Musician/engineer/bartender Allen Epley talks with artists of all walks and at all levels of success about their own unique journeys and jobs they've worked in order to follow their passions. Many successful musicians, actors, filmmakers, composers, and comedians still have side gigs that afford them the ability to create their art for us. Some get to work in their chosen field and some work jobs that are convenient and make that buck. It is this unique hustle that's at the heart of this podcast. How exactly does the sausage get made when there are bills to be paid? And what drives these maniacs to make our desperate lives better with their art when the pay-off often fulfills their hearts but not their bank accounts?
Episode 110 - Tierney Tough Returns!
1:12:15Return-guest and songwriter Tierney Tough survived and in fact thrived during the Covid era by hunkering down and creating, starting with a series of covers with her angular pop band The Pauses on the Quarantunes EP, which led straight into the creation of her own solo EP, A Farce To Be Reckoned With. It's a personal high-water mark for this bassist and pianist as she reckons with her life in Florida, first as a native of Orlando and now Gainesville and it's impact on her life and times. We stare down thorny topics like Taco Bell, the risk vs reward of playing live shows now, especially in FL, and why J Robbins of Jawbox is the absolute perfect producer.
Episode 109 - Xavier Alexander
1:35:53To say Xavier Alexander is busy is to miss the point. He's a recovering musician and has reanimated himself as Roaster/Founder/CEO of METRIC COFFEE. He has created a brand of specialty coffees that puts people over profits. METRIC has no board, no investors, and they're blowing the bloody doors off the coffee market in Chicago and beyond. The years creating this brand were filled with endless workdays, side jobs, diligent saving, baby-making, getting jilted, learning from loss, coffee roasting, world traveling, with sustainability, labor fairness, and transparency in reporting as focus. Now his inner-artist is able to grow the brand with his own Source Code Magazine and Podcast and killer collabs with artists like Iron and Wine and Spotlights.
Episode 108 - Chuck Whittington
1:16:51Chuck Whittington of namelessnumberheadman makes music that is at once analog and digital, acoustic and electronic, whimsical and sad, seemingly mundane and matter-of-factly magical. Their new record Plot the Points is a high water mark for a band of old friends from KC via Oklahoma who've made music for the past 20 years that has kept them sane and garnered rave reviews from the indie cognoscenti along the way. It's a wide-ranging chat with a talented multi-instrumentalist, working man and rad dad who's making the best music of his life.
Episode 107 - Buzz Osborne
1:16:53Buzz Osborne has cultivated and nourished the kingdom over which he and his musical partner of almost 40 years, drummer Dale Crover currently reign with particular care taken to keep the masses of MELVINS fans sated. He and his wife Mackie are the architects of not only the traditional MELVINS releases but also the hand screen-printed, letter press and limited edition releases that are manna from heaven for their flock. We talk about their new release Five Legged Dog which features about 30 of their "hits" reimagined as all-acoustic numbers. We also talk about growing up, school, their uncanny sense of vocal harmonies, rotating bassists and his unending dark sense of humor and whimsy that has dictated and rewarded his career.
Episode 106 - Mike Sullivan
1:42:37When Mike Sullivan created Russian Circles with his hockey homie and drummer Dave Turnkrantz, it's evolution from larvae to butterfly was almost immediate; the writing was streamlined instantly and there was an innate and unconscious understanding of what the goal was here: to make themselves happy. They write to scratch the itch that can only be reached through therapy and rocking. We talk life, writing, searching, making, fighting, cooking, car accidents, family and all while they're in Chicago making a new record at Electrical Audio with Kurt Ballou.
Episode 105 - Heidi Phillips
1:04:23Heidi Phillips found the inspirado the reform her influential band Frogpond after almost 20 years ironically at the celebration of life of her drummer Billy Johnson at the Madrid Theater in 2017, and in the ensuing years has secured a lineup that make her new music even more relevant and powerful than she imagined, with a new LP Time Thief (Black Site) recorded by Shiner bassist Paul Malinowski that showcases the heft and dynamic of the band. Time Thief is a testament to the fact that Heidi and Frogpond broke ground for all-female bands and broke the mold for what they should sound like. IG Frogpondkc
Episode 104 - Mike Lust (Double Plus Encore Special)
1:34:33Chicago musician slash wizard Mike Lust has just released his long awaited solo debut Demented Wings (Forge Again) and it's amazing. This episode is an encore redux of our talk on Sept 21st, 2020 plus a recent chat about his new record and even more revelations from his storied past as the brain and namesake of Chicago bands Luster King and Tight Phantomz and as engineer and producer for so many bands at his studio Phantom Manor before it's untimely demise a few years ago. Get reacquainted with this firebrand performer known for high kicks and shredding licks with his new record that reveals so much more of him than ever before. IG @mikelust1
Episode 103 - Max Bernstein
1:30:59Guitarist Max Bernstein and I met in 2007 on tour somewhere in Iowa in a mostly empty room with his band The Actual, and he had no idea he would be working with the biggest names in the biz as their guitarist and sideman soon after. His audition that landed the Kesha gig soon after we met has parlayed this anomaly into a bona fide career with these pop giants. His life growing up was a atypical existence as the son of celebrated writer Nora Ephron and legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, but it gave him the knowledge and confidence that his aspirations weren't just pipe dreams, it was a thing that can really happen. It's his talent that's kept there. IG: @maxephronbernstein Twitter: @max_e_bernstein
Episode 102 - Jeremy Sidener
1:41:55Before bassist Jeremy Sidener became the owner of the Eighth Street Taproom in Lawrence KS where he worked for 29 years, he was the rock-solid bottom end of legendary Lawrence band Zoom that was influential not just for bands like Shiner but was hailed as a bellwether of musical style after their 2nd full length Helium Octopede was released on Tim/Kerr records. These reverential pronouncements from press and other musicians weren't enough to keep the band together, so Jeremy took his talents to guitar in Panel Donor and then more recently in the excellent Major Games while quietly taking a larger stake in the culture of Lawrence by curating music he wants to bring in, battling pandemics, foreclosure and is now mercifully back open creating fuzzy memories for countless Lawrencians.
Episode 101 - Quin Kirchner
1:33:22Quin Kirchner has spent his life growing into where he's arrived currently, which is to say a world-class jazz drummer, composer and now bandleader with The Quin Kirchner Trio, but has been playing with top-flight players and leading groups large and small for the better part of 20 years like Head With Wings, K/V/L and later NOMO, a giant ensemble of largely improvised material which later begat Wild Belle. He's spent his life as side man to great players like Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop and Nick Mazzarella but hadn't come into his own until the QKT released The Other Side of Time in 2018 and now The Shadows and The Light and getting crazy reviews not only in Downbeat but also on indie mags Pitchfork, spreading the love naturally.