Film At 11: Editors

Just a few months ago, an excited fan leaked the first new music by Editors in two years, a track entitled “No Harm.” Following the leak, the band shared a video to accompany the track. Now Editors share another new song “Marching Orders.” If you’ve ever wanted to see Editors play very passionately while getting covered in white paint, this is the video for you. Check it out here.

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MP3 At 3PM: Sleep Therapy

SleepTherapy

Sleep Therapy returned from a five-year hiatus in January and is fresh off of the release of a new EP, Creatures. The title track is a patient, mood-building slice of shoegaze that shows very successfully the band is making up for lost time. Centuries, which is the second part of a four-part series of EPs, is out now, and the track can be downloaded below.

“Creatures” (download):

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Phoning It In: “Summer Breeze,” “Bills, Bills, Bills” And “And Mom And Kid”

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.

I wasn’t missing it. I wasn’t listening. I turned away when I heard them say, “It’s Dial-A-Song.” I always had my doubts, so I just tuned it out. I didn’t know why they had to crow about Dial-A-Song …

Yes, it’s been more than three weeks since we last Phoned It In. The TMBG lyrics above (from the 2015 teaser song “I Wasn’t Listening”) aren’t exactly an accurate portrayal of a prevailing attitude toward Dial-A-Song, but there is some fatigue. The good news is that we have now reached Week 26, and by my math, that’s the halfway point. We have some statistics to look at and arguments to start and feelings to hurt.

A brief diversion: At one point, I considered turning this enterprise into a long-term parody of advanced sports metrics by inventing statistical measures such as SAR (Sings Above Replacement), NFPS (Normalized Flansburgh Per Song) and pythagorean expectation to rock. Each week would become a more ridiculous accounting of performance, straying ever farther from what little aesthetic pleasure remains in music criticism. I’d make some tight infographics. The idea was scotched for two reasons: 1) It’s a long con; 2) The stats inevitably served to pit the Johns against one another (n=2), and that didn’t seem cool. (Not that anything else around here is cool, either.) Someone else please do this, though. To quote David Brent, “A good idea is a good idea forever.”

You know what’s not a good idea? (Aside from that too-obvious segue?) Cramming a short story about a ghost car into a song, as happens with “The Summer Breeze.” The Destiny’s Child cover (“Bills, Bills, Bills”) left me slightly cold, too. It’s angsty, but not in a fun way. Fortunately, “And Mom And Kid,” written for an HBO documentary celebrating family diversity, is both historically timely and impressive in its compactness and charm.

File-A-Song
“The Summer Breeze”: 2
“Bills, Bills, Bills”: 4
“And Mom And Kid”: 9

And now for the 2015 Dial-A-Song midterm report:

tmbg_midterm

Average File-A-Song rating: 5.92

Dial-A-Song Top Superhits (Score of 9 or more): “Erase,” “Thinking Machine,” “And Mom And Kid”

Complete Breakdown:

tmbg_scores

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Cornwall (We Took The Western Greyhound Down The Atlantic Highway)

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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We took the Western Greyhound
Down the Atlantic Highway
And that’s when we found
Our way home
For on a clear day
You can make out something
We all believed in
Something good

Duffy: We accidentally moved to Cornwall. My brother meant to and we visited him and didn’t go back. He walked with us into town and we saw a house and bought it. We made our new album, No Sad Songs, in the basement. Artists haven’t gone back from here for centuries. The Newlyn School, Bernard Leach. Virginia Woolf. Barbara HepWorth. Ben Nicholson. Artists and hippies. Where else would the drummer of the International Submarine Band choose to live? Clive’s Original Band. That old hippy D.H.Lawrence got thrown out for being married to a German during the Second World War. Now we are so laid back now, we make Fleetwood Mac sound like the Dead Kennedys. In the past, I would’ve sped things up, but this time I recognised the slow groove and the softness was the thing. There was no point trying to pretend otherwise. Luckily, the Lilac Time has been granted cult status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of Cults. Coming from Birmingham—have I mentioned that?—our holiday time by the sea was brief. The West Midland being the most landlocked place you can find in the United Kingdom, although we had canals. Cornwall is the opposite the most coast of any county due to the lacks of land in-between its north and south coasts. The sea heals. The sea heals all wounds. I may have to light a blessed joss stick and listen as I sing:

Now in the dead of winter
Can we make a beach head
In the desert
Of our dreams
I saw a sign in heaven
Bohemia forever
Another dream of wonder
How wonderful to dream

Bohemia forever!

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Film At 11: Girlpool

Girlpool is a very busy band as of late. The group just added tour dates with Joyce Manor and Frankie Cosmos to its current tour in support of critically acclaimed debut LP Before The World Was Big. On top of that, Girlpool just released a new video for “Magnifying Glass.” Clocking in at only 40 seconds, it’s a short and sweet clip for a short and sweet song. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Shannen Nicole

ShannenNicole

Shannen Nicole is promoting her debut record, Captive, with new song “Lonely Heart.” A high school senior, Nicole is an incredibly young talent from Oregon. “Lonely Heart” is a soulful, stripped down track that shows off some of her best vocal and songwriting tactics. Download“Lonely Heart” below.

“Lonely Heart” (download):

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Lauryn Peacock Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

LaurynPeacock

To celebrate new record Euphonia, Lauryn Peacock has prepared a mix tape for MAGNET. In addition, you can download or stream a new song “Wounds Grow Grass,” an otherworldly, beautifully orchestrated circus waltz. Check it out below. Euphonia is out now.

“Wounds Grow Grass” (download):

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Sharon Van Etten “One Day”  
Everything is just right with this song. Video

Lucius “Turn it Around”
People making good indie-pop music, with great rhythm and melodies. Video

Angel Olsen “Unf**ktheworld”
This entire album—I can’t even count the number of times I’ve listened to it. This song means I’m starting the journey of this album again—something I love to do. Plus, the audacious title. Video

Vashti Bunyan “Just Another Diamond Day”  
The best cloudy-or-sunny, perfect-day kind of song. Vashti is also my mix-tape stand-in for the incredible women artists who came before: Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Stevie Nicks—all the amazing songs I couldn’t fit on this playlist. Video

Natalie Prass “Bird Of Prey”
When I first heard Natalie Prass, I felt a kinship—a female artist with intriguing orchestral arrangements and sensibilities that I (and the music I’ve been making) could relate to. I was immediately sold. Video

Damien Jurado “Museum Of Flight”
One of my all-time favorite songwriters and one of his simplest and most beautiful songs. It’s perfect. Video

Neil Young “Tell Me Why”
Neil Young is always such easy and good, rewarding listening. This song and album (After The Goldrush) frequently rotates on my turntable. I put it on sometimes, just to hear this song. Video

Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
I have built one of my favorite Pandora stations around this song. I couldn’t resist adding it here also as an homage to favorite indie-rock band: Phoenix, My Morning Jacket, the Walkmen, everything that came before. Plus, the great piano rhythms, background vocals and vibe. Video

Sigur Rós “Hoppípolla”  
Sigur Rós in general, and this song, do such great, beautiful “epic”—with arrangements and melodies that take off in flight. I love the happy in this track—also a great video. Thanks for listening. Video

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Poetry And The Acoustic Guitar

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

11LizBerry

Emily Berry
Liz Berry
Chuck Berry

Duffy: I love the poets. Fiction guys are making it up. Poets are living it. Cartoonists draw cartoons. Poetry is the best. There’s never been any money in it. The internet has probably increased its popularity, unlike everything else, like journalism and music that have been diminished and almost destroyed. Poetry seems to be thriving. Readings are hip again. It’s hard to imagine that we have lived through times when it seemed that poetry and the acoustic guitar would be left to atrophy in a museum cabinet. I heard Dylan Thomas when I was in a weird Victorian annexe of our modern inner-city comprehensive school. His voice boomed from a portable record player.

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light

You can’t beat that.

Video after the jump.

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Film At 11: Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe is getting set to release her fifth LP, Abyss, on August 7. Wolfe just released a brand new single from Abyss, “Carrion Flowers,” accompanied by a video for the track. The song is also featured in the trailer for upcoming film Dark Places. Directed by Wolfe and bandmate Ben Chisholm, the video plays something like the famous killer videotape from 2002’s The Ring. Check it out here.

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Montreal International Jazz Festival, Part 1

SnarkyPuppy

It’s the 36th annual Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. MAGNET’s Mitch Myers translates the action.

One Nation Under A Groove
The 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal is officially in full swing. The fest is 10 days and nights, running from June 26 through July 5, and although jazz is the byword, the ambitious music programming also encompasses rock, blues, pop, flamenco, folk, hip hop and EDM for a well-rounded, populist experience. Big fun for serious music lovers with plenty of distractions for the whole family, the Montreal fest features hundreds of concerts, many of which are free on outdoor stages as well as a number ticketed gigs held within a range of indoor venues. Hosting recognizable mainstream artists like the Steve Miller Band, Erykah Badu and hometown favorites like the Barr Brothers, the Montreal fest has fought off some rainy weather and ultimately seems just too big to fail.

Hardcore jazzers have had their hands full with tons of quality options. Italian trumpeters like Enrico Rava and Paulo Fresu both attracted attention, as did American horn-man Christian Scott, the hip-hop-inflected Robert Glasper Trio, the Bad Plus with guest saxophonist Joshua Redman, and the Joe Lovano-John Scofield Quartet. Veteran fusion stars Stanley Jordan, Al Di Melola and Stanley Clarke were all crowd pleasers, as was contemporary axe-man Kurt Rosenwinkle, who hosted three consecutive nights for his part of the vaunted Invitation Series. Jazz elders Gary Bartz, Al Foster, Buster Williams and Larry Willis brought the old-school back to life as the Heads Of State, progressive cornet player Ron Miles mixed it up nicely with guitar hero Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade at the Monument-National, and the amazing Wayne Shorter Quartet was once again a festival highlight.

Still, the Montreal crowd loves to move and groove, and nothing got them going like the Snarky Puppy show at the Metropolis dancehall. A swirling, funky big band with two drummers, two keyboardists and a thriving horn section, these guys have quietly grown from playing under the radar to recent Grammy nominations and nonstop touring. Playing original material as well as snatches of P-Funk and even the pounding melody of “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” these guys brought all the different jazz generations together, as in, “one nation under a groove.”

That’s the Montreal Jazz Fest, pure and simple, which keeps on trucking through the holiday weekend—how about you?

—Mitch Myers

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