Working to Music

Jul 26, 2018

TAA 0030 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss the various ways that music does and does not shape the work they do. Does music boost or distract from your work? Just as musical tastes differ, so do preferences for listening.

[music] 
C.T. WEBB 00:18  Good afternoon, good morning, or good evening, and welcome to The American Age podcast. I’m talking to Steven and Seph as usual. How are you guys doing today? 
S. FULLWOORD 00:26  Pretty good. How are you? 
C.T. WEBB 00:28  Great. Seph, how are you? 
S. RODNEY 00:30  I can’t complain. I mean I could, but nobody really gives a shit, so. 
C.T. WEBB 00:37  We are not going to segue with the weather today after my comment last week that I do that too often, but I must remark on the fact that even though it is, I assume, blisteringly hot in New York– 
S. RODNEY 00:49  Too humid. 
C.T. WEBB 00:49  –Steven has a very thick wool cap on– 
S. FULLWOORD 00:53  Very. 
C.T. WEBB 00:54  –which I was just complimenting him on the space to indulge in quixotic impulses. So I appreciate that– 
S. RODNEY 01:05  It’s pretty quixotic. I love the fact that it just makes him look so crunchy [laughter]. 
C.T. WEBB 01:12  That is true. 
S. RODNEY 01:13  I expect Steven any second to offer me granola. 
S. FULLWOORD 01:19  Well, there you have it. You got the visual, you got the commentary, you can [inaudible] folks. 
C.T. WEBB 01:27  Okay. So today we wanted to– We’re doing our best to try and be a bit more free-ranging with our topics because we’re kind of wearing each other out on talking about race or Trump, or whatever. So Steven proposed the topic which is a great one. So Steven, you want to talk to us about what we’re talking about today? 
S. FULLWOORD 01:48  Sure. Absolutely. So I’ve been thinking a lot about music and how it’s informed my art practice, and my art practice has largely been writing, but now I’ve moved into filmmaking and photography, and the question I had for Seph and Travis was, how does, or does it, inform their own practices? And so we’ve talked like I said, about Trump, and we talk about politics, but something really excited me about the idea of finding out what Travis and Seph– If they use music in the way that I use it, or feel it, or experience it. I was excited about it because I’m always interested in what other people do to maintain and experience their lives fully. So I still constantly tell people, it’s like, “What do you do if you don’t listen to music?” A big part of my life, and I told both of them through an email that since I was a young kid, I was always listening to music. I loved taking a 45 or an LP, and just playing it, and just listening to it, and open up an album, and reading the liner notes, and finding out who the producers were, who the players were, and just for no other reason than just because it excited me and I thought it was interesting. 
S. FULLWOORD 03:03  And so I play music when I write, and then there’s– So I mean, if I’m writing something that requires me to write, say for grants or something more straight ahead, I’m listening to orchestra music. I’m listening to composers like Philip Glass, or Beethoven, or Keith Jarrett. And if I’m listening to pop music, it’s usually because I’m writing something poppy or I’m doing my journal, and I just love that it’s almost like there’s someone in the room with me talking to me. My parent’s music, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, and I had a sister who passed in ’92 who was older than me, and so I got all of her music from the ’70s in terms of supergroups like Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Commodores, and folks like that. And since I grew up in Ohio, I listened to country music. I listened to soft and hard rock. I listened to punk, funk, and all of that was there for me. I love listening to, and thinking about, music as a way to make the world better. My world better specifically, but hopefully the world in a lot of ways. So I’ll stop there and ask you, Seph or Travis, what do you guys kind of– Talk a little bit about what you talked about in the email exchange. 
S. RODNEY 04:20  So Travis, I’d like you to go first, but I do want to, before you do, I just want to just make a quick comment on what Steven just said because it struck me that one of the things that music seems to be doing for you Steven is, it feels like it augments your energy. Like wherever your energy is– Because you described the different kind of projects you do and how the music that you listen to sort of mirrors the energy of that particular project, and so it feels like it resonates, literally. The music helps you. Whatever you’re doing, it resonates underneath that endeavor and gives it lift. 
S. FULLWOORD 05:00  Oh, yeah. Like a vibratory harmonics. Absolutely. 
S. RODNEY 05:03  Yeah. Yeah. 
C.T. WEBB 05:05  Yeah. Yeah. A kind of focus. So I wonder if our experience of listening to music may not be similar in some ways, but in one particular way, it is very different. I cannot really work productively if I am listening to anything but pretty tightly circumscribed genres. And even within those genres, more subdued works. So I think I mentioned in the email if I’m writing, then classical, jazz, but not classical in a somnolent kind of way– I mean, I sorry, rather it must be somnolent inducing classical music. If it’s something really rousing, like Stravinsky– 
S. FULLWOORD 05:58  Like Mahler. 
C.T. WEBB 05:59  Yeah. I was going to say Mahler, Stravinsky, something like that. That takes me out of whatever I’m doing and sort of pulls me into the music. Jazz is a little– But even there, that’s not entirely true. I mean I suspect that I am the far, by a wide margin, the least tutored about jazz compared to the two of you, so my familiarity is limited, but even there, Seph you had mentioned Sketches of Spain. I don’t know if I could really write listening to Sketches of Spain. I just suspect that would also pull me into it, so I don’t have the same facility for using music to focus me in that way. Seph? 
S. RODNEY 06:49  I have a similar, I don’t want to call it malady [laughter], but I mean in the context of Steven’s really sort of joyous celebration of music in more aspects of his life, it feels like I’m missing out. But I have a similar thing in that when I write, and both of you know, and perhaps people listening will also have grokked this, that I spend most of my life writing. I spend a lot of my life, therefore, reading, and quite a bit of it editing, but the majority of my productive time is spent writing. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics. I just cannot. And generally speaking, I can do orchestral music similarly. I can’t listen to anything that’s got a lot going on. I need to be able to sort of– In fact, I’m reminded of something that we shared via email. When I was an undergrad, I developed this trick for being able to stay up late and get papers done because I had this horrible habit of leaving one or two days before I like a 5, or 7, or 10-page paper due. Which is ridiculous, but undergrads are generally ridiculous. Anyway, part of the ritual was getting a large two-liter bottle of seltzer water, mixing that with orange juice, and then having that– So it’s like half and half because orange juice by itself is way too sweet for me. Have that and it felt like both the vitamin C and the bubbles kept me kind of perked up because I can’t do too much coffee during the day, it doesn’t work for me. Anyway, and then I had this album by Jean-Michel Jarre called En Attendant Cousteau, which is Waiting for Cousteau, and it’s just very sort of ethereal, sort of light touch synthesizer with whale sounds sort of echoing sort of languorously in the background, so I would do this thing– 
C.T. WEBB 08:54  So a slightly more intellectual version of Enya, or something like that. 
S. RODNEY 08:56  Right. Right. Right. Yeah, actually. Yeah. And I would have this on repeat, and I would just listen to it over, and over, and over again while I worked, and it helped. I mean it got me through. Essentially, that combination of things, of stimuli, got me through undergrad. Now, because I’ve had a bit of a hearing problem of late, I’m very careful not to go to places where I have to listen to music really loudly, and by the by, finding places to hang out in New York for adults, where there isn’t loud music playing, is hard. Dude. 
C.T. WEBB 09:34  Yeah. 
S. FULLWOORD 09:35  It might be impossible actually. 
S. RODNEY 09:37  Right? Right? Oh, my God. 
S. FULLWOORD 09:38  To holler to the person next to you just to have a conversation in restaurants, not even music venues. Yeah, it’s pretty– I’m not sure what the culture’s about though. 
S. RODNEY 09:48  Right? It’s ridiculous. 
C.T. WEBB 09:51  You know that that’s true in California too, Seph, I mean from your time out here. It’s just endemic. I hate it. 
S. RODNEY 09:55  Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s an American thing. 
C.T. WEBB 09:59  I mean somewhat in a self-deprecating way I call myself old, but I don’t know, I just want to be able to fucking talk to people. I don’t think that makes me old. I just want to be able to– Like what are other people doing? I wonder, and my wife and I will talk about this, and it’s like, “What are other people saying in these venues, that they are able to drown one another out with music that loud?” Is it just grunts, or just gesticulations, or something? 
S. RODNEY 10:30  Sub-vocal. Yeah. 
S. FULLWOORD 10:34  I think it’s an acceptance of the whole culture of just loud music. I am older, I’m 52, and so I prefer to one, talk with people when I go out. Two, if I’m going to a performance, then I want to be close to the musicians. So I don’t want to watch a screen, and I don’t want to be so far back that even the screen looks ridiculous to me. I want to see the performers up front, and I think because of capitalism, because, let’s get as many asses in the seats, you can’t to see musicians rather than arenas and whatnot. So I can totally relate to what you’re both saying about just going to places and wanting to be with people, and not have that third person be the loudmouth music here. 
S. RODNEY 11:19  So there’s two questions I have for both of you which the conversation has led me to think of, one is recalling one of the best birthday presents I ever received from my then girlfriend, Jennifer. Jennifer took me to, I think it was two things actually, I think the same night. She took me to a Lakers game, which was great. I think it was my first one, but then she took me to this small-ass venue somewhere in LA, don’t remember where it was. It was a small hall that couldn’t have held more than like 250, 300 people, and on stage was Stevie Wonder singing with a small band. 
S. FULLWOORD 11:58  What? 
S. RODNEY 12:00  I know. It’s ridiculous. It was amazing, and she did it right. It was a small, small, small venue because I couldn’t stand arenas either because the sound is always bad. You’re always too close to the speaker or too far away. It’s just a hot mess. But this place was perfect. So I want to ask both of you, one, what is one of your favorite music experiences? Live or otherwise, but that one stands out for me, and then, later on, I have another question. 
S. FULLWOORD 12:34  Travis, go right ahead. I’m still thinking about mine. 
C.T. WEBB 12:36  So I would probably just have to go with a generic, although the experiences are not generic, but my own experience of just allowing myself to listen to music. I think I mentioned this in the email, that I do not have a problem if I’m listening to music to sort of let myself go and become submerged in what I happen to be listening to, and lyrics are a pretty powerful aspect of that. Which is one reason, that has nothing to do with kind of an aristocratic snobbishness, why I don’t like a lot of pop music. I mean the quality of the music is, of course, superb. These are very talented people making this music, but the lyrics are usually just– 
S. RODNEY 13:23  Stupid. 
C.T. WEBB 13:24  So vapid that I just– 
S. FULLWOORD 13:25  Oh, no. They’re stupid. Don’t be nice. I’ll just say stupid. 
C.T. WEBB 13:26  It doesn’t connect. Yeah. They’re really just dumb, right? 
S. RODNEY 13:30  We agree on dumb. 
C.T. WEBB 13:31  There’s nothing for me to grab on to in that way, so. But for me, probably, let me be specific and concrete. This is representative, it is not solely unique, but seeing the stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in New York about two years ago. The revival when Neil Patrick Harris did it, and I knew the soundtrack previously. I didn’t see the original production, but. And I had what I have dubbed in a somewhat treacly way, a New York moment because I felt I have these moments of oneness, where music at the right time will take me someplace. And listening to the Origin of Love in that setting with all those people was deeply moving to me. And I will throw in as a very quick, another example of what brought me to this idea of a New York moment was actually an evening with Seph. He and I found this little bar named Trader Vic’s, and we were in there and the Fun song Some Nights came on. And I like that song a lot, but what really kind of pushed it home for me was the bartender turned the song up really loudly and there were these weird Swedish tourists behind us that were talking about croonings or some shit like that, and the bartender looked at Seph and I and said, “My best friend was just killed two weeks ago, and this was his favorite song.” And I just in that moment, I personally felt a deep human connection in that place and with this person. And of course, the lyrics of the song are apropos of that event. So those two what I dubbed for myself New York moments. Those are two probably pretty powerful musical experiences for me. 
S. RODNEY 15:50  Wow. Yeah. 
S. FULLWOORD 15:52  Well, that’s beautiful. I like it that you had an experience outside the music that even was a part of the music experience. Do you know? Find out that information. So the reason why I asked you to go first, Travis, is because there are too many things for me to express and so I wanted just to nail to one woman. Her name is Concha Buika and she is a Spanish flamenco singer. And I happened upon her, she was featured in Pedro Almodóvar’s film The Skin I Live In. And she was there singing both a sort of upbeat tune as well as a slower crooning tune, and when I first saw her, the way he introduces her, you hear her singing and then you just see this visual image and the camera zooms in, and she’s amazing. She sounds like every word means something. Do you know? So some people can sing, but they don’t interpret, or some people have great lyrics, and they’re just not in the song. Every song she’s in, she just tears me up. See her every time she comes to New York City, and she is, what can I tell you about her? The song she sings that I cry every single time is called Volverás, and if you ever get a chance, just go to YouTube and listen to Volverás by Concha Buika. She does it differently, but it’s that mourning in her voice and that beauty in her voice. I cry every single time she does that. 
S. FULLWOORD 17:20  And roughly I’d say around 2011, I started hanging out with a friend of mine named Sean Bempong, who Seph knows. Shawn is a singer and he listens to everything, and he is really just Wikipedia in his body. He knows about everything, but he helped me get over my when I was sort of like finding myself going, “Ugh. There’s no good music today.” I wasn’t finding things that broke my heart, or that were dynamic. A lot of music today doesn’t have a lot of dynamic range. There’s no, “Oh, there’s a guitar, and there’s a piano, and there’s this. And oh, they’re echoing the background voices.” No. There’s just Beyoncé singing, singing. Da da da da da. ” So it feels like an assault. And there are certain kinds of singer/songwriters– I was listening to, for example, Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Now, this song is amazing. They took a year or more to create Rumours, that album, and they just layered that song. So you got the lyrics, you have Stevie singing, you have Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar, you have Chrissie McVie’s organ, and you have the three-part harmony that doesn’t seem like it should work based on their voices, but it does. And I vibrate with a certain kind of energy when I hear music that they’ve labored over, and they’ve thought about, and there are surprises in it, there’s a turn of phrase here. That’s cute. And they’re adult– What you mentioned earlier about lyrics, sure, I love a lot of pop music in my ’80s when it was just, “Ah. Let’s have fun, and whatever, but I crave the adult rapper. I crave for certain kinds of singers to sing more adult lyrics or just more in depth. So yeah. That’s what I wanted to say about that. 
C.T. WEBB 19:04  Yeah. Yeah. Great answer. 
S. RODNEY 19:04  So I want to just, as is my typical habit, I want to sort of give concrete examples for how, I’ll use your word Travis, which is I think better than the one I’d use, vapid. I think of C+C Music Factory. I don’t know if you guys remember them, but C+C Music Factory– 
S. FULLWOORD 19:24  Of course I do. 
C.T. WEBB 19:26  Of course. 
S. RODNEY 19:25  Huge in I think the early ’90s, and this lyric stuck in my head because it was so vapid. “From the bottom to the top. From the top to the bottom. Mmm, I got ’em.” 
S. FULLWOORD 19:38  That’s pretty much it. 
S. RODNEY 19:39  That was a lyric in the hit song. Right. And so when you put that up against someone like, I mean the easy one is Stevie Wonder, right? “As around the Earth, the Sun knows she’s revolving. As rosebuds know to bloom in early May, just as hate knows love’s a cure, you can rest your mind assure, that I’ll be loving you always.” 
S. FULLWOORD 20:06  Always. Always. Yes. 
S. RODNEY 20:08  God. I mean, come on. Right? There is no comparison, right? And I think part of the reason why I have this limitation with listening to music that is seductive in that sort of way, it plays out a story, or plays out a lyric that’s poetic, is that my mind goes away from my work. Right. Because I go to Stevie when he’s singing that. Right. So I can’t– 
C.T. WEBB 20:42  Yeah. That’s my experience too. 
S. RODNEY 20:42  Yeah. It just takes me out of what I’m doing because what he has to say is so powerful, and the way he’s saying it is so demanding of my attention. But I want to get back to, there was something else I [crosstalk]. 
C.T. WEBB 20:56  You said you had a second question. 
S. RODNEY 20:57  Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. So I had this experience in college– Oh yeah, and this dovetails with what you had talked about in terms of dynamic range, Steven. I had this experience in college where I began listening to jazz because I was at a special semester for the honors program, and there were some kids from all around the US who came to New York for it, and I ended up rooming in with this guy. I forget where he’s from, but he was from somewhere in the Midwest, and he had a huge portfolio of a CD collection, and I was flipping through it one night when he was out of the room we shared, and I saw this bunch of stuff by Miles Davis. And I’d always heard about Miles Davis, and heard that he was so badass and he was such a great musician, but I’d never actually listened to him up until that point. So I just took out the CD and I put it in, and I sat there. And I’m still kind of this way, when I really listen to music, I don’t do anything else. I just listen to music. 
S. FULLWOORD 21:57  Wow. 
S. RODNEY 21:59  So I sat there– 
C.T. WEBB 21:59  Yeah. Same for me as well. 
S. RODNEY 22:01  –and I listened to the album called Sketches of Spain, and I honest to God, I heard instruments that I’d never– Maybe I’d heard them before, but I never knew I heard them. Right. This music made me aware that I was listening to a kind of– The music was like a house. It had architecture to it, and I finally began to appreciate that, and I sat there and listened to the whole album. And then it got to the end, and I played it again. And I sat there and I listened to it again, and I literally listened to that album every day for the next six months. Every day. I would come home and I would just sit there just kind of wondering. How it all fit together was astonishing. So my question to you guys is, have you ever had that kind of experience where you had to listen to something over and over and over again to sort of finally understand it, come to grips with it? 
S. FULLWOORD 23:03  Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. 
C.T. WEBB 23:05  Yes, but Steven, why don’t you go first this time? 
S. FULLWOORD 23:09  It’s a pop album, but I just thought it was magnificent. It’s Purple Rain. It’s Purple Rain. I mean I remember that I was listening to the radio in 1984. The time they debuted it, they debuted When Doves Cry because it was shortly after Marvin Gaye Senior killed Marvin Gaye Junior, and I remembered linking those two. Those two memories collocated each other in hearing Prince’s opening guitar, and up until that time, Prince pretty much was going from one album to another with different styles, and the Purple Rain album just sounded like, one, it was fuller than any other album he had done in terms of the dense instrumentation, it didn’t sound so lonely or so singular. And it was a big thing that Prince was this multi-instrumentalist, but that the band was on this. That was the revolution, and every song was riveting. I mean, some were more riveting than others, but I remember hearing When Doves Cry, and going, “What is that? What is that? There’s no bass.” Prince never sounded as mature on that album, and for years after that in some cases, he didn’t sound as mature. That album just really took me out and made me– I got it. I got the cassette, and would play it over, and over, and over again. 
C.T. WEBB 24:38  Do you remember that the record was purple? 
S. RODNEY 24:40  That, yes I do because I had it, and– 
C.T. WEBB 24:42  Yeah. I did too. Yeah. Yeah. I had the purple version of Purple Rain. 
S. RODNEY 24:48  That is cool. 
S. FULLWOORD 24:49  Oh, my goodness. So they put a lot of money into this album, and a lot of time. And I was listening to one of the band members, Bobby Z say that, if you notice that the songs sound fuller it’s because Prince had to take his time with these songs because he was doing a movie, and so he couldn’t just put a song out or say, “I’m done with this,” and move on. He really thought about how it would relate to the visual, and so it’s definitely more dense, and just for a pop album, it’s pretty magnificent to me. Yeah. So. 
S. RODNEY 25:20  I hear that. 
C.T. WEBB 25:20  Yeah. It’s funny. That brought me back. We’ve talked about the memory thing, right, so for me as far as continuity and in contiguity and how I chain things together. And that brought a whole flood of– Man, I listened to Purple Rain a lot, and I was young. And I remember arguing with my dad about some of the songs because my dad basically let me listen to whatever, but he would get annoyed when he would hear the lyrics and stuff like that. Raspberry Beret, and anyway. So I just– 
S. FULLWOORD 26:00  How old were you? 
C.T. WEBB 26:01  Young. I don’t know. I mean what year did it come out? 
S. FULLWOORD 26:05  1984. 
C.T. WEBB 26:06  So I was 11. Yeah. So I was 11. Yeah. That’s so funny, I hadn’t really even– And that’s when I remembered, “Oh, yeah. They had that purple album.” And it also recalled to me a friend I hadn’t– That’s the funny thing about music, right? It’s evocative of all these sort of moments in time. Damien who was from New York and he was Dominican, and he and I were– I think he was the only Dominican, the only black kid in our elementary school, and for whatever reason he and I became friends, and I used to go over to his house. And he had friends from New York that would send him all these tapes, these rap tapes, so I was listening to all this rap music that never got played on the radio here in California at the time, and I had completely forgotten about Damien. I mean we were super tight, we were really good friends. We ended up going to two different schools, but anyway, so. 
C.T. WEBB 27:14  For me, I’ll go with my original answer even though it’s significantly changed after hearing Steven’s description of Purple Rain. It was probably the album Anthem by Leonard Cohen. And that was my first Leonard Cohen album, even though it’s a much later Leonard Cohen album, obviously. Obviously, if you know anything about Leonard Cohen, but. And that was the first time where I was just like, “Holy shit. You can do a lot lyrically with music.” So weirdly, Leonard Cohen was my way into other, far more well known, artists like Bob Dylan. So I started kind of seeking out more lyrically involved music. Poetry really, I guess. And yeah, so and obviously probably the most famous song from that album is Democracy, and that side where he says, “I’m sentimental if you know what I mean. I love the country, but I can’t stand the scene. And I’m neither left or right, I’m just staying home tonight getting lost in that hopeless little screen.” And I thought he captured so much about America in that album, in Anthem, and in its promise and its profound and often petty disappointments. 
S. FULLWOORD 28:50  Wow. Wow. 
S. RODNEY 28:53  Yeah. These are all great stories, actually. And I love how they’re all quite different, but I mean, ultimately we’re all talking about being wrapped up in that experience. It’s a multi-layered experience, right, so it’s both an education, and it’s a kind of sensitization. So one of the things that I’ve noticed, yeah, now that I’m talking about it. One of the things that’s a kind of through-line for all our stories is that in some ways that experience turned us on to other kinds of similar experiences. Had us somehow learn to be attuned to these particular nuances, right, of a lyrical delivery, or a profound poetry, or density of orchestration, the use of instruments. I mean maybe that’s one of the hallmarks too of what we can call great music, right? Not only is the experience of listening to it great, but somehow it increases your capacity to hear that greatness. 
S. FULLWOORD 30:04  Oh, no. I completely agree. Completely agree. I have a very quick story. I know we’re running up on our time, but I just want to mention this too because to me it exemplifies what I was trying to get at earlier with the question. So this Sunday I was working with a group of students. I go to Third World Newsreel’s production workshop, and our group project is around talking to PoC filmmakers of color, talking with them about their work, essentially. And so we came upon a man named Shawn Walker who is a photographer who became a filmmaker and started working with Newsreel back in the mid/late ’60s. And so he has a wonderful apartment, his apartment is always filled with music, and he’s generally always playing jazz. He says he has an ear for other music, but jazz is what he loves. And so in the pre-interview, I was talking to him about some of my favorite jazz artists, and he mentioned some of his, and he said a friend of his gave him the Thelonious Monk album, Brilliant Colors, and it was the first time he heard jazz like that, and that it inspired him to seek his own I. That it was okay to be different because people were constantly, “I can’t play Monk.” Or, “What is he talking about?” Or, “What is he doing?” And he said, “When I listened to the album as a youngster–” He just knew that it was okay for him to be a different kind of photographer or a different kind of filmmaker, and I loved that. And I was like, “This is just–” I went home and I played Brilliant Colors, and I knew it. I didn’t know that I knew it by the name, but I was so excited. I was like, music that sets you free. 
C.T. WEBB 31:45  Yeah. That’s a great connection with Seph’s observation too. I think we’re up on time. I want to make a small correction, I mentioned Raspberry Beret. I know that is from the movie. It was in the movie, it was not on the album. That was from the– 
S. RODNEY 32:02  Oh, really? 
C.T. WEBB 32:03  Yeah. It’s from that next album that he put out and [crosstalk]. 
S. FULLWOORD 32:08  It wasn’t really in the movie though, Travis. 
C.T. WEBB 32:11  Are you sure? 
S. FULLWOORD 32:12  Yeah. I’m a Prince guy. 
S. RODNEY 32:14  Oh, wait. It was in 1999, wasn’t it? 
S. FULLWOORD 32:16  No. Raspberry Beret was on Around the World in a Day, which came out after Purple Rain. 
S. RODNEY 32:21  Oh. Okay. So can I just hear one last thing? The Prince lyric that has stuck with me which I’ve used before– I haven’t done this in a while, but I’ve used it before to tell people, to illustrate what great storytelling in music can be. It’s from Sign O’ the Times, the song. The lyric is, “Last June, my cousin tried reefer for the–” No. No. “Last Summer, my cousin tried reefer,” that is marijuana, “tried reefer for the very first time–“ 
C.T. WEBB 32:55  Thank you for glossing that. 
S. RODNEY 32:56  Well, for the listeners who may not know. I mean reefer just sounds real ’80s to me, but. “Last summer, my cousin tried reefer for the very first time. Now, he’s doing horse, it’s June.” 
C.T. WEBB 33:07  Yeah. Oh yeah. 
S. RODNEY 33:08  He just gets it. It’s a story, right? Right there. 
S. FULLWOORD 33:13  Sign O’ the Times. Yes. It’s a wonderful album. 
C.T. WEBB 33:15  So now, I have to ask Steven, so did they feature images from the movie in the music video for Raspberry Beret? 
S. FULLWOORD 33:24  No. No. In fact, if anything, Raspberry Beret was recorded when they were on tour for Purple Rain. So Prince, during stops for the concerts, he would record here and there, but yeah, he recorded that album while he was on tour for Purple Rain. 
C.T. WEBB 33:41  Okay. All right. And you’re sure the music video didn’t have any images from the movie? 
S. FULLWOORD 33:46  Would you like to make it interesting? 
C.T. WEBB 33:47  No. I definitely would not. I am definitely not at all challenging the expansiveness of your Prince knowledge. 
S. FULLWOORD 33:56  I’ve always wanted to say that. I just wanted to say that. 
C.T. WEBB 34:00  But I’m just wondering why, because I knew after I’d said that, I knew that was wrong about it being on the album, but I have such a strong memory of it being connected with the movie for some reason, but it must just be a false memory, so. 
S. RODNEY 34:12  I just want to suggest that we do a round two of this. Not necessarily next week, but at some point. 
C.T. WEBB 34:17  Yeah. Absolutely. 
S. RODNEY 34:18  Absolutely. Absolutely. 
C.T. WEBB 34:19  All right my friends. Thank you for the conversation, Seph and Steven. 
S. FULLWOORD 34:23  Thank you. 
S. RODNEY 34:23  Thank you. 
C.T. WEBB 34:25  I’ll talk to you soon. 
S. RODNEY 34:26  Okay. Bye. 
  [music] 

References

First referenced at 06:49

En Attendant Cousteau by Jean-Michel Jarre

 

First referenced at 13:31

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

First referenced at 15:52

En Mi Piel by Buika

 

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