Interviews

Interview

SHANNON LAY: I’M WAILING FOR EVERYBODY!

March 1st, 2018

Living Water isn’t the first solo album by Feels guitarist Shannon Lay, but it feels like it—it’s an album and an announcement at once by a musician who’s discovered new clarity of sound and purpose. There’s something in Water that recalls the spirit of proud but lonesome private-press folk albums that stole a few days of deluxe studio time, or of writers like Terry Allen and John Prine whose best songs were lit from within by a stubborn sense of hope. (See also: classic Lisa Simpson, back when she believed in things.) She’s still a shredder and a half when she goes electric, but on Water, Lay switches to another kind of electricity—like lightning and thunder at night, hers is a sound that comes right out of the sky. She performs on Fri., Mar. 2, at the Natural History Museum. This interview by Chris Ziegler.

Interview

G PERICO: I DON’T GOT TIME TO WASTE

February 20th, 2018

Young rapper G Perico—popularly characterized as The Hero of Broadway—represents a resurgence that’s been quietly creeping into the scene over the last 5 years. A reserved and deliberate figure, G has quietly spent three years building a place for himself amongst the ranks of the New West. His work ethic is unmatched—three releases on his own label So Way Out dropped this year alone, including his new 2 Tha Left. And while his look and intonations recall past classics, his lyrics and delivery are very much rooted in the present. G Perico performs on Fri., Feb. 23, at the Roxy. This interview by Senay Kenfe.

Interview

PHOEBE BRIDGERS: THE DAMAGE IS DONE

January 30th, 2018

Everyone knew Phoebe Bridgers was headed for big things. Well before she released her debut album, the L.A. folk singer was touring with Julien Baker and recording with Conor Oberst and releasing a 7” through Ryan Adams’ label—all because this 23-year-old is one of the brightest young songwriting lights to come out of Los Angeles in recent memory. Even with all that buildup, however, Bridgers’ debut, Stranger in the Alps, is a revelation. It’s mostly sad folk songs, dressed up with pop and electronic touches, pop-culture references and the occasional flash of Bridgers’ wry sense of humor. (That sense of humor surfaces far more often in 30 minutes of conversation than in 30 minutes of her music.) After a whirlwind fall (including a Twitter shout-out from John Mayer), Bridgers will perform this Friday at the Natural History Museum with John Doe and Exene. This interview by Ben Salmon.

Interview

JOHN MAUS: AT THE EDGE OF FOREVER

January 26th, 2018

It had been over six years since we last heard from John Maus. Following the release of 2011’s magnum opus We Must Become Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, the Minnesota-born musician and previous Haunted Graffiti collaborator quickly disappeared from the public eye. Many believed that he was somewhere in Hawaii, where it was rumored Maus was teaching philosophy and pursuing his PhD. Others predicted this mythical creature had returned to whatever planet—or cavern—he’d come from, hopefully to create more wonderfully powerful synth-pop. In the meanwhile, devotion to his experimental majesty magnified in his absence as eager followers waited for his eventual reemergence. In October, Ribbon Music released Screen Memories, the latest effort by the wizard himself. At last, John Maus has returned. He will perform on Tue., Jan. 30, at the Teragram Ballroom. This interview originally aired on KXLU. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

FLAT WORMS: SOLVING THE PUZZLE

January 11th, 2018

Flat Worms—Will Ivy, Justin Sullivan, Tim Hellman—are a substantial force to counteract the dark leaden days we now confront. With the roar of an avalanche, the crushing power of a tidal wave, the sharp glacial crack at the edge of a continental shelf, this trio invokes a colossal sound on their Castle Face debut. It’s a call to arms, an embrace of the kind of conflict that produces change within and without. If punk was ever dead, Flat Worms have revived it. The need for art and music today is greater than ever, and the blueprint is in the form of this here band: Flat Worms. They perform on Fri., Jan. 12, with Sextile and Warm Drag at the Hi Hat. This interview by Nathan Martel.

Interview

SUSAN: IT NEVER GETS LOST

December 7th, 2017

The world is a difficult and alienating place, but when you find people who can understand and commiserate when the walls—or the practice-space ceiling—come crashing down, it somehow makes everything more bearable. L.A. trio Susan is Jessica Owen (guitar, vocals), Beth Borwell (bass, backing vocals) and Katie Fern (drums, backing vocals) and together they’re a testament to how creativity, compassion and friendship help manage the unpredictability of life. With music split between depicting promise and disappointment, Susan has found a way to communicate the struggle and hope in being a human being in the world today. Susan's new "TV Girls" EP is out on Volar on Fri., Dec. 8, and they perform with Dimber, Peach Kelli Pop and more at a record release show on Fri., Dec. 8, as well. This interview by Nathan Martel.