Newsflash: Clear Channel Considers Selling Some Radio Stations, Radio Industry in Flux; Hey Look, the World’s Smallest Violin

You probably heard about this when you picked up your copy of The New York Times this morning. Personally, I print the online edition out every day and wipe my ass with it. I usually save the sports pages for last, though. It's good to read on the can and always the last square to go. You know how it goes. Anyhow, this excellent story about the radio industry was pretty hard to ignore. It seems broadcasters are having a bit of trouble, especially those folks over at Clear Channel. According to the NYT story, the communications giant is considering selling some of their 1200+ stations, especially those in smaller markets. The article cites the sale of radio stations by CBS, Disney, and Susquehanna Broadcasting as precursors to such a move.

Of course, the mid-to-late '90s was a great time to be in the radio business. The Telecommuncations Act of 1996 allowed companies like Clear Channel to gobble up radio stations by the dozen. In turn, the company pulled in record profits. Clear Channel founder L. Lowry Mays swam in pools of champagne and dined on meals of fresh horse. He cleared brush with future presidents and shook hands with dignitaries. He gave pennies to immigrants and sipped crude oil from a twisty straw. Okay, maybe not ALL of that is true, but the point is, he was filthy stinkin' rich. Got it? But now, he swims in olympic-sized pools of water, just like the rest of us.

Obviously, traditional radio has fallen on tough times due to the alternatives. Satellite radio, iPods, and online streaming have all contributed to this decline. According to Arbitron ratings, and as reported by the NYT, the amount of time people tune into radio over the course of a week has fallen by 14% over the last decade. Much of this decline is due to the failure of traditional broadcasters to adapt to new technology and the internet. However, more recent attempts by traditional broadcasters include implementation of HD Radio, introducing experimental formats, an emphasis on more local content, reducing the length of ad spots and offering more user-friendly online streaming. Only time will tell if it'll make a difference.

Truth be told, HD Radio is years away from mainstream use. Until then, expect some significant wheeling and dealing. Who knows, maybe there's hope for the medium of radio yet.

Major Labels Receive Sorely Needed Compensation From Lost Revenue Caused by eDonkey, New Papa Roach Out Now

The unfortunately named eDonkey was the latest peer-to-peer service to receive a fisting from the RIAA. But damn those suits and their magical latex gloves; every time they pull out their arms, it's covered in Benjamins. The two shmucks in diapers, Sam Yagen and Jed McCaleb, got 30 million dollar enemas from Mistress, and all she could say was, "another domino falls." How ominous. When you name your company after the whipping post of the animal world, you are bound to get a lashing, I guess.

But this hole thing is for nothing but kinky kicks. There will always be a way to get free shit. Whether it's really getting your elbow dirty, Youtube'n, torrents, or the Hype Machine, new technology will continue to be made available. Better than it was before.

Better. Stronger. Faster.

Lee Majors can do what he wants to stop it, but what he has to realize is that even though you've shut down yet another P2P service with your bionic arm and $6 million bank roll, creativity always works faster than the courts. And I still have hundreds of gigs worth of music that I did not pay for. I don't know what to download right now, though. The choices are so broad that I can barely focus on one thing. What are you downloading?

John Milton: Who me?

Mr. Pants: Yeah, what should I download? Is anything coming out this week?

John Milton: If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,

Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,

But they, or underground, or circuit wide

(lines 299-301 from Paradise Lost: Book VII)

Mr. Pants: Dude! Send me the link.

John Milton: Done! Wait 'til you hear W.A.Y.U.H. You'll bust a nizzut. -Mr. Pants

Andrew Bird: Avian Philanthropist

Criminally talented violinist, whistler, crooner and Squirrel Nut Zipper Andrew 'The Bird' Bird, as you well know, is one of the finest musicians to grace the world - possibly the universe. We all went cuckoo over his sixth full-length albumen, the wondrous Mysterious Production of Eggs [TMT Review], but now he's announced an abrupt change of direction, eschewing attempts to rule the roost of wistful, acoustic, jazzy musings.

Bird has opened an owl sanctuary to combat the so-called 'surname surlies' who have mercilessly subjected him to years of senseless abuse, based merely on his aviary-inspired moniker. This month, he embarks on a tour of the West Coast (with the San Fran date already sold out) to give a series of speeches and lectures marking the inauguration of the sanctuary.

In addition, Bird will be releasing an album early next year, showcasing the whistles and coos of his namesakes in the sanctuary. The album will be known as Armchair Apocrypha, due to Bird's penchant for sitting up at night in the sanctuary, keeping the owls company.

We at TMT would urge you to attend these essential meetings if at all possible. It is one of the most heart-rending and touching sights in the independent American music scene to see an artist so selflessly reach out to our buddies in the sky.

09.16.2006 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater*
09.17.2006 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue (Club Sound)*
09.19.2006 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater*
09.20.2006 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up Tavern*
09.21.2006 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre*
09.22.2006 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
09.26.2006 - Eugene, OR - Wow Hall Community Center*
09.27.2006 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater*
09.28.2006 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey*
09.29.2006 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club*
09.30.2006 - Bellingham, WA - The Nightlight*

* Accompanied by Dosh, supported by Cass McCombs

+ / - Prep New Album, Inspire Obnoxious List; In The Future I Look Forward To Reporting On Up-And-Coming Bands Compare/Contrast and Venn Diagram

Precise, pressurized, prism-pop purveyors + / - (I totally just won in cattergories) are getting ready to release a proper follow-up to their 2003 LP You Are Here, an album so good it's rumored to have been responsible for a recent string of power outages, as well as the ritual murders of at least three teenagers in Spokane, WA. Still not satisfied, the gore-drenched band also plans to switch things up with a new label, followed by a scattershot fall tour.

Now, all these + / - announcements dumped in our laps on the same day might lead one to believe that the band were a bit rash in their decision-making. Luckily, there is still some time left before the album's release, so today I'd like to present a short list of things the band might not have considered when making their plans, things that might have looked positive at first glance, but in the end are unalterably negative. Take heed:

[+] Critical praise upon release of new album on October 24, entitled Let's Build a Fire.

[-] Legal battle over plagiarism with publishers of Official Boy Scout Handbook.

[+] Newfound respect after signing to Absolutely Kosher, home of Frog Eyes, The Dead Science, and Sunset Rubdown.

[-] Newfound embarrassment after parents discover Absolutely Kosher also home of Goblin Cock.

[+] Instantly increased fanbase due to awe-inspiring tracklist.

[-] Not really:

1. Let's Build A Fire
2. Fadeout
3. Steal the Blueprints
4. The Important Thing Is To Love
5. Thrown Into the Fire
6. Summer Dress 2 [Iodine]
7. Ignoring All the Detours
8. Profession
9. One Day You'll Be There
10. This Is All I Have Left
11. Leap Year
12. Time and Space
13. For You

[+] Memorable experiences from successful U.S. tour:

10.27.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church +
10.28.06 + Washington, DC - Black Cat -
11.08.06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree
11.10.06 + Denton, TX - Hailey's
11.11.06 - Austin, TX - Austin Music Hall
11.14.06 + Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
11.15.06 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
11.17.06 + San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
11.20.06 - Portland, OR - Towne Lounge
11.21.06 + Seattle, WA - Crocodile
11.25.06 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
11.26.06 + Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection
11.29.06 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dees
11.30.06 + Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo

+ / - with the Wrens

[-] Memorable experience from unlocked stall in Tucson bathroom.

The Rapture Tour U.S. and Canada; Confused Christian Fundamentalists Buy Tickets, Are in for Big Surprise

Reptilian post-hard/math core is coming our way, in the shape of the venomous These Arms Are Snakes. I don't know what you think about David Icke's theory on the Illuminati and their quest for world domination, but I happen to feel that giant lizard life-forms masquerading as normal humans would be a welcome addition to our otherwise dull and bland existence. As such, I'm thrilled to announce, exclusively for TMT – sadly no other website would allow me to announce it – that These Arms Are Snakes are slithering their way across the continental United States in an imminent, upcoming, forthcoming, pending, impending, chilling, thrilling tour!

And now I have had it with These Fuckin' Arms are Motherfuckin' Snakes on a Motherfuckin' Plane:

09.22.06 - Richland, WA - Ray's Golden Lion
09.23.06 - Yakima, WA - Yakima Sports Center ^
10.17.06 – Denver, CO - Marquis Theater *$
10.18.06 – Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon *
10.19.06 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador *{
10.20.06 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen *#{
10.21.06 - Milwaukee, WI - The Cactus Club *#{
10.22.06 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig *#$
10.24.06 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *#{
10.26.06 - Toronto, ON - The Kathedral *#
10.28.06 - Montreal, QC - Petit Campus *#
10.29.06 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East – Upstairs *#%
11.01.06 - Providence, RI - The Livingroom *#%
11.02.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *#%
11.03.06 - Brooklyn, NY - North Six (Jade Tree CMJ Showcase)
11.07.06 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *#@
11.08.06 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *$
11.09.06 - Orlando, FL - AKA Lounge *@
11.10.06 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbit's *@
11.20.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *%

* - w/Mouth Of The Architect
# - w/Young Widows
% - w/ French Toast
@ - w/The North Atlantic
^ - w/ With a Bullet, Head Like A Kite
$ - w/ Planes Mistaken For Stars
- w/ River City Tan Lines
– w/ Everlovely Lightning Heart}

Enough punctuation for ya? My keyboard is having a FIELD DAY!

The Rapture Tour U.S. and Canada; Confused Christian Fundamentalists Buy Tickets, Are in for Big Surprise

Said one churchgoer to another, "Hark, I hear that the rapture is coming. It will begin in DC first, to smote those foul politicians, then sweep across the United States and Canada. The final judgments will occur in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, those Spanish-named bastions of sin."

The other, overcome with emotion, fell to his knees, and raised his eyes to the heavens. "Lord! Please provideth me with tickets to your holy assemblage! The rapture is upon us and I beseech you to include me in your hour of righteousness!"

Needless to say, when Rapture tickets began to rain down from heaven, every hipster within a mile radius called every hipster within a ten-mile radius, who called their hipster friends in the three neighboring states. I hear there are still some tickets, albeit a bit smeared, floating down the Mississippi River. If only you were willing to get your American Apparel leggings wet...

The rapture will probably not be televised (but will most likely be on YouTube within 5 hours of the end of the first show):

10.26.06 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10.27.06 - Toronto, Ontario - The Guvernment
10.28.06 - Detroit, MI - St Andrew's Hall
10.30.06 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
11.01.06 - Boston, MA - Axis
11.02.06 - Montreal, Quebec - Club Soda
11.03.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Pure Nightclub
11.05.06 -Chicago, IL - Metro
11.07.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's
11.09.06 - Phoenix, AR - The Old Brickhouse Theatre
11.10.06 - Pomona, CA - Glass House
11.11.06 - San Francisco, CA - Be The Riottt!
11.13.06 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
11.14.06 - Vancouver, BC - Richards on Richards
11.15.06 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11.17.06 - Las Vegas, NV - Celebrity Vegas
11.20.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre

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