Cultural Life: Russell Mael, musician

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The Independent Culture


I have been reading 'From the Atelier Tovar: Selected Writings of Guy Maddin' with my brother Ron {co-founder of Sparks}. Maddin is a great film director who works in his own world, and this book is a collection of essays and journals about him and his work.


I have become pretty disillusioned with the modern pop scene. Instead, I've been listening to music by John Adams, especially 'Doctor Atomic', an opera about moral issues surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb.


At university I was a big fan of foreign film, and for our new radio musical, 'The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman', I've been re-watching Bergman's films to research citations for the songs.


I really like 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart', which gives a view of current affairs from a left-leaning perspective. It's followed by 'The Colbert Report' by Stephen Colbert, who plays the devil's advocate by taking a right-wing stance. I'm also lamenting the end of the 'Flight of the Conchords' series!

Sparks' new radio musical, 'The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman', is released on Lil Beethoven, and broadcast on 8 November on BBC 6Music