Wednesday, December 23, 2009

#42 - Christmas, Holidays and Music

In this special Christmas episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I perform many holiday songs. The first is O Holy Night, followed by What Is This Lovely Fragrance?, Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle, Joy to the World and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. To close out I play a recording of me singing Jolly Old St. Nicholas in 1981 at the age of 5. Music recommendation is Tori Amos' Midwinter Graces.

Tori gets her own chance to reimagine classics like "What Child, Nowell" and "Star of Wonder." Tori will also add her own bittersweet bliss to the season with original tracks like "Pink and Glitter" and "Our New Year."

Listen to Podcast #42

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#41 - Shows, Snows and The Holy Ghost

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss current events, take some of your questions and then talk about why I'm OK singing Christian songs on my holiday albums even though I am an agnostic. I go on to perform two requested songs: What If? from Memories and Photographs and a cover of Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones. Music recommendation this time is Kate Havnevik's Melankton.

Kate's debut album is title "Melankton". Melankton means "Black Rose" which describes Kate's idea of the album's sound-scape and production perfectly: dark, yet beautiful.

The 12 songs on the album range from symphonic pop extravaganza to the most intimate of melodies. A truly beautiful body of work, Melankton is heady, intoxicating and evocative with its mix of wistful lyrics, mellifluous orchestration and cinematic electronica.

Listen to Podcast #41

Friday, December 04, 2009

#40 - Snow, Rain and Cracked Out Ceilings

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss current events, including President Barack Obama's recent announcement about the war in Afghanistan. I then take a question about social networking in the modern era before discussing the reason why the podcast is 2 days late. Wendy makes TONS of appearances, some amusing and some obnoxious. I talk briefly about the new holiday album, A Winter Moon before performing I Won't Let Go Just Yet, and original I wrote for it. I then close out the podcast with a 2001 recording I did of Loreena McKennitt's Snow. Music recommendation is Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars.

"The Civil Wars craft ethereal, tenderly exquisite songs that are the aural equivalent of finely spun gossamer."

Listen to Podcast #40

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#39 - Rituals, Waltons and New York City

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss some current events before taking a question about how I prepare for a show and how I choose my set lists. I then talk about my recent trip to New York to perform at The Bitter End. I perform two songs you requested as well: the Whirlwind Medusa B-side Epitaph and DIVIDE's second disc B-Side Pray for Rain. Music recommendation is Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man (A Mass For Peace).

Jenkins has said that The Armed Man was inspired by the "L'Homme armé" masses that were popular in the 16th century, and he makes this debt clear with passages written in a neat pastiche of Palestrina-style renaissance polyphony. There are also echoes of earlier and later styles, including plainchant, medieval ballads, John Barry-style horn writing (think Goldfinger), and even a direct quote from Rigoletto (the choir imitates wind sounds at one point as in Act 3 of the Verdi opera). The smorgasbord manages to hold together, probably because Jenkins's obvious sincerity shines through every note. - Warwick Thompson

Listen to Podcast #39

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

#38 - Marriage, New York and Shaking My Keys

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss yesterday's election results from Maine and Kalamazoo, MI and give some opinions on the marriage debate. I then discuss my upcoming show and my thoughts on playing the older songs versus the newer ones, hopefully without offending anyone (Really!). I then play the 2003 recording of the Kate Bush song This Woman's Work that I recorded on the Bosendorfer piano during the Standing at the Edge sessions. After that, I discuss and perform You're still Waving, the Standing at the Edge B-side written in New York in 2002. Music recommendation is Bat For Lashes: Two Suns.

One of the most dynamic and intriguing performers out of the UK, Bat For Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) returns with her dazzling second album, produced by David Kosten (Faultline), featuring guest spots by Yeasayer and Scott Walker. Bat For Lashes' previous album Fur & Gold was nominated for Mercury & Brit Prizes in the UK and a Plug Award in the US, and has received accolades from Thom Yorke, Bjork, Spin Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The NY Times, GQ, Nylon and Blender. -

Listen to Podcast #38

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#37 - Tattoos, Tracks and Touring

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I take many of your questions, including discussing my 5 tattoos, the remastering process and more about what it takes to do my live performances. I then play There Lies the Answer from The Crossing and Whirlwind Medusa from the album of the same name (on the harpsichord!), both by request. Music recommendation is Greg Laswell's Covers EP.

Los Angeles based producer and songwriter Greg Laswell covers Echo & The Bunnymen, Morphine, Mazzy Star, Kate Bush and Kristin Hersh on his upcoming
Covers EP, out October 6 on Vanguard Records. Listen to Greg Laswell’s cover of Kristin Hersh’s “Your Ghost.”

Listen to Podcast #37

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

#36 - Reunions, A Lake and Sky

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question from a listener before discussing my 15 year Interlochen Arts Academy Reunion that I attended this past weekend. I then go on to perform The Lake from Whirlwind Medusa and You Never Touched the Sky, a B-side from Lily Sleeps. Music recommendation this time is the B-side collection to Memories and Photographs, releasing today!

More Memories and Photographs: The B-sides

1. Nevermind
2. Damaged
3. Hindsight
4. Notebook
5. A Difficult World
6. Evidence
7. For Just Tonight
8. Starry Night
9. Only My Darkness
10. Coastline
11. Crie Pour Toi (French Version of Done For)

Listen to Podcast #36

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#35 - Lies, Dancing and Managers

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I talk about the recent TV opportunities I have been offered that may or may not pan out. I also talk a little more about Memories and Photographs before performing Time Will Melt Us Away from that release. I then perform a cover of Cloudbusting by Kate Bush. Music recommendation is Rosie Thomas' If Songs Could Be Held.

On her third Sub Pop full-length, this Seattle songwriter/vocalist approaches the sometimes difficult but universal topics of introspection, identity, and love with bravery, honesty, and above all, stunning beauty. "If Songs..." marks the first time she's collaborated with musicians outside her circle of family and friends, this time working with Liz Phair guitarist Dino Meneghin, accomplished film soundtrack string arranger Josh Myers, and a duet with Ed Harcourt on the classic "Let It Be Me". - Amazon

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

#34 - Beaches, Business and Bushes

In this installment of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question about Driving to the Moon as well as touching on the subject of getting your music out there (for the aspiring recording artists who have been asking). I then talk a little more about Memories and Photographs before performing Sea Change and Shut You Down from that record. Music recommendation is Kate Bush's Hounds of Love.

The album was self-produced and primarily recorded on her Fairlight keyboard. Bush weaves intricate tapestries of sound and imagery with songs that span the range of all emotion, from the most intimate to the most frightening. -

Listen to Podcast #34

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

#33 - Memories, Photographs and Characters

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I talk about the new album, Memories and Photographs a bit. I also discuss social networking and its impact on music, artists and fans. I perform I Fail Again from the new record before performing a cover of Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me. Music recommendation is Imogen Heap's Ellipse.

Imogen Heap--singer/songwriter/producer and two-time Grammy nominee--is back with her much anticipated new solo album,
Ellipse. Beginning in Hawaii and working her way through Fiji, Imogen Heap has poured her heart and soul into writing her next masterpiece. Ellipse was recorded in her new studio, which she built in her old family home in Essex, U.K., and features the lead track "First Train Home."

Listen to Podcast #33

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#32 - Choices, Lazy Days and Rainy Days

In this installment of the Casey Stratton Podcast I update everyone on the documentary, as you asked for. I then answer a few questions about the songs I chose for the Best Of collections and about whether or not I force myself to work when I don't feel like it. I play an improvised recording from the Standing at the Edge sessions called Rainy Day before performing a B-side from Memories and Photographs (as was suggested by Steven! I was confused for a minute in the podcast) called Starry Night which was also an improv originally. Music recommendation this time is City and Colour's Sometimes.

Dallas Green, for those that may not know was in the Pop-Emo/Screamo Hardcore band called Alexisonfire, which has disbanded. (so I've heard) So he picked up his Acoustic Guitar... pieced it together with some well written poetry and made one of the finest super-mellow albums I've heard in awhile. Naming his solo work after himself, CITY (`Dallas') And COLOUR (`Green') Whish is actually quite witty. - Amazon User Review

Listen to Podcast #32

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

#31 - Youth, Tweeting, and Stalking

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss more of my childhood musical path. I left Twitter open during the show and responded to some of your tweets. I then performed two songs I wrote when I was 16 including the first song of my own I ever played live. That song is called It's About Time and the other performance was a song called Paintings. Music recommendation this time is Paula Cole's This Fire.
Cole's self-produced 1996 breakthrough, finds her investing her songs with outsized emotions, framed by consistently inventive arrangements built around Cole's keyboards, and reaching a zeitgeist-piercing intensity on "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want to Wait," making Cole seem very much like Fiona Apple's older, slightly less cracked sister. --Sam Sutherland

Listen to podcast #31

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#30 - Politics, Religion and Sex

Have I allured you with that title? In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss some current events before talking a bit about officiating my sister's wedding next week. I take 2 questions including a suggestion that I build a track live so you can hear the process a bit. I bring in a drum loop and quickly write a piano line and then build on it, just like I would in the recording process. After that I play the piano and vocal version of Man in the Mirror, also by request. Music recommendation is Imogen Heap's Speak For Yourself.

Imogen Heap is an enormously gifted singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist, and programmer. She does it all here on her second solo CD which showcases her remarkable talents. The stunning track 'Hide and Seek' offers the electronic equivalent of a cappella, with only Imogen's expressive voice heard via vocoder -- an early favorite that shot right to #1 on iTunes Electronic Chart in June 2005. The song was also featured on the season finale of THE O.C., and earlier in the season, THE O.C. previewed another track from this album called 'Goodnight and Go', a bittersweet ballad about the secret admiring of a neighbor. Comparison's have been made to Bjork, Alanis Morrisette, Joni Mitchell and Annie Lennox, among others, but no one can hold a candle to Imogen Heap. -

Listen to Podcast #30

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

#29 - Celebrity, Vampires and Self-image

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss the death of Michael Jackson, the situation in Iran and the current state of affairs in Iraq. I then answer two questions, one about the book series and movie Twilight and one about the song Daylight from Whirlwind Medusa which I subsequently perform. Music recommendation is Jane Siberry's When I Was A Boy, from which I perform Love is Everything.

Nothing Siberry has done in the past quite prepares the listener for this album's prevalent mood of spooky obsession, bewilderment and resignation, and deathbed reflections. Though there's occasionally a rumble in the reverie ("All the Candles in the World," for instance, is positively funky), the overall ambience is prayerful, abetted by a production that often creates a cathedral of silence between the low tones (husky viola or cello filigrees) and the spare front line (an acoustic piano or guitar). Though songs like "Temple" (co-produced by Siberry and Brian Eno) and "Candles" are immediately likable, long free-floating meditations like "Sweet Incarnadine" and "The Vigil (The Sea)" are the album's centerpieces, gradually unfolding songs about love and dying. - Rolling Stone

Listen to Podcast #29

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#28 - Protests, Pictures and Patterns

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I talk extensively about the protests in Iran, followed by taking a question regarding photos and album artwork. I then talk a little about the psychological process of creating an album as you gear up to the release and the moments when you hate it and think it is the worst record yet. I then perform Window by request. Music recommendation is Christopher Dallman's Race the Light.

“Christopher Dallman’s debut CD is an entertainingly literary pilgrimage into the inner sanctum of the songwriter’s psyche. If good songwriting confronts listeners with truth about themselves, their emotions, and their world from a fresh point of view, then the songs on Race The Light represent songwriting at its best.”

-Ken Mowery,

Listen to Podcast #28

Thursday, June 04, 2009

#27 - Retrospectives, Remixes and Psychopaths

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer 2 questions from listeners, one about doing a retrospective collection. I then talk a little about the new remix collection I am working on before delving into the recording of The Crossing and the events that took place during that time. Included in the discussion is the movie-like drama that happened in early 2006. I then perform Coat Tails Dragging from Lily Sleeps and possibly the most unlikely cover I have ever done, Poker Face by Lady Gaga. Music recommendation is Brandon Carmody and Emptyland (featuring Me on vocals) - Lonely Dream Single.

Listen to Podcast #27

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

#26 - Shows, Aging and Shakespeare Tragedies

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss the recent shows and thoughts on performing. I then discuss aging in the context of fear and spontaneity. By request the recorded cover of Bjork's Army of Me is played followed by a 2001 recording of a song from The Winter Children sessions called God Save Your Queen that has never been re-recorded or released. After that I perform a live cover of the song Ophelia from the new Tori Amos album Abnormally Attracted to Sin which is also the music recommendation.

ABNORMALLY ATTRACTED TO SIN, Tori's tenth studio album, is another innovative chapter in the artist's trailblazing story. Every track on the album will be accompanied by a corresponding `visualette,' featuring footage that has been captured over the past year. Shot in HD and Super 8, the visualettes will incorporate a documentary style.

Listen to Podcast #26

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

#25 - Jesus, Redwoods and Engines

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question about writing and tell the story about how I found out the backstory on my newest cat, Charlie. I then go on to talk about the DIVIDE tour of 2006 before playing a remix of Wild Soul (called the Meditation Mix) that I did in 2005. After that I perform Engines Stalled from Messages Sending. Music rec this time is Over the Rhine's second album Patience.

"Over the Rhine breathes new life into today's suffocating pop culture. Patience deserves a listen for its strong vocals and moving lyrics which blend well with the breezy guitar riffs. So dismiss the second wind of grunge and the last gasps of techno for the inspiring sounds of Over the Rhine."
- Shane Promtet, The Mercury, University of Texas at Dallas

Listen to Podcast #25

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

# 24 - Names, Places and Amy Grant

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question about the use of names in my songs and then talk about the process of getting DIVIDE released and deciding to start my own label. I then play a recording of me at 12 years-old (1988) singing Lead Me on by Amy Grant. Live performances of Sinead O'Connor's Black Boys On Mopeds and my song Bipolar follow. Music recommendation is The Innocence Mission's Glow.

"Glow" is a musical treasure that immediately starts with a dreamy riff, taking you by the hand for a journey of tunes and floating guitar evoking the feeling of spring fever. "Keeping Awake" kicks of the stream of sound that leads into the Velvet Underground infused "Bright As Yellow", pulsating in a dreamy ramble, over to my favorite track "Brave - a mixture of amazing melodic hooks that take you to certain emotional corners. "There" is another sunny summer day tune that makes you want to lay in a hammock and smell some cut grass and flowers. - Amazon user

Listen to Podcast #24

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

#23 - Perspectives, Communication and Lots of Cats

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question about songwriting perspectives and points of view. I then discuss the newest release, Messages Sending in more detail and perform Turn It On from that work. Next up is a live performance of Bloom followed by the instrumental, strings only version from the Standing at the Edge sessions. Music recommendation is John Rutter's Requiem.

Requiem, his first composition written without being commissioned, is a convincing affirmation of Christian doctrine on death and eternal life. It is also a substantial and sincere work that strives to be widely appealing while preserving a spiritual context centered on themes of light and consolation. Highlights include "Out of the Deep," its modal tune and harmonies giving it the flavor of a spiritual, and the wonderfully gentle and restful 23rd Psalm. Rutter personalizes his Requiem by adding movements not traditionally part of the Requiem Mass--passages from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, for instance--and this proves to be an effective strategy. -

Listen to podcast #23

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

#22 - More Vocals, Denouement and A New Chapter Begins

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss new recordings I'm working on, play another vocals-only mix, this time of the song Escape from Painting the Trees: DIVIDE B-sides Disc 2 and then discuss the final months with Sony. This includes moving back to Michigan and being disappointed when the label declined to fund a great touring opportunity. I then perform a cover of Sarah McLachlan's Hold On. Music recommendation is Paula Cole's 1994 debut Harbinger.

Following in the footsteps of Sinéad O'Connor and Tori Amos, Paula Cole is an art-rock singer-songwriter who turns her personal wounds into songs full of facile psychologizing and strained allegory with overwrought, humorless music to match. Harbinger, the debut album from the Massachussetts native, is full of grievances against glamorous romantic rivals, patronizing men, insensitive high school classmates and cross-burning racists--all so broadly drawn that everyone can easily join in the complaint. --Geoffrey Himes

Listen to Podcast #22

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

#21 - Casios, Classical Work and the Côte D'Azur

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss my travels in Europe per a question from a listener. I then discuss the composing and recording of Mass For Angels. Live performance this time is Fission, a free track from the DIVIDE days. Music recommendation is William Fitzsimmons' The Sparrow and the Crow.

I bought William's cd expecting a great work and I was not disappointed. Being familiar with Fitzsimmons via online interviews and other media, I was able to see how these songs applied to his personal life. That said, it was still as if he has been sitting quietly in the corner of my life, jotting notes and scribbles, compiling the contents of this awesome set of tracks. - Amazon reviewer

Listen to Podcast #21

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

#20 - Coaches, Incompetence and Idols

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I talk more about the post-SATE time including Sony trying to mandate my setlists and making me work with a performance coach. I also tell more stories of general executive incompetence. I then talk a little about the Re-recorded B-Sides recently released and perform Final Sound, complete with the story of Carnie Wilson making me write it! Music recommendation is Rosi Golan's The Drifter and the Gypsy. has something for everyone, faster, slow, up-beat, mellow. Rosi Golan's voice speaks for itself, beautiful yet haunting. But the songwriting is what 'shines' for me, simple yet heartfelt lyrics coupled with catchy melodies and engaging arrangement. "Think of Me" and "Yesteryear" are stand-out tracks. The duet with William Fitzsimmons is very special. - Amazon

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

#19 - Vocals, Casinos and Idiot Record Execs

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer a question about the most vocals I have ever recorded for one song (including playing a mix of those vocals by themselves!). I then talk about the release week of Standing at the Edge and all it entailed. The live performance this time was You Came...Walking from The Giver and the Grave Digger. Music recommendation is the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire.

The propulsive score, by Bollywood soundtrack auteur A. R. Rahman, is hip-hop fusion of a very up-to-date kind.-
Kurt Loder,

Listen to Podcast #19

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#18 - Presidents, Espionage and Videotape

In this edition of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss the inauguration of President Barack Obama as well as touching on the issue of the value of music (again!). I then switch gears to discuss the events leading up to the release of Standing at the Edge including making 2 videos and the radio mix of For Reasons Unexplained. The live performance this time is Skyline from Nearing the Edge: A B-side Collection.

In an electric wonderland of dense percussion tracks (played by Kenny Aronoff) and tricky guitar attacks (handled by producer Jay Joyce), Griffin reveals herself as a muscular rock & roll singer as well as an emotionally vulnerable balladeer.

Listen to Podcast #18

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

#17 - Products, Hair Dye and the Beginning of the End

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I go off the deep end for a minute. I should have had a two drink minimum apparently. I answer 2 questions and go on to talk about April to October 2003 and the preparations for the oft-delayed release of Standing at the Edge. I couldn't think of a song I felt like singing so I made one up on the spot instead! Music rec is Greg Laswell's Three Flights From Alto Nido.

With his elegantly expressive piano technique and feathery acoustic guitar work, Greg has drawn comparisons to such reputable songsmiths as Jeff Buckley, Coldplay, Ron Sexsmith and Radiohead. His intense lyrics and sweeping melodies amplify to create an eloquent sound that matches his hypnotic and haunting tenor.

Listen to Podcast #17