Monster Mash(up): The Polyphonic Spree Mix The Polyphonic Spree with… The Polyphonic Spree? Hey! Wait! Someone Catch That Bandwagon!

Joining the likes of Diplo, Girl Talk, Go Home Productions, and Danger Mouse, your favorite musical cult has attempted the white-hot process of combining varying musical passages into a beefed-up amalgamation. Usually executed by an eclectic, open-minded third party looking to bend genres, The Spree decided to cut out the middle man entirely and watched the tactic's originality and creativity shrivel in the process.

In a misguided attempt to offset the leak of the album's advanced copy (speculation), the band broke new ground in promotional material... at least semantically. Instead of the traditional album 'sampler,' the band has combined sections of all 11 tracks on their new record, The Fragile Army, into an eight-minute epic and they called it a mashup! The single track is designed to give the fans "a taste." I can hardly contain my salivation.

When will the music industry learn that harebrained promotional experimentation won't save the CD medium? Only quality content will.

But we'll give them an "A" for effort. The mix showcases the band's jovial, symphonic rock with choral harmonies like an acid-induced gospel choir and ends with a kind word from your sponsor. "See ya later! Hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to look out for The Fragile Army, the new album from The Polyphonic Spree coming early Summer 2007. We'll see you at a town near you. So long!" exclaims lead Spree Tim DeLaughter in his creepiest pederast imitation.

Luckily, if you're into the whole Kool-Aid and Nikes scene, you can catch the group's 24 members sans robes and in their new military garb (get it? Army!) performing live throughout the month of May:

Put All Your Eggs in Marnie Stern’s Basket and Then Watch Her Tour!!! (Oh Shit, Does That Headline Sound Dirty? I Was Just Trying to Riff on One of Her Song Titles and Then… That’s It, I Quit)

When you see slightly frail-looking Marnie Stern walk onstage with
nothing but an iPod and an electric guitar for accompaniment, you'll
probably doubt that such a skinny girl with no backing band can give
you that intense, eardrum-popping sound you've heard about. Well,
fear not, because the rumors are true. I hear that if you go to a
show and don't think the Marnster (new nickname alert?) can shred
better than your favorite guitarist, she'll give you your money
back... or maybe it's that she'll break your arm. I can't remember.
For some folks, both would be equally pleasurable, and I won't judge
you for preferring the latter. In case you were wondering why her
album is called In Advance of the Broken Arm (TMT Review),
that's the story. That's an exclusive, bitch. Tiny Mix Tapes:
telling stories, changing lives.

P.S. Right before Marnie Stern broke my arm at a show a few weeks ago,
she announced that she'd have a full band for her upcoming tour! I
didn't know whether to trust her, though, because she had that
murderous gleam in her eye...

Tourdates to pre-date your broken arm:

* Animal Collective

The Rebirth Of Tower Like My Gangsta Stroll

Of all the ultra-mega music superstores, Tower Records always appeared to be the best. While the prices were positively mall-tastic, its selection was often as good as many mom & pop stores. Tower also had a lot of zines and books that most record stores wouldn't bother to carry. So, if you didn't have an awesome indie record store in your town but had a Tower, then you didn't really have it that bad. And while record store aficionados may have been a little bummed about Tower's passing last year, they surely weren't as "bummed" as all the indie labels and distributors that had product returned to them after Tower shuttered for good.

But now it seems that a rebirth may be in the works. In an auction last March, Caiman, Inc acquired the Tower logo,, and all of the company's intellectual property for $4.2 million. The London-based company currently employs about 200 people, has offices in Montreal and Sacramento, and a warehouse in Miami. In a Billboard article, Caiman CEO Didier Pilon said that the company plans to relaunch, as well as open physical superstores in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco within nine months. Pilon won't be without knowledgeable help, as he has hired former Tower purchasing executive George Scarlet as director of entertainment purchasing, along with Kevin Hawkins, a former buyer for Tower, to work on the project.

Even though Caiman usually uses one-stops and some independent distributors to stock music on its own site, it hopes to change over to buying direct from indie and major distributors and, in certain instances, direct from indie labels themselves for this new venture. Pilon went on in the piece to say that, which is still operational and gets 40,000 unique hits a day, will relaunch with new technology, offering 275,000 CD and DVD titles, over a million books, and vinyl. Pilon hopes that all this will help not only stand out from the pack, but become "the entertainment destination." If this endeavor is a success, it could provide indie labels and distro with some of the revenue they lost after Tower's initial demise.

Get Him Eat Him: Go Him See Him

Fans of short, imperative sentences everywhere rejoice!

Sugary, spazz-pop rockers Get Him Eat Him are so hyper they might just win this year's award for "Most Mistakenly Japanese Band of the Year" (last year's award embarrassingly went to Deerhoof before it was revoked and given to rightful Ritalin-hiders The Fiery Furnaces).

Nope, despite all aural evidence to the contrary, this spastic and twitchy, unabashedly colorful, Energy-drink-addled quintet hails from the O.G. American city of Providence, Rhode Island. And this summer, these over-stimulated University Boys will be packing up all of their collapsible, travel-sized drum kits, cute vocoders, pictures of their moms, and ADD medication as they leave-behind the ol' Divine City for a five-week tour in support of their new album Arms Down, which is due June 5 via Absolutely Kosher Records.

Who wants to bet they bring their Nintendo Wii with them?

Get Tour, Eat Dates:

Canada Tour Everywhere But Canada

My first reaction, being the Tiny Mix Tapes humorist that I am, was to make this article about the country Canada rather than the band. I would talk about the country coming down south to traipse all around the stars and bars displaying its musical fury. But then I thought to myself, “that is immature, Petya.”

And this thought, as they tend to do, led me to another thought, “Is there a barometer for immaturity?” To answer simply, yes. I mean, I’m in control here, so why not? The scale is going to work like this: 1-10; 1 being a complete moron and 10 being a PhD.

First up involves Manfred Mann’s song “Blinded by the Light.” Clearly, Manfred sings, “Revved up like a deuce.” Now, many people sing, “revved up like a douche,” and it is those people who rank around '5' on the immaturity scale. My next example comes from a slideshow I viewed in high school. We were flipping through pictures at a conference at some community college when a guy’s face showed up all melting to one side. He looked hilarious, I mean the whole left side of his face looked like it had gone numb and hung a little lower than it should. My buddy and I started laughing incredibly loud, and the MC of the slideshow informed us that this man had obviously suffered from a stroke. So, laughing at stroke victims is going to be about a '2.' I’d say '1,' but I’m not going to put myself that low on the scale. Making fun of kids that shop at Hot Topic is going to be a '7' because they partly deserve it, yet I know you wore Jeancos in middle school too. After that, it’s pretty much your call. Taking one bite out of every cupcake at Kelly’s birthday party is pretty funny, but some might rank that a '3,' while the same people would deem a mushroom stamp on passed-out Patrick’s forehead an '8.'

The main idea behind this article is to get you to think before you act. Next time you’re watching Blow and “Blinded by the Light” starts up, don’t say “douche.” Please.

Oh yeah, the tourdates! O Canada!

Are You Telling Me the Minus The Bear Tour Is Already Underway and We Haven’t Written About It Yet? Well, Don’t Blame Me. I Stubbed My Toe!

The house party was well underway, and very well attended after kids from the rival high school had spread the word around to "go trash some goof's house." Word got 'round eventually to Seattle's finus, Minus the Bear, who decided to let off some steam and take a well-deserved night off from recording their new album and before starting a spring tour with The Honorary Title and labelmates Chin Up Chin Up. Taylor Hawkins (no relation to Foo Fighters drummer of the same name, but just as punchable), entrusted by his parents to "make sure the plants get watered and the cat fed," talks to the freshly arrived constables: Jack "JJ" Johnston and John "Double J" Jackson.

JJ: So, tell us again more about what the holy heck happened here. You said something about the guitarist, um, David Knudson, standing on some sort of table?

Taylor: Not "some sort of table!" An antique early-Georgian oval pedestal mahogany table that my parents swindled some little old lady out of at a garage sale last August! That's what "sort of table"!

Double J: Um, o-kaaay. What did he do?

Taylor: He was wearing a bandolier of shot glasses and was pouring jiggers of my parents Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac while reciting the "last barman poet" speech from Cocktail! I mean, c'mon! First of all, Tom Cruise is so lame...

Double J: Now, listen up, son. You don't have to take that tone. Tom Cruise is a great actor and I'll be damned...

JJ: It's okay Double J...

Double J: No, it's not okay. I'm taking a stand here, JJ. I've had enough of people badmouthing one of this nation's greatest human beings, living or dead or otherwise. Anyone who has breathed sweet life into the two true Gods on Earth, Vietnam vets and NASCAR drivers, has my respect. Viva la Cruise, I say!!!

Taylor: Okay! Okay! I'm sorry alright!? But what are you going to do about my house?

JJ: Alright, we are all tired and upset... let's keep this professional. Anything else happen?

Double J: Once again you're the model of reason, JJ. Okay, what about this bucket of animal entrails, sweetbreads, offal, and stomach lining sitting here.

Taylor (looking at list of "suspect" names with instruments played by each member of Minus the Bear for some reason): Him, Cory Murchy, the guy playing bass, said he needed them for something. I think he wanted to make haggis.

Double J: He, he... bass players... What else?

Taylor: The drummer, Erin Tate, stole the $150 my parents left for emergencies and said he was going to buy a couple of cases of beer.

JJ: Should have a lot of money left if he only bought a couple of cases...

Taylor: He brought back two hookers with him, too.

JJ: Okay, that adds up then. I've found you can get two hookers for a reduced rate at the corner of First & Nelson, if you're willing to pay for some drive-thru burgers and give them a lift home after you've finished your monkey business.

Double J: That's true. How do you think I've managed to save some money for our upcoming trip to Acapulco? I've been getting busy 'round the back of the station on company time for barely anything because I throw my regular gal a couple packs of smokes and let her wear my cop hat. At least I think it is a gal... I'm usually pretty wasted at that point during my shift.

Taylor: Would you guys stop talking about hookers!

Double J: Sorry son. Uh, yeah, we really are taking this seriously. What about the keyboardist, Axl Rose?

JJ: It says Alex' here.

Taylor: Him? He managed to get two sumo wrestlers to come over and fight in my kitchen. Then they whipped off their obis and made... um, they made...

JJ: What was it son? "If you can't tell the police something, it isn't worth telling." Haven't you read our posters? Spit it out, son.

Taylor: Um... sweet, sweet love.

Both cops: Bleaaaaghahahahahahaha!!!

Taylor: It's not funny... the singer, Jake Snider, was wearing my mom's wedding dress and my dad's favorite fish tie. He also got someone to make a plastercast of his cock 'n' balls and put it on the mantle!"

JJ: He, he. Alright, alright.

Taylor: ... then he took some acid, climbed on our roof and yelled, "I am a golden god!" before jumping into our pool!

Double J: Like in Almost Famous? Cool.

Taylor: No, not cool!

JJ: Alright. Enough is enough. You badmouth Tom Cruise, you obviously have something against ladies of the night. I, I, I've had it! I need to unwind. Sit here and we'll be back later for some more answers after checking out the band. C'mon Double J.

Taylor (reduced to tears): Sob, sniff... but, I made the complaint, shouldn't you be doing something? Blubber, blubber...

Cops: Tut, tut... sit!

Sure enough, the cops went around back to where the band was winning over everybody on site with their shenanigans. The two relaxed and hit on underage girls while the five monsters of schizo jittery rock proceeded to play throughout the night. All the partygoers were instantly bellowing cheers and some were reduced to tears of joy, as MtB regaled all with tracks from its dynamite releases, including some new songs from their forthcoming album, Planet of Ice, due August 21. Among these was "Dr. L'Ling" which some revellers were already familiar with because they had heard the tune by clicking on the band's most excellent label's website Suicide Squeeze. You never know what will happen when Minus the Bear play, but it's always a treat. We can't promise impromptu monologues from half-assed movies, Scottish delicacies, or decorative mantel casts, but then again, we can't not promise you won't not see any of that either, neither... capiche? "Taylor" unfortunately won't be at any of the dates listed below; he still suffers from night terrors and is presently undergoing severe psychological treatment to cure his chronic screaming that happens whenever anyone mentions the words "Minus the Bear" in his presence. The tour started last week but continues... tonight!
05.02.07 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst $
05.03.07 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall $
05.04.07 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Downtown Brew $
05.05.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Ex Plex $
05.06.07 - Solano Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern $
05.08.07 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues $
05.10.07 - Colorado Springs, CO - The Black Sheep $
05.11.07 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theatre 4
05.12.07 - Iowa City, IA - Picador $
05.13.07 - Champaign, IL - High Dive $
05.14.07 - Sauget, MO - Pops $
05.15.07 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen (early show)%
05.15.07 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen (late show)#
05.16.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre ^
05.17.07 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club $
05.18.07 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club *
05.19.07 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium $
05.21.07 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground $
05.23.07 - Denver, CO - Bluebird $
05.24.07 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up $
05.25.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound $
05.27.07 - Quincy, WA - Gorge Amphitheatre, Sasquatch Music Festival

# Chin Up Chin Up

$ Chin Up Chin Up & The Honorary Title

% The Honorary Title

^ Chin Up Chin Up, The Honorary Title & Maritime

* Chin Up Chin Up, The Honorary Title & P.O.S.

Minus the Bear, plus the possible tracklisting:

1. Burying Luck
2. Ice Monster
3. Knights
4. White Mystery
5. Dr. L'Ling
6. Part 2
7. Throwin' Shapes
8. When We Escape
9. Double Vision Quest
10. Lotus