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It’s not entirely surprising that Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson would have a broad and rich range of musical influences. He recounts loving each of the hundreds of 7” singles his parents owned and allowed him to play to ruination on his little record player. Songs by Frank Sinatra, the swinging jazz of Louis Prima, for instance. What is a litt…
 
Dave Graney’s creative longevity has been sustained by his need for re-invention but also by knowing when to borrow ideas, phrases or melodic licks from others to fashion into something of his own. Caz Tran sat down with Dave Graney to hear about the influence of blues and groove, hip hop acts like Public Enemy and Schoolly D, Radio Birdman and The…
 
Katy Steele admits, with some embarrassment, that she’d never even heard about Joni Mitchell’s 1971 masterpiece Blue until fairly recently. Now, one song in particular continues to stop her in her tracks; the vividly depicted, melancholic seasonal song ‘River.’ Hear more about the song that changed it all for Katy Steele on Don't Look Back.…
 
Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual or a roadmap. Sometimes you just bumble through, faking it til you make it. Some of us are lucky enough to find that role model, mentor or guardian angel who shows us a possible way forward. Missy Higgins was one of those lucky ones. At a time in her life when she needed it most, she discovered the music…
 
Ben Lee is back with a new album Freedom, Love and the Recuperation of the Human Mind. It’s possibly the most stripped back that we’ve heard him, and his approach to sharing his stories has shifted. There’s an openness that invites your ears inwards. Ben says it’s something that’s come with getting a little older and becoming a parent. He talks abo…
 
Mum of three, beloved musician, sometime actor and now popular radio host on her Melbourne ABC local radio show, Clare Bowditch has a lot of irons in the fire. A natural story teller, Clare talks with warmth and openness about a dark time in her life, a time when she couldn’t read the paper or even listen to music and shares the song that was her c…
 
As a writer and performer with a huge love of musical theatre, Eddie Perfect sees songs as serving very precise and multilayered functions. He says the 1970 soundtrack for Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy ‘Company’ and in particular the weary but scathing performance by Elaine Stritch illuminated the various important roles that musical pieces can…
 
Eleanor Friedberger invites us into her childhood, one filled with her own tastes and musical discoveries but also one that’s been influenced by a kind hearted older brother. Matthew Friedberger not only bought Eleanor her first guitar but introduced her to the quintessential New York band. Find out the iconic Velvet Underground song that stoked he…
 
Richard Fidler takes us back to the much darker and despairing times of his youth in Canberra. The recession 80s and looming nuclear crisis threatened to wipe out civilised society. In this climate some menacing and melancholic music captured the mood of the time and the imagination of a young Richard Fidler. Join him as he shares the magnificence …
 
He’s a talented singer, songwriter and showman, but Felix Riebl has had a lifetime of constant push and pull in his relationship with music. It began with the search for identity, then the struggle for expression and these days it’s about allowing himself to enjoy the mystery of the language of music. Felix shares some of the moments that have shap…
 
Wonder of the natural world is the key inspiration for acclaimed visual artist Patricia Piccinini. Through her works, she’s aiming to coax us out of our accepted ways of thinking to take a walk along the line that divides the natural and the unnatural, the beautiful and the grotesque. She shares how the emotional complexity of Morrissey’s ‘November…
 
Touring speaker, writer, broadcaster, actor & former frontman for hardcore punk legends Black Flag, Henry Rollins has a packed CV for a guy who’s professed never to have had any concrete plans in life. His intense enthusiasm & a restless curiosity are the fuel that’s sustained a lifetime of pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. Here, H…
 
Ivan Aristeguieta says every comedian has two jobs. Ivan is also a food technologist and it’s his knowledge in the culinary arts that’s helped him break through cultural barriers in his adopted Aussie homeland. But the sights, smells and sounds of his birthplace are never far away from his thoughts. Join Ivan Aristeguieta as he takes you on a trip …
 
‘The last plane out of Sydney’s almost gone…’, an unmistakable lyric that playwright Kate Mulvany recalls hearing everywhere from radio through to blue light discos growing up. However, it wasn’t until she heard the word ‘Vietnam’ in the Cold Chisel classic, Khe Sanh, that she sat down to really listen to the story that was being told. It brought e…
 
Over Sean Lennon's career he’s had three solo albums but what he’s found is that at heart, he’s a collaborator. He’s recently teamed his surreal guitar licks with the brilliance of Les Claypool for a psych-pop partnership called The Claypool Lennon Delirium. As a musician, he’s constantly exploring and intrigued by how melodies and lyrics interact …
 
Arj Barker knows a thing or two when it comes to making people laugh. Much of it comes down to understanding human behaviour. But sometimes life throws some curveballs which test one’s resolve and emotional capabilities. Arj shares his story of a devastating heartbreak which coincided with one of the highest points of his comedy career and how Radi…
 
Jason Isbell is a songwriter who approaches his craft with a strong, honest work ethic. It’s a reflection of his childhood roots. Growing up around hard working Southern folk, he would overhear conversations about their daily troubles or just everyday observations. To his young eager ears, there was something magical about the simplicity of what wa…
 
American songwriter and harpist Joanna Newsom developed her musical concepts and sensibilities very early in life, long before she really began to actively listen to other people’s music. She realises that she was very fortunate to develop her own expressive style, mostly free from external influences. But there was one larger than life 80s anthem …
 
Sammy J went from class clown to comedy stardom. As a musical comedian, he trades in subverting serious subject matter with catchy bright melodies, direct conversational lyrics and a bright eyed smile. He tells the tale of how he came to the understanding that laughter can bring empowerment and the song that showed him the limitless possibilities o…
 
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