Fanclub is a semi-regular recommendation series where I talk to Normal People about the Things They Like.
Graham Gale (they/them) - Queens, NY
JMC: What have you been listening to lately?
GG: I’ve been revisiting a few old favorites a lot like Prefab Sprout, Orange Juice and Big Star. I’ve also been getting into Cate Le Bon and falling in love with Caroline Polachek. My partner loves to expose me to Phish against my will every day so I guess I’d include that in what I’ve been listening to.
JMC: Do you enjoy Phish the more you listen to it?
GG: YES LOL. And I’m actually a huge fan of Page McConnell who plays the keys. Apparently at concerts they say “Page side, rage side.” I'd be on the page side.
JMC: What is it about Caroline Polachek you’re falling in love with?
GG: Oh man. Her sophistication. She has the most amazing lyrics and melodies, and her effects are never heavy handed.
JMC: I like her solo music a lot, and I think it’s a huge progression from Chairlift, but I feel like I’m missing something in her new cult icon status. It feels to me how Shake Shack feels? Like, I enjoy it but then I see people waiting in line for it and I’m like “damn lol.”
GG: Hahahaha yeah I totally get that! I was late to the Caroline game so I feel like I’m able to enjoy her music free from all the hype. I don’t know if I’d ever go to a show, but I like the energy she brings in this performance and on Pang.
JMC: Are there any shows coming up you are excited about?
GG: I’m sure there are some fun and amazing shows happening, but I still have COVID paranoia and do not attend them anymore. I wish more shows were outside!
JMC: What is something you’ve been hearing a lot about but haven’t checked out or haven’t made your mind up about yet?
GG: I listened to this one album that Sam Gendel made with his girlfriend’s sister who is 11. The album is very creative and beautiful, but also haunting and weird. I think I liked it but am still deciding. Worth a listen.
JMC: What has you still kinda on the fence on the Sam Gendel record?
GG: Honestly the fact that Antonia Cytrynowicz is an 11-year-old kid, and that they didn’t really set out to make a record. It feels a little exploitative of childhood, like you have to make something out of a kids talent upon discovering it. I cant tell if that’s really what’s going on here, which is why I’m still on the fence. I can also surely say that I’m glad it exists but I just wonder what Antonia’s impressions of it will be as she gets older.
JMC: What do you do all day?
GG: The majority of my days are spent at my fucking job. Listening to music is the best part of the work day. When I’m not at work I do chores, take silly little mental health walks, watch TV and get crafty with needlepoint and knitting.
JMC: Talk about the union! Brag! It’s very cool.
GG: Yes! We fucking won!! With a supermajority!!! REI is very mad that they have to sit at the negotiations table with us and listen to what the workers need to have a safe workplace. It was a lot of hard, emotionally exhausting work to get here and there will be more, but honestly it’s 1000% worth it to get a say in our conditions and accountability from our employer.