Film At 11: Peaches

Later this month, the world will be blessed with another album from electronic superstar Peaches. Her patiently awaited, and already critically acclaimed upcoming LP, Rub, will be released on I U She Music via INgrooves. Peaches just released a new video for “Close Up,” with features Kim Gordon as Peaches trainer as she prepares to enter into the world of Mexican wrestling. At first, things seem pretty typical (think Rocky style training), but then things get really, really weird. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Reuben Hollebon

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Reuben Hollebon won’t be releasing his debut LP, Terminal Nostalgia, until early 2016, but loyal MAGNET readers can preview his track “Faces” right now. Hollebon’s quivering whisper is reminiscent of early Bright Eyes, the moody track following the lines of the more straightforward side of Fevers And Mirrors. Download “Faces” below.

“Faces” (download):

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Essential New Music: The Chemical Brothers “Born In The Echoes”

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2015 seems like a good time to be the Chemical Brothers. Their familiar flavor of broad-minded psychedelic techno is worming its long way back toward hipness via spiritual successors like James Holden and Daniel Avery, even as the ever-more-vertiginous drops of the EDM boom make their iconically block-rocking bombast seem unthinkably subtle by comparison.

Following 2010’s streamlined synth-fantasia powerhouse Further, Born In The Echoes revisits the rockier, guest-studded template that elevated their classic ’90s LPs, but also marred much of their ’00s output, enlisting a crew of alt-rock vocalists (St. Vincent, Beck, Cate Le Bon) who contribute a bit of personality without overwhelming—or even dominating—their respective tracks. But vocals, despite appearing in some form on nearly every track, are rarely the focus—tellingly, this album’s appointed swirling, acidwashed “Setting Sun” analogue/“Tomorrow Never Knows” homage (“I’ll See You There”) is largely instrumental.

Two decades after their debut, the Chems remain committed to their singular vision, still plying those heady, slamming breakbeats and reverently swooning synths, continuing to breathe new life from the echoes.

—K. Ross Hoffman

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From The Desk Of Matt Pond PA: Kingston, N.Y.

Matt Pond PA‘s The State Of Gold is of a piece with the singer/songwriter’s previous work in its tension between plaintive longing and earnest affirmations. Paradoxically, it’s a confident album about having doubts; it looks outward as well as inward. Pond will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.

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Pond: I’ve decided to settle down in Kingston, N.Y. I don’t know if settling down includes drinking bourbon and listening to the drone of my guitar feedback until four in the morning. But this is where I live. The police have only shown up for one noise complaint. I believe that’s considered a passing grade in neighborliness. Beyond that, I’ve started cultivating friendships with my fellow villagers. The writers, the cobblers, the computer programmers. We’ve all gambled and won on this place. I guess it really boils down to the shape of the Catskills on the horizon. It’s a shape I want to see every day. It’s a shape I love.

Video after the jump.

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Film At 11: Looper

Looper has just released a new video for, “I’m A Photograph,” a track appearing off Offgrid:Offline. The clip features a series of vintage photographs of the band, as well as fan-submitted photographs. Partnering with Lomography, a camera company dedicated to simplistic-yet-creative photography, the band held a competition in which fans were asked to send in their 10 best summer photographs, with the winners being included in the video. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Fractures

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Fractures is an Australian electronic act, aiming to release its debut EP early next year. If “Reactor” is any indication, Fractures is worth keeping an ear to the ground for, brandishing an impressive balance of ambience and infectiousness in this carefully layered track. Download it below.

“Reactor” (download):

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From The Desk Of Matt Pond PA: “Paris, Texas” (Followed By Neil Young’s “Harvest”)

Matt Pond PA‘s The State Of Gold is of a piece with the singer/songwriter’s previous work in its tension between plaintive longing and earnest affirmations. Paradoxically, it’s a confident album about having doubts; it looks outward as well as inward. Pond will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.

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Pond: I met Harry Dean Stanton after playing a show at the Troubadour. I’ve only ever wanted to meet two people in this world: Mr. Stanton and Mr. Neil Young. The way they both capture and convey the spare beauty of deep emotion blows me away. In the bright flurry of last call at Dan Tana’s, I awkwardly reached through his drunken entourage to shake his hand. I told him what I’d always wanted to tell him. “Sorry for bothering you, but I just wanted to say that Paris, Texas was one of the most beautiful movies ever made and it’s a true honor to meet you.” On beat, his eyes sleepily rose from his beer and he said, “Thank you. Those were the good years.”

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Matt Pond PA: The State Of Doubt

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Robbery, member turnover and unresolved paternal issues can’t crush Matt Pond PA’s creative spirit

“I don’t know anything right now. Music is hard these days, but the harder it is, the more I fight, I guess. I don’t know. Or the more I fight, the harder it becomes. One way or another.”

That’s Matt Pond, whose band Matt Pond PA is on a tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of its sixth album, Several Arrows Later, in advance of its ninth, The State Of Gold. Pond says the jaunt is a bit of an experiment within the uncertainties of the music business, a way of reconnecting with an audience before coming back later in the year after the new LP comes out. The tour was going well, but less than two weeks later, after a gig in Chicago, the band members would be robbed of their computers, money and passports—making things even harder and further testing Pond’s resilience.

The first MPPA album, Deer Apartments, came out in 1998, and the band has gone through many incarnations—and many cello players—since. As Pond moved from Philadelphia to Brooklyn to Bearsville, N.Y., the group’s personnel turned over several times. The core is now Pond and guitarist Chris Hansen; the cello player is Shawn Alpay.

“It’s just a fluid thing; it’s life,” says Pond. “You can all swear to some kind of oath, but people die and people get married. All sorts of crazy things happen. I just tried to find a way to accept anything that happens personnel-wise. I like playing with a lot of different people. You get a lot of different feels, and you have amazing experiences.”

The cello, although its prominence has waxed and waned over the years, has been a MPPA signature. On The State Of Gold, it weaves through “There Were Times,” but it takes a backseat to New Order-like sequencers and synthesizers on “Take Me With You.”

“I think on this new album we wanted to expand rhythmically—that was our biggest concern,” says Pond. “There’s something about putting more polyrhythms into the music that makes it more complex, but also loosens it up. There is cello on the album, but it’s not the distinctive element.”

Pond has talked in the past about the influence of the Electric Light Orchestra’s early records on his predilection for cellos, but the source runs even deeper into his childhood growing up in New Hampshire.

“I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this,” says Pond. “My dad really liked classical music. He tried to play cello, and he was terrible at it. I wanted to impress my dad, but he was unimpressable. Adding a cello into our band didn’t impress him. Don’t we live in our parents’ shadows? My father was a really difficult person, too. He was a humanitarian and a minister, but while he did great things, he did terrible things, too. ‘Oedipal’ isn’t the thing, though. There’s got be a thing where your father is probably one of the greatest people you’ve ever known, but probably one of the worst, too. And then there’s ELO.”

There may be more New Order than ELO to The State Of Gold’s blend of guitars, cello and synthesizers, but it’s of a piece with Pond’s previous work in its tension between plaintive longing and earnest affirmations. Paradoxically, it’s a confident album about having doubts; it looks outward as well as inward. “As long as we know, we don’t know anything,” Pond sings at the climax of “The Starting Line.” “I’ve been a friend of doubt/I don’t know doubt anymore,” he sings in the chorus of “No More No.”

“I don’t know anyone who is certain of anything or who doesn’t doubt themselves and vacillate,” says Pond. “For me, it’s a visible, palpable rhythm between everything. Buying a coffee, walking around, everything. I can’t play disaffected; I can’t play confident, completely; but I love what I do, and I love doing it.”

And that love is what keeps Pond fighting through the vicissitudes of the music business, of constant changes in personnel, of the writer’s block that he faced leading up to this album—of robberies, even. And he loves writing songs; that’s one thing Pond does know.

“Playing onstage, sex—those are all great,” he says. “But when you understand what you are actually trying to say in a song, that’s the best feeling. At least I have a purpose for that second.”

—Steve Klinge

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Essential New Music: The Continental Drifters’ “Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond”

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The Continental Drifters were one of the great coulda-woulda-shoulda bands of the ’90s. They came with a pedigree that included the Bangles, the Bluerunners, the dB’s, the Dream Syndicate and even the Cowsills, the real-life inspiration for the Partridge Family. They had three lead singer/songwriters, a powerful live show, and the kind of chemistry that made bandmates feel they were part of a drinking club, not just a band.

So, what went wrong? Plenty. Critical acclaim for music hardly anybody heard. Drugs. Revolving-door membership. Hurricane Katrina. Bad timing. Put them all together and you’ve got three studio albums that still sound very good, plus this double-CD package to fill the gaps before and after.

The first captures the band’s early L.A. lineup, playing songs that would later appear on 1994’s Continental Drifters and 1999’s Vermilion. The second showcases the band after a move to New Orleans, with a set of covers and one-off tributes to the Hollies, Fairport Convention, Gram Parsons and Neil Young that didn’t make it onto 2001’s final Better Day. For the uninitiated, Vermilion remains the place to start, but if there are any completists still out there, fans who can’t shake the memory of seeing the Drifters play live, this note’s for you.

—Kenny Berkowitz

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In The News: Velvet Underground, Minus The Bear, Van Morrison, British Sea Power, Chris Isaak, Loren Connors, Alarm And More

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The 45th anniversary of the Velvet Underground’s Loaded will be celebrated October 30 when Rhino releases an expanded six-disc boxed set, complete with stereo, mono and surround mixes as well as rarities and live performances … Menos El Oso, the second full-length from Minus The Bear, turns 10 this year. Suicide Squeeze Records will reissue the album as a deluxe version December 4, and the band will perform the LP in its entirety on tour this fall … Legacy Recordings has acquired the rights to the complete discography of Van Morrison, spanning more than 50 years of music, and plans to issue several compilations, deluxe editions and digital releases beginning August 28 … Speaking of Van Morrison, his Astral Weeks and His Band And The Street Choir, will be honored October 30 as expanded and remastered versions via Warner Bros. … British Sea Power’s new album, Sea Of Brass, is due out from Golden Chariot on October 30 … On October 2, a best-of album chronicling the work of Bad Company, Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy: The Very Best Of Bad Company, will be available from Rhino … After a six-year hiatus, Chris Isaak will return November 13 with the release of First Comes The Night via Vanguard … Just Let Go, a new live concert film featuring Lenny Kravitz, will be released by Eagle Rock on DVD, Blu-rayband digital formats October 23 … Temporary Residence Ltd. will issue Rehumanizer II, the new Maserati album, October 30 … Phish’s Trey Anastasio’s new solo record, Paper Wheels, is set for an October 30 release via Rubber Jungle/ATO … Iconic Alarm album Strength has been re-arranged and re-worked by singer/songwriter Mike Peters in honor of its 30th anniversary. It will be out via Twenty First Century on October 2 … September 18 marks the release of the new album from Loren Connors, Live In New York, via Family Vineyard … For the first time ever, Scott Fagan’s 1968 debut record, South Atlantic Blues, will be available on vinyl and CD on November 20 … An eight-disc boxed set featuring the work of Billy Cobham, The Atlantic Years 1973-1978, will be released September 25 via Rhino … Population Wars, the new book from Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin, will be available September 15 … Concord will reissue the classic soundtracks to Amadeus, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings as deluxe vinyl boxed sets September 11.

—Emily Costantino

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