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Interview with Jill Carnes, November 3, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:12 - Early life and family

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Partial Transcript: Where'd you grow up?

Segment Synopsis: Carnes recalls growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, with her mother and siblings. She talks about her siblings' art and careers, in addition to describing some of her experiences at public and fine arts high schools.

Keywords: childhood; family; school

00:17:36 - Moving to Athens

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Partial Transcript: I guess that was Greenville, and then I moved to Athens.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes summarizes her mother's life and talks about moving to Athens, where she became a dishwasher at The Grill and befriended many local artists. Carnes and Pernice also discuss the cost of living in Athens.

Keywords: army; mother; rent

00:30:33 - Athens art scene in the '80s

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Partial Transcript: The first art show I had was because of Sam Seawright.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes talks about her first visual art show at Kinkos in Athens. She mentions Athens musicians like Love Tractor and Oh-OK, as well as local art venues that were popular in the 1980s. Carnes also talks about The Electrocutions, a band she formed with her sisters as a child.

Keywords: True Confections; local music; punk rock

00:42:34 - Exploring music in Athens and Atlanta

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Partial Transcript: So I always kind of like played around with music a bit that way.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes talks about playing music on a bicycle with Bob Bourne and meeting Bill Taft while playing an accordion. Carnes says that she enjoyed the makeshift style of music in Athens, but that she felt talentless and shy in the shadow of famous Athens artists like R.E.M. She compares this environment to Atlanta, where she felt more supported and free to express herself.

Keywords: Atlanta; DIY music; The Zoo; Thimble Circus; artistic freedom; punk rock

00:52:03 - Cover art / Folk art

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Partial Transcript: And then the Jody Grind came on the scene, you know, and then I did a record cover for their first album.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes talks about making album covers for artists like the Jody Grind, Vic Chesnutt, Victoria Williams, and Neutral Milk Hotel. Carnes also mentions being featured in Folk Art Magazine, but says that she would not consider her work to be folk art since it focuses on animals rather than human social life.

Keywords: Bill Taft; One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure; album covers; cover art; folk art

01:06:46 - Life in Atlanta / Lullaby for Worriers record

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Partial Transcript: But we were talking a little about Atlanta- how long did you live down there?

Segment Synopsis: Carnes discusses living in Atlanta for several brief periods. She talks about moving back to Athens, where she became friends with artists like Synthetic Flying Machine and recorded her only album, Lullaby for Worriers, in 1993. Carnes recalls later performing her music in Atlanta restaurants, as well as in unique locations like overpasses and gardens.

Keywords: Eric Harris; Jeff Mangum; Jody Grind; Lullaby for Worriers; Mud Shack; The Flicker; Thimble Circus; Tortillas; recording

01:21:53 - Working at the record store

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Partial Transcript: I worked with Ross at two different jobs. I worked with him at the Gyro Wrap and at the record store.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes discusses working at a popular Athens record store, and she contemplates how purchasing individual songs on iTunes has limited consumers' music exposure and contributed to a declining appreciation for concept albums.

Keywords: Big Shot Records; Downtown Records; Ruthless Records; Schoolkids Records; jobs; music history; singles

01:30:15 - Recording challenges / Collaborations / D.A. Pennebaker

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you playing now?

Segment Synopsis: Carnes talks about the challenging process of writing, recording, producing, and distributing albums. Carnes also discusses music and movie collaborations she was involved in with local artists. Additionally, Carnes tells a story about having dinner with D.A. Pennebaker, a documentary filmmaker and 78 record enthusiast.

Keywords: Curse of the Seven Jackals; Elephant 6; Of Montreal

01:41:42 - Rock radio / Cover art / Thimble Circus

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Partial Transcript: You know, classic rock radio has changed since the '80s, but not to the extent that you think it maybe should have.

Segment Synopsis: Carnes and Pernice contemplate the persistence of '70s and '80s rock music, and they consider the value of remakes and cover songs. They also discuss Carnes's cover art paintings and the reasoning behind the name "Thimble Circus."

Keywords: album covers

01:49:02 - Modern Athens band scene

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Partial Transcript: There anything more you wanna add?

Segment Synopsis: Carnes and Pernice discuss the changing art scene in Athens. They attribute the decline of bands to decreased employment opportunities and higher rent prices, which may have spiked due to student scholarships and political events.

Keywords: bands; cost of living; employment; rent