Put Up Your Dukes: The Gaslight Anthem

gasligh550Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: the Gaslight Anthem. Put up your dukes!

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

I couldn’t help but notice that the Gaslight Anthem‘s The 59 Sound topped many critics’ and readers’ lists in 2008, but I ask you: Has there been a more egregious example of clichéd bombast (or is that bombastic cliché?) in recent memory? With its overly earnest delivery and hackneyed ’50s imagery, this steaming pile could be the soundtrack to a really bad high-school production of West Side Story. Other than those with a penchant for ducktail haircuts, leather jackets and Springsteen’s worst musical and lyrical tendencies, to whom, exactly, is this record appealing?

“Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/BlueJeansAndWhiteTShirts.mp3

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Put Up Your Dukes: Bon Iver

boniverb540c1Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Bon Iver. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

Hey, remember when you were a teenager and you’d be in the car with one of your parents and you’d have to find something on the radio that was tolerable for the both of you? You’d end up listening to the bland middle ground of John Mellencamp or the Steve Miller Band or, at best, Out Of Time-era R.E.M. Depending on our reader’s (yes, I do mean singular—I think one person reads this column) age, that safe-sounding music might have been the Wallflowers or Iron & Wine or Bon Iver. I’ve gotten more excited watching Sunrise Earth than I have listening to For Emma, Forever Ago.

“Skinny Love” from For Emma, Forever Ago (download here):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/SkinnyLove.mp3

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Put Up Your Dukes: Antony And The Johnsons

antony540cTwo of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Antony And The Johnsons. Put up your dukes!

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
After reading all the critical hosannas about Antony And The Johnsons (including your 2005 MAGNET cover story), I decided to check out the new one, The Crying Light. Admittedly, I’m late to the party, having missed out on Antony’s acclaimed debut, I Am A Bird Now. However, having now given Mr. Hegarty my full attention, I have one question for you, which I’ll pose as eloquently and succinctly as possible: Dude, WTF? I’m all for the gender-bending thing in pop music; hell, I’ll listen to Jeff Buckley do Edith Piaf all day long. But this guy? Blech. Please explain the appeal, as I simply don’t get it.

“Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground” from The Crying Light:

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Put Up Your Dukes: Hunter S. Thompson

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Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

For this inaugural edition of Put Up Your Dukes, I come to you with an honest question. It’s prompted by our coverage of The Gonzo Tapes boxed set in the most recent issue. I listened to some of it (nobody can listen to five discs of that maniac rambling). I decided to watch the 2008 documentary Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. What, exactly, is the appeal of this guy? Is it his confused self-image that mistakes “asshole” for “rebel”? His cliched macho obsession with guns and motorcycles? The fact that he treated his body like a garbage can? Please, god, don’t tell me it’s his writing.

“In Search Of The American Dream” from The Gonzo Tapes:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/InSearchOfTheAmericanDream.mp3

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