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by Jane Jansen Seymour

15 Nov 2011

A few days into a national tour supporting a new release, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 sat down in a room full of press and public at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina. He had just arrived in town for a stop at Moogfest, the annual music festival in late October honoring synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog. Just weeks after his sixth album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, dropped, Gonzalez was game to discuss how he approaches creating music in a charming French accent while flashing an impish grin. With a band named after a spiral galaxy (Messier 83) and a love of all things electronic, Gonzalez felt right at home. He was also looking forward to seeing James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (who was playing a dj set with Pat Mahoney as ‘Special Disco Version’) and seeing fellow tour band Active Child on a larger stage.

“It’s fantastic to be here with a ton of synthesizers all over the place—it’s like a museum and I’m super excited to play,” Gonzalez said. “We started the tour four days ago so it’s kind of a work in progress, but I’m super amped to be back on tour and connect with my fans”.

by George Russell

31 Oct 2011

Death Cab for Cutie in Los Angeles

There is a magical spot in Los Angeles that no amount of Internet searching will reveal. Far above the city, in the mountains that on a clear day, humble LA, near one of the spots where Physicist Albert Michelson calculated the speed of light in 1926, stands an unassuming grove of pine trees. Out of that grove of pine trees juts one of the largest communication antenna arrays in the world, some of the delicate steel towers stretching their masts nearly 1,000 feet into the air.

On winter nights when the mountain air becomes dense with moisture, closing off the view to the Los Angeles basin that they sit above, the towers will begin to emit a strange music. The hum and crackle of the electricity that it takes to run such massive transmitters becomes audible, and when the air becomes just heavy enough, right at the point when it might start to condense a rain drop or two on passersby, a strange and wondrous phenomenon begins to reveal itself like an electronic Salome.

by Sachyn Mital

14 Oct 2011

The three day long New Yorker Festival hosted conversations with some renowned authors (Malcolm Gladwell), seasoned politicians (Nancy Pelosi), esteemed actors (a reunion and big announcement from the cast of Arrested Development, comedians (Zach Galifiankis) and engaging musicians (Mavis Staples). The connections between the moderators and the panelists were frequently professional and collegial, but one event was arranged simply because the moderator was a fan.

Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer for The New Yorker, earned enough clout to select whoever he wanted, so he picked the Brooklyn-based band The National to converse with. Apparently, their music plays in the background during his surgeries. “Psyched” and “giddy” to see the band, Gawande overlooked one small but important part of hosting an event: introducing the band members to the audience. Unfamiliar with each member, I wasted some time trying to figure out who was who. Other than lead singer Matt Beringer seated in the middle, the other four band members are two pairs of brothers - a fact that would have been worth sharing.

by Sachyn Mital

13 Oct 2011

Arriving at the venue for The New Yorker Festival’s event with Owen Wilson and moderator Michael Specter, the first thing I noticed was the three chairs on stage, a signifier of a potential guest. My guess was either a Wilson brother or Wes Anderson, the director and co-writer with Wilson on some films including their first, Bottle Rocket, and their most recent, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. When Specter came out with both Wilson and Anderson in tow he joked he wasn’t even going to introduce the director but many in the audience played along. He later said Anderson was there to assist in the conversation with Wilson—which would have been great.

Specter acknowledged that he was not prepared for Anderson’s presence when he was finding clips of Wilson for viewing. Yet, Specter’s posture and questioning for the next hour distinctly leaned towards Anderson. The clips, some from Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited and Fox all included Wilson, but the attention was given to Anderson more. Did we really need to know that there are people on the internet who are recreating the “whack-bat” game?

by Jennifer Brown

6 Jul 2011

July is a big month for the guys from Future Islands. They just finished a US tour, they released a single for their upcoming album, and they’re currently embarking on their third European tour. The band made a stop in Dresden Friday night. It was the band’s second time playing at Beatpol; their last show was this past fall.

Before a packed crowd and without an ounce of jetlag, Future Islands played a handful of new and old songs, including some unreleased material that will be on their next album due out this fall.

The young German pop band In Golden Tears opened the show. When I went backstage to catch up with Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring, I saw him exchanging stories with the German band, their minds not yet tainted by the overwhelming industry. From watching Herring interact with the emerging band, I immediately noticed how much of a storyteller Herring is. The singer uses the same kind of enthusiasm and magnetic interest during his on-stage performances.

//Mixed media

Supernatural: Season 12, Episode 2 - "Mamma Mia"

// Channel Surfing

"A can't-miss episode completes the start of the new season.

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