The Verve to Release Forth; Forth To Apparently Include Ten Tracks That Are Not “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

(TMT – Manchester) Nineties alt-rock legends The Verve are set to release upcoming album Forth via the band’s own imprint, On Your Own, August 26. Frontman Richard Ashcroft publicly confirmed today that a cover of “Bitter Sweet Symphony” will in no way be included on the album, contrary to the daunting and ridicule-laden expectations of the consumer public and/or former Nineties Kids! that are now slightly overweight disc jockeys at top 40s stations in and around the Midwest.

“‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ was a really sweet jam, but it isn’t on our new album,” said Ashcroft at a press event. “I’m a million different people from one day to the next,” he added, trailing off in a raspy half-mumble.

Ashcroft then launched into an unprompted discussion of the song, named the 382nd best of all time by Rolling Stone.

“You see, what I was trying to get across [in ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’] through the powerful force that is music is that being a slave to money is, like, very bad,” he explained. “It’s sort of a complex grappling with existence that will live on until the end of time as, like, the benevolent pressure of life and love and consumerism. It’s like Damn The Man!, but it’s also like just being a slave to money till you die, you know. That’s what I was getting at lyrically, you know,” he said.

“I can confirm that the tracklisting for Forth in no way includes a reference to ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony,” he said, pausing in thought to contradict himself: “Okay, maybe tangentially.”

Friend and contemporary Noel Gallagher agreed. “Yeah, maybe tangentially, sort of,” he said in a phone interview.

Forth tracklisting:

Cold War Kids Tour, Announce New Album; TMT Sets You Straight on “Kids” Bands

Indie rock can often be a confusing style of music. So many musical restrictions, a dress code, and I’ve heard there are secret handshakes too. Gosh! Luckily, TMT is here to help, with our handy guide to all these “___ Kids” bands that have been popping up lately. Read on if you want some insights on this cool new musical trend:

- The Get Up Kids: Indie rock for your little sister.
- The Black Kids: Indie rock for dorm-room dance parties.
- The Cool Kids: Indie rock for hip-hop fans.
- Cold War Kids: Indie rock for everyone.

And speaking of Cold War Kids, they have a new album, Loyalty To Loyalty, coming out September 23 via Downtown Records, and are touring later this summer and fall. They practically invented the secret handshake, so you may want to see them on tour if you need tips on mastering it.

Loyalty To Loyalty tracklist:

Ariel Pink Tours: With or Without Farty Armpit Sounds?

Since growing a cult following, Ariel Pink has formulated quite the live band, revising the self-recorded sound of Pink's earlier DIY albums. The band consists of keyboardist Kenny Gilmore (Lilys), bassist Tim Koh (White Magic, Lavender Diamond, Miho Hatori/Cibo Matto, All Night Radio, My Barbarian), drummer Jimi Hey (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio, Devendra Banhart, Mark Olson/The Jayhawks, Chris Robinson, Indian Jewelry, The Rapture, Strictly Ballroom), and guitarist Cole M. Greif-Neill (Ethnik Klensr, Young & Natural, The Samps).

Sure that all sounds fine and dandy, maybe even a little impressive, but I can't help but feel a void.

That void is the Ethiopian armpit music of Keith Terry. What makes Pink's lo-fi material so mesmerizing is not just his keen awareness of pop sensibilities and structures, but rather his incorporation of armpit sounds replacing bass drums. So, why not hire someone to authentically recreate the sound? What would any tour be without this guy?

If you're not dumb and immature like me, you might want to go to some of the following dates for Pink's amazing live show and a limited-edition, tour-only vinyl (released in partnership with Vinyl International).

"Thanks Mama I'm Dead Tour 2008":

Team Clermont Announces Summer Camp Festival Lineup, Featuring Music, Kickball, Scavenger Hunt, and Four Square!

Back in college, I was a DJ and Alternative Music Director for my University’s radio station (like many of you, I’m sure). So reading Team Clermont’s name (a PR firm based in Georgia, for those not in the know) transported me back to a time of dead air, broken CD players, and themed radio shows, and I found myself getting a bit nostalgic for my college radio years. Sad, I know. But, before I put on Loveless and contemplate how long it will take me to get drunk enough to call my college boyfriend, let me tell you about Team Clermont’s Summer Camp Festival.

The annual festival will be held July 31-August 2 around Athens, Georgia, Team Clermont's abode. Featuring such events as arts and crafts, karaoke, kickball, four square, and corn hole, the festival is already way cooler than everything else you have going on this summer. Where else can you get drunk, listen to awesome bands, and play four square?! On its final day, there will be a "Campfire Sing-Along," featuring cover bands dedicated to ESG, Paul MCartney & Wings, Mclusky, and Sonic Youth.

Here’s the schedule of Summer Camp’s list of activities/band lineup:

Day One: “Camp Orientation” (07.31.08 - Caledonia Lounge)

- So Many Dynamos
- Mostly Bears
- Megafaun
- Benji Hughes

Day Two (08.01.08 - Little Kings)

- Music Director Scavenger Hunt (12-2 PM)
- “Talent Night” featuring karaoke, dance party with DJs Cookies & Cream, arts and crafts, four square and corn hole tournaments, and a face-painting station

Day Three (08.02.08 - East Athens Community Park)

- Koalas vs. Walruses Kickball Showdown (10 AM-2 PM)
- Graham MacRae

Day Three Pt. II: “Campfire Sing-Along” (08.02.08 - 40 Watt Club)

- Tiny Sticks (ESG cover band featuring Josh McKay of Macha/Seaworthy, Bryan Poole, Heather Heyn formerly of Dark Meat, Aaron Wegelin formerly of Elf Power)
- Hi Hi Hi (covering Paul McCartney & Wings, featuring Bryan Poole from Of Montreal/Dark Meat/Elf Power/the Late BP Helium and Jason Nesmith of Casper & the Cookies)
- F*ck This Band (Mclusky cover band featuring Jeff Tobias of We Versus The Shark, Dark Meat and Pegasuses-XL; Scott Smith of We Versus The Shark; Andy Pruett of Cinemechanica; and Brion Kennedy)
- Nic Fit (Sonic Youth cover band featuring members of Dead Confederate).

Alright, now time for Loveless.

“The City That Knows How”.. to Steal Your Shit: Maria Taylor’s Van Robbed in San Francisco, People Suck

On Thursday, July 10, Saddle Creek darling Maria Taylor’s van was broken into while she and her band were in San Francisco. The jerks busted out the back window and stole six guitars (the right-handed ones belong to Maria, the lefties belong to guitarist Taylor Hollingsworth), two suitcases, two pedals and tons of Maria’s new EP, Savanna Drive.

Luckily on Friday, Maria and her band recovered one of the missing bass guitars at a local pawnshop. However, the loser pawnshop owner made them pay $250 to get it back, even though they had their police report. Much of the gear that was stolen has sentimental value and the band is quite upset.

I know how they feel, sort of. Some assholes broke into my house a month ago and stole all the computers in our house, two digital cameras, and my posh terabyte external hard drive. It had the most jams on it.

Anyway, here is the damage.

Stolen Gear:

- Left-handed Red Gretsch Tennessee Rose Guitar
- Left-handed Martin Acoustic Guitar
- Left-handed White American Fender Precision bass -- recovered at a pawnshop
- Right-handed Purple Fender Jazz Bass guitar
- Right-handed 1976 Black Les Paul Deluxe
- Right-handed Alvarez acoustic guitar (hand-painted white with black swirls -- guitar strap is nailed on)
- Boss Tuner Pedal
- Boss Distortion Pedal

If anyone has any information regarding the stolen goods, please email info@saddle-creek.com.

Lykke Li Tacks on North America To Her European Tour

21-year-old Swedish-lo-fi pop darling Lykke Li is set to embark on a 10-city North American road trip in support of her debut album, Youth Novels (TMT Review), which is scheduled for release August 19 in the U.S. Sadly, Li's short tour romp will not be named "Madonna's Immaculate Collection Rules Tour of ’08," which does very little to honor the time Li spent with the album while living on a mountaintop in Portugal. Anyway, Li will also stop off in a couple Canadian cities, riding through America's hat in between hitting up various other international stopovers for previously scheduled shows and summer festivals.

For a full listing of all worldwide dates, visit her MySpace.

Full North America tour listing:

Melvin Van Peebles Collaborates with Madlib, Sues ASCAP for $20 Million, Prompts Reassessment of Relative Baadasssssness of Litigation

According to Variety's blog The Set List, Blaxploitation renaissance man Melvin Van Peebles (TMT Feature) recently filed a $20 million lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court against ASCAP, a major organization that collects licensing fees and distributes royalties to musicians, songwriters, composers, and publishers.

Van Peebles is perhaps best known for directing, starring in, and composing the score for 1971's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, but he's also the writer and director of many other films, the writer and composer of the Broadway show Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, and the musical mastermind behind 10 full-length albums (many of them soundtracks).

Van Peebles' concern stems from ASCAP's failure to list all of his 157 registered compositions in their newfangled electronic database, which includes only 24 of them. He alleges that the disappearance occurred between 1992 and 2005. This oversight, he alleges, prevents him from charging appropriate licensing fees to those performing or using his songs. The Set List, on some detective shit, reports that "allmusic.com lists only one of his tunes being covered by an artist not associated with one of films, Grace Jones, who recorded ‘The Apple Stretcher.’"

However, as astute Set List commenter "dave" notes, Van Peebles has long been a source of hip-hop samples. Indeed, according to sampling database the-breaks.com, more than a dozen hip-hop tracks have used pieces of Van Peebles' recordings. ASCAP's sampling policy puts the organization in a position to negotiate fees for sample usage, further legitimating Van Peebles' complaint about his missing compositions.

Interestingly, Van Peebles' future projects include a collaboration with Madlib, whose Quasimoto alias is one of the heaviest users of Van Peebles samples. According to Madlib's label, Stones Throw Records, Van Peebles' next release will be a double album encompassing one disc called Brer Soul Meets Quasimoto as well as an album-length "Madlib Invazion remix." Van Peebles also recently completed his eighth feature film as director, entitled Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus ItchyFooted Mutha. The film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in late April.

Who is Esperanza Spalding? You didn’t get the memo?

You’ve probably never heard of Esperanza Spalding. It's understandable. A friend of mine thought she was a type of Spanish basketball, so I try not to talk music with him anymore.

Esperanza Spalding is quickly becoming one of jazz music’s leading double-bass players, vocalists, and composers. Her innovative, intricate style, along with her sultry voice, is causing mass amounts of people to turn their heads and silently mouth: “Who’s that?” Spalding's first effort, 2006’s Junjo, was a soulful and fresh exploration of creativity that had both jazz fans and music critics craving for more. Spalding happily obliged with 2008’s Esperanza, her sonic statement to the rest of the music world that she is a force to be reckoned with. The album depicts Spalding’s youthful and charismatic style, while showcasing her seemingly infinite creativity and ability.

So, now you’re thinking how good can she really be, right? I was too, at one point. Then I found out that Esperanza Spalding is the youngest professor in history at the Berklee School of Music, at age 24. Most people I know, myself included, are hoping they still don’t live with their parents at 24.

Spalding recently made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with David Letterman last month, but you can catch her on tour, as she is currently on a non-stop world tour through October. Or you can catch one of the insanely tight videos of her ripping up the stage on YouTube. Either way, you’re going to see Esperanza Spalding very, very soon. Capitalize on her music now, so later on you’ll have your chance to be hip and say "Oh, I liked Esperanza Spalding stuff before she was big."

Check out her official website here or her MySpace here.

* opening for Carlos Santana

EMI Appoints New CEO, Easy as ABC

Ah, Guy Hands! That lovably ludicrous EMI chairman/specter (who seems to haunt at LEAST one TMT news story a week these days) has such an absurdly captain-goes-down-with-ship job title and equally ludicrous name that he could probably so much as go to the damn BATHROOM and we satirically-bent music writers would still probably hit the keys all 8-fingers-blazing to writeup a cheeky news piece about it as fast as we could... all (or at least, largely) for the joy of riddling that comic-book name of his with (hardly) revolutionary bullets of music-proletariat sarcasm.

I can see it now: "Hands Uses Rest Room, Fails to Wash Hands." Or maybe: "Guy Hands to Neighboring Stall: ‘Hands’ Off My Toilet Paper!" Maybe good for a yuk in that postmodern, "look how tired this reads!" kind of way, but generally not the kind of stuff we'd stake our dorky college-newspaper-editor reputations on. Frankly, we pun writers could probably use a break from Mr. Guy Hands. And fortunately (read: not a minute too soon) for all us cheapshotters, it seems as though we're about to get one.

Yup. Hands has promised to step back from day-to-day management of music industry mega-giant EMI, after appointing Elio Leoni-Sceti as chief executive of the company's "recorded music division" this week. Leoni-Sceti himself had this to say (or, more likely, to read carefully):

This is a hugely exciting time for the music business and for EMI. EMI is the world’s longest established music company operating in over 40 markets globally with a roster of some of the most successful artists in the world. They range from long established names such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and The Beach Boys to contemporary singers such as Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen and Norah Jones. Its current successes include Coldplay and Katy Perry topping both the UK and US charts. The potential that can be realised in this industry is massive, music consumption is growing more than ever across the world and I cannot wait to get started and to working with EMI’s artists and employees.

Ol' Guy "All" Hands (sorry, I'm an addict), meanwhile, has claimed he will take the roll of "non-executive chairman," leaving the company to return to its traditional bi-tyrannical structure of having separate chief executives for both its recorded music and music publishing divisions (the long-serving and less-comically-named Roger Faxon currently heads the publishing division).

So where did Mr. "Busy" Hands (last time, I promise) dig up EMI's newest chief executive? Well, you'll all be happy to know that Mr. Leoni-Sceti, a seasoned marketer, has absolutely no background in the industry whatsoever, having spent the past 16 years as executive vice president (and a bang-up vice president, to be sure) with Reckitt Benckiser, a European FTSE30 "consumer brand" company. Oh, yeah, and in case you were wondering, kids, this is the company that makes Clearasil acne cream, among other things, and, as we all know, music and teen skin-care issues have been going hand-in-hand at least since "The Limbo Rock" charted.

Citing his belief that EMI needs to focus on selling music more effectively (read: NOT going broke via cajoling the Jonas Brothers to stay a little longer and releasing more Radiohead best-ofs to the Starbucks generation), Handsy (shove it) sez that the pesky little matter of signing those whiny "new" artists is to be handled by Nick Gatfield, a former executive with Universal, who is joining up with Team Stayafloat to run its labels worldwide. So, you know, this should probably fix everything, right? Oh well. At least it might put a cap on some of those puns.

Mr. My Morning Jacket Records with Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Takes up New Alter Ego

It's official: Jim James can do anything he wants.

Not only is he touring the hell out of his divisive Evil Urges (TMT Review) with his band My Morning Jacket, but according to a story in the latest Rolling Stone, he's teaming up with fellow Midwesterner Conor Oberst and good friend M. Ward for a record. Additionally, Mr. James plans on adopting "Sec Walkin'" (a tune from MMJ's latest record) as a stage name/alter ego for another album.

According to Rolling Stone:

...he's recording an album with Conor Oberst and M. Ward; and, bizarrely, he's dead serious about making music as an alter ego he describes as an Asian country star named Sec Walkin (after the Evil Urges tune about walking). "It's such a great country name, like Trace Adkins," he says. "Look for us at the top of the charts."

While I don't really see this making it to the top of the charts, I would suggest catching My Morning Jacket while they're touring until New Year's Eve. Nice sarcasm, Jim.

Maybe Sec Walkin' will make an appearance during tour:

# solo show

$ "An Evening With My Morning Jacket"