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Thursday, May 22, 2014

These go to 11: interviewing The Very Most

The time has arrived: this wouldn't be Bloodbuzzed without the wonderful musician, caring familiy man, gentle host and dear friend Jeremy Jensen taking part of in our interview series. Be careful: music genius answering questions. These Go to 11!

Jeremy Jensen, The Very Most
Imagine the pop benefits of cloning... 
Boise, Idaho is the land of potatoes, beautiful scenic views... and the place from where Jeremy Jensen, mastermind & only permanent member of TVM keeps creating his indiepop gems for 12 years now. In 2004 arrived the first album, 'Making the Case for Me', and since then the band status (and Jeremy's as pop composer) has only being reinforced once and again with every release, like 2008's golden LP 'Congratulations Forever', or the majestic 'A Year with The Very Most' in 2010, compiling the four EPs released a year before. Collaborations (he's quintessential part of Baffin Island, with my beloved Melanie Whittle of The Hermit Crabs), Christmas releases, several 7" & EPs, including their/his latest trio of wonders (go grab them!): 'Ununiversalizable Us', 'Just a Pup' and 2014's 'Things Too Obvious to Sing', out now on My Little Owl Records. Ladies & gents, Jeremy Jensen, crafting & honouring POP (in capital letters) with The Very Most. Here we go!

Stand! for GREAT records
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
The first record I bought was R.E.M.'s 'Green'. The first I was given as a gift (on cassette) was The Jets' 'Magic'. The Jets were a pop/R&B band from Tonga that had a few hits in the 80s. Lots of spandex. Pretty catchy though.

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
The first concert I went to was probably The Jets! I didn't realize until now how many of my personal milestones they were involved in. You caught me at a really good time in terms of the last one I saw: Neutral Milk Hotel. They were so good. So intense. Spot on vibe. They somehow managed to recreate onstage the manic-depressive, fuzzy sound of their records. The whole crowd sang along to every word.

Among the most dangerous
(music) criminals
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I really like the Justin Beiber song 'Die in Your Arms'. If it were recorded by The Jackson Five it would have been a classic. Even today's ridiculous hip-hop/R&B production and stylistic touches didn't manage to ruin it.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
My signed copy of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. It's not my favorite album of theirs (that would be 'Rockin' and Romance') but, well, Jojo touched it.

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
"And so I gave myself to God/There was a pregnant pause before he said OK" from 'The State That I Am Inby Belle and Sebastian. Everything about that song is perfect: the lyrics, the production, the way Stuart sung it, the guitar work. Might be my second favorite song ever (after 'God Only Knows').

Murdoch, the pop pursuit
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Stuart Murdoch. Since I met Jonathan Richman a couple months ago and TracyAnne Campbell a few months back, Stuart's the one. I'd say Brian Wilson, but it would have to be Brian Wilson in 1966.

 7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
The Smiths' 'Louder Than Bombs'. I love the saturated monocolor, the look on Shelagh Delaney's face, and the typeface. Plus, this album seemed like it dropped from another planet when I first heard it in 1991 or so. The Smiths sounded like no one else and forever shaped my idea of what a band should be.

"Killer" Kane
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Nothing else can combine so many artforms/disciplines like a movie does. When they're great, they move me like no other medium. That said, most commercially available movies are garbage and I'm not knowledgeable enough to find the best movies. In any case, one movie I'd like to recommend is called New York Doll. It's a documentary about Arthur "Killer" Kane of the New York Dolls. Greg Whitely does a great job of weaving together Arthur's amazing personal story with the rock history that he made with New York Dolls.

9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of:
Currently, the song I'm most pleased with is 'About Forgetting' from the new EP, though it's not necessarily my "favorite" song. Not sure if that makes sense. It's the closest a song has ever come to sounding like what I was imagining in my head before I started recording it. That's a really satisfying feeling, even if there are several of my songs that I enjoy listening to a little more.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
At its best, indie music is melodic rock or pop music made according to the band's vision without regard for what will sell. At its worst, it's just another genre that can be bastardized and commercialized. It can devolve into self-parody.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'll be almost 48. I think I'll probably still be making records, but I'll be a little surprised if it's at the same pace I'm going at now. Then again, my kids will probably be out of the house by then, so maybe I'll record like crazy to combat empty nest sadness.

Zillion thanks Jeremy!

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