Michael talks about what it’s like being an established musician but being a beginner at home recording.
Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and musician, Michael Louis Johnson has lived in Toronto since 1990. He spent seven years as right-hand man to Big Rude Jake; he blowed-up on the silver screen in cult hit Bride of Chucky and was himself a principal subject of 2010 documentary, A Different Path. His punk band The New Kings opened for Rancid, the Fleshtones and New Model Army. When not touring the globe playing trumpet w/ Lemon Bucket Orkestra, MLJ is a notorious busker and bartender, (NOW Mag Best Bartender, 2013). He leads the ArtSpin, playing trumpet while riding his bicycle; is the creator of popular democratic vinyl night, D-cide on the B-side; fronts a giant improvised brassband called Rambunctious, and his quintet Red Rhythm holds a weekly jazz residency at the Communist’s Daughter since 2003. He released a solo ep in 2017, Half Moon, Half Crazy, and continues to be creative during this pandemic.
Kitchener, Ontario-based singer-songwriter and storyteller Jesse Parent talks about the danger of his song “For a Moment” becoming a conventional love song, and how to avoid that!
We talked about:
- How to do banter well when you’re performing
- How Jesse went from one-draft songs to editing all the songs
- “Write with your heart, edit with your brain”
- How easy it is to let your songs devolve into love songs, if you’re not careful
- How to play harmonica and guitar at the same time well (hint: if you can sing and play guitar, you can do this)
- Writing to an unconventional song structure
- Taylor guitars
Download the lyrics to For a Moment to follow along.
So are people still writing protest songs? How do the protest songs of the ’60-’70s compare to the songs by Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar?
When you start songwriting and your goal is a protest song, how do you start? Vanessa stops by to lend her views.
We talked about:
- Do protest songs chart?
- Abstract vs targeted lyrics
- The Ongoing History of Protest Songs
In this throwback, we chatted with musical book writer Stephen Witkin about songs with a pride theme, with song examples.
Check out the original show notes.
One of our favourite guests drops by to give practical advice on performing. Blair Packham – songwriter, teacher, performer and 80’s hitmaker – talks about the best practices to entertain and present your songs to an audience, live or on-line.
Blair also shows off his dulcimer, which is very impressive.
Blair is the host and co-creator of SongStudio, a week-long songwriting workshop which pairs emerging songwriters with industry-connected mentors. So he talks about the first virtual, on-line version of that too.
So… give it a listen.