VBS is Vice’s new online television station and if you haven’t been there yet, I would recommend doing so immediately. There’s a whole shitload of original shows there and I could talk about a bunch of different ones, but I’ll stick to the one and only thing there that I know anything about; Soft Focus.
Soft Focus is basically just a talk show with musicians, but its host, Ian Svenonius (in bands such as the Nation of Ulysses, Cupid Car Club, Make-Up, and Weird War), strives for awkwardness. The questions he asks of the musicians he interviews (Will Oldham, Cat Power, Andrew WK, Henry Rollins) sometimes have little relevance to music, which in my opinion is its genius. With all the blogs and MySpaces of the world, we start to know too much about the people we want to stay mysterious, and Svenonious keeps this idea at the forefront of his show. (They were all recorded at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.)
The reason that I apparently know anything about Soft Focus is that I attended the taping w/ Will Oldham. Svenonius was magically annoying asking nonsense questions about Cuba and Kentucky and it seemed as though Oldham was on the borderline of being pissed off. But wouldn’t we rather see Will Oldham acting slightly uncomfortable and telling stories about Cuba than reading an interview about what new sound he is striving for on his next record? I think so.
VBS has A LOT more to offer than Soft Focus, so make sure you go over there and check it out.