Saturday, August 9, 2008

A chat with Mitch Easter

I drove up to Kernersville, North Carolina today to visit with Mitch Easter in his recording studio, The Fidelitorium. It was a fine time with a nice man.

I sought Mitch out as journalist and fan boy. This guy had as much to do with the birth of American indie rock as anybody.

He and Don Dixon produced the earliest REM recordings, which went on the Chronic Town e.p., Murmur and Reckoning. He also led the band Let's Active, which made some of the best American pop - back in the day, critics inevitably called it "jangly pop" - of its day. Of any day. respectfully passed on my pitch for an update on this pop godfather, but I plan to keep shopping around a feature article before blogging the experience to death here. (I'll go back to blogging The New Monastic Workshop and Bascom Lamar Lunsford to death!)

For now, I'm inviting everybody for a party on my Flickr page, where I have created a Mitch Easter set.

And, not that I run right out and buy the records people tell me to buy, but Mitch sent me on the road with his new record, Dynamico (available through his friends at 125 Records), and the equally insired record he made with his wife, Shalini Chatterjee.

For my part, I promised him some activism toward the end of gettin him and Shalini gigs in St. Louis. Those wheels are in motion, though one never knows. Gigdom is tougher now than ever. That was one topic we dissected in dreary detail.

But there was much wit and insight shared. I'll tell you all about it in a minute.

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