A Very Ween Christmas: Limited-Edition Coloring Book and Live CD/DVD Combo in Time for the Holidays

Quirky experimental rockers Ween have announced releases catering to two important demographics in their following: longtime fans and people who like to color. As previously reported (TMT News), Chocodog Records, a label created by founding Ween members in 2001, plans to release a live CD and bonus DVD November 11. At the Cat's Cradle 1992 boasts 22 tracks performed at the Chapel Hill, NC venue back in December ’92, when Dean and Gene Wean were playing as a duo.

The tracklisting mostly consists of songs from GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and Pure Guava, but fans also get a chance to hear what "Buckingham Green" sounded like five years before The Mollusk came out. The accompanying bonus DVD contains clips of the band on their first tour of Holland, as well as clips of a show in Columbus, OH.

Ween's website suggests that the At the Cat's Cradle 1992 combo is a great gift for the Ween fan in your family, but not if you are a SUPER Ween fan like Thea Wolfe -- in which case, you can make your own Ween merchandise: After following Ween on their La Cucaracha tour, artist Wolfe created a coloring book as a fan-made gift. "The Ween Coloring Book was not made with the intention of being merchandise," Wolfe says on her website. "It was meant as a love letter and an elaborate expression of appreciation and gratitude to the greatest band on God's good earth."

But Wolfe's efforts have been rewarded nonetheless: Chocodog will be releasing the limited-edition book for sale as Ween merchandise in time for the holidays. The book is available for preview here.

Ween - At the Cat's Cradle 1992 CD tracklist:

The Good News: The Meat Puppets Are Touring! The Bad News: They’re Opening for Stone Temple Pilots

The Meat Puppets have always depended on the kindness of big-named strangers. On the unforgettable MTV Unplugged with Nirvana, the SST-alums were introduced to the teenybopping world looking like a pack of deadbeats who Kurt Cobain only put on the show to pay off a drug debt. Following their mainstream break, The Meat Puppets began the first of several tours opening for those elegant bachelors, Stone Temple Pilots, a tradition the ‘Pups will continue next week when they join STP on the last leg of their U.S. tour.

For five magical Midwestern nights, The Meat Puppets will perform in a series of oversized, acoustically unaccommodating venues for sweaty masses of social trainwrecks who will probably write-in Ron Paul this November. And then STP goes on stage! Blech! Luckily, in December The Meat Puppets will play two club shows in New York. That’s good news for all you city-slickin’ Big Appleites, but for all us Midwest rubes stuck in corn country, I guess we gotta get our Meat Puppet fix with STP in tow or not get it at all. Rats. I guess I’ll just prepare myself for an hour-long lecture from this guy about changing America’s currency system to the gold standard.

Wal-Mart Reverses Decision to Cut DRM Support, Wal-Mart Customers Continue to Not Know What That Means Exactly

Hey Mom! Just thought you and Dad might want to know what a good job I’ve been doing down here at Tiny Mix Tapes. Remember that story that I wrote the other week about Wal-Mart’s decision to ditch its DRM servers and screw all the people who purchased all these bugged tracks from Wal-Mart’s online store (TMT News)? You know, the one that riffed pretty darn cleverly on the economic crisis and all of that? Dad really liked it, remember? Well, anyway, you’ll never guess what happened! It looks like I’m a better reporter that I thought, because Wal-mart recently announced that they are reversing that decision and guaranteeing continued support of all of their DRM music! No, seriously, they are. You don’t even have to believe me, just check out this email that they sent out to music buyers:

What this means to you is that our existing service continues and there is no action required on your part. Our customer service team will continue to assist with DRM issues for protected windows media audio (WMA) files purchased from Walmart.com.

So yeah, all of those Reba McEntire and Josh Groban tracks that I helped you download onto your eMachine? They’re all good. Anyway, just thought you’d want to know. Tell Aunty Dianne that I said good luck recovering from that knee surgery.

Folk's busiest man M. Ward, who recently confirmed a sequel to She & Him's Volume One (with the über-adorable Zooey Deschanel), has also finally confirmed the details of his new solo album, which we wrote about not too long ago (TMT News). Titled Hold Time, the album is scheduled to drop on February 17, 2009, courtesy of Merge, and features guest performances by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa), and, of course, Zooey Deschanel.

Can't stand the wait? This old video of a Late Night with Conan O'Brien performance featuring M. Ward, Neko Case, and Jim James should tide you over.

Hold Time tracklist:

Meanwhile, we'll have to wait at least a year or two before we hear recordings from his songwriting super group with My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst.

Castanets To Embark on 17-Date Tour of the Electoral Map; Hannity & Colmes to Floss Teeth with Raposa’s Beard Hair

Having just released new album City of Refuge (TMT Review) on Asthmatic Kitty, Castanets are set to tour North America, so why, America is asking, are they avoiding swing states? The most prominent swing state on their tour itinerary is Ohio, while political analysts insist that the remainder of their tour would have little effect on the outcome of the election. It's an interesting strategy, considering the impending recession on the minds of swing voters, not to mention the rising cost of health care, job security, the housing market, nuclear power, clean coal technology, pork barrel legislation, Joe the Plumber, misuse of power, social security, special interests, tax cuts, tax breaks, tax increases, privatize, privatize, privatize, privatize, privatize, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH asd2w3oiu 12kj 241;k~!$!k k 2089skjfd@j3!!

Sigh.

Ray Raposa + Annie Palmer + Yoni Kifle:

* Paul Nelson

# Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Sebastien Grainger (ex-DFA 1979) Announces Debut Tourdates

Going solo when you’re used to playing in band can either be a freeing or anxiety-ridden experience. For Sebastien Grainger, the former drummer for Death From Above 1979, it appears to be the former rather than the latter. Branching away from his dance-punk background, Grainger’s debut album, Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains, is due tomorrow (October 21), and to celebrate, he’s embarking on his first solo tour ever. Take that, Jesse F. Keeler!

The Dodos Tour As The Crow Flies

Excerpted from the new anthology, The Journals of J. Porter Huxley: Rogue British Naturalist and Seafaring Vagabond, out this month by Reliant Press.

- Chapter VIII - July 1578: Rumors from the Mainland

WE SET OUT months ago, Captain reminded me over morning tea, and we have yet to see The Bird. The quiet ocean is sobering and we are nowhere. A restlessness hangs in the air. Indeed, it had been quite some time since rumors from the mainland enticed me out into open waters in search of The Bird. Isle after isle, nothing. They leave me with less and less hope after each unsuccessful trek. I have to remind myself, lest Captain Tilley do it for me, that fame comes not to those who do not make it home. Our supplies are depleted, but I will not allow the boat to return to known ports.

The Captain is an able man, but he is limited. He knows only what he has seen before. He provided a cautionary tale of the excursion of Daniel Rogers into the Amazon interior. The fable is well-traveled, and understandably, a case study in the follies of conventional wisdom. Unlike he, I will not go mad in search of a myth. I am reminding myself daily of this to temper the coward's call of my crew. They believe I am like the others, out for fortune and history, but they are lesser minds. I will cease when the rumors cease. I press on for knowledge, to confirm or deny The Bird!

- Chapter XX - November 1581: Tailwind

AT LAST, THE BIRD is spotted. The long days are behind us and we have finally headed east to the mainland. James has taken ill and it is feared his maladies will be the death of him. By grace, he is recovering despite the prognosis. The crew is in good spirits as we return home with the specimen aboard.

Great caution was taken in securing The Bird's safety. Curiously, it showed no fright of us and quite easily bounded aboard the ship. I should say that we are more afraid of it than it of us! A tether was tied to its leg so that it would not fly away, in case the rumors of its flightlessness were misled. They were not, and The Bird has gotten rather comfortable in our quarters. It has taken a certain fondness to Captain Tilley, much to his annoyance. The Good Captain has called him a dodo on occasion, and it somehow has stuck with the crew. The sun is bright now, and to promote its Visiter status, I have already begun planning The Dodos exhibition tour of Europe. Knowledge has won, as I hoped it would. I am, for now, at peace.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone Fall Tour; Hopes Audiences Will Alleviate Some of That Painful Loneliness

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, the ridiculously long moniker of musician Owen Ashworth’s one-man group, will be touring (actually HAS been touring) to promote his new Town Topic EP, which boasts 15 tracks in a measly 22 minutes. The EP, which serves as a soundtrack to the film Stay The Same Never Change, features 13 short instrumentals, kicking off and closing with vocal tracks. The first track, “Ice Cream Truck, is charmingly described as “a simulated July soundscape of Mr. Softee jingles, cicadas and trunk-rattling bass from passing cars, tells the story of criminal-minded kids who go joy-riding in a stolen ice cream truck and make other poorly-informed decisions along the way.”

While we're on the topic (sort of), I have a couple side notes: (1) Casiotone For The Painfully Alone’s Etiquette (TMT Review) is my favorite “sleeper” album of 2006, and (2) Ashworth has got to be one of the only people on Earth who can make CCR romantic, with the fantastic track "I Love Creedence." Okay, I just had to get that off my chest -- thanks for listening!

CFTPA East Coast Tourdates:

Europe Admits the Organs Six of Six Organs of Admittance for European Tour, TMT Writer Tries to Make Word Palindrome with Headline and Fails Miserably

Around this time last year, I interviewed Ben Chasny, the sole permanent member of Six Organs of Admittance (and a Comet on Fire), for a different website about Six Organs’ new album Shelters from the Ash. But, being the dumbass I am, I lost the tape of the interview and never ended up publishing the interview, effectively wasting about an hour of Chasny’s valuable time and ending my short-lived career at that website. Ever since I screwed the wonderfully polite Chasny out of his press, I’ve felt super guilty about not doing my job properly and can’t really listen to Six Organs of Admittance without feeling like a real crap dude.

Recently, while digging through junk in the Sarlacc Pit that is my bedroom, I found the notebook I used for my Six Organs interview. Although my notes aren’t terribly detailed, I still have a couple of decent, albeit fairly outdated and out-of-context, tidbits of info from my “lost” Ben Chasny interview. So now, for your enjoyment and my absolution, I present to you some highlights from my shitty notes:

- Chasny first picked up acoustic guitar in defiance of punk and metal, which he saw as the two standard options for youthful musical rebellion.
- Shelter from the Ash was recorded entirely on a four-track with help from members of The Fucking Champs, Magik Markers, and guitar gun-for-hire Matt Sweeney.
- Despite constant comparisons between the two’s guitar styles, Chasny claims that John Fahey did not influence his music as nearly much as Bert Jansch or Leo Kottke; rather, Fahey’s “don’t give a shit” attitude affected Chasny’s artistic ambitions a great deal.
- According to Chasny, Current 93 mastermind David Tibet’s favorite movie is Zoolander and his favorite celebrity is Renee Zellweger. (I’m really, really glad I wrote this one down.)

There you have it! I remember having a much more interesting conversation than these notes reflect, but since I was recording the whole thing, I thought I could get away with pretty junky notetaking. So, remember this, all you budding young journalists: Always keep track of where in the hell you store your tapes, but take good notes just in case. Phew! Feels good to pass some morals onto the future!

If you’re anything like me, all these life lessons would sure go well with some good old fashioned fingerstyle guitar! You know who can help you out with that? Six Organs of Admittance! Hopefully you live in Europe though. Otherwise, I’m sure Chasny will tour the U.S. at some point in the near future, and when he does, you’ll hear about it from me, because I still have some atoning to do.

RIP: Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops

According to Billboard:

Arguably the most powerful voice in Motown's storied history has been silenced. Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs, Jr., died today (Oct. 17) at his home in Detroit after a long series io illnesses -- including cancer and a stroke -- that forced him to stop performing in 2000. He was 72.

- Levi Stubbs Wikipedia entry
- Levi Stubbs IMDB entry
- Four Tops Wikipedia entry
- YouTube video: "Four Tops Baby I Need Your Lovin'"

  

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