Trent Reznor Keeps the Lights Off While He and UMG Stick It Hard to the Fans

In an unprecedented move, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame has teamed up with his record label for the most immoral sales promotion since the Paris Hilton Hardee’s commercial.

This promotion strikes with two hot prongs, much like the DP in a Penthouse magazine. The first bit comes in when Reznor’s label, Universal Music Group, tries to sell Year Zero, the latest release from NIN (deemed “not the most original dystopian yarn,” by P4K. Sick brah, right?!) for an exorbitant amount. To be precise, the Aussies have to pay more than $34, and we stateside kids are going to have to pay more than $29. There’s the first penetration. It’s rough, but you know you can handle it if worse comes to worse.

Then, Reznor drops trough and bends his cult-like fans over and readies them for the big DP. How on earth could we, the fans, get even more screwed over after paying a bijillion dollars for a CD that only registered a 6.7 on P4K’s scale?? Reznor writes on his band’s website about the absurdity of the price for his CD. In fact, we have a quote straight from Reznor: “As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more." And he continues, "Shame on you, UMG. 'Year Zero' is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne's record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 US)."

The scorcher here, the burn the morning after, is that this bitter squabble may be quite orchestrated. For if UMG tries selling NIN’s CD for stupid-expensive and Reznor tries to tell his fans he’s not behind the pricing and in fact he’s outraged, then fans may very well be all “Fuck you UMG. I’ll buy the CD anyway.” Then, both Reznor and UMG win, and you are left with your sea parted way too far to ever feel anything remotely pleasurable again.

Whatever. At least Reznor concluded his complaints by saying they are going to release a full-length remix collection.

Parts And Labour to Release New Album, Tour, And If That Wasn’t Enough…

My favorite Brooklyn noisy rock trio (Parts and Labour!) will be releasing a new album tomorrow!! The band just finished up a chunk of tourdates with ADULT and will be back on the road this June.

The new album, Mapmaker, was mixed and recorded at the Brothers Studio (!!!, Measles Mumps Rubella, Pterodactyl) in Brooklyn. According to Jagjaguwar, additional vocals and electronics were recorded by the band in a windowless room. Wow! The album will be released May 22 on Jagjaguwar/Brah.

If that wasn't enough to please you die-hard fans, check out what else P&L has or already had up their sleeves for this year, courtesy of Jagjaguwar:

- a bonus track on the 5RC/KRS Xiu Xiu tribute comp (covering the song "Apistat Commander"), available on iTunes
- an exclusive track for an upcoming compilation on No Pain In Pop, a new UK-based label
- an exclusive track for an Oh No Records vinyl compilation in support of Trees Not Trash, a Brooklyn non-profit organization
- an exclusive track to be featured on a 7-inch split with Fuck Buttons
- a tentative European tour in the fall

In addition to the above goodies, each member of P&L has been busy with his own solo material as well. BJ Warshaw is finishing up the debut release of Shooting Spires, to be released on Cardboard Records this summer; Chris Weingarten is also finishing up a full length with Poisson d'Avril; and Dan Friel is also working on a new solo album. Damn!

Mapmaker tracklisting:

Phil Elverum Doesn’t Help Install Ubuntu on My Computer, But Releases Mount Eerie Pts. 6 & 7 and a Reissue of The Glow Pt. II

After months of annoying e-mails and shameless begging, multiple pitches and steady follow-ups, I finally agreed to interview Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie/The Microphones "fame." Blehhhh... Not like I don't have enough shit to do around TMT. Look, I don't care if he wrote "The Universe Is Shown" or "Antlers" -- shit, I don't even care if he wrote "November Train (Choo Choo Choo version)" -- I'm a busy guy! Do you know I edit practically everything on the site? Yep, that's right. I mean, just imagine how many e-mails I get daily in my seven inboxes. It's ridiculous. And guess what? So are the e-mails. Just this week, a writer (David Nadelle) said "Sorry this is written poorly. 'Twas in a rush. Fix it, please. Thanx..."? Fuck that noise. Hey, ever gotten a call from a publicist (Anna "Stupid Head" Bond, this time) saying "look, either you review their disc, or we ain't doing that $2,500 ad in July"? Didn't think so. BUT I HAVE.

Though, I'm not one to complain. In fact, there are good things about being editor-in-chief of possibly the most important, most culturally significant online magazine of all-time. I got an e-mail once from Ray Romano (dude from Everybody Loves Raymond) saying he loves when we cover DVDs and asked if we could write a review of ELR season 3 (best season, by far, IMO). And we recently hired one of the guys from The Strokes (can't remember which one). He can't write worth shit, but whatevs -- he looks great. My overall point is that being Mr P can be bittersweet.

I know what you're thinking. Oh P, tell me more please. I want to know more about you, you're amazing, great editor, blah blah blah. Visit my blog here; it's Mount Eerie time now! (Oh, forgot to mention that the whole TMT staff looks up to me, so...) Speaking via e-mail, Elverum says a hardcover, 132-page photo book, titled Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7, is being bound right now in Vancouver at the "best printer in North America on recycled paper and everything." No words, just photos, though the last page features a 10-inch picture disc of music, tracks "Mount Eerie Pt. 6" and "Mount Eerie Pt. 7." According to Elverum, the music is a vague continuation of the themes left off from The Microphones album Mount Eerie. "The songs are about 'the known world' of living in the house while the 'unknown world' (eerie mountain) is going on out the door. Comfort vs. learning, certainty vs. rich chaos, etc."

Elverum's also busy preparing a three-vinyl, two-CD reissue of The Glow Pt. II with K Records. "The vinyl was gone and the CDs were almost gone and all the packaging was gone, so we figured if we had to manufacture everything again, why not make a new version?" The new version will contain an extra record of "un-mixes" (e.g., vocals only), as well as demos, outtakes, and other "weird shit."

In other news, P.W. Elverum & Sun is also re-releasing a "20th Anniversary Platinum Series Digitally Remastered Double Gatefold Album" version of Thanksgiving's Welcome Nowhere (this album is GREAT, by the way). Look out for a DVD and new music eventually, too, and if any of you work at a "amazing periodical or literature distribution company" and want to carry Elverum's "weird booklets" or Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7, get in contact with Elverum.

Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7 and Thanksgiving's Welcome Nowhere are set for release July 19 at What the Heck Fest 2007. No date has been set for the The Glow Pt. II reissue. As for me? Well...

Animal Collective To Release Strawberry-Flavored Jam Session; Knob Twisting Never Sounded So Delicious

After the complete critical dismissal of Panda Bear's Person Pitch (TMT Review) and the unanimous cheer heard 'round the world for Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan's Pullhair Rubeye (TMT Review), the stakes are running high for our fuzzy friends. Who can predict what the final reception will be to Animal Collective's next slab of sugar-sqronk? Fortunately, while we knit our brows and ruminate on the group's proper artistic trajectory until we need to grab our albuterol inhalers, AC keeps right on churning out records. And now they're just about ready to put out a new one, essentially forcing us to renew our subscriptions to Asthma Explorers.

Strawberry Jam is its name and should be arriving sometime in September through Domino. Some of the album's tracks have been tested on the road, while others are fresher than strawberry jam before it gets all sour and watery, or maybe it's the bread that's making this taste weird (Is it the bread? Because I bought seven-grain this time instead of the usual 100% whole-wheat, so do different breads go bad at different rates, or maybe I didn't even check the expiration date before I picked it up, no wait, the seal was already broken on the jar of jam, okay, mystery solved, though now I need a ride to Meijer, and I know you don't like to take me twice in one week).

In a bestial celebration of their forthcoming disc, the Collective will be touring through the rest of May and then a few scattered dates in the months after. Please bring napkins; the Marfa ballroom can get sticky.


* Sir Richard Bishop

$ Danielson

! Timothy McManus rules

Sometimes I really wonder what would happen if Müm and Sigur Rós decided to pull a Xiu Xiu Larsen on us and form a mega-group. I imagine it would sound like an abandoned shipyard that has a wormhole leading to an icy coral reef that has a wormhole leading to outer space. After that, another wormhole would appear and lead back to the abandoned shipyard. Sprinkle some really tiny supernovas in the distance with some really colorful acid splashes and I think we'd have ourselves an album. Let's face it, you know it'd be totally rad because Müm and Sigur Rós are like brother and sister, peanut butter and jelly, Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. Müm and Sigur Rós both know how to make sweet music by themselves, but put them together and you got yourself a Lethal Weapon.

Well, anyway, all my dreaming and horrible jokes aside, let's get down to business. Müm's new album is titled Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, Let Your Crooked Hands Be Holy. Yep. It's due out on September 25 and parts of it were recorded in a music school in the fishing town of Ísafjörur (see ridiculous foreign locales that I can't even begin to pronounce), where the band made use of the school's instruments. Some of those instruments include erasers, paper, a bell ringing, and the sloppy noise from the cafeteria's mashed potatoes. Okay, just kiddding! Evidently, Kristín Valty decided to leave the band before the new album was under way, so Müm was reduced to its other founders, Gunnar and Örvar. However, the band is absolutely gargantuan now, because they have utilized the last five remaining people in Iceland* (besides our friends, Sigur Rós and Amiina) to be in the band.

Does that mean Björk's in Müm? Find out at these dates:
06.02.07 - Barcelona, Spain - ATP stage - Primavera Festival
06.09.07 - Paris, France - Villette - Sonique Festival
07.17.07 - Murcia, Spain - La Mer De Musicas Festival
07.24.07 - Athens, Greece - Sync Festival
07.28.07 - Moscow, Russia - Afisha Festival
08.24.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
10.09.07 - New York, NY - Wordless Music Series at St. Paul the Apostle
10.10.07 - New York, NY - Wordless Music Series at Society for Ethical Culture

* Alright, so maybe according to Wikipedia, Iceland's population is like 309,699 instead of five.

Aereogramme Pay Publicist By The Letter, Run Out of Money, Break Up; Or, How to Trivialize Seven Years of Someone’s Life

In the most unnecessarily verbose prose since Dickens, Aereogamme have announced that they will be breaking up. While the reasons for the break are “multiple and complex,” apparently the “superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist” plays a primary role.

It was at this point that I was going to launch into some petulant diatribe about the writing style of the announcement. Dostoevsky was mentioned. After I floored you with my knowledge of 19th century, I was going to pull out the archaic name-drops and make wild accusations involving Stabbing Westward and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. While you were calling your friends and telling them to check out the scathing article, you would probably notice the snappy close which trivialized their career with some anti-RIAA reference (it’s Tiny Mix Tapes; that’s kind of our thing)... but you know what? I’m not doing that. These dudes are breaking up and I’m attacking them because (a) I need to turn in a story, and (b) I don’t like one of the lines in their press release... that seems somewhat inexcusable.

I mean after seven years and, apparently, three somewhat successful records, these people are giving up on their life's work and I’m deciding to marginalize it for no valid reason. In fact, I imagine that the vague prose was masking tremendous hurt and regret and that, regardless of how foolish it looks, those cryptic words actually speak to something important for the band and their fans. It seems utterly inappropriate to denigrate a full career like that just because I cannot understand six words from a message board.

I don’t know. I’m feeling apathetic toward the entire situation. They’re touring before it’s all over. Go see them. Or don’t. I just really don’t care.

* Supporting Biffy Clyro