May 12, 2009 Web Exclusive

Pseudologia, fantastica, or mythomania, is the scientific term for pathological lying, but the clinical jargon can also uncoil plenty of meanings in the imaginative realm of pop music. What comes out of the jukebox and the music halls are often enchanting twists of the truth. For Cryptacize singer Nedelle Torrisi, guitarist Chris Cohen (former Deerhoof member), drummer Michael Carreira, and new bassist Aaron Olson, the term is inverted and warped by Torrisi and Cohen's sped-up and indolent guitar and organ figures and the jerky rhythms of the quartet's new tempo duo. The Oakland band's Asthmatic Kitty 2008 debut (Dig That Treasure) gave fans of quirky pop a gem to unearth and the aptly-titled Mythomania continues the trend. As the group prepared for a European and U.S. tour that will take them well into the summer months, several members of Cryptacize spoke at length about the concept of their new album, the gift and slight embarrassment of encouraging parents, the Bay Area music community, and the Brazilian drumming style called 'Maracatu.' More

May 05, 2009 Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

In his home in Northampton, England, Alan Moore is sitting in what he calls "the position I spend most of my life"that is, in front of his computer, a device he is quick to confess has been relegated to the function of a glorified electric typewriter. Though it is not by intention, the 55-year-old is something of an imposing figure. Whether it is the assortment of rings on his fingers or his wild hair and beard, it's little wonder why people who have only seen pictures of the man assume he is someone to approach with caution.

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May 01, 2009 Web Exclusive

While discussing his film Lemon Tree, Israeli director Eran Riklis repeatedly begins sentences with the phrase, “On the one hand….” The words are indicative of Riklis’ evenhanded approach to Lemon Tree, a reflective and touching film that addresses the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a microcosmic modern tale. More

Apr 30, 2009 Web Exclusive

The title of Paolo Sorrentino’s fourth feature film Il Divo refers to Italy’s notorious and enigmatic politician Giulio Andreotti, who held the office of Prime Minister three times between 1972 and 1992. The film’s subtitle is The Spectacular Life of Giulio Andreotti, and once those words are typed across the screen, Sorrentino immediately delivers a dose of spectacle, depicting a rapid succession of violent incidents through zooms, dolly shots, upside-down imagery and inverted titles. More

Apr 30, 2009 Web Exclusive

Death Cab for Cutie is currently on the road alongside Ra Ra Riot and Matt Costa (with Cold War Kids as the opener during the first half of the tour). While on tour Death Cab's vocalist Ben Gibbard doesn't do much with his available free time. The things he does do, however, he commits to with consuming sincerity. Aside from raiding the inventory of numerous cities' record shops, with the new season of Major League Baseball starting up, Gibbard has been living in a state of nine-inning increments: watching games, checking the latest stats, and listening to all kinds of sports commentary. He's even managed to get out to an actual ballpark, recently catching the Twins face off against the Blue Jays in Minneapolis. More

Apr 28, 2009 Web Exclusive

Isaac Edwards and Michael Tapscott, the principles and mainstays of Odawas, have succumbed to their wanderlust. Relocating to the West Coast, the band now makes the Bay Area their home base. It is from there that the duo discussed their latest record, the downright oceanic The Blue Depths, their third full-length for Bloomington, Indiana's Jagjaguwar Records (Bloomington was once also home to Odawas). Edwards and Tapscott touch on all their influences, from the obvious (Brian Eno), to the less obvious (Eric Serra) to the, err, completely unpredictable (Arrested Development). More

Apr 25, 2009 Web Exclusive

Onstage at Club De Ville at this year's SXSW, time finally ran out. "Well, goddamnit, Austin, we have to go," said Matthew Houck, singer/songwriter and organizing Beard Number One of the multibearded monster that is Phosphorescent. His joy was slightly dented by the news, but he recovered quickly ("we're not going to pout. Well, we might pout a little"). Then he brought the show to its slightly premature close with a raucous, freewheeling version of-what else?-"The Party's Over": "Let's call it a night/The party's over/You know that all good things must end." More

Apr 24, 2009 Web Exclusive

Jeremy Haines, the Brooklyn electro-pop vocalist of Project Jenny, Project Jan (PJPJ) never stops daydreaming, even when he and programmer/keyboardist Sammy Rubin are holed up in the most unimaginative of places: a stuffy Days Inn. Haines, who also creates much of the vibrant artwork for the duo's website and albums, is doodling on the hotel room stationery: "I'm actually drawing this woman-man. Looks a lot like Cathy from the comic strip, except with the worst haircut and she's looking at this strange mutant Kermit the Frog character, or maybe the Salt Flats of Utah." Such gonzo cartoons come closer to describing PJPJ's sound than laborious R.I.Y.L. lists or the latest silly genre invented by a critic: laptop rock. More

Apr 22, 2009 Web Exclusive

There seems to be an alien chirruping from deep inside Tara McPherson's phone as she fields questions about her latest book from Dark Horse Comics. The large coffee table volume aggregates her various paintings, sculptures, art prints and rock posters. "Yeah, I need to get a new phone," she titters. The incessant E.T. could possibly be one of the strangely beautiful characters that populate Lost Constellations: The Art of Tara McPherson Volume II, or any of the various iterations she's created for clients as far-ranging as DC Comics and Spin Magazine to the Knitting Factory and Nike. After receiving a BFA from Art Center in Pasadena, CA, McPherson started her career in rock poster art for musicians such as Beck, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists and Melvins, but she has slowly introduced her animated personality into the stifling world of fine art.  More