What Is This Music?!
Episode 23: Robert Dayton and Stephen Hamm - Dare to be Different

Episode 23: Robert Dayton and Stephen Hamm - Dare to be Different

June 13, 2021

Robert Dayton and Stephen Hamm

Robert Dayton and Stephen Hamm are living legends of the music scene in Vancouver and beyond. They join me to discuss the origins of their duo Canned Hamm, our shared history with Peaches, the importance of staying freaky, the value of originality, how music opens up new worlds, Christian children's records, and much more.

Check out their latest projects, Stephen Hamm: Theremin Man and Robert Dayton's latest solo EPs (produced by Hamm).

Episode 22: Alan Zweig - Music Means More

Episode 22: Alan Zweig - Music Means More

May 31, 2021

Alan Zweig

Alan Zweig's Vinyl (2000) is a dark and profound personal documentary on obsessive record collectors (particularly the filmmaker himself). Today, after nine other documentaries, he's completing a sequel of sorts entitled Records. He joins me to talk about the vinyl resurgence (and the lower-key CD resurgence), why making a film with a positive message has been his biggest challenge, why certain people become obsessive about music, and more.

Watch Alan Zweig's Vinyl on YouTube.

Photo of Alan from the Greetings From Isolation project.

Episode 21: Katie Moore - Is This Country?

Episode 21: Katie Moore - Is This Country?

May 16, 2021

Katie Moore

Montreal-based singer-songwriter (and co-host of the Country Classics Hour on CKUT 90.3 FM) Katie Moore joins me for a deep dive into the mystifying mix of symbolism, history, racial and class divisions, marketing, and the slippery concept of authenticity that make up what we call "country music." All that, plus a lot of laughs along the way.

Check out this Spotify playlist of much of the music discussed plus other country and country-adjacent classics!

 

Episode 20: garbageface - Survival Skills

Episode 20: garbageface - Survival Skills

May 2, 2021

garbageface

Peterborough, Ontario-based Karol Orzechowski has been making music and touring as garbageface for many years. He joins me to discuss his beginnings as a singer-songwriter and what turned him to louder and more confrontational music; Rage Against the Machine, Fugazi, and other case studies in the struggle between artistic practice, career ambition and personal ethics; and his own tastes - culminating in a major What Is This Music?! breakthrough in which he celebrates not one, but two of music's most widely derided genres.

Check out this playlist of music we discussed on the episode, plus a few personal garbageface faves.

Hear garbageface's music on Bandcamp.

 

Episode 19: Jace Lasek - 100% Irony-Free

Episode 19: Jace Lasek - 100% Irony-Free

April 25, 2021

Jace Lasek

Jace Lasek is known for his music with Montreal's The Besnard Lakes and Light Conductor as well as his role as co-owner of the Breakglass Studio. In addition to his own music he's mixed Wolf Parade's debut, engineered the latest godspeed you! black emperor record, and worked on countless other Montreal recordings of recent years. He joins me for a deep dive into the overlapping status and significance of post-rock, prog rock, punk rock and soft rock, with digressions on the Grateful Dead, new country, the early-2000s rock revival, noise concerts as mating rituals, and more.

See also Jace's Spotify playlist of music discussed in the episode.

Photo courtesy of The Besnard Lakes on Instagram.

Episode 18: Tamika Bernard - Mood Music

Episode 18: Tamika Bernard - Mood Music

April 18, 2021

Tamika Bernard

DJ Tamika Bernard was born in Guyana, raised in New York City, and  currently lives in Toronto. She joins me to talk about cross-cultural connections, growing up amid hip-hop culture in Queens and Brooklyn, being a DJ during covid times, her brief career as a rapper, her unexpected tastes and musical roadblocks, mumble rap, the renaissance of Toronto, the shocking truth about what Canadians really mean when they say "sorry," and more. 

Episode 17: Babs and Sticky - Staying Curious

Episode 17: Babs and Sticky - Staying Curious

April 11, 2021

Babs Vermeulen and Sticky Henderson

Babs Vermeulen is a DJ and musician in Toronto; Sticky Henderson is a musician in Kingston, Ontario. We reconnect to talk about their first meeting in a small-town choir, our shared history with the Toronto music community that spawned Peaches, Feist, Chilly Gonzales and others, Sticky's membership in proto-supergroup The Shit (and their influence on a certain Canadian rock superstar), how the pandemic has been good for music listeners, barbershop quartets, Ween, being a moth (half-mod, half-goth), not fitting into Canadian music, our confessed musical hatreds, making music for its own sake, and more.

Check out our Spotify playlist of songs and artists discussed on the show.

Episode 16 - Amanda Burt - What Is Pop?

Episode 16 - Amanda Burt - What Is Pop?

March 28, 2021

Amanda Burt

Amanda Burt is a producer with Banger Films, whose latest production is the series This Is Pop, chronicling some highlights of pop music history. She joins me to talk about this genre, why it's paradoxically popular and universally maligned, what it means, and what she discovered in producing the show.

Listen to the Spotify playlist Welcome to the This Is Pop Multiverse .

Episode 15: Mariana Timony - On the Scene

Episode 15: Mariana Timony - On the Scene

March 21, 2021

Mariana Timony

Mariana Timony is a music journalist, senior editor at the Bandcamp Daily, and author of the Weird Girls Post newsletter. She joins me to talk about the joys and pains of being part of a music scene, criticizing music criticism, a nuanced perspective on the Burger Records scandal, how selling out is still a bad thing, the prevalence of playlists as a big tech psy-op, and more.

Check out Mariana's playlist of related music on BNDCMPR, a new playlist platform for Bandcamp. 

Episode 14: Murray A. Lightburn - Slices of the Pie Chart

Episode 14: Murray A. Lightburn - Slices of the Pie Chart

March 14, 2021

Murray A. Lightburn

Murray Lightburn is best known as the singer and leader of longtime Montreal rock stalwarts The Dears, and is also a solo performer, producer and composer. He joins me to talk about his favourite music (Motown, jazz, classical, and an unexpected major influence), balancing his love of music and his frustrations with the music business, as well as The Smiths, one of my least understood bands and (according to Murray) one of his most misunderstood influences.

Check out Murray's Spotify playlist of the music discussed on this episode, plus a few extra faves.

 

Photo of Murray by Howard Bilerman

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