Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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Plug In

Remember how I was going to call Germany? Well, the interview was postponed until today and it turned out that I was actually calling Sweden instead. But I spent 45 minutes on the phone talking to Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars. I interviewed the other half of the duo, Andi Toma, back in April, 2001. That was a good conversation, even though I conducted it right before going to Urgent Care and finding out that I had pneumonia for the second time in five months. Today, though, I was healthy and had a longer interview slot, so the results were much better.

Let me state, for the record, that Jan and Andi seem like the best combination of brilliant, sincere, and sweet that I've encountered in the world of art. If I could distill their words into an essence, it would be enough to get my artist friends through months of despair. If you need an example of how reading cultural theory can intersect with craft in a way that benefits both, Mouse on Mars should top the list. I'll be writing about that quality in the feature I'll now be writing on the band, which I will alert you to when it materializes in cyberspace.

Oh, and their new record, Varcharz, which came out last week on Mike Patton's Ipecac Records -- home to the Melvins -- and which I review in the next issue of Tikkun, is great. If you like Mouse on Mars' late 1990s records, before they started expanding their sonic landscape to accommodate vocals and elements of jazz, funk, and hip-hop, and don't mind a little fuzz around the edges of your electronica, I guarantee that Varcharz will float your Dreadnought.
Tags: everyday, music
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