Film At 11: Teenage Fanclub

Teenage Fanclub has shared its new video for “I’m In Love” in anticipation of Here, which comes out September 9. The breezy tune fits perfectly atop a clip featuring beachside fun and the band’s steady, professional performance. Check it out below.

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Essential New Music: Blood Orange’s “Freetown Sound”

BloodOrange

Freetown Sound is so sharply perforating in its look at being black and queer in 2016 that it nearly erases the snarky, funny, seedy, kid-obsessive sounds and visions that Devonté Hynes has put forth in the past as Lightspeed Champion, Test Icicles and even the first two Blood Orange albums of 2011 and 2013. Respectively, B-Orange’s Coastal Grooves and Cupid Deluxe were filled with naughty, silly love-and-sex songs and hook-filled electro chillwave pop that touched upon hip hop and old-school new-jack swing. Cute stuff; but hardly the stark, cutting display that is Hynes’ tremulous Freetown Sound travelogue about being a gay, black man in transition from his home in England to America (at 21, the age that his parents moved from separate homelands in Guyana and Sierra Leone to London).

With contributions from three generations of girl pop (Debbie Harry, Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen), new-school NYC songwriters (Ian Isiah) and leftist journalists (Ta-Nehisi Coates), Hynes’ Blood Orange moves swiftly, wipes clean his chill-pop slate and goes for stark, ham-handed topicality hop (“Hands Up”), nattering jealous, confidence-shattering skronk-soul (“Better Than Me”) and loss as applied to menacingly atmospheric tones. That Hynes does this without losing his sense of pop and tunefulness is a sweet accomplishment.

On a song such as the heady, character-driven “Augustine,” he connects the dots between his parents’ physical journey, the manic faith of Christianity and his own tense moving through youth, America and #BlackLivesMatter issues. It’s devastating. And sweeter still.

—A.D. Amorosi

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From The Desk Of Thalia Zedek: Clouds

The quiet, introspective Eve shows off the Thalia Zedek Band’s impressive musical range. Zedek made her name playing her singular brand of ear-splitting, dissonant lead guitar with Come, Uzi and Live Skull, outfits known for their fierce approach to performing and recording. Her music with the Thalia Zedek Band may not be as loud, but it has the same level of emotional intensity that’s always been her trademark. Zedek will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

Clouds

Zedek: As a touring musician, I spend a lot of time looking out of various windows, and over the years have become fascinated by clouds. Like the black clouds in the distance with a grey fog of rain riding underneath meaning “rain ahead.” Or the beautiful but devastating thunderheads in the mountains of Vermont, fluffs of white piled 100 stories high, foreshadowing the hail and rain minutes later that were so bad we had to pull over. Then there are the two clouds that move toward each other until they collide and entangle like lovers. Clouds riding the currents and racing across the sun, causing intermittent bursts of light and shadow. Sailors must spend hours reading the clouds, and I wish that I could. Sometimes when I’m lying on my back I’ll see a cloud with a face, the expressions changing as it stirs. I’ve even had some cloud “crushes.” There is a whole Facebook group page devoted to clouds called “Clouds that don’t look like anything else.” Check it out!

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Film At 11: Massive Attack

Massive Attack has released a video for one side of its recent single. The clip melds track “The Spoils” with spooky, unsettling images of mannequins and changing, alien faces against a dark background. The mesmerizing clip, starring actress Cate Blanchett and directed by John Hillcoat, can be viewed below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Alluri

Alluri

Alluri will release Man Of Truth on October 19, and the London-based artist has shared a new song with the world. You can stream and download “I See People” below. Alluri’s dark, pulsating track will be perfect for the quickly approaching fall, a hint of a perfectly timed release for Man Of Truth. Check it out below.

“I See People” (download):

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D Generation: Walk On The Wild Side

DGeneration

NYC punk icon D Generation returns with first album in 17 years

It was a painfully clear message that fourth- generation New Yorker Danny Sage received in a local bar late one hard-drinking night a few years ago: His hometown was changing. Fast. Not recognizing the guitarist as one of the founding members of Big Apple garage-punk trailblazer D Generation, a snotty, disrespectful millennial kept mouthing o until he went too far.

“So I finally said, ‘OK—let’s go to the curb,’” the guitarist says. “And the guy literally replied, ‘If you touch me, I’ll sue you! My dad is so and so, the famous lawyer!’ And I just started laughing, it was so embarrassing. I’d rather get punched in the face than whine about how my daddy is somebody important.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the brash street-tough spirit crackling through Nothing Is Anywhere, D Generation’s first new album in 17 years, which includes the same scrappy gang from its eponymous 1994 debut—Sage (who also produced), vocalist Jesse Malin, bassist Howie Pyron, guitarist Richard Bacchus and drummer Michael Wildwood. It’s a defiantly New York collection of working-class anthems that celebrates the band’s gritty urban past (“Apocalypse Kids,” “Queens Of A,” “Hatful Of Rain,” “Not Goin’ Back”) while sneering at the gentrification and pretentious poseurs corrupting its city’s culture (“Militant,” “Rich Kids,” “21st Century Blues,” churning stomper “Mercy Of The Rain,” on which Malin ominously growls, “Everybody wants this year’s model/Everybody wants to take your place”). After calling it quits with a 1999 farewell gig at Coney Island High, these old schoolers are back, angrier than ever, and ready to take that fight outside.

It’s no coincidence that many Nothing lyrics ring with the Whit Stillman-ish veracity of overheard pub conversations, albeit knuckle-headed ones. Both Sage and Malin are part owners of separate New York bars—Dreambaby and Niagara, respectively. And they’ve spent many evenings at their establishments, quietly drinking and listening to some often incredibly shallow dialogue.

“It’s just inescapable,” says Sage, who relocated to Los Angeles after the breakup and worked as a personal assistant to a publishing exec before getting homesick. “In D Gen, we all come from here, and from middle-class backgrounds at best. But these people? They’re all über-wealthy, they’re not from the city, and they’ve never been told no in their life. They moved here seven years ago, and they’re an authority on New York culture, but they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. And they have no natural predators. I always tell them, ‘If the city was like it was when I was a kid? You’d be on the back of a milk carton by now.’”

Sage believes that this lack of awareness is aggravated by the impersonal digital age. “People are just oblivious,” he swears. “I’ll see these girls going home at six in the morning, walking down the middle of Avenue A and carrying a pair of heels, bombed out of their minds, and I can’t believe that goes on in any city, not just mine. And it goes for guys, too—maybe they’re a tough kid in their hometown in Ohio. But I don’t know if that counts for much on the Lower East Side at five o’clock in the morning.” It also riles him that many so-called Gotham outfits have only resided in Williamsburg for a few months. “That’s not what a New York City rock ’n’ roll band is,” he says. “So there’s some of that in our album, too, like, ‘Fuck you. We’re here, and this is the real deal’.”

Why regroup now? The timing was just right, Sage says. Year after year, D Gen kept getting reunion offers from Spain, until the band finally accepted. That turned into more overseas dates, then testing the songwriting waters, then cranking out more than 50 kinetic rockers. After tentatively recording more than a dozen cuts with Ryan Adams producing, the group opted to let Sage take the reins, track- ing the material cheaply—and more garage- gutteral—in his basement studio. “We’re huge Ramones, Clash, Pistols and Cheap Trick fans,” he says. “We wanted it to be murky and nasty, like the first Cheap Trick album.”

Politically, D Generation thought returning in this positively surreal election year made sense, too. “It’s like a Nero thing,” he says. “If the fall of Rome is going to happen, you need a little fiddling while it’s all going down. So crank up our album—play it as loud as you can!”

—Tom Lanham

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From The Desk Of Thalia Zedek: Mountain Dulcimers

The quiet, introspective Eve shows off the Thalia Zedek Band’s impressive musical range. Zedek made her name playing her singular brand of ear-splitting, dissonant lead guitar with Come, Uzi and Live Skull, outfits known for their fierce approach to performing and recording. Her music with the Thalia Zedek Band may not be as loud, but it has the same level of emotional intensity that’s always been her trademark. Zedek will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

MountainDulcimer

Zedek: Recently, a friend of mine was cleaning out his father’s house for him after his stepmother passed away. Virtually untouched and in a beautiful wooden box along with an owner’s manual and warranty from the man who made it was a beautiful walnut teardrop dulcimer. It was bought in 1977 and made by Ken Hamblin from Roanoke, Va., who had a company called Creative Woodcrafting Instruments. My friend is not a musician and didn’t have the space to keep it but recognized its beauty and asked me if he could bring it over. I shined it up and strung it with some light gauge banjo strings as Ken suggested. I fashioned a “noter” out of some discarded flooring that I found in the basement and tuned it with help from Ken’s Owner Manuel instructions. It plays like a dream, I tuned three of the four strings to the same note (the double “melody” string and the middle string) and the bottom string down a fifth. It worked like a charm! His instructions are hilarious and spot on. Example: “To change a Major Mode or G tuning to a Mixolydian Mode or D tuning simply raise the bass string by one note or in unison with the middle and melody strings when fretted at the 3rd fret. This usually causes that bass string to break.” I mean, what a freaking honest guy and an incredible craftsman to boot!

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Film At 11: Cass McCombs

Cass McCombs has released an NSFW video for “Medusa’s Castle,” which comes from his Anti- Records debut Mangy Love. The clip’s subdued, mellow look perfectly matches the sprawling, moody track. The clip itself explores sex, the porn industry, Hollywood and more, mixing documentary and music-video formats. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Steel Cranes

SteelCranes

Oakland’s Steel Cranes are riding the wave of most recent LP Tango, which is out now on Mister White Tights Records. We previously featured “Pretty” as an MP3 At 3PM, and today we’re making sure you haven’t forgotten about Tango so we’re offering up “Today Is The Day.” A raw, fiery and impassioned song that veers into the darker side of punk, “Today Is The Day” can be streamed and downloaded below.

“Today Is The Day” (download):

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Essential New Music: The Avalanches’ “Wildflower”

Avalanches

To those for whom the Avalanches’ Since I Left You is the last will and testament of a bygone world—one in which the Twin Towers and long-playing recordings still, and always will, stand tall—finally dropping the needle on Wildflower, the madcap Australian pirates’ second LP, will be akin to glimpsing Bigfoot Jet-Skiing Nessie in the Bermuda Triangle while taking slugs of vampire blood from the Holy Grail.

Such is the delirium that a Godot-like wait can inflict upon a fan base. Babies born on the first album’s release date can drive to the record store for this follow-up—assuming their town has such a store. More likely, they will download it to their iDevice and skip straight to lead single “Frankie Sinatra,” the showiest and, in keeping with lead-single tradition, least representative track here. (Yes, it contains multiple Bacharach-to-the-future samples—exhumed calypso, “My Favorite Things”—but the Roger Rabbit hunt for Easter eggs is upstaged by Danny Brown’s caricatured, Girl Talk-y spotlight hog; poor MF Doom barely gets a word in edgewise.)

That “Sinatra” and “The Noisy Eater”—another Handsome Boy Modeling School ham bone tossed to Biz Markie—are the brainchildren of Jean-Michel Bernard is one of Wildflower’s only weaknesses; the French soundtrackeur deserves better than to be the one thing slipping up this trip on Gorillaz’ banana-peel discards. In sequence, both get subsumed into Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi’s master vision, a second cocktail-party fever dream that flits around a room chock-full of seamlessly anachronistic musical conversations. Camp Lo, meet Father John Misty and Jonathan Donahue; Toro Y Moi, say hello to Jennifer Herrema and Warren Ellis. Only “Because I’m Me,” with its staggering director’s cut of midcentury curio Six Boys In Trouble, bothers with an opening; only finale “Saturday Night Inside Out,” a spoken-word “motel masterpiece” by silver-tongued brethren Misty and David Berman, comes to a close.

A decade in the making, influenced by outtakes from a hip-hop Yellow Submarine that never resurfaced, Wildflower does capture at least one periscopic Beatles reference, a kiddo-sung bridge on “The Noisy Eater” built out of the first verse of “Come Together”: old flattop, groovin’ up slowly; juju eyeball, one holy roller. It’s only appropriate. The Avalanches bag production, they roller-coaster; got to be jokers, they just do what they please.

—Noah Bonaparte Pais

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