R Kelly: It’s been real.

Dear Mr P,

I apologize, but consider this my two-weeks notice. I have loved my time at Tiny Mix Tapes®. I have impressed some girls, received some torrent tracker invites, and heck, I like to think that the legs of my jeans are just a little tighter now that all is said and done. However, I cannot in good faith stay at this operation when the funniest thing I can conjure is the truth.

I have been waiting to write an article on the Pied Piper Of R&B, R. “Kells” Kelly, since before I knew Tiny Mix Tapes existed. I have watched the Trapped In The Closet DVD in full no less than 30 times. I can more or less quote “Kells Commentary Remix” (normally known as director’s commentary in Criterionspeak) word for word. So when I heard there was new R. Kelly information, I jumped on it. I had jokes. Oh did I ever have jokes. I was going to talk about how in apparent manic states he drops remixes before the actual tracks. I was going to mention the song "Sex Planet" and its hilariously half-baked space-themed innuendos (he rhymes painless and Uranus and makes copious references to his “giant rocket”). I even had something prepared about the sunglasses he wears in the “I’m A Flirt” video that are literally covered in diamonds. Covered. As in the lenses... he looks like a bug.

While you were keeled over thanking God that you hired me, I was going to shred your face off via hilarity by discussing Trapped and its numerous flaws, its subtle racism, its lack of continuity, its green screens, the fact that “Kellz” wasn’t clever enough to name the protagonist (played by himself), so he just called him Sylvester... his real name. While you were on Orbitz buying a ticket to Chicago to shake my hand, I was going delve into the director’s commentary where he sits in a leather chair, smoking a cigar watching Trapped, for what seems to be the first time, and says things like “most people don’t even notice... but this is actually rhyming the whole way through... I don’t know how that happened.” Or when he claims that Trapped will go on forever, that other rappers will take over after he dies (what), that it will turn into a TV series (what?), and a talk show (WHAT?). Additionally, he has claimed that after the nuclear holocaust, all that will exist will be cockroaches, Twinkies, and Trapped. I imagined around 35,000 Digg hits in the next two days just for my article.

So, with all of this prepared, I went to the source article to find MAYBE two facts to give my article the credibility it would need to finally snag TMT that Pulitzer we’ve been waiting for. Upon actually opening the article, it became VERY clear that I stood no chance of topping R. Kelly’s real life, even with my finest humor and wry observations.

Read it. I know, clicking a link can be painful, but there is no way for me to supplant the absurdity of R. Kelly’s life with my own words. HE HAS A CHEERS REPLICA PUB IN HIS HOME CALLED ROBERT'S BAR AND GRILLE. HE OFFERED TO PAY HIS BROTHER TO TAKE THE RAP FOR THE SEX TAPE. HE COMPARED HIMSELF TO ALI, MLK, MARVIN GAYE, AND BOB MARLEY. I... I... I’m just speechless...

Trapped In The Closet Chapter 13-30 come out July 24.

I’m going to go see if there’s still time for me to change my major to finance.

Regards,

Alex Carusillo

The Go! Team Team Up with Chucky D of Public Enemy, Conflicting Tourdates UNVEILED

As recently reported, The Go! Team are gearing up to release a new album, Proof of Youth, September 10 in the UK on Memphis Industries and September 11 via Sub Pop in the U.S. It was co-produced by the band along with Gareth Parton (Thunder Lightning Strike, The Killers, The Cribs, The Futureheads), includes a B-side titled Myself, a cover of Sonic Youth's Bull in the Heather, a Black Affair remix, and many cameos, including one from Chuck D of Public Enemy (hey, you never know).

The Go! Team are gearing up for a tour, but various sources are reporting different tourdates (we won't name names, but errors probably stem from Sub Pop's incorrect dates). We believe these to be the correct dates:

Shoot us if we're wrong.

Take a Liking to Times New Viking, Cause Ain’t No Bands Named After Comic Sans

Times New Viking got that lo-fi sound and I like it. i wonder how that would transfer over into writing. Not worryin about polish or anything, just letting the words fly. Could be more honest. Could appeal to Generation Z. IT WOuld definitely be annoying as hell though, in addition to simply copping out stylistically without having any of the stuff that makes TNV a band worth their salt, like impeccable pop sensibility and cues from artists like Pavement and the Clean.

Besides, it’s impossible for Times New Viking to transfer their blown-out recording style into a live setting (FYI: I'm done with the lo-fi writing). On their upcoming tour, they’ll have to resort to other tricks, sonic and otherwise, to retain the attention of gimmick-hungry kids reared on iPhones and schoolyard fantasies of hoverboards.

What’s a band to do? The pressure’s on. TNV are relatively recent Matador signees and Cosloy’s sure as hell not writing any of those fat Beggars Group checks for a band that doesn’t bring its ‘A’ game live.

My advice to TNV: Be yourselves. There’s no business like show business. The audience wants to like you. Just picture them with no pants on, and you’ll be fine. Contempt for the audience is probably what killed Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. These methods might not take you to Hollywood, but remember: Even famous people have to live with themselves.

Go Out There and Make Me Proud:

L.A. Indie Stores Close Down in Double-Double Animal Style

Two of Los Angeles’ biggest indie record stores -- Sea Level, lodged in the Echo Park neighborhood, and Santa Monica’s ancient second-hand emporium House of Records -- have both closed their doors for the last time. But guess what, avid industry watchers? Neither of the closures, apparently, have got anything to do with you evil download-doers and your thieving ways. And there’s no connection to the arrival in LA in 2001 of the ultra-indie Amoeba.

Indeed, contrary to what you might expect, Sea Level has actually seen an increase in its sales the past couple of years. The problem with Sea Level, at least, seems to be that boss-man Todd Clifford has gone all old and nasty on your pimply and pert little indie asses. Time was he would show MUCH love to all those who would come in and buy Zwan vinyl.. then, I dunno, it sounds like something just snapped -- now things have changed somewhat. “Now, when customers come in, I'm like, 'Just buy it and leave,'" he says. "This isn't a job where I should wake up and say, 'I don't want to go to work.' "

So, Todd decided that he wasn’t going to bother going to work anymore, and the shop recently closed. You can understand where the dude is coming from, right? Owning a successful indie store in one of the most interesting LA neighborhoods would drive me to self-mutilation at an absolute minimum. Better off for all concerned to get as far away from that shit as you can, Toddy.

House of Records has a similar sort of story; shop seems to have been doing good enough money-wise, but owner Philip Smith sounds like he’s simply had enough of running the store he’s owned since 1991. He reckons the second-hand music business is best left to those who excel at “being a hustler.” Somewhat more sinisterly, he opines that “...the business isn't going to walk in the door anymore. It has to be pursued." This sort of makes me imagine being furiously chased down the street by a gigantic, animatronic version of the face off the front of R.E.M.’s Monster CD should I even dare to pass by the store without at least popping in. I can totally understand Mr Smith’s wish to not be involved in that sort of thing a moment longer. It is evil.

The Cure For What Ails Ya: Ted Leo + The Pharmacists Tour America

[Setting: A sterile medical clinic examining room. There sits a half-naked emo kid. A single tear streams down his face. Enter Doctor]

Doctor: So Mr. Heartlong, what can I do for you today?

Emo Kid: [sobs] Well , Sir, um... I've got this... um... burning sensation when I, you know... urinate. And, um... discharge.

D: I see. Well how long have you noticed this?

EK: About 2 weeks.

D: I am sorry to inform you, but it sounds like you may have an STI. Drop your pants and let me take a look.

EK: [continues to sob profusely]

D: [leans forward, examining problem area, gives one of those hmmmm sounds, and stands up] Well again I'm sorry, but it looks like you have a case of gonorrhea.

EK: [really starts to break down, lips quivering] B-b-b-but I've never had sex before.

D: Well I have heard of one other method of contraction. What have you been doing for the last month, approximately?

EK: Nothing sex-wise, I've been sitting in my room, trying to get as many random people on my Facebook friends list as possible to look super cool and listening to the new Fall Out Boy album. But no sex.

D: Ahhh, we've been seeing a lot of this recently.

EK: [uncontrollably crying] What is it, Doc!? How'd this happen!?

D: You see the combination of skin-tight jeans, angular haircuts, and the modulation in Patrick Stump's voice have been causing an epidemic of gonorrhea to spread across the continent.

EK: Is there anything I can do?

D: Well, there is one thing that may be able to help...

EK: What is it? I'll do anything... anything [makes a move on the doctor]

D: [shoving Emo Kid away] God! Get off me, ughh. You have gonorrhea, that's fuckin' sick!

EK: I'm sorry Doc; just make it go away.

D: Okay, but you have to follow my instruction. First of all, we're going to have to amputate that haircut.

EK: [looks like he got kicked in the balls] No Doc, no! There must be some other way. I'm nothing without my hair. How will I show my angst?!?

D: I'm sorry; it's part of the quarantine process.

EK: Is that all? You're not going to have to amputate anything else are you?

D: No. But you need to take this prescription and go to Ted's Pharmacy, and talk to the head pharmacist, Leo. It's a traveling pharmacy though, so you'll have to catch him at one of these locations:

EK: Thanks Doc. [sniff] But what are you prescribing me?

D: Some taste, now get the hell out of my office! And kid... you're going to be okay.

A Schizophrenic Fantasy of a Wannabe MTV Show Host Wishing He Could Host A Super Sweet 18th Birthday Bash Show With A Flaming Lips Theme

Ohhhhhh gurrrl, I'm gonna give you some pointers on how to have a ridiculous birthday party with a theme featuring those amazingly talented sex kittens, The Flaming Lips! First off, we have to focus on the premiere feature of the party besides the theme -- you! You're totally going to get a brand new wardrobe. On second thought, let's go on and give you a brand new name as well! For all intents and purposes, we're going to name you Katrina! Exotic, isn't it? Exactly. Okay Katrina; we're going to first focus on that fine ass of yours, so let's cover it in some sexy gold fabric from American Apparel. Oh my gawd, that spandex hugs your ass so well! Feelin' snug? Good. Now, do you want to be a Santa Claus or an alien? Obviously since we're leaning toward the golden American Apparel pants, we should go with the alien look. Though, I totally dare you to name the unfashionable fool who said that aliens couldn't be sexy, too!

Mmmm, lookin' fly girl. Now let's complete the look with one of those sexy gold headbands from American Apparel. Oh! Are they sold out of them? Hold on, I'll call Dov Charney, who just so happens to be the CEO of AA and one of my good alum friends from fashion school. [Riiing, riiing, riiing!] "Dov? It's Scout, how are you, honey? I'm fantastic! Listen, I'm throwing a super sweet 18th birthday bash with a Flaming Lips theme for my gurrl, Katrina. I was wondering if you have any way to, like, totally expedite me one of those delicious golden headbands of yours? A whole box? Are you kidding me? Oh Dov, you're a doll!" [Click!]

'Kay! Now we have the gold headbands for absolutely everyone that comes to your party; talk about superb party favors! Oh, now I know what we need next: a dozen metallic standees of Wayne Coyne and Micheal Ivins! Oh Wayne is so hott, let's make it two dozen! And let's go ahead and get six Steven Drozd standees and, like, three Kliph Scurlock standees 'cause he's only in the live band. We're also going to need an absolutely huge gargantuan plasma TV, because I just obtained a copy of the unreleased Flaming Lips motion picture, Christmas On Mars, as well as a promo version of U.F.O.s at the Zoo, the live DVD due July 24! We'll just mute 'em both and loop the DVDs the whole time. Oh my god, your party could be private screenings before all other private screenings! The one private screening to rule them all! Oh I love Lord of the Rings, especially that Legolas guy; he's so dreamy when he takes down those Oliphants!

You know what your party is missing? Balloons and giant hamster balls! No! How I could forget, the balloons and giant hamster balls have to be filled with confetti. So much confetti that we'll have a recycling party after your party. Oh, hold on! I'm receiving another call. [Riiing!] "Hello? Oh hello Flaming Lips PR Agent! I'm doing great. Good, good. What? You want us to do want after the party? Oh now, we couldn't! We couldn't! Groupies? Well, if you insist. Do we get to oil up Wayne Coyne before each show? Really? Okay we're in!" [Click!]

Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! We get to be groupies on these dates:
09.07.07 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Theater
09.09.07 - Minneapolis, MN - The Myth
09.12.07 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
09.14.07 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater (Monolith Festival)
09.15.07 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater (Monolith Festival)
09.18.07 - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theater
09.19.07 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
09.20.07 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater

All dates with Black Moth Super Rainbow