Category Archives: NEWS

Memories Of Terrastock 3, 1999


A sweet cool breeze blew in my front door Sunday afternoon as I watched Jordan Spieth win the 2015 U.S. Open golf title on Father’s Day. Somehow it reminded me of being in Seattle, 16 years earlier. The Open was played at Chambers Bay, on a site that looked like the dark side of the moon with craggy bunkers, almost zero fairway grass and weed-choked hummocks everywhere you looked. The course was located just south of Tacoma, so that must have been the connection that set my mind to wandering.

In August of 1999, I flew to the U.K. for about the 15th time after first hooking up in Seattle with old pals the Green Pajamas. They were slotted to play the third Terrastock Festival, this one on the grounds of the University of London, near Russell Square.

I thought I’d convinced Pajamas frontman Jeff Kelly to purchase a weekly tube pass once we arrived in London. They were much cheaper than standing in a ticket line at a tube station every time you wanted to go somewhere. When we disembarked at Victoria Station, I headed straight to the London Underground office to purchase a pass. I gestured across the courtyard to Kelly, now standing with his wife Susanne in front of the station’s ticket machine. But she was already feeding coins into the machine as Jeff held up his arms, palms extended upward in the universal sign of surrender.

What I remember most about that London fortnight wasn’t the music, although there were fine sets by the Bevis Frond, Tom Rapp, Abunai!, the Green Ray and the Alchemysts, as well as the GPJs and Welsh prog-rock legend Man. One especially savory memory was that first night in town when Jeff, Susanne and I jumped ship and ventured down to Bill Allerton’s Stand Out! records. It was a short tube ride to Notting Hill Gate, then a 10-minute walk down Portobello Rd. to the famous record shop. Waiting there for us, behind the barn door-like entrance to the place, were Allerton and former Bucketfull Of Brains editor Jon Storey, all eager to finally shake Jeff Kelly’s hand.

Storey even slipped Kelly a copy of his self-produced CD containing many of the flexi-disc tracks that had accompanied issues of Bucketfull, one of which, unknown to Kelly, was a Pajamas track. We dined in fine style that evening after inhaling the pungent aromas of the excellent Indian restaurant just around the corner from the record shop.

On the tube ride back to our hotel, the President near Russell Square, I told Jeff and Susanne of that night in 1978 when Allerton had driven my wife Jenifer and me in his battered Sunbeam Alpine to a dance for the freshman class at west London’s Ealing Polytechnic. We were excited when they announced that fabled London outfit the Downliners Sect would be playing for the kids. Earlier that day, I’d phoned for ticket info, and the snotty social secretary had informed me, “You won’t need to know where it’s taking place because you won’t be coming.” That’s what he thought.

Another memorable evening from ’99 took place in the late-bar of the Hotel President. It was a gathering of London characters that included the editor of The Ptolemaic Terrascope, Phil McMullen, the mag’s co-founder (and slashing Bevis Frond guitarist) Nick Saloman, current Buckeftull editor Nick West and the mag’s in-between editor, Jon Storey. All we needed was Bucketfull’s original founding editor, Nigel Cross, who was not there that night, and the room might have self-combusted.

The back-story to this volatile mixture of sensitive British lads reads something like the girls’ lunch table at any U.S. junior high school. McMullen, who’d written for Bucketfull before starting the Terrascope, didn’t like Storey for reasons unknown. Storey, a one-time tennis opponent of Saloman, claimed that Cross, from whom he’d taken the reins of Bucketfull, had once assaulted him on the street. To top it off, McMullen’s teenage daughter, Emily Grace (still known as a Green Pajamas’ song title), was taking somewhat good-natured potshots at me. As for why these things took place, God (and possibly Brian Wilson) only knows. A man of well-chosen words, Kelly said little as he tugged at his pint and puffed on a cigarette while taking it all in. Final score: No punches were thrown, no glassware broken.

The next day, I led a rambling, non-Terrastock event, a boat ride down the Thames from Westminster pier to Greenwich for the same fried white-fish luncheon that Charles Dickens had served at the wedding of his daughter. Then it was on to the Archway tube station for an uphill hike through Waterlow Park, where you might sometimes catch Kinks frontman Ray Davies jogging in the morning through his “Land Of Misty Waters.”

Then it was on to Highgate Cemetery where we encountered the elderly lady who ran the place blocking our admission. She informed us, in no uncertain terms, that “Highgate was a cemetery not a tourist attraction.” Just as I was about to grease the palm of “the dragon lady” with silver for a tour of the joint, the cellphone of Heather McMullen jangled in most rude fashion. We finally did get our tour, which meant that Jeff Kelly could pay homage to the final resting place of one of his life-long heroines, pre-Raphaelite angel Elizabeth Siddal.

The Terrastock concerts? Oh, they turned out just fine. But when you’re in swinging London, somehow, other weighty matters frequently just happen to get in the way of all that good music.

—Jud Cost

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In The News: Pavement, Kurt Vile, Against Me!, Duran Duran, CocoRosie, Telekinesis, Mercury Rev, Chris Cornell, Craig Finn And More


The Secret History Vol. 1 is the first of five compilations in a new series of Pavement rarities. The double-LP, due out from Matador on August 11, will feature b-sides, unreleased session tracks, Peel sessions and a live performance … Kurt Vile has announced a world tour this fall in support of his upcoming album, b’lieve i’m goin down, which will be released later this year, also via Matador … Total Treble/INgrooves Music Group will issue the new live album by Against Me!, 23 Live Sex Acts, on September 4 … On September 18, the 14th studio album from Duran Duran, Paper Gods, will be available via Warner Bros. … The as-yet-untitled sixth album by CocoRosie will be issued this fall. Leading up to the release, the duo will tour Europe and the U.S. … Ad Infinitum, the new Telekinesis album, is set for a September 18 release via Merge … Mercury Rev’s eighth studio album, The Light In You, will be available via Bella Union on September 18 … Eagle Rock has announced the September 4 release of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 in multiple formats. It features Aerosmith’s career-spanning performance last summer … September 18 marks the release of Chris Cornell’s new solo album, Higher Truth … The third release from Carly Rae Jepsen, E·MO·TION, is due out from Schoolboy/Interscope on August 21 …  A 15-disc boxed set featuring all of Alice Cooper’s Warner Bros. recordings, The Studio Albums 1969-1983, will be available July 31 from Rhino … Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise is the next installment of the Dear Hunter’s six-album concept series, set for a September 4 release on Cave & Canary Goods/Equal Vision … Buddy Guy’s new record, Born To Play Guitar, will be out via RCA on July 31 … Rounder will issue RADIO, the new Steep Canyon Rangers album, on August 28 … On September 11, the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn will release his second solo album, Faith In The Future, via Partisan … The 50th birthday of Scorpions will be celebrated with the September 11 release of 19th studio album Return To Forever on Sony/Legacy. The band will also embark on a North American tour in support … Matter Of Choice is the new Cold Showers LP, due out from Dais on August 28 … Frank Turner’s Positive Songs For Negative People will be available on August 7 from Xtra Mile/Polydor/Interscope … Rhino will issue an eight-disc boxed set containing America’s Warner Bros. recordings on July 17. America: The Warner Bros. Years spans 1971-77 and includes seven remastered studio albums as well as a live performance.

—Emily Costantino

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The Days Of Wine And Roses: Here’s To You, Steve Wynn


To accompany today’s reissue of an upgraded version of the Dream Syndicate’s The Days Of Wine And Roses (Omnivore) with six unreleased bonus tracks, Steve Wynn has penned a heartfelt remembrance of the time when the band cut its debut longplayer with its original lineup, 33 years ago. Buzzsaw lead guitarist Karl Precoda, bassist Kendra Smith and drummer Dennis Duck made a scary sound when combined with Wynn’s relentless rhythm guitar and eerie talk/sing vocals. “It changed my life,” Wynn says of the three graveyard-shift sessions it took to track and mix the LP. Within a month, he’d quit his day job and met the rest of his life, face to face, as a touring musician.

I know how he feels. The self-titled, 12-inch, four-song EP the Dream Syndicate released in early 1982 for Wynn’s Down There label, before the band cut its album, also turned my world around. I was snoozing on the couch in my record room—something I did every day after I’d finished my postal route—when I literally sat bolt upright at what was playing on local college FM radio station KFJC. It sounded like the Velvet Underground on speed. Cranked out at a breakneck tempo the Syndicate would never re-visit, the song was “Some Kind Of Itch,” a tune that didn’t make the cut for the LP, but it shook me like a rag doll. “What the hell was that?!” I said. Fortunately, the DJ back-announced the song.

I dedicated myself to tracking down Wynn’s band and similar fiery combos that played with ’em. I caught the Syndicate at a tiny little club called Berkeley Square in January of ’83 along with like-minded outfits Green On Red and True West. In February, it was Rain Parade, the Three O’Clock and the Bangles at San Francisco’s Old Waldorf. That summer I’d see Green On Red play Club Lingerie on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip with Rain Parade guitarist Matt Piucci joining in for an explosive encore of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer.” It was a hell of an introduction to the outfits that would become known, against their will, as the Paisley Underground.

Interviewing these bands for indie-rock mags, both in the U.S. and U.K., earned enough credits for MAGNET to take a chance, about 20 years ago. I, too, would say goodbye to my day job and settle in to a second career that would also include penning hundreds of CD liner notes. So, for all that, here’s to you, Steve Wynn. Couldn’t have done it without you.

—Jud Cost

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In The News: Arcs, Foals, Metric, Band, Royal Trux, Roger Lion, Muffs, HeCTA, Felix Da Housecat, Sisters Of Mercy, Supergrass And More


The Arcs is a new band featuring Dan Auerbach, Richard Swift, Leon Michaels, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon, Kenny Vaughan and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Their debut album, Yours, Dreamily, is due out from Nonesuch on September 4 … What Went Down is the new Foals record, which will be available August 28 via Warner Bros. … September 18 marks the release of Pagans In Vegas, the new Metric album, on the band’s MMI label. Metric is currently on tour with Imagine Dragons … The second album from Diane Coffee (a.k.a. Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming), Everybody’s A Good Dog, will be released  September 4 by Western Vinyl … Capitol/UMe will issue a nine-LP boxed set containing the Band’s seven Capitol studio albums along with it’s Rock Of Ages concert LP. The Band: The Capitol Albums 1968-1977 will be available July 31 … Hand Of Glory is a previously unreleased album from Royal Trux circa 1989-90, made available for the first time in 2002. Drag City will reissue the record August 28 in honor of the band’s reunion show … The self-titled debut of Roger Lion—Joe Pernice (Scud Mountain Boys, Pernice Brothers) and Budo (Macklemore)—is set for a September 18 release via Team Love … The Muffs’ 1993 self-titled debut album has been remastered and expanded with 10 bonus tracks, due out from Omnivore on August 14 … Merge has announced the September 18 release of The Diet, the debut album from HeCTA (featuring Kurt Wagner of Lambchop) … On July 10, Felix Da Housecat will release Narrative Of Thee Blast Illusion on No Shame … The 30th anniversary of the Sisters Of Mercy’s First And Last And Always will be commemorated by Rhino on July 24 with the release of a vinyl boxed set including three EPs from that era … I Should Coco, the debut LP from Supergrass, turns 20 this year. To celebrate, the band will reissue the record on vinyl and as a deluxe three-disc expanded edition on September 4 via Parlophone.

—Emily Costantino

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MAGNET Exclusive Excerpt: “Thank You, Goodnight,” A Rock ‘N’ Roll Novel By Andy Abramowitz


From Thank You, Goodnight by Andy Abramowitz. Copyright © 2015 by Andy Abramowitz. Reprinted by permission of Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Chapter One
You don’t need eight words to set someone’s life on fire. One seems like more than enough. But in my case, it was eight.

The cryptic text pinged from Sara’s phone onto mine just as I was taking to the sky. The flight attendants, annoyed at us before we’d even taken off, had just commanded us through harsh smiles to neuter our electronic devices. Concealing my phone beneath a vomit bag, I reread the message.

“Your legacy is hanging in the Tate Modern.”

Instantly irritated, I fired back a pageant of question marks. Sara’s timing meant eight hours of me staring out at the blackness of the North Atlantic, ruminating on this distracting message from my girlfriend instead of the work that awaited me in Dublin. I could never sleep on planes, certainly not while sharing an armrest with some decrepit bag of bones who was either dead or sleeping with one eye open, and now here was something else to keep me awake. When I landed, it would still be the middle of the night back in Philadelphia, which meant more hours of waiting to find out what Sara meant.

My legacy was hanging in the Tate Modern. Jesus fucking Christ.

In my previous line of work, a lifetime ago if not longer, I’d found Dublin to be hospitable, even welcoming of the happy ruckus that always accompanied me. Back then everyone welcomed me. Those were different times. Now I was almost completely someone else. Better rested perhaps, although the mirror in the airplane bathroom reflected otherwise—a miserable ghost, with bags of defeat hanging under my eyes. If I was any whiter I’d have been Mexican folk art.

*       *       *

The labyrinthine highways of life had somehow made a lawyer out of me. I’d never been particularly happy about it. To add insult to injury, for my latest assignment, I’d been dispatched to Ireland to take the deposition of some credit manager for a bank. I didn’t know what that meant other than that over the course of one interminable day, I was to sit in a conference room, a videographer’s microphone clipped to my bourgeois Brooks Brothers tie, and quiz some poor knucklehead about securitized financing transactions that neither he nor I had the vaguest interest in. This required preparation. What I needed to do upon landing was hunker down and immerse myself in loan agreements, guarantees, credit default swaps, a rotting forest of e-mails, and other documents of financial audacity, and then gin up several hours’ worth of questions to hurl at this paper pusher who, as far as I could tell, had committed the unpardonable sin of doing his job.

But here’s the thing: preparing for a deposition is about as exciting as my washer’s rinse cycle. After about a half hour in my hotel room, I slid into a sweater and headed out.

A comfortable chill hung in the Dublin air, fresh and restorative, good weather to lose myself in the dense blocks of timeworn Georgian buildings. I joined the midday flow of bodies coursing through the streets. I ate a salmon sandwich on a bridge arching over the Liffey. I sipped rich, black coffee outside the shops on Grafton Street. I bought Sara a book on Celtic mosaics that, despite being colorful—brightly colored art always feels like it’s trying to meet me halfway, kind of like poetry that rhymes—didn’t move me in the slightest. I waited to call her at just past dawn her time, hoping to catch her en route to her morning workout. “So, about that text,” I told her prerecorded voice. “Call me. The dep isn’t till tomorrow.”

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In The News: Yo La Tengo, Grace Potter, Ben Folds, Jesus And Mary Chain, Led Zeppelin, Sword, Flying Saucer Attack , Bardo Pond And More


Matador Records will issue Yo La Tengo’s new record, Stuff Like That There, on August 28. The band will kick off a supporting world tour in September … Grace Potter has announced the August 14 release of debut solo album Midnight via Hollywood … So There, the new LP from Ben Folds, is due out from New West on September 11 … To celebrate the 30th anniversary of debut album Psychocandy, the Jesus And Mary Chain played the record in its entirety at Glasgow’s legendary Barrowlands last November. Demon chronicles the performance on Live At Barrowlands, an LP/CD deluxe edition, due out July 31 … The final three albums from Led ZeppelinPresence, In Through The Out Door and Coda—will be reissued in multiple formats by Atlantic/Swan Song on July 31. Each is newly remastered by Jimmy Page and features previously unreleased companion audio … On August 21, the Sword will release High Country on Razor And Tie … ABKCO celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by reissuing the single in a limited-edition 12-inch vinyl format on July 10 … Continental Drifters—a band that featured Vicki Peterson (Bangles), Susan Cowsill (Cowsills), Peter Holsapple (dB’s) and others—is remembered on Omnivore’s two-disc compilation album Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond, due out July 17 … Instrumentals 2015 is the first new Flying Saucer Attack album in 15 years, set for a July 17 release via Drag City … Deadheads rejoice: The Grateful Dead is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the release of a whopping 80-disc boxed set, 30 Trips Around The Sun, which features 30 unreleased concerts spanning the band’s career. It will be available September 18 … August 28 marks the release of Kunk, the new Dope Body album, from Drag City … Relapse will issue the new Windhand album, Grief’s Internal Flower, on September 18 … Record Store Day Trilogy is a three-disc package containing Bardo Pond’s three exclusive Record Store Day EPs, due out July 24 on Fire … Twenty years after its first release, Bert Jansch’s Live At The 12 Bar will be available on vinyl for the first time from Earth on August 7.

—Emily Costantino

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Spoon Disinters Cramps Gem On “Conan”


A dead-boring set of interviews with a pair of giggling, self-appointed TV show “stars” on Conan last night was thankfully followed by a rare musical gem. Recreated by MAGNET fave Spoon, it turned out to be an historic performance that deserves to begin running non-stop on a giant billboard in front of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame—if they’ve got the balls.

Spoon played vintage, skull-exploding Cramps epic “TV Set” and wrung every last bit of psychotic mayhem from the original, cut by “Elvis From Hell” lead singer Lux Interior, rhythm guitarist Poison Ivy and crew, back in the early ’80s. Spoon’s dynamic frontman Britt Daniel and ace guitarist Alex Fischel added all the right buzzsaw, curare-tipped fretboard darts that helped to somewhat mask the song’s ghoulish lyrics. Probably a good thing or the show’s producers might never have let them perform it on TV.

As a public service, MAGNET is here to fan away the Jim Jones-tainted, Kool-Aid shower of purple fog from the libretto so you can get the full impact of what you may have thought you heard. Here you go: a song whose lyrics were inspired by no less a literary trio than those banned EC horror comic-book hosts of 60 years ago: the Crypt Keeper, the Old Hag and the Vault Keeper.

Watch here.

Lyrics after the jump.

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In The News: Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Superchunk, Stone Roses, Doors And More


Beach House has announced the August 28 release of fifth album Depression Cherry via Sub Pop. A supporting worldwide tour will kick off August 18 … 4AD will reissue two Cocteau Twins EPs, Tiny Dynamite/Echoes In A Shallow Bay and The Pink Opaque, on 180-gram black vinyl on July 17 … On July 10, Superchunk’s 1999 album Come Pick Me Up will be reissued by Merge on CD, LP and digital download, complete with eight bonus tracks … The Stone Roses and Turns Into Stone—the 1989 and 1992 releases from the Stone Roses, respectively—will be reissued on vinyl June 17 via Light In The Attic … The two out-of-print records by the Doors made after Jim Morrison’s death, Other Voices and Full Circle, will be available September 4 on 180-gram vinyl and as a two-disc set from Rhino … Stray Cats’ 1981 and 1983 Rockpalast performances will be available as Live At Rockpalast, a DVD and DVD/two-CD set, on July 7 … Saddle Creek will issue Everybody’s Coming Down, the first album from the Good Life in eight years, on August 14 … June 16 will see the release of Ike Reilly’s seventh studio album, Born On Fire, via Rock Ridge Music and Tom Morello’s Firebrand Records.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Veruca Salt, Joy Division, Faith No More, Destroyer, Velvet Teen And More


Ghost Notes is the first album of new material by Veruca Salt since 1996, due out from El Camino on July 10 … The 35th anniversary of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” will be celebrated June 27, when Rhino reissues studio albums Unknown Pleasures and Closer on 180-gram vinyl. Reissues of Still and Substance will follow on July 24 … Gregg Allman’s first solo DVD release, Live: Back To Macon, GA, will be available August 7 via Rounder … Rhino will celebrate the return of Faith No More by reissuing The Real Thing and Angel Dust as deluxe two-disc sets on June 7 … On July 17, the seventh Joss Stone record, Water For Your Soul, will be released by S-Curve … The perfect Father’s Day gift for music fans this year will come from UMe, which issued several deluxe versions and boxed sets by the likes of Bryan Adams, the Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Rolling Stones, R.E.M, Frank Sinatra, the Who and more … Poison, the new Destroyer album, is set for an August 28 release via Merge … The Velvet Teen has announced the June 30 release of its first album in nine years, All Is Illusory, on Topshelf … Loud & Proud will issue Lynyrd Skynyrd: One More For The Fans, on July 24. The two CD/DVD boxed set features the concert last November celebrating the songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd, featuring performances by the band as well as Trace Adkins, Gregg Allman, Cheap Trick, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton and more … July 10 will see the release of the new Membranes record, Dark Matter/Dark Energy, via Metropolis … The sophomore release from ZZ Ward, This Means War, is due out from Hollywood on September 18 … The 10th anniversary of SimsLights Out Paris will be commemorated with a deluxe edition, available on June 30 via Doomtree … Amusers And Puzzlers will be the final album from Sightings, to be released by Dais on June 9.

—Emily Costantino

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Bad And Good Restaurants: The Olive Garden

As if he isn’t already wearing enough hats, our movie guru, Jud Cost, spurred on by a foul dining experience and armed with a large bottle of Tums, has been appointed MAGNET’s West Coast restaurant critic, a decision he may already regret.


It’s hard to believe the Olive Garden has been in business for more than 30 years with more than 800 restaurants worldwide—especially if you’ve ever eaten there. My wife dined at the Palo Alto, Calif., location 20-plus years ago and warned me that it was pretty bad. But nothing short of the angel of death imbedding a flaming axe in my front door could have kept me from trying the place at least once. Tonight, I got my chance.

I mean, how bad could a place be that serves the Italian holy trinity of fried calamari, a green salad with vinaigrette dressing and a big slab of lasagna? The answer descended upon us like rogue waves when you’re surfing the ocean coming from the sewage treatment plant after a summer squall has caused a tank overload.

The seawater metaphor is particularly apt, as every dish we had (short of my OK glass of house Chianti) was drowned in salt. Even one of their advertising signature items, “an unlimited supply of bread sticks,” has been unmistakably bathed in salt. No big deal. The sticks are nothing more than elongated hot dog buns with a crust. Unlike most California restaurants, their basket of fried calamari contained no circular pieces of tentacle or whole baby squid. These were in strip form, tinted an odd beige and, again, marinated in salt. The house salad consisted of 80 percent white lettuce that tasted like it had done hard time in a warehouse. The slices of tomato could have come from a jar, if that’s possible.

My wife’s entree was a lightly sautéed, over-salted chicken breast that could have been found in a fast-food joint’s chicken sandwich. I had to ask our waiter if my entree really was lasagna. Instead of the majestic slice you’d expect, this was a sad little lump covered with melted cheese and what could have been Campbell’s tomato soup, thickened with arrowroot.

So yeah, it was bad. Our meal immediately vaulted into my top five of bad restaurant lifetime experiences, right next to the British place in Winchester whose waiter, a Basil Fawlty look-alike, raised a big stink when I complained that my duck breast was still partially frozen. Our Olive Garden server was excellent. What he served us left a brackish taste in my mouth that required a quart of skim milk to quench once we returned home.

Overwhelmed by the bad food, I forgot to mention one marvelous highlight. They have non-stop jazz playing here while you eat. And not just that unidenfifiable Muzak they play in some joints. What’s the last time you dug Charlie Parker in high flight in a local eatery? We also heard my fave track by Horace Silver, “Cookin’ At The Continetal,” and some groovy sides by Anita O’Day. It eases the pain somewhat.

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