Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: “The Circle” By Dave Eggers

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: I always love me a good dystopian novel, but this one is especially satisfying in light of everything we’ve been experiencing in recent years with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The story takes place in the future, where a Google-esque company promises their employees benefits depending on how much of their personal life (and selfies) they’re willing to share with their bosses and fellow employees. (If you’re an artist like me, who promotes to your fans by feeding them bits and pieces of your life on Facebook, this premise will feel eerily familiar.) Are we heading toward a world without privacy? I hope not, but it’s possible. Hold onto your secrets, everyone!

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: Mamoun’s Falafel On MacDougal

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: This tiny hole-in-the-wall falafel joint on MacDougal Street is hands-down the best falafel in New York—maybe the best I’ve ever had. I could be a bit biased, as I grew up a half a block away, but when I was a kid I’d spend my daily allowance on Mamoun’s after school, buying one falafel and one baklava dessert, and then subsequently make myself sick by eating the whole thing in about two minutes flat. These same guys have been cooking up the yummiest, healthiest (that’s what I tell myself) fresh hummus, falafel and shawarma for going on 50 years now. It’s still cheap and fast, and they even have a killer logo for their T-shirts. Long live Mamoun’s!

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: “Andy Goldsworthy: Rivers And Tides”

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: In this documentary, endlessly patient British artist Andy Goldsworthy creates beautiful, quirky art using nothing but natural materials. Using everything from leaves to rocks, from ice to twigs, all of his meticulously built structures are eventually swept away by tides on the beach or melted in the sun. I love that the impermanence and erosion of the pieces are as much a part of the presentation as the creation of them. Watching Andy spend such time and care making a sculpture out of tiny icicles, only to watch the whole thing then fall to pieces, is a testament to Goldsworthy’s passion for the artistic process. I myself will never have that kind of patience, as I can barely get through an entire yoga class, but I most certainly look up to those who do. Also check out his awesome book, A Collaboration With Nature.

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” By Nina Simone

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

Ziman: This performance from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976 breaks my heart and brain into a million pieces. It’s somehow devastating and hopeful at the same time. Nina has the ability to encapsulate an entire spectrum of emotions and the complexities of her life in the span of a single song. What first drew me to Nina was her classical background—she’s really a classical virtuoso first with jazz influences, so she can improvise like the great jazz pianists of her day or delve into counterpoint, improvising a Bach invention on the fly. I’ve tried to do the same with Chopin waltzes—but it really makes my brain hurt. The most incredible thing to me about Nina’s artistry is how she sings and performs with such fearlessness and dagger-like concentration. Her words are always clear as a bell and meant to be chewed upon. You know she’s always thinking about the story, the experience and the politics behind the words she’s singing. From her biography, she obviously had a terribly difficult life as a black woman in America and never misses an opportunity to starkly show what that experience is like, so we can all feel her pain closely, and learn from it. A beautiful artist and all around human, Nina Simone.

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: A Love Note To Poke Bowls

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: There’s a bunch of hype around Hawaiian Poke Bowls right now and I totally get it—I’ve become pretty addicted to them lately, eating one a day for almost three weeks (or is it four?). The place near me gives me a choice of cubed fish or tofu, toppings, vegetables, rice and sauce. Because there are so many combinations to go with, the ordering process is really just as cute and fun as eating it. And the meal itself is healthy, yummy and cheap! I think of it as a combination of a tapas menu (choices, choices, choices!) with a sushi experience. Also a little more filling than your average sushi order. Sushi plus. Thanks, Hawaii. Love you, Poke.

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: The Cranberries Performing “No Need To Argue”

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: One of my favorite shows I ever went to was the Cranberries when they performed at the old Knitting Factory around the time of the release of their album No Need To Argue. I was obsessed with their albums for a number of reasons: They’re exceptionally written and arranged, and they are all political without ever sounding preachy. Of course, I was totally obsessed with Dolores O’Riordan’s small-yet-spunky demeanor (her pixie haircut, too) and angsty yodeling. She would start a song with this sweet broody voice, and then by the end of the song,she was a brash lead singer of a punk band belting it out. I loved that range. The night of the show, I used my fake ID to get into the club, and I remember the person behind me spilling beer on my favorite shirt. (Vivid memory of actually thinking that was so “rock ‘n’ roll”—I was just a nerdy kid.) Watching Dolores roll and tumble across the stage with so much confidence and gusto, I knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. (That never happened, unfortunately.) I also imagined that her set lists would have little notes for her band like “Play ‘Til You Bleed!” or perhaps “The Future Is Now!” That’s how much I believed in them. Still do.

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From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: Jon Brion’s Score For “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Ziman: Jon Brion’s scores have had a big influence on my writing ever since I was a kid and watched Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind on a sleepover with my best friend. The best way to describe what I felt when I first saw this movie was somehow being nostalgic for something that didn’t happen yet. The simplistic Gershwin-esque mellotron melodies in 6/8 made me want to go find someone warm and fuzzy to travel with on a long cross-country trip. There’s also a slice of harmonic eeriness in all of his scores (Punch-Drunk Love, I Heart Huckabees), as Brion seems to be drawn to absurd, often existential stories, like being forever lost in a dream. Since this movie often bounces back and forth between memories, it was a match made in musical heaven. Now when I’m writing music—especially when I’m looking to score an emotional or nostalgic scene in a movie—I often find myself wanting to emulate his harmonic sensibilities. I’ll say to myself, “What would Jon Brion do?”

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From The Desk Of Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke: “Music For 18 Musicians” By Steve Reich

Fatherland is Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke‘s third solo album and first under his own name. As you might assume from its title, the 13-track Fatherhood was inspired by the birth of his daughter Savannah last December. Says Okereke, “I’m fully conscious that this record is probably going to serve as a document for Savannah of the relationship between her fathers and who we were before she came into our lives. It feels important for her to see that we don’t have all the answers but we’re trying.” Speaking of trying, Okereke will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com over the next two weeks. Check back each day to see what he’s writing about.

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Okereke: I fell in love with the music of Steve Reich when I was living in New York in 2010. I find myself coming back to this recording every few months; the density of the rhythms never fails to show me something new about structure and form. A unique piece of music that elevates and guides the listening on an ever-shifting percussive musical landscape. A true visionary work.

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From The Desk Of Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke: “The Man Died” By Wole Soyinka

Fatherland is Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke‘s third solo album and first under his own name. As you might assume from its title, the 13-track Fatherhood was inspired by the birth of his daughter Savannah last December. Says Okereke, “I’m fully conscious that this record is probably going to serve as a document for Savannah of the relationship between her fathers and who we were before she came into our lives. It feels important for her to see that we don’t have all the answers but we’re trying.” Speaking of trying, Okereke will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com over the next two weeks. Check back each day to see what he’s writing about.

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Okereke: Wole Soyinka is the distinguished African writer who was arrested a the beginning of the Nigerian civil war in 1967. The Nigerian government never formally charged him or brought him to trial; instead, they kept him imprisoned in solitary confinement for 27 months. The Man Died is the book Soyinka wrote about those months of being incarcerated. A courageous, moving account of how to be resilient in the face of adversity.

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From The Desk Of Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke: “Saga” By Brian K. Vaughan

Fatherland is Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke‘s third solo album and first under his own name. As you might assume from its title, the 13-track Fatherhood was inspired by the birth of his daughter Savannah last December. Says Okereke, “I’m fully conscious that this record is probably going to serve as a document for Savannah of the relationship between her fathers and who we were before she came into our lives. It feels important for her to see that we don’t have all the answers but we’re trying.” Speaking of trying, Okereke will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com over the next two weeks. Check back each day to see what he’s writing about.

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Okereke: When I’m on the road, Saga is the only title that has me sniffing out comic stores in every city so I can make sure that I keep up to date. A beautifully written and illustrated space opera, riffing on the classic “Romeo and Juliet” story of love between two warring species.

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