Last April saw the launch of one of the very best podcast series in New Jersey indie rock. No, it’s not Racket Radio, I said it’s a good podcast. Look At My Records! is the brainchild of Jersey City’s Tom Gallo, a long-time participant and fan of the scene. Tom’s been working his ass off on this podcast series and has featured a ton of great local guests and has promoted the music of so many more on a weekly basis. This Friday night at The Footlight in Queens, Tom will be celebrating the 50th episode of Look At My Records! with a show featuring local favorites Hard Nips, Atlas Engine, Morus Alba, and Milkmen. Last week I got to catch up with Tom and chat with him about the podcast and the show. Check out what he had to say below.
For anyone that hasn’t been listening, tell us a little bit about Look At My Records.
Look At My Records is a podcast that focuses primarily on local music in the NJ/NY area, with curated playlists based on shows in the week ahead as well as artist interviews. The artist interviews are split into two parts- the first portion focuses on the band and their music. The second portion involves the curating a playlist from my record collection with discussion. It’s a great way to really delve into what influences a band and what they’re currently digging – which makes for an interesting dialogue.
And what first inspired you to start podcasting?
I did some radio in college and I thought it was time to get back into it and produce something of my own. I have always loved seeing live music and discovering new music. So, I wanted to be able to share music that I was listening to, and that’s how the podcast originally started. Over time, I started inviting artists over for interviews, and I’ve really enjoyed having conversations about music with them.
Who have been some of the keynote guests and some of the podcasts best highlights in your own perspective?
Some highlights for me have been speaking with the U.K. band, Fassine. They appeared in the recent XTC documentary. Since XTC is my all-time favorite band, it was cool to chat with an established band from Europe – we shared a lot of laughs and geeked out over XTC. It was also incredible to talk with Chris Slusarenko, who’s worked with Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices – he had a lot of great stories to share!
On a personal level, what does the 50th episode mean to you? Did you expect it to go on this long?
It feels great! I’m very happy with how the show has evolved over the course of 50 episodes. When I started it, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted it to go in and I had to teach myself a lot of the technical aspects of producing a podcast. A true DIY endeavor!
I also didn’t expect to meet such great people along the way. We’re lucky to have such a great community of artists in the area, and I love being a part of that. I’ve made a lot of friends through Look At My Records!
The show’s gonna be out at The Footlight in Queens with Hard Nips, Atlas Engine, Morus Alba, and Milkmen. What do you dig about each of those bands?
Milkmen were the first band I ever had on the podcast. In my opinion, they’re the preeminent New Brunswick band right now and they pack a big punch in their live show. Morus Alba has such a great sound that’s very reminiscent of so many great 2nd wave emo bands like The Promise Ring, Cap’n Jazz, Rainer Maria, etc.- just such raw emotion coming from Marcel in their songs. Atlas Engine really embodies that luscious, dream-pop sound – but has been consistently pushing the boundaries of that genre, especially with their two latest singles. Hard Nips is a straight up fun post-punk band with new wave vibes that puts on an amazing live show. The group actually started in Japan, so to me, that part of their experience makes them a very unique and interesting band in the Brooklyn scene. All in all, I think the four bands will put on an amazing show
So with 50 episodes in the books, what’s next for you and Look At My Records?
I’m hoping to book more gigs to showcase the bands that I have on the program – especially in Jersey City!
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.