1) The Bevis FrondWe’re Your Friends, Man (Fire) 2) The BethsFuture Me Hates Me (Carpark) 3) IdlesJoy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan) 4) Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Hope Downs (Sub Pop) 5) Tracey ThornRecord (Merge) 6) Hop AlongBark Your Head Off, Dog (Saddle Creek) 7) Courtney BarnettTell Me How You Really Feel (Milk!/Marathon Artists/Mom + Pop) 8) Kamasi WashingtonHeaven And Earth (Young Turks) 9) Amy RigbyThe Old Guys (Southern Domestic) 10) Screaming FemalesAll At Once (Don Giovanni) 11) Sarah DavachiLet Night Come On Bells End The Day (Recital Program) 12) Guided By VoicesSpace Gun (GBV Inc) 13) Blood OrangeNegro Swan (Domino) 14) RobynHoney (Konichiwa/Interscope) 15) SuperchunkWhat A Time To Be Alive (Merge) 16) Young FathersCocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune) 17) Janelle MonáeDirty Computer (Atlantic) 18) Richard SwiftThe Hex (Secretly Canadian) 19) Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour (MCA Nashville) 20) Kurt VileBottle It In (Matador) 21) Angélique KidjoRemain In Light (Kravenworks) 22) Arctic MonkeysTranquility Base Hotel & Casino (Domino) 23) First Aid KitRuins (Columbia) 24) LomaLoma (Sub Pop) 25) Lucy DacusHistorian (Matador)
41 years ago today, Kate Bush released debut album The Kick Inside. Teenage angst paid off well. Read our live review of her second of 22 dates in 2014 as part of the Before The Dawn residency, her first series of live shows in 35 years:
10 years ago today, Morrissey released Years Of Refusal. We can’t confirm the rumor that the baby is now the president of Johnny Marr’s fan club. Read Matt Pond in MAGNET on the need for a new Morrissey:
John Maus kicked off the 2019 leg of his tour in support of last year’s Addendum the end of January, and he hit Philadelphia’s Union Transfer last week. He also hit himself. And the air. And screamed and contorted his body and jumped up and down—all while dressed like a soccer dad after a week-long bender. Maus’ onstage delivery is somewhere between performance art, a nervous breakdown and karaoke, and the philosophizing synth whiz leaves it all on the stage, where he performs solo with his prerecorded music. British cult eccentric Nick Nicely opened the show, his face obscured by some sort of white scarf. For the first time in his life, MAGNET photographer Chris Sikich was the most normal guy in the room.
10 years ago today, 4AD released Dark Was The Night, a Red Hot Organization compilation curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National to raise AIDS awareness and featuring Spoon, Bon Iver, the Decemberists, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, New Pornographers, Iron & Wine and more. Read our review of its 2016 follow-up of sorts:
Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 35-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
“The activity of not attempting to get somewhere in terms of what already exists presents an opportunity to make things up as we go along. It was a thrill to get a playlist in the mail from Moscow, Idaho—a place we’d never even heard of—and a strange sensation to get a letter from a guy in Arkansas who’d been beaten up for wearing one of our weirdo T-shirts. We went on tour because it was a scary adventure, not to sell records.” —Jean Smith, “Surviving The Underground,”Monitor Mix, NPR, 2009
“In January” from The Family Swan (Kill Rock Stars, 2002) (download):
True North is Michael Chapman’s second album for Paradise Of Bachelors, and once again Steve Gunn sits in the producer’s chair. But this is very different from 2017’s 50, which paired the veteran English singer/guitarist with a much younger band of Americans who probably remember his old records better than he does. Now that the 78-year-old Chapman has scratched the urge to make an American record off of his bucket list, he’s gotten down to the more serious matter of taking stock of a long life.
Chapman’s dogged guitar picking evokes the road, and the curving pedal steel and cello melodies that wrap around his picking suggest a warm comfort that he can’t quite grasp. Closer at hand is his old friend Bridget St. John, whose voice has a similarly lived-in sound. Their harmonies add just enough sugar to make Chapman’s plainly stated, bitterly measured observations go down one after another.