They Might Be Giants Ready New Album, A Certain Demographic of Nerds Rejoice

Little known fact: many of us here at TMT are giant nerds. What? It's clear as day? Shit. Well, anyway, I'm here to tell you why Judy Ain't No Punk and I are particularly nerdy, and surprise surprise, it has to do with They Might Be Giants.

Some little whipper-snappers spend their summers canoeing, making atrocious lanyards, and learning "Kumbaya" by heart, but not I. And not Judy. Instead, we spent three weeks during our early teen summers in classrooms at a Certain Gifted And Talented Program Run By a Prestigious University, learning logic proofs and the proper manner in which to craft an essay. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway at the age of 12. As a result, I still can't pass a swim test to save my life (literally).

But I digress. Each week, the 500 of us attended a very awkward social event also known as a "dance," and trust me, the nerdiness did not stop there. At each dance, if a certain number of "canonized" songs was not reached, the RAs would be nervous. (What we would have actually done, had our requests not been honored, I do not know. Perform terribly on our SATs to discredit the program? Refuse to use proper grammar? Horrors!) Included in this canon was not one, but TWO songs by the Johns: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul" from their 1990 album Flood. We would join hands, form a line, and RUN in a sort of misguided conga line as fast as we possibly could, tripping over our flip flops and invariably causing disastrous injuries, finally collapsing in a heap to the final strains.

While I don't know if their new album will yield another strange soundtrack for nerd-mating rituals, The Else promises to be another calculated lesson in the art of the Power Nerd, with a catchy, guitar-driven single called "Take Out the Trash" floating around MySpace for your listening pleasure. The Dust Brothers were enlisted as producers on this jam, so watch out for some slick drumbeats. Twenty-five years of songs about planets and geometrically shaped men, dudes. That's longevity. Devo would be proud.

Touch and Go Open Digital Music Store; Corey Rusk Owes His Mom $15.62 for Dial-Up Access Fees

My oh my, things must be pretty busy right now for Mr. Corey Rusk, the god-like generalissimo of the Touch and Go recording empire. First of all, of course, they’re releasing one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year in the form of Shellac’s Excellent Italian Greyhound on June 7. It’s going to be one HELL of a job for him to hand paint each and every one of those record sleeves to Steve Albini’s exacting specifications, don’t you think? It’s also unconfirmed at this point whether or not Corey has agreed to Shellac’s request that the CD and vinyl releases of the new album be preceded a week earlier by a wax phonograph cylinder pressing of the album (with a hand-painted papyrus sleeve, natch).

Before he can do that, though, he’s got to finish the huge job he’s given himself by deciding to launch the Touch and Go digital music store, due to be open for business sometime in June. It’s taken nine months of preparation to get to the point where the site is ready to go. TMT’s unsubstantiated rumour department can exclusively reveal that the reason it’s taken so long is that Mr. Rusk has created each and every non-DRM MP3 (yay!) for the site using his mom’s computer and an early version of Winamp (so early, in fact, that it’s actually called DOSamp), lovingly ripping from his own personal copy of every album and single in the Touch and Go back catalogue. HE CARES THAT MUCH, PEOPLE.

Maybe this hands-on approach is the reason that Albini and his past and present bandmates have finally agreed to allow their work to be available in the digital realm. Yep, you’ll be able to grab files by Shellac, Big Black, and Rapeman from the site! So much for the future belonging to the analog loyalists, I suppose. Inspiration for the pricing arrangement for the store seems to have been provided by another somewhat popular digital music site -- tracks will be 99-cents a pop, a full album’ll cost you $9.99.

To celebrate this undeniably wonderful news, I have a treat for you all. Shellac live at the T&G 25th anniversary gigs from last year. You’ll be pleased to know the video also includes exclusive footage of David Yow referring to the glory that is faecal vomit, and Steve Albini smiling (it’s as bad as it sounds, the baseball cap he’s wearing only accentuating the horror). Enjoy!

Final Fantasy Tour Walkthrough

w00t! Welcome to another awesome FAQ/walkthrough by TifaIsBeuatifulVII. Let's continue where my last update left off, kay!? Once you reach level 34 in the Dark Woods of Ulatakachimawaho, travel further down the forest path. You'll notice something glimmering in the grass; walk over it to it and pick it up. Congrats, you received the Canadian Saber! Equip this to your main character and continue to the boss. You'll see a cut-scene here before the boss. SPOILER ALERT! Sucks she had to die huh? Especially since she was the only healer in your party; hopefully you stocked up on potions and phoenix downs like I told you to. Stop at the save point, use a tent on your party, save and pray because this is the biggest boss fight yet! This is the first of the Machines. The German one. I've included the entire list and where to find them in this section. On to the boss!

[Ultimega German Blietzkrieg Machine]
2200 HP

This machine is extremely dangerous. During its attack series, it will lift up its arms; DO NOT ATTACK ULTIMEGA GERMAN BLIETZKRIEG MACHINE WHEN ITS ARMS ARE UP! IT WILL ABSORB MAGICAL AND PHYSICAL DAMAGE! Use a simple strategy of attack/heal/attack here and you should be fine. If you have a Dark Matter, now would be a good time to use it; it'll do mega damage to the metallic parts of the machine.

After the boss dies, another cut-scene will ensue. Owen Pallett will join your party. His main weapon is the Violin. He is an extremely powerful character and once he earns the Polaris Music Prize, you will be able to use his new attack, Poo Clouds. This attack is ridiculously critically acclaimed and will do 2006 damage against any enemy. Owen can also earn money from your party by playing different venues and destroying the Machines around the world. Since the game is in real-time, you have to actually be at the right venue at the right time for everything to work correctly, so I've listed the dates as well.

Here is a list of places to take Owen to play:

NOMO Says Yesmo to Touring, Notmo to Puns (Sorry)

Many have wondered when an heir to Kuti's throne (forgetting Femi for a minute) would be thrust into the musical world. Well, it seems that the musical bloodline has been traced to a little group from the U.S. (is there anything we can't do?). That would be NOMO, the Ann Arbor, MI afro-beat up 'n' comers who are as talented as they are educated. The group were formed in 2003 by University of Michigan Jazz Studies grad Elliot Bergman and some of his A2 buddies. Now, the band known for its exciting, impressive live shows is about to head out and do what it does best: play shows. This tour, like many before it, is in support of the group's 2006 LP New Tones (Ubiquity).

NOMO have vowed to play as many festivals as possible this summer, but in this case, "as many as possible" means as many as they want to play. In addition to the Detroit Festival of The Arts and Aspen Jazz Festival, the band is playing the hottest festival ticket of the summer, Albion's omnipresent Festival of the Forks. All the blogs are blogging (what else?) about this one, as the band is set to perform alongside The Hives from the year 2027. Not to mention the fact that NOMO pretty much owe their career to the City of Albion, MI, ever since they famously gave the group's last record Best New Dinner Music (these people really like food) in the local newspaper. All these events, plus the tilt of Earth's axis causing the Northern Hemisphere to get the most direct sunlight and therefore experience an increase in temperature from June 21 to September 21, seem to indicate that this summer is going to be hot.

% Dengue Fever

@ Dan Deacon

& Toroise, Besnard Lakes, Apostle of Hustle & more

* Stephen Malkmus, Of Montreal, Deerhunter, The Ponys & more

Hey Mindy, Buck, Todd, Etc.; Let Him Sit at Our Table! Ryan Adams to Release Easy Tiger June 26

Move down, fellow cool kids. Ryan Adams is a victim and I say we let him sit at our table.

Maybe it’s different for you, reader. But as I see it, Ryan gets unnecessarily bullied for his more than frequent, alcohol-induced, regret-love pondering. Sure, no one’s gone to lunch-money-stealing extremes in their criticism, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t make his life a little easier.

June 26 marks the release of his ninth full-length album, Easy Tiger (Lost Highway Records), which boasts guest vocals from Sheryl Crow on the appropriately placed second track, “Two.”

Oh! Sheryl Crow?!?

Okay, I’m not going to pull a holier-than-thou, music bullies. I’m just as bad to Ryan, a musician that I, on the record, don’t mind and, off the record, like. Ryan is (at times) an easy enough target (i.e., a simple man’s fight for work and love on Jacksonville City Nights’ “The Hardest Part”). Truth is, though we mean well in our commitment to irreverence, sometimes our exclusivity leaves little breathing room for men with guitars and –- gasp -- unironic, discernable messages.

Point blank: We can’t stand to see something plain through the impeccable side-swooping hair in our eyes. Remember, Ryan -– he too has an enviably side-swooping haircut. Plus, he’s making music; which is the point of our banter.

Listen, cool kids table, I’m not saying he needs to come with us when we cut last period, hop in Johnny’s convertible, and drive to Make-out Point, but doesn’t Mindy need some friends to help sew Todd, Buck and [insert 1950s cool kid name here]’s football letters onto their sweet leather-sleeved athletic jackets?

There’s room by me, Ryan. I may even share my cafeteria jello with you. Seriously.


Elvis Perkins Holds Ash Wednesday Service; Thinks to Himself “Denny’s Your Stupid,” But Secretly Orders “Moons Over My Hammy” Anyway

Elvis Perkins, up-and-coming troubadour, plunks chords in the folk warrior tradition. Hell, check out the name. It’s music that puts you in a weird place, and if you’re not paying attention, it’ll catch up on you quicker than a good bottle of hobo wine, the romance of liquid salvation, and the allure of folk-music emancipation. The tour is sure to be full of jubilation, commiseration, and maybe even procreation. But don’t settle for a consolation, check out the emanation without hesitation.

His first and newest album Ash Wednesday lives up to its biblical allusions, of which there are many. If my younger, more Catholic years serve me, its title references the day when priests smudge vaguely cross-shaped ash on the foreheads of school children. I’m just secretly happy that he didn’t highlight a more traumatic holiday like Saint Blaise’s Day. There’s something about fish bone references that poke me right in the trachea.

He has a killer tourmate in Joan Armatrading, a UK singer-songwriter who just released her 18th disc, titled Into the Blues. She’s got a better set of pipes than Royal Albert Hall, and her new record sauces up the blues with folk, soul, and funk (of the funkiest variety).

Elvis Perkins’ll take a vacation from Dearland and play solo (but not so low you can’t hear him) ::GUFFAW:: The ‘in Dearland’ jive is Perkins with his backup band; get used to it:

*Joan Armatrading

** Elvis Perkins in Dearland