Presidential Candidate Kucinich Spearheads New Subcommittee to Take on FCC

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made an unexpected visit to the National Conference for Media Reform, held in Memphis, TN over the weekend. Originally expected to be announced in D.C. this week, Kucinich jumped the gun at the conference, stating that he would spearhead a House subcommittee that will deal specifically with issues concerning the FCC ([?Federal Communications Commission]).

"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," said Kucinich. "We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."

Topics the new committee will tackle include [?net neutrality], the [?fairness doctrine], mergers, media ownership, and how to get a stain out with baking soda.

Woman Dies in Water-Drinking Contest; KDND Morning Show Canceled, 10 Employees “Let Go”

A woman died roughly five hours after she appeared on KDND's The Morning Rave show due to "water intoxication," according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Jennifer Lea Strange, 28 and mother of three, was participating in a contest titled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii," in which she had to drink as much water as she could without using the bathroom in order to win a Wii video game console. She dropped out of the contest after drinking nearly two gallons of water. According to reports, Strange immediately felt ill, called in sick to work, and was later found by family members dead at her home.

"The circumstances regarding this matter are being examined as thoroughly as possible," says John Geary, vice president and general manager of KDND. "In the interim, the Morning Rave is off the air indefinitely."

According to the Sacramento Bee, however, it was announced yesterday that the Morning Rave show is now canceled and 10 employees, including station manager Steve Weed, no longer work for KDND.

Dr. Dog, The Teeth & The High Strung Band Together To Push All Other News Off The Page

Park The Van Records, a Philadelphia-based record label, has had increased success over the past couple years. Albums from Dr. Dog, The Capitol Years, and others, not to mention the Fast Food Nation soundtrack, have all served to raise awareness for this up-and-coming label. Now it seems 2007 may be the biggest year yet for the label.

First off, Dr. Dog, who have been around in various forms for about six years (no dog-year jokes, okay?), signed to Rough Trade in Europe. Their new LP will be out February 27 in the U.S. under the title We All Belong. The 11-track record was recorded last spring in Philly by the band, with the help of Bill Moriarty, who also mixed the group's last record, 2005's Easy Beat. Two tracks from the upcoming record -- "Ain't It Strange" and "Die, Die Die" -- were featured on the Dr.'s EP from last year, Takers & Leavers. The band is a touring beast, not just a studio one, with the last year seeing them co-headline a tour with the Spinto Band, as well as opening for Architecture In Helsinki, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and many others. Therefore, it goes with out saying that DD will be embarking on a monster-sized tour to promote the new record. They will be playing most of the shows with non-PTV band What Made Milwaukee Famous and labelmates The Teeth. Later in the tour, the band will hook up with Bobby Bare Jr. and his crew for a series of shows.

Speaking of The Teeth, they too have an upcoming record, which was given the rather forward-sounding title You're My Lover Now. The Nick Krill (of the Spinto Band)-produced LP is set to come out on April 24. The band has some pre-release tourdates with Dr. Dog and will also be teaming up with one of PTV's newest signings, Detroit's masters of smart, catchy, time-tested rock, The High Strung.

The High Strung are poised to release the most music this spring of anyone on PTV. The label plans to re-release the group's previous record, Moxie Bravo, on February 13, which was put out first time around in 2005 by Future Farmer. In the LP's new incarnation, MB has been augmented with a new running order and three new tracks that date back to the LP's original sessions. The HS also have a new album, Get the Guests, coming out in May, which was recorded last year by Jim Diamond. The band is promising a coast-to-coast version of their library tour this summer, in which they play for young and old in, yes, a library. Before all that, however, The High Strung will play their own shows and opening slots for the Teeth.

So, figure on all three of these groups being fairly inescapable for the near future.

We All Belong tracklist:

Make a Jazz Noise Here: Sonic Youth Announce Shows with Wooden Wand and V∞redoms

One time a friend of mine heard me listening to The Dismemberment Plan and thought it was The Alkaline Trio. Ha! It is in this spirit that we report to you that V2 has "let go" its staff of 35 or so people (including president Andy Gershon) and, aside from its Gospel artists, has rendered all its newer artists free agents -- yes, even The Alkaline Trio. V2 will instead expand its digital ventures and concentrate on its catalog releases, which includes albums by Moby, Mercury Rev, and The White Stripes. Alright, time to eat some Lean Cuisine. Bye!

Make a Jazz Noise Here: Sonic Youth Announce Shows with Wooden Wand and V∞redoms

Alongside news of Thurston Moore arriving in Saudi Arabia to rally support for the forthcoming troop surge in Iraq, Sonic Youth recently announced tourdates to an excited fanbase that just can't get enough of their love songs ("Flowers With Not One, But Every Smile" debuted at #1 on the singles chart last week!). Beginning with an East Coast trip on Valentine's Day with Wooden Wand, Sonic Youth will eventually make their way to Mexico for two dates to finish off February, which has everyone wondering who the hell February is, and does she have a MySpace with pics?

In April, Sonic Youth will meet up with V∞redoms for a few dates in Japan, which will surely be life-changing if we are to believe the propaganda. But really, what's the deal with putting on sweet shows in Japan? I mean, these shows really don't do anything for me, and even my friend said "yeah, kinda sukcs." So if I don't like them, and my friend (who's super picky, actually) says it "kinda sukcs," then why? Maybe I just don't "get" it, but perhaps I don't want to "get" it when Sonic Youth could just as easily import V∞redoms to the U.S. and play for their fellow Americans.

The Story of How Animal Collective Signed to Domino, Panda Bear Set a Release Date and Tracklist for New Album, and How Slimer from Ghostbusters Joined the Band

I saw Animal Collective live just about a year ago. My friend asked Geologist (that's the name his parents gave him!) to say "Let's turn up the AC!" I'm pretty sure Avey Tare said it at some point during the show, and ever since then, the collective has been turning up the AC like money growing on hypothetical trees.

AC began this year by signing to U.K.'s Domino Records. As previously reported, a four-track EP, titled People, will be released on FatCat on January 23 in the U.S., while The AC's back catalog will still be released via FatCat, and the new Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox, member of Animal Collective) solo album, Person Pitch, will see release March 20 on the group's own Paw Tracks.

Lennox's new album focuses on his personal life and the topics of fatherhood, marriage, and living in Lisbon. Four of the tracks from Person Pitch will be released on 12-inch vinyl under FatCat, Paw Tracks, and UUAR. Panda Bear is also planning to tour this coming spring and summer. (Oh, by the way, it is insipid to think Lennox likes panda bears just because that is his stage name. Panda bears are the demons of Asia. They steal the souls and cameras from foolish Americans. Lennox is more like a charming Yogi Bear of sorts with harmonizing feel-good vocals and surreal blips and beeps.)

Furthermore, people will most likely be seeing a whole ass-full more of the white-bred animals of Brooklyn with a spring tour, a follow-up to the 2005 critical success Feels, a live box-set, and a movie. Hopefully, the movie will be full of the typical AC explosive behavior we have all come to expect. And by that I mean masks, guns, drums, lasers, and full-frontal nudity. I just hope that it is somewhere along the lines of the Ghostbusters series.

The bottom line and the 'in conclusion' part of this essay is that I could write a 600-page novel worth of Animal Collective news. And if I were you, I would have stopped reading after the title. It's not even funny. What the hell does Slimer have to do with Animal Collective? I could've also made lame attempts at humor on a Shins article or a more obscure artist, but that'd be equally ridiculous. I still like the AC, but you guys are wearing me out. The morals of all this blatant ranting are that (1) sometimes it's okay to turn down the AC, (2) an Animal Collective movie could be interesting, and (3) Slimer was really an encompassing metaphor for the still remaining prejudices between whites and African Americans in contemporary society.

Person Pitch tracklist:

1. Comfy in Nautica
2. Take Pills
3. Bro's
4. I'm Not
5. Good Girl
6. Carrots
7. Search for Delicious
8. Ponytail

AC tourdates: