Little by little I’m trying to get at a deep concern I have, some means of responding to what I consider to be a common and pressing situation …
A few years back, I stumbled across the music video for the Wedding Present’s song “Brassneck.” This was that band’s first US hit (well, the version that Steve Albini rerecorded was), and a song I’d always liked well enough, whenever I happened to hear it. (It’s from their second studio album, Bizarro .)
This was my first time seeing the video. I spent a great deal of the late ’80s / early ’90s watching MTV, and YouTube has helped me catch up on what I missed. And what struck me about this one is its dance choreography, which reminded me a great deal of Michael Clark’s work. You’ll recall that I’m a tremendous fan of his, in particular his work in Prospero’s Books and Hail the New Puritan. The more that I watched it, the more I became convinced that Clark had somehow been behind it. And so I emailed the Michael Clark Company, asking them whether I was right.
A Company representative graciously wrote me back:
I traded books with the hot girl who works at the coffee shop across from my house. She’s got my Collected Jack Spicer and I’ve got her copy of the pictured-above: We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet, the Collected Interviews. (Though not the “complete” interviews. This book came out from Akashic in 2001.) So far my favorite thing in it is this interview that Steve Albini gave to Luis Illades of Pansy Division. The whole thing’s worth reading, but here’s a power quote for you (me? us?).
At this point, being a musician as well as an engineer and a producer, it seems as though you’re pretty satisfied with where you’re at and what you’ve done. Are there goals you still have that you want to meet?
[…] The way I operate now–and this is what’s bred contentment in me–is that I know how I’m going to behave. I know how I’m going to interact with other people and weigh the importance of the things in my life and the things I have to do for other people. I don’t know the results; they’re going to be a surprise. That’s true of almost everything in my life. I know how I’m going to live. I don’t know what my life will entail.