Best of 2008: Previously on Post Rock

We hope you've been enjoying the chats with some of our favorite musicians of 2008. (So far: the War on Drugs, Jamey Johnson, Thao Nguyen; coming soon, Ashton Shepherd and the Breeders.) Many members of our Top 10s were already featured earlier in the year, so here's a quick look back at some of those.

Silver Jews (Part 2, Part 3)
"I welcome people challenging what I've done on the level of what I've done. But I do get embarrassed about adulation that I see when it comes my way, if it comes my way. It's embarrassing because I recognize it as part of this complete affirmation of the idea of a 'cool' rock band, of which there can be nothing wrong if a band is cool and they're rising. There can be nothing wrong with them ... The kind of patronization that goes on with people like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Mick Jagger on one end and then what goes down on the other end as far as adulation for a buzz band, it's sickening.

"I just see the baby boomers' technique is being used by the bloggers. If you were to actually apply any of the artistic principles that people used to apply and judge standards of music by, there's a lot of foolishness going on. There's very little wisdom going. There's certainly very little wisdom being communicated. But nobody wants to rain on the parade and nobody wants to find out they're not invited to the party. And in a way I think that we're going through a period right now where people have no faith in any institutions except what's popular."

What's up with you celebrating female autonomy on "Miss Independent"? Great song, but didn't you get the memo that songs about female anatomy are where it's at in 2008?
(Laughs.) I did get that memo, but I absolutely ignored it. I believe everybody else got that memo too and decided to abide by it. There's a better way to write a song, man. Songs about sex or female anatomy don't have to go that far, as far as being raunchy or just plain nasty. I don't think that's necessary for writing a song. I mean, if that's your way of doing it, fine. You do you, I'm gonna do me. And my way is to celebrate the strength of a woman.

It's easy and obvious to write about a woman's ass and how sexy she is. Okay, we got that; you don't have to have skill to do that. To write about a woman's independence, a woman's strength -- her emotional strength -- I'd rather go there. For the record, I'm always going to try to write the song that evokes some kind of thought.

James McMurtry
"I don't know that I'm a misanthrope; I just hate people -- some of the time."

(After the jump: Times New Viking and Jay Reatard)

Times New Viking
Do you ever feel like - and I'm sorry if this contributes to it - that you're known as "the lo-fi" band? Does that annoy you at all?
Yeah. I guess it does. Just because if we want to do something that sounds different it's going to be a bigger deal than it really should be. Yeah, it's kind of annoying. It puts you in a little corner. No matter what you do people are going to hate it. I don't want to make the same sounding record over and over. I also don't want to do something just because I feel like it's time to do something different. People take it as being very uber-ultra-hipster, things like that. We never thought of ourselves as that. It's just the kind of stuff that we like. That's the way we like things to sound. It's not like we're trying to be cooler than anyone else. That just happens. (Laughs.)

But it is a choice. We could go and do something in a studio but we don't feel comfortable with someone producing things. Putting it in someone else's hands. We don't feel comfortable with that. Maybe one day after I pass the 30 mark I might.

Jay Reatard
Do you think music has become too calculated?
Oh, popular music is missing any sort of sense of spontaneity. It's so contrived, it's manufacturing a product. That's why I've never recorded in a studio. I mean, how do you book creativity three months, four months ahead of time? How do you pre-pay for the moment you're supposed to create something? Yeah, there's no spontaneity to it, it's boring.

By David Malitz |  December 26, 2008; 9:02 AM ET Interviews , Year-End Lists
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