SXSW Interview: k.d. lang
Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 16The comfortable setting gave writer Holly George-Warren's conversation with k.d. lang the feeling of a taping of Ellen. Looking particularly butch in jeans and a blue work shirt with the sleeves rolled up, lang joked, "I am Brokeback Mountain and this is the Jake Gyllenhaal look." lang came across as thoughtful and self-effacing to a fault, discussing her career from its beginnings in performance art in Canada to her new release, Reintarnation, a hits and rarities collection that finds her visiting her early country roots. What stood out was the amount of collaborative work lang has done with, among others, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, and Deodato which she used as learning experiences, although she admitted that wasn't always the case early on. A discussion of fame led her to claim that "coming off a hit record is really hard." Of her coming out in an interview with the Advocate in 1992, lang chuckled, "I thought I was out the whole time." The culmination came when lang stated her philosophy of being a lesbian and an artist, "It's been a lifelong focus to be middle-of-the-road. It's the highest standard of progressive subversive behavior." The assembled cheered.