Oh, Lighten Up Man!
Wynton Marsalis, responding to Mojo’s
Questionnaire, in their November issue:
[I’ve cut this to just the opening of each answer]
What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album?
I don’t have a favourite album.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Bought? I don’t think I’ve ever bought a record.
Which musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?
I’ve never wanted to be another musician.
What do you sing in the shower?
I never sing in the shower.
What is your favourite Saturday night record?
I don’t think I’ve ever played a record on a Saturday night—I’ve played a gig almost every Saturday night since I was 13.
To be fair, the rest of the answer to Which musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be? is interesting: “You have no idea what they’ve had to deal with. The person I rate for something musical might have had an endless headache, or a back pain. Every person has something you can’t imagine to deal with.”
Classified Ad Mann
So I’ve just filed an interview with Aimee Mann to Rock’s Backpages and it has this reference to a movie that she’s going to make:
“I’m actually doing a little indie movie. Joe Henry is involved in it and his brother, I think, wrote the screenplay. It’s based on a This American Life episode [TAL is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations, usually centering around a theme that tells stories from everyday life] about this journalist who thinks: suppose she got a bunch of musicians from Craig’s List, just kind of randomly posting, Looking for musicians, and forms a band and puts them in a studio for a day—what would that look like? So I’m playing that woman. And Joe Henry’s going to be in it, and John Doe is going to be in it and Loudon Wainwright… and Joe is doing the music for it. So it sounds interesting, right? Too bad I don’t know to act…”
The next day I get a mailer from a website I like that runs a weekly Mystery Song competition, and (click to enlarge):
From the Hammersmith Odeon To Lillehammer: Steven Van Zandt
Why They Invented The Internet, And Why It’s Come Time To Shut It Down…
Harry Smith: A Postscript
Esteemed writer and documentary maker Mick Gold emails about the Conference: “Harry Smith conference had good stuff. Very detailed history of Moonshiners Dance Part One from Anthology, which was funny history of Minneapolis/St Paul. Rani Singh (director of Harry Smith archives) said that when they were reissuing the Anthology in 1997, they asked Alan Lomax for a comment. Lomax’s reply was dismissive, similar to Charters—Smith was a nasty piece of work, his Anthology wasn’t that important, he ripped people off. Clearly there are political tensions in how this old music was presented historically, and the message it conveyed. Remember that when Irwin Silber got involved in running Folkways in 1960s, he changed the Anthology cover, substituting a Ben Shahn FSA (Farm Security Administration) shot of a poor farmer for Fludd’s celestial monochord. Perhaps Alchemical versus Popular Front perspective.” Mick had earlier told me that in his opinion, Greil Marcus “created Harry Smith the Magus. Why? Because Harry offered Greil a completely different narrative on the uncovering & collecting of traditional songs & blues from the “voice of the people,” oppressed blacks, Lomax popular front orthodoxy. Harry offered alchemy, esoteric magic, mystification, and he came from the West, all big pluses in the eyes of Greil. Hence Invisible Republic.”