Danger Mouse Releases Blank CD-R for Dark Night of the Soul; Why Didn’t I Think of That???

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what Danger Mouse often lacks in his half-assed, undercooked, soft-boiled, or hit-or-miss collaborations (Cee-lo, Beck Hansen, The Black Keys, and Mark Linkous have suspiciously all cut better records before the “Grey Album Guy” stepped in to add his... signature sound... of... what, exactly? More vintage drums, I think.), he more than makes up for with his awesomely crass, anti-industry skullduggery! Besides, when you think about it, it’s really the “Shock-And-Awe” factor that Mr. Mouse is going for with these “unique artist pairings,” and this same “bitch, what’s my name!?” vibe is what gives him the cred as he needs to write the next chapter in the choose-your-own-adventure novel that is 21st century music distribution, once again flaunting the fact that it's the fans, not record labels like EMI, who have the upper hand in the digital age.

See, Danger Mouse has been working on a collection called Dark Night of the Soul, an album-length piece of music by Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and a host of guest vocalists, along with a collection of original David Lynch photography inspired by and based on the music. Sweet, right? (2009 is, after all, the year of the comp, so I’d say his timing is right on.) Well, apparently, relations with EMI on the project have, um, broken down like a James Brown middle-8, and the long and short of it is that EMI is kinda sorta refusing to release the music. Now, if you’re Danger Mouse, the guy who’s literally FAMOUS for being a copyright-law flaunting, industry decrying, music pirate, what DO you do, I wonder?

No brainer, you release the photographs, which provide a visual narrative for the music, compiled in a limited-edition, hand-numbered 100+ page book; and you package that with, yup, a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: "For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will." And I’m sure I don’t need to mention that the music leaked on P2P networks over two weeks ago and is currently available as an on-demand from NPR. Sha-booz-baz! Take that, EMI!

But wait! “Sounds Illegal,” you say? Well, if EMI owns the copyright to the sound recordings that make up Dark Night (which, come on now, it probably does, being a Major Label and all), then yes, this could perhaps be construed as “inducing” copyright infringement. But as EFF has pointed out, there’s an interesting little wrinkle in copyright law that might-could step in and work to Danger Mouse’s (and our) favor -- if the blank CD-R is a royalty-paid "music CD-R," then the copies made by fans (whether made from NPR or P2P) would be legal under 17 U.S.C. 1008, which provides that no infringement lawsuit may be "based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of [a digital audio recording] medium for making digital musical recordings." Digital audio recording medium (DARM) is defined to include "music CD-Rs" on which a royalty is paid to copyright owners.

Damn, Danger Mouse! That’s some Legally Blond shit, right there.

The Curious Mystery Release Album on K Records, Pack Up Noah’s Ark Full of Wacky Instruments for West Coast Tourdates

Some bands -- in fact, in this post-The Strokes/The Libertines/The Hives world, most bands -- just don’t need a “The” in front of their name. I am going to go out on a limb here and add The Curious Mystery to this list. I first heard the name today, and I was just, like, not feelin’ it. (Unless you are The The, the article just seems superfluous.) But then I heard the actual band and -- OH SNAP -- I was toooootally feeling it.

The Curious Mystery are a Seattle-based psychedelic garage band with roots in country/western and experimental music. Formed in 2005 by guitarist/vocalist/homemade instrumentalist Nicolas Gonzalez and vocalist/banjoist/guitarist/autoharpist/monkey trainer Shana Cleveland, the band has since expanded to include -- y’all ready for this? -- Bradford Button on bass guitar and Faustine B. Hudson on drums, gong, dinner bell, and (yes, you guessed it) plastic tube. (That Bradford -- what an underachiever. Isn’t there an accordion sitting around somewhere he could pick up?)

The multi-instrumentalists are hitting the road for a West Coast tour this spring in support of their debut, Rotting Slowly, which came out today on K Records!
05.21.09 - Portland, OR - The Dunes
05.22.09 - Salem, OR - The Space
05.23.09 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Theatre Lounge
05.26.09 - Redding, CA - The Downtown Eatery
05.27.09 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
05.30.09 - San Jose, CA - Streetlight Records (early show)
05.30.09 - San Jose, CA - The Blank Club
05.31.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
06.01.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
06.03.09 - Tucson, AZ - Red Room
06.05.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Woodshed
06.06.09 - Boise, ID - Neurolux

* Old Time Relijun

You have to love the guys who run The Pirate Bay (or hate them a lot, depending on what you have at stake). Whether they're bold-facedly advertising The Simpsons Movie available for download on its first day in theatres or trying to start their own country where file-sharing is legal, they tend to grab the bull by the prairie oysters. Well, those smug assholes have done it again. Or at least they're about to have done it again.

Let's back up. About three weeks ago, the well-publicized Pirate Bay trial reached a verdict requiring the management of The Pirate Bay to pay a fine of 30-million SEK. The money was to be paid to Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå, the small law firm representing the IFPI in the recent trial. Of course, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm and his three co-pirates, relaxed comfortably atop their beanbag chair-sized testicles, had no intentions of paying the fine.

Their current plan is to enact what is now being called a "Distributed Denial of Dollars" (or DDo$) attack. It is basically an adaptation of the DDoS attack, a technique by which a number of internet users intentionally overload a server in order to make it inaccessible to its intended users. In this case, The Pirate Bay is asking users to make tiny donations of 1 SEK (approx. 0.13 USD) to the bank account in which the 30 million SEK is meant to be deposited.

Here's how it works: The first 1000 transfers made to the account cost nothing to Danowsky. Any further transfers, however, will cause the bank to charge Danowsky with a fee of 2 SEK. This means that any donations (beyond the first 1000) of 1 SEK will end up costing Danowsky 1 SEK. Bear in mind that The Pirate Bay has about 3.6 million users.

As Danowsky is a small firm that handles all transactions by hand, this attack will probably end up wasting a lot of their time. And time is money. So it will end up wasting some of their money, and then a lot of their money. Now, unless Danowsky is so overwhelmed that they have to close their doors, this still does not explain how Svartholm and his mates will avoid paying their fine. But as the old pirate saying goes, "If ye be drownin, 'tis best that the last bit of ya ter be seen be yer sinkin' middle finger."

Hounding her MySpace page has finally paid off: Fever Ray is coming to the States and Canada. From the looks of the videos already posted on YouTube, the tour's gonna have some spooky shit with a high chance of lasers and subsequent nightmares. Sign me up!

Fever Ray will be supporting her self-titled solo album (TMT Review), which was released via Mute back in March.

Here are the tourdates:
05.20.09 - Graz, Austria - Electronic Beats Festival
05.21.09 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain (two shows)
05.23.09 - Cologne, Germany - Electronic Beats Festival
06.13.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Where the Action Is
06.20.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Sonar By Night
07.03.09 - Arvika, Sweden - Arvika Festival
07.04.09 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.11.09 - Brighton, England - Loop Festival
07.12.09 - Naas, Ireland - Oxegen Festival
07.14.09 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2
07.16.09 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
07.17.09 - Southwold, UK - Latitude Festival
07.18.09 - Leipzig, Germany - Melt! Festival
08.13.09 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08.14.09 - Göteborg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival
08.16.09 - Helsinki, Finland - Flow Festival
09.28.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
09.29.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
10.01.09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
10.02.09 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
10.03.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro
10.05.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom
10.07.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater

RIP: MC Dolla

From Rolling Stone:

Up-and-coming Atlanta rapper Dolla was shot and killed in an altercation outside a shopping mall in Los Angeles on Monday, May 18th. He was 21 years old. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dolla was gunned down while he waited at the Beverly Center’s mall valet with rappers DJ Shabbazz and Scrapp DeLeon. Dolla’s publicist said that before the shooting, a man and woman were trailing the rapper. Police have “two persons of interest” in custody; cops picked up one man at the ticketing area of the Los Angeles International Airport with a gun in his possession. As of this morning, the man in custody, Aubrey Berry, has been charged with murder, TMZ reports.

- Dolla MySpace page
- Dolla Twitter

The Psychedelic Furs Reunite… Again, Tour America… Again

Late-1970s post-punk/new wave/John Hughes movie soundtrack hitmakers The Psychedelic Furs are preparing to rock America during a brief summer tour. Word on the street (internet) is that brothers/founding members vocalist Richard Butler and bassist Tim Butler, along with guitarist John Ashton, were all living in upstate New York prior to their 2000 reunion, which means touring the northeastern states is perfectly logical and seems like the obvious choice, but now it totally ruins the whole "They were formed in London in 1977! They're, like, such a seminal English band and now they're totally COMING TO AMERICA for a no-holds-barred spectacular reunion tour!!" angle that I was going to take. Oh well. They've got a date at the Benicassim Festival in Spain, and more U.S./European dates on the way. That's exciting enough on its own, right? Right??

Anyway, The Psychedelic Furs are on the move. The lineup this time features the aforementioned Butlers, John Ashton, drummer Frank Ferrer of Love Spit Love (Richard Butler's post-Furs band) and Guns N' Roses, former Information Society and World Party keyboardist Amanda Kramer, and previous Furs collaborator saxophonist Mars Williams. That's like, four bands for the price of one -- maybe even five.

06.06.09 - Foxborough, MA - Showcase Live
06.07.09 - Farmingdale, NY - Crazy Donkey
06.08.09 - Londonderry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
06.09.09 - Fairfield, CT - StageOne
06.11.09 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head on Stage
06.12.09 - Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues
06.13.09 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre
07.19.09 - Benicassim, SPAIN - Benicassim Festival


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