We went to Sundance for SPIN again this year and seriously stepped up our game. While, yes, that included bringing footwear that was actually waterproof (har har), it also means that instead of merely reviewing a snowplow’s worth of films, we also conducted a couple of interviews. There was the chat with Dawn director Rose McGowan in which she admitted to having a habit of hiring brass bands while stoned. And then there was the sit-down with Aaron Paul — we have more photographic proof — who talked about touring with Radiohead. Oh, and each shared a go-to karaoke jam or two. Join us for “Listening In.”
One of our favorite young music-making weirdos of the past five years is Chaz Bundick — a dude better known as Les Sins and best known as Toro y Moi. Befitting his chosen aliases, he’s a musical polyglot, weaving psych-rock and summery pop into rap beats and dance pulse. Unsurprisingly, Bundick is a sharp guy with a sweet disposition, as we learned first hand upon sitting down with him at a coffee shop across from the SPIN offices in Hollywood. Read here:
Done? Have some B-sides:
We here at Aural Standards are particularly partial to songs about our city, and “Los Angeles” by friend-of-the-blog Liza Oppenheimer is a new fave. We’ve also got a certain affinity for all (er, most) things Dustin Hoffman, so upon learning that the Dee Robertson-directed video for this folksy jangler would pay a little tribute to Midnight Cowboy, well, we were elated. Check out the clip below, and then learn a little more from Liza after the jump.
Yes yes yes yes. A video that includes 3-D avatars having acrobatic sex. A song that includes the words “gotta get my brains outside of my face.” An interview that hinges upon terms like “vintage internet,” “sea punk” and “ayahuasca,” plus includes the following choice quote: “If you think you’ve seen the dark side of the internet, you haven’t seen shit until you’re on the porn message board circuit trying to figure out how to make 3-D figures fuck.” Loyal readers know Aural Standards has been backing Wallpaper since the VERY BEGINNING, so we’re pumped to have this up on the SPIN homepage right now. #tehinternetz
This is NOT the video in question, but also involves creative use of upchuck:
Posted in interviews, SPIN
Tagged 3-D, avatar sex, ayahuasca, barf, Epic Records, GIFs, hurl, lyrics, music videos, Oakland, puke, sea punk, skateboards, skeletons, tehinternetz, upchuck, vomit, wallpaper.
We did a little moonlighting for Rosebud. Jumped at the opportunity, in fact, to talk to a man who’s not only licked the Amazonian sapo frog, but ingested legit zombie dust (via The Serpent and the Rainbow) supplied by a Haitian shaman. Check out the chat with Hamilton Morris, host of Vice’s Pharmacopeia, here.
As Aural loyalists will remember, we recently sat down for a long talk with the eternally lovely Shirley Manson on the occasion of Garbage’s self-funded return to music. She dropped so many nuggets that we had to break the thing up into three parts. Revisit the official SPIN Interview, then dive into Shirley’s Words of Wisdom, and check out her dissection of the entire Garbage catalog here.
It was a true honor to interview Shirley Manson for SPIN. The Q&A originally appeared as the cover story of the April iPad issue, and exclusive content from our two-hour face-off wound up in the print mag too (Words of Wisdom, LOUD issue). Here’s an excerpt from the chat, which covered everything from the overdue Garbage reunion to Shirley’s status as a recovering cutter:
“It’s unbelievable what’s happened to Lana Del Rey! It’s shocking misogyny. I look at her and say, “What more do you want?” Here’s a beautiful young girl who tried her hand at being a working musician under her own name and it didn’t stick. She had the fortitude to go back to the drawing board and create something new, a perfectly executed re-entry into the world of music, and she’s getting destroyed for the very same thing that Jack White is so brilliant at. Granted, they’re very different artists, but why are we attacking a young girl who’s ballsy and creative? All I can say is they did the same thing to me when I came out. I was constantly being called a phony, and I’m thinking, ‘I was in a band that failed miserably for ten years. What’s fake about that?'”
Many a freelance music journalist takes on copywriting for artists, labels and PR firms to round out what’s typically a rather spare and piecemeal income. I’m no exception. We don’t talk about it much because it seems like, and can be, a compromise of integrity. We make rules for ourselves to keep our motives pure or, at least, bifurcated, but we typically don’t give away our employers. I’m making an exception for Baltimore’s Co La, recently featured on Pitchfork behind his just released Daydream Repeater LP (NNA Tapes), because our fact-finding interview was so fascinating that I’d be remiss as a journalist (so much for bifurcation) not to share it. It’s been itching at me for three months.
Co La, a.k.a. Matthew Papich, is a collage artist at the surface. He samples, he interpolates, he rips off, he recreates. He borrows from sun-dappled reggae and dust-caked soul. He takes bricks from Spector’s Wall of Sound and builds strange huts from them. What traditional beat-makers call loops, he calls “loopholes,” not because they represent his circumnavigation of copyright law, but because they act, for him, as portals into “magic grooves that can just roll forever.” The best part of a song for Co La is like that bizarre kismet tube that leads Donnie Darko from one surreal scene to the next on the way to the end of the world. I’m for music that compels without added exposition, but reading Co La’s thoughts on process provides the listener a loophole into his strange songs.
So hit the jump below to check out a tune, then to dig into the conversation. The questions are incredibly banal since my job was simply to gagther cold fact for a press release (which I’ll include at the end), and the exchange was by email, but, the answers more than make up for it. Let’s start at the beginning…
Posted in interviews
Tagged Abelton, Baltimore, Chris Burden, Co La, Ecstatic Sunshine, experimental, Jeremy Sigler, John Cage, New Anything, NNA Tapes, Ponytail, sampling
Okay, so that Lindsey Buckingham ^ is long gone, but I’ll take the cool-headed, contemplative silver-haired gentleman who invited me into his home on an L.A. summer’s day over the guy who might’ve burned said home down with me inside it in the mid-’70s. Pick up the current issue of SPIN, or nab our incredible iPad app, to check out the proper In My Room feature. Meanwhile, you can head over here for an exclusive video interview between myself and Buckingham.
Off camera: Lindsey’s current listening pile, which included CDs by Kanye, Grizzly Bear, Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors, and Vampire Weekend.
Robin Pecknold will see you now ...
I had the estimable pleasure of speaking to the man behind what will surely be one of the year’s most highly acclaimed albums and, as it turns out, he didn’t seem so convinced of its greatness. Fleet Foxes main brain Robin Pecknold is humble to say the least, which is why I had to ask him how he wound up with the role of “Prophet” credited to him in the liner notes of Helplessness Blues. Read our talk to find out why that was a stupid question, and also to read the man’s thoughts on life, work, death and George Lucas.