Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio

Shakey Graves in The Current studio
Shakey Graves and drummer Chris Boosahda in The Current studio on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (Will Keeler for MPR)
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Shakey Graves performs at The Current (full session + interview)
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  • Shakey Graves performs at The Current (full session + interview) 26:10
  • Shakey Graves - Counting Sheep (Live at The Current) 05:51
  • Shakey Graves - Big Bad Wolf / Something in the Way (Nirvana cover) (Live at The Current) 07:09
  • Shakey Graves - Mansion Door (Live at The Current) 04:44

Just ahead of his show at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Minn., Shakey Graves — aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia — stopped over at The Current to play a few songs and to chat with host Mac Wilson.

Shakey Graves's latest album is Can't Wake Up, the cover art of which features a diorama created by Graves himself. Use the audio player above to listen to the interview, and read highlights from the interview below.

Interview Highlights

On his characterization as an Americana artist

"As far as I can understand, it seems Americana has to do with the content and the location and the story of the American struggle, no matter what it is. So I still write a lot of story-based things, … or the narrative in my music is definitely from a person's eyes out, in their brain, so in that sense, it's a slice of the American story, thus Americana. But besides that, I guess, I don't know. It seems pretty vague."

On Can't Wake Up as an album experience

"I don't think it would bum me out in any way if people weren't listening to my music because they're paying attention to what's happening in the world. That's my jam as much as anything. On that level, you've totally fulfilled my expectations of making a record that I kind of built to listen to intently as opposed to in background. A lot of music is put out single-wise, or you listen to stuff on streaming services. A lot of times, I don't even know what record certain songs are off of; I'll just hear a song and then be like, 'Oh, I love this song' and never even notice that it came from a larger piece, which it usually does. I always still like albums that are a whole piece, so we tried and went for it with this one."

On the diorama featured on the cover of Can't Wake Up

"Basically, it's a series of picture frames that I took apart and then painted on the clear Plexiglas and spread them out in a certain way and then shot a photograph through it. I kind of took that from the old plate-animation style that Disney and lots of animators used to use to give that depth-of-field thing. It's actually just plates of glass moving closer to a camera. Old tricks, you know?"

Shakey Graves, Cant Wake Up
Shakey Graves, Can't Wake Up, featuring diorama created and photographed by Graves himself. (Dualtone Music Group, Inc.)

Songs Performed


"Counting Sheep"
"Big Bad Wolf" / "Something in the Way" (Nirvana)
"Mansion Door"
All original songs from Shakey Graves's 2018 album, Can't Wake Up, released by Dualtone Music Group, Inc.

Hosted by Mac Wilson
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Will Keeler
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Shakey Graves - official site

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2 Photos

  • Shakey Graves in The Current studio
    Shakey Graves (center) in The Current studio with his bandmates and with The Current's Derrick Stevens (third from left) and Mac Wilson (second from right). (Will Keeler for MPR)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves at Westword Music Showcase 2017 in Denver. (Nikolai Puc Photography)

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