U2 Net $19 Million in Live Nation Shares with Touring Deal, Franchise Their Band, Train Regional Bonos

Live Nation, a.k.a. “the original Buy-it-Now people,” have already done a rather fine job of making Satan himself look more like Willy Loman through their recent ultra-savvy purchases of the, umm, entire careers of Madonna, Jay-Z, Nickelback, and Shakira. Now, their most recent acquisition, the illimitable U2, has just discovered (Merry Christmas, fellas!) that the 1.56 million shares of Live Nation that they are set to receive as part of their 12-year touring and merchandising contract with the concert promotions giant will amount to roughly... $19 million! The deal’s value was revealed in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission made last week. I’m not sure how many Arizona state joshua trees you could adopt and save with that kind of scratch (that is what U2’s thing is, right?), but I’m sure it’s a whole damn lot.

Unlike many of Live Nation’s other manifested destinies, the U2 deal, which was signed back in March, is not an all-encompasing 360-deal and only includes the band’s tours, merchandising, and official website. In other words, Bono and the boys will continue to release music through Universal Music and collect publishing through their blandly named U2 Ltd. company. Unfortunately, both parties will have to wait to see where the stock market roller coaster decides to crash-land before learning the actual value of their deal, but if history is any guide here, everyone involved will probably be rich enough to buy that roller coaster, fix it up, and sell more tickets.

Just to give you an idea, U2’s Vertigo tour in 2005-2007 made over $400 million in revenues and was the second highest grossing tour... of all time, so touring on a new album alone (which they plan to release in early ’09, by the way) should generate more than a billion dollars in grosses over the course of the contract. Can you say “new sunglasses”?

The Music Tapes Plans Caroling Tour… Yes, a CAROLING Tour

When the Music Tapes tour initially morphed into the Elephant Six Holiday Surprise Tour, I found the news a little bittersweet. As much as I love the E6 crew, I was really hoping for a "proper" Music Tapes tour since I'm so ridiculously obsessed with Julian Koster's latest Music Tapes album, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes (TMT Review). I HATE that I haven't seen The Music Tapes live yet.

Well, good things come to those who hate, as the lovable smurfs at Merge have just informed TMT of an upcoming Music Tapes tour! But it's far from a "proper" tour: Instead of having fans come out to see a show, Koster and the Singing Saws will be coming to the fans, caroling from house to house for three hours in each city of the tour. According to Koster, "I will carol Music Tapes songs, and the Saws will carol holiday songs for the hosts and [their] assembled guests. We will then move on to the next house."

Sounds far-fetched right? Of course it does! Obviously they won't be hitting just any ol' house, so Koster will be accepting invitations from you to play at your house (with the option of welcoming outside guests) from now up until the caroling night in your city. You can send invites by emailing musictapescaroling@gmail.com or sending a written invite here:

MUSIC TAPES CAROLING

c/o G. Stewart
175 Talmadge St. Apt 1

Athens, GA 30605

Preference will be given to written invites, as well as hosts willing to allow outside guests into their homes. Which means: if you're too shy to host a party for both your circle of friends or for people outside of your circle (pssh... yeah right, you just don't want people to know that your home consists solely of Martha Stewart furniture, loser!), you can always hit up a home welcoming outside guests. A list of these homes will be distributed via email (not published online) to anyone who wishes to attend.

This may all seem a bit confusing at first, but don't worry; The Music Tapes' official website will detail a "complete explanation of the workings of the tour and provide caroling information as the tour is under way." In the meantime, you can order Koster's The Singing Saw at Christmastime to get into the holiday spirit, and if you ain't got nuttin' going on tonight, set your GPS to Chicago's Bottom Lounge, as The E6 Holiday Surprise Tour will be starting up around 8 PM.

"Congratulations. Thank you!"

Initial Outline of The Music Tapes Caroling Tour (from 6:30-9:30 PM):

Karl Blau to Teach Home Recording Class

Damnit! Usually, living in New York gives me a leg up when it comes to super-special events in the music world. But right now, I’m feeling pretty out of the loop: the great Karl Blau, K Records’ multi-instrumentalist/producer extraordinaire, is set to school the unwashed masses in the fine art of home recording.

The class is called “Quality Home Recording: Creative, Fun, and Sonically Rich emphasis on stand alone audio recording multi-trackers.” Nice ring to it, right? For 15 smackers, Mr. Blau will be teaching anybody lucky enough to live near Anacortes, WA how to “achieve contrast in your recording” through:

- mic placement
- EQ
- strong levels
- other stuff, presumably

I’ve been pondering a move out to the Pacific-Northwest for awhile now, but this is the last straw. $15?! Karl Blau?! If you live near Anacortes and have even a cursory interest in recording, please sign up and then get yourself over to Department of Safety on Saturday November 1. Do it for me.

RIP: Rudy Ray Moore, “Godfather of Rap,” Dolemite Actor

From the LA Times:

Rudy Ray Moore, the self-proclaimed "Godfather of Rap" who influenced generations of rappers and comedians with his rhyming style, braggadocio and profanity-laced routines, has died. He was 81.

Moore, whose low-budget films were panned by critics in the 1970s but became cult classics decades later, died Sunday night in Toledo, Ohio, of complications from diabetes, his brother Gerald told the Associated Press.

Though he was little known to mainstream audiences, Moore had a significant effect on comedians and hip-hop artists.

"People think of black comedy and think of Eddie Murphy," rap artist Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew told the Miami Herald in 1997. "They don't realize [Moore] was the first, the biggest underground comedian of them all. I listened to him and patterned myself after him."

- Rudy Ray Moore official website
- Rudy Ray Moore Wikipedia entry
- Rudy Ray Moore IMDB entry
- Dolemite official website
- YouTube video: "Interview With The Great Rudy Ray Moore"
- YouTube video: "Rudy Ray Moore meets The Ubangis!"
- YouTube video: "The Badassery of Rudy Ray Moore"

A Very Ween Christmas: Limited-Edition Coloring Book and Live CD/DVD Combo in Time for the Holidays

Quirky experimental rockers Ween have announced releases catering to two important demographics in their following: longtime fans and people who like to color. As previously reported (TMT News), Chocodog Records, a label created by founding Ween members in 2001, plans to release a live CD and bonus DVD November 11. At the Cat's Cradle 1992 boasts 22 tracks performed at the Chapel Hill, NC venue back in December ’92, when Dean and Gene Wean were playing as a duo.

The tracklisting mostly consists of songs from GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and Pure Guava, but fans also get a chance to hear what "Buckingham Green" sounded like five years before The Mollusk came out. The accompanying bonus DVD contains clips of the band on their first tour of Holland, as well as clips of a show in Columbus, OH.

Ween's website suggests that the At the Cat's Cradle 1992 combo is a great gift for the Ween fan in your family, but not if you are a SUPER Ween fan like Thea Wolfe -- in which case, you can make your own Ween merchandise: After following Ween on their La Cucaracha tour, artist Wolfe created a coloring book as a fan-made gift. "The Ween Coloring Book was not made with the intention of being merchandise," Wolfe says on her website. "It was meant as a love letter and an elaborate expression of appreciation and gratitude to the greatest band on God's good earth."

But Wolfe's efforts have been rewarded nonetheless: Chocodog will be releasing the limited-edition book for sale as Ween merchandise in time for the holidays. The book is available for preview here.

Ween - At the Cat's Cradle 1992 CD tracklist:

The Good News: The Meat Puppets Are Touring! The Bad News: They’re Opening for Stone Temple Pilots

The Meat Puppets have always depended on the kindness of big-named strangers. On the unforgettable MTV Unplugged with Nirvana, the SST-alums were introduced to the teenybopping world looking like a pack of deadbeats who Kurt Cobain only put on the show to pay off a drug debt. Following their mainstream break, The Meat Puppets began the first of several tours opening for those elegant bachelors, Stone Temple Pilots, a tradition the ‘Pups will continue next week when they join STP on the last leg of their U.S. tour.

For five magical Midwestern nights, The Meat Puppets will perform in a series of oversized, acoustically unaccommodating venues for sweaty masses of social trainwrecks who will probably write-in Ron Paul this November. And then STP goes on stage! Blech! Luckily, in December The Meat Puppets will play two club shows in New York. That’s good news for all you city-slickin’ Big Appleites, but for all us Midwest rubes stuck in corn country, I guess we gotta get our Meat Puppet fix with STP in tow or not get it at all. Rats. I guess I’ll just prepare myself for an hour-long lecture from this guy about changing America’s currency system to the gold standard.

Wal-Mart Reverses Decision to Cut DRM Support, Wal-Mart Customers Continue to Not Know What That Means Exactly

Hey Mom! Just thought you and Dad might want to know what a good job I’ve been doing down here at Tiny Mix Tapes. Remember that story that I wrote the other week about Wal-Mart’s decision to ditch its DRM servers and screw all the people who purchased all these bugged tracks from Wal-Mart’s online store (TMT News)? You know, the one that riffed pretty darn cleverly on the economic crisis and all of that? Dad really liked it, remember? Well, anyway, you’ll never guess what happened! It looks like I’m a better reporter that I thought, because Wal-mart recently announced that they are reversing that decision and guaranteeing continued support of all of their DRM music! No, seriously, they are. You don’t even have to believe me, just check out this email that they sent out to music buyers:

What this means to you is that our existing service continues and there is no action required on your part. Our customer service team will continue to assist with DRM issues for protected windows media audio (WMA) files purchased from Walmart.com.

So yeah, all of those Reba McEntire and Josh Groban tracks that I helped you download onto your eMachine? They’re all good. Anyway, just thought you’d want to know. Tell Aunty Dianne that I said good luck recovering from that knee surgery.

Folk's busiest man M. Ward, who recently confirmed a sequel to She & Him's Volume One (with the über-adorable Zooey Deschanel), has also finally confirmed the details of his new solo album, which we wrote about not too long ago (TMT News). Titled Hold Time, the album is scheduled to drop on February 17, 2009, courtesy of Merge, and features guest performances by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa), and, of course, Zooey Deschanel.

Can't stand the wait? This old video of a Late Night with Conan O'Brien performance featuring M. Ward, Neko Case, and Jim James should tide you over.

Hold Time tracklist:

Meanwhile, we'll have to wait at least a year or two before we hear recordings from his songwriting super group with My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst.

Castanets To Embark on 17-Date Tour of the Electoral Map; Hannity & Colmes to Floss Teeth with Raposa’s Beard Hair

Having just released new album City of Refuge (TMT Review) on Asthmatic Kitty, Castanets are set to tour North America, so why, America is asking, are they avoiding swing states? The most prominent swing state on their tour itinerary is Ohio, while political analysts insist that the remainder of their tour would have little effect on the outcome of the election. It's an interesting strategy, considering the impending recession on the minds of swing voters, not to mention the rising cost of health care, job security, the housing market, nuclear power, clean coal technology, pork barrel legislation, Joe the Plumber, misuse of power, social security, special interests, tax cuts, tax breaks, tax increases, privatize, privatize, privatize, privatize, privatize, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH asd2w3oiu 12kj 241;k~!$!k k 2089skjfd@j3!!

Sigh.

Ray Raposa + Annie Palmer + Yoni Kifle:

* Paul Nelson

# Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Sebastien Grainger (ex-DFA 1979) Announces Debut Tourdates

Going solo when you’re used to playing in band can either be a freeing or anxiety-ridden experience. For Sebastien Grainger, the former drummer for Death From Above 1979, it appears to be the former rather than the latter. Branching away from his dance-punk background, Grainger’s debut album, Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains, is due tomorrow (October 21), and to celebrate, he’s embarking on his first solo tour ever. Take that, Jesse F. Keeler!