April 13, 2006
"Your fan base kind of shifts when the first album comes out," Boeckner posits. "There's a definite arc. The crowd's really changed, really expanded since we started. I mean, the last show that we played for, I don't know what to call them - Mile End hipsters? - was at Main Hall and it was great."
But perhaps it was the retreat of the hipsters, or simply that their audience is growing, that the majority of the shows they play now are entirely different.
"Our audience is all-white college kids in the States. When we go down and play the States, we play the 'Ivy League belt.' Which is fine - they're totally enthusiastic, it just gives me the willies a bit."
Eric Johnson of the Fruit Bats talks to Sign On San Diego about the band's last album, Spelled In Bones.
“I was trying to do a more '70s Fleetwood Mac pop kind of thing with this album,” said Johnson. “I tried to shake some of the folky aspects that we toyed with before. I wanted to do a little bit more of a pop record.”
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Well, the movie I've seen more than anything else is 'Planet of the Apes.' I saw it 17 times in the movie theater, when I was young. The good thing about Paris is that there are always 300 movies playing at one time in Paris. And any old movie you want to see is on the big screen.
I went and saw 'Planet of the Apes' again a few months ago. What struck me is Charlton Heston, at the beginning of the movie, he stubs out his cigar and he gets into a little chamber. And they land on the planet and he's got his cigar in his mouth and he lights it again. Then somebody says 'come here' and he throws the cigar out of his mouth and runs. And I thought if that was the only cigar you have until the end of the time, don't think you would throw it on the ground when somebody says 'come here.' It just seems impossible to me.
Q: So many people count you as a hero. Who are your heroes?
A: Hero. That's a weird word. You mean like people who I admire? Writers who I like? Um, writers I like, I love Tobias Wolfe. And I love Lorie Moore. And Alice Monroe.
You know I saw that 'Good Night, and Good Luck.' I didn't know any more than the average guy about Edward R. Murrow. But I'm always in awe of people who do something so courageous and unpopular. Because, I feel like I'm such a coward.
It seems like you've been open to change since the beginning. Elf Power in many different forms has been going for 12 years or so. Do you think 10 years ago you would've seen the band where it is now?
I feel like this new album is a good change for the band. It kinda has some similarities with some of the older stuff like The Winter is Coming in that it's kind of a folkier, dark record, but at the same time I don't think it sounds too much like anything else. So I don't know if we ever envisioned we'd keep it going this long. It's like a never-ending cycle, whenever we get through with an album and tour, I just start writing another one. It seems like the natural thing to do, and I can't really make myself stop.
As entertainment audiences become increasingly tech- and media-savvy, they are gradually tuning their ears to less manufactured sounds. And while independent releases are finding larger and more varied audiences, the boy band, that bastion of prefabricated pop, is in danger of dying out. And no one seems to care.
A survey of 1,500 predominantly married, working women aged 35 to 59 found that the majority would rather read a good book than have sex, shop, or sleep.
Nearly half finished a book in less than a week, 48 per cent read more than one book at a time and, in the last year, one in five had spent £100 or more on novels.
The women surveyed said their favourite types of fiction were thrillers (47 per cent), contemporary fiction (46 per cent) and crime (45 per cent) with science fiction and romance their least favourite.
Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood talks to Billboard about the band's new album, A Blessing and a Curse.
"The biggest thing this has in common with almost all of our records is the dualities are still there," Hood says. "We kind of stripped down the other things we were writing about, and that's what was left. A lot of good things have happened to us in the last couple of years both as a band and in our personal lives. But something as wonderful as having children also brings along these new fears and terrors and responsibilities."
What did his mother think about him rattling the family skeletons?
"We're pals but we're not close. Before the album came out, I served notice. I said these songs are kind of different and here's what they're about. So she was a little upset; she liked 'em but it was upsetting.
"I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so I wouldn't have released it while my stepfather was alive."
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