In The News: Modest Mouse, Jason Molina, Woody Allen, Camper Van Beethoven, Bombadil, Joe Pug, Frank Black And The Catholics And More


Modest Mouse has announced its first new album in eight years, Strangers To Ourselves, due out from Epic on March 3 … Ribbon Music will issue the new Laura Marling album, Short Movie, on March 24 … Through The Static And Distance is a 20-track collection paying tribute to the late Jason Molina, covering his work with Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., plus solo work. Due out January 6 from Burst & Bloom/Haint, it features tracks by Marissa Nadler, Sharron Kraus, Viking Moses and more … On January 13, Eagle Rock will release Live Country!, Trace Adkins’ new live DVD, recorded this August at The Paramount in Huntingdon, N.Y. … Woody Allen’s The Stand Up Years, a two-disc set containing previously unreleased material, will be available January 13 via Razor & Tie … The 2004 reunion album from Camper Van Beethoven, New Roman Times, will be reissued as an expanded version by Omnivore on February 24 … Still The King: Celebrating The Music Of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys is a tribute album put together by Ray Benson & Asleep At The Wheel, paying tribute to Bob Wills. Set for a March 3 release via Bismeaux, it includes contributions from the likes of Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, the Avett Brothers and more … Lightning Rod will issue Windfall by Joe Pug on March 10. He’ll be touring North America this winter and spring in support … March 24 marks the release of the fifth studio album from Bombadil, Hold On, via Ramseur … A seven-disc boxed set featuring the entire catalogue from Frank Black And The Catholics, The Complete Recordings, will be released by Cooking Vinyl on March 23.

—Emily Costantino

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Normal History Vol. 300: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Sean Michaels, the winner of the 2014 Giller Prize (Canada’s most lucrative literary award at $100,000) recently reviewed a song on Mecca Normal’s new album, calling it “a masterpiece of story and manifesto, a lesson in life.”

The lyrics for “Odele’s Bath” are directly out of my recently completed novel, The Black Dot Museum Of Political Art,  in which a museum curator discovers her uncanny ability to cure narcissism.

“Odele’s Bath,” Michaels continues, “ … doesn’t need me to scatter it with glitter. Shut the blog down, fire the staff, bin the servers. Light the house on fire, in an empty lot, with Mecca Normal on cassette and a boombox turned to high.”

Sean Michaels writes about music for Said The Gramophone, named by Time magazine as one of the 25 best blogs of 2009.

“Water In A Bucket” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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Film At 11: Luluc

Australian indie duo Luluc released latest album Passerby via Rough Trade in July, and now its has a new video for “Tangled Heart.” The clip is simple, consisting of old black-and-white video footage, yet it’s surreal as it shows natural human actions and ties them to a bigger picture of life. Check out the “Tangled Heart” below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Charlie Belle


Austin-based group Charlie Belle consists of three teens whose ages barely add up to 40 years collectively. Their debut EP arrives in January, and now they have released the song “Get To Know.” For as young as these kids are, they know their ’90s alt rock and they have certainly practiced. Their sound is one that formed years before their birth, and this proves that music has no boundaries, even age. Download “Get To Know” below.

“Get To Know” (download):

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From The Desk Of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: “The Shining” Soundtrack


Salaz: Invite your special friend over for a nice, candle-lit dinner. Open that special bottle of wine that you’ve been saving. Get comfy. Close the curtains. Lock the doors. Turn off that damn iPhone. Turn the lights way down, cuddle closely and listen to this at full volume.

Video after the jump

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Film At 11: David Strange

It would be too easy to say David Strange was strange; he is just plain weird. But luckily, weird is usually good, and so is Strange. Known for being a guitarist in Courtney Love’s band, he took off and released his self-titled solo album earlier this year. Now he shares a new video for the track “Vitamin Pills,” and it’s pretty bizarre. That being said, it’s an extremely entertaining and interesting clip with great special effects and a pretty solid story. We are proud to premiere it today on Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Crayon


There is some mysterious appeal about bands with short names and short track names. Either way, Crayon, from Bellingham, Wash., had that and more, and now the band has released “Small” for free download. Crayon’s music was a messy blend of punk and indie rock. There’s snotty vocals, reminiscent of the ’80s hardcore scene, and there’s also a strong grungy feel to it all. Download the track below.

“Small” (download):

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Vintage Movies: “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’90s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.


Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998, 119 minutes)

That’s the trouble when they make a movie out of one of your life-changing books. I’d had a similar problem with seeing The Grapes Of Wrath and On The Road for the first time after revering the print versions. The characters I’d envisioned weren’t much like those on the big screen. It took a third trip through Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas before I came to terms with Johnny Depp’s somewhat guttural voice of the main character, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson—and the lack of the book’s beyond-visionary, ink-smeared illustrations by Ralph Steadman.

Like the novel, the movie opens with Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his “attorney” (Benicio Del Toro) roaring through the Nevada desert, headed toward Las Vegas in a powerful 1971 Chevy Impala convertible. The top’s down and the trunk’s loaded with weed, mescaline, coke, blotter acid, amyl nitrate, assorted uppers and downers, booze and a tank of ether, all purchased with the cash advance from a magazine for Duke to cover a big motorcycle race in Vegas. It’s an assignment, they must have reckoned, in keeping with Thompson’s first book where he tried to imbed himself with the Hell’s Angels.

“I feel a bit light-headed. Maybe you should drive,” says Duke, squinting into the sun through aviator sunglasses and swatting away at a swarm of Mesozoic era-sized bats, dive-bombing the car. He performs a full-speed, gravel-spewing stop, worthy of Steve McQueen in Bullitt and gets out as small reptiles scurry for cover. There’s no reason to tell his attorney about the bats, Duke concludes. “The poor bastard will find out soon enough.”

As the car tops out at 100 miles an hour, a blond, long-haired kid in a T-shirt carrying an overnight bag appears on the side of the road, standing next to a giant saguaro cactus and thumbing a lift. The attorney mutters, “Let’s give him a ride,” and slams on the brakes. Jolted into semi-coherence, Duke screams, “What?! No!!” It’s too late. The kid is already running toward the car, in utter delirium. “Hot damn! I’ve never rode in a convertible before!” he shouts. “Get in,” smiles Duke, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and floppy golf hat, his teeth gripped around a cigarette holder. Janis Joplin And Big Brother wail away on the FM radio, and the kid is already having second thoughts as he sits down in the back seat.

“How long before one of us starts raving and jabbering at this boy?” ponders Duke. “What will he think when he realizes this is the same desert that was the last-known home of the Manson Family? Would he make the connection when my attorney starts screaming about bats? If so, we can’t turn him loose. We’ll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere in the desert.”

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From The Desk Of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: John McGeoch

“There was no sense of urgency, no real plan to finish this album,” says Chris Goyer, lead singer of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, a band that’s taken eight years to follow-up Fear Is On Our Side. With titles like “You Are Dead To Me” and “The Sun Burns Out,” Dust picks up exactly where Fear left off, piling dark atmospherics on top of pained, brooding, impenetrable lyrics about whatever happened to be on Goyer’s mind when the tape started rolling. If it sounds heavy, that’s because Ministry’s Paul Barker produced the album, just like the one before. If it occasionally sounds lighter, that’s because the rest of the band members—Daniel Del Favero, Ed Robert, Ernest Salaz and Tim White—haven’t lost their fondness for modular synths, chorus pedals and looping guitar arpeggios. ILYBICD will be guest editing all week. Read our recent feature on them.


Salaz: John McGeoch was a true guitar innovator. His work in the late ’70s and ’80s with Magazine, Visage, Siouxsie And The Banshees and later-era PiL was some of the most brilliant playing of his generation. He was an absolute master of tone, texture and economy of style. He had a way of elevating the song, orchestrating his parts in subtle, genius ways, where it the focus wasn’t on flashy technique like what was happening with a lot of ’80s rock and metal. His use of flange and chorus added depth and space to his parts. This is crucial for a three piece band with a singer. He was just daring for rock guitar, really pushing the envelope. The Siouxsie And The Banshees album Juju was a big influence on our band, especially when we were writing songs for Fear Is On Our Side. Back in 2004, during a lull in band activity, we had the idea to throw a big Halloween party at Emo’s in downtown Austin, where a bunch of friends would cover bands like Tubeway Army and Bauhaus/Love And Rockets. Ed, Tim and I decided to cover Siouxsie songs with our friend Carrie-Anne Murphy, a performer and singer now based in New York. It was a really fun project and broke us out of our creative dry spell. I learned how complex and unusual McGeoch’s chord voicings were. They were refreshingly devoid of the usual rock clichés, and instead had an almost folk/jazz/prog approach. Sadly for us all, he passed away in 2004.

Videos after the jump.

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Film At 11: Brother Dege

Lousiana’s Brother Dege, whose music appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained, has a new video for “Too Old To Die Young.” The clip is a collection of scenes from Dege’45-minute road movie called Set It Off. It’s a diverse video, showing scenes from different shows, each with a different atmosphere ranging from calm to raging. We are proud to premiere it today on Check it out below.

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