Willowz Cracking Down on Promo-CD Freeloaders; Not Coincidentally, Skulls Will be Cracked

Willowz: [adopting the accent and tone of Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, from The Sopranos] Heyyyy Grant, how are ya sport! Nice eyelineah, Nancy boiiii! Say, you reviewed our new CD yet?

Grant: What? I--... no.

Willowz: Curious. We sent yas the CD eight montts ago!

Grant: I know, I know. Actually, I’m kind of relieved to see you because I’ve been meaning to tell you that I dig Chataqua a lot, seriously.

Willowz: Tanks. I wish it didn’t require a ‘seriously,’ but tanks.

Grant: I’m just sayin’ you know, in case you thought I was dodgin’ ya. [laughs nervously]

Willowz: Oh, and what would give us that idea? [punches Grant straight in the gravy basket, cracks him on the face with a roundhouse left, then gives our beleaguered reporter a toe-punch to the stomach] Fackin’ deadbeat.

Grant: I’m-sorry I’m-sorry, look, maybe I can write a news story [cough, gasp] or... I dunno, recommend it to my [spit bloody loogy]... friends.

Willowz: Yeah, ye’re gonna recommend it tah yah friends AN relatives [another kick, more gentle this time, which I appreciate], am I making myself cleah? Othahwise I scoop out ya eyes like a coupla pitted olives I’d find in a nice antipaste... you know, ‘cause I like ta eat. You’ve seen my show.

Grant: Yes, you could even say I’ve borrowed ideas from the show quite a bit. And yes sir, I’ll get right on that. I won’t come up short next time... in fact, how about this; next time I review a Willowz CD, I’ll add two points.

Willowz: Tree!

Grant: That I can’t do.

Willowz: G, I’ms askin’ you ta reconsidah!

Grant: Well, ok. Now, I’m off to pick up some mozzarella...

Willowz: Woah-ho-ho Ernhawt, slow down, ain’t you forgettin’ somethin’? I mean, you’s gonna mention da’ touah too, right?

Grant: The... wha--.... the what?

Willowz: THE TOUAH, THE TOUAH... the TOUah.

Grant: Oh right. But how will I write a Tour News story without everyone knowing that a well-known gangster stereotype has coerced me into it?

Willowz: I’m sure you’ll think a somethin’. Fackin’ deadbeat.

And so it goes:

* w/ The Detroit Cobras

The Cure to Tour This September in Support of Pending Release, Titled Maybe We’re Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline!; Tyra Banks to Bitch Slap Cover Girl Execs for Losing Album Title Plug to Better-Taglined Makeup Rival; America’s Next Top Model Girls To Put Tyra Out of Her Marginally Overweight Misery

NOTE: Included are three letters written to those most likely to be emotionally, spiritually, and seriously, honestly, sincerely, affected by news of The Cure’s fall tour and pending album release.

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1

Dear Billie Joe Armstrong,

Grab a figurative tissue for those raccoon eyes. You’re about to go Wake Me Up When September Ends* on us.

Your trailblazing predecessors, i.e., those who wore smudgy black eyeliner before you, i.e. The Cure, are set to start touring this September.

The thing is, after giving your rabble-rousing, life-changing, rock-and-fucking-rolling American Idiot album an oh-so-righteous spin, it seems you’ve already got plans hiding under the sheets all September, being drenched in your pain (again?) and becoming who you are. Oh, man!

Please accept these from me to you for the long, hard, soul-emptying month o’ depression. I’m sincerely sorry you’re missing The Cure’s first month of touring! Maybe you’ll buy the album they’re releasing? Maybe we’ll go see them in October, when you wake up?

Lunch date, soon, okay?

* Re: a whiny, shrill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-watching, diary-keeping, Ben & Jerry-binging, "it’s that time of the month" brand of bitchy. No, seriously, though. You taught us, Billie! WAR IS SENSELESS! Now that you’ve earned a “Renegade of the Year” title from Rolling Stone given the wild success of your CONCEPT ALBUM!, trumpeting such incendiary Jesus of Suburbia musings, I GET THAT WAR IS SENSELESS, not to trust my government, and to subsequently question whether you are in fact the Christ to Bono’s God the Father. Amen, peace be with you. Seriously.

XOXO,

TMT

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2

Dear Tyra Banks,

The Cure looks better in eye makeup.

Okay, I’m kidding. You don’t look a little rough next to the girls on America’s Next Top Model, not at all. Not even when you wear weird headbands. Never. Especially not then.

Look, a cheeseburger!

Kidding. Honestly. You totally have three or so hot points on Kirstie Alley.

Go see The Cure. In spirit of eyeliner! Makeup tips for da’ models? For you?

XOXO,

TMT

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3

Dear Everyone,

Anything signed XOXO, TMT can be assumed to mean AJ Pacitti and in no way reflects Mr P’s stance on the world at large, Tyra Banks, or Kirstie Alley.

THE REAL DEAL: The Cure’s album, still no word on its name, is set for release sometime this fall.

As for the tour, tickets went on sale yesterday (Thursday), and are now available. 65 Days of Static are slotted as the opening gig for The Cure (including Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, and Porl Thompson).

Eyeliner is always sexy, Kirstie Alley rarely is:

Tim Kinsella to Leave the Neighborhood of Make Believe, Daniel Striped Tiger Relieved

Sure, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood NOW, but don’t get too used to all of those good vibes and happy tunes, kids. Because even as we speak, the top handpuppet himself is packing his bags, hugging Lady Elaine goodbye, and taking the last red-eye trolley the fuck out of that whimsical, little fantasy land.

That’s right, boys and girls. King Frida... er, uh... I mean, Tim Kinsella himself has recently announced that he is not long for the world of Make Believe.

Kinsella, fastidious frontman/screwball singer of longtime love-‘em-or-hate-‘em anti-band Joan of Arc, has been handling singing duties in the slightly more straightforward (“straightforward” of course for the Kinsella Clan being a relative term) noisy math-rock project Make Believe since 2003. The supergroup of sorts contained members of the same seemingly revolving-door music club that produced great fan-polarizers like Cap’n Jazz, Owls, Joan of Arc, etc. and had just completed the writing for their whopping third full-length record in as many years when T-Kin dropped the bomb via the, shall-we-say “minimalist” Joan of Arc website that he’d be resigning his duties after the new record is finished.

“The new record is written and it sounds great to me; I have been very excited about the songs and have put a lot of work into getting my contributions for them together,” Kinsella posted last week. “But I know once the record is recorded I would be miserable if I had to go on tour and continue the rock band lifestyle which I have felt less and less connection to for a long while now.” Well, if nothing else, it’s good to see that, like any neighborhood of Make Believe resident worth his button-nose, Kinsella is in bigtime touch with his feelings.

The frazzled frontman continued: “I really like my wife a lot. And puttering about the house making weird stuff all day means everything to me. And I feel a strong sense of community at home that means a lot to me, and though I know I have been very lucky to have had the opportunities to travel, I really enjoy leaving Chicago less and less all the time.

“Being a sort of bizzaro David Lee Roth or whatever is kind of fun and fulfilling in some sort of way, but not something I have in me to prioritize enough to commit the time to that the band would require of me. And I don't want to let my friends down and hold them back from doing what they want to be doing. By leaving the group now, while the songs for the new record are still in pliable forms, they can finish the record without me and then be able to tour in support of it and continue onward in whatever new form they come up with.”

Wait. Soooo... is he saying that he doesn’t want to be “just a gigolo” anymore? Either way, for those concerned about Diamond Dave Jr.’s place in his day-job band Joan of Arc, have no fear. You haven’t heard the last of them.

“I have a pile of new songs to pull from for a new Joan of Arc record and am looking forward to having time to develop them in the fall, but I am also looking forward to taking my time and going into hermit-mode for awhile.”

Well, Tim, what can we say? The neighborhood will never be quite so beautiful without your brightly-colored tunics. Maybe we’ll see you around down by the Museum-Go-Round sometime? Oh, and best of luck “puttering about the house making weird stuff” and all of that. God bless that wife of yours. She must be a real saint...

Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla boobuhla

Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla bop!

Stars Announce New Album; TMT Still Hung Up On The Last One

In May 2007, Stars released Do You Trust Your Friends?, an album of guest remixes by a number of the band’s favorite musicians. Some critics loved it, some critics hated it. We didn’t review it, but I still thought it was pretty good. So, in that ‘do you trust your friends’ spirit, I present the following text written by my friend Meg:

He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not. So, if you are a preteen ogling over the boy who tripped you at the planetarium on last week’s fieldtrip, all you get out of this is a few dead daisies and an inconclusive probability. If you are the Canadian Arts & Crafts band Stars, however, you’ve got the basis for every superstructure song-to-be that’s ever graced one of your album’s track lists. The exciting part is, this perpetually lovelorn foursome are getting ready to release a whole new bouquet for our enjoyment coming up on September 25th of this year. So what’s to expect? The album, entitled In Our Bedroom After the War, invites the conclusion that this release (note track titles) will continue to spin narratives worthy of Updike-esque romantic proportions; rife with hesitation and excitement, thrill and lust, and, of course, awkward entrapment with ex-lovers in tiny enclosed spaces. For a band that has consistently captured the charts and minds of the indie music scene, its release is nothing less than highly anticipated. My prediction? Get ready to sigh, stare off in memory’s dramatic rapture, and unbury the ex’s old t-shirt to wear as pajamas along with the rest of the alternative listening community as we immerse ourselves in what will prove to be another beautiful entanglement of precious melodics and lyrical he-said she-said excellence. Until then? Uncover the recently remixed versions of Stars’ songs on their highly unlocatable project Do You Trust Your Friends? And as for my predictions? Well…you can ask yourself the same question.

Tracklist:

Tourdates:
09.06.07 – Grand Rapids, MI – Calvin College Fine Arts Center
09.08.07 –Montreal, QC – Osheaga Festival
09.09.07 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Festival

Ween Release Friends EP, Plan LP, Wash Balls ‘Til Smooth Like Silk

In an unprecedentedly trashy business move, Interscope Geffen A&M (Time Warner BMG Nabisco CIA) announced this week that it will team up with Drinks Americas Holdings to produce a line of drinks branded with the name of a hot new Interscope artist. Together, the two unfortunately-named companies will develop concepts and marketing approaches -- though based on my suggestions in the headline, they could really cut their work in half by hiring me.

Drinks Americas Holdings already has a long and storied history in the field of novelty beverages: Donald Trump Super Premium Vodka and Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon didn't just appear in your pantry from nowhere, you see. According to the company (which is always a good place to go for any cold, hard facts), the liquified essence of Trump will have sold 100,000 cases by the end of its first year.

The lucky Interscope artists have not yet been revealed, but a number of possibilities have been hinted at and given the "wink wink" when asked about. Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent (try, try again!), Busta Rhymes, G-Unit, Daddy Yankee, Sheryl Crow, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Cornell, and Gwen Stefani are all viable possibilities, and it is a testament to both companies that they've chosen a list of artists that could have been developed (and would have made more sense) nearly five years ago. The fate of Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" Rum seems very uncertain and shaky. Nearly as shaky as the person who downs a whole bottle of it by themself and tears into a double-time rendition of "If It Makes You Happy."

J. Patrick Kenny, CEO of Drinks Americas, said, "There is a large opportunity here for both companies to generate substantial incremental revenue and profits and create valuable assets." Golly, that sounds delicious! Just make sure these drinks bear no similarities to the Powerpuff Girls-themed bottle of "Belly Washers" I tried once and later heaved back out into the sink. Pay a little bit closer attention to the ingredients this time... please?

Ween Release Friends EP, Plan LP, Wash Balls ‘Til Smooth Like Silk

At a certain point in a band’s career, if they stick it out long enough, if they deal with the bullshit critics and the fickle kids, they’ll get a free license to be mediocre, lazy, or just plain suck every once and a while. It’s like being a good-band emeritus, a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card. Like Buddy Cianci -- we know you never stopped caring about Providence, so what’s a little assault between friends. For example, let’s consider all those albums in-between SMiLE (’66) and SMiLE (’04) taken care of. Idlewho? I’m already over it. And all those bad ’80s albums by legendary rockers. I know you couldn’t resist when the engineer said all the cool cats made their drums sound like that, so we’ll let it slide.

Then there’s these guys. Ween can afford to be bad. Why? Let’s look at the evidence.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

That said, I’ve got no opinion one way or the other on their new Friends EP. I’m just saying they’ve earned a little slack. Ween say this fall they’ll release a full-length album on a “real” label, which will be a distilled version of the “well over 50 or 60 songs” they recently laid out at their 24-track, 2-inch tape-equipped farmhouse. This one’s on Chocodog: