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.