From The Desk Of Jon Wurster: The Angriest Guitar Player In The World

JonWursterLogoTo call Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster “Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster,” while true, is a bit limiting. He also keeps time full-time (and tours constantly) with Bob Mould and the Mountain Goats, contributes hilarity to The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling and maintains one of the most reliably funny Twitter feeds. Superchunk is on the road supporting its 10th LP, I Hate Music (Merge); while traveling from gigs to home and to more gigs, Wurster filled some rare empty space in his hectic schedule by guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our brand-new Q&A with him.

wurster_angriest

Wurster: The first time I saw this video, I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. “The Treeman,” a guitar-playing Englishman who could pass for Santa Claus, nearly masters a tricky tune but is ultimately unable to nail the final single-note run. What follows is a colossal series of tantrums that would shock John McEnroe.

But when I got to the end, I realized something: I come perilously close to this level of fury at least once a week. Jammed car locks, falling cymbal stands, scratched DVDs, overheating laptops—they all conspire to ruin an otherwise peaceful day. I want things to work correctly and when they don’t, look out, there’s gonna be a smashin’ party!

Now, when I get flustered by my inability to find my wallet, instead of going on a cushion/magazine/chair-throwing rampage, I repeat a simple mantra: “Remember the Treeman, remember the Treeman,” and I gradually chill out. And if that doesn’t work I just stare at this picture of a mini piglet licking an ice cream cone.

wurster_piglet_angriest

Film At 11: William Tyler

Opening on a rural highway diner, transitioning into scenes of grifters hitchhiking, staying in shitty motels, road tripping in classic cars and, finally, ending with the video’s lead female hopping on a motorcycle piloted by a man wearing a Confederate-flag helmet, the short film for William Tyler‘s “A Portrait Of Sarah” is distinctly American, much like his own guitar-driven Americana. The clip meanders from scene to scene without much of a plot, reflective of the seven-minute instrumental track. And the song really functions more as a background music than the focus. Sounds of cars and dialogue are overpowering at points, but maybe that’s the point of  Tyler’s music. Watch the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0rws3iIBLM

From The Desk Of Jon Wurster: “My Lunches With Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom And Orson Welles” By Peter Biskind

JonWursterLogoTo call Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster “Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster,” while true, is a bit limiting. He also keeps time full-time (and tours constantly) with Bob Mould and the Mountain Goats, contributes hilarity to The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling and maintains one of the most reliably funny Twitter feeds. Superchunk is on the road supporting its 10th LP, I Hate Music (Merge); while traveling from gigs to home and to more gigs, Wurster filled some rare empty space in his hectic schedule by guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our brand-new Q&A with him.

wurster_orson3

Wurster: I recommend this book it to anyone seeking a glimpse into the mind of one of cinema’s greatest, most opinionated and frustrating filmmakers. Between 1983 and Welles’ death in 1985, Jaglom recorded conversations with the Citizen Kane director/co-writer/star as they dined at West Hollywood’s Ma Maison restaurant. By this point Welles had become an embittered, cynical-yet-passionate filmmaker struggling to hustle small budgets from an industry that once gave him carte blanche. The transcripts of the tapes find Welles (often bitchily) weighing in on an array of topics:

Ingrid Bergman: “She’s not an actress. Just barely able to get through a scene.”
Politics: “I hate Kissinger even more than I hate Nixon. He’s a selfish, self-serving shit.”
The French: “de Gaulle was always a pain in the ass, and he ended very badly.”
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window: “Everything is stupid about it.”
Hitchcock’s Vertigo: “That’s worse.”

One of the book’s funnier moments comes during a conversation about The Big Brass Ring, a political drama Welles was trying to get made at the time. Jack Nicholson passed on the lead role and Welles swats away each of Jaglom’s ideas for replacing him: Jack Lemmon (“He looks every minute of his age”), Dustin Hoffman (“No dwarfs”), Al Pacino or Robert De Niro (“You can’t have some Italian play that role: ‘You gotta respect-a the president, and that’s-a me’”). None of them pass muster with Welles.

Just moments after Welles dismisses several of the 20th century’s most respected actors, he and Jaglom enter into a lengthy discussion on whether or not the auteur who made what many consider the best motion picture ever should accept an offer to appear on The Love Boat. Welles eventually turned down the role for financial reasons and a strong dislike of Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod (“He has a New York accent that gets my hackles up, I can’t stand it!”).

I don’t want to give the impression that this book is a non-stop gripe session. Welles gives high marks to many: Carole Lombard, Lon Chaney, FDR, Bach and Beethoven, in particular. But perhaps his highest praise is reserved for the people of Hungary: “I love them to the point of sex!”

From The Desk Of Jon Wurster: “I Seem Fun: The Diary Of Jen Kirkman Podcast”

JonWursterLogoTo call Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster “Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster,” while true, is a bit limiting. He also keeps time full-time (and tours constantly) with Bob Mould and the Mountain Goats, contributes hilarity to The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling and maintains one of the most reliably funny Twitter feeds. Superchunk is on the road supporting its 10th LP, I Hate Music (Merge); while traveling from gigs to home and to more gigs, Wurster filled some rare empty space in his hectic schedule by guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our brand-new Q&A with him.

wurster_kirkman2

Wurster: You may know her from Chelsea Lately, but this is where you’ll get the unadulterated Jen Kirkman. She records this weekly podcast from the comfort of her own bed, and that’s what makes I Seem Fun feel like she’s just shooting the breeze with you. A major league stand-up comedian in her own right, Kirkman is a master at weaving random small observations (“Everyone is looking hot in front of monuments, that’s what photography has come to”), opinions (“They don’t make dance music like ‘Celebration’ anymore, now it’s all air raid signals”) and fears (“When I’m hiking, I just assume there’s a severed finger on the ground nearby”) into larger, often touching, always funny real-life stories.