LaunchLeft

LaunchLeft and Kast Media

LaunchLeft is a music discovery podcast where famed creatives launch emerging artists. Hosted by Rain Phoenix you can expect in-depth conversations with well-known musicians discussing their process and, throwing light to emerging artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of artists who break from the norm and lean into the unique. We enlist famed creatives to launch emerging artists. For full video episodes go to LaunchLeft.com/Podcast

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JONATHAN RICHMAN launches Jesse DeNatale
30-04-2024
JONATHAN RICHMAN launches Jesse DeNatale
Welcome back to LaunchLeft! Today we are celebrating our 150th episode! This episode is a unique one, where Rain left voicemail questions for singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Richman. We then hear Jonathan’s responses in the form of voice memos, answering Rain’s inquisitive questions from how music found Jonathan, to learning his purest form of eroticism, and everything in between. Then Jonathan launches singer-songwriter, Jesse DeNatale. In this conversation, we learn how music found Jesse and about his musical career. We have the honor of hearing a snippet of Jesse’s song The Hands of Time from his latest album. Join the celebration in this great episode! -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE:  [2:45] How did music find Jonathan Richman?[4:31] What advice does Jonathan have for young musicians/young artists?[5:32] Jonathan describes something he could draw to be animated.[6:07] What are the enduring preoccupations that arise again and again, and what has stuck with Jonathan even from childhood?[8:03] Jonathan explains his love of the song, The Wind, by Nolan Strong and Diablo.[10:44] What is the purest form of eroticism for Jonathan?[22:28] Jonathan introduces the artist that he wants to launch, Jesse De Natale.[23:26] The episode switches over to a conversation between Rain and Jesse DeNatale. [26:30] How did music first find Jesse DeNatale?[31:18] Tune in to hear The Hands of Time by Jesse DeNatale. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  [4:39] Advice for young artists: Do what you like for you, don’t worry about what the audience is going to like. [28:44] Music finds you, it finds you in songwriting and song creation. The first inspirations are given from the gods, that first idea, and then it's up to you to continue to create it.    RESOURCE LINKS:  LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link Links for Jonathan Richman:  Jonathan Richman's Instagram  Jonathan Richman's Bandcamp Link  Jonathan Richman - Wikipedia  Links for Jesse DeNatale Jesse DeNatale's Website  Jesse DeNatale's Instagram  Jesse DeNatale's Bandcamp Link  Jesse DeNatale's Facebook    BIO for Jonathan Richman: Jonathan Richman (born May 16, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. In 1970, he founded the Modern Lovers, an influential proto-punk band. Since the mid-1970s, Richman has worked either solo or with low-key acoustic and electric backing. He is known for his wide-eyed, unaffected, and childlike outlook, and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, is influenced by music from around the world.   BIO for Jesse DeNatale Jesse DeNatale is a singer-songwriter in Northern California. He was born in San Francisco. He has released three critically acclaimed records: Shangri-La West (2000) Soul Parade (2006) and The Wilderness (2021). His next release, The Hands of Time, will be available July 14th 2023. We are excited to announce that it will also be on Blue Arrow Records. His music has been described as evocative and hopeful, a combination of poetry and storytelling. Over the years his love of various musical genres has inspired him to expand his ideas of songwriting as he continues to find a way to reflect back the realities of being alive. Rich with imagery, intelligence and passion, his music remains timeless. Its soulful accessibility is what has garnered him praise from other artists and has kept his devoted fans listening.
DEAN & BRITTA launch Ryder The Eagle
26-03-2024
DEAN & BRITTA launch Ryder The Eagle
On this episode of LaunchLeft, Rain welcomes Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips of LUNA. They talk about how they first met, how music found them, performing live versus the recording studio, and the volatility of the music industry. Dean shares what’s up next for them, both as a duo and as solo artists. Dean & Britta launch Ryder the Eagle to close the show and we hear about the new single and album “Autotango”. He discusses what led him to write the record and what we can expect to hear from him next. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts today!  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE:  [2:44] How did music find Dean and Britta? [6:00] Do Dean and Britta write together?  [8:06] Do they ever wish they had chosen a different profession?  [10:09] Dean and Britta share about the shows they have performed.  [13:21] When did Dean and Britta meet? [15:55] What was the Hooky Wooky Tour? [19:59] What is up next for Dean and Britta? [23:49] Do they have the experience of time being too compressed?  [25:45] How do they use social media to promote their music? [29:33] Do Dean and Britta have any interest in composing for TV or film? [32:36] Ryder the Eagle joins the podcast and talks about his process of making music. [34:24] Where is Ryder from? [37:46] Ryder shares about his music that is being released soon.  [39:47] We hear Ryder’s new song Autotango. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  [22:40] AI can be useful by using it to curate all the information that is at our fingertips that we waste so much time trying to sift through. If you can ask AI the right question, it can curate the information that you want to find online.   [28:32] Social media has benefits for a musician, one being that you can get your music out there affordably and it can be heard all around the world.  [37:25] For Britta, there is a big difference between singing in the studio and singing live for an audience. There is a feeling of being terrified, excited, vulnerable and exposed which gives her a big thrill.    RESOURCE LINKS:  LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link Dean and Britta’s Links Dean and Britta's Website  Dean and Britta's Facebook  Dean and Britta's YouTube  Britta Phillips' Website  Dean Wareham's Website  Ryder The Eagle’s Links Ryder the Eagle Instagram  Ryder the Eagle Facebook  Ryder the Eagle Website  BIOGRAPHIES:  Dean and Britta BIO Dean & Britta are husband and wife team Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, members of Luna. They have recorded several full-length albums and soundtracks. Their first two albums were produced by Tony Visconti (Bowie, T.Rex): L’Avventura in 2003 and Back Numbers in 2007. Their most recent release is the song “The Cloud is Coming,” which they wrote and performed for the Noah Baumbach film White Noise (they were also actors in the film). They live in Los Angeles. In addition to making records, Dean & Britta are active scoring films, notably Noah Baumbach’s The Squid & the Whale and Mistress America. They also composed songs and score for 13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol Screen Tests, a project commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, and continue to perform this multi-media show live in concert. Dean Wareham was the singer-songwriter-guitarist behind the Boston band Galaxie 500, who released three albums between 1987 and 1991. After this Dean went on to found NYC guitar band Luna, which released seven studio albums between 1992 and 2005.  Luna disbanded in 2005 but reunited in 2015 and continue to perform live. His most recent album (2021) is I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A. Dean is also a published author — his memoir Black Postcards is a Penguin paperback. His most recent book — Hearing Voices — is a collection of selected lyrics, illustrated by artist Ed Templeton. Britta Phillips joined Luna on bass guitar in 1999, recording two albums with the band. She was formerly a member of the U.K. shoegaze band Belltower. She was also the singing voice of cartoon rocker Jem in the 1980s, and starred with Julia Roberts in Satisfaction, a film about an all-girl rock band. Britta released a solo album, Luck or Magic, in 2016.   Ryder the Eagle BIO My name is Ryder The Eagle. I was born under the sign of Cancer in the south of France and like the planets predicted, I dedicated the beginning of my life to finding true love. Two EPs, a marriage and a divorce later, I embarked on a "Follymoon", an incandescent kind of a honeymoon where loneliness meets the folly of freedom. I traveled across the USA on the Greyhound bus, lugging my microphone along sidewalks and crossings, diners, and traffic lights. I spent two years in London crafting my break-up songs and sang them all over the globe supporting Adam Green, Jonathan Bree, and a few others. I ended up in Mexico City, where I’m currently living. I’m driving an old Chevy Caprice which I don’t have insurance for. My trunk is full of memories from a past that I can’t let go. One day I went to this Scottish town called Plean, unloaded everything, and wrote nine songs about it. So if you ever need a ride, I’ve got room in the car now - and we can play my first album on the stereo. Can’t wait to meet you.
CAT POWER launches Linqua Franqa
27-02-2024
CAT POWER launches Linqua Franqa
On this episode of LaunchLeft, Chan Marshall of Cat Power joins Rain to introduce Linqua Franqa. Chan and Rain talk about everything from how they first met, how Cat Power was formed, the connection that music brings to people and how changing people’s perspective around money and the American Dream might  solve many of the problems we have today. Chan also shares what led her to Bob Dylan and, how activism then and now really does move the needle. Rain is then joined by Linqua Franqa to learn how they got started in music, teaching and activism and how they are all connected. At the end of the episode we hear “Wurk”, one of Linqua’s songs about Communication Workers of America, United Campus Workers of Georgia, and capitalism. -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE:  [04:58] Chan describes how her, Rain and River Phoenix met. [17:51] What inspired Chan to get involved with music? [22:08] How did Chan take her music from her apartment to playing live for people? [43:52] What led Chan to start playing Bob Dylan’s music and what has it created? [53:23] Where did the American Dream come from? [57:57] How do children see the world? [58:53] What would it look like if women were voted in, how would they change the trajectory of our country?  [1:05:25] Mariah Parker, also known as Linqua Franqa, talks about the meaning of their artist name.  [1:06:11] What does Linqua do outside of music? [1:07:02] Who is Reverend James Lawson?  [1:08:50] Does Linqua agree with the fact that women in power could change our trajectory for the positive?  [1:10:46] Tune in to hear Wurk, one of Linqua’s songs about capitalism.    KEY TAKEAWAYS:  [50:20] Music is a way to connect with people and create community regardless of what is happening in their lives, regardless of socioeconomic status or upbringing.  [53:23] We don’t have to fall into the habit that seems to be the strongest one out there, which is to want to be rich and famous.  [56:41] We all want to be safe and happy.  [1:05:42] Linqua Franqa is a language used to communicate across cultural boundaries, as an artist, Mariah Parker wanted her music to do that, connect people across cultural boundaries.   RESOURCE LINKS:  LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link   CAT POWER LINKS: Cat Power Music Website  Cat Power Instagram Cat Power Facebook  Cat Power YouTube  Cat Power Twitter    LINQUA FRANQA LINKS: Linqua Franqa Instagram  Linqua Franqa Bandcamp Site  Linqua Franqa Facebook  Linqua Franqa Twitter    BIOGRAPHIES:  Cat Power BIO: Charlyn "Chan" Marie Marshall is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and occasional actress. She adopted the name Cat Power for her first band in 1992, and has since used the name as a moniker for all of her musical endeavors. Raised in the South primarily by her grandmother, Marshall showed interest in music at an early age, and was influenced by blues and rock'n'roll. In the early nineties, Marshall relocated to New York City, and became acquainted with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth after opening at a show for Liz Phair. Shelley subsequently drummed on her first two albums, Dear Sir (1995) and Myra Lee (1996), both somber indie rock records featuring sparse instrumentation. After releasing several blues and folk rock-influenced albums throughout the late 1990s, Marshall released The Covers Record in 2000, which included a cover of "Sea of Love" that was featured prominently in the film Juno (2007). She released three more albums, You Are Free (2003), featuring collaborations with Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder; The Greatest (2006); and Jukebox (2008). Marshall has had several endeavors in modeling, and has been cited as a muse of Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld. She made her acting debut in the film My Blueberry Nights (2007) in a minor supporting role alongside Jude Law. Her most recent record, Sun (2012) was released to critical acclaim, and entered the Billboard 200 at number 10, making it her first top-ten album in the United States.   LINQUA FRANQA BIO: Linqua Franqa is a cultural worker and emcee from Athens, Georgia. Their sophomore album, Bellringer, is also their PhD dissertation in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia.
IAN MACKAYE | LAUNCHED ARTIST THE BOBBY LEES
23-01-2024
IAN MACKAYE | LAUNCHED ARTIST THE BOBBY LEES
Ian MacKaye imbues 2024 with all goodness through his inspiring take on life and music. His knack for expressing the way he lives and what punk rock means to him dominates and radiates through this conversation with Rain. They discuss everything from spirituality to Fugazi, living life joyfully, and the importance of doing the work. We then launch The Bobby Lees and Sam shares about their decision to take a break in 2024 by highlighting the financial struggles bands face on the road. We close this special episode with THE BOBBY LEES infectious song “Radiator”.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [1:36] Rain and Ian talk about how they met each other. [10:52] All about Fugazi’s extensive archive  [17:56] Ian shares how he avoids producing trash.  [23:48] What is Ian’s belief and how does he focus on living? [37:57] What was it like growing up in Washington DC? [40:36] What led Ian to live in a way that doesn't compare and despair or make judgments about others? [48:35] How can you find and create joy in the despair that is also happening in life?  [55:15] How does Ian go about “selling” his music? [1:00:04] How did Ian learn to roll with the ups and downs of life? [1:19:17] Rain welcomes Sam from The Bobby Lees. [1:19:58] Did The Bobby Lees really play their last show? [1:24:00] What is Sam’s plan for 2024 since they won’t be touring? [1:26:32] How did music find Sam originally?  [1:27:56] What was the point that Sam realized she wanted to make music?  [1:30:57] Does Sam have any advice for young or up and coming artists? [1:33:02] Listen to “Radiator” by The Bobby Lees.   Watch the interview on YouTube. Listen to “Radiator by The Bobby Lees on YouTube. Connect with The Bobby Lees on Instagram    KEY TAKEAWAYS:  [20:09] There are warehouses filled with records that were never sold, and they are just sitting there as trash/product waste. [46:19] Let’s not forget that life is rich, there’s so many good people are doing so many incredible things all over the world every day.  [48:34] There will always be pain and beauty happening simultaneously. You can choose to focus on the pain and suffering which pushes into the negative, but you also need to create joy because that's how to balance the energy.  [1:23:33] It’s hard to be a US band on the road and break even financially.    RESOURCE LINKS LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link  Ian MacKaye Ian MacKaye Wikipedia  Ian MacKay Dischord Site  Dischord Website  Fugazi Live Series: A to Z The Bobby Lees The Bobby Lees Website  The Bobby Lees Instagram  The Bobby Lees Facebook   BIOGRAPHY:  Ian Mackaye founded Dischord Records as a teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, Teen Idles. However, the label has gone on to release music from more than 60 bands, with more than 160 albums over the last 25 years and counting. As musicians Ian and Jeff went on to form Minor Threat, who along with Bad Brains are credited in the early 80s with introducing the D.C. hardcore ethic to an audience well beyond Washington, D.C. In 1986, Ian formed Fugazi with Joe Lally, Brendan Canty and Guy Picciotto. Over 20+ years the band has released seven albums and toured the world extensively covering all fifty United States, Europe, Australia, South America, Japan and many points in between. Fugazi is self managed and maintains a policy of affordable access to their work through low record and ticket prices and all concerts are all-ages. In 2003 Fugazi decided to take an indefinite hiatus from recording and touring as young families and other priorities began to take center stage. Since 2001, Ian has played in The Evens, a duo with Amy Farina. The Evens revel in short-circuiting the conventions of rock music and perform mostly in non-traditional music spaces — libraries, art spaces, schools, theaters, etc. They have released two albums and have toured extensively in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Ian has also been taking on speaking engagements, delivering talks that take the form of informal Question and Answer sessions.
MIKE MILLS launches The Lemon Twigs
12-12-2023
MIKE MILLS launches The Lemon Twigs
Mike Mills of R.E.M. joins Rain to introduce The Lemon Twigs. Mike and the sibling duo, Brian and Michael, who make up The Lemon Twigs, prioritize harmony in their musical style. In today's conversation, Mike and Rain delve into politics, exploring how political language and ideas can create division within a family. Mike shares a personal anecdote about discussing with his uncle, each taking a different side. However, Mike developed a rule that they must hug and express love at the end of their conversations. Additionally, Mike imparts valuable advice to aspiring artists.   IN THIS EPISODE: [1:47] Mike Mills from R.E.M. discusses his last tour, his family and his journey in music. [7:21] Mike discusses politics in general and in the state of Florida. [11:51] Rain reflects on getting to sing with R.E.M. years ago. [14:21] Mike talks about the baseball project, and he discusses how he learned to play the piano. [18:31] Mike discusses the different instruments he plays and the decisions the band made to keep them together. [27:28] Mike advises up-and-coming artists. [29:54] The Lemon Twigs are launched, and discuss making music with Mike. [40:31] Michael and Brian discuss what is coming up next, and listeners are treated to hear their song “In My Head” from the album “Everything Harmony”.   KEY TAKEAWAYS:  [8:47] Families from different political parties can have opposite opinions and political ideas but agree the disagreement will end in love. [14:14] The baseball project booked 19 shows in 21 days.  [18:31] Keeping a band together is challenging, but Mike tells how R.E.M. did it.   RESOURCE LINKS LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link  The Lemon Twigs - Bio and Website The Lemon Twigs - Instagram The Lemon Twigs - Twitter The Lemon Twigs - Facebook
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER launches Johanna Samuels
29-08-2023
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER launches Johanna Samuels
Tune in to today's episode of LaunchLeft, where Rain Phoenix is joined by MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger to launch Johanna Samuels. Rain and MC engage in conversations about the artistic process, exploring how the emotions and creativity of artists contribute to the final musical outcomes. They agree on the irreplaceable human element in music creation and songwriting, asserting that AI will never replicate this human touch. Johanna and MC recount their initial meeting, her new record, and the importance of a songwriters community. Listen to the end to hear Johanna's powerful song "Holy Mother." -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:OO] MC Taylor speaks about the inspiration for his music and his roots.  [07:35] He discusses the passion and process of creating music.  [10:27] MC Taylor talks about AI and its role in creativity. [14:00] MC Taylor shares how he and Johanna met, and they all discuss playing in smaller local venues in the LA area. [18:21] Johanna describes what her future schedule will be and discovers the “why” of what she is doing. [21:52] MC Taylor talks about his current state of happiness, how that has affected his recent writing, and how he’s feeling now. [33:15] Johanna describes her innermost feelings about music.  [35:38]  Listen to Johanna as she sings Holy Mother.   KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Artists are influenced by their emotions and world events. They want to be able to write from their heart and not by what they are directed to write. MC Taylor would rather create his music, which fluctuates financially, than secure jobs he hates. AI fails to enable the humanity of music creation due to the absence of emotion in the creative process.   BIOGRAPHIES:  HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER “I went looking for peace,” says songwriter M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger about his new album Quietly Blowing It, out June 25, 2021, on Merge Records. “It’s not exactly a record about the state of the world—or my world—in 2020, but more a retrospective of the past five years of my life, painted in sort of impressionistic hues. Maybe I had the presence of mind when I was writing Quietly Blowing It to know that this was the time to go as deep as I needed to in order to make a record like this. And I got the time required in order to do that.” He pauses and laughs ruefully. “I got way more time than I needed, actually.”Quietly Blowing It was written and arranged by Taylor in his home studio—his 8’ × 10’ sanctuary packed floor to ceiling with books, records, and old guitars—as he watched the chaotic world spin outside his window. “Writing became a daily routine,” he explains, “and that was a ballast for me. Having spent so much time on the road over the past ten years, where writing consistently with any kind of flow can be tricky, it felt refreshing. And being in my studio, which is both isolated from and totally connected to the life of my family, felt appropriate for these songs.” Between March and June, Taylor wrote and recorded upwards of two dozen songs—in most cases playing all of the instruments himself— before winnowing the collection down and bringing them to the Hiss band. In July, the musicians, with Taylor in the production seat, went into Overdub Lane in Durham, NC, for a week, where they recorded Quietly Blowing It as an organic unit honed to a fine edge from their years together on the road. “We all needed to be making that music together,” he recalls. “We’ve all spent so many years traveling all over the world, but in that moment, it felt cathartic to be recording those particular songs with each other in our own small hometown.”Throughout Quietly Blowing It, Taylor brings his keen eye to our “broken American moment”—as he first sang on Hiss Golden Messenger’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY ® - nominated Terms of Surrender—in ways that feel devastatingly intimate and human. Beginning with the wanderer’s lament of “Way Back in the Way Back,” with its rallying cry of “Up with the mountains, down with the system,” Taylor carries the listener on a musical journey that continually returns to themes of growing up, loss, obligation, and labor with piercing clarity, and his musical influences—including classic Southern soul and gospel, renegade country, and spiritual jazz—have never felt more genuine. Indeed, Quietly Blowing It is a distillation of the rolling Hiss Golden Messenger groove, from the rollicking, Allman-esque “The Great Mystifier” to the chiming falsetto soul of “It Will If We Let It,” to the smoky, shuffling title track with its bittersweet guitar assist from Nashville legend Buddy Miller. The album ends with soulful lead single “Sanctuary,” a song about trying to reconcile tragedy and joy, with references to John Prine (“Handsome Johnny had to go, child...”), economic disparity, and the redemptive quality of hope. Indeed, when he sings, “Feeling bad, feeling blue, can’t get out of my own mind; but I know how to sing about it,” it feels like the album’s spiritual thesis. Throughout Quietly Blowing It, Taylor reckons with the tumultuous present in wholly personal terms, encouraging listeners to do the same. “These songs always circle back to the things that I feel like I have a handle on and the things that I’m not proud of about myself. When I think of the phrase ‘quietly blowing it,’ I think of all the ways that I’ve misstepped, misused my gifts, miscommunicated. ‘Born on the level, quietly blowing it.’ That’s what’s on my mind there. Always fuckin’ up in little ways.”Surrounding himself with a trusted cast of collaborators that includes Miller, songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, songwriter and Tony Award–winning playwright Anaïs Mitchell, multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman, Dawes’ brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, and his oldest musical confidant Scott Hirsch, Taylor has made his most audacious and hopeful work yet with Quietly Blowing It; it’s an album that speaks personal truth to this moment in which the old models of being feel broken and everything feels at stake. “I don’t know that the peace that I crave when I’m far from home exists, actually,” says Taylor. “It’s more complicated. I still don’t know what peace means for me because I can be sitting on the couch watching a movie with my family and be completely tangled up in my head. But if I keep on doing my own personal work on myself—writing records like Quietly Blowing It—I have to think that I’m getting closer.”JOHANNA SAMUELS  Johanna Samuels is broadening the confines of pop music. The New York and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s work is lyrically and melodically driven, singing about the depths and dualities of life with her unique bell-like voice. With her deep understanding and reverence for the musical greats of the 1960s and 70s, Samuels has created a sound and musical place that is all her own - and invites you in. Her debut album “Excelsior!” (2021), produced by Sam Evian and released by Mamabird Recording Co., garnered praise for its lush beauty and complex explorations. NPR described Johanna’s music as "...so compulsively listenable, and so smart in the way she assesses space and communication, it's just brilliant...what a voice." Johanna’s recent release EP "Scam Likely," produced by Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, The National, Bob Weir and Hiss Golden Messenger...) with collaborations with Fruit Bats is just a taste of what's to come. Her forthcoming work, sophomore LP "Bystander,” also produced by Kaufman, will be released in June 2023. Samuels has shared stages with artists such as Faye Webster, Madison Cunningham, The Hold Steady, Bonny Light Horseman, Lomelda, Courtney Marie Andrews, Tallest Man on Earth, Fruit Bats, Anaïs Mitchell, Cassandra Jenkins, Haley Heynderickx, Buck Meek, Sam Evian, Sean & Sara Watkins and more.   RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER LINKS: Hiss Golden Messenger - Website Hiss Golden Messenger - Email Hiss Golden Messenger - Instagram Hiss Golden Messenger - Twitter Hiss Golden Messenger - Facebook Hiss Golden Messenger - YouTube Hiss Golden Messenger - SoundCloud Hiss Golden Messenger - BandCamp JOHANNA SAMUELS LINKS: Johanna Samuels - Website Johanna Samuels - Instagram  Johanna Samuels - Twitter Johanna Samuels - Facebook Johanna Samuels Music - Facebook Johanna Samuels - Bandcamp
SON LUX launches Qasim Naqvi
25-07-2023
SON LUX launches Qasim Naqvi
Join Rain on LaunchLeft today as they welcome Oscar-nominated Son Lux to kick off Qasim Naqvi's launch. Tune in for an engaging conversation with Ryan, Ian, Rafiq, and Qasim Naqvi as they discuss their unique experiences and creative processes in music-making. This versatile group excels as a live band, studio recording artists, and composers, embracing various aspects of the art they cherish. As a special treat, you'll have the privilege of hearing Qasim Naqvi's captivating performance of "The Curve" at the end of the episode. -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:23] Ryan tells how he and Rafiq came to collaborate.  [08:25] Ian explains how they became composers for Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.  [10:26] Rafiq shares what they have been working on recently.  [12:39] Ryan comments on the reward versus the work and how the work won out.  [17:42] Qasim Naqvi reveals how he met the members of Son Lux, and they all reflect on their times together.  [25:02] Ryan talks about how their music is visual, and Qasim Naquiv discusses the modular synthesis while they land on making music with what they have.  [40:03] Listen to “The Curve” by Qasim Naqvi.    KEY TAKEAWAYS:  The difference between performing on stage and recording in a studio is night-and-day. When you find like-minded artists who appreciate each other's talents, you have a winning combination. Sometimes it’s the accident that makes the music. It’s called working with what you have.   BIOGRAPHIES::  SON LUX BIO: From the start, Son Lux has operated as something akin to a sonic test kitchen. The Academy Award® and BAFTA-nominated band strives to question deeply held assumptions about how music is made and reconstruct it from a molecular level. What began as a solo project for founder Ryan Lott expanded in 2014, thanks to a kinship with Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia too strong to ignore. The trio strengthened their chemistry and honed their collective intuition while creating, releasing, and touring six recordings, including Brighter Wounds (2018) and the triple album Tomorrows (2021). The result is a carefully cultivated musical language rooted in curiosity and balancing opposites that largely eschews genre and structural conventions. And yet, the band remains audibly indebted to iconoclastic artists in soul, hip-hop, and experimental improvisation who themselves carved new paths forward. Distilling these varied influences, Son Lux searches for an equilibrium of raw emotional intimacy and meticulous electronic constructions. Son Lux has most recently scored the new Daniels film for A24, Everything Everywhere All at Once (March 2022). The full score album features new collaborations with Mitski, David Byrne, Randy Newman, and Moses Sumney, among others. Based in New York, Rafiq Bhatia is the first-generation American son of Muslim immigrant parents who trace their ancestry to India through East Africa. Early influences such as Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Madlib—as well as mentors and collaborators including Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart—prompted him to see music as a way to actively shape and represent his own identity, not limited by anyone else’s prescribed perspective. When Ian Chang describes his creative process, the phrase "third culture” keeps coming up. Born in the colony of Hong Kong in 1988, Chang has lived a nomadic life. Stationed out of New York for ten years and since relocated to Dallas, Texas, he built an impressive roster of progressive pop collaborators such as Moses Sumney, Joan As Policewoman, and Matthew Dear, among others, all while performing internationally and recording as a member of Son Lux and Landlady. Ryan Lott makes his home in Los Angeles but grew up all over the United States. Music was the one constant in his formative years spent at the piano. In addition to an extensive career writing music for dance, he has become a sought-after composer for advertising, television, and film. Lott’s feature film credits include The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014), Paper Towns (2015), and Mean Dreams (2017). He has co-produced and co-written music for and with Woodkid, Sufjan Stevens, and Lorde.   BIOGRAPHY: QASIM NAQVI  Qasim Naqvi is a drummer and founding member of Dawn of Midi. Outside of his role in D.O.M., Qasim works on various projects, from electronic music to composing for orchestras, chamber groups, dance and film.  His concert music has been performed/commissioned by The BBC Concert Orchestra, Jennifer Koh, The London Contemporary Orchestra, Stargaze, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Crash Ensemble, The Now Ensemble, The Erebus Ensemble, yMusic, The Helsinki Chamber Choir, Alexander Whitley, Cikada, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra(MusicNOW Season) and others. He has been a featured composer at the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki, the Spitalfields Festival in London, Ultima Festival, Southbank Centre and the Rest is Noise Festival in Holland.   Qasim's soundtracks for the film have appeared on HBO, NBC, PBS, Showtime, New York Times Op-Docs, VICE Media, at The Tribeca, Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam and London Film Festivals, at dOCUMENTA 13 and 14, The Guggenheim Museum, The Tate Britain (Turner Prize 2018), MOMA P.S. 1, IDFA, Berlinale and others. He has worked with such notable filmmakers as Laura Poitras, Mariam Ghani, Marc Levin, Naeem Mohaiemen, Smriti Keshari, Prashant Bhargava and Erin Heidenreich. Acoustic trio Dawn of Midi has released two albums. Their most recent Dysnomia was acclaimed by Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Guardian and the New Yorker. Radiohead personally picked Dawn of Midi as their support band for two sold-out concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden for their Moon Shaped Pool tour.    Qasim earned his B.F.A in performance from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music program and his M.F.A in composition and performance from California Institute of the Arts. He studied drums and performance with Andrew Cyrille, Joe Chambers, Reggie Workman, Buster Williams, Ralph Peterson Jr., Charlie Haden and Rashied Ali and composition with Wolfgang von Schweinitz, James Tenney, Morton Subotnick, Marc Sabat, Wadada Leo Smith, Michael Jon Fink and Anne LeBaron. He is a 2016 N.Y.F.A Fellow in Music and Sound and has received other fellowships and awards from Chamber Music America, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Council, Harvest Works, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, S.T.E.I.M. and Art OMI. Presently, Qasim lives in Brooklyn, New York and works on various projects as a freelance composer and drummer. He is represented by Erased Tapes Publishing.   RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft   SON LUX LINKS: Son Lux Music - Website Son Lux - Instagram Son Lux - Twitter Son Lux - Facebook Son Lux - YouTube Son Lux - Soundcloud   QASIM NAQVI LINKS: Qasim Naqvi - Website Qasim Naqvi - Instagram Qasim Naqvi - Twitter Qasim Naqvi - Bandcamp
JIM WHITE launches Ane Diaz
27-06-2023
JIM WHITE launches Ane Diaz
Rain welcomes Jim White who launches Ane Diaz today on LaunchLeft. Jim and Ane have an interesting history of 20 years, culminating in collaborating in the recording studio for her new record Despechada. Jim's ascent to fame followed an unconventional route that few artists experience. An author, composer and musician, Jim shares how David Byrne had a lot to do with lifting him up early in his career. Hailing from Venezuela, Ane possesses a captivating narrative behind the music she brings to life, the process of working with Jim and co-producer Paul Fonfara in the studio, and how she came to release Despechada on LaunchLeft’s label. Tune in to hear about the journey of these two talented individuals and stay to the end for the inspired song 'Carmela'. Album Ane Diaz Despechada: https://ingrv.es/despechada-6x4-m -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [01:57] Jim explains how he fell into the art of music and the other visual arts he’s explored.  [10:18] Jim talks about his unique sound, the people who formed his career and the breaks he got early on in his career.  [15:00] Jim shares how he and Ane met and how all the parts came together magically to produce her music.  [30:00] Ane is excited to share Venezuelan folk songs with people who are not Latino.  [31:42] The story of Yma Sumak.  [34:48] Ane shares her love for Venezuela and the history of the music, and she also reflects on the experience of working with Jim.  [40:29] The group discusses how the arts are funded in different parts of the world and Minnesota. The show closes with Carmela by Ane Diaz.  KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Often, you don’t need to understand the language of the art. You can feel the expression of what it is saying.  It’s exciting to work with musicians who are willing to work outside of their comfort zone. Towns that invest in the arts thrive because they bring people who want to live there and visit.  BIOGRAPHY:  “Despechada means heartbroken or without your soul,” explained Ane Díaz about the title of her evocative new album, out June 9th via LaunchLeft. “It’s a very powerful word used for love affairs, but that’s also how I feel about losing my country.” The beloved homeland that inspired Díaz is her birthplace of Caracas, Venezuela, where she was first exposed to the music she would go on to reimagine for Despechada. And while she moved to the United States decades ago, and carved her own path in the alternative music scene, now she is melodiously facing her innate homesickness with these songs, handpicked by her mother, on an intimate Venezuelan folk LP. The result is a sonically lush and lyrically nostalgic journey through her heritage.    “For people that lose their country, there’s always this sadness — this thing you can’t go back to,” said the singer and multi-instrumentalist. “That’s why I called it Despechada. “As time has passed, my memory of my country is fading. It’s almost like a loved one you’ve lost. I don’t want to forget their face or forget how they felt. So it’s this fear of losing my country that made me record this album.” The new record is being released by Rain Phoenix’s LaunchLeft, a Los Angeles-based label. Phoenix met Díaz in the late ‘80s in Gainesville, Florida’s thriving music scene. Their then-bands shared countless bills and even toured together. During the 1990s, Phoenix and Díaz connected again in The Causey Way, a punk-rock band on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. By 2001, Diaz had formed her own band, Producto, comprising original songs sung in both English and Spanish. Along the way, her dynamic discography has earned praise from the likes of Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers (with whom she opened for in 2018) and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.  Looking back, Díaz said the long road through the American underground is what ultimately led her back to her Venezuelan roots. “After I went through a few genres, I realized, ‘this is me,’” Díaz reflected. “It’s my bliss. It’s really where my voice lives.” Aiding in the production, mixing and mastering of Despechada are Jim White, Paul Fonfara and John Keane. “I approached Jim White because his music is exactly what I wanted for these songs,” Díaz said. White is an acclaimed American singer-songwriter, visual artist and author. “He understands sounds that are non-traditional. He knows how to create sounds with tin cans and forks ... it’s a super organic feeling. I wanted him to help create an environment that wasn’t anywhere else, something altogether unique in regard to these traditional folk songs, and I think he masterfully delivered. ” Her family roots are further utilized through the album’s cover art, which features a painting by her brother Miguel. “We have the same nostalgia, he and I. You can see it in his paintings,” Díaz said. “This one is really beautiful. It’s my cousin Vanessa sleeping.” Though, that sense of family is something that pervades her work on Despechada — just ask her old friend Michael Stipe, who said this about her catalog: “To meet her, to see her perform, to hear her music, to hear her voice ... you sense something,” Stipe said. “There is a familiarity; there’s that kind of thing. That electric pulling … that you feel when amongst family.”  Despechada TRACKLIST: Clavelito Colorado  Pueblos Tristes Mi Nostalgia El Colibri Carmela Fulgida Luna Mi Negra Angelitos Negros  Sombra De Los Medanos  Duerme Negrito RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft Jim White Music - Website Jim White - Facebook Ane Diaz Music - Website Ane Diaz - Instagram Ane Diaz - Twitter
PEACHES launches Isis Salam
13-06-2023
PEACHES launches Isis Salam
Rain welcomes Peaches to launch Isis Salam on LaunchLeft Podcast today. Peaches describes her performing style and explains why humor is an effective way to reach an audience. Peaches also shares her journey into the music realm as an independent artist- then Isis and Peaches talk about how they met and why they bonded. Stay till the end to hear Isis Salam’s track “Free D Hard Way”.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [01:19] Peaches reflects on how she was perceived and why she embraces humor.  [05:11] Peaches talks about the difficulties she experienced when she started her career.  [08:50] Peaches shares her childhood and early adult experiences.  [18:19] Isis talks about how she and Peaches met and how she influenced her.  [22:13] What would Isis do if she had unlimited cash to create something and a discussion about the culture we live in.  [28:51] Peaches and Isis give their parting thoughts and introduce the soundtrack of Isis's track called Free The Hard Way.    KEY TAKEAWAYS:  It takes courage to pioneer a new path in music or any art form. The culture we live in needs music to draw us all together. Canada and Germany offer grants for musicians and artists that the United States does not provide.   RESOURCE LINKS LaunchLeft Podcast Smart Link    Teaches of Peaches - Website Peaches - Instagram Peaches - Facebook Peaches - Twitter Peaches - YouTube   Isis Salam - Soundcloud Isis Salam - Instagram Isis Salam - Twitter Isis Salam - Auset Records Isis Salam - Facebook
JIM JAMES launches Jenny O.
30-05-2023
JIM JAMES launches Jenny O.
Rain welcomes Jim James to LaunchLeft today, where he launches Jenny O. Jim shares his history with Jenny O. and discusses her distinct musical style. In addition, they delve into Jim's band and the vital role that effective communication between its members has contributed to its success. They also explore the challenges of touring, being away from loved ones, and fatigue. This episode is fast, fun, and informative. Don’t miss it. IN THIS EPISODE: [00:49] Jim shares what the communication is like between the band  members and how they are authentic and open with each other.  [03:04] Jim reflects on his childhood and how watching the Muppet Show influenced his career.  [06:10] Jim tells how he met Jenny O. and they discuss her catalog.  [10:50] Jenny O. discusses touring versus the studio, and she shares the difficulty of touring and not having the same bands from venue to venue.  [16:32] Rain raised the topic of having grants to support artists like other countries do, and Jim discusses the importance of music in the world.  [18:57] Jenny O. desires to have her music help people and enlighten the world, infusing it with joy.  [24:06] Jenny O. asks Jim what brings him the most joy KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Communication is essential in having great working relationships. Playing music without the driving force of producing a song is therapeutic.  Music can be healing for the soul. Touring is difficult when you don’t have the same band at every venue. It is easier to stay in the studio as a solo artist if they cannot tour with their band. RESOURCE LINKS: Podcast - LaunchLeft Jim James - Website My Morning Jacket - Website Jim James - Instagram My Morning Jacket - Instagram Jim James - Twitter My Morning Jacket - Twitter Jim James - Facebook My Morning Jacket - Facebook Jim James Music- YouTube My Morning Jacket - YouTube My Morning Jacket - TikTok   Jenny O - Website Jenny O - Instagram Jenny O - Twitter Jenny O Music - Facebook Jenny O - YouTube Jenny O - TikTok Jenny O - BandCamp
JOHN VANDERSLICE Launches Spacemoth
25-04-2023
JOHN VANDERSLICE Launches Spacemoth
Rain welcomes John Vanderslice to LaunchLeft today.  John launches Spacemoth, and together we discuss how getting away from the handbook and taking risks can make a lasting piece of art. John doesn’t hold back on his views of creativity, production, artists' treatment, and more. Spacemoth joins in to discuss recording studios and her music. Stay tuned to the end to hear Spacemoth’s vibey track ‘UFO Bird’.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [01:08]John discusses his journey through what, how and why he writes his music.  [07:28] What two artists inspired John to step out of his comfort zone.  [10:27] John’s examples of ‘whatever it takes to get by’.  [11:55] John talks about his collection of instruments.  [13:57] What would John do if he ever stopped making music?  [17:31] What non-attachment means to John and how grieving informs an artist.  [20:29] How John spends his time in and out of the studio and his views of this creative art.  [27:51] Spacemoth talks about finding Tiny Telephone and the different vibes in studios.  [36:40] Listen to Spacemoth’s song “UFO Bird” from the album, No Past No Future.   KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Artists must always find something inspiring. They are constantly looking for gems in music and others. Sometimes when “accidents” happen in the studio, they can result in fantastic music. Collaboration in music is the key to making lasting records while the artists have fun and find joy in making them.   BIOGRAPHY:  The Reintroduction of John Vanderslice by Grayson Haver Currin Nearly 20 years ago, or just after the start of this century, John Vanderslice made some of his generation’s most masterful singer-songwriter records. Life and Death of an American Four-Tracker, Cellar Door, Pixel Revolt: Every year or so, he’d release another set of engrossing songs set expertly on edge, vulnerable excavations animated by a new dawn of endless-war unrest. Those albums sounded like little else, each blown-out drum line or warped calliope melody or sun-baked synthesizer layer a testament to Vanderslice’s laborious process and tireless ingenuity. (There were rumors, possibly true, he once cut 500 hours of tape for a single album.) This dovetailed, of course, with his emergence as a keen analog revivalist and the proprietor of one of the best studios in the country, San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone. But on a sunny winter day in his gently sloped Los Angeles backyard, feet from the little green cabin where he now makes music, Vanderslice beams as he disavows all of it. “I went from this scrappy dude who wanted to own a studio to someone able to record in a big room with a full orchestra, like fucking Frank Sinatra, the end result of an obsession with songwriting,” he says of his maximalist apogee, 2011’s White Wilderness, brushing hair so blonde it sometimes seems white from his suddenly trenched brow. “I should have wrapped it up right there—no more tape, no more reel-to-reel, no more linear format. Let’s blow it up. It took me a long time to learn how.” Let’s round it, in fact, to a dozen years: Crystals 3.0—the culmination of a span of ecstatic experimentation with harsh noise and hard drugs, curious samples and cascading sequencers—is both a new pinnacle for Vanderslice and the manifestation of a revelatory outlook. A seamless 19-minute sequence of melodies so memorable they belong in an ice cream truck, static bursts so meticulous they belong on a Merzbow tribute and beats so spring-loaded they belong on a trap record, Crystals 3.0 applies the unencumbered enthusiasm of vintage Vanderslice records to his ideas about breaking old molds, about avoiding easy interpretation. “Songwriting is inherently conservative, and I just don’t have the mindset to write something like ‘Exodus Damage’ again,” Vanderslice, now 55, says, grinning broadly in his contagious way. “I want to make music that poses more questions than it answers.” The essential elements here are nothing unprecedented for Vanderslice. He was, after all, the sample guy in his acclaimed band of ’90s weirdos, MK Ultra, and his approach to crosshatching rhythms and hooks in playful patterns betrayed a love of hip-hop and electronica at least since 2004’s Cellar Door. During pandemic lockdowns, though, a budding fascination led him to embrace those elements unabashedly—drugs, from acid and coke to mushrooms and MDMA. After years as the songwriter who didn’t drink on tour for fear of how it might impact his craft, the spoils of a libertine Los Angeles became distinct tools, allowing him to tunnel into his creativity in distinct ways. He would build electronic trances on ecstasy or up the mushrooms on recording days, looking for unimagined connections. During 2022, Vanderslice would often sit in his backyard studio in some pleasant psychedelic state and work while a film—maybe something by the Maysles Brothers or Frederick Wiseman—played in the background. If something caught his ear, he’d often weave it into the music, using the distortion inherent in those decades-old documentaries to counter the rigidly clean tones of digital instruments. No context, just the serendipity of overlapping moments. Those samples populate Crystals 3.0 like reawakened ghosts, maybe guests of honor at one of the drug parties Vanderslice throws in the backyard with his partner, Maria. The whole dense little record feels like a distilled fête, its 13 overlapping tracks functioning as fragments from conversations and encounters. Bits of singing that might have fit on Pixel Revolt about sequences that Chicks on Speed would have loved; celebrations of jungle drums run into sunken-keyboard miasmas, like an old friend pulling you aside to deliver some bad news. Vanderslice spent a year building, sorting, and stitching together these pieces; despite the brevity, you may spend just as long trying to unpack every layer, and decode every secret. It is no mystery that the music Vanderslice made at the start of this century is no longer in supreme vogue, not a source of major cachet. He’s not only OK with that but also invigorated by it, the way it permits him to pursue whatever excites him. When he talks about music, he hopscotches between modern rappers and classical composers, abrasive producers and Charles Mingus, beaming as he goes. He gloats about one day dying broke, about creating with no master plan except what’s right in front of him. “You have to move on to more challenging silos,” he says, “or you’re just going to be a boring fucking artist.” Named for a novel method of synthesizing pure LSD, Crystals 3.0 overflows with youthful vim, the sense that to settle into an old pattern is to be dead already. If you have previously loved John Vanderslice, you will hear him here instantly, whether it’s that familiar warble during “Crystals 26” or the way he cavorts with hooks. If you’ve never known him, you will instead instantly hear a mind on post-modern fire, trying, like always, to make sense of our modern mess. This side of John Vanderslice’s sound hid in plain sight for two decades on records that remain essential because of those very interests; it has never sounded more full, dauntless, or thrilling than on Crystals 3.0.   RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft John Vanderslice - Website John Vanderslice - Twitter John Vanderslice - Facebook John Vanderslice - Instagram John Vanderslice - Bandcamp - Website John Vanderslice - Wikipedia Spacemoth - Website Spacemoth - Bandcamp - Website Spacemoth - Instagram Spacemoth - Twitter Spacemoth - YouTube
Alex Ebert Launches Try
28-03-2023
Alex Ebert Launches Try
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Alex Ebert joins LaunchLeft and launches Try. Is there such a thing as a “happy accident?” Can a human fail in ways AI cannot? Tune in for thoughtful conversation with Rain, Alex and Sam i + Shmuck the Loyal from Try. Try music was born during the pandemic, and you will hear about their new, innovative, and creative process. Listen to the end to hear Try’s music and the full lively conversation between these award winning artists. IN THIS EPISODE: [01:49] Alex describes what drew him to New Orleans[05:03] Alex gives the definition of AI, the limitless possibilities of AI and what artists need to do to stay a step ahead. [16:12] Sam i and Shmuck the Loyal began their collaboration during the pandemic. [18:33] Shmuck describes the process of working remotely and how they took advantage of what most would say is a disadvantaged situation. [22:25] Humans can work within limitations, and AI cannot. That allows for happy accidents. [23:21] Shmuck and Sam i reveal their new project and speak about the unusual process of producing their music. [27:34] How music and legacy have changed for Alex and Sam i after having children. [34:41] Sam i and Shmuck talk about the fun and joy of making music. [39:50] The music of Try.  KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Artists are fallible, whereas AI is not. Our achievements going forward will be because of human mistakes. AI will need to catch up to those happy accidents. The pandemic was a creative time for artists who recognized the advantages of time alone to create.Your life can be music, or music can be a part of your life. So take time to see the art in nature and other people. BIOS:  Alexander Ebert is an American singer-songwriter and composer. He is best known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the American bands Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. On January 12, 2014, Ebert won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for his musical score to the film All Is Lost (2013).   Shmuck the Loyal is an experimental music producer based out of Nashville, TN. His idealistic approach to production is driven by the pursuance of maximalism and a deeper, more emotive side of electronica. After a stint of exclusively focusing on working for artists such as , ,  and others, Shmuck developed a finely tuned project that defines his most realized creative self. The diversity and versatility that he showcases during this project superbly highlights his talents as an upcoming electronic music artist. His music and visuals showcase the overlay of his passions for music, film and car culture.   Grammy-nominated producer, DJ, composer, music director and film director Sam i is a multifaceted artist. His latest album, Random Shit From The Internet Era, features collaborations with Doja Cat, Anderson .Paak, Tropkillaz, Sia, Busta Rhymes and more. His recently released single, Shake feat. Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet fuses alt-pop vocals with disco, funk and electro-pop and features a remix by French Ed Banger legend Breakbot. Sam i's music has been used in countless films, TV and commercials. Most recently, Suéltate feat. Anitta, BIA & Jarina De Marco has been the focus track for Sing 2, charting in Brazil and gaining momentum around the world. With his recently retired DJ duo N.A.S.A., Sam collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, M.I.A., Childish Gambino, David Byrne, George Clinton, Lykke Li and many more. He's also produced artists like Lizzo, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Crystal Castles, and Fatlip. RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft Alex Ebert - Twitter Alex Ebert - Instagram Alex Ebert - Facebook Alex Ebert - YouTube Alex Ebert - Wikipedia Alex Ebert - Badguru Trymusic - Instagram Trymusic - Twitter Sam_i_universe - Instagram Shumck the Loyal - Instagram Shumck the Loyal - Facebook Shumck the Loyal - SoundcloudSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
GINA BIRCH launches Tianna Esperanza
28-02-2023
GINA BIRCH launches Tianna Esperanza
Founding member of pioneering band The Raincoats, Gina Birch joins LaunchLeft to discuss the independence she has shown throughout her career, her love of the arts and the transformative impact creativity has had on her life. Gina’s new album, I Play My Bass Loud, dropped on February 24th on Third Man Records. Gina pays it forward by launching Tianna Esperanza and her fantastic debut record Terror. The granddaughter of The Slit's Palmolive, Tianna embodies a depth of talent and heart well beyond her years. Tune in to hear vibrant conversations and excitement from these two talented artists.   -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [00:47] Gina shares how she came to write her record and tells us about her inspiration to paint and make Super 8 films. [08:42] Gina talks about her art and how it reflects a time of abuse in her teenage years. She also expresses her views about the current generation and how difficult it must be for them. [17:00] Having humor in her work is very healing, and Gina shares an example of that in her song, Feminist Song.[19:53] Gina explains how she came to know Tianna. [24.37] Tianna reflects on her creative passions and how she landed a music career. She also shared that it was not her famous grandmother that led her into music, but her love of writing and poetry. [29:23] Tianna talks about her dreams and aspirations and her desire to write with a variety of artists. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Artistic individuals often can take several career paths because of their raw talent.Circumstances surrounding an artist frequently develop that passion and are expressed in their medium.You are never too old or too young to follow your artistic flair. BIOS:  GINA BIRCH Gina Birch is a founder member and songwriter of pioneering post punk band The Raincoats. Over 4 albums, The Raincoats helped shape the timeless notion that punk is what you make it to be – an act of raw expression, not any one sound. They set a crucial precedent for feminist work within a DIY punk context. Gina has made videos and super 8 films, performance art, played with Red Crayola /Art and Language, and among many other achievements she has been raising two daughters with her husband Mike. Birch has been painting solidly for four years. TIANNA ESPERANZA Tianna Esperanza is a singer/songwriter who embodies a depth of talent and heart well beyond her years. Her music has been described as having hints of Sade, Public Enemy, and Gil Scott-Heron. Tianna is known for her personally inspired lyrics with roaring protest undertones, making for a powerful and unforgettable experience. RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft Tianna Esperanza - Website Tianna Esperanza - Instagram Gina Birch - Website Gina Birch - InstagramSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
BEN LEE and IONE SKYE launch Emily Waurramara
31-01-2023
BEN LEE and IONE SKYE launch Emily Waurramara
Ben Lee and Ione Skye join this episode of LaunchLeft. They discuss how a couple can work together and thrive, activism, and quantifying success. Later in the show, Ben and Ione Skye launch Emily Wurramara, an Australian songwriter who composes her music in English and her native indigenous language. She performs her song “Stay the Fuck Away from Me” acoustic to close this genuinely inspiring episode.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [01:34] Rain, Ben, and Ione catch up on New Year’s activities and how going through the pandemic has made them appreciate being able to socialize once more. [05:32] Ben and Ione discuss how they decided to make their podcast called Weirder Together. [15:03] The couple shares their beliefs on what success looks like. [27:20] What brought Ben and Ione together as a couple, and with what topics are they socially active? How can those topics impact you negatively on social media? [36:41] Why Ben feels responsible for young artists giving them a hand up, as was done for him. 40:05] Ben introduces Emily Wurramara. Emily performs a song at the end of the episode.  KEY TAKEAWAYS:  LaunchLeft’s mission is to highlight and empower artists and give them a platform to launch their careers.There is a cultural brainwashing that holds to the tenant that if you are rich, you are successful.  However, the flip side of that coin is, are you happy and enjoying life?  Shouldn’t you enjoy the process and not only concentrate on the reward?Collaboration can be painful, but it can produce a better product when people from diverse situations and ideas come together to form an exciting product better than one person could do alone.  RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft Website - Emily Wurramara Facebook - Emily Wurramara Instagram - Emily Wurramara BIO:  Originating from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, the AIR award-winning and ARIA-nominated artist released an 11-track album Milyakburra, educating and informing in both English and Anindilyakwa languages. The critically acclaimed 2018 album features the emotive Lady Blue (over 6.5 million Spotify streams) and Black Smoke, amassing over 1.2 million Spotify streams and rotation on Triple J, ABC Local, and ten weeks in the AMRAP charts. Emily has performed on many global stages, including Woodford Folk Festival, Bluesfest, TEDX Sydney, GARMA, Port Fairy Folk Festival, BIGSOUND, and International Folk Alliance showcase in Kansas, Canada, and New Orleans, as well as shows in Chicago, New York, Paris and across so-called Australia. She has toured and played with iconic artists, including Archie Roach, Mavis Staples, John Farnham, Busby Marou, Coloured Stones, Missy Higgins, Shellie Morris, Jessica Mauboy, Cat empire, and John butler, just to name a few! Emily is a six-time Queensland Music Award winner; she was selected for the AMP Tomorrow Maker Award and won the AIR Awards Best Blues and Roots Album of the Year. What's next? Emily recently signed to the record label ABC Music and is currently in the studio working on her new album, set for release in 2022.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Rooney Mara Launches Suay Sew Shop
03-01-2023
Rooney Mara Launches Suay Sew Shop
Rooney Mara joins Rain on LaunchLeft and launches Suay Sew Shop. The conversation begins with family, film, music, and activism before welcoming Lindsay Rose Medoff, CEO and Lead Designer of Suay. Lindsay tells us about the mission and services that this unique retail shop provides. The best news is that Suay is cultivating a workforce of textile recyclers dedicated to eliminating post-consumer waste and giving opportunities for under-appreciated workers fair pay and recognition. With its original location in Los Angeles, Suay will open another location in New York. Don’t miss this episode of LaunchLeft to catch up with Rooney Mara and learn all about Suay Sew Shop. -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:52] Rooney Mara reflects on her childhood. [06:10] Choices made in life, deciding not to relinquish control in an acting career and her film, Women Talking. [16:30] Rooney discusses motherhood and being a co-partner in a two-actor home and the creation of the production company, Valentine Pictures. [21:29] Reflecting on a catalog of work starting with Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, how music played a role, and living the life of a vegan. [36:37] Rooney launches Suay Sew Shop. Lindsay Rose Medoff, CEO and Lead Designer of Suay, describes their mission and services. [42:44] Empowering manual laborers and paying for the value they bring to the table. The difference between saying you want to help make a change and being willing to be uncomfortable and make the change. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Rooney Mara takes on causes, films, lifestyle, and “shopping” in ways that she can be proud of and that can positively impact the world. Suay Sew Shop in Los Angeles is a unique business employing skilled manual laborers. They provide free clothing to the needy that they have repurposed. In addition, they are working on becoming worker-owned, which empowers workers that otherwise would remain an overlooked population. There are ways to close the gap between the impoverished and business tycoons. It’s a decision to share the wealth and take less in profits. It’s one thing to stand on a soap box and “talk” about making a difference and quite another thing to put people over profits. RESOURCE LINKS Website - Rooney Mara Instagram - Rooney Mara Facebook - Rooney Mara Website - Suay Sew Shop Instagram - Suay Sew Shop Facebook - Suay Sew Shop LinkedIn - Lindsay Rose Medoff BIO:  Rooney Mara:  Actress and philanthropist Rooney Mara was born on April 17, 1985 in Bedford, New York. She made her screen debut in the slasher film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), went on to have a supporting role in the independent coming-of-age drama Tanner Hall (2009), and has since starred in the horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), the biographical drama The Social Network (2010), the thriller remake The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and the romantic drama Carol (2015). Patricia Rooney Mara is one of four children of Kathleen McNulty (née Rooney) and NFL football team New York Giants executive Timothy Christopher Mara. Her grandfathers were Wellington Mara, co-owner of the Giants, and Timothy Rooney, owner of Yonkers Raceway, and her grand-uncle is Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the former Ambassador to Ireland. She is the great-granddaughter of Art Rooney, the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers football franchise. Her father has Irish, German, and French-Canadian ancestry, and her mother is of Irish and Italian descent. After graduating from Bedford's Fox Lane High School, she went to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in South America for four months as part of the Traveling School, an open learning environment. She attended George Washington University for a year and then transferred to New York University, where she studied international social policy psychology and nonprofits. She took her degree from New York University in 2010. Her studies focused on non-profit organizations, as her family has a tradition of involvement in philanthropic causes. She had thought of acting after watching old movies and attending musical theater, but did not think of it as a serious vocation and was afraid she might fail at this. As a result of her reservations, she appeared in only one play while in high school. She began seriously focusing on acting when she was at New York University, appearing in student films. Inspired by her older sister, actress Kate Mara, she began to pursue the craft, auditioning for acting jobs at age 19. She appeared with her sister Kate in the video horror movie Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), billing herself as "Patricia Mara". As "Tricia Mara", she had guest roles on television and won her first lead in the movie Tanner Hall (2009), which was shot in the fall of 2007. She originally auditioned for the supporting role of Lucasta in "Tanner Hall", a $3-million independent film, but director Tatiana von Fürstenberg was so impressed by the young actress, she had her return to audition for the lead role of Fernanda, which Mara won. Furstenberg was delighted with her nuanced performance, saying, "Still waters run deep". Continuing to call herself Tricia Mara, this was during the making of "Tanner Hall" that she considered changing her professional name to Rooney Mara, soliciting the advice of the cast and crew. After premiering at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, her performance in "Tanner Hall" brought the rechristened Rooney Mara a "Rising Star" award at the 2009 Hamptons Film Festival and a "Stargazer Award" at the 2010 Gen Art Film Festival. She received her first lead role in a major feature, in the $35 million remake A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). The movie proved disappointing at the box office, grossing only $63 million domestically and racking up a worldwide gross of just under $116 million. However, she was noticed by critics in the small but pivotal role of the Boston University undergrad Erica Albright who dumps Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010). Director David Fincher subsequently cast her as the lead, Lisbeth Salander, in his thriller remake, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium book series. She received critical acclaim for her performance, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama. She starred in the thriller film Side Effects (2013), the independent drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), and the acclaimed sci-fi romantic drama Her (2013). The following year, she starred in the adventure drama Trash (2014). She garnered further critical acclaim for her performance in Todd Haynes' romantic drama Carol (2015), for which she won the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama and the SAG, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In the spirit of her family's philanthropic endeavors, Rooney created Faces of Kibera, a charity that provides food, medical care and housing to orphans in Nairobi, Kenya's Kibra district, a small slum that houses a million people. There are many orphans as AIDS is rampant in the slum.   Lindsay Rose Medoff, CEO and Lead Designer of Suay:  SUAY SEW SHOP is creating a culture of community and reuse. As our global community demands change from corporations, our dedication to design, coupled with a drive for activism, is putting reclaimed products at the center of a social, economic and environmental revolution. Cultivating upcycling as the priority will not only massively impact our planet, but our daily quality of life. SUAY is a Los Angeles based 100% vertical sewing, production and consulting shop founded in 2017 by CEO, Lindsay Rose Medoff.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Rain Phoenix Launches Johanna Warren
20-12-2022
Rain Phoenix Launches Johanna Warren
Johanna Warren joins LaunchLeft to talk about her new album, Lessons for Mutants, and share her thoughts about the creative process. Johanna is also involved in writing a play, The Buckeye, and will do a live workshop in Bristol, England, in February. In addition, Johanna speaks boldly about how she has found energy and creativity in nature and discusses rebelling against parts of society that put deadlines and expectations on artists and people in general and how that can compromise your well-being. The episode closes with a live performance of her song "Lessons For Mutants" from the Garden Sessions at PULP studio in Gainesville, Florida. Join us this week for a truly inspiring episode.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [00:55] Johanna shares about the time spent in Wales and her childhood. [09:07] Johanna is working on a musical called The Buckeye. [10:25] Discussion of what sparks creativity and taking time for yourself. [23:56] The state of the music industry and how Covid gave Johanna a time of quiet reflection. [29:40] Johanna describes her collaboration with local farmers and herbalists. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  The effect of losing someone resonates in the art that you create.It’s essential to be mindful of how you feel and what you spend time on. It’s good to take a break when your body speaks and says slow down, even if it affects a schedule in place. Put your well-being first. The music industry doesn’t value new talent. Instead, the focus is on those who have become stars; consequently, they get the notice and the benefits. RESOURCE LINKS Podcast - LaunchLeft Album - Johanna Warren Instagram - Johanna Warren Facebook - Johanna Warren Twitter - Johanna Warren Soundcloud - Johanna Warren Bandcamp - Johanna Warren BIO:  As a little kid, I knew who I was: a wild magical creature who delighted in the gifts of the Earth and the mysteries of the universe - feasting on red clover and honeysuckle, grinding berries between stones to make "potions," thatching faerie huts with slabs of damp moss, talking to bugs, singing to birds, drawing channeled images of interdimensional angels, and happily passing long afternoons with my face pressed in the dirt watching golden light dance through blades of grass. Then, as most of us do, I forgot. The magic was conditioned out of me and replaced with corn syrup, plastic and The Pledge of Allegiance. And I got very sick, and very very sad. I was slapped with a long string of diagnoses, including Type 1 diabetes. My adolescence and young adulthood was a horrorshow of illness and medications that caused side effects for which more medications were prescribed. After ten years of this nightmare, I realized I had no idea who I was without the antidepressants, birth control pills, antibiotics, acne medications, antiandrogens, prescription migraine drugs and insulin injections I had been taking regularly since before I was old enough to question any of it.  I started experimenting with phasing out pharmaceuticals and exploring "alternative" (ancient, sacred) healing modalities: herbalism and folk medicine, acupuncture, Qi Gong, meditation, fasting. I started working on biodynamic farms and learning directly from plants. Getting back outside to be in direct communion with the natural cycles of the Earth, as I did so naturally as a child, has been absolutely vital to my personal healing. Since most of my illnesses were stemming from toxic foods, getting directly involved with the source of my nourishment was pivotal. I can’t overstate how difficult it was to get off the pharmaceuticals, but I was determined — I knew in my bones that there was a better way. Over the course of a harrowing year, I weaned myself off the insane slew of drugs I’d been on for years — all except insulin, which I still currently rely on to help manage Type 1 diabetes (a profound teacher I am continuing to learn from!) The next major event in my training as a healer came In 2012, when I was in a fatal car crash. At the moment of the collision, I had a lucid experience of being saved by the angelic form of my best friend, who had died a year prior: I felt his presence as a warm bubble of white light that shielded me from injury. By all accounts, given the circumstances and severity of the impact, it was miraculous that I lived at all – but in fact I was left without a scratch on my body.  The car crash was an initiation. It cracked me wide open. It was like I was catapulted into a different dimension where magic was real again. Suddenly I was talking to dead people, seeing colors I’d never seen before, feeling like I could start a fire with the light and heat coming out of my hands.  My work as a healer has been about finding my way home, back to the wise child who knew who she was, and helping others do the same. Remembering that we are all deeply connected. Reclaiming our magic. Dancing for the trees. Singing for the squirrels. Fasting in the wilderness sometimes. Learning from plants. Learning from people. Listening within. Falling more deeply in love with myself/ You/ Nature/ God every day.  As I continue to walk the healing path, I come again and again to the understanding that pain, suffering and disease are invitations: portals to awakening. Our bodies are constantly communicating to us in poetic metaphors densely encoded with information, and they can teach us everything we came here to learn. All we have to do is listen.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Creem Magazine | JJ Kramer launches Zachary Lipez
06-12-2022
Creem Magazine | JJ Kramer launches Zachary Lipez
JJ Kramer, who is rebooting Creem Magazine, joins LaunchLeft today. JJ shares about the  impact of Creem Magazine and what it means to bring back the iconic magazine his father started in the 70s. He launches Zachary Lipez, the Editor at Large, who discusses his love for writing, music and even going into the office. Listen in on this enthusiastic conversation between music lovers about the history and future of Creem Magazine.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:43] JJ Kramer discusses the void created when Creem 1.0 had its last print run in 1989. [09:44] How the magazine and the creator, JJ’s father, Barry, are inextricably intertwined, and the desire to preserve the legacy. [14:51] Bringing Zachary Lipez on as Editor at Large. [17:10] Zachary tells how he began his writing career. [29:53] The goal of Creem Magazine is to be true to itself and its readers.  KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Creem Magazine is based in Detroit and focuses on all genres of music, making it a magazine for everyone.Creem Magazine tells it like it is. It embraces humor, clarity, opinions, the music culture, criticism, and praise of the musician or band.Detroit was and still is the home of Creem Magazine. It pays homage to its Detroit roots but is a magazine for anyone and everyone who loves music. RESOURCE LINKS Website - Creem Magazine Facebook - Creem Magazine Twitter - Creem Magazine Instagram - Creem Magazine Facebook - JJ Kramer Facebook - Zachary Lipez Linkedin - JJ Kramer Linkedin - Zachary Lipez BIO:  JJ Kramer, Chairman, CREEM Magazine JJ Kramer is the only child of CREEM's late founder, Barry Kramer.  After his father's death in 1981, CREEM was bequeathed to JJ who, at four years old, was named the magazine Chairman. For the better part of his adult life, JJ has been fighting to preserve CREEM's storied legacy (including an actual fist fight). In 2022, JJ comes full circle and resumes his role as Chairman of CREEM Entertainment. In addition, as a practicing intellectual property and entertainment attorney with 20 years of experience, JJ has worked with some of the world's biggest brands, influencers, and recording artists.    Zachary Lipez, Editor at Large, CREEM Magazine Zachary Lipez is a writer and bartender based in NYC. His byline has appeared in The Washington Post, Talkhouse, VICE/Noisey, Bandcamp Daily, Pitchfork, The Fader, and Penthouse. He is the co-author (with Stacy Wakefield and Nick Zinner) of 131 Different Things, Please Take Me Off The Guestlist, Slept In Beds, and No Seats On The Party Car. He sang in the post-punk band Freshkills (about which he wrote the Talkhouse essay, “Playing in a Band No One Likes”). He is currently the singer in two bands, Publicist UK and Telematics, both goth-adjacent.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S. CAREY | Portrait
22-11-2022
S. CAREY | Portrait
Carey, Wisconsin-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer, joins LaunchLeft. Most notably as the drummer and backing vocalist of Bon Iver, S. Carey shares with Rain how he balanced writing a very personal album while collaborating with other artists to create Break Me Open. He also talks about his experience growing up with his music teacher father, finding his love for percussion, and how many art forms have inspired and shaped his career in the music industry. -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [01:00] S. Carey talks about how music found him as a young child. [04:00] The collaborative work of S. Carey’s new album, Break Me Open. [05:11] The inspiration S. Carey finds in other art forms. [08:24] Producing other artists and what he learns from the experience.  KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Musical inspiration can come from many art forms and perspectives. Using different instruments can inspire a new adventure and challenge when producing and writing new music. Producing other artists can teach you new ways to do things and build trust in the creative relationship.  RESOURCE LINKS Carey Website Carey on IG Carey on Twitter Carey on Facebook Carey on YouTube Carey on SoundCloud BIO:  Carey is the moniker of Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Sean Carey, commonly recognized as the drummer, backing vocalist, and second-longest serving member of Bon Iver. Over the past decade, Carey has fostered his flourishing solo career via themes of nature and sustainability, songwriting built from jazz beginnings, and heartfelt, emotive lyricism. His latest and fourth album, Break Me Open, adds to a discography of three full-length releases, two EPs, and countless collaborations. As S. Carey developed his songwriting and producing talents, he was commissioned by Will Arnett to write the track "Rose Petals" for his Netflix series Flaked, co-wrote "Hold The Light" with Dierks Bentley for feature-length film Only The Brave, contributed to Sufjan Stevens' album Carrie & Lowell, and has produced for and written with the likes of Low, Mike Kinsella, Pieta Brown, and Ed Tullett of Novo Amor. Carey and his adept band of longtime friends and collaborators celebrate their 12th year of touring everywhere from international headline shows to intimate living room performances to theater stages.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
SCOUT LARUE WILLIS | Portrait
08-11-2022
SCOUT LARUE WILLIS | Portrait
Scout Willis has always been musical throughout her life, but she didn’t know she would end up focusing on music in such a big way. Choosing to do a solo record was a big decision, leading to her first self-titled album, Scout Larue Willis. On this episode of LaunchLeft, Scout shares with Rain about the art of creative collaboration, her earliest musical memories, and excitement about performing her new songs in front of an audience.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:00] Scout’s decision to record a solo album. [09:00] How music influenced Scout throughout her life. [15:00] What drives Scout in regards to service to others. [18:00] Listen to Scout’s song from the album. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  A lot of vulnerability and sensitivity goes into an artist’s music. Letting go of judgements of yourself can help you feel compassion for others. RESOURCE LINKS Scout on IG Scout on Twitter Scout on YouTube Scout on Soundcloud BIO:  Imbued with wistful melodies and eloquent, eccentric arrangements, Scout LaRue Willis’ self-titled debut is an unflinching chronicle of hard decade, a coming-of-age album that turns this young auteur’s darkest fears into hurt yet distinctly hopeful songs that both soothe and catalyze.  From her first lonely notes on “Blue Moon” until the final rowdy sing-along on “Red Road Home,” she comes across as an artist who grounds her music in vivid inspiration as well as honest experience; In the exquisitely simple and authentic expression of Patsy Cline, in strange dreams half remembered upon waking, in old cowboy trail songs, in the 1960s classic rock passed down by her father like an heirloom, in the everyday challenges of being a human and in the operatic way Roy Orbison delights in his voice. Willis constantly marshals her resolve as she conveys hard truths in her graceful rasp: “And I will pass this test, ‘cause I know I am strong,” she declares on the anthemic “Woman at Best.” “I won’t call out your name, I’ll just sing out this song.” While it’s immediately apparent that she’s an original voice, it took her many years to find the courage to share it. After harboring tender, childhood aspirations of being a musician, she felt discouraged by certain experiences in high school and all but suppressed the dream.  It wasn’t until she started writing songs and singing as one-half of the duo Gus + Scout while at Brown University that she realized it was something she could really pursue. In between classes they managed to tour and record a 2012 EP that mixes early rock and doo-wop sounds. “We’d go away for the weekend, play a little festival and then have to come back and finish papers.  It was thrilling getting to run away and moonlight as a rockstar for a little while.” The pair paused musically upon graduation, and Willis spent years believing she couldn’t pursue music as a career. “Somewhere between fear and misperception I had this idea that I shouldn’t and couldn’t pursue music full time. My reasoning was based in self judgement, that I needed a ‘real job’ and that especially coming from privilege, music didn’t fall into that category. Later though, I realized this was just a very clever way to hide from the deep, unconscious fear I had around sharing myself and my art with the world” This safety net led her to a number of other jobs in the interim, all the while continuing to first teach herself to play guitar and then starting to write music on her own for the first time.  In February of 2016 Willis played her first ever solo show and began writing prolifically.  After a number of years of feeling lost with her work, this was a moment of rededicating herself wholly to music.  Though she knew she wanted to make an album, the songs she wrote during this period were also a means of processing the intensity of her emotions, “I’d have feelings that were so enormous I thought they’d destroy me, and the best tool I had at my disposal was music, so I would just start writing. I wrote ‘Love Without Possession’ in the throes of massive love addiction. I wrote it in real time, as it was all happening, and performed it live the day I finished it, as a means of communicating with the person I wrote it about. I was nearly crying onstage, such high drama! Even with all of the emotional ups and downs, it was such a beautiful and growth provoking time in my life!”  Even as she compiled a poignant and honest catalog of songs, Willis made little progress towards recording and releasing them. “In my conscious mind, I really wanted to get my musical career off the ground and share my work, it always felt like there was a wrench in the machine though and nothing was happening.” She says of the period between 2017 and 2019 especially “Ultimately, I came to realize that I was unconsciously holding myself back, which made sense because of course music is the thing I am most proud of in the world, it’s my heart laid bare and if I were to finally share that and still be found lacking somehow, either internally or externally, it would feel like death! After this realization it became much easier to be compassionate towards the parts of myself that were terrified to wholeheartedly pursue the thing that matters most to me. I came to see how this old story and the protective mechanisms around it had been running the show, enabling me to find a million different reasonable excuses to put it off” Understanding the subtle workings of her inner world proved to be the key because within a few months of that epiphany, Willis was in the studio recording her debut solo record.   Working with Producer Greg Papania (Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani) at Lucy’s Meat Market, an intimate studio in Highland Park, California, Willis set about searching for the ultimate version of each song—the version that would most effectively and deliciously deliver the truth of her lyrics. The songs are all centered around her unique voice and inventive guitar playing, with imaginative flourishes of strings and theremin. “I wanted every song to be its own episode, its own ride.” “Do You Trust Me Enough” marries the playful, skipping melody seamlessly with the heart wrenching lyrics. “Oh, I’m in love with your potential, but what of the man that you are,” she sings among the fluttering birds. “And oh, we’re addicted to each other, and that can only take us so far.” Anchoring these ingenious arrangements are sounds you won’t hear, but you’ll certainly feel. “In addition to recording the entire album in 432 tuning, we embedded specific tones in each song,” she says, “396hz clears fear, guilt, shame, anger and self-loathing, 417hz helps to release trauma.”  They added those tones underneath the tracks although they’re largely imperceptible to the ear. “For me music is a healing modality and Greg’s insight into 432 tuning and the use of these tones helped me to take that as far as it could go. I am really excited to hear about people’s response to the music and whether they can feel it as well as hear it!”  Scout LaRue Willis is, ultimately, a record of personal growth. It’s both an ode to the relationships that have helped her grow and to the relationship she has developed with herself. Even on “Last Night” the most recently written song on the album that Willis says, “is the first out and out love song” she’s ever written, there is a sense that it’s about the mirror her relationship holds up to herself.  Over a delicate finger-picked guitar and a sympathetic mandolin, Willis sings, “I think it was the first time, I started to believe, that you could love me, even when I’m a mess, that you could love me, with all the feelings I possess.” She could be singing to herself just as easily as to a lover. This album is a love letter to not only her triumph, but to her pain as well, to music as a healing force, and it offers her a vantage point to see how far she’s come. “Looking back through the lens of this album and my own personal growth work, I’m in love with every experience that inspired these songs, every moment of challenge, heart break and victory, because each of them conspired to get me to this exact moment and I’ve never been more in love with myself and my life than I am right now.  I feel like I am singing these songs to the girl I was—that young, thrashed, courageous version of myself who just kept making art no matter what. I feel so grateful to finally be at this point, ready to send these stories out into the world to have a life of their own”. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
RAIN PHOENIX launches The Steens
25-10-2022
RAIN PHOENIX launches The Steens
The Steens, Elijah and Isaiah, are two brothers from Orange County, CA, who formed their band in 2021. Growing up in the music and TV production industry, the brothers had a lot of influence from early on in their lives. Tune in to hear the brothers and Rain talk about growing up with music and how they used it to evolve into the duo they are now.  -----------------  LAUNCHLEFT OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.launchleft.com  LAUNCHLEFT PATREON https://www.patreon.com/LaunchLeft  TWITTER https://twitter.com/LaunchLeft  INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/launchleft/  FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/LaunchLeft  --------------------- LaunchLeft Podcast hosted by Rain Phoenix is an intentional space for Art and Activism where famed creatives launch new artists. LaunchLeft is an alliance of left-of-center artists, a curated ecosystem that includes a podcast, label and NFT gallery. --------------------- IN THIS EPISODE: [02:32] The Steens talk about their goals for the future of their duo. [06:30] The brothers talk about their top favorite books and records. [09:00] Advice the brothers would give to anyone in the teen demographic about working towards their goals. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Things that happen in your life can shape your perspective. Influences can be gathered starting at a young age. Work with what you have and don’t be afraid to be weird and go big. BIO: The Steens are two brothers from Orange County, CA. They formed their band in 2021 using their surname.  Naming the band was an easy decision with the duo’s sound and vision being firmly planted in their roots. At an early age their father was actively working in the music industry as an A&R/ artist manager while their mother was pursuing a promising career as a stylist. This all changed when their dad was arrested and went on to serve a 10 year prison sentence. The Steen’s “future rock n’ roll” sound picks up where their fate dropped them off. Feeding back and buzzing like gleaming gold through a distorted lens, the brother’s have woven a sound very much in tune with their childhood. Blown out 808s clip your speakers while fuzz injected guitars and vocals invite ancestors like Little Richard to perhaps take some more uppers. Someone suggested their band was like “the Black Strokes or something.” The Steens weren’t offended by the comparison but later stated, “The Strokes are great, but they’re a little polite, no? If we were gonna be the “black anything” and not “the Black Beatles” can’t we at least be “the Black Iggy Pops.” RESOURCE LINKS The Steens on IG The Steen's on FB  The Steen's on Sound CloudSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.