Destroyer Destroy the Past, Create New Future-Past With Reissue of 2nd and 3rd LPs! Confused?? Hey, Don’t Be! Read on! Outta Sight, My Man!

Dan Bejar is Matador’s best friend. Destroyer, Swan Lake, New Pornographers... dude’s got that record label covered in the hits department, recessions be damned. So it was probably high-time that they did him a solid and reissued those second and third Destroyer albums, right? Right.

Bejar-boosters may know that Destroyer has released four albums and an EP on Merge Records since 2002, with a new album slated for release later this year. Here to whet that good appetite of yours is the original City of Daughters (1998) and Thief (2000) LPs, which are back on vinyl where they belong and have been updated in all sorts of hyperbolic ways! For instance, vinyl-obsessed, condo-owning Destroyer fans may well-recall that the original City of Daughters suffered from some frequency-related glitches that caused it to skip on many turntables, thus ruining their indie-fondue parties.

And the original Thief mix? Well, that was never satisfying, was it? And besides, the LP/CD was shoddily mastered into mono. What a drag! But don’t worry. Thief has now been remixed by the original team of Daniel Bejar, David Carswell, and John Collins at JC/DC Studios and is available in the intended stereo mix for the first time ever.

What’s more, both albums have been remastered by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering and have never sounded better. Additionally, the two covers have been reworked by original artist Lester Smolenksi and printed by Stoughton as an "old style," tip-on, gatefold jacket. Sweet. And all you have to do is spend your money on them all over again! Check it out at Nominal Records.

Family Counseling Group Schedules Online Protest of David Lynch’s Transcendental Meditation Benefit Concert with McCartney and Ringo

Kat Gardiner recently reported that on April 4 David Lynch will throw a star-studded shindig at Radio City Music Hall to benefit his foundation for "Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace." With acts ranging from Paul and Ringo to Donovan and Eddie Vedder (picture that lovechild, if you will!), who wouldn’t be pumped about such an exciting affair?

Apparently Knapp Family Counseling in Malone, NY, that’s who! On April 2, Knapp will hold an online protest to teach participants “a side of the Transcendental Meditation story they won't tell you.” (I have no idea who “they” is referring to in that quote.) The site also warns of the “secret agendas” of TM leaders and equates Lynch’s commitment to TM with Tom Cruise’s devotion to the Church of Scientology. Damn son, that’s some straight up dubious claims right there! For as much crazy may be floating around in Knapp and company’s allegations, their assertion that teaching TM in schools violates separation of church and state laws is up for debate.

Still, I think it’s unfair to compare TM to any kind of religious praise. TM isn’t about forging a connection with God or some other divine force. A person meditates to connect with the deepest parts of one’s mind to reach a state of transcendental being. I suppose, though, the facet of TM that challenges people the most is the role of the yogi, which could be construed as a pervasive influence to an organization like Knapp’s (the center appears to specialize in cult recovery).

Anyway, it seems like this event could turn out to be kind of interesting, as long as these folks don’t get too out there with their accusations. The panel Knapp has assembled seems pretty interesting, and, hey, maybe David Lynch will toss his hat in the ring and defend his passion. Stranger things have happened.

The Cool Kids Sue “Teenage Cool Kids” Over Name; Speculation Abounds as to Whether Carl’s Jr.®’s Cool Kids Combos are Next to Go (This Writer Really Hopes Not)

Legal representatives of Chicago rap duo The Cool Kids have filed a cease and desist order against Texas indie bros Teenage Cool Kids for infringing on “federally registered trademark rights and dilut[ing] the products and services associated with The Cool Kids mark.” Apparently oblivious to the fact that there were groups named Cool Kids of Death, Cooler Kids and Cool Kidd, formed in 2001, 2002, and 2003, respectively, The Cool Kids have chosen to take the stance that they were the first to combine the words “cool” and “kids” in 2005 and will fight in a court of law to maintain exclusive rights to it.

The order also requests that Teen CK shut down their MySpace, and, more difficultly, “recall all... infringing products and materials relating to [their] goods and services.” So if you’ve ever bought merch from this band, you can just go ahead and mail it back to them. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Regarding the issue, Teenage Cool Kids member Daniel Ziegler states: “I’m not worried. It’s not the same name. I was also under the impression that musical expression didn’t need a copyright.” Assuming they make it out of this with name intact, they will have a new LP released on Protagonist in the next month and will be touring the U.S. with Fergus and Geronimo in late August.

Brooklyn Moves McCarren Park Pool Venue to Waterfront, Wistful Small Town Residents Gaze Through Rainy Windows

It's a given that New York City has more shows in a night than, say, the state of Arkansas has had in its existence. One of its most recent summer hot spots McCarren Park Pool -- situated on the border between Greenpoint and Williamsburg -- is being renovated to go back to its pool roots this summer.

The New York Times reports the outdoor venue will move to the Williamsburg waterfront this summer, with space for 6,000. For non-New York residents, that means they'll have a nice view of the skyline. For New York residents who know what the latter half of this sentence means, the new concert area will be on a strip along the East River between North Eighth and North Ninth Streets.

RIP: Maurice Jarre, Composer of Doctor Zhivago Score

From The Guardian:

The French composer Maurice Jarre, whose work on the films of David Lean won him three Oscars, has died in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

Jarre won his first Academy Award in 1963 for his grand, sweeping score for Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. He repeated the feat in 1966 with his lush, Russian-balalaika-infused score for Doctor Zhivago and took the gong for the third time in 1985 for A Passage to India. Of his relationship with Lean, Jarre once said, "I owe him everything ... He gave me the best pictures, the opportunity to receive three Oscars for four films – not so bad! – and he gave me his friendship. He was a gentleman. When I lost him, I lost not only a great director, but a great friend."

- Wikipedia entry
- IMDB entry

Patronizing headlines aside, we should be grateful for folk like Antony and The Johnsons for always throwing a much-needed jolt of wild interest into our mundane music news day. Thanks to Mr. Hegarty and his “wow factor” way of doing things, I haven’t had to pull out my old standby today: “So-and-so to play same shit-hole that every artist plays when they come through whatever town you might be living kinda nearby, yeah.” With Antony, there are certain expectations to his recording and touring announcements, and the same can be said about this one. The Antony and The Johnsons camp have revealed some high-concept 2009 plans, starting with initial details of his summer orchestra-assisted European tour.

The shows will feature 36-52 member orchestras conducted by Rob Moose playing arrangements by Antony and Nico Muhly. For the Manchester shows, Antony will unveil his commissioned “stage environment for The Crying Light (TMT Review) inspired by Bauhaus stage lighting design and considering the dreams of crystals inside mountains.” This probably does not mean you will see the tantalizing combo of Christmas lights plus a stenciled “Antony” on black construction paper pasted over the venue logo at the back of the stage -- but you never know. More concerts should be announced shortly.

Never one to remain static of mind and activity, Antony has other grand schemes for the near future. First up, will be the 7-inch and CD release of stellar single “Epilepsy is Dancing” on April 7 by Secretly Canadian. Be sure to find the accompanying video, which was directed by the Wachowski Brothers (V for Vendetta, The Matrix) and features a film-spliced Antony in a ghost-white villain mask and black fright wig dodging pogs emblazoned with Luis Buñuel’s visage. Okay, maybe not. See for yourself.

Additionally, lucky Coachella-goers will be able to see Antony play a special concert at the festival Sunday (April 19) on the Indio, CA grounds. Hegarty has tapped Matthew Herbert to play minimal electronic renditions of The Crying Light’s songs, which sounds like reason enough to venture to out California in a few weeks time.

And finally, for this news story, gallery owner and designer Agnes B has asked Antony to exhibit at “Six Eyes,” beginning April 11 at the Gallery du Jour in Paris. Other participants include William Basinski and James Elaine, Barbara Cummard, Peter Hujar, Alice O’Mally, and Kiki Smith.

Here is the full list of shows Antony will be playing over the next few months, including the symphony summer shows and many others European dates before them, which are, of course, already long sold out.

His river never will run dry:
03.31.09 - Prato, Italy - Teatro Politeama Pratese
04.01.09 - Milan, Italy - Sala Verdi Conservatorio
04.04.09 - Zurich, Switzerland - Kongresshaus
04.06.09 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
04.09.09 - Paris, France - Le Grand Rex
04.13.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Bozar
04.15.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Palau de la Musica
04.19.09 - Indio Valley, CA - Coachella Festival, Coachella Polo Fields
04.24.09 - Berlin, Germany - Admiralspalast
04.26.09 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone
04.27.09 - Frankfurt, Germany - Alte Oper
04.29.09 - Warsaw, Poland - National Theatre
05.01.09 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival, Main Hall
05.03.09 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - MC FritsPhilips
05.05.09 - San Sebastian, Spain - Kursaal Auditorium
05.07.09 - Murcia, Spain - Auditorio de Murcia
05.11.09 - Madrid, Spain - Palacio de Congresos
05.14.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Coliseum
05.16.09 - Braga, Portugal - Teatro Circo
05.18.09 - Porto, Portugal - Coliseum
05.21.09 - Brighton, England - Brighton Festival, Brighton Dome Concert Hall
05.22.09 - Birmingham, England - Symphony Hall
05.24.09 - Bristol, England - Colston Hall
05.27.09 - London, England - Hammersmith Apollo
05.29.09 - Gateshead, England - The Sage
05.31.09 - Dublin, Rep. of Ireland - Vicar St

06.01.09 - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Waterfront
06.04.09 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Playhouse
06.21.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Holland Festival, Royal Theatre Carré #
06.22.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Holland Festival, Royal Theatre Carré #
07.03.09 - Manchester, England - The Opera House $
07.04.09 - Manchester, England - The Opera House $
07.21.09 - Lyon, France - Les Nuits de Fourviere %
07.28.09 - Rome, Italy - Cavea, Il Parco della Musica ^
08.09.09 - Oslo, Norway - Oslo Jazz Festival, Opera House open air venue *
08.14.09 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival +

# Metropole Orchestra

$ Manchester Camerata (Manchester International Festival)

% Opera de Lyon Orchestra

^ Rome Sinfonietta

* Oslo Opera House Orchestra

+ Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra

RIAA Tries to Force ISPs to Do Naughty Things; ISPs Respond Hesitantly

Just after we published our Year-End Fest last December, including a fine piece of work on copyright by Yours Truly, the RIAA decided to be Santa last year: The organization announced that it would cease new lawsuits against suspected file-sharing pirates (though they would continue current ongoing lawsuits). And there was much cautious rejoicing.

Alas, the organization needed a new tactic to maintain an ardent stand against piracy and to keep the Big 4's shareholders content to a certain degree. And announce one it did: have internet service providers (ISPs) warn users and implement sanctions against them if discovered pirating material. This process, called the "graduated response" program, would include blocking and terminating (i.e. banning) access to users after repeated warnings. A reasonable plan when you think about it. [Glares from the TMT staff] What? The RIAA goes back into the background, nobody is sued for ridiculous amounts of money, everybody wins. Right? [Groans]

Actually, this was all reported at the same announcement. We were going to report on this when we came back from our holiday break, but then the Thnikkaman came by and... well, I'd like to see you stay on task when you're starin' down the barrel of a loaded Thnikkaman. Anyway, the reason why we are reporting on this now is that there have been developments on this front. You see, the problem with the new strategy was that it required cooperation from America's ISPs. At the time of the announcement, neither the RIAA nor any major ISPs commented on who was involved. As it stood, the ISPs had reason to fear the new announcement: Coming off a year of massive flak concerning bandwidth-throttling and net neutrality, the last thing the ISPs needed was to have the burden of blame concerning anti-piracy shifted to them at such a time.

Now, as of the past two days, the picture is clearer: During the Leadership Digital Music Summit in Nashville this week, three of the largest ISPs in the nation, DSL provider AT&T (Ars Technica) and cable providers Comcast and Cox (CNet), have made statements saying they are cooperating with the RIAA on this system. Sounds like a good idea to switch, right?

Not exactly. According to reports, of the three, only Cox has fully implemented the graduated response program. Comcast has implemented the program through letter-sending, but press statements have indicated that they have no interest in terminating service. Finally, AT&T is only doing limited geographical trials at this time and, furthermore, is refusing to sanction users. The problem with the latter point is that it renders the whole program moot, null, and void. AT&T argues that the psychological effect of just sending emails or warnings to users does its intended effect. But there's the problem: All bark, no bite.

On the other hand, one major ISP stands out from the rest in all this: DSL/Fiber provider Verizon, as also reported by Ars Technica, has been the only major ISP so far to proclaim that they will not cooperate with the RIAA. While amazing, this is not unusual: Verizon was also one of the few ISPs to announce in the wake of the Comcast bandwidth-throttling scandal that they will never throttle their bandwidth under any circumstance.

So, and users, heed this advice if you haven't already: If you use cable, you might want to switch. If you use DSL, keep your head low. If you use Verizon, well, then, you're just awesome.

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Roundup: Akron/Family Tour Europe With Wilco, Meat Puppets Tour, El Dorado Desert Rock Fest, Northside Festival In Brooklyn

Okay, so I’m back from SXSW. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t see either Wavves or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart on principle, since they were playing 50 times each. I ended up seeing both bands only once. In fact, my coworker saw The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart while standing next to Vivian Girls. Fucking ridiculous. If Vampire Weekend had been there, it would have been like that episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where the Anointed One tries to resurrect The Master, but can only do so by assembling those who were present when he died and draining their blood over his body. I’m going to say The Master would be... I don’t know... The world pre-blogging? Sufjan before he was cool? Indie rock 10 years ago? Pitchfork when it was brown-fork? I don’t know; I’m open to suggestions. Oh, and big ups to Ryan Catbird: FTW. Anyway, on to the news.

- Akron/Family are going to kick it with Wilco this spring and go on tour in Europe. They have a few select dates on their own in the U.S. in early May before heading to Brussels to start their tour with Wilco. The tour is about a month long, and if you happen to be from Europe or plan on being in Europe around this time and you give a shit, you can find the dates at the Dead Oceans site.

- The Meat Puppets are heading on tour this summer. A real tour, not one of those tours that are announced and get people excited and then they check it out and it’s like four dates in Los Angeles and one in New York. Meat Puppets are kicking things off mid-May in Los Angeles and finishing things off at the end of June in Austin. They’re even coming to the South, which is why I call it a “real tour,” because bands skip us all the time. They also have a new record coming out May 12 called Sewn Together. Check out the dates on their MySpace.

- El Dorado Desert Rock Fest. I don’t know what the fuck this is.

- Okay, so L Magazine announced their plans for the first Northside Festival, which is being advertised as a “sort of non-industry, SXSW-like festival” in Brooklyn. Okay, first problem: the “industry” will infiltrate eventually, hippies. Where there are bands, there will be writers, managers, label people, etc. In fact, there already are label people, since there are label showcases from Ernest Jennings and Frenchkiss and a few from blogs. You think the people who run those labels and sites are going to be like, “Alright, you guys are playing the showcase, but you kids have fun, I’m going to kick it at home with some Battlestar and a medium pepperoni.” Yeah, no. Also, I really wanted to mention this one comment someone posted on Brooklyn Vegan in response to the news about Northside Fest: “This has the potential to be really awesome. Hope Grizzly Bear plays.” HAHAHAHAHA.

BTW, Buffy was a total bitch in that episode. She was a total snatch to Cordelia and Willow and she tried to make Angel jealous by dancing like a skank with Xander. Xander fucking sucked.


Merge Releases Details on Covers Record

What better way to celebrate an anniversary than to reinterpret the past through song. Merge Records, which began 20 years ago, will be releasing THE COVERS! on April 7 in a very limited edition of 7,500, with profits going to charities chosen by the curators of Merge's super-huge subscription series Score!

THE COVERS! will include 20 tracks from some of today's biggest names and will cover past and present Merge artists. Highlights include the cleanest-sounding Times New Viking cover of The Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #1," the premiere of Calvin Johnson's new band The Hive Dweller's on their oddball cover of Superchunk's "My Noise," and The Mountain Goats' stripped down cover of East River Pipe's "Drug Life."

To celebrate their 20th anniversary Merge will also be hosting XX MERGE (TMT News), "five days of live music from Merge artists past and present taking place in the label's native North Carolina July 22-26." Lineup and ticket info should be announced shortly.

THE COVERS! tracklist:

1. Quasi – Beautiful Things (3Ds)
2. Les Savy Fav – Precision Auto (Superchunk)
3. The Shins – Plenty Is Never Enough (Tenement Halls)
4. St. Vincent and The National – Sleep All Summer (Crooked Fingers)
5. Broken Social Scene – Complications (The Clean)
6. Ryan Adams – Like a Fool (Superchunk)
7. Bright Eyes – Papa Was a Rodeo (The Magnetic Fields)
8. Lavender Diamond – New Ways of Living (Destroyer)
9. The Apples in Stereo – King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3 (Neutral Milk Hotel)
10. Laura Cantrell – Cowboy on the Moon (Lambchop)
11. Bill Callahan – Santa Maria (Versus)
12. Barbara Manning – Through With People (Portastatic)
13. The Mountain Goats – Drug Life (East River Pipe)
14. The New Pornographers – Don’t Destroy This Night (The Rock*A*Teens)
15. Tracey Thorn & Jens Lekman – Yeah! Oh, Yeah! (The Magnetic Fields)
16. The Hive Dwellers – My Noise (Superchunk)
17. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – The Numbered Head (Robert Pollard)
18. Okkervil River – All You Little Suckers (East River Pipe)
19. Death Cab for Cutie – Kicked In (Superchunk)
20. Times New Viking – Neighborhood #1 (Arcade Fire)

Phil Spector’s Retrial Jury Retires to Make a Landmark Decision for Gun-Toting Whackjob Record Producers the World Over

On February 3, 2003, police arrested music legend Phil Spector on suspicion of the murder of club hostess and actress Lana Clarkson. Now, obviously everybody in this bloody shithole of a civilization knows the story here (crazy Phil says suicide, rest of the universe says murder), but I felt it necessary to post the date of the arrest itself. Take a close look at that date again. That’s right, people, this Phil Spector shit has been going on since before the goddamn invasion of motherfucking Iraq.

So yeah, it’s about time this nonsense ended. After a deadlocked jury (10 yea, 2 nay) led to Spector’s 2007 mistrial, the jury in his current retrial has gone out to decide whether or not the fucking composer of “Be My Baby” committed murder. Spector faces 15 years-to-life in prison if convicted of the second-degree murder charge but could potentially get off with a four-year sentence should the jury instead convict him of involuntary manslaughter, a possible charge that was not available to the previous trial’s jury.

As this media circus’ big-top steadily swelled over the years, tales of Spector’s nuttiness grew from music geek campfire lore to household knowledge to apparently the basis of the California district attorney’s prosecution. Over the course of the trial, five female acquaintances of Spector have taken the stand and all claimed in the past Spector had threatened them with a gun when they attempted to leave his home without his approval. Despite Spector’s once adorably eccentric penchant for making criminal threats, he actually stands a fighting chance to beat the second-degree murder charge: In the trial’s closing arguments, his attorney cited 14 pieces of forensic evidence that he said proved Spector’s innocence, including the fact that there was no trace of Spector’s DNA on the gun used to kill Clarkson.

So, it appears that while the defense has been referencing actual evidence about the specific incident in question, the prosecution has been harping on about Spector’s undeniably crazy past and just saying “Eh? Ehhhhh?” Oh well, who gives a shit at this point. Innocent or guilty, somebody just put that looney tune away some place where he can’t get near me or my family.



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