Some podcast recommendations:
OutKast's transformation from a stanky duo with sumfin to say to auteurs more than just opened my punk world to hip-hop, Big Boi and André 3000 prepared my ears for a lifetime of adventurous music. So when I heard my colleague Rodney Carmichael was going to interview André 3000 about his first album in 17 years, featuring — no kidding — flutes and Carlos Niño's LA jazz pals, it immediately made sense to me. I love this long convo between Rodney and Dré about creative freedom and earning your age, via NPR's All Songs Considered.
I have admired, from afar, Fabi Reyna's work as the She Shreds founder as well as her own music as Reyna Tropical. She's the natural voice for OPB's Starting a Riot, which is equal parts riot grrrl explainer, reconciler and forecaster. You get some solid history from the folks who lived it, but also those who felt and were left out. I honestly would have listened to Reyna's extended Corin Tucker episode for another hour.
I can't be too sure, but I think I inadvertently inspired PRX's Rock That Doesn't Roll… or at least sent producer/co-host Andrew Gill into a tailspin when I brought Amy Grant to the Tiny Desk in 2018. I do remember some spicy tweets back and forth! But I'll let him tell the story in the first episode. This is the musical, cultural and spiritual world that I grew up in: Christian pop and rock and, more specifically, '90s Christian punk, a scene I hope to write a book about someday. I like where Gill and Leah Payne, whose got her own book on the way, are taking this short-form podcast so far, through lenses both rosy and deconstructionist (as is the buzzword and enemy of evangelicals these days), as it parses through the spiritual highs and devastating capitalist lows of CCM.
Every now and again, Criminal releases an episode that just floors me, particularly when it investigates the extremes of the police, the courts and corrections. "Interrogation Room" dissects the tactics that wear down innocent people into false confessions. Enlightening and maddening all at once. —Lars Gotrich
Outer World, "Forms of Knowing"
Sheer Mag, "Playing Favorites"
Ndox Electrique, "Ngor Diouf Né Du Wallé"
Sheila & Des Majek, "Green Leaves"
Maral, "Lorestan Punk"
Suzi Analoge & Jlin, "NICE 2 MEET U"
Little Angels, "I Can't Wait"
Chaser, "Holy Man"
Only Now, "Fate Pt. 1"
unkle G, "everybody got their hello but me"
Amaro Freitas, "Encantados"
of Tropique, "The Sweetest Chicken Ever"
Les Amazones d'Afrique, "Kuma Fo (What They Say)"
Coax, "Half-Life Troopers"
Sarah Marie Hughes, "Talking in the Temple (No. 3)"
Victoria Hume, "Bad Lover"
Julia Holter, "Sun Girl"
Thin Edge New Music Collective & Linda Caitlin Smith, "Wanderer"
Gerycz Powers Rolin, "Entrance"
DAYDREAM, "Hopeless Deceiver"
Dismalimerence, "Grief and Its Due I"
Keith Fullerton Whitman, "180904.Acid.Casualty.1"
Angry Blackmen, "Stanley Kubrick"
Imelda Marcos, "diamond. pin. vertigo"
Hurray for the Riff Raff, "Alibi"
Laura Jane Grace, "Hole in My Head"
Lou Turner, "Ride the Melting"
Kelly Moran, "Vesela"
KC Rae, "Shame"
Arp, "The Enormous Room"