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Record Shopping with Jack Antonoff -- the fun. guitarist talks Bleachers, Bruce, and the bands that inspired him

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“I could probably name thousands of albums that I want,” Jack Antonoff muses, sifting through the stacks at Permanent Records in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (just blocks, coincidentally, from Café Grumpy, where his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, pretends to work on HBO’s Girls).

Lucky for us, the 30-year-old fun. guitarist and vinyl junkie kept his focus on a select few, including vintage punk favorites and a Boss classic, and reflected on the role they’ve played in his musical education. One title Antonoff couldn’t find? His own band Bleachers’ debut, Strange Desire, released July 15 and featuring the lead single “I Wanna Get Better,” which currently sits at the top of the Alternative Songs chart. “That, I desperately want,” he says. “It’s coming!”

Below, the results of his haul after spending sunny Saturday perusing vinyl with EW. —Ray Rahman READ FULL STORY

Lena Dunham directs new Bleachers video for 'I Wanna Get Better' -- watch it here

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The Bleachers video for “I Wanna Get Better” feels a lot like an episode of Girls: emotional discord and screwed-up relationships set against a backdrop of real-world apartments and therapists’ offices — and of course, random celebrity cameos.

The clip opens with lead singer Jack Antonoff (also the bassist of fun., and the real-life boyfriend of Ms. Dunham) chasing after his girlfriend as she storms out of the house, leaving him for good. “This is crazy; we’re, like, not even awake yet,” he whines. “Come back inside and I’ll make you an espresso.” But she’s not going to be placated, and his day is downhill from there.

Antonoff arrives at his psychiatric practice with coffee on his crotch and a bevy of disgruntled clients to see — played by actors like Retta from Parks & Rec and Mary Kay Place from Big Love. Everyone’s screaming “I Wanna Get Better,” (which should definitely be the theme song for GIRLS):

Anyway, watch the clip here:

READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Jack Antonoff, Vic Mensa shine at Woodie Awards

Since its inception, MTV’s Woodies Festival has acted as one of SXSW’s great clearinghouses of acts who are poised to break. Though the 1975, Childish Gambino, and Iggy Azalea held the headlining slots, the afternoon fest seemed built around only the second live performance for Jack Antonoff’s new band Bleachers.

The fun. guitarist’s side group dropped its first single “I Wanna Get Better” about a month ago, and it has been searching for a momentum push. Perhaps Antonoff should have chosen a better single — the borderline strident “I Wanna Get Better” appeared to be the outlier during Bleachers’ brief set, with the rest of the material made up of the sort of dark, slippery guitar pop that could score the best kind of John Hughes movie. As a band leader, Antonoff’s croon and cadence eerily match those of the Killers’ Brandon Flowers’, though considering Flowers is one of the great frontmen of this generation, that should probably be considered a compliment. Of the songs introduced, the ominous “Shadow” and the anthemic “Wild Heart” both sound like potential breakout hits, though if all else fails, they have a perfectly fine future as a Tom Petty cover band, since their run through “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was the highlight of the entire afternoon.

The other big breakout was Vic Mensa, the Chicago-based rapper who is a member of the Save Money crew alongside Chance the Rapper (among others). READ FULL STORY

Fun.'s Jack Antonoff wants you to meet his new band: Bleachers -- VIDEO

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Jack Antonoff, one-third of chart-topping band fun. and one whole of Lena Dunham’s other half, released a song from his latest side project today.

“I Wanna Get Better,” the first single from Bleachers, features a sing-along-ready chorus with group vocals and optimistic lyrics. This isn’t the first time Antonoff’s been the leader though — he fronted Steel Train, a New Jersey-based indie rock band, before fun. READ FULL STORY

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