20 Questions
PopMatters' "20 Questions" is a weekly feature of short, sassy questions aimed to encourage playful responses that reveal the gist of the artist. In addition to publishing on PopMatters, "20 Questions" appears as a nationally syndicated newspaper column on Wednesdays.
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20 Questions: Christopher Potter

Christopher Potter captures the universe as we know it between the covers of his compelling book, You Are Here, but closer to home, it's Doctor Who that captures his fancy.

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20 Questions: Zachary Richard

Zachary Richard’s Cajun accordion speaks to the heart. Let that sound get in your ear and you’ll be out of your chair and on your feet before you can say Laissez le bon temps rouler!

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6 May 2009 // 8:59 PM

20 Questions: School of Seven Bells

Benjamin Curtis, formerly the guitarist for the Secret Machines, pulled School of Seven Bells together and he sits down with 20 Questions to discuss his moonwalking skills and the greatness of Star Trek and New York City.

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20 Questions: Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper is a renaissance chanteuse. She travels the world, carrying music of past and present with here wherever she goes, singing songs by the best songwriters each nation has to offer in their many languages.

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27 Apr 2009 // 8:59 PM

20 Questions: Indigo Girls

Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls tells us how she'd like to dine with Jesus and urges the President to legalize gay marriage already.

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20 Questions: Ben Lee

Ben Lee chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about a very mushy (but he swears fabulous) food combo, the positive properties of ginger tea, and a surprising affinity for Dostoevsky’s troubled Raskolnikov.

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20 Questions: Augusten Burroughs

What do you get when you mix Lolita, Dexter and Ignatius? Something like Augusten Burroughs.

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20 Questions: Paul Ben-Victor

We learn at PopMatters 20 Questions that in addition to his acting skills, Ben-Victor has a knack for doing wild makeup designs and body art.

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20 Questions: Lynn Freed

Award-winner writer Lynn Freed's delicious replies to PopMatters 20 Questions may have you wishing, like us, that she could be your dinner guest. Her new novel, The Servants' Quarters, publishes this month.

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20 Questions: Mark O’Connor

Like Benny Goodman, Mark O’Connor is a virtuoso in the realm of popular music, and also like Goodman, he easily and brilliantly performs classical music, as well.

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20 Questions: John Wesley Harding

The talented songwriter, singer and internationally best-selling novelist from East Sussex, John Wesley Harding, talks with PopMatters 20 Questions

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20 Questions: The Bacon Brothers: Kevin & Michael

The Bacon Brothers (yes, that Kevin of the silver screen) meld their lyrics and musical compositions into gritty rock with a touch of Philly soul, and for 20 Questions, they compose their responses in brotherly harmony.

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10 Mar 2009 // 8:59 PM

20 Questions: Bibio

British electronic artist Bibio has just released his third album, Vignetting the Compost. He tells us about his work and love for Walt Whitman in these 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Grandmaster Flash

How do you control time? Ask Grandmaster Flash. PopMatters has the answer in this latest edition of 20 Questions, which highlights the legendary hip-hop innovator's first high profile studio effort in more than two decades, The Bridge.

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20 Questions: Raul Malo

Grammy winner Raul Malo talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about his aversion to ewoks, a longing for Harlem circa 1930, and the fiercest bird on the planet post-prehistoric times.

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22 Feb 2009 // 7:59 PM

20 Questions: Larkin Grimm

The eclectic and restless Larkin Grimm, a folk singer with a burgeoning career, talks to PopMatters 20 Questions about her inspiration, chainsaw art, and sex outdoors.

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20 Questions: The Handsome Family

Country, bluegrass, and murder ballads, pharmaceuticals, home brews, and macabre stories -- and more to come with Honey Moon.

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20 Questions: Martin Bisi

The prolific performer, songwriter and producer Martin Bisi chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about malls, ghettos, industrial wastelands and other inspiring places, people and things.

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20 Questions: Max & Jason

Al 'Gore’s Boys’ and Current TV producers and hosts Max Lugavere and Jason Silva chat with PopMatters 20 Questions about enthusiasm-inducing people and things.

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20 Questions: Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell as a solo artist is “brimming with talent and blessed with a killer voice”, says PopMatters’ Stuart Henderson.

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20 Questions: Michael Franti

Known for his social activism as much as his fusion of musical styles, it’s clear in PopMatters' latest edition of 20 Questions that Michael Franti is always just being himself, as he will on President Obama's inauguration on Tuesday 20 January 2009.

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20 Questions: Casey Driessen

Casey Driessen is a rather funky fellow. He wears red shoes. He eats headphones at art museums. Sometimes he channels Vassar Clements.

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20 Questions: James Morrison

Fatherhood agrees with UK-based soul artist James Morrison and, as we discover in this edition of 20 Questions, so does a pair of Diesel jeans.

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20 Questions: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge warns PopMatters 20 Questions readers, "Pleasure is a cultural weapon. Use it wisely."

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20 Questions: Laura Miller

Cofounder of Salon.com, ravenous reader Laura Miller talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and other influences that led to The Magician's Book.

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20 Questions: Roy Harper

Roy Harper is a consummate musician's musician, straight out of the British folk scene. He chats with PopMatters 20 Questions, sometimes with tear in eye, sometimes with tongue in cheek, about film, literature, and music.

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20 Questions: Stereophonics

One of Apple's inventions and Salvador Dali's creations hold some envy for members of Stereophonics. The band's bassist and drummer talk with 20 Questions about these and other inspirations.

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20 Questions: Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

Tom Morello is as passionate about politics as he is about music. With the US Presidential elections looming, Morello chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about those who inspire him and the range of cultural and political genres they represent.

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20 Questions: Cowboy Mouth’s Fred LeBlanc

Does Cowboy Mouth’s maniacal drummer/lead singer Fred LeBlanc remind you of Animal from The Muppet Show?

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20 Questions: Mike Farris

Mike Farris, a man with a sweet but mighty tenor, talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about his little slice of Heaven, right here on Earth.

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20 Questions: Nellie McKay

The fictional character most like 'schizophrenic voodoo' girl, Nellie McKay? A mix of Lassie, Scarlett O'Hara, Godzilla and Nancy Drew. These and other reveling facets of her character are discussed with PopMatters 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Ben Taylor

Born to the musical talents of James Taylor and Carly Simon and nourished by the fertile surrounds of Martha's Vineyard, Ben Taylor talks with PopMatters 20 Questions before touring for his new album, The Legend of Kung Folk Part 1 (The Killing Bite), began.

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20 Questions: Laurie Lindeen

"It's A Wonderful Life", aint' it? Author and musician Laurie Lindeen (Zuzu's Petals), like George Bailey, would know, as she shares some insights with PopMatters 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Howard Blum

Bestselling author, Vanity Fair contributing editor, and New York Times award-winning investigative reporter Howard Blum chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about Bob Dylan, Melville's Ishmael, and a bit of a Mafioso affinity.

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20 Questions: Chuck Klosterman

Prolific pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman knows as well as PopMatters that, well, pop matters. He discusses with PopMatters 20 Questions some of the things in this world that influence, sway, and affect.

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20 Questions: Handsome Dick Manitoba

Punk rock godfather and legend Handsome Dick Manitoba likes to kick back in the ol' Barcalounger and enjoy the comforts of home, as he reveals to PopMatters 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Larry Love of Alabama 3

Larry Love of Alabama 3 may be 'sick' but he ain't dead, yet. He claws his way out of a groovin' but dark, existential place to answer PopMatters 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Uh Huh Her: Camila Grey & Leisha Hailey

Uh Huh Her's Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey collaborate on their new CD, Common Reaction, and in their replies to PopMatters 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Clyde Edgerton

Novelist Clyde Edgerton talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about Ry Cooder’s slide guitar, Errol Morris' Vernon, Florida, and the soothing effects of chicken watching.

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20 Questions: George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos takes a little time from his prolific career to contemplate with PopMatters the temptation to try out a silencer and laser sight.

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20 Questions: Vashti Bunyan

Vashti Bunyan chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about music-making at her pace, life without safety nets, and her nonconformist nature.

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20 Questions: Amy Ray

Amy Ray: Talking the talk and walking the walk, this singer/songwriter brings you the world with each song.

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15 Jul 2008 // 9:59 PM

20 Questions: The Buck Brothers

Known for funky, punky pop, the Buck Brothers have a big time love for Earth, Wind & Fire as you'll see in this installment of PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: David Ford

If you want to talk with singer/songwriter David Ford, you'll find him at the pizza joint with his wife and friends -- many blocks away from The Ritz.

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8 Jul 2008 // 9:59 PM

20 Questions: The Motion Sick

Named SPIN's “Band of the Month” for their first release, Her Brilliant Fifteen, the Motion Sick draw parallels to Vonnegut with lyrics ringing of social commentary. Mike Epstein answers PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Rahsaan Patterson

The purveyor of 21st century soul chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about chocolate, Chaka Khan, and the significance of Snoopy.

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20 Questions: Deborah Bonham

Sweetly soulful and powerful (think Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin), blues-rock singer-songwriter Deborah Bonham chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about Paul Rodgers, a beautiful ex-racehorse named Jack, and other inspirations in her life and music.

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20 Questions: Alan Cumming

Stage, TV and film actor, model, Tony Award-winner and new Masterpiece Mystery! host Alan Cumming speaks with PopMatters 20 Questions about Dionysus, the prudency of using prophylactics, and Leon, the singing Chihuahua.

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20 Questions: Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s

Rhett Miller, lead vocalist of the Old 97's, chats with PopMatters' 20 Questions about fantasy football, his affinity for the protagonist in Wallace's Infinite Jest, and this neat little trick he does with spoons.

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20 Questions: Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby's electronic impulses are fed by neurological brainstorms generated by the likes of Oliver Sacks and the artists and scientists of TED. PopMatters' 20 Questions gets a zap from Dolby's electrifying fingertips.

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1 Jun 2008 // 9:59 PM

The Bravery

Sam Endicott descends from the band's busy orbit to talk with PopMatters 20 Questions about rude bus drivers, the beauty of thumbprints, and his somewhat disconcerting freaky memory.

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20 Questions: Tanna Frederick

Tanna Frederick speaks with PopMatters 20 Questions about the cat's meow, the best hot chocolate money can buy, and her intriguingly dexterous toes.

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20 Questions: Miranda Lambert

In the wake of her upset win for Album of the Year last night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Lambert sits down to riff on PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Tod A of Firewater

PopMatters 20 Questions caught up with Tod A of Firewater in Bali, where he shares some thoughts about cultural and political matters, and speculates on what visiting extraterrestrials might look like.

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20 Questions: Pico Iyer

The compassionate, prolific writer and traveler, Pico Iyer, talks with PopMatters 20 Questions, about the Dalai Lama, Benji, Keith Richards, and Paddington Bear.

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20 Questions: Ike Reilly

Songwriter Ike Reilly tells PopMatters 20 Questions about firm abs and buttocks and the best sitcom, ever.

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20 Questions: Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell, that handsome man (when he's not wearing horror film make-up) with that incredible chin whom you know you've seen before -- you've seen just about everywhere -- appears here, too, in PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: David Baldacci

Best-selling author David Baldacci talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about the importance of hallucinogens, hit men, and Herman Munster -- and yeah, other important things, too.

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20 Questions: Jena Malone

In-between The Ruins (just opened in US theatres) and The Go-Getter, opening in June, Jena paused while on tour to address PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Jim White

Jim White is a traveler, a Renaissance man, and a candid musical chronicler of the South. He pauses from his busy, restless artistic life to answer PopMatters' 20 questions.

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20 Questions: James McMurtry

Smart and aware, Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry shares some pointed observations about the world with PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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20 Questions: Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson's philosophy, as revealed in her response to PopMatters 20 Questions, seems to be: let Art engage and challenge you, and engage yourself artfully, in turn.

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20 Questions: Steve Wynn

Wynn's new album, Crossing Dragon Bridge, comes out 22 April. He takes a moment to answer PopMatters' 20 Questions and consider what goes best with touring: a martini, Belgian chocolate, or espresso?

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20 Questions: Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho's "Beautiful" tour, launched in Australia, hits the States March 6th. But first she pauses to braid a big beasty boy's hair, do a little shimmy, and answer PopMatters 20 Questions.

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24 Feb 2008 // 8:59 PM

20 Questions: Mike Doughty

Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty is a Renaissance Man of sorts, plying his trade as a musician, songwriter, poet, playwright, photographer, and blogger and he answers PopMatters' 20 questions.

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17 Feb 2008 // 8:59 PM

20 Questions: Allison Moorer

Allison Moorer's new collection of female penned covers drops tomorrow and she hits the road with hubby Steve Earle, but not before answering PopMatters' 20 questions.

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20 Questions: Robyn Hitchcock

PopMatters debuts "20 Questions", a weekly feature of short, sassy questions aimed to encourage playful responses that reveal the gist of the artist. We couldn't think of a better person to start with than the witty and clever Robyn Hitchcock.

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