NEM#119: Chris A. Maxwell: The Power of What You Don’t Fully Understand

Chris fronted Gunbunnies in the early ’90s and was then a member of Skeleton Key, but he’s best known for being half of the production team Elegant Too. Since 2014 he’s released two solo albums.

We discuss two songs from 2012’s New Store No. 2, the title track and “Most of What I Know I Learned from Women.” We then talk about Elegant Too’s work with They Might Be Giants (feat. Doughty) on “Mr. Xcitement” from Mink Car (2001) and also working with St. Vincent on the Bob’s Burgers tune “Bad Girls” (2013). We conclude with Chris’s “Imaginary Man” from Arkansas Summer (2016). Intro: “Stranded” by Gunbunnies from Paw Paw Patch (1990). Outro: Elegant Too’s theme for ESPN’s 30 for 30. For more see and

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NEM#108: Mike Watt’s Punk Operas

Ace bassist Mike started with punk legends MINUTEMEN in the early ’80s, broke into the majors with fireHOSE going into the ’90s, and was so beloved by the alternative music scene that his first solo album in ’94 was star-studded, with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl in the supporting tour. Mike has released three concept albums over the years and has collaborated on dozes of projects as well as backing Iggy Pop in the reformed Stooges.

We discuss “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs” by Minutemen from What Makes a Man Start Fires (1983), “The Boilerman” from Contemplating the Engine Room (1997), the first, second, and last sections from Hyphenated-Man (2011), and “I Got Marty Feldman Eyes” from the Big Walnuts Yonder self-titled album (2017). We conclude by listening to “Yeah, We’re Gonna Learn to Fall” by Jumpstarted Plowhards from Round One (2019) featuring Todd Congelliere. Intro: “Walking the Cow” by fireHOSE from Flyin’ the Flannel (1991). For more, visit

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