TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek launches new label with Telepathe single, builds every release with his bare hands and sweat

TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek launches new label with Telepathe single, builds every release with his bare hands and sweat

Dave Sitek is tired of all these lazy, no good, dumbhead, garbage sack bozos. Taking all week mixing, recording, and producing records. Taking all month silkscreening album jackets. And, worst of all, they’re doing it wrong. Dave Sitek can’t take it, so he’s taking matters into his own hands. The TV on the Radio bassist/producer has started a new record label by the name of Federal Prism, focusing on limited-edition 12-inch vinyl picture discs. Every release on the new label will be recorded, mixed, and produced by Sitek himself. Not only that, but Sitek will hand-silkscreen each of the 500 numbered copies himself. Finally, Dave Sitek doesn’t need any of you chumps.

The question is, who shall be Federal Prism’s chrome ambassador? Well, Sitek says Brooklyn electro-pop outfit Telepathe is the label’s “chrome ambassador.” On October 9, the label will put out a digital version of the group’s new single “Destroyer,” with a vinyl edition following in October 30. The record’s B-side will contain a remix by some fellow named Trent Reznor, accompanied by his friends Alessandro Cortini and Atticus Ross.

Go over to Federal Prism’s website to pre-order the record. All pre-orders come with an immediate download of 320 kbps MP3s of the new single. If you were worried about having to wait for your chrome ambassadors, worry no longer.

• Federal Prism:
• Telepathe:

Kanye West sued for copyright infringement; probability of him giving a damn: minimal

The record label TufAmerica is quickly gaining recognition, but not for releasing quality music. Recent publicity would suggest that they’ve divided their operations; one half is devoted to handling all of the stuff that record labels traditionally handle, and the other half is devoted to analyzing popular hip-hop albums, listening closely for any sample that just might (thanks to complicated legal minutiae) violate copyright laws.

Recall that it was back in May that TufAmerica brought a lawsuit against the Beastie Boys, alleging, among other things, copyright infringement, despite the fact that the five-year statute of limitations had long-since passed on the samples in question. Who knows how that will turn out or if it will go anywhere, but in the meantime, the folks at TufAmerica must be thinking, why not deliver another lawsuit against one of the world’s most popular artists, just for good measure?

Reported by Billboard, this lawsuit has to do with the tracks “Who Will Survive in America?” and “Lost in the World,” featured on Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (TMT Review). Both tracks sample the 1969 single “Hook and Sling, Part 1” from New Orleans singer and pianist Eddie Bo, and TufAmerica claims that it bought the rights to this particular song more than 15 years ago.

In contrast with the Beastie Boys case, West’s label Roc-A-Fella (and by extension, Universal Music Group) apparently did pay a license fee of $62,500, but TufAmerica alleges in its complaint that the labels “failed and refused to enter into written license agreements that accounted for their multiple other uses of [‘Hook and Sling’]” — other uses that include a film based on the track “Runaway,” and the “Lost in the World” music video. It seems like a valid complaint at first judgment, but I’m no expert. I just want to sigh. These lawsuits are depressing in their greed and pettiness. Snooki gives me more faith in humanity. Where’s my pick-me-up?

• Kanye West:

Death Grips to premiere NO LOVE DEEP WEB at midnight; band says Epic Records won't confirm its release date "till next year sometime"

Yesterday, YouTube user moralreef discovered a new track by Death Grips called “True Vulture Bare.” He apparently found the track through a hole in the group’s website and, for the good of humankind, uploaded it to YouTube. As he put it: “Just having a peek at the files URI in the Death Grips website (They really need to fix that hole), found a new track, under”

Today, Death Grips have announced a “leak” of their own. At the stroke of midnight (a.k.a. midnight), the group will be premiering their forthcoming album NO LOVE DEEP WEB, the follow-up to April’s The Money Store (TMT Review). According to Death Grips’ Twitter, not only will this be our first chance to hear the album, but also the group’s label, Epic Records, who apparently now won’t confirm a release date “till next year sometime.”

NO LOVE DEEP WEB was originally slated for October 23, but I guess waiting until then or “next year sometime” won’t be necessary. Details have yet to be announced, but be sure to check Death Grips’ Twitter. And, keep in mind that this premiere is happening at midnight PST, so plan your life accordingly. Me? I need my beauty sleep. Says my wife. :(

Meanwhile, here’s the aforementioned “True Vulture Bare” as you wait:

[UPDATE: Death Grips have now shared NO LOVE DEEP WEB in full, via SoundCloud stream, YouTube playlist, BayFiles download, and direct download from!]

Oh and here’s the cover:

• Death Grips:

Big Dipper to shake off the rust and release their first new LP in two decades

It’s been over 20 years, but Big Dipper is back. The seminal jangle pop band’s first album of all-new material since 1990’s Slam is due out November 27. Recorded at vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Gary Waleik’s home studio, the 12-track album, titled Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet, will be released on Almost Ready Records and will feature cover art from none other than rock legend Robert Pollard.

Big Dipper haven’t been completely dormant since their 1992 break-up; the band reunited in 2008 for a series of shows to commemorate the release of the three-disc Merge Records retrospective Supercluster. Renewed interest in the band from the reunion gigs inspired Waleik — along with guitarist/vocalist Bill Goffrier, drummer/vocalist Jeff Oliphant, and late-era Big Dipper bass player Tom Brewitt — to return to the studio for the first time in a very long while.

For anyone scratching their head, Big Dipper formed way back in 1985, consisting of Goffrier, Oliphant, and Waleik, along with Waleik’s Volcano Sun ex-pat Steve Michener. Waleik and Goffrier began writing songs and it was only a matter of time before their debut — the EP Boo-Boo — was released on Homestead in 1987. Later that year, their full-length follow up Heavens was released to critical acclaim. After touring North America consistently, Europe twice, and releasing Craps in 1988, the band moved up to the majors by signing to Epic Records. On Epic, they released Slam. Michener left the band shortly thereafter and that was basically it until the 2008 reunion.

The band hasn’t announced tourdates or an official tracklist yet but that is sure to come before Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet makes its way into your hands.

• Big Dipper:
• Almost Ready:

Myspace defeats Apple in a battle of the orange music icons (a trademarking story)

Oh, the wonderful world of patent/trademark debates. Consider it the professional equivalent of fashion trends in high school. Mimic, resemble, echo, and approximate, but never, ever, copy detail for detail, lest you become known, rightly or wrongly, as some desperate loser who pays far too much attention to the clothes that the popular kids are wearing. The benefit of the doubt usually goes to popular kids in these scenarios, which stands in surprising contrast to a recent (and actual) court ruling involving the still-animate Myspace, and the captain of the football team, Apple Inc.

The ruling centered around Apple’s attempt to trademark its orange music icon, featured on iOS devices. Judges from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the basis that it apparently bears too close a resemblance to a logo first used by the (now defunct) music service iLike, which Myspace acquired in 2009. Myspace still owns the rights to that particular logo. Check out a side-by-side comparison of the two graphics above. See!? They’re both, um, shades of orange. And stuff.

In the official court documents rejecting Apple’s request, an emphasis is placed on the potential for confusion:

In comparing the marks, we are mindful that the test is not whether the marks can be distinguished when subjected to a side-by-side comparison, but rather whether the marks are sufficiently similar in terms of their overall commercial impression so that confusion as to the source of the goods and services under the respective marks is likely to result.

If they say so. Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Apple was recently awarded more than $1 billion in damages in a patent lawsuit against Samsung, regarding the design of their respective smartphones. So this whole logo decision is sort of ironic — especially considering it’s, you know, Myspace on the winning end.

• Apple:
• Myspace:

Artist-friendly Myspace II coming soon to make you re-think the way Google Plus made you re-imagine Facebook as a Myspace reboot!

Man, I was just thinking about how there’s not really enough social media sharing buttons at the bottom of every stupid piece-of-shit thing I read or listen to on the internet! Thank you, Myspace! How did you know that exactly what the world needs right now is a slightly-different-here-and-there-but-mostly-similar-so-as-to-remain-familiar-enough-to-not-seem-intimidating social media platform? Oh, what’s that? Because Justin Timberlake told you?? Oh, duh. Now it all makes sense. End of news story! See you tomorrow, readers!

Aaaaactually, what the heck: as long as we’re all here, let’s trudge through the nuts and bolts of this, shall we? Like, how “new” is this design? Did Justin Timberlake make it himself in his college dorm room? Did Steve Wozniak help? What sorts of cutting edge arts and entertainment technologies will be implemented to lure bands and fans away from Facebooks, Soundclouds, Bandcamps, and Lemonpartys? Is everything 3D? 4G? 5x? (Oh, you probably don’t know what that one is yet…) Well, according to Fact, the new Myspace was built “entirely from scratch.” So I guess I’ll just assume that to mean that new co-owners (Specific Media and Timberlake) must have built their own hardware, created some sort of radical new graphical user interface, wrote software to run on that interface and hardware, and then used all that to make another Myspace? Wow, sounds ambitious. And plausible! What else? Oh yeah, a new message posted on their website goes like this:

We’re hard at work building the new Myspace, entirely from scratch. But we’re staying true to our roots in one important way—empowering people to express themselves however they want. So whether you’re a musician, photographer, filmmaker, designer or just a dedicated fan, we’d love for you to be a part of our brand new community.

Dude, I’m totally allthose things! I gotta sign up for it before all the poseurs do! Out of my way!

• Myspace:
• Another Myspace:
• Specific Media:
• Justin Timberlake: