Monday, March 30, 2009

Little Stewart // Mercer on Mitchell

Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu on his stuffed-animal collection:

"My favorite is a baby watermelon in the shape of a cube with arms, legs and a happy face. It has been adopted by two other smaller, German, gay watermelons—one with glasses and one with a moustache and a seed-shaped tear."

Go to The Volume to read the rest of a pictorially enhanced e-mail Q&A I recently conducted with Stewart, who plays Brooklyn (Monkey Town, to be exact) a week from today, April 6.

Xiu Xiu is one of the few bands I know that's truly deserving of the description "harrowing." If you haven't heard them, 2006's The Air Force is an emotional gut-punch of the highest order.


Just devoured Michelle Mercer's new Joni Mitchell tome, Will You Take Me as I Am. It's an intriguing hybrid--part biography, part criticism, part (for lack of a better word) meditation on Joni's so-called "Blue Period." I admired the freeformness of the book, its commitment to detours and tangents. There are some fun gossipy details here, as well as excellent supplemental interviews with the likes of Graham Nash. Best of all though are the first-person accounts of Mercer's extensive personal encounters with Mitchell, such as the time the singer dressed the author down--or tried to--during an intimate dinner party. Well worth it for the Joni fan and made me realize I really need to check out Mercer's Wayne Shorter bio.

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