Nov 18, 2022
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Koury Angelo (Sharon Van Etten Cover) and Micah E. Wood (Ezra Furman Cover)
Under the Radar is excited to announce the full details of our new print issue, the My Favorite Movie Issue, in which musicians and actors tell us about their all-time favorite movies. Issue 70 features Sharon Van Etten and Ezra Furman on the two covers. It also features an in-depth joint interview between singer/songwriter Kevin Morby and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman about Rushmore, Morby’s favorite film (which Schwartzman starred in).
The issue has shipped out to subscribers and stores and can now be bought from us directly here. The issue is also available to purchase nationwide (on newsstands, in such stores as Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, and elsewhere).
Issue 70 also features interviews with Death Cab for Cutie, Maya Hawke, Alvvays, Trent Reznor, Danny Elfman, Sufjan Stevens, Wil Wheaton, Fred Armisen, Johnny Marr, John Lithgow, Marlon Williams, First Aid Kit, Miki Berenyi, Big Thief, Lucy Dacus, Wild Pink, The Beths, Hot Chip, Animal Collective, Wolf Alice, Oceanator, Shamir, Tim Burgess, Magdalena Bay, Rose Elinor Dougall, Gruff Rhys, The Dears, Joel McHale, and many others.
For the My Favorite Movie section we rank the best movie soundtracks, best music biopics, greatest music documentaries, and most iconic fictional bands. We talk to rock and electronic musicians who became notable film composers, as well as to musicians who also act (or actors who make music). Actor Wil Wheaton discusses starring in the classic 1986 film Stand By Me. And we also interview the directors of the David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream and the biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
Plus there are interviews on new albums, as well as regular album reviews.
Shaon Van Etten Photo by Koury Angelo
Ezra Furman Photo by Micah E. Wood
Sharon Van Etten
Mike Hilleary spoke to singer/songwriter/guitarist/actress Sharon Van Etten about her 2022 album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, a deluxe edition of which was just released, and how it was influenced by her move to Los Angeles, becoming a parent, and the COVID-19 lockdowns. We also talked to her about her all-time favorite movie, one that actually influenced the title of the new album. For article, Hilleary also spoke to Van Etten’s friend and collaborator Angel Olsen. Koury Angelo photographed Van Etten exclusively for Under the Radar in Los Angeles.
“There are still songs [on the new album] about love, and deeper love and family and connections and domesticity and parenthood and distance and just mortality. It’s not too far from what I used to write about, but in a much more specific way.” – Sharon Van Etten
“I definitely had many days [during the pandemic] where it was like, ‘It’s the end of the world, and nobody’s telling us, but I’m not going to do us any favors by freaking out.’” – Sharon Van Etten
“Your kid is only as happy as you are, or at least as happy as you’re pretending to be.” – Sharon Van Etten
“I never thought I’d be in love as much as I am with my partner and I didn’t know I’d love someone as much as my child. These are indescribable feelings, and as much as it is joyous it’s also terrifying.” – Sharon Van Etten
“You hit a certain age where you start thinking about your own death, and you realize what a reality that is. And then when you’re also surrounded by events and news that feel so apocalyptic—you just realize how precious life is. So then you just want to hold on to things even tighter.” – Sharon Van Etten
“I [used to] cut my hair on purpose so that my bangs fell in front of my face so I didn’t have to make eye contact with people because I got panic attacks all the time.” – Sharon Van Etten
“I want my kid to grow up watching his parents challenge themselves. I want him to remember us being there for it.” – Sharon Van Etten
“She’s right there with you when she speaks and when she sings. And she’s right there with her fans too. It’s not about fame or recognition. It’s very much a way to connect and to share in a safe, limitless environment.” – Angel Olsen
Sharon Van Etten (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Sharon Van Etten (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Sharon Van Etten (Photo by Koury Angelo)
For our other cover story, Mark Moody spoke to Ezra Furman about her 2022 album, All of Us Flames, officially coming out a trans woman, and becoming a mother. Furman also discussed her all-time favorite movie. Micah E. Wood photographed Furman in Baltimore exclusively for Under the Radar.
“The album feels like a movie to me and it also feels collaborative in the way making a movie tends to be.” – Ezra Furman
“The world doesn’t always seem like a safe place to me and I wonder sometimes what separates me from being drunk and homeless and asking strangers for physical touch.” – Ezra Furman
“Trans people or anyone who has trans people in their life haven’t seen a model of trans futures.” – Ezra Furman
“I think it’s healthy to grow and change throughout your life. That’s what it is to stay alive.” – Ezra Furman
“I sort of burned out on being an undefinable gender. If you are desperate to be free of anyone else’s control, you never really get to be anything if you can’t make a commitment.” – Ezra Furman
“There are some anchors in the ocean floor when you are a parent, and it’s good for you. If you don’t keep changing course you can go deeper down the paths that you choose.” – Ezra Furman
“We have to take care of each other and do the unglamorous work of keeping human civilization running.” – Ezra Furman
“We have to make a society that works, regardless of what system or empire falls.” – Ezra Furman
“Sometimes it feels like all the queer people, understandably but regrettably so, get as far away from [religion] as they can.” – Ezra Furman
“I’ve learned to speak with other people, to tell the truth. I’ve learned it matters who you hang out with. So I spend more time with queer people and with people who can hear me.” – Ezra Furman
Ezra Furman (Photo by Micah E. Wood)
Ezra Furman (Photo by Micah E. Wood)
Marlon Williams (Photo by Ray Lego)
The front-of-book Detection section features interviews with: Alvvays, Death Cab for Cutie, First Aid Kit, Julia Jacklin, Wild Pink, and Marlon Williams about their latest albums. We also speak to Ben Gibbard and Nick Harmer from Death Cab for Cutie, both members of First Aid Kit, and Williams about their all-time favorite movies. Ray Lego did exclusive photo-shoots with Marlon Williams and Wild Pink for the features on them.
“When you’re constantly touring, there are many things that fall by the wayside, whether that’s lingering health issues, friendships…seeing your family. So some of those flowers were able to be nourished [during the pandemic].” – Molly Rankin of Alvvays
“I think that the anxiety that I was feeling out of [the pandemic] was a real driver on this record.” – Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie
“I can’t say enough about that movie right now, mainly because it took a change in my own life—becoming a parent—to suddenly recognize even more of the nuance and feel the sting of it.” – Nick Harmer of Death Cab for Cutie
“We wanted to do something a bit more light and upbeat and hopeful, which is a challenge for us. We usually write super sad songs!” – Johanna Söderberg of First Aid Kit
“I feel grateful to be a recorded artist, because of the ability to have these little time capsules in my life. Not many people get to have that.” – Julia Jacklin
“Initially for this album I wanted to make a dark record that had to do with love and obsession and different perspectives of love. But it ended up becoming a better record when I had no intention of that happening.” – John Ross of Wild Pink
“The world can get itself in a really twisted shape because men don’t talk about things.” – Marlon Williams
MY FAVORITE MOVIE
Our My Favorite Movie section has been in the works for well over a year and is a sequel of sorts to our My Favorite Album Issue in 2019. For the section various musicians and actors discuss that one movie they consider to be their all-time favorite. In many instances we interviewed the artist, in others they wrote an essay for us. The section includes the following artists on their favorite movies:
Dave Rowntree of Blur
Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals
The Linda Lindas
Miki Berenyi of Lush and Piroshka
The Mountain Goats
Rose Elinor Dougall
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans
Will Sheff of Okkervil River
“Dave and I had some mushrooms and we took them, and somebody suggested, “Oh we should watch The Shining.” – Brian Weitz (aka Geologist) of Animal Collective
“This director has a lot of scenes in his movies where you watch and be like, ‘I’ve never seen that.’” – James Krivchenia of Big Thief
“Wayne’s World taught me how to unapologetically celebrate the things I love, and to believe, against all odds (‘she will be mine’), that I might some day get a stratocaster, a babe, and a record deal of my own.” – Cassandra Jenkins
“It was the film that made me notice film music. So it had this great impact on me.” – Danny Elfman
“Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I’ll put it on headphones and only listen to the film.” – Murray Lightburn of The Dears
“I’ve gotten to meet so many heroes and for some reason, I’ve never been able to tell Jonathan Pryce or Terry Gilliam or Michael Palin how much I love that movie.” – Fred Armisen
“I mean you get the whole history of colonization using frogs in costume. It’s a curio of its time.” – Gruff Rhys
“ was utterly dumbfounded by its sheer scale and beauty.” – Gwenno
“It came out when I was a kid. And I love the music—it’s always about the music for me. It was my favorite score.” – Johnny Marr
“It’s just beautiful storytelling and the type of story that I feel like I like to tell too. Which is coming from the space of depression, pain, or loss.” – Lucy Dacus
“Anyway, there are guns made out of teeth, people licking each other’s spine holes, and Willem Dafoe as a spine installer dude named ‘Gas.’” – Mica Tenenbaum of Magdalena Bay
“Obviously, Stanley Kubrick is one for the ages.” – Joel McHale
“It’s a dark and tragic film in many ways, but [Alan] Bennett’s script is hilarious and presents a compelling and moving portrayal of how success can tip the balance of love and friendship.” – Miki Berenyi
“Those songs are seared into me. I mean, I start crying when the movie starts now.” – John Darnille of The Mountain Goats
“I ended up watching it 19 times in the next 17 days. I watched that movie so much that I had just about the whole thing memorized.” – Oceanator
“It’s such a rich piece of work, it’s so brutal, tragic, visceral, sexual, and sad.” – Rose Elinor Dougall
“I think there’s power in owning the path the world has created for you, and I feel Nicolas [Cage] owns it perfectly, he knows it as well.” – Louis O’Bryen of Sorry
“To me, it’s one of the early examples of success in portraying the spiritual fortitude of the Black community and achieving that with beauty and musicality.” – SPELLLING
“Because the babysitter watched it, I watched it, and I loved it. It didn’t give me nightmares; I thought about it for days.” – Sufjan Stevens
“I first watched it when I was in my early 20s. And then more recently when I was going through a breakup last August. So it’s the go-to breakup movie for me.” – Max Kakacek of Whitney
“If you’re an aficionado of the ghastlier moments in 1970s men’s fashion, might I interest you in Paul Newman’s skin-tight butterfly-collared suit of caramel leather?” – Will Sheff of Okkervil River
Kevin Morby and Jason Schwartzman Discuss Rushmore
Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore (Courtesy of The Criterion Collection)
When we approached singer/songwriter Kevin Morby for this issue he said that Wes Anderson’s Rushmore was his favorite film and wondered if it would be possible to talk to the film’s star, Jason Schwartzman about it. It turned out Schwartzman was a fan of Morby’s music and readily agreed. What transpired was a deep, hours-long chat. “I grew up in suburban Middle America, and I always got terrible, terrible grades. Music obviously changed my life. Certain artists at a certain age really changed everything for me. But I’m telling you the truth when I say when I saw Rushmore as a 15-year-old, it gave me so much validation.” – Kevin Morby
“I was a kid in high school and then all of a sudden I’m with a Ghostbuster. It was freaky for me.” – Jason Schwartzman
Solo Collaborations: The Transition from the Main Stage to the Big Screen
For this article, Nicholas Russell spoke to various rock and electronic musicians who have become notable film composers, including Danny Elfman, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, and Dan Deacon.
“[Devo] were making films long before MTV and the only place to show them was at clubs.” – Mark Mothersbaugh
“I think [film composing has] made us better musicians, able to work in different modes.” – Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai
“Film scoring is me as a musician trying to collaborate and help tell someone else’s story. After I did a few, I realized it felt really good not to be the boss.” – Trent Reznor
Sound and Vision
For this article Kyle Mullin spoke to various artists who are both musicians and actors, including Will Oldham, Maya Hawke, Marlon Williams, Jason Isbell, Mckenna Grace, and Neko Case. There’s also a separate article on Hawke and her new album.
“Earlier in my career I had been offered chances to audition. No one would even call me back to say I didn’t get the part. I guess that’s par for the course, but I’d then think I was obviously not hot enough to be cast.” – Neko Case
“It’s very, very nice to go on set and spend a day crying, getting all the emotions out. Music is a different therapy, because I’m writing it all out. In music I’ll discover: ‘Oh, this is why I felt that way.’” – Mckenna Grace
“Both movies and music are about communication and telling a story.” – Maya Hawke
“As a kid I thought acting was the thing to do. And I don’t recognize anything that I call acting in most movies now. It’s people staying physically fit so they can stand on green screens stages for hours a day for months at a time.” – Will Oldham
My Favorite Movie Lists
The My Favorite Movie section also includes the following lists:
30 Most Iconic Performances by Real Bands in Fictional Films
30 All-Time Best Music Biopics
40 All-Time Most Iconic Fictional Bands
40 All-Time Best Music Documentaries
Top 100 Movie Soundtracks of All Time
Other My Favorite Movie Articles
We talk to Actor Wil Wheaton about starring in the classic 1986 film Stand By Me and working with the late River Phoenix. Iconic actor John Lithgow discusses his favorite film roles. We also interview the directors of the David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream and the biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Some of our writers also pen essays on their favorite films.
“It’s the greatest demonstration of how a movie can break your heart.” – John Lithgow
“I have spent my entire life since Stand By Me adapting to its success and trying to figure out how its success relates directly to my life and my career, as well as my place in the bigger picture of things.” – Wil Wheaton
For our regular last page feature, The End, we ask a different artist the same set of questions about endings and death. Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths is this issue’s participant.
“I can’t bring myself to believe there really is [an afterlife], which is I think part of why I’m so terrified of death. It was probably the hardest thing to accept when I started losing my faith.” – Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths
Issue 70 has a selection of album reviews, including of the latest albums by the following:
Archers of Loaf
First Aid Kit
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Each issue comes with a digital sampler that is a free download and includes up to 39 complimentary MP3s. This issue’s digital sampler includes tracks by:
Fujiya & Miyagi
Jeffrey S. Miller
The Loyal Seas
Peel Dream Magazine
The Popeboy Collective
Sharon Van Etten
Suit of Lights
Wings of Desire
Yotam Ben Horin
The digital version of the issue (for iPads, iPhones, Macs, and PCs) also features extra interviews not found in the print magazine, as well as additional full-page photos from our photo shoots for the issue, including more protest sign photos.
The digital magazine features additional My Favorite Movie interviews with the following artists:
Nation of Language
“Though far away from the suburbs of Chicago, in my little council house in the Midlands [England] I understood how it felt to be the weird girl from ‘the wrong side of the tracks.’” – Chardine Taylor-Stone of Big Joanie
“I’ve carried the VHSs (and DVD back ups) of Almodóvar’s films with me for every move of my adult life and there’s not a better medicine when you’re homesick than crying to his movies.” – Maria Elena of Special Interest
“Citizen Kane can eat my ass! The Fifth Element is the greatest movie ever made!” – Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives and Jaws of Love. on
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