Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: “Jesus Was A Liberal”

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: Local Hoboken running buddies Elena Skye and Boo Reiners made a pretty great roots-rocking album this year with sympathetic production by Tom Beaujour. It’s great batch of songs that are well-written and emotionally powerful. They take a Buddy Holly groove through Blondie and Ramones territory and bring it back home with some updated twang in this true song of the times: “Jesus Was A Liberal.” Elena & Boo’s “Jesus Was a Liberal”

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: Club Gaga

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: The U.K. band Happyness turned me on to this band Club Gaga from Athens, Ga. How did I miss these guys? Well, maybe everyone did. Athens was the southern-most hub of the scene that considered Hoboken’s Maxwell’s the East Coast clubhouse. Athens did not disappoint as a musical mecca when my band the Individuals made it there in the early ‘80s. But we did not get to experience Club Gaga. This video of a street fair brings back that special Athens magic. In a town that gave us the B52’s, Pylon, R.E.M., Of Montreal and Neural Milk Hotel, you know the citizenry loves to dance! And Club Gaga is a singular band it’s hard to take one’s eyes and ears off of—almost like three different bands in one. They start rockin’ at 1:57.

Video after the jump.

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: And Speaking Of Spotify …

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: What a gift for anyone trying to research a song. Take “Corrina Corrina,” which worked its way from acoustic country-blues and country into jump-blues and folk, getting covered by Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Dean Martin, Rod Stewart, Steppenwolf and Mountain. It even got up to number nine by Ray Petersen, a star of the Donna Reed TV show! And if you really want to lose your mind, listen to all the permutations of “The Hucklebuck,” that ‘50s dance craze that pre-dated the Twist. Playlist

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: Psych To Folk: Fred Neil And Spotify

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: This is a massive playlist I’ve been building centered on the premise that Fred Neil was the catalyst for ushering folk music into the future, eventually spawning trippier, darker psychedelic folkies like CSNY and the Jefferson Airplane. Something about his attitude and the incredible power of his voice infused itself with many that followed: John Sebastian, Karen Dalton, Tim Hardin, the Youngbloods, Gram Parsons and many more. Just Google it! Neil is most famous for writing “Everybody’s Talkin,” but there’s so much more to his small body of work that includes such well-covered classics as “Little Bit of Rain,” “The Dolphins” and “Other Side Of This Life.”

They say Crosby, Stills & Nash almost called themselves the Neils, and the Band wrote “Stage Fright” about him. Someday it will all make sense and Fred Neil will get his due.

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: Chance The Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses”

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: I loved this the first time I stumbled on it and played it for everyone I knew. Oddly, it only appears on YouTube or as part of the Acid Rap mix tape that is free to download. The track never made it to the streaming services or iTunes, but 40 million plays later, it still sounds great.

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: Arlo Guthrie’s “Gabriel’s Mothers Highway Ballad #16 Blues”

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: When my dad got a car with an eight-track player, I convinced him to buy something to listen to. The choices he provided were McCartney’s debut album and Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. As good as Alice’s Restaurant can be, 40 to 50 listens can drive you crazy, especially if it’s not Thanksgiving. I would grow much fonder of Guthrie’s Washington County (1970). The album is a remarkably eclectic record that never spawned a big hit.

The players are legendary session guys including Clarence White, Chris Ethridge, Doug Dillard and Ry Cooder, with sympathetic production by Lenny Waronker and John Pilla. Amidst a wide array of styles—blue grass, obscure Dylan, Beatles folk—was the album centerpiece: a beautiful acoustic-based song called “Gabriel’s Mother’s Highway Ballad #16 Blues.” It sounds like everyone in the room is loving playing on it and knows just what to add almost instinctually. The end result wraps around the listener like a sonic temple—a place of peace and well-being, bracing out the cold winds of a hostile world.

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From The Desk Of Glenn Morrow: “Rubber Gun”

Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Morrow: A review in the New York Times by Janet Maslin on April 24, 1978, led me to check out the film Rubber Gun. I was intrigued by the mention of Lewis Furey, a Canadian singer/songwriter who, back in ’75, had been marketed by A&M in the mold of Lou Reed during his Transformer period: campy and catchy with some Brechtian cabaret touches. Furey’s second album, released in ’76, had a song called “Rubber Gun Show.”

None of this prepared me for the transgressive film about a hippie urban commune that was falling into drug dealing and decadence in Montreal! It almost traversed the fault line of the counterculture at the time, transitioning from peace, love and misunderstandings into sex, drugs and punk rock ’n’ roll. The director Alan Moyle would go on to direct Times Square, Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records. Steve Lack, who played the leader of the commune (I think he was playing a variation of himself), went on to star in Cronenberg’s Scanners. He also became a successful painter. Obsessive YouTube searching finally turned up a copy of the film a couple years ago, and it’s just as wild and weird as I remembered.

Video after the jump.

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From The Desk Of The Van Pelt’s Chris Leo: Simon Winchester

The Van Pelt‘s Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves (1996) and Sultans Of Sentiment (1997), in hindsight, provided a number of significant indie-rock mile markers. The band was led by Ted’s brother, Chris Leo; Stealing recorded by Alap Momin (ex-Dälek); bassist Toko Yasuda went back and forth between TVP and Blonde Redhead after that record; and both albums saw the light of day via cult label Gern Blandsten. After being out of print since the turn of the century, the original tapes have been mined for reissue treatment by Spain’s La Castanya, allowing listeners to trace the band from its gorgeously melodic and incendiary, post-hardcore beginnings a la the Jazz June and Texas Is The Reason to a more subdued, Slint-like bent with Leo’s increasingly spoken-word vocal style by the time the last notes ring out on Sultans. Leo will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Leo: When I don’t know what my next book is going to be, I just make it a Simon Winchester book—not simply because they’re all good, but because I think he’s working his way up to something: geological linguistics. He keeps circling around two seemingly disparate themes, fissures in the earth’s crust and words, and I think he’s looking for a way to lay out the link between the two without seeming nuts. Maybe start with The Map That Changed The World if you don’t believe me.

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From The Desk Of The Van Pelt’s Chris Leo: Golden Krust

The Van Pelt‘s Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves (1996) and Sultans Of Sentiment (1997), in hindsight, provided a number of significant indie-rock mile markers. The band was led by Ted’s brother, Chris Leo; Stealing recorded by Alap Momin (ex-Dälek); bassist Toko Yasuda went back and forth between TVP and Blonde Redhead after that record; and both albums saw the light of day via cult label Gern Blandsten. After being out of print since the turn of the century, the original tapes have been mined for reissue treatment by Spain’s La Castanya, allowing listeners to trace the band from its gorgeously melodic and incendiary, post-hardcore beginnings a la the Jazz June and Texas Is The Reason to a more subdued, Slint-like bent with Leo’s increasingly spoken-word vocal style by the time the last notes ring out on Sultans. Leo will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Leo: I remember sometime in the late ’90s or early aughts when Golden Krust announced the opening of its 100th store, then all of a sudden they started to shutter up one by one—yet not all of them. Like those odd Roy Rogers stuck in the ’80s that still have yet to get the memo that their chain went belly up three decades ago, if lucky enough one could run into the occasional still open Golden Krust refusing to face the fact that the vegie patty (note correct way Jamaicans spell vegie: there is only one “g” in vegetable and two “g”s back to back would make the “g” sound hard not soft anyhow) would not become the next slice of pizza. Hold on! Owner Lowell Hawthorne’s not giving up on making it out of the niche market. He may have conceded defeat to the slice, but he’s just begun waging war on the burrito. I wish him luck. Soy patty and spinach patty also very very good.

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From The Desk Of The Van Pelt’s Chris Leo: Rubber-Tired Line 4, Paris Métro

The Van Pelt‘s Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves (1996) and Sultans Of Sentiment (1997), in hindsight, provided a number of significant indie-rock mile markers. The band was led by Ted’s brother, Chris Leo; Stealing recorded by Alap Momin (ex-Dälek); bassist Toko Yasuda went back and forth between TVP and Blonde Redhead after that record; and both albums saw the light of day via cult label Gern Blandsten. After being out of print since the turn of the century, the original tapes have been mined for reissue treatment by Spain’s La Castanya, allowing listeners to trace the band from its gorgeously melodic and incendiary, post-hardcore beginnings a la the Jazz June and Texas Is The Reason to a more subdued, Slint-like bent with Leo’s increasingly spoken-word vocal style by the time the last notes ring out on Sultans. Leo will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Leo: I wish the French kept demographic info so we could weigh it against that in the States, because riding the Paris Métro you get to stare at all the same shades of humanity. It’s just that the black people are Africans not African-Americans, the brown people are Arabs not Latinos, and the white people are so very Gallic. Plus if you’re lucky enough to be on the Line 4 with rubber tires, you get to bounce your way through the whole thing.

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