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.
Alejandro started as a punk guitarist for the The Nuns, moved to Austin in the ’80s and became a songwriter with True Believers. He has since put out 14+ solo albums of story-driven, lyrically intense, stylistically varied Texas rock.
We discuss “Beauty and the Buzz” from Burn Something Beautiful (2016), “Sally Was a Cop” from Big Station (2012), and “Pissed Off 2AM” from With These Hands (1996). End song: “Velvet Guitar” from A Man Under the Influence (2001). Opening: “Hard Road” from True Believers (1986). More at alejandroescovedo.com.
Annie fronted British symphonic rock band Renaissance for nine albums starting in 1971, but only in the late ’80s became a lyricist. She’s now released eight studio albums and two new Renaissance albums.
We discuss “Blessing in Disguise,” the title track from her 1994 album; “Grandine il Vento,” the title track from Renaissance’s 2013 album, and “Precious One” from Annie’s The Dawn of Ananda (2000). End song: “Symphony of Light,” also from Grandine il Vento.
Opening music: “Introlise” from Annie in Wonderland (1977) and Renaissance’s “Northern Lights” from A Song for All Seasons (1978). More at anniehaslam.com.
John gained semi-fame playing guitar with pop-punk Chicago-area legends Screeching Weasel starting in 1986 but became a band-leader/songwriter with eclectic-acoustic Even in Blackouts in 2002, featuring singer Liz Eldredge. He’s also an author, playwright, and juggler.
We discuss “Rapture in the Third Person” and “Motives Misunderstood in the Key of C” from EIB’s Thresholds from the Basement (2009) and “1,000 Stories” from The Fall of the House of Even (2006). End song: The new, otherwise unreleased EIB track “Reason” (rough mix). Intro music: “Talk to Me Summer” by Screeching Weasel from Anthem for a New Tomorrow (1993). Learn more at johnjugheadpierson.com.
Richard F. Walker has released 20+ albums, usually with his London space-rock band Amp. We discuss “Just Get It (Why Don’t You)” and “Les Ombres Sur la Lune” from Q Factors (A Mixtape) (2017) and “Tomorrow” from Stenorette (1988), and listen to “Levil Devil” from US (2005). Opening music is from Transmissions (part 1) (2005), and closing music is from “Mort Irritées” from AMP Studio’s Uncertainty Principles (2016). More at ampbase.net.
Frank has led punk band The Mr. T Experience in the Bay Area since 1985, and has also released three successful music-related books for teens since 2006.
We discuss “Down With the Universe” from King Dork Approximately (2016), “Big, Strange, Beautiful Hammer” from Yesterday Rules (2004), and “More Than Toast” from Our Bodies Our Selves (1993). We conclude by listening to “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend,” a 2014 single by Dr. Frank & the Bye-Bye Blackbirds. Opening/closing music: “Danny Partridge” from Everybody’s Entitled to Their Own Opinion (1986). Learn more at frankportman.com.
Don has composed and played jazz since the ’50s, was a Frank Zappa sideman through his classic ’60s albums and beyond, and has since released 20+ albums, scored 20 films, and has performed with numerous artists including John Lennon, Lou Rawls, and Nat King Cole. He has also been called “the father of modern synthesis” for his work in electronic music.
We discuss “Winds of Change” (3rd movement, 2001), “Palmer Park” (1975), and “Analog Heaven #7” (1975). End song: “Piano Solo” from TriAngular Bent (2016). Opening/closing music: “King Kong” from Uncle Meat by the Mothers of Invention (1969).
Kaki is a guitar virtuoso who has recorded eight albums and three EPs of largely instrumental work since 2003.
We discuss “Close Your Eyes & You’ll Burst into Flame,” from Everybody Loves You (2003), “Can Anyone Who Has Heard This Music Really Be a Bad Person?” from Dreaming of Revenge (2008) (intro music: “Pull Me Out Alive” from that album), and “Trying to Speak II” (feat. Ethel), from The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body (2015). End song: “Cargo Cult” from Glow (2012).
For more info visit kakiking.com.
David has recorded seven albums since 2000. Usually one wants to avoid the term “Beatlesque,” but David is a Beatles freak who once recorded his performances all 209 Beatles songs over 209 days.
We discuss “Time to Go” from David Brookings and the Average Lookings (2016), “Dead Battery” from Chorus Verses the Bridge (2005), and the title track from Obsessed (2007). We conclude by listening to “If I Don’t Make It Back” from The Maze (2013). Opening music: “You’re Right, It Went So Wrong” from the current album.
Kim is a poet, archivist, and New York City tour guide. We discuss his album plum plum featuring “The Dream Band”: his producer friend Don Fleming, Joe Bouchard (Blue Öyster Cult), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and NEM guest Gary Lucas. We discuss “Circle’s Gotta Go” and “Arizona Burning,” and conclude with “Claudine.” We also discuss “I Comb My Hair with My Hand” by Jad Fair and the Shapir-O’Rama from We Are the Rage (1996). Intro: “East Side Story” by When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water from Bill Kennedy’s Showtime (1993). Follow Kim on Facebook.
Britain’s Wishbone Ash started in 1969 and has released 25+ albums, with guitarist/singer Andy the sole member left from the original band.
We discuss “American Century” from Blue Horizon (2014), “Master of Disguise” from Bare Bones (1999), and “Roads of Day to Day” (1970, released on First Light, 2007). End song: “In Crisis” from The Power of Eternity (2007). Intro music: “Blowin’ Free” from Argus (1972). Visit wishboneash.com for more.
Californian-turned-British singer-songwriter Anton has released over 25 albums since 1993, generally moving from alterna-guitar-pop to colorful-pychedelic, but remaining tuneful.
We discuss “High Noon” and (and listen to “Swindon”) from Magic Act (2016), “Dust Beneath My Wings” by Three Minute Tease (2011) and its subsequent incarnations, and the title track from In the Village of the Apple Sun (2006). Intro: “King of Missouri” (2002). Learn more at antonbarbeau.com.
Scott established himself fronting Seattle’s Young Fresh Fellows starting in 1981, then around 1994 joined R.E.M. as a recording/touring member and started The Minus 5 with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.
We discuss The Minus 5’s “In the Ground” from Dungeon Golds (2015), “All the Time” from their Old Liquidator (1995), and “Weymer Never Dies” from their Of Monkees and Men (2016). We conclude by listening to “Another Ten Reasons” by Young Fresh Fellows from Tiempo de Lujo (2012). Intro music: “Two Lives” from their Topsy Turvy (1985). For more information, see minus5.com and youngfreshfellows.net.
Most famous for her ’90s Boston grunge band Come, Thalia has since 2001 put out six albums and some EPs, with a stripped-down yet not acoustic sound that makes good use of her low, smoky voice and tasteful electric guitar, often accompanied by viola and/or piano with prominent drums.
We discuss “Northwest Branch” by The Thalia Zedek Band from Eve (2016); opening music is “Afloat,” also from that album. We then cover “Desanctified (Full Circle)” from Been Here and Gone (2001) and “Hell is in Hello” from Trust Not Those in Whom Without Some Touch of Madness (2004). End song: “Regatta” from the self-titled debut album (2016) by a collaboration called E.
Learn more at thaliazedek.bandcamp.com and Thalia’s Facebook page. Hear bonus audio for this episode by supporting NEM at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic or through a a PEL podcast network membership.
After stints with The Three O’Clock and Jellyfish, Jason co-fronted The Grays and then worked solo, also playing with Beck, Aimee Mann, Paul McCartney, etc. and acting as one-man-backing-band/producer for other artists.
Songs: “Sincero Amore” and (ending with) “Horror Show” from Make It Be (2017) with R. Stevie Moore, “The Lie in Me” from All Quiet on the Noise Floor (2009), and “Both Belong,” by The Grays from Ro Sham Bo (1994). We conclude by listening to “Horror Show,” also from Make It Be. Opening music: “I Live” from Jason Falkner Presents Author Unknown (1996). For more, see jasonfalkner.com.
Chandler was a comedian in the ’70s, launched a rock group in the ’80s, and has released dozens of albums, fronting multiple bands at a time.
We discuss “The Strongman of North America” by The Chandler Travis Philharmonic from Waving Kissyhead Vol. 2 & 1 (2017), “The Crutch of Music” by the Catbirds from Catbirds Say Yeah (2012), and “Fluffy” by the Philharmonic from Llama Rhymes (2003). We conclude by listening to another Kissyhead track, “By the Way.” Opening music: “Long As You Have Somebody Else” by The Incredible Casuals from That’s That (1987). For more, see chandlertravis.com.
Steve released six studio albums with Genesis between 1971 and 1977 and twenty-five solo albums that feature his virtuosic guitar and the spirit of ’70s prog rock. He now works with producer/keyboardist Roger King to create dense, cinematic soundscapes.
We discuss “In the Skeleton Gallery” (and listen to “Anything but Love”) from The Night Siren (2017), “Love Song to a Vampire” from Wolflight (2014), and “Omega Metallicus” from Darktown (1999). Opening/closing music: Steve’s solo from “Firth of Fifth” from Genesis’s Selling England by the Pound (1973). More at hackettsongs.com.
Lys is a Connecticut singer/guitarist with an eccentric country twang who’s put out two albums, plus EPs and other stuff since 2003. We discuss “M.K.” from the I’m a Boy EP and also get to hear “Nothing to It” and a bit of the title track from that EP. We also address “Silver” from Winged Victory (2013), and “When I Was a Tiger Lily” from Three Songs (2006). Opening music: “Little Wren” from Lys Guillorn (2003). More at lysguillorn.com.
Starting with the Dream Syndicate in the early ’80s in L.A. and then going solo in 1990, Steve has released over 35 albums of lyrically driven rock.
We discuss “Resolution” from Northern Aggression (2010), “Punching Holes in the Sky” from Crossing Dragon Bridge (2008), and “There Will Come a Day” from Here Come the Miracles (2001). We wrap up with “I’m Not Listening,” a 2007 recording released on Sketches in Spain (2013). Opening music: “Tell Me When It’s Over” by Dream Syndicate from The Days of Wine and Roses (1982). Learn more at stevewynn.net.
Karla has put out four albums since 2006 with the Corner Laughers, a Bay Area band that has been categorized as “twee” given Karla’s ukulele, sparkly Brit-pop ornamentation, and similarly colorful lyrics.
We discuss “Queen of the Meadow” from Matilda Effect (2015), the Nov. 2016 single “Don’t Hush, Darling,” and “Grasshopper Clock” from Poppy Seeds (2012). We also listen to “Fairytale Tourist” from Matilda Effect, and the opening/closing music is from that album’s “Midsommar.” Learn more at cornerlaughers.com.
Glenn’s albums with the Feelies since 1980 have a unique sound, due to his insistence that production is part of the composing process.
We discuss “Been Replaced” and “Gone Gone Gone,” from The Feelies’ new album Here Before, then “Larmaie” from Glenn’s instrumental solo album Incidental Hum (2015). We conclude by listening to “Should Be Gone” by the Feelies from Here Before (2011). Intro music: “The High Road” by the Feelies from The Good Earth (1986). Outro music: “Like Yesterday” by Wake Ooloo from Stop the Ride (1996). Learn more at thefeeliesweb.com.