Open Mike Eagle Is a Warrior

Mike Eagle recently travelled to Louisville, Kentucky, on two days notice. He had agreed to fight an antagonistic wrestler named Shiloh Jonze, who’d spent weeks prodding at Eagle in hammed-up YouTube freestyles and cringeworthy call-out tweets. Eagle is a committed wrestling fan with a podcast to prove it, but until he stepped into the ring in theContinue reading “Open Mike Eagle Is a Warrior”

The Untold Story of ‘The Sims,’ Your First Favorite Jazz Record

The songs that soundtracked the game’s Build Mode introduced millions of unknowing kids to new age jazz. The musicians behind it were just trying to make something that wouldn’t interfere with your landscaping. In a home studio in a garage in a suburb east of San Francisco, some time in 1999, Jerry Martin set aboutContinue reading “The Untold Story of ‘The Sims,’ Your First Favorite Jazz Record”

The Darkness Want to Be Rockstars Again

It’s 9 AM on a bright, frigid October morning in Greenwich, South East London, and a Thames Clipper river bus is floating gently down the water, past St John’s Wharf, carrying a few dozen bemused commuters to Waterloo. At the front of the boat, with the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf glistening in the background, TheContinue reading “The Darkness Want to Be Rockstars Again”

The Story of Steven Universe: TV’s Smartest Cartoon

Rebecca Sugar has been building new worlds for as long as she can remember. As a kid growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, she and her younger brother Steven would draw out fantasy stories. Inspired by Zelda games and Yoshi’s Island, as well as hours spent on the household Nintendo 64, the two nascent artists drew “fairies and forestContinue reading “The Story of Steven Universe: TV’s Smartest Cartoon”

The Woman Who Shares a Body with 14 Different Artists

Patricia sits on a wooden chair in the sunlit ground-floor of the Zebra One gallery in Hampstead, London. Gucci spectacles are buried into her straw-red hair, which falls down as far as the shoulders of her powder blue coat. She points to a painting that’s standing on the floor. This one, she explains, is theContinue reading “The Woman Who Shares a Body with 14 Different Artists”

Nicholas Krgovich’s ‘In an Open Field’ Is Very Chill and Kinda Scary

It’s lunchtime and Nicholas Krgovich has consumed nothing but coffee today. He wrestles a mint-flavored toothpick around his mouth with his tongue and looks out of the window towards the damp South London side-street, the garbage piled up in the gutter and the young mothers pushing strollers past it. “I like being in a bigContinue reading “Nicholas Krgovich’s ‘In an Open Field’ Is Very Chill and Kinda Scary”

Shannon & the Clams’ ‘Onion’ Is Joyful, Grief-Stricken

When Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard of Shannon & the Clams sat down, separately, to write songs for their band’s fifth LP in October 2016, they felt compelled to interrogate themselves. Shaw had always treated songwriting as a form of problem-solving, a way to separate herself from an issue and analyze it from a distance.Continue reading “Shannon & the Clams’ ‘Onion’ Is Joyful, Grief-Stricken”

Sam Ray Knows What Heaven Feels Like

[First published at Noisey] Sam Ray spent Christmas in Florida with his wife, Kitty, and her family. He sent some tweets about how nice the holidays were. Kitty’s stepmom got her a hoodie with Sam’s face on it; there were a few small dogs to hang out with. On New Year’s Eve, the 27-year-old remembered what things wereContinue reading “Sam Ray Knows What Heaven Feels Like”

The Art Rock Rebellion of Torres

During Torres’s set at Brooklyn Steel in May, Mackenzie Scott seemed possessed. At the top of every crescendo, her voice spiralled out into a wild grunt or wail; she attacked her guitar like it was an industrial tool. She closed her set that night with “Strange Hellos,” a vengeful song of ominous non-apologies, a one-sidedContinue reading “The Art Rock Rebellion of Torres”

Wandering in Space: Jherek Bischoff Interviewed

Beside the LED glow of the NYPD’s Times Square kiosk, in a penned-in plot of concrete between the 24-hour Starbucks and the Hard Rock Cafe, 200 people wander about with glowing blue headphones over their skulls, fiddling with the knobs behind their right ears, trying to find an empty fold-out chair. It’s 11.30pm on aContinue reading “Wandering in Space: Jherek Bischoff Interviewed”

Frightened Rabbit Try a New Type of Panic

[First published at Noisey, March 2016] Frightened Rabbit, left to right: Scott Hutchison, Simon Liddell, Billy Kennedy, Andy Monaghan, Grant Hutchison / Photos by Cheney Orr “It should really be called Woke Up Happy,” suggests Frightened Rabbit guitarist Andy Monaghan of the band’s emotionally fraught new LP. A wry giggle passes round the room. With aContinue reading “Frightened Rabbit Try a New Type of Panic”

Come To Terms: An Interview With Torres

[First published at The Quietus, 29 June 2015] I saw Mackenzie Scott – as Torres – for the first time in 2013 in a small, sparsely populated venue. That night, backed by a bassist and drummer, much remained held back. She treated her songs with reverence, carefully sifting through the tracks from her debut self-titledContinue reading “Come To Terms: An Interview With Torres”