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The Radio Ga Ga Podcast
25 minutes | May 4, 2021
Maggie Rogers, "Heard It In A Past Life"
Though Maggie Rogers began songwriting in her teens, it wasn't until Pharrell Williams critiqued her masterclass at NYU when she got her big break. Many of the songs on "Heard It In A Past Life" deal with this overnight success and all the waves of emotion that come with that. She says "Heard It In A Past Life" was the introduction that she never really got to make. We discuss all the different production and writing styles reflected on the album, as well as Maggie's synesthesia and writing process.
42 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Television, "Marquee Moon"
In this episode, we're diving into one of punk's most enduring albums, "Marquee Moon" from 1977. We'll talk about Television's role in CBGB & OMFUG becoming the epicenter of American punk and the history of the venue, as well as the friendship and later falling out of Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell. Also–the Lower East Side poetry scene, Patti Smith helping build the mystique around the band, turning down a record contract, and what a good name change can do for the soul. Television, don't go to my head.
26 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
The Weeknd, "After Hours"
"After Hours" is like a film noir in album format. It depicts the rise and fall of an anti-hero, The Character, as he admits that his loneliness is more unbearable than he lets on. In this episode, we discuss The Weeknd's whole visual campaign around "After Hours," including an important series of music videos and appearances where The Weeknd showed up with facial bandages. Also, we'll discuss his evolution from releasing music anonymously to becoming one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
55 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Music Criticism with Jamieson Cox
In this episode, I talk to music writer Jamieson Cox, whose work has been featured in Pitchfork, Time Magazine, and more. We discuss how he finds new music, what made him get into criticism, and towing the line between having a hobby and keeping it one. We also get into his role in Pitchfork’s first-ever review of Taylor Swift, how the Pitchfork scoring system works, and Jamieson’s newsletter, One Good Song. Episode includes music by Frank Ocean, Madeline Kenney, Jazmine Sullivan, Mamalarky, and Darkside.
89 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Between The Buried And Me, "Colors"
Even though metal isn't at the top of my list, "Colors" is one of the most interesting albums I've heard in a long time. Between The Buried And Me is a progressive metal band made up of virtuosos and friends, most of whom have been playing together since high school. Whether you're already a fan or just curious, my guest Job Fickett is amazingly helpful. He helps guide us through the world of modern prog metal, explains the different vocal styles, and shares all the reasons BTBAM is his favorite band.
4 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
The Radio Ga Ga Podcast is on Patreon!
Exciting news... The Radio Ga Ga Podcast is now on Patreon! We're talking swag, we're talking exclusive content, all the good stuff. Get all the details in this mini-episode update and join at Patreon.com/radiogagapodcast. Thank you for your ongoing support!
33 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
10 Great Albums I Just Realized Existed
One of my personal goals for 2021 was to listen to a LOT more new music, or at least "new" to me. In this episode, I'm sharing 10 albums I just listened to for the very first time recently. To be fair, a few of these just came out in 2021 so they are actually new. But a lot of these, I wish I would've listened to much earlier. If you're like me and are looking for a refresh of your old go-to playlists, listen to this episode.
40 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Mariah Carey, "Daydream" Pt. II
In the final installment of our Mariah Carey series, we get into the later years of her career, the tryst with Derek Jeter that was the catalyst to ending her abusive marriage, and the surprising side hustle Mariah was working on during the recording of "Daydream." Also, Christmas wishes, Tommy Mottola's revenge on Mariah via a J.Lo song, and the hunt for a very special white baby grand piano. Episode 2 of 2.
50 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Mariah Carey, "Daydream" Pt. I
Though we know Mariah Carey as a high-maintenance diva, there's a LOT more to the story. She grew up in an incredibly turbulent environment with a family that could have very easily kept Mariah down (and keeps trying to). Her professional and personal life also merged in her early 20s, when she married a music exec who treated her like a prisoner. We'll get into Mariah's desire to shift "Daydream" to a more R&B sound, her signature whistle tones, and the earliest years of her global success. Episode 1 of 2.
24 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Song Stories, "Spirit In The Sky"
“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum is a fantastic song, and one of rock music’s definitive one-hit wonders. Its omnipresence across television, film, and advertisements has earned it a permanent spot in classic rock history. And from "Apollo 13," to "Remember The Titans," to "Guardians of the Galaxy" and everything in between, "Spirit In The Sky" continues to live on as a cross-generational favorite. We talk about Greenbaum's past, the making of the song, and the reasons it became his only major hit.
41 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
R.E.O. Speedwagon, "Hi Infidelity"
I always thought of R.E.O. Speedwagon as an '80s band, but their breakthrough album, "Hi Infidelity" from 1980 was actually the band's ELEVENTH album. Formed in 1967, R.E.O. spent basically the first decade of their career struggling to expand past their Midwestern roots. We'll talk about their major change in sound over the years, and how the pressure to go pop worked really well…until it didn't. Also–the Bo Diddley beat, a Joe Cocker ripoff, and how Netflix's "Ozark" brought R.E.O. back from the dead.
38 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
The Vince Guaraldi Trio, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was perfect for the animation of the Peanuts comics. It’s not just jazz, it’s what Charlie Brown sounds like. It’s what Christmas sounds like. And it perfectly encapsulates that melancholic feeling that comes around this time each year. In this episode, we'll talk about how jazz came to define the Peanuts sound, depression and anxiety as tackled by Charlie Brown, and the little Christmas tree that could.
71 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Shania Twain, "Come On Over"
“Come On Over” is still the all-time best-selling country album, and one of the best-selling albums of all time in any genre. In this episode, we explore Shania Twain's rise to pop-country fame, from her early days as Eilleen Twain in Timmins, Ontario all the way to Nashville. Things were extremely difficult for Shania most of her life growing up, but she fought every step of the way to earn her spot in country music's storied history. Also: Mutt Lange, "shopping" for songs, and Tim the German Shepherd.
92 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
Sleater-Kinney, "Dig Me Out"
"Dig Me Out" is an album that feels harsh and feminine at the same time. It’s not comfortable or nurturing, and in direct contrast with expectations of female vocals at the time. Guest Phoebe Reilly and I discuss Sleater-Kinney's role in the riot grrrl movement, what unique elements Corin, Carrie, and Janet bring to the table, and how Sleater-Kinney broke through walls constantly to create a space in music for themselves and for other women. Also - feminism, the concept of "selling out," and "Portlandia."
35 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Production Profiles: Bernard Herrmann
American composer Bernard Herrmann is most remembered for his spooky, suspenseful film scores in collaboration with directors including Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Rod Serling. From the shower scene in "Psycho" to some of our favorite episodes of "The Twilight Zone," Herrmann was a master at creating dramatic tension and character development through music. We'll talk about some of his most memorable pieces, his early use of the theremin, and modern composers who still adapt Herrmann's work today.
103 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
The Killers, "Hot Fuss"
“Hot Fuss” is one of my all-time favorite albums. In this episode, I'm diving in to the history of the album and how it came to be the Killers' signature work. My guest is Jon Landman of The Syndicate, who worked with the Killers in their earliest days to help promote the band and get “Hot Fuss” on American radio. We talk about the “Murder Trilogy,” the Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran comparisons, how to write a song about your former bully, and why we don’t see a ton of bands coming out of Las Vegas.
74 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
Alice In Chains, "Dirt"
Musically and lyrically, "Dirt" was far more sinister than anything that had come before it in grunge music. Nearly half of the album's songs are explicitly about heroin addiction, which we'll find is the one true villain in the Alice In Chains story. In this episode, we talk about how metal impacted the earliest days of Seattle grunge, the vocal harmonies between Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell, who "Rooster" is, and how drug abuse brought one of the best bands of the early '90s to a screeching halt.
20 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
Song Stories, "Take On Me"
"Take On Me" by Norwegian trio A-Ha is one of the greatest pop songs ever made. We'll talk about the history of the song, Morten Harket's vocal gymnastics, and all the '80s instruments they used including the LinnDrum and the Roland Juno 60 synthesizer. "Take On Me" also had one of the greatest music videos ever made. We'll talk about how the video's animation was created, and how it gave new life to the song for American audiences.
56 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Listening to Halsey is like touching a wire you know is going to give you a shock. But you touch it anyway, letting little sparks of electricity bolt through you. She's an artist who has grown on me over the past few years, and her story is wild. The road was difficult for Halsey, then her entire life changed basically overnight. From the release of "Manic", to her openness about her life and struggles, she's setting the bar for what it means to be a pop star in 2020.
73 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Axis: Bold As Love” Pt. II
We conclude the story of Jimi Hendrix starting with "Axis" Side 2, which has one of the most beautiful songs Jimi ever wrote, "Castles Made of Sand." We talk about the techniques and gear Jimi used, what it was that made him such a good guitarist, and how things took a turn for The Jimi Hendrix Experience after the release of "Axis" in the U.S. We'll also talk about Jimi's drug use, downward spiral, his untimely death in 1970, and the legacy of the world's greatest guitarist five decades later.
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