Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: Space And The Universe

sweethoff100c111The duo of Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet may be the perfect assimilation of vocal chops and instrumental savvy, as shown on a pair of recent albums titled Under The Covers (Shout! Factory), with volume one re-examining big hits from the ’60s and volume two tackling the ’70s. The track record for Hoffs and Sweet speaks for itself. Hoffs’ band, the Bangles, was the only member of the hallowed Paisley Underground scene to sell more than a handful of records, cracking the national top-30 no fewer than eight times from 1986-89. Sweet’s breakthrough album was 1991’s Girlfriend, which paved the way for later power-pop classics like Altered Beast and 100{e5d2c082e45b5ce38ac2ea5f0bdedb3901cc97dfa4ea5e625fd79a7c2dc9f191} Fun. The pair plans to take an acoustic version of their Under The Covers act on the road in September, but in the meantime is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with them.

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Matthew Sweet: So unbelievably cool, even though we really know so little about it. I love that new explosions are just visible here after happening billions of years ago across space and time. I never forget that we are all infinitely tiny and insignificant. It is a great feeling to accept this truth, and it kinda takes all the pressure off a little old human like me. We’re spared for the time being, but the Earth will, in fact, fall into the sun. I love the book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I like when the time traveller is in the future where (when?) all that he’s known is gone. Grim but cool.

MP3 At 3PM: Royalchord

royalcord400Royalchord is proof that no genre is safe. This Australian duo started off as a rather straightforward alt-country octet, then cut the roster down to just two. So how did Tammy Haider and Eliza Hiscox make up the difference? Computers! Royalchord kept its country roots intact but mashed it up with some electronics. “Turn My Life Around” is off Royalchord’s third LP, The Good Fight, which comes out in the U.S. on August 4 via Supply & Demand Music.

“Turn My Life Around” (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/TurnMyLifeAround.mp3

The Lovely Feathers Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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A name such as the Lovely Feathers may carry connotations of soft and downy pop, but the Montreal band trades in surprisingly agile post-punk guitar chime on Fantasy Of The Lot, due out next month. Singer/guitarist Mark Kupfert offers a glimpse into his musical psyche and sharp stylistic turns with his MAGNET mix, throwing in everyone from Biggie to Bowie to Blur.

“Lowiza” (download):

Frank Sinatra “My Way”
When I was about nine, my parents came back from some out-of-town wedding with a tape of my dad singing “My Way” and “Blueberry Hill.” The party had a karaoke booth, where you’d sing and take home a recorded version of your performance. I had to listen to my father serenade himself for a full year.

Notorious B.I.G. Featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony “Notorious Thugs”
It was the summer of 1997. I was 15 and discovering pot’s beauty in curbing the utter boredom of life within a Canadian suburb. Most nights would usually end at my buddy’s basement, where we’d satisfy our munchies listening to Biggie chant, “Armed and dangerous/Ain’t too many can bang with us/Straight-up weed no angel dust.” Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Chad VanGaalen “City Of Electric Light”
I was driving to New York City in a rented U-Haul. It was snowing heavily, and the truck didn’t seem to have much traction. This tune came on, and I felt like I was in some apocalypse/oblivion world. Love his vocal texture over the edgy-yet-warm arrangement.

My Bloody Valentine “Loomer”
I had a lover for one summer. I didn’t know her well. She didn’t know me. Every time we made love, we’d listen to My Bloody Valentine. I still can’t listen to this stuff without getting aroused.

Metronomy “My Heart Rate Rapid”
Some songs instantly cure my mid-range depression.

Blur “Girls And Boys”
I went to see Blur in 2003. In the middle of playing this song, Damon Albarn stopped the band, saying the song sounded like shit. A weird hush fell over the crowd. Blur moved on to other tunes, as if nothing happened. Then in the encore, Albarn said, “Let’s try that fuckin’ song again.” The baseline of “Girls And Boys” kicked in, and the crowd went apeshit.

David Bowie “Suffragette City”
I remember the first time I heard the full album of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust. I was in college, probably about. My buddy told me, “Listen to this—you’re going to love every song.” I listened to the whole album every day for two weeks straight. I can still easily listen to the album front to back. The record is ageless.

Grizzly Bear “Foreground”
Just a beautiful song. A little more bear than the other tunes. Awfully elegant.

Man Man “Engwish Bwudd”
We did a mini-tour with Man Man in the summer of 2006. I still remember the look on vocalist Ryan’s face when a crazy fan came up to him showing his tattooed arm. The tattoo was a calligraphy version of the lyrics to “Engwish Bwudd.”

Malajube “Montréal -40°C”
In this ode to my hometown, I always get the willies when I hear the lyric “une ourse polaire dans l’autobus.” I actually don’t know why, because the band is basically saying, “Montreal, you’re like a polar bear in a street bus.” Somehow, it totally does it for me. It’s fuckin’ freezing here.

Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: “My So-Called Life” And “Freaks And Geeks”

sweethoff100c110The duo of Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet may be the perfect assimilation of vocal chops and instrumental savvy, as shown on a pair of recent albums titled Under The Covers (Shout! Factory), with volume one re-examining big hits from the ’60s and volume two tackling the ’70s. The track record for Hoffs and Sweet speaks for itself. Hoffs’ band, the Bangles, was the only member of the hallowed Paisley Underground scene to sell more than a handful of records, cracking the national top-30 no fewer than eight times from 1986-89. Sweet’s breakthrough album was 1991’s Girlfriend, which paved the way for later power-pop classics like Altered Beast and 100{e5d2c082e45b5ce38ac2ea5f0bdedb3901cc97dfa4ea5e625fd79a7c2dc9f191} Fun. The pair plans to take an acoustic version of their Under The Covers act on the road in September, but in the meantime is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with them.

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Susanna Hoffs: The boxed sets of My So-Called Life and Freaks And Geeks (pictured) are available on Shout! Factory. Both these shows capture adolescence in a painfully truthful and poignant way. It’s a kind of guilty pleasure to go back in time and feel those feelings: yearning, vulnerability, infatuation, alienation, embarrassment and, of course, joy. Videos after the jump.

Continue reading “Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: “My So-Called Life” And “Freaks And Geeks””

Film At 11: Pearl Jam

Granted, it’s not actually a video. But it is the new Pearl Jam single, and it’s a good one. But we’re biased; we’re Pearl Jam fans. Here’s “The Fixer” from Backspacer, due September 20.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmK4i5IA4nE

Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: Guitars And Amps

sweethoff100c19The duo of Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet may be the perfect assimilation of vocal chops and instrumental savvy, as shown on a pair of recent albums titled Under The Covers (Shout! Factory), with volume one re-examining big hits from the ’60s and volume two tackling the ’70s. The track record for Hoffs and Sweet speaks for itself. Hoffs’ band, the Bangles, was the only member of the hallowed Paisley Underground scene to sell more than a handful of records, cracking the national top-30 no fewer than eight times from 1986-89. Sweet’s breakthrough album was 1991’s Girlfriend, which paved the way for later power-pop classics like Altered Beast and 100{e5d2c082e45b5ce38ac2ea5f0bdedb3901cc97dfa4ea5e625fd79a7c2dc9f191} Fun. The pair plans to take an acoustic version of their Under The Covers act on the road in September, but in the meantime is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with them.

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Matthew Sweet: These are the tools of Zeus. I always get a great feeling cranking up an amp and making noise! It’s here where a guitar sound becomes a true force of nature to be reckoned with. Everybody always seems to be toning things down, but I wanna rock. Tube amps are where it’s at. Recent faves of mine to play through are the Swart AST and the 65amps London. Also, I’ve been playing amazing, amazing guitars from a young genius luthier, Dennis Fano. Fano, you are truly my hero!

TiVo Party Tonight: Diane Birch

tivodianecEver 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): Diane Birch
Tonight, singer/songwriter Birch will be playing her single, “Nothing But A Miracle,” off debut album Bible Belt (S-Curve). Birch’s songs (inspired by gospel, church hymns and her preacher father), clever hooks and country-twang vocals are easy to love. She’s playing several shows across the U.S. throughout August.

Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: “Day For Night”

sweethoff100c17The duo of Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet may be the perfect assimilation of vocal chops and instrumental savvy, as shown on a pair of recent albums titled Under The Covers (Shout! Factory), with volume one re-examining big hits from the ’60s and volume two tackling the ’70s. The track record for Hoffs and Sweet speaks for itself. Hoffs’ band, the Bangles, was the only member of the hallowed Paisley Underground scene to sell more than a handful of records, cracking the national top-30 no fewer than eight times from 1986-89. Sweet’s breakthrough album was 1991’s Girlfriend, which paved the way for later power-pop classics like Altered Beast and 100{e5d2c082e45b5ce38ac2ea5f0bdedb3901cc97dfa4ea5e625fd79a7c2dc9f191} Fun. The pair plans to take an acoustic version of their Under The Covers act on the road in September, but in the meantime is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with them.

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Susanna Hoffs: Day For Night is a 1973 film directed by Francois Truffaut. It is a “film within a film” for film lovers and just one of the foreign films I fell in love with when I was as a teenager, preferring to spend my days and nights at the art movie house than at the beach surfing or playing volleyball. Some of my other favorites are Murmur Of The Heart (Louis Malle), Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard), Last Tango In Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci), Woman In The Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara) and Blow Up (Michelangelo Antonioni). Video after the jump.

Continue reading “Under The Covers With Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs: “Day For Night””

Take Cover! Dinosaur Jr Vs. The Cure

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Dinosaur Jr takes on the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

In 1989, Dinosaur Jr speared the weepy original with a wah-wah pedal and a warm blanket of Big Muff fuzz. J Mascis told Musician magazine, “We recorded it for a compilation album, but when we finished it we liked it so much we didn’t want to give it to them.” Reportedly, it’s Robert Smith’s favorite version as well: “Mascis sent me a cassette, and it was so passionate. It was fantastic. I’ve never had such a visceral reaction to a cover version before or since.” Like the ending? Supposedly Mascis didn’t know how to play the end of the song, so he just stops.

The Cover:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opGVdOIeuUQ

The Original:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkeDzUVq1BM

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