Max Roach Dead at 83

"Art is a powerful weapon that society, or the powers that be, use to control or direct the way people think. Culture is used to perpetuate the status quo of a society. Even though I'm involved in music for the sake of entertainment, I always hope to offer some kind of enlightenment." - Max Roach

Max Roach, one of the most significant drummers of jazz and certainly one of my favorites, thought of jazz as a "democratic musical form" that comes from a "communal experience." Helping to 'un-define' the role of drummers as a mere "subservient figure," Roach opened music listeners to the idea that sound can be a force for social change. Shattering jazz hierarchies and exploring the subtle timbres and textural play that drumming afforded, Roach's brilliant career found him playing with everyone from Charles Mingus and Clifford Brown to free-jazzers Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton.

Blacklisted for a period in the '60s by club owners and record companies for his overt politics (heard on albums like We Insist!, It's Time, and Speak, Brother, Speak!), Max Roach was obviously never one to shy away from merging art and politics. His conception of music went beyond simply notes and rhythms -- it became a vehicle for his thoughts, his ideas. “My point is that we much decolonize our minds and re-name and re-define ourselves... In all respects, culturally, politically, socially, we must re-define ourselves and our lives, in our own terms.”

Of course, most of Roach's contributions to jazz were not overtly political, but with jazz becoming more and more a museum artifact and background music for White House banquets, I like to think that his overall contribution to jazz was more "enlightenment" than "entertainment."

TMT Makes Negativland A Shiny New Press Release Using Words From The Lengthy (Kinda Boring) Original; Everyone Learns An Important Lesson

Negativland, also known as the real brain of John Legend, announces a shit-stirring DVD release -- Our Favorite Things -- and a reissue of its brutally sticky 1983 Christian masterpiece, A Big 10-8 Place. ((subliminal)) It isn't just parody and satire -- it’s a consumer Gospel (complete with The 180 Gs’ doo-doo). The collective also intends to target “ten-thousand-million-billion” anti-corporate activists with gross advertising.

“Please, more unforgettable package...” - Wired

“Charming only to the hard European ((targets)) in of the trunk of their car.” – The New York Times

“Affecting like your high school science teacher’s Twisted Boy Cage... only lots more.” – RollingStone

Fans will be going Adbusters for sure.

Fiery Furnaces Across U.S. Deemed “Unsafe” by Officials

The U.S. Government has announced this week that it will be cracking down on what can only be described as a "volatile furnace epidemic" that seems to be sweeping the country.

Throughout the past several years, news of "fiery furnaces" have been reported on and off again, seemingly every couple of months, in many of America's most prominently publicly-trafficked businesses. The main offender? Rock clubs. Clubs all across the country have reported playing host, wittingly or otherwise, to at least two or more fiery furnaces at one time or another since at least 2002.

"I was positively shocked when learned that these dangerously fiery furnaces have been reported in public buildings for practically five years now," says one federal lawmaker. "I can't believe that a problem like this has taken this long to come to our attention. We’re usually very much on-top of these matters."

Officials say these caustically inclined containers may be keeping these buildings warm and seats packed in the cool fall months, but the safety risks are far too great.

While initial speculation suggested the obvious work of Terrorist Groups, more recent reports have indicated that the main supplier of these faulty, fiery furnaces is a local company from Brooklyn, New York called "Friedberger and Friedberger," a brother/sister corporation headed by owners/operators Mathew and Eleanor Friedberger. When contacted by this news organization, both Friedbergers refused to comment, stating only that they were eagerly looking forward to "packing their bags and hitting the road this fall"; a very suspicious response, indeed, according to local police.

Although largely shipped and distributed by a company called Rough Trade until this year, recent tracking records also indicate that the duplicitous duo has teamed up with Chicago-based underground distributor called "Thrill Jockey" for the release of a new, perhaps even hotter and more dangerous furnace product called the Widow City model, which is scheduled to be on the market in October 2007. Police and officials are urging the public, and rock club patrons in particular, to be on the lookout for these these faulty furnaces and to steer clear of these offending businesses at all costs.

In the mean time, Furnace Inspections of the following U.S. Businesses have already been scheduled on the following dates:

New Pornographers Tour, Those Attending With The Hopes Of Seeing Something Lewd & Lascivious May Leave Disappointed

Whether you hear it as more mature, stripped-down, and confident or you think it's too slow, Fleetwood Mac-ian, and an overall letdown, the latest LP from The New Pornographers, Challengers (Matador), is yet another attention-grabber from the band. Those without an opinion can form one and support their local records store (if big box bitches haven't eaten them all) next Tuesday, when the record (on CD & vinyl) will be available in stores. Lovers of good power pop or purchasers of this will definitely want to check out the NPs on the Late Show With David Letterman, August 20. If perhaps you somehow got the album free, you can still support the band by seeing them at one of their seven zillion (edit: 39) North American tourdates on the "New Pornographers Challengers 2007 Tour."

The tour itself actually has two separate legs. The first starts on September 13, in Victoria, British Columbia (yes, Canada) and goes for two weeks, wrapping up September 28 in Vancouver, British Columbia (yes, they leave Canada at some point). Matador mates Lavender Diamond will be warming up the crowd at all these shows, save for the first one. Fancy, Immaculate Machine (both NP side projects) and/or The Awkward Stage will also be present during portions of this leg. After a two-week respite, the band strikes up the, uh, band, again October 11 for the second leg of NPC2007T. The full-time opener for this portion is Emma Pollock, formerly of The Delgados, who is set to release her first solo LP, Watch The Fireworks, on 4AD September 11 in the U.S. Others involved in this second leg are the mighty (popular) Spoon, Immaculate Machine, and Benjy Ferree.

Tourdates:

Mr P Looked Me Straight in the Eyes and Said Every TMTer Is Required to Write About Arcade Fire at Least Once. I Took My Clothes and Ran to Find Out Why Arcade Fire Added More Fall U.S. Tourdates.

Did you know that The Arcade Fire released their album Neon Bible (TMT Review) earlier this year? Of course you know, because everywhere I go it's Arcade Fire this and Arcade Fire that. Frankly, I'm sick of all this Arcade Fire news. In fact, I've spent the first half of this year purposely avoiding writing any and all Arcade Fire news stories. There has been rainy Monday nights where Mr P has had to call me up and beg for me to write some fresh Arcade Fire news. But no, I would say; I refuse to write about The Arcade Fire.

So, how did I go from rebellious, anti-Arcade Fire-news-writing teen to
writing-unnecessary-Arcade Fire-news conformist monkey?

Mr P gave me a raise, if you know what I mean.

Tourdates (with LCD Soundsystem and supposedly the end of U.S. tour):

Note: The name Arcade Fire was mentioned only 12 times in this article, which does not meet the minimum quota of 22 shout-outs.

Special Limited-Time Offer! See Angels of Light Live and We’ll Throw in Boredoms For Half the Price!

[RING... RING...]

eYe: Hello?

Gira: 'Sup dude!! It's Michael Gira, former Swans member and current Angels of Light dude. I run Young God, etc.

eYe: Sigh... I know who you are, Michael; you called yesterday.

Gira: Hahah, oh yeah... weird.

eYe: So, what is it that you want today?

Gira: Oh, uh, nothing. Just kinda relaxing, doing laundry -- that sort of thing... A friend called earlier, so we made plans to go to SUBWAY® later. I've never had their toasted Meatball Marinara yet, and I go practically every other day! Haha! What are you up to, dude?

eYe: Sigh... Look Michael, you know I respect you and everyone loves your music -- I can't wait for the August 21 release of We Are Him -- but you can't just keep--

Gira: HahahahAHAHAHHA!!!

eYe: Uh, Michael?

Gira: ...Hahahah!! Oh shit, man!! FUCKING INSANE!!

eYe: WHAT IS IT MICHAEL!?!?

Gira: Dude, turn to channel 4!! You won't fucking believe this!!

eYe: Okay, uh... what am I looking at here?

Gira: Dude, look at that dog go!! He keeps chasing his own tail, around and around -- hahahah!! Fucked up, man!

eYe: MICHAEL!! HONESTLY!! This is getting weird! You can't keep calling here every night, reintroducing yourself as the "former Swans member and current Angels of Light dude."

Gira: ...

eYe: Look, I'm sorry. I've tried to be nice about this, but this is just getting out of hand man.

Gira: Well -- sniff sniff -- don't you want to know why I called?

eYe: Sigh... Yes, Michael. I would love to know why you called.

Gira: Dude, I BOOKED US A TOUR!!

eYe: ...

Gira: Dude?

eYe: Michael, why the FUCK did you do that?

Gira: I don't know... thought it'd be cool -- plus, I was itching to get out of the States. What's the problem, dude?

eYe: Well, MICHAEL FUCKING GIRA, I told you YESTERDAY that we can't fucking play any shows right now because of all the family obligations we have, and you promised me that you would fucking talk to me first before doing--

Gira: Dude, sorry sorry sorry! Jeez... I know you told me about the family obligations, but seriously, this'll be a fucking blast. And I promise that HAHHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAH!!!

eYe: Fucking A Michael! What the fuck is going on?

Gira: Are you watching this!? Hahahah! That dog sounds like it's actually saying "I LOVE YOU!" "AIII!! WUFF!! YOOO!!!!"

Angels of Light tourdates:
10.21.07 - Coventry, UK - Taylor John's House
10.22.07 - Manchester, UK - Academy $
10.23.07 - Glasgow, UK - Arches $
10.24.07 - Aberdeen, UK - The Lemon Tree $
10.26.07 - London, UK - Shoreditch Town Hall # $
10.27.07 - London, UK - Monto Water Rats

$ Boredoms
# The Wire/Electra Festival