Andrew Bird and Phoebe Bridgers must be pals now. From reinterpreting Emily Dickinson poems to covering Handsome Family classics, these two are already about 1/7th the way to making a whole album together. A very, very sad album. Happy holidays, everybody!
Their Dickinson jam just got a video, made in collaboration with the Emily Dickinson Museum and featuring handwritten transcripts and footage of Dickinson’s lifelong home. See where the magic happened! That sweet, lonely, revolutionary, poetic magic.
This is so good. MOJO magazine shared this fantastic poem and here’s the back story:
“The preposterously youthful 60-year-old is currently touring the UK, and while MOJO’s requests for an interview met with the usual polite refusal, Richman offered to interview himself in the form of a poem.”
It starts out like this:
So Jonathan, does it feel at all strange to be sixty years old,
Singing in clubs now for forty odd years,
Playing for students a third your age?
Yes, it feel strange.
Yes, it feel strange.
My face keeps on changing, but the public stays 20.
I once almost got into a fight with a guy over Jonathan Richman. I was young and earnest and couldn’t believe that any decent human being could have heard but not like Jonathan Richman. It didn’t come to blows, thank goodness, but that’s mostly because it was morning, I was hungover, and I was staying at this guy’s apartment for the weekend. I’ve gotten considerably less rigid regarding my prerequisites for decent humanity, but I still think that if you don’t like Jonathan Richman you’re probably an asshole.
If you have been to more than one rock show at a club in Chicago, you have probably seen him. You may have wondered, “Who is that weird old guy up there and what the hell is he talking about?” He’s Thax Douglas and he’s Chicago’s rock and roll poet laureate, best known for reading spontaneously written poems as introductions for indie rock bands at shows across the city. He’s been praised by Chicago icons from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy to This American Life‘s Ira Glass, who said of Douglas’ Tragic Faggot Syndrome, “It’s shocking that such disturbing dark poems come out of such a calm decent-seeming man. I read with great interest, worrying about Thax.”
Glorious Noise had the pleasure to conduct an interview with Thax earlier this year.