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Jenny Eliscu
89 episodes   Last Updated: Jun 05, 23
Interviews focus on key moments of discovery, and the songs/artists that have soundtracked the guest's life. Hosted by journalist and radio presenter Jenny Eliscu (@jennylsq), these are laid-back but in-depth discussions, with music-makers and music-lovers. Episodes also occasionally feature clips from Eliscu's extensive archive, which includes 20 years' worth of interview audio.


Jun 05, 2023
On the occasion of their new 26th studio album, The Girl is Crying In Her Latté, the legendary Los Angeles art-pop duo Sparks (brothers Ron and Russell Mael) join the LSQ podcast to talk about the evolution of their sound; their work with producers such as Giorgio Moroder and Todd Rundgren, and why they value being able to produce their own music nowadays; growing up in LA seeing concerts by British Invasion bands they loved including The Kinks and The Who; getting to witness one of Jimi Hendrix’s first LA concerts; what they’re looking forward to playing during their 2023 tours, and more! 
Apr 26, 2023
Sunny War
When she started playing guitar at age seven, Sunny War saw herself as the next Slash or Angus Young, a future shredder, certain to be a rock star, and definitely NOT a folk singer. And yet, here we are, it's 2023 and thanks to her excellent latest album, Anarchist Gospel, and a Triple A-radio hit single, "No Reason," she is finally getting well-deserved recognition as one of the most exciting folk singers of her generation. In episode 89 of the LSQ podcast, get to know Sunny's story, and how she went from playing in a punk band called Anus Kings and busking on the Venice Beach boardwalk to performing her ecstatic folk anthem "No Reason" on late night television and embarking on her biggest tour, to date. Get tickets for Sunny War's current tour here.
To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of her beautiful, best-selling memoir, Crying In H Mart, and its accompanying book tour, the author -- celebrated indie singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast -- joins the LSQ podcast for a conversation that explores her early experiences in both writing and music. She also shares that her next book is already in development, as she plans to move to her native Korea for a year, to learn the language and document the experience. And an exciting scoop: She already has new Japanese Breakfast songs in the works and might even debut some of them on tour later this year!
KP, the singer-songwriter at the helm of Black Belt Eagle Scout, joins the LSQ pod to talk about their beautiful new album, The Land, The Water, The Sky, recorded as KP was transitioning back to living in their homelands in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, in LaConner, Washington. We talk about how KP first got into playing and writing music, learning to play Für Elise by ear on the piano as a child, figuring out that their favorite guitars are the ones that sound the warmest, learning to play drums at Portland's Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls and later teaching at the camp, getting involved in the house show scene, loving post-rock, being inspired by the musical flexibility of the great Buffy Sainte-Marie, and more.
Mar 03, 2023
Son Lux
Ryan Lott and Ian Chang from the experimental trio Son Lux talk about their Academy Award-nominated work on the score and soundtrack for the beautiful, epic film Everything Everywhere All At Once, which is as brilliantly unclassifiable as the movie itself. Their score is nominated for Best Original Score and the end credits tune (a duet between Mitski and David Byrne, who cowrote the tune with Son Lux) is up for Best Music (Original Song) at the upcoming 95th Annual Academy Awards. They also delve into their personal histories with music, from their childhood music lessons and impactful discoveries of artists including Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Prince, Miles Davis, Jeff Buckley, Seal and more. And Lott narrates Son Lux's development from a solo project that he began in 2008 as a creative outlet while he was working as a composer for a dance company, to the full-fledged touring band and collaborative unit thanks to the addition in 2014 of Chang and their bandmate Rafiq Bhatia. 
Post-punk pioneer Gina Birch (bassist and founding member of UK band The Raincoats) joins the LSQ podcast on the eve of releasing her first ever solo album, the refreshing and irreverent collection I Play My Bass Loud, produced by Youth and out this week via Third Man. In episode 85, Birch talks about important music memories from her childhood (hearing her brother's Bob Marley records through the bedroom wall, seeing The Slits in concert and realizing that girls could also play in bands, and more), the early days of The Raincoats and how embracing their inexperience and enthusiastically presenting songs that were still "in the process of becoming" was a key part of their approach. We also talk about her work in visual arts, as a music video and short film director, and more recently via large scale paintings like the one you see a portion of on the new album's cover. Get a copy of I Play My Bass Loud and check out Birch's upcoming tour dates here. 
For the first episode of Season 6 of the LSQ podcast, I was honored to welcome an artist whose words and music I have admired for nearly thirty years now: the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle. In episode 84, John shares fascinating insight into his early creative inklings, the music he loved as a kid, and how he went from clinging to his Aristocats soundtrack to embracing Elton John and the Bay City Rollers and eventually unlocking a secret passion for heavy metal. He also describes his transition from writing poetry on its own to combining his verses with music, initially singing haunting melodies over the sound of static from his black & white TV, and then developing the boombox recording method he used when he started as the Mountain Goats in the mid-Nineties. And we dish about how he got involved with Rian Johnson's new mystery series, Poker Face. (He wrote the music for it with Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed, and also has a small acting role.) Darnielle and the Mountain Goats' Matt Douglas are currently on tour in the U.S. as a duo. Get dates and tickets here. 
Nov 21, 2022
Kae Tempest
U.K. artist Kae Tempest, on the first time they ever spit rhymes in public, at age 15: “I remember pushing through the crowd. I remember the tunnel vision. I remember reaching for the mic. I remember, like, the heat, the fever — your whole body beginning to like go into almost like unbearable minute precision-detail slow motion, and then the words. That was 20 years ago. More! And it's the same feeling that I have each time I'm about to approach the mic. It's this, like, deep connection to the word. And I remember the place transformed, people transformed, I transformed. And then from that night, until today, I haven't thought about anything else but rhymes. When you receive that much inspiration from something, and you're able to suddenly give something back, you're able to publish a book or make a record, and you can contribute — you can stand on that line that goes all the way back and your contribution can be felt going forwards. It's the most incredible kind of epiphany moment of achieving balance or things being right. It's my, kind of, life-force, really.” Kae’s latest album, The Line Is A Curve, is a powerful collection of musical vignettes that explore our drive for connection, and it’s one of my favorite LPs of 2022. Kae is on tour in Europe until mid-December and in Australia and New Zealand in early 2023. Get tickets here.
Nov 04, 2022
Bartees Strange
Bartees Strange reflects on important moments during his musical development, including: Learning to sing alongside his opera and gospel singer mother, who brought him to most of her performances as a child, until eventually he was singing alongside her. “There's something magical being a child in an opera Hall, hearing sound without microphones, bouncing off of the wood, bouncing off of the space, and then looking up on stage and seeing like a 5’2” black woman who's your mom just fill it. And it's like, ‘I know not everybody's moms do this.’” Seeing the hardcore band Norma Jean in a church basement when he was in middle school, and realizing that music — especially live music — has the power to make an entire room full of people feel an energetic connection. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is just a music thing. Like, this is just what happens when music works, regardless of a classical space, hardcore space, or like a gospel space, like music can just do this. And I was just like, ‘how do I wield this magical power?’” Moving to New York after a stint working in politics in Washington, D.C., and finding inspiration in the music scene he plugged into there. “I grew up in a very rural area of Oklahoma and dealt with a lot of racism and questions about who I was and who I was allowed to be, and I don’t think I was fully comfortable in my body until I moved to New York City and I started meeting all these artists — like are you familiar with the band L’Rain, Taja Cheek’s band, and Kia and Melanie Charles? These black artists in Brooklyn who I honestly fell in love with and was so inspired by, because I always felt so alone and singular. My whole life, I was the only black kid. And in my musical space, I was often the only black person. And when I was making records, I was often the only black person in the studio, and people didn’t listen to me, they didn’t think I knew what I was talking about. I was struggling with even trusting my gut on knowing if I knew what I was talking about. I had listened to the gaslighting so much that I don’t think I even knew who I was until I saw those artists and I was able to connect with them on a level where I was like, ‘Oh I’m like you. I’m not weird. Actually this is what *we* do.’ And being around them it kind of created the space for me to spread my wings and try some stuff and feel comfortable sharing music with people who understood my experience and where I was coming from, and then once that happened, I was kind of able to lay it all out.” How his goals have evolved between his 2020 debut album, Live Forever, and his recently released sophomore LP, Farm To Table. “Honestly, I wanted to kind of show people it wasn't a fluke, like, I could do it again. And that was also why I put it out so fast. I was like, ‘I’m not letting three years pass before I drop another one. Because I don't want people to think ‘Oh, like, that was cute,’ I want them to be like, ‘Oh, Bartees, this dude is a pretty serious cat. He’s gonna stick around.’” What he has planned for his first major headlining tour in North America, and why you have to see openers Pom Pom Squad, They Hate Change and Spring Silver. The tour is on the road until 12/19/22. Get tickets HERE.
On the heels of their excellent latest LP, LA indie-pop trio MUNA (Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson) call into the LSQ podcast from the road, to talk about their individual experiences falling in love with music as kids, how they came together to form MUNA, and how their approach has evolved over the years. The original ethos remains: “We decided to make music that made us feel good, for sure, but that also had an audience in mind, and that could be useful to an audience,” Katie says.  Adds Josette: “Songs that can be used to dance to or that can be used as a mantra to say to yourself when you’re at a really low place. When we say we had an audience in mind, people who need to hear those things are the audience we’ve always had in mind, and that’s always been a guiding force. MUNA has become for the people, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to do this for so long.”  *** After releasing a single I loved earlier this year called “Blocked,” the Womack Sisters (BG, Zeimani and Kucha) shared their debut EP, Legacy, in early September. When I caught up with them this summer, they had just pushed back the release a bit, so they could add their cover of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the song made famous by their legendary grandfather, Sam Cooke. We chatted about what it was like growing up on the road with their parents, Womack & Womack, and how they went from roadies to back-up singers to forming their own group. They plan to release a debut LP next year.