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.
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.
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.
Maybe it’s just us, but when we think of musicians who are also writers, filmmakers, TV personalities, producers, mental-health advocates, LGBT activists and in recovery from drug/alcohol addiction, Logan Lynn is one of the first people to come to mind. Anyway, Lynn has a new LP coming out this fall called My Movie Star, and much like its creator, it’s many different things at once. The multimedia My Movie Star is part standard album, part covers/remix record and part short film. What makes things even more interesting is the involvement of another man who wears many hats: Jay Mohr. The actor, comedian, producer and Mohr Stories podcaster became indispensable in the making of My Movie Star.
“I met Jay a while back when I did his show, and we both felt this instant connection to one another—like we had been married for years or something,” laughs Lynn. “We started going on adventures together from there and have been pretty inseparable ever since. I fucking love that guy and have never had anyone believe in me the way he does. That belief morphed into an official role at some point in 2016, and his honest feedback became producer notes.”
The 10 songs on My Movie Star were penned by Lynn on the piano in his Portland, Ore., loft, and he streamed these initial writing sessions live via social media. He soon took the clips offline and sent them to Mohr, who had more than his fair share of insightful input to provide Lynn.
“He saw something in me and my songs that had been there all along, but for whatever reason had not been brought out,” says Lynn. “It would show up in select moments on my records since 1998—that quiet, still place this new album lives in—but he wanted me to stay there, to write from that place, and to be brave about letting these stories come out as they are, no bells and whistles. I trusted him and, well, here we are.”
This unlikely dynamic duo picked up some friends to come along for the ride, including Portland piano prince GLASYS as collaborator, as well as ’80s popster Tiffany, the Dandy Warhols, DoublePlusGood, Jarryd James, Rian Lewis and others who “reinterpret” all 10 of My Movie Star‘s tracks.
Lynn and Mohr also produced a 12-minute film for My Movie Star, which was written and directed by Portland-based Kevin Forrest, who’s worked with the likes of Aesop Rock and KMFDM. The short features three songs from the album: “Big City Now,” “Like Before” and the title track.
Despite all the extras that accompany the LP proper and its interesting backstory, what makes My Movie Star special is Lynn’s stripped-down, intimate approach to these very personal songs, two of which were co-written by Mohr. “This record was built on that deep familial love we have for each other and that trust,” says Lynn of his new partner in art. “I think that really comes through in the songs.”
We are proud to premiere the short film for My Movie Star today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it now.
David Duchovny was on the road to a very successful life (undergrad at Princeton, master’s degree from Yale, working on his Ph.D.) when he decided to give all that up to become an actor, eventually landing a part in a beer commercial in 1987. Since, Duchovny has had modest success as a thespian (Golden Globe winner for little-seen “cult” show The X-Files, only a handful of Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Satellite noms, though he didn’t actually win any of them). So, of course, he decided to try his hand at writing novels (both got some good reviews in local rags like the Washington Post and New York Times, where he also made their best-seller list, though only twice). Obviously still trying to find a career he can actually make a living at, Duchovny has reinvented himself as a musician, despite only learning to play guitar a few years ago. He just released sophomore album Every Third Thought (King Baby/GMG) and is currently on tour in Australia. (Guess he’s big down under; maybe they’ve seen his beer commercial.)
Anyway, here at MAGNET, we like to write about struggling unknown artists, so we thought we’d premiere his lyric video for Every Third Thought track “Half Life” and maybe get his name out there a little bit. We asked Duchovny what the song was about, and he responded, “‘Half Life’ came about just thinking about radioactive half lives and how processes in nature always seem to mirror processes of the heart and soul, even down to the language. It’s a song about halves and paradoxes.” Uh, OK, so the dude’s on the smart side. And musically, he’s actually quite good, as well. Hmm, maybe this guy has a shot at some sort of success after all. Judge for yourself by watching the clip for “Half Life” right now.
And remember, kids, the truth is out there: David Duchovny is way cooler than you’ll ever be.