Past contributor, Stephanie Hart published a collection of memoir and short stories earlier this year. Mirror Mirror, collects vignettes that explore Hart’s life in ways real and imagined. It is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and digital formats. Fiction editor, Janice Eidus, recently interviewed Hart. The exchange follows: [...]
While visiting York College of Pennsylvania to give a reading, Marion took the time to sit down with me and answer some questions. In a closet. I’m kidding, of course, but only barely. The room in which we seated ourselves is not only window-less, but quite small–calling it cozy would be a rather generous [...]
To ascend into Blake Butler’s fictional worlds, viewed through the prism of his novella Ever, the novel-in-stories Scorch Atlas, and his most recent work, There is No Year, you have to strip the skins of traditional plot and narrative off of you. Strip them off hard, because you’re not going to get that. [...]
Every year, York College of Pennsylvania hosts a ‘Writer in Residence’ who visits the campus for a few days to do readings, teach workshops, and socialize with students. This year, David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, came to visit. Being in a unique spot for one of my credited classes, [...]
There’s no doubt that Janice Eidus, author of The Last Jewish Virgin: A Novel of Fate, has been extremely busy promoting her latest novel, so I was doubly excited when I discovered the level of detail that she included in her responses to my interview questions. To read an excerpt from The Last Jewish Virgin: A Novel of Fate, check [...]
I just keep a camera around me all the time, and photograph every cool thing I run across. That’s always been the plan, and it will remain that way. I love it man, it’s all Iwant to do for the rest of my life. Music, friends, strangers, things in the street, things in nature, everything, all of it. I figure after 20 or 30 years, I’ll have this amazing body of work to look back on, such an exciting prospect.
Scribbling from the margins of that cultural framework is seventeen year old Jolene, a high school senior in Toledo, Ohio. The teenage Jolene is a girl that many of us have known, or dated, or perhaps even were; the kind of girl whose carefully cultivated gothy exterior functions a carapace for the anxious, artistic depressive beneath.
Loudon Wainwright III is probably referring to formal considerations when he says HE’S NOT A WRITER. You know, he doesn’t write sonnets, sestinas or villanelles. But one only has to start with the title of his twentieth-something album, Recovery, and work their way back through this collection of songs (from his first four albums), to discover the tireless wit and grit of an always original voice. The things Loudon wrote and said at 25, revamped and re-recorded here, sound different coming out of the 61 year old, even though the words are the same, and that’s a very neat trick. The title also references returning to and continuing the healthy thrust of his first collaboration with producer/singer/songwriter Joe Henry (Strange Weirdos: Music from and Inspired by the film Knocked Up), and their cohorts, a band of all-stars including Greg Liesz (guitars—that’s his pedal steel) and keyboardist/composer Patrick Warren.
Since he was signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 23, Wainwright has enjoyed a varied career as an actor, from TV’s M.A.S.H. in the 70’s to Knocked Up in the new millennium, to in-house singer-songwriter for Jasper Carrott on London TV in the 80’s and occasional columnist (see interview). First and foremost, however, he is a songwriter, recording artist and constantly-in-demand live performer, He had a famous dad, famous couple of ex-wives and now he has famous kids. If you know Loudon’s music, and son Rufus’ and daughter Martha’s, then you know they like to talk about all that. Recently, shaking had a chance to do its own talking with Loudon Wainwright III about Recovery, and the things that move him to write songs.
Of course we consider ourselves fortunate to have caught up with British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson for this issue. In a career that has spanned forty plus years, Richard Thompson had been lauded again and again-for his guitar-playing. In 2003, Rollingstone magazine placed him 19th on a list the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. For his songwriting-in recent years he has won both the prestigious British music industry Ivor Novello Award and for a body of work that includes dozens of recordings dating back to 1967, when he helped form Britain’s seminal folk/rock band, Fairport Convention, BBC Radio gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2006. Thompson’s music combines musical virtuosity and lyrical smarts that refuse to be pigeon-holed. Whether he’s playing acoustic or electric guitar, singing songs that draw on Celtic tradition, Cajun rhythms, big band jazz, or straight out rock n’ roll, Thompson’s vocal phrasing and way with a line, invariably put his stamp on a tune.
Finally, we’re leafing through a recent issue of MOJO and see an ad for the Green Man Festival, August 15-17th (Brecon Beacons, Wales), where Thompson joins a lineup that includes Iron and Wine, Spiritualized, Pentangle, and Drive-by Truckers and wouldn’t you want to be there? Message-catch Richard Thompson live, wherever you are, whenever you can.
Same issue, we’re reading a review of Marc Almond (Soft Cell) and his recent seven-night residency at Wilton’s Music Hall London, and come across this: “Hearing Almond sing of Wilde and depravity in 2008 hardly breaks new ground. However, his choice of covers indicates one of British pop’s original thinkers. Jacques Brel’s “The Desperate Ones” and “The Devil OK,” are par for the course. But Richard Thompson’s “The Great Valerio,” is less expected.”