MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Berry’s “Fragments” Video

2018 marks the 16th year of Berry‘s existence, and to mark the occasion, Joyful Noise has issued the quartet’s third LP, Everything, Compromised. Though the album is the only first from the Chicago-based outfit since 2010’s Blue Sky, Raging Sun, Berry is nonetheless a very prolific band, having already written and recorded more than 100 songs. The gap between albums stemmed from a couple of factors, including band members moving across the country as well as finding the right producer to complete the LP after a whirlwind recording session generated 11 songs. The producer came in the form of Paul Klimson (John Legend, Erykah Badu), and soon after, the nine-track Everything, Compromised was finished. Trust us, it was worth the wait.

“Fragments” is the second single from the album, and it’s a pretty-yet-slightly-spooky slice of indie prog with a killer, laid-back groove. Frontman Joey Lemon shares how the new video for the track came together: “Summer of 2017 marked a full seven years since Berry’s last tour. The tour, which previewed tracks from Everything, Compromised, was as much a chance to reconnect with old friends as anything else. College friend Trae Carson hosted Berry’s final tour rehearsal in the warehouse of his artisan microbrewery, 405 Brewing Co., and old tour buddy Seth McCarroll, founder of acclaimed pedal company Old Blood Noise Endeavors, was on hand to document it. The result is a live video of the apocalypse-by-internet-inspired ‘Fragments.'”

We are proud to premiere “Fragments” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check out it now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Cheer-Accident’s “Done”

If you want to impress your friends by saying you got in on the ground floor with Cheer-Accident via the band’s stellar new album, well, you’re only about 37 years too late. Yes, this virtually uncategorizable Chicago ensemble formed around the time the members of Animal Collective were still learning how to form full sentences about panda bears and strawberry jam. Impressively named multi-instrumentalist Thymme Jones has been Cheer-Accident’s mainstay since day one, with a revolving cast of numerous members and guests in and out over the years, though the band has had a solid core lineup for a while now.

On May 25, Skin Graft will issue Fades, which, by our guess, is Cheer-Accident’s 19th album. (This would put Jones and Co. one behind Guided By Voices in the LP department; what’s with the Midwest and hyper productivity?) Like the band’s previous albums, Fades is a dizzying and evolving array of disparate styles—psych, prog, pop, punk, post-punk (and those are just the “p”s)—that Cheer-Accident somehow continually manages to cohere into a sound that’s unmistakably its own.

The 10-track Fades kicks off with “Done,” a mini motorik masterpiece that your Stereolab-loving older sister will be singing along with at the gym. Jones calls “Done” the “most kraut-poppy song on the record. It’s great to jog in place to—or jazzercise. And the dual trombone/mouthbone solo equals the dorkiest moment on the album.”

We music dorks couldn’t agree more, so we’re proud to premiere “Done” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and catch Cheer-Accident on tour (dates below).

5/21 – Midland, TX, The Scorpions Nest
5/22 – Albuqurque, NM, TBA
5/23 – Tucson, AR, TBA
5/24 – Los Angeles, Hi Hat
5/25 – Sacramento, CA, Blue Lamp
5/26 – San Francisco, Cafe Du Nord
5/27 – Santa Cruz, CA, Crepe Place
5/31 – Petrolia, CA, Mattole Valley Community Center
6/1 – Portland, Mississippi Studios
6/2 – Seattle, Columbia City Theater (Seaprog Festival)
6/4 – Salt Lake City, Metro
6/5 – Denver, Larimer
6/6 – Kansas City, MO. Record Bar
6/7 – Minneapolis, 7th Street Entry
6/8 – Madison, WI. The Frequency
6/9 – Chicago, Beat Kitchen

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of US, Today’s “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)”

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Us Weekly and USA Today merged? Well, the result would decidedly not be Us, Today, an experimental-leaning instrumental trio from Cincinnati. Vibraphonist Kristen Agee, guitarist Joel Griggs and drummer Jeff Mellot formed eight years after meeting at a coffee shop (how totally 2010) and immediately went to work, releasing three albums: 2011’s RH Sessions, 2012’s Beneath The Floorboards and 2015’s Tenenemies. The LPs were the result of weekly improvisational jam sessions that the band then used as the basis for completed songs.

On new album Computant (out June 15), Us, Today pushes things ever further, adding synths and electronic-drum elements to its sophisticated sonic stew. Perhaps most impressive is that the trio recorded the entire record over the course of one weekend, with most of the tracks only needing three or four takes. New single “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit),” however, “we did it in one take,” says Agee. “After we did one pass of this song, we all agreed that it was exactly what we wanted—no need to do another pass. The song was done. That is a huge win in my book.”

“‘Spellcaster’ is very different from a lot of other tunes on the album,” says Mellot. “It seems to be more straightforward from a time-signature standpoint, and it relies on relentless energy from the band. This was a tune we felt we needed our attention in the studio. One of our crowning achievements is only doing one take.”

“The middle section was designed to kind of act like being in space after taking off in the first section,” says Griggs. “The guitar and vibes drift lightly before descending into full, rock-out cacophony assault on the senses. We wanted to come back down to drone to end the song like an airplane landing.”

Mission accomplished, Queen City cosmonauts.

We’re proud to premiere “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and let these spirit doctors cast their spell on you.

MAGNET Exclusive: Stream The Uranium Club’s “Live For The Very First Time (In Italy)”

“It’s everything you asked for: sardonic humor, guitars and the type of energy normally only found in the type of invitation that lands you in a cult. The ‘Club and pertinent board members are overjoyed to present the Minneapolis Uranium Club as you’ve never seen them before—in Italy!”

So says Brendan Wells of the Twin Cities-based Uranium Club, a four-year-old outfit that sounds and looks like it’s been around a hell of a lot longer than that. (Speaking of looks: These guys certainly wouldn’t seem out of place at a Conflict-subscriber reunion bash.)

Following releases on labels you’re nowhere near cool enough to know about (Lumpy, Fashionable Idiots, Static Shock), the Uranium Club has joined forces with the relatively higher-profile Castle Face label (Thee Oh Sees, Kelley Stoltz, Ty Segall, Coachwhips) for Uranium Club: Live For The Very First Time (In Italy), an eight-track LP for those of you who couldn’t get on the guest list for the show. The Uranium Club’s brand of sarcastic, spazzy post-punk would’ve fit perfectly on a triple bill between Death Of Samantha and Phantom Tollbooth circa 1988 at 7th Street Entry, which around these parts is high praise indeed.

Live is out Friday the 13th, but lucky for you, you can stream it at magnetmagazine.com right now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Western Centuries’ “Time Does The Rest”

Western Centuries is a bi-coastal honky-tonk outfit whose members have played with the likes of Donna The Buffalo, Zoe Muth, the Lost High Rollers and Eli West. Given its three songwriters are urban cowboys (Jim Miller lives in and around NYC, while Ethan Lawton and Cahalen Morrison call Seattle home) with a healthy respect for old-school rural influences, the band’s sound is the new, real “countrypolitan.” Traces of all the good stuff (classic C&W and R&B, cowboy songs, Delta blues, three-part harmonies, stellar lyricism) find their way onto the dozen-track Songs From The Deluge (out today on the Free Dirt label), the follow-up to 2016’s Weight Of The World.

One of the album’s standouts is the Miller-penned “Time Does The Rest,” a song “about those scary and beautiful moments when you know your life is about to change in huge and unpredictable ways,” says the songwriter. “But as scary as those life-consuming moments can be, I try to convey what I personally believe—that whenever change follows the heart, nothing but good will result. I also wanted to create an aggressive waltz mood, to explore what an edgy waltz might sound like.”

You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Mr. Miller. We’re proud to premiere “Time Does The Rest” today on magnetmagazine.com. Stream and/or download it below.

“Time Does The Rest” (download):

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Yonatan Gat’s “Medicine”

On May 4, Joyful Noise will release Universalists, the sophomore album from NYC-based guitarist/producer Yonatan Gat. The 10-track LP follows 2015’s Director and two EPs, continuing the former Monotonix founder’s exploration of melding improvisation, world music, punk and avant-garde into a vital new music form. The centerpiece of Universalists is “Medicine,” a collaboration with Rhode Island drum ensemble the Eastern Medicine Singers and Swans’ Thor Harris.

“The first time I saw the Eastern Medicine Singers, they were playing outside the venue just before we went on,” says Gat. “I loved their music and asked if they wanted to improvise with us during our concert. We had never met before, and they immediately replied, ‘No.’ But by the second song, they were hauling their gigantic drum inside, and we started playing together in the middle of the room—two bands forming two circles, with the crowd around us, dancing, trancing, many in tears.”

The recording session for “Medicine” featured 20 musicians playing live in the studio. We’re proud to premiere the five-minute track today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it now, and also check out legendary live performer Gat and band on tour in May (dates below).

May 6 Winooski, VT (Waking Windows Festival)
May 9 Montreal, QC (Distorsion Psych Fest at La Sala Rossa)
May 10 Toronto, ON (CMW Festival)
May 11 Cleveland, OH (Happy Dog West)
May 13 Indianapolis, IN (State Street Pub)
May 14 Chicago, IL (The Hideout)
May 15 Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
May 16 Los Angeles, CA (Resident)
May 18 San Francisco, CA (The Chapel)
May 19 Portland, OR (Bunk Bar)
May 22 Vancouver, B.C. (Astoria)

Exclusive Cover Story Excerpt: The Breeders Interviewed By Actor Elijah Wood

Here’s an exclusive excerpt of the current MAGNET cover story. To read the whole thing, order a copy of the issue here.

Interview by Elijah Wood

Photos by Jon Enoch

A quarter century after releasing the platinum-selling Last Splash and then drifting into an on-again/off-again period, the classic lineup of the Breeders is back with the aptly titled All Nerve, rocking like it’s 1993 all over again. Elijah Wood sits down with Kim and Kelley Deal to illuminate everything.

Elijah Wood: Like so many, when I first heard the Breeders in the summer of 1993 (I came to discover 1990’s Pod later), my ears were struck by the opening clack of Jim Macpherson’s drumsticks as intro to Josephine Wiggs’ iconic bass line of “Cannonball.” I was hooked. These four musicians, led by the singular voice of Kim Deal, stood out then—and remain now—as a band very much its own: sonically vital, idiosyncratic and incredibly special. I was honored to be asked by MAGNET to chat with Kim and Kelley Deal over the phone about their beautiful new album, All Nerve (4AD), the first with this lineup since Last Splash 25 years ago. Enjoy and rejoice that these fine folks are coming to a city near you and continuing to share their music with us! And check out Kim’s solo seven-inch project for an early version of “Walking With A Killer”

Elijah Wood: Where are you right now?
Kelley Deal: I’m in Dayton, Ohio, in my house.
Elijah: Oh, nice.
Kim Deal: Not really. I’m in Florida and sitting in a bay on the Atlantic Ocean in Summerland Key, in the lower Keys north of Key West.
Elijah: That sounds so lovely. Are you on vacation?
Kim: Yes. We started coming down here. You know, my dad used to come down here all the time, every year. And then he got old and needed help, so me and Kelley would grudgingly come down here. I don’t know about Kelley, but I hate the beach and laying out in the sun.
Elijah: I’ve never understood that, either. It only seems like kind of a weird waste of time.
Kim: It’s a punishment.
Elijah: Yeah. I’m good with swimming. I love to swim in the ocean, but the idea of laying out a blanket and reading a book or just lying there just seems … I have the same relationship with baths.
Kim: Oh, yeah. [Laughs]
Elijah: I just feel like after 15 minutes, I’m bored with it. And I overheat, and I need to get out of it.
Kelley: Yeah. We have similar coloration, don’t we? We’re kinda light skinned like that.
Elijah: Maybe it’s just not in our blood.
Kim: Yeah.
Elijah: Um, your new record is really incredible. I was so pleased when they sent it to me. I didn’t know that I was gonna get a chance to look into it before talking to you, but it’s so good. How did it come together? I know that you all reformed the Last Splash lineup for the reunion tour. Is that kind of how you all came back together?
Kelley: Exactly. I was sitting on my couch with my sister. Kim was visiting me. It was 2012. I commented, you know, “Next year is 2013. It will be 20 years since Last Splash, it will be the anniversary. Should we, like, give a show? We could invite Jim and Josephine and could just play the record and maybe just do a show or do a couple of shows or something.” And Kim said, “Sure. You invite Jim, and I’ll talk to Josephine.” And so we did, and everybody was game for it. They texted right back and said, “Sounds awesome.” That kind of started that. That was sometime in the summer of 2012, and we played our first show at the Bell House in Brooklyn in March of 2013. That started the ball rolling.
Elijah: It obviously felt really good to be back together again as a band because it clearly led to this album. When did the conversation begin about recording something new together?
Kim: Well, at first we’re just concentrating on, “OK, this song goes into this song. This song goes into this song. How are we gonna do ‘Mad Lucas’?” So a lot of that time, you know, it wasn’t that … It was something like eight months of touring from March to the end, but then as the touring was getting a little farther in, it’s sounding really good and people are enjoying it so much. It was a London Forum show where people were so happy to see us, and there was a booking agent that’s just, like, “Man, have you guys thought to do another record? You really should. This was a really incredible night.” And our friends were saying, “You guys need to play more.” And, of course, we think, “This is sounding good.” So we began to go and do things.
Elijah: Wow. Then with Kim’s seven-inch series … I’m trying to figure out the timeline. Was that happening concurrently?
Kim: Yes, the first seven-inch, which was “Walking With A Killer,” came out, like, Jan. 1, 2013. I had some other ones, in different stages of completion, ready to go. Now, I have another one ready to go, but I haven’t manufactured the seven-inch yet. I thought I would put them all together as an album maybe.
Elijah: Oh, that’s a cool idea.
Kim: Yeah, I thought maybe I could do something like that. But yeah, it was happening concurrently. And what’s one of the ones we’ve … Josephine and Kelley said that they really liked the “Walking With A Killer” song, and I knew other than you, Elijah, and a couple of other people, not a lot of people have heard of the song, you know. So we started playing that one live, and it just sounded so big and lush.
Elijah: Yeah, that sounded good.
Kim: I’d never played it live with a band. It was always done in pieces, because it was a solo thing.
Elijah: That was ultimately how you all decided to record that for the album: just playing it live.
Kim: Yeah, I was just like, “Oh my God, we should do this one.”
Elijah: That’s so great.
Kelley: It’s interesting. I’m sitting here thinking about all those songs on there, and there are so many that I would do: “Range On Castle,” “Dirty Hessians,” “Likkle More,” “Biker Gone.” There’s so many that I would love to play live because these songs don’t get a chance. But you know what’s interesting about that is just this band—like Josephine, she really liked “Walking.” I don’t know that she didn’t like the others. They’re not the ones that spoke to her, I guess. It’s interesting how in this particular band, the push and pull is different. It’s interesting to me ’cause I’m sitting here thinking, “I’d love to do ‘Range On Castle.’ Oh, it’s so awesome.” But I gotta respect what she sees. That’s what makes this different than the last thing or the solo series. It’s really interesting how that works out. It’s fascinating.
Elijah: The thing of a group of people coming together as a band is different than an individual person writing a song. Under the auspices of the band, it’s seemingly a democratic process. And therefore, it is. It totally is. It’s fascinating. The thing of those voices coming together as one making the band what it is for whatever reason.
Kelley: Yeah. Jim Macpherson is working a full-time job, and Josephine is very busy doing her stuff: soundtrack work and art-installation work. She’s like a little scientist up in Brooklyn doing her stuff. So you would think that here we are—we’re doing this and we’re offered that. I love the idea that Kim or Josephine can say, “It’s a deal.” Or, “No, no. I don’t wanna do that.” It wasn’t until recently that I thought, “You know, a lot of people wouldn’t do that with Kim.” They would just say, “Whatever you want,” you know? It’s interesting.
Elijah: I think that’s what makes the Breeders the Breeders: the combination of those voices.
Kelley: Exactly, yeah. It’s true.
Elijah: There’s another song that you all re-recorded, I think it was on (2002’s) Title TK. You recorded the Amps song “Full On Idle.” What was the thought process behind that?
Kim: Nobody knew the Amps record (1995’s Pacer) when it was out.
Elijah: That seems crazy to me.
Kim: But it’s true though, right?
Elijah: Yeah, I guess so.
Kim: So, it felt like nobody had heard it anyway, and sometimes a beautiful song could be done better. That was really the main thing. We were playing it live, and it sounded so much better. Maybe it’s not a really great thing to do, but I couldn’t stop myself. And the same with “Hoverin’” on the b-side of “Divine Hammer.” It’s just me and Kelley just going into a demo studio and doing it together for fun. I ended up using it as the b-side because I thought it sounded really cool, so rickety. I thought it could be done way better. So me and Jim did it with (Steve) Albini for the Amps record. Were you there, Kel?
Kelley: With Albini? Yes, I was.
Elijah: Speaking of the legendary engineer/record handyman … He recorded some of the new record as well, right?
Kim: Yeah. OK, here’s the thing with Albini, I think. When you go to a studio with him, it’s not sort of a place where you can workshop an idea out or anything. There’s definitely spaces on a song that don’t sound good. [Laughs] For instance, there can be a song that I can think of that it’s not the greatest part, but if we get the guitars distorted enough or whatever, it’ll sound OK. I don’t know. There’s things like that where these things worked. But with Albini, the recording process is so revealing of what’s happening, and he takes it to the basics. So at every level, it can’t just be … I can’t cringe anywhere in the song with Albini.
Elijah: He’s sort of notorious for that, isn’t he? He’s kind of the person who refuses to be called a producer. He refuses to take that producing credit, and he’s just there to filter whatever the band is bringing them without any … I’ve heard that he notoriously doesn’t offer any kind of thoughts necessarily, right?
Kim: Right. Well, he would, you know, refer to himself as a plumber.
Elijah: Right. [Laughs]
Kim: If you want a good recording of what you’re doing in the studio, out in the room, he will give you the best recording that he’s capable of doing. And he approaches everything professionally. He will make you sound exactly like you sound, and sometimes that’s not good.
Elijah: If your idea or if your song is not as fully fleshed out as you’d like it to be, then it can showcase some of the work that you weren’t keen to experience.
Kim: It could. On the other hand, he does like to say that he doesn’t like to influence anybody’s recording and artistic decisions. But at the same time, with “All Nerve,” I definitely had a harmony that I wanted to do to that part of a song, and I got some pushback. “You don’t need a harmony.” But whenever I wanna double something, he’ll say, “It just sounds better single here.” But sometimes, he likes to listen to the damaged fragility of a single vocal. He finds that way more compelling than he would find a voice like Adele that’s beautiful. Not that she’s not doing a damaged beautiful vocal. I’m not saying that.
Elijah: He’s not looking for perfection. He just wants the naked, revealing recording of the band.
Kim: Which is sometimes extremely, exactly what I don’t wanna do. But in the end, he’s always right. He really is always right. It’s really ridiculous how right he usually is. It’s frustrating.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Sleepy Zuhoski’s “Daydream” Video

On June 1, Sleepy Zuhoski will release debut album Better Haze (Palo Santo). Produced by Salim Nourallah (Old 97s, Damnwells, Deathray Davies), the LP is a collection of songs that Dallas-based Garrett Zuhoski had been working on over the years. After cutting basic tracks, Nourallah (also a solo artist and co-foudner of Palo Santo) and Zuhoski brought in Polyphonic Spree guitarist Nick Earl to add sounds and ideas to the songs, with the result being a diverse batch of tunes ranging from trippy folk to shoegaze to avant pop, all held together by an underlying indie-rock feel. (If you’re the type who needs RIYL comparisons, we could do worse than offer Grandaddy, early MGMT and fellow Lone Star staters Midlake.)

Zuhoski just made a video for Better Haze track “Daydream,” and we’re proud to premiere it today on magnetmagazine.com. “To me, it’s a song about getting wasted with someone you love,” says Zuhoski of “Daydream.” “Someone told me recently that they loved the song about day drinking, and even though they misheard the lyrics, I think it’s in the same spirit. The video represents being stuck in your head, going through the motions and not realizing how beautiful the world around you is, even when it’s ugly and dirty.”

So, kids, get your day drink on, and watch “Daydream” now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Arthur Alexander’s “One Bar Left”

Warsaw, Poland, native Arthur Alexander was at ground zero of the New York City punk movement as guitarist for the Poppees, the first band signed to the legendary Bomp! label and an outfit that helped bridge the gap between power pop and new wave during its mid-’70s existence. A staple of the CBGB/Max’s Kansas City live scene, the Poppees broke up in 1976, and Alexander went on to form the seminal Sorrows before moving from NYC to L.A., where he’s worked producing records for younger bands. Now, he’s back making his own music, and the result is the 17-track One Bar Left (Dead Beat, May 4), a collection of newly recorded songs selected from tunes he’s written over the years.

Today, we bring you the LP’s title track. “I wrote this song in Brooklyn,” says Alexander. “If anyone thinks this is about some down-and-out, broken-hearted guy desperately looking for a place to have a drink, it’s far more involved than that. While on tour with my band Sorrows, we were loading in for a show at the Bowery Electric, and my cellphone fell into a rain puddle. I dried it in rice overnight, charged, recharged and charged again—and again. Alas, the battery showed only, well, one bar left! And it was downhill from there. I spent the whole day running around Brooklyn trying to save it. The phone died a tragic and slow death, but the song was born.”

We’re proud to premiere “One Bar Left” from this onetime Beatle of the Bowery today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, watch the video teaser below, and, kids, hold on tight to your cellphones.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Tentative Reels’ “Suicide Commando” Video

Last Halloween, we gave you a scary new mp3 from Messer Chups, the veteran sci-fi surf-punk (mostly) instrumentalists hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia. Bassist Zombierella is now launching a solo career with three new projects: the Bleak Engineers (’80s darkwave), Trivia (electronic sci-fi) and Tentative Reels (experimental electro rock). Today we’re proud to premiere the video for the first release from Tentative Reels: “Suicide Commando.” Originally cut by early-’80s German no-wave outfit No More and redone in 1998 by DJ Hell, “Suicide Commando” now gets the Zombierella treatment: a mixture of both darkness and light. Check out the clip now, and catch Zombierella on tour this year.