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:

Thao Nguyen Is Releasing a New Album, But Dat Nguyen Was One of the Most Underrated Middle Linebackers in NFL History

Dat Nguyen, born September 25, 1975, was the first Vietnamese American to play in the NFL. He attended Texas A&M and eventually left as the career record holder of 51 consecutive starts, 517 career tackles and a 10.7 tackles-per-game average. In 1999, Nguyen was drafted in the third round to the Dallas Cowboys. Though small – 5’11’’ 238 lbs. – he was an incredibly explosive middle linebacker. His speed and range enabled him to transition seamlessly into Dallas' version of 4-3 scheme defense. Nguyen led the Cowboys in tackles during the 2001, 2003, and 2004 seasons. Unfortunately, after sustaining a neck injury in the 2005 season, he was forced to retire from the NFL in 2006. The new Cowboys coach, Wade Phillips, hired Nguyen in 2007 as an assistant linebacker coach. Nguyen and his wife, Becky, have two daughters.

[Now to placate my editors]

Thao Nguyen, a Virginian-born songwriter (Virginia sounds like Vietnam, right?) is out of the studio and ready to release a new album. On January 29 of next year, Thao is scheduled to release her first album for Kill Rock Stars, which will be her follow-up to Like the Linen (released on a small Virginia label). The title for the new album is We Brave Bee Stings and All, and yes, that is the correct title. Not necessarily Gertrude Stein level, but she’s young.

Tourdates:

Eels Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary With Best-of and Rarities Collections; Eels Fans Everywhere Embarrassed to Realize That They Aren’t Pissy Teenagers Anymore

Attention NERDS!!!

Are you feeling lonely and isolated?

Are you low on friends and self-esteem but high on embarrassing facial and/or body hair?

Are your ridiculous coke-bottle glasses the only thing keeping you from looking like a total terrorist?

Do you have some kind of physical abnormality or misunderstood behavioral problem that's keeping you from that hallowed inner circle of cool friends and hot girlfriends/boyfriends that you've only read about in RollingStone?

Are you fourteen years old???

If you answered "yes" (or "affirmative" for you REALLY nerdy types) to any of those questions, then you'll no doubt be interested to know that idiosyncratic, bedroom art-pop legends Eels are currently prepping their first "best-of" and "rarities" collections for release in early 2008.

That's right, Shrek fans! Morose Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/horrible singer Mark Oliver Everett (a.k.a. "A Man Called E," a.k.a. "Mr. E," a.k.a. "E") and his merry crew of date-movie troubadours have announced a January 15, 2008 release date for the auspicious unveiling of both Meet The EELS: Essential EELS Vol. 1, 1996-2006 (CD+DVD), as well as their first collection of rarities, B-sides, film contributions, and unreleased tracks, EELS Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006 (2CD+DVD).

Both of these dower disc-collections will be issued by the laughably confusing conglomeration of DreamWorks/Geffen/UMe Records. To make matters more lucrative for the aging Mr. E., the forthcoming collections will mark the DVD Premiere of all of this video action, and all the music will be digitally remastered with both packages packed with never-before-seen photos, artifacts, and Everett's presumably extremely depressing notes about each track.

Highlights from the redundantly titled, 24-track, and 12-video affair that is Meet The EELS: Essential EELS Vol. 1, 1996-2006 include a previously unreleased Jon Brion remix of "Climbing To The Moon" from the band's second effort Electro-shock Blues, as well as the previously unreleased (unless you're Missy Elliott) "Get Ur Freak On," a live version of "Dirty Girl" from 2006's With Strings: Live At Town Hall, and "I Need Some Sleep" from the... you guessed it, Shrek 2 soundtrack.

Meanwhile, the 50-track, "who knew they even had this many songs!?" collection, EELS Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006 will REALLY test your Mr. E tolerance. The mad frontman has seen fit to include just about everything but the kitchen sink, including such gruff-sung numbers as longtime concert favorite "Living Life" from the Daniel Johnston tribute album, the previously unreleased 2006 cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" (yeah, apparently), and a handful of additional covers, including James Carr's "Dark End of The Street" and Prince's "If I Was Your Girlfriend."

Useless Trinkets also includes a large handful of, well, useless trinkets, such as the obligatory BBC performances, live versions of self-loathing hits "Novocaine For The Soul" and "My Beloved Monster," tracks from the band's endless parade of ridiculous film appearances (i.e. Holes, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.), and much much more miscellaneousness! The accompanying DVD features six performances from the EELS' Lollapalooza 2006 performance, including a gospel rave-up take on "My Beloved Monster" and a high-octane rumble through "Souljacker part I." Take it from E: You'll never have such a good time feeling depressed as hell!

So there you have it, geeks and geek-lovers. The only question you have to ask yourself is: "How much Eels can you handle?" Sadly for you and your humdrum, "it's not easy being green" friends, these handy compendiums couldn't make it in time for a Christmas season release, but hey, you could always just buy each other some 10 Things I Hate About You DVDs and CD Soundtracks, probably for WAY cheaper.

It's the same thing, really.