NPR Announces Digital Music Service; Shows No Remorse for Singlehandedly Ruining My Sandbox Popularity

I come from an NPR household. Translation: My dad is to Garrison Keillor as People magazine is to Brangelina. As a young squirt, I often complained about A Prairie Home Companion during dinner, as I had important playground tales to report, unlike this boring man who sounded like he had a penchant for talking with peanut butter in his mouth. (Disclaimer: G-Keil and I are best buds now. I think he's the most.)

Soon, I realized I was very different from the other kids. My freakdom even extended to other forms of household media. "What do you MEAN there are more than six TV channels!?" I felt cheated, and to add insult to injury, I didn't see an episode of Saved By the Bell until I was 14.

But obviously, my parents did something right, because my life has reached its pinnacle — Joe's letting me close the store tonight, AND I get to announce a delicious little piece of news a la NPR, AND someone ate enough crazy for breakfast to let me post it on this fine internet establishment known as TMT.

Behold: NPR Music Online! Wanna feast your ears on that live Sleater-Kinney show from the 9:30 Club? Done. Got an inexplicable urge to hear Fiona Apple discuss why she is neither a Fiona nor an Apple? Baby, you got it. And of course, there are opera & orchestral tunes a-plenty, because come on, this is NPR. (Disclaimer #2: I happen to love those philharmonic jams. Stravinsky is a neo-classical rock star, and I'll bean y'all over the head with my cello bow if you disagree.)

Moment of truth: not all tracks will be totally free 'n' easy, but hey, we can dream, right? And if you've really got beef, feel free to create a clever username (e.g. ITotallyHeartTerriGross, MorningEditionIsMyBoyfriend) and practice your free speech privs on their shiny new message board. You may or may not see me there, and my handle may or may not be IraGlassIsMyBoy.

Uh, I mean — just kidding?

Prurient and Air Conditioning and FFH Collaborate on “Trampling the Meanness” Tour; John Mark Karr Arrested For Removing Dominick Fernow’s Shirt

Prurient, aka Fernow, who runs Hospital Productions, is teaming up with Allentown, PA's favorite battleship crash Air Conditioning and NYC's abbreviated F.F.H. (Richard Dunn, who did Vegas Martyrs with Fernow) for an annihilating collaborative set a little bit outta the Northeast and a sqweeny bit into the Midwest this week.

Air Conditioning are all systems puke, and it breaks my heart to say we overlooked their superior Weakness full-length in 2004. Oh, and we also overlooked Prurient's excellent Black Vase double LP last year. Uh... and we didn't even know about F.F.H.'s Silenced Whore cassette, but some people are all "blah blah rave rave it's like a bunch of scary" on it. So now that we aired that out — that we stink at covering these dudes — we just gotta come out and admit it: we hate noise. Long live Islands.

Islands Tourdates (WE WISH):

09.01.06 - Cincinnati, OH - Sudsy Malones @
09.02.06 - St. Louis, MO - Spooky Action Place
09.03.06 - Iowa City, IA - Hall Mall #
09.04.06 - Chicago, IL - Mister City $
09.05.06 - Detroit, MI - Behind the Green Door %
09.06.06 - Brooklyn, NY - 289 Kent Ave (btwn s1 and s2) ^

@ w/ Burning Star Core and Realicide
# w/ Scalpels, Binges and more
$ w/ Bloodyminded, Wilt, Its a Trap, and I Am the Liquor
% w/ Cleanse!!!
^ w/ Malkuth, Withdrawal Method

Oh, and by the way: Malkuth is definitely members of No-Neck Blues Band playing black metal. I wish I had more to say about it... but sand has already covered up my laptop screen. (That's right! I edit TMT while sitting on a beach drinkin' Corona listening to Return to the Sea!!!!)

Photo: Kunstencentrum

Winter Weather Not Smog’s Soul, But The Biding For Fall Tour

That Bill Callahan character's on the road again. So what? Lots of people go on the road. Lord knows I've been on the road plenty of times. Couple people told me I spent too much time on the road, told me some day I'd need to get my priorities straight; don't talk to those people anymore. What I'm saying is Bill Callahan ain't the Alpha nor the Omega. Okay, dude had that thing with Cat Power a while back, props to him for that. Probably sauntered up to her, real cool, whispered some sweet, melodic nothings in her ear. At least that's what I would've done, had I been given the chance. And don't think I haven't. The number of soirees I've attended featuring high-profile indie artists? Let's just say it's not the type of number you'd use in everyday speech. Unless you're someone like me, who drops dangerously lengthy digits in all my conversations.

So this Callahan released "Rock Bottom Riser" on Drag City in June, his first single off last year's A River Ain't Too Much To Love [TMT Review], and I guess he thinks that's reason enough for a belated celebration tour. Whatever keeps the guy afloat. Again, okay, dude got Joanna Newsom to play piano on the track. Hi-fives all around. But I ask you: does having talented musicians swoon over a man make him more worthy of respect than someone who, say, spent last weekend in his underwear, watching early Pete and Pete episodes? And if so, might you at least have the decency to wipe away the tears now forming in the latter man's eyes?

Just... just give me a minute here:

09.05.06 - Austin, TX - Cactus Club *
09.06.06 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves *
09.07.06 - Tulsa, OK - Blue Dome Diner *
09.08.06 - Springfield, MO - Randy Bacon Gallery *
09.09.06 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill
09.10.06 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music
10.01.06 - New Orleans, LA - One-Eyed Jack's
10.02.06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree
10.03.06 - Atlanta, GA - Red Light Cafe
10.04.06 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre
10.06.06 - Charlottesville, VA - Gravity Lounge

* w/ The Howling Hex

Spinto Band Lose Mandolin, Counting Crows Don’t; TMT Asks: Is There No Justice?

Up-and-coming band suffer from equipment theft: It's a story that's becoming (sadly) ever more familiar. The Spinto Band can probably count themselves lucky that just a mandolin got nicked. But! Look closer and the whole thing gets a bit weird: someone's pulled some serious Ocean's 11-style shit here.

For one thing, the thief lifted the thing right off the stage during the freakin' performance. Not only that, it was taken from Manchester's Academy 3 — a microscopic, scummy dive on the third floor of the city's student union. To get an idea of the audacity of the thing, open up the icebox in your fridge, stuff five of your best buds inside, and fill your kitchen with screaming drunks. Now try pulling the ice-cream out without anyone noticing. Hard, wasn't it?

I mean, yeah, sure, the robber's probably just some asshole, but you've gotta have respect for hijinks like that. Dude's probably sipping martinis in a tux on a pedal-powered plane right now, trailing a banner reading "BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, THE SPINTO BAND!"

"This instrument has little monetary worth, but provides a wealth of sentimental value to us," the band stated on their website. "It is a Kay electric mandolin with a wood sunburst finish, white pickguard, and a crack in the headstock."

"We are prepared to offer healthy reward upon its return. In addition, if the mandolin is received before we play Reading/Leeds, the person who delivers it will be offered tickets to those events." Sadly, the Reading and Leeds festivals have passed, no doubt leading The Spinto Band to shake their fists impotently at the sky and yell, "DAMN YOU, MANDOLIN MARAUDER!"

If you're still pissed at the robber, try imagining the Spinto dude's "wuh-wuh-WUH?" as he goes for the mandolin and grabs at empty air.

Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower Masterminds Revealed

The internet is a funny place. People who could easily sift through stereotypically long Russian novels like War and Peace end up floundering when they get to a four-paragraph article. Four paragraphs? Make that four sentences. You've probably already decided there's nothing of value in the article and have moved on to something more lewdly sexual. Wait! You just scanned past an interesting word! Maybe this isn't too bad after all. Is it worth devoting an additional fifty seconds of your life to? There is a rich and fulfilling world of hentai out there. Did the inclusion of the word "hentai" just open TMT up to a whole new demographic of Googlers? We can only hope.

Assuming you've managed to hold your attention long enough to read through that (sorry, your time would have been better spent getting an extra minute of sleep), what have you learned? Well, Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tour are soon to be on the road. What? Homeland security is using a "terrorism filter" based on spam filters? I've been blacklisted? Aw, shit, at least I've got plenty of long books to read.

I just wish someone ONCE would have a plot to announce all of their dates in TMT format:

10.05.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
10.06.06 - Portland, OR - Satyricon
10.07.06 - Seattle, WA - The Paradox
10.08.06 - Anacortes, WA - Department of Safety
10.10.06 - Eureka, CA - Synapsis
10.11.06 - Santa Barbara, CA - Casa De La Raza
10.12.06 - San Diego, CA - TBA
10.13.06 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
10.14.06 - Las Vegas, NV - TBA
10.16.06 - Denver, CO - Hi- Dive
10.17.06 - Iowa City, IO - The Picador (Gabe's Oasis)
10.18.06 - Bettendorf, IO - Penguins
10.19.06 - Milwaukee, WI - Shorewood Legion Hall
10.20.06 - Madison, WI - Sir Charles' Birthday
10.21.06 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
10.22.06 - Bowling Green, OH - Howard's
10.23.06 - Southgate, MI - the Modern Exchange
10.25.06 - Buffalo, NY - Kitchen Distribution
10.26.06 - Toronto, ON - TBA
10.27.06 - Montreal, QC - TBA
10.28.06 - Wallingford, CT - Wallingford American
10.29.06 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
10.31.06 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Vassar College
11.01.06 - New York, NY - The Knitting Factory (CMJ)
11.02.06 - Suny, NY - South
11.03.06 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden (CMJ)
11.05.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian
11.07.06 - Norfolk, VA - Relative Theory
11.08.06 - Richmond, VA - Nanci Raygun
11.09.06 - Asheville, NC - Joli Rouge
11.10.06 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
11.11.06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
11.12.06 - Hattiesburg, MS - Green Room
11.14.06 - Baton Rouge, LO - The Dark Room
11.15.06 - New Orleans, LO - TBA
11.16.06 - Houston, TX - TBA
11.17.06 - Austin, TX - TBA
11.18.06 - Odessa, TX - the Roadhouse
11.19.06 - Tucson, AZ - Skrappy's