New term “Mega Labels” created as EU approves EMI/Universal merger

New term "Mega Labels" created as EU approves EMI/Universal merger

The first major hurdle in merging two of four major label players has been overcome! The European Union has announced that its regulators have officially given the green light to the coming-together of two heavyweights, Universal and EMI, with some required changes to the new company’s structure as caveats. In order to move forward, Universal will need to sell off approximately 30% of EMI’s holdings to attempt to even the playing field for competitors. This Billboard article has the full list of divestments Universal is planning on shedding as part of the merger, but with the expected buyers to be the other major players in the label game, it’s hard to see how this request on the part of the EU commission is helping the overall landscape of the music business… at all.

IMPALA, the trade group representing independent labels in Europe, has continually called for the Universal-EMI deal to be struck down, citing their concerns about the resulting power that Universal could potentially yield in the marketplace, compromising distribution networks and manipulating pricing. Universal, in an attempt to soften EU officials on the issue of the merger, proposed that the divested assets should be reserved for sale to independent entities, to spread the wealth around, but just as with the prior sale of EMI’s publishing rights to Sony, the likely recipients of the discarded assets are the other major and semi-major labels, with Warner, Sony, and BMG leading the pack. If BMG picks up the assets, estimated at just under $500 million, it would effectively take the place of EMI as the fourth major label. Out with the old and in with the new!

The EU decision, which most expected to result in approval, sets the stage for US regulators to make the same call on the merger. Here’s a handy timeline of the entire deal. Bottom line: you can shuffle a deck of cards any way you want, but it’ll still be comprised of 52 cards at the end of the day.

• EMI:
• Universal Music Group:

[Photo: Alex Wong]

Cloudland Canyon to release three 12-inch EPs on three different labels before the end of the year. The rest of you are bums.

Cloudland Canyon is not the name of a roller coaster in a Care Bears-themed amusement park.

Cloudland Canyon is not the title of a new fantasy-thriller movie about an astronaut who chases dust storms across Martian plateaus and catches comets with a butterfly net.

Cloudland Canyon is a state park in Georgia.

Cloudland Canyon is also an ambient-psych group fronted by Kip Uhlhorn, formerly of Panthers. The group hasn’t released much since Fin Eaves back in 2010 (TMT Review). Maybe they’ve been building that roller coaster or making that astronaut movie or maybe just watching episodes of Fraggle Rock on old VHS tapes. Either way, they’re planning to release three 12-inch EPs on three different labels before the end of the year. First is Aureliua (pictured above), a record that centers on the cosmic cycling of the 13-minute title track, out October 23 via UK label The Great Pop Supplement; check out that track below. Second is the disco groove of Prophetic Frequencies, out just a week later on October 30 via the Austin-based Monofonus Press. And finally, Born Blonde/Sea Cycles will be out on December 4 via Trensmat, an Irish label. Sonic Boom (a.k.a Peter Kember) of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum did all of the mastering at his New Atlantis Studios in Rugby, UK.

Now, how about a scavenger hunt to track down all these damn records?

Aureliua tracklist:

01. Closer
02. Aureliua
03. Light Falling

Prophetic Frequencies tracklist:

01. Prophetic Frequencies
02. Sundowners

Born Blonde/Sea Cycles tracklist:

01. Born Blonde
02. Sea Cycles

• Cloudland Canyon:
• The Great Pop Supplement:
• Trensmat:
• Monofonus Press:

Dirty Projectors are ABOUT TO DIE (on new EP!), just like the rest of us (in real life!)

Dirty Projectors understand the immensity of all life. Assuming all is well, the members of Dirty Projectors should be alive for decades to come. SO THEY ARE ALMOST DEAD ALREADY. In the grand scheme of things, 30, 40, 50 years? Ain’t nothing. Just a drop in the bucket. Like the rest of us, Dirty Projectors are… ABOUT TO DIE. Which just happens to be the name of their new EP! I was just joshing about everyone dying; you’ll live forever, champ.

Not joshing about the About to Die EP, though. That’s coming out November 6 through Domino in the form of 12-inch vinyl and MP3s. Like its title suggests/flat-out-says, the EP contains the Swing Lo Magellan track “About to Die,” which just happens to have a brand new video you can watch below. More importantly, though, the release features a trio of brand new tracks. That’s three more Dirty Projectors songs we can enjoy before our deaths!

While we’re still living, let’s go see Dirty Projectors on one of their many tourdates. Now, these dates are in Europe, Japan, and a select few New York cities. If you don’t live in one of these locations, please stay alive until the next time Dirty Projectors come to your town. If you die, you won’t be able to see them.

About to Die tracklist:

01. About to Die
02. While You’re Here
03. Here Til It Says I’m Not
04. Simple Request

Dirty Projectors dates:

09.25.12 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre
09.27.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Musical Festival
09.28.12 - Urbana, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
09.29.12 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
09.30.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.09.12 - Tokyo, Japan - O-East
10.10.12 - Nagoya, Japan - Club Quattro Nagoya
10.11.12 - Osaka-Shi, Japan - Club Quattro Osaka
10.14.12 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
10.15.12 - Glasgow, UK - The Arches
10.17.12 - London, UK - Roundhouse
10.18.12 - Paris, France - La Gaite Lyrique
10.20.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
10.21.12 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
10.23.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
10.24.12 - Hamburg, Germany - Uebel & Gefahrlich
10.25.12 - Aarhus, Denmark - VOXHALL
10.27.12 - Goteborg, Sweden - Pustervik
10.28.12 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
10.30.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Medis
10.31.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
11.01.12 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
11.03.12 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland Airwaves
01.11.13 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall

• Dirty Projectors:
• Domino:

Best Coast will poop on stage before Green Day drops the headlining dookie

Best Coast a.k.a. Beast Coats will open for Green Day on a massive shit-infested stadium tour. You heard it here first — Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino will “pinch one out” just before Green Day takes the stage.

According to Green Day’s official touring janitor Mike Fitz, the defecation ritual became a tradition once Franz Ferdinand shit simultaneously during their closer “Take Me Out.”

“Those guys must have had a lot of ethnic food that night. White American food doesn’t do that to you,” said Fitz. “But, their shit was real runny, so Billie Joe requested opening bands with real solid, American shit.”

Since Franz Ferdinand, the likes of The Bravery, Three Days Grace, My Chemical Romance, Kaiser Chiefs, and Jet have all gracefully laid dumps on stage, and now Best Coast will continue that tradition as Green Day supports their trilogy of albums: ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!.

Best Coast tourdates:

09.21.12 - Hamburg, Germany - Reeperbahn Festival: Gruenspan
09.22.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Witloofbar (Botanique)
09.27.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Festival
09.28.12 - Urbana, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
10.05.12 - San Bernardino, CA - Coussoulis Arena
10.06.12 - Denver, CO - Cultivate Festival
10.13.12 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
10.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Festival
10.18.12 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Hot Festival
10.20.12 - Sao Paolo, Brazil - Planeta Terra Festival
01.08.13 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena *
01.10.13 - Wilkes Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena *
01.11.13 - State College, PA - Bryce Jordan Center - Penn State University *
01.13.13 - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena *
01.14.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center *
01.16.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *
01.18.13 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena *
01.19.13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena *
01.21.13 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center *
01.22.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Liacourias Center - Temple University *
01.24.13 - Providence, RI - Dunkin Donuts Center *
01.25.13 - Portland, ME - Cumberland Civic Center *
01.27.13 - Quebec City, QC - Colisee Pepsi Arena *
01.29.13 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre *
01.30.13 - Cleveland, OH - Wolstein Center - Cleveland State Univ. *
02.01.13 - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center *
02.02.13 - Madison, WI - Alliant Energy Center Memorial Col *
02.04.13 - Omaha, NE - CenturyLink Arena *
02.06.13 - Broomfield, CO - 1STBANK Center *
02.08.13 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena *

* Green Day

• Best Coast:
• Green Day:

Captain Ahab announce their last show, forever pining for that green light and the love of socialite Daisy Buchanan

Having spent much of their adult lives in search of the convict Jean Valjean, Captain Ahab are calling it quits. Though the band explains (?) their break-up through this video, one can only assume that their failed suicide pact with their secret lover contributed to the decision. They also produced a short statement on their Facebook page, which reads as follows: “Perhaps you could guess by our lack of activity & shows this year, but we’re bringing Captain Ahab to an end. Our final show will be November 2, 2012 at The Smell in Los Angeles, CA. Thanks for the years of support.”

There you have it. It doesn’t touch on their exhaustion and confusion of living in a society where books are outlawed and burned, but it does provide some valuable information. And, hey, there’s one more show before Captain Ahab shoot that albatross and voyage forever in a state of madness and terror. Supporting them in this venture will be Toxic Lipstick, Foot Village, and Books on Tape, three groups who have become unstuck in time. Goodbye, Captain Ahab, may you rip the arm from the cursed beast Grendel.

And that’s my book report.

• Captain Ahab:
• Deathbomb Arc:

SSION is touring North America this fall, and I’m making a list of all the words that rhyme with their name

Crayon. It’s pronounced exactly the way it looks. Cray-on. Not cray-un, not cran, and most definitely not crown.

Even though I always try to pronounce words and names correctly, SSION trips me up. Would anyone mind if I pronounced SSION a little differently? When I first saw it, I wanted it to rhyme with the French pronunciation of passion, and that’s how it sounded in my head. Ss-ee-on. I assume, however, that it’s actually pronounced so that it rhymes with words such as mission and confession and transmission and emission, which isn’t so bad. But still.

Anyway, the glam-punk group put out an LP called Bent as a self-release last year (TMT Review), and on September 18 it’ll be out more officially on Dovecote. To celebrate, they’ll hit the road for their “Live & Wet” tour, which I hope features inflatable pools and a water slide. Check out “Listen to the Grrrls” on The Fader, and just pronounce “grrrls” however the hell you want.


09.20.12 - New York, NY - Santos Party House
10.05.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - VIA
10.06.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Ice Cream Factory
10.07.12 - Champaign, IL - High Dive
10.08.12 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
10.09.12 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.10.12 - Columbia, MO - Mojos
10.12.12 - St Louis, MO - Firebird
10.13.12 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room
10.15.12 - Lincoln, NE - Bourbon Theatre
10.16.12 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
10.17.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10.19.12 - Seattle, WA - Rendexvous
10.21.12 - Olympia, WA - Voyeur
10.23.12 - Portland, OR - Rotture
10.25.12 - San Francisco, CA - Public Works
10.26.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
10.30.12 - Tuscon, AZ - Club Congress
11.01.12 - Austin, TX - Club Deville
11.02.12 - San Antonio, TX - Korova
11.03.12 - Dallas, TX - DADA
11.05.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
11.07.12 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel

• Dovecote: