Archive for The Rumpus

Great Interview With Dean Wareham By Rick Moody

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by johnbuckley100

We are never surprised to read an intelligent essay on music by the novelist Rick Moody, whose thoughts on Brian Eno last year were, to our ears, note perfect.  Now, over at, Moody has turned his gimlet eye to Dean Wareham, on the occasion of excellent new mini-album, Emancipated Hearts, which we wrote about last week.

First, have we mentioned what a joy it is to have Wareham reengaged at this level — not just putting out a solo album with songs that rank with the best of his work with Luna or Galaxie 500, but also sitting for an interview with so intelligent an interlocutor? Wareham’s sensibility has been missed.  It’s not just the melodies he writes, the tasteful lines woven by his guitar, his quirky, limited, but reassuring singing.  His is a speaking voice that needs to be heard, or at least read on the page.

Read the piece, and the interview.  It’s a calm conversation between two masters of their form.  We greatly enjoyed Wareham’s definition of what he seeks when writing a song.

Rumpus: Is a “state of bliss” the more ordinary goal of the popular song?

Wareham: Well there are different kinds of blissful states. I can get there with Brahms’ “German Requiem” or Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” but also with “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. But if I look at my own recordings, I think generally there is a focal point within the song and often it’s the instrumental bridge or a guitar solo where we try to do something unexpected, something beautiful or weird, or beautiful because it is weird. And of course I fail half the time, but yes that is the goal, to create even a few seconds of bliss, or sadness. The electric guitar is a great instrument for doing this because it is capable of surprising you. There are so many different sounds available.

There’s more like that there.  And if you haven’t downloaded Emancipated Hearts yet, get cracking.


Rick Moody’s Overlong Essay On Brian Eno Is Almost Pitch Perfect

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 22, 2012 by johnbuckley100

So the synchronous publishing of Rick Moody’s nearly endless but well-worth-the-effort essay on Brian Eno’s long career just as an ice storm hit D.C. provided us head-nodding entertainment and a wonderful distraction from the bilious news that Newt had taken South Carolina.  We admire obsessives, and a 9000 word essay on Eno certainly qualifies.  What we liked the most was we agreed with almost every word!  Okay, Moody forgets to praise sufficiently Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. (That’s the Eno album that launched 1000 imitators from, strangely enough, Joy Division to Garbage to the New Pornographers.) And he perhaps fails to give sufficient props for what Eno did  for the Talking Heads on More Songs About Buildings And Food, not to mention his seeming to have missed that great Eno/Cale collaboration that produced “Been There, Done That.”  We’d be willing to forgive his failing to mention the great Robert Wyatt collaboration with Eno that produced the brilliant “Heads of Sheep” if only he’d tell us where we could download “Seven Deadly Finns,” which although it has long disappeared, is still the only Eno song ever to crack the upper reaches of the British charts. But he views Eno’s four 1970s pop albums as a cultural high point for Western Civ, understands that those Lou Reed albums with Bob Quine were the ones that mattered, slags Coldplay, worships Radiohead, gives John Cale his props, etc.  And he turns us on to an Eno-sponsored iTunes app (Bloom) that is more fun than our laminated Oblique Strategies cards. We herewith go on the hunt for all Rick Moody first editions.  And Tulip Frenzy offers to adopt him as kindred spirit.

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