Pension fund causes nobody to want EMI; Citigroup makes frowny face

Pension fund causes nobody to want EMI; Citigroup makes frowny face

It’s tough times for Citigroup. First, they force fee hikes against their customers because of mean ol’ Big Gov, then kettle and arrest them for closing their accounts, snagging some poor lady in the process. Annnnd I’m closing my account next week, legitimately. But rabble-rousing customers of their bank services don’t really give them much of a distraction, since they’re 99 cents on the dollar. However, when billions of dollars come into play, it gets their attention.

Earlier this year, Citi hostilely took over beleaguered major label EMI from the financier with the greatest name, Guy Hands, and followed up with the intention of selling off the company. Five serious bidders (Universal, WMG, Sony, BMG, and Revlon owner Ron Perelman) showed interest in bidding on either part or the whole company through one round of bidding. However, it now appears that the sale of EMI has stalled, for bidders spent most of their time watching the sexy action at Zuccotti Park cut back on their bids, especially for EMI Music, the recording arm.

The stalling point? Pension funds, the bane of all youth. Because of the sale, EMI and Citi reexamined their pension fund liabilities, and found them to be double what they were paying after making a deal with the British government last year. In the likely event that Citi splits EMI’s sale into EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing, the former would take the pension fund burden. This got music bidders Universal Music, WMG, and Perelman in a tizzy, eventually cutting back their bids in the second round.

Thus, Citi is all sad and confused like some puppy that just got weaned abruptly. They could sell EMI whole and get a bunch of tax breaks (assuming mean ol’ Big Gov don’t reform the tax code like they should), but only WMG displayed enough interest to confirm a bid for the whole company in addition to EMI Music. They could sell the company in pieces, and earn more money from two sales (especially given how much BMG and Sony supposedly want to pay for EMI Music Publishing), but they lose out on tax breaks (that they might not get anyway). Another option may be to postpone, especially given how the three major credit rating agencies, run by 20-something men with enough cocaine to supply Canada for a year, want to downgrade everyone’s credit ratings except their own at the moment, making financing tricky. But that option may be a ploy to up the bids and draw in bidders, as another bidder with a kind-of-cool name, Yamani Global Equities, sent in a whole company bid the day after official bids were due when they heard that rumor. They just don’t know what to do.

Meanwhile, below them, it has been 31 days since the occupation of Zuccotti Park began.

Drag City, your super-secret crush, launches a new booking agency, reads your totally sad diary

According to The Daily Swarm, Drag City, the respected record label/your secret crush that you totally want to kiss on the ear, is starting a new booking agency. The Strange Victory Touring Company, presumably named after the Silver Jews song “Strange Victory, Strange Defeat” because all the Flying Saucer Attack song titles were taken, consists of three different agents, all with distinct music industry backgrounds. Let’s meet ‘em now:

• Derek Becker is the kind of guy who loves booking bands, even during those times when he was 14 and starting his own agency, Satellite Booking. In his recent, not-14-years-old days, he’s been working as an agent for The Windish Agency. He loves dinosaurs, Dracula, and circuit boards.

• Nicole Yalaz is no stranger to Drag City — she’s been working there for five years! As a publicist, no less! When not publicisting, she also served as a part-time manager and booking agent for Drag City bands. You could say Drag City is in her blood, because they make all their potential employees take a blood oath on the first interview. She loves mushroom pizza, helicopters, and the Seattle Supersonics when Detlef Schrempf was playing for them.

• John Bohannon is a man who needs no introduction, unless you don’t know who he is. A true creature of the road, he’s been a touring musician since 2005. To properly recover from these trips, he built an Electric Temple in 2009, where he can draw power from the cosmos and also put out records and promote artists. He loves #2 pencils, go-karts, and chocolate truffles.

They’re a great bunch, aren’t they? Through Strange Victory Touring, they’re hoping to build sustainable and eco-tolerant careers for the artists they book (such as Amen Dunes, Barn Owl, Blues Control, Gary War, Magik Markers, Psychedelic Horseshit, R. Stevie Moore, Sic Alps, Wet Hair, and Wooden Wand). Only one thing, though: they want their artists to be “authentic, innovative, meaningful and unlame.” Translation: lame-o’s need not apply.

• Strange Victory Touring Company:
• Drag City:

The Sea and Cake to dumb it all down for you on tour this fall

Sure, it’s easy to give longtime Chicago pop-hypnotists The Sea and Cake shit for their sort-of random and, I don’t know, puffy-sounding band name: “Oh, look at me, I’m in ‘The Sea and Cake,’ and I wear a scarf when I read poetry and play Exquisite Corpse all day with my sugar cube-dunking friends by the sea and we all laugh and eat cake and it’s delicious.” (See? I told you it was easy.) But actually, if you look closer, you’ll notice that the sea and cake (as things) share many more logical associations that you might think. For example, the sea is salty; cake is sweet. So, logically, eating some cake and washing it down with seawater would be at least as delicious as a Take 5 candy bar is. Also, “the sea” is a general, kinda abstract term that can represent any number of specific bodies of salt water. Likewise, “cake” is also an abstract term insofar as I cannot order any at Bakers Square. See what I’m getting at here?

Fine, if you’re still not buying it, The Sea and Cake will be touring the US this November in support of this past spring’s jazzy, breezy, salty, sweet, Thrill Jockey mini-LP The Moonlight Butterfly (TMT Review). Maybe you can ask them to dumb it down for you. Ooh, wait, I just thought of another one: cakes have layers; the sea has… wait no, never mind. That one sucks.


11.04.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
11.05.11 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
11.06.11 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
11.07.11 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
11.08.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.09.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11.10.11 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
11.11.11 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
11.12.11 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
12.02.11 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
12.03.11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
12.04.11 - Arcata, CA - Jambalaya
12.05.11 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s
12.06.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
12.07.11 - San Diego, CA - Cashbah
12.08.11 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
12.10.11 - Mexico City, Mexico - Volla Acoustique
12.17.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle

• The Sea and Cake:
• Thrill Jockey:

Tom Waits throws “private” Bad as Me listening party (for real this time)

A few months back, we at Tiny Mix Tapes intercepted news that Tom Waits’ 17th album Bad as Me had been announced and would be released on October 25. The announcement was accompanied by a snide video by Mr. Chokes on Cigarette Butts and Barbed Wire in which he lampooned the idea of private listening parties during the internet age. Surprisingly it seems as if the video wasn’t entirely sarcastic, seeing as Tom Waits has now sent out invitations to those on his mailing list to take a listen to the new album a week before its release.

Those on the mailing list will receive a unique code, along with five others to give out to friends, family members, strangers, etc., inviting you to join in on the festivities. If you’re not on his mailing list, you can still receive a code by requesting one to your email address; however, these codes are apparently limited. Regardless, if you’re not on the mailing list and you don’t receive a code you could probably find a leak somewhere on the internet within a few hours anyways (sans the crab cakes and wine that would come with being invited to the party).

Tom Waits’ Bad as Me will be released via Anti- on October 25 in the US, and October 24 in Europe.

Bad as Me tracklisting:

01. Chicago
02. Raised Right Men
03. Talking at the Same Time
04. Get Lost
05. Face to the Highway
06. Pay Me
07. Back in the Crowd
08. Bad as Me
09. Kiss Me
10. Satisfied
11. Last Leaf
12. Hell Broke Luce
13. New Year’s Eve
14. She Stole the Blush *
15. Tell Me *
16. After You Die *

* deluxe edition

Bad as Me:
• Tom Waits:
• Anti-:

Plaid to rhythmically sway the masses on upcoming North American tour

The notion of Plaid (Andy Turner and Ed Handley) touring North America inspires the same degree of bewildered excitement as one would likely feel if any number of genre-pioneering electronic musicians decided to tour the same region. I’ve still partially resigned myself to the idea that if I ever want to fully experience IDM (my apologies to opponents of this particular label) live, that it’ll require a trip to Europe, but the fact that Plaid are venturing past the Atlantic this November in support of their latest album on Warp, Scintilli, makes me enormously grateful and giddy. Except for the fact that I can’t actually make it to any of their shows. Shit. Well, I’m grateful at least.

With the release of Mbuki Mvuki in 1991, Plaid have remained steadily active in the two decades since then, honing a relentlessly organic sound which has yet to be replicated to any considerable degree. According to the associated press release, the Latin “scintilli” roughly translates to “I am many sparks” — a phrase which the duo “claim to chant for two hours every morning, before starting work in their newly built studio in North London.” I don’t find this spiritual routine of theirs particularly surprising. If the Earth and nature itself had the potential to give birth to electronic musicians, they would sound like Plaid. You know when you’re hearing a song of theirs, and you’ll surely remember it if you catch them this November.


11.09.11 - Montreal, QC - SAT
11.10.11 - Toronto, ON - Wrongbar
11.11.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
11.12.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise
11.13.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
11.15.11 - Houston, TX - Stereo Live
11.16.11 - Austin, TX - ND Studios
11.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
11.19.11 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
11.21.11 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore
11.22.11 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
11.23.11 - Portland, OR - Holocene
11.25.11 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
11.26.11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey

• Plaid:
• Warp:

Sleep ∞ Over to tour Europe with Pure X and put everyone there to sleep until recession is over

If you were once a sensitive little boy like I was, can you even imagine how horrendous the concept of an “infinite sleepover” would be? How much shitty microwave popcorn and greasy pizza can a kid eat? How long do you have to fend off sleep before you’re labeled (figuratively) a pussy and (literally) with Sharpie penises all over your arms and face? How many times can you and your friends watch Terminator 2, endlessly rewinding and replaying that nuclear explosion nightmare scene where Sara Conner has all her skin burned off her bones in a flash of white light while nearby playground horsies poignantly burn?? How long do you have to look at shitty, outdated porn and think to yourself, a) “does so-and-so’s mom know that his dad has all this pornography?” and b) “man, I guess these boobs are pretty cool, but I still don’t really understand the appeal of the vagina.” Fuck, I’m getting the urge to suck my thumb just thinking about this….

I’m guessing that Stefanie Franciotti, the woman behind the ambient dreampop project Sleep ∞ Over (who released Forever on Hippos in Tanks recently) doesn’t give a fuck about my fear of sleepovers, though. Maybe being a girl, she had slightly less horrific experiences sleeping over at her friends’ houses as a kid? I don’t know if that’s really true, but you can ask her yourself in Europe this November when she tours there with Austin, TX drone outfit Pure X. Just to be on the safe side, though, maybe don’t offer to put her up for the night after one of these shows, lest you fall asleep in Stockholm only to wake up in Sharpie Penisville. Sigh….

Sleep ∞ Over tourdates (w/ Pure X):

11.01.11 - London, UK - Shacklewell Arms
11.02.11 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
11.03.11 - Leeds, UK - ANOTS
11.04.11 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s Rest
11.05.11 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
11.07.11 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
11.09.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - Musikcafeen
11.10.11 - Oslo, Norway - Blaa
11.11.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Slakthuset
11.12.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Huset I Magstraede
11.15.11 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain Kantine
11.17.11 - Brussels, Belgium - AB Club
11.18.11 - Utrecht, Holland - Ekko
11.19.11 - Amsterdam, Holland - OCCII
11.22.11 - Paris, France - Point Ephemere
11.23.11 - Angers, France - Chabada
11.24.11 - Madrid/Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Club
11.25.11 - Madrid/Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Club

• Sleep ∞ Over:
• Hippos in Tanks:
• Pure X: