Category Archives: MIX TAPE

Wes Youssi Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

We previously brought Wes Youssi to your attention with “Down Low.” Today we’re bringing the singer/songwriter back into your orbit with his specially curated new MAGNET mix tape. Listen and read along below, and be sure to check out Down Low in January.

George Jones & Tammy Wynette, “Livin’ On Easy Street”
Country is so many things, but it often comes back to similar subject matter. Love, loss and hitting the bottle too hard. One of the things I’ve always loved about this particular tune is that the focus is on a relatively new topic—“welfare”—and though I’m sure the songwriter was in a tough spot, the song makes you look at all the bright spots and humor of having to sacrifice for your art. “Living’ On Easy Street” always brightens my day, and I like that it’s a song that addresses circumstances in the present time and with symbology every listener is familiar with.

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The Kinks, “Strange Effect”
Everybody has energy, but some people trigger a powerful, almost primitive attraction for us that can be hard to control. While it happens instantly, the feeling is very slow, almost like a drug. I have always loved the way this song conceptually ties that emotional attraction into such a simple tune.

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Marty Stuart, “Paint The Town”
The thing I love about country music is that it’s deceptively simple. Often times our human emotions feel complex, but the circumstances are relatively simple when taking a step back to analyze. “Paint The Town” is a term from an older generation, but Marty lets us know how it feels today and why it will always be relevant to a man’s heart. The significance to Marty’s artistry lies in a firm foundation of the history of country music, and at the same time bringing new artistry, emotion and skill to people today. That makes his music extremely important to me. It’s like a lighthouse for those making new music today.

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Doug Sahm, “Anybody Going To San Antone”
I have always loved lo-fi music because it feels more “raw.” By no means is Doug’s music considered lo-fi, but for whatever reason, his expression, vocal and presentation always brings the energy of a real honky-tonk bar to the stage. This song was made popular by Charlie Pride, and that version is amazing. What I love is that Doug was able to bring something different and carve out a fresh perspective within the same storyline. As a songwriter and performer, I love examples like this to remind me what is possible with a tune when it connects with an artist. I can feel the Texas air blowing when he describes the “wind whipping down the neck of my shirt.”

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KORT, “She Came Around Last Night”
For me, this duo is the modern version of a what I believe the music industry used to produce. A combination of artistry, matched with thoughtful songs, and the experience and street time to earn their stripes. There is no pretense on this album, no nudie suits, just heartfelt stories sung by artists I can believe in. I keep this near at all times.

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Harry Nilsson, “Let The Good Times Roll”
Nilsson Schmilsson is an album everyone should own. The songs are great, the production level is best of class, and you get warm feelings after you finish listening. “Let The Good Times Roll” is just pure fun, and when Harry is singing you get a sense by his expression that he is long overdue for some. Simple songs can be undone, when the artist isn’t present in the emotion, so I love this song as an example of how great it can be when someone is in perfect synergy with the music.

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Mississippi Fred McDowell, “White Lighting”
Mississippi Fred McDowell is country blues for me. His songs are straight from the heart. His playing is rhythmic, alive and expressive. But to the ear it seems simple (and gives your mind space). I feel like we’re given the real story about why one washes their troubled heart with “White Lighting.” No cute tales of making whiskey in the woods here, or quick hooks. This is the dark side of a heavy mind, and it’s both chilling and beautiful.

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John Trudell, “Devil And Me”
I like artists who begin with the words and say what they truly feel. When they get backed into a corner in life, it’s powerful to feel with them through their words. John Trudell is an example how much power words can have. “Devil And Me” gets me lost, wandering and in and out of consciousness much like I feel the songwriter is. I like being in the same place or sharing the same mind for four minutes. This song is where mainstream music cannot go. I find the words to be a genuinely refreshing expression of one’s life in this country.

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Reigning Sound, “As Long”
I first heard about Greg Cartwright from a double-disc album called Root Damage. It’s one of those “everyone must own this” albums. Before it was trendy, these guys were down in Memphis writing and singing genuine country and roots songs that feel like something Alan Lomax would have captured. I look for the heart in things, and there’s no shortage of it in this song. It’s raw, it’s straightforward, and for me it’s our country music.

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Soledad Brothers, “Mysterious Ways”
When I lived in Detroit I went to see this band every time they played locally. To be in the same room with them was so good that it was practically spiritual. When I bought the album I quickly fell under the influence of “Mysterious Ways” for its tempo, blazing slide guitar and restless vocals. It captures those days where modern industrial life goes into slow motion, and you fall out of time, aware of both past and present histories at the same time. You get the feeling that you might get stuck forever, but the song rocks you back into cognition.

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This Way To The Egress Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

This Way To The Egress just released Onward! Up A Frightening Creek. While you’re getting acquainted with that record, it might behoove you to check out this mix tape, curated by Sarah Shown and Taylor Galassi, to get to know the band on an even deeper level. Read and listen/watch below.

Jain, “Makeba”
Sarah: I love the fact that this really fresh, new, young artist has found a way to pay homage to such a monumental figure in music and civil rights. I like when I see an artist play a role in social consciousness, honoring musicians that have paved the way before us. Miriam Makeba has always been a woman I look up to and admire, and I think this was a great homage piece. I hope it introduces her to some folks who aren’t familiar. It is also a really great dance song.
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The Dead Brothers, “St Dympha”
Sarah: This song is a bit of a deliverance from the Dead Brothers’ typical haunting, death country vibe. Although I love their typical stuff, this song strikes a nerve. The harmonies and guitar parts are, at times, reminiscent of Paul Simon—whom I love. It is a spiritual song done by a band who usually embraces the dark side of humanity. It’s super pretty.
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Honus Honus, “Heavy Jesus”
Sarah: This song is super fun. Honus, in whatever incarnation he is releasing music under, always seems to blur the lines between completely bizarre and super catchy, poppy earworms. This song is a complete earworm, but I felt like I could totally relate. The only religion I have ever known is rock ‘n’ roll.
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Duke Ellington, “Creole Love Call”
Sarah: If I only had one song I could listen to the rest of my life, this would be it. It encompasses the absolute longing for life, love and tranquility that was present during that time. Musicianship of this era was seriously epic; there has been nothing like it since. Adelaide Hall’s vocals are everything, and the screaming clarinets and sopranos pull the last of my heart strings.
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Tom Waits “Way Down In A Hole”
Sarah: Tom Waits is by far my favorite artist and storyteller of my time. A friend of mine said to me once, “There are two people in this world Sarah: people who get Tom Waits and people who don’t.” Tom does such a good job in this song of reflecting intentions of the church—the fear of the devil with which many religions oppress folks—but in a completely sexy way. This song is like a whiskey on the rocks in a dank, smoking bar. It is neon lights and seedy underbellies.
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Spike Jones & His City Slickers, “You Always Hurt The One You Love”
Taylor: When I was growing up, my grandfather used to play old Spike Jones records on his stereo. Spike Jones was a jazz musician who decided he wanted to start doing renditions of old classics with car horns, gun shots, whistles, anvils, cow bells and the like. That morphed into Spike Jones & His City Slickers. They toured the world spreading their satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. They also composed songs based on the current events at the time, which was in the 1940s.
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Vitas, “Opera #2”
Taylor: Vitas is a Latvian singer who sings in Russian and Ukrainian. He is known for his unique head voice and boasts a five-octave vocal range. His live show consists of props, lavish costumes and dancers. I really enjoy this artist’s music. It’s completely different than any of the mainstream music you might hear, even in other countries. His popularity continues to grow. He has not yet toured in the U.S., but I’m sure that will change in the future. Give a listen to his other works, and check out his other videos. You won’t be sorry!
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Ford Theatre Reunion, “Road Dogs”
Taylor: Love this band and love this song. The chord progression, lyrics and musical changes just grab me. We know this band personally, and they’re out there doing it DIY style. Their live show is insanely energetic, complete with witty stage banter and unexpected musical time signatures. They’ve got a growing fan base in the Lexington, K.Y., music scene, and their sludgefunk circuspunk music is something you need to hear.
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Death, “Scavenger Of Human Sorrow”
Taylor: Whenever people ask me about my favorite music, I have to mention my death-metal roots from when I was younger. I was a drummer for many death-metal bands in my teens and early 20s, so I’ve still got that soft spot for that style. Death was a band that was lead by the late Chuck Schuldiner, “The Godfather Of Deathmetal.” His music changed the way people looked at death metal. These were not your run-of-the-mill guitar riffs. He utilized music theory and polyrhythmic styles that just weren’t being done as much at the time. I still listen to Death, and I continue to be impressed with the onslaught of guitar riffs, drumming skills and overall orchestrations of all the musicians involved.
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Squirrel Nut Zippers, “Ghost Of Stephen Foster”
Taylor: I’m pretty much in love with this band. They have been going on and off since 1993. A swing revival band formed by Jimbo Mathus. This song is filled with contagious melodies and gets you up out of your chair. You’re robbing yourself if you don’t go out and catch their live show!
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My Little Hum Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

My Little Hum recently put out Remembering Houses, if you’ll recall from when we brought you “Rise Over Run.” Well, it turns out these musicians like music! Who would’ve expected that? Anyway, you can check out a few of their favorite songs below—after you’re finished reading and listening, make sure you check out Remembering Houses. Says the duo of Dan and Yuri Jewett, “When we’re not making music, we like to listen to it. Here we trade off picks that would be perfect at any late-night DJ session. This MAGNET mix tape celebrates that love of music.”

Crowded House, “Four Seasons In One Day”
Yuri: Those Finn brothers really know how to craft a good song. This one resonates right now as it eerily reflects what our country is experiencing today, even though it was written 25 years ago.
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The Beatles, “Hey Bulldog”
Dan: Well, seeing Paul and John sharing a mic and a lyric sheet and just delivering is always thrilling. This song rocks and shows the Beatles just having a ton of fun. And who else has found a way to work the word “wigwam” into their lyrics? Hoooowwwllllll.
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The Sundays, “Summertime”
Yuri: This song makes us instantly happy when we listen to it. A few people have mentioned that we have a little bit of this band’s vibe in our own music, and that’s a huge compliment. We play this pretty much every year when summer rolls around.
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Mark Eitzel, “The Last Ten Years”
Dan: We have this on vinyl and love putting it on during home DJ sessions. It’s moody and really exceptional, and some of the lyric concepts really stay with you. “I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to waste half an hour.”
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Tricky, “Hell Is Round The Corner”
Yuri: I used to work as a bartender in San Francisco and every time the DJ played this song, I would witness a room full of strangers collectively shift into a sexy, groovy mood. I’ve always admired this song for its ability to cast a spell like that.
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Talk Talk, “Life’s What You Make It”
Dan: I remembered seeing these guys on MTV back in the day but didn’t really pay a lot of attention then. After reading Phill Brown’s account of working with them (“We don’t have any songs ready, how about we just start recording drums”) in his book Are We Still Rolling? I just had to hear more. So glad I did. This song is a good place to start.
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R.E.M., “Wolves, Lower”
Yuri: The first we heard from an amazing band that not only wrote great songs but created an entire genre of music. When I was a nerd in high school wrapping my head around global problems and what “little me” could do to change things, R.E.M. was constantly streaming through my headphones. I’m very thankful for that!
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Robyn Hitchcock, “I Want To Tell You About What I Want”
Dan: We’ll take Robyn any way we can get him: acoustic, electric, talking about buckets. But it was good to see him back with a full-band sound this year. This song will help you understand what Robyn wants.
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Patti Smith, “Birdland”
Yuri: The reason I got into music is because I like to write words. There are so many great Patti Smith songs worth mentioning, but this one showcases how transcendent words can become when you put them to music. She is just so untouchable here.
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The Orange Peels, “Bicentennial Bridge”
Dan: Our favorite band, our favorite people. A few of them—really all of them—helped us make our album. When I first heard this song, I absolutely loved it. It has an indisputable forward momentum and grabs you from the opening guitar riff. What I hadn’t realized was that it was about jumping off those crazy little bridges in aquatic Foster City —where Allen Clapp and I both grew up. Once I learned that, I loved it even more.
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MAGNET Feedback With Joseph Arthur (The Director’s Cut)

Each issue, we ask a different artist who we feel has good, insightful taste in music for their feedback on 10 or so songs we choose for them. It’s a generally straightforward, two-page feature that we feel people enjoy reading. We asked longtime MAGNET fave Joseph Arthur to do one for issue #143, and below is what he sent in. It’s a really good piece, but in order to make it fit into our print format, we had to do quite a bit of editing on it before we ran it. Needless to say, Mr. Arthur liked his original version better than our edited version, which ran on the site earlier today. (Check it out here.) So we told him we’d run this original piece online, as well as the very cool piece of art he supplied with it. Consider this The Joseph Arthur Director’s Cut. Enjoy.

Brian Eno’s tin foil hat or how I tried and failed to write a piece for Magnet by Joseph Arthur
My manager said “hey I need that piece for Magnet by monday. ” we were having our Friday wrap up conversation, you know the one, where you are both looking at the weekend and so everything is a little lighter. Life doesn’t seem impossible at all. This was no Tuesday. It was Friday. But you have to be careful in Friday’s because that free and easy feeling can lead you to say yes to something you perhaps should say no too. In other words your ass may write a check that your dreams can’t cash? How does that phrase go? I’m pretty sure that’s not it and I’m gonna pretend it’s 1979 and so there’s no google. I’m gonna go with God on this one.
I said to my manager
In that overly confident and quick to get off the phone way. ” what is it ?”
“Oh I sent you the email”
“Oh cool ” I went on “Ill knock it out, as long as I don’t have to write a Shakespearean play I can’t imagine having a problem with what ever it is”
We were loose it was Friday
I quipped
” well actually even if it was a Shakespearean play I could probably do that” my Friday over confidence had gotten its grips on me to near pathology at that point. You know the feeling. Monday seems like a million years away. Almost like it will never be monday again.
Here’s what an outbreak of the disease looks like. You go into a kind of zone in which if anyone asks you to anything at that time which will be do monday you will without even understanding why just automatically say yes.
So sure you are that monday is practically years away. But here’s the thing. It’s not. It never is. So we set up an organization called OCFA
The only requirement is a desire to stop making proclamations on Friday afternoons about things you’ll need to deal with monday morning.

But I missed my meetings. I said yes to a monday obligation right in the zone of the Friday eternities
The Friday eternities are what we aim to be sober from. The Friday eternities are similar to what alcohol would be in AA. I e “the feeling that Friday will never ever end and if it does it will just be Saturday forever. And if god forbid that ended well then Sunday is just fine for eternity. But when monday does come and you come too with all the fog of your grand proclamations of achievement. The activity around your head like a cartoon mix up with keystone cops a mouse in a suit and a dandelion tree that two orphans are trying to light ablaze with a wet pack of Ohio blue tips.

It was monday morning the guilt shame and remorse for knowing I had relapsed with a bad case of the Friday eternities
And remembered the good natured and affable conversation with my manager and how I had boldly said yes to lengthy writing assignment sight unseen and it was do today!
The voices flooded in “why did you say yes!?”
The toxic shame like an expert archer on high peek taking aim to the center of my skull as I opened the email of what I had said yes too.

And here’s what came up

This piece will run online and in the actual print publication. Can you work on this, this week?

Here’s a sample of what they would like you to write about.. The intro should be about Redemption’s Son 15th. After that, it’s your thoughts on these 10 or 15 tracks:
(Note – Magnet picked all of these tracks)


Here’s 15. We only need 10, but we can run the rest online if he wants to do all of them. They are alphabetical, but he can do in any order he wants.

The Afghan Whigs “Gentleman”
The Band “The Weight”
The Black Keys “Tighten Up”
Blondie “Rapture”
Coldplay “Viva La Vida”
Bob Dylan “As Time Goes By”
Brian Eno “Needles In The Camel’s Eye”
Genesis “Back In N.Y.C.”
George Harrison “Isn’t It A Pity”
Diana Krall “Glad Rag Doll”
The National “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Liz Phair “Never Said”
Lou Reed “Romeo Had Juliette”
The Rolling Stones “Rocks Off”
Suzanne Vega “Tom’s Diner”

Well at least I can do any order I want.
My palms got sweaty. My heart raced. A lifetime flashed before me. I got a case of the hiccups and peed my pants a little. I looked over the list
Oh no.. please don’t say it’s one of these things where I gotta say how much I like this or that. Oh no!

I mean I like The Weight as much as the next guy but how am I gonna come up with a paragraph on it?

My head started scrambling.
All I could think about is what it must have been like to hang with Martin Scorsese and Robby Robertson when they famously lived in a blacked out party house together where they were always gaked up. And how that’s when Marty made Raging Bull and shit like that. That I could try and write a paragraph about but how am I gonna say something about The Weight?
” I remember that time I sparked up a doobie and it was full moon and it was our summer of love and there was like all these butterflies in the parking lot and we had just dropped acid and it was coming on and we were out in your t windowed corvette. You had the radio on and the dj on the classic rock station we alway listened too said and now this one from Robbie Robertson and The Band. And then that song. That song that’s like everybody’s favorite song at one point or another. Transcends race. Transcends time. A great song has a spirit in it. This one is so identifiable. And profound that it almost feels wrong to speak on it. But it does make me want to take acid and drive around in a vette with tbird windows.

Normally I might call Greg in a time like this. He’s always got a good take on things. Funny and dark and then we just wind up talking about girls we are both in love with on Instagram. (True Hollywood confessions.
What would I write about Greg? I’ve said it all. We’ve laughed we’ve cried.
I remember Gentleman came out and I had it on cd and listened to it on my cd walk man. There were beneficial limitations back then. You know how sometimes you lock a certain memory with a certain album. That album always reminds me of a flight I took because I discovered on a flight and listened to it the whole trip. That was the good thing about not having endless options. Made you focus on one thing. I focused on Greg’s voice and lyrics. I was just starting to write songs at that point so I listened with intention all the time then. I was still forming my own musical identity. If I had to put my feeling about what Greg does in a quip designed for bathroom fodder. It would be this. He’s original. And he’s rock n roll. So. Nuff said.
Ps. Those two things are rarer than diamonds who are also a girls best friend. Plus he’s from Ohio. Which I notice quite a few folks in this list are
Suddenly in my writing assignment I feel like I’m going deep in. Like Magnet has me searching for my inner captain Kurtz “never get out of the boat. Absolutely god damn right! Never get out of the boat. Read this next part in Martin Sheens voice like apocalypse now. “Who put this list together, where did they get their intel. For years this Joseph Arthur was the model soldier of rock and then one day he wrote a song about how there was no song. was no rock. There was no man. There’s was no song. He just blew a gasket. He’s not coming back. I think he’s waiting for me deep in that jungle he’s waiting for me to come make sure there will never be another monday again. Or another case of the Friday eternities. ”

I could tell Magnet was leading me straight into my very own apocalypse now. In which I am both Kurtz and (side note what is the Martin Sheen characters name? Remember this is a period piece so google is not an option) anyway the Martin Sheen character. Side note to the side note. Which song on this list Magnet gave me would be Charlie sheens favorite? That’s a fun article. I could write an article on that.

Anyway I wanted to get out of the boat even tho the voices kept repeating. Never get out of the boat absolutely goddam right. Never get out of the boat.

I texted my manager
I was breaking out all over the place with a case of the PMDM’s

It went like this.
“Hey Keith happy monday. Gimme a shout on that magnet thing. It’s a real pain to write about songs. Can you imagine writing a paragraph about a Coldplay song? Or even about one you like? Think of the adage talking about music is like dancing about architecture. Don’t want to leave you out in the lurch and if you think it’s an important thing to do I will dig deep but doing it will be well… just imagine having to write a paragraph about the band song ‘the weight’ I mean.
Where do you even begin? I remember the first time I heard “the weight’ it was a real good song. The band are amazing. See what I mean? ”

He didn’t and still hasn’t responded. Cheap joke on Coldplay. I don’t actually feel that way. Everyone knows Chris can make melody his bitch in ways that are unique to him and let’s face it endlessly appealing. Besides no ones ever gonna be cooler than The Replacements anyway so who really cares?
It’s the kind of joke you make on a defeated monday
A day when the PMDMs are really getting the better of you. I guess the price of ubiquitous fame and fortune is that you become a punching bag for people in moments like these. I’d take that trade. Haha.
Coldplay should use this on their next ad campaign
“Coldplay! a band that’s easy to slag on a monday
But impossible not to fink are ace on a Friday! ”

Or Coldplay
the band most people hate on monday but oddly love the fuck out of on Saturday night.
Hell that should be the name of their next record. You’re welcome Chris.

My manager never got back to me so I decided to take a few bong hits and go skateboard. I ride my longboard along the promenade in brooklyn over looking the whole of manhattan. From Redhook to dumbo and back again. It’s like heaven in the spring. Always helps me get ideas. So I rip the bong a few times and then grab my phone and my board and my keys. I notice a news alert on my phone. There was a story about certain unnamed news agencies were getting paid laundered money from china to pay off some Russian ambassador who played pranks on the line Chief Justice and gold handed prophet son and sergeant of mexico. The piece went on to say mind control directives were placed in specifically three songs. (And here’s what got my attention). They were Tighten up by the black keys. Rupture by blondie) and isn’t it a pity by george Harrison. I felt a shiver run up my spine. Wait a minute!? What the hell is going on here?! I Dug out the songlist from magnet and just as I had thought. Those three songs were all on my list. I suddenly started connecting dots. Things weren’t what they seemed. Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddam right. But that was a joke. I had been out of the boat for a long time. I’m not sure there was even a boat at all. For some reason I had the KISS song black diamond in my head. But not their own version. The version that’s on Let It Be by The Replacements. Neither of those bands were even on the list. Which yes I was free to alphabetize but I couldn’t just talk about anyband I want all Willie nilly. There had to be some measure of control in this piece. I looked long and hard at myself in that jungle when another Replacements Song came thru my mind. Unsatisfied. But they aren’t on your list so why won’t this song leave me be?
“Look me in the eye and tell me that I’m satisfied are you satisfied.” Or however it goes. What’s with Minneapolis and the best songwriters in history? Dylan and Westerberg
Dylan’s on the list but Westerbergs not hmm. Pieces are adding up. Things people said. Fragments I had forgotten about. I started picking up things in the street and putting together a cap made out of tin foil. But JUST then a song started blaring as if the tin foil hat had been a finely adjusted radio antenna to only one song and it was screaming now as if it was coming from manhattan itself. Like the buildings were all signing it to me all at once. And it was “needles in the camels eye.”
I love weird rock songs by English geniuses. And this is one of the best. Why is the city singing this one. He’s on the list. I guess it triggered something. Now the Empire State Building is swaying back and forth to the beat. I’m frazzled at this point the way a fighter is who is two rounds beat already but just won’t stay down.
I gotta get out of this.
Need to write my manager and tell him I just can’t think of a creative way to write this piece. “Tell them I said sorry Keith”
Still waiting for a response.

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Flagship Romance Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Flagship Romance just released new album Tales From the Self-Help Section, but the duo won’t allow the music to stop. Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson have been nice enough to put together a mix tape of songs they love, and we’re excited to share it with you. Read and listen/watch below, and make sure you check out “Growing Up So Fast” courtesy of MAGNET and Tales From The Self-Help Section when you’re done.

Tom Petty, “Crawling Back To You”
Fischer: There was a solid handful of years where all I listened to was Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. It started with his classics, but the obsession really kicked in when I started digging deeper into his album cuts. This particular song off Wildflowers gives me goosebumps to this day. While a lot of his lyrics are wrapped in mysterious imagery, the third verse gave me a rare glimpse into the inner workings of his mind. It was one of the first times an artist I truly admired transparently presented anxiety in the form of a lyric (“I’m so tired of being tired/As sure as night will follow day/Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”).
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Candy Butchers, “Hang On Mike”
Fischer: While our new album lyrically centers around battles with anxiety and depression, it is not the first to take on that topic. Mike Viola’s ability to take his heavy, personal diatribes and marinate them into catchy, poppy, uplifting compositions was a huge inspiration for us.
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Jay Buchanan, “Internal Dialogue”
Jackson: Jay Buchanan, currently the lead singer of the Rival Sons, is hands-down one of our favorite singers and songwriters. We both fell in love with his solo album just before we met. In fact, we were separately turned on to his music by the same mutual friend who introduced us. This song is a beautiful reminder that every day and moment are sacred. We dare you not to be totally blown away by Jay’s vocals on this track. If you end up falling head over heels for this dude, shoot us a message and we’ll send you the unreleased album that this track is on (we have his permission).
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Superdrag, ”I’m Expanding My Mind”
Fischer: John Davis of Superdrag is one of my favorite writers who I’ve worked with. We met in Nashville, and I was immediately inspired by his story of overcoming his own battles with addiction and depression. That, along with his seemingly effortless writing style, really resonated with me. This song was on constant repeat in May 2012. I vividly remember walking around the streets of Philadelphia jamming the absolute crap out of this bombastic tune.
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Max Gomez, “Rule The World”
Jackson: We were introduced to Max Gomez’s music through our good friend and producer, Lee Miles. This song never fails to give us chills. Max’s unique vocal tone and the imagery he conveys in this tune is bound to uplift you.
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Darlingside, “The Ancestor”
Jackson: We met the guys in Darlingside at the international Folk Alliance conference two years ago. Before we had even heard them sing, we knew we were going to love them because of their infectious energy and sense of humor. We weren’t prepared for their incredible vocal blend. We love this song, but love the video even more! I can’t even think about this video without happy tears forming in my eyes.
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Bright Eyes, “First Day Of My Life”
Fischer: Our “first dance” song at our wedding. Enough said.
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Ryanhood, “Welcome You Into My Head”
Fischer: Ryanhood, or as we affectionately call them “Flagship Bromance,” are some of our favorite peeps in the world. We would see each others’ band name in many of the listening rooms and house concerts we would perform in. We finally got to meet each other in person at the international Folk Alliance conference in 2016. We love them and know you will, too.
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Megan Slankard, “Diving In”
Jackson: This girl. Dude. She can sing. We love anytime we get to cross paths with Megan and the inevitable sore ab muscles we have afterward from laughing with her. This song hits hard, especially that third verse. Check it!
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Half Moon Run, “Sun Leads Me On”
Jackson: We opened for Half Moon Run in 2012 in our hometown. It was a weekday crowd, and a lot of our friends apologized in advance saying that they would have to leave after our set and couldn’t stay for Half Moon Run. We encouraged them to stay for at least one song, and once they started, no one left until the end. These guys are that good. On top of their talent, they have hearts of gold. Now they are selling out large venues all over the world, and we couldn’t be happier for them. This is our current favorite of theirs.
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Whetherman Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Nicholas Williams of indie-folk act Whetherman has graced our MP3 At 3PM section a few times, and now he’s trying his hand at making us a mix tape. Since you are hopefully acquainted with Whetherman’s This Land by now, check out some of the tracks that inspired it.

Father John Misty, “Bored In The USA”
This song both musically and lyrically has moved me since I first started listening to this album. He talks about everything that’s wrong with this country. Hell, I’m bored in the USA, too. If you haven’t taken a trip overseas to countries in Europe, who have been at this for hundreds more years than us, you’ll realize that our country is like a spoiled popular teenager, showing off and pouting because we don’t get our way. I’m a huge fan of his explicit, say-it-like-you-mean-it style of prose.
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Hozier, “Cherry Wine”
When I first heard this song, I fell in love with the Irish-charmed melody on both the soft fingerpicking guitar and in his rustic, soulful voice, still coming through with shades of traditional songs from many years ago. The way he generates imagery with his often graphic tone makes for some of the most beautiful lyric writing I’ve ever heard. That sort of walking-a-fine-line-between-heaven-and-hell kind of beautiful, if it ever existed.
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Joe Purdy, “Children Of Privilege”
This is my guy. To come from the place he is in this song is the kind of conviction all of us should have. He recognizes privilege as having a good mother and father who teach you how you are to treat others, not coming from wealth or the like. It is also a call to those who are “born with white skin” like myself to stop putting on the charade of pretending like we know real suffering compared to minorities in this country. It may as well have been recorded back in the same time as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, though it’s exemplary of how he is able to dig into the past with his musical tone and provide insight on how to be a good human being in the world today.
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Honeysuckle, “Skincolor”
Though they are some of my friends, I’ve never understood how these three were able to write a song that has the depths of a tune like “Suite Judy Blue Eyes.” But they did it in their own way with this one, and the different currents of feels I get when I listen to this song are a mix of nostalgia, being in the present moment and being hopeful for the future—though lyrically the song has nothing to do with that. Not to mention, they use a word so beautifully that I’ve never heard used before in song or in the world: ”simulacrum.”
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Rising Appalachia, “Novels Of Acquaintance”
This is the kind of song that makes me want to float down a river on a canoe or a tube, smiling with someone I love and observing the beauty of the surroundings. There aren’t many songs that clear my head from criticism, reflection and create a space of mindful consciousness of where I am, but this is certainly one of them.
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Screamfeeder Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Screamfeeder just released Pop Guilt earlier this year. We previously made sure you heard first single “All Over it Again,” and now we’re bringing you a new mix tape from the Brisbane veterans. Check out these picks from Kellie Lloyd and Tim Steward.

Grouper, “I’m Clean Now”
Lloyd: I have so much respect for people who can make super quiet, really intimate and restrained music like this. I can’t find restraint like this; get me on a guitar and I want to play it with distortion and wah-wah pedal. This is so dreamy, so pretty with an edge of danger and sadness. The video is perfect with it, too. Video

Camp Cope, “Done”
Lloyd: The revolution is here. Where are you? Video

Moreton, “The Water”
Lloyd: This swirling, melancholic song flies close to the ground but soars all the same. It’s sparse, with this mesmerizing slow groove, Georgia Potter’s voice a gentle touch. I just love this so much. The video, too; it’s so engrossing. “I can dig my way out of here if I want to/I can run my own race if I’ve already lost.”  Video

Gareth Liddiard, “Strange Tourist”
Lloyd: This song defies traditional structure and pushes the boundaries of songwriting into the most sublime place. It’s like a bastard Nick Cave song, strung out, epic and biblical in proportions. I often listen to this as I drive between Toowoomba and Brisbane from visiting my home town. Gareth’s solo album creates all sorts of images in my mind. How does he write songs like this? It’s dark magic. Video

Headland, “Remain On Stop”
Lloyd: You may have heard of Joel Silbersher from the Australian band GOD, Murray Patterson who plays with Tex Perkins in the Dark Horses and Skritch from Brisbane’s Gota Cola and Mary Trembles. You may not have heard of this project though, and it’s music set as the soundtrack to 16mm film footage of early Byron Bay and Lennox Head surfers. It’s a beautiful historic document and just beautiful to watch. The music is gorgeous laid-back surf/Americana. If you’re a fan of Califone, you’ll love this. Video

In Each Hand A Cutlass, “Sartori 101”
Steward: I usually avoid instrumental navel-gazing bands like the plague, but this Singaporean band actually transcends the “prog” genre and combines enough smart rock and pop hooks to make it a really rewarding listen. No one song represents the album, The Kraken, as a whole, so if you’re going for a long drive, do yourself a favour. Video

Worst Party Ever, “Kicking Myself In The Face”
Steward: You know those bands that make you go, “Ah fuck that’s why I love music—that’s what writing songs should be about” and remind you that all your minor 7ths and songs with more than three parts are a waste of time and writing and performing a song should be a simple expression of joy. Lo-fi punks from Florida. Video

Ben Ely, “Goodbye Machine”
Steward: Another voice reminding you why simplicity is so great. This level of purity is so hard to achieve. Brisbane guy Ben has distilled his thoughts down to the bare bones and still managed to make it lush and deep. It’s totally captivating. Video

Kill Dirty Youth, “Pay The Man”
Steward: These Melbourne punks are playing up to all the clichés of the scene with tongue firmly in cheek, but they’re actually the sweetest most genuine punk lifers and music-lovers I’ve met in a long time, total disciples to the cause. Like all Nirvana’s most atonal moments wrapped into every song. Super young, they get better with every release and every gig. Video

TV Haze, “Laundry Day”
Steward: These guys’ melodies are right out of the ballpark. They sound like Neil Young fronting Swervedriver. Flag flyers for noisy dirty pop. I love them. C’mon, feel the noise. Video

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Beth // James Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Beth // James is riding high on the coattails of its recently released EP All In Life, which we’ve told you about before. The Austin folk duo put together a mix tape for you all to enjoy. Check it out below and be sure to queue up All In Life after it’s over.

Ari Hest, “Something To Look Forward To”
This song is completely gorgeous and one of our all-time favorites. When we first heard it, it was constantly on repeat on long car rides. Ari’s voice is delicate and desperate, and when the string section comes in, good luck not crying. This vocal performance is honestly one of the best we’ve ever heard. Don’t sleep on Ari Hest. Video

S. Carey, “Alpenglow”
S. Carey is Justin Vernon’s right-hand man. You can hear the Bon Iver influence right away in his music. His sense of harmony and lyrics really is something truly captivating. We were lucky enough to see him at a house concert at home in Austin, and that show was a real source of inspiration during the months we were writing our EP. Video

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson”
The album Raising Sand had a huge impact on us starting Beth // James. These two legends bring untouched musicianship and the most swag a duo has ever brought on this record. “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson” reminds us of going to hear shows at places like the Continental Club in Austin. You can feel the dimly-lit bar and people dancing their ambitions away while listening to this song. We can’t think of an album with a better vibe than Raising Sand, and we hope they’ll grace us with a sequel someday. Video

Blake Mills, “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me”
Blake Mills is truly a master of guitar. You can see him on YouTube playing duo with Bill Frisell, and if Bill Frisell calls you to play tunes with him, you really have something going on. But not only is Blake a wizard at his instrument, he’s also a fantastic singer and songwriter. “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me” is by far our favorite track on his newest album, Heigh Ho. This cut could’ve been a radio hit, but he decided to drop the F-bomb in the bridge. Respect to Blake for being true to himself and not giving an F-bomb about anything. Video

Relick, “Another Life”
We had to show some love to some of our best friends from Denton, Texas, in this mix tape. Relick is a new-age Beatles with a ’90s rock influence. Fronted by Amber Nicholson’s sticky sweet vocals and Matt Hibbard’s swoon-worthy guitar, Relick’s arrangements are like an indie-rock symphony. “Another Life” is the perfect song to blast with the windows down, driving around town. If you have a chance, go out and buy Relick’s debut EP Twin House. They are one of these bands that you brag to your hipster friends about discovering when they make it big. Video

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The Cover Letter Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

The Cover Letter has previously graced the MAGNET website with songs from the recently released Cities Made Of Sand. The band has been nice enough to put together a set of songs they love just so you can get to know them a little better. Listen and read below.

Pink Floyd, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Trevor: I really enjoy David Gilmour’s guitar playing and the finely tuned, artistic approach to the recording composition. Video

Ray LaMontagne, “For The Summer”
Trevor: I love Ray’s voice, and in this song particularly, his note changes sound like butter to me. I love how free it feels. Video

Pinegrove, “Cadmium
Evan: I’ve been obsessed with this band in the past year, since the release of their album Cardinal. This song is a good example of what makes them so fun to listen to. They’re extremely tight and coordinated, so they can play with a really great, loose feel and still keep things together. The way they push and pull at different moments in the song serves to amplify the lyrics and the great vocal performance. Video

Gillian Welch, “Elvis Presley Blues”
Evan: Listening to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings play together is a master class in blend and group cohesion. There are two guitars playing on this song, but it often feels like just one instrument, subtly shifting and moving under the dry, melancholy lyrics. It’s a meditation on success in America, a beautiful example of finger-style guitar playing and a great lesson in close-harmony singing. Video

Charles Bradley, “Why Is It So Hard”
Jacob: Where do I even start? The pure passion in his voice, the pain in his words … everything about this song (the live performance especially) is amazing. Charles Bradley has a really inspiring story, too, and you can almost feel every step he’s taken in life. Being able to make that emotional connection is just magic to me. Video

Robert Ellis, “California”
Jacob: I really enjoy the composition of this song. I am a sucker for originality, too, so to have a new take on country music, something I think is really needed right now, is really interesting. It just falls together so well. The dynamics in the song are really powerful and just draw me right in. Love this one. Video

Daughter, “Candles”
Angie: I love Candles mainly for the entrancing lyrics and the overall emotion of the song. Elena Tonra has such a haunting, powerful voice, and the lyrics tell such a cryptic, yet seemingly personal story. That combination sort of hypnotizes you, which is heavily inspiring to me. Video

Matt Corby, “Brother”
Angie: Matt Corby’s voice oozes soul, and the buildup of this song commands your attention. There’s so much heart and energy in every part, from the harmonies to the drums. This song just makes you feel. Video

Modest Mouse, “Parting Of The Sensory”
Jarrod: Isaac Brock has a real gift for presenting things in the most unique way. The lyrics in this song break death down to its most basic form. At the end of the day, something’s going to steal our carbon. Video

The Beatles, “A Day In The Life”
Jarrod: Probably my favorite song all day. The composition of this track is just off the charts. I especially love the way Lennon and McCartney switch back and forth between the character’s dream and conscious state. The intense swirl of instruments in the middle and outro give me goosebumps every time. Video

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Scott Fab Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

We’re approaching the release of Scott Fab‘s new record, Leave My Friends, which comes out April 21. We previously brought you the song “Leave My Friends,” and today we’re excited to share a new mix tape that Fab has composed based on his listening habits during the production of his record. Take a listen and read what he has to say about each track below. “My mix tape consists of songs I found inspiring during the year I made my latest record,” he says. “Some are songs I’ve always turned to while others were just new to my ears and sparked inspiration. I hope you enjoy.”

Ron Sexsmith, “Secret Heart”
When I listen to Ron Sexsmith, I’m always blown away by his gift for melody. I have always liked how Ron sings and delivers a lyric. There are songs by other artists that would go right by me until I heard Ron sing them. This song is beautiful in its simplicity and minimal instrumentation. Video

Harry Nilsson, “Living Without You”
Nilsson Sings Sings Newman was in my constant rotation during the year I recorded Leave My Friends and has been a record I return to often. The combination of the strength of Randy Newman’s songs with the incredible vocal styling of Harry Nilsson is just so good. The pain of starting a day after losing someone is so well expressed by this song. Video

Sufjan Stevens, “The Only Thing”
There is an honesty to this song and record that is powerful and moving. “Should I tear my eyes out now/Everything I see returns to you somehow.“ Strong melodies that keep returning to me. Video

David Bowie, “Life On Mars?”
I have never stopped listening to David Bowie’s Hunky Dory. The production, with so much being driven by acoustic guitar and piano, has always appealed to me. The chorus of “Life On Mars?” is incredible. The build and release, sweeping strings, punching piano and the imagery of the lyrics get me every time. Video

Ray Lamontagne, “Shelter”
The pull before the chorus, live-room sound, Ray’s voice and lyrics about sheltering one another. This was the first song I ever heard Ray sing, and I’ve been listening ever since. Video

Chris Moore, “Watch The Sky”
One of my favorite songwriters. Chris Moore’s melodies and lyrics have been an inspiration since the first time I heard him. A compelling and beautiful work of art. Video

Sun Belt, “Champion The Wonder Horse”
I first heard Sun Belt on a late-night drive and was instantly transported by the lyrics and soundscape. Rick Maddock’s writing is poetic, with plenty of room for your own imagination. From the first line (“Does anybody hear that tapping?”) to the last line (“Everything good in this town, they drove to distraction”), the song explores a deserted, mysterious desert town. Video

Richard Buckner, “Lil’ Wallet Picture”
One of my favorite lyricists. “Underspent, and too young, too/I stumbled onto a picture of you/You wild bitter tale/All cherry oak and tears as the branches looked in.” Wallet picture from 1985, and the story it tells. Video

Andy Shauf, “Wendell Walker”
First time I heard this song I just kept playing it, over and over. Which is saying something when the song is eight minutes long. “Wendell Walker” draws you slowly into a narrative that is haunting and poetic. Video

Gillian Welch, “The Way It Will Be”
There is a literary quality and timelessness to Gillian’s lyrics. This song has great description. “I can’t say your name without a crow flying by.” I love her and Dave’s voices combined with the two acoustic guitars. Video

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