Is that Santorum in your mouth or are you just happy that bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Rapture, and Man Man are playing Urban Outfitters in-store concerts?

Perhaps finally feeling the pangs of guilt for charging big bucks to every Tom, Dick, or Moishe for "Jesus Is My Homeboy" t-shirts, young 'n' sexy clothing and novelty chain Urban Outfitters has announced it will put on free in-store appearances by today's hot hot hottest acts at some of the company's locations around the U.S. The Free Yr Radio promotional tour has been put together in conjunction with Toyota and its car of choice for the indie set, the Yaris. Most importantly and not sarcastically (seriously), the shows will raise funds and much-needed attention for a bunch of non-commercial community radio stations.

The idea for the "Free Yr Radio" tour came about after the positive response Toyota and Urban Outfitters received from their co-sponsored SXSW gig which featured The Rapture and The Pipettes. At each of the upcoming in-stores, a Toyota Yaris will be given away to one lucky radio lover along with extra funds to pay for car specifications suggested by the band playing that particular show. Cassette deck modification courtesy of Tapes 'n Tapes? A hitching post suggested by The Ponys? Tire chains from The Long Winters? A detachable walker frame per Dinosaur Jr.? Sorry, that's not nice.

Why would Urban Outfitters jump in to help out the fragile state of non-commercial radio? Because it cares. It cared when it decided to sell something as racist as "Ghettopoly" in its stores (despite heavy protest). It cared when it retailed and copied items from independent clothing firms like Crown Farmer and Johnny Cupcakes without permission (allegedly). It cares by continuing to charge ridiculous prices for sweatshop-fabricated, offensive t-shirts (popular opinion, not fact). And it especially cared when its twat of a President named Richard Hayne chose to support the campaign of that twat of a homophobic Republican Senator named Rick Santorum to the tune of $10,000-$13,000 (depending on who you ask).

Whatever. It is (hopefully) ALL for supporting community radio, which is indeed a good cause. I'm not here to preach or take sides on the forever-blurred line between a company's public image and its business practices (or did I just take a rather strong one-sided opinion in the paragraph above?). This is only about cynical marketing and choosing to support your companies wisely if you want it to be. Me, I'm a walking contradiction: I abhor hate-criminals as much, if not more, than most, but I would probably go see a freebie Dinosaur Jr. or Man Man show if it was co-hosted by the local "White Is Right" and "Gay Bashers Against Drunk Driving" chapters.

All of the up-to-date info is listed below. The Westlake Urban Outfitters show is apparently on, but details are not yet set.

Woo-hoo! When I feel heavy metal! Woo-hoo! When you free yr radio!
04.15.07 - Chicago, IL, 1521 N. Milwaukee Ave. (benefit for WLUL) - Klaxons
04.24.07 - Lawrence, KS, 1013 Massachusetts St. (benefit for KJHK) - The Ponys
04.28.07 - Houston, TX, 2501 University Ave. (benefit for KTRU) - Voxtrot
05.01.07 - Seattle, WA, 401 Broadway East (benefit for KEXP) - The Long Winters
05.09.07 - Durham, NC, 8030 Renaissance Pkwy. (benefit for WKNC) - Annuals
05.19.07 - Boulder, CO, 934 Pearl St. (benefit for KGNU) - Man Man
05.21.07 - Philadelphia, PA, 1627 Walnut ST. (benefit for Y-ROCK on XPN) - The
Rapture

05.25.07 - Santa Cruz, CA, 1401 Pacific Ave. (benefit for KZSC) - Rogue Wave
06.05.07 - Minneapolis, MN, 3006 Hennepin Ave. (benefit for The Current) - Tapes 'n'
Tapes

06.11.07 - Cambridge, MA, 11 J.F. Kennedy St. (benefit for WERS) - Dinosaur Jr.

TBA - Westlake, OH, 33 Main St. (benefit for WEWC) - TBA

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