Scanner difficulties, a trip to the dentist, general malaise and ugly hair all add up to a Shit Day. We all have them.
Compliments of Keith. He referred to this as his “e-card.”
More stuff tomorrow…
There is a certain band/duo who are doing a lot of press of late because they have a new (fourth) album coming out. Being a mixture of unhip and distracted, I have never gotten around to listening to their music but I do read a lot of magazines and these two keep popping up in all of them this spring. This morning I read another ridiculous interview with them in the mag Nylon. Granted, the interview was about their favorite things, giving them full license to prattle on about all the crazy cool stuff they like. But they end up sounding absolutely dotty.
I can’t resist writing my own version of just such an interview, with a band I’ll call The Murderers.
TRULY AMAZINGLY GREAT HIPSTERS
In our new feature celebrating our favorite artists’ favorite stuff, The Murderers Alexa Dearheart and Phillip Nails muse on minivans, guitars and the advantages of tight pants.
“When we met, I found out that Alexa was obsessed with Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table. That was enough for us to start a band together,” Phillip Nails of The Murderers says while taking refuge in a Williamsburg cafe made to look like a grandmother’s rec room. “We just loved that whole Vicious Circle vibe,” adds bandmate Alexa Dearheart. “And the Menendez brothers,” says Nails, referring to the two brothers who went to prison in the 1990s for killing their parents. “We send them flowers on their birthdays. We’re craaa-aazy.”
Inspiration for their music always comes from something visual. “I mean, I picked my guitar because it looked good and it’s pink,” Dearheart says, sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner, unassuming in jeans, a flowered blouse and lots of gold jewlery from the 1980s, while Nails looks dapper in a cropped wool blazer, a tangle of scarves and necklaces and really tight gray pants. This month, the band release their fourth album Your EKG Came Back Normal, which exhibits neither the skanky meanness of Keep Your Thoughts To Yourself or the go-go dance rhythms of Take A Snort, but something decidedly more downbeat. Bongo drums, spoken word ballads and even a touch of Phil Collins combine to create a record that’s equal parts hip and untenable.
“Rock ‘n’ roll is normally regurgitated stuff from the 60s and 70s,” says Nails. “I think we’ve really hit on something here by ripping off the 80s and pairing it with some World Beat from the 90s. I’m talking rebirth here.”
Over a half-dozen pints of Guinness (Nails) and a rice milk white tea and peppermint schnapps latte (Dearheart), the duo share their obsessions that have shaped them.
Dearheart: We want to drive what no one else we know will ever drive. I’m nuts for driving and I like to do it in comfort.
Nails: Incredible lines on the new Town & Country! I get chills.
Nails: When I really want to chill, I look at all the Thomas Kincaid art I’ve purchased and listen to New Order. I lived in Sacramento for six years and I totally get what he means when he says he’s a Painter of Light. There is no light like the light in Sacramento!
Nails: Recently, I discovered hemming. My pants will never be the same. Also, wearing pants several sizes too small so you can really see what kind of manhood I’ve got going on. I love sweatshops in Asian countries for my knitwear. What I really need is a white suit though, hopefully in seersucker.
Dearheart: I love stripes. With checks and mustard yellow shoes. I’m very bizarre!
Dearheart: I recently had a lovely stew made with Nutella and veal. I can’t get enough of the stuff. My mum always said there are two kinds of people in the world – those who love the taste of hazelnut and those who don’t. I’m firmly in the first camp.
Recording Albums In The Middle of Nowhere
Nails: We always go off somewhere in the boonies, mostly so we can talk about how we were in the boonies and not doing Twitter or Facebook and really concentrating on our art.
Dearheart: We loved this studio garage we found in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Nails: We would sit in there, eat Twizzlers all day and just jam.
Nails: I have 40 guitars. I collect them. My favorite guitar is the first one I ever got, at age 14 because when I went to take lessons the teacher told me I have no natural talent and he ended it. He said my younger sister would be the guitar prodigy but now she’s an accountant and look at me!! LOOK AT ME!
The White Horse Tavern
Dearheart: We love to go there and drink.
Nails: I don’t want to brag but I drank 19 straight whiskeys there once. That’s one better than Dylan Thomas. So… I’m just saying.
“i wish the F*ckin’ media would just leave @LindsayLohan alone!”
I can’t imagine caring this much but find it admirable that someone does. Hateful media! Can you say, “witch hunt?”
Another illusion shattered today: I don’t think I’ll ever be a literary grant recipient. I thought maybe I could be. I’ve also thought, at various times in my life, that I could be a MFA kind of person but I keep changing my mind. In theory, when toying with the idea is like watching a cloud move across the sky, it sounds interesting and exciting. But when I think about the actual process of work shopping my writing with the same people for two or three years, of reading or listening to their writing for two or three years and probably hoping that my writing would not begin to sound like their writing or that my writing would not begin to be “MFA-y,” I get cold feet. Not to mention that sometimes I feel like MFA’s turn people into whiny bitches. But that’s just me.
I’m switching things up today and doing most Fantastic Tweet of the Day. What can I say? I’m feeling positive!
“A friend of mine went on a first date for dinner at some guy’s house (dumb) and he baked a frozen pizza and put in “9 1/2 weeks.” Um????”
That sounds like something that would haveÂ happened to me, back in the old dating days. If his goal was to watch something steamy, he should have gone with something like, maybe, Unfaithful with Diane Lane? 9 1/2 Weeks is just a laff riot.
The vintage store B Squad in Minneapolis used to be in a depressing little space on 38th Street just off Nicollet. I went there once, tried to sort through a rack of t-shirts that were smashed together on a rack, thought about buying some sew-on patches and then didn’t because they were unmarked and I was told that they were probably $3 each. I thought $3 for a patch was ludicrous at the time. The entire store felt as if if was pressing in on you with its little bowls and buckets and boxes of stuff. It just wasn’t for me.
B Squad recently moved into a new space on Nicollet Ave at 35th Street, right on the corner. The space is a lot bigger, giving B Squad’s merchandise room to breathe and its customers room to move.
Was she or wasn’t she? What did she know and when? She was a genius. She was brave, climbing mountains in bare feet. She was a coward, taking and giving under the table, so she could make art. Me thinks thou dost protest too much but me also finds thou fascinating.
Over on MN Dialog, I posted about my Friday night trip to the new Theatres at Mall of America. You can read the full post here.
One thing I neglected to say is that the Jack Nicholson impersonator had the shakes. I don’t think from drinking; I think from age. It was a little disconcerting when he put his arm around me for our picture, which didn’t make it onto the Metromix website.
Oh Grey Gardens, how I love thee! The Broadway musical is finally coming to St. Paul – the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, March through May of 2009!
Anyone who is up for a trip to see it (tickets might be expensive so prepare to shell out), I will have a Grey Gardens party the day of our trip to the show! Do people go to this in costume? Like Rocky Horror Picture Show?
I think at one point I may have been down on this production but now that’s it’s coming I am jazzed.
We said good-bye to our cat, Ella, last Thursday. Ella, also known as Big Brown, E the C, Ella Bella and Big Michigan, is missed greatly. Her presence and willfulness just took up so much room at our house that it now feels empty. My catharsis in the last couple of days has been shopping. Not retail but antique malls and garage sales.