John Wesley Harding knows when he gets an email, phone message or a piece of postal junk addressing him as “John,” it’s coming from someone who’s never met him. He’s known to friends as “Wes,” since his real name (the one he uses in his second career as an award-winning author) is Wesley Stace. Harding’s 15th album, Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead, depicts an artist well aware of what he does best: marvelously witty lyrics delivered in an emotion-wracked singing voice. Harding will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
John Wesley Harding: What can I say about Popover Records that hasn’t already been said? (Sure, I’m implicated, because they released my new album, but leave me out of it.) Taking a lead from Light In The Attic and The Numero Group, Popover—with its wondrous A&R staff (including Robyn Hitchcock, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody, Nick Hornby, Vendela Vida and so on)—has unearthed some excellent forgotten music for you. The website is here, but more importantly, Moody’s influential Rumpus article is here. A major interview about the lunacy of starting a label in the current financial climate, including remarks from Hornby as a representative of the A&R department, is here. And an erroneous-yet-amusing claim that Popover is being investigated by the Feds is here. Popover? Oh no it isn’t!