The Shins announce some tourdates and purchase the Discovery Space Shuttle! Wait, no… sign with Columbia Records. Boring!

The Shins announce some tourdates and purchase the Discovery Space Shuttle! Wait, no... sign with Columbia Records. Boring!

ATTENTION FOOLS: The Shins (a.k.a. James Mercer and whomever-the-hell-else-besides Danger Mouse) are finally coming back from the plane of high pop consciousness for your uncatchy mortal souls. They trust that you will willingly pick up where you left off like four or five years ago and ADORE THE FUCK OUT OF THEM. Never mind where your pathetic and underdeveloped musical tastes have wandered in the interim. Mercer is great, and he knows and forgives your weaknesses. But please take the next few days to get these discretions back in line, or he will not hesitate to destroy you with one of his piercing, sullen, bearded half-glowers.

Your presence is required at the geographically and temporally nearest upcoming Shins performance. The performers will include singer/songwriter Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls, and singer/songwriter Jessica Dobson, and you will pretend that they have always been in The Shins, applauding them thoroughly (but not with more warmth than that with which you will applaud Mercer). You will bring the following items to your designated performance: your Mercer-approved earplugs so that you don’t miss any important frequencies; all of your hopes, dreams, and affections; enough money for a Shins t-shirt, vinyl copy of Oh, Inverted World, and Broken Bells tote bag. During the performance, you will not do any of the following things: exit the floor to obtain alcohol at the expense of missing a slow song; use the restroom; bring up a certain film from the early 2000s (or any popular lines from it) whose name we will not dignify by uttering here; sing along on top of Mercer with your own shrill, disagreeable voice.

Additionally, in conjunction with this tour, you are required to get re-excited about the news that Mercer has been working on a new Shins album for some time now with producer Greg Kurstin (yes, from Geggy Tah), a new Shins album that will be released next year on Mercer’s Aural Apothecary label and Columbia Records. Be advised that this album will ______ your life. That is all for now. Go in peace. So says I.


08.08.11 - Eugene, OR - W.O.W. Hall
08.09.11 - Bend, OR - The Domino Room
08.10.11 - Portland, OR - The Doug Fir Lounge
08.12.11 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
09.22.11 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
09.23.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Popped! Festival
09.24.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10.15.11 - Pensacola, FL - DeLuna Festival

• The Shins:
• Columbia:

Yuck finish up tour of the West Coast, call their parents, get permission to tour East Coast in the fall

It’s happened before: a couple guys travel across the sea from England to America, and once they’ve touched land, exploited native peoples, and discovered that they can eat all the corn they want, they don’t want to leave. It happened again this year, when Yuck — a ragtag group of 20-year-old Londoners — came to the States with their old-world, Jesus & Mary Chain sound, to tour their debut album (TMT Review) on Fat Possum. They haven’t even left the West Coast when already they’re announcing another tour, this time of the East Coast, starting in September. Next they’ll be taking away our right to bear arms!

Along with the tour news, Yuck recently unveiled a new 7-inch, featuring “Shook Down” (from the self-titled album) backed with a new single, “Milkshake.” In case you were wondering, yeah, it still sounds like a composite of all the noisy old bands you liked in high school. Listen to “Milkshake” at Yuck’s Myspace, or stream the new video for “Shook Down” here. With full-frontal nudity and facial features done terrifyingly piecemeal, it’s about as uncomfortable viewing as the new Flaming Lips/Lightning Bolt video.


09.22.01 - Boston, MA - TT the Bears
09.23.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Popped Festival
09.24.11 - Montreal, QC - Pop Montreal
09.25.11 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
09.27.11 - Buffalo, NY - Ninth Ward
09.28.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
09.29.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
09.30.11 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
10.01.11 - Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio
10.03.11 - Chicago, IL - Double Door
10.04.11 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird
10.05.11 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10.06.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
10.07.11 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar
10.08.11 - Sunrise, FL - Langerado Festival
10.10.11 - Orlando, FL - The Social
10.12.11 - Washington, D.C. - Black Cat
10.13.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
10.14.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg

• Yuck:
• Fat Possum:

Beavis and Butt-head to return to MTV with fewer music videos, which is fine because no one currently watching MTV will perceive any such lack of music videos anyway

Like most of you, I can’t remember the last time I thought of MTV as a music-related content provider. The last memory I have of ever consistently watching that channel is from when I was in college in the early aughts. My housemates and I used to place modest bets at the beginning of every episode of that dating show Next as to which one of the idiot contestants would win the date with the idiot bachelor/ette. Then we’d laugh at how stupid the whole network was, pat ourselves on the back for watching TV ironically, and get on with our days. So when Beavis and Butt-head return to their MTV-watchin’ couch on October 27 after a near-15 year hiatus, it’s really pretty fitting that they won’t be watching as many music videos, due to licensing issues. In fact, the only thing more realistic than them not watching music videos on a television set would be them watching Hulu Plus on their HTC Evo 4G’s instead.

According to Billboard, B&B creator Mike Judge says (in that adorable voice of his) that the conspicuous lack of music videos on the reboot was the result of having to go through proper channels on these new editions of the show. “It’s licensing,” he said, noting that the premiere itself was actually delayed six months partially because of pending approval to use music videos. So far, he says that Deadmau5, MGMT, Yolanda Be Cool, and T-Baby’s off-key “It’s So Cold in the D” have been licensed. And “we’re working on Lady Gaga.” So, you know, there’s a lot to look forward to there.

Licensing of some of the show’s content became an issue in th early 2000’s and is probably Lars Ulrich’s fault. When Sony issued its first collection of episodes in 2005, many of the episodes had to be edited to compensate for deleted videos, frustrating AC/DC and Metallica fans everywhere. Now in 2011, the pair will fill air time on the new series the time-honored George Lopez Way: by making fun of whatever’s going on in pop culture at the time. In addition to performing the oh-so-difficult task of skewering the network’s current batch of shitshows — Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, etc. — they’ll “take a shot at becoming Siskel and Ebert, vampires, tech support workers and re-enact Morgan Spurlock’s Super-size Me diet.” Ooh, topical. Although, actually, I can’t wait to sit in front of my TV and criticize cartoon characters while they criticize TV. Nothing’s more ironic than that.

Beavis & Butt-head:

Not a joke: T-Pain sues company that invented Auto-Tune

I have just spent a full three hours of my workday reading Literally Unbelievable, the website that tracks the wacky antics of the good people who believe The Onion reports actual, true news stories, so let’s just say I’m more than a little surprised that the headline “T-Pain Sues Auto-Tune Inventor” on is NOT an article from The Onion. ONLY IN T-PAIN’S AMERICA, SHEEPLE.

So, this is a real story. It’s 100% true and it’s totally happening. T-Pain, known in R&B and pop music circles as the Lord of the Auto-Tune, is suing Antares Technologies, the company that developed it back in 1997. What could bring about the tragic dissolution of this seeming match made in heaven, you ask? Was Auto-Tune cheating on T-Pain with Cher? Is T-Pain going to use his ACTUAL VOICE on a recording? Ha ha ha NO DON’T BE RIDICULOUS. It’s all about the benjamins, baby.

Recently T-Pain partnered with Izotope, a new company, to rep his very own voice-manipulation technology, called — wait for it — The T-Pain Effect. THE T-PAIN EFFECT. And therefore, Señor Pain is trying to distance himself from Antares by bringing an injunction against the company. On Monday, T-Pain and associates filed a complaint in the US District Court in California alleging that Antares is still using his likeness in marketing materials, packaging, and advertisements, and that this continued endorsement “will confuse and mislead the public and damage sales for his own new technologies, including the ‘I Am T-Pain Mic.’” Yes, that is a real, purchasable product. The I Am T-Pain Mic. No word yet on whether the I Am T-Pain Mic allows the user to conceive of and spit shitty lyrics like “Oh she made us drinks, to drink/We drunk ‘em, got drunk” or not.

• T-Pain:
• Izotope:
• Antares:

Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, R. Stevie Moore, and others contribute to benefit album for Japan

Despite the fact that most Western news sources have stopped coverage on the Japanese earthquake of March 11 and aftermath, the world of Western Indie Music has not forgotten and have instead banded together to form a giant robo-mech that, when fully charged, will offer both protection and humanitarian sources.

However, the Kickstarter account that was opened, “Giant Robo-Mech for Japan,” failed to raise enough money and the collective of musicians has now decided to release a benefit album instead, which is a much more feasible and beneficial decision. The album, Recorded for Japan, features songs recorded between April and June 2011 in response to the earthquake and will see release on August 4 as a digital-only album with all proceeds going “directly towards the continuing recovery and reconstruction effort, specifically the Japanese Red Cross.”

Recorded for Japan tracklist:

01. Beige, “Focus”
02. R. Stevie Moore (feat. Members of MGMT), “You Are Too Far From Me”
03. K. Heasley, “Belief Match”
04. Ice Choir, “Two Rings (Hard Mix)”
05. Chairlift, “The Chase”
06. Pablo Picasso, “Whip”
07. Kurt Vile, “Been Searchin’”
08. Kuroma, “Running People”
09. Acrylics, “Sparrow Song”
10. Violens, “When to Let Go”
11. Erika Spring, “6 More Weeks (Vacation Version)”
12. Patrick Cleandenim, “In My Baby’s Eyes (After Dark Version)”
13. Regal Degal, “Excuse Me Who Am I Talking To?”
14. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, “Thespian City (Live)”

Recorded for Japan:

Mogwai take a break from bartending, release Earth Division EP, tour the US

So, there’s this bar on Donaustraße in the Neukölln district of Berlin called Das Gift. I was there a couple times while in the city earlier this summer. One instance, I was looking for my friends, who were apparently DJing in the back room of the place. I did not know that said room was another secret room not immediately obvious to view. So, being the American I was (despite Neukölln being this really immigrant-based neighborhood, with a lot of expats and scheiß deutsche being spoken), I looked like a confused puppy, probably to the amusement of this small throng of people near the entryway.

As I was later told, said throng turned out to be Mogwai and friends. Which makes sense, given band member Barry Burns runs the bar with with his (I’m assuming) wife and a couple others. Imagine a stunned Ze and an annoyed Mr P when this happened.

But enough about bar stories, let’s talk about Mogwai. They put out an album earlier this year with the greatest title ever, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (TMT Review), whose rating I say should be flipped with Explosions in the Sky’s latest offering (but that’s just me). And yet, they already got a new EP in the can called Earth Division, which will be up and running September 13 on Sub Pop. To show their enjoyment of bars and bar music, piano will play a larger role than in the previous LP. But, to many, it’s the same old kind of Glaswegian post-rock resonance with a nice malkie touch to it.

To support the EP (and the LP, to a lesser extent), Mogwai will take a brief East Coast bar tour in September. Perhaps they’ll share a round with the Boss (or Jeff Mangum) when they hit Asbury Park on September 30. Who knows?

Earth Division EP tracklisting:

01. Get to France
02. Hound of Winter
03. Drunk and Crazy
04. Does This Always Happen?

Will Be Back Before Last Call in Berlin, Which Doesn’t Really Exist:

09.26.11 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
09.27.11 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
09.28.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom
09.29.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10.01.11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
10.02.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Park Convention Center (ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror) *

* Portishead, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra, Earth, etc. etc. and all that cal

• Mogwai:
• Sub Pop: