Spring term of my freshman year of high school I had study hall with Sarah Westphal, and we spent that entire time in the school library (where, surprisingly, you could better get away with gossiping than in study hall). Our conversations usually revolved around two topics. The first involved making plans for Sarah to get me stoned for my first time in her parents' old minivan during lunch. The second was her explaining to me all the different conspiracy theories surrounding Tupac's death.
Eleven years later, and after both my high school and college graduations, the West Coast rapper is still releasing music. Joining several other major hip-hop acts dropping albums on December 4 will be Tupac Shakur, with his 9th posthumous release, The Best of 2Pac.
The collection is divided into two discs: the first, Thug, features hits like "Changes," "California Love," and "So Many Tears." Tracks from the second disc, Life, include "Ghetto Love" and "Keep Ya Head Up." The Best of 2Pac will also include two previously unreleased tracks (seriously, where are these things coming from?) and two new remixes.
I too find if difficult to shower and dress myself before leaving the house, so I rarely do -- leave the house, that is. And who can argue with that? Fact is, it's just easier to stay home. No riding your bike only to arrive somewhere out of breath and sweating profusely. No hiding bloodshot eyes behind derelict-large sunglasses, indoors. No focusing on the buzzing of the florescent lights rather than what your boss is blabbing on and on to you about in an imperative tone and with a very serious expression on his face.
Nope -- apathy is godliness.
Luckily, someone at Sub Pop has tapped into its mental faculty and pioneered a program to cater to us sorry fat-asses ("fat-asses" purely in reference to myself). Yep, if you've got a computer, which I know you do, you're now free to browse the 200-album catalog of high-quality MP3 ZIP files, downloadable for just $9.90 each. That's just $9.90 more than it was when you were browsing them on OiNK.
The term “festival” gets short shrift. Often synonymous with “horde of drunken shit-sticks in goofy hats and ironic tees who smell like the arsehole of a skunk,” it is hard for truly inspired gatherings to be taken seriously among the enormopaloozas. However, when we think of festivals, some perspective is required. Whether you want to puke pizza in front of thousands of strangers or you want to be entertained to the point of being seduced by live music, you choose your events wisely. Any celebration can be a festival, whether a month-long test of wills in a farmer’s field or three intimate nights at a revered Chicago club. If the annual Million Tongues festival was any more intimate, it would build up an intense longing before arousing you physiologically by way of KY massage, sandalwood candles, and Barry White’s “Your Sweetness Is My Weakness” on stereo repeat (haha... that’s how far out of the seduction loop I am!).
The high expectations for the fourth installment of Million Tongues will surely be met and assumably be exceeded on three consecutive nights in 'Da Chi' in November 8-10 at popular drinking and dancing den The Empty Bottle. Co-presented by Arthur Magazine, The Empty Bottle, and Galactic Zoo (Drag City-compiled, hand-drawn underground psychedelic “dossier”) and featuring plenty of sidestage follies and mainstage fury from the likes of Charalambides and Ruthann Friedman, Million Tongues is sure to be an eclectic, nay, erotic happening.
11.08.07 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle #
11.09.07 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle $
11.10.07 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle %
# Peter Walker, Molten Truth Ensemble (Jeff Parker, Josh Abrams, Plastic Crimewave, Aleks Tomaszewska, Ben Billington), Neptune, and Allá; sidestage performances by Horseback & Michael Tamburo
$ Charalambides, Alasdair Roberts, Heather Leigh Murray, and Alela Diane; sidestage performances by The End of the World Band/ONO & Outpost
% Ruthann Freidman, Aleks & The Drummer, Up-Tight, and Angel Olsen; sidestage performances from Kohoutek, Scarcity of Tanks & Terminal Lovers
(1) Puffy AmiYumi are touring to promote their new album, Honeycreeper (released in September in Japan).
(2) Their new tour is aptly named The Honeysweeper Tour.
(3) The writer-producer for Avril Lavigne and Pink, Butch Walker, collaborated with the girls on Honeycreeper, so I'm sure the album will be stellar.
(4) The Honeycreeper is both a Hawaiian songbird and an outrageous ska band from Albany, New York. Who knew!? I don't recommend it, but here is that ska band's MySpace.
Okay, I'll admit that I eventually ended up clicking Google images because Puffy and Yumi are hott. To my dismay, though, I also stumbled upon this disturbing photo and regret doing so:
Once upon a time in jolly olde England, there lived a little chimney sweep who loved CSS. His name was Basel Pennyweather, and he lived in a tiny house with an old man named Dusterbottom and his six Irish setters. Dusterbottom was old and mean and never let Basel play with the other children in the neighborhood. Instead, Basel had to work in the cold and the dark, cleaning chimneys while other people ate plum pudding and read Dickens novels and laughed merry laughs. The older boys made fun of Basel for his sooty garb and cramped home, and the little girls turned their noses up as the chimney sweep passed by.
You might think Basel was a miserable little waif, but he was not. You see, little Pennyweather believed in the power of music and love, and he had made a very special Christmas wish. Everyday he looked for old copies of the NME in his customer’s rubbish bins in hopes of reading about his favorite band, CSS. He repeated the lyrics to “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above” as he worked. And when he was done with his work, he perched on the corner outside the American Apparel store to catch a glimpse of young women wearing shiny neon tights, like his beloved Lovefoxxx.
After many days of being used and abused by the neighborhood boys and his guardian Dusterbottom, little Basel sat hiding on his doorstep, shaking and in tears. Suddenly he looked up to see the heavenly glow of the computer screen across the street. With all his might he hoped that it would be a music news website announcing the return of CSS to the British Isles. He wished and prayed, and at that very moment, a beautiful Christmas star fell from the sky and spelled out these glowing words:
CSS Holiday Tour:
** Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
Note: Metronomy play on all dates
Sigur RÃ³s Delays Release of 2-DVD Documentary To Ensure You Starting To Get Pissed Off Because This Just Happened Last Month
Arrgh: Strike this from the record. Heima, the band's dub-disc concert documentary, has been pushed back to a release date of December 4, in order to get just the right glacial shimmering on select scenes. On the plus side, an individually numbered, Limited Deluxe Edition of the film will be available on that day, which includes a 100-page
bound book, and, according to reliable sources at some blog I've forgotten the name of, a bonus necklace made of human teeth.
Got it? Extra month. Hang in there. Write a kōan or something.
The world has already decided the fate of the second half of VHS Or Beta's name, and neither medium is widely used anymore. Hmm. Interesting. While we're in such a pondering mood, let's consider some of life's other important choices that could alternately serve as names for a VHS Or Beta tribute band:
- HDDVD or Blu-Ray
- Vinyl or Cassette
- TI-89 or 91 (I am doing my calculus homework right now)
Of course, we could all wish for a simpler time when things were more like:
- TV or No TV
- William Howard Taft or William Jennings Bryan
- Plague or Syphilis
Or we can talk about fate again:
VHS Or Beta's frontman Craig Pfunder: "As far as the industry, people are buying less and less records. I feel like the trends that happen are short-lived and quick... I try not to think about that or I'll spiral into depression. You go out there and you do the work and you tour and you try to convince people that what you're doing is worthy and real, and they'll judge for themselves."
Or how about the tourdates in support of the Astralwerks-released Bring on the Comets? Okay!
Nick Drake Box Set Re-Released Today with Bonus Goods, Fuzzy-Haired Kids to Play Guitars in Front of Apartment Buildings and Tap Asses in Celebration
Mark your calendar, oh acoustic-strumming kids, for, well, today. Because November 6 means pulling out all the stops, like:
(1) rubbing that Sunday-best flannel shirt down with a lint brush;
(2) sliding into your Birks;
(3) changing the strings on that supahh-wickkkkeddd-sweet D-28.
Mmmmm. Music never felt so... dirty...
As luck would have it, my favorite sticky-smelly-reader-muffin, Nick Drake's Fruit Tree box set, (which has now been out of print for seven years) is back. Not only will it include three studio albums (Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon), but buyers can also expect a limited-edition biographical DVD A Skin Too Few, and a feature book, says a recent press release. Only 10,000 copies of this exclusive set will be released, with a limited number available on vinyl.
The limited-edition biographical film recently debuted at the 8th Annual San Francisco Documentary Festival.
The book, at 108 pages, includes a "song-by-song analysis" of Drake's work from producer Joe Boyd, engineer John Wood, arranger Robert Kirby, and music journalist Robin Frederick, says the press release.
The fuzz kids (you know: flannel shirts, all love, no worries) will get gussied up, play Nick Drake covers before a webcam, record their masterpieces, sit outside, look at the stars, and blaze until the moon turns pink. They may stop playing guitar for a few moments to tap girls' asses in celebration.
Smell that? Beauty. Roses. La vie est belle, reader baby.
Since we're contractually obligated to "hype Radiohead up" -- yes, we have that much sway, and yes we're making loads of money off it -- here is some brand new exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic information about Radiohead:
- According to Adam Buxton on BBC 6Music, Radiohead are doing another webcast from Oxford this Friday. This will be Radiohead's first in five years.
- It's Jonny Greenwood's 36th birthday today.
- EMI/Parlophone is capitalizing on the Radiohead hype by re-releasing the group's first six full-length albums, as well as the live mini-album I Might Be Wrong (why the FUCK would they include this over, say, the Drill or My Iron Lung EPs??) as a box set. $70 will get you downloadable MP3s (320 Kbps); $80 will get you the CD version; and $160 will get you WAV files on a 4GB USB drive shaped as the Kid A bear. WHAT, NO VINYL??
The set will be available December 10. Which means: Parlophone is using Radiohead's first six albums and a mini-album to fight head to head with the "discbox" version of In Rainbows (TMT Review)!!! Parlophone Radiohead vs. Independent Radiohead. God, this is so fucking exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic exciting awesome incredible amazing fantastic.
Donovan Teams Up with Director David Lynch to Impose Transcendental Meditation Upon The World at Large Via “Invincible Donovan University”
"It's not supposed to, man; it's just a collection of images Lynch assembled to explore a theme and suggest a mood, to talk to your subconscious mind rather than your waking consciousness. He's super into that stuff, check out this book he wrote on dreams and meditation. Wait, where's the remote?"
"Man, fuck that. This is giving me a headache. If I wanted a bad dream, I'd go to sleep thinking about my ex-girlfriend."
"Look, Lynch isn't about giving you bad dreams; he's trying to show you how to deal with the ideas and impulses that cause them while you're still awake, so you can work it out and move on, you know?"
"Is that screwdriver still sticking out of that lady's stomach? Is that fucking Beck playing??"
"Yeah, okay, so he's not great integrating popular music into his movies. Just be glad it's not Donovan playing; I guess they're hanging out a bunch and opening this school on Transcendental Meditation..."
"It's this vague school of thought founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi back in the ‘60s, the idea being that specific meditations can reduce stress and increase one's general state of well-being by hooking your brain up to the Unified Field or the Collective Unconscious or whatever the hell you want to call it -- they used to ‘levitate’ on TV a bunch back in the ‘70s and made some headlines. It's this huge trademarked money-making machine now, but it's nice to see the idea of meditation becoming mainstream. I kind of agree with Lynch and Donovan; I think if there was mandatory meditation and yoga in schools and in the workplace we'd be on our way to solving a bunch of society's problems..."
"Oh fuck off. Even if this shit works, it's not like anyone's going to take it seriously if these two Mellow Yellow crackpots are in charge".
"Yeah, I guess. Whatever. Here, pass the binger."