Soft Focus live: Svenonius on Albini
Just the other day I was wondering aloud what had happened to Ian Svenonius's fabulous VBS.TV talk show Soft Focus—a Dick Cavette-like interview show with indie and underground musicians that has featured Henry Rollins, Kevin Shields, Mark E. Smith and Bobby Gillespie as guests. Washington, D.C.-based Svenonius has made his name as a punk raconteur and writer on the subjects of art, music, youth rebellion, film and fashion—and Paul McCartney—after fronting bands such as the Weird War, Make-Up and Nation of Ulysses. It's going to be a busy season for Svenonius. He just unveiled his newest album, Down with Liberty...Up with Chains!, on the stalwart indie K Records under the name Chain and the Gang. It's an entertaining, if bizarre, spin, to say the least. As a pop-art-provocateur conversationalist, Svenonius has few peers and he's also an ebullient fan of music. Devotees are in for a treat as Soft Focus is taping live at Logan Square auditorium on March 24 at 7pm with an after-party at the Fifty/50 (2047 W Division St) featuring Svenonius on the turntables—he spun Italo disco and underground obscurities last time he was in town. At the taping, Svenonius plans to interrogate recording engineer and Shellac frontman Steve Albini and Mick Collins of Gories/Dirtbombs fame—talk about barbed-wire wit.