Monday, April 27, 2009

Chain and The Gang

Ian Svenonius has come a long way since Sassy Magazine first dubbed him the "Sassiest Boy in America" in 1991. The D.C. singer has never been anything less than political to the extreme: Nation of Ulysses had its own ministry of information, the Make-Up employed a new "liberation theology" for its gospel yeh-yeh style, and Weird War took aim at the fascist underpinnings of corporate rock. In 2006, Svenonius published The Psychic Soviet, a little pink book of 19 essays designed to "clear up much of the confusion regarding events of the last millennium--artistic, geo-political, philosophical, et al." His latest project, Chain and the Gang, approximates the down-n-out prison blues of the chain gang, infused with the jazz hooks typical of his previous bands. Their first record, Down With Liberty...Up With Chains, is out now on K Records.

"So what do you think about Obits' Rick Froberg, who recently commented that he's "not into innovation as a band?"

I totally agree with that, except I'm not into quality. I'm into trash. I think trash is appealing. I think the exciting thing about American pop music from the sixties or whatever is the garbage quality of it. Like soul music, gospel music. Not that it sounds like garbage, it's really well done, but it has a tossed off quality to it. The problem with music is the "importance" of it.

Interview with Ian about the new project at Village Voice>>>

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the running mule

the running mule