We have reached the quarter century mark, in terms of full-length podcasts. And I’m happy to reach that milestone speaking with musician Chandler Travis. You may have read my review of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic’s latest Waving Kissyhead vol. 2 & 1 when it was released in February, and you may also have heard “The Strongman of North America,” one of my favorite tunes from that album on EP20 with Nick Vatterott a few weeks ago. In which case, you know that Travis is a wonderfully offbeat songwriter who defies genre descriptions. He prefers “Omnipop” or “Alternative Dixieland” if you have to use a label, but he doesn’t much care for them.
Travis has more than forty years worth of material to draw from. He started as a musician in the 70s with a duo called Travis Shook and the Club Wow and wound up opening for George Carlin on the road. Still, as he told me in this interview at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain, he likes to keep things fresh. I talked to him after a fairly long gig that started in the afternoon on a Sunday and ended later that evening. Travis estimates he played just under three hours of music, and that includes more of the new album, plus a bizarre tribute to the Christian children’s show puppet Little Marcy, for which vocalist Fred Boak donned a giant baby mask and cartoon gloves. You can see that in the gallery below.
If you get the chance to see Travis in any of his bands, do it. It’s a wonderful experience. You can find his tour dates and news and such on his Web site.
After the interview, listen to a track from comedian Jackie Kashian‘s new album, I Am Not the Hero of This Story. If you don’t know her comedy, you should check out this album and her podcasts, The Dork Forest and The Jackie and Laurie Show. At the very beginning of the album, Kashian notes she had a different forty-five minutes of material planned for the taping, but wound up changing it after the election. “I don’t do political material,” she says, “but I do now, I guess, ‘cuz I’m human.” On this track, she talks about her reaction to the presidential election and how she worked through it with her friends.