Rhapsody moves into Europe via Napster purchase; Spotify is toootally not impressed

Rhapsody moves into Europe via Napster purchase; Spotify is toootally not impressed http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-01-rhapsody-europe.jpg

Spotify best watch its back! It was announced last week that US-based music service Rhapsody has purchased the international wing of your former favorite dorm room time waster: Napster. The purchase, at an undisclosed sum, effectively injects Rhapsody into the UK and German markets without the hassle of having to introduce themselves to their new neighborhood. Rhapsody previously purchased Napster’s US assets and boasts of being the largest subscription-based music service in the US with over 1 million users. Spotify claimed back in November that it had 2.5 million users internationally, but they’re currently not in the German market.

While it’s unknown what Napster International’s current subscriber base is, Napster is a well-known name in Europe and Rhapsody’s decision to remain under the Napster moniker in the UK and Germany should help them successfully expand into the European market.

Why would a Spotify-loving European want to switch over to Napster? Well, with the power of Rhapsody behind them, Napster subscribers will soon be taking advantage of improved mobile apps and web interfaces, better sound quality, and an expanded library of music. Existing Napster users will also be able to retain their existing libraries even after the infrastructure shift is complete. With the help of Rhapsody, Napster will be an on-par service with Spotify, and could prove to offer better mobile capabilities, as many users claim that Spotify’s existing mobile app is seriously lacking in terms of usability.

Napster’s existing foothold in Germany will also be beneficial to Rhapsody, who don’t currently face direct competition from Spotify in that market (though a roll out of the service in the German market is on the horizon). Regardless of whether Napster blows up or not following the transition to being a Rhapsody-based service, direct competition is always a good thing for users. Bring it!

• Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com
• Napster: http://www.napster.com
• Spotify: http://www.spotify.com

The Polyphonic Spree finally de-robe and bare all on upcoming February tour

PUT YOUR ROBES ON! PUT YOUR ROBES ON! The Polyphonic Spree are coming!!!!!!! They’ve brought all 21 band and choir members with them to relive the days when their gowns were made out of that cheap stuff from Jo-Ann Fabrics, not that shiny new shit they’ve been spotted in as recently as 2007. That’s right! They’re bringing all their Spreeks for a round of intimate shows.

This tour comes shortly after head Polyphons Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle relaunched their label, Good Records Recordings. It will serve as a singles label to artists like Preteen Zenith, Tripping Daisy, and newer acts Binary Sunrise, Sweet Lee Morrow, and New Fumes (The Spree and Flaming Lips tour member, Daniel Huffman).


02.06.12 - Tulsa, OK - Bob’s Place at Cain’s Ballroom
02.07.12 - Norman, OK - Opolis
02.08.12 - Little Rock, AR - Rev Room
02.10.12 - Atlanta, GA - Centerstage
02.11.12 - Tallahassee, FL - The Moon
02.12.12 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree
02.13.12 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
02.14.12 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
02.15.12 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
02.16.12 - Dallas, TX - Sons of Hermann Hall

&bull: The Polyphonic Spree: http://thepolyphonicspree.com

J Mascis and Built to Spill dudes make electronic Dinosaur Jr. songs for Record Store Day

While it was pretty dope when Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch and Brett Nelson re-imagined some of their popular BTS songs as electronic 80s jams (under the moniker The Electronic Anthology Project), things are going to get a lot more Mascis-y (Mascisian?). For Record Store Day (April 21), Martsch, Nelson, and Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis will appear on a limited-to-500 purple vinyl with Mascis providing vocals to some of ye olde beloved Dino Jr. songs. Those of you who always wished to hear Mascis doin’ his damn thang over Prince-inspired beats, well… this isn’t quite that, but almost.

For those saying “Boohoo! I don’t have a record player!”, first of all, calm the fuck down! Second, breathe easy ‘cause you know (just like the initial recording) a digital release is likely in order.

• The Electronic Anthology Project: http://www.myspace.com/527249283
• J Mascis: http://jmascis.com
• Built to Spill: http://www.builttospill.com

Roxy Music release 40th anniversary box set; you’ll never have to listen to other bands again!

Fans of seminal English art-rock and sexy 70s ladies, take note! Roxy Music is celebrating the fact that it existed for a really long time with that most venerable of releases, a career-spanning box set. But don’t think that just because Roxy Music is now 40, this whole “release a huge box set” thing is the band equivalent of the human dude “buy a convertible/get really into Entourage/marry your son’s much younger ex-girlfriend” thing. (Don’t hate me Ferry fans, I love him, too! I heard he HATES Entourage.) Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982, as the eight-CD/four-DVD RoxyBible is being called, is about more than those things. It’s a celebration of all the rad stuff Ferry and friends have done over the years, all For Your Pleasure.

Join the dapper Englishman and his band of merry musicmakers as they take you on a journey through their multi-faceted career. Aching for a lost weekend surrounded by your favorite Roxy Music jams? Well, on April 2, Virgin will make that wish come true. Relive the chronological wonder that is 1972’s Roxy Music, 73’s For Your Pleasure and Stranded, 74’s Country Life, 75’s Siren, 79’s Manifesto, 80’s Flesh and Blood, and 82’s Avalon, and then once you’ve had your fill of compact diskery, pop in one of the four high-res audio versions of the albums… on DVD. WHOA. I’M SURE SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO DO THAT. Of course, in the tradition of all career-spanning box sets worth their salt, this one features remixes, B-sides, non-album singles, and all the other bonus material that sounds so great on the speaker system of that cherry red Beamer 650i. The Roxyrama fansite has the entire tracklisting, in all its too-long-to-type-out glory.

• Roxy Music: http://www.roxyrama.com
• Bryan Ferry: http://www.bryanferry.com

The Books write their epilogue (and other literary metaphors)

And so it goes, the five-year interval between their previous two albums was the ominous sign we all thought it might be: The Books have assumed the responsibilities of the firemen from Fahrenheit 451 and decided to formally set ablaze any possibility of future work. As if Nick Zammuto recently announcing a new album sans Paul de Jong wasn’t enough of an indication, he also makes things undeniably clear in an interview with Pitchfork: “It seems the air has gone out of the Books for the last time,” wrote Zammuto in an email. “It’s been an extraordinarily painful year coming to the realization that there was no way forward for the band. I love the Books and all that it became, and it still feels strange to me that such an odd little project moved people like it did.”

For those interested in the reason(s) for their not-so-sudden dissolution, Zammuto implicitly advises that you mosey on over to TMZ.com if you want that sort of celebrity gossip: “Right now, going into the details of it does not serve anyone, and I’m still too close to it to talk about it without getting angry. It’s best for it to remain a mystery for a while. I doubt we will work together again, and unfortunately it almost certainly means we will retire the name after these last releases are out.” Well, I can’t help but feel a bit curious about it now.

Those releases that Zammuto refers to include “a couple LPs worth of B-sides and soundtracks, a box set with the four [Books] records, and an updated DVD later this year.” RIP. Er, yeah. You know what I mean.

• The Books: http://www.thebooksmusic.com
• Temporary Residence: http://temporaryresidence.com

Jonny Greenwood and Krzysztof Penderecki to release joint album in March — a match made in frighteningly dissonant heaven

I’d never go so far as to underestimate the depth of musical knowledge that readers of TMT possess, but just in case you aren’t familiar with Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki (as I unfortunately wasn’t until recently), allow me to give you a brief rundown of him and his accomplished history: he looks like exactly like my lawyer uncle from Chicago. Like, spitting image. The uncanny resemblance actually makes me wonder whether my uncle has a long-lost twin brother, which would be odd, considering that he and that entire side of my family was born in the United States and…

Krzysztof Penderecki, 78, has been described by British newspapers The Independent and The Guardian as “Poland’s godfather of the musical avant-garde” and “arguably Poland’s greatest living composer,” respectively. He’s won numerous prestigious awards, including the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1992, and numerous not-so-prestigious awards, including Grammy Awards in 1987, 1998, and 2001. To give you a sense of the tone of his compositions, his work has appeared in such films as The Shining (1980), Children of Men (2006), and two films by David Lynch. Could it be fate that Penderecki and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who has himself scored several films, most notably the Penderecki-indebted There Will Be Blood (2007), are releasing a collaborative album on March 13?

The underpinnings of the album itself began last September when the two artists performed alongside one another in a concert at the European Congress of Culture in Wrocław, Poland. The show was such a success that they ultimately decided to take the same music, alongside an additional piece from Greenwood, to Alvernia Studios in Kraków. The upcoming album includes a total of four pieces performed by Poland’s UKSO Chamber Orchestra. Those pieces are: Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and Polymorphia (for 48 strings), both of which date back to the 1960s, and Greenwood’s 48 Responses to Polymorphia and Popcorn Superhet Receiver, both of which were inspired by the aforementioned Penderecki works.

The album is available for pre-order here. And for our tea-drinking readers across the pond, a concert featuring all of the music on the album, performed by same ensemble, will take place on March 22 at Barbican Hall in London. Infinity cool points are most definitely assured if you attend.

Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima / Popcorn Superhet Receiver / Polymorphia / 48 Responses to Polymorphia tracklisting:

01. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima
02. Popcorn Superhet Receiver: Part 1
03. Popcorn Superhet Receiver: Part 2 A
04. Popcorn Superhet Receiver: Part 2 B
05. Popcorn Superhet Receiver: Part 3
06. Polymorphia
07. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Es ist Genug
08. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Ranj
09. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Overtones
10. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Scan
11. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Baton Sparks
12. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Three Oak Leaves
13. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Overhang
14. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Bridge
15. 48 Responses to Polymorphia: Pacay Tree

• Jonny Greenwood: http://www.nonesuch.com/artists/jonny-greenwood
• Nonesuch: http://www.nonesuch.com