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Essential New Music: Sweet Apple’s “Sing The Night In Sorrow”

Sweet Apple has always done what side projects are designed to do: provide a busman’s holiday for its members (Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin, Witch’s Dave Sweetapple) to depart from their accepted modes of expression. The unlikely aggregation follows the general blueprint of its first two albums on Sing The Night In Sorrow, banging out a glammy Big Star-meets-Urge Overkill homage to ’60s psych pop and ’70s hard rock that serves as an elemental soundtrack to songs about love in loveless times (“A Girl And A Gun,” “She Wants To Run”), alienation in a divided world (“Everybody’s Leaving,” “You Don’t Belong To Me”), urban abandonment (“Candles In The Sun”) and navigating life’s pitfalls with a flawed compass (“(My Head Is Stuck In The) Traffic”). Defying the adage about excess cooks spoiling the soup, Sweet Apple perfectly seasons the album with gorgeous, haunting vocals from Rachel Haden and Robert Pollard and contributions from Mark Lanegan and Doug Gillard. In a just world, Sing The Night In Sorrow would be a summertime hit of top-down/cranked-up proportions.

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Film At 11: Sweet Apple

Sweet Apple is an indie supergroup featuring John Petkovic, J Mascis, Tim Parnin and Dave Sweetapple. The band plays a distinct brand of sweet, sticky rock ‘n’ roll, and now the guys have a new video for “Reunion,” featuring a duet with Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard. The clip is sorta Halloween themed and quite humorous as Mascis stares blankly at young children asking for candy at his front door. Meanwhile Sweetapple steals the kids candy and skateboards away with it, but he wont get far. Check it out below.

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Film At 11: Sweet Apple

Sweet Apple, an indie super group, features J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), John Petkovic and Tim Parnin (Cobra Verde) and Dave Sweetapple (Witch). The band’s newest video, a soft, melodic acoustic track titled “Let’s Take The Same Plane,” also features rock legend Mike Watt. Check out the clip below.

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Film At 11: Sweet Apple

Sweet Apple is an indie supergroup featuring J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), John Petkovic (Cobra Verde, Death Of Samantha) Tim Parnin (Cobra Verde) and Dave Sweetapple (Witch). Sophomore LP The Golden Age Of Glitter also features guest appearances from MAGNET faves Robert Pollard and Mark Lanegan. Watch the video for album track “Boys in Her Fanclub” below.

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Best Of 2010, Guest Editors: Sweet Apple’s Tim Parnin On “The Great Lost Kinks Album”

As 2010 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.

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Parnin: The Great Lost Kinks Album is my favorite Kinks album. It was recorded at the end of the ’60s during the golden Village Green era. It was released without the band’s permission in the early ’70s, then pulled soon after. This unintentional masterpiece plays like a well-conceived album, not the scruffy, fragmented compilation that it is. I find the lyrics and overall tone to be sad, happy, poignant and hysterical all at the same time. I really love misfit anthem “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” and the vulnerable “The Way Love Used To Be.” The Great Lost Kinks Album is a total joy. I listen to it all the time. It’s the Kinks’ best record of the ’70s.

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Best Of 2010, Guest Editors: Sweet Apple’s John Petkovic On “The Wire”

As 2010 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.

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Petkovic: I’ve always found Baltimore to be one of the craziest—and most interesting—places on earth. One time, I got lost there while on tour with Cobra Verde. We asked five people for directions, and every one of them was high and out of their minds. Another time, I hit some bars in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, because John Waters got the inspiration for his weird characters there. I met a bartender who boasted about how well endowed her son was. Of course, she started tracking his “progress” when he was 14 and even had pictures to prove it. I passed out in the bar that night—and not from the photos. She made some crazy “hometown” drink that messed me up so much that I almost drove into the Washington Monument. (Yeah, they have one in Baltimore, too.) So it was no surprise when I saw HBO crime show The Wire. It’s considered one of the grittiest shows ever to hit TV, from the drugs to the weirdos to depravity to city hall. It’s a masterful epic about urban America, where lines between good and bad, black and white, blur and no one wins. And yet it’s so clear to me, because it’s Baltimore.

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Best Of 2010, Guest Editors: Sweet Apple’s John Petkovic On “Songs Of Leonard Cohen”

As 2010 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.

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Petkovic: Leonard Cohen‘s debut is one of my all-time favorite albums, and it still leaves me in awe every time I put it on. But it’s also a litmus test: If you don’t get it, then do we really have anything else to talk about? The thought has run through my head a number of times when I’ve been around people who have dismissed it as “sad” or “boring” or “depressing.” I acted upon this urge once, when I was with someone who asked me to take it off the turntable just as the record was hitting the end of side one, which is one of the greatest sides on record. I give her credit for sitting through “Master Song” (which is 5:59). But she tried to get me to take it off in the middle of “Sisters Of Mercy”—and right before side two, which opens brilliantly with “So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.” I didn’t know if that was no way to say goodbye to her, but I did anyway. She should’ve known better than to tell me to take off that record.

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Film At 11: Sweet Apple

Thanks to John Petkovic, J Mascis, Dave Sweetapple and Tim Parnin of Sweet Apple for guest editing our website all week. Be sure to check out the band’s new Love & Desperation. Here’s the video for the album’s first single, “Do You Remember.”

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Sweet Apple’s Dave Sweetapple Remembers: Jamaican Beef Patties

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.

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Sweetapple: I get asked a lot about my favorite foods: “Hey, Dave, what’s you favorite dish?” I don’t know why I get that question; it’s not like I wear T-shirts emblazoned with meat products or cakes or anything edible for that matter. For the longest time, I would kinda shrug and give some vague answer, being slightly non-committal. I mean, asking that sort of question is like talking about the weather. It just doesn’t matter, and truthfully no one really gives a shit. But then one day a couple of years ago, I realized that after years of pondering, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a dish as such, and if anything it’s more of a personal food item that one doesn’t even share with others. It was the Jamaican beef patty. Years ago, I lived in Toronto, where there is a massive Jamaican population. Jamaican bakeries are all over the place, and you can buy beef patties in many parts of the city. I got hooked. I craved. Then years later, when I started going to New York City on a regular basis, trips to the patty shops became an integral part of the visit. It was tough to not get tricked into buying the week-old soggy bright-yellow blobs in the deli case of the average Lower East Side bodega. A patty is not a patty. You have to travel to the West Indian neighborhoods to really score. Parts of Brooklyn are key spots, but there is one particular place way out in the depths of Jamaica, Queens, called Wilson West Indian Bakery. The owner is an older Jamaican dude named Ras Dougie. Nicest guy in the world. His patties are made of the freshest beef, ground to an almost creamy perfection, incorporating a mouthwatering blend of spices and Scotch bonnet peppers, all wrapped in a flakey layered crust and cooked until golden brown. The stuff of dreams.

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Sweet Apple’s John Petkovic Remembers: Undies

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.

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Petkovic: Never has so little revealed so much. Adam and Eve were the first to wear intimates, at least in our depictions of them. So it’s not like they’re the latest trend. And yet people seem afraid to talk about undies. I’ve never understood that; it makes no sense. My first attraction to undies—aesthetically, that is—came with Underoos. They made me want to take my pants off and run around the sprinkler in the backyard. My interest became more sophisticated when I saw the photography of Elmer Batters, who would shoot women in erotic attire posing in the most mundane, suburban settings, like the laundry room or the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove. The idea that you could turn the mundane into a romp was inspirational. It also made me wonder why are undies so taboo. It’s so absurd, which I discovered first-hand when I decided to go to a beach in my undies instead of a bathing suit. Someone I know well-versed in this subject said that I was “into juvenalia.” But what’s the difference between undies and a bathing suit? Really. Another time, I entered a bikini-boxing contest in a bar and stripped down to my undies. (I had to wear a bra to qualify.) It was a rough-and-tumble joint in Cleveland. At first, I thought some of the dudes were gonna kill me when I took my clothes off in front of them. They had baggy-ass wigger jeans that hung so low that you could see most of their boxer shorts. They hurled insults at me when I entered the ring to box a woman. She was half-crazy and totally violent; she wanted to kill me. But by the time the match was over, the dudes who had wanted to beat my ass sought me out to congratulate me, saying they admired that I could get in the ring in my underwear. But I didn’t feel victorious. Or that I had broken down barriers. It was like dancing around the sprinkler as a kid, that’s all. Why repress having fun?

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