Category Archives: PUT UP YOUR DUKES

Put Up Your Dukes: Queens Of The Stone Age

Queens3Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Queens Of The Stone Age. Put up your dukes!

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
As you know, I’ve been following Josh Homme’s career from the early Kyuss days through the various incarnations of the Desert Sessions and Queens Of The Stone Age. I’ve interviewed him three times and have written of him in glowing terms. With that said, it’s become increasingly difficult to be a fan these days. In fact, I’m starting to think I’m no longer up to the task. To these ears, Homme is in a very deep rut with his epileptic robot shtick, which reached its nadir with the perfectly awful Era Vulgaris. Still, given the players and a promising first single, my hopes were very, very high for Them Crooked Vultures, Homme’s supergroup with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones. Having just given the full album a listen, however, I’ve concluded that Homme could have Alex Chilton and Paul McCartney on his writing team and still be incapable of producing a memorable hook.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
You had high hopes for Them Crooked Vultures? Really? Since the demise of Led Zeppelin 30 years ago, John Paul Jones has, um … hold on … let me Wiki it … done some solo stuff and collaborated with Jars Of Clay and the singer from Toad The Wet Sprocket. Dave Grohl? He doesn’t have a lot of credit left at the creative bank right now. (He made some early withdrawals and invested really wisely; so don’t worry about him, he’s set for life.) So if you’re disappointed by Them Crooked Vultures, there’s plenty of blame to go around. I don’t think that everything Homme touches is gold (read my QOTSA Over/Under piece), but his Queens output is about as solid as any rock band’s over the last decade. You’ll have to tell me what’s “perfectly awful” about the punchier Era Vulgaris. As for the Vultures release, can we agree that being disappointed in that album is like being mad at the low quality of, say, Desert Sessions Vol. 4? It’s the man’s nature to goof off, experiment and have fun with recordings.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

Admittedly, Jonesy hasn’t been on the front pages for, um, a few decades, but that doesn’t diminish his legacy. With regard to Grohl, well, you’re way off base there. Yes, it’s easy to take shots at the increasingly everyman Foo Fighters (although you’ll still find them on my playlist), but you conveniently omitted the fact that Grohl is one of the best drummers in the business, a point on which there is consensus from fans, critics and musicians alike. Have you already forgotten that a Homme/Grohl collaboration resulted in the last exceptional QOTSA record, 2002′s Songs For The Deaf? On that basis alone, why would expectations be sky high for Them Crooked Vultures? Other than this golden moment, Homme’s creative well has been bone dry ever since. Yes, that includes (especially) Era Vulgaris. Have you even listened to the likes of “I’m Designer” from that record? Good god, that song makes me want to jam knitting needles into my ears. Similarly, if industrial machinery could masturbate, it would probably sound a lot like Era‘s aptly named lead-off single, “Sick, Sick, Sick.” I realize I’m somewhat contradicting myself here, slagging Homme’s musical output of the last few years, while at the same time arguing that I had high expectations for his most recent project. But I guess I had hoped that some of that old Homme brilliance would return.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
Let’s agree to disagree on “Sick, Sick, Sick,” which I think is a pretty solid radio single with some fairly motorin’ (if not motorik) garage-rock guitars. And I’m not sure I’d characterize Songs For The Deaf as a “collaboration” between Grohl and Homme. Grohl played the drums. That’s like saying Blonde On Blonde was a collaboration between Bob Dylan and Kenneth A. Buttrey. (Sorry, drummers.) I’m tempted to paint you as a long-suffering Kyuss fan, with a cassette copy of Blues For The Red Sun tucked under your pillow. But that’s too easy. I think you’re just being impatient and misdiagnosing Homme with whatever disease Rivers Cuomo has—the one that turns a once-inspired songwriter into a rancid puddle of melted cheese. As with Dylan or Frank Black or Eric Bachmann or John Reis, you gotta hang in there and trust that Homme is going to be productive over the course of a career that outlasts dumb trends or self-inflicted indulgences. So the real questions are: When do you relinquish membership to the fan club? What formerly awesome musicians have you given up on? And do you really think Homme is at that point?

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
Although it doesn’t advance the principal debate, I do have to take a moment to address the ridiculous implication that drummers can’t have a formative impact on classic recordings. Are you placing Grohl, John Bonham, Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart and Jimmy Chamberlain—just to name a few—in the same league as a session player? Really? Anyway, back to the matter at hand, I guess I never give up all hope on favorite songwriters who have lost their mojo. That I still hold a glimmer for Paul Westerberg should be ample evidence of that (although it is worth noting that Westerberg wasn’t that much younger than Homme is now when he broke up the ‘Mats and started his solo career, which doesn’t bode well for Josh). So, yes, while I do listen to Blues For The Red Sun more than Lullabies To Paralyze or Era Vulgaris these days, I also reserve hope that Homme has some gas left in the tank. By the way, I can’t help notice that you haven’t exactly launched a vociferous defense here. So far you’ve offered an outright slam (“You had high hopes for Them Crooked Vultures? Really?”), faint praise (“pretty solid radio single,” “fairly motorin’”) and a crack about the Desert Sessions. Search your feelings, Luke. You really agree with me, don’t you?

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
You misspelled Jimmy Chamberlin’s last name. But that’s OK—he’s still just as important to the Smashing Pumpkins as Billy Corrigan. Listen, I have enough enemies. I don’t need to add the world’s population of drummers to the list. Grohl was an excellent addition to the Queens lineup, but his presence alone didn’t make or break the songs. The band’s current drummer, Joey Castillo, is … whatever compliment drummers like to hear. An animal. A rabid caveman. That Hindu god with all the arms. But back to our main topic: I don’t feel too conflicted about Era Vulgaris. What, you don’t like Bulby and Patchy the Pirate? I enjoy the supercharged “3′s And 7′s” (as heard on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and featuring a hook that’s memorable to just about everyone but you) as well as the fake R&B thing that is “Make It Wit Chu” (which is so much better than the fake R&B thing that My Morning Jacket does). I suspect you don’t like Homme’s recent efforts at concise rock and prefer his sprawling, droning stuff. Is that it? Era Vulgaris isn’t my favorite Queens record, but it’s hardly time to pull the plug on Homme. I get the feeling that if you were Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby, that movie would’ve been about an hour shorter.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
Thanks for the spell check. Guess that’s why you’re the editor with all the attendant fancy cars, drugs and high-priced call girls, while I’m just a lowly freelancer, toiling away in anonymity. The trappings of your Jay-Z lifestyle are obviously becoming a distraction, however, given your confusing comments about Homme’s “recent” efforts at concise rock. Have you not heard QOTSA’s 1998 debut? The three-minute “If Only” is not only concise, but one of the best things Homme has written. I’ll take that over any of the handful of bloated seven minute tracks on Lullabies To Paralyze any day of the week. Yes, he subsequently reined in song length on Era Vulgaris, but unfortunately, that brevity only translated to sucking for shorter periods of time. Look, I’ll make you a deal here: Admit that Homme’s recent output has been largely lackluster and I won’t unplug the respirator for another couple of years. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a miracle recovery.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
Fine. I already admitted Era Vulgaris wasn’t the best album, and I can’t stand up for Them Crooked Vultures. Speaking of vultures, that’s exactly what you were at the beginning of this debate. You wanted to swoop down and pick apart the remains of Josh Homme. I don’t mean it to sound quite that moralistic—that’s what critics do. But the man isn’t dead. He’s just gathering strength. He’s on a swamp planet with Yoda. He’s in Siberia punching frozen meat. He’s carb-loading at Denny’s. You can’t keep this guy down. Let’s meet back here around the release date of the next Queens album and see how the patient is doing.

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Dinosaur Jr

dinojrTwo of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Dinosaur Jr. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

Dinosaur Jr came to town last month. I didn’t go see them. In fact, I’ve never seen Dinosaur Jr (or its frontman, J Mascis, live)—which, for a music journalist who’s been covering a certain alt-rock niche for more than a decade, is like lying beneath a urinating racehorse and not getting wet. You just end up seeing certain long-in-the-tooth artists by default. (I’ve seen Bob Mould three times by accident, for example.) In the interest of starting an argument with you, I’m going to throw Dinosaur into the tar pit. Yes, I’ve heard their albums. I’m bothered that their best-known song is a cover of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” I’m turned off by the fugly green-and-purple “team colors” that were made into a Nike sneaker and the eighth-grade art-class album covers. Mascis might be a guitar god (more on that later), but he must’ve sold his personality to acquire such skills. He has all the charisma of Stephen Malkmus but with the appearance of an aging lesbian. Hit me back, Freak Scene.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

Maybe I missed the point of these debates entirely, but I thought we were supposed to be discussing music. I’m now left to argue … what? That J Mascis is in fact a handsome devil? With impeccable instincts for art and fashion? And a sparkling conversationalist to boot? I’ll tell you a little story. You may or may not recall that I interviewed Mascis for MAGNET many years ago. His reputation having preceded him, I went into the interview well-prepared, with pages of single-spaced questions and discussion topics. Nevertheless, the whole “conversation” lasted approximately 10 minutes and was characterized by a series of yeses, nos and grunts. Suffice to say I’d rather have a Tabasco enema than interview that fucker again. And yes, he does look like he drives a beat-up Volvo, wears Birkenstocks and listens to the Indigo Girls. All of that becomes irrelevant, however, when he plugs in a guitar. I defy you to identify any Mascis contemporaries who are as genius with a six-string. One other note: “Start Choppin’” is Dinosaur Jr’s best-known song, having reached number four on the alternative charts back in ’93. Still, there would be nothing wrong with being recognized for converting the worst song from the Cure’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me into something listenable.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
I remember “Start Choppin’.” Actually, I only remember the guitar riff from it. Is that bad? You’ll have to agree that J “fuzzy warbler” Mascis is not a technically gifted singer (and yet he’s no Kim Gordon, either), and it doesn’t make much sense to try to figure out what he’s been singing about all these years. So we’re left with his proficiency on the guitar. Maybe he’s in the pantheon of guitar gods somewhere between Doug Martsch and Joe Satriani, or maybe he’s three spots up from Kevin Shields and seven steps to the left of Bernard Butler. Pitchfork is working round the clock on those rankings right now. In the meantime, I’m left to wonder whether Dinosaur Jr is revered just ’cause they’re old and still kicking (hey Mission Of Burma—I’m coming for you next) or because they put their early stuff out on SST. Smells like grandfathered indie cred to me. This was a band that couldn’t make it big even during the Nirvana boom cycle. You had to be stupid or Mudhoney not to hit paydirt during the alt-rock ’90s.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
No, Mascis is not a technically gifted singer, but neither is Tom Waits nor—since you mentioned Mudhoney—Mark Arm. Last I checked, silky vocal pipes weren’t a prerequisite for artistic credibility. Perhaps this is more to your liking? In terms of guitar prowess, are Doug Martsch and Bernard Butler really the best you could do? Really? What about John Frusciante, Dave Navarro, Mike McCready, Josh Homme and Tom Morello? Disregard that. I’m not here to make your case for you (although you clearly need help). You seem to be arguing that any regard for Dinosaur Jr is a nostalgia trip. (Does anybody really give a shit that they used to be on SST? I don’t.). Yet in the same breath, you acknowledge that Dino Jr. is “still kicking.” They are indeed still kicking. With apologies to the Rush fans out there, name a better rock ‘n’ roll trio now or 20 years ago than Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. As a final point, you’re like Fox News: When the facts don’t support your case, just make them up. Couldn’t “make it big?” Dinosaur Jr had four major-label releases in the ’90s, charted here and in the U.K. and played Lollapalooza. How is that not commercial success? By the way, I hesitate to even ask that question, as it gives credence to the silly popularity = quality aspect of your argument.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
Thanks for the Mel Tormé YouTube clip—that’s exactly what I meant. Was he on SST? I think Mel might’ve been in an early lineup of the Subhumans. I think we already established, in our Pixies argument, that a band can still breathe and tour and yet largely represent a nostalgia trip for its fans. Can I name a better rock trio than Dinosaur Jr? Didn’t I just mention Nirvana? How about Daryl Hall, John Oates and an old shoe? I’ve clearly stated that I dislike Dinosaur Jr’s crummy visual aesthetic, Mascis’ plant-like personality, the inferior vocals and lyrics and the dubious assertion that Mascis is a guitar hero. You’ve been arguing around the edges. What progression has the band made in its 25-year career? What’s the thing that I’m missing? Give me a YouTube clip of Dinosaur Jr doing something awesome and I’ll give it fair consideration.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
Dude, at least get your facts straight. Tormé was in Crass, not the Subhumans. Anyway, at the risk of repeating myself, the fact that a band can induce nostalgia and still produce viable music in the current day are not mutually exclusive states of being. This year’s Farm and 2007′s Beyond are stellar rock ‘n’ roll records by any measure. As for any lingering doubts regarding Mascis’ godhead status on guitar, please cue up Farm‘s “I Don’t Wanna Go There” at the 4:15 mark and prepare to have your face melted by the four-minute solo. Sonics aside, you seem to be hung up on the visuals, so I’ll direct you to the band’s classic Spike Jonze-directed video for “Feel The Pain,” wherein Mascis and Co. play a round of golf in NYC. Equally bitchin’ is the new clip for “Over It,” Mascis skateboard double’s ridiculous grey wig notwithstanding. It’s great visual entertainment (see if you can spot the Mike Watt cameo) and the song’s wah-wah guitar hook is insanely catchy. So there you have it.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
The video for “Feel The Pain” is really funny. I mean that it’s funny not only because of the golfing but also because it features all the band members. Both of them. Mascis and bassist Mike Johnson, the only other guy who could stand to be in Dinosaur Jr at the time. I can’t be quite as critical with regard to the “Over It” video—that is top shelf. I’m embedding it below. How’d you know that was Mike Watt? If you’d sent me the link to this video at the beginning of this whole charade, it might’ve been the shortest Put Up Your Dukes in history. However, then I wouldn’t have gotten you to make the ridiculous claim that “Just Like Heaven” is the worst song on Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. Are you insane? Or do you think the seven minutes of sonic waterboarding that is “The Snakepit” is a stone cold gas? Don’t answer that—we could be here for days.

YouTube Preview Image
Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Frank Black Vs. The Pixies

pixies550Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: “Bone Machine” vs. Bluefinger, “Nimrod’s Son” vs. Teenager Of The Year, Black Francis vs. Frank Black. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

I have to say, the Pixies reunion never sat well with me. The band certainly deserves all its posthumous acclaim and enduring popularity, but there’s something untoward about the summer-festival cash grabs. Plus, there’s the new boxed set, Minotaur, which should’ve been titled Gouge Away. I think the price tag reaches $450 if you get the edition with all the bells and whistles. Even if I wasn’t being the vintner at the Sour Grapes Winery where the Pixies making bank is concerned, I have a debate-worthy point to make: Frank Black’s body of solo work now surpasses the relatively brief spurt of creativity he experienced with the Pixies. From his output with the Catholics to Grand Duchy and back to Black Francis again, he’s become more diverse, a better songwriter and a better vocalist. What’s up with these fools clamoring to hear “Where Is My Mind?” for the umpteenth time?

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

First of all, “summer-festival cash grab” is a bit harsh. These guys aren’t the Eagles charging $150 per ticket so Don Henley can buy a third Ferrari. Did you see LoudQUIETLoud, the documentary about the Pixies reunion? Christ, until this tour, David Lovering was a real life Gob, doing magic tricks to eke out a living. And who the hell knows what Joey Santiago was doing to feed himself. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, you claim that Frank Black is still doing solo work? I stopped paying attention after his ’93 self-titled release, which included his only memorable post-Pixies tune, “Los Angeles” (remember that bitchin’ hovercraft?). I’m being facetious, of course. I’m aware of Mr. Black’s substantial solo catalog. I had to stop listening, however, due to extensive forehead bruising; I only get about two songs into the likes of Honeycomb and fall face down onto my desk in a state of catatonic boredom. Here’s a suggestion: Play the aforementioned record’s “Selkie Bride,” followed by Surfer Rosa’s “Bone Machine.” Compare. That should end this debate immediately.

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

I’m glad you brought up LoudQUIETLoud. That was the documentary about four people who do not like to be in a room together, right? It bummed me out in the same way that End Of The Century did, learning that the Ramones—for me, the quintessential band unit, from the uniforms to the faux-brotherhood—mostly hated each other. Creative tension is one thing, but passive-aggressive dysfunction is painful to watch. I don’t have a comeback for your Honeycomb jab. Well, I sort of do—it’s called Bossanova and it’s almost 25 percent of the Pixies’ output. Honeycomb and Frank Black’s rootsy phase, circa 2002-2006, wasn’t my favorite, either, but there’s plenty of other discs on the shelf. I’ll save the gory details for an Over/Under piece, but Frank Black has made three great albums: Teenager Of The Year, Dog In The Sand and Petits Four (by Grand Duchy, his duo with wife Violet Clark). They’re all very different from each other—the first is a sprawling punk masterpiece, the second is surreal and Stonesy, and the third is synth-enabled pop—and they’re spread out over more than a decade. Sometimes it takes a while to get where you’re going. What kind of range did the Pixies have? Oh, we already mentioned it: loud, quiet, loud.

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

I agree, the documentary was painful viewing. I hear Metallica’s therapist is available; maybe they should give him a call. Teenager Of The Year is a better than average rock n’ roll album. Punk? Not so much. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t remember what Dog In The Sand sounded like until I just pulled it off my shelf a few minutes ago. I suspect I listened to it a few times in 2000 when the CD came out and it has been collecting dust ever since. It’s certainly not a bad record, but there’s just not much here to keep a listener coming back (plus, I could rattle off 20 bands that have done a better job aping the Stones). I think part of the problem is that Charles Frank Black Francis Thompson actually tries to sing on his solo material. While he’s electrifying when screeching, moaning and shouting obscenities in Spanish, as a traditional singer, he’s positively narcotic (and not in a good way). Grand Douchey (did I spell that right?) suffers from the same affliction. Black’s and his wife’s tone-deaf crooning make for painful—and painfully boring—listening. Back to the Pixies, I’m not going to go on and on about how Bossanova was an underrated entry in their canon (mostly because I wasn’t crazy about it myself). Such a defense is unnecessary, however, as the strength of Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle render any other catalog nitpicking irrelevant. These were seminal releases, influencing countless bands. How many imitators has solo Frank Black spawned?

Read More »

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Pearl Jam’s “Ten”

pearl-jamten550c

Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Ten, Pearl Jam‘s 1991 grunge touchstone. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

Can 10 million Americans be wrong? That’s not a serious question. This debate would already be over if that were my opening argument. But 10 million is the number of copies of Pearl Jam’s Ten that have been sold since its release in 1991 (they just reissued it in a deluxe edition, by the way), not to mention the canonization of the album by, well, everyone. After going back and listening to Ten, we should really reconsider this. It’s essentially a cartoonish blues-rock ponytail cheesefest masquerading as then-popular grunge. Listen to those Edgar Winter hot-lick guitar fills! What about Eddie Vedder‘s grandpappy routine, the “c’mere son, sit on my lap and I’ll tell you ’bout your daddy” lyrics? Even Pearl Jam themselves outgrew this charade. For various reasons, Ten had to be made and became very popular. But why can’t we all admit it was a passing mistake and move on?

Read More »

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Anthony Bourdain

bourdain538Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Anthony Bourdain. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan
Let’s talk about Anthony Bourdain. I know you like his food/travel show No Reservations. Well, I got reservations (cue Wilco song). About so many things. I’ll commence tearing down Bourdain’s TV show and his carefully constructed persona shortly, but first I have to get this out in the open: When it comes to celebrity chefs, I’m with WFMU’s Tom Scharpling, who simply said, “Cook my food.” While it certainly requires skill and creativity to be a chef, I don’t need the spectacle of celebrity to enhance my dining experience. With music and film, give me spectacle. When it comes to the person who makes the meal that I’m going to shit out a few hours later … cook my food.

Read More »

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: The Gaslight Anthem

gasligh550Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: the Gaslight Anthem. Put up your dukes!

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch

I couldn’t help but notice that the Gaslight Anthem‘s The 59 Sound topped many critics’ and readers’ lists in 2008, but I ask you: Has there been a more egregious example of clichéd bombast (or is that bombastic cliché?) in recent memory? With its overly earnest delivery and hackneyed ’50s imagery, this steaming pile could be the soundtrack to a really bad high-school production of West Side Story. Other than those with a penchant for ducktail haircuts, leather jackets and Springsteen’s worst musical and lyrical tendencies, to whom, exactly, is this record appealing?

“Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” (download):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More »

Also posted in FREE MP3s | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Bon Iver

boniverb540c1Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Bon Iver. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

Hey, remember when you were a teenager and you’d be in the car with one of your parents and you’d have to find something on the radio that was tolerable for the both of you? You’d end up listening to the bland middle ground of John Mellencamp or the Steve Miller Band or, at best, Out Of Time-era R.E.M. Depending on our reader’s (yes, I do mean singular—I think one person reads this column) age, that safe-sounding music might have been the Wallflowers or Iron & Wine or Bon Iver. I’ve gotten more excited watching Sunrise Earth than I have listening to For Emma, Forever Ago.

“Skinny Love” from For Emma, Forever Ago (download here):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More »

Also posted in FREE MP3s | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Antony And The Johnsons

antony540cTwo of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: Antony And The Johnsons. Put up your dukes!

From: Matt Ryan
To: Matthew Fritch
After reading all the critical hosannas about Antony And The Johnsons (including your 2005 MAGNET cover story), I decided to check out the new one, The Crying Light. Admittedly, I’m late to the party, having missed out on Antony’s acclaimed debut, I Am A Bird Now. However, having now given Mr. Hegarty my full attention, I have one question for you, which I’ll pose as eloquently and succinctly as possible: Dude, WTF? I’m all for the gender-bending thing in pop music; hell, I’ll listen to Jeff Buckley do Edith Piaf all day long. But this guy? Blech. Please explain the appeal, as I simply don’t get it.

“Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground” from The Crying Light:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More »

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed

Put Up Your Dukes: Hunter S. Thompson

hunter3555b

Two of MAGNET’s Matts—editor Matthew Fritch and writer Matt Ryan—go to the mat to see whose opinion is more correct. Today’s topic: gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Put up your dukes!

From: Matthew Fritch
To: Matt Ryan

For this inaugural edition of Put Up Your Dukes, I come to you with an honest question. It’s prompted by our coverage of The Gonzo Tapes boxed set in the most recent issue. I listened to some of it (nobody can listen to five discs of that maniac rambling). I decided to watch the 2008 documentary Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. What, exactly, is the appeal of this guy? Is it his confused self-image that mistakes “asshole” for “rebel”? His cliched macho obsession with guns and motorcycles? The fact that he treated his body like a garbage can? Please, god, don’t tell me it’s his writing.

“In Search Of The American Dream” from The Gonzo Tapes:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More »

Posted in PUT UP YOUR DUKES | Comments closed