Checking In On Bear In Heaven: Beast Rest Forth Mouth Remixed

Gray Hurlburt :: Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 3:00 pm

Just like good times, time flies when you’re listening to good music. As testament to this, nine months have already whirred by since Bear in Heaven revealed its cloud-breaking album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, at a release party in Brooklyn last October. This body of ten songs wed their prior psych-rock sound with the electronic instrumentation of krautrock, landing it, oddly, somewhere between Neu! and Jane’s Addiction. The resulting album has since delighted audiences with a physically engrossing, brightly textured listening experience . And from when the songs first went up online, they garnered the interest of other musicians, who subsequently tried their hand at re-visioning and crafted numerous remixes. MORE »



Interview: Matthew Dear On “Black City”, His Fifth Proper Solo Album

Gray Hurlburt :: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 12:00 pm

For as long as electronic artists have weaved recorded music into fervent, near-physical patterns of modern rhythm, few have utilized the lyric element with such grace as Matthew Dear. From his first hit single “Throw Your Hands Up For Detroit” in 1999, pithy language has invariably distinguished his output from the typical kind of songs you tend to hear in clubs, lofts, and other convivial places where dance music is lived and breathed. And, because of his lyric method, it’s why Dear’s style opens up American techno to a broader public—one demanding a verbal feature in music to connect with.

Mr. Dear met with me for coffee in Williamsburg, on a Tuesday afternoon in early July. The air outside crested above a hundred degrees, and yet we had to leave the crowded shop to talk in perfect quiet. We moved to a bench down on the East River, where it overlooked the brunt of Manhattan’s deep matrix of architecture. For his latest album, evocatively titled Black City, this same view, from his nearby apartment, instilled the songs with the bohemian vibe of New York City, which threads the line between grimy, funky and cumbersome: MORE »



An Interview with Screaming Female Marissa Paternoster

Shannon Hassett :: Friday, July 16th, 2010 6:30 pm

To say Marissa Paternoster’s had one hell of a year wouldn’t begin to cover it. The debut album from her solo act, Noun, dropped last week as the announcement of a fall tour with band Screaming Females and an EP this September followed closely behind. Which is to say nothing of the group’s performance at Siren Fest tomorrow, guaranteeing them the attention of at least a couple thousand new fans as they bring their firmly New Jersey rooted rhythms to the stage. And don’t get confused at the sight of that adorable dress she’s likely to be wearing; if only sporting such attire meant everyone could shred like that. MORE »



Texas is the Reason: Catching Up with Surfer Blood

Shannon Hassett :: Friday, July 16th, 2010 6:00 pm

This was an article originally written for Issue 24 of Death+Taxes. Since sitting down with Surfer Blood at SXSW, the boys have continued their mission to play everywhere on earth ever. After joining this year’s roster at Siren, they’ll fly to Chicago for a set at the Pitchfork Festival on Sunday. And what better setting for the summer happy sounds of debut album Astro Coast than one Coney Island, the perfect hot dog and beer filled welcome party for the Floridian fivesome. MORE »



An Interview with Against Me!’s Tom Gabel

Shannon Hassett :: Thursday, July 8th, 2010 11:30 am

When I meet up with Tom Gabel, we’re sitting in the catering tent surrounded by band trailers at the Williamsburg Waterfront. The Silversun Pickups are sound checking on the enormous stage behind us, which faces outward towards the City and an almost pretty East River.

Gabel and his band Against Me! have come a long way since their early Gainesville days, signing to a major, playing festivals from Bonnaroo to Leeds and only switching drummers twice on the 13-year ride. Gabel may not have lost his boyish charm or that penchant for performing in all black, but at 30 years old, he’s now a father and a newly anointed citizen of L.A. That he also finds himself in the hot seat quite a bit these days is no surprise, as is often the case when you’ve gone from basements to best album of the year. MORE »


Interviews, Live Reviews

Interview: Suckers Speak Out About Outsmarting Nature, Eating Steak, And Their Future Grammy Award

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 5:30 pm

suckers_062210_0010To see the Brooklyn-based experimental-pop band Suckers live is to witness a spectacle, something between a gypsy show and the colorful cacophony of a rare bird exhibit at the zoo. Their sparkling record-release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg had the crowd, which included all of the band members’ parents, undulating and yelling along with the unruly chants and yips that punctuated nearly every song. Although the audience was very responsive to the music, it was hard to match the fireball energy of Suckers themselves as they whirled, howled, and shook their way through their set. MORE »


Bands, Interviews

Interview: Local Natives on David Byrne, Performing in Barns, and Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles”

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 12:45 pm

When I met Local Natives before one of their shows at Bowery Ballroom in May, its members were “running on no sleep, fumes, and coffee,” according to Kelcey Ayer, who sings and plays keyboards, percussion, and guitar in the band.  After playing at the Bowery in New York the night before, they had traveled to Philadelphia to perform for radio station XPN and then driven back to New York that night to play yet another Bowery show.  Despite their well-earned exhaustion, they and the opening band, Suckers, seemed to have no trouble impressing the crowd that night, which happened to include a very pensive-looking David Byrne. MORE »



Interview: Christopher Chu of the Morning Benders

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Monday, May 17th, 2010 5:20 pm

With the aid of a smattering of successful SXSW shows, a beautiful new symphonic-pop album out, and a certain lovely viral video, The Morning Benders have become one of the most widely discussed bands of the season.  I sat down with Christopher Chu, the lead singer of the band, to discuss recent successes, what it means to be a purist, and his fondness for the genius that is R. Kelly. MORE »



Nothing is Dumb in the Search for Big Air

Matt Kiebus :: Thursday, May 6th, 2010 3:00 pm

Stupidity and bravery tread a very fine line. Somewhere along the way BMX legend Mat Hoffman forgot he was supposed to give a shit. It’s a good thing too, because stupid can lead to ridiculous and occasionally it can become groundbreaking.

Before the X Games existed, before YouTube, and way before ESPN started televising every kick-flip and 360 spin, Mat Hoffman was busy revolutionizing BMX vert. Hell, he was basically inventing it. Hoffman has spent his entire life “going big.” When he was 16 years old he became a professional BMX rider. Over the course of the rest of his life he took BMX riding from his Oklahoma backyard into a different stratosphere and BMX riding took him to the hospital.

During his career Hoffman ushered BMX vert from the doldrums of the late 80s into the ever-evolving platform and media frenzy that it operates in today. Hoffman’s undying commitment to his craft unfortunately resulted in his body being too battered and broken to showcase his abilities when BMX exploded onto the national scene with the X Games. Hoffman is to BMX as Tony Hawk is to skateboarding.

Director Jeff Tremaine, of MTV’s Jackass and Wildboys, and producers Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville decided it was about time their friend’s story was told. And with the help of ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary series The Birth of Big Air came to life. MORE »


Comebacks?, Comedy, Interviews, Late Night, Pop Culture

Keeping It Classy with Conan O’Brien

Danielle Johnsen :: Monday, May 3rd, 2010 1:15 pm

One word comes to mind when I think of Conan O’Brien after the late night debacle and that’s classy. While the one-time employee of NBC had to sign a non-defamatory agreement when he left NBC this year, I would assume his discussion about his previous employers and Jay Leno would remain respectful even if he hadn’t. O’Brien sat down with Steve Kroft for an exclusive ‘exit interview’ for “60 Minutes“, which aired this past Sunday just a day after the contractual TV gag order put on O’Brien by NBC had come to an end. MORE »



Interview: Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene

Drew Fortune :: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 5:59 pm

Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning is an odd Canuck. Last week, I sat down with him at The Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX amidst the surrounding chaos of SXSW. You probably know him best as the bearded and bespectacled multi-instrumentalist, with wild, unruly hair. When I sat down to meet him, I hardly recognized Canning without his iconic facial hair. MORE »


Film, Interviews, Music Videos, News

Michel Gondry Chats About ‘Thorn in the Heart’ & ‘The Green Hornet’

Danielle Johnsen :: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 2:46 pm

Last week, I had the chance to sit down with Michel Gondry, acclaimed director and mind-blowing extraordinaire, to discuss his most recent works, Thorn in the Heart and The Green Hornet. While the family based documentary and super hero action film couldn’t be any more different than each other, Gondry seems to approach all of his projects with the same vigor and whimsy one has learned to expect. MORE »


Celebrities, Interviews, Pop Culture

Battle I’d Pay to See: Morrissey vs Damien Hirst

Danielle Johnsen :: Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 2:39 pm

I can always get behind a bashing on Damien Hirst. Recently, Morrissey interviewed his close friend and visual artist Linder Sterling for INTERVIEW magazine and the two discussed the abhorrent usage of dead animals in Hirst’s artwork. As a fellow vegetarian, I can understand what prompted Morrissey to lash out at Hirst. MORE »