The fantastically talented trio of Shahin, Zach, and Kid Millions (best fucking name ever) composing the noisily eclectic supergroup Ex Models is waging war on itself with new member Luke Brödy. It's guitars – Zach and Shahin – versus drums – Kid Millions and Luke Brödy – this time around. Touring as the "Fundustrial Set" or "Interstellar Overdrive" or "Fuck Noise, Join the Army," the quartet revealed its immensity at All Tomorrow's Parties, curated by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs this past May. A fellow who goes by the name of Steve Five will also be accompanying the band, although I'm not quite sure what he'll do beyond recording and mixing. They will travel across the United States and even parts of Canada for a mere two weeks. With each new setup, the band has shifted directions in terms of their live performance. From the minute long abrasive outbursts of no-wavey hardcore to a more experimental, repetitive style leaning towards a freer avant-garde, no one knows what to expect with this newest of systems. I'm guessing it will involve some flaunting of the rhythm section and produce profound results.

I'm not going to lie, Ex Models is one of my current favorite bands, and I will do anything to promote them and their tour. Two full-length albums that together are only about 45 minutes long and an EP that totally disregards any sense of traditional songwriting can satisfy any type of music enthusiast. The hyperactive listener is most easily pleased because s/he will no longer have to skip the track immediately after their "favorite part." The rock/metal/noise/abrasive music listener will be most gratified overall because the albums are a perfect jaunt into experimental, hardcore, and comedic heavy music in general. Other listeners will simply be swayed by just how awesome and overwhelming a sound emerges from such minimal instrumentation, or if not, they simply don't matter. No one cares about other peoples' opinion on their own music anyway. Also, the overtly sexual song titles/lyrics should attract most people who enjoy a good laugh now and then. Any song named "Love Japanese Style" or "Fuck to the Music" or "Hott 4 Discourse" or even "Hey Boner" has to be a quality piece of music.

Regardless, Ex Models are one of the few bands innovating in the area of abrasive music without resorting to all-out noise. They have maintained a sense of connection to the rest of the music world, yet they still completely defy all expectations. Throughout their career thus far, they have kept raising the bar higher, playing harsher, fucking gentler, and laughing louder. Ex Models love dissonance, and so do I. According to Motia in an interview, Ex Models' live show "isn't as chaotic as the record," but that it "really brings out the noise of [their] music." Ex Models are in the process of finishing a new blissful split 12-inch with Oneida, which will be released by Brah/Jagjaguwar, and they will hopefully be releasing a new album in the spring of next year. Get excited. Oh, I've also heard, like, rumors that the first ten people at each show get free tickets or something? Whatever.

Banging your head on the wrong beat? We have a solution:

09.23.96 – Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – Bard College SMOGfest
09.29.06 – Philadelphia, PA – Surreal Sound Studios
09.30.06 – Baltimore, MD – Wham City
10.01.06 – Washington, DC – Warehouse Next Door
10.02.06 – Raleigh, NC – King's Barcade
10.03.06 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
10.04.06 – Nashville, TN – TBA
10.05.06 – Memphis, TN – Murphy's
10.06.06 – Dallas , TX – Gypsy Ballroom ) )==D —
10.07.06 – Austin, TX – Stubbs BBQ ) )==D —
10.08.06 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live ) )==D —
10.09.06 – Tulsa , OK – Cain's Ballroom ) )==D —
10.10.06 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
10.11.06 – Pittsburgh , PA – ON Space
10.12.06 – Toronto, ON – Sneaky Dee's
10.13.06 – Montreal, QC – ZooBizarre
10.14.06 – North Adams, MA – Contemporary Artists Center
10.15.06 – Boston, MA – TT the Bears

) )==D — w/ The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Newsflash: Clear Channel Considers Selling Some Radio Stations, Radio Industry in Flux; Hey Look, the World’s Smallest Violin

You probably heard about this when you picked up your copy of The New York Times this morning. Personally, I print the online edition out every day and wipe my ass with it. I usually save the sports pages for last, though. It's good to read on the can and always the last square to go. You know how it goes. Anyhow, this excellent story about the radio industry was pretty hard to ignore. It seems broadcasters are having a bit of trouble, especially those folks over at Clear Channel. According to the NYT story, the communications giant is considering selling some of their 1200+ stations, especially those in smaller markets. The article cites the sale of radio stations by CBS, Disney, and Susquehanna Broadcasting as precursors to such a move.

Of course, the mid-to-late '90s was a great time to be in the radio business. The Telecommuncations Act of 1996 allowed companies like Clear Channel to gobble up radio stations by the dozen. In turn, the company pulled in record profits. Clear Channel founder L. Lowry Mays swam in pools of champagne and dined on meals of fresh horse. He cleared brush with future presidents and shook hands with dignitaries. He gave pennies to immigrants and sipped crude oil from a twisty straw. Okay, maybe not ALL of that is true, but the point is, he was filthy stinkin' rich. Got it? But now, he swims in olympic-sized pools of water, just like the rest of us.

Obviously, traditional radio has fallen on tough times due to the alternatives. Satellite radio, iPods, and online streaming have all contributed to this decline. According to Arbitron ratings, and as reported by the NYT, the amount of time people tune into radio over the course of a week has fallen by 14% over the last decade. Much of this decline is due to the failure of traditional broadcasters to adapt to new technology and the internet. However, more recent attempts by traditional broadcasters include implementation of HD Radio, introducing experimental formats, an emphasis on more local content, reducing the length of ad spots and offering more user-friendly online streaming. Only time will tell if it'll make a difference.

Truth be told, HD Radio is years away from mainstream use. Until then, expect some significant wheeling and dealing. Who knows, maybe there's hope for the medium of radio yet.

Pelican to Play Series of Gigs in Different Cities Across North America in What Experts Are Already Calling A “Tour”

To catch a full-grown adult male pelican:
1) It is often easier to catch a baby pelican and wait for it to grow. However, bear in mind that baby pelicans, while flightless, can scuttle up walls like spiders and are almost entirely invulnerable to fire.
2) Pelicans, while generally easy-going, are extremely fastidious about the pronunciation of their name. If you stand in front of one while shouting "PEE-li-can" repeatedly, it will usually stand still and look impatiently at you until either you pronounce its name correctly or your colleague grabs it from behind.
3) The pelican's left eye is purely decorative: it is advisable to approach from the left, as quietly as possible. Beware, though, of pelicans standing on their heads, as the opposite will apply.
4) While it can be tempting to introduce your son or daughter to pelican hunting as soon as possible, bear in mind that pelicans lust for nothing more than the still-living flesh of the young.
5) Take care not to anger a pelican: While its large beak is mostly used to catch and hold fish, it can also hold several knives at once.
6) If you wish to capture your pelican by gaining its trust and making it drop its guard, remember that they will listen for hours to anyone talking about the sitcom Friends; Joey, however, bores them.

To catch Pelican live:
1) Turn up to one of the following gigs:

09.18.06 - St Louis, MO - Creepy Crawl *
09.19.06 - Little Rock, AR - Vinos
09.20.06 - Denton, TX - Hailey?s ! @ $
09.21.06 - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory ! @
09.23.06 - Tempe AZ - The Sets !
09.25.06 - Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction ! % &
09.26.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory ! % &
09.27.06 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall ! % &
09.29.06 - Portland, OR - Satyricon ! &
09.30.06 - Seattle, WA - Neumo?s Crystal Ball Reading Room ! &
10.01.06 - Vancouver, BC - The Lamplighter ^
10.03.06 - Edmonto, AB - The Starlite ^
10.04.06 - Calgary, AB - Warehouse Night Club ^
10.05.06 - Regina, SK - The Exchange ^
10.06.06 - Winnipeg, MB - Collective Cabaret ^
10.09.06 - Hamilton, ON - The Underground ^
10.10.06 - London, ON - Call The Office ^
10.11.06 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club ^
10.12.06 - Ottawa, ON - Babylon ^
10.13.06 - Quebec City, QC- L?Anti ^
10.14.06 - Montreal, QC - Club Soda ^
10.15.06 - Syracuse, NY - Furnace !
10.16.06 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
10.17.06 - Indianapolis, IN - The Harrison Center
10.18.06 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet

* w/ Sweet Cobra
! w/ Daughters
@ w/ Russian Circles
$ w/ The Roller
% w/ Saviours
& w/ Nachmystium
^ Exclaim! Aggressive Tendencies Tour, w/ Daughters, Ken Mode

The Mountain Goats Love You, But Are Not In Love With You. Bitch. The “No Strings Attached” Tour.

The immensely talented John Darnielle is taking his musings on the Great American Trail again this fall for TWO helpings of mountain goat meat. Ranked number 13 on the top 20 most prolific writers ever list, Darnielle cannot be stopped on his quest for the perfect song. He has releases on cassette, vinyl, CD, and maybe more media, with albums ranging from conceptual to spiritual under a slew of different labels. He has written so many songs that there are multiple "series" of songs with common characters and themes scattered across his releases. There are songs for people and places, fake people and fake places, for emotions, and even for some of the notable chemical elements. Mad props. And even with such an abundant repertoire, The Mountain Goats shepherd has been known to play many different covers at his live shows. If you love storytelling, fun, happiness, sadness, friends, people, nature, depression, cold, heat, or even your parents, chances are you will enjoy listening to The Mountain Goats. Oddly enough (or maybe not odd at all) most "punk" kids seem to love whatever he puts out. Be it for his DIY ethic, his beauty and grace, or possibly his songs relating to their own suburban experiences as "punks" — whatever the reason, he must be doing something right.

According to a Mountain Goats FAQ, they have released and/or played over 1000 songs live. Allusions to Greek mythology, Latin phrases, and areas studied more thoroughly than Sufjan himself litter Darnielle's songs. All of these tourdates are confirmed, but don't be surprised if more are announced soon. Enjoy! Also, I think The Mountain Goats toured Australia once. I wonder if Steve Irwin was there. He would have loved it. I bet he owned the Devil in the Shortwave 12-inch EP. That's some rare shit.

Does this messenger bag make me look gay?

First Fall Tour:

09.14.06 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club #
09.15.06 – Ames , IA – The Maintenance Shop #
09.16.06 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle #
09.18.06 – Kalamazoo , MI – Kraftbrau Brewery #
09.19.06 – Toronto, ON – Lee's Palace #
09.20.06 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Andy Warhol Museum #
09.21.06 – Athens, OH – The Union #
09.23.06 – Ithaca, NY – Appel Commons at Cornell University #
09.24.06 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street #
09.26.06 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East #
09.28.06 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat #
09.29.06 – Brooklyn, NY – Europa #
09.30.06 – New York, NY – The Bowery Ballroom #
10.01.06 – New York, NY – The Bowery Ballroom #

# - w/ Christine Fellows

Second Fall Tour (REMIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!):

10.20.06 – Durham, NC – Troika Music Festival
10.23.06 – St. Louis , MO – Gargoyle at Washington University
10.24.06 – Springfield, MO – Randy Bacon Gallery
10.26.06 – Norman, OK – The Opolis
10.27.06 – Lubbock, TX – Jake's Back Room
10.28.06 – Denton, TX – Rubber Gloves
10.29.06 – Austin, TX – The Parish
10.31.06 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
11.01.06 – Birmingham, AL – The Bottle Tree
11.03.06 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
11.04.06 – St. Augustine, FL – Café Eleven
11.06.06 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder

‘Cuz We’re So Pure, The Thermals Go On Tour

Attention fans of sarcasm-laced, quasi-concept albums about the Christianity overload in the USA: have you heard the new LP by Portland, OR's The Thermals? You should check it out; it is called The Body, The Blood, The Machine (Sub Pop), and it probably would be right up your alley. If you like catchy punk not made for, or marketed only to, 14-year-olds, which may be better than at least 95% of all modern punk, you should give the album a listen as well. Both of the above demos (or maybe just everyone, not to be exclusive) should also go see the band live. Starting Saturday, the band will be beginning a six-week tour of this land of Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Rumsfeld (there were four horsemen in that story, right?).

Many of the dates see the band opening for Cursive, who are supporting their latest (like you care), Happy Hollow, released just a few weeks ago on Saddle Creek. (Note to the reader: the next sentence is to be read by you in a Mike Myers-circa-Axe Murderer voice.) Speaking of being marketed only to 14-year-olds, hello!!! (You were supposed to do the impression in your head, not aloud. Now people are going to think you are, culturally speaking, stuck in the '90s. Might as well put on some flannel, lace up those Doc's, and pull out Badmotorfinger; you are gong to be thought of forever as "'90s Guy.") Other bands playing those C-Money shows will be Chin Up Chin Up, Ladyfinger, The Detachment Kit, and Easter Youth. Those of you in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma luck out, as you get The Thermals all to yourself, sans-Cursive. Maybe God does exist.

Tourdates:

09.16.06 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
09.22.06 - Fargo, ND - Playmakers Pavilion @
09.23.06 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
09.24.06 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater *
09.25.06 - Chicago, IL - Metro *
09.26.06 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theater *
09.27.06 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues *
09.28.06 - Buffalo, NY - The Icon *
09.29.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom *
10.01.06 - New York, NY - Webster Hall *
10.03.06 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %
10.04.06 - Pittsburg, PA - Club Zoo %
10.05.06 - Newport, KY - Southgate House %
10.06.06 - Nashville, TN - City Hall %
10.07.06 - St. Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights %
10.08.06 - Lawrence, KS - Granada
10.10.06 - Houston, TX - Proletariat
10.11.06 - Denton, TX - Hailey's
10.12.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's
10.13.06 - Norman, OK - Opolis Production
10.15.06 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre &
10.17.06 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue &
10.18.06 - Boise, ID - The Venue &
10.20.06 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's &
10.21.06 - Portland, OR - Roseland Ballroom &
10.23.06 - San Francisco, CA - Fillmore #
10.25.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour #
10.26.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon #
10.27.06 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues #
10.28.06 - Pomona, CA - Glass House #
10.29.06 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues #
11.02.06 - New York, NY- Bowery Ballroom $ (Sub Pop CMJ showcase)

@ w/ Cursive
* w/ Cursive, Ladyfinger
% w/ Cursive, The Detachment Kit
& w/ Cursive, Chin Up Chin Up
# w/ Cursive, Eastern Youth
$ w/ The Shins, CSS, The Album Leaf, Oxford Collapse, The Elected, Loney, Dear

Portastatic Too Busy Livin’ To Be Still

Meh. Another day, another reason to spend it in bed. Everyday I sit doing nothing while modern-day da Vincis run around creating wonders like the Pizza Pocket and the Segway, and I just think, "What's the use?"

Sorry about the negative vibes, folks. Why the talk about creative workaholics and mournful self-reflection, you ask? Well, indie rock's most prolific and consistent inventor, Mac McCaughan, is at it again, and that always sends me into a spiral of self-doubt and uselessness. In the time it's taken me to decide on a new font for my résumé, McCaughan has padded his own with Portastatic, by releasing the excellent Bright Ideas full-length, the Who Loves the Sun soundtrack, and is now poised to head out on tour and put out yet another studio album called Be Still Please.

The Merge Records head honcho, Superchunk leader, and original Gerber baby (probably) will take his "other band" on the road for some hot live action next week. Until a string of headlining shows towards the ass end of the tour, Portastatic will play with M. Ward, Lambchop, and a brief respite north into New France at the Pop Montréal Festival.

09.18.06 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom *
09.19.06 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle #
09.20.06 - Nashville, TN - The Belcourt Theatre *
09.22.06 - Hailey's *
09.23.06 - Austin, TX - The Parish Room *
10.05.06 - Montréal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa %
10.11.06 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
10.12.06 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
10.13.06 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
10.14.06 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
10.15.06 - New Haven, CT - Bar Nightclub
10.18.06 - Washington, DC - Black Cat (Backstage)
10.19.06 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
10.20.06 - Mt. Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
10.21.06 - Athens, GA - The Earl

* w/ M. Ward
# w/ M. Ward & Lambchop
% Pop Montréal Festival

Ah! There's the catch — Be Still Please only has nine songs on it! Nine? That's how McCaughan does it! He's human after all! That's like, one-third of a Foo Fighters album and a quarter of a Red Hot Chili Peppers release! About a thousand times better than both though...

An internet-only EP is out now and includes two versions of album opener "Sour Shores" plus "Portraits From Before the War" and a cover of Hot Chip's "And I Was a Boy From School." Be Still Please is out October 10 and has these nine, pffft, tracks on it:

1 Sour Shores
2 Black Buttons
3 I'm in Love (with Arthur Dove)
4 Sweetness and Light
5 Getting Saved
6 You Blanks
7 Like a Pear
8 Cheers and Applause
9 Song for a Clock

  

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