TiVo Party Tonight: The Like, Alice In Chains

TIVOAIC5177Ever wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Last Call With Carson Daly (NBC): The Like
The Like will perform on Last Call tonight amidst the band’s tour with Arctic Monkeys. The ladies haven’t had a full-length album since ’05 but are updating themselves this year with two new members and new single “Fair Game,” which they are likely to perform this evening.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC): Alice In Chains
Kimmel will host Alice In Chains tonight as the band promotes new album Black Gives Way To Blue, released this week. The LP is the band’s first with singer William DuVall, who has replaced the late Layne Staley. Alice In Chains is likely to perform “A Looking In View” or “Check My Brain.”

Rosanne Cash Can’t Resist: Napeague, Long Island

CashlogoUnless you’ve spent the last 50 years cryogenically frozen in deep space, you may have heard of Rosanne Cash‘s father, Johnny Cash. When Rosanne locked in on becoming a successful country singer/songwriter, she had a formidable set of footsteps to follow. But she isn’t one to duck a challenge. Twenty of her singles cracked the top 20 in the country charts from 1979 to 1990, with 11 reaching the number-one spot. Her new album, The List (out next week on EMI/Manhattan), is a terrific reworking of country classics, handpicked from a list of indispensable songs her dad made for her 36 years ago. Having Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy and Rufus Wainwright appear as guest artists on the record is a nice fit. Rosanne will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week long. Read our Q&A with her.

Beach5Cash: This is my favorite stretch of coastline in the world. Napeague is on the east end of Long Island, in between Amagansett and Montauk. It is a very narrow spit of land, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Gardiners Bay on the other. You can easily walk between the ocean and the bay. In 1938, a great hurricane washed the ocean all the way over the beach, the road, the wetlands and the houses, right into the bay. Napeague was completely covered in water. It was also right here 101 years earlier that my ancestor, William Cash, a whaler who lived in Nantucket, shipwrecked right off the Napeague shore. He swam ashore as his ship was burning on the reef. He and three other young men survived. It didn’t thwart his ambition to be a whaler, however, as he went on many more voyages and became a captain. I have a photo of him, from his obituary in the Nantucket paper in the late 1800s, and he looks uncannily like my father. I go to Napeague quite often. I love the dunes and the white sand and the quality of the light. The sun sets just to the right and slightly behind you in the summer if you are facing out to sea, and it can be quite magnificent. It has a lonely quality, or at least I imagine it does. When I think about the storms and the shipwreck and the urgency of survival and the moment when my own bloodline was in danger of obliteration, it makes the light and the water feel so immediate and so important. It is a world away from the trendy beaches of East Hampton, just a few miles up the road, or the surfing community of Montauk, a few miles in the other direction. I feel territorial about Napeague, and I worry about future hurricanes that might cover it up again. In the meantime, here is a photograph of me, on my favorite stretch of coastline, with a cameraman who was filming the visit for a documentary called Mariners & Musicians.

—photo by Danny Kahn

MP3 At 3PM: Circulatory System

circsysthouse6127It has been eight years since the release of Circulatory System’s critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album. One reason for the delay was that primary songwriter, visual artist and former Olivia Tremor Control member Will Cullen Hart was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This track, from the new Signal Morning (Cloud), features Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, but don’t get your hopes up too high: He’s on drums. The song opens with a Bats-esque jangle before the fuzz kicks in, and it swells, stutters and shuffles like a lo-fi Pete Townshend mini-opera.

“Round Again” (download):

Take Cover! Gnarls Barkley Vs. Radiohead

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Gnarls Barkley takes on Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

Cee-Lo lays some thick soul on the Radiohead number. This is the world’s biggest R&B band covering the world’s biggest alternative band. Thom Yorke and Co. could probably do a killer version of “Crazy,” but it’s likely we’ll never hear it.

The Cover:

The Original:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmNG2D81x3Y [poll id=”35″]

Rosanne Cash Can’t Resist: “Nurse Jackie”

Cashlogo100dUnless you’ve spent the last 50 years cryogenically frozen in deep space, you may have heard of Rosanne Cash‘s father, Johnny Cash. When Rosanne locked in on becoming a successful country singer/songwriter, she had a formidable set of footsteps to follow. But she isn’t one to duck a challenge. Twenty of her singles cracked the top 20 in the country charts from 1979 to 1990, with 11 reaching the number-one spot. Her new album, The List (out next week on EMI/Manhattan), is a terrific reworking of country classics, handpicked from a list of indispensable songs her dad made for her 36 years ago. Having Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy and Rufus Wainwright appear as guest artists on the record is a nice fit. Rosanne will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week long. Read our Q&A with her.

NurseJackie3

Cash: I don’t like television that much. I usually stumble on a show I like and stick with it until it’s over, then I wait to stumble on the next one. I’ve never seen a reality show, where people marry each other for money or girls with big butts go shopping or people have plastic surgery with their friends, but I hear that these are very popular. I went from a mild obsession with Friends in the late ’90s (I was pregnant, and there was nothing better than sitting down at 7 p.m. with a bar-b-qued chicken and a bowl of pickles in front of the ultimate junk TV show) to The Sopranos (I stuck with Tony, et al, for many years and loved the show deeply). It was the only thing I watched. Then The Sopranos ended in a whiteout, and I was bereft. But suddenly, there was In Treatment. I was one of those women of a certain age who got all jelly-kneed over Gabriel Byrne and who had very definite opinions about why his patients were so fucked up and what was to be done with them. When In Treatment was over, I found House. I was so excited. I came upon it long after it had become a big hit, but I didn’t care. I dvr’d it and watched season after season. Hugh Laurie could never get cranky enough for me. Misanthropy was never so romantic. That pretty much brings my television viewing up to date for the last decade and a half, until this summer when I discovered Nurse Jackie. The whole premise of the show teems with fantastic potential disasters. Nurse Jackie, played by the superb Edie Falco, is a hyper-functional emergency-room nurse who happens to be an oxycontin addict (along with occasional interesting junkie forays into morphine and zanax). She is also having a sordid affair with the hospital pharmacist, who supplies her with drugs after every tryst in the supply closet. She is married to a super-straight bartender husband who is way too perfect emotionally, and they have two cute little girls. Her best friend is a Brit doctor who wears designer clothes and high heels in the E.R. and seems to have nothing but contempt for all of humanity, except for her best friend Jackie. The show is filled out by the greatest student nurse ever, Zoey, who is a babe in crazyland and who recently put a movie critic in a coma (way to go!), and a hospital administrator who eats nails for breakfast. I love this show. Nurse Jackie‘s whole house of cards is set up to fall in the most spectacular way; a catastrophe of epic proportions looms on the personal, career, social and romantic fronts, but season one has been all set-up and no catastrophe. I’m waiting. Nurse Jackie has something from every show I’ve loved in the last decade: a great friendship, violence (it’s a busy E.R.), psychological train wrecks, misanthropy and medical mysteries. If Gabriel Byrne would just do a guest spot, I’d die happy.

Live Review: Yo La Tengo, Nelsonville, OH, Sept. 24, 2009

What is it with Yo La Tengo? They seem like such calm, good-hearted, perfectly nice people, and they write such perfectly nice songs. And then they take it to the bridge, and this <i>ungodly<p> cloudhead of rumble and skronk rolls off of the stage and into the audience, and we all get knocked over like skittle pins.
That’s how it felt, at least, last Thursday at Stuart’s Opera House, a 130-year-old community arts center/performance space in Nelsonville, Ohio, where Ira Kaplan, James McNew, and Georgia Hubley brought their powerhouse live show in support of the newly released (and cheekily titled) <i>Popular Songs<p>. Into this intimate and unassuming space tromped the perfectly nice Yo La Tengo… and over the course of two remarkable hours, Kaplan, McNew, and Hubley owned it, killed it, burned it down and built it back up, and then burned it down <i>again<p>. It was immediately recognizable as a momentous show, in every respect–one of those evenings that blows the curve for every other live performance you’re likely going to see.
Nelsonville, Ohio is genuinely quaint like a Frank Capra film, as opposed to threateningly quaint like a David Lynch movie. Stuart’s Opera House, a two-story historical theater with buffed wood floors, full balcony, and box seats, is a great deal less stuffy than that shorthand description might suggest. It’s one of those neighborhood venues that’s airy and brightly painted inside, a venue where local school kids helped to design the lobby’s music-and-local-landscape themed mural, where the downstairs bar serves microbrew, and where the merch table next to Yo La Tengo’s was raffling off a Martin D-18 guitar and selling two-dollar Opera House stickers. In short, it’s a balance of serious art and charming personality, which is as fine a précis for Yo La Tengo’s live show as any I can think of.
The energetic Beatdowns, from up the road in Columbus, opened with a set of Zombies/early Stones-inflected R&B and garage rock, looking as goofy and happy as any bunch of mid-1960s beat-revivalists might, complete with spiffy shoes and hipster specs. The crowd gave them a great reception—they’re local boys, after all, and a tight five-piece combo on any merits—and the band’s giveaway single, “Disconnected Girl”/”Away From The Crowd,” went quickly during the break between sets. (The free single is also available by searching “Beatdowns” on the Columbus Underground website: columbusunderground.com.)
Then the house lights dimmed. The stage backdrop, a giant reproduction of the back-cover artwork for <i>Popular Songs<p>, wafted in a light breeze. And then, without a great sense of occasion or fanfare despite the vigorous reception they received, Yo La Tengo took up positions and opened the show with the slow, atmospheric instrumental “Green Arrow,” from 1997’s <i>I Can Feel The Heart Beating As One<p>.
If you’ve never seen Yo La Tengo play, it’s hard to describe what a genuine sense of humility there is to it all, and how directly that affects the experience of the live show. Here’s a band that can shift from shimmering, vibrato-soaked instrumentals to art-noise workouts without taking a breath, frequently in the same song. And Kaplan, McNew, and Hubley go at it like a job: They come out, they play, they gab with us a little, and they play. They segue from song to song with total confidence—many of the between-song transitions were only looped ride-outs from the previous song—but with absolutely zero attitude or gravitas. Maybe it has to do with hailing from Hoboken as opposed to the Big Shitty: Yo La Tengo portrayed a Velvet Underground-esque band in Mary Harron’s 1996 film <i>I Shot Andy Warhol<p>, but YLT’s approach is less art-house cool than tool-shed work, and you get the impression that none of them think about their poses, or give much of a damn about anything but the sound, for the whole time they’re onstage.
The night was heavy on material from the new record, including shapely pop numbers like the funk-inflected “Occasionally Double Or Triple” and longer, more sprawling workouts. But Yo La Tengo drew liberally from the entirety of their 20-plus-year body of work, including sunshiny tracks like “Yellow Sarong” and “Tom Courtenay” as well as crisp, disturbing songs like “Autumn Sweater,” and full-band noise rave-ups. The liberal approach made for an evening that became a shared celebration of the band, as much as a showcase for their performance chops.
And what a performance it was. Kaplan moved deftly from reverb-soaked slide guitar to squealing guitar solos, taking turns at the Farfisa and keyboard rigs along the way (“Good evening,” he deadpanned, “I’m Bill Evans”). James McNew switched back and forth between bass and guitar like a gunslinger, and sat a turn on drums and percussion briefly. And good lord, Georgia Hubley: The Moe Tucker comparisons became tiresome a while back, but what an arm Hubley’s got—whomping the bass drum with the mallets, kissing the cymbals with the brushes, and beating the mortal shit out of everything around her when McNew and Kaplan go off into high-volume noodling. To observe Yo La Tengo crank the volume was to know the difference between raw power and well-shaped volume, and it was the latter that drove the night. Even with several free-form improvisations knitted into the structure, YLT was never out of control for a second. To be in the hands of an outfit that assured, that skilled, and that happy to make music was a fine thing indeed.
Memories of the evening shatter into happy pieces: Two encores. A burst of stage-front dancing at the end of the night. Audience members who ran the gamut from aging hipsters (and, ahem, nerdly rock journalists) to kids who couldn’t have been more than 18, giddily singing along and snapping pictures. Ira Kaplan, raising his hand at the end of the night, saying, “Thank you. This has been really special.” The two guys up front who yelled “Thank you!” back. We’re all such nice people. Such perfectly nice, perfectly loud people.
If it comes anywhere near you, see this show. You won’t forget it.
–Eric Waggoner

yolatengoliveWhat is it with Yo La Tengo? They seem like such calm, good-hearted, perfectly nice people, and they write such perfectly nice songs. And then they take it to the bridge, and this ungodly cloudhead of rumble and skronk rolls off of the stage and into the audience, and we all get knocked over like skittle pins. That’s how it felt, at least, at Stuart’s Opera House, a 130-year-old community arts center/performance space in Nelsonville, Ohio, where Ira Kaplan, James McNew and Georgia Hubley brought their powerhouse live show in support of the newly released (and cheekily titled) Popular Songs (Matador). Into this intimate and unassuming space tromped the perfectly nice Yo La Tengo, and over the course of two remarkable hours, Kaplan, McNew and Hubley owned it, killed it, burned it down, built it back up, then burned it down again. It was immediately recognizable as a momentous show, in every respect—one of those evenings that blows the curve for every other live performance you’re likely going to see.

Nelsonville is genuinely quaint like a Frank Capra film, as opposed to threateningly quaint like a David Lynch movie. Stuart’s Opera House, a two-story historical theater with buffed wood floors, full balcony and box seats, is a great deal less stuffy than that shorthand description might suggest. It’s one of those neighborhood venues that’s airy and brightly painted inside, a place where local school kids helped to design the lobby’s music-and-local-landscape themed mural, where the downstairs bar serves microbrew and where the merch table next to Yo La Tengo’s was raffling off a Martin D-18 guitar and selling $2 Opera House stickers. In short, it’s a balance of serious art and charming personality, which is as fine a précis for Yo La Tengo’s live show as any I can think of.

The energetic Beatdowns, from up the road in Columbus, opened with a set of Zombies/early-Stones-inflected R&B and garage rock, looking as goofy and happy as any bunch of mid-1960s beat-revivalists might, complete with spiffy shoes and hipster specs. The crowd gave them a great reception—they’re local boys, after all, and a tight five-piece combo on any merits—and the band’s giveaway single, “Disconnected Girl”/”Away From The Crowd,” went quickly during the break between sets. (Download the free single.)

Then the house lights dimmed. The stage backdrop, a giant reproduction of the back-cover artwork for Popular Songs, wafted in a light breeze. And then, without a great sense of occasion or fanfare despite the vigorous reception they received, Yo La Tengo took up positions and opened the show with the slow, atmospheric instrumental “Green Arrow,” from 1997’s I Can Feel The Heart Beating As One. If you’ve never seen Yo La Tengo play, it’s hard to describe what a genuine sense of humility there is to it all, and how directly that affects the experience of the live show. Here’s a band that can shift from shimmering, vibrato-soaked instrumentals to art/noise workouts without taking a breath, frequently in the same song. And Kaplan, McNew and Hubley go at it like a job: They come out, they play, they gab with us a little and they play. They segue from song to song with total confidence—many of the between-song transitions were only looped ride-outs from the previous song—but with absolutely zero attitude or gravitas. Maybe it has to do with hailing from Hoboken as opposed to the Big Shitty: Yo La Tengo portrayed a Velvet Underground-esque band in Mary Harron’s 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, but YLT’s approach is less art-house cool than tool-shed work, and you get the impression that none of them thinks about their poses or gives much of a damn about anything but the sound, for the whole time they’re onstage.

The night was heavy on material from the new record, including shapely pop numbers like the funk-inflected “Periodically Double Or Triple” and longer, more sprawling workouts. But Yo La Tengo drew liberally from the entirety of their 20-plus-year body of work, including sunshiny tracks like “Yellow Sarong” and “Tom Courtenay” as well as crisp, disturbing songs like “Autumn Sweater” and full-band noise rave-ups. The liberal approach made for an evening that became a shared celebration of the band, as much as a showcase for its performance chops.

And what a performance it was. Kaplan moved deftly from reverb-soaked slide guitar to squealing solos, taking turns at the Farfisa and keyboard rigs along the way. (“Good evening,” he deadpanned, “I’m Bill Evans.”) McNew switched back and forth between bass and guitar like a gunslinger and sat a turn on drums and percussion briefly. And good lord, Hubley. The Moe Tucker comparisons became tiresome a while back, but what an arm Hubley’s got—whomping the bass drum with the mallets, kissing the cymbals with the brushes and beating the mortal shit out of everything around her when McNew and Kaplan go off into high-volume noodling. To observe Yo La Tengo crank the volume was to know the difference between raw power and well-shaped volume, and it was the latter that drove the night. Even with several free-form improvisations knitted into the structure, YLT was never out of control for a second. To be in the hands of an outfit that assured, that skilled and that happy to make music was a fine thing indeed.

Memories of the evening shatter into happy pieces: two encores. A burst of stage-front dancing at the end of the night. Audience members who ran the gamut from aging hipsters (and, ahem, nerdly rock journalists) to kids who couldn’t have been more than 18, giddily singing along and snapping pictures. Kaplan, raising his hand at the end of the night, saying, “Thank you. This has been really special.” The two guys up front who yelled, “Thank you!” back. We’re all such nice people. Such perfectly nice, perfectly loud people.

If it comes anywhere near you, see this show. You won’t forget it.

—Eric Waggoner

Film At 11: Bishop Allen

Cardigans, vintage dresses and a Spike Jonze-inspired video? It’s got to be indie. And Bishop Allen is about as indie as they come, a Harvard-educated quintet that knows its way around an angular guitar riff. “Dimmer” is plenty quirky, musically fabulous and just a little bit scary. What more could you ask for?

TiVo Party Tonight: Sunny Day Real Estate, Wild Light

TIVOSDRE6568Ever wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC): Sunny Day Real Estate
After a couple of breakups, Sunny Day Real Estate is back together and what better way to celebrate than alongside Jimmy Fallon? SDRE’s U.S. tour with the Jealous Sound is in progress but will pause for just a few hours for a performance on Fallon tonight as the band additionally promotes the re-release of its first two LPs.

Last Call With Carson Daly (NBC): Wild Light
Wild Light will be performing “Call Home” from debut album Adult Nights. With a duo that has been recording together since the fourth grade (and a close friendship with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler), nothing but greatness can be expected from these New Englanders’ performance.

Rosanne Cash Can’t Resist: The Ewe Bar

Cashlogo100dUnless you’ve spent the last 50 years cryogenically frozen in deep space, you may have heard of Rosanne Cash‘s father, Johnny Cash. When Rosanne locked in on becoming a successful country singer/songwriter, she had a formidable set of footsteps to follow. But she isn’t one to duck a challenge. Twenty of her singles cracked the top 20 in the country charts from 1979 to 1990, with 11 reaching the number-one spot. Her new album, The List (out next week on EMI/Manhattan), is a terrific reworking of country classics, handpicked from a list of indispensable songs her dad made for her 36 years ago. Having Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy and Rufus Wainwright appear as guest artists on the record is a nice fit. Rosanne will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week long. Read our Q&A with her.

EweBar

Cash: The best pub in the world—and this is not an opinion, this is pure fact—is the Ewe Bar in the Fortingall Hotel in Aberfeldy, Scotland. It’s a hike to get to this remote spot in Perthshire, a couple hours from Edinburgh, but once I got there, I didn’t want to leave. The Victorian Fortingall Hotel, in the little arts-and-crafts village of the same name, sits at the base of a gorgeous mountain in the Highlands. The whole area is so crazily beautiful that it seems unreal—it is as if someone painted their perfect idea of a mystical Scotland, and it came to life in Aberfeldy. The pub, like the entire hotel, has paid exquisite attention to the details, and as we all know, that’s where God is. Yes, God Herself resides in this pub. There is a stone fireplace and real crystal glasses and shining wooden benches and the tiniest, most beautiful bar, which gives a new and rare opportunity to redefine the verb “sidle.” I’m a freaking lightweight, so I am embarrassed to say that I drank white wine, but I did enjoy watching the lads in the band and crew, and my new friend Sebastian Thewes, owner of a nearby estate, drink the mighty Scottish whiskey. It was a very satisfying vicarious experience. The experience of being in that pub was, however, not felt at arm’s length. It was one of those nights—and places—that seep into the soul. I am now forever working my way back to Fortingall. And the Ewe Bar.

MP3 At 3PM: Boston Spaceships

bostonspaceshipsillWhen we got an advance copy this summer of the excellent new Boston Spaceships album, Zero To 99 (out next week on GBV Inc.), we were immediately floored by track two, “How Wrong You Are,” possibly the best song Robert Pollard has recorded since the demise of Guided By Voices. So floored, in fact, that we promptly emailed Pollard’s people and begged them to let us debut the song on the MAGNET website. So here it is: the North American premiere of “How Wrong You Are.”

“How Wrong You Are” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/HowWrongYouAre.mp3