Category Archives: NEWS

In The News: Will Butler, Dr. Dog, Rye Coalition, Diamond Rugs, Gang Of Four, Kate Pierson, Justin Townes Earle, Murder By Death And More


Arcade Fire’s Will Butler has announced the March 10 release of his debut solo album, Policy, via Merge … Live At A Flamingo Hotel is the first live album from Dr. Dog, due out from Anti- on January 13. The band will tour the U.S. this winter in support, including eight NYC dates … Dead Oceans will issue Live At The Music Hall, a three-LP live album chronicling Phosphorescent’s four-night stand in New York last year, on February 17 … Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes will release his new EP, Dirigible Utopia, on December 9 via Circle Sound/The End … On January 13, The Story Of The Hard Luck 5 will be available on DVD and digital formats. It’s a documentary featuring the 20-year career of New Jersey band Rye Coalition and includes appearances by Dave Grohl, Steve Albini, Jon Theodore and more … The sophomore release from Diamond Rugs, Cosmetics, is due out from Sycamore/Thirty Tigers/RED on February 24 … What Happens Next, the latest album from Gang Of Four, is set for a February 24 release on Metropolis … Nonesuch will issue Punch Brothers’ new T Bone Burnett-produced record, The Phosphorescent Blues, on January 27 … The debut solo album from Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Guitars And Microphones, will be available February 17 from Lazy Meadow Music/Kobalt Label Services … Justin Townes Earle will issue his second album in three months, Absent Fathers, which is a companion to previous release Single Mothers, via Vagrant on January 13 … February 3 marks the release of Murder By Death’s Big Dark Love from Bloodshot … From the ashes of now-disbanded Ghost rises the Silence, which will release its self-titled debut via Drag City on March 24 … The Periscope Twins is a new double album from Chris Brokaw, set for a January 13 release from 12XU … Sub Pop has announced the February 24 release of EarthEE, the second album from THEESatisfactionThe Waterboys will release their 11th studio album, Modern Blues, on January 20 via Kobalt … A new best-of album from Foreigner, The Best Of Foreigner 4 & More, is due out from Sony Music/CMG on December 16 … NOFX’s Fat Mike’s new punk-rock musical concept album, Home Street Home, will be out February 10 on Fat Wreck Chords. The release precedes a fully staged theatrical production.

—Emily Costantino

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Film At 11: Ray Davies’ “Thanksgiving Day”

We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Now that you’re awake again following your post-meal nap and the Niners/Seahawks game is almost over, it’s time to celebrate with a song from MAGNET hero Ray Davies. Here’s a solo live clip of “Thanksgiving Day” from 2005.

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Happy Thanksgiving From MAGNET!


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In The News: Swervedriver, A Place To Bury Strangers, Steve Earle, Jellyfish And More


The first full-length album from Swervedriver since 1998 will be released in March via Cobraside. A supporting North American tour, including a performance at SXSW, will kick off tat month … A Place To Bury Strangers has announced the February 17 release of its fourth album, Transfixiation, via Dead Oceans … Jingle Bell Rocks! is a documentary directed by Mitchell Kezin about his search for the best Christmas songs of all time. Featured is Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, Rev Run of Run DMC, filmmaker John Waters and more. It will be released theatrically in select markets beginning November 21, with a DVD release on November 28 and a digital release on December 9 … New West will issue the new record from Steve Earle & The Dukes, Terraplane, on Feburary 17 … On January 20, expanded deluxe CD reissues of Jellyfish’s Bellybutton and Spilt Milk will be released by Omnivore, featuring 51 bonus tracks … The 13th album from Jesse Harris, No Wrong No Right, is a collaboration with NYC duo Star Rover and will be available from Dangerbird on February 10 … Martin Sexton’s eighth studio album, Mixtape Of The Open Road, is due out February 10 via KTR/Redeye … I Aubade, the latest release from Elvis Perkins, is set for a February 24 release on MIR … Polyvinyl has announced the February 17 release of the new Sonny & The Sunsets album, Talent Night At The Ashram … In January, Mouse On Mars’ Jan St. Werner will release a new solo record, Miscontinuum Album, via Thrill Jockey.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Big Star, Bettye Lavette, Mark Ronson, Carl Barât, Kid Rock And More


Rhino Records will honor Big Star this month with reissues of the band’s four-disc boxed set, Keep An Eye On The Sky, as well as an expanded deluxe version of Chris Bell’s I Am The Cosmos. The albums will be released on November 24 and 11, respectively … Bettye Lavette will kick off 2015 with the January 27 release of her new album, Worthy, as well as a residency at the Carlyle in New York City … First Light is the debut LP from Big Noble, a collaborative project by Interpol’s Daniel Kessler and sound designer Joseph Fraioli, due out February 3 on their Affiliates Sound imprint, via Kobalt Label Services … On February 3, the new double album from Mount Eerie, Sauna, will be available from P.W Elverum & Sun … Kevin Howes compiled an anthology of music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States onto Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, And Country 1966-1985, and it will be released by Light In The Attic on November 25 … Uptown Special, the new record from Mark Ronson, is due out from RCA on January 25, and will feature several guest appearances including Bruno Mars, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and more … The latest release from Sir Richard Bishop, Tangier Sessions, will be out February 17 via Drag City … Grand Jury will issue Let It Reign, the debut album from Carl Barât and his new band the Jackals on February 17. The band is currently touring the U.K. … February 24 marks the release of Kid Rock’s new record, First Kiss, via Warner Bros. … When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel, 1926-1936 is a three-CD/three-LP set produced by Christopher King, due out from Tompkins Square on December 9 … 20 hours of material from Scharpling & Wurster’s radio show have been compiled onto a 16-CD boxed set, Scharpling & Wurster: The Best Of The Best Show, due out March 17 from the Numero Group.

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In The News: Father John Misty, Dodos, Idlewild, Dengue Fever, Decemberists And More


The second album from Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear, will be released by Sub Pop on February 10. He’ll tour the U.S. and Europe this winter and spring in support … Individ is the latest release from the Dodos, due out January 27 via Polyvinyl … St. Martin’s Press will issue Zoe Howe’s biography of the Jesus And Mary Chain, Barbed Wire Kisses, on November 11 … Rancid and NOFX will both release 20th-anniversary editions of seminal albums Let’s Go and Punk In Drublic, respectively, on November 24 via Epitaph … After a five-year hiatus, Idlewild will return February 9 with new album Everything Ever Written … January 15 marks the release of Dengue Fever’s latest full-length, The Deepest Lake, via Tuk Tuk … The seventh studio album from the Decemberists, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, is due out from Capitol on January 20 … Butch Walker has announced the February 3 release of his seventh full-length, Afraid Of Ghosts, on Dangerbird … Drag City will issue Hexadic, the new album from Six Organs Of Admittance, on February 17 … Complicated Game, the first studio LP from James McMurtry in six years, is due out February 24 via Complicated Game … Three classic albums from the late Alvin LeeOn The Road To Freedom, In Flight and Freefall—are now available on CD for the first time in more than a decade via Rainman … On February 24, Relapse will release Torche’s latest album, RestarterWillie Nile’s new LP, If I Was A River, will be available on CD at his upcoming live shows and digitally on November 11 …  Big Oak will issue Dwight Twiley’s new record, Always, on November 18 … Two new packages from Andrea Bocelli, Opera: The Ultimate Collection and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, are out now from Sugar/Decca/Universal Music Classics … When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel, 1926-1936 is a three-CD/three-LP set produced by Christopher King, due out from Tompkins Square on December 9.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: José González, Public Enemy, R.E.M., M. Ward, Trip Shakespeare, Genesis And More


After a seven-year hiatus, José González will return February 17 with a new solo album, Vestiges & Claws, via Mute … Two Public Enemy albums, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Fear Of A Black Planet, will be reissued as multi-disc deluxe editions by Def Jame/UMe on November 25 … Capitol/I.R.S will issue a boxed collection of vinyl seven-inch singles by R.E.M on December 9. 7IN–83-88 features 11 of the band’s singles recorded between 1983 and 1988 for I.R.S.  … On December 2, M. Ward’s 2005 album Transistor Radio will be reissued on 180-gram vinyl, including four previously unreleased recordings, via Merge … Applehead Man and Are You Shakespearienced?, the first two releases from Trip Shakespeare, will be reissued with bonus tracks via Omnivore on December 16 … The official career-spanning documentary on Genesis, Sum Of The Parts, will be available January 13 from Eagle Vision … BC Camplight, the alter ego of Brian Christinzio, is set to release new album How To Die In The North on January 20 via Bella Union … The soundtrack for the film White Bird In A Blizzard—featuring contributions from Depeche Mode, New Order, the Psychedelic Furs, Tears For Fears and more—will be issued by Lakeshore on December 2 … Brazilian Points Books has announced the November 15 release of Bruce Pavitt’s Sub Pop USA: The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology 1980-1988 … The 20th anniversary of Dave Matthews Band’s Under The Table And Dreaming will be celebrated with the November 24 release of a two-LP limited-edition vinyl version via Legacy … The Merv Griffin Show: 1962-1986 is a 12-disc collection containing the greatest episodes of the Emmy-winning talk show, featuring guests such as Mel Brooks, Lucille Ball, Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin and more. It will be out November 4 …  Cherry Red has released a four-disc boxed set documenting the mod-revival scene, Millions Like Us, which features bands such as Secret Affair, the Chords, the Lambrettas, the Untouchables and more.

—Emily Costantino

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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.


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


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


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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