Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mary Jo Pehl on Awesome Music For Awful Movies Kickstarter

The day of the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon seems like the perfect time to tell folks about Mary Jo Pehl‘s (aka Pearl and so much more from MST3K, as well as Cinematic Titanic) Kickstarter for Awesome Music For Awful Movies. This is a project she has planned to record (as described by her) “an album of original songs that pay homage to bad movies of Mystery Science Theater 3000 . . . The songs will be written by veteran Twin Cities musicians Michael Warren, Claudia Hankin, and Tony Balluff, and performed by yours truly in a variety of genres such as power pop, ballad, pop-country”. There are seven days left in the Kickstarter, which seemed like the ideal time to chat with her about her plans. I consider myself fortunate enough when I get to catch up with Pehl.

Tim O’Shea: When and how did you decide you wanted to team with Michael Warren, Claudia Hankin, and Tony Balluff to pursue this project?

Mary Jo Pehl: Over the past several years, many people came up to me after Cinematic Titanic shows and told me how much they loved “When Loving Lovers Love” from “Overdrawn At The Memory Bank.” I’d been trying to come up with a new project that might push me past my comfort zone, and let me work with people who were smart and funny and whose work I admired.

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Karyn Oliver on Her New CD, Magdalene

Oliver-MagdaleneIt is always good to catch up with a musician I interviewed in the past, to see how their work had evolved in the interim. The last time I interviewed Karyn Oliver was nearly three years ago. The mid-2013 release of Oliver’s new CD, Magadelene, prompted this new series of questions. A great deal has changed for Oliver in the past three years–but I will let her tell you about that.

Tim O’Shea: Since we last spoke in late 2010 (for your previous album, Red Dress) you got married. Has that major life change influenced any of the songs you wrote for this new album?

Karyn Oliver: Well, sure. Anytime you change, your writing changes with you. “Red Dress” was all about a major life change – I was getting divorced, so the album was all about transition and overcoming and becoming. I think “Magdalene” is a far more empowered album. Even the heartbroken songs have some sense of personal power. My narrator is a bit more mature, a bit more confident.

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Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC Show Debuts

The new MSNBC Friday night interview show, Up Late with Alex Baldwin, debuted in early October. I missed the premiere, but fortunately MSNBC has offered it a great deal of the content online for folks like myself.

Judging by the most recent episode, with 2001: A Space Odyssey stars, Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea (discussing the film classic’s long-term cultural influence),  Baldwin is going to book some obscure guests. That’s a trend I hope continues. Past guests support my impression considering that Debra Winger was the focus of one episode.