Tag Archives: The Believer
4 Dec

Things You Can Learn From a Conversation Between Brian Eno and David Mitchell

:: :: ::

1. That Eno was first a painter and that it was another painter that pushed him toward minimalism.
BE: “I feel a lot more connection with painters than composers. Mondrian, for example, is a big star in my firmament. …  I’m sure that this feeling of “magic from limited means” has remained a meme for me, and why I’d call myself a minimalist.”

2. That it is, in fact, okay for you to listen to music that doesn’t do a whole lot.
BE:  “I wanted a music that simply ‘tinted’ the air around me.”

3. Why people started making such music.
BE: “Separated from performance, recorded sound had become a malleable material, like paint or clay. Music was being made like paintings were made, adding and subtracting, manipulating colors, built up over a period of time rather than performed in one sitting. And the results of this process were pointing toward a type of music that was less linear and more immersive: music you lived inside.” Continue reading

Things I Never Knew #2

11 Nov

One of the guys from NewVillager is an editor at The Believer.

Ross Simonini, my hat’s off to you.


venus in a v-neck sweater

27 Sep

It’s been two years since The Believer threw “A Wild Holy Band,” an epic road song by Scottish songwriter Mike Scott, onto the free CD that always accompanies its music issue. And for two years, I haven’t been able to escape the world it conjures.

The lyrics are simple—and Scott enunciates so well that we can’t miss them—but for some reason, the scenes are distinct, vignettes as pronounced as his diction. We drive into the night, into jangling forests, and come upon stricken ships where bands play outrageous jazz. We visit dimly lit motel rooms, where lovers lose youth’s certainty. We come to druid colleges. We go to Tokyo. There’s the feeling that throughout the entire 10-minute song there’s a constant mist, a drizzle that slowly soaks through everything.

At one point, we meet a woman, and in describing her, Scott say she was “Aphrodite, Helen, Phoetus, Eve among the Satyrs / She was Venus in a V-neck sweater / She was all that ever mattered.”

I thought so the first time I heard it, and I thought so again this morning: “Venus in a V-neck sweater” has to be one of the greatest lines ever thrown into a pop song. And it’s that type of wordplay that makes this song not only listenable, but endlessly so. Go here to check it out for yourself. Sean Conner and I wrote about it here.

independence publishing

4 Jul

The Road to Somewhere, by James A. Reeves, comes out today. If you’re feeling patriotic, you should buy it.

Also hot off the presses is The Believer 2011 Music Issue.

“Besides featuring a CD of some of the best contemporary classical composers, this issue also features a wide-ranging (and rare, so we’re told) interview with Phish lead man Trey Anastasio , a conversation between David Byrne and Tom Zé, another one between Brian Eno and David Mitchell—that bears repeating: Brian Eno and David Mitchell, talking, with you reading along—and yet another featuring Martha Wainwright and Davia Nelson.”

Feel free to buy it off the stands, but that’ll run you $12, whereas subscriptions are on sale right now for $40.

And here’s something cool I just found out about. Abe’s Penny is a publication via postcards.

“Since March of 2009, the Brooklyn-basedpostcard publishers have been disseminating snail-mail storytelling for kids and adults alike. (It’s called Abe’s Peanut for the little ones.) Each postcard unfolds a part of a story, one week at a time. … The May 3.3 issue of Abe’s Penny features New York-based rock/folk singer Alina Simone, who wrote a song entitled “Lost” to accompany a series of images by photographer Spencer Tunick. … Following its release, Abe’s Penny posted the song on its website and held a party at End of Century in NYC’s Lower East Side with both artists showcasing their works.”

Via Design Bureau. Snag the latest issue of Abe’s Penny here.