The Debate Over Punk Ends Here and Now; Jello Biafra on Tour

The term "punk" has been hotly debated for centuries. I originally compiled a list of quotes dating back to punk's birth in 1623 (the year the Avedis Zildjian Company began making cymbals at Constantinople), but I've always thought the more "contemporary" quotes were far more interesting. Below you will find my top 10 favorite contemporary quotes (in no order) about punk:

"I think punk rock, especially for me, was a big middle finger to this whole talent thing. That is, until I saw Blink-182 live. Man, they're super talented." - Mike Watt

"Punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style. But I disagree. I think it was just a bunch of power chords and some trite progressions with some snotty vocals on top. It was bullshit. So glad it's over." - David Byrne

"I was in a little punk band and we put out a few punk records that weren't very political, at all. Just kidding! They were super political, and we were actually a country group. We put out an album called The Little Mermaid" - Billy Bragg

"I've always been spiritual, but I've never had a proper context, and it took me awhile to find the proper context. It's hard to realize you can have any kind of relationship with God you want... and so I now have a punk rock relationship with God. So, basically, I do drugs and listen to Dead Kennedys with God. Oh, and when I say 'God,' I mean Jimmy Chamberlin" - Billy Corgan

"My dad took me to all the best rock and punk shows when I was growing up. Seeing Sum 41 at the Knitting Factory was life-changing." - Winona Ryder

"When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends saying, 'I hate these people with the pins in their ears.' I said, 'Thank God, I feel exactly the same way, dude.'" - Neil Young

"I pretty much grew up when punk was big in the UK. The Sex Pistols were heroes for me. I used to run around like Johnny Rotten. I had a jacket like his. I'd often look in the mirror pretending I was him, and I'd have a big wank. I suck, by the way." Gavin Rossdale

"Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you? Because the last time I did that, I got crabs." - Clint Eastwood

"I wanted to move to Seattle, sell my ass, and be a punk rocker, but I was too afraid to do so without consulting my lawyer first." - Kurt Cobain

"Punk is not dead. As long as corporations mass produce it, punk will last forever! " - Jello Biafra

White Stripes Cancel U.S. Tour; Even Though They Say Otherwise, It’s Probably Because They Hate You

Acclaimed Blueshammer tribute band The White Stripes have announced that their forthcoming tour of the U.S. has been canceled. It seems that little Meg, the drummer lady, has come down with a nasty dose of those ol’ “acute anxiety” blues, meaning she won’t be traveling anywhere for the foreseeable future, except maybe to the toilet for her morning poo. Pretty late call, too; the shows were due to start tonight in Albuquerque, NM. As they put it themselves, “We hate to let people down and are very sorry.”

Such is the ‘news’ as reported in countless other news-felches; as you well know, we aim to go one step further here at TMT. Consequently, my loyal band of news-gnomes and I have tirelessly burrowed to unearth these rumors regarding the causes of Meg’s anxiety:

• Jack and Meg were approaching Albuquerque, and passed through the sinisterly named New Mexico hamlet, Truth Or Consequences. Suddenly gripped with guilt over their prior disseminations regarding the true facts of their relationship and fearful of the dreaded consequences implied by the town’s name, the dead hand of anxiety struck;

• Jack suggested they hire a bagpipe player for the tour for when they play that cak bagpipe song off of the new album. And dress him up like a fucking pearly king;

• Jack wrote a new song featuring a two-second drum solo;

• She saw Britney Spears’ hot ‘n’ slinky performance on that MTV thing the other night. A horrified Meg, who was also planning to perform in merely a bra and panties for the entire tour, was gripped by anxiety that people might think she was just ripping off the re-energized Britney;

• She was anxious she would miss much of the Women’s World Cup.

For now, though, the British tour starting on October 24 is going ahead. Proud citizens of the United States can get a refund from wherever you purchased your tickets; those Texans amongst you who had tickets for the Austin shows are probably also legally allowed to shoot Meg dead without punishment, should you so desire. And the list of canceled shows? I’m always eager to please:

LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy Gives Up On Exercise, It Shows

Good news, fatasses!

LCD Soundsystem feels for you! Turns out there was actually a reason why James Murphy had Daft Punk come play at his house instead of getting up off of his ass and going to see them: old boy was just plain lazy!

And now, Murphy and the good ol' boys down at the DFA (Diabetes For All, I think) label are about to make it even easier for you to laze around on your roommate's couch smoking pot like the Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar and listening to LCD Soundsystem records! Thanks in no small part to the general sticky-bun eating, chain-smoking, imported-beer swilling, NBC Thursday-TiVo-ing, and all-around haughty-cum-lazy vibe of Indie Rock culture as we know it, Murphy and DFA have decided to release the the formerly iTunes-exclusive, Nike-commissioned 45:33 on the infinitely more louse-friendly CD and double vinyl formats on November 13 of this year... and get THIS: the lazy man's version even comes with bonus tracks!!

Originally conceived as part of Nike's "Nike + Original Run" series, Murphy's continuous, album-length "disco-symphony" was initially marketed as a companion piece for joggers, runners, and other like-minded enthusiasts of the cardio-vascular system who craved the kind of get-up-and-go motivation that you can only get from a brisk four-on-the-floor. Taking the listener through a dynamic range of tempos and rhythms, 45:33 was meant to offer the exercise enthusiast a complete and fulfilling work-out experience, replete with well-timed peaks and valleys at all the right places, all the while maintaining that same old snotty, DIY-dance essence of an LCD Soundsystem recording.

And though the project proved to be a massive commercial (and critical) success during its stint as an iTunes exclusive, 45:33 Murphy and his cohorts can't seem to resist ca$h-ca$h-ca$hin' in, both on the incredible acclaim of Murphy's most recent album, Sound of Silver, and on the overwhelming population of lazy assholes out there who might have decided that they'd rather spend $9.99 on a crave case of White Castles than buy an album geared toward all them "healthy folk." But to sweeten the already sugary deal, the lazy-man's version will come with three bonus tracks that were previously only available in the UK, including the sprawling "Freak Out/Starry Eyes," the hypnotically frantic "North American Scum (Onastic Dub Remix)," and elusive 7-inch B-side "Hippie Priest Bum-Out." Mmmmmm. Doesn't that sound delicious?

So what the heck are you waiting for?!?! Oh, right. The laziness thing. Sorry.

Track lizzzzzzzzzz . . . zzz . . . zzz:

Fall dates, while I'm at it:
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park (Austin City Limits)
09.17.07 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
09.20.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
09.21.07 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre *
09.24.07 - Seattle, WA - Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (University of Washington) *
09.26.07 - Lehi, UT - Waterfall Amphitheater at Thanksgiving Point *
09.28.07 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre *
09.30.07 - Saint Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium *
10.03.07 - Louisville, KY - Waterfront Park *
10.05.07 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion *
10.06.07 - New York, NY - Randall's Island *#
10.20.07 - Dublin, Ireland - Tripod
10.21.07 - Manchester, England - Apollo
10.22.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowlands
10.23.07 - London, England - Brixton Academy

* The Arcade Fire
# Les Savy Fav, Blonde Redhead

Mount Eerie Tour TBA; Let’s Report It Anyway

It should be no surprise to hear that we all hate Mount Eerie here at TMT. Our discerning, discriminating, desultory tastes find Phil Elverum and his music as foul and unpalatable as corked wine. Before writing this story, for example, I handed out half-sheets of paper to the other staffers and asked them to check "like" or "dislike" next to the words "Mount Eerie," and I can say with no exaggeration that all but one was returned with "dislike" checked (sometimes checked and circled). Jay never turned his response in, but there is a bloody piece of paper jammed into the tree outside my apartment with a bowie knife, so I suspect that even he wanted his opinion made public.

Nevertheless, this is a business and not a fanzine, so we're required to report on the exploits of people more suited for death-by-steamroller than musical composition -- people that, in spite of serious deficiencies, have managed to scrape together a few songs and a rental car and now demand publicity. Thus, it is with a heavy heart that I transcribe the following tourdates:
09.29.07 - Kennewick, WA - 321 Art Space
10.01.07 - Anacortes, WA - Dept. of Safety $
10.02.07 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project $
10.03.07 - Olympia, WA - TBA $
10.04.07 - Portland, OR - The Artistery $
10.05.07 - Arcata, CA - The Greenhouse $
10.06.07 - Sacramento, CA - 1930 N Street $
10.07.07 - San Francisco, CA - ATA $
10.08.07 - Oakland, CA - Bug House $
10.09.07 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters $
10.10.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour $
10.11.07 - San Diego, CA - Che Cafe $
10.18.07 - Missoula, MO - TBA
10.20.07 - Bottineau, ND - Roba's Coffeehouse
10.21.07 - Fargo, ND - Red Raven Coffeehouse
10.22.07 - Minneapolis, MN - TBA
10.23.07 - Madison, WI (or IA?) - TBA
10.24.07 - Chicago, IL - South Union Arts
10.25.07 - Urbana, IL - TBA
10.26.06 - Bloomington, IN - TBA
10.27.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Neutral Zone B-Side (free show)
10.28.07 - Grand Rapids, MI - The DAAC
10.29.07 - Detroit, MI - TBA
10.30.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks
10.31.07 - Buffalo, NY - TBA
11.01.07 - Upstate NY - TBA
11.02.07 - Western MA - TBA
11.03.07 - Boston, MA - TBA
11.04.07 - Portsmouth, NH - TBA
11.06.07 - Providence, RI - TBA
11.07.07 - New York, NY - St. Mark's Church
11.08.07 - New York, NY - TBA
11.09.07 - NJ - TBA
11.10.07 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
11.11.07 - Baltimore, MD - Copycat B201
11.12.07 - Washington, DC - TBA
11.13.07 - Charlottesville, VA - TBA
11.14.07 - Greensboro, NC - TBA
11.15.07 - Asheville, NC - TBA
11.16.07 - Columbia, SC - TBA
11.17.07 - Charleston, SC - TBA
11.18.07 - Gainesville, FL - TBA
11.19.07 - Orlando, FL - Stardust Coffee
11.20.07 - Sarasota, FL - New College
11.21.07 - Somewhere - TBA
11.22.07 - "wherever in Florida where they don't have Thanksgiving the holiday"
11.23.07 - Atlanta, GA - TBA
11.24.07 - Jonesboro, AR- TBA
11.25.07 - St. Louis, MO - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
11.26.07 - Columbia, MO (or Kansas City, KS [or Lawrence, KS]) - TBA
11.27.07 - Norman, OK - Opolis
11.28.07 - Denton, TX (or Dallas, TX) - TBA
11.29.07 - Austin, TX - TBA
11.30.07 - Somewhere/Nowhere - TBA
12.01.07 - Lubbock, TX - TBA
12.02.07 - Santa Fe, NM - TBA
12.03.07 - Flagstaff, AZ (or Prescott, AZ) or Nowhere - TBA
12.04.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
12.05.07 - Tucson, AZ - TBA
12.06.07 - Las Vegas, NV (?) - TBA
12.07.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - TBA
12.08.07 - Boise, ID (or Salt Lake City, UT) - TBA

$ Moools

JAYYYYY KAYYYY!!!!! (I was just pissed because Phil's considering not playing anywhere on my birthday, and as you may know, that is a very special day for me. TMT loves Mount Eerie and will forever joyfully report even the most tentative of tours.)

I Heard That Wilco Is Playing More Fall West Coast Dates!!! Oh My Gosh!!! I Am So Totally Psyched! I Love Jeff Tweedy!! Sky Blue Sky, WOO!!! I Just… Oh, Wait… Nevermind, It’s Just Billy Bragg :(

Dear Billy Bragg,

How are you? How are things in merry old England? Are they cool? I've always wanted to drive on the opposite side of the road like you guys do, you know. I just think that'd be such a rush. Sigh... I guess it's not such a rush for you, though. You do it every day. Hey, I hear that you guys say "chips" instead of "french fries" and "bobby" instead of "police officer" over there! That is just whacky, don't you think?? I think so.

But enough small talk, Billy. So, like, what was it like, you know . . . working with Wilco??? Was it just totally awesome? Or was it more "amazing" than awesome? I love Wilco. Don't you?? I mean, who couldn't love Wilco?? I think everyone loves Wilco. It's probably because Wilco writes such relatable songs. Did you get that vibe? I bet you got that vibe working with Wilco. It must have been an honor to have worked with Wilco.

But really, Billy Bragg, did you think that Jeff Tweedy was a genius, even back in the days of the first Mermaid Avenue?? Did you just know it? Even back then, you know, before Summerteeth and YHF (that's Wilco's album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but i'm sure you knew that, Billy Bragg) dropped and changed all of our lives forever??? I like to think that I would have known it back then. I can't be sure i would have though, you know? You probably knew it, though. I mean, Jeff Tweedy's music is so great. Don't you think that his music is really great?? It's such an incredible mixture of folk and rock ‘n’ roll, don't you think?? I don't know anybody else who does folk/rock like Wilco, do you??

Also, I bet Jeff and the band were really funny guys, too. John Stirratt seems funny. Jay Bennett seemed whacky enough too (though I bet he's not laughing too much these days, huh Billy?). But were they, like, funny in person? I've seen that one Wilco documentary -- you know, the one by Sam Jones?? -- and the stuff they do is really funny in that. You've seen that Wilco movie right? I mean, who hasn't?? Do you think that you'll play any of the songs you wrote with Wilco at any of these following fall/winter shows, Billy Bragg???

Just thought you might want to know, since you're such a huge fan of Wilco. You're welcome!!! :) :) :)

Ready In No Time: “Best New Music” Casserole! I Am Not Going To Mention That Le Loup Means ‘The Wolf’ In French, But The Pack Of ‘Em Are Going On Tour And Releasing Their Debut Album; Taste That Hype? Mmm, Delicious .

Sub Pop is a very notable, 51% independent label. Hardly Art is The Jeffersons to Sub Pop's All In The Family, which is to say a potentially profitable spin-off. Hardly Art's first release was Arthur & Yu's In Camera, which was released in the summer -- useless information, I suppose. But after the first, comes the second, which brings us to Le Loup. Due this fall, the DC band's album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly displays quite the knack for not only songwriting but also building atmosphere, placing the group atop a heap of this moment's buzziest bands.

After keeping an eye on this growing trend of shit-hot bands, I've concocted a little formula, or as I prefer to call it, a recipe, that will get you a delectable "Best New Music"-like casserole in no time flat. Please adhere strictly to the following ingredients and steps:
2 pounds skinless, boneless animal name
7 or more band members (to taste)
1/2 cup large part harmonies
1/4 cup relatively idiosyncratic organic instruments (banjo, etc.)
1 1/2 tablespoons processed instruments (i.e., computer music)
2 teaspoons foreign language words
1 teaspoon obscure reference to artist (you may substitute an author)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the animal name, excessive band members, harmonies, oddball instrumentation, salt, oregano, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the dish to cool for one small tour before the album's release.

Cook in the oven until the edges brown and BAM! Dinner is served.

Tip: This casserole may be prepared in advance and frozen until ready to use. Simply allow it to thaw 1 week on blogs and come to room temperature before releasing.

Have a taste for yourself:

* Jukebox the Ghost

@ Travis Morrison Hellfighters, Statehood, Rocky's Revival

% Andrew Bird

$ Yeasayer, Shapes and Sizes

! -- Pygmalion Fest w/ Okkervil River, CFTPA, Dark Meat, etc.

^ -- CD release party! w/ These United States

+ Nightmare of You

# Georgie James