Film At 11: Juan Wauters

Everyone knows wrestling is fake, but it occasionally makes for good entertainment, so long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Juan Wauters embraces that wisdom wholeheartedly in his new video for “Sanity Or Not,” helmed by longtime collaborator Matthew Volv. Watch it below.

Best Of 2013, Guest Editors: Wesley Stace On Chicago

As 2013 has come to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

WesleyStaceLogoIt’s difficult to imagine anyone left on the face of the planet (already familiar with the man’s work, that is) who isn’t aware that singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding and critically acclaimed novelist Wesley Stace are one and the same. Henceforth, he has announced that he will record under the name Wesley Stace, and hopefully never again be asked why he assumed the name of a 1967 Bob Dylan album, misspelling and all. “It’s like what happens at the end of a Spider-Man or a Batman movie,” says Stace. “When the superhero reveals his true identity to his girlfriend.” “Girlfriend” may be the operative word on Stace’s new album, Self-Titled (Yep Roc), in which a 47-year-old man, now comfortably married and living in Philadelphia, reflects back over the loves of his younger life. Stace will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.

Chicago

Stace: Chicago have been making me really happy all summer. I never heard much of their music in England when I was growing up, except “If You Leave Me Now,” which was ubiquitous and, in all fairness, seemed enough to turn anyone off (though now I find it to be one of the most beautifully arranged pieces of pop: the guitar solo alone. Anyway … )

So imagine my surprise to find myself in a car a year or so ago with a friend who is trying to “interest” me in Chicago, by highlighting their progressive tendencies. In a remarkable piece of timing, this incident came hot on the heels of an all-night hang in San Francisco where another friend played me some endlessly fascinating guitar dueling on an album, whose name (or, more pertinently, number) I couldn’t remember, but whose enormous accompanying poster I could not forget. Back to the car: I was digging Terry Kath’s guitar solo, when the driver said, with admiration: “You wait! He’s about to put the wah-wah pedal on!” And he did; and, lo, it really was great. That’s on “25 Or 6 To 4,” a title that didn’t baffle me for a second: Can it really be the cause of debate? If you think of the time as being either 3.34 (or 3.35) a.m., there’s no mystery. So what if the lyric is “Getting up to splash my face” and it’s the worst line of all time? We just have to move beyond that.

My first solo Chicago foray was the debut, Chicago Transit Authority, which really is weird by the way, almost avant garde—one track of guitar wanking, another which just seems to be 10 minutes of percussion—but full of great singles. Then it blossomed from there, until now, when you can hear “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday,” “Questions 67 And 68” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” all for the same quarter on my jukebox.

I know you’re probably bored of these songs, because you heard them way too much on the radio and then you got into different music anyway, but I’ve had such pleasure as a complete newcomer. It’s great when the music’s there just waiting for you. Two thoughts: Avoid Chicago IV (Live At Carnegie Hall)—the sound is gruesome, though the posters and other inserts are amazing (as is the fact that the first two and a half minutes of side one are just … nothing but audience noise and the odd apologetic announcement). Instead get Live In Japan, which is crystal clear and extremely wonderful. Also, whatever they say about the guitars—which are great—it’s Pankow’s horn arrangements that kill me. Perhaps that’s obvious to everyone: I’ve never read a single word about Chicago and don’t know who’s singing what.

Also, listen to the intro of “Questions 67 And 68”: Obviously it’s very long, too long, to the point of being humorous (it’s edited on almost all singles), and totally awesome, but just try coming in with the singing at the right point (unless you know it inside out; then it’s easy.) Even when it’s finally time for the singer to make his grand entrance, the band throws an odd extra beat in there to put him off a little.

Video after the jump.

Continue reading “Best Of 2013, Guest Editors: Wesley Stace On Chicago”

MP3 At 3PM: Germany Germany

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Drew Harris kicked off 2014 with the release of Reconnect, his latest album under the Germany Germany moniker, on New Year’s Day. The Canadian beatmaker is no stranger to vocal collaborations, and on “All Of Your Love,” he enlists the help of L.A.-based singer Kotomi. Download it below.

“All Of Your Love” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/AllOfYourLove.mp3

In The News: Johnny Cash, Eternal Summers, Beatles, Nina Persson, Little Hurricane, Death Of Samantha, Aztec Camera And More

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Twelve recently discovered Johnny Cash recordings will see the light of day March 25, when Legacy releases Out Among The StarsJimi Goodwin of Doves will issue a solo record, Odludek, also on March 25 … The Drop Beneath is the new Eternal Summers album, due out March 4 via Kanine … To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first arrival in the U.S., Apple/Capitol will issue a 13-disc collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude on January 21 … The End Records has announced the signing of Nina Persson (Cardigans, A Camp) and will release her new solo album, Animal Heart, on February 11 … The second LP from Little Hurricane, Gold Fever, is due out March 4. A headlining tour will follow … On February 11, Death Of Samantha will return with its first new album in 24 years, If Memory Serves Us Well, via St. Valentine … The 30th anniversary edition of Aztec Camera’s debut album, High Land, Hard Rain, will be available February 4 from Domino … Throughout 2014, Fantasy Records will reissue several classic Creedence Clearwater Revival records on vinyl, starting January 14 with the re-release of Bayou Country and Cosmo’s FactoryJohn Hammond has announced the January 21 release of his new album, Timeless, via Palmetto  … The Classics is a compilation of 20 Tony Bennett tracks, each handpicked by the man himself, due out from RPM/Columbia/Legacy on January 28 … Duane Denison, Alexander Hacke and Brian Kotzur have joined forces to form the Unsemble, and they will issue their self-titled debut March 4 via Ipecac … In the summer of 1970, the era’s biggest stars—including the Band, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and more—performed at multi-city concert tour Festival Express. The long-lost concert film will be available for the first time on January 11 from Shout! Factory. The Blu-ray and DVD editions include bonus features, extended interviews and more.

—Emily Costantino

Best Of 2013, Guest Editors: Wesley Stace On Goat

As 2013 has come to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

WesleyStaceLogoIt’s difficult to imagine anyone left on the face of the planet (already familiar with the man’s work, that is) who isn’t aware that singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding and critically acclaimed novelist Wesley Stace are one and the same. Henceforth, he has announced that he will record under the name Wesley Stace, and hopefully never again be asked why he assumed the name of a 1967 Bob Dylan album, misspelling and all. “It’s like what happens at the end of a Spider-Man or a Batman movie,” says Stace. “When the superhero reveals his true identity to his girlfriend.” “Girlfriend” may be the operative word on Stace’s new album, Self-Titled (Yep Roc), in which a 47-year-old man, now comfortably married and living in Philadelphia, reflects back over the loves of his younger life. Stace will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.

Goat

Stace: Goat are great. I’m not going to rehash the press release, but their music is basically droning krautrock/psych with some faux-African chanting vocals on top of it. They’re Scandinavian. They claim to be related from some voodoo tribe. Live, the band wears masks and costumes. They often deploy their name in song titles: Goatman, Goathead, Goatlord. Whatever!

Their album from last year, World Music (either the best or worst title of all time), is fantastic. When I saw them at the Williamsburg Music Hall, coincidentally their first-ever American show, I initially feared (in my somewhat weakened state) that their energy was going to be a little too negative for me, but then the two females came on, having just raided the costume box, dancing dervishly and chanting. I loved this show. It was like someone from Amon Düül had the bright idea to take a backing track to Sierra Leone and get some real singing on it. (And I love Amon Düül.)

Plus, there was a real sense of occasion at the gig: Nowadays, we all know what’s going to happen all the time. It’s very rare that we don’t, but as the lights went down and the band came on one by one, playing the storming riff of the first instrumental, I felt a little lost, without cultural touchstones, like anything could happen. Who doesn’t want that feeling every now and then? Is that feeling even allowed anymore?

Their recent single, “Dreambuilding/Stone Goat” (which comes on a beautiful 12-inch that can only be bought by mail order from their native country, and I did just that), is not as jawdropping as the album, and sounds like a couple of afterthoughts, but it’s still great, particularly because I could remember both tunes from the gig, wondering what they were, and being excited that I was being given something new on top of all the other pleasures of the evening.

Video after the jump.

Continue reading “Best Of 2013, Guest Editors: Wesley Stace On Goat”