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No free lunch

June 18, 2010

My first interview yesterday went swimmingly . So swimmingly, in fact, that it went beyond the two hours that I had put in the parking meter, and I ended up with a $10 parking ticket, though to be fair, paying a total of $11 for three hours of parking would be no big deal in any major city. Plus, Jamey Huggins, who I interviewed, picked up the check. I only had a bowl of vegan chili (and ended up taking half of it home with me), but it was still a nice gesture.

I had wanted to meet with both him and his friend and bandmate Dottie Alexander, but she’s at present in the Bahamas. She’ll be back next week, though, and Jamey assured me he would corral her for an interview. They work well together, according to him. Of course, he worked pretty well by himself. We talked about the bands he’s been in (Great Lakes and of Montreal), but we mostly focused on the bands he wasn’t in, like Neutral Milk Hotel and the Olivia Tremor Control. He’s a valuable source, someone who can come to it with the perspectives of both an insider and an outsider, someone who came to Athens as a fan and maintained a reverence for those in the Elephant 6 community even when he was included.

At night, I had a phone interview with Hilarie Sidney. I was maybe going to talk to her husband and bandmate, Per Ole Bratset, as well, but I ended up just talking to Hilarie for the entire conversation. Needless to say, that went well, too. We talked about a lot of things, but one of the most interesting discussions we had focused on the idea of the Elephant 6 as a boys club, as much or more so than the rest of the indie music world (or, as Hilarie pointed out, the American indie music world–things are apparently much different in Bratset’s home of Norway). I had heard the idea before (hence why I brought it up in the first place), but I had always figured it was merely a numbers game with the girls heavily outnumbered by the guys. In fact, Hilarie says that she and others felt genuinely slighted as contributors. In one example, she mentioned that she would often come up with an idea for a record and be dismissed, only to have someone else propose pretty much the same idea and be applauded for it. It’s not tough to understand how tiresome that would be, and it’s certainly something I’ll discuss with some other female E6 contributors.

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