Trying to cover the work that People Like Us in a single show is really a disservice to the incredible breadth and scope of the work she does. Music, radio, television, film and even a book are some of the elements of her career, but even those labels do not fully embrace what her version of radio is (Do or DIY), or what her film might look like. (In this case, Gone Gone Beyond, a 360 degree experience for Cinechamber.) Suffice it to say, People Like Us – or Vicki Bennett, as it were – works in new media and mediums to force us to reflect on enjoying the work we’re experiencing, and rejecting the boring “intellectual” parts of our brains while we do it.
Join me for a two-hour presentation of the work and thinking of People Like Us, artist and creator who is constantly pushing boundaries, and finding new places where her ideas can grow and flourish. We also feature examples of her work, discuss her newest release (Optimized!, a split release with Porest), her newest film, and get into the nitty gritty of art, who we are when we engage in it, and why having a sense of humor is crucial if we want to be honest with ourselves.
There’s no Audience Participation this week, as this is the Holiday Season and we’re a little time constrained, to be honest. But in the background you’ll hear a mix of People Like Us jams backing the interview, and I do my best to keep the tone in line with the conversation. There’s a ton of music in the background that I do not credit or cite below, but all of it is People Like Us, and her music is easy enough to find. It will cause you to re-think the way you consider pop music, and maybe stop thinking entirely, from time to time.
The People Like Us Special! (#81)
Part I: “It just makes the most sense.”
01.) Austin FM Theme * Paco Jones * Austin FM Theme * Self-Released (2016)
Part II: “Mindset wihout the headset.”
02.) Interview Part 1 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
03.) Old Cow Whoopee * People Like Us * A Fistful Of Knuckles * Caciocavallo Records (2000)
Recombinant Media Labs & Cinechamber, Gone Gone Beyond, the labor of editing and creating art, collaborating with pre-existing material, not mediating experiences, letting your intellectual parts surrender to the world of wonder.
Part III: “Do you fancy thinking about it a bit more?”
04.) Interview Part 2 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
05.) What’s Love? * People Like Us * Love Is This * Previously Unreleased? (2001)
Radio Boredcast, the artistic quality of boredom, art that is not meant to be entirely consumed, Andy Whorhol, James Benning‘s Nightfall, meditation and your commitment to the art as an audience, drawing connections to adjacent things.
Part IV: “I’ve been flailing wildly for many, many years, actually.”
06.) Interview Part 3 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
07.) All On A Beautiful Day [Excerpt] * People Like Us * Optimized! * Discrepant Records (2017)
Do or DIY & large audience broadcasting, someone mansplaining your art to you, starting out doing radio in Brighton, making tapes, starting to gig in 1996, living with Genesis P-Orridge in Brighton in 1989, Mark Hosler “dropping by” and leaving Escape from Noise behind, Nurse With Wound, Psychic TV, meeting Don Joyce, the small world of experimental music, sending tapes and faxes back and forth, Universe Part 92, phoning Over The Edge in the old days, putting out the first record in 91/92, new split Optimized! with Porest, topsy turvey music, not being serious and connecting with humor, intellectuals ruining everything.
Part V: “I like the idea of The Variety Show.”
Part VI: “Who is this band?”
08.) Interview Part 4 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
09.) Sound Escape Part 3 * People Like Us * Lassie House / Jumble Massive * Caciocavallo Records (1995)
Muppet Christ Superstar, earworms and getting Rick Rolled, exposure to the 21st century through mash-ups, lawsuits and fading sampling controversies, a celebration of folk culture, Ubu.com and Kenny Goldsmith, downloading, gender and identity expectations in art, releasing films on a VR headset, gaining access to art.
Part VI: “Happy now?”
10.) Interview Part 5 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
11.) Baby Makes Three 2 * Don Joyce, People Like Us & Wobbly * 10 October 2002 * KPFA Radio (2002)
The apparatus exists before the content, the world of wonder, access and costs preventing art from growing, the creative mind, anarchy and creativity rejuvenating artists, the importance of Dada, thinking about Don Joyce, Over The Edge as Don’s mind in audio form, Mark’s dream, Vicki’s dream, the person that creates the art you make, we don’t own anything, The archive.org OTE collection, honoring our creative impulses.
Part VII: “I don’t remember what questions you’ve asked me anyway.”
12.) Interview Part 6 * People Like Us * 8 November 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
Ergo Phizmiz, Hearty White, appearing on Miracle Nutrition, not remembering, wfmu.org and their collective sense of humor, The Dusty Show, not a fan of holidays, working at home, loving London, blue sky and burritos, peoplelikeus.org, ubuweb.
13.) It Wouldn’t It Be Nice In Yr Face * People Like Us & Kenny G * Nothing Special * Mess Media (2003)
Podcast Only Bonus Track
14.) The Scrolling Verb [Excerpt] * People Like Us * The Verb * 8 December 2017 * BBC 3 (2017)