Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

How does an Arab-American Comic deal with 9/11?

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The Chicago interview with one of the band’s founding members, Walt Parazeider, is done.  Too many things to do and I got a little behind.  So, I’ll be relying more on a calendar to keep things as uncluttered as I can.  Walt was such a nice guy.  He kept saying how much he appreciated the opportunity to work, and tour and how grateful he was to his fans.

Will also have the interview with Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah done in the next day or so.  He was a pretty normal guy.  I mention Arab-American because it’s part of his schtick; he says he goofs on white people, like all comedians of minority ethnicity do.  And for the most part, they’re good with it.  He gets an occasional heckler, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to be on the receiving end of his wit.  But, he also said that because he looks white, sometimes, he plays down the fact that he’s from the Middle East.  Considering today’s anniversary, I wonder if today will be one of those days.

When I think of comedians, I think of Robin Williams or Sam Kinison or, of course, Richard Pryor.  Dean was cool in that he is that special breed of comic, the political comic.  When I think of political comedy, I think of the Capitol Steps or, from an earlier time, Steve Allen, or Mark Twain even.

Comedians are the modern equivalent of the court jester.  Usually, the jester was the wittiest person on the King’s court and they were always skirting the line between life and death with the innuendo or in-your-face things they dared to say that would get anybody else s’ head chopped off.  But because they said it with the manner of a “fool”, they were forgiven or ignored.  But comedians have known forever that the best way to get past our defenses is with humor.

Dean was calm and cool and I hope his tour is successful.

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Written by Interviewer

September 11, 2012 at 22:54

Posted in Art

A Passionate Spirit

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Interview with Loveness Wesa

Loveness being interviewed

Spent about an hour interviewing Loveness Wesa yesterday.  Many musicians are always in a state of flux, meaning, they seem to consider their music obselete just as soon as they finish it.  In a way, that is marvelous because they never let themselves become stale.  But it seems like it can also be a merciless master to please.  Loveness was this way too.  She considered the music she has released to this point, not representative of where she is or where she is going.  For those who have never heard of her though, being introduced to her through her older stuff is no crime.  So, I have two delightful CDs that I’ll be using, intermixed with her words and thoughts, which I must say, were full of emotion.  It should be up in a few days,  I hope you enjoy it.   

Also, just found out that I’ll be doing an interview with Walt Parazaider from the group Chicago in the next few weeks.  That is exciting.  I’ve always loved the big brass sound from the City of Big Shoulders, and I am loving the idea of the research I’m going to do about the band in advance of the interview.

Written by Interviewer

August 25, 2012 at 23:06

Posted in Art

Afropop and Teddy Bears

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I’ll be talking to Loveness Wesa, a musician with musical ties to Zimbabwe and South Africa via martial artist Cynthia Rothrock.  I was recommended to talk to her, and so we’ll be having a pre-interview so I can get an idea of possible lines of questions.  I don’t like to go into a conversation with someone knowing nothing, so I prefer a basis of knowledge.  But, at the same time, if I know nothing, I am like someone stumbling on her and her musical tradition for the first time.  And that can be pretty exciting too.  So, I try to split the difference; ask honest and simple questions that take me where they may, but also have concrete knowledge to fill in the spaces or focus in on what is truly important to the artist. 

Also, sent a request to interview the director of the Swedish Ad Firm, Studio Total.  They pulled off a coup in practically every sense and I’d like to talk with Per Cromwell about it.  Read about the Minsk Teddy Bear Drop here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_Total.  I really do want to talk with everybody about everything.  And this is especially interesting.  Wish me luck.

Written by Interviewer

August 23, 2012 at 14:37

Posted in Art

Forgiveness or Permission?

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Sometimes I hear a little voice that goes against the momentum that may already be carrying me.  Most times, I don’t listen to that voice because I’m overly confident that I’m right.  But almost always, that little voice is right and I pay for that over confidence by letting that momentum throw me over a cliff like Wyle E. Coyote.  It’s a clear voice so it’s not hard to hear, but like I said, it’s my ego that eventually drowns it out.  Recently though, I’ve been thinking that voice is probably the one I should be listening to.  So, against my nature and my history, I’ve been trying to do just that.  I won’t do it always, because my ego can be charismatic and a bully.  And I don’t know if outcomes will be any better.  But my guess is that they will be.

Written by Interviewer

August 21, 2012 at 11:39

Posted in Art

Ziggy Marley Interview Even Better Now

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TUFF GONG Worldwide, Ziggy Marley’s Management Company, gave me permission to use the version of the interview which includes the music from his latest record, “Wild and Free.”  Thanks, Audrey.  So now, the first 30 minutes or so is about the music, and the second half is about all of his other passions and endeavors he’s engaged with right now.  And one of the listeners to the originally posted interview said it gave them the inspiration for a song!  THAT’s what I like.  I hope you all listen to these interviews, take what you need from them and recommend them to other people.   And I appreciate any comments you have that you think would make future interviews better for you.  To hear the interview, go to www.soundcloud.com/interviewer-1.

Written by Interviewer

August 20, 2012 at 22:52

Posted in Art

And the Cutting Goes On

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It took more than two hours to edit less than 10 minutes of audio from the Ziggy Marley interview.  Editing, for people who can’t imagine doing it, might compare it to watching paint dry.  For me, it’s almost pure joy.  I expect it’ll be fully produced by this time tomorrow and then, up.

Written by Interviewer

August 16, 2012 at 06:32

Posted in Art

Good Interview Today

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Talked with Ziggy Marley finally.  I had scheduled an interview with him about a month ago, but because of scheduling conflicts, it didn’t happen.  But Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer and all of the people at Tuff Gong Worldwide worked with me and today, Mr. Marley and I had a GREAT conversation.  He is a warm, friendly person, and passionate about all of the things he’s doing (Quick Rundown; MarijuanaMan comic book; URGE non-profit focusing on children in Jamaica and elsewhere; working to show the benefits of hemp for society; promoting the biopic of his father, Bob Marley in the film “Marley”; and performing off his most recent release, “Wild and Free”.  BTW, Wild and Free is chocked full of wisdom and warnings to a culture too consumed with the accumulation of stuff.  But, it also has some great kickback music too.  He’s a new father, an activist and very spiritual.  Tons going on in his life and yet, he’s very calm and grateful about it all.  A great experience.  I expect to have the interview finished in a couple of days.  Thanks, Ziggy.

Written by Interviewer

August 15, 2012 at 09:24

Posted in Art