Taiwan: Three Illegal Downloads and Yer Out, Bitch!

Listen up you pretentious, liberal, plant-eating, TMT-reading Karl Marx fanboys. We’re getting fucking tired of your P2P downloading antics and your oh-so-principled stand for illegal filesharing. This is why it’s great to hear the Taiwanese have decided to take some action against your immoral brethren from across the Pacific Ocean.

An amendment passed in Taiwan’s legislature “allows rights holders to either claim their rights via judiciary proceedings, or else follow a ‘notice and takedown’ procedure to have copyright infringing content removed.” The law introduces a “three strikes” initiative that gives ISPs the power to constrain the internet access of left-wing thieves who download copyrighted content more than twice. The brave, China-bashing Taiwanese hope to reduce the number of court cases relating to illegal filesharing by allowing ISPs to warn users of their conduct, hoping that these benefit-scroungers will correct their own behavior.

Unsurprisingly, the liberal media in Taiwan started crying that the law would end up punishing people who had unwittingly downloaded copyrighted material. As Margaret Chen, deputy director general of Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office says, "These people are doing something they shouldn't be doing in the first place. Besides, there are lots of ways to restrict Internet access besides cutting it off entirely." Damn right!

Common Sense - 1

Pretentious, liberal, plant-eating, TMT-reading Karl Marx-fanboys - 0

RIP: Jon Blank, Bassist of Rezin

Official statement by Jon's sister Andrea from Rezin's MySpace:

Dear friends - There is no easy way to write this email, and while I would rather call you all personally, I just can't find my voice right now without crying. Jon passed away Saturday night from a drug overdose. That is what we believe/know at this time. He just got back in the States from an amazing European music tour on Friday. He was doing so well and, well, I guess he thought he was invincible and wanted to celebrate his return. I can't even begin to imagine how he really felt though.

The funeral is this Tuesday, May 5, at 2pm at King David Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, VA 22042. More details will be in Monday & Tuesday's Wash Post.

Thank you all so much for your overflow of calls and love and support. Know that I truly appreciate it and I am so thankful to have so many friends who knew Jon and love us. Love, Andrea (Jon's Loving Sister)

- Rezin MySpace page

Del the Funky Homosapien Tours, Releases New Album as a FREE, LEGAL Download Until May 22; After That, You’ll Just Have to Pirate It Like You Were Already Planning to Do

When are we supposed to get our stimulus checks? Was that already supposed to happen? Did I miss it? Was there a form at the post office I was supposed to fill out so I can get in on some of that sweet government stimulatin’? Because I have lots of super practical plans for zapping the paddles on this economy’s chest with that cash. Do you think it will help jumpstart the market if I spend my entire stimulus check on Chicken McNuggets and meth? How many pandas can I attempt to buy until I get put into an FBI databank? Will the government finance my conversion to Scientology? I have so many questions!

Thankfully, future-rapper/Hieroglyphic/Ice Cube’s cousin Del The Funky Homosapien has this stimulus shit all figured out for me. In an effort to “resurrect the funk back in music and our lives,” Del is offering his new album Funk Man (The Stimulus Package) as a free download on his website, available riiiiiight... over... here! For more info about Del’s generosity, kindly refer to this proselytizing YouTube and witness the rare incidence of a major artist not mentioning Radiohead while they’re talking about giving away their music for free. But be sure to pick up your stimulus soon, folks. This deal ends May 22, coinciding nicely with the end of Del’s U.S. tour.

What Is a booty? Find out the shocking truth here:
05.05.09 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig
05.06.09 – Columbus, OH – Skully’s
05.07.09 – Lexington, KY – Dame
05.08.09 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
05.09.09 – Madison, WI – High Noon
05.11.09 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
05.12.09 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
05.14.09 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
05.14.09 – Denver, CO – Bluebird
05.16.09 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
05.18.09 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
05.22.09 – Geneva, MN – Harmon Park (Bella Madre Music Festival)

Morning Zoo DJs Across the Country Perform a Seven Toilet-Flush Sound-Effect Salute as Clear Channel Cuts 590 Positions

Awkward, stuttering weathermen; sleazy, gambling-addicted co-hosts; and ditzy female call-screeners suffered a tremendous blow last week, as Clear Channel Communications, the largest owner of full-power AM, FM and shortwave radio stations in the country, cut 590 positions nationwide. The cut represents a 3% reduction of its December 2008 staffing level, and follow a January cut of 9% of its workforce.

Clear Channel stated the reason for the cuts are from the "highly challenging business environment." Although the cuts in January focused on the broadcaster's sales force, these cuts are focused on operations, which includes everything from engineers to on-air staff. So while radio purists can take solace in the fact that the economy is also taking its hits at the big corporate baddies, the day is faster approaching that radio will be entirely overrun by robots playing Nickelback songs.

Blank Dogs Set to Release Under and Under; Unveil Video of a Women’s Ku Klux Klan Meeting

Not only are Blank Dogs announcing that they will be releasing a new record, Under and Under, but they are also spreading awareness on a very serious matter: the WKKK is back, and Blank Dogs want you to know. The Women of the Ku Klux Klan will proceed to do a sexy dance in your front yard and burn down your house. But don't be scared! If you act now and pre-order your copy of Under and Under, Blank Dogs have promised to protect your house from the WKKK until the next Blank Dogs record comes out, which can then be used to renew their protection services.

Under and Under will be coming out June 2 on In the Red Records (home to Vivian Girls, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, etc.). Pre-order it now before it's too late!

Under and Under tracklisting:

1. No Compass
2. L Machine
3. Night Night
4. Open Shut
5. Setting Fire to Your House
6. Around the Room
7. Blue Lights
8. The New Things
9. Falling Back
10. Tin Birds
11. Slowing Down
12. Face Watching
13. Books
14. Nothing UGC
15. From Here

05.08.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
05.10.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Market Hotel
05.16.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall (No Fun Fest)

Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II Drops August 11

Just like how Francis Ford Coppola waited a full decade and a half before producing the highly anticipated third installment of The Godfather, Wu-Tang member Raekwon is finally releasing on August 11 Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, the follow-up to his 1995 masterpiece Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, an album often cited as the birth of the divisive crack-rap genre. But unlike The Godfather, Part III, let's hope this sequel doesn't feature a convoluted narrative, hinge on the performance of Raekwon's non-rapper daughter, or generally suck.

To the frustration of fans, the album has been on the cusp of a release over the past few years: it reached #6 on XXL Magazine's most-anticipated albums of 2007 (note the date) and was referred to by Raekwon in an interview with HipHopDX.com as being "damn near 200 percent done." So, maybe the man has put in about 342% by now. Cuban Linx has since its release gone platinum, but its successors have been released to more diminishing returns -- Rae's 2003 album The Lex Diamond Story only sold 150,000.

Ghostface Killah, The Game, Bun B, Method Man, Dr. Dre, and Wu producer RZA are slated to appear on Cuban Linx II. Even (ugh) Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has been rumored to appear! EMI will release the record under Raekwon's ICEH20 Records. The album's first single, "Woo Oh (The New Wu)," features Ghostface Killah and Method Man.

Cursive Tour From Now Until Forever; Come Along On Tim Kasher’s Brewery Tour Of America!

A few years ago, I wrote a news story about The Good Life touring Europe, in which I recommended famous pubs and other drinking establishments to everyone’s favorite indie rock drunk, Cursive’s Tim Kasher. This time around, Kasher has asked me to recommend to him some of the best breweries that the U.S. has to offer so that he can make the most out of his summer touring schedule. Of course, I obliged, because it’s hard to say no when Kasher threatens to write an angry song that name-drops you. Feel free to print this list out and follow Kasher and Co. across the country this summer (Tim will be the one face-down in the beer vat):

- Frederick, MD: Flying Dog Brewery
- Milwaukee, WI: Miller, Lakefront Brewery
- Chicago, IL: Goose Island
- Billings, MT: Yellowstone Valley Brewing
- Seattle, WA: Pyramid Brewery
- Portland, OR: Bridgeport Brewing Co.
- San Francisco, CA: Anchor Brewing Co.
- Chico, CA: Sierra Nevada Brewery
- Salt Lake City, UT: Bohemian Brewery

It’s going to be a long summer:
05.04.09 - State College, PA - The State Theatre *
05.05.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel *
05.06.09 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
05.07.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall #
05.08.09 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05.09.09 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge #
05.12.09 - London, UK - Dingwalls
05.14.09 - Cardiff, UK - Clwb Ifor Bach
05.15.09 - Brighton, UK - The Great Escape
05.16.09 - Birmingham, UK - Hare And Hounds
05.17.09 - Norwich, UK - Arts Centre
05.18.09 - Manchester, UK - Academy 3
05.19.09 - York, UK - Fibbers
05.20.09 - Newcastle, UK - Academy 2
05.21.09 - London, UK - Stag & Dagger Festival
05.22.09 - Leeds, UK - Stag & Dagger Festival
05.23.09 - Glasgow, UK - Stag & Dagger Festival
05.24.09 - Nottingham, UK - Dot To Dot Festival
06.13.09 - Denver, CO - Westword Music Showcase
06.18.09 - Sioux Falls, SD – Nutty’s North
06.20.09 - Billings, MT - Yellowstone Valley Brewery
06.21.09 - Missoula, MT - The Other Side
06.22.09 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
06.23.09 - Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
06.24.09 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
06.27.09 - San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
06.28.09 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
06.29.09 - Pomona, CA - Glasshouse
07.01.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue

* Man Man

# P.O.S.

Neil Hamburger to Release Western Music and Variety DVD, Tour

Cantankerous lounge comedian Neil Hamburger, after reportedly failing as a spokesperson for a national chain of low-cost motels, has announced (via telegram, no less) a summer release of a DVD entitled Western Music and Variety. The video will no doubt feature some of Hamburger's crotchety audience ribbing as well as country and western music from the Too-Good-For-Neil-Hamburger-Band, whose album Sings Country Winners (TMT Review) was released this past summer by Drag City.

The DVD will feature live footage of the band performing most of the songs on the album, as well as a bonus live performance filmed inside a cat hotel. The all-star band itself should be worth the price. Hamburger is backed by Tubes founding member Prarie Prince, guitarist Dave Gleason, New Cars bassist Atom Ellis, Rentals and Weezer contributor Rachel Haden, and pedal steel player Joe Goldmark. As a teaser, check out this music video for Hamburger's tearjerking ode to his father, "Jug Town":

05.22.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
05.23.09 - Bellingham, WA - Rogue Hero
05.24.09 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
05.31.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
06.28.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
07.17.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
07.18.09 - San Antonio, TX - Rock Bottom

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Round Up: New Cass McCombs Record This Summer, Bands Added To ATP NY, New York Dolls Tour, Mark Kozelek Releases Live Record

Hey bitches. News time.

- Cass McCombs will release a new record July 7 via Domino Records called Catacombs. I hate it when writers reference press releases, but from Cass McCombs press release, I found out that he’s a Scorpio, his Wikipedia page is almost entirely false, and the word “paradox” was used seven times. I really have no other news on this matter.

- ATP New York curated by The Flaming Lips, added Boredoms (could have seen that coming), Iron & Wine, Deerhunter, No Age, Caribou, Deerhoof, and Boss Hog to the lineup. They'll be doing some special performances. Read more about it here.

- The New York Dolls begin a tour in May to support their new record Cause I Sez So, which comes out May 5 (TMT News). It kicks off May 20 in Solana Beach, CA at Belly Up Tavern and ends June 13 in Atlanta, GA at Center Stage. Many of the dates are with Black Joe Lewis.

- Mark Kozelek -- making us sad with a new live album. Lost Verses – Live will be released May 12 and features performances from Kozelek’s 2007 and 2008 acoustic tours. The songs featured include solo material as well as Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters jams. They were all recorded at “intimate, seated settings” at venues like the Williamsburg Music Hall (Brooklyn), First Unitarian Church (Philadelphia), and the Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco.) An additional live record of Kozelek in Zaragoza and Barcelona will come free when you buy the record at Caldo Verde.

PS, this is GUH-ROSS.

Neutral Milk Hotel Want Your Help to Save The Paragon Carousel

So, perhaps this is not what was expected when seeing the headline, but Neutral Milk Hotel are making news again! Why? Apparently, the group wants “the people” to help them save a carousel.

Located in Hull, Massachusetts, The Paragon Carousel is an 81-year-old machine in need of some help. Julian Koster (also of The Music Tapes), speaking on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, has put out a plea on Merge’s site to help win this historic carousel a $100,000 preservation grant from Massachusetts. According to Koster:

I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed the music made over the years, because we think you'd understand especially, and want to help.

All you have to do is visit this site and vote once a day until May 16, and then Neutral Milk Hotel’s cup will be spilling over with happiness.