The Music Tapes’ Julian Koster And His Singing Saw to Go Caroling Again This Year

Julian Koster (The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Major Organ & The Adding Machine) and his Singing Saw -- Badger, I assume -- are once again going Christmas caroling in December! Want to see them? Great. All you have to do is grant them permission and they'll show up at your doorstep, singing songs, sharing stories, and being all Christmas-y. It's like a Christmas miracle spread across 15 dates!

To ensure there is no confusion (and because I'm feeling lazy), here's the exact wording from Merge:

You may invite the carolers to visit your house by emailing musictapescaroling@gmail.com or by mailing a handwritten letter to 450 N. Harris St. Athens, GA 30601 (due to time constraints, please send an email to let the "caroling ambassador" know you are sending a letter). Be sure to include an email address or telephone number for reply. Invitations where the hosts indicate that they would be willing to entertain outside guests on caroling night are preferred. Please note your permission to invite others from the area to your house and whether you can offer the carolers a place to sleep in your letter or email.

Once the limit on houses on a given night has been reached, the address of each house that will welcome guests will be distributed via email to all who email musictapescaroling@gmail.com and ask to attend. The addresses of the houses will not be posted online.

Proposed Path:

December 7th, 8th, 9th: Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana & Lower Half of Illinois

December 10th, 11th, 12th: Chicago, Illinois, Michigan

December 13th, 14th, 15th: Ohio, Pittsburgh, Western NY

December 16th, 17th, 18th: Upstate NY, New England (CT, RI, VT etc)

December 19th, 20th, 21st: Philadelphia, NYC, Baltimore, DC, Chapel Hill

Antares Successfully Auto-Tunes Their Own Intellectual Property’s Illimitability; “App For That” Coming Soon

Pitch-correction technology developers Antares, progenitors of that infamous little auto-tune cult empire, want us to get one thing straight right the fuck now: the term “auto-tune” is NOT as ubiquitous as we all auto-tunitively assumed it was.

In order to set about the task of auto-tuning our perceptions, then, they recently sent their lawyers to auto-tune their trademark of the term in the face of a competing App created by developers Steamboat Mountain Designs (heretofore called “AutoTuner”), forcing the company to auto-tune the name of their auto-tuner.

Why all the fuss? Well, if you auto-tune your memories real quick, you’ll recall that Antares recently lent its auto-tune technology to the auto-tunious “I Am T-Pain” auto-tuning App for the iPhone, in auto-tuned conjunction with App developers Smule. As Digital Music News reports, Steamboat initially pointed in their defense to the hundreds of thousands of Google results for the phrase “auto-tune.” Yet in the end, the company -- being much smaller and less rich than Antares because they AREN’T the owners of an omnipresent-yet-trademarked term like “auto-tune” -- was auto-tuned into complete and auto-tuned accordance with Antares’ request. Steamboat Mountain’s developers have consequently auto-tuned their App’s title to “RoboTuner” instead of “AutoTuner” rather than bankrupting themselves in court and having to then plead (in an unpleasingly un-auto-tuned warble) with the federal government to step in and auto-tune them out of debt.

So, on that auto-tuned note, look for the newly auto-tuned "Robotuner" in an App Store near you. It’ll be on the shelf in the auto-tuner isle, right next to all of the other auto-tuners.

Oneohtrix Point Never Gets Stoked on Back to the Future Trilogy; Decides to Try Own Hand At That Whole Trilogy Thing; No Fun Issues Rifts

The idea of going backwards to a point in time that is forwards is a hard thing to grasp. I could probably write a 17-page article on the idea of going back to a time that has not yet existed. It boggles my mind! Anyway, here's my point: this all reminds me of the music of Daniel Lopatin's Oneohtrix Point Never. At first listen, you get the vibe that this music might be 30 years old, yet the music itself hones in on sounds from 70s- and 80s-era visions of the future. Indeed, Oneohtrix Point Never is simultaneously referencing music of the past and of the future, like, you know, the movie Back to the Future.

Okay, this'll probably make more sense once you listen to his latest release, Rifts. Due tomorrow, November 17, on No Fun Productions, the double-disc album is actually composed of remastered editions of three previously released records, Betrayed in the Octagon, Zones Without People, and Russian Mind. All three originally came out in limited, vinyl-only pressings on No Fun and Arbor and were made up of selections from "rare and out-of-print cassette and CD-R releases, with recordings spanning as far back as 2003." Rifts, according to the publicist, sees Lopatin "developing his unabashed worship of the analog poly-synth as a free standing musical apparatus towards a fully realized OPN world of sound; at once incorporating synth prog, modern noise, early techno, drone, minimalism and computer music."

Alright, alright, you get the idea, right? So, as the great Biff Tannen once said, "Why don't you make like a tree and get outta here!"

Rifts tracklisting:

Disc 1:

1. Behind the Bank
2. Eyeballs
3. Betrayed in the Octagon
4. Woe is the Transgression
5. Parallel Minds
6. Laser to Laser
7. Woe Is The Transgression II
8. Computer Vision
9. Format & Journey North
10. Zones Without People
11. Learning To Control Myself
12. Disconnecting Entirely
13. Emil Cioran
14. Hyperdawn

Disc 2:

1. Months
2. Physical Memory
3. Grief and Repetition
4. Russian Mind
5. Actual Air
6. Immanence
7. Lovergirls Precinct
8. Ships Without Meaning
9. Terminator Lake
10. Transmat Memories
11. A Pact Between Strangers
12. When I Get Back From New York
13. I Know Its Taking Pictures From Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)

Bearded shut-ins, rejoice, for Bonnie “Prince” Billy née Will Oldham will be giving publicists a marketing nightmare with a beautifully bizarro release on Drag City, titled Funtime Comedown: too weird for CD format. The vinyl- and digital-only full-length live-in-studio album Funtime Comedown will be credited to Bonny Billy and the Picket Line; the Picket Line, of course, being a Kentucky bluegrass band. Duh. Sez Drag City, they are also "the official dance band of Funtown, a metaphysical little community in the woods outside Louisville.” Are you really surprised? Didn't think so.

The record is a cornucopia of Oldham goodness, including new versions of his own songs as well as Palace Brothers tunes and country classics. It's due December 15. Check out this video of Oldham and his Picket pals:

Willy boy has also just released a 7-inch single for "Stay," which contains the song “People Living,” both of which are covers of Susanna & the Magical Orchestra's Susanna Wallumrød. And guess what? It's sold out. But you can still purchase a download (FLAC or MP3) here.

Dan Deacon Cancels Tour Due to Back Problems

According to Pitchfork, Dan Deacon has canceled the remainder of his tour after having been hospitalized with acute sciatica. The tour was originally scheduled to run through next Wednesday, ending at Baltimore's Ottobar.

TMT wishes him a speedy recovery!

Canceled dates:

11.13.09 - Troy, NY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
11.14.09 - Worcester, MA - Clark University
11.15.09 - Ithaca, NY - Ithaca College
11.16.09 - Purchase, NY - SUNY Purchase
11.18.09 - Baltimore, MD - The Ottobar

Holy Hip-Hop: KRS-One’s Philosophical Take on the “Kulture” Now Available in Book Form

Lawrence K. Parker, more readily known as KRS-One, finally saw the release of his book The Gospel of Hip Hop: First
Instrument
this week. Originally slated for release
earlier this year, First Instrument is the first release from the
publishing firm I Am Hip Hop, an imprint of powerHouse Books. The Gospel of Hip Hop, set up in the format of a holy book, is described by the publisher as being “...a spiritual manual for citizens of Hip Hop Kulture that combines classic philosophy with faith and practical knowledge, for a fascinating, in-depth exploration of Hip Hop as a life path.”

Very few artists could pull off such a publication and still demand to
be taken seriously. KRS-One, founder of the legendary Boogie Down Productions and the Stop the Violence Movement, manages to not seem overly hokey in his philosophical treatise on hip-hop culture. The book also seems to serve as an introduction to a series of other projects that KRS-One is taking very seriously, one of these being the launch of The Temple of Hip Hop. As the subtitle of the book
suggests, it's only the first instrument, suggesting follow-up
titles, possibly written by other hip-hop gurus. Time will tell if the ideas
presented take hold with the members of the culture to whom Lawrence
is preaching.

The 818-page hardcover edition can be ordered directly
from the publisher here.