The first of the flowers have blossomed, t-shirts abound, and I just saw two rats humping: it's spring in New York!
And, of course, it's April: a time of sundresses, egghunts, pastels, leaves of grass, and welcome fevers. I can hear the lawn mowers' cough, the birds' pre-dawn squawk, and the Jimmy Buffet ringtones. We're all thawing out. Consider me sprung.
Consider me also (relatively) brief, because April's Fan of the Month is a man of plenty, a man of taste and passion, a staunch spring-advocate, and an inexhaustible fan of all things good an holy (music and Alabama football).
T.S. Eliot famously wrote that "April is the cruelest month." I introduce you to man that Eliot never met, the boundless, the quixotic, the enchanting....
April's Fan of the Month, Will in Memphis!
William Latrell Odom.
30 years, 10 months.
The beautiful Memphis, TN.
Something the average interweb browser wouldn't know about me is…?
1) Jimmy Fallon once bought me a shot of tequila in New York.
2) I am deathly afraid of tornadoes. No joke. It stems from these really disturbing videos they played us in elementary school. I can't remember which teacher played them, but them did the job. Thanks, bitch.
3) Also, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite dessert.
(Editor's Note: Um, what videos? There's a grade school in greater Memphis that plays videos of natural disasters for impressionable children? Why not make every recess a Fight Club while you're at it?)
The music scene in Memphis is…?
Glorious. I'm sure I'm a little biased but I honestly don't think there is a better collection of talent anywhere in the world.
Whatcha do for a living?
I work for an a/v production company and run sound for The Blue Monkey midtown.
When was the last time you ate at Burger King?
I really can't remember, but I would bet I had a chicken sandwich. I used to love them. Underrated fast food joint.
You're a man about the Memphis music scene. Give me some local favorites, both "known" and "unknown" non-Memphians.
My personal faves of the "known" variety would be:
--The Hill Country Revue
--Glossary: They're from Murfreesboro, but they're on Lucero's label and they deserve as much publicity as they can get. Plus their guitar/pedal steel player is an Alabama fan. So there.
On the "unknown" side of things:
--The City Champs
--Jeremy Stanfill and his band
--Ryan Peel and his band
--Star and Micey
--The Dirty Streets
--Grace Askew and her band
If any of these people so much as look at a musical instrument, I want to be there. They should all be far more "known" than they are; it's a shame, really. I'm forgetting a ton of bands, but this post would be 100 pages long if I listed all of them.
(Editor's Note: Oh, we're going over 100 pages. We're going for the record. Also, I can vouch for many of those bands, and would add Amy LaVere and Antenna Shoes to each respective list. Tons of great stuff--Google away!)
Side note: Steve Selvidge joined The Hold Steady. I have to go see them now. Those shows will rip heads off.
(Editor's Note: Steve Selvidge is an incredible guitarist in Memphis who has played with seemingly everyone. Dig him on Jools Holland with Amy LaVere here, and note the look on Chris Martin's Freaking Face at the 2:38 mark. Yes, that Chris Martin. From Coldplay. Sooooo awesome.)
You have one meal left in life but it has to be fast food. You can pick and choose different items from different joints. Name that meal!
12 pack of nuggets from Chik-fil-A (duh), double-decker taco from The Bell, a Philly cheesesteak from Lenny's, a large fry from McD's, and a chocolate chip cookie from Lenny's.
You have one meal left in life, period. Name that meal!
A BBQ sandwich on Texas toast from the BBQ Shop; a leg, breast and thigh from Gus's; fries from The Young Ave Deli; a piece of chocolate pie from The Commissary....and a diet coke.
(Editor's Note: In case anyone thought Will's answer turned creepy, Gus's sells chicken. Not...more salacious things. Just chicken.)
What music publications/blogs/sites do you read? Any of them good?
Buddyhead, the A.V. club, Okayplayer, and the Chris Milam Blog, of course. I actually read quite a few blogs but not many dedicated solely to music; they get kind of nerdy and make my head hurt. Seriously, all the "best of" lists this year were nearly identical. I'm a big fan of FilmDrunk, Warming Glow, Deadspin, Withleather, Huff Post, and The Playlist.
Pick your dream concert. Any three (living) artists, anywhere, any venue, any month, any time of day. What is it? What's it called?
I have thought about this question for a long time and it is definitely not an easy answer.
--The venue: The Orpheum in Memphis, but I would make them take out the seats on the floor. Nothing ruins a show like seats.
--The time: sometime in September, so its still warm but not ridiculously hot. Start around 8ish.
--The lineup: My Morning Jacket to open and get everyone in the rocking mood. The Roots to come out next and kick everyone's ass a little more. And then, to finish out the night and take the party to the early morning...Prince. I know, right? I've seen all three and each is amazing live, but the Purple One is really on another level. He would just come out and destroy. It would be epic. And it would last ten hours. And by the end everyone would be sweaty and drunk and smiling. Imagine "Purple Rain" with the Roots as the back-up band and Jim James singing the chorus...I just teared up.
(Chris's Note: We all did. We all did.)
(Editor's Note: No, I didn't! It's dusty in here! Stop it!)
This show is the culmination of week long festival known as:
"Willfest: A Concert For Freedom (And To Melt Your Face)." I have the details in my head, but they're too long to post here. As a teaser, here's the poster: me riding a shark while wearing a mesh football jersey and a viking helmet (NOT the ones from Minnesota).
(Editor's Note: And now I'm crying.)
Describe yourself (so we can see the Willfest poster more clearly).
Imagine George Clooney's head on Jason Statham's body. Dreamy.
You can pick one album as your morning alarm for a year. The songs and their “wake-up” segments will shuffle randomly, but you are stuck with this album for a full year. What is it?
Sky Blue Sky by Wilco. Perfect way to ease into the day.
If you could fight any public figure, who would it be and why?
Stephen Jenkins from Third Eye Blind. Third Eye Blind is so mind-numblingly terrible and Jenkins seems like such a pompous ass hat. Holy shit, I want to punch him in the face. I really, really hate that guy and his stupid band.
(Editor's Note: Maybe we should stop asking this question. Also, I kinda like "Graduate.")
Fill in the blanks!
Five favorite artists from the 60's are…?
Hendrix, The Band, The Beatles, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield.
Five favorite artists from the 90's are…?
Outkast, AIC, The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters.
Five favorite artists from the 2000's are…?
Drive By Truckers, My Morning Jacket, Queens of the Stone Age, Mos Def, The Roots (I'm confused as to where to put all these bands, since they had decade-spanning careers).
Some more singer/songwriters I love are… ?
Chris Milam. That's it. The rest are just a bunch of dandies in tight pants.
(Editor's Note: Thanks! This quote's going in the press kit.)
....is my favorite Beatle.
Paul. I'd like to be cool and say John or George, but I've always liked Paul's songs the best.
...is my favorite adjective in the English language.
...is my favorite month of the year.
December, because it's the "D" in Billy D. Williams. Seriously. Google it.
I just Googled Billy Dee Williams. You feel good about yourself, don't you?
I do. It's just part of my campaign to raise awareness about the life of one William December Williams. Smooth, baby.
(Editor's Note: Awesome. By the way, we're going for the FOM Questionnaire "highest word-count" AND "total weirdness" records now. They're both in sight! Look out, Dr. Benway. This is very exciting.)
...is my least-favorite month of the year.
February. Cold and dreary. No, ma'am.
Favorite wrongly-heard song lyric is...? (e.g. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy...")
The chorus of "Blinded by the Light." Immature, but hilarious....
Favorite rock album of the Oughts?
Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf.
Favorite non-rock album of the Oughts?
Mos Def, Black on Both Sides.
Favorite movie (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
I'm going to pick two comedies: PCU and Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.
Do you own the PCU DVD? And, if so, do you and the five other owners have a joint-viewing every year?
Yes and yes. It's the piece de resistance of the annual "Jeremy Piven Career Retrospective Film and TV Festival."
Favorite TV show (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Rescue Me.
Rank these items in order of awesomeness: sundresses, driving, the state of Louisiana, George Washington, the collected works of Steve Martin, cheesecake.
1) Sundresses (obviously).
2) The collected works of Steve Martin (if only for The Jerk).
6) George Washington. Father of our country: yay! Owned slaves: booo!
I did a "Monthly Playlist" throughout 2009, and have taken a hiatus. I need your help. Give me five "Songs for April."
1) DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, "Summertime." Play this song. I dare you not to smile and go, "yeah, alright."
2) Mos Def, "Ms. Fat Booty."
3) The Temptations, "Cant Get Next To You."
4) Stevie Wonder's cover of "We Can Work It Out."
5) Parliament, "Up For the Downstroke." I used to open the windows during the spring at night and wear out the greatest hits collection when I was in high school. Drove my mom nuts. Whenever I hear this song I thing about cool spring evenings in the suburbs. I'm sure that was George Clinton's intention when he wrote it. Yay, honkeys!
(Editor's Note: Getting close...)
Out of the 12 months (12 being worst), where would you rank April?
I rank it pretty high. The weather has turned warmer, girls are wearing less, and April is the start of the Memphis festival season: both Crawfish Fests, Hot Wing Fest, and Wine Race, which lead into Memphis in May. It's the spring equivalent to the Snuggle Belt.
(Editor's Note: The "Snuggle Belt" was coined by past FOM, Dr. Benway. It refers to the "snuggly" holiday period of November and December, when hearts double in size and the whole world is a giant huggable sweater.)
Would the spring version of the Snuggle Belt imply more, ehem, "forking" and less spooning? What shall we call this stretch of spring fever? Can't be the "Chastity Belt..."
I'm drawing a blank. I can't come up with anything as funny as the Snuggle Belt. "The Happy Trail" is as close as I'm getting. Sorry.
(Editor's Note: Um, the Happy Trail is unspeakably perfect. I can't believe you just pulled that out of nowhere, then apologized for it. You're a reluctant savant!)
(Chris's Note: I second it, and third it, and fourth it. My blog, my three votes. The Happy Trail it is!)
As a sound-man, you've seen a million concerts. The single best show you've ever attended is...?
Prince (at the Pyramid) or the Roots (at Lollapalooza) were probably the most fun shows I've seen. The Black Keys in NYC was the coolest, because I ran sound for Lucero that night and watched it from the side of the stage. Dinosaur Jr (at the Young Avenue Deli) or Jucifer (at the Hi-Tone) were the loudest. By A LOT. Like "almost made my eyes bleed" loud.
You can move anywhere in America for six months. Money, time, and job situation are no object. Name the place.
San Francisco: great food, cool people, good weather. I fell in love with the city after I went last year.
You can move anywhere on earth for six months. Same deal. Same place, or do you become an expat?
London: not sure why, but I feel like I would dig it.
You are going out tonight. You are going out to do whatever it is you would like to do for a fun night of festivity and frivolity. This can include anything from falconing to a Jenga tournament to watching disaster films with third graders. Anything. You get to assemble your posse for the night. You can pick ANY FOUR MEN OR ANY FOUR WOMEN on the planet, friends, celebrities, athletes, etc. Who is in your entourage and why?
Well, I would have to say NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. We would all have court side seats to the Saturday night festivities (so I could smack Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller).
1) The Jerries: I think of us as one collective unit.
2) My friends Lee, Austin, Alan, Shaun and Leo: same reason as above, and they are the craziest people I know. Screw your rules.
(Editor's Note: I'm so confused.)
3) Charles Barkley.
4) Vince Vaughn.
5) Chris Cooley.
The last three: it's a little on the frat boy side, but holy-shit-can-you-imagine-a-better-time-not-involving-Marisa-Miller? Just imagine the extended entourage possibilities! You know Cooley is bringing Clinton Portis and his craziness. Barkley is bringing Michael Jordan, but that means Ahmad Rashad might come. Phylicia Rashad is okay--she seems like a real nice lady, but "no go" on Mr. Kiss-Ass.
(Editor's Note: We're getting close to Dr. Benway status. If he gets slightly more inflammatory, the trophy might be his...)
Where will music be in 5 years? What will be the next "big thing"? Where would you like to see it go?
I think someone will finally figure out a solution for content distribution--something that is cost-effective for fans, but will allow artists to make money without touring 250 days a year. I would really just like for boring "indie rock" to go away. We're always going to have stupid rock (e.g. Daughtry, Nickelback, Kid Rock), but boring white kids are really ruining music. Let's try and develop a personality, shall we? I'm all for "sad and tortured," but I can't stand "mopey".
(Editor's Note: ...and he just got more inflammatory! I can't even edit this thing any more...it's gotten bigger than all of us. It's been one of my life's greatest joys. )
Finally, how can I ever thank you for the support?
Name your first-born "Paris London" or "Baskerville Holmes."
Done and already done. Sadly.