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The Kempt Five

  • Caitlin Ganswindt
  • Jason Wire


Every Wednesday, we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.

0129KMT_Five_1“Elvis Costello Repents,” Rolling Stone 1982. “1. In this interview, his first in years at the time, Elvis Costello says he’s probably destined to be best known for, in 1979, calling Ray Charles a “blind, ignorant nigger” in a drunken argument with Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills and Nash) and Bonnie Bramlett. 2. I’d venture that even some serious Costello fans today have never heard about this. 3. His candor and his guilt are refreshing, and it’s hard to imagine anyone not named Kanye West giving a similarly soul-baring interview today. (And even then, he’d be criticized as calculating.) 4. I hadn’t really read Greil Marcus interviewing someone before. He’s... okay at it. Better at connecting Dylan songs to Melville short stories and the Susan Smith case. 5. I stumbled onto this while researching the Kempt 100. EC didn’t make the cut, but he looks pretty great here. 6. Armed Forces was and is one hell of an album.”—P.L.U

0129KMT_Five_2AMI Fall/Winter 2014. “These French guys are quickly becoming one of my favorite labels, even if I mostly have to covet their wares from afar. Their latest collection’s no different. It’s mostly monochrome, but the occasional pops of color (like the topcoat you see here) almost make me excited for winter to return. (Though it has to actually go away first...)”—P.L.U.

0129KMT_Five_3Watching the Local Morning News. “I’m one of those people who believes that televised news is just a watered-down, ratings-baiting or lowest-common-denominator-pandering retelling of what I read on the Internet six to 12 hours earlier, but I’ve recently taken an appreciation for my local morning newscast. Firstly, because having a box tell you the weather and traffic reports are far easier to do than checking the Internet while getting ready. And second, because there’s something great about watching a couple newscasters blunder their way through a live interview about snow plowing while you’re putting on pants. It’s one of the last remaining live TV performances that occasionally feels like anything can happen, and mistakes come often, adding welcome transparency to something that’s become so tightly produced and overperfected. It’s no coffee, but there’s something about knowing other people have already been up for hours makes getting motivated that much easier.”—J.W.

Temporary Thing: A Texas Tribute to Lou Reed. “I came across it and thought, ‘Lou Reed, Texas... makes perfect sense.’ But I’m glad I clicked. It features relatively underground bands covering Velvet Underground songs and some of his solo work. The more I like a recording artist, the more skeptical I am when I hear cover versions of their songs. But there’s a lot to like in this collection, including a beautiful and haunting male-female duet of “Heroin” by Bobby Jealousy. Worth checking out... and it’s free.”—A.P.B.

0129KMT_Five_5620 cm³/g Down Fill Power. “Thinking back, I have no idea how I survived college without losing an appendage to the elements. Four to five nights a week, 40ish weeks a year meant taking to the streets of Buffalo sans outerwear. A convoluted truth that women of a certain age (18-19) subscribe to a foolish notion that preparedness is for suckers. I’m either older and wiser or older and weaker—but these days my supremely filled Parajumper jacket is the only thing getting me to the office on these vortexy mornings.”—C.G.