Category Archives: NEWS

From The Desk Of Britta Phillips: “Horace & Pete”

You know Britta Phillips from the bands Luna and Dean & Britta, but now she has a debut solo album, Luck Or Magic. The record features five Phillips originals alongside covers of songs by the Cars, Evie Sands, Fleetwood Mac, Dennis Wilson and ABBA’s Agnatha Fältskog. Phillips will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

CK

Phillips: I love Louie. I mean really, really, really love Louie. And I love this web series. A few friends of mine don’t like it, because it’s slow, a bit rough around the edges or it looks bad. OK, it looks like a video-taped play … So what!? So does I, Claudius! It feels like life to me, even when its not at all like my life or “real” life (which is so fake anyway). There is a real live mind and personality spinning out behind it, and that is sublime. No one higher up making decisions that deliver polished, addictive TV crack—not that I have a problem with TV crack; it definitely has a place in my life. Oh … and Alan Alda … Alan Alda! He kills in it!

Video after the jump.

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In The News: Band Of Horses, Bangles, Neil Young, Wallflowers, Yann Tiersen, Mick Harvey, Frank Zappa, Band Of Skulls, Plaid, Bayside And More

BandOfHorses

The fifth studio album from Band Of Horses, Why Are You Ok, is due out in June via Interscope, with the band kicking off a world tour in May in support … Omnivore will issue Ladies And Gentlemen … The Bangles!, a 16-track collection of the Bangles’ ‘80s rarities, on June 24 … Earth is the latest album from Neil Young, which features new takes on some of Young’s most beloved songs. It’s set for a June 17 release from Reprise … The Wallflowers’ second album, Bringing Down The Horse, turns 20 this year, and to celebrate, UMe will reissue the record on vinyl for the first time as a two-LP set on May 13 … This September, Yann Tiersen will release new album Eusa on Mute … The third installment of Mick Harvey’s project translating Serge Gainsbourg songs into English, Delirium Tremens, will be available from Mute on June 24 … Zappa Records/UMe will reissue Frank Zappa’s three-CD Lumpy Money Project/Object as well as his Road Tapes, Venue #1 and Road Tapes, Venue #2 on May 27. They will also debut his Road Tapes, Venue #3 the same day … By Default, the new album from Band Of Skulls, will be available from BMG on May 27 … Plaid has announced the June 10 release of new LP The Digging Remedy via Warp … August 19 will see the release of Bayside’s Vacancy via Hopeless … The 1997 album by Cornelius, Fantasma, will be reissued as a deluxe two-LP set including four bonus tracks by Lefse/Post Modern on June 10 … PIAS will issue the new Augustines album, This Is Your Life, on June 10 … The Chicago Quadio collection will contain nine of Chicago’s albums remastered in both quadraphonic and stereo mixes. The Blu-ray audio boxed set is due out June 17 from Rhino.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Deerhoof, Air, 10,000 Maniacs, Japancakes, Mumford & Sons, Death From Above 1979, Frank Sinatra, Richard Ashcroft And More

Deerhoof

Deerhoof returns June 24 with the release of The Magic! via Polyvinyl. The band will embark on a North American tour this summer in support … The 20th birthday of Air will be commemorated June 10, when Parlophone releases Twentyears, the band’s first-ever anthology. The two-disc set contains selections from the band’s catalog, rarities and previously unreleased material … Playing Favorites is a new album featuring 10,000 Maniacs playing their biggest hits and fan preferences live, due out from Omnivore on June 3 … 429 will issue the new Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemaker’s album, Rehab Reunion, on June 17 … On June 10, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor will release Piano, which features just him and a piano, via Moshi Moshi … Japancakes returns after a nine-year hiatus with a self-titled, self-released album on May 6 … Johannesburg is a new set of recordings by Mumford & Sons made with Baaba Maal, Beatenburg and the Very Best. It’s set for a June 17 release …. Third Man has announced the April 22 release of Death From Above 1979’s live EP … The debut solo album of Fountains Of Wayne’s Chris Collingwood, Look Park, is due from Yep Roc on July 22 … The centennial celebration for Frank Sinatra will continue May 27 with Eagle Rock’s release of four titles in The Frank Sinatra Collection … Harvest will release Richard Ashcroft‘s first album in six years, These People, on May 20.

—Emily Costantino

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R.I.P. Prince (1958—2016)

Prince

I can recall a time when my Prince albums weren’t safe to leave lying around the house.

As a teenager—having moved from the endless possibilities of a city like L.A. to the small-town realities of a rural town in Oregon—I worshipped at the altar of Prince Rogers Nelson, mostly for everything that made my parents dislike him.

Dude was just different—take a look at the Dirty Mind album cover and then tell me that not only did he stand out from everything else going on in pop music around him, but that there wasn’t also some excellent punk-rock shock value in having a five-foot-two guy in fishnet stockings staring back at you from a record that featured lewd and lascivious titles such as “Dirty Mind” and “Head”?

He was badass; he was a musical savant; he could play every instrument in every style (even ones you’d never heard of before) better than you, or the best player you knew of; he could sing/dance/entertain; he could write circles around his contemporaries (in fact, wrote hits for artists ranging from Sheena Easton and Cyndi Lauper to the Time and the Bangles). He dated everyone in sight. Created stars of lesser talents. Had the most diverse, crazily composed band (the Revolution) in pop—a keyboard-pounding Doctor? Seriously? And mostly, made it totally OK to be an outsider, different, weird. In fact, Prince made it cool to be willfully eccentric.

I will absolutely never forget the first time I saw Purple Rain. I was back home in Long Beach, Calif., and went to a local theater there with some friends—and was treated to lines around the block, about two dozen different guys in Prince hairdos with purple trenchcoats on, and an audience that shouted back at him, recited the lines as if they were auditioning for roles in the film and had the best time of their young lives laughing, crying and generally carrying on as if Prince was there performing live in theater with us.

It was a community of self-identified weirdos, freaks and music geeks. Who would turn out to be my people for life.

Others will no doubt write tributes that attempt to capture his vast cultural influence (you can’t get to Afghan Whigs, Outkast, D’Angelo or even Kendrick without first detouring through Paisley Park), bemoan the fact that it took the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame so long to induct him, compare his early influential years with his latter-day, more-experimental era,or fete his insanely prolific output (39 studio albums, and who can even count how many other projects or collabos).

This isn’t about all that. Nope. I wanna talk about the Kid—the name of his character (modeled after, who else, Prince) in Purple Rain—and what that Kid meant to me and millions of others over the years.

The Kid was self-contained, pleasing no-one but himself, beholden to no other (insanely high) standards but his own. A guy whose act didn’t stop the moment he stepped off the First Avenue and 7th Street Entry stage. The Kid lived his music. And Prince’s life was his music. He built an entire world—the Minneapolis-area Paisley Park Recording Studio and environs—in which writing, recording, refining and iteration were the primary outcomes, and where living out your dreams and giving birth to material born of an impossibly large imagination was the objective. Dude was into freedom—musical, stylistic, love, life—in a way that those of us who were familiar with Jimi Hendrix (an icon who no doubt influenced a young Prince’s material and steez) could only begin to imagine.

How do you go from songs that are as universal as “1999” (a party jam for the ages, something that everyone in the world can relate to and sing in any language) to creations as uniquely personal as “Ballad Of Dorothy Parker,” one of the strangest and coolest things in my record collection? (Don’t even talk to me about “Darling Nikki.”) The answer? Sheer bloody-mindedness and a commitment to the inalienable right to do whatever I want. Whenever I want. And damn the consequences.

The Kid’s homelife was a mess. His love life wasn’t much better than that. And his inter-band dynamic was in need of some attention. I could relate to all three as a teenaged fish-out-of-water watching his parents’ marriage atomize in a small town where it was everybody’s business to be all up in your business. (I think I may have even borrowed the Kid’s dismissive “Freak Show” label to describe my mom and dad’s situation at that point.) But these conflicts only made his will steelier, his determination to Make It that much more manifest.

The concerts … were unreal. That was the Kid in his native habitat. I was lucky enough to see Prince (and the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, or whatever that glyph was meant to symbolize) in venues both large and intimate, and with bands that included stalwarts like the Revolution and New Power Generation to pick-up acts that supported him during secret late-night jams that just might include covers ranging from Bowie’s “Heroes” to the Delfonics’ “La La Means I Love You” to his heroine Joni’s “A Case Of U.” I mean, who even does that?

Prince protected his independence like no other. Was among the first to figure out how to make money selling his money online. An artist who employed a countless number of folks in service of removing his vast musical trove from the web if it couldn’t be directly connected to earning him a living. If you weren’t willing to pay him for his work, then he didn’t want you to have it. .

I can respect that, on so many levels.

But mostly, what I can do is mourn the passing of yet another musical and cultural legend in 2016. It’s getting to the point where I can no longer stand to watch what’s trending on Twitter for fear that it will involve the loss of another key part of my upbringing.

Prince helped me make it through my awkward teen years. Not just his music—which played non-stop from the horribly lame stereo in my equally lame 1978 Honda Civic—but his whole way of being. He didn’t give a damn what you thought about him. He just wanted to connect with you on some primal level—could you feel the funk? Then you, too, could join hands with his increasingly diverse and growing community of like-minded freedom fighters, waging war against small-mindedness, a music industry that wanted (but failed) to box him in, and those social forces that would in any way restrict his ability to move about the country (hell, the world) at will.

The Kid was a book with many chapters, one that begged for repeat reads. It’s a tome I’ve been consulting for the majority of my adult life, and the lines just keep pouring off the pages like water.

“It’s silly, no?/When a rocketship explodes and everybody still wants to fly/But some say a man ain’t happy until a man truly dies.” —“Sign O’ The Times”

His music and legacy will cast a shadow much taller than his platform soles.

—Corey duBrowa

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In The News: Julie Ruin, Felice Brothers, My Morning Jacket, Kinks, 65daysofstatic, Barenaked Ladies, Thrice, DJ Shadow And More

JulieRuin

Hardly Art has announced the signing of the Julie Ruin and will issue new album Hit Reset on July 8 … Life In The Dark is the upcoming record from the Felice Brothers, due out June 24 via Yep Roc … My Morning Jacket’s 2003 album It Still Moves will be reissued as a remixed and remastered deluxe package by ATO on May 27. It includes original demos and previously unheard tracks … The 14t studio album from the Tragically Hip, Man Machine Poem, is due out June 17 from Universal … On June 3, a newly expanded edition of the Kinks’ 1972 album Everybody’s In Show-Biz will be released by RCA/Legacy, and will feature previously unreleased studio and live tracks … Glassnote will issue Thick As Thieves, the third release from the Temper Trap, on June 10 … I Still Do, the 23rd studio album by Eric Clapton, will be available May 20 via Bushbranch/Surfdog … 65daysofstatic’s new album, No Man’s Sky: Music For An Infinite Universe, is the soundtrack to the highly anticipated game No Man’s Sky. It’s due out from Laced on June 17 … The June 10, 2015, performance by Barenaked Ladies in Colorado will be available on BNL Rocks Red Rocks, which will be released May 20 by Vanguard. The band will hit the road for another U.S. tour this summer … May 27 will see the release of Thrice’s ninth album, To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, by Vagrant … Mass Appeal has announced the June 24 of DJ Shadow’s The Mountain Will FallBlonder And Blonder was the second release by the Muffs in 1995, and it will be reissued by Omnivore on May 27 on vinyl for the first time in more than two decades, complete with bonus tracks … Andy Shauf’s new album, The Party, will be available May 20 via Anti- … On June 3, Grönland will reissue the first solo album by Can’s Holger Czukay, Movies, as Movie!

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Posies, Swans, Hot Hot Heat, Allen Ginsberg, Rolling Stones, Nite Jewel, Bonnie Billy, Joseph Arthur, Bun E. Carlos And More

Posies

The first album from the Posies in six years, Solid States, is set for a May 20 release on MyMusicEmpire. The band will play a series of “secret” shows across the U.S. leading up to the release … Young God/Mute will issue the new Swans record, The Glowing Man, on June 17 … Jeff Beck has announced the July 12 release of his book BECK01 from Genesis Publications, as well as the July 15 release of a new as-yet-untitled studio album. He’ll be touring this summer alongside Buddy Guy … On June 24, the final (and self-titled) album from Hot Hot Heat will be available from Kaw-Liga … The Last Word On First Blues is the first boxed set of Allen Ginsberg as a singer/songwriter. Due out from Omnivore on May 20, the three-disc set will contain the original First Blues recordings, 11 unissued performances, demos and more … Eagle Rock will issue Totally Stripped, which features the Rolling Stones creating stripped-down versions of their favorite tracks, on June 3 … The latest album from Nite Jewel, Liquid Cool, is due out June 10 via Gloriette … Bonnie Billy’s 2000 album More Revery will be reissued by Temporary Residence Ltd. on May 6 … June 3 will see the release of The Family, Joseph Arthur’s new album, via True North … Greetings From Bunezuela! is the new solo album from Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos, set for a June 24 release on Entertainment One … The 30th anniversary of Book Of Love’s eponymous debut album will be celebrated on July 1 with the release of MMXVI: Book Of Love–The 30th Anniversary Collection via Sire/Rhino … Jagjaguwar will issue the new Moonfaced And Siinai record, My Best Human Face, on June 3.

—Emily Costantino

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Early Days With Miles Davis

MilesDavis

To get in the mood to go see Don Cheadle’s much anticipated big-screen feature Miles Ahead, it seemed appropriate to dust off all the well-used early Miles Davis CDs from the archives to offer some background on a man who straddled the world of 20th-century jazz like a mythical titan. So here’s a stroll through Davis’ early career, before he went on to retool his sound with such crackling, latter-day works as In A Silent Way, Tribute To Jack Johnson, On The Corner, Someday My Prince Will Come, Bitches Brew and others.

The earliest tracks with Davis in the band must have been the 1945 bebop sides he cut with Charlie Parker for the Savoy label. You get the feeling that Miles, just a 19-year-old kid out of St. Louis at the time, was an occasional substitute for Parker’s primary trumpet player, Dizzy Gillespie, whose upbeat style was more in tune with bop’s often frenzied pace.

Someone at the time referred to Miles’ work back then as “lugubrious.” Hopefully, this moron’s record-reviewing credentials were revoked long ago. The best early Parker/Davis collaboration was a tune called “Now’s The Time,” which was meaty enough to serve as fuel for a later scat version by vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

By 1949, Davis was heading a groundbreaking nine-man lineup that included tuba and french horn along with the more conventional jazz instrumentation, for a 78-rpm album (LPs hadn’t made the scene yet) called Birth Of The Cool. No idea who tagged these sessions as “cool,” but it probably wasn’t Davis, who never thought much of the term “jazz,” let alone cutting something dubbed as “cool.” Some of the spacious, at times lush, arrangements for these sessions were penned by Gil Evans (no relation to pianist Bill Evans, who would contribute heavily in a melodic-yet-moody way to Davis’ fabled 1959 LP Kind Of Blue, 10 years later). Gil Evans, whose NYC apartment would be used for Davis’ band to hang out, would add similar framing for later LPs Miles would cut for Columbia, including Miles Ahead and Sketches Of Spain.

The earliest Miles Davis Quintet records are essential to understanding the man’s genius. Going by titles like Cookin’, Steamin’, and Workin’, they were all tracked in 1956 by the same band: Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on tenor sax, Red Garland on piano with bass and drums handled by Paul Chambers and “Philly” Joe Jones, respectively. The material ranges from Broadway ballads (“Surrey With The Fringe On Top”) and bebop re-imagined (“Salt Peanuts”) to angular flights (Thelonoius Monk’s “Well You Needn’t”) and lacy revelations (“It Never Entered My Mind” and “In Your Own Sweet Way”), the latter pair with Miles on his trademark Harmon mute.

Davis was advised by a few dimwits to fire Garland, whom they derided as a “cocktail pianist.” True enough, Garland frequently employed block chords—you’ll know when you hear them—in his improvisations, but he was the perfect fit for Davis’ ear for melody. A budding young tenor sax man who was just beginning to reach his potential, Coltrane had a few awkward moments on the sweeter ballad treatments, but he could play with anybody on more up-tempo material, such as jazz standard “Four.”

When Davis left Prestige for the more prestigious Columbia imprint in the late ’50s, it broadened his audience considerably. And it was the label that would release what is generally considered Davis’ most impressive longplayer in 1959, Kind Of Blue. Questioned many times about it over the years, Davis always ranked it as just another stop along the way, nothing out of the ordinary. But there is something special about it, under heavy play over the years.

It probably has something to do with it being one of the horn legend’s first LPs where he and his band—Coltrane, alto sax man Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianists Evans and Wynton Kelly, along with Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums—tried something new to jazz. The modal system, first popularized by George Russell, relied less on employing a song’s original chord progression and more on a certain minor or major scale, giving the player more choices on which to improvise.

And this is where I come in. I was fortunate enough to get myself up to San Francisco’s Blackhawk Club at the corner of Turk and Hyde in the spring of ’59 where the Davis sextet was booked for one week. As a young kid, I had no idea who was playing with him. I hit the jackpot. It was Coltrane, Adderley, Kelly, Chambers and Cobb—the same personnel (with the omission of Bill Evans) that had just recorded Kind Of Blue, an album I hadn’t heard yet. The cover charge to get in was something like $1.50, and you had to buy two drinks per set at 85 cents each. That meant you were expected to give the waitress a dollar and tell her to keep the change. I know, I know, hard to believe.

The first set started at 8 p.m. on the dot. They would play for 45 minutes, then get 15 minutes off. Last set, of the six they would play, began at 1 a.m., but I was long gone by then. Miles and Coltrane never said a word, and Davis played most of the time facing the back of the tiny stage. Introductions to the material were left up to Cannonball, a genial sort who seemed to enjoy the task.

Like most of the audience, Davis was dressed in a sports jacket and tie. You wouldn’t think of going to an S.F. club in Levi’s. Just wouldn’t do. Not that the Blackhawk was anything fancy. The owner was quoted, back then, as saying he’d “labored for years to keep his place a sewer.” I don’t know—it seemed like the coolest joint I’d ever been in.

In the mid-’60s, I lived 25 miles south of San Francisco’s North Beach nightclub district. Which meant I was able to catch great performances by the original Coltrane Quartet, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Lee Konitz, Jackie McLean, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, Shelly Manne, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Oscar Peterson, John Handy, Art Pepper, Mose Allison, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp and Coltrane’s new band with Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison and Rashied Ali.

Wouldn’t trade those early jazz days for anything.

—Jud Cost

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In The News: Miles Davis, Highwaymen, Spain, Low Anthem, Paul McCartney, Steve Earle And More

MilesDavis

Prestige Records will honor the late Miles Davis’ 90th birthday with the release of The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection on May 13 … The Highwaymen Live: American Outlaws is a deluxe three-CD/one-DVD boxed set featuring concert performances by the Highwaymen (a.k.a country’s first supergroup, comprised of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson). It’s due out May 20 via Columbia/Legacy … The sixth studio album from Spain, Carolina, will be available from Diamond Soul on June 3 … The Low Anthem’s fourth full-length, Eyeland, is set for a June 17 release via Washington Square … On June 10, a career-spanning collection of 67 Paul McCartney tracks curated by McCartney himself will be released by Concord. Pure McCartney will be available in multiple formats and contain work from his solo career, Wings and Fireman … Warner Bros. has announced the April 8 release of the soundtrack to Everybody Wants Some, the upcoming film by Richard Linklater, which features tracks by Van Halen, the Cars, the Knack, Blondie and more … The four albums Steve Earle recorded with MCA Records—Guitar Town, Exit 0, Cooperhead Road and The Hard Way—have been remastered and will be issued on vinyl on May 6 … Hollow Bones is the fifth album from Rival Sons, due out June 10 on Earache … Odonis Odonis will release new album Post Plague on June 17 via Felte … April 22 will see the release of Paul Kelly’s Seven Sonnets & A Song, a mini-album featuring six Shakespeare sonnets as well as a song from Twelfth Night, from Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl America … Omnivore Recordings will reissue two albums by the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Spirit Of The Century and Higher Ground, as expanded versions on May 13.

—Emily Costantino

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Win A Copy Of The New Phil Collins Vinyl Boxed Set!

PhilCollins

Warner Music is celebrating Phil Collins’ solo career throughout 2016 with the “Take A Look At Me Now” retrospective campaign. During the year, the label is releasing deluxe, expanded and remastered editions of all Collins’ solo albums. Each release includes a remastered version of the original album on audiophile vinyl and expanded two-CD sets with a bonus disc of select demos and b-sides, plus plenty of live versions of the featured songs—something Collins has said he hopes gives fans a chance to see how to the music developed over time. Collins has updated the old album covers with contemporary photos of himself. In addition to the individual albums, there are also special LP and CD collector’s versions, where fans can fill the boxes with the various releases as they are released all year. The campaign launched in January with Both Sides Now and Face Value albums, followed by Hello, I Must Be Going and Dance Into The Light in February. Remastered and expanded versions of Testify and the 12 million-selling No Jacket Required are due April 15.

All you need to do is be the first person to email us to win a copy of the vinyl boxed set. Send the email to magnetmag@aol.com, and be sure to put “Phil Collins Contest” in the subject line.

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In The News: We Are Scientists, Fitz And The Tantrums, Beach Boys, Ladyhawke, Rooney, Rufus Wainwright, Biffy Clyro, Goo Goo Dolls And More

WeAreScientists

Helter Seltzer is We Are Scientists’ fifth album, due out digitally April 22 and physically June 3 via 100% Records. The band will tour the U.K. and U.S. this spring in support … Fitz And The Tantrums have announced the June 10 release of new self-titled album on Elektra … The 50th birthday of the Beach Boys’ iconic Pet Sounds will be celebrated with the release of a four-CD/Blu-ray collector’s edition on June 10 from Capitol/UMe … Polyvinyl will issue the new Ladyhawke record, Wild Things, on June 3 … On May 6, Rooney will return after a six-year hiatus with Washed Away via Beachwood Park Music. The band has also announced several U.S. dates in May … Rufus Wainwright’s first two releases, Rufus Wainwright and Poses, will each be reissued as two-LP vinyl editions by Geffen/UMe on May 6 … Ellipsis, the latest release from Biffy Clyro, is due out July 8 via Warner Bros./14th Floor … Eagle Vision with Interscope & KIDinaKORNER will release Smoke + Mirrors Live, a live concert film featuring Imagine Dragons, on multiple formats on June 3 … Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay (both members of Tunng) have teamed up to form Throws, and will issue their self-titled debut album on June 10 via Thrill Jockey … May 6 will see the release of the new Goo Goo Dolls album, Boxes, via Warner Bros. The band will kick off a summer headlining tour in July … Trashcan Sinatras will release their sixth studio album, Wild Pendulum, via Red River on May 13 … 2 is the aptly titled second album from Tom Petty’s Mudcrutch, due out from Reprise on May 20.

—Emily Costantino

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