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.

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.

El gran país de España nos invita a su Tanned Tin Festival de 2006. Van a tener una demostración süper chingona! (Süper Chingona = Super Cool) Invitaron a artistas de todo el mundo. Bueno, mas bien nomás de tres países. Pero, de todos modos va ser un evento chingón. Invitaron a artistas independientes e internacionales. No te lo pierdes. El festival se localiza en la ciudad de Castellón, Spain y los eventos en el Teatre Principal. Este evento musical empieza el November 8 through 12. El teatro es un lugar hermoso con acüsticos impresionantes. Se puede comprar boletos por el internet o por teléfono. Tickets cost 14 Euros for Thursday, 20 Euros for Saturday, and 20 Euros for Sunday. Sorry, no 3-day passes. Looks like you?re SOL. Pónganse trucha y guarden sus centavitos para ir a este evento. Acuérdense, va estar süper chingón!

TMT le gusta tu hermana y schedule goes as follows:

Wednesday, November 8

Centro Municipal de Cultura - 6:30 PM and Free

Anneleis Monsere (BE)

Thursday, November 9

Teatro Principal de Castellón - 9:30 PM

Litius (SP)

Psychic Ills (US)

The Secret Society (SP)

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (US)

Lisa Germano (US)

Friday, November 10

Casino Antiguo - 1:00PM and Free

Remate (SP)

David Thomas Broughton (SP)

Matt Elliott (FA)

Teatro Principal de Castellón - 8:00 PM

Manyfingers (UK)

Hrsta (CA)

Carla Bozulich (US)

The Montgolfier Brothers (UK)

Six Organs Of Admittance (US)

Darren Hayman and Band (UK)

The Radio Dept. (SW)

M. Ward (US)

Saturday, November 11

Casino Antiguo - 1:00PM and Free

Grupo Salvage y El Hijo (SP)

(Presenting the autobiography, "Man In Black" by Johnny Cash)

Teatro Principal de Castellón - 8:00PM

Apse (US)

Mouthus (US)

Nick Castro (US)

David Grubbs (US)

Magik Markers (US)

Dakota Suite (UK)

Okkervel River (US)

His Name Is Alive (US)

Portastatic (US)

Sunday, November 12

Casino Antiguo - 1:00PM and Free

Spires That In The Sunset Rise (US)

The One Ensemble (UK)

Instal Festival Kicks Off Tonight; Showcases Today’s Most Innovative Underground Musicians (You Know, Probably Groups Like The Postal Service And Stuff)

It's that time of the year again. Time for all those people with better ideas and cooler names than you to descend upon The Arches in Glasgow for a weekend of free jazz, restricted noise, and comfortably snug experimentation. Last year's Instal Festival brought the likes of Sun City Girls, Birchville Cat Motel, and spotlight-hog Jandek under one roof; and this year's line-up looks comparably juicy. Avant-garde acts from all over the world have been chosen to perform, and in many cases they'll be collaborating with one another on stage. Interesting pairings like Keiji Haino and Tony Conrad are the name of this year's game.

In addition to the main stage festivities, on Friday and Saturday night there will be a special Incest Infest Stage highlighting emerging underground musical artists specifically from Scotland and the rest of the UK. Notable playas on this stage include Birds of Delay (because I've seen them once) and Kylie Minoise (because LOL). For the small number of TMT readers that are not based in Glasgow, Instal will kindly be providing free downloads of all the performances on their web site.

Main Stage:

Friday, 10.13.06:

Blood Stereo + Ludo Mich

Ellen Fullman + Sean Meehan

Nmperign (pictured) + Jason Lescalleet

Oshiri Penpenz

Saturday, 10.14.06:

Lee Patterson

Steve Baczkowski + Ravi Padmanabha

Lethe

Keiji Haino + Tony Conrad

The Bohman Brothers

Jazkamer

Sunday, 10.15.06:

Tetsuya Umeda

Sachiko

Arrington de Dionyso

Kuwayama + Kijima

Eye Contact

Maryanne Amacher

Infest Stage:

Friday, 10.13.06:

Usurper

Jazzfinger

Polly Shang Kuan Band

Wounded Knee

Kylie Minoise

NOMA + Shareholder

Saturday, 10.14.06:

Red Kites

Birds of Delay + Nackt Insecten

Hockyfrilla

Ben Reynolds

Opaque

Picture: Seth Tisue