerily relevant 1976 Alan J Pakula classic thriller ‘All the President’s Men’, which tells the true story of how Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke open the incredible Watergate scandal and helped bring down President Richard Nixon. We talk about the film’s commitment to truth and authenticity, the blending of real archival footage with actors playing real people, how Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman compare to the real life Woodward and Bernstein, differences between the book and film, the way Deep Throat has entered the pop culture lexicon, screenwriter William Goldman’s contentious relationship to the project, the comparisons and differences to the film ‘The Post’ and how to make a thriller compelling when everyone in the audience knows the ending.
1 hr 17 min