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The Trap Set with Joe Wong

Every Wednesday, Joe Wong talks to a different drummer about life as a drummer.
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The Trap Set with Joe Wong
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Now displaying: April, 2020
Apr 30, 2020

Today the world lost, Tony Allen, the great genius that--along with Fela Kuti--created the style known as Afrobeat. We're sharing Joe's conversation with Tony from 2015. Tony Allen, RIP.

Apr 30, 2020

Today's guest is Julianna Barwick, an artist that employs electronics, voice, and loops to build warm and expansive planets of sound!

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing daily episodes.

Apr 28, 2020

Sean McGuinness is a brutal shredder with a heart of gold. He discusses falling in love with drums; his excellent band Pissed Jeans; operating Lunar Inn, a bar and restaurant in his native Philadelphia; and fatherhood!

Apr 24, 2020

Songwriter Johnathan Rice joins Joe to discuss: his upbringing in Virginia and Glasgow; the serious academic ambitions that resulted from being the first child of immigrants; abandoning those ambitions to pursue music; a fortuitous meeting with Dave Grohl in suburban Virginia; moving to New York and befriending songwriters such as Jesse Harris and Connor Oberst; getting a major label deal within a year of graduating high school; writing songs for Meryl Streep to sing in Jonathan Demme's final directoral effort; and his recent interest in screenwriting.

Apr 23, 2020

Dot Wiggin co-founded The Shaggs, along with her sisters Betty and Helen, in 1968. As the band's primary songwriter, she is the author of some of the most astonishingly unique, life-affirming music ever recorded. Dot discusses: forming the band at the behest of her father; her songwriting process; weekly performances at the town hall in Fremont, NH; the surprising legacy of the band; working in a school cafeteria; teaching Sunday school; and Foot Foot.

Apr 21, 2020

Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley joins Joe from Montauk, NY to discuss: her animator parents; her background in visual arts; her band-specific drumming style; and her strong sense of intuition.

Apr 20, 2020

Today's guest is Duncan Trussell--comic, host of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and co-creator of the stunning new Netflix Series The Midnight Gospel. (Joe composed the score for the show!) Duncan and Joe discuss: meeting at just the right time; collaborating on the music for The Midnight Gospel; temporal neighbors; how certain childhood trauma can lead to a heightened sense of empathy; mystic searching; baby flips; and more! Make sure to celebrate 4/20 by watching The Midnight Gospel on Netflix!

During the age of social distancing, we're releasing daily episodes.

Apr 18, 2020

Joe shares "Dreams Wash Away", the first song from his forthcoming album! You also can stream the song on a service of your choice here: lnk.to/DreamsWashAway

Make sure to check out The Midnight Gospel, coming to Netflix on Monday, 4/20! "Dreams Wash Away" makes an appearance in the stunning season finale.

Apr 17, 2020

With a formal background in sound engineering, classical guitar, and composition--coupled with a deeply curious mind--Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is the author of beautifully meditative, vast and vivid soundscapes. She and Joe discuss: how her independent study background prepared her for Berklee; how meditation made her a better listener; getting to know one's subconscious mind; her fortuitous discovery of a Buchla synthesizer; medulla therapy; and Flamin' Hot Cheetos.


During the age of social distancing, we're releasing daily episodes.

Apr 16, 2020

Andrew Becker's dexterous, explosive drumming first gained recognition when he played in Dischord band Medications. Since then, Andrew has created four solo albums under the Human Potential Moniker, including this year's I'm Glad You're Alive. He's also an award-winning filmmaker, and proprietor of the label What Delicate. Joe and Andy have crossed paths in some interesting ways in the past twenty years; hear them catch up!

Apr 15, 2020

From an early age, drummer Areif Sless-Kitain exhibited a stunning level of musical maturity and a distinctive creative voice. Joe witnessed this firsthand when he saw Areif perform with Regulator Watts in Milwaukee in 1996. Areif and Joe crossed paths a few years later, when Joe succeeded Areif in the DC band that later became Medications. The two old friends re-connect, and Areif discusses his path from DC to Philly to Chicago; his work as a music writer; and his creative approach in Brokeback and The Eternals.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're releasing daily episodes.

 

Apr 13, 2020

Thor Harris is a percussionist known for his work with Swans, Bill Callahan, Rob Halverson, Devendra Banhart, and his own ensemble--Thor & Friends. Thor is also a sculptor, instrument builder, carpenter, and former TX gubernatorial candidate. Thor tells Joe about: being raised by an engineer and schoolteacher near Galveston, TX; studying drums in at Musicians Institute in Hollywood; learning to manage depression and thriving creatively; his love of nature; his infamous video "How to Punch a Nazi"; and the impetus to start his own band.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 11, 2020

Makaya McCraven is a drummer, composer, and producer whose innovative work draws a creative through-line between generations of seemingly disparate avant-garde movements. He tells Joe about: being raised by musician parents; why he initially resisted pursuing music as a profession; the difference between the "oral musical tradition" in which he was raised and the academic approach he was presented with in college; the decision to start creating work as a bandleader; parenting; and learning when to say yes to collaborative offers.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 11, 2020

Sean Solomon tells Joe about: taking lessons with the late Richie Hass of Saccharine Trust; growing up with a musical father and uncle; his early affinity for drugs; turning his life around in the psych ward; the meditative benefits of guitar playing; the band dynamic of Moaning; and his career as an animator.

Also, Rob Ellis returns to discuss his new album, The Nostalgia Machine, out today.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 10, 2020

Today, an experimental three-part episode! First, Britt Walford returns to answer listener questions; then, we turn over the host seat to Britt as he interviews his friend--today's guest--Emil Amos. Finally, Joe picks up where Britt leaves off for a life-spanning conversation with Emil. Emil is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter perhaps best known for his work as Holy Sons. For over twenty years, he has also been the drummer for Grails. After many years in Portland, Emil has returned to his native NC, from which he spoke to Britt and Joe.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 9, 2020

Meg Baird is drummer, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Meg her musical journey playing with her sister Laura in what would become known as The Baird Sisters. She moved to Philadelphia in 1995 and played in bands such as Espers, Heron Oblivian, and Watery Love. Beginning in 2007, Meg has released a stunning series of solo albums that showcase her uniquely compelling and haunting song craft. In 2018, Meg collaborated with harpist and Trap Set alumnus Mary Lattimore on the critically acclaimed duo album, Ghost Forests. She spoke to Joe from her home in San Francisco.

Apr 8, 2020

If you had to choose the catalog of just one Trap Set alumnus to listen to during quarantine, you could do no better than today's guest, the incomparable Dave Mattacks! Dave made his recording debut in 1969 on Fairport Convention's seminal album Liege & Lief. From this stunning statement onward, Dave's unique brand of rhythmic adventure has accompanied a who's who of genius songwriters: Nick Drake, Brian Eno, Paul McCartney, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jimmy Page, Elton John, George Harrison, XTC, Loudon Wainwright III, to name a few. Stroll through an abandoned glade and bask in Dave's incredible wisdom.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording by phone and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 7, 2020

Billy Conway joins Joe from his home in Montana to discuss: growing up in small-town Minnesota; attending Yale on a hockey scholarship; teaching in the inner city; how deliberate limitations informed his approach to playing with Morphine; how making a solo record shaped his approach to producing other artists; and how fighting advanced cancer has put his life into perspective.

Apr 6, 2020

Guitarist and vocalist Kid Congo Powers has been a key member of several paradigm-shifting bands such as The Gun Club, The Cramps, and The Bad Seeds. Over the past fifteen years, he's also led his own excellent band, Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds. Kid tells Joe about: growing up in a Chicano family in Los Angeles; how he became obsessive about music before ever playing an instrument, ultimately becoming president of The Ramones Fan Club; learning to play guitar in The Gun Club; his parents' experience at a Cramps show; "growing up" in Berlin; sobriety; how the current pandemic evokes AIDS-era PTSD; and the process of writing his memoirs.

Apr 4, 2020

Brian Chippendale is perhaps best known as the drummer and vocalist for the Providence duo, Lightning Bolt. A band perfectly suited to Chippendale's singular gift for conjuring colorful and frenetic noisescapes. He is also a prolific visual artist and graphic novelist. Brian tells Joe about: his childhood in New York state and Pennsylvania; his long-lasting aversion to becoming a grown up; attending art school at RISD; the genesis and evolving dynamic of Lightning Bolt; Fort Thunder--the legendary 6000 sq. ft. art loft in which he lived in the 90s; and how parenthood has changed his life, especially in the times of sheltering in place.


During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 4, 2020

John Congleton and Joe first met 22 years ago in Denton, TX. John's band, the pAper chAse shared a bill with Joe's band at the time. In the intervening years, John has distinguished himself as one of the most innovative and in-demand producers of his generation, working with scores of artists such as: Sharon Van Etten, Blondie, St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, and Wye Oak. John and Joe discuss: depression, empathy, the power of saying no, learning to trust your instincts, existential dread, and more!

Apr 3, 2020

As U.S. Girls, Meg Remy has achieved an impressive songwriting balance between the familiar and the wholly unexpected. She joins Joe to discuss: why she is somewhat relieved that the global pandemic caused touring postponement; singing through an amp in her childhood garage; her first band; attending Catholic school; and the interesting predicament presented by humanity's awareness of mortality.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 2, 2020

Today's guest is Britt Walford, perhaps best known as the drummer for Slint, a band he co-founded in Louisville in 1986. During its brief lifespan, Slint operated in relative obscurity; but the band's music has proven to be a massive influence on subsequent generations--and previous generations alike. Even established legends such as Robert Plant have professed their affinity for the band. Britt's incredibly unique, angular style won him many fans among the musical cognoscenti, and--aside from his work from Slint, he has worked with artists such as The Breeders (on their first album, Pod), The For Carnation, and Will Oldham. Britt joined Joe from his home in Louisville.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're recording by phone and releasing new episodes every day.

 

 

Apr 1, 2020

Joe is joined by Sylvan Esso to discuss: Elmer's Glue mohawks, Corona anxiety, songwriting, existential dread, and slap bass!

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes of The Trap Set every day.

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