Blitzen Trapper Holds Steady Long Enough to Brave Tour; Duels Bear at Dusk

It was a blustery February night when I first encountered Blitzen Trapper. I’d been navigating a log raft down the Columbia River for over a month, not-so-hot on the trail of the Pacific Northwest’s most hirsute resident, Bigfoot. Last seen crossing state lines with armfuls of booze, speculation around the basin suggested that he was close, but, low on supplies, my raft was near ruin.

The party was a mess: Bryan was sick with dysentery, other Bryan succumbed to diphtheria just a week ago (strangely he requested his tombstone read ‘peperony and chease’), and noisemakers and tin-foil tiaras littered the floor of the craft. Myself? Well, the squirrel fur on my ushanka had nearly frozen to the curls in my heavily waxed moustache -- in short, I figured it was time to find some rest.

I anchored the vessel in a kindly looking hamlet, where the glow from the gas lamplights shone on falling salt shaker snow enveloping the browns and blacks of the steeply pitched roofs in a halo of light. We had apparently taken a wrong turn somewhere because the blizzard-charred peak of Mt. Hood loomed heavy over the village.

“Is this place on the map?” asked Bryan, breath visible in the night air.

The vacant, narrow streets wound around the wooden houses as we spotted an inn, door obscured by snow, along the incline. Once inside, the short, round innkeeper led us past a raucous beer hall, music flowing up the stairway, to a room upstairs.

Downstairs, the rafters of the beer hall rang with anthems of Oregonian frontiersmanship. And in a dark corner of the ale house, nursing a goblet Scotchguard, was Blitzen Trapper -– mammoth marauder of the unseen Oregon forest, said to have scaled Mt. Hood on the back of a grizzly (and later befriend that grizzly, convincing him to become partners in a joint business venture before skipping town with the cash advance and critically damaging said grizzly’s credit rating). I sat down across from the flannel-clad beardsman, as the fellows at the bar launched into another song.

“The El Dorado of Northwest,” he mumbled. “We tried to telegram the news out... but in those days the lines could only take so many dots and dashes... only thing we got was more snow... and rain... and a volcanic eruption.”

“Is that why everything here’s so dusty?” I asked, dusting some ash off my cup. “Say, have you heard any news about Bigfoot?”

“Huh? Oh, hello. Are you interested in joining the Wild Mountain Nation?” said Blitzen, ignoring my question. “I have some reasonably priced CDs coming in around June 12 . Top-of-the-line, three easy payments.”

“Is that some kind of album you’re self-releasing?”

“Yes, and if you find yourself in Portland on July 5, we’ll be throwing a belated CD release party for it. I also have some reasonably priced watches.”

“Oh yeah? Sounds like fun. I have a raft, and we’re... [Blitzen Trapper falls asleep] ...hello? ...WHERE’S MY BEAR MONEY?”

[Blitzen Trapper jumps awake]

“What? Oh, it’s you. Stream music from the new record online, but beware -- there be album outtakes. You know we’re actually already on tour,” continued the newly cogent Mr. Trapper. “We’ve been busy playing shows while you’ve been putting off this news story.”

“Oh, right. Sorry.”

Join me as I ditch the raft a take a dogsled across the taiga of Oregon to see Blitzen Trapper duel the grizzly at dusk:

*The Hold Steady

Boris to Tour Europe; Planet Desperately Clings to Faint Hope of Survival

There’s some relatively scary shit going on in the world-at-large, my beloved readers. Now, I fully understand that most of you are far too busy -- e.g., chasing after your desired lovers or fretting yourselves stupid over your grotesque acne or concerning yourself with whatever filth youngsters participate in nowadays -- to even consider having the time to worry about these shit things. Well, it’s about time someone set you straight, at least on one issue; namely, your impending death.

If you live on the East Coast of the U.S., you’re royally fucked. First of all, there’s one kick-ass mountain volcano in the Canary Islands, which you can call Mister Cumber Vieja. And that shitlet is going to BLOW. And when it blows, the hunk of the mountain left after the eruption is going to fall into the sea. And that lump will be bigger than the biggest stonk-on you or any of your loser friends ever got. When it crashes into the Atlantic, it will unleash a force of such righteous fury that Florida and probably some other Easty bits of the beloved homeland will be submerged in a tidal wave so gigantic that only those with ludicrously advanced stilt-walking skills will survive.

However, Dr. Steven Day, who wrote a report in 2001 about all this stuff, says the likelihood of it happening on a year-to-year basis is “low” and that it could take between decades and hundreds of years before the hammer falls. Fucking killjoy.

Trouble is still afoot, though, and this concerns you all. Reason being is that Japanese crush-rock masters Boris are playing in Europe. And their first gig is in Slovenia, which I’m pretty sure is in Eastern Europe somewhere.

I'm going on record predicting that when Boris hit their first chord -- or, at least, by the time the drummer hits his big fuck-off gong -- in Ljubljana, the resulting intensity of vibrations will not just lead to the collapse of mountains, but will cause the entire western bit of Europe (which has been fatally weakened by their leaders’ refusal to engage in the War On Terror) to fall into the sea. This will cause an unstoppable tsunami propagated solely by the power of heavy rock. And, naturally, the onrushing torrent will lead to the entire population of the planet running to the hills to save their pathetic lives. There are only two words that can be used to describe such an event as this; those words are ‘heavy’ and ‘metal.’

However, on a more sombre note, this event will likely also lead to the cancellation of the rest of the tour. As such, I’d recommend you get tickets to the Cvetlicarna Mediapark. And wear a raincoat.

The dates (if you even want to bother looking past the first one is your choice, I suppose; your time may be better spent in building a rudimentary boat):

* with Isis and Oxbow

# with Pelican

Six Degrees of Colin Meloy! Shoot, Fire, Damn the Torpedoes!

First up, famed author Larry McMurtry. Why McMurtry? Because his book is sitting right next to me, and I am in control here.

1. Larry McMurtry wrote The Last Picture Show
2. Ellen Burstyn was in the movie version of The Last Picture Show
3. Rachel Weisz was in The Fountain with Ellen Burstyn
4. The Daily Show featured Rachel Weisz
5. Stephen Colbert, originally from The Daily Show, battled Chris Funk
6. Chris Funk is a member of The Decemberists with Colin Meloy

Hell yeah, man! Give me five up top! Who’s next? Mike Piazza? Puhleaaze. I’ll lick that in three degrees. Who do you think I am? I’m second on these boards only to Emcee Greg.

1. Mike Piazza was featured in a song by Belle and Sebastian
2. Belle and Sebastian ranks right in front of The Decemberists on my iTunes play count
3. Colin Meloy is a member of The Decemberists.

Not even a challenge. Let’s poll the audience now. Give me something hard, kids. Ivan Basso? No thanks. Carnival Cruise? Hell yeah!

1. A commercial for Carnival Cruise features the song Lust for Life by Iggy Pop
2. Iggy Pop starred in Dead Man alongside Crispin Glover
3. Crispin Glover was in The Year of the Rat
4. Aaron Stewart-Ahn worked on The Year of the Rat and also directed the video for "Sixteen Military Wives"
5. "Sixteen Military Wives" is a song by The Decemberists
6. Colin Meloy is a member of The Decemberists

I’m on a roll; let’s try Ivan Basso.

1. Ivan Basso is an Italian bicyclist
2. Italy is one of the countries The Decemberists are not going to on their extended tour
3. Colin Meloy is, yet again, a member of The Decemberists.
4. The extended tour:

$ orchestra show

Animal Collective to Dog Paddle Across the Pond, Pee on Europe’s Rug

You know, for as batshit crazy as Brooklyn, NY’s Animal Collective’s music can be, their tour news sure isn’t very exciting. Basically, they’re adding some European tourdates to their summer tour schedule... So what? Tons of bands add dates to their schedules, and it’s just no big deal, right?

Right.

It’s just so... so annoyingly regular.

So I thought to myself, “How should Animal Collective be announcing their European tour dates???”

Here’s what I came up with. Avey, I hope you’re reading this:

{(ahhem)

--MEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!

--Animal Collective (WHOOOP!!! WHOOP-WHOOP!!!)

--Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-announce some ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-additional European datesssssssss

--Oooh-ooh-ooh Ahh-ah, Oooh-ooh-ooh Ahh-ah!

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

Justin Timberlake Launches His Own Label; JC Chasez and Joey Fatone Split a Hot Dog

Justin Timberlake finally has his own label, Tennman Records, a joint venture with Interscope. And in case you don't know who Justin Timberlake is, he is the world's greatest performer and Pitchfork Media's "Number One Dreamy Boy of the Year." Since his years as a shaved chest puppet in N-SYNC, Timberlake has always dreamt of being in control of something with sounds and mixer board thingys. Timberlake will serve as chairman and CEO of the new company, which will be distributed internationally by Interscope Geffen A&M. Timberlake will also be presented with a plaque for BET's "One Nice Chest" award, and he will also be placed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the only human male to never have reached puberty.

With all joking aside (try to figure out which ones were jokes; he really has a label now, people), Timberlake will be joined in the boardroom by former Sony BMG Entertainment VP of A&R Ken Komisar, who will serve as president. The first signings to Tennman have yet to be announced but will most likely be ultra-neato. That is a fact.

In a statement, Timberlake squeaked out, "We are all excited about the talent we have to offer already on our roster, and I cannot wait to introduce the world to my new discoveries." Timberlake then reminded everyone around him that he has done many drugs and that he is cool. Still on thin ice due to low record sales and no one really buying into the whole "bringin' sexy back" campaign, the artist luckily remains signed to Jive for his own recordings, according to an unreliable source.

Since his 2002 solo debut, Justified, I have been a huge sexified fan of Timberlake. He is the most successful solo artists in music ever, and he's probably like number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since the beginning of time. He's constantly selling out arenas worldwide. If there is anyone that I would like the interview for TMT, it would be the Sex Man himself. Despite my negativity and third-grader sarcasm, this label might actually be a success and include decent pop acts on the lineup. Sorry for my apathy. On a more positive note, I'll end this article by reminding you that you can currently hear JT's lovely voice in the animated porno, Shrek the Third.

They Might Be Giants Ready New Album, A Certain Demographic of Nerds Rejoice

Little known fact: many of us here at TMT are giant nerds. What? It's clear as day? Shit. Well, anyway, I'm here to tell you why Judy Ain't No Punk and I are particularly nerdy, and surprise surprise, it has to do with They Might Be Giants.

Some little whipper-snappers spend their summers canoeing, making atrocious lanyards, and learning "Kumbaya" by heart, but not I. And not Judy. Instead, we spent three weeks during our early teen summers in classrooms at a Certain Gifted And Talented Program Run By a Prestigious University, learning logic proofs and the proper manner in which to craft an essay. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway at the age of 12. As a result, I still can't pass a swim test to save my life (literally).

But I digress. Each week, the 500 of us attended a very awkward social event also known as a "dance," and trust me, the nerdiness did not stop there. At each dance, if a certain number of "canonized" songs was not reached, the RAs would be nervous. (What we would have actually done, had our requests not been honored, I do not know. Perform terribly on our SATs to discredit the program? Refuse to use proper grammar? Horrors!) Included in this canon was not one, but TWO songs by the Johns: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul" from their 1990 album Flood. We would join hands, form a line, and RUN in a sort of misguided conga line as fast as we possibly could, tripping over our flip flops and invariably causing disastrous injuries, finally collapsing in a heap to the final strains.

While I don't know if their new album will yield another strange soundtrack for nerd-mating rituals, The Else promises to be another calculated lesson in the art of the Power Nerd, with a catchy, guitar-driven single called "Take Out the Trash" floating around MySpace for your listening pleasure. The Dust Brothers were enlisted as producers on this jam, so watch out for some slick drumbeats. Twenty-five years of songs about planets and geometrically shaped men, dudes. That's longevity. Devo would be proud.

News

  • Recent
  • Popular


TMT IS SEEKING NEWS WRITERS

Click here to apply