Delicate Steve, and Outkast’s “Player’s Ball”


Delicate Steve is a guitar hero for our time with no obvious North Star guiding his musical choices and no piety for the The Church of Shredders. In today's interview, he talks about being a child of Napster, and the self-taught musical education that came from downloading a world of music has led to a career of music that doesn't fit neatly in any box. He started at Luaka Bop, where his personal musical vision was thought of as psychedelic world music (the "psychedelic" part sounds right), and now he's on Anti-, where his instrumental music simply seems personal and at home.

He recently released The Christmas Album, but as this conversation shows, Steve Marion is hardly a holiday true believer. He took on the challenge because others thought it was a good idea, and he knocked most of the tracks out in two days because that’s what he needed. Steve approached the songs as songs instead of appendices to the season, and in his talk with host Alex Rawls, he discusses all of this as well as Phil Spector, Bob Dylan, and his approach to instrumental music.

Alex also talks this week to journalist David Dennis about Outkast's "Player's Ball." The song fits squarely into the "12 Songs" mission because it’s very much a business story, but it also reveals the way Christmas doesn't live equally in everybody's imagination. David and Alex talk about why, as well as the role Sean "Puffy" Combs' video for the song played in shaping Outkast's image.