Canada Tour Everywhere But Canada

My first reaction, being the Tiny Mix Tapes humorist that I am, was to make this article about the country Canada rather than the band. I would talk about the country coming down south to traipse all around the stars and bars displaying its musical fury. But then I thought to myself, “that is immature, Petya.”

And this thought, as they tend to do, led me to another thought, “Is there a barometer for immaturity?” To answer simply, yes. I mean, I’m in control here, so why not? The scale is going to work like this: 1-10; 1 being a complete moron and 10 being a PhD.

First up involves Manfred Mann’s song “Blinded by the Light.” Clearly, Manfred sings, “Revved up like a deuce.” Now, many people sing, “revved up like a douche,” and it is those people who rank around '5' on the immaturity scale. My next example comes from a slideshow I viewed in high school. We were flipping through pictures at a conference at some community college when a guy’s face showed up all melting to one side. He looked hilarious, I mean the whole left side of his face looked like it had gone numb and hung a little lower than it should. My buddy and I started laughing incredibly loud, and the MC of the slideshow informed us that this man had obviously suffered from a stroke. So, laughing at stroke victims is going to be about a '2.' I’d say '1,' but I’m not going to put myself that low on the scale. Making fun of kids that shop at Hot Topic is going to be a '7' because they partly deserve it, yet I know you wore Jeancos in middle school too. After that, it’s pretty much your call. Taking one bite out of every cupcake at Kelly’s birthday party is pretty funny, but some might rank that a '3,' while the same people would deem a mushroom stamp on passed-out Patrick’s forehead an '8.'

The main idea behind this article is to get you to think before you act. Next time you’re watching Blow and “Blinded by the Light” starts up, don’t say “douche.” Please.

Oh yeah, the tourdates! O Canada!

Internet Radio Equality Act Introduced To Congress; Copyright Royalty Board About To Feel Neglected, Lonely, And Part Of Bad Boys II

On March 2, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled that internet radio stations would have to pay royalty fees ranging from 200% to 1200% more than the stations pay now. Leave it to three lame-ass judges named James Scott Sledge, Stanley Wisniewski, and William J. Roberts to decide on the royalty rates. Homeboy James Scott Sledge even has the fancy name of Chief Copyright Royalty Judge. Anyway, that trio of jackasses have decided on the new rates that the CRB will put on internet radio stations. It makes perfect sense, because most of the internet radio stations are noncommercial so they don't make any gold. Wait. How are these purveyors of music supposed to pay outrageous royalty rates if they don't make any dough through their noncommercial station? Exactly, they won't be able to, and they'll eventually go bankrupt if the act goes into effect on May 15. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me either, children. SaveNetRadio has been attempting to fight the evils of the CRB, but now it has a hell of a fighting chance.

Enter Jay Inslee and Donald Manzullo, a Democratic representative from Washington and a Republican representative from Illinois, respectively. These two men are responsible for introducing the Internet Radio Equality Act To Congress. To spice up how bills are typically proposed, I now will place Jay Inslee and Donald Manzullo in an extremely political, buddy-cop movie dialog where they break into Congress and present the Internet Radio Equality Act.

Jay: "Alright, everybody shut the fuck up about all this Iraq shit; we've got more important matters to attend to."

Donald: "That's right, motherfuckers."

Jay: "First off, I'd like to say a couple of things. James, Stanley, and William -- you can suck it. This CRB royalty crap is bullshit, and I've got just the secret weapon to destroy it. Show em' Donald"

Donald: "Bam!"

Jay: "See that right there? That is the Internet Radio Equality Act, and it's about to bring down this shit. Don, explain it to them."

Donald: "Alright, listen closely. I don't want to repeat myself, and I sure as hell don't want to have to unload this clip on you motherfuckers. What we are proposing is simple. We need to modernize section 118 of the Copyright Act. Don't you understand that over 800 stations across the country are noncommercial? Section 118 has always read that public radio serves a different purpose from those commercial motherfuckers, and because of this, they can't pay the same types of rates."

Jay: "Basically, what Don is saying is that this shit is whack and we need to get a handle on this before May 15. Because on May 15, the CRB ruling goes into effect and we can't be having that, can we Don?"

Don: "Hell no!"

Jay: "Right. So our bill is going to propose that we update the royalty rates to those of the satellite radio stations. This way we can make this shit fair and not ridiculous like James, Stanley, and William want it to be.

Don: "That's right bitches."

If you want to support the cause of SaveNetRadio, you should give them a visit.

RTX and Totimoshi Set Out on Tour; Senile Bigots Prepare to Get All Riled Up

Time was, in the mid '90s, that Royal Trux were getting their shit out there. Remember the post-Nirvana corporate sweep of the underground? In one of the more surprising twists of those quaint times, Virgin saw potential streams of $$$ being squeezed out of the delectable psyches of Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema. They signed them to the label, and you do tend to wonder what the fuck the Virgin A&R goons were thinking. I mean, have you heard Twin Infinitives?

Sure enough, Virgin dumped them from the label after their second LP for them, Sweet Sixteen, was released with the cover that just keeps on giving every time you see it -- a close-up photo of a toilet bowl overflowing with puke and shit. Wal-Mart probably chose not to stock the record. They left the label in a financially agreeable situation with the completed master tapes for their next album stuffed down their loon pants and rushed back to Drag City to continue their reign of magnificence. Sweet.

As we all know, after they split, Jennifer got rid of the extraneous letters to create RTX with some other longhairs, and produce two more wodges of flanged-out, bestial rock, the most recent being the ultra-sick Western Xterminator (TMT Review). And now, all the cool children from coast-to-coast will be begging for an advance on their allowances as they hear the news that RTX are coming to deliver the rawk in spades to their lil' ol' towns!!!

If that wasn't good enough, the noted stoner rock combo Totimoshi are supporting. I don't know much about these dudes, except they are heavy and their bassist is Cuban. This, of course, would probably cause Jesse Helms to flip his lid; that is, if his brain still worked anywhere near enough to realize what the fuck is going on. Hell, he might even blindly wander into a show by accident with his nurse and help make it, like, the PERFECT night.

You'd better be quick to rearrange your calendars, though, because this shit is starting to go down as of just about now.

Get on the rad times xpress:

All dates with Totimoshi except #

Shortlist Finalist List Listed

This year's shortlist for the, um, Shortlist Music Prize has been announced, and oh Nelly, you won't be surprised, enthused, or even amused by the nominations. Reaching deep into the upper crust of alternative music and scanning P4K's front news page for a week-and-a-half, the esteemed Shortlist Organization has chosen the following Wunderkinds (and Tom Waits) for recognition:

Band of Horses, Beirut, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Cat Power, Girl Talk, Hot Chip, Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor, Spank Rock, and yes, Tom Waits.

How, you may ask, did an organization esteemed as the Shortlist Organization come up with such a veritable paté of a final list? It wasn't easy: First, a longlist of 60 albums were nominated by a grab bag (possibly ill-advised) panel of judges, all of them musicians themselves. And it's clear that most musicians, outside of their own contributions, are very, very insulated. Notable panelists, for better or worse, are Franz Ferdinand, Wayne Coyne, Snow Patrol, KT Tunstall, Panic! at the Disco, and last year's Shortlist winner, Sufjan Stevens. To his credit, Sufjan picked albums including my personal fave, Matmos' The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast.

The winner of this year's list (mark your calendar, Ronnie Vannucci!) will be announced sometime in May, so until then, we have the soothing sounds of Greg Spotts, co-founder of the Shortlist: "This is the year of the storyteller. More than half of our ten finalists are wordsmiths who create unique characters and narratives, interpreting our complex world in new ways." SPANK ROCK!!

Ghosts and Cats and Pigs and Bats With Brooms and Bats and Wings and Rats: Caroline Distribution Release Schedule to Include Humans

Owned by EMI, Caroline Distribution is the "indie" distro that packs your favorite chain stores, sub-distributors, and mass merchandisers with artists such as Animal Collective, El-P, !!!, Panda Bear, Air, Grizzly Bear, and Femi Kuti. Next Tuesday (May 8), Caroline will be even more prominent in the indie world when it floods stores with Spiderman of the Rings, the much-anticipated, much-hyped album by Dan Deacon.

But music ain't the only thing on its release schedule. According to Billboard, Caroline has penciled in June 1 as the day it will "release" its entire regional sales force, which aligns nicely with EMI's "Cut the Fat Cuz the Fat Ain't Cuttin' It" plan. With regional sales passed off to major label distro EMM (EMI Music Marketing), Caroline will now act as a national sales force out of New York.

"We now have to pitch to Caroline sales people who then have to pitch to EMM sales people who then have to pitch to the retail buyers," a label head told Billboard. "Everything is going to filter through EMM, and that means more competition for their attention."

Wal-Mart Considers Reducing Shelf Space for CDs

With physical music sales on a downward slope, Wal-Mart is considering reducing its CD shelf space for more lucrative products like DVDs and video games. Needless to say, the prospect of this event would be highly damaging to the music industry. Along with other "big-box" stores like Best Buy and Target, Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 65% of total CD sales, according to a report in Wall Street Journal.

"Recently, Wal-Mart has quietly circulated word to major-label distribution executives that it will reduce the space devoted to music, perhaps by as much twenty percent, in hundreds of its stores," said the report. "Some record label executives say they have heard similar warnings in the past that have not materialized."

What would this mean for independent music? With the demise of Tower last year, a company that supported the medium-to-bigger-sized indie labels, the effects on independent music were financially damaging. Wal-Mart, however, isn't known for its staunch support of independent music. Sure, the big boys of indies will likely lose space on the shelves, but this move would be much more devastating to the future of major label domination.

On the digital front, Wal-Mart intends to increase focus on its 88-cent digital downloads. But with a teeny independent music selection and downloads that only play on portable devices that support protected WMA files (Mac is not supported!), Wal-Mart will continue to remain virtually insignificant to independent music supporters. Major labels, on the other hand, better hope Wal-Mart's shitty digital service improves, or they will have to search elsewhere to pick up the slack.