Dave Douglas is a modern jazz trumpeter who’s played with John Zorn and collaborated with Tom Waits; he’s a multi-genre (he’s been involved with spoken-word and dance, klezmer and avant-garde), multimedia kind of guy. Filmmakers Jem Cohen (Fugazi’s Instrument) and Christoph Green (Wilco’s Ashes Of American Flags) made three shorts about Douglas and his band, Brass Ecstasy, working in the studio on Spirit Moves (Greenleaf, out June 16). The album features eight original compositions alongside arrangements of songs by Hank Williams, Rufus Wainwright and Otis Redding. MAGNET will be debuting a clip each Tuesday night—here’s part one:
Known for their sickeningly catchy dance tunes, Peter Bjorn And John have created another audio masterpiece. Prepare for sensory overload while watching their video for “It Don’t Move Me,” from their latest album, Living Thing. Try not to dance, we dare you.
We want to express our appreciation for the excellent work done by Nathan Larson and Nina Persson as our guest editors this past week. We’d do it in person, but it’s hard to get face time with the boss. Those A Camp cats have miles of fucking style. Here’s the video from the first single off their new album, Colonia, “Stronger Than Jesus.”
Portland, Ore., outfit Nurses are releasing debut album Apple’s Acre (Dead Oceans) on August 4. Here’s album track “Lita” in its acoustic guise, giving the psych/pop tune a woodsy folk feel.
Twenty-three-year-old Londoner Esser may look like a roadie for the Smiths circa The Queen Is Dead, but he’s got more electro/hip-hop moves than an entire club full of Salford lads. Esser has already opened for the Kaiser Chiefs, and he’s slated to produce Cee-Lo’s next album. Here’s the video for “Headlock”; full-length Braveface is out August 11 on Chocolate Industries in the U.S.
We were just thinking about Jay Bennett, who passed away last weekend. Below is a 1999 clip of Bennett and Tweedy performing on alt.rock, a program on the now-defunct Austin Music Network. It’s a cover of 1927 song called “James Alley Blues,” and it’s particularly bittersweet. For all the real and staged drama between the two men, Bennett and Tweedy created the most beautiful music together.
Yesterday, those on Bennett’s email list received a missive that read, in part:
As many of you may be aware, Jay had finally found the courage to put his Wilco issues out into the public forum. After a long, four-year process (and therefore very much unrelated to his impending hip surgery), formal filings against Wilco were finally initiated. This task was very emotional for Jay. He was a lover, and this confrontation was not easy for him. With the exception of his final period in Wilco, Jay looked back on his time in the band with great fondness and pride. While he was dismayed that some people may have formed a narrow perception of him via the “documentary,” all who truly knew him understood that with most entertainment media, editing is usually constructed for dramatic effect and presents only a small part of a larger, more complex reality.
So, please spend some time this week engaging in Jay’s favorite passions: listen to a Nick Lowe album, watch some Mythbusters on Discovery, play Warren Zevon’s “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner,” rent Pay It Forward (one of his favorite movies), write a song with the TV on and the sound off, and focus on how Jay always concluded his communications: “Love, Jay.”
Cass McCombs—as cranky-talented a red-blooded American male singer/songwriter as Bill Callahan or M. Ward—will issue his fifth album, Catacombs (Domino), July 7. Here’s the first video for “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” featuring performance artist/actress Karen Black. Why Karen Black? Might as well ask why McCombs’ website only features photos of spray-tanned guidos.
The National recently performed a new song (tentatively titled “The Runaway”) live on CBC Radio’s Studio Q program. The band is finishing up an East Coast tour this week.
British Sea Power was asked to write a new score for 1934 film Man Of Aran, a quasi-documentary made by Robert J. Flaherty (who also did Nanook Of The North) about the rigors of life on the islands off Ireland’s western coast. The film has a truly Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou appearance of the monstrous (and real-life) basking shark, which the natives of Aran harpoon and use for lamp oil. A clip of BSP’s post-rock soundtrack to pre-industrial life is below; Man Of Aran is due June 9 on Rough Trade.
U.K. duo the Big Pink sounds like a post-rock Reid brothers (you know, from the Jesus And Mary Chain), emitting a completely vibrant-yet-dark noise. Sometimes you hear Massive Attack, sometimes you hear Clan Of Xymox (actually, if you hear Clan Of Xymox in 2009, please seek help), and it all seems to take place in a Vaughan Oliver album cover. Appropriately, the Big Pink will debut on 4AD in the U.S. in September. Here’s the video for single “Too Young To Love”: