YouTube Becomes a Hater, Bans NYOIL’s Video

A story has been brewing the past few days in the Blog-o-Blag-o-Sphere, and this very moment seemed like the most appropriate time to bring it to you. So how are you anyway? Did you get a chance to listen to that new Tipper album yet? It's pretty fly. I enjoy its serenity while I spend countless hours writing code. Thanks Filmore. Shit... the story. Sorry about that.

So this is one of those ditties where first-hand experience would be a huge asset, but as a white kid who grew up in a predominately white community, I'm not really comfortable making any comments on the content of the video released by up-and-comer NYOIL. I will, however, agree that the black community seems to be in a rough place, and it's probably true that commercial rap is not helping the situation. Lynching people is obviously not the answer, and calling for the mass hanging of many visible members of the black community is probably not the best way to draw attention to your cause. NYOIL's supposed mission is to embody an ideal and remain faceless in the community. He claims that by not trying to become an icon himself it will allow him to speak for others who share the same viewpoints but can't afford the negative publicity. His main goal is to become the catalyst for a renewed sense of awareness in the community and to draw as much attention as possible in the process.

And YouTube took notice. Following nearly 5,000 page views in a single day, the powers-that-be canned NYOIL's video. The artist followed up the alleged censorship with a few e-mails looking for an explanation, but as of writing this he has yet to receive a response. In an interview with Unkut.com, NYOIL has this to say about the ban: "Why would a song like 'Y'all should all get lynched' be more troublesome to YouTube than the thousands of videos of underage black girls and white girls alike doing jigglit videos? Doesn't that sort of imply child pornography? That doesn't strike you as odd that of all the filth on that site one of the things that they are diligent about is a song that is in essence reminding the people of the sacrifices that were made and to live up to them?"

This entire brouhaha is reminiscent of the KMD fiasco of 1994, where Elektra refused to release Black Bastards due to the Sambo character hanging on the front cover. Years later, the album would be released to little-or-no controversy, but this situation may not mirror KMD's due to some key differences. First, with YouTube you see the video before it's censored; and secondly, NYOIL is dead serious. The remainder of his interview with Unkut reveals that he's speaking in the literal sense about lynching those who reinforce negative stereotypes and become caricatures themselves in the process, which lends a shred of credibility to YouTube for taking down the video.

Unfortunately, it doesn't entirely excuse them for censoring the video in the first place (if that's what they did). You can agree or disagree with NYOIL's politics, but removing the content he created without an explanation smells of the new financial backers leaning on YouTube to remove content that has the potential to snowball into their bottom lines. This is only speculation, of course, by some geek who spends entirely too much time on the Inter-Tubes. Take that as you will.

Eat True Ovary: Avey Tare is Going Solo This November

It seems like a lot of people these days are too cool to play board games, and to those people I say "Shut up, hippie." Unfortunately, it seems like the adrenaline-laden Monopoly battles that remain set in mid-play for weeks on end in the middle of the kitchen table are losing out to newer and flashier games, such as Street Fighter 2: Turbo and NHL '95. My daddy and granddaddy didn't fight the French in the Siberian wilderness so you could waste your freedom listening to FM radio and sniffing glue! Cut your hair and learn to play a real game, for God's sake!

One of the all-time greats is, of course, Scrabble. After several heated matches with a co-worker on lunch breaks, the game has finally seeped from the tiles through my fingertips and into my bloodstream, so that I no longer pump blood through my veins but rather anagrams. I don't dream of flying or casual sex with Kevin Federline or whatever the rest of society dreams about - I dream of the possibility of a triple word score, or, one perfect day: using all seven letters at once and getting that elusive 50-point bonus I've been wanting for so long.

I think that might help explain why, while trying to write an article on an upcoming Avey Tare tour, I can't help but find myself reflexively rearranging the letters of as many words as I can get my eyes on - for example, did you know that "Tiny Mix Tapes" converts into "I am spiny text?" A.T.'s label, "Paw Tracks," on whose website the tour was recently announced, becomes "Wart packs" when just a few letters are switched around. "Touring in like three weeks or so" becomes "sewer hookers like intrigue - not." The possibilities are endless, except with "Avey Tare", which doesn't really rearrange into anything remotely interesting.

Sharpen y'all's minds and bring them to the following tour stops:

11.26.06 - New York, New York - Tonic
11.27.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11.29.06 - Providence, RI - AS220
11.30.06 - Toronto, Canada - Sneaky Dee's
12.01.06 - Montreal, Canada - Main Hall
12.02.06 - Ottawa, Canada - Mavericks

$ - w/ Beach House and Over The Atlantic
% - w/ Peter Wright and Antony Milton

The very first tattoo I ever got was that of a Trans Am on my back. This thing was huge. I got home, took off my shirt, and showed it to my mom. Her name was under it in old English lettering, "La Chaguis." She hated it and kicked me out of her home. That Trans Am tattoo was the best thing to happen to me, aside from birth control (and TMT, of course).

Speaking of abortions, schizometric synthpop band Trans Am will be going on tour. After a one-off show later this year and a couple in February, this righteous trio will embark on a U.S. tour next April, in support of some sort of album, because that's what bands do. The last album put out was Liberation in 2004, but I'm positive they will be possibly and probably be playing new music. They have to have some surprises up their sleeves — maybe a Rumsfeld piñata, maybe smoothies for everyone. If you plan to join in on the fun, I have set up driving directions to each venue if that suits your fancy. Trannies, my work here is done:

12.30.06 – San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
02.24.07 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory * early show
02.24.07 - New York, NY – Knitting Factory *# late show
04.11.07 – Charlottesville, VA. - Satellite Ballroom ^%
04.12.07 – Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 ^%
04.13.07 – Atlanta, GA - The Earl^%
04.15.07 – Birmingham, AL - Bottletree^%
04.16.07 – H Town (Houston), TX - Engine Room^%
04.16.07 – Austin, TX - Emo’s Jr.^%
04.18.07 – Tucson, AZ - Club Congress^
04.19.07 – San Diego, CA - Casbah^&
04.20.07 – Los Angeles, CA - Troubador^&
04.22.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge^&
04.23.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos^&
04.24.07 - Vancouver, BC - Richards on Richards^&
04.27.07 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Club^%
04.28.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle^%
04.29.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick^%
04.30.07 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace^%
05.01.07 - Montreal, PQ - La Sala Rossa^%
05.02.07 - Boston, MA - Great Scott^%
05.04.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's^%

* with Oneida
# with Pterodactyl
^ with Zombi
% with Psychic Paramount
& with Black Taj

Bob Dylan on Billy Joel’s Broadway Crossover Success: “What Does He Have That I Don’t Have?”

Yes, I am incapable of ever moving beyond unnecessary poop jokes. And when I think of Green Day, it brings me back to fourth grade, where I first heard both the word "dookie" and the album Dookie. It wasn't long after that both Green Day and I became somewhat grown up. Billie Joe Armstrong & The Butt Puppets are still making the same kind of music that gained them the precarious title of "The Fathers of Punk," while I am still laughing at the word "dookie." It appears nothing has changed.

On December 19, Reprise will be reissuing the first two Green Day albums just in time for you to wet your Fall Out Boy panties before good ol' Saint Nick pile drives down the brick anus to deliver that Mary Kay eyeliner you put atop your wishlist. The 1991 album 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and the 1992 album Kerplunk! will be the historical context for the "Rise of Punk" for today's anarchist youth culture.

1,039 was already reissued a couple years ago and Kerplunk! was supposed to be too, until Lookout! fucked up everything. But when a major label reissues albums, that is when I start dishing out the cash. Reprise is packing 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours full of the same extra content found on the 2004 Lookout! reissue, including show flyers, nearly 20 minutes of live performances from 1990 to 1991, Billie Joe Armstrong's handwritten lyrics, and a 1991 radio interview.

It is also wise of me to inform you that Green Day is "hard" at work on their follow up to American Idiot, and their collaboration with U2, "The Saints Are Coming," was No. 27 on last week's Billboard Modern Rock chart. Green Day have a song with U2? Man, I am way out of the loop. I feel ashamed. Maybe I'm not the one who should feel ashamed, which brings me to my weekly clip of P. Diddy urinating, as it ties in with this Green Day story in no way whatsoever.

Irrelevant Clip of P. Diddy Pissing

Next week (or maybe later this week, we'll see), I will write a story about The Decemberists along with an unnecessary follow-up video of P. Diddy taking a "dookie." Oh, man!

Bob Dylan on Billy Joel’s Broadway Crossover Success: “What Does He Have That I Don’t Have?”

Attention, Broadway!

On the recent failure of the Bob Dylan Broadway Musical, which will close on November 19 after only 28 performances: Are you really and truly THAT shocked? Here's a hint: The words "Bob Dylan" and "Broadway Musical" should never ever ever be in the same sentence! These times they are a-changin' indeed, but as far I'm concerned, this smacks of the apocalypse.

STOP IT. Cease! Desist! It's enough that you decided to ruin a perfectly good Adam Sandler movie by beating the dead horse that is 1980s nostalgia, and though Billy Joel is a little more up your alley, I PROMISE that as a Long Island punk teenager, Billy was NOT doing ballet at the drive-in! I will say without a shred of doubt that John Lennon rolled in his grave at the atrocity that was Lennon, which failed because the "rock opera" is dead. Go listen to the Hair soundtrack if you're feeling nostalgic. Oh, and I can't even describe the shades of red I turned when I flipped through the latest issue of Vanity Fair and discovered that fucking High Fidelity is being subjected to Broadwayization. I absolutely, positively guarantee that Rob would have rather listened to 80 straight hours of Latin, Bulgarian, whatever fucking world music was trendy that week, than the soundtrack to RENT.

Pretty embarassing when you line it all up like that, isn't it?

Stop trying to turn theater geeks into rock stars, leave Bob Dylan alone, and do the unthinkable: write a new show. You can't let Wicked carry you forever.

Google Buys World A Coke, Then Buys World (You’ll Love This Story Because We Talk About Clear Channel)

The Economist recently wrote of Google's acquisition of popular video site YouTube: "This week's pairing of Google and YouTube may come to be remembered as the moment 'Web 2.0' came of age." Web 2.0 is a catchy phrase that describes the emergence of things like RSS, dynamic webpages, community-driven content, and web-based applications. The phrase, which has been criticized as a buzzword, does have some merit. It refers to the second generation of the Internet (which you are on!) after the wonderful dot-com bust.

The article makes reference to the AOL-Time Warner merger that "came to symbolize that era's excesses"; now, Google has emerged as the latest company to expand its grasp on tech communications. Google has been snatching up small companies for web-based applications and new search technologies, but the YouTube buy-out was a big step. Now, according to FMQB.com, experts are hinting that the search czar (tsar) could be purchasing a minority stake in Clear Channel.

Clear Channel "has been surrounded by talks of a potential buyout," and some market analysts feel Google could be in the market for a part of the historically well-liked radio giant. Google, apparently, is looking to expand into the local advertising business, and radio would indeed do that. Google wouldn't need to buy much of a stake, as little as 5%, to maintain an interest locally, according to FMQB.

Of course, these are just rumors. Google may never purchase a piece of Clear Channel, or it might. Who knows? I suppose we could Google (search) it, but I'm assured by the company that its servers would implode. Even if nothing happens, it is very interesting to see the power of Google. The friendly giant is becoming an enormous threat to Microsoft, and Yahoo! is rushing to compete. Many industry analysts have commented that Google is all over the place, creating too many new areas for it to dangle its feet in, often to compete with (or irritate) Microsoft. But now, with its purchase of YouTube, as The Economist suggests, "Google [being] prepared to buy, rather than build, market leadership marks a big strategic change." This only seems more telling in a growing effort for Google to expand into a much larger arena, even with rumors of interest in Clear Channel.

  

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