First, most importantly, Humor Risk, Cass McCombs' second full-length this year, is out tomorrow, November 8th! The fine folks at Domino Records enabled a full album stream:
He'd prefer you didn't know anything about him, outisde of perhaps his name -- he thinks artists' art is more interesting like that. McCombs answered a few questions for Pitchfork recently, with answers both brilliant and intriguingly reluctant.
The Northern California native talks a bit about his upbringing, why he doesn't think of himself as "an artist," and even blasts California College of Arts and Crafts for changing its name to CCA. It seems he enjoys controversy, and its hard to tell if he's just butting heads with the press, but his ideas are totally engaging.
"In Oakland, there's a college now called the CCA [California College of the Arts]. It used to be called the CCAC [California College of Arts and Crafts], but somehow they thought that was too hippy-dippy, so they got rid of the C. I wish they didn't. Because, to me, craft work is the ultimate. Maybe I got this idea from the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, who was employed as a sculptor to the state and church, making coins and things. While he admired Michelangelo, he also made fun of his spiritual angst with art. I think a master craftsman is someone who is unpretentious. He has a physical object in front of him and, while he works with a higher aim, he doesn't let his personality get in the way of his art. It's simply about the task at hand and to make it as functional and necessary to the world as he can. So much of what people are making now is unnecessary. It's useless. I want to make something that's useful to someone, somewhere."