EMI Re-Considers Stabbing You

Proving that major labels have their fingers on the pulse of a rotten plank of wood that they've mistaken for a discerning music consumer, EMI said this week that it is "evaluating" its CD copy protection technology but is not planning on disposing of it. Although no new CDs have been manufactured with copy protection software for the last few months, EMI must be worried that consumers will begin to smile again and actually purchase its products I guess.

Digital Rights Management technology has been under fire from consumer groups since its introduction, with side-effects driving more consumers to piracy than was inversely intended:

- Doesn't work with iPod
- Infects computer with debilitating virus
- Changes all .jpg files to .bmp
- Changes all .bmp files to desktop-size photos of Gene Shalit
- Sends slightly discourteous e-mail to Grandma
- Wraps thick arm tightly around your waist in front of Grandma
- Derails a train somewhere in the desert

And this was just with the Sony BMG case. Best of luck in your evaluation, EMI. Make that business strategy hurt.

Blonde Redhead Tours, Releases New Album, Documents My Quarter-Life Crisis

After three long, quiet years, Blonde Redhead have announced plans to release a new album. You probably read all about it in an exclusive from these dudes a few days ago. I bet you're pretty smug. Think you got the whole story, huh? Well, you're wrong. Dead wrong. Okay, so you know that the album's set for an April 10 release. You may even know that Europeans will have to wait until April 23 for their Kazu fix. And I'm sure you've heard all about their spring tour. Heck, you may have found out that that they're calling the album 23 (4AD)... but do you know why? Huh? Do you? No, I didn't think so.

You see, kids, the album is about me. If this sounds strange to you, crawl out from under that rock. I'm pretty famous, and my life is interesting to lots of people. No small number of cultural luminaries consider me a muse. Rumor has it that [?Dave Eggers] and [?Jonathan Lethem] are currently feuding over the right to document my high school years. [?Damien Hirst] recently pickled a goat and titled the work Judy Ain't No Punk, Age 6 1/2 (it's a compliment, trust me). And now Blonde Redhead have recorded an album inspired by and released to coincide with my 23rd year on this here Earth.

The album will explore the depths of passionate, dramatic pathos that I colloquially refer to as "my quarter-life crisis." While "Silently" describes the existential angst that stalks me on my daily commute to work, "Publisher" delves into the occasional suicidal thoughts I experience while staring deep into manuscripts and wondering whether my job title will always include the words "Assistant to." "Heroine" serves as a sort of testimony to my vital presence in the universe.

Now, aren't you glad I set the record straight?

Like sands through the hourglass, so is the tracklist of my life:

Islands Return To The Studio; Remember The Unicorns?

On New Year's Eve, I made a resolution to try and do one thing worth remembering each and every day of this year. The point of the resolution is to have something to say to people who ceaselessly ask, "What have you been doing lately?" when all you seem to remember of the last three months is the distinctly chewy texture of slightly-stale chocolate Teddy Grahams. Last year I attempted this, and though I spent January 1 at a store called Hobo, purchasing a plush horse-head on a stick, I recall nothing of the next 12 months. This year got me a little further, but before I knew it, it was 4 A.M. on January 3 and The Mighty Ducks was blaring in the other room. I am a failure.

Islands, on the other hand, are ready for 2007 in a way that few are. They've been readying new material for their follow-up to last year's Return To The Sea (TMT Review) and are entering the studio in February to crank out tha tunez. While I was buying a gumball from the machine outside of Meijer, Nick Thorburn and his friends were making songs "10 minutes long with innumerable key & tempo changes, modulation, genre-meddling bombastic progressive rock existential death-defying dangerousness." And I'm cool with that.

"Hey!" you might say. "Did you just write Nick Thorburn?? Don'tcha mean Nick Diamonds???" I hope you might say that. Hell, I hope that someone, somewhere is reading this. Regardless, your lukewarm potential concern is touching. Yes, Nick Diamonds has indeed cast off his flashy alias and reverted to his real name, though Thornburn sounds pretty badass if you think about it. I've had a lot of time to think about it in between swigs of Mountain Dew.

Apparently the group has been so productive that it has a slew of shorter, "more subdued" pop songs on hand that they might try to do something with, if they have time. Which they will. Album title and tracklisting are forthcoming (slackers!!), but chances are they'll release that information before I get home from Blockbuster.

Berg Sans Nipple Expose New Record To January Cold; Likely to Be Hard And Small And Purple And Sensitive

Franco-American duo The Berg Sans Nipple will be releasing a new long player in North America January 23 on Team Love Records. It's called Along the Quai. These two fellas (Lori Sean Berg and Shane Aspegren) both used to be drummers once upon a time, but now team up to record great electro-funk, toy-pop, afro-looped goodness. I once saw them fill in for a guy named Pierre and almost upstage Animal Collective. They are both really nice, even when you try to speak to them in nervous French. Plus, their name is ridiculous. AND THIS IS THEIR FIRST LP SINCE 2003's TRES TRES TRES BIEN Form Of (on Prohibited Records)!!!!! I AM TRES HAPPY ABOUT THIS! TRES TRES HAPPY! Look at zee traque liste! Or go listen to some of zee tracks!!! Baguette wee wee haha.

Along the Quai tracklist:

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Release an EP

I believe it was Winston Churchill who once said, "Stand, and ask 'When can you sit?'" Powerful words. It is the mantra I live by. Some say it is foolish of me. Others say I must be a genius for seeing such merit in a phrase so innocuous. Yes, I am a genius. And no, I am not foolish. To those that say I am, I simply recall Mark Twain's famous line, "Egypt has a lot of denial." Again, powerful.

How does it feel to be reading the words that were originally thoughts inside a genius' head? It's hard for me to imagine (but not too hard because I am a genius). The full glory of my expressions is different for me, like an approximation of what you feel. It is not unlike a photograph — a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world. Yes, truly I am your superior.

But I digress. My soul splits. One part of me wants to discuss the simpleton's view of my intellect, while the other wants to bestow upon the simpleton some earth-shattering news I just mathematically proved. So I will sew the two sides together, for your sake. The procedure is not unlike Ralph Waldo Emerson's verse, "You take the high road, I'll take the low road, and the two will diverge into one." And yet, something doesn't seem right about that.

Perhaps I am just overwhelmed by my equation. Yes, I, me, a genius, have mathematically proven that Yo La Tengo, of musical fame, are releasing an ONLINE EP through iTunes. The band, embodying my best qualities, has bestowed a gift to you, the pedestrian. Although it is not a companion piece to their recent seminal work, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, I am calling it one. The EP is a live session, featured in this particular order: "El Es Gay," "Pass the Hatchet," "I Think I'm Goodkind," "The Weakest Part," and "Luci Baines" (Arthur Lee cover). All have been mathematically proven, and I will spare you the notation because only I would understand it.

Yo La Tengo also have some tourdates planned, which reminds me of a quote from horror master Albert Hitchcock: "In life, you're gonna get a lot of chocolate, sometimes in boxes." Chilling:

Drawing: Jad Fair

The Early Day Catches The… Miners Tour? Nah, That Didn’t Quite Work

Shh. Do you hear that? Shh! Under that tree stump over there! I think it's... Yes! It is! It's the distinctive call of a fully-grown Early Day Miner! Oh, my. I don't think he's seen us. He's sticking his little head out... Be very quiet; he's easily scared and will hide at the first sign of danger.

He's... Yes, I do believe that he's coming over! Have you got some food with you? Nuts or chocolate? Let him feed out of your hand. No sudden movements. Trust, that's the main thing with a Early Day Miner. If you gain his trust, you may even be able to coax him on a full-blown tour!

I do believe it's done the trick! Look at the little fella, whittling a crude guitar-like instrument out of a beech twig with his front teeth. Soon, he'll scamper off... there he goes!... and find a nice, warm, dark venue where he'll perform his traditional mating call. If you're very, very quiet, he might just let you listen. Wouldn't that be a treat?