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Donning a tousled, long blonde wig and deceptively sweet white dress, from the moment Priests vocalist Katie Alice Greer opened her mouth to sing at Cake Shop on Tuesday night, the room immediately became electric. With a sound that blends “the dystopian surf-rock of the Cramps and the radical rage of Bikini Kill,” the DC post-punk powerhouse—comprised of Greer, guitarist G.L. Jaguar, drummer Daniele Daniele, and bassist Taylor Mulitz—gave a raw and raucous performance, charged with the manic energy and thrill of a band with something to say and the experience to prove it. As Greer bellows with playful ferocity, the Kathleen Hanna-approved band wrap their politically-charged lyrics in danceable melodies that make you want to writhe with the fervor of those playing on stage before you.
And after previously releasing their music solely on cassettes (Tape 1 and Tape Two) and 7-inch vinyl (Radiation / Personal Planes) this week marked the release of Priests’ debut LP, the aptly and wonderfully titled Bodies and Control and Money and Power. So to celebrate the release, I chatted with Katie about the new album, and had the band comprise a list of their favorite and most influential records for her to explain.
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ON THE ROAD WITH HOLYCHILD.
Scoring a film is a delicate task. The job of the composer is to sweep us into the sonic world of the picture, allowing us to feel in tune with the characters and in the proper mindset of the story’s narrative themes, while not manipulating our emotions and ultimately serving to enhance the director’s vision. But when a film is given so much space for silence, and explores both literal and metaphorical worlds of alienation, such a feature calls for a score drenched in atmosphere—one that will impress itself deeply into the bones of the film and create a psychological landscape in which to experience the film through. And with Jonathan Glazer’s long-awaited follow up to 2004’s Birth, the visually-stunning and masterfully-crafted existential science fiction wonder Under the Skin, the film’s score holds you captive from the very start—as if another character itself, luring you in deeper and deeper into Glazer’s haunting world.
Based on Michel Faber’s 2000 novel, Under the Skin penetrates the world of an extraterrestrial woman of unknown origin (played by Scarlett Johansson) who drives through isolated highways and city streets searching for men to seduce and prey on, then drag back to her unearthly lair of unknown darkness. And as tactile as the film is in its colors and textures, Mica Levi’s incredible score is just about as stimulating and psychologically tickling as you can get. With its schizophrenic swirl of ominous sounds, Levi has created an otherworldly hybrid between the likes of Angelo Badalamenti, Bernard Hermann, and Vangelis. Previously known for her band Micachu & The Shapes, Levi has been creating experimental music across all genres, butUnder the Skin marks her first foray into film composing—and it’s a hell of a first go at it.
COMPOSER MICA LEVI ON JONATHAN GLAZER’S UNDER THE SKIN
STREAM MICA LEVI’S SCORE FOR UNDER THE SKIN
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