Over five years ago, a small tracker in Sweden by the Piracy Bureau was born in what was the early beginnings of the BitTorrent era. Since then, The Pirate Bay slowly became the stuff of epics: While major trackers have been shut down and boarded up, TPB maintained some resilience that you couldn't help but be amused, maybe even proud of. They scored leaks of major films, albums, and video games like good PR coups. At times, when artists and movie studios such as Warner Brothers and ego balloon Billy Corgan beseeched them to stop uploads of their leaked movies and pirated albums, they simply posted the letters up and laughed at them. When the site was raided in 2006, protests spawned all throughout Sweden against the nature of the raids, and a political party representing the interests of these supporters (the Pirate Party) was born.
Now, after a trial jokingly referred to as "spectacular trial" or spectrial, (where several charges were dropped, wild accusations were made, and all-around melodrama and theatrics could be had by both sides), the four men who stood trial for the actions of TPB -- Peter Sunde, Fredrik Nejj, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Carl Lundström -- were all declared guilty of facilitating copyright infringement through TPB. According to the 107-page judgment, the four worked together as a team and "were aware that copyrighted material was being shared using The Pirate Bay and that they made it easy and assisted the infringements." Each face a fine of 7.5 million Swedish kronor ($905,000) to the plaintiffs(a consortium of MPAA and RIAA corporations) and a year in jail. Amusingly, the judges in the verdict also declared the usage of BitTorrent illegal in Sweden. I got a feeling that won't go down too well anywhere.
Of course, the four have declared that they will appeal. Sunde, a.k.a. brokep, one of the outspoken figures of the trial, held a press conference online in the aftermath of the verdict. Comparing it to a typical episode of Swedish children's program, Sunde sees that they will ultimately get the epic win and sees this only as a setback. He notes that he was "not surprised" at the verdict, only at the prospect of jail time. He immediately disputed the facts that they worked together as a team, as well as the fact that their actions were "organized crime," calling their site much more disorganized. He was particularly surprised at the fact that the judgment was leaked yesterday to the press, which is how they first got word of the conviction themselves. At one point, he referred to the court as a "dice court," where results tend to be unpredictable. As to whether he would pay the fine, he said that even if he had the money to pay (which he did not), he would rather "burn the money and blow away the dust" than pay a cent to the plantiffs. In regards to TPB's fate, Sunde had said prior to trial that the site itself was never on trial and will continue running.
There is something to be said about this whole verdict. Many artists we write for here at Tiny Mix Tapes, as well as other sites such as Pitchfork and Pop Matters and Stereogum, have much to thank for file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay. They may not give them the immediate revenue that some artists and labels crave, but it gives them something else that's more important: fans. Fans that will go to shows, fans that will pay for merch, fans that will support them in any way they can. I am personally acquainted with an artist (who shall remain unnamed), whose own success was through the inadvertent leaking of an album to file-sharing sites such as What.cd and TPB. He is now selling out shows across the country. There are no doubt others who have had similar success. This verdict says a lot about what is wrong with the music industry's mentality towards piracy: All they see now are falling profit margins and the bottom line, lost sales where there never were any to begin with. They don't see that most people aren't just sales numbers. Some are slowly figuring this out and are now learning to earn their revenue off ticket stubs and merch sakles amongst other things. Others are still worshipping this dying god, and will do everything in their power to save it, up to the point of manipulating the government to serve them (which we will be reporting on next week). At the end of the day, while they may be morally in the right, their argument for maintaining this pyrrhic campaign is tired, and people have begun to move on.
While the labels won today, nothing can be made of this just yet.
Boy, oh, boy! Kevin Shields is throwing a heckuva party, and he wants YOU to go! Okay, well, he’s not “throwing” the party, but he has picked out an awesome lineup of bands, and he still really, really wants to go.
Shields, who will curate this year’s ATP Nightmare Before Christmas, has already asked newly-christened critical darlings The Horrors to play, while the rest of the bill also promises shows by Sonic Youth, De La Soul, Sun Ra Arkestra, and, of course, My Bloody Valentine. Expect more announcements regarding Shields selections to follow.
Interested in going? So am I. So, make sure you clear your calendar for December 4–6, 2009, because that’s when this whole groovy shindig is going down.
Tickets too pricey? I know, right? Well, have no fear because ATP is willing to help you out. Certain allocations of discounted tickets will be sold starting 9 AM today until 9 AM on April 24. Another set of discount tickets will also be made available, starting at 9 AM on April 24 until May 1, although this second batch will be slightly less discounted. Head over here to get the whole spiel on the ticket discounts.
Oh, and by the way, Mr. Shields: Loveless is amazing. To this day, it still sounds like whales having sex. And that’s awesome!
Music and Electronic Geeks Rejoice: Annual Circuit-Bending Festival Comes to NYC! Music and Electronic Geeks Despair: You Probably Won’t Be Able to Find a Date For This Thing!
Well, hey there, young man. Taking a break to browse the web while the ol’ soldering iron heats up, huh? Hey, that’s super. Just doing your standard daily Google search for “circuit bending,” “DIY electronics,” and “hardware hacking,” you say? Outstanding. Hey, your parents think that that’s just fantastic, you know? Keep it up, now!
Anyway, get ready for your hard disk to get a little harder, cuz have I got some great news for you today! You (yes, you in the XL “I’m Only Here Because My Server Is Down” t-shirt) are cordially invited to attend this year’s Bent Festival at Manhattan’s Tank Theater! No, this isn’t an online forum, buddy; this is the real thing. And shit, it starts today! You’ll have to slip those Cons on your feet and step out into the sunshine for this one. But dude, it’ll so totally be worth it!
The Bent Fest is an annual art and music festival celebrating DIY electronics, hardware hacking, and circuit-bending, and each year they invite artists from across the country and around the globe to perform music with their homemade and/or circuit-bent instruments, teach workshops to adults and children alike, create beautiful art installations, and showcase the state of the art in DIY electronics and circuit-bending culture in general! Cha-ching, man!
Workshops will include “Dub Siren/Noise Box,” “Analog Sensors,” “Beginning Microcontroller Programming and Circuit Bending,” “Chiptune Marching Band,” “Glitch NES,” and more. It ranges in price from free to around $90.
For a more complete list, why don’t you just click on over to their website? And remember: The 2009 Bent Festival is going on now at The Tank Theater until April 18. And, er, there’s free Beerlao at 7 PM each night for 21+ guests, apparently. Yum.
There’s Ray Charles Gold in Them There Downloads: 28 Post-1960 Albums Available for Download, Awesome Anthology Available Now
When I was a teenager, I saw Ray Charles perform in Philadelphia. Fireworks lit up the sky, the summer breeze whispered through the crowd, and the assembled mass gave off a great cheer as the legendary soul man seated himself behind the piano. It was a magical night -- or it would've been had I any idea of how cool this all was. Instead, I mostly just stood around in my geeky shorts and slapped at mosquitoes, never envisioning how I would grow to admire Charles' ability to transcend genre with classics like "Georgia on My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," and more. Which is why the recent digital release of 28 albums of Ray Charles' post-1960 output is so damn cool. Maybe you weren't around to buy the albums the first time, or maybe you just want to pimp out your iPod. Whatever your reason, this news can definitely be filed under "smashing."
Here's the skinny. iTunes currently has exclusive access to all the jams, but two weeks after April 7, the albums will be available from an assortment of digital retailers. The digital releases are happening simultaneously with the release of Ray Charles -- Genius: The Ultimate Collection, a 21-song anthology of all the man's most-loved recordings for ABC-Paramount and Atlantic. Concord, the label behind the reissues, is planning on making Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, A Message From the People and Genius + Soul = Jazz available within the year.
The Ultimate tracklisting:
1. Hit the Road Jack
2. What'd I Say (Part 1)
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Sticks and Stones
6. Drown in My Own Tears
7. Unchain My Heart
8. Georgia on My Mind
9. I've Got a Woman
10. You Are My Sunshine
11. Take These Chains from My Heart
12. Hide Nor Hair
13. Let's Go Get Stoned
14. You Don't Know Me
15. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
16. Crying Time
17. A Fool for You
18. One Mint Julep
19. Here We Go Again
21. America the Beautiful
Well, what do you know; it’s time for another Mars Volta album! The prog-rockers will release Octahedron June 23 on Warner Bros. Records, preceded by first single, “Since We’ve Been Wrong.” The band is also currently scheduled to appear at both this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN and the second annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco. Further U.S. dates will be announced soon.
1. Since We've Been Wrong
3. Halo of Nembutals
4. With Twilight as My Guide
6. Desperate Graves
Apostle of Hustle Announce New Album and Tourdates; No, Not That the Dude with the Mustache from Broken Social Scene, the Other Dude with the Mustache from Broken Social Scene
It’s really hard to keep all those Broken Social Scene dudes straight. All you need to know is that Andrew Whitehouse looks like this, probably smokes more weed than your teenage little brother, and has a new album coming out May 19 with his band Apostle of Hustle, titled Eats Darkness. Fans can purchase tickets for their upcoming string of Ontario shows here , which will also include a digital copy of Apostle's new album for an additional $4, before both go on sale to the general public. The album download will be accessible starting at midnight on May 19, with the bonus tracks “Soul Unwind” and “Perfect Fit” available now for download.
Apostle of Hustle is also seeking aspiring bands in the Southern Ontario area for their upcoming spring tour. If you live in the area and are interested (and older than 19), you can submit a brief summary about why your band should support Apostle of Hustle, as well as your contact info and MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1.
See which bands made the cut in May:
05.20.09 - Guelph, ON - E-Bar
05.21.09 - Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
05.22.09 - Peterborough, ON - Montreal House
05.23.09 - Ottawa, ON - Zaphod Beeblebrox
05.27.09 - Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
05.29.09 - Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery
05.30.09 - Waterloo, ON - Starlight Room
Lamb's Laughter kinda sounds like the title of a DVD track in any
given David Lynch film. But no, there's nothing creepy about it.
Lamb's Laughter is a live collaboration between two beautiful
songwriters -- Windy & Carl's Windy Weber and Benoit Pioulard's Tom
Meluch -- and all three are touring like one big happy Kranky family.
The brief tour will hit Canada and the East Coast and should totally
rule, but don't sip any lean before you go. You might pass out on
contact with the first note. Speaking of notes, show your W&C pride by
becoming a FaCeBoOk fan. It'll be refreshing to see Windy and Carl's faces betwixt all the quiz results.
Laugh, Lambs, Laugh:
04.22.09 - London, ON - London Convention Center
04.23.09 - Toronto, ON - Wippersnapper Art Gallery
04.24.09 - Ithaca, NY - The Shop
04.25.09 - Haverford, PA - Lunt Basement
04.26.09 - New Haven, CT - Bar
04.27.09 - Medford, MA - Oxfam
04.28.09 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
04.30.09 - Richmond, VA - The Triple
05.01.09 - Asheville, NC - Bebe Theater
05.02.09 - Atlanta, GA - 529
05.03.09 - Lexington, KY - The Hop Hop
Hey, Billy Corgan! While you’re out there wailing and gnashing, tearing your shirt open and beating your breast, key stroking (and I do mean “stroking”) your own personal Articles of Confederation and squeezing every last drop of narrative drama out of your forced “Me vs. the Universe” archetype, some of your major-label contemporaries are actually managing to keep their careers fun! Imagine that! Let this be a lesson to you, Mr. Endisthebeginningistheend: a little lighthearted, postmodern cheek-tonguing can go a long way.
Just ask Colin Meloy and his Decemberists, who have just confirmed another performance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report for Monday, April 27. Fans no doubt recall that this will be the band’s first appearance on the show since 2006’s infamous “ShredDown,” in which [badass] Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk was dubiously “defeated” by a Colbert-devised run-in with the infamous Peter Frampton and his even-more-infamous talk box. There were bribes, there was senseless shredding, there was Rick Neilson... heck, there was even a healthy lampooning of pop music criticism. And while no specific challenges, call-outs, throw-downs, or insults have been volleyed by either side as of yet, you just know that something special has to be going down that’s going to make The Decemberists that much easier for the whole world to love (are you still listening, Billy?).
And what’s this? Not only is one of your peers keeping things light, but they’re also putting out records and touring on them? What a concept! The Decemberists have also announced the majority of dates for Phase Two of their “A Short Fazed Hovel” 2009 tour in support of their nerdily ambitious The Hazards of Love album (TMT Review). Tickets will go on sale to the public for newly announced headline concerts beginning Friday, April 17 at 10 AM ET. Full venue and ticketing information is available at The Decemberists’ website. On tour, The Decemberists will play two sets a night -- the first, a full performance of The Hazards of Love, and the second a melange of their older material. And just as before, Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden will be joining the band on-stage to reprise their roles as... Margaret and... some sort of queen, I think, and... I don’t know... whoever else. But hey, a band doing stuff instead of talking about doing stuff? We’ll take it.
05.19.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
05.20.09 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
05.21.09 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
05.23.09 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Festiva
05.24.09 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
05.26.09 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
05.27.09 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
05.29.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
05.31.09 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
06.01.09 - Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
06.03.09 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06.04.09 - Raleigh, NC - Memorial Auditorium
06.05.09 - Richmond, VA - The National
06.06.09 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
06.08.09 - Baltimore, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
06.09.09 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion
06.10.09 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
06.11-14.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
06.20.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Rock the Garden/Walker Art Center
07.17.09 - Seattle, WA - Marymoor Park
07.18-19.09 - Portland, OR - Edgefield Winery
07.21-22.09 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theater
08.03.09 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
08.05.09 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
08.08.09 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Egyptian Room
08.10.09 - Louisville, KY - W.L. Lyons Brown Theater
08.11.09 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theater
Maybe in response to the sad fact that you can't throw a stone these days without hitting some kid with an iPod and an 1/8"-to-1/4" adapter that calls himself a DJ, revered underground hip-hop label Stones Throw is throwing a DJ tour this spring to show you how it's really done. Peanut Butter Wolf, Dam-Funk, Mayer Hawthorne, and James Pants are currently on tour of the United States and Canada. The show won't be strictly DJ sets; the inimitably bizarre Pants plans to perform with his band The Royal Zodiac, and Hawthorne plans to kick out some live soul jams as well. No word yet on whether Guilty Simpson will show up at the 2-hour mark in a helicopter
04.21.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex*
04.22.09 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
04.23.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene
04.24.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
04.28.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
04.29.09 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
04.30.09 - Chicago, IL - The Abbey Pub
05.01.09 - Toronto, Ontario - Revival Bar
05.02.09 - Montreal, Quebex - Les Saints
05.03.09 - Princeton, NJ - Terrace Club
05.04.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise
05.05.09 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
05.06.09 - Philadelphia, PA - North Bowl
05.07.09 - Washington, D.C. - 930 Club
05.08.09 - New York City, NY - Natural History Museum
05.09.09 - New York City, NY - LPR*
* Peanut Butter Wolf replaced w/ Folerio
Apparently Au -- mainly one dude with a rotating cast of musicians -- has lived all over the country. And now Luke Wyland and current bandmate Dana Valatka will get to travel to parts of Europe you probably didn’t even hear about during your time abroad. The experimental psych-folk duo will set out at the end of the month in Norway and wrap it up two months later in France with a few scattered fall dates. Because the tour list is so long, I’ll just shut up and hop to it:
04.24.09 - Bergen, NO - Landmark
04.25.09 - Oslo, NO - Novafest *
04.27.09 - Brighton, UK - The Freebutt
04.28.09 - Cardiff, UK - Buffalo Bar
04.29.09 - Dublin, IE - Upstairs / Whelans
04.30.09 - Cork, IE - The Pavilion
05.01.09 - Bristol, UK - The Cube
05.02.09 - Barrow-in-Furness, UK - The Canteen
05.03.09 - Glasgow, UK - Captains Rest
05.04.09 - Edinburgh, UK - The Bowery
05.05.09 - York, UK - Basement-City Screen
05.06.09 - London, UK - The Lexington
05.07.09 - Paris St Ouen, FR - Mains d'Oeuvres +
05.08.09 - Brussels, BE - Festival Les Nuits du Botanique
05.09.09 - Copenhagen, DK - Lades
05.10.09 - Gothenburg, SE - Röhsska Museet #
05.11.09 - Stockholm, SE - Landet
05.12.09 - Turku, FI - Dynamo
05.13.09 - Helsinki, Fl - Semifinal &
05.16.09 - Riga, LV - Skanu Mezs (Sound Forest) Festival
05.17.09 - Warsaw, PL - Powiekszenie $
05.18.09 - Berlin, DE - NBI +
05.19.09 - Leipzig, DE - Paris Syndrom +
05.21.09 - Schorndorf, DE - Club Manufaktur
05.23.09 - Lyon, FR - Grnd Zero @
05.27.09 - Roma, IT - Init
05.28.09 - Faenza, IT - Clandestino
05.29.09 - Brescia, IT - Morya Alter Bar
05.30.09 - Pisa, IT - Caracol
06.01.09 - Bordeaux, FR - BT59 ^
06.03.09 - Strasbourg, FR - Galerie Simutania
06.04.09 - Paris, FR - Chronicart / Café de la Danse %
06.05.09 - Orleans, FR - L'Astrolabe ^
06.06.09 - Cherbourg, FR - Terra Trema Festival
09.10.09 - Stravanger, NO - Numusic festival
09.19.09 - Utrecht, NL - Theater Kikker
* Chrome Hoof, Smoosh
+ Ora Cogan
# Lexie Moutain Boys
% Cryptazice, Berg Sans Nipple