This Just In!
I loved interviewing Vaughn from Loves It! and Jenny when she was in Shotgun Party so much, and think their music is so great, that I’m putting it here. You can listen all you like, or go to http://www.lovesit.bandcamp.com, and download or buy your own copy.
You know the very second I get an extra $12, I’ll be ordering me an old school CD, because that’s how I still listen to music in my car.
I was just writing interview questions for this band called Loves It!. Sounds like a totally silly band, right? Wrong. Well, sort of wrong. I mean, the name is silly and some of the lyrics are funny, but the band is a pretty serious band. They are impressive, multi-instrumentalists, and they’ve got this vintage sensibility, and I love their songs.
They’re from Austin, TX.
As it turns out, I interviewed Jenny Parrott before, last time she was in Williamsport with her other, now defunct band, Shotgun Party. Read that interview here. Now she’s traveling about with her bestie who’s called Vaughan Walters, and they are just lovely to listen to. Go forth, people. Get their album (it’s called Yay!). If you send them an email, they will tell you how to pay them and mail it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway, I was going to tell you in this post that there are some important things about writing interview questions, and that an interview is an opportunity for some multimedia credits, and you really ought to try to do a good job, etc etc, but then I thought, “How many people who read my blog do interviews?”
I think it’s safe to imagine that fewer than six of you do. For you six, I’m sorry. But here it is in a nutshell: ask interesting questions, record it, look for opportunities to re-publish it, don’t talk too much.
So then I was reading about Loves It! on Facebook, and it turns out that Jenny Parrott is from New Haven. (It’s important to amass some information before an interview. You can ask more interesting questions that way.)
If you only know me from Facebook, you probably think I’m from there, too. It’s not really, technically true. I lived there for most of my 20s, and I feel like I grew up there, became the person I am–or at least got permission to be who I am–there.
So I’m more comfortable calling that place, a place in which I always felt like I was home, my hometown. I’m less comfortable calling my actual hometown, that still gives me the willies, my hometown. And it’s the future, and the internet allows us to reinvent ourselves, so I’m being Gen Y in that way, even though I myself am right on the cusp of Gen X and Gen Y, and exhibit way more Gen X characteristics than Gen Y ones.
Jenny Parrott’s name is familiar to me, and was when I interviewed her for Shotgun Party, and now I’m thinking maybe she was playing around New Haven when I lived there.
For the Shotgun Party interview, I dismissed it. Thought, “well, Jenny, duh. Then Parrot, that’s a bird. Of course it’s familiar.”
I’m excited to ask.
Still. Point making. I understand blog readers want that. I’m getting there.
My point is, I was thinking about New Haven in that gushy, nostalgic-for-my-less-fettered-life way in which I sometimes do. I was remembering the fun times I had there, and where I heard a lot of good, live music (Rudy’s and Toad’s Place), and how great it was to be free and light and learn a city, learn it so well that it was like I owned it.
I met so many righteous people and friends I still have there. I just love that place so hard.
Part of the thing is that New Haven is kind of a fake city. It’s small. But it’s kind of hardcore, too. Like, I’m always saying there’s no ‘hood in Williamsport. That is true. But New Haven has several. Don’t get tricked by Yale.
Anyhow, last time I was there, I was kind of horrified to see that Rudy’s got a new storefront and a facelift and now looks like one of those posh places where people with designer clothing hang out. When I lived in New Haven, Rudy’s was like the island for lost, hipster souls. I met so many interesting alcoholics there, and was a bit of one myself.
I mean, not in the sense that I couldn’t get shit done and I was unproductive. But I played a lot harder then. I worked and played wicked hard.
So when I remembered the crisis about Rudy’s, I got a little bit of peace with not living in New Haven anymore. Almost none of the people I ran around with still live there–though some of the important ones do–and the downtown is different. The energy is not the same as it was in 2003, before we brokeass kids were occupying Wall Street, and griping about the 1%. And I’m all old and matronly now.
I’ve got more stuff going for me, and fewer itches to tempt fate, or dye my hair green or blue or ___________. I’ve had fewer residences since then and fewer roommates, and I feel like I’ve slowed down in the way you’re supposed to by the time you get to 30.
And so if I went back now, I’m sure I would love it still, but there would be things that were missing that would make me really sad, things that would make me feel like it was stupid to move back.
Because places–even if the buildings and the roadways stay the same–are so much more than collections of concrete and mcadam. In being inhabited by living things, places themselves live. People’s identities and goals and energies change within a place, and the place is affected by that.
Part of Williamsport for me is nostalgia about New Haven. Part of Carlisle for me was resentment that it wasn’t New Haven. Pittsburgh was a worm hole of disappointment and failure.
But I think I’m home again now. There is enough here that is worth it that the sharp memories of New Haven, and how great life was there, are fading and getting replaced by warm fuzzies in Williamsport. Some things are obnoxious; but this is a good place, and I am glad to have landed here.