Vol. 5 No. 2 July 2017
Why We Talk
“Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see light”
— The Smiths, “There Is A Light”
Writing is a solitary craft, as I noted in my inaugural issue’s intro, “Why We Write”. So one of the perks of doing an interview is certainly the social aspect of it, especially if it’s done in person. Since writing is usually done alone, interviews offer the writer a break from his usual solitude.
But hopefully another benefit is the opportunity to hold insightful conversations with interesting people. Two such people are Christine Stay and Aidan Quinn, the acoustic duo known as Friction Farm. I’ve been listening and talking to them since I first stumbled across a gig of theirs in 1999, and in conversations, I’ve always found them to be interesting and articulate on a variety of subjects. So once I embarked on the pursuit of freelance music journalism, interviewing them seemed like a natural extension of our friendship.
I first interviewed Friction Farm when the group was still an electric trio, for an unpublished article titled “The Way Friction Works”; the interview featured in this article is my first with the group as an acoustic duo. On both occasions, I found that the addition of a recorder and notepad to our conversations did nothing to take away from them.
So while there’s a certain labour-intensive aspect to interviews after the fact (i.e., transcribing them is a pain), it’s certainly fun to see a group with something to say get another outlet in which to say it. The Friction Farm interview featured here took place over three years ago, and it centers around an album (I Read Your Book) that is no longer the duo’s latest (the album So Many Stars was released on July 1st). But the passage of time does nothing to dull a fascinating examination of the way Friction works now, so I hope you’ll take a look…
Waiting In Vain
A few weeks ago I listened to Hawaiian reggae band Iration on its recent tour stop at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Notice I didn’t say I saw Iration, as listen was all I could do while I waited in line for an hour trying to buy a ticket for the band’s show.
Even though the venue had three ticket windows, only one of them took credit cards, and that was the one with the long, snaking line. So the Sunset Cove missed out on my ticket business because it made it too hard for me to give them my money. File that under “What were they thinking?”
Of all the venues I’ve gone to, I’ve never run into a situation like that. Even though I don’t always wait till the actual day of a show to buy my ticket, it would have never occurred to me that the line to do so would be that long. Most venues in the business of putting on concerts for paying customers usually make it easy for those customers to pay. So I can only surmise that for the Sunrise Cove, a venue in the middle of a park, putting on such concerts is a pastime.
Why We Write: One More Reason
“I hear my voice, I hear my voice /And it’s been here/Silent all these years” — Tori Amos
At the risk of belabouring whatever point I might have, a fellow music journalist reminded me of one more reason why I bother to work on a music magazine without compensation, or much of an audience, for that matter. My friend had been covering a number of major music festivals on behalf of her college paper but still decided to start her own magazine because she wanted her own voice. I realized that not having to worry about editors altering my writing style was one of the unexpected perks of doing my own thing as a music journalist. And while that may not make up for the lack of pay, it’s still something. And the pay wasn’t that good, anyway…
July 16, 2017
Lake Worth, Florida
Ad-lib to Fade: A Tale of Two Independence Days