Tag Archives: music

The Blarg No. 71: Doug Bale

I can tell you exactly when and where I first heard the music of Doug Bale. It was Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at The Most of Lit Lounge at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. I went because my uncle, Scott Krause, was part of the lineup which also included Tania Katan, Leslie Barton and Where Are All the Buffalo. It was a great show, but I remember being particularly struck by Doug’s sound, which managed to sound like music I loved without being derivative. I really dug it. I dug Doug.

So, when I started this podcast, Doug was one of the first people I wanted to have on. For reasons that will become clear when you listen to our conversation, it was not a good time for Doug to be on the show. I didn’t know that then, though, and then Doug just kind of disappeared. Well, he didn’t really disappear, but he might as well have, having first scooted to California, and then exiling himself in Apache Junction. Well, maybe it wasn’t exile, and my apologies to the residents of Apache Junction, but it sounds like exile to me.

When I heard that Doug had a new music project he was working on, I was ecstatic. I was like, Doug, there’s no excuse now, do the show, and he said, let’s do it, so here you go. It’s one of the strangest, best conversations I’ve had on this show, and it illustrates why I leave so much in all the time. I know some listeners would prefer I cut things down, keep it around an hour, and that would actually probably help me out as far as making the show more commercial, but that would ruin the journey. We had a really serious conversation about some deep shit, but to get there, we also had to joke around about lemons and DJ Boboli, and go off on a long R.E.M. tangent in order to get to the deep stuff.

Quick note: Doug wanted me to let you all know the name of the book he was referring to on why we read is called All Things Shining.

Another quick note: Doug gave me permission to put one of his new Flighty Tronys tracks at the end of the show, so be sure to listen all the way to the end. The new tracks are great!

Doug Bale is an artist and musician. His artwork has been featured in galleries around Phoenix, and you should absolutely check out his Society 6 page and buy some. His new musical project, Flighty Tronys has released its first EP (available on Bandcamp, Google Play Music, iTunes, and Spotify), and you should get the companion t-shirt. Oh, and go listen to Mergatron while you’re at it. Basically, support Doug. He’s awesome.

Listen to LE 71 – Doug Bale

Best,
Jared

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The Blarg No. 70: Collette Sipho Mabingani

70 in the bag!

I’m not even sure what that means, or if it means anything at all, but I like the sound of it. I don’t think I’ll make a really big deal until we get to 100, but 70 is pretty significant—to me at least. I don’t know that I’ve ever done 70 of anything. At least not something I’ve put out into the public consciousness.

The coming months are going to be exciting—scary and exciting—for myself, for Limited Engagement, for Hoot n Waddle (the company Janell and I started), and I hope you’ll come along for the ride—maybe even encourage others to join us for that ride. Announcements are coming soon, and I couldn’t be happier, or more anxious. It’s a freakin’ roller coaster.

Now, to the show at hand.

Last month, I went to Caffeine Corridor to see friends and prior guests of the show, Rashaad Thomas and Jack Evans. Rashaad’s reading was amazing—it had been a while since I’d seen him read a whole set, and his work is powerful, musical, dark, but hopeful. Jack’s reading was fantastic as well, featuring Tom Bell on guitar, and someone I’d never seen before, Collette Sipho Mabingani on percussion and guitar. At one point during the night, Collette played some original compositions solo, and I was like, this is brilliant, I have to get this guy on the show.

My conversation with Collette is unlike any I’ve had to date. He talks openly about growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, his relationship with Nelson Mandela, how music provided an escape from the horror and a path to a better life in the United States. It’s an amazing immigrant story at a time when the current political regime seems hellbent on destroying and killing that spirit.

Collette Sipho Mabingani is a composer, instrumentalist, and educator. During his teenage years, he performed with many bands of various genres, honing his self-taught musical skills, while using the platform of music to stand firm against apartheid, often at his own peril. Mabingani has performed for many dignitaries including Nelson Mandela and performed many venues including a five-year tour of the United States, and a six-month Europe tour. The creative approach for Mabingani is to utilize music from other global cultures in conjunction with South African music to create a unique blend of world music. Underlying his passion for world music is his experience of the transformational power of uniting sounds from across the globe to create unique, fresh, and inspirational music that can be appreciated by people from all walks of life.

Listen to LE 70 – Collette Sipho Mabingani

Best,
Jared

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The Blarg No. 67: Dario Miranda

The 2nd Annual Music Episode!

Which I’ll get to in just a sec.

First, it’s announcement time: Starting in 2018, I’m moving Limited Engagement to a bi-weekly schedule. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary one is that I’ve got a number of other projects going, and something has to give. I still love doing the show, and it’s still my primary focus as far as podcasting goes, but I’m also starting up other recording/producing projects, new podcasts, and I need time to write. Things are always subject to change, and if I find myself with a glut of un-posted content, I’ll probably throw up an extra episode here and there, but I’m someone who needs a regular production schedule, and the weekly one has become untenable, so bi-weekly it is! You can forward any comments or complaints directly to our complaints department (aka, the comments section of this newsletter, our Facebook page, by sending us an email, etc.).

Now, to the show at hand:

A while back, I had a conversation with Jason Woodbury about our favorite albums of 2016, and I had a blast—such a blast that I wanted to do it again. I have a blast every time I talk to Jason, but I wanted to spread the Phoenix music community love and branch out this time, so I stopped into Stinkweeds—one of my favorite record stores—and asked if they’d be interested. Owner and founder Kimber Lanning said yes, and that Dario Miranda would be the guy to talk to. We set a recording date, and the results are in this week’s show. Whenever I have somebody over to talk music, the conversation goes long, and this one is no exception. This episode clocks in at just under two hours, and I could have split it up, but I chose not to, so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

I’m posting this on Christmas Day, so it’s a little late for gift ideas, but maybe you got some gift cards, and maybe you’re looking for some new music, and maybe this will give you some idea of where to start, or give you some things you want to look up and checkout before your next trip to Stinkweeds, or Zia, or Stinkweeds. Stinkweeds is great. You should go there. And if you do so after listening to this show, and you buy something Dario or I talked about, maybe mention that you heard about it here? Or not. Whatever. I probably wouldn’t remember to do that.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to those of you who do that thing, and to those of us who don’t, Happy Everything Is Freakin’ Closed Day.

To listen to the show, read my top ten list, or find a link to Stinkweeds’ staff picks, follow this link: LE 67 – Dario Miranda

Here’s hoping 2018 sucks less than 2017.

Best,
Jared

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The Blarg No. 63: On Songwriting

Have I ever mentioned that it’s really hard to keep a weekly show going? I know I complain a lot, and I’m sorry for that, but not really, but I am. Also, I never go back and re-read these, because, well, I write them, and then I send them, and any sort of re-visitation seems as though it would only be inviting unnecessary self-criticism, because once they’re out there, what is there really for me to do?

Where was I? Ah, yes, complaining.

It is difficult, though, keeping a weekly show on the rails. Especially when you’re doing everything yourself, and I’m not even doing everything myself—Janell takes care of the weekly graphics, but I do take care of the booking, the recording, the editing, the post-production, the social media marketing (as inept as I am at it), and when you combine that with other regular recording obligations, work, life… It quickly becomes not only overwhelming, but all consuming.

Anybody out there want to book a well-received, if little known, arts and culture podcast? That would just be freaking awesome.

All of the above brings us to this week’s show. Our first clip show! Let’s call it a theme show, though, because I hate the whole clip show concept.

Talking to musicians—songwriters in particular—is one of my favorite things to do, and Limited Engagement has afforded me the opportunity to take to some amazing talented practitioners of the art. This show features thoughts, experiences, and wisdom on the subject of writing songs from from Tindal, Robyn Hitchcock, The Haymarket Squares, Jon Rauhouse, Betsy Ganz of The SunPunchers, Scotty Spenner, and Lou Barlow. Hear the full conversations on Limited Engagement, iTunes, and a plethora of podcast dispensaries.

Listen to LE 63 – On Songwriting

Best,
Jared

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The Blarg No. 60: Lou Barlow

Talking Lou Barlow

Fall, such as it is in Phoenix, Arizona, appears to at last be upon us. Summer has finally taken the hint (about a month late) and buggered off to some more appropriate hemisphere. Unless it hasn’t, which it seems like could be the case—like that one friend who threatens to leave, not realizing that everyone wishes he’d left hours ago, but then pops back in to make one more point in an argument he’s already lost. We need the break, or at least I need the break. I need my cool down period, weather-wise, or it starts to seriously impact my ability to function as a pleasant human being, and it’s already a serious chore let me tell ya.

Since last we spoke, we’ve been to the Las Vegas Book Festival (kind of a bust for us) and PHX Zine Fest (a fantastic event where we met a lot of lovely individuals) in order to interact with the larger arts community and grow the audience for the show. This sort of self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to me. It involves a lot of repeating the same spiel, putting on a show of enthusiasm, and smiling. I’m a naturally cantankerous person, and left to my own devices I’d probably rarely leave the house, so dragging Public Jared out for long stretches of time is exhausting.

I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy Las Vegas. I’d never been, and I don’t think I have much interest in returning. I’m sure we were just in the wrong parts, and there are probably some lovely parts, people, etc., but then there’s also the 7-Eleven where the person with the dead-eyed stare is sitting in front of a slot machine in the middle of the night, pulling that lever like he can’t recall a time when he wasn’t pulling the lever. On some level, I know Vegas scares me a little because of my own compulsive tendencies. It doesn’t take much to imagine myself as the guy who can’t stop pulling the lever.

As I mentioned, I met some truly wonderful people at PHX Zine Fest, and some of them were kind enough to sit down with me for a few minutes and share their stories. Charissa Lucille (LE 57) organized a fantastic event, and Unexpected Gallery was a perfect venue for it. It was inspiring to see so many creative folks gathered together, committed to sharing their experiences and artistic vision. You can hear those stories in next week’s episode.

This week, I talk to a guy named Lou Barlow. You may know him as the bassist in Dinosaur Jr., but hopefully you really know him from Sebadoh, The Folk Implosion, and his solo work. Lou’s a unique, gifted songwriter and musician—one of my favorites actually, and it was a thrill to get a chance to talk to him. He wasn’t really promoting anything, so we just chatted about music—it was great. If you’re not familiar with Lou’s work, I recommend starting with Sebadoh’s Harmacy and his first solo album, EMOH. Also, pop on over to loobicore to learn more about the world of Lou.

Listen to LE 60 – Lou Barlow

Best,
Jared

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The Blarg No. 58: Tom Petty Tribute

No soapbox this week. Sorry, I know I’ve been up there a lot lately, and you know what they say of opinions and assholes and all that…

I go running every morning. It’s something I do. At this point, I’m not sure whether I enjoy it, or I’ve got a problem—there’s a very fine line. This isn’t about that, though. I have a regular path I run on every morning before work, one that I like because it’s a decent area, but also there’s not much traffic at 3:30 in the morning. Occasionally, there are other runners, people out walking the dog, but for the most part it’s dark, quiet, and cool (soon it will be cold, but that’s another matter). Nothing much happens, I just listen to a podcast and do my thing.

Which is why it was simultaneously jarring and slightly mystical when I happened upon a pack of coyotes slinking their way across Missouri Ave, just north of Central. There were three of them that I saw—two ahead of a third, who stood frozen. They didn’t make a move to approach me, and I was waiting to let them pass, but this last one seemed determined to see me go first—much to the apparent chagrin of the other two, whose attitude exuded an air of, “Come on, man, what the hell are you waiting for?”—so I carried on my way, and then they went theirs. That was it. It was Monday morning, October 2nd. Later that day, the news came down of Tom Petty’s death. I couldn’t help thinking that those coyotes were somehow connected.

It seems like we’ve lost an overwhelming amount of iconic musicians lately. This is bound to happen. Life is one long, inexorable march past the end of the cliff. Some people sprint ahead and skip to the end, impatient perhaps, and then others are propelled forward, or pulled forward maybe, taken when it seems they still have work to do, and it is no less tragic to lose those that wait out the plot. There’s always a little twinge of hurt, the sense of some string being cut, but there are a few where it feels as though you’ve lost a limb, the musicians whose songs have woven an inextricable sense-memory into the threads of our personal histories. Joe Strummer, The Go-Betweens’ Grant McLennan, and now, Tom Petty.

This week, Jason Woodbury and I sit and discuss what Tom Petty meant to us—the songs we love, the memories they’re linked to. It’s a personal appreciation, a tribute from two lifelong fans—a conversation that I think anyone who can remember where they were when they first played their Full Moon Fever cassette, or when they first saw The Heartbreakers descending the escalator in the “Free Fallin'” video with “all the vampires walking through the valley” can relate to and maybe take something from.

Best,
Jared Duran

Listen to LE 58 – Tom Petty Tribute

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The Blarg No. 55: Scotty Spenner

Once you get the ball rolling, it’s really hard to get it to stop. Not that I want it to stop—maybe just slow down for a little bit so I can take a nap. It seems to hold true, though, that it’s either deluge or drought, not much in between, and I’ll take the deluge any time. Hosting a weekly podcast, when the bank of recordings dries up and the bookings aren’t happening, things can get pretty harried, so I don’t feel like I can turn anything down. Then, on top of Limited Engagement, I’m doing the work to get a local podcast network off the ground, there’s a lot that goes into that, and it’s not like we’ve got a crew.

I don’t mean to complain. Like I said, though, a nap would be nice. I’m tired. It’s a good tired, but tired nonetheless. Hoot N Waddle is gathering momentum. You can already listen to the first show, Jessie Balli’s Chatterbox podcast, endearingly titled Chatterpod, and there’s much more to come—a lot of irons in the fire. Chatterpod also goes up weekly, so be sure to subscribe through Apple Podcasts (it will be up on other services like Stitcher and GooglePlay soon). There’s still a lot I can’t talk about until details are cemented, but the momentum is forward. Inexorable, but exciting.

Speaking of exciting, I was talking with Charissa Lucille of Wasted Ink Zine Distro (that conversation will go up in a couple of weeks), and I’m very excited to announce that we’ll be setup at this year’s PHX Zine Fest to document the experiences of anyone wanting to share them—vendors and attendees alike. Should be very cool.

On this week’s show, conversation and music with Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee Scotty Spenner. Our talk went all over the place, and I had a blast. You can catch Scotty playing with with True Flavor Blues every Sunday afternoon at Copper Star Coffee, or in Celtic rock band Saints of Eirinn. Friday night, September 29th, he’ll be playing a solo gig presented by Emancipation Arts at The Trunk Space. Listen to Scotty’s playing at the end of the show, and you’ll hear exactly why you should go.

Best,
Jared

Listen to LE 55 – Scotty Spenner

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