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Issue #42

Issue #42 - The Protest Issue

Aug 24, 2012

Under the Radar is pleased to share our election year Protest Issue for 2012, on newsstands now, featuring two covers with Dan Deacon and Tegan and Sara. The issue features major stories on the music of Occupy and gay musicians talking about current queer issues. The issue is now available to buy in the digital/iPad format here.

“Of course, they want you to think that you can’t beat them. And even more so, they want you to not care if you can.” – Dan Deacon

“I think some people are scared to be political, and scared to ruin their opportunities to connect with the masses.” – Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin

In each installment of The Protest Issue, artists are given boards and paint to make their own protest signs and are photographed holding them.

Artists photographed for The Protest Issue 2012 include:

Apparat, Andrew Bird, James Blake, Body Language, Charli XCX, The Citizens Band, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Dan Deacon, Matthew Dear, Death Cab for Cutie, DIIV, The Drums, Dum Dum Girls, EMA, Fanfarlo, Hooray for Earth, Beth Jeans Houghton, Ladytron, La Sera, Liars, Lost in the Trees, The Love Language, MEN,Menomena, Janelle Monáe, Tom Morello, The Mynabirds, Niki & The Dove, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Amanda Palmer, Peaking Lights, Poor Moon, Porcelain Raft,Laetitia Sadier, Shabazz Palaces, Silversun Pickups, Slow Club, Summer Camp, Taken By Trees, Tegan and Sara, Corin Tucker, Reggie Watts, Youth Lagoon, Zambri, andZola Jesus.

These signs were also all autographed and will be auctioned off starting October 16 to benefit the War Child charity.

A summary of the political articles in this issue:

The Rainbow Connection

Gay and Lesbian Artists on Marriage and More
A Conversation with Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij, Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas, Bob Mould, Nico Muhly, The Drums’ Jonny Pierce, JD Samson of Le Tigre andMEN, and Tegan and Sara Quin.

Written by John Norris.

“I always say to my friends, ‘Can you imagine if we were asking our Jewish friends, “Just be patient, you’ll be allowed to get married one day too?”’ – Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin

“I’m ready for gay pride parades to end. I’m ready for big, flamboyant prideful events to go away forever.” – The Drums’ Jonny Pierce

Giving Back: Indie Rockers Making a Difference

A Conversation with Andrew Bird, The Mynabirds’ Laura Burhenn, Chuck D, Dan Deacon, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman, Amanda Palmer, and Laetitia Sadier.

Written by Matt Fink.

“As an artist, the best thing I can think to do is just to live as authentically as possible and hope that anyone who is watching picks up the message.” – Amanda Palmer

“I think the alchemy of art is that it can transform your point of view. It can transform how you interpret the world, so it’s very precious and very powerful.” – Laetitia Sadier

“It’s a fine line between being a compassionate person who is involved in your community, and coming across as someone who has a God complex.” – The Mynabirds’ Laura Burhenn

The Music of Occupy

A Conversation with Fucked Up‘s Damian Abraham, EMA‘s Erika M. Anderson, of Montreal‘s Kevin Barnes, Laura Burhenn, Dan Deacon, Tom Morello, and Okkervil River‘s Will Sheff.

Written by Matt Fink.

“It’s easier on the other side; they’ve got four or five billionaires from the thing, and they steer it, as opposed to this alliance of students and hippies and longshoremen and firefighters and the unemployed—this ragtag 99%.” – Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello

“It would be difficult for us to trust anyone who says, ‘Yeah, I speak for you.’ I’d be like ‘You don’t fucking speak for me. Who the fuck are you?’” – EMA’s Erika M. Anderson

“I think forever artists have let political causes down. That’s not just musicians, that’s all artists, by being hypocrites.” – Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham

Barack Obama: The First Indie Rock President?

A Conversation with Kevin Barnes, Jello Biafra, Andrew Bird, Tom Morello, Carl Newman, and Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

Written by Matt Fink

“When they announced that Obama had won, it was crazy. There was euphoria like I had never seen before, people walking home and high-fiving people on the street.” – The New Pornographer’s Carl Newman

“The thing with Obama is that I liked the figure of him, I guess, but I’m more just terrified of the alternative.” – Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

“I think we have to make sure that Mr. Obama’s opponent doesn’t win the election. I know everyone’s a little disappointed with Obama, but, personally, I think he’s done all right.” – Andrew Bird

Changing the World One Song at a Time: The Challenges of Writing Protest Music

A Conversation with Erika M. Anderson, Jello Biafra, Andrew Bird, Laura Burhenn, Carl Newman, Will Sheff, and Death Cab for Cutie‘s Chris Walla.

Written by Matt Fink

“We have incredibly pressing issues, and if you look at popular culture, it’s all escapism. It’s all about ignoring them. It’s all superheroes and vampires.” – Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

“The worst case scenario for a song or songwriter, whether it’s political or personal, is a song where your heart is on your sleeve, and it’s terrible.” – Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla

“It’s scary to write about politics, and I don’t really know why.” – EMA’s Erika M. Anderson

The front-of-book Detection section features interviews with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Matthew Dear, Passion Pit, and Wild Nothing.

“I became so down at one point that I really needed help and whatever was given to me to help me [instead] pushed me over the top and I became completely psychotic for a month and half, two months. And I drank. I was drinking to self-medicate. It was unhealthy.” – Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos

“I dreamed that I’d been shot and I was walking around town with this gunshot wound. But I was just kind of meeting up with friends on a typical Saturday kind of thing.” – Ariel Pink

“It just feels like a nighttime album.” – Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum

Our Pleased to Meet You section highlights four new artists: Arthur Beatrice, Alt-J, Foxygen, and Moons.

“We jokingly call ourselves cowboys, because we don’t really know what the rules are with pop songs…. If we knew what we were doing, we might not be making interesting music.” – Alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton.

“The [album] that’s done is sort of like a Kinks record that never came out. It’s more funky. It’s a little less weird, a little more accessible. It’s our pop record. Our Katy Perry record.” – Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado.

“I was born in 1989, and because of that I was exposed to a decade of visual entertainment that was shamelessly adventurous: the 1990s.” – Moons’ Patrick Canaday.

Plus the issue features over 150 reviews, including reviews of releases by the following artists: Alt-J, Animal Collective, Antlers, Antony and the Johnsons, Fiona Apple, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Band of Horses, Be Good Tanyas, Beachwood Sparks, Beak>, Sir Richard Bishop, Bloc Party, Blur, David Byrne and St. Vincent, John Cale, Calexico, Cat Power, Clare and the Reasons, Dan Deacon, Matthew Dear, Delicate Steve, Dinosaur Jr., Dirty Projectors, Divine Fits, Dum Dum Girls, Dusted, Family Band, Fang Island, FAWN, Bill Fay, The Flaming Lips, Foals, The Fresh & Onlys, The Gaslight Anthem, Golden Retriever, Grizzly Bear, Neil Halstead, Glen Hansard, Richard Hawley, The Helio Sequence, Helvetia, How to Dress Well, Ice Choir, The Invisible, IO Echo, Catherine Irwin, Stevie Jackson, Japandroids, Junk Culture, Kreayshawn, Lawrence Arabia, Jens Lekman, Sondre Lerche, Lightning Love, Aimee Mann, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Menomena, Metronomy, Micachu & the Shapes, MNDR, Bob Mould, Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang, Nas, Niki & The Dove, Nude Beach, Frank Ocean, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yoko Ono with Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Opossom, Beth Orton, Amanda Palmer, Passion Pit, Pet Shop Boys, A Place to Bury Strangers, Poor Moon, POP ETC, Purity Ring, The Raveonettes, Laetitia Sadier, Saint Etienne, Ty Segall, Sic Alps, Six Organs of Admittance, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Malka Spigel, Erika Spring, Stagnant Pools, Stars, Summer Camp, Taken By Trees, Teengirl Fantasy, The Temper Trap, Tilly and the Wall, The Corin Tucker Band, Turbo Fruits, Twin Shadow, Two Door Cinema Club, Two Gallants, The Very Best, WHY?, Wild Nothing, Woods, xx, Yeasayer, and more.

The not-to-be-missed digital version of the issue (available for Mac, PC, iPad, and Android) includes the same articles that appear in the printed version—plus 132 extra pages of editorial content not found in the print edition.

The digital version also features exclusive bonus interviews with: Dinosaur Jr., The Eastern Sea, Richard Hawley, The Invisible, Laetitia Sadier, Melody’s Echo Chamber, and Opossom.

“I cut my teeth with these guys. Those first three [Dinosaur Jr.] records, they were such a critical part of my development.” – Dinoasur Jr.’s Lou Barlow

“Anything that’s worth anything, there has to be an element of struggle.” – The Eastern Sea’s Matthew Hines

“Invariably, guitar players that go solo make really bad records.” – Richard Hawley

“There was a point during the electric shock—I was conscious throughout it—where I felt all the energy shooting down the left side of my body.” – The Invisible’s Dave Okumu

“We’re taught that if you had a lot of money, a trophy wife or husband, that would bring you happiness.” - Laetitia Sadier

“I don’t like beautiful things. I like the right balance between rough and beautiful.” - Melody’s Echo Chamber’s Melody Prochet

“They often kill opossums in New Zealand, as they’re considered pests, and I feel like that on occasion.” – Opossum’s Kody Nielson.

Then the digital edition also includes expanded Protest Issue content, including extra protest sign photos and bonus politically-themed Q&As with the following artists: Andrew Bird, Dan Deacon, Death Cab for Cutie, The Drums, EMA, Fucked Up, Liars, Bob Mold, Tom Morello, The New Pornographers, Okkervil River, Amanda Palmer, JD Samson of Le Tigre and Men, and Tegan and Sara.

“We’re artists; we’re not politicians. You can actually waste a lot of your artistic energy if you try to be a politician and you lose sight of the reason that people connected with you in the first place.” – Amanda Palmer

“I’m very tired of feeling like our country is dominated by a masculine unthinking warrior culture.” – Andrew Bird

“One of the things that I’m sad about as a musician is that I wasn’t up to speed with queercore as it was happening. And when I look at the bands of the ’90s, the punk rock bands, Pansy Division being the first one that everybody thinks about, they went out and did a lot of the hard work, while I was just being a musician.” – Bob Mould

“The head of J.P. Morgan still wipes his ass and sometimes gets shit on his hand. It’s not like he’s an epic monster.” – Dan Deacon

“I am absolutely convinced that the super shiny golden prize of American politics has nothing to do with the presidency or the candidates, but it’s the least sexy of all political topics: it’s Senate rules reform.” – Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla

“My mother and father are both pastors in a Pentecostal church. And they actually lead anti-gay rallies and marches.” – The Drums’ Jonny Pierce

“I think people really are cynical, where they’re constantly waiting for you to fuck up. I’m waiting for people to fuck up. I’m waiting for the dudes from Radiohead to be rocking shoes that were made in a sweatshop.” – Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham

“To me, [the environment’s] the fundamental issue, because if we don’t have a habitable world to live in we won’t be giving a shit about Guantanamo Bay.” – Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

“People get married and divorced 10 times in their life. And then those people turn around and say, ‘well, we’ve got to protect marriage.’” – Tegan and Sara’s Tegan Quin

Click here to buy the digital version of the issue (for the iPad, Macs, PCs, and Android devices).

Click here to subscribe to the digital version of Under the Radar (for the iPad, Macs, PCs, and Android devices).

Click here for a list of U.S. stores that carry Under the Radar.

U.S. residents: click here to buy the Tegan and Sara cover of The Protest Issue.

U.S. residents: click here to buy the Dan Deacon cover of The Protest Issue.

Amanda Palmer on Illegal Downloading and Protest Music
Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla on Senate Rules Reform and the Election
Listen: Under the Radar Protest Issue - Issue #42 Rdio Playlist
Okkervil River’s Will Sheff on Environmental Issues and Protest Songs
Tegan and Sara’s Tegan Quin on Marriage Equality
The Drums’ Jonny Pierce on Marriage Equality and Why He’d Like to See an End to Gay Pride Parades
The Protest Survey: Big Black Delta’s Jonathan Bates
The Protest Survey: Clinic’s Ade Blackburn
The Protest Survey: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ Josh Collazo
The Protest Survey: Gravenhurst’s Nick Talbot
Under the Radar’s Charity Protest Auction Starts Now!
Under the Radar’s Charity Protest Auction Starts Tomorrow
Amanda Palmer on Illegal Downloading and Protest Music
Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla on Senate Rules Reform and the Election
Jello Biafra: The Protest Issue Bonus Interview
Matthew Dear: Goin’ Up the Country
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Nico Muhly: The Protest Issue Bonus Interview
Okkervil River’s Will Sheff on Environmental Issues and Protest Songs
Tegan and Sara’s Tegan Quin on Marriage Equality
The Drums’ Jonny Pierce on Marriage Equality and Why He’d Like to See an End to Gay Pride Parades
The Invisible
The Protest Survey: Big Black Delta’s Jonathan Bates
The Protest Survey: Clinic’s Ade Blackburn
The Protest Survey: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ Josh Collazo
The Protest Survey: Gravenhurst’s Nick Talbot
The Protest Survey: Matmos’ Drew Daniel
The Protest Survey: Slow Club’s Charles Watson
The Protest Survey: Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart


Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 1: Knight Terrors
Bend Beyond
Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock
Blinking Lights and Other Revelations: The Story of Eels
Centipede Hz
End of Watch
Every Day I Take a Wee: The Beastie Boys and the Untimely Death of Subur
Glory Volume One: The Once & Future Destroyer
Heavy Mood
I Bet On Sky
Intruders DVD/Blu-ray
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Kill My Blues
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
Long Slow Dance
Love This Giant
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Ministry of Love
Mirage Rock
Mumps, etc.
Other Worlds
Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
Standing at the Sky’s Edge
Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men Vol. 1: The God Particle
The North
The Underwater Welder
Theatre is Evil
Total Loss
Until the Quiet Comes
We Won’t Settle for Less: Chic at the End of Disco