Samantha Parton

A Conversation with the Be Good Tanyas (continued)

PM: Is Sam with us today, or is she--

TK: She's not here right now, no. But what was she reading the other day? Oh, she was reading a biography of Woody Guthrie.

PM: Do you know which one?

TK: I'm not sure what the title was, but it was a really good one.

PM: Indulge me a little further, if you would: anybody in the group into any spiritual stuff?

TK: Nothing in particular, no. Nothing overtly so. I suppose we all have our own personal semi-spiritual values, or whatever, but...

PM: Right, but no big paths being followed.

TK: Nothing like one of us is ardent Methodist [laughs] or something.

PM: Nobody's a Hare Krishna or anything like that.

TK: No, nothing like that. There's really nothing overtly religious in our group at all, no.

PM: Are there any recent musical discoveries, any act that's touched any or all of the members?

TK: Ahh, let me see, anything recent... I saw my friend Tom Burris play in New York, and I think he's amazing.

PM: And what does he do?

TK: He's an amazing singer/songwriter, kind of Elvis Costello-esque, but completely his own thing, of course.

PM: Sure. But he's kind of on the pop side?

TK: Kind of slightly-pop folk. He plays harmonica with a rack and plays with an electric guitar, a hollow body electric.

PM: Is he doing it solo or with a band?

TK: He's got a band. He used to be in Jabbering Trout, with the pre-incarnation of his current band. And I guess now he's just billed as Tom Burris, or maybe Tom Burris and Jabbering Trout, something like that.

PM: I'll have to take a look at him.

TK: He's so good.

PM: And you saw him play recently in New York?

TRISH: Uh-huh. He was really great. I'm trying to think of someone else amazing. I'm always seeing music that amazes me, so it's kind of hard to pick out one. Well, last night I saw Tegan and Sara, these girls from Canada. They were just amazing.

PM: Say their name again?

TK: Tegan and Sara. It's really not the music I would usually be drawn to, it's kind of like rock punk. Kind of punk, but not.

PM: Yeah. Just kind of raw?

TK: There are two girls and they're twin sisters, and they're only about twenty-two years old and they're both gay. Identical twins. And they used to be quite folky and now they've really gotten raw and rock. And I was really impressed with them, with their amazing energy on stage, and just their youthful exuberance and passion and stuff. Very impassioned performers.

PM: It's always interesting to see people turn a corner and then step on it.

TK: Yeah, really. Their songwriting is really developing and taking off in a good direction. It sounds great.

PM: Do you guys have any favorite locales in the States or Canada, places that have been particularly good or fun for you?

TK: Yes. My favorite places in North America, and I don't know in exactly what order, but it would have to be something like: New Orleans, New York, Montreal, and San Francisco. Those are my top four.

PM: Where have you guys played in San Francisco?

TK: I haven't really played there much, more like just hung out there.

PM: But appreciate it, yeah.

TK: And I really love Oakland, too. I guess it has to be the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area.

PM: Yeah. I've lived in Oakland, a couple places.

TK: I almost like Oakland better than San Francisco, but I don't know, I guess the Bay Area in general. They're kind of one place, anyway, to me.

PM: Yeah.

TK: And I love North Carolina, as well. It would have to be in my favorite places. And also B.C., of course, where I live. It's also my favorite place.

PM: And that's where you guys all come from, right, British Columbia?

TK: Yeah.

PM: I haven't spent enough time there yet.

TK: Montreal is quite amazing, if you ever get there.

PM: They're both good music scenes, too, aren't they?

TK: Yeah, Montreal in particular. I mean, Vancouver has a pretty small music scene, whereas Montreal has a much vaster arts and cultural scene. But a lot of it is French, francophone, so if you're not French speaking, you might feel a little bit out of it there.

PM: Did you say francophone?

TK: Yeah.

PM: That's funny. A good friend of mine sent me an e-mail today with that as the subject. I didn't know the word. What does the word mean?

TK: It just means French speaking, or of French language origin. Of course, Montreal is predominantly French. So if you're a person who's only speaking English, you may not feel like--well, you wouldn't be able to read the local music magazines. But there's a huge scene there, and you don't have to speak French to be part of it at all. There's all kinds of music going on all the time. continue

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