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FILTER 47: Getting to Know: Yuna

By Kendah El-Ali; photo by Zel-Atif Ishak on March 8, 2012

 

FILTER 47: Getting to Know: Yuna

The first time I met Yuna was a year ago at a dinner at Satsko, an East Village sake bar. I made a mental note to watch my behavior. My name reveals me for the (non-practicing) Muslim I am, and I was about to meet a Malaysian singer-songwriter whose devotion to our mutual faith leaves her happy to pray five times a day and cover her head with a scarf. I usually have no memory of leaving Satsko. It’s that kind of place.

A stunning young woman chassed through the door. Most of the restaurant paused as she giggled and pulled her Doc Martens up into our booth. Her doe-eyed beauty was alarming; I made apologies through my wine glass for being a poor representation of Islam. Yuna smiled and told me to chill out.

“I’ve been staying in this neighborhood, isn’t it quite fun?” she asked.

“Sure,” I replied, unsure of what a devout Muslim girl really gets into in a neighborhood known widely for its drug history and vast selection of bars. Yuna’s presence and pretty face are enough to stop time, yet there’s something unbelievably familiar and positive about her. It’s almost impossible to be unhappy in her company.

Flash-forward to December’s MTV Iggy Awards. This time, I met Yuna in the bathroom of her dressing room. She was a top-five finalist for the global music award show’s Best New Band accolade and was also performing. Since our meeting at the sake bar, she had cut an LP on Fader Label, working with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Chris Braide. The awards she’s won in Malaysia are numerous.

When asked how she feels about the past year of her life, moving from widespread fame in her native country to working with renowned producers Stateside, she simply replies, “I just want to create, to be honest!

“I’m just a kid from Malaysia, you know,” she continues, “But when I hear that some girl from San Diego can relate to my music, it never ceases to amaze me. After the whole 9/11 thing, it’s tricky to just jump into the music scene here. I’m just doing what I can to stay positive. So far, I’ve gotten a huge amount of support. Music breaks the barrier, I think. It really is borderless.”

Yuna’s voice is widely compared to that of Feist. A mix of sultry and smooth, her sound has a distinct healing quality that disarms listeners. Led by her guitar, the music of her songs is befittingly soothing and lovely. An unlikely match for a producer who brought the world both N.E.R.D. and “Rump Shaker,” her collaboration with Williams, “Live Your Life,” is set to be the album’s single.

“It’s funny: When I was told Pharrell was interested in working with me, I was like, ‘The Pharrell?’” she says, giggling, while simultaneously stressing out over her choices in wardrobe. Yuna, like Williams, is passionate about fashion. “Obviously, his style is very different than mine, so the fact that we came up with something like ‘Live Your Life’ is really exciting. I can’t wait to share it with my fans.”

The result is a breezy, solid and gorgeous pop song. A recent cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” somehow manages to successfully come across the same way in her care. Much like their creator, the tracks are hard not to love.

Yuna was born Yunalis Zarai and, raised in the Subang Jaya district of Kuala Lumpur, began her music career during her final year of law school. After a string of small, local shows, her fans asked for an EP. “That was four years ago. It was a turning point for me, though,” she says while trimming fringe off a scarf. “I decided to make music for real, full-time. I graduated but I have yet to pursue a career in law. I’m happy I made that choice, and I’m happy I am where I am now.”

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10 Years of FILTER: Issue #7 Cover Story: Hot Hot Heat

By Mikel Jollett on March 7, 2012

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #7 Cover Story: Hot Hot Heat

2012 marks FILTER Magazine's tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002's Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November's Issue #50.

Below you will find Issue #7's cover story, in full, where we sat down with Hot Hot Heat and discussed their upbringings in the hardcore-punk scene, the influence of radio rock, and the "everyman" quality of Nirvana.


"The Great New Hope From The Great White North: Hot Hot Heat" (Issue 7, Sep/Oct 2003)

The Heat Also Rises: Success, Humility, and the Curious Burden of Other People's Dreams

"We added 'Bandages' to our playlist here at KROQ in February and started giving it 40 spins a week. I'd heard of Hot Hot Heat, so I went and saw them at Spaceland. They were great. 'Bandages' has been a big hit for the past three months, by any measure: sales, requests, enthusiasm at shows...We don't put a stamp on records that we've broken, but if someone had asked me if we broke them, I would say 'Yes.'"

Meet Lisa Worden. Lisa is the Music Director for KROQ in Los Angeles, the person whose job it is to decide which songs get on air. KROQ is the most influential radio station in the country. It is owned by Infinity Broadcasting, which is owned by Viacom. Viacom also owns MTV. Which means MTV pays attention to KROQ and KROQ pays attention to MTV. For this reason, every other "alternative" (read: "commercial [non-classic]-rock") station in the country pays attention to KROQ. 

The "spins" she refers to are times when a song has been played on air. Forty spins means a song was played 40 times that week. Forty is a good number. Forty spins makes "Bandages" the second most-played song on KROQ, behind Linkin Park"s "Faint." It had 41 spins on KRBZ in Kansas City the week of July 21st. Thirty-one spins on WFNX in Boston. Nineteen spins in New York on WXRK, the nation's largest radio station, up from two spins two weeks prior, after Kevin Weatherly, KROQ's Program Director, makes a trip to New York City. There is a pattern here.

In general, a very simple equation holds sway over all of this. SPINS = SALES. Or, more precisely, REGIONAL SPINS = REGIONAL SALES. Case in point: driven by the massive airplay in Los Angeles, Hot Hot Heat's year-old album Make Up the Breakdown, ships 1700 units per week in L.A. and only 500 units per week in New York. (Remember those measly two spins?) That, of course, will change since Mr. Weatherly"s trip to the Big Apple.

Basic, axiomatic, depressing, though obvious lesson number one: music is a business. Even with cool fucking bands. 

There's more. Make Up the Breakdown was originally released by independent label Sub Pop last year. (The one which originally signed Nirvana way back when). The band then signed with big fucking major label Warner Brothers. But Sub Pop still owns the album. Which means they make all the money from its sales. 

And Make Up the Breakdown just won"t go away. "Bandages" is still rising in charts nationally. KROQ has christened a second single from the album "Talk to Me, Dance with Me" to which it is currently giving a healthy 28 spins a week. The band is constantly referred to as "the next Strokes" (more on that later). Late-night TV shows court them for appearances. They're playing dates with the White Stripes, (the band currently tied with Radiohead for the title "biggest band in the world"). The album has been out a God-damned year and it's just starting to take off. This kind of shit doesn't happen.

Just what in the fuck is going on?

"I'm in the business because I love music. There are people who aren't in it for that." Lisa Worden is a nice person. And she likes cool music. And she's got a job to do. And along with Hot Hot Heat, Interpol, and the White Stripes, she directs her station to play Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Creed. And she won't say it, but she shows so much more enthusiasm for the Hot Hot Heats than Creeds, and you can tell that there's just no fucking way she has a Limp Bizkit CD in her car.

How could she? She grew up in L.A. in the late '80s and early '90s listening to KROQ. KROQ--the fond memory from junior high. KROQ--the station that played Morrissey, the Cure and the Violent Femmes back when every other station was still playing Paula Abdul and Tony Toni Toné. KROQ--the elegant freak show soundtrack to your first cigarette, your first kiss, your first pair of 12-hole Docs. By most accounts, KROQ (like MTV and the whole fucking world) abandoned cool music sometime in the late '90s after squeezing the final watered-down beanie-laden, goatee-sportin' drops from grunge--and proceeded to bitch-slap anyone who ever wrote the words to "Just Like Heaven" on the back cover of their PeeChee notebook--by overwhelming the airwaves with the moronic, frat-boy nü-metal incoherencies of Fred Durst. I suppose it had to be that way since, by then, (because of the commercial success of "alternative" music), KROQ had been purchased by Infinity Broadcasting. And Infinity Broadcasting is a business. And businesses have to make money. And nü-metal could be packaged and sold to hyperactive 12 year olds. Which it was. And so went KROQ.

Basic, axiomatic, depressing, though obvious lesson number two: it was not video. Marketing killed the radio star.

Still Lisa Worden's got a job to do, and she's reconciled herself to the business side of things. But it's not why she got into this world in the first place--and she secretly wishes she didn't have to play that crap and that some band would come along, like Nirvana did, and strap the entire fucking industry onto their backs with one song, or one album, or one flick of their elegant, alienated, charismatic, youthful, artistic, punk-fucking-rock wrist--and lead it to a place where she can rest easier at night. The music industry is filled with people like Lisa Worden--people who program radio stations or book bands at local clubs or sit in offices working out licensing deals or answering questions from the press or walk aimlessly the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, or Boston--and they all want to find that one band.     

It takes three different flights to get from Los Angeles to Victoria, Canada. It's a big jet from L.A. to Reno. A smaller jet from Reno to Seattle. And finally an uneasy, stomach-churning ride on a propeller-driven puddle-jumper with 12 passengers and one stewardess to hop the border and fly into Victoria: a European-style city on Vancouver Island, just a few miles west of the Canadian coast. Victoria is the capital of the Canadian tourist, retirement and Satanist communities--and most importantly--home to the dance/art/punk/new wave/garage/rock juggernaut, Hot Hot Heat.

It's a beautiful city, 350,000 white, healthy, attractive, polite people surrounded by breathtaking ocean vistas, islands, sailboats, float planes blue skies and forest. The streets are cobblestone, of course, and the endless rows of small shops which comprise the downtown near the wharf are all done in classic medieval European architecture, exactly like some little berg tucked away in the French countryside. With one exception. Street punks. They're everywhere. Seventeen, 19, 23-year-old kids with tattered pants, bomber jackets and endless piercings sitting on pristine sidewalks saying things like, "Hey man, wanna help me with some change?" or "Would you give me some money before I hurt someone?" They mostly look harmless (compared to the ones in L.A.), but are a stark contrast to the clean, vibrant, cultured feel of the rest of the city.

It's a college town, home to the University of Victoria, and like all college towns, it has that certain record store that sells all the good music, and that certain guy that knows everything about it. The store is Ditch Records, the guy is named Bill. He's obsessed with the Pixies. He's got a huge goatee. Touring indie rock bands sleep on his floor. You know this guy. I stop by the store in the afternoon to chat. He loves Hot Hot Heat. There are Hot Hot Heat T-shirts on the wall. He's adamant that they've kept their indie cred, despite their burgeoning crossover success. The CD sells well. The local shows are huge. "Maybe some DIY purists would say they've sold out," he confides to me, "but only within a 10-block radius of this store. Everyone else knows they deserve it." I'm convinced. I like him. I like the town. I wonder if anyone back home cares about indie cred. I go to my hotel and prepare to meet the band that night. 

Some cell-phone-tag ensues with Paul (Hawley: drummer) and Steve (Bays: singer, keyboards). We talk and decide the most prudent course of action is to spend the night walking around Victoria, chatting, bar-hopping, and getting drunk. Which we proceed to do three hours later. Dante (Decaro: guitar) can't make it. We'll see him tomorrow. The evening passes like a limbic purgatory of tight pants, sweet beer, and giddy pontification.

First impression: Steve and Paul walking into a small, rustic, downright hickish western-themed bar. They stand out with their retro-Brit clothes and messy hair. Paul is six-five and looks like a big, skinny, endearing, thoughtful teddy bear. Which he is. Steve looks much more the lead singer than I expected. His hair is styled just so (massive curls pulled down in jagged points near his eyes), his face taking on a pinkish hue. He's a good-looking kid. And they're both damn nice. We talk. It's nervous, get-to-know-you-beginning-of-the-night type fare. Dustin (Hawthorne: bass) shows up 15 minutes later. With tattoos and shaggy hair, he is the most recognizably indie-hip looking one of the bunch. He's less laid back than the other two, but strikingly friendly all the same. More beer. More chat. Nobody pays us much mind. I try to convince them that They're hot shit in the States. They don't believe me.

Next Scene: We leave the bar and decide to walk over to a place called Lucky's on the other side of town. It's a fucking gorgeous night. And we're talking about old friends and new friends and basically ignoring the let's-get-some-work-done-and-discuss-meaningful-shit vibe, in favor of the let's-goof-off-and-crack-jokes-and-wander-aimlessly vibe. People stare. At first I assume it's because everyone knows they're rock stars. Steve sets me straight on this, "I love Victoria," he tells me, "but it so does not know what's going on in the rest of the world. So when we come here, some people know who we are, but everyone else is like, 'There go those two gay couples.'" We all laugh. Steve continues, "After that KROQ show in L.A., everyone was taking pictures and asking for autographs. And it's so weird to think that if we lived in L.A., that's what it would be like. We'd walk around, people would trip. But here, It's like nobody gives a shit about us."

Which isn't entirely true. Because at Lucky's, everybody seems to know them. Including the heavily tatted (and entirely decent and polite) bouncer at the door. And the band which is playing on stage. And the bartender. And Piers and Nick, who manage local bands. And a few indie girls who wave coquettishly at Steve. And it isn't like they are rock stars with groupies, it's not like that at all. It's more like they've been here every Thursday for five or 10 years. Which is basically true. It's a scene. A lot of small labels, record stores, journalists, drummers--and everyone's been in everyone else's band. And so they're all peers and Hot Hot Heat is just one piece of this great big puzzle. The one piece that's going off in the States. 

We leave Lucky's and go to another bar. At this point I don't ask or care about the name. It's all brick streets and closed shops and occasional pedestrians and Paul keeps telling me how drunk he is and we're having that earnest philosophical talk about the meaning of life--you know, that talk you have when you're drunk with new people. Everyone seems to be having a fine time and the bouncer at the next place recognizes the band (they're bigger fish than they let on) and wave us all in. The bartender floats us free drinks. Dustin's sister is there. It's a dance club. People dance. Steve and I lean against a wall and talk about ex-girlfriends and success and wanting people to know you for who you are versus wanting people to know you for who you want to be--and there he is on the brink of it, and it's already fucking with his personal life. How could it not? For every lucky fuck that wins the lottery, there's some poor girl who loved him more when he was broke. 

The bar closes and we walk home and someone sober drops me off at my hotel and I stumble into bed and think: no one got into a fight and no one puked and no one peed off a balcony and no one made some huge ego-driven overstatement and everyone was considerate and waited their turn to speak and it wasn't boring or annoying, or fucked-up--just fun and cool and, you know, Canadian.

"The first song we ever wrote used the arpeggiator on an old Juno keyboard. It was very robotic sounding. The only thing we'd discussed was that our theme was kung fu. And we wanted to be a party band. And we made a small compromise when we decided on a whim to incorporate the theme of circus." We're all sitting in a little lunch café eating sandwiches and drinking lots of water. It's the next day. Steve is talking about the evolution of the band in his own charming, ironic way--as if adding ideas to some communal soup. Dante has joined us. He's the pistol whip of the group. The only one who's primary personality characteristic isn't out-and-out friendliness. He's young (22), with large black hair. He doesn't say much, for now. Though he eventually proves to be the most incisive (and therefore funniest) member of the group. Back to Steve and the beginning of the band.

"We played Ché Café in San Diego which, at the time in the hard-core scene, was a really cool place to play. It was Radio Berlin, us, I Am Spoonbender, and the Locust." The Locust is about as hard-core of a band as you could come across: all screaming and dark guitars and fucked-up imagery--and I'm totally surprised to learn that Hot Hot Heat was basically a thought experiment for a bunch of art punks who played for years in serious, straight-edge hard-core bands. Not what I expected. Not much written about it. I think, what the fuck?

Paul chimes in, "When we were younger we went to a lot of hardcore punk shows. There was a scene of about 50 kids that went to every show, and a couple hundred kids that would rotate--all at a couple of venues in town. Steve and Dustin and I were all in that group." They go on to list every band they've ever been in. Most of them are intense, dark, thrash, punk metal. Weird, considering Hot Hot Heat is none of those things. Then I remember: the street punks. The town. And it sort of makes sense.

Besides, Hot Hot Heat started as a guitar-less, keyboard-driven, almost completely non-melodic technical band with a different lead singer who liked to yell. His name was Matthew Marnick. Considering the hallmark Robert Smith-esque distinctiveness of Steve"s vocals--which are the cornerstone of the band's current sound--it's odd to think of someone else fronting the band. But that was another time. Steve is shy on this point, "By that time, when he left, we were selling out shows. We were starting to do really well. So for us to change our sound was kind of bizarre. People were like, 'Why would you do that?'" A few fans resented the change. But, as usual, the band didn't seem to care all that much what other people thought. 

Dustin tells the story of Matthew's departure thusly. "Matt wasn't really hanging out with us and he was just kind of being a dick. So Steve and I drove over to his house under the impression that we were going to kick him out. We went there and I was going to be like, 'OK you're out.' But I choked. It's like breaking up with a girlfriend. I was like, 'Uh...dude...the band's over. We're breaking up.' And he was like, 'OK. Cool. Whatever.' Just totally fine with it. And I have not seen him since those words left my mouth two and a half years ago." 

After taking some time off, the band began to play together again, totally revamping their sound with Steve on vocals and Dante joining in on guitar. They scored a small deal with Sub Pop to release an EP in 2001 (called Knock Knock Knock). The EP was universally embraced by indie kids, punk kids, anyone who ever heard it. This led to an LP in 2002 on tiny Ohev records entitled Scenes One Through Thirteen the success of which led them back to Sub Pop and Make Up the Breakdown and Warner Brothers and mainstream radio and the impending rock stardom.
        

"I think of the '90s as a time when people stopped dancing." Steve is addressing the fact that Hot Hot Heat are one of the few alt/indie/whatever bands that actually encourage dancing. It's almost time to go. we've been sitting at the lunch table awhile, discussing history and schooling and whatnot. The conversation has inevitably turned to the aesthetics of punk and grunge and pop and sales and just what in the fuck it all means. "We're not really a dance band. We're just a normal band, really. In the '90s it was not cool to show that you really liked to be where you were at. Those were the years of teen angst."

Dante agrees, piping up from his corner of the table, "Right, why would you dance if you were totally depressed?" I wonder exactly what punk has to do with dancing and why it is that suddenly everything from authors to painters to dancey bands from Canada is described as being "punk." "It's not that it became cool to be punk," Dante observes, "it's more like people just realized it was always cool. Kinda like how hippies became lawyers." We all laugh at this, as we're laughing at the whole farce of the D.I.Y. ("do it yourself") ethic of punk rock.

Paul breaks the short silence which follows with another bit of sarcastic wisdom, "I don't want to Do-It-Myself for the rest of my life. And anyway, no one's doing-it-themselves. They're just getting labels that don't have as much money to market them Our marketing team just happens to be an insane corporation." 

So it seems it's all come full circle at this point. Cool bands create the market. The market betrays cool bands. The market loses momentum without coolness, and longs to find new cool bands again. Cool bands are found. Cool bands long to be marketed. Such is life.

"We have no misconceptions about what we're capable of." Again, Paul speaking. "We're talking about all these huge bands: the Beatles and Nirvana--but we're still tiny. We're not anywhere. I don't know if we have the sort of songs and the sort of image that kids in Dayton, Ohio can identify with. It's nice to think we could be capable of great things, but all it's going to set you up for is disappointment. Nirvana was that huge thing. The fact that we have bands like us and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even the Strokes--I mean, I don't know if we're in the same category as those bands--but people look at the Strokes coming on the scene as being sort of like Nirvana. But if you look at the sales, Nirvana sold like 30 million."

Again, Dante agrees, "Yeah, Nirvana had that everyman thing of the unlikely hero. But we're kind of less universal. It's not like dancey, faggy, pop-rock is going to appeal to everyone."

And it all suddenly feels a little dirty. Because it occurs to me that the fact that we're even sitting here talking about the Strokes is sort of desperate. Trying to squeeze something Nirvana-esque out of a band that's nowhere near even a Gold record. Shit, a band from my high school went Gold. It's silly to talk about. I'm a better writer than that. They're a better band that that. We're better people than that. But we all want some order and we all want the crap on the radio to end. Because it means something to us or we wouldn't spend our lives playing this music or writing about it. And we're not the only ones. There's a whole industry that longs for the same thing. And maybe it's not Hot Hot Heat. But then something's beginning to change, right? If you can turn on a commercial radio station like KROQ and hear a band you actually like, well then, that's something new, right? That wouldn't have happened three years ago. So maybe the world is catching up. Or maybe Hot Hot heat really are going to be the fuck-all kings of the world. Or maybe they're just temporary symbols of the intense hope for change. I'm not sure it matters.

I left something out. Paul had interrupted his speech about Nirvana because there was a baby with huge, striking blue eyes sitting across from us in the café, staring. Mid-sentence, Paul stopped and said, "Whoa. See that baby right there? We're talking about this stuff like we're all important, and 20 years from now he's not going to give a fuck about our band." He paused for a second and said slowly, "Or maybe he will. Either way, it wouldn't make him any less cute." F


 

PREVIOUS "10 YEARS OF FILTER" FEATURES
Issue #1 (July 2002) Getting To Know: Bright Eyes, Doves, Balligomingo, South and Breakestra
Issue #1 (July 2002) Cover Story: On the Dark Side of the Moon with Weezer
Issue #2 (September 2002) Getting To Know: Haven, Interpol, Division of Laura Lee, Jazzanova and The Cato Salsa Experience
Issue #2 (September 2002) Cover Story: Looking Back in Wonder: Björk Takes a Pause
Issue #3 (November/December 2002) Getting To Know: Röyksopp, Thievery Corporation, Clinic, Hot Hot Heat + The Pattern, Ikara Colt and The Music
Issue #3 (November/December 2002) Cover Story: Coldplay: At Home in the World
Issue #4 (February 2003) Getting To Know: 2 Many DJs, The Coral, Datsuns, Turin Brakes, Microphonse and Muggs
Issue #4 (February 2003) Cover Story: Art Imitating Life Imitating… THE DANDY WARHOLS
Issue #5 Cover Story: Blur
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Revisited, Getting To Know The Raveonettes, Elefant, Longwave, Verbana, Cave In and Paloalto
Issue #6 (July/Aug 2003)Cover Story: David Bowie  
Issue #6
(July/Aug 2003) Revisited, Getting To Know Broken Social Scene and more

This article is from FILTER Issue 7

FILTER 47: Getting to Know: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

By Adam Conner-Simons on March 5, 2012

 

FILTER 47: Getting to Know: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Some bands toil for years playing in dingy dives for rum-and-Cokes before they’re ever noticed. Others pull together a few retro-soul ditties, get a call from a famous pop starlet and start selling out shows before they’ve released a proper album.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour had only existed a few months when they were invited to open for Amy Winehouse in the summer of 2007 on the strength of a demo tape. The one problem was that singer Mette Lindberg and multi-instrumentalist Lars Iversen didn’t have a band: they had to rope in some friends and squeeze in a couple of rehearsals before their set in front of 1,500 fans in Copenhagen.

The buzz grew exponentially after that first show. Within weeks of the second gig, the Danes had been signed by Robbie Williams’ manager. In September of 2008, one of their tunes got the iPod ad treatment. And by the time their debut LP, Fruit, was released the following year, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s indie-funk freak flag had been firmly planted.

Iversen and Lindberg had been kicking around in Copenhagen working odd jobs before success smacked them in the faces—he was taking classes at architecture school while she washed dishes at a hospital and bartended. Though the musicians had collaborated before, there seemed to be something different in the air when Iversen sent over a few song sketches back in 2007.

“That’s when I realized that the tunes in Lars’ head were the same as the ones in mine,” Lindberg says. “Everything down to the sound of the vocals and the crispiness of the drums—it all clicked for me.”

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This article is from FILTER Issue 47

FILTER 47: Getting to Know: Cloud Nothings

By A.D. Amorosi; photo by Ryan Manning on March 1, 2012

 

FILTER 47: Getting to Know: Cloud Nothings

Dylan Baldi’s lo-fi-prodded pop is a wonder to behold, a youthfully ebullient sun-shiny thing that when pushed into the red becomes the raw but childishly emotional Cloud Nothings.

There’s been a brash kid’s romanticism to Cloud Nothings’ homemade recordings—cassette-only singles and EPs taped throughout 2009 and stamped onto CD for the Turning On compilation—and its studio-simple first album Cloud Nothings that shows off Baldi’s age (he’s not yet 20 years old) despite that debut’s most notable lyrical lamentation: “I get old so fast.”

Baldi giggles when he hears those lyrics now. 

“I feel 20, certainly young in the grand scheme of things,” he laughs. “I don’t think of myself as an elder and wise just because I make music. A couple years of touring and recording doesn’t make me smarter or more interesting.” 

Yet he can’t help but confess to a weary weightiness creeping through Cloud Nothings’ newest album, Attack on Memory, produced by the famed Steve Albini. Where before Baldi’s usual sound could be categorized as a flossier Wavves–meets–The Jesus and Mary Chain, the whole Attack affair is densely rockist (think The Replacements underwater) without losing its jaunty sense of melody.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily gloomier but it is heavier,” admits Baldi. “There’s more on my shoulders. It’s important to grow up.”

Up, but not old.

“If it is darker to me, that’s because it was more interesting to do so.”

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FILTER 47: Aura and Fauna: The Art of Dirty Three’s Mick Turner

By Kevin Friedman; all art courtesy of Mick Turner on February 29, 2012

 

FILTER 47: Aura and Fauna: The Art of Dirty Three’s Mick Turner

“Art” is the word that hovers over Dirty Three’s music like an aura—and not that elusive and easy tag pinned on something that one might appreciate but finds too challenging to enjoy. Rather, this art has to do with the expression of passion in the various mediums humans utilize to channel deeper sentiments. There is no mistaking what the Dirty Three do for anything else out there. Their sound—instrumental, melancholic and cinematic—fits under the hazy genre of “rock” only because of its emotionally cathartic energy. The unlikely makeup of violin, guitar and drums only adds to the allure.

Warren Ellis, the band’s violinist and primary melodicist, distorts his instrument in the manner of an electric guitar then wrings it out as though he were exorcizing its demons. Drummer Jim White doesn’t establish a beat so much as he skitters around one, his hits filling the air like Ping-Pong balls in a wind tunnel. Guitarist Mick Turner has perhaps the lowest profile in the band’s sound. His style is minimalistic and restrained compared to Ellis’ wailing leads. More than notes, Turner plucks ideas from his strings—conversation topics and themes around which White and Ellis expound. With no bassist, Turner’s parts are the frames over which the band’s canvases are stretched.

Turner’s art isn’t limited to the guitar. He is an internationally exhibited painter whose work has graced the covers of almost all of the Melbourne-based band’s albums. His paintings offer explosions of color and expressionistic, almost myth-like figures—fish, birds, women, kangaroos and horses in relatively stark surroundings—rendered with heavy brush strokes, the paint layered in canyons of texture. The humans in his paintings, eyes cyclopean and enlarged, show a direct influence from Picasso’s Guernica. Turner’s figures are set on roadsides, on the beach or in forests of naked trees. In FNQ1, a burgundy crocodile, the ridges on its nose like the branches of a tree, stares up from murky, teal-colored water spotted by lily pads that look like crystallized fossils of scorpions and jellyfish. Can We Go Out There depicts a golden-haired child standing in front of a sea roiling with white-capped waves. The water has begun to pool and slither onto the flame-red sand, snaking around the figure. On the horizon, the sky is grey with hints of amber light creating a sepia tint on patches of clouds.

On the cover of the band’s latest album, Toward the Low Sun, is Turner’s rendition of “St. George and the Dragon.” The beast has pinned England’s patron saint to the ground with its talons, yet George has pierced the dragon’s breast with a lance while raising a sword in his other hand. A moth with eyes on its wings hovers above, as do two blackbirds. A skeletal white dog sits behind them and the saint’s head leans against a dead white horse.

What does it all mean? What comes first, the music or the art? Here, Turner forgoes the wordless worlds of his band and paintings to discuss his art and music in the glow of the latest Dirty Three release and a recent exhibition of his work in Sydney.

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10 Years of FILTER: Issue #7 Revisited, Getting To Know Stereophonics, Jet and more (Sep/Oct 2003)

By Staff on February 27, 2012

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #7 Revisited, Getting To Know Stereophonics, Jet and more (Sep/Oct 2003)

2012 marks FILTER Magazine‘s tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002’s Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November’s Issue #50.

Getting To Know is a section in the magazine that serves as a good gauge for our predictions of greatness. In FILTER Issue #7, released September/October 2003, we introduced Stereophonics, Ima Robot, Jet, WHY?, and Bent. Here is a brief look at those artists, then and now.

Stay tuned for Issue #7's complete "HOT HOT HEAT: The Heat Also Rises" cover story to be posted later this week.


Getting To Know Recap

ISSUE 7: Sep/Oct 2003


Photo by Scarlet Page

Band: Stereophonics

Where They Were Then: Teetering on the edge of complete mainstream popularity, Stereophonics had just released their fourth full-length LP, You Gotta Go There To Come Back, and were about to break into the US music scene.

Where They Are Now: After the release and tour in support of their eighth studio album Keep Calm and Carry On in 2009, Stereophonics recently announced the start of work on their follow-up album with no hard release date in sight.

FILTER Said: In the past, Kelly has spent most of his time writing songs about other people’s strange lives, weaving off beat tales of the fringe element into stadium-sized anthems.

They Said: “I never really wanted to be in a band that depended on one single, that’s not really what Stereophonics is. That said, to write U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ is not as easy as it sounds.”

_____________


Photo courtesy of 100xr.com

Band: Ima Robot

Where They Were Then: The dance-punk musical and fashion styling of Ebert and Ima Robot were just pushing the boundaries of the Los Angeles hip scene with the release of their debut self- titled album.

Where They Are Now: Ima Robot is still recording and touring. Most recently they released Another Man’s Treasure in 2010. Front man Alex Ebert has been splitting his time between Ima Robot, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros which released the addictive hit song “Home”.

FILTER Said: Nothing about Ima Robot has been an accident. It’s one thing to experiment, stumble along, and let your art mature organically. It’s another to allow emulation to penetrate deep into your essence of being.

Band Said: “I’m vaguely aware—and I mean this seriously—I’m vaguely aware that the label and other people that intend to profit off us or me, see our aesthetic as beneficial or profitable. I’m vaguely aware of that, but there is no pressure of that for me. They can bank off me if they want to. I’m glad I’m not them, looking like some leach.”

_____________


Photo courtesy of 100xr.com

Band: Jet

Where They Were Then: Jet just released their first album Get Born which featured the hit song “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”, used in the first iPod commercials. The Australian lads were also the supporting act for the Rolling Stones on the Australian leg of their tour.

Where They Are Now: After releasing their third studio LP, Shaka Rock, Jet has gone on a band hiatus, but are not out of the game yet.

FILTER Said: It’s time for them to wrap it up and trudge off to the soundstage and the hot lights to complete the agony of making a music video. The backdrop of the stage is completely white—images will be added digitally later—and looking at these four brown blots on this pristine surface, you realize that it is absolutely necessary for these guys to become full on arena-filling rock stars. Their songs are certainly good enough. But more importantly, in what other sphere of life will they ever be allowed to be this fucking filthy?

Band Said: “We don’t want to be an indie band. If you want to be an indie band, just stay in your fucking garage”

_____________

Band: WHY?

Where They Were Then: The solo project of Northern Californian, Yoni Wolf, just released his first album on anticon: Oaklandazulasylum.

Where They Are Now: Growing from one man and a computer to a larger band of 3-4 people depending on the time, WHY? has released three albums after his debut, including the most recent, Eskimo Snow in 2009.

FILTER Said: His observations are whimsical and dark, painting odd pictures of urban sprawl, disillusion and TV Land sameness.

Band Said: “What makes our music related is it all has this honesty to it, it all comes from that space in our selves. It’s not a craft that we learned to do and have gotten good at.”

_____________

Band: Bent

Where They Were Then: After just releasing Everlasting Blink, their second full-length album, Bent was enjoying the thrills of becoming a well known electronica duo bringing together infectious beats and vintage pop vocal tracks.

Where They Are Now: The electronica duo of Simon Mills and Nail Tolliday, have been working most recently on the Best of Bent record. The two have not released new material together since 2006’s Intercept!

FILTER Said: True, they have quite a way with eccentric pastiche, evincing a keen ability to build songs around preposterously inconceivable samples. But the end result is as far from the camp sensibility of, say, Fantastic Plastic Machine, as it is from death metal.

Band Said: “The thing is, at the end of the day, the end result is really quite beautiful music. We’ve always had fun, but we are really attached to what we do and we are serious about it. We’re not trying to make comedy music. You can only listen to a joke once, you know?”

PREVIOUS "10 YEARS OF FILTER" FEATURES

Issue #1 (July 2002) Getting To Know: Bright Eyes, Doves, Balligomingo, South and Breakestra
Issue #1 (July 2002) Cover Story: On the Dark Side of the Moon with Weezer
Issue #2 (September 2002) Getting To Know: Haven, Interpol, Division of Laura Lee, Jazzanova and The Cato Salsa Experience
Issue #2 (September 2002) Cover Story: Björk: Look Back In Wonder
Issue #3 (Nov/Dec 2002) Getting To Know: Clinic, Röyksopp, Thievery Corporation, Hot Hot Heat & The Pattern, Ikara Colt , The Music
Issue #3 (Nov/Dec 2002) Cover Story: Coldplay: At Home In the World
Issue #4 (February/March 2003) Getting To Know: 2 Many DJs, The Datsuns, The Microphones, Turin Brakes, Muggs, and The Coral
Issue #4 (February/March 2003) Cover Story: Art Imitating Life Imitating…THE DANDY WARHOLS
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Getting To Know: The Ravonettes, Elefant, Verbana, Longwave, Cave In, and Paloalto
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Cover Story: Blur: Surviving Soomsday, a True Story
Issue #6 (July/Aug 2003) Getting To Know: Broken Social Scene, Ambulance, AM Radio, Aceyalone, The Sounds, and TV Eyes
Issue #6 (July/Aug 2003) Cover Story: David Bowie: Bowie's Return To The Golden Years

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #6 Cover Story: David Bowie

By Staff on February 22, 2012
Cover Photo by Frank Ochenfels

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #6 Cover Story: David Bowie

2012 marks FILTER Magazine's tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002's Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November's Issue #50.

Below you will find Issue #6's cover story, in full, where we sat down with David Bowie before the release of Reality to discuss New York, portraying an artist and being portrayed, and the chaos that is life.


"Such a Perfect Day: Age, Youth, Music, Death, Charm, Grace, Godlessness, Hope and Lipstick with David Bowie" (Issue 6, July 2003)

IT WAS ALL VERY STRANGE. Great, but strange. I was sitting there in David Bowie's studio in Soho, on a little leather chair in front of these two huge studio speakers taking notes on the songs from his new album [Reality] while he was sitting behind me on a couch flipping through a magazine, glancing up every now and then to check my expression. I had a little red notepad and an old pen and I kept thinking, "Jesus, I hope I don't run out of ink." And then out of nowhere, Bowie [and Ziggy, and the Thin White Duke, etc…] jumped up [he's all smiles and nervous energy, that guy] and said with a grin, "Hope you don't mind if I read your notes…" I stuttered. He laughed and went back to the couch. I looked down at my notepad which read:

Thought 1: This song is going to get a lot of airplay.
Thought 2: He's going to make a serious comeback.
Thought 3: I love my job.

The song was called "Loneliest Guy," a theatrical piano ballad filled with sadness and longing. It ended. He jumped up again, turned to the engineer [a youngish dude with Creed hair and a pasty tech-guy-expression], and said, "All right Mario. How about we cue up 'Pablo Picasso'?" I grinned. He grinned. He knew he had something good. I was giddy. "Pablo Picasso" started, a loosely electro-synth, British-rocky cover of the Jonathan Richman song. The speakers rumbled, Bowie's voice all gritty and chopped down, "The girls would turn the color of an avocado, as he would drive down the street in his El Dorado." There was a build up as flamenco guitars washed in and out of the mix, and then it all fell away when the voice said, "Some guys try to pick up girls and get called an asshole, this did not happen to Pablo Picasso." Which was great. Because it meant at least two things. One, that David Bowie was in a good mood in life and back to making music for the sake of making music--just fucking enjoying it. Two, that we were about to have a really nice chat because it was clear that I loved the songs and [despite the fact that he is considered by many to be among the most influential musicians of the 20th century], he was a nervous, frenetic, and utterly insecure artist first. And he wanted to be told that his songs were good. And I was the guy to tell him. That was the strange part. Well, there's more.




The songs continued to play--six in all--and he continued to stand up and smile with his hands on his hips saying things like, "Oh this one's based on this author who wrote rather bad science fiction stories," and "You hear that? That's David Torn on guitar. Doesn't sound like one, eh?" He was rather short (about 5-foot-9) and bubbling with energy. A shadow of grey stubble fell over his chin while wisps of towhead blonde hair tumbled to his eyes--a striking juxtaposition of age and agelessness. I mostly sat there in the chair and wrote things, realizing that this was a very rare moment in life--a moment in which one must try with all diligence not to fuck up.

It's easy to get caught up in such things: the New York studios, the cross-country plane rides, the major-label publicists who usher you to and fro. It's more than a little overwhelming. And very easy to be intimidated. But sitting there with David Bowie, I got the sense that he felt that way about it too. And I was surprised to notice--through his comments, his gestures, his school-chummy quips--an uncanny sincerity. And it wasn't because he was relaxed. Most rock stars are relaxed in their lair. It was because he was nervous. He was trying to win me over because he could tell I was nervous too. He was, um, cool. [As in "Is James a nice guy? Yeah, he's cool."] Which is a preternaturally bizarre way for a person to be when they've sold more albums than Britney Spears and have more money than the Queen.

THERE'S NOTHING WORSE than when you play your own album, and you really hate it. It's happened in my past before. I think, 'Why am I doing this? Why am I playing this? I've got to remix everything.'" He laughed as he said this presumably because he didn't feel that way this time around. The listening session was over and we were now sitting alone in the studio on the couch nine stories above the shops, street vendors, hipsters and sidewalk construction of New York City. There was a certain swishiness to him as he brushed the hair from his forehead, with his legs tucked under his torso. It was not hard to imagine him taking on the persona of an androgynous, bisexual, rock star from outer space--as he did in 1973. Not because he was weird. He wasn't. But because he seemed one of those people who would try anything. Again, cool.




"I wrote it here in New York," he said as he stood to look out the window, his hands in the pockets of his jeans. Fire escapes and brick buildings framed his figure against the glass and the light engulfed him, "There's a certain kind of energy that you get here. I really felt the sidewalk. There's a twang when the foot hits the ground. I knew what it sounded like. And that's what I wanted to get onto the vinyl."

He sat back down on the couch and looked up brightly, "I've had a sentimental attachment to this city since I was, like, 17. It's because around that time, I'd bought the second Bob Dylan album--the one where he's walking down, I believe it's Bleecker Street. And he's got the girlfriend with him. And I thought, 'this guy is so cool looking.' [Then as an aside, to me] It's always the clothes first, right? [We both laughed.] Well, I'm English. What do you want? Then I played the album. I loved the music. And it was absolute dynamite. It was like this 60 year old guy voice in this young kid. I thought, 'This is the Beats. It's everything that's great about America in this one album.' So I was already nostalgic for Bleecker Street and all that."

I tried to ask a question about playing Andy Warhol in the film Basquiat, but he interrupted the official flow of the interview [as was his habit] rather suddenly by saying, "I can't believe I'm sitting here doing an interview with no product in my hair. [He laughed hard. Bowie knew Bowie jokes, it seemed. He's insecure and looking for approval, wanting me to take part in the joy of being around him.] I feel like a dork. [I tried to console him, telling him 'No it looks good.'] Oh, I hate my hair. I've got that hair where if I don't have half a pound of lard in it, it's just horrible."

Which led quite naturally to a short discussion of Andy Warhol. Another monumentally influential artist. One with whom Bowie was often said to have an afinity. "Like anybody else," he said, "I never knew him. I mean what was there to know? It was very very hard with Andy. To this day, I don't know if there was anything going on in his mind. Apart from the superficial things that he threw out. Whether that was hiding something deeper, I really don't know. Or whether he was just one of those canny queens who got the zeitgeist, but not cerebrally. Everything he said was like, [Intoning in a dead-on Andy Warhol queeny drawl] 'Wow, did you see who's here?' And it was never never any deeper than that level. [Again the drawl] 'Gosh, she looks great. How old is she now?' Lou [Reed] knew Andy, of course, much much better. And he always says that there was an awful lot happening in his mind. But I never saw it."

The original point of the discussion had been lost, David's flair for jumping about from idea to idea being what it is. I was trying to find out what it must be like to play the role of a person he'd known who'd become a historical figure. I was about to circle wagons and re-present the question [a socially-awkward ploy for the erstwhile journalist] when it occured to me that someone might feel the same way about playing him. He sat up, getting excited and said, "Velvet Goldmine was that. The guy in that movie was supposed to be me, apparently. I'll tell you what, [His voice dropped an octave to a tone in which one leans over to reveal something] I thought he was as charismatic as a glass of water. I thought surely I've got more zing than that. He was more Warhol than me being Warhol, that guy. He was a good-looking kid and all that and I thought, 'Whoa, thank you.' Obviously they didn't see the teeth that I had back then.

IT'S ALWAYS THE CLOTHES FIRST, RIGHT?
WELL, I'M ENGLISH. WHAT DO YOU WANT?




"The thing is, that film came from a distinctly American perspective. And glam never happened in America. It was so intrinsically a British thing. You had to understand the idea of these bricklayers and blokes like that who suddenly put on make-up. It was just funny." The strange thing about all this was that David Bowie generally resents questions about that era of his career. It was short. One incarnation of many. There was Ziggy Stardust, yes-in 1973--for a little over a year. But there was also the mod singles on Pye records in the late '60s, then the trippy singer/songwriter of "Space Oddity" (not to mention the professional mime who'd founded his own company) and the long-haired sweeping stylistic mélange of Hunky Dory in 1971. Then, after Ziggy, there was the plastic-soul obsession of Young Americans in 1975, followed by the introduction of the soul obsessed avant-garde persona of the Thin White Duke with Station to Station...the cocaine paranoia which led to a trip to Berlin and a newfound love of electronic experimentation found on the late '70s Brian Eno-produced albums Low, Heroes, and Lodger... the dance pop a la Let's Dance in 1983...and of course the actor, the record producer (for Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, among others), the front man of Tin Machine (inspired by the Pixies and Sonic Youth)...and so on and so on and so on. [And that list doesn't even include the various pursuits of the '90s].




But, all of his incarnations, Ziggy Stardust seems to be the one that just wont go away. Which isn't to say that he still hadn't a certain pride of authorship for the lipstick-soaked beast he'd unleashed upon the world, "The other thing of course is that it only lasted for 18 months. From beginning to end. The entire movement. We'd all moved on--Roxy [Music] and I moved on. Of course there were the Johnny-come-latelys the Jerry Glitters and all that. They were awful anyway. We didn't like them. We were very snobby about it. There were three of us: T.Rex, Roxy and me. That was it. That was the entire glam rock school. It wasn't even a movement."

Which brings us to the core paradox at the heart of David Bowie's career. Over 40 years and 25 albums, having been through operatic grunge and electronic music (first German electro, then dub 'n' bass), gray business suits and ladies dresses, massive live productions and an intimate tour of tiny clubs in the five boroughs of New York City--he is at once the most influenced and influential musician in rock and roll. Everybody wants to be Bowie and Bowie wants to be everybody. Which may be a statement about art and transience and channeling and the lack of authorship which is the foundation of post-modern thought--or it may simply be a statement about a guy who's really fucking into music.

I presented this paradox to him there on that couch inside his studio on the ninth floor of that building in New York. He thought for a long time, sort of looking down, scratching his head, and said, "I guess I soak up everything I listen to. I'm the hugest fan of music. I still to this day...a band like Grandaddy still excites me to go and see. [I interjected: 'I love Grandaddy.' He animated, raising his voice, sounding exactly like a geeky fan.] I haven't gottent the new album, it just came out, Sumday [I tell him I would have brought him a copy--and this is perhaps the most surreal thought in a day of surreal thoughts: that I would be bringing David Bowie a copy of an album so he could have it--like I would for anyone. And that is his appeal. He's still excited by it. He's still in the mix.] Oh man, I've been pushing them for two or three years solidly. Because I'm so tired of them not being recognized by anybody. A discovery like that--like a Grandaddy or a Pavement--there are certain bands that you think, 'Oh, that's exactly what I want to say,' Or rather, 'That's how I want to say things.' You know, you feel a kindred spirit with these people."

WE ARE COMPLELTELY AND TOTALLY AT SEA, PHILOSOPHICALLY AND I DON'T THINK WE WANT NEW THINGS.



He was really into it at this point, building momentum, "My pool of references was so diverse, that what I put out was tainted by very odd things. That sort of facility I've had has helped me to understand music. [And then, in a grand oratorical style, coming to a conclusion] I never cut anything out...[followed immediately, as an aside, under his breath with]...except country and western, of course. [He laughed because I laughed so hard. He looked at me with a smile, cracking up.] It's true, isn't it? Aw fuck. Don't you hate that fucking music? Dreadful. I cannot bear it. And I love America. I love everything about America. But that thing---I never got it. When Mick [Jagger] said, 'Oh, I love it.' I said, 'What do you see in that stuff?' It's like all these hick---[catching himself] oh, I should shut-up."

AND THAT'S WHEN THE clocks began to to melt. We'd moved on to a discussion of the end of rock and roll. The fact that rock music was now caught in this self-referential spiral in which new artists no longer merely referenced older ones, but straight-up copied them--the exact same sort of denouement suffered by jazz and classical music, two art forms far more obsessed with their pasts than their present or their future. And just then, the publicist leaned in through the door, looked at me, pointed discreetly at her watch. The time was almost up. And it occurred to me that it was all ending too soon: the interview, rock and roll, David Bowie. And so it was at that point when we were discussing it, and at this point when we are documenting it, when it is perhaps best to get out of the way, and simply let the man speak, because he says great things and there is precious little time left...

"Let's put it down to post-modernism. It's almost like the cat is really set against the pigeons. When Nietzsche said, 'There is no God.' That really disturbed the 20th century. And it fucked everything up--philisophically and spiritually--when he said that. And I think when the post-modernists in the early '60s put around the idea that nothing new will ever be devised again, it kind of fucked things up too. It's a trickle down thing. That idea has definitely become part of our thinking. [He paused here, sensing a change in theme. A crossing over.] And you know, you do start to wonder: Radiohead, as much as I love them, is it basically kind of Aphex Twin with a backbeat? You know, I mean, how new is that? And is that important anymore, I wonder. Should we not be quite so keen to think that the original is the be all and the end all? Our culture is put together...it's style, not fashion--I'm very emphatic about that--style is how we put our culture together. It's why we choose a chair. Because it looks a certain way. I mean, why bother? Why do we have a choice of chairs? We need to have that to kind of say so much about ourselves."

He was staring down at his hands, folding a piece of paper, caught up in it, "But that's what's interesting about it. I'm older and the sense of idealism was so clear-cut in the '60s. I remember when I was 16 or 17 years old. I was such an idealist about what could happen in the future and all that. I just don't know. I can't read whether younger people---and I won't say 'young people' because I would include you as 'younger people' [he looked up at me]--actually can feel that sense of idealism in the same way that I probably felt it back in the '60s. [So here was this odd little paternal moment between me and David Bowie. And it occurred to me that it could have been with just about anyone who reads Filter. I just happened to be there. He was thinking, and he kind of looked up and said] Is it harder for you guys to feel that there definitely are certain things that we should abide by?"

I answered him. It's not important what I said. Feel free to fill in your own answer here: ______________________________________________________________.

"Yeah the contradiction really fucks you all up doesn't it?" is his reply.

You could probably mail your answer to him. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. Because Jesus, the guy is a sponge for the zeitgeist--chaos theory in mathematics, the search for a unification theory in physics [to no avail], the evolution of post-modernism to post-post-modernism to a return to classicism and a search for meaning. I don't know if he reads these books or talks to these people or if he's just the sort of person that senses such things when he walks down the street--but one way or another, he knows it. He gets it. He's soaked it up.

"I think now, we don't have a God. We don't have really a trust in any kind of politics. We are completely and totally at sea, philisophically. And I don't think we want new things. I think we're kind of scrounging around among the things we know to see if we can salvage some kind of of civilization which will help us endure and survive into the future. We don't need new. [And then emphatically] We are fucked. We've got enough new. Enough! [He yelled into the ceiling. This is the moment, remember it.] I think we will feel a lot more content when we are able to accept that life is chaos. I think it was an awful thought 10 or 15 years ago. But I think we are beginning to become more comfortable with the idea that life is chaos and it's as simple as that: it is chaos. There is no structure. There is no plan. We are not evolving. We have to make the best of what we got. And if we can become happy about that, I think we ought to establish a lifestyle in which we are more content."

He paused for a second while the intellectual dust settled, then sort of perked up and blurted out with a laugh, "What did I just say?"

I began to review, but then the time was up. He said--

"It's lovely to have talked with you. I'm so sorry we don't have longer..." F

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #6 Revisited, Getting To Know Broken Social Scene and more (July/Aug 2003)

By Staff on February 14, 2012

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #6 Revisited, Getting To Know Broken Social Scene and more (July/Aug 2003)

2012 marks FILTER Magazine‘s tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002’s Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November’s Issue #50.

Getting To Know is a section in the magazine that serves as a good gauge for our predictions of greatness. In FILTER Issue #6, released May/June 2003, we introduced Broken Social Scene, Ambulance,  AM Radio, Aceyalone, The Sounds, and TV Eyes. Here is a brief look at those artists, then and now.

Stay tuned for Issue #6's complete "David Bowie: Such a Perfect Day" cover story to be posted later this week.


Getting To Know Recap

ISSUE 6: Jul/Aug 2003

Band: Broken Social Scene

Where They Were Then: A band starting to see all the hard work of their sophomore album, You Forgot it in People, paying off. Leslie Feist had also just joined their lineup.

Where They Are Now: After an incredible revolving lineup, and four critically acclaimed studio albums, Broken Social Scene has gone on an “indefinite hiatus”, but promise fans that they are not in fact breaking up.

FILTER Said: Broken Social Scene were those thrift-store clad indie kids who ditched fifth period to go home, cram themselves into a small basement and play two notes for 20 minutes. They were the punkish types with an inkling for the selfish beauty of shoe-gazing instrumentals, an appreciation of the lyric-les frontman, and one shared idea: work fucking sucks…Not since Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch has a band name been so telling.

They Said: “I don’t see us following any indie guidelines, really. I don’t have the indie rock handbook with me and I’ve never read it anyway. I know it’s wrong to turn on the television and hear your favorite song supporting toothpaste. And I know it’s wrong to go on tour with Blink 182.”


_____________


Image courtesy of LooseRecord.com

Band: Ambulance

Where They Were Then: Ambulance (LTD added to the name for legal reasons) was right in the middle of two musical accomplishments: the release of their first EP in June, and working on their first full-length album which was released in early 2004.

Where They Are Now: After their second EP, New English, in 2006, Ambulance LTD fought a legal battle with TVT records resulting in their musical hiatus since 2008.

FILTER Said: Though they’d never admit it, they seem aware of their inevitable “It-ness.” They simply want to avoid becoming too much of a New York product and thus victims of that short cultural life span. Sure, they want the acceptance, but they’d prefer the love affair be long and lasting rather than explosive and ephemeral.

They Said: “Well, OK, but nobody believes a band when they say that they just want to play good music, so why even say it, right? But that’s really what we want.”


_____________

Band: AM Radio

Where They Were Then: Starting up a new incarnation of his musical creativity, Kevin Ridel’s AM Radio brought new life to the rock music scene through their first album Radioactive, and the support of their manager, Rivers Cuomo.

Where They Are Now: While the lineup has changed and dwindled over the years, AM Radio is still active, most recently releasing the album AM Radio in December.

FILTER Said: So the wily “Neverwill” has a guitar solo and “Stole the Show” could have been a certified leather and long hair metal tune in another era. But it all works for a pop band that just wants to rock.

Band Said: “You know, I’ve gone through the ringer so many times. But I like rolling something negative into a positive. If a chick totally trashes me, writing a song about it makes me feel better.”


_____________

Band: Aceyalone

Where They Were Then: On the tipping point between underground king and new mainstream “it” rapper of 2003, Eddie Hayes—better known as Aceyalone—was about to release his fourth solo album Love & Hate.

Where They Are Now: Aceyalone has still got his hands in every aspect of hip-hop from working on his 11th studio album, to being a major part of Project Blowed.

FILTER Said: Clearly it’s time to let go of that white-knuckled grip on Aceyalone so he can finally get down to the business of rapping on the top of cop cars, like the true superstar he should be and will be.

Band Said: “You’ve got to be somewhat thought-provoking. You have to work on your craft. You might be in the recording booth, like, ‘Oh well, that’s cool.’ Or you could take the time to do it right. When you’re writing and you forget a little writer’s block, you may put it down and say, ‘Forget it.’ But it’s just a little block you gotta go around. Honing your skills applies to everybody: basketball players, chefs, architects.”


_____________

Band: The Sounds

Where They Were Then: Spearheading the post-punk dance revival, and opening for bands like The Strokes with their hit debut album Living In America which included the anthems “Dance With Me”, and “Seven Days A Week”.

Where They Are Now: Maja Ivarsson and her band of ‘80s revivalists have been spending the last year touring the US, Mexico and Canada, in support of their fourth studio album Something to Die For. They continue the trek this winter headlining a European tour for most of 2012.

FILTER Said: Let these eye and ear catching Swedes be your sonic Delorean, taking you back to a time when your 401k wasn’t in jeopardy, you didn’t have to wear a face mask when you went to Toronto and the party truly seemed never-ending.

Band Said: “We look late ‘70s, early ‘80s. I loved that time, because everything was loud and a bit over the top. Which is OK, because everything was OK in the ‘80s.”


_____________

Photo by Piper Ferguson

Band: TV Eyes

Where They Were Then: The side project/supergroup/experiment of TV Eyes was just enjoying the high demand for their 12” vinyl single of “She’s a Study”, while thinking about a forthcoming full studio debut.

Where They Are Now: After a mixed reception of their elaborate live shows in Los Angeles, TV Eyes continues to shop their debut album around to major labels. A limited CD version was available in Japan.

FILTER Said: But their forthcoming 10-song debut is more than just a retro rehash, it’s an inspired and meticulously crafted pop record made by three musicians that are far too seasoned and gifted to get dizzied by that wavy line between homage and theft.

Band Said: “TV Eyes was always meant to be kind of an one-off side project, but as it turned out, I personally can’t make a record that I don’t invest a lot into. I really wish I could, because I’d probably be a lot healthier. So, in the studio we went a little nuts…I wanted it to be original. Hopefully it is. If it’s not, then I totally fucked up [laughs].”

PREVIOUS "10 YEARS OF FILTER" FEATURES

Issue #1 (July 2002) Getting To Know: Bright Eyes, Doves, Balligomingo, South and Breakestra
Issue #1 (July 2002) Cover Story: On the Dark Side of the Moon with Weezer
Issue #2 (September 2002) Getting To Know: Haven, Interpol, Division of Laura Lee, Jazzanova and The Cato Salsa Experience
Issue #2 (September 2002) Cover Story: Björk: Look Back In Wonder
Issue #3 (Nov/Dec 2002) Getting To Know: Clinic, Röyksopp, Thievery Corporation, Hot Hot Heat & The Pattern, Ikara Colt , The Music
Issue #3 (Nov/Dec 2002) Cover Story: Coldplay: At Home In the World
Issue #4 (February/March 2003) Getting To Know: 2 Many DJs, The Datsuns, The Microphones, Turin Brakes, Muggs, and The Coral
Issue #4 (February/March 2003) Cover Story: Art Imitating Life Imitating…THE DANDY WARHOLS
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Getting To Know: The Ravonettes, Elefant, Verbana, Longwave, Cave In, and Paloalto
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Cover Story: Blur: Surviving Soomsday, a True Story

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #5 - EndNote: “Abstract Art Is Shit” by Conrad Keely

By Staff on February 10, 2012

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #5 - EndNote: “Abstract Art Is Shit” by Conrad Keely

2012 marks FILTER Magazine‘s tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002’s Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November’s Issue #50.

 In Issue #5  (released May/June 2003), FILTER began adding EndNotes to close each issue—basically a guest opinion, be it written, drawn, collaged, photographed, soliloquized, what have you. Conrad Keely, illustrator and founder of the Austin art-rock band  ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, set the tone with his brief but detailed analysis of abstract art vs. realism. [Editor’s note: Conrad later admitted to receiving “lots of shit” for this essay.] 


 



ABSTRACT ART IS SHIT 

By Conrad Keely;  Illustration by Akiko Stehrenberger


I RECENTLY VISITED two museums in Sydney, Australia: the National Gallery, which housed an impressive collection of Victorian-era masterpieces, and the Museum of Modern Art. Walking through the fourth floor of the latter, we passed by one installation piece. It was a pile of coal on the ground. This, I thought, is what modernity has reduced art to-- a pile of coal on the ground.

Modernity, it seems, has robbed art of 20,000 years of development. Some modern artists I've spoken to don't even feel it necessary to look back upon the development of art. Art, as far as they're concerned, started in the 20th century, when someone declared "anything can be art."

Anything
can be art?


Visual art is about ways of seeing. It's one of those explicit truths whose simplicity makes it easy to forget or take for granted. When studying art on a theoretical level, we are often challenged to define art and the question is turned into to philosophical one: can it be defined, and what, after all, is art? These attempts to over-intellectualize something which is fundamentally intuitive have led many to believe this is a complex, or even unanswerable question.

But the truth is that art is definable. It does, and has, served a function for thousands of years now. It is concrete, living, and in many cases, quantifiable.

During the 20th century, a conspiracy took place to viciously defame the merits of the old academic art style. Gallery owners, drive by profit and greed, chose to back abstract expressionist painters because of their far more prolific output. No longer held by bounds of pressentation, they could finish a canvas in one day, where the old masters might spend one year on a canvas, sometimes longer.

The result was "modern" art.

Within this art form, the artist's idea, or "concept" takes precedent. Most of us were probably taught in art clas that we outh to be free to "express" outselves. And as wonderfully as this might serve to turn every human being into an artist, this really isn't what art has ever been about.

In fact, it is important to remember that art as expression is a recent development- at least, the artist's personal expression. Throughout history, it served three very specific functions -- it exemplified an ideal represented an object, or narrated a story. Even the first paintings done in caves were not abstract exercises in self-indulgence, but beauiful, sometimes sublimely realistic representations.

 Photo by Victoria Stevens 

I decided to try an experiment. A friend of mine has a four-year-old daughter who is bright for her age. I asked her to give me her opinion of which paintings she preferred. First, I would hold up a piece of realism, say, Alma-Tadema's "Spring." Then, I would hold up an abstract work, say, a Pollock or a Rothka. Without fail, each time she showed disinterest or perturbation in the abstract work and tended more to remark on the "prettiness" of the realistic piece. This led me to wonder, "Were we taught how to appreciate abstract art?" If so, it would appear that its appeal is intellectual rather intuitive. Its purpose is to alienate those "not in the know," (i.e.-the uneducated) and create an artistic elitism. But art, in my mind, ought not to be an elitist thing at all, but rather serve to elevate all of humanity.

I believe the beauty of the academic artistc tradition is endangered. No longer are students taught the fundamentals of draftmanship and representation, but rather to "tap into their feelings" or even "defy the rules," without ever having been tuaght them. Especially this farce called "installation," in which the observer is meant to glean, from a haphazard collection of objects, the artist's true intent. Honestly, do we really care?

Do the unadulterated eyes of a child see abstract art for what it really is: a bunch of paint thrown randomly on a canvas? Is a four-year-old child really going to see allegory to the artist's pain, or is she simply going to see a pile of coal on the ground? F

Read more...

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #5 Cover Story: Blur

By Staff on February 8, 2012

 

10 Years of FILTER: Issue #5 Cover Story: Blur

2012 marks FILTER Magazine‘s tenth year in print. To celebrate, we are looking back at some of our favorite magazine features, from July 2002’s Issue #1 all the way up to this coming November’s Issue #50.

We don't want to depress you, but the world is ending. Well that's what Blur told us in 2003 at least. In FILTER Magazine Issue #5, we spoke with the nice fellows in Blur about, well, the end of the world. We also discussed the way they recorded Think Tank, home recordings (in 2003, it was a pretty big deal), bringing music back to the streets, and why they think they had lasted so long.


A True Story about Blur, Survival and Laughing at Doomsday (Issue 5, May/June 2003)
By Gregg Lagambina
Photography by Hamish Brown

THE ARRIVAL OF THE END OF THE WORLD is nearing and we all know it. This is not some bearded man afflicted with dementia, holding a cardboard sign, screaming out the Bible and selling pencils. This is the real deal. The world is coming to an end and we’re all going down with the flaming fireball. The funniest thing about denial is, know that you’re doing it and still getting fooled by it. Ha. Ha. Ha.

“There’s this kind of worldwide pessimism where everyone’s writing off stock markets, music, the economy, the environment, the world—everything. Everything’s going to end tomorrow. If the world were going to end tomorrow, it would have ended already. People are far more durable than they’re given credit for. The veneer or civilization is rather thin, but there’s a solid bedrock of culture underneath it that’s made of sterner stuff.”

That was David speaking. David Rowntree. He’s the drummer from Blur and this is the story of Blur today, before the dive, before the end, before we all shriek and have sex with strangers and loot. Damon is here too. Damon Albarn. He sings and plays guitar and writes a lot of Blur’s songs. They are very familiar with a sense of doom. In fact, they thrive on it.

“We’ve disappointed a lot of people that we haven’t quit after every record,” says Albarn, with a bit of the demon twinkle in his eyes. “The most consistent prediction about Blur is, ‘Now, it’s all over.’”

We’re sitting in a solitary booth in a tiny hotel somewhere in the middle of America. There’s a single candle playing with our shadows and all three of us are talking about the end of the world, the end of Blur, and how none of it really matters. Blur, you see, have a bit of a con set up with survival. They’re playing their cards underneath the tabletop and their grins are sharp enough to make the sinless tremble. They’re slouching, they’re tired and Damon’s come back from a lap in the pool to announce, “That didn’t work and I refuse to have a third wind.”

Blur have had many winds. This is a band that is perennially dismissed by their own countrymen in the press and have never felt firmly entrenched in the elite foundation of serious British pop music, if such a thing exists. They’ve been doubted (like Jesus) and slighted (like the Milwaukee Brewers) since day one.

“We were terribly bullied,” says Albarn about the recording of the band’s debut Leisure, back in 1991. “We were threatened with unspeakable things that would happen to us. Not with violence or anything like that, but saying, ‘You’re going to fail. If you don’t do it this way, you’re going to fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.’ That record would have been very different if we had been allowed to evolve normally, but we weren’t. We had a very, very strange upbringing with a very dictatorial head of a record label. From Modern Life Is Rubbish [in 1993] on, there were reasons for making records. With the first one, we didn’t have a reason. We didn’t know what our reasons for making records. With the first one, we didn’t have a reason. We didn’t know what our reasons were. We didn’t know who we were. We were very naïve and we allowed ourselves to be bullied.”

“We’ve done the best we could every time we’ve made a record,” adds Rowntree. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s all the best we could have done at the time.”

“We now know why we made those mistakes, so we don’t make them anymore,” Damon rebuts philosophically. “That’s all you can do in life, is learn from your mistakes.”

From Modern Life Is Rubbish on, Blur have had peaks of brilliance that have had them flirting with the post-Kinks throne of quirk-pop royalty for over a decade now. But all of the accolades—when they’ve been reluctantly handed over by the largely dubious and tight-lipped—seem to come a bit late. Blur is always on the next thing once the rest of us have just started tapping our feet to the last one. That’s not really saying they make revolutionary music, but that their songs are kind of like wet paint in a bedroom—you’re not too fond of the new color until it dries.

The Great Escape came out in 1995 and you were disappointed because it was a bit more “gay” than the Steve McQueen film of the same name. Then you grew up and realized you meant to call it “grandiose pure pop.” No one really liked Parklife at first, but now you can’t find a place to park your Vespa at the local bar’s “mod night” in time to catch the last strains of “Girls and Boys” rattling the lit-up Guinness Stout sign against the windowpane. How many Pavement fans derided Blur for “Song 2” before being afflicted with the kind of amnesia that made them wear ugly sweaters, forgive the band, actually like the track and secretly buy their self-titled record in 1997? Their 1999 release, 13, was dismissed early by many who took to referring to the record as a CD single, calling it “Tender + 12 bonus tracks,” until the rest of the songs started making sense during the long wait for this weird thing called Think Tank in 2003.

“We wouldn’t have had the career we’ve had, and we wouldn’t have a career now, if the music didn’t change,” says Rowntree. “We’re far too bored and have far too short attention spans to repeat ourselves and churn out the same record over and over. Even though we certainly could have translated the Parklife success or formula and kind of repeated it ad nauseam throughout the world and nobody would have thought any worse of us for doing that. That’s what’s made our success last and that’s what pisses people off about us. When it’s too hard to pigeonhole us, or write us off, or figure out what we’re going to do next—those are the three things that the media in Britain certainly thrives on and people get pissed.”

Damon raises and eyebrow, considers this and adds, “If people started really liking us, we’d probably go away. We wouldn’t feel the need to be driven in the way that we are, to be honest. We’re quite driven, actually, to come back from all of that. I mean, a lot of people would have just thrown in the towel and said, ‘Well, I’ve done my bit. I’m gonna chill out now.’ But we’ve never felt like that for one second, even now.”

“That’s because we made such a good record,” Dave says to Damon and they both nod in agreement.

Think Tank might be a sprawling mess. Following suit with the seeming Blur formula, it’s still too early to tell. The story behind it at least, reads like a mess. With the departure of longtime guitarist and songwriter Graham Coxon, Blur has been pared down to a trio. Bands, especially British ones, are hives that teem with rumor and buzz, little of it resounding with anything like truth. Depending on who you ask, Coxon was either flat-out booted, or he left because Damon’s head surpassed the size of a gorilla’s after the overwhelming success of his hip-hop influenced Gorillaz side-project. Or he didn’t get along with Fatboy Slim who was brought on by Damon unannounced as the record’s producer for a few tracks. Or he never showed up for the recording sessions. Or he just plain didn’t feel like being in Blur anymore.

“I think he’s on sabbatical,” says Damon matter-of-factly. “Which I think is a nicer way for it to be. Maybe he’ll come back again, but if he doesn’t, it doesn’t even matter, obviously. Graham made a very deliberate decision. And that’s fair, really. He doesn’t want to be a part of that life anymore and if that’s the case, we have respect for him.

“It doesn’t matter because we’ve shifted the emphasis to just the music now,” he continues after a reflective pause. “So, it doesn’t matter who’s making it. Maybe that’s something I learned in Gorillaz—that it doesn’t matter who’s doing it, if it works, it works. And we choose to work together. That’s the point, you know? We’ve got a very clear policy: if you’re not around and you miss a day in the studio, then you weren’t on that song and someone else would do it. It’s a good rule to have and we all have to abide by it.”

It’s arguable that Coxon’s departure and Albarn’s new “policies” are exactly what made Think Tank such a stylistic leap from anything the band has done previously. Blur’s music has always sounded like they’ve stretched themselves—stretched maybe even beyond their own actual abilities. And that’s what makes Think Tank such an unnerving document of a struggle, perhaps. A struggle to ditch the assumptions and conventions associated with being “Blur.”

“It’s just fucking music,” says Albarn with a calm chuckle. “Who gives a fuck what banner is under us? Either it’s worth listening to or it’s not worth listening to. What is this? An egg and spoon race? It’s music. There’s nothing competitive about it whatsoever.”

But it is competitive and there are winners and losers and when you’re in a position like Blur’s, the world must creep in and it must affect change within the music you make. It was Damon himself who just a few minutes ago proclaimed that the band probably wouldn’t even care to exist if it wasn’t for people wanting them to fail. And there will be people grabbing for the garlic and wooden stakes, calling Think Tank a spiraling experiment gone to the devil. But they’re wrong.

Think Tank comes outfitted in majestic ambition. A song like “Crazy Beat” will appease the mass that glommed onto them after the “Song 2” “woo-hoo” fascination. While “Brothers and Sisters” might drum up some recollection of Albarn’s Gorillaz, with its chanting drug-dipped stanzas (“Cocaine is for murderers… smoking makes you holy.”) Graham Coxon’s guitar work is definitely missing (it might be up to others to determine whether it’s missed), and a song like “Jets” seems to almost mock his absence with a guitar line so childish, it’ll be in your head like a lullaby for days. “On the Way to the Club” tumbles forth on the whimsy of juggled drums, deconstructing itself into ‘80s synth lines that sound plucked from the soundtrack to a cancelled Saturday morning television show. “Moroccan People’s Revolutionary Bowls Club” features the Damon Albarn proclamation: “Being English is not about hate. It’s about disgust. We’re all disgusting.” Which, incidentally, is destined to become the yearbook quotation of a hundred thousand adolescent wankers. Tracks like “Ambulance” and “Out of Time” serve to open the record with two doses of comparatively straightforward melodic beauty, not quite preparing you for the twists and turns over the course of 14 songs which will literally take you to Morocco and back before you’re ready to admit to your friends whether you actually like it or not. Think Tank is a thrilling listen. Its mess is its virtue.

“All of the vocals were sung outside,” says Albarn, addressing the reasoning behind bringing a portion of the sessions to Northern Africa, to Morocco, and perching himself atop a ratty barn, surrounded by farm animals.

IF THE WORLD WERE GOING TO END TOMORROW, IT WOULD HAVE ENDED ALREADY. PEOPLE ARE FAR MORE DURABLE THAN THEY'RE GIVEN CREDIT FOR.

“It was nice. When it’s nice weather, it’s nice to be outside. I think the big studios are a con. They charge people to make less exciting records. That doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, recording as it is now, you don’t need studios. You can do it on whatever you want, whenever you want. That’s a great liberation that computers and technology have given us. It basically means that it’s just going back to where it comes from, which is music on the streets and in the houses.”

The idea of bringing music back to where it comes from—back to streets and people and lives being lived—leads to a question for Damon that involves his relevance, his ability to reach into the sphere of strangers and to affect change in the world. Whether it’s a T-shirt, or a message, or a T-shirt with a message, what Damon Albarn does and says is armed with impact. Some people will wear what he wears and will probably think what he thinks. During a time when both his country and ours is enmeshed in conflicts aimed to eradicate evil in the world, what do you do with that box beneath your feet that puts you above the crowd and wrests its attention to yourself, even briefly?

“Clothing?” smiles Damon. “It’s just sort of a T-shirt and jeans, which are not hard to find [laughs]. Well, I have said a lot [about the war in Iraq], but I only feel comfortable saying those things in my own country. I feel, as a foreigner who has strong connections with America now, especially after Gorillaz, it’s not appropriate. Do you know what I mean? It’s very clear where I stand, but it’s not for me to openly criticize somebody else’s affairs. You should be respectful of other people’s cultures and not try to invade in any way.

“It’s a very different kind of significance,” he says about whether his music has a heightened sense of purpose during times of unease. “[Music can change things] but only in the way like when the sun comes up. It’s like weather, really. I don’t know. I just find people infinitely more receptive to what we’re doing at the moment, than they ever have been before.”

Damon says Think Tank is a record of “political love songs.” “[Unease] forces people to value what they’ve got. And that, hopefully, will pay dividends and help change the world to a better place. Hopefully. Touch wood.” And he knocks on the table.

“Sometimes you have to live through trauma, you know? Deal with it.” David Rowntree has effectively settled the matter for all of us in the booth and put a damper on my doom.

This puts me back to this feeling that Blur is on to something. As a band, it really does seem like they never should have lasted this long. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but they’ve been dealt some hand that the rest of us lost in the deck. It’s assurance and ease of purpose and maybe the notion that risk is not really risk, it’s just living. Think Tank is a risk and a lot of people are going to hate it for just that—it’s not easy listening.

There’s that bumper sticker that some dick has on his pick-up and it reads, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Decal wisdom be damned, but in Blur’s case, it’s the obvious adage to drift to. Here’s this world we’ve been handed and it would be an easy out to dance like a wicked banshee in the face of pollution, traffic, garbage, billboards, wars…Jesus, I’m not about to list every thing that can make a globe ache. But to take it all like a blister on your palm that makes the next burn sting a little less, to endure and choke cynicism at the source—these are things that ought to be done and there are lots of things to do. Sitting in a booth in the middle of America with a British band that’s endured and to have a bit of doom taken away like a dirty napkin by a waitress—it makes you want to shave your beard, give away your pencils and recycle your cardboard sign. There’s no use running for your life if the end is already near.

“This is a very privileged job and lifestyle,” Rowntree muses. “And if you can’t be happy doing that, then why bother doing it? Being in a band isn’t that bad. It’s very hard to complain about.” F


PREVIOUS "10 YEARS OF FILTER" FEATURES
Issue #1 (July 2002) Getting To Know: Bright Eyes, Doves, Balligomingo, South and Breakestra
Issue #1 (July 2002) Cover Story: On the Dark Side of the Moon with Weezer
Issue #2 (September 2002) Getting To Know: Haven, Interpol, Division of Laura Lee, Jazzanova and The Cato Salsa Experience
Issue #2 (September 2002) Cover Story: Looking Back in Wonder: Björk Takes a Pause
Issue #3 (November/December 2002) Getting To Know: Röyksopp, Thievery Corporation, Clinic, Hot Hot Heat + The Pattern, Ikara Colt and The Music
Issue #3 (November/December 2002) Cover Story: Coldplay: At Home in the World
Issue #4 (February 2003) Getting To Know: 2 Many DJs, The Coral, Datsuns, Turin Brakes, Microphonse and Muggs
Issue #4 (February 2003) Cover Story: Art Imitating Life Imitating… THE DANDY WARHOLS
Issue #5 (May/June 2003) Revisited, Getting To Know The Raveonettes, Elefant, Longwave, Verbana, Cave In and Paloalto

This article is from FILTER Issue 5

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