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FILTER HOW-TO: How To Make A Proper Old-Fashioned with Midlake

By Pat McGuire and Jeff Murray; photos by Eleanor Stills on December 31, 2013

 

FILTER HOW-TO: How To Make A Proper Old-Fashioned with Midlake

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This article is from FILTER Issue 54

Primitive, Pop, Classical: The Art and Action of Steve Keene

By Pat McGuire; all images by Steve Keene on December 30, 2013

 

Primitive, Pop, Classical: The Art and Action of Steve Keene

The Brooklyn-based American artist Steve Keene has been making his distinct brand of assembly-line style paintings, digital collages, woodcuts, hand-crafted furniture sculptures and more since the early ’90s. His work has always had one foot firmly planted in the indie-rock world, and has graced projects by everyone from Pavement, the Silver Jews and The Apples in Stereo to Soul Coughing, Josh Rouse, Dave Matthews Band and Jim O’Rourke. To quote The Apples in Stereo’s Robert Schneider: “To see him work, that’s the art. His act of painting [is] his real art form, not the painting itself. It’s his action, not the art. His concept is to make as much art as he can, that art should be something you can just go to a show and get, and that young kids in their cramped apartments should be able to have real art by real artists on their wall.” In other words: Steve Keene is the Great American Indie-Rock Artist, or, as Schneider calls him, “the Johnny Appleseed of art.” Here, Keene’s collaborators, colleagues and friends weigh-in on their experiences with the artist.


To read (and see) the full story, with commentary from the aforementioned musicians, head to the FILTER magazine Tumblr.

This article is from FILTER Issue 54

The National: Emotional Transit

By Lauren Harris; photos by Marc Lemoine on December 27, 2013

 

The National: Emotional Transit

There is a scene late in the film Mistaken for Strangers that holds an early blueprint to The National. The scene is a transmission from the past, performance footage from the band’s nascence a decade and a half ago. In it, a shaggy-haired Matt Berninger clings equally to his mic stand and his cigarette, flanked by identical twin guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Behind him, an unrecognizably kempt Bryan Devendorf pummels away while just a few feet from him, his brother Scott plays bass. The band is on stage at the Mercury Lounge, a dank cave of a venue on New York’s Lower East Side with a capacity of 250. “There was nobody there,” says Berninger, snapped back to the despair he seems so insulated from when buoyed up by thousands of fans in the latter-day footage that comprises the rest of the film. He went straight home, closed the door and cried.


He is addressing Tom, the film’s maker and Berninger’s metalhead brother, nine years his junior and seemingly stalled in life prior to embarking on Mistaken for Strangers. Matt attempts to rouse his brother out of the paralytic amber he is trapped in by sharing his own struggle. “We put all that anxiety and fear and humiliation into our music, and it made us closer to each other,” says Berninger.


That those words were echoing throughout the cavern of the screening room of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival on its opening night did nothing to dim the emotion behind them. That the band members had traveled through 15 years, up sales charts and the length of the red carpet, a glowing tangle of extended family trailing them, made the place Berninger was referring to no farther away. It is not despite these difficult emotions that The National has ascended to stadiums full of success. It is because of it.


 

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This article is from FILTER Issue 52

Construcción Sueño (Dream Construction): Una Conversación Con Juana Molina

By Kyle MacKinnel; photos by Marcelo Setton on December 17, 2013

 

Construcción Sueño (Dream Construction): Una Conversación Con Juana Molina

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Living That Fantasy: The Postmodern Buzz About Lorde

By Kyle MacKinnel; photos by Marc Lemoine on December 13, 2013

 

Living That Fantasy: The Postmodern Buzz About Lorde

 

Half a world away, nestled cozily in the Hauraki Gulf on the northern isle of New Zealand, lie the verdant suburbs of Auckland. Here, eastward-facing windows yield vistas of the vast Pacific. Behind one of them, a teenage girl equipped with a surging umber mane, an acoustic guitar and a wide-as-the-world stare sits, ruminating. Swarming around her in mounting numbers are the window’s myriad liquid-crystal foils, framing and reframing her every move and opinion with the haste of a data signal. As countless pairs of thumbs eagerly compose 140-character correspondence—sent in her direction via that familiar blue carrier bird—the girl remains unperturbed. Despite the onslaught, her stare doesn’t waver. She is finally back home for the weekend, writing in her room, musing on the edge. She’s also kind of chilling out.

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This article is from FILTER Issue 54

Getting To Know: Braids

By Braids; self-portrait by Braids on December 12, 2013

 

Getting To Know: Braids

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This article is from FILTER Issue 53

SNAP CLIQUE: Cage The Elephant

By Staff; all photos by Cage The Elephant on December 11, 2013

 

SNAP CLIQUE: Cage The Elephant

In the latest issue of FILTER, we gave Cage The Elephant a disposable camera to take with them on a trip to New York City this fall as they did the TV and publicity circuit for their new album, Melophobia. Here's what developed...


For more, head over to the FILTER Tumblr.

 

Cage The Elephant's Melophobia is out now.

Deep Into The Soul Of Kenny Fucking Powers: A Proustish Questionnaire with Danny McBride + Jody Hill

By Colin Stutz; photo by HBO/Fred Norris on November 21, 2013

 

Deep Into The Soul Of Kenny Fucking Powers: A Proustish Questionnaire with Danny McBride + Jody Hill

Amongst the current league of television antiheros, none stands with a more comically cocksure swagger than Kenny Motherfucking Powers. Through four seasons of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, the greasy egomaniac has wrangled viewers’ attention through a champion’s saga of cringe-worthy moments and nut-grabbing excitement. He’s led us from North Carolina to Mexico to Myrtle Beach and back, leaving behind a wake of destruction and redemption all in his own self-interest and a charming narcissist’s perception of what’s “right.”


Powered by a kingly ringlet mullet, the actor Danny McBride brings to life the washed up relief pitcher seeking out redemption and another chance in the majors. Along with McBride’s creative partner and the show’s go-to director Jody Hill, the two are Eastbound & Down’s driving force. Now in its final season, the duo refers to the series as a “character study” for this protagonist they began developing in their first collaboration, the low-budget cult favorite film from 2006, The Foot Fist Way.


“We had this character who saw the world differently than the people around him and that viewpoint makes him kind of come off as an asshole to a lot of people, or be insensitive, because he’s sort of operating by a different set of standards,” says McBride. “We had such a good time in figuring out a way to make an audience still root for this character, even though he’s being such a motherfucker; it really was a chance to delve a little bit more into that tone and into that type of protagonist.”


Enter Kenny Powers: shitfaced and out of his mind on cocaine and ecstasy, speeding down the interstate on a three-wheeled motorcycle, swinging nunchucks overhead and screaming. Here, McBride and Hill discuss the complexities of this loveable, lowbrow, all-American hero in a highbrow, Proust Questionnaire sort of way. Turns out, some people are just destined for greatness.

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COMING TO AMERICA: The Great Wilderness (Costa Rica)

By Staff on October 11, 2013

 

COMING TO AMERICA: The Great Wilderness (Costa Rica)

For this special Culture Collide issue of the Guide, we asked some of the artists playing our festival to share some of their American tales with us.


Welcoming our South American neighbors, Costa Rica's The Great Wilderness speak on their first SXSW, Game of Thrones and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

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COMING TO AMERICA: Prata Vetra (Latvia)

By Staff; Photo by Anton Corbijn on October 11, 2013

 

COMING TO AMERICA: Prata Vetra (Latvia)

For this special Culture Collide issue of the Guide, we asked some of the artists playing our festival to share some of their American tales with us.


Making the trek from Eastern Europe, Latvia's Prata Vetra talk about friendly SXSW rendevous, a shiny pair of under garments, and American fast food.

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