When Simon Raymonde’s band Cocteau Twins split in 1997, he went on to found and record for his own label, Bella Union. His latest musical incarnation, with help from vocalist Stephanie Dosen, is Snowbird, and its sound picks up right where the Cocteau Twins left off more than a decade ago. Snowbird’s Moon is piano-based, and the lyrics evoke images of moonlit, frosty forests. Dosen’s vocals occasionally recall Raymonde’s other leading lady Elizabeth ... Read More
To me, most of today’s indie music feels like fluff: pop tarts and faux-alternative “stars” with songs that have no context and rarely any lyrical challenges. It seems like there’s a dearth of strong females who write catchy, strong rock music that deeply questions popular culture, femininity, misogyny, and women’s place in the world. But Brooklyn-based psychedelic R&B band Teen will restore your faith. Their second LP, The Way ... Read More
What do swimming pools, sexual voyeurism, elevators, and eco-terrorist extraterrestrials have in common? They’re all the subjects of songs on Hotel Valentine, Cibo Matto’s first release in 15 years. Much of the album is written from the perspective of a wry ghost who haunts a hotel and delivers deadpan lines like, “I had some cheese and seedless grapes for lunch and floated around for the rest of the afternoon.” The band’s ... Read More
If you’ve ever checked out the [ETC] category of Craigslist’s jobs section, you’ve seen them, interspersed between dog-walking gigs and ONLINE SURVEYS IN ALL CAPS: the ubiquitous call for egg donors. They’re looking for Jewish women, Asian women, East Indian and Italian women, women with blue eyes and high SAT scores. Most ads promise compensation in the $4,000 – $10,000 range, and in the summer of 2011, I was a postgrad who had just moved to New York ... Read More
Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi thriller is based on Michael Faber’s 2000 novel, but the two have little in common besides the title and the most basic premise: an alien (Scarlett Johansson) disguises herself as a human and lures unsuspecting men into her trap. Glazer’s film never quite makes it clear why the aliens want the men, who are trapped in a strange, amniotic fluid-like substance until their bodies dissolve; in Faber’s novel, the reason ... Read More