If you’re searching for this article, you’re already overthinking it.

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Introductions: Hi, nice to meet you. Matthew Brown. Charmed I’m sure. Ready for the article?

I want to surface this as soon as possible to you. That’s not to say the rest of this article isn’t full of fun-filled gab about podcast microphone tech. (Surprise: it is.) But it’s more important you know this:

If you’re reading this article in genuine, then you’re overthinking the whole thing. Buy a Shure SM58 microphone. That’s it. That’s the article.

There are thousands of microphone options out there. And the reality is, for…


Remember: It’s never about the questions.

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You’ve done it. You landed that incredible guest you’ve been itching to book, and your show is all but ready for its moment in the Apple Podcast charts limelight. Quick piece of advice: wear something that sparkles.

Now, this guest has already logged their 10,000 hours on-mic. All you need to do is fire away some questions and let them take it from there. Right?

[This is the paragraph where I tell you, heartbreakingly, with a tearful sadness, that it’s not true. But I don’t want to do that to you. How can I…


It’s time to leave worst practices in the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020

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Starting a podcast is akin to living a perpetual existence in the world of Pixar’s Inside Out. Right? It’s all the emotions. Joy. Fear. Anger. Sadness.

Only there’s no motivational Amy Poehler rooting for you offscreen.

You’re often left to your own devices, sorting things out as you go. All while managing the gamut of emotions packed along inside your life’s carry-on luggage. But as you parse through article after article, you start to believe what you read.

If our parents and grandparents’ political…


A look back at 40 years from the D.I.Y label that never broke ranks

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Dischord Records was founded by Ian McKaye and Jeff Nelson in 1980. And over the last four decades, the independent label has defined and redefined what it means to make music.

This is a wholly incomplete list. Of course, how can it not be? The following albums are pre-2000s, forever latched to the label in a way where artist defines label and label defines artist. One snake. Endlessly eating tail.

A glance at the larger universe existing within Dischord is a mind-altering detective war room. Red strings endlessly jumping from mugshot to back alley candid.

In the early years, many…


Light rain, front seats, tall grass.

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Ernest Green is readying his first Sup Pop Records release in nearly a decade. And he’s released the second Washed Out video for Purple Noon titled “Paralyzed.”

Washed Out, “Paralyzed” (Sub Pop Records)

The video, directed by Caroline Koning, features a couple driving to a picnic spot. A light rain starts to fall, and the two rush into the front seats of the car. Their romantic tension comes to a boil, leaving the car for a rain-soaked embrace.

The track is a reminder of the chill wave genius behind Paracosm (2013) and Mister Mellow…


You can dig the classics. But we’re cracking open the archives.

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A song comes on the radio. OK, a song comes up on your Spotify playlist. You’ve heard the song. Well, you’ve heard a thousand songs that sound like it. Now, who was it that sings that song?

There’s no German word for this feeling. Not quite.

However, it’s a sentiment very few have felt for Neil Young. His falsetto timber shakes equally between acoustic and distorted guitars. Neil Young is almost unmistakeable.

Unlike most of his 1960s contemporaries, Young has dipped his proverbial toe into a number of sonic genre pools over the ensuing decades.

There’s entire albums dedicated to…


The album is the first in five years for the group

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On September 30, Bon Iver will once again make their way from out the forest and drop a new album: 22, A Million.

With this announcement comes two new songs, full of brash audio texture and some of that dubious Bon Iver melancholy. Have a listen below:

Bon Iver — 22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]
Bon Iver — 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ (Extended Version)

Like what you heard? Give us a heart below and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.


You might not be the next great auteur director, but it can’t hurt to try.

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Arguably one of the most creative artists of this generation, David Lynch often seems to exist on another plane of consciousness — and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong to think so.

Lynch is best known for his films — Eraserhead, Blue Velvet — and the cult television series Twin Peaks, whose imminent reboot is rapidly approaching.

But it’s Lynch’s decades-long commitment to Transcendental Meditation that he credits his success and, most importantly, his creativity.

In his own words:

“Here’s how it works: Inside ever human is an ocean pure, vibrant consciousness. …


A sonic time capsule of riffs, glam, and pure artistry.

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The poet. The guitar god. Glam rock incarnate. Marc Bolan and T. Rex have been called many things and mean even more to many people. What Bolan did was define an entire generation.

A fatefully tragic tale, T. Rex continues to inspire musicians of every generation. An output of artistic quality rivaled only by the likes of Dylan, Bowie, and The Beatles, T. Rex is sonically as relevant today as they were in the 60s and 70s.

As with any defining list, there is a certain expected range of discord. Consider this instead a conversation.

Some logistical nightmares that needed…


A majestic landscape for Aurora’s latest single.

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Aurora’s video for “I Went Too Far” off the latest album All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend is a majestic dreamscape.

The album is out now on Glassnote.

Check out all of Penny Reel Music Blog’s latest reviews over at our Medium homepage and send us a note on what you think.

Matthew Brown

an award-winning audio producer & writer living in Somerville, MA

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