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We’re halfway through Black History month and although we didn’t intend to rerun some of our older conversations to celebrate the month, after realizing we needed to do something to mark Usher’s Super Bowl performance and the release of the new Bob Marley biopic “One Love,” we figured we might as well keep going and celebrate the whole month long…b…
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Since releasing their critically acclaimed debut album, Brutalism, in 2017, the British band IDLES have dropped four other albums in quick succession. The band’s bombastic sound brilliantly balances joy, chaos, and an often critical take on the powers that be. IDLES latest album, TANGK, was produced by the band's guitarist Mark Bowen, Kenny Beats, …
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Last week we revisited our conversation with Usher to celebrate his Super Bowl performance and the incredible career resurgence he’s had over the last couple of years. In thinking about our catalog, I thought there was another conversation worth revisiting - Malcolm Gladwell speaking with Ziggy Marley about the cultural influence the tiny country o…
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In the minds of many rock fans, Duff McKagan will forever be known first and foremost as the bassist for Guns N' Roses. The band’s white-hot reign in the late '80s through the early '90s is the stuff of hedonistic, hard rock legend. And for anyone interested in reading a detailed account of that wild ride, check out Duff’s memoir, “It’s So Easy and…
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Four decades into his career, Usher is at the peak of his powers. In the year since he was on Broken Record, Usher became the king of the Las Vegas strip. According to Billboard, he grossed over $100 million dollars during his beloved Vegas residency. To celebrate his much anticipated halftime performance at this year's Super Bowl, along with his u…
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Countless decisions, large and small, aided The Beatles’ ascent to the top of popular culture. The release of their debut single, “Love Me Do,” in the UK in the fall of 1962 was one of those decisions. Their debut on American television was another. In this first episode of season two, Paul McCartney and Paul Muldoon discuss the early evolution of …
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James Fauntleroy is one of the most prolific pop songwriters of the past 15-plus years. Some of his most prized placements include writing songs for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. He’s also contributed background vocals to songs by Travis Scott, Jay-Z and his longtime friend, the late Nipsey Hustle. Similar to his music industr…
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The Baltimore-based synth-pop band Future Islands was first thrust into the national spotlight in 2014 after making their TV debut on The Late Show With David Letterman. The band’s unassuming frontman Samuel T. Herring danced ecstatically around the stage seething with emotion. The performance quickly went viral, making it one of Letterman’s most m…
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Sleater-Kinney has long been a safe space for band members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. What started as a group born out of the feminist punk riot grrrl scene in Olympia, Washington in the early 90s, has grown into a life-affirming artistic endeavor. In late 2022, tragedy struck when Carrie’s mother and stepfather were killed in a car accide…
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2023 has been a helluva year for singer/songwriter Noah Kahan. Just three years ago he started uploading snippets of his indie-folk songs to TikTok while waiting out the pandemic at his dad’s house in rural Vermont. Those songs quickly caught fire across social media and eventually turned into Noah’s most recent album, Stick Season. After releasing…
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Ludwig Göransson is one of the most accomplished and distinctive film composers of the 21st century. In 2020, after working on the movie Tenet together, acclaimed director Christopher Nolan hired Göransson to score what has become one of the biggest movies of 2023: Oppenheimer. Ludwig, who emigrated to Los Angeles from his native Sweden in 2007, ha…
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Janelle Monáe has had a lot to smile about this year. After a run of successful albums over the last decade, in June she released her fourth album, The Age of Pleasure. The album was just nominated for two Grammys including Album of the Year. This project is important—it signaled a big tone shift for Janelle whose past albums have centered in part …
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Corinne Bailey Rae is an English singer/songwriter whose career started with a bang. In 2006 her debut album topped UK charts and was certified triple platinum with the help of her first hit single, “Put Your Records On.” A slew of awards and other “best new artist” distinctions followed. As she released subsequent albums, Corinne aspired to stretc…
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David Paich is a prolific musician and songwriter who’s perhaps most well known for writing and co-producing Toto's classic song, “Africa.” Before David co-founded Toto with drummer Jeff Porcaro in 1977, he was an innovative keyboardist and session player. David honed his chops early growing up in L.A. where he worked under the tutelage of his fath…
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As a founding member of the iconic all-girl band The Bangles, Susanna Hoffs is perhaps most associated with 80s hits like “Manic Monday,” “Eternal Flame,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.” After releasing three platinum-selling albums, in 1989 The Bangles broke up. Two years later, Susanna started to release solo material before reuniting with The Bangl…
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Marty Stuart has dedicated his life to playing and preserving old country music. During his 40-plus years as a solo artist, Marty has released more than 20 albums and racked up numerous honors, including five Grammys, and an induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Marty started his career at the age of 12 playing mandolin in a gospel band. B…
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Lol Tolhurst, drummer and co-founder of The Cure, first met lead singer Robert Smith when they were just five years-old. Together with their other Catholic school friend Michael Dempsey, they would go on to make dark, brooding music that reflected the isolation they felt as the only punks living in their small English town. As The Cure’s sound deve…
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The lead singer and keyboardist for Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, is an avant-garde, new wave pioneer. Although critics sometimes classify Devo as a joke band, the Akron, Ohio art-punks’ ethos was created in response to a very serious event—the 1970 shooting at their college, Kent State. Following the incident, the band took on the name “Devo,” short fo…
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Laufey’s fast rise to fame is a pandemic success story. During lockdown, the 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist built a substantial following on social media where she was known as “jazz girl.” Since then the Icelandic-Chinese singer/songwriter has released two studio albums that blend classical, pop and jazz. The first single from her most recent r…
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Hermanos Gutiérrez may be an instrumental guitar band, but they have zero interest in shredding. Instead the Swiss-Ecuadorian brothers, Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez, take a minimalist approach to playing. They create hypnotic, sweeping compositions inspired by classical Latin guitar and film scores from old Spaghetti Westerns. In 2022, after rel…
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Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist and songwriter for The Who, is one of the most decorated rock stars alive. He’s been inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, received Kennedy Center Honors, and lifetime-achievement awards from both the Brit Awards and the Grammys. Pete's iconic power chord-guitar style and early use of synthesizers estab…
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Today we are sharing a very special project we've been working on at Pushkin, a new podcast with the one and only, Sir Paul McCartney. The show’s called McCartney: A Life in Lyrics and it's full of insightful conversations between Paul McCartney and his friend, the Irish poet Paul Muldoon. Together they taped years of conversations digging into Pau…
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Amanda Shires is a Texas-born singer/songwriter who got her start at 15 when she joined Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys on fiddle. After starting her solo career in 2005, Shires continued to play with a number of other bands including her husband Jason Isbell's band, the 400 Unit. In 2019, she started the all-female country supergroup The Highwomen,…
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Today we are sharing an episode of one of our favorite shows on the Pushkin network, Talk Easy, hosted by Sam Fragoso. In this episode Sam talks to the renowned Swedish music producer and composer, Ludwig Göransson. Ludwig is a Grammy and Academy award winning producer and composer who scored Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, The Mandalorian, and most …
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DJ Drama is one of the most iconic mixtape DJs of all time. His legendary Gangsta Grillz tapes helped propel artists like T.I. and Young Jeezy to stardom. His classic Dedication series reinvigorated Lil’ Wayne’s career in the early and mid-2000s. By 2007, the underground mixtape market was booming. But in January of that year DJ Drama and his longt…
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