MP3 At 3PM: Sally Shapiro

sallylean3365Swedish disco artist Sally Shapiro is a puzzling character. Despite being completely anonymous (she has never performed live or revealed her real name), she and producer Johan Agebjörn somehow managed to get people’s attention with 2007 debut album Disco Romance in the age of the celebrity. And now, she combines an odd selection of genres such as trance, cosmic disco, acid, ambient and jazz on sophomore album My Guilty Pleasure (Paper Bag). But it works: The spellbinding synth and melancholy lyrics on tracks like “Dying In Africa” will sweep you off your feet. Plus, here’s a bonus mp3 for “Miracle.”

“Dying In Africa” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/DyingInAfrica.mp3

“Miracle” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/Miracle.mp3

Múm Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Mum550

Icelandic outfit Múm has been controlling moods with its feathery, epic dream-pop for a decade, so it’s no surprise that founding member Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason left MAGNET instructions on when to post his mix tape: “A late-summer or early-autumn mid-morning—not too early,” he wrote. Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know (Morr), Múm’s fifth full-length, is out this week.

“Illuminated” (download):

The Velvet Underground “Sweet Jane” (full-length version)
The intro is the most sun-drenched 15-second piece of music I have ever heard. I want to just loop these seconds and glue them to my ears forever. Too much? Probably not. Watch the video.

Sin Fang Bous “Advent In Ives Garden”
A jumpy and colorful track by Sindri from the band Seabear. He’s coming on tour with us in the U.S. Watch the video.

Billy Idol “Don’t Need A Gun (Meltdown Mix)”
I went into a secondhand record store in Reykjavik looking for something fun. After searching the back room for about half a minute, I had found three Billy Idol 12-inch records, and they all had some crazy remixes on them. It was like winning the lottery.

Can “Turtles Have Short Legs”
This is such a spot-on zoologic observation that it is hard to believe it comes from the mouth of Damo Suzuki. But it could possibly be the spirit of Charles Darwin singing through him, asking for a cigarette.

X-Ray Spex “Warrior In Woolworths”
We need rebels in retail stores. This track will indeed keep on inspiring people, even if Woolworth’s has been liquidated. Watch the video.

Bird Names “The Tailors’ Revolt”
I really like this band. One of my favorites. And these are really really good “la la”s.

Tonistics “Dimona (The Spiritual Capital Of The World)”
In the early ’70s, Dimona became the hometown for the black Hebrew community in Israel (emigrating from the U.S. and Africa) and a melting pot of soul, jazz, funk and black Hebrew culture with undercurrents of psychedelia. So, when this track was recorded, Dimona may well have been the spiritual capital of the world. Today it is more famous for being at the heart of the Israeli nuclear program.

Retro Stefson “Medallion”
“Retro Stefson are the pop in your popcorn and the smooth in your smoothie.” If that’s what they say, I will agree. Young Icelandic band with a mischievous delinquent streak. Watch the video.

Takeshi Terauchi & His Blue Jeans “Tsugaru Jongara Bushi”
This is the maddest style of guitar picking I have ever heard. Takeshi Terauchi was a free spirit in the Japanese “Eleki” movement, and this song is a rearranged traditional Japanese melody. It is insane in the best way possible. Watch the video.

Mina “Se Telefonando”
Italian siren Mina blossoms on this amazing song, written and produced by Ennio Morricone.  A great ending song for this little make-believe mix tape. Watch the video.

Richard Hawley’s Notes From Sheffield: Smoke Fairies

HawleylogoA deep-voiced, working-class songwriter with an affinity for ’50s-era crooners, American country music and grand orchestration, Richard Hawley has paid tribute to his hometown of Sheffield, England, through songwriting that serves as a sepia-toned photograph of timeless places and love-troubled lives. While it may seem as if nothing changes in Hawley’s stylishly retro work, sixth album Truelove’s Gutter (Mute) is a deceptively tranquil sea change of sonics—employing glass harmonica, waterphone and other ethereal sounds—and themes, with the album delving into lyrical topics of dashed hopes, drug addiction and, of course, love gone wrong. Befitting its title, Truelove’s Gutter finds Hawley trawling Sheffield’s shadows and back alleys on his most spacious, soul-baring album to date. Hawley is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our Q&A with him.

SmokeFiries500Hawley: The Smoke Fairies are a new British female duo I urge you strongly to check out. When I first saw them live, I couldn’t talk for a while. I don’t intend to talk about them much now. Just listen. They are worth your time.

“Now The Green Blade Rises” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/NowTheGreenBladeRises.mp3

Film At 11: Mittens On Strings

Mittens On Strings has accentuated its bizarre “The Flaming Pig” with an equally bizarre—but exceptionally suiting—video. The Chicago band, which prefers to do it all on its own, has created the only music video there can be for a song about a flaming pig. The mostly instrumental track plays along with both eerie and humorous homemade animations that tell the story of the infamous ignited swine. The track is featured on MOS’ new album Let’s Go To Baba’s (out October 6 on Soungs).

TiVo Party Tonight: Arctic Monkeys

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

The Late Show With David Letterman (CBS): Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys will be performing on Letterman tonight and spreading the word on their month-old LP Humbug, produced by Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme. The Brits have been declared one of the first bands to achieve their level of exposure by means of the Internet, and even now international fans are pleading for tonight’s performance to be immediately YouTube’d. Welcome to the future of publicity.

Richard Hawley’s Notes From Sheffield: The Cristal Baschet And Other Strange Instruments

HawleylogoA deep-voiced, working-class songwriter with an affinity for ’50s-era crooners, American country music and grand orchestration, Richard Hawley has paid tribute to his hometown of Sheffield, England, through songwriting that serves as a sepia-toned photograph of timeless places and love-troubled lives. While it may seem as if nothing changes in Hawley’s stylishly retro work, sixth album Truelove’s Gutter (Mute) is a deceptively tranquil sea change of sonics—employing glass harmonica, waterphone and other ethereal sounds—and themes, with the album delving into lyrical topics of dashed hopes, drug addiction and, of course, love gone wrong. Befitting its title, Truelove’s Gutter finds Hawley trawling Sheffield’s shadows and back alleys on his most spacious, soul-baring album to date. Hawley is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our Q&A with him.

Cristal_basche540Hawley: I used the Cristal Baschet on my latest offering, played by the great Thomas Bloch. It is a beautiful instrument. I utilized the glass harmonica, invented by Benjamin Franklin; it was banned, as folk used to think it was the devil’s instrument. The edges of the glass were lined with lead, and the players used to unwittingly absorb it and go nuts, but it sounds so other worldly. I also used the musical saw in honor of my grandfather, who used to play it when I was a boy. Video after the jump.

Continue reading “Richard Hawley’s Notes From Sheffield: The Cristal Baschet And Other Strange Instruments”

MP3 At 3PM: Vic Chesnutt

vicchesnuttleaves6623Vic Chesnutt is one of the most unique individuals creating music today, which makes it even more remarkable that he’s been playing guitar for the better part of three decades. His latest album, At The Cut (Constellation), features members of Fugazi, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Silver Mt. Zion, but Chesnutt’s style remains defiantly his own. The delicate “Chain” might seem wafer-thin at first, but like all of Chesnutt’s songs, there’s something strange and wonderful at its core. As a bonus, here’s a second and third mp3 from the album: “Philip Guston” and “Flirted With You All My Life.”

“Chain” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/Chain.mp3

“Philip Guston” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/PhilipGuston.mp3

“Flirted With You All My Life” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/FlirtedWithYouAllMyLife.mp3

Take Cover! Petra Haden Vs. The Who

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Petra Haden takes on the Who’s “I Can See For Miles.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

Prompted by Mike Watt and his gift of an eight-track tape recorder, Petra Haden covered The Who Sell Out a cappella and by herself. The Who originally recorded the album as a fake pirate-radio broadcast that consisted of songs interspersed with their own commercial jingles. While the Who has since licensed songs for gas-guzzling Hummer commercials, Haden is writing jingles for Toyota Prius ad campaigns. Here she performs “I Can See For Miles” with her group, the Sell Outs.

The Cover:

The Original:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uLOwziNLbM&NR=1 [poll id=”33″]

Richard Hawley’s Notes From Sheffield: John Steinbeck

HawleylogoA deep-voiced, working-class songwriter with an affinity for ’50s-era crooners, American country music and grand orchestration, Richard Hawley has paid tribute to his hometown of Sheffield, England, through songwriting that serves as a sepia-toned photograph of timeless places and love-troubled lives. While it may seem as if nothing changes in Hawley’s stylishly retro work, sixth album Truelove’s Gutter (Mute) is a deceptively tranquil sea change of sonics—employing glass harmonica, waterphone and other ethereal sounds—and themes, with the album delving into lyrical topics of dashed hopes, drug addiction and, of course, love gone wrong. Befitting its title, Truelove’s Gutter finds Hawley trawling Sheffield’s shadows and back alleys on his most spacious, soul-baring album to date. Hawley is guest editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our Q&A with him.

JohnSteinbeckHawley: Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat, The Pearl, Burning Bright—some of the greatest words I have read written by any soul who ever lived. John Steinbeck‘s understanding of humanity is so piercing, I think if I had to think of a book that floored me totally, it only takes a second to say the words “Cannery Row.” I find new things, too, every time I reread them—and I do read them often. If you haven’t read The Pearl, maybe you should; not that I would ever tell you what to do, of course. It only took an afternoon to read, but maybe it would have taken me a lifetime to find out what it is saying. Video after the jump.

Continue reading “Richard Hawley’s Notes From Sheffield: John Steinbeck”

Film At 11: Donora

Donora‘s “I Think I Like You” conveys everything you need to know about the band. Off the Pittsburgh trio’s self-titled debut LP (on Rostrum), the song embraces all of the upbeat, lighthearted, indie pop/rock that makes Donora so charming. What better way to flaunt a bubbly musical attitude than with an impressively coordinated hula-hoop routine? The video radiates a pure optimism that undoubtedly has the power to brighten a dark day.