Singer/songwriter Kelly Pardekooper is a self-described "36-year-old guy from Iowa with a funny name and bad hair." After touring Iowa, the mid-west, Europe and a stint at SXSW, Pardekooper has recently relocated to Nashville. On his latest album, House of Mud, he combines dark blues-rock with hints of folk and country. Here he talks about the timeless mullet, his true calling as a horse buyer and an audience that chucked ice cubes.
Catch Kelly at The Sutler, Nov. 3 and at the 5 Spot Nov. 11. For more info, check out his website: http://www.kellyp.net.
1. Describe your music style, in 5 sentences or less. Hmmm...I'm kind of a music genre flake currently. My last couple of CDs were certainly in the rootsy alt-country twang-n-bang world. However, the new album I'm working on also has some unabashed pop and rockish elements.
2. What's the first and last concert you went to? First concert ever was The Scorpions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The most recent was Ole Mossy Face just up the street at The Alleycat Lounge.
3. What song would you never want to hear again, and why? "Achy Breaky Heart." I can't hear it without images of the mullet, tight jeans, and really bad dancing running through my head. Pretty much all that is wrong with marketing style/fashion over substance in my not-so-humble musical opinion.
4. What's your favorite cheesy song? "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick. I love this song. Not even sure if this qualifies as cheesy but I feel like a cheeseball when every time it comes on I must turn it up and sing along at the top of my lungs.
5. What's the best and worst gig you ever had? Best gig was last fall in Amsterdam playing the Take Root festival. It was my first tour in Europe and we shared a dressing room with Cracker, one of my faves. We were all up until 5 a.m. on Red Bull, Kentucky Bourbon, and other Dutch treats....Worst gig was tiny Red Oak, Iowa, in the dead of winter during a white-out blizzard. They wanted a jukebox band and we couldn't play covers and we were stranded and they threw ice cubes at us, etc....a bad gig.
6. What record do you wish you'd made? The Bends by Radiohead.
7. What is one of your shows like? Currently my shows are pretty loose as I'm still meeting lots of new musicians here in Nashville to play with. I try to have fun onstage. I would hope my audience would be moved in some way and feel free to dance, talk, or just hang out. I don't make quiet precious music.
8. If you could be in any other band (past or present) for one gig, what band would you be in? Probably The Rolling Stones on tour circa about 1977.
9. What's your opinion on the Nashville music scene? Who are your favorite Nashville musicians/artists? I'm renting a little house in East Nashville and it's been great meeting some of the musicians who live here. Like most music scenes in the U.S., it seems there are less people coming out to see live music in general. Most of the music I've heard has been right in my neighborhood. I really enjoyed the Carter Administration at the Radio Cafe and I did a show with the Black Diamond Heavies and they were a blast.
10. What is your proudest moment in music? Probably finishing/releasing my debut basement produced lo-fi CD. Almost can't listen to it now, but it was a first ugly little musical step/stumble that I had to take.
11. What's the last album you bought? Do you recommend it? Summerteeth by Wilco. I love this record. I had some friends who freaked out over the Yankee Hotel CD, but for my money Summerteeth is da bomb, da shizzle, the perfect union of Tweedy and Bennett.
12. How do you pronounce your last name? Ahhh, the million-dollar question. I know I should probably change the name. If I had any true ambition I suppose I would have lost it a long time ago. On my next album I have a song called "Folk This Kelly Cougar" in honor of my silly name. Okay...if you can say Party-Pooper, you can say my name. Just add a K and pronounce as Party-Kooper. Spelled Pardekooper and meaning "Horse-Buyer" in Dutch.