The Soul That Sees Beauty May Sometimes Walk Alone: Jona Bechtolt Leaves The Blow

Jona Bechtolt, one half of duo The Blow, officially announced he has left that group. You remember The Blow; you heard them on indie dance nite at your local bar and have been meaning to check out their stuff ever since. Anyway, Bechtolt will be focusing on his other project, YACHT, the one-man band you haven't heard yet but keep reading about and/or are confusing with Yacht Rock. Just kidding, I know that only the most in-touch kids, the coolest of the cool, read TMT.

This development seemingly throws the future of The Blow, which had consisted of Bechtolt and Khaela Maricich, into strange, yet familiar, waters. Maricich started the group and was its sole member until the addition of Bechtolt on 2005's Poor Aim: Love Songs EP, which was given the "re-release with bonus tracks" treatment this year by K Records. The duo also put out Paper Television (K) in 2006, which garnered KM & JB much attention and acclaim.

The last few months have seen a flurry of YACHT-related activity. In addition to touring (with bands such as LCD Soundsystem and Tussle), his latest record, I Believe You, Your Magic Is Real (TMT Review), was released last month via Marriage Records. The month before saw a YACHT remix album, with remixes of Architecture in Helsinki, Tussle, Mirah, and more, entitled Our Friends In Hell, on States Rights Records.

YACHT's recent rise in profile via music sites and blogs, plus Bechtolt's absence from The Blow's live lineup as of late, made this news less then surprising. It must also be mentioned that YACHT is about to start a whole new batch of tourdates. This time around, the vessel will start off with LCD again, then meet up with Architecture In Helsinki, later heading across the sea with Au Revoir Simone, before coming back to the U.S. for the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks, Colorado. You can keep up with Jona's exploits on his "YACHT on Tour Forever" series by means of sound pictures, words, and sounds.

As Woody Allen might say, "The difference between sex and music is that with music you can do it alone, and no one is going to make fun of you."

YACHT tourdates:
06.11.07 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
06.12.07 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
06.13.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos #
06.14.07 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards #
06.15.07 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom #
06.16.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club #
06.18.07 - Pomona, CA - Glass House #
06.19.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre #
07.02.07 - Tokyo, Japan - O-Nest ^
07.03.07 - Yokohama, Japan - Club24 ^
07.04.07 - Nagoya, Japan - KD Japon ^
07.05.07 - Kobe, Japan - Triton Café ^
07.06.07 - Okayama, Japan - TBA ^
07.07.07 - Kyoto, Japan - Urbanguild ^
07.08.07 - Kanazawa, Japan - Socila ^
09.15.07 - Morrison, CO @ Monolith Festival / Red Rocks

The Blow tourdate:
06.08.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum &

* LCD Soundsystem

# Architecture In Helsinki

^ Au Revoir Simone, Montag

& Electrelane, Tender Forever

Hot Topic To No Longer Smell Like Ass; TMT Newswriter AJ Pacitti Partners With Teen Spirit, Lysol, and Glade Plugins in a Landmark Effort To install Two Million Air Fresheners in Stores Nationwide; To Leave 13-Year-Old Goths With Nothing But Now-Realized Desire To Suck Each Other’s Blood

"People were telling us that the stores were too dark, gothic and intimidating to the average customer," said Hot Topic’s Chief Financial Officer James McGinty in a press conference, as quoted in this CNN article.

McGinty’s announcement marks a noteworthy attempt to soften the black-clouded blow of the “I like cheese”/”I hear voices”/”People like you are the reason people like me are on medication”-tee-shirted masses of Good Charlotte-listening, Napoleon Dynamite-laughing, vacant-staring-from-too-much-video-gaming clientele.

Generalizing aside: after enduring three years of declining sales (post the store’s '90s success), Hot Topic wants to go softer. Seriously. McGinty says HT is responding to changing customer interest, that the style of the store’s regulars is changing, and scaring away seemingly normal people isn’t making money anymore.

Now that’s business sense.

Forget a long-vested commitment to prickly exteriors. Forget ANGRY BOIZ finding love when accidentally touching hands with HOTT REBEL GURLZ while perusing a rack of parachute pants. Forget said ANGRY BOIZ defining said HOTT REBEL GURLZ by the size of their plastic-y messenger bag purses. Forget piercings paid for by allowances. Hell, forget everything the red-bleeding logo letters stand for.

Sure, paint over the black walls, brighten the color scheme, and re-organize the merchandise displays. I’m guessing HT could be (er..?) more marketable then. But in essence, McGinty & co. are making a tragic error: providing an easy platform for complaints from their exclusive market of dissatisfied ANGRY KIDZ. Great. Another thing for said ANGRY BOIZ and HOTT REBEL GURLZ to want to eat my puppy over, besides inner-conflicts over suburbia, growing up, and the boy/girlfriend they met while perusing the parachute pants rack that never understood their conflict over... suburbia and growing up. Mmmm. Things will be nice.

As long as a change is in order though (something that would be worth looking into), Mister McGinty is eliminating Hot Topic’s uninviting smell (a rank balance of incense, cheap fabric, and ass). That ought to round up some customers faster than you can say "Jesus Christ, Marilyn Manson kills puppies! OH MY GOD! I heard he eats puppies! Live! Who the FUCK kills puppies? I know you think it's an urban legend, but he even looks like a fucking puppy killer!"

Alright, so -- air fresheners, McGinty, please?

On that note, ANGRY BOIZ: maybe it isn’t your imposing parachute pants that pushed that aforementioned rack-perusing (HOTT REBEL GURL) honey away. This is the anthem. Throw all your hands up. Seriously. I’ll rub some Teen Spirit under your arms so fast you won’t smell the hygiene hitting you.

Gogol Bordello To Release New Album, Tour, Rep Immigration

Gypsy punk is the new black. Or at least it should be. With all this so-called, new-fangled ‘blog house’ music going around right after ‘screamo’ and ‘dance punk’ went out of fashion, what we need is some diversity. The turnaround on the internet is working in cycles of about 12 minutes now, so we'll be poised for a Next Big Thing in about... 4 minutes if my calculations are correct. Peter, Bjorn and John aren't cool anymore, right? Here on this soapbox, I'd like to nominate the aforementioned genre of ‘gypsy punk’ for a spot in the limelight. Sure, Beirut and DeVotchKa were warming up, but its been a minute, and I just don't think the sub-genre has peaked yet. Plus, Gogol Bordello are legit to the max. Real immigrants!

I know being an immigrant isn't the hottest thing in the Red, White & Blue these days, but don't worry, these guys are not from Mexico. I repeat: Gogol Bordello are immigrants, but are NOT from Mexico -- and they're not even Muslim. That's right, you can stop shielding your children's eyes. Everyone is still safe and so are your jobs! Phew. I know I got you nervous for a little bit there when I brought in the whole immigration thing. Your palms got all sweaty and your heart started beating fast. Don't worry, I empathize; I really do. This is America. And as Toby Keith once said, "We'll put a boot in your ass. It's the American way." Just have to put it out there. We're watching you, Gogol Bordello. Stay lawful.

That said, Gogol Bordello have been holding it down on the Lower East Side since 1999 playing a hybrid of The Clash-style punk music, open to influence (but not like Mick Jones' Clash; that's mostly garbage) and traditional Eastern European music. Lead singer Eugene Hutz is even blossoming as an actor, starring alongside Iggy Pop-to-be Elijah Wood in the big screen adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated (in which music by DeVotchKa and Gogol Bordello can be heard). And while I can't personally vouch for their legality, I can say that I am anticipating their forthcoming full-length, Super Taranta!, due July 10 on Side One Dummy.

Say "No!" to amnesty.

Tracklisting:

Tourdates:
06.08.07 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO
06.09.07 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO
06.16.07 - Bonnarroo Festival - Manchester, TN
06.24.07 - Donauinsel Festival - Vienna
06.25.07 - Sherwood Festival - Padova, Padova
06.26.07 - Villa Ada - Rome, Roma
06.28.07 - Festival - Milano, Milano
06.29.07 - Eurockennes - Belfore
06.30.07 - Roadfest - Zerajanin, Serbia
07.01.07 - Pier Pressure - Goteborg
07.04.07 - Rock For People - Prague
07.06.07 - Ruisrock - Turku
07.07.07 - T In the Park - Perth and Kinross
07.08.07 - Oxegen - Dublin, Dublin
07.12.07 - Festival D'ete d'Youville Square - Quebec City, Quebec
07.13.07 - Ottawa Cisco Systems Bluesfest - Ottawa, Ontario
07.14.07 - Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
07.15.07 - Vic Theatre - Chicago, IL
07.17.07 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
07.18.07 - 9:30 Club - Washington DC, WA
07.19.07 - Trocadero - Philadelphia, PN
07.20.07 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
07.21.07 - Iriving Plaza - New York, NY
07.25.07 - Fel Sziget - Tag Mures
07.26.07 - Storsjoyran - Ostersund
07.27.07 - Storas Festival - Trondheim
07.28.07 - Festival Musicas do Mundo - Portugal
07.29.07 - Festival - Paleo
08.09.07 - Oya Festival - Oslo
08.10.07 - Sziget Festival - Budapest
08.11.07 - Heitere - Zofingen
08.12.07 - Festival - Taubertal
08.14.07 - Parades de Couraua - Portugal
08.16.07 - Pukkelpop - Hasselt
08.17.07 - Openair -Gampel
08.18.07 - Beautiful Days - Exeter
08.20.07 - Radio Onda Durto Festival - Brescia, Brescia
08.21.07 - Ariano Folk Fest - Ariano
08.22.07 - Ippodromo - Firenze, Firenze
08.24.07 - Reading Festival - Reading
08.25.07 - Leeds Festival - Leeds
08.27.07 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
08.28.07 - Henry Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
08.29.07 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
08.31.07 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
09.01.07 - Bumbershoot Festival - Seattle, WA

The Soul That Sees Beauty May Sometimes Walk Alone: Jona Bechtolt Leaves The Blow

Jona Bechtolt, one half of duo The Blow, officially announced he has left that group. You remember The Blow; you heard them on indie dance nite at your local bar and have been meaning to check out their stuff ever since. Anyway, Bechtolt will be focusing on his other project, YACHT, the one-man band you haven't heard yet but keep reading about and/or are confusing with Yacht Rock. Just kidding, I know that only the most in-touch kids, the coolest of the cool, read TMT.

This development seemingly throws the future of The Blow, which had consisted of Bechtolt and Khaela Maricich, into strange, yet familiar, waters. Maricich started the group and was its sole member until the addition of Bechtolt on 2005's Poor Aim: Love Songs EP, which was given the "re-release with bonus tracks" treatment this year by K Records. The duo also put out Paper Television (K) in 2006, which garnered KM & JB much attention and acclaim.

The last few months have seen a flurry of YACHT-related activity. In addition to touring (with bands such as LCD Soundsystem and Tussle), his latest record, I Believe You, Your Magic Is Real (TMT Review), was released last month via Marriage Records. The month before saw a YACHT remix album, with remixes of Architecture in Helsinki, Tussle, Mirah, and more, entitled Our Friends In Hell, on States Rights Records.

YACHT's recent rise in profile via music sites and blogs, plus Bechtolt's absence from The Blow's live lineup as of late, made this news less then surprising. It must also be mentioned that YACHT is about to start a whole new batch of tourdates. This time around, the vessel will start off with LCD again, then meet up with Architecture In Helsinki, later heading across the sea with Au Revoir Simone, before coming back to the U.S. for the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks, Colorado. You can keep up with Jona's exploits on his "YACHT on Tour Forever" series by means of sound pictures, words, and sounds.

As Woody Allen might say, "The difference between sex and music is that with music you can do it alone, and no one is going to make fun of you."

YACHT tourdates:
06.11.07 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
06.12.07 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
06.13.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos #
06.14.07 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards #
06.15.07 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom #
06.16.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club #
06.18.07 - Pomona, CA - Glass House #
06.19.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre #
07.02.07 - Tokyo, Japan - O-Nest ^
07.03.07 - Yokohama, Japan - Club24 ^
07.04.07 - Nagoya, Japan - KD Japon ^
07.05.07 - Kobe, Japan - Triton Café ^
07.06.07 - Okayama, Japan - TBA ^
07.07.07 - Kyoto, Japan - Urbanguild ^
07.08.07 - Kanazawa, Japan - Socila ^
09.15.07 - Morrison, CO @ Monolith Festival / Red Rocks

The Blow tourdate:
06.08.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum &

* LCD Soundsystem

# Architecture In Helsinki

^ Au Revoir Simone, Montag

& Electrelane, Tender Forever

The Boggs Approach 3,000 Hits; Tour In Honor of Wade Boggs With New Members

With the Boston Red Sox (1982-1992), New York Yankees (1993-1997), and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (admittedly forgettable), Wade Boggs became a legend. From the cornfields of Nebraska, Wade honed his third basemen skills and batting proficiency on his way to becoming a baseball Hall of Famer (inducted in 2005). The band The Boggs play what they like to call "post-folk-garage-punk-folk-punk-blues-and-disco" in the way that Wade Boggs played "post-DiMaggio-proto-Tony Gywnn-nose-to-the-grindstone" baseball. That is to say, extremely well and mad-consistent. Boggs recorded 12 straight All-Star appearances, something The Boggs plan to top (respectfully) with 13 shows to come. A career .328 hitter, Wade had seven consecutive seasons of 200 or more hits, an American League record. The Boggs have a record out now that they like to call Forts, following up 2002's We Are The Boggs We Are (as Wade was quoted as saying after his only World Series victory with the Yankees) and 2003's Stitches (which Wade received after his career ending knee injury). For their current tour, The Boggs have recruited Peter Hale and Leif Huckman of Trick and The Heartstrings, as well as Ellie Everdell and Alex Luther.

Wade Boggs fans unite and takeover:

MTV Resurrects Unplugged on June 22

Some things really don't stand the test of time. For example: a rock erodes and eventually turns to sand. Let's think of Unplugged as a rock, an ugly boring rock that no one cares about, a rock that usually gets pissed on every time a dog decides to claim some homeland. This same rock is the one Dad throws into your neighbor's yard while preparing to mow the grass. It's the same rock you used when you tried making a Rock-O-Pet to give to your elementary crush; he/she cried, bashed you in the face with it, and you received a golden ticket to the hospital for stitches. Even worse, the golden ticket was also your pass to stand on the wall for a week. We know it wasn't your fault; it was the rock's fault.

Like I said before, Unplugged is like that rock.

You may be asking yourself... Why oh why would MTV bring back such a dreadful thing? Well kids; there is this thing called the internet, and the children sure are liking it. Plus, MTV didn't actually think that 50 different reality shows running at the same time would keep shares up, did they? Exactly, now let's check out the less-than-mediocre lineup -- well, opinions are overrated, so just take a peek at the future line-up and see for yourself on June 22:

Bon Jovi, The Police, Kenny Chesney, Mary J. Blige, and John Mayer.

On second thought, MTV would be much better off just broadcasting a time-lapse video of a rock eroding -- as long as they can sprinkle some that good ol' reality TV magic on it.