Justin Vernon’s a friend.
We’ve kept in touch ever since he played at my son’s wedding. When I’m in Milwaukee, I like to get off my feet with a bottle of Old Crow and kick back by a fire and share some laughs. Justin stopped by and we chatted.
These are Words with Pops:
Pops: Hey, I gotta say, off the record, I’m a big fan of hanging out with you.
Justin: Thanks, man.
Pops: I think a lot of people want to know, if you lock yourself in a cabin, are you guaranteed a record deal?
Justin: Is that a serious question?
Pops: Elaborate on what made the record so, hold on, let me look it up on Pitchfork…“Lonely and remote.” You know they only gave you an 8.1? Figured they’d have changed it by now.
Justin: Oh, well, I was in a cold place and I hadn’t been feeling too hot–
Pops: The kissing virus. So was that the magic? Mono-magic? Cause a lot of people are just wandering into cabins with a fiddle and some David Lynch and expecting to win a couple of Grammys. A lot of them are freezing to death. Do they need to get an STD first?
Justin: Mono isn’t an STD
Pops: It’s the kissing virus, Justin. It’s like the gateway STD.
Pops: Old Crow?
I poured us a drink. In whiskey, there is wisdom. In water, just bacteria.
Pops: You should dress up more often, you look kinda homeless sometimes.
Justin: Yeah, it’s the cable knit gloves.
Pops: I gotta say, your voice is spectacular, but a lot of the times, your lyrics don’t make sense. I wish I never went on LyricsAZ. I can’t unsee them.
Justin: That’s just part of life, the silly mistakes, the imperfections.
Pops: What the hell is “Sexing all your Parliaments?”
Justin: Like I said, imperfections.
Pops: I disagree. You can always make things perfect. It requires time, effort, patience and drinking. If you can’t make things perfect, you throw them out. Like pancakes. Do you know I’ve made nearly fifty thousand pancakes in my life? If they’re not perfect, I give them to my cat.
Justin: Should we drink to that?
Pops: I think you should cut the gibberish and stop working with Kanye. You’re an enabler.
Justin: But he pays me very well.
Pops: There’s a saying: “There’s not always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but there’s always a penny for your thoughts.” Think about it.
Justin: Is that like, a proverb?
Pops: Lapping lakes like leery loons.
Justin: Ok, that’s enough.
Pops: You know that song Holocene? The chorus sounds like, “Shake and bake and stick with us.”
Justin: Your point?
Pops: Is it is Iver or, hiver?
Justin: Doesn’t matter. Half the fun is listening to people argue.
Pops: Just so you know, I refer to you as Bon Iverson.
Justin took a few pulls. He seemed annoyed. I don’t blame him. I’m a rough ol’ dog sometimes. It was cold, and Justin was good company. We get a long really well, after all, him and I. Get it together you old dog. Until next time.