In the summer of 2019, as the world watched the unfolding media blitz surrounding the arrest and death of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein, Liz Franczak, Brace Belden, and their producer friend — who uses the aliasThe Chomsky– came together and started the podcastTrueAnon.
Videos by American songwriters
Videos by American songwriters
With a mission statement of being "the only non-pedophile podcast focused on uncovering the truth about the Epstein conspiracy," the bi-weekly show has since grown into a wide-ranging project covering everything from the assassination of JFK to the death of concernsElliot Smith,Die"Troubled Teen Industry"Elon Musk's dealings, American intelligence operations, and more, all through a lens of class analysis. Approaching each subject with an impressive level of finesse, the show was quite successful at presenting those subjects in an easy-to-understand — yet hugely impactful — light... and it was quite successful financially, too. At the time of writing this article, it is the 7th most popular podcast on the planetPatreonPlatform that brings in over $80,000 monthly.
But beyond its stellar reporting, something that sinksTrueAnonWhat sets it apart from other podcasts - especially in the political field - is the quality of its production. Directed by Yung Chomsky, each episode features high-quality audio, seamless editing, tasteful soundbytes and sound effects, and, perhaps most importantly, original music written and recorded by Yung Chomsky himself. The music uses a variety of compositional styles - the linchpins for them all being well-crafted electronic arrangements - the music givesTrueAnona distinctive aesthetic palette that enhances the presentation of the show as a whole.
To that end, Yung Chomsky sees himself as someone who uses music to help make the world a better place...but maybe not in the way you'd expect. As he explained on a recent Zoom call with American Songwriter, music's political power lies less in its content and more in its ability to package and disseminate other ideas. Something as simple as audio quality or the transition music for a podcast may not seem all that important, but when you think about how impactful these elements can be on a listener's experience -- and then consider how important that listener's experience is to whether someone Whether or not you're willing to subscribe to an independent media publication, you can begin to see how there is a direct line of influence.
Additionally, Yung Chomsky spoke to the American songwriter about his background, the disillusionment he felt when he pursued a career as a traditional songwriter, the relief he now achieves at having found a worthwhile outlet, and more. Articulate but refreshingly aware of his circumstances as an artist, he was able to provide universal insight into the struggles facing millions of musicians at a time when making music seems less profitable than ever, both in terms of income and also to drive meaningful change in the world. Read the following interview:
American Songwriter: What is your musical background?
The Chomsky:I started playing guitar seriously when I was in high school, about 16. I remember thinking back then that I was late to the game, that I knew all these kids that had been playing since they were 11 or 12 were and it could already play solos and stuff. But I was just studying. I started out in pop punk - Blink-182 and The Offspring were both pretty big for me - and then I got into Weezer, which was huge. I was really motivated to get better, so I practiced a lot, took a few hours of classes and spent a lot of time logging. When I finished high school I was pretty good.
When I was young I had many different interests in terms of careers but I ended up going to college to study English first. At that point I thought, "I don't really care that much about being a virtuoso guitarist, but I want to write songs." I thought that was really cool. I think I discovered indie rock when I was a freshman. I got in rightthe shins, the decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, arcade Fire, death cab for cutie, Mountain ziegen, and all that early 2000's stuff (I started college in 2003).
So I started writing songs and ended up doing a double major in creative writing and music composition, which I enjoyed. I felt that it was this great amalgamation of my two disciplines that would help me become the best songwriter. The first album I recorded and released seriously was my graduation project. I really went for lush, orchestrated indie-pop vibes that are somehow inspired by classic '60s baroque pop—The Zombies, Die Beatles, The Beach Boys.I wrote songs, sang and played guitar on it, and then found music students to play on it. I made the album and even planned a little tour for the band I was playing with at the time. I was like, 'Okay, I'm going to put this album out and it's probably going to really explode and sell a lot of copies, and I'm going to tour and that's it - I'm going to be a successful musician. ” But… I think there are still boxes of those albums in my mother's basement. So it didn't happen.
I ended up being a guitar teacher for a while and then I did a whole bunch of jobs that weren't worth it at all. I kept thinking, "I'm a musician, I'm a musician." I put out more albums, but eventually it got to that point where... I mean, it was very depressing. I used to get very annoyed about not having an audience or not making any money. As a musician, I didn't have a sense of achievement. I did one last record in this mode and did a big show at Johnny Brenda in Philly for it. Shows were fun back then, but a lot of work and stress because you had to write down the parts and rehearse and logistically try to make sure everyone could hear each other and everything worked. Funny is:TrueAnonhas two sold out dates at Johnny Brenda's this month. Back then it was like a coup for me to get booked there and I never thought I would sell it out.
AS: You mentioned that you have said goodbye to this "mode" of making music. How was it? What did you switch to?
YC:I decided to find another path, which led me to electronic music. I wasn't a big listener of electronic music before, but I just felt that I needed to be able to do these lush arrangements and intricate musical ideas on my own. So I did synth-pop stuff for a while where it was similar songs but with synths instead of acoustic instruments. Then I had a not-so-great experience with a producer in Philly, which made me decide that I wanted to learn how to record and mix my own stuff. So I got that in my head and started with it.
But all of that still kind of came down to the same point where I was releasing tracks and every time I was like, "This is the one that's really going to break through and tap into the zeitgeist – this is going to explode." I had a list of music writers, on I would send them like "You wrote about this other band that is similar - you're going to love that!" But very rarely anything happened. So it was still very frustrating. Then, just over two years ago, in the summer of 2019, we startedTrueAnon.
AS: What led to the birth of the nickname "Yung Chomsky"?
YC:I've known Brace [Belden] for a few years when we first started talking about doingTrueAnon. I had actually been doing this "Yung Chomsky" thing on the side to release electronic music, so I knew right away that I wanted to use "Yung Chomsky" as my name on the podcast.
We didn't really know if the podcast was going to be successful or not or how long it was going to be, but I figured it would be at least a little bit of a promotional opportunity for my music, you know? So I immediately thought, "I'm going to use my music for the podcast - it's going to be an integral part of it." It was like that right away.
IF:TrueAnonsTheme song is a cool electronic remix of thetwin peaksTopic – what is the story behind it?
YC:Brace originally had the idea of doing something like thisthex filesTheme,because one of the original ideas was to subtitle the podcast "The EP Files" [after Jeffery Epstein]. So I started playing around with stuff like that while we were all in my apartment. I pulled up my sequencer and happened to have thattwin peaksTheme-„Falling“ von Julee Cruise– charged. I didn't know Liz [Franczak] before we started doing the podcast, but I played that and we looked straight at each other and we both felt it resonated. I taped a really fast and dirty version of it and then updated it with a polished full-length version in four or five episodes. So that became the theme song. I'm still very proud of it.
AS: How was it before?TrueAnonstarted to start and you were able to feed yourself on it? Did that lead to creative changes?
YC:For about the first year of the podcast, I had another full-time job. I just used tracks I'd already done, took little bits and pieces of things I'd had over the years, and used them for sequels — but that was back before we even knew how long the show was going to run. At some point I obviously ran out of music. At that point, we were approaching the one-year mark, so I ended up quitting the other full-time job. I challenged myself to record new music for each episode, which was really daunting at first (but not having the other job definitely helped).
What I found was that one of my struggles as an artist was never as productive as I wanted. I would work and work and work on a piece, but I would never finish it - it would just end up in a folder somewhere on some hard drive. I worked on something for so long and then decided I hated it and didn't want to do anything with it anymore. It was great making new music for each episode.
I guess the last step in developing my style was when enough people started texting me, "Hey, I want to hear the whole track! Where can I get that from?" I would always say, "Oh, I'm glad you like it, thanks, but there's no full title. All you have is what's on the podcast.” In my opinion, they weren't really meant to be heard on their own, they just existed in the context of the podcast. But I changed my mind, or at least I was convinced by the demand. So about ten months ago I started uploading all the songs to SoundCloud as soon as the episodes were released. It was so much fun to do and see. I've never had a 10 month chunk of my life where I've been able to make and share so much music.
On a more personal level: Before, not getting traction with my music was a big source of bad feelings in my life. It's really common — it's a cliché, the frustrated artist — but that's been me for so long. I had no financial reward, but more importantly, I didn't even have an audience of people listening. I was always looking for an audience, hoping to create some kind of dialogue in some way. But you kind of just slog in your lonely apartment and put things out there hoping people will hear, you know? So that's one of the nice things about the internet - it's really made it possible for this whole process to work. Sometimes it's oversold, but our podcast is one of the few examples of the promise of the internet really coming true, where you can be your own editor and don't have to go through a gatekeeper.
If I had been born 20 or 30 years earlier, I could never do the same: record music in my house and put it on the internet. My only hope would have been to get signed to a record label and go down that traditional path (which I used to want to go before realizing it was never going to happen). But now there are other ways to do this. Now I can call myself a professional musician, which is pretty wild.
AS: Let's dive into your process itself - what is your general approach, if any, to bringing something to bear?TrueAnonto live?
YC:As far as I'm concerned, there are four aspects to production.
The first deals with the actual recording. We've been doing pretty much everything remotely for over a year, which adds some complications. The technical aspect can be challenging - especially when you're working with people who aren't very tech savvy and they might need to do some technical stuff on their side. That can be stressful, you know? I can't set up and position a mic in front of someone or adjust their EQ when I'm not there. The good thing is that there are now many technical solutions that meet this need. This might seem a bit trivial, but good audio quality makes a difference. I knew from the start it was important to me to have the best quality we could get. Podcasting has a very low barrier to entry, which is one of the great things about it, but it also means that a lot of people aren't very experienced with audio.
The next aspect is the editing of the podcast. It's not particularly interesting, but it's really important. Ideally, the editing is invisible. You cut silences out of long pauses or when people are talking at once - I'm always so annoyed when I listen to podcasts that don't. When three people talk at the same time, you don't understand anything anymore. I like to clean up everything. It's not really a creative process, but it's important.
Then the next aspect, a little bit...hmm, I don't know what to call them...little audio jokes or gags or stings, right? Just minor editing winks. In my opinion, the joke is that the producer is a kind of character that doesn't get a mic on the show, so he fits in by doing those things. When Brace says something about Liz and I can't answer because I don't have a mic, I throw a buzzer or something. It's my way of being on the podcast. Sometimes it's a musical reference, sometimes a score thing, whatever. Well, that's fun for me.
The last aspect is the funnest part: recording the music. Most of the time the music serves as a transition between sections, but every once in a while there's a particularly powerful speech someone gives and I'll reinforce that by putting some music behind it. I like ambient music so I'm going to use it to enhance the atmosphere we're having at the moment, which is a challenge in itself. It's fun, but you can't say, "Look at me!" about it — it can't draw attention or take focus away from the dialogue, as that's the main event for the podcast. But for most of the music - like the original material for the episodes - it's cool because I have complete freedom.
AS: Yes, tell us more about the music making side of the process. Especially with a podcast that can sometimes dive into heavy topics, is there a certain way you approach your composition thematically?
YC:Well, to go back to that freedom, that's how we've always acted. When we first started, I would text Liz and Brace every idea I had, like, "Do you think that would be funny?" or "Would it be cool if I added that?" They just always said, "Yes, yes, sure." Eventually I didn't have to ask them anymore. We all kind of control our own domains, which is a really good work process.
So I wouldn't say I try to make the music relevant or resonant to the exact subject matter because sometimes I write it before the podcast is even recorded. But I know what the subject is going to be like, so obviously I'm not going to make a light-hearted track if we're talking about something pretty dark or serious (which we often are). In general, I just do what I want. Some of the tenor and tone of things depends on what we're talking about, but beyond that it can be as simple as what's the first thing that comes to mind when I put my hands on the keys. Then my mind will race from there. That probably happens the most. Sometimes I have stretches in a certain style, like anything spaghetti western inspired, or maybe classical sounding contrapuntal stuff. It's always fun.
AS: Part of what makes your story so fascinating is that while you're not a traditional recording artist, you've been able to make a career as a musician largely because of your skills and talents.
YC:I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be in the position I am in. I really, really hit the jackpot with it. So I always try to be aware of that - or at least acknowledge that being a musician is hard. I've spent years trying. I was making records, I was touring, which was incredibly bleak and depressing. Well, there are people who have been doing this for longer, but I've spent my time in the trenches. All of this got me to a point where I had to become musically independent, which comes with some compromises. It is very solidary, sometimes lonely. It's a real joy and delight to make music with other people, but I don't really do that anymore.
I think I always wanted to be in a band, to find the "John" for my "Paul", so to speak. But TrueAnon has been one of the biggest things for me - it's the first time I've been involved in a real collaboration - I trust Liz and Brace to be good at what they do and they trust me. We have faith in each other as I always imagined being in one of those great magical bands like the Beatles where you really are more than the sum of your parts.
Well, I really kind of fell for it, but IWarprepared. I knew from the start that I wanted to make the music, I knew I wanted to have both a sound and an aesthetic as big aspects. And then, to add to the conversation, I think aesthetics are incredibly important to political movements, as a kind of accessory that can amplify impact.
AS: Tell us more about that – especially in that your music can really add value to the podcast, which itself carries political weight, there's quite an element of activism involved. How do you go about it?
YC:Yes, it's like what I said before with the way ambient music can amplify an impactful speech. Aesthetics can't replace politics... that's such a popular notion of fascism. But it is important to have good aesthetics. There's also this cliché that the left has a crappy aesthetic. There are probably some important structural reasons for this – the left doesn't have that much capital, so it's always a kind of DIY, often with volunteer work. It ends up with that unpolished look and sound. It doesn't have to be that way, but then it almost becomes that in order to be authentic on the left, people feel that looking too polished or too good looking is a compromise of their politics. They think it won't reach people and that the unpolished look has some validity. But I don't want to go down that rabbit hole.
I think it's important to have a strong aesthetic because it can resonate with peopleReallyimportant. Throughout history many successful leftist movements, organizations and revolutions have had great art and propaganda that really spoke to people. They had a look, a feel, or a sound that was special, unique. I believe in that and take it very seriously.
And, I mean, it's funny - the idea that music can change the world sounds very odd now when you look back at that failed, naïve notion from the '60s. For example, the hippies thought that if only people had the right culture, we could change the world. History has contradicted that, I think. So I'm under no illusions that my music is changing the world or anything, but I amAgainwant it to serve a purpose. With political aesthetics, it's important to put the right ideas—radical, important ideas—in the right package to really resonate with people. Politics is communication, right? You can be right, but being right doesn't count for much if you don't convince people. So I think art and aesthetics play a really important role.
Yung Chomsky is the producer of the podcastTrueAnon- Listen to the free, public-access episodes of the podcastHEREand check out Yung Chomsky's music and rig rundown below:
The Chomsky Rig Rundown:
Sequential circuits Prophet 6 module
Arturia Keylab 61 Controller
Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK Mixer
Novation Bass Station II [Not illustrated, for repair]
Who does music for TrueAnon? ›
Notes. Music composed by Yung Chomsky for the podcast TrueAnon on Side A. Side B consists of remixes to those songs by friend of the pod John Vanderslice. TrueAnon theme based on theme for "Twin Peaks" by Angelo Badalamenti.Who is the host of TrueAnon? ›
TrueAnon is an American politics podcast hosted by Brace Belden and Liz Franczak. The podcast focuses on left-wing analysis of political issues and events, particularly those concerning deceased financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.What is Yung Chomsky's real name? ›
Avram Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Who picks the music for shows? ›
Music supervisors artfully select and license preexisting songs and recordings for use in movies, television shows, and video games.What happens to those who listen to music? ›
It provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.Who is the all in podcast host? ›
As of 2022, Calacanis is co-host of the All-In Podcast, alongside Chamath Palihapitiya, David O. Sacks, and David Friedberg.Who is the host of the podcast operator? ›
Hosted by Tina Horn (Why Are People Into That?), OPERATOR is an eight-part series about big ambitions, Shakespearean-level corporate backstabbing, men and women at the cutting edge of a technological revolution...and on the front lines of a sexual one.Who is the host of Lore podcast? ›
Aaron Mahnke is the creator, writer, host, and producer of Lore, as well as founder and President of Grim & Mild Entertainment. He has a deep love for anything historical, mysterious, or unusual. Aaron lives with his family on the historic North Shore of Boston.What are Noam Chomsky's political views? ›
Noam Chomsky describes himself as an anarcho-syndicalist and libertarian socialist, and is considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of politics of the United States.What is Chomsky's main theory? ›
Chomsky's theory of language acquisition argues that human brain structures naturally allow for the capacity to learn and use languages. Chomsky believed that rules for language acquisition are innate (inborn) and strengthen naturally as humans grow and develop.
What are some examples of Chomsky's theory? ›
Chomsky and others have also argued that we learn complex languages, with their intricate grammatical rules and limitations, without receiving explicit instruction. For example, children automatically grasp the correct way to arrange dependent sentence structures without being taught.Do TV shows pay for music? ›
Higher profile cable TV shows have a budget as well, while most reality shows will try to get your music for free. The dollar amount that any music placement will demand depends on many factors: the level of the artist, how bad the supervisor wants the song, and the bargaining power of either side.Who pays for the producer in music? ›
Producers can be paid an advance by the label, a flat fee through a work for hire agreement or through master royalty points (aka percentages). Most times, when producers are paid royalties, they don't start receiving them until the recording costs are recouped.What happens when you listen to music too much? ›
TOO LONG? TOO LOUD? Frequent exposure to sound over 70 decibels (dB) can cause hearing problems and hearing loss over time. The louder the sound, the quicker it can cause damage.What do you call a person who listens to music all the time? ›
- 1.3.2 Translations.
- 1.4 References.
One of the first things that happens when music enters our brains is the triggering of pleasure centers that release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. This response is so quick, the brain can even anticipate the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early dopamine rush.Who was the number one podcast? ›
|1 ▶–||Harley Quinn and The Joker: Sound Mind|
|2 ▶–||Joe Rogan The Joe Rogan Experience|
|3 ▶–||Wave Sports + Entertainment New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce|
|4 ▶–||Scicomm Media Huberman Lab|
|5 ▶–||HBO HBO's The Last of Us Podcast|
Cheat! is a weekly podcast hosted by award-winning journalist and comedian Alzo Slade that dives into the epic stories behind the biggest cheats and scandals out there, looking for answers about who they are and why they skirt the rules.Do podcast hosts get paid? ›
To be frank, most make $0. In fact, many podcasts have negative cash flow because they spend money buying equipment and paying hosting fees before they earn a single dollar. Creative work like podcasting doesn't make any money until people choose to watch you.Do podcast hosts make money? ›
With it comes more monetization opportunities for online creators. Although it requires hard work and dedication, it's definitely possible to start a podcast and make money from it. With the right strategies and dedication, you can even turn your podcasting hobby into a lucrative source of income.
How much do podcast hosts make? ›
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $156,000 and as low as $17,000, the majority of Podcast Host salaries currently range between $35,000 (25th percentile) to $130,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $156,000 annually across the United States.How many listeners does Lore podcast have? ›
|Provider||Grim & Mild Entertainment|
SPONSORS. BetterHelp: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at BetterHelp.com/LORE, and get on your way to being your best self. Squarespace: Build your own powerful, professional website, with free hosting, zero patches or upgrades, and 24/7 award-winning customer support.Is Lore podcast still going? ›
New episodes are released every other Monday.What did Chomsky argue? ›
Beginning in the 1950s, Chomsky contended that all humans possess an innate capacity for language, activated in infancy by minimal environmental stimuli. He has elaborated and revised his theory of language acquisition ever since. Chomsky's ideas have profoundly affected linguistics and mind-science in general.What did Noam Chomsky emphasize? ›
Chomsky's emphasis on linguistic competence greatly stimulated the development of the related disciplines of psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. Other related fields are anthropological linguistics, computational linguistics, mathematical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and the philosophy of language.What is Noam Chomsky's view of language development quizlet? ›
Noam Chomsky (1965) theorized that humans are equipped with a language acquisition device - a structure in the brain that made possible the learning of language. His theory holds that language is inherent in the child at birth and needs only to be triggered by social contact with speakers in order to emerge.Why is Chomsky's theory important? ›
He proposed a system of principles and parameters that suggested a child's innate understanding of syntax and semantics. Although controversial among linguists, Chomsky's theorization revolutionized and reoriented academic approaches to language.What are the three theories of Chomsky? ›
Chomsky's theories of grammar and language are often referred to as “generative,” “transformational,” or “transformational-generative.” In a mathematical sense, “generative” simply means “formally explicit.” In the case of language, however, the meaning of the term typically also includes the notion of “productivity”— ...What are the 4 types of Chomsky's hierarchy? ›
- Type 0 − It is an Unrestricted grammars.
- Example − Turing Machine (TM)
- Type 1 − Context-sensitive grammars.
- Example − Linear Bounded Automaton (LBA)
- Type 3 − Context-free grammars −
- Example − Pushdown Automaton (PDA)
- Type 3 − Regular grammars.
- Example − Finite Automaton (FA)
Where can I send my music to get heard? ›
- Indie Shuffle. SUBMIT TO INDIE MUSIC BLOGS FOR FREE.
- Indie 88.
- A&R Factory.
- Xune Mag.
- Audio Drums.
- 13 Places Where You Can Submit Your Music.
- Blogs. ...
- Hype Machine Blogs. ...
- Spotify Playlist Submission Forms. ...
- Playlist Curators. ...
- Labels. ...
- A&R. ...
- Amazon – Yup, the ubiquitous Amazon is a great place to buy your music. ...
- iTunes store – Of course Apple started all of this, and just like Amazon, its mainstream download store is still a “player”, offering the same wide selection and competitive prices.
- Start with a demo. Make sure you've got a demo – guitar and vocal is okay — or even a decent home recording. ...
- Approach up-and-coming artists. ...
- Get out on your local scene. ...
- Contact artists online.
- Be an amazing singer or instrumentalist.
- Put yourself out there.
- Create a press pack (EPK)
- Play anywhere.
- Convey maturity.
- Practice well.
- Get yourself motivated.
- Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Streaming curators work in-house for streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. It's their job to create popular playlists that music fans will listen to on a frequent basis; encouraging subscriptions to the service. After all, some say playlists are the new radio!How can I get my music heard independently? ›
- Sign up to artists services. ...
- Build a website & mailing list. ...
- Develop an engaging social presence. ...
- Get playlisted. ...
- Get press & blog coverage. ...
- Music videos. ...
- Surround yourself with a strong team. ...
- Know your audience & focus on your niche.
While in a public setting, a DJ license is always required (as long as someone else's copyrighted music is performed), if a performance is intended for a private audience, no permission is necessary.How do DJs afford their music? ›
Some DJs buy songs from popular sites or get songs sent to them in subscriptions. Some DJs also make their own music on music production software which they perform live. They're also labels that send DJs tracks way before its released.Can a DJ play music legally? ›
A public performance license grants DJs specific permission to play an artists' song (or use their beats) in public. In fact, it's not just DJs who need this license—a retail store would also need permission to play a song. A public performance license also guarantees that the artists you're playing receive royalties.
How do songwriters get paid? ›
Often, songwriters partner with music publishers to help get paid for the use of their songs. Music publishers can license a songwriter's works, register the songwriter's songs with performance and mechanical rights organizations, monitor use of the works, and collect and distribute royalties.How much does it cost to get someone to make you a song? ›
The average music studio charges around $50 per hour. A top-of-the-line music studio charges around $250 per hour. Because composing a song can take between 1 hour and 24 hours, making a song in a studio can range between $50 and $6,000. Unfortunately, the nature of songwriting means that cost is hard to predict.How much do songwriters charge per song? ›
With mechanical royalties, the fee paid per song is currently 9.1 cents. This is often split between Co-Writers and Publishers. Performance royalties have no standard rate. The rate is negotiated between the Songwriter and their Performing Rights Organization.