Back in December when we told you about the upcoming Guided By Voices album (Space Gun, March 23), we noted that Robert Pollard claimed it would be the only GBV album in 2018, to which we wrote, “Given his track record, we’re not gonna bet on that just yet.” Well, we were right. On March 9, GBV will release Ogre’s Trumpet, a limited-edition (1,000 on double vinyl, 1,000 on CD), 25-track live album recorded last August in Asbury Park, N.J. (Greetings, kids.) The set features a healthy dose of songs from last year’s How Do You Spell Heaven and August By Cake, as well as classics like “Motor Away,” “I Am A Scientist,” “Tractor Rape Chain,” “Game Of Pricks” and “Glad Girls” and a cover of the Monkees’ “Saturday’s Child.” Try before you buy: Check out the live versions of Heaven‘s “Steppenwolf Mausoleum” and Bee Thousand‘s “Gold Star For Robot Boy” right here, right now. Pre-order Ogre’s Trumpet here.
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.
To quote the great Chase Utley, “World Fucking Champions!”
“You got no fear of the underdog/That’s why you will not survive” —Spoon
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The Voidz (formerly Julian Casablancas + The Voidz) return March 30 with Virtue, the band’s first album in almost four years, via Cult/RCA. Casablancas and Co. will be supporting the 15-track LP at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival in May, with more tour dates to be announced soon … Used Future is the sixth album from the Sword, produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Decemberists, First Aid Kit) and out March 23 on Razor & Tie … Erasure has joined forces with Brussels post-classical ensemble Echo Collective for World Beyond (Mute, March 9), a reworking of the duo’s most recent album, last year’s World Be Gone … Frank Turner‘s latest, Be More Kind, is out via Xtra Mile/Polydor/Interscope on May 4 … Forest Bathing, the eighth album from A Hawk And A Hacksaw, is out April 13 on Living Music Duplication … Dead Meadow‘s The Nothing They Need is out March 2 on Xemu … On May 18, Contender will issue Low Cut Connie‘s Dirty Pictures (Part 2), the follow-up to last year’s—wait for it—Dirty Pictures (Part 1) … Wooden Shjips‘ aptly titled fifth album, V., is due out May 25 on Thrill Jockey … Barrence Whitfield And The Savages are back with their fourth LP since reforming in 2010 after a quarter century out of the music biz: Soul Flowers Of Titan, out March 2 via Bloodshot … Chappo‘s third album, the John Vanderslice-produced Do It, is out February 23 on Votiv … On February 16, Pavement’s Scott Kannberg will see the reissue of three of his “solo” records by Nine Mile—Preston School Of Industry‘s All This Sounds Gas (2001) and Monsoon (2004) and Spiral Stairs‘ The Real Feel (2009)—with extra tracks, b-sides and BBC sessions … ’90s indie-rock mainstay Sleepyhead gets the vinyl-reissue treatment April 13 courtesy of Drawing Room with Future Exhibit Goes Here, which compiles 1994’s Starduster and 1996’s Communist Love Songs … Part two of Mute’s three-year A Certain Ratio reissues campaign arrives April 27 with the release of 1990’s acr:mcr, 1982’s I’d Like To See You Again, 1989’s Good Together and 1992’s Up In Downsville … Cobb’s Corner: Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) lent his studio magic to two upcoming albums by Grammy winners: Old Crow Medicine Show‘s Volunteer (Columbia, April 20) and the Oak Ridge Boys‘ 17th Avenue Revival (Lightning Rod, March 16).
Spend it with Adam Green, Bill Murray, Punxsutawney Phil, Girls With Attitude and MAGNET—and get ready for six more weeks of winter—here.
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The War On Drugs
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The Decemberists return March 16 with I’ll Be Your Girl (Capitol). Colin Meloy and Co. say they embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order on the album, produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Rey), and it definitely shows. The band kicks off a world tour in support of I’ll Be Your Girl on March 22 … Yo La Tengo (three MAGNET cover appearances) is back March 16 with There’s A Riot Going On (Matador), and since we’ve been happily living with it for the past couple months, we can tell you it’s one of the trio’s most adventurous to date … The first seven Tom Waits (two MAGNET cover appearances) albums—1973’s Closing Time, 1974’s Heart Of Saturday Night, 1975’s Nighthawks At The Diner, 1976’s Small Change, 1977’s Foreign Affairs, 1978’s Blue Valentine and 1980’s Heartattack & Vine—will be reissued on CD by Anti- on March 23; all will be also available on 180-gram vinyl, starting March 9 with Closing Time … Critical Equation is the new album from Dr. Dog (one MAGNET cover appearance), and it’s out April 27 on Thirty Tigers … The more things change, the more they remain the same: The last time MAGNET fave Hot Snakes released an album, there was a first-term madman in the White House and our Philadelphia Eagles were on their way to the Super Bowl; 14 years later, there’s a first-term madman in the White House, the Eagles are on their way to the Super Bowl, and Hot Snakes will issue Jericho Sirens on March 16 via Sub Pop … On March 9, Polyvinyl will release of Montreal‘s 15th album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood … The Sea And Cake is back May 11 with Any Day (Thrill Jockey), the band’s first album in six years … Also back for the first time since 2012 is Oneida; Romance is out March 9 via Joyful Noise … Mount Eerie follows last year’s stellar and heartbreaking A Crow Looked At Me with Now Only (P.W. Elverum & Sun, March 16) … Josh Rouse‘s Love In The Modern Age is out April 13 on Yep Roc … Violence is the sixth album from Editors, and Play It Again Sam will issue it March 9 … April 13 sees the return of Mouse On Mars via Dimensional People (Thrill Jockey), which features guest rodents such as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Aaron and Bryce Dessner (National), Zach Condon (Beirut), Spank Rock, Swamp Dogg, Amanda Blank and Sam Amidon … Tracey Thorn‘s new record, Record, is out March 2 on Merge … Beasts Of Burgundy (Southern Broadcasting, March 23) is the first album from Squirrel Nut Zippers in 18 years … I Don’t Run, the sophomore album from Hinds, is out April 6 via Mom + Pop … Jukebox The Ghost‘s Off To The Races is out March 30 on Jukebox The Ghost/Caroline … Given the Damned has released a new album about every nine years over the past three decades, it’s not surprising Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible and Co. return April 13 with Evil Spirits (Search And Destroy/Spinefarm) … Nonpareils (a.k.a. ex-Liar Aaron Hemphill) will release debut album Scented Pictures on April 6 via Mute … Field Report‘s Summertime Songs is out March 23 on Verve Forecast.
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.
Minor Characters return April 6 with sophomore album We Can’t Be Wrong. The follow-up to 2014’s Voir Dire, the nine-track LP finds the Chicago trio—guitarist/vocalist Andrew Pelletier, guitarist Shelby Pollard and drummer Thomas Benko, plus number of other musicians, including pianist/string arranger Joe Meland—back after a period of self-imposed downtime due to band burnout. The time away from one another led to Minor Characters deciding to not rush things in the studio. “It took us a year and a half to make this album,” says Pelletier. “During the middle of recording, America took a turn for the worst, and we had to write about it. What was originally going to be an EP about the difficulties of being in a band then turned into an LP about the difficulties of being an American in 2018—’Pimps Of Freedom (Whores Of DC)’ being about the daily updates we get about this administration and its cronies deregulating the shit out of the American government and handing it over to their filthy rich friends. Vulnerable people’s lives are in their hands, and they’re passing handouts to the wealthiest of us rather than the neediest. It’s whorish and abhorrent. But at the end of the day, it’s all so fucking entertaining. I can’t stop tuning in. All day long. Everyone I know can’t stop watching this madness. And what am I actually doing about it? Nothing. But this generation is turned up, and so we have to push back any way we can. It’s a monstrous, captivating live television show, and it’s in full fucking high-definition.” We are proud to premiere “Pimps Of Freedom (Whores Of DC)” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now.