MP3 At 3PM: The Myrrors

Myrrors

Arizona psychedelic outfit the Myrrors ready for the release of their latest album, Arena Negra, due out March 24 via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records. Now they offer hazy new single “Juanito Laguna” for free download. The trippy track drones into desert-rock territory but never abandons the smooth, calm flow. Download “Juanito Laguna” below.

“Juanito Laguna” (download):

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From The Desk Of Bob Schneider: Danny Malone

Fourteen years removed from his major-label debut, Bob Schneider is still struggling to be heard. Does he care? You be the judge. Schneider will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on him.

DannyMalone

Schneider: I met Danny Malone a few years ago while I was doing a photo shoot and immediately liked him, even though I had no idea that he was a songwriter. We kept in touch, and I remember at one point him telling me about how people were convinced he was one of the best songwriters in the world. I scoffed as I usually do, but figured I’d better investigate and asked him to send me some songs, which he did. They were really good, I’ll admit, but it wasn’t until I heard his masterpiece, Balloons, that I also became a believer. I asked him to answer a few questions recently about it.

Why did you call the album Balloons?
Danny Malone: My friend Jarrett started calling me “Balloons” at some point out of nowhere. First he called me Malone, always “Malone!” And then he slowly morphed my name into balloons by slurring it and adding a funny accent. You try it. Malone, maloone, malloon, muhlooon, buhlooon, balloons! You see? And anyway, I had been writing the album in this time frame, and realized while I was writing it that I hadn’t been myself in a while. In fact, I was living out this other character that I decided to be. I wanted to go all the way, no matter what I was doing. I was living like I had nothing to lose, but it turned out that I actually did. I had a plenty to lose. And I did just that. Lose it. But I also gained something in that time. High highs, and low lows. Blah. But anyway, I was living life as an actor. And that actor’s name happened to be Balloons, because it was fitting. Both in timing, and in connotation somehow.

A lot of incredible things happen to the narrator of these songs. Are they autobiographical or are they purely imagined tales, or a little of both?
Everything is real. Autobiographical in some cases. Wait, now that I think about it, every song is autobiography. That’s interesting. I never really acknowledged that. But yep. I lived all that shit. Or, Balloons did.

How often do you write songs? Do you have a daily routine?
I have no routine. I write at completely random times. Like, I’ve sat down in a hotel lobby and written a song. Or sometimes I can hear entire arrangements in my head, words and all, just walking down the street. I often will write when I’m with a group of people and I’m just goofing off with them or just singing stream of conscious at them. Sometimes I just sing at Falcon this way. She lights up when I do, so that makes me happy. How often? Constantly. Or never. It’s hard to say.

At what age did you decide that you wanted to be a songwriter?
When I was 14, I was singing in a math-rock duo, with my brother playing drums, and me guitar. I actually played more drums back then, though. I was in several metal bands throughout my early teens. Then I got sent away to this juvenile-incarceration facility for two years, and when I got out, I guess when I was like 19 or so, I started writing more songs on acoustic guitar, and I’m also quite reclusive, so the combination, by default, made me become this “songwriter” thing. Which sucks. Maybe. Yeah, probably it sucks. Because I don’t want to be a songwriter. I want to be an entertainer. I want to perform. and I want to make things that dazzle. I don’t want to be this “songwriter” person who “writes songs” about “the world in which he lives.” That’s lame. I’m bigger than that. But really, I don’t exactly want to be anything. Mostly I just want to watch movies and stuff. Life is confusing for me.

What’s your favorite place to play? Least favorite place to play?
Hmmm … I like The Parish in Austin, and Stubbs, and I’ve played amazing places in Europe. All over. Gosh. So many places. But really, my favorite place to play is at my barn. I live in a barn. And I put a stage in it, and a nice live sound system, and I throw shows here sometimes. Not all that often, but a few times a year. And I love those shows. I don’t know most of the people who come. I know a lot. But remember, I’m a recluse, so it’s amazing that I even know a good amount of the people who show up. But mostly the crowd is fans, or strangers. But everyone is always so respectful. It’s a good time. Least favorite place to play: That could be anywhere. I’m miserable anytime I feel disconnected from my performance at a show, either due to the ambiance, or the people there who don’t care a bit about what I’m playing. (Not that I’m blaming them. They just probably don’t know me at all.) But that can happen anywhere. That’s my answer to that.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened when you were performing?
I don’t really get embarrassed at shows. I turn into this other person when I perform. I’m completely transformed from Danny Malone into “Danny Malone,” and so if anything seemingly embarrassing occurs, it’s not happening to me. It’s happening to that guy. But, maybe I have leaked a little pee one time or two. Like, I pee right before I play, and then I am starting the show and I realize I can see a little woopsy doopsy on my pants’ crotch.

Do you have any New Years resolutions?
I guess not. I haven’t even thought about it. Whoa. It’s 2015. Shit.

Did you get anything good for Christmas?
I spent it with my family. I have a good family. That’s enough. Oh, but I did get one of those coffee makers that makes them one at a time. And let me tell you …

Video after the jump.

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Film At 11: The Soft Moon

Odd-ball post-punk trio the Soft Moon is back with a new album, Deeper, scheduled for release March 31. Now, the band has a new video for “Far,” the second single released in preparation for the LP. The clip is intense, both musically and visually. A heavy synth bumps as a story is told of a man and the monster inside him. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: This Way To The EGRESS

Egress

Described as “gypsy jazz,” Bethlehem, Pa.’s This Way To The EGRESS uses European musical styles to form a sound of its own and now readies for the release of latest album Great Balancing Act, due out May 19. Until then, the band offers “We Won’t Go” for free download. Sounding like a drunk klezmer group, This Way To The EGRESS is comprised of many different unique instruments, among them a fiddle, an accordion, a six-string banjo and a trombone. Download “We Won’t Go” below.

“We Won’t Go” (download):

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Phoning It In: “I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar”

TMBG

They Might Be Giants have resurrected their ingenious Dial-A-Song concept by streaming a new song each week of 2015 at www.dialasong.com. MAGNET’s Matthew Fritch reviews them all.

These things happened, but not in chronological order:

Jonathan Richman writes the song “I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar.”

Frank Black writes the song “The Man Who Was Too Loud” as a tribute to Jonathan Richman.

John Flansburgh directs the video for Frank Black’s “Los Angeles,” and it features a badass hovercraft scene.

Frank Black, under the name Judge Black Francis, judges a video contest for They Might Be Giants’ “Erase,” the strongest 2015 Dial-A-Song entry thus far.

They Might Be Giants covers Jonathan Richman’s “I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar” for Dial-A-Song.

MAGNET doofus gives the TMBG version a 5/10, because it is a good choice for a cover song and the execution is OK—there is really not much anyone could do to improve upon the original, except I have a few terrible ideas:

“I Was Dancing In Dickensian Garb”
“John, I’m Only Dancing In The Lesbian Bar”
“What’d We Stop Here On The Mezzanine For?”

File-A-Song: 5/10

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From The Desk Of Bob Schneider: Philip Hale

Fourteen years removed from his major-label debut, Bob Schneider is still struggling to be heard. Does he care? You be the judge. Schneider will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on him.

Hale

Schneider: I came across Philip Hale‘s paintings about 10 years ago when I was browsing through a fantasy art catalogue. I was blown away, not only by his incredible technique, which is as good as any painter alive today, but his explosive subject matter. All of his paintings are snapshots of something going horribly awry, but what exactly that might be is anyone’s guess. As his work has evolved, he has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the fine-arts world, where he regularly shows at some of the most prestigious galleries in the world. I recently asked him a few questions for MAGNET.

What is your main inspiration for your upcoming exhibit?
Philip Hale: The inspiration is going to sound technical or tedious I’m afraid. The content comes from slowly building up a store of images—almost all documentary images from the internet, old photos, etc. I take what I like and stick them on the studio wall without really thinking about it beyond the initial impulse (which is just unexamined interest). But when they are all together, it is easy to see what I am interested in, and it side-steps any sort of self-censoring. If I were to choose my content it would be deformed by all sorts of interfering consciousness and self-awareness. This block of images is a very pure map of my interest and if I followed it through mechanically it would provide a very rarified product. But that’s almost impossible to do (follow it through faithfully).

And then I am working on finding a way to develop how I make paintings. What to avoid. There is a constant run of counter-intuitive information such as why pieces get worse or more boring as they are refined. Why is conscious effort so painful to see in the painting? Why do I pursue ways of painting that have never really paid off? How can I step outside of my own boring and familiar decisions? It feels like I am trying to align irreconcilable elements; that at best there will be a temporary equilibrium or stay of execution. Those terms aren’t so awful.

Sorry to talk in such fruity terms—but there you go. I’m a bit resistant to examine what content might be because the pieces are not making a point or directing anything in any meaningful way. They are closer to a body of instinctively bodged material that I have then had to improvise into something sympathetic. If I stopped to think about it, I would get bogged down in all sorts of fraud and manipulation. Half the time I’m just trying to protect the work from my own fake sentimental reflexes. I’m not a big fan of professionalism or methodically achieving something worthwhile. Much better to work with something weak and unsuitable and have to extemporize.

How often do you paint? Do you have a daily routine?
Right now, every day while I prepare for the show. But I tend to do it in an intensive four- , five- , six-month run and then collapse. I’m not sure I recommend that; in fact, it seems insane. But to paint properly seems to take a serious effort—to get up to speed—and then you don’t want to stop. The stopping, starting, on, off, etc., is fatal. I love a regular working routine, but I’m also desperate to stop.

How has the global economic situation effected the art market?
I can’t really say anything about the global market. When the recession hit, I was doing a lot of formal portraiture here in London. I don’t think it was so powerfully affected because it is more of a high craft than art (unfortunately). And London is nearly unique in its market for portraiture. It is still part of the infrastructure here, unbelievably.

I know most artists listen to music when they work. Is that the case with you? Who are you listening to now when you paint?
I’m listening to Mogwai; I have been for six months. Listening to a CD obsessively is the single greatest pleasure in my professional life. The Mogwai is so fantastic. I used Mogwai as a working title for the show. It was very useful, a tone note to keep me honest. Can you please name-check Mogwai? When am I making their vid? When I open the door of the studio, I go straight to the CD player. When the first song begins I drop right into where I left off the day before.

A story for you: I did a lot of painting to one of your live Frunk CDs last year. There cannot be anyone who has ever listened to that CD more; every day for eight hours on repeat for two or three months. I knew every cough, chair squeak, clothing rustle, pause, everything, every molecule of every instant. All those random textural ambient colloidal atmospheres were just as musical as what you were doing (sorry). I anticipated them with real pleasure and then they arrived. It was thrilling; no exaggeration.

When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist? If you could be something else, what would you do?
I came from a family where it was standard to do art, so I was always going to be doing it. If I didn’t make art (which is to say that not only do I do it but people pay me top do it), then I would do music in some form. How bland and unhelpful is that?

Do you have any New Years resolutions?
I should make one now, really. To pay attention and not slip into an auto-pilot zone. Is that too general? Not enough paying attention. Pay more attention.

Did you get anything good for Christmas?
I got a fantastic bottle of port from the cellars of Cambridge University.

Artwork by Philip Hale after the jump.

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Film At 11: Erase Erratta

Long-time San Francisco post-punkers Erase Errata recently released latest album Lost Weekend after a four-year hiatus. Now the band has a colorful new video for “History Of Handclaps,” which should probably contain a seizure warning. It’s a chaotic clip to match an equally chaotic song, and it works almost too well. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Orange Peels

OrangePeels

California rock group the Orange Peels ready for the May 15 release of new album Begin The Begone and offer a new track for free download. “Head Cleaner” is a blast from the past, calling back to the gods of ’60s and ’70s soft rock for their base and adding layered electronics to beef it up. We are proud to premiere “Head Cleaner” today on magnetmagazine.com. Download it below.

“Head Cleaner” (download):

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Can’t Hardly Wait: Superchunk On Opening For The Replacements

ChunkMats

On Sept. 25, 1990, the Replacements released their final record, All Shook Down—the same day Superchunk released their self-titled debut. Nearly 25 years later, rock worlds will collide again when Superchunk opens the May 9 Philadelphia show on the Replacements’ tour. Knowing singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan and drummer Jon Wurster count the Mats as a favorite band, we convened them—as well as bassist Laura Ballance, who has retired from touring due to hearing issues, and her, uh, replacement, Jason Narducy (Split Single, Bob Mould)—for an e-roundtable (candidate for WordHate™?) about their fandom and what this gig means to them. (Guitarist Jim Wilbur didn’t respond to multiple requests. Maybe he doesn’t like Replacements. Or us.)

How important are the Replacements to you?
Wurster: Everybody has that one band they most identity with and claim as their own. For me, the Replacements were that band. (OK, Hüsker Dü was my other band.) I remember sitting in Dead Milkmen guitarist Joe Jack Talcum’s bedroom in early 1984 and hearing “Color Me Impressed” for the first time and really being affected by it. To my ears, it was one of the first great blends of punk snarl and pop melody by a band from my generation. From then on, I was a fan. I bought their records as soon as they came out and went on road trips to see them live. The Replacements were the musical embodiment of the all the crazy, mixed-up feelings you experience in your late teens and twenties. They were the perfect mix of bravado, fear, anger, humor and mental illness—I can say that because I’m a crazy person, too. Did I want to be in the Replacements? Let’s just say I ran to a Dallas-Fort Worth Airport pay phone the moment I heard Chris Mars was out of the band and called their managers to plead my case. Sadly, I was too late.

McCaughan: The records from Let It Be through Pleased To Meet Me were hugely important to me, as well as the earlier ones when I went back to find them after Let It Be came out. I think what’s so key about the Replacements is that they were hard to define. At that time, I loved a lot of hardcore bands, and I loved a lot of pop bands and new-wave bands, and I still loved the classic rock I grew up with—but you couldn’t classify the Replacements. The idea that you could be a band that couldn’t be classified was radical.

Ballance: The Replacements are hugely important to me and probably influenced my life in ways I can’t even express. I first heard them in 1984 when Let It Be came out. I went and got that record and listened to it over and over. It expressed this pain and loneliness that I definitely felt as a 16 year old. I feel like I saw them play at the Metroplex around that time, but I can’t actually find any confirmation on the internet that they played there. I definitely saw them play a show later at the Skate Ranch in Raleigh. They were unbelievably drunk and it was a mess of a show, but it was so fun. It helped me to realize that punk shows didn’t always have to be so serious. Most bands at the time postured in a way that conveyed toughness and that to be punk you had to play fast and loud. The Replacements had some of that, too, but also they were goofy and vulnerable and were just as likely to play a beautiful, well-crafted pop song as a hardcore one.

Narducy: They were an important band to me because I heard Tim when it came out my freshman year in high school. They didn’t sound like any other band I’d heard previously, and they had an absolute perfect pop song in “Kiss Me On The Bus.” My friends and I could call them our own.

What does it mean to you to open for them?
McCaughan: It’s kind of crazy and unreal, but I guess it’s the kind of thing that happens if you manage to be a band long enough. I feel lucky that we get to do it.

Narducy: It means I actually look forward to going to Philadelphia.

Wurster: How often to you get to open for a band that was and continues to be such a big part of your life? Back in 1984, I was drumming in a Philadelphia-based band called Psychotic Norman. One day, our bassist Tom announced a well-intentioned, yet slightly misguided, plan to convince the Replacements to play a show in his cramped suburban basement in between the band’s Trenton and Philly Let It Be tour stops. Psychotic Norman would, of course, be the opening band. You’ll be shocked to learn that the basement show never materialized. To make up for it, and to capture the feeling of what could have been, I’ll be playing our opening set at Penn’s Landing flanked by Tom’s mother’s washer and dryer.

What’s your favorite Mats record and why?
McCaughan: It’s too hard to choose. I go back and forth between Stink and Let It Be and Pleased To Meet Me, which was the last tour I saw.

Wurster: The two that immediately come to mind are Pleased To Meet Me and Hootenanny. For me, they’re the ones that best embody the spirit of the Replacements, but every one of their records contains top-shelf songs. Even the All Shook Down-era Don’t Sell Or Buy, It’s Crap EP has one of their greatest shoulda-been-a-hit songs, Tommy Stinson’s “Satellite.”

Narducy: Tim because it’s so strong top to bottom and has such a wide variety of songs. There are anthems like “Bastards Of Young” and “Left Of The Dial.” There are pop songs like “Kiss Me” and “Little Mascara,” a ballad in “Here Comes A Regular” and a schmaltzy, swinging, sneering tune in “Waitress In The Sky.” Apparently, “Can’t Hardly Wait” almost made it on this record. Holy. Shit.

With the band or otherwise, have you ever crossed paths with the Replacements?
McCaughan: As a band, I don’t think Superchunk has crossed paths with them. It’s weird that our debut came out as their last record did.

Wurster: Never in Superchunk, other than Tommy coming to a show we did at the Roxy in L.A. around 1997. The band I was in five or six years before joining Superchunk was managed by the same guys who handled the Replacements, so I’d get some fun glimpses into their world when I’d stop by the office: a quick spin of Please To Meet Me rough mixes; a peek at a handwritten card announcing the birth of Tommy’s daughter; catching bits and pieces of our manager’s end of a phone conversation with recently fired Bob Stinson about severance pay. This doesn’t make me sound creepy at all, does it? I’ve run into Tommy several times over the years, and he’s always a true gentleman. I’ve never told him any of this stuff, so please make sure this page is blocked from his computer.

Narducy: I avoided seeing the band in the ’80s because my friends would go see them and complain that they were too drunk and only played four songs, and those four songs were covers—done badly. When you’re in high school, 20 bucks is a lot of money to gamble on a concert. I probably should have gone anyways. In 2013, I went to dinner with my friends Dave and Kathleen Philips. It wasn’t until I arrived at the restaurant that I realized Tommy was with them. He’s the only one I’ve met and talked to.

Laura, when you found out about this show, did you think about telling Jason to take a hike so you could play it?
Ballance: I still haven’t heard from any of my bandmates that they’re playing this show! Bastards! I just heard about it the other day from Christina (Rentz) here at Merge. And hell yes, it occurred to me that I should play it, but then I realized I could still go and not have to actually play. I might.

Jason, you’re a replacement in a band opening for the Replacements featuring replacements. Thoughts?
Narducy: (Replacements drummer) Josh Freese and I will be participating in the dunk tank before and after the show. Full cans of Summit beer will be thrown at the target and at us.

What are the chances Superchunk ends up onstage with the Mats during their set as they play “I Hate Music”?
McCaughan: I’ll let the pros handle that one.

Narducy: My guess is that this is on Paul Westerberg’s bucket list.

Wurster: Wouldn’t you rather see me moonwalking and hammering a cowbell during “Asking Me Lies”?

–Matt Hickey

 

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From The Desk Of Bob Schneider: Charlie Mars

Fourteen years removed from his major-label debut, Bob Schneider is still struggling to be heard. Does he care? You be the judge. Schneider will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on him.

CharlieMars

Schneider: I met Charlie Mars about 10 years ago when we did a tour together. We hardly spoke the entire tour, and then the day before it ended up, we had a chat and realized that we were both made from the same super-fucked-up bolt of cloth and have been good friends ever since. As a songwriter, Charlie continues to evolve, and his new record is a wonderful compliment to his last two incredible releases. I recently asked him a few questions for this post.

Where’d you come up with the idea for The Money?
Charlie Mars: The album title comes from the song “The Money,” which is about my search for some kind of happiness or serenity or whatever, and how that search has led me down some very wrong turns. As to the where … I came up with the idea in Jamaica after visiting a pot farm.

How often do you write songs? Do you have a daily routine?
I have a morning routine, which consists of coffee. I talk a walk outside. I play guitar and sing most every day. Sometimes I’m inspired to write. Sometimes I just dick around and play old stuff.

What do you think of the current state of the music business?
I think it’s hard, and if you write good songs, it’s less hard. If you write an incredible song, it’s even less hard than that. I don’t know much about the rest … or at least I can’t make rhyme or reason of it.

What’s your favorite place to play? Least favorite place to play?
My favorite place to stay is the Greenwich Hotel in NYC. Least favorite … I don’t really have a least favorite … Suckage is rampant.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened when you were performing?
An old man paid me to stop playing at a wedding once. That was embarrassing. He was right though. We weren’t really wedding music.

Do you have any New Years resolutions?
I probably should. Read all the books that I buy. They get stacked up. Stop blaming other people for my stuff. I just made that one.

Did you get anything good for Christmas?
My aunt (who can be a little out there) gave a cookbook to the entire family that had things like how to boil a hot-dog wiener. I liked that.

Video after the jump.

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