One in Three Is a Music Pirate; You Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves!

Market research conducted by Interpret, based on the downloading habits of 64 million respondents, indicates that one-third of the group are music pirates. Around 24 million (36%) said they had downloaded music illegally in the last three months. The study also showed that “9% of music pirates have bought a full album online in the past three months. Downloading individual songs is even more popular in this group, with 16% indicating that they paid to download an individual song recently.”

This correspondent is utterly disgusted at these pilfering thieves -- many of whom, no doubt, are lazy college students with nothing better to do than leech off hard-working music executives. My dad (a record label manager) couldn’t afford a planned swimming pool extension to our mansion in rural England because of declining company revenues. Thanks to greedy online pirates, this correspondent can no longer hold his highly anticipated summer pool party where bikini-clad girls and illegal narcotics were going to be the highlight of an otherwise boring holiday in Walberswick, Suffolk.

Since going "from the valley to the stars" (TMT Review) on her second LP, El Perro Del Mar (a.k.a. Swedish songwriter Sarah Assbring) has made an incredible discovery: pop, as it turns out, is not love. Assbring discovered this fact while writing songs for her third album, all of which happened to deal with the concept of doomed love. So, all these new songs were love songs, but they were also pop songs. Which might suggest that pop is actually love, albeit the doomed kind? But no! As it turns out, Assbring discovered that love is deeper than a pop song, leaving her with the conclusion (and title of her new record) that Love Is Not Pop.

If love really is not pop, then, man, that brings forward a lot of new facts about pop. Did you know that pop is not all you need? Or that pop triangles are really quite ordinary? Pop, surprisingly, is considerably less simple than love, not to mention that there’s an awful lot wrong with pop. Have you ever fallen in pop with someone you should have fallen in love with?

Regardless of whether pop and love are really one and the same, apparently the old El Perro Del Mar is not the new El Perro Del Mar. Ms. Assbring is making an effort to break from her previous style, as the new record possesses a darker outlook and a sound she describes as “mysteriously groovy.” Such a “mysteriously groovy” sound is the product of her collaboration with producer Rasmus Hägg, half of Balaeric pop duo Studio. Studio’s work is pretty “mysteriously groovy” itself, so the description of Love Is Not Pop, due October 20 via The Control Group, is likely accurate.


1. Gotta Get Smart
2. Change of Heart
3. L Is for Love
4. Let Me In
5. Heavenly Arms
6. It Is Something (To Have Wept)
7. A Better Love
8. L Is for Love (Low Motion Disco's additional love remix) [bonus track]
9. Change of Heart (J Rintamäki remix) [bonus track]
10. Let Me In (Nhessingtons remix) [bonus track]

Ooooo… OOIOO Drops New Album on Thrill Jockey in Late October!

At what point exactly does the indie world’s mewling cabal of critics and blogadeers start to judge an established musician’s “side project” outside the context of the artist’s primary undertaking? After they release two albums? Maybe three? Does a person have to go all Gorillaz and cram his or her new band with so many guest collaborators and multimedia distractions that it becomes more of an overblown PowerPoint presentation than a band? Does a side project need to come equipped with a single equal to or better than “Genius of Love” if it has any hope of getting recognized on its own merits? Is such a feat even possible (Making a song better than “Genius of Love,” mind you, not the other thing...)?

Take OOIOO , for instance. For a side project to receive extensive critical consideration that hasn’t been distilled in the juices of that artist’s flagship act is difficult enough, but if your new band happens to be an offshoot of the inimitable Boredoms, you’re basically boned from the get-go. The full discography of Boredoms side projects goes on and on for days, leaving little hope that they’ll all receive the critical consideration they deserve. However, OOIOO stands among the chosen few (along with Hanatarash and Z-Rock Hawaii) as a Boredoms side project that has successfully flown from the nest and developed a dedicated following, one that doesn’t consider the group to be just another Boredoms sideshow act.

How did Yoshimi and company manage to pull it off, you ask? Fuck if I know, it’s probably because they’re just a really good band or something. I think I’ve done enough hackneyed over-analysis for one news article, so let’s quit fucking around and get down to business. OOIOO, comprised of Yoshimi P-we of Boredoms fame and three other extremely capable ladies, have slated their much-anticipated follow-up to 2006’s Taiga (TMT's 19th favorite album of '06!) for a late October release on Thrill Jockey . Titled Arminico Hewa (defined by the band as “air in a harmonious state”) the album finds our heroes OOIOO up to their same old psychedelic but surprisingly well-grounded tricks. Or not. I haven’t listened to the record yet. And neither have you. But now you know it’s coming out, so there. We’re equals now.


1. SOL
2. Uda Hah
3. Irorun
4. Konjo
5. Ulda
6. Polacca
7. Kipepeo
8. O O I A H
9. Nin Na Yama
10. Hewa Hewa
11. Agacim
12. Orokai
13. Honki Ponki

So Sayeth The Doom-Sayers: sunn 0))) Expand Tour, Terrify Southern States

Listen closely, children: the end is upon us and the black lords ride ever closer -- well, if you live on the East Coast, that is, and consider sunn 0))) black lords. More to the point, and what I really mean to say, is that sunn 0))) have announced the third wave of their “Live Aktions on American Soil” tour in support of their newest album, Monoliths & Dimensions (TMT Review).

The band will move across the Eastern seaboard and then plunder its way through the Southern states, pulverizing all ears that stand in its way. The metal maestros will be backed by label mates Eagle Twin, who are positively psyched to let you know that they will be touring in support of their newly released album The Unkindness of Crows.

sunn 0))) will also be playing a very special show in Brooklyn, at a massive Masonic Temple, where the spirit of Cthulu will be summoned. The Dark Lord will then spread his anger and fire across our landscape, burning everyone in his sight and promising death to all humans, besides for Southern Lord label mates Earth and Pelican, who are reportedly both excited to witness any and all burnings

08.05.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s *
08.06.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's $
08.08.09 - San Francisco, CA - Independent
08.09.09 - Brookdale, CA - Historic Brookdale Lodge
08.11.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Center for the Arts
08.13.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
08.14.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Avalon Theatre
09.17.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr Small's
09.19.09 - Providence, RI - AS220 Broad Street Studio
09.20.09 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
09.22.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Masonic Temple*
09.23.09 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
09.24.09 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
09.25.09 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel^
09.26.09 - Atlanta, GA - Legends Banquet & Special Event Center
09.27.09 - Athens, GA - Seney-Stovall Chapel
09.28.09 - Athens, GA - Seney-Stovall Chapel
09.30.09 - Nashvillle, TN - Mercy Lounge

Photo: [Evan Hunter]

What's not to love about little Japanese girls singing not-so-good English lyrics over über-traditional rock 'n' roll punk jams, right? Well, in case you forgot about them, here's an update: nowadays Shonen Knife are quite a bit older and can probably speak English a little better, but their wits remain sharp as ever, having just tinkered their band into a full-time three-piece lineup. In 2006, the original bassist of Shonen Knife, Atsuko, left the band and moved to LA, so Shonen Knife have been keeping things active with fill-in bass players since then. On their upcoming record, though, the girls have officially invited Ritsuko to become a permanent member, returning the lineup to a trio of power.

Shonen Knife seems to be treating 2009 as if they were a fresh, new band, signing to Good Charamel Records and readying their newest LP Super Group for an August 15 release. The girls have even decided to "musically" start things over, attempting to "go back to the starting point of ROCK." Super Group is all English lyrics this time around and stomps around genres, from the Buzzcocks-influenced title track to the heavy metal of "Pyramid Power" and "Muddy Bubbles Hell," to the almost Jonathan Richman-esque "BBQ Party," and even a Wings cover for good measure. The North American version of Super Group will come with a special bonus track, "Evil Ways," and exclusive cover artwork, and the band plans to do an extensive tour of Europe, Australia, and North America after the album's released.

Super Group tracklisting:

1. Super Group
2. Slug
3. Muddy Bubbles Hell
4. Deer Biscuits
5. BBQ Party
6. Pyramid Power
7. Time Warp
8. Na Na Na
9. Your Guitar
10. Jet
11. Evil Birds (bonus track)

The Decemberists Announce Fall Tour; Yes, They’re Still Playing That Pretentious, Wank-Off Opera Thing Instead of The Songs That You Love

Man, don’t you kind of wonder if the other Decemberists mighta forgotten about that whole "touring" thing when they agreed to help Colin Meloy create the sprawling and scattered, Tristan-meets-Twilight Saga, prog-folk LP The Hazards of Love (TMT Review) this past spring? Well, if so, then... oops. Cuz they’re still out there playing it. Over and over and over again. (John Moen must be texting frown-y faces to Robert Pollard constantly.)

Yes, that’s right all you Beroul, Wagner, and Magic: The Gathering fans, The Decemberists have just announced a pretty mammoth and mythical slab of tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone fall dates for their “A Short Fazed Hovel” 2009 tour. And yes, this is the tour that features full performances of The Hazards of Love, with Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden in tow once again for the, um, festivities. And no, you probably won’t get to hear that good old “Mariner’s Revenge Song” there (boo!).

This fall phase of the Faze launches September 20 in Burlington, Vermont, a mere month or so after they wrap up this current, summertime phase of the Faze, which includes an NPR live webcasting and broadcasting of their performance at this year’s Newport Folk Festival on August 1 (which apparently will actually not be The Hazards of Love, but instead a special set for the festival! Hey, play the damn “Mariner’s Revenge Song”!)

Now, please, give me a sec to post all these tourdates... before they announce some more!

The Decemberists’ “A [No Longer Too] Short Fazed Hovel” 2009 tourdates:
08.01.09 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
08.02.09 - Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
08.03.09 - Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus
08.05.09 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
08.06.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro
08.07.09 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.08.09 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Egyptian Room
08.10.09 - Louisville, KY - W.L. Lyons Brown Theater
08.11.09 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theater
08.13.09 - Buffalo, NY - UB Center for the Arts
08.14.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Byham Theater
08.15.09 - Schwenksville, PA - Philadelphia Folk Festival
08.16.09 - Holyoke, MA - Mountain Park
09.20.09 - Burlington, VT - Flynn Theater
09.21.09 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater
09.23.09 - Norfolk, VA - The Norva
09.24.09 - Charlottesville, VA - Charlottesville Pavilion
09.25.09 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
09.27.09 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
09.29.09 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheater
09.30.09 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
10.02.09 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
10.03.09 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.04.09 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
10.06.09 - Lexington, KY - University of Kentucky, Lexington
10.07.09 - Columbia, MO - Ninth St. Fall Fest
10.18.09 - San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Music Festival
11.18.09 - London, UK - Forum
11.19.09 - London, UK - Coronet


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