If you’re a fan of the power-pop genre, you’re almost certainly also a fan of Kurt Baker. Over the past dozen years, the singer and songwriter has released a bunch of great records under his own name (and using the “Kurt Baker Combo” and “Kurt Baker Band” project names as well). He has also toured regularly, earned a spot on Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records label, and relocated from Portland, Maine to Madrid, Spain. As impressive as his solo career has been, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Recently, Baker spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about living in Spain for the past eight years, the process of making his latest album (After Party—out now!), and his performance plans after an isolated year-plus. Of course, the conversation also turned to Baker’s musical past, including his early bands in Maine, playing and promoting shows at a formative local all-ages venue called The Well, and really going for it in his teens and early twenties with his band The Leftovers. Along the way, the power-popper talked about his first European tour, playing with The Queers and Tommy Stinson, and the time his band blew three amps just minutes before opening for The Offspring.
My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Kurt Baker (“I Like Her A Lot”).