The Polyphonic Spree Totally Lose It, Release Album

Have you ever noticed how The Polyphonic Spree are engineering a career trajectory for themselves that resembles nothing more than a manic-depressive single mom from some Midwestern suburb? They arrive in the neighborhood in 2002 with a big batch o' home-baked cookies for everyone, The Beginning Stages Of... and a huuuge grin on their faces, and isn't it such a great day? The kind of day that makes you really happy to be alive, the kind of day that makes you want to sing to the birds and the trees? And everyone's all welcoming and stuff, and oh, aren't they the sweetest, and isn't that album great, but they all think that if they just, y'know, toned it down a little they wouldn't be so damned creepy.

So then they get dropped from 679, and oh well, got to soldier on, don't you? Life's like that, but if you just take some time to smell the flowers once every so often, you'll realize things aren't that bad at all. So they get some new clothes and release Together We're Heavy on Hollywood. Their neighbors all nod and smile, but they can't deny that it's all looking a little desperate. And it's really sad. All they ever wanted to do was make a few people happy. If only they could be a little less creepy.

And now it's 2007. They've been dropped from Hollywood, and presumably at some point in the last year, they cracked, and there was a huge gin-fueled meltdown where they slumped in the corner of their friend's kitchen and in great heaving sobs complained how nothing ever goes right for them, and what's wrong with wanting to be nice to people every once in a while, and they think they're getting fat, and nobody likes them and they're stupid and fat and ugly, and the neighbor did all they could and put them to bed with a glass of water.

What I'm trying to say is, The Polyphonic Spree are back, and they've gone way past creepy into fucking terrifying. Forget the robes -- now they're all dressed up in military fucking fatigues, fatigues with hearts and crosses sewn on, as if that makes them look jolly and friendly and not, y'know, Waco survivors.

They've signed on to TVT Records, and their first release on the label, The Fragile Army, is due to drop in June. I'd buy it, if I were you. If only so that Tim DeLaughter doesn't firebomb your home in a fit of righteous zeal. I'd look out for him. You seen pictures of him recently? He's got this look in his eyes, the look of a stone-dead killer. If you crossed him, he'd probably drive a pen through your eyeball in a split second.

The Fragile Army (or, The Final Document In A Slow And Harrowing Descent Into Utter Insanity):

Vids Will Tear Us Apart: Viacom and Google No Longer Tag Team Partners

In this corner, applying rouge to its nipples and straightening its altogether too-small unitard while it scratches its hairy crack with a gnarled claw, filing a $1 billion lawsuit over copyright violations after claiming 160,000 unauthorized video clips were displayed by the defendant, proprietor of MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and Nickelodeon, the silicon sandbagger... Vi-a-commmmmm. Faceless Viacom statement-maker, do you have anything to say?

"YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws."

And in this corner, brash newcomer, "popular internet video-sharing site," the young pup bought by proud papa Google for $1.76 billion in November 2006, strutting toward the conference ring to the blare of Loverboy's "Loving Every Minute Of It," the screen stream scream... YouuuuuuuuuTuuuuuuuuube. YouTube... "exploiting?" "Avoid taking proactive steps?" "Illegal?" "Curtail?" How do you react to these claims?

"Uh, um, any news is good news, I guess?"

Alright, I want a totally dirty and malicious fight. Use of foreign objects is recommended. As is name-calling. We are in the attitude era now; we don't want any backyard wrestling here. It should all be no botched clubbering from here on out. We want double-juicing and loads of blood! Hell, we really just want you to go away, but we know that is not going to happen so BRING THE NOISE, BRING THE FUNK, FILE YOUR LAWSUITS, AND COVER YOUR JUNK! If you thought Blur vs. Oasis, Herzog vs. Kinski, Biggie vs. Tupac, and Crest vs. Colgate were intense beefs, you obviously have not been witness to our beloved omnigeomorpheologicorps (copyright Tiny Mix Tapes, March 2007; it basically means "big fat companies") whipping out their dicks and throwing around figures in the billions.

Is this just a overblown tactic by Viacom to improve any current revenue-sharing agreements? Is YouTube being too cavalier with its brash "we're here, we're showing your videos, get used to it" stance? Did Google take on a potentially dangerous legal pain-in-the-ass when it acquired YouTube? Should open access to content and information be everyday practice, or should owners of material displayed on YouTube be in control of their content and be compensated for letting it be showed? Will the larger media companies take Google's/YouTube's lack of respect and goodwill as a slap in the face and attempt to cut the internet search czar down? Bring on the canned heat! LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!*

* "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" ("LGRTR") is a registered trademark of Michael Buffer, "The Voice of Champions," and The Buffer Partnership. "LGRTR" is a "clarion call to pure integrity of the competitive spirit" and garners an "adrenaline boosting, positive will to win attitude!" Any use of Mr. Buffer's famous rendition of his copyrighted "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" recording or unauthorized use of the "Let's Get Ready To Rumble," "Get Ready To Rumble," "Ready To Rumble," servicemarked phrases and any paraphrasing of these marks (including "Get Ready To Crumble," "Are You Ready To Rumble," "Let's Get Ready to Mumble," "I'm Not Quite Yet Ready To Stumble," "Get Ready for Mr. Stumble Von Bumble!" etc.) will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and will be struck down with a force that will continue for eternity.

Late '60s band reforms for 2007 tour... ugh. News of this sort of thing would normally require a few stabs to my genitals with an old geometry set compass just to keep me awake and humored, but for some odd reason, I am intrigued. Blue Cheer, known for being weightier than a Hummer driven by Rosie O'Donnell, Pavarotti, and the motorcycle-loving world's fattest twins, haven't actually reformed; they have been back together in some way, shape or form since the late 1980s. (Sorry... that fat crack was very lowest-common-denominator of me. Like I should talk. I break into a heavy sweat getting in and out of bed.) One of the, if not THE loudest band of all time will be touring the U.S. and Canada starting April 6 in Philadelphia, and they promise to be heavier than ever. If there were any doubts, playing with incomparable Wilkes-Barre noiseniks An Albatross will ensure that they keep that promise.

As for An Albatross, the band that never stops touring will stay on the road after their Blue Cheer shows, because they have to finish the second leg of their honkin' huge European tour, which began earlier in the year. The following dates are for the tour-happy band, so there WILL be more dates added anytime (expect dates to be added for the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Atlantis, Oz, Eurasia, Babar's Kingdom, etc.). Blue Cheer/An Albatross shows are marked with a happy, horny $, %, ^, or *.

Rock on, seriously:
03.16.07 - Austin, TX - Redrum, SXSW Eyeball Showcase
03.31.07 - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Café Metropolis #
04.06.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Northstar $
04.07.07 - New York, MY - Rebel %
04.08.07 - Boston, MA - Great Scott ^
04.09.07 - Montréal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa $
04.10.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's $
04.11.07 - Buffalo, NY - TBA $
04.12.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom $
04.13.07 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar $
04.14.07 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's *
04.15.07 - Columbus, OH - Ravari Room $
04.16.07 - Vermont, MN - TBA $
04.17.07 - Washington, DC - Black Cat $
05.02.07 - Paris, France - TBA
05.03.07 - Limoges, France - Cafteur
05.04.07 - Rennes, France - Mondo Bizarro
05.05.07 - Évreux, France - Abordage
05.06.07 - Dunkerque, France - TBA
05.07.07 - Brighton, England - The Hope
05.08.07 - London, England - Old Blue Last
05.09.07 - Exeter, England - Cavern
05.10.07 - Leeds, England - Brundenell Social Club
05.11.07 - Liverpool, England - The Magnet
05.12.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - Nice 'n' Sleazy's
05.13.07 - Birmingham, England - Barfly
05.14.07 - York, England - Fibbers
05.15.07 - Cardiff, Wales - Barfly
05.16.07 - London, England - Barfly
05.21.07 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang-Exil
05.22.07 - Münster, Germany - Gleis 22
05.25.07 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
05.26.07 - Beilefeld, Germany - AJZ
05.29.07 - Milan, Italy - Magnolia

# Hot Cross

$ Blue Cheer

% Blue Cheer and Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum

^ Blue Cheer, Doomriders, and Stephen Brodsky's Octave Museum

* Blue Cheer and Del Rey

The Polyphonic Spree Totally Lose It, Release Album

Have you ever noticed how The Polyphonic Spree are engineering a career trajectory for themselves that resembles nothing more than a manic-depressive single mom from some Midwestern suburb? They arrive in the neighborhood in 2002 with a big batch o' home-baked cookies for everyone, The Beginning Stages Of... and a huuuge grin on their faces, and isn't it such a great day? The kind of day that makes you really happy to be alive, the kind of day that makes you want to sing to the birds and the trees? And everyone's all welcoming and stuff, and oh, aren't they the sweetest, and isn't that album great, but they all think that if they just, y'know, toned it down a little they wouldn't be so damned creepy.

So then they get dropped from 679, and oh well, got to soldier on, don't you? Life's like that, but if you just take some time to smell the flowers once every so often, you'll realize things aren't that bad at all. So they get some new clothes and release Together We're Heavy on Hollywood. Their neighbors all nod and smile, but they can't deny that it's all looking a little desperate. And it's really sad. All they ever wanted to do was make a few people happy. If only they could be a little less creepy.

And now it's 2007. They've been dropped from Hollywood, and presumably at some point in the last year, they cracked, and there was a huge gin-fueled meltdown where they slumped in the corner of their friend's kitchen and in great heaving sobs complained how nothing ever goes right for them, and what's wrong with wanting to be nice to people every once in a while, and they think they're getting fat, and nobody likes them and they're stupid and fat and ugly, and the neighbor did all they could and put them to bed with a glass of water.

What I'm trying to say is, The Polyphonic Spree are back, and they've gone way past creepy into fucking terrifying. Forget the robes -- now they're all dressed up in military fucking fatigues, fatigues with hearts and crosses sewn on, as if that makes them look jolly and friendly and not, y'know, Waco survivors.

They've signed on to TVT Records, and their first release on the label, The Fragile Army, is due to drop in June. I'd buy it, if I were you. If only so that Tim DeLaughter doesn't firebomb your home in a fit of righteous zeal. I'd look out for him. You seen pictures of him recently? He's got this look in his eyes, the look of a stone-dead killer. If you crossed him, he'd probably drive a pen through your eyeball in a split second.

The Fragile Army (or, The Final Document In A Slow And Harrowing Descent Into Utter Insanity):

Elvis Costello Goes on Tour; Oliver’s Army Joins in the Fight for Iraq

Elvis Costello has either given up on his childish protest Radio Radio and has decided to soak up the riches of being a rock star, or maybe he is looking to fight the big dogs of Viacom and Clear Channel this spring with a mini-tour. Let us assume the former, right? I mean, every photo I’ve seen of him for the past umpteen years has involved a fedora, suit, and varying patterns of ties over varying patterns of button ups. The man has money. And I didn’t want to admit this, ya dig? Remember ’77? I sure do. A little of Less than Zero, and then he turns around a la Hendrix on the BBC and tells the Attractions and the Saturday Night Live crowd and most importantly the Man that he ain’t going out in chains. He’s going to play Radio Radio dammit! But alas, I’ve lost track of myself. And so has Elvis it seems. Mr. Fedora and square glasses will be playing with The Imposters this time around. Most likely in support of Elvis’ cover of Little Boxes from the show Weeds. But whatever, I mean (some of my friends sit around every evening and they worry about the times ahead, but everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed). Don’t sweat it; here are the dates:

Elvis Costello - 2007 Tourdates:

Library of Congress Archives Significant Recordings: Velvet Underground, Sam Cooke, Bob Newhart

The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 is definitely in my top five Acts of all time, trailing closely behind the Flood Control Act of 1944, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Act V of Hamlet, and ActRaiser for the SNES. This more recent Act places responsibility on the hallowed Library of Congress to choose select recordings each year that are at least a decade old and are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." While most official selections of "significant music" are endlessly nausea-inducing (oh if only I could be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!), the Library of Congress and its resident social pariahs know their shit. Just last year, they chose albums by Gil Scott-Heron, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Zappa, and Sonic Youth. Along with traditional "album" recordings, they induct other wacky stuff, like the sound of an old foghorn used in Kewaunee, Wisconsin! Librarians: I demand a mixtape.

This year they've chosen a similarly boppin' crew. Jelly Roll Morton, Cole Porter, Carl Perkins, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Paul Simon, and The Velvet Underground all get to rub shoulders with the likes of, FDR and, um, Bob Newhart. In total they've decided on 25 recordings, one of which is a finger-snappin' ditty I like to call the 1924 National Defense Test. Thus far, there have been 225 entries in the Registry.

Nominations for the 2007 list are currently being accepted here. Together, friends, we can preserve Mariah Carey's seminal '94 Merry Christmas for our children and for our children's children.