Art collecting used to be a rich person's game but now it is an obesely rich person's obsession. The activity in this normally-neglected area of news lately has been 2 fast, 2 furious to ignore. In our relentless pursuit to broaden and sculpt the minds of our readers and to jump on the latest trend (we totally missed out on Texas Hold-'em), TMT is taking the time today to delve into the cool chasm of art collecting and its equally exciting world of international wheeling and dealing.

How to sell a painting:

At the beginning of November, David Geffen — hot-shot talent-spotter, music mega-king, film and Broadway producer, original Gerber baby, etc. — reportedly sold a painting, No. 5, 1948 by master splatter-and-drip artist and master drunkard Jackson Pollock, for an estimated $140 million, thus making it the largest amount paid for a single painting... ever! (see, it is exciting... you can tell that because I've typed the word "ever" in italics and I also used an exclamation point). To most of us paying that sort of cash for a painting would be on par with dropping $10.00+ at Amazon for this, but to each his own, I guess. The days of poaching Sub Pop's biggest and brightest may be in his past, but it's a small worry for Geffen, who not only made the grand gain on the Pollock, but also snagged $143.5 million the previous week for selling works by Jasper Johns and Willem de Kooning.

First reported by The New York Times, the $140 million single sale by Geffen to Mexican financier David Martinez is a new record for a single sale, outdistancing the previously held mark of $135 million that make-up man Ronald Lauder paid for Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I in June of this year. While many are hinting this sudden offloading of art by Geffen is in preparation for his bid to purchase The Los Angeles Times or perhaps to free up money for more philanthropic endeavors, we prefer to think he's got the special powers to predict upturns in the art market, not unlike Miss Cleo. Regardless, when it comes to buying low and selling high and getting deals done, the man knows his ass from his elbow. Unlike...

How not to sell a painting:

In October, Steve Wynn — casino-owning monster, Vegas resuscitator, and our choice for the next Inspector Clouseau — was set to unload Le Rêve, a Picasso that he bought for $48.4 million, to friend Steven Cohen for $139 million. While most reports tell the incident in a rather non-chalant, "no big deal" manner, we prefer to believe something happened more along the lines of a bizarre Rube Goldberg scenario. An unidentified fake witness told us what really went down.

Apparently "one of the hired help" (rich people do NOT have accidents) was quietly cleaning up a spilled glass of Krug Clos du Mesnil champagne and he "must have" let his broom fall, which happened to brush against the erotic zone of an exotic Tanzanian pink pet chimp who immediately popped a boner, got frazzled, and jumped into a $50,000 Ferrari Testarossa junior go-kart and drove throughout the room. After knocking down columns holding such boy toys as gem-encrusted Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads and Swarovski crystal-studded Pez dispensers, Chimpy finally ended his joyride by crashing through the french doors of living room #23 and straight into the pairing of life-size replicas of Batman (in Lego and Beluga caviar) and Robby the Robot (in bright white gold) that Wynn had wedged together in a 69 "for shits and giggles." Meanwhile, the commotion caused private school javelin star Jordan Alphonse Carrington III to flinch and "accidentally" put his hand onto debutante Keely Wentworth's newly enhanced left tit prompting her to squeal and stamp her foot down right onto the toe of Lady Bracknell's Manola Blahnik's alligator high heel. Lady B, who hadn't seen such a scene since the Foresters served salmon at a Tuesday luncheon (a faux-pas of monumental proportions among certain aristocratic folk), fainted and fell onto the levitating hover scooter that Wynn uses to hide Easter eggs every April. The scooter, whirly-birding because of the weight imbalance, started gyrating on the floor, scattering layers of fine pine everywhere. Fearing a splinter might drop into his glass of old-flecked mineral water, Wynn took a step back and put a small tear in the Picasso canvas with his elbow, thus nixing the Picasso transfer.

Of course we wouldn't go out of our way to poke fun at anyone who suffers from eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (as Wynn does), but if Wynn knew his ass from his elbow, there would probably not be a 2" rip in his wall covering. There may be a quarter-buttcheek concave dent though...

The moral to any of this? Um, never let Steve Wynn near any of your valuables? Yeah, that will do.

New Pornographers to Tour, But Probably Not Anywhere Near Where You Live Unless You’re Paul Hogan or Something; Lazy Writers Forced to Revert to Previous Australia Stock Joke Following Steve Irwin’s Death

The New Pornographers are to tour Australia next month amid huge protests, after successfully waging their war of terror across the entire North American continent.

"Tests have shown this new pornography to be up to 50% hornier than traditional pornography, and as much as 65% steamier," Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, said. "We Australians are a simple folk with traditional values - we have no desire to see this in our country." Several family-values groups have already begun to campaign against the tour, imploring Australian citizens to think of the children. "BAN THIS SICK FILTH," ran Tuesday's headline in The Daily Telegraph.

The New Pornographers, including Dan "The Man Juice" Bejar, Neko "Dicks A-Plenty" Case, and "Long" John Collins once reduced an entire Midwestern town to a wild orgy of psychotic fappery after a recent show, which according to eyewitnesses, involved "towering spooge cannons," "knee-high waders covered in barbed wire," and "a goat."

The band is also playing one date in Spain and two dates in Japan in January. Tiny Mix Tapes advises exercising extreme caution and plenty of lubricant:

12.02.06 - Barcelona, SP - CCIB (w/ Teenage Fanclub, The Wrens, The Rapture)
12.08.06 - Melbourne, AUS - Meredith Music Festival
12.11.06 - Sydney, AUS - Factory
12.12.06 - Adelaide, AUS - Governor Hindmarsh
12.13.06 - Melbourne, AUS - Prince of Wales
12.14.06 - Melbourne, AUS - Prince of Wales
12.15.06 - Sydney, AUS - Gaelic Club
12.16.06 - Brisbane, AUS - Alfred?s Block Party
01.18.07 - Osaka, JAP - Club Quatro
01.19,07 - Tokyo, JAP - Shibuya O-East

Malkmus and the Jicks Whore Their Balls Too

Hot on the heels of the recent news of The Decemberists' slightly underhanded and sordid tactics to keep themselves in the media spotlight, Stephen Malkmus (formerly of Pavement – duh) and his band of Jicks have also announced 2007 dates. Now, in their former guise, this would have meant an almighty task for the Jicks, as they were a mere four in number, meaning an almost inconceivable workload of 500 dates apiece. However, according to recent reports, the Jicks are being bolstered by Janet Weiss, formerly of Quasi and Sleater-Kinney, thus giving the already-overworked permanent Jicks some small relief from the undoubtedly ambitious schedule ahead of the band.

These dates will focus on the West Coast before finally ending at a large festival in "America's Wang." That's what we Britishers like to call Florida, folks!

01.05.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's
01.09.07 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
01.10.07 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
01.11.07 - Flagstaff, AZ - Orpheum Theatre
01.14.07 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
01.17.07 - Bellingham, WA - Nightlight
01.18.07 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
03.09.07 - Sunrise, FL - Langerado Music Festival

Fell in Love with a Twirl? The White Stripes Do Ballet? Yeah Right! Go Fetch Me a Coke!

Let's face it. I don't know much about ballet, and I'm not that cool. However, I am familiar with The White Stripes. Occasionally, while crying over a custom Jack White monster-ballad and a chilled bottle of Riesling, I find myself pondering what is missing in my life.

The answer is simple. The White Stripes music should be interpreted through ballet. This makes more sense than "buying the world a Coke." That was a dumb idea! Mr. White, what good would be done by buying every human being a Coke? What the world needs is a bad-ass ballet. And as I predicted, there will be a bad-ass ballet.

The ballet, set to the music of The White Stripes, is titled Chroma, and it is currently running at the Royal Opera House until November 29. The performance is part of a triple bill called "Royal Ballet," choreographed by Wayne McGregor. The performance was written by composer Joby Talbot, a former member of pop band The Divine Comedy.

The songs used in the ballet are from the newly released album Aluminium, which is an album of avant-garde orchestral recordings of past songs written by the Jack-meister himself. The only thing that confuses me about the whole thing is how the ballerinas and ballerina-dudes are going to perform "The Hardest Button to Button" while wearing spandex. I need spandex with buttons for this to make any logical sense.

In other "Jack White's life is more awesome than your life" news, The Raconteurs will have their own Saturday morning cartoon show on The Cartoon Network called, Broken Boy Soldiers Extreme Environmental Team to the Max!! Also there will be a car wash opening in Spokane, WA that will be based on the musical catalog of The White Stripes. The most amazing part of all of this will be that you can get your hair cut while you get your car washed. A stylist will hop right into your car while you both jam and clip to White Blood Cells. The car wash is aptly titled, "A Car Wash Where You Can Get Your Hair Cut While Your Car is Being Washed, and Somehow This Is All Based on the Music of The White Stripes."

Hey, that was all a joke. If you believed any of that, you might as well just kill yourself now. Wait! The part about the ballet was true. I hope you didn't kill yourself. Reader? READER??

Weird Weeds Embark On Totalitarian West Coast Tour, Replicate Same Pose in Every Restaurant to Wild Applause

Weird Weeds have had enough of you kids. Always "playing music," "hanging out," never getting any honest work done - probably the type who would wait until two in the morning to write a news article that needed to be posted at eight the following morning! Such laziness borders on disrespect! Although I'm sure this hypothetical newswriter would be very sorry for his actions and would make it a point to promptly write all necessary articles in the future, Weird Weeds have no pity for him or any of his kind [editor's note: same here].

Therefore, necessity demands that Weird Weeds will be going on tour this winter in support of Weird Feelings [TMT Review], backed up by members of the UCLA campus police. Anyone caught at any of these shows with any of the following will be subjected to punishment within reason - reason, UCLA campus police style!

- Poor posture
- Fingernail polish
- Menthol cigarettes
- Cinnamon gum
- Cavities
- Asymmetrical hairstyles
- The Flu
- Hoodie strings of uneven length
- Brown shoes w/ black pants
- Black shoes w/ brown pants
- Pennies

Additionally, whispering, cracking knuckles, and/or nodding heads are also strictly prohibited. That being said, have fun!

11.26.06 - Fort Worth, TX - The Chatroom @
11.28.06 - Albuquerque, NM - Burt's Tiki Lounge #
11.29.06 - Phoenix, AZ - The Trunk Space
11.30.06 - Los Angeles,CA - The Smell
12.01.06 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern $
12.02.06 - Portland, OR - Holocene %
12.03.06 - Olympia, WA - Le Voyeur
12.04.06 - Vancouver, BC - The Lamplighter
12.05.06 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern ^
12.07.06 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand &
12.08.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Il Corral *
12.09.06 - Phoenix, AZ - Stinkweeds
12.14.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's ~

@ = w/ The Theater Fire
# = w/ The Lowlights
$ = w/ Moggs & Ferocious Eagle
% = w/Music Population & Mise en Abyme
^ = w/The Dead Science
& = w/Tarnation, Breezy Days Band & Jana Hunter
* = w/Brother Mitya, Bavab Bavab & The Vaginals
~ = w/ Shapes & Sizes

Dischord Records Offers Free Studio Time to Virgins

Think you got what it takes to something something? Have skills but never had the something to something something? Well Dischord's got something for you. With a li'l help from its friends (Inner Ear Studios and Ruffman Records/Swim-Two-Birds Studio), Dischord is offering free recording sessions at Inner Ear Studio to bands/projects in the DC area who are studio virgins.

Here are three examples of what bands might/should look like, along with studio virgin probability:

1. Bleeding Love on the Empty Canvas (80% studio virgin probability)

2. Topps Trading Cards (95% studio virgins, excluding middle dude)

3. Good, No Great Penmanship (63% studio virgins probability)

Applicants must live in the DC area, play original music, and contain 50% members who are 18 or younger. Because it wasn't indicated, there doesn't seem to be any sex or race restrictions (weird). Sessions, engineered by Hugh McElroy, last only five hours, so you better either be improv-based or you best know your shit. Wouldn't it be funny if all the applicants were noise acts? Man, I'd love to be there to see the look on their faces when a noise act starts playing! They'd all be like "Whaaaa??!!?" Looking at each other in astonishment and shit! Haha! Damn, too bad I have to work.

Click here for more info.