Free MP3 From Throw Me The Statue

tmts360bThrow Me The Statue’s 2008 debut, Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian), is the ultimate vacation album. Full of dreamy, woozy pop songs about Yucatán sand and romance in foreign countries, it plays like the soundtrack to a summer. Throw Me The Statue’s latest EP, Purpleface, is a bird of the same feather. With three new songs (“Ship,” “Honey Bee” and “That’s How You Win”) along with a reworking of a Moonbeams favorite (“Written In Heart Signs, Faintly”), Purpleface serves as a reminder that no one does fuzzy, lo-fi and lovelorn quite like Throw Me The Statue leader Scott Reitherman. Check out the Pedro The Lion-esque “Ship” below.

“Ship” from Purpleface (download):

In The News: Bruce Springsteen, Crooked Fingers, Richard Thompson, The Dude And Free MP3s

jeffbridges380Proving they don’t call him the Boss for nothing, Bruce Springsteen is the subject of Hangin’ Out On E Street, a section of his website featuring musicians discussing his influence on their work and performing covers of his songs. Artists paying homage include Ted Leo, Against Me!, the Avett Brothers, Juliana Hatfield and Pete Yorn. Download Juliana Hatfield’s “I Don’t Belong Anywhere” … Eric Bachmann’s Crooked Fingers has released Your Control, a digital-only EP available on iTunes and the band’s website. The four-track effort includes the Neko Case duet “Your Control” from 2008’s Forfeit/Fortune and guest appearances from Lambchop and Spoon’s Britt Daniel. Download “Phony Revolutions” … If anyone’s worthy of a boxed set, it’s legendary British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson. It’s fitting, then, that Shout! Factory is releasing Walking On A Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009), a Herculean effort containing 71 songs and a 60-page booklet … In other singer/songwriter doings, Joshua Tree, Calif.’s (by way of Columbus, Ohio) Tim Easton will see his fifth album, Porcupine (New West), out on April 28. Expect the usual outstanding roots-twang-blues-rock thing from this overlooked dude. Download “The Weight Of Changing Everything” … Doves are embarking on their first North American tour in 18 months, in support of Kingdom Of Rust (Astralwerks/Heavenly), on shelves April 7. The 18-date jaunt kicks off May 14 in San Diego, which, of course, is German for “whale’s vagina” … Using that classic comedy quote as a springboard, we segue into news that Lebowski Fests—geek-filled conventions in honor of the Coen brothers’ classic The Big Lebowski—will be held in 16 cities this year. The big Lebowksi of the Lebowski Fests, the L.A. version, takes place May 7-8 with a viewing of the film at the Wiltern Theatre and a next-day bowling party … Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear will release its sophomore LP, Veckatimest (Warp), on May 26. It’s the follow-up to 2006’s Yellow House. Download “He Hit Me”The Warlocks’ new platter, The Mirror Explodes (Tee Pee), crashes through on May 19. From the Is This Important? department, it was produced and recorded by Rod Cervera (Weezer, Rentals) … Music From The Motion Picture Watchmen (Warner Sunset/Reprise) is currently in stores. The soundtrack features songs by Nat King Cole, Leonard Cohen and Jimi Hendrix, plus My Chemical Romance doing Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row,” which doesn’t inspire any further comment … Finally, actress Juliette Lewis is releasing Terra Incognita (no label or firm release date yet), her third record, this spring, produced by the Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Her band moniker this time out, replacing the Licks, is the New Romantiques. Would it be too facile to suggest the album will likely suque?

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/LookinOutMyBackDoor.mp3

From The Desk Of Dean & Britta: Cheval Sombre

deanbritta120f1Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are New York City’s most effortless mod couple, a duo whose sleek, icily romantic pop can serve as both sophisticated art-gallery soundtrack and lovey-dovey fireplace music. In the four years since the breakup of former band Luna, Wareham and Phillips have pursued boutique careers in the best possible sense: in literature, film, fashion and the music business. Fittingly, their latest project, 13 Most Beautiful … Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, sets a series of Warhol’s short films to music. The couple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with Dean & Britta.

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Dean: Delicate, druggy, slowcore folk. Everyone who has heard this band’s self-titled debut LP loves it. We are releasing it April 28 on our Double Feature label. Cheval Sombre hails from upstate New York, and the album is produced by Sonic Boom. I play some electric guitar; Britta plays on it, too.

“Little Bit Of Heaven” (download here):

Free MP3 From Greater California

greatercalif373Greater California‘s first album, 2002’s The Little Pacific, won the Long Beach quintet comparisons to Brian Wilson, the Zombies, Harry Nilsson and the Byrds. 2005’s The Somber Wurlitzer didn’t garner quite as much praise in spite of its clever concept (the entire album was recorded between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.). In April, Greater California will release its third album, All The Colors (Subtitled Audio), which could be its golden ticket; the record is full of lush psychedelic pop and songs like “Disappearing,” which has a spooky, boardwalk-after-dark feel to it.

“Disappearing” from All The Colors (download):

Free MP3s From Swan Lake

swanlake360Swan Lake’s promo photo for its upcoming album, Enemy Mine (out March 24 on Jagjaguwar), looks like the Canadian trio brought together a Portuguese Jim Morrison, an Ivy League hipster from Vampire Weekend and my Irish uncle and called it a band. But amateurs the members of Swan Lake aren’t. Self-proclaimed “modern songwriters” Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes, Blackout Beach) have teamed up to create thoughtful indie jams reminiscent of the Walkmen or the Shins, mixing Belle And Sebastian-like lyrical nostalgia with random guitar plucks and car-seat-massaging bass. Like their band photo, the incongruity somehow works.

“Spanish Gold, 2044” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/spanishgold2044.mp3

“A Hand At Dusk” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/ahandatdusk.mp3

“Spider” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/spider.mp3

DVD Review: Xiu Xiu “You Can’t Hear Me”

xiuxiudvdThe front cover of Xiu Xiu‘s You Can’t Hear Me (Music Video Distributors) bears the curious disclaimer: “Xiu Xiu does not endorse the sound quality of the performance on this DVD.” You can hardly blame them. From the outset, the band’s jagged, aching art pop captured here—all of it recorded live—is overmodulated and distressingly fuzzy. There is some interesting, sweaty performance footage, but it’s intercut with director Courtney Fathom Sell’s short narratives (a young man is tied up and abused at the hands of two assailants; a young woman struggles with an STD), roughly animated scenes of holocaust or atmospheric shots of skylines, some with jellyfish floating next to the tall buildings. You Can’t Hear Me is not technically a live DVD, but it does prompt the question: Wouldn’t the studio recordings serve the same purpose without the accompanying loss in audio quality? Still, there is a certain charm to Sell’s filmed pieces. Many have a slightly voyeuristic quality similar to the strange Polaroids that frontman Jamie Stewart has been using for album art. Others have an Andy Warhol-like appeal, similar in essence to his famed Screen Test series. The live footage and these short films really would have been served better to be separated and appreciated on their own merits. Together, each renders the other void. Special features include the “Master Of The Bump” music video, a trailer and an interview with the filmmaker.

—Robert Ham

“I Do What I Want When I Want” from 2008’s Women As Lovers (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/IDoWhatIWantWhenIWant.mp3

From The Desk Of Dean & Britta: The Sand Pebbles

deanbritta120f1Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are New York City’s most effortless mod couple, a duo whose sleek, icily romantic pop can serve as both sophisticated art-gallery soundtrack and lovey-dovey fireplace music. In the four years since the breakup of former band Luna, Wareham and Phillips have pursued boutique careers in the best possible sense: in literature, film, fashion and the music business. Fittingly, their latest project, 13 Most Beautiful … Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, sets a series of Warhol’s short films to music. The couple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with Dean & Britta.

sandpebbles540Dean: The Sand Pebbles are my favorite Australian band and one of my favorite bands anywhere. We met them when bassist Christmas Hollow interviewed us a few years ago for ¡Tarantula!, their great webzine. He sent me a copy of their 2004 album, Ghost Transmissions, and I was floored by how good it was. There’s a very funny video on their MySpace site of an old German guy discovering the Sand Pebbles on the radio. We released A Thousand Wild Flowers, a Sand Pebbles compilation, on our Double Feature label last month.

“Wild Season” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/WildSeason.mp3

From The Desk Of Dean & Britta: Spectrum

deanbritta120f1Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are New York City’s most effortless mod couple, a duo whose sleek, icily romantic pop can serve as both sophisticated art-gallery soundtrack and lovey-dovey fireplace music. In the four years since the breakup of former band Luna, Wareham and Phillips have pursued boutique careers in the best possible sense: in literature, film, fashion and the music business. Fittingly, their latest project, 13 Most Beautiful … Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, sets a series of Warhol’s short films to music. The couple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with Dean & Britta.

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Britta: Why? Because they’re back on tour and they were the best band I saw at last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties! Spectrum is Sonic Boom‘s band. Sonic was in Spacemen 3 before he went on to form Spectrum. I was a big fan of both bands when I lived in London back in the early ’90s. I really got to know Sonic around the time Dean and I made our first album together, L’Avventura. Sonic really liked it and offered to do some remixes for us. We jumped at the chance and the result was the Sonic Souvenirs EP, which came out beautifully. (Sonic Souvenirs is out of print, so we included a few tracks on our re-release of L’Avventura.) Since then, we’ve gotten to know Sonic very well. He’s been our houseguest when he comes to New York and vice versa. He played on Back Numbers and he’s played with us live. Last September, I got to see Spectrum for the first time when they opened for us at the Knitting Factory. I was totally blown away. So much so that I caught a ride with them to the ATP festival, where they were playing the next night. Spectrum was the best band I saw there. (I heard J Mascis said the same.) Sonic has one of the coolest and most original voices, and his band is primal and truly exciting. It is rare and thrilling to see a friend transform into a rock star.

Sonic Boom’s “Lonely Avenue” from 1990’s Spectrum< (download here):

Free MP3 From The Lovetones

lovetones380Don’t let the title scare you; despite sharing a moniker with both an Eric Clapton album and an Iron Maiden song, the Lovetones‘ “Journeyman” is a wistful piece of psychedelic pop. This Australian four-piece manages to combine a space-age melody, jangly guitars and melancholy vocals into a cohesive and distinctive sound. Fronted by former Drop City member Matt Tow, whose three-month stint with the Brian Jonestown Massacre presumably taught him a little bit about psychedelic dysfunction, the Lovetones have been touting their brand of dreamy pop for nearly a decade. Their latest album, Dimensions, dropped on February 24 via Planting Seeds Records. So stream or download “Journeyman” below.

“Journeyman” (download here):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/journeyman.mp3