Vladimir Propp was a Russian de-structuralist who worked diligently in the early 1900s to analyze folk tales in order to break them down into distinct units, which he called "narratemes." Through his dissection of reoccurring plot functions, Propp was able to compile a list of 31 of these narrative themes that were present in all fairy/folk tale construction. Among these identifiable and ever-present elements were "A member of a family leaves home (the hero is identified, #1)" or "Victim taken in by deception, unwittingly helping the enemy (#7)" or "Hero is given a new appearance (is made whole, handsome, new garments, etc., #29)." Much of it has merit (print off the list sometime and keep it under your beer can to check out the next time you are watching any adaptation of a folk tale or sci-fi production that begins with the word "Star" and ends in "Trek" or "Wars"). But, however interesting his theory is at face value, Propp did not account for some crucial things that make folk and fairy tales what they are, namely, that these stories rely heavily on the oral storytelling tradition to differentiate them from one another and to best augment mood, character, and tone. Where is the love Propp? Where's the passion?
When breaking down TMT album news stories, it is easy to distinguish certain generic elements too. Chief among these are the mentioning of the band and their members, details of the upcoming album and its tracks, the most recently released album or recorded activity, and perhaps a few scattered tourdates and planned single releases. We could easily come up with a system for reoccurring posted "newsalbumatemes" and follow them to the letter so that we could pump out more and more news without any regard to tone or humor. Many of our blind and bland competitors' news reads exactly like this blueprint already.
But... balls to you V. Propp! We're Tiny Mix Tapes and we ain't gonna take it! We're not gonna take it... anymore! Most of the albums we write about 'round these parts deserve a less clinical announcement than the unbending, unflinching, cold-hearted, dead-bastard, folk tale buzzkiller would have tried if still alive. And albums featuring one of the most important figures on the post-punk-shamble-rock scene paired with an esteemed techno-house-kitchen-sink act deserves nothing less than that warm feeling you get when you have been sufficiently dry-humped through your computer.
Domino Records will release the full-length album by Von Südenfed, which is a brand-name collaboration between Mark E. Smith of The Fall and Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner, aka Mouse on Mars. Tromatic Reflexxions will be out May 21 and will be preceded by its lead-off track, "Fledermaus Can't Get Enough," as a single on May 7. This isn't the first time the Mancunian menace has teamed up with the German duo of Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner. In 2004, MES provided vocals to a 12-inch mix of their synth stomper "Wipe That Sound." Seeds were planted, fruits started blossoming, and less than three years later we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of bouncing baby Von Südenfed!
Did someone say tracklist?
1. Fledermaus Can't Get Enough
2. The Rhinohead
4. Family Fued
5. Serious Brainskin
6. Speech Contamination/German Fear of Osterreich
7. The Young The Faceless and the Codes
9. Chicken Yiamas
10. That Sound Wiped
11. Jback Lois Lane
12. Dearest Friends
Despite celebrating the tuff-life boogie for 50 years now, MES is heading into his second half-century, a man possessed with 10 times the vim and vigor of Blanche from The Golden Girls. First, Reformation! Post-TLC, the latest Fall album, is out in the U.S. TODAY on Narnack Records. We won't bother with a tracklist, but if you are kurious, oranj, you should really go buy the album. It features the original 14 songs on the U.K. album version released in February, but it is an enhanced CD that hosts four additional video clips. The videos included are "Hungry Freaks Daddy," "My Door Is Never," "Scenario," and "Theme From Sparta F.C." and were recorded live in New York City on November 5, 2006.
Second, Sanctuary will be releasing the title track from Reformation! as a single in the U.K. on April 9. Third, Universal is reissuing expanded versions of early 1990s albums Shift-Work, Code: Selfish, and Extricate in May. Fourth, The Fall are playing live in Britain right now. Check their site for details. Finally, the official (maybe partially ghost-written) autobiography of Mark E. Smith Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith (or Renegade: The Gospel According to Mark E. Smith) is due on June 28 through Viking. Now, isn't all that better than the "Here's the cold hard facts, you shitbums" approach?