In this episode of The Common People Podcast we take a detour. Actually, detour might not be the appropriate word here. It’s more of a complete makeover than a detour. In the first 19 episodes of the podcast we heard from an awesome mix of people, but sometimes we left ourselves wondering, as great as it is to listen to these people and their stories, can’t we bring them to life? Turn these soundbites and figments of the imagination into something so tangible that they have real form. So we are pleased to announce with The CPP’s transition to video that we feel like the blind man who has spent a lifetime in darkness only to wake up one day with his vision restored.
This first video episode of the podcast takes you on a tour of Los Angeles. Hear it, see it, experience it. We hope you enjoy, thanks for checking us out!
In this episode of the podcast I sit down with a special guest, world-renowned DJ Rob Swift (aka Brolic Arm), and together we take a deep dive into the world of DJing. Rob was first introduced to the turntables as a young kid, where he spent years learning his way around the turntable under the guidance of his older brother and father. Then, in 1991, he joined a Harlem-based DJ crew known as the X-ecutioners (originally the X-Men). Within a year he won the DMC east coast title and became an unstoppable force in the DJ world. Rob and the X-ecutioners achieved mainstream success, part of which was fueled by their hit ‘It’s Goin Down,’ which they did in collaboration with Linkin Park. Eventually, Rob decided to head out on his own to establish himself as a solo artist and to reclaim some of the creative energy that he felt was lost during the group’s rise to mainstream success.
Rob hit the ground running in his solo career, starting with an album he released in 1998 called ‘The Ablist’ and following that up with 4 more solo albums. Over his career, he’s experimented with all types of genres – hip hop, jazz, classical music – and collaborated with artists ranging from Jay-Z, Linkin Park and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Bob James and Herbie Hancock. He has made appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, he has toured all over the world and even DJ’ed for ESPN’s first late night sports entertainment show. It is through all of these efforts that he has explored and pushed the limits of his own creative potential.
But wait, there’s more. For the past six years Rob has dedicated himself to passing on the art and craft of DJing as a professor at The New School in NYC and through offering private DJ lessons. And now, Rob is set to release his first full-length album in six years called X-Files: Lost & Deleted. It’s a collection of rare, remixed and reinterpreted songs from Rob’s archives. Rob currently has an active Kickstarter campaign to raise money for this album (link below). It looks like he recently reached his goal, which is awesome and I bet he is really excited about that. Feel free to still contribute to the campaign, as I am sure this will be very much appreciated.
On a personal note, I learned a great deal from talking with Rob and watching and listening to a lot of the tracks and videos that he sent me before we sat down. The making of this episode was a blast to learn about a world that I previously knew very little about, not to mention Rob is just an awesome guy. Thanks for tuning in, enjoy!
P.S. There’s about a 45 second clip between my intro and the beginning of the discussion with Rob. Those are clips from ‘As The Technics Spin,’ which is a documentary about Rob and gives some great insight into him and DJing. I posted the link below if you want to watch it on YouTube.
X-Files: Lost & Deleted – Kickstarter Campaign
DJ Rob Swift’s Website
Dope on Plastic (Rob’s online radio show)
X-ecutioners – DMC Finals 1999
As The Technics Spin
DJ Rob Swift on YouTube
DJ Rob Swift on Facebook
DJ Rob Swift on Twitter
Master Class with DJ Rob Swift
Jen’s Battle at The New School
The season 1 finale has arrived. What a ride it has been thus far. If you would’ve told me a couple of months ago that we would make it to this point, I don’t think I would have believed you, not because I consider you to be a liar, but mainly because I didn’t realize we were doing this season by season, so how could I have known there would be a finale? Yet here we are, amazing.
In this episode we go on a musical tour de force of New Orleans with a quick detour (missed the exit sign) to Baton Rouge. Blues, jazz, Russian hooligan songs, street music, sounds from the LSU football game, it’s a season finale for the ages. The music was flat out incredible, firing on all brass cylinders day after day, night after night. I said get up on stage and play me some songs, son, and that’s what you did. But you didn’t just do it because your name was on the chalkboard outside the club, you did it because it’s your way of speaking with us and the message we received is that you have no choice but to play the heck out of these songs.
Someone once told me that in a previous life I was a musician living in the South, so for me this wasn’t just my first trip to New Orleans, but it was really a homecoming of sorts. Thanks for tuning in to this episode and to any others that you have listened to this season. We appreciate the awesome support we have received all season and without you, well, without you we’d have one less listener. And every listener is a reflection of all our listeners, so on that note, we are truly grateful for you taking the time to be here. We will be back with season 2 in mid-May, which is important for you to know so you don’t start frantically waking up in the middle of the night to check iTunes for the season premiere long before it hits the shelves. See you then!
Bands and Musicians
The New Orleans Suspects
Treme Brass Band
King James & The Special Men
Cedric Burnside Project
Johnny Mastro & MBs
The Preservation Hall-Stars featuring Shannon Powell
Sarah McCoy & The Oopsie Daisies
Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band
Leah Chase Quartet
In this episode I sit down with New Orleans-based filmmaker and writer Brian Paul. I met Brian in New Orleans at an art fair right off Frenchmen Street where he had a table set up to promote his movie about train hopping (a subculture that I previously knew very little about) – titled ‘Cure For The Crash.’
After hearing a little about his experience riding the rails and making the movie, I invited him to be on the podcast. I didn’t know much of anything about Brian or his life before we sat down to record, but what followed was a very open and honest look into some of his life experiences and work. We talk about the making of the movie, the writing of his new book “GLACIER ‘How the rails became my rehab'” and we also go well beyond that into some very personal experiences and the ways in which mental illness has impacted him and his family.
Cure For The Crash – Trailer
When I arrived in Austin I had two main things that I wanted to accomplish during my time there – visit as many food trucks as possible and listen to a lot of live music (and maybe take a quick swim in Barton Springs Pool). But my plan was quickly thrown into disarray on the first evening when I happened upon the opening night party for the Austin Film Festival at The Driskill Hotel. I had heard of other Austin based festivals such as South By Southwest and Austin City Limits, but the Austin Film Festival (AFF) seemed to fly under the radar. The AFF is known as ‘The Writer’s Festival.’ Many of the workshops are given by famous and accomplished writers and many people in the industry were in attendance specifically for these workshops.
Although I am not in the film industry, I eventually got the badge that would give me access to all the events that would be going on that week. In this episode, I take you through my time at the festival – the workshops, the movies, the parties – discussing things that I learned and found interesting along the way. If you’re looking for some potentially lesser known but really interesting documentaries, I discuss a few of my favorites. If you write or have an inkling to start, I share some of the great tips that I learned from the screenwriting workshops. Thanks for tuning in!
If you only want to listen to the discussion of a specific movie in this episode, the starting time of that discussion is listed next to the links to the movies below.
Austin Film Festival
Hardy – 12:38
Taking It Back – 27:15
Crazy Carl and His Man-Boobs: An Austin Love Story – Trailer – 41:03
61 Bullets – 43:44
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young – 51:04
Wild – 59:14
Tomorrow We Disappear – 1:04:44
How I Got Over – 1:08:09
The Texas Promise – 1:10:40
Morphine: Journey of Dreams – 1:14:16