As of midnight tonight, another year will be in the books, as will another year of our My First Band podcast. The show’s third year found us releasing 52 episodes, reaching more people in more places than ever before, and logging compelling conversations with some notable musicians (and some non-musicians from time to time, too). This was also the first full year of the show being rebroadcasted on WMSE every Wednesday. And along the way, the show held a surprisingly high slot on the Taiwanese podcast charts for a while, I was shocked to be approached by a few people in public who recognized my voice specifically from the show, and I even managed to safely record a few in-person interviews after entirely shifting the show to remote recordings for more than a year on account of a pandemic.
If you listened to any episodes this year, thank you so much. A massive thank you also goes to Jared Blohm, the audio engineer, editor, and lifeblood of My First Band. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery for sponsoring the show all year long, and Music Go Round Greenfield and Blue Ox Music Festival for their support on a few 2021 episodes too. We couldn’t have done a year’s worth of episodes without their support.
We’ll be back with more episodes in 2022. In the meantime, enjoy this list of My First Band’s 10 most-listened-to episodes of 2021…and some words about a few outliers that were particularly memorable to me.
10. James Bowman from Against Me!
9. Adam Fletcher from The Copyrights
8. Emma Erdbrink from Doughboys, High & Mighty, and other podcasts
7. Andy Baxter from Penny And Sparrow
6. Tom May from The Menzingers
5. Jen Razavi from The Bombpops
4. William Goldsmith from Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters, and Assertion
3. Charlie Berens from Manitowoc Minute and Berens & Greuel
2. Joe Pera from ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’
1. Davey von Bohlen from The Promise Ring, Maritime, and Cap’n Jazz
Though this one didn’t break any traffic records, my conversation with Robert Finley will stick with me for a long time. I barely talked in this episode (which I always like), but was so honored to be able to listen to Robert tell me stories from his remarkable life. He’s experienced a great deal of hardship in his 70-plus years, but he remains upbeat, friendly, and funny. I strongly urge you listen to this episode and to Robert’s incredible album, Sharecropper’s Son, in whatever order you’d prefer. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ve loved and admired Duncan Sheik’s work for about half my life, so I was thrilled to get an opportunity to speak with him. I was even more thrilled to learn he’s extremely kind and far more humble than you might expect someone who is halfway to an EGOT to be.
The Gradual Return Of In-Person Interviews
As I noted above, once vaccinations rolled out this spring/summer, I was able to record a handful of in-person interviews. Whether speaking with Ashley Smith or Adam Bartlett in their respective shops, inviting Amanda Huff and Wes Tank into Milwaukee Record headquarters, or speaking with the incomparable Lillie Mae in her trailer backstage at a music festival, I was so happy to be able to forge in-person connections with people again…and not have to worry about the Internet connection dropping or the guest ghosting me. Of course, those recordings will likely be few and far between for at least a while longer, but I relish the chance to interact one-on-one/in the same room with folks again when conditions and protocols allow it.
Happy New Year and, if all goes to plan, we’ll see you with 52 more episodes in 2022!