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by Christian John Wikane

20 Oct 2011

All Images by
Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

North Hollywood is nestled in the San Fernando Valley. According to a 2008 profile in the Los Angeles Times, it has among the highest population densities in the entire county of Los Angeles, nearly 13,300 people per square mile. About 2,900 veterans reside in North Hollywood and approximately 3,300 families are headed by single parents. The median household income measures $42,791. Of course, that figure was collected during the middle of an 18-month recession.

“North Hollywood” is also the title of the opening track on What Were You Hoping For?, Van Hunt’s first release of new material on his own “godless hotspot” imprint via Nashville-based Thirty Tigers. “I would say North Hollywood is a combination of maybe East Village (NYC), Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco), and any other little L.A. city like Studio City or West Hollywood”, says Hunt. “There’s a NoNoHo in North Hollywood and that is definitely a rougher part, if you will, a poorer part of the area.”

by Sally Fink

5 Oct 2011

Whatever you do, do not call them modern. Joshua Third (or Joshua von Grimm as he used to call himself) is clear that the Horrors are anything but. “I don’t like the word modern. We’re futuristic. That’s where our focus is; on the future.”

The British post-punk band recently released their third album, ambitiously entitled Skying, resonant of reaching new heights, and—in the case of the Horrors—new sounds as well.

Skying is that feeling of being elevated; like you’re constantly moving upwards”, says Third.

Skying is experimental by nature, with plenty of melodies and synthesised beats to cement its place as essential indie listening. It’s a far cry from the band’s black-as-tar goth-punk days.

by Erin Lyndal Martin

4 Oct 2011

Photo: Michael Wilson

They’ve gotten thousands of letters, like one from a fan who’d listened to their music during cancer surgery. Their songwriter-multi-instrumentalist was almost a missionary. They’ve released a plethora of albums while retaining contact with their fans. And now they’ve made another superb record—that was financed by said fans.

Over the Rhine’s (comprised of husband-and-wife team Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist) latest release, The Long Surrender, is a departure for the band in many ways, but it fortunately keeps their poetic spirit alive and thriving.  Funded by fans, produced by Joe Henry (who also helped out with the songwriting), and featuring Lucinda Williams on guest vocals, The Long Surrender was recorded in just five days and features many songs that are first takes.

by Jennifer Brown

3 Oct 2011

The American four-part “spoken-word” act Enablers toured through Dresden last night. Marking the group’s second stop on a 42-show European tour, the Dresden show followed a concert in Leipzig and a five-day rehearsal in Berlin (the band members are sprinkled throughout the US and don’t have too much time to practice together regularly). The band’s performance was titillating and thought-provoking, building off of strong instrumentation and beautiful cadence and flow within Pete Simonelli’s vocals. I hung out with the guys before the show and talked about all-things music.

You guys are known as a pretty under-the-radar “cool” band in Germany. Fans of yours seem to be pretty loyal, from what I gather. Do you sense this loyalty when you tour through Europe?

Yes, definitely. A lot of our fans become our friends. We do all of our own booking—Kevin does all of the booking—so we manage to meet people that way. The Internet also makes it so much easier.

by Stephen Humphries

28 Sep 2011

Steven Wilson is music’s answer to Chuck Yeager: He’s continually striving to break sound barriers.

On his second solo album, Grace for Drowning (released September 27 on K-Scope), the frontman of the rock band Porcupine Tree has forged an unusual sonic alchemy of progressive rock, textural electronica, piano-pop balladry, soundtrack-like soundscapes, doom rock . . . and jazz.

When a rock musician admits to a new jazz direction, you’d be forgiven for conjuring up images of a cheesy confection akin to Spinal Tap’s Jazz Odyssey. But Wilson had a specific template in mind: King Crimson’s pioneering 1970 album Lizard.

Lizard is basically Robert Fripp’s solo album”, explains Wilson, who recently remastered the King Crimson back catalog in 5.1 surround sound. “King Crimson had broken up. It was just him. What did he do? He didn’t get in a load of rock musicians, he got in a load of jazz musicians. That’s really the approach I took with this record.”

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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