Ever 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:
Tavis Smiley (PBS): Neko Case
Check your local listings on this one; some PBS stations are running the program tomorrow. Anyway, an interview-centric appearance on Tavis Smiley is a nice break for the Middle Cyclone-promoting Neko. A couple (admittedly softball) questions we’d like to see answered: Please explain the album’s cover art, a photo of Neko atop a sportscar wielding a broadsword. And much has been made of her barnful of pianos—why don’t we hear a symphony of battered pianos on Middle Cyclone?
Last Call With Carson Daly: M83
Despite a so-so review of M83’s Disney Hall performance with the L.A. Philharmonic over the weekend, Anthony Gonzalez’ group is getting excellent mileage out of last year’s Saturdays = Youth. M83 will perform “Kim And Jesse.”
Neko Case’s “People Got A Lotta Nerve” from Middle Cyclone: (download): http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/PeopleGotALottaNerve.mp3
Cursive frontman Tim Kasher continues his graphic storytelling on sixth album Mama, I’m Swollen, releasing this week on Saddle Creek. It’s the Omaha-based group’s follow-up to 2006’s Happy Hollow, an album that challenged Christianity and talked smack about The Wizard Of Oz‘s Dorothy for chasing unattainable dreams. Instead of singling out Dorothy (as if she hasn’t been through enough), Mama calls out the entire human race in the catchy, snare-driven shakedown “From The Hips.” Kasher keeps it blunt and lyrically entertaining on Cursive’s moodiest album yet, with song themes ranging from masturbation (“Mama I’m Satan”) to tales starring Pinocchio (“Donkeys”). Kasher spoke to MAGNET from Omaha and will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week.
Throw 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.
Proving 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, LeonardCohen and JimiHendrix, 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
Dean 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.
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.