Merger costs, lower ticket sales threaten Live Nation; residents of that nation might want to emigrate ASAP

Merger costs, lower ticket sales threaten Live Nation; residents of that nation might want to emigrate ASAP

I went to go see some friends of mine play last week at Chicago’s Double Door. The show was $5.00. It was in the basement. It was a good time, especially for a Tuesday night: some beers were shared; some laughs were had; and some serious shit-kicking rock ‘n’ roll was brought into being and sustained for 42 minutes, galvanizing the attention of a small but eager crowd and fostering one of those rare occurrences where you can palpably feel a collective consciousness billowing out underneath the moldy rafters. “Ah,” I thought, “live music is good right now. Five bucks? …well spent.”


Losses at Live Nation continued to grow throughout last quarter as a result of the cost of its merger with Ticketmaster, a drastic drop in income from Tickets Now, and generally faltering concert attendance. The company continues to claim that ye olde Ticketmaster merger (of which everyone was such a big fan) will eventually save them $40 million in redundant costs, seemingly disinterested in the fact that they have to, you know, actually sell tickets to make that happen. Last year they dropped 3% to 6.8 million from 7.1 million in the previous year, even though the total spending per concert-goer grew 2% to $59.71 from last year’s $58.57 (possibly because ticket prices rose overall to help mitigate the cost of Lady Gaga’s stage clothes).

Live Nation also took another slap-on-the-wrist-to-the-face when the ticket-reselling site Tickets Now — which had been delivering $15 million in revenue a year to its parent company Ticketmaster — was forced to remove its links from Ticketmaster’s main site in cooperation with the feds to gain merger approval. After that, revenues from Tickets Now fell to $1 million. “The minute we had to unlink from our website, that business over the last year has deteriorated,” says CEO Michael Rapino. “So we’re looking at strategic options for that division.” Might I suggest doing some $5.00 shows? Or maybe $5.00 footlongs, at least? That always seems like a good deal.

• Live Nation:
• Me after dinner:

Interpol announce first herpes-free tour

Carlos D, defined by Urban Dictionary as a “goth nazi vampire,” has left Interpol (TMT News), but the show must go on! According to an inside source, the band members were “sick of the cold sores and fever blisters all over their faces” but have “never felt healthier” since the goth nazi vampire left the band.

And so they have decided to tour:

06.21.10 - Rochester, NY - Water Street Music Hall
06.22.10 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
06.23.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Small’s Theatre
06.25.10 - Allentown, PA - Crocodile Rock Cafe
06.28.10 - Des Moines, IA- People’s Court
07.01.10 - Cincinnati, OH- Bogart’s
07.02.10 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
07.05.10 - Columbia, MO- Blue Note
07.08.10 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
07.10.10 - Charleston, SC - The Music Farm
07.14.10 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head Live
07.20.10 - Proivdence, RI - Luop’s Heartbreak Hotel
07.21.10 - New Haven, CT- Toad’s Place
07.23.10 - Clifton Park, NY- Northern Lights
07.24.10 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club

• Interpol:

Wilco add The Books, Sir Richard Bishop, Vetiver, and more to Solid Sound lineup

When you’re a band of Wilco’s caliber, you can pretty much do whatever you want. If you want Justin Bieber to sing harmonies on your new album, he’ll appear out of nowhere. If you want Animal Collective to be your backing band, they’ll show up at your house… unannounced. If you want Lil Wayne to— well, he’s actually in jail, but you get the point.

But rather than asking their musician friends for favors, Wilco decided to help them by curating a festival and having them play it. Aw, how nice! Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival is set to take place August 13-15 at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. In addition to previously announced bands like Wilco’s headlining set (uh, duh), The Nels Cline Singers, On Fillmore, The Autumn Defense, and Pronto, the following bands have now been added to the lineup: Avi Buffalo, Sir Richard Bishop, Vetiver, Mountain Man, Brenda, The Books, Deep Blue Organ Trio, Bread and Puppet Theater, and Story Pirates.

The capacity for the festival is limited to 8,000 for the entire weekend, so expect tickets to go quickly. Early-bird pricing is only available through May 31. Tickets can be purchased here.

• Wilco:
• Solid Sound Festival:

April showers bring May flowers, and Southern Lord brings Goatsnake’s Flower of Disease back into print

Most people in the US may still be living in the spring euphoria of a living-dead Savior while everyone else is turning their cranks for the unending keg party of summer. Me? I’m living in a state of ecstatic anticipation because of Southern Lord’s announcement that classic Goatsnake album Flower of Disease will be slithering back into circulation on both CD and LP. If you’ve never listened to Flower of Disease, then you’re a total loser, and it’s no wonder that you have no friends. If you value metal at all, then buy this album and let it turn you into a Goatsnake disciple. Don’t fight the sensation. Let the doom overtake you and your world will have purpose. A dark purpose, but a purpose nonetheless.

Flower of Disease was the album where Goatsnake moved beyond “promising metal act” into “a fucking awesome band,” where everything the band was already good at got better… so much better. It was the album where Goatsnake turned into one of the most interesting, dynamic, and challenging doom metal bands of the last couple decades. If you don’t believe me, then check out the band’s lineup for the record: Greg Anderson (sunn 0))), Thorr’s Hammer), Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Desert Sessions), Greg Rogers (The Obsessed), and Stuart Dahlquist (Burning Witch, Asva), not to mention guest appearances from Petra Haden and Dave Catching.

Do you believe me now that it’s an album worth checking out? You fucking better. If you still don’t, then check out this awesome live footage from earlier in the year at the band’s first show in five years.

Flower of Disease tracklist:

01. Flower of Disease
02. Prayer for a Dying
03. Easy Greasy
04. El Coyote
05. The Dealer
06. A Truckload of Mamma’s Muffins
07. Live to Die
08. The River

• Goatsnake:
• Southern Lord:

A Place to Bury Strangers announce West Coast tour, enjoy beefy-flavored road snacks

When they aren’t busy melting your brain and making it ooze out through your ears, A Place To Bury Strangers enjoy a beefy road snack every now and again, especially a Sasquatch Big Stick (available now in mild or original!). Since these beefy delights only seem to be found on the West Coast, the band has decided to play a quick West Coast tour this summer to get their Sasquatch fix. Old (beef flavored) habits die hard.

Nom nom nom:

06.18.10 - Visalia, CA - The Cellar Door &
06.19.10 - Fresno, CA - Audie’s Olympic &
06.20.10 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop &
06.21.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge &
06.22.10 - Vancounver, BC - 917 Main &
06.23.10 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project &
06.25.10 - San Jose, CA - KSJO @ Blank Club &
06.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland &

& Light Pollution

The band’s currently on a European tour. Check the dates here.

• A Place To Bury Strangers:
• Mute Records:

Imaad Wasif’s gear stolen in San Antonio

LA-based singer/songwriter/sideman for everyone Imaad Wasif fell victim to the crime of ‘gear theft’ while in San Antonio, TX. After a May 10 performance at The White Rabbit, Wasif’s van was broken into and an assortment of his gear was stolen. Among the gear was a Pea-Soup-green 1978 Fender P-Bass with a black pick guard, a black bridge, and an Antigua finish. If you have any information about the whereabouts of Wasif’s equipment, contact Jeff Anderson at Rock Steady LA. The full list of Wasif’s gear is as follows:

• 1978 Fender P-Bass, Antigua finish, (Pea Soup Green with a black
pick guard and black bridge) Serial # 5910060.
• All Drum Hardware
• 1 Mac Pro G5 Tower
• 1 Boss Hyper-Fuzz Effects Pedal
• 1 Matrix Chromatic Tuner Pedal
• 1 Merch box of 50 Voidist CDs and 10 vinyl
• 1 GPS device

• Imaad Wasif:

[Photo: Mark McKenna]