It’s Official: Terra Firma Buys Out EMI

Shifting from waste management to leisure to transport and now apparently to music (hey, it's all the same if it makes money, right?), CEO Guy Hands and his UK-based private equity firm Terra Firma has finally taken over EMI for $4.86 billion. It took five deadline extensions, but yesterday (Wednesday) the 90% of shareholder approval required was met just 45 minutes before the deadline. Stocks immediately soared, of course, and Terra Firma could finally dance around, pump its fists in the air, and yell "chi-ching!!"

So what's next? First of all, EMI will now become a wholly private venture, meaning the company will eventually be delisted from the London Stock Exchange (most likely on August 6), turning EMI into the only purely privately-held major label. Second, and more importantly, Terra Firma needs to save EMI. According to its website, Terra Firma "focuses on buyouts of large, asset-rich and complex businesses in need of operational and/or strategic change." EMI fits this description perfectly, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of effect the firm will have on the group's future.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s ingenuity at Warner Music Group took the group headfirst into the digital industry, while Sony BMG and Universal were slow to follow -- but not as slow as EMI. Hell, EMI even tried to buyout WMG at one point, but Bronfman Jr. brilliantly changed the dialogue so that it was suddenly more probable that WMG would buyout EMI. In 2006, WMG surpassed EMI's global recorded music market share. Embarassing news for EMI, surely, but lately EMI has been embracing DRM-free music more so than the other majors, and if they could just stop being so fucking UK-BASED, maybe they'd sell more records in the U.S.

Either way, according to Music & Copyright, 27.5% of the global music market share in 2006 is attributed to independent labels. Very respectable considering the licensing, copyright, and distribution dominance of the major labels.

Viva Vashti! Old Lady Bunyan Overcomes Unpalatably Podiatric Last Name Homophony to Release Rarities Album, New 7-inch Single

Announcer: Okay, everyone; It's time to plaaaaaaaaaaaaay: "What's Wrong With This Headline?!" with your host, the King of congruence, the Duke of diction, Sultan of semantics, Tiny Mix Tape!!!

***APPLAUSE***

Tiny: Hello everybody and welcome! Today, we'll be discussing the recent news surrounding infamous psych-folk pioneer and all-around soft-voiced old songstress Vashti Bunyan. We have on the big board today a headline that claims that Bunyan is set to release a double-disc album of rarities, old singles, and demos via the good people at FatCat by the end of this year, as well as a claim that she will be prepping a new single.

Now, I have with me here our two contestants who hope to win Big Money and-- (***APPLAUSE***) -- and become our newest snob-nosed champion by pointing out as many needlessly nitpicky semantical problems with the claims of this headline as possible. They will each have 30 seconds of time on the clock. So, are we ready to play?

(***APPLAUSE***)

Okay, Contestant #1, what have you got for us? Your time begins... now!

Contestant #1: Uh... well, Tiny, uh, I guess I would call the very idea of a so-called "rarities album" into question when it comes to Ms. Bunyan. This 2CD rarities record, comprised of early singles and demo tracks from 1964-67 and titled Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind (due October 8 in Europe, the UK, and Japan, and coming out in the U.S. via DiCristina Stair Builders) will technically only be the third album of material that the revered singer/songwriter has released in, oh, say, the last 40 years... uh, that is, if you don't count the guest vocals she contributed to Animal Collective's Prospect Hummer EP (TMT Review) and a few other flings with modern psych-folk artists like Devendra and Co.
I mean, her first record, Just Another Diamond Day, was first released in 1970, and the woman didn't release a follow-up until 2005's Lookaftering. Think about it! That's two discs. And now we get a two-disc "rarities" collection? If you ask me--

Tiny: I'm sorry, Contestant #1. Time's up! You made some excellent points though, didn't he folks?

(***APPLAUSE***)

Alright! Contestant #2, anything to add? Your 30 seconds begin... NOW.

Contestant #2: Oh, gosh, uh... well, what about the fact that the alleged "New Single," of which a scant 1,000 new 7-inch copies will be pressed for a September 10 release, isn't really new at all! (***MURMERS***) Not only that, but the A-Side wasn't even written by Bunyan! (***MORE MURMERS***) Yes, actually, the track, which is also titled "Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind" was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and originally came out on the Decca label in May of 1965. What's more, she wasn't even billed as "Vashti Bunyan" on the original release. She was billed simply as "Vashti."

But at least the B-side, "I Want to Be Alone," was the songstress' own composition. I guess that counts for something, I just don't see--

Tiny: aaaaand... time is up, Contestant #2; excellent job! Give her a great big hand, won't you?

(***APPLAUSE***)

Boy-oh-boy, this is gonna be a close one folks! Both of our fabulous contestants deserve to walk out of here winners, if you ask me. But we'll find out which one of these two overly-clever debunkers will walk out of here as our newest champion... right after this important word from our sponsor:

Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind 7-inch tracklist:

1. Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind
2. I Want to Be Alone

For Twista, It Appears That McDonald’s Is No Longer The Place to Rock

Well, that’s my summer fucked up good and proper. 2007’s answer to Lollapalooza, the McDonald’s Live roadshow, has just gone and lost the main act for six of the remaining nine dates on the tour, as the rotund rap dude Twista has been thrown off his dates on the tour by McFuck’s themselves. They appear to have actually bothered to listen to one of his records and, unsurprisingly, ended up shitting their corporate bed. Mayor McCheese, realizing that Twista’s style was just too fruity for his over 99 billion happy servees and potential voters, was given the opportunity to elucidate McDonald’s stance on the issue. “Although we respect free speech and artistic expression,” said the deceptively delicious-looking burgher, “we do not condone or perpetuate derogatory language.” (Although, they are a little more equivocal on the perpetuation of obesity and colon cancer.)

Twista himself was surprised at his dumping, although considering that he once opined in song that he would like a particular girl he was courting to “put yo mouth around my scrotum and hold ‘em”, it won’t come as a shock to most. His surprise stemmed from the fact that he had heard “from certain people in McDonald’s that they were fans of the music and backed me.” Unfortunately for Twista, these ‘certain people’ only worked behind the counter at his local Mickey D’s, and did not include the real power brokers at McDonald’s -- namely Mayor McCheese, Ronald McDonald, and Satan.

The show will go on, however, with Ne-Yo, Kenna, and other assorted no-marks appearing over the next month or so in McDonald’s parking lots across the country. I can barely wait.

Art Brut Doesn’t Tour Indiana, And Emily Kane Is Terribly Annoying

I’m walking down the street, grabbing at my crotch, high-fiving little children, and humming “Emily Kane” by Art Brut. To my left, posted up on a stair railing, is a beautiful girl. I try humming a little louder, hoping she would catch the tune. Right at the part when Eddie Argos hammers out the name Emily Kane, the girl fills in for me: "Emily Kane! Emily Kane!"

This is it, I think to myself. I have found the perfect girl. She has a beautiful ocean of long, crimson hair. Her figure looks to be good for a go. And to top it off, she knows Art Brut. I stop immediately, obviously, and try to stammer up a reply. Before I get anything out, however, she bites with, “That Eddie Argos can die of gonorrhea and rot in hell!”

What? No, I don’t think so. But her beauty keeps me from retorting. I simply ask, “What do you mean?” To which she rambles on about how she is the real Emily Kane, and Argos left her for some chick he met at a strip club while trading chicken fingers. I guess she phoned him for a month, but he refused to pick up the phone. Yadda yadda yadda. Boo-hoo. And this goes on for about five minutes, and all the while I’m thinking she really isn’t that pretty anymore. But I’m also thinking that maybe she would want to make Argos jealous, so I could invite her to catch Art Brut on their latest tour and we would make out passionately in the front row. I mean, yeah, I’d get to make out with her, and yeah I’d be at an Art Brut show (which would totally rule), but it’s mostly me wanting to help her. Right?

I tell her my plan of making Argos jealous next time he rolls into town, and then she starts talking about their latest album that just dropped and how every other song is about her, and I’m thinking, damn, is it really worth it? But somehow her mind gets sidetracked and she asks when their next show is. To which I reply:

Emily gets mad because we are in Indiana, but I keep her calm by telling her the internet is all abuzz with news that there will be an extended tour coming this fall. Maybe.

The Social Registry Do Their Festival Thing On August 11 and 12, and I Know This Is Completely Unrelated, But Have You Kids Seen That Dramatic Prairie Dog Video Yet?

The Japanese have wacky shows and The Social Registry artists have killer shows. See, maybe it's not so unrelated now, is it? Just look at this video, laugh your ass off, hate on me for being ridiculously late to the show because you've already seen it, and read about this cool festival I have to tell you about after the fancy embedded YouTube video.
[Isn't it sad that our first (maybe last) YouTube video be of that prairie dog? -- Ed.]

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Come on, it's hilarious, admit it. Besides, you should totally see the Star Wars version too -- oh shit son, so funny. Anyway, The Social Registry is having a two-day, outdoor festival August 11-12, and they'll be featuring tons of their own artists. It's kind of like a cute fund raiser for the label, but it'll never be as cute as the dramatic prairie dog. Aw. The festival itself is dirt cheap for what you're getting; $15 for one day and $25 for both. Nice! So, if you live near Brooklyn, NY, here are some essentials:

Venue: The Yard

Address: 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins

Directions: F or G train to Carroll Street / N or R train to Union Street

Hours: 1pm-9:30pm

Not only will some of the old skool Social Registry artists be performing, some new signings such as Growing will be droppin' some tunes at the fest as well. The Social Registry even has a special show up its sleeves by featuring a live performance by Ghost Exits. The festival will be the group's first live performance in three years! Cue the lineup:

Sounds like it'll be a good time. I'm off to YouTube to watch more Dramatic Prairie Dog ripoffs.

Percee P Teams with Madlib for His Debut LP; For Once, I Wasn’t Forced by an Advertiser to Write This Story

After making his first appearance almost 20 years ago on a D-Nique 12-inch (which you can hear sampled on DJ Shadow's "Napalm Brain, Scatter Brain"), Percee P's debut full-length album, Perseverance, is finally set for release September 18 on Stones Throw. And it's about fucking time. Percee P has worked with everyone from Jaylib and Jedi Mind Tricks to Four Tet and Kool Keith, so this dude's been around. Produced entirely by Madlib, Perseverance features appearances from Aesop Rock, Chali 2Na, Prince Po, Guilty Simpson, and Diamond D.

I sat down to talk to Percee P never, so we don't have any exclusive info for you. I was also too lazy to reach out to any publicist or label rep about the album. Does this make TMT look bad? Of course it does. But, I do have something super special to show you, as long as you do something for me first.

Okay... ready?

First, clear a small area in the room you're in and then find a couple dumbells. Got 'em? Cool. NOW START DOING SOME LUNGES, MOTHERFUCKER!

- Hold two dumbells in your hands by your sides.
- Step forward with one leg and lower your upper body down, bending your leg (don't step out too far). You should have about two to two-and-a-half feet between your feet.
- Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, keeping your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
- Push up and back and repeat with the other leg, or do all the reps with one leg then switch.

Man, you'll do anything for a tracklist. Fucking pathetic. Here you go: