The Beatific Conundrums of Mishka Shubaly

  Since spotting him over twenty-five years ago, sitting on a bench in an oversized G ‘n’ R shirt, long curly hair tendrlling down over his acoustic guitar, I’ve treated Mishka Shubaly, despite him being only marginally younger, like a little brother, minus all the protect a support parts. For reasons best explained to a theoretical therapist that I really should get around to seeing one of these days, I’ve mocked Mishka, fought with him, whined when he chastised me […]

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Hether Fortune on Poetry, Shoegaze, and the Return of Wax Idols

The music made by Wax Idols is equally visceral and melodic, and can shift from one to the other at a moment’s notice. Their new album, Happy Ending, is due out on May 16th, and they’ll be venturing out on tour later this year. For the group’s founder, Hether Fortune, that’s one of several things keeping her busy: she released her first collection of poetry earlier this year, and has also been making forays into visual art. I spoke with […]

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“Math Became An Obsession”: Christina Vantzou on the Making of “No. 4”

Christina Vantzou‘s solo work ventures into stunning, complex ambient passages. Her latest album, No. 4, is perhaps her most musically varied work yet, summoning up an array of haunting emotions while instilling a sense of bliss through the density and melodic qualities heard throughout. In advance of her show in Brooklyn on April 7th as part of the Ambient Church series, I talked with her about the making of the album and some of the literary influences on her music.

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Turning Language and Memory Into Music: An Interview With Wayne Robert Thomas

Yesterday, we spoke with Kyle Bobby Dunn about his forthcoming split LP with the Indianapolis-based musician Wayne Robert Thomas. Today, it’s Thomas’s turn to talk about the split and his composition “Voyevoda,” which magnificently and melancholically sprawls over the course of its 20-minute running time. Come for the epic ambient music; stay for the Cormac McCarthy reference.

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Ambience and Nostalgia: An Interview With Kyle Bobby Dunn

Over the last decade, the music of Kyle Bobby Dunn has found the perfect balance between immersive ambience and deeply felt emotion, resonating with questions of nostalgia, melancholy, and transcendence. Dunn’s latest release is a split LP with Wayne Robert Thomas, in which each of the two musicians contributes one long composition. Their split LP will be released in early May. With its release looming, I talked with Dunn about the split’s origins, his own composition process, and how the […]

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Unwrapping Holiday Music With Dude York

Earlier this year, the Seattle power-pop band Dude York released their latest album, Sincerely. It was an ebullient, noisy, infectiously catchy work; it hit the appropriate notes for its time-honored genre while finding a few unexpected wrinkles along the way. Their followup was a similarly left-field move: an EP called Halftime for the Holidays, which consists of–as you might guess–holiday-themed songs. We talked with singer/guitarist Peter Richards about the conception of the album, seasonal traditions, and more.

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“The Music Is The Biography”: Jenn Pelly on Writing About The Raincoats

I’ve enjoyed Jenn Pelly‘s writing about music and pop culture for a while now; when the announcement was first made a few years ago, I was very excited to hear that she’d be writing about The Raincoats as part of the 33 1/3 series. This fall, Pelly’s book on The Raincoats was published, and it was everything I’d hoped for: a solid history of the band’s early days, an insightful look into the band’s creative process, and a book that […]

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Stunning Sounds From Out of Time in Downtown Brooklyn

First, let’s talk about the physical space. I’d been in the space that was formerly the Brooklyn Paramount once before, several years ago, to watch some roller derby on a winter’s night.What had previously been a 4,500-seat theater has, for the last few decades, been converted into the basketball court for Long Island University–meaning that gorgeous architectural features coexist with mechanically-operated bleachers and a hanging scoreboard.

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