From The Desk Of The Psycho Sisters: Guiltless Pleasures

Vicki Peterson (lead guitarist of the Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (with her family’s band the Cowsills since the age of eight) are currently tilling the fields as the Psycho Sisters, and it’s given them rare perspective on making music that many lesser talents would lack. Their debut album, Up On The Chair, Beatrice is out now via the RockBeat label. Peterson and Cowsill will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Guiltless

Peterson: When I was a member of the Continental Drifters, we would sometimes play a game of “Guilty Pleasures,” in which we’d take turns revealing love for a potentially embarrassing song. It takes courage (sometimes of the liquid sort) to stand and declare how much you really, deep down, secretly love a song that you know for a fact is uncool. When a child, I’d been teased by my older sister and many others for being a Cowsills fan. I thought the sound of the sibling-blend harmonies they created was magical. If I’d been playing this game with any other group of people, I’d probably have to include a Cowsills song or two, but my Drifter cohorts were, like me, Cowsills aficionados, and so those songs didn’t qualify. There was no belittlement to be suffered from offering up “Beautiful Beige” or even “We Can Fly.”

John Denver was another story. My sister Pam had excoriated me for buying his records, too, but this time my bandmates seemed to agree. Except for Susan Cowsill. Years later, when Susan was preparing a solo set before a Bangles show in San Francisco, she debated whether or not to include Denver’s “Sunshine On My Shoulders.” Taking a quick survey in the dressing room, Susan found that both Susanna and I were behind her all the way, but my sister Debbi was completely disgusted. Susan ended up not playing the song that night, but I applauded her courage.

Guiltless Pleasures (or songs I am not ashamed to love):
Os Mutantes “Panis Et Circenses”
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Peter & Gordon “A World Without Love”
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The Cowsills “Poor Baby”
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The Left Banke “Walk Away Renee”
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MP3 At 3PM: Sneakout

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Sneakout is the new moniker for singer/songwriter Robert Fleming, formerly known as Victory. He’s had many songs featured in commercials, TV shows and films, including an episode of HBO’s Girls. Now, he’s released an energetic new track called “The Art Of Hanging On.” Driving and electronic, the song is very catchy, easy to dance to and fun. Download “The Art Of Hanging On” below.

“The Art Of Hanging On” (download):

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Joshua Worden Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

JoshuaWorden

Joshua Worden is an indie/alternative singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Ga. He’s a schooled jazz guitarist (although he later switched his major to English literature) who uses his education to create some of the most soothing and relaxing music you’ll ever hear. In September, he’s set to release his latest work of art, Into Fog. He also made MAGNET a mix tape, which you should check out below.

Elbow “New York Morning”
You’ve probably heard this song, but you should listen to it again. The chorus just builds and builds and builds, and it feels so goddamn good. It just makes me want to shout, “Raaaaa.” Guy Garvey has some serious pipes. Video

Robert Glasper “Dillalude #2″
Robert Glasper has been doing some really great things for jazz lately. This particular cut is special. They’re playing some of my favorite J Dilla beats as a live band and smashing the shit out of them. The pocket is so deep that even grandma would bob her head if she were still around and heard it. Listen to the whole thing when you have time. It’s nine minutes long, but they get to some great spots. Video

Plaid “Oh”
For me, hearing Plaid is instant nostalgia. This is from their brand-new album, but thankfully it is still unmistakably Plaid. I see late nights, yellow street lights, driving too fast, windows open, faded. Good feels. Video

Bombay Bicycle Club “Home By Now”
There’s something about this song that gets me every time. I can’t desensitize myself to it. Spine shivers and a blank stare. The chorus melody/harmony is impeccable. Video

Kendrick Lamar “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst”
Kendrick is my favorite dude out right now. For me, in hip hop there’s a very clear line between music that’s timeless and music made for short-term consumption. Honestly, I like both, but the former is infinitely more rare. I’d put Outkast, Wu-Tang, Nas and a few others in that category. And Kendrick has joined their ranks. Music that comes from a deep well and addresses real shit but doesn’t take itself too seriously. A fine line. Video

Wye Oak “Logic Of Color”
There’s a lot to like here. Technically, I love the dynamics in the mix: the panned drums, subdued pre-chorus, the tasteful synths. Musically, it’s just a great song. Her voice has the perfect level of husk. Video

Blctxt “Blue Collar Anthem”
Anthony (blctxt) was one the first good friends I made when I moved to Atlanta, and he is ATL through and through. Great artist, always on the grind. Great photographer as well. He captures these amazing candid moments on the MARTA every morning and posts them on his Instagram. Video

Sea Cycles “Tomahawk”
These guys, besides being some of my best friends, embody completely unbridled creativity. I’ve always looked up to them for their seemingly bottomless wellspring of awesome artistic ideas. They’ve got a new album coming out soon, and it’s going to be amazing. Video

Hundred Waters “Sonnet”
This is a band of some seriously talented individuals. I caught them live before I really knew who they were, here in Atlanta a year or two ago (at 529, a small and perfectly shitty venue). They’re playing sold-out shows in front of thousands now, but when I saw them, it was me and maybe five other people watching. And they slayed it. The way the girls harmonize and get that weird flute-ish vibrato interaction going on is unique and very cool. Clever songs, odd time signatures, great musicianship. Video

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From The Desk Of The Psycho Sisters: Grief In The Key Of Me

Vicki Peterson (lead guitarist of the Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (with her family’s band the Cowsills since the age of eight) are currently tilling the fields as the Psycho Sisters, and it’s given them rare perspective on making music that many lesser talents would lack. Their debut album, Up On The Chair, Beatrice is out now via the RockBeat label. Peterson and Cowsill will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

Grief

Cowsill:
An egg ready to crack, though it’s guaranteed safe in its carton
A cry that sits silent on its shelf jealous of all the other cries being heard
Remembering what wasn’t and wishing that it could have been
A twin watching a part of him disappear before his very eyes
The end of possibilities
Air that isn’t there and then not being able to breathe it when it is
Old friends and lines of sorrow on their faces
Hidden weakness
Facades of strength
Preserving sweet memories and running them like a Saturday matinee
Also staying for the midnight showing
Being grateful for having been a part
Forgiveness
Selflessness and how good that feels
Knowing that in the end, there is only love
And that that love, will see you through

Round the bend, Rich

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Film At 11: Hobart W. Fink

Jayk Gallagher and Lauren Lakis, both a onetime romantic couple as well as fairly accomplished actors, comprise L.A.-based indie-pop band Hobart W. Fink. Today, MAGNET is honored to premiere their new video for “The Fight/We Lie,” from Back And Forth Forever. The clip is a rather sad story about a couple fighting and being unhappy. Scattered animations make the video a little brighter, and the end definitely gets messy. Check out the video below.

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From The Desk Of The Psycho Sisters: ’90s Mix Tape

Vicki Peterson (lead guitarist of the Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (with her family’s band the Cowsills since the age of eight) are currently tilling the fields as the Psycho Sisters, and it’s given them rare perspective on making music that many lesser talents would lack. Their debut album, Up On The Chair, Beatrice is out now via the RockBeat label. Peterson and Cowsill will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

90s

Peterson: I’m on the road at the moment and don’t have before me my eclectic, full-of-musical-holes-but-still-interesting CD collection. I was thinking about what made the ‘90s sound like the ‘90s, possibly because the Psycho Sisters’ material (the original stuff) was all written in the early years of that decade, and it’s been suggested that the record has a ‘90s tone. What does that mean? Many people reduce the ’90s to flannel and Nirvana, but I remember it as a time with diverse musical markers: Oasis, the Wallflowers, Alanis Morrisette, the Spice Girls, Boyz II Men, No Doubt.

My world in the 1990s (and possibly an easier route to understanding where the Psychos live) revolved more around bands that shook off the shimmer and shine of the 1980’s and were unafraid to be unpretty. Here are some picks from my memory:

The Continental Drifters “Drifters”
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Eleven “All Together”
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Veruca Salt “Volcano Girls”
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Giant Sand “Solomon’s Ride”
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MP3 At 3PM: The Belle Sounds

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The Belle Sounds, in preparation for the upcoming release of the Black Stone EP on September 9, share the title track with MAGNET. Songwriter Noëlle Hampton takes us on a trip through her childhood as the song rages on at a steady tempo. The track weaves through cheery, driving passages, raging guitar solos, as well as slower, softer parts that all mesh together in a very coherent way. Download “Black Stone” below.

“Black Stone” (download):

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From The Desk Of The Psycho Sisters: Christmas Tree Farms

Vicki Peterson (lead guitarist of the Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (with her family’s band the Cowsills since the age of eight) are currently tilling the fields as the Psycho Sisters, and it’s given them rare perspective on making music that many lesser talents would lack. Their debut album, Up On The Chair, Beatrice is out now via the RockBeat label. Peterson and Cowsill will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

ChristmasTreeFarm

Cowsill: It’s mid-summer, traveling down the road via a 15-passenger van with Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend” serenading the weary travelers, when all at once it is upon us!!! A Christmas tree farm! We must be in the Carolinas as that is where I believe, most of them are born, yes, you heard me … born! I find myself immediately moved to tears while surveying the baby Christmas trees. I imagine them all grown up and ready, willing and excited to be chopped down and taken to the lot where some loving family will take them home and spend heavenly hours caring for, decorating and completely appreciating their presence, their very essence in there home.

They will stand peacefully, majestically and honorably in the glow of the lights that were so carefully placed on them by the one in the family who knows best. They will hear the laughter of the children, feel their joy and share in their wonder as they place invaluable handed down ornaments on their limbs. And most precious of all, they will witness the magic of this season that gently covers this mostly troubled world in a veil of mystery, loving spirit and beauty that only the innocent can see and feel all year long. I am jealous of this privilege! I would be honored to be a Christmas tree!

As the tree farm fades along with my daydream, I am brought back into my body and the real world to the echoed chanting voices of “War Of Man,” and I’m thinking, maybe I’ll put in a request for the next time around. I think I’d look great in Noble Fur!

Video after the jump.

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Film At 11: Onward Chariots

Brooklyn chamber-pop band Onward Chariots are getting ready for the release of the new Take Me To Somewhere, produced by Jesse Gander (Japandriods, White Lung), out September 2. They have released a colorful new video for a track off the EP called “I Know We’ll Find A Way.” The clip features frontman Ben Morss playing guitar and singing in various parts of New York as the energetic song accompanies his travels. We are proud to premiere the video today on magnetmagazine.com. Watc it below.

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From The Desk Of The Psycho Sisters: 29 Palms Inn

Vicki Peterson (lead guitarist of the Bangles) and Susan Cowsill (with her family’s band the Cowsills since the age of eight) are currently tilling the fields as the Psycho Sisters, and it’s given them rare perspective on making music that many lesser talents would lack. Their debut album, Up On The Chair, Beatrice is out now via the RockBeat label. Peterson and Cowsill will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.

29Palms

Peterson: I’m a forest person, as opposed to beach or desert. I gravitate to trees—preferably fragrant conifers. Despite this fact, I find myself repeatedly attracted to Joshua Tree National Park, the soul of the Mojave Desert. For years now, I’ve been driving the two hours or so from my home to the Oasis of Mara to sit for a few days in an old adobe cottage at the 29 Palms Inn.

When I first visited there in the ‘80s, the compound seemed like a relic of the ’60s: a hippie enclave, charming and a little run down. A decade or so later, the secret was out and there was a fashion photo shoot going on outside the cottage next to mine. European accents were overheard in the dining room, which now served gourmet meals with organic produce grown in a garden a few yards away.

I go to 29 Palms (which is the town just outside the park’s border) to write, to read, to shake myself up a bit and think, or to not think for a while. Somehow, the starkness and dry heat of the desert has a sort of cleansing effect on me.

Inside the park, at a monument called Cap Rock, is the legendary location where Gram Parsons’ body was taken by friends to be burnt after he’d overdosed in room eight of the nearby Joshua Tree Inn. (And yes, I’ve stayed in that room, too.) Over the years, fans have left graffitied tributes to Gram carved into the boulders at Cap Rock. I was there very recently and found only smooth, recently sandblasted rocks, the markings apparently erased by park workers. I’ve seen that before, too, and I know this: The fans will be back.

Video after the jump.

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