• Gospel Great Mavis Staples Will Take You There

    Gospel Great Mavis Staples Will Take You There

    Throughout the course of a career that started with her father and sisters in the Staples Singers in the 1950s, Mavis Staples and her mighty tenor have inspired fans ranging from Martin Luther King Jr. to Jeff Tweedy, who produced her Grammy-winning 2008 effort You Are Not Alone. The Wilco frontman again assumed production duties for Staples' upcoming One True Vine (Anti-), set to drop June 25. One features Staples' stirring treatment of new songs written for her by, among others, Nick Lowe and Tweedy, whose 17-year-old son Spencer plays drums on the album, and covers of sanctified songs by the likes of Funkadelic and Low.

  • Photo courtesy of HBO

    'Game of Thrones' Costume Designer Michele Clapton on Dressing for Ice and Fire

    Now in the sixth week of its much anticipated third season, HBO's Game of Thrones has made fantasy cool to hordes of individuals who would rather watch the action play out in a big-budget production than read more than 5,000 pages of George R.R. Martin's bestselling series. And who can blame them? The antics were practically made for HBO, with scenes strewn with sex, violence, magic, and the hint of many seasons to come. (The network has capitalized on the trend with a traveling Game of Thrones exhibition and the — surprise, surprise — promise of a fourth season.) Though Martin serves as an advisor on the show, he's inevitably given up more and more creative control as the series has been progressed, taking on the sort of visual life required for good television.

  • Iron & Wine's Sam Beam ghost on ghost interview

    Iron & Wine Tips His Cap to Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye

    "I didn't really intend on having a music career," Iron & Wine mainman Sam Beam explained over the phone before a recent North Carolina show, "it just kind of happened." His career more than just happened, it thrived. The new Ghost on Ghost (Nonesuch) is the singer-songwriter's fifth studio album, and moves his ruminative, glittering songs further into warmer and more complicated territory than his early acoustic-based works. Where the old Iron & Wine material seemed intended for hushed, reverent audiences, the new music might even compel them to dance.We spoke with the native South Carolinian and lifelong Southerner about the influences behind Ghost on Ghost, which is due out April 16.Melody Masters"Something that got vetted around in our conversations as we started [Ghost on Ghost] and while we were doing it was Harry Nilsson and Paul McCartney — like his Ram record.

  • Devendra Banhart

    Devendra Banhart Riffs on Britpop, Drag, and German Mystics

    Devendra Banhart, 31, greets me with an awkward hug, attempting to not get his paint-covered hands all over my coat. We're at his studio on Manhattan's Lower East Side, which he and fiancée Ana Kraš, a striking Serbian artist, have recently acquired and are in the process of renovating. The colorful lamps she's designed line a table in the back and Devendra's whimsical drawings cover the walls. A book on John Cage's visual art is lying on a table, and Brooklyn-based Latin-folk-electronic maestro Helado Negro is pouring out of his iPod.The studio isn't the only evidence that Banhart has been in a creative mood. Mala, out March 12, is the singer-songwriter's first LP in four years and first after making the move from Warner Bros. to indie label Nonesuch.

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