Month: October 2019

Crash and Ride Playlist for July 13th, 2019

Here’s the playlist for this week’s episode! Ryley Walker is such a gifted guitar player that it’s easy to forget that he’s an excellent songwriter and arranger, too. I have three different songs from him on this week’s playlist that show different facets of his considerable talent.
There’s also some songs from bands I played with on tour this week, and some friends, guests from past shows, etc.

“Rocks on Rainbow” – Ryley Walker: Ryley and I talked a little bit about our shared love of Richard Thompson and his slack-key tuning/fingerpicking style. Ryley has his own special take on this, perhaps less averse to dissonance as Richard Thompson, but no less affecting. This track is hypnotic and lovely.

“Busted Stuff” – Ryley Walker: Ryley and I didn’t get into a discussion about the whole “Lillywhite Sessions” record, but if you want some background, I’d suggest reading the Pitchfork review of it. I didn’t really understand why Ryley covered an unreleased Dave Matthews Band record in its entirety, and maybe I still don’t, but the Pitchfork review contextualizes it in a way I couldn’t here. Walker, of course, makes this song his own and extraordinary.

“On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee” – Ryley Walker: This song really calls back to Ryley’s love of Fairport Convention, and showcases his knack for melody and his ability to write strong electric folk tunes.

“Coming Up for Air” – The Gary: My band PDP recently played with the Gary in Austin, and they are one of my favorite bands in the world. Singer Dave Norwood’s vocals always conjure a certain character in my head: A really solid, gentle guy who has been pushed nearly to the point of breaking, and now there’s going to be a fight.

“Song 25” – The Austerity Program: There are very few bands in the world who capture existential despair and a Southern Gothic level of anxiety than the Austerity Program. Going down the rabbit hole of their recorded output is a journey into a Dustbowl of shattered expectations and tragedy. Surprisingly, in person, Justin Foley is absolutely hilarious. I guess it’s true what they say: The Austerity Program is a land of contrasts.

“Just Say Something” – Endiana: PDP played some shows with Endiana a few weeks back, and I just love their incredible facility as players and their laconic lyrical approach and performance. Easily my favorite Indianapolis band of all time, and worthy of more of your attention.

“Stay” – Paper Saints: Another band I recently met on tour. I hate these sorts of cheap comparisons, but it’s just so hard not to say this: If Siouxsie and the Cure and Psychedelic Furs had formed a super-group… The late 2010s goth revival is making the ghost of my teen self so happy, and not just for the shaggy black haircuts and padlock chokers. The commitment to melody here is really inspiring to me. Great band.

“Mental Illness as Mating Ritual” – Whores: Future podcast guest Christian Lembach not only has a great noise rock band, his song titles have little worlds wrapped up in them. See also: “I See You Are Also Wearing a Black T-shirt”. Christian and Kevin Chapman, the guitar player from Paper Saints, were once roommates. Small world.

“Outlive You” – Friendship Commanders: Next week’s episode will be an interview with this absolutely stellar Nashville band. I’m going to keep hammering this band into your ears until you realize that you should love them.

“Herzog” – Five Eight: This is the band for whom I’ve played drums for like 30 years. This is our song about Werner Herzog trying to figure out what happened to the dude who got eaten by bears.

“Alcoholics and Meth Addicts” – The Powder Room: Just a reminder that this is the band who wrote the Crash and Ride theme song. I love this band and played with them for a while. Gene, the genius behind these melodies and great guitar parts, now plays lead guitar for T Hardy Morris. This song, though, is SUCH a banger. I bang my head every time I’m editing it into an episode.

Crash and Ride Playist for July 6th, 2019

The problem with trying to compile a playlist for Thor Harris is that he’s on a ton of records by bands that have put out a ton of records. I have put some of my favorite tracks on here, but you should know that there are a thousand more out there.

1. “Praise Your Name” – Angels of Light: The first collaboration between Thor and Michael Gira from the Swans. After the Swans split up, Thor travelled to Atlanta in a rented minivan that he had jammed full of drums and homemade instruments. Angels of Light made this sullen and thoughtful masterpiece of a record.

2. “Louisiana 1927” – Jolie Holland w/Thor and Friends: There are no Thor and Friends records on Spotify other than this, a collaboration with Jolie Holland done as part of the Hummingbirds and Helicopters hurricane benefit for South Texas. You can check out more Thor and Friends via their label’s Bandcamp page.

3. “Noplace 1” – The Noplace Trio: A band based mostly out of Berlin, Thor plays drums and percussion for this high-flying improvisational trio.

4. “One Horse Town” – The Smoking Flowers: Pinky Doodle Poodle played a show with this duo from Nashville. It would be perfectly understandable if you saw this band and hyperfocused on singer/drummer/accordionist Kim Collins’ cigarettes and bourbon brown sugar contralto, but don’t miss Scott Collins’ incredibly tasteful and perfect guitar work. Scott is currently my favorite guitar player, full stop. Their live show feels to me like what would happen if Phil Spector had produced X.

5. “Sold You Out” – Small Awesome: My personal hero, Faiz Razi (Episode 4: Imposter Syndrome) and his compatriot Jim MacGregor are a duo from Chicago, making sparse, lovely tunes about existential dread and elemental, primal fear. Enjoy!

6. “The Roundabout” – Ryley Walker: Ryley Walker deserves more than a paragraph trying to describe the dozen or so different things he does exceedingly well. I have an interview scheduled with him that will hopefully be out soon. in the meantime, enjoy this Richard Thompson-esque meditation on the origins of the universe and heavy drinking.

7. “Blank” – The Gary: The Gary is one of my favorite bands of all time. They’re from Austin and they’re playing with us when Pinky Doodle Poodle plays there on the 11th of July. I love the brooding, solemn quality of this song, right up to the point that it explodes.

8. “Heavenly She Comes” – King Nun: Almost completely by accident, PDP ended up on a bill with King Nun at the Basement in Nashville, after another show we were scheduled to play fell through. King Nun are a bunch of absolutely lovely, rakish young outlaws from London. They played two sets at Bonnaroo, this summer, and are currently gearing up to take over the world. Just being in the room with them filled me with a tremendous nostalgia for a time in my life when anything seemed possible. I wish them all the success in the world.

9. “Heavy Flow” – The Cell Phones: Friends from the PRF BBQ and the Chicago post-hardcore scene that is so near to my heart, the Cell Phones are a ferocious trio of diabolically talented players. Fronted by Lindsey Charles, an emotive and vocally agile singer, their shows manically shift gears from girl-pop to blast beats to cheeky nods to classic rock.

10. “The Pfister” – Nonagon: Speaking of Chicago post-hardcore, Nonagon are fantastic. Yep. They “love to play shows but have no idea how to dress for them.” Besides being a great band, they are also lovely people.

11. “Your Fear is Showing” – Friendship Commanders: It’s my podcast playlist, and if I want to keep putting my new favorite band on it, well, you’ll just have to be ok with that. As I said, last week: This is a band with whom PDP has played recently, and they are frankly amazing. A duo who somehow manages to create a wall of sound equivalent to being run over by an alcohol-fueled funny car, singer Buick Audra’s raw, elemental wail stabbed me right in the heart. This band is life-changing.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for June 30th, 2019

“More of Us” –  Weisshund: This is one of the bands engineered and mixed by this week’s  guest, Richard Salino. They’re a remarkable band, with one of the best  drummers in America (Marlon Patton) playing both drums and Moog bass  pedals. True greatness.

“Big  Black Gun” – Dirty Heretics: Another Richard Salino project. This is a  track I don’t know a whole lot about, except that it sounds fantastic.

“Broken-Hearted  Dance” – Mr. Mustache: This is the very track that I talk about Richard  mixing when he was my “intern”, that made me realize that he had some  skills that he had been hiding. It holds up, here now almost ten years  later.

“It’s Relative” – Hunger Anthem: Pinky Doodle  Poodle played with this Athens band in Charlotte, last week, and they  were outstanding. Bassist/backing vocalist Margo Fortune is a true star.

“1-2-3,  Go!” – Pinky Doodle Poodle: This is the band that pays my rent, these  days! High energy rock and roll from Tokyo, Japan. Come see us on the  road!

“The Criminal Age” – Breakfast Cigarette: This  band opened for us at a club in Franklin, NC, and absolutely destroyed.  They remind me of Uncle Tupelo and Dawes and Sonic Youth, live.

“You  Don’t Have a Choice” – Easter Island: I was in this band for a hot  minute, and Richard and I engineered this session when we worked  together at Studio 1093 in Athens, GA. It was mixed by Grant Curry, my  guest on Episode 5!

“Wild Cherry Nightmare” –  Motherfucker: This is one of my favorite Athens bands, and a band I have  played many shows alongside. If you don’t know them, get on it. Their  drummer, Erika Rickson, is one of my favorite people in the world and  someone who I hope to have on the show, soon.

“Horrify”  – Friendship Commanders: This is a band with whom PDP has played  recently, and they are frankly amazing. A duo who somehow manages to  create a wall of sound equivalent to being run over by an alcohol-fueled  funny car, singer Buick Audra’s raw, elemental wail stabbed me right in  the heart. This band is life-changing.

“Do You  Wanna Dance” – The Girls: A band called “The Girls” that contains no  actual girls, this raw, high-energy group of young toughs reminded me  somehow of the New York Dolls in their heyday. Spirited, snotty, brassy,  fun. I saw a spontaneous teenage mosh pit materialize when they opened  for PDP in Wilmington, NC.

“Why Can’t Friends Just  Kiss on the Lips Sometimes?” – Secret Club: Recently, PDP played  Nashville at Betty’s Cafe, after the primary location for the show  closed unexpectedly. Secret Club opened. and their performance had the  heady lyricism of Elvis Costello with the raw energy of Surfer Rosa-era  Pixies.

“Another Saturday Night” – Endiana: Endiana  came down to Athens to do some drinking and then traveled with PDP to  Atlanta to play a show, and they blew my mind. This is easily my  favorite band from Indianapolis, and they combine the solid lyrical  prowess of Robert Earl Keen with the laconic, blue collar instrumental  skill of Nashville session players. Just a great band.