TS5Q: Jack Rabid

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , , | Comments Off on TS5Q: Jack Rabid

During my aforementioned days of living in Cicero’s Basement Bar, I caught many shows that don’t maintain even a glimmer of memory. Others feel as if they could’ve taken place a few weeks back, so vivid are the images and conversations. The latter holds true for a show by the pop trio Springhouse, who played a headlining set at Cicero’s in front of a couple dozen pop-heads on a random weeknight. Two things stand out: the thoroughly-unneeded-but-very-shiny gong behind the drummer of the opening act, the local pop-metal outfit Tongue ‘n’ Groove; and, later, some sort of unrequited discussions of taking Springhouse bowling at the soon-to-be-demolished Red Bird Lanes. What the mind latches onto!

Over the years, I’ve not kept up with the drummer of Tongue ‘n’ Groove, though his Neil Peart-sized kit will forever remain too large for the stage of the Basement Bar. But I have kept up with Jack Rabid, the drummer of Springhouse. Though that group’s had an on-and-off-again existence of creating smart pop, Rabid’s known to a vast network of music fans as the publisher of “The Big Takeover,” a twice-a-year music magazine that covers a near-perfect selection of pop, punk, post-punk and experimental rock, or “music with heart” as the magazine (rightly) claims. To own the complete back catalog of “The Big Takeover” would set you up with contemporary conversations and critiques of the best rock music created over the last two-decades.

“The Big Takeover” is one of the truly great zines to make the transition from paper-only to paper-and-online success. During that crossover, Rabid’s been a champion of countless acts that deserve a wider hearing, old and new groups like The Chameleons, The Leaving Trains, The New Pornographers, The Jam, Comsat Angels, For Against, The Avengers, Adam Franklin/Swervedriver, Rob Dickinson/Catherine Wheel and dozens more. For that, I thank him. For today, I ask him TS5Q.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Ha ha, the short answer is every single one of them! I myself would prefer to use the eight deadliest sins as originally listed by the fourth century monk Ponticus, which evolved into the list of eight Catholic devotions, predating Pope Gregory I’s 590 list of seven—commonly known from Dante’s The Divine Comedy—because Gregory/Dante removed the best one: lust/sex! I would think that would win hands down! I say that given my record collection—lust permeates my favorite recordings from the ‘20s to ‘50s, Armstrong, Holiday, Waller, Bessie Smith, Big Joe Turner, etc. and then it totally explodes when R&B becomes rock ‘n’ roll in the early ‘50s—some of the most libido-filled records ever. Can you imagine a world without Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly?” Or going into the ‘60s, just what was Wilson Pickett going to do to us in the midnight hour, anyway? But although I think that “sin” has unfairly been taken off the table (Ponticus needs to hire a better PR flack!), of the seven left, I’d have to go with acedia (discouragement), since my collection is just as chock full of songs about lost love, broken romances, shattering disappointments, bitter breakups, and a general sense of frustration. As a lyric writer myself, almost every song I’ve written has been inspired by this, so I guess the choice is clear in that sense! It just seems a shame that sorrow and heartbreak are the most motivating and inspirational sources for an artists, when sex—or at least the desire for it within immediate reach—is so much more fun! Let’s all sing together, from Bessie Smith’s recording in 1931: “I need a little sugar for my bowl/I need a little hot dog for my roll/I need a little steam heat on my floor.” Sure you do, Bessie, sure you do. Bet a lot of guys were happy to offer their assistance with that 70 years ago…

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?

Ah conspiracy theories! A favorite topic of mine!

Unserious answer: That the Cubs will win a World Series in my lifetime or that of my two-year-old son’s. It’s hard to believe the last time it happened was when Teddy Roosevelt was president! They haven’t even been in a World Series for 65 years, for crying out loud, despite starting every year with a one in 16 chance to make it (1 in 8 1946-1961, 1 in ten 1962-1968, 1 in 12 starting in 1969, and so on. What kind of record is that for a large market team?!?!?!? (I mean, at least the Royals have an excuse, and they even managed to win one in 1985 before going down the rabbit hole of annual basement finishes!) Perhaps major league baseball conspires to shoot them in the feet every year? Or otherwise stated, why would you trust your whole season to Kyle Farnsworth, anyway!

Serious answer: I could give you 4000 examples of utter fiction our society both tolerates and perpetuates, from the banal (like the canard that Mama Cass choked on a ham sandwich—I can’t tell you how many times I hear that stated as fact when it is pure dumb-ass legend and nothing more. She died in her sleep of a heart attack, people, so why do we all want to believe a fairy tale that started out as a cruel joke because she was Rubinesque and Jewish!!!!???), to the just plain sad (all the movie versions of our history that peddle historical BS but get accepted as the true story anyway, from older lies like Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind to the present day Cinderella Man and The Runaways! Oh why let inconvenient facts and unhappy truths get in the way of a good simplistic story of white hats and black hats, smart and dumb, good and evil?), to the insidious (all the bizarre people who can’t accept that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, when his birth announcement remains on file in the paper of record! Don’t we have better things to disagree with him on, or chide him for, or even hate him for if you like, than his own legal right to the office? Why must we spread this kind of blockheaded gossip ad nauseum?), to the just plain maddening (our Thanksgiving myth we celebrate every year that makes no mention of pilgrim atrocities in the coming Pequot War only 14 years later, from 1634-1638, and, lest their children’s generation have missed the example, King Philip’s War from 1675-1676—oops, sorry about burning native rivals alive and shooting them when they came out to surrender, then selling their woman and children into slavery in the West Indies, that wasn’t very grateful of us for saving our asses in the winter of starving 1620/21!!—or the Columbus myth that he was anything but a Cortez-like murderer and enslaver for gold (or completely inane, that his crew somehow thought the world was flat, even though even little children knew the ships disappeared over the horizon every day only to come back to port!), or the idea that the Mexican War was anything else but a blatant land grab (see Illinois Whig congressman Abraham Lincoln’s outraged speech to Congress calling out Polk, which cost him any shot at a second term!), or that the Civil War was fought over states rights (baloney! what other rights other than slavery could have led to the drastic step of succession after a century of Congressional half-loafs like The Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska act?), etc. etc. etc. ex-f***ing-cetera. Don’t get me started on how we treat so-called “facts” even in this so-called information age. In fact, given what is happening with the Texas high school textbooks board today, attempting to whitewash history to their personal liking like Stalin did his own textbooks (that’s a fair comparison), it is safe to say our society prefers cockamamie conspiracy theories about fantasies for which there is little to no evidence, over the all too real abiding, never-hidden, actual conspiracy to keep the citizenry sheltered from the unpleasant truths of historical facts that get in the way of our proud definition of ourselves as a extra-moral country—when our history is in fact as stained as every other’s.

Sidenote: my favorite historical disconnect these days is the Tea Party movement’s choice of historical symbolism. We can debate the merits of their “taxes-are-too-high” philosophy, without question, but the Boston Tea Party was a protest over a removal of a tax that favored a mega-corporation with über-crony state ties! Ummm…. It’s really hard to see how that applies to the people that are evoking it today! But these Tea Party people would actually have to know what the Boston Tea Party was, not the simplistic anti-Parliament protest it has come down to us in a third grade view of history. Fall all our veneration of them, our founding fathers were truly great men, but were as self-dealing as they were principled, like all great men. The real conspiracy in our culture is to keep us from seeing our historical giants as men—plain old humans, flawed like anyone! We prefer them to be supermen, always right, always wise, always selfless, always moral, all seeing and all knowing, beyond reproach, though we know no one like that today! Funny, that!

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
I am better served by contentment, no doubt about it. Like right now, answering these questions! When I am restless I need to go out and do something and think other thoughts. When I am content, I can focus on getting something creative or industrious completed without a care. That said, what makes me content is also scratching the itch of restlessness. If I have nothing interesting on the horizon I am looking forward to, I like to challenge myself to make something happen!

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
Well, like anyone with an interest in history, I see no evidence of peace in our past (going back several thousand years), so it is a poor bet for our future! I watch toddlers fight over the same toy every day, even though there are 100 good toys within arm’s reach. I don’t know why we have to be so covetous, but for some reason, it seems innate to our personalities from birth–we just can’t seem to stop ourselves from wanting what others have, instead of being content with all we’ve got. So we are constantly competing for resources. I think all wars have been ultimately bald economic grabs, your basic garden-variety resource battles, whether for land, scarce goods (fur, gold, etc.), or raw materials. No one would have been interested in colonizing the new world and enslaving and killing the natives if it wasn’t for money. Gold and silver give way to precious minerals, metals, and ultimately oil and gas and coal. The oil spill in the gulf is just the latest environmental/human tragedy based on this endless hunger for resources, which leads us into eternal conflict with oil-financed dictatorships, which just leads to more unrest and violence and murder and war (see: Shah of Iran, fallout of). Meanwhile the Chinese are buying up South America for the increasing resource needs of a billion people’s desire for first world living standards formerly out of reach, and every Indian citizen wants a car now. And every nation looks after itself and their own interests, there is no other prism. The idea of United Nations doesn’t seem any more attainable than a League of Nations or a Hall of Superfriends. Show me an era without war and bloodshed between tribes and people, religions and nations, and political parties. We just can’t stop thinking of other people as “other.” So option one is a nonstarter, regrettably.

A total war is not possible, really, on a scale larger than WWII—the greatest total war ever—because the technological weaponry has now advanced since 1945 towards total annihilation bombs. Which of course would just be a more or less instant human extinction, not really a “war,” and our planet’s biodiversity would probably barely notice our disappearance beyond whatever environmental havoc we leave in decimating ourselves. Bye bye humans! So far we have not committed mutual suicide, but some day less rational people will control the weaponry, and out of some deep religious hatred, will speed the process of our extinction, probably. But that’s the only form of total war there is, given the technology, so we won’t be left to debate it.

So that leaves space creatures. (Why do they have to be men or women?) I think Carl Sagan was a genius, so I am going to go with that one. Someday in the distant future other life forms from distant galaxies millions of light years away will finally develop the means to come here, and will just for the hell of it. Whether humans will still be here is another question. Probably not. Our assent is just a split second in the history of the universe, so our demise will be likewise. Just ask the dinosaurs! Maybe a meteor will take care of us by the time space creatures get here if we don’t do it to ourselves. But if we are still here, we will be 10 times as stunned as North American natives were at first contact with Europeans and vice versa. What comes won’t be human, after all!

Or maybe we ourselves will make the technological leap towards visiting other galaxies instead, and encounter space creatures there like Star Trek! That seems farfetched, but who in 1700 really thought we’d see a dozen men walk on the moon only 269-272 years later? Or land fact-recording devices on Mars? What would the equivalent exponential leap be for humans in the years hence? Hell, we didn’t even have personal computers when I was in college! I think George Lucas and Gene Rodenberry already made a fortune thinking along these lines. If we can imagine it, it can happen, I guess. When my own granddad was born, the Wright Brothers were still doing bicycles. Yet Da Vinci imagined airborne man centuries before balloonists, let alone Kitty Hawk. Can you imagine what Da Vinci and Gallileo would have made of Newton and Einstein?

Five. Select/discuss any one of the following options.
Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.

A) Punk rock. Which is also our generation’s greatest success and the art movement that made all the difference! All the stupid barriers it broke down, and all the societal bullshit it gave the finger too or openly questioned, was very valuable: gender roles liberation; class resentment; race relations; the meaning of “normal” versus “weird”; the idea that someone else was responsible for your politics; the idea that you could be so threatening just by being yourself even if most people didn’t like it; the idea that gays were just people; the idea that puritanical morals on sex and abstinence was a stupid crock; the idea that drugs alone were a cop-out if you were looking for some freedom; the idea that being willfully dumb was never cool; the idea that the rest of the world was devolving instead of evolving; and the idea that most people cling for safety to the comfortable and known rather than endure any reasonable criticism of acceptable action; is was all so liberating, it’s a shame that the whole thing really only lasted as a creative movement and art attack for about six or seven years, and then became just another codified lifestyle choice, as numbingly subservient and predictable as the sort of straight-jacketed existence that punk was meant to challenge. So it goes! There’s been too little of this sort of thinking since. Or else maybe we would end the idiocy of this endless battle for destructive resources and change our thinking a little, but we can’t even get most people to consider alternative lifestyles, they are just too set in driving gas-guzzlers to the strip mall to dine in the chain restaurant and make their lives revolve around ample parking without thinking much about anything they do. That said, some of punk’s main points have taken hold. The acceptance of gays in the mainstream, the preponderance of creative and bold female musicians instead of slavish groupies, and other artists, the entire idea of questioning official narratives written by the winners where they are just plain self-serving, etc. etc. etc, I am proud to have been part of any art movement that held those unpopular precepts as its mantras!

TS5Q: Zia McCabe

Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The List of 100 | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Music fans are notoriously time-specific, dating their love of acts to specific moments in time. Usually, the subtext to this is that Fan X knew the music of Band Y well before the general public caught on. (We are hip! Yay for us!) Sometimes we even get the details right, though the emotions behind the stories are ultimately more important.

For me, the discovery of The Dandy Warhols came right at the time of their move from independent Tim/Kerr Records to the major label Capitol. While I don’t remember the year, I saw them under a tent at South by Southwest at the band’s buzzingest, about-to-break moment and (if memory’s not failing me) I purchased a square, picture disc of the single “Ride” at that show. To this day, it’s probably the single coolest-piece of vinyl my collection, an amazing piece of wax featuring art design that’s as sharp as the song, itself, a slice of pure, shoegazing perfection.

Why this group isn’t mega is beyond me. They have great songs, proven by an extensive back catalog. They’re photo- and telegenic. They have a fine, in-the-pocket live show. They’ve been featured in a fine documentary, “Dig!” In short, they’ve got “It.” And they’ve got Zia McCabe, which might be the key to the whole operation. She sends us the extended dance mix version of TS5Q below.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
I’m not sure but all the great artists are guilty of at least one as none of the great artists ever seem well balanced.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
Restlessness for sure.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?

I will spend my life striving for inner peace and hopefully be aware of the moments that I achieve it, I can’t imagine total war and I like to believe spacemen and women have been here for quite some time.

Five. Select/discuss any one of the following options.
Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.

I really do feel like this a lot. I lived in a fairie land of happiness and contentment until I turned 12 and then it slowly started to chip away to be replaced by restlessness and doubt (though I still consider myself happier than the average human, it’s not the same)

Five-b: You are concerned about your food and its origins.
Yes of course, it’s terribly shocking for me to see how many people still just don’t give a damn what they’re eating or where it came from.

Five-c: These are your generation’s greatest successes.
Hmm, I think that’s for the next generation to answer.

Five-d: For you, this is the book, play, recording, painting, poem, scripture or (item X) that made all the difference.
Oh jeeze, Maxfield Parish, Beatles-White Album, Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon, Willie Nelson-All, Rolling Stones-Through the Past Darkly, Exile on Main St., Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Ray Bradbury, Grabriel Garcia Marquez, LSD, Marijuana, Harold and Maude, Easy Rider

Five-e: Do you have a question for me? (What is it?)

Hmm, I can’t think of anything. I hope your satisfied with my answers.

TS5Q: Aaron Matthews

Posted: May 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , , | Comments Off on TS5Q: Aaron Matthews

As all veteran adjunct professors will confess, once you get a class the way you like it, it’s hard (if not foolish) to switch things up radically. Those favorite handouts become personal friends. And the videos and audio clips that recur every semester become comforting totems against the metronomic passing of time that accompanies any school year.

I don’t know Aaron Matthews, but feel as if I should, having shown two of his films approximately 30 times, in total. The trend started with his excellent documentary “A Panther in Africa,” which chronicled the trans-Atlantic lives of Pete and Charlotte O’Neal, a pair of Kansas City Black Panthers who emigrated to Tanzania under governmental duress. It’s a wonderful film and was shown during my Intro to Media Writing classes a number of times, before being retired in lieu of Matthews’ doc “The Paper,” a fine, behind-the-scenes look at a year in the life of a college newspaper.Perfect for the course and in rotation ’til I retire.

Having seen “The Paper” a dozen times, if not more, I wanted to ask Matthews about MTV’s adaptation of the show into a drama-driven, teen-themed reality show. But I didn’t. Because that would break the rules of The Same Five Questions.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Hold on while I look up what the 7 deadly sins are… OK, those aren’t so horrible. I’ll say sloth since it doubles as a cute (artful) tree-loving mammal.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?

That the internet is so terrific. Ok, it is pretty amazing, but at least a few times a day I fear we’re all being buried under the weight of too much information, and that we can’t possibly know what to do with it all.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
Good to straddle both.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?

For the sake of my 2 children, I really hope spacepeople arrive soon.

Five. Select/discuss any one of the following options. Five-d: For you, this is the book, play, recording, painting, poem, scripture or (item X) that made all the difference.
I saw Andy Warholo’s BAD last night, and it made all the difference in me not getting a good night’s sleep. That movie’s insane! (In a good way.)

TS5Q No-No: Louis Black

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The List of 100 | Tags: , | Comments Off on TS5Q No-No: Louis Black

In the early-to-mid 1990s, there was a good chance that if I wasn’t around the crib, I was just across town at Cicero’s Basement Bar. If I spent three nights a week there, the bulk of the rest of my evenings were split between Mississippi Nights, Bernard’s, the Red Sea, Kennedy’s, the Wabash Triangle, the Gargoyle, and other, choice music venues. At the time, I had an excuse for that kind of bar-holding-upping: I worked as a music columnist for the local free-kly, Riverfront Times. When you’re punching the time clock during your mid-20s, you never realize how good you got it. And I had it pretty good, holding a plum job in a town with a pretty good music scene.

Whatever degree of self-awareness I had towards my good fortune, I’d have dropped everything to go to work for either the Austin Chronicle or South by Southwest. And working for the RFT’s spin-off of SXSW, the Midwest Regional Music Festival, allowed me multiple opportunities to visit the Republic of Austin.

As a stone-cold devotee of the film “Slacker,” I couldn’t help but be further pulled into the Austin vortex and as I eventually figured it out, Louis Black was at the center of it all. He was the editor of the Chronicle, one of the coolest alternative papers in the country, headquartered in one of the coolest cities in America. He was a founding member of the Austin Film Society, which helped nurture the talents of Richard Linklater, his associated crew, and many other filmmakers. He was intimately involved in SXSW. And, hell, he even had a speaking role in Linklater’s “Slacker,” a fact, to my mind, moves you into the ranks of Gods.

I sent Louis Black the TS5Q yesterday and heard back today. “Not my cup of tea,” was the heart of the concise message, “I wouldn’t know how to answer them.”

It’s cool. This site’s an experiment. There’s no guarantee on hearing from anyone, or getting back anything exact. But having spent my 20s quietly hoping for a call from Louis Black, I can appreciate the quick-turnaround “no thanks.”

We await what message is coming next, maybe watching “Slacker” for 15th time. Just because.

TS5Q: Spike Gillespie

Posted: May 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

It’s a case of reverse discrimination, really. As I’ve known Spike Gillespie for 20-odd years, I didn’t feel as if “there was no reason to talk” to Spike. In fact, if anything, I’ve been overdue for a check-in. As expected, Spike was quick on the trigger, responding to TS5Q with candor, quickness and ease.

For those of you unfamiliar with Spike, a couple quick notes. She’s a writer, working in almost every form of media, with several books to her credit. She’s also an activist of multiple sorts in her adopted hometown of Austin, TX, where she’s done just about everything. From establishing the Kick-Ass Awards to booking teen rock shows to championing underdog causes of all sorts. Her anti-war signage has seen her front yard turned into a battleground of free speech and her side yard’s been given over to raising chickens. Interests important to her, then, are engaged close to home, whether they center on peace or urban husbandry. And home is intrinsically Austin, as proven by her continuing to work the fabric of that great American city into her work.

She’s blogged about her various experiences at spikeg.com, aka Spike Speaks, and that’s as good a place as any to learn about her. And, as noted, click on any major bookseller to find her for-sale efforts.

Friends, our first edition of TS5Q:

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
I had to look up the 7 deadly sins— I could only remember gluttony and I’m pretty sure that’s not the answer. (Although, as an aside, I have been getting paid to review really fancy restaurants. I’m not sure my reviews are “art” but they are writing, which is my art, and I am gluttonous at these meals. So maybe it is the answer.) Food reviews aside, I think (fear?) that in my own art ANGER has been the most useful. It’s what has driven me to write a lot of stuff— three of my books, including Pissed Off, deal with and have been driven by anger. Also, while depression might get the old imagination working, it is anger that catapults me into action. I think that’s true for lots of folks.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?

This is a very private one, actually. Let’s just say someone in my life is having a hard time now, and has promised to make changes (not for me, but for the good of this person’s self). While I am hopeful to a fault, I have to say I am going to need some evidence of change before I can believe the promises. Sorry to be so vague. Like I said: very personal.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?

Oh fuck, I don’t know. I like to THINK that when I am content I focus better and consequently produce more, and the image that comes to mind is me knitting in a rocking chair, surrounded by the Little Women (a lifelong fantasy of mine), creating sock after sock for our hardworking soldiers. Restlessness makes it hard for me to sit at the computer, where I do much of my work. On the other hand, I am such a restless person by nature that, for example, I cannot simply talk on the phone. If I am talking on the phone, I can also sweep and mop the floor, walk the dogs, or do other tasks. I leap out of bed in the morning and the joke goes that I can cure cancer, paint the Eiffel Tower, and do some Chinese algebra all before my boyfriend wakes up. So probably RESTLESSNESS.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?

In my lifetime? I’d settle for seven consecutive nights of eight hours of sleep but I think that’s about as likely as any of your suggested scenarios. Do I HAVE to pick? If I have to pick, I think alien contact is least unlikely.

Five. Select/discuss any one of the following options.

Five-d: For you, this is the book, play, recording, painting, poem, scripture or (item X) that made all the difference.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I had an early edition— not because I’m that old but because my father had an “uncle” (not sure he was actually a blood relative) who worked for the publishing house that owned the book. So one was passed down to me. We had very few books in the house in which I grew up. We were extremely censored and so had mostly Readers’ Digest Condensed Books— truncated versions of already squeaky clean fare like James Herriot. I think we had a Good News Bible, some 70s, hippie-riff on all that god shit that was, I think, supposed to convince us of… well some sort of religious shit. Beyond that, a few other books and then, at a certain point, Cosmopolitans my older sisters would smuggle in, and hide, and which I would find and read. In this limited collection of “literary” offerings, Little Women stood alone as a beacon. The impact this book on me cannot be overstated. Jo March is why I am a writer. I’ve read the book many times over the years. One copy I picked up offered a clue as to why, maybe, I was so drawn to it, besides the surface adventure of the girls and Marmee. I can’t remember who wrote the foreword of the particular printing I refer to, but the idea proffered was that Little Women symbolized a female utopia. Recall, Daddy was off at war. Oh sure, Laurie and his grandpa were next door. But in the house itself, just Marmee and the Little Women. And they toiled, and they had compassion, and Jo had a temper and would go up to her garret and write. I lived with a tyrannical father and looking back, I know I wanted him to disappear, as in Little Women, and leave my mother and us eight girls (well, okay, and my brother) to ourselves. As an aside, let me say that last year I listened to the audiobook March, by Geraldine Brooks, which BLEW ME AWAY. Just as Wicked takes a different look at The Wizard of Oz, March is told from the perspective of Mr. March, father of the Little Women, while he was off at war. I believe it was based in part on Louisa May’s father’s real life journals. Fascinating book. Brooks made me think I’m no writer by comparison, but her work is so glorious, I didn’t even feel bad about that.

And… The Questions

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Meta | Comments Off on And… The Questions

While deejaying, you sometimes get some time to mentally wander. Actually, it’s more than some time. A goodly bit of time. And, so, last Friday, I finally committed to the final step of this process. It was a not-unimportant one: nailing down the questions.

After a few false starts, a mostly ineffective pitch to the world of Facebook, the subsequent realization that Jane magazine did a long-running, five-question list (which would predate other, such notices), I found a nice, thoughtful spot to finally think them out, namely, The Halo Bar on a Friday night. Sometimes, you need motion and activity to mentally carry through and, well, these questions were born of sound, flashing lights and a few requests for ELO and the Pixies.

You can check The Questions page for the final results.

And in light of various sites having different riffs on this broader, question-based notion, we’ll even set up an Other Q’s page, so feel free to point me to fun sites and their own Q/A columns.

The List of 100

Posted: May 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Meta | Tags: | Comments Off on The List of 100

With the final names changing until the very last second, the initial List of 100 is complete.

If you’re personal friends with any of the good people mentioned, please don’t hesitate in tipping me on the best way to bug… er, contact them. And don’t be shy in suggesting other folks, either. This list is far from a comprehensive one and another hour at the computer would probably see a small wave of names added and deleted. All that aside, it’s a list of folks I find interesting and hopefully a few will correspond back in coming months.

If you’re not familiar with a name, two, or 20, figure on my adding some liner notes on them in coming days.

The only thing missing at this point is the questions, right?

As this May 1 debut is something of a “soft opening” for the site, tomorrow, May 3, 2010, The Same Five Questions go live.

The excitement!

Preview Greetings

Posted: May 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Meta | Tags: | Comments Off on Preview Greetings

Today was to be the day of the grand reveal, however, we’ll consider Saturday, May 1, 2010 the emotional and spiritual birthday of The Same Five Questions.

The actual start of content will be tomorrow, Sunday, May 2, 2010, with a reveal of our questions and our list of projected interview subjects. The final list of questions was drawn up last night, while DJ-ing at the Halo Bar, an example of multi-tasking at its finest.

So, this project is born. (See our updated About page.) Complete success in wacky project-making, or thorough implosion of dreams? We hope for the former.

‘Til tomorrow, Happy International Worker’s Holiday, Happy May Day, to each and every one of you!