Our ol' pal Kevin Martin, FCC Chairman and closet Toots & The Maytals freak, promised America on bended knee last month that a merger between XM and Sirius was a no go. "America, it's a no go," he said. FCC regulations were in place when satellite radio first started up that would prohibit a merger, and there fundamentally could not be "one entity owning both of those licenses."
And now, here we are, stuffed with President's Day falafel and doffing our fedoras to a beautiful new $13 billion merger between XM and Sirius. How did this happen? Will the FCC really let this slide? Did you see Britney's new 'do???? XM shareholders will now receive 4.6 shares of Sirius stock for each share of XM as a consolation prize for no longer having any say in the direction of satellite radio. "This combination is the next logical step in the evolution of audio entertainment," Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin beamed. "Together, our best-in-class management team and programming content will create unprecedented choice for consumers, while creating long-term value for shareholders of both companies." When the number of satellite radio choices decreases to one, children, it is only then that the limitless choices will reveal themselves!
The monster company (XiriuM?) promises to increase the number of programming and content choices as well as other high-tech sorcery, yet one can't help but worry that the complete lack of competition will render such decisions needless in the future. Listeners are already concerned by a proposed schedule that replaces the all-'80s station with a 30-second repeating loop of Kevin Martin imitating Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever. But seriously, people. Wake up. They're takin' over, and they're doing it wielding daggers made of cash and boredom.
Detroit is known for a lot of things. Dubious distinctions like being one of the most dangerous cities in the USA, having a horrible professional football team, a worse Mayor, and a willingness to let "developers" "develop" historic buildings into parking lots (fuck you, Ilitch). On the positive side, the city has produced truly great artists in genres like [?R&B], [?Rock 'N' Roll], and [?Electronica]. In the made-up (by me) genre of Discordant 'n' Electro 'n' Tense 'n' Punk, one of the greats has to be ADULT. (all caps and the period every time, so get used to it). Adding punk elements to electronic music with a sly, sarcastic, and sexy energy has rarely been done better than how Detroit's own ADULT. do it.
Core members Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have put out three full-length LPs under the ADULT. moniker since 2001, with their last, Gimme Trouble (TMT Review) being released by Thrill Jockey in 2005. The band have seen members come and go over the years, but with their upcoming fourth album, the self-produced Why Bother? (due March 20 on Thrill Jockey), the group is back to the original duo of Miller & Kuperus. The LP was written by M & K at their own Woodhouse Studios over a 4-month period and recorded in nearby Benton Harbor at the The Key Club Recording Co. in late October 2006. This marks the first time an ADULT. LP was recorded outside of Woodhouse. As the band told me, via-email, they feel that this record, more that their others, is the "most accurate culmination of our disordered hysteria."
When pressed (pretty hard, I am a professional after all), the band said the sound of WB? is "uneasy listening for uneasy times." They went on to explain that they are trying to "contextualize 'folk' for our intent and advocate the importance of being folk," clarifying further that "folk suggests a culture content to operate 'outside'; the place where we are most at ease." So, it's gonna sound like Devendra, MV+EE or James Taylor? Wrong. "With that explanation, this must be a folk record, but realistically it would probably be that kind of 'folk' that conjures up images of "Deliverance", "Motel Hell's" Farmer Vincent or Leatherface's family life."
The group will be performing live, as a duo, on a tour with Parts & Labor and Erase Errata in tow, set to begin in March.
Tracklist for Why Bother?:
Spector to (Finally) go to Trial; All-Knowing Judge Looks to Past for Inspiration and Chooses to Allow Trial to be (Finally) Televised
Americans are known for lots of things worldwide, most of them highly admirable. One of our best assets, in my white-as-Wonderbread opinion, is our ability to stick with what works. You won't find us Americans changing things around for sheer novelty, that's fer damn sure! Our motto is simple: If it ain't resulted in global chaos, don't fix it. For example, the US of iz-Ay is involved in a tiny lil' conflict overseas. We're smokin' the wacky Iraq-y! And, since the war has worked so WELL for us all the last few years, we're maintaining our presence there. See? We find something that works and we stick with it!!
The same thing goes for televising highly publicized murder trials. I mean, remember the OJ Simpson trial? Right, the one that you sandwiched between NYPD Blue and Ellen on Tuesday nights. Well, in case you can't remember, that trial ran EXTREMELY SMOOTHLY for everyone involved, mostly due to the fact it was televised! Remember how judge Ito acted all awkwardly authoritative because he knew he was on camera? Remember OJ's sly glances? Remember that reasonable, get-behind-able, and above all else, JUST verdict? Yeah, me too, it was great!!!
Seeing as it worked so AMAZINGLY in the past, another highly publicized murder trial will be televised: that of aging music-biz phenom Phil Spector. Anticipating ratings higher than Spector's blossoming afro — at least that's what we at TMT assume — California Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler recently ordered that television coverage be allowed at the trial. And we're not talking about in-the-nosebleeds coverage; this is gavel-to-gavel bitch! AWESOME, right? It's like a Reality Show about Real People ... in Real-Life Courtroom with Real-Life Ass-Sucking Lawyers and (hopefully) another Real-Life Ito-In-The-Making judge and a potentially Too-Real-Life verdict. Hell, we even have a rich defendant that's almost certainly culpable! And now, thanks to the fact that he allegedly shot a woman in the face, Spector will be come TV's newest Reality TV Star! Let the games begin ...
When asked about his puzzling decision in lieu of the — in case you didn't pick up my latent sarcasm above — monumentally perverse Simpson trial, judge Fidler said, "We have to get by that case. There's going to come a time that it will be commonplace to televise trials. If it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now." Again, I emphasize: This quote didn't come from a television executive, but a bona fide judge. Scratch that, a Superior Court judge!! Awww snap! Fidler also claims televising the Event will prove that celebrities are treated the same as anyone else in the Court of Law. [resume Sarcasm here] Because, you know, the four-year delay on Spector's trial is proof enough that celebrities get no handouts. And most importantly, Fidler On The Roof is gonna be a big star now! Wonder if he'll parlay this into a guest spot on The Girls Next Door? That show's so info-tainment-tastic!
The TMT crime lab has broken the case down to a few easy-to-understand fragments for those of you too STOOPID to know already: Phil Spector went out for a few drinks on Feb. 3, 2003. He tipped generously (or at least that's what the transcript of the pre-trial hearing indicated; see, they focus on the important stuff, remember) and ended up going home with a blonde bombshell named Lana Clarkson. They hung out, had a few drinks most likely. Then the darndest thing happened: Police were called by neighbors who heard gunshots. When the cops got to Spector's sprawling estate, they found something strange; it seemed Spector's guest had been shot square in the face!
Naturally they were going to let him go. Because, you know, he makes lots of money. Besides, he explained the whole thing to them (Direct quote: "I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident.")! God, who's policing the police these days anyway? Here they are wasting their time harrassing poor Phil Spector when they could be busting college kids for smokin' doobers or pulling me over for making too-wide a turn. MAN! I just don't understand shit like that ... Oh, and as it turns out, Spector allegedly has a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee little bit of history when it comes to guns and women and sex and such ... Nothing too damning really. I mean, so he pulled guns on several people. Pfffft. Could happen to anyone!
Jury selection is to begin March 19 ... get your tickets now because this is the only segment of the trial that is not to be televised.
I was in the supermarket yesterday, picking up some toilet paper. My local Sainsbury's, despite being a pretty small thing attached to a petrol station, seems to have a terrifying variety of the stuff. Like, a whole aisle. How much bog roll could one man need? I went for the own-brand stuff with the keen eye of a shrewd, informed customer -- cheap, probably as good as the quilted, scented crap, and six for the price of four. But they weren't letting me get away that easily -- oh, no. There were two varieties! Natural Forest or Pure White. I stood there for quite a while. I knew that it was utterly unimportant, but there was literally nothing to encourage me to choose one above the other.
Nothing whatsoever. I had no way of deciding.
So I phoned founding Mice Parade member Adam Pierce.
Me: Hey, man, what's up. Listen... I've got a bit of a problem. I'm just out picking up toilet paper, and I really can't decide which one to get.
Adam: Just pick up the own-brand stuff, dude. It's probably about as good as the quilted, scented crap.
Me: Yeah, but here's the thing -- there are two varieties! There's Natural Forest or Pure White. How the fuck am I meant to choose something like that? I mean, choosing one of them won't exactly affect my life in any way. Which do you think defines me as a person?
Adam: You do realize that this is a pretty sad indictment of our Western commodity-based society, and your place in it.
Me: Tell me about it.
Adam: What colors... the Natural Forest stuff?
Me: It's...kinda a peachy orange, I guess.
Adam: Not very foresty.
Me: Shit, man, I'm just buying the stuff.
Adam: I'm just saying.
Me: Alright. Well.
Adam: Hey, you know I'm releasing a new album in May? It's gonna be self-titled, and it continues my gorgeous pop odyssey that spans seven albums. I've lined up some great collaborators for this one, like Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) on "Tales of Las Negras." Kristin Anna Valtysdottir (Müm, also a touring member of the Mice Parade live band from 2003-2006) lends her incredible grace to "Double Dolphins on the Nickel," complete with Icelandic verse. Other members of the live lineup appear on tracks like "Sneaky Red" and "Satchelaise," notably Doug Scharin (Rex, June of 44), Dylan Cristy (Dylan Group), Jay Israelson (Lansing-Dreiden), and Dan Lippel.
Me: Dude, are you just reading from the press release there?
Adam: Uh, no?
Me: Fuckin?? Help a dude out over here!
Adam: Alright, fine. What color's your bathroom?
Adam: I'd get the forest stuff. That'd probably go pretty well. Probably get less bleach in it, too, if you care about that stuff.
Me: Hey, you're right! Cheers, dude.
Adam: Listen, how did you get this number, anyway?
Which is when I hung up. So anyway, I followed his advice and bought the Natural Forest toilet paper. And you know what the weird thing is? When I got back home and opened the first roll, on the first sheet was written:
"I knew you'd make the right choice." Ad x
That Adam Pierce is one weird motherfucker.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood Converts to Rastafarian Just in Time to Compile Trojan Records Collection
This be Jonny, the Radio-dre-head on the mobile sound system. Other soundbwoys are soft. Tro Jan! Even tho oim a foreigner, they give me dan dada status to compile sides for a collection. Oi spent a whole heap of time in the Trojan vaults pickin' the one drops for this record. I'm the notch. Nuh nuttin. Ya no see it? Oi may look uptown winjy with rank bullets in my mouth and me skinny tees but in me heart oim dread to the core. Oim no wolf, oim lion. This be rockers straight from Babylon from the head man. Don't be all hard ears with me. Oim the creation stepper here. Listen to me. This Trojan collection is fit. Everything is cook and curry. Oi don't need the funds...I sell millions with Radiohead. I see the wanti wanti can't get it, and the getti getti don't want it all the time. I help the wanti wanti to hear it. You know? Oim true to the reggae. Mash it up with crissars March 6 with Jonny Greenwood Is the Controller to the fullness on Trojan/Sanctuary. Light the lambsbread and listen to my sweet nanny goat compilation that has running belly of tracks. See you inna stadium lights. Jonny is the controller, sight?
1. Linval Thompson - "Dread Are the Controller"
2. Derrick Harriott - "Let Me Down Easy"
3. Marcia Aitken - "I'm Still in Love"
4. Gregory Isaacs - "Never Be Ungrateful"
5. Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Bionic Rats"
6. The Heptones - "Cool Rasta"
7. Scientist & Jammy & The Roots Radics - "Flash Gordon Meets Luke Skywalker"
8. Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters - "Black Panta"
9. Junior Byles - "Fever"
10. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - "Beautiful and Dangerous"
11. Lloyd's All Stars - "Dread Dub (It Dread Out Deh version)"
12. Marcia Griffiths - "Gypsy Man"
13. Johnny Clarke & The Aggrovators - "A Ruffer Version"
14. The Jahlights - "Right Road to Dubland (Right Road to Zion Dub)"
15. Junior Byles & Lee Perry - "Dreader Locks"
16. Delroy Wilson - "This Life Makes Me Wonder"
17. Scotty - "Clean Race"
Good news, everyone: I, Papaya, just inherited $5,100,000 from a relative I didn't even know I had. I know it's not a joke, because I just got an e-mail saying it was true, and completely safe. How else would these people have gotten my e-mail address unless it was 100% genuine? What luck! Apparently, all I need to do is send in a social security card, photo ID, and credit card information to some dude in Morocco, and the money will be directly deposited in my checking account. This is going to be soo-oo-oo coo-oo-ool!!!!!!!!!!
What will I do with all of this money? Probably pay some student loans, invest, save for a down payment on a house, donate to disaster relief programs and maybe open up an orphanage... but I might also, as a little extravagance in celebration of my good fortune and as a way of giving back to the community, buy every TMT reader a copy of the new Raccoo-oo-oon album, titled Behold Secret Kingdom, due out on Release the Bats later this spring. This is the band's first official album, and word has it that it will be their best yet. It had better be, because I'm not about to drop all this money buying you guys an album that isn't completely ridonkulous. Actually, I just did some calculations, and it looks like it might take me the entire $5.1 million to do the CD thing... all right, fuck it, the student loans and all that can wait, I guess. CDs it is!
There are also some tourdates, as the band will be going on what will, from the looks of it, be a pretty intense, no-stops tour of Europe in March, and a U.S. tour with no-as-of-yet confirmed dates in May:
I'm a sad bastard sometimes. I became reacquainted with whiskey after not drinking it for almost a year. Why? Simply, because there are so many other options out there. I started with cheap whiskey mixed with coke, and then I went to drinking straight black gold. Elliott Smith was right when he sung, "Whiskey works better than beer," on his most revealing track "King's Crossing" from his posthumously released album From a Basement on the Hill. I drank in solace, and the sad bastard in me came running out. I cried; I wrote some drunken lyrics in my notebook; I was touched.
On May 8, 2007, Kill Rock Stars will release a double album compiled of 24 songs recorded between 1995-1997. Titled New Moon, the songs include demos and B-sides recorded during Smith's self-titled album and Either/Or. Fans may have heard the songs from the popular site Elliott Smith B-Sides, but good luck trying to download the New Moon tracks, for they have already been "removed by request." Though, you should perhaps have more incentive to purchase the double disc because a significant portion of proceeds from the album sales will go directly to Outside In, a Portland-based social service organization that is dedicated in providing diverse services for low-income families and homeless youth.
Let's go drink some whiskey and spin Roman Candle on the record player.
New Moon tracklisting:
Hey is that the Culture Shock music festival with Xiu Xiu, Sunset Rubdown, and Make Believe headlining in your pants or are you just happy to see me?? “Nope, it’s my male part.”
Since the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl, Indiana has been walking around the U.S. like it is "King Shit of Fuck Mountain." We get it Indiana. Get over yourself! Pretentious as Indiana may currently be, there is hope for redemption, and nothing is less pretentious then an indie-rock music fest. So put down your night vision goggles, and put on you hardcore dancing shoes you silly hillbilly. Get ready for Culture Shock 2007!
You may not have known or even have guessed that a music festival has been held in the depths of Indiana. And by depths, I mean Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. WIUX-LP 100.3 FM Pure Student Radio will be hosting their annual Culture Shock music festival on April 14, 2007. With all the bad news (Anna Nicole Smith's death, bad weather, funny Boston bomb scare), it is time for some good new to grace us all, which is that the festival will be free to the public and all-ages are invited. This year's festival is estimated to be the largest in the station's history.
The initial lineup so far includes a mix of local and national acts like Xiu Xiu, Sunset Rubdown, Catfish Haven, Richard Swift, Make Believe, Arrah & the Ferns, David Vandervelde, Husband & Wife, and The Coke Dares. More bands will be announced later along with the location. The festival will be held between 11:30 am and end at 11:30 pm. For more information, you can go to www.wiux.org -- an update will be posted soon. Past performers include Spoon, Harry and the Potters, The Impossible Shapes, Enon, Mock Orange, Half-Handed Cloud, Blueprint, Rapider Than Horsepower and Jackie-O Motherfucker.
I will try to cover this festival when it comes, and I will try to not to make fun of Indiana as much anymore. They don't know why they wear night-vision goggles. Hell, I love Indiana. I like my states red like my meat, and I cannot assume every Hooiser is a toothless meth addict with a rebel flag tattooed on his/her ass. So maybe Indiana is moving on up like those dang Jeffersons did. Times are changing, and along with Bonnaroo, -- cough -- Pitchfork Festival -- cough -- and even Lollapalooza, it looks like people are giving the Midwest some credit for once. Where is the Tiny Mix Tape festival you may be asking? Well, maybe if you close your eyes, squeeze a penny in your fist, and bone harder than you have ever boned before, then, well... maybe! Or you could just start sending us bucket loads of money. Boner!
Bonnaroo to Rock Hippy Ass June 14-17; ‘Bud’ Officially Preferred Over ‘Dude’ and ‘Bro’ By Three-to-One Margin
My friend Isaac and I used to go to the Smokin’ Grooves tour every year. It was fuckin’ rowdy; we saw Cypress, Tribe, Busta, Badu, ’Cyde, and many other hip-hop-ish acts that only need be called by their first or last name. We’d go with Isaac’s girlfriend and some single friend of hers. The ‘single friend’ would always think we were weird because we’d listen to Wyclef’s "Guantanamera" and totally flip out. Then we’d get to the show and settle in and Isaac would be like, "Dude, ‘Single Girl’ totally wants you to go grooooooove with her." But I’d never go groove with her because I was too shy and I thought Maybe Isaac’s lying, maybe she DOESN’T wanna grooooove with me.
Besides, she was dancing along to Eryka Badu and I hate her. Seriously, she sucks iced-out ass. My woman thinks I’m a bad person because of it, but man, I think Badu is just plain Badd. And you are what you like, you know? Like, I was on a date once and this girl kept talking about Dave Matthews. At some point I said "I’d like to force-feed Dave Matthews his own shit," and she presented me with an ultimatum: Either admit Dave Matthews is talented or I [girl] leave. TRUE STORY!! Keep in mind, I didn’t even have to say he carries artistic merit or is a quality artist; all I had to do was admit he’s talented and the bone candy gets thrown my way. Well, I refused and never saw the girl again. Fuck her.
Anyway, Isaac got tired of Smokin’ Grooves. Now he asks me to go to Bonnaroo with him every year. Even when the festival was all dirty and exclusively hippie-laden — much like the Sasquatch Festival, Bonnaroo has cleaned up over the years — he’d show me a flyer and get all tickled pink over the shit. What’s even funnier was the way he’d present it. He’d be like, "Hey bud, fuckin’ Booooonaroo bud, it’s alllllll about Bonnaroo this year bud, bud-bud-bud, bud, bud-bud-bud-bud-bud..." and so on... basically it would all dissolve into an endless chain of ‘bud’s. I was used to hearing ‘dude’ every few seconds, but in Colorado people say ‘bud’ and ‘bro.’
Even funnier, Isaac would never end up going. He’d always come up with an excuse and talk about his friend Bob, or as I like to call him, Buffalo Bob. He’d be like, "Shit, turns out I can’t go this year bud, but next year... OOH bud, it’s gonna be baaaad ass. My bud Bob’s goin’ though. Man he’s fuckin’ lucky, he quit his job and sold a bunch of stuff just to go. He’s homeless and penniless but hey, he’s goin’ to Bonnaroo bud!" And so on. I always thought Bob was burnt-out-hippie-loser scum, but hey, I think a lot of things. For instance, I once thought this waiter at Olive Garden was stalking me. Every time I’d go to eat there he’d peep at me and then duck behind a wall right when I looked over. Isn’t that fucking crazy? And another time, I’m pretty sure this cook at Denny’s undercooked my eggs on purpose. I mean, undercooked eggs don’t just... happen.
Anyhoo, this year Bonnaroo appears to be taking another step toward total Budness. Sure, the traditional Rat Pack of hippie scum will be force-feeding everyone their ‘unique’ brands of jam-cum-funk (String Cheese Incident, Bob Weir, and Ratdog). Sure, some of these bands are just-plain bad (Kings Of Leon, Gov’t Mule, Fountains Of Wayne). Sure, you’ll probably hear a lot of terrible white-guy rapping. Sure, hippies will pester you for a ‘drag’ off your cigarette all-the-live-long-day, but HEY, they’re trying...
So hey, let’s go to Bonnaroo this year, bud! When? June 14-17, bud! Where? Manchester, Tennessee, bud! How much? $184.50 (then when the first allotment run out they go up to $199.50... then when that allotment runs out they go up to $214.50). Why? Well... aww, you almost got me, bud! I can’t tell you WHY... that’s yer own trip brogurt. But I’ll tell you what, bud; you’d better start selling that hemp oil quick or you won’t be able to afford tickets! Of course each ticket gets you in all four days, so at least the head honchos at Bonnaroo are raping your ass with slightly less vigilance than the Coachella people. Slightly.
This Band List is Totally, Like, Buddage:
The Police • Tool • Widespread Panic • The White Stripes • Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals • Wilco • The Flaming Lips • MANU CHAO Radio Bemba Sound System • The String Cheese Incident • Franz Ferdinand • Bob Weir & Ratdog • Damien Rice • Ween • Gov't Mule • Ziggy Marley • The Decemberists • Kings of Leon • Michael Franti & Spearhead • Wolfmother • Regina Spektor • The Black Keys • Galactic • DJ Shadow • Gillian Welch • Spoon • Keller Williams (WMD'S) • Sasha & John Digweed • STS9 • Old Crow Medicine Show • The Hold Steady • Lily Allen • North Mississippi Allstars • Fountains Of Wayne • Hot Tuna • Feist • Hot Chip • John Butler Trio • Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys • Aesop Rock • The Richard Thompson Band • Dierks Bentley • James Blood Ulmer • Xavier Rudd • Gogol Bordello • Junior Brown • Tortoise • T-Bone Burnett • Mavis Staples • Clutch • Cold War Kids • Dr. Dog • Paolo Nutini • Brazilian Girls • RX Bandits • The Nightwatchman • The Slip • Girl Talk • Railroad Earth • Martha Wainwright • Rodrigo y Gabriela • Annuals • Tea Leaf Green • Sam Roberts Band • Elvis Perkins in Dearland • Charlie Louvin • Sonya Kitchell • Mute Math • Apollo Sunshine • Uncle Earl • The National • The Little Ones • Black Angels • Ryan Shaw • Lewis Black & Friends • Dave Attell • David Cross •
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Illustration: Carolina Suarez