Episode 14: Chad Clark – “This is Why it’s Good to be Transparent!”
Apologies for the hiatus, folks. We are BACK and I’ll be attempting to turn the next few episodes out on a weekly basis to get us back on track
In this episode, we start off with some rhombus talk and celebrate GETTING OLD.
THEN WE GET TO CHAD CLARKE – practically the ideal guest for our concept. I’ve always admired Chad and his work. I’ve always seen him as an incredibly inventive person with an ear for melody and orchestration AND a fearless vision for experimentation. When I first that heard his band, Beauty Pill, had written and recorded an album AS A MUSEUM INSTALLATION, in full view of passersby, I was floored, and thus, when we started this podcast, I knew we had to have him on to discuss that (and, of course, many other things).
It’s hard to express how intense the record-making process is, interpersonally, under normal circumstances. To do it in public seems, to me, fun in some ways, and downright terrifying in others. Aimee and I have always put a premium on mental health and relationship maintenance, and making a point of trying to listen, be open, and help each other get over our own blockages in writing and in the studio, as well as while touring. Imagine being crammed into a car/van/bus with a group of varyingly stable “creatives,” every day, day in and day out, year after year. That’s our life; and sometimes it’s flowing and beautiful, sometimes it’s grating and grim (sometimes all of the above at once). I just bring this up because I want to note how lovingly Chad speaks about his bandmates, even when describing the inevitable chafing that would periodically happen during the process of recording said album, “Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are.” It speaks to the purity of his intentions, the kindness of his heart, and to something that I think Aimee and I have treasured as we’ve gotten older – finding the right people to work with and creating the space for them to do their work. It takes time, along with all the personal growth one has to go through, but boy is it worth it. Just some of the things this episode keeps me thinking about.
I hope you’ll find it as sweet and interesting as we did.
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Here’s the official video for “Afrikaner Barista” from the album.
And the band live at NPR’s Tiny Desk series.
AND FINALLY: a fave from Chad’s old band, Smart Went Crazy: “DC Will Do That to You.”
About the show
The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo is the newest artistic collaboration from legendary singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Every other week, Aimee and Ted talk to friends across the creative spectrum to find out how they work. And sure, they’re friends with a lot of musicians, but weirdly not as many as you’d expect. So you’ll hear from comedians, directors, novelists, show creators – ok, yes, some musicians – writers, producers and more, as they discuss the process of turning an idea into art.
How to listen
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