From The Desk Of Cursive’s Tim Kasher: Ladyfinger’s “Dusk”

timlogocCursive frontman Tim Kasher continues his graphic storytelling on sixth album Mama, I’m Swollen, out this week on Saddle Creek. He keeps it blunt and lyrically entertaining on the Omaha group’s moodiest LP yet, with song themes ranging from masturbation to tales starring Pinocchio. Kasher is guest editing all week. Read our Q&A with him.

02lgSure, these guys are on Saddle Creek, and sure, they are buddies, but I promise I wouldn’t be writing about their latest album if I didn’t truly get such a kick out of it. I listen to it all the time, and this is coming from a guy who rarely listens to hard rock. It took me a few days to come up with the adjective of how their chugging guitar sound made me feel … and then it hit me: “gratifying.” I listen to it all the time because I find it aurally gratifying. It has even inspired me to find other gratifying pleasures in my daily routine. I made an incredibly gratifying chili burrito the other day. I find gratification in taking off my shoes and slipping on my slippers. I recently found a non-alcoholic beer to be gratifying, despite it being non-alcoholic. (I understand now how helpful non-alcoholic beer could be for someone on the wagon.) I truly feel that Ladyfinger has helped me appreciate the world around me more. That’s saying a lot. Favorite songs on Dusk are “Little Things” and “Plans.” Really love “Plans.”

“Little Things” (download):

TiVo Party Tonight: The Pretenders, Raul Malo

tivopretendersEver 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:

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC): The Pretenders
Chrissie Hynde and Co. are promoting Stephen King’s number-one album of 2008.

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC): Raul Malo
The recently released Lucky One is the first album of originals in seven years from the ex-Mavericks frontman.

The Pretenders’ “Break Up The Concrete” (download):

Rock Plaza Central Finishes Third Album

rockcentral550bRock Plaza Central has finished its follow-up to Are We Not Horses, the Toronto band’s elaborately plotted, immaculately conceived 2007 concept album about a mythical celestial war and the self-aware metal equines that wage it. Now, if only its author can remember the new album’s title.

“It’s so long that I forget it,” admits Chris Eaton, RPC’s deep-voiced frontman. “I found a painting online that I thought really captured the same emotions that I was thinking of when writing the record. It had a name written on the painting, so it made sense to use it as the title.”

A couple minutes later, Eaton’s nabbed his quarry. “I have it now: If Only They Could Turn Around … ” He pauses. “Are you writing this down? Comma … They Would Know They Weren’t Alone.” (Eaton has since informed MAGNET that the title is a working one; he’s also considering At The Moment Of Our Most Needing.)

So it’s no When The Pawn. But this third LP promises to have the same intensely literary bent that made Horses such an engrossing listen. Whereas the last album sprang solely from the depths of his imagination, Eaton—who is also a novelist, and whose 2004 book The Inactivist was taught alongside Horses in a graduate English course at the University of South Alabama—says the new one was heavily inspired by Faulkner’s Light In August.

“(Don’t You Believe The Words Of) Handsome Men” (download):

Continue reading “Rock Plaza Central Finishes Third Album”

TiVo Party Tonight: Michael Stipe, Chris Cornell

tivostipeEver 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 Jimmy Fallon (NBC): Michael Stipe
We reported on this R.E.M. tribute concert a while back and almost forgot it’s happening, like, tomorrow. As of this writing, tickets are still available for the Carnegie Hall event, which seems crazy. Performers include Patti Smith, Glenn Hansard, Bob Mould, the Feelies, Apples In Stereo, the dB’s, house band Calexico and (and if you get the VIP tickets) catering by Mario Batali.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC): Chris Cornell
Nobody’s tossing Soundgarden a tribute concert (house band would be Evanescence; catering by Guy Fieri), but Cornell’s third solo album, Scream, is out today. For a daily dose of incredulity, check out the songs streaming at Cornell’s site; audio should be accompanied by an animated gif of Kim Thayil crying.

R.E.M.’s “I’ve Been High (Her Space Holiday Remix)” (download):

Free MP3 From Dead Heart Bloom

deadheart4002008 was a busy year for Boris Skalsky and his Dead Heart Bloom compatriots. Starting in the summer, the band began to issue what would ultimately form a three-part EP series. The first two chapters (Fall In and Oh Mercy) explore Dead Heart Bloom’s penchant for rough-hewn rock and bluesy vocals. The final EP, In Chains, is more introspective and trippy, a lushly soothing (if not consistent) conclusion to the band’s ambitious release cycle. Along with its latest efforts, all of Dead Heart Bloom’s material is up for free download on the group’s website

“Flash In A Bottle” (download):