Nerds On Tour
By Abraham Levitan
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Host Abraham Levitan talks with music people about money, motivation, and the rest of life. Nerds On Tour fills a void of mentorship and “from-the-trenches” advice that Abraham noticed as a younger touring musician. It offers a place to get honest, funny, and occasionally wonky tips from great artists about health, money management, and creative workflow and habits.
||ExplicitWill Oldham on Overthinking, Mansplaining, and Learning to Love Nina Simone||Will Oldham returns to Nerds On Tour, this time in Will and Abraham’s mutual hometown, Louisville. An inspiring dive into Will’s philosophies on life and art.||10/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitLita Ford on The Runaways, Ozzy Osbourne, and Selling Men’s Cologne||Lita Ford's first band, The Runaways, became a global phenomenon. Months later, she was selling men's cologne at the mall. She discusses Nikki Sixx, Ozzy Osbourne, and the value of having the right team.||5/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitWill Oldham on Drag City, Quality of Life, and Being Bonnie "Prince" Billy||Abraham talks with one of his all-time heroes, Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, about the hard choices that make for a satisfying long-term music career.||5/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitJohn Doe, L.A. Punk Legend, on X, Bud Light, and Multiple Breakfasts||X frontman John Doe is a living legend. He discusses X's career, their Bud Light commercial, and the reasons why L.A. punks worship The Doors.||4/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitPatti Niemi, Sticking It Out Through Juilliard, Anxiety Attacks, and an Orchestral Career||Classical percussionist Patti Niemi gives an insider’s account of surviving Juilliard, enduring high-pressure auditions, and getting a tenured position with an orchestra. She’s battled serious anxiety issues throughout.||4/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitJohn Roderick, From the Long Winters to Roderick on the Line (And Back)||Long Winters frontman John Roderick, also a champion podcaster, delivers the goods on music, money management, and strategy in this epic interview. Here's hoping he writes a book.||3/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitJason Collett on Broken Social Scene, Going Solo, & the Licensing Game||Jason Collett left Broken Social Scene at the height of the band's global fame. His resultant solo career has led to some lucrative ad placements as well as his self-aware new album, "Song & Dance Man".||3/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThrill Jockey's Bettina Richards, Doing It Her Way Since 1992||After having her fill of the major-label A&R game, Bettina Richards started Thrill Jockey Records in 1992 from her apartment. It's now one of the world's most respected indie labels. She discusses how she made it happen.||3/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitBruce Finkelman, the Empty Bottle, and the Empire of Cool||For Bruce Finkelman, starting the Empty Bottle, Chicago's coolest music venue, at age 23 was just the beginning. He now runs nine different operations. We discuss seeing the world through "owner's eyes".||2/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Redwalls' Andrew Langer, From Rocker to Realtor||The Redwalls' Andrew Langer was signed to Capitol Records at age 18 and toured the UK with Oasis. These days, he enjoys being a father of two and a realtor for D'Aprile Properties. He's also very witty and a good hang.||2/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitBobby Conn & Julie Pomerleau on Thrill Jockey, Velvet Revolver, & Chevrolet||Bobby Conn & Julie Pomerleau share the very funny intersections between rock life and real life. They discuss being Thrill Jockey recording artists, sharing the stage with Velvet Revolver, and doing a corporate gig for Chevrolet. Part 2 of 2.||2/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitBobby Conn & Julie Pomerleau, From Antichrists to Homeowners||Bobby Conn & Julie Pomerleau were musicians Abraham worshipped before he became their bandmate. They discuss the secrets of DIY glam, the fleeting gloss of professionalism, and getting stuck in a Bavarian vineyard. Part 1 of 2.||1/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitJason Narducy, From Verbow to Bob Mould to Superchunk to Split Single||Jason Narducy, musician and entrepreneur, is one of Abraham's personal heroes. He inspired Dave Grohl to pursue music and played Letterman multiple times, he's a member of the Bob Mould Band and Superchunk, and he fronts his own band, Split Single.||1/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe New Yorker's John Seabrook on How Top 40 Gets Made||New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook recently published The Song Machine, a look at how today's Top 40 gets made. We discuss the future of Spotify, why death metal is more relevant than classic rock, and what the Backstreet Boys and Dylan have in common.||1/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitFreda Love Smith, from the Blake Babies to Northwestern University||Freda Love Smith, once Juliana Hatfield's bandmate in the Blake Babies, is now a lecturer at Northwestern University whose recently published memoir, "Red Velvet Underground," combines rock, parenting, finances, and recipes.||1/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitKelly Hogan, Anti- Records Recording Artist and Ramen Aficionado||Nerds On Tour||12/28/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
Funny and real
Abraham Levitan's questions aim to reveal the ins and outs of touring reality for the musicians who are out there doing it on a budget. Anyone who has been in a band and been on the road knows that it's a real roller coaster ride, and it requires sacrifices to the life gods. Kelly Hogan's interview is a great introduction to the laughs and insights that I'm sure this podcast will continue to deliver.
Nerds on Tour brought an interesting conversation about the back end of the music business. Abraham has a lot of knowledge and experience from his own music career, but also knows how to tease out stories from his guest (the fantastic Kelly Hogan). Looking forward to seeing where this one goes!!
Fascinating and funny show
Great stuff, even if you don't play music. Abraham is a natural interviewer, and the insights shared here will be of interest to anyone who works in any artistic field.