Track Marks: Lunaversol9
Track Marks is a weekly questionnaire for people who make music or just love listening to it. The people change but the questions remain the same.
This week we check in with Lia M. Manley-deruiter, who performs under the alias Lunaversol9 most notably in Def Harmonic, her hip-hop collaboration with MC and producer JTodd, as well as her work with Buffalo and as a solo artist.
Her thoughtful lyrics and a smooth, sultry and powerful delivery make her one of the most distinct voices in Milwaukee hip-hop. Her work on last year's Def Harmonic record "Figs" and her five-track mini-album "A Novel Slur" arguably stand atop a mountain of great Milwaukee music released in 2010.
We talked with her about possibly cross-dressing cheerleaders, her love for The Lizard King, and how an Aceyalone record was like a "brain bomb" that exploded in her skull.
OnMilwaukee.com: What was the first tape/CD/record/8-track you ever owned?
Lunaversol9: "Mickey" by Toni Basil. I remember my mom taking me to Grand Avenue Mall and relenting to my probably patience-smashing pleas. It was a 45 and I played the sh!t out of it. I just looked up the video to see if I spelled it right and now am in '80s shock. Plus, I think some of those cheerleaders were dudes.
OMC: What was the first concert you attended?
Lunaversol9: The first conscious one I can remember, beyond whatever was playing at the Summerfest I happened to be at as a child, was the Doobie Brothers. This was not by choice and I had a terrible time. I must have been around 8 or 9. The first one I can remember going to voluntarily was Sinéad O'Connor at the Amphitheater. She killed.
OMC: What was the last concert you attended?
Lunaversol9: Decibully. It was fantastic and a little heartbreaking due to their disbanding.
OMC: Who is one popular musician or music act you just can't understand?
Lunaversol9: Def Harmonic.
OMC: Musically what are you into that you're embarrassed to admit to?
Lunaversol9: My favorite band is the Doors and I sometimes get sh!t for it. Doesn't phase me. I know their opinions are valid, and incorrect.
OMC: What are you listening to right now?
Lunaversol9: I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. Right now I'm listening to Patton Oswalt's book "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland" and some of the podcasts are: The Pod F. Tompkast, Uhh Yeah Dude, Doug Loves Movies, Radiolab and Third Coast International.
OMC: What song do you want played at your funeral?
Lunaversol9: "Stairway to Heaven." Just kidding.
I hope my funeral lasts longer than one song, but a few that would probably make the "Funeral Jamz" playlist would be : "Liberation" by OutKast, "Start Wearing Purple" by Gogol Bordello, "Spitting Venom" by Modest Mouse, "Orion" by Metallica, "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson, "Det biev fel" by Kim Hiorthoy, "Hovering Sombrero" by They Might Be Giants, "Antlers" by Made of Oak, "Stranger" by Man Man, "Brook & Waxing" by Why?.
I just realized it's really strange to go through your iTunes library and try to pick out songs for your funeral. I don't want to stigmatize the songs or impose my being dead every time one of the songs turns up. Also, I'm not going to be there to care. Funerals are for the living people. Maybe it's better to throw in some adult contemporary and be done with it.
OMC: What artist changed your life and how?
Lunaversol9: There are a lot of those, but I'd have to say Aceyalone.
I was at the perfect developmental spot, in the perfect mood and in the most optimal of situations when I heard "Book of Human Language." I was with my good friend Dan Johnson at his apartment that overlooked Lake Michigan. He gave me a pair of huge headphones, a joint and the CD booklet. I read along with the lyrics from start to finish and some kind of brain bomb exploded in my skull. The writing was great; funny, serious and strange. The music was all these chopped up samples from jazz records, and it was a theme album which is really hard to pull off well. It encapsulated all of these elements that, to me, were the most beautiful and critical about life.
OMC: If you could see anyone perform past or present who would it be?
Lunaversol9: Jim Morrison. That is my dude forever. But among the living I would say Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson and David Bowie.
OMC: If you could spend one day with any artist living or dead who would it be?
Lunaversol9: Again, I would kick it so hard with Morrison. One day would probably be more like a month the way he packed it in. Him or Celine Dion, so I could convince her to never sing again.
OMC: If you were stranded on an island with one record for the rest of your life what would it be?
Lunaversol9: It would have to be something dense. Something like "The Book of Human Language," or some Why? or Wu-Tang. Something that I could keep figuring out and memorize and analyze. I don't know. One record is pretty harsh, man. Maybe it would be a theoretical record that was infinitely interesting and never the same. If we're talking wild fantasy scenarios here then that's my answer. That's almost a mean-spirited question Bob, shame.
In re: Tony Basil + "Mickey," cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAhuwfaU4vs + see http://smotri.com/video/view/?id=v16886249d62 (audio alone @ http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=QKRp-yEMNlQ, but catch the film clip for it before it gets taken down yet again [though it always shows up somewhere else]) ...
The Lizard King ? ! ? ! Who knew? awesome
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