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:

Disc One:

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 %

Disc Two:

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

$ B-sides

% Hefner Heart EP

^ 7-inch version

* 4-track version

+ rehearsal version

You Be Parts and I’ll Be Labor; Prove Your Father Wrong and Be on a Real Record

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 partsandlaborsounds@gmail.com. Include your name for crediting purposes if you want.

Thanks,

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.

Music Venue Black Cat Discriminates Against Flip-Flop-Wearers

Outraged DC concertgoers (might have) waved handmade signs above their heads at a rally last week, reading slogans like "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Crocs" and "Stop Wasting My Pedicure." The crowd's wrath was directed at one man by the name of Dante Ferrando, owner of the Black Cat club, in response to his new anti-flip-flop policy.

Showing concern at the number of concertgoers suffering serious injuries like crushed toes and cuts from broken glass, Ferrando has decided to tighten up his suggested policy sometime this summer, turning away those who attend shows in the offending footwear. "Flip-flops are pretty much the same as bare feet," he says.

Appalled at Ferrando's consideration for his patrons' safety, proponents of the flip-flop are calling his move "sneakerist" and "creepily compassionate," insisting that all forms of footwear be permitted within the club, lest their summer wardrobe be, like, totally ruined.

Rumors of the Black Cat's conspiratorial secret deal with major athletic shoe companies could not be confirmed at the time of press, but Nike mysteriously could not be reached for comment, even when I called them repeatedly on this here bananaphone. Phooey.

Burger King To Lay a Greasy, Trans-Fatty Paw in the Ring Tone Biz, Shimmy-Shakin’-Ring-Ringz To Be Offered at Value Meal Prices

Alas, TMT readership! Worried about paying the monolithic $2.50 to Virgin Mobile for that Danity Kane ringtone you’ve been lusting for?

Price cuts ahead!

Oh-em-gee, sweet reader, the future is now! Burger King is subsidizing Warner Music Group ringtones.

But, why, you ask?

According to that same Billboard article, BK aims to appeal to the technological bent of us modern folk. (This assuredly explains Iron Man toys, chicken fries, and that creepily silent King from BK commercials.)

You know, reader. Kids today, or something.

Omar Rodriguez Lopez’ Collaboration with Late Friend Jeremy Michael Ward to See Wide Release

After the breakup of At The Drive-In and before The Mars Volta's first release (the Tremulant EP), Omar Rodriguez Lopez of The Mars Volta released a self-titled album with Jeremy Michael Ward (who is also most well-known for his collaborations with the band). Limited to 200 and released only on MiniDisc, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Jeremy Michael Ward has been compared to the minimalism of Steve Reich (who, I'm happy to say, seems to be influencing countless artists lately), and since its release in 2001, quite a bit has happened: The Mars Volta released a bunch of albums and gained a sizable cult following; Ward passed away in 2003; and fans are now realizing they were either previously unaware of this collaboration or have been unable to find a copy.

Thankfully, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Jeremy Michael Ward will now finally see wide release June 10 on Infrasonic Sound Recording Co. According to the press release, the album is a "playful, abstract concoction of manipulated sounds and processed, unrecognizable recordings of household objects, everyday activities, passing dialog, and similar ephemera." Sounds like a review written by P or Mangoon, don't it? No? What are you, the TMT cop?

Reunited And It Feels So Good: Stone Temple Pilots And Frank Black, Together at Last

If we've learned anything from the animated Disney smash hit The Lion King, it's that there is a circle of life. And for third-rate early ’90s grunge rock bands, it goes something like this: you and your unshowered chums start playing small clubs and then gradually progress to big clubs to arenas to casinos to everybody's favorite summer celebration, Taste of Arkansas. But not those contrarians Stone Temple Pilots! Whereas Silverchair and Everclear may soon be coming to a state fair near you, the hard-rockin' rock dudes in STP are keepin' it real by bringing Frank Black on tour with them. Yes, that Frank Black.

The former Pixies frontman and the recently reunited (who knew??) sorta-grunge band will be setting the hearts of nostalgic frat boys and late ’80s college rock fans alight during a very special string of dates this summer. Perhaps Mr. Black will be bringing the noise from his "mini-LP" SVN FNGRS to an amphitheater near you? Only time, or the following listing, will tell.

How To Be A Successful TMT News Reporter: Step One – Dig Through Jim James’ Trash To Retrieve New My Morning Jacket Tourdates

You may not be aware of it, but TMT news reporters go through a lot to bring you the latest music scoop everyday. In fact, we’re so intrepid that we go so far as to stake out the private residences of those who we’re writing about. Right, guys? No, that was just me? Uh... guess that's why Jim James wasn’t too happy when he found me staking out his Louisville home in my unmarked white van. Nor was he pleased when I started going through the garbage can he left out on the curb. But if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have these possibly exclusive My Morning Jacket tourdates to report to you that I found written inside a notebook in his garbage. Finders keepers, Jim!

My Morning Jacket's forthcoming album, Evil Urges, will be released June 10 on ATO (June 9 in the UK via Rough Trade).

$ Jim James solo

Wolf Parade to Tour, Fans to TMT: “Wait, Which Band Is That Again??”

Okay, people, listen up and listen good! I'm only going to say this ONCE:

- No, I do NOT know what Sunset Rubdown is doing this summer.
- No, I do NOT know what Frog Eyes have planned for the coming months.
- No, I do NOT have any information about Swan Lake's latest whatever-the-fuck
- No, I do NOT have any clue what Fifths of Seven are up to.

And No, Of Montreal’s not even from there...

So don't ask. Now, I don't want to hear more questions. Everybody GOT IT?

Good. With that out of the way, I can tell you that everyone's third or fourth favorite Canadian band Wolf Parade will be hitting the road this summer for the first time in a Montreal minute to play a healthy string (or a "parade," as a lesser journalist might quip) of shows across the U.S. and Canada!

The sudden flurry of wolf activity is definitely not because Spencer Krug is bored (a masochist, maybe, but not bored). Nope, the boys will actually be hitting the trail in support of their newest full-length effort, At Mount Zoomer -- their first, if you'll recall, since 2005's buzzed-about Apologies to Queen Mary -- which drops June 17 via Sub Pop.

Will the band's sophomore effort live up to the acclaim of their debut? Will the three-year wait between records hurt their gig turnouts?? Will Spencer Krug found another animal band???

Hey, I thought I said no more questions!

Canis lupus trail:

Common to Star in New Terminator Movie and Release New LP, Both of Which, We Should Hope, Are Completely Unrelated Or Else We May Be Getting a New LP From Commonator

Adding one more flick to his IMDB profile, Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. (a.k.a. Common) will be starring in the newest Terminator flick due in 2009. Common will star as a freedom fighter saving the world, kicking ass, doin' chix, and drinking whiskey out of his bible flask*, while the lead role goes to Josh Brolin (not the governor of California).

On the music front of things, Common will be dropping his eighth album, Invincible Summer June 24, and it'll be produced by The Neptunes and Mr. D.G. Substantial guest appearances on the album include Cee-Lo and Santogold. Billboard reports that the new album sounds "techno-inspired," while Common himself said that "This is the type of music [he] felt was missing from [his] body of work."

Still, Common is an eclectic sonuvabitch, and with techno hip-hop albums and Terminator roles, you wonder where this guy finds balance.

*Possible true. Most likely not.

Six Organs of Admittance Tour, Some Number Of Permissive Pianos Out To Represent

Until now, I've invoked my Fifth Amendment right in regards to who broke the organ in the garage, but it's confession time. Twas' me; I fucked it up.

It was late, and I was tripping on acid practicing my one-man, black-metal, psych-rock band act when, at the height of my ecstasy and with the volume cranked to 11 and pedals pumping, I leapt atop the organ and proceeded to jump up and down, smashing all the keys at once while screaming!

I think that's what did it. Don't expect that kind of behavior on the Six Organs of Admittance tour. I mean, they're good, but they're not that good.

Did you know Ben Chasny originally hailed from Eureka, CA? Fun little fact for ya: