Wu-Tang’s NOT the First-Ever Group to Secure a Beatles Sample, Delays Release Date of New LP

Fiction: Wu-Tang is the "first-ever" group to secure a Beatles sample.

Fact: You can hear Beatles sampled on The Beastie Boys' legally released "The Sounds of Science." Plus, Ja Rule got clearance to sample "Eleanor Rigby" for his new album, The Mirror, due November 13. (You can hear way more on The Grey Album by Danger Mouse. But this one's illegal.)

Fiction: Wu-Tang sampled "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for their track titled "The Heart Gently Weeps."

Fact: It's technically a composition sample, not a master sample. It is also referred to as an "interpolation."

Fiction: Erykah Badu, John Frusciante, and Danny Harrison -- George Harrison's son -- guest on the track.

Fact: It's "Dhani," not "Danny," FYI Wu-Tang.

Fiction: Wu-Tang's The 8 Diagrams comes out November 13.

Fact: The release date has been moved to December 4. According to P, our writer Nick Marx is reviewing it.

Fiction: The album will be released via Secretly Canadian (with a sample of a Phosphorescent song. JK).

Fact: Loud will release it, not SC, silly.

Fiction: TMT has done one of these fact/fiction stories before.

Fact: It's so true!

Dan Deacon Cancels Select Tourdates, But His Name Is Alive

It ain't easy being cheesy, and it's even harder being Dan Deacon (TMT Interview). Touring like a motherfucker for the better part of this year, Deacon recently announced the cancellation of select dates on his current tour due to exhaustion. The affected cities are Oberlin (OH), St. Louis (MO), Grinnell (IA), and Kansas City (MO), and possibly Brooklyn (NY). Yeah, I know! Very upsetting. But very understandable, too, right patient, sympathetic, sexy reader?

So, the question now is what are you going to do instead of going to the Dan Deacon show? TMT has compiled a list of activities that we endorse:

- Fly a kite. Nothing says "fuck you Deacon" like flying a kite.
- Eat some cereal. Shit's good. Use lactose-free milk if you get the squirts.
- Dry your laundry on a clothesline. Who said being eco-friendly wasn't cool?
- Masturbate. It's healthy. Don't be ashamed of your body. Get to know it.
- Practice your speech. Public speaking is vital to your future success.
- Order In Rainbows. Chris Martin will. You should too.
- Write Dan Deacon a sympathy note. He needs your encouragement.
- Fly another kite. Nothing says "fuck you Deacon" like a symmetrical task list.

Be sure to check his MySpace for any future updates regarding his exhaustion.

Portishead Still Mixing Album, Confirm GZA and Silver Apples for ATP, Says “Swindon lot are shit”

I have a problem with Portishead. The group recently announced that they are mixing their forthcoming album and are still making minor adjustments here and there -- sure, fine, cool. The problem I have is not with what was said, but how they said it. Let me refer you to a blog post on Portishead's official website:

"hello we have mixed all the tracks and the whole album is shit, so were going to start all over again. ok only kidding...sorry ! its sound pretty good but we have to go back to a few things in the next few weeks though. it sound pretty different from what we have done before i dont think the fondue society will be happy oh well , like the bee joke ends....... fuk em bye geoff"

I don't know about you, but I think Portishead's blog needs a good editor. Like, for example, me. Here's how I would've posted the news:

"Hello, friends of Portishead! Thanks for visiting our website. We have mixed down all the tracks for the forthcoming new album, and it doesn't quite sound magnificent enough, so we're going to start from scratch, like a pastry cook unsatisfied with his/her delectable treat. Only kidding! It sounds 'decent,' like recent Mogwai albums, but we'd like to take another shot -- like a gun at a driving range or a needle at the doctor's office -- in the next few weeks. It sounds pretty different from our first two AMAZING releases, and we're very excited to get this album finished (like a good book) so all of you can hear what we've been working on. I thank you again for visiting this blog. We'll make sure to give you an update as soon as we have something worthwhile to say, kinda like how TMT updates you throughout the day with news now. Love, Geoff."

Better, huh? Man, my editing skills are impeccable. Oh, almost forgot! I snuck into the studio yesterday and took a snapshot of Beth:

It's hard to tell from the picture since it's black and white, but it appears that she was in the middle of coming up with a word to rhyme with "epidermis."

Meanwhile, Portishead recently confirmed both Silver Apples and GZA/Genius (Wu-Tang, bitch) to play the Portishead-curated Nightmare Before Christmas ATP. They'll be joining artists like Aphex Twin, Glenn "Raise the Muthafuckin' Ruckus" Branca, Sunn 0))), Oren Ambarchi, Sparklehorse, and Oneida.

Hey, once they're done with the album, they should totally release it within 10 days and let consumers pay whatever price they want. Yeah? YEAH!! STROKE ME! YES! YES! RIGHT THERE RIGHT THERE!! RUB RUB RUB!! DON'T YOU STOP!!!

SPLOOGE.

Icelandic heartthrobs Sigur Rós have four shiny new discs all prepped and ready to spray over your glistening body one fine morning, but word now has it that the shower of circular rainbow plastic will be coming in two spurts. In the interval, you can... lather yourself with Anticipation brand shampoo?

Let's abandon the shower metaphor. As was previously announced, a 2-CD album called Hvarf-Heim (bless you!) is slated for release on November 6 and will be a mixture of new studio tracks and reworked versions of old songs. Rumor has it that Jón Þór Birgisson's main instrument during the sessions was a gently bowed pile of whale blubber. Whale blubber, as we all know, is world-renowned for its delicate, angel-in-an-outhouse sound.

As for the 2-DVD documentary/concert film Heima, the band has decided to shift its release date to November 20, giving you two extra intimate weeks alone with their new album. Filmed by Oscar-nominated director Dean DeBlois, Heima tells the story of Arlo, a trash-talking chihuahua who just might learn a thing or two when his owners send him to the strictest obedience school in the country documents the band's return to Iceland for a series of free concerts last August, playing special shows in abandoned fisheries and (dangerously) on the edges of cliffs. The second disc features a full concert in Rekjavik from the same tour, and thus cannot be called a pointless Takk-on. Yuk yuk.

Placebo Drummer Quits. Or A Deeply Personal Letter To My Editor And Lover.

P,

It's been wonderful. However, after reading that Steve Hewitt, the
drummer of Placebo, has decided to call it quits, I've decided it's
for the best that you pack your shit and leave before nightfall. Shh,
quiet, don't try making any connections; I know you may not understand,
but love is a complicated thing. Don't bother making dinner either; S. Kobak is taking me out this evening.

Honey, as you may or may not know, Placebo changed my life in middle
school, but now that I'm in college, I realize that any self-respecting
band that goes on tour with Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance
deserve to have a drummer quit. Besides, I caught you listening to that
Soulja Boy song in the shower the other night, and it made me realize
that any man who could sing "Superman those hoes" and still somehow be
a legitimately good human was impossible. So we're done.

I'm sorry, baby.

Love,

Scout

P.S. Placebo's drummer position will be replaced quickly, but your position
in my life will take a while to replace. In fact if you still wanna do
the friends with benefits thing, I'm in.

Sony BMG Merger Approved for the Second Time; “Take that, whiny bitches,” says Sony BMG rep Chris Wool

Since the merger of Sony and BMG in August 2004, the major music group has acted more like a towel over the face of the already suffocating major music industry than as a resuscitating device. Things started off with the payola scandal of 2005, in which Sony BMG (among others) was caught bribing radio DJs to promote artists like Franz Ferdinand and Jessica Simpson. It was fined $10 million. Then, of course, there was the rootkit scandal in 2005. As equally funny as the payola scandal, Sony BMG's shitty DRM software auto-installed onto the consumer's computer and auto-compromised its security. Even one of Sony BMG's uninstallation options for the rootkit made personal computers vulnerable.

Talk about bad PR. Which is probably why Sony BMG decided to skip a scandal in 2006. Or maybe because that's when Impala (indie trade association) convinced the European Union to annul the Commission's decision to clear the merger in the first place. Who has time to worry about a new scandal when the company's own marriage is skating on thin ice?

It's now October 2007, 15 months since the annulment, and the EU Commission (who earlier this year approved Universal's giant takeover of Bertelsmann's BMG publishing arm) has FINALLY announced that... the... Sony... BMG... merger... has... been... for... the... second... time... cleared. According to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes:

"This investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the commission in a merger procedure. It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets. [...] It analyzed all retail net prices, discounts and wholesale prices for all CD chart albums sold by all major record companies to all of their customers. This was an enormous exercise. We found no evidence to support any theory of actual or likely anti-competitive effects of this merger."

The investigation also supposedly offered "tangible evidence" of Sony BMG's activity since 2004, something the Commission couldn't possibly predict in its original 2004 decision to allow the merger. But with the above-mentioned scandals and the bad press that came along with it, doubts are raised as to whether or not this "tangible evidence" is truly representative of Sony BMG's potential clout.

Impala, of course, reacted strongly to the decision. The group claims the Commission ignored the Court's ruling, calling the decision "indefensible" and wondering why the merger was cleared a second time without remedies. Chairman Martin Mills said the decision ignored the "independents' evidence on anti-competitive behavior in retail, radio and television, press and the online market," according to Billboard. Meanwhile, Impala President Patrick Zelnik said "The Commission has ignored the simple fact that four companies control 95% of the music most citizens hear on the radio throughout the world. What kind of a message does this send to European citizens?"

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