DoT EP80: Writer/Producer/Puppeteer Bill Diamond with New Music from Teardrop City

The Department of Tangents Podcast is 80 today with this episode, featuring an interview with writer, puppet creator, producer, and all around problem solver Bill Diamond, whom I interviewed live back in November at the NorthEast Comic Con & Collectible Extravaganza, which is happening again next week out in Boxboro, Massachusetts.

Diamond had a wonderful room full of puppets, from a giant Audrey II used in stage productions of Little Shop of Horrors to a Vincent Price puppet to his own creation, the Moonshins, which he is resurrecting as a television series in the near future. Diamond worked with Jim Henson early in his career, but he always wanted to run his own operation. Which is what he does as head of Bill Diamond Productions which does everything from Diamond’s own shows to windshield wiper commercials. We get into the nuts and bolts of that in front of an audience at the Con. Diamond faces a new challenge every day at work, which is how he likes it. He says you could never pin him down to doing the same job forever.

This week’s featured track comes from the tuneful crunch and swagger of Teardrop City. I had a very hard time choosing which track to feature from the band’s new album, It’s Later Than You Think. Every track is a winner. It’s headed up by Tyler Keith, who I remember from Tyler Keith and the Preacher’s Kids hard rocking album Romeo Hood. Keith had left the Neckbones and recruited Blue Mountain to back him under the name Preacher’s Kids. We’re actually just a week out from the album’s 18th birthday, as it was released February 27, 2001. That’s relevant here because two of the Preacher’s Kids – Laurie Stirratt and George Sheldon – are Teardrop City members. The quartet is rounded out by drummer Wallace Lester.

If you liked Romeo Hood, you can probably just bypass my spiel and go right to the song. You won’t be disappointed. But if you don’t know Keith or Blue Mountain, you’re in for a treat. I’m playing the title track, “It’s Later Than You Think,” a gloriously ragged tune with plenty of hooks. Stirratt and Keith trade vocals throughout the album, and this one is Keith caught somewhere between Frank Black’s spleen-letting and Mick Jagger’s cool. It’s about, what else? Love gone wrong. You can find out more about the band and the album on Facebook at teardropcityoxfordms or on Twitter at @teardrop_city. Pick it up!

This is the first Department of Tangents episode in a couple of months, and for those of you who have been looking forward to new stuff and wondering what happened, I had a hell of a couple of months. I’ve been recovering from an illness that put me in the hospital twice. It took a lot of energy to get through it, and I decided the forced break might be a good thing. I spent some of that time gathering more interviews and music, comedy, and book excerpts for the featured track. Thanks to everybody for listening, I appreciate your support.

You can listen to and download the podcast from the player below, or subscribe/review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Enjoy!

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