Ever since my virgin ears heard "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base playing eloquently on Casey Kasem's "Long Distance Dedication," I knew that Swedish music was on the rise and that ABBA, I mean Europe, had found their successors. Oh, how naïve I was.

More than a decade later, after a tirade of meaningless music fads and that one song by The Cardigans that was on the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack, Sweden's own Jens Lekman has taken center stage to win back the hearts of people who thought the Swedes went sour. Lekman has showed us that sounding similar to Kermit the frog is something sexual and intriguing, and after two delightful wingdings of recorded material, he will tour the unappreciated West Coast of the United States.

There's no word yet on whether this small tour will be with a full band or not, but you can bet your knickers it'll be appropriately intimate and Swedish. Opening for Lekman will be comedian Tig Notaro (Last Comic Standing 4, Sarah Silverman Show). Sounds tastier than ketchup on spaghetti!

Tourdates:
05.26.09 - San Diego, CA - The Loft
05.27.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
05.28.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
05.29.09 - Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones
05.30.09 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Art Center
06.01.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of the Hill
06.02.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of the Hill
06.03.09 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
06.04.09 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
06.05.09 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
06.06.09 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
06.07.09 - Vancouver, WA - Richards on Richards

Share Torrents on Facebook! What’s the IPREDator? Pirate Bay Investigator Gets Hacked! Yar!!! News from The Pirate Bay This Be

The following stories were found washed up on the shore in Cambodia. Three sheets of paper stuffed in a Japanese sake bottle, written in Swedish. The man who found it (we'll call him King Kong) then loaded the bottle onto his computer, zipped and uploaded it onto a server site, made it into a .torrent, and dispensed it throughout the internet through a popular torrent sharing site that will go unnamed.

Upon uploading the file myself, I cracked the bottle open and distilled these news updates regarding the notorious and/or glorious internet BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay. Now, just weeks away from the much anticipated verdict on the copyright infringement case against the four Pirate Bay associates at Stockolm district court, here's the latest:

- Torrents on Facebook

A small icon started appearing in The Pirates Bay's search results over the weekend. An "f" in a little blue box, and an option to share. That's right, The Pirate Bay has made it that much easier to share your intellectual found objects to your friends and internet family through popular social networking site, Facebook. With roughly three clicks, you can now share a link found on The Pirate Bay's site openly with the world. Some people may be sketched out by the sheer lack of anonymity inherent in this potential violation of copyrighted law, but by making it easy and giving it the legitimacy of mob mentality, it may just overwhelm the opposition and give BitTorrent sites more widespread acceptance and legitimacy.

- Paid Privacy Service IPREDator

For those unconvinced, (or just more careful), The Pirate Bay also began beta-testing out a new privacy service called IPREDator. It's a virtual private network (VPN) software that would enable a file-sharer to use the BitTorrent tracker without leaving a trace and costs about $7 a month (€5 to be precise). The IPREDator, named after IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) -- the EU's attempt to beef up the enforcement of anti-piracy laws in place -- is not to be confused with Apple's new iPredator, the chic new tiger-making device.

- Hackers Hack Pirate Bay Investigator

And finally, Jim Keyzer, the cop who led the investigation against The Pirate Bay, seems to have gotten attacked by one of the unseen uncontrollables that his investigation is seeking to control. And they attacked through his girlfriend, too. Harsh. A hacker under the name "Keyzer Defender" posted a torrent titled "Where did the money come from?" exposing some of the officer's passwords, account details, news of a newly purchased house, and whatever else this hacker dude dug up on his girlfriend's Hotmail account. Personally, I bet the whole hacking event looked a bit like that scene in Hackers when Angelia Jolie, Matthew Lillard, and their cyberpunk friends stand on top of a building and hack into the cities powergrid using what appears to be a PDA running exclusively on florescent DOS software. The reason for the dramatic headline of the torrent comes from the fact that Keyzer started working for Warner Bros. before The Pirate Bay investigation was closed, stayed there for a short while, and then left. The hacker is implying that this gave him the money to buy the new house. That has been yet to be proven, but one thing sure has: You don't mess around with these hackers and expect not to be messed with.

Iron and Wine to Tour this May and Release 2CD/3LP Collection

On May 19, Iron and Wine will release a 2CD or 3LP collection of rare tracks, entitled Around the Well. Around the Well features tracks spanning the history of the group’s catalogue, from the basement tapes that eventually formed Sam Beam’s debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle (TMT Review), to the fully orchestrated affair that was The Shepherd’s Dog (TMT Review). It also includes a cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Waiting for Superman.”

Presumably, the band has chosen to release this collection to tide fans over while they record material for their follow-up to 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog, which is due in Spring 2010.

Iron and Wine has also planned nine dates in support of the forthcoming album. Setlists are composed of fan favorites chosen online, and each venue was chosen for its intimacy. So, take your loved one and listen to Sam Beam whisper beautiful nothings to the tune of a plucked guitar.

Around the Well tour:
05.04.09 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project
05.05.09 - Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
05.06.09 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord
05.07.09 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord
05.08.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Masonic Hall at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
05.09.09 - Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
05.12.09 - Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater
05.13.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
05.17.09 - New York, NY - Abrons Arts Center

Around the Well CD tracklisting:

Disc 1

1. Dearest Forsaken
2. Morning
3. Loud as Hope
4. Peng! 33
5. Sacred Vision
6. Friends They Are Jewels
7. Hickory
8. Waitin' for a Superman
9. Swans and the Swimming
10. Call Your Boys
11. Such Great Heights

Disc 2

1. Communion Cups & Someone's Coat
2. Belated Promise Ring
3. God Made the Automobile
4. Homeward, These Shoes
5. Love Vigilantes
6. Sinning Hands
7. No Moon
8. Serpent Charmer
9. Carried Home
10. Kingdom of the Animals
11. Arms of a Thief
12. The Trapeze Swinger

RIP: Duane Jarvis

From the LA Times:

Duane Jarvis, a stalwart of the Los Angeles roots music scene whose lead guitar work landed him stints playing with Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Michelle Shocked and others when he wasn't recording and touring as a respected singer-songwriter in his own right, died Wednesday after a long bout with colon cancer. He was 51.

Jarvis died at his home in Marina del Rey, where he was receiving hospice care after stopping treatment that in recent months had included two major surgeries and three rounds of chemotherapy, according to Kevin Jarvis, a drummer who performed frequently with his older brother.

"Duane passed away this morning at 1:30 a.m. with a smile on his face," Kevin Jarvis wrote in an e-mail sent Wednesday to family members and friends. "We knew time was short by the way things were going that day, although Duane surprised us a little by leaving us quite so soon."

- Duane Jarvis MySpace

Aaron Turner From Isis Calls Me Back, Provides More Details about New LP

Just last night I might have got a call from Aaron Turner, head of Hydra Head Records and frontman for metal heavyweights Isis, in which he provided me information about the May 5 release of the new Isis album, Wavering Radiant, on Ipecac Recordings. This is now the second in a series of interviews between me and Turner. Enjoy.

Aaron Turner: Hey, is this Kid Midnight?

Kid Midnight: Speaking.

AT: Great, I have some new information to pass on... but keep it secret, keep it safe...

KM: Sure, sure, I won’t have it published anywhere... [smiles devilishly]

AT: Excellent. I don’t want to excite the world too much.

KM: I understand. Lay it on me, big daddy.

AT: Alright, well, as you know, we’re releasing a new album, Wavering Radiant, May 5 on Ipecac Recordings. We see it as our most cohesive and challenging work yet. It’s our first full-length in two years, and we really hope that it marks yet another push towards the unexplored, solidifying our career in adaptation and transformation. Acting as the culmination of 12 years spent unleashing backbreaking riff-age and sonic explorations of light & dark, Radiant sees our colossal five-some moving beyond the visible spectrum of rock and the realm of the uninspired. Blissfully melodic, frighteningly dense, the album is an epic conflict between worlds of beauty and the darkest of demons.

KM: WOW! That sounds pretty heavy, man. How long did it take for you to write that description?

AT: Longer than it took to record the album. Moving on. If any of our fans, or any other interested parties, want to get a peek at the new album, they can head to http://www.dailyrindblog.com/audio/isis_20minutes40years.mp3 and check out the track “20 Minutes/40 years.”

KM: Excellent, first taste is free right?

AT: Well... with the musical climate we exist in, let’s hope that most people don’t get the whole thing for free, right?

KM: Exactly. I know that I’ll be “buying” the whole thing when it comes out.

AT: …?

KM: Just joking, I only download metal bands that I’m ashamed to like.

AT: GOOD!

KM: What else can you tell us?

AT: The album is 54 minutes long; the shortest track is under two minutes; the longest track is 11 minutes. Each individual “song” is really more like a part of one massive whole. It’s epic. The whole album is the sum of years of experimentation, varying influences and the organic infusion of each band members’ personality.

KM: You know, you’re not nearly as mysterious this time around. We definitely have a healthier relationship when we share what we’re feeling...

AT: Yeah... here’s the tracklist... I gotta go... [click]

KM: Oh, okay... [one tear slides down left cheek]

Wavering Radiant tracklist:

1. Hall Of The Dead
2. Ghost Key
3. Hand Of The Host
4. Wavering Radiant
5. Stone To Wake A Serpent
6. 20 Minutes / 40 Years
7. Threshold Of Transformation

Tourdates:
05.15.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
05.16.09 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
05.17.09 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
05.19.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
05.20.09 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre
05.21.09 - Houston, TX - Meridian - Red Room
05.22.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
05.23.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree
05.25.09 - Orlando, FL - The Social
05.26.09 - Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds
05.27.09 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbit's
05.28.09 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
05.29.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
05.30.09 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
05.31.09 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
06.02.09 - New York, NY - The Filmore at Irving Plaza
06.03.09 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
06.04.09 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
06.05.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise
06.06.09 - Montreal, QC - The National
06.07.09 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre
06.09.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.10.09 - Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century Theatre
06.11.09 - Detroit, MI - Small's
06.12.09 - Chicago, IL - The Bottom Lounge
06.15.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
06.16.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound
06.18.09 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
06.19.09 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
06.20.09 - Seattle, WA Neumo's
06.22.09 - San Jose, CA - The Blank Club
06.23.09 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
06.24.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre

Moderat Plan LP, Tour… Hold On, What Exactly Is a Moderat?

Really though, any guesses? Here’s what I’ve got so far:

A. The most fashionable type of rodent

B. An alien race featured in one of the lost episodes of Doctor Who

C. Someone who directs abruptly truncated presidential debates

D. A person who isn’t really sure how they feel about being a centrist

Oh, whoops, apparently it’s none of the above. Snazzy beatmakers Modeselektor and Apparat, who teamed up as Moderat in 2002 for an EP, are reuniting for a full-length album. The self-titled LP was recorded in the same studio that David “Jareth the Goblin King” Bowie used for Heroes and will be released April 21 via BPitch. The trio will embark on a North American club tour soon after, where they promise to get you dancing, but also probably warp your mind a little bit. Sounds like a good combination to me!

Tourdates:
05.19.09 - Seattle, WA – Neumos
05.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - Harriet
05.22.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Paramount Lot
05.23.09 - Denver, CO - Beta
05.28.09 - Montreal, PQ - Mutek
05.29.09 - Toronto, ON - Circa
05.30.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall

Moderat tracklisting:

1. A New Error
2. Rusty Nails
3. Seamonkey
4. Slow Match (feat. Paul St. Hilaire)
5. 3 Minutes Of
6. Nasty Silence
7. Sick With It (feat. Dellé aka Eased from Seeed)
8. Porc # 1
9. Porc # 2
10. No. 22
11. Out Of Sight

Times New Viking To Go On Tour, Again

Lately, I have taken interest in the complete bullshit comments that people post in response to YouTube videos. It's amazing just how many people take the time to voice their opinion on something they either know nothing about or don't even care about. I wish I had that kind of free time. Oh well! This interest was initially sparked after finding select videos from this year's SXSW on YouTube's featured videos section. While watching a video of a Parenthetical Girls performance, I noticed completely ridiculous comments claiming that they are a ripoff of Pink Floyd (what?) or, as is popular on YouTube, calling them names like "Faggots."

I decided to see what was said about a few other bands, including Times New Viking. Among comments about their "shitty" sounding recordings and hipster talk, user HandofDoom66 says "WTF, this is worse than bad...mankind needs a new word for that music..." Actually, I think they do have a name for it: Shit-Gaze!

That said, check out these dates, while I go leave hate comments on Tinted Windows videos

04.17.09 - Athens, OH - Union Bar & Grill
05.10.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Market Hotel
05.11.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
05.13.09 - London, UK - Luminaire
05.15.09 - Brighton, UK - Pavillion Theatre
05.16.09 - Manchester, UK - Futuresonic Festival
05.17.09 - Nottingham, UK - SPEX Fest @ Bodega
05.18.09 - Edinurgh, UK - Sneaky Pete's
05.19.09 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
05.20.09 - Leeds, UK - TJ's
05.23.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's

* Vivian Girls

Photo: [_nickd]

If You Love Your Freedom, Thank Thrill Jockey and Others for Releasing Limited Goodies for This Year’s Record Store Day

Every year around this time, people all across this great country look to a groundhog named Pepi to pop out of his hidey hole and declare the date of the popular spring holiday Record Store Day. This year, Pepi was hungover after a night of binge-drinking and acorn-smoking, so the people who run Record Store Day went ahead and announced that April 18 will be the day to give praise to the surviving record stores and to remember those who have disappeared throughout the years. In turn, Thrill Jockey declared its support for the Day and the date by announcing that it will commemorate Record Store Day by releasing a five-track collection featuring Tortoise, Trans Am (with Tim Soete), Double Dagger, Mountains, and White Hills entitled Records Toreism.

The Tortoise track is new and will be included on the band’s forthcoming full-length in June. The Mountains, Double Dagger, and Trans Am/Tim Soete collaboration tracks are unreleased. The White Hills song is rare but was previously released on a limited tour CD-R on Abstractions & Mutations in 2007, making it the black sheep, previously-released song on the EP. If the songs were not enough to wet your willie, Records Toreism is a good looking item as well. The limited-to-900-copies LP comes in a hand-printed sleeve with front and back covers adorned by a Posttypography illustration and a Crosshair photo silk screen depicting two different record store concepts.

The record comes with two inserts. The first is a zine called “WhatsinstORe” that has scriblings by such Ira Robbins (Trouser Press), Stephen Pastel (Pastels, Monorail), Ian MacKaye (Dischord, Evens, Fugazi, Minor Threat), Magas (Reckless Records, Magas), Julie Cafritz (Pussy Galore), Rick Wojeck (Dusty Groove), Nigel (Rough Trade Records London), Danny Beard (DB Records, Wax N Facts), Ron (Jazz Record Mart), Andee Connors (A Minor Forest, Aquarius Records) Josh Madell (Other Music), Bill Ryan (Pier Platters), and Bundy Brown (Tortoise, Pullman, Directions, Dusty Groove).

The second piece o’ paraphernalia is less detailed. As the helpful presser claims, “The second insert, NAY! I say the first MANIFESTO, was written by an elusive crank known to dine with those that lay claim to Futurism. Feel the power! Join the movement - RECORDSTORISM!!” Whatever the hell this means is anyone’s guess, but if you pick up a copy of the record, I’m sure it will be as much a feast for your eyes as the music on the record will be for your ears.

Records Toreism is by no means the only special release happening for the love of Record Store Day, but we’re partial to Thrill Jockey’s spicy varieties, so we tend to make an example of their fine work. Matador (7-inch split singles featuring Sonic Youth, Beck, Jay Reatard; Live in Germany album by Pavement), ANTI- (7-inch singles by Tom Waits, Booker T Jones), Rhino (7-inch singles by Stooges, Smiths, MC5, New Order, Jane’s Addiction), Transgressive (10-inch etched single by Graham Coxon), Domino (roster compilation), Touch & Go (9 x 7-inch single box-set by Jesus Lizard), Secretly Canadian/PIAS (7-inch single by Magnolia Electric Company), Nonesuch (limited pre-release of forthcoming Wilco DVD), Holy Mountain/Forte (pre-release of new LP/CD with exclusive mix CD by Wooden Shjips), and Numero Group/Forte (vinyl compilation) will also release special platters in celebration of the big day. There will be a lot more announcements concerning Record Store Day events and developments before April 18, so check back often with TMT: “The Home of Record Store Day"*

Jockeying for a record store thrill:

Side A:

1. Mountains - "Windows"
2. Tortoise - "High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In"

Side B:

1. Double Dagger - "Stagger Lee"
2. White Hills - "Eye to Eye"
3. Trans Am featuring Tim Soete - "Wounded Monkey"

* I just received this memo from the organizers: "Record Store Day does not condone the use of "The Home of Record Store Day” for use by Tiny Mix Tapes and wishes it refrained from making unwarranted associations between itself and Record Store Day. Record Store Day is just not that into you, Tiny Mix Tapes." Just for that, we're all gonna buy laserdiscs off eBay on April 18.

Apple’s Bright Idea for Recession-Hit Music Fans: Raise Prices!

In an economy hit with swinging job cuts, collapsing demand, and negative growth, the geniuses at Apple Inc have decided to give their customers a much-needed break by raising the price of the hottest, newest songs to $1.29 on iTunes. April 7 will see the introduction of a “variable music pricing” system, where individual tracks will be offered at 69¢, 99¢, and $1.29 depending on their popularity.

The creators of everyone’s favorite monopolistic media player seem to have caved in to the pressure from record companies, who have been arguing for a long time that this type of scheme will enable them to entice consumers to spend more by offering packaged downloads of songs.

Russ Crupnick, a senior analyst for NPD Group (or should that be senior apparatchik for global corporations), argues “If you're not drawing new people and your spending isn't growing, it's a natural part of the product life cycle [to raise prices].” Crupnick estimates spending has hit the ceiling at $41-per-customer, despite U.S. digital music sales increasing by 27% in 2008 to $1 billion. As a payoff for increasing prices, the tracks will now be offered without anti-piracy mechanisms, which will bring smiles to the faces of those of us who get a kick out of seeding major-label content across the internet.

It does seem a bizarre decision, nevertheless, when you consider the economy is in a worse state than at any time since the 1930s, and consumers can already access many of these tracks for free from streaming services like Spotify and Imeem. Furthermore, Amazon’s MP3 store already offers variable pricing, but no individual track exceeds 99¢.

Former EMI Music executive Ted Cohen predicts, “This will be a PR nightmare. It is for the music industry what the AIG bonuses are for the insurance industry.”

So, yeah, basically in support of no record in particular, Radiohead seems to be effortlessly shouldering the responsibility of headlining the crème de la crème of famous UK summer festivals. Both Reading and Leeds Fest, which will feature the same lineups over a span of three days, have decided that Radiohead, along with fellow headliners Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon, are more culturally relevant to the crowds across the pond than that washed-up Bono character with that shady smile and those suspiciously-shaded eyes of his.

Additional acts that may or may not be quite as home-grown as the headliners include Fallout Boy, Vampire Weekend (they’re still milking that whole “relevant band” thing, I see), Block Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maximo Park, and, er, those good ol’ Defones. To check out the schedules and, you know, plan your Best Summer Ever, click here and here. And if you’re a U2 fan, don’t worry; I’m sure they’re probably playing... somewhere this summer, right?

Meanwhile, Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood spoke to the NME about the gigs and the possibility of playing new material:

I’m very happy to be playing the festival, for lots of reasons. It’s close to home, and it’s great to be sharing it with Kings and Arctics. It should be darker and louder than our London shows last summer, too – a good thing! I think it’s the chance for people to see our show in the UK, in the dark, that’s the coolest thing about doing the festival. [...] I’m not allowed to do setlists, I’m too indecisive! We are trying out a few new things, but we’re still at the stage of casting about for a way forward. It’ll be brilliant to play something new at the festival though.

  

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