I Heard That Wilco Is Playing More Fall West Coast Dates!!! Oh My Gosh!!! I Am So Totally Psyched! I Love Jeff Tweedy!! Sky Blue Sky, WOO!!! I Just… Oh, Wait… Nevermind, It’s Just Billy Bragg :(

Dear Billy Bragg,

How are you? How are things in merry old England? Are they cool? I've always wanted to drive on the opposite side of the road like you guys do, you know. I just think that'd be such a rush. Sigh... I guess it's not such a rush for you, though. You do it every day. Hey, I hear that you guys say "chips" instead of "french fries" and "bobby" instead of "police officer" over there! That is just whacky, don't you think?? I think so.

But enough small talk, Billy. So, like, what was it like, you know . . . working with Wilco??? Was it just totally awesome? Or was it more "amazing" than awesome? I love Wilco. Don't you?? I mean, who couldn't love Wilco?? I think everyone loves Wilco. It's probably because Wilco writes such relatable songs. Did you get that vibe? I bet you got that vibe working with Wilco. It must have been an honor to have worked with Wilco.

But really, Billy Bragg, did you think that Jeff Tweedy was a genius, even back in the days of the first Mermaid Avenue?? Did you just know it? Even back then, you know, before Summerteeth and YHF (that's Wilco's album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but i'm sure you knew that, Billy Bragg) dropped and changed all of our lives forever??? I like to think that I would have known it back then. I can't be sure i would have though, you know? You probably knew it, though. I mean, Jeff Tweedy's music is so great. Don't you think that his music is really great?? It's such an incredible mixture of folk and rock ‘n’ roll, don't you think?? I don't know anybody else who does folk/rock like Wilco, do you??

Also, I bet Jeff and the band were really funny guys, too. John Stirratt seems funny. Jay Bennett seemed whacky enough too (though I bet he's not laughing too much these days, huh Billy?). But were they, like, funny in person? I've seen that one Wilco documentary -- you know, the one by Sam Jones?? -- and the stuff they do is really funny in that. You've seen that Wilco movie right? I mean, who hasn't?? Do you think that you'll play any of the songs you wrote with Wilco at any of these following fall/winter shows, Billy Bragg???

Just thought you might want to know, since you're such a huge fan of Wilco. You're welcome!!! :) :) :)

Ready In No Time: “Best New Music” Casserole! I Am Not Going To Mention That Le Loup Means ‘The Wolf’ In French, But The Pack Of ‘Em Are Going On Tour And Releasing Their Debut Album; Taste That Hype? Mmm, Delicious .

Sub Pop is a very notable, 51% independent label. Hardly Art is The Jeffersons to Sub Pop's All In The Family, which is to say a potentially profitable spin-off. Hardly Art's first release was Arthur & Yu's In Camera, which was released in the summer -- useless information, I suppose. But after the first, comes the second, which brings us to Le Loup. Due this fall, the DC band's album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly displays quite the knack for not only songwriting but also building atmosphere, placing the group atop a heap of this moment's buzziest bands.

After keeping an eye on this growing trend of shit-hot bands, I've concocted a little formula, or as I prefer to call it, a recipe, that will get you a delectable "Best New Music"-like casserole in no time flat. Please adhere strictly to the following ingredients and steps:
2 pounds skinless, boneless animal name
7 or more band members (to taste)
1/2 cup large part harmonies
1/4 cup relatively idiosyncratic organic instruments (banjo, etc.)
1 1/2 tablespoons processed instruments (i.e., computer music)
2 teaspoons foreign language words
1 teaspoon obscure reference to artist (you may substitute an author)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the animal name, excessive band members, harmonies, oddball instrumentation, salt, oregano, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the dish to cool for one small tour before the album's release.

Cook in the oven until the edges brown and BAM! Dinner is served.

Tip: This casserole may be prepared in advance and frozen until ready to use. Simply allow it to thaw 1 week on blogs and come to room temperature before releasing.

Have a taste for yourself:

* Jukebox the Ghost

@ Travis Morrison Hellfighters, Statehood, Rocky's Revival

% Andrew Bird

$ Yeasayer, Shapes and Sizes

! -- Pygmalion Fest w/ Okkervil River, CFTPA, Dark Meat, etc.

^ -- CD release party! w/ These United States

+ Nightmare of You

# Georgie James

Kaiser Chiefs Cancel Fall Tour? Yeah I Know, The News Feed Has Been a Real Snoozer Lately

So, my bro (or who I thought was my bro) Emceegreg wrote an article about his buddy who called in the middle of an amazing high. 'Greg, for whatever selfish reason, neglected to mention my presence at that party.

While let's say "Kirk" (the "friend" from 'Greg's story) was busying himself with every bottle of booze in the greater Muncie area, I was digesting roughly 120 mg of Adderall. In the first hour, I read my reading assignment for the next day and then proceeded to read the next five. I then went on to the private TMT message board and read everything ever posted. The clock was nearing 5 A.M. and somehow "Kirk" was still functioning. I tied a radio flyer wagon to the back of my bicycle and trailed "Kirk" to Wal-Mart. We purchased 17 cans of yellow primer spray paint, four push-pops, a two-liter of Mountain Dew, and the most recent Kaiser Chiefs album.

We made it back to the house in tiger speed. We fetched a boom box from my room and set everything out on the porch. The first can of spray paint was used to try to make a blowtorch. That was unsuccessful. Next, we each took a can and huffed until our noses ran like rivers. "Kirk" took another can and, with push-pop in mouth, made a map of the stars on my front lawn. All the while, the Kaiser Chiefs are playing, and I'm thinking, "My god, have I really hit rock bottom?"

The sun started peering over the eastern tree line. "Kirk" had covered his entire torso with yellow paint and began quoting remnants of Descartes. I told him he was making a scene and the cops were most likely going to take us away. He told me if I didn't quit playing "shitty Brit-rock," he was going to "take me away." The joke was on him, though, because in his mess of liquor and my clinical exactness induced by Adderall, I had managed to order $450 worth of tickets for the Kaiser Chiefs fall tour.

And now the tour is cancelled.

Cancelled Tour Dates, Suckas!

Canceled shows:
09.18.07 - Dallas, TX - House Of Blues
09.19.07 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
09.21.07 - Nashville, TN - City Hall
09.22.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Roxy
09.24.07 - Chicago, IL - Cabaret Metro
09.25.07 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
09.26.07 - Toronto, ONT - Carlu Theatre

The two shows that are still on:
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
09.29.07 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre

Oh, and Emceegreg, if you pass me up to hang out with Mr P again, I'll cut you.

Puppet-Masters At Disney Caught Fabricating The ‘Grassroots’ YouTube Sensation of Marié Digby

When N*Sync said "bye, bye, bye" to the shackles of the greedy management that held them down, the world listened, and No Strings Attached went on to sell nearly 15 million copies. In a more indie-centric example, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah skipped the label process completely during their initial explosion, instead riding the internet tidal-wave that accompanied their self-titled debut. But the latter example just seems like so much work! Doesn't that take dedication, some sliver of uniqueness, real word-of-mouth, and even some skill? It is so much easier to just be content as the dummy while some dollar-brained "ventriloquist" sticks his hand up your backside, not only pulling the strings, but framing your lies, moving your mouth for you. After all, the bigwigs know exactly when and what the public will lap up like slobbering dogs eager for their next sip.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the girl behind the latest YouTube explosion may not be as DIY as she once appeared. Marié Digby, whose cover of Rihanna's smash "Umbrella" has been featured on MTV, appeared just another viral multimedia meme with her grainy, homemade renditions of popular tunes. The press release for her "recent" signing to Disney's Hollywood Records even touted her as a "YouTube Phenomenon." But after a little bit of muckraking, it has been revealed that Digby was actually signed by Hollywood in 2005, a year-and-a-half before her videos hit big. Hollywood Records purchased Digby's computer and software and allowed her to leave her MySpace reading "Type of Label: None," all the while Digby was telling audiences "I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" as per the WSJ.

The stunt is an arrogant attempt by the mainstream to co-opt and manipulate the ease and arbitrary nature of viral hype that the internet has beget with more and more frequency in recent years. With News Corp.'s purchase of MySpace and Google's purchase of YouTube, it is no secret that the corporate world sees the same contagiousness on the web that each site's respective users do. Unfortunately, they feel the need to undermine the entire system, slapping ads on every blank space and feigning struggle for their artists. But here's a thought: maybe if Disney put as much creativity directly into their projects as they do into their lies, they wouldn't have to rely on faking credibility or creating hype through devious means.

The Road to Recovery Starts with Arthur & Yu Touring the World (The United States & Japan) in a Matter of Minutes (Months)

Arthur & Yu were the first band to sign to Sub Pop subsidiary label Hardly Art, and they will also be known as the first band named Arthur & Yu to impregnate fine U.S. cities with their gravitational melodies.

With that said, my friend woke me up at 7:15 A.M. this morning to tell me he was "Messed up, man." I called him back later to tell him I was going to kick his ass next time I saw him. He said he was sorry, and that no intervention would change his hollow ways. So, I invited him to see Arthur & Yu in Chicago with me. Having always been a fan of simplistic music with interchangeable male and female vocals and soft rhythms guided by the flute, he said he was "down with it." I told him I'd buy his ticket and it would be a great time. He said, "I'm bringing lots of drugs."

Thus: I really wish I could see Arthur & Yu during their fall tour, but the truth is I'll be setting up an impactful intervention for my muscular friend (think Benicio del Toro with huge pecks). This fall, many tears will be shed, but it will be a time for change. I allow Arthur & Yu to play the soundtrack to my life as I potentially fail in "cleaning up" my friend and learn to shoot up, break down, snort, sniff, digest, smoke, blow, suck, lick, fuck, chew, and stick objects up my ass that I never thought I would. In five months, Emceegreg will be at the finest rehab clinic that TMT can afford (a.k.a. M. P's shower). [Editor's note: bring your own shampoo, boy.]


Laura Veirs Tours With The Decemberists, and I’m Uneasy About Making a Joke Because Her Music Is Just So Damn Innocent

Go on, just try and make a joke regarding Laura Veirs. If you do end up making a funny about her, then you're an asshole. That's right, you're a fucking asshole if you can't take Laura Veirs seriously. Homegirl is crazy talented and makes some beautiful music. Don't even call her out on her education either. She's fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has a degree in Geology. Also, don't even attempt to say that she's not musically versatile or active in supporting her gender either 'cause Laura soooo totally started an all-girl punk rock band called "Rair Kx!" when she was in college. Did you start one? Didn't think so.

Alright, I guess I could make fun of her for camping a lot with her family when she was younger. Come on, you can't get much lamer than that. I usually spend my summers inside being antisocial and playing video games, and look at me, I'm totally fine.

Catch the nicest and sweetest artist in the industry making magic with Colin Meloy and the gang at these dates:

* The Decemberists