RiYL

RiYL

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Cool people, neat stuff


408: Ryan Walsh (of Hallelujah the Hills)
Aug 1 • 45 min
The last time Ryan Walsh appeared on the show was during another trip I took to Boston. At the time, he spoke of his upcoming book about Van Morrison. What, admittedly, sounded like a fairly niche examination of the musician’s time recording a legendary…
407: Tanya Donelly (of Belly, The Breeders and Throwing Muses)
Jul 24 • 33 min
Few can rival the indie rock pedigree of Tanya Donelly. At the age of 15, she cofounded 4AD stalwarts Throwing Muses with best-friend-turned-step-sister Kristin Hersh. Seven years later, she joined forces with Kim Deal on her then-side project, The…
406: Damon Krukowski (of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi)
Jul 18 • 58 min
Adapted from a podcast of the same name, Ways of Hearing explored the countless knock-on effects that play out in both production and listen when music shifts from analog to digital. The book explores similar notions as Damon Krukowski’s previous work,…
405: Kyle Forester (of Crystal Stilts and The Ladybug Transistor)
Jul 10 • 46 min
As a journeyman musician, Kyle Forester’s resume reads like a who’s who of indie bands from the past decade and a half. Most notably, the multi-instrumentalist has spent time as a member of Crystal Stilts, Woods and Elephant 6 mainstays, The Ladybug…
404: Kat Edmonson
Jul 3 • 43 min
In 2018, Kat Edmonson declared herself an “Old Fashioned Gal,” with an LP and track of the same name. The Brooklyn based musician sings and writes songs steeped in pop-jazz stylings of another era. But her work aims deeper than simple nostalgia. This year…
403: Jen Shyu
Jun 27 • 59 min
There’s a video shot in 1991 of a 13-year-old Jen Shyu playing the hell of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on grand piano backdropped by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. A lifelong musician who studied theater and opera at Stanford and has performed at…
402: Elliot Moss
Jun 19 • 44 min
A Change of Diet finds Elliott Moss living in the wake of a decade-long relationship. The singer writer grapples with the all of the major and unexpected knock-on effects of such a life change. It’s his most deeply personal record, intertwining such…
401: Tayla Parx
Jun 13 • 45 min
Well before her debut album We Need to Talk arrived in April 2019, Tayla Parx had already established herself as a music force. As a songwriter, she’d penned tracks for some of the biggest names in the business,fFrom Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande, to…
400: Colin Newman (of Wire)
Jun 9 • 43 min
It was shaping up to be a banner year for Wire. When we sat down in the Musical Hall of Williamsburg green room, the band was in the process of adding a west coast leg to their tour in support of the band’s terrific new record, Hive Mind. The band also…
399: Kelli Dunham
May 30 • 52 min
At 19, Kelli Dunham was living in Haiti in the midst of a Civil War. From there, it was a fairly straightforward path to becoming a nun — albeit one that also required a conversion to Catholicism. These days, Dunham lives in New York City as a genderqueer…
398: Emily Panic
May 30 • 45 min
When I first met Emily Panic, she was a touring musician. Her work as a bass player and backup singer brought tours with Foxygen, Run the Jewels, Sleigh Bells and Miike Snow. There was even a spot performing vocals on a Bryan Ferry album. In recent years…
397: Michael Blume
May 23 • 42 min
The grandson of an opera singer, Michael Blume took to music at an early age, first learning the piano and trumpet and ultimately touring with an a cappella group while attending Yale. Yes, the it was the Whiffenpoofs. But the singer found his true voice…
396: Colleen AF Venable
May 17 • 56 min
A fixture in the New York indie comics scene for some years, Colleen AF Venable has made a name for herself designing covers for publishers like First Second. An accomplished author in her own right, Venable has released a number of children’s and YA…
395: Jamie Drake
May 16 • 44 min
At 19, Jamie Drake was sure that she was too told to break into the music business. Nearly two decades later, she officially has, with the arrival of Everything’s Fine. There was music in the meantime, of course, but the singer-songwriter is confident…
394: Mary Halvorson
May 10 • 39 min
In the music world, everyone sounds like someone — except Mary Halvorson. All musical touchstones feel like a stretch when attempting to describe the work of the New York-based musician. Avant-garde or free jazz works to the extent that either actually…
393: Chris Conley (of Saves the Day)
Mar 21 • 42 min
In 2019, Saves the Day’s debut LP, Through Being Cool, turned 20. Unsurprisingly, the New Jersey band marked the event on the road, with a tour that found them playing the album in its entirety. Two decades and nine full lengths in, a lot has changed for…
392: Nels Cline (of Wilco and CUP)
Mar 15 • 54 min
For those exclusively familiar with Nels Cline’s work as the guitar player for Wilco, Spinning Creature may come as a kind of surprise. But well before the musician began playing with the indie rock juggernaut, he was never afraid to let his freak flag…
391: Redd Kross
Mar 6 • 50 min
Formed in Southern, California by teenage brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Redd Kross was never one to follow pop cultural trends. Torch bearers for a more classic rock sound, the band rose the through ranks with hardcore legends like Black Flag and the…
390: Dave Shumka
Mar 1 • 45 min
This week marks the 12th anniversary of Stop Podcasting Yourself. What began as a venue for two Vancouver-based comedians has since become one of the longest running and most beloved comedy shows in the medium. For more than six-hundred weekly episodes,…
389: Carl Newman (of The New Pornographers)
Feb 22 • 27 min
The New Pornographers are running late. It’s hard to say whose decision it was to drive from midtown at this time of day on a weekday — likely not former New York City resident, Carl Newman, if I had to guess. These days the ringleader and frontman lives…
388: Annalee Newitz
Feb 16 • 45 min
Punk rock, politics, history and some gracious nods to science — there’s a lot to like about The Future of Another Timeline. Annalee Newitz’s latest explores the possibilities of time travel in a world where the sci-fi standby is downright utilitarian.…
387: Renee Holiday
Feb 15 • 38 min
Fresh off her hiatus, Renee Holiday is ready to put on a show. Late last year, the artist formerly known as Shaprece (full name: Shaprece Renee Richardson) put on “Beautiful” in her native Seattle. The multimedia event was held at the Can Can, beneath the…
386: Kevin Huizenga
Feb 8 • 43 min
With The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga found his perfect hook. Casting his go-to surrogate Glenn Ganges as an insomniac, the cartoonist discovered an ideal frame for storytelling that that runs the gamut from the beginning of earth to the dot com bubble…
385: The Milk Carton Kids
Jan 31 • 26 min
We don’t have a lot of time. I’m setting up my gear in some Sirius-XM meeting room, while Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan order lunch. They get something nice, a welcome change from the usual road fare. The Milk Carton Kids just finished an appearance on…
384: Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf (of Krewella)
Jan 25 • 40 min
A lot has changed in Krewella’s world in the seven years since the band debuted with Get Wet. The group’s second full-length finds the one-time trio down a member, while having jumped from Columbia to their own label, Mixed Kids. But Zer0’s an album…
383: Daniel Clowes
Jan 19 • 51 min
There have been plenty of opportunities for Daniel Clowes to get reflective in recent years. 2015 saw the release of The Complete Eightball, a massive two-volume hardcover set that collected the full eight year, 18 issue run of his iconic underground…
382: Leslie Stevens
Jan 12 • 37 min
When she arrives, Leslie Stevens is carrying a large beach bag. Protruding from its insides is a large cowboy hat sporting a massive feather. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter, whose career found her flirting a number of…
381: Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga (of Fastball)
Jan 4 • 46 min
It hasn’t always been easy for Fastball. Some night, weeks and even years, playing rock and roll music can feel futile, especially when it’s not clear when the next show might be. But neither Tony Scalzo nor Miles Zuniga hesitate for a second when asked…
380: Richard Wolff
Dec 29, 2019 • 46 min
In 2019, Professor Richard Wolff was everywhere. He published two introduction to economics books — Understanding Marxism and Understanding Socialism — hosted a weekly YouTube show and podcast and made countless media appearances, all while serving as a…
379: Paula Cole
Dec 20, 2019 • 54 min
In hindsight, things happened quickly for Paula Cole. Before her first record arrived, she was on tour with Peter Gabriel, playing stadiums in Europe. The following year, she released her debut and deleted with Melissa Etheridge on VH1. Her sophomore…
378: Randy Randall (of No Age)
Dec 13, 2019 • 41 min
Sound Field Volume One turned out quite differently than its creator planned. Randy Randall had grand plans for field recordings. Inspired by his early years growing up the Inland Empire, the No Age guitarist took a microphone to the freeways of Southern…
377: Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy)
Dec 6, 2019 • 44 min
NYLONANDJUNO finds Jason Lytle trying something new. It’s a set of songs constructed around limitations — in this case, all of the music is played on a synthesizer and guitar, with a broken bottom nylon string. It’s also an entirely instrumental album, a…
376: Aaron Espinoza and John Schlue
Dec 4, 2019 • 41 min
The group’s URL evocatively posits the question, Who Is Arthur King? It’s not a particularly easy question to answer. It never is with a collective. For the sake of brevity, we’ll cowardly default its own description. Arthur King is an experimental music…
375: Electric Youth
Nov 30, 2019 • 47 min
When Drive appeared in theaters, Electric Youth was still finding its sound. The track, created in collaboration with producer College, was a defining aesthetic touchstone for the film, appearing throughout. For the Toronto-based duo, it was as good a…
374: Imperial Teen
Nov 24, 2019 • 37 min
There’s been an argument. Actually, that’s probably too strong a word. Some minor disagreement. The entire band is laughing about it by the time I arrive at the Brooklyn apartment. Like everything else they do, the conversation over some synth patch is…
373: Lonnie Jordan (of War)
Nov 17, 2019 • 22 min
Having just secured a plate of pasta, Lonnie Jordan’s beaming. Even with a nightly club rider, life on the road as a vegan can be a tough one. But he swears by it, even when it means getting creative with a couple of slices of bread and some condiments.…
372: Sammy Harkham
Nov 9, 2019 • 44 min
I had to double check, but its seems that, in all of my time writing about comics for various outlets, I’ve never actually interviewed Sammy Harkham. It’s shocking, really, given what a important player he’s been in the indie comics scene for some time.…
371: Josh Gondelman
Nov 2, 2019 • 55 min
At times, Nice Try is a book about failure. Josh Gondelman chronicles his struggles as as up and coming comedian, love woes and awkward teenage attempts to be cool — all topics that might be a touch too painful had things not worked out so well. When he…
370: Vivien Goldman
Oct 26, 2019 • 45 min
In Revenge of the She-Punks, Vivien Goldman charts feminist ideology in punk across nations, languages and decades. Beginning with 70s pioneers like Poly Styrene, Patti Smith and The Slits, the book draws together threads that are often ignored in wider…
369: SonReal
Oct 23, 2019 • 29 min
The guest are running late. So far as I’m aware, my conversation with Aaron “SonReal” Hoffman is the first RiYL to get pushed back due to an appearance on Sway’s morning show. It’s a pretty good excuse, so far as those go. Hoffman is in good spirits when…
368: Lux Alptraum
Oct 20, 2019 • 64 min
In Faking It, Lux Alptraum explores a wide range of lies about sex, from faked orgasms to sexual assault. It’s a powerful statement that spans the wide range of her many years of writing about sex — the good, the bad, the unspoken. As an author, her work…
367: Whitney Matheson
Oct 13, 2019 • 46 min
Life was fairly different the last time Whitney Matheson was on the show. In fact, USA Today pulled the plug on her 15 year culture column Pop Candy sometime between the recording of the interview and its publication. In the intervening half decade,…
366: Swamp Dogg
Oct 6, 2019 • 39 min
There will never be another Swamp Dogg. At 77, Jerry Williams Jr. has had one of the most fascinating and diverse careers in popular music. It’s hard to believe the same man created the psychedelic funk of 1970’s Total Destruction to Your Mind, manage a…
365: Wayne White
Sep 28, 2019 • 41 min
Toward the end of the interview, Wayne White gestures to a word painting sit nearby on the floor of his home workshop. “Finally got there, wasn’t so great,” he says, reading the big, block letters out loud. “That’s the story of life. It’s been a heck of a…
364: Adam Lisagor
Sep 22, 2019 • 55 min
Some time in six or so years since I last sat down with Adam Lisagor, something strange happened. He became a nationally broadcast product spokesperson. It wasn’t the career trajectory any of us were expecting, but here we are. Over the years, the video…
363: Denise Kaufman (of Ace of Cups)
Sep 15, 2019 • 61 min
In November 2018, Ace of Cups released their self-titled debut. The album arrived more than 50 years after the band’s formation. With several tours and a second double album on the way, it’s clear the group has every intention of making up for lost time.…
362: Lou Barlow
Sep 8, 2019 • 38 min
When he was 16, Lou Barlow formed Deep Wound. Two years later, he and the hardcore band’s drummer, J Mascis would create Dinosaur Jr. (then simply Dinosaur), one of alternative’s most beloved and influential groups. Barlow stuck around for three albums —…
361: (Bonus) Gastor Almonte
Sep 2, 2019 • 47 min
Five years ago, Gastor Almonte quit his job and went all in on standup. It was no small commitment from a married man with two kids and a six figure sales job. But a supportive wife, encouraging family members and his position as a landlord in East New…
360: Brian Rosenworcel (of Guster)
Aug 31, 2019 • 38 min
Things are a lot quieter. The last time I say down with Guster, the full band passed around a mic, seated at a table in the front of the sadly now-defunct Grassroots on St. Marks Place. Percussionist/drummer Brian Rosenworcel came alone this time, and the…
359 (Bonus): Joanna Sternberg
Aug 27, 2019 • 48 min
The first thing you learn upon meeting Joanna Sternberg is that they want to be your friend. It’s nothing about you, specifically, mind. They would love to be friends with everyone, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. The second thing you…
358: Joe Biel
Aug 24, 2019 • 45 min
Shortly after appearing on the podcast way back in 2015, Joe Biel sent me an email. Since the interview, he’d been diagnosed with autism (or “Asperger’s” at the time), a revelation that had already begun to have a profound effect on his life. Biel…
357: Yuna
Aug 18, 2019 • 40 min
In 2006, a 19-year-old Yuna auditioned for Malaysian reality singing show, One in a Million, ultimately making it into the top 40 prior to elimination. After finishing up law school, the she threw herself into her songwriting at a time when Myspace was…
356: Peter Frampton
Aug 10, 2019 • 24 min
In February, “Peter Frampton Finale—The Farewell Tour” was announced. Running through October, the tour would find the musician going on the road one final time. Of course, in the world of older rock musicians, the “farewell tour” has become a kind of…
355: Bonus - Michael Mwenso (of Mwenso and the Shakes)
Aug 7, 2019 • 47 min
At 15, Michael Mwenso was on stage with James Brown. It took the Sierra Leonean teenager four years to convince the godfather of soul to let him up there, through a combination of raw talent and persistence. But once he did, he wowed the crowds and Brown…
354: Mark Oliver Everett “E” (of Eels)
Aug 3, 2019 • 24 min
Prior to The Deconstruction, Mark Oliver Everett took a break. Four years passed between albums. Honestly, it’s not too long for most musical acts pushing a quarter century, but The Eels have released records like clockwork, with a dozen studio albums…
353: Eli Valley
Jul 28, 2019 • 36 min
In March, a comic by Eli Valley landed him on the radar of Meghan McCain. There was nothing extraordinaire about the piece from a cartoonist who has long wading into the divisive world of U.S.-Israeli relations, but the commentary about the American…
352: Neyla Pekarek
Jul 21, 2019 • 39 min
On a day in late October 195, Kate Slaugherback singlehandedly killed 140 rattlesnakes to protect herself and her young son. When she ran out of ammunition, she grabbed a nearby sign to bludgeon the venomous reptiles. Legend has it, the sign read “No…
351: Keith Knight
Jul 13, 2019 • 26 min
The K Chronicles has been an alternative weekly staple since the 90s. The strip, which mixes the personal with the political, has weathered the bumbling of George W. Bush, the hopefulness of Obama and the existential dread of Trump. All through it,…
350: (Bonus) Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball
Jul 7, 2019 • 31 min
A veteran of the New Oreans slam poetry scene, Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s career only really caught fire when she embraced her musical impulses. She became a member of collective stylized on the success of The Roots, backed by a handful of local musicians.…
349: Ben Lindbergh
Jul 6, 2019 • 48 min
In 2017’s The Only Rule Is It Has to Work, Ben Lindbergh and co-author Sam Miller detailed the season they spent running an independent baseball team with strict adherence to sabermetrics, analytic-based analysis that has come to define the past decade of…
348: (Bonus) Kelsey Wroten
Jul 4, 2019 • 35 min
In Cannonball, Kelsey Wroten tells the story of a a young writer dealing with the successes of her first novel. After her debut graphic novel became a hit in its own right, Wroten has seen some of the book’s events come to life first hand. Of course, the…
347: Bill Griffith
Jun 29, 2019 • 26 min
Seeing Freaks at 19 was a formative experience. A small public viewing of the film in a Greenwich Village loft left Bill Griffith feeling baffled and fascinating, with the overwhelming desire to express the experience through art. This was well before he…
346: Edie Fake
Jun 23, 2019 • 30 min
Released last year on Secret Acres, Little Stranger presented a much welcome retrospective of Edie Fake’s more recent comics work. The book collects an assortment of pieces published in various zines and anthologies since his seminal series, Gaylord…
345: Kevin Devine and Andy Hull (of Bad Books)
Jun 18, 2019 • 48 min
2010 to 2012 was a busy time for Bad Books. By the end of its first two years, the band had two LPs and a tour under its belt. It was easy enough to hit the ground running, of course. Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell met Kevin Devine…
344: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Jun 15, 2019 • 43 min
Law school didn’t work out for Rachel Kramer Bussel. After failing to complete her studies as NYU, she began writing erotic on the side, while working as a paralegal. Twenty years later, she continues to write and edit works in the genre, even after…
343: Jim Rugg
Jun 8, 2019 • 50 min
Like many of his fellow Pittsburgher cartoonists, Jim Rugg’s work lives at a fascinating cross section of mainstream and indie comics culture. It’s a phenomenon Rugg and cohost Ed Piskor happily explore in their YouTube series, Cartoonist Kayfabe, which…
342: Joseph Flatley
Jun 2, 2019 • 45 min
In Satan Goes to the Mind Control Convention’s eponymous essay, Joseph Flatley visits a convention of therapists dedicated to uncovering repressed memory, a fascinating artifact from the Satanic Panic that gripped the U.S. in the 1980s. His upcoming…
341: Bonus - Cara Beth Satalino (of Outer Spaces)
May 27, 2019 • 40 min
When she arrives for the interview, Cara Beth Satalino has her luggage in tow. She’s gearing up for a handful of shows ahead ahead of the release of Outer Spaces’ sophomore release, Gazing Globe. It’s a nice spot ahead of a second record, having honed…
340: Matt Saincome (of The Hard Times)
May 26, 2019 • 39 min
The way he tells it, The Hard Times was a hit right out of the gate. Some perfect combination of zeitgeist and internet algorithms had the satirical site racking up a million page views via social media sites like Facebook almost instantly. It’s a far cry…
339: (Bonus) Natalie Wall
May 20, 2019 • 38 min
Launched in summer 2018, the Awkward Sex and the City podcast maintain the magic the has made the stage show of the same name a hit with New York City audience. Founder and host Natalie Wall is joined by fellow comedians who explore their own…
338: Mort Gerberg
May 18, 2019 • 39 min
Released in February, Mort Gerberg on the Scene is a loving celebration of the long time New Yorker cartoonist. For half a century, the artist has taken on contemporary city life and politics, capturing everything from basketball games to the Nixon…
337: Lou Doillon
May 12, 2019 • 45 min
From the sound of it, Lou Doillon was surprised as anyone by her own musical successes. Her 2012 debut put her new career on the map, earning her a French Grammy for Artist of the Year, only to be catapulted to global fame with her 2016 followup. Fame as…
336: (Bonus) Jnr. Williams
May 8, 2019 • 32 min
We get the chance to talk to a lot of great seasoned artists, but there’s a wonderful change of pace to interviewing one who’s just getting started. London born and raised, Jnr. Williams released his debut EP Where We Start earlier this year on Arista.…
335: Bruce Hornsby
May 3, 2019 • 29 min
It’s been a long day of press, but Bruce Hornsby is firing on all cylinders when he arrives for one final interview. Absolute Zero is the artist’s most-hyped record in years, courtesy of collaborations with the next generation of artists, including Bon…
334: (Bonus) Julian Glander Live at Books Are Magic
Apr 28, 2019 • 20 min
Live from Book Are are Magic in Brooklyn, we sat down with Julian Glander to celebrate the launch of his new Fantagraphics title, 3D Sweeties. The book collects a series of short strips the cartoonist has been compiling over the years through freelancing…
333: Bridie Monds-Watson (of Soak)
Apr 28, 2019 • 29 min
When Before We Forgot How to Dream arrived, most of the coverage understandably centered on the songwriter’s age. At 19, Bridie Monds-Watson has released a remarkably worldly and mature record for Rough Trade. It’s been four years, the woman behind Soak…
332: (Bonus) Shunsuke Aoki
Apr 23, 2019 • 14 min
I first met Shunsuke Aoki on a trip to Tokyo last year. The roboticist’s work fascinated me. From its brain-controlled cat ears and a robotic pillow with a tail that wags as you pet it, to more serious devices for older family members, Aoki’s Yukai…
331: Lauren Weinstein
Apr 21, 2019 • 50 min
In 2015 Carriers became Lauren Weinstein’s most critically acclaimed work to date. The five-part webcomic series found the cartoonist winning widespread recognition and a number of awards, including The The Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal. Weinstein’s…
330: John Famiglietti (of Health)
Apr 13, 2019 • 37 min
The band calls it “dog.” It’s an ever present quest to get heavier, and with each subsequent record, Health’s members demand more of it. Other groups that have been doing this for nearly 15 years might have slowed down or mellowed out, but for Health,…
329: John Paul White
Apr 7, 2019 • 37 min
Beulah hit like a tidal wave, marking a swift end to John Paul White’s music hiatus. It was a well-deserved break after the dissolution of the Grammy Award winning duo, the Civil Wars, but real life could only key the music at bay for so long. With his…
328: Ryan Lindsey (of Broncho)
Mar 31, 2019 • 31 min
A lifelong Oklahoman, Ryan Lindsey is a happy Tulsa resident, these days. Half of Broncho resides in the Sooner State’s second largest city. The other two are a two hour drive away in Norman, the college town where the band got its start. It’s a Tulsa…
327: Hannibal Buress in Africa
Mar 24, 2019 • 36 min
A few minutes into our conversation, Hannibal Buress injects mid-question, “How is it my first interview in Nigeria is with a white dude?” busting up mid-way through. The whole scene’s admittedly odd. We’re seated across from each other in my Lagos hotel…
326: Nick Thorburn
Mar 17, 2019 • 39 min
When Penguins arrived late last year, it was the latest in a long line of projects from a seemingly restless artist. The Fantagraphics book found Nick Thorburn taking the plunge into comics for the first time, amid a long career as a critically acclaimed…
325: Matthew Murphy (of The Wombats)
Mar 9, 2019 • 24 min
A move to Los Angeles may have mellowed Matthew Murphy out a bit. The warm weather and sunshine has tends to have the effect on people, and the results have certainly begun to manifest themselves on The Wombats’ fourth album. But as the title Beautiful…
324: Mimi Pond
Mar 3, 2019 • 33 min
In 2014, Drawn & Quarterly published Over Easy. It was a story that had been percolating for decades in cartoonist Mimi Pond’s mind, but life, family and the daunting task of actually sitting down to write it got in the way. By the time the cartoonist was…
323: Ed Solomon
Feb 24, 2019 • 44 min
In a career spanning four decades, screenwriter Ed Solomon has worked on some of Hollywoods biggest titles, from X-Men to Charlie’s Angels. But it’s his film, co-written with longtime collaborator Chris Matheson, that may well be his most iconic. 1989’s…
322: John Vanderslice returns
Feb 16, 2019 • 57 min
A lot can happen in six years. It’s the entire lifetime of some prominent bands. John Vanderslice has certainly been through plenty, including the death of a close family member and what might well have been the end of his own music career. In April,…
322: (Bonus) Lu Olkowski
Feb 10, 2019 • 43 min
Unhappy as a creative director at Nickelodeon during the heady days of Ren and Stimpy, Lu Olkowski left the board room and offices behind to pursue her long time passion for public radio. The major career change found her starting over from scratch in a…
321: Michael Franti
Feb 9, 2019 • 32 min
Relentless optimism may well be Michael Franti’s defining characteristic. It’s a rare trait, especially in these days of ideologically-driven, social media-fostered detachment. But for all the positivity of a record like Stay Human Vol. II, Franti and…
320: (Bonus) Vera Sola
Feb 3, 2019 • 32 min
Prior to Shades, music had never been a full-time pursuit for Vera Sola (Danielle Aykroyd). Splitting time between New York and Los Angeles, voice acting was her primary gig, until things went pear-shaped. Sick family members, the ends of relationships…
319: Liana Finck
Feb 2, 2019 • 39 min
It’s never quite clear where the memoir ends and the fairy tale begins in Passing for Human, and for Liana Finck, the distinction is incidental at best. Growing up, her home life was spent in a fantastical house built by her architect mother, provide a…
318: (Bonus) FEELS
Jan 29, 2019 • 38 min
Due out in February, Post Earth is only their second full length, but the members of FEELS going way back. A quartet of of Los Angeles natives, the members have been playing together in various iterations for well over a decade. And it shows. All four are…
317: Douglas Rushkoff returns
Jan 26, 2019 • 33 min
When Douglas Rushkoff asks you to chat, you say yes. We’ve spoken to the visionary media theorist a dozen times over the years, and each opportunity always yields fascinating new results. These days, Rushkoff is peddling Team Human. What began as a weekly…
316: (Bonus) Taleen Kali
Jan 21, 2019 • 18 min
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…
315: Georgia Webber
Jan 18, 2019 • 35 min
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…
314: John Roderick
Jan 14, 2019 • 64 min
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,…
313: Jon Glaser
Jan 7, 2019 • 30 min
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…
312: (Bonus) Sam Spiegel
Dec 30, 2018 • 38 min
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…
311: Nick Drnaso
Dec 29, 2018 • 33 min
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…
310 - Adam Thompson (of We Were Promised Jetpacks)
Dec 26, 2018 • 21 min
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…
309 (Bonus) - Laura Gibson
Dec 21, 2018 • 40 min
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…
308: Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes)
Dec 16, 2018 • 45 min
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…
307: V. Vale
Dec 13, 2018 • 41 min
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…
306: Chris Barron (of Spin Doctors)
Dec 2, 2018 • 41 min
Somewhere along the line Chris Barron quite literally lost his voice. The condition, vocal cord paralysis, left Spin Doctors frontman barely able to speak, let alone sing. It was, he confesses, a dark time — one that left him wondering whether a return to…
305: Tom Tomorrow
Nov 25, 2018 • 45 min
In an age of uncertainty, This Modern World has remained a rare consistent. For nearly 30 years, the strip has offered a staunchly leftist take on the week’s news, outlasting many of the world leaders its lampooned, along with most of the alternatively…
304: (Bonus) Doe Paoro
Nov 16, 2018 • 36 min
A trip to India changed everything for Sonia Kreitzer. It’s the kind of cinematic-style quest for knowledge so many seek out and so few actually achieve. For the singer, who opted the stage name Doe Paoro, the trip came at the most vital of times.…
303: Marissa Nadler
Nov 11, 2018 • 37 min
Eight albums into her career, Marissa Nadler is still discovering aspects of her musical life. For My Crimes finds the Boston-based musician fighting impulses to overthink and overdo. The metaphors and endless layers of music are stripped away for…
302: Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic (of The Get Up Kids)
Nov 4, 2018 • 31 min
After that first breakup, the press tends to regard everything as a reunion show. As Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic are quick to note, however, The Get Up Kids have been around as long in their current iteration as they were the first go-round, at 10 years a…
301: Colin Newman and Malka Spigel (of Immersion)
Oct 28, 2018 • 24 min
The van is running late. Never underestimate the traffic in from D.C. When Malka Spigel and Colin Newman do finally arrive, they’re both a bit wiped. Another late night on tour, getting in after last call, but the couple are both excited and slightly…
300: Michael McDonald
Oct 21, 2018 • 33 min
The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, three top 10 solo hits and one of the defining voices of his generation — but through it all, Michael McDonald has remained utterly humble. He didn’t feel he had the chops to make it as a full time studio musician, he…
299: Jon Auer (of The Posies)
Oct 14, 2018 • 33 min
A few hours before the kickoff of the Posies’ 30th anniversary show at the Bowery Ballroom, Jon Auer is feeling reflective. It’s the perfect moment for the musician to examine a long and fruitful career that’s found him performing as the member of a…
298: Bonus - Matt Costa
Oct 10, 2018 • 27 min
It seems Matt Costa has a guitar within arm’s reach at any given moment. As I fumble around setting up my recording rig, he pulls the acoustic out of the case and begins strumming, absent-mindedly. Prior to this year’s release of Santa Rosa Fangs, it had…
297: Lizz Winstead
Oct 6, 2018 • 44 min
When she arrives, Lizz Winstead is quick to note that she’s a bit frustrated at having missed Trump’s latest impromptu press conference. Not so much for the content — not rational thinking person could make that argument — just for the Twitter jokes. The…
296: Damien Jurado
Sep 30, 2018 • 33 min
Backstage at the Murmrr theater, the band is about to sit down to eat some fancy local Brooklyn pizza. It’s a strange space — a plush 700-seat theater that also serves a synagogue, the occasional Star of David on the wall the remind you that you’re a holy…
295: Shannon Shaw (of Shannon and the Clams)
Sep 25, 2018 • 37 min
Released in June, Shannon in Nashville finds the singer embarking on her own for the first time, after a half-dozen albums with backing band, The Clams. But Shannon Shaw still had plenty of support. The singer/bassist’s solo debut was produced by Black…
294: Alexander Orange Drink (of The So So Glos)
Sep 16, 2018 • 39 min
Asked how long he’s been Alexander Orange Drink, Alex Zarou Levine pulls a packet out of his backpack and tosses it on table in front of him. “That’s my orange drink,” he says. The musician laments for a moment that the name is no longer a secret, because…
293: Richard Elfman
Sep 10, 2018 • 33 min
When Richard Elfman laughs, he commits his entire body to the act. It’s deep, hearty and infectious. The consummate entertain and raconteur, Elfman pours us both a glass of scotch, describing his last big barbecue and inviting me to his next, should I…
292: Tony Millionaire
Sep 3, 2018 • 45 min
In 2016, Tony Millionaire drew his final Maakies. For nearly a quarter of century, the strip ran weekly in alternative papers like The New York Press, LA Times and Seattle’s The Stranger. While he’d flirted with the idea of doing it for as long as he was…
291: Ivan Brunetti
Aug 26, 2018 • 44 min
I can count on one hand all of the cartoonist whose work has unfailingly made me laugh out loud. Ivan Brunetti’s strips are up toward the top. You don’t always feel great about belly laughing at the material, but it’s never not hilarious. For the past…
290: Judd Winick
Aug 18, 2018 • 58 min
The last time we spoke, we were backstage at New York Comic Con. It was a short, manic conversation, with the first Hilo book having only just been published. Two years, later, we’re sitting in a coffee shop in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district — an…
289: Bonus - Van William
Aug 13, 2018 • 26 min
“Green Day was the true reason I learned how to play guitar,” Van William says with a smile. “‘When I Come Around,’ when that video came out and Billie Joe was walking around the Bay Area and at one point he took the pay phone off the hook and kept…
288: Penelope Houston (of The Avengers)
Aug 11, 2018 • 40 min
We grab a seat on the “punk couch,” an old piece of living room furniture covered in band name tags. Penelope created is as part of an installation, drawing upon her days as the 19-year-old singer of seminal San Francisco punk band, The Avengers. These…
287: Bonus - Uni
Aug 6, 2018 • 20 min
“We kind of want to be more of a factory than a band,” says bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl, drawing clear inspiration from Andy Warhol’s stomping grounds several decades prior. Uni is, fittingly, one of the most stylish New York bands in recent memory. Muhl…
286: Michael Kupperman
Aug 5, 2018 • 46 min
“I felt like it was a noble thing to do, to help people laugh,” says Michael Kupperman. “I’ve had that beaten out of me, a little bit.” The cartoonist sounds a bit defeated, describing earlier work like Tales Designed to Thrizzle and Mark Twain’s…
285: Bonus - Matt Groening
Aug 4, 2018 • 13 min
I met Matt Groening very briefly years ago, while attending a small indie comics show in Brooklyn. He was there as a fan — and to support longtime friend, Lynda Barry. He came upon a pile of Treehouse of Horror comics, picked them up and pulled out a…
284: Matt and Kim
Jul 28, 2018 • 40 min
Matt greets me at the door of the duo’s spacious Brooklyn home. We walk past a fireplace mantel showcasing multiple MTV Moon Men. We chat for a bit about social media, and he shows me snippets of the Matt and Kim Vlog — short videos from the road,…
283: Bonus - Paul Bakija (of Reagan Youth)
Jul 27, 2018 • 19 min
Reagan Youth only released a single album during its first incarnation, but the group of anarcho-punks from Queens had a profound impact on the New York hardcore scene. The band called it quits in 1989, as their primary inspiration, Ronald Reagan finally…
282: Kevin Allison returns
Jul 21, 2018 • 62 min
“I think there’s something radical, defiant and necessary about continuing to tell the truth in a very compassionate way in a world that is screaming and yelling talking points at each other,” Kevin Allison explains. “To me it just seems important right…
281: Allen Ravenstine (of Pere Ubu)
Jul 16, 2018 • 38 min
In the early 90s, Allen Ravenstine quit music. Just like that, to hear him tell it. The founding keyboardist for pioneering art-punk legends Pere Ubu was finished with the industry, opting to fly gliders and ultimately work his way up to commercial…
280: Ian Parton (of Go! Team)
Jul 8, 2018 • 28 min
“I’m pulled in a million different directions,” says Ian Parton. The musician is describing the inspiration that led to the creation of the Go! Team in the lobby of La Poisson Rouge in Manhattan. It’s the final night of the tour, and he believes the band…
279: Nicole Hollander
Jul 1, 2018 • 40 min
In 2012, Sylvia drew to a close. For the first time in more than 20 years, Nicole Hollander found herself without a daily comic. But the lifelong Chicagoan wasn’t done with cartooning just yet. Released earlier this year, We Ate Wonder Bread marks a…
278: Jenna Weiss-Berman
Jun 24, 2018 • 33 min
Launching a media property is never easy, but from the outside, at least, the story of Pineapple Street’s early days certainly seem charmed. The network counted among its earliest hosts then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. There aren’t too many…
277: Dana Buoy
Jun 17, 2018 • 31 min
Dana Buoy’s two LPs feel like the work of two different bands. The first is a clear successor to front man Dana Janssen’s work in the beloved freak folk outfit, Akron/Family. This year’s Ice Glitter Gold, on the other hand, is a late-night dance record,…
276: Royston Langdon (of Spacehog, Leeds)
Jun 16, 2018 • 44 min
“Music doesn’t happen when you try really hard,” Royston Langdon explains, toward the tail end of our conversation. “Keith Richards didn’t write the riff for ‘Satisfaction’ while he was concentrating.” Everything’s Dandy, his debut record under the…
275: Fatoumata Diawara
Jun 2, 2018 • 34 min
You would be hard-pressed to find an artist as passionate — or joyful — about their art than Fatoumata Diawara. It’s catharsis and happiness and medicine, all rolled into one, with songs that explore some of the darkest moments of the human experience…
274: Ophira Eisenberg
May 26, 2018 • 48 min
She’s a comedian, a radio host and a writer, but above all, Ophira Eisenberg is a storytelling. That much is immediately clear a few minutes into a conversation. When she’s not hosting NPR’s popular quiz show, Ask Me Another, Eisenberg is discovering…
273: Eugene Chadbourne
May 20, 2018 • 32 min
For 42 years, Eugene Chadbourne has been wonderfully, definitely and sometimes frustratingly independent. A one-man journey into avant-garde folk and jazz, his work has touched several generations of independent musicians, from collaborations with college…
272: Goat Girl
May 13, 2018 • 34 min
By the time their self-title debut dropped last month, Goat Girl was already a buzz band. The South London quartet had signed to Rough Trade two years prior, drawing the industry’s attention with their energetic live show. The band’s music is both playful…
271: Adrian Tomine
May 6, 2018 • 43 min
“The rewards of being a successful cartoonist would not be enough to make for a happy life,” says Adrian Tomine. It’s something that’s changed as he’s grown older, gotten married, had kids. He adds that he’s grateful for the readers and the recognition —…
270: Patrick Stickles (of Titus Andronicus)
Apr 29, 2018 • 41 min
Valentine’s Day casts a slight pall on the conversation, as we sit down just ahead of Titus Andronicus’ latest record, A Productive Cough. There’s a lot of talk about art and punk and life, and how long one can sustain a rock and roll career without…
269: Yoni Wolf (of Why?)
Apr 22, 2018 • 42 min
We start by talking about food. Something most musicians take for granted on road, but Yoni Wolf’s struggles with Crohn’s disease have made him acutely aware of what he puts into his body. It’s a subject that’s featured heavily in his work, including,…
268: (Bonus) Kevin Kendrick (of A Big Yes and a Small No)
Apr 18, 2018 • 44 min
2008’s Jesus That Looks Terrible on You was a delightful debut from a promising New York indie pop band. In the intervening decade, however, things have been fairly quiet on for A Big Yes and a Small No, aside from a single hard to find EP. I jumped at…
267: Pete Bernhard (of The Devil Makes Three)
Apr 15, 2018 • 35 min
I first heard The Devil Makes Three bleeding through the thin walls of Santa Cruz house all hours of the day and night. The trio had only just formed and practice seemingly nonstop a set of songs that would form the basis of their self-titled debut. There…
266: Becky Stern
Apr 8, 2018 • 49 min
I first met Becky Stern back in 2011, when she appeared on the Engadget Show as a blogger for Make Magazine. At the time, she was showcasing a hoodie capable of turning TVs off an off when zipped. It was pretty standard fare for the maker — a project that…
265: Julia Wertz
Mar 31, 2018 • 49 min
It’s been nearly five years since we sat down with Julia Wertz, and naturally plenty has changed. Her latest book, Tenements, Towers and Trash is a veritable love letter to New York City, written after the cartoonist had moved back home to California. The…
264: Laila Biali
Mar 26, 2018 • 35 min
Vancouver-born and Toronto-based, Laila Biali has toured with some of the biggest names in music, from Sting to Suzanne Vega. The pianist/singer is also a well regarded color performer in her own right, having released seven albums, including a new…
263: Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
Mar 18, 2018 • 40 min
A decade after releasing Some Loud Thunder, Clap Your Hands Say took the album back on tour. A lot has changed for the band in the intervening ten years, of course — not the least of which is the fact that frontman Alec Ounsworth remains the band’s only…
262: Luke Lalonde (of Born Ruffians)
Mar 11, 2018 • 43 min
2018’s Uncle, Duke and the Chief finds Born Ruffians performing with their original lineup for the first time in half a decade. Such a return is always an important turning for a band, but it takes on an extra weight for the trio, who began performing…
261: Elizabeth Powell (of Land of Talk)
Mar 5, 2018 • 28 min
In May of last year, Land of Talk returned after a seven year hiatus. At the height of her powers, following tours with bands like Broken Social Scene and The Decemberists, Elizabeth Powell took a break. Between her vocal polyp and a laptop crash that…
260 (Bonus): Minus the Bear
Mar 4, 2018 • 19 min
Five years between in records is a drop in the bucket for many groups. For Minus the Bear, however, it marks the longest gap between albums in the band’s 17 year history. The making of Voids was marked by both personal and professional changes, as the…
259: Elise LeGrow
Feb 18, 2018 • 35 min
The track list for Playing Chess is nothing if not bold. The 11 tracks that make up Elise LeGrow’s debut LP represent some of the legendary Chicago Record’s biggest names, including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Etta James. The collection of covers is both…
258 (Bonus): Gina Wynbrandt
Feb 14, 2018 • 19 min
When I first encountered Gina Wynbrandt’s work at MoCCA Fest a few years back, the Chicago-based cartoonist seemingly came out of nowhere. Here debut book, Someone Please Have Sex With Me was the hands-down hit of the show — and for good reason. The book…
257: Emil Ferris
Feb 11, 2018 • 26 min
“Do not listen to people’s idea about what you can accomplish,” Emil Ferris insists as we wrap up our interview. “ You must do the thing you were sent here to do.” We’re short on time during the quick conversation. Someone’s stopped by to whisk her off to…
256 (Bonus): Joseph Remnant
Feb 8, 2018 • 30 min
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Joseph Remnant’s debut graphic novel since he began collaborating with underground comics pioneer Harvey Pekar for the online Pekar Project anthology back in 2010. The moment finally arrived last year when Fantagraphics…
255: Torquil Campbell (of Stars)
Feb 4, 2018 • 26 min
“Without nostalgia,” Torquil Campbell explains, “I don’t know how you make pop music.” It’s an inescapable dimension of Stars music, if only because the band essentially grew up together in Toronto. Plenty has changed, of course, in the nearly 20 years…
254: Emily Haines
Jan 28, 2018 • 27 min
“The thing that is the product is the excrement,” Emily Haines posits, loosely paraphrasing English writer, Jeanette Winterson. “The thing that is of value is the experience.” We’ve only got half an hour for an interview, as she rolls through town to…
253: Jay Rosen
Jan 21, 2018 • 51 min
I was first made aware of Jay Rosen when he began to pop up in my Twitter feed. As the last presidential election neared, he began to show up more and more often through the retweets of friends and colleagues. Now that Donald Trump has declared an all-out…
252: Jon Wurster
Jan 14, 2018 • 35 min
Recorded on the eve of a pair of celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first Best Show call, we managed to catch Jon Wurster at the perfect time to reflect on his work. It’s been a strange career — the musician has drummed for some of the biggest names…
251: Chris Ware
Jan 4, 2018 • 45 min
“I never thought i’d making a living doing this,” Chris Ware explains, candidly. “I just thought i’d be a weird guy on the street shuffling around with tattered notebooks.” Maybe he’s half-kidding, or at least winkingly slightly. It’s hard to say. He’s…
250: Cecil Castellucci
Dec 30, 2017 • 40 min
“Sometimes I’ll write something and I’ll weep while I’m writing it,” Cecil Castellucci explains, as we wrap up the interview with one final question. “It’s like I’m getting as close as possible to being human.” She gets close to that state just answering…
249: Nidhi Chanani
Dec 23, 2017 • 35 min
We sit down on a pair of chair in the First Second booth, smack in the middle of a crowded New York Comic Con show floor early on a Saturday. Nidhi Chanani is still high from the release of her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, which only hit store shelves a…
248: Janelle Hessig
Dec 17, 2017 • 43 min
Founded in 1990, Tales of Blarg became one of the longest running and most influential zines out of the East Bay punk scene that gave the world Lookout Records. Over the years, the it published the work of such Northern California punk rock luminaries as…
247: Mimi Fischer
Dec 10, 2017 • 54 min
“My life makes no sense,” Mimi Fischer says with a laugh. The 64-year-old comedian recently put on her first solo show, “A Late Bloomer” at the PIT theater in New York City. She is, of course, the titular late-bloomer, discovering the world of hoop…
246: Simon Hanselmann
Dec 4, 2017 • 46 min
“I don’t want to go back to the bird shit,” Simon Hanselmann explains, reminiscing not-so-fondly about about jobs past. From all appearances, life is pretty good for the Tasmanian cartoonist. He’s making a living with comics, living in a nice Seattle home…
245: Maura Lynch and Andrew Chugg (of Blush)
Nov 30, 2017 • 31 min
Blush’s debut album is the culmination of nine years worth of songs. Singer Maura Lynch spent the last decade playing in bands and working day jobs for startups like Kickstarter and Birchbox, all while writing music on the side. What sort as a solo…
244: Ron Turner and Winston Smith
Nov 26, 2017 • 51 min
Ron Turner is running late. It’s impossible to find parking in North Beach this time of night. I’m nursing a whiskey upstairs as Cafe Vesuvio, the historic San Francisco bar, best known as a famed beat generation water hole. The crowd’s already getting…
243: Nicole Georges
Nov 24, 2017 • 43 min
Toward the end of our conversation, Nicole Georges takes a moment to point out that her latest book, isn’t the downer this interview might have made it out to be. But then, when you start down the road of dog deaths, it’s a bit hard to the right the ship.…
242: Trina Robbins
Nov 18, 2017 • 42 min
“As long as one can walk one can protest,” Trina Robbins explains, over the white noise of a nearby espresso machine. “And as long as i don’t have to take too many hills, I can still walk.” The cartoonist’s assessment of the current political climate is…
241: Anders Nilsen
Nov 12, 2017 • 51 min
The last time Anders Nilsen was on the show, we were huddled on a patch of grass out behind the San Diego Convention Center with pedicabs carrying cosplaying show attendees whizzing by, playing top 40 songs at maximum volume. Thankfully, things are much…
240: James Jackson Toth (of Wooden Wand)
Nov 5, 2017 • 56 min
“Every once in a while,” James Jackson Toth explains, “you make a record and it feels like the message in the bottle sinking before it gets to the other shore.” Between official Wooden Wand albums, CD-Rs, online releases, records issued as a full band and…
239 (Bonus): Stoya
Nov 1, 2017 • 23 min
It’s a few days before the opening of her first theatrical performance, and Stoya doesn’t know what to expect. It’s all really new — aside from a few trivia nights here and there, she hasn’t really done much in front of a live audience since some ballet…
238: Richard Gottehrer and Allison Zatarain
Oct 29, 2017 • 46 min
In the 60s, he cowrote ”My Boyfriend’s Back” and “I Want Candy” and cofounded Sire records with Seymour Stein. But Richard Gottehrer isn’t one to dwell on the past. Six decades on, he’s still a guiding force in the music industry. Over the years, he’s…
237: Greg Saunier (of Deerhoof)
Oct 22, 2017 • 44 min
“When’s this podcast going to air?” Greg Saunier asks with a laugh. “Because the world might be over soon.” The conversation takes a bit of a serious turn toward the end, as we transition from touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (twice) to what,…
236: Dylan Marron
Oct 15, 2017 • 61 min
It’s been a few days since a white nationalist rally resulted in violent outbreaks and the death of a counter protester in Charlottesville, VA. Nerves are still pretty raw, and Dylan Marron has skipped this third week of his limits run podcast,…
235: Glenn Morrow
Oct 8, 2017 • 44 min
In the 80s, Glenn Morrow was at the forefront of Hoboken’s burgeoning college rock scene. The musician moved to Jersey while attending NYU and watched as Frank Sinatra’s hometown blossomed into a burgeoning indie rock scene, thanks in no small part to his…
234: Clint Conley (of Mission of Burma)
Oct 1, 2017 • 44 min
It’s a beautiful day in Cambridge, MA when we sit down for an interview at a local dumpling shop (his recommendation). It’s all very serene in Harvard Square, a music singing acoustic classic rock songs through a small amplifier. These days, Clint Conley…
233: Frank Conniff
Sep 25, 2017 • 46 min
A stint in rehab moved Frank Conniff from New York City to Minneapolis, derailing his standup career for a bit and ultimately kickstarting his career as a TV writer. In the Twin Cities, he met the Mystery Science Theater 3000 team, ultimately joining the…
232: Phoebe Bridgers
Sep 11, 2017 • 44 min
“Right now, I’m in an unchecked creative zone,” Phoebe Bridgers says with a laugh. It’s a sort of cautious half joke, but one that describes her current songwriter state quite well. Our conversation was record a couple of months before the release of her…
231: Ted Leo
Sep 4, 2017 • 63 min
Ted Leo balks slightly at the notion that The Hanged Man is a more personal record than previous efforts. He chalks much of the idea up to the media surrounding the self-released record, and his particular candidness in recent interviews. But Leo’s done a…
230: Greg Kotis
Aug 27, 2017 • 79 min
The building across the street was on fire the night we sat down to talk. The entire floor smelled of smoke and if you looked out the window, you might have thought the world was coming to an end. It’s probably as good a backdrop as any for a interview…
229: Katie Skelly
Aug 19, 2017 • 54 min
For Katie Skelly, comics have always been something of side hustle — something she’s never expected or even wanted as a full-time career. During the days, she works at a beloved New York City film house, a gig that gives her front row access to some of…
228: Frankie Rose
Aug 12, 2017 • 51 min
When Frankie Rose began work on Cage Tropical, she was living in Los Angeles, employed as a caterer — the struggling actor, Party Down kind. Not exactly the triumphant rock start victory lap of the artist who released one of of the best LPs of the best…
227: Annalee Newitz
Aug 6, 2017 • 50 min
Every so often, my work obsessions bleed into my extracurriculars, and Annalee Newitz was more than happy to help me geek out about robotics. We sat down a few months back in New York, while she was visiting for Book Expo America, in advance of her first…
226: Manchester Orchestra
Jul 29, 2017 • 45 min
In 2014, Manchester Orchestra released Hope, a new album with an identical track listening as its predecessor, Cope, released the same year. The two albums represented dramatically different musical takes on the same songs — the first was the band’s…
225 (Bonus): Mike Diana
Jul 25, 2017 • 36 min
Here’s a conversation recorded a while back and initially intended for publication. While the story never actually appeared in print, the subject matter was just too interesting to let it languish, so I’m presenting it to you as a bonus episode.…
224: Liz Baillie
Jul 23, 2017 • 54 min
Comics are hard — doubly so when you live in a place like New York, where holding down a day job is a necessity. By their early- to mid-30s, most opt to pack it in. It’s not a personal failure or flaw, so much as an admission that the world just isn’t…
223: Kate Stables (This is the Kit)
Jul 19, 2017 • 44 min
Kate Stables’ Earl of Lemongrab wallet is on the table when I sit down for our interview at Baby’s All Right — so naturally, we spend the first several minutes of the conversation discussing Adventure Time. It was some she discovered independently, but…
222 (Bonus): Francoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman (Resist)
Jul 11, 2017 • 19 min
On the heels of the second issue of Resist, we hopped on the line with publishers Francoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman to discuss the free comics protest newspaper. The first issue arrived alongside the Presidential inauguration in January, as a…
221: Tim Kasher (of Cursive, The Good Life)
Jul 7, 2017 • 58 min
No Resolution is an album about heartbreak. It’s raw and real, delving into break ups and fears of settling down, topics that Tim Kasher is set to explore even more deeply in his upcoming film of the same name. His directorial debut (soundtracked by the…
220: Catherine Burns
Jul 2, 2017 • 58 min
Of course Catherine Burns has a good story about getting her current gig. It involves MTV and 9/11 and parents in Alabama who were slightly befuddled that their daughter had moved from a planned career as a documentary filmmaker to something called…
219: Frank Santoro
Jun 19, 2017 • 47 min
When I hit up cartoonist Jim Rugg before a quick three day trip to Pittsburgh, he sent his apologies. He was leaving town the same night I arrived, but helpfully sent along a list of fellow cartoonists in the city. The city’s comics community is a diverse…
218: Ashley Bez
Jun 10, 2017 • 49 min
Before it helped elect a president who teetered on the bring of nuclear war with every subsequent tweet, Twitter was an important testing ground for young comedians, honing their one-liners 140 characters at a time. Ashley Bez will be the first to admit…
217: Scott Westerfeld
Jun 4, 2017 • 62 min
Scott Westerfeld didn’t move to New York expecting to become a writer. He’s dabbled in politics, music and software design, but after 18 novels, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s found his calling. Over the years, his work has largely gravitated toward…
216: The Coathangers
May 27, 2017 • 26 min
Everything is running about an hour late, and the opening band has already started by the time two-thirds of The Coathangers show up back stage for the interview. Complicating things even further, bass player Meredith Franco has a nasty cough. The life of…
215: David Lloyd
May 21, 2017 • 50 min
We’re back from a brief hiatus for a conversation with cartoonist David Lloyd. Recorded at an Irish Pub a few blocks from the MoCCA Fest art show that brought him into town, Lloyd discusses his on-going work as the editor of Aces Weekly, an online…
214: R. Sikoryak
Apr 30, 2017 • 59 min
“My method is slowly eliminating my style from the work,” R. Sikoryak explains during our long and wide-ranging interview. As with nearly every other creative pursuit, style is one of the key elements of expression, but the cartoonist has spent much of…
213: Josh Bayer
Apr 23, 2017 • 68 min
Josh Bayer is coming a teaching class up town, and I’ve just finished work, so find a middle ground, a coffee shop called Ralph’s, bathed in the shadow of nearby Trump Tower. The place came highly recommended online, but there was no mention of the fact…
212: Frank Stack
Apr 9, 2017 • 56 min
“I’m a Texan and I don’t dislike Texas,” Frank Stack explains. “But I don’t like those sons of bitches.” The artist’s first major work sums up his feelings toward attitudes in the Lone Star State. First published in the pages of University of Texas paper,…
211: Ryan Walsh of Hallelujah the Hills
Apr 2, 2017 • 55 min
You’re bound to raise some fan suspicion when the first track off your new album A Band Is Something To Figure Out has a title like “What do the People Want,” particularly when the thing is released on the 10th anniversary of your band’s existence.…
210: Gareth David of Los Campesinos!
Mar 25, 2017 • 47 min
“[Depression] is something I’m comfortable with now,” Los Campesinos singer Gareth David explains during our conversation backstage at the Warsaw in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He’s remarkably open and funny about the subject, adding, “the best thing for my…
209: Tim Kinsella of Joan of Arc
Mar 19, 2017 • 47 min
“We never make a decision because we want to alienate the audience,” Tim Kinsella explains. “But we also never make a decision according to what we think the audience wants.” That sums up the musician’s career as any review. Though it only accounts for a…
208: Ahmed Gallab of Sinkane
Mar 12, 2017 • 59 min
After touring around with prominent outfits like Yeahsayer and Of Montreal, Sinkane’s Ahmed Gallab really come into his own on 2012’s Mars. The breakout record found the multi-instrumentalist embracing musical selections as diverse as his background, from…
207: Tommy Stinson and Chip Roberts
Mar 8, 2017 • 30 min
Tommy Stinson is exhausted. It’s the tail end of a long day of interviews, with appearances on high profile outlets like Fox News, and the Bash & Pop frontman isn’t not entirely sure he’s going to make it through one more. Things get off to a rough start,…
206: Reverend Jen
Feb 19, 2017 • 45 min
Reverend Jen Miller was a Lower East Side fixture when I moved to New York more than a decade ago, an elf-eared, chihuahua-toting being who seemed to show up everywhere in those first few years, from The Village Voice to cable access. She ran a Troll Doll…
205: Jon Ronson
Feb 12, 2017 • 47 min
Jon Ronson confesses with a laugh that he feels at least partially responsible for the rise of Alex Jones, the once-fringe Texas-based radio show host who since has become a central figure in Donald Trump’s political rise and the development of his…
204: Kid Congo Powers
Feb 5, 2017 • 59 min
Punk rock resumes don’t get much better than Kid Congo Powers’. The Southern California-born musician has been playing music professional for nearly 40 years, since the then-president of the Ramones fanclub was recruited by Jeffrey Lee Pierce for the band…
203: Adele Bertei
Jan 30, 2017 • 68 min
“I think about music as joy” sounds like one of those things that musicians just say. But then you go see Adele Bertei live, and there’s really no other way to describe. She ought to be rusty, out of shape and out of practice after a long hiatus, but when…
202: Ted Stearn
Jan 22, 2017 • 59 min
The latest Fuzz and Pluck (last year’s The Moolah Tree) begins with a rough visual — one I’m admittedly a bit hung up on during my conversation with Ted Stearn a few months ago. In it, Fuzz, the hapless teddy bear character, is unraveled until he’s little…
201: Slow Club
Jan 15, 2017 • 41 min
When I arrive backstage at Le Poisson Rouge green room, Charles Watson is digging into a pre-set dinner, with Rebecca Taylor seated in the back on the phone with another interview. He’s asking her about Brexit — seeking advice, really, a mere day or so…
200: Al Jaffee
Jan 10, 2017 • 87 min
It was important to me that we have a special guest for episode 100. They Might Be Giants fitted the job perfectly, a band that played an incredibly important role in the early development of my musical tastes, as strange and idiosyncratic as they might…
199: MariNaomi
Jan 1, 2017 • 52 min
Mari Naomi sat down for an interview a matter of days follow the election, a fact that unavoidably colored the conversation. It’s pretty clear listening back almost two months later that we were only beginning to process our thoughts at the time — not…
198: Dame Darcy
Dec 26, 2016 • 68 min
Dame Darcy’s got a great comics show gimmick. While cartoonists look on sad-eyed as show goers flip through their work and move on, the artist offers up tarot readings through her own custom deck, giving curious parties insight into their future and…
197: Cecil Baldwin
Dec 19, 2016 • 78 min
There’s no real podcasting precedent for Welcome to Night Vale. In the decade or so since I started podcasting, I’ve never seen a phenomenon like it. The show seemingly came out of nowhere and shot to the top of the iTunes chart with loyal fanbase built…
196: Kyle Baker
Dec 13, 2016 • 49 min
We struggle to find a decent spot to set up shop on the New York Comic Con show floor — finally opting to do the whole thing standing, leaned up against the reception desk at the Dark Horse booth. Baker is fresh off a signing with Fifth Beatle…
195: Julian Koster
Nov 23, 2016 • 67 min
Neutral Milk Hotel two albums surely cast a long shadow on all involved. Multi-instrumentalist Julian Koster has never shied away from his role in the band — both reuniting with the group and supporting frontman Jeff Mangum in recent years — but all the…
194: Bobby Rush
Nov 16, 2016 • 49 min
Bobby Rush is a storyteller. At 83, he’s no doubt told many of his best ones hundreds if not thousands of times, but as the consummate perform, he spins each one as it were the first time – even something as old and simple as the tale of how the son of a…
193: Vivien Goldman (with Eve Blouin)
Nov 10, 2016 • 77 min
Vivien Goldman’s New York City apartment is a shrine to decades of music journalism, bookshelves overflowing with seemingly every title ever published on the subject. This particular evening, former Chantage bandmate Eve Blouin is over for a visit,…
192: Jon Ginoli
Nov 1, 2016 • 55 min
I must have been 12 or so when I first saw the Pansy Division. The band was opening for Green Day at a benefit show in Oakland, a return to the Bay Area following the triumphant Dookie tour. I had no idea what to make of the band at the time — and my dad,…
191: Tom Tomorrow
Oct 25, 2016 • 46 min
Of all of the bizarre sights at this year’s New York Comic Con, you’d be hard pressed to find one more serendipitous than the droves of show goers milling around IDW booth in bright orange cardboard Donald Trump masks – including, in one moment of…
190: El Perro Del Mar
Oct 17, 2016 • 56 min
Sometimes you finish an interview not quite sure how things went. Other times you just know. With Sarah Assbring, it was pretty clear from the first seconds, when she belted out a song when asked to do a soundcheck. With all she’s been through in her…
189: Dash Shaw
Oct 11, 2016 • 72 min
In 2008, Dash Shaw arrived seemingly out of nowhere and the indie comics community feel in love almost immediately. His Fantagraphics debut, the 720 page opus Bottomless Belly Belly Button, was a wide ranging, following the lives of a family over the…
188: Alex Segura
Oct 3, 2016 • 60 min
I’d known Alex Segura for a few years, before I found out about his not so secret passion. We’d work together in the comics world, we as a journalist and him as a PR rep, first for DC and then for Archie. We were drinking together at some comics after…
187: Matt Furie (Bonus)
Sep 29, 2016 • 28 min
I was excited when I first saw Pepe popping up on strange corners of the internet. After years of spotting Matt Furie’s work at indie comics shows like SPX and MoCCA, the online community was starting to take notice of his work, albeit in that…
186: Faith Erin Hicks
Sep 28, 2016 • 41 min
This one took a while to get out, unfortunately. Long story, but it dates back April, around the release of Faith Erin Hicks’ most recent book, The Nameless City. Thankfully, the new title is just the tip of the iceberg for the Canadian cartoonist, as the…
185: Dr. Frank
Sep 21, 2016 • 94 min
Frank Portman sends me his new record a few hours before we’re set to meet up at a coffee shop on Market Street. The whole thing came together at the last minute at the tail end of a three week long work road trip, and I only have time to listen to three…
184: LP
Sep 8, 2016 • 65 min
We’re back after an unexpected bye-week (sorry, I’ve been traveling a lot) posting up a fascinating interview with Laura “LP” Pergolizzi. The LA singer-songwriter has released a string of critically acclaimed albums, including, most recently, Death…
183: Miss Lasko-Gross and Kevin Colden
Aug 24, 2016 • 75 min
Up to now, Miss Lasko-Gross and Kevin Colden had never professionally collaborated in any official capacity — not out of any conscious decision, the pair had just never found the proper vehicle. After all, there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of overlap…
182: Potty Mouth
Aug 17, 2016 • 55 min
Somewhere between the first LP and last year’s self-titled EP, things really started getting serious, so Potty Mouth did what any self-respecting rock and roll group would, packing up things in their small Massachusetts scene and moved to Los Angeles. New…
181: Graham Clark and Dave Shumka (Bonus)
Aug 7, 2016 • 24 min
Back in 2008, two funny guys saying funny things into microphones with an optional third funny friend was the concept a podcast needed. But we’re living in the age of Serial, a time when show need a central idea to set themselves apart from millions of…
180: Ruben Bolling
Aug 7, 2016 • 70 min
Ruben Bolling should have been a lawyer. He graduated from Harvard Law School, he married a lawyer, and he even does some work in the field. But after seeing an ad in a school paper, the artist’s fate was sealed, creating the first installment of Tom the…
179: Carrie Poppy
Aug 3, 2016 • 66 min
I feel obligated to say that I was very tired when we record this. I had just gotten off a plane from New York to LA, and Carrie Poppy was kind enough to let me crash on her couch for the night. We turned on the mics and started podcasting almost…
178: Starlee Kine
Jul 27, 2016 • 74 min
In the decade and a half she spent contributing to This American Life, Starlee Kine transformed deeply personal aspects of her life into some of the show’s most memorable segments. There was the time she employed Phil Collins to evaluate the breakup song…
177: Minty Lewis
Jul 20, 2016 • 55 min
When my sister’s beloved dog passed away just before my trip to LA, Minty Lewis did me a solid. When I wanted to commission a portrait of a Yorkie, no other artist made any sense. After all, the cartoonist had made a name for herself in the indie comics…
176: Mary Roach
Jul 13, 2016 • 65 min
It’s the long-awaited return of RiYL guest number two, the great Mary Roach, who was in town kicking off a press tour for her new book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War. The author’s latest volume explores a subject near and dear to her heart,…
175: John Holmstrom
Jul 6, 2016 • 68 min
I got more than I bargained for when I interviewed John Holmstrom — which is saying a lot when you know going into things that you’re sitting down with the guy who co-founded Punk Magazine for a couple of hours in an East Village watering hole. We kick…
174: Eggs Over Easy
Jun 29, 2016 • 60 min
It’s hard to say whether their timing was extremely fortuitous or really unfortunate. After all, until this month’s Yep Roc reissue, Eggs Over Easy’s work had gone largely unheard in their own country. The UK, on the other hand, is another story. The…
173: Hutch Harris (of The Thermals)
Jun 22, 2016 • 48 min
Change isn’t always easy when you’re a punk rock band — particularly one with a sound beloved and well-defined as The Thermals. After a pair of well-received LPs that cemented the Portland band’s place as one a low-fi, distortion-laden indie power-pop…
172: Gabrielle Bell
Jun 15, 2016 • 57 min
I haven’t seen Gabrielle Bell much since she moved out of the city. New York spoils you like that. Makes getting even a half hour outside of the city seem like a chore. It’s been a few years since we’ve sat down for an interview, and despite efforts to…
171: Rogue Wave
Jun 8, 2016 • 57 min
Delusions of Grand Fur is a sort of return roots. It finds the band experimenting with the sort of fast and loose improvisational set up that first gave rise to Rogue Wave. Like the band’s first record, which began as the result of a somewhat spontaenous…
170: R.O. Blechman
May 31, 2016 • 51 min
He won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animated Programming, was inducting to the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and has drawn multiple covers for the New Yorker, but his most lasting legacy may be the mid-60s advertisements he created for…
169: Mara Wilson
May 25, 2016 • 70 min
A week or two after our interview, Penguin released the cover for Where Am I Now?, featuring a young, precocious Matilda-era Mara Wilson smiling for the camera. It’s the Mara Wilson most familiar to book browsing audiences, the one who will live on…
168: Ariel Schrag
May 17, 2016 • 53 min
When I mentioned casually to a friend that I would be interviewing Ariel Schrag, her answer was less excited that confused, “you haven’t had Ariel Schrag on your show yet?” Fair enough. I don’t really have any great answer as to why I haven’t had had the…
167: Kelvin Swaby (of The Heavy)
May 4, 2016 • 51 min
The Heavy makes no bones about it. The Hurt & The Merciless is a breakup record, through and through, from the leadoff track that repeats “The raindrops won’t stop falling from my eyes,” to the fittingly titled closer, “Goodbye Baby.” The pain of real…
166: Rob Crow
Apr 27, 2016 • 44 min
When you write an open letter on your Facebook page about quitting the music business forever, it’s bound to be the opening line of every review of your next record. It’s just the way of of the world. Rob Crow looks great, for what it’s worth. He quit…
165: Adam Green
Apr 18, 2016 • 77 min
Aladdin is a crowd-sourced paper mache fever dream. It’s both completely singular in Adam Green diverse portfolio of work and perfectly representative of an artist who has made a career or tearing down the barriers between conception and execution. After…
164: Glen Weldon
Apr 13, 2016 • 57 min
You don’t know Batman like Glen Weldon knows Batman, and the frequent NPR contributor has the book to prove it. Out now on Simon & Schuster, The Caped Crusader is a fascinating examination of one of the comics’ most beloved characters, from his early days…
163: Eszter Balint
Apr 11, 2016 • 69 min
I didn’t recognize Eszter Balint’s name when I got a PR pitch about her Airless Midnight, but I the record a quick listen anyway and shot her representation a note about getting her on the show. Lucky for me, the musician has the sort of backstory press…
162: Lloyd Kaufman
Apr 5, 2016 • 64 min
The real Tromaville is an unassuming place. Located a few blocks from the East River, in an industrialized section of Long Island City still untouched by the rapidly encroaching gentrification of art galleries and speakeasies, the country’s longest…
161: Stern Pinball CEO Gary Stern
Mar 30, 2016 • 49 min
Note: Hey listeners, we’re launching a Patreon. Please consider supporting the show to help keep us afloat. By the 80s, the pinball machine had seemingly been all but replaced, making way for machines like Asteroids and Pac-Man, which quickly began to…
160 (Bonus): The Dead Ships
Mar 23, 2016 • 56 min
Sometimes things just come together. Sometimes one of the geniuses behind Broken Social Scene catches one of your ramshackle live shows and decides you’re the first outside band he wants to produce. Sometimes you line up SXSW and Coachella before you even…
159: Eleanor Friedberger
Mar 21, 2016 • 54 min
I first saw Eleanor Friedberger solo back in 2013, shortly after falling head over heels for her second solo album, Personal Record. Her band was an opener (for The Long Winters, featuring past guests John Roderick and Sean Nelson), but her voice is an…
158: Chip Zdarsky and Matt Kindt
Mar 18, 2016 • 58 min
Chip Zdarsky wore a felt crown during our interview because he was promoting his new Jughead series for Archie — and because he’s Chip Zdarsky, and that’s just like a thing Chip Zdarsky does. The cartoonist has been responsible for some of the the…
157: Dan Friel
Mar 15, 2016 • 51 min
When I first met Dan Friel, he was working the front desk at The Onion. I was but lowly intern and he was tasked with, among other things, handing me a list of the newspaper boxes around the city that needed moving. Turns out the the guy was also pretty…
156: Douglas Rushkoff
Mar 7, 2016 • 51 min
There’s an art to interviewing Douglas Rushkoff — and really, “interview” isn’t the right word. It’s akin of offering suggestions and watching him takeoff, explore an idea, and just blow the thing wide open. As with all of his books, every page of…
155: Tom Hart
Feb 29, 2016 • 56 min
Rosalie Lightning is one of this year’s most difficult and most important books. It’s the story of a parent grieving the death of his young daughter the best way he knows how — through making a comic. Tom Hart taught the form for a decade at Manhattan’s…
154: Brooke Arnold
Feb 23, 2016 • 65 min
“Other ATI beliefs that I learned range from utterly bizarre to downright barbaric,” Brooke Arnold writes in the essay, I Could Have Been a Duggar Wife, “like the creator of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls is actually a Satanic wizard who implants demons into the…
153: Gene Luen Yang
Feb 17, 2016 • 44 min
Not too long before our conversation, the Library of Congress appointed Gene Yang its “Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.” It’s the kind of announcement that makes everyone around the comics community cheer — another big moment in a space…
152: Nicole Georges (Bonus)
Feb 10, 2016 • 55 min
Friend of the podcast Nicole Georges joins us via Skype to discuss her brand new show, Sagittarian Matters, which combines her love of conversation, advice and eating food products past their expiration date. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a…
151: Noah Van Sciver, Derf and Tommi Musturi
Feb 9, 2016 • 71 min
We kick things off Noah Van Sciver, one of comics’ most exciting — and prolific — young talents. Last year alone, the Denver cartoonist released three books, all of which made their way to various best-of lists: St. Cole, Fante Bukowski and My Hot Date.…
150: Bill Griffith
Feb 1, 2016 • 66 min
It’s been several years since I last spoke to Bill Griffith. I’m fairly certain I spent much of that last interview attempt to talk the cartoonist into drawing a full length book — and while I certainly can’t take any of the credit, I’m happy to say that…
149: Josie Long
Jan 26, 2016 • 51 min
“It’s woven very densely into the fabric of my life,” explains Josie Long. “It happens when you do your accounting every year. You look at your receipts, and everything there you’ve written about.” The comedian began her standup career at the tender age…
148: Eric Bogosian
Jan 19, 2016 • 66 min
Eric Bogosian is not an easy interview — but he’s a good one. I came ready to discuss his recently published book on the Armenian genocide, Operation Nemesis — but the writer quickly made it known that he’s not keen to reflect upon something that’s…
147: Walter Martin (of The Walkmen)
Jan 12, 2016 • 49 min
Walter Martin and I keep getting kicked out of coffee shops. It’s a strange thing. Over the course of the 50 minute interview, we close out two places in Manhattan. But as romantic as getting kicked out of two New York City establishments in under an hour…
146: Carla Speed Mcneil and Denis Kitchen
Jan 3, 2016 • 60 min
Our final round of interviews from Baltimore Comic Con includes two artists who have had a profound impact on the American underground/independent comics community. Carla Speed McNeil has produced the sprawling, epic aboriginal science-fiction series…
145: Judd Winick
Dec 29, 2015 • 48 min
In A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers describes the auditioning process for The Real World: San Francisco. The spot the McSweeney’s founder tried out for was won by another artist, a cartoonist who served a, perhaps, the moral compass…
144: Chip Kidd
Dec 21, 2015 • 32 min
Of course Chip Kidd put out a book with Art Spiegelman. In an age when the transition to digital seems all but inevitable, both artists have a vested interest in the book as object, crafting tangible experiences that cannot be recreated on a tablet or…
143: Colin Hay
Dec 15, 2015 • 40 min
“All you really want to do is get yourself excited, get your wife excited, get your friends excited,” Colin Hay explains with a smile. “Beyond that, who knows? You want to say to someone who’s upstairs, ‘hey, come and listen to this. This is cool.’ ” The…
142: Jules Feiffer
Dec 9, 2015 • 53 min
The artist has been something of a hero before I’d even heard his name, through his illustration work in the aforementioned classic children’s book and as the screenwriter of Robert Altman’s perfectly chaotic 1980 cinematic adaptation of Popeye. Since…
141: Scott Fagan
Dec 1, 2015 • 83 min
By all rights, the story of South Atlantic Blues should have ended in 1968. Released the same week as Van Morrison’s masterpiece of pastoral angst, Astral Weeks, the record failed to garner any notice, in spite of promises that its young singer-songwriter…
140: Jim Starlin and Brian Stelfreeze
Nov 28, 2015 • 49 min
Two conversations with extremely talented — and patient — artists conducted at Baltimore Comic Con. Both were also prefaced by waiting quietly for their signing lines to slow down before taking time out of their signing schedules for a chat. In the case…
139: Luc Sante
Nov 25, 2015 • 59 min
I’ve been wanting to have Luc Sante on the show for some time now, and a recently appearance at the Brooklyn Book Fair finally afforded the opportunity to sit down with the author. Immediately after a panel with Vivian Gornick and David Ulin on the topic…
138: Sara Varon
Nov 21, 2015 • 41 min
It had been a while since I’d last spoken with Sara Varon. At the time, the artist had a handle of comics and kids books under her belt, including most notably — and recently — Robot Dreams, a delightful wordless buddy comic about a relationship between a…
137: Stan Sakai
Nov 17, 2015 • 36 min
Like many of roughly my age bracket, my first exposure to Usagi Yojimbo was as an action figure — a badass samurai rabbit that fit in perfectly in world where Ninja Turtles roam the streets of New York at night. It’s one of those perfect sorts of synergy,…
136: Jennifer Hayden
Nov 12, 2015 • 45 min
“The head space for a lot of people post-any kind of cancer is ‘I gotta get going,’” Jennifer Hayden explains with the positive energy of an all-star slugger holding a World Series trophy aloft. Whatever it is, I’m gonna jump on it. Everything is doable,…
135: Dylan Horrocks
Nov 10, 2015 • 57 min
This one gets pretty raw. No surprise, really, given the nature of Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen, a semi-autobiographicalish comic that deals with the nature of and relationship between creativity and depression, kicking things off with a chapter titled…
134: (Bonus) Joe Biel
Nov 5, 2015 • 64 min
“It’s a good story,” Joe Biel wrote in an email from a few weeks back. “It’s our 20th anniversary book and my big reveal is that I have Asperger’s.” When Good Trouble comes out from Microcosm in March, it’s bound to cause a stir in the company in which…
133: Kinky Friedman
Nov 3, 2015 • 33 min
He calls it “the curse of being multi-talented” and insists that it is, in fact, a curse. Musician, author, politician, comedian, and all around gadfly, Kinky Friedman is one of the those rare multi-faceted artists who is arguably equally well-known for…
132: Olivier Schrauwen
Oct 28, 2015 • 57 min
When I asked for interview suggestions for my five day work trip to Berlin, Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon suggested Olivier Schrauwen, heaping praise upon the Belgian expat and categorizing him among the top living cartoonists.And indeed, the trip halfway…
131: Raina Telgemeier
Oct 20, 2015 • 53 min
It had been eight or so years since I last interviewed Raina Telgemeier. After a few years spent adapting the beloved young adult series The Babysitter’s Club into a handful of graphic novels for Scholastic, the cartoonist was getting ready to branch out…
130: Jaime Hernandez
Oct 13, 2015 • 38 min
“It comes down to a lot of educated guessing and trying to handle it like a grown up,” explains Jaime Hernandez. We’re seated on a curb outside the San Diego Convention Center and the subject of the Love and Rockets cartoonist’s propensity for strong…
129: Ed Piskor and Marc Bell
Oct 7, 2015 • 82 min
I first encountered Ed Piskor’s work through the cartoonist’s collaborations with the legendary Harvey Pekar. The duo released the book Macedonia in 2007, highlighting The American Splendor author’s work to push non-fiction storytelling forward in the…
128: Congressman John Lewis, with Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin
Sep 29, 2015 • 76 min
It was one of the most surreal things I’ve experienced, legendary civil rights leader turned congressman John Lewis leading a procession of small children through the packed halls of the San Diego Convention Center during rush hour at Comic Con.Turns out…
127: Anders Nilsen
Sep 22, 2015 • 40 min
In one sense, perhaps Comic Con is the ideal setting for this conversation. It’s a conversation about authenticity, about the unintended artifice of a sketchbook created for public consumption. By all other measures, however, it’s completely bizarre. The…
126: (Bonus) Alex Winter Talks Frank Zappa
Sep 19, 2015 • 24 min
The moment I heard Alex Winter was working on a Zappa documentary, I wanted to get him on the phone again. For starters, their was our first conversation, which ranks among my top RiYL episode — and then there’s the fact that I’m constantly on the look…
125: Dean Haspiel
Sep 16, 2015 • 65 min
We delve into insecurities almost immediately. It’s a surprising way to kick off a conversation with an artist infamous for going topless at regular intervals in public gatherings. Surprising, but appropriate, given the nature of Haspiel’s new collection,…
124: Kate Beaton, Jeffrey Brown and Jeff Lemire
Aug 26, 2015 • 69 min
As we prep ourselves for the onslaught of belated Comic Con interviews, here’s a trio of quick conversations with comics creators, Kate Beaton, Jeffrey Brown and Jeff Lemire. Our conversation with Beaton occurred at the Scholastic offices in the weeks…
123: (Bonus) Roderick on Politics
Aug 21, 2015 • 50 min
With his Seattle City Council campaign behind him, I suggested to John Roderick that we sit down for a short conversation to reflect on the run. But as fans of the Long Winters singer’s popular podcast Roderick on the Line are no doubt already aware, when…
122: Bobby Tisdale
Aug 19, 2015 • 86 min
This conversation with Bobby Tisdale begins with a story in which he picks a scab until he starts bleeding on a woman on the subway, segues into a conversation about the time a kitten bit into his scrotum and then proceeds to snowball from there. I had…
121: John Leguizamo
Aug 12, 2015 • 39 min
Some days nothing goes right with an interview. Other days the stars align and you score someone like John Leguizamo on a bit of a whim, because he happens to be promoting a new graphic novel at Book Expo America. This, as you’ve already gathered, is one…
120: (Bonus) Mike Mignola
Aug 9, 2015 • 30 min
The contents of this interview originally appeared as a Q&A for my day job at TechTimes. I enjoyed speaking with Mike Mignola so much I thought it would be fun to run the piece in its entirety as a bonus episode on this here podcast — and besides, as is…
119: Darren Murph
Aug 5, 2015 • 72 min
Nothing says reunion of old friends quite like a few cups of tea and a couple of microphones. It had been a year or two since I’d last seen my former Engadget colleague and current world record holding blogger Darren Murph, so I suggested a sit down at my…
118: Leah Hayes
Jul 29, 2015 • 55 min
The indie comics booths present a perfect sort of eye in the middle of the Comic Con storm. Top Shelf, Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics form a perfect sort of triangle where the costumed self-madness of the show takes a momentary reprieve. This is…
Episode: 117: Jeff Smith
Jul 22, 2015 • 55 min
Jeff Smith made comics safe for kids again. In 1991, the cartoonist began self-publishing, an all-ages adventure story rendering in a style reminiscent of legends Walt Kelly and Carl Barks that felt like a breath of fresh air in a world of sequential art…
116: Sam Seder
Jul 15, 2015 • 94 min
Some context before we get started: I met Sam Seder five or so years back when he cohosted a video show in the Air America break room. By then the progressive talk station was on its last legs. Both Seder and cohost Marc Maron had been through the ringer…
115: Lisa Wilde
Jul 7, 2015 • 63 min
I would have been more than content to discuss Wild Cat Academy, the New York City second chance high where Lisa Wilde has taught for more than a decade and a half. What resulted from our hour-long conversation, however, was one of the more wide-ranging…
114: Kevin Allison
Jul 1, 2015 • 57 min
This isn’t the first time this has happened, the realization that an upcoming guest has recently been on WTF fills me with an immediate sense of dread. Surely Maron has mined this person for all of their conversational juices. Of course, that worry…
113: Jeffrey Lewis
Jun 24, 2015 • 38 min
I’m pretty sure I first heard about Jeffrey Lewis through his music. By the time I arrived in New York City, the singer-songwriter was already a veteran of the same Lower East Side antifolk scene that gave the world the likes of the Moldy Peaches. Turns…
112: Ayun Halliday
Jun 17, 2015 • 63 min
I’m fairly certain the phrase “mommy blog” is tossed around once or twice over the course this interview. I only mention it here as I’m sure it sends up a few red flags, though undeservedly so. For starters, there’s the fact that The East Village Inky…
111: Bruce McCulloch
Jun 9, 2015 • 40 min
For me, it goes Kids in the Hall, Kurt Vonnegut and punk rock, in that order. I shudder to think what sort of person I might have become had Comedy Central not started airing the Canadian sketch show in reruns right after show during my formative years.…
110: Jon Spencer
Jun 3, 2015 • 59 min
Jon Spencer is tired of talking about music. Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s been talking about it professionally ever since Pussy Galore emerged from the garages of Washington DC 30 years back. Or maybe it’s because he’s knee deep in the press junket for…
109: Mark Stewart (The Pop Group)
May 26, 2015 • 55 min
Mark Stewart doesn’t want to talk about music. Least of all his own. A few hours ahead of The Pop Group’s appearance at The Bowery Ballroom in support of their first record in 35 years, he makes that much clear. He’s been talking about for decades. He’s…
108: Shannon Wheeler (Again)
May 19, 2015 • 82 min
The Too Much Coffee Man creator became a member of the extremely rare two-timers club, with a second RiYL appearance. Shannon Wheeler was among the show’s original guests early on when the interviews were primarily recorded remotely. When he mentioned…
107: Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal)
May 13, 2015 • 54 min
Kevin Barnes has a cold. He looks tired, taking swigs of coconut milk from one of those oddly-shaped cartons, but his face is sparkling in the mid-day sun. It’s the first truly nice day in New York City in several months, and we’re jammed into a corner on…
106: Joe Biel (Microcosm Publishing)
May 6, 2015 • 88 min
Several years ago, I began to notice a pattern emerging. Practically every book of interest I’d pick up at independent bookstores and zine fest had the same logo on the back: a small bicycle gear with a heart at the center. Microcosm had seemingly come…
105: Jean Grae
Apr 29, 2015 • 78 min
The last time I saw Jean Grae in person, she was giving out free hugs in Union Square. The event was a unique attempting to cope with and have a discussion around the events unfolding in Ferguson. Grae and a group of fellow #TheHugStation attendants were…
104: Brooks Wheelan
Apr 22, 2015 • 59 min
I knew Brooks Wheelan was moving. His PR reps had already alerted me to the fact that the comedian only had a few days remaining before moving on to greener entertainment pastures. And, of course, he hadn’t exactly been quiet regarding his intentions to…
103: Vivek Tiwary
Apr 16, 2015 • 58 min
I shouldn’t have been surprised when, in the email lead up to our interview, Vivek Tiwary told me he was pals with former RiYL guest, Mike Watt. When, after the interview concluded, he asked me who I was speaking to next, it also shouldn’t have caught me…
102: Guy Branum
Apr 14, 2015 • 96 min
While the old adage about truth making for great art certainly applies to standup, the equation can be something of a mixed bag. After all, comedy is often as much about deflection as it honesty, a slight of hand designed to distract from larger, painful…
101: Jesse Malin
Apr 8, 2015 • 50 min
I never knew New York before the war. The towers were gone by the first time set foot in the city. But nearly a dozen years after making the place my home, I have a fundamental distrust for anyone resident who claims not to have a conflicted relationship…
100: They Might Be Giants
Mar 28, 2015 • 57 min
Flood is my Beatles on Sullivan, my self-titled Velvet Underground record and Run-DMC on MTV. It was the first time I remember being keenly aware that an ever-expanding musical universe existed beyond the confines of the rock and Motown the radio played…
099: Dick Gregory, The Black Lips, Annie Koyama and Farel Dalrymple (Bonus)
Mar 28, 2015 • 72 min
This one’s going to be a bit different, as you’ve no doubt gathered from the title. It’s a bit of an, as the Who so eloquently put it, odds and sods — interviews that never got their own standalone episodes for a number of reasons, which will be detailed…
098: Sara Benincasa
Mar 23, 2015 • 79 min
One of the real dangers of recording interviews is that plenty can change over the course of a few weeks. One interviewee lost her job of 17 years the week before that conversation was posted. Another didn’t get their show renewed. The news isn’t always…
097: Alex Winter
Mar 17, 2015 • 65 min
If I’m being totally honest, it takes me a few minutes to shake the fact that I’m sitting across the table from Bill S. Preston as I unspool mic wires in the kitchen of some stranger’s Tribeca apartment. But if there’s stigma attached to having starred in…
096: Guster
Mar 10, 2015 • 61 min
“All the bull**** of the music industry dying,” Brian Rosenworcel explains, his passion drowning out the din of the packed Manhattan bar, “all the babies, all the egos, nothing really matters except the fact that we’re honing in on a classic pop album.”…
095: Jeffrey Cranor (of Welcome to Night Vale)
Mar 4, 2015 • 75 min
Art Bell will forever hold a special place in my heart. Coast to Coast was a mainstay as I drove late at night to fill in 3AM slots at my college radio station. The show opened up the true potential of late night radio for my sleep addled brain, strange…
094: Vijay Iyer
Feb 25, 2015 • 58 min
I’d have been content to spend the whole time talking about Thelonious Monk. There’s a picture of the composer wedged in one corner of the home office located in the lower of Vijay Iyer’s Harlem brownstone. But while he invariably comes up over the course…
093: Roz Chast
Feb 18, 2015 • 45 min
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant isn’t as easy book. As the title implies, in deals in topics few are equipped to candidly discuss: family, aging, mortality. But long time New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast valiantly marches headfirst into a…
092: Scott McCloud
Feb 11, 2015 • 62 min
The phrase “those who can’t, teach” runs through my head pretty consistently when I sit down in front of a blank page in an attempt to flex some creative muscles. It’s the curse of the critic, the curator, the teacher — anyone on the outside looking in…
Episode: 091: Legs McNeil
Feb 4, 2015 • 47 min
I feel a bit bad entering the hotel room. There was a bit of a miscommunication on timing, and Legs McNeil is clearly quite comfortable lying in bed watching Law and Order. It’s an episode he’s already seen multiple times, a fact he lets be known by…
090: Jordan Morris
Jan 26, 2015 • 64 min
The list of people I’ve cohosted ska shows with is a short one indeed. It’s like going into battle with someone, really — a battle that trades the gunfire and mortar of trench warfare for song request from teenage Reel Big Fish fans, but a battle…
089: The Birthday Boys
Jan 22, 2015 • 52 min
Practically every episode of RiYL has had the same format — two people having a long form discussion into two microphones. Given my portable setup, things get a bit more complicated when a third is added in, as is sometimes the case when interviewing band…
088: Jim Woodring
Jan 13, 2015 • 61 min
I’m not sure where to start with one, but the gallery seems as good a place as any. It was, after all, the reason Jim Woodring was in New York for a particularly cold few days last week. Fine art has been the cartoonist’s focus off and on for the better…
087: Mary Timony
Jan 6, 2015 • 50 min
“I feel like this band is what I’ve been search for during my entire musical career.” Some pretty strong words from someone who’s been in bands like Helium and Wild Flag — and, of course, there’s the matter of all of those solo records. But when Ex Hex…
086: Cory Doctorow
Dec 30, 2014 • 45 min
There are worse places to conduct an interview with Cory Doctorow than the press center above the New York Comic Con show floor. Granted, it’s still fairly low and a bit hectic that high up, but there’s want for conversational inspiration. In fact, if…
085: Francoise Mouly
Dec 22, 2014 • 77 min
The Greenwich Village loft space occupied by Toon Books is one part office space, part living comics museum. There’s a row of iMacs where most of the business is done, from filling orders to taking product shots, while just above on a second level…
084: Tom Scharpling
Dec 16, 2014 • 64 min
It must be around 11PM by the time Tom Scharpling arrives at my apartment, and he’s predictably exhausted. We’d scheduled something for earlier in the evening, but he found himself sitting though four hours of traffic making his way into Queens, making…
083: Craig Finn and Tad Kubler ( of The Hold Steady)
Dec 10, 2014 • 55 min
The Hold Steady are just one of those bands — it takes all my will-power not spend the entire interview drilling down on the specifics of all of those story songs that populate the group’s backcatalog. After a decade of listening to everything they’ve…
082: Matt Sharp (Mini)
Dec 3, 2014 • 30 min
I’ve had questions for Matt Sharp since 1994. Hell, I had the guy’s visage on my wall back in the mid-90s, in the form of a blown of poster of the Blue Album, the first pop record of the era that really tapped into sensibilities of an indoor kid growing…
081: Mike Watt
Nov 26, 2014 • 51 min
There’s a whole of confusion when I arrive at the Mercury Lounge. By the time I emerge from the front of the club, on being informed that I was supposed to meet Mike Watt at “the boat,” the I spot the musician limping his was toward me on Houston Street.…
080: Tim DeLaughter
Nov 19, 2014 • 47 min
In 2013, The Polyphonic Spree released, quite possibly the best album, a decade into their existence — quite the feat for a band many had written off as little more than novelty the first time its 20-odd members took to the stage in matching robes. But,…
079: Glenn Tilbrook
Nov 11, 2014 • 51 min
I first met Glenn Tilbrook two years back in a hotel bar roughly 40 minutes or so outside of downtown Austin, Texas. I was nursing a whiskey after a long day’s work and overheard the older gentleman describing a corporate music gig in a soft spoken…
078: Greg Cartwright
Nov 5, 2014 • 44 min
There are few people around I’d rather sit down and discuss music with for 45 minutes than Greg Cartwright. Beyond the laundry list of excellent bands he’s fronted, from The Oblivians to The Reigning Sound (and the dozens in-between), the Tennessee…
077: Jillian Tamaki
Oct 29, 2014 • 43 min
In amongst the throngs of costumed chaos that the Jacob K Javits Center on the Saturday of New York Comic Con weekend, we find a reasonably quiet corner to sit down and discuss life and art with Jillian Tamaki — “reasonably,” of course, being a nice way…
076: Kevin Seconds
Oct 22, 2014 • 56 min
Kevin Seconds is seated next to me on a small bench just in front of the Knitting Factory. As I prep the record and unravel the mic cords, fan after fan approach the singer. Some want autographs, some want to take a photo, some just want to say hello, but…
075: John Porcellino
Oct 15, 2014 • 74 min
I’d spoken with John Porcellino not all that long ago for Publishers Weekly feature discussing The Hospital Suite, the indie cartoonist longest self-contained work to date. Published by Drawn & Quarterly, the book is deeply personal, exploring long…
074: Jason Nash
Oct 8, 2014 • 43 min
The best interview subjects and the best comedians share a common thread: brutal honesty. There’s a sense that nothing is off-limits in pursuit of the perfect joke or honest answer. Jason Nash, to his credit, is nothing if not honest — often times…
073: Art Spiegelman
Sep 29, 2014 • 57 min
Two years ago, while on a take a half day off following a photography convention, I ran into Art Spiegelman on the streets of Cologne, Germany. Actually, I spotted his wife first, and it took me a moment to place the familiar face so completely out of…
072: John Darnielle
Sep 24, 2014 • 47 min
“Once a bugle stood in the window of a store that sold brass goods.” That’s the first line of The Magical Bugle, a short story written by a young John Darnielle after acquiring an old Royal typewriter for his seventh birthday. It was a line so good his…
071: Mike Doughty
Sep 17, 2014 • 73 min
In retrospect, there’s probably not a heck of a lot that we talk about here that Mike Doughty didn’t touch upon in Book of Drugs. His 2012 memoir is candid and rock — everything a rock and roll autobiography should be. As evidenced by the name, the book…
070: Whitney Matheson
Sep 10, 2014 • 62 min
“It’s funny how life can change on a dime.” That’s how Whitney Matheson put it, asking whether I was still planning on running this interview. That’s the downside, I suppose, of stockpiling these interviews, though in my defense, these conversations tend…
069: Wreckless Eric
Sep 3, 2014 • 40 min
1993’s The Donovan of Trash, just might be Eric Goulden as his most unhinged — which is, naturally, saying a lot for a guy who’s borne the “Wreckless” qualifier since the late 70s. It’s rough and fuzzy — a cardboard box was involved percussion at one…
068: Sean Nelson
Aug 27, 2014 • 76 min
Harvey Danger was one of the last of the Buzz Bin bands, in those waning when major labels were still forces to be reckoned with and MTV rotation was all it took to cement a song’s status as a generation-defining hit. Fresh out of college, the band scored…
067: Dave Wakeling
Aug 20, 2014 • 46 min
There’s always been some degree of confusion over what, precisely, constitutes The Beat. Here in the States, the group has long added the word “English” to its name, so as to avoid confusion with the contemporary Paul Collins’ power pop project. In recent…
066 (Mini): Peter Diamandis
Aug 15, 2014 • 18 min
A short one this week because, well, Peter Diamandis is a busy guy. Recorded at a financial tech conference in Manhattan, we managed to get 15 minutes alone with the X Prize and Singularity University to discuss what he refers to as “the most…
065: Julie Klausner
Aug 6, 2014 • 62 min
It’s a hot one out there today. Come, have a seat on the couch in Julie Klausner’s fancy Manhattan apartment, while we discuss podcasting and writing for television series — and I spend way too much time explaining how I’ve just never been into musical…
064: Dan Kennedy
Jul 30, 2014 • 77 min
Over its 17 year existence, The Moth has shaped the age-old art of storytelling into something uniquely its own, a style as instantly recognizable as any music style or movie genre. And like a great song or movie, there’s something in a perfectly executed…
063: Peter Kuper
Jul 22, 2014 • 44 min
Every time I speak to Peter Kuper, the conversation invariably turns to New York — or, as is often the case, begins there. It’s my own fault. I’ve got this insatiable need to ask fellow residents, artists in particular, what keeps them in the city’s…
062: Lizz Winstead
Jul 16, 2014 • 67 min
“It’s not usually this crazy,” Lizz Winstead apologizes, greeting me at the door of her Brooklyn apartment alongside two overstimulated dogs. Inside, a small staff helping prepare Lady Parts Justice for its upcoming launch. The site is the latest in a…
061: Richard Hell
Jul 9, 2014 • 43 min
When we sat down in the East Village tenement apartment Hell has occupied since 1975, the conversation turned turned to writing. His aforementioned memoir pretty well covers the years beginning with his birth up through the end of his music career, and as…
060: James Kochalka
Jul 2, 2014 • 54 min
It’s catch up time with cartoonist/musician/general purpose raconteur James Kochalka. It’s been a few years since the both of us we’re in the same room at the same time — even one the size of New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory — so there’s plenty to…
059: Scott Aukerman (Again)
Jun 25, 2014 • 43 min
Where does one go after the fake Zach Galifianakis talk show they produce books the leader of the free world? If you’re Scott Aukerman, you sit down on a gold-painted couch in the lobby of a swanky New York hotel to discuss such things with a Boing Boing…
058: Erik Friedlander
Jun 18, 2014 • 52 min
I’ve encountered plenty of musicians who’ve made me come around on certain songs and even musical genres, but off the top of my head, I can only think of one who’s caused me to rethink an instrument I’d largely written off. It’s not that I’ve ever been…
057: Ray Wylie Hubbard
Jun 11, 2014 • 39 min
After our interview, Ray Wylie Hubbard and I grab some coffee across the street. He asks me what new bands I’m listening to, and I rattle off a couple — for whatever reason, it’s always a tough question to answer on the spot. Hubbard’s already got his…
056: Paul Hornschemeier
Jun 4, 2014 • 55 min
I tried to interview Paul Hornschemeier back in February, on getting a bit of last minute news from his on-again, off-again publisher Fantagraphics that he would be in the city for an event at the Strand bookstore. We missed one another, like podcasting…
055: Ultragrrrl
May 28, 2014 • 55 min
There’s something slightly surreal in reading a book, knowing the final chapters will dovetail with your own life, if only slightly. By the end of Marc Spitz’s new memoir Poseur, the rock writer found his way into the masthead at SPIN Magazine, and for a…
054: Keith Morris
May 21, 2014 • 64 min
“I’m sorry if I can’t look you in the eyes during the interview,” Keith Morris apologizes, taking the microphone from me. I’m slightly baffled by the statement until he lays down on the couch, feet facing me, mic resting on his chest. It takes a few…
053: Marc Maron (Again)
May 14, 2014 • 34 min
With this episode, Marc Maron becomes RiYL’s first-ever repeat guest (forgetting for a moment, the last-minute double-header from Dave Hill), and it’s appropriate, really. Last time felt rushed. Granted, there’s no shortage of places to catch the comedian…
052: Ben and Ellen Harper
May 7, 2014 • 35 min
Ben and Ellen Harper are in New York for a few days ahead of a trip to Europe. It’s a tour the former had scheduled for some time now, 17 “acoustic evenings” beginning in England, through Belgium, the Netherlands, then onto Germany, Switzerland, Italy and…
051: Chris Hayes
Apr 29, 2014 • 28 min
Get dropped in the middle of a long form conversation with musicians, cartoonists, writers and other creative types.
050: Rhett Miller
Apr 22, 2014 • 39 min
“She Loves the Sunset” from 2008’s Blame it on Gravity is a peppy little number about love and loss. It’s a good song from a good record, but hardly a standout in the Old 97’s catalog. What makes the track so fascinating is its origin story, and while I’m…
049: Bob Fingerman
Apr 16, 2014 • 53 min
In April of last year, Image Comics published Maximum Minimum Wage, a hardcover compilation of Bob Fingereman’s long-running Fantagraphics series. To this day, Minimum Wage and the subsequent collection Beg The Question remain the cartoonist’s best known…
048: Avi Reichental
Apr 8, 2014 • 34 min
When 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental swung by the city to address the Inside 3D Printing conference in Manhattan, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to discuss the technology. The company has been at the forefront of the space since 1986, when…
047: Box Brown
Apr 1, 2014 • 59 min
I can’t think of a single cartoonist whose work I’ve watched progress from such an early stage. And it was no doubt that exact drive to put his stuff out in the world that helped Box Brown improve by leaps and bounds, culminating with the forthcoming…
046: Ben Lindbergh
Mar 26, 2014 • 46 min
My knowledge of sabermetrics is elementary, at best. I know that it’s utterly transformed baseball analysis and helped get a lot of plush clubhouse jobs for an army of number crunching math geeks. I know that it involves a close examination of…
045: Molly Crabapple
Mar 18, 2014 • 26 min
Molly jokingly noted recent online accusations that this so-called “Crabapple” person was actually a collective of people posing as a single person, and it’s easy to see why. She’s been plenty busy as of late, between art exhibitions, murals,…
044: Shlomo Lipetz
Mar 12, 2014 • 35 min
I met Shlomo last week at New York’s City Winery, just before settling into another RiYL interview. The 6’4 mustachioed Israeli was making sure everything was all right with the the Old 97s’ Rhett Miller, ahead of his show that night. Fascinated by…
043: Doug Gillard
Mar 5, 2014 • 52 min
From Guided By Voices to Nada Surf, if you can think of a seminal indie rock band from the past 20 years, there’s a pretty decent chance Doug Gillard’s put in time among their ranks at some point or other. The journeyman guitar player also has a…
043: Doug Gillard
Mar 5, 2014 • 52 min
From Guided By Voices to Nada Surf, if you can think of a seminal indie rock band from the past 20 years, there’s a pretty decent chance Doug Gillard’s put in time among their ranks at some point or other. The journeyman guitar player also has a…
042: Amber Papini and Nathan Michel
Feb 27, 2014 • 45 min
Come spend 45 minutes in the Red Hook living room shared by Hospitality’s singer and percussionist a day after the launch of their sophomore record. The expectations are elevated this time out, after the healthy amount of buzz generated by the band’s…
041: Colin Spoelman
Feb 18, 2014 • 45 min
Colin Spoelman quite literally wrote the book on home whiskey distillation. Is a subject he knows a thing or two about, having transformed the output of a single internet-purchased pot still into a major microdistillery — New York City’s longest running,…
040: Rodney Anonymous
Feb 12, 2014 • 68 min
Over the past 30 years, Rodney Anonymous has become a sort of Philadelphia landmark like Ben Franklin’s house or that big cracked bell. If you get a chance to visit him during your time in the city, it’s the sort of thing you won’t soon forget. I met the…
039: Jason Louv
Feb 5, 2014 • 46 min
When the next generation finds itself knee-deep in an occult revival, who better to call that Jason Louv. My two-time former roommate swung by New York City a while back to teach the kids in Bushwick a thing or two about magic. Louv has written a number…
038: Karen Green
Jan 29, 2014 • 47 min
Strange to think, more than twenty years after Maus became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer, the concept of comics as academic pursuit still seems a foreign one. Standing in front of Columbia’s impressive collection of bound sequential art,…
037: Joe Garden
Jan 23, 2014 • 53 min
Join The Onion’s former Features Editor and current Adult Swim employee for a frank discussion about buying Firehose records on eBay after a dream told him to do so.
036: Mike Park and Dan Potthast
Jan 15, 2014 • 31 min
Every show can’t be a skafest — unless, of course, you’re Dan Potthast. We swung by the MU330 frontman’s Santa Cruz apartment, and happened to catch Skankin Pickle / Chinkees singer Mike “Bruce Lee” Park. That means you get two third-wave ska legends for…
035: David Cope
Jan 10, 2014 • 67 min
David Cope is a professor emeritus at the University of California and a pioneer in the world of computer created music, having worked to perfect classical compositions on machines since the days of punch cards. He’s also exactly the sort of person you’d…
034: Mark Frauenfelder
Jan 1, 2014 • 40 min
The Boing Boing / Make Magazine / Cool Tools editor and I found the quietest corner we could at the recent Engadget Expand event in New York to discuss the importance of curation in the digital age, the lost art of print media, podcasting and the magic of…
033: Marie Javins
Dec 18, 2013 • 56 min
Marie Javins is a comics writer, world traveler, art school professor and friend to Daniel Johnston. She ventured into the city to discuss all of the above and more.
032: Robert Newsome
Dec 11, 2013 • 45 min
Recorded at Java Joe’s in Athens, GA, the editor of the Atomic Elbow zine gives us a long overdue lesson about the world of professional wrestling.
031: Dave Hill (Pt. 2)
Dec 6, 2013 • 34 min
Still aching for some hot Dave Hill action after that last hour-long interview? Good news: we squeeze another half hour out of the comedian on hearing the news that he would be taking over the Tuesday night slot on WFMU from Tom Scharpling’s beloved Best…
030: Dave Hill (Pt. 1)
Dec 4, 2013 • 62 min
Come, sit down and enjoy some light jazz trumpet at a Greenwich Village coffee shop with Dave Hill. The Tasteful Nudes author joins us for what turns out to be the first of a two-part interview. We’ll be following up with the comedian soon to discuss his…
029: Will Cullen Hart
Nov 28, 2013 • 43 min
We pulled up a lawn chair in the Will Cullen Hart’s cat-infested backyard in Athens, GA to discuss the Circulatory System / Olivia Tremor Control frontman’s two upcoming records, the recent loss of his lifelong friend and songwriting partner Bill Doss and…
028: Travis Morrison
Nov 19, 2013 • 52 min
The lead singer of the Dismemberment Plan makes some pretty solid arguments in favor of getting Bob Mould to appear on The Simpsons. And with that you know pretty much everything you need to know about this conversation.
027: Peter Bagge
Nov 13, 2013 • 53 min
Spend an hour or so at Seattle’s Whisky Bar, discussing the life of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger with Hate cartoonist Peter Bagge. Seems as good a use of your time as any.
026: Paul Pope
Nov 6, 2013 • 49 min
We sit down with the Battling Boy cartoonist at one of his favorite New York City haunts to discuss just about everything. There’s mythology, filmmaking, giant robots and superhero archetypes.
025: Julie Samuels
Oct 29, 2013 • 51 min
We happened to swing by the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s office the same day the digital rights organization filed a challenge to Personal Audio’s podcast patent suits. Thankfully, the EFF’s Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents Julie Samuels…
024: Tim Stevens
Oct 22, 2013 • 50 min
Engadget’s former editor-in-chief (and my former boss) sits down at a noisy Manhattan diner to discuss the state of tech journalism and his nascent novel writing career.
023: Al Burian
Oct 15, 2013 • 57 min
We meet the Burn Collector author at a cafe in Berlin to discuss teaching comics, the legacy of World War II, surviving as a writer and cold war era punk rock.
022: Leslie Stein
Oct 9, 2013 • 47 min
The Eye of the Majestic Creature artist / Prince Rupert’s Drops bandmember joins us in Union Square to discuss mixology, performance jitters and nostalgia for New York City record stores.
021 (mini): Reggie Watts
Oct 2, 2013 • 15 min
In this mini-episode, Comedy Bang Bang co-host Reggie Watts discusses not practicing, live experimentation and the most serious song he’s ever written.
020: Seth Lind
Sep 27, 2013 • 51 min
This American Life’s director of operations takes us behind the scene at the radio show to talk NPR, podcasting and working down to the wire.
019: Kim Deitch
Sep 18, 2013 • 60 min
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams cartoonist joins us to talk collections, aging and getting a late start.
018: Lisa Hanawalt
Sep 11, 2013 • 37 min
Lisa Hanawalt’s comics are about horses and cats and genitals and things. Some of her less racy work has appeared in The New York Times. Here we talk about pitching TV shows, making minis and the depressing dangers of working from home.
017: Martha Grover
Aug 28, 2013 • 51 min
The One More for the People author discusses fundamentalism, fears of the apocalypse, zine making and life with an incurable disease.
016: Dave Allen
Aug 20, 2013 • 43 min
As one might expect from the original Gang of Four bass player turned interactive brand strategist, Dave Allen’s got something fascinating to say about just about everything, from cars to music royalties to the fireplace on Led Zeppelin’s jet.
015: Nicole Georges
Aug 13, 2013 • 35 min
The Calling Dr. Laura author discusses tiny dogs, family crises and self-publishing.
014: DJ Spooky
Aug 6, 2013 • 30 min
Paul “DJ Spooky” Miller took time out of his insanely busy travel schedule to meet us at Union Square. Naturally, we talked traveling, staying busy and city living.
013: Scott Aukerman
Jul 30, 2013 • 46 min
When a famous comedian tells you that he worked on “Shark Tale,” that fact pretty much become your sole focus. This is that story.
012: Ellen Forney
Jul 24, 2013 • 35 min
Marbles is that sort of book that makes you want to immediately spark up a conversation with its creator. Thankfully, that’s what podcasts are for.
011: Douglas Rushkoff
Jul 17, 2013 • 48 min
The Present Shock author joins us to discuss the death of the narrative, the importance of books and how we’re misusing technology.
010: Julia Wertz
Jul 10, 2013 • 36 min
The former Fart Party cartoonist talks about being a former cartoonist and spending her days breaking into abandoned hospitals.
009: Marc Maron
Jul 2, 2013 • 22 min
New York vs. LA, the future of podcast and how Iggy Pop will always take is shirt off, whether you ask him to or not. It’s a shorty but a goody, with WTF’s Marc Maron.
008: John Vanderslice
Jun 25, 2013 • 27 min
Nothing like digitally recording an interview in an analog mecca like Tiny Telephone — but as John Vanderslice says, it’s all about the right tool for the right job. We talk the importance of day jobs, Third Eye Blind, professional assholes and the…
007: Larry Livermore
Jun 18, 2013 • 47 min
We’re still waiting for our copy of Larry Livermore’s new book to ship. In the meantime, however, we’ve managed to coax some Spy Rock memories out of the Lookout Records cofounder. from growing up to the music of the MC5 and mountaintop encounters with…
006: Shannon Wheeler
Jun 12, 2013 • 75 min
The Too Much Coffee Man creator talks the bible, Berkeley High and drinking at airports.
005: Jesse Thorn
Jun 4, 2013 • 43 min
America’s radio sweetheart joins us from his studio in downtown Los Angeles to discuss the dirty business of podcasting.
004: John Roderick
May 14, 2013 • 50 min
John Roderick’s less inclined to play the role of the cross country troubadour in the heady days, but the indie rock elder statesman has slipped quite comfortably into the role of podcast philosopher. Come sit with us, on his leather couch.
003: Erick Lyle
Apr 29, 2013 • 48 min
The one-time Iggy Scam discusses life in New York, self-publishing, the art scene and the death of his alter ego.
002: Mary Roach
Apr 2, 2013 • 49 min
Mary Roach writes wonderful books about pooping in space and vaginal bunnies. She is, unsurprisingly, an equally delightful podcasting guest.
001: Peter Stampfel
Apr 2, 2013 • 48 min
The great Holy Model Rounder figures out Skype to join us on our maiden episode.