Each week on the Local Show, we’ll meet a new person from the Minnesota music community who has some fresh discoveries to share in a feature called “Ask a Cool Person.” These people will come from all corners of the scene, including record store clerks, recording studio engineers and producers, artists, writers, bookers, photographers, and fans.
This week’s “Cool Person” is Jason Fladager, a founding member of the Big Wu and the creator of FladCast, a live music podcast that has featured over 100 independent and underground musicians from Minnesota.
Tell me more about the podcast. One thing I find interesting is that you typically think of a podcast being recorded in a studio — but you’re recording yours out in a live setting.
Yeah, that’s right. I think that’s what separates us from some of the other podcasts. We do, we have a three camera video shoot in a live setting at some of our local venues.
You feature a ton of artists that are just emerging, or are very underground. How do you discover new artists?
Well, I used to have a full time job, but after that was over in 2014 I just started going out and seeing local music. I mean, I come from local music — I played with the Big Wu, and I played with God Johnson over the years. And now, I like it so much that I just like to go out and visit different clubs. I tend to stay near the West Bank and 331 Club. I like Indeed Brewing Company, and the Excelsior Brewing company. I like the fact that brewing companies are this whole other market, another place that local musicians can come and showcase.
You brought in three songs to share today. What should we start with?
I have 109 episodes, you can see those at FladCast.com. But of my top three right now, I have Maya Elena, who is a local singer-songwriter, and a really unique voice. A really interesting guitar player — she has her own style of playing. I just love her.
The second one you brought is Frogleg. Tell me about Frogleg.
I can’t say enough about them. I’ve been seeing them for a couple years, and they seem to not be getting as much attention as I thought they might have. I’m really happy and proud of them. 22-year-old kids, Joe Dunn and Demitri Rallis head this band up. Joe is an incredible songwriter and has a lot of depth, a lot of emotion to his music, and really captures a lot of what people are thinking, what people are feeling these days.
And then Ruben — that’s a band I’ve had a chance to see live, they are fantastic.
Yes! I love them. I like a good rock show, as much as I like bands that are more musicianship and jamming and that kind of thing. But Ruben is a rock show. And they have these great harmonies. They sound like the Beach Boys meets dirty rock-soul music, it’s just a great show.
Watch a livestream of the FladCast every Wednesday at 8 p.m., and find the full schedule of guests and archived episodes over at FladCast.com.