Radiohead To Cover Stone Temple Pilots; Okay, I Lied – Radiohead To Debut Two New Songs On Nigel Godrich’s TV Show

For those of you who salivate over all things Radiohead, you may have heard about this little program put together by their occasional producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich. In case you haven't, or need to be reminded, the television show, entitled From The Basement, is to be a glorious program full of wonderous musical performances by the likes of Four Tet, The White Stripes, Beck, and Jamie Lidell (among others).

Set to premiere on December 18, the show will be available as an un-free download. To ensure themselves a whole bunch of almost guaranteed revenue and media interest, Radiohead, or at least Thom Yorke, will be premiering two BRAND! NEW! Radiohead songs on the show. The songs, "Videotape" and "Down Is The New Up," are apparently due to appear on the BRAND! NEW! ALBUM NUMBER SEVEN! by Radiohead. Did I mention that Godrich isn't fully producing said LP?

If you don't believe me, check out this fancy-dancy link.

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EMI Offers DRM-Free MP3 of Norah Jones (She’s a Jazz Virtuoso)

Jazz performer Norah Jones, the jazz artist, is a jazz musician. She peforms jazz, listens to jazz, and for all intents and purposes, is jazz. Hell, I wouldn't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Norah Jones is the greatest jazz artist of our time, if not ever. Her jazz vocals are simply breathtaking. All the jazz clubs and jazz fans love her jazz.

But does EMI love her jazz? I DON'T THINK SO. According to reports, EMI is offering a DRM-free MP3 of this amazing jazz artist through Yahoo (yes, they have a music service; you learn something new everyday). Aw, dude, c'mon! This means EMI is practically giving her music away for free. It's completely ridiculous -- might as well start manfucturing CDs and chucking them at ugly people on the street, because you're not going to make Norah Jones any money going this route, EMI.

Oh wait, artists are still getting ripped off no matter what? Are you for real? It's as if these companies don't care about their artists or something!

Mercury Rev It Up (Look! I Made a Totes Original Funny!) With Two New Releases for 2006

I have two (2) stories about Mercury Rev, and interestingly enough, they're not about the two (2) new albums they're dropping right quick. They are, however, horribly awkward and Mid-Hudson Valley (that's New York, you know)-specific. I mean, it's me we're talking about here. Or Mercury Rev. Whatever.

An illustrious mix CD thrust upon me by our very own Judy Ain't No Punk (once she realized I was listening to entirely too much of The Smashing Pumpkins and not much else) contained "Opus 40," and I remember her telling me that her father was particularly fond of it. What Mr. Ain't No Punk doesn't know is that I went out and bought Deserter's Songs one week later, much to the dismay of Adore. What set my 13-year-old world on end was when my cello teacher's sister casually mentioned she had played violins for some band she met on a train, and I ran home and opened the CD insert and stared at "Rachel Handman" for awhile. I think I got her autograph and sent it to Judy in a birthday card. Check it, I was schmoozing like y'all don't know, and I'm pretty sure I still had braces.

Obviously, by the time I was an intern for Some "Independent" Adult Contemporary Radio Station in Overrated & Overpriced Hippietown, I had gained immeasurable poise. I did Ryan Adams' grocery shopping to satisfy a concert hospitality rider. I drove a gigantic van emblazoned with the station's logo. I spotted Mercury Rev on our soundstage. I hid in the bathroom.

Eventually, I was coaxed out of the bathroom by the promotions director and took a picture of the afternoon DJ with the band:

I had style, I had grace, I had photography skills. Obviously.

Mercury Rev have suffered great injustices at my hand, but it hasn't stopped them from issuing The Essential Mercury Rev -- Stillness Breathes 1991-2006, which drummer Jeff Mercel describes as " a box of candy. We took all the maple creams out, the ones people pinch." Looks like the Rev's website (where the 2-disc set is exclusively sold) is gonna get pretty sticky! HA! That's a kneeslapper! Er, the other release is a soundtrack for a French film, and it's called Hello Blackbird, which is also available on MercuryRev.com. I am never going to try and be funny again.

At Your Cervix! Initial No Fun Fest 2007 Lineup Announced!

Contrary to what bitter ex-girlfriends and a nervous society at large have warned me about, I am capable of reproducing life and will indeed become a father any week now. I used to think that seeing my obscenity-wielding girlfriend bearing down and producing our son covered in blood 'n' vernix was an activity that I could wait a little while longer to encounter. But when the lil' tax write-off takes one look at us with his cerulean eyes and starts screaming, spitting, and crying, it’s going to be the most beautiful thing in the world. I’m going to fucking lose it, I’m never going to be the same... and I can't wait for it to happen.

I certainly won't be the first pristine parent to get thrown into cloud-cuckoo-land on the "big day," and I definitely won't be the last. Nor is witnessing childbirth the only way to bombard your senses and awaken another layer of experience; musicians have been wrenching these emotions out of audiences for ages. Some like-minded (but dissimilar-sounding) ones have been getting together and getting off on it in Brooklyn since 2004, where and when Carlos Giffoni birthed the first annual No Fun Fest. For all the buzz about NFF being an "anti-festival," it really embodies what is good and great about live explorations into unrestricted areas of sound and performance. And despite the gathering's "No Fun" tag, it is anything but -- simply take a look at Load Records' Fun From None: Live From the No Fun Fest 2004 & 2005 DVD compendium, or ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has had the pleasure of attending in the past. Before they make your ears bleed with plaudits about the Fest, you'll clue in that something very special is going to go down May 17-20 at The Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

No Fun vets will notice a few returnees this year, but rest assured not many sets will seem empty or played-out, even to the most jaded lovers of the subversive, extreme, or left-of-convention. Although there probably won’t be a stray placenta appearance, given the festival's inclination for delivering surprise, you can't count it out. More artists will be announced in due time, but the lineup will include these CONFIRMED acts: American Band + Air Conditioning, Ash Pool, Burning Star Core (pictured) + Zaimph, Crumbling (Pedestrian Deposit + Oscillating Innards), Deathroes (Gerritt + Sixes), Demons, Enema Syringe, Evil Moisture, Gastric Female Reflex, Carlos Giffoni, Hair Police, Hive Mind, Incapacitants, Leslie Keffer + Rodger Stella, Mouthus + Axolotl, Pain Jerk, Princess Dragonmom, Raionbashi, Tom Recchion, Ju Suk Reet Meate and Oblivia, Religious Knives, Sickness, Sissy Spacek, Slogun, and The Rita.

Festival passes go on sale February 15, single day tickets on March 15.

Photo: Phillip Berryhill

An Invitation to Ye Olde Mountain Goats’ Medicine Show

Come one, come all! Step right up, little boy! That's right, you there! Be the first on your block to Get Lonely!!!

Lonely is an all-encompassing attitude package, including such versatile attachments as:

- Spitefulness
- Anger
- Existential Angst
- Depression
- Mourning
- Hopelessness
- Feelings of Abandonment
- Fits of Rage

Take advantage of Mr. John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats' Get Lonely demonstration tour! John and the boys'll introduce you to the numerous uses of loneliness, helping you to make use of this essential, new emotion! The Mountain Goats are certified experts in the field of loneliness and guarantee full satisfaction, as long as wallowing in negative thoughts and feelings is your thing.

For the uninitiated, The Mountain Goats offer a full program of desolate sentiments, including such new laments as:

"Spend each night in your arms. Always wake up alone."

&

"Some time before the sun comes up, the earth is gonna crack."

Of course, Darnielle and co. will pay tribute to the old favorites, the gold standards, if you will, in miserable utterances:

"I hope you die! I hope we both die!"

&

"And the headstones climbed up the hills."

And yet, lying in your comfortable bed, when the show is over and your bitter medicine's been bought, you might begin to wonder whether you'll ever actually "get" lonely. You'll wonder just what made you go out looking for loneliness, anyway.

Get Your Lonely Here:

Hella Disbands, Rebands, Expands, Has Plans

Even though the combined energy of Spencer Seim and Zach Hill is already probably enough to send your closest relatives into epileptic fits, Hella have decided to enlist a veritable orchestra of friends in their ear-slicing crusade. The kind of kick-ass orchestra that only has three members. Maybe not an orchestra. It's like they've signed up a barbershop quartet, and one of them is permanently inside getting his hair cut. Or I suppose they could all take turns getting their hair cut so that the one guy doesn't have to shave his whole head during every show. In that case, there would have to be barbershops close to every club they play in, unless of course they had one installed backstage -- but what kind of clubs provide that kind of service? On the other hand, the band could bring along a smock and some shears, because, after all, a barbershop is more a state of mind than a physical place.

Hi. The new Hella will include Carson McWhirter (who also plays with The Advantage with Seim) on bass, Zach's cousin Josh Hill (member of Chrime In Choir) on guitar, and Aaron Ross (an ex-butcher from Las Vegas) on... vocals! And by "will include," I do mean "already includes," because the trio (+2) line-up has already cranked out an album, There's No 666 in Outer Space, which will be out on January 30 through Ipecac, that most syrupy of labels.

Tracklisting:

Hella will also be proving their five-man longevity by spending most of 2007 on tour. Having seen their live Concentration Face DVD, I can only imagine what will happen. Zach sprained his friggin' ankle in Japan by playing a song. At the very least, the new Hella will cause select members of the audience to suffer from debilitating osteoporosis. Enjoy.