Google announces Google Play Music All Access, inciting Tron-esque laser bike fight over user base that wants everything for free

Google announces Google Play Music All Access, inciting Tron-esque laser bike fight over user base that wants everything for free

Waaaaayyy back in February, we sorta casually mentioned — in that off-hand manner you’ve come to love/expect from TMT — that Google was maybe almost possibly kinda hinting that they just might be launching a streaming music service similar to the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and whatever site your local tweens use to rip music off of YouTube.

Well, folks, we were right! You know how the saying goes: even a clock made out of weird mangled scrap metal is occasionally right if you interpret the facts charitably. As announced at Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco, it turns out the service is going to be called Google Play Music All Access, and it’ll come with a whole host of features like a personal library, music recommendations, and radio. It’ll be $9.99 a month, but if you sign up before June 30, that price will be reduced to $7.99, and everyone gets a free 30-day trial.

There’s been an exhausting amount of speculation flitting around the internet the last few days, some of which sounded legitimate and some of which did not (some dude on Twitter told me that the streaming service was going to involve actual robots coming to your house and futzing with your stereo for an hour before giving up and telling you to “Just call the damn Geek Squad”). According to The Verge, the streaming service will be based on licensing deals with Warner Music Group (which was already announced by The Financial Times earlier this year), Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group. The Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube has apparently been vying for licensing deals of its own because, you know, internet battles. Because of Google’s hulking girth, this new service will likely act as a throwing down of the gauntlet for companies like Spotify and Pandora. Not to mention for Apple, who recently delayed the release of their own streaming service.

No word yet on how the service will be integrated with Google Glass, though sources are still reiterating constantly that “Google Glass are literally the best way to pick up women at a bar ever, hands down, forever.”

• Google:

Waxwork Records to re-release the horrific Re-Animator soundtrack on vinyl; we are being spoiled rotten

Sometimes jumping on a bandwagon benefits everyone. A perfect example is the recent string of vinyl-only, soundtrack reissue labels; everyone’s vinyl collection is enriched by this mini-craze: Deathwaltz Records (arguably the progenitor of the fad) keeps cranking out absolutely lovely editions of long out-of-print necessities, while Mondo occasionally poke their head out to throw a welcomed addition into the ring. We are all being spoiled.

And now Waxwork Records is stepping up to shower the world with further gifts of multi-colored vinyl. The label has also reached back into the “established” golden age of horror to bring us the soundtrack to Stuart Gordan’s Re-Animator (which was based on an H. P. Lovecraft story) on appropriately green vinyl, including poster and liner notes from composer Richard Band. And, in an interesting spin on the “first 100 are on a different colored vinyl” ploy, glow-in-the-dark editions are randomly distributed in the normal stock, basically forcing you to buy a copy when it drops July 1.

At this rate, every horror film from the past 50 years will have its soundtrack pressed to vinyl. That’s not a complaint; I’m just hoping they get to the soundtrack for Zaat sooner rather than later.

• Waxwork Records:

Drag City to release Andy Kaufman comedy record this summer! Bang, zoom, man on the moon!

For decades now, the debate has raged on: is comedy even really funny? Leading authorities in the discipline, such as Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, and of course the last 15 years’ worth of Simpsons episodes, have argued fastidiously (albeit somewhat pedantically) that it is not. But if that’s the case, how does one account for guys like Andy Kaufman, a man SO FUNNY that people even thought it was a joke when he up-and-died in 1984! Hahahaha! LOL! You know, now that you mention it, though, that doesn’t seem so funny to me. Huh.

Anyway, Kaufman blazed one heck of a trail in his campaign to promote comedy’s funniness to be sure, but one of the things he never actually got around to was putting out a comedy record. Luckily, he did record a bunch of shit on the newfangled micro-cassette tapes that he reportedly carried around with him all over the place from 1977-79, accruing some 82 hours of “put-ons, falsehoods and other provocations” and “pushing the limit on logic and emotional investment in everyday situations from the trivial to the deeply personal until any suspension of disbelief is out of the question for all involved, and everyone becomes fully immersed in whatever scenario Andy is suggesting as the new reality.” Wait a minutes, that kinda doesn’t sound funny at all. Sounds intense and awkward… ahhh, which maybe… is why it’s so FUNNY! Right?

Right! And leave it to the hilarious bunch at Chicago’s Drag City label to cull through those tapes and release the best of that never-before-heard stuff on a new album, Andy and His Grandmother, that they’re releasing on July 16. With the help of expert writer, producer, and comedian Vernon Chatman (South Park, Wonder Showzen, Xavier: Renegade Angel, The Heart She Holler, Doggie Fizzle Televizzle, and previous Drag City DVD Final Flesh) and editor Rodney Ascher (director of Room 237), all that “stuff” got magically whittled, shaped, produced, and transmuted into something better than stuff: “stuff for sale.” Isn’t that hilarious? Sounds like comedy’s funniness is about to make a comeback. SNL’s Bill Hader provides narration, and liner notes are provided by Chatman and Kaufman associate Bob Zmuda. Now I’m really rolling on the floor and laughing. Are you?

Andy And His Grandmother tracklisting:

01. Andy Is Making A Record
02. Andy And His Grandmother
03. Andy’s Land Live
04. Andy Loves His Tape Recorder
05. Slice Of Life
06. Andy Goes To the Movies
07. Kick In the Pants
08. Andy Can Talk to Animals
09. I’m Not Capable Of Having A Relationship
10. Hookers
11. Andy And His Grandmother Go For A Drive
12. Sleep Comedy
13. [HONK] vs. [DOG] A
14. [HONK] vs. [DOG] B
15. Andy Goes For A Taxi Ride
16. Andy’s English Friend Paul
17. I Want Those Tapes

• Andy Kaufman:
• Drag City:

Spacemen 3 catalogue receiving deluxe reissue treatment; all drug-dealers’ phones immediately begin ringing off the hook.

Sonic rumination as devotional tribute?

Throbbing repetition as celestial transport?

Conversational poetry as euphoric confessional?

Gospel music for the willing junky?

Pleasure-damaged wasteland or morphine-dripped utopia?

Is this Heaven or Hell?

It’s “Heaven on Earth;” Heaven on Earth all over again, repackaged, re-colored, and reissued.

The music of Spacemen 3 is all these things simultaneously and more. The duo of Jason Pierce (Spiritualized) and Pete Kember (Sonic Boom) made music custom-fit for drug use, actively “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to.” By spiritualizing brute sensation, the group realized a new plane of religiosity. A religion that could worship the senses. Its goal? To achieve a sort of nirvana, not by searching skyward or by means of moral works, but via numbing escape through the use of narcotics and the enjoyment of a type of music acutely designed to enhance this temporary, artificially manifested Eden.

It appears Fire Records is determined to remind us just how satisfying drug-scorched soul music can be. The label is reissuing 180g colored vinyl copies of the band’s first three records: Sound of Confusion, The Perfect Prescription, and the 1988 live album Performance. The celebrated centerpiece, The Perfect Prescription, is as raw as man’s first desperate attempt to shout at the heavens for answers, yet as measured as any formalized religious narrative. The album, with its 10 tracks, plays out like a storyboard for the arced journey of one’s passage through the experiences of chemical states. It’s nonfiction and fiction, both vulgar and divine. The dichotomy makes for great art, the fusion makes for a near-perfect rock album.

I pray that you already own this record, but if not, once these reissues hit the shelves (reportedly this week), you had better atone for your sins and pick up a copy. Salvation awaits.

• Spiritualized:
• Sonic Boom:
• Fire Records:

Dust off your butter churns and sexy bonnets! Woods, White Fence, The Fresh and Onlys, MV & EE, The Babies are playing Woodsist Fest Pioneertown

From deep within the haziest depths of the Mojave Desert comes magical, mysterious Pioneertown, USA. (I know I refer to a lot of things as “magical” on this website, but this one really is, ya feel me?) And from deep within the murkiest depths of Brooklyn, NY comes the Woodsist label. Together, these two awesome forces have begotten something far greater than even a baby bunny sliding down a rainbow of snuggles and Quaaludes could even imagine: the appropriately named Woodsist Fest Pioneertown. And yea! Woodsist founder/Woods singer slash guitarist dude Jeremy Earl and the lovely people who run both Pappy and Harriet’s and the Pioneertown Motel saw that it was good.

For those who missed out on Woodsist’s similarly alluring Big Sur Fest, well, Pioneertown is basically your chance to redeem yourself and to bask in the glow of hanging out in an awesome venue near Joshua Tree National Park, surrounded by buildings from former Wild West movie sets that were rehabbed and now occupied by local artsy folk. This isn’t like that town populated entirely by retired circus wee folk that your drunk friend swears he visited in rural Wisconsin; this is a very real, very wonderful place. With decent nachos. Anyway. Whereas the Big Sur fest was two days, Pioneertown is only one, but you get (at least) seven excellent artists here in the desert, including Woods, White Fence, Real Estate, The Fresh and Onlys, The Babies, Parquet Courts, Jessica Pratt, and Alex Bleeker and The Freaks. Plus a DJ set by Derek James of the Entrance Band and the ever intriguing “more TBA.”

Woodsist Fest Pioneertown takes place Saturday, September 28. Tickets are available online. Big Sur sold out in record time, so don’t sleep on this one.

• Woodsist:

Talibam! “rap” up the internet to celebrate their “Tin Jubliee”

Are you a fan of Talibam!? I like the fact that when I type their name out at the end of a question, it appears as if I’m being overly exclamatory, but I don’t like the fact that having an exclamation point at the end of their name means that if it falls anywhere but at the end of a sentence, I have to deal with the incorrect capitalization of the next word that today’s word processing programs “helpfully” auto-create. “TMT-people” problems… but other than that, I like them a lot. I saw them live about a year ago, and their brand of realness was so real that the decently sized crowd had dwindled down to just my concert buddy and me by the end of the 45-minute set. They were just that real. I very much now know what it’s like for (keyboardist Matt) Mottel to be in a hotel.

Speaking of Talibam! though, did you know they’ve been making muzik (and now raps) for 10 years now? It’s true, and to commemorate this momentous occasion, the group has lined up a whole bunch of internet goodness for fans to consume. We all (now) know Talibam! can rhyme motel with hotel, but did you know they’ve got the latest word on the rap game? Or that they’ve been using the likes of Dan Deacon and MBV as inspiration for their mix series, Launch Pad? Well, it’s true, and with a new tour in support of their 2012 album for Critical Heights, Puff Up the Volume, they’re practically everywhere you turn on the world wide web. Including here, where you can see the band performing the title track from last year’s album with cool hand-drawn animation overlaying their playing, courtesy of director Katharina Huber.

Said tour kicked off at the TV on the Radio-hosted ATP in the UK and continues across Europe through the end of June. See the still-forming tour schedule below!

05.19.13 - Croxhapox Gallery – Ghent, Belgium
05.23.13 - Pfaffenhofen
05.24.13 - Silly Art – Hannover, Germany
05.25.13 - Bremen, Friese
05.27.13 - Studio Grez – Brussels, Belgium
05.28.13 - Stadtgarten, Baustelle Kalk Festival – Cologne, Germany
05.29.13 - Munich, Germany
05.30.13 - Wurzburg, Germany
05.31.13 - Winter Garten, Brass Festival – Landshut, Germany
06.01.13 - Hirschwirtchw – Moosburg, Germany/Austria?

• Critical Heights: