Coolest High School Computer Teacher Ever Captures Your Heart… With a Heart-Shaped Record; Details of a Unique Vinyl Subscription in This Story!

Once upon a time, there was a little high school computer teacher who loved music. That's right, apparently there is at least one high school computer teacher in the world who is cool. I know that your high school computer teacher wore a pocket protector and had a twitch, but bear with me, here. So this music-loving faculty member started an eency weency record label called People in a Position to Know. The label is so itty bitty, in fact, that they haven't released any albums yet.

They have a plan, though. Allow me to editorialize, here: it is a pretty fucking awesome plan. People in a Position to Know wants to put you in a position to know about its Limited Edition Vinyl Subscription Series. Beginning this November, you can sign up to receive six clear vinyl records, including an assortment of 8-inch square, heart-shaped, triangular, and hexagonal records, as well as more conventionally-shaped 10- and 12-inchers. Among bands already lined up to contribute to the series are such impressive names as Jad Fair, Wooden Wand, The Poster Children, and The Wrens. Those of you who remember the dearly departed Sub Pop Singles Club are, well... you're just older than I am.

One of the craziest things about this venture is that neither the bands — each selected simply because People in the Position to Know love them so much — nor the label will be making any profit from it. Your $65.00 subscription will be just enough to cover producing and shipping the records.

So have I sold you record nerds on this series yet? What if I tell you that there will be only 100 subscriptions offered, and that you have to sign up for the People in a Position to Know mailing list to get them? Those folks will send an e-mail some time in late October or early November to give you your chance to join their big, happy, non-profit, music-lovin' family.

Don't it just make your record-shaped heart fill with love?

Shit, today was tough. I woke up, and for a second, all I could see was gray, gray to the corners of my eyes. I thought I had gone blind, until it cleared, leaving this weird film, sucking the life out of everything I looked at. My girlfriend woke up and asked if I was alright: looking in the mirror, I didn't blame her. My skin was pale and clammy, cold to the touch; my eyes blood-red; my hair sticky with the night's sweat.

I walked into the kitchen and made myself a coffee. At the first sip, my stomach twisted. I ran to the toilet and puked bile. I knelt there for about five minutes; I just didn't feel like standing up. When I did, the room turned, and I nearly fell over. Shying from the light, I crawled back into bed, declaring the world to be agony and life to be nothing but a brief shuffle towards death. My girlfriend called me a jerk and stormed off to work.

Three hours later, I realized what was wrong.

I didn't have enough CDs of indie bands covering Balkan gypsy folk songs! It was so obvious.

Crawling to my computer, I desperately searched the Internet for something — anything — to fill the crippling void that threatened to swallow me forever. Nothing. I tore at my hair, I cried, I gnashed my teeth.

Desolate, I looked for something to end my life with. As I was about to crush my head into oblivion with a heavy DIY manual, I heard the ping of an e-mail's arrival. It was a press release, from Crammed Records..

"Gypsy musicians have always absorbed and transformed the many different styles of music that they encountered during their journeys. But what might happen if young western European or American musicians did the same thing to Balkan Gypsy music? If they absorbed some of its spirit and infused it into their own sonic world? Well, the answer lies in the album you're currently reading about...

Electric Gypsyland is a collection of reinterpretations/re-inventions of tracks from three of the leading Balkan Gypsy bands (Crammed's mighty Taraf de Haïdouks, Koçani Orkestar and Mahala Raï Banda), made by notorious fusionists and mainstays of the new Balkan club scene, and by more unexpected contributors coming from totally different musical areas. Also featured are many additional guest musicians (from Europe, Turkey, Africa), engaging in virtual jamming with the original players."

Although no tracklisting was ready yet, it promised songs from Animal Collective, Nouvelle Vague, Cibelle, Tunng, Shantel, Oi-Va-Voi, Balkan Beat Box, and 43 Skidoo, among others.

The ordeal wasn't over yet, though. Electric Gypsyland 2 isn't to be released until November 7. The next few weeks are going to be tough. But I think that I can make it. I know I can make it.

Actually, I'm just kidding. I don't even have hair! Or a girlfriend! Haha! Ha... Oh, er, you should probably still pick up this CD when it's released, though. I mean, if you like the sound of it.

The Man Who Made “Tequila!” Famous Dies

It's with a heavy heart that TMT is finally coming to terms with the death of Danny Flores... AKA "Chuck Rio", raunchy saxophone blower, one of the "Godfathers of latino rock," and of course the man who shouts "Tequila!" in the song of the same name. Flores died September 19 in Huntington Beach, California of pneumonia. He had been also been suffering with Parkinson's Disease for years.

There are few great tunes out there that actually warrant pulling out the rarely-used air-sax from the safety of its air-sax travel case to let wail, but "Tequila!" is positively one of them. "Tequila!" topped the Billboard charts for five weeks back in 1958 after it was rush-recorded and released as a B-side to the song everyone loves: "Train to Nowhere" (nah, I don't know it either). Flores (performing as "Chuck Rio"), along with other session musicians and rockabilly singer Dave Burgess, formed The Champs in 1957, and although later lineups included Glen Campbell, (Jimmy) Seals and (Dash) Croft, "Tequila!" is the sole claim-to-fame for the band.

Being branded as a one-hit-wonder can turn artists maniacal and suicidal, but this fact never seemed to piss off the composer of "Tequila!" Sharee, Flores' wife of 33 years, said at the time of his death, "I can honestly tell you he never got tired of playing that song." Although "Tequila!" was the little heifer that grew up to be a cash cow, Flores actually sold his rights to the song back in the '60s. While he did garner royalties from European plays and sales, he didn't get to rake in the millions the song generated over the years in the U.S., particularly after a certain Mr. Paul Reubens decided to feature the track prominently in a memorable scene from his Big Adventure film in 1985.

Flores toured the world and played his "dirty sax" (an instrument I have been trying to get my girlfriend to play much more of lately...) for years around the Vegas and Atlantic City casino circuits and kept the music career alive off the back of that one hit. Some don't get that much and most don't get half the joy that Flores did. And when you add in the fact that Flores died safe in the knowledge that someone, somewhere right now is teetering on top of a bar trying to upstage a stripper by doing a half-assed Peewee Herman dance to the song, being a one-hit-wonder isn't the death card deal that most would have you believe.

This Just In: MySpace Cares About Darfur?

Our lives count for something — we are told this. We are told this when growing up. Our sense of democracy and irascible freedom fosters our individual feeling of importance. We are empowered by our rights, and we are encouraged by a broader theme of human progress. Unfortunately, my present tense is, discouragingly, too optimistic. We are also bound by apathy, cynicism, disinterest, disregard for life, disregard for everything that does not directly concern us.
50,000. 250,000. 400,000. Reports disagree on the exact number of people dead in the Darfur region. The 250,000 mark is the most common, with 2.5 million displaced. I'm sorry, but I can't explain Darfur in soundbite form. Wikipedia can do that for you:

"The Darfur conflict is an ongoing armed conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, mainly between the Janjaweed, a militia group recruited from local Baggara tribes, and the non-Baggara people (mostly land-tilling tribes) of the region. The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, has provided arms and assistance and has participated in joint attacks with the group, systematically targeting the Fur, Zaghawa, and Massaleit ethnic groups in Darfur. The conflict began in July 2003."

It seems we are at a point where human concern, on a grand scale, has stopped. Our individuality has been diverted and exploited for commercial gain. Instead of putting our efforts to helping the 2.5 million, we are pledging our time to YouTube, Facebook, instant messaging, Tiny Mix Tapes, mp3s, camera phones, and any other temporary pop culture media market device. Our voice is not heard, because it is not being sounded. We're content. Our world is crumbling around us on any number of issues, but ours is the Temporary Generation.

So it is apt that one of those exploiters would gather its demographic to pledge money to aid those in Darfur. They've decided to host a series of concerts on October 21 for the displaced:

TV on the Radio in Philadelphia, PA

Alice in Chains in Winston-Salem, NC

Ziggy Marley in Medford, OR

Citizen Cope in Seattle, WA

Gov't Mule in Spokane, WA

Insane Clown Posse in St. Petersburg, FL

"Other shows will take place in Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco; Melbourne, Fla.; Atlanta; Louisville, Ky.; St. Paul, Minn.; Reno, Nev.; Baltimore; Asheville, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Milwaukee; and Washington, D.C. A Canadian show will take place in Toronto."

The bands will donate part of the ticket sales to Oxfam's relief efforts in Sudan and Chad. This is a vain drop in the bucket, and there should be a higher calling here. There should be a collective feeling to achieve SOMETHING on the grand scale of human existence, but passion is a commodity. It's being bought and sold on the internet and marketed to us through issue- and image-aware companies. Pledge your time to help, because our lives need to count for SOMETHING.

[Editor's Note: If you really want to donate in a way that exceeds the partial funding promised at a News Corp.-sponsored ICP gig, please consider this campaign run by STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition. All money donated through DarfurFast will help pay for civilian protection in Darfur. And, if anything, just please be inspired by these college students in STAND who really have done something and are working their asses off trying to pay soldiers to act as security for the displaced people of Darfur. I, for one, definitely like STAND more than I like The Arcade Fire.]

My Essay About Gang Gang Dance For Mrs. Emma’s Class That I Hope You Like

Hello, in this essay I will try to show that Gang Gang Dance are a musical band that have many influences and also how they are influencing many other musical bands with their innovation. Firstly, they made a CD last year, and it was very innovative. Secondly, they made a DVD now, but it is not out yet. Thirdly, Gang Gang Dance will be on an October tour soon and also for the beginning of November.

Firstly, they made a CD last year, and it is very innovative. The CD was made by The Social Registry, and it was called God's Money [TMT Review] from last year, 2005. Tiny Mixed Tapes, which is a music website for the internet, like Gang Gang Dance very much. Tiny Mixed Tapes said that Gang Gang Dance is the 4th of the best albums in 2005.

Secondly, they made a DVD now, but it is not out yet. In December, they were going to sell Retina Riddim, which is what the DVD is called, but now it is not a DVD yet. Now it is a DVD in January. Retina Riddim is a movie and has a tremendous amount of songs on it, and it is in part a movie of concepts. One can go to a Gang Gang Dance show instead, and then you can buy a CD-R version from Gang Gang Dance of Retina Riddim.

Thirdly, Gang Gang Dance will be on an October tour soon and also for the beginning of November. Gang Gang Dance will be playing songs firstly in Columbus, secondly in Chicago, thirdly in Minneapolis, fourthly in Milwaukee, and fifthly through eighthly, they will be playing songs in very many other places.

10.26.06 - Columbus, OH - Little Brother's
10.27.06 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.28.06 - Minneapolis, MN - Walker Art Center
10.29.06 - Milwaukee, WI - Shank Hall
10.30.06 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College
10.31.06 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
11.01.06 - Montreal, QB - La Sala Rosa
11.02.06 - New York, NY - Webster Hall *

* also there will be Hot Chip there

In conclusion, Gang Gang Dance are a musical band that have many influences and are influenced towards other bands too. Thank you for reading my essay about Gang Gang Dance for Mrs. Emma's class, and I hope you have liked to read it.

Gorillaz Realize They’ve Got a Whole Bunch of Useless Shit in Their Cupboards, Decide to Make Their Fans Pay Through the Nose for It

I guess Damon Albarn doesn't have enough money, or something (I guess hiring Danger Mouse to make your album for you doesn't come cheap OH SNAP ALBARN FEEL THE BURN), but it turns out that Gorillaz are releasing, like, everything... ever. Seriously. With any other band, their work-rate would be impressive, but seeing as (1) precious little new actual music is being released, (2) the entire thing stinks of bare-faced commercialism, and (3) I just accidentally cut a great big chunk out of my finger and I'm feeling all crotchety (using only a bottle cap and a lighter — seriously, I'm like the MacGuyver of self-harm), I'm going to be all bitter for a bit. If you want happy, just go straight past this one. There's probably a nice story about Man Man or something next.

First of all, Gorillaz are releasing a set of EPs, available only on iTunes, called the "Give All Your Money To Damon Albarn And Steve Jobs So They Can Build A Big Swimming Pool Full Of Cash And Swim Round In It Openly Admiring Each Other's Sharply Toned Buttocks Hidden Only By A Tight Pair Of Black Speedoes" Series. First up comes the DARE EP, released October 24. The Dirty Harry, El Manana, and Feel Good Inc. EPs follow every two or three weeks up until December 26. The DARE EP tracklist is as follows:

1. DARE - Demon Days Live in Harlem (Video)
2. DARE - animatic (Video)
3. Clint Eastwood Live - featuring De La Soul and Bootie Brown / The Pharcyde
4. People (which is DARE original demo) (Audio Only)

Once you've bought the DARE EP and are once more struggling to fight the desperate feeling of emptiness that gnaws — forever gnaws — at your heart, Gorillaz are giving you the opportunity to fend it off once again with petty commercialism. This time it is with the Slowboat to Hades DVD! "Following up the fantastically successful Phase One - Celebrity Takedown DVD companion to Gorillaz' self-titled 2001 debut, Slowboat to Hades rounds up the Demon Days era's award-winning videos, hi-tech performances, inventive animated shorts, acceptance speeches and more," the press release reads. Oh, goody.

What's that? Still got some money? Why, that'll never do. You need toys! Luckily, Kidrobot have you covered. They're releasing soft vinyl figures of the Gorillaz, each in their own box, varying in height from 6-1/4 inches to 8-1/4 inches. Make up your own fucking joke, I'm tired.

FINALLY, Gorillaz are also releasing their autobiography, Rise Of The Ogre, "the story of the world's most successful virtual group, as told by all four members of the band assisted by writer Cass Browne." To clarify: that's Gorillaz' story. The story of the band, Gorillaz. The band that does not even fucking exist. It is being designed by James Hewlett, though, so at least it will look pretty.

Tune in tomorrow when we exclusively reveal Gorillaz's line of scented soaps and bubblebaths.