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

Apr 10, 2009 Web Exclusive

This year marks two important anniversaries for Bob Mould. Thirty years ago, in 1979, his seminal trio, Hüsker Dü, played its first live gig. Ten years later, after Hüsker's brutal demise, Mould made his solo debut with Workbook, an indie-rock masterwork and certified classic that found Mould baring his soul. It is an album that remains as poignant today as it was then. Mould's latest and ninth solo album, Life and Times, revisits the writing style and personal tone of Workbook, and, while Mould has dabbled to various degrees in electronic atmospheres and textures in the past decade, Life and Times also finds him more at ease with the guitar than he has seemed in years. More

Apr 08, 2009 Web Exclusive

Margarita Levieva’s sultry slow-motion entrance in the summer-job comedy Adventureland, writer-director Greg Mottola’s follow-up to Superbad, is a sight to behold. Accompanied by the seductive groove of The Rolling Stones’ “Tops,” Levieva’s character Lisa P. paralyzes all male onlookers as she struts through an amusement park while savoring a snow cone. More

Mar 31, 2009 Web Exclusive

Now that 19-year-old actress and singer Nora Arnezeder has earned newcomer awards in France for her performance in the fictional 1930s period film Paris 36, the possibility of one day working with her idols Woody Allen and Quincy Jones seems like less of a stretch. But there is one hero from Arnezeder’s girlhood who will remain elusive to her. More