They Think My Penis is a Mr. Bungle; I Think It’s a Secret Chiefs 3

My friends and I have been playing a new game, a time-waster, really. It combines two of our greatest passions — our genitals and the music we like. The game consists of ascribing a band name to one's genitalia. Granted, band names tend to be more conductive to the male genitalia, but I see no reason why the ladies can't play. It bears out, however; when we play it's just guys.

I suppose you can adopt your own rules, but the chosen band is best when it is significant to the player in question. Ben prefers to call his penis Big Black. That's a good (though probably racist or something) one, but we might counter that by calling his dick Dead Kennedys. It's hard to say if Ben won — it's not really a game you can win, so it's a lot like the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick. That is to say, you win by not playing. Okay, so it's a game of one-upmanship or "playing the dozens" or whatever you want to call it.

Phil chooses The Kinks for himself. We think he's more of a Neil Young. Elliot chooses Wooden Wand and we give him Calvin Johnson instead. As you can see, a shit-ton of band names work.

That brings the game to me. By the time I've struggled to come up with nothing, the group has already come to a consensus. I'm Mr. Bungle. This is particularly damning. I was a fan of Mr. Bungle, but now, I mean, times have changed, right? They've got me cornered, and the name sticks — for days.

As time passes I come up with a list of better alternatives: Cock E.S.P., Captain Beefheart, hell, even Melt-Banana or Tortoise would be better than Mr. Bungle. But I can't shake it. I'm Mr. Bungle.

And then it hits me: Secret Chiefs 3!

The name conveys an amount of mystique, not to mention the nuts and bolts of the cock-and-balls trio. Likewise, Secret Chiefs 3 borrow a handful of members from the ill-fated Mr. Bungle, making them that much more relevant to this time in history. Besides, the perpetually elusive and absent Secret Chiefs 3 are back in a big way.

You see, just released is a retrospective and rarities CD Path of Most Resistance, available from their label Web of Mimicry, and there's more: Splinter groups have formed from the Chiefs to release four limited-edition 7-inches. The first is a split between Electromagnetic Azoth and UR titled The Left Hand of Nothingness / Personnae: Halloween, the second a split between Ishraqiyun and Electromagnetic Azoth titled Balance of the 19 / UBIK, the third by UR titled Kulturvultur / Drive, and the fourth also by UR titled Circumambulation / Labyrinth of Light. The four 7-inches are limited to 1000 copies each, and rumor has it about 600 copies of each have already sold. Also, Secret Chiefs 3 have a release titled Book of Souls, Folio One slated for a near-to-distant future release.

Lastly, SC3 are touring:
05.12.07 – Melbourne, AUS – East Brunswick Club
05.13.07 – Melbourne, AUS – Corner Hotel
05.15.07 – Sydney, AUS – The Factory
05.16.07 – Sydney, AUS – The Factory
05.17.07 – Newcastle, AUS – Cambridge Tavern
05.18.07 – Bangalow, AUS – A & I Hall
05.19.07 – Gold Coast, AUS – Coolangatt Hotel
05.20.07 – Brisbane, AUS – The Zoo
05.26.07 – Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
05.28.07 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
05.29.07 – Seattle, WA – Neumo's
05.30.07 – Bellingham, WA – The Nightlight
05.31.07 – Vancouver, BC – The Plaza
06.01.07 – Eugene, OR – W.O.W. Hall
06.03.07 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall

Charalambides “News” – Extensive Tour, Plentiful Releases

In what is being seen as a potential hammer blow to the already struggling CD-R market, Charalambides have announced that up to two of their releases this year will be actual manufactured CDs, with catalog numbers and shit. Reaction from the CD-R manufacturing community has been quiet so far; however, it is rumoured that Maxell are considering backing out of their multi-trillion dollar sponsorship of the forthcoming Charalambides tour of Europe, the Northeastern U.S.A., and a little scrap of Canada. When asked for comment regarding this rumour, Maxell's CEO Chip Funck would confirm nothing but did claim that "those peons would regret the dark day that they succumbed to the false glory of a catalog number."

The first of the non-CD-R releases will be Electricity Ghost, on the band's own Wholly Other label, which is available from the website or on their forthcoming tour. Additionally, in the fall, Kranky will be releasing Likeness, their fifth release for the label. As is the wont of Mr. Tom and Ms. Christine, there'll be plenty of other bits and bobs released through the year too -- Tom Carter collaborations with Christian Kiefer and Pete Swanson of D Yellow Swans (which will be a one-sided vinyl release) are coming pretty soon by the sounds of it, as well as a vinyl reissue of Christina Carter's Electrice. Tom's also making a new CD-R (thank god), entitled Whispers Towards Infinity, available on the tour and from the same website.

And, of course, no news article on Charalambides would be complete without details of yet another set of tourdates. First off is a trek across continental Europe, which kicks off tomorrow in Castellon. Then, in early June, Charalambides will play two dates in Montreal at the Casa del Popolo festival and one in Toronto, prior to a brief sojourn south of the border with fellow drone godheads GHQ.

Buffer overrun protection enabled:

05.09.07 - Castellon, Spain - Casino Antiguo (SONS) w/ Daniel Gutierrez
05.10.07 - Madrid, Spain - Nasti w/ Daniel Gutierrez
05.11.07 - Lisbon, Portugal - Galeria Ze dos Bois
05.12.07 - Barcelona, Spain - Pocket Club w/ High Llamas, Red Krayola
05.15.07 - Azkoitia, Spain - Matadeixe
05.16.07 - Pau, France - Salle Recaborde
05.17.07 - Nantes, France - Planetarium
05.18.07 - Paris, France - Instants Chavires w/ Tara Jane O'Neil and Jana Hunter
05.20.07 - Lieges, Belgium - Barricade
05.21.07 - Brussels, Belgium - Recyclart
05.22.07 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Kulturforeningen Art and Colour
05.23.07 - Bremen, Germany - Zakk
05.24.07 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Jubez
05.25.07 - Cologne, Germany - Kulturbunker Mulheim
05.26.07 - Antwerpen, Belgium - Rotkot
05.27.07 - Hasselt, Belgium - Kunstencentrum Belgie w/ Primordial Undermind, Dream Triangle (Skaters+Jan Anderzen)
05.28.07 - Treviso, Italy - Oficina di Buenaventura
05.29.07 - Bolzano, Italy - Bunker
05.30.07 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave 12
05.31.07 - Marseilles, France - TBA

CANADA, U.S.A. (all shows w/ GHQ, except *):
06.06.07 - Montreal, QC - Casa del Popolo festival (solo sets)*
06.07.07 - Montreal, QC - Casa del Popolo festival
06.08.07 - Toronto, ON - Tranzac Tiki Room
06.09.07 - Buffalo, NY - Soundlab
06.10.07 - New Haven, CT - BAR Nightclub - Sundazed
06.12.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Lutheran Church of the Messiah
06.13.07 - New York City, NY - The Cake Shop
06.14.07 - Montagu, MA - Book Mill
06.15.07 - Providence, RI - AS 220
06.16.07 - Burlington, VT - Firehouse Gallery
06.17.07 - Portsmouth, NH - The Red Door (The Great Invisibles are also appearing at this show, however improbable that may sound)

Who Signs to Touch and Go Ipecac? Qui Signs to Touch and Go Ipecac!

David Yow likes playing music. Touch and Go Records likes it when David Yow plays music, because David Yow used to front Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard, two of T&G’s best and most recognized bands. Matt Cronk and Paul Christensen like it when David Yow plays music, because he recently joined their similarly minded outfit Qui. Touch and Go Records likes it when the three boys get along so well, because it permits them to see Qui as a worthwhile financial investment and a reason to work with their old friend David for the first time in eight years, not counting Scratch Acid’s reunion at T&G’s 25th anniversary last fall.

Fans of Qui and David Yow like it when Touch and Go are so supportive, because it has led to the eventual September 11 release of Love’s Miracle, Qui’s second LP and first with Mr. Yow on the mic. Qui like it when their fans are excited about their record, because that satisfaction will make their upcoming U.S. tour -- from September 12 to October 27, 2007 (dates are tentative) -- a lot more fun. Qui also appreciates Touch and Go’s global realm of influence, because they also get to tour Europe sometime in November. David Yow likes this chance to bring his show on the road, because his drunken, rambling, often completely nude stage presence is the stuff of legend.

Our David Yow bears no relation to this David Yow, who is an Evangelical blogger. David Yow The Blogger likes Margaret Thatcher, the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, Pilsner Uruquell, and pointing out that former American Idol contestant Sanjaya resembles Halle Berry. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he doesn’t like Qui. His loss.

Update from Touch and Go:

"Ok, maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves when we posted a statement about releasing a Qui record. Maybe we rushed it a little. It turns out that Qui's fantastic record, Love's Miracle, will actually be released on Ipecac, not Touch and Go. We apologize for getting anyone prematurely worked up. It was an honest mistake, officer. Regardless, we remain friends with all involved, and are sure that Ipecac will do an amazing job with the album."

Akron/Family Taking Pledges of Support for a 5k Race This Saturday!

It's one thing if you're known for your psych-folk influences, but you become a crossover jack-of-all-trades once you take on a sport. On a break from recording a new album, the members of Akron/Family will be taking pledges for the 1st Annual Vision Builders 5k Race on May 12 held at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, MI. They will be "Running, Returning" in order to raise money for Vision Builders, a non-profit organization that helps to bring health care and education to children in various parts of the Himalayas.

In order to pledge for the long-haired, short-shorts-wearing musicians, you can simply visit this link. Once you are there, select 'Register Now', then 'Donate or Sponsor a Participant.' In the 'Select Your Fundraiser' option, choose 'Akron/Family(39019)'. Then you will have done some good for once.

If Akron/Family's running experience is anything like my high school cross country experience, then they will be in the locker room showers playing soap soccer in no time.

Just As Indie Labels Were Set To Climax, They Pull Out Of eMusic

I'm guessing that I'm not the only music writer in the world to be unsurprised that some indie labels are planning on removing their catalogs from online retailer eMusic. For those who are unaware of eMusic's service, the company offers a subscription download service of DRM-free MP3 files. Given the rates that eMusic offers (its cheapest package gives you 30 tracks a month for a mere $9.99 -- that's 0.33 per track, for the non-accountants in the room), it's no wonder that there is a bit of discomfort in the air.

Now that there are services such as iTunes, who are beginning to offer the same caliber of DRM-free MP3 files for a much more substantial $1.29 per track, why would an indie label have any interest in offering their precious catalogs to a service that divvies out much smaller royalties? According to a recent Billboard report, some labels receive as low as 12 cents per track from eMusic, while that same song would receive over 60 cents from an iTunes purchase (that's a 400% difference, according to unofficial TMT accountant "Joe").

But while the obvious conclusion to draw about this recent news would be strictly related to the financial aspects, there is more to the picture than you may realize. Some label representatives are concerned that eMusic is attempting to lure in indie labels to expand their subscriber base in order to make their company more appealing as a business acquisition (though eMusic CEO David Pakman claimed that this was not the case last month).

Pakman also claimed at the same press conference that the average eMusic customer only uses 20 of their allotted 30 tracks per month -- that's 66% of $9.99, which means that these dumb average white men are actually driving up the cost-per-song to 49 cents themselves.

Victory Records made a bit of press when they pulled their catalog from eMusic's site in early April. According to the same Billboard report, there are at least six different labels who are considering withdrawal from the site, be it leaving only their back-catalogs available or removing their label's entire catalog altogether. Unfortunately, as is the case with many of these ridiculous reports, the names of these labels is a mystery to the general public.

So for now, I'm sure there will continue to be a couple thousand people a day buying Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven double album on eMusic for $1.32. After all, we're not music fans, we're fucking garage sale bargain junkies! Let the proverbial legal download garage sale continue, folks. Now onto that $0.33 Bang On A Can album...

Royalties? What royalties?

Every summer, millions of people get their pathos on when they take a weekend to care about a sponsored cause while they run for an extended period of time. Marathons that don't involve scooting around wearing "meat shorts" and a numbered bib stapled to your chest are less common. Back in the days of the flapper, people got their jollies by pole-sitting for days on end, but short of David Blaine, no one seems to be playing the super-fun "Let's sit still for days on a platform or pole!" game anymore. Dance marathons still happen, but they are scarce compared to the "fabulous fifties," when every Potsie, Ralph Malph or Leather Tuscadero dragged their ass to Arnold's to watch Fonzie help little Joanie C. win the respect of her pre-teen peers and perhaps a coveted cupie doll or $5 prize by remaining on the floor the longest.

Okay, there is your history lesson from Gramps Nadelle. The Bang on a Can Marathon sounds like a much more enjoyable way to spend 26 hours. Taking place from 8 P.M., Saturday, June 2 to 10 P.M. on Sunday, June 3 at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York, the Marathon features composers, performers and filmmakers from all over, and it is all free! The Bang on a Can organization was formed in 1987 by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe in a concerted effort to present and garner attention for "contemporary" music in the very best sense of the word. Did we mention that the Marathon is free?! Below are lists of those participating this year, including bigger names of Eno, Moore, Reich, and the just-added La Tengo. The only question remaining to ponder is how the festival managed to get Yo La Tengo to play? I mean, they NEVER play live!

Composers: John Luther Adams, Louis Andriessen, Christopher Adler, Derek Bermel, Don Byron, Mary Ellen Childs, Mark Dancigers, Franco Donatoni, Brian Eno, John Fitz Rogers, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, John King, Phil Kline, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Missy Mazzoli, Thurston Moore, Steve Reich, James Tenney, Matt Tierney, J.G. Thirlwell, Galina Ustvolskaya, Edgar Varese, Lois V. Vierk, Julia Wolfe, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporan.

Performers: Bang on a Can All-Stars, Iva Bittova, Robert Black, The Books, Clogs, Dälek, David Cossin, Eighth Blackbird, Ethel, Dominic Frasca, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, Michael Harrison, The Hartt Bass Band, The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Vijay Iyer, Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Manorexia, Mashrig, The Meehan/Perkins Duo, Juana Molina, Patti Monson, NOW Ensemble, Odd Appetite, Milind Raikar, Real Quiet, red fish blue fish, Steven Schick, Mark Stewart, Mike Svoboda, TACTUS, The Talujon Percussion Group, The World Saxophone Quartet, Yo La Tengo, Young People's Chorus of New York City.

Filmmakers: Bill Morrison, Matt Mullican.