What's the most obscure spoken-word record you own? I'm not embarrassed to say that a copy of Walter Mercado's Walter '86: Aquario, the Puerto Rican astrology god's predictions for Aquarians in 1986, tops my list of weird vinyl. It didn't cost me a thing. I straight inherited it from grandma.
But Andrew Yeomanson, better know as DJ Le Spam of Spam Allstars, actually buys these types of albums. He's been collecting all kind of spoken-word and poetry records since the late '90s. And on April 29, he and Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene, will team up for an experimental night of poetry and music appropriately called Broken Social Spam, where they'll unlock the vault of vinyl obscurity as part of O, Miami.
Check out what Spam had to say about his upcoming Purdy Lounge gig with Whiteman after the jump.
Crossfade: According to the O, Miami website, Broken Social Spam will feature "DJ Le Spam's epically deep collection of poetry vinyl." I want to know, (a) when did you start collecting poetry vinyl, and (b) who are some of the poets we might hear that night?
Spam: I started accumulating poetry along with lots of other spoken word records starting in the late '90s. I like to incorporate random stuff during Spam Allstars performances, so I used to pick up comedy records, plays, instructional records, and poetry too.
I'm not going to give too much away about the performance on the 29th, (but) Andrew Whiteman will have some stuff selected to read. We'll be working together in the days before the show to formulate what we're going to do, and some stuff will be improvised. That being said, you might hear some Kenneth Patchen, we're both big fans.
How did you team up with Andrew for O, Miami?
We've been friends for over 20 years. We met in a film class at the University of Toronto. I would sit there making fun of Eisenstein, etc. I think I was the first to drop out, or as we used to say, 'flake off.'
Scott Cunningham (Founder, University of Wynwood) got in touch with Andrew about participating in the (O,Miami) and that's how it came about.
Do you write any poetry? Can you come up with a short poem -- any form -- about Miami's literary scene?
I'm really not a wordsmith, nor do I feel qualified, or informed enough to wax poetic here!
You're the real deal when it comes to DJs. You spin records, not digital tracks, so I have to ask: What's more authentic, a DJ that's never spun vinyl, or a poet that's never been published?
I honestly think that if you have talent, taste and originality then you possess the ingredients for authenticity. I think that getting published would lend a poet certain legitimacy, but would not be the only measure of talent.
As for analog vs. digital, I don't think there is enough space here for the debate to rage. I just happen to like records more.
What are the chances of a Broken Social Scene/Spam Allstars collaboration in the future?
I think that Andrew and I will continue to do stuff together, he's sat in with Spam Allstars a number of times over the years, and I have done some remixing for his solo projects.
I'm hoping to have enough time to get some recording done while he's here. I think the name 'Broken Social Spam' might be a little misleading since this project is more about spoken word and soundscapes than what people would ordinarily associate with either of the two bands.
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Read more about Andrew "Le Spam" Yeomanson, and his musical contributions to Rakontur's new documentary, Square Grouper, here.
Broken Social Spam as part of O, Miami. Friday, April 29. Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach. The event begins at 9:30 p.m. and it's free. Call 305-531-4622 or visit purdylounge.com.