Grandaddy Clause: Beck

jasonlogoeAfter the dissolution of beloved sci-fi pop outfit Grandaddy in 2006, frontman Jason Lytle left behind California’s blue suburban skies for the peace, quiet and sobriety of Montana. This week, Lytle re-emerges with news of a solo debut and a part-time seasonal job as guest editor for magnetmagazine.com. Read our new Q&A with Lytle about his forthcoming album, Yours Truly, The Commuter (Anti-), here.

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Lytle: Beck can do no wrong in my book. He’s pretty much pulling off what Prince thought he was gonna pull off at one point, as far as jumping all over the place and remaining a true artist. Somehow, his body of work is super-cohesive regardless of the fact that his albums do tend to sound a lot different from each other.

Beck’s “We Live Again” from 1998’s Mutations:

For an in-depth piece on Lytle circa the end of Grandaddy, read our 2006 cover story here.

Q&A With Jason Lytle

jason_hill555Even when he was in his late 20s, Jason Lytle—about to turn 40 in March—seemed old for his time. The burden of being the only songwriter/main creative force for indie-rock cult faves Grandaddy seemed to weigh heavily on him. Since dissolving the band and moving to Bozeman, Mont., a few years ago, Lytle seems much happier, at least on the phone. He loves mountain-biking, still skateboards and goes on long hiking treks into the wilderness, things he couldn’t do so easily when he lived in Modesto, Calif. Montana’s climate certainly fits Lytle’s clothes. Now that he’s signed a record deal with respected Los Angeles label Anti- for his debut solo album, Yours Truly, The Commuter (due out May 19), he can continue to do what he does best: write some of the most appealing songs of the last 15 years and, hopefully, avoid the pitfalls of his earlier musical experiences.

MAGNET spoke to ex-Grandaddy frontman from his Bozeman residence. Lytle will be the guest editor of magnetmagazine.com all this week. Check back for his daily posts on favorite music, film, literature and more.

Grandaddy’s “Nature Anthem” from 2004’s Artist’s Choice: Below The Radio:

Continue reading “Q&A With Jason Lytle”

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Leonard Michaels

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

leonardmichaels350Newman: Leonard Michaels is a short story writer who started writing in the 50s. He didn’t put out that much. (Publishers) Farrar, Straus and Giroux just put out The Collected Stories, which is a massive chunk of everything he did. He’s kind of an angry Jewish writer. He’s darker and more experimental than Philip Roth. Portnoy’s Complaint (Roth’s 1969 novel) is warped but still kind of cute; Leonard Michaels was a lot darker. He kind of reminds me of Grace Paley, too. Leonard Michaels’ son, Jesse, actually was the singer in Operation Ivy. I learned that from Wikipedia, by the way.

Read an excerpt of Michaels’ short story “Murderers” here.

This concludes “A.C. Newman Week” here at magnetmagazine.com. Thanks to Carl for ruthlessly dictating our content. Go to the store and buy Get Guilty along with four copies of the latest issue of MAGNET. To read our 2005 cover story on Newman and the New Pornographers, click here.

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Farm Sanctuary

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

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Newman: Farm Sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation center for farm animals; it’s a cause my wife and I support. I’m not a freaky vegetarian who wants to make sure animals are never killed or eaten, but I think it’s important that they’re treated humanely. Factory farms are pretty disgusting. Everybody loves animals, don’t they? I think it’s important for people to remember where their food comes from. Food isn’t just a magical thing that shows up. It’s weird to talk about; I don’t want to seem like a hippie. Nevertheless, it’s important.

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: “Rock Of Love”

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

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Newman: I’m not even sure I enjoy watching some of these VH-1 shows. I really think it’s an addiction. It’s like heroin crossed with a car accident. With Rock Of Love and Rock Of Love Charm School, you hate everybody on the show yet you watch it somehow. I hate being manipulated by them. I wish I could stop. It’s just too easy to relapse.

 

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: The Seekers

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

seekers-1Newman: I was really into the Seekers years ago. I re-bought all their stuff on iTunes because I didn’t know where my vinyl was. There’s something amazingly hopeful and joyous in their music. It’s joyous in the way that church music should be. There’s something kind of cheesy about it—you could look at it and compare it to A Mighty Wind: that white-bread folk music. Like Dylan is authentic and the Seekers are these weird Peter Paul And Mary-style also-rans. I always loved them. “Georgy Girl” was a great song. They’re a real guilty pleasure of mine.

The Seekers’ “I’ll Never Find Another You”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfLstywUh90

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Hiroshi Teshigahara

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

womandunes1Newman: Oddly enough, the thing that got me obsessed with Barcelona was a documentary on Antoni Gaudí that showed at the cinematheque in Vancouver. I just realized it was directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara. It came out on the Criterion Collection a few months ago. His famous movie is called Woman In The Dunes, from the mid-’60s. It got nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (in 1964) and Teshigahara was later was nominated for Best Director (in 1965). Most of his movies were written by Kobo Abe, who I’m also a big fan of.

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Antoni Gaudí

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

gaudi23Newman: I was obsessed with Barcelona for years. I was amazed at how beautiful the city was. I couldn’t believe someone with such a strange, surreal, Dr. Seuss-like aesthetic was allowed to build all these landmarks in Barcelona and basically change the face of the city. The architect Antoni Gaudí built Park Güell, which is this psychedelic park in the middle of Barcelona, and the Sagrada Familia. When I went to Barcelona with my wife, [Gaudí] was the main draw. Half the time we were there, we were just looking for Gaudí architecture. If you look around America, there are many beautiful things, but so much of it is artless. At some point in time, Barcelona was saying, “Gaudí, build us a psychedelic cathedral.” I wish more cities were like that. I can’t think of anybody else who has left such an obvious imprint on a city.

A nice Gaudí blog/photo tour of Barcelona here.

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Gordon Lightfoot

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

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Newman: I went on iTunes and started downloading songs by Gordon Lightfoot. I couldn’t remember how they went, but I knew that I liked them. He had an album called Endless Wire in the ’70s, and a song on that record called “Daylight Katy” is, I think, the greatest thing he’s ever done. He was one of Dylan’s favorite songwriters, which is pretty high praise. He’s Canadian; I have to throw in some Canadian content. There’s a very proud tradition of Canadian songwriters. If you throw in Gordon Lightfoot with Joni Mitchell and Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, that’s a pretty powerful collection.

For a bizarre video montage of dolphins and Katie Holmes set to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Daylight Katy,” click here. SFW. Maybe not safe for Katie Holmes.

From The Desk Of A.C. Newman: Roberto Bolaño

carlnewmanpresscrop41“There are maybe 10 or 12 things I could teach you,” sings Carl “A.C.” Newman on his new solo album, Get Guilty (Matador). “After that, well, you’re on your own.” This week, MAGNET lets the New Pornographers frontman steer our website toward 10 or 12 of his own favorite things in music, film, literature and life.

Read our verdict on the orchestral-pop case of Get Guilty and a Q&A deposition with Newman here.

bolano245Newman: Roberto Bolaño died in 2003, but he’s become quite a hot author in the past couple years. Last year, his book from 1999, The Savage Detectives, was translated and published. His final book is a 900-page opus called 2666, and I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. In the worlds he creates, it seems that art and murder are often tied up together. It’s hard to describe, but his writing is dark and very beautifully written. He’s Chilean but spent most of his life in Mexico. I’ve been drawn to Latin-American writers recently; I don’t know why. A lot of people give Latin America credit for magical realism—Gabriel García Márquez being the most popular example—so that’s a somewhat common element of it, but Bolaño doesn’t really work in there. I can’t really tell you what links Latin American writers. It’s like when I was into R.E.M. as a teenager. I tried to find music like theirs by listening to the other bands from Athens, Ga. I found out Bolaño was a huge fan of Julio Cortázar, so I read him and that leads to other people like Carlos Fuentes, which leads to Juan Rulfo which leads to José Donoso and so on.

The New Yorker profiled Bolaño in 2007; read it here.