Since its inception in MAGNET’s hometown of Philadelphia in 1998, the New York-based matt pond PA has undergone numerous renovations in lineup and sound, but while that can be the kiss of death for some bands, this one’s still going strong. In fact, matt pond PA is busier than ever, between last year’s gradual release of The Threeep (a set of three seven-inch singles with three a-sides, three instrumentals and three b-sides each) and the April 6 issue of a new full-length, The Dark Leaves (Altitude). Plus, frontman Matt Pond and engineer/co-producer Chris Hansen composed the soundtrack for the film Lebanon, PA, which will premiere this spring, and Pond spent last fall as a member of the Wooden Birds. Pond can even make an awesome mix tape, complete with some insightful and eloquent commentary.
Neil Young “Philadelphia”
MAGNET always sends me reeling back to the town I designated as the universal symbol for “beginnings” and, further on down the road, “loss.” Out flies the semi-slow jams. If you hug yourself tight enough, it kind of feels like you’re holding on to someone else. Video
Spiritualized “Let It Flow”
This song is supposed to be played real loud. In the middle, it explodes so that your cupboards lose their pots and the windows crack their glass. Video
It takes a pansexual set of balls to mess with Jeff Lynne.
Beach House “Used To Be”
Even if everything here ends up being about loss, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a party. Video
Cass McCombs “I Went To The Hospital”
I want to buy Cass McCombs a trophy for this song, as well as a huge cake with a fancy lady from the city inside. In fact, all his music is so good it’s almost hard to hear. Video
The Magnetic Fields “Born On A Train”
This song reminds me that some certain blonde lady-person taught me more about music than I’ll ever know. Also, it can make the ache of running face-first into the Rockies a little more agreeable. Video
Linda Perhacs “Hey, Who Really Cares?”
These aren’t dark vibes. It’s cool. You can still move your shoulders to the bass. Video
The Glands “Fortress”
The greatest band of all time. I’ll arm-wrestle anyone over this one.
Interpol “Rest My Chemistry”
I really don’t mind partying alone. Video
Sharon Van Etten “Consolation Prize”
There probably isn’t a cooler person or a better singer around, which makes it difficult when she plays her songs. The music crawls inside your spine and makes an everlasting home. Video
Then you wake up in Tucson, Ariz., rubbing your knuckles against the hotel-room stucco, thinking about how you’d make a suitable sidekick to Damon Albarn’s sheriff. Video
Knife In The Water “Party”
Some people are getting sloppy. The segues begin and end with a needle scraping across the grooves.
The Wooden Birds “Bad”
Andrew Kenny has a whole mess of soul beneath his orderly exterior. He’s like the doctor from Prince’s Revolution. Video
Prince “The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker”
I wouldn’t totally call it sad or a slow jam, but there’s a broken bird call somewhere down in this song. Video
John Lennon “Hold On”
Angelo Badalamenti “Twin Peaks Theme”
I don’t believe anyone should ever stop going big on the weekends. All the way to the end. Video