The Campus Times had an opportunity to interview Kevin Cryderman at a local dining establishment last weekend. On Friday, he will be playing his particular brand of alternative folk music with special guest Anita Durkin at the Common Ground Caf at 10 p.m.

Some of you might be asking, “Who is this guy and why should I care?” A few freshmen know him as the grad student who taught their CAS 105 course, “Stickin’ it to The Man,” while others may know him from open mike nights around campus. However, if you’re a fan of boys with guitars, ironic pseudo-intellectualism, good music, humor and improvisation, then you’ll want to know Kevin Cryderman.

Campus Times: How would you describe your music, and what artists influence you?

Kevin Cryderman: It’s folk music that’s not as sincere as traditional folk, which is usually about trains or ships that get lost at sea. I call it “melancomic” folk music. I like The Smiths/Morrissey, Ani DiFranco, Hayden – the ber-depressed Canadian folk singer, not the classical composer – and Dan Bern. However, I, of course, transcend all influences.

CT: Yes, of course. I know that at your last show you had some audience interaction. Can we expect that audience involvement in the future?

KC: Yes, I sometimes pass around a sheet of paper and they write down words and phrases. I improvise a song around that. The last time, we ended up with a song about Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault having sex on a bear skin rug and giving birth to post-structuralism.

CT: Tell me about your most requested song, “Nice Guy.”

KC: “Nice Guy” is about a guy who’s frustrated about always being the “friend” in his relationships. It’s not autobiographical. It’s the same character [David Lewendowski] who narrates “Minimum Wage.” I wrote it to make a friend laugh in high school and I never would have guessed the song would become the theme for international nice guy support groups on the Internet, and I’ve heard that it’s being played by buskers in Germany.

CT: Any advice for us pseudo-intellectual nice guys?

KC: Well, [strokes his chin with a look of wisdom], you need some sort of edge. Don’t be overly accommodating, but I don’t think you should be a bastard, either.

CT: That’s very trite.

KC: Yes, I know.

CT: You are the author of many unprinted letters to the CT. Is there anything you want to say now?

KC: I wish the CT wouldn’t be so afraid of satire. If you treat your readers like they have the comprehension of squirrels, they will never realize there is a world beyond nibbling acorns. Either that or maybe they could put a little “I” disclaimer in the corner of certain articles for “Irony,” to let everyone know.

But then again, they publish Jim Mack, whom I want to read as ironic. Otherwise, he’s either fascist or a neo-fascist. [laughs] I can’t decide. I don’t have much patience for homophobia and sexism.

CT: You list a back-up band that doesn’t exist. Are you looking for bandmates?

KC: Yes, I want to collaborate, especially with a female singer/songwriter. I like the blend of male and female voices.

CT: So, should anyone interested come to your show? I know they don’t happen very often.

KC: Nietzsche says, “The degree and type of man’s sexuality reaches the ultimate pinnacle of his spirit.”

CT: Does that have anything to do with your gig?

KC: No.

Make sure to check out Cryderman at the Common Ground Caf this Friday at 10 p.m., even if you aren’t in the mood for some out-of-the-classroom witty banter. Afer all, this CAS professor proves that you don’t have to live like a rock star to be a rock star.

Battenhausen can be reached at dbattenhausen@campustimes.org.



Turning Rochester into a future semiconductor packaging center: How students benefit from this

"If we work together, we have a real chance of being a leader. If you are a leader in this industry, it could mean many jobs and millions of dollars of economic output. It could be one of the more significant economic development activities in recent history in Rochester."

What UR Wearing – September

Walking around campus I spotted some students and asked them a simple question, “Can you tell me what UR wearing?”

UR ends most COVID-19 accommodations, all reporting requirements

Tuesday's new COVID-19 guidelines drew back accommodations for most students and ended the tiered masking system and reporting requirements.