The End: Courtney Barnett on Endings and Death

"[Heaven is] a place where nobody suffers. And there's heaps of popcorn but it never gets stuck in your teeth."

Dec 04, 2015 Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame Impala
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To end out the week, we ask Courtney Barnett some questions about endings and death. Earlier this year the Australian singer/songwriter and guitarist released her debut full-length album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, via Mom + Pop. It's the follow-up to 2013's EP collection, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, and once again displays Barnett's mastery as a lyricist and witty storyteller. Read on as she discusses how she'd like to die, her versions of heaven and hell, and her favorite endings to movies, books, TV shows, and albums.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

99. And I'll say, "I've got 99 problems but dying ain't one" then I'll die from laughing so hard at my own shit joke. 

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" [by Monty Python's Eric Idle].

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

[Mozart's] "Lacrimosa" sung by some sort of incredible choir. 

What's your favorite ending to a movie?


What's your favorite last line in a book?

"Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper." - Memoirs of a Geisha 

What's your favorite season finale episode of a TV show?

Marissa dying in Ryan's arms after her car crash. The OC season three finale.

What's your favorite last song on an album?

"Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip" [by Nirvana, a bonus final track on non-American pressings of In Utero].

What's your favorite last album by a band who then broke up?

The Beatles' Abbey Road.

What's your favorite way a band broke up?

I don't revel in others' misfortune. 

Whose passing has most affected you?

Nanna B.

If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?

Vegetarian egg noodle soup from Lâm Lâm. Extra chili. 

What's your concept of the afterlife?


What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

A place where nobody suffers. And there's heaps of popcorn but it never gets stuck in your teeth.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

Eternal tax returns. 

If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?


What song, album, or achievement would you most like to be remembered for? 

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, "I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have." I can only hope to do my best and be remembered for that.

What would you like your last words to be?

"I told you I was ill."

[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar's April/May/June 2015 print issue. This is its debut online.]





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