I’ve been lucky enough to catch Ellen Kempner perform many times now — solo and with her band, Palehound — and every time I’m blown away by her killer guitar playing and wry songwriting sensibility. Needless to say, I was excited to be able to write about the fantastic new Palehound album, Dry Food, for NPR Music’s First Listen series.
Wrote a quick hit for NPR Music’s Songs We Love series about the buoyant Brooklyn punk band, Gold and its song “Wake Of The World” from the band’s self-titled album.
A few weeks ago, Ask Me Another — the pub quiz-meets-comedy-meets-variety show I work for at NPR — went to Central Park to put on a show at Summerstage. The episode finally went up today — and it features a big portion of the sprawling cast of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp, the Netflix series prequel of the amazing movie.
Once again, for a second week in a row, I had the pleasure of appearing as the “fourth chair” guest on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. In this episode, we discuss the new Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow. Then the latest Marvel superhero movie, Ant-Man — a palette-cleansing heist comedy with Paul Rudd. And, what what was making me happy this week? Star Wars — no, not THAT Star Wars — the new surprise record from Wilco. Plus, the PCHH gang talks about stuff, and they’re great, so take a listen.
Wrote a thing for NPR Music and All Songs Considered about Krill and its eerie and surreal music video for “Torturer” — a fantastic song from the band’s killer 2015 album, A Distant Fist Unclenching.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to help NPR Music shoot the Desaparecidos show at the Bushwick DIY venue Shea Stadium here in Brooklyn. The political punk band is fronted by Conor Oberst — known best as the folk and indie rock songwriter and Bright Eyes mastermind — put on a wild and frenzied show full of moshing and fist-pumping songs that pack a punch. Check out my short essay about the band and the show — and check out the insane video above!
This week, I got the thrill and honor to return to Pop Culture Happy Hour, the NPR podcast I helped create and produce for a few years. This show has always been one of my proudest achievements, so it was cool to be added back to the mix or rotating guest “fourth chairs” after three years away.
In this episode, we discuss the amazing and surprisingly moving Netflix series Bojack Horseman; then an old favorite segment People We’re Pulling For — where I make a case for this little team called the Kansas City Royals, who inexplicably are, like, good now. And then, what’s making me happy. Oh, yeah, and the whole PCHH gang talks, too. Take a listen:
I’ve been a fan of Youth Lagoon since his first record, and have written about him several times now. So I was pretty pumped to be able to write about Youth Lagoon’s brand new song “The Knower” from the upcoming album, Savage Hills Ballroom for All Songs Considered‘s blog and NPR Music’s Songs We Love series.
Recently, I went into the Moth studios in SoHo to talk with Whitney Jones, one of the creators and producers of the very cool music podcast Pitch. We talked for an hour about one of my favorite topics: cover songs.
And in true radio fashion, about 90 seconds of that was “good enough” to send out into the world. Check out my very brief appearance in this short bonus clip from the podcast!