Despite the fact that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart seemed to have picked their name in a fit of emo melancholy, their music isn’t superficial — it’s actually pretty awesome. The Brooklyn trio, who will be playing at Risley Hall on Saturday, have been lauded across the music blogosphere for being the next hot thing. They’ve been compared to so many bands (My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, The Verve, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc.) that you might worry that they’ve got little heart of their own. Is this a band that — as the all-holy Pitchfork Media seems to suggest — might have picked the right influences and cruised on that success?
A few nights ago, as I sat watching Cornell Design League’s 25th Anniversary show, I had two thoughts circulating around my cerebellum. The first: “Wow, if I was anorexic at Cornell, and I wasn’t asked to be in the show, I would be super offended.” But I was also mostly reminiscing to myself about an experience I had last February, when I scored three press passes for the Cornell Daily Sun to cover New York Fashion Week.
A founding member of the legendary hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA — also known as the Genius and famous for his laid-back drawl; his complex, multi-layered lyrics rife with metaphor and literary illusions; and his now seminal 1995 hip-hop album Liquid Swords, which features samples from classic Samurai films — dropped us a line this week to chat about his creative process, kung fu films and his absolutely favorite past-time: chess.
The Sun: What do you expect from Cornell? In terms of the student body, are you excited?
GZA: Yeah, I’m looking forward to the show.
Sun: What do you think of Girl Talk?
GZA: I don’t really know much about him. I just started learning. He’s the DJ, correct?
The collective boots of Cornell are shaking. This Sunday, the concert crescendo that’s been slowly invading campus all year reaches its climax when Girl Talk comes to town, GZA by his side. What started as a whimper with T-Pain (sorry to all three members of Cornell’s “BUY ME A DRANK!! T-PAIN’S #1 CORNELL FANS” Facebook group) and gained steam with Luda is now going to be, as the immortal Lance Crouther / Pootie Tang once said, a “cama cama leepa-chaiii,” dig? I know this might be a lot to take in all at once, so let’s take it step-by-step.