Celebrate the first day of spring with the Go-Betweens’ classic “Spring Rain.”
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.
“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” —Michelle Obama
Unbreakable (Desert Dreams Books & Music) is the debut from 21-year-old Ali McManus. On it, the Detroit singer/songwriter worked with legendary producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, New York Dolls), who calls McManus “a natural, a true artist with old-soul sensibility.” Impressive enough as it is, but what makes Unbreakable even more impressive is that McManus’ lung capacity is only 30 percent. She was born premature and given a 50/50 chance of survival. A rare bone disorder has meant she’s been confined to a wheelchair since she was seven. Eleven surgeries, halo tractions, steel rods to fuse and straighten her spine and a full body cast couldn’t deter McManus from pursuing her dream to become a musician. In fact, all of it inspired her even more. We are proud to premiere the video for Unbreakable‘s title track today on magnetmagazine.com.
This is what McManus has to say about the song and video: “While we rehearsed and recorded, we had a video camera to follow our journey. And after I returned to Michigan, I was filmed at home and performing around the streets of Detroit. These moments became the ‘Unbreakable’ video. Throughout my life, I’ve had to face tough challenges, and each one has led me to become unbreakable. I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was seven years old, and I wrote this song about what that’s like. One day, I was sitting in my chair on the beach in the Bahamas, looking at the ocean and watching people walk by. I noticed their reactions: sympathetic stares and people wondering what’s wrong with me. I pulled out my phone and wrote this song. When Jack played me the final mix, I started to cry. And for the first time it wasn’t tears of pain—it was tears of pure joy.” There’s nothing more we can add to that other than watch the video for “Unbreakable” right now.
Ah, Worcester, Mass. So much to answer for: Denis Leary, Abbie Hoffman, New Kid On The Block Jordan Knight, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, the Coors Light Twins, the Big Ragu on Laverne & Shirley, suspected serial killer and cannibal Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, the editor-in-chief of MAGNET. Yeah, it’s that kind of town. In the early ’80s, garage/psych weirdoes the Prefab Messiahs were at the forefront of the city’s Wormtown scene, playing out often but only releasing Flex Your Mind, a 1983 cassette. Fifteen years later the Devolver CD-R appeared, collecting the band’s early output, with the Burger label remastering and reissuing it in 2013 on cassette and then releasing an eight-song EP of new material, Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive, two years later.
Now, the Prefab Messiahs are back with Psychsploitation Today (Lolipop/Burger), a 10-song album that mines the same scuzz-rock/post-punk territory these Wormtown freaks were cranking out when your cool uncle was still in short pants. The band just made a video for Psychsploitation Today track “Gellow Mold” (get it, millennials? probably not), and we’re premiering the clip today on magnetmagazine.com. Says frontman Xerox Feinberg of the track, “‘Gellow Mold’ is a woozy, hallucinogenic sonic meditation on the current state of mindless conformity and mindful manipulation, those age-old buggaboos of the psychedelically inclined—and as much a thang in our splintered, black-mirrored 21st century as ever. Slipping down rabbit holes with great wifi, we pour ourselves into predetermined shapes, jiggly cubes a-drying, a generation dying. If that sounds like a mouthful of mumbo-jumbo, it’s because it probably is, but usually with vocals lower in the mix. We wash it all down with a kaleidoscopic video montage of ancient found footage, just some jokers in our jukeboxes, trying to make contact. Dig?” Yes, we do. And so should you, so flex your mind, and check out “Gellow Mold” now.
Heaven can’t wait, psych/rock fans. On March 2, the Little Cloud label will issue All Love Is Blue, the sophomore album from Brooklyn trio Heaven. But you don’t have to trust us when we tell you that you need to immediately check out this band. Instead, you can just listen to what a couple of our famous friends have written about vocalist/guitarist Matt Sumrow, drummer Mikey Jones, keyboardist/vocalist Liz Lohse and guitarist/keyboardist Eric Altesleben in MAGNET: “They play my favorite song” —Dean Wareham (Luna, Galaxie 500, Dean & Britta); “Mikey is widely regarded as the baddest drummer in the city (and by bad I mean sick, y’all)” —Adam Franklin (Swervedriver). Heaven has just released a new video for All Love Is Blue track “She’s Closer Than Everyone,” which Sumrow describes as “a song about a girl who’s psychic, who can see everything in this life, but still can’t find love. She looks in the mirror to try and see but ends up just seeing herself. There’s the life you have, then the life you see in a mirror, so let’s all pretend just for one blue moment that the psychic-mirror love that shines back at us is real.” My blue heaven, indeed. We are proud to premiere the video for “She’s Closer Than Everyone” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and check them out April 7 at the Mercury Lounge with Longwave.
Fovea just released debut album Pencil Me In on its Omad label, and now the New York quartet has a video for first single “Cost Of.” The script for the cool-but-creepy clip was written by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Max Weigel, who says, “The basic premise for the video hit me around Halloween 2016. I was settling into New York to pursue music, transitioning between a number of jobs and watching a lot of horror movies in a weird pursuit of personal catharsis. The song’s soft sounds mask the distress in its lyrics, so I wanted to bring that to the forefront with the video. Both the yuppie couple and the artist struggle to confront their burdens, but connect by making beautifully disgusting messes out of them.” The video was co-directed by drummer Jake DeNicola and Hil Steadman, who both also shot all the footage. Says DeNicola, “It was really fun taking this raw script that Max wrote and making it visual with Hil. It allowed me to focus purely on visual storytelling and interpreting someone else’s vision. The video touches on so many timely topics involving socioeconomics, loss of innocence, spatial politics, the American dream and employment.” We are proud to premiere “Cost Of” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, and go see Fovea on February 18 at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn with No Ice and Clones.
On Thursday, Glasgow’s beloved Franz Ferdinand will kick off its massive global tour in support of Always Ascending (Domino), which is out on Friday. To celebrate its release, we’re bringing you the band’s video for “Feel The Love Go.” It stars frontman Alex Kapranos as a jubilant daytime-TV preacher who “heals” people with a thrust from his coat jacket or by the touch of his hands. Toward the end, there’s even a giant congo line definitely worth enjoying. Check it out now.