Tag Archives: addiction

Ep. #84: Charles R. Cross

Charles R. Cross is a Seattle-based music writer and author who has written nine books, including the award-winning and definitive Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain. He was the editor-in-chief of the Seattle music magazine The Rocket, covering the early rise of local bands like Nirvana and he’s regarded as both an esteemed expert and reliable firsthand witness to the media’s mania about the arts and culture cultivated within the Pacific Northwest almost 25 years ago. His latest book is Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, which is an intriguing chronicle of the myriad ways in which Cobain’s life and death affected various strains of culture—everything from hip-hop music and high fashion to geographic interest in Aberdeen, Washington and a more serious medical assessment of addictive personalities, suicide prevention, and the moral gridlock that stymies the so-called ‘war on drugs.’ Here, Charles and I discuss his recent trip to Cobain’s hometown, Aberdeen, Washington, the library where Cobain spent a lot of time as a youth, the fiasco that was Aberdeen’s ‘Kurt Cobain Day,’ the good people of that town versus the hapless public officials who grapple with his legacy, how a weird conversation with Larry King inspired Cross’ latest book, the divisiveness of Cobain in his work and lifestyle, how Cross viewed Cobain after finishing his biography Heavier Than Heaven, grappling with Cobain’s suicide and how his life was shadowed by its prospect, how making music and art actually may have prolonged his life, how dwelling upon Cobain proves to be insightful as a writer and fan, holding Kurt’s suicide note and reading his journals, the infuriating crassness of cashing in on Cobain’s death, how Cross feels he’s now said all he can say about Cobain, how he’s struck this close, trusting association with Courtney Love, the latest about the biopic that will supposedly be based upon Heavier Than Heaven, the Nirvana song “Sliver,” and more.

Related links: charlesrcross.com youritlist.com nirvana.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #70: Joel RL Phelps

Joel RL Phelps is an American musician and songwriter who once played in the now-defunct band Silkworm. Upon leaving Silkworm, Phelps began collaborating with new musicians, most notably William Herzog and Robert Mercer, and formed a unique rock group called Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio. The band’s new album came out Oct. 8, 2013 via Triple Crown Audio Recordings in Canada; it’s called Gala and marks their first release in nine years. Here, Joel and I discuss living in Vancouver vs. Montana vs. Seattle, missing Steve Albini, seeing Shellac at the Starfish Room in Vancouver in 1999, the themes on Gala, as they relate to his recovery from alcoholism, some background into his condition and when and how it began to manifest itself, his experience with clinical depression and other mental health issues, the process of trying to get reacquainted with one’s self, how addicts tend to interact with and disconnect from the world, how all of these experiences might inform the music and lyrics on Gala, how he was barely able to walk before he entered recovery, his work with 12-step and secular recovery groups and how that leads him to discuss ideas and approaches regarding addiction, his role in the formation of Silkworm and the band’s earliest days, dropping out of school quite a bit, the circumstances that led to his leaving Silkworm, why he didn’t appear in the documentary Couldn’t You Wait? The Story of Silkworm and how it impacted the film, playing in the Downer Trio and his general temperament towards music these days, his touring/travelling difficulties, how Canadians are really into Canadian things, the song “So You’ve Decided,” and more.

Related links: joelrlphelps.net crowncrowncrown.com vishkhanna.com

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