Essential Tremors

By WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore

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Description

A show in which musicians and other creators talk about the songs that shaped who they are.

Episode Date
Ashley Capps (Big Ears Festival Founder)
2225

Ashley Capps helped reinvent the music festival with Bonnaroo, then did it again with Big Ears, the eclectic annual celebration of jazz, folk, electronic music, and other flavors of music he mounts each spring in Knoxville, TN.

In this episode, he discusses how encounters with the music of Steve Reich, Julius Hemphill, and the Ramones shaped his course.

Essential Tremors is produced by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner and distributed by Your Public Studios.

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Sep 29, 2022
Daniel Kessler of Interpol
1985

As a founding member of New York City's Interpol, guitarist Daniel Kessler has been integral in the shaping of their sound. Hear how songs by Fugazi, Tappa Zukie, and Aphex Twin helped put him on his creative path.

Essential Tremors is produced by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner and distributed by Your Public Studios.

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Sep 13, 2022
Brendan Canty
2623

Drummer Brendan Canty powered the seminal D.C. post-punk band Fugazi and continues to blaze a trail in the instrumental trio The Messthetics.

In this episode, he discusses how songs by Parliament, Scritti Politti, and King Crimson shaped his music.

Essential Tremors is produced by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner and distributed by Your Public Studios.

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Jul 28, 2022
Claire Rousay
1746

Claire Rousay's music combines field recordings, Auto-Tuned vocals, conventional instruments, spoken word, and other elements with a subtlety that both attracts and subverts terms like "ambient" and "sound art." In this episode, she discusses how tracks by Ryu Hankil, Elliott Smith, and K. Mulhern shaped her work.

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Jun 30, 2022
the RZA
1769

Producer, MC, actor, director—the RZA has expanded his leadership of hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan into a decade-spanning, multi-hyphenate creative career. On this episode, the RZA discusses how Isaac Hayes, the theme from Love Story, and a famous hip-hop break shaped his work.

Essential Tremors is produced by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner and distributed by Your Public Studios.

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May 26, 2022
Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy)
4025

Singer/songwriter Will Oldham has created a vast and beguiling body of work under his own name, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, and Palace and its variations, as well as through numerous collaborations. In this episode, he discusses how songs by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, Al Jarreau, and the Mekons influenced his music.

 

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Apr 28, 2022
Geordie Greep
1237

Geordie Greep's guitar and idiosyncratic vocals have helped make uncategorizable London band Black Midi into an international sensation. In this episode, he discusses how songs by Warren Zevon, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and Frank Zappa influenced his music.

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Apr 14, 2022
Jon Hopkins
1683

Electronic musician Jon Hopkins is well-known in certain circles as the creator of numerous thoughtful, yet in many cases danceable, records. He's also had his hand in some enormously commercially successful records, however, as a producer and guest musician, such as Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," as well as in several co-productions with Brian Eno. In this episode, he discusses the effect songs by Eno and Harold Budd, Ozric Tentacles, and Orbital had on him.

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Mar 31, 2022
Jaimie Branch
1590

Brooklyn-based jazz trumpeter Jaimie Branch has established a significant following and accumulated many critical accolades, both here in America and abroad.  In this episode, she talks about how songs by Nirvana, Sun Ra, and Eric Dolphy made her the artist she is today.

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Feb 24, 2022
Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods
2257

As frontman for Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson has brought working-class anger and surly wit to the duo's bumping minimalist tracks. On this episode, he talks about how second-wave UK punk, Raekwon, and Two Lone Swordsmen shaped his music.

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Jan 27, 2022
Steve Gunn
2224

Guitarist Steve Gunn has carved out a career as both a singer/songwriter and a six-string explorer. In this episode, he discusses the impact music by Richard Thompson, Mary Margaret O’Hara, and Solange has had on his work.

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Dec 30, 2021
Vijay Iyer
2951

Jazz pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the most respected musicians of his generation, as borne out by the accolades he’s received to date, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2013, a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award, and a lifetime appointment as a Professor of the Arts at Harvard University.  His work is far from coldly academic, however: soulful, delicate, nuanced, and mesmerizing, it reflects a complex but highly focused mind dedicated with singular purpose to his craft.

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Nov 24, 2021
Alan Sparhawk
1800

Alan Sparhawk, along with his spouse (and previous Essential Tremors guest) Mimi Parker), have, as Low, managed to not only maintain a collaborative and marital union for the better part of thirty years, but to constantly forge ahead artistically over the course of their 13 studio albums. Somehow managing to sound familiar but also intriguingly new with each release, the band has consistently retained the intimacy of their earliest work while also taking bold risks that continually endear them to new listeners and earn them ever greater critical accolades. Their newest record, HEY WHAT, was released by Sub Pop on September 10, 2021.

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Oct 07, 2021
Ellen Fullman
2109

Composer Ellen Fullman has spent the past 40 years developing and exploring the Long String Instrument, a sui generis room-sized installation capable of creating a galaxy of tones and overtones. In this episode, she discusses the influence of traditional Ainu music, Central African polyphony, and com
poser Pauline Oliveros.

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Sep 30, 2021
Richard Thompson
2111

Richard Thompson is an English singer-songwriter whose work spans over five decades and who has likely influenced many of your favorite bands and musicians with his distinct, virtuosic guitar-playing. Thompson could also be credited with bringing Celtic and other traditional folk influences to bear on mainstream rock music through his work with his first band, Fairport Convention, in the 1960’s. His song choices here reflect this legacy as well as his own family's personal history.

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Jul 15, 2021
Mary Timony
2168

Washington, DC-based singer/guitarist Mary Timony has built a deeply respected career through a series of bands like Autoclave, Helium, Wild Flag, and Ex Hex, as well as solo music. In this episode, she talks about how the music of Jimi Hendrix, the Velvet Underground, and Moondog shaped her own work.

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Jun 17, 2021
Suzanne Vega
1877

Suzanne Vega has spanned four decades with her deceptively cool singing voice and urbane songwriting. On this episode, she discusses how the music of Bob Dylan, Philip Glass, and Lou Reed guided her path.

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May 04, 2021
Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order)
2026

Stephen Morris drove the shift from punk to postpunk as the drummer for Joy Division and New Order, and helped further open postpunk to new sounds. On this episode, he discusses how the music of Can, Terry Riley, and Grandmaster Flash shaped his course.

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Apr 06, 2021
Tricky
1267

Tricky has created his own sound world over the past 25 years, built from broken hip-hop beats, forlorn chanteuses, and shadowy mutters. In this episode, he talks about the impact of Nirvana, Billie Holiday, and T. Rex on his life.

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Mar 24, 2021
Mdou Moctar
962

Singer/guitarist Mdou Moctar has blazed a trail for electrified Tuareg music from his native Niger through the music venues of Europe and the U.S. In this episode, he talks about how Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, and Tinariwen shaped his own music.

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Feb 16, 2021
Kristin Hersh
1914

Kristin Hersh has built a devoted following with her one-of-a-kind singing and songwriting, as a solo artist and as leader of the bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave. On this episode, she discusses how traditional ballads, Nick Drake, and Vic Chesnutt impacted her own work.

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Jan 11, 2021
Brandon Soderberg
3719

Brandon Soderberg has worked as a music critic, an altweekly editor, and a reporter on the frontlines of protest. He’s now the co-author of I Got a Monster, a book about the Baltimore Police Department’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. On this episode, he discusses how music from OutKast, Fabio Frizzi, and Jason Isbell shaped his work.

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Dec 18, 2020
Amanda Shires
1462
Amanda Shires has made her mark on American music as a singer, songwriter, and fiddle player, both solo and a member of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit. On this episode, she discusses how songs by Dolly Parton, Leonard Cohen, and Richard Buckner shaped her work.

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Dec 01, 2020
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
2643
Thurston Moore's name and work have been ever-present in the last 40 years of underground culture, from his years in Sonic Youth and his solo career, his many musical collaborations, his record-label and book-publishing activities, and his unofficial boosterism. In this episode, he talks about how the Kingsmen, Patti Smith, and Public Image Ltd. shaped him.

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Nov 13, 2020
Bob Mould
2024
Bob Mould has turned out decades worth of impassioned singing and songwriting as leader of Husker Du and Sugar and a longstanding solo artist. In this episode, he talks about how songs from the Beatles, the Ramones, and My Bloody Valentine shaped his work.

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Oct 26, 2020
Marcus Moore
1532
Music critic Marcus Moore became an author with his new book The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America. On this episode, he discusses what songs by Roberta Flack, Common, and Stevie Wonder have meant to him.

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Oct 16, 2020
Chris Frantz (Talking Heads)
1711
Drummer Chris Frantz provided the rhythms for two seminal groups, Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club, a career he discusses in his memoir, Remain in Love. In this episode, he discusses how Jimmy Dean, the Beatles, and James Brown shaped his life.

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Sep 24, 2020
Matmos
3955
MC Schmidt and Drew Daniel of the electronic duo Matmos have built their body of work from manipulating unusual sounds. On this episode, recorded live at Fadensonnen in Baltimore, they talk the music that influenced their own.

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Sep 01, 2020
Flying Lotus
1550
Flying Lotus's music has consistently overflowed the barriers that separate electronic music, hip-hop, jazz, and other genres over the course of five albums and many side projects and collaborations. In this episode, he discusses how his work was shaped by Stravinsky, Slum Village, and Queen.

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Jul 23, 2020
Gwenifer Raymond
1878
UK guitarist Gwenifer Raymond has adapted the sounds of the American South for her own intricate, and sometimes riotous, acoustic compositions. In this episode, she discusses how tunes from the Pixies, Roscoe Holcomb, and John Fahey guided her work.

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May 29, 2020
Jeff Parker (Tortoise)
2293
Composer/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker is a prolific solo artist and a member of esteemed post-rock quintet Tortoise. Here he explains how songs by a jazz drummer, a master sampler, and a legendary jazz trumpeter shaped his musical vision.

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Apr 27, 2020
Dan Deacon
2680
Baltimore-based musician Dan Deacon has evolved substantially in both the scope and ambition of his artistic endeavors since his breakout 2007 album Spiderman of the Rings. In this episode, he talks about how Pee-Wee Herman helped indirectly cultivate his interest in being a performer, Lightning Bolt changing how he thought about music, and the technical influence Daft Punk had on his vocal style.

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Mar 02, 2020
Clint Conley (Mission of Burma)
2842
Bass player and vocalist Clint Conley of seminal post-punk band Mission of Burma has influenced a generation of musicians with his work over the course of the band's multiple decade existence. In this episode, he talks about how songs by Music Machine, Television, and Captain Beefheart formed his point-of-view as an artist.

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Feb 18, 2020
Andy Shauf
1419
Andy Shauf's understated, gentle, and expertly composed pop songs are miniature gems that grow in appeal with each listen. In this episode, Shauf talks about how Elliott Smith, Wilco, and The Beatles guided and inspired his understanding of how to write intimate but deeply accessible pop songs.

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Jan 23, 2020
Thalia Zedek
2480
Thalia Zedek's distinctive voice and soul-baring songwriting have powered a series of bands, including Live Skull and Come, as well as her own solo career. On this episode, she discusses a seminal moment with Patti Smith, obscure Kentucky band Circle X, and her love of Nick Cave.

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Dec 23, 2019
Bibio
1833
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.

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Dec 05, 2019
John Stanier (Battles)
2747
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

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Nov 07, 2019
Ian Williams (Battles)
1611
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.

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Oct 07, 2019
JPEGMAFIA
1359
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 Monae, Bjork, and Cam'ron shaped his art.

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Sep 20, 2019
Hanif Abdurraqib
1609
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.

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Aug 05, 2019
Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens)
1296
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. Forster has also conducted parallel careers as a solo artist and as a music critic.In this episode, he talks about the soul hit that filled his home every morning when he was a child, receiving outer-space messages from David Bowie, and the new rock language of David Byrne.

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Jul 17, 2019
Marin Alsop
1153
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.

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Jun 13, 2019
Juana Molina
1861
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.

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May 08, 2019
Guy Picciotto - Fugazi
3017
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.

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Mar 26, 2019
Sarah Davachi
2081
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.

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Jan 31, 2019
Wume
2347
Baltimore duo Wume draws on the motorik pulse and cosmic synths of vintage Krautrock, but update them with mesmerizing patterns of complex rhythm and a wide-eyed sense of exploration. In this episode, Al Schatz and April Camlin discuss three tunes that pointed the way to their sound.

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Jan 03, 2019
Steve Reich
1689
Steve Reich long ago transcended the ----minimalist---- tag to stand as one of America's greatest and most influential living composers. In this episode, he details the effects that the music of Stravinsky, Perotin, and John Coltrane had on some of his seminal pieces.

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Nov 29, 2018
Mimi Parker (Low)
1435
For 25 years, Mimi Parker’s minimalist drumming and angelic voice have helped provide the spine, and the soul, of Low, the brooding trio from Duluth, Minn. Just before the release of their mold-breaking new album, Double Negative, Parker discussed her tough upbringing, discovering music beyond classic rock, and the indie band that launched a thousand other indie bands.

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Nov 16, 2018
Colin Newman (Wire)
2402
Colin Newman rewrote the rules of punk with London-based band Wire, and went on to push back the boundaries on creativity and relevance for decades-long rock careers.But Newman has also thrived as a solo artist and producer — and the latter role is what he wanted to talk about in this episode, with three tracks that have shaped his work in the studio.

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Sep 24, 2018
Chad Clark (Beauty Pill)
2784
Though he emerged from Washington, D.C.’s post punk scene with the band Smart Went Crazy, Chad Clark has expanded his musical palette with Beauty Pill, an omnivorous band that makes the most of his vivid melodies and wry lyrics.In this episode, he discusses Paul Simon, a jazz tragedy, and ----The Story of O.J.----

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Sep 05, 2018
Emily Flake (The New Yorker)
1838
Emily Flake went from running her Lulu Eightball comic in altweeklies to drawing cartoons for The New Yorker and publishing books about her experiences with quitting smoking and raising her daughter. In this episode, she talks about the youthful impact of the Descendents, Jawbreaker, and the Replacements.

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Aug 16, 2018
Irmin Schmidt (Can)
1796
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.

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Jul 26, 2018
Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc)
1738
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.

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Jul 10, 2018
Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)
3178
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. In this episode, he talks about an AM-gold gem, a lost hip-hop classic, and music as medicine.

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Jun 12, 2018
Owen Gardner (Horse Lords)
1324
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.

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May 15, 2018
Susan Alcorn
1205
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.

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Apr 20, 2018
Ian MacKaye
3403
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.

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Mar 20, 2018
Wendel Patrick
1489
Wendel Patrick is a Baltimore-based jazz and classical pianist, as well as a sought after hip-hop producer, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute, and a sound documentarian. He's also the co-founder of the monthly Baltimore Boom-Bap Society and a co-creator of WYPR's award-winning ----Out of the Blocks---- podcast. The three songs that changed him range from seminal hip-hop, to a genre-challenging instrumental, to a soul stirring rendition of a Leonard Bernstein classic by one of the most important performers of the 20th century.

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Feb 20, 2018
Jana Hunter
1051
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.

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Feb 01, 2018
Essential Tremors Trailer
89
A preview of the new monthly podcast from Matt Byars, Lee Gardner and WYPR in Baltimore. A show in which musicians and other creators talk about the songs that shaped who they are.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 30, 2018