Two 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): http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/SkinnyLove.mp3
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.
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.
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):