Red-band trailer for MegaUpload II, Megabox: The Unchaining now available!

Red-band trailer for MegaUpload II, Megabox: The Unchaining now available!

Back in June we brought you the story of how Megaupload’s founder, the infamous Kim Dotcom, was said to be quietly putting together what he assured the world would be the next big thing in online music retail: Megabox. At that time, we just had a single screen shot to work from, but now there’s a hip video available over on FACT that gives us a better glance at what the site may entail. Per Dotcom’s previous statements about the site (via Twitter), Megabox’s aim is to compete against the major label models, allowing artists to get paid directly, and to also pay artists when their content is downloaded through the site without compensation.

While the new video, shot in that ‘trying too hard’ slick style that gives you the distinct impression that the camera won’t stop moving simply because if it did, you’d see that there’s not much substance to what’s being shot, doesn’t shed any new light on how this ‘revolutionary’ business model is supposed to pan out in the end. Apparently Dotcom and company will use the ‘Megakey’ to pay artists whose music is downloaded for free by employing a pyramid scheme-sounding advertising clearinghouse, trading third-party space for advertising opportunities within Megabox.

While it’s still possible that this whole deal is just a ruse to get unsuspecting folks to inadvertently listen to Dotcom’s mid-90s techno jamz (hit the mute button before the video starts), Dotcom’s insinuation that the crackdown on his site and his subsequent arrest in New Zealand earlier this year was enacted based on news of his new venture and its potential adds some weight to the project. The internet isn’t really demanding a new way to acquire music, nor do average listeners worry about how artists are compensated, so only time will tell if Megabox will indeed be the next big thing, but good for Dotcom to keep moving forward in the face of adversity. Please just cut it with the original music, though.

• Megabox:

Wooden Wand announces new album to capitalize on popularity of wizard rock (a.k.a. wizardwave)

In our lives, we’re all faced with questions we’re forced to answer again and again. For me, it’s “Do you dye your beard?” and “Do you know you look like Charlie Day?” Well, the answers are “No, I don’t; I’m not sure why it grows in red” and “Sort of, I don’t totally see it, but I get that a lot.” For Wooden Wand, a.k.a. James Jackson Toth, it’s “Are you a wizard?” I’m sure that gets annoying, but it’s a fair question. Wizards use wands! Wooden Wand is called Wooden Wand! He could be a wizard! Though, I suppose the question should be “Are you friends with wizards?” since a wand is not a wizard. Let’s not be ridiculous. James Jackson Toth is a person, so he can’t truly be a wand, but he can be a wizard.

So now that we’re not being ridiculous: If Toth is a wizard, then consider his spells. (Or don’t.) He’s got a new “spell” (ALBUM) coming out January 8 through Fire Records. It’s called Blood Oaths of the New Blues, which if you were trying to convince people you’re not a wizard, Mr. James Jackson Toth, then that’s a bad title to go with! In fact, that’s some classic wizard-naming right there. Some people associated with Wooden Wand would describe Blood Oaths of the New Blues (STILL VERY WIZARDY) as the “Sunday morning ‘wake and bake’ record to [2011’s] critically acclaimed Briarwood LP’s Saturday night revelry.” Now, if you want to distance yourself from wizards, descriptions like that are probably the way to go. Wizards do not say things like “wake and bake.” They also probably do not typically record albums in Alabama, which is where Blood Oaths was recorded, but maybe that’s just what wizards want you to think.

As a first sample of the new record, Toth has (probably) put a bunch of magical stuff into a cauldron, stirred it up, and came up with an MP3 of “Southern Colorado Song,” which you can download and stream below. The track focuses on the true story of the Dougherty Gang, a group of Florida fugitive siblings that went on a nine-day crime spree across the US. In fact, the song is narrated through the perspective of one of the gang’s members. This is the sort of perspective that could only be obtained by… a wizard! Or maybe it’s fictionalized. Whatever.

• Wooden Wand:
• Fire Records:

I.C.P. sues F.B.I. over slanderous claims that Faygo isn’t really soda

The internet is positively buzzing (as you can see here and here) as news spreads about the Insane Clown Posse (I.C.P.) suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) over their continued War of the Acronyms (W.O.T.A). But, for real, I.C.P. is suing the F.B.I. because they don’t really agree with the F.B.I.’s assertion that their fans (lovingly called Juggalos and/or Juggalettes) are part of a gang.

It all began last year when, in their annual National Gang Threat Assesment, the F.B.I. declared that Juggalos are not just misguided and angry music fans who have no better way to vent than listening to idiots rap about murdering, but are, in fact, a full-on gang. As in a Crip, Blood, or Latin Kings-style gang.

The report reads: “The Juggalos, a loosely-organized hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”

It elaborates: “Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism. However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales.” And goes on to describe Juggalos as “transient, homeless, violent, destructive, and criminal.”

As people who are too stupid to run a successful gang (c’mon, they don’t even understand how magnets work), Violent J and Mr. Shaggy 2 Dope of I.C.P. are understandably upset about the accusation and have filed a lawsuit against the F.B.I. requesting documents that explain the reasoning behind the gang label and hope to ultimately remove Juggalos from the list of F.B.I. approved gangs.

“They’re punishing [you] for being Juggalos,” Violent J told fans, “This is the government’s way of telling us what you can listen to, what you can wear.”

• Insane Clown Posse:

Sean Lennon and Greg Saunier are Mystical Weapons, and they’re releasing their debut LP on January 15. Does this mean we have to stop cracking jokes about Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger?

“Thoughts on prehistoric creatures? Fossils? Extinct species of cats?”
“I like futuristic magic. Lasers that turn anyone’s skin blue.”
“Cool, let’s start a band.”

Or something like that. Sean Lennon and Greg Saunier dreamed up an improvisational project a couple years back and opened for a Plastic Ono Band/Deerhoof show in San Francisco. They call themselves Mystical Weapons (a reference to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film Holy Mountain, not to the sword of Godric Gryffindor, as I sort of initially guessed).

For a while, Mystical Weapons played live shows based almost entirely on instant improvisation — they’d play along to animated films by Martha Colburn and bang out as much wacked-out explosion and crazy noise as they could. On January 15, they’re releasing their self-titled debut album via Chimera Music, and even though it’s not quite as aggressively off-the-wall as their previous work, it’s still a trip (through space, through a jungle filled with dinosaurs, through a city made of glass, wherever you want). They released “Mechanical Mammoth” as a free download over at Rolling Stone.

Mystical Weapons tracklist:

01. Impossible Shapes
02. Mechanical Mammoth
03. Silk Screen Eyes
04. Whispers fhe Blue Tongue
05. Dirty
06. Goddess Curlers
07. Hostile Takeover
08. Gilbert Releases His Pet Salamander into the Wild
09. Colony Collapse Disorder
10. Distant City
11. Dirty Neon
12. Gross Domestic Happiness
13. Consortium Musicum

• Mystical Weapons:
• Chimera Music:

[Photo: Devendra Banhart (huh)]

Death Grips cancel their already-released new album so they can go on world tour

You know what I think is just so sexy??? When people I don’t really know promise me certain stuff on the internet and then do slightly different stuff. Oh man, just thinking about it makes me want to, I dunno, fucking email someone right now about something I plan to do… and then DO SOMETHING KINDA DIFFERENT IN PRACTICE. Mmm, yeah. Like, maybe I’ll promise someone that I’ll make and release two albums in 2012 and then do one of them, but then promise to tour it for a long time instead of working on the pre-promised follow-up, then cancel those dates to work on that follow-up, then release said followup way earlier than my label even thought I was going to and under a freakin’ Creative Commons license that allows the music to be used for free by anyone for any purpose, then email that person back with a big old slab of tourdates???

Oh man, nothing gets my motor running like convoluted, internet age bullshit! Well, okay, maybe NSFW album covers with huge shlongs on them…

Death Grips dates:

10.27.12 - Asheville, NC - Moogfest
11.01.12 - Berlin, Germany - Festsaal Kreuzberg
11.02.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Magasin 4
11.03.12 - Paris, France - Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
11.05.12 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece
11.06.12 - Manchester, UK - Sound Control
11.07.12 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom #
11.08.12 - Amsterdam, Holland - Bitterzoet
11.10.12 - Lyon, France - Riddim Collision Festival
11.13.12 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
11.14.12 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11.16.12 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
11.18.12 - Toronto, ON - Wrong Bar
11.19.12 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
11.20.12 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
11.21.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
01.18.13 - Sydney, Australia - Big Day Out Festival, Sydney Showgrounds
01.20.13 - Southport, Australia - Big Day Out Festival, Parklands
01.25.13 - Adelaide, Australia - Big Day Out Festival, Adelaide Convention Centre
01.26.13 - Melbourne, Australia - Big Day Out Festival, Flemington Racecourse
01.28.13 - Perth, Australia - Big Day Out Festival, McCallum Park

# The Bug

• Death Grips:

Dracula Lewis asks you to bounce to the beat of your own bleakness on new Permafrost 12-inch

Dracula Lewis is the dude behind the great Hundebiss label, which has been responsible for some fantastically hypnotic and warped releases over the last few years by Aaron Dilloway, Hair Police, Angels in America, and él-g, to name a few, plus a VHS collection of video work by Hype Williams and the Rapture Adrenaline feature film by James Ferraro. Now the bloodsucking fiend himself wants a piece of the pie, having just signed with Berlin’s Souterrain Transmissions and preparing a prickly 12-inch EP of cold dub proceedings that are equal parts bounce, buzz, and BLURGHHH.

Permafrost is arriving on November 5 in limited physical quantities (first 100 on orange vinyl) and infinite digital copies, with a Robert Beatty-designed cover that visualizes the “gaseous spider web” quality of Dracula Lewis’ music. Listen to the title track below, and remember to pop that ass to keep warm this winter.

Permafrost tracklist:

A1. Chrome Riderz (feat. Stargate)
A2. Permafrost
B1. Marble Eyez
B2. Spacies

Dates (all supporting The Soft Moon):

11.15.12 - Paris, France - Point Ephémère
11.17.12 - Lyon, France - Le Sonic
11.18.12 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Romandie
11.19.12 - Stuttgart, Germany - 1210
11.20.12 - Köln, Germany - MTC
11.21.12 - Berlin, Germany - Festsaal Kreuzberg
11.22.12 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang
11.23.12 - London, UK - Cargo
11.24.12 - Bristol, UK - Start the Bus
11.25.12 - Leeds, UK - Brudnell Social Club
11.26.12 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
11.27.12 - Birmingham, UK - Hare and Hounds
11.28.12 - Brighton, UK - Greenstore
11.30.12 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who? Festival
12.01.12 - Frankfurt, Germany - Nachtleben
12.02.12 - Prague, Czech Republic - Meat Factory
12.03.12 - München, Germany - Orangehouse

• Dracula Lewis:
• Souterrain Transmissions: