Essential Tremors | WYPR

Essential Tremors

  • Hosted by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner

A show in which musicians and other creators talk about the songs that shaped who they are.

Essential Tremors - Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc)

Jul 10, 2018

Tim Kinsella has made at least two indelible marks on contemporary music—first as frontman of emo hingepoint Cap’n Jazz, then as ringleader of the unpredictable Joan of Arc. In this episode, he talks about formative encounters with Bauhaus, Can, and composer Arnold Dreyblatt.

Essential Tremors - Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)

Jun 12, 2018

Deerhoof has become one of the country’s most unusual and prolific rock bands, and drummer Greg Saunier has been in the driver’s seat the whole time. His ecstatic attack—and his minimal kit—have helped define and distinguish the group, which formed in San Francisco in the mid-1990s.

Essential Tremors - Owen Gardner (Horse Lords)

May 15, 2018

Baltimore quartet Horse Lords have become an underground sensation on the back of their trance-inducing polyrhythmic rock attack. In this episode, guitarist Owen Gardner traces his sound back to Africa, to an almost forgotten folk tradition, and to hunting down the avant-garde while growing up in Iowa.

Essential Tremors - Susan Alcorn

Apr 20, 2018

Susan Alcorn spent years playing her pedal-steel guitar in country bands across Texas. But she has also taken the instrument into less typical territory, applying its sinuous tones to jazz, free improvisation, tango, and her personal blend of all of the above. In this episode, she recalls her seminal encounters with 20th-century composition, free jazz, and a steel-player’s steel player.

Essential Tremors - Ian MacKaye

Mar 20, 2018

Ian MacKaye has exerted a profound influence on music over the past 35 years. He pioneered hardcore punk with Minor Threat. He expanded the possibilities of punk with Fugazi. And he co-founded seminal Washington, DC, indie label Dischord Records.  For this episode of Essential Tremors, he sat down for a wide-ranging conversation about his history, the influence of dub, and how music is like a room.

Essential Tremors - Wendel Patrick

Feb 20, 2018

Wendel Patrick is a Baltimore-based jazz and classical pianist, as well as a sought after hip-hop producer, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute, and a sound documentarian. He’s also the co-founder of the monthly Baltimore Boom-Bap Society and a co-creator of WYPR’s award-winning "Out of the Blocks" podcast. The three songs that changed him range from seminal hip-hop, to a genre-challenging instrumental, to a soul stirring rendition of a Leonard Bernstein classic by one of the most important performers of the 20th century.

Essential Tremors - Jana Hunter

Feb 1, 2018

Essential Tremors talks to musicians and other creative people about the music that shaped them. In the debut episode, hosts Matt Byars and Lee Gardner speak with Jana Hunter, singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Baltimore indie-pop band Lower Dens. 

Essential Tremors Trailer

Jan 30, 2018

Essential Tremors talks to musicians and other creative people about the music that shaped them. In the debut episode, hosts Matt Byars and Lee Gardner speak with Jana Hunter, singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Baltimore indie-pop band Lower Dens. Turns out the melancholy in the band's mercurial sound has its roots in Jana's experiences with the music of the Smiths, but also Vivaldi and a certain '70s AM hit.  Episode 1 debuts on 2/1/18.