From The Desk Of James Iha: Power Pop

jamesihalogo“I don’t think we’re going to threaten the Jonas Brothers,” says James Iha of Tinted Windows‘ self-titled debut, recently released on S-Curve Records. But the power pop generated by the multigenerational band—which also includes Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)—is a teenage dream of catchy choruses and withering walls of guitars befitting the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist. Iha is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week; read our Q&A with him to get a glimpse into the formation of Tinted Windows.

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Iha: The genre that draws inspiration mostly from the British Invasion and the Beatles; the reference for Tinted Windows. There are different types of power pop, but we probably err on the punky side (Buzzcocks, Ramones, Knack). In high school, I made mix tapes of all those great late-’70s English power-pop songs like “Starry Eyes” (the Records), “Girl Of My Dream” (Bram Tchaivosky) and “So It Goes” (Nick Lowe; pictured). Later in college, I got on the bandwagon with everyone else who had discovered/was discovering Big Star and Chris Bell.

Nick Lowe’s “So It Goes”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/SoItGoes.mp3

From The Desk Of James Iha: Stockholm

jamesihaoe3f“I don’t think we’re going to threaten the Jonas Brothers,” says James Iha of Tinted Windows‘ self-titled debut, recently released on S-Curve Records. But the power pop generated by the multigenerational band—which also includes Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)—is a teenage dream of catchy choruses and withering walls of guitars befitting the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist. Iha is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week; read our Q&A with him to get a glimpse into the formation of Tinted Windows.

stockholmnite540cIha: “The Venice of the North.” I love Sweden, Swedish people and Swedish rock music. Stockholm is a beautiful city filled with tall, blonde people with good taste in music and style. Plus, everyone speaks English, and, of course, I speak no other languages.

MP3 At 3PM: Doug Paisley

doug-paisley350Toronto’s Doug Paisley is exactly the kind of (North) American artist that U.K. critics romanticize/wet their knickers for: He’s kicked up some dust on the road with Will Oldham, and his music is a dustbowl of ’70s AM singer/songwriter and classic country. We’ll leave the rest of the cowboy imagery to the Brits; “Digging In The Ground,” a song off the recently released Doug Paisley (No Quarter), has perfectly 21st-century contemporaries in Smog’s Bill Callahan and Silver Jews.

“Digging In The Ground” (download):

Normal History Vol. 6: The Art Of David Lester

davidlester6_400Every 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.

Smith: Auckland: the Gate (Michael Morely), Peter Jefferies, Mecca Normal tour. David, at that time (the 1990s), typically threw his guitar in the air; it twisted around, he caught it and continued playing wildly. On this night, when we reached that point in the set—in the middle of the song—the guitar stopped. I kept singing, staring straight ahead. Sometimes the guitar comes unplugged or a pedal gets bumped. I was waiting for David to resume playing. No sound. I looked to my left, to see the guitar dangling by its tuning pegs, tangled up in netting hung above the stage. David couldn’t reach it. A tall guy came out of the audience to free it while David stood waiting. Not the rock godliest of situations. After the show, I think we sold one cassette: total merch sales. We were packing up rather grumpily when the people who bought the cassette walked back into the club to say they’d put it on in their car and it didn’t work. They wanted their money back.

From The Desk Of James Iha: “American Movie”

jamesihaoe3f“I don’t think we’re going to threaten the Jonas Brothers,” says James Iha of Tinted Windows‘ self-titled debut, recently released on S-Curve Records. But the power pop generated by the multigenerational band—which also includes Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)—is a teenage dream of catchy choruses and withering walls of guitars befitting the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist. Iha is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week; read our Q&A with him to get a glimpse into the formation of Tinted Windows.

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Iha: The 1999 documentary of the making of an indie film by Mark Borchardt. Like the Spinal Tap of indie filmmaking. I love American Movie; there are all these insane characters unique to America and the Midwest. and there is a structure and suspense in this doc as Mark attempts to make his no-budget horror film, Coven, with a cast of slacker friends, mystified family and his confused-yet-lovable Uncle Bill. His best friend Mike Schank, who provides a dazed counterpoint to Mark’s hyperactive mind, is awesome. He not only supplies the poignant metal soundtrack, he also gives one of the best screams ever recorded on film.

TiVo Party Tonight: Bat For Lashes

tivobatEver wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? They let musicians onstage! Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Late Show With David Letterman (CBS): Bat For Lashes
Kooky, Björky British singer/songwriter Natasha Khan (a.k.a. Bat For Lashes) holds the late-night promise of freaking out Dave Letterman with some inventive make-up, creative wardrobe or weird taxidermied-animal prop. (Paul Schaffer will be into it no matter what.) She’s promoting the recent Two Suns. We’ll eat Letterman’s tie if Scott Walker (who added guest vocals to Two Suns track “The Big Sleep”) shows up.

“Glass” (live) (download):
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/GlassLive.mp3

From The Desk Of James Iha: “Wibbling Rivalry”

jamesihalogo“I don’t think we’re going to threaten the Jonas Brothers,” says James Iha of Tinted Windows‘ self-titled debut, recently released on S-Curve Records. But the power pop generated by the multigenerational band—which also includes Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)—is a teenage dream of catchy choruses and withering walls of guitars befitting the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist. Iha is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week; read our Q&A with him to get a glimpse into the formation of Tinted Windows.

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Iha: “Wibbling Rivalry” is the 1994 NME interview—taped and released—of Noel and Liam Gallagher drunkenly fighting just as Oasis was becoming a world-dominating rock band. I love this interview. Like any great book or movie, there are a number of quotable lines: “You can’t drink, you dickhead!” And great exchanges:
Liam: That’s me. John Lennon used to fuckin’ burn about doing little mad things, and that …
Noel: Do you know John Lennon? …
Liam: Yeah.
Noel: Well, you must be pretty old. How old are you? 21?
Liam: No. About fuckin’-thousand-and-five-fuckin’-one …
Noel: Right. And remember, I watched you being born.
Liam: Right.
Noel: Right then, so shut the fuck up about knowing John Lennon …

“Wibbling Rivalry (Noel)”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/Noel.mp3

“Wibbling Rivalry (Liam)”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/Liam.mp3

MP3 At 3PM: Brasstronaut

brasstonaout4001“Sharpen your pitchforks and burn down the Internet,” sings Brasstronaut‘s Edo Van Breemen on “Requiem For A Scene,” a song from the Vancouver band’s Old World Lies EP (due in June in the U.S. on Unfamiliar; it was issued last year in Canada). Van Breemen further stirs the shitstorm with sneering references to DJ sets, cocaine and Vice magazine, but you have to listen closely: It’s all sung in a resigned melody, over placid piano, trumpet and double bass. We can’t wait for the 12-inch colored vinyl version with remixes by Vivian Girls, Steve Aoki and Unicorns! Brasstronaut recently finished recording its debut full-length, due in October.

“Requiem For A Scene” (download):

Q&A With mewithoutYou

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Philadelphia’s mewithoutYou has taken a long, strange trip—musically and spiritually—to arrive at fourth album It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright (Tooth & Nail), due May 19. Beginning as an experimental screamo/prog-metal act in 2000, the group, led by brothers Aaron (vocals) and Mike Weiss (guitar), is now experimenting around the borders of indie rock. Aaron still employs lyrics with biblical references and storytelling vocals, but from the opening keys of “Every Thought A Thought Of You” to the triumphant Neutral Milk horns of “Allah Allah Allah” and the Man Man-ish “Fig With A Belly Ache,” It’s All Crazy is clearly the band’s most colorful record to date. Assisted by producers Brian McTear and Daniel Smith (of the Danielson Famile), the members of mewithoutYou often worked separately in the studio. “The fact that they were not all there all the time brought its own intensity,” says McTear, who notes that a good amount of material was written on the spot while recording. “The reason Aaron seems so ‘present’ in his songs is that he is largely generating the finishing touches extemporaneously.” MAGNET spoke to Mike Weiss about the upcoming album, Sufism, substitute teaching and baseball.

“every thought a Thought of You”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/everythoughtaThoughtofYou.mp3

Continue reading “Q&A With mewithoutYou”

From The Desk Of James Iha: The 2008 Presidential Election

jamesihalogo“I don’t think we’re going to threaten the Jonas Brothers,” says James Iha of Tinted Windows‘ self-titled debut, recently released on S-Curve Records. But the power pop generated by the multigenerational band—which also includes Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)—is a teenage dream of catchy choruses and withering walls of guitars befitting the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist. Iha is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week; read our Q&A with him to get a glimpse into the formation of Tinted Windows.

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Iha: Like a lot of people, I’d never felt so vested and interested in every aspect of a presidential election. It was awesome and dazzling in every sense, and it seemed like I was checking my computer every couple of hours for the latest news. And like a lot of people (there’s an Onion story on this), I felt this huge vacuum in my life once it was all over. I started reading the recaps (the post-election Newsweek issue, in particular), but then I was like, “This is pointless.” And, of course, I was crushed when my man lost. Just kidding!