Ad-Supported Music Service Set to Launch By End Of Summer; Is Actually Named “Spiralfrog”

For the reader on the go, an easily digestible list of cool things about Spiralfrog:

- It permits you to download useful 128 kbps MP3s by artists such as Eminem and Elton John.

- Thanks to our trusty friend DRM, the files expire in 30 days.

- It is named Spiralfrog.

- It is supported entirely by forcing you to watch ads from a “who’s who” of advertisers.

- Chairman and founder Joe Mohen was considerate enough to have his five-year-old daughter name his company.

- It is debuting in America by the end of the summer.

- The beta only works in Internet Explorer, and IE7’s default security settings prevent users from logging in.

- If Mohen earnestly believes that people who subscribe to his service (which is named Spiralfrog) will watch 90 seconds of ads to download one song that will expire in one month, his optimism is endearing and beautiful.

- It operates in a legal grey area where the MP3s are considered promotional copies, which may be a ploy to skirt royalty payments.

- Upon learning of Spiralfrog’s impending existence, Steve Jobs started to laugh for a moment, but the noise was muffled when he began to smoke two cigars at once, both lit with separate hundred-dollar bills. He then put his feet up on his desk and took the rest of the day off.

Never Mind the Mukluks!* Built to Spill Are Built For Summer

We don't keep Grandad Mix Tape around the office just because we enjoy changing his diaper, cutting the kernels off his corn cob and mashing them into a salacious slosh (that's not supposed to sound as bawdy as it looks), and sponge bathing the old coot. Despite forgetting that the toilet contains a seat and that he should lift it when doing his bi-weekly monthly business, he sometimes wows us with vivid recollections from the days of yore. He was there 40 years ago today when Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play; he was there, not to deliver but to perform the bris on the mystery baby born at Woodstock, and he was there many moons ago when infectious noise-makers Built to Spill decided to kick-start their musical pursuit and subsequently put Boise, ID on the map as the next great music city (hey, legacies take a loooong time to build, okay?).

Alright, Built to Spill are not that old -- I have pustules that are much older -- but they have playing and perfecting their aggressive pop sound for so long it wouldn't surprise me to hear that they were the house band aboard The Mayflower. In fact, Doug Martsch and co. make sounds so moving and profound and that many of the world's top health, research, and intelligence agencies -- the Surgeon General's office, Mossad, the Miami Sound Machine, The Bathroom Reader Institute -- have deemed them a little too good for your health. Whatever.... Built to Spill fans are definitely made of tougher stock so they will be out in droves this summer when the band embarks on a North American tour starting June 30 in Minneapolis, playing classics from their latest hit album, You In Reverse and from their stellar back catalog.

In record-related Built to Spill news, not one, not two, but THREE reissues are on their way from Warner Bros. The beloved band's albums Perfect From Now On, Keep It Like a Secret, and the aforementioned You In Reverse will be re-released in 2,000 limited, regular-weight, double-vinyl doses June 19 with a couple of curios included. Keep It Like a Secret will add on a bonus B-side track "Forget Remember When," while Perfect From Now On tacks on the unreleased "Easy Way." You In Reverse will be available in a gatefold sleeve with artwork by the troika of Mike Scheer, Tamara Shores, and Karena Youtz (but, as far as we can tell, it doesn't contain any tasty bonus material).

Built to thrill... always!
06.30.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
07.01.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest, WLUM Stage
07.02.07 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
07.03.07 - Lancaster, PA - The Chameleon Club
07.05.07 - Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom
07.06.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
07.07.07 - Brooklyn, NY - McCarren Park Pool
07.08.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
07.10.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
07.12.07 - Montréal, Quebec - Le National
07.13.07 - Ottawa, Ontario - Ottawa Bluesfest, River Stage
07.14.07 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
07.16.07 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
07.17.07 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
07.18.07 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
07.20.07 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
07.21.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot

* P.S. Mukluks are cold-weather boots that are favored by our northern Inuit friends in Arctic climes. If you don't know what they look like, you can picture the fashionable slimmed-down Ugg version that the nicest people from Hollywood like Gwyneth Paltrow wear. Isn't Gwyneth the greatest?!?! Chimo!

DRM-Free iTunes Plus Launched; No Need to Cheer too Loudly

The wait is FINALLY over! Yes, yet another glorious day of innovation has come to pass in the scintillatingly exciting world of online music sales. Last week, Apple’s iTunes shop began offering higher quality files unencumbered by nasty DRM nonsense -- as we reported a little while back. Of course, the files are nearly a third more expensive than the regular, low-quality shit you can get from iTunes, and out of all your favorite caring, cuddly major labels, only EMI (at least for now)is making its catalog available in the new format. But still, great news, eh?

Not really. Apparently, the whole business of Joe Schmoe from Idaho actually getting his calloused hands on high-quality versions of the entire Norah Jones catalog and other gems from the EMI vaults is sort of fiddly and crap. First of all, you have to update your iTunes to the latest version, then opt-in to the iTunes Plus service from a separate area of the site that’s not particularly easy to find -- it’s not set as the default in the iTunes store. Switching back to normal iTunes means further grubbing about with Apple’s (beautifully presented) digital entrails.

Furthermore, and more importantly, the DRM-free banner that Apple and EMI have pinned above their king-sized conjugal bed is looking a little tatty tonight. An interesting little tidbit I just found out is that every track that’s downloaded from iTunes has your full name and e-mail address embedded in the file. And the new DRM-free stuff does as well. Sort of puts you off sharing that precious $1.29 worth of file with your chums, eh? And what about all the information that’s kept on your iTunes account, like your credit card number and where you fucking LIVE? If your file ends up on some torrent site and a brave RIAA freedom fighter picks up your e-mail address and name from an iTunes file -- is he then in a position to grab all that other info prior to chasing your ass down the street?

Oh well, whatever. It’s not as if anyone who does upload a torrent to the web gets the files from iTunes anyway. Fact remains that the attempts of the record industry to curtail file-sharing have all been pretty much a total bust for the last five years, and you can be certain that this latest attempt to scare you into compliance is bound to fail miserably too. And for that, I guess we can all continue quietly rejoicing.

Casiotone Not Just For The Painfully Alone Anymore; See Their Tour With Friends and Family, If You Dare

A surprising number of people seem to be attending Casiotone For The Painfully Alone shows with significant others, friends, and family. Rumor has it some of these people have been observed smiling and even dancing at shows. This may seem like a moot point, but if you're planning on going to any CFTPA shows, there are a few things you should know.

Security at the recent Over the Top Festival performance in Toronto were reportedly seen turning away anyone with a mere grin on their face at the door; they even had one couple, who were spotted embracing, forcefully removed from the premises. Now I'm all for vigilantism, but there reaches a point where you may be overstepping your boundaries.

Representatives from Tomlab records furiously deny any such goings on; however, eye-witness accounts suggest Casiotone's Owen Ashworthy was seen confronting security at the venue once he heard what was happening, explaining "It's only a fucking name; don't be a douchebag."

In addition to the latest stream of 7-inches on Tomlab, Oedipus Recordings is now taking pre-orders for the soon to be released split 7-inch with Foot Foot. And continuing on the seemingly endless string of releases, there are plans to release another 7-inch for a song with David Horvitz, the man behind the Xiu Xiu photobook.

You can see Casiotone for the Painfully Alone on these dates at these places:

Modest Mouse Head Out Empty-Headed for ‘Long Drive,’ Back Tour Bus into Cop Car, Kill Cop, “Float On” Not So Cool Anymore, Is It?

Laaaaaaaaaaaadies and Gentlemen of all shapes, siiiiiiiiiiizes!

Boys and girls of all aaaaaaages!!

Gather 'round, one and all!

Introducing the uncanny... the hideous... the ghastly... the supernatural... the utterly unfathomable... the...

(Pssssssst! Hey, cue the drum roll and freakily fun-housey, bad acid-trip, circus music, will ya? I'm tryin' to make a sales-pitch here. My kids gotta eat, ya know... sheeez!)

Anyway, were was I?... ahhhem... oh yeah:

... The utterly unfathomable... the absolutely abominable... Isaaaaaaaaaaaaac Brock!!!!

(applause)

Yes, yes, yes! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!

Step RIGHT this way!

Come one, come all to witness this wanton wonder of the world, this ludicrous loose canon, this pheeeeeeeeenomenal freak-baby fresh out of the wild in our one-of-a-kind, never duplicated, repeatedly redundant "Modest Mouse Summer Tour and Freakshow!"

(oooooooooooooh)

That's right! Do NOT miss you chance to see famed frontman Isaac Brock angrily caged on a stage near you!

(ahhhhhhhhhhhhh)

He'll roar! he'll snarl! He'll MOST LIKELY self-mutilate! And He's COMING TO A STAGE NEAR YOU THIS SUMMER.

Witness as he drunkenly spews existentialisms at you in a lisp so disagreeable you'll with you were in church!

Cower in terror as he bates you and your fellow ticket-holders into letting him borrow a knife for a few moments!

Puke in disgust as he cuts the FUCK out of his chest for no apparent reason whatsoever!

Ladies and gentlemen of the world, DO NOT MISS your chance to see this knife-jabbing wonder of the world degenerate in front of thousands and inflict baffling and bloody wounds upon himself... and possibly others!

Note: As producer of the 2007 Modest Mouse Summer Tour and Freakshow, TMT Big-Top Productions is NOT responsible for and will be legally held harmless concerning the following:

- show cancellations due to drug-induced stupors
- show cancellations due to the untimely death of Issac Brock
- fans getting "contact highs" off of Isaac Brock's druggy sweat
- fans getting stabbed, accidentally or intentionally, by Issac Brock
- fans somehow contracting HIV

Welcome to the Big Show:

*** Not Confirmed

YR SHOPTEXT ACCOUNT IS PROVIDED “AS-IS!”; Knitting Factory Jumps on Boat, ShopText Still Scared of Terrorists

On May 30 Knitting Factory Entertainment joined the likes of CosmoGirl! Magazine n Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift (who?) in introducing a SMS txt messaging ticketing system that will enable customers 2 purchase tickets 4 shows using their mobile handsets. Provided by ShopText, a mobile commerce n promotions company, u can b assured that when u sign up 4 an account, ShopText spams the hell out of yr cell phone n u pay for all of it.

ShopText's claim to fame? "Our software platform transforms any advertisement in2 a point of sale opportunity."

Still skeptical? Here r just a few reasons to run out n get a ShopText account RITE NOW, courtesy of ShopText's own Terms and Conditions*:
01. By signing for a ShopText account, u must be 18 years of age n able 2 enter "legally binding contracts."
02. U may not sign up 4 ShopText if u a suspected terrorist or suspected of trading or transporting illegal drugs

03. "ShopText cannot guarantee the security of n e data transmitted ovr n e wireless network, n thus, all information transmission is done at yr own risk." This doesn't stop at the security of yr information -- the TOS go on 2 say that ShopText is not liable 4 n e errors due 2 inaccurate or incomplete information! So don't get upset when u get Say Hi 2 Yr Mom tickets instead of Ozma tickets

04. "Yr ShopText Account may also be suspended or unavailable because of disruption in telecommunication services, power outages, natural disasters, terrorism or similar occurrences which result in a disruption in services."
05. "ShopText makes no warranty that your use of ShopText will be error-free, uninterrupted, timely or that you will be satisfied with the products or services your purchase using your ShopText Account."
06. O, n u MUST, MUST, MUST provide a credit card # N credit card security code located on the back of yr card 2 register 4 a ShopText account.

*All Terms n Conditions r subject 2 change w/o notification, n by agreeing 2 these terms u agree 2 all subsequent terms n term modifications. lol ttyl

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