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Clip: Mayo Thompson interview

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  • Carl Z.
    By way of Kevin s Pere Ubu query, Thompson was in the band at the time they recorded the discs he checked out. I prefer his work with The Red Krayola, and if
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 5, 2006
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      By way of Kevin's Pere Ubu query, Thompson was in the band at the time
      they recorded the discs he checked out. I prefer his work with The
      Red Krayola, and if I had more advance notice of their Friday gig in
      Pittsburgh I would have gone.

      <http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/music/story.cfm?type=Featured%20Music%20Preview>

      8/3/2006
      A Conversation with The Red Krayola's Mayo Thompson

      Writer: ANDREW MCKEON

      The Red Krayola has managed to color in the gray areas between novelty
      and obscurity for longer than anyone can remember. Anyone, that is,
      but founder Mayo Thompson. It all began with a haphazard freak-out in
      Houston, Texas, during the salad days of psych-rock; 40 shape-shifting
      years later, Thompson's still charging at windmills to get the closest
      shave from that cutting edge. "There are some things you don't even
      know that you don't know," he says. So, for my sake, Thompson
      elaborated on the distinctive shape of the Lone Star state, the sexual
      politics of Rock Hudson's performance in Pillow Talk, and why The Red
      Krayola just released a new album called Introduction.


      With so many albums already, does The Red Krayola need an Introduction?

      I think that maybe we started in the middle of something or at the end
      of something. It might've been a good idea to cultivate a banal
      relationship to certain ideas, but it hasn't happened that way. We
      just finally got around to the idea of introducing ourselves, you
      know. We're working our way back towards the beginning.


      Some albums, like Coconut Hotel, weren't released until decades after
      their recording, really obscuring the idea of "target audience." Were
      these literally ahead of their time?

      There's no such thing. Being ahead of one's time implies that there's
      an intellectual environment and some kind of leading edge in thought.
      I mean, it's a very particular idea — particularly to those who think
      they're still on the leading edge.


      With its revolving membership, does The Red Krayola become each
      successive point of reference that you record and release?

      We call them records, you know, because when the band got together at
      a certain time and place, that was its shape. … It's like "What am I
      going to do today?" Hopefully not something just to be doing it or
      something I've done before, even though 99 percent of everyday life is
      repetition. One of my favorite films, philosophically speaking, is
      Groundhog Day.


      You produced The Fall's single, "How I Wrote 'Elastic Man,'" a song
      about a question with no answer, about fans of one song becoming the
      subject of another. Did Mark E. Smith enjoy making a subject of the
      audience?

      Part of Mark Smith's problem, and I don't mean that in a negative
      light, is that his role is to regulate the people who are listening to
      him. He has to be careful, so the only way to manage that relationship
      without making himself and everybody else miserable is to keep the
      ground moving. You can see that Mark is consistently trying to keep
      alive the idea that you can express yourself without saying a thing.
      You can especially hear it in his song, "Repetition." It's such a
      great send-up, but you may not realize it until you have a
      Groundhog-type day.


      How does the term "outsider art" make you feel?

      Ugh. Weak in the knees. Like when you're talking about a guy like
      Henry Darger. That guy, everybody looks at him and thinks he's nuts.
      But, he was an insider. He was right in the middle of the action,
      right where it was all happening. … And I'm sure he appreciated it
      because he didn't think of himself as an outsider. He just thought of
      himself as an artist.


      The U.S. occupation of Iraq?

      I wish we had not gone to war there. My impression is that the
      government is trying to install a new world order and, I mean, I'm
      going to find a way to talk about it and force the issue with music on
      every record I make … I was thinking about that last night, about how
      George Bush and I are from the same generation. We grew up with the
      "sword of war" hanging over us and I think that this generation of
      young people is facing it with quite the same sort of vengeance that
      we had.


      Your new album closes with the line, "Everything we ever dreamed of is
      true." Is that why nightmares become daymares?

      I'm glad you can hear the two faces to that little story in there
      because there's a whole other meaning. See, the face value of a homily
      like "home sweet home" forgets about all the possible meanings of
      "home," "sweet" and "home." But, I like the ambiguities.


      Ever wanted to be known as someone who "needs no introduction"?

      [Laughs] No, but I suppose I always wanted to run with those people,
      in some sense.
    • Kevin J. Hosey
      Thanks for posting this interview, Carl; very interesting. I just found out that Red Krayola is playing here tomorrow/Sunday night, and I doubt I can make it.
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 5, 2006
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        Thanks for posting this interview, Carl; very interesting. I just found
        out that Red Krayola is playing here tomorrow/Sunday night, and I doubt
        I can make it.
        Damn.

        Kevin
        http://Buffaloroots.com
        www.buffaloroots.blogspot.com
        NP - Pere Ubu, New Picnic Time

        On Saturday, August 5, 2006, at 07:51 PM, Carl Z. wrote:

        > By way of Kevin's Pere Ubu query, Thompson was in the band at the time
        > they recorded the discs he checked out. I prefer his work with The
        > Red Krayola, and if I had more advance notice of their Friday gig in
        > Pittsburgh I would have gone.
        >
        > <http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/music/
        > story.cfm?type=Featured%20Music%20Preview>
        >
        > 8/3/2006
        > A Conversation with The Red Krayola's Mayo Thompson
        >
        > Writer: ANDREW MCKEON
        >
        > The Red Krayola has managed to color in the gray areas between novelty
        > and obscurity for longer than anyone can remember. Anyone, that is,
        > but founder Mayo Thompson. It all began with a haphazard freak-out in
        > Houston, Texas, during the salad days of psych-rock; 40 shape-shifting
        > years later, Thompson's still charging at windmills to get the closest
        > shave from that cutting edge. "There are some things you don't even
        > know that you don't know," he says. So, for my sake, Thompson
        > elaborated on the distinctive shape of the Lone Star state, the sexual
        > politics of Rock Hudson's performance in Pillow Talk, and why The Red
        > Krayola just released a new album called Introduction.
        >
        >
        > With so many albums already, does The Red Krayola need an Introduction?
        >
        > I think that maybe we started in the middle of something or at the end
        > of something. It might've been a good idea to cultivate a banal
        > relationship to certain ideas, but it hasn't happened that way. We
        > just finally got around to the idea of introducing ourselves, you
        > know. We're working our way back towards the beginning.
        >
        >
        > Some albums, like Coconut Hotel, weren't released until decades after
        > their recording, really obscuring the idea of "target audience." Were
        > these literally ahead of their time?
        >
        > There's no such thing. Being ahead of one's time implies that there's
        > an intellectual environment and some kind of leading edge in thought.
        > I mean, it's a very particular idea — particularly to those who think
        > they're still on the leading edge.
        >
        >
        > With its revolving membership, does The Red Krayola become each
        > successive point of reference that you record and release?
        >
        > We call them records, you know, because when the band got together at
        > a certain time and place, that was its shape. … It's like "What am I
        > going to do today?" Hopefully not something just to be doing it or
        > something I've done before, even though 99 percent of everyday life is
        > repetition. One of my favorite films, philosophically speaking, is
        > Groundhog Day.
        >
        >
        > You produced The Fall's single, "How I Wrote 'Elastic Man,'" a song
        > about a question with no answer, about fans of one song becoming the
        > subject of another. Did Mark E. Smith enjoy making a subject of the
        > audience?
        >
        > Part of Mark Smith's problem, and I don't mean that in a negative
        > light, is that his role is to regulate the people who are listening to
        > him. He has to be careful, so the only way to manage that relationship
        > without making himself and everybody else miserable is to keep the
        > ground moving. You can see that Mark is consistently trying to keep
        > alive the idea that you can express yourself without saying a thing.
        > You can especially hear it in his song, "Repetition." It's such a
        > great send-up, but you may not realize it until you have a
        > Groundhog-type day.
        >
        >
        > How does the term "outsider art" make you feel?
        >
        > Ugh. Weak in the knees. Like when you're talking about a guy like
        > Henry Darger. That guy, everybody looks at him and thinks he's nuts.
        > But, he was an insider. He was right in the middle of the action,
        > right where it was all happening. … And I'm sure he appreciated it
        > because he didn't think of himself as an outsider. He just thought of
        > himself as an artist.
        >
        >
        > The U.S. occupation of Iraq?
        >
        > I wish we had not gone to war there. My impression is that the
        > government is trying to install a new world order and, I mean, I'm
        > going to find a way to talk about it and force the issue with music on
        > every record I make … I was thinking about that last night, about how
        > George Bush and I are from the same generation. We grew up with the
        > "sword of war" hanging over us and I think that this generation of
        > young people is facing it with quite the same sort of vengeance that
        > we had.
        >
        >
        > Your new album closes with the line, "Everything we ever dreamed of is
        > true." Is that why nightmares become daymares?
        >
        > I'm glad you can hear the two faces to that little story in there
        > because there's a whole other meaning. See, the face value of a homily
        > like "home sweet home" forgets about all the possible meanings of
        > "home," "sweet" and "home." But, I like the ambiguities.
        >
        >
        > Ever wanted to be known as someone who "needs no introduction"?
        >
        > [Laughs] No, but I suppose I always wanted to run with those people,
        > in some sense.
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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