Episode 101: Aaron Draplin

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse client base than that of Portland, Oregon's Draplin Design Co. From corporations like Nike and Ford to some of his favorite bands (Dinosaur Jr., Old 97's) to the Obama administration and NASA, Aaron Draplin's visual talents run the branding gamut. But out of all the work he's ever done, designing for vinyl records remains his favorite gig. On today's episode, as we discuss his record shopping habits, prized LP's and stories of meeting his musical heroes, you'll learn that the only thing brighter and bolder than Aaron's designs is his own personality. Visit draplin.com to check out Aaron's catalog of work.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 100: Pat Sansone (Wilco / The Autumn Defense)

This year brings with it several anniversaries for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone: 2019 marks his 50th birthday, two decades as part of The Autumn Defense (formed with Wilco bassist John Stirratt) and subsequently 15 years within Wilco itself. Entering the band during a pivotal shift between A Ghost Is Born's riveting complexities and the more serene nature of Sky Blue Sky, Pat has been a welcome key to the influential sextet since day one, serving up piano, guitar, vocal harmonies and a myriad of other accoutrements. On today's milestone 100th episode from his home in Nashville, Pat reflects on his family's strong ties to show business, the upcoming loss of his neighborhood record shop Fond Object, creating album artwork from thousands of unearthed slides, why John Lennon’s death sparked his deep dive into the Beatles and how Big Star's third album changed his life.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 99: Melvin Dillon of Soul Step Records

Since being founded in 2011, Cincinnati-based indie label Soul Step has been running a unique business model for musicians who are unable to afford the massive investment of getting their music on vinyl. By Soul Step fronting and recouping all production costs, then splitting profits 50/50 with the artist for a short run of impeccably colored and incredibly limited pressings, everyone from the label to the band to the listener benefits. On today's show, Soul Step owner Melvin Dillon explains the company's ethos, his relationship with the expert record manufacturers at Wax Mage and more about this creative endeavor that's helping musicians express themselves on wax and helping collectors fill their shelves. For label news, their online store and social media, visit soulsteprecords.com.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 98: Josh Berwanger (The Anniversary / Radar State)

An obsessive record collector since third grade, Josh Berwanger's adoration for glam-tinged rock and synth-heavy new-wave led to the formation of indie quintet The Anniversary, who toured heavily in the early 2000's behind a pair of full-lengths for the Vagrant label at its zenith. On today's program, Josh dishes about his days behind the counter at Lawrence, KS record store Love Garden, spotlights some rare finds in his collection, remembers how having the band's music on vinyl was always part of their record contract, and shares his thoughts on how scaling vinyl production back could benefit the industry long term. We also dig into his latest project Radar State, formed with longtime pals Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids and Gadjits drummer Adam Phillips. Check out the band's tour dates and social media, plus pick up their debut LP "Strays" released by Wiretap Records, at radarstate.bandcamp.com.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 97: Photographer Andy Barron

Andy Barron has made a career of visually documenting life on the road for musicians, both on stage and off, over the last decade. He’s currently Chris Stapleton’s official tour photographer, and he’s done similar work for groups like Foster The People and Switchfoot. His résumé also sports freelance photography for the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, Joy Williams and New Kids On The Block. A native Californian but now based in Nashville, Andy discusses how to keep things fresh while taking pictures of the same tour night after night, how that same schedule helps you from regretting not taking the perfect shot, how listening to vinyl compares to seeing a film in a movie theater versus at home and more!

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James Laczkowski
Episode 96: Matt Lunsford of Polyvinyl Records

For over two decades, Polyvinyl Records -- which started in the small Midwestern town of Danville, IL -- has been releasing various offshoots of indie-rock with touches of folk, hardcore punk, chamber pop or new wave, including records from Braid, Japandroids, Of Montreal, Joan of Arc, Deerhoof, Alvvays, Beach Slang, Jeff Rosenstock, Matt Pond PA, Owen, Jay Som, Mates of State and countless others. On today's show, Polyvinyl co-founder Matt Lunsford remembers the hands-on DIY nature of the label’s first releases, the early importance of documenting a scene (along with co-founder and wife Darcie), how long their lead time is at pressing plants for a label of their caliber and adapting quickly to how listeners consume music.

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James Laczkowski
Episode 95: Aaron Hartley (Forever Analog / Country Music Association)

As director of business affairs at the Country Music Association, Aaron Hartley clears rights for online content, works with music publishers on payments for song placements and acts as a liaison between artists and the CMA for television properties. But before working in the world of country music, Aaron cut his teeth by launching Theory Eight Records, a small indie-rock label that has released material for the likes of Bully, Caitlin Rose and Copeland among others.

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James Laczkowski