What am I supposed to do with this, Wilco? I don’t know enough about European Wilco fans to make soccer practice jokes. It’s no longer timely to consider Jeff Tweedy’s chemical indiscretions. I could make a wacky list of things that “scheduling conflicts” could mean, but what if it’s something serious? I will look a fool if it is something serious. Last time I wrote a story about Wilco canceling dates, it was because Nels Cline got chicken pox. That writes itself.
I hope everything is okay with Wilco, and I hope their schedules and immune systems allow them to tour wherever they want in the not-too-distant future. Here you go:
Thao Nguyen Is Releasing a New Album, But Dat Nguyen Was One of the Most Underrated Middle Linebackers in NFL History
Dat Nguyen, born September 25, 1975, was the first Vietnamese American to play in the NFL. He attended Texas A&M and eventually left as the career record holder of 51 consecutive starts, 517 career tackles and a 10.7 tackles-per-game average. In 1999, Nguyen was drafted in the third round to the Dallas Cowboys. Though small – 5’11’’ 238 lbs. – he was an incredibly explosive middle linebacker. His speed and range enabled him to transition seamlessly into Dallas' version of 4-3 scheme defense. Nguyen led the Cowboys in tackles during the 2001, 2003, and 2004 seasons. Unfortunately, after sustaining a neck injury in the 2005 season, he was forced to retire from the NFL in 2006. The new Cowboys coach, Wade Phillips, hired Nguyen in 2007 as an assistant linebacker coach. Nguyen and his wife, Becky, have two daughters.
[Now to placate my editors]
Thao Nguyen, a Virginian-born songwriter (Virginia sounds like Vietnam, right?) is out of the studio and ready to release a new album. On January 29 of next year, Thao is scheduled to release her first album for Kill Rock Stars, which will be her follow-up to Like the Linen (released on a small Virginia label). The title for the new album is We Brave Bee Stings and All, and yes, that is the correct title. Not necessarily Gertrude Stein level, but she’s young.
Eels Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary With Best-of and Rarities Collections; Eels Fans Everywhere Embarrassed to Realize That They Aren’t Pissy Teenagers Anymore
Are you feeling lonely and isolated?
Are you low on friends and self-esteem but high on embarrassing facial and/or body hair?
Are your ridiculous coke-bottle glasses the only thing keeping you from looking like a total terrorist?
Do you have some kind of physical abnormality or misunderstood behavioral problem that's keeping you from that hallowed inner circle of cool friends and hot girlfriends/boyfriends that you've only read about in RollingStone?
Are you fourteen years old???
If you answered "yes" (or "affirmative" for you REALLY nerdy types) to any of those questions, then you'll no doubt be interested to know that idiosyncratic, bedroom art-pop legends Eels are currently prepping their first "best-of" and "rarities" collections for release in early 2008.
That's right, Shrek fans! Morose Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/horrible singer Mark Oliver Everett (a.k.a. "A Man Called E," a.k.a. "Mr. E," a.k.a. "E") and his merry crew of date-movie troubadours have announced a January 15, 2008 release date for the auspicious unveiling of both Meet The EELS: Essential EELS Vol. 1, 1996-2006 (CD+DVD), as well as their first collection of rarities, B-sides, film contributions, and unreleased tracks, EELS Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006 (2CD+DVD).
Both of these dower disc-collections will be issued by the laughably confusing conglomeration of DreamWorks/Geffen/UMe Records. To make matters more lucrative for the aging Mr. E., the forthcoming collections will mark the DVD Premiere of all of this video action, and all the music will be digitally remastered with both packages packed with never-before-seen photos, artifacts, and Everett's presumably extremely depressing notes about each track.
Highlights from the redundantly titled, 24-track, and 12-video affair that is Meet The EELS: Essential EELS Vol. 1, 1996-2006 include a previously unreleased Jon Brion remix of "Climbing To The Moon" from the band's second effort Electro-shock Blues, as well as the previously unreleased (unless you're Missy Elliott) "Get Ur Freak On," a live version of "Dirty Girl" from 2006's With Strings: Live At Town Hall, and "I Need Some Sleep" from the... you guessed it, Shrek 2 soundtrack.
Meanwhile, the 50-track, "who knew they even had this many songs!?" collection, EELS Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006 will REALLY test your Mr. E tolerance. The mad frontman has seen fit to include just about everything but the kitchen sink, including such gruff-sung numbers as longtime concert favorite "Living Life" from the Daniel Johnston tribute album, the previously unreleased 2006 cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" (yeah, apparently), and a handful of additional covers, including James Carr's "Dark End of The Street" and Prince's "If I Was Your Girlfriend."
Useless Trinkets also includes a large handful of, well, useless trinkets, such as the obligatory BBC performances, live versions of self-loathing hits "Novocaine For The Soul" and "My Beloved Monster," tracks from the band's endless parade of ridiculous film appearances (i.e. Holes, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.), and much much more miscellaneousness! The accompanying DVD features six performances from the EELS' Lollapalooza 2006 performance, including a gospel rave-up take on "My Beloved Monster" and a high-octane rumble through "Souljacker part I." Take it from E: You'll never have such a good time feeling depressed as hell!
So there you have it, geeks and geek-lovers. The only question you have to ask yourself is: "How much Eels can you handle?" Sadly for you and your humdrum, "it's not easy being green" friends, these handy compendiums couldn't make it in time for a Christmas season release, but hey, you could always just buy each other some 10 Things I Hate About You DVDs and CD Soundtracks, probably for WAY cheaper.
It's the same thing, really.
I know that it's not even Halloween yet (by the way, your idea of sewing a baby doll to your ass and going as a "babysitter": gold), and you probably have no intention of looking as far into the future as 2008. You are living in the moment, day-by-day, with no regard for the fact that you are getting older and older, and the amount of time between your college graduation and now is growing larger and larger. What have you got to show for all this free living, anyway? Nothing, that's right.
Now, don't be depressed, as I have some joyous news: Matador Records has announced that the first month of the new year will see a new LP from Times New Viking, Ohio's noisy-garage combo with an unstoppable furry. Feel better? Good. The new record, titled Rip It Off, will be the group's debut for Matador, after releasing this year's Present the Paisley Reich
(TMT Review) and 2005's Dig Yourself on the esteemed Siltbreeze label.
While the band's current itinerary looks a little sparse, it could potentially blossom into something bigger and better after the record comes out January 22 of ‘08. That's another thing to look forward to. Life's so rad.
Rip It Off tracklist:
11.29.07 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA *
01.25.08 - Columbus, OH - Café Bourbon St
01.26.08 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
* The Clean
With the guidance of amulets and crystals, White Magic will begin touring this week. The sure-to-be spellbinding tour starts in Brooklyn with a release show for their Dark Stars EP (released via Drag City) and will continue through the U.S. and a lil’ nugget of Canada. And no, none of the shows are being played in that creepy goth’s basement or the enchanted forest. There is, however, one date at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. OOoooooh, spooky.
$ Bob Dylan tribute show
Iron & Wine Extend Tour, Stick Aforementioned Tour in Obscene Places, and They Don’t Even Bother Usi
A better writer on a more serious music website would likely write a couple brilliant sentences about Sam Beam's beard (We get it. It's big!). A better writer would give a thorough synopsis into the history of Iron & Wine. A better writer would go on and on about the recently released The Shepherd's Dog and the recent European tour.
A better writer would give you facts, and not a buttload of misleading information. A better writer would be objective and unbiased. A better writer would show a sense of maturity and pride in his work. A better writer would bend over backwards for everyone in the music industry.
Emceegreg is not that writer. Emceegreg sees headlines like "Iron & Wine Extend Tour" and automatically thinks of erected phalluses. Emceegreg thinks about a greased-up, scantily clad Sam Beam caressing the folks in Tucson, AZ. Emceegreg often has dreams about Beam naked as he came, if you know what I mean. Emceegreg knows for a fact that Beam is not quiet in bed. Emceegreg has no shame.
Emceegreg is also unaware that his homoerotic stories are at times immature and offensive, but he thinks it's okay because he has one black friend.
We here at Warner Bros. Pictures have noticed that you've recently taken a liking to poorly written, shitty prose. We are also aware of the purported pedophiliac posts you've been producing. Based on the quality of your recent work, the studio would like to offer the members of your performing troupe the unique opportunity of starring in the exciting new film, The NeverEnding Story IV: Bux in Narnia.
Due to recent budgetary cuts, the studio will not be able to offer any monetary compensation for any services rendered. Actors will also be required to provide their own wardrobe. However, the set will be fully catered and principle actors will each receive life-size Atreyu cut-outs, as well as a commemorative Auryn medallion cast in .999 silver culled from the mines of Silver City.
In the hope of a swift response,
Deerhunter's NeverEnding story continues tonight in Austria. The November date in Dresden will be prefaced by lunch with Wolfgang Peterson.
While it may be confusing for many to see schedules for both CAKE and The Sea and Cake posted this month, distinguishing them as separate entities is really quite easy.
For instance, CAKE are an alt-rock band formed in 1991 in Sacramento, CA. They have six albums, the latest of which is B-Sides and Rarities released earlier this month and comes packaged in a variety of scratch-n-sniff covers correlating to color: red/fresh cut roses, yellow/banana, brown/leather, green/fresh cut grass, and purple/grape. While touring in support of their latest B-Sides release, CAKE is also working on a live album entitled Live at the Crystal Palace, to be released some time this autumn.
The Sea and Cake are not.
In contrast, The Sea and Cake were formed in 1993 in Chicago. Just yesterday, while riding the bus, I tried to put my finger on their influences, but all I could nail was The Kinks, which puts them squarely in the "pop-rock" category. Hm. Their first full-length release in four years, Everybody (TMT Review), was released back in May, with a full 16-page booklet of liner notes and a set of three photo card insets. Everybody is presented as the band's seventh release to date, yet the first produced by someone besides Sea and Cake drummer John McEntire. While they probably switched producers in hopes of creating an entirely new sound that would re-interest the public in their work and earn them renown as "dynamic and experimental leaders of American pop," they instead proved their consistency by creating a work that sounds exactly like every other album they've released.
As should be apparent at this point, the word 'cake' is really all the two groups have in common. But, since cake (the food) is so delightful, it tends to blot out any meaning from the words around it. Thus "cake" is all we see or care about in "The Sea and Cake," and when it appears in all capitals as "CAKE," an ineffable sensation wells up from our very being, manifesting itself as a glassy-eyed grin on our round, little faces.
May this clarification inspire you to attend one or more of the following tours:
The Sea and Cake- 2007 tourdates:
On their way to the Vienna airport for the Stop Spot Festival in Linz scheduled this weekend, the Kenyan members of Extra Golden (Opiyo Bilongo, Onyango Wuod Omari, and Onyango Jagwasi) were detained by Parisian police for, according to their publicist, "not carrying enough money."
Despite having the proper visas and documentation, officials apparently didn't believe these three members were actually invited to play the festival. They were subsequently interrogated for "several hours." It took involvement with the Austrian and French embassies before the Stop Spot promoters were able to finally get the band back on a plane to Vienna.
I wonder if the white guys in Extra Golden (Alex and Ian) had any trouble arriving.
Anyway, despite this, the Stop Spot Festival will still take place this weekend and features an array of exciting artists, including Daniel Higgs, Peeesseye, Zu (they rule), and many others. Do check out Extra Golden's latest release for Thrill Jockey, Hera Ma Nono, and be sure to carry enough money on your next plane trip.
On January 29, Kill Rock Stars will release Xiu Xiu's latest full-length album, Women As Lovers. The 14-track album will largely consist of sounds from the live Xiu Xiu lineup (Jamie Stewart, Caralee McElroy, Ches Smith on drums, and Devin Hoff on bass), while one track, "Under Pressure," features the ever incorrigible, often mischievous, downright sexy Michael Gira, head dude of label Young God and The Angels of Light (latest album: We Are Him - TMT Review). Deerhoof's John Dieterich is on there somewhere too.
Additionally, the press release about Xiu Xiu's new album contains two quotes from Elfriede Jelinek, author of a book by the same title, Women As Lovers. According to internet biographies, Jelinek is an Austrian novelist, who has won a Nobel Prize in Literature laureate for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power."
Here's how Publishers Weekly described her book:
This brief, pitiless novel advances such a narrow, bleak vision of the human race that one wonders why its author, who apparently finds everything pointless, saw the point in writing it. In oddly punctuated, repetitive prose reminiscent of Gertrude Stein's but lacking Stein's energetic compassion, Jelinek's (Lust and The Piano Teacher) latest doesn't have much good to say about love or marriage or sex or babies. And for Paula and Brigette, these are the only escapes from a life -- if one can call it a life -- of sewing bras in a factory in the mountains of Austria. It's hard to imagine even the pretense of love in a marriage to a drunken lout like Erich, the rotting apple of his sad, miserable parents' eye, or to fat and stupid Heinz. What shallow, covetous creatures women are, is what Jelinek seems to say. It doesn't matter if they don't enjoy sex; they don't deserve it, and anyway, someday we'll all be dead.
I can't help but think of Xiu Xiu as I read through that.
Elfriede Jelinek seems very intriguing, her book sounds fantastic, and I can't fucking wait to hear the album! I'm officially excited.
1. I do what i want when i want
2. In lust you can hear the axe fall
4. No friend oh!
5. Guantanamo canto
6. Under pressure (feat. Michael Gira)
7. Black keyboard
8. Master of the bump (Kurt Stumbaugh, i can feel the soil falling over my head)
9. You are pregnant, you are dead
10. The leash
11. Child at arms
12. Puff and bunny
13. White nerd
14. Gayle lynn