Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blitzen Trapper

My interview with Blitzen Trapper appeared in the Charleston City Paper. (Apologies again for so much delay in reposting here!)

Eric Earley hints at a past tragedy on Blitzen Trapper's latest 

Dark shadows

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley isn't a talkative man. He's a mumbler on the phone, not terribly forthcoming, and uncomfortable, it seems, with getting too much attention, but he laughs a lot. It's a sound that comes up frequently when he's faced with questions that make him look at his life, which has been mostly spent in and around Portland, Ore. It's a strange but charming sort of reaction, given Earley's concession that the band's latest album, 2011's American Goldwing, is "pretty nostalgic."

"I don't really think about the past," he says. "I think there's a reason for whatever songs I was writing at the time. It's not necessarily a matter of confidence, but knowing yourself better as you get older." He pauses, then laughs. "Besides, there's good things and bad things about getting more confidence as you write songs."

Sara Watkins

My interview with Sara Watkins originally ran in the Charleston City Paper.

Sara Watkins joins forces with Jackson Browne 
Sunny songwriters

A few things stand out when you listen to Sara Watkins' latest album, Sun Midnight Sun (Nonesuch): heartbreak and heartache are plentiful, her famous friends are out in full force (including Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, and Benmont Tench), and for a fiddle virtuoso coming off 20 years as one-third of famed folk band Nickel Creek, she sure does love to let her pop star shine.
Watkins knows this new record is a departure from her 2009 eponymous solo debut. It's all part of the new reality she's been cultivating — growing up, getting outside her own mind, and challenging herself.

"The first record was establishing a home base, collecting the sources, the places I came from musically," Watkins says, speaking just before the start of a summer tour with Browne. "A lot of my past is represented on the first record. I knew that's what I was doing, establishing a base camp. Making my second record, I got to enjoy stepping away from that, and I got to enjoy collaborating with some new people, namely Blake Mills [from Dawes], who produced the record. We could explore and discover each song as we were recording it."


I've been absolutely terrible about updating my site, but I'm going to try to be good going forward!

This is my piece on Xanadu, originally published in the Straight.

Xanadu is cheese served on skates

Xanadu is a campy ode to, and sendup of, the ’80s roller-disco movie musical

By Andrea Warner,

Marlie Collins and Gaelan Beatty get kitschy in Xanadu.

“And you’re skating away, looking over your shoulder at him while he watches you…”

Glide, glide, backwards glance, bang! As director Dean Paul Gibson guides her, Marlie Collins, the tall blond star of the Arts Club’s production of Xanadu, stumbles on her rollerskates and botches her exit from the Granville Island Stage. Gibson barely pauses. “Perhaps a bit more gracefully next time?” he suggests playfully without missing a beat.