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Music

20 Questions: Chuck Klosterman

Photo by Jason Fulford

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.


Downtown Owl

Publisher: Scribner
Subtitle: A Novel
Author: Chuck Klosterman
Price: $24.00
Length: 288
Formats: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781416544180
US publication date: 2008-09
Amazon

Chuck Klosterman IV

Publisher: Scribner
Subtitle: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
Author: Chuck Klosterman
Price: $25.00
Length: 284
Formats: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780743284882
US publication date: 2006-09
Amazon

Killing Yourself to Live

Publisher: Scribner
Subtitle: 85% of a True Story
Author: Chuck Klosterman
Price: $14.00
Length: 272
Formats: Paperback
ISBN: 9780743264464
US publication date: 2006-06
Amazon

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. His new book, and first book of fiction, Downtown Owl, is published by Scribner this month.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

I have a rare psychological disorder that makes me physically unable to cry in front of other people, even if I am at a funeral. However, anytime I am alone, I cry constantly. Because of this, the last movie that made me cry was probably the last movie that I watched by myself, which was Dial M for Murder.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Either Daniel Plainview (from There Will be Blood) or Charlie Brown. Probably some combination of the two, actually.

3. The greatest album, ever?

This is impossible to answer. However, I was recently asked to compile my favorite album from every year I've been alive, so I'll just list those records, instead:

1972: Vol. 4, Black Sabbath

1973: Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin

1974: Kiss, Kiss

1975: Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan

1976:Jailbreak, Thin Lizzy

1977: Rumours, Fleetwood Mac

1978: Van Halen, Van Halen

1979: At Budakon, Cheap Trick

1980: Glass Houses, Billy Joel

1981: Too Fast for Love, Motley Crue (original Leathur Records pressing)

1982: Business as Usual, Men at Work

1983: Pyromania, Def Leppard

1984: Purple Rain, Prince

1985: Scarecrow, John Mellencamp

1986: Invasion, Vinnie Vincent Invasion

1987: Appetite for Destruction, Guns N' Roses

1988: GNR Lies, Guns N' Roses

1989: Doolittle, The Pixies

1990: Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy

1991: Loveless, My Bloody Valentine

1992: Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos

1993: Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair

1994: Definitely Maybe, Oasis

1995: The Sound of Music by Pizzicato Five, Pizzicato Five

1996: First Band on the Moon, The Cardigans

1997: OK Computer, Radiohead

1998: Overcome by Happiness, The Pernice Brothers

1999: Devil Without a Cause, Kid Rock (Note: This was a pretty bad year for music.)

2000: De Stijl, White Stripes

2001: Mass Romantic, New Pornographers (Note: This album technically came out in December of 2000, but nobody cared until spring of 2001.)

2002: Southern Rock Opera, Drive-By Truckers

2003: It Still Moves, My Morning Jacket

2004: The College Dropout, Kanye West

2005: Separation Sunday, The Hold Steady

2006: Greatest Hits Live, Ace Frehley

2007: Sky Blue Sky, Wilco

2008: tba

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I suppose I would have to say Star Wars, but it's strange -- as one grows older, the ideas in Star Wars seem more and more idiotic. When I watch it now, I only root for Yoda and Boba Fett.

5. Your ideal brain food?

Sitting quietly in a dark room.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

I'm proud that I actually finished writing Fargo Rock City, because I had no idea how to get it published or if anyone would ever know that it even existed. I must have been insane.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

The destruction of my enemies.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Roger Staubach, George Orwell, and James Madison.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

10. Your hidden talents...?

I can juggle, I can memorize anything (except people's names), and I almost never vomit.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

How would I know the advice was good if I actually followed it? Wouldn't I only realize it was good if I ignored it and eventually paid the price? It's not like anyone ever told me not to board an airplane that later crashed.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

Security.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

For whatever the reason, my body fits best in Gap jeans. No idea why. I must have highly commercial bones.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

Joan Holloway.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

As far into the future as possible. No guts, no glory.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

None of the above. I don't manage stress. I just freak out.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Pork chops.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Hawaii, on the beach and away from cops.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

I would say, "Mr. Cheney, what was your motive for increasing the powers of the president?"

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

Another essay collection.

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