Kelly Hogan The Exclaim! Questionnaire

Kelly Hogan The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Who are you?
Kelly Hogan. "Smelly" to my family.

What are you up to?
Released my new CD with the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Beneath the Country Underdog, and now I'm trying to book some shows. I'm also trying to housebreak very large new puppy. Both tasks are frustrating and messy, let me say.

Hometown and current HQ:
Hometown is Atlanta GA. Adopted hometown and current HQ is Chicago IL „o a swell and action-packed town, indeed.

Current fixations:
A bunch of folks and myself are doing a Curtis Mayfield tribute show here, so I've been immersing myself in Curtis lately. That, and Lou Rawls (as always), and Baby Huey and the Babysitters' version of "A Change is Gonna Come," which blows my mind every single time. I¡¦m reading Lynda Barry's new illustrated novel Cruddy „o very violent and hilarious. I love everything that woman does anyhow. I¡¦m eating HobNobs, these cookies from England that taste like really delicious sawdust. They're great in banana pudding.

Mind altering work of art:
Any painting by Ivan Albright

Most memorable/inspirational gig And why?
Al Green at an outdoor festival in Atlanta. He was so amazing: his voice was stellar, he was obviously having a joyful time singing and dancing his booty off. And he played forever! It even started to rain, really hard gully-washing rain, but nobody left; about a thousand of us stood in the mud and got creamy jeans from the soul music. Technical artistry and genuine emotion combined. My most memorable gig that I played was when I sang the national anthem at an Atlanta Braves game and my tough-as-John-Wayne step dad started crying.

Don't believe the hype (what should everyone shut up about?):
Maybe everyone (myself included, for sure) should just shut up in general.

Your greatest strength/weakness:
Strength: I make a good Bloody Mary. Weakness: My Buttery Nipples ain't so hot.

Your vital daily ritual:
Washing my face with Noxema, since I was nine years old.

Guilty pleasures:
Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, and bacon.

If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Dead as a doornail.

Your most memorable day job:
Veterinary technician. I know what dogs look like and smell like on the inside. I once had to scoop maggots out of giant infected bite wounds in a Chow's backside with a spoon. Nothing has ever phased me since.

Best/worst advice received:
Best: "Listen to your gut" (from mom).
Worst: "Maybe you should try wearing a mini-skirt and doing some popular cover songs, and then „o after you get rich that way „o you can go back and do your weird stuff, like when Linda Ronstadt did those big band records" (from my little brother, who meant well, I think).

I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
Sojourner Truth Elementary School Drum Corps at Cabrini Green Projects in Chicago, the youngest drum corps in the country.

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Someone smeared in grease from working on a car. The picture of Neko Case under the hood of her Rambler on the back of her Bloodshot Records "Car Songs" seven-inch just about drove me insane.

What personal trait would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed? And have you?
Poor rhythm. Yes.

When I think of Canada I think¡K
Neko Case under the hood of her Rambler, the Sadies, and k.d. lang. I am so gay for them, and subsequently, gay for Canada. I've always had a great time there.

Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
When they're done to my liking, there is no difference.

Strangest brush with celebrity:
One time a severely jet-lagged Evan Dando was at one of our Rock*A*Teens show at the Cooler in New York, and he went crazy for our band, telling us we sounded like "a wooden pirate ship sinking into the ocean ... creeeeeak... creeeeak!"

What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
She's fine with everything, especially now that I just got some health insurance for the first time in 13 years. I'm lucky, she's a fan. She would like a grandkid, I suppose, but I'm kinda busy right now.

Kelly Hogan began singing in the Rock*A*Teens; following a few appearances on seven-inch singles and Bloodshot Records compilations, Beneath The Country Underdog is her first solo album. She opens for Neko Case in Ontario and Quebec in May.