Ticketmaster and Live Nation Go The Way Of Brad & Jennifer, Whitney & Bobby, Reese & Ryan; High-Profile Divorce Rocks The Corporate Boat

Where exactly are our family values? In another blow to the American ethics system at the hands of high-profile celebrity couples, the country's most greedy ticket retailer, Ticketmaster, and its concert promoter beau, Live Nation, have halted negotiations, indicating a likely split come the end of the pair's contractual obligations in 2008. Per the Wall Street Journal, House of Blues venues and their parent company Live Nation accounted for nearly 20% of Ticketmaster's $1.1 billion generated last year. Ticketmaster, who's responsible for almost half of all ticket sales in North America, has sought to retain a level of autocratic control over sales, while Live Nation hopes to center more ticket-buying around their own website. Let's just call it irreconcilable differences.

Less of a couple than a money-grubbing corporate conglomerate, the pair have done their best to rid the concert-going public of any semblance of options, damning music fans from coast to coast and beyond to outlandish "service" charges and "processing" fees with few viable, or convenient, alternatives. Even TicketWeb, ostensibly a substitute, shares parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp with Ticketmaster. All this in the name of supporting "venues" that veer more toward tourist traps, the House Of Blues pairing stages with family dining and $15 hamburgers.

While the divorce is far from final (and what of the children!?), it has been reported that Live Nation Chief Bigwig Michael Rapino is considering his own ticketing venture as a way to pad profits, barring a reconciliation. So while the two industry behemoths jockey for position, I am reminded of the tagline for the fine feature film, 2004's Alien vs. Predator. "Whoever wins... we lose."

Bill Callahan Tours with Sir Richard Bishop, Callahan and Bishop To Wear Matching Leisure Suits At Bitch-Tappin’ After Parties While Head-Bobbing to Theme from A Night at the Roxbury; Pregnant Lady in Pool Competition

Our favorite sticky-hot low-fi cinnamon bun, Oh-baby-baby Bill Callahan has added tourdates with Sir Richard Bishop.

Not confirmed, but so worth E! coverage: For Callahan and Bishop, making their way to autumn’s most ass-slappin’ after parties, it’s all about Mr. Brady-style leisure suits! Mmmmm. And we all know where wearing a fly leisure suit leads, ladies and gents.

You: No, AJ. To be honest, I don’t know where wearing a leisure suit can lead. Your humor is digressive, and I don’t understand where you’re going with this considering the basis of your news story is purely Bill Callahan and Sir Richard Bishop wearing leisure suits to score babes, which isn’t true or plausible. While leisure suits are funny, the humor of this story isn’t even related to Bill Callahan or Sir Richard Bishop specifically, making me, as a reader, wonder: what’s wrong? AJ, I’m worried! Are you too busy with your mid-level job as a local news reporter for me, a TMT reader? Are you rushing through this article right now, so you can finish your human interest story on a lady that is seven months pregnant and in the women’s pool U.S. Open? Did you, in your interview with the lady that is seven months pregnant and in the women’s pool U.S. Open, ask how she manages to keep her stomach from touching the pool table, as is the law of the land in pro pool?
Why don’t you, AJ, just tell me where wearing a leisure suit can lead, so I can get on with plucking my eyebrows, eating bon-bons, and watching soaps while you save the world, one journalistic wonder at a time.

Where leisure suits lead, once unbuttoned: Indie-lovahhhhhh: Oh Bill! We’re fogging up the car windows! I’ll throw my hand to the glass like Rose from Titanic. I’m usually not this easy, but, oh, THAT LEISURE SUIT! Please, Bill, please! Play another Rick Springfield cover! You know how “Jessie’s Girl” makes me sticky-hot, my favorite low-fi cinnamon bun!

And she’s loving him with that body, I just know it:
09.01.07 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
09.02.07 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
09.05.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum
09.06.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw
09.07.07 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
09.08.07 - Boston, MA - Museum of Fine Arts
09.09.07 - Montreal, PQ - La Sala Rossa*
09.11.07 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre** Music Gallery
09.12.07 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
09.13.07 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Breakroom
09.14.07 - Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater
09.17.07 - Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
10.07.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival$
10.07.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
10.09.07 - Portland, OR - Mission Theater
10.10.07 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
10.18.07 - Vancouver, BC – Vancouver New Music Festival#

$ just Callahan

# just Bishop

More TBA dates slotted for Sir Richard Bishop, as soon as Mr. Brady finishes reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Atmosphere to Tour, Everybody to Love a Clown, Or Like a Clown as a Friend and Occasionally Hook Up

Our favorite sticky-crunchy-spicy-good tasty bits o’ bombast Ant and Slug are set to embark on their most recent touring endeavor, Everybody Loves a Clown (aptly named after Sad Clown Bad Fall Number 10, the newest notch in Atmosphere’s Sad Clown EP belt). Additionally, Atmosphere aims to release their next album When Life Gives You Lemons... in 2008: which gives our boys some time to consider actually, in all seriousness, naming an album that.

Seriously.

Everybody may not love a clown, then, boys.

It’s not you, it’s me; Something suddenly came up; Sticky-crunchy-spicy-good tourdates:

Boris and Kurihara and Damon and Naomi and a New Album and a New Tour and This Headline Uses “and” Eight Times and This Headline Uses Absolutely Atrocious Grammar

The Japanese insert words like drone, psychedelic, stoner, doom, sludge] rock gods Boris and their cute club o' friends, Michio Kurihara (of Ghost) and Damon & Naomi, are touring the states. Should be quite the experience, because, if for no other reason, Boris and Michio Kurihara's collaboration on Rainbow was rated [4.5/5 by TMT music reviewer P Funk. Nice! Kurihara has also played guitar with Damon & Naomi, so yeah, expect him on stage for pretty much the whole night.

Damon & Naomi are also about to drop a new album two days before my birthday, September 25. That's right, my birthday is on September 27, so get those e-cards rollin' in ladies. The new album, Within These Walls, will be released on their very own record label, 20/20/20, which not so coincidentally re-released Kurihara's solo debut, Sunset Notes (TMT Review), earlier this year. Within These Walls features Kurihara (homeboy is busy), Helena Espvall of Espers, and Bhob Rainey of my editor's cream dream, nmperign.

The gang begins the tour at Chicago's Empty Bottle September 30 for the Wire Festival and finishes up in Cambridge, MA. Read the tourdates below to find out what happens in the middle:

Animal Collective to Dole Out Delicious Preserves to Underprivileged UK Children

Look out, world! Even as we speak, everyone's favorite band of spaz-tastic, mammalian musical masterminds Animal Collective are draping their birdcages with blankets, dropping their puppies off at the kennel, and settin'-free all of those field mice that they were keeping in Converse All-Star shoe boxes, as they make their preparations to once again doggy paddle their way across the Atlantic this fall for a new round of UK and Ireland dates.

Unless you're just not indie-cool these days, you're already well aware that these dates will undoubtedly be in support of the AC's release of Strawberry Jam, which is due "the 10th of September 2007 worldwide," according to Domino Records, and of which you've obviously already eagerly pre-ordered the Double Vinyl... dude, haven't you???!

But knowing those kooky Collective boyz, "supporting a new record" on tour is, of course, a relative term, especially with Alpha-male Avey Tare recently voicing the group's dedication (in so much as committing to something as noncommittal as pursuing flights of fancy can semantically constitute "dedication") to constructing a new set's worth of material on a monthly basis. After all, there's nothing like polarizing an audience to keep your career fresh, is there?? So get ready, fans! YOU could be the lucky one to have your opinions DISMISSED by Panda Bear! He's so cute...

Delicious New Dates:

William Elliott Whitmore Has One Name Too Many, Tours Anyway

One of my favorite movies is Pepe le Moko. Jean Gabin plays the title character, a suave and powerful criminal trapped in the Casbah of Algiers. The police are after him, as are his rivals, but Pepe is safe in the fortress of the winding streets and alleys of the Casbah. If he leaves, the police will surely pick him up, and Pepe wants to leave. A lovely woman from Paris takes his heart, and Pepe risks safety for love and freedom to catch her before she leaves Algiers.

Pepe le Moko came out in 1937. In 1938, it was remade for America as Algiers> It pales in comparison, but nonetheless gained a few Oscar nominations.

In 1942, a movie called Casablanca came out. Rick, a criminal in a different light, is stuck in his purgatory of Casablanca. In pain if he stays, unable to go because of his past, Rick is in limbo. You know the rest.

Ten years or more have gone by since the initial appearance of this Casbah criminal-lover character cropped up. Why have I gone through this? Well, Casablanca is a movie that's remembered, but it is important to know the history behind it. The influence on Casablanca, a great movie in its own right, is obvious, and it is indebted to Julien Duvivier's film.* It is worth noting, however, that it could have easily been another forgettable movie that the Hollywood system of the time churned out. Algiers comes to mind. So again, why have I gone through this?

Knowing history is important to artwork, for consumers and artists. A tradition is established and new forms are built and influences from years past are worked and reworked. Traditions are enriched by serious artists because they are at the very least known, if not appreciated. The danger comes when we forget our origins and believe that the present artwork is wholly original. Bogart's Rick didn't begin in 1942 but in 1937.

In that respect, it takes some ego to call yourself an artist today. To think that you have something new to say, and that it is important for everyone else to hear -- that's something, that's really something. I don't think William Elliott Whitmore, a folk-blues singer who is constantly touted as "unique," who has "the voice Tom Waits wished he had," has that kind of ego. I think he's an artist who knows his history, and I think his marketers and apologists are doing him a disservice by not knowing theirs and comparing him to Tom Waits and Iron & Wine -- the Casablancas, the Algiers, the followers. William Elliot Whitmore is a follower too, in a larger and deeper tradition, and he's singing about death and sin and the typical fare, but I hope, I hope he knows his history, whether he's saying something new, or in his case, building on the past by not.

# Tim Barry, Josh Small

* Cartoon character Pepe le Pew (Looney Toons) debuted around the same time, if not a couple years later. His origin, at least the name and Mel Blanc's voice-acting, comes from Algiers.

  

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