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Magnet: Strange Medicine from Norway

Magnet is actually Even Johansen, a Norwegian musician whose music is a blend of the traditional and the modern, mixing a folk sound with the more surreal electronica. He has been compared to artists of incredibly varying styles, from Johnny Cash to Coldplay and Beck to Elliot Smith.

Even's father was a musician, which is where he first picked up a guitar. He then fell in love with the lap steel when in Scotland. The name Magnet comes from a tattoo of a magnet given to Even by a half-Indian, half-Chinese medicine man in order to draw iron to his blood for a case of childhood anemia. Johansen isn't sure whether it was the tattoo or the pills that worked, but the name stuck.

Magnet's first album, On Your Side, was only released in the United States in late 2004, and his second album, The Tourniquet, was released on Valentine's Day of 2006. Both albums have achieved gold record sales in Norway, Even's home country.

Copyright 2006 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.