I first came across Mr. Oizo's "Flat Beat" in England in 1999. It was entering its third week atop the UK single charts; hence, its all-too-familiar solid house thumps and unsettling fuzzy pulse confronted you at every pub and club (I wasn't privy to any worlds outside those which dispensed alcohol). Mr. Oizo, or Quentin Dupieux, became a household name for creating “Flat Beat,” but he may be even more well-known for creating its accompanying video, which finally introduced Flat Eric -- a flat-topped, headbanging yellow puppet made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop -- to the world. Flat Eric was further embraced by UK pop culture junkies for his ice cold shilling of Levi's "Sta-Prest" denims in a series of unforgettable ads. Mr. Oizo himself seems to have moved on, if the teaser video clip for his new album on his MySpace page is anything to go by. Taking a page out of the Buñuel/Dali "Un chien andalou" reference book, the Lamb's Anger promo ad does to Flat Eric what the world couldn't do back in 1999: put him out of his misery. Or does it?

Of course, Dupieux has hardly been tethered to "Flat Beat" since its release and widespread adoration, but he hasn't been forthcoming with as many Mr. Oizo full-length albums as we would have liked either. Since his debut, Analog Worms Attack, almost 10 years ago, he's released only two other albums and a number of singles and EPs. Although Mr. Oizo is always an in-demand remixer and live-draw, we still need more of that warped experimental electro on wax. His forthcoming Lamb’s Anger album should quell our appetites but, unfortunately, not until the new year. Dupieux's latest was released on November 17 in Europe but will not be available in L’Amerique du Nord until January 26 through Ed Banger Records. That seems like a long time for us to wait, but in Flat Eric time, it's only a couple of headbangs away.

Lamb's Anger, fan's joy:

1. Hun
2. Pourriture 2
3. Z
4. Cut Dick
5. Two Takes It (featuring Carmen Castro)
6. Rank
7. Bruce Willis Is Dead
8. Jo
9. Postiff
10. Lamb's Anger
11. Erreur Jean (featuring Errorsmith)
12. Steroids (featuring Uffie)
13. Gay Dentists
14. Pourriture 7
15. W
16. Lars Von Sen

Upcoming Mr. Oizo gigs:
11.21.08 - Venice, Italy - Belli Dentro Notte
11.29.08 - Neufchatel, France - Annulato
01.26.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso

Racebannon to Tour UK, Better Not Ask for SOCIALIST Bailout

What's going on?

Racebannon are set to kick off a UK tour tonight in Cardiff.

Why should I care about Racebannon?

Why? What do you mean why? Have you seen photos of Racebannon? Besides, you need to get out of the house and air out your crotch area. It's starting to smell like ass.

But are Racebanon better than Radiohead?

Does Racebannon get 9+ ratings on Pitchfork? Of course not. But like I said: crotch area, ass smell. Do something about it.

It seems like you care more about my crotch area than whether or not I see the band.

It truly does smell strange, not to be mean or anything. Hygiene is really important. Elaborate codes of hygiene can be found in several Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti and the Vishnu Purana. Bathing is one of the five Nitya karmas (daily duties) in Sikhism, not performing which leads to sin according to some scriptures. These codes were based on the notion of ritual purity and were not informed by an understanding of the causes of diseases and their means of transmission. However, some of the ritual-purity codes did improve hygiene, from an epidemiological point of view, more or less by accident.

Have you even heard Racebannon's music?

Crap, gotta go. Sorry, I'll answer your question later. I don't have the time to respond right now because I have this appointment with my doctor. Ha, see?? I'm actually going to see her to talk about my hygiene practices, because it's that important. But yeah, let's talk later. I'll text or something.

The Music Industry Launches an Attack On Soulseek From the Place You’d Least Expect – France

“Piracy is ‘free riding;’ theft of someone else’s property and a crime under the law. It deprives authors, performers and producers of the income they need to work. It seriously harms musical creation and the development of new artists.” (Emphasis mine)

So sayeth the SCPP, a French organization of music producers whose members range from scrappy independents to the four big dick majors, Sony BMG, EMI, Warner, and Universal. Hey, could you do my a favor? Read that quote again, and once more after that if you need to. I want you to get yourself good and enraged; shoot for a level of fury a wee bit stronger than penning a furious, error-riddled blog post but weaker than calling your mailman a cocksucker just so you can vent. Done? Okay, now that we’re on the same frequency of rage. Let’s continue.

According to TorrentFreak, the SCPP, along with another French society of music producers called SACEM, has filed a complaint against the file sharing community’s ol’ reliable Soulseek. The organizations claim that Soulseek is an application specifically designed to give users unauthorized access to copyrighted materials. Well, obviously! That’s why this message is on Soulseek’s homepage, “Soulseek(tm) does not endorse nor condone the sharing of copyrighted materials. You should only share and download files which you are legally allowed to or have otherwise received permission to share.” You see? Specifically created for the illegal proliferation of our precious copyrighted materials. Throw the book at ‘em, heroes.

At this point you’re probably thinking, “But Mike, only prematurely balding hipsters like me use Soulseek, and I only download King Crimson bootlegs and bleepy bloopy electronica albums no else cares about. These French guys probably want to sue Limewire or Vuze; those ones have all the popular stuff.” Well don’t you worry, dear reader, they already have! Along with pursuing justice against Soulseek, SACEM and SCPP have filed complaints against Limewire, Sourceforge, Vuze, and Morpheus (That’s still around?). Oh, to be young and have a ruthless team of lawyers at my beck and call.

It’s difficult to tell what sort of effect these suits will have outside of France, but with the four major labels involved in this mess, I imagine a ruling in favor of the producers would result in a series of ever-so-annoying limitations on freedom of expression across the internet. Oh, one more thing: For a reminder just how evil those copyright-breaking charlatans at Soulseek are, pop on over to SLSK Records, a sinful haven for unsigned acts to propagate their major label-less “music.” Don’t you assholes know that copyright infringement seriously harms musical creation and the development of new artists?! Stop creating when we’ve got a senseless war to fight, you heartless sons of bitches!

_RTX’s_ Tour Is Beginning _today_, And It’s Going to be _“WITHOUT pre-conditions”_!

Yes, it's true! _RTX_'s tour begins _today_! Hitting up cities like _Reading_ and _Bristol_, this tour should be _"WITHOUT pre-conditions"_. But despite how _"WITHOUT pre-conditions"_ it'll be, it's expected to be _extra Primal Scream-y_ too, because _Primal Scream will be joining RTX for most of the shows_.

_RTX's_ latest album is _JJ GOT LIVE RaTX_, which was released or is set to be released _October 21, 2008_ via _Drag City_. The funny part? Well, did you know that _RTX's favorite fruit is banana_?? HAHA!

Anyway, here are the tourdates for _RTX_, which again, starts _today_ and hits up cities like _Reading_ and _Bristol_. Just don't be surprised if _RTX's favorite fruit is banana_, like I said in the second paragraph!

* Primal Scream

Beirut To Release New Balkan Folk French Mexican Synth Pop Double EP In February

Oh, that precocious Zach Condon of Beirut, always sticking his head into new genres of music to experiment with. In the case of his new double EP, March of the Zapotec, due February 17 in the U.S. and February 16 in Europe on Ba Da Bing! Records and his own Pompeii Records, Condon decided to head on down to Oaxaca, Mexico to the village of Teotitlan del Valle, where he recruited The Jimenez Band to help him record some new songs.

Meanwhile, Holland, the second part of the double EP, features new songs recorded by Condon under his old moniker, Realpeople. Got that? New songs, old band name. According to the press release, Holland “gives the listener a unique perspective on yet another side of Zach’s artistic vision.” Or maybe it just gives Condon a chance to use his old band name, for some random reason.

March of the Zapotec tracklist:

New Bruce Springsteen Album Due in January! Want a Preview? Just Listen to His Last 23 Records!

Constancy, thy name is Springsteen. I mean, for real -- at this point, the man is more than just the sum of his over two dozen records. He’s an icon; one of those rare threads that can effectively bind half a century’s worth of dismal and disparate musical/socio-economic American history with the unlikely image of a red ballcap stuffed into some blue Levi’s, summing up the Ginsburgian “howl” of the anguished American youth ably for paleontologists of future centuries with only the gruff bristle of his croon and the absurd off-beat THWAK of that fat fucking snare drum.

The downside? Well, unfortunately, the next stop on the fame train after “icon” is “caricature.” And fresh off of, oh, I'd say 35 years of singing what are essentially variations on the same fist-pumping, sax-soaked, red-white-and-blue-a-thons, the news that the illimitable Bruce Springsteen is back with his latest album -- presumably about cars and baseball and drifters and lonely housewives and punch clocks and sweet God above and middle class such and such -- is, you know, a bit hard to take seriously. But what’s an aging symbol of sexy-ass American stadium rock to do? It’s a catch-22 situation, really. After all, at some point, there comes a need for a new rhetoric if you’re going to stay current, and yet, somehow singing a song about a pink Toyota Prius just doesn’t sound that cool either.

But either way, look out, 2009, cuz here he comes, for better or worse. Springsteen's 24th album, Working on a Dream (presumably pronounced “Workin’ on a Dream,” mind you) has been set for a January 27 release via Columbia Records. Naturally, it was recorded with the E Street Band and is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, GA with additional recording in New York City, Los Angeles, and, yes, New Jersey.

Said the Lord Springsteen of the experience:

Towards the end of recording [the last album], excited by the return to pop production sounds, I continued writing. When my friend producer Brendan O'Brien heard the new songs, he said, ‘Let's keep going.’ Over the course of the next year, that's just what we did, recording with the E Street Band during the breaks on last year's tour. I hope Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done. All the songs were written quickly, we usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end.

The album features 12 new Springsteen tunes plus 2 bonus tracks (which, back in the dark ages would have been called “a 14-track album”). But I don’t see anything along the lines of “Pink Toyota Prius” listed down there, do you?

Workin’ Titles:

Bonus tracks:

The Wrestler

A Night with the Jersey Devil

RIP: Jody Reynolds, Rockabilly Singer and Songwriter

From YouTube:

From the LA Times (via Idolator}):

Jody Reynolds, the 1950s rockabilly singer and songwriter whose one and only Top 10 hit, "Endless Sleep," was the first of a wave of melodramatic "teen tragedy" tales, died of liver cancer Nov. 7 in Palm Desert. He was 75.

“Endless Sleep,” which peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart in 1958, opened the door for a string of similarly tragic pop hits including Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel," Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her," Johnny Preston's "Running Bear," the Everly Brothers' "Ebony Eyes," Dickey Lee's "Patches" and the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack."

Ralph Joseph Reynolds was born in Denver on Dec. 3, 1932, according to an interview with Reynolds posted at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame’s website, although many pop music sources list the year 1938. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 1999.

- Jody Reynolds Wikipedia entry
- Jody Reynolds page at RockabillyHall.com

Andrew “The Birdman” Bird Announces New 2009 Tourdates, Clashes with Dosh Again

When we last left our hero, Dosh, back in April (TMT News), he had finally escaped from Andrew “The Birdman” Bird long enough to tour and release his latest album. Well, it seems The Birdman has had enough of Dosh blipping and bleeping about him all over the country and has challenged him to a duel in the mightiest of all venues, Carnegie Hall. The fight will kick off the first leg of The Birdman’s 2009 tour to support his new album, Noble Beast, due January 20 on Fat Possum. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have $100 on The Birdman. Sorry Dosh!

& Dosh

% Loney Dear

Wilco and Radiohead Dudes Join Neil Finn In Ending Poverty And Injustice Once and For All

Former Crowded House frontman Neil Finn has announced that he is getting his old band back together. No I’m not talking about Crowded House or Split Enz -- instead, Finn is entering the studio with both a fresh set of originals and the group of musicians who performed on his 2002 benefit live album, Seven Worlds Collide.

Members of the untitled supergroup include Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr of Modest Mouse (and some other ’80s band that nobody remembers), four-sixths of Wilco, Soul Coughing’s Sebastian Steinberg, 4AD artist Lisa Germano, Eddie Vedder of Temple of the Dog (and some other ’90s band that nobody remembers), Neil’s son Liam Finn, and more. Phew. I would imagine it’ll be pretty tough scheduling practices for these guysm but at least they have a good motivation: All proceeds from the album -- set to drop in 2009 -- will benefit Oxfam International.

It’s unclear if the album will be released under the name Seven Worlds Collide or something else, so I took the liberty of coming up with some alternate possibilities. Neil Finn, if you’re out there, you can definitely have these names for free.

- Wilcoughing
- Crowded Mouse (or Modest House, although this band is more crowded than modest)
- Pearldioenz
- The Splmiths
- Radio Jam
- Seven Worlds Wilcollide

You’re welcome.

Baltimore Slowly Taking Over The Thrill Jockey Roster, Double Dagger Joins The Team

Warning: I’m half-writing about Double Dagger and half-watching Puppy Cam.

Comprised of two graphic designer dudes who went to the Maryland Institute College of Art (Bruce and Nolen) and a Perry Hall native (Denny), Baltimost's Double Dagger have become the latest band from the city to be added to the Thrill Jockey roster.

Double Dagger formed sometime in 2002 and released their self-titled LP on local label Hit-Dat Records (Sean Gray, in the house!). Finding inspiration from their MICA days (okay sorry, I’m watching Puppy Cam, and these two puppies are playing, and one was rolled over on its back and got stuck; it’s so fucking cute), Double Dagger’s songs were about, like, art school, art history, weird chicks, and graphic design and stuff. In 2005, there was a drummer switch-up, and then they released their next record, Ragged Rubble, on Stationary (Heart) Recordings.

Double Dagger’s 2009 plans are to record a new record for Thrill Jockey.

Okay, back to Puppy Cam.



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