I Guess LCD Soundsystem Will Just Have To Learn To Be Satisfied With The Sound Of Silver, But Seriously, Guys, Let?s Shoot For The Sound Of Gold Next Time

Alright, listen up! James Murphy (you know, the guy from DFA that made it cool for uncool people to dance, which made it cool, I think? Has someone got a flowchart?) has stuffed the new LCD Soundsystem LP firmly into his release tube and is ready to fire it all over the world. Ooh, I'm so excited just thinking about it!

Recorded at a farm in New York, The Sound of Silver apparently finds LCD Soundsystem further expanding their sonic palette, taking their experimental impulses to wild new places, but also firmly establishing themselves as a singularly great pop group. Here, pulsing beats, abstract funk, crystal melodies, and towering walls of sound combine to create a sound genuinely like no other. Alright, I got that bit off the press release. Sue me. It features performances from the LCD Soundsystem live members, including Pat Mahoney, Tyler Pope, and Nancy Wh?

Um.

Nancy Wha?

I can do this! I can do this.

Nancy Whahahahaha!

Nancy Whang. There you go.

Clever lead-in joke to the tracklisting:

Glasses Are Useful, A Short Play by Heidi Vanderslice (Alternate Title: The Constantines Are, Like, Touring or Something)

Setting: The Warsaw Club, Brooklyn, watching The Constantines

Characters: Myself, my +1 Jess

Jess [surveying the stage]: Where's the cute one? Where'd he go?

HV: Jess, they're twins.

Jess: No, they're not. No, they're not. That one's cuter.

HV: He can't be cuter. They're twins. [starting to feel like she's in the Chris Kattan/Jimmy Fallon SNL sketch where they score dates with twins, and the Rachel Dratch twin has a baby doll arm growing out of her head]

Jess: Hey, little dude, I swear, I like that one better.

HV: [gesturing wildly] You're not wearing any fucking glasses!

Jess: Yes, I am. Oh. No, I'm not. Fine. [Puts on her glasses] Oh. They're both pretty cute. [Pointing at stage] Heyyy! Heyyy.

HV: I need another drink.

Brooklyn Lager goes well with these dates, but you might have troubles finding it, eh?:

Badly Drawn Boy Sez:

Please don't run away:

Rough Trade! Beggars Group! Tommy Boy! Ministry Of Sound! Epitaph! Cooking Vinyl! With Your Powers Combined… I AM MERLIN!!!

This past weekend, at the yearly, international MidemNet music marketing forum, a new mega-superhero was born. Near the sunny beaches of Cannes, the world caught its first glimpse of the mysterious being known as Merlin. Uniting some of the most formidable independent labels in the music world, the London-based organization will combine the special powers of each affiliated record company to form a whole far more fearsome than the sum of its parts.

Meet the Recordteers:

- Rough Trade... packing the punch of tight pants-wearing Eurotrash everywhere!

- Beggars Group... encompassing every hip record label ever to exist!

- Tommy Boy... bridging the gap between classics like De La Soul and crap like Jock Jams within a single roster!

- Ministry of Sound... clinging bravely to extinct genres of electronic music with the strength of 10 DJs!

- Epitaph... providing the soundtrack to half-assed adolescent rebellion throughout suburbs everyhere!

- Cooking Vinyl... housing bands like Hanson and The Prodigy, who might as well have stopped existing 10 years ago!

Apparently when all six labels put their unique rings (Epitaph's has a li'l spike on it; Tommy Boy's is predictably iced out) together, a big green dude in tights flies out of them. That's Merlin, and he works to even the playing field for (large, successful) independent labels! Dubbed the fifth major and helmed by Chris Caldas, Merlin will represent the companies in digital licensing deals. He's already made friends with SNOCAP -- which is not a new club drug endorsed by those crazy Ministry of Sound kids. It's actually the company that represents MySpace, and the deal will give Merlin artists access to partnerships with the social networking site and other, less important Snocap partners.

Label reps leaving MidemNet were quoted as singing:

Fuckin' Merlin, he's our hero,

Gonna take the majors down to zero,

He's our rosters magnified,

And he's fighting on the indie side!

Hear what Merlin has to say:

"THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL LICENSING AND OTHER BUSINESS SHIT IS YOURS!!!"

I am looking out my window right now at one of the busiest intersections in the city. I see 12 cars in two left-hand turning lanes waiting for the light to flash green. I count only four with turn signals blinking in wait. Deep down, I think these non-signalers believe they are being a little rebellious in their driving. Can I be witnessing the start of a revolt against the rules of the road? Will this lead to a complete abolition of traffic restrictions, by-laws, and warnings and the beginning of a more humane relationship between drivers and pedestrians, where slowing down is natural and traveling by motor vehicle will require a new set of communication aides using eye contact, nods, gestures, and (seriously) kindness? Could traffic be our new target of "the war on...," like drugs or obesity or jealousy before it? Have I had too much coffee this morning?

History's political revolutionaries (and perhaps traffic pioneers too... I really don't know) are much more lauded than their musician equivalents. But sure enough, these freedom fighters exist and are carrying out their subversive missions right under our noses to little acclaim from society at large.

Canada's leading electronic hell-raiser Tim Hecker has quietly shown himself to be a realistic rebel with release after release of disorienting abstract and ambient sounds. They may not be the equal to those of grand radicals such as Moses, Robespierre, Jefferson, Bonaparte, Gandhi, Lenin, Tse-tung, Perro, and the like, nor are they like the cities of Ejby in Denmark, Ipswich in England, and Ostende in Belgium, which have implemented some of the "traffic calming" practices described above, but Hecker's efforts have effectively constructed change and spread basic truths throughout the musical word, and that's not something to scoff at.

It's small-scale stuff, but it's a hell of a lot more than the do-nothings do! Montréal label Alien8 Recordings is re-releasing Hecker's 2003 super-acclaimed-but-long-out-of-print set Radio Amor today. Growing stature and popular demand would dictate an expanded deluxe reissue, but Radio Amor will appear without any bells or whistles, buttons, or lick-me temporary tattoos. Nope, it is just the wonderful album now made more readily available for fans and friends to reacquaint themselves with and for new audiences to discover.

Hecker does perform live from time to time, but it is a rare treat. Rumor has it that there will be a show in April at Tonic in NYC featuring Hecker with fellow revolutionary forces Phill Niblock and Mario Diaz de León. Best keep your eyes peeled for details and date.

Radio Amor, again:

1. Song of the Highwire Shrimper
2. (They call me) Jimmy
3. Spectral
4. I'm Transmitting Tonight
5. 7000 Miles
6. Shipyards of la Ceiba
7. Careless Whispers
8. The Star Compass
9. Azure Azure
10. Trade Winds, White Heat