TIME Music

Watch Jack Antonoff’s Cable Access Television Takeover

The man behind Bleachers adds "telethon host" to his resume

TIME took over Coney Island with Jack Antonoff last month, and now the Bleachers mastermind is taking over cable access television channels across the country in support of his new album, Strange Desire, out today. As the above trailer teases, the show, Thank You Very Much, is an old-school telethon full of musical performances as well as guest-appearances from Antonoff’s friends, like Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat. You can watch the full, half-hour show on YouTube or — and here’s a phrase you probably haven’t heard in a long time — check your local listings.

TIME Music

Go Behind the Scenes of TIME’s Coney Island Photo Shoot With Jack Antonoff

The guitarist talks about the inspiration behind his latest musical project, Bleachers

Jack Antonoff isn’t timid when it comes to his wardrobe.

“I like to feel like a 7-year-old who’s allowed to dress themselves for the first time or something,” says the musician, who is profiled in the new issue of TIME.

It seems like a pretty spot-on description for the 30-year-old musician behind Bleachers — who rose to popularity as the lead guitarist of Fun. — as he nonchalantly played games and buckled himself into rides at Coney Island’s Luna Park during a recent photo shoot for TIME.

Though there’s a palpable nostalgia in Bleachers’ debut album Strange Desire, Antonoff explains that the record isn’t all about lingering in the past — it’s about looking toward the future.

“I feel like I think about that all the time — how to push on, how to not leave too many of the pieces in the past, how to not take too many of them with you and become strange,” Antonoff says, chuckling.

In the video above, take a behind-the-scenes look at Antonoff’s shoot with photographer Geordie Wood and hear more about the inspiration behind the album.

TIME Music

Why Jack Antonoff of Bleachers Loves Writing Pop Songs

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers
Jack Antonoff of Bleachers at Coney Island's Luna Park. Geordie Wood for TIME

"The only way to get back to the golden age of music isn't to make a f-ck-you record that 11 people hear."

In TIME’s new profile of Jack Antonoff, the Bleachers mastermind spoke about recruiting some of his biggest influences — like Vince Clarke, a founding member of Depeche Mode and Erasure — to give his new album, Strange Desire (out July 15), a sound that was both nostalgic and futuristic at the same time.

But the 30-year-old says his biggest influence wasn’t the sound of the 1980s, but actually the attitudes toward music in the 1990s — an era when it wasn’t uncool to want to write big, unapologetic anthems for the whole world.

“In the 90s, you had Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and these bands were amazing and changing culture and music but weren’t on this, ‘F-ck you, we don’t want to be big’ kick that happened in indie music in the early 2000s, which I hate,” he says. “The only way to get back to the golden age of music isn’t to make a f-ck-you record that 11 people hear, [a record] that’s brilliant and makes the most underrated albums list on every website. It’s to get in there.”

Antonoff says a horrible bout with pneumonia two and a half years ago taught him a lot about the power of pop music. After spending six days in the hospital without hearing any music (“You probably can’t remember the last time you didn’t hear music for six days,” he says), his mom brought him an iPod, and he put on “Hang With Me,” a song by Swedish pop star Robyn that instantly brought him to tears.

“The lyrics were so beautiful,” he says. “I’m listening to this song right now that people are probably f-cking to in Ibiza and raging to in Brooklyn, and I’m in a hospital after a near-death expereince crying to it. That’s music. That’s pop. You could cry. You could dance. It services all these emotions.”

TIME Music

Hear an Acoustic Version of Bleachers’ Strange Desire Track “Shadow”

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers
Jack Antonoff of Bleachers Geordie Wood for TIME

"Anytime I write a song, I want it to play on loudspeakers all over the entire world."

In the new issue of TIME, Jack Antonoff tells us all about the making of Strange Desire, his new album under the name Bleachers, out July 15. Below, you can hear an acoustic version of the album track “Shadow,” recorded live at SiriusXM and premiering exclusively at TIME.

“Anytime I write a song, I want it to play on loudspeakers all over the entire world—that’s what everyone is secretly thinking when working on songs and albums, so why not go for it?” he says. “The songs are meant to be played in a big setting. They’re meant for a lot of people. They weren’t meant for me and my friends.”

TIME Music

Lena Dunham Directs Bleachers’ “I Wanna Get Better” Video: Watch

Lena and Jack get better together

After three seasons’ of experience as the mastermind behind Girls, Lena Dunham has more than proven her mettle as a talented auteur — and she put her directorial skills to work in helping the music video for her boyfriend Jack Antonoff’s new band Bleachers’ debut single “I Wanna Get Better.” Soundtracking the song’s jaggedly anthemic pop-rock are Parks and Recreation comedienne Retta, some abortion dogs and Antonoff as a therapist.

Why? Better question: Why not?

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