Microsoft Launches Own Version Of YouTube, This Story

So, your friend is in a band. A common occurance these days. My friend-to-band ratio is pretty high, and my acquaintance-to-band ratio is even higher. If I meet your friends, I'll assume they're in bands too because just like stereotypes, assumption saves time. I'm all about saving time. I even invented daylight savings time because I love it so much. So If I can assume your friend is in a band, I can assume the conversation will take on a typical form.

First, intros will be made. We'll talk about classes, maybe some movies we saw and liked, then probably types of music we enjoy. Do you like this band? Yeah, they're okay. I like their earlier stuff better, but the new album is decent. Yeah, what about this band? Sure, I got the album before their newest one. That's a good one... and so on and so forth. We'll eventually and coincidentally get to a band that sounds similar to the band your friend is in. And as a courtesy, or if I'm genuinely interested, I'll ask if they have any recordings on CD.

Well, we don't have any CDs.

How about a website?

We've got a MySpace page. You can stream our stuff and friend us. We've got a show coming up in a small town that is hard to get to, if you're interested.

Hmm... no CDs, not even a lowly mp3 somewhere?

You can hear us on YouTube, some songs from our last show are on there and Tyler skateboarding outside before we went on stage.

Alright, conversation over.

I don't need to go into the vices of these two sites, do I? MySpace is well-known, and YouTube has 34 million viewers in August according to Billboard.biz, all posting dreams of instant recognition and acknowledgement in shitty DV format. YouTube isn't just for music. It's for skateboarding videos, funny accidents, video diaries, and the bottom of the barrel of just about anything you can think of.

Now, thanks to the popularity of the site, imitators are springing up. Microsoft has started Soapbox and Sony recently bought video-sharing site Grouper.com for $65 million. Now we can see bad videos (music or otherwise) on multiple conglomerate-owned servers, ironically talking about the problems of our mass consumerism. Oh, and visit my merch store at Cafe Press.

Soapbox has started up to a limited, invite-only audience, but it'll soon open to everyone. Soapbox's forerunner, Microsoft's MSN Video was once popular, but YouTube and Myspace ecclipsed it long ago, tripling and quadrupling their users respectively. "We're definitely not blind to the fact that YouTube has a big lead right now," said Rob Bennett, general manager of MSN's entertainment and video services. "It's really early days in online video. This is still act one." Please be a one-act play.

TMT Exclusive: Mercury Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Nominees Winner Revealed!

In what amounts to a shocking development in the music webzine arena, Tiny Mix Tapes was today chosen as the official online host announcer of the UK's Canada's semi-prestigious Mercury Music Prize Polaris Music Prize winner, above many other apparently worthy music sites who have in fact sold their souls to Satan.

The Mercury Polaris organisers felt that TMT displayed "the elusive sense of style and variety which has come to be synonymous with the Mercury Polaris Prize, effortlessly combining explorations of different genres and textures with a lightness of touch unmatched by any other music-related online journal or magazine" "the wanton desire for attention and, mathematically speaking, more internet exposure, which warranted the sop which we are now throwing their way. We could easily have given this opportunity to another website, but we feel that TMT's craven attempts at humor show, to some extent, an innocence that is heart-warming in the current climate of fierce battles for exclusives and one-upmanship between popular online music journals and zines."

TMT is happy to reveal, exclusively, the first list of the nominees Polaris prize winner for the year 2006. We feel that this list winner epitomizes the shallow worthy eclecticism of the Mercury Polaris Prize and its propensity to hedge its bets promote artists based on artistic merit. Final Fantasy completely deserves this marvelous accolade, especially for having the artistic courage balls to name its album He Poos Clouds. The list contains several albums by artists who could be said to have never released better work, the usual token encouraging nods to rap, electronica and post-punk, and some really awful sensational bands that have sadly become too famous important to ignore.

Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene (Arts and Crafts)

Cadence Weapon, Breaking Kayfabe (Upper Class)

The Deadly Snakes, Porcella (Paperbag)

Final Fantasy, He Poos Clouds (Blocks Recording Club)

Sarah Harmer, I’m A Mountain (Cold Snap)

K*Naan, The Dusty Foot Philosopher (Track and Field)

Malajube, Trompe L’Oeil (Dare to Care Records)

Metric, Live It Out (Last Gang)

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (Mint Records)

Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop)

Beck Tours; Realizes He Was Mistaken About Those Microphones and Turntables and Decides Pre-school Is Actually Where It’s At

Maybe it was just 'cause I couldn't hack the $7 beers at Huge Ticketmaster Pavilion Venue in Boston last year, but when Beck crooked his cute lil' finger at the kids in the pit and told 'em to get up and get down, I just stuttered a bunch and stood there. What a nerd.

This time around, I've got a way better reason: Puppets! (Yikes!) And not just any old run-of-the-mill puppets, oh no. Beck's snagged the likes of Puppetown Productions for his latest tour, after their antics at Bonnaroo entertained some folks who definitely didn't smoke anything at all. I don't know what you talkin' about, man.

Personally, I think the drugstore cowboy can kick out the jams pretty well on his lonesome, but hey, sometimes you need Muppet go-go dancers. (I say this like I understand. I don't. But I still love him.)

He's even gone all Sesame Street on the new record... I dub thee, sir: The Information. Produced by Nigel Godrich, it's fun for the whole family! Collectible sticker sheets inside! Collect all four! Fuck Cracker Jack!

Paint-by-number tickets!!!:

09.27.06 - Chula Vista, CA - Coors Amphitheatre *
09.30.06 - Mountainview, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre #
10.07.06 - Los Angeles, CA - 1st & Main Streets %
10.12.06 - Nashville, TN - City Hall
10.14.06 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion
10.16.06 - Toronto, ON - Ricoh Arena
10.18.06 - New York, NY - Theater at Madison Square Garden
10.23.06 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre

* w/ Tom Petty (who had better get used to the idea of googly eyes)
# Download Festival
% Detour Music Festival

Minus The Bear Equal the Road

Sometimes I wonder if bands choose their names specifically to make the TMT news page. Now, I am unfortunately aware of "other" music news sources that attempt to use humor in their headlines, but for the sake of argument, we will either ignore them or just assume they don't have to deal with coming up with said humor themselves. To remain on point: Minus The Bear. I mean, seriously. Minus The Bear, Add the Stingray? Minus The Bear, Multiple the Snakes? Minus The Bear, Use Differential Equations to Make A Quickly Dated Joke? Well, Minus The Bear, I'm hip to your schemes. From this point on, this is going to be a straight-up no-nonsense news story:

Minus The Bear are touring this fall. The tour starts on October 5 in Chicago and ends on November 10 in San Francisco. Other acts on the tour are P.O.S., The Velvet Teen, and Russian Circles. The band line up consists of Dave Knudson, Jake Snider, Erin Tate, and Cory Murchy. They sound like "ting ting ting ting, ting-ting ting ting ting."

The dates are as follows:

10.05.06 - Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium
10.07.06 - Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection
10.08.06 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
10.09.06 - Buffalo, NY - Showplace Theatre
10.11.06 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East - Downstairs
10.12.06 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
10.13.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Tocadero Theater
10.14.06 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
10.16.06 - Asheville, NC - The Rocket Club
10.17.06 - Newport, KY - Headliners Music Hall
10.18.06 - Indianapolis, IN - Emerson Theatre
10.19.06 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
10.20.06 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
10.21.06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Lounge
10.22.06 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
10.23.06 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
10.25.06 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbit's
10.26.06 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
10.27.06 - Gainesville, FL - Abbey Road
10.28.06 - Orlando, FL - The Club at Firestone
10.30.06 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
10.31.06 - Denton, TX - Hailey's
11.01.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's Alternative Lounging
11.03.06 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
11.04.06 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
11.05.06 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
11.06.06 - La Jolla, CA - Porter's Pub
11.08.06 - Pomona, CA - Glass House
11.09.06 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11.10.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club

all dates with P.O.S., The Velvet Teen, Russian Circles

FCC Holds Public Hearings on Media Ownership Issues; Practices Its Tomato-Dodging Skills

I don't know about you, but when I discover I've forgotten my iPod/giant binder of CDs/anything that keeps me from listening to Mix 97 in the car, I have the urge to bang my head on the steering wheel. (I've actually done this. Not a great plan. Beeping your horn for no reason at a stoplight does not make new friends.)

Once I've resigned myself to my fate, I stick to one of two freqs: the "oldies" station, in the off chance that they might play "Hang On To Your Ego" by The Beach Boys, and the college radio station, because, damn, the chick who does that Indian music show sounds F-I-N-E.

But if I venture away from those spots on the dial, I suddenly feel the need to drive into a tree (or even better, certain radio transmitters), because let's face it, kids: commercial radio is the worst thing since the dudes from Atreyu were like, "Hey, let's like... uh. Let's. like, be in a band but be all goth and shit but. like, trendy. Do you know how to put on eyeliner?" If the radio actually repped what's been released in this joint for the past 50-odd years, Led Zeppelin's catalog would boast, oh, maybe five songs.

But wait! There's hope (kind of)! Last week, the FCC announced that it will be holding six public hearings on "media ownership issues." Allow me to translate: "Media ownership issues" actually means "yeah, we know we let Clear Channel go all Pac-Man on radio stations and you're forced to hear 'Livin' On A Prayer' 57 times a day, but mannn, we was stooooned."

Chairman Kev Martin sez: "Public input is integral to this process [...] I look forward to hearing from the American people on a variety of subjects at these hearings such as the impact of the Commission's rules on localism, minority ownership, and various types of programming like independent and religious programming and children's and family-friendly programming."

Allow me to clarify: "We actually have no idea where all the independence and localism went in radio. I think it has something to do with that Clear Channel dude. One day we woke up, and it was all gone. Anyone have ideas? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?"

Radiohead Re-Sign with Warner/Chappell; Confusion Abounds!!

It's true: Radiohead have apparently re-signed with Warner/Chappell. In a statement, some douche (yeah, I said it) named Richard Manners from Warner/Chappell said, "This keeps us in the Radiohead business for a substantial time. We are thrilled to have come to an agreement with the band." Hahahaha! The Radiohead Business. Whatever.

Anyway, a bunch of fansites, blogs, and online magazines seem to think this means an end to the possibility of Radiohead signing to an independent label. Well, they're absolutely wrong. Warner/Chappell is DEFINITELY not the same thing as the record label division of Warner. As of today, Radiohead are not currently signed with any label to release their next album (due out in 2007). And besides, Radiohead were never even signed to a Warner record label in the first place; they were signed to EMI (and Capitol in the U.S., which is owned by EMI).

At least now you know, and knowing's half the something-something. Check this site out to see which songs Warner/Chappell has on list for Radiohead: :)

In other news, I've decided to start writing again for TMT. I got a sweet beej last night.