Matt Groening to Curate ATP Festival Again, Still Looks Like One of Those Weird Old Guys You See at Shows

Matt Groening might be one of popular culture’s oddest tastemakers. The 55-year-old creator of The Simpsons devotes screen time to fart jokes and Michael Chabon, crusty billionaires and Sonic Youth. So it comes as no surprise that Groening has added the curator tag to his long list of accomplishments. Back in 2003, he put together the ATP/Pacific bill, which featured Built to Spill, Daniel Johnston, and Cat Power, among a slew of others, jamming out in Los Angeles. Clearly the guy has some taste.

Well, next year’s UK edition of the ATP festival – which has already slated Pavement to curate one weekend – has brought back Groening for more curating fun. He’ll choose the bands for the festival’s first weekend, which takes place May 7-9, 2010, at Butlins in Minehead, UK. No lineup has been announced yet, but based on Groening’s history of taste-making, you’ll want to snatch up tickets when they go on sale October 16.

Keep your eyes locked on the ATP website for lineup announcements. And if the concert blows – which I highly doubt – the concert location features a wave pool, fencing, and something known as “crazy golf.”

Matt Groening to Curate ATP Festival Again, Still Looks Like One of Those Weird Old Guys You See at Shows

Matt Groening might be one of popular culture’s oddest tastemakers. The 55-year-old creator of The Simpsons devotes screen time to fart jokes and Michael Chabon, crusty billionaires and Sonic Youth. So it comes as no surprise that Groening has added the curator tag to his long list of accomplishments. Back in 2003, he put together the ATP/Pacific bill, which featured Built to Spill, Daniel Johnston, and Cat Power, among a slew of others, jamming out in Los Angeles. Clearly the guy has some taste.

Well, next year’s UK edition of the ATP festival – which has already slated Pavement to curate one weekend – has brought back Groening for more curating fun. He’ll choose the bands for the festival’s first weekend, which takes place May 7-9, 2010, at Butlins in Minehead, UK. No lineup has been announced yet, but based on Groening’s history of taste-making, you’ll want to snatch up tickets when they go on sale October 16.

Keep your eyes locked on the ATP website for lineup announcements. And if the concert blows – which I highly doubt – the concert location features a wave pool, fencing, and something known as “crazy golf.”

RIP: Brendan Mullen, founder of punk rock club Masque

From the LA Times:

Brendan Mullen, founder of the Masque punk rock club in Hollywood that helped launch the vibrantly anarchic music scene on the West Coast in the late 1970s, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend. He was 60.

Mullen died at Ventura County Medical Center, said his companion of 16 years, Kateri Butler. The couple had been traveling through Santa Barbara and Ventura celebrating his 60th birthday, which was Friday.

"The doctors are completely perplexed," Butler said. "They can't figure out why he had a stroke -- he had none of the indicators, his cholesterol was perfect. One of the neurologists summed it up best when he said, ‘Sometimes, your number is just up.’"

- Brendan Mullen Wikipedia entry
- The Masque Wikipedia entry

Pavement Start Reunion Tour in New Zelaland and Australia, No New Songs Expected

Pavement's purported one-off reunion tour has just gotten a little chunkier. After having announced four Summerstage dates in New York (TMT News) and the curating of ATP Weekend 2 (TMT News), Pavement have now revealed the actual start of their tour to be in New Zealand and Australia. How not exciting for everyone in the U.S.! Though, I suppose they have to road-test their reunion show somewhere -- and since New Zealand and Australia are not important culturally or politically, I'd call it a wise move. (I'm just kidding. I was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when I was 2.)

In even more not exciting news, non-Stephen Malkmus member Bob Nastanovich told The Quietus that the band is not expected to perform any new material. Darn. But do expect them to perform "Cut Your Hair" with a few more wrinkles, a.k.a. the way it was meant to be performed

03.01.10 - Auckland, New Zealand - Auckland Town Hall
03.04.10 - Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre
03.06.10 - Victoria, Australia - Golden Plains
03.07.10 - Adelaide, Australia - Thebarton Theatre
03.08.10 - Perth, Australia - Metro City
03.10.10 - Brisbane, Australia - The Tivoli
03.12.10 - Melbourne, Australia - The Palace
05.14.10 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties
05.15.10 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties
05.16.10 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties
09.21.10 - New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage
09.22.10 - New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage
09.23.10 - New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage
09.24.10 - New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage

The Flaming Lips to Open a Pop-Up Store for One Day Only, Play Small Secret Show

Isn’t it funny to watch Warner Bros. Records flail around to try and promote oddball acts like The Flaming Lips these days in the hopes that they’ll somehow sell 10,000,000 records? Case in point, to coincide with this week’s release of The Flaming Lips’ freaky new abandoned-moonbase-under-water-sounding double-LP Embryonic (TMT Review), Warner will be doing their best hungry, DIY label imitation by opening a pop-up store this Thursday, October 15. The one-day-only store, located at the NIKE/Ricardo Montalban Theater at 1615 Vine St. in Los Angeles, will feature all kinds of exotic and special-edition Lips gear, including CDs, vinyl, the Embryonic "Furry Package" (which features a bonus DVD and fur box), and goodness knows what else. Though I guess if there’s any place where it makes sense to sell “furry packages” on the street, L.A. would be the place.

And once they get over the weird suspicion that they must be on drugs, (sure, you might be tripping, but that store over there is as real as... well, as real as Empiricism will allow, at least. Why not stop licking that lamppost over there and mosey over to browse some limited-edition Lips gear?) visitors to the surreptitious store will also have a chance to win tickets to see The Flaming Lips at one of them there MySpace secret show things where a big old band plays a secret show at a small, undisclosed venue (not-so-subtle hint: it's at the Ricardo Montalban Theater, which holds 1,200 people). Tickets for this show are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis as soon as the store opens. Remember MySpace?? Hop to it, Californians!

For the rest of us, Embryonic is out today, and the band will be making a special musical appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien tonight to promote the freak-flag-flying record... because THIS ALBUM’S GOING PLATINUM, DAMNIT.

U.S. and U.K. Likely to Impose Conditions on Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger

There’s nothing quite like a bit of monopoly-bashing! Hot on the heels of the U.K.’s Competition Commission making a preliminary ruling against the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, it is now likely that U.S. regulators will coordinate with the British authorities to impose conditions on the deal. This could mean “Ticketmaster and Live Nation will be forced to sell off assets, or forced to sell some concert tickets through a competitor.”

Regulators (and especially Bruce Springsteen) are concerned that the merger of Ticketmaster (the largest seller of tickets to entertainment venues in the U.S.) and Live Nation (the world’s largest concert promoter) would create a behemoth that “could control every part of a live concert, from artist management and promotion to venue management, merchandise sales, and ticket sales and resales,” in the words of Ken Solky, President of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. The two companies, however, maintain that the deal is necessary to “strengthen a flagging music industry.”

Lawyers, sensing an excellent opportunity to make millions of dollars, suggest that both Ticketmaster and Live Nation went into this agreement knowing they would have to make some compromises. Mark Ostrau, an antitrust lawyer with Mountain View-based Fenwick & West LLP, said “I think the writing is on the wall that the deal is not going to happen without some fix," while Kevin Arquit, another antitrust lawyer, argued “The fact that the U.K. regulators acted puts the U.S. more on the spot.” The deal has also provoked consternation in Congress with 50 House members wanting Justice officials to take some kind of action.

“Live Nation shares fell nearly 6 percent Thursday, while Ticketmaster shares fell more than 4 percent,” (waaaaghhh!).