PASSPORT: Sean Kelly (A Fragile Tomorrow)

fragile

What was the biggest fun during the making of Make Me Over?

SK: The most fun moments were certainly in the beginning of the recording process, when all we had was a concept and a general idea of where we wanted to go. How we got there and what we did to accomplish the goals we had were virtually unknown, so a lot of it was spontaneous and experimental. We only had a few songs at that point, so once we realized we were on to something it really informed the writing process for me and gave me an idea of what the songs should sound like. It was a really exciting part of the production process.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

SK: I would argue that “One Of Two, Two Of Three” would be the best song to listen to as an overall introduction to what this band is and what the record is all about. It’s got everything we we aim for musically — complex layered harmonies, unconventional song structure, weaving between keys, odd chord changes, dense, retro-futuristic production, subtle nuances, a combination of big and jangly guitars, and dynamic arrangement.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

SK: I think the ever-changing industry has actually benefited us in most ways. It’s allowed us to become more engaged on a personal level and reach a wider audience by being more closely connected. There’s no question that the rise of the Internet and the digital age has allowed just about anyone to release music — which means it can be difficult to really break through — but if you work hard enough to separate yourself and stand out you can really use technology to your advantage and break out. I think we’ve got a ways to go until monetization from streaming and the like is 100 percent figured out on a business level, though.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

SK: Good question! Right now I’m really enjoying Skylar Gudasz, who’s based in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve never met her but we’ve got a whole bunch of mutual friends and acquaintances, which is how I first heard her. She’s heavily involved in the Big Star Third series of shows as well. I think she’s about to make a huge impact and I’m really excited about it. She’s brilliant.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

SK: Oh man, that’s difficult. This literally would probably change every single day, but here’s what I’m feeling in this particular moment:

1) Big Star – Thirteen

2) Roxy Music – She Sells

3) Beach Boys – Surf’s Up

4) R.E.M. – Nightswimming

5) XTC – King For A Day

What’s up for the next couple of months?

SK: We’re touring with Indigo Girls in November, which is always a wonderful experience. After that, we’ll come home and have some projects before the holidays. Then we’ll be back out on the road, likely on our own and supporting some bands as well. We’re planning to return to The Netherlands and Belgium early next year, and will hopefully go back to Israel in the spring. 2016 will be all about this new record and getting it out there.

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PASSPORT: Jed Becker (The Lord Calverts)

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What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

JB: Most fun was listening to the mixes that Carl Glanville (U2’s mixer) created for the tunes.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

JB: Listen to the whole album. Every track represents the band, and every track is really fun! (Listen to samples at reverberation.com/thelordcalverts, and purchase the album on iTunes.)

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

JB: Music industry – yeah, more than ever, if you’re not in it for the love of the music, get out.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

JB: Waiting for the world to hear of the Lord Calverts – or a small slice of the world.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Psycho – The Sonics; Elevator Up – Fountains of Wayne; Get Free – The Vines; So Good to See You – Cheap Trick; Is It Love? – Lord Calverts

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Next couple of months? Dates in NYC, Brooklyn, NJ, Philly, Baltimore and Washington DC.

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PASSPORT: Billy Yost (The Kickback)

 kickbackpassport

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

It took Eamonn (our bassist who designs all of our stuff) and me longer to finish the album art than it did to record and mix the album. He did all of the work and I just would say things like, “Can you make this speak to all generations more, please?”

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Regardless of whether or not we’re talking about one of our songs, just listen to “Someday” by The Strokes and I think you’ll be just fine. But the live one from Conan O’Brien. Trust me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-5Cyba6_gk

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

The music industry brought me both the song and video for KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up,” so who am I to complain about anything really? A whole team of people decided it was a great idea to have Harry Casey accusingly point at the camera for three-and-a-half minutes while occasionally spanking the air like it had been a bad boy. I think the biz has all the bases covered. We’re just happy to be here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psFQMKcsIF8

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

My brother Danny and no one has probably heard of him because he would prefer that you hadn’t heard of him. So you might not hear of him.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

If the implication here is that I have to create a 5-song mixtape in order to make it to date #2 with a woman, I think I would write a rambling nine-minute song about healthy expectations at the beginning of a relationship and not crossing lines which may read as “potentially blackmail-esque” and/or “combative dating strategies” too early on. There would be a long solo break where I would allow the “list demander” to retort in real time and outline her reasons for finding the request totally valid and positively contributing to our future coupling potential. Short of that, I find The Spinners always play pretty damn well. Even “Rubberband Man” which doesn’t seem right.

What’s up for the next couple of months? 

  1. We just got home from the first round of tour dates. So sleeping for 87-days.
  2. Grocery shopping
  3. Bathtub
  4. Work on new songs on this tiny acoustic guitar that I’m really excited about
  5. Emotionally prepare to leave for another long haul
  6. Spread democracy and goodwill to men and women of all ages

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PASSPORT: Todd Giglio (The Turnback)

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What was the biggest fun during the making of Are We There Yet?

TG: For me it was the entire process.  Not necessarily the writing since many of these songs were already written prior to getting into the studio (the studio, which by the way was nothing more than a monthly rehearsal room we turned into a recording make shift studio).  I love tracking, I love experimenting with different parts whether their alternative guitar tracks or additional vocal harmonies, seeing what works and seeing what doesn’t.  Since I have Pro Tools in my home studio I have the ability to work whenever I get the urge.  Then the mixing process and working with Mic Angelo over at The Mix Palace was more than I could have ever hoped.  Heading out to his studio late at night after work for about a month was an eye opener and we credit him with much of the praise we are getting since his mixes made the album what it is.  After the mixing phase we had a chance to sit back and wait for famed mastering engineer Brian Gardner to master the tunes.

So I guess the answer is yes, I HAD FUN making Are We There Yet?.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

TG: Oh man, that is a tough question.  I’ve personally gone through so many changes of who I am (and who I thought I was) that there isn’t one particular song that could make anyone know who I am.   I guess for this album it would be a split between FAKETOWN and JULY.  Both for different reasons (FAKETOWN for the content and style and JULY for the aggressive sound I’ve been striving for) but I had so much to say during the writing of the album that these two songs represent who I was at the time I wrote them.  Funny thing is they both can be interpreted different ways (and they have been by different reviewers).  I guess that says a lot about me, doesn’t it. 🙂

 The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

TG: Yeah, the industry definitely has changed.  I long for the days where good music was just good music and THAT was what it was about.  It wasn’t about the music video, or the dancing on stage or, to some extent, the image (we know image has always played a role in the business but now it seems the most important element). I’ve seen plenty of shows where I work and I stand by the statement that if your sound check is actually a dance rehearsal you can pretty much sum up that the music will probably suck. That being said, musicians these days have tools that were never available to the previous generations. The Internet alone has made it possible to find fans all across the world 24/7.  The live show isn’t your only connection now.  But with every positive there is a negative.  Because of the instant ability to reach anyone at anytime also means the market is over-saturated. Anyone can be on the Internet pushing his or her music, which makes it so difficult to be found.  Sure you can try and make a viral music video but much of that still requires a gimmick (hell, we shot the first iPhone 4S music video back in 2011 which netted us over 120,000 views in just 3 days but how much resulted in finding fans?).

We know there are plenty of potential fans out there that could make it possible for us to do music for a living (and I’m not talking about being rich, I’m talking about making the same money I do now as a waiter).  The problem is getting to them.  Since there is so much out there it’s hard to sift through everything to find what you like.  I equate this to gold mining.  You have to run a lot of dirt to find those flakes of gold but eventually after enough dirt has been moved, you’ll find the gold (and they will find you).

 Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

TG: I hate always pushing the band but I’d have to say that as a musician, our drummer, Barry Nagel is the man.  Ken and I have always thought that Barry was one of the best drummers we’ve ever heard.  His work ethic, his style, his ability to transform a song that I (or Ken) have written into something that gets me scratching my head thinking ‘Wow.  That is us?’ Whatever song we throw at him, Barry simply makes it better.

I know he’ll make it someday.  I just hope we are there with him when it happens.

 She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

TG: Well I’m not much for date tapes but I will give you my 5 songs that would be on it.  Our lives are full of music.  From the time we are born to the time we die we place songs on our personal soundtrack; songs that mean something.  Songs can make you recall a memory, songs that just mattered for whatever reason at that moment in your life.  This philosophy is how we approach song writing.  We want our music to mean something to someone.  We hope to be added to someone’s soundtrack that gets him or her through that tough time or makes them think of their dad or mom or brother or sister.  We want the music to move them somehow.  These five songs were some of the songs from my own personal soundtrack (and each have their own reasons for being there).

Sand (Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra)

Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)

Hold On Blue Eyes (LaMarca – a guilty pleasure for sure)

Skip A Rope (Henson Cargill)

Norwegian Wood (The Beatles)

Ok, I admit that would probably be the most somber 5-song-mixed tape in the history of dating so I’d probably end up listening to it by myself 😉

 What’s up for the next couple of months?

TG: We have an upcoming show in NYC as part of the International Pop Overthrow festival (Nov. 7th at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn at 4:15pm in case anyone is interested).  That pretty much sums up our live schedule for now.  We have a radio campaign in place (which markets to the college crowd and is surprisingly working as we had hoped) and we are in the process of ‘running dirt’: promoting ourselves on social media to enough of an audience to filter out the gold.  In the end we will either be broke musicians still mining for fans or happily working on our next album.

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PASSPORT: Tommy Keene

tommykeen540

What was the biggest fun during the making of Laugh In The Dark?

TK: I would say recording the drums at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. with producer/engineer John Hampton. This would end up being his final sessions after years of recording and producing many acts, including Alex Chilton, The Replacements, The White Stripes, and on and on. We did a full record in 1989, my last Geffen record, Based On Happy Times, and various other projects over the years including recording the drums for my Covers record Excitement At Your Feet. John was a joy to work with, extremely funny, wickedly talented and understood the overall ethic that making and recording music should always be FUN. He passed away several weeks after we had finished and I dedicated the record to him.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

TK: Probably In My Life by the Beatles, where I got the lyrical idea or initial inspiration for my song Places That Are Gone. It’s bittersweet, heartfelt and deals with the past, a theme that always crops up in my songs.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

TK: Timing, timing, and timing-that’s what the music industry is all about and luck. I’ve been lucky enough to have obtained the status I’ve gotten but not so lucky as to be in the right place at the exact right time to become super successful and make a lot of money. That obviously is financially better in the long run, but from what I’ve witnessed does not necessarily make people happy.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

TK: If I only knew then I would manage them!!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

TK: All songs by The Beatles, The Who and The Stones!

What’s up for the next couple of months?

TK: This Sunday I’m going to Japan for the first time!! I’m playing guitar for my friend’s new group The Small Square featuring Paul Chastain formerly of Velvet Crush.  I am also going to be performing a short solo Tommy Keene set before the band plays, so that will be interesting!!! After that my group will be playing a series of US West coast shows in early Feb. of next year. We will hit Los Angeles, San Francisco CA, Portland OR and Seattle WA.

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PASSPORT: Nick Piunti

piuntipassport

What was the biggest fun during the making of Beyond The Static?

NP: Ryan Allen’s background vocals for “Heart Stops Beating”. I didn’t know what he would come up with but the part was perfect. Especially the “Hey”.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

NP: It’s like picking a favorite child, but I would say “13 in My Head”.  About as autobiographical as I get.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

NP: Technology has brought connection and exposure to people I couldn’t have reached years ago. Unfortunately there are so many people making music, and there isn’t much in the way of filtering out the fluff.  But if there’s a will to find out the good stuff there is definitely a way to do it.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

NP: Best Musician?  I’m more interested in the best songwriters. Ryan Allen is one of my favorite Songwriters from Detroit. And I’m excited about The new Legal Matters album coming next year(Friends of mine). Mike Viola is probably the best song writer/singer that I’ve personally met. He’s spent the last two years touring with Ryan Adams and he is crazy talented. Will the world find out? Tough to do without a lot of money.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

NP: Mix tape for a second date?  I don’t think my wife would go for

that but…

  1. Couch Surfing-Friendly Foes
  2. Love Untold-Paul Westerberg
  3. Hair of the Dog-Mike Viola
  4. Tonight-The Raspberries
  5. Talent Show-Replacements

What’s up for the next couple of months?

NP: Getting back into the studio to record my next album.(Untitled at the present time). I have 6 songs started (2016 release).

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PASSPORT: Joe Adragna (The Junior League)

joe_adragna

What was the biggest fun during the making of Also Rans

JA: Probably collaborating with my friends. I am very lucky to have talented friends help me out on the record. You know, I send stuff to Scott (McCaughey) and he just sprinkles his fairy pop dust on it and the songs sound beautiful! Scott, Jay, Boz, Deni, JJ, Matt….those guys make it so much fun. They’re my friends but I’m also a huge admirer of each of them. I’m very lucky. I think the other big fun was recording my bits all at home. I like not having to go anywhere! I wasn’t under a time crunch or rushed, and I could do whatever the hell I felt like!

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

JA: Probably The Stars In Our Eyes and The Long Goodbye. Why? Because I’m nostalgic and fatalistic, hahahahaha.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

JA: I can’t say the music industry has done much for me, really. I haven’t really been in a position to have it do much. That said, independent record stores and labels such as Kool Kat and Euclid have been helpful for sure. I think at this point the artist can do most things on their own. That said, I’d love to be able to put out vinyl and have it not break the bank! Or perhaps get the music out to more people.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

JA: Well, my first inclination is to say the best musicians in the world are my friends that helped me on the record! But since they’re known……there is a local singer/songwriter named Joe Kile who just released a record that is really, really good.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

JA: This is hard. I used to do these all the time in high school, and there was never even a first date!!

  1. Graham Coxon: Spectacular
  2. Sloan: Can’t You Figure It Out
  3. The Minus 5: With A Gun
  4. Michael Nesmith: You Are My One
  5. Wendy and Bonnie: I Realized You

What’s up for the next couple of months?

JA: Already working on another record. I have 10 songs on the go! Maybe setting up shows for next year in NY, and points elsewhere!

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PASSPORT: Reno Bo

Reno-Bo

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

RB: This record was a “prove it” album for me. I had all these songs and I knew I wanted to produce and play everything on the album myself. I said, “Ok then, Reno, show me what you got.” There was a learning curve involved in figuring out how to do it all myself and it certainly didn’t come without its struggles. I scrapped a lot of stuff along the way and started over again. But ultimately, I made the record I wanted to make. Every note and sound is exactly the way I wanted it to be. The most fun I had was proving to myself that I could do it and now I know that. Will the next one sound the same? Probably not because this album made me a better producer. But I’m excited for what’s next.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

RB: I think the song “Lessons From A Shooting Star” encapsulates where I was while making this album. It’s got a little bit of everything in it – love, angst, melody, not one but TWO guitar solos ha ha. It’s the most rock and roll thing on the album to me.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

RB: I really tried to not think about that at all. I just wanted to focus on making the best album I possibly could and trusted that the rest would fall into place. The pro’s of having a large company behind you is the money for publicity, radio, the big push. Having that all go off at one time is ideal. However, doing it at the indie level like I am (with my little label Electric Western), folks discover you slower. And the ones that find you found you for a reason. So I know that the fans I do have were made organically and are genuinely into the music.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

RB: One of my favorite bands in Nashville is filled with some of the best musicians in the world. They are called Steelism. The guys sit in with me on shows from time to time. Jon Radford is the best drummer I’ve ever played with. Jeremy Fetzer is one of the most precise and soulful young guitar players out there today. Spencer Cullum Jr does things with the pedal steel I’ve never heard before. And Jon Estes not only plays bass, but arranges horns and strings. Talented brood they are. Check them out. Their music is an instrumental amalgam of Booker T. And the MGs, Ennio Morricone and The Ventures.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

RB: Hands down . . .

“I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison

“Until You Came Along” by Golden Smog

“Forever” by The Beach Boys (with Dennis Wilson on lead vocal)

“I Saw The Light” by Todd Rundgren

“Summer Wind” by Sinatra

What’s up for the next couple of months?

RB: I just finished up an LA run of shows. I’m in NY now, then head back to Nashville to start writing for the next album. I’ll also be putting out some singles and one offs in the next few months. Stay tuned at www.renobo.com!

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The Junior League – Also Rans

junior

Year: 2015

 Power Pop and: ‘60s Classic Pop and Modern Indie Rock

 To summarize: The Junior League is songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Joe Adragna, from New Orleans. With a little help from some famous friends he made Also Rans. And what a record he made! Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue and it all sounds so beautiful. Besides the quality of the songs it’s that sound that makes this one stand out.

Best Track(s): On/Off

Status: Really really good

Passport: Paul Collins

ALIVE0161_12inJacket.indd

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

There is a point in almost every recording, usually when you are doing the over dubs and my work is mostly done and I get to hear the tracks blasting back in the control room and it sounds great and you are just so excited with how the songs are turning out. On this record  it was when Jim was laying down the guitars on “Baby I Want You”, I was on cloud nine. I had been living with that song for so many years and to finally hear it in a big studio was awesome!

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

I guess “I Need My Rock N Roll” because it talks about how I got into this whole thing of playing and writing rock n roll songs, been loving it since I was a kid!

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

Jeeze, the record business has changed a whole ton since I started (pre-internet!) Fortunately now I am totally DIY. That means I pretty much do everything myself. I like that because you get to do what you want and not what someone else tells you to do. I got a lot of benefits from the business when I was younger and we were signed to Sony Records and we had Bill Graham Management. They got my name out worldwide and that helped a lot but we weren’t really a major label kind of band, so in the end they didn’t know what to do with us! I had a lot of fun though being a young pop star!

 Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

I don’t know but he or she better get out and start playing!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Twist & Shout – The Beatles

Just What I Needed – The Cars

Road Runner – Jonathan Richmond

In The City – The Jam

Come a Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans

What’s up for the next couple of months?

Just put together a rocking new band here in NY so I am going to play shows all over the east coast! Playing The Cake Shop with The Mean Jeans (Portland), hopefully going to Boston to play with The Lyres, stuff like that! Also writing songs for the next record! Keep on rocking folks!

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