Why Cut Out the Middle Man? Yaris and Urban Outfitters Release Benefit Compilation

Urban Outfitters and Toyota aren't the kind of corporations who follow the rules or use vowels in their proper places. They say "fuck you grammar, wr done with yr oppression." They're the 21-century Allen Ginsberg and Thurston Moore of the manufacturing and retail sectors. At last that is how they see themselves, or how they want you to see them.

On January 27, Toyota -- under their branding of their hip new station wagony car thing, the Yaris -- and Urban Outfitters -- that store where your little sister shops -- recently released a Free Yr Radio compilation. The digital release features (a) exclusive tracks from bands that people who read this site tend to like, and (b) an avenue to recruit a new target market for Toyota and UO products. The album is available exclusively at Insound for 99¢, with proceeds going to 12 independent radio stations that are probably out of range of wherever it is that you live.

In the words of their PR strategists, the corporate duo's goal for the Free Yr Radio campaign is to "start a conversation with their customers about the importance of independent radio and to encourage people to talk about, listen to and support their favorite stations." What a nice sentiment.

Personally, I think people who "illegally" download music should be sent to Gitmo for one last taste of real U.S. justice before it closes in 2010 (maybe). But those of you with no respect for the rule of law could probably grab these albums off the internet for free, make a donation to your local community radio station, feel good about yourself, and avoid having to participate this PR campaign altogether. It's yr choice.

Free Yr Radio tracklist:

1. !!! – Must Be The Moon (Live at KEXP)
2. Chairlift – At My Side
3. Yeasayer – Final Path (Daytrotter Sessions)
4. White Williams – Blue Steel
5. Dan Deacon – Cave Birth
6. No Age – Padded Chair
7. Mudhoney – The Lucky Ones (Live)
8. King Khan & Saba Lou – Past and Gone
9. The Secret Machines – The Walls Are Starting To Crack (Live at KEXP)
10. The Walkmen – In The New Year (Live)
11. Tokyo Police Club – Your English Is Good (K-Os Remix)
12. Jamie Lidell – Rope of Sand (Live at Austin City Limits)

RIP: Dewey Martin, Buffalo Springfield drummer

From Rolling Stone

Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin died January 31st of unknown causes. He was 68. Born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff, Martin cut his teeth in Nashville, playing with Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers. He moved to L.A. in the mid-1960s and learned that a fledgling band was looking for a new drummer. The group’s guitarist, Neil Young, was highly impressed by Martin during his audition in 1966. “He was a sensitive drummer,” Young says in his biography Shakey. “You get harder, he hits harder. You pull back, he hits back. He can feel the music — you don’t have to tell him.” After his successful audition, Martin asked the group what their name was. “They went over and pulled out this sign, Buffalo Springfield,” Martin later recalled. “I said, ‘Great man, a steamroller. You got a heavy sound. Let’s go for it.’ ”

- Dewey Martin Wikipedia entry
- Buffalo Springfield

The Juan Maclean to Release Sophomore Album in April, Continues to Justify Use of Definite Article Beside His Own Name

If you walked into any decent club in 2008 with the intention of shaking your ass, you inevitably heard The Juan Maclean’s infectious single “Happy House” and commenced to set your ass to shaking. Wait a tick, I have absolutely no evidence to back that up. I don’t think I ever set foot in a single dance club for the whole of 2008, or even my whole life, now that I think about it. The horseshit dives I usually frequent are little more than crackhouses with better roofs and fewer emaciated dogs. I have no idea what the club scene is like in any city, let alone my own. What am I doing writing about a supposed club standard like The Juan Maclean? Moreover, what am I doing with my life? Maybe I should go to grad school after all...

Waaaah fuck! No! Get out of here, bad thoughts, and take that grad school talk with ya! Okay, get it together, McHugh, and report this shit the lazy way. Eh hem: I really liked The Juan Maclean’s “Happy House,” and I really liked his (Or is it “their?” What’s with this band anyway?) 2005 album Less Than Human. Okay, that part’s done.

Now, the press release called “Happy House” an a “international club anthem,” so as long as I unabashedly trust everything press releases say (which I always do), I think I now have the authority vested in me to report that The Juan Maclean will release their new album The Future Will Come April 14 on the dependably dancy DFA Records. Oh man, I think I even have enough clout leftover to announce that the album will be bookended with The Juan Maclean’s other ’08 club stomper “The Simple Life.” Phew! I’m sure glad I could get through all that with my cred intact!

Oh yeah, and the band or dude or what/whoever are gonna release a new 12-inch for the tune “One Day” and has two dates left on his/their/whatever European tour. I don’t know if I have enough cred remaining to say those two things, so I’m just gonna list the dates and the tracklist and get the fuck out of here.

Tourdates:
02.06.09 – Lisbon, Portugal – Lux
02.07.09 – Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz

The Future Will Come tracklist:

1. The Simple Life
2. The Future Will Come
3. One Day
4. A New Bot
5. Tonight
6. No Time
7. Accusations
8. The Station
9. Human Disaster
10. Happy House

Big Bopper’s Casket to be Sold on eBay, Listed As: “Recently Unearthed Time Capsule.”

Children of famous people are presented with two paths in life: to follow in the parents' footsteps and attempt fame or to live a life of anonymity. Big Bopper’s kid? Rather than furthering his own career in entertainment or even tastefully maintaining his father’s legacy, he just wants to make money off his dad in any way he can. How so? Well, by digging up a casket that’s been buried for 48 years, moving the body to a new location, and then unloading the casket as “rock memorabilia,” that’s how!

The Big Bopper, real name J. P. Richardson, is of course known to rock ‘n’ roll history for his most famous hit “Chantilly Lace.” However, we all remember Mr. Bopper when he, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, died in a plane crash in 1959, the day famously becoming known as the “day the music died.” The accident was later memorialized by Don McLean in 1972 with his song “American Pie” and dramatized in 1999 in a film starring a young Jason Biggs.

But, even with his place in rock ‘n’ roll history ensured, Big Bopper’s son had this to say: "In another 200 years, will people care about rock ‘n’ roll? Who knows? But why would I want to destroy it? Even though it was dad's resting place for 48 years, it's also a unique opportunity to learn more about the early years of rock ‘n’ roll."

Skeletal structure of rock ‘n’ roll?

The casket was dug up in 2007 when Richardson’s son wanted a “more visible” final final resting place. The Little Bopper, born three months after his father’s death, offers his reason for the sale: “I have no personal use for the casket, when you get down to it; it is just a metal box. More important is what this particular metal box represents."

Exactly. CH-CHING! Dollar, dollar bills, ya’ll.

South Korea’s Answer to Failing Banks, Collapsing Economies and Legions of Unemployed: A Government Bailout for Korean Popstars!

It’s been tough for the superstars of South Korean pop music recently. Thanks to declining CD sales, online piracy, and a global recession, these poor souls have had to cut back on their luxury houses, fancy parties, and bribing television producers for guaranteed TV appearances. Fortunately, the South Korean government has taken the vital step of awarding their music industry $91 million to secure the next generation of Gods (Groove OverDose), Wonder Girls, and Shinhwas.

Amongst the plans are to create a Korean version of the U.S. Billboard charts and a Grammy-style ceremony to increase the profile of “K-pop.” Not only will this create essential jobs for hard-working, downtrodden music journalists and television presenters, but the proposals will encourage greater spending on pop-related products, such as hair-gel and luxury clothes, in these modest times.

Two new concert venues will be built in Seoul with 4,000 seats total, and a K-pop culture center with a 3,000-capacity concert hall is also planned for construction in Goyang City. While Obama intends to get Americans working on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and green technologies, the South Koreans realize the only way you’re going to get people out of bed in the morning is to get them assembling places of worship for their future idols.

Politicians should be ashamed of themselves for failing to give cash to the likes of American Idol, Billboard magazine, and the Grammys. The future prosperity of the Justin Timberlakes and Kelly Clarksons of this world are fundamental to securing our economic future.

Cursive Reveal New Album Details to Attract More Attention

When a band has been around for almost 15 years, it’s usually time to start evaluating ways to get noticed again. In Cursive’s case, they have unveiled a three-fold plan to capture their fans attention again:

1. Release a new album. Bonus points to Tim Kasher and Co. for naming their album, Mama, I’m Swollen, which is provocative enough to get indie eyes turning. Look for it on Saddle Creek March 10.
2. Tour, tour, and tour again! And play those new songs live, too. (See Cursive’s upcoming tourdates below.)
3. Be happy that your longtime drummer Clint Schnase decided to quit so you could replace him with Engine Down’s drummer, Cornbread Compton. I shit you not; the dude’s name is Cornbread. If that doesn’t garner Cursive some more attention, then all hope is truly lost.

Mama, I’m Swollen tracklisting:

1. In The Now
2. From The Hips
3. I Couldn't Love You
4. Donkeys
5. Caveman
6. We're Going To Hell
7. Mama, I'm Satan
8. Let Me Up
9. Mama, I'm Swollen
10. What Have I Done?

Mama, I’m Touring:
03.09.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
03.10.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
03.13.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
03.14.09 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
03.15.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
03.16.09 - Albuquerque, NM - The Launchpad

James Toth to Issue Two Wooden Wand LPs, One with Track-by-Track Commentary!

Miss Wooden Wand? Well, perhaps James Jackson Toth does, too, because he's apparently releasing two albums from back in that nostalgic era, before he got backing vocals and fancy guitars and before he ditched the Wooden Wand moniker.

So first, March 31 marks the release of Born Bad, an edition of 500 hand-pressed, hand-screened, signed-on-request, vinyl-only albums. He promises that this album is the reason he was kicked out of the major leagues. The album is co-released on Olympia's People in a Position to Know label and Toth's own label, Mad Monk. It's available for $15.

Then, Ecstatic Peace is releasing a record of his demos on May 21, titled Hard Knox or ‘Are You Sure Hank Jr Done It This Way?’: Home Recordings 1999-2007. And here's the kicker: It has song-by-song commentary by Toth. I shit you not. I'm excited, and I hope he's drunk.

Put Down Your Bong And Pay Attention: The Bonnaroo Lineup Is Here!

I know reading things on the internet is always more fun if you’re high, but all of you stoners out there may want to pay close attention to this news story. Not only am I about to reveal the lineup to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival below, but if you read it carefully, you may see a subliminal message or two pop out at you:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Phish (2 Shows), Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Wilco, Al Green, Snoop Dogg, Elvis Costello (Solo), Erykah Badu, Paul Oakenfold, Ben Harper and Relentless 7, The Mars Volta, TV on the Radio, TICKETS Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gov't Mule, Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Merle Haggard, MGMT, moe., GO The Decemberists, Girl Talk, Bon Iver, Béla Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Galactic, The Del McCoury Band, of Montreal, ON Allen Toussaint, Coheed and Cambria, Booker T & the DBTs, David Grisman Quintet, Lucinda Williams, Animal Collective, Gomez, Neko Case, Down, Jenny Lewis, Santogold, Robert Earl Keen, Citizen Cope, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, The Ting Tings, SALE Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kaki King, Grizzly Bear, King Sunny Adé, Okkervil River, St. Vincent, Zac Brown Band, Raphael Saadiq, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Crystal Castles, Tift Merritt, Brett Dennen, Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue, Toubab Krewe, People Under the Stairs, FEBRUARY 7 AT 12PM EST. Alejandro Escovedo, Vieux Farka Touré, Elvis Perkins In Dearland, Cherryholmes, Yeasayer, Todd Snider, Chairlift, Portugal. The Man., The SteelDrivers, Midnite, The Knux, The Low Anthem, Delta Spirit, A.A. Bondy, The Lovell Sisters, Alberta Cross.

Catch that? Well, if you missed it, tickets go on sale Saturday, February 7 at 12 PM EST at Bonnaroo’s website. Taking place June 11-14, the festival is also being held on the same 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. More bands and comedians are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Too poor to attend? I feel your pain, and so do fest organizers apparently, as they’re offering a new payment plan this year in which tickets will be available for five payments of $50 (plus fees). That’s $250 total for anyone out there who has stopped paying attention. Not too shabby for lip-syncing Springsteen’s only North American festival performance this year and Phish’s only festival appearance.

Fan Dies of Heart Failure at Slipknot Show

In a shocking bit of news coming out of Council Bluffs, Iowa, 29-year-old Corey Nickels died of heart failure at a Slipknot show on January 25. According to The Daily Nonpareil, Nickels collapsed after Sunday’s show at the Mid-America Center and was pronounced dead later that night at a local hospital. According to the venue EMS director, Rick Benson, Nickels was not feeling well after the show and while receiving aid his heart began to fail. Despite repeated attempts to revive Nickels with CPR, he was then rushed to a local hospital for further treatment that, like the CPR, proved fruitless.

An autopsy is being planned to determine the full nature of Nickels’ death, but according to friends, Nickels’ family has a history of heart problems. Surprisingly, Council Bluffs police are still looking to find exactly where Nickels was from. No I.D.?

Venue officials stated that around 30 people were treated for “moshing related” injuries in addition to Nickels’ death. The venue also has a history of Slipknot-related violence. In 2005, two fans were arrested after a crowd rushed the building’s main floor, used tables as battering rams on the front doors, and then assaulted police officers attempting to quell the angry mob.

Performance Rights Act To Be Reintroduced, Recession Over!

Ladies and gentlemen, The Performance Rights Act is back on the air! (Don’t tell me you don’t remember the Performance Rights Act? You know, the law that would require radio stations in the United States to pay royalties to artists and labels for songs they broadcast over the air, and not just to the songwriters? Remember?) Well, anyway, the Act will be reintroduced into the new 111th Congress this week, according to a letter signed by members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

What, what’s the matter? You still need more explanation?? Fine: See, songwriters currently receive “royalties” when their songs are broadcast on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, cable, internet, etc. This means that, whenever you hear Rob Thomas warbling on over the speakers in the dentist office about the “women” that he lusts after, the, uh, young man carbuncular or whoever over there in Hollywood Hills who actually came up with the idea gets paid something for it. But the new legislation is aimed at ending the exemption that radio -- terrestrial radio, at least -- need not pay royalties to artists, musicians, and copyright owners. And with all of those deadbeat studio musicians and sleazy music publishers getting paid, we can definitely just kiss this economic downturn goodbye.

Webcasters, satellite radio, cable radio services, and all other non-terrestrial broadcasters already pay both performance and songwriting royalties, as do terrestrial radio stations in every one of the 30 countries that comprise the Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development, except for the stubborn, inch-measuring, pound-weighing United States. The planned legislation, which will be submitted by the chairman of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers; Rep. Howard L. Berman; Rep. Darrell Issa; Rep. Marsha W. Blackburn; and Rep. Paul W. Hodes, was previously introduced in the prior 110th congressional session as H.R. 4789 and in the Senate as S. 2500 on Dec. 18, 2007; but, well, it didn’t pass. By the way, how are all these numbers and abbreviations looking? Do they seem official? Okay, cool, cool. We’re all good, then...

Anyway, artists and labels have been lobbying for artist performance royalties from radio stations for years (duh), while the National Association of Broadcasters has long opposed paying such royalties because it claims that radio play serves as promotion that drives music sales (which in turn, pays those folks anyway). Yo, NAB! Music sales? What music sales???

  

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