Ever 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): U2 Bono and Co. continue their weeklong run on Letterman. How long until Paul Shaffer assimilates himself into the band?
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC): Neko Case
If we ran things, tonight’s program would feature a swearing contest between couchguest Gordon Ramsay (face of a bulldog, temperament of a flambé) and Neko Case (voice of an angel, mouth of a sailor). Case will be performing a song from Middle Cyclone, which came out yesterday.
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC): Clap Your Hands Say Yeah After much talk of a band hiatus and forthcoming solo projects by frontman Alec Ounsworth, CYHSY reappears on Fallon to play a new song called “Statues.” Head to the band’s website after the program and you’ll be able to download a demo version of the tune.
Neko Case’s “People Got A Lotta Nerve” from Middle Cyclone: (download here): http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/PeopleGotALottaNerve.mp3
Give or take a few unforeseen breakdowns, there’s nothing particularly cool about Frightened Rabbit’s Midnight Organ Fight. It’s personally obsessive, self-loathing and unadorned—a caravan of songs for your own mistakes. No wonder it was our seventh-best album of last year and earned the Scottish outfit a support slot on a Death Cab For Cutie tour.
MAGNET sat down to chat with singer Scott Hutchinson after a recent acoustic set at Rewards Boutique in Philadelphia.
“Heads Roll Off” from Midnight Organ Fight (download here): http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/HeadsRollOff.mp3
Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are New York City’s most effortless mod couple, a duo whose sleek, icily romantic pop can serve as both sophisticated art-gallery soundtrack and lovey-dovey fireplace music. In the four years since the breakup of former band Luna, Wareham and Phillips have pursued boutique careers in the best possible sense: in literature, film, fashion and the music business. Fittingly, their latest project, 13 Most Beautiful … Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, sets a series of Warhol’s short films to music. The couple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with Dean & Britta.
Britta: Todd Barry played Mickey Rourke’s boss at the supermarket in The Wrestler. I loved the movie and thought Todd was great. I met Todd back in 2000 through a friend. Then I met him again through my bandmate in Luna, Sean Eden. He is a man about town. He is a stand-up comedian. He is a very funny, very dry stand-up comedian. Before he was a stand-up comedian, he was a drummer, which is how he met Sean. Now, I find out after all these years that he is also a very talented actor. He also guest-starred as himself, Todd Barry the bongo player, on the Flight Of The Conchords season finale last year. He’s going to get so famous that I won’t be able to talk to him. I will miss you, Todd.
“Old Navy, Short Shop” from 2008’s From Heaven: http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/OldNavyShortShop.mp3
They’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.
:: THE ORGAN
Grab That Gun // Mint/604 Imprint, 2004
Thought it’s only five years old, this Vancouver quintet’s debut might as well be moldering away in a thrift store, waiting to be discovered anew. The Organ spent half a decade preparing for its release (even re-recording the entire album) only to have it sink without an air bubble in the States. (Grab That Gun topped the college charts in Canada). In a way, this is fitting, as the album concerned itself with isolation and malaise. The Organ created a volatile backdrop of reedy keyboards and enormous Cure-like guitar and bass, and the cool alto of vocalist Katie Sketch defied it like a sailor lashed to the mast.
Catching Up: The Organ broke up in 2006, but released an EP last year. Sketch models and has a new band called Mermaids; bassist Shmoo Ritchie records as Die Cowboy Die; guitarist Debora Cohen fronts Lovers Love Haters.
In Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada, a young Italian girl named Gelsomina is sold to Zamparo, a carnival strong man who makes a living performing feats of strength in village squares. Gelsomina acts as his assistant, entertaining crowds of villagers by wearing clown makeup and playing the snare drum and trumpet. Set the clock forward 50 or so years and you’ve got La Strada, a seven-piece Brooklyn band that evokes the spirit of Fellini’s masterpiece on songs like “Starling.” The group’s self-titled debut EP (on Ernest Jenning) is full of old-world folk and gypsy influences, and it’s no wonder: Frontman/songwriter James Craft was born in France and lived briefly in Romania. Check out La Strada as it hits la strada (“the road” in Italian) with Bowerbirds this spring.