MP3 At 3PM: Crayon

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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.

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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 magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our recent feature on them.

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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 magnetmagazine.com. Check it out below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Walter Martin

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Walter Martin (of Walkmen fame) debuted his latest album, We’re All Young Together, earlier this year to much critical acclaim. Now, just in time for the holidays, Martin releases “I Walk So Slow (Under The Mistletoe),” a laid-back track recorded with singer/songwriter Kat Edmonson. The song has excellent use of marimba and helps usher in the holiday cheer. Download “I Walk So Slow (Under The Mistletoe)” below.

“I Walk So Slow (Under The Mistletoe)” (download):

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September Girls Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Dublin quintet September Girls play a fuzzed-out brand of shoegaze-y garage rock. It’s a unique blend of genres and works quite well together. Their music oozes with catchy harmonies and noisy goodness, and now they have agreed to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Lower Dens “Brains”
Sarah: This song kills me in the best possible way; it’s genius. I don’t think I will ever tire of it. Every time I hear it, it takes over me and I get lost in it. Although it’s quite a recent song (2012), it’s nostalgic for me. When it was released, I was figuring out some life stuff, and with this song I could just close my eyes and escape. I love how it builds and builds, drums, then guitars, then an open hi-hat, some organ, then Jana’s voice. At about 1:40, the music strips back and the song starts to build up again through some amazing layered vocals. It’s sort of mysterious—it’s perfect. Video

George Harrison “My Sweet Lord”
Caoimhe: This is probably the most uplifting song of all time by my favourite Beatle. It’s so simple, and I love the opening, the jangly layered guitars and then the solo bit. George’s guitar lines are so distinctive and melodic. He was sued by the Chiffons because the vocal in the chorus is similar to their song “He’s So Fine,” but his wife Patti Boyd said he didn’t even have a radio during that time. Video

Françoise Hardy “Tous Les Garcons”
Caoimhe: Françoise Hardy’s vocal delivery is always so cool. I love the crazy nursery-rhyme-style music in this song. It’s a song about being lonely as a teenager—seeing everyone else your age in love when you’re not. Video

Shellac “Prayer To God”
Paula: Just an unbelievably powerful song. Heavy of music and tone, I think it would be hard not to feel something listening to this. The lyrics detail how the protagonist would like God to treat his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. “Her, she can go quietly, by disease or a blow”/”Him, just fucking kill him, I don’t care if it hurts.” There’s an element of cowardice and helplessness to the lyrics as well, almost as if the singer would do these things himself if he could. Instead, he pleads with God to do his work for him. Video

Almighty Defenders “Cone Of Light”
Paula: Almighty Defenders are a supergroup of sorts, consisting of the members of Black Lips, King Khan & Mark Sultan (a.k.a. BBQ).The first time I heard this, I thought it was an old Sam Cooke song I hadn’t heard before. The album the song is taken from came about when Black Lips got chucked out of India whilst on tour as a result of some high jinks. They fled to Berlin, hung out with King Khan & BBQ and recorded this amazing album. Video

Mac DeMarco “Passing Out Pieces”
Jessie: This song has got this crazy harpsichord synth, a super chilled-out bass line and shimmery guitar. It reminds me of a long-lost George Harrison tune. I first heard this song over the Summer, and it’s got this really sunny feel. Plus it has a long fade out, which no songs seem to do anymore. This is me and Jasper (my one-year-old)’s jam. We put Salad Days on the record player, turn it up really loud and have a dance around the living room. Video

The Smiths “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
Jessie: I could listen to this song all day, every day. Johnny Marr’s amazing jangly guitar and Morrissey moaning about first world problems. The song also reminds me of being 20, happy in the haze of a drunken hour being driven home to Brooklyn after giving myself a massive sunburn at the Jersey Shore. I was certainly miserable the next morning. Glorious. Video

Gloria Jones “Tainted Love”
Jessie: I seriously question anyone who doesn’t dance when this song comes on. For a song that’s about a seriously bad relationship, it’s incredibly uplifting and joyful. Gloria Jones’ incredible voice spars just perfectly with the driving rhythm guitar, hand claps and intense horn section. Video

The Cars “You Might Think”
Lauren: I love the Cars. To me they’re pop perfection, and “You Might Think” is a shining example—a three-minute smile. Plus, the image of Ric Ocasek as a fly for some reason has stuck with me since childhood … no idea why. Video

Weezer “Island In The Sun”
Lauren: Weezer are one of my favorite bands, and when they put this one out, I went apeshit for the song and video—I mean, bear cub. Lion cubs. Orange kitten. Baby giraffe. ‘Nuff said. My boyfriend at the time bought the CD single for me as a cute gift so I’d have the video, but it turned out to have the alternate video at the Mexican wedding on it. Poor fella was crestfallen. Video

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From The Desk Of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: Shin Joong Hyun’s “The Man Who Must Leave” And 
”Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of Shin Joong Hyun 1958-1974″

“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 magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our recent feature on them.

ShinJoongHyun

Salaz: The last CD I bought was at End Of An Ear, the best record store in Austin, Texas. I usually gravitate to their psychedelic section and randomly pick CD reissues, and I am rarely disappointed. Thanks Dan, Blake, Allison and Jacob. I am a newcomer to Shin Joong Hyun’s music, but this song is just amazing. He’s an absolute shredder. He’s referred to the “godfather of South Korean rock,” and I think that’s a pretty apt description. I love the spooky, ghostly vibe of the recording, and the propulsive, Motown beat. At just less than eight minutes long, it boggles the mind that something this good came out in 1968.

Video after the jump.

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Film At 11: Bonzie

“Data Blockers” is the first music video from up-and-coming singer/songwriter Bonzie. The song is off the Chicago native’s debut album, Rift Into The Secret Of Things. Says Bonzie of the clip, “I wanted to show that the infrastructures we build are outside of us. Economic infrastructures and conceptual infrastructures—like a generally accepted idea or stereotype. I wanted to externalize these things. Within the video, the person standing in the middle of the city painting the pyramid represents this. It should have more to do with the paintbrush in your own hand, the color that you choose, where you would land in a pyramid that has no bottom or top. The people in the video were portrayed how they wanted to be portrayed. I wanted to show humanity—strip everything else.” We are proud to premiere the clip today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it below.

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MP3 At 3PM: Mind Brains

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Athens, Ga., experimental/psychedelic group Mind Brains may leave you asking why your mind/brain has turned to mush. They plan to release their self-titled album in January, but for now, check out “Body Horror.” The track is layered with synths and a driving beat to keep it all together as they take you on a journey through the mind(brain). We are proud to premiere “Body Horror” today on magnetmagazine.com. Download it below.

“Body Horror” (download):

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Best Of 2014: Q&A With Ex Hex

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If we’re handing out superlatives, we have to award Best Phone Skills to Mary Timony for the rather hilarious way she started our Monday morning conversation. It was a simple hello delivered with quizzical sitcom-quality timing that surprises both of us—maybe it means the Suzi Quatro/Leather Tuscadero references we’d used to describe her new band, Ex Hex, and debut album Rips weren’t entirely off base. And just like the Happy Days rock ‘n’ roller, Rips is just too cool, one of the raging guitar-pop albums that record nerds dream about. “It has been kind of insane,” says Timony. “We just got back from tour, and we’ve been extremely busy. Just a lot of driving and playing—a crazy tour. But it’s good to be back.”

The band is indeed busy—24 hours after we talk, Timony and Co. will be making their Late Night With Seth Meyers debut—and shows no sign of slowing down. Since its first set of shows in the spring (yes, you read that right: first tour ever), Ex Hex has dropped two videos of slapstick alt-rock shenanigans, wooed critics just about everywhere and wowed fans across the country. For real, when MAGNET saw Ex Hex open for Rocket From The Crypt, the ladies had barely unplugged before we were sending out “BEST. BAND. EVER” texts to every person we know. Needless to say, deciding on our album of the year was a no-brainer. We caught up with Timony to chat about skipping work to go see metal shows, public-access TV and punk-rock pastry chefs. —Sean L. Maloney

What was the best show you played in 2014?
It was in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago on this tour. There were a few reasons it was a crazy night. I mean, the night was crazy, which is why it was my favorite, but it was actually a really good show. You could tell people had heard the record, and people were smiling and dancing, which was really fun. I love playing the 7th Street Entry because that’s where parts of Purple Rain were filmed. So, that’s always fun. There were like four shows … there was a huge hip-hop show—I don’t remember who it was—playing down the street, the Black Keys were playing across the street at some convention-center thing, and at this other club Pentagram was playing, which was really weird. So, we end up playing a really fun show. We get offstage and go to the merch stand, and this girl came up to us. Somehow she had a connection to the Pentagram show. So, we abandon the merch stand—which is very irresponsible [laughs], not a responsible thing to do—but we left it all there to see Pentagram. And it was fucking awesome. It was the best show—Pentagram is so cool and I love all those songs. So, we just walked down the street and saw Pentagram. I feel bad if anybody wanted a record—I’m sorry. We just left a sign that said “Back in 10 minutes.” [Laughs] That was definitely my favorite.

Who was your favorite band of 2014?
I knew we were going to do this interview, so I made a list of my favorite records. It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve been listening to Ed Schrader’s Music Beat—they’re from Baltimore. I’ve heard that live it is just the best thing you’ve ever seen—I haven’t seen them, but that’s what I’ve heard. My friends played with them and were freaking out about it. I really like that record. ’m excited about this band Public Access TV; I don’t know if they really have anything out yet. Do you remember that band Be Your Own Pet? John Eatherly from that band has a new band—I know him from when he played with Eleanor Friedberger. When he was playing with Eleanor, Wild Flag was on tour with them, and somehow I got some of the demos they made in GarageBand. I think a friend sent them to me? But they are so good, and I keep listening to those demos over and over again. And he’s got a new band, and I’ve only heard a few songs online, but they’re the same songs from the demos. They’re really good. Oh, and I’m obsessed with that King Tuff record—it’s probably my favorite record of the year. I am really excited about the Slant 6 Soda Pop Rip Off reissue on Dischord. That’s probably my reissue of the year. That’s one of my favorite records, and it’s nice to know that it’s coming back, that people still love it. I know some younger people [in old-man voice] I know of some younger people [laughs] that really love that record, but they are D.C. people. It’s one of those records that it’s confusing why it’s not a bigger thing. I don’t know—I’m glad that it’s reissued because it is so fucking good.

And what was your best meal of 2014?
Do you know (Born Against/Universal Order Of Armageddon drummer) Brooks Headley? He just had a book come out (Fancy Desserts) about being a pastry chef. We got totally lucky—he hooked us up at Del Posto in New York and let us try all of this amazing food. It’s like the fanciest restaurant in New York, and he hooked us up with a huge-huge-huge mega-discount, so that was really fun. It was this really incredible Italian food, and then a bunch of his desserts that were just out of control. I mean, there was like 10 of them and they were all incredible, all these sorbets and chocolates. It was insane. They were so good.

—photo by Gene Smirnov

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