Category Archives: NEWS

M. Ward’s “Transistor Radio” Reissue With Liner Notes By MAGNET’s Very Own Jud Cost

Merge Records is reissuing M. Ward’s classic Transistor Radio, and MAGNET’s longtime contributor Jud Cost wrote the liner notes. Check them out below.

MWard

M. Ward: The Vinylization Of A Masterpiece (And Much More)

By now, just about everyone who loves “indie rock” knows the legend of M. Ward. I haven’t seen Matt play live for a few seasons now, or interviewed him recently for one of the mags I write for (MAGNET, Blurt, Bucketfull, Sonic).

But I can still recall the basic facts of life concerning this wondrous California kid who began life in the Thousand Oaks area, a short drive north from greater Los Angeles. On nights he wasn’t venturing south to hear fave punk stalwarts Firehose, he’d record his own edgy yet beautiful melodies very late at night in his bedroom, laying the guitar chords on like toothpaste and softly crooning into his four-track porta-studio—just so he wouldn’t wake up anyone else in the family.

That, so he says now, is why his voice is so unusual, with, for some weird reason, just a touch of Delta bluesmen from 60 years ago. I know, I know, it sounds crazy: Big Joe Williams, Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton and … M. Ward? But something’s going on there that I can’t really explain. And I like it a lot.

By the time he’d enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, about 200 miles to the north, he was ready for some kind of cryptic nickname. He got it (and it wasn’t “T-Bone”). His pals called him “M. Ward” just for fun, as if they had arrived at the curious moniker by reading the address label from his junk mail.

The first time I heard anyone mention the name M. Ward was during an interview with Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, a few years after the turn of the century. Howe, who became Matt’s mentor in his early days, told me of two up-and-coming rockers to look out for: M. Ward and Jason Lytle of the Modesto, CA, band Grandaddy. As you would expect of Gelb, he nailed it. It was a great pleasure to pick the brains of both of these young geniuses in the years that followed.

You probably know the rest. Matt would go on to do big things worthy of his vast talent. Last time I saw him live, he had sold out the gargantuan (and lovely) Fox Theater in Oakland. The girls were screaming, too, as soon as he poked his nose out from behind the stage curtain. After that, he hooked up with old friend Conor Oberst of Nebraska’s Bright Eyes, a band so tapped into the firmament that it got a mention in Richard Linklater’s brilliant, 12-years-in-the-making film Boyhood.

Conor and Matt were joined by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and drummer Mike Mogis to create the always fascinating ad hoc combo Monsters Of Folk, a sometime project that appears whenever they feel like it. They recently wowed a crowd at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert in Mountain View, CA. And for those stationed on Antarctica for the last five years, Matt and Zooey Deschanel, the star of TV sitcom New Girl, have paired up as She & Him and recently cut material for a new album.

Best for last, Merge Records has just released Matt’s mind-blowing 2005 album Transistor Radio on vinyl. If you totally lost it when you first heard the masterful CD version of the opening track, a lump-in-the-throat, instrumental reworking of Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds gem “You Still Believe In Me,” wait until you feel the sun scorch your face from the ultra-warm PVC treatment. Better keep some Coppertone handy.

On the other hand, “Fuel For Fire” has enough country heartbreak it should have been covered by George Jones. And then there’s “Four Hours In Washington,” the insomniac’s nightmare, opening with a groan of Twin Peaks-like guitar chords before the tale unravels thusly: “Well, it’s one in the morning and I can’t sleep at night/I hear wolves around the doorstep, they’re circling outside/I count ’em jumping over fences and landing on the sheets/Now it’s two in the morning and I can’t fall asleep.” If you’ve been itching to drop your tonearm onto one of Transistor Radio’s 16 jackpot tracks, here’s your chance, hi-fi worshipper.

So, I guess you could say wherever you see the name M. Ward appearing in any of his current (or future) guises, you should go check out what the boy’s been up to. Might be a good time here to borrow that friendly consumer warning from old pal Bob Dylan: You’d be crazy to miss it. Something like that.

—Jud Cost, 2014
Santa Clara, California

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In The News: Sleater-Kinney, Old 97’s, Church, Panda Bear, Coldplay, Yo La Tengo And More

SleaterKinney

Sleater-Kinney fans, rejoice: The band has announced its first album in 10 years, No Cities To Love, which will be issued by Sub Pop on January 20. The trio will tour the U.S. and Europe following the release … The 20th anniversary of the Old 97’s’ debut album, Hitchhike To Rhome, will be celebrated November 17 as an expanded two-disc reissue via Omnivore … On February 3, the Church will release its 25th studio album, Further/Deeper, coinciding with the band’s 35th birthday … Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is the fifth studio album from Panda Bear (a.k.a Noah Lennox of Animal Collective), due out from Domino on January 13 … Atlantic will issue Ghost Stories Live 2014 on November 24. It’s a concert film and live album featuring a DVD of Coldplay’s performance of its Ghost Stories album in March … Piano virtuoso Maki Namekawa performs the work of Philip Glass on double-album Philip Glass: The Complete Piano Etudes With Pianist Maki Namekawa, due out from Orange Mountain on October 21 … Yo La Tengo will reissue its 1993 album, Painful, as a deluxe two-LP/two-CD package, including 12 bonus tracks, on December 2 via Matador … The first installment of the Willie’s Stash archival recordings series, December Day (featuring Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie), will be available from Legacy on December 2 … January 26 marks the release of the Charlatans’ 12th album, Modern Nature, via BMG Chrysalis … Four discs of previously unreleased and rare Brian Eno material—Nerve Net, The Shutov Assembly, Neroli and The Drop—are slated for a December 2 release on All Saints. Each will include a second disc of new music made by Eno in the spirit of the original release … Super Critical, the third album from the Ting Tings, will be issued by Finca/PIAS digitally on October 27 and physically on January 13 … UMe has announced the November 24 release of Cream: 1966-1972, a boxed set containing all of Cream’s studio and live LPs … The Brand New Heavies are set to release 10th studio album Sweet Freaks on November 24 via Eagle Rock … On November 24, Omnivore will reissue Game Theory’s 1984 album Dead Center as a deluxe expanded edition … Record Store Day’s Black Friday 2014 will be celebrated on November 28, and Legacy has announced it will be issuing limited-edition vinyl exclusives from Aaliyah, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Presley and more … Wreckless Eric will reissue his 1996 album, The Hitsville Houseband ’12 o’clock Stereo’, via Fire on December 2 … Fat Possum has announced the November 25 release of Very Extremely Dangerous, a film by Paul Duane and Robert Gordon about Jerry McGill.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Pixies, Robert Pollard, Neil Young, Wilco, Alison Moyet, Leonard Cohen And More

Pixies

The 25th birthday of the Pixies’ second record, Doolittle, will be celebrated with a deluxe, three-disc anniversary package including b-sides, Peel Sessions, demos and more. It’s out from 4AD on December 2 …  The ever-prolific Robert Pollard has announced his new project, Ricked Wicky, which is set to release its debut, I Sell The Circus, via GBV Inc. on February 3 … Storytone is the new studio album from Neil Young, due out November 4 via Reprise … Joni Mitchell has curated a four-disc boxed set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced, set for a November 17 release via Rhino. It contains 53 remastered songs spanning Mitchell’s career … Sour Mash will issue Chasing Yesterday, the new record by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, on March 3 … In celebration of Wilco’s 20th anniversary, the band will release two special collections on November 17 via Nonesuch: Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014 (a rarities boxed set) and What’s Your 20: Essential Tracks (a collection of 38 songs from the band’s studio recordings) … A new live album from Alison Moyet, minutes and seconds: live, will be out from Cooking Vinyl/Metropolis digitally November 11 and on CD January 13 …  On December 2, the first high-definition full-concert recording from Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen: Live In Dublin, will be available from Columbia/Legacy … Uprising Live! is the first-ever DVD release of Bob Marley’s performance on Rockpalast during his final tour in 1980. It will be available from Eagle Rock on November 24 … Bureau B will issue the new Faust album, j US t, on November 25 … Supertramp’s Crime Of The Century turns 40 this year, and in celebration, a 40th anniversary edition will be released December 9, containing the original album, a live recording and more … After a five-year hiatus, Simple Minds are back with Big Music, due out November 3 … Drag City has announced the January 27 release of Alasdair Roberts’ new self-titled solo album … Take It Like A Man is the result of Jim White teaming up with the Packway Handle Band, which will be released by Yep Roc on January 27. Jim White Vs. The Packway Handle Band will tour the U.S. in support … A vinyl boxed set of Bill Evans live performances, The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, will be available November 11 via Riverside … UMe will re-issue Bryan AdamsReckless, in celebration of the album’s 30th anniversary, on November 24 as a four-disc super-deluxe edition.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Postal Service, Wu-Tang Clan, Antony And The Johnsons, Waterboys, Cracker, Woody Allen, Shuggie Otis And More

PostalService

The feature-length documentary concert film of the Postal Service’s reunion tour last year, Everything Will Change, will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on November 24 from Sub Pop … Warner Bros. has announced the signing of Wu-Tang Clan, and it will issue the band’s 20th-anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, on December 2 … Antony And The Johnsons and Charles Atlas’ 2006 European tour was captured on film as documentary Turning, and on November 11, Secretly Canadian will issue a deluxe DVD/CD edition of the film to coincide with select television screenings around the world … The BBC Sessions is a collection of recordings by the Chills from 1985-88, due out November 4 from Fire on CD and vinyl for the first time … On November 24, Live In Tokyo will be issued by Eagle Rock on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital video. It features Jeff Beck performing as-yet-unreleased material as well as classic tracks with his new band … The new record from the Waterboys, Modern Blues, is set for a January 20 release via Kobalt … High Moon will issue Love’s 1973 album Black Beauty on CD for the first time on November 11 … Matthew Ryan’s latest release is Boxers, self-released and out October 14 … The 75th anniversary of Blue Note will continue with the release of a five-CD singles boxed set, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression. Out November 4, it features tracks by Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Norah Jones, Thelonious Monk and more … Two Sides To Every Story, the out-of-print solo album by Gene Clark, will see the light of day again as a deluxe CD on November 18 via High Moon … The 10th studio album from Cracker, Berkeley To Bakersfield, is due out via 429 on December 9 … Teddy Thompson rounded up parents Richard and Linda as well as siblings Jack and Kami to form Thompson, and they’ll release collaborative album Family on November 18 via Concord … November 18 marks the release of Dwight Twilley’s Always from Big Oak … Razor & Tie has announced a two-disc set of Woody Allen material from the ‘60s, The Stand Up Years, which includes previously unavailable bonus recordings. It’s due November 25 … The first-ever live album from Shuggie Otis, Live In Williamsburg, will be released October 14 via Cleopatra … The First Waltz is a live album and concert rockumentary by Hard Working Americans, due out as a two-disc CD and DVD package from Melvin/Thirty Tigers on October 28 … A best-of collection chronicling Spandau Ballet’s career, The Story…, will be out October 14 via Parlophone.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Go-Betweens, Belle & Sebastian, Velvet Underground, deadmau5, Veruca Salt, Rancid, Captain Beefheart, Rush And More

GoBetweens

Domino has announced the January 20 release of a four-LP/four-CD boxed set containing the music of the Go-Betweens. G Stands For Go-Betweens Volume One documents the bands origins from 1978-1984 and will include rare and archival material as well as liner notes from Robert Forster … Belle & Sebastian will release ninth studio album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, on January 20 via Matador … The 45th anniversary of the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album will be celebrated by Polydoe/UMe with a six-CD super-deluxe edition, due out November 24 … 5 Years Of mau5 is a retrospective double album highlighting the career of deadmau5, to be released on November 25 from mau5trap … On November 4, Minty Fresh will reissue Veruca Salt’s American Thighs on 180-gram vinyl in celebration of the album’s 20th birthday … The eighth studio LP by Rancid, Honor Is All We Know, is slated for an October 27 release via Hellcat/Epitaph … Rhino will issue a two-disc anthology highlighting the recordings of the late Jaco Pastorius between 1980-82, Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years, on October 14 … Blitzen Trapper, Chuck Prophet, Ted Leo, Andrew Bird, Ben Kweller, Superchunk and many more have contributed to While No One Was Looking, a collection of covers from Bloodshot Records’ catalog in celebration of its 20th anniversary. It will be released on November 18 …. The debut album by the Moody Blues, The Magnificent Moodies, turns 50 this year. In celebration, Esoteric will issue an anniversary edition on November 24 … Adventurer’s Inn, the new record by the Sharp Things, is due out December 2 from Dive … The first-ever live album by the House Of Love will be available via Cherry Red on December 1. Live At The Lexington 13.11.13 documents the band’s two sold-out performances in the North London venue … November 11 marks the release of Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 (Rhino), a four-disc boxed set containing newly remastered Captain Beefheart albums … Pegi Young & The Survivors have announced their fourth album, Lonely In A Crowded Room, which will be out October 27 on New West … In celebration of the 40th birthday of Rush’s eponymous debut, Rounder will issue R40. The collector’s boxed set, due out November 11, contains live performances spanning four decades … New West will release An American Christmas—a holiday collection featuring tracks by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Band, Emmylou Harris and more—on October 14 … The new album from Tarwater, Adrift, will be released November 11 from Beureau B … Tecuciztecatl is a psychedelic-rock opera by His Name is Alive, which will be available from Light In The Attic on October 28.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Kinks, Jeff Bridges, Pink Floyd, Fall, Metallica, Bryan Ferry, Bruce Springsteen, Jethro Tull, R.E.M. Who, Frank Sinatra And More

TheKinks

The 50th anniversary of the Kinks will be celebrated by BMG/InGrooves with the release of a five-disc boxed set, The Anthology 1964-1971, on November 18. It will contain career-spanning material including rare demos, interviews, alternate mixes, outtakes and more … Mailboat will issue Live, which features performances by Jeff Bridges & The Abiders in Las Vegas, on September 30 …  Pretty Music For Pretty People is the new record from the Dead Milkmen, due out October 7 …  Pink Floyd has announced the November 10 release of The Endless River, which was started during the band’s 1993 Division Bell sessions, on Columbia … On October 27, the Fall will release Live: Uurop VIII-XII Places In Sun & Winter, Son via Cherry Red … Another classic Jeff Healey Band concert will be issued by Eagle Rock, Live At The Horseshoe Tavern, on October 7 …  A 10-year anniversary two-disc Blu-ray edition of Metallica documentary film Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster is set for a November 24 release … Avonmore, the latest album from Bryan Ferry, is due out November 18 via BMG … Columbia/Legacy will issue a boxed set of seven remastered Bruce Springsteen albums, The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984, on November 17 … The 40th birthday of Jethro Tull’s Warchild will be celebrated with an expanded two-CD/two-DVD set—complete with unreleased tracks, orchestral pieces and rare video footage—on November 24 via Parlophone … R.E.M.’s relationship with MTV is chronicled on REMTV, a six-DVD collection of live performances, award-show highlights and a feature-length documentary. It will be available from Rhino on November 24 … This year marks the Who’s 50th birthday, which will be commemorated with a two-disc definitive-hits collection, Who Hits 50!, set for an October 27 release on Geffen/UMe … Sinatra: London is a deluxe three-CD/DVD collection containing more than 50 unreleased tracks by Frank Sinatra, which will be out from UMe on November 25 … Columbia is slated to issue the new AC/DC record, Rock Or Bust, on December 2 … On November 11, earMusic/Eagle Rock will release Status Quo’s Aquostic (Stripped Bare)Drivin’ And Cryin’ is the subjects of evh pic/Shanzing Films documentary Scarred But Smarter (life n times of drivin n cryin), which will be in stores on DVD and Blu-ray on November 4.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Fugazi, Rolling Stones, Flake Music, Doors, Morrissey, Miles Davis And More

Fugazi

Dischord will issue Fugazi’s entire first demo from 1988, including a previously unreleased track, on November 18 … After an eight-year hiatus, Damien Rice is back with My Favourite Faded Fantasy, due out November 11 via Vector/Warner Bros. … From The Vault is a new series of releases from Eagle Rock featuring live concert films from the Rolling Stones archive. The first installments, Hampton Coliseum: Live In 1981 and L.A Forum: Live In 1975 will be available November 4 and 18, respectively … Flake Music’s When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return will be reissued on November 25 by Aural Apothecary and Sub Pop … The seventh solo album by Annie Lennox, Nostalgia, is set for an October 27 release by Island … A 13-disc boxed set containing all 10 of Johnny Mathis’ Global/Mercury releases, The Complete Global Albums Collection, will be released via Columbia/Legacy on November 17 … The first-ever live album featuring the late Whitney Houston’s iconic performances, Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances, is due out November 10 via Legacy … On November 11, the Doors’ never-before-released documentary film Feast of Friends will see the light of day, courtesy of Eagle Rock … New West has announced the October 14 release of An American Christmas, which will feature holiday tracks by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Band, Emmylou Harris and more … Three-disc anthology collection R-KIVE, featuring the work of Genesis, will be available from Rhino on September 30 … All Of You: The Last Tour is a four-CD set of live recordings from the Miles Davis Quintet Featuring John Coltrane’s 1960 tour, to be issued by Acrobat on December 2 … In other Coltrane news, Offering: Live At Temple University documents a Philadelphia concert by the legend from Nov. 11, 1966 … Morrissey’s rare 1995 live concert film, Introducing Morrissey, is now available  on DVD for the first time by Rhino … Eagle Rock will issue the film of Monty Python’s 2014 reunion shows, Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down Five To Go, on November 11 … The solo works of Queen’s Roger Taylor will be celebrated on two collections: Best, due out October 27, and The Lot, on November 11, via Omnivore … November 18 will see the release of Different Every Time (Domino), a compilation album featuring the works of Robert Wyatt. On September 23, Barsuk will issue B-Sides, a rarities collection of previously unreleased tracks and bonus material from Nada Surf.

—Emily Costantino

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MAGNET Turned 21: Guided By Voices Headlined

It’s gonna be all GBV, all day, kids. This is from May. Awesome videos from the show will be posted soon.

So say goodnight.

GBV

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In The News: Guster, Afghan Whigs, Flaming Lips, David Bowie, Kinks, Neil Diamond, Big Star, David Lynch, Ray Charles, Daniel Lanois And More

Guster

Guster’s first album in four years, Evermotion, is due out from Ocho Mule/Nettwerk on January 13 … The 21st anniversary of the Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen will be celebrated October 28 with the release of an anniversary edition, complete with the remastered original album, rare b-sides, live performances and demos … With A Little Help From My Fwends is the Flaming Lips’ tribute to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, set for an October 28 release via Warner Bros. Special guests on the record include My Morning Jacket, J Mascis, Miley Cyrus, Moby, Dr. Dog and more … Mack Avenue will issue Nels Cline And Julian Lage’s duo album Room on November 25 … On November 18, Nothing Has Changed will be released by Columbia/Legacy. It’s a career-spanning collection of David Bowie songs, including a brand new single, and will be available in multiple formats … Eyelids, which features members of Boston Spaceships and the Decemberists, have announced the October 14 release of new LP 854 via Jealous Butcher … Sixteen classic Kinks albums have been remastered and made available as hi-resolution digital downloads by Legacy. On October 14, the band’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated with the release of career-spanning collection The Essential Kinks, and on November 10, a deluxe edition of 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies will be available … The new record from Neil Diamond, Melody Road, is set for an October 21 release on Capitol … Big Star Live In Memphis captures Big Star’s only known complete, professionally filmed concert, and it will be issued by Omnivore on November 4 … Sacred Bones has announced the September 16 release of a deluxe CD version of David Lynch’s Eraserhead score … The 10th anniversary of Ray CharlesGenius Loves Company will be commemorated by Concord/Hear with a two-disc deluxe edition on September 30, as well as a three-disc collector’s edition including a copy of biopic Ray on November 11 … Daniel Lanois’ new album, Flesh And Machine, will be out October 28 … On November 4, Eagle Rock will release Three Sides Live by Genesis … The career of John Denver will be celebrated on a new boxed set, All Of My Memories: The John Denver Collection. Due out from RCA/Legacy on November 4, the four-disc set features songs spanning 1964 to 1997 and include previously unreleased tracks, demos, rarities and live performances.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Sleater-Kinney, Wilco, Captain Beefheart, George Harrison ANd More

SleaterKinney

Start Together is a limited-edition deluxe vinyl boxed set containing Sleater-Kinney’s seven studio albums, remastered and including a 44-page book featuring never-before-seen photos of the band. It’s due out from Sub Pop on October 21 … In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Wilco will play several dates this fall, including a stop on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The band also plans to release a rarities collection and a best-of compilation later this year … Rhino Records will issue a four-disc set featuring three Captain Beefheart albums: Lick My Decals Off, Baby, The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot—as well as a disc of previously unreleased outtakes. Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 is out November 11 … George Harrison’s first six solo albums have been digitally remastered and will be available individually as well as a boxed set, The Apple Years 1968-75, on September 23 via Capitol/UMe … On October 28, the debut album from Sylvie Simmons, Sylvie, will be released by Light In The Attic … The Trick Is To Breathe, the first solo album from Sid Griffin in 10 years, is set for a September 16 release on Prima … Secretly Canadian has announced the November 11 expanded reissue of Jason Molina’s Didn’t It Rain, which features a disc of never-before-released demos … The first-ever compilation album of Madeleine Peyroux’s career, Keep Me In Your Heart For A While: The Best Of Madeleine Peyroux, will be out via Rounder on October 14 … Killer Mike, Cibo Matto, Egyptian Lover, Hardy Morris and more will perform at the 2014 Athens Intensified, which will take place September 11, 12, 13 and 20 in Athens, Ga.

—Emily Costantino

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