Sunday, April 27, 2008

Value Village People

Value Village People

In a live context, Value Village People are Canadians BLeeK Swinney and Luke Meat (It's all BLeeK in the studio). Luke also hosts the radio program ANoiZE, at CiTR (101.9 FM) in Vancouver, where he serves as the station's Music Director. BLeeK is the man behind the curtain at online radio stations Exquisite Corpse and 80's Seattle radio station tribute, KJET, as well as the broadcast version of Exquisite Corpse, which airs Thursday (7:30-9PM), also at CiTR.

BLeeK is also editor of Speck Fanzine and part curator of "24 Hours of Radio Art," an annual day-long subversion of the usual programming at CiTR, in which the station plays nothing but radio art for an entire 24 hours.

Value Village People have at least four records, at least one of which is available to download at their website. You can hear specific tracks at their Myspace page as well. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with BLeeK of Value Village People...

*Name: Value Village People

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Not really, no.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes. I go by BLeeK but my given name is Kerry.

*Members: BLeeK Swinney and Luke Meat. For the recorded works it's been just me, though my buddy Luke Meat supports me very well for live events.

*Founding Members: BLeeK.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital Deconstructions, I guess.

*Another genre descriptor: I've called my stuff "Plunderfunny" and "Avant Tard" (akin to Vicki Bennett's "Avant Retard").

*Is there a story behind your name? Ours is the BEST name in the genre, hands down. "Value Village" after the second-hand-store chain, which recalls where one finds some of our source material and the recycled nature of sound "sampling,” and "Village People" for the obvious musical band reference and elements of campiness. "Value Village People" as a whole sounds perhaps like a low-rent Village People, as well as plundering two well-known names.... It works on many levels.

*Location: Vancouver BC Canada.

*Original Location: BLeeK is from the Tacoma/Seattle area and Luke Meat comes from Red Deer, Alberta.

*What is your creative/artistic background: BLeeK has an Associate of Arts degree and 24 years of independent radio broadcasting.

*History: BLeeK and Luke realized a bizarre commonality while mixing noise together for 24 Hours of Radio Art, in 2001. We had previously created murky industrial/noise tracks years before meeting.

*Born: BLeeK was born in McMinnville, Oregon. I think Luke was born in Red Deer, Alberta.

*Motivations: Good question. Ultimately, I think I'm a pretty pessimistic person and I make this type of "music,” funny or creepy, as a release. A kind of therapy. Plus, I have to be entertained by it for a long time after it's made or it’s not worth making. My friend Alison Benjamin said the VVP CDs give her nightmares and that's kind of where they may come from as well. Many of the tracks which sound evil or misogynistic or cruel are responses to my horror or sadness about current events and ignorance. I'm actually one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. Some other tracks like "A Dead Child Shall Lead Them (Full Moon)" are only meant to sound beautiful and are also a tribute to Tones on Tail, a favorite of mine for many years.

*Philosophy: If I'm making the tracks to appeal to someone besides myself, no one will want to hear them. And... Nothing is gonna save us now.

*How would you like to be remembered: A sensitive, weird and creative person that never grew up.

*Web address:


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