Jun 01, 2008 Summer 2008 - The Protest Issue

Jason Pierce was in a good mood until I asked him about the Coachella festival. It’s only three days after he played the finale in a succession of “acoustic mainlines” shows, the widely acclaimed concert series where Pierce reinvented the Spiritualized canon with a string section and backing vocalists, and he’s still frustrated over how badly the set went. More

May 01, 2008 Web Exclusive

27-year-old French writer-director Céline Sciamma treaded familiar cinematic territory in conceptualizing her debut film Water Lilies, an achingly lyrical examination of teenage social structuring, friendship and desire. More

May 01, 2008 Web Exclusive

There appears to be a perpetual gleam in the eye of Norwegian director Joachim Trier. Although he remains politely soft-spoken and composed when discussing his directorial feature debut Reprise, his enthusiasm is nonetheless contagious as he gushes about the influence of artists as disparate as Alain Resnais and Bad Brains, whose work he both describes as punk. More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

The three members of Montréal’s Plants and Animals might be Music Studies graduates, but theirs is not the sound of intellectual snobs. Graduating from Montréal’s Concordia University in the early part of the century with degrees in electro-acoustic music, Warren Spicer, Matthew Woodley, and Nicolas Basque have, with their sophomore album, Parc Avenue, hit upon a sound that is at once smooth, complex, and organic, with touches of ’70s rock and soul and an expansive musical palette that includes everything from flutes to violin and choirs of voice. More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

Any child of the ’80s knows the idea of the year 2000 back then was really insane,” says Bryon Hollon (aka Boom Bip). “There were a lot of TV shows and movies with laser guns and hover cars and stuff. According to Gruff, all roads from the ’80s lead to John DeLorean.” More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

Saturday’s a horrible day to spend in detention. Unless you’re there with representatives of five distinct social cliques, each letting their guard down just enough to realize they’re really not that different. Then it’s—how’s it go? They only met once, but it changed their lives forever. John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club so expertly captured the myopic, all-consuming angst that defines teenagerdom that anyone who viewed it in the last two decades can quote at least a few lines. That includes Anthony Gonzalez, the Frenchman behind M83, who cites Hughes films as one of the various ’80s influences running rampant on his new album, Saturdays=Youth. More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

"We’re just going to go out and get drunk now,” says Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt, having recently approved the final master of the band’s fourth record. “We’ve been organizing these album-wrap drinking sessions for about two weeks, and even though we hadn’t finished the record, we just kept having them anyway. But this one’s going to be definitive.” More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

Despite his fairly flamboyant appearance and press statements—such as wearing dapper bowler hats and claiming to have recorded his newest album at Abbey Road—Jim Noir is almost painfully shy in conversation. Sipping tea and ending every few sentences with an obligatory “I don’t know...yeah,” he’s soft-spoken and articulate, the kind of man who you would figure prefers to write and record his albums in the privacy of his bedroom. “I’m not a very big talker,” he admits. More

Apr 02, 2008 Spring 2008 - Flight of the Conchords

As the creative process tends to be an intensely private and solitary endeavor, it’s no wonder that many artists simply don’t have the ego strength or interpersonal skills to effectively communicate their vision without freaking out every time someone else leaves their fingerprints on it. Being a songwriter is one thing, but being a bandleader is something else altogether, and it’s up to every artist to strike the balance between stomping on every suggestion and letting collaborators run the show. More