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112 words from Bonnie “Prince” Billy

by Meagan Pittelko

December 09, 2013

Will Oldham—more frequently known by the stage name Bonnie “Prince” Billy—is a singer-songwriter from Kentucky. Oldham will be playing with the Bitchin Bajas on Monday, December 16 at the Cedar Cultural Center, promoting the new self-titled Bonnie "Prince" Billy album (above); the album is available for sale at Oldham's shows, but won't be widely available until 2014. (A limited number of copies are available on vinyl at Treehouse Records.)

Known for his musical introspection, Oldham wasn't particularly voluble when we spoke by phone in advance of the upcoming show. Still, he answered my questions and did at least promise that the Cedar gig will make for "a good night of music."

So, let’s start this interview off with an easy question: What have you been up to lately?

Playing live shows, preparing for other live shows, doing some recording. I hope to make money now and make money in the future and meet nice people doing it.

Your music has been considered part of many different genres. Is there a particular genre that you personally identify with most?

What would you classify it as?

Well, after listening to some of your stuff, I’d agree with the people who said it’s a type of alternative, indie style.

And what exactly is that? I guess if there was a formula you could fit into, I would.

You’ll be playing in Minneapolis on December 16. Have you been to the city before? 

A couple of times.

You’re playing at the Cedar Cultural Center. Have you been to the Cedar before?

Nope. Have you?

I haven’t, but I’ve heard that it’s a more intimate venue. Do you prefer the more intimate settings?

I guess I prefer places where I can make eye contact with the audience.

How do you feel about the Minneapolis music scene?

I’ve only ever passed through, so I’ve never gotten to know the music scene.

So, you’re playing with the Bitchin’ Bajas on the 16th. Can you tell me a little bit about them?

I probably couldn’t tell you anything you couldn’t learn over the Internet.

I’m assuming you chose to play with them, correct? 

Yes, ma’am.

Could you tell me why?

I thought it would make a good night of music.

Meagan Pittelko is a student at Concordia College.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.