Now Allowing Full Albums and Tracks To Be Played; Artists To Get Paid For Each Play

Leave it to the CBS-owned social music networking behemoth to make a progressive move for the music industry. Besides famously providing hipsters and scenesters a music taste scoreboard to put on their MySpace profile, the U.K. company has achieved even more attention with a website that tracks your taste and provides recommendations based both on what you're listening to and what people around your taste area are listening to. It's a crazy good idea and has led me to discover new music. Okay, it's a tad bit creepy that tracks my listening habits (and most likely my porn-watching habits), but since I'm not keeping track, somebody has to, like CBS. Perhaps CBS will get the hint that I'd rather watch King of Asses rather than King of Queens. Actually, I wish recommended some new porn based on my porn-watching habits; that'd be sweet.

Alas, isn't aggregating my porn habits and using the statistics to make my life sexier; instead, on January 23, the company posted an epic blog post about the future of and possibly the music industry. In the post, God Richard Jones bolded this sentence: "As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the website." Indeed, has struck a deal with the four major music groups (EMI, Sony BMG, Universal, WEA) and tons of indie artists and labels for the new business model. I was pretty stoked, until I found out that it'll be a subscription service. Call me cheap, but I hope the subscription service isn't too expensive (details are yet to emerge), and I certainly expect to be able to download the MP3s and put them on any MP3 player I want, which isn't yet clear.

Here's a snippet from the post:

During this initial public beta period, each track can be played up to 3 times for free before a notice appears telling you about our upcoming subscription service. The soon-to-be announced subscription service will give you unlimited plays and some other useful things. We’re also working on bringing full-length tracks to the desktop client and beyond.

Despite my bitching about the subscription idea, the coolest announcement would have to the implementation of the new artist-compensation feature. Essentially, every time someone plays a song, the artist will get paid from the generated ad revenue. hasn't revealed how much, but those plays could certainly add up and eventually end up in the pockets of deserving indie musicians. How lucrative this venture can be for labels and artists is still up in the air, as well as whether or not a subscription service with ad revenue is the route to go, but it's definitely noteworthy for a heavy-hitter like has neglected to state all the specifics in their blog post and instead opted to note it'll be answering these questions in the future, so I suppose we need to just wait and see. The current, albeit outdated model isn't going down without a fight (not that anyone's necessarily fighting for it), but I think is definitely taking a step in the right direction.

The original blog post can be found here.

M. Ward And Zooey Deschanel Unveil She & Him; Elsewhere, Conor Oberst and Natalie Portman Seen Entering A Recording Studio

Sonny and Cher.

Ike and Tina.

Jack and Meg.

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel?

Yes, you read that right, M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel have teamed up in holy music matrimony under the name She & Him to join the list of musical couples listed above. Their debut album, Volume 1, is due out on March 18. The album includes nine original songs written by Deschanel and two cover songs.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how exactly did Ward and Deschanel cross paths? Did he slip her a note that said “Do you want to record an album with me? Check yes, no, or maybe.”? Did she have her agent call him up? Unfortunately, the details aren’t that interesting, as the duo actually met in 2006 when they recorded a cover of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “When I Get To The Border” for The Go-Getter soundtrack and were so impressed by one another they decided to work together. She & Him made their live debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007 and also on Ward’s tour with Norah Jones last summer.

Don’t miss She & Him’s HUGE March tour:
03.02.08 – San Francisco, CA – Noise Pop
03.14.08 – Austin, TX – The Parish (Merge Records SXSW showcase)

I went from my home in Indiana to Ohio for this story, and I still can’t come up with a good headline. Fuck it. There’s going to be a new Gnarls Barkley album. Get rowdy!

FUCK! I'm so amped! I've got PBR in my right hand and LCD Soundsystem in my left. Don't ask me how I'm typing. Seriously. Because right now I'm driving. Where? Dayton, Ohio. I know, right? But that is where Scout Leader Kyle says he's holing up.

[Time lapse]

Scout, my boy, what's the score? Same, same. I ask him if he's heard of Gnarls Barkley. He hides a laugh and peels his face away from one of his many websites he's working on. (Let it be known that Scout is dominating the internet more than any of us ever will). Swiftly, my boy pulls out a brand new iPod Touch from what had just been air between his fingers. I curse and say, "Good show." Not only does he know Gnarls Barkley, but he celebrates the entire catalogs of both Danger Mouse and Cee-lo. And, the real peal of cum here, he has the "Sweet Sixteen" episode featuring Cee-lo's daughter. I start to question the reasoning behind this, but before I can, he says with such innocence something to the effect that he has a free meal on his card if I wanted to go to the dining hall in the basement of his dorm. I tell him how it brings me back to the good ol' days. And how maybe the good ol' days weren't so good. He tells me I smell like booze.

"Seriously," I say trying to bring the focus to my trip. "I need to know if you have any information on the new Gnarls Barkley album." We are in the queue for French fries and fried chicken and fried lettuce and fried snickers and I pull out a twenty spot and realize even that is fried. Scout tells me we'll get down to business after dinner.

[After dinner]

We are back in his dorm room, and I make a rude comment about his roommate. You know how it is though; you'll have that friend over for the first time, and he thinks the roommate is gone, so he's like, "Damn dude, the boy sucks. I mean, well, he's not that bad, but he plays lacrosse. What the fuck?" Turns out your roommate was in his bed reading up for his religious studies class or some shit. Yeah, it was like that. Sorry, Scout. He tells me not to worry. I don't. Ever.

"Get on the internet!" I demand. "Shake your magic stick," I continue, referencing his mouse. After a good 30 seconds, Scout has enough information to fill a Wikipedia page. Turns out the boys were originally prepping the album in hopes that it would drop this past December. WRONG! With great authority, Scout says that it will instead be released in April of this year. He also told me the title may or may not be Atlantis. Scout, tell me more! Well, looks like the plucky heads at Rolling Stone magazine were allowed to preview two tracks (how come I don't get such pull these days). One is reported to be a funky track with an organ and French horns, while the other is a "darker ballad" with an acoustic guitar. These two gems are vying for the "single" status for the new album, and it is rumored that the Barkley camp is favoring the latter.

I slap Scout on the back and tell him once more, "Good show."

Portishead Add More Dates to Tour, Confirm Album Info

Like free music? On April 14 (maybe April 15 in the U.S.?), hand this coupon to a CD store clerk, and you'll instantly receive a free copy of Portishead's new album, THIRD! No hassle, no obligations, no questions asked! The great thing is that this coupon never expires, and it applies to any artist of your choice -- not just Portishead. In fact, this coupon will let you have free music for the rest of your life, as you can use it as many times as you want!

But why stop with music? Going to the supermarket to pickup some bananas? Use the coupon! Co-workers giving you a hard time at work? Dude, use the coupon! Can't quite manage to keep the neighbor kids off your freshly cut lawn?? Use this motherfucking coupon!! It's applicable in virtually every aspect of your life.

Hey, don't take my word for it! Check out these real-life testimonials:

- "Works beautifully. I got a free copy of Metal Machine Music today, and I'll be using it to get rid of this awful itch tomorrow!" - Dave Andrews

- "I was losing faith after I cheated on my husband with his best friend. But now that I have this card, I know what I did was a truly Holy experience. The Lord has risen in coupon form!" - Jessica Trim

- "That Pizza Hut ad on TMT didn't make sense until I used the coupon. And I can tell you now without lying: the ad is making total sense!" - Perry Applebee

- "Pitchfork gave my favorite album of 2007 only a 7.8, but after I used the coupon, it jumped to a solid 8.0! What's more, it was considered Best New Music!!" - Brock Stephenson

We've got it all worked out for you, TMT reader.

Freshly cut dates:

Lost Ad Features Silver Mt. Zion Song, Attractive People With Problems

Voiceover: PREVIOUSLY ON LOST [ominous strings followed by explosion]


Jack: [noticing Ben in tree] Who is that? [polar bear attacks]


Ben: What are you doing to me, I'm not one of them!

Sayid: Just keep quiet, you monster.

Ben: My name is Reginald P. Weathertree. I've got three kids and a dog -- last year I took them all on a parachuting vacation and we all parachuted together as a family because I love my family and also I love parachuting so goddamn much.


Sayid [in flashback]: Life in Iraq is difficult, my love, but please accept this parachute as a sign of my love.


Jack: Sayid, NO!

Sayid: I'm letting this man go, Jack. I don't torture innocent men. I won't torture innocent men.


Sayid [in flashback]: Hold still!

Some Iraqi: OWWW!!!


Sayid [staring out to sea as Silver Mt. Zion track plays softly]: I will not torture innocent men [last word echoes as camera zooms out to reveal Jack firing a handgun at two polar bears; Silver Mt. Zion track segues into A-Ha's "Take On Me."]


% Vic Chesnutt

Scout Leader Kyle’s Greatest Hits: Tokyo Police Club Tour Stories Vol. 1

Hi everyone! Welcome to another day at Tiny Mix Tapes, where we strive to provide the most original, creative, and accurate editorial content. Today, we're going to celebrate ME! Why? Well, due to the fact that I've already written two stories on Tokyo Police Club, I now have the option of reposting my favorite moments from those stories (according to Mr P's Big Book of Music Journalism*), and hell if I don't take advantage!

The first greatest hits story is one I wrote while plastered off of two cups of cheap Smirinoff vodka. I'm a lightweight, so please no e-mails about how big of a wuss you think I am!

aTOKTO plice club you standing! there tokyo police club captpuling from a lesson in crime, tokyo poolice club have new story album coming out on coor obersts’ record label!! hahaha i lon’t like birght eye anymore cause i’m not ansgts y steenager and that is totally lame cause my friend, colt kgely, still likes bright eyes. i don’t

- Link To Original Story

Here's my second, not under the influence (though it may read like it!):

My favorite band in the whole wide world just started a fan club, and I’m in it! I get a free t-shirt and a hat and a poster and access to the online forums, and I get to buy front row seats before YOU and I get to read their super secret blog! However, since I’m promoting the fan club, I get to share some secret info with you! You’re soooooo lucky to be reading Tiny Mix Tapes because you know you don’t have enough money to join the fan club and I do cause daddy said I could. ["When you’re standing there/Tokyo Police Club!"] Gawd, I love that song. Such great indie rock goodness with a little pop touch and robot lyrics! So saweet! OMG! I almost like totally forgot about the super secret info from the fan club that YOU ARE NOT IN! Lolz!

- Link To Original Story

There, that took up some space. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed those Greatest Hits News Stories. Look for Tokyo Police Club's debut album, Elephant Shell, due in late April on Saddle Creek/Memphis Industries, and if you want some more information on the indie pop rawk sensation, then you should so check out their website here.

If you've made it this far in the story, then I thank you for re-reading my stories. I know the first time was hard enough. If you've just scrolled down here for the tourdates, then fuck you.

*Mr P's Big Book of Music Journalism is available online at for $59.99. I'd recommend buying it used, but the sad fact is that no one wants to sell this book after they get their mitts on it. "Simply life-changing and inspirational," according to Mr P's own description.