Diamanda Galas Schools You In The Art Of How Not To Take Part In The Tradition of Figuring Out How Far You Can Take No Talent

Obsessive love is something we'll all experience at one time or another. But it isn’t all roses and butterfly kisses, kids -- sometimes things get a little crazy. You can be certain that all the emotional bases will be covered as Diamanda presents “Imitation of Life” on the 6th and 12th of August at the Highline Ballroom in NYC. This, one of two song cycles being debuted at the venue, is focused on “the transformation of classic jazz standards and French ballads.” Expression has never been an issue for Diamanda, thankfully, because how much safe twaddle can we all really take when it comes to the expression of love in a vocal performance? I want to know that someone else has experienced the maddening rage, the sense of loss, the moments of pure captivation; it can’t all be standing forlorn at a window or having a long walk on the beach, can it?

Diamanda will also debut the song cycle, “Chansons Malheureuses and Amanedhes” on August 19. Original compositions will be punctuated by the interpretation of texts by Nerval, Cesaire, Hrant, Kazantzithis, Supervielle and Freilinger, in the “vocal tradition of the Amanedhes (improvised lamentations from Asia Minor and the Middle East).” This traditional expression will undoubtedly be presented alongside her own dialogue of extreme technique. The extensive array of voices that she gives power to are always at their most primal and inspiring when witnessed live. Subsequently, her performances are generally described as "challenging," but really, no one ever said that confrontation was easy, honey.

If you can handle it, kids:

[Photo: Paula Court]

Sympathy For the Record Industry For Sale, Opportunity to Own Iowa Beef Experience Back Catalogue (And Other Stuff!) Finally Yours

In a blog post dated July 20, garage/punk mainstay label Sympathy For the Record Industry was put on the auction block, with “accidental CEO” Long Gone John setting the starting price at “$625,000.00 or $700,000.00 if [he doesn’t] like you.”

In addition to releasing material by artists such as Billy, Spacemen 3, Suicide and the Oblivians, the label is partially responsible for jumpstarting the pre-major label careers of bands your sister has heard of, such as The White Stripes, Turbonegro, and The Donnas (then known as the Electrocutes).

However: $600,000+.

Here is a slightly abridged list of things you, person who Long Gone John likes and owner of $600,000+, could buy instead of this record label:

- 1,125 Ohana TK-300G Solid Koa Tenor Ukuleles. This might not seem like a lot, but the TK-300G is apparently a total top of the line ukulele. As ukuleleworld2.com claims, “it don't get no better than this.”

- Almost a ton and a half of Skittles, wholesale.

- 116 1-carat platinum four prong diamond engagement rings.

- 857 St. Bernard puppies, 1,500 Dachshund puppies, 2,666 Siamese cats, or 80,000,000 four-week-old (approx. half-inch long) crickets.

All figures are accurate and generally rounded down. The only figure that came out even was the Dachshund puppies.

In all honestly, it is sad to see Sympathy For the Record Industry go through such hard times, and one can only hope that its purchaser keeps its spirit alive in some form or another. If you are reading this and you have $600,000+, please think twice before purchasing those 8,511 pairs of Nikon Action 8x40 binoculars you’ve had your eyes on.

Wilco Tours, Jeff Tweedy Says No No No to Anti-Semitism, Amy Winehouse Is Drunk, Misunderstands Him As Saying Yes Yes Yes, Winehouse Cancels Rehab to Bitch-Slap Tweedy, Gets Too Sweaty, Forced to Take Off Her Wig

While channel-surfing, Amy Winehouse recently paused in bemused discontent at a Volkswagen commercial set to the background of the first track from Wilco’s most recent release, Sky Blue Sky (TMT Review). Looking for an excuse to keep away from rehab and make a public spectacle, Winehouse decided to do what any celeb would do: make a poorly executed scene over her mild annoyance, along the way convincing herself that the scene served a purpose beyond her own uneducated boredom. Convictions would come later. First, Winehouse had a Tweedy to fight.

“Volkswagens were like the fucking cars of the Nazis!,” said a (superficially) impassioned Winehouse, slurring her words while washing down mouthfuls of potato chips with gulps from a mug of room-temperature Ketel One.

Amy Winehouse (superficially) took this recent commercial as symptomatic of a partnership between said German motorist and our favorite Chicago-based rock-'n'-roll-means-never-having-to-wash-your-hair hoodlums, Wilco. Winehouse planned to kick ass against Tweedy & co. for allying themselves with Volkswagen, which she dubbed the official car company of Nazi Germany while drunk and picking Lays potato chip crumbs out of her beehive.

So, rather than going to rehab, as she originally planned to, eh, maybe get around to, Winehouse (superficially) decided that rock 'n' roll wasn’t only good for dancin,’ drinkin,’ and baby-makin.’ She took a stand: rock and roll brings about awareness, saves lives, and bitch-slaps anti-Semites!

She planned to tour in support of putting both Wilco and Volkswagen out of business, with supporting acts performed by Hilary Duff, Peter Gabriel, and Bono. But she was too drunk to function and fell asleep. Wilco will perform instead. Get your tickets before Amy Winehouse stores them in her beehive forever-ever.


Family Values Tour Goes Green, Korn To Launch Korntastic Bio-Fuel; It’s Literally Korntastic

The three remaining members of Korn -- Jonathan Davis, Reginald Arvizu, and James Shaffer -- have teamed up with Jack Johnson & Dave Matthews' Music Matters' SMART (Sustainable Minded Artists Recording Touring) and Conserv Fuel to surgically replace the ordinary innards of the eight buses and eight cargo trucks to be used for this year's Family Values Tour with guts capable of handling their all-new, top-secret recipe for bio-fuel that they have so cleverly knighted KORNTASTIC! What a mouthful!

They announced this great news on Tuesday, July 31 at a press conference in NYC preceding a free concert in celebration of the release of their eighth studio album. They will be giving away tickets for free to soldiers on leave. Hurry up and join the Army, so you can see Korn free.

Tracklisting (um, you care?):

Cold War Kids Tour: A Primer

- Certain facts related to the Cold War Kids:
- Oh man, according to allmusic, the band's put out five EPs and singles in two years.
- Lollapalooza is this Saturday, and CWK will be performing.
- Downtown Records, the band's U.S. label, is also home to Art Brut & Gnarls Barkley.

- White Stripes, The, are headlining most of these CWK dates.
- An LP from the band, Robbers & Cowards, came out last year.
- Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy.

- Kids is the third word in the band's name (yup, I am already tapped for ideas).
- I can't help but put something about myself in every piece I write.
- Do Do Do, Da Da Da is kind of a lame kiss off
- Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" has been covered live by the band.

- Transmission with T-Mobile is a show the band performed on.
- Oops, shoulda researched that T-mobile thing. Well, that ship has sailed.
- U2, will people ever stop liking them?
- Really, it's hard to keep (start making?) this gimmick interesting. Duh, right?


$ Muse

* The White Stripes

It’s Official: Terra Firma Buys Out EMI

Shifting from waste management to leisure to transport and now apparently to music (hey, it's all the same if it makes money, right?), CEO Guy Hands and his UK-based private equity firm Terra Firma has finally taken over EMI for $4.86 billion. It took five deadline extensions, but yesterday (Wednesday) the 90% of shareholder approval required was met just 45 minutes before the deadline. Stocks immediately soared, of course, and Terra Firma could finally dance around, pump its fists in the air, and yell "chi-ching!!"

So what's next? First of all, EMI will now become a wholly private venture, meaning the company will eventually be delisted from the London Stock Exchange (most likely on August 6), turning EMI into the only purely privately-held major label. Second, and more importantly, Terra Firma needs to save EMI. According to its website, Terra Firma "focuses on buyouts of large, asset-rich and complex businesses in need of operational and/or strategic change." EMI fits this description perfectly, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of effect the firm will have on the group's future.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s ingenuity at Warner Music Group took the group headfirst into the digital industry, while Sony BMG and Universal were slow to follow -- but not as slow as EMI. Hell, EMI even tried to buyout WMG at one point, but Bronfman Jr. brilliantly changed the dialogue so that it was suddenly more probable that WMG would buyout EMI. In 2006, WMG surpassed EMI's global recorded music market share. Embarassing news for EMI, surely, but lately EMI has been embracing DRM-free music more so than the other majors, and if they could just stop being so fucking UK-BASED, maybe they'd sell more records in the U.S.

Either way, according to Music & Copyright, 27.5% of the global music market share in 2006 is attributed to independent labels. Very respectable considering the licensing, copyright, and distribution dominance of the major labels.