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Songbird

Music Podcasts

Songbird is a brutally honest, behind the scenes look at the songwriting and recording process. Based on Marco North's experiences with his debut album, Heaven Get Behind Me, he shares demos, hard-earned lessons, triumphs and finished tracks in each episode. An expat New Yorker living in Moscow, playing 100-year-old instruments, writing songs about Fellini dying, a French stalker, Kodachrome and California divorces, North shares one bittersweet anecdote after the next in this fascinating deep dive into his sparse, cinematic songs. Musicians will find inspiration, a healthy serving of laughter and great deal of comfort from this series. Music lovers will get an inside look at the creative process, and the story behind each song.

Songbird is a brutally honest, behind the scenes look at the songwriting and recording process. Based on Marco North's experiences with his debut album, Heaven Get Behind Me, he shares demos, hard-earned lessons, triumphs and finished tracks in each episode. An expat New Yorker living in Moscow, playing 100-year-old instruments, writing songs about Fellini dying, a French stalker, Kodachrome and California divorces, North shares one bittersweet anecdote after the next in this fascinating deep dive into his sparse, cinematic songs. Musicians will find inspiration, a healthy serving of laughter and great deal of comfort from this series. Music lovers will get an inside look at the creative process, and the story behind each song.

Location:

United States

Description:

Songbird is a brutally honest, behind the scenes look at the songwriting and recording process. Based on Marco North's experiences with his debut album, Heaven Get Behind Me, he shares demos, hard-earned lessons, triumphs and finished tracks in each episode. An expat New Yorker living in Moscow, playing 100-year-old instruments, writing songs about Fellini dying, a French stalker, Kodachrome and California divorces, North shares one bittersweet anecdote after the next in this fascinating deep dive into his sparse, cinematic songs. Musicians will find inspiration, a healthy serving of laughter and great deal of comfort from this series. Music lovers will get an inside look at the creative process, and the story behind each song.

Language:

English

Contact:

9176640109


Episodes

The story behind the song | Lord Loves a Workin' Man

2/19/2022
This "behind the song" episode is all about another SPITBALL classic, Lord Loves a Workin' Man. Marco talks with SPITBALL's rhythm section - Chris Orcutt (drums) and Mike Webb (bass) about the origins of this lurid, muscular instrumental and ask the big questions, like "is this a rockabilly song?" We also talk about the joys of playing at The Continental, and some of our most loyal (and fascinating) fans. The big announcement is also revealed - the remaining members of Spitball will sell and...

Duration:00:47:35

The story behind the song | Use Me

2/2/2022
This "behind the song" episode is all about SPITBALL's cover of Bill Wither's Use Me (often called Use Me Up by mistake). Marco talks with SPITBALL's "engine room" - Chris Orcutt (drums) and Mike Webb (bass) about what makes a great rhythm section and what makes a bad one. We ramble about the pains of aggressive self-promotion, and about that other Fab Four that Peter Jackson made a documentary about. This episode includes a never-heard before recording from a CBGB's show.

Duration:00:39:21

The story behind the song | Ska'd for Life

1/20/2022
This "behind the song" episode is all about a SPITBALL classic, Ska'd for Life. This is the first time our listeners will hear both a live CBGBs version as well as a studio version of the track, made at LOHO Studios. LOHO has recorded music for artists such as Ryan Adams, Blues Traveler, Rosanne Cash, The Heroine Sheiks, The Everly Brothers, Art Garfunkel, John Mayer, O.A.R., Lindsay Lohan, Joan Jett, Speedsters and Dopers, Gina Gershon, Yo La Tengo, Billy Squier, Patti Smith, Phish, and...

Duration:00:44:47

The story behind the song | Hairdryer + Home Cookin'

1/5/2022
SERIES UPDATE: We some terribly sad news to share with our listeners. SPITBALL's glorious singer and guitarist Molly Fitch passed away. With her family's blessing, we are going to continue publishing our interviews with her, and leave the next episodes intact as a document of Molly's thoughts about life, music and life in New York. This "behind the song" episode is all about two of SPITBALL's instrumentals, Hairdryer and Home Cookin' and includes a never-heard before recordings from their...

Duration:00:34:19

The story behind the song | Sunshine Superman

12/19/2021
SERIES UPDATE: We some terribly sad news to share with our listeners. SPITBALL's glorious singer and guitarist Molly Fitch passed away last week, and we are just at a complete loss. With her family's blessing, we are going to continue publishing our interviews with her, and leave the next episodes intact as a last document of Molly's thoughts about life, music and life in New York. This "behind the song" episode is all about SPITBALL's cover of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, and includes a...

Duration:00:27:27

The story behind the song | Raychel + Gun/Parkside

12/10/2021
SONGBIRD Season Two continues with a double-decker "behind the song" episode, all about Raychel and Gun/Parkside. We ask the big questions, like "Is Raychel our Sweet Jane?" and dig into SPITBALL's nimble, loose style. At any given moment you understand that we rehearsed like crazy and none of this is by chance. Marco speaks with Molly Fitch (vocals/guitar), Chris Orcutt (drums) and Mike Webb (bass), about everything from the rougher parts of Brooklyn and falling asleep on the D train, to...

Duration:00:37:52

The story behind the song | Coney Island Surfing

12/2/2021
SONGBIRD returns with a long-awaited Season Two! We jump right into a "behind the song" episode, all about Spitball's signature song "Coney Island Surfing". Decades before Marco became Martin Ruby, he was the tenor sax player in this scrappy pack of knuckleheads, and he explores the surf-punk band's origin story, speaking with Molly Fitch (vocals/guitar), Chris Orcutt (drums) and Mike Webb (bass). Can you guess who narrowly avoided a fight with the uber-singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley in a...

Duration:00:35:32

Bonus | What will happen in Season 2?

4/2/2021
Season 2 will dig into the story of Spitball, an unsigned surf-punk act that was part of the downtown NY music scene in the mid-90s. With never-heard before live recordings from CBGB's shows, and some studio work - this band epitomizes a naive, reckless energy that just has to be heard. They wrote surf tangos, and Joey Ramone loved them. Decades before Marco became Martin Ruby, he was the tenor sax player in this scrappy band of knuckleheads, along with Molly Mulholland, Chris Orcutt and...

Duration:00:03:37

Season 1 Finale | A Tribute to Felix McTeigue

3/5/2021
In our Season 1 finale, Marco explores the final liner notes for Heaven Get Behind Me, where thanks are given - and we find ourselves in an unexpected tribute to a dear friend. Felix McTeigue was a revered singer-songwriter, and singlehandedly got Marco in front of a microphone, many years ago. The idea to cover one of Felix's songs for the last episode of Season 1 evolved into a complicated, deeply challenging project. The result just has to be heard. We end with a few words about the plan...

Duration:00:21:43

Heaven Get Behind Me | Liner Notes Part 2

2/5/2021
In our second liner notes episode we talk through that maddening balancing act of conceiving and producing videos for the music we create. On the one hand, commerce, on the other that desire to make something rare and authentic.

Duration:00:25:01

Heaven Get Behind Me | Liner Notes Part 1

1/29/2021
In our first liner notes episode we unravel the story behind the album cover, and listen to some of the instruments used, comparing two very similar guitars that were built 100 years apart. Then, we explore the history of invented instruments and microtonal music through the work of composer Harry Partch and the imaginative productions of Hal Willner - and how they influenced Heaven Get Behind Me.

Duration:00:28:46

The story behind the song | Wallflower's Surprise

1/22/2021
In our final behind-the-song episode of Season 1, we go deep into the bible, and an alternate life to understand what inspired Wallflower's Surprise, track 11 from Heaven Get Behind Me. As always, we hear the demo version as well as the finished track.

Duration:00:28:58

The story behind the song | Kodachrome Shangri-La

1/15/2021
How did this track become the official single from Heaven Get Behind Me? Is Shangri-La like Santa for adults? Why do people miss Kodachrome? The answers to these questions and three different demos play a part in our latest behind-the-song episode.

Duration:00:29:08

The story behind the song | Mascara

1/8/2021
If we know we are going to die, what choices do we make – about how and when we meet this moment. Will we go kicking and screaming, or will we find some grace? And who gets to decide, us or someone that cares about us –maybe more than we do. We talk through these questions in our latest behind-the-song episode, as we listen to two different demos as well as the final version of “Mascara” track 9 from Heaven Get Behind Me.

Duration:00:29:11

The story behind the song | Stone Blind Rain

1/1/2021
Can you manufacture a vulnerable performance? How did the idioms "whistling past the graveyard" and "potters field" originate? What is blind rain? The answers to these questions are part the latest behind-the-song episode, as we listen to the demo and final version of "Stone Blind Rain" track 8 from Heaven Get Behind Me.

Duration:00:23:31

The story behind the song | Way Up There (Don't Say a Word)

12/25/2020
Can a terrible person write a great song? Can they sing it? These questions - along with the search for an ancient instrument, a chance meeting with a Russian DJ, a crash course in the music of goth-rock legend David Eugene Edwards and a hilarious Ebay experience - inspired "Way Up There (Don't Say a Word)" track 7 from Heaven Get Behind Me. In this latest "behind the song" episode we talk about rewriting lullabies as well as the process of trying out different instruments and arrangements....

Duration:00:25:09

The story behind the song | Sebastapol

12/17/2020
What is the life of an expat? Can they ever really go home? These questions - along with a screenplay about the Book of Enoch - inspired "Sebastapol" (track 6 from Heaven Get Behind Me). In this latest "behind the song" episode we have our first interview, with Eve North who performed a guest vocal on this track. We talk about themes of loss, vocal styles, curated Spotify playlists and much more. As always, we listen to the demo version as well as the final mastered version of the track.

Duration:00:27:45

The story behind the song | The Letter Reader

12/12/2020
What does it take to break a person? Can they be saved? How does it feel to seek revenge on the world? These are the questions that inspired The Letter Reader, track 5 from Heaven Get Behind Me. In this "behind the song" episode we talk about prison, in its many forms. We also discuss the influence of filmmaker Robert Bresson on the themes and characters that inhabit this track. As always, we listen to the demo version as well as the final mastered version of the track.

Duration:00:24:57

The story behind the song | California Divorce

12/5/2020
What is your favorite breakup song? In this SONGBIRD "behind the song" episode, we talk about divorce and other major life events - how they shape us, how we navigate them and somehow move on. "California Divorce" is at the center of this conversation, track five from Heaven Get Behind Me. We listen to the demo version as well as the final mastered version of the track.

Duration:00:22:07

The story behind the song | Long Tall Man

11/27/2020
In SONGBIRD's latest "behind the song" episode, we tackle the story behind Long Tall Man (track four from Heaven Get behind Me). Inspired by Ry Cooder's score for Paris, Texas (by way of a Blind Willie Johnson cover) and a documentary about Townes Van Zandt - this song is pure minimalism. We talk through the obstacles in the songwriting process, listen to the demo version, examine the technical choices, then we hear the final mastered version of the track.

Duration:00:24:42