Ticketmaster forced to acknowledge their own malevolence, issue refunds to customers for questionable processing fees

Ticketmaster forced to acknowledge their own malevolence, issue refunds to customers for questionable processing fees http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-12-ticketmaster.jpg

Frequent concertgoers will likely be all too familiar with Ticketmaster’s habitual reaming of the consumer via the exorbitant and seemingly totally unnecessary fees they tack onto ticket sales. Now, it appears as though customers are about to go all Jennifer Lopez in Enough on the company’s ass, through some much-needed financial retribution. As Business Insider reports, due to a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit $1.50 per ticket order — up to 17 orders — to those individuals who used the ticket retailer between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011. The refund will come in the form of vouchers, which can be redeemed a maximum of two at a time. The redemption period itself will last four years and isn’t scheduled to begin until roughly April 2012. Reportedly, if less than $11.25 million is redeemed over that period, Ticketmaster will then donate the difference to charity. How gracious.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the settlement that requires Ticketmaster to change their processing fees. All they need now is a fancy disclaimer on their website indicating, “WE ARE ABOUT TO CHARGE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU,” and they can continue doing so. A $1.50 per-ticket refund isn’t much when you consider the actual fees that they bludgeon you with, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. Occupy Ticketmaster!

• Ticket Fee Litigation: http://www.ticketfeelitigation.com

Buddha Machine iPad app free for next several days for Xmas e-shopping

The wondrous time-consuming distraction for drone freaks known as the Buddha Machine is always a great stocking-stuffer idea. What better gift for the difficult-to-shop-for Brian Eno fan, who already owns every release from Editions Mego, than a handy, pocket-sized electronic loop creator?

Of course, there are also those types of people who are either environmentally conscientious, tech-obsessed, or pray to the ghost of Steve Jobs before bed each night, for whom you must provide a virtual stocking for their digital avatar to receive after descending their CGI stairway on Xmas morning (or whatever religious equivalent that the cult of Jobs celebrates). Well, patiently tolerating those two excruciating qualities of your droner pal will pay off this holiday season in the form of a free gift opportunity.

For four more days, the Buddha Machine iPad app will be available for free download! So now you can leave a secret surprise on your loved one’s tablet thingy that will bring them cheer through to the new year! Imagine the smell of freshly baked cookies, the warmth of the fireplace, the family sharing funny stories, and then awkward little Timmy, with a hoodie over his head, in the corner poking around on that damned iPad and making all kinds of dissonant noise. “Goddammit Timmy,” Dad will moan, “turn that shit off. It’s time to listen to The Carpenters’ Christmas records.”

• iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/buddha-machine-ipad-edition/id394619578
• Buddha Machine: http://www.fm3buddhamachine.com/v2

Dustin Wong can fly! Plus he just announced a new album, out on Thrill Jockey in February.

Is it lame to say that Dustin Wong, former Ponytail guitarist, is a musical magician? A wizard, even? Perhaps, but I’m going to roll with the analogy anyway. With only a guitar and a few effects pedals, Wong conjures alternate realities, dreamworlds where the sky is tie-dyed and the trees are shaped like crazy straws and the rivers flow with melted sequins, worlds that might resemble those of wild psychedelic hallucinations but somehow prove more orderly. Maybe the people speak in rhymes.

Last year, Wong channelled such imaginative possibilities into his Thrill Jockey debut, Infinite Love (TMT Review), and on February 21, he’ll release Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads. I hope it comes with a choose-your-own-adventure picture book.

In the meantime, check out Wong performing “Evening Curves Straight,” a track from the new album:

Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads tracklisting:

01. Ice Sheets on Feet Prints
02. Feet Prints on Flower Dreads
03. Abstract Horse Slow Motion
04. Tea Tree Leaves Retreat
05. Triangle Train Stop
06. Toe Tore Oh
07. On/In the Way
08. Pink Diamond
09. Purple Slipped Right
10. Route Through Eyebrow
11. Sprinkle Wet Toes
12. Pencil Drove Hill Moon
13. Evening Curves Straight
14. Back Towards Night
15. Space Tunnel Graffiti
16. Diagonally Talking Echo

• Dustin Wong: http://www.myspace.com/dustinclarence
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Owen tours the US despite the distraction of the Kindle Fire

It’s hard to go on tours these days when technology is more in your face than Dad’s balls on Shirtless Wrestling Tuesdays, but some brave individuals still go out there to play small, all ages juice bars with at least 17 teenagers texting on their smart phones.

Mike Kinsella, of Joan of Arc and various other projects, is known as “the cute one” out of the Kinsella brother’s performance troupe. He is also known for his solo project, Owen, which recently released Ghost Town this year on Polyvinyl Records.

To prove he’s a man to his family and show fans that he’s not influenced by technological advancements in touring (e.g. Drake’s Skype Tour and U2’s Hologram Tour), Kinsella is taking Owen on an intimate tour featuring acoustic guitar and possibly a merch table with gothic candles for sale. Owen will play a slew of West Coast dates (dude hasn’t been there since 2008!) and he’ll also play No Bottoms Karaoke Sundays in my dreams.

Owen tourdates:

12.02.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands Gallery
12.03.11 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
12.04.11 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
12.28.11 - Orlando, FL - The Social
12.29.11 - Tampa, FL - Orpheum
01.18.12 - Riverside, CA - The Barn at UC Riverside
01.19.12 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
01.20.12 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill

• Owen: http://www.myspace.com/mybandowen
• Polyvinyl: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com

Atlas Sound announces East Coast tour, so start asking around for a ride soon

You probably know
Atlas Sound is Bradford Cox
Without Deerhunter

Stellar parallax?
Nope, the Atlas Sound album
(TMT Review)

How about a tour?
Just 11 days before
Christmas… jingle bells!


12.14.11 - Durham, NC - Motorco
12.15.11 - Richmond, VA - The National
12.16.11 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
12.17.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
12.18.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
12.20.11 - Washington, DC - Black Cat

• Atlas Sound: http://deerhuntertheband.blogspot.com
• 4AD: http://www.4ad.com

Hanson announce plans to sell their own beer, MMMhop; tentatively consider starting their own police force, MMMcop

Talk about milking a hit single for all that it’s worth… it was 14 years ago that Hanson gained notoriety for their partially gibberish-laden song “MMMbop.” In the intervening years since that time, the trio from Oklahoma have apparently been fairly consistent in releasing new material, but that hasn’t stopped them from harkening back to the days when they actually enjoyed some semblance of stardom. Accordingly, at the Oxford Union on Monday, the group announced plans to produce their own India Pale Ale, appropriately (and perhaps tackily) named MMMhop. As the now 26-year-old Zac explained, “It’s vital our fans have trust in everything Hanson do. We are soon going to be selling our own beer. I’m not joking — MMMhop IPA anyone?”

Trust in everything that Hanson do? Whether he meant that facetiously or not, there are plenty of artists whom I genuinely trust… musically. That doesn’t mean that I think it would be a good idea for them to start up their own pizza chain. In any case, I suppose it’s at least an indication of how much the Hanson brothers have matured. From a song that used the phrase “plant a seed” as a metaphor for starting a relationship, it seems as though they’ve finally come to appreciate the force behind so many romantic exchanges — alcohol.

• Hanson: http://www.hanson.net
• 3CG: http://www.3cgrecords.com