Tag Archives: punk

Why punk matters: Talking with punk-mod legend TED LEO on the latest Against Everyone with Conner Habib

21 Mar

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I’m so excited to share this episode about punk rock with you. Not only does it weave in and out of where the source of many of my ethics come from, it also features a reunion between myself and an old friend, the musician Ted Leo, who I haven’t spoken with for almost twenty years.

Ted is best known for his band Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but also for his project with Aimee Mann, The Both, his solo albums, and his hugely influential mod-punk band, Chisel.

On this episode, Ted and I talk at length about how punk changed our lives, but – perhaps more importantly – why that punk rock network and community matters now.

And as a bonus, Ted plays two of his songs!

But don’t stop there – Ted’s oeuvre is wildly varied… with a line of mod pop music running through. I’ve created a playlist of some of my favorite Ted Leo songs for you on spotify.


One of my favorite AEWCH moments was when Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman and Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye agreed to be on the show… and our conversation on AEWCH 119 was really incredible. A very different kind of conversation than this one with Ted, but still adjacent to everything.

A great introduction to the ways art and politics and mutual aid interwove during our punk coming of age is We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews which features longform interviews with musicians, but also leftist political figures of the time.

Ted’s website is here, and he also posts frequently on bandcamp, where you can support his music via donation. Here’s Ted’s Stereogum interview about his solo album The Hanged Man. And just for the fuck of it, here’s Ted singing a karaoke version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” with comedian Paul F. Tomkins in tow.

Kurt & Courtney and Conner & Patty: Hole drummer and memoirist Patty Schemel on AEWCH!

19 Feb

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My music consciousness was born in the 1990s, and found its foothold first in punk rock, then in grunge. This week’s guest, Patty Schemel, was the drummer for Hole, and was there for all of it, in the center, a driving force behind the entire scene. Patty has since written a memoir of her experiences and the addictions and recoveries that wove through all of them, Hit So Hard: A Memoir and there’s also a great documentary about Patty’s life by the same name. Patty also plays with the band Upset who enlivening and intense.

Patty and I discuss the grunge era, misogyny in music, whether or not mosh pits still exist, (both of us) growing up queer in the punk rock scene, what makes for a good drummer, feeling isolated at the punk show and the gay bar, how addiction is connected to the closet, how all songs are about the same thing now, what it means to be born with alcoholism, what secrets can do to us, the time Patty accidentally ended up in a gay scene, and that time I dragged Susan Sontag into one of mine.

Here are the SHOW NOTES


Conner talks with one of his intellectual and artistic heroes: Cap’n Jazz & Joan of Arc frontman, Tim Kinsella. Music, the occult, creativity, disruption – all on AEWCH 43!

2 Oct





Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz, Owls, and Make Believe frontman Tim Kinsella has long been a source of creative inspiration for me. So it was such an honor to have him on the show, and a pleasure to talk with him. The conversation is wide-ranging, but also intense.

We talk about music, of course; but also the occult, how art happens to us and why, the merits of making audiences uncomfortable, why utopia motivates us, modernism and ghosts.

As always, the show notes are on my patreon, click here to go deeper into the stuff we talk about!


Conner and Mish Barber-Way from White Lung talk about screaming, abuse, and danger.

10 Nov

In AEWCH 13, I hang out with one of my favorite punks, Mish Barber-Way, singer/screamer of White Lung. White Lung is intense, loud, metal-meets-punk, and they’re truly awesome. (Rolling Stone named White Lung’s album, Deep Fantasy, one of the 40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time.) So I made sure to ask Mish to play a couple songs, too, even though she’s used to playing MUCH much louder. There are acoustic versions of “Paradise” at  57:55 and “Stand By Your Man” by Tammy Wynette: 1:17:40


  • Mish’s sordid, awesome past and present in the adult industry: 2:45
  • Who gets screwed up by being in porn and who does well and why?: 5:10
  • Strategies for public performances. Of all kinds.: 7:15
  • Radiating sexuality: 10:20
  • Our apocalypse survival strategies and the Amish at the end of the world: 13:15
  • How screaming gets you ignored in music, especially if you’re a woman, and why to do it anyway, and what Wilhelm Reich has to do with it: 23:00
  • Arousal and desire are not the same thing: 36:05
  • The missing language of gray area sexual encounters, and why we’re drawn to simple language, even though it doesn’t help us: 46:35
  • The complicated relationships that can frame assault: 51:05
  • Mish talks about White Lung’s song, “Paradise”: 54:40
  • Mish plays an acoustic version of “Paradise”: 57:55
  • Once you get what you want you can’t want it: 1:00:50
  • Why danger matters: 1:03:15
  • Mish plays “Stand By Your Man” by Tammy Wynette: 1:16:45

If you like the show, please support it on Patreon, where you can also find the show notes!