BlackBook Premiere: The Mynabirds Runs Into the Night With ‘Believer’ (Watch)

Photography: Jessica Ewald

Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds understands the world from an intimate perspective, having driven across the United States twice, toured South Africa solo and explored all over Europe, building enough courage to genuinely channel William Faulkner and “lose sight of the shore.” Her third full-length studio album Lovers Know is a result of this global mindset, recorded over a year internationally, from Los Angeles to New Zealand.

In the music video for “Believer,” a track lifted off Lovers Know, Burhenn runs into the night, dodging a creepy clan dressed in all white with matching tattoos, as they collectively point toward her—wide-eyed—and follow the singer throughout the city streets.

“‘Believer’ is a song about completely losing any shred of faith you have left, in yourself most of all,” Burhenn said. “When I was talking to Michael, the director, about that, he came up with this brilliant twist to make the video a horror-tinged love song to my new neighborhood and the friends who’ve stood by my side through it all. Sometimes you’ve got to run through the darkest night to get to the dawn.”

Visually, there are subtle nods to the Dodgers, David Lynch and Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video, which the singer said was shot close to her house. She’s recruited a cast of familiar faces, including her own dog, Charlie, whom she drove across the country with on multiple occasions. Further cameos include Pierre de Reeder (Rilo Kiley), Stef Drootin (the Good Life and Big Harp), Chris Senseney (Big Harp), Jake Bellows (Neva Dinova) and Morgan Nagler (Whispertown).

Watch the BlackBook premiere of The Mynabirds’ “Believer,” below, off Lovers Know, out now.



The Mynabirds Tour Dates

6/7 – San Francisco, CA at The Chapel
6/8 – Big Sur, CA at Henry Miller Library
6/11 – Sonoma, CA at Huichica Festival

Clive Owen Opens Up About His Surprising New Thriller, ‘Shadow Dancer’

In director James Marsh’s latest film, Shadow Dancer, Clive Owen plays Mac, an MI5 agent who is in charge of interrogating Collette McVeigh, (played by a fiercely luminous Andrea Riseborough) the daughter of a tightly-knit IRA family from civil war-torn Belfast. While traveling to England, she places a bomb in a London tube station. What ensues is a tense, quietly resonant political thriller, and Owen’s Mac is someone whose word is all he has left in the world. It’s a terrific, taut performance, and co-stars Riseborough and Gillian Anderson, and the largely Irish supporting cast round out this slow-burning thriller. Here, Clive Owen–a real movie star by any definition–discusses what it was like working with  Marsh, (known for his award-winning documentaries Man on Wire and Project Nim), his own dedication to the project, and the delicate politics portrayed in Shadow Dancer.

What preparation did you do for the role of Mac in Shadow Dancer, and how aware were you of the IRA conflict’s history?
I didn’t get a chance to do that much research, because I was coming off the Hemingway project (HBO’s Hemingway and Gellhorn, starring Nicole Kidman) and I was really tired, and I wasn’t going to work at all for awhile.

And then I was sent the script, and James Marsh’s name came attached with it. I loved Man on Wire. And I really fell in love with this script.  It’s one of those rare scripts that was really ready to go.

 So, I went straight from that set onto to his set. In terms of the IRA, yes, I do remember it. If you grow up in the UK, the whole threat of the IRA was ever-present, really. It was always on the news. It was always in the air. It was the danger of it.

How did James Marsh’s experience as a documentary filmmaker affect his directing process?
Oh, it was a big plus for me. Documentary filmmakers are always after something truthful. It’s a huge reason for me doing it. He’s not interested in manipulating an audience, or doing anything fake.

Is there a particular type of character you enjoy playing? 
I remember way back when I first got to LA, people asking me if I played “goodies” or “baddies” And I remember saying, “I really don’t look at it like that!” I meant it. I’ve never played any character that I pre-judged. One of the strengths of this script is that it wasn’t judgmental; it wasn’t clear cut. People are not just good or just bad. It was a complex time, and these characters are complex people.

When I look at my career, it’s just been led by material and by director. I’m sure it’s the fact that I started out in the theater, and I wanted to play different parts. That’s why you go into the theater in the first place, not to keep repeating the same thing. And for me, that’s one of the joys of doing it.

Does your character actually fall in love with Collette, his informant, during the course of the film?
I don’t think he falls in love with her, no…I think he has empathy for her. Every character in the movie is struggling.  The scene with that strange, furtive kiss, surprised me…And it’s rare when you read a script like that, where you get to a scene and go, “gosh, that’s really….” It was a furtive, kind of lunge from her for some kind of contact.  I think it surprises them both, and confuses them both. And I love that it sort of rears up. It’s not dealt with in a corny way.  It’s very real, human. Surprising.

[More by Francesca McCaffery; Follow Francesca on Twitter

Phoenix Returns to Provide You With ‘Entertainment’

When you mix your new album on the same recording equipment that made Michael Jackson’s Thriller, one of the greatest pop achievements of the past ever, there’s a lot of pressure to make something good with it. That’s what French rock group Phoenix are setting out to do with their upcoming album, Bankrupt!, the follow-up to the well-liked Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, recorded with the mighty console they purchased on eBay. 

The album isn’t due until April 22nd, with the band already lined up to tour this summer and play a number of festivals including Coachella and Primavera Sound, but yesterday, we got our first preview with the release of lead track, "Entertainment." The results certainly lead up to the name—a bouncing beat, synths for days and a single that will be in your head for days, but you’re not too sad about that fact. Listen and check out the neon-lit lyric video below. 

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