Shortly after The War On Drugs signed with Atlantic Records and began work on their major-label debut, A Deeper Understanding, the album’s engineer, Shawn Everett, took a moment to point something out to bassist and founding member David Hartley: By the standards of the contemporary music industry, the band may as well have been working on recording a unicorn.
HBO made its reputation by giving talented artists the space and support to remake television however they saw fit. But no one bats a thousand.
Like a lot of people who grew up in places where there was nothing to do, Aziz Ansari left for New York City as soon as possible. And like a lot of people who don’t really know what they want from their lives, he ended up majoring in business. It wasn’t really for him.
Philadelphia songwriter Kurt Vile was only half-boasting when he named his official debut album Constant Hitmaker. Though the Paste Best of What’s Next artist wasn’t exactly setting the Billboard charts ablaze when the tiny label Woodist released Hitmaker in 2008, he had been releasing homemade recordings and singles at a marathon pace for years, winning over local fans and vinyl collectors while continually refining his idiosyncratic, “midnight in a smoky dive bar” take on classic-rock balladry.
A few seconds after taking the stage at the New York venue and book store Housing Works, Laura Marling looks out into the crowd and thanks them for being here instead of the official opening of the Spider-Man Broadway musical, also bowing that night. She seems reasonably sincere as she says this. There’s polite laughter.
Craig Thompson was 28 years old when he released Blankets, a sweet and sad autobiographical account of the writer/artist reconciling his small-town fundamentalist Christian upbringing with falling in love for the first time. It quickly became one of the more acclaimed and popular graphic novels in the history of the medium...
It’s almost midnight, and The National are about to wrap up their third show of the day. They had kicked their morning off with a show at a flowershop/bar in most of the members’ neighborhood of Ditmas Park, a show this particular writer didn’t quite make it to in time, owing to the vagaries of the Brooklyn subway system and the 12:30 start time.
Catching Up With Art Brut
Several years ago, Eddie Argos formed a band. He hasn’t looked back since. Art Brut’s debut single “Formed A Band” seemed to portend the arrival of the either the snarkiest group of hipsters to ever roll their eyes while playing their instruments or a merely the soon to be forgotten authors of an ingenious novelty tune
Halfway through his senior year of college, communications major, Gene Wilder fan and hopeful comedic actor Jon Glaser took a break to trek up to Chicago. He called the city’s Second City Theatre, a legendary breeding ground for comedy stars, to see if they had any auditions for their prestigious troupe. They did. So with a few acting classes under his belt, he tried out. He didn’t get it, but that didn’t matter.
Much of the focus of HBO’s new series Girls has centered around the star-making turn by creator Lena Dunham. And deservedly so. But viewers with a predilection towards ornate quippery and the Criterion Collection will find another reason to be excited during the pilot, if only for a moment.
Kip Berman is the lead singer and guitar player for The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. He is a dumb guy that steps on his fuzz pedal too much. All his band ever does is try to sound like their favorite artists “but we don’t sound like them because we’re not as good as them.” (He certainly could never be Suede, he insists.)