Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger Approved (Not By Us)

Before I go to a live music or sporting event, I weigh my ticket options carefully. Sometimes I’ll get my tickets from Ticketmaster, other times times I’ll buy them from Ticketmaster, or to save time and waste money I might purchase tickets online with Ticketmaster. That may all change, however, with the new Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, which plans to open a world of options for sporting fans and concert-goers (like myself) everywhere.

First, some background. Live Nation owns over 100 venues, promotes and/or produces 22,000 events annually, and sold over 50 million tickets in 2008. Ticketmaster—as if you didn’t know—is the US’s premier ticket sales and distribution company, selling over 142 million tickets in 2007. As a company, Ticketmaster is reviled (by just about everyone) for their notorious service charges and poor-to-non-existent customer service. Combined, these two already-powerful companies will coalesce into the perfect shit storm for ticket buyers, venues, and musicians.

So what do they have to say for themselves? In yesterday’s press release, the new super company assures us that, “Through this merger, the parties believe that the combined company will have the tools to develop new products, expand access, improve transparency and deliver artists and fans more choice. This will drive greater attendance at live events and bringing more value to all major constituents in the industry.”

More choice? More value? Improve transparency? Ticketmaster, please don’t piss on our backs and tell us it’s raining.

The merger was proposed last year in February, finally clearing with approval by the US Department of Justice on Monday, but not without some legal stipulations. According to the DOJ, the new company will be “watched” for 10 years and forced to obey “tough anti-retaliation provisions,” supposedly to prevent abuse to any competition. But then again, who could really compete with Ticketmaster before the merger?

To find out more about what’s being done to combat the merger, and to sign a petition against it, head over to TicketDisaster.org which is directly affiliated with the American Antitrust Institute.

Joanna Newsom Triple Album, Have One On Me, Out on February 23 – Yeah, You Read that Right: TRIPLE

NME revealed late last week that Joanna Newsom’s forthcoming LP Have One On Me will be a triple album. Well, I guess this makes up for the lack of any Newsom harp action in 2007, 2008, or 2009. Now she just needs to release another album later this year so 2010 won’t be a complete disappointment.

Have One On Me is out on February 23 via Drag City Records. There’s a stream of a track called “‘81” on Drag City’s website (upper-right corner).

• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

BLEEP BRRRRRR KKKKKK BTBTBTBT: New Autechre LP this March

Ah, Autechre, I can always rely on you to produce an album I won’t enjoy until roughly 12 months after I hear it for the first time.

Oversteps is released March 22 on Warp.

Tracklisting:
01. r ess
02. ilanders
03. known(1)
04. pt2ph8
05. qplay
06. see on see
07. Treale
08. os veix3
09. O=0
10. d-sho qub
11. st epreo
12. redfall
13. krYlon
14. Yuop

…remind me again of why these guys bother to title their tracks?

Tourdates:

03.11.10 - Manchester, UK - Pure
03.12.10 - Birmingham, UK - The Rainbow
03.13.10 - Minehead, UK - Bloc Weekender
03.15.10 - Nottingham, UK - Stealth
03.16.10 - Numbers, Glasgow - Sub Club
03.17.10 - Leeds, UK - The Wardrobe
03.18.10 - Brighton, UK - Pavillion Theatre
03.19.10 - Lille, France - Tri Postal
03.20.10 - Paris, France - Locomotive
03.21.10 - Nantes, France - Olympic
03.28.10 - Ljubljana, SI - Kino Siska
03.29.10 - Budapest, HU - A38
03.30.10 - Vienna, AU - Flex
03.31.10 - Brno, CZ - Fleda
04.01.10 - Berlin, DE - Berghain
04.02.10 - Copenhagen, DK - Concerthall
04.03.10 - Oslo, NO - Park Teatre
04.04.10 - Gothberg, SE - Nefertiti
04.05.10 - Aarhus, DK - Voxhall
04.06.10 - Hamburg, DE - Uebel & Gefährlich
04.07.10 - Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg
04.09.10 - Brussels, BE - AB (Domino Fest)
04.10.10 - London, UK - TBA

• Autechre: http://autechre.ws
• Warp: http://warp.net

Horse Feathers to Release Thistled Spring on Kill Rock Stars

Strap on your not-too-ironic indie/country belt buckle and hunker yourself down in your favorite old-time-listenin’ rocking chair. Why? Because one-time-Portland-folk-duo-now-turned-four-piece Horse Feathers will be releasing their second full-length for indie powerhouse Kill Rock Stars. Yep, on April 2o, the band will be droppin’ Thistled Spring, the follow-up to their 2008 album House With No Home.

From the looks of it, they’ll be bringing their slightly melancholy piece of rustic sound to SXSW, followed by an apparent US tour in March/April, but the full tour has not yet been revealed. Check their MySpace for confirmed dates.

• Horse Feathers: http://www.myspace.com/horsefeathersmusic
• Kill Rock Stars: http://www.killrockstars.com

Jack Rose’s Final LP, Luck In The Valley Finds Release With Memorial/Record Release Party Featuring Thurston Moore, D. Charles Speer, and More

On December 5, Jack Rose, the highly regarded acoustic guitar slinger and former Pelt member, passed away in his Philadelphia home. His legacy, however, will continue, as many musicians in the scene that Rose influenced will come together February 13 at the Latvian Society of Philadelphia (in Philadelphia) to pay tribute to and remember Rose. Performers for the night include D. Charles Speer & The Helix, Thurston Moore/Paul Flaherty/Chris Corsano, Michael Chapman, Pelt, The Black Twig Pickers, Glenn Jones, Byron Coley, Meg Baird/Chris Forsyth, Megajam Booze Band, DJ Ian Nagoski, and video clips curated by Tara Young.

The night will also double as a release party for Rose’s final full-length album, Luck In the Valley, which will find its official release February 23 on Thrill Jockey. Get your tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/4067

Luck In the Valley tracklisting:

01. Blues For Percy Danforth
02. Lick Mountain Ramble
03. Woodpiles On The Side Of The Road
04. When Tailgate Drops, The Bullshit Stops
05. Moon In The Gutter
06. Luck In The Valley
07. Saint Louis Blues (W.C. Handy)
08. Tree In The Valley
09. Everybody Ought To Pray Sometime (Crumpton, Summers)
10. West Coast Blues (Blind Blake)

• Jack Rose: http://www.myspace.com/jackrosekensington
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Wilco is an Awesome Live band + Wilco Offer Concert Downloads for Haiti Relief = Get Out Your Headphones and Wallets

Paying for music content in 2010?? Alas, that kind of logic seems questionable at best these days. I’ll pass, man. DONATING for music in 2010??? Now that’s a horse of a different color!

To help raise a bit more dough for ongoing Haiti relief efforts, Jeff Tweedy and his compatriots in Wilco have posted two complete live concert downloads on their official site in exchange for a requested donation to either Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders. The live sets include a stint from Brooklyn’s Keyspan Park last summer in which Feist and Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste joined the band for a number of songs, as well as their gig last fall at London’s HMV Forum. “In exchange for the free music,” the band writes, “we ask that you make a minimum donation of $15 to the [Emergency Relief Funds of] one of the organizations listed above if you are able.”

These are some awesome Wilco shows, ladies and gents. But then again, any show that features these two monster shredders is bound to rule.

“Radiohead of the Midwest,” you’ve done it again! Here are those donation locations one more time:

• Wilco: http://www.wilcoworld.net
• Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org/en/haitidonate
• Doctors Without Borders: http://doctorswithoutborders.org

  

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