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.”

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!).

At a certain age you begin to ask yourself questions: "Will I ever find the love of my life?" "What am I going to do when I retire?" "Could I get away with murdering Bono if I was really, really careful?" Some questions are better left unanswered. And some ponder while others pound on with the task of living and following their creative muses down previously unexplored paths. Aria Jalali is quickly garnering kudos on the West Coast where he produces messy shitgaze noise music as railcars, and he will release his second EP TODAY!

Already available as a digital download through Gold Robot, Stumparumper hard-releases Cathedral with No Eyes today. To celebrate the new record, Jalali is offering the first Jamie Stewart-produced railcars EP, Cities Vs. Submarines, as a free download available by clicking right here. Never one to play uninteresting, Railcars' Cathedral with No Eyes is a song cycle about the 9th-century King of East Anglia, Edmund the Martyr. The six-track EP details "his life and succession to the throne as a young boy, his conquests, his suffering at the hands of vikings and death by their arrows." So, in other words, it's a lot like "Baby Got Back."

1. Life of Saint Edmund (Ponds)
2. Castles
3. Passion of Saint Edmund (Rebirth)
4. Passion of Saint Edmund (Miracles)
5. Cathedral with No Eyes
6. Martyrdom of Saint Edmund (End)

Here are the latest railcars tourdates, including some already announced 2010 ones. Backing Jalali on the current tour is Sam Farzin. Grab your hobo bindle stick and hop along the trolley line!
10.13.09 - Tulsa, OK - Soundpony
10.13.09 - Tulsa, OK - house show at 2251 East 10th St

10.14.09 - Dallas, TX - Good Records
10.14.09 - Denton, TX - Majestic Dwelling of Doom $
10.15.09 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk #
10.16.09 - Fayetteville, AR - Ameroplace
10.17.09 - Little Rock, AR - Rad Haus
10.18.09 - Nashville, TN - Little Hamilton's
10.19.09 - Athens, GA - Go Bar
10.20.09 - Greensboro, NC - Maya Gallery
10.21.09 - Richmond, VA - The Triple
10.22.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium %
10.25.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Danger Danger Gallery
10.26.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Market Hotel
10.28.09 - Boston, MA - TBA
10.31.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Death by Audio
11.01.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Monkeytown
11.02.09 - Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class
11.05.09 - Toronto, ON - Garrison
11.06.09 - Chicago, IL - Weirder Park
11.07.09 - Minot, ND - Pangea House
11.08.09 - Missoula, MT - The Laboratory
11.10.09 - Vancouver, BC - The Shed
11.11.09 - Victoria, BC - Logan's
11.12.09 - Seattle, WA - Baserment ^
11.13.09 - Olympia, WA - Le Voyeur *
11.14.09 - Portland, OR - The Artistery
11.17.09 - Santa Rosa, CA - North Bay Film and Art Collective
11.18.09 - Sacramento, CA - Fungarden +
11.19.09 - San Francisco, CA - Thee Parkside
11.20.09 - Oakland, CA - Flux 53 Gallery
11.23.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Synchronicity Space
11.24.09 - Irvine, CA - Acrobatics Everyday ~
01.05.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
01.14.10 - Berlin, Germany - Magnet Club
01.15.10 - Wroclaw, Poland - CRK
01.16.10 - Kracow, Poland - Kawiarnia Naukowa
01.17.10 - Prague, Czech Republic - Strahov 007
01.18.10 - Budapest, Hungary - Dürer-kert
01.19.10 - Vienna, Austria - Rhiz
01.20.10 - Maribor, Slovenia - Pekarna
01.21.10 - Koper, Slovenia - MKSC
01.27.10 - Dijon, France - Deep Inside
01.28.10 - Metz, France - Emile Vache
01.30.10 - London, England - TBA
01.31.10 - Bristol, England - Start the Bus
02.01.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - 13th Note
02.02.10 - York, England - TBA
02.03.10 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
02.05.10 - Utrecht, Netherlands - dB's
02.07.10 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - TAC
02.08.10 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Kohi
02.09.10 - Freiburg, Germany - KTS
02.10.10 - Munich, Germany - Kafe Kult
02.12.10 - Frankfurt, Germany - Ivi
02.13.10 - Ansbach, Germany - 13eins
02.15.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang
02.16.10 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Lades
02.20.10 - Malmö, Sweden - Debaser

$ Fur

# Arrington de Dionyso

% Javelin, Holiday Shores

^ Alaskas

* Batrider

+ Pregnant, Megazord

~ Little Teeth

The Fiery Furnaces Plan Zany Fall Tour in Which They Will Send Instructional DVDs, Sheet Music, and Customizable Set Lists to Mailing List Fans So That They Can Construct the Shows in Their Own Homes! (Okay, Not Really… But Doesn’t That Sound Oddly Plausible?)

Can you believe that Thrill Jockey hasn’t signed your band yet? Well, it’s probably no offense to you or your music. It’s probably because The Fiery Furnaces have that label hypnotized into spending like 94% of its budget putting out, supporting, or otherwise underwriting their never-ending spew of loopy-ass, cockamamie Dada-pop projects every Brooklyn-via-Chicago minute!

See, after finishing up their eighth fucking record in like six years this summer, the comparatively tossed-off sounding I'm Going Away (TMT Review), the duo set about, you know, creating their own individual (that’s two separate) cover versions of that very record. Those are due digitally some time in October. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the forthcoming "silent record" that they’re also “working on” for this fall, which they plan on releasing as sheet music only. They’ve also sponsored video contests, lyric writing contests, and who knows what other sorts of contests, largely in the name of that whole “democratically written” record that they’re also promising us.

And as if all that isn’t enough for you, they’re also hitting the road this November for a North American tour, during which they’ll most likely confound your expectations a little bit more by mangling your favorite Furnaces classics right in front of you with the sort of dramatic irony akin to you watching your cute-but-heedless little cousins throwing their own coveted toys into the microwave “just to see what’s gonna happen.”

So yeah, my guess is their label’s got its hands pretty full these days. Keeping Les Enfants Terribles satisfied at all times is probably a pretty full-time gig. If I were you, I’d probably give Drag City a call instead.

Fiery Furnaces Fall Tour:
11.04.09 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
11.05.09 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
11.06.09 - Troy, NY - Revolution Hall
11.07.09 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo Club
11.08.09 - London, ON - Call The Office
11.10.09 - Toledo, OH - Frankie's Inner City
11.11.09 - Ferndale, MI - The Magic Bag
11.12.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
11.13.09 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
11.14.09 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
11.17.09 - Vancouver, BC - The Red Room
11.18.09 - Seattle, WA Chop - Suey
11.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
11.21.09 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater
11.24.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
12.11.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
12.12.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

RIP: Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer

From Blabbermouth:

Dickie Peterson, the bassist/vocalist and founding member of BLUE CHEER, passed away this morning (Monday, October 12) at 5 a.m. in Germany. He was [63] years old.

Although the cause of Peterson's death has not been released, he had reportedly been battling cancer for the past several months.

BLUE CHEER was an American blues-rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and has been sporadically active since. Based in San Francisco, BLUE CHEER played in a psychedelic blues-rock style, and was also credited for pioneering heavy metal (their cover of "Summertime Blues" is sometimes cited as the first in the genre), punk rock, stoner rock, doom metal and grunge.

Throughout his life, Peterson's relationship to music has been all-consuming. He was quoted as saying, "I've been married twice, I've had numerous girlfriends, and they'll all tell you that if I'm not playing music I am an animal to live with. . . Music is a place where I get to deal with a lot of my emotion and displaced energy. I always only wanted to play music, and that's all I still want to do."

- Blue Cheer official website
- Blue Cheer Wikipedia entry

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