THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Kelly Sherrod and James Duncan of Punches

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Punches: Blue Moon
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Kelly Sherrod and James Duncan of Punches

Punches is the nom de disque of James Duncan and Kelly Sherrod who have conducted a long distance recording session for their extraordinary album Etheria (reviewed here). Over the course of recording she was in Nashville and he was in Auckland . . . and their joint reply to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire comes from James in Berlin where he is currently living.

And it arrives with an exceptionally polite covering note.

"I really appreciate your kind and rousingly eloquent review of Etheria," he writes. "I'm honestly touched and humbled that at least one person seems to enjoy it. You never know what people are going to think when you are marooned on that island, making a record and when someone bothers to really listen to it and write well about it, (positively or negatively) well, its a good feeling."

Etheria (reviewed here) is quite some sonic journey, but hardly unexpected when you look into the protagonists' backgrounds. They have spent time in bands such as SJD's live group and Dimmer as well as doing solo work, production, songwriting etc etc. And their separate answers here give some hints to the the diverse inspirations which have fed into their album which was recorded remotely over a period of years, which makes it all the more remarkable.

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
KELLY: Marvin Gaye, What's Going On
JAMES: Boomtown Rats, I Don't Like Mondays

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
KELLY: Michael Jackson
JAMES: Nick Rhodes, The synth player in Duran Duran.... Eww!

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
KELLY: Lennon, Ramones, Madonna, Michael Jackson..
JAMES: Lennon, Lennon, Lennon, Lennon.

640_PunchesIf music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
KELLY: Nurse
JAMES: The surly but good hearted thick New York-accented plumber on Sesame St. Yes I want to be a puppet.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
KELLY: Thin Lizzy, Little Girl in Bloom
Marvin Gaye - What's Happening Brother
Lou Reed - Vanishing Act
Gavin Bryars - The Sinking of the Titanic
Scott Walker - The Old man's Back Again, just because its the one that opened up that whole can of worms for me!
Justin Bieber - Baby, slowed down 800%

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
KELLY: Glen Campbell's autograph on a one dollar bill
JAMES: A snuff box once used by Kiri Te Kanawa

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
KELLY: Just Kids - Patti Smith
JAMES: Bob Dylan - Chronicles

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
KELLY: Alison Krauss, Bee Gees….
JAMES: Scott Walker - A side of meat

deppThe three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
KELLY: Dead Man, I Am Love, Spinal Tap
JAMES: Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
KELLY: Joan As Police Woman, To Survive, Bill Callahan, Apocalypse
JAMES: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
KELLY: Thriller - Michael Jackson
JAMES: Crazy Frog - Crazy Frog theme is it? or Dee Dum Dum? I forget the name of that masterpiece.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
KELLY: Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
JAMES: Scott 3

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
KELLY: Happy Feet - the kiwi penguin
JAMES: Kelly Sherrod

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
KELLY: at home, feeling good.
JAMES: Rebuild the Titanic and take it out on its maiden voyage around day 1824

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
KELLY: Cause it's got alotta heart.
JAMES: Because it has more power, less carcinogens, higher taste amount, is G.E, isn't G.E and causes blurry vision.

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