It’s been a prolific year for Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand. Following last summer’s successful debut Ganglion Reef and their spring 2015 ... More
Album “1000 Days”
It’s been a prolific year for Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand. Following last summer’s successful debut Ganglion Reef and their spring 2015 release Golum, Wand is ready to close out this summer with their newest, 1000 Days. The band describes themselves as “an obese organ falsely organized as 4 overjoyous nerds,” and has a friend in Ty Segall, who they toured with last Fall. Wand recorded 1000 Days between LA and San Francisco, and the album is just as imaginative and alert as ever, with signature hi-fi texture and leisurely sing-song melodies.
via Drag City
›› Buy Album
German photographer Chris von Wangenheim entered New York’s 1960s fashion scene with a unique penchant for shock value and an eye for ... More
Book by Mauricio & Roger Padilha
German photographer Chris von Wangenheim entered New York’s 1960s fashion scene with a unique penchant for shock value and an eye for excess and glamour that spread through his work well into the ’80s. Wangenheim’s photographs were iconic, dark and dangerous, symbolizing the sexual revolution and the underworld of punk and porn and drugs. His editorial work was featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Esquire, Playboy and Interview, and he shot campaigns for Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and Valentino. Gloss is his first monograph, containing over two hundred provocative and iconic Wangenheim images. Never-before-seen outtakes include supermodels Christie Brinkley, Lisa Taylor and, of course, Gia Carangi.
›› Buy Book
A quarter-century ago, Jersey rock band Yo La Tengo released their debut album Fakebook, which featured acoustic covers of Cat Stevens, The ... More
Album “Stuff Like That There”
A quarter-century ago, Jersey rock band Yo La Tengo released their debut album Fakebook, which featured acoustic covers of Cat Stevens, The Kinks, etc. alongside a few of the fledgeling group’s original songs. In the wake of Fakebook’s silver jubilee, the band reunited with former member Dave Schramm to record Stuff Like That There, a new LP that covers the likes of The Cure and Hank Williams as well as Yo La Tengo’s own classics, and includes a few new tracks. “Rare is the band that can cover themselves. Rarer is the band that would even think of it, and rarer still is a band that would return to the conception and re-imagine its first breakthrough record,” remarks Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. The vibe is ’50s cafe meets Pacific island bar shack—“I Can Feel The Ice Melting” (Parliaments) and “Somebody’s In Love” (Sun Ra)—as classic doo-wop meets breezy chord progressions.
via Matador Records
›› Buy Album
Sea Change is a photo documentary about young Europeans in the aftermath of 2007’s global financial meltdown. In the spirit of the ... More
A Documentary Photobook
Sea Change is a photo documentary about young Europeans in the aftermath of 2007’s global financial meltdown. In the spirit of the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words,” Project Sea Change enlisted some of today’s newly renowned photographers including Bénédicte Kurzen, Robin Maddock, Jocelyn Bain Hogg and Yannis Kontos to tell the story of European youth culture and their fears for the future. Will I get a job, buy a home and be able to support a family? Who will provide for me if I lose my job or health? What will happen to me when I’m elderly? Inspiration came from Great-Depression era photographers—most notably Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange—who were hired by the Roosevelt Administration’s FSA program to capture America in the wake of the Dust Bowl, documenting the crisis and culture of the era. Sea Change collects the best of their photographs so far and includes a foreword by Harald Birkevold, journalistic director of Project Sea Change. The book accompanies the ongoing exhibition as it travels worldwide and spurs the global conversation about Europe’s future.
›› Buy Book
Hollywood’s favorite unlikely badass Jesse Eisenberg steals the show in American Ultra as Mike, a stoner gas station clerk and unwitting government ... More
Film by Nima Nourizadeh
Hollywood’s favorite unlikely badass Jesse Eisenberg steals the show in American Ultra as Mike, a stoner gas station clerk and unwitting government agent whose life is overturned when the government tries to exterminate him for liability reasons. The action-comedy, directed by Nima Nourizadeh (Project X), premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is reminiscent of TV-series Chuck (2007-2012), in which a less stoned but equally involuntarily normal dude discovers that he too has secret agent prowess. Kristen Stewart plays Mike’s girlfriend Phoebe, who is along for the bloody, boisterous ride. The rest of the star-studded cast includes Connie Britton, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and Tony Hale.
Film duo Sheena M. Joyce and Don Argott (The Last Days Here, The Atomic States of America) have teamed up once again ... More
Film by Sheena M. Joyce and Don Argott
Film duo Sheena M. Joyce and Don Argott (The Last Days Here, The Atomic States of America) have teamed up once again to direct Slow Learners, a romantic comedy about two coworkers in search of love and reckless fun. The film, acquired by Sundance Selects following its success at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, stars Adam Pally (The Mindy Project) and Sarah Burns (I Love You, Man) as the socially inept pair Jeff and Anne. Together they ditch their routine, gun-shy personas in favor of newfound alter-egos. Following an arc of frustration, plotting and revelry to an ultimate watershed about who-matters-most, Slow Learners is an easy summer watch that also co-stars the lovable faces of Reid Scott, Bobby Moynihan and Kate Flannery.
Formed in Seattle as a four-piece female band, La Luz has an established quintessential surf rock brand. To record their sophomore album, ... More
Album Weirdo Shrine
Formed in Seattle as a four-piece female band, La Luz has an established quintessential surf rock brand. To record their sophomore album, Weirdo Shrine, La Luz retreated to a surf shop in San Dimas, California with producer and San Francisco garage rocker Ty Segall. Courtesy of Segall’s signature fuzz, the album is a lo-fi followup to their successful debut LP, It’s Alive. La Luz turned to poet Richard Brautigan for inspiration while writing the lyrics for Weirdo Shrine, alluding to his poems “Oranges” and “A Boat.” The result is ethereal four-part harmonies and guitarist Shana Cleveland’s fuzzy guitar solos imbedded in vibrant noir surf rock.
via Hardly Art
›› Buy Album
A trippy hologram of Marlon Brando’s talking head narrates Listen to Me Marlon, the feature-film teaser for a ten-movie Brando tribute by ... More
Film by Stevan Riley
A trippy hologram of Marlon Brando’s talking head narrates Listen to Me Marlon, the feature-film teaser for a ten-movie Brando tribute by Film Forum scheduled this August. Curated from hundreds of hours of Brando’s audio recordings and directed by Stevan Riley (Fire in Babylon, Blue Blood), the documentary spans Brando’s prolific career as the star of exceptional films—most notably On the Waterfront, Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. It also integrates more personal notes including his daughter’s suicide. While comprehensive, Listen to Me Marlon is moreover insular, featuring no interviews or voices besides Brando’s. In this, the film accentuates the essential humanness beneath his legend, cast within the finite perspective of a man, his tape recorder and his thoughts.
The End of the Tour begins in medias res as David Foster Wallace publishes his radically contemporary 1996 novel, Infinite Jest, one ... More
Film by James Ponsoldt
Interview by Clare Shearer
“I just read the script and it was so moving!
Such a tonal tightrope walk.
—James PonsoldtAnd I was like, oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.” — James Ponsoldt
The End of the Tour begins in medias res as David Foster Wallace publishes his radically contemporary 1996 novel, Infinite Jest, one of the greatest in literary memory. David Lipsky, then a journalist at Rolling Stone, lobbied to cover the end of Wallace’s book tour. The resulting article never ran, but Wallace only continued to gain a cult-like following and, eventually, a tragic mythos after his 2008 suicide. Like many, Lipsky felt the loss of a great mind deeply. Adapted from Lipsky’s 2010 memoir, which revisited the tapes of that interview and his former self, the film takes a deeply humanistic approach to their rapport over five days of driving and flying and talking over junk food and cigarettes.
With Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky, the film is based in rambling conversations, revealing Wallace as a sustained dichotomy of genius and normal guy-hood. Only 34, he feared what his newfound fame might mean for his writing. Lipsky was 30 and—though also an acclaimed young writer at the time—confronted by self-doubt and the growing realization that Wallace, who had everything he wanted, still wasn’t fulfilled.
Known for his staunch criticism of modern American culture and the corporatized distraction of mass media, Wallace is a man who (we can assume, and his surviving relatives assert) would not like to see a movie made of himself. An early devotee of Wallace, director James Ponsoldt (known for The Spectacular Now) is well aware of the weight of expectation this film must—and has—taken on.
“Infinite Jest came out in 96 and I started college in Fall of 97,” Ponsoldt tells me. “I was an English major and everyone was reading that book, or had a copy of the book and said they were reading it. It was not ‘the best book of this spring,’ it was this crazy huge thing that you had to contend with, and was probably the most substantive relationship I had that year.”
He read everything Wallace had ever written, and Wallace’s voice became a touchstone for how to filter the world. When there was a conversation or a fight or a question, Ponsoldt would ask himself, What would Wallace have to say about this? “He was this person who wasn’t literally in the room, but you felt was around… I felt like he understood something about what it was to be alive at that time that most other writers didn’t, and spoke to the psychological and emotional experience of that, and being a complicated, damaged human.” Hundreds of thousands of fellow readers felt the same.
“I felt like [Wallace] understood
something about what it was to be alive
at that time that most other writers
didn’t, and spoke to the psychological
and emotional experience of that,
and being a complicated, damaged human.”
— James Ponsoldt
So when he was sent the script by his former Yale professor (and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright) Donald Margulies, Ponsoldt had to ask himself, “Is this a losing proposition?” It’s not an unfair question, as it’s a tenuous and almost insurmountable task to portray a very private, very admired writer when he had previously existed in the world of the mind, on paper, without intermediary. “I just read the script, though,” Ponsoldt says, “and it was so moving! So pitch-perfect. Such a tonal tightrope walk. And I was like, oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.”
This tightrope walk is Wallace’s almost monolithic legend, but as Ponsoldt reiterates, “The movie’s not a biopic, it was a very subjective story about Lipsky’s time with Wallace… Lipsky was super tough on himself, so in the movie we tried to be equally tough and honest. Lipsky is our point of entry into this story. He’s like a surrogate for the audience, sometimes in his jealousy, maybe in his pettiness, and all these things that are very very human. That’s what I relate to. I’ve been that guy far more than I’ve been a genius who can write a thousand page novel.”
“This is a movie about two guys who wrote books and were discussing ideas. And hopefully there’s a universal story about getting to spend time with someone you thought about a lot from a distance, someone you’ve idealized or romanticized or have deeply jealous feelings towards. Who you measure yourself against. It’s much more about yourself always. It’s having so much burden of expectation and realizing, man, people are fucked up and complicated and it’s really, really hard.”
What Ponsoldt and co. have achieved is exactly that sentiment. The film is fiercely dedicated to getting the story right—both philosophical and entertaining, as painful as it is darkly funny—and speaks to something larger than itself. And, by the way, Jason Segel makes an unprecedented turn to the dramatic without losing the warm-hearted effortlessness that has defined his career. For those who have never heard of Wallace or Lipsky or any of this, Ponsoldt says it best, “If this movie was only for the fans of Wallace, we should just rent out a theater at the Arclight. We’ll knock it off in a single weekend. The fans are there, I’m one of them.”