ADAM GREEN is playing ONCE BALLROOM in Somerville on Tuesday, September 6. I had a conversation with my pal and KLYAM co-conspirator Chris about this occasion:
GGG: Rather than do a bland introduction, how would you proposition someone on the fence of going to this show, maybe because they haven’t heard of Adam?
Chris: Adam Green has been my #1 person to see live for the last few years. I’d show them Adam Green.
GGG: Would you show them a “Bunnyranch” live vid, what kinda stuff you showing them first?
: Depends who the person is, if I know of their tastes already. If someone is more interested in older music or country/folk/ early rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly stuff, I’d show Minor Love, perhaps even Gemstones. For most, I’d show Garfield/Friends of Mine. “Apples, I’m Home, ” “No Legs,” Friends of Mine“
GGG: True. And maybe his latest Aladdin for those really seeking something weird?
But that’s the thing about Adam. It’s all pretty weird?
Chris: Wouldn’t be my go to, even though that’s what he’s touring behind…It’s not mainstream, but it’s not outsider either. It follows a lot of conventions. The lyrics are off color and they stand out to you more than others, at least to me. They paint a picture. Abstract, but you can take something away from it, make it your own. I personally don’t spend much time looking for meaning or an artist’s intent in lyrics or any works of art/entertainment. I’d rather pick it apart myself. I like what I can take away from it.
GGG: Yes definitely, and here’s a great case of someone fully in charge of his facilities. He sets the ground rules for his musicianship, and there’s no limit on that
Chris: He doesn’t do anything too fancy, but most of his material is memorable. Immediate.
GGG: What was your introduction to him? I’m trying to think. I think I heard of Moldy Peaches before his solo stuff due to Juno then I heard Minor Love and I remember thinking this is pretty rock ‘n roll. I’m not sure I realized at the time he was a bit of a trickster in the abstract realm
Chris: Moldy Peaches. I knew of them before Juno, but didn’t really get into them. Even after seeing Juno, I didn’t listen to them. It was a couple of years later. So, I decided to check out his solo stuff and I was blown away. As much I love Moldy Peaches, his solo work is superior.
GGG: Yeah, if you think about it too. His music career is really kinda odd just like him.He’s huge (relatively) in Europe or basically any place not USA, has some famous pals, but essentially seems to be pretty DIY. Not that there is any correlation, but the non-linear narrative makes him great subject matter for say, a crazy little conversation like this one
Chris: True, yeah idk exactly why he is more popular over there. I think Americans are afraid to be weird. Unless, it’s heavily marketed in some TV, fashion, or whatever. But, I don’t think that was always the case. At least in terms of embracing odder art. Sure, vintage shit has a charm to it. But, I think there’s more to it than that. There’s no Andy Kaufmans or Tiny Tims out there anymore. The mainstream is a cesspool of normalcy, it’s really boring.But, those guys and perhaps quirkier, odder figures, I think, had a better chance in previous decades and I think people ran with it, didn’t have to question everything. Like Nobunny, mainstream music fans, always ask wtf why is he dressed like a bunny? Why is he half (or totally naked)? I think “underground” or even “indie” fans don’t even question it as much, you just think, hmm, this is cool (or not), but you don’t give as much of a fuck he’s a bunny, you just accept it. And I think that’s the same for Adam Green fans with his idiosyncrasies. I’m a quirky person and I like quirky people and quirky art. You say why, I say why not? That’s the attitude.
GGG: Yeah otherwise you’re cutting yourself off to a lot of interesting stuff
Chris: I think so, then again people can like whatever they like and gain a great deal from that, everyone is different.