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.
The Residents were formed in 1969 and have released around 50 albums of theatrical, experimental music with humor and humanity. They’re great to freak people out with. The band is anonymous; Homer is the head of their management arm, The Cryptic Corporation.
We discuss “Good Vibes” from Intruders (2019), “Blue Rosebuds,” from Duck Stab (1978) and the live Shadowland (2014), “Kiss of Flesh” from God in Three Persons (1988), and we listen to “If Only” from the Hardy Fox tribute album The Godfather of Odd (2019). Intro: “Fire (Santa Dog)” (1972) and outro: “The Simple Song” from Commercial Album (1980). For more, visit residents.com.
Alison was studying classical music when she joined Jason Narducy in 1994 in a duet that grew into two Verbow albums. She’s since recorded four solo cello albums and been a guest musician on over 100 albums, playing with Bob Mould, Superchunk, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, etc.
We discuss “Become Zero” and “Vanished Star” from Become Zero (2016), then “Beautiful Friends” from Arriving Angels (2013), and listen to “For My Father” by Jarboe/Helen Money (2015). Intro: “New History” by Verbow from White Out (2000); closing music from “Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing” from In Tune (2009). For more, see helenmoney.com.
Dan fronted Arizona cow-punk band Green on Red from 1979 to 1992, releasing seven albums and three EPs, and has since released four solo albums and some collaborations, growing increasingly literary, with two of his recent albums accompanied by novels.
We discuss two tracks from The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings (2018): “A Killer Now” and “Sky Harbor,” plus “La Passionaria” from Can o’ Worms (1995). We conclude by listening to “Who Knows” by The Slummers from Love of the Amateur (2010). Intro/outro: “Sixteen Ways” by Green on Red from Gas, Food, Lodging (1985). More at marlowebillings.com.
Elizabeth got her start in the psych-punk band Meowtain in Olympia, WA, emerged as Globelamp in 2011 with an EP, was briefly a touring member of Foxygen, and has put out three albums since 2014.
We discuss “Everything’s a Spiral” and listen to “Black Tar” from Romantic Cancer (2018), “Controversial/Confrontational” from The Orange Glow (2015), and “Warrior” from Star Dust (2014). Intro: “Hex” from Meowtain (2012). For more, see facebook.com/globelamp.
Phil founded New Zealand’s Split Enz with Tim Finn in 1972, recorded a seminal punk single with Suburban Reptiles, had an Australian #1 hit with The Swingers, then moved to solo and soundtrack work until 2006, since which he’s recorded five thickly textured solo albums including extensive one-man-band work.
We discuss the title track from Flightless Bird (2019), “Kite Flying Day” from Play It Strange (2014), and “Lamplight” by Schnell Fenster from The Sound of Trees (1988). We conclude by listening to “No One’s Best Man” from Novelty Act (2016). Intro/outro: “Sweet Dreams” by Split Enz from Second Thoughts (1976).
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Danny drummed with Chicago from its founding in 1967 through 1990 and wrote several songs for the band during the mid-late ’70s, often with David “Hawk” Wolinski.
We discuss “Little One” (and our intro music, “Take Me Back to Chicago”) from Chicago XI (1977), “Street Player” from Chicago 13 (1979), and “Devil’s Sweet” from Chicago VII (1974). End song: “The Real World” by California Transit Authority from Sacred Ground (2013). For more, see dannyseraphine.com.
Andrew has put out nine albums and a few EPs of piano-and-vocal-based pop using various band names since he was in high school in the late ’90s.
We discuss two of his Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness tracks: “Blue Vacation” from Upside Down Flowers (2018) and “Synesthesia” from The Pop Underground EP, then “Me and the Moon” by Something Corporate from North (2003), and conclude by listening to “Swim” by Jack’s Passenger from The Glass Passenger (2008). Opening music: “I Woke Up in a Car” by Something Corporate from Leaving through the Window (2002). For more, see andrewmcmahon.com.
Stevie has been recording pop tunes and/or wild experiments nearly continually since the late ’60s, with hundreds of albums, many of them compilations of home recordings.
We discuss “Pop Music” and “Take Back” from Afterlife (2019) and “The House Is Not in Order” by R. Stevie Moore and Alan Jenkins and the Kettering Vampires from The Embodiment of Progressive Ideals (2018) and conclude by listening to “I H8 Ppl” by R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner from Make It Be (2017). Bonus songs: “Pervert” from World War 4 (2016) and (at the end) “Goodbye, Piano” from Phonography (1976). Intro: “I Like to Stay Home” from Glad Music (1986). For more, see rsteviemoore.com.
Ian has released 10 studio albums and 3 EPs since 1993, starting as an Austin guitar hero and evolving into an eclectic, subtle Seattle songwriter who teaches songwriting courses.
We discuss “1000 Blackbirds” from Toronto (2018), the title track from Strange Days (2017), and “Abilene” from Luminaria (2004). End song: “Sad Affair” from El Sonido Nuevo (2011). Intro: “Satisfied” from Ian Moore (1993). For more, see ianmoore.com.
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Peter started in hardcore punk and used the blues to add depth for his band the Chrome Cranks, which released four studio albums and a live album in the mid-1990s, then another in 2012. Since then he’s been a music journalist and author, writing about the Ramones, the Band, and others, with occasional musical projects. We discuss his new single “Bomb Train Blues” (2018) with the band Young Skulls, Chrome Cranks tracks “Dark Room” from Chrome Cranks (1994), and “Rubber Rat” from Ain’t No Lies in Blood (2012). We conclude by listening to “Purge 4” from Purges by Peter Aaron and Brian Chase (2016). Intro/outro: “Hot Blonde Cocktail” by the Chrome Cranks from Love in Exile (1997). For more, see peteraaron.org.
Steve started producing tracks for dance clubs in 2007, changing his style in 2013 to slow down, carve out space for spontaneous performance, and develop “audio alchemy” over a few EPs and two recent albums.
We discuss “Equinosis” from the Mercurial EP (2018), “Superluminal Sound” from his Soul Science album (2016), and the title track from his Wanderlust EP (2013). We conclude by listening to “Origins” by Hedflux and Alex Delfont from Kin (2018). Opening/closing: “Music Is My Weapon” (2007). For more, see hedflux.com.
Portland-based singer-songwriter Rachel has released 10 albums of off-kilter, usually piano-based, lyric-heavy indie rock since the mid ’00s.
We discuss “Maker” and “God” (plus the intro “Gyre”) from Run Tiny Human (2018), “Taxidermy” from World so Sweet (2011), and “Ormolu” from Ormolu (2006), and also listen to “We’ll Have A” from Falimy (2014). For more, see racheltaylorbrown.com.
Sam has released sixteen albums of catchy, textured pop music since 1983.
We discuss “I Want to Be You” and “Tears in the Ground” from World on Sticks (2018), “How to Dream” from Fan Dance (2001), and conclude by listening to “When I’m Alone” from Push Any Button (2013). Intro: “Baby I Can’t Please You” from Martinis and Bikinis (1994). For more, visit samphillips.com.
After starting in the ’80s with the Trolls and the Bastards of Execution, Dusty has released six albums as a solo artist since 1997.
We discuss a new, unreleased song “Pardon My Love,” then “Man in the Mirror” from Gliding Toward Oblivion (2018) and “High Flyin’ Bird” by GIANTfingers from around 2003. We conclude by listening to “(Art at) the Speed of Life” by the Dusty Diamonds from 1994. Intro/outro: “Karma” from dust! (2000).
Lincoln established the Seattle-based singer/songwriter vehicle Red Jacket Mine in 2003, made three albums and an EP with them, and in 2017 released his first solo album, the jazzy, live-in-studio Trembling Frames.
We examine “Desperate Tormentors” and hear “How To Escape” and a bit of “Memory Up and Die” from that album, and discuss Red Jacket Mine: “Apricot Moon” from Lovers Lookout (2009) and “Jesus’s House” from Hello, Old Cloud (2008). For more, see lincolnbarrmusic.com.
Chris rose to fame on keys for Arizona’s country punks Green on Red from ’81–’87, and has since then been fronted 12 albums while doing session keyboard work.
We discuss “Pale Blonde Hell” by Chris Cacavas and Junkyard Love from Pale Blonde Hell (1994), “Do Me No Favors” from Anonymous (1997), and “Don’t Think Twice” from Bumbling Home from the Star (2002). We listen to “I Won’t Feel Well” from Love’s Been Re-Discontinued (2013). Opening music: The title track from Green on Red’s Gravity Talks. For more, see chris-cacavas.com.
Seth Swirsky was a highly successful staff songwriter for over 20 years, and has put out three solo albums and three albums as The Red Button since 2004. He’s a huge Beatles fan and has released a Beatles documentary Beatles Stories and has multiple books about psychology and baseball.
We discuss his heavily covered and sound-tracked tune “Love Is a Beautiful Thing”; you’ll hear the version by Al Green from Don’t Look Back (1993), then “Matchbook Cover” from Seth’s album Watercolor Day (2010) and “Picture” by The Red Button from As Far as Yesterday Goes (2011). The end suite is “Shine/Circles and Squares/Go” from his album Circles and Squares (2016). Intro music is from the title track to Instant Pleasure (2004). For more, see seth.com.
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John is an amazing guitarist who started in the late-’60s British blues boom, had his first compositions set to tape with Darryl Way’s Wolf in the early ’70s, then joined the latter line-ups of jazz-prog legends Soft Machine (replacing Alan Holdsworth) in the late ’70s. He’s collaborated with luminaries like violinist Stéphane Grappelli, guitar great John Williams, and Andy Summers from The Police, and released eight solo albums prior to teaming up with former members of Soft Machine for another six albums.
We discuss “One Glove” by Soft Machine from Hidden Details (2018), his rendition of Rodgers and Hart’s “My Romance” from I Didn’t Know (2004), and “Venerable Bede” from Ash (1994). We conclude by listening to “Blue Breeze” by John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe from Out of the Sky (2015). Intro/outro from “Huffin'” by Soft Machine from Alive and Well: Recorded in Paris (1978). For more, visit john-etheridge.com and softmachine.org.
Laura Davis-Chanin of the Phi Fic podcast drummed in the late ’70s NYC punk band The Student Teachers and has written about it in The Girl in the Back: A Female Drummer’s Life with Bowie, Blondie, and the ’70s Rock Scene (2018).
We discuss the book and listen to songs from Invitation To… The Student Teachers (2013): “Looks,” “Christmas Weather,” plus as an intro, “Channel 13.” Laura also co-wrote lyrics to two Blondie songs: we hear some of “Angels in the Balcony” from Autoamerican (1980) plus “Slow Motion” from Eat to the Beat (1979).