“A new Sunset Rubdown album is like the bee’s knees and the monkey’s eyebrows rolled into one,” says Sir Cophagus.
Day 14: a Saturday:
I was two weeks into my journey without making any serious headway whatsoever. But I was close. I knew it from the unmistakable scent and sense of wonder I smelt and felt. (If you’re not a true treasure seeker, you wouldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about... and shame on you for thinking you are worth the time and effort to breathe the same air as us exalted archaeologicos. WE are important; you are not.) I was getting paid to search for the mummy of Queen Hatsoffnshutup in what used to be known as Mesopotamia, or “Ol’ Pot” as it is called in the biz. I knew I wouldn’t find the tomb -- I was searching in the wrong area of the continent, and it didn't exist anyway -- but I didn’t want to break the heart of my benefactor, who was a psycho crackpot. He had visions of me unearthing the Queen and him marrying it in a small civil ceremony. But I was hoping to find a few valuable trinkets to flog, so I could rent my sofa bed for another week. Admittedly, I had been going through a rough patch as far as the adventure stakes were concerned.
I mopped my brow with the PVC loin cloth I stole last night off of a beefy stripper at the “Ace Club” after running out on a bill that included three pickled eggs, a quart of lemon gin, and a VIP-room private dance. I smiled briefly before stepping on a loose stone and falling into a dark, shallow pit. I brandished my trusty Zippo and noticed a piece of parchment, possibly goat’s skin, which bore a list of titles or names in thin-ink cursive. It was spotted with what looked to be a three-legged burro’s cum stains (they looked a little like the 1558 map of Italy, around the time of the accession of Elizabeth I).
I hightailed it out of there and quickly returned to my home base to have my efficient office gal Pepita analyze the specimen for identification purposes and possible value. “Hmm,” she began. “It looks newer than the parchment would indicate. Recent, but pre-Paris Hilton jail term period, I reckon. Not my sort of thing, but some people will be excited by this discovery, for certain.”
I knew Pepita’s “thing” quite well, as she plays nothing but ear-splitting, obscure polka around the office. “What is it?” I asked.
“It seems to be a tentative song list for the forthcoming Sunset Rubdown album, Random Spirit Lover. Common sense dictates that the ones in bold are the actual tunes that will find their way onto the album, and the others are some stupid fucker’s joke titles."
“What are the stains?” I queried.
She sighed. “I dunno. Tears of joy from a pathetic indie-rock loser?”
I crumpled up the hide, threw it in the garbage, and stretched. “Alright, do you wanna grab a burrito?” I asked Pepita.
“Nope,” she retorted rather too quickly for my liking. “I’ve decided I’m only going to go out with guys who can actually pay some bills and get it up in the sack.”
I should have known this adventure was going to be a bust.
Possible Random Spirit Lover tracklist, out in October on Jagjaguwar:
The Mending of the Gown
He Had Trombones for Limbs and Dice for Teeth
Magic vs. Midas
Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days
For the Doctor Who Used His Saw
The Courtesan Has Sung
Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns
Unglue Your hips, Thunderlips
Hairshirt vs. Babyskin
For the Pier (and dead shimmering)
The Taming of the Hands that Came Back to Life
(esirper) snaej s’ivoJ noB gniraew saw eh tub rekihhctih eht pu kcip ot tnaw t’ndid I
Settling vs. Rising
Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!
Here Comes Dumb Bum Gibby Gorilla!
Remember that coming up with something original is hard work. So don’'t. Why bother trying when you can string sentences together like a useless tit by using catch-fire phrases? For example, if you are writing a story about Richard Hawley, it has been proven time and time again these lazy words always do the trick nicely:
former Pulp guitarist (acceptable to combine this with entry below)
former Longpigs guitarist (acceptable to combine this with entry above)
2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner
*(bonus tip: use snappy phrase for album like “long-player”)
For album news, you will have to mention the album’'s title, release date, label, and tracklisting. Try something like this: “Bespectacled Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley will be releasing a new album on August 20 in the UK and on October 2 in the U.S. The long-player, entitled Lady’s Bridge, will be released through Mute Records and is the follow-up to the former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist’s 2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner. Here is the tracklist!”
2. Roll River Roll
4. Tonight the Streets Are Ours
5. Lady Solitude
6. Dark Road
7. The Sea Calls
8. Lady’s Bridge
9. I’m Looking for Someone To Find Me
10. Our Darkness
11. The Sun Refused To Shine
For tour news, you will have to list the show dates, the host city and country, and the venue name. Repeating album news (like in the example posted above) is encouraged. Try something like this: “Bespectacled Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley will be touring the United Kingdom in September in support of his forthcoming album out on Mute Records on August 20 in the UK and on October 2 in the U.S. The long-player, entitled Lady’'s Bridge, will be released through Mute Records and is the follow up to the former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist’'s 2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner. Here are the dates!”
09.02.07 - Southampton, England - Guildhall
09.03.07 - Cambridge, England - Corn Exchange
09.04.07 - Brighton, England - Dome
09.05.07 - London, England - Roundhouse
09.07.07 - Birmingham, England - Symphonic Hall
09.08.07 - Liverpool, England - Philharmonic
09.09.07 - Oxford, England - New Theatre
09.10.07 - Bristol, England - Colston Hall
09.12.07 - Sheffield, England - City Hall
09.14.07 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Queens Hall
09.16.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - City Halls
09.17.07 - Gateshead, England - Sage
09.19.07 - Leicester, England - De Montford Hall
09.20.07 - Bradford, England - St. Georges Hall
09.21.07 - Manchester, England - Bridgewater Hall
09.23.07 - Dublin, Rep. of Ireland - The Place
Pump your fist in the air and yell, “"I'’m a music journalist"!” Feel free to call your friends and family to gloat about the success and fame that you will soon be experiencing. Look into the mirror with a smug, self-congratulatory grin. Pretend you are banging a supermodel while you beat off into the crapper.
End of lessons.
Chemical Ali will go down in history as one of the most brutal pieces of shit in history. But because he is in the news, and because we are news reporters of some sort, it would be unprofessional not to mention these four little-known facts about the man:
1. Chemical Ali actually got his nickname when he was the only person to not lose his cookies while on peyote with The Doors in the desert. Coincidently, he was the inspiration for the “Mr. Mojo Risin’” nickname after Jim Morrison awoke during the night to see the wild Iraqi dry-humping a cactus.
2. He was seen cheering the Hell’s Angels’ murder of Meredith Hunter at the free Stones concert at Altamont Motor Speedway, CA near the end of 1969 and freaked out the notoriously tough gang when he was overheard offering to get rid of the evidence by eating the poor victim’s body for a gram of hash.
3. “Shimmy A” once had creative musical hopes and dreams like we all do. For instance, he used to envision recording with Phil Spector, using the producer’s patented wall-of-sound technique to record a hi-energy house workout album. He got the idea after taking E while raping and pillaging his way across Europe during his gap year (clarification: this wish to hook up with Spector may have more to do with his orgiastic urge of getting guns pointed at his head).
4. Chemical Ali has always been an evil bastard consumed with plans of killing off the Kurd and Shi'ite peoples in Iraq but he has been responsible for other hate crimes as well. He has been responsible for the mass decline of Latin curricula in schools over the last 30 years, and he also helped kill off skiffle and be-bop. In a rare interview published by Tiger Beat, Ali claimed his hatred for the sickening TV show 7th Heaven. “You’re next 7th Heaven!”, he shouted. The next year, it was canceled.
The fact that he may be hanged before Magik Markers release their new album BOSS on September 25 through Ecstatic Peace may finally have him uncharacteristically rattled. Not even Ali could deny the greatness of this band, could he? Well, he might be the only one actually... dude hates everything and has a fucking tin ear to boot.
The sound of one hand hitting another is called clapping. The sound of two hands hitting out at anything in their way is called Pete Nolan. The sound of choreographed step-kicking is called Stomp the Yard. The sound of someone shit-kicking your grey matter is called Elisa Ambrogio. The sound of children singing “Do-Re-Mi” is The Sound of Music. The sound of children blowing up bullfrogs by making them inhale cigarettes is the sound of Magik Markers.
Boss BOSS tracklisting:
1. Axis Mundi
2. Body Rot
3. Last of the Lemach Line
4. Empty Bottles
6. Four/The Ballad of Harry Angstrom
7. Pat Garrett
8. Bad Dream/Hartford’s Beat Suite
By now we all know what All Tomorrow's Parties is. The ATP website describes itself as such: "Details to be updated soon." So, we're left with little, but you know it as both the curators of across the pond-cum-in our backyard music festiveness as well as a record label with Bardo Pond, The Drones, and Jackie-O Motherfucker — among others — on its roster.
But, lest I forget, this is not an ATP story.
I nearly shit my pants the other day when I learned of a brand new Jackie-O Motherfucker release. They're a droney, folky psychedelicacy. As they're prone to releasing on multiple independent labels, like ATP, Ecstatic Peace, and now Uzo Audio, JOMF releases tend to go unnoticed among the uninitiated. I'm personally nominating all of you for initiation.
Freaker Pipe, JOMF's new album, limited to just 1000 copies, contains some of their newest live recordings and features Jessica Rylan of Can't (among other things) and members of My Cat Is An Alien and Moglass for a freak-out collab.
Willowz: [adopting the accent and tone of Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, from The Sopranos] Heyyyy Grant, how are ya sport! Nice eyelineah, Nancy boiiii! Say, you reviewed our new CD yet?
Grant: What? I--... no.
Willowz: Curious. We sent yas the CD eight montts ago!
Grant: I know, I know. Actually, I’m kind of relieved to see you because I’ve been meaning to tell you that I dig Chataqua a lot, seriously.
Willowz: Tanks. I wish it didn’t require a ‘seriously,’ but tanks.
Grant: I’m just sayin’ you know, in case you thought I was dodgin’ ya. [laughs nervously]
Willowz: Oh, and what would give us that idea? [punches Grant straight in the gravy basket, cracks him on the face with a roundhouse left, then gives our beleaguered reporter a toe-punch to the stomach] Fackin’ deadbeat.
Grant: I’m-sorry I’m-sorry, look, maybe I can write a news story [cough, gasp] or... I dunno, recommend it to my [spit bloody loogy]... friends.
Willowz: Yeah, ye’re gonna recommend it tah yah friends AN relatives [another kick, more gentle this time, which I appreciate], am I making myself cleah? Othahwise I scoop out ya eyes like a coupla pitted olives I’d find in a nice antipaste... you know, ‘cause I like ta eat. You’ve seen my show.
Grant: Yes, you could even say I’ve borrowed ideas from the show quite a bit. And yes sir, I’ll get right on that. I won’t come up short next time... in fact, how about this; next time I review a Willowz CD, I’ll add two points.
Grant: That I can’t do.
Willowz: G, I’ms askin’ you ta reconsidah!
Grant: Well, ok. Now, I’m off to pick up some mozzarella...
Willowz: Woah-ho-ho Ernhawt, slow down, ain’t you forgettin’ somethin’? I mean, you’s gonna mention da’ touah too, right?
Grant: The... wha--.... the what?
Willowz: THE TOUAH, THE TOUAH... the TOUah.
Grant: Oh right. But how will I write a Tour News story without everyone knowing that a well-known gangster stereotype has coerced me into it?
Willowz: I’m sure you’ll think a somethin’. Fackin’ deadbeat.
And so it goes:
* w/ The Detroit Cobras
The Cure to Tour This September in Support of Pending Release, Titled Maybe We’re Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline!; Tyra Banks to Bitch Slap Cover Girl Execs for Losing Album Title Plug to Better-Taglined Makeup Rival; America’s Next Top Model Girls To Put Tyra Out of Her Marginally Overweight Misery
NOTE: Included are three letters written to those most likely to be emotionally, spiritually, and seriously, honestly, sincerely, affected by news of The Cure’s fall tour and pending album release.
Dear Billie Joe Armstrong,
Grab a figurative tissue for those raccoon eyes. You’re about to go Wake Me Up When September Ends* on us.
Your trailblazing predecessors, i.e., those who wore smudgy black eyeliner before you, i.e. The Cure, are set to start touring this September.
The thing is, after giving your rabble-rousing, life-changing, rock-and-fucking-rolling American Idiot album an oh-so-righteous spin, it seems you’ve already got plans hiding under the sheets all September, being drenched in your pain (again?) and becoming who you are. Oh, man!
Please accept these from me to you for the long, hard, soul-emptying month o’ depression. I’m sincerely sorry you’re missing The Cure’s first month of touring! Maybe you’ll buy the album they’re releasing? Maybe we’ll go see them in October, when you wake up?
Lunch date, soon, okay?
* Re: a whiny, shrill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-watching, diary-keeping, Ben & Jerry-binging, "it’s that time of the month" brand of bitchy. No, seriously, though. You taught us, Billie! WAR IS SENSELESS! Now that you’ve earned a “Renegade of the Year” title from Rolling Stone given the wild success of your CONCEPT ALBUM!, trumpeting such incendiary Jesus of Suburbia musings, I GET THAT WAR IS SENSELESS, not to trust my government, and to subsequently question whether you are in fact the Christ to Bono’s God the Father. Amen, peace be with you. Seriously.
Dear Tyra Banks,
The Cure looks better in eye makeup.
Okay, I’m kidding. You don’t look a little rough next to the girls on America’s Next Top Model, not at all. Not even when you wear weird headbands. Never. Especially not then.
Look, a cheeseburger!
Kidding. Honestly. You totally have three or so hot points on Kirstie Alley.
Go see The Cure. In spirit of eyeliner! Makeup tips for da’ models? For you?
THE REAL DEAL: The Cure’s album, still no word on its name, is set for release sometime this fall.
As for the tour, tickets went on sale yesterday (Thursday), and are now available. 65 Days of Static are slotted as the opening gig for The Cure (including Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, and Porl Thompson).
Eyeliner is always sexy, Kirstie Alley rarely is:
Sure, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood NOW, but don’t get too used to all of those good vibes and happy tunes, kids. Because even as we speak, the top handpuppet himself is packing his bags, hugging Lady Elaine goodbye, and taking the last red-eye trolley the fuck out of that whimsical, little fantasy land.
That’s right, boys and girls. King Frida... er, uh... I mean, Tim Kinsella himself has recently announced that he is not long for the world of Make Believe.
Kinsella, fastidious frontman/screwball singer of longtime love-‘em-or-hate-‘em anti-band Joan of Arc, has been handling singing duties in the slightly more straightforward (“straightforward” of course for the Kinsella Clan being a relative term) noisy math-rock project Make Believe since 2003. The supergroup of sorts contained members of the same seemingly revolving-door music club that produced great fan-polarizers like Cap’n Jazz, Owls, Joan of Arc, etc. and had just completed the writing for their whopping third full-length record in as many years when T-Kin dropped the bomb via the, shall-we-say “minimalist” Joan of Arc website that he’d be resigning his duties after the new record is finished.
“The new record is written and it sounds great to me; I have been very excited about the songs and have put a lot of work into getting my contributions for them together,” Kinsella posted last week. “But I know once the record is recorded I would be miserable if I had to go on tour and continue the rock band lifestyle which I have felt less and less connection to for a long while now.” Well, if nothing else, it’s good to see that, like any neighborhood of Make Believe resident worth his button-nose, Kinsella is in bigtime touch with his feelings.
The frazzled frontman continued: “I really like my wife a lot. And puttering about the house making weird stuff all day means everything to me. And I feel a strong sense of community at home that means a lot to me, and though I know I have been very lucky to have had the opportunities to travel, I really enjoy leaving Chicago less and less all the time.
“Being a sort of bizzaro David Lee Roth or whatever is kind of fun and fulfilling in some sort of way, but not something I have in me to prioritize enough to commit the time to that the band would require of me. And I don't want to let my friends down and hold them back from doing what they want to be doing. By leaving the group now, while the songs for the new record are still in pliable forms, they can finish the record without me and then be able to tour in support of it and continue onward in whatever new form they come up with.”
Wait. Soooo... is he saying that he doesn’t want to be “just a gigolo” anymore? Either way, for those concerned about Diamond Dave Jr.’s place in his day-job band Joan of Arc, have no fear. You haven’t heard the last of them.
“I have a pile of new songs to pull from for a new Joan of Arc record and am looking forward to having time to develop them in the fall, but I am also looking forward to taking my time and going into hermit-mode for awhile.”
Well, Tim, what can we say? The neighborhood will never be quite so beautiful without your brightly-colored tunics. Maybe we’ll see you around down by the Museum-Go-Round sometime? Oh, and best of luck “puttering about the house making weird stuff” and all of that. God bless that wife of yours. She must be a real saint...
Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla boobuhla
Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla bop!
In May 2007, Stars released Do You Trust Your Friends?, an album of guest remixes by a number of the band’s favorite musicians. Some critics loved it, some critics hated it. We didn’t review it, but I still thought it was pretty good. So, in that ‘do you trust your friends’ spirit, I present the following text written by my friend Meg:
He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not. So, if you are a preteen ogling over the boy who tripped you at the planetarium on last week’s fieldtrip, all you get out of this is a few dead daisies and an inconclusive probability. If you are the Canadian Arts & Crafts band Stars, however, you’ve got the basis for every superstructure song-to-be that’s ever graced one of your album’s track lists. The exciting part is, this perpetually lovelorn foursome are getting ready to release a whole new bouquet for our enjoyment coming up on September 25th of this year. So what’s to expect? The album, entitled In Our Bedroom After the War, invites the conclusion that this release (note track titles) will continue to spin narratives worthy of Updike-esque romantic proportions; rife with hesitation and excitement, thrill and lust, and, of course, awkward entrapment with ex-lovers in tiny enclosed spaces. For a band that has consistently captured the charts and minds of the indie music scene, its release is nothing less than highly anticipated. My prediction? Get ready to sigh, stare off in memory’s dramatic rapture, and unbury the ex’s old t-shirt to wear as pajamas along with the rest of the alternative listening community as we immerse ourselves in what will prove to be another beautiful entanglement of precious melodics and lyrical he-said she-said excellence. Until then? Uncover the recently remixed versions of Stars’ songs on their highly unlocatable project Do You Trust Your Friends? And as for my predictions? Well…you can ask yourself the same question.
09.06.07 – Grand Rapids, MI – Calvin College Fine Arts Center
09.08.07 –Montreal, QC – Osheaga Festival
09.09.07 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Festival
In an unprecedentedly trashy business move, Interscope Geffen A&M (Time Warner BMG Nabisco CIA) announced this week that it will team up with Drinks Americas Holdings to produce a line of drinks branded with the name of a hot new Interscope artist. Together, the two unfortunately-named companies will develop concepts and marketing approaches -- though based on my suggestions in the headline, they could really cut their work in half by hiring me.
Drinks Americas Holdings already has a long and storied history in the field of novelty beverages: Donald Trump Super Premium Vodka and Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon didn't just appear in your pantry from nowhere, you see. According to the company (which is always a good place to go for any cold, hard facts), the liquified essence of Trump will have sold 100,000 cases by the end of its first year.
The lucky Interscope artists have not yet been revealed, but a number of possibilities have been hinted at and given the "wink wink" when asked about. Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent (try, try again!), Busta Rhymes, G-Unit, Daddy Yankee, Sheryl Crow, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Cornell, and Gwen Stefani are all viable possibilities, and it is a testament to both companies that they've chosen a list of artists that could have been developed (and would have made more sense) nearly five years ago. The fate of Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" Rum seems very uncertain and shaky. Nearly as shaky as the person who downs a whole bottle of it by themself and tears into a double-time rendition of "If It Makes You Happy."
J. Patrick Kenny, CEO of Drinks Americas, said, "There is a large opportunity here for both companies to generate substantial incremental revenue and profits and create valuable assets." Golly, that sounds delicious! Just make sure these drinks bear no similarities to the Powerpuff Girls-themed bottle of "Belly Washers" I tried once and later heaved back out into the sink. Pay a little bit closer attention to the ingredients this time... please?
At a certain point in a band’s career, if they stick it out long enough, if they deal with the bullshit critics and the fickle kids, they’ll get a free license to be mediocre, lazy, or just plain suck every once and a while. It’s like being a good-band emeritus, a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card. Like Buddy Cianci -- we know you never stopped caring about Providence, so what’s a little assault between friends. For example, let’s consider all those albums in-between SMiLE (’66) and SMiLE (’04) taken care of. Idlewho? I’m already over it. And all those bad ’80s albums by legendary rockers. I know you couldn’t resist when the engineer said all the cool cats made their drums sound like that, so we’ll let it slide.
Then there’s these guys. Ween can afford to be bad. Why? Let’s look at the evidence.
That said, I’ve got no opinion one way or the other on their new Friends EP. I’m just saying they’ve earned a little slack. Ween say this fall they’ll release a full-length album on a “real” label, which will be a distilled version of the “well over 50 or 60 songs” they recently laid out at their 24-track, 2-inch tape-equipped farmhouse. This one’s on Chocodog: