Irmin Schmidt and his cohorts in the group Can not only formed one of the central pillars of so-called krautrock, they created a body of work that influenced generations of rock, electronic, and experimental musicians. In this episode, he discusses the three epochal classics that shaped his music.
Tim Kinsella has made at least two indelible marks on contemporary music—first as frontman of emo hingepoint Cap’n Jazz, then as ringleader of the unpredictable Joan of Arc. In this episode, he talks about formative encounters with Bauhaus, Can, and composer Arnold Dreyblatt.
Deerhoof has become one of the country’s most unusual and prolific rock bands, and drummer Greg Saunier has been in the driver’s seat the whole time. His ecstatic attack—and his minimal kit—have helped define and distinguish the group, which formed in San Francisco in the mid-1990s.
Baltimore quartet Horse Lords have become an underground sensation on the back of their trance-inducing polyrhythmic rock attack. In this episode, guitarist Owen Gardner traces his sound back to Africa, to an almost forgotten folk tradition, and to hunting down the avant-garde while growing up in Iowa.
Susan Alcorn spent years playing her pedal-steel guitar in country bands across Texas. But she has also taken the instrument into less typical territory, applying its sinuous tones to jazz, free improvisation, tango, and her personal blend of all of the above. In this episode, she recalls her seminal encounters with 20th-century composition, free jazz, and a steel-player’s steel player.
Ian MacKaye has exerted a profound influence on music over the past 35 years. He pioneered hardcore punk with Minor Threat. He expanded the possibilities of punk with Fugazi. And he co-founded seminal Washington, DC, indie label Dischord Records. For this episode of Essential Tremors, he sat down for a wide-ranging conversation about his history, the influence of dub, and how music is like a room.