Thank God (or the Devil): A Proper Daniel Johnston Concert Film

Music docs give you rad backstage footage, fights, bellyhoo, and loads of concert footage, but no music film was as devastatingly candid as 2005's The Devil & Daniel Johnston, which not only framed a warts-and-all portrait of "outsider" music's most intriguing figure - it also exposed his music and prose to the film world. Cultivating an ever-growing fan base after more than a quarter century output of honest, mind-bending twee folk and steadying his life for the better, Daniel emerges victorious over his storied demons, culminating with a new DVD that serves as the ying to the Devil's yang.

Despite Daniel's crippling stage fright and unusually short setlists, The Angel and Daniel Johnston presents an 81-minute, 21 song concert film shot at London's Union Chapel in the summer of 2007. Daniel invited friends James Yorkston, Adem, and early collaborator Brett Hartenbach to join him for a cross-catalog set list. The DVD itself is getting all the high tech treatment you'd expect from a professional gig, including Dolby 5.1 opportunities, bonus rehearsal footage, interviews, and Daniel's own artwork adorning the jacket and inside booklet, penned exclusively for the film.

I don't mean to come off as too much of a sales asshole in this story, but this film is a long time coming. There is nothing quite like the intimacy and ambiance of a Daniel Johnston performance, and although nothing will compare to seeing him live, his mark on music deserves proper documentation. The Devil exposed his troubled life, The Angel exalts his gorgeous music.

Akron/Family Announces Details for Set ’Em Wild, Set ’Em Free

Prepare yourselves for something different. Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free, Akron/Family’s forthcoming album, will exhibit a shift from their old folk freakouts in favor of anthemics slated to live up to the adjectives “wild” and “free.” Due May 5, the album is the band’s first on the Dead Oceans label and is the first recorded by Akron/Family as a trio of Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton, and Dana Janssen.

Lately, their live shows have been rather explosive, and the group has tourdates scheduled nationally, notably at SXSW. I’m excited to hear this band’s transformation from the fireside noise of their first album to a sound that they (or at least their publicists) compare to Sly and the Family Stone.

Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free tracklisting:

1. Everyone Is Guilty
2. River
3. Creatures
4. The Alps & Their Orange Evergreen
5. Set 'Em Free
6. Gravelly Mountains of the Moon
7. Many Ghosts
8. MBF
9. They Will Appear
10. Sun Will Shine (Warmth of the Sunship Version)
11. Last Year

Tourdates:
03.01.09 - Santa Monica, CA - McCabe's Guitar Shop @
03.06.09 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
03.07.09 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
03.08.09 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
03.09.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - Brookdale Lodge
03.10.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Steve Allen Theatre
03.11.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Steve Allen Theatre
03.12.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Steve Allen Theatre
03.13.09 - Las Vegas, NV - The Aruba @ Neon Reverb Festival
03.17.09 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theatre
03.18.09 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk - SXSW
03.22.09 - Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
03.23.09 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dees #
03.24.09 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dees #
03.25.09 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore #
03.26.09 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore #
03.27.09 - New York, NY - The New Museum
03.28.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
03.29.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool

# Born Ruffians

@ Chris Darrow tribute show

The Brits, Led by Coldplay, are Invading Again – Rise Up America!

1586, 1775, 1812, 1964, and now 2009?

Last Sunday’s Grammy Awards has led some to ask if we are witnessing a new British Invasion. Robert Plant won five awards, while Adele, Duffy, Radiohead, and Estelle picked up another six between them. Coldplay headed the British contingent in 2009 with seven nominations, three awards, major label backing, and pretentious notions of being a “great band.”

However, similar to the stymied Brits in the Saratoga campaign of 1777, the incompetent Generals in the Battle of New Orleans in 1814, and John Lennon’s “We’re bigger than Jesus” claim in 1966, Coldplay’s leadership will be undermined by relentless crooning, grandma-friendly anthems, and plagiaristic guitar lines in 2009.

The decorated band will begin their campaign July 10 in Portland, Oregon, undoubtedly hoping for a quick victory against a weak target. Thousands of traitors, posing as “cool” high-school kids, will attend these events hypnotized by the insidious media’s belief that Coldplay are “hip” and “innovative trend-setters.”

Countless times before, Americans have stood up against the British imperialists and their cheap, immoral forms of popular culture. We must not fail our ancestors now! Rise up on the following dates:
07.10.09 - Portland, OR - The Amphitheater at Clark County
07.11.09 - George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre
07.13.09 - San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
07.16.09 - San Diego, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
07.18.09 - Carson, CA - Home Depot Center
07.21.09 - Dallas, TX - Superpages.com Center
07.22.09 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
07.24.09 - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
07.25.09 - East Troy, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre
07.29.09 - Toronto, ON - TBD
08.03.09 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center
08.06.09 - Raleigh, NC - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
08.07.09 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
08.09.09 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre

Tokyo Police Club’s Upcoming Tour and My Not-So-Secret Schoolgirl Crush

I have a confession. Ever since Tokyo Police Club released their single "Your English Is Good," the mod-punk, Canadian foursome have held a special place in my heart. I attribute the attraction to the attention they've given to my diction, and it helps that their unabashed, overly-enthusiastic energy is kinda hot. In April of 2008, the band released their very first full-length album, Elephant Shell (TMT Review) with Saddle Creek, and the schoolgirl crush continued. So it comes with a certain amount of giddiness that I inform you of their upcoming tour

02.24.09 - Providence, RI - Lupo's
02.25.09 - New York City, NY - Webster Hall
02.26.09 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
02.28.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
03.01.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
03.02.09 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
03.03.09 - Covington, KY - The Mad Hatter
03.05.09 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
03.06.09 - St. Augustine, FL - St. John's Fairgrounds
03.07.09 - Orlando, FL - The Social
03.08.09 - Delray Beach, FL - City Limits
03.10.09 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
03.11.09 - Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington
03.12.09 - McAllen, TX - Cine El Rey
03.13.09 - San Antonio, TX - The White Rabbit
03.14.09 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
03.16.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
03.18.09 - Chicago, IL - The Metro
03.19.09 - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot Ballroom
03.21.09 - Guelph, ON - Peter Clark Hall, University of Guelph
03.25.09 - Kingston, ON - The Ale House
03.27.09 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
04.02.09 - London, ON - Call The Office

Remember the infamous scene in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life when the vulgar, vomiting, lard-arse Mr. Creosote is introduced, seated, and served a bucket of moules marinières, pâte de foie gras, beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tarte de poireaux (“that's leek tart”), frogs legs amandine or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd (“little quails' eggs on a bed of puréed mushrooms”), six bottles of Château Latour 1945, a double jeroboam of champagne, and six crates of brown ale before self-detonating after being coaxed by the unflappable maître d’ to squeeze in one more bite of food -- a wafer-thin mint?

Anyway, here’s the tracklisting for a three-CD collection of Dntel early material due April 14 through Phthalo Records. The Early Works for Me if it Works for You II package includes remastered versions of Jimmy Tamborello’s first two Dntel albums -- Something Always Goes Wrong and Early Works for Me if it Works for You -- plus a third course of unreleased songs recorded just prior to his Life Is Full of Possibilities album:

Disc One: Something Always Goes Wrong:

1. In Which Our Hero Begins His Long and Arduous Quest
2. In Which Our Hero Finds a Faithful Sidekick
3. In Which Our Hero Is Put Under a Spell
4. In Which Our Hero Dodges Bullets and Swords
5. In Which Our Hero Frees the Damsel in Distress
6. In Which Our Hero Is Decapitated by the Evil King
7. In Which Our Hero Begins His Long and Arduous Quest (Seq Remix)
8. In Which Our Hero Was Taken By Surprise (Languis Remix)
9. The S.O.S

10. A Machine And A Memory Keep You Alive

Disc Two: Early Works for Me if it Works for You}:

1. Loneliness Is Having No One to Miss
2. High Horses Theme
3. Pliesex Sielking
4. Termites in the Bathtub
5. Fort Instructions
6. Curtains
7. Tybalt 60
8. Danny Loves Experimental Electronics
9. Sky Pointing
10. Casuals
11. Winds Let Me Down Again
12. Jewel States, “The Door Borders”

Disc Three: Early Works for Me if it Works for You II

1. New Name
2. Incomplete 1
3. Paul Guitar
4. Don’t Try
5. Serious
6. Darker Earlier
7. Smile Break
8. Incomplete 4
9. Moody
10. Slowdance
11. Fancy Ian
12. Jittery
13. Incomplete 2
14. Bluegrass (Short)
15. Mini
16. Laughs
17. The First Day After the Worst
18. Ender

Get Down with Snoop Dogg after Dark: MTV to Distribute Snoop’s Next LP

It’s kinda hard being Snoop D-O double-G, especially when record sales are tanking across the nation. But, ever the innovator, Snoop, having recently split with Interscope Records, just signed a deal with MTV to distribute his next album, Malice in Wonderland. Select tracks from the upcoming album will be released as playable songs on Rock Band. Additionally, Snoop's slated to host his own talk show, Dogg After Dark, a nighttime talk show hosted at LA nightclub Kress. It premiers tonight, February 17th at 9pm Eastern and Pacific on MTV.

Malice in Wonderland, Snoop’s follow-up to 2008’s Ego Trippin’, will feature collaborations with Pharrell, composer Lalo Schifrin, Dr. Dre, and others.

Snoop had this to say about his deal with MTV:

When Van Toffler and I sat down Boss to Boss, a global quintuple threat takeover was masterminded. As the world of entertainment keeps changing, we felt it was the right time to let Snoop Dogg back on MTV so we could continue to run thangs with music, movies, DVDs and bring Hip-Hop to Rock Band. So screw ya wigz on tight and tune in on Tuesday nights for the first step to the next level of Snoop D-O double G. Dogg after Dark is the only nightclub TV show hosted by you know who. So take a journey with me through the mind, body, soul and musical mind state of the most prolific, authentic game spitter. And tha shit is funny, so show me da money!

Woooooo! My class got canceled this morning! Oh, and a bill is up in Congress that will actually pay musicians for radio play, or whatever.

I came to DC under false pretenses: I was told it would snow all the time, and so far all I’ve gotten is one storm that produced three measly inches. So, imagine my excitement when I looked out the window this morning and those glorious white clusters were gently tumbling downwards before my very eyes! Without considering this weather’s implications, I checked my email hoping to find a response to my Craigslist ad for an apartment or at the very least some funny porn spam. What I got was neither but was possibly better -- an email from my professor canceling my only class of the day! I was overjoyed.

Then I headed over to Ye Olde Tiny Mix Tapes to see what the music world had on the grill. What was cooking was a delicious stew of good news (note to self: food metaphor not appropriate in this context)! As you may or may not know, only songwriters, not musicians, get paid when their songs are played on terrestrial airwaves (this is not the “good news” part). But a bipartisan coalition of House members is fighting to pass H.R. 4789 -- the Performance Rights Act -- which would compensate performers every time one of their songs is broadcast on commercial radio.

According to CNET News, this would be tremendously helpful in curbing losses from illegal downloading and plummeting CD sales. Although most of my favorite musicians write their own songs, it is a little sad that Katy Perry doesn’t get any money when “Hot ‘n Cold” is played on the radio, so I hope this bill passes and that this snow stays on the ground.

Brian Jonestown Massacre v7.0 Tours, BJM-Related Side Project The Lovetones to Release LP

The Committee to Keep Music Evil, a collective of like-minded, psychedelic-leaning, quality artists, have a lot to celebrate.

First, a calmer and more genial Brian Jonestown Massacre is ready to hit the road next month. Though, I should mention that I'm not going to make any cracks at Anton Newcombe in this article. Sure, there's little doubt as to Newcombe's status as being absolutely
batshit crazy, but this makes him too easy a target. So, despite TMT's penchant for poking fun at some artists who we do genuinely like, ragging on Anton is akin to igniting a bag of dog poop on your curmudgeonly neighbor's porch. You know what you're getting into and, hence, it's not really worth it. So to that end, I just wanna chime in here to establish the following premises:

- Anton and the latest (seventh perhaps?) incarnation of the Brian Jonestown Massacre are touring.
- The BJM are amazing live, under the conditions when everything goes to plan.
- Things have been on plan in the last couple of years.

Therefore, you should go see them (make haste!). Expect a cross-catalog setlist, at least one face-kick, and music that's better than the majority of what's coming out these days. Oh, and you lucky bastards who live on the Left Coast will get to witness our leather jacket-clad boys open for Primal "fuckin'" Scream! And I hate each and every one of you for this

03.16.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia #
03.17.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Filmore #
03.20.09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
03.21.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
03.24.09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater
03.26.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Turner Hall
03.28.09 - Chicago, IL - The Metro
03.29.09 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop
03.30.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theater
04.02.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise Theater
04.03.09 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
04.04.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
04.06.09 - Washington, DC - 930 Club
04.07.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
04.08.09 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
04.09.09 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
04.10.09 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
04.11.09 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tones
04.13.09 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
04.14.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
04.16.09 - Tempe, AZ - Club House

# Primal Scream

In related news, BJM member Matthew Tow's retro pop vehicle The Lovetones are set to release their latest album Dimensions stateside on February 24. As is the trend with most former and current members of BJM, The Lovetones are a solid modern interpretation of late-’60s baroque pop and smooth psychedelia. Certainly worth checking out whilst waiting for you opportunity to receive an Anton face-kick. Just kidding.

R U Fur Sirius!?! Sirius XM Reportedly Preparing To File For Bankruptcy

Okay, so first things first: According to a modest little rag called the New York Times, Sirius XM radio is preparing to file for a possible bankruptcy. Second things second: No, you’re not crazy, the two satellite-radio businesses did just merge in July 2008, and yes, that usually means that the new company should emerge with greater solvency than before. But apparently the extra-terrestrial nature of this whole business just means that the laws of nature just don’t apply, because the joint company hilariously remains in a $3.25 billion debt. This begs the question: is Stern’s creepy voice really worth launching literal fleets of satellites into outer space for?? I mean, besides, we all saw what happened in Independence Day with those satellites, right? Think about it.

Of course, Howard “turn around... show me, show us your rack... ohmygodlookatthat... so hot, so hot!” Stern isn’t the only culprit here; this has a lot to do with that whole credit squeeze deal as well. But the high price of “talent” like Stern and that whole firing-rockets-into-space thing ain’t exactly cheap. And while subscribers have been growing steadily, less people are currently buying cars, and thus less people are installing this not-much-better-sounding and much-more-expensive instrument in their car. Plus, attempts to lure a younger audience have so far been... well, you know, met with cynicism. Sirius XM also recently announced that there would be rate increases for new customers as the satellite radio company scrounged for more revenue. Sounds like “Sirius trouble,” am I right folks!? Gabba-gabba-hey!

While a bankruptcy announcement wouldn’t likely cause any service interruption for customers and rack-connoisseurs, the NYT reports that the company could ultimately be forced to terminate the contracts with Stern, Martha Stewart and others. Or... they could just combine those two shows, am I right!? High five?? No? Alright!

Anyway, back to this horrible situation that doesn’t affect me in any way: Sirius XM owes a $175 million payment on its massive debt by the end of this month, which the company likely will be unable to pay. However, this financial pinch has opened the door for satellite TV company Echostar (who already bought up $400 million of Sirius XM’s debt that was due in December 2008) to take over Sirius XM. Sirius chief executive Mel Karmazin and Echostar chief executive Charles W. Ergen are reportedly in talks to consider Sirius XM’s options and a possible takeover. Possibly via satellite! Hey, come on! High Five!

The War on Drugs Tour with The Hold Steady, Cue Witty Puns by Pretentious Writers

The Hold Steady brought in to aid The War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs to be won with Craig Finn’s gruff vocals.

Craig Finn ditches his day-job to help The War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs plumbs to new depths.

We’re losing The War on Drugs – desperate measures required.

We’re winning The War on Drugs –The Hold Steady recruited for massive celebration.

Want to fight The War on Drugs? Start writing lyrically detailed songs backed up with punchy guitar lines.

The War on Drugs takes their name from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) attempt to fight the proliferation of illicit narcotics throughout the United States. The Hold Steady is playing in support.

The War on Drugs tourdates:
02.19.09 - Oostende, Belgium - Manuscript
02.20.09 - Lille, France - L'Aeronef
02.21.09 - Clermont Ferrand, France - Nuits de Alligator
02.22.09 - Bordeaux, France - Le St X
02.24.09 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
02.25.09 - Evreux, France - Nuits de Alligator @ L'Abordage
02.26.09 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
02.27.09 - Groningen, NL - Vera
02.28.09 - Den Bosch, NL - W2
03.01.09 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
03.02.09 - Brussel, Belgium - Botanique
03.04.09 - Munchen, Germany - Orange House
03.05.09 - Leipzig, Germany - NATO
03.06.09 - Hannover, Germany - Cafe Glocksee
03.31.09 - Albany, NY - Valentine's #
04.01.09 - Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall #
04.03.09 - Urbana, IL - Courtyard Cafe #
04.04.09 - Bloomington, IN - Jakes Nightclub #
04.05.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas #
04.06.09 - St. Louis, MO - Gargoyle #
04.07.09 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador #
04.08.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown #
04.10.09 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre #
04.11.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge #
04.13.09 - Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar #
04.14.09 - Stateline, NV - Harrah's Tahoe South Shore #
04.15.09 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's #
04.18.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge !
04.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
04.21.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo

# The Hold Steady

! Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band