Don’t be that kid still listening to Panda Bear this summer!
Yup, there’s a new bandwagon rollin’ into town! The most popular unknown band in the indie-pop/ freak-folk/ dub-tronica/ buzz-wordical/ avant-twee scene is bustin’ loose and heading to an all-ages Rec Center/ Chain-shirking Party House/ Dive Club owned by one of the Stokes/Outdoor Stadium near you!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing “Take Down, Stay Down,” the furious 15-piece that nobody knows about and everyone’s talking about, based out of Brooklyn/L.A./Omaha/London/Hotlanta. These guys/girls are not just “so cool that they’re hot.” They’re also so indie that they’re dance, so druggy that they’re inspirational, and so hideous that they’re pin-up cute.
But don’t take my word for it! Let’s see what some of the most bitchin’ blogs are saying about “Take Down, Stay Down” . . .
Uh... let’s see...
Hmmmm... well... this is embarrassing...
Uh, sorry everybody. It seems that I misread my assignment a little bit here. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, “Take Down, Stay Down” isn’t the newest indie-rock buzz band. Apparently, it’s a new video initiative being spearheaded by renowned time-waster/internet friend-finder MySpace in an attempt to edge-out YouTube in the world of internet video dominance (read: world domination). The goal is to prevent users from reposting videos that have previously been removed for reasons of copyright protection. According to Billboard, “Take Down, Stay Down” is a feature that creates a “digital fingerprint” on any video that has been taken down at copyright holders' request. It then “places that fingerprint into a filter that will block any other user from uploading that same video in the future.”
And the point of all of this high-tech James Bondocity, you ask? Simple. Until now, content owners who have posted on services such as YouTube and MySpace have long-ignored the intrinsic idea that they shouldn’t post valued details of their lives and work on the internet and, invariably, have long-lamented the grim reality that less considerate members of these websites simply repost videos that said copyright owners have previously demanded be taken down.
Now, with its new initiative, MySpace is striking a blow for the good ol’ U.S. Constitution, putting a stop to the kind of wanton video piracy that we all know and love and exposing a key vulnerability of video-sharing sites like YouTube, which has recently drawn a $1 billion lawsuit from media giant Viacom. At the moment, videos taken-down for copyright reasons on YouTube tend to reappear on the site moments after being pulled, which renders DMCA-provisioned copyright defenses as useless as, well... most of the videos on the internet themselves, for one thing.
But don’t consider YouTube’s digital ass kicked just yet. See, the fingerprinting and filtering technology used for MySpace’s new “Take Down, Stay Down” service is provided by the company Audible Magic, the company who is also signed on to power a web-video solution for, you guessed it: YouTube.
(I’ll let you all take a minute to think about how stupid that seems. Good? Ready? Okay...)
According to digitalmusicnews.com, YouTube has yet to unveil its new filtering service, but we bet that once it does, the internet won’t be nearly as fun to visit anymore.
So I guess, in retrospect, I will see you at the “Take Down, Stay Down” show after all. Because pretty soon, it’s going to be the only show in town. Better pick out a good book now, kids.
Okay, Portishead. Two amazing albums, sold well over 40 copies each. A band that had the bollocks to release a live album that features the audience literally CLAPPING ALONG WITH THE SONGS. Worldwide adoration, despite their physical ungainliness. And then -- not a fucking peep for 10 years. Maybe they had better things to do with their limitless supplies of time and money than fucking work?
Recently, though, things have been stirring in the beguilingly maudlin little corner of the planet that Portishead inhabit. A couple of shitty “doodles,” as Geoff Barrow called them, were released on the band’s MySpace bolthole, prompting mass hysteria that these were the seeds of the hallowed new album. They also played a couple of short sets in Bristol, and that was just about it. Until now.
Finally, Portishead have confirmed their first full live date in 10 years. They’ve agreed to curate the next All Tomorrow’s Parties shebang at the Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Minehead. Which is in England. The whole thing bears the mind-bendingly original moniker of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and will be taking place December 7-9. As the band themselves state:
"We have always loved the All Tomorrow's Parties set up and we're happy our first shows will be there. It's great to have the opportunity to introduce bands we love or have influenced us. We've chosen a diverse collection of artists to play with us and we're really looking forward to it".
Inspiring words, indeed. And I bet you can barely wait to hear exactly who this “diverse collection of artists” is, eh? Well, here we go. The line up for the show, as advertised on the ATP site, is currently as follows:
Well, even if they can’t be bothered to actually get any more acts on the bill, I’m sure a champion time will be had by all, just so long as everyone remembers to clap along to the big hits.
I know you remember those late-night cable TV specials with Sally Struthers and the Christian Children's Fund. For only cents a day, you could support a child's health and overall well-being somewhere in Africa. Lately, as a music fan, I've felt like maybe I needed a sponsorship group, or at the very least a counseling group. In a day and age in which fans can end up paying for their favorite artist's album with their entire paycheck, kidney, and first-born child, the musical panorama from a fan's point of view is looking rather bleak. Flip me a quarter a day and I might be able to buy a major label release in a month or six. It wears on us as fans and most of all on our loyalty, to stores, bands, labels, and music in general.
With each cog in the machine biting the hand that feeds them, all the way up the ladder, it is refreshing to see a band who still puts their blood and sweat into what they do, but also finds time to show us they care. One such band is The Black Keys. Like The White Stripes covered in Vaseline and rolled around in dirt, the blues-rock duo have consistently kicked out their fuzzy, filthy guitar/drums jams, as dynamic live as on record. Now, after touring in support of their fourth album, Magic Potion, the band is releasing a four-track EP from different shows throughout the tour. The best part? It is available for download for the price of on-the-house. Absolutely 100% free. Get it while it's hot.
The Live EP:
1. No Trust (recorded at Troubadour, Los Angeles 09.13.06) 2. Elevator (recorded at Mercy Lounge, Nashville 12.15.06) 3. Girl Is On My Mind (recorded at Troubadour, Los Angeles 09.13.06) 4. 10AM Automatic (recorded at Mercy Lounge, Nashville 12.15.06)
Self-proclaimed “Hip-Hop Bible” The Source has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with current CEO Jeremy Miller citing the mismanagement of former co-owner Raymond “Benzino” Scott and founder Dave Mays as the main cause. After Eminem and the Benzie beefed (in print and on record!), advertisers and subscribers started dropping, says SOHH.com. Since then, The Source has been struggling to overcome a number of publicity disasters, including a sexual harassment suit by former editor-in-chief Kim Osorio and claims that the magazine boosted the reviews (the “mic” rating) of several not-so-great records.
I don’t know about this rap stuff (if it’s not Clipse or Ghostface, it’s really just not indie enough), but judging from the SOHH's feedback forum, the regulars are torn about Source’s continuing financial troubles. Talk-backer Jaime wonders, “Where is SOHH Magazine”? While forum member Ohhh speculates, “No other mags are going bankrupt so the proof is in the pudding,” begging the question: so what’s the pudding in?
Hannity (????) writes that “[in] 10 years we'll be done with paper periodicals.” But forum user jquifov gwzq gets the final word, saying of the bankruptcy, “uhgsi xehpylamz nztamgb myhea pwsky bmyxtp vnmz.”
So it goes. An old magazine gets restructured. A young website lives. Unlike the beef-happy hip-hop media, the indie scene prefers pork, and we’re more than happy to play ball, shit, even to excess, to get those big money deals. Mr P has yet to challenge indie fashion guru and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney’s to a brawl-to-wall beard-growing match; though rumor has it P, following Charney’s lead, now interviews potential writers in his underwear. The dis record is probably not forthcoming.
Seriously, not only did I have to witness a skivvies-only interview to get this gig, the magic eight ball tells me some poor sucker is going to get strong-armed into giving The Twilight Sad’s new disc four dots instead of three-and-a-half. Do you know how many units that extra half moon will move? If only you, fair reader, were so impressionable. We live and die on the backs of our advertisers, so here it goes: fuck FatCat Records, Crystal Top Music, Token Boy, and whoever else is flickering in your eyeballs today. No amount of half naked men/women will make me click your fucking banner ad (honestly though, at some point I’m going to click it). Sixteen- to thirty-four-year-olds unite. You have nothing to lose but your $72k household income (on average!). Or just get Firefox.
Alright, I’m done snitchin’. Please keep advertising with us.
I forgot they even existed. With 57 side-projects currently touring and recording simultaneously, the boys from Wolf Parade have managed to find time to play shows for the folks tired of their recent musical misadventures. They've got Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, Johnny and the Moon, and Frog Eyes going -- the other 52 are top secret. It's just so incestuous. It kind of creeps me out a little, but... it's also kind of appealing. Like how I just wanted George Michael and Maeby to get it on, so I could see how David Cross would react to the situation in his fiery Ms. Featherbottom outfit.
Well it's a brief flash-in-the-pan tour, but it begins in the hippest place I could imagine... Kingston, Ontario. I can't picture any city cooler than a place home to the Royal Military College and where the biggest employer is the Armed Forces. I'm trying to picture one, but, but... no, I can't. Also in its favor, the city has a big maximum-security prison and a university full of bratty, upper-class private school graduates, too. So if there is a day-release program in effect and the inmates, jarheads, and conservative politic theory majors can all make it to the island for the festival, it could result in some interesting goings on.
In the mean time, there is supposed to be a new Wolf Parade album in the works for early 2008 to be released on Sub Pop. Chances are you'll have a leaked copy by Christmas and can provide your friends and Great Aunt Eida with seasonally decorated CD-Rs. Until then, you can see Wolf Parade play these places, on these days: