The Thermals gas up their Dodge van for new album in 2013

The Thermals gas up their Dodge van for new album in 2013

I think The Thermals put it best when they said, “Yeah, everything Thermals!” In my personal list of lyrics about The Thermals, it is in the Top 3. Thing is, life hasn’t been “everything Thermals” in some time. The Portland-based pop-punk trio haven’t put out any records since 2010’s Personal Life (TMT Review). For people who love The Thermals (note: I am one of these people), this is far too long to go without a new record.

As you might have expected from that lead-in, there’s going to be a new Thermals record in 2013. Sound the trumpets! The new record is called… something. The band hasn’t given the record a name yet. But it will come out through… someone. If there’s a label attached to the record at the moment, The Thermals aren’t telling. Their last two records came out through Kill Rock Stars, so that’s not a terrible guess. Anyway, the nameless, label-less record is coming out… sometime. Okay, so there’s not a release date either, but the band is aiming for spring 2013.

While the usual basics aren’t yet available for this record, there is some other information available. The album was recorded with John Agnello (producer behind Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, and many others) at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey. Mixing was completed on October 28, mere hours before Hurricane Sandy hit. The band describes the record as a cross between their two best-loved records, More Parts Per Million and The Body, The Blood, The Machine. While this description is exciting, I am perturbed that most Thermals records do not recognize Now We Can See as the best Thermals record. You other Thermals fans need to get it together.

No dates have been announced for the band, though they do plan on playing many dates at SXSW in March. If we’re in the business of speculating, expect The Thermals to play Red 7, The Mohawk, The Parish, Emo’s, a taco truck on East Sixth Street, Beauty Ballroom, Wendy’s, a dog park, my living room, and, somehow, a casino in Louisiana. That is a lot of (speculative) SXSW dates!

• The Thermals:

[Photo: Thomas Oliver]

Silent Barn relocates to Bushwick for Silent Barn 2: The Barnening

Do you remember a little over a year ago when Silent Barn, one of the premier DIY venues in New York, was robbed? That time over $15,000 of equipment was stolen or vandalized?

What about the Kickstarter or benefit compilation meant to help recoup the losses of the robbery?

Still nothing? Really? Well, in any event, Silent Barn is back. The Ridgewood-based DIY hotspot isn’t quite Ridgewood-based anymore as they’ve moved to a three-story, 10,000 square foot property at 603 Bushwick Avenue in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The new venue will, as the old one did, work as a performance space, art installation, and studio space. The new lease is for 10 years and has been formally recognized by the city, so you don’t have to worry about the cops stopping any more performances. The proprietors of the space haven’t announced an official opening date, but look for shows to begin in January of 2013. They’re taking applications now, so check out their site for more info.

• The Silent Barn:

Bloc Party tour in 2013; praying to Satan finally pays off!

I started this new thing where I pray to Satan for things I want, including things like safe surgeries, the will to not pick up a drink, and for Hamas and Israel to reach peace. As we all know, Satan works in mysterious ways. So today I pick up my copy of Music News Daily from the doorstep, and immediately I’m spitting my coffee onto the front page as I read this headline: “Bloc Party announce 2013 tour.” Now that’s what I call good news! I immediately phoned TMT HQ to tell them I was on the story. After lengthy interviews with family members of Bloc Party, I was able to concoct the following story:

Attention! Bloc Park (with no ‘K’) are touring in 2013 to support the album Four, released on Frenchkiss Records, and they also have some December 2012 dates with Dum Dum Girls. That is all. Praise Satan!

Bloc Party tourdates:

12.06.12 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater *
12.07.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium *
12.08.12 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory *
12.09.12 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre *
12.11.12 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
12.12.12 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East
12.14.12 - Condesa, Mexico - Auditorio Blackberry
12.15.12 - Guadalajara, Mexico - Teatro Estudio Cavaret
01.11.13 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre
01.12.13 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
01.14.13 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
01.15.13 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore Charlotte
01.16.13 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
01.19.13 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
01.20.13 - Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
01.22.13 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre

* Dum Dum Girls

• Bloc Party:
• Frenchkiss:

Police in Finland raid the home of 9-year-old girl, confiscate Winnie the Pooh laptop due to alleged file-sharing

You might think that the police have better things to do than scar innocent children for life by making a martyr out of Winnie the Pooh, but we’re talking about Finland here, where a college education is a citizen’s birthright, and where the epitome of high crime likely has to do with making small talk with strangers at the local grocery store. You have to keep the paid crime fighters busy somehow, but the latest exercise in uniformed time-wasting might be taking things a bit far, even by the standards already set in the sometimes gestapo-like enforcement of copyright law.

Basically, the story goes like this (according to TorrentFreak): the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) in Finland, known locally as TTVK, has made their opposition to file-sharing abundantly clear, acting as the primary force behind ISPs in the country blocking access to The Pirate Bay. Last fall, 28 individual, alleged file-sharers hedged their bets with the CIAPC, opting to settle with the organization for undisclosed amounts. This fall, we see the consequences of one Finnish man who chose not to settle (on behalf of his nine-year-old daughter), and it involves a certain red-shirted cartoon bear being blindfolded, kidnapped, and kept in a dungeon 25 feet underground.

The man was offered a settlement of 600 euros, plus a non-disclosure agreement, and he declined. Last Tuesday, police, search warrant in hand, confronted the man at his home, and ultimately confiscated his daughter’s Winnie the Pooh laptop, which was used in 2011 to download songs from Finnish pop singer Chisu via The Pirate Bay. Is this Finland, or the Lower East Side of New York during the early 20th century? “It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation,” the police advised.

The girl’s father subsequently voiced outrage over the entire event: “At that point my jaw hit the floor and I wasn’t sure if I was awake or dreaming. So the investigator suggested, between the lines, that I empty my wallet and keep my family in hunger for the next two weeks so that they could get rid of the case? What the fuck… is this how it goes?”

And Joonas Mäkinen of Finland’s plain-clothed Pirate Party urged artists to take a stand against the CIAPC’s excessive measures: “I hope all musicians realize that the fan hunt that involves confiscating laptops and signing deals that require you to be silent about the payments are severely hurting the image of copyright and creators. Authors of works should actively rise up to say NO to what CIAPC/TTVK is doing if they wish to keep their fans.”

We’re pulling for you, Winnie.


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds announce new album just in time for Australian Christmas! (which happens in February)

Yeah, yeah, we all know that the perverted old Grinderman is dead. But don’t offer your condolences. Nick Cave is too proud! Besides, he’s doing just fine without the functional use of his id, thank you very much! As a matter of fact, as Pitchfork reports, he and his band The Bad Seeds are set to release Push the Sky Away (their 15th studio album!) next February. “Yeah, but,” I can hear you saying to yourself, “just how sleazy is the follow-up to 2008’s sex-and-drug-addled sleaze-fest Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (TMT Review) gonna be without the influence of Grinderman?” Well, reader, I don’t know. But the new one depicts a clean-shaven and sharply dressed Cave hanging out with a tastefully nude woman in a corridor bathed in mysterious light on its cover. So I’m kinda thinking that this one is just going to be a, um, mellower kind of sleazy?

Either way, we’ll all find out together whether this new album is worthy of soundtracking ritualistic masturbation when it’s released on Feburary 18 (in the UK) and 19 (in the US). Pre-orders are up now at the band’s webpage, and the first single, “We No Who U R” will be available on December 3. In the meantime, you’ll have to content yourself with the tracklisting and album trailer below, in which Cave and his band members almost do things in a studio for about four minutes. He does say something about eating a Pygmy towards the end though, so… there’s still plenty of hope for depravity!

Push the Sky Away tracklisting:

01. We No Who U R
02. Wide Lovely Eyes
03. Water’s Edge
04. Jubilee Street
05. Mermaids
06. We Real Cool
07. Finishing Jubilee Street
08. Higgs Boson Blues
09. Push the Sky Away

• Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds:

Was Andrew W.K. just named a Cultural Ambassador to the Middle East by the U.S. State Department, or am I really high on Pine-Sol? (Update: I am really high on Pine-Sol)

Yup, turns out it was all just a dream, America; a beautiful, post-party, clothes-still-on, loveseat-too-small, fucked up tequilla-dream. According to Exclaim!, Andrew W.K. will NO LONGER be a U.S. Cultural Ambassador to the Middle East. I know what you’re thinking right now, and I totally agree: this is the single worst decision that our country has ever made.

In case you’re wondering what the fuck I’m even talking about, here’s a recap. Yesterday, Pitchfork and some other less pitchfork-y sources reported that the U.S. State Department (and yes, I checked into this, and “U.S.” definitely stands for “United States of America”) had invited Andrew W.K. to be a cultural ambassador to the Middle East. According to a now very awkward and depressing post on his website, Andrew was operating under the (totally logical) assumption that he had been “invited by the State Department to travel to the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain and share his music and partying with the people there.” For “security reasons,” there were no other specific details, save for the fact that we do know that his excellent adventure and/or bogus journey was to begin this December and would surely have included plenty of bloody-nosed visits to “elementary schools, the University of Bahrain, music venues, and more, all while promoting partying and world peace.” (Again, not sending him on this mission sounds like the worst idea we’ve ever had).

Taking to his Twitter in response, Andrew pretty much summed it all up:

I’m just blown away. After a year of planning, the US State Dept. just canceled my Middle East trip because I’m too party.

Oh well. I guess it’ll fall to some other brave and wise ambassador to teach the leaders of the Middle East that “when you’re fightin’ you feel alright.”

• Andrew W.K:
• U.S. Department of State:


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