Universal Announces Plan to Replace the Word “Band” with “Brand”; Big Brother Calls the Move “Doubleplusgood”; Et Tu, Of Montreal?

I was watching TV the other night when I noticed one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It wasn't Famine or War. Hell, I see those guys every day, so that's not even news. No, it was a little-known harbinger of the judgment about the befall us — a guy called "bastardized version of an Of Montreal song in an Outback Steakhouse commercial." Come on, don't pretend you don't watch TV. You saw it, too, and, like me, you wondered whether someone had slipped some acid into your Diet Coke. Well, instead of flipping my Electric Kool-Aid shit, I just Googled "Of Montreal" and "Outback Steakhouse" — terms that, combined, should probably never yield any results. Stereogum confirmed that I wasn't tripping but couldn't explain why the designs on my wallpaper were moving. So fine, yeah, whatever; Kevin Barnes thought it was funny. Of Montreal can do no wrong. I'm trying to forget that I ever saw it.

It's getting pretty difficult to put it out of my mind, though, now that I've realized what the horseman was warning us about. Apparently, our pals at Universal, a.k.a. the world's biggest music company, feel like they're not getting enough mileage out of the term "selling out." Universal will team up with advertising company WPP to form a music and marketing behemoth they're calling "BrandAmp." I guess they figured that the cool thing that all the kids are doing is combining two words without a space in between them. You know... MySpace; YouTube. This shit can't fail. As currently conceived, the project would allow advertisers direct access to Universal's back catalog, with plans in the works to involve other artists and record labels in the future. It makes one wonder whether any of Universal's artists are going to make some noise about this. Certainly anyone signed to the world's fattest-ass record company is no MDC, but this is a pretty huge violation. I mean, please, someone defend my right not to hear PJ Harvey hawking for Wet Seal and Jurassic 5 convincing me to eat at the Olive Garden!

Well, at least we can find some solace in the words of Lucian Grainge, head of Universal's international division. "This new venture makes sense on many levels," he said. "It brings together two creative communities which are driven by innovation and imagination." Ohhh, that's right. Universal and some advertising company are "creative communities." They're practically artists' communes! And all they're doing is getting together to do a little dance, make a little love, and get down tonight. Sheesh, and here I was thinking that this was just some crass corporate bullshit. Thanks, Lucian. I feel a lot better now.

Wooden Wand, Don’t Hurt ‘Em (There, I Told You I Could Write the Most Irrational Title for a Wooden Wand News Story Ever)

Sometimes speculation is all we have. For example, we know little about the man known as Wooden Wand. We do know that he releases just about everything he puts on tape under a bunch of shifting stage names with a load of helping henchmen and women. We can listen to his songs that head trip a variety of philosophical and political persuasions and straddle traditional and non-so-traditional sounds. But the rest of the story is lost in obscurely pieced-together background bios full of strange road stories and faux-mysticism. What do we really know about the prolific and reflective Wooden Wand? Does he put his pants on just like the rest of us? Does he believe in pants? Does he strictly wear low-rise jodhpurs or chaps? We need our hard facts!

Now, I normally wouldn't merely reprint press release info, but parts of a recent WW fac-sheet outlining "10 Misconceptions and Things You Didn't Know About Wooden Wand" bare repeating (and it fleshes out my bone-thin news story, right eds?). Among the revelations are the facts that he prefers Tennessee to New York, Steely Dan to Pink Floyd, and tequila to bourbon (at least at this point in his life). There are also the following:

07. He is an avid gun enthusiast, and and is a life member of both the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.*
04. His extended family includes late actor Vincent Gardenia, Chicago Cubs general manager (and former Met) Ed Lynch, "Desperate Housewives"' Andrea Bowen, and Type-O Negative's Peter Steele.**
01. Scott Ian of Anthrax once lectured a 12-year-old Wand that he was "too young to be smoking joints." He was right (They totally got high together anyway).***

* Stop...you had us at "avid gun enthusiast."

** Oh yeah, yet another case of a relative to Tinseltown, television and Triple-A baseball royalty trying his hand at music (sorry Cubs fans, I couldn't resist... let's go Dodgers, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap...war-ning track po-wer, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!!!).

*** The same thing happened to me, but it was "generic guitarist" from Canadian 8Ts metal band Exciter, and it was huffing solvent (we totally got brain damaged together anyway, but just a little).

Figuring out what makes our boy Wooden Wand tick is tougher than a 20x20x20 Rubik's Cube. Listening is only a little less taxing, but it's a whole lot more fun. One can only imagine what a live Wooden Wand show would be like; I won't have the pleasure because the bastard isn't playing anywhere near me! So unless I finally book that long-overdue fantasy trip to Eugene, Oregon, I will have to rely on word of mouth reports which will probably muddy the Wooden Wand myth even more. The tour includes some shows with Skygreen Leopards, many with Wand's wife (the "Voice" of The Vanishing Voice, Satya Sai), and a number with recent collaborators the Sky High Band (featuring members of both Skygreen Leopards and The Vanishing Voice, and Davenport). Now is the time to sing ye, from the wilds, from the hillsides, and from your heart because the tour has already started! And if I had sent this story in last week like I was supposed to, you could have gone to those first few dates crossed off below.

10.01.06 - New York, NY - Glassland Gallery *
10.02.06 - Cleveland, OH - The Church *
10.03.06 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *

10.04.06 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews *
10.05.06 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
10.06.06 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Broken Record *
10.12.06 - Oakland, CA - 21Grand
10.13.06 - Sacramento, CA - Fools Foundation #$
10.14.06 - Davis, CA - Delta of Venus #$
10.15.06 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern #$
10.16.06 - Eugene, OR - Cozmic Pizza #$
10.17.06 - Portland, OR - Someday Lounge #$
10.18.06 - Olympia, WA - 1320 5th Ave SW (early show)
10.18.06 - Seattle, WA - Gallery 1412 #$
10.19.06 - Nevada City, NV - National Hotel
10.20.06 - Big Sur, CA - Fernwood Lodge #$
10.21.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Palace Theatre %
10.22.06 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts ^
10.23.06 - Albuquerque, NM - Atomic Cantina
10.25.06 - Austin, TX - Red's Scoot Inn ^
10.26.06 - Houston, TX - The Proletariat ^
10.27.06 - New Orleans, LA - Eldon's Place
10.28.06 - Nashville, TN - Ruby Green
10.29.06 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light ^
10.30.06 - Chapel Hill, NC - Night Light ^
10.31.06 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel ^
11.01.06 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West ^
11.02.06 - Philadelphia, PA - TriTone ^
11.03.06 - New York, NY - Mo Pitkins (CMJ Fanatic Promotion Acoustic Afternoon)
11.04.06 - Brooklyn, NY - Uncle Paulie's (Free Agency Showcase)
11.08.06 - New York, NY - Knitting Factory *
11.09.06 - Purchase, NY - Purchase College *
11.10.06 - Harrisonburg, VA - James Madision University *
11.11.06 - Roanoke, VA - Static house
12.10.06 - Somerset, England - ATP The Nightmare Before Christmas

* w/ Satya Sai
# West Coast Revue (featuring members of Sky High Band, the Vanishing Voice, and Skygreen Leopards
$ w/ Skygreen Leopards
% solo show at Arthur Nights
^ w/ Sky High Band

RIAA Forced To Drink Coke With LimeWire, Told To Like It

LimeWire, the popular peer-to-peer network, recently filed an antitrust lawsuit against the massively unpopular RIAA. Did that just raise your eyebrows? No? Well, read the text from LimeWire's counterclaim:

goal was simple: to destroy any online music distribution service they did not own or control, or force such services to do business with them on exclusive and/or other anticompetitive terms so as to limit and ultimately control the distribution and pricing of digital music, all to the detriment of consumers. (Counterclaim, paragraph 26, page 18)... This case is but one part of a much larger modern conspiracy to destroy all innovation that content owners cannot control and that disrupts their historical business models.(Counterclaim, paragraph 28, page 18)
The case is Arista v. LimeWire, by the way, and this is a countersuit to the ongoing copyright infringement and blah blah blah. LimeWire, whether you agree with what they do or not, makes an argument against the RIAA that is too accurate to deny. Go LimeWire, stick it to suits! But wait, why do they bother? Why are they going to the trouble of filing an antitrust lawsuit over the RIAA, the Dr. Claw of the music world? Do they feel an honest and civic duty to stand up for the rights of consumers and keep the labels in check? Hmm... let it fester.

The RIAA alleges that LimeWire is profiting from illegal downloading. Would that be motive for trying to keep the shop open? Did LimeWire's head honchos kill their wives in order to cash in on the life insurance? I don't know. If its motives are less than wholesome, I'm going to stick with the devil I know. LimeWire is doing us all a favor by elucidating an argument that needs to be discussed. Technology is angering the curmudgeon that is the RIAA because it does "disrupt their historical business models."

Oh xenophobic RIAA, you're adorable, like an old grandfather yelling racial slurs because that's how it always was. Times have changed, and while you embrace the money of the iPod and the MP3, you better accept the consequences that come with it. Maybe the RIAA will make a good point, but wait, no, I think their lawsuits against old women and the deceased speak for themselves.

Jeepers! Matador Releases (Gosh and Golly!) Expanded Wowee Zowee! Shucky Darn!

Since David Berman’s been all kinds of awesome with the Silver Jews lately, you gotta wonder what the fuck Stephen Malkmus is doing. Staring at a wall? Wondering if he’s to blame for boys in girls’ pants? Sometimes an indie rock icon gets depressed.

Enter Matador Records, accompanied by various trumpets and patchy facial hair... issuing a proclamation from an unnecessarily long piece of parchment: On November 6, there shalt be a third installment in the biannual Pavement deluxe reissue series. I dub thee, sir: Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition!

Of course, this “series” can only last as long as the Pavement catalog... and Matador still lists ’em on the “Active Roster”... !!! Wink, nudge?

Either way, loyal minions shall be graced with a buttload of liner notes, live tracks, outtakes, etceteree, etcetera. Oh, we ain’t kidding.

Tracklist... check it.

Disc 1:

1. We Dance
2. Rattled By The Rush
3. Black Out
4. Brinx Job
5. Grounded
6. Serpentine Pad
7. Motion Suggests Itself
8. Father To A Sister Of Thought
9. Extradition
10. Best Friend's Arm
11. Grave Architecture
12. AT & T
13. Flux = Rad
14. Fight This Generation
15. Kennel District
16. Pueblo
17. Half A Canyon
18. Western Homes
19. Sordid [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
20. Brink Of The Clouds [Rattled By La Rush b-side]
21. False Skorpion [Rattled By La Rush b-side]
22. Easily Fooled [Rattled By La Rush b-side]
23. Kris Kraft [Father To A Sister Of Thought b-side]
24. Mussle Rock [Father To A Sister Of Thought b-side]
25. Give It A Day [Pacific Trim EP]
26. Gangsters & Pranksters [Pacific Trim EP]
27. Saganaw [Pacific Trim EP]
28. I Love Perth [Pacific Trim EP]
29. Sentinel [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]

Disc 2:

1. Sensitive Euro Man [I Shot Andy Warhol soundtrack]
2. Stray Fire [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
3. Fight This Generation [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
4. Easily Fooled [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
5. Soul Food [Wowee Zowee jam session w/Doug Easley on piano]
6. It's A Hectic World [from Homage To Descendents tribute album]
7. Kris Kraft [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
8. Golden Boys/Serpentine Pad [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
9. Painted Soldiers [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
10. I Love Perth [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
11. Dancing With The Elders [from Medusa Cyclone/Pavement split 7"]
12. Half A Canyon [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
13. Best Friend's Arm [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
14. Brink Of The Clouds/Candylad [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
15. Unfair [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
16. Eaily Fooled [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
17. Heaven Is A Truck [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
18. Box Elder [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
19. No More Kings [from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks comp]
20. Painted Soldiers [from Kids In The Hall In Brain Candy soundtrack]
21. We Dance (alternate mix) [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]

Pernice Brothers Return This Week, Outline Brief Tour of States

With full facial hair, Joe Pernice looks alot like Walt Whitman, or Santa Claus. The first example is a fitting tribute considering that Pernice has become one of the more respected elder statesman of singer/songwriter fare. We may all still be waiting impatiently for the next Chappaquiddick Skyline LP, but Pernice is apparently happier recording and releasing Pernice Brothers records, and God bless him for it.

The band released Live A Little (Ashmont) this week, and it's another stellar offer by a band that has yet to mistep, going all the way back to 1998's delightful Overcome By Happiness (Sub Pop). Those lucky enough to pre-order the CD directly from Joe (Ashmont Records) were treated to an extra bonus disc loaded with demos and outtakes, or as referred to at the band's HQ, "the bonus/demo outtakes thingie." The CD boasted songs Pernice recorded at home and later re-worked or "edited the living shit out of."

The Brothers Pernice have a short tour planned to coincide with the LP's release, set to begin November 7.

Where Would I Be If I Was A Screwdriver?:

11.07.06 - Detroit, MI - Lager House *
11.09.06 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
11.10.06 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon *
11.16.06 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern *
11.17.06 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
11.21.06 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord *
11.22.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland *
12.06.06 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *

* w/ Elvis Perkins

Live A Little tracklist:

1. Automaton
2. Somerville
3. Cruelty To Animals
4. Zero Refills
5. Microscopic View
6. How Can I Compare
7. B.S. Johnson
8. PCH One
9. Conscience Clean (I Went To Spain)
10. Lightheaded
11. High As A Kite
12. Grudge Fuck

Bill Nguyen Consults With Super Friends at the Hall of Justice, Saves WOXY

WOXY has all kinds of good karma. It must be in the radio waves. Oh wait, I mean, the internet tubes. Or whatever. As you may remember, just two years ago, the Cincinnati-based station ceased its broadcast on the FM dial. A couple of anonymous investors stepped up to the plate in the 12th hour to launch what would become a popular online station. Well, just last month, it looked like WOXY would finally come to an end due to a lack of revenue. But days later, once again, there was a glimmer of hope — entrepreneur Bill Nguyen posted a message on the heavily trafficked WOXY message board about his desire to "save the station." While it was originally believed to be a cruel tease, within days, Nguyen was in Cincinnati where he met with WOXY staff members, anonymous investers, and many of the station's listeners.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Nguyen's plan is to not only invest $5 to 10 million into WOXY in order to keep the station's headquarters in Cincinnati, but also to set up studios in San Francisco and other cities for live performances. Additionally, Nguyen intends to improve the quality of the broadcast and make it free for all listeners once again. He wants to give full editorial control to the station's DJs, as well as give listeners the chance to create their own radio shows that they can share with other listeners.

"What we want to do is give radio back to the listeners," The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted Nguyen.

If Nguyen's name sounds familiar, it should. He is behind LaLa.com, a fledgling online cd-trading service. The user-friendly service allows members to list CDs they have and CDs they want. Each CD sent to you off your "want list" costs you $1.75. Simple enough, eh? The site also recently launched a music store, which WOXY listeners will have access to, as well.

Witnesses of Nguyen's visit to Cincinnati remarked that he wore blue tights and a red cape. They figured it was probably best to just keep quiet about it, though. Afterall, he had no super powers. Just keen business sense and the bank to make things happen. Kinda like Batman.

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