Episode 444: Peter Stampfel (of Holy Modal Rounders)


 “Something I realized after we spoke that I curiously never had noticed before,” Peter Stampfel wrote in an email shortly after our interview, “big similarity that hallucinogens and the Smith Anthology both had on me: I saw that the world was much more strange and much more vast than I had previously thought.” The musician’s own long, strange career has almost certainly had its own profound effect on generations of music, from being a driving force in The Holy Modal Rounders and, briefly, a member of The Fugs, to his more recent collaborations with anti-folk artist, Jeffrey Lewis. This year finds Stampfel releasing his most ambitious work to date. Stampfel's 20th Century In 100 Songs is a project roughly two decades in the making. The work finds the idiosyncratic singer tracing the history of popular music through a wide gamut of hand-picked songs. Now struggling with dysphonia, which has left his voice weakened and strained, the musician continues to write and play, looking to continuing expanding his already-broad musical scope. 

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