Techmology is definitely killing your love of music. Don't believe me? Well, does this scenario look familiar?
First, you download the latest pre-release leak. Second, you start to listen to it after somewhere between 1 and 1000 minutes -- do people even try something like this with dial-up? -- and begin to have thoughts along these lines:
Track 1 - Wow, they've still got it.
Track 2 - Man, this one is even better.
Track 3 - A slow song? Meh.
Track 4 - Boring, I already heard this one on their MySpace.
Track 5 - This sounds like a Fiddler on the Roof outtake, "If I Were A Bored Man."
Track 6 - What, another slow one? Damn.
The remaining handful of tracks on the album don't stimulate any further music-related thoughts, and your mind has started to drift. You start watching shit like this, that, and searching for theories as to why such a jolly guy would try to do this (honestly, if "Needle In The Hay" is playing, it doesn't matter how satisfied you are with life -- all bets are off) to himself, allegedly.
Just another example of how downloading can actually murder musical passion, turning you into a soft-skulled zombie, searching out things online that the lady with the big head will be talking about later on CNN.
So, what was the point of all this? Ha, if you think there is a point, this must be your first time reading TMT. Thanks for stopping by. Now grab your Lorgnettes and check out Beirut on tour, starting September 23. Oh, and don't forget that Beirut's newest record, Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing! Records), will be available as a CD, LP, digital download, or a set of Russian stacking dolls October 8.
% Wordless Music Series
FLASHBACK: A YEARBOOK MESSAGE TO EMILY HAINES:
Wow. Senior year. So many memories. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, thank you.
1) You looked, like, perfect at prom, you are like, so beautiful.
2) LOLZ @ the mall cutting class!!!!!
3) Smoking under the bleachers WOOOO!!!!
4) Broz before hoz.
5) I hope we play in not one, but two, wildly successful Canadian indie rock bands.
P.S. I’d love to meet up and jam, Em, and maybe test forthcoming material on the open road. If, say, we got together, did a band thing, and had material to present for our fourth album. That is, after we do three other albums. Wow. High school memories are way prophetic:
Have you ever marveled at the modern world in which you live, here in 2007? Doesn't it seem like we've finally ARRIVED at the final frontier?? I mean, just look at all of the crazy, never-in-a-million-years, future shit that we've all got jammed into our houses, cars, and pockets: robot-vacuums, iPhones, LCD flatscreen televisions, navigation systems that tell us where to go, tiny MP3 players, Coke Zero... fucking ROBOT VACCUUMS, man!
Seriously. Okay, so maybe we're not hanging out in that sweet Minority Report future yet, but I'd say that we're definitely at least hanging out in Doc Brown's Hill Valley circa 2015 right about now... well, minus the flying cars part.
But have you noticed that, in just about EVERY future-fantasy designer's cinematic vision of tomorrow, one of the most telltale future-y things about the place is ALWAYS the curious over-abundance of interactive advertising? Whether it be hologram movie posters of the 19th Jaws Movie biting poor Marty McFly's head off or an on-the-lamb Tom Cruise being confronted with ironic American Express ads reading "It looks like you could use an escape, and Blue can take you there," the nightmare of encroaching capitalism seems to be a recurring and terrifying theme.
So what do you say? Don't think that we're quite there yet? Well, let me just say this to you, buddy: Where we're going, we don't need... roads.
That's right! The whacky/scary future is upon us. Fine internet video purveyor/international time-waster extraordinaire YouTube proved once and for all last week that you apparently can squeeze blood from a turnip if you just try hard enough when it unveiled its long-promised, long-awaited new advertising platform, "inVideo Ads." And there's no real mincing of words with that title, either. This in-video advertising system places semi-transparent (where I come from, we call that "translucent," but whatevs) ad "overlays" across the bottom portion of the viewer's video player for the first ten seconds of the video's overall length. If said ad isn't clicked-on within those ten, precious seconds, it vanishes like the siblings in Marty McFly's family photograph.
And now for a more in-depth explanation, brought to you by PetCo: "Where the Pets Go."
So, say you're some kind of 'roided up freak who's watching a Limp Bizkit video for inspiration. Under this new system, instead of those tedious pre-video ads that are so frustrating that make you wanna "break stuff," you'll be shown an ad for something a person like yourself might find appealing -- say, an ad for Chris Angel's Mindfreak or a Pepsi Max commercial -- while you watch your beloved music video. Those suckers, er... those consumers who click on the ads will either follow a link to a new website or launch a new video player that will run the full video ad. With this kind of demographic specificity at their disposal, advertisers can choose which videos will carry their ads, based on such target criteria as age, gender, location, and genre of video. They can't quite call you by name the way they do to poor Mr. Cruise in Minority Report yet, but god knows they're probably working on that part.
And so far, these sweet future ads seem to be paying off big-time, as they invade our privacy with the greatest of ease. Early launch partners include BMW, New Line Cinema, and of course, Warner Music Group, who is hoping to cash in on the fact that music videos account for a substantial portion of all video streams on YouTube. According to the Associated Press:
Shiva Rajaraman, product manager for YouTube, said internal tests show more than 70 percent of people give up when they see a pre-roll. By contrast, less than 10 percent decide to close an overlay, which they can exit by clicking on an "X" in a corner. The overlay format also gives advertisers more flexibility, he said, because they aren't constrained to keeping a video ad at 15 or 30 seconds to avoid defection.
And heaven knows we wouldn't want to have to "defect" from whatever aimless YouTube video we're watching to get some actual work done, now would we?
***This Just In: Snickers Really Satisfies!!!
So how does it all work? Well, The company will charge on an impression basis, as well as provide click-through data. The initial cost for advertisers will be $20 per 1,000 views, regardless of whether or not the user clicks on the ad. Revenue will be split between the website and the content provider. For example, Linkin Park's "What I've Done" music video has been viewed over 19 million times (yes, that's apparently true). At $20 per 1,000 views, Warner Music Group's share would be just over $190,000.
For a major artist on a major label, that's a fair amount of money. And considering the large video catalog that many-a-major label artist boasts, that revenue will add up to quite the handsome sum of, well, basically found income. In many ways, these ads mark the dawn of the new, ad-supported era (dreamed up years earlier by Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, mind you). Rather than collect money from an end sale, other levels of consumer participation matter. As if paying for things that you were genuinely interested in wasn't enough, now there is a way to properly monetize the curious, mildly interested viewers.
What an age we live in, huh? Maybe this means that those Hover Boards have got to be coming any day now.
Keith Richards Attempts to Blindfold the World from the Truth, One Filthy Bandana at a Time; Demands Apology from Journalists
Life, TMT reader, is comfortably predictable:
Rolling Stoner-getting-older guitarist Keith Richards recently acted on a good bit' o' mid-life crisis.
After fringing some Levi's in his bedroom to the sweet sounds of a Styx album, ironing his show bandana, and sparking up a juicy roach, Richards decided (aside from the fact that wearing a really frayed, TOTALLY BAD ASS bandana IS rock ‘n’ roll) that with rock ‘n’ roll comes considerable responsibility.
So, Richards decided to fight like hell against free speech. Seriously.
After performing in Sweden to less-than-rave reviews, Richards composed an impassioned letter knocking down reviewers for doing a hefty disservice to what he considered a great show. The letter, published in Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter, marks his first response to hater reviews.
Richards demanded an apology -- not only for himself, but for the good of rock, ladies and gents!
For the fans!
For America's inner-city school kids!
For starving children!
For kittens caught in trees, contemplating that they can't always get what they want, but may get what they need!
For the puppies, America!
Don’t sit there shaking your head “I told you so,” cynical TMT reader. Richards KNEW that the fans&etc's life depended on a favorable Swedish Rolling Stones review. And, like the good, down-to-earth rocker he is, in addition to an apology, Mr. Rich also demanded some weed, liquor, and topless women. Obviously, to be shared with fans, inner-city school kids, starving children, kittens, and puppies everywhere.
Who says altruism is dead?
And now, the letter:
"This is a first! Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review. But this time... I have to stand up... for our fans all over Sweden... to say that you owe them, and us, an apology... There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert -- and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed.' How dare you cheapen the experience for them -- and for the hundreds of thousands of other people across Sweden who weren't at Ullevi and have only your 'review' to go on. Write the truth. It was a good show."
“I Can Sell Out Madison Square Garden Masturbating”; Fucking Champs To Tour In The Spirit Of Mike ‘The Fucking Champ’ Tyson
On his latest release, Double Up, a certain R. Kelly declared his arrival on album opener "The Champ," while triumphant horns blared a victory march. San Francisco's very own The Fucking Champs, however, did it first, their dynamic breed of metal packing the bone-crushing punch of a heavyweight fighter -- 'roid raging with the best of them. Imagine the slow-motion saliva slinging when the Drag City band's right hook lands on the unsuspecting face of audiences everywhere, beads of sweat erupting at contact, raining down onto the mat.
On their impending tour, The Fucking Champs are taking the championship spirit to the limit, embodying the fury of a young Mike Tyson in a raw display of brute strength, testosterone and a homicidal streak. The band channeled Tyson himself as they spoke on their approaching dates:
On Their Fans
"You're sweet. We're going to make sure you kiss us good with those big lips. We're gonna make you our girlfriends."
On Their Detractors
"There are nine million people who see us... and hate our guts. Most of them are white. That's okay. Just spell our name right."
On The Live Show
"[We] just want them to keep bringing guys on and [we're] going to strip them of their health. [We] bring pain, a lot of pain."
On Why You Should Show Up To A Date Near You
"We're coming for you man. Our style is impetuous. Our defense is impregnable, and we're just ferocious. We want your heart. We want to eat your children."
"We just want to conquer people and their souls":
Dear TMT Reader,
Do you dream of starting an internet radio station but don't think it's right for you because the government and big corporations are breathing down your neck? Believe us, we at SoundExchange know what you're talking about! Heck, we're in cahoots with the government and the big corporations, so ain't nobody know this business better than us. Here at SoundExchange we want to help you out as much as we can. You see, we're in the business of collecting royalty rates from webcasters; it's what we specialize in. We were appointed by the Copyright Royalty Board to do this job, so if the government trusts us, then you should too. Right? Right.
Lately we've been on TMT a lot, so if you're confused as to who we are and how exactly we might be in cahoots with the government and the RIAA, you might want to read some of this:
Now that you know what we've been up to recently, we're positive that you'll like the deal we're offering. We essentially want to charge more webcasters for more money, and when we use that money, it won't be used for our own agenda. Nope, not at all.
We're here to reduce the financial burden caused by trying to be a successful webcaster and are now offering discounts to smaller webcasters. So, here is the deal:
(1) If you make between $250,000 and $1.5 million in revenue a year, you're qualified!
(2) If you accept, you'll be able to stay under the terms established by the Small Webcaster Settlement Act from 1998. Even better, you'll be able to stay under the terms of the SWSA until 2010.
(3) The rates are as follows: If you make under $250,000, then we'll take 10% of your revenue. If you make between $250,000 and $1.25 million, then we'll take 12%.
You're probably asking, "what's the catch?" Well a slight one does exist, but we don't think it'll bother you. If you decide to play music from artists that aren't associated with SoundExchange, then you'll be subject to the new rates, just like everyone else, once they go into effect. Fair is fair, right? Of course, if you don't make much revenue at all, then you'll still be subject to give us $500 a year. Mere pocket change when you think of us giving you the chance to spread the love of art and music to your listeners. We've also just recently been persuaded to cap the annual fee to only $50,000. We wanted more, but of course, we respect you and your business.
What about the larger webcasters? Well, we haven't thought of a better way to fuck them over yet.
5. There are lots of famous hauntings (1) (2), some of which are old. I looked up some info on Wikipedia but started getting creeped out. Sorry, but you’ll have to research this one yourself. Here you go: SHADOW PEOPLE. Oh god, bad start. Next.
4. The park lodge, one of my personal favorite old haunts. I spent most of middle school and high school going to shows in these things, checking out my friends in pop-punk bands until I got the nerve to start my own. Yeah, it was a ska band. What are you gonna do about it? Looking back, I can’t help but think of the Dave Berman line, "All my favorite singers couldn’t sing." If he only knew. Some old tapes of those shows -- now that would be scary.
3. A concert hall in Ithaca, NY, The Haunt resides along the overdeveloped and totally unpopulated outer-regions of the small city. Somewhere between the mall and some waterfalls, the largest venue in town attracts wing-night aficionados and those with an insatiable need for motor vehicle transportation. Luckily for this article, there was an old Haunt, which sat for over 30 years in the heart of Collegetown (basically an extension of the Cornell campus) on one of the most heavily trafficked strips in Ithaca. No longer can unsuspecting freshmen and women stumble upon what was rumored to be one of the most awesomely decrepit show spaces in Upstate NY. The new locale is still slightly scary, but only for the old metalheads. It actually just had a grand re-opening, so what the hell do I know.
2. It might not technically fit the list, but I’m putting The Haunting on anyway. I didn’t see it, but the 1963 horror film is based on a novel by Shirley Jackson. And it was good enough to get a crappy remake, so it’s in good company (e.g. House of Wax, The Amityville Horror, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more recently Invasion of the Body Snatchers [re-titled The Invasion cause ‘Body Snatchers’ is soooo retro], and Halloween). Not too bad, I guess.
You know that bedtime prayer you've repeated every night since the mid-90s? That recurring dream you never thought would come true? That black box you've kept under your bed with money for a plane ticket, a change of clothes, and a joint -- ahh, fuck the clothes, there's no time -- it's all happening, man: IT'S ALL HAPPENING. My Bloody Valentine is finally getting back together!
Get ready to endure savage heartbreak and mild post-traumatic stress disorder or spend your April in the California desert with thousands of giddy indie kids (and here's to hoping the latter won't lead to the former regardless). According to numerous reports, the shoegaze gods have unofficially agreed to a gig at 2008's Coachella Festival (April 25 - 27 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California), an event where the drawing of legendary bands from retirement is becoming sort of a regular thing. What appeal the festival had to a band who haven't played together in well over a decade is unknown, but in a recent interview with Magnet Magazine, MBV guitarist and vocalist Kevin Shields promised "We are 100% going to make another My Bloody Valentine record unless we die or something," leading many to think, if wishfully, that a show was to take place sooner or later.
Equally awesome are rumors that the group will go on a world tour later in 2008, though no dates or locations have been announced. Of course, only confirmation from the band members themselves will appease the thousands of MBV devotees (who by this point are probably wishing so hard for the reunion to move forward that they are in physical pain), but there are many reasons for optimism:
a) Numerous fan reports confirming Kevin's confirmation.
b) Entertainment Weekly says "It's definitely happening."
c) MBV's official MySpace page -- if that shit doesn't make it official, I don't know what does.
d) When TMT posts band reunion rumors, we make goddamn sure they're true.
Until this is all official, intense hope, anticipation, longing and the like will have to suffice. But hey, after all these years, what's another 240 days? Not that I'm, you know, counting down... right. TMT will keep you posted on MBV's status, but for now I've got to excuse myself... some travel arrangements to make...
Art Brut and The Hold Steady!? Halloween night at the Metro!? I lost my virginity during Detroit Rock City!?
It was two years to the day that I first saw Detroit Rock City. I was 33 and at a party with R. Kelly and Michael J. Fox. It was some warehouse party; you know the type -- midway through someone gets on the loudspeaker and yells for everyone to get the fuck out, but really they just want to clear out all the B-list celebs. R. Kelly and I duck into the men's room and chat it up while playing swords. He dribbles a little bit on me in what could be a precursor to his future troubles, but we laugh it off and he buys me an Irish car bomb. After trading shots for about 20 minutes, we find Foxey hustling Danny Masterson in three-card monte. All four of us soon peace out in some fly-ass limo that R. Kelly hooked up.
Danny puts in the "at the time" new Art Brut CD, and we ROCK OUT! We form a homoerotic human square and do lines off each other's feet. I notice R. Kelly's feet smell really good, and I start to lick them. Someone yells, "STOP!" and everything comes to a crashing halt. My nose ends up in Danny's crack, and I've got Foxey fidgeting near my grundle. The same person who yelled stop says, "Hey! Craig Finn lives around here!" So, we dress clumsily in the back of the limo and eventually find our way to Finn's house. He's pretty drunk by the time we get there, so we are all on the same page -- which is good. Danny, who I'm now realizing has terrible issues with being in control, goes over to the DVD collection, pulls out Detroit Rock City, and tells us all we are going to watch it now. I'd never seen it, so I didn't have a problem with it. And R. Kelly, surprisingly, is a big KISS fan. I curl up with Finn and we nuzzle during the opening scene. I hear a lot of whispering between the other boys, and before I know it, everyone but Finn and I have vacated the room. Not to mention the lights have been dimmed. He starts whispering sweet nothings into my ear: "Let me wreck your area, little boy." Or "In two years, baby, I'm going to tour with Art Brut." You know, things like that. I woke up the next morning with pains I don't think my editors will let me describe, but at least I knew about this tour two years before all of you, SUCKAS!
Art Brut September 2007 Tourdates in NON-TMT format:
PJ Harvey To Officially Command 100% of the Popular Vote With New Album. In Other Poll News: Tulips On Your Organ Deemed Better Than Roses On Your Piano.
August 17 felt like just any other day. With all of the commotion surrounding the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis on the 16th, it is understandable that we would be too tired and hungover from celebrating the King'’s life, grieving his death, and gorging ourselves on fried peanut butter and banana sammiches to realize that we missed a crucial consumer and pop culture milestone. Lest we forget... the first commercially available Compact Disc was manufactured 25 years ago on August 17! Happy belateds!
After the failure of video discs, Sony and Philips joined their arms like brothers (remember this... this is foreshadowing) to further develop a more sensible disc product using laser technology. There is your moral; if at first you don't succeed, make it smaller. This nugget of wisdom works for everything, from ritzy cars to Ritz Crackers.
Here are some facts about CDs, how they came to enslave the free world, and also some tidbits on one of our most revered recording artists: PJ Harvey.
- Philips actually began work on a laser audio disc system back in 1970 after stealing the idea, er, sorry, being inspired by Antonio Rubbiani’'s rudimentary video disc system that he introduced in 1957.
- PJ Harvey releases CDs and will be issuing her 7th album on this format (not including her demo releases and collaboration with John Parish) September 24 through Island Records. Produced by Harvey, master knob-twiddler Flood, and the aforesaid Parish, White Chalk contains 11 songs and features guest contributions by Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart, Frank Black) and Jim White (Dirty Three, recent Nina Nastasia collaborator). A single, "When Under Ether," will be out September 17 on 7-inch single and download (take that CDs!), featuring a previously unreleased track recorded by Harvey way back in 1988 called "Wait."
- Way back in 1988, the CD celebrated its 6th anniversary (1988 - 1982 = 6).
- Way back in 1988, I was celebrated for making the “Remedial Mathletes” (C-Squad) team in high school on my third attempt.
- White Chalk is the first solo PJ Harvey album in three years, which is actually refreshing. We don't need every artist we love to release an album or two every single flippin'’ year. While we realize that these are the days of pushing yourself toward an early grave by squatting in studios and flying half way across the world to record a 30-second guitar part for some dude you've known since kindergarten, it doesn't impress us much. We appreciate good albums even if they take longer to write, record, and release than Chinese Democracy.
- The first commercial CDs pressed were The Visitors by Abba and a recording of Herbert von Karajan conducting the Alpine Symphony. In other words, GOOD music. In 1985, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms (hey? hey?) was the first fully digital (DDD) CD released. It was the first CD to sell a million copies and is still the biggest selling CD of all time. Don't fret fans of The Eagles; Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 still holds the distinction of being the best selling album ever.
- I still find this hard to believe that Brothers in Arms is the biggest selling CD of all time, but keeping this supposition here is far easier than fact-checking it, yaknowwhaImsayin’? PJ Harvey is better than Dire Straits and all of Polly Jean Harvey'’s songs are better than all of Dire Straits'’ songs, except for "“Twistin’ by the Pool,”" which, I've been told, is better than "impending apocalypse sex." It's easier to understand the selling strength of The Eagles because that album contain the awesome lyrics "I've been runnin' down the road tryin' to loosen my load..." -- a truly universal activity. Breathing, eating, sleeping, running down the road, and loosening loads are the five essential body requirements according to health scientists.
- Some early product names tested were MiniDisc, Compact Rack, and Mini Rack. "Mini Rack" has managed to live on in infamy and is used widely by the gutter press to describe the beautiful carpenter's dream Keira Knightley.
- CDs are supposed to be unscratchable, yet every CD that has really ever meant anything to me seemed to get a knick at the best part of a song or ended up clawed to shit underneath a car seat alongside a couple of McFries and a glow-in-the-dark soiled safe. Sigh.
- The date for Polly Harvey's only live show announced so far is September 29. It is a sold-out affair at the Royal Festival Hall in London, so you will have to claw your way through more than a couple of McFries and soiled safes to get in that night. The 25th anniversary of this show will be September 29, 2032, long after the anniversary of the death of the Compact Disc.
1. The Devil
2. Dear Darkness
3. Grow Grow Grow
4. When Under Ether
5. White Chalk
6. Broken Harp
8. To Talk To You
9. The Piano
10. Before Departure
11. The Mountain