Actress Michelle Forbes has a cult following thanks to a wide variety of scene stealing roles in popular TV shows like “Star Trek:The Next Generation,” “True Blood”, and “Battlestar Galactica”. Her Guest DJ set has a punk edge with a focus on her youth, as part of the so-called Blank Generation, as well as her guilty pleasure: french pop. Michelle is currently starring in The Killing on AMC.
For More: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-killing
1.) L'Anamour- Serge Gainsbourg
2.) Kiss Me Deadly- Generation X
3.) Some Kinda Love(Closet Mix)- The Velvet Underground
4.) Blank Generation- Richard Hell & The Voidoids
5.) Our Love Will Still Be There- Dean & Britta
ERIC J LAWRENCE – Hi, I’m Eric J Lawrence and I’m here with actress Michelle Forbes, who currently stars in the AMC series “The Killing”. She also has quite a cult following thanks to previous roles in shows such as “Star Trek:The Next Generation,” “In Treatment”, “Battlestar Galactica”, and most recently as Maryann on “True Blood.” Today we’re going to play some excerpts of songs that she selected that have inspired her over the years as part of KCRW’s Guest D.J. Project. Michelle thanks for coming down!
MICHELLE FORBES – Well thanks so much for having me.
E – What’s the first track you got for us?
M – I decided to go with Serge Gainsbourg, “L'anamour”. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an enormous lover of French music or anything that’s French pop, bad French rock ‘n’ roll I happen to be a big fan of…and it’s just… it’s one of my little secrets.
This kind of music, it just makes me happy. It’s almost entirely impossible to remain miserable or depressed when you listen to French pop music. And Serge just happens to be the epitome of that, I feel.
E - How was it that you got introduced to French music?
M – Honestly I think it was just from watching French films when I was a child: “400 Blows”… I remember pulling out an old cassette player and recording it and I would listen to it over and over and over, that music… and so many Jeanne Moreau films as well.
E – Well here it is, classic from Serge Gainsbourg “L'anamour”
Song: Serge Gainsbourg – “L'anamour”
E – Well, what’s the next track that you’ve got for us?
M – The next thing that I chose was Generation X. It’s a wonderful song, “Kiss Me Deadly”. They really spoke to that adolescent rage and fury, and not knowing… and I guess it wasn’t until much later, when I really listened to the lyrics, that I understood that it was really about violence. And it’s a rather sad song about violence, and a truthful song about violence.
And that one line, you know, “another dumb casualty,” and having listened to it over the years, and not knowing where my life was going to take me. I wound up living in London one summer in Fulham. I was a 10 to 15 minute walk to the tube station, and for some reason the song kept coming up in my head… walking the streets of London having this song in my head. I don’t know, I think it’s a beautiful song. I love the plaintiveness of it and sort of the sadness of it.
Song: Generation X- “Kiss Me Deadly”
E - Well there it is, Generation X with “Kiss Me Deadly”.
E – That was Generation X, featuring Billy Idol, singing on the track of “Kiss Me Deadly”. As selected by our guest Michelle Forbes. Michelle what’s the next track you’ve got for us?
M – Well I don’t think any list would be complete without a little bit of Lou Reed.
“Some Kind of Love” is a song that I’ve always, always had a strong feeling for. And it’s so indicative of that time and the poetry that was sort of married with music.
Lou Reed’s voice just does something to me – and I know it does to a lot of people – it’s like these words come out of his mouth in a different way. They swim up from some bizarre part of his soul and they sort of seep out through his teeth like this ether, and nobody sounds like Lou. And there’s something so amazingly comforting and truthful and honest. There’s just no getting around how honest that man is.
E – Well here it is, Lou Reed with the Velvet Underground, and “Some Kind of Love.”
Song: Lou Reed – “Some Kind of Love”
E – Well what’s the next selection you got for us?
M – Well, the next selection I have is somebody I’ve always been very fond of – Richard Hell – and boy did I fancy the pants off of him when I was a young girl in New York.
It wasn’t too long ago that I caught an old showing of “Smithereens,” that wonderful film from the ‘80s where he played the bad boy and, as awful as he was in that film, I still fancied him.
He’s another one who just brought such a unique and honest sense of poetry to… noise, even. And I will never, ever tire of that simplistic sound of people just getting together in a basement somewhere, where it’s not slick and it’s not produced – it’s just something that comes from strumming guitar and putting words together in a beautiful way and trying to say something.
I think also, you know, being a kid of the ‘70s I feel that I did come from a blank generation. You know, we were looking down the pike at the ‘90s, which were very prosperous for us as adults, but there was still an anxiety there. We were angry, we just didn’t know what about. I just think it’s kind of a great, honest, innocent song.
E - Well here it is – a punk classic from Richard Hell and the Voidoids: “Blank Generation.”
Song: Richard Hell and the Voidoids - “Blank Generation”
E – What’s the next selection you got for us?
M – Well, the next selection is a song that’s very touching to me: Dean and Britta.
The reason I chose this song is because about two weeks ago, I lost a very dear friend of mine, my buddy, my dog Walter. We’re still in that place where the house is different and we miss him terribly. Life had beat him up pretty badly and I only had six years with him, but it was six years of very intensive rehab and that beautiful silent communication and working with another creature, and trying to get him to trust the world again, and to trust me, which he did. And in that, there’s a great reward for that work, in that you get to watch a creature turn around.
He taught me a lot, and I miss him terribly. When it’s all said and done, it’s all gone. And there’s no one there, and those sounds are haunting you. And there’s always that question – so what was that all about? Where did all that go? Those millions of kisses and all that work and all that care and all that love. And it’s not something you can really talk about, because it’s so personal, but I just wanted to send this out to my boy, to my special guy, to my Wally Bird, and our love will always still be there.
Song: Dean and Britta - “Our Love Will Always Be There”
E – That was Dean and Britta, with “Our Love Will Always Be There,” as selected by our guest, Michelle Forbes.
Did music have an inspiration for you, in terms of following a creative path, in your career?
M – I don’t know that it was conscious, but I would say it absolutely did, I mean even looking at these picks that I have chosen… you know, Richard Hell, Lou Reed -- it’s about simplicity, it’s about being truthful, it’s about being honest, and being authentic. I think there’s a lot of integrity and nobility in that and I would like to think that I try to conduct myself in way that’s about being simple, and about being as honest as I can in my work, or at least being drawn to those projects. And that hopefully – fingers crossed – have a little bit of poetry involved occasionally.
E – Absolutely. Michelle, thanks for coming down and joining us here.
M – Thank you so much for having me.
E – For a complete track listing and to find these songs online, go to kcrw.com/guestdjproject