McDonald’s Trials New Media Concept; McRib Cries and McDiarrhea Ensues

It is always like McDonald's to do some hardcore experimenting. I recall the excitement when the first ever "McDiner" opened in our small town of Kokomo, Indiana. Everywhere one would go, they would hear immense gossip like, "Are they really going to have diner food at McDonald's?" You bet your silly ass they did. They had some of the best mashed potatoes I had ever tasted. And you haven't lived my friend until you have had a McSteak or a McLobster. Yeah, we were all putting on the ritz and having the time of our lives until the inevitable occurred. The experiment failed, and all stupid ideas must come to an end eventually.

This brings me to McDonald's current experiment in Schaumburg, Illinois, at its Woodfield Mall location where an in-store media concept is being trialed. Thanks to Akoo, the experiment will allow any poor sap to play his/her music of choice in a designated area of the restaurant using a mobile phone, laptop, WiFi-enabled device, or telepathy. Someone who gets paid way too much to come up with these things is dubbing the concept, m-Venue. The catch is that the customer will be lucky enough to skim through a "vast" selection of on-demand music and video content offered from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and others with the grand opportunity to "pay to play."

Of course, the concept is meant to be like a jukebox of the future. But let's face the fact that some douche will ruin this. And I'm not implying that the concept isn't already a shit-in-the-pants waiting to happen, but maybe it could have been "neato." This further brings me back to my glory hole days — um, glory days — when I went to a little Italian establishment with one lone jukebox. I felt the Holy Ghost spring through my entire body once I noticed the jukebox sign, "$20 for 100 plays." I thought that it had to be some sort of mistake, but it was as if God lowered his hairy right hand from the heavens to hand me a $20 bill and whisper into my ear, Go ahead, Greg. Play "Skat Man" 100 times! And so "Skat Man" became the anthem of the night until the place got robbed later that evening. One lady got shot in the arm. I shit you not. She messed up my order though.

My point, if there is a point to all of this, is that someone will easily play "Sweet Home Alabama" a dozen times and hog the technology just as Fonzie did. John O'Keefe, owner and Mayor McCheese of Shaumburg, claims that since the opening of m-Venue the restaurant's sales have risen 17% compared to sales from last year. So does this mean that e-Venue is a success? With ten multimedia flat-panel screens, one may infer this concept to drive novelty appeal until people stop caring, and then the realization of wasted money occurs. I'm not trying to be biased here. I am just speaking from experience. Another crazy concept would be to have live music at McDonald's. But who would really want to listen to other peoples' crap? I'm just going to stay happy with my Café McDonald's that has a piano that plays by itself. I fucking love that piano.

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The Album Leaf Tour After New Album Veers Violently Into Hip-Hop-Style Collabs

So, the Album Leaf are apparently a band from whom we can expect pretty much the same thing on every album, right? Well, apparently not. Word has it that their new release, Into the Blue Again — simultaneously a reference to Talking Heads' classic "Once in a Lifetime" and an admission of a failure to innovate — is in fact their most daring piece of work yet.

With instrumental duties on the album turned over almost exclusively to the band's only real member, James Lavelle, the sounds found on their new slice of shellac are unlike anything we've come to expect. Gone are the soft keyboard tones and rock-solid drum loops found on the Sigur Ros-aided In a Safe Place. In come collaborations with Richard Ashcroft, Mike D, Badly Drawn Boy, and Thom Yorke, amongst others. The album flits from song-to-song, in a schizophrenic but increasingly measured way, culminating in the moody "Bunny in Your Flashers," featuring one of Yorke's most affecting vocals. It certainly puts The Eraser in its place.

The Album Leaf will be falling all over the place this autumn:

10.05.06 – San Diego, CA – Museum of Contemporary Art
10.08.06 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
10.18.06 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
10.20.06 – Austin, TX – Parish
10.21.06 – Houston, TX – Proletariat
10.22.06 – Denton, TX – Hailey’s
10.23.06 – Baton Rouge, LA – Chelsea’s
10.24.06 – Birmingham, AL – BottleTree
10.25.06 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder (FSU)
10.26.06 – W. Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street
10.27.06 – Orlando, FL – Social
10.28.06 – Tampa, FL – Orpheum
10.29.06 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
10.30.06 – Charlotte, NC – The Neighborhood Theater
11.01.06 – Philadelphia, PA – Jonny Brenda’s
11.02.06 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom (CMJ)
11.03.06 – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
11.06.06 – Brooklyn, NY – North Six
11.07.06 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs
11.08.06 – Montreal, PQ – Main Hall
11.09.06 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
11.10.06 – Buffalo, NY – Big Orbit’s Soundlab
11.11.06 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig
11.12.06 – Chicago, IL – Lakeshore Theater
11.13.06 – Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
11.16.06 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
11.17.06 – Vancouver, BC – Plaza Club
11.18.06 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11.19.06 – Euguene, OR – W.O.W. Hall
11.21.06 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent

Hot Chip Tour; Jock Bands Get Ready To Shout NEEEERRRRRRDS From The Back Of The Room

Seriously, you guys in the USA have it easy. Your disco artists know how to look the part. Check out James Murphy. Motherfucker's like 60 or something, but he still manages to rock the blazer and t-shirt look like it's 2003. You'd see him from across a bar, and you'd think, Hey, check out grandaddy over there, but then you'd realize how perfectly his hair is tousled... how he's not shaved for exactly the right number of days... and just how deep his eyes go... and how you totally didn't expect his thighs to be that smooth, and how it all feels so wrong but it's just so right, and, and...

Damn, I'm sure I had a point somewhere.

Oh, shit, yeah! Hot Chip! Tour! Series of tired jokes about how their nerdy appearance compares to James Murphy! Here's the dates!

11.01.06 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar ! %
11.02.06 - New York, NY - Webster Hall $ !
11.03.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Webster Hall ^
11.04.06 - Boston MA - Paradise % !
11.05.06 - Montreal, PQ - La Sala Rossa %
11.06.06 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club % !
11.07.06 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop ! %
11.08.06 - Columbus, OH - Wexler Center @
11.10.06 - Chicago, IL - Metro % !
11.10.06 - Chicago, IL - Smart Bar (DJ set)
11.11.06 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue * %
11.14.06 - Seattle, WA - Neumos % !
11.15.06 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge ! %
11.17.06 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine % !
11.18.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater % !
11.19.06 - San Diego, CA - Casbah ! %

! w/ Shy Child
$ w/ Gang Gang Dance
% w/ Born Ruffians
^ w/ Justice
@ w/ Mouse on Mars, Birdy Nam Nam
* w/ Jamie Lidell

A Matt Pond PA News Story by rrrachel

You know those puzzles where you turn one word into another? Y'know, cat to dog is cat, cot, cog, dog? Watch Matt turn to Pond:






That's not the only solution! This works as well:






If you're supersmart, you can do it in only one move:



There's a new album too called Several Hours Later, but there's nothing fun to do with that. Onto the tour!

10.07.06 - Fredericksburg, VA - Mary Washington University
10.08.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts
10.10.06 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
10.11.06 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.12.06 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
10.13.06 - Covington, KY - Mad Hatter
10.14.06 - St. Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights
10.15.06 - Madison, WI - The Annex
10.16.06 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Café
10.19.06 - Calgary, AB - MacEwan Ballroom
10.21.06 - Vancouver, BC - The Center in Vancouver for the Arts
10.22.06 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
10.23.06 - Portland - Wonder Ballroom
10.24.06 - Sacramento, CA - Harlows
10.25.06 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
10.26.06 - Los Angeles - Spaceland
10.27.06 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre

House Democrats Demand Investigation Of Buried FCC Reports; House Republicans Surprisingly Less Interested

Earlier this month, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) made everyone feel real awkward when she busted the door down at FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's re-nomination hearing. After snapping the elastic bands on several prominent senators' party hats, Boxer whipped out a 2004 FCC study on localism in the media that she believes was purposely buried. Unfortunately, the Senator delivered her speech next to a stack of amps and could not be heard above the pounding trance music.

Boxer remained unfazed and returned a week later, clutching another unreleased report on media ownership from 2003. The study found that "between March 1996 and March 2003, there was a 35% decrease in the number of radio owners," and that the largest owner, Clear Channel, "went from owning 62 stations in 1996, to 1,233 in 2003." Chairman Martin noted that he was not in charge at the time of the reports and tried to turn the stereo back on, but Senator Boxer slapped his hand away.

Since the discovery of the missing reports, a group of 34 House Democrats joined Boxer in requesting an all-out cavity search of the possible motivations behind the documents' concealment. In a joint letter to FCC Inspector General Kent Nilsson, the Democrats wrote: "If one or both of these reports were suppressed because they did not support official FCC policy, such actions could not only constitute fraud, but could also run counter to the FCC's stated goals of transparency and public involvement in its media ownership proceedings."

Representative David Price (D-NC) felt like adding a slam dunk of his own, and whispered, "Good public policy is supposed to reflect what is best for the American people. If the FCC can't be trusted to present the results of its own studies to the public, how can it be trusted to act in the public's interest when it comes to the ownership of our airwaves?" Price then winked at everyone and did a moonwalk out of the building.

Chairman Martin has now expressed equal concern over these issues and promises to release an updated report on media ownership before the end of the legal proceedings. If anyone needs to reach him before then, he will be sitting in his bedroom with the blinds drawn.