Twenty Top 5s with Hal McDonough


HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today's Twenty Top 5s participant is Hal McDonough. They are the lead singer, ukulelist, and songwriter for Pittsburgh's own Baseball Dad. Baseball Dad released their first full-band EP, January, in January of this year. All three songs are beautiful, country-tinged, twee-pop jams, characterized by lo-fi instrumentation that allows the lush vocal harmonies to take center stage. Hal released another EP on their own at the beginning of this month entitled Quarantine Diary, providing more intimate, somber songs for these intimate, somber times.


Hal has one of the best voices in Pittsburgh music right now. Last year, they fronted perhaps the best Halloween cover set I've seen since I started playing shows when Baseball Dad performed as the Dixie Chicks. In addition to writing phenomenal original music, Hal was a pre-quarantine karaoke regular at Sonny's, performing memorable renditions of everything from Fleetwood Mac to No Doubt. Without further ado, I give you Hal's Twenty Top 5s.

recording artists when you were in high school

One Direction (lol)

The 1975

Foster The People

Grimes

HAIM


Instrument influences
(I don’t rlly consider uke my instrument, I consider voice to be my main instrument)

Kate Bush

Stevie Nicks

Linda Rondstadt

Debbie Harry

Mitski


Songwriting influences 

Joni Mitchell

Michelle Branch

Florist

Frankie Cosmos

Sheryl Crow


Karaoke songs

Just a Girl - No Doubt

I’m Like a Bird - Nelly Furtado

Stay - Lisa Loeb

Wide Open Spaces - Dixie Chicks

Silver Springs - Fleetwood Mac


Junk foods

Oatmeal Creme Pies

Crunchy Cheetos

Double Stuf Oreos

Mango Sorbet

Ruffled Chips + French Onion Dip


Places to eat in Pittsburgh

B-52

Thai Gourmet

China House

Spak Brothers

Onion Maiden


Movies

Girl, Interrupted

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Empire Records

Chicago

Disney’s Tarzan (thanks Phil Collins)


Role models

Kathleen Hanna

Frank ‘SJP’ Proctor

Sofia Sparks

Sam Treber

Tim Glorioso


Baseball dad songs 

January

Roots

Ivy

Saltwater

Just Saying


Pittsburgh bands 

Short Fictions

String Machine

Merce Lemon

Tap Shorts

Shin Guard

Scratchy Blanket

Vireo

Drauve

Afternoon Tea
(lol too many faves, sorry)


Productive ways to pass time during corona

writing songs

baking for my loved ones

writing letters

stitching patches

cleaning


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

online shopping

rewatching Community for the 3rd time

contemplating shaving my head

smoking copious amounts of w**d

cryin :/


Songs right now 

Colder & Closer - TOPS

Hardest to Love - The Weeknd

Out of It - Drauve

Heavy Lifting - Palm

Circle the Drain - Soccer Mommy


80s pop jams

Automatic - The Pointer Sisters

Catch Me (I’m Falling) - Pretty Poison

I Wonder if I Take You Home - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

Eternal Flame - The Bangles

Invisible Touch - Genesis


Dixie chicks songs

There’s Your Trouble

Wide Open Spaces

You Were Mine

Landslide

Goodbye Earl


Albums that changed your life 

Blue - Joni Mitchell

The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch

Visions - Grimes

Songs About Jane - Maroon 5 (don’t make fun of me it’s actually really good)

If Blue Could Be Happiness - Florist


Pizza toppings

Mushroom

Green Pepper

Pepperoni

Banana Pepper

Jalapeno


Cities you’ve visited 

Pittsburgh, PA :) (visited in 2016 for the first time and then moved here in 2017!)

Seoul, South Korea

Chicago, IL

Savannah, GA

Charlston, SC


Condiments

Cholula Hot Sauce

Hot Mustard

Honey Mustard

Sriracha

Dijon Mustard


Fictional characters

Steven from Steven Universe

Hal from Malcom in the Middle

Mabel from Gravity Falls

Elaine from Seinfeld

Maria from The Sound of Music




Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)
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Twenty Top 5s with Jon Dowling


HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today's Twenty Top 5s participant is Pittsburgh's own Jon Dowling. Jon plays guitar and sings in Dumplings. He also plays drums in the legendary Weird Paul Rock Band with Weird Paul Petroskey himself. Dumplings has been one of my favorite Pittsburgh bands for a long time. Their new EP 3 came out last month, and it covers everything from dark new wave to alcohol-soaked Springsteen ballads in 15 minutes. If there's one thing to be taken away from both of Jon's bands, it's that it is important to have fun when playing music.



Jon and I have been playing shows together for years at this point. Dumplings is made up of him, his wife Pam, and his brother Jay, and they have all been an important part of my personal journey in the Pittsburgh DIY scene. I've also witnessed him sing some mean karaoke over the past few years, so I was excited to see him try and narrow his karaoke songs down to his five favorites. Also, shouts out to Thai Gourmet. Anyways, I hope you enjoy Jon's Twenty Top 5s!


recording artists when you were in high school

1. Gary Numan

2. Sonic Youth

3. Bauhaus

4. Kraftwerk

5. Iggy Pop


Songwriting influences

1. Everyday conversations

2. Advertisements

3. Billy Joel

4. Lou Reed

5. Pop music from all generations


Instrument influences

Drums: Neil Smith

Bass: Tina Weymouth

Guitar: Johnny Thunders

Vocals: Pauline Black

Keys: Frankie Ford



Karaoke songs

1. Glory Days -boss

2. Lido Shuffle- Boz Scaggs

3. Father Figure- George Michael

4. Young Americans - Bowie

5. Sexx Laws - Beck



Junk foods

1. Pizza

2. Mac & cheese

3. Combos

4. Skittles

5. Coffee ice cream


Places to eat in Pittsburgh

1. Thai Gourmet

2. Mac & Gold

3. Pizza Perfecta

4. Cafe Mona

5. D’s Dogs


Movies

1. Clue

2. To Wong Fu, thanks for everything. Julie Newmar

3. The muppet movie

4. Taxi Driver

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show



Role models

1. Alice Cooper

2. Laurie Anderson

3. Prince

4. Mom & Dad

5. Andy Warhol



Dumplings songs

1. Big big bad

2. Momma Meat

3. Nasty Didn’t wanna be Nasty

4. Alone 4 Evva

5. Overtime


Weird Paul songs

1. Lining the numbers up

2. Beachball

3. Strangers on a train

4. Old mans goat

5. The Devil’s in love


Productive ways to pass time during corona

1. Mixing 4 track tapes 1994-2019

2. Releasing the new Dumplings EP

3. Spending lots of time with Pam

4. Making a space in the basement to work on art

5. Watching movies we’ve put off seeing


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

1. Smoking too much

2. Drinking too much

3. Sleeping too much

4. Worrying

5. Anxiety


Songs right now

1. What is life - George Harrison

2. I’m Ready - Fats Domino

3. Dance (disco heat) - Sylvester

4. Lights Out - Peter Wolf

5. Curtain Call - the Damned


80s pop jams

1. Crazy for you- Madonna

2. Sleeping bag - ZZ Top

3. Head over heels - the Go Go’s

4. We don’t have to take our clothes off - Jermaine Stewart

5. Lover Come Back To Me - dead or alive



Venues you’ve played 

1. Geibal catholic high school (post-prom 99)

2. Dreamland puppet theater, Ypsilanti MI

3. Experience music project, Seattle Wa

4. Paint & Body, wilkinsburg

5. Millvale Industrial theatre, millvale


Albums that changed your life 

1. Velvet Underground & Nico

2. The Frogs - it’s only right & natural

3. Suicide - first album

4. Royal Trux - Accelerator

5. Changes Bowie


Pizza toppings

1. Mushrooms

2. Green peppers

3. Spinach

4. Feta

5. Fake meat


Cities you’ve visited 

1. Chicago

2. Detroit

3. Nashville

4. Boston

5. Memphis


Condiments

1. Mustard

2. Hot sauce

3. Mayo

4. Sriracha

5. Pickle



Fictional characters 

1. Bowser (Sha Na Na)

2. Garfield

3. Linus

4. Holden Caulfield

5. Mary Poppins



Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)
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Twenty Top 5s with Jordyn Blakely


HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today’s Twenty Top 5 participant is Jordyn Blakely. Jordyn plays and has played in some of my absolute favorite bands. The Brooklyn-based musician is a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer always involved in multiple projects. She currently plays in Maneka, Stove, and Kino Kimino, and formerly drummed in Jackal Onassis and Sharkmuffin, among others. In addition, Jordyn is currently working on a solo EP.



Jordyn has influenced my own drumming and songwriting tremendously, so this is an exciting one for me. If you haven't listened to Stove or Maneka, please check them out. It was a pleasure to have her participate!


recording artists when you were in high school

Rancid

Interpol

Thursday

The Libertines

Blink 182


Songwriting influences

Elliott Smith

Chelsea Wolfe

Kurt Cobain

Elizabeth Fraser

Lou Barlow


Instrument influences

Carla Azar

Mitch Mitchell

John Bonham

Greg Saunier

Dave King


Karaoke songs

Tearing up my heart (Nsync)

waiting for tonight (JLo)

Complicated (Avril Lavigne)

every morning (sugar ray)

baby one more time (Britney spears)


Junk foods

Sour cream & onion utz ridged chips

cracked pepper kettle chips

Tostitos tortilla chips

Cheezits

Doritos (OG)


Places to eat in New York 

Veselka

Kenka ramen

peter pan deli

oasis

Cachapas y mas


Movies

Hook

SLC Punk

Cabin in the Woods

Mulholland Drive

Mallrats


Role models

Mike Judge

Bernie Sanders

Pipilotti Rist

Bong Joon Ho

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Maneka songs

Positive

Never nowhere

Brand new day

My boy Seth

Holy hell


Stove songs

Dumb phone

Stiff bones

Bubblegum lightning

They are dogs

Tiny gaze


Productive ways to pass time during corona

Drinking coffee in the backyard in the sun with our cat Piper

Learning to have more fun being alone

Long conversations with friends and family

Unlimited time playing any instrument you feel like

Watching super random TV and movies you normally would never be bored enough to watch


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

Losing to the same level in Yoshis story on N64

Looking at my phone too much

sleeping from 5am-2pm

Sipping and refilling the same glass of wine all day

Reading the news too much and freaking out


Songs right now 

"Knock" shell of a shell

"gimme gimme" nnamdi

"nice try" youbet

"I'm your puppet" Dionne Warwick

"the hermit crab" lilys


80s pop jams

"Cruel summer" bananarama

"eyes without a face" billy idol

"like a prayer" Madonna

"when doves cry" prince

"drive" the cars


Venues you’ve played 

Shea Stadium

the Mohawk

Everybody Hits

Café de l'Espace

Carnegie Hall


Albums that changed your life 

Drive Like Jehu "Yank Crime"

Green Day "Dookie"

Portishead "Dummy"

Beck "Odelay"

Weezer "Blue Album"


Pizza toppings

Pepperoni/black olives

pepperoni/mushrooms

pepperoni

cheese

spinach


Cities you’ve visited

Chattanooga

St. Louis

Cardiff

Kathmandu

Ashland


Condiments

Ketchup

bbq sauce

soy sauce

chipotle mayo

valentina hot sauce


Fictional characters 

Hagrid from Harry Potter

Jesse Pinkman

Pinhead

Lisa Simpson

Quinn Morgendorffer





Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)
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Twenty Top 5s with Nao Demand


HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today’s Twenty Top 5s participant is Nao Demand. Nao plays guitar in Philly’s craziest metal band, Zorn, fronts his own punk band Alien Birth, and plays in various other projects in Philadelphia. Nao is one of the most talented, versatile musicians I’ve ever met. He’s an excellent guitarist, drummer, and vocalist, capable of thriving in multiple different genres.



Nao and I have been friends since high school, and he’s been a tremendous influence on my songwriting and playing since then. It’s funny to see the same dude who introduced me to Modest Mouse and Interpol become a shredder in a thrashy, leather-clad metal band. Welcome to Nao’s weird brain!


Bands/musicians when you were in high school

The Locust

Jay Reatard

Interpol

Modest Mouse

Lightning Bolt


Songwriting influences

Replacements

Dead Kennedys

Ramones

Metallica

Jay Reatard


Instrument influences

Bandmates

Gary Holt

Randy Rhoads

Metallica

Brian Chippendale


Karaoke songs

Love My Way- Psychedelic Furs

Anything by All American Rejects

The Waiting- Tom Petty

Shake It- Metro Station

Welcome to the Jungle- GNR


Junk foods

Takis

Salt & Vinegar Chips

Oranges

Tortilla Chips

Cheese


Places to eat in your city 

Nan Zhou Noodle House

Ocean Harbor

Ken’s Seafood

University City Mini Mart

Saad’s


Movies

Judge Dredd

Opera

Robocop

Mad Max Thunderdome

How High


Role models

People without jobs

West Philly carrot cake guy

People who sell junk at flea markets

My mom

My grandma


Zorn songs

Yellow Sign

Old Belial

Right Out Of Reach

Fall To Pray

Intergalactic Queen


Musical artists in your city 

Positronix

Soul Glo

Devil Master

Freaks

TVO


Productive ways to pass time during corona

Play Guitar

Play Guitar

Play Guitar

Play Guitar

Play Guitar


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

Get drunk

Eat too much

Fuck up your sleep schedule

Too much computer

Too much phone


Songs right now 

Arise- Sepultura

Extreme Aggression- Kreator

Frou Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires- Cocteau Twins

Only Tomorrow- MBV

Victims of a Bomb Raid- Anti-Cimex


80s pop jams

Yello- I Love You

Love My Way- Psychedelic Furs

Gates of Steel- DEVO

Suki Suki Daisuki- Jun Togawa

Just Like Heaven- The Cure


Venues you’ve played 

Cousin Danny’s

FU Church

Everybody Hits

Every shitty house

Now That’s Class


Albums that changed your life 

Rocket to Russia- Ramones

Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables- Dead Kennedys

Blood Visions- Jay Reatard

New Erections- The Locust

Black Sabbath- S/T


Pizza toppings

Peperoni

Mushrooms

Hot Sauce

Onions

Olives


Cities you’ve visited

Kyoto

Chicago

Minneapolis

Richmond

Cleveland


Condiments

Hot Sauce

Ranch

Mustard

Mayo

Hot Sauce


Fictional characters 

Aragorn

Kurt Russell

Robocop

Master Blaster

All Pokemon



Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)
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Twenty Top 5s with Erin Silva


HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today’s Twenty Top 5s participant is Erin Silva. Erin is the lead singer/guitarist/primary songwriter of Wilmington, DE grungey punk band Eyebawl. Eyebawl has released two phenomenal EPs (2018’s Gutterbawl and 2019’s Never Again), and Erin’s gnarled vocals and guitar are the driving force behind both of them. The anthems on both EPs are throwbacks to the 90s, evoking memories of when Nirvana ruled the scene.



Having played a few shows with Eyebawl, I can tell you they’re just as cool as they sound on the recordings. Crack a Miller Lite, and enjoy Erin's Twenty Top 5s.


Songwriting influences

Modest mouse

Elliot Smith

Nirvana

Cat power

Jessica lea mayfield


Instrument influences

Robert smith - guitar

Isaac Brock - guitar

Elliot smith - guitar

Cat power - guitar/piano

Beach house - piano


Modest Mouse songs

Trailer Trash

Dramamine

Talkin Shit About a Pretty Sunset

Birds Vs Worms

Convenient Parking


Karaoke songs
 
These boots are made for walkin

Son of a preacher man

Len - steal my sunshine

Any scorpions song

Any Nirvana song


Junk foods

Cheese it’s

Deli sliced white American

Does yoo-hoo count ?

Ferreira Roché

Gummy bears


Places to eat in your city

Oyster house

South East Kitchen

Capriottis

Dead presidents

Roccos pizza


Movies

Seven

Rushmore

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid

Cool hand Luke

Harold and Maude


Role models

Chan Marshal (cat power)

My Opa and Oma

Daria

Kate McKinnon

Wes Anderson


Eyebawl songs

No time

Bad Boy Phase

Never Again

I Do

I Don’t Wash My Hands


Musical artists in your city

Grace Vonderkuhn

Fiancé

Ring Finger

Dolphin Hotel

Hoochi Coochi


Productive ways to pass time during corona

Learning covers

Drawing Designs for merch

Reading

Cooking New recipes

Organizing


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

lots of drinking

Stick n poke tattoos

Playing crash bandicoot

Staring at my phone

Sleeping


Songs right now

Come as You Are - Nirvana

I Hate the Flowers - Nothing

Horse Head - DIIV

The Stroke - Billy Squire

Low Season - Higher Power


80s pop jams

What is love - Haddaway

Blue Monday - New Order

Be my Lover - La Bouche

Like a prayer - Madonna

Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears


Venues you’ve played

Anywhere in Pittsburgh!

House Shows in Philly

ORTLIEBS Philly

Old house shows in Newark

The Queen in Wilmington



Albums that changed your life

This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about - modest mouse

Disintegration - the cure

Turn on the bright lights - Interpol

Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division

Toxicity- System of a Down


Pizza toppings

bacon

Spinach

Bacon

Spinach

Bacon


Cities you’ve visited

Chicago

Portland Oregon

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Richmond Va


Condiments

Mayo

mayo

Mayo

Mayo

Cholula hot sauce


Fictional characters

tazmanian devil

Zoidberg

Carl from Sling Blade

All the sailor moon characters

Meat wad (do these count? Lol)



Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)
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