The National is easy to find. Matt Berninger and the brothers Dessner (Aaron and Bryce) and Devendorf (Bryan and Scott) are always on tour. Case in point: Earlier this year, the band played our hometown of Philly three times in less than a month. MAGNET photographer Chris Sikich caught up with the National at 2019’s Celebrate Brooklyn (with Courtney Barnett opening), thinking nobody else would be there. He was wrong.
Happy birthday Stooges’ Ron Asheton. Raw power. Read our interview with Jim Jarmusch and Iggy Pop on Jarmusch’s Stooges doc, Gimme Danger:
On July 26, Ummagma will release Compass (Leonard Skully), the third album from the Canada/Ukraine husband-and-wife duo and first in seven years. Now based in Ontario, Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon met in Moscow in 2003 and began a romantic and musical partnership. The dozen-track Compass follows two 2017 EPs, LCD (with Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie and Curve’s Dean Garcia) and Winter Tale (with A.R. Kane). One of the new LP’s standouts is lead single “High Day.”
Says McLarnon of the track, “It’s one of those ‘accidental songs’ that were created under odd circumstances. We were going through a tense time, living between two cities and seeing each other only when commuting ‘home’ with our daughter for the weekend. Something happened to cause us to fight; I don’t even remember what exactly and we were not talking to each other, but ended up having a guest come over—another musician. We took turns entertaining him because we didn’t want to be in the same room as each other. I hadn’t been singing anything for a few months at this point, and my husband found me singing with this guest upon returning. He took out the hand-held recorder and captured this improvisation. Later, upon playback, we knew that a song needed to be born, and we at least had an idea of the chords and stylings needed.”
So not only did McLarnon and Kretov get a song out of their quarrel, they also were able to use it to move past the argument itself. “It was a song of apology and awakening,” says McLarnon. “Not to say ‘I’m sorry for what I did or said,’ but to admit how stupid it was that we could both let something so small stand in the way of something so huge—that being us, our music and our family. This song helped us move past this to restore equilibrium in our relationship—and got me singing and writing again. This was our ‘High Day,’ and now it’s your ‘High Day,’ too.”
We’re proud to premiere the Kretov-directed video for “High Day” today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now.
Happy birthday Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr, Folk Implosion). It’s just the beauty of the ride. Read Lou in MAGNET on fellow birthday boy Panda Bear (Animal Collective):
Happy 70th birthday Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath). Bass master. Read our Hidden Gems review of Sabbath’s Never Say Die!:
Happy birthday Desmond Dekker. King of kings.
35 years ago today, Sade released Diamond Life. No need to ask. Read the Chapin Sisters in MAGNET on Sade:
45 years ago today, Neil Young released On The Beach. Vampire blues. Read our review of essential companion piece of sorts Hitchhiker:
“Beginnings” is the latest from singer/songwriter Katie Rose, who we first profiled three years ago. Rose started her career in 2011 when she was only 13, so she’s already a vet now that she’s hit the legal drinking age. “Beginnings” starts off sounding a lot like a fairytale movie but progresses into something reminiscent of a Broadway musical. Rose’s soft voice matches the initial simplicity of the tune, but as the song unfolds, both come out of their shell. “Beginnings” proves there’s definitely more special music to come from this determined young songwriter.“Beginnings” (download):
“It” 17-year-old pop star Billie Eilish just wrapped up the North American leg of her When We All Fall Asleep Tour. The energetic, 19-song performance from California’s scary sweetheart at the Met in Philly definitely had the adoring crowd wide awake, as did the opening set by Denzel Curry. MAGNET photographer Chris Sikich was there—and was sad when the party was over.