As you well know, in 1975 Mao Tse-Tung's Cultural Revolution was well under way in the People's Republic of China. Intellectuals were sent to labor camps, and the nation's youth were taken out of school and sent into the rural interior to learn the ways of the proletariat and rebuild the fundamental economy. The 1998 film, Xiu Xiu is a fictional account of one such girl's experience of relocation from Chengdu to remote Tibet for re-education and the disenchantment she discovers in the world outside her home.
Thrust into the vast loneliness of the Tibetan plains, Xiu Xiu despairs in a life of alienation and self-destruction, as she is cheated and abused. Her youthful naivety is torn away as she degrades to that of an exhausted victim of liars, trading sex for empty promise after empty promise.
Relentlessly depressing, Xiu Xiu is wholly appropriate as the namesake for Jamie Stewart's San Francisco band of the same name -- while they both make me sob late at night, they're still really really good.
If you like to dance while you're bumming out:
Imagine stopping by your record label and realizing you may bump into Tom Waits. He's like the Chuck Norris of the music world, except, you know, talented and relevant and not in possession of any Confederate flags. I could still see Waits somersaulting from behind a desk with some kind of deadly weapon... to make sure you're not Fall Out Boy, of course.
These and other perks are what Islands will be dealing with as they get used to their new home at ANTI-, just in time for their upcoming album, Arm's Way, to hit in May. Sez Island Nick Thorburn, "After more than a year in the frozen pipes, we are beside ourselves (three times) to be presenting what we believe to be our finest work yet, on the finest label we could think of. It's been a long time coming, and it'll be a long time before it's gone." While 2006's Return to the Sea (TMT Review) was certainly nothing to sneeze at, it sounds like we can expect something more from this new record, and who doesn't like a good surprise? Well, maybe their old record label, but hey...
What better way to celebrate the changing of arms than a beef-up of the tour? In cities least likely to be the subject of a teen drama, no less.
No Dawson, No Joey, Many Islands:
This is your brain in a normative state: cool, calm, serene.
This is your brain when Spencer Seim gets done with it: INSANE!
Noisy post-rock 8-bit hero Seim, hereby known for scrambling your psyche with Hella and The Advantage, is striking out on his own. Behold sBACH, whose debut is due August 19 on Suicide Squeeze. No further information is currently available, except that it's going to math rock your ass off.
Knowing Mr P, he's already got a VIP suite staked out for this show, but who's a bigga balla than P? That's right. NOT YOU! So you can join the other proles and indulge in the "poor man's Wilco concert" so graciously bestowed on those of us not lucky enough to catch any of the five sold-out dates they're playing in Chicago. That's right, five. Kinda makes up for the lack of Grammy lovin' on Sky Blue Sky (TMT Review)...
About Wolf Eyes
We are the world's largest publicly traded noise group, providing music that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world of noise.
Who We Are
Our organizational structure is built on a concept of global businesses and is designed to allow Wolf Eyes to compete most effectively in the ever-changing and challenging worldwide noise industry.
What We Do
Wolf Eyes use innovation and technology to deliver music to a growing world. We explore for, produce, and sell noise music and other experimental products.
Integrity In Our Operations
We are committed to meeting the world's growing demand for noise in an economically, environmentally, and socially responsible manner.
After ten long years of waiting and complaining, lonely trip-hop fans have moved on from scribbling in their journals about despair to writing about despair on trip-hop lovin' blogs. Not only that, but there's a brand new Portishead album coming out on Mercury Records. No, not that ridiculous Russian bootleg that was pretending to be Portishead, but the actual real meal deal.
In a brilliant stroke of album-naming genius, the gang have decided to name it Third. Yep, I know what you're thinking -- killer title, isn't it? Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised to see that the album art is about as ingenious as its title. Look! It's a P and a 3! Get it? Portishead's Third! How remarkably clever!
Oh yeah, and there's a few track titles here for you, too. I know what you're thinking again -- seeing titles to songs you've probably never heard is about as useful as giving a Barbie doll to a Vietnam veteran. Well, if you were lucky enough to have seen the band play at All Tomorrow's Parties last year, you would have heard four of these songs, including "Silence" (renamed from its original working title of "Wicca"). Not so useless now, huh, Barbie-hugging vet boy!
Thirty-three and a Third:
# A Hawk and a Hacksaw
$ Kling Klang
Beastie Boys To Headline Benefit For The Institute for Musical and Neurologic Function; Nat Towsen To Be Fired For Attempting To Turn TMT Into Beastie Boys Fan Site
Thanks for sending in this article about the Beastie Boys. The Institute for Musical and Neurologic Function (which, as I’m sure you know, was “founded on the idea that music has unique powers to heal, rehabilitate, and inspire -- and that we can use music therapy to restore and improve our physical, emotional, and neurological health”) is certainly a topic appropriate for TMT. I think it’s great that you encourage readers to attend the benefit show on March 4, 2008 at Terminal 5 in New York City. While the $75 ticket price might be a bit steep for some of our buys-clothing-off-craigslist readership, I think that at least some of them will buy tickets from Ticketmaster.
What I am more concerned with is your headline (“I Hope The Beastie Boys E-mail Me And Tell Me That I’m Cool”) and the general tone of your article. While I appreciate your enthusiasm, I do not believe that phrases like “it’s too bad I’m not gay, because then all four of us could totally man-bone” are appropriate to music journalism. And your assertion that “Adrock invented brainz in da fifteenf century” is both poorly spelled and historically inaccurate.
It’s been a great run. I’ll give you that. When you weren’t busy writing thinly-veiled attempts to befriend bands that you like, you actually managed to produce some fairly cohesive articles that conveyed information. I will certainly miss your commitment to correcting the grammar of other TMT articles. No one has a dedication to the non-modifiable adjective quite like yours.
Nonetheless, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to let you go. I’ve received an overwhelming number of phone calls from the Beastie Boys of late, all begging me to ask you to stop hiding in their respective kitchen cabinets and crawl spaces. Also, Mike D has specifically requested that you stop sending him pictures of you two performing together at the Grammys. He has repeatedly told me that the photos are “clearly photoshopped” and that he would “definitely remember that.”
Good luck with the rest of your career. I’m sure a writer of your caliber and experience could easily find a job at Pitchfork or Blender, but I think we both know you’d rather not sully your reputation. Please leave your cassette player and sense of irony on my desk by Friday.
Eat a bag of dicks,
Hold the Fone! Califone and Iron and Wine Take One More Step Toward Becoming One Giant Band By Touring Together… Again
Tim Rutili has been around a while, and damnit, he can do whatever the hell he wants!
So he wants to claim that his band hails from both Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California at the same time, even though they are over 2,000 miles away from each other? Who are you to point fingers??
So he wants to make records thematically linked to old Psychic TV songs that I'd never heard of before the Califone version because "the iTunes store doesn't carry Psychic TV stuff?" So what???
So he wanted to name his band after Califone International, a long-standing manufacturer of audio equipment commonly found in schools, libraries, and businesses? Who the fuck are YOU to tell him not to?!?
So he's decided to take old-standbys, close friends, and fellow folkies Iron and Wine on yet another U.S. jaunt this spring? And so both of those bands' most recent records, while both totally awesome, definitely bear more than just an eerie resemblance to each other because mutual friend and collaborator Brian Deck either produced or semi-produced both records in that same, folk-tronic, Brian Deckian way and clearly used a number of the same tricks on both because a lot of the tunes have exactly the same vibe and broke-down instrumentation and whisper-sung vocal style and layered harmonies and obtusely cool lyrics and slack-strummed acoustic guitars and brooding experimentalism and...
...well anyway, so WHAT? I mean, who the hell am I to call the man out on it?!?!
Don't miss the doppel-gang:
It has taken me a long time to write this story due to my battle with Knucklitis, a rare disease in which the knuckles swell up ten times their normal size. I was also trying to reinstate my position as the number one TMT reporter with the best hair and journalistic integrity. As I failed on numerous hair styles, like the "white guy flattop," I began to research the truth behind the "indie rock" band Tapes and Tapes.
Now, before I go any further, this all may come as old news to savvy readers of the music scene. As much as I would like to be fresh with our readers, literally, I find reporting the honest truth as my most
important objective. To be honest, I knew I had heard the name Tapes and Tapes from somewhere. But where? I was on the case.
Firstifull, I used the top secret information database where TMT reporters find their information. It's Wikipedia, and it turned up no results. I was about to give up, until a TMT reader named anonymous sent me an e-mail tip that it's Tapes ‘n Tapes, not Tapes and Tapes. D'oh.
A new search for Tapes ‘n Tapes on the TMT database led me to information that the band is in fact a popular Minneapolis buzz band from the year 2006. Apparently, they had a successful album released in 2005 that later got the foreskin of blog dicks trembling in ‘06. The band got so big that the sacred cow Nissan had a Tapes ‘n Tapes song featured in a commercial. I remember none of this.
According to my research, Tapes ‘n Tapes will hit the road this spring in support of their upcoming album, Walk It Off, which is due April 8. Sources claim they sound like an accessible mixture of Pixies and Built Spill. Whatever. I feel like 2006 was a billion years ago. I blame my memory loss on my disease. Hopefully, these guys can prove to me that they are worth all the fame they gained in ‘06.
See what happens, folks, when you try to be the best reporter? You end up with a Nike sign shaved on the back of your head, with a hand full of hair gel and knuckles that flare up so large that they scrape your penis every time you masturbate.
My only regret is that I have Knucklitis; tourdates:
A riot broke out at a Dead Prez concert last week at Olympia's Evergreen State College. Actually, one news source said the riot occurred at a "Dead Presidents" concert, but whatever.
The "disturbance" erupted when a campus officer came to break up a fight in the middle of the concert. She arrested a man for "investigation of misdemeanor assault," according to The Associated Press. A crowd of roughly 200 then surrounded the officer's car, urging the release of the person in custody. Backup was called. Since they had already retrieved the man's info, the Sherriff's deputies eventually decided to release him in an effort to appease the rioting crowd.
But like my mom always told me, where there's a riot, there's an overturned cop car. After a deputy's car wouldn't start, the crowd broke its windows, scribbled graffiti on it, and flipped that motherfucker over. A laptop and a radar gun were stolen, perhaps so the perps could both ensure no one speeds in a school zone and blog about it?
Some reports claim Dead Prez (and Suntonio Bandanaz) were unaware of the riot until after the show ended. Other reports claim Dead Prez played "Fuck the Police" during the riot. In any case, no one was seriously injured, unless you count the officer who got pepper spray in his eyes, who would by all accounts go well with chicken breast.