Sony and BMG shotgun remarry to attempt to adopt Universal’s Parlophone children; quickie divorce planned afterward

Sony and BMG shotgun remarry to attempt to adopt Universal's Parlophone children; quickie divorce planned afterward

Once upon a time, there was CBS/Columbia Records, and it was a relatively big label with history dating to the beginnings of the recording industry. Alongside it was RCA Records, another big label and sometimes rival. (Has there ever really been competition in the recording industry, though? Like, the “competition” that is supposed to drive the free market?) Later on, one of CBS’s children, Clive Davis, ran off and created Arista Records, the latter of which became good friends with RCA as the years went by. Then the 80s happened, in which kaiju-sized conglomerates that made Japanese zaibatsus look like men in rubber suits ran around and swallowed up as much “property” as they could. All these labels were taken over by the Axis powers in a somewhat demented plan to retake Europe and the Americas through radio subterfuge CBS/Columbia would be taken over by the (ostensibly) American branch of Sony — creating Sony Music Entertainment — while RCA and Arista (among others) would be eaten by Bertelsmann, creating the new monstrosity Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG). After this vore consolidation era, there was quiet.

Then, BMG and Sony Music decided to get married in 2004, in the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision. When they realized how much of a bureaucratic nightmare it would be, and their form of marriage would have no pre-nups available to bypass this, they settled on a civil union. The resulting Sony-BMG joint venture lasted for about five years, upon which Bertelsmann decided to vomit up the record labels, hand them over to Sony, and live out its days as a publisher.

Fast forward to today. With EMI still slowly eroding like that statue of God at the end of ActRaiser 2, Universal’s purchase of the recording side of EMI has made it run afoul of European (and only European) antitrust regulators, requiring the sale of some assets. The primary asset that needs to be sold is EMI’s crown jewel, Parlophone Records (though not the Hope Diamond within that crown jewel, The Beatles). Home to a wicket’s worth of the most profitable acts ever to grace the Home Islands, including Mansun, Duffy Power, and Bat For Lashes, Parlophone served as the primary reason EMI survived as long as it did. Now, there exist several contenders for adopting Parlophone into their family, including Warner Music Group and the effervescent Ronald Perelman.

With all this in play, Sony and BMG looked wistfully back on their civil union while having drinks at some trashy bar, and thought to give it another go. They are now planning another civil union, this time to get Parlophone for themselves. However, their intent seems malevolent: rather than keep Parlophone whole if they gained the winning bid, Sony-BMG 2.0 would make a quick separation, and then dismember Parlophone into several small pieces, taking only the parts (or bands) they want and leaving the rest of the body to the dogs. Of course, for BMG, these small parts and organs may in fact be necessary for steppin’ out and making a label comeback, if the recent purchase of the Mute Records catalogue means anything. But who knows. All will be made clearer in the next two weeks, as bids will be finalized for the Parlophone adoption.

That said, if Parlophone does get dismembered, I call dibs on the right pinkie toe. That contains all the good records from Duran Duran’s career!

David Bowie returns with new single, news of new album, wanderlust for Germany

If you didn’t jump out of bed at the sound of your alarm clock this morning like it was Christmas morning, you should have, for David Bowie has surprised the world with the announcement of a new record. Titled The Next Day, the album will be Bowie’s 30th and his first in almost a decade. Out on Columbia Records on March 11 everywhere except Down Under (where it will be released on March 8, something to do with their toilets flushing in the opposite direction), the first single has already been released with an accompanying video that you can view below.

Featuring a conjoined twin doll with Bowie’s face projected on to one of the heads and scenes of a pre-unified Berlin playing in the background, the short film by Tony Oursler has some speculating that Bowie may be returning to his famed trio of experimental records from the 70s as inspiration. The song, titled “Where Are We Now?”, includes a smorgasbord of German words and is contemplative in tone. Reuters is also reporting that the album artwork references the artwork of Bowie’s album Heroes from 1977, the second in the so-called Berlin Trilogy. Regardless of whether or not that’s true (see above and decide), it’s a great ploy to drum up even more excitement than would ordinarily be expected from this kind of announcement.

• David Bowie:
• Columbia:

Motion Sickness of Time Travel releases new EP, sends the MoSick Army into a frenzy

Why was Kiss the only band to get an army? Were they the only band with an army? I don’t think Kiss deserved an army and I sure as hell don’t think they’re the only band that deserves an army. To get things going in the right direction, I suggest that all fans of Rachel Evans’s mighty drone project Motion Sickness of Time Travel refer to themselves as the MoSick Army. Cool? Cool. Big news, MoSick Army! Motion Sickness of Time Travel are putting out a new EP and it’s out now! One Thirty BPM said so!

This new release, titled The Perennials, will be Evans’s first for Boomkat Records. Well, Boomkat Records, expect to get flooded with orders from foaming-at-the-mouth members of the MoSick Army. Orders received through your website right here, that is. The EP is a limited, vinyl-only affair with a small amount of copies in purple vinyl, so get on it, MoSick Army. If you’re not in the aforementioned army, perhaps you’d like to listen to two tracks from the release at Motion Sickness of Time Travel’s Bandcamp page? You can do that.

The Perennials tracklist:

01. Efflorescence
02. The Walk of the White Cat
03. The Reynard and the Vixen
04. Foggy Morning
05. The Chord and the Centre

• Motion Sickness of Time Travel:
• Boomkat:

The Flaming Lips sharing tourdates with The Black Keys; why that’s hotter than a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with Lime!®

I guess it must be pretty rough out there alone for scrappy, obscure, two-bit, DIY acts like The Black Keys and Flaming Lips. Yes, all that playing in basements, sleeping in Walmart parking lots, and using Panera Bread restaurants for their wi-fi can eventually take its toll on even the most staunch and stalwart of starving artists; and these skinny sons of bitches are fucking fed up, man. Clearly, for the good of the music, the only solid solution for bands like these is to pool their resources and hit the road together in hopes of surviving long enough on the road until they can return home to their friends’ couches and bartending gigs.

So, yeah, that’s what they’re doing (But heck, why take my word for it? Here’s someone else’s!). As you can see from the hand-written itineraries that the fine folks at Consequence of Sound generously key-stroked for me, our DIY heros will join forces in Kansas City on April 28 at some UMKC art major’s loft show after initially sharing a bill together at some little art Happening thing called “Lollapalooza Brazil.” After that, they’ll keep pooling resources and Dollar Menu dinin’ together until they pilot their busted-ass Ford Aerostar into Nashville on May 3. Will Patrick Carney recruit both Steve Drozd and Kliph Scurlock for that “drummers” project thing of his? Will Michael Ivins literally “sit” in with Black Keys to add some of that good low end that Dan Auerbach stubbornly refuses to employ?? Will Wayne Coyne be all awesome and impresario-like the whole time??? I can’t wait to find out and then re-report the answers to those questions to each and every one of you!

Black Keys 2013 dates:

03.29-31.13 - Sau Paulo, Brazil - Lollapalooza Brazil
04.02-03.13 - Bueno Aires, Argentina - El Festival Mas Grande de la Historia 2013
04.06-07.13 - Santiago, Chile - Lollapalooza Chile
04.28.13 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center *
04.30.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - CONSOL Energy Center *
05.02.13 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood *
05.03.13 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena *

* The Flaming Lips

Flaming Lips 2013 dates:

03.29-31.13 - Sau Paulo, Brazil - Lollapalooza Brazil
04.28.13 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center *
04.30.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - CONSOL Energy Center *
05.02.13 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood *
05.03.13 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena *
05.20.13 - London, UK - Roundhouse
05.21.13 - London, UK - Roundhouse
06.14.13 - Hultsfred, Sweden - Hultsfred Festival
06.15.13 - Arhus, Denmark - Northside Festival

* The Black Keys

• The Flaming Lips:
• The Black Keys:

SXSW announces more bands playing IN THE FUTURE and you don’t even have to slaughter a goat to find out who!

In pagan times, ancient people would perform elaborate druid-lead rituals to predict the behavior of the world around them. They would pull a groundhog in his little groundhog druid robe off his little groundhog precursor to a modern couch, away from his groundhog beer and non-funny groundhog sitcoms about a fat groundhog and his whiny but hot groundhog wife, and make him stand shivering out in the cold to see if he could see his shadow or not. That’s how people could tell if winter would keep chugging along or not. Also, to see if crops would be good, they’d have an orgy or something. I don’t know. Maybe they’d put Nicolas Cage in a movie and see how it fared. They’d tentatively mention a Katy Perry song to their druid friends, and if the other druids were like, “Ugh, that song sucks, have you heard her views on feminism? Total bummer,” then they’d know, through this arcane ritual, that totally no one was going to go to the Katy Perry show with them. You know, ancient ritual stuff.

Fortunately in modern times, those rituals have evolved into simpler, more convenient, less goat-sacrificing ways. For example, the shit the ancients did to forecast who would be playing SXSW every year… hell man, you don’t even wanna know. There are CHILDREN on this internet. Anyway, now you can just click on a link and read this article. The goat entrails have spoken, and they say that when SXSW takes over Austin in 2013, from March 12-17, the next wave of announced bands includes the likes of The Soft Moon, Robyn Hitchcock, The Blind Shake, Dead Prez, The Heavy, and hell, the total # of confirmed bands is now at 800, so I’m just gonna let you read about it here at SXSW’s website. Note: the SXSW website is written in human letters, not goat sex guts. The old ways no longer reign.


Eat Skull’s III to fill your skull with delicious rock in February

After nearly four years, Portland’s favorite garage rock band, Eat Skull, is back with a new full-length album following the Siltbreeze two-fer of 2008’s Sick to Death (TMT Review) and 2009’s Wild and Inside. The appropriately titled III is their third album and first since signing to Woodsist way back in 2010. The album is out Feburary 19 so check out the first single, “How Do I Know When to Say Goodnite?”, and opening track “Space Academy” below to tide you over.

III tracklisting

01. Space Academy
02. Dead Horses
03. How Do I Know When to Say Goodnite?
04. Your Hate
05. Stupid Moon
06. Twin Sikk Moons
07. They Burned You
08. Summer Inside
09. Amnesty Box
10. Catch Em Before They Vanish

• Eat Skull:
• Woodsist: