Monday, August 31, 2009

"How about you try polka dots."

Philip Glass/Robert Wilson - Einstein on the Beach (listen) Last night I interviewed Dickie Landry, a founding member of the Philip Glass Ensemble who, among many other things, was the guy that told Philip Glass, "you know, you should be writing operas and stuff like that." It was one of those rare interviews that you go into thinking this will work for the article and turns dazzlingly revelatory quickly. The story will be out in October's Country Roads. Man, I wish all interviews were this fun to do.

Nellie McKay - Obilgatory Villagers (listen) I am finishing up Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records for a review, and the illuminating chapter on Magnetic Fields reminded me of the power of smart music. Why I needed reminding of this says more about me perhaps, but also, I was left not wanting to listen to Magnetic Fields, even though I agree with Mindy Kaling's tweet of this weekend "every Magnetic Fields song is my favorite song, especially the funny mournful ones." Fortunately, McSweeney's laid this recommendation in my RSS feeder this morning in those pleasing typefaces they use:

Nellie McKay

She's smarter than us. And more creative. And her songs are crazy

Celebrity tweets, McSweeney's, meta-indie rock, culture-vulture shop talk. I wallow in my horribleness like a chuckling pig in fresh mud. And McSweeneys is dead on; this stuff is goofy genius. She utilizes some sort of temple bell throughout this that is identical to the "incoming text message" bell on the iPhone, which if on purpose, is a brilliant move, sending wretched souls like myself diving for our precious phones en masse when it tings. I bet it would be hilarious to witness this in a chi-chi coffeeshop.

Superchunk - Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama) (listen) The Merge book made me feel a little guilty that I never really got into Superchunk in that earnest but passive-aggressive indie rock kinda way, so OK, I'm trying.

Plus, Kusama is groovy as hell, and I'm sure if I asked the guy I interviewed last night, he probably worked with her too somewhere along the line and suggested to her over tequila one night, "How about you try polka dots."

Edited to add: Here is a whole lot of info on Kusama from Artsy.

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