Massive Infection: 20 Cities to Contract Menomena

Alert the Hazmat Teams, alert the mayors, alert FEMA (hah), alert your grandma, and alert Homeland Security, because 20 cities across the U.S. and one in Canada will receive Menomena via a misleading tour van. The infection will spread between May 11 and July 22, leaving poor old Troutdale, OR in the wake of its destructive path. I called my local disease control office about Menomena, and here are some tips I received from them:

- If gig posters start showing up for a band named Menomena, take charge and inform the proper authorities.

- If you hear hipsters on the streets talking about Menomena's new album, which came out this year on Barsuk Records, stop them, pretend to be a tourist, and snap pictures of them. Send them to Homeland Security and they will be able to take proper action against the deviants.

- If you see white earphones on someone who looks like one of the hipsters above, stop them and ask them if you can look at the screen on their iPod. If anywhere it says "Menomena," then you should immediately confiscate their MP3 gadget and deliver it to the nearest law-enforcement office. Recommend the person from whom you to took the iPod to get themselves to a hospital as soon as possible. Do not listen to the music. We repeat; do not listen to the music.

- Do not follow a crowd of people into a booby-trapped Menomena concert. You may hear faint noises from outside of the venue that will speak to your ears with eclectic pop rock with electronic flavoring, but do not enter. What you are hearing is designed by the disease to draw you in so it may claim your brain. After the show, you may also see people walking out with t-shirts that say 'Menomena'; do not fall for this; these people are zombies now.

After giving me these helpful tips and forcing me to consent verbally that I wouldn't attend a Menomena concert, they decided to share with me the dates of a so-called "tour":

Dry-Raping 14-Year Olds Still Not Cool With Verizon, Even If Your Name Is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam (Akon Wants To Fuck You, You Already Know)

Mr. “Lonely” is in Trouble and has been Konvicted for “Smack[ing] That” “Pot Of Gold.” See, he tried to “Shake Down” a “Ghetto” “Belly Dancer,” hoping that it “Don’t Matter” that she was a “Nubile 14-Year Old Girl Whose Father Is A Pastor.”

Since you're at TMT, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you probably didn't know that the last paragraph was cleverly woven together from song and album titles of contemporary “R&B” “artist” Akon. He's that robotic Kofi-Annan-with-Auto-Tune voice droning over the hook of the terrible rap song you heard the last time you walked past a Foot Locker.

Last month, during a concert in Trinidad, Akon held a “fake” dance competition onstage, which was really only fake if you don’t consider “being humped all over the stage by Akon” to be a prize. The controversial part is, the girl to whom the aforementioned prize was awarded turned out to be 14 years old. To be fair, she had snuck past the club’s 18+ age requirement, and a quick DIY YouTube search for “Akon” will reveal exactly what you are in for if you attend an Akon concert (you are going to be humped by Akon).

Verizon has officially dropped all support of Akon and will no longer sponsor Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escapes tour, on which Akon was to be the opening act. In addition, Verizon will no longer offer Akon V CAST videos or ringtones, choosing to limit their selection to wholesome artists like R Kelly.

Dry-Raping 14-Year Olds Still Not Cool With Verizon, Even If Your Name Is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam (Akon Wants To Fuck You, You Already Know)

Mr. “Lonely” is in Trouble and has been Konvicted for “Smack[ing] That” “Pot Of Gold.” See, he tried to “Shake Down” a “Ghetto” “Belly Dancer,” hoping that it “Don’t Matter” that she was a “Nubile 14-Year Old Girl Whose Father Is A Pastor.”

Since you're at TMT, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you probably didn't know that the last paragraph was cleverly woven together from song and album titles of contemporary “R&B” “artist” Akon. He's that robotic Kofi-Annan-with-Auto-Tune voice droning over the hook of the terrible rap song you heard the last time you walked past a Foot Locker.

Last month, during a concert in Trinidad, Akon held a “fake” dance competition onstage, which was really only fake if you don’t consider “being humped all over the stage by Akon” to be a prize. The controversial part is, the girl to whom the aforementioned prize was awarded turned out to be 14 years old. To be fair, she had snuck past the club’s 18+ age requirement, and a quick DIY YouTube search for “Akon” will reveal exactly what you are in for if you attend an Akon concert (you are going to be humped by Akon).

Verizon has officially dropped all support of Akon and will no longer sponsor Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escapes tour, on which Akon was to be the opening act. In addition, Verizon will no longer offer Akon V CAST videos or ringtones, choosing to limit their selection to wholesome artists like R Kelly.

Barenaked Ladies Benefit Show Disrupted By Wandering Drunk Who Misinterpreted The Concert Bill But Decided To Giver ‘Er a Tug Anyway

Steve Page of The Barenaked Ladies claims that barenaked ladies are his favorite people to look at. Years after starting the band, Page claimed the only reason he named the band The Barenaked Ladies was so he could look at barenaked ladies all day, and no one would think he had a problem with looking at too many barenaked ladies. His plan worked flawlessly... until today.

Under the moniker of Captain Banarama, Steve Page has declared the archaic music-pricing model useless. You know, that style of music pricing the old farts at the RIAA like to champion. You know, sales based on some kind of tangible product instead of an all-encompassing license-based distribution model where you pay a flat rate every month to download what you want, completely unencumbered. It sounds like a pretty swell deal to me, this whole flat-rate monthly deal, and Steve Page of The Barenaked Ladies, who also happens to enjoy looking at barenaked ladies, agrees. In fact, you could claim the idea came from him, because he was talking about it a week or so ago, and Ars Technica was writing what he was saying down, and they wrote it out again, but neater, on their website (of sorts), and then I read it and disregarded it and came up with a cooler story with robots and ninjas that I'm not letting you read. Instead, you get to read this, which I've decided to write while taking a dump.

Crazy how the big news world happens, eh? I always thought it would be a little more glamorous, you know... working in a office with a water cooler, and a cute little blond down in accounting that won't even give me the time of day.

Will Kweli Be Makin’ The People Be Takin’ Impatient Vacation From Rap Masturbation?

When I introduce people unfamiliar with Talib Kweli to his early albums, Train Of Thought and Quality, they all typically react with the same bewilderment. “Who is this guy?” they demand to know. “Why isn’t he, like, really popular? Isn’t he much better at rapping than every popular rapper?” These are questions that we all must ask ourselves. Do we really want to live in a world where Young Jeezy outsells Talib Kweli?

Kweli’s latest LP, Ear Drum, is set to finally drop on July 24. It will be the first release from his new label, Blacksmith Music, which he named during a recent visit to Colonial Williamsburg. As for the name of the album, Kweli says it derives from “the image of the ear and of the drum, which are powerful enough by themselves, but put them together and it's an instrument in your body that helps you hear.” With symbolism like that in the title, one can only speculate as to what kind of vague metaphors the lyrics will feature!

The album will feature work from a slew of producers, including DJ Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, and Madlib. It will also include tracks produced by Kanye West (let’s just hope Kweli didn’t give him a mic) and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas (let’s also hope Kweli didn’t give him directions to the studio). In addition, the album will feature guest spots from UGK, Norah Jones, and Jean Grae (no joke here, sorry).

Hopefully, the album will showcase Kweli’s talents, rather than focusing on the collaborators. I mean, if I wanted to hear a song by Kanye West, I’d just buy the latest Common album. In my opinion, Kweli was his strongest when he kept it the simplest (on Train Of Thought and most of Quality). He came close to recapturing this old-school MC-and-DJ feel on Liberation, his 2006 collaboration with Madlib that featured lo-fi beats sampled from soul 45s. But Kweli has warned fans on his MySpace page, “do not use [Liberation] to speculate what Ear Drum will sound like. It is a different project with different influences.”

“They say I’m back, but I ain’t go nowhere though. Been here the whole time. Where you been? You back. Matter of fact, apologize.” So says Kweli between verses on the new track, “Say Something,” sounding a bit like a negligent father accused of accidentally leaving his child at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway. Maybe the “child” is the future of hip-hop, and Kweli’s insecurities about abandoning his roots are showing through? No? Well, it makes more sense than an instrument you can hear with that’s inside your body, doesn't it?

You can listen to “Say Something” here (streaming):

- Quicktime
- Real Audio
- Windows Media

The single “Listen” is available for purchase from the iTunes Music Store, but you can stream it from Blacksmith’s website, along with a handful of other songs from the label.

They Think My Penis is a Mr. Bungle; I Think It’s a Secret Chiefs 3

My friends and I have been playing a new game, a time-waster, really. It combines two of our greatest passions — our genitals and the music we like. The game consists of ascribing a band name to one's genitalia. Granted, band names tend to be more conductive to the male genitalia, but I see no reason why the ladies can't play. It bears out, however; when we play it's just guys.

I suppose you can adopt your own rules, but the chosen band is best when it is significant to the player in question. Ben prefers to call his penis Big Black. That's a good (though probably racist or something) one, but we might counter that by calling his dick Dead Kennedys. It's hard to say if Ben won — it's not really a game you can win, so it's a lot like the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick. That is to say, you win by not playing. Okay, so it's a game of one-upmanship or "playing the dozens" or whatever you want to call it.

Phil chooses The Kinks for himself. We think he's more of a Neil Young. Elliot chooses Wooden Wand and we give him Calvin Johnson instead. As you can see, a shit-ton of band names work.

That brings the game to me. By the time I've struggled to come up with nothing, the group has already come to a consensus. I'm Mr. Bungle. This is particularly damning. I was a fan of Mr. Bungle, but now, I mean, times have changed, right? They've got me cornered, and the name sticks — for days.

As time passes I come up with a list of better alternatives: Cock E.S.P., Captain Beefheart, hell, even Melt-Banana or Tortoise would be better than Mr. Bungle. But I can't shake it. I'm Mr. Bungle.

And then it hits me: Secret Chiefs 3!

The name conveys an amount of mystique, not to mention the nuts and bolts of the cock-and-balls trio. Likewise, Secret Chiefs 3 borrow a handful of members from the ill-fated Mr. Bungle, making them that much more relevant to this time in history. Besides, the perpetually elusive and absent Secret Chiefs 3 are back in a big way.

You see, just released is a retrospective and rarities CD Path of Most Resistance, available from their label Web of Mimicry, and there's more: Splinter groups have formed from the Chiefs to release four limited-edition 7-inches. The first is a split between Electromagnetic Azoth and UR titled The Left Hand of Nothingness / Personnae: Halloween, the second a split between Ishraqiyun and Electromagnetic Azoth titled Balance of the 19 / UBIK, the third by UR titled Kulturvultur / Drive, and the fourth also by UR titled Circumambulation / Labyrinth of Light. The four 7-inches are limited to 1000 copies each, and rumor has it about 600 copies of each have already sold. Also, Secret Chiefs 3 have a release titled Book of Souls, Folio One slated for a near-to-distant future release.

Lastly, SC3 are touring:
05.12.07 – Melbourne, AUS – East Brunswick Club
05.13.07 – Melbourne, AUS – Corner Hotel
05.15.07 – Sydney, AUS – The Factory
05.16.07 – Sydney, AUS – The Factory
05.17.07 – Newcastle, AUS – Cambridge Tavern
05.18.07 – Bangalow, AUS – A & I Hall
05.19.07 – Gold Coast, AUS – Coolangatt Hotel
05.20.07 – Brisbane, AUS – The Zoo
05.26.07 – Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
05.28.07 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
05.29.07 – Seattle, WA – Neumo's
05.30.07 – Bellingham, WA – The Nightlight
05.31.07 – Vancouver, BC – The Plaza
06.01.07 – Eugene, OR – W.O.W. Hall
06.03.07 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall