TMT’s Top Fictional, Semi-Fictional, & Non-Fictional Riverboat Gamblers of All-Time, Tour

5. Bret Maverick (from the 1994 smash Maverick) – Mel can play some cards. ‘Nuff said.
4. Riverboat Gamblin’ Gator (from Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation) – I don’t know much about this fella except that I made his name up. As I recall, Babs attempts to get even with Buster by unleashing a Hoover-sized dam, chock full of water, upon their unsuspecting city. She neglects to take into account Buster’s exuberant love of water sports, and somehow the two end up floating down the river, Huck Finn style, unearthing the deep racial prejudices of their cartoon, assumedly post-Reconstruction world. I think this gator tries to eat them.
3. Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) - After Hurricane Katrina damaged one of Mississippi’s most lucrative industries -- gambling -- the governor signed legislation allowing casinos, once relegated to offshore digs, the ability to operate up to 800 feet inland. These new casinos, though economically beneficial (unless we want to get into the effects of casino gambling on surrounding communities), could pose a threat to residents looking to rebuild their homes and lives in the diverse, mixed-income neighborhoods of East Biloxi. Reconstruction at a cost? All that makes him the anti-riverboat gambler, I guess.
2. Mark Twain – Such a riverboat gamblin’ fool, he’s got an armada of riverboats (1) (2), even though he’s been dead for 97 years. Them boats ain’t even in the same time-zone. Talk about some supernatural chicanery. Rumor has it that during a secret meeting with known alchemist and voodoo practitioner Nikola Tesla, Twain dared the pomade-covered Serb to chant an incantation over the humorist’s ruffly moustache. To this day, visitors of Twain’s grave in Elmira, NY claim to hear the moustache, overgrown and surly as ever, scraping against the top of his coffin, attempting to escape and ride those aptly-named riverboats once again.

1.

Negativland To Open For U2, Steal Sunglasses, Wear On Own Tour

In Negativland, your little brother gets a migraine during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but doesn't tell you, just waits until he gets home and cries to mom in thin, high, back-of-the-throat noises with his back arched against the couch cushions. Also in Negativland, your boss wears tie-dye shirts with brown fake-leather belts and tells stories that aren't true about punching holes through the walls of his office. In Negativland, you get to the bottom of a huge bowl of couscous and find a tiny, delicate, dead baby ant. In Negativland, you feel kind of sorry for it and also want to hurl. In Negativland, you are close to people you do not want to be close to and are far from people you do not want to be far from. Also in Negativland, there are lots of places spelled wrong for fun, like the Drugstor and the Movi Theatr and the Emergencie Rume.

If you like these sorts of things, then you will probably love visiting or even living in Negativland. Train tickets are wildly overpriced but worth it if you fall asleep reading the first part of a torn-apart copy of Newsweek and wake up hours later to discover that a large man in a Hawaiian shirt has been drinking a beer and watching you sleep.

P.S. In Negativland, your girlfriend writes a news story for you because you are too lazy and/or drug-addled to move.

John Vanderslice Just As Good As John VanderSprite, Tours

I've never been able to get a line from John Vanderslice's "Exodus Damage" out of my head. Actually, it's not even the whole line, it's a word. The time of day, of all things, to be specific. It's burned in my memory, and I've often wondered if it was there because of what he says or how he says it. It could be because of both, I suppose, but I feel that it oscillates depending on my mood.
9:02.

It's not from the version off Pixel Revolt; it's from a live version posted on his website. He says it loud and with force, with confidence. It sticks out; it floats above the rest of the line, and all that's left are these giant numbers written in dirty snow in red Helvetica. Yes, September 11 is there, the images of it are unavoidable, but it's how he says it. It's enunciated, it's slow, it's loud. It feels innocent, that he's speaking to a foreigner for the first time, that he thinks if you speak slow enough and loud enough, they'll understand.

Airplanes, too. He talks of airplanes, but those feel subverted, underneath the emblazoned red numbers. For some reason, they all seem to be going to California. Not L.A. or San Francisco, but Sacramento. The Sacramento of Joan Didion, too, a fading city. They're all leaving from the airport that's near my house, the first day planes started flying again after the disaster. The day when everyone stopped and looked up. The day we watched them move slowly and loudly across the sky.

I don't know if that's the effect John Vanderslice wanted, but that's really the best part. It reminds us that songs, intended for everyone, become ours and no one else's. It reminds us that there is value not just in the sum of parts, but the nuance of the parts themselves. John Vanderslice is touring starting on September 6 in Los Angeles, the Sacramento of the South. Go to hear everything, or a line, or just a word, but it will all be worth it

07.28.07 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
09.06.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
09.07.07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
09.08.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified
09.09.07 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
09.11.07 - Austin, TX - The Parish
09.12.07 - Norman, OK - The Opolis
09.14.07 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
09.15.07 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
09.17.07 - Orlando, FL - The Social
09.18.07 - St Augustine, FL - Café Eleven
09.19.07 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
09.20.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
09.21.07 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
09.24.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09.26.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.27.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
09.28.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
10.01.07 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
10.02.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
10.03.07 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop at Coventry Yard
10.04.07 - Athens, OH - Baker Theater
10.05.07 - Bloomington, IN - John Waldron Arts Center
10.06.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.09.07 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
10.11.07 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
10.13.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
10.15.07 - Vancouver, BC - The Red Room
10.18.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
10.20.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent

Cat Power, Feist Will Touch You And Maybe Each Other For The Hottest State; Thousands of Pale, Skinny Boys Experience The Ultimate Indie Wet Dream

In the most boner-worthy official soundtrack (or at least since Garden State changed our lives), some of the hottest indie stars and starlets of the moment, including Cat Power, Feist, and Bright Eyes, will combine to contribute to the soundtrack for The Hottest State. The hottest state, indeed. To be released August 7 on Hickory Records, the 2 score compositions and 16 original tracks that make up the record were all recorded exclusively for this compilation. Each track was written by executive producer and Grammy winner Jesse Harris, who shares production duties with none other than the star of the film, Ethan Hawke.

Hawke, who has had his fair share of hot indie moments (in 1995's Reality Bites and as Jesse in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), has padded his scene-point total by attaching his name to this sizzling project. First gaining notoriety in the world of hip for starring alongside Winona Ryder, who has been linked to indie-hearthrobs Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams, his cred was already through the roof; with The Hottest State, Hawke only solidifies his role at the top of the illustrious "Actors Who Could Hang With Credible Musicians" list, in good company with Johnny Depp and Sir Zach Braff. If Depp is the Sonic Youth of actors (impeccable pedigree slightly tarnished by recent Pirates/Starbucks debacles) and Braff is The Shins (obviously), then Hawke is most certainly Yo La Tengo, or at the very least Grizzly Bear.

Also contributing are dirty-hot blues rockers The Black Keys, rustic-hot folk singer M. Ward, stoner-hot Willie Nelson, and Starbucks-hot Norah Jones.

The Hottest State tracklist:

Extra, Extra! Old News Rehash: Avril Lavigne Awarded Now-Official Title of Culture’s Equivalent to a Coked-Up Street Hooker Courtesy of The Rubinoos, Who Thirst for Validation, Their Own Groupies, and Better-Looking Coked-Up Street Hookers; The Rubinoos To Go After Muzik’s Fav Mini-Slice: Lil’ Ol’ Av-Lav on Principle; Yea, Seriously, They Have No Financial Intention

Oh. Wow.

Wow.

Wow!

WOW…

It’s being argued that America’s most-delicious middle-finger-flicking, wet-skull-t-shirt-dripping, power-chord-ripping, black-and-angry-lollipop-licking crack baby Avril Lavigne ripped off The Rubinoos’ way popular (um, yea...) 1970zzzz jam “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.”

And, apparently, Lil’ Miss Tortured-Canadian-“Wife Beater Muscle Shirts Reserve Me the Right to Not Speak in Full Sentences”-Mangy-Sex-Kitten-Syndrome’s track “I Don’t Have to Try” rips Peaches’ “I’m The Kinda.”

Wow.

I’m so offended, and so, so very validated!

Seriously:
Swift justice lives, America, now that The Man is breathing heavily down Avril’s neck!
Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty We Are Free At Last, Slaves O’ The Red, White, and Blue! Since a lil’ slice of crime-doesn’t-pay is being served to supposed copycat Avy Baby, there will be no war, no AIDS, and no AK-47s! Genocide in Darfur will be OVER! Excellent, expensive prizes, like Rolexes and James Bond figurines, will come in all breakfast cereals! James Bond will feed the less fortunate cereal, send all his tuxedos to inner-city school children, and teach them impressive tricks with switchblades! Violence as we know it will cease to exist and be used as performance art, with lofty pay for said inner-city school children, all of whom will use their knowledge of the streets for good and not evil!

Seriously.

It seems, though, everyone’s thrilled to shoot the shit about Lavigne’s alleged sticky lil’ fingers. Punch your own, less sticky, more indie!, limber little fingers through YouTube for very low budget, very poorly executed reaction films to accusations fired at Av, one of which includes a self-satisfied narrator reciting “Saturday in the Park” lyrics. Because, TMT reader, you’re intelligent enough to understand that close-but-no-cigar archaic references, even those seemingly disconnected from the overarching theme of a work, are really funny!

Possible reason for maybe-maybe-not Rubinoos rip-off:

I

Maybe our favorite Hostess-cupcake-with-the-mostest was paying musical homage to The Rubinoos in “Girlfriend.” Since they're really well-known. And often paid tribute to. And really, ridiculously well-known.

II

The truth, as I see it:
Oh-no-she-didn’t-girlfriend was trying to send a specific, back-up-dancers-included message to The Rubinoos about a possible future collaboration, obviously featuring herself and both the founding Rubinoos in a hot-and-sudsy-twofer-shower scene. Obviously, a fully clothed shower scene. With tuxedos provided by James Bond. Self-satisfied narrator will narrate said video. Because he understands humor. And has a really, really, sexy voice.

Job Location: various places in North America

Facility: n/a

Contract/Available: Full-time/September 2007

Description/Requirements:

If hired, you must be Björk's muse from September 8-24. This position requires an exceptional ability on your behalf to be a source of inspiration. Björk, while undeniably brilliant, hates the daily grind of touring, so you must act as a guiding spirit and inspire her to perform on stage for six shows in North America.

Björk's muse must also originate and lead any other muse-related objectives that will provide a high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior Björk tour.

While being one of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus is not a requirement, having the genius and/or characteristics of a poet is desired. You will also have to operate heavy machinery, and your skin color must be white if you want to be taken seriously (all races/colors are encouraged to apply though).

Compensation/Benefits:

A copy of Björk's latest album, Volta (TMT Review), as well as a gig poster from the Medülla (TMT Review) tour and 25 free MP3 downloads at eMusic.

How to Apply:

Please submit an application (in person only), three written references, and transcripts if you would like to be considered for the vacant muse position by August 15, 2007.

(Björk is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination based on age only. Non-white applicants must be handcuffed and accompanied by a white person. Chick applicants must cut their hair and be heterosexually active -- no exceptions. Persons with disabilities, who require accommodation in the application, testing, and/or interview process, should contact the Human Resources Department and tell them that you're totally unqualified, that you shouldn't have even applied in the first place, and that you should be escorted the fuck out of there pronto.)
09.08.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Virgin Festival
09.11.07 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park - Austin City Limits Festival
09.17.07 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
09.21.07 - Montreal, QC - Jacques Cartier Pier
09.24.07 - New York, NY - Madison Square Cargden

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