Bennett Kogon

Interview

VAGABON: IT’S HARD, BUT SHARE IT

May 3rd, 2018

The music industry needs more people like Laetitia Tamko. After moving from Cameroon to New York City when she was just a teenager, she left behind her engineering diploma and her full-time job to explore a completely different path and to create something genuine on her own terms. At twenty-five, she built on the encouragement she’d received from the city’s DIY community and began performing as Vagabon in 2014. Her recent debut Infinite Worlds was one of the most heartfelt releases of last year, and speaking with her was a breath of fresh air during an otherwise painful and soul-searching time in music history. Vagabon performs at the Bootleg Theater on Wed., May 9. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

JAPANESE BREAKFAST: THIS THING THAT I LOVE

April 11th, 2018

Formerly the frontwoman of Philadelphia emo band Little Big League, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner began her solo career as an experiment in songwriting and self-expression. Her first record Psychopomp was a response to losing her mother to cancer—an album where making music was a method of healing. Critics responded with great enthusiasm, which helped land Zauner a deal with Dead Oceans, and her 2017 follow-up Soft Sounds from Another Planet is in the running for one of the best indie rock records of last year. She's got a series of sold-out performances soon, with Coachella this weekend as well as the Roxy next week and the Glass House in June. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

MOANING: SO MANY ABS

March 9th, 2018

Moaning might look familiar to you. Over the past ten years, musicians Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie have been active members of the local music and arts community built around DIY venues like the Smell and Pehrspace. Playing in such illustrious local bands as Moses Campbell, Heller Keller, and Shit Giver, the three eventually (re)combined their years of experience in the Los Angeles scene by forming the post-punk project Moaning. Demonstrating yet again that great art can indeed rise from the underground, Moaning’s self-titled debut was released last week on the legendary Sub Pop Records. Portions of this interview originally aired on KXLU. Moaning’s record release show is Fri., Mar. 9, at the Echo with Froth and Numb.Er. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

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.

Album reviews

TY SEGALL: FREEDOM’S GOBLIN

January 26th, 2018

On Freedom's Goblin, the latest product from the Ty Segall song factory, he again reinvents himself with one of his wildest and most ambitious releases to date.