Category Archives: MIX TAPE

Digital Leather Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Digital Leather’s music is as dark and blunt as Joy Division’s, just way more fun to listen to. The recently released All Faded is anchored by earworm synth lines and very forward lyrical refrains (“Drug abuse is good, don’t listen to what they say”). The band has been so kind as to create a mix tape for MAGNET, full of songs that helped inspire the creation of All Faded. Check it out below.

Front 242 “Operating Tracks”
I’ve been on a Front 242 binge all week, and the only way I’m probably going to get over it is to write about it a little bit. Their music seems to be overlooked today (unless you’re a douchey raver Euro-bro), but if it wasn’t for them, synth music might have flat lined after new wave. This is one of Front 242’s first singles, and the video is sweet. It’s basically just a dude doing a freaky EBM dance under some grid lighting. The lyrics don’t make a lot of sense, but the overall sound of the song resonates, unless you just hate this kind of music. I’ve always liked Front 242, and I’m pretty sure I’ve stolen a thing or two from them in the past. The Belgian industrial is movement is over. There are a few groups trying to keep it going. Good for them. The new Digital Leather record sounds nothing like this song. Video

Front 242 “Tragedy For You”
Their love song. It’s bleak and hopeless, and I relate. It’s got a bunch of silly samples and stuff, but that’s what the ‘80s industrial scene was like, I guess: challenging ideas of what music is and can be. In typical Front 242 fashion, the video makes zero sense, but is still great. It’s so cool how into their own music they are in this video. I like how he describes losing his lover as “feeling disemboweled.” Ouch. This is the kind of lyrical plateau I aspire to. Video

Front 242 “Skin”
‘90s Front 242. Not EBM at all. Definitely acid robot, though. There’s a lot of abstraction going on in this song/record (Fuck Up Evil). Creating a shadow world over a four-to-the-floor 909 beat was a pretty brave move in my opinion. Front 242 had always been dark, but here they’re opaque. I really love this stage for the group. If I ever lose the desire to do new, original stuff, I’ll just rip it off completely. Video

Front 242 “Headhunter”
Probably the most-known Front 242 song. It’s from their 1988 record Front By Front. Just before their acid robot phase. It’s about a mercenary who has to hunt down this genius guy for a clandestine corporation. I try to be this disconnected in my writing, but always fail. The music fits the subject, too. It’s just the coolest, coldest thing ever. Video is pretty low budget and even though I don’t get it, I like it. Something to do with a giant egg. Video

S.M. Nurse “Hot Day in Istanbul”
I don’t know a whole lot about this band except it’s old, lo-fi, weird and synthy. Apparently, this is their hit, and I’m liking the hell out of it lately. Video

Black Bug “Push You”
This Swedish project started a few years ago and has been consistently excellent. I played with them a few times in Europe and was blown away. I did vocals for this particular track, and the video is terrific. The single just came out on Avant! Records. Video

The Units “High Pressure Days”
San Francisco band from the ‘70s/‘80s. These guys ushered in new wave as much as Devo. The Moog is so beautiful that you almost forget this album is punk! Video

Grauzone “Eisbar”
This is maybe the perfect cold-wave song, since it’s about a polar bear. It sounds so understated. Video

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Broke Royals Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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D.C.’s synth-rock Broke Royals are composed of Philip Basnight and Colin Cross, who have only been playing music together since 2014 but are already gearing up to release their second EP, The Luxury Of Time Pt. II, on August 7. Give a listen to Basnight’s summer-themed MAGNET Mix Tape.

Duke Dumont “I Got U”
Certain songs seem to vanish during the cold winter months only to reemerge twice as strong again in the summer. This is just that kind of song. From the first hit of those Caribbean-style synth stabs, this song just floats along like a summer breeze. It’s perfect for lying out on the beach or sitting at your desk pretending you were on vacation. Even better, it’s a dance song about monogamy, which makes it quite the rarity. The GoPro video is a fun summer montage. Video

The Very Best “Yoshua Alikuti”
One of my all-time favorite summer jamz. This song comes from the Very Bests’ album MTMTMK, which is an abbreviation for “More To Malawi Than Madonna’s Kids.” These guys are reckless innovators who wanted to show the world their home country, Malawi, was not just the place where Madonna’s children were born. The result is euphoric and proves that the groove is a universal language. Video

Jamie xx “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”
Jamie xx mentioned recently in an interview that he had a number of rappers contribute verses for this song and ended up splicing together his favorite verses from only two rappers: Young Thug and Popcaan. Young Thug is at the epicenter of atonal hip-hop in 2015, while Popcaan is a well-respected, but widely overlooked, dancehall prince. Leave it to Jamie xx to bring the two together in perfect harmony. This song is further proof that Jamie can’t be pinned to a genre but he can combine elements better than any of his peers. Video

LCD Soundsystem “North American Scum”
LCD Soundsystem is one of my favorite bands of all time, so I try to work them into as many playlists as possible. This song perfect for a summer day that has you feeling restless and hot. It’s aggravated and sardonic but, ultimately, goofy and made for dancing—like James Murphy. Video

Paul Simon “You Can Call Me Al”
This song is certified summer BBQ gold. Everyone loves this song and it’s usually been too long since they’ve heard it. The only thing as good as the song is the video, which features a youthful Chevy Chase. Lyrically, I always felt like this song was Paul Simon attempting his best irreverent, Highway 61-era, Bob Dylan impression. Cartoonish lyrics with incredible instrumentation, this one speaks to every generation. Video

Gert Wilden & Orchestra “Blues Party”
I found this song scanning through a blues/jazz comp. Old compilation records are usually a dead end, devoid of much worth unearthing. However, when you do find that lost gem, it’s such a source of joy. In part, because you’ve found a great new song, but also because it’s like discovering buried treasure. This feels like a summer house party, and it’s proof that crate digging pays off. Video

Girls “Lust For Life”
There is so much about this song that had been done before. For starters, Girls cribbed an Iggy Pop song title and played some simple surf rock. Yet, despite all that, “Lust For Life” feels so fresh and new. Lead singer Christopher Owens comes across as such a bizarre, yet enticing, personality—androgynous and melodramatic, almost like a San Francisco version of Prince. What’s not to love? Video

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Thad Kopec Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Thad Kopec just recently released The Ridge EP, a collection of meticulous and understated indie-folk tunes. To celebrate, he has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape, which you can check out below.

Bill Withers “Grandma’s Hands”
Bill Withers might just be the most effortlessly cool person who has ever existed. I mean, the guy wrote a song about how his grandma always knew best. It may not be his most well-known song, but “Grandma’s Hands” is a damn good one. Video

Feist “Inside And Out”
The way this song is produced is, for me, perfect. The closeness and clarity of the mix makes room for the song to sound rich as it travels through simplicity and complexity alike. And those horns in the bridge kill me every time. Video

Neil Young “Down By The River”
Nothing like a good murder ballad. Besides the wonderfully bizarre lyrics of this song, the solo in the middle is one of my favorites ever. It has this lackadaisical quality, but it also has this angry energy and pent-up frustration—like an animal that’s been in a cage so long it’s almost forgot how to walk free, but it’s getting its legs. Video

My Morning Jacket “Librarian”
During my freshman year of college, I read a Joyce Carol Oates short story called “Three Girls” for a literature class. The narrator of the story is constantly buried in a New York bookstore that she loves called The Strand. She says she is “enchanted by books;” she loves everything about them. For her, there is something transcendent about being among stacks of so many thousands of words that reach across time and space to be bound in books. I realized somewhere in that story that this was exactly the kind of woman I would always fall for. Unfortunately for 19-year-old me, this particular girl was both fictional and gay. But I like to think Jim James felt the same way as he peeked through the shelves at “the sexiest librarian,” who never became real to him outside of his own head. Video

Torres “Chains”
This indulgently dark song pulls you down into the subterranean depths of Mackenzie Scott’s subconscious. If you let it take you there, there’s something really beautiful down in that ether that will entrance you and fill you with a weird terror. The final moment of the song is one of my favorite moments in music ever. Video

Pavement “Gold Soundz”
Whenever I hear this song, I think of driving through the Midwest on little weekend tours with Keeps, the band I play bass with. I can feel the vast expanse of cornfields in Indiana stretching out on either side, my stomach beginning to hurt from how long I’ve been laughing way too hard, and the shared giddiness about the show that’s going to happen in some strange new city that night. There are some songs that can capture nostalgia like no others, and it’s not merely because they are good songs, but because there is some magic about them that’s beyond understanding. For me, “Golden Soundz” is chief among these. Video

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Lauryn Peacock Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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To celebrate new record Euphonia, Lauryn Peacock has prepared a mix tape for MAGNET. In addition, you can download or stream a new song “Wounds Grow Grass,” an otherworldly, beautifully orchestrated circus waltz. Check it out below. Euphonia is out now.

“Wounds Grow Grass” (download):

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Sharon Van Etten “One Day”  
Everything is just right with this song. Video

Lucius “Turn it Around”
People making good indie-pop music, with great rhythm and melodies. Video

Angel Olsen “Unf**ktheworld”
This entire album—I can’t even count the number of times I’ve listened to it. This song means I’m starting the journey of this album again—something I love to do. Plus, the audacious title. Video

Vashti Bunyan “Just Another Diamond Day”  
The best cloudy-or-sunny, perfect-day kind of song. Vashti is also my mix-tape stand-in for the incredible women artists who came before: Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Stevie Nicks—all the amazing songs I couldn’t fit on this playlist. Video

Natalie Prass “Bird Of Prey”
When I first heard Natalie Prass, I felt a kinship—a female artist with intriguing orchestral arrangements and sensibilities that I (and the music I’ve been making) could relate to. I was immediately sold. Video

Damien Jurado “Museum Of Flight”
One of my all-time favorite songwriters and one of his simplest and most beautiful songs. It’s perfect. Video

Neil Young “Tell Me Why”
Neil Young is always such easy and good, rewarding listening. This song and album (After The Goldrush) frequently rotates on my turntable. I put it on sometimes, just to hear this song. Video

Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
I have built one of my favorite Pandora stations around this song. I couldn’t resist adding it here also as an homage to favorite indie-rock band: Phoenix, My Morning Jacket, the Walkmen, everything that came before. Plus, the great piano rhythms, background vocals and vibe. Video

Sigur Rós “Hoppípolla”  
Sigur Rós in general, and this song, do such great, beautiful “epic”—with arrangements and melodies that take off in flight. I love the happy in this track—also a great video. Thanks for listening. Video

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Rahim Quazi Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Rahim Quazi is a Texas singer/songwriter who crafts spectral, supernaturally interested folk/pop tunes. His new album, Ghost Hunting, is out now. Quazi has put together a mix tape for MAGNET. Check it out below.

Goldenboy “Sleepwalker”
“Sleepwalker” inspired my latest album. I love the way they layer simple parts with lush and upfront vocals. I am captured in this little known song. The lead singer/writer of Goldenboy, Shon Sullivan, played with Elliott Smith and Neil Finn. “Sleepwalker” is his masterpiece—crafted line-by-line, warm keys and piano. Shon takes this song to the stars and back. When I think he has exhausted the melody, he finds a way to take it and me further. Video

ELO “Shangri La”
Again with a heart-wrenching melody and matching guitar line. ELO taught me the art of the outro ending. The song should easily be over, but here comes fresh waves of sound. Video

Sean Lennon “Dead Meat”
Sean created a perfect album. Its theme is tragic, having to do with his girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend. Then his best friend gets killed. It was a true story, and Sean captured it perfectly. “Dead Meat” is a twisting and turning of chords met with his somber vocals. The link is the full Friendly Fire album. Video

Sondre Lerche “On And Off Again”
Sondre Lerche let me know that it was OK to song craft in this day and age. He is a master of creating perfect tunes. Melody is first. This song builds layer by layer. When Feist joins in with her innocent voice, my inner-smile endorphins increase. Video

Beatles “For No One”
Perhaps saving the best for last. “For No One” can’t be more than a handful of tracks, but it speaks volumes and is timeless. That’s what the Beatles did—create timeless pieces of music. Who hasn’t felt the sadness of looking into a past loved one’s eyes and seeing nothing? The French horn is warm and comforting. After hundreds of listens, I still want to cry. Video

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The Legal Immigrants Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Detroit garage-rock band the Legal Immigrants will release new album Drugs To Roses on July 3 and have previously shared first single “Fork In The Road.” Their sound is reminiscent of older White Stripes and the Black Keys as they play painfully catchy tunes rooted in blues and hard rock. Now, they have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Vox Vidorra “We’re So Lonely”
I’ll lead off with our studio-mates, Vox Vidorra. We were both recording around the same time at Goon Lagoon Recorders, and our producer, Dick Chiclet, gave us a taste of what was cookin’ in Vox’s kitchen. What I admire about Molly’s vocals is how much command she has over her voice. She makes going from delicate to razor sharp sound easy. It isn’t. Oh, and the vocals were recorded live. Take that, computers. Video

Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys “Standard American”
Another West Michigan band and close friends of ours, this GGB tune has that old country thump I really dig. I’m into story songs and clever lyrics, and this song has both. I’d much rather be a “standard” American than a “basic” one. They avoided some of the most hefty fines in country music by including a pickup truck in the video. Video

Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish “Lonesome”
Keeping with the theme, here’s a cut from our certified homeboys JRCC. “Put on that skirt, girl/Let’s flirt over whiskey” is a perfect line as far as I’m concerned. This song, and many others from JRCC, are hard to not dance to than to dance to. If they captured the energy they have onstage on a record, your stereo would explode. Video

Nicholas James & The Bandwagon “Saturday Nights”
This is a happy song. I picture them playing this outside somewhere in the county and me having a solo cup of beer that I’m occasionally spilling because I’m doing the lock-arms spin dancing move with strangers. Shoes off, of coarse. Video

Devin & The Dead Frets “Cut My Hair”
Last, but certainly not least from the West Michigan scene are our pals from D&TDF. The first thing I noticed from this song is the bass line. Devin’s voice is unique, and this track does a great job of highlighting its power and tone. Video

Johnny Thunder “I’m Alive”
The fuzz tone to start this song is nothing short of splendid and drew me in the first time I heard this rendition of “I’m Alive”. Johnny’s voice is so passionate in this tune, and it sounds like him being alive didn’t come without a fight. If you find a copy of this 45 in a record store, buy it. That, or send it to me; I promise I’ll pay you back. Video

The White Stripes “Party Of Special Things To Do”
This version of this Captain Beefheart classic is crunchy as a mug. It slams. The White Stripes are one of the few bands that sound awesome on blown speakers. This song further proves Lou Reed right with “One chord is fine/Two chords are pushing it/Three chords and you’re into jazz.” Video

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Corsica Arts Club Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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L.A.’s Corsica Arts Club is the project of Brendan Thompson and Arash Parsee, with help from contributing members Nate Chovanec, Peter McArthur and Jason Mittleman. They will issue their new self-titled EP on May 29, following the release of a few acclaimed singles. Their brand of pop is upbeat and energetic with a variety of vocal ranges and clearly impressive musicianship. Now, they have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Can “Dizzy Dizzy”
A lot of excellent music came out of Germany in the 1970s: Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, etc. This is the first track off the album Soon Over Babaluma from 1974. From the very first chord, it creates a certain atmosphere—you’re instantly transported to some far-off, mystical place. We were blown away the first time we heard this song in college, and to this day it still evokes that same feeling. Video

Curtis Mayfield “Blue Monday People”
Curtis Mayfield is a big influence on the way we both play guitar. His genius lies in the subtlety, the delicacy with which he plays. It compliments his voice and his songwriting so perfectly without overshadowing anything. This whole album, There’s No Place Like America Today, is fantastic. Video

Japan “European Son”
Up until recently, we’d thought Giorgio Moroder produced this song, but in fact it was Japan’s attempt at writing something in his style—with the four-on-the-floor kick drum, pulsating sequencer throughout, and airy string synth flourishes. Add David Sylvian’s inimitable crooning and Mick Karn’s unparalleled fretless bass playing, and it’s something uniquely their own. They eventually did work with Moroder on “Life In Tokyo.” Video

David Bowie “Sound And Vision”
We could have picked any song off Low. It’s a very important album to us: the lyrical themes, the production, really the whole zeitgeist of Bowie and Iggy Pop’s time in Berlin. Low changed our entire approach to making music. It helped us tear down boundaries we’d once perceived and helped define a clear vision of the sort of music we wanted to make. It’s an eternal inspiration, a constant muse. Video

The Band (With Van Morrison) “4% Pantomime”
The Band is one of our favorite bands of all time and one of our greatest influences, though you probably wouldn’t expect that listening to our music. They were pioneers of home recording, a pillar of camaraderie, and the truest definition of a band: five extraordinary talents uniting to create something far greater than the sum of their parts. This song is about a couple of musicians stranded in L.A. after a gig, with nothing to console them but a bottle of scotch (the title supposedly refers to the difference in alcohol percentage between Johnnie Walker Red and Black). Sharing vocal duties with the brilliant Richard Manuel is the Belfast Cowboy himself, Van Morrison. After the session, as Levon Helm recalled in his autobiography, “There was horror among the civilians at the studio when the two dead-drunk musicians argued about who would drive the other one home.” Video

Air “Kelly Watch The Stars”
We saw Air at the Hollywood Bowl about 10 years ago with the L.A. Philharmonic. They were one of the first artists that opened our minds to utilizing electronic sounds in songwriting. We find their production techniques and synthesizer aesthetic nothing short of elegant. Must be a French thing. Video

Lucio Battisti “Neanche Un Minuto Di ‘Non Amore'”
Arash: My parents showed me Lucio Battisti last summer, and it was a revelation! My dad lived in Rome when this album came out, and he says Battisti’s lyrics have the same sort of poetic quality in Italian that Leonard Cohen’s lyrics have in English. This album, Io Tu Noi Tutti, was actually recorded in L.A. with a who’s-who of session musicians: Hal Blaine on drums, Ray Parker, Jr. of “Ghostbusters” fame on guitar …
Brendan: Those dueling guitars! It’s a master class in song arrangement. Amazing across the board.
Arash: The perfect soundtrack to a summer evening in Rome, Negroni in hand. Video

Chris Bell “I Am The Cosmos”
If there’s a better way to open a song than by singing, “Every night I tell myself I am the cosmos,” we haven’t heard it yet. Video

Bryan Ferry “The Price Of Love”
We love his vocal phrasing and delivery. Both Bryan Ferry solo and Roxy Music are big influences on us, not just musically but aesthetically, too. Always impeccable album artwork, and always looking dapper like a boss. Video

The Beach Boys “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again”
Often overshadowed by his iconic brother Brian, Dennis Wilson was a genius songwriter in his own right. In our humble opinion, some of these Beach Boys songs that were never properly released are better than the material most artists put on their albums. Video

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Blind Lake Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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New-wave/pop sci-fi folk duo Blind Lake features Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals). They use atmospheric melodies and layered synths to create a largely energetic sound and ready for the release of latest album On Earth, due out June 9. Their name is based on a 2003 sci-fi novel by Robert Charles Wilson, Blind Lake, in which scientists use alien technology and are able to follow the lives of aliens on other planets. Now Blind Lake, the band, has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape, check it out below!

David Bowie “Five Years”
Wenglén: I listened to this album constantly as a kid (The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust). It was like a journey and a perfect soundtrack for me playing with my Action Men. Like The White Album with the Beatles, it kept me listening for details, and with every listen I found something new. I also sampled the drums in the intro for my first demo recordings on my four-channel Tascam porta studio when I was 15. Video

Keene Brothers “Death Of The Party”
Wieslander: Razorsharp jingle-jangle power-pop perfection. I’ve always thought Robert Pollard is at the top of his game when collaborating. Preferably with Doug Gillard! This time, Tommy Keene helps him take it to the next level. I will never tire of this. Video

Yazoo “Too Pieces”
Wieslander: With subtle touches of Abba melancholy, this is a benchmark in making stripped down, heartfelt synth pop. As fresh now as when I first heard it as a 12-year old. Yazoo is part of the Blind Lake constitution. And the kids love them! Video

Amy Correia “Fallen Out Of Love”
Wenglén: I love the lyrics, Amy’s voice and the whole sound of the song. Her songs are like short novels or movies. Video

Kirsty MacColl “A New England”
Wieslander: In the words of Johnny Marr, “She was a fucking Jedi at harmony.” In 2000, she was killed in an accident, 41 years old. I’d like to believe her soul has touched the likes of Neko Case and Star’s Amy Millan; they’ve got some of that “Kirstyness.” Which, I guess, means brilliant, funny and tough, with tons of integrity. Anyway, this is truly beautiful and insanely catchy. Written by Billy Bragg, he added more words to this version, as Kirsty thought the original was too short. Nowadays, he performs the Kirsty version live. Bless him. And her. Video

Wilco “The Lonely 1″
Wenglén: At the time, this was the most beautiful song I’d ever heard. Jeff Tweedy at his best, and the song itself is so touching in its simplicity. Video

Residents “You Yesyesyes”
Wieslander: The sound of your rabid grandmother force-feeding you cookies. With the amazing Snakefinger on guitar and an excellent sax-riff. I fell in love with the Residents (or, the idea of them) and NRBQ (thinking they were the same band) around the peak of my Duran Duran fan-dom. Those were confusing and interesting times. Video

Pretenders “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
Wenglén: This song gets me going every time. “Happiness in a can” type of thing. I just have to pour it down and dance every time I hear it. Video

Herbie Hancock “Spank-A-Lee”
Wieslander: Is it possible to be this funky? Does Mr. Hancock have alien DNA? I’ve seen dead fish shake ass to this. There should be statues of Herbie Hancock in every town. Video

Roxy Music “Avalon”
Wenglén: As a kid, me and my friend Thomas spent hours and hours lying on a Persian rug, listening to this god-like song. The chorus is untouchable. As is Bryan Ferry. Video

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The Corner Laughers Make MAGNET A Mix Tape

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California pop quartet the Corner Laughers play a jangly brand of indie pop and will release latest album Matilda Effect on June 12. The LP features unique string instruments, such as the ukelele and the violin, which brings out the creativity of the band and the many guests featured on the album. The Corner Laughers have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape (in haiku form, no less).

Linda Draper “Broken Eggshell”
Karla:
On endless repeat/
This song is pure perfection/
We wish we wrote it
Video

Andrea Perry “Throw Me A Line”
KC:
Incredible groove/
Heartache pours through melody/
But still I boogie
Video

Mouse Deer “Foreground”
Khoi:
Mouse Deer is Holly/
McIntosh, Bristol, UK/
And she plays bass well
Audio

Heart “Crazy On You”
Charlie:
Was young when I learned/
Badassness knows no gender/
Female Led Zeppelin
Video

Rosie Abbott “Hard To Sleep”
KC:
Somnambulist waltz/
Gershwinesque sense of songcraft/
Ray Davies digs it
Video

Antonette Goroch “In Bocca Al Lupo”
Karla:
Punk-folk-rock priestess/
Often she’s in Italy/
Take us next time, please
Audio

Alison Faith Levy “The Froggy Dance”
Khoi:
Loud Fam to tot rock/
The Start Of Things is out now/
Butterfly mic stands
Video

Salt N Pepa “Push It”
Charlie:
Ever since eighth grade/
It ain’t a dance ’til it’s played/
Cause we’re in effect
Video

Fiona Bevan “A Broken Heart Can Heal”
Karla:
Suffolk-born songbird/
We played with her in London/
Magical guitar
Video

The Orange Peels “Head Cleaner”
Wazu:
Begin The Begone/
New album from labelmates/
Mystery Lawn, yo!
Audio

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This Way To The EGRESS Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Bethlehem, Pa., group This Way To The EGRESS has been described as “gypsy jazz,” as it incorporates European musical styles to form a unique sound. The band will release a new album, Great Balancing Act, on May 19, an LP featuring a variety of diverse instruments including fiddle, trombone and accordion. Now, the group has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

DeVotchKa “We’re Leaving”
DeVotchKa makes the best road-trip music. It is no surprise they were chosen for the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. All of the songs on this album, this one particularly, are driving. It drives you forward while pulling at your last heart strings. We make it a point to put it on in the band van whenever we leave a city on tour that we wish we weren’t leaving. It is the audio equivalent to life experience and wandering. Aside from the fact that the music is impeccably arranged, the lyrics strike the most perfect chord for us and would for anyone who felt they needed to leave a time or place or that their hometown had become too small. Video

Foxy Shazam “The Rocketeer”
Taylor: I love the unique writing style of this band! They have such interesting song subjects and lyrical content. They also put on a highly energetic live show! Video

Spike Jones And His City Slickers “Clink Clink Another Drink”
Sarah: Spike Jones has to be one of the band’s biggest influences and favorite listening music while on the road. The musicianship is amazing, and the songs are hysterical. I seriously think it is impossible to not utterly enjoy whatever you are doing while you are listening to Spike Jones. To this day, there is no one doing this. Video

Violent Femmes “Look Like That”
Taylor: One of my favorite all-time bands. This is the third track off their fifth studio album. The Femmes have been going strong for more than 30 years. They have the most loyal fan base I’ve ever seen, which is pretty amazing since they never really had any number-one hits. Great live band as well. I’ve seen them as minimal as a three piece and as big as a 13 piece. They’re amazing!!! Video

Beck “Missing”
Sarah: I fell in love with Beck when I was 13. My favorite album of his is probably Midnight Vultures, but this song has the most amazing groove and I love the strings. He is another enigma and amazing songwriter. He strikes a perfect balance between bizarre and pop culture and has left his mark on music while completely doing it his way. I admire that as a music listener and a musician. Video

Ween “Roses Are Free”
Taylor: Another one of my all-time favorite bands! This track is off their album entitled Chocolate And Cheese. Ween has always been such a unique band with a huge following. Every album, they free themselves to explore different genres and styles. They even recorded a full-on country album! Video

Buena Vista Social Club “Chan Chan”
Sarah: This is one of my favorite driving songs. I am just a sucker for Latin American music. It makes anything doing more fun to do, house chores, dancing in my kitchen, going for a jog and, especially, driving. Video

Tom Waits “2:19
Taylor: Tom Waits has been a huge influence on me for the last few years and, overall, an influence on everyone in the band. Another genius that spans more than four decades of constant, evolving music. He’s also influenced many other great and successful artists over the years. Tom Waits’ lyrics stand alone, and when added with his sound and voice, you can’t go wrong! Video

Yula Beeri (Yula & The eXtended family & Kiss Slash Crooked Smile) “Keep Me Satisfied”
Sarah: I originally couldn’t choose between the Beatles and Michael Jackson for this my choice but I said to myself, “Everyone knows the lasting power of that music.” I am going to choose a song that some people might not know about. Yula Beeri is probably one of the best songwriters, musicians and stage performers I have ever met. She commands something from the audience and the listeners that is indescribable. Video

Slayer “Angel Of Death”
Taylor: A bit of a change in genres on this one! I always listened to so many different kinds of music, and Slayer was a group I was really into when I was younger. Intense thrash metal and intense shows! The mosh pits were crazy to be in the middle of! This song was written by the late Jeff Hanneman, one of the epic guitarists of Slayer. Video

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