Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Ep. #215: Destroyer

Destroyer is the music-making moniker of Dan Bejar, a very gifted lyricist and musician who originally hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. He has been creating an idiosyncratic kind of pop music as Destroyer for almost 20 years and can also claim membership in bands like the New Pornographers, Swan Lake, and Hello, Blue Roses among others. His latest work as Destroyer is a startlingly great new album called Poison Season, it’s out now via Merge Records, and has prompted him to tour the world over the next few months, including Canadian stops in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall on September 30 and in Montreal at Theatre Fairmount on October 1. Here, Dan and I discuss sitting in a park in Vancouver, gearing up for tour, inspiration from the road, fiction and film, plays and theatricality, American songwriting and show tunes, whether pop or rock music is inherently theatrical, banal music, writing and performing, Bruce Springsteen and/or Meat Loaf, things Springsteen likes, Joseph Shabason’s sexy sax, Dan’s history with musicals, surreal Indian movies, how Poison Season is a reflection of his true interests, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera and “Mack the Knife,” “I Loves You Porgy,” singing other people’s other songs, Five Spanish Songs, the song “Forces From Above,” salsa disco, bringing the string sections to life, word countometre and sparse vocals, Poison Season is a weird, emotional roller coaster, Times Square as a place and a muse, a second look, evolution and iterations, Taxi Driver, thinking about New York, “Times Square” as an anchor notion on Poison Season, the song “Bangkok,” and scene.

Related links: mergerecords.com/destroyer vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #131: Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector is one of the most influential vocalists and performers in all of pop music. Her work with the Ronettes in the 1960s was legendary, altering the course of rock ‘n’ roll with its style, attitude, and gigantic international hits like “Be My Baby,’ “Walking in the Rain,” and “Baby, I Love You.” Spector simply casts a long shadow on contemporary culture, influencing filmmakers, fashion designers, hair stylists, and a list of musicians that includes the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Ramones and Amy Winehouse among many others. On September 19, Spector heads to the Riatlo Theatre and Pop Montreal with her acclaimed show, Beyond the Beehive, an evening of music and stories about her life. Here, Ronnie and I discuss the rock ‘n’ roll state of Connecticut, the origins of her current stage show and its unfiltered examination of her entire life, talking about yourself in an age of oversharing, how artists don’t have lasting power in the current music industry, doing her Keith Richards impression, making the live Ronnie Spector experience a special one, how her marriage to Phil Spector impacted her ability to tour and release records, losing years in court battles, deflecting her icon status, raising kids and living a perfect life, Bed Bath & Beyond, cooking, falling in love with the voice of Frankie Lymon, music homework, going to the Apollo Theatre for amateur night at 11 years old, what Phil Spector was like to work with in the studio, the wall of sound was people, her relationship with “Be My Baby,” how there is still a lot of unreleased material by the Ronettes and Ronnie that has yet to see the light of day, we get cut off, the song “Be My Baby” and that was it.

Related links: ronniespector.com popmontreal.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #128: Nicholas Ruddock

Nicholas Ruddock is a Guelph-based doctor and a critically acclaimed poet and author whose 2010 novel, The Parabolist, was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. His latest work is the compelling, funny How Loveta Got Her Baby, a linked story collection that was published by Breakwater Books this past March. Ruddock will be reading at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday Sept. 14 and we met in an empty house the other day to talk about his long road to living in Guelph, secret doctors, not writing about medicine, my weak eye, linking on a shady dance floor, living in Newfoundland, purposefully heading east instead of west, the profundity of ‘the Rock,’ daring me to move to Newfoundland, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, perceptions of Newfoundland, going from a novel to a short story collection, Butterpot and Not Butterpot, courage and writing, his first novel The Parabolist, the story of the soccer players, black humour and death, whether or not doctors can have fun with their jobs, lighten up British Columbia, Dawson City in 1976, writing about the nobility of human nature, plotting and scheming characters, babies and Camaros, seeing your story altered in a short film adaptation, avoiding Bruce Springsteen, the next novel, the very, very short stories in How Loveta Got Her Baby, the next 25 short stories, writing tips, twitter, Nick’s wife, visual artist Cheryl Ruddock and his daughter Koko Bonaparte, inspiring a new story, and then our appointment is over.

Related links: nicholasruddock.com breakwaterbooks.com edenmillswritersfestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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