The Clean’s Simple Fix: The Football World Cup

cleanlogoLike a sunnier version of the throbbing pulse of the Velvet Underground before it, the sound of the Clean, from Dunedin, New Zealand, refuses to go away. With a permanent cast that has remained the same for almost 30 years, brothers David and Hamish Kilgour and Robert Scott have survived the occasional band breakup, Hamish moving to New York, David releasing solo albums and Robert starting his own band, the Bats. With its most recent records (including the new Mister Pop on Merge), the Clean proves, once again, there is rock ‘n’ roll life after 40. The band members make music whenever they can assemble all the parts and remain a permanent fixture in the rock landscape. The Clean is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with them.

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Robert Scott: Watching the Football World Cup on TV is my ultimate couch experience. The early rounds buzz with the exciting possibility of a small team achieving a surprise result against a footballing giant.

MP3 At 3PM: Grand Archives

grandarchhouse401Former Band Of Horses guitarist Mat Brooke took on a new role as frontman in Seattle’s Grand Archives. With hauntingly airy vocals akin to those of Elliott Smith and Bon Iver, backed by ghostly harmonies and a purposeful composition of instruments including an enormous glass harp, Grand Archives’ second album, Keep In Mind Frankenstein (due Tuesday on Sub Pop), is a perfectly designed soundtrack for fall. Along with the band’s instrumental innovations, the LP features appearances by Sera Cahoone and her pedal-steel player Jason Kardong. So slip into autumnal rapture with “Silver Among The Gold” and “Oslo Novelist.”

“Silver Among The Gold” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/SilverAmongTheGold.mp3

“Oslo Novelist” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/OsloNovelist.mp3

In The News: Echo & The Bunnymen, Norah Jones, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Against Me!

BlackRebel550We think we heard something about Merge Records celebrating its 20th anniversary; hell, we may have even talked about it ourselves. Now Converse.com is showcasing a series of live, stripped-down performances from various locations during the fest. Superchunk’s “Crossed Wires” is the first installment … Echo & The Bunnymen returns in November with The Fountain. Of perhaps greater importance, the band will play its classic Ocean Rain (which has at least one overrated track, if you believe this Over/Under) in its entirety at three shows: October 20 in Toronto, October 22 in Oakland and October 24 in Los Angeles. Eight additional U.S. gigs commence November 15 in Atlanta … Sleepy crooner Norah JonesThe Fall (EMI/Blue Note) is out November 17. In related news, the Fall’s Norah Jones is out the same day … From the It’s Got To Be Better Than Dylan’s Department: Christmas With Sinatra & Friends (Concord) is due October 6. The effort features Frank Sinatra (just in case you thought it was Nancy) singing holiday tunes with the likes of Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and more … On November 10, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (pictured) is issuing Live (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant). The two-DVD/single-CD set is culled from sold-out shows in Berlin, Dublin and Glasgow in 2007. Download “Not What You Wanted (Remix)”Against Me! is currently recording its follow-up to 2007’s New Wave with Butch Vig. The record will be out sometime next year. Follow the band’s progress on its blog … Seattle’s Minus The Bear kicks off a four-week North American headling tour October 30 in Eugene, Ore. A new LP is due next year, but the album’s first single, “Into The Mirror,” is out October 27 … The quaintly named Fuck Buttons are touring in November in support of Tarot Sport (ATP Recordings), available October 20. The jaunt’s first show is in Northampton, Mass., on November 1 … Where were you 20 years ago when Lenny Kravitz’s Let Love Rule was released? If you care to remember, go ahead and celebrate that seismic event with Kravitz on a 15-city tour that starts October 11 with a five-night stand at the Fillmore in New York City … And finally, we had to include this item not only because of the title of the record in question but also the details behind it: Late, whacked-out troubadour Tiny Tim’s I’ve Never Seen A Straight Banana (Collectors’ Choice) is out October 20. The LP is a 1976 recording of a hotel-room show Tiny Tim performed in front of three Tampa, Fla., high-school students. One of the kids was 16-year-old Richard Barone, who went on to front MAGNET faves the Bongos. Barone recently unearthed the tapes, but we’re not really sure we want to know why Tiny Tim was in a hotel room with three high-school kids. Just saying.

The Clean’s Simple Fix: Nic Jones’ “The Noah’s Ark Trap”

cleanlogoLike a sunnier version of the throbbing pulse of the Velvet Underground before it, the sound of the Clean, from Dunedin, New Zealand, refuses to go away. With a permanent cast that has remained the same for almost 30 years, brothers David and Hamish Kilgour and Robert Scott have survived the occasional band breakup, Hamish moving to New York, David releasing solo albums and Robert starting his own band, the Bats. With its most recent records (including the new Mister Pop on Merge), the Clean proves, once again, there is rock ‘n’ roll life after 40. The band members make music whenever they can assemble all the parts and remain a permanent fixture in the rock landscape. The Clean is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with them.

Robert Scott: Nic Jones‘ 1977 album The Noah‘s Ark Trap is one of those impossible-to-get records. A friend bootlegged it for me on minidisc while in London. It blew my mind when I first heard it. How could someone sing and play like that at the same time? “The Indian Lass,” “Ten Thousand Miles”—ahh. He did one album after this, then was badly injured in a car crash and has not played in public since. Video after the jump.

All Tomorrow’s Parties, Day 1

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MAGNET’s Matt Siblo reports from the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in the Catskill Mountains.

Not much has changed in the 360-ish days since ATP last left Kushters, the delightfully grodey resort that it calls home. Perhaps that’s not entirely true. The sundries shop now offers tie-dyed T-shirts, while a small group of masseuses offer sliding-scale services in the main hall. Thankfully, hair-coloring services are still available in the lobby.

Friday night’s happiest surprise was the presence of a wandering Nick Cave, who earlier in the evening joined the Dirty Three while I begrudgingly bought snacks at Walmart. No matter, Mr. Cave has been lurching around the hotel ever since, leading to unfounded rumors that he’ll play a set sometime this weekend. It should be noted that Cave’s entourage looks exactly how you’d think they would: stylish Australian pallbearers from 1972.

After missing the Feelies matinee performance (they took the stage at 4:45, the Drones even earlier), I caught Suicide’s Don’t Look Back rendering of its self-titled debut. A band undeniably remarkable in the epoch to which it belongs, Suicide’s abrasion of the senses couldn’t help but dull in the years and bands that have followed it. Onstage, Alan Vega and Martin Rev had the presence of a museum instillation. At the risk of sounding insolent, once it’s necessary to perform with a music stand with lyrics, it’s hard to come across as a provocateur.

Animal Collective’s Panda Bear faced similar difficulties in engaging a room filled with people while staring at a synthesizer. Whereas Suicide furiously pounded, Panda’s ethereal soundscapes filled the cavernous auditorium with Rorschach-like projections pounding beats. Making a bigger racket than one man with a keyboard ought to make, he reworked much of 2007’s Person Pitch along with assorted Animal Collective favorites that may or may not be rehashed tomorrow.

Favoring laughter over a good cry, I caught Eugene Mirman and David Cross, while Iron And Wine lulled the main room. Mirman’s mix of video comedy and deadpan delivery was sharply on point (insight of the evening: “Religion is not a leap of faith but a boy with high-functioning autism”) whereas Cross’ set was, er, looser. After declaring his intoxication, Cross seemed to unravel before everyone’s eyes. Note to comedians: Drunk people don’t find the antics of the Senate Finance Committee very funny; poop and Jewish jokes go over much better. 

Closing the evening was the Jesus Lizard (pictured), rounding out a victory lap that began earlier this year. I never saw the band in its gloriously drunken heyday, but tonight, the band was shockingly sprightly and precise. David Yow prowled the stage with a maniacal glean and a feral (manchild) intensity. Its hour-long, career-spanning set held its intensity throughout in a rare act of non-nostalgia-inciting glory. 

For those still standing, the Criterion Collection offered a rare screening of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House, a bizarre horror/comedy that defied physics, logic and narrative storytelling.

Film At 11: Dead Man’s Bones

Ryan Gosling probably doesn’t have to do much to convince people to pay attention to his band, Dead Man’s Bones. Not only is he, well, Ryan Gosling, but he and Zach Shields have created an album filled with love songs inspired by werewolves, zombies and monsters, which they will soon be taking on the road with the help of children’s choirs around the U.S. Nonetheless, Dead Man’s Bones have decided to hypnotize you into buying their self-titled debut (on Anti-), to be released on October 6, with this ’20s-horror-film-style video.

The Clean’s Simple Fix: Riding The Train Between Port Chalmers And Mosgiel

cleanlogoLike a sunnier version of the throbbing pulse of the Velvet Underground before it, the sound of the Clean, from Dunedin, New Zealand, refuses to go away. With a permanent cast that has remained the same for almost 30 years, brothers David and Hamish Kilgour and Robert Scott have survived the occasional band breakup, Hamish moving to New York, David releasing solo albums and Robert starting his own band, the Bats. With its most recent records (including the new Mister Pop on Merge), the Clean proves, once again, there is rock ‘n’ roll life after 40. The band members make music whenever they can assemble all the parts and remain a permanent fixture in the rock landscape. The Clean is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with them.

trainstaionRobert Scott: At the moment, there is no commuter train running between Port Chalmers and Mosgiel. I last got this train in 1978 when travelling to art school from Mosgiel to Dunedin. These days, they put the train on twice a year for fun, and it brings back wonderful memories. Hopefully, it will be reinstated fully soon.

MP3 At 3PM: Throw Me The Statue

tmtsstagedive3949Throw Me The Statue‘s 2008 debut, Moonbeams, fuzzed its way on to many year-end best-of lists, and critics and fans alike were charmed by its intensely catchy lo-fi pop. Unlike some lo-fi bands, Throw Me The Statue’s songs are intricate and beautiful, with a rare sonic depth that many indie-rock groups are missing these days. The Seattle band’s latest LP, Creaturesque (Secretly Canadian), will satisfy fans of Moonbeams, but it’s lyrically deeper as well. “Hi-Fi Goon” is a hazy tune that will definitely convince you to get on the bandwagon.

“Hi-Fi Goon” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/HiFiGoon.mp3

Normal History Vol. 25: The Art Of David Lester

LesteHistoryVol-25Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 25-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Back in the ’80s, David Greenberger used to send me copies of Duplex Planet, the publication he created about his interactions at the nursing home he worked at. Writes Greenberger, “In 1979 I took a job as activities director at a nursing home in Boston. I had just completed a degree in fine arts as a painter. On the day that I first met the residents of the nursing home, I abandoned painting. That is to say, I discarded the brushes and canvas, not the underlying desire to see something in the world around me and then communicate it to others. In this unexpected setting I found my medium. I wanted others to know these people as I did.” Greenberger’s questions resulted in vibrantly distorted haiku answers. I think he asked things like, “So, whadda think about storms, Marge?” and “Hey Frank, any thoughts on love?” Mecca Normal and Duplex Planet—two weirdo enterprises connecting in a specific time. I’m not sure why Greenberger sent me Duplex Planet. Maybe I’ll ask him, but what should the question be? Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Live Peace In Toronto, where Yoko Ono performed an incredible version of “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow).” You can watch it on YouTube or elsewhere online. When asked, a certain blogger suggests that the crowd’s lame response is attributable to Eric Clapton’s guitar being ever so slightly out of tune. “What was the question?” you may well ask. Last April, while making a documentary, I videoed friends answering my question: “What did you think when you first heard Mecca Normal?” Answers, as they added up, revealed to me that Mecca Normal was new and different and now we represent that point in time. I wish I’d asked a different question. So much depends upon an answer’s question.

The Clean’s Simple Fix: “Daughters Of Darkness”

cleanlogoLike a sunnier version of the throbbing pulse of the Velvet Underground before it, the sound of the Clean, from Dunedin, New Zealand, refuses to go away. With a permanent cast that has remained the same for almost 30 years, brothers David and Hamish Kilgour and Robert Scott have survived the occasional band breakup, Hamish moving to New York, David releasing solo albums and Robert starting his own band, the Bats. With its most recent records (including the new Mister Pop on Merge), the Clean proves, once again, there is rock ‘n’ roll life after 40. The band members make music whenever they can assemble all the parts and remain a permanent fixture in the rock landscape. The Clean is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with them.

daughterofdarkness530Robert Scott: 1971’s Daughters Of Darkness is a fine example of ’70s softcore vampire cinema. Very tastefully done, of course. It is the kind of thing you dig or you don’t. The train scene at the start is super. Video after the jump.

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