Episode 316: (Bonus) Taleen Kali

21Jan

After years of writing about music, Taleen Kali decided to create it. She began performing live sound collages, before heading in a more rock oriented direction with the quartet, TÜLIPS. Last year, the musician released her first solo record, Soul Songs on local Los Angeles label, Lolipop records. She also keeps busy as a yoga teacher and the driving force behind the literary publication Dum Dum Zine. On a recent trip to L.A., we sat down with Kali to discuss the city, self-publishing and the drive to create.

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Episode 315: Georgia Webber

18Jan

In 2012, Georgia Webber stopped talking, save for 15 or so minutes a day. The act of vocalizing had simply become too painful. A year later, she began to serialize Dumb, the story of her struggles as a vocal abuser (the official diagnosis). The work follows the young cartoonist as she struggles to adjust to living without speech, concocting methods for communicating with friends and family and otherwise coming to grips with a newfound fact of life. Initially self-published, the book would later be collected by Retrofit Comics and, ultimately, as a single volume by Fantagraphics, which debuted over the summer.  These days, when she does speak, Webber takes a measured approach,  choosing words carefully. In this conversation, the cartoonist discusses the insights her struggles have given her into the ways in which we chose to communicate.

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Episode 314: John Roderick

14Jan

You’d think you’d have your fill of a man with four concurrent podcasts. And yet, John Roderick always seems to bring something new to the table. The Long Winters frontman has made a second career of sorts as podcasting’s great indie rock raconteur, cohosting Roderick on the Line, Road Work, Omnibus and Friendly Fire. The medium has proven an ideal fit for an entertainer happy to impart personal stories and knowledge, balancing the personal with the universal. For his third appearance on the podcast, the singer delves deep into stories of sobriety, bipolar disorder, transience and the Long Winters record he’s been putting off for a decade. It’s a rich conversation, that’s both idiosyncratic and deeply relatable for anyone who’s ever had difficulty getting over the creative hump.

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Episode 313: Jon Glaser

7Jan

Best know to many for guest starring roles on popular show like Park and Recreation and Girls, Jon Glaser has been a mainstay in the alternative comedy scene since landing writing gigs on the Dana Carvey Show and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Glaser has long called New York his home, becoming a mainstay in the city's comedy scene and writing and starring in a trio of TV series: Delocated and Neon Joe on Adult Swim, and, more recently, TruTV's Jon Glaser Loves Gear. In anticipation of the mockumentary series' second season debuting this month, the comedian joined us to talk about working in New York, learning to write comedy and what's it's like playing an asshole version of yourself. 

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Episode 312: (Bonus) Sam Spiegel

30Dec

One of the more memorable spots in recent memory, "Wu Tang In Space Eating Impossible Sliders” does pretty much what it says on the tin. The web series created to promote vegetarian burgers at White Castle eschews the traditional ad trappings, in favor of a genuinely entering series of videos starting the RZA, GZA and Ghostface Killah. It’s the latest in a long line of high profile collaborations for director Sam Spiegel. In addition to creating ad spots and other videos with his production company, Squeak E. Clean, Spiegel is also a prolific music producer and has served as music director for artists like Karen O and Kanye West. Spiegel paid RiYL a visit on his most recent trip to his hometown of New York to talk about inspiration and the joys of collaboration.

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Episode 311: Nick Drnaso

29Dec

Sabrina seemingly came out of nowhere, only to land on the top of nearly every best of 2018 list. Nick Drnaso’s second book-length work (following 2016’s collection, Beverly) perfectly captures feelings of isolation in an always-connected world. It’s a tale of fake news and online conspiracy custom made for the age of Trump — a world that took an emotional toll on its author during the creation process. For all the accolades the book has racked up in the intervening six months, Drnaso is happy to be focused on his next project.The Chicago-based artist sat down with us on a recent visit to New York, to discuss the difficulties of releasing a book into the world, the search for inspiration and learning the art of cartooning from the great Ivan Brunetti.

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Episode 310 - Adam Thompson (of We Were Promised Jetpacks)

26Dec

It’s a familiar refrain. The 15-year itch. It’s the perfect time to look back and how far a group as come — and wonder aloud how much gas is left in the tank. The More I Sleep the Less I Dream is a 15-year album. The fourth LP from a band whose lineup has remained remarkably consistent since forming to perform at a high school talent show. It finds the group searching for the magic that helped catapult their 2009 debut These Four Walls up the indie chart. Thompson admits that the group spent a couple of records hunting down chart success, but adds that this latest finds WWPJ working with something far more authentic and organic.

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Episode 309 (Bonus) - Laura Gibson

21Dec

You don’t get to choose your audience. Especially when you’re playing a free to the public show at South by Southwest to promote your first record. It was, quite possibly, the worst showcase for a quiet voiced singer-songwriter.But the bad show gave birth to NPR’s Tiny Mix Tapes. The show’s producers quite rightly believed that Laura Gibson deserved a better showcase for here soft-spoken gifts.This year, Gibson released the haunting Goners, a beautiful and more sonically complex record that meditates on the connection between love and loss. It’s a theme that permeates her best work.

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Episode 308: Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes)

16Dec

Fresh off a hike up Mount Kilmanjaro with his fiancee (now wife) and a ritualistic beard shaving, Taylor Goldsmith sits down to talk about Dawes’ latest, Passwords. The new record finds the band diving into the political and personal in ways not found on past records. Goldsmith is clearly in a good place, halfway through the band’s tour opening for pop-rock legends, ELO. He’s making the effort to be thankful for all of the band has amassed with half-a-dozen records over the course of nine years, even as he looks for ways to take things to the next level. It’s a hopeful talk, as Goldsmith discusses music industry competition, the future of indie rock and lessons he’s learned from The Rock’s Instagram account.

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Episode 307: V. Vale

13Dec

RE/Search’s North Beach office more closely resembles a library or museum. It’s a wonderfully crammed space that also serves as publisher V. Vale’s home, standing as a small monument to self-publishing and serving as a slightly melancholy reminder of all of the books we’ll never have time to read. Not that Vale isn’t trying, of course. The San Francisco mainstay is several decades into a lifelong search to acquire the world’s knowledge. It’s a quest that’s manifest itself in several wonderful volumes, exploring the works of countercultural icons William Burroughs, Lydia Lunch and JG Ballard and offering examinations of countless countercultural phenomenons. RE/Search hit its publishing peak in the 90s, just before the internet became fully ubiquitous here in the States, but Vale and a team of friends and family continue a commitment to printed matter and the goal of amassing useful and fascinating information.

 

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