Love Is In The Air, Free Valentine MP3s Rain Down Like Tears: First Up, Aidan Moffat (ex-Arab Strap)

heartarrow2This Valentine’s Day weekend, barely legal mp3s will run wild and free across the Internet. Many bands are offering free downloads of songs from upcoming albums, and we’ll be compiling and posting them here as they roll in. On deck so far is new material from Aidan Moffat (from Arab Strap), the Handsome Family, Mobius Band and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone (how apropos). Remember: You’re never alone if you have a killer mixtape (and maybe some ditchweed and an Xbox).

aiden366bAidan Moffat was, and is, a miserable Scottish bastard best known for his membership in Arab Strap, the drunk, evil, foul-mouthed and generally more fun cousin of Glasgow mates Belle And Sebastian back in the Scottish-pop golden era. How To Get To Heaven From Scotland (Chemikal Underground), his latest LP under the name Aidan Moffat And The Best-Ofs, is out next month. Download an mp3 of album track “Big Blonde” here or stream the song below.

“Big Blonde”:

TiVo Party Tonight: They Might Be Giants, The Sounds

tivogiantsEver wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? They let musicians onstage! Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Late Night With Conan O’Brien (NBC): They Might Be Giants
TMBG (pictured) recently won a Grammy for last year’s kids’ album Here Come The 123s. In your face, Here Comes Little Brady Rymer And The Band That Could!

Last Call With Carson Daly (NBC): The Sounds
The high-energy Swedish pop/new-wave band will debut “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” from its forthcoming album. You know the Sounds via their song “Hurt You,” from this Geico caveman commercial.

They Might Be Giants’ “Withered Hope” (live version) from 2007’s The Else (download here):

Download The New Thermals Single

thermals360bThe Thermals will release fourth album Now We Can See (Kill Rock Stars) on April 7. What? Can’t hear you. Blasting this thing like it was a secret Pixies album recorded after Frank Black did Teenager Of The Year and wanted to get revenge on Green Day for Dookie. (This was in or around 1994, children.) It’s sharper and more focused than the Portland, Ore., group’s good-but-sloppy previous output on Sub Pop. Here is an mp3 of the title track and first single, though it’s seriously the third- or fourth-best song on the album. Or stream audio below.

The Thermals’ “Now We Can See”:

Update: “When I Died”:

New Marianne Faithfull Album Features Nick Cave, Chan Marshall, Rufus Wainwright And Others

marriane2345Anyone who thought Marianne Faithfull was nothing more than Mick Jagger’s arm candy/co-defendant more than 40 years ago, must realize by now that she’s released more vital new music over the past two decades than the old boy himself. Faithfull always knows a good supporting cast when she sees one. Easy Come, Easy Go (out March 17 on Decca) finds Faithfull collaborating with heavyweights Nick Cave, Chan Marshall, Rufus Wainwright and Antony Hegarty, as well as old drinking buddy Keith Richards. The album, produced by Hal Willner (who did 1987’s Strange Weather), consists of 12 covers penned by artists ranging from Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Randy Newman to Morrissey, Neko Case and Colin Meloy. BTW: We have it on good authority (the lady herself) that her given name is pronounced “Marian” not “Mary Ann.” Impress your friends tonight over a pitcher of appletinis. Easy Come, Easy Go tracklisting after the jump.

“Hold On, Hold On” from Easy Come, Easy Go:

Neko Case’s “Hold On, Hold On” from 2006’s Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (download here):

Continue reading “New Marianne Faithfull Album Features Nick Cave, Chan Marshall, Rufus Wainwright And Others”

TiVo Party Tonight: Blind Pilot, She & Him

tivoshebEver wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? They let musicians onstage! Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Last Call With Carson Daly (NBC): Blind Pilot
Portland, Ore.’s bike-touring pop duo makes its network TV debut.

Spectacle (SUN): She & Him (pictured), Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan
Description of the Elvis Costello-hosted program here; Sundance is still the bleeding-edge news source for the breakups of both Rilo Kiley and the Wallflowers.

She & Him’s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” from 2008’s Volume One (download here):

Put Up Your Dukes: Bon Iver

boniverb540c1Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Bon Iver. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

Hey, remember when you were a teenager and you’d be in the car with one of your parents and you’d have to find something on the radio that was tolerable for the both of you? You’d end up listening to the bland middle ground of John Mellencamp or the Steve Miller Band or, at best, Out Of Time-era R.E.M. Depending on our reader’s (yes, I do mean singular—I think one person reads this column) age, that safe-sounding music might have been the Wallflowers or Iron & Wine or Bon Iver. I’ve gotten more excited watching Sunrise Earth than I have listening to For Emma, Forever Ago.

“Skinny Love” from For Emma, Forever Ago (download here):

Continue reading “Put Up Your Dukes: Bon Iver”

Metric Shares Its Deepest “Fantasies”


When Metric issues its fourth full-length studio album, Fantasies, on April 14, it won’t be through just one label. Last Gang Records, the Toronto-based company that released 2003’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? and 2005’s Live It Out, will handle distribution in Canada, and another Canadian label (Arts&Crafts) will release the album in Mexico. Meanwhile, Metric has hired its own staff to handle release and distribution in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps fittingly, Fantasies is an album that defies labels. Emily Haines and Co. are back in true electropop form, but punk, psychedelia and disco influences have also worked their way into Fantasies. The album’s first single, “Help I’m Alive,” is a dreamy piece of synth pop that’s already become the band’s biggest radio hit in Canada and is quickly approaching gold status on iTunes. Metric will embark on a U.S. tour in June. Fantasies tracklisting after the jump.

“Help I’m Alive (Acoustic)” (download here):

Continue reading “Metric Shares Its Deepest “Fantasies””

Wrens Watch, Jan. 26, 2009: Download Brand New Wrens Song Below!

We’ve been fans of New Jersey’s finest since even before their first album came out back in 1994, so let’s just say we’re used to sitting around waiting for them to take their sweet-ass time putting out new music. (Three albums in more than 14 years makes the Wrens about as prolific as Boston, which is kind of like being as tall as Kenny Baker.) As reported in a Wrens Watch Special Report, January 9 marked a huge milestone for the guys: guitarists Charles Bissell and Greg Whelan, bassist Kevin Whelan and drummer Jerry MacDonald. They issued “Pulled Fences,” their first new (well, sort of new) song since 2003’s The Meadowlands. Perhaps motivated by finally releasing something, the band convened—not in a real studio, but in Kevin’s basement—last week to begin work on its new album. We checked in with Bissell to see how things are going.

:: Wrens Watch, Jan. 26, 2009
MAGNET: We’ve said mean things to each other in this space, but people must realize we’re friends. Wrens Watch exists because we love you guys as a band, but also as friends. We were so happy for you when you got married and had a kid. And—hint, hint—we’re sure you’ll eventually let us meet the family, right?
Bissell: What? Oh, uh, yeah sure. I’ll totally let you know about that. Now’s not really good. The band has been so busy recording and stuff. And, you know, I don’t really involve them with Wrens stuff or meeting music writers or anything.
Well, we couldn’t do it now anyway. The wife broke her foot and can’t really leave the house. She is desperate for new music. She actually said a new Wrens album would make her feel better.
Well, I’m here to heal. Bring your wife closer as I croon songs of love.
Hold on, I’ll tell her that … She said that she would rather have Kevin croon to her, because at least he has more than two new songs written. And that she doubts you guys recorded anything last week, if you got together at all.
Tell her we did convene in the basement last Monday and recorded a song. Not only that, I just finished a quick mix of it. Phew. That was exhausting. Wonder what I’ll do next year. [Laughs]
You see? That’s your problem right there. Not only do you guys take forever to do anything, you joke about it. Totally unprofessional.
I forgot I’m talking to Mr. Professional. Thank god you’re a pro. Both of MAGNET’s subscribers are counting on you. And here’s a little something special for both of them: a downloadable mp3 of the song we recorded Monday.

Gimme Shelter: Neko Case Free Download Benefits Animal Charity


Neko Case and her label (Anti-) are donating $5 to rescue organization Best Friends Animal Society for every blog post of Case’s new single, “People Got A Lotta Nerve.” The song from the forthcoming album Middle Cyclone (due March 3) can be downloaded by anyone for free at Anti-‘s label blog, where you can also view Case’s public service announcement for Best Friends. Money will be donated from now until February 3. Additionally, a $1 donation will be made for every iLike user who adds the song to his/her profile. We predict widespread support for this effort, except maybe from this blog. (Why do we even remember that?) To read our forecast of Middle Cyclone, click here.

“People Got A Lotta Nerve” from Middle Cyclone (download here):