RIP: Alan W. Livingston, ex-Capitol president who signed The Beatles

From Billboard:

Alan W. Livingston, the music executive who signed the Beatles during his tenure as president of Capitol Records and created Bozo the Clown, has died. He was 91.

Livingston died Friday of age-related causes in his Beverly Hills home, said his stepdaughter, Jennifer Lerner.

- Alan Livingston Wikipedia entry

Jeff Buckley’s Grace Released Again, Reminds Everyone of that Awkward Lovemaking Scene in Watchmen

It's been roughly 15 years since Jeff Buckley released his only album and sadly passed away, but there's yet another addition to the posthumous family: Columbia/Legacy will release Grace Around the World on June 2.

Billboard reports that the CD/DVD package, executively produced by his mother, features unreleased live performances from around the world, two unreleased tracks, and a whole lotta liner notes. Splurgers on the deluxe edition will also get a JB documentary entitled Amazing Grace.

I brainstormed a few other ways the word "grace" can be used, in case Columbia wants to keep milking it:

- Fall from Grace
- Saving Grace
- With Good Grace
- Say Grace
- Grace (Chicago Edition)
- Grace You with His Presence (Holy Edition)

I'd post the tracklisting, but it's just so damn detailed that if you're actually going to purchase it, just peruse it here.

Black Moth Super Rainbow Helpin’ America Reach for That Rainbow on Spring Tour

Couldn't score tickets to that Green Triceratops Gnarly Aurora Borealis show this Spring? No fear! Your second favorite band with an over-the-top clusterfuck of a name is touring the States this spring. Black Moth Super Rainbow, in anticipation of the May 26 release of its fourth LP Eating Us on Graveface Records (TMT News), is touring the Midwest and West Coast. The tour kicks off in Chicago and ends in Columbus, OH; former Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis' new project School of Seven Bells are along for the ride on all dates, except the Sasquatch! Music Festival

05.20.09 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
05.21.09 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
05.22.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
05.25.09 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05.26.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene
05.28.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
05.29.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
05.30.09 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
05.31.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
06.02.09 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
06.03.09 - Denton, TX - Hailey's
06.04.09 - Little Rock, AR - Sticky Fingerz
06.05.09 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
06.06.09 - Columbus, OH - Circus

Hey ya’ll. The news roundup is a little thin this week. Most of the press releases I had were related to SXSW and weren’t exactly news-worthy. All I figured out was that, as Annapocalypse mentioned, Pains of Being Pure at Heart are taking over Austin and that I really want to try and see Best Worst Movie on the Friday of SXSW. I’m heading down to that mess on Wednesday. I’m mostly excited about eating tacos.

- Just to clarify, The Melvins, as a band, are turning 25. The Melvins, as people, are old as fuck and are way older than 25 (sike, they are in their 40s... that ain’t too old.) Regardless, the boys are celebrating their band-birthday with some shows in May. The four shows will happen in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Austin and will feature the original lineup of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Mike Dillard. Trevor Dunn (bassist for Fantômas, Mr. Bungle) will join Buzz and Dale to perform Houdini later during the set. All of this happens in mid-May; you can find the details on the Ipecac site.

- Danish dudes Efterklang are currently on tour, hitting the West coast, SXSW, the South, and the East Coast during March and some of April. I like to say their name the way I think (yes I know he’s Austrian) Arnold Schwarzenegger would say it: ef-ta-klaang. I live in Georgia though, so it probably sounds more like “YEE HAW, EFTER-KLAN-G, YA’LL!” Anyway, you can find out the specific dates at their official site.

- Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction are heading out on tour together this summer, with Tom Morello and Boots Riley’s Street Sweeper as support -- ’90s in the HOUSE. The tour will run from May to mid June and will be the first time in 17 years the original lineup of Jane’s Addiction will tour (whoopee). You can find more details on either the Nine Inch Nails site or the Jane’s Addiction site, but I’m going to link to Nine Inch Nails because I don’t really care about Jane’s Addiction. Sorry.

- Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I didn’t have to leave my house to go to a show. Wouldn’t it be awesome if David Bazan could just play in my living room?” Yeah, me neither. But if you are one of those people, you are in luck! David Bazan is releasing his latest record Curse Your Branches August 25 and is also doing some weird tour where he will play your house to “35-75 people.” Didn’t Music Tapes do something like this, only cooler? You can learn more about this at his website.

Due to my above-mentioned SXSW plans, you might get a “roundup” next week, you might not. Just in case, I leave you with this video (NSFW):


N.W.A. Biopic in The Works; Are We Getting Our Checks Yet? Apparently Not Actual Working Title

After Diddy and co's neat, tidy little bow packaging of the complex life of rapper Notorious B.I.G. with the film Notorious (TMT Review), we knew it would only be a matter of time before another biopic on a legendary rap artist would appear. In this case, it's on a legendary rap group, as word dropped recently that pioneering gangster rappers N.W.A. will be getting the biopic treatment. The movie is being produced by founding N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre along with Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Wright. According to Entertainment Weekly, the producers "are now actively searching for a director along the lines of Curtis Hanson," director of Eminem's pseudo-biopic 8 Mile.

Rap biopics promise more than the standard Ray-style musician biopics, though it's hard to imagine that, with members of the group serving as its producers, the movie won't be anything but the crystalline spectacles version of the group's story. Still, it's even harder to imagine that a movie about N.W.A., a group known for its riveting oral portraits of poverty, drug use, and disturbingly casual violence, will be eazy to digest. Sorry, couldn't resist! Currently, screenwriters are furiously trying to map out a montage sequence that effortlessly displays the boys talking hard, rebuffing trash talk, pulling people's cards, living in a legitimate manner, and otherwise not saying shit.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone To Pack Up His Suitcase, Get Sad, Leave Home, and Go On Tour

This spring is looking to be a busy time for Casiotone For the Painfully Alone. Now that this depressing winter is on its way out, Casiotone's Owen Ashworth is ready to leave his cozy little bedroom and hit the road. He is starting off with a few dates in Texas -- which will see him playing the Tomlab/K/Asthmatic Kitty showcase, as well as the Team Clermont/Utne Reader one as part of Austin's SXSW -- and will soon after be jetting out to Europe to do a month of shows. A U.S. tour is expected this spring, too.

All this activity will be in support of his upcoming records: Advance Base Battery Life, a collection of 7-inch split-singles and compilation tracks he released from 2004-7, all but two of them on CD for the first time, out March 10 on Tomlab; and Vs. Children, the fifth album proper from CTFPA since 2006's Etiquette, which is due April 7 also on Tomlab.

Casiotone For the Painfully Alone Spring Dates:
03.15.09 - Denton, TX - Dan's Silverleaf (NX35 Festival)
03.16.09 - Houston, TX - The Mink Backroom
03.18.09 - Austin, TX - Beauty Bar (SXSW Showcase) #
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - Flamingo Cantina (Team Clermont/Utne Reader)
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - Ms Beas
04.11.09 - Munich, Germany - Orangehouse
04.12.09 - Cologne, Germany - Subway
04.14.09 - Bristol, UK - The Croft
04.15.09 - Nottingham, UK - The Bodega
04.17.09 - Galway, Ireland - Roisin Dubh
04.18.09 - Cork, Ireland - The Quad
04.19.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
04.20.09 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
04.21.09 - Glasgow, UK - Nice 'N Sleazy
04.22.09 - Edinburgh, UK - Sneaky Pete's
04.23.09 - Sheffield, UK - TBA
04.24.09 - York, UK - Fibbers
04.25.09 - Brighton, UK - Freebutt
04.27.09 - London, UK - The Luminaire
04.29.09 - Oslo, Norway - Bla
05.01.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
05.02.09 - Aarhus, Denmark - Pop Revo Festival
05.03.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
05.04.09 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
05.06.09 - Prague, Czech Republic - Klub 007 Strahov
05.07.09 - Wien, Austria - Arena
05.08.09 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow's Parties
05.10.09 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
05.11.09 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Paradiso
05.12.09 - Lueneburg, Germany - Asta Wohnzimmer
05.13.09 - Nuremberg, Germany - MUZ
05.14.09 - Wiesbaden, Germany - Schlachthof
05.15.09 - Luxembourg, Germany - Exit07
05.16.09 - Saarbruecken, Germany - Sparte04
05.17.09 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connewitz

# Parenthetical Girls, No Kids, Jeremy Jay, Tara Jane O'Neil

Hella Back To Being A Duo, Working On New Album, Making For The Most Uneventful News Story I’ve Ever Written

According to a new blog post on their MySpace page, Hella have reshuffled themselves back to the original duo of Zach Hill and Spencer Seim. They are currently at work on Hella’s new album, which will be recorded and finished sometime this year on an as-yet unknown record label. Because this news is not particularly that exciting, I’ve decided to rewrite this story below and add in a few creative details that the Hella boys might have missed when they wrote their blog entry:

Hey guys! Hella is back to being a duo after kicking out Josh Hill (Zach’s cousin), Carson McWhirter (The Advantage), and Aaron Ross. Zach and Spencer decided it was time to part with the band members after learning they were the creators of this blog and that they still believe in the Easter bunny (see the cruel joke Zach and Spencer played on them in the “Band Members” section of their MySpace page.) Zach and Spencer are currently at work on their new album.

Chinese Hack into iTunes’ Code And Sells Gift Cards for Low, Low Prices

China renewed its charm offensive on TMT readers this week with an audacious hacking of iTunes’ gift certificate algorithm. These upstanding Chinese citizens are now selling $200 gift cards on Taobao, a Chinese equivalent to eBay, for as little as $2.60. Using the site’s instant messaging platform, the buyer receives a gift voucher code from the seller that can then be used to redeem the card from a user's iTunes account. The cards are also available in the U.S for around $43 on eBay.

The hacker’s craft is so brilliant that not only have they given Apple a fine kick in the teeth, but they’ve also posed a frustrating conundrum for those good-for-nothing capitalists. If Apple decides to change the gift voucher code generation algorithm, all of the cards available right now would become obsolete. Consequently, the only ones making money at this moment in time are the code sellers and the artists who still get paid when their music is downloaded from iTunes.

It’s been only a week since the Chinese government’s commendable decision to ban Oasis from playing dates in Shanghai and Beijing in April (TMT News) and now this ingenious nation delivers another slap in the face to shameless profiteers. Who ever said quasi-Communism doesn’t work?

Comrade Obama, start taking notes.

The Field to Release Follow-up to 2007’s From Here We Go Sublime, Which is Apparently Not a Record of Sublime Covers; Lou-Dog is Bummed

Man, if I was releasing a record, I would NOT forecast my subsequent album’s transcendent greatness in its fucking title. The Field’s Axel Willner may have learned a thing or two about that himself, as his follow-up to 2007’s hazy slow-burn smash, From Here We Go Sublime, bears the considerably more cautiously-ubiquitous title of Yesterday and Today.
But just to up the ante this time around, Willner's label, Kompakt, has teamed-up with Tom Waits Records... I mean, ANTI-, to release the anticipated follow-up, which is gonna drop May 19. Willner has also teamed up with Clash frontman Joe Strummer... I mean, Battles drummer John Stanier for the title track, and Willner's best press guys swear that he expands his palette, “continuing the oblique sampling strategy of From Here We Go Sublime while building up the rhythmic architecture.” So yeah, there’s that “ubiquity” theme again. Maybe this is a concept record?

Of course, since igniting loft party musical conversations around the world with Sublime, we all know that Willner has been much in demand as a remixer, with tracks from local British singer Thom Yorke to hot U.S. jazz combo Battles raising his profile significantly, so hopefully this album really does stack up, even if the title doesn’t. Otherwise that Sublime-covers route might not be a bad idea.

A ubiquitous “spring/summer North American tour” is also in the works, so sit tight on that. Meanwhile, here’s that good-old ubiquitous tracklist:

1. I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet
2. Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime
3. Leave It
4. Yesterday & Today (feat. John Stanier)
5. The More That I Do
6. Sequenced

Mia Doi Todd to Release Instrumental LP About Birds

The mercurial Mia Doi Todd (whose name is rather hard to say after a few drinks I discovered) will be going a different direction from her normal lush and haunting folk: completely instrumental. Given the rich compositions demonstrated on her earlier releases and her BFF opportunities with Dungen, Morning Music promises to be a layered listen.

Without turning this article into an itemized grocery list, it's interesting to note that Mia will be toolin' around with "drum, harmonium, piano, tin whistle, tamboura, acoustic guitar, and bongos," while collaborator Andres Renteria will take over "cajon, piano, wooden stool and udu" duties. Sounds like the hippie shit to me, but MDT consistently adds a foreboding tone to make each song daring and delicious, so I'm not worried.

Morning Music arrives April 14 on City Zen.



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