Odorifous: Charlyne Yi

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I’d like to say that I first discovered Charlyne Yi performing at some underground club or something.

But I didn’t.

I (like most everyone else who’s been lucky enough) first saw her in her own movie Paper Heart (trailer).

I remember looking forward to it for a while, and when we finally got to watch it we weren’t disappointed. I don’t know how many people I’ve recommended it to since, but probably to just about everyone I know (which is like 5 people).

I’m not exactly sure what to say about Charlyne.

She seems to represent a new generation of comics who blend art/music/comedy/film in a Andy Kaufman kind of way, but wheras his work seemed an attempt to keep the world out, hers has (at least from what I can tell) a transparency that allows the rest of us to know the real her (which takes a lot of guts).

While many of the best comics’ work is a defense reflex (developed in adolescence), Charlyne’s work seems to be a reflection/extension of herself.

And her artistic bent is apparent as it spills outside of traditional film into YouTube videos, visual art, poetry and music.

The stuff she’s recording with her band Old Lumps is reminiscent of early-nineties so-cal lo-fi geek rock and reminds me of when Napster first came out and I was finally able to hear Weezer’s pre-blue “Kitchen Tape” demos for the first time.

So needless to say, I’m trying to act all cool but actually super excited to share her Strong Odors interview today:

Tell us one of your favorite odors.

Fresh baked bread.

What is it about that particular smell?

Warmth & comfort. Like a pillow of warmth in the form of food.

What experience makes you feel alive?

Performing music, laughing with people I care about, being able to laugh at something that seems impossible and sad – and – being overcoming it.

What fears do you have?

Procrastinating and not accomplishing all of my goals before I die.

What have you learned about yourself over the past year?

I can easily stop talking to people. Which is another fear of mine. I don’t think I’m much of a social person. Kinda an indoor cat. But I’ve been forcing myself to be more outgoing. And it’s great. I’ve made a lot of great friends.

Are you working on anything cool right now?

To me, it’s cool. I am working on a poetry book. I don’t know how cool poetry is to people though.

Do you find your creative work a spiritual experience? In what way?

Yeah. It’s as if something in me NEEDS to create. I can’t explain it. It’s not a desire. It’s a need. And it’s very satisfying to share it with people and even better when people like it too! It’s like somebody once said, “making the invisible visible”.

What tunes have you been hooked on lately?

Lennon’s Lost Tapes (I listen to them on youtube), Sam Cooke: The Two Sides Of Sam Cooke