Ratatat Sets It And Forgets It, Tours

Get your credit cards ready, because the two-man banana-rama Ratatat are launching their unparalleled, perpendicular whirlwind tour starting January 27, sweeping Europe by storm with what promises to be the experience of a lifetime at an affordable price. And, if you act now, we'll throw in a show in London, a show in Germany, and a show in Sweden.

What is that? Will the Ratatat tour bend or even break?

Fear not, the Ratatat tour sports exciting new technology that was originally designed for NASA. The sound was engineered in a clean room by actual German scientists, bringing you the finest, crispest tones this side of the Danube. The outer shell was subjected to a barrage of stress tests and impact analyses in a recent major university double-blind study, so you can trust Ratatat. And if that doesn't convince you, just watch. I can drop it on the floor and step on it. Folks, that German engineering really holds, and that's saying something!

Surely you must be thinking that an amazing deal such as this would cost upwards of $10,000. But Ratatat, swirling electric guitar whizzes and licensed chiropractors, has issued its personal guarantee that YOU can own a piece of this tour for the low, low price of: A plane ticket to Europe.

But that's not all! If you call within the next 10 minutes, Ratatat will give you the show in London, the show in Germany, the show in Sweden, AND a certificate of authenticity with YOUR name on it, AND we'll even give you a show in Turkey as our gift to you. All this can be yours in three easy installments of: A plane ticket to Europe. All you have to do is call now; Ratatat is standing by.

Sorry, no CODs:

Courtney Love Talks Cobain Movie, Still Never Killed Him

How many times have you heard Courtney Love's name mentioned when someone suddenly feels the need to blurt out, "SHE KILLED HIM!!!" Let's get one thing straight: While it appears she has seriously cashed in on Kurt Cobain's death, she didn't kill him. She may be slightly amoral and self-serving to a fault, but bitch didn't murder her husband. I know it's tempting, lo these 13 years later, to soothe your aching heart with a fabricated story about the poor, sad, pure-hearted hero and his homicidal, ball-breaking wife, but let's all get a life, shall we?

Besides, if hating Courtney Love for Kurt-related reasons is your thing, I've got a new tidbit for you to chew on. Apparently, Ms. Love is in talks with several studios about a film version of Charles Cross' Cobain biography, Heavier Than Heaven, to which she owns the rights. The movie hasn't been written and doesn't have a director attached to it yet, but C-Love assures us that it will be "A list and high end [sic]." I guess that means Jerry Bruckheimer's producing, Michael Bay is directing, and we'll see Brad Pitt as you-know-who?

Listen, I kind of wanted to make more jokes about this, but half of me is creeped out about poking fun at the dead (especially when said deceased played such an integral role in my pre-teen life) and the other half thinks that anything I could say would be a cheap shot. So are you happy, news? You've finally shut me up! But you haven't seen the last of me...

Danielson Has His Very Own Film! But Sufjan Stevens Steals His Thunder Anyway

In response to the Bush administration's covert wiretapping activities, lovable crackpot Ralph Nader has formed an organization that will secretly record phone conversations between randomly-selected Christians throughout the nation. The watchdog group, called Ears for Justice (EJ), performed its inaugural phone tap late last week. Unfortunately, since everyone who would ever work for Nader is a social pariah with no appreciation for the finer things in life (kidding guys), no one at EJ realized that the two parties on the line were none other than critical darling Sufjan Stevens and his mentor, Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile/Brother Danielson/just plain Danielson fame. We at TMT discovered this egregious oversight and now bring you the exclusive transcript of their conversation.

SMITH: Hey, Sufjan?

SUFJAN: Uh, who is this?

SMITH: It's me, Soof. You know, Daniel Smith? Your spiritual father and musical inspiration?

SUFJAN: Oh, wow, Daniel! It's been so long!

SMITH: You're telling me! I've been trying to contact you for weeks, but I had to go through about three different label executives and publicists to get your new number!

SUFJAN: Well, you know how that is, man. I'm sure you have an army of handlers and stuff, too.


SUFJAN: So anyway, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?

SMITH: I called to let you know that my documentary, Danielson: A Family Movie, is showing in a few theaters and, thanks to the good folks at IMAGE Entertainment, will be out on DVD on April 10!

SUFJAN: Hey, that's great, Daniel. But, uh, what movie is this again?

SMITH: Come on, Sufjan, you were in it for a few minutes toward the end! The documentary by JL Aronson about the family and me! It features appearances by Steve Albini, Daniel Johnston, and Rick Moody! It was, you know, before those state albums and sold-out tours. You actually didn't do too much in the movie, but you're all anyone can talk about in reviews. That and how weird my voice is.

SUFJAN: Oh, hmm, interesting.... Listen, I'm in the middle of recording a song about Wichita for my new Kansas album, so I'm gonna have to get off the phone now...

Don't let some stiff do Daniel Smith this way. See the film and experience Brother Danielson's nine-fruit tree costume for yourself, and then send that dude some hate mail.


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: