If you've been to a good rock show in Atlanta, you've probably seen him. He's pretty hard to miss, being the rather tall gentleman who shows up to nearly every musical act in town with near-religious fervor. Heck, you may have even chatted him up in the parking lot--and if you have, you'll know he's got some interesting things to say. But Kenny Crucial (affectionally dubbed by some as simply "the Cruche") isn't just a dedicated rock 'n roll superfan. He watches the crowd with nearly the same intensity that he watches the stage, but you'd never know that he's working out some pretty complex functions and applying them to the concertgoers he's seen over the years. In other words, Kenny's got you (and the rest of us) all figured out. He's happy to tell you all about it if you ask, but just be sure you bring a chalkboard, because these formulas aren't something you can really explain on a cocktail napkin.

Professor Crucial was kind enough to stop by Scoutmob HQ to give us some learnin' on the social dynamics of the club. Check out his lecture below (if your brain can keep up).

Club Life 101 by Kenny Crucial from Scoutmob on Vimeo.



SCOUT: What is Cruciality?
KENNY: Cruciality is the state of being crucial. Thus, Kenny Crucial tries to be crucial, and when he is, he has cruciality. At its best, Cruciality appears random and wildly chaotic, but beneath this performance is intent. To be crucial is to be relentless!

SCOUT: How do you make yourself known? Why is it important for an artist to think and act socially?
KENNY: As a student, I became committed to the idea that knowledge is meant not simply to enlighten us as individuals but needs to lead to the betterment of us socially. Thus, I was attracted the concept of seeing our lives as part of an artistic performance. Lou Reed’s “Disco Mystic” speaks to the power of the dance floor in creating a sense of collective euphoria. And punk bands like Gang of Four remind us that we have to keep alive our self-critical nature.

By developing a club persona for myself, I was better able to deal with the contradictions of my school and work experiences. We dressed to be noticed. And we danced in a fashion to express our exuberance. This excitement inspired me to form a band. I had been drawn to innovation of experimental classical music such as Pierre Boulez. Post-punk convinced me that I could combine my experimental nature with popular music. Thus Crucial was born! To chronicle this experience, I started to write. I came to Atlanta to live my fiction!

SCOUT: What is the importance of a public profile?
KENNY: It is important to influence how others see us in public so that they also can be drawn to those pursuits that we consider important. A public profile itself is a work of art that directs out attention to the craft of the artist.

SCOUT: How did you end up in Atlanta?
KENNY: As legend has it, the members of our band were sitting at a bar with a baseball game on TV between the Braves and the Cubs. If the Cubs won, we would move to Chicago. If the Braves won, we’d move to Atlanta.

SCOUT: Braves win. Can you clarify the difference between being cool and crucial?
KENNY: Being cool is a knowledgeable response to social trend. In common parlance, it’s not cool to like Britney Spears. Even if it’s not cool to go along with every trend that comes along, I think that it’s counter-productive to go against the grain just to be different. So I admit that I am drawn to bands or novels because of their hipness. This coded knowledge allows me to participate in social groups.

Being crucial is a more committed response; sometimes it’s over the top. It is often based on a sense of personal loyalty. Just because some new club is hip doesn’t mean that I’m going to rush on down there and forget friends and my past allegiances.

SCOUT: Best show you can recall seeing in Atlanta and why?
KENNY: Miles Davis at Grant Park, Prince at 1150. The artists speak for themselves!

SCOUT: Favorite ATL venue?
KENNY: Every Atlanta venue has a special appeal. But nothing today has the magic of 688. I arrived in Atlanta only to see the last gasps of that venue. For what it is, Center Stage has occupied a significant place in Atlanta music history with shows such PIL and Spiritualtized.

SCOUT: How can Atlantans find their own personal inspiration?
KENNY: Read more. Go the symphony once in a while. Travel. Get out of yourself! I don’t want to make out that I am not appreciative of what people have done for me here. And I owe part of my identity to the city. But it is a mistake to let the provincialism about our city or our region to obscure the larger world out there.

SCOUT: In your humble opinion, what is Atlanta’s best kept secret?
KENNY: Despite my effort to adopt a public persona, there is a great deal about the cruche that remains secret. We may not always be spot on, but when we are, Mack Messiah gives this city some of its best performances.

SCOUT: What are you currently working on?
KENNY: I have started writing Groundswell, a new novel about psychic phenomenon. We are including the work as part of an artistic collective. Ryan Espinera is designing illustrations for the book. Mack Messiah continues to work on the dauntless task of recording new material.

SCOUT: Finally, throw out a shameless plug of where people can find you and learn more about you and your work:
KENNY: A lot of my novels can be downloaded at www.kennycrucial.com Check out the next Mack Messiah show. And if you want us to play a show, just ask!