Nakedly Examined Music is a podcast about making music: Why do we do it? Why do we do it the way we do it? Mark Linsenmayer interviews songwriters and composers famous and otherwise about specific recordings, which are presented in full on the podcast.

NEM#164: James McMurtry Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

...But he usually does.  The legendary Texas singer-songwriter has put out 10 studio albums since 1989. We discuss "If It Don’t Bleed" (and listen to "Blackberry Winter") from The Horses and the Hounds (2021), "How’m I Gonna Find You Now" from Complicated Game (2015), and "Be With Me" from It Had to Happen (1997). Intro: "Choctaw Bingo" from Saint Mary of the Woods  Continue Reading …

NEM#163: Lilli Lewis Is Not Just a Jazz-Singing Pianist

Lilli is also an activist, folk-rock diva, record label executive, and daughter of a preacher man. She's released 10 albums and 3 EPs since 2003. We discuss "Coffee Shop Girl" and listen to "Copper John" from Americana(2021), "Warm and Gentle People" from We Belong (2019), and "Song for the End of Days" from Castles of Her Crystalline (2005). Intro: "Lady" from The Coming of  Continue Reading …

NEM#162: Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel): Texas Swing for Half a Hundred Years

Ray started Asleep at the Wheel in 1969 and has put out 26 albums of original tunes and classic covers while touring constantly. We discuss the title track from Half a Hundred Years (2021), "Pedernales Stroll" from Keepin' Me Up Nights (1990), and "Am I High" from The Wheel (1977). Intro: "The Letter (That Johnny Walker Read)" from Texas Gold (1975). Closer: "The Road Will Hold  Continue Reading …

NEM#161: Chuck Prophet Is On the Couch

Chuck joined Green on Red as guitarist in 1985 and has released 15 solo albums of tuneful guitar rock since 1990, touring constantly and doing a lot of co-writing. We discuss "Womankind" from The Land That Time Forgot (2020), "Your Skin" from Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017), "Castro Halloween" from Temple Beautiful (2012, the extended single version). We conclude by  Continue Reading …

NEM#160: John McCutcheon Learns the Lessons of Folk

John has released 45 albums since 1975 of original folk, traditional folk, children's music (garnering six Grammy nominations for those), and instrumentals: He is fluent on guitar, banjo, violin, dulcimer, and more. His songs very often tell stories, and we discuss several of those: "Atonement" from Bucket List (2021), "Soup" from John McCutcheon’s Four Seasons: Wintersongs  Continue Reading …

NEM#159: Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo) Is a Writer, Not Just an Arranger

Steve is best known as guitarist/arranger for Oingo Boingo through their eight albums from 1981-1995 and for following its leader Danny Elfman into a life creating movie soundtracks, often for filmmaker Tim Burton. However, his activity as composer goes all the way back to the late '60s and continues today. We discuss "Tango" by jackiO from their self-titled album (2019),  Continue Reading …

NEM#158: Dar Williams: Songs as Thought Processes

Dar has released 11 albums on labels since 1993 of highly literate, introspective folk-pop songs. We discuss "Berkeley" (and listen to "Today and Everyday") from I'll Meet You Here (2021), "Empty Plane" from Emerald (2015), and " Are You Out There" from End of the Summer (1997). Intro: "As Cool As I Am" from Mortal City (1996). For info see darwilliams.com. See the new video  Continue Reading …

NEM#157: DEVO’s Gerald V. Casale: Guises of Social Critique

Jerry has co-fronted Devo since its founding in the mid-70s, releasing nine albums with them, but his solo career has been sporadic, with a release as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers in 2006 and a few singles. We discuss his new song and video "I’m Gonna Pay U Back," and one of those Jihad Jerry tracks (that album now reissued to include the new track) "The Owl," and the  Continue Reading …

NEM#155: Melvin Gibbs Protests w/ Bass, Jazz Composition, Production, Sound Design

Melvin has played bass on over 200 albums since 1980 in the worlds of jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and has numerous songwriting credits, doing stints with Defunkt, Arto Lindsay, Rollins Band, SociaLybrium (with Bernie Worrell), The Zig Zag Power Trio (with Vernon Reid), etc. We discuss his solo tune featuring Kokayi "Get Some" from 4+1 Equals 5 for May 25 (2021),  the title  Continue Reading …

NEM#154: Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks/Ministry): From Apocalyptic Industrials to Poets in Love

Chris started in the Scottish electronic band Finitribe in the early '80s and then moved to Chicago in 1988, doing stints in Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface, et al, before embarking on a 23-album solo career. We discuss "A Phantom Marriage" from The Birthday Poems (2021) feat. Monica Queen, the title track from Bloodhounds (2018), "De Testimony" by Finitribe from Let the  Continue Reading …

NEM#153: Steve Kilbey (The Church) Reveals the Secrets to Being Prolific

Steve has written over 1000 songs across 17 Church albums starting in 1980, 13 solo albums and numerous collaborations. His style is theatrical and psychedelic, and his lyrics aim for "maximum ambiguity." We discuss "Love Song Yet to Be Named" by Steve Kilbey and The Winged Heels from The Hall of Counterfeits (2021) and some tunes by The Church: "Another Century" from man  Continue Reading …

NEM#152: Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) Builds His Capacity

Glen led smooth alt rock legends Toad the Wet Sprocket from '88 to '97 through six albums, has released 7 often folky solo albums (and 3 more Toad albums since their reunion) since then plus various side projects. We discuss "Old Habits Die Hard" by Toad (a 2020 single), "Leaving Oldtown" from his latest solo release, Swallowed by the New (2016), and "One Wind Blows" from  Continue Reading …

NEM#151: Cathal Coughlan (Fatima Mansions, Microdisney): Pyschogeographic Tales

Cathal started in Ireland in 1980 with Microdisney, and after five albums with then broke that up to form Fatima Mansions in 1988. After seven albums with them, he started a solo career and has now after a decade-long hiatus (during which he released a few collaborations) has come back with his sixth solo release Song of Co-Acklan. We discuss "Unrealtime" and (in closing) hear  Continue Reading …

NEM#150: Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes): Punk + 40s Melodies (+ Occasional Jesus)

Josh formed Chicago-area punk band Smoking Popes in 1991 with his brother Matt, and his other brother Eli joined soon after. They released three albums and several EPs in the 90s then broke up after Josh became a Christian. He then released an album and a half as Duvall and then reformed the Smoking Popes, who have released three new albums since 2008. He's also released some  Continue Reading …

NEM#149: Rod Abernethy’s Return to Acoustic (from Video Game Soundtracks)

Rod released his first album "Solo" in 1975, played in some bands, but after losing on Star Search, turned to soundtrack work, emerging only in 2018 with three straight albums of acoustic singer-songwriter and instrumental material. We discuss "My Father Was a Quiet Man" (and listen to "Whiskey & Pie") from Normal Isn't Normal Anymore (2021), "How to Forget" from The Man  Continue Reading …

NEM#148: David Cross (ex-King Crimson): Electric Violin Dinosaur Battles

David played in perhaps the most revered line-up of King Crimson at the end of its original run from '72-'74. He's been an actor and teacher, then released his first "solo" album (as Low Flying Aircraft) in '87, then eight more under his own name or as The David Cross Band plus several collaborations. We discuss "Predator" by Cross and Jackson from Another Day (2018), "The  Continue Reading …

NEM#147: Steve Almaas: From Punk to the Rodeo

Steve was in one of Minneapolis' first big punk bands, The Suicide Commandos, but after one album in 1977, he soon left for New York City and eventually hit it relatively big with two records on IRS as Beat Rodeo, with a solo career continuing the country-rock style beginning in 1992 through nine albums. We discuss "The Way I Treated You" (and listen to "Goodbye Nicolina,"  Continue Reading …

NEM#146: Nels Cline Writes Jazz Fusion (And Plays Guitar for Wilco)

Though best known as lead guitarist for Wilco since 2004, Nels has recorded 30+ instrumental albums, often as band leader. We discuss "Headdress" by The Nels Cline Singers from Share the Wealth (2020), "The Nomad’s Home" from Coward (2009), and "Fives & Sixes" from his first solo release, Angelica (1987). We conclude by listening to "Imperfect Ten" by The Nels Cline 4 from  Continue Reading …

NEM#145: Jay Gonzalez: Concise but Colorful

Jay is best known as sideman for Drive-By Truckers since 2008 but has written songs for Athens bands like The Possibilities and Nutria since the 90s and has three solo releases. We discuss the title track (and listen at the end to "I Wanna Hold You") from Back to the Hive (2021), "&#%&#!" and "Shenorock Lane" from The Bitter Suite (2015), and "Turning Me On" from  Continue Reading …