"It's quite possible that if you're not interested in creating cathartic moments for the audience, both you and your audience are fucked, to which I say, 'Oh well.' No one appreciates a professional anymore. Everyone's a mystic."
Pitchfork interviews Dan Bejar.
"He [Mike Skinner] has written about his dad's death on the new album. Skinner spent months trying to get right what he wanted to say about it. 'Months. On one three-minute song. It was very, very, very constipated, very difficult to write because of what I'm talking about.' The song that eventually emerged, Never Went To Church, has been the most highly praised of the album, particularly the last line, which Skinner addresses to his father, 'You left me behind to remind me of you.' He wanted to make it good, he says, because 'I wasn't going to say it again. And I already feel a bit like... it's a bit cheesy.'"
Mike Skinner talks shop with the Guardian (via) and reinforces the point I was trying to make last week. I fuckin' love this geezer.
Thanks to all of you who've been sending me links about Rufus's Judy Garland homage at Carnegie Hall tonight. (Sayeth Trent at PItNB: "Just when you thought that Rufus couldn't get any gayer he goes and attempts to out-gay himself.") It's going to be exquisite. Wish I could be there. I'm really hoping they make a DVD or CD available at some point.
JWard (not Jay Ward) and I caught Elvis Costello on his River in Reverse tour at Ravinia on Sunday night. I was thrilled to get to see him live. (Um, OK, mostly hear him live; we were on the lawn and couldn't see a damn thing except a parade of Crocs, little kids dancing like maniacs, high-school aged ushers swishing their white skirts to the beat, and drunk folks grabbing each other's asses.) The band was fucking amazing. They played straight through for about three hours, including two extremely generous encores. Elvis even intimated that they'd run out of prepared material and simply couldn't play any more. His voice is currently enjoying the best of both worlds; he's still got most of his full range of notes, but they're only getting richer and more resonant with middle age. In addition to all Allen Toussaint's arrangements and material, the set included both "Alison" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," so I'd say we got way more than our money's worth.
At Nikola's incredulous behest, I sat down and watched Clueless for the first time ever with him last weekend. Ah, high-waisted jeans and ska music. Mid-90s culture, we hardly knew ye. It holds up as respectably as it can, considering what a time capsule it is, and, I gotta say, only reconfirms how much I like Brittany Murphy in spite of myself. Call it presence, call it charisma, call it what you will, but she blindingly outshines everyone she's on screen with at any given moment. Though, yeah, you ultimately want to get to a point where you can control that shit and use it to your advantage without making your fellow actors look bad, there's something undeniably appealing about her and her ability to just plow through her scenes balls-out.
Happy birthday to Nora Rocket today!