The Promise Ring prep rarities album and rigorous two-city reunion tour, then weep while watching Chasing Amy

The Promise Ring prep rarities album and rigorous two-city reunion tour, then weep while watching Chasing Amy

If indie/emo second-wavers The Promise Ring are famous for one thing, it’s probably leader Davey von Bohlen’s precedent of grown men intentionally encouraging the use of the diminutive forms of their first names. Thanks to his truly inspiring wussiness, rapidly aging men everywhere learned that they could soften their image (and, hence, fuck more college chicks) simply by advertising themselves on paper as a wide-eyed manboy who had Radio Flyer decals on his manual-transmission two-door. Heck, if it wasn’t for Davey’s influence, you might be reading Nobodad’s news story right now. But he probably wouldn’t get laid at music journalism conferences nearly as much as Nobodaddy does.

But apart from their singer (calling him a “vocalist” is just plain incorrect) giving men an excuse to be creeps, The Promise Ring’s secondary impact was, my editor tells me, their music. And what better way to celebrate that music than with a nice little reunion run? As Alternative Press reports, Promise Ring’s “formative lineup” — von Bohlen, drummer Dan Didier, guitarist Jason Gnewikow, and bassist Scott Schoenbeck — will be celebrating the… um, anniversary of, I don’t know what exactly… by releasing a new album of rarities next summer on Dangerbird Records (home to Didier and von Bohlen’s Maritime project). According to Didier, the album will feature “one song from the Wood/Water session that didn’t make the record [“All Good Souls”… as well as] three songs that we demoed before W/W that again, were rockers, that we never recorded for the record. There are a few different odds and ends as well throughout, but that will be the meat of it.” Oh good. Because everyone totally loved the LiteFM, adult-contempo mess that was Wood/Water, right?

Luckily, the band is also reuniting to play a few shows in early 2012, and they’ll probably play songs from the good albums at those. As of now, they’ll be hitting their hometown of Milwaukee on February 24, followed by Chicago on February 25. Tickets for both shows are on sale now and are probably quickly being snatched up by balding 30-year-olds all across the Midwest. But if you can’t get tickets to these shows, don’t cry in your thrift store golf shirt just yet. Didier seems to think that, at the very least, a few more live performances are likely. “From there [after the release of the rarities album], we will look into potentially doing more shows throughout 2012,” he said. Then again, I’d trust him more if his name was Danny, wouldn’t you?

02.24.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
02.25.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro

• The Promise Ring:
• Dangerbird:

Incriminating emails in Universal complaint spur Grooveshark to warn Digital Music News of potential subpoena requests

Grooveshark appears to be preparing for a grand battle with Universal Music Group (UMG)! As was previously reported, UMG has filed a complaint in New York against Escape Music Group (the owners of Grooveshark) alleging that Grooveshark executives and employees illegally uploaded hundreds of thousands of UMG artists’ tracks for users to stream. Digital Music News (DMN) has secured a copy of the complaint, and as suspected, it includes a quote from an anonymous DMN user who claims to be a Grooveshark employee where he or she explains how the internal workings of Grooveshark mandate, encourage, and incentivize the uploading of non-authorized content to Grooveshark’s site.

In the wake of the complaint, Grooveshark has preemptively contacted DMN to warn them of potential subpoena requests from either Grooveshark or UMG, stating that, “I must request that you preserve all electronic information and any other records related to that comment, as it can be reasonably anticipated that either Grooveshark or Universal may find it necessary to subpoena such information as the case progresses.” DMN noted that UMG has yet to contact them in any way regarding the comment or the larger dispute.

And why would they? Though the anonymous comment is very intriguing, it’s not the kind of thing that would reasonably hold up in court. The emails included at the end of the complaint, mainly from Grooveshark Executive Chaiman Sina Simantob, do a much better job at setting up UMG for a successful takedown of Grooveshark. In one email to a potential investor, Andrew Lipsher of Greycroft, LLC, Simantob states that Grooveshark “bet the company on the face that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.” In a subsequent email exchange between Simantob and an investor, Simantob goes out of his way to point out how they’re using the labels by stating that, “we are achieving all this growth without paying a dime to any of the labels.”

Simantob goes on to explain that the underlying scheme at play with Grooveshark is to upload songs illegally to get users interested in the content, reach a certain number of unique page views to get corporations interested in the data they’re collecting, then work out minuscule compensation packages with the labels after the fact, at which point they’d be making more money on selling data than they would be paying out fees to rights holders. Kind of a ballsy move to lay it all out in an email.

Good luck Grooveshark — it was nice knowing you while you lasted!

• Grooveshark:
• Universal Music Group:

Die Antwoord announce 2012 tour, lapping up vast pools of nostalgia for the year two thousand and ten

Sometimes I forget that Die Antwoord are real human beings and not simply something the now-sentient internet created for its own shadowy means. See also: Lil B! Still, there are people who claim to have seen Die Antwoord in the flesh. I remain skeptical. Exclaim!, however, appear to be true believers, reporting that Die Antwoord have both US and Australian dates planned for 2012. Look, I’ll be convinced when someone tries to touch them and their hand doesn’t go straight through, all hologram-style.

Supposedly, the interne…Die Antwoord are putting out a new record with the very Die Antwoord title of TEN$ION in 2012. Proof that such a thing will exist lies in the video for new track Fok Julle Naaiers, which I believe translates to “For Julie Newmar.” The video has butterflies and other things.

Die Antwoord dates:

02.09.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre
02.10.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
02.11.12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
o2.14.12 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix Concert Theatre
02.19.12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
02.22.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom
02.24.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
02.25.12 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
03.03.12 - Bisbane, Australia - Doomben Racecourse (Future Music Festival)
03.04.12 - Perth, Australia - Arena Joondalup (Future Music Festival)
03.10.12 - Sydney, Australia - Royal Randwick Racecourse (Future Music Festival)
03.11.12 - Melbourne, Australia - Flemington Racecourse (Future Music Festival)
03.12.12 - Adelaide, Australia - Ellis Park (Future Music Festival)

• Die Antwoord:

The Flaming Lips announce plans for New Year’s Freakout 5 thing. Also, all that gummy-USB-strobo-fetus-whatever crap is on sale.I’m too tired for exclamation points today.

When you’re on little-to-no sleep, it’s amazing how annoying all of Wayne Coyne’s boundlessly enthusiastic creative energy can be. I just saw his tweet from the other day about The Flaming Lips’ fifth annual New Year’s Freakout thingy with its nine or so exclamation points, and it literally made me wince and reach for my coffee. I mean, I love the guy and all, but can’t a guy just be unexcited about one of these kooky Lips schemes for once? But anyway, yeah, they’re doing two shows this year, December 31 and January 1, at the Bricktown Events Center in Oklahoma City. Oh, and speaking of tiring, they’re bringing Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band with them. According to their publicist, the band is going to “pull out all the stops with MORE of everything” (then there’s an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, but like I said earlier, I’m not typing that). “More confetti, more balloons, massive volume, and maximum weirdness.” God, guys.

Oh, and speaking of obnoxious, there’ll be a bunch of crazy and exclusive merch available at this thing, including: some gummy fetuses that contain a USB drive with three new songs on it that I’m sure are probably loud (“Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear Part 2,” “Steven’s Moonbow,” and “Squishy Glass”); some gummy skulls that contain “The Soft Bulletin: Live La Fantastique de Institution 2011”; a “mesmerizing light illusion toy,” The Strobo Trip, which also includes a USB drive with three exclusive tunes (“Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die,” the six-hour “I Found A Star On The Ground,” and “Evil Minds”); and probably more stuff that’s equally obnoxious to the sleep-deprived. Tickets are $100 per night or $150 for both nights, and each ticket gets you into the afterparty at The Womb (which will feature, according to Coyne, “naked movies,” “paranoid soundscapes,” and Stardeath and White Dwarfs “playing an electric sunrise interpretation of Mahler’s 9th Symphony” so that you can stay awake even fucking longer). The band recommends you get your tickets at this place over here. Whew, alright. Made it to the end of this. Goodnight, everybody. Sorry, Wayne.

• Flaming Lips:
• Warner:

Julian Koster announces route for Holiday Caroling tour and, look at that, he made cookies

Mere weeks ago, we here at The Tape (that’s the co0l name for the cool guys and the cool ladies) made mention of Julian Koster, he of Music Tapes/Neutral Milk Hotel/Olivia Tremor Control/Elephant 6 in general fame, planning a holiday caroling tour. He’s done it before and he’ll probably do it again and he’s definitely doing it now. If you just look below, you’ll see the areas Koster is planning to carol in and the days he’s planning on doing that caroling.

“But those are just cities and other geographical areas! How do I know what houses Julian Koster is playing?” I’m telling you how! Just send a message to to get an open house list. While you’re at it, you might as well submit a last minute invitation to have Koster and his caroling buds carol at your house. Koster will be making his way to several houses per night, not all of which are accepting outside guests. But those that are will be listed through an email auto-reply two nights before the singers, both human and saw, show up. So check those emails! Unless you don’t live in one of the areas listed below. Though, really, you should probably be checking your email anyway. It’s 2011.

Julian Koster and Friends caroling route:

11.30.11 - Virginia
12.01.11 - Raleigh/Chapel Hill, NC area
12.02.11 - Charlotte, NC area
12.03.11 - Athens, GA
12.04.11 - Raleigh/Chapel Hill, NC
12.05.11 - NE Virginia/Washington DC area
12.06.11 - Washington, DC
12.07.11 - Eastern Pennsylvania/Philadelphia, PA
12.08.11 - Philadelphia, PA/New York City, NY
12.09.11 - New York City, NY
12.10.11 - Upstate New York/Massachusetts
12.11.11 - Rhode Island/Massachusetts/New England
12.12.11 - Upstate New York/New England

• Music Tapes:
• Merge:

Shearwater tour with Sharon Van Etten as a rigorous form of pop therapy

Shearwater’s baroque pop, as heard on last year’s The Golden Archipelago (TMT Review) on Matador, is coming to get you. If you’ve resisted their epic magnificence thus far, you’re a fool and a coward. You might even want to cast yourself to a far, far, far away archipelago of your own, one that’s lacking in any kind of brilliant exploration of the metaphysical, so you’ll have to figure island life out all by your sad self. If you do not want to suffer these consequences, then perhaps you should check this list of Shearwater’s tourdates. Good luck. Don’t be a jerk.

Tourdates (all w/ Sharon Van Etten):

02.10.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
02.11.12 - Washington, DC -Black Cat
02.12.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
02.14.12 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center
02.15.12 - Newport, KY - Southgate House
02.16.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
02.17.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
02.18.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Centre
02.21.12 - Toronto ON, Canada - Lee’s Palace
02.22.12 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
02.23.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise
02.24.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
02.25.12 - New York City, NY - Bowery Ballroom

• Shearwater:
• Matador:
• Sharon Van Etten: