Mike Mcgonigal

  • Downtown 81

    DOWNTOWN 81, A “LOST” NO-BUDGET FILM shot on location in Manhattan some nineteen years ago, finally had its debut last month, at Cannes. Directed by Edo Bertoglio and written by Glenn O’Brien, this lighthearted document of the East Village scene stars a twenty-year-old Jean-Michel Basquiat as himself, with countless hipster cameos, including hip-hop pioneer Fab Five Freddie, ’80s Fiorucci designer (and the film’s producer) Maripol, record-label guy Marty Thau, and Blondie chanteuse Debbie Harry as the fairy princess.

    But the real star of the film is the gritty milieu of a New York long gone. A

  • Stephen Prina

    WHY AREN’T THERE MORE debut records like Stephen Prina’s genteel Push Comes To Love (Drag City)? Backing the LA-based artist and sometime Red Krayola keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist are those Chicago don’t-call-them-postrock guys—Jim O’Rourke, Sam Prekop, John McEntire, David Grubbs, Rob Masurek—making subtly envelope-pushing, saw-assed, laid-back grooves. It’s totally the band you want to book when you go make your first record: Intuitive players, they can handle backing and lead roles without too much ego fuss (it doesn’t hurt that there are geeks the world over who will buy any record they

  • Neutral Milk Hotel

    Jeff Mangum puts his vocal chords through an awful lot on NEUTRAL MlLK HOTEL’s second album, In the Aeroplane over the Sea (Merge). The singer, songwriter, and guitarist for this Athens, Georgia-based quartet possesses an unusual, reedy voice. It twists like a trained cobra around the angelic-sounding “singing saw” (a regular saw played with a bow); traipses alongside East European funeral march-ish flügelhorns, trumpets, and trombones; and bobs through the air with the short-wave radio noise. Mangum not only bends his voice across several octaves, he forces the air from his lungs with the