Thursday, September 03, 2009

fenn o'beta

Twice this year, I've had massive, highly-anticipated interviews fall-through. The first was with Christian Fennesz, slated to run in The Believer. There was a back and forth with both him and his manager arranging a time to chat, either in Vienna or when he was in the States for a festival. Abruptly, the dialogue lapsed on their side and a month on they informed me --via a temp underling for an out of town publicist-- that Mr. Fennesz could no longer do it. So all those notes got scrapped.

Last month, with the release of a new Jim O'Rourke solo album, The Visitor, I arranged to have a chat with a gentleman that I have long esteemed and respected (and defended to naysayers). It's hard to imagine that I would be into nearly as much music as I'm into were it not for Mr. O'Rourke's example, deftly mixing and referencing both the popular and the avant-garde in his music and productions. (That I would sooner listen to Scott Walker's Climate of the Hunter, This Heat, and Luc Ferrari more than his Brise-Glace album should not detract from his influence.)

Originally, he would only agree to talk about the new album, nothing else, but I lobbied for a chance to speak about other matters, be it Nic Roeg and Jack Nitzsche or Italian prog, swearing that I wouldn't just ask him about Sonic Youth and Wilco (not because of the work contributed, but I couldn't imagine dredging up all of that for the sake of conversation). That too, was heading to The Believer. Yet within a 24 hour period, the interview was both confirmed and then canceled.

What makes it all come round is that when I first started doing music writing, back in the late 90s, my dream was to interview Peter Rehberg, as I was obsessed with his 1999 album, Get Out. We corresponded a bit by email, until one day he fell off the face of the earth as well. Which is to say, it took a decade to happen, but I just got dissed by the improv laptop trio of Fenn O'Berg.