TuneDig is an in-depth and informed conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music — one album at a time.

In each episode, we go down the rabbit hole to spend a while in the strange world we discover. We take an honest look at creativity in all its complexity—from writing and production to history and cultural impact.

We promise you’ll learn something new every time, no matter how much you already love the album we explore.

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Friday Heavy: October 28, 2022

This week, we discuss:

  1. Witch Fever – “Congregation”
  2. Curated playlist of eclectic, high energy that might get your inner goth stoked on (briefly) going out
  3. Housing Justice League

Transcript

Note: our transcripts are mostly AI-generated for now. 

Cliff: Welcome to Friday Heavy. Your guide to aggressive, abrasive. Loud, loud, loud music bought to you by the couple of guys behind TuneDig. I’m Cliff.

Kyle: And I’m the other guy in the couple, Kyle. Hi. Three, three basic things we try to cover quickly and uh, get, get you. Into your day, your head banging, your fire, starting whatever. Whatever it is that you’re doing While we catch you, thanks for tuning in each episode we cover first one, brand new release in the world of heavy and loud music and why we think it’ll be worth a spin.

Got one we’re really excited about today. Secondly, one playlist we’ve curated to help you explore a heavy subgenre or artist or. Often related to the new release in some way, sort of the case today. An interesting one. Uh, and then third and most importantly, by far, one organization tackling a heavy issue by doing critical culture impacting work in their community.

Cuz punk rock punk rock is a force for good in the world despite what cops and teachers may say. So let’s get into it. Cliff, what do we

got?

Cliff: Well, I’m excited, Kyle. It’s interesting you identified as the other guy though, because if anyone could see us physically in person, I would really clearly be the other guy, and I’m totally okay with that because when I hug you, my head fits inside

the shape of your armpit in a way that comforts me deeply.

Kyle: I am. I am quite tall

Cliff: It’s, I love it. This week we are making the occasional exception

of covering a release that dropped one week prior to this episode drop in

itself,

Kyle: very much counts as hot off the presses. I would say not burn your

hands hot,

but still hot.

Cliff: I like to call out when we’ve definitely gotten a chance to spend the actual album before deciding proactively to talk about it. So anytime that happens, you can know that we are even more convinced that we should talk about it now that it’s out.

And this

week that is from Manchester Doom Punk Quartet, Which Fever?

Kyle: you know, I, Hey genre labels, but Doom Punk, is there a cooler term in music? Like instant

spin?

Cliff: Yep. You get a cool genre if you name it and say that you are

that genre.

Yeah, like funeral Doom and then whatever it was that primitive man called themselves. You get all those, those are free. which fever release our latest full length congregation on Music for Nations, which, uh, as a label is pretty interesting, is, a British and previously indie label that Sony created a zombie form of and reused the same name to relaunch later.

Uh, and now there’s a bunch of. Some cool bands, some if bands, but

you know, folks like Opeth are on this label at this point, so, So pretty big.

Kyle: cradle of

is on

Cliff: Yeah. I’m mono marth, all

kind of stuff like that.

Kyle: Yeah.

Which it see seats this band even more

interestingly to me.

Cliff: I, I’m happy for them to be on it. One of those times where, all right, if you’re gonna like kind of hockey stick towards becoming popular and getting the attention you deserve. Okay, good enough. And so while the release we covered last week, for instance, uh, devotional was spiritual while being somewhat a religious, this one is not

that.

Kyle: clap, clap.

clap.

Cliff: You will, you will not be confused about what congregation is about at any point, and that is to which fevers credit. So just pulling an a line from an interview on a blog called The Line of Best Fit, which is an odd way to try to phrase an audio. But, uh, I wanted to bring out this quote. I, I think it helps illuminate a little bit more of what this band is doing, which is sick.

Quote, congregation doesn’t. Like a political screed or a rad fem manifesto. These themes are currently are certainly present, loud and proud on the record, readily available if one is willing to listen attentively and do the work. But from the vocalist, Amy Wall poll’s perspective, her heavy use of biblical symbolism, allegory, and metaphor is wholly intentional.

Quote from Amy. I did a master’s degree in gothic literature. My love of fiction and

horror fiction plays such a strong part in the way that I write,

and I,

Kyle: I saw that quote and immediately texted it to my

wife. I

was like this, per you would be best friends with this person, you should go to grad school wherever she got a master’s in

go.

Cliff: I also thought of her because she is a master’s

degree in gothic literature, and that’s awesome.

Kyle: Oh, too, bad. I’m gonna die

first. Or else write that in her

Cliff: We’ll,

see what happens. I’ll be there musically, which fever kind of schools you on multiple fronts too, as a band. There’s this frantic punk energy that really happily cohabitates with grunge, chorus and interludes and once again, we, you know, you can even go back, I think to the, the first Friday heavy episode we ever did.

This is a theme in heavy music where grunge comes back and some

bands can do it without pretense and it just works when it

clicks into.

Kyle: They’re one of the bands that wears their love of nirvana on their sleeve and then doesn’t let it bleed into the music in a shitty

way.

Cliff: The only appropriate way to like nirvana. Yes.

Kyle: Right. It’s so hard to like nirvana and reflected in your music in like a, not cliche, not boneheaded way, but they, they pull out some of the best stuff for sure.

Cliff: Awesome. So to that end and to highlight a couple of those points, let’s go ahead and spin two of the singles. So first one up is the title track congregation, and you’ll get a pretty immediate taste of the grunge influence, uh, in the, you know, slight Nirvana worship that we were talking about that works so well in this context.

 

Cliff: So then secondly, let’s get a bit of context loaded up to

Beauty and Grace, which is the next track. We’ll play in another single that released

before the album dropped.

Kyle: This is the one that got me. I loved

the song from like from the

jump. It’s

great.

Cliff: this is probably the highlight to get you in there. But then I loved also how intentional they were in talking about this in some of the interviews.

So

quote from the, the same vocalist, Amy Waffle form before quote. As a woman, I’m not always this crazy, bossy, boisterous, angry person, but I’m not totally submissive either. I like being pretty, I like making myself feel pretty. I enjoy those parts of my femininity, and so it’s not about totally eradicating those parts.

It’s about finding power. Things that are opposite to them, which are typically considered masculine. So this track, beauty and grace is an expression of anger at having to repress certain things that you feel in order to be more feminine, protesting against them, while also embracing femininity, having both and enjoying both.

 

Kyle: So there’s another quote from Aang interview. Having now just heard beauty and grace you’ll appreciate in a new light. Amy said Just because my body is small doesn’t mean that I’m small. I want to be the opposite. I want to be fucking huge it notes that she laughs. I wanna take up as much space as I can.

And you can hear that, that sonically and in the energy of the vocal delivery. We hope that you’ll check out Congregation, which is out now on Music for Nations. Please go listen to it however you want. And then as always, send this band your money through shows, through merch or through direct donation.

And I, I personally can’t wait to check out this band live when they roll through town.

Looking forward to it,

Cliff: We’ll just say this part directly to you. We mentioned that they are on basically a subsidiary of Sony at this point. Yeah, By their music. It goes to the. Just stream this shit wherever you want and then go send the band your money. The label doesn’t need any more of it, right? Help out these bands who are figuring out how to get their music to larger and larger audiences.

And now’s a really great time to support Witch fever. They just came off some supporting dates with like My Chemical romance, uh, which we’ve brought up before on this podcast. Not because we’re such huge fans necessarily, but because they do represent kind of a space where. Great bands like Turn Style, uh, or solo or something kind of get

plugged into the right show and it helps them blow up in a way that, that,

we really want.

Kyle: There’s definitely a coronation moment happening. Like you started to point out a pattern between the bands from when we were coming up and like a new Gen Z cusp of gen alpha sort of thing, which is really exciting. And so which fever is part of that?

I, the first thing that I ever read about ’em, Said, like it directly invoked rage against the machine too. It was like rage against the machine canceled on whatever XYZ bill, but we caught wish fever in an early slot and sort of satiated that same energy. So like the like righteous anger the sort of funkiness, the willingness to be yourself, all that’s in there and it’s, it’s really cool.

So it’s, it’s cool to see them being part of this like cusp of a moment thing we’re

experiencing.

Cliff: Yeah, totally. I love it. So once again, Kyle, you made a playlist based on whatever your brain kind of danced around when we thought about this release, and I feel like this is

gonna make

me want to put on war paint.

Kyle: I think dance around is sort of the operative phrase. And if you put on any paint, it’s probably the day glow paint for a rave with black lights. The thought of you personally doing that is hysterical to

me.

Cliff: My skin already glows in the dark

man. We’re

Kyle: I am so pale this is one of the more eclectic, maybe the most eclectic one that we’ve done so far.

And I think a lot of it is drawn from influences that they’ve cited. They’re, they’re a very eclectic group. there’s a run in here of, uh, Idols with Jenny Beth from Savages into PJ Harvey, into Bikini Kill, into like Nova Twins and a bunch of bands that are their peers that they’ve said they think are really cool.

You know, at the risk of over contextualizing, I think it’s all about. High energy. It’s all about feeling really good and powerful and free in your skin like this. This is just a playlist about like losing yourself and the feeling of freedom and living deliciously and it’s got really rat energy.

There’s a lot more synth in this playlist than there probably ever will be in any other Friday heavy playlists, but, It’s good. It’s a vibe. if you don’t want two chains or r and b or whatever for your going out Saturday night, it’s a good way to get your energy up to like go, go be out in the world and take up space in it.

So, put yourself in that head space when you press play on

this one.

Cliff: Absolutely love it. This lot’s into that same place where I

would, Before meeting up or going to do something where I needed probably more energy than I would naturally exude I would try out a lot of bands like Coat Hangers is one of my kind of go-tos of just like, I don’t actually need to be pumped up the way that heavy music pumps me up.

I need someone to be kind of screaming at me and being excited about being alive to ramp me up into like, Oh yeah, oh yeah. Oh

no, I can take up this space. I was invited. I’m going somewhere. You know,

so I’m

Kyle: Yeah, it, this exists on a continuum that I’d never thought of before between code hangers and Code Orange, somewhere on that spectrum. This is the only playlist I think we’ve put Portus head on which I’m psyched about. And then I need to say the, say it the appropriate number of times. Pigs. Pigs, pigs, pigs, pigs, pigs, pigs, Pigs times

seven is a band that I really love that has taken them out on tour.

And one of the dudes in that band produced this record congregation. Uh, and so they fall right in the middle of a playlist as well for. Comparison. The Harriet playlist that we made that I think we just called void. Like I, I think if you take two kids going to the goth prom in the abyss the Harriet playlist is for the kid who’s gonna stand on the wall and not talk to anybody.

And then this playlist is for the goth kid that’s gonna be right in the middle of the dance floor.

Cliff: Hell yeah.

Kyle: Both, goth kids. We love and hold, hold in our hearts

Cliff: The kid who loves my Bloody Valentine and the kid who says why though? Yeah, they get along so well. I love that, man. Thank you for this playlist, Kyle. You continue to bless us. Just as a reminder, we have all these playlists on our Spotify account, under Tune, Dig, and then also on our YouTube channel.

You can always check ’em out there.

Last, but never, ever, ever least, we always cover an organization who is doing something critically important for their community.

And so this week we turn our attention to a housing market. So as that continues to consolidate

Kyle just slipped me a non audio cheesy smile and double thumbs up, and that really made me feel good.

So as the, as that housing market continues to kind of consolidate ownership towards a handful of large corporations, you can go easily read about that right now.

Most regular folks are ending up caught in a horrendous cycle of unaffordable rent right now. At the same time that home ownership is itself pretty cost prohibitive.

And another thing we won’t cover, but that you can look into the, the Fed our own government is specifically. And verbally trying to keep it that way. Listen to what they say. They say that they need more poor people unemployed in order to fix the economy. And that’s gonna lead to them not being able to afford places to live.

That’s what they’re saying. Anywho systemic oppression. In ways like this tends to stack up in the lower classes as well because they become these horrendous, overlapping vinn diagram circles of hell that concentrate on people who really need the most help. And that’s what’s happening with rent.

Unfortunately, this puts landlords at a distinct advantage. And what we do know throughout history is that when landlords are given enough rope, they will simply tie it around their tenant’s neck and kick families out on the street because they can’t afford the next rent hike that the landlord has unilaterally decided to oppress people with.

That doesn’t mean all landlords are bad, it just means the whole concept of it is pretty. Period. So, one way that we wanna turn this towards an organization that we can then support to do something about it. Dan Imer Luck, uh, is a professor and an author of a recent book released called Red Hot City Housing Race and Exclusion in 21st Century Atlanta.

And he got us thinking towards Housing Justice League, which we wanna talk about today because he recently tweeted that quote, Tenant organizing is so key in metros and states where tenant protections are so weak and eviction rates are so high. Groups like the Housing Justice League need to be supported and expanded to become powerful political forces at city and state levels.

Politicians need to fear them more than they fear the Georgia Apartment Association, for instance. So we want to just draft off of the confidence and the motivation of. Coming from an expert telling us what kind of needs to happen in order to protect, especially tenants in a city, and specifically really a state of Georgia where landlords are increasingly and commonly favored in law.

So, We wanna talk about the Housing Justice League. They are a grassroots organization that works to preserve affordable housing, prevent gentrification and support tenant organizing in Atlanta specifically. And they formed organically via a handful of Atlanta residents wanting to channel the energy of the Occupy movement towards those facing foreclosure and evict.

And this was, you know, back when the Occupy movement was spinning up. Uh, and then this group became a non-profit in 24. Since then, they’ve expanded their purview and played a really important role in fighting multiple displacement campaigns and organizing tenant associations. This is one of those crews like we always like to remind people about.

There are always organizations doing this stuff in your community and you just don’t know about it. As I went back and looked at things, I remembered these displacement campaigns. Like I know what they are, right? It’s the belt line, it’s uh, the gulch. It’s all these, like, we really want to give tax breaks to really rich people, but we want to pretend that it’s gonna result in affordable housing for people.

Folks like the Housing Justice League see through that bullshit and try to help people stay in their homes. And so they offer a lot of resources, including a tenant power hotline to help you defend your home and organize with your community, which is awesome. They really do a lot with a little. And so even in a state like Georgia where we mentioned that, you know,

that heavily favors landlord and in generally speaking capitalists,

Kyle: Number one state to do business. A million years

running.

Cliff: Hollywood agrees all the time, But

tenants still

Kyle: At at 30% off. I would agree to you.

Cliff: Oh. Even in situations like this though, you as a tenant, You have rights. You shouldn’t have to live in squalor. You shouldn’t have to live on the street. You shouldn’t have to choose between paying rent and paying for food for your children or paying for healthcare for your mom. Like it shouldn’t be this way.

The people don’t want it to be that way. In organizations like this are some of our only means

for being able to turn things in that direct.

Kyle: So if you agree with that and we hope that you do, we encourage you to learn more about Housing Justice [email protected], um, and consider making a donation and or becoming a member. Let’s do like Dan Erl, who suggested, and please do go. Copy yourself a copy of Red Hot City. Let’s help groups like Housing Justice League become powerful political forces at the city and the state level.

Because without organizations like them it’s going to get a lot worse

before it gets better.

Cliff: Yep. And one, one more screw to twist in. Even if you’re a homeowner or not a tenant currently you can and might be in the future and people you love are this matters whether you are currently experiencing the impression of it or not.

Kyle: Yeah, housing is a

human

right, baby.

Cliff: Hell yeah. This has been Friday heavy. We’ll be back in two weeks.

Go to tunedig.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter for links to the new release, the playlist and the organization that we talked about today.

Original "Bitches Brew" Art

To celebrate the endless creativity of Bitches Brew—and especially its famous album artwork—TuneDig partnered with two incredible Atlanta-based artists to create one-of-a-kind, handpainted gatefolds.

With the spirit of the original art in mind, each artist brought their own vision to life. These pieces will spark conversation for any jazz fan.

Each piece includes a new vinyl copy of Bitches Brew. 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist, so take this opportunity to support the arts in the raddest possible way.

Seriously. There’s literally only one of each. Make it yours. 😎

SEASON 6

Season 6—featuring our most eclectic selection of albums yet—concludes July 1, 2022.

TuneDig Episode 50: Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain”

Before uniting one nation under a groove, the lysergic lords of chaos in Funkadelic harnessed wild lightning into an amulet called Maggot Brain, bestowing the bearer with raw, dark power stronger than any force known to man. Between reaching our 50th episode and coping with the “maggots in the mind” of today’s universe, it felt like the right time to free our minds. We hope y’all’s asses will follow.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 49: Alice Coltrane’s “Journey in Satchidananda”

The story of Alice Coltrane — an accomplished bebop pianist from Detroit who transcended into something far greater before walking away from public life altogether — is a glimpse into what it means to be truly free. Alice’s masterpiece "Journey in Satchidananda" is a cosmic dance that sparked creation from destruction. And in a time when we’re all desperately searching for a spark of meaning and hope, Journey abides abundantly.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 48: Heart’s “Little Queen”

Take a moment to appreciate Ann and Nancy Wilson, who kicked down the doors of rock ‘n’ roll’s boys’ club with their peerless guitar work, soaring soul vocals, and tight songcraft. 1977’s Little Queen — an oft-overlooked gem in the classic rock canon — offers a snapshot of those elements at their most urgent and pure, powered by the Wilsons’ simple motivation (as described by their producer): “It was a war.”

Read More

TuneDig Episode 47: Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra”

When you think of “electronic music,” what comes to mind may not be a genre you deeply love — hip-hop, house, new wave, or even dub reggae — but all of it owes some debt, scientifically or otherwise, to Tangerine Dream. Dig in with us as we study a prime example of the band’s brand of effortful innovation, where they patiently and persistently labored at the cutting edge of electronic technology to open a portal to new worlds in our minds.

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TuneDig Episode 46: Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR”

Did you catch one of 2021’s biggest albums, or like us, did you almost overlook it? If you have any expectations of pop music, "SOUR" will likely subvert them. Teenage dream this is not; it’s an exquisitely universal portrait of a weird time to be alive.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 45: Fela Kuti’s “Expensive Shit”

The story of Fela Kuti — one of the most famous people on an *entire continent* passionately struggling to liberate power to more people — is absolutely one worth deeply knowing, regardless of whether you find yourself drawn to Afrobeat or (cringe) “world music.” But once you know it, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Fela and Afrika 70 as their revolutionary grooves rewire your brain in magical and meaningful ways.

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TuneDig Episode 44: Meshuggah’s “ObZen”

Meshuggah’s ObZen—an artifact of human creativity pushing the limits of what’s possible—will quite literally make you hear music differently. If you’re looking for a new musical adventure, and especially if you don’t think you like “heavy” or “weird” music, consider this your sign to push past your comfort zone.

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TuneDig Episode 43: mewithoutYou’s “Catch For Us the Foxes”

A misunderstood wise man once said “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.” In our most personal and vulnerable episode yet, we do some seeking through the lens of songs that fill us with the bravery and sincerity to love ourselves and others fully. Dig deep with us as we fish for words about our tiny place in the universe and dance with gratitude for our ability to do so.

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FRIDAY HEAVY

For lifelong headbangers and the musically curious alike, a new podcast from TuneDig is here to push your palette with aggressive, abrasive art. Each short, fast-paced episode offers (1) a new metal, punk, noise, or experimental release we recommend, (2) a related playlist we’ve curated, and (3) a heavy issue to consider and an organization doing something about it. Join us in the void.

SEASON 5

TuneDig Episode 41: Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew”

Let’s be clear: "Bitches Brew" is a challenging record, even to some of the best musicians in the world — but all of them say it’s worth the investment. It’s the kind of trip that, even if we *could* draw a map, it wouldn’t take you there. Let go of the need for meaning and enjoy the ride with us. We can promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you end up.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 40: Fiona Apple’s “Tidal”

On the heels of one of 2020's most acclaimed albums — Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters — we revisited Apple’s debut Tidal and wound up working to extract ourselves from the mostly male gazes that made its reception … much different. We arrive at a question much like writer Jenn Pelly had: “People would constantly prod Fiona on how an 18-year-old could write songs as mature as these ... Why did they not ask instead how she became a genius?”

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TuneDig Episode 39: Death Grips’s “The Money Store”

The modern world is accelerating beyond our control, shaping our reality in ways we can’t yet perceive or understand. Enter Death Grips, an art project capturing the chaotic energy and illustrating the absurdity of our hubris in trying to harmonize the surreal and extremely real — never more perfectly than on 2012’s prescient "The Money Store".

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TuneDig Episode 38: Augustus Pablo’s “King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown”

Reggae music is easy to take for granted, but its impact is underappreciated and massive — in the case of dub in particular, everyone from Radiohead to Johnny Rotten to Run-DMC owes it a debt. Augustus Pablo and King Tubby together created what’s regarded as “one of the finest examples of dub ever recorded.” Join us as we dive into the culture, history, and unique engineering experiments that made it possible.

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TuneDig Episode 37: Rihanna’s “ANTI”

By every measure — sales, awards, chart-toppers, global name recognition — Rihanna is objectively as big as the Beatles ever were. In fact, ANTI is so big it’s still on the charts, a record five full years later. Take a closer look with us at “the record you make when you don’t need to sell records”, and get a taste of the true freedom that comes from focusing on your inner voice when faced with insurmountable expectations.

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TuneDig Episode 36: Son House’s “Father of Folk Blues”

All American music traces back to the blues, and deep at the root sits Son House. That the recordings on "Father of Folk Blues" even exist is something of a gray area that cuts to the heart of the great American myth, but wherever you land after hearing these stories, you’ll find that what matters most is what the great Muddy Waters once said of House: “That man was the king.”

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TuneDig Episode 35: Melvins’s “Stoner Witch”

The futility of describing the Melvins has stretched critics in the direction of absurd words like “Dadaist” for nearly 40 years now. They’ve belligerently flogged any attempt to pinpoint their essence simply by being themselves, but "Stoner Witch" remains a reliable mall directory for the Melvins’ vast and wild discography. Grab yourself some pretzel bites.

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TuneDig Episode 34: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”

We should talk about Dolly the way we talk about Prince. Her extraordinary kindness and unique kitsch both make her universally loved, but what gets left out of the conversation is the very thing that made her famous: the music. Join in as we focus attention on the sonics and songwriting of the low-key masterpiece "Jolene".

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TUNEDIG RADIO

SEASON 4

SEASON 3

SEASON 2

SEASON 1

BONUS TRACK EPISODES

Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

Read More

WHO WE ARE

We're Cliff (right) and Kyle (left). We’re two dudes born and raised in ATL with day jobs in tech and sustainability, respectively.

We met in middle school, and in one way or another, music’s been the thing that’s kept us close for the two decades since — whether it’s sharing and talking about new music (like this podcast, except in our texts or over beers), going to shows, or working with our favorite record stores to help them survive and thrive.

We started TuneDig as a little art project that connects us more deeply ourselves and to the world through the infinite gift of music. We hope you’ll join us for the conversations, let us know what you think, and share discoveries of your own.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.