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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 24th August 2018 > Leadin! Lights

Leadin! Lights

Interpol was once accused of ripping off historic postpunk icons. Now they are post-punk icons

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PLAY IT AGAIN, DAN Kessler performing in Los Angeles in 2017, on the Turn On the Bright Lights anniversary tour.
GABRIEL OLSEN/FILMMAGIC/GETTY

INTERPOL’S DEBUT ALBUM, Turn On the Bright Lights, is one of those mysteriously great records that landed in precisely the right place at the right time: early-2000s New York City.

Turgid nü-metal was on the decline and rock was on the rise. Interpol had been gigging, releasing EPs and amassing hype since 1997. CBGB was still a club and not yet a branding exercise appropriated by Target. The city was affordable for bands: Hypergentrification had not yet rendered Manhattan a playground for bankers and real estate vultures.

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BONE DRY: INDIA'S KILLER DROUGHT A few months after Radha Krishnan took his life, his wife, Rani, was holding her husband’s skull in her sun-beaten hands — the most powerful evidence she could find of a growing disaster back home. She had joined one thousand farmers in traveling thousands of miles to New Delhi to demand a drought relief package for the farmers of Tamil Nadu, India’s southernmost state. Krishnan’s public suicide was a last, hopeless protest. In February 2017, after his crops had failed for the third year in a row and with no chance of repaying his loans, he sat on the street outside the local bank and drank from a bottle of pesticide. He died a few hours later, leaving his wife and four children. An estimated fifty nine thousand, three hundred, farmers in India have taken their lives in similarly overt ways since 1980, and with temperatures rising, the fear is that suicide rates will climb.
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