Don’t count on kiddie tunes from the pop pianist anytime soon.
Talking to Ben Folds two weeks ago was a career highlight for me, as I’ve long been a fan of both his original work and the very funny, imaginative and expletive-laden cover songs he’s recorded. Going into the interview, I wanted to focus on his most recent songwriting and how he felt about the 10th anniversary of “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” but Brian Winkeler at Robot House Creative here in OKC suggested another question that prompted some insight from the world-famous songwriter.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room in my story to include Folds’ answer — slim to none — so a blog post will have to suffice. Here goes:
OKS: I spoke recently with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants, and he remarked on very young fans latching on to their music from their work on the children’s albums. I’m wondering if you’ve noticed younger fans getting into your music from the “Over the Hedge” soundtrack and if working with that potentially whetted your interest in writing songs for kids.
Folds: I don’t think songs have to be written for kids in order to be understood and consumed by kids. So, just a straight-up kids album, I’m not sure about that one. I don’t know how I feel about that. Because you see kids like 4, 5 years old listening to The Beatles. And it can be on the level that’s like, God, “Yellow Submarine.” I don’t know if you have to write it for kids.
To me, They Might Be Giants’ music is very brilliant. But their kid record, meh. I got that ’cause I had kids at the time and then I thought, “God, I don’t want them listening to this crap.” I played them Elliott Smith instead; they liked that. I think They Might Be Giants — Linnell especially — is just absolutely brilliant, so I don’t mean any disrespect. I just think that maybe that’s not the best purpose is to write to kids directly.
Well, there you have it. Folds plays the Civic Center with the OKC Philharmonic tomorrow night at 8 p.m., but you can also catch him tonight as he'll be giving a Mastersclass for ACM@UCO at Exhibit Hall D, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens at 7 p.m. It's free and open to the public.
Celebrate Kyle Kinane Day early this year as the celebrated comic returns to OKC.
Performing Arts Greg Elwell
While the rest of the world readied itself for the Y2K bug that wiped
out all technology and forced the planet Earth back into a prehistoric
state, comedian Kyle Kinane was doing something much scarier: trying to
make people laugh from a stage.
Not that you’d notice, but here’s what’s been eating up my free time of late: As founder of The Movie Clubbed, I’ll be part of Saturday’s live skewering of Skatetown, U.S.A., an abomination of pop celluloid that was 1979’s both best and worst “rock and roller disco movie of the year!”
"Turns out there’s a reason 1979’s Skatetown, U.S.A. has never hit VHS or DVD: It really sucks. The alleged comedy starring Scott Baio and Patrick Swayze will get a live, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style beating from The Movie Clubbed, whose members include a few Oklahoma Gazetteers, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch. Also to be skewered: a 1972 short by the OKC Urban Renewal Authority. Tickets are $5-$8. Call 236-3100 or visit okcmoa.com."
This marks The Movie Clubbed’s second time at bat. The first was back in March, when we (me, Richard York, Brian Winkeler, Greg Elwell and Spencer Hicks) zapped Zardoz, the 1974 science-fiction slice of nonsense starring Sean Connery. We didn’t think we find a more painful follow-up, but we were wrong.
What’s “special” about this Skatetown screening is that the Oklahoma City Museum of Art has procured a 35mm print. That’s right: They weren’t all burned in anger. With any luck, this one will spontaneously combust as soon as we’re done with it, so buy your tickets now before they skate away. There's even an unofficial after-party at The Paramount on Film Row, for which Brian bought the Skatetown soundtrack LP off eBay. You've been warned, but see you there anyway? —Rod Lott