NEM#128: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.’s Crazy Fun with Arrangements

Roger rose to fame as keyboardist/songwriter for Jellyfish in the early ’90s, then formed Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook, TV Eyes, backed Beck, and finally released two albums under his own name starting in 2006. He’s recently released a solo EP and one with The Likerish Quartet that reunites him with some other members of Jellyfish.

We discuss “Lighthouse Spaceship” by The Lickerish Quartet from Threesome, Vol. 1 (2020), “The Turnstile at Heaven’s Gate” from Catnip Dynamite (2008), “Time to Time” by Malibu (a solo techno project) from Robo-Sapiens (2007), and listen to “Operator” from his solo Glamping EP (2018). Intro: “The King is Half-Undressed” by Jellyfish from Bellybutton (1990). For more, see thelickerishquartet.com and rogerarranging.com.

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NEM #34: Todd Long: Don’t Have to Say “Frontman”

Todd held down the beat and wrote some songs for Grand Rapids, MI’s Molly in the ’90s through 2003, then wrote more songs and sang a bit for Dutch Henry for about ten years, then pushed forward to sing and write all the songs for his projects The Star Darts and now Cartorson.

Featuring Cartorson’s “The Last Time” and “Hearts on the Highway” from the new Richfield Skyline EP, “Say It” from Shooting Star Darts (2014) and “44 Days” by Dutch Henry from All That Space (2007). Opening music: Molly’s “Another Day of Regrets” from The Finger (2002). Learn more at toddlongmusic.com.

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NEM #32: Bradley Skaught’s The Bye-Bye Blackbirds: Crafting Power Pop

Bradley fronts the Bay Area band, The Bye-Bye Blackbirds, which inhabits the niche of Byrds-influenced “power pop” even though Bradley really doesn’t like that term. We discuss the band’s 2016 boogie single “Let Your Hair Fall Down,” the country ballad “Hats” from Fixed Hearts (2011), and a pre-Blackbirds song eventually recorded for Fixed Hearts, “Elizabeth Park.”

End song: “All in Light” from We Need the Rain (2013); opening music: “The Ghosts Are Alright” from Houses & Homes (2008). Visit byebyeblackbirds.com.

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