The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo

By Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, and Maximum Fun

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The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo is the newest artistic collaboration from legendary singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Every other week, Aimee and Ted talk to friends across the creative spectrum to find out how they work. And sure, they're friends with a lot of musicians, but weirdly not as many as you'd expect. So you'll hear from comedians, directors, novelists, show creators - ok, yes, some musicians - writers, producers and more, as they discuss the process of turning an idea into art.

Episode Date
Ep. 8 - Eric White "Usually it's the Opposite and it's Terrible"

Ep. 8 - Eric White "Usually it's the Opposite and it's Terrible"

Another harsh corporate takedown by your hosts in the intro!

Extreme temperatures misremebered!

And artist Eric White! 

We talk about music's influence on his painting, sleep deprivation, the bolt of lightning, and the value of having an outside eye to help edit.  Links to Eric's work, and a couple of other artists that are mentioned, below.



Eric White on the web.

Eric on working with Tyler the Creator for his recent album cover.

Gallery shows at Grimm galleries in NYC this past fall, now up in Brussels and Amsterdam.

LP cover series.

Peter Blake "On the Balcony."

Gee Vaucher's Crass art.

The Art of Process on Twitter: @artofprocesspod 


This episode is sponsored in part by Care/of, a monthly subscription vitamin service. for 50% off your first month, go to and enter the code PROCESS50 at check out!

Apr 08, 2019
Ep. 7 - Money Mark Nishita "I Gotta Find my Own Ice Cream"


In this episode, we sat down with "Money Mark," Mark Nishita, musician, inventor, producer, etc.  We touch on everything from being a middle child, to the Chinese Exclusion Act, piano rolls, and the macho/privileged side of crate digging for break beats with the Beastie Boys.  A couple of things that don't necessarily NEED explaining, but that I will anyway, are that:

1. Mark references a panel that he and I were on at South by Southwest in 2018. It was broadly about surviving and adapting as an artist in the changing business/media/technological environment, and I found his contributions to the discussion to be smart, inspiring, and challenging. I think I immediately texted Aimee and suggested we interview him for the podcast.

2. In our introduction, I started down a path of bringing up a song about music that I actually LIKE, before we got sidetracked down Main St. into Seegerville.  The song I was going to bring up is "Geno," by Dexy's Midnight Runners.  This was doubly relevant in that it has recently been a hot topic of conversation among a number friends and other podcast hosts that Aimee feels that, in her life, she has heard "Come on Eileen" enough times to warrant not really wanting to ever hear it again.  This news came out on an episode of Judge John Hodgman the same week that I was performing in a Dexy's Midnight Runners tribute band at the Bell House in Brooklyn, and I very much enjoyed singing "Come on Eileen."

Links to all of that AND MORE (except the Seeger songs, because... come on):


Money Mark dot com

Money Mark "Radiate Nothing" (iTunes link)

Earthquaker Devices video with Mark in his studio (where we also recorded this interview) with his inventions, including piano roll manipulation

Dexy's Midnight Runners "Geno," on Top of the Pops

Become a member of Maiximum Fun

Mar 25, 2019
Ep. 6 - Rhea Butcher “A Weird Flesh Skeleton (and the Maximum Fun Pledge Drive)”

Ep. 6 - Rhea Butcher “A Weird Flesh Skeleton (and the Maximum Fun Pledge Drive)”


VERY happy to bring you A SPECIAL BONUS EPISODE in what would’ve otherwise been a dark week for us (in the sense that we wouldn’t normally be delivering a podcast because we’re on a bi-weekly schedule, because, I mean… it’s always pretty dark these days… and weeks) with our friend, comedian Rhea Butcher!

If you like our dumb intro conversations, then, my friends, you are in for a treat, because this may be our dumbest ever.  It’s mainly about Saltines vs. Rice Crackers.

No ads this episode, but we do take a few breaks to talk about the MaxFun annual pledge drive, which kicks off today, Monday, March 18, 2019.  The entire network is largely listener supported, so thusly, we rely on your support.  You can make a one-time donation or become a member with a recurring monthly contribution.  These range from five dollars a month all the way up to two hundred dollars a month, and there are, as you’d imagine, some great gifts for all the various pledge levels.  At the basic level, you get access to over a hundred hours of bonus content from ALL of the shows on the MaxFun network, and what we’re offering is a “new” Both song.  For the rare bird out there who somehow came to this show through podcasts and not our music careers, Aimee and I perform both under our own names, and together as The Both.  If you caught any of our shows toward the tail end of the touring cycle on our last Both album, you may have seen us play this live, as we were working it up then, but this is the first time a recorded version will see the light of day.  We hope you’ll become a member, in our name, and we hope you’ll enjoy.  Links to all the MaxFun stuff below.

RHEA is currently on tour all over the damned place, and the tour comes near you, I can’t recommend going to one of the shows strongly enough.  Hell, if you’ve got the means and the time, MAKE A TRIP TO SOMEWHERE ELSE to see her.


Rhea Butcher on tour! 

Maximum Fun membership sign-up page!

Take My Wife lost its original platform when NBC’s streaming comedy service SeeSo stopped doing original programming, but it’s run is once again available for streaming at pretty much all the services!

Thank you for listening; thank you for supporting us; thank you for supporting each other.

Mar 18, 2019
Ep. 5 - Andy Kindler "And There's One Guy Still Upset With You in Stuttgart"

Ep. 5- Andy Kindler "And There's One Guy Still Upset With You in Stuttgart"

Late again!  But this is how it goes.  I had an iLok/ProTools freak-out that wasn't my fault, and I lost the file with Aimee's intro and outro, and had to have her dig through her computer, find some wifi on the road, and re-send it to me (then me re-edit it), all of which WAS my fault.

This week we start out somehow getting into a discussion of parody songs for pets (specifically cats, dogs, fish, and iguanas); AND THEN we get to the main event: comedian Andy Kindler!

We recorded this right after we'd completed two nights of holiday shows at Largo in LA, for which Andy portrayed our Jacob Marley/Ghost of Hanukkah Present, and did the narration on our version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," which is what he's referring to when, about halfway through the interview, he sings out, "WITH ARSENIC SAAAAUUUUUCE!"

This interview winds up being partially about Andy's coming to terms with his OCD and Anxiety disorders, how they affected his initial attempts at carving a life out in music before he landed in comedy, and how therapy has helped him greatly in recent years.  No one involved with this is a doctor or psychologist, and the best that I can offer in terms of resources for OCD and Anxiety, is just a starting place: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America .  I can, however, put a good word in for therapy.  If you're experiencing anything we discuss in this episode, and you can find a therapist you like and can afford, give it a try.  Purely as a personal testimonial, it's been invaluable for me.  And speaking of what we discuss during this podcast, if you're not a complete stranger to Aimee and me, then you can probably guess that we get into a little bit of our own stuff and how it relates to Andy's as well, but what comes up again and again, at least as an adjacent "issue," and yet we somehow never managed to name directly, is IMPOSTOR SYNDROME.  I'm no stranger to that, myself.  I don't have any web resources for it, but in my experience, and as Andy says regarding his anxiety, it's helpful to be able to notice and name these feelings when they begin to crop up.  There ARE strategies for diverting the freight train barreling down on you to a safer track, so you can get down to doing the work you need to do, and I think we'll plan to dig into that more in future episodes.

For now, here is the book that Andy recommends, Ellen Forney, "Marbles" .

Here's Andy's podcast with J Elvis Weinsetin, Thought Spiral (that's a Google link that comes up with a bunch of options for "wherever you get your podcasts").

Here's one of those episodes of Dr. Katz that Andy was on.

Apparently the jury is still out as to whether the voice box rattles your teeth out of your jaw or not.

Oh!  And I NEGLECTED to follow up on if it was a horse that hurt Andy's tooth, but if it was, it was probably the titular one from the film he's working on, titled The Fiddling Horse .

That one guy ins Stuttgart? Let it go.



Mar 12, 2019
Ep. 4 - Rachel Lichtman "You're gonna make it after all"

Sorry for the delay this Monday, but we're happy to present to you, this conversation with our friend, Rachel Lichtman; among other things, the co-creator of the "Something Cool" podcast; director of music videos for Juliana Hatfield, Creamer, and yours truly (me); director of "The Guys Who Wrote 'Em," a documentary about songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who wound up writing the Monkees' most iconic songs. And I want to make a plea here - this doc is hard to find, but if anyone knows anyone at PBS, it belongs on something like Independent Lens, or as its own episode of American Experience - I'm serious about this.  It's all built around archival footage, not Graham Nash sitting in front of a mixing board, and it's incredible and important. MOST RECENTLY THOUGH, Rachel's been devoting every bit of her time and energy into building an entire feminist retro-futurist world under the umbrella of "Network 77".  We talk at length about the "Dottie Carroll" mini-doc, found within the first episode of Network 77, available at the website, and we briefly touch on the "Annex Bank" commercial, which is in that episode, but also clipped for Youtube, and linked below.

In this podcast, first, Aimee and I tackle the thorny question of what separates supper from dinner, set up the fact that we have some *sponsors,* finally, and then get into it with Rachel.  We hope you'll enjoy and check out ALL of the links below.


Green Chef - a USDA certified organic company that sends you everything you need to easily cook delicious meals that you can feel good about.  Enjoy clean ingredients you can trust, seasonally sourced for peak freshness. Get $50 off your first box of Green Chef at

Care/Of - a monthly subscription vitamin service that delivers completely personalized vitamin and supplement packs right to your door.  Make health and wellness as top priority with the help of Care/Of's monthly subscription vitamin service, and get 50% off your first month by going to and entering the code "process50" at checkout.


Network 77

"Annex Bank"

Juliana Hatfield "Lost Ship"

Creamer "Drugs no More"

Something Cool podcast








@rachelichtman on Twitter and @rachellichtman on Instagram

Feb 25, 2019
Ep. 3 - Dan Wilson "In the Belly of the Rock"
On this episode of The Art of Process, we talk to one of our favorite songwriters, Dan Wilson. From his start in the Twin Cities indie scene of the early 80s to his rise as a noted "song-whisperer," working with artists ranging from Adele, to the Dixie Chicks, to Pink, and many others among and between, he's displayed an integrity and a commitment to artistry that shows through in all of his work. Join us as we discuss everything from meeting in the slow bake of a hot tent with yogurt on the side (it's every bit as gross as it sounds), to the melancholy loneliness of solo songwriting versus collaboration, experiments in ALL CHORUS songs, and the rise of streaming services like Spotify, and how they've become something of a new tail wagging the old dog of songwriting in ways both frustrating and potentially fun. Special thanks to Laura Swisher at for being our "podcast-whisperer" and continuing to help us through the *process* of getting this off the ground and establishing some sort of flow. New episodes every-other Monday, and as always, please subscribe, download, like, etc., wherever you get your podcasts. Finally have it together enough to add some relevant links below, should you choose to dig further...
Semisonic's "Closing Time" official video: 
AMAZING 1986 cbale access Trip Shakespeare appearance: 
Bunratty's is still there, now called Wonder Bar, but I don't really understand what's going on with this website: 
A really interesting deep dive if you want to take a left-turn into Spotify and genre creation, by Liz Pelly (@lizpelly), who's been doing a lot of great thinking and writing on this: 

Feb 11, 2019
Ep. 2 - Rebecca Sugar

The multi-talented Rebecca Sugar is the creator and showrunner of the wildly imaginative Steven Universe on Cartoon Network. Ted, Aimee, and Rebecca discuss how the show is able to appeal to both children and adults, how to tackle a blank page, and how early love of some art (and rejection of others) influenced their careers. Oh, and also, what art is for, what it means and what its purpose is.

Jan 28, 2019
Ep. 1 - Wyatt Cenac

For their first episode, Aimee and Ted are joined by Emmy-award winning writer / actor / comedian Wyatt Cenac. The trio cover a lot of ground, including: defying commercial expectations in your creative work, the nature of live performance, and the inspiration for Wyatt's show Problem Areas, which is coming back for a second season on HBO later this year

Jan 28, 2019
Coming soon to Maximum Fun: The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo

Subscribe now to hear intimate conversations about craft and the creative process, featuring Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, and artists from a variety of fields - comedians, directors, novelists, show creators, writers, producers, musicians and more. New episodes every other Monday, starting January 28!

Jan 21, 2019