11 Die in Stampede at Moroccan Music Festival Promoting Tolerance… Ugh

Although probably very few of us out here in the culture vacuum known as ’merica know who Moroccan pop star Abdelaziz Stati is (I know I didn't), this last Sunday in a stadium show in Rabat, the capitol city of Morocco, 11 of the 70,000 attendees were killed in a stampede while they were leaving the show at the end of the 8th annual Mawazine festival. Forty others were injured.

The Mawazine festival is backed by King Mohammad and is aimed at promoting tolerance and publicizing Rabat as a worldly and open city, though some extremists in the country feel that pop music "encourages immoral behavior." This year, the festival drew a million people and featured an amazing 1,700 performers, including Kylie Minogue, Cheb Khaled, Warda Al-Jazairia, Ali Campbell (formerly of UB40), Johnny Clegg of White Zulu, and Stevie Wonder.

The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer: Destroyer to Do It Right with New 12-inch Vinyl EP This August; Lyrical Concerns Include the Invasion of Cuba, Parties, Madness, Suffering!

Whoa, wake up, sucker! Dan Bejar is scoring with your girlfriend! On August 18, Merge will drop a brand new Destroyer EP, Bay of Pigs, exclusively on 12-inch vinyl. Wha-bam! But wait, the story gets sexier. Yes, this is a limited-edition EP with over 20 minutes of new Destroyer material. Yes, Destroyer will be on tour in July on the East Coast. And YES, he will perform at XX Merge (tickets still available for Memorial Hall show...) -- can you top that??? No. You can not. Accept it. Move on.

At 13:37, “Bay of Pigs” is the longest of Destroyer songs (i.e. waaaaay longer than YOUR songs, if you know what I’m sayin’). The song was recorded throughout the winter of 2009 with longtime Destroyer collaborators/members John Collins and David Carswell at their JCDC Studio in downtown Vancouver in what can be summed up in two words: “Ambient Disco.” Yeah, he went there. He’s not afraid. He’s fearless. But wait, don’t look now, because he’s also sensitive. “Bay of Pigs” (the track) is an account of the 1961 American invasion of Cuba, often referred to as... The Bay Of Pigs. (He’s also quite poetic).

Meanwhile, the music for the B-side track, “Ravers,” was played entirely on analogue synthesizer and recorded by Ted Bois (Destroyer, Pink Mountaintops) in April of 2009. Do you even have an analogue synthesizer?? The song explores some of the more meditative realms of 20th-century classical composition that you don’t even know about because you’re not next-level, and it has been described as “a casual rumination on parties, political parties, madness, and suffering (for one’s art).” See? He’s even capable of “casual” and “suffering” at the same goddamn time! Just forget it, man. You lose. Dan Bejar wins. Dan Bejar always wins. Welcome to Palookaville. Population: you.

Bay of Pigs Tracklist:

A: Bay of Pigs -- 13:37

B: Ravers -- 7:50

Destroyer dates:
07.22.09 – 07.25.09 – Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle (XX MERGE)
07.27.09 – Atlanta, GA - The Earl
07.28.09 – Washington, DC - Black Cat
07.29.09 – Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
07.30.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
07.31.09 – Boston, MA - Paradise
08.02.09 – Sackville, NB - Sackville United Church

Damn, we never get fests this good out in Ohio. We have our share of cool events going on, but the lineup for this year's What the Heck? Fest -- taking place July 17-19 in Anacortes, WA -- is astounding.

Of course, the expected K Records crew is in full force, with everyone from K head honcho Calvin Johnson, Kimya Dawson, and Mount Eerie to Karl Blau and Tara Jane O'Neil. But the fest also features some unexpected extras, including Wolves in the Throne Room, Earth, and Grouper, as well as some out-of-state artists like Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Lucky Dragons. Meanwhile, Cryptacize will be twice performing “In The Yard, Havin’ Fun,” a prison musical that they co-wrote with Nick from No Kids. The lineup hasn't been completely finalized yet, so who knows who else will be added!

Tickets for the whole weekend are only $50. Peep the official website for a promo video and s'more info.

Check out the current lineup:


Wolves in the Throne Room


Kimya Dawson



Mecca Normal



Katy Davidson The Jam Band

Your Heart Breaks

Lucky Dragons

Karl Blau

Mount Eerie

Calvin Johnson

Arrington de Dionyso

No Kids

Ô Paon

“In The Yard, Havin’ Fun” (a musical!)


Rose Melberg

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

A Space City Intensive

Angelo Spencer



St. Merman

Tara Jane O’Neil

Al Larsen


So, I chose this story because it was super short and I could finish it within the 20 minutes before The Daily Show starts; plus, it's been a long weekend, and all I wanna do is, you know, relax with a nice summery drink. Wait, no -- NO I DIDN’T. I am not that much of a slacker. NOPE. I chose the story because I am a good journalist! And I like Depeche Mode. Really, that’s why.

First up, Sigur Rós vocalist Jónsi Birgisson has announced that he is working on his first solo album, which will feature string arrangements by Nico Muhly. The as-yet untitled album will be in addition to his Riceboy Sleeps project (TMT News), which will hit the market July 20. According to Eighteen Seconds Before Sunrise:

we are happy to announce that jónsi is now working on his first solo album. the album will be largely acoustic and feature string arrangements from contemporary classical composer nico muhly. according to nico, jónsi’s solo music can be described as “ecstatic.” the as-yet-untitled project will be produced by peter katis, who has recently produced albums by the interpol, national and tokyo police club. we will bring you more official info about jónsi’s solo album when we have it.

Jónsi has also remixed Depeche Mode's “Come Back,” which will be available on the “Peace” 7-inch single June 15 through the Mute label. “Peace” is the second single from Depeche Mode’s latest album, Sounds of the Universe, and the first ever to be remixed by a native speaker of a pretend language. Birgisson has stepped up to the ol’ remix plate in the past, most recently with occasional Sigur Rós collaborators/fellow Icelandic band Amiina’s single for “Seoul.” His remix for “Come Back” is only available on the 7-inch version of the single, so if you’re a fan of Birgisson and his band of merry Hopelandic men, don’t sleep on it.

Julie Doiron Wonders What You Did With Your Day, Then Tours

Julie Doiron, former Eric's Trip member, is in a good place these days. Her new record I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day (TMT Review) bursts with positive vibes, receiving strong reviews ever since its release back in March. She seems to be looking to the past in better spirits too, as she's joined on a few numbers by her former Eric's Trip band mates. So, I say why not take advantage of all these good vibes and spread them around Canada and the U.S.!

Her touring band will consist of Fred Squire (who collaborated with Julie and Phil Elverum on Mount Eerie's Lost Wisdom), as well as Jesse and Jay Baird, who make up the rhythm section of Feist's band. It starts May 26 in Toronto and will continue on for a month of dates, ending with two festival dates after a brief early-July rest. The first one is the River and Sky Festival in River Valley, Ontario July 18, and the second one is the Hillside Festival July 25-26, which will also feature Buffy Sainte-Marie, Final Fantasy, Tokyo Police Club, WOMEN, and a number of other bands.
05.26.09 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
05.30.09 - Bayfield, ON - Black Dog Village Pub
05.31.09 - Windsor, ON - Phog Lounge
06.02.09 - Bloomington, IN - Bear's Place
06.03.09 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
06.04.09 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
06.05.09 - Winnipeg, MB - Royal Albert
06.06.09 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos
06.07.09 - Bruno, SK - All Citizens
06.10.09 - Edmonton, AB - Pawnshop
06.11.09 - Calgary, AB - Broken City
06.12.09 - Kelowna, BC - Habitat
06.13.09 - Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
06.14.09 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore
06.15.09 - Belingham, WA - The Nighlight
06.16.09 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
06.17.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene
06.20.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Hotel Cafe
06.22.09 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theater*
06.25.09 - Louisville, KY - Skull Alley
06.27.09 - St. Louis - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
06.28.09 - Cincinnati, OH - Art Damage Lodge
07.18.09 - River Valley, ON - River and Sky Festival
07.25.09 - Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival#
07.26.09 - Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival#

* Bill Callahan

# Final Fantasy, Tokyo Police Club, WOMEN, Holy Fuck, and Buffy Sainte-Marie

Bob Dylan Plagiarizes Hank Snow Song, But the Auction Must Go On!

We all know that Bob Dylan had/has a strong predilection for country and Americana music of yesteryear, but new news revealed by Reuters reveals that he even wanted to rip off country legends!

On June 23, a poem, written by a 16-year-old Dylan and submitted to his Jewish summer camp’s newspaper, is going to go up for auction at Christie's as the earliest known example of the singer-songwriter’s handwritten lyrics and is expected to receive bids nearing $15,000. However, it turns out that the “poem” Dylan submitted isn’t even an original work.

Christie’s announced the sale of the manuscript, written in 1957, on Tuesday, but within days it became apparent that the auction house had failed to detect that the “Dylan Original,” with a few minor alterations, was actually the words of Hank Snow’s previously recorded song “Little Buddy.” Reuters investigated the claim made by one of their faithful and alert readers and were promptly able to back up the claim of their stalwart subscriber.

"Additional information has come to our attention about the handwritten poem submitted by Bob Dylan to his camp newspaper, written when he was 16, entitled ‘Little Buddy.’ The words are in fact a revised version of lyrics of a Hank Snow song," Christie's said in a statement. "This still remains among the earliest known handwritten lyrics of Bob Dylan and Christie's is pleased to offer them in our Pop Culture auction on June 23."

Ah, Christie's, quite the defender of artistic integrity, eh? Even with plagiarizing, I marvel at the ability of a place that can still sell handwriting for thousands of dollars. I also wonder who would ever be such a Dylan fan that they would pay exorbitant amounts of moolah just for a teenage Dylan writing down lyrics he likes and playing a prank on his camp counselors. I wonder if this means I can get a major payday for a “Possible Song Titles for New Dylan Album” manuscript that turned out to just be a grocery list I found at Bob’s house while cleaning his pool.

Madness Preps U.S. Release of New Album Plus Completely Kickass Box Set of the New Album That Automa

I made that headline so I could make that picture.

But that business ain’t no lie! On July 7 (and June 23 digitally) U.K. second-wave ska royalty Madness will release their ninth studio album The Liberty of Norton Folgate on Yeproc . The band spent three years of ska, sweat, and tears and finally pulled themselves up by the Olivers and achieved their dream record and blah blah blah these guys are from England and who gives a shit ! The real show is at the box set. Available for pre-order only until June 30, the box set includes a three-disc expanded edition of the new album, a vinyl copy of the standard album, and one sure spiffy poster.

And all that shit is bogus, too. The dopest of the dope stuff lies in Madness’ very own Dumbledore’s Army, the mystifying conclave of M. What is M, you indulge? Well, that’s a fucking secret to mere Muggles like you and me. That is, unless you can drop 65 bones from the throne and pre-order that sick set now , affording you an official M badge and identification card to bear wherevs you treads and the official M handbook to soak in whene’er the drought of uncertainty strikes you. In fact, legends tell of an invisible alcove at Madness’ official website where only those chosen of M are “showered with a myriad of exclusive features, content, and opportunities.” But alack, none know now of such a place, unless ye think ye have the sorcerer’s stones to join M’s eternal order today. “And so he entered and so he led me in / To the first circle of the abyss.

Do you fuckin’ remember when ska was about short hair and trumpets?

RIP: Jay Bennett, Former Wilco Member

From Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times:

Jay Bennett, a rock musician with deep ties to Chicago best known as a former member of Wilco, died early Sunday morning in downstate Urbana, where he had been running a recording studio, according to a spokesman for his family.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist was 45 years old.

"Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed," said Edward Burch, a friend and musician who collaborated with Bennett on the 2005 album "The Palace at 4 a.m." "The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time."

From Wikipedia:

In May 2009, Bennett sued Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract stemming from his work for Wilco. The suit came less than two weeks after Bennett publicly revealed that he needed hip replacement surgery which he could not afford due to lack of health insurance.

- Jay Bennett MySpace
- Jay Bennett Wikipedia entry

Eyedea & Abilities to Release First New Album in Five Years That Reveals New Ideas and Abilities

[ed.- You're fired for that headline.]

So, Eyedea & Abilities are amazing right? The group is comprised of one of the best MCs ever and an amazingly talented DJ who's extremely entertaining to watch. My personal favorites of the Rhymesayers collective, these two dudes have so much credibility that they simply laugh at people who forget that they're one of the best hip-hop duos around. In their faces!

The thing is… they haven’t really done that much in a couple years. And, to be honest, the “rock” band that Eyedea had for awhile… they kinda sucked. But Eyedea has won like a BILLION rap battles, and DJ Abilities did all the turntable work for El-P’s phenomenal album Fantastic Damage (old-school TMT Review), so I always give them the benefit of the doubt based solely on what they're capable of, even if not everything they do is "awesome."

But who gives a shit about everything I said, because they're back with a new album! By the Throat is scheduled for release July 21 on Rhymesayers, and I bet it will totally blow away their last album, 2004’s breakout release E&A (TMT Review). The press release describes the new songs as “ranging] from intensely personal topics to the more esoteric [quantum mechanics],” which, yeah, that sounds kind of old-hat for [E&A, but they do stuff like that so well!

In support of the new album Eyedea & Abilities are scheduled to appear this Sunday at Rhymesayers' Soundset ’09, as previously reported. The band also expects to headline a tour in the fall, including dates at this year's Rock the Bells.

Here are some dates, all properly formatted and such:
06.27.09 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
06.28.09 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
07.05.09 - Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheater
07.12.09 - Washington, DC - Merriweather Post Pavilion
07.18.09 - Boston, MA - Comcast Center
07.19.09 - New York, NY - Jones Beach Amphitheater
08.01.09 - Vancouver, BC - Deer Lake Park
08.06.09 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
08.08.09 - Los Angeles, CA - San Manuel Amphitheater
08.09.09 - San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater

This Is the Way Plan B Magazine Ends, Not with a Bang but a Twitter

After five years of publication, UK indie music rag Plan B will print its last issue on June 1 according to this Porky Pig-style farewell tweet.

Launched by rogue journalist Everett True in 2004, Plan B set out to provide an incisive, content-driven alternative to the mainstream UK hype mills. In its short history, Plan B succeeded in dodging the slings and arrows of tacky tabloidification with loose and fun news coverage and spectacularly entertaining and thoughtful reviews. There’s no word yet if Plan B will retain an online presence, but since that’s been my only exposure to the magazine (and I must say I’ve quite enjoyed it), let’s hope it sticks around on the digital plane in some form or fashion.

Earlier today, I bought a Colt 45 forty ouncer, and tonight I’ll be pouring out a triple-sip or so of that sucker on the curb for you, Plan B. See you at the crossroads.