The Soundtrack Series
By Dana Rossi
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The Soundtrack Series is a live show and podcast where people tell stories about the music that matters and the songs that make up the soundtrack to our lives. We’ve been called "superb" by the AV Club, “the best rock and roll storytelling event in New York” by Flavorpill, “One of the ten best podcasts in NYC” by Time Out New York, and featured on NY1, and in The New York Times, BUST, “Above & Beyond” in The New Yorker, the Austin-American Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, a Critic’s Pick in Time Out New York, a Gothamist Event of the Week, and included among the “Best Events in NYC” by CBS News New York. The Soundtrack Series is produced and hosted by Dana Rossi.
||Explicit231: Interview with Irving Fields||Michael Feinstein considers him a mentor. Leona Helmsley threatened to break his fingers if he didn't play in her hotel. Liberace owes his big break to him. And at 100 years old, he still plays every week at the Park Lane Hotel. Dana talks with Irving Fields, legendary musician, pianist and composer about how to find gigs in the 1930s, discovering Latin music, and the "Freebird" of piano bar requests.||8/4/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit230: Amy Linden — ‘We’ll Inherit the Earth,’ the Replacements||Music journalist Amy Linden tells the story of her first interview with The Replacements in 1988--and how it came at a time when she was excited about being pregnant, and not at all excited about being married. Plus, Dana tries to figure out Rihanna's video for 'Bitch Better Have My Money.'||7/7/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit229: Soundtrack Series Pride Edition||Trying to come out to your mom three times before it sticks. Losing a parent to AIDS. Hearing the heartbeat of the baby you're giving a gay couple to adopt. Sharing a strange sexual encounter with a best friend. Getting punched in the face because you need to dance to Beyonce. Soundtrack Series celebrates Pride with seven of our favorite gay themed stories from over the years--and the best Pride playlist this side of Christopher Street.||6/23/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit228: Brian Silliman — ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ (Les Miserables)||Actor Brian Silliman (look for him on this season of Orange in the New Black) on how sports and musical theater do not mix -- and the dent he has in his leg to prove it. Plus, Dana looks back on her high school graduation, and everything that went wrong during her rendition of the National Anthem.||6/9/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit227: Amber Drea — ‘Alone,’ Heart||Amber Drea is a writer and storyteller -- look for her in McSweeney's or on RISK! This is her heartbreaking story about living in motels with her mom when she was ten -- where many times her only friend was a copy of Heart's Bad Animals. Plus, Dana gets giddy about the guests coming up on the next live Soundtrack Series (Chemda, DJ Spooky, and Jeffrey Marsh) and tells the full story behind her double-autographed photo of David Letterman.||5/26/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit226: Christian Finnegan — ‘I Will Always Love You,’ Whitney Houston||Comic Christian Finnegan -- whose new special The Fun Part is currently available on Netflix--tells his story of how Whitney Houston almost cost him a car on VH1's Name That Video. Twice. Plus, Dana questions the theory that a revolution happened only three times in pop music history.||5/12/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit225: Matthew Trumbull — ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ The Rolling Stones||Actor, playwright and solo performer Matthew Trumbull (whose one man show The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children was critically acclaimed by both the New York and Minnesota Fringe Festivals) tells his personal memories of Mr. Jimmy, the crazy old man of his hometown who is rumored to be the Mr. Jimmy in the second verse of You Can't Always Get What You Want. Plus, Dana hops in the way back machine and talks WKRP in Cincinnati -- and the unforgivable sin of replacement music in the re-release of classic television.||4/28/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit224: Interview with Chi Chi Valenti, Creator of Night of 1000 Stevies||In this special episode, Dana interviews Chi Chi Valenti -- the Empress of NYC nightlife and creator of the legendary Stevie Nicks fan event Night of 1000 Stevies. Dana and Chi Chi talk CSI-level fandom, whether you should actually meet your idols, and how Stevie herself learned about this yearly event where thousands of people gather to pay tribute to her. And Stevie's hair. Of course there's discussion of Stevie's hair.||4/14/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit223: Jason Jude Hill — ‘Ring of Fire,’ Johnny Cash||Filmmaker Jason Jude Hill may not like the song Ring of Fire, but sometimes a song you hate can lead you to the person you love. Plus, what if Mad Men jumps ahead to 1976? Dana indulges in a little Mad Men musical fan fiction, and picks what music would appear in the show if these last episodes take place in the mid-seventies.||3/31/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit222: Crystal Durant — “Bein’ Green,” Kermit the Frog||Artist and DJ Crystal Durant (DJ Crystal Clear) tells us why her mother told her that Kermit the Frog was singing about her when he sang it's not easy bein' green, and how her family struggled to be accepted in a closed minded, racially imbalanced Pennsylvania town in the 1960s. Plus, we learn something new every day--about Madonna. Dana delves into Madonna's recent Howard Stern interview and highlights what she didn't know about Madonna until this interview. Did you know she was fired from Dunkin Donuts for playing with the jelly squirt gun? You do now.||3/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit221: C. D. Hermelin — “Only In Dreams,” Weezer||C.D. Hermelin--also known as NYC urban folk hero The Roving Typist--tells us how in high school, girls may come and go, but Weezer is forever. Plus, Dana's look at the gimmick album--a usually unforgivable musical offering, but not when it came to Leonard Nimoy.||3/3/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit220: Isaac Butler — ‘Shop Around,’ Smokey Robinson & The Miracles||Isaac Butler is a writer whose work has appeared in Slate, Narratively, and American Theatre. His upcoming book is called The Thousand Natural Shocks: A Father, A Family, A Crisis of Faith. This episode features his story about Shop Around, by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, and the very special woman who introduced it to him. Plus, Dana ramps up for the re-release of The Breakfast Club and looks at some of the "forgotten" music moments from the movie.||2/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit219: Rebecca Vigil — ‘The Boys Are Back in Town,’ Thin Lizzy||Performer and musician Rebecca Vigil tells her story of the ups and downs of winning big on Don't Forget The Lyrics. Plus, Dana looks at the whole Tom Petty/Sam Smith songwriting showdown, complete with her insistence that there was a time when Michael Jackson and Danzig were totally on the same page, and Daft Punk's One More Time kind of sounds like Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Kind of.||2/3/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit218: Dana Rossi — “The Next Episode,” Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg||Soundtrack Series creator and producer Dana Rossi, and her story about the perils of dating people you work with in restaurants, and how the voice of Dr. Dre sometimes shows up when you least expect it.||1/20/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit217: Saidah Blount — “Nothing,” Depeche Mode||Saidah Blount is the music events manager and producer at NPR Music. This is her story about how Depeche Mode--specifically the "Nothing" scene in Depeche Mode 101--changed her teenage life, and showed her that there were other kids looking to break out of the place they'd come from, just like her.||1/13/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit216: Best of Soundtrack Series 2014||A first crack at The Legend of Zelda. The importance of keeping your voice even as everything else changes. A special high school friend who only lives in memories and Madonna. These three stories are the Best of Soundtrack Series 2014.||12/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit215: AK — ‘Do Lord’||Musician AK grew up on movie sets because her parents work in film production. But this is her story about the first time she got to appear and sing in a feature film--and why her song is not the one playing over the end credits.||12/9/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit214: Whitney Joiner — ‘Am I Right,” Erasure||Whitney Joiner is a Senior Editor at Marie Claire, and a co-founder of The Recollectors--an online community for people who have lost parents to AIDS. This is Whitney's story about losing her father to AIDS in 1992, and how she and her brother were finally able to properly honor his memory at an Erasure concert 13 years later.||11/25/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit213: Hillary Rea — ‘I’m Gonna Get You,’ Bizarre Inc.||Many couples have a song that brought them together. But as storyteller Hillary Rea can attest, not every couple is one part the lead singer of Reel Big Fish, and not every song that brought them together is "I'm Gonna Get You" by Bizarre Inc.||11/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit212: Dale Dudley — ‘Bring Him Home,’ Colm Wilkinson (from Les Miserables)||Austin shock jock Dale Dudley (The Dudley & Bob Morning Show on KLBJ-FM) on breaking free from a religious upbringing, his brother, the tattoo you'd never think he has, and "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables.||10/28/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit211: R. Eric Thomas — ‘Ray of Light,’ Madonna||Philadelphia legend R. Eric Thomas tells us how queuing up Ray of Light always helps him to visit a very special friend.||10/14/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit210: Daren Fleming — ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ Diana Ross||Performer Daren Fleming (also known as the brilliant drag queen Miss Grenadine Ross) tells us about his undying love for Diana Ross, and the one time that love threatened to upstage Miss Ross herself.||9/24/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit209: Johnny Goudie — ‘Head Over Heels,’ Tears for Fears||Legendary Austin musician Johnny Goudie tells his story about a perfect life becoming suddenly, tragically interrupted, and how “Head Over Heels” came to find him when he needed it the most.||9/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit208: Mary Elizabeth Webster — ‘I Am Not Yours,’ Z. Randall Stroope||Mary Elizabeth Webster tells us her beautiful story of actually being sixteen and pregnant, and the one place she found comfort when she didn’t know where to turn.||9/3/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit207: Gregg Gethard — ‘Girl From Mars,’ Ash||Philadelphia-based comic, writer, and the man behind the novel written entirely in Yelp reviews–Gregg Gethard–and his story about Ash, baseball dates, girls who bring wingmen, and the one thing he won’t do no matter where he is, or who he’s with.||8/20/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit206: Isaac Oliver — ‘A Case of You,’ Joni Mitchell||Writer and humorist Isaac Oliver on Joni, A Case Of You, and how much harder it is to fall in love with someone in real life, rather than on a TV screen in the warm, dark oasis that is your childhood basement.||8/6/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit205: John Charles — ‘Theme from ‘The Legend of Zelda”||Philadelphia’s own John Charles tells the story that every video game nerd growing up in the 80s knows–how “The Legend of Zelda” showed him a world of endless possibility, and actually changed his life.||7/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit204: Elizabeth Anne — ‘Say Hey,’ Michael Franti & Spearhead||Philadelphia based musician and performer Elizabeth Anne tells us about her beautiful, once in a lifetime relationship with the late Reuben Mitchell.||7/16/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit203: Jay Owen Eisenberg — ‘Mr. Sandman,’ The Chordettes||Actor, writer and illustrator Jay Owen Eisenberg on Mr. Sandman, marine biology, and how he was the only one who knew he did not, in fact, go to an all girls’ school.||6/18/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit202: Jessica Ryan — ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ Guns ‘n Roses||Austin performer and vaudevillian Jessica Ryan tells us how her father connected with her in a way she never would have expected–using Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”||6/12/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||Explicit201: Dana Rossi — ‘Losing My Religion,’ REM||We’re taking a quick break, but we’ll be back with a big, full, gorgeous episode next week! For now, snack on this. It’s me, Dana Rossi, telling everyone at the Museum of the Moving Image why I absolutely hated the video for “Losing My Religion.”||6/7/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
A fantastic take on live-storytelling
Storytelling shows are all the rage right now, so how do you know which live storytelling podcast to subscribe to? Well, this should certainly be one of them! Despite occasional sound (low-volume) issues, the stories are fantastic and often evoke nostalgia for the songs being focused on. It really takes you right to the moment that the story takes place and provides that much more of an impact to the listener.
Great podcast, and definitely one I look forward to each week!
A must-listen for storytelling and music lovers
This is one of the most engaging and lively storytelling podcasts out there! Dana's attention to detail and passion for the medium shine through with witty, passionate storytellers pouring their hearts out about songs they hold near and dear to their hearts. After one listen, you may find yourself rummaging through your music collection to play a song that reminds you of "the good ol' days." (And if you're in NYC, go check out the show live -- I highly recommend it!)
Delicious Musical Story Bites
I don't remember how I happened upon this podcast so long ago now, but I love it. The original pieces from Le Poisson Rouge in NY always made me wish I lived there and could experience the shows live, and the produced segments are wonderful, too. If you love music, you will probably enjoy these amazing little snippets about the place of song in our lives. You may even get a little choked up.
P.S. for Dana - I held a salon-style party at my house last year and performed a Soundtrack Series-inspired piece about flipping my car in Malibu Canyon while listening to The Smiths' "Cemetry Gates."