Monthly Archives: December 2007

Kristen Schaal Interview

Recently I had the unique honor to interview Kristen Schaal, an inventive comedic talent and quite probably best known at the moment as a cast member of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords musical comedy sit-com variation. I put her to the epic task of answering five delicious questions, and the deed was done. What follows will change the very nature of your being…

1. What were your primary musical influences growing up?

I started with the New Kids on The Block. Then my brother saved me by giving me a Cure tape for Christmas. Then it was solely The Cure until I was introduced to Tori Amos. This was in junior high and high school.

2. Equally as important, what were your primary comedic influences growing up?

I loved Lily Tomlin and Carol Burnett. Eddie Murphy and the Muppets. Bobcat Goldthwait from the Police Academies.

3. Given your background as an actress, what is your opinion on the great Brad Dourif?

He’s a workhorse!

4. Might you be touring about at various comic clubs around the country at this time or in the near future?

Yes. Whenever I can fit it in. In January I’m shooting more Penelope: Princess of Pets shorts, and then I’m going to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in March. In April I will be doing some shows in London.

5. Finally, any interesting information on the second season of Conchords?

It’s not set to shoot until this summer, so there’s a possibility Murray will be wearing shorts.

…Future interviews with potentially more members of my species are quite possible, so keep coming back for more, won’t you now?

The UkuLady Interview

It would be rather difficult to describe the interview subject; it is simply something you experience. A musician and fully realized all-around entertainer. Please meet and greet The UkuLady with my 5 Question Interview process which begins as thus…

1. What were your primary musical influences growing up?

Growing up as a small child, , my parents listened to The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, ’60s psychadelic scene bands, like Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Sons of Champlin, and then there was a lot of Scott Joplin, Verdi (La Boheme, Turendot & Aida); I loved musical theater, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Michael Jackson (pre-Bad), early Madonna, Eurythmics, Simple Minds and other assorted 80′s bands. I was very upset that I was never cast as Annie as a child. In college and after, I was heavily influenced by The Magnetic Fields, Belle & Sebastian, Indigo Girls, Mountain Goats…pretty indie pop melodies…

2. Do you have any albums readily available for purchase or any upcoming releases?

YES!! My first album, Banned From Canters! Will be available in January! It’s at the press-place now and I’m totesies excited! Banned From Canter’s features 14 UkuLady originals in the studio! Toy Piano, toy xylophone, 80′s synths and more! Comedy & heart-on-a-sleeve songs! Banned From Canters! Will be available at cd baby, on myspace and probably other places…. All my home recordings are available free at www.TheUkuLady.com

3. With a background as an actress, what are your thoughts exactly on the great Brad Dourif?

Oops – I started to answer this interview before I looked up Brad Dourif. I have no idea who he is. I’ll research him and get back to you.

4. Could you possibly suggest one of your all-time favorite books?

The Windup Bird Chronicles or Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. Everything by Roald Dahl

5. Finally, how regularly do politics inform the lyrical content of your songs?

Good question, as I perhaps appear to be rather political, as my myspace has 2 political songs, out of 4. I’d say out of the 75/or so songs I wrote last year, maybe 5 – 10 are political. I have a lot more social satire than political satire. Perhaps, though, social satire is political. If social satire is considered political, I’d say maybe 50% are those and the other 50% are heart-on-a-sleeve love and breakup songs.

I post many new songs often at www.TheUkuLady.com and many new videos often at www.youtube.com//ThessalyLerner
Thanksies and heartsies! Love The UkuLady

…Please, gentle reader, stay tuned for another 5 Question Interview in the coming months and years.

Yours truly,

Mozart Breath

Radiohead’s In Rainbows Discbox Arrives

My copy of the In Rainbows discbox arrived today. Along with the cool packaging, and the cd & vinyl versions of the long ago downloaded In Rainbows is an additional CD which includes 8 tracks not selected for the album.

I was expecting disc 2 to play like a selection of unrelated “B-Sides” but it doesn’t sound like that really, it sounds more like an extension of In Rainbows and if anything is actually more cohesive than disc 1. To my ears these songs were not excluded from In Rainbows due to being of lower quality but instead that that the songs were selected for disc 1 and disc 2 based on whether they fit in well with the surrounding material.

Every track on disc 2 sounds vital and that includes the segue pieces “MK 1″ and “MK 2″ which help the disc’s cohesion and sense of otherworldliness. The first track of disc 2, “MK 1,” is a segue from the last track of In Rainbows, “Videotape,” into disc 2. This is definitely not just a set of b-sides. It is an extension and an expansion of disc 1 of In Rainbows. This is an essential disc for fans of Radiohead.

It’s hard for me to select favorites from disc 2 at the moment as it’s hard to say what’s more beautiful “Last Flowers To The Hospital” or “4 Minute Warning”… It’s hard to say what’s most face melting “Up The Ladder” or “Bangers & Mash.” In the end it’s not about that. As great as the songs are individually it seems to me that they are even greater all together. It’s truly a trip to be experienced in full. The places this music takes a listener in under 30 minutes is truly incredible.

It always surprises me that the word “psychedelic” doesn’t come up more when talking about Radiohead. I think Disc 2 may be their most psychedelic collection of music yet and in my opinion that’s some pretty darn psychedelic music. I will not use this space to encourage drug use (entirely due to Google’s TOS… we do have Google ads here) BUT if you are into that sort of thing, put Disc 2 on. Yes.

Emperor Tomato Ketchup – Stereolab | Album Review

Catsup

Every now and again a record comes along that changes your haircut for roughly two minutes, and for me, that record is no doubt Stereolab’s rather tasty “Emperor Tomato Ketchup,” I believe that this album title is based upon an experimental film, is it not? And if it is experimental it basically means that it is no good. Regardless, if this is in fact the case it certainly inspired Stereolab to kindly create one of their better recorded works. Who can possibly deny the fast-paced action of jams like “Percolator”? Maybe Condi Rice, but very few others, I can assure you.

Times have changed and so have I, but radical records stay like totally the same into eternity and possibly beyond if that is in fact mathematically or scientifically possible, although the two are quite obviously inter-linked like a bunch of cats from Japan that clearly made it much too far. Far be it from me to deny and displace the tasty powerful political resistance of a mighty yummy organ blast. What about “Metronomic Underground”, a song that is an utter blast to shake ones saggy bosoms unto that which is quite obviously the evening moonlight in essence, and I am talking hardcore relevance in 1996, no joke. And I must mention I believe the title of the opening number to good old Tomato Catsup to be based upon a French cartoon of some sort, no?

These are no robots in the Stereolab outfit, but highly evolved cyborgs with hearts of shiny and sharp glass shards. And that is what I would successfully refer to as a musical love like no other, and far superior to such contemporary rubbish of the time period like Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather”. I just could care less about Alternative Rock haircuts, but you will get yourself a nice little style going in the Stereolab realm, as it is continually a situation in which Parker Lewis can never ever lose.

I’ll tell you, nothing beats those tasty Stereolab sing-song vocals of yore. They were indeed the days, in which we still received in little ways, the things of kindness, an unsporting brow, to forget and allow (Jim Morrison “Poetry”). Take it for what it is, quality baby making music that is somehow also ideal for a priest. The track list is stupendous, I kid you not. Not Retro but “Futro” or some junk…

Radiohead’s In Rainbows Discbox Ships

I just received an email, like I’m assuming many others did as well, letting me know that my In Rainbows discbox has been shipped from w.a.s.t.e. in the UK.

According to the email those in the UK will receive their disc box within 1 to 8 days, those in the rest of Europe will receive theirs within 1 to 14 days, and those in the rest of the world will receive it within 5 to 18 days.

Sadly for those of us in America this means we’ll get ours at least a few days after those in the UK. I plan on plugging up my ears and not checking any music websites (other than this one of course) until I receive mine. I want to hear the 8 bonus tracks with virgin ears just as I heard the album on October 10.

The bonus tracks are:

1. “MK 1″
2. “Down Is the New Up”
3. “Go Slowly”
4. “MK 2″
5. “Last Flowers”
6. “Up on the Ladder”
7. “Bangers and Mash”
8. “4 Minute Warning”

Ah yes, my turntable is all ready to go.

Live version of “Bangers and Mash” from 2006 in LA: