Sparta Frontman Prepares Solo EP, Another Nail in At The Drive-In’s Coffin

Oh, Jim Ward. Apparently you’ve been ignoring my obsessive phone calls about how what the world really needs right now is an At The Drive-In reunion. You even went as far as to record a solo EP just to spite me! And it’s not even rocking like Sparta sort of are or like At The Drive-In still are -- it’s quiet. No, really, you titled the EP Quiet! Dude... that’s just cruel and kind of uncreative.

And you know what really upsets me the most, Jim? When I called you to ask about this EP nonsense, this was all you had to say about it:

“After coming home from a long tour with my band, Sparta, I wanted to sit in my house and play acoustic guitar quietly. The tour had been loud and chaotic, and I was simply trying to level out. I liked how things were sounding, so I began recording them in my studio."

I mean, god, Jim, I thought we knew each other well enough not to speak in interview-esque formalities anymore? Who am I, Aversion.com!?

Sigh. You should just know that when Quiet hits stores on November 6 from Civil Defense League Records, I will most certainly be listening to At The Drive-In’s discography in protest. Nope, your five-song acoustic EP will get no lovin’ from me!

Quiet’s tracklisting:

Morrissey Fires Opening Act After Onstage Banter Involving “Good Head” and “Cunnilingus”

Answer: Morrissey and ‘The Donald.’

Question: Name two improbably quiffed megalomaniacs who like to say, “You’re fired.”

When he's not boycotting Canada for its seal hunting policies, he's playing about with right-wing and fascist imagery. When he’s not milking former bandmates out of royalties, he’s winning “most ‘Northern’ male” polls. And when he's not being coy and aloof about his sexual orientation or proclaiming celibacy, he apparently punishes others for making off-the-cuff comments about his oblique animalistic leanings.

You have got to hand it to Morrissey; the man pulls more stunts to insure that his name remains in the public eye than Madonna. Instead of fading into the twilight of his career as a fat caricature of himself, he seems hell bent on staying relatively vital. Like all guarded prima donnas, Morrissey likes to keep his friends close and his enemies, er, off his opening stage.

KRISTEENYOUNG, a keyboard-and-drums duo fronted by one Kristeen Young, have been asked to leave Mozza’s current U.S. tour after an onstage incident October 23 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Apparently, when confronted by the nightly barrage of “Morrissey!” yelps from the audience, Young responded with, “Morrissey gives good head... oops, I mean cunnilingus.” Hmm, not particularly rude by today’s standards, but offensive enough for the boss to take action.

In response, Kristeen posted this one and only note about the dismissal on her band’s MySpace Friday:

My band, KRISTEENYOUNG, have been asked to leave the Morrissey tour. Although I have been advised not to respond or issue a statement, my feelings are that I must. We have been asked to leave because of something I said on stage at The Hammerstein Ballroom, in New York City, this past Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the statement has been perceived as being profane (when, actually, one of the two words in question is a scientific term found in junior high, health class text books, and the other word, I feel most would agree, is lightweight slang) or defamatory. What I said was part of a thread of stage statements I made throughout our set. They were metaphorical and overstated to make an artistic point. The “offending” statement, in particular, was in no way a literal statement, and was very much in keeping with the tone of my writing in general. I reach for beauty and intelligence in my lyrics, but try to retain a bit of the everyday in them. Maybe the statement was a bit TOO everyday. Maybe I misjudged…but I meant no harm. I love Morrissey with all of my heart, soul body, spirit, to the core of my existence and always will. These will be the only words I will ever write or speak on the subject ever again. Please don’t ask for an interview or e-mail me with questions. Thanks to those who understand and who are brave enough to say so.

I don’t know about the “metaphorical” aspect or “artistic point” of Young’s chosen onstage banter that night or how it ties into her writing as a whole (I’ve never heard KRISTEENYOUNG), but I gotta stand by the woman in this fight. Morrissey, in keeping with his usual pattern of hiring either piss-poor opening acts or those who have some sort of direct worship reference point to his own or The Smiths’ music, has taken on Austin trio Girl in a Coma to provide support in place of KRISTEENYOUNG. You will have to decide for yourself which category of “Morrissey opening band” they fall into when you rush off to see them during these remaining U.S. tour dates:

Stylus Magazine: 2002-2007

"Stylus will no longer be publishing after October 31." - Stylus

Music and movie criticism won't be the same without Stylus. We'll miss you, Stylus!

I'm sure most of you have been following this, but let me bring you up to speed on the serious stuff goin' down in the file-sharing world.

A large invite-only file-sharing site called OiNK was shut down October 23 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) (TMT News). The admin of the site, Alan Ellis, was taken into custody, but so far neither he nor any OiNK users, leakers, or donors have been charged. Ellis is now released from custody (TMT News), and speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he said, “I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t believe my website breaks the law. They don’t understand how it works."

Okay, so OiNK as we knew it will probably remain permanently shut down, but TorrentFreak.com is now reporting that the internet's biggest torrent tracker The Pirate Bay is asking all former OiNK users to re-upload their torrents to a new torrent tracker called BOiNK, which will be located at http://boink.cd. It's expected to launch within a week.

Although BOiNK is technically an exclusive Pirate Bay project, it will rely heavily on former OiNK users to to build up its library. And unlike OiNK, BOiNK will be open to the public. According to TorrentFreak, "The most important thing about BOiNK is perhaps the message it sends out to the IFPI and the BPI: It shows that that if you stop one tracker, others will pop up days after. It is a hydra. Call it a slap in the face if you want."

Some people, of course, are skeptical about BOiNK. According to one user: "It wont be OiNK. There will just be hoards of transcoded, non-seeded, mislabled, shit uploaded. This is why OiNK existed, as a reliable source of good quality music, which 'BOiNK' won't be." Another called it "Pirate Bay II."

And speaking of raids, The Pirate Bay also experienced a high-profile raid last year, when the site's Stockholm servers were raided by the Swedish police. The documentary Steal This Film argued the raid was due to the pressure on Sweden by the Hollywood film industry, which used its leverage to threaten economic sanctions by the U.S. government on Sweden through the WTO. But the raid didn't really do anything but make The Pirate Bay even stronger and more popular than ever. Nonetheless, earlier this year, prosecutor Håkan Roswall says he still intends to press charges against The Pirate Bay.

Good luck.

I'm sure most of you have been following this, but let me bring you up to speed on the serious stuff goin' down in the file-sharing world.

A large invite-only file-sharing site called OiNK was shut down October 23 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) (TMT News). The admin of the site, Alan Ellis, was taken into custody, but so far neither he nor any OiNK users, leakers, or donors have been charged. Ellis is now released from custody (TMT News), and speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he said, “I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t believe my website breaks the law. They don’t understand how it works."

Okay, so OiNK as we knew it will probably remain permanently shut down, but TorrentFreak.com is now reporting that the internet's biggest torrent tracker The Pirate Bay is asking all former OiNK users to re-upload their torrents to a new torrent tracker called BOiNK, which will be located at http://boink.cd. It's expected to launch within a week.

Although BOiNK is technically an exclusive Pirate Bay project, it will rely heavily on former OiNK users to to build up its library. And unlike OiNK, BOiNK will be open to the public. According to TorrentFreak, "The most important thing about BOiNK is perhaps the message it sends out to the IFPI and the BPI: It shows that that if you stop one tracker, others will pop up days after. It is a hydra. Call it a slap in the face if you want."

Some people, of course, are skeptical about BOiNK. According to one user: "It wont be OiNK. There will just be hoards of transcoded, non-seeded, mislabled, shit uploaded. This is why OiNK existed, as a reliable source of good quality music, which 'BOiNK' won't be." Another called it "Pirate Bay II."

And speaking of raids, The Pirate Bay also experienced a high-profile raid last year, when the site's Stockholm servers were raided by the Swedish police. The documentary Steal This Film argued the raid was due to the pressure on Sweden by the Hollywood film industry, which used its leverage to threaten economic sanctions by the U.S. government on Sweden through the WTO. But the raid didn't really do anything but make The Pirate Bay even stronger and more popular than ever. Nonetheless, earlier this year, prosecutor Håkan Roswall says he still intends to press charges against The Pirate Bay.

Good luck.

Wilco Cancel UK Dates Due To “Scheduling Conflicts,” But I’ve Got Nothing

What am I supposed to do with this, Wilco? I don’t know enough about European Wilco fans to make soccer practice jokes. It’s no longer timely to consider Jeff Tweedy’s chemical indiscretions. I could make a wacky list of things that “scheduling conflicts” could mean, but what if it’s something serious? I will look a fool if it is something serious. Last time I wrote a story about Wilco canceling dates, it was because Nels Cline got chicken pox. That writes itself.

I hope everything is okay with Wilco, and I hope their schedules and immune systems allow them to tour wherever they want in the not-too-distant future. Here you go:

Canceled dates: