At noon EST today, I urge you all to stop reading TMT and point your browsers to The Washington Post, as the "rocker and activist Ted Leo takes your questions about his career, music, politics and whatever else you want to talk about." This is your chance to ask Ted Leo all those questions you've been wanting to over these last several years, but never had an opportunity to because either you were too lazy or because you're not a journalist. Seeing as I'm a seasoned journalist with balls as big as a barn (two barns, I suppose) and a poon as beautiful as the moon -- yeah, yeah, my balls show off my "strength" and my poon is "to be looked at" -- I thought I'd suggest the following questions:
- What's the full name of your band?
- True or false: Living With the Living is your latest album.
- Who is Ted Leo?
- Where is Ted Leo?
- When is Ted Leo?
- What is Ted Leo?
- Why is Ted Leo?
- What awesome record label are you on... is it Touch and Go?
- Why is your publicist so "darling"?
- Yes or no, do you like politics?
- What do termites eat for breakfast? (answer: "oakmeal")
- Where do books eat dinner? (answer: "at the table of contents")
But seriously, folks, Ted Leo is one respectable kind of dude, and he's about one of the most intelligent musicians out there. In a time when apathy is chic, Ted Leo is a breath of fresh air. If you'd like to participate in the discussion, go here, and then view the entire transcript of the discussion here at 1 PM EST.
Meanwhile, this Friday marks the start of Ted Leo's East Coast tour. Opening for each show will be KRISTEENYOUNG, the band who got fired from Morrissey's tour for banter about "good head" and "cunnilingus" (TMT News). Anyway, that's in the past. But good to know that it doesn't offend Ted Leo. Again, he's an intelligent guy.
Radiohead released a new album called In Rainbows:
Radiohead, or Radiokopf for you German TMT readers, are really something, aren't they? And I don't mean that in a good way. Aside from being unabashedly racist and sexist (Thom: "I don't like non-white and female people, period."), Radiohead have managed to squeeze in their hatred for the poor, too. In an interview with Tumbling Rock magazine, guitarist Jonny Greenwood says that "In Rainbows wasn't a protest against the industry, nor was it about making access easier for our fans -- it was about making access harder for homeless people. The last thing we wanted was for homeless people to listen and not appreciate our brilliancies [sic]. Have you ever heard a homeless guy sing ‘Karma Police’? It's absolutely disgusting."
I hate homeless people, too:
06.??.08 - Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany - Southside Festival
06.??.08 - Scheeßel, Germany - Hurricane Festival
?? = sometime between 20 and 22. Maybe they're doing a whatever-day-you-want sorta thing. So forward-thinking these guys!
The first guitar I ever really noticed was a Gibson Les Paul -- sunburst top, dual humbuckers -- strapped to a madman. Slash was trying to burn down a little white chapel with nothing but sustain. You could feel the sadness he felt over the death of his best friend's wife, as he wrestled screaming notes out of that axe. With his long curls whipping in the desert wind and his Les Paul slung low, he made it cry. He made me cry.
Since then, I always look to see what kind of guitar a musician is playing. It's the first thing I do. And the Gibson Les Paul is often it.
No fan of music can downplay the rock ‘n’ roll gifts coaxed from the Gibson Les Paul over the past 50 years. There is, however, doubt surrounding the amount of input Les Paul himself had in shaping Gibson's flagship model, but the man with his name on the headstock was nonetheless honored by President George Bush November 15 with the 2007 National Medal of Arts.
"I congratulate our honorees, because in your work we see the creativity of the American spirit and the values that have made our nation great," the President said during a presentation at the White House.
Paul, 92, was awarded the medal for "his innovation as a musician, his pioneering designs of the electric guitar, and his groundbreaking recording techniques that have influenced the development of American jazz, blues, and pop music, and inspired generations of guitarists," said an aide who announced the winners.
Calling to mind Les Paul is much more difficult than imagining the guitar. Though Les Paul himself has been a recording artist for decades, his legacy will be the Gibson guitar. It will be sold for decades after his death, and future musicians might play their first and last notes on a Les Paul without ever hearing a note recorded by the man himself. But, if past performances are any indication of what a Les Paul guitar can produce, Les Paul himself can be proud that, when he no longer can, his instrument will be pleasing millions.
Global warming be damned; most of us at this point are freezing our asses off and concur that it's a good idea to head south for the winter-like geese. Besides, it's nearly time for the 2008 Sydney Festival! You're not excited only because you don't understand. The scoop: 50+ events* over the course of 3 weeks, held annually every January since 1976. That's like the... well, I can't think of any event of that scope or scale in the States. Epic-proportion props to the Aussies. Look for the following acts half naked on the beach by day and rocking the fest by night (see website for full enumeration and ticket information):
- Andrew Bird - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden Jan 6-8
- Spank Rock - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 6
- De La Soul - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 8
- Pink Martini - Riverside Theatres - Jan 8
- Brian Wilson - State Theatre, Jan 9
- Bonde Do Role - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 10
- Girl Talk - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 10
- Sufjan Stevens w/ My Brightest Diamond - State Theatre - Jan 12-14
- Tunng - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden, Jan 13-15
- Low - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden, Jan 17-19
- Busdriver - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 18
- Kimmo Pohjonen - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Jan 18
- Mice Parade - Samsung Mobile Festival - Jan 20-22
- The National w/ Clogs - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Jan 22-23
- Battles - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 23
- Björk - Sydney Opera House, Jan 23 (SOLD OUT)
- Joanna Newsom with the Sydney Symphony - Sydney Opera House Jan 25-26
The fun begins January 5.
*events in the stimulating forms of music, dance, circus (?!), drama, visual arts, and public lectures.
Okay, I admit it. I never actually listened to Young Galaxy until after choosing to write this story. I'm glad I did though, because I really dig them, and you can too. Now you're probably wondering why then I chose to write about Canada's pop couple in the first place, right? Well, simply because of the word "galaxy," as in... Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii! I know, I know -- we're a music webzine, but god damn if I didn't want to say that Super Mario Galaxy is an incredible video game. Is it wrong of me to use a Young Galaxy story to let the world know how much I love Super Mario Galaxy? I mean, some might say that Young Galaxy is an incredible band and that the tunes on their self-titled Arts&Crafts release sound "spacey," and you know... Mario gets pretty "spacey" in this game since he's flying through space while shaking his little Italian plumber ass. That's something, right? Besides, if Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless of Young Galaxy don't like Super Mario Galaxy, then they aren't worth your money nor your time anyway. However, I would bet my Wii, a pack of gum, and my Grandma's delicious leftover Thanksgiving stuffing that Young Galaxy loves or would love Super Mario Galaxy, so assuming my woman's intuition is right, you should totally go see them at these dates:
William and Jim Reid’s 12 Step Program On How To Put Aside Differences And Reunite Your Amazing Band:
1. Stop drinking.
2. And while you’re at it, lay off the drugs too.
3. Play Coachella and get attention by having a famous actress sing onstage with you.
4. Admit that you have differences, or as William Reid said to Billboard: “We're both aware that we could snap at each other, but we're trying to hold it together. We love this band, and we love each other.” Aw, how touching!
5-12. No, seriously, stop drinking!
All fictional rehab programs aside, Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis could certainly learn a thing or two from the brothers Reid. According to Billboard, the Reid bros are currently narrowing down a list of new songs to choose 12 or so for their new record. The untitled album is due for release in late spring/early summer 2008.
JAMC manager, Kevin Oberlin, is also working with Rhino Records to release a four-disc boxed set of demos, alternate takes, and rare acoustic versions, due out in March 2008.
Bruce Springsteen to Tour; Americans Love Glorified Poverty, Cars, and Sex; You to Probably Make Fun of ‘The Boss’ But to Similarly Love Cars and Sex, Me to Tell You to Live Your Life, Find Chicks
Oh hey you, my special ‘n’ fresh li’l bucket of indie love! Being the astute little music worm you are, you’re most likely scratching your head wondering what newsworthy value coverage of Bruce Springsteen has.
So I’ll tell you.
Most likely, you love making fun of sophomoric metaphor (i.e., Wrap your legs ‘round these velvet rims/ And strap your hands across my engines...).
But you probably really, seriously, honestly love cars and sex.
What’s so wrong about Brucey being so obvious, baby?
Get with the times*, gents. Chicks dig The Boss.
By the people, for the people, mmmmmmmm. One nation, under God, with liberty, and crappy ripped jeans for all.
Point is, Bruce Springsteen, once back from an upcoming tour in Europe and the UK, has announced North American tourdates with the E-Street Band come February.
Maybe if you went to these dates you’d reach self-actualization or something.
Cars. Sex. Seriously.
This January and February, Arcade Fire will play Australia/New Zealand's Big Day Out festival along with Rage Against the Machine, Björk, LCD Soundsystem, Dizzee Rascal, Battles, Spoon, and many others. Sounds like a great lineup; too bad it's in Australia. If you're not planning a New Year's trip down under, don't fret; Arcade Fire have also scheduled three headlining dates in February! So you could catch one of those... if you live in Japan.
If you are still reading, g'day and konnichiwa. Enjoy the shows.
If you are still reading and you are not Japanese or Australlian, I feel bad for you. And to make up for your lack of North American Arcade Fire shows, I have put together this very special mix tape culled from songs on their MySpace friends' pages. Enjoy.
Title: "What Arcade Fire's MySpace Friends Are Listening To"
01. Big Casino - Jimmy Eat World (from Tom... isn't your picture enough to let people know you're a dork)
02. The Host of Seraphim - Dead Can Dance (from CeLeSTTiaNi)
03. My Final Fantasy - Robert Phoenix UK (from Rob From The UK, who is a 38-year-old DJ)
04. Song Has Been - Deleted By The Artist (from Shaun Park)
05. The Crave - Jelly Roll Morton (from Humble B. Wonderful who tells the world to "cram it, sucko")
06. Starting Line - Ingrid and Andrew (from Poonarific)
01. Drivin' Me Wild - Common (from Michelle, who would like to meet Angelina Jolie and Ryan Gosling)
02. I Want to Live - Silver Seas (from Christin, whose mood was hopeful at press time)
03. Remedy - Hot Water Music (from Mr. James T. Norman, Esquire, who believes "Sometimes you have to roll a hard six")
04. An Ending Ascents - Brian Eno (from Daniel, who actually lives in Australia and might be able to tell us how those Arcade Fire shows were)
05. Caravan - Husky Rescue (from han, who has 286 friends)
06. Main Titles - John Ottman (from zenbetty; Superman theme song... well played, zenbetty)
And the dates:
$ Big Day Out festival
Being a blog buzz band is so hard these days, from the pressure to constantly perform and deliver an amazing set, to the bloggers hanging on your every action, to the obsessive fans illegally sharing your music on message boards. Yeah, life is certainly rough when you’re an up-and-coming artist.
Thankfully, Vernon has got a good head on his shoulders, because his buzz doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. And if Vernon needs any tips on how to deal with the hype, he can surely ask touring mate, Elvis Perkins, who has received his own fair share of critical acclaim over the past year.
For Emma, Forever Touring:
& Elvis Perkins
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream to Ironically Miss Out On All Holiday Parties, Tour in Support of Live DVD
I'm going to be honest. I've always kind of hated the State of Ohio. Maybe it's just that I haven't given it a chance, but I've had really bad travel experiences there. I've gotten lost; I've had rough nights crammed in a dorm room there; I've had car trouble there -- you name it. Besides, who do they think they are having like five major cities, anyway? Texas??? I don't think so. Either way, everything about the place is kind of tainted for me. Even the music.
But luckily for Youngstown, Ohio-based, cheesy-electro-pop duo Gil Mantera's Party Dream, I have a good story. And it has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the State of Ohio...
Dateline 2006: It was a cold January evening in Champaign, IL. My then-band had booked a show at the Cowboy Monkey, a relatively unassuming but notable rock club on the good ol' Urbana/Champaign circuit. We were eager to give it our best shot, even though it was a Tuesday night. Feeling relatively good because we'd been gigging around that town for awhile, I remember feeling fairly confident that we'd get the place comfortably full and maintain our reputation in town. And besides, we weren't even the headliners that night. Instead, it was a curious band from Ohio that called itself Gil Mantera's Party Dream. Surely they would lend a hand filling the joint. I mean, that's just how it works, right?
Wrong. No one came.
We wrapped our doomed little set and settled in for drinks and cigarettes at one of the tall bar tables, wondering who the fuck this Gil Mantera character was and grumbling that he hadn't packed in the patrons that his headlining spot promised, when two of the drunken ne’er-do-wells who had been sitting at the bar all night rose, donned cowboy hats and panchos, and took to the stage, announcing themselves as Gil Mantera and Ultimate Donny and explaining that this was the first night of a lengthy tour and that, upon realizing that no one was really coming out to their inauspicious tour kick-off for their newest record called Bloodsongs on the Audio Eagle label, they had decided to just get drunk and play some of their favorite songs instead.
And with those remarks (as well as a few choice others), hilarity ensued as those two rubes from Youngstown, Ohio proceeded to stumble about the stage, bicker non-stop with one another between songs about which one of them was really the "talented one," serenade us all with goofy new electro-pop cuts like "Elmo's Wish," strip to their underwear, cover halves of Billy Joel songs, demand more drinks from the bar into the mics, and argue with various members of the audience (i.e., us) about their favorite Van Damme movies. (We thought that Bloodsport was the clear-cut #1. Gil Mantera's Party Dream disagreed.) It ended up being one of the coolest, most memorable shows I've ever been to, despite the fact that I ended up seeing much more near-nudity than I'd bargained for.
There. Now, if that ringing endorsement doesn't make you want to run to your nearest DVD emporium on February 5, 2008 to purchase a copy of the forthcoming comedy-of-errors-documenting live DVD, Gil Mantera's Party Dream: Live Video Archive (Volume 1), which apparently contains most-assuredly outlandish and hilarious footage of two shows (a 2004 set at Chicago's Fireside Bowl and a 2006 show at Chicago's Empty Bottle), then I don't know what will.
Oh, and, uh, just in case you were hoping to see them in person instead, there's a whole mess of live dates coming up this holiday season too. They'll even have copies of the DVD on tour, which will also be on sale for a limited time at their online store. Yeah, some of the tourdates are in Ohio, but it's okay, you can go anyway. But if you DO see those guys, tell them Bloodsport rules.
Dates on which you CAN'T schedule the office x-mas party: