Thursday, August 24, 2006

Magnapop: Rare-ish Tracks

If you happen to be in Atlanta this weekend, Grant Park should be calling your name. I've never been to the Summershade Festival, but it looks like they've arranged for a pretty impressive roster of music acts this year, especially on Saturday, when The Preakness, Silent Kids, and The Jupiter Watts play back-to back-to back on the Rock Stage.

Headlining the day's festivities is Magnapop, a band near-and-dear to my heart. I'm pretty certain I saw them live more times in the '90s than I did any other band, often making the drive from school in North Carolina to catch a gig in Athens. Calling Watkinsville, GA (a town that neighbors Athens) their home, Magnapop is one of those bands that just got away (from the American public, at least--they enjoyed something approaching superstardom in Northern Europe). They had it all: a charismatic frontwoman with vocals that dripped sex and danger (Linda Hopper), a smoking hot (in all senses of the phrase) lead guitarist (Ruthie Morris) and a rhythm section that was tighter than Dick's hat band. And, oh yeah, both Michael Stipe and Bob Mould were fans who ended up producing songs for them.

What went wrong? Hell if I know. In 1993 I famously predicted that they would be the next Nirvana. The band had a song featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 movie Mad Love (anyone remember that one?) and enjoyed a modicum of radio success with "Open The Door" (later covered by Eels) off 1996's Rubbing Doesn't Help, but never truly broke through.

I'm not sure why I'm talking about them in the past tense. The rhythm section has changed, but Linda and Ruthie are back in the game. With a solid 2005 release, Mouthfeel, and a new album apparently on the way, the book on Magnapop is still being written. By all means find copies of their excellent first two albums, Magnapop (songs produced by Stipe and Mould) and Hot Boxing (produced by Mould). In the meantime, you might spend some quality time with these OOP non-album cuts:

MP3: Magnapop ~ Texas
MP3: Magnapop ~ Nowhere
[From the 1993 Kiss My Mouth EP]

MP3: Magnapop ~ Here It Comes (Niceley Version)
MP3: Magnapop ~ Song #1 (Fugazi Cover)
MP3: Magnapop ~ Puff
[From the 1994 Slowly, Slowly EP]

MP3: Magnapop ~ Voice Without A Sound
[From the 1996 Fire All Your Guns At Once EP]

Bonus MP3: Fugazi ~ Song #1
[From the 1990 Repeater + 3 Songs LP]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how was/were the show/shows?

1:08 PM  
Blogger KTM said...

Excellent. Because I know I don't know who you are, I'll assume that the reason you're asking is because you know of the band. Linda is the same as ever: that knowing grin, the air-jumproping, etc. She seemed to get a big kick out of all of the kids at the show. Ruthie is still, well, the hottest woman on the planet. Naturally, I miss David and Shannon, but it's not 1992 anymore, is it?

As for the other bands I saw, really enjoyed The Preakness once again (see above). Silent Kids definitely had their moments, it's just not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.

1:37 PM  
Blogger KTM said...

Sorry that should read "Because I don't." I guess there's a reason they give you a "Preview" option.

1:39 PM  

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