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.
On March 9, Echo Bloom will release Green, the final entry in a trilogy that also includes 2013’s Blue and 2016’s Red. The idea for a three-part series of albums came to frontman/founder Kyle Evans after realizing his three favorite songs from Echo Bloom’s 2008 Jamboree debut were each in a different style. So he decided to do an entire LP in each track’s “genre”: folk (Blue), rock (Red) and pop (Green). Evans is a bit of a “roads scholar,” having lived in the South, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City (currently), as well as a time in Berlin, and these different locales have provided much inspiration into his songwriting. One of Green‘s standouts is “Song For Steven,” which we’re proud to premiere today on magnetmagazine.com.
Says Evans of both the origins of “Song For Steven” and Echo Bloom in general, “I lived in D.C. for a few years, in a commune in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. It was filled with these brilliant, highly ambitious people—very unlike the people I grew up with in small-town Florida. I remember talking with a housemate once about being interested in music, but not really knowing what to do with the interest. That kind of confusion didn’t really register with them: If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a painter, paint. They encouraged me to just do it, so I built a primitive recording studio in our basement and recorded my first album. Steven lived in that house, and we both had similar experiences. He was from a small town in Texas, and we both felt equal parts intimidated and empowered by the atmosphere of the house, and the city—and being 22 and trying to be adults. We grew up a lot in four years, and that’s what this song is about.” Well, you can’t argue with the results. Check it out now, and check Echo Bloom out live on the East Cost in March.
On February 23, 3hattrio will issue Lord Of The Desert, a 13-track album of what the Utah trio has come to call “American desert music.” Well, they hit the nail right on the head with that description, a Southwest-inspired fusion of folk, psych and chamber-esque music that’s both timeless and timely. Lord Of The Desert is the third LP from the band—seasoned vets Hal Cannon (banjo) and Greg Istock (bass) and youngster Eli Wrankle (violin)—and its noir-ish sounds are made even more trancey and otherworldy with the addition of some adventurous Autotuned vocals. We’re proud to premiere album track “War” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says the somewhat-mysterious Istock of the track, “Is it inevitable that the human species talk about, think about or prepare for and engage in war.” Well, we’ll pretend to understand exactly what he’s talking about if he and his bandmates keep making music this fascinatingly original. Download and/or stream “War” below, and catch 3hattrio live around the Southwest next month.
Juiceboxxx is kinda like that cool jukebox in your favorite dive bar, the one that’s heavy on hip hop but also has a mixture of all of the other different kinds of music you love to listen to while drinking your face off. The 31-year-old Milwaukee-bred/Brooklyn-based rapper/singer has been somewhat of an underground sensation for the better part of half his life, but now with the recent release of the stellar Freaked Out American Loser (Dangerbird), it appears that Mr. Boxxx is ready for his closeup. “I conceptualized Freaked Out American Loser to be a true, raw punk/rap blast,” he says. “Something like Jesus Lizard meets Cypress Hill. Wu-Tang meets the Breeders. Public Enemy meets Boredoms. You get the picture.”
The latest single off the nine-track album is the closing title track, which shows off Juiceboxxx’s post-punk inclinations. “I wanted to write an anthem that all of us losers can believe in,” he says. “So it only made sense to get Dave Sardy to do a new mix and really blow it out into the fist-pump zone. We are all just trying to take it one day at a time and, hopefully, change our lives for the better. Every single day is a struggle, but I’m trying really hard to keep going. I think Sardy’s mix really takes this song to the place it was always supposed to go. I couldn’t be more psyched. We’re all losers.”
We losers are proud to premiere the “Freaked Out American Loser” remix by musician/producer extraordinaire Sardy (if his name isn’t on at least 20 records in your collection, you aren’t a fan of good music) today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and catch Juiceboxxx on tour (dates below). You can win for losing.
March 7 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
March 8 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Brass Rail
March 9 – Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant Street
March 10 – Norfolk, VA @ Charlie’s American Cafe
March 11 – Wilmington, NC @ The Reel Cafe
March 16 – Austin, TX SXSW
March 17 – Hot Springs, AR @ Valley of the Vapors Festival
March 19 – Springfield, IL @ Black Sheep Cafe
March 20 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
If you’re not yet familiar with Dick Stusso yet, well, shame on you. But don’t fret, you still have a little time to get in on the ground-ish floor to impress your friends with the Oakland troubadour’s countrified-glam nuggets. Don’t believe us, ask fellow outlaw-esque singer/songwriter Kyle Craft, who recently had this to say to MAGNET about the Man In White: “I’m excited about this guy. He has a new record on Hardly Art, and the single has some groovy Bolan vibes. His first album, Nashville Dreams/Sings The Blues, is great, too.” The new record of which Craft speaks is the 10-song In Heaven, out March 2 and produced by analog mastermind Greg Ashley. We’re proud to premiere album track “Getting Loose” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says Stusso of the song, “Here we have a little postmodern, barroom jingle with a bit of a nod and a wink to the great Hoagy Carmichael. It started off as some kind of existential ‘tear in my beer’-type number, but inevitably devolved into a dumb, drunken jamboree of a thing. Which in the end is more fun to listen to, anyway. Also, advertising and marketing folk: Keep the chorus in mind for your next beer or car commercial.” A little self-promotion never hurt anyone, and you’ll see what Stusso means when you check out “Getting Loose.” And if you’re on the West Coast, see Dick live in March.
On April 27, Mobley will release Fresh Lies, Vol. I, the first in what he terms a career-long project. Through his songs, the Austin-based one-man band hopes to create an ongoing song cycle that explores his relationship with the United States. “Torch” is the second single from Fresh Lies, and it’s indicative of his catchy, melodic, genre-jumping pop. Says Mobley of the track, “One of my favorite things to do as a songwriter is to play with the tension between sonic moods and lyrical content. ‘Torch’ was really fun to make in that way. It’s probably one of the happiest-sounding things I’ve ever written. But it came to me at an incredibly low point in my personal life, so the lyrics are about as unabashedly melancholy as I’ve ever written. It deals with the mind-warping effects that result when passion burns hot and is extinguished abruptly.” We are proud to premiere “Torch” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and be sure to catch Mobley live (dates below).
Feb 24 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
Mar 2 – True/False Film Fest – Columbia, MO
Mar 3 – Rose Music Hall – Columbia, MO
Mar 9-18 – SXSW
Mar 20 – The Perch – El Paso, TX
Mar 22 – The Loading Dock – Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 23-24 – Treefort Music Festival – Boise, ID
Mar 27 – Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
Mar 28 – The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
Mar 30 – Shipping and Receiving – Ft. Worth, TX
Mar 31 – Axelrad – Houston, TX
It’s a tough lot, being the flagship band on a willfully obscure record label (in this case, indie-rock institution Shrimper), but Refrigerator’s never taken the easy path. The group has rarely toured, its albums are hard to find, and its jangly, off-kilter sound is more of a slow-burn obsession than love at first listen. Built around Allen Callaci’s blue-collar soulful voice, 11th album High Desert Lows (produced by Simon Joyner, who also plays and sings on the LP) shows the band in a blue period. These songs are mournful and searching, a withering waltz here, a cock-eyed folk ballad there. Swooning strings and twinkly pianos abound, but the general vibe is idiosyncratic Americana.
“I look at the album as a dog-eared, dime-store paperback short-story collection where the stories are not all directly connected but are loosely tied,” says Callaci. “The shadows of Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, who were all lost as High Desert Lows was being put together, loom on the record like a storm cloud quietly wandering from horizon to horizon. Although High Desert Lows is one of the darker things we have done in our 27-plus years as a band, collaborating with Simon and the amazing musicians that call Omaha their home was one of the most mystic and joyous recording experiences I’ve ever been part of.”
High Desert Lows is out on Friday (you can preorder it here), and Refrigerator will celebrate its release on March 3 at the dA Center For The Performing Arts in Pomona, Calif., with a two-hour performance and an music-related art exhibit by guitarist (and Shrimper CEO) Dennis Callaci. In the meantime, you can stream High Desert Lows exclusively right here at magnetmagazine.com. Do so right now.
On March 16, Alive Naturalsound will release the fourth studio album from the Bonnevilles. Dirty Photographs is the follow-up to the Northern Ireland power duo’s 2016 LP, Arrow Pierce My Heart, and while it retains the garage/blues flair of past efforts, the 11-track album is more upbeat both musically and lyrically. The title track is actually a love song, albeit one that lives up to its adults-only title. Says frontman Andrew McGibbon Jr., “I’ve always wanted to do a song for my wife, but the thought of some cheesy ballad, well, I would hate it and she’d see through it immediately for being paltry and fake. So I thought writing her a song that would make her dance is a pretty cool way of doing it. I met her when she was working in a local pub as a bar maid. I went in there to have a beer with my father, and there she was wearing skin-tight jeans and a crop top. I keep asking her to get me drinks from the bottom shelf so I could watch her bend over and, well, you know, not my most chivalrous moment, but it began a long love affair between me and her bum. And for the record, she has since admitted she knew what I was doing and was flirting with me. I’ve said too much already. I’m going to shut up now.” We’re proud to premiere “Dirty Photographs” today on magnetmagazine.com. So shut up now, and check it out.