WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS MONTH IN ARTS & CULTURE
SIX THINGS WE LEARNED CHATTING WITH ( BY TURNS DEEPLY SARCASTIC AND DISARMINGLY SINCERE) POP PROVOCATEUR ST. VINCENT, WHOSE NEW ALBUM, MASSEDUCTION, IS OUT NOW.
1. She’s an obliging interview. “I’m conscious of what your pull quotes are going to be. I’m excited to say something click-baity, like ‘vagina’!” 2. She’s comfortable with making
you uncomfortable. “I’ve been uncomfortable my whole life, so I think it’s funny. It’s something I’ve slowly but surely made peace with, so now I just think it’s absurd. It’s my way of superimposing my experience on other people—just like art.” 3. She can’t tell us about her rumoured upcoming art exhibit. “That one’s super-secret. But I can tell you about [the female-centric] The Picture of Dorian Gray adaptation I’m directing. I can tell you about the guitar I designed [with Ernie Ball]....” 4. She doesn’t care if she’s misinterpreted. “I’m from Texas, so I was raised to be gracious and obliging. That’s lovely for social interactions, but it isn’t the best tactic when you’re running your own propaganda machine. So I’m conscious of what I put out, but as far as how it’s received, I don’t care! I did my part—I said the things I intended to say, and then there’s no way to control how that goes out into the world. And as far as art is concerned, I don’t like explaining songs because that takes away from someone’s own experience of it, and I would never want to rob someone of that.” 5. Her dream tea-party guest is Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. “She’s a postmodern choreographer most famous in pop culture for having her dance moves lifted by Beyoncé. Her process is just really interesting to me. I love learning about other artists’ processes. Unless it’s musicians—those ‘the making of’ music documentaries stress me out, like I should be working.” 6. That said, she does have a music doc she really likes. “Dude, you gotta see Dig! It’s about the rivalry and total implosion of the relationship between The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It encapsulates an outdated ethos of indie music in the ’90s—that bubble of time when people were concerned about ‘selling out’ because they had the luxury of a music business that had money.”
AYISHA MALIK’S SOFIA KHAN IS NOT OBLIGED AND ITS RECENTLY PUBLISHED SEQUEL, THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPINESS, ARE IMPORTANT ADDITIONS TO THE CHICK-LIT CANON. NARRATED BY A SMART, EMPOWERED LONDONER IN HER 30S (WHO HAPPENS TO BE A HIJABI), THEY’RE ALMOST MORE ABOUT FAMILY AND FINDING ONE’S PLACE IN THE WORLD THAN THEY ARE ABOUT “DATING AS A MUSLIM.”