Tuesday 26 March 2024

See Hear Podcast Episode 114 - Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape

 


There's a song performed by Peter Allen that seems to be more relevant than ever: Everything Old Is New Again. Film plots are recycled, songs are recycled (through covers or the same chord structures).....and the media we use to play those films and songs are back in fashion. Records have been popular again for a while, some people are rediscovering VHS, and as this month's film focus shows us, the Compact Cassette is the new medium of choice for music recording and listening.


Welcome to Episode 114 of See Hear Podcast.


In 2016, Zack Taylor released a film called “Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape” which looks at the humble invention which meant so much to those of us who grew up with the tape as a dominant medium for music listening (and recording music and audio letters and.....) The film features a new generation who were probably not born or at least cognisant of the tape singing its praises. Importantly, the director also sought out Lou Ottens and his colleagues who invented the compact cassette in the early 60s. While proud of their achievements, Ottens is somewhat puzzled that the cassette appeals so much to a new generation – he truly believes (as inventors do) that the cassette's time is done and the next thing should be focused on. False nostalgia? A genuine appeal to new eyes? The film gently explores all these things. The fans, the inventors, the musicians only releasing their music on cassette.....they're all here.


Tim, Kerry and myself are joined by Mike White of The Projection Booth to talk as much about our own experiences and thoughts on tapes as well as the film. Give it a listen, then gather your friends together to reminisce (if you're of that age) about your own mixtapes, the times you became cassette surgeons, and how much you miss your old Walkmans.


The film is available for you to watch on Tubi or on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmClZ7SMfBo



Mike has a number of shows running under the banner of the Weirding Way Media network, but the flagship is The Projection Booth, essential listening for film fans of any type of cinema – tentpole, arthouse, Sci-fi, Czech, theme months, early cinema, obscure, mainstream.....all discussed with people passionate about films. It's a favourite of ours at See Hear. On your favourite podcast app or at the website: https://www.projectionboothpodcast.com/



If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour (except Spotify).


Proudly Pantheon.


Download Episode 114 from here.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

See Hear Podcast Episode 113 - Interview with Denny Tedesco, director of Immediate Family and The Wrecking Crew

 


Back at episode 110 of See Hear, Tim, Kerry and I had a round table discussion (Broadway Danny Rose style) about Denny Tedesco's 2015 documentary, The Wrecking Crew. That film was about the session musicians of the 1960s LA scene that made the “name” performers sound great. These session musicians were not known by name outside of that community until their achievements were lauded decades later. What happens in the 1970s when the next generation of LA musicians want to have the ability to play with lot of different artists AND have the joy of being part of a BAND rather than just being part of a pool? You get Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Waddy Wachtel and Russ Kunkel rewriting the rules.

Welcome to episode 113 of See Hear Podcast.

Unlike the members of the Wrecking Crew who were originally trained as jazz musicians, and fell into rock and roll to earn a living, the new generation of musicians had grown with rock and roll, loved The Beatles, and wanted to play with songwriters that they admired – as well as contribute to their arrangements. They had the best of both worlds – freedom to play with different people, but still feel part of a gang.

Director Denny Tedesco has created a wonderful follow-up to his Wrecking Crew film with the new doc, Immediate Family. For the last few years, they've been playing as a band under that name, but for years, they were playing (together and separately) for hundreds of songwriters / performers including James Taylor, John Prine, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Linda Ronstadt, Gene Clark, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Phil Collins, and many many more. Their “employers” were also their friends who valued these gents' creative input, not just the ability to knock off a song under tight record company and studio requirements.

Once again, Denny has produced an absorbing film about a side of rock history not usually discussed outside of musician circles. As well as chatting about Immediate Family, we of course go back to The Wrecking Crew documentary, and Denny's relationship with his dad, legendary guitarist, Tommy Tedesco.

If you want to find out details of where to stream the film or see a theatrical screening, go to https://immediatefamilyfilm.com/ Sadly, it would appear that it's only streaming in the US at the moment, but check for updates on the website or https://www.facebook.com/immediatefamilyfilm.

Did I mention that this episode marks See Hear's 10 year anniversary? From GG Allin to Immediate Family, we cover it all for your aural pleasure.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Proudly Pantheon.

Download Episode 113 from here.



Tuesday 26 December 2023

See Hear Podcast episode 112 - A Mighty Wind

 



When you think of American folk songs of the 60s, you'd think of political injustice, civil rights, hardships due to economic burdens, and war, right?


Or do you think about the comforts of food always being laid out on the table, boundless optimism 'cos “its THAT kind of day” or kissing at the end of an optical illusion caused by the dispersion of light in water droplets?


'Cos both work, ya know.


Welcome to episode 112 of See Hear Podcast.


In 2003, Christopher Guest released A Mighty Wind, the third of his mockumentaries – not counting Rob Reiner's “This Is Spinal Tap”. He had an ensemble cast all highly skilled in improvisation weave the story of what happens when 3 folk groups reassemble for a tribute concert dedicated to their recently deceased manager. Personal frailties, egos, catch phrases, rivalries and decidedly non-issue songs are all focused on in this very funny film.


Tim was unavailable, but Kerry and I were joined by her daughter Sarah Fristoe. We debated the accusation that Guest's comedies can be cruel to their characters. We also discussed the songs, the use of Yiddish, the origins of many of the cast members via Second City, and we ask the important question....Wha' Happened?


One point of trivia we forgot to mention about art jumping into real life.....supposedly, The Folksmen would be the support act for Spinal Tap on American tours. The crowd not realising it was the same bunch of gents, booed them offstage. I hope this isn't just urban legend....


Many thanks to Sarah for being an enthusiastic See Hearian and bringing great insight to what is a favourite film.


You can watch the original Folksmen sketch that appeared on Saturday Night Live nearly 20 years before A Mighty Wind at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LztVpOOhEY


A Mighty Wind is on many of the usual streaming services (or possibly in your DVD collection.....)


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


Proudly Pantheon.


You can download the episode from here.


Monday 27 November 2023

See Hear Podcast Episode 111 - Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents

 


Musicians, artists, actors and authors (and any other creatives I haven’t nominated) have long taken pseudonyms. Maybe a more exciting name will sell an image, maybe it’s to have some semblance of privacy, maybe it’s to separate themselves from their past, …any number of reasons. Avant garde art collective The Residents took things beyond name change – they maintained complete anonymity.


Welcome to episode 111 of See Hear Podcast.


The Residents are a band, multimedia artists, theatrical performers….and anonymous. Long time fans claim to be aware of their identities, but putting that aside, the band subscribed to the Theory of Obscurity that maintains that better art is created when the artist is anonymous and free of audience expectations. The band has always performed with masks and not given names….not even pseudonyms.


They’ve been creating music for over 50 years, and have released multitudes of albums – original compositions and deconstructions of 20th century standards from the likes of The Rolling Stones, James Brown and George Gershwin. Trying to define what they do beyond the catch-all tag of “avant- garde” is ridiculous. For some, it can be music that is difficult or challenging….and for others, it can be a breath of fresh air.


For this episode of See Hear, Tim and Maurice discuss the 2015 film “Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents” directed by Don Hardy, its themes, the music of the Residents, and whether there’s something actually to the theory or if it’s bunk.


The film is easily available on Kanopy, Youtube and Tubi. You can tune into our conversation before or after watching it, but either way, grab your top hat and cane, then tune in. We have our eye on you.


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


You can download episode 111 from here.

Monday 30 October 2023

See Hear Podcast Episode 110 - The Wrecking Crew

 


Most working people have that day gig – accountant, engineer, admin, hospitality. The job pays the bills and puts food on the table. We don’t tend to think of being a musician as a day job category.


Welcome to episode 110 of See Hear Podcast.


Through the 20th century, there was always some group of musicians who had that “day job” status – playing for corporate functions, teaching people to instrumental skills, and being the faceless people providing the grooves and melodies behind your favourite records. Remember the shock you felt realising that the Beach Boys weren’t playing their own instruments on Pet Sounds? Or The Monkees? The collective of Los Angeles session musicians who became known as The Wrecking Crew (via drummer Hal Blaine’s autobiography) provided the music for tons of songs that music fans consider pop pantheon. There were other collectives of course – Motown had the Funk Brothers, Stax had Booker T and the MGs, and there were the collectives in Muscle Shoals and Nashville.


Film maker Denny Tedesco is the son of Wrecking Crew guitarist, Tommy Tedesco. In the mid 90s, Denny started making a documentary that took nearly 20 years to make. Financing for licensing rights was a big part of that duration, but in the end, he created a wonderful film that opens a window to the world of that period of time when Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, The Mamas and the Papas, The Ronettes, and The Beach Boys all had one thing in common – The Wrecking Crew. Even if the general public had no idea who Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Earl Palmer or Plas Johnson were, the “name” artists certainly did and revered their work.


For episode 110, Tim, Kerry and myself discussed Denny’s documentary as well as our own favourite records from that period, the difference between WC and other famous session groups, British session musicians, social context, and economics. Tim also has an interesting spin on why session musicians may not feel the need to brag about their work…….


If you want to catch up on the film, it’s currently available on Beamafilm, Prime and (in October / November 2023) SBS On Demand.


Very excitingly, we will be having Denny Tedesco on See Hear in early 2024 to talk about his new film The Immediate Family about another group of LA session musicians from the 70s.


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


Download episode 110 from here.


Wednesday 27 September 2023

See Hear Episode 109 - Interview with Steve Matteo about Act Naturally: The Beatles On Film

There was a time when the rock and roll star appearance in a film ostensibly as themselves (or a variant) was a given. Think of the films of Elvis Presley or Cliff Richard. Before the Warholian expression of 15 minutes of fame became a thing, the pop music film was a way to make the most of the latest populist puppet’s time in the sun – script be damned, musician’s longevity be damned. “Let’s just give the kids what they want and reap the benefits before the next pretty face we can exploit”. I’m sure that was the studio mantra. The Beatles were gonna be part of that machine….yet something different happened.


Welcome to See Hear Podcast episode 109.


The Beatles got signed to a 3 film deal with United Artists, and in 1964 released what has been called the Citizen Kane of rock and roll films, A Hard Day’s Night. People have been arguing the merits of their filmic output ever since. This year, author Steve Matteo has released a book called Act Naturally: The Beatles On Film where he focuses on the Fabs as film stars. He looks at the making of each of their 5 films giving credit to their collaborators, as well as putting the films into social context (what else was happening in British cinema at the time).


Unfortunately, neither Kerry nor Tim was available to join me on this conversation, but Steve and I had a terrific time talking about his book and all things Beatle-films.....and many things Beatle adjacent. I also make a confession that will have film buffs gathering their pitchforks and hunting me down – I stand by my contention. Thanks hugely to Steve for a very entertaining conversation. I hope to have him back for a round table at some stage.


The book Act Naturally: The Beatles On Film is available at all the usual virtual and physical bookstores. It comes with the See Hear stamp of approval.


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

 

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

 

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

 

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

 

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

 

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


Download episode 109 from here.

 

Thursday 24 August 2023

See Hear Podcast Episode 108 - Saturday Night Fever

 


Disco music had been a thing from the early 70s on, but not so much in the mainstream. Parts of the African-American, Latino and gay communities had been cherishing the music as an event - going out to dance in discotheques was the thing. There's are books that go through the history of disco music and what put that music underground. Some of the music became top forty success stories, but disco really exploded in 1977 thanks to a movie featuring a TV actor and songs by a group past their glory days.

Welcome to episode 108 of See Hear Podcast.

Robert Stigwood bought the film rights to a fictitious article by Nik Cohn called “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”. He invested $3.5M into making the film, and made sure his act The Bee Gees were going to be featured on the soundtrack. John Travolta in between Welcome Back Kotter seasons starred as a young working class man from Brooklyn who hates his job and home life, and only finds solace when dancing at the 2001 Odyssey Discotheque. The film is a great character study of what drives people and their self esteem.

Kerry, Tim and I welcome first-time guest to the show, Dan Fisher. Dan has started a great new podcast called Let's Talk Ten where he and guests run off lists about all manner things devoted to pop culture. I invited him to our virtual table and Saturday Night Fever was his pick.....it triggered a great discussion, although as Frank Santopadre would say, we barely scratched the surface.

The film has so many thematic elements to riff on. We cover some of those, but we also look at disco as a phenomenon (and how it influenced Chasidic music and Joe Raposo), 70s Hollywood movie anti-heroes, the violent backlash to disco music, and aspiring for something better in life. A warning: I sing – twice.

We're grateful that Dan came to us with this pick and was such an active participant in the episode. It won't be his last time with us. You should search for him on Facebook to follow his “Rank 'Em” posts (explained at the start of the episode), and you can find Let's Talk Ten at https://letstalktenpodcast.buzzsprout.com/ or whatever app you use to listen to podcasts.

Also, we're giving a shout out to fellow Pantheon Podcasters Bruce and Ryan over at Prisoners of Rock and Roll. Their latest episode is called Does Disco Suck? It will make a good companion piece to ours. Catch it at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/does-disco-suck/id1534602232?i=1000625127339

Canned Heat might have meant it differently, but the message is the same: Don't forget to boogie.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 108 here.


See Hear Podcast Episode 114 - Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape

  There's a song performed by Peter Allen that seems to be more relevant than ever: Everything Old Is New Again. Film plots are recycled...