Soft Focus: Interviews with some damn fine and/or interesting musicians
January 27, 2008 1:52 PM   Subscribe

For the last year, the Vice TV program Soft Focus has presented an assortment of "discussions about art, culture, politics, personal history, personal feelings, fashion, and the like" with a series of noteworthy musicians. Host Ian Svenonius manages to wrangle dialogue with of some of the music world's most colorful and idiosyncratic characters: The Fall's Mark E. Smith, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, The Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder, Crass' Penny Rimbaud, Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV's Genesis P. Orridge, Cat Power's Chan Marshall, Thee Headcoats' Billy Childish, The Specials' Terry Hall, Andrew WK, Fugazi's Ian Mackaye, and Palace/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's Will Oldham.

I'm not a fan of Svenonius' music, but his subjects are relaxed and his interviewing style works well in the format given. His oddball sense of humor allows for some funny segments, as shown in the Will Oldham episode, and most of the musicians seem to take him seriously enough to talk freely.
posted by item (21 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
and I know, I know: YFBS, which is why I left Rollins out of my post.
posted by item at 1:54 PM on January 27, 2008


i think this is a double
posted by andywolf at 2:11 PM on January 27, 2008


I don't think so - I thought it would've been posted before, but couldn't even find a mention of the show in comments, let alone a post about it.
posted by item at 2:18 PM on January 27, 2008


He interviewed all these people, and you left Sonny Rollins off the post? Why I oughta.

Anyway, thanks for this: I'll probably watch a few bits and pieces and feel a small rush finally seeing what these people look and sound and think like outside of their music. Billy Childish's moustache is worth the price of admission.
posted by not_on_display at 2:21 PM on January 27, 2008


Just watched the Oldham interview, was quite impressed with Svenonius' interview style. Great post, will definitely keep watching.
posted by farishta at 2:26 PM on January 27, 2008


Nope, not here anywhere I can find, though I did find one mention of the Mackaye segment in a comment.

Of course this has been posted to tons of other sites, though I somehow missed it until a couple of months back.
posted by item at 2:27 PM on January 27, 2008


Yeah, that Oldham interview is really damn hilarious.
posted by item at 2:28 PM on January 27, 2008


i must of been thinking of that comment, sorry.
posted by andywolf at 2:31 PM on January 27, 2008


I thought it was hilarious when Penny Rimbaud harpooned the Rolling Stones for stealing black American music to the man who brought us The Make-Up.
posted by cazoo at 2:40 PM on January 27, 2008


Has anyone read The Psychic Soviet?
posted by farishta at 2:43 PM on January 27, 2008


anyone else having trouble getting the videos to load?
posted by Hat Maui at 2:50 PM on January 27, 2008


yay this is great, i love billy childish!
posted by rollerball at 2:57 PM on January 27, 2008


Hat Maui, many of the videos have been posted to youtube and elsewhere.
posted by item at 3:27 PM on January 27, 2008


that will oldham interview was the best type of surreal. i'm going enjoy these. thanks.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:38 PM on January 27, 2008


that is quite a guest list.
posted by mwhybark at 4:24 PM on January 27, 2008


thanks, item.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:30 PM on January 27, 2008


Svenonius slept with a girl I dated one week after we broke up. I hate that guy.
posted by Falconetti at 8:11 PM on January 27, 2008


I've only had a little bit of time today, so I started with the Penny Rimbaud and then went to Mr. Childish. So far, these are really good. Thanks for pointing them out.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:04 PM on January 27, 2008


Svenonius is excruciatingly unfunny in the Terry Hall interview. (And, yes Hat Maui, vbs loads like enriched molasses..)
posted by progosk at 8:42 AM on January 28, 2008


Wow - Mark E Smith, Genesis P Orridge, Cat Power, Will Oldham, Terry Hall...this guy's gotta have one of the best jobs in the world, that's for sure.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:05 PM on January 28, 2008


While I really enjoy Cat Power, I can't get over how incredibly awkward Chan Marshall is. Just watching her interview makes me really, really uncomfortable. I couldn't get through it.
posted by numinous at 11:41 PM on January 29, 2008


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