How does that old phrase go again? The one about meeting your heroes? Oh, right. NEVER DO IT. EVER.
I once heard about a writer who was completely elated to meet Ellen DeGeneres. During the interview, Ellen didn’t even smile. That’s enough to scar you for one whole lifetime. I think I speak for all of us here in saying that I imagine Ellen smiling even as she’s cleaning out the garbage disposal.
Just like all those other sayings go, sometimes you simply can’t help yourself. It's easy to imagine that once you meet said hero, you’ll become best friends, and go explore cities and eat ice cream together in the style of an '80s-movie montage, while “We're Going to Be Friends” by the White Stripes plays tenderly in the background.
This is why I had to meet Noah Gundersen. Imagine all the ice-cream cones.
On an only mildly chilly night in Pittsburgh, a small crowd gathered early at Stage AE for the VIP experience pre-doors. The feeling in the group was one of nervous excitement and uncertainty about what to expect upon entering the nearly empty venue.
Around 5:30 p.m., about three dozen of us were brought into the venue to play the signature St. Vincent guitar, pose at her bright pink press podium from the album artwork, and explore the merch table without a crowd. But most importantly, this VIP experience included an acoustic performance (“Laughing With A Mouth of Blood” and “Prince Johnny”) and a half hour or so of discussion.
I don’t call it a Q&A because it wasn’t like a press conference. She asked as many questions of us, if not more, than were asked of her, and the questions ranged from serious to silly. I took off my journalist cap and asked her what her favorite holiday is (“Halloween, I guess. Or, no! A nice Easter, actually.”) I won’t say much more on it, just that it was an absolute privilege to engage with such an empathetic, funny and brilliant artist. If you have a strict, "Don’t meet your hero" rule, she’s one artist worth breaking it for.
Tags: Slingshot Dakota , pop , punk , power pop , piano , Carly Comando , Bethlehem , Mr. Smalls , Mr. Smalls Funhouse , Em Dubin , feminism , FCKYRBOYSCLUB , FCK YR BOYS CLUB , DIY , indie , corgis , Kevin , FFW>> , Image
CP sat down with label runner and ANTIfest organizer Chris Stowe in advance of the festival to talk about the history and potential future of ANTIfest and A-F Records.
Tags: activism , A-F Records , Anti-Flag , A-F , The Code , Mr. Roboto Project , PAAR , Persad Center , Chris Stowe , Stowe , ANTIfest , The Code , Tabula Rasa , Edhochuli , Endless Mike and the Beagle Club , punk , FFW>> , Image
In our Nov. 8 issue, we're publishing a collection of protest songs for the Trump era. These are songs selected by alt-weekly writers around the country that inspire action and resistance in a tumultuous political climate. But to keep up the strength to fight, you need to take care of yourself. So here's an alternative playlist, one that focuses more on what songs have helped comfort, console and chill out local writers and activists in the past year.