Portishead Still Mixing Album, Confirm GZA and Silver Apples for ATP, Says “Swindon lot are shit”

I have a problem with Portishead. The group recently announced that they are mixing their forthcoming album and are still making minor adjustments here and there -- sure, fine, cool. The problem I have is not with what was said, but how they said it. Let me refer you to a blog post on Portishead's official website:

"hello we have mixed all the tracks and the whole album is shit, so were going to start all over again. ok only kidding...sorry ! its sound pretty good but we have to go back to a few things in the next few weeks though. it sound pretty different from what we have done before i dont think the fondue society will be happy oh well , like the bee joke ends....... fuk em bye geoff"

I don't know about you, but I think Portishead's blog needs a good editor. Like, for example, me. Here's how I would've posted the news:

"Hello, friends of Portishead! Thanks for visiting our website. We have mixed down all the tracks for the forthcoming new album, and it doesn't quite sound magnificent enough, so we're going to start from scratch, like a pastry cook unsatisfied with his/her delectable treat. Only kidding! It sounds 'decent,' like recent Mogwai albums, but we'd like to take another shot -- like a gun at a driving range or a needle at the doctor's office -- in the next few weeks. It sounds pretty different from our first two AMAZING releases, and we're very excited to get this album finished (like a good book) so all of you can hear what we've been working on. I thank you again for visiting this blog. We'll make sure to give you an update as soon as we have something worthwhile to say, kinda like how TMT updates you throughout the day with news now. Love, Geoff."

Better, huh? Man, my editing skills are impeccable. Oh, almost forgot! I snuck into the studio yesterday and took a snapshot of Beth:

It's hard to tell from the picture since it's black and white, but it appears that she was in the middle of coming up with a word to rhyme with "epidermis."

Meanwhile, Portishead recently confirmed both Silver Apples and GZA/Genius (Wu-Tang, bitch) to play the Portishead-curated Nightmare Before Christmas ATP. They'll be joining artists like Aphex Twin, Glenn "Raise the Muthafuckin' Ruckus" Branca, Sunn 0))), Oren Ambarchi, Sparklehorse, and Oneida.

Hey, once they're done with the album, they should totally release it within 10 days and let consumers pay whatever price they want. Yeah? YEAH!! STROKE ME! YES! YES! RIGHT THERE RIGHT THERE!! RUB RUB RUB!! DON'T YOU STOP!!!

SPLOOGE.

Sony BMG Merger Approved for the Second Time; “Take that, whiny bitches,” says Sony BMG rep Chris Wool

Since the merger of Sony and BMG in August 2004, the major music group has acted more like a towel over the face of the already suffocating major music industry than as a resuscitating device. Things started off with the payola scandal of 2005, in which Sony BMG (among others) was caught bribing radio DJs to promote artists like Franz Ferdinand and Jessica Simpson. It was fined $10 million. Then, of course, there was the rootkit scandal in 2005. As equally funny as the payola scandal, Sony BMG's shitty DRM software auto-installed onto the consumer's computer and auto-compromised its security. Even one of Sony BMG's uninstallation options for the rootkit made personal computers vulnerable.

Talk about bad PR. Which is probably why Sony BMG decided to skip a scandal in 2006. Or maybe because that's when Impala (indie trade association) convinced the European Union to annul the Commission's decision to clear the merger in the first place. Who has time to worry about a new scandal when the company's own marriage is skating on thin ice?

It's now October 2007, 15 months since the annulment, and the EU Commission (who earlier this year approved Universal's giant takeover of Bertelsmann's BMG publishing arm) has FINALLY announced that... the... Sony... BMG... merger... has... been... for... the... second... time... cleared. According to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes:

"This investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the commission in a merger procedure. It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets. [...] It analyzed all retail net prices, discounts and wholesale prices for all CD chart albums sold by all major record companies to all of their customers. This was an enormous exercise. We found no evidence to support any theory of actual or likely anti-competitive effects of this merger."

The investigation also supposedly offered "tangible evidence" of Sony BMG's activity since 2004, something the Commission couldn't possibly predict in its original 2004 decision to allow the merger. But with the above-mentioned scandals and the bad press that came along with it, doubts are raised as to whether or not this "tangible evidence" is truly representative of Sony BMG's potential clout.

Impala, of course, reacted strongly to the decision. The group claims the Commission ignored the Court's ruling, calling the decision "indefensible" and wondering why the merger was cleared a second time without remedies. Chairman Martin Mills said the decision ignored the "independents' evidence on anti-competitive behavior in retail, radio and television, press and the online market," according to Billboard. Meanwhile, Impala President Patrick Zelnik said "The Commission has ignored the simple fact that four companies control 95% of the music most citizens hear on the radio throughout the world. What kind of a message does this send to European citizens?"

Shitfaced Newsathon Continued! Beatlez Help! Coming out on 2-Disk DVD this October, go fuck yourself.

Editor's note: This story was written for last week's [Shitfaced Newsathon. But due to various circumstances, the story was never published. Now, for the first time ever, we present Nat's shitfaced news story on The Beatles. Enjoy it in all of its unedited glory.]

Apple Corps Ltd and EMI Music are set to release The Beatles “Help” on a special two-DVD set on October 31. Help! Is about Ringo and a magic ring that makes him ringo extra hard. The new DVD offers some sort of surround sound and people talking about the film. The DVD is also maybe available in another box set that involves the original script and a [rare] picture book.

If you are one of the thousands of Beatles fans still waiting for Let It Be, the film that chronicles the Beatles final years, you can “eat a bag of dicks,” said an Apple Corps representative last week in a press release. For those of you who live in New York City, Kim’s Video has a VHS copy, but don’t even think of taking it out, because I rented it yesterday.

The Beatles (formerly “The Silver Beatles” and “The Quarrymen”) were a 1960’s British Invasion band that took the US by storm with their hit singles “Ticket To Ride’ and “Freefallin’”

Fugazi Drummer Works On New Material, Tiny Mix Tapes Staff Writer Works On Ian McKaye (WHO IS NOT DEAD)

Honestly, seeing “Fugazi” and “new” in the same sentence is just cruel when it don’t mean what we want it to. I speak in the royal “we,” of course, because what crazy bitch doesn’t miss Fugazi? I’ve talked plenty of shit on this here page about whacked-out reunion tours with eyes only on the big fat profit prize, but all y’all know that Mr. Ian McKaye wouldn’t take too kindly to Madison Square Garden, nor would there be enough people excited about their reunion to fill MSG (this is what’s wrong with our world today).

Instead, drummer Brendon Canty has been laying down some new tracks with Ian Svenonious of the Make Up, the latter of whom claims this whole solo project thing was his idea in the first place. The project is unnamed at this moment, so you’ll have to write something else on your Trapper Keepers for now. In the meantime, drool (natural please, not drug-induced, homies don’t play that) all over a new Fugazi photobook, aptly titled Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs.

P.S. (unrelated): Someone still loves you, New York Mets.

THIS JUST IN: Wayne Coyne Is the Grand Marshal for a Halloween Parade in OKC!

We reported yesterday that The Flaming Lips were liars. And yes, they still are. But you know who's not a liar? KEVIN DONOVAN. Kevin is currently our most favoritist TMT reader, because he just slipped us news that Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips will be the Grand Marshal of the Gazette's Ghouls Gone Wild parade on October 27! Designed to "celebrate creativity and artistry in Oklahoma City," the inaugural Halloween parade will "showcase floats, bands, walking groups and a large number of costumed revelers." And with Coyne as a dignitary, who knows what else will happen. Who. Knows.

Go to the parade's official website for more information, or head on over to its MySpace where you can watch a sweet animated GIF

10.03.07 - Charlotte, NC - Amos' Southend
10.12.07 - Fairburn, GA - Echo Project Festival
10.27.07 - Oklahoma City, OK - Gazette's Ghouls Gone Wild Halloween parade

There, news story done. Phew! We couldn't have done this without you, Kevin. Thanks for being you!

Ariel Pink and Cass McCombs on Tour, Need You to Play Tambourine

Quickly! Ariel Pink and Cass McCombs have scheduled a tour starting next month, and they need YOU! Coincidentally, the tambourine players for both Ariel Pink and Cass McCombs' touring bands died in some sort of accident... I think it was related to a car... Anyway, who gives a shit; the important thing right now is that you get a tambourine pronto so you can shake shake shake with Ariel Pink and Cass McCombs. Can't afford it? Of course you can't! Thankfully you've come to TMT, the cheapest, stingiest motherfucking online zine known to man.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Staple or glue two paper plates together, facing each other.
2. Using a hole punch, make holes around the plates and tie jingle bells to the holes with string.
3. Decorate the tambourine with crayons.
4. Shake to play.

Note: Heavy duty paper plates may be more durable for this craft.

Safety note: If using a stapler, an adult should do this. Someone named Natalie works best. When finished be sure to cover the staples with scotch tape.

Tip: Practice playing along with Ariel Pink's full discography, as well as McCombs' new album Dropping the Writ, slated for a October 9 on Domino Records.

And there you go, jackass!

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