Snow Patrol Tour Here, There, All Around the Square, Sing “Catch Me If You Can”

Spitting in the face of symbolic logic, Glasgow's most icy-fingered, cool-voiced Brit-pop mega-quintet Snow Patrol are gearing up for... well, one hot and sweaty summer.

Ignoring the advice of astounded medical doctors and little blond girls named Karen alike, the wintry wonderkids -- who came to life big-time (ha, get it?) in 2003/2004 with breakthrough album Final Straw for Polydor/Interscope (depending on whether or not you're a Loyalist) and numerous weepy spots throughout 2006 on many-a-primetime TV shows that my girlfriend likes -- have decided to laugh in the face of the rising thermometer and parade their stadium-sized EZ-indie power pop all around the free world, presumably with a broomstick in their collective hand.

Ahem...

First, according to the band's official website, Snow Patrol's newest single, the curiously thermally titled "Signal Fire" from the curiously tepid Spiderman 3, will be released May 14 in the UK and Ireland as a "two track CD and web-shaped vinyl" following the world wide "web" release of the track on iTunes this past April.

In addition, the frigid fivesome have announced their involvement in this year's highly anticipated 24-hour, seven-continent (I guess Hot Hot Heat are playing from Antarctica, huh?) concert series Live Earth, for which they will perform an "insert synonym for hot here" set from London on July 7 in order to help prevent and raise awareness for... get this... global warming.

The UK concert is scheduled to take place at London's new Wembley Stadium and also boasts appearances from "some of the biggest bands and artists in the world" (according to Snow Patrol anyway), including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Madonna, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, and Genesis. And never you mind the fact that these lads are scheduled to headline the Oxygen Festival in Ireland later that same evening! Once again according to their website, the blustery band will simply "perform at Wembley early in the afternoon" before whisking their winterly way back to Ireland faster than a Jamaican Bobsled team coached by John Candy.

But wait! There's more! The all-livin' boys of Snow Patrol have also announced a scintillating round of summer tourdates in the U.S. and Canada, including a scorching stop-off in the sure-to-be sweltering city of Chicago for the infamous Lollapalooza Festival on August 4 before downhill skiing back to Europe for, gasp, a few more summer festival appearances. And just how are they so on top of their game? Early rumors are circulating that there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found.

Happy Birthday:

I’m In Love With a Girl From Sackville, New Brunswick; Julie Doiron Tours With Calvin Johnson

For a lot of musicians, being a member of a seminal rock band in a seminal city can spell death for any plans for a solo career, with interviewers constantly referencing past projects and asking inane questions like, "What are the rest of those guys up to these days?" It must be heart-wrenching. As an artist, you really need to overcome the confines of your band's previous sound if you want to emerge successfully from the shadows of former glory. Some have been able to achieve this seemingly insurmountable goal; David Cassidy, Geri Halliwell, and Art Garfunkel come to mind. Others have faltered in the face of past grandeur when attempting to set themselves apart as solo musicians; see John Lennon, Ghostface Killah, and Lou Reed. Needless to say, if it can be avoided at all, it's best not to play this comparison game.

Julie Doiron, originally of Eric's Trip, transcended such callous considerations when she called upon former bandmates Marc Gaudet, Rick White, and Chris Thompson to help record her newest Jagjaguwar release, Woke Myself Up (TMT Review). Doiron is also joining with Calvin Johnson, the man behind the 'zine-turned-label K Records, to promote her incredibly crafted songs on an expansive North American tour.

Johnson himself has put producing, recording, engineering, and starting music institutions on hold for a while. He is putting The Sons of The Soil on hiatus to travel with Julie across the continent, hitting cafes, galleries, churches, and small clubs along the way, playing songs from his self-titled K Records release (TMT Review).

Check out Doiron's video for "Me and My Friend" here.

You can fold your arms, stare at the floor, and rock slowly but intentionally side-to-side -- maybe even nod your head in affirmation -- as you see them play. But don't get too carried away; you don't want anyone to think you care:

* Johnson only

# Just Doiron

Superchunk to Play Cancer Benefit; I Love Superchunk

Amid breakup rumors, a six-year vacation from recording new material (aside from the exclusive track for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, to be released June 5), and increasingly rare live shows, Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan has taken time out of his busy schedule of sparsely releasing Portastatic material, getting filthy rich by releasing Arcade Fire records, and resting on his laurels to play a single show with his original band. Perhaps this will lead to Superchunk’s first national tour in four years, but I’m probably asking too much.

I’m sorry, Mac. That was kind of a cheap shot. I can’t think of any way to write this story that doesn’t consist of me repeatedly telling you I think you’re great. You can play with Superchunk whenever you want, especially if it’s for a good cause. Sean Silver, one of your biggest fans, has cancer and asked you to play his Eff Cancer Benefit on June 20th at the Metro in Chicago, and you -- along with the Mountain Goats and a “special guest” -- said yes.

I tried to open this article at your expense, but damn it, between this and “Detroit Has A Skyline,” you’re the closest thing to a hero we’ve got. As a penance, I offer this Clerihew:

McCaughan is in Superchunk

I’m a total hack, a drunk

The following statement is untrue:

I can tell him what to do

This news story is all about tapes and tapes (but not Tapes ‘n Tapes). “Underground Cassette Culture” exhibition in NYC on until May 26!

It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that without the tapes, Tiny Mix Tapes would be just Tiny Mix. Sure, it's short and sassy like a new summer 'do, but it's not complete without the "Tapes." Regardless, it also goes without saying that it would be goddamn irresponsible of us at Tiny Mix Tapes to not report an exhibition featuring tapes and "cassette culture" in general. It would be blasphemy. It would be sacrilege. It would be something, that's for freakin' sure!

Leave it to Printed Matter, Inc. and Heavy Tapes to go completely against the grain -- and just when we were all working so hard to maintain the grain -- and present an exhibition called "Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now," running now until May 26 in Printed Matter's 195 Tenth Ave, NYC space. Hmm, mid-May? NYC? Yessirsandmadams, the whole shebang is on at the same time that No Fun Fest is on at The Hook (May 17-20). "Leaderless" will feature guest curators Chris Freeman (founder of cassette distro Fusetron), Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Hospital Productions), and the ubiquitous Thurston Moore (apparently a musician of some renown) and is situated in the non-profit organization's back room, subsequently turning it into a den of tapehead culture, with cassettes blaring from ghetto blasters and many specimens available for purchase.

Considering that a top-of-the-range iPod can hold the same number of albums as 1,500 cassettes, it's not too surprising that tapes don't figure prominently in recent news columns. Introduced in 1963, the cassette actually sorta rivaled vinyl in sales for awhile and hit its peak in the late 1980s, when cassingles were the shit. Now companies are refusing to replenish stocks of blank cassettes and tape players are going the way of Cooperalls (anyone, anyone?). But, as any packrat, collector, or serial killer knows, sometimes you just have to keep that concrete reminder of a happier or at least memorable time in your possession.

Records might be cool and sexy, but many people will admit that one single cassette says more about someone than a large stack of black vinyl ever could. Tapes kicking around old cars for so long they have a legal deed on the thing, creative or stupid hand-made j-cards labored over for ages, making mixes for friends and hopeful future partners, knowing every single stretched bit of tape on an over-played classic, buying cassettes at thrift stores just to see what nonsense was on them (usually bad radio mixes or voiced nonsense)... cassettes conjure up memories. There used to be fewer things as sad in life as a favorite tape finally giving up the ghost or breaking or getting lost. In fact, it is apparently believed by tapeheads all over that when this happens, an angel gets its wings by rolling its '79 Camaro into a ditch. I can't confirm this, but I have to believe in something! Cassettes are still important because cassettes equal culture and culture never dies.

[Case in point: my girlfriend still has a tape of herself singing a French song to her father when she was an infant. At the opposite end of the cute-important spectrum, I had a cassette kicking around for ages that featured me and a friend reading excerpts, in scary "metal" voices no less, from a Hit Parader interview with W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless, while I crashed a cymbal overtop of my friend playing his guitar through his digital delay and flange pedals (jeesh, I really wish I wasn't such an open book all of the time because that is so embarrassing... see what I go through to entertain you?!). That tape, thankfully, is long lost.]

Labels participating in the "Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now" exhibition include 23 Productions (WI), AA (MI), American Tapes (MI), Animal Disguise (MI), Bone Tooth Horn, Callow God (CA), Cherried Out Merch (OR), Chondritic Sound (MI), Drone Disco (OH), Ecstatic Peace (MA), Fag Tapes (MI), Fuckit Tapes (NY), Gods of Tundra (MI), Hanson Records (MI), Heavy Tapes (NY), Hospital Productions (NY), Iatrogenesis (OR), Ides (IL), Friendship Bracelet (MA), Loveless Tapes (NJ), Middle James CO (ON/CA), Monorail Trespassing (CA), Nihilist Productions (IL), Not Not Fun (CA), Psychform (WA), RRRecords (MA), Rundownsun (BC), Since 1972 (NY), Spite (NY), Stammer Tapes (NY), Swampland Noise (CA), Throne Heap (NY), Tone Filth (MN), Trash Ritual (NY), Troniks (CA), and many more.

Your Monday Morning Just Got A Little Suckier: Explosions In The Sky Cancel Their Summer Dates

Explosions in the Sky have communicated in a brief statement on their website that they have been forced to cancel all of their European summer dates due to a family member falling seriously ill. This includes an imminent date at All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, which I was totally going to go to. Damn, man.

TMT's thoughts are with the band and their family and hope for a speedy recovery.

If you live in any of the following towns, get ready to stamp your foot and go "Oh, for Fu":

The World Don’t Move to the Beat of Just One Drum; Strokes Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. To Tour

Fresh off an opening slot on tour with everyone's favorite rap/rock/bro/jock/alt/funk/metal band Incubus, The Strokes' rhythm guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. is going on a solo tour! Yes, that band. Mmhmm, The Strokes -- our former "Saviors of Rock 'n' Roll." I know, I know... that never quite panned out. Of course, they're all still alive! How could you ask such a thing? No, he's not the one who dated Drew Barrymore; that's the drummer. Albert Hammond, Jr. is the thin, unkempt, scruffy looking one. No, not the tired-looking one; that's the singer. You know Hammond, Jr... the one with the skinny suits! Yeah, I guess you're right. Hmmm, more distinguishing... well, he's the one with the hair -- a little messy, a little styled... come on! There's only five of them! Okay, okay, you're right. It has been a few years since this band was relevant, which is exactly why I prepared this insightful, informative, and educational quiz:

Different Folks Make Up The Strokes! Shall we get started?

1. Which Stroke attended an elite school in both New York City and Switzerland?

a) Julian Casablancas, lead singer

b) Albert Hammond, Jr., guitarist

c) Both 'a' and 'b'

d) NME circa 2001 called and it wants its quiz back.
2. Which band member indulges in thrift store garb?

a) Fabrizio Moretti, drummer

b) Albert Hammond, Jr., guitarist

c) Both 'a' and 'b'

d) Ah, so that's how they all look so cool.
3. Which Stroke measures in at over six feet tall?

a) Nick Valensi, guitarist

b) Nikolai Fraiture, bassist

c) Both 'a' and 'b'

d) You mean they're tall AND handsome?!

Ah, fuck it. Who am I kidding? They're all the same. Catch one of them on tour this summer.

But they got Diff'rent Strokes. It takes Diff'rent Strokes to move the world:

  

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