Herbie Hancock’s Grammy Win Boosts Sales 967%; Adults to Kids: “Can You Put This On My IPod Nano For Me?”
Proving once again that our parents will damn-well like whatever the fuck CBS tells them to like, thousands upon thousands of our otherwise apathetic moms and step dads haplessly descended upon Target and Wal-Mart stores everywhere following the 2008 Grammy Album of the Year win of Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters to purchase their first non-holiday-themed record in years.
And now, in addition to feeling self-satisfied at the prospects of (a) being able to tell their friends at work that they "like some jazz" and (B) finally feeling justifiably "non-racist" for officially owning a contemporary black musician's record, our parents can add yet another fine statistical feather to the cap of their collective purchasing power.
Yes, believe it or not, all of these latent, Grammy-fueled purchases have bumped sales of River up a whopping 967%, earning the aging jazz-ster a #5 spot on the equally taste-reactive "Billboard 200" chart. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, #5 is actually Hancock's highest chart spot ever in his illustrious career, despite what you may recall about how insanely awesome of a song "Rockit" was.
So, there you have it, dear readers. Behold the power of the Recording Academy! Gee, I'm glad that I don't just buy into whatever some faceless organization tells me to solely on the basis of their manufactured authority. No sir! I listen to real music and make my own decisions, thank you very much.
Oh, speaking of which, the new Beach House album just made Pitchfork's "Best New Music." I wonder if it's on iTunes...
For once (and I mean only once, so savor this), I have essentially nothing snarky to say about this bit of news. I could crack a few Woody Allen jokes or snark about Art Garfunkel's comparably less-than-stellar solo career, or even make such unfounded claims as "Grizzly Bear are totes pigeonholing themselves by associating with an old folkie like Paul Simon," but it's not happening. Oh God. I'll be sacked, not unlike Bridget Jones.
Let's not make this more awkward than necessary. Grizzly Bear should be feeling pretty great right about now, being as their Paul Simon stint is prefaced with a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, supported by the LA Philharmonic. That's right, a big ol' coat-and-tails, tuba-toting, Tchaikovsky-loving outfit is supporting Grizzly Bear. Orchestras just got way cooler in your book (they were already way up there in mine).
A mere month later, it's off to the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Gilman Opera House to backup Paul Simon in the final installment of his BAM residency. The Bear-friendly portion is entitled "American Tunes," which promises to feature songs from the more well-known portions of Simon's discography. Additional supporting acts include The Roches and Olu Dara. Call it cliché, but a Grizzly Bear-powered rendition of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"? Again, the jibe fails me, and you know it would be fantastic. I don't care if it's in Brooklyn, the breeding ground of disaffected humor... and inexplicably, beards.
I'm sorry honey, not tonight:
* LA Philharmonic
** Paul Simon, Olu Dara, The Roches
Pack Up Your Troubles in an Old Kit Bag and Tour, Tour, Tour; Hair Police Announce First Stateside Tour in Almost Two Years
3:00 PM on February 26 marked the NHL's trade deadline for the 2007/2008 season. For players dealt by their teams to others, it is the chance of a lifetime to angrily uproot their family, making sure their spouses are nervous newbies in the neighborhood and their kids are the picked-upon students at a new school, all in the hopes of perhaps making it past Round 1 in the post-season playoffs. While some significant trades had already been made prior to “deadline day,” most of the real action was on the 26th itself. The day started slowly, with scores of retired players stupidly standing around sports station studios looking at their blueberries every few seconds hoping to break a deal. As the deadline loomed ever so closely, trades began to flow like so much pre-game crude steroid mixtures, game-time blood and sweat, and post-game roofie cocktails at Skip ‘n’ Jacks Bar and Grill.
Obviously, there is nothing more we like doing than reporting non-music news on a music news site, so here are the biggest deadline day hockey moves according to TMT central dispatch. And because Canadians already have every deal memorized and Americans couldn't give a toss, we'll include news of a Hair Police tour too!.
- Los Angeles Kings deal D Brad Stuart to Detroit Red Wings for a 2nd round pick in 2008 and a 4th round pick in 2009.
- San Jose Sharks acquire D Brian Campbell from Buffalo Sabres for RW Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick in 2008.
- Atlanta Thrashers RWs Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis traded to Pittsburgh Penguins for RW Colby Armstrong, C Erik Christensen, C Angelo Esposito, and a 2008 1st round pick.
- Hair Police announce "Our Minds Problems" North American tour. New album The Empty Quarter out now on Harbinger Sound, coming soon on LP via Troubleman Unlimited. As-yet untitled album forthcoming on No Fun Productions. West Coast dates expected in July and August
03.06.08 - Lexington, KY - Buster's $
03.07.08 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Roboto Project #
03.08.08 - New York, NY - Club Midway %
03.09.08 - New Haven, CT - BAR w/ Sickness
03.10.08 - Providence, RI - Cat's Riot Hall/Hilarious Attic @
03.11.08 - Amherst, MA - Hampshire College Red Barn ^
03.12.08 - Boston, MA - Piano Craft Guild !
03.13.08 - Montréal, Quebec - Zoobizarre *
03.14.08 - Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's &
03.15.08 - Ann Arbor, MI - Halfway Inn (
$ Handicapper Horns, Caboladies, Wretched Worst
# Mike Tamburo, Slices, Cock Scene Investigator
% Kites, Carlos Giffoni, Halflings
^ Mirror/Dash, Paul Flaherty/Noise Nomads, Mouthus/Axolotl
@ Kites, Mudboy, Mouthus/Axolotl
! Heathen Shame, Craniopagus
* Yomul Yuk, Thames
( Dead Machines, Hive Mind
& Gastric Female Reflex, Disguises, Fossils
- Tampa Bay Lightning ship C Brad Richards and G Johan Holmqvist to Dallas Stars for G Mike Smith, LW Jussi Jokinen, C Jeff Halpern, and a 4th round pick at the 2009 entry draft.
- Montréal Canadiens trade G Cristobal Huet to Washington Capitals for 2nd round 2008 pick.
I need to confess something: I'm not old enough to write this story. If you read the headline, you know that Dr. Dre with Drinks Americas will be releasing some alcohol with his named slapped on it (which was also slapped on some headphones earlier this year). So, in an effort to do some TMT investigatory work, I decided to visit Drinks Americas' website. I was shocked at what I saw.
I don't know if you knew this, but If you were to find me on me on your favorite social networking site, you'd see that I'm only 19 years old. That's right, I'm not old enough to purchase alcoholic beverages without the assistance of my best friend's mom. (By the way, thanks Trish! Especially when you bought me that bottle of Absolut Raspberry in middle school, and I got alcohol poisoning.) So, you want to see what was so shocking when I visited the Drinks Americas website?
Yeah! I'm not 21, so how can I even write this story? Well, the truth is, I was forced to write the story by Mr "I'm a stupid idiot who dresses up as a robber and demands stories" P. Well I got news for you, Mr P: Fuck you, because the only substance of this story is this Dr. Dre quote, in which he tries to justify his branding by calling it a "challenge":
I’m always down for a new challenge. When Drinks Americas approached me about going into business with them, I knew there was a lot of competition out there but it was the same way when I started doing music. I’m going to put the best product out there, because that’s what I do.
There, story done. I dare you to assign me another, P.
Remember when we were kids? Neither do I! But I do remember a band called Wire, and -- thanks to a tip from TMT reader Jonathan (who for all we know could be Jonathan Richman!) -- it seems the band is "well advanced in recording and mixing its 11th (as yet untitled) album, due for release later this year," according to Wire's official website.
The album will be Wire's first full-length since 2003's Send and over 30 years since Pink Flag. Obviously, no one's heard the new record yet since it's not finished, but luckily someone at Maxim already reviewed it! Check it out:
Wire • Untitled New Album
The Black CrowesWire already sounded like grizzled classic rockers on their 1990debut. While it certainly was a neat trick for a bunch of twenty-somethings to pull off, it hasn't left Chris RobinsonColin Newman and the gang much room for growth. Now that they're legitimately grizzled, they sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces. --D.P.
Wire are also set to announce tourdates, their first shows since 2004. The tour, according to another post on their website, "will include European festivals during the summer season and a trip to North America in the autumn."
And all this because Jonathan wrote in and said "dudes wire is touring the us and europe this year and releasing a new album!" Can you feel the love?
Announced dates so far:
Recent analysis of the internet has revealed that internet radio's usual complement of five listeners (presumably all residents of Sealand) was supplemented by the addition of Jonathan Trevor, a 12-year-old boy from St. Louis. When asked why he chose to tune in to the internet rather than his usual terrestrial station, 105.7 The Point, Trevor cited "totally lame song selection" and "poor reception in the basement."
While he enjoyed the internet radio station, he also said he would likely "only listen to internet radio again if he had to," complaining that the sound quality "sucked on my weak-ass DSL." Jonathan's decision to listen last week increased listenership about 26%, according to FMQB.
This appears to be good news for internet radio stations such as indie favorite WOXY.com, who have been battling potentially crushing royalty rate increases that threaten to drive them out of the business.
The bad news, however, is that "AOL's Shoutcast took the biggest share of online listenership in 2007, with 48.8 percent of total listening hours, followed by Clear Channel Online, Yahoo! Music, AOL Radio Networks and Pandora." Not that corporate control of the internet is bad, right?
Man, what's with those ungrateful jazz musicians? It's like you give ‘em one lousy Grammy, and they start making all KINDS of outrageous demands!
"Listen to our records!" "Pay us the money you owe us contractually!" Sheeeesh, get a life, am I right?
Last week, more than a dozen of these finicky recording artists, including the estates of jazz legends Count Basie and Benny Goodman (whoever they are, right?), sued Universal Music, saying they had been "cheated out of more than $6 million in royalties since 1998." I mean, can you believe the arrogance?
Many of these "artists" (and I use the term loosely!) foolishly signed to labels that were later wisely and graciously bought by the sage-like Universal, and they had the gall to sue the world's largest music label for such trivialities as "breach of contract" and "breach of fiduciary duty," according to the lawsuit filed in New York State Court.
Universal, which is owned by the French company Vivendi, denied the allegations in a magnanimous statement while also making sure to stress the ease with which they will crush these ungrateful musical nobodies. "We believe that these claims are baseless, and we are confident that we will prevail in court," the company said.
The lawsuit alleges that Universal, which is required to submit at least biannual reports of sales and earnings for each artist, provided false information throughout the accounting period of May 1999 through February 2007.
According to this paper-thin suit, Universal has "systematically underpaid royalties" since 1998. These money grubbing scoundrels also allege that Universal failed to provide all of the records needed to calculate the losses... but don’t you believe this pack of liars, good people!
"Despite a relationship based on trust and manifold contractual obligations, and despite the fact that defendants realized an overwhelming windfall to both its finances and reputation as a result of this relationship, [Universal has] ‘utterly failed' to meet their obligations," the lawsuit continues. It then goes on to accuse little old Universal of engaging in "pervasive and systematic acts of using false statements" to conceal the complete earnings of the artists.
Other artists included in the lawsuit, (a.k.a. "scam"), either individually or through their estates, were Les Brown, Richard Hayman, Dick Hyman, Woody Herman, Kitty Kallen, Frankie Laine, Tony Martin, John Mills, Jerry Murad, Patti Page, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Sarah Vaughn.
Et tu, Sarah Vaughn?
Stay strong, Universal Music. TMT knows you didn't do it! Viva big business!!!
Whoever coined the advertising wet-dream “often imitated never duplicated” must still be royally profiting from his well-chosen words. In commercial terms, that cornball quip never gets stale, whether it is in reference to the latest Subway sub, the latest software package, or the latest self-glossing celebutante. If we use the term to describe the Primavera Sound Festival, it fits nicely. Where else can you sun your buns, drink stomach-pumping quantities of sangria, and witness acts like Animal Collective, Portishead (playing twice), Dinosaur Jr., Cat Power, Mission of Burma, AND Public Enemy performing It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back? Nowhere but Primavera, being held May 29-31, 2008 at the Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona (I haven’t checked out the lineup for Spain’s other gigantic gathering Benicassim yet, but if I am proven to be fibbing here, I will endure the standard TMT reader’s penance: the weeklong rectal lodging of 12 Keebler “Chips Deluxe” cookies.).
Here is the list of artistas confirmados which includes a number of “fucking” bands (Fuck Buttons, Holy Fuck, Rufus Fucking Wainwright), a bunch of Marys (The Mary Onettes, Mary Weiss, Mary Malkmus & The Jicks), and, representing both the young bucks and aging carcasses, all sorts of domestic and foreign of buffalo, caribou, dinosaur, cat, and vampire species:
808 State, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alan Braxe, Animal Collective, Apparat Band, DJ Assault, Atlas Sound, Autolux, Awesome Color, Bill Callahan, Bishop Allen, Bob Mould Band, Bon Iver, Boris, British Sea Power, Buffalo Tom, Caribou, Cat Power, Clipse, The Cribs, De La Soul, Deerhunter, Digital Mystikz, Dinosaur Jr., Dirty Projectors, Dr. Octagon (Kool Keith + Kutmasta Kurt), Edan & MC Dagha, El Guincho, Ellen Allien, Enon, Eric's Trip, Fanfarlo, The Felice Brothers, Fuck Buttons, DJ Funk, Gentle Music Men, The Go! Team, Grande-Marlaska, Health, Holy Fuck, Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, It's Not Not, Kavinsky, Kinski, Les Savy Fav, Lightspeed Champion, Madee, Man Man, The Mary Onettes, Mary Weiss, The Marzipan Man, Menomena, Messer Chups, Midnight Juggernauts, Mission Of Burma, Mixmaster Mike, Model 500, MV & EE with The Golden Road, Nick Lowe, No Age, The Notwist, Okkervil River, OM, Para One, Pissed Jeans, Polvo, Port O'Brien, Portishead, Prinzhorn Dance School, Public Enemy, Robert Hood, Rufus Wainwright, The Rumble Strips, Scout Niblett, Sebadoh, Shipping News, Silver Jews, Simian Mobile Disco, Six Organs Of Admittance, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Strange Death Of Liberal England, Subterranean Kids, Supermayer, Surkin, The Swell Season, Tachenko, Tarántula, Throbbing Gristle, Tiefschwarz, Times New Viking, Tindersticks, Träd Gräs och Stenar, Vampire Weekend, Vórtice, Voxtrot, White Williams, Why?, Young Marble Giants
Reviewing new music can be a bit of a task, especially if you have a whole pile of promos to sort through and you just don't give much of a rat's ass about most of them. But let's say there's a release that your publication has deemed relatively important, and by relatively important I mean SO important that a review MUST be included in the next issue, despite the fact that you haven't listened to it yet.
Luckily, if you work at Maxim, that doesn't even matter! The Black Crowes recently released a statement bashing the magazine for negatively reviewing their latest album, Warpaint, even though the writer had only heard the record's single, "Goodbye, Daughters of the Revolution." An e-mail conversation between madder'n'hell Crowes manager Pete Angelus and the Pulitzer-bound publication yielded the following explanation from Maxim's music editor:
Of course, we always prefer to (sic) hearing music, but sometimes there are big albums that we don’t want to ignore that aren’t available to hear, which is what happened with the Crowes. It’s either an educated guess preview or no coverage at all, so in this case we chose the former.
Seriously, they're that good. I might try my hand at this "educated guess" school of reporting. From now on, I'm not even going to attend the concerts I review. Instead, I will write an elaborate account of the stage-diving accident that left one concertgoer with a beer bottle permanently fused to the back of his head, as well as the legendary and inexplicable appearance of Tom Jones during the encore. Doesn't matter what show I'm talking about or if the concert ever happened; our readers have to be kept in the know. Even if we don't know. Right.
Here's the Maxim "review" in full:
The Black Crowes • Warpaint • Silver Arrow
The Black Crowes already sounded like grizzled classic rockers on their 1990 debut. While it certainly was a neat trick for a bunch of twenty-somethings to pull off, it hasn't left Chris Robinson and the gang much room for growth. Now that they're legitimately grizzled, they sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces. --D.P.