Still catching up on some events of the last few months, and today I can report on my adventure with Noizepunk & Das Crooner.
I was in New York for a bunch of recording sessions in March, and got the invitation to stop by the Noizepunk studios, aka Gene Pritsker’s apartment, on the Upper East Side. I was greeted there by the dynamic duo, and ushered through Gene’s kitchen to the studio where he creates his own inimitable brand of musical mayhem. And by the way, if you haven’t heard any of Gene’s music, do check it out – fun stuff.
Offered a beer as we slipped through the kitchen, declined. I’m not a great drinker, and I figure sober is the best way to begin an interview, regardless of how one ends up. Which reminds me of advice I heard recently from Rosemary Harris: never accept the first drink in new company. She told the story of her first meeting with Katherine Hepburn, at Hepburn’s apartment, in which she accepted a drink, got tipsy and promptly spewed all over her hostess’s shoes.
I haven’t done much vomiting in my life, but it’s been enough to discourage me from taking any chances.
In any case, I settled into the plush love seat they offered me (all right, so it was a metal foldup) and prepared to do battle. You see, I had heard a few of NADC’s interviews, and knew they could be a little rough with their guests. All in good fun, of course, but I was on my guard. As it turned out, I needn’t have been concerned: they were gracious hosts and genuinely supportive, and I ended up feeling badly about being a bit defensive.
Gene Pritsker and Charles Coleman go back a long ways, to their student days at Manhattan School of Music. Charles got his start as an opera singer; Gene’s background is in guitar. So, as you might guess, Charles is the one with the booming vocal presence, and Gene tends to have more of a twangy, side-of-the-mouth delivery.
A word of warning to anyone who does a Noizepunk and Das Crooner interview: they have two hand-held microphones. And I mean hand-held by Noizepunk and Das Crooner. The interviewee sits next to Crooner and waits for the microphone to show up in his face, at which point you get a three-count to come up with some words of wit or wisdom. If nothing appropriate occurs, the mike is whisked away while Gene makes a wisecrack, either vocally or with his handily placed synthesizer keyboard. Stay on your toes!
No pics of this event. Just a soundfile: http://www.kalvos.org/nkshows.html. I was honored to be guest number 50 – a pretty good number, as far as they go. But I’m not sure why I’m publicizing this link – I haven’t listened to it myself yet. I’ll just take comfort – and distress – in knowing that no matter how goofy I may sound, it wasn’t because of the beer.