At 60, New York City-based composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. His oeuvre is fantastically wide, from cutthroat jazz improvisation and pummeling noise-rock to gorgeous chamber music and, believe it or not, a genuine Christmas album.
For a year and a half now, Morning Edition has been following the singer-songwriter Neko Case as she worked on an album that would come to be titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. It includes "Where Did I Leave That Fire," a song with a haunting question at its heart, and now we know that the singer who asked where she left that fire was feeling depressed. She felt like she was moving through life underwater.
When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:31 pm
Welcome to the first in our weekly Vintage Cafe series of interviews from the archive. Each week we are going to be re-visiting significant session with major artists. For this installment, we bring back our Black Keys session, recorded in December 2011 right before the release of El Camino.