RIP: Tim Krekel, songwriter/guitarist

From Rolling Stone (via Reuters):

Songwriter/guitarist Tim Krekel passed away June 24 at his home in Louisville, Kentucky after his health deteriorated following surgery for abdominal cancer, Reuters reports. He was 58. During his career, Krekel performed with Jimmy Buffett, Bo Diddley and Kris Kristofferson, serving as Buffett’s lead guitarist during the late ’70s and early ’80s and appearing on the album Son of a Son of a Sailor. Krekel released his first solo album Crazy Me in 1979, his official site writes. Artists like Canned Heat and Rick Nelson also covered Krekel’s songs. Krekel was diagnosed with cancer in March 2009, and his condition worsened over the past few months.

- Tim Krekel official page
- Tim Krekel Myspace
- Tim Krekel Wikipedia entry

Islands Promise Chest-Congestion Relief with New Album Vapours

The members of Islands, and especially newly returned drummer Jamie Thompson, have always been staunch opponents of the common cold. Everyone knows that. So, accordingly, the members have concocted a new musical statement that attempts to lessen the effects of the pesky virus.

On September 22, just when cold season is beginning to kick into high gear, ANTI- will release the band's third album, Vapours, which the band describes as “a record that flits back and forth between moody synthesizers and drum-machine-heavy beats, while remaining firmly rooted in the classic pop sensibilities and multitude of melodic hooks that Islands is known for.”

The new album/cold suppressant is produced by band maestro Nick Thorburn and Chris Coady, who has worked with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blonde Redhead, TV on The Radio, and countless other bands that you, the reader, may or may not enjoy. When I conducted a fake interview with Thorburn, he had this to say about the new album: “When you press play on the CD (or vinyl, or mp3, or Mini-Disc) an enchanting wave of effervescent relief will flow outwards from your stereo. All you need to do is breathe in the healing vapors and the cold symptoms will dissolve immediately. Also, the music will be radical.”

Mr. Thorburn also promised to go to the home of every fan and quietly rub their chest until they peacefully fall asleep, just like Mom used to do.

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Round Up: Air Announces Fifth LP Slated For October, Walkmen dates with Cass McCombs, Arctic Monkeys US Dates, Michael Gira Sells Drawings

- Frenchie duo Air announced plans to release their fifth record Love 2 October 6 via Astralwerks. The band will also embark on a European tour sometime in the beginning of next year and a U.S. tour in the spring.

- The Walkmen are doing a mini tour with Cass McCombs. The Walkmen will first perform at both Benicassim Festival (Barcelona, Spain) and Super Bock Super Rock (Lisbon, Portugal) before heading off on a small five-date tour with McCombs. They’ll be hitting up Milwaukee, Cincinnati, the Cleve, Toronto and Pittsburgh. The Walkmen also have some Chicago and New York City dates. Check out the dates on the band’s MySpace page.

- Arctic Monkeys are releasing their third album Humbug on August 25, 2009 and playing a few U.S. dates in support. This August, you can catch the band at various festivals and clubs in the Jerz, Montreal, New York, Boston, and Chicago. If you’re in the UK, they’ll be playing both Leeds and Reading Festivals. Additional details can be found at the bands official website.

- Michael Gira (Young God Records, Swans, Angels of Light) is selling prints of a set of 20 drawings he completed over the last six months. The collection is called “I Am Not Insane” and is pressed on 100% recycled paper via Stumptown Printers (the same people who helped bring you the CD version of our TMT comp). More details and thumbnails of the prints can be found on the Young God website. I want #7. It reminds me of my megabeast ex-roommate.

RIP Michael Jackson, yo.

There are some things that defy explanation. Gurning, the act of contorting one’s face into something quite sinister and grotesque, is a very old pastime, laugh, and sport, with its own world championship competition held annually at the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria, England. This dude seems to win a lot, for good reason. While it may seem like the most ridiculous thing in the world, it really should be taken as a refreshing tonic if not downright soul-cleansing. How can you not forget about the foibles of people and tragedies of life when you look at this? Or this. Or this. See? The day just got a whole lot better, didn’t it?

If any music (when not doing its job repulsing you) has the same therapeutic qualities as a good gurn my vote would be for giddy viddy trio What’s Up. Just listening to Robby Moncrieff’s messed-up missives gets my Duchenne going in overdrive. Moncrieff, with conspirators Teddy Briggs and Brian Marshall, will be playing some dates with Dirty Projectors -- who were recently involved in a van accident (TMT News) -- in July (Moncrieff helped produce DP's Bitte Orca (TMT Review)) so put your best face forward and try to catch one of these too few West Coast shows. Before and after these gigs, What’s Up will strengthen their strong bond with the city of Portland with bookend shows in “Little Beirut.”

As a last resort, contort:
06.28.09 - Portland, OR - Superfest at Rotture $
07.02.09 - Vancouver, BC - Richard’s on Richards %
07.03.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey %
07.04.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene %
07.07.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent %
07.08.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour %
07.24.09 - Portland, OR - PDX Pop Now

$ Starfucker, Nice Nice, Explode Into Colors, Atole, Mattress

% Dirty Projectors

Here’s the tracklisting for What’s Up debut disc, Content Imagination (TMT Review), which was recently released by Obey Your Brain. I hate to push any sort of product in favor of another but there is no reason why you should not own this remarkably mad album.

Content Imagination:

1. Yes
2. Seasoning’s Greeting
3. Fool’s Gold
4. A Longing Expression
5. Content Imagination
6. Harper
7. The French Song

And as I mentioned, you’ll notice What’s Up dates in Portland above and one that name-checks a mysterious entity known simply as PDX Pop Now!. It would take your average, clueless halfwit three seconds to figure out that PDX Pop Now! is no mystery at all (it took me two-and-a-half days). It is a nonprofit organization working to promote Portland’s music community and it has a pretty cool compilation (available now!) that includes a lot of good tracks from good acts, including What’s Up’s “Seasoning’s Greeting.” If you haven’t bought our comp yet (why the #$@% not!), try this on for size and give some love to Portland, a city that's desperate to get something going musically (har, har).

Disc 1:

1. The Mint Chicks - "Hot on Your Heels"
2. At Dusk - "For A Reason"
3. aed & Quiet Countries - "Moving Day"
4. M. Ward - "For Beginners"
5. Luck-One and Dekk - "The Coolax"
6. Dirty Mittens - "The Dock"
7. Ethan Rose & Laura Gibson - "Sun"
8. Third Angle New Music Ensemble performing Bryan Johanson - "The Rat Catcher’s Dance"
9. The Thermals - "You Dissolve"
10. Thrones - "Trmph Lfe"
11. Mirah - "Generosity"
12. Magic Johnson - "Las Malas"
13. Chilly Willy - "Grab and Glow"
14. Ravishers - "Keep You Around"
15. Silentist - "Hex"
16. Dykeritz - "Chasing the Wheel Away"
17. Explode Into Colors - "Paper (Hot Sax Version)"
18. The Cysts - "Human Garbage"
19. Caleb Klauder - "Can I Go Home with You"
20. Plankton Wat - "Dawn of the Golden Eternity"
21. Chervona - "Reality Show"

Disc 2:

1. Jared Mees and The Grown Children - "The Tallest Building In Hell"
2. What’s Up? - "Seasoning’s Greeting"
3. Blue Skies for Black Hearts - "Jenny and Steve"
4. Starfucker - "Boy Toy"
5. Lightheaded - "HardRock"
6. Grouper - "Rising Height"
7. Lovers - "Igloos For Ojos"
8. Sandpeople - "Hate Aside"
9. Blue Giant - "Target Heart"
10. Cootie Platoon - "Divided"
11. Benoît Pioulard - "Idyll"
12. Ah Holly Fam’ly - "EIEIO"
13. Breakfast Mountain - "J Hollerday"
14. Gejius - "Let Down"
15. Tara Jane O’Neil - "Dig In" (feat. The Ecstatic Tambourine Orchestra)
16. MY-G - "Take Back Our City" (feat. Liv Warfield)
17. Bird Announced Land - "Sweet Dreams"
18. Blue Cranes - "Broken Windmills"
19. The Taxpayers - "Black Batons"

Whartscape 2009 Lineup Announced: Dan Deacon, C Spencer Yeh, Hair Police, Ponytail, Wolf Eyes, And Dozens Upon Dozens of Others to Keep the Devil Way Down in the Hole in Baltimore

Soooo I’ve been watching a whole heckload of The Wire lately, and let me tell ya’ll something, Baltimore: Even though your city and mine (St. Louis, MO) have a lot in common (governmental separation between the city and county, decaying inner city neighborhoods and schools, big fans of The Pogues), I’m scared to death of your city. Pop culture, however close The Wire may be to its apex of quality, has viciously skewed my vision of what I’m sure is a fine town.

In order to combat my HBO contracted ignorance, I think I’m just gonna have to shuffle on over to this stupid mad awesome Whartscape Festival, organized and funded entirely by all those fine folks at Wham City. Just check out this lineup: Adventure, Air Waves, AK Slaughter, Alexis Gideon, Allen Cordell, Ami Dang, Andy Abelow, Annex Theater, Art Department, At the End of Infinite Rope, Bad Brilliance, Barky, BDRM PPL, Beast Master, Bedlam Theatre, Big Bear, Bird Names, Black Vatican, Blood Baby, Blue Leader, Booge Border, Butt Stomach, C Spencer Yeh, Cars Will Burn, Celebration, Chandeliers, Charlotte and Joe, Child Bite, Child Bride, Clarissa Gregory, Connor Kizer and Adam Endres, Crazy, Dreams Band, Dan Deacon Ensemble and on and on and on and on!

That’s just the list through the D’s, people! Here’s the rest, and keep in mind even that’s just the people who are listed at the moment! Last year, over 300 bands performed at the three-day extravaganza, so get yourself a ticket quick! And boy oh boy do I mean quick. Only 300 Mega-Passes — that is, passes that’ll get you into every show — are available, and at $45 a pop, I can’t imagine those things will hang out on the shelves too much longer. But don’t fret all that much; individual day passes clock in at $18, still one steal of a deal.

Performances will be held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art Studio Center Parking Lot, and Load of Fun. America, this shit looks monster.

Oh, and a shoutout to loyal TMT reader Greg for the tip! You are as beautiful as a lotus on the Nile, young traveler!

Internet fads are like memes, which in turn are like bottle rockets in a dense neighborhood: You see them shoot up from out of nowhere, explode, and dissipate just as quickly., Gnutella, and Friendster are examples of this. Another fine example: Rapidshare. Rapidshare is one of the last holdouts of an early internet phenomenon that, though convenient, was bound to be a problem somehow: personal internet file hosting. While the concept of internet storage was appealing, it became a rather quick source of such terrific work such as viruses, malware, and child porn. Furthermore, it wasn't very profitable, with most shutting down by around 2002. RS survived out of sheer will and subscription fees and actually became slightly less popular than The Pirate Bay. That's surprising, since these days, all I see on there are porn and Naruto episodes. Or worse, Naruto porn. Eewwwww.

Now, after those early days, it was inevitable that Grandpa Copyright would come walking and flail about his oversized walking stick, breaking everything to maintain order. The "collecting society" Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte, or GEMA (I don't know how they could abbreiviate that so simply), a group of German-speaking music lobbyists, requested an injunction (their second) for the site to remove 5,000 music tracks from their collection. That request was granted this week in the Regional Court in Hamburg. The combined value of these tracks was worth €24 million (approximately $33.5 million), but does not constitute a fine against the website as previously reported by Hollywood Reporter and Billboard. Furthermore, it seems apparent that this will not completely impede the site's business.

The problem with this, however, is that the injunction explicitly asks for those files in the list (which has not been made public) to be removed. The majority of files on Rapidshare these days are archive files, many with obscure or irrelevant names. Weeding them out would take months. Furthermore, people could simply bypass this by changing the name or using a different file type other than music track files. And given the nature of the ruling, Rapidshare may continue running as a result, and thus users can still upload music tracks irregardless.

So, either this ruling was poorly done and GEMA failed to notice this or GEMA was simply paying lip service to Grandpa Copyright. Either way, this just keeps the site alive by giving it attention. There are better ways to send your friends music illegally, nowadays. Gmail, for starters.

San Francisco’s All-Ages Venues Face Government Shutdown

Going to shows at San Francisco’s all-ages venues was pretty much the only thing that got me through high school. Woe to someone else with a similar disposition starting high school this year... they might not make it out with their sanity intact. Nearly every all-ages San Francisco venue -- including The Fillmore, Great American Music Hall, and several other establishments -- are on the brink of being forced to close at the hands of California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The situation is complicated, and the ABC refuses to clarify their position, but there are a couple of things we know so far (if you don’t like reading, the contents of the next two paragraphs are summarized in this video from NBC Bay Area News).

The ABC has hounded these venues for several years about a variety of issues surrounding the requirements of maintaining an all-ages operating license. The venues say the ABC has sent in undercover agents to rack up citations and has invented regulations on the spot as evidence that the venues are creating an environment inappropriate for minors. Both the venues and their lawyers say these citations are outside the scope of law and unrelated to both safety and alcohol. The only thing keeping the venues open is the tens of thousands of dollars they have collectively poured into a legal battle against the ABC’s efforts. But with the economic downturn, these costs have become too great for the fight to continue much longer.

“Well,” you ask, “it would suck for underage fans, but can’t these places become 21+ only?” The problem is that changing the license type costs money that many of the venues simply don’t have anymore because of the legal fees. So, unless they can negotiate new license terms, many of these venues will shut their doors. Not only will there be very few places for under-21 patrons to see live music, but bands who play at venues with a capacity between 75 and 400 will have limited options in the city. San Francisco would lose revenue and potentially its relevance on the tour circuit, not to mention historical landmarks that have contributed to the city’s history for decades.

Luckily this demise is not guaranteed. The venues have dedicated legal representation, and California state senator Mark Leno has sworn to fight to keep them open. And thankfully, the venues are still putting on shows. So if you’re a Bay Area resident who loves live music, swing by an all-ages venue and see a show, buy a drink, or donate to the legal fund. Write to the city’s Board of Supervisors about why you want these venues kept open. For the sake of everyone’s 16-year-old self: help keep live music alive in San Francisco.

RIP: Michael Jackson

From the LA Times:

Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma at his Bel-Air mansion, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda told The Times that paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home. When they arrived, Jackson was not breathing.

The paramedics performed CPR and took Jackson to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said. Hundreds of reporters gathered at the hospital awaiting word on his condition. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said family members rushed to Jackson’s bedside, where he was in a deep coma.

- Michael Jackson official website
- Michael Jackson Wikipedia entry

ATP Celebrates 10th Anniversary; If My Mom Had It Her Way, There’d Be a Cosmic Bowling Party and a Jonas Brothers Birthday Cake

This year, the All Tomorrow's Parties festival is turning 10, so they’ve decided to celebrate with not only the Nightmare Before Christmas event curated by My Bloody Valentine on December 4-6, but also with a special “Ten Years of ATP” event, taking place December 11-13. No fair! For my tenth birthday, all I got was a bowling party, a new boombox, and a Silverchair CD. I guess my parents don’t have the same clout as ATP. Or maybe Daniel Johnson was busy that weekend.

Either way, the Ten Years of ATP fest will be way cooler than my tenth birthday party, with an initial lineup that includes previous ATP favorites: Explosions in the Sky, Dirty Three, Shellac, Tortoise, Melvins, Mudhoney, The For Carnation, Papa M, Deerhoof, Fuck Buttons, The Drones, Sleepy Sun, and Bardo Pond. The festival will take place at Butlins Resort in Minehead, England. Tickets are £160 per person for "room only" accommodation and £170 per person for self-catering, which, according to Google, equals about $262.59 and $279 in U.S. dollars, respectively. Not sure what all of this ticket business means? ATP has included a handy calendar on their website that gives you the lowdown on when to buy tickets:

- June 19: Tickets go on sale to people who have already bought tickets to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Limited number of £20 discount tickets and full-price tickets available.
- June 22: Tickets go on general sale. Limited number of £10 discount tickets and full-price tickets available.
- September 30: Second installment due for those buying tickets using the installment scheme
- December 4-6: ATP: The Nightmare Before Christmas, curated by My Bloody Valentine
- December 7-10: Week-in-between accommodation available
- December 11-13: Ten Years of ATP Festival

For more information on early bird ticket specials, check out the Ten Years of ATP press release.

RIP: Sky Saxon, founding member of The Seeds

From Austin360:

Sky Saxon, founder of the brilliant ’60s garage band the Seeds, died Thursday morning at St. David’s Hospital.

The newly minted Austinite, born Richard Marsh, was hospitalized Monday with what doctors suspected was an infection of the internal organs, but cause of death has not yet been released.

Saxon fell ill last Thursday, but performed at Saturday at Antone’s with recent Austin collaborators Shapes Have Fangs.

- Official Sky Sunlight Saxon The Seeds website
- The Seeds Wikipedia entry
- The Seeds fansite