Interview: Adam Goldberg and LANDy

When I pitched an interview with Adam Goldberg to his publicist, the first thing she warned me was: “I’m not sure it’s a good fit.” I asked why. She said it was the website’s name: Goldberg’s father is Jewish, his mother’s Catholic, and he wasn’t raised religious at all.

One way or another, however, Goldberg has become a hallmark of contemporary Jewish culture. He’s acted for the most Jewish of directors (in Saving Private Ryan) and on Friends, arguably the most Jewish adam goldberg playing with landytelevision show in the post-Seinfeld world. To thousands of people, some of whom may not even know a Jew personally, Goldberg is the face of Judaism: he played the title role of Mordechai Jefferson Carver in the classic Jewxploitation cult film The Hebrew Hammer.

But all questions about religious devotion and racial profiling aside, Goldberg is a fascinating artist. He’s a talented actor and director with exceedingly versatile talents, equally at home in comedy, drama, and the surreal middle. Currently, he dabbles in all of those in his regular gig on ABC’s The Unusuals (whose costar Amber Tamblyn is also multitalented, releasing her second book of poetry on Manic D Press this autumn).

And he’s versatile outside the realm of acting as well. For the past six years, Goldberg has been stockpiling recordings of his musical project — a non-band band named LANDy, made up primarily of Goldberg’s recordings of his own material, with backup provided by, among others, the bands Earlimart and the Flaming Lips. “Eros and Omissions,” their debut album, will be released Tuesday, June 23 on Apology Music, although you can hear tracks right now on Myspace or download tracks here.

MJL: The album’s fine print says that these songs were recorded between 2002-2008. What took you so long to pull it together–and how do you know when to say, okay, I’m done, this is one coherent album?

Adam Goldberg: I didn’t set out to record an album. I just recorded for “the love of doing it” or when I had a song idea and needed to get it down and just kept going, getting it down, getting down. Some things were more intentional demos perhaps to try and procure a record deal. I came to realize it was no longer 1973. Then some other songs, particularly the Oklahoma sessions with Steven Drozd in a “proper” studio setting, were what I considered at the time might be the commencement of an independently produced record.

Posted on June 18, 2009

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