David Byrne Records Live EP for Amnesty International, Makes It Even Harder to Find Fault in Him

David Byrne, fresh off the unanimous critical praise of his recent collaboration with Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (TMT Review), has announced his latest collaboration. This time it's with hallowed non-governmental organization Amnesty International, who will receive the proceeds from the online sales of a four-song EP, cheekily entitled [Everything That Happens Will Happen on This Tour], recorded during Byrne's latest tour.

Says Byrne of the EP: "Some time ago Amnesty International asked if I might do "something" for that organization this year- (in previous years I had done one of my tour dates as a benefit for them). Amnesty has such an amazing and consistent track record of speaking out and helping to illuminate courageous people who might otherwise not be heard from so the answer was 'yes.'"

Preview the album here.

Those Pesky “Law” Things Do Indeed Apply to Camel Cigarettes, Deemed Guilty in Rolling Stone Indie Rock Ad Case

This bit of news, ladies and gentlemen, involves a few stories from the distant past. Way back in 1997, cigarette companies became subject to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement 97, which made it illegal for cartoon characters and other such fictional likenesses to be used in tobacco ads. Skip to 2007, when Camel Cigarettes, owned by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco company, decided it would be a great idea to do an advertising spread in Rolling Stone called “The Indie Rock Universe.” The ad featured cartoon drawings of the names of bands like Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Xiu Xiu, and Fucked Up, totaling 186 artists. Did Camel ask these bands if they could use their names in the ad? Nope. A class-action lawsuit was filed against R.J. Reynolds, Rolling Stone, and the Wenner Media Group by all artists pictured, which you can read about in this excellent post from our very own Hanky Panky.

While the class-action suit has not yet reached an agreement, other cases have: the lawsuits filed by nine state attorneys, which claimed that R.J. Reynolds acted against the aforementioned Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement by creating cartoon-like depictions of band names in a cigarette ad, which is exactly what the agreement is supposed to prevent. According to The Daily Swarm (via Pitchfork), the ruling was made by a Philadelphia judge, who must have had the strange sensation of shooting fish in a barrel. Now, R.J. Reynolds must "either run a 'youth oriented anti-smoking advertisement' in the magazine in the next year or pay a sanction of more than $300,000." Ironic, but somehow satisfactory.

Given the fact that intellectual property rights laws are pretty much designed for this sort of thing, I think we can be confident that the slandered bands will be compensated as well. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Who fucks with Ian MacKaye!?

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Round Up: Fenn O’Berg To Release A Double-Reissue and New LP, James Blackshaw Summer Tourdates, Martin Scorsese To Direct Sinatra Movie, Harvey Milk To Tour With Torche

Hey bitches, here’s the HOT GOSS for Friday.

- The Magic Sound of Fenn O’Berg (1999) and The Return of Fenn O’Berg (2002) by Fenn O’Berg (duh) will be reissued by Editions Mego in mid-June as a double-album. In October of 2009, Christian Fennesz, Jim O’Rourke, and Peter Rehberg will head over to Tokyo to record a new studio album slated for 2010. You can pre-order the reissue at the Editions Mego website.

- James Blackshaw will be hitting the road this summer in support of his latest record The Glass Bead Game, out May 26, 2009 via Young God Records. The tour starts June 8 in Brooklyn, NY at Issue Project Room and ends June 20 in Easthampton, MA... somewhere (venue TBA). He also has a few festival dates in Europe. For more information, you can get all the deetz at the Young God Records website.

- Martin Scorsese will be directing a movie about Frank Sinatra. Universal Pictures and Mandalay Pictures have been developing the project with the Sinatra Estate and Warner Music Group by securing life and music rights of Ol' Blue Eyes. The screenplay was written by Phil Alden (Field of Dreams).

- Harvey Milk will head out on tour this summer with Torche. Shit kicks off July 11 in Miami, FL at Churchills and ends in Harvey Milk-home Athens, GA at the 40 Watt Club on August 1. You can find a list of all the dates on the Harvey Milk MySpace page. Holler!


G’Bye Blueballs! Hardly Art Signs Talbot Tagora and Unnatural Helpers

While one cannot force labels to sign artists, we did expect more contractual movement within the Hardly Art camp. The Sub Pop-affiliated imprint popped its cherry a couple of years ago, and although it is frequently seen out with present flings Arthur & Yu, The Dutchess & the Duke, Le Loup, and Pretty & Nice, we expected to see a number of other acts roster-tied by now. Well, the pent-up frustration was worth the wait because Hardly Art has announced not only that it has deflowered hometown sweetheart Talbot Tagora, but the young stud has also bedded village bicycle Unnatural Helpers!

Keeping it homespun, Hardly Art have signed Seattle three-piece Talbot Tagora who will release their debut album July 21 through the energetic upstart. Chris Ando, Mark Greshowak, and Ani Ricci will release Lessons in the Woods or a City after a lengthy period of self-administering sneaky CD-R, cassette, and 7-inch teasings.

Lessons in the Woods or a City tracklisting:

1. Mixed Signals through Miles of Pilgrimage
2. Ichthus Hop
3. Bounty Hunter
4. Solar Puppets
5. Hunger Strike
6. Black Ice
7. Mouth Rainboy
8. Hidden Note
9. Hairspray
10. Johnny Lazor
11. Replacing the Northwest
12. Perception Stick
13. Belt of Cander
14. Ephemeral Summer

Meanwhile, Unnatural Helpers are helmed by Double Fudge’s Dean Whitmore and also feature Leo Gebhardt (The Catheters, Tall Birds), Kimberly Morrison (The Dutchess & the Duke), and Brian Standeford (The Catherters, Idle Times). Less is known about their future record plans, but when they do decide to go all the way with their sophomore album it will definitely be with rock-hard Hardly Art. Until, then, feast your ears on some tunes from their MySpace page or catch one of these three Seattle-centric live shows:
05.16.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumos #
06.20.09 - Seattle, WA - Underground Events Center $
08.22.09 - Seattle, WA - Funhouse %

# Obits, The Lights

$ Fresh & Onlys

% Box Elders

Mount Eerie Issues New CD from Experience, Titled White Stag Building , Sheds Tear For Indians While Hiding In a Creepy Building Scared of the Howling Wolves Off In the Distance

On March 30, 2009, Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum entered the White Stag Building in Portland, OR on invite from Matther Stadler and his Publication Studio Organization. The building, owned by the University of Oregon, sits on the old mud where Portland began. Elverum was invited to occupy the building for one week and record the sounds he made within the structure. What came out of this experience is a 10-song CD of 4-track recordings titled White Stag Building.

The CD-R, which comes, in classic Elverum-style, folded inside a "poster with words and imagined historical scenery," is limited, though it will probably be officially released on vinyl at some point in the future. According to an interview that Elverum did with the Portland Mercury, White Stag Building is about "how hard it is to maintain a relationship with memory when something bad has happened. It's an extreme view, but that's essentially what happened: White men decided to build here and oppress native peoples and nearly destroyed the environment in the process. Living with a memory of darkness almost requires that it be repressed or else covered up with a thin veneer of wholesomeness. With all its brutal bricks and sustainable eco-wood, this building represents that."

Get it before it's gone here! (And don't forget to purchase our benefit comp, which features an exclusive Mount Eerie track.) Meanwhile, the new "proper" Mount Eerie album, Wind’s Poem, is completed and should be out relatively soon.

Paste Magazine Wants YOU! (To Give Them Money)

You know how every print publication has been writing articles recently about how print is dead? Well, it’s more than just a marketing ploy, as Paste Magazine has been forced to reach out to their readers this week for monetary donations to help them stay in print. In a statement on their website, Paste writes:

The global recession has taken its toll on Paste as advertisers have slashed their spending. We are turning to our readers to help bridge the gap. Even a small contribution can make a big difference. Join 75+ of our favorite artists in the campaign to save Paste and get rare & exclusive tracks as a thank you.

Artists include The Decemberists, Neko Case, She & Him, Cowboy Junkies, Of Montreal, Indigo Girls, Jayhawks, String Cheese Incident, G. Love, Josh Rouse, The Hives, Matthew Sweet, The Avett Brothers, Joe Henry, John Roderick of The Long Winters, Over the Rhine, Bob Mould, Arrested Development, Brandi Carlile, John Doe, Josh Ritter, Marc Broussard and more. We also have a number of goodies (such as signed R.E.M. and Band of Horses posters, an ocean-view cabin on next year's Cayamo cruise, and more) to give to donors in random drawings.

As a thank you for donating, you will be able to download over 70 rare and exclusive MP3s from Paste. Any donations of $350 or more will be given a lifetime Paste print subscription with CD, as well as access to their digital edition and CD sampler download. If you’re interested in donating, please visit their website.


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