Clergy from Virgin and Pontiac Unite For Marketing Purposes, Church of “Virgiac” to Launch Later This Week

According to “billboard.biz” (a non-partisan website that chronicles in
great detail the when, where, why, and money shot every time the great
shaven phallus of the music industry fucks music itself in order to make
our world a cooler place), Virgin Megastores and Pontiac are coming
together in order to form the most sacred ad campaign in human history:
The Pontiac Towers.

Hey! Put down those Orwell-quoting protest signs and letters to the
Adbusters editor -- you, you poor, lost little lamb -- you haven’t even heard
why you need The Pontiac Towers in your life yet. They will serve a myriad
of purposes, including but not limited to: featuring musical artists who
have had their work used in Pontiac advertisements, showcasing Pontiac
merchandise, and being homes to interactive displays on which consumers
can view “Pontiac Garage” concert footage.

Most importantly, however, the Towers should be worshipped in body and in spirit several times daily by all passers-by in order for the maximum
power of the ad campaign to be realized. From the Towers, the worship will
be condensed, shrink-wrapped, and sent skyward to the mysterious but
powerful “Virgiac,” who will, if pleased, bless mankind with more car
commercials and catchier pop-punk anthems. If you are a faithful servant
of Virgiac until the day you die, you will be rewarded by spending an
eternal afterlife as a wealthy member of the 18-34 demographic.

In addition to the towers, Virgin will license at least 30 songs to
Pontiac every year for various purposes, such as TV spots and online ads.
Mark-Hans Richer, Pontiac’s Marketing Director, said of the promotion: “I
think brands and bands can make each others’ products better,” in a spare
moment between silent prayer hour and Gregorian chant time. “Brands and
bands” -- now there’s a catch phrase for the new millennium if I ever heard
one. Enjoy your scoffs of skepticism now, doubter, but don’t come to me in
the afterlife you’ll inevitably be spending as a destitute 92-year-old man
looking for alms, cause you ain’t gettin’ anything from me or my
rising-star-in-the-legal-profession young wife. Don’t give him any money,
Vanessa, you’re only hurting him in the long run.

At Your Cervix! Initial No Fun Fest 2007 Lineup Announced!

Contrary to what bitter ex-girlfriends and a nervous society at large have warned me about, I am capable of reproducing life and will indeed become a father any week now. I used to think that seeing my obscenity-wielding girlfriend bearing down and producing our son covered in blood 'n' vernix was an activity that I could wait a little while longer to encounter. But when the lil' tax write-off takes one look at us with his cerulean eyes and starts screaming, spitting, and crying, it’s going to be the most beautiful thing in the world. I’m going to fucking lose it, I’m never going to be the same... and I can't wait for it to happen.

I certainly won't be the first pristine parent to get thrown into cloud-cuckoo-land on the "big day," and I definitely won't be the last. Nor is witnessing childbirth the only way to bombard your senses and awaken another layer of experience; musicians have been wrenching these emotions out of audiences for ages. Some like-minded (but dissimilar-sounding) ones have been getting together and getting off on it in Brooklyn since 2004, where and when Carlos Giffoni birthed the first annual No Fun Fest. For all the buzz about NFF being an "anti-festival," it really embodies what is good and great about live explorations into unrestricted areas of sound and performance. And despite the gathering's "No Fun" tag, it is anything but -- simply take a look at Load Records' Fun From None: Live From the No Fun Fest 2004 & 2005 DVD compendium, or ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has had the pleasure of attending in the past. Before they make your ears bleed with plaudits about the Fest, you'll clue in that something very special is going to go down May 17-20 at The Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

No Fun vets will notice a few returnees this year, but rest assured not many sets will seem empty or played-out, even to the most jaded lovers of the subversive, extreme, or left-of-convention. Although there probably won’t be a stray placenta appearance, given the festival's inclination for delivering surprise, you can't count it out. More artists will be announced in due time, but the lineup will include these CONFIRMED acts: American Band + Air Conditioning, Ash Pool, Burning Star Core (pictured) + Zaimph, Crumbling (Pedestrian Deposit + Oscillating Innards), Deathroes (Gerritt + Sixes), Demons, Enema Syringe, Evil Moisture, Gastric Female Reflex, Carlos Giffoni, Hair Police, Hive Mind, Incapacitants, Leslie Keffer + Rodger Stella, Mouthus + Axolotl, Pain Jerk, Princess Dragonmom, Raionbashi, Tom Recchion, Ju Suk Reet Meate and Oblivia, Religious Knives, Sickness, Sissy Spacek, Slogun, and The Rita.

Festival passes go on sale February 15, single day tickets on March 15.

Photo: Phillip Berryhill

An Invitation to Ye Olde Mountain Goats’ Medicine Show

Come one, come all! Step right up, little boy! That's right, you there! Be the first on your block to Get Lonely!!!

Lonely is an all-encompassing attitude package, including such versatile attachments as:

- Spitefulness
- Anger
- Existential Angst
- Depression
- Mourning
- Hopelessness
- Feelings of Abandonment
- Fits of Rage

Take advantage of Mr. John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats' Get Lonely demonstration tour! John and the boys'll introduce you to the numerous uses of loneliness, helping you to make use of this essential, new emotion! The Mountain Goats are certified experts in the field of loneliness and guarantee full satisfaction, as long as wallowing in negative thoughts and feelings is your thing.

For the uninitiated, The Mountain Goats offer a full program of desolate sentiments, including such new laments as:

"Spend each night in your arms. Always wake up alone."

&

"Some time before the sun comes up, the earth is gonna crack."

Of course, Darnielle and co. will pay tribute to the old favorites, the gold standards, if you will, in miserable utterances:

"I hope you die! I hope we both die!"

&

"And the headstones climbed up the hills."

And yet, lying in your comfortable bed, when the show is over and your bitter medicine's been bought, you might begin to wonder whether you'll ever actually "get" lonely. You'll wonder just what made you go out looking for loneliness, anyway.

Get Your Lonely Here:

Hella Disbands, Rebands, Expands, Has Plans

Even though the combined energy of Spencer Seim and Zach Hill is already probably enough to send your closest relatives into epileptic fits, Hella have decided to enlist a veritable orchestra of friends in their ear-slicing crusade. The kind of kick-ass orchestra that only has three members. Maybe not an orchestra. It's like they've signed up a barbershop quartet, and one of them is permanently inside getting his hair cut. Or I suppose they could all take turns getting their hair cut so that the one guy doesn't have to shave his whole head during every show. In that case, there would have to be barbershops close to every club they play in, unless of course they had one installed backstage -- but what kind of clubs provide that kind of service? On the other hand, the band could bring along a smock and some shears, because, after all, a barbershop is more a state of mind than a physical place.

Hi. The new Hella will include Carson McWhirter (who also plays with The Advantage with Seim) on bass, Zach's cousin Josh Hill (member of Chrime In Choir) on guitar, and Aaron Ross (an ex-butcher from Las Vegas) on... vocals! And by "will include," I do mean "already includes," because the trio (+2) line-up has already cranked out an album, There's No 666 in Outer Space, which will be out on January 30 through Ipecac, that most syrupy of labels.

Tracklisting:

Hella will also be proving their five-man longevity by spending most of 2007 on tour. Having seen their live Concentration Face DVD, I can only imagine what will happen. Zach sprained his friggin' ankle in Japan by playing a song. At the very least, the new Hella will cause select members of the audience to suffer from debilitating osteoporosis. Enjoy.

Ted Leo + Pharmacists Eat Tofurky in Support of New Album Announcement

When we last heard from good ol’ Ted, he had just wrapped up a new, untitled album and was about to start another tour, which found him and his Pharmacists opening for Death Cab For Cutie in large theaters and hockey arenas. Now, weeks later, that DCFC business is behind him (save one show), and we have more album info. The new record, entitled Living With The Living, will be released on March 20 by the reliable ladies and gents at Touch & Go.

As you may remember, Mr. Brendan Canty produced the 15-track LP at Longview Farms Studios in Massachusetts. A few of the new songs will be familiar to anyone who has seen Leo & Co. perform recently -- or to those who look around the interweb for mp3s and stuff -- as many were road-tested before, during and after recording. Tracklist and remaining dates after the jump. What? We aren’t doing that jump thing everyone seems to be loving lately? Even with the redesign? Oops.

Living With The Living tracklist:

Magik Markers Tour, But Not Where It Counts =[

Boy do I sure miss the days of my innocent childhood. It's weird though; I really can't remember the broader picture of what happened during those formative years. I can recall some very specific instances from certain Nicktoons for example, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what I did on an average day. I know that this one time, in kindergarten, my teacher was going to use my homework as an example, but while she was holding it up to show the class, she noticed that I had circled something wrong. But little did she fucking know, that circle was actually erased, it was just that my bullshit pencil didn't have a proper eraser so I had to make do. I was so fucking pissed off about that, you don't even know. But if you asked me what subject that was in or what I learned from that year until last, I really couldn't say. My memory is disturbingly blurry, and I don't quite understand why.

I feel like I've been cheated because of this. Just because I couldn't comprehend the world around me from ages 0–13 doesn't mean that I don't deserve those memories. I had emotions, worries, cares, intellect, and friends (kind of). Why can I only remember that one episode of Ren & Stimpy where they're trapped in a spaceship and slowly lose their sanity until they struggle over who gets to eat the last bar of soap? (You can tell what generation I belong to now.) Why can't I remember when and how I met the friends I have today or why they still talk to me? How will I rid myself of this demonic syndrome that has no name?

I feel as if I'm growing disillusioned, and yet I'm totally aware that I have no right to make that bullshit claim. I'm not even old enough to be properly sarcastic yet. Now is the age of optimism when I'm supposed to believe in some shit and make some fucking changes in how things are done. Cynicism? Nihilism? Anarchy? Fuck that. I need someone to take me back to my innocent days – someone who knows what pure, unadulterated bliss sounds like. I need some Magik Markers to fucking help me find my way back. You don't really have to grow up. Just grab a couple and take a big whiff. You will always remember.

Don't listen to me; listen to this: