Universal Offers Entire Catalog For Free, Legal Download; Music Pirates Ask “Where’s The Fun In That?”

The New York Times reported last week that Universal Music Group, the largest of the four major labels, has reached an agreement to allow its entire catalog to be available as free downloads on Spiral Frog. Now what is this Spiral Frog? No, it's not the name of that crappy, shrooming hippy jam band that's playing your college's next battle of the bands. It's the name of a new company that plans to offer free DRM-encrypted downloads that come with some advertisement to support the site. Why they went with that name, no one's quite sure.

So, how about some specifics, numb nuts? I was just getting there. From the looks of things, it seems that the Frog will be premiering in December, only about two-and-a-half months after this frog kicks the bucket. The DRM (digital rights management) will be an extremely limiting factor for music fans, as it will not allow users to put downloaded songs on iPods or Microsoft's Zune player either. Not exactly the smartest move if you want to capture a large audience, since Apple has managed to sell more than 10 million iPods so far this year alone. I suppose you could hijack the audio if you really wanted to or, more likely, just go download the song from a P2P network.

The advertisements could also be a limiting factor for Spiral Frog; necessary for revenue but if too obtrusive, the site will never take off and music fans will keep with their P2P servers. Similarly, if Spiral Frog is at all difficult to navigate, it will unlikely draw people away from the file-sharing networks they have grown to know and love oh-so-dearly (lord knows I do).

Robin Kent, CEO of Spiral Frog, does have some pretty cool ideas to go with his site, too. There will be MySpace-esque pages to accompany downloads that will offer tour info, photos, lyrics, and suggestions for similarly sounding bands. I'm going to guess that these pages will not be as personal and open to editing as MySpace, but it's still nice to have all that information right there. Some kind of wiki aspect would be a good addition to the site (really, who doesn't think this link shouldn't be posted on Three 6 Mafia's page?). All in all, Spiral Frog looks like it will be an interesting experiment and compliment to the iTunes Music Store and other legitimate online music retailers.

NPR Announces Digital Music Service; Shows No Remorse for Singlehandedly Ruining My Sandbox Popularity

I come from an NPR household. Translation: My dad is to Garrison Keillor as People magazine is to Brangelina. As a young squirt, I often complained about A Prairie Home Companion during dinner, as I had important playground tales to report, unlike this boring man who sounded like he had a penchant for talking with peanut butter in his mouth. (Disclaimer: G-Keil and I are best buds now. I think he's the most.)

Soon, I realized I was very different from the other kids. My freakdom even extended to other forms of household media. "What do you MEAN there are more than six TV channels!?" I felt cheated, and to add insult to injury, I didn't see an episode of Saved By the Bell until I was 14.

But obviously, my parents did something right, because my life has reached its pinnacle — Joe's letting me close the store tonight, AND I get to announce a delicious little piece of news a la NPR, AND someone ate enough crazy for breakfast to let me post it on this fine internet establishment known as TMT.

Behold: NPR Music Online! Wanna feast your ears on that live Sleater-Kinney show from the 9:30 Club? Done. Got an inexplicable urge to hear Fiona Apple discuss why she is neither a Fiona nor an Apple? Baby, you got it. And of course, there are opera & orchestral tunes a-plenty, because come on, this is NPR. (Disclaimer #2: I happen to love those philharmonic jams. Stravinsky is a neo-classical rock star, and I'll bean y'all over the head with my cello bow if you disagree.)

Moment of truth: not all tracks will be totally free 'n' easy, but hey, we can dream, right? And if you've really got beef, feel free to create a clever username (e.g. ITotallyHeartTerriGross, MorningEditionIsMyBoyfriend) and practice your free speech privs on their shiny new message board. You may or may not see me there, and my handle may or may not be IraGlassIsMyBoy.

Uh, I mean — just kidding?

“There is a Rumbling in my Tummy,” says Boris. Tour.

"What will it be this time? Should I bring weed? Maybe shrooms or acid? Oh shit, what if I had some ecstasy? Fuck that shit, man, just take some crystal meth and die without even knowing." How to make your life more exciting? Maybe even your sex life more exciting? OR! Common first thoughts before going to your first Boris show? (Don't be ashamed; they were mine. For all three.)

I've always wondered why one would want to go to a show if one had to wear earplugs to enjoy it. What drives a person to willingly place themselves in harm's way, solely for the sake of entertainment?! Why is Japan so much cooler than America? Why do people think it is? Where will I go after I die? Why do people order multiple Big Macs and then a large Diet Coke to go with it? When will there be a form of entertainment that combines musical and visual art into one extraordinary form of "uber-art"? The answers for all these questions and more I have found throughout Boris' genre-extensive discography. Leaving these questions for an inferior deity to answer could lead to severe moral decay and oftentimes you will lead a horrible life of skewed perceptions.

Thinking back to my first experience of sludge/doom metal, all I can remember is the sheer volume of amps stacked up — a literal wall of amps. I remember being told to wear earplugs. I remember an enormous tension analogous to riding on a rollercoaster and being at the second-before-the-peak where you can see down, and instead of safely being pulled up before reaching four Gs, you plummet downward through a piano wire attached across your path at just the height to cut your head off (it happened at a Six Flags, I swear), yet you are still aware of yourself and surroundings and you can even still feel the pain when your face gets lost in the sweet, gooey ice-cream spill on the scratchy cement sidewalk. You never recover from the agonizing pain. It's called tinnitus. Regardless of the repercussions, fans of noise, drone, ambient, sludge, doom, stoner metal, and poppy speed metal UNITE! And defend that one album of Boris, which you cherish so dearly, to the ignorant fans of only Boris' Pink [TMT Review]. Because that is not Boris. That is some fucked up, BOSS shit, mang.

Will this sell out?!?!:

09.05.06 – Birmingham, AL – The Bottle Tree
09.06.06 – Athens, GA – Calendonia Lounge %
09.07.06 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl %
09.08.06 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel %
09.09.06 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 %
09.10.06 – Baltimore, MD – The Ottobar %
09.11.06 – Brooklyn, NY – North Six %
09.12.06 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory %
09.13.06 – Boston, MA – Middle East %

A WHOLE MONTH IN BETWEEN! THEY COULD BE IN YOUR HOMETOWN! OR ANYWHERE! (actually, they're in Tokyo for three days)
10.12.06 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
10.13.06 – Olympia, WA – Manium
10.14.06 – Portland, OR – Satyricon
10.15.06 – Eugene, OR – TBC
10.18.06 – San Francisco, CA – Slim's
10.19.06 – Visalia, CA – Howie and Sons
10.20.06 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex

% w/ Pearls and Brass

Sunn 0))) and Boris collaboration Altar tracklist:

1. Etna
2. N.L.T.
3. The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)
4. Akuma No Kuma
5. Fried Eagle Mind
6. Blood Swamp

Dear Mika Miko, Do You Like mrboots? Circle Yes or No.

You should really go see Mika Miko. They're this, like, really good, like, punky girl band. They're on Kill Rock Stars, like, this really great label from, like, Washington I think. And they put out this awesome album, CYSLABF, a while ago and it's really killer. Like, it sounds like a combination of, like, no wave and maybe, like, a little bit of The Rezillos or something. These chicks fucking rock, like, so what do you think, are you going to go? What do you mean you're busy? Too busy for what, a really great show? No, whatever, fuck you. That's so much bullshit. You wonder why bands never come to your town — this is why. Oh, fuck you. Maybe Mika should stop wasting their time on fucking Cambridge and tour 1979, when people knew good music, instead. Fuck off.

Hey, baby. I like, tried to get the word about the show. No, don't worry about these fucks. They're just a bunch of assholes. See, this is what I mean baby; no one understands you like I do. I love you. I love you. Why can't you see that? It's us against them, baby. What do you mean I'm holding you too tight? I just love you so much. Stop it. What are you doing? Aw, god! Why do you hate me? What do you mean? No, no, baby, keep cool, you're the boss. Don't call shit, don't do shit. I just get so upset when they don't understand us. We're cool. I just love you so much.

Don't worry, I already have Hep C:

09.04.06 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge +
09.05.06 - Denver, CO - Rock Island +
09.07.06 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue +
09.08.06 - Madison, WI - The Annex +
09.09.06 - Chicago, IL - Metro +
09.10.06 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop +
09.12.06 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse +
09.13.06 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza +
09.14.06 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East +
09.15.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church ^
09.16.06 - Washington DC - Black Cat +
09.17.06 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar +
09.19.06 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn >
09.20.06 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon >
09.21.06 - Houston, TX - Walters >
09.22.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's >
09.23.06 - Denton, TX - Hailey's >
09.25.06 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad >
09.26.06 - Tucson, AZ - Plush >
09.27.06 - San Diego, CA - Casbah >
09.28.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour >
09.29.06 - Pomona, CA - Glasshouse >
09.30.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill >
10.01.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill >

+ w/ Erase Errata, Gossip
^ w/ Gossip, UV Protection
>w/ Gossip, Swan Island

The Creeping Nobodies Are Right; They Ain’t Shit!!!

Yeah, you heard me!! Just because you've been a dissonant whoa-kinda-pop in a reality check world band for five years, and you're from Toronto and you just released a pretty sweet album called Sound of Joy (on Blocks Recording Club) doesn't mean I'm gonnA WEAR YOUR BUTTon!!! AW SHIT, MY KEYBoard is broKE AGAIN!!! CREEPING NOBODIES, WHY CAN'T YOU releASE a creeping nobodieS-BRAND KEYBOARD??? OH, YOU got a 12" TOUR ONLY SPLIT WITH Anagram?!?!?! that doesn't DO ME aNY GOOD!!!!!!!

and none of these DATES are even neAR ME... why DO You expect me to care?!?!

09.06.06 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place (w/ Ho-ag)
09.07.06 - Pittsburgh, PA - ON place
09.08.06 - Indianapolis, IN - TBA
09.10.06 - St. Louis, MO - Lemp Neighbourhood Arts Center
09.12.06 - Denver, CO - Monkey Mania (w/ Grim Hut)
09.14.06 - Spokane, WA - Rock Coffee *
09.15.06 - Olympia, WA - Manium *
09.16.06 - Portland, OR - Rotture *
09.17.06 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern (w/ Matty Rue Morgue, A Particularly Vicious Rumor)
09.19.06 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo #
09.20.06 - San Diego, CA - Ché Café (w/ Kittycat Lollipop)
09.21.06 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
09.23.06 - Fort Worth, TX - Metrognome (w/ Blonde Girls, Nouns Group, Idi Amin)
09.24.06 - Houston, TX - White Swan (w/ The Wiggins)
09.25.06 - New Orleans, LA - Dragon’s Den
09.26.06 - Nashville, TN - TBA
09.27.06 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light (w/ Dirty Knees)
09.28.06 - Charleston/Mt. Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
09.29.06 - Greenville, NC - Spazzatorium
09.30.06 - Washington, DC - Warehouse Next Door (w/ Magic People, Sentai, Bird Noises)
10.01.06 - Philadelphia, PA - The Big Pink ^
10.02.06 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Vassar College ^
10.04.06 - Brooklyn, NY -ToddP show www.toddpnyc.com ^
10.05.06 - Boston, MA - O’Brien’s ^
10.07.06 - Montreal, QC - Divin Orange - Pop Montreal %
10.13.06 - Toronto, ON - The Silver Dollar %
10.14.06 - Oshawa, ON - The Velvet Elvis %
10.19.06 - Waterloo, ON - The Grad House %
10.20.06 - Guelph, ON - Albion %
10.21.06 - Ottawa, ON - TBA %
10.27.06 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo (w/ Fucked Up (Fucked Up 12" release))

* with Old Time Relijun
# with Indian Jewelry
^ with Crystal Clyffs
% with Anagram

stop calling me, PLEASE!!!!!

Prurient and Air Conditioning and FFH Collaborate on “Trampling the Meanness” Tour; John Mark Karr Arrested For Removing Dominick Fernow’s Shirt

Prurient, aka Fernow, who runs Hospital Productions, is teaming up with Allentown, PA's favorite battleship crash Air Conditioning and NYC's abbreviated F.F.H. (Richard Dunn, who did Vegas Martyrs with Fernow) for an annihilating collaborative set a little bit outta the Northeast and a sqweeny bit into the Midwest this week.

Air Conditioning are all systems puke, and it breaks my heart to say we overlooked their superior Weakness full-length in 2004. Oh, and we also overlooked Prurient's excellent Black Vase double LP last year. Uh... and we didn't even know about F.F.H.'s Silenced Whore cassette, but some people are all "blah blah rave rave it's like a bunch of scary" on it. So now that we aired that out — that we stink at covering these dudes — we just gotta come out and admit it: we hate noise. Long live Islands.

Islands Tourdates (WE WISH):

09.01.06 - Cincinnati, OH - Sudsy Malones @
09.02.06 - St. Louis, MO - Spooky Action Place
09.03.06 - Iowa City, IA - Hall Mall #
09.04.06 - Chicago, IL - Mister City $
09.05.06 - Detroit, MI - Behind the Green Door %
09.06.06 - Brooklyn, NY - 289 Kent Ave (btwn s1 and s2) ^

@ w/ Burning Star Core and Realicide
# w/ Scalpels, Binges and more
$ w/ Bloodyminded, Wilt, Its a Trap, and I Am the Liquor
% w/ Cleanse!!!
^ w/ Malkuth, Withdrawal Method

Oh, and by the way: Malkuth is definitely members of No-Neck Blues Band playing black metal. I wish I had more to say about it... but sand has already covered up my laptop screen. (That's right! I edit TMT while sitting on a beach drinkin' Corona listening to Return to the Sea!!!!)

Photo: Kunstencentrum



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