Few musicians move so fluidly between genres as drummer and producer Karriem Riggins. As a jazz sideman, Riggins has played with jazz artists like Diana Krall, Milt Jackson and Oscar Peterson while simultaneously contributing beats and productions to records by Common, J Dilla, the Roots, Erykah Badu and others. 2012 has been a particularly fruitful year for Riggins. It began with his appearance on Paul McCartney’s most recent record, Kisses on the Bottom, in which the former Beatle covered and channeled the prewar pop songwriters that he listened to as a child. And in October, Riggins released his first solo LP, a kaleidoscopic instrumental hip-hop album called Alone Together, on [...]
Ted Leo embarked on a solo career almost as an afterthought, after his band Chisel broke up in the late 90s. More than a decade later, he's writing and recording his sixth Ted Leo & the Pharmacists LP and starting a solo tour opening for Aimee Mann. Surprisingly, the two connected thanks to sketch comedy. Leo has appeared on Tom Scharpling's "The Best Show on WFMU" and Julie Klausner's "How Was Your Week?" podcast, for which he wrote the theme song. And Mann has collaborated with many comedians onstage and on TV, most recently in her two recent videos directed by Scharpling.
I recently spoke with Leo by phone [...]