Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: ZKPR

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Chicago’s ZKPR roared onto MAGNET’s rader with previously released track “Sierra Nevada,” a song from the band’s recent album, Tall Men With Feelings. Now, it’s sharing another song, “Otter Rock Cafe,” which continues to exemplify the talent of these musicians. It has a garage-rock feel, with plenty of soul and extremely catchy chorus and guitar lines. Download “Otter Rock Cafe” below.

“Otter Rock Cafe” (download):

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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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MP3 At 3PM: Charlie Belle

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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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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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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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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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MP3 At 3PM: Fishboy

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Denton, Texas group Fishboy, which has been described as “twee-core-punk-pop-spazzo-nerd-rock,” offers a free download of “Thomas Alva Waiting,” off new concept album An Elephant. The track is indie-rock bliss with pop/punk vocals centered around strong narratives and a touch of power pop. “Thomas Alva Waiting” explodes with tasty riffs while still keeping the same mood throughout. Download it below.

“Thomas Alva Waiting” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 299: 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.

What was the first song you wrote?
It’s a pretty basic angry punk-rock song called “Conform” that has never been released, but it’s strange how its validity has been circling back over the years, getting closer and reminding me of its purpose.

Which was what?
To illuminate the pressure of being directed away from who I was becoming. By 1986, I’d left my husband, quit my job and started responding to various economic and social philosophies—including feminism and anarchism. The lyrics itemized specific comments that intended to manipulate me towards a more conventional life. We recorded it for the first album, but there wasn’t room for it.

How is it getting closer to its original purpose?
Its purpose was to amplify and rail against the experience of being a young woman who wanted to express various emotions, sentiments and ideas—and by express I mean loudly in words, music and art. I wanted my experience of being actively thwarted to be known by other young women, because that’s when things start to change; when we know that we’re not the only one experiencing some injustice or another.

Where was the concept of conforming coming from at that time?
The husband I ended up leaving and from my family. There are subtle and not-so-subtle ways of directing and distancing. When the first album came out, my mother was happy that I hadn’t used the family name on it.

So she’s not a fan, eh?
I have never understood how anyone can write angry punk-rock songs with their mom and dad cheering them on.

What are the songs on the new Mecca Normal album about?
The new album is largely about power and power exchanges with most of the lyrics coming directly out of two recently completed novels. In “The Black Dot Museum Of Political Art,” a museum curator discovers her uncanny ability to cure narcissism. In “Obliterating History—a guitar-making mystery, domination and submission in a small town garage” a powerful woman with a sexually submissive side enters into a BDSM relationship to explore trust. By complying with her version of intimacy, the man is able to get what he needs to, which involves being respected and trusted.

“20 Years/No Escape” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Chelan

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Chelan is the musical outlet of Jen Grady, a classical music teacher, and Justin Hosford, a score composer for films and television. They practice in Hosford’s studio, which is in a quiet pocket of the Mojave Desert, and now ready for the release of newest album Equal Under Pressure, due out February 17. “Pretend We Live Forever” is an electronic-fueled track with catchy vibes and soothing female vocals. Download it below.

“Pretend We Live Forever” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Moritat

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Moritat started as a group of three friends making music together. That is, until their home/studio was burglarized, and most of their stuff was stolen. By chance they found an old CD of beats that frontwomen Venus Laurel had made back in 2008, and just like that, they had new material to work on and finish. “Starry B” has strong female vocals and subtle-yet-important underlying beats and synth tracks that bring the music together as one coherent masterpiece.

“Starry B” (download):

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