Zach Hill to Set out on Solo Tour Performing 30+-Minute “Necromancer” – IF HE FEELS LIKE IT

If I know anything about Zach Hill -- the smellier half of Hella -- it's that he marches most decidedly to the beat of a different drummer. (Which is ironic since he's a drummer himself.) Don't believe me? One day when we were doing yardwork, I was, like, "Hey, can you help me carry this mulch?" Zach responds: "No way, man. I'm an individual. I do what I want." I says, "I just need help for one second, then you can go back to what you were doing. We gotta get this shit done by 5 PM, buddy." He says, "Hey, I'll do what I want. I don't work for nobody but myself. I'm not going to sacrifice my individual choice not to help you, just so that we can get done with this shit by 5 PM."

We ended up staying until 7 PM because he was so insistent on following his own path. Sure, I was angry at the time, but I sure do respect him now since he's presumably buds with Mike Patton -- which is why I'm happy to report that Zach Hill is set to embark on his own tour, playing his own music. Boy, he's the same ol' Zach Hill from the mulch fields! Having released Astrological Straits last month on Ipecac, Hill will go against the grain once again and tour in support of one song. And it's not even one of the songs on the album proper! Instead, it's the track "Necromancer," a 30+-minute composition that comprised the entirety of the bonus disc, one that features Hill, Marnie Stern, and Brooklyn-based pianist Marco Benevento going nuts.

Maybe you'll see Zach at these shows. But maybe not. We'll see what he decides:

Bang On A Can Throw An Office Party Featuring… Themselves

If it were my office having a festival, it would consist of a bunch of our fake bands that have not yet been realized — my boss’ rapper name is Hyper Billy (...yes, hyperbole) and one of my co-workers has the idea for a band called the Creedles (Beatles songs in the style of Creed). To be honest, none of my coworkers, or myself, are very musically talented (Although one of them insists on singing loudly quite often... like in my car, while drunk. Alanis Morissette. ‘Nuf said.).

Luckily, the staffers at Bang On A Can got talent and are having a festival featuring their staff’s bands. Bands include “nouveau-bluegrass” band M Shanghai String Band, “avant-skronk” Babe The Blue Ox, the “neo-indie-classicism” sounds of Get Him Eat Him, “baroque-noir” Melomane, and the “boogie-down anarchronism-funk” of Riot of 1866 Brass Band. I don’t know what the fuck any of those genre descriptions mean.

The show is on Thursday, October 2 at recently opened Bell House in Brooklyn. It’s $10 and gets jumpin’ around 8 PM. Here is the schedule:

- Get Him Eat Him, featuring Bang on a Can’s Marketing Manager, Matt Lemay (singer/songwriter/guitarist)
- Babe The Blue Ox, featuring Bang on a Can’s Director of Development, Tim Thomas (guitarist/singer/songwriter)
- M Shanghai String Band, featuring Bang on a Can’s Program Director, Philippa Thompson (violinist/singer/songwriter)
- Melomane, featuring Bang on a Can’s Executive Director, Kenny Savelson (drummer/percussionist/bookie)
- Riot of 1866 Brass Band, featuring Bang on a Can’s Project Manager, Jeremy Thal (French horn)

Punk’s Not Dead – Thanks to New HD Blu-Ray Technology!!! Sex Pistols to Release Live DVD

At last, you can relive, in the comfort of your own home, the historic Sex Pistols kinda reunion of 2007! Imagine, a time before Sarah Palin, a time after Sid Vicious. Although it may seem like a distant and mythical time, you can now experience the wonders of 2007 and the Pistols' November reunion shows at Brixton Academy in London without a time travel machine or a Kubla Khan level of opium usage. How is this mighty wonder possible, you ask? Why, through the magic of Rhino Records, of course!

Within a matter of weeks, and just in time to introduce annoying neighborhood trick-or-treaters to the loud, fast, no-holds-barred world of late-’70s punk rock, There'll Always Be an England will be released October 14 in the U.S. The DVD will feature not only concert footage, but over an hour's worth of bonus material, including a Julien Temple-directed segment titled The Knowledge, which -- buyers beware -- is not a follow-up to this summer's star-studded ode to the 1990s, The Wackness (TMT Review). But even though you won't be able to see more hard-hitting dramedy from the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen and Ben Kingsley, you will be able to see each of the remaining members of the reunited Pistols -- namely Johnny Rotten, Glen Matlock, Paul Cook and Steve Jones -- doing the "this is a bar where I used to kick it, but now it's a Tesco" tour of their past London haunts.

In addition to There'll Always Be an England, Rhino will also be reissuing Never Mind the Bollocks on 180-gram vinyl, also on October 14.

Tracklisting:

Run-D.M.C., Metallica, and The Stooges Nominated for Rock and/or Roll Hall O’ Fame – No, Run-D.M.C. Would Not the First Rap Act to Be Inducted

Hey, reader! Have you been itching to find out what the next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will be? Want to know which artists will next be considered the ‘greatest of the great’? Dying to know when the induction ceremony will be? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH I WEIGH.

Well, let’s answer those questions by order of importance. I weigh 175 pounds, soaking wet. Okay, on to the boring stuff: Nine potential inductees were announced by the RnRHoF earlier this week, with the full list as follows: Run-D.M.C., Metallica, The Stooges (who last tried to make it into the RnRHoF two years ago), Jeff Beck, Bobby Womack, War, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and Chic, the latter of which is the only group to reappear from last year's ballot. Now, imagine that lineup as a show -- that would be awesome, no?

After the nominees are announced, the list is then turned over to 500 musicians, industry professionals, and journalists who cast their votes according to personal opinion. (No, I am not one of the journalists included, but thanks for thinking I’m good enough.) The five highest-scoring acts are then announced in January and inducted April 4, 2009, complete with an induction speech by Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen. The ceremony will be held in Cleveland this year, for the first time in more than a decade, and tickets will be made available to the public for the first time. WOW! Can you get me tickets, Mr P? [Editor's note: fuck off.]

Finally, in a bit of sad news for hairspray and bad guitarists the world over, both Stevie Ray Vaughn and Bon Jovi were left off the ballot, their first year of eligibility. To be eligible, an artist must have released their first single or album 25 years prior to nomination. So, just keep on waiting 4 NonBlondes; you’ll get their eventually.

You damn kids have no idea. Back in the day, way back, way WAY back, we used to have phonographs, all thanks to Tom Edison. It was marvelous. Nothing, NOTHING reproduced sound as well as those first-class pieces of tinfoil. It was so warm, so lifelike. But then, some stupid goddamn lickfingers came along and started putting everything on wax cylinders. I remember going to Tower Cylinders and picking up “And Her Golden Hair Was Hanging Down Her Back” by Monroe H. Rosenfeld ft. Felix McGlennon on wax. Honestly, it sounded like shit. And let me tell you, shit smelled worse in those days. Today’s wimps wouldn’t survive for two seconds back in 1894.

Just when I finished re-purchasing and re-organizing all of my favorite Bartók concertos on wax cylinder, it all changed over again with the advent of disc records. Those disc records were absolute hogwash! They sounded brittle, cold, un-lifelike. Still, they hung on for a number of years until some idiots decided to invent a whole caboodle of garbage such as 8-tracks, cassette tapes, and compact discs. Ugh. Total crap. I didn’t think it could get worse, but now we have MP7s or whatever, and I just refuse to participate.

This is all to say that I do not give a rat’s ass that Amazon.com, some sort of Computerized World Net Web portal site, is stocking vinyl discs again. It’s apparently part of some revival of that format, but I won't buy it and I'm not buying into it. Kids these days are so fickle; they have no attention span. By the time anybody realizes this junk is for sale, they’ll be on to the next thing. It’s balderdash. You can go buy that crap, but I’m going to wait until they bring back tinfoil. I don’t care what anyone else tells me on the matter; I won’t be moved.

MySpace: “You Can’t Trust Anyone These Days”; Faces Possible Antitrust Action From Indie Labels Over New Online Music Store

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s collective of youth-oriented media outlets (such as the small, secular-based cable access Fox News Channel and the GLBT magazine The Weekly Standard), has plans for an online music store. The nondescript store named MySpace Music hasn’t launched yet, but it promises to open up the company’s liberal portfolio of holdings like The Wall Street Journal and The Times to a more conservative audience.

According to The Register, MySpace Music will offer downloads, concert tickets, ringtones, and more, all packaged in what “MySpace insiders want to become the ‘internet's MTV.’” MTV is well known for its reactionary commentary and its fiscally conservative news on the global financial markets. It is a bold move and, in this writer’s opinion, quite refreshing to see the socially conscious and independent-focused grassroots News Corp reach out and co-opt the conservative culture to rebrand and repackage it with demographic-specific ads.

News Corp’s subversive new store is set to give right-wingers the content they want, while distancing the liberal name of the company as it makes money. Let’s just hope the emerging community (read: joint venture) of the world’s biggest media owner and the world’s three biggest major record labels (no EMI just yet*) can foster something unfettered by those big corporate giants out to screw the little guy.

But, that’s exactly what is happening.

Apparently, MySpace Music is coming under scrutiny for blocking independent labels from uploading music to the store. While News Corp is just trying to get upstarts like Sony BMG and Warner Music Group in stores (truthfully, Murdoch doesn’t care about money; he just wants the music to be heard), the collective is facing possible antitrust violations. There’s an issue of territorial rights and the way songs are uploaded, “but the broader concern is that MySpace Music is a party to which the independents haven't been invited -- an arrangement which strengthens the major labels' dwindling control over music distribution in a digital era.”

MySpace Music is a real spitfire, and it isn’t going down without a fight. A spokesperson had this to say in response to the antitrust talk:

We are not aware of any antitrust complaint or inquiry pending against either MySpace or MySpace Music. MySpace Music welcomes indie artists and is not blocking content from them or other labels. Our goal is to provide the indie community with powerful tools and monetization channels to enable them to access revenue streams previously unavailable.

Crisis averted, for now. Support News Corp’s grassroots effort and donate whatever you can at newscorp.com.

*MySpace Music debuted unexpectedly Wednesday night after EMI signed on.

Krist Novoselic WUSSES OUT, Flipper Cancels Tour

I've read in a number of places that awesome San Francisco noise/sludge/punk outfit Flipper held a coveted place in Kurt Cobain's record collection, alongside The Vaselines, The Melvins, and The Raincoats. So it was an obvious pick for the Flipper dudes (TMT News) to pick up former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic for low-end duty, especially considering he's not doing much these days besides fixing democracy with his books, hangin' tough with dude from Sublime, growing a Will Oldham beard, and being unusually tall. Evidently, these past times are more important to Mr. N.

Novoselic announced this week that he's leaving the band due to "responsibilities at home." As such, the tour, originally scheduled to kick off November 8 at Austin, TX's Fun Fun Fun Fest, is canceled. No make-up dates or contigency plans have been announced.

Despite such unfortunate news, Flipper fans do have something to look forward to, as the band announced that they are re-releasing Generic Flipper, Gone Fishin', Public Flipper Limited, and Sex Bomb Baby on all formats (including digital). Look for those sometime before the year's end.

As exciting as this is, we're still tryin' to see some Flipper over here. Call up Moby... or Eric Avery from Jane's Addiction, or somethin' -- see what they have penciled in their day planners. You know they're probably not doing a whole lot right now.

Smashing Pumpkins 20th Anniversary Tourdates Confirmed; Hardcore Zwan Fans Don’t Exist, Just Thought I’d Underscore That

"For years now, I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams."

It was just over three years ago when Billy Corgan took out full-page ads in a couple Chicago newspapers with that silly statement. What was most surprising wasn't that he wanted "his" band to reunite, it was that Corgan, a person who I considered intelligent, exhibited absolutely no tact, no common sense, no cool.

One album (Zeitgeist), one EP (American Gothic), and one song ("Superchrist") for a Guitar Center compilation later, The Smashing Pumpkins are still celebrating themselves with their newly confirmed 20th anniversary tour (minus James Iha and D'arcy). For five weeks, the band will play a bunch of new and old tracks, with several two-night dates in the bigger cities (first night is "Black Sunshine," second is "White Crosses" -- can't make this shit up). Pumpkins promise no overlap for those consecutive shows.

Meanwhile, The Smashing Pumpkins will play Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit October 26, a live DVD (If All Goes Wrong) comes out November 11, and a new song, "G.L.O.W.," will make its debut exclusively on Guitar Hero: World Tour.

Whatever happened to the "Gish tour" anyway?

Broken Social Scene Plan Tour, Sell Out Tourdates, Plan More Tourdates, Make a New Website; Feist Still Rumored to be on Sesame Street Singing “1234”

After wandering the world in 2008 to back Brendan Canning’s solo album, Something For All Of Us, Broken Social Scene have decided to extend their fall tour with some shiny new U.S. and Canada dates. The October dates have already sold out, but new dates have been added for November. The ever-morphing band will incarnate as an eight-piece for these shows, featuring Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Sam Goldberg, Leon Kingstone, Apostle of Hustle’s Andrew Whiteman, and Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell. Powell’s Land of Talk will be opening all of the U.S. dates

In other Broken Social Scene news, the band has launched a new website, which has some pretty cool art with a lot of paper planes. This new site will house a blog, which will see updates from the band while on tour. For those of you who want to buy a ticket, another website worth checking out is the Arts&Crafts online store – Gallery AC, which will be running a pre-sale for November dates until September 26 at 5 PM EST.

Broken Social Scene tourdates:

Man Man Tour Begins in Athens and Ends in Richmond, Prospect of Having Sex with Groupies Remains Strong Throughout

Man Man, the meanest men in rock, are set to embark on a tour they're calling “You Are My Manifest Destiny,” still supportin' and sportin' their ANTI- Records debut, Rabbit Hands (TMT Review). Sure, the album may have only gotten a 3.5/5 from Tiny Mix Tapes, but it got a whopping 5/5 stars on Amazon!

Don't agree with the score? Then maybe you haven't read the reviews. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

- "I can safely say that Rabbit Habits is Man Man's best effort. In fact, by comparison this album makes their previous efforts seem slightly lacking."

- "This album is absolutely terrific."

- "That being said, this release is a bit more accessible than Six Demon Bag."

- "Personal favorites include: Top Drawer, Poor Jackie, Easy Eats, Harpoon Fever..."

- "Pirate music to shake your booty."

- "A truly unique and challenging group."

The band's tour will eventually match up with Tim Fite's touring schedule, so be sure to lookout for him on a majority of these dates. And if you get a chance to talk to him at any of the shows, tell him Mango said "Slay the clown!" He'll know what that means.

Man Man “You Are My Manifest Destiny” tour:

  

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