Ben Weasel makes a gigantic ass of himself, remaining four Screeching Weasels leave the band

Ben Weasel makes a gigantic ass of himself, remaining four Screeching Weasels leave the band

Number one lesson in pre-school: you don’t make friends by hitting people. Number two lesson in all the days that follow: you don’t make friends by hitting girls. By now, you’ve probably seen at least some version of the video (extended cut, LA Times report) in which Ben Weasel whales on both a girl in the audience and a female security staff member at Screeching Weasel’s SXSW show.

Well Ben, after over 20 years of weaseling, you’re all alone now. The other four members of Screeching Weasel have issued a letter to their fans, in which they again apologize for Ben’s behavior and quit the band. What happens next? No one knows! Read their touching epistle, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan, via Punknews:

The members of Screeching Weasel (Dan Schafer, Adam Cargin, Justin Perkins, and Drew Fredrichsen) would like to offer a sincere apology to our fans, our management (Ben Perlstein @ Motivation Management), Chad and Vanessa @ Fat Wreck Chords, Deborah Toscano @ Devil Dolls Booking, The Scoot Inn and it’s employees, all the support bands, and anyone else negatively impacted by the scene that developed in Austin last Friday night, March 18th.

The un-calculated act put forth by Ben Foster leading up to and including the violence that erupted on stage is seen by the band as shameful and embarrassing. The sentiments and actions expressed were completely out of our control and in no way represent the band members’ view points or moral compasses. As a result, the band has discussed at length and has come to the conclusion that as a group we will not likely be able to muster the dignity to attempt a live performance as “Screeching Weasel” in the for-seeable future. We each look forward to re-evaluating our involvement in the band as we move forward if we are given the opportunity.

Collectively, as musicians, we feel that it is imperative that the music do the talking. We have made every effort as a group to ignore the gossip, Internet feuds, and general negativity that has (at times) overshadowed what we believe being in a band is really about. It is pointless to try to place the blame where those actions are concerned and we don’t care to get involved other than to say we don’t condone or support any of it. We are very proud of the effort we put forth in creating what we believe to be a fantastic new album in “First World Manifesto” and it deeply saddens us that we will not be able to bring that excitement to audiences around the world in the form of a live show in the coming months.

We all feel extremely deflated following this public spectacle and would no doubt be doing the music an injustice if we were to force a performance. As friends and band mates, we are absolutely positive that Ben regrets his actions last Friday night. We have no doubt that his apology is sincere and that if he could take it all back, he would. We don’t wish to place any more hardship upon him with our decision to discontinue our involvement at this time, but it is something that can not be avoided.

In the future we would love to see these wounds heal and for the opportunity to play together in a positive light materialize. If Ben feels the need to immediately carry on with a new cast of characters–we support his right to do so. Again, we would like to thank our fans for all of their past support and hope that they will continue to support us should the opportunity to perform as “Screeching Weasel” present itself again in the future.

Thanks for everything,
Dan, Adam, Justin, & Drew

• Screeching Weasel:

Modest Mouse announce four tourdates to make sure you don’t forget about them

Q: If a band doesn’t have a new album to promote, why would they go on tour?

A: To remind people that they still exist, of course!

Case in point: Modest Mouse. Their most “recent” album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (TMT Review), came out in 2007 and since then all they’ve done is toured a little bit and released an EP, 2009’s No One’s First and You’re Next. I didn’t even know they were still a band or that Isaac Brock was even alive until a friend of mine found Brock rooting around in a dumpster in Portland. It’s a good thing Brock will be getting back on the road in a few months; it seems like the dude is going a little stir crazy.


05.26.11 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory ^
05.27.11 - Missoula, MT - Big Sky Brewery ^
05.28.11 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory ^
05.29.11 - George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival ^

^ Talkdemonic

• Modest Mouse:

Sleep rise like the world’s most lethargic behemoth to announce North American tour

San Jose’s Sleep are widely considered to be the emperors of the stoner rock genre. While I, being no expert on stoner rock, cannot really debate this claim, let’s consider the evidence. Exhibit A: they released a highly-regarded album entitled Dopesmoker. Exhibit B: they released a highly-regarded album entitled Dopesmoker. If Sleep aren’t the world’s greatest stoner rock band, they certainly play the part. Any challengers to the throne can throw down the gauntlet during the group’s brief upcoming North American tour. Come forward, ye lurching juggernauts.

You’ll only have a few chances to meet eye-to-eye with Sleep, though. Their upcoming tour basically meets only the minimum requirements of the word “tour,” as it consists of a mere three dates. Most interesting of the three may be the group’s date at Calgary’s Sled Island Festival, where the bill features acts like The Buzzcocks, Blonde Redhead, and The Dandy Warhols. If you’re reading this, single human being who makes up the venn diagram overlap between “Sleep fans” and “Dandy Warhols fans,” then this story is for you.

Once Sleep have finished off this trio of dates, you may not get another chance to see them for a while. The band doesn’t tour particularly often, having done only a relatively short North American tour since reuniting in 2009 (albeit, still way longer than this upcoming one) and two ATP Festival appearances. But, hey, their members are busy being in High on Fire and OM. You really can’t blame them too much.

Sleep dates:

06.22.11 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
06.24.11 - Calgary, AB - Sled Island Festival
06.26.11 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern

• Sleep:

Microsoft reportedly discontinues the Zune; in music devices as in life, all your squirts were in vain

Poor Bill Gates. It’s looking like not even a confusing commercial starring Jerry Seinfeld is going to save North America’s fourth-favorite portable music device. According to an unnamed source speaking with Bloomberg, Microsoft will not be introducing any future versions of the Zune due to ‘tepid demand,’ or as I wish they had put it, ‘flaccid enthusiasm.’ Instead, the company will focus on integrating Zune software into compatible mobile phones, such as Windows Phone 7. That thing’s flying off the shelves, right?

Let us take a moment, allowing Mr. Gates the privacy to sob into his Smart Pillow as the lights dim, the wallpaper turns blue, and another Everly Brothers tune emanates from the fireplace, to look back on some moments in “TMT News History” that just wouldn’t have been possible without that rascally Zune:

— September, 2006: Gumshoe reports from deep within Microsoft HQ on a brand-new music/squirting device in the works, penning the longest news item ever published on this site (this may have had something to do with Microsoft flying Gumshoe to Seattle and putting him up in a hotel).

— May, 2007: Much time has passed. The Zune has been released, and the gloves are off. Joseph Coscarelli reports on Microsoft telling Apple they smell, and Apple telling Microsoft they’re probably smelling themselves.

— July, 2007: Joseph Coscarelli reports again on a HOT new Zune-sponsored concert series featuring performances from Common, David Banner, E-40, and Large Professor. These concerts serve as the main inspiration for Gucci Mane’s left eardrum tattoo of the Zune logo.

— April, 2008: Nobodaddy reports on Microsoft’s decision to release a limited-edition Zune sporting the Unknown Pleasures album artwork. Everyone starts to feel bad for Microsoft, but no one buys a Zune.

— September, 2008: Two years have passed since Microsoft bought Gumshoe a hotel room. Mango Starr reports on McDonald’s offering free wi-fi to Zune users. Two weeks later, Mango is arrested in a St. Louis McDonald’s for public nudity, tarnishing TMT’s reputation.

— May, 2009: Nobodaddy reports again on Microsoft’s decision to release a commercial starring a “Certified Financial Planner” who cycles through bar graphs and shouts at viewers that they’re somehow spending $30,000 on an iPod. Literally no one even reads Nobodaddy’s story.

— March, 2011: Hey guys. We’re back in the present. RIP Zune.

• Zune:

[Photo: ZDNet]

Death Cab for Cutie announce “intimate venue” tour; Ben Gibbard and the word “intimate” really do not go together

In order to promote their new album Codes and Keys, due out May 31 via Atlantic, Death Cab for Cutie have announced tourdates for something they’re calling the “Underplay Tour,” which will find the band playing at intimate venues all over the US. I don’t know if it’s his out of control sideburns, shaggy dog-esque hair cut, or general ridiculousness, but Ben Gibbard is really the last person that I’d want to see in an “intimate” setting. I don’t know how you do it, Zooey. Let’s just hope he doesn’t insist on wearing the sailor hat around the house.

Death Cabbin’ on the road:

05.18.11 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre &
05.20.11 - Chicago, IL - Metro &
05.21.11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue &
05.24.11 - Edmonton, AB - Shaw Conference Centre %
05.25.11 - Calgary, AB - Stampede Corral %
05.27.11 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheatre %
05.28.11 - George, WA - Sasquatch! Music Festival &
06.01.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom &
06.03.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club &
06.04.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero &
06.05.11 - Boston, MA - The Paradise &
06.07.11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre &
06.09.11 - San Francisco, CA - Fillmore &

& The Lonely Forest
% Bright Eyes

Codes and Keys tracklisting:

01. Home Is a Fire
02. Codes and Keys
03. Some Boys
04. Doors Unlocked and Open
05. You Are a Tourist
06. Unobstructed Views
07. Monday Morning
08. Portable Television
09. Underneath the Sycamore
10. St. Peter’s Cathedral
11. Stay Young, Go Dancing

• Death Cab for Cutie:
• Atlantic:

[Photo: Katelyn Eichwald]

Want a new record from Sleepingdog? Well, if you ever do, they have one coming out!

Ignoring a common idiom, Chantal Acda and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie will not let Sleepingdog lie and instead have announced that, after three years, they will return to their Sleepingdog project and will both release a new album and head out on a tour of Europe.

The album, titled With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields, will see release through Gizeh Records on April 25. The album — the third for the group — is “press-released” as being “the sound of glacial moving, dark cough syrup pop music… some beautifully crafted melancholic orchestration that reminds us all that we exist in a world of strangers, drifting only two feet apart.” Or closer, if you’re Kid Midnight. The new album will be available on CD, digital download, and LP (with the first 500 records appearing on limited clear vinyl).

Sleepingdog have also been picked as Low’s opening band on select dates of the band’s tour of Western Europe, after which they’ll surely disappear to avoid public scrutiny for another handful of years before releasing any new music.

With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields tracklist:

01. Untitled Ballad of You and Me
02. It Leaves Us Silent
03. Polish Love Song
04. Kitten Plays the Harmony Rocket
05. He Loved to See the World Through His Camera
06. From where It Was
07. Horse Lullaby
08. Scary Movie


05.16.11 - Sheffield, UK - Queens Social Club
05.17.11 - Glasgow, UK - Classic Grand
05.18.11 - Gateshead, UK - The Sage
05.19.11 - Manchester, UK - Club Academy
05.20.11 - Bristol, UK- Trinity
05.21.11 - Brussels, Belgium - Nuits de Botanique
05.23.11 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
05.24.11 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Catharina Church

• Sleepingdog:
• Gizeh:


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