Cat Power Extends Tour; Small Carnivorous Species of Crepuscular Mammals Rejoice!

$ Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Spiritualized

Attention Torrent Sites I’m On: Comcast Is Throttling All BitTorrent Traffic All the Time; Still Sorry About My Ratio, Though

A couple of weeks ago, TorrentFreak reported on a new plugin that compared the rate of a person’s torrent traffic to the rest of their online traffic. The developers of the plugin have released some cool, eye-catching charts and graphs using the data they collected.

The upswing of all that boring crap is that Comcast, the largest cable television company and second largest ISP, lied to the FCC a couple months back, claiming they only throttle “excessive” traffic “during periods of peak network congestion.” About a month later, Comcast claimed they would “slow traffic for those users who consume the most bandwidth” and not “slow traffic by certain types of applications.” As you might have guessed, the aforementioned boring charts prove otherwise, pretty much unequivocally

At least the jig is definitely up for Comcast, now that a handful of bloggers and other assorted nerds are through the looking glass. The keyboard is mightier than the almighty dollar! En garde, corporate America.

Ticketmaster Invents Paperless Ticket™ Technology in Time for Tom Waits Tour; A Lot Less Exciting Than It Sounds, Trust Me

Over the next year and a half, Ticketmaster will be rolling out their new, ridiculously named Paperless Ticket™ technology at major venues across North America. The service will be available online and by phone and will have a two-per-customer limit. Paperless Ticket™ holders can skip the will-call line straight to the doorstaff, where their credit card will be scanned to determine their purchase.

Other benefits? Aside from convenience and being eco-friendlier, the new service will make it virtually impossible to scalp tickets (unless, of course, you're a division of Ticketmaster, who apparently sanction certain forms of scalping). And for those of you paper fetishists who save your stubs, you can still do it old skool for now, but intangible tickets will likely be the norm in the near future, so you might as well start saving your confirmation e-mails from now on.

The Paperless Ticket™ seems like a great idea, and since Ticketmaster is responsible for more than half of all ticket sales in the United States, it's bound to affect you eventually. Interestingly, the paperless technology will debut in conjunction with the upcoming Tom Waits tour, so it may affect you sooner than you'd think.

Tom Waits U.S. Tourdates:

The Jealous Girlfriends to Tour with Sea Wolf, You to Go to a Show, Your Annoying Girlfriend to Demand Knowing Who is Going to Be There, What Time You Will Be Back, If You Will Buy Her a Tee-Shirt, You to Hate Her But Still Probably Do It When You Get Home If Nothing Is On But Syndicated Episodes of One Tree Hill

The Jealous Girlfriends are set to release their debut album, Good Fences, June 3 and will tour in support of headliners Sea Wolf at the below dates. Remember your girlfriend’s tee-shirt, tank top and/or souvenir cup if you want any love that night, baby-baby. Check TV Guide, though. There may be something better to do.

Who are you with? What’s her name? Is she prettier than me?

* Sam Champion

Is it too early to start thinking about November? Not if the Brainwaves Festival has anything to say about it!

Has your autumn party season been missing something? Is Armistice Day missing the sparkle it once had? Has Thanksgiving become just another opportunity to sit silent and bloated on your couch surrounded by people who don't understand you? Well, no more! Because this fall's Brainwaves Festival 2008 lineup has already been announced, and from now on, the period between November 21-23, 2008 will never be the same.

Brainwaves 2008 will be throwin' down at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA with a smashing roster and perhaps even a chance to consume alcoholic beverages. And there's going to be more than bitchin' tunes and what the press release refers to as "amazing" seating! This year's lineup also features a special spotlight on Kranky Records, which will be celebrating 15 years of purveying the finest in independent music.

Other performers include: Matmos, Marissa Nadler, Meat Beat Manifesto, A Place to Bury Strangers, Stars of the Lid, Gary Wilson, Rivulets, Little Annie, The Reformed Faction (of Zoviet France), Andrew Liles and Jonathan Coleclough, His Name Is Alive, Nmperign feat. Jason Lescalleet, Charalambides, Glenn Jones, Lichens, Strategy, Nudge, Boduf Songs, Baby Dee, and To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie.

To experience all this and more, just head over to this pretty sweet-looking website and plonk down your $75.

Brothers in Alms! Alan and Richard Bishop Give Charles Gocher and Sun City Girls Live Tribute

Q: How do you get a little old lady to say “FUCK!”

A: Get another little old lady to say “BINGO!”

There. All jokes out of the way. Not all news needs to be forced funny or clever-clever. Sometimes the news has to be a straight claim, like this: Alan Bishop and Richard Bishop, two-thirds of Sun City Girls are touring in tribute to their fallen friend and bandmate Charles Gocher, who passed away last February.

Aptly titled “The Brothers Unconnected: A Tribute to Charles Gocher & Sun City Girls,” the tour began on May 18 in Seattle and will run through July 6 in San Diego and beyond (there are some dates still to be determined). Make sure to come early and watch a 40-minute film of Gocher’s video work, entitled The Handsome Stranger, which will play at many of the dates below. Check out a clip of the film here.

You’re never alone with The Brothers Unconnected:
05.21.08 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s
05.23.08 - Phoenix, CA - Modified Arts
05.25.08 - Los Angeles , CA - Echoplex
05.27.08 - Sacramento, CA - Horse Cow Art Gallery
06.08.08 - Denver, CO - High Dive
06.10.08 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
06.11.08 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
06.12.08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
06.13.08 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
06.14.08 - Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater
06.15.08 - Louisville, KY - Pour Haus
06.17.08 - Toronto, ON - St. Vladimir's Institute Theater
06.18.08 - Montréal, QC - La Sala Rosa
06.19.08 - Cambridge, MA - The Brattle Theater
06.20.08 - Portland, ME - SPACE
06.21.08 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
06.22.08 - New York , NY - Knitting Factory
06.24.08 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Gallery
06.25.08 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
06.26.08 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
06.27.08 - Atlanta, GA - The E.A.R.L

06.28.08 - Chattanooga, TN - Barking Legs Theatre
06.29.08 - Memphis, TN - Odessa
06.30.08 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jack’s
07.02.08 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
07.05.08 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
07.06.08 - San Diego, CA - Bar Pink Elephant

File-Sharing Program Soulseek Makes It to the iPhone

You can't teach an old iPhone new tricks, but its enlightened counterpart, the Unlocked iPhone, can now earn your music library a whole lotta bragging rights, which may cause YOU to do a back flip. Enter iSlsk, a new P2P program for hacked-and-improved iPods, which allows phone owners to share media files on Soulseek's network.

The Father of iSlsk, Eric Castro, is tackling the bugs that have already been reported (excluding "Why does my iPhone spontaneously combust when I try to play ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ on repeat?!"), but so far, most people have been able to download Belle and Sebastian albums at fairly high speeds using iSlsk.

Still, what about the next generation of iPhones? There's only one way to describe the ease with which the first iPhone was hacked: shit was embarrassing. Kids using iSlsk are guaranteed to be part of the tech set, so it could be a pretty big downer to buy a shiny new iPhone and find that it can't do them quite right anymore, assuming Apple will wise up on the latest model's security. Unless, of course, they're counting on this year's crop of 17-year-olds from New Jersey to be significantly less adept at cracking their software than the last.

A TMT EUREKA! DREAM: Xiu Xiu Announce Tour with Evangelista and Prurient

- Jamie Stewart on Evangelista: “When I was beginning to look outside of the vile suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, driving the 45 minutes to anything that the LA Weekly said I should see, I began to hear a lot about Carla Bozulich -- the voice, the heaviest leather strap that she was and is and will be, the myth of endless dedication and spear tipped creativity. Fifteen years past and I would see her here and there, separated by fewer and fewer degrees until I was at last given the first Evangelista record. The pretext was, ‘You will love this.’ The fact upon listening was, ‘This is what I have been looking for!’ She became an idol to me and to play a tour with her, to hear the songs of the following record, Hello, Voyager (TMT Review), exploded as loud as possible can only be matched by having been awarded the key to the secret tunnels beneath Mt. Fuji by the Japanese consulate.”

- Jamie Stewart on Prurient: “Dominick of Prurient (TMT Review) upon planning this tour told me he had to bring his own sound person – ‘I cannot deal with any inhouse sound wuss ever again.’ It has been reported to me that people have thrown up at his shows for the intensity and evil/beautifully minded focus of sound and light. How or why have we waited to work together? Now I cannot wait to pay for it. I really want to get hurt by the every night of this music. I really want to learn how to take things so much further. For a breath, noise was oddly fashionable. Having transcended and pummeled through that silliness, Prurient has held onto and swallowed its art.”

- Jamie Stewart on Rob Fisk of Common Eider, King Eider: “By the time I had met Rob Fisk he had already made and moved on from the Deerhoof record Holdypaws. This record lead to the inception of Xiu Xiu. Had I never heard it I never would have considered trying to make music as an aggressive and dear and violent and beautiful life's pursuit. He has gone on to make Tiny Bird Mouths, Badgerlore, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle and now the most touching, pointed and austere of all his incredible sound, Common Eider, King Eider. Rob is my favorite guitar player, an astoundingly dark and innovative melodist, and infused this conviction to build a cabin in Alaska and ride a moose to an early grave. Mr. Be Crushing, Mr. Be Patient are his nommes de musique.”

Jamie Stewart/Xiu Xiu on tour:

$ Prurient

# Evangelista

* Common Eider, King Eider

[Photo: David Horvitz]

Nas Forced to Change Title of His Nigger Album Again

It was announced yesterday that Nas has decided to once again change the title of his forthcoming album, this time from Nigger to untitled.

"It's important to me that this album gets to the fans," according to Nas. "It's been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. It's that important. The streets have been waiting for this for a long time. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it."

Judging by this quote, it seems as if Nas reached the "decision" reluctantly. In fact, given reports that Universal risked losing $84 million if it released the album as Nigger (TMT News), it's not a stretch to assume there were plenty other ideological forces causing Nas to make the "right decision." With the release date continually delayed (it's now slated for release July 1 via Def Jam) coupled with Nas' quote above, it sounds like the album was held captive.

The album was originally titled Nigga, but was changed to Nigger due to pressure (TMT News). Despite widespread support from the music community and intellectual justification from Nas -- he didn't title one of the upcoming songs "The Fear (of the Black Man's Dick)" for shits and giggles, you know -- the word still upset talking heads like Rev. Al Sharpton and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene), who are apparently under the belief that words are static and dead, as if the word "nigger" isn't already widespread in rap lyrics, as if trying to eliminate the word would do anything but deny artistic and political expression. I guess self-censorship is the alternative?

Ugh. All that brouhaha and no follow-through. Too bad.

That Lucky Old Brian Wilson to Release Ambitious New Capitol Album; That Poor Old Paul McCartney Presumably to Release More Garbage

Like many of the elder statesmen of pop/rock history, famed Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is looking pretty horrendous these days as an unfortunate byproduct of completely losing a large portion of his rational mind a long, long time ago. Unlike his over-the-hill brethren, however, Wilson's brain being slowly cooked over easy could not have worked out better for his late-period career as an absurdly colorful and cloyingly naive composer of pop symphonies.

And after 2004 finally saw the release of the legendarily controversial SMiLE, a pointillistic and abstractly pastoral musical tale of American history, Brian Wilson has decided to (or should I say "has been moved magically colored spirit-forces to") extend his repertoire of ambitious, orchestral pop, concept albums.

This year's transcendental topic? Why, the sunshine, of course! More specifically, Wilson's new opus, titled That Lucky Old Sun after a Louis Armstrong version of a 1949 classic song of the same name, will reportedly chronicle and explore themes of Southern California culture (which, in case you haven't noticed, was largely defined by Wilson and The Beach Boys themselves in the first place!).

Wilson describes That Lucky Old Sun (for better or for worse) as an "interwoven series of ‘rounds’ with interspersed spoken word" and “autobiographical travelogue” of sorts. The album is narrated in transitional interludes, apparently spoken by Brian Wilson, as, naturally, "That Lucky Old Sun," the storyteller. The narratives, which Wilson refers to as “cameos on life and the heartbeat of Los Angeles,” propel the album's musical story. It’s hard to believe that no one’s thought of that before, right?

Anyway, the sun-soaked album not only finds Wilson manning the production duties and reuniting and collaborating with his old sidekick Van Dyke Parks, bandmate Scott Bennett, and the his legendary all-star band, but it also finds Wilson reuniting with his former group's longtime label, Capitol Records, for whom he first recorded way back in 1962 ("Surfin' Sufari"/"409," natch) when he was just a nerdy teen who was mad at his dad.

"Brian Wilson is an iconic talent with enormous musical influence all over the world and we are very proud to be representing him," said executive chairman of EMI (Capitol’s parent company) Guy Hands in the most generic statement of the year. "We all remember the feeling we got when we first heard The Beach Boys' music. My particular favorite classic is ‘Surfer Girl.’ It always reminds me of driving an open-top car down the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Barbara to Malibu.” Really? I always thought of polar bears and World War II footage.

That Lucky Old Sun is slated for CD, CD/DVD, limited-edition vinyl, and digital release September 2 in the United States and September 1 everywhere else, after which Wilson will honor send some good vibrations out to his homeland by performing the song cycle during a three-day stint at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl. Anyone know what McCartney is up to?

That Lucky Old Tracklist:

  

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