Before recording their newest album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, The Helio Sequence’s Brandon Summers lost his voice, which pretty much is the worst thing to happen to a singer I’d imagine. Thankfully, he regained it by singing along to Bob Dylan songs and teaching himself to sing like Dylan. So, the question remains, if you lost your voice and had to teach yourself to sing again by only listening to one singer, who would it be and why? All answers must be in essay form, 3-5 pages, 12 point Times New Roman font. Papers are due in class on May 15.
My god Billie Joe is cute. It is in this spirit that I report that the members of Foxboro Hot Tubs, most well-known for not fooling anyone but themselves, have announced a handful of dates to promote the release of Stop, Drop and Roll (TMT Review). Tickets are $20 and only available at the venue on the day of the show.
Billie Joe really does make my teeth sweat.
You know what's awesome about Nick Cave? (Well, besides that unbelievable mustache he's been cultivating.) He and his unassailable band, the Bad Seeds, really do-up a world tour right! Unlike your average American laze-abouts who, aside from a few Canadian engagements, are content to flaunt their sound-o'-the-month around a few UK universities and call it a day, Cave and co. are takin' their highbrow garage-funk tunes to the streets, playing cuts from their most recent beatnik ball-buster Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (TMT Review) everywhere from Denmark to Croatia to Vienna to Serbia (and even a few places in between) before they even bother to grace the U.S. in the fall.
That's dedication, my friends! Ain't no one else I know rollin' up to Belgrade to play a rock show anytime soon. That's right, not even Thom "via satellite" York. That's rock ‘n’ roll! That's what you call, as Royal Tenenbaum so eloquently put it, "takin' it out, and choppin' it up"! Way to go, Nick Cave! That's what you call a T-O-U-R tour.
But you know what sucks about Nick Cave? Finding the two-letter abbreviations for all of those damn countries to format his goofy-ass tourdates!! Come on, Nick, have a heart. The tourdate kid is off today! Something about a "senior class trip" to the state capital or some shit...
Helloooo, carbon emissions:
I'd like to think that the release date for Weezer's forthcoming eponymous album (titled "The Red Album") was pushed up three weeks because of file-sharing, but I really don't like to think. So, how's about we see what the press release has to say:
"The streets can't wait any longer: Buoyed by a single which reached #1 at Modern Rock radio a mere eleven days after its release to the format, and a tidal wave of buzz, Weezer's new, self-titled album on DGC/Interscope Records has had its release date moved up three weeks to June 3."
(I haven't confirmed with the publicist whether or not the press release sent by the publicist is legit, but it's safe to go with this release date until I say otherwise.)
Meanwhile, the aforementioned single, "Pork and Beans," reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, which means: this single, inspired by a meeting with Geffen, in which the band was told to write something more "commercial," is now ironically making Geffen more money. Some journalists were calling this a "fuck you" to the label. How cute!
Brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane, formerly of Bedhead and current mainstays of indie rock sensation The New Year, are back in action. First, a new album is slated for release this fall on Touch and Go. No details aside from this little morsel of news has yet been announced, but I promise you this, dear reader: it won't be called The End Is Near. (They've already named their 2004 album that.)
But before the album's released, The New Year will do some road-testing this summer. Technically, it's just Matt and Bubba on tour, and ostensibly, it's to fight general tyranny, but no-matter-what-y, it'll be sexy.
I still really love Bedhead:
$ Bottomless Pit
Apparently, there is a place called Lufkin, Texas, and it is the 76th largest city in the Lone Star State. In an effort to force themselves into the national consciousness, a Lufkin federal court jury ruled against mega-corporation Clear Channel Communications to the tune of $66 million, doubtlessly scaring every born-again in a 60-mile radius.
Clear Channel, which operates nearly 1,200 radio stations nationwide, has been ordered to fork over the sizable chunk of cash to Grantley Patent Holdings. According to Billboard.biz, Grantley founder Billy Shane Fox (not a porn star) invented and patented multiple systems of "inventory management and revenue projection," from which a Clear Channel tool called Viero borrowed.
This Fox character is supposedly a big deal in the "inventory management, price forecasting and traffic billing systems" world, and while I can't quite wrap my head around what this all means, it's always reassuring to see the big guy go down. And while $66,029,750 is about how much Clear Channel tips at Waffle House, a victory is a victory. So, although patent infringement for revenue management technology might not be the most titillating subject in the music business world, it says something that any ruling against a bona fide corporate monster like Clear Channel feels like a tally in the win column for the rest of us.
Siren Music Fest, Coney Island 2008; Me, Professionally Reporting The News In A Relatively Straightforward Manner (With Parenthetical Sarcasm)
Put on by arts & culture weekly The Village Voice, The Siren Music Fest enjoys prominence as one of the most innovative music festivals in the states today. Showcasing "indie rock veterans" and "emerging artists," attendees have a chance to see a whole slew of acts (that aren't featured anywhere else in the nation, since indie rock has been completely shunned from most music festivals). And the festival's setting is a definite positive (you'd think you were the only one in the world -- you and the 100,000 other people who flood the park every year!). Plus, there are two stages and a bunch of DJs playing remixed dance music -- totally sweet.
No, I won't complain. It's all-day, all-ages, totally free, and has an awesome promo poster. And what's more: it's sponsored in part by the NY Bartending School, Budweiser, and Astroland Amusement Park. (How can't that be fun?)
The D, F, Q, and N lines all lead to the ocean:
07.19.08 – Coney Island, NY (8th Annual Village Voice Siren Music Festival)
Presenting: Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Broken Social Scene, The Helio Sequence, Beach House, Times New Viking, Jaguar Love, The Dodos, Annuals, Film School, Parts & Labor, Dragons of Zynth, and These Are Powers, with more to be announced.
Don’t Call It a Comeback – Okay, Call It a Comeback, But Just This Once; Hefner Reissue The Fidelity Wars
The ’90s were Wikkid, with a capital "W" and two "k"s. Especially the music! "Grunge" ushered in a slew of absolutely terrible "hard rock" bands; Alicia Silverstone was still eating meat and shaking her entrails in Aerosmith videos; and "the Macarena" taught us all a valuable lesson about the dangers of close gyrating in loose shorts. EMF's "Unbelievable" came, conquered, and scuttled away gracefully, only to return in 2007 to sell us crumbled cheese. Hanson gave everyone a reason to believe in the virtues of cloning (but only if the results were blond, tanned, and a trifle effeminate). C&C Music Factory made you jump to the rhythm jump jump to the rhythm jump, while Marky Mark desperately wanted to see sweat comin' out your pores. And who can blame him? The 1990s were good times for good people.
Thinking back gives me a warm feeling just below my equator, and it makes me pine for the extremely talented John Peel favorites Hefner, who enjoyed fair-to-middling UK underground success with their spirited tales of stormy relationships and torrential heartache. Their zenith, The Fidelity Wars, came out in 1999 but is back for another kick at the can June 2, when it will be reissued as a 2CD, 40-song gargantuan audio beast. Added to the original album are 7-inch, 4-track, and rehearsal versions of tracks, the Hefner Heart EP, and a bunch of B-sides, which are all excellent. Hefner's heart, Darren Hayman, will be playing some gigs in the UK and Spain this summer with bandmate Jack Hayter, but it will most likely be a short return to the spotlight for Hefner, as all members remain extremely busy with projects. Patrick Dempsey take note: you're allowed to mount your minor comebacks all you want, but don't overstay your welcome!
Here... (deep breath)... is... The Fidelity Wars, in all its expanded glory:
1. The Hymn for the Cigarettes #
2. May God Protect Your Home #
3. The Hymn for the Alcohol #
4. I Took Her Love for Granted #
5. Every Little Gesture #
6. The Weight of the Stars #
7. I Stole a Bride #
8. We Were Meant to Be #
9. Fat Kelly's Teeth #
10. Don't Flake Out on Me #
11. I Love Only You #
12. Grandmother Dies $
13. Lisa and Me $
14. A Belly Full of Babies $
15. Mary Lee %
16. The Hymn for the Things We Didn't Do %
17. Karen %
18. The Heart of Portland %
19. The Hymn for Thomas Courtney Warner %
1. The Hymn for the Alcohol ^
2. My Art College Days Are Over $
3. Don't Flake Out on Me *
4. I Stole a Bride *
5. May God Protect Your Home *
6. A Belly Full of Babies *
7. The Hymn for Thomas Courtney Warner *
8. Blind Girl With Halo *
9. Harlot's Teeth *
10. I Took Her Love for Granted *
11. Karen *
12. The Hymn for the Cigarettes +
13. We We Meant to Be +
14. You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone +
15. I Took Her Love for Granted +
16. I Love Only You +
17. Kate Cleaver's Home +
18. Twisting Mary's Arm +
19. The Weight of the Stars +
20. The Girl from the Coast +
21. The Librarian +
# Original The Fidelity Wars album
% Hefner Heart EP
^ 7-inch version
* 4-track version
+ rehearsal version
You just don't have what it takes to be a successful musician. It's a crushing realization for us all, but there comes a time in every person's life where they have to face the truth. Yes, your high school guidance counselor was right. So was your dad. Your drunk uncle lied -- your songs are just no good. But with Brooklyn being the philanthropy capital of the world and all, Parts & Labor are trying to make your somewhat pathetic dreams come true. The NYC band are hard at work on the follow-up to last year's spastic Mapmaker, and they're asking for a little bit of help from their friends. The band sent out the following message via smoke signal:
Want to be on the next Parts & Labor album?
We're in the studio working on our next album. Send us some audio samples to use on the recording. We're looking for snippets of noises, field recordings, found sounds, drones, speaking, etc.
Send audio that responds to any or all of these questions:
1. What's your favorite or least favorite sound?
2. What are you afraid of?
3. What do your parents sound like?
4. Where are you going, or where have you been?
The deadline for submissions is May 23rd.
Please keep the samples under 10 seconds. wav or aiff formats are preferred (but mp3s are okay too).
Email your submissions to email@example.com. Include your name for crediting purposes if you want.
Parts & Labor
PS: By sending us audio files you're agreeing to let us use them on our audio recordings in any way we see fit, forever and ever. Don't send lawyers at us.
So, go ahead and showcase your wicked ear. You never know who might be listening, and you might just catch your big, 10-second break.