Tag Archives: Neil Young

Ep. #282: The Rutabega

The Rutabega is a two-piece pop-infused rock band consisting of Joshua Wayne Hensley and Garth Mason. Based in South Bend, Indiana, the Rutabega began some 15 years ago, as a solo outlet for Hensley’s fragile yet strong songwriting. In 2011, he connected with Mason, a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer, who has bolstered the Rutabega to become this mighty, beloved musical force. In the summer of 2016, Comedy Minus One released the band’s excellent record Unreliable Narrator, and the Rutabega have been playing select shows ever since, including upcoming dates on October 15 in South Bend, Indiana, on October 20 in Chicago, Illinois, and October 21 in Mattawan, Michigan. Here, Josh and Garth and I discuss high rotation Rutabega, Jay Arner and Jay II and my family’s love affair with both, down in the Bad Breath Club, getting my head around South Bend, the Studebaker Car Company Factory there that shut down decades ago, South Bend on the mend, an openly gay Mayor in Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Governor Mike Pence, progressive bubbles, whether or not most Americans want to discuss the presidential election, good versus evil, living through history, music as a realm expressing one’s thoughts about the whole world, new songs, personal and political, creativity and hopefulness, the band Space and Noise Productions, Josh’s early solo recordings and the origins of the Rutabega, nicknames Josh’s dad gave him, questioning answers, a rutabaga, a Studebaker, how Garth encountered Josh and then joined him in a band, multi-instrumentalism, Jon Solomon should’ve better prepped me for this interview, all of the instruments that Garth can almost play, South Bend’s segregated music communities, the city’s dubious crime history, Indiana music pride, “my favourite music is made by my friends,” discovering other good bands when you’re in a band, Canadindiana, Sloan, the Weakerthans, Propagandhi, Neil Young, Weed, Eric’s Trip, thoughts on Canada, the Inbreds and Mike O’Neill’s bass playing, the evolution of the Rutabega, 2013’s Brother The Lights Don’t Work, the Rutabega’s future, the song “Problem Solving Skills,’ the finer distinctions between the American and Canadian versions of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ and that was it.

therutabega

Related links: comedyminusone.com/bands/the-rutabega vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #200: Daniel Lanois

Daniel Lanois is a world-renowned musician, songwriter, and producer who splits his time living between Ontario and California. A multi-Grammy winning producer who has had a vital influence on key records by Bob Dylan, U2, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, and Neil Young, Lanois is also a pioneer of ambient music and one of the finest songwriters in Canada. His latest album is 2014’s Flesh and Machine, an adventurous record of processed instrumentation, which is available via Anti- Records. He performs solo at the Hillside Festival on the weekend of July 24 and here, Daniel and I discuss his studios in Los Angeles, Toronto, and Jamaica, the through line between early collaborations with Brian Eno and Flesh and Machine, manipulating and processing conventional instruments to create wholly new sounds, Brian Blade is a hell of a drummer and a dear friend, Daniel’s motorcycle accident in which he broke 10 bones, a Canadian motorcycle club, “The End” and “Beautiful Day,” conveying information via music and/or lyrics, plans to play a rare solo show at Hillside, planning for the workshop with Nels Cline Singers and Elaquent, ambient music as a term and communicating with Brian Eno about playing a show together, Bob Dylan and the swamp, making Time Out of Mind, the night Dylan came to his house to play him every song from the sessions that yielded the album Shadows in the Night, Dylan’s voice, steel guitar excursions, the song “Iceland,” and then where will I be?

Related links: daniellanois.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #153: Jasmyn Burke of Weaves

Jasmyn Burke is the lead singer and co-founder of a great young band from Toronto called Weaves. If electronic, synthesizer-driven bands might be called computer music, Weaves make Internet rock—an open-minded, all-encompassing pop music that’s infused with all of the sounds and information that is currently available. They have received accolades from Canadian and U.S. media outlets and released their first EP this past April 1. On December 12, Weaves are playing Stay Out of the Mall XIII with METZ and Badminton Racquet at the Ebar in Guelph and here, Jasmyn and I discuss hanging out at her parents’ house in Ancaster Ontario, actually being raised in Toronto, making music the way you listen to music, being difficult to pigeonhole artistically, working with Morgan Waters who’s the Rosetta Stone of musical collaborators and translates her ideas into more of a pop framework, Dr. Ew, when bands like Alvvays and Weaves do well, playing in Rattail, Jasmyn’s nerves and overcoming performance anxiety rituals, introverts who become front people, no one’s going to die, growing up in Weston, the boring ‘burbs, a penny-farthing tattoo, suburban hunger, seeing someone play a Neil Young song and loving Bob Dylan, Hot Monogamy, having a passion for creating strong vocal melodies and lyrics, discovering your own voice, always loving Toronto and believing in its supportive underground music community, Drake, the city of Toronto’s notoriety of late, we do need another hero, insidious search history ads, Toronto pet peeves, avoiding condescending ghettoization, sometimes the less we talk about a problem, the more quickly it goes away, feeding off the tension about the differences between us, why Weaves release singles every few months rather than a full LP, batch versus incremental recording, writing and recording all of the time, the album will be dead, the Weaves album will be deadly, opening for tUnE-yArDs at Massey Hall, Merrill Garbus is super nice, not working much, not complaining, travel and recording plans, seeing Bob Dylan live, the song “Shithole,” finding alien song ideas in your iPhone Voice Memos, and that’s it.

Related links: weavesband.com buzzrecords.ca vishkhanna.com

weaves

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