Matt Byars and Lee Gardner | WYPR

Matt Byars and Lee Gardner

Hosts of Essential Tremors podcasts.

Bibio

Dec 5, 2019

Since his breakthrough 2009 Warp Records release Ambivalence Avenue, Stephen James Wilkinson, better known as Bibio, has released six albums of delicate, moody folk imbued with deft electronic touches. Fragile, wistful, and often brief, his reverie-inducing songs serve as distillations of pure nostalgia.

Chris Shonting

Drummer John Stanier has turned heads throughout his career, first with '90s alt-metal act Helmet and in recent years as part of omindirectional electronic rock band Battles.In this episode, he talks to us about his prog-rock past, making every note count, and hating goth but loving Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Chris Shonting

Guitarist/keyboardist Ian Williams has blazed a unique path through underground music,with Don Caballero, Storm & Stress, and now with Battles. On this episode, the first of two that interview both Battles members, he talks about getting rid of emotion, free jazz, and machine music.

Levi Manchek

MC and producer JPEGMAFIA came out of Baltimore and exploded on the national rap landscape, not part of any particular music scene but drawing from many. In this episode, he talks about how songs by Janelle Monáe, Björk, and Cam'ron shaped his art.

Essential Tremors talks to musicians and other creative people about the music that shaped them. In the debut episode, hosts Matt Byars and Lee Gardner speak with Jana Hunter, singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Baltimore indie-pop band Lower Dens. 

Turns out the melancholy in the band's mercurial sound has its roots in Jana's experiences with the music of the Smiths, but also Vivaldi and a certain '70s AM hit.

Writer Hanif Abdurraqib has risen to prominence in recent years thanks to They Can't Kill Us Til They Kill Us, a collection of essays, and Go Ahead in the Rain, his recent book about hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest. In this episode, he talks about songs by Bruce Springsteen, Boosie, and Whitney Houston.

Robert Forster spent decades, off and on, as one of the singer/songwriters behind beloved Australian indie-pop band the Go-Betweens, along with his late creative partner Grant McLennan. 

 

Marin Alsop has spent her life surrounded by music—as the child of professional musicians, as a violinist, and as the acclaimed music director for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In this episode, she discusses the beauty of Brahms, playing music with her parents, and the world of Mahler.

Juana Molina won an audience far beyond the borders of her native Argentina by crossing the streams of singer/songwriter reflection, pop tunefulness, and electronic burble and drone. In this episode, she muses on her childhood impressions of music, enduring the artistic scrutiny of her parents, and having her mind blown by Raymond Scott.

Guy Picciotto was a founding member of numerous DC bands of the 80's that made an impact on the direction of American rock music, but none more so than Fugazi, the band led by him and fellow DC punk legend Ian MacKaye. After the band went on hiatus in 2003, Picciotto took a very different path, playing extensively with singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt until Chesnutt's death in 2009. In this episode, Picciotto talks about the three songs that changed him: a Baroque pop tune from an iconic British group, a brutal proto-punk single, and an extremely under-the-radar song from an unclassifiable Irish band.

Alex Waber, JIC

Experimental composer Sarah Davachi has constructed her own soundworld out of sustained tones and drones, using instruments both electronic and medieval. In this episode, she discusses music by Todd Rundgren, Soft Machine, and Ennio Morricone.