Spector to (Finally) go to Trial; All-Knowing Judge Looks to Past for Inspiration and Chooses to Allow Trial to be (Finally) Televised

Americans are known for lots of things worldwide, most of them highly admirable. One of our best assets, in my white-as-Wonderbread opinion, is our ability to stick with what works. You won't find us Americans changing things around for sheer novelty, that's fer damn sure! Our motto is simple: If it ain't resulted in global chaos, don't fix it. For example, the US of iz-Ay is involved in a tiny lil' conflict overseas. We're smokin' the wacky Iraq-y! And, since the war has worked so WELL for us all the last few years, we're maintaining our presence there. See? We find something that works and we stick with it!!

The same thing goes for televising highly publicized murder trials. I mean, remember the OJ Simpson trial? Right, the one that you sandwiched between NYPD Blue and Ellen on Tuesday nights. Well, in case you can't remember, that trial ran EXTREMELY SMOOTHLY for everyone involved, mostly due to the fact it was televised! Remember how judge Ito acted all awkwardly authoritative because he knew he was on camera? Remember OJ's sly glances? Remember that reasonable, get-behind-able, and above all else, JUST verdict? Yeah, me too, it was great!!!

Seeing as it worked so AMAZINGLY in the past, another highly publicized murder trial will be televised: that of aging music-biz phenom Phil Spector. Anticipating ratings higher than Spector's blossoming afro — at least that's what we at TMT assume — California Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler recently ordered that television coverage be allowed at the trial. And we're not talking about in-the-nosebleeds coverage; this is gavel-to-gavel bitch! AWESOME, right? It's like a Reality Show about Real People ... in Real-Life Courtroom with Real-Life Ass-Sucking Lawyers and (hopefully) another Real-Life Ito-In-The-Making judge and a potentially Too-Real-Life verdict. Hell, we even have a rich defendant that's almost certainly culpable! And now, thanks to the fact that he allegedly shot a woman in the face, Spector will be come TV's newest Reality TV Star! Let the games begin ...

When asked about his puzzling decision in lieu of the — in case you didn't pick up my latent sarcasm above — monumentally perverse Simpson trial, judge Fidler said, "We have to get by that case. There's going to come a time that it will be commonplace to televise trials. If it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now." Again, I emphasize: This quote didn't come from a television executive, but a bona fide judge. Scratch that, a Superior Court judge!! Awww snap! Fidler also claims televising the Event will prove that celebrities are treated the same as anyone else in the Court of Law. [resume Sarcasm here] Because, you know, the four-year delay on Spector's trial is proof enough that celebrities get no handouts. And most importantly, Fidler On The Roof is gonna be a big star now! Wonder if he'll parlay this into a guest spot on The Girls Next Door? That show's so info-tainment-tastic!

The TMT crime lab has broken the case down to a few easy-to-understand fragments for those of you too STOOPID to know already: Phil Spector went out for a few drinks on Feb. 3, 2003. He tipped generously (or at least that's what the transcript of the pre-trial hearing indicated; see, they focus on the important stuff, remember) and ended up going home with a blonde bombshell named Lana Clarkson. They hung out, had a few drinks most likely. Then the darndest thing happened: Police were called by neighbors who heard gunshots. When the cops got to Spector's sprawling estate, they found something strange; it seemed Spector's guest had been shot square in the face!

Naturally they were going to let him go. Because, you know, he makes lots of money. Besides, he explained the whole thing to them (Direct quote: "I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident.")! God, who's policing the police these days anyway? Here they are wasting their time harrassing poor Phil Spector when they could be busting college kids for smokin' doobers or pulling me over for making too-wide a turn. MAN! I just don't understand shit like that ... Oh, and as it turns out, Spector allegedly has a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee little bit of history when it comes to guns and women and sex and such ... Nothing too damning really. I mean, so he pulled guns on several people. Pfffft. Could happen to anyone!

Jury selection is to begin March 19 ... get your tickets now because this is the only segment of the trial that is not to be televised.

I was in the supermarket yesterday, picking up some toilet paper. My local Sainsbury's, despite being a pretty small thing attached to a petrol station, seems to have a terrifying variety of the stuff. Like, a whole aisle. How much bog roll could one man need? I went for the own-brand stuff with the keen eye of a shrewd, informed customer -- cheap, probably as good as the quilted, scented crap, and six for the price of four. But they weren't letting me get away that easily -- oh, no. There were two varieties! Natural Forest or Pure White. I stood there for quite a while. I knew that it was utterly unimportant, but there was literally nothing to encourage me to choose one above the other.

Nothing whatsoever. I had no way of deciding.

So I phoned founding Mice Parade member Adam Pierce.

Me: Hey, man, what's up. Listen... I've got a bit of a problem. I'm just out picking up toilet paper, and I really can't decide which one to get.

Adam: Just pick up the own-brand stuff, dude. It's probably about as good as the quilted, scented crap.

Me: Yeah, but here's the thing -- there are two varieties! There's Natural Forest or Pure White. How the fuck am I meant to choose something like that? I mean, choosing one of them won't exactly affect my life in any way. Which do you think defines me as a person?

Adam: You do realize that this is a pretty sad indictment of our Western commodity-based society, and your place in it.

Me: Tell me about it.

Adam: What colors... the Natural Forest stuff?

Me: It's...kinda a peachy orange, I guess.

Adam: Not very foresty.

Me: Shit, man, I'm just buying the stuff.

Adam: I'm just saying.

Me: Alright. Well.

Adam: Hey, you know I'm releasing a new album in May? It's gonna be self-titled, and it continues my gorgeous pop odyssey that spans seven albums. I've lined up some great collaborators for this one, like Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) on "Tales of Las Negras." Kristin Anna Valtysdottir (Müm, also a touring member of the Mice Parade live band from 2003-2006) lends her incredible grace to "Double Dolphins on the Nickel," complete with Icelandic verse. Other members of the live lineup appear on tracks like "Sneaky Red" and "Satchelaise," notably Doug Scharin (Rex, June of 44), Dylan Cristy (Dylan Group), Jay Israelson (Lansing-Dreiden), and Dan Lippel.

Me: Dude, are you just reading from the press release there?

Adam: Uh, no?

Me: Fuckin?? Help a dude out over here!

Adam: Alright, fine. What color's your bathroom?

Me: Yellow.

Adam: I'd get the forest stuff. That'd probably go pretty well. Probably get less bleach in it, too, if you care about that stuff.

Me: Hey, you're right! Cheers, dude.

Adam: Listen, how did you get this number, anyway?

Which is when I hung up. So anyway, I followed his advice and bought the Natural Forest toilet paper. And you know what the weird thing is? When I got back home and opened the first roll, on the first sheet was written:

"I knew you'd make the right choice." Ad x

That Adam Pierce is one weird motherfucker.

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood Converts to Rastafarian Just in Time to Compile Trojan Records Collection

This be Jonny, the Radio-dre-head on the mobile sound system. Other soundbwoys are soft. Tro Jan! Even tho oim a foreigner, they give me dan dada status to compile sides for a collection. Oi spent a whole heap of time in the Trojan vaults pickin' the one drops for this record. I'm the notch. Nuh nuttin. Ya no see it? Oi may look uptown winjy with rank bullets in my mouth and me skinny tees but in me heart oim dread to the core. Oim no wolf, oim lion. This be rockers straight from Babylon from the head man. Don't be all hard ears with me. Oim the creation stepper here. Listen to me. This Trojan collection is fit. Everything is cook and curry. Oi don't need the funds...I sell millions with Radiohead. I see the wanti wanti can't get it, and the getti getti don't want it all the time. I help the wanti wanti to hear it. You know? Oim true to the reggae. Mash it up with crissars March 6 with Jonny Greenwood Is the Controller to the fullness on Trojan/Sanctuary. Light the lambsbread and listen to my sweet nanny goat compilation that has running belly of tracks. See you inna stadium lights. Jonny is the controller, sight?

1. Linval Thompson - "Dread Are the Controller"
2. Derrick Harriott - "Let Me Down Easy"
3. Marcia Aitken - "I'm Still in Love"
4. Gregory Isaacs - "Never Be Ungrateful"
5. Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Bionic Rats"
6. The Heptones - "Cool Rasta"
7. Scientist & Jammy & The Roots Radics - "Flash Gordon Meets Luke Skywalker"
8. Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters - "Black Panta"
9. Junior Byles - "Fever"
10. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - "Beautiful and Dangerous"
11. Lloyd's All Stars - "Dread Dub (It Dread Out Deh version)"
12. Marcia Griffiths - "Gypsy Man"
13. Johnny Clarke & The Aggrovators - "A Ruffer Version"
14. The Jahlights - "Right Road to Dubland (Right Road to Zion Dub)"
15. Junior Byles & Lee Perry - "Dreader Locks"
16. Delroy Wilson - "This Life Makes Me Wonder"
17. Scotty - "Clean Race"

Raccoo-oo-oon Nee-ee-eew Albb-bb-bbum Ann-nn-nnd Europp-pp-ppean Too-oo-oour

Good news, everyone: I, Papaya, just inherited $5,100,000 from a relative I didn't even know I had. I know it's not a joke, because I just got an e-mail saying it was true, and completely safe. How else would these people have gotten my e-mail address unless it was 100% genuine? What luck! Apparently, all I need to do is send in a social security card, photo ID, and credit card information to some dude in Morocco, and the money will be directly deposited in my checking account. This is going to be soo-oo-oo coo-oo-ool!!!!!!!!!!

What will I do with all of this money? Probably pay some student loans, invest, save for a down payment on a house, donate to disaster relief programs and maybe open up an orphanage... but I might also, as a little extravagance in celebration of my good fortune and as a way of giving back to the community, buy every TMT reader a copy of the new Raccoo-oo-oon album, titled Behold Secret Kingdom, due out on Release the Bats later this spring. This is the band's first official album, and word has it that it will be their best yet. It had better be, because I'm not about to drop all this money buying you guys an album that isn't completely ridonkulous. Actually, I just did some calculations, and it looks like it might take me the entire $5.1 million to do the CD thing... all right, fuck it, the student loans and all that can wait, I guess. CDs it is!

There are also some tourdates, as the band will be going on what will, from the looks of it, be a pretty intense, no-stops tour of Europe in March, and a U.S. tour with no-as-of-yet confirmed dates in May:

Elliott Smith Double Album to Be Released This May, Sad Bastards Still Aren’t Happy

I'm a sad bastard sometimes. I became reacquainted with whiskey after not drinking it for almost a year. Why? Simply, because there are so many other options out there. I started with cheap whiskey mixed with coke, and then I went to drinking straight black gold. Elliott Smith was right when he sung, "Whiskey works better than beer," on his most revealing track "King's Crossing" from his posthumously released album From a Basement on the Hill. I drank in solace, and the sad bastard in me came running out. I cried; I wrote some drunken lyrics in my notebook; I was touched.

On May 8, 2007, Kill Rock Stars will release a double album compiled of 24 songs recorded between 1995-1997. Titled New Moon, the songs include demos and B-sides recorded during Smith's self-titled album and Either/Or. Fans may have heard the songs from the popular site Elliott Smith B-Sides, but good luck trying to download the New Moon tracks, for they have already been "removed by request." Though, you should perhaps have more incentive to purchase the double disc because a significant portion of proceeds from the album sales will go directly to Outside In, a Portland-based social service organization that is dedicated in providing diverse services for low-income families and homeless youth.

Let's go drink some whiskey and spin Roman Candle on the record player.

New Moon tracklisting: