On the go-oo-ood ship MTV, it’s a swee-ee-eet trip to get unemployment pogey. Where the laid-off play, on the sunny beach of Cleanoutyourdesk ‘n’ getofftheproperty Bay!

In mid-February, it was widely rumored (but not by us) that up to 500 jobs would be lost at the still-so-very-relevant MTV after reports hinted that parent company Viacom was "disappointed" with its offspring's performance of late. We are here to recap the goings-on at our fifth favorite music video conglomerate.

A few weeks ago, MTV president Christina Norman responded to the (remaining) employees concerned with rampant web whispers and the future of MTV as they knew it with a post-layoff statement that contained the usual array of awesome phrases about "losing good people" and finding "new ways to connect with our audience" and needing everybody's "creativity, passion and innovation more than ever as we embark on the next great era for MTV, representing and reflecting young people [just as long as they are blonde, bronzed, and buxom -- writer's note]. It ended up being closer to 250 MTV workers losing their jobs, mostly in the Program Planning & Scheduling, News, MTV Docs, Music Marketing and Program Promotions (Music? Oh yeah, music television), Production Events, and the MTV2 P&D departments. The full spectrum of world channels has been axed as well, namely, MTV Desi (aimed at South Asian American viewers), MTV Chi (Chinese Americans), and MTV K (Korean Americans). You would think that attracting new, atypical MTV viewers at this time might be in their best interest, but what do we know. We don't run MTV, we just skewer it.

On March 1, MTV International Networks confirmed that it will be "restructuring" its international operations, which will result in job losses around the 250 employee mark, roughly 8% of its workforce. So, we are back to approximately 500 total job losses again. The "restructuring" will transfer employees from MTV's Latin American office in Miami and Emerging Markets division in London and will cut jobs in Asia. In a statement issued by MTVNI president Bob Bakish, "These changes will position us well for the next phase of our growth -- increasing our operation margins through more efficient corporate structures." The moves are expected to help "build our multiplatform brand portfolios in priority markets and expand growing revenue areas such as ad sales, digital media and consumer products," he added. He then apparently stood on top of his virtual soapbox and shouted flaming buzz phrases like "REFINE BUSINESS AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS" and "INFLECTION POINT" and "KEY GROWTH AREAS" and "SHOOT AHEAD OF THE DUCK." Then, in a even more remarkable turn of events, Bakish allegedly broke down weeping and muttering, "We should have bought YouTube... We should have bought YouTube... We should have bought YouTube...."

What does it all mean? Well, some people have lost their jobs at MTV, and the marketing budget for the not-at-all-scripted teen and slow-adult powerhouse The Hills hasn't been dented. Good. If I can't see a Hills commercial every few minutes, then life just ain't worth living. There is always something more important than a few hundred people losing their jobs. Get over it, losers, but keep tuning in to MTV!

Random Tiny Mix Tapes Quiz

Which character is dry roasted?

A. Picasso the Monkey

B. Homer

C. President Bush

D. Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

E. Mr. Peanut

In episode 8F04, season three, this character earns employee-of-the-month by averting a nuclear meltdown.

A. Picasso the Monkey

B. Homer

C. President Bush

D. Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

E. Mr. Peanut

Who once had a column on TMT giving free advice?

A. Picasso the Monkey

B. Homer

C. President Bush

D. Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

E. Mr. Peanut

According to Zack, what are the three worst things that can happen to a kid?

A. Measles, mumps, and money

B. Measles, money, and marriage

C. Measles, mumps, and midterms

D. Measles, money, and mothers

After being shown a map of Brazil by Brazillian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, this character said "Wow! Brazil is big."

A. Picasso the Monkey

B. Homer

C. President Bush

D. Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

E. Mr. Peanut

This character compared Napster to slavery and Soviet communism.

A. Picasso the Monkey

B. Homer

C. President Bush

D. Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

E. Mr. Peanut

The One-Hundred Per-Cent Solution: John Wiese Is Everywhere You Want To Be

It has all the characteristics of a classic hard-boiled mystery novel: a robbery or murder (extra marks for setting it in a locked room in a remote country house); the single, eccentric but irresistible, hard-drinking, hard-loving gumshoe; a monkey-boy lackey doing grunt work or a mousey assistant who consistently solves the crime; the uptown slut who puts on airs and always seems to get laid despite looking like she's been ridden hard and put away wet; a mess o' bungling cops and a mess o' false and "least likely to" suspects. Maybe an unnecessary butler or two.

Actually it has very little of that. But that doesn't mean the life of incurable, mind-maiming recorder and performer John Wiese is any less convoluted than those found in the most ingenious of whodunits. But it is a dunit rather than a whodunit, by someone who does it more than others. When it comes to Wiese, maybe it is best to just throw the info out there and hope it sticks.

The most exciting news is the imminent release of Wiese's debut album, Soft Punk, on Troubleman Unlimited (when you click on this link be sure to check out the message/plea from Wolf Eyes' Nate Young). Wiese wrote us to say he has also been playing a lot with C. Spencer Yeh and hopes that some of that will see the light of day soon and has collaborated with the Japan-improv entity Pain Jerk for an upcoming Harbinger album. The reissue of Remote Whale Control by Sissy Spacek is out now on Misanthropic Agenda.

And there's live news, too. Wiese will be the perfect aural antidote to lovers of fancy-pants foppies when he hits the U.K. in April and May for dates with Yeh, Evan Parker, Tim Barnes, Yellow Swans, Metalux, John Edwards, and Culver. Look, I have nothing against the vast majority of British bands; I just don't see the need for some of them to dress up in a pantaloons-and-ascot combo or as a modern day "Artful Dodger" just to fetch the morning paper. He will then head to Israel at the suggestion of a recently-befriended BBC orchestra conductor to play a couple of shows where he will try to seek out Menahem Golan movies (true) and stalk Roni Superstar (possibly not true). I will only suggest the Golan rock/disco, sci-fi, "futuristic" (set in 1994!) musical The Apple... but I secretly hope he already owns it.

Of course Wiese will be at this year's No Fun Fest in Brooklyn on May 18, as Sissy Spacek. The mouth-watering four-day event has quickly become an annual rite of passage for outlaw fans to see an appallingly appealing crowd of characters, conflicts, causalities, complications, changes, crises, and closures (the "seven C's" to all would-be sleuth writers out there).

$ Honed Bastion, Logic Probe, and Fetal Distress

% Evan Parker, C. Spencer Yeh, Tim Barnes, Yellow Swans, Metalux, John Edwards, and Culver

^ as Sissy Spacek w/ Incapacitants, Carlos Giffoni, Raionbashi & Kutzkelina, Anti-Freedom, Mouthus + Axolotl, Grunt, Princess Dragonmon, and Charlie Draheim

The Secret Machines Loses Founding Member Benjamin Curtis

Founding member Benjamin Curtis has officially left The Secret Machines. Curtis played guitar and sang for the group since the beginning, so it's quite the shock to see him skedaddle just before the recording of the group's third album. His brother and now former bandmate Brandon Curtis made an announcement on The Secret Machine's official message board:

I am writing to make a couple of announcements. First of all I want to let everybody know that The Secret Machines have begun work on our third album. We expect to begin recording sometime in the beginning of May. Unfortunately, I also must share that after 7 and 1/2 years of playing music together Benjamin has decided to no longer be a part of the band. It is a sad day but also an exciting one as he prepares to focus full time on his new creative venture, School of Seven Bells. He has told me that he expects to be finished with a new record very soon as well as there being plans in the works to play some shows here in New York debuting the band. Of course Josh and I wish him all the best.

He doesn't spoil the surprise in the post, but TMT is happy to announce the exclusive info that he will now be the sixth member of Radiohead. Congrats, you're moving on up! In other news, I have a dentist appointment on April 24 and Radiohead will be headlining.

McDonald’s Adds Shellac’s New LP and Euro Tour to Dollar Menu

How does one place value on music, and what factors might contribute to our current valuation of music? Supply and demand? Entertainment value? Best Buy? Major labels? Independents? P2P networks? iTunes? Shit, actual material cost?? Who knows, man. Who knows. And who knows what influenced the mind of eBay user alexraraavis a couple weeks ago when the dude bought Shellac's famously rare, ultra-limited The Futurist for a whopping $1,118! DasalottaMcRibs!! Commodity fetishist or good investor? I don't know. What I do know is that if I didn't have to invest the TMT ad money in a new luxury car full of PORN, I would've outbidded Mr. alexraraavis.

Now, let me ask you a serious question: do you like The Stooges? In mid-April, Shellac will be playing a show with The Stooges at Chicago's Congress, which is why I asked if you like The Stooges. You should probably consider going if you like The Stooges, because if you like both Shellac and The Stooges, boy are you in for a treat, because liking both Shellac and The Stooges will truly make it a special night!! (Because you like both of Shellac and The Stooges.) Oh, and rumor has it that earlier in the same week, Touch and Go will finally release Shellac's fourth full-length, Excellent Italian Greyhound, which means you can sing/scream along to every word coming out of Albini's beautiful, slightly chapped lips if you pick it up before the show. (Word on the street is that this rumor is going to stay a rumor, so you're pretty much screwed.)

So, fuck dude, do you like The Stooges or what?

Photo: Calbee Booth

Wilco Unveils Sky Blue Sky By Flying the Friendly Skies

I remember when I first laid hands on A.M., and what a marvelous experience it was. As a teenager, I was *gasp* a member of BMG, or was it Columbia House? Anyway, that's not important. What is important is the hours I would spend not doing homework, choosing to weed through wafer-thin catalog after wafer-thin catalog looking to discover something different, which I suppose is hard since I was after all a member of a generic clearing house. However, one glorious day, the cover of Wilco's A.M. rose above the rest of the CDs, and a new fan was born. Subsequent Wilco releases were always met with much anticipation and eager money-dropping on release days. Oh, what splendid Tuesdays those were.

Imagine my glee (and that of a far greater, more diehard crop of fans who scare me a bit) to find out Wilco is blessing us with Sky Blue Sky, the band's first studio album since A Ghost is Born three years past. And while the band's message board fanatics warred about which songs would make the final cut and which ones were unworthy by citing recent live performances and bootlegs, Wilco pushed ahead, persevered, and have now delivered a bona fide tracklist.

It seems as if that's old news -- as if I'm missing something. Ah, Wilco previewed Sky Blue Sky Saturday night to an eager internet audience streaming the album in its entirety. If you missed your chance to hear the album or just didn't give a damn, you can make up for it if you fly to Australia and Europe with the band as they prepare to unleash the new batch of songs on an unsuspecting foreign audience. That is, after all, what this news bit is about. I'm here to do a little dance, make a little love, stall a bit, and then give you the info in such a rush that I will probably forget to even comple

Sky Blue Sky tracklist:

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