Bruce Hornsby Discusses His Adventurous Compositions and Collaborations on Nakedly Examined Music

Bruce Horns­by is best known for his first album The Way It Is (1986), but has come light years since then through 18+ albums, exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent styles, play­ing over 100 shows with the Grate­ful Dead, and scor­ing numer­ous projects for Spike Lee. He’s won three Gram­mys and record­ed with music roy­al­ty includ­ing Elton John, Ornette Cole­man, Bran­ford Marsalis, Willie Nel­son, Bob Dylan, etc.

On this episode of Naked­ly Exam­ined Music, host Mark Lin­sen­may­er and Bruce dis­cuss “Side­lines” (feat. Ezra Koenig from Vam­pire Week­end) from ‘Flict­ed (2022), “My Resolve” (feat. James Mer­cer of The Shins) from Non-Secure Con­nec­tion (2020), and a new live ver­sion of “Shad­ow Hand” from the 25th Anniver­sary Edi­tion of Spir­it Trail. End song: “Cast-Off” (feat. Justin Ver­non of Bon Iver) from Absolute Zero (2019). Intro: “The Way It Is” (Live from Köln, 2019). Learn more at brucehornsby.com and bruuuce.com.

Here, of course, is the orig­i­nal “The Way It is.” Lis­ten to the 2019 NYC Epi­cen­ters ver­sion in full. My favorite sin­gle from that first album was “Every Lit­tle Kiss.” An ear­ly tune recent­ly fea­tured promi­nent­ly in the sec­ond sea­son of the TV show The Bear is “The Show Goes On.”  You may or may not recall that Bruce co-wrote Don Henley’s hit “The End of the Inno­cence”; watch Bruce play that live with sev­er­al jazz greats. Hear the orig­i­nal 1998 ver­sion of “Shad­ow Hand.” Bruce’s 2004 “Hal­cy­on Days” fea­tures both Sting and Eric Clap­ton.

The track that Bruce co-wrote for Bon Iver’s album is “U (Man Like).” Watch the video for “Days Ahead,” anoth­er sin­gle from Bruce’s newest album ‘Flict­edHere’s the video for “Side­lines.” Watch a lyric video for “Cast-Off.” Watch Bruce and James Mer­cer per­form­ing “My Resolve” over the Inter­net dur­ing the pan­dem­ic.

Watch Bruce play piano with The Grate­ful Dead in 1991. Lis­ten to Oth­er Ones (Grate­ful Dead after Jer­ry Garcia’s death) play a clas­sic Horns­by tune, “White-Wheeled Lim­ou­sine,” live in 1998. His own ver­sion of that (from 1995’s Hot House), fea­tured Pat Methe­ny and Béla Fleck. Watch him live in 2012 with Bob Weir and Bran­ford Marsalis play­ing his tune “Stand­ing on the Moon.”

Lis­ten to Bruce on The Art of Longevi­ty pod­castHere he is on Soda­jerk­er. Bruce’s appear­ance on Ezra Koenig’s Time Cri­sis pod­cast is on #126, and you may be able to hear it with an Apple Music sub­scrip­tion.

Pho­to by Kat Fish­er.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast host­ed by Mark Lin­sen­may­er, who also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast, Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. He releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

Jewish Comedy with Daniel Lobell (“Reconquistador”) — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #165

Your hosts Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al explore the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Jew­ish com­e­dy with stand-up/­graph­ic nov­el­ist Daniel, whose film Recon­quis­ta­dor explores his ances­tors being kicked out of Spain. What’s the con­nec­tion of Jew­ish humor to anti-semi­tism?

We talk about relat­ing as a cre­ator to your iden­ti­ty, Jew­ish peo­ple see­ing them­selves in film and TV, the expe­ri­ence of lit­er­al­ly see­ing your­self in a film, Jew­ish com­e­dy as phi­los­o­phy or social com­men­tary, and “Jew­ish humor” vs. humor by peo­ple who hap­pen to be Jew­ish.

We touch on Mel Brooks, Lar­ry David, Adam San­dler, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, and fem­i­nist Jew­ish com­e­dy shows such as Broad City, Crazy Ex-Girl­friend, and Inside Amy Schumer.

FYI this was record­ed back in ear­ly Novem­ber when the Gaza war and its accom­pa­ny­ing flur­ry of anti-Semi­tism was a bit more raw.

Fol­low us @DanielLobell@law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Lis­ten to our ear­li­er episode with Daniel about phi­los­o­phy as com­e­dy.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing many recent episodes that you haven’t seen on this site. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This week our sup­port­er-exclu­sive Aftertalk includes our sto­ries of see­ing elder­ly per­form­ers; should you run out and see so-and-so before they’re dead?

This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Holidays Spent with the Muppets — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #164

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For Pret­ty Much Pop’s annu­al hol­i­day episode, your hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk all things Mup­pets, but in par­tic­u­lar the 1992 film The Mup­pet Christ­mas Car­ol, where­in Michael Caine gives us just as strong and seri­ous a Scrooge as you might find. What’s the appeal of this pup­pet act? Is the humor actu­al­ly sup­posed to be good, or post-fun­ny iron­ic? How do Mup­pets change the way we expe­ri­ence music?

Even though Jim Hen­son had died by the time of Christ­mas Car­ol, near­ly all the rest of the cre­ative team from The Mup­pet Movie (1979) was still in place, includ­ing scriptwriter Jer­ry Juhl and song­writer by Paul Williams. Should the prop­er­ty still exist now that a new gen­er­a­tion has large­ly tak­en over, and can it ever recap­ture that old mag­ic? We con­sid­er recent iter­a­tions includ­ing the cur­rent Mup­pet May­hem, the clas­sic movies and var­i­ous revivals, past Christ­mas spe­cials (John Den­ver! Emmet Otter!), pre-Mup­pet-Show iter­a­tions of Hen­son’s act, the Dark Crys­tal and Labyrinth films, the role of humans in Mup­pet media, the ide­ol­o­gy of Dick­ens’ sto­ry, and much more. Which Mup­pet per­son­al­i­ty type are you?

Fol­low us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @ixisnox, @MarkLinsenmayer.

For some more Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life net­work hol­i­day antics, watch Mark and Bil­l’s video chit-chat for Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. The ghost of Pret­ty Much Pop Christ­mas past brings you episodes about Xmas songs and hol­i­day view­ing. We also men­tion our Peanuts episode.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing many recent episodes that you haven’t seen on this site. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work. Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Considering Rocky/Creed, Our Most Successful Sports Film Franchise — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #149

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk through the ups and downs of this nine-film fran­chise that start­ed with Rocky, the high­est gross­ing film of 1976 and win­ner of that year’s Acad­e­my Award for Best Pic­ture. We’re espe­cial­ly con­cerned with this year’s Creed III, direct­ed by its star Michael B. Jor­dan, which is the first entry in the fran­chise that’s entire­ly free of Sylvester Stal­lone.

How can such an appar­ent­ly sim­ple for­mu­la (start as an under­dog, train, and win at least a moral vic­to­ry) stay fresh? Why was there a robot in Rocky IV? Is there any ratio­nale for an extend­ed, con­tin­u­ing Rocky-verse? Does enjoy­ing these films involve approv­ing of box­ing as a sport, or the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of fic­tion­al sports heroes over real-life ones?

For var­i­ous arti­cles about things going on in the fran­chise, check out totalrocky.com. Sarahlyn men­tions the NPR pod­cast The Stat­ue.

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. If you’re not sub­scribed to the pod­cast, you’re miss­ing lots of good episodes. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Adapting the Unfilmable Story of Pinnochio — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #143

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop A‑Team Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er dis­cuss the orig­i­nal 1883 freaky chil­dren’s sto­ry by Car­lo Col­lo­di and con­sid­er the recent rush of film ver­sions, from a new Disney/Robert Zemikis CGI take to Guiller­mo del Toro’s stop-motion pas­sion project to a heav­i­ly cos­tumed Ital­ian ver­sion by Mat­teo Gar­rone, which is the sec­ond to fea­ture Oscar win­ner Rober­to Benig­ni in a lead role. Benig­ni’s pre­vi­ous try was a 2002 ver­sion that is the most true to the beats of the orig­i­nal sto­ry and maybe because of this has a 0% on Rot­ten Toma­toes. Why do peo­ple keep remak­ing this sto­ry, and how has the orig­i­nal moral of “be a good boy and obey” changed over the years?

Read the orig­i­nal sto­ry. Some arti­cles going through the film ver­sions include:

Fol­low us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @ixisnox, @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Bruce Thomas, Bassist for The Attractions, Discusses the Art of the Bassline on Nakedly Examined Music

Bruce is best known as Elvis Costello’s bassist on about a dozen albums as The Attrac­tions, but Bruce has been in bands since 1970 and has done numer­ous ses­sion gigs, most notably for Al Stewart’s ear­ly albums, plus The Pre­tenders, John Wes­ley Hard­ing, Bil­ly Bragg, and many more.

Your Naked­ly Exam­ined Music host Mark Lin­sen­may­er inter­views Bruce  to dis­cuss his work on “Blood Makes Noise” by Susanne Vega from 99.9 Degrees (1992), play clips from sev­er­al of the most famous Attrac­tions tunes (using when pos­si­ble the 1978 Live at the El Mocam­bo album) plus “La La La La Loved You” by The Attrac­tions (w/o Elvis) from Mad About the Wrong Boy (1980), the first half of the title track of Quiver’s Gone in the Morn­ing (1972), and we con­clude by lis­ten­ing to a cov­er of The Bea­t­les “There’s a Place” by Spencer Brown and Bruce Thomas from Back to the Start (2018). Intro: “Radio Radio” by The Attrac­tions feat. Fito Paez from Span­ish Mod­el (2021). For more about Bruce’s musi­cal and lit­er­ary projects, see brucethomas.co.uk.

Hear all of “Radio Radio” in Span­ish plus the orig­i­nal. Hear the full ver­sions of the Attrac­tions clips: “Chelsea,” “Pump It Up,” “Club­land,” and “Every­day I Write the Book.” Hear all of “Gone in the Morn­ing” plus “Killer Man,” whose bass solo is at 4min in. Here’s Bruce demo­ing some of his partsWatch the video for “There’s Is a Place.” Here’s one of the Al Stew­art albums that Bruce plays onHere he is live just pre-Attrac­tions with The Sun­der­land Broth­ers and Quiver.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast host­ed by Mark Lin­sen­may­er, who also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast, Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. He releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

What Are “Creatives”? Pretty Much Pop #138 on the Role of the Artist in Modern Society

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Is there real­ly a divi­sion in today’s cul­ture between those who cre­ate and the mere­ly recep­tive mass­es? Your Pret­ty Much Pop host gath­ers three artists in dif­fer­ent media about the place of the artist in soci­ety: sci-fi author Bri­an Hirt, art pho­tog­ra­ph­er and aca­d­e­m­ic Amir Zaki, and musi­cian/nov­el­ist/ex-Eng­lish prof John Andrew Fredrick, who leads a band called The Black Watch.

We touch on art edu­ca­tion, the self-under­stand­ing of artists, the rela­tion between artist and con­sumer, art vs. com­merce, bad art vs. non-art, and much more.

Lis­ten to Amir talk­ing about pho­tog­ra­phy on a past PMP episodeLis­ten to John talk about his music with Mark on Naked­ly Exam­ined MusicLis­ten to John’s new EP. Bri­an brings up the Decoder Ring pod­cast episode “The Sto­ry­telling Craze.” Lis­ten to Mark’s tunes.

Fol­low us @blackwatchmusic@amir_zaki_, and @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Making Sense of Nathan Fielder’s The Rehearsal with Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #136

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Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er con­vene an emer­gency pod­cast record­ing to react to this mind-bend­ing, pos­si­bly immoral HBO com­e­dy docuseries, where­in Field­er helps ordi­nary peo­ple rehearse dif­fi­cult per­son­al con­fronta­tions, but this plan goes off the rails after 1.5 episodes out of the six that made up its first sea­son.

This series builds upon Fielder’s pre­vi­ous show where he comed­ical­ly tried to help busi­ness­es, Nathan for You, whose ground-break­ing finale (“Find­ing Frances”) dis­cov­ered The Rehearsal‘s for­mat. Is Nathan him­self the main butt of the joke, or is he punch­ing down? Are there bet­ter ways to show the fail­ings of real­i­ty TV? How does this kind of embar­rass­ment humor dif­fer from Borat and its ilk? Maybe the show is not as much about these peo­ple going through their rehearsals as an exam­i­na­tion of the process of rehears­ing itself that Field­er has devised.

Feel free to lis­ten to us to find out what it’s all about, but you will be best served by watch­ing this inde­scrib­able show your­self before expe­ri­enc­ing this episode.

A few rel­e­vant arti­cles also con­sid­er­ing the show include:

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.