Battles march on Middle America this June

Battles march on Middle America this June

War is hell, but Battles seem like pretty nice guys. In fact, they’re such upstanding young men that they want to see all y’alls’ beaming, smiling, ecstatic faces on their upcoming June tour. They’re going to Ohio. They’re going to Colorado. They’re going to the bathroom frequently and washing their hands. They’re Battles, the best dudes in town! As a further token of good faith, take a gander at these remixes from last year’s album Gloss Drop (TMT Review).

As previously reported on these very e-pages, the remixes (ingeniously entitled Dross Glop) are also available as a four-part series of 12-inches that would just make the best Mother’s Day gift ever. Really, they are such nice boys.


06.02.12 - Chicago, IL - The Bottom Lounge
06.03.12 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.04.12 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
06.05.12 - Columbus, OH - Outland Live
06.06.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogarts
06.07.12 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
06.09.12 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.10.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
06.11.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
06.12.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
06.23.12 - Denver, CO - Westword Music Showcase

• Battles:
• Warp:

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Philip Cohran to promote uncontrollable butt-shaking with collaborative album via Honest Jon’s

Why oh why didn’t I attend one of those colleges with a ferociously hip and funky marching band? On the contrary, I went the opposite route; my alma mater (which shall remain nameless) didn’t/doesn’t have a football team, and the whole of the band that we did have was literally able to sit in a seven-by-seven foot area of our gym’s bleachers. If we had commissioned the crowds at basketball games to uniformly beatbox, it probably would’ve been both more enjoyable and more audible.

To be sure, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble isn’t your typical kick-ass college marching band. For one, its members are probably a tad older than the age of your average undergraduate. And second, except for the subtle incorporation of drums, the band is, as you might gather from their name, comprised entirely of brass instrument players – they’re essentially a happening bugle corps, but without the reprehensible style choices. After an appearance on 2008’s Lagos Shake: A Tony Allen Chop Up, and after receiving well-deserved praise for their self-titled album released in 2009, the band has thoroughly cleansed their spit valves in preparation for Kelan Philip Cohran & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, a collaborative album between the former member of Sun Ra Arkestra and, well, you know. It’s set for release via Honest Jon’s on June 6.

The collaboration itself wasn’t entirely unpredictable. The members of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all brothers from Chicago, and Philip Cohran is actually their father, who recently just turned 85. A belated happy birthday to him! Check out a preview of the new album below:

Kelan Philip Cohran & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble tracklisting:

01. Cuernavaca
02. Stateville
03. Frankincense And Myrrh
04. Aspara
05. Ancestral
06. Spin
07. Zincali

• Hypnotic Brass Ensemble:
• Honest Jon’s:

Beastie Boys sued for copyright infringement; and the winner for most unfortunately timed lawsuit goes to…

Before you think of this as a blatantly insensitive act of legal pettiness, well, it only kind of is. At least Tuf America, the label representing Washington, D.C. go-go band Trouble Funk, filed their lawsuit a day before the untimely death of MCA a.k.a. Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch. Aside from that, it’s difficult for me to think of this as anything other than a superfluous example of our (meaning the United States’) lawsuit-prone culture. Falling on financially hard times as a musician? Why, just sue somebody for copyright infringement! Hey… is that my song playing on the radio in the background of this 15 year-old girl’s YouTube video!? Ohhhhhh no you don’t. I’ll give you something to vlog about…

Here are the details of the lawsuit, which was filed last Friday in New York federal court: Tuf America claims that the Trouble Funk songs “Drop the Bomb” and “Say What,” both issued in 1982, were repeatedly sampled by the Beastie Boys in the late 80s, on their albums Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique. They allege that the tracks, “Car Thief,” “Hold It Now Hit It,” and “The New Style” all illegally use portions of “Drop The Bomb,” while “Shadrach” supposedly borrows in an unlawful manner from “Say What.”

In an attempt to overcome the five-year statute of limitations on copyright infringement, The Guardian reports that Tuf America is claiming that the Beastie Boys knowingly concealed the incorporation of Trouble Funk’s music by never declaring that the samples had been used, and apparently, by using some sort of audio wizardry. “Only after conducting a careful audio analysis of Shadrach,” Tuf America wrote, “[were we] able to determine that Shadrach incorporates the Say What sample.” I mean, so what if all of the samples in question are clearly indicated on the website, Who Sampled, and probably have been for some time? Just how sure can we be that Mike D didn’t sabotage their internet as well?

In sum, Tuf America alleges copyright infringement, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation. They’re also seeking a permanent injunction forbidding the sale of any Beastie Boys recording containing the samples. I look into my crystal ball and… is that inevitable failure I see?

• Beastie Boys:
• Oscilloscope Laboratories:

Grooveshark lets us know that Facebook made a “mistake” when it severed all ties with the site earlier this week

Grooveshark, the website that takes money from advertisers to keep the doors open and pay its employees (sorry music rights holders…), has lost another partner in the world wide web. They’ve been banned from app stores, sued by all the major labels, banned from Danish ISPs, and now Facebook has called it quits.

This means that users can no longer share what they’re listening to from Grooveshark to their Facebook timeline, and they can’t log into their Grooveshark accounts using Facebook. Given how integrated Facebook logins are for people these days, and how important sharing and social media in general have become to the propagation of something’s popularity, this is a very big blow to the sickly Grooveshark.

But that’s not how Grooveshark sees it! Oh no, they’re sure it’s just a “mistake on Facebook’s part.” Yes, they’re always just “accidentally” dismantling integrated relationships like that. I’m sure ol’ Zuckers will flip the Grooveshark switch back to ‘on’ any time now and all will be back to normal. It’s not like Facebook has any other relationships with music providers as it is, and definitely not with any that actually have agreements in place to pay for the music they’re providing to users. coughSPOTIFYcough

I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to see the world from the convolutedly rose-colored perspective that Grooveshark manages to maintain no matter what, but it must be nice (until the inevitable bankruptcy and jail time comes to pass, of course).

• Grooveshark:
• Facebook:

Internet heroes Anonymous hack Virgin Media site in constructive, not at all misguided response to UK Pirate Bay ruling

A recent ruling by the British High Court forced UK internet service providers to block access to the infamous Pirate Bay, the web’s prime destination for swashbuckling torrentry and fringe Swedish politics. Yesterday, Virgin Media became the first ISP to abide by the law and blockade the port of PB. This incurred the wrath of the web hacking collective known as Anonymous, who could think of no better way to fight internet censorship than by dabbling in a bit of the stuff themselves. Except, you know, this time against THE MAN! Shortly after Virgin blocked The Pirate Bay, Anonymous responded by DDOSing the Virgin Media site into oblivion. TMT’s Conjecture Corner estimates that the hack prevented dozens of bored pub denizens from searching for new phones on their old phones and frustrated thousands more who had mistaken the site for pornography.

The Pirate Bay itself was quick to denounce the attacks, posting the following on their Facebook page:

Seems like some random Anonymous groups have run a DDOS campaign against Virgin media and some other sites. We’d like to be clear about our view on this:

We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us.

So don’t fight them using their ugly methods. DDOS and blocks are both forms of censorship.

There you have it, folks, a grounded response to fanatical Internet rage. Take a screenshot so you can remember this moment forever. Actually, we have another rather level-headed viewpoint for you, this time from the monsters themselves, Virgin:

As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders but we strongly believe that tackling the issue of copyright infringement needs compelling legal alternatives, giving consumers access to great content at the right price, to help change consumer behaviour.

So keep fighting the good fight, Anonymous! If you can’t have the Web, nobody can!

múm release rare recordings, promise to return moon stone to NASA

Even though my limo driver, Maddox, doesn’t believe there are other musicians from Iceland besides Björk, the Icelandic glitch gurus múm have been a favorite of mine for some time. What many people don’t know is that in 2004 founding members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason stole the priceless moon stone (seen here) from NASA headquarters. In the following years, múm quietly kept things mum by releasing a couple of underrated albums. But we all knew what the group was really busy doing – evolving their Clefairy!

Luckily, time heals and múm will be giving back the moon stone to NASA on July 17. To commemorate this occasion, múm will release a collection of rare tracks recorded between 1998 and 2000. The album, titled Early Birds will also be released July 17 on Morr Music. Both LP and CD versions will include a booklet explaining the origin of each track and, perhaps, there will also be baby pictures of Cleffa and current pictures of the unstoppably cute Clefable.

NASA currently has no plans to return the stone to Mt. Moon.

Early Birds tracklisting:

01. Bak þitt er sem rennibraut
02. Póst póstmaður
03. Gingúrt
04. Glerbrot (Previously lost)
05. Hvernig á að særa vini sína
(Previously unreleased)
06. Bak þitt er sem rennibraut
(Bústadavegurer fáviti megamix eftir Músíkvat)
07. Insert Coin (Bjarne Riis arcade game mjiks eftir múm)
08. Loksins erum við engin (Natturuoperan song)
09. Náttúrúbúrú
10. 0,000Orð
11. lalalala blái hnötturinn
12. múm spilar la la la
13. Hufeland
14. Volkspark Friedrichshain (Previously forgotten)
15. Enginn vildi hlusta á fiðlunginn, því strengir hans vóru slitnir (getiði ekki verið góð við mömmu okkar)

• múm:
• Morr Music: