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TEXT By John Taylor Photo by Marshall Franklin Long



coffee with... Will Oldham / Bonnie “Prince” Billy

ill Oldham loves coffee. Will Oldham loves coffee so much that he has his own Kona Rose (Bonnie Billy) Coffee blend available through Drag City. Bonnie “Prince” Billy himself gives us the scoop on his favorite pairings and guilty pleasures.


How do you take your coffee? “Filter coffee”: black. Espresso either as a macchiato or with cinnamon, honey, and a splash of cream. What goes best with the Kona Rose Bonny Billy Blend? Deep breaths and morning wood sunk deep into fleshy wetness. Or a good weeding session, by which I mean out in the yard. What’s your favorite shop and city for coffee? If I can’t be drinking Bonny Billy Blend straight from Kona Rose / Drag City, I’d go to Quills or Sunergos in Louisville and get a macchiato. Or I’d go to Ipsento in Chicago and get an “Ipsento,” which has coconut milk, honey, and cayenne pepper in it. Do you have any coffee-shop guilty pleasures? I don’t know if this counts, but before singing I prefer to have an espresso with a shot of grappa or sambuca in it. If I can’t get that, then instant coffee with whiskey in it is great. Also, I pretty much like any coffee supplied in-room at hotels, motels, and B&Bs around the world. Decaf: sensible or blasphemous? Retarded.

Brother Ali The Minneapolis MC on home occupation and “user-friendly” activism


hortly after recording his sixth LP, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, Rhymesayers MC Brother Ali began working with the Minnesota offshoot of the Occupy Our Homes movement, dedicated to preventing families from being wrongfully evicted. He made quick headlines too: in June, he was arrested along with 12 others for trespassing while trying to prevent an eviction. Now Ali talks with ALARM to discuss his motivations for getting active as well as the relationship between his music and social causes.

schoolteachers, moms and doctors, chaining themselves and putting themselves physically in harm’s way, defending homes of black, brown, and white people, and red people and yellow people. That touched my heart, man. I’ve never seen anything like that in my lifetime. So I got involved and started interviewing homeowners and making my own videos, and tweeting, and inviting my fans to come out. I’m kind of making it my business to make this activism a little more userfriendly to people who don’t come from activist culture. I myself don’t come from that culture [of ] traditional activism.

What made you join this movement?

What was it like seeing the words from your songs become reality?

I saw white, middle-class, middle-aged

There’s always been a message to the music,

INTERVIEW By Meaghann Korbel




ALARM Magazine #40  
ALARM Magazine #40