Global warming be damned; most of us at this point are freezing our asses off and concur that it's a good idea to head south for the winter-like geese. Besides, it's nearly time for the 2008 Sydney Festival! You're not excited only because you don't understand. The scoop: 50+ events* over the course of 3 weeks, held annually every January since 1976. That's like the... well, I can't think of any event of that scope or scale in the States. Epic-proportion props to the Aussies. Look for the following acts half naked on the beach by day and rocking the fest by night (see website for full enumeration and ticket information):
- Andrew Bird - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden Jan 6-8
- Spank Rock - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 6
- De La Soul - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 8
- Pink Martini - Riverside Theatres - Jan 8
- Brian Wilson - State Theatre, Jan 9
- Bonde Do Role - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 10
- Girl Talk - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 10
- Sufjan Stevens w/ My Brightest Diamond - State Theatre - Jan 12-14
- Tunng - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden, Jan 13-15
- Low - Samsung Mobile Festival Garden, Jan 17-19
- Busdriver - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 18
- Kimmo Pohjonen - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Jan 18
- Mice Parade - Samsung Mobile Festival - Jan 20-22
- The National w/ Clogs - City Recital Hall Angel Place, Jan 22-23
- Battles - Beck's Festival Bar, Jan 23
- Björk - Sydney Opera House, Jan 23 (SOLD OUT)
- Joanna Newsom with the Sydney Symphony - Sydney Opera House Jan 25-26
The fun begins January 5.
*events in the stimulating forms of music, dance, circus (?!), drama, visual arts, and public lectures.
Okay, I admit it. I never actually listened to Young Galaxy until after choosing to write this story. I'm glad I did though, because I really dig them, and you can too. Now you're probably wondering why then I chose to write about Canada's pop couple in the first place, right? Well, simply because of the word "galaxy," as in... Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii! I know, I know -- we're a music webzine, but god damn if I didn't want to say that Super Mario Galaxy is an incredible video game. Is it wrong of me to use a Young Galaxy story to let the world know how much I love Super Mario Galaxy? I mean, some might say that Young Galaxy is an incredible band and that the tunes on their self-titled Arts&Crafts release sound "spacey," and you know... Mario gets pretty "spacey" in this game since he's flying through space while shaking his little Italian plumber ass. That's something, right? Besides, if Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless of Young Galaxy don't like Super Mario Galaxy, then they aren't worth your money nor your time anyway. However, I would bet my Wii, a pack of gum, and my Grandma's delicious leftover Thanksgiving stuffing that Young Galaxy loves or would love Super Mario Galaxy, so assuming my woman's intuition is right, you should totally go see them at these dates:
William and Jim Reid’s 12 Step Program On How To Put Aside Differences And Reunite Your Amazing Band:
1. Stop drinking.
2. And while you’re at it, lay off the drugs too.
3. Play Coachella and get attention by having a famous actress sing onstage with you.
4. Admit that you have differences, or as William Reid said to Billboard: “We're both aware that we could snap at each other, but we're trying to hold it together. We love this band, and we love each other.” Aw, how touching!
5-12. No, seriously, stop drinking!
All fictional rehab programs aside, Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis could certainly learn a thing or two from the brothers Reid. According to Billboard, the Reid bros are currently narrowing down a list of new songs to choose 12 or so for their new record. The untitled album is due for release in late spring/early summer 2008.
JAMC manager, Kevin Oberlin, is also working with Rhino Records to release a four-disc boxed set of demos, alternate takes, and rare acoustic versions, due out in March 2008.
Bruce Springsteen to Tour; Americans Love Glorified Poverty, Cars, and Sex; You to Probably Make Fun of ‘The Boss’ But to Similarly Love Cars and Sex, Me to Tell You to Live Your Life, Find Chicks
Oh hey you, my special ‘n’ fresh li’l bucket of indie love! Being the astute little music worm you are, you’re most likely scratching your head wondering what newsworthy value coverage of Bruce Springsteen has.
So I’ll tell you.
Most likely, you love making fun of sophomoric metaphor (i.e., Wrap your legs ‘round these velvet rims/ And strap your hands across my engines...).
But you probably really, seriously, honestly love cars and sex.
What’s so wrong about Brucey being so obvious, baby?
Get with the times*, gents. Chicks dig The Boss.
By the people, for the people, mmmmmmmm. One nation, under God, with liberty, and crappy ripped jeans for all.
Point is, Bruce Springsteen, once back from an upcoming tour in Europe and the UK, has announced North American tourdates with the E-Street Band come February.
Maybe if you went to these dates you’d reach self-actualization or something.
Cars. Sex. Seriously.
This January and February, Arcade Fire will play Australia/New Zealand's Big Day Out festival along with Rage Against the Machine, Björk, LCD Soundsystem, Dizzee Rascal, Battles, Spoon, and many others. Sounds like a great lineup; too bad it's in Australia. If you're not planning a New Year's trip down under, don't fret; Arcade Fire have also scheduled three headlining dates in February! So you could catch one of those... if you live in Japan.
If you are still reading, g'day and konnichiwa. Enjoy the shows.
If you are still reading and you are not Japanese or Australlian, I feel bad for you. And to make up for your lack of North American Arcade Fire shows, I have put together this very special mix tape culled from songs on their MySpace friends' pages. Enjoy.
Title: "What Arcade Fire's MySpace Friends Are Listening To"
01. Big Casino - Jimmy Eat World (from Tom... isn't your picture enough to let people know you're a dork)
02. The Host of Seraphim - Dead Can Dance (from CeLeSTTiaNi)
03. My Final Fantasy - Robert Phoenix UK (from Rob From The UK, who is a 38-year-old DJ)
04. Song Has Been - Deleted By The Artist (from Shaun Park)
05. The Crave - Jelly Roll Morton (from Humble B. Wonderful who tells the world to "cram it, sucko")
06. Starting Line - Ingrid and Andrew (from Poonarific)
01. Drivin' Me Wild - Common (from Michelle, who would like to meet Angelina Jolie and Ryan Gosling)
02. I Want to Live - Silver Seas (from Christin, whose mood was hopeful at press time)
03. Remedy - Hot Water Music (from Mr. James T. Norman, Esquire, who believes "Sometimes you have to roll a hard six")
04. An Ending Ascents - Brian Eno (from Daniel, who actually lives in Australia and might be able to tell us how those Arcade Fire shows were)
05. Caravan - Husky Rescue (from han, who has 286 friends)
06. Main Titles - John Ottman (from zenbetty; Superman theme song... well played, zenbetty)
And the dates:
$ Big Day Out festival
Being a blog buzz band is so hard these days, from the pressure to constantly perform and deliver an amazing set, to the bloggers hanging on your every action, to the obsessive fans illegally sharing your music on message boards. Yeah, life is certainly rough when you’re an up-and-coming artist.
Thankfully, Vernon has got a good head on his shoulders, because his buzz doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. And if Vernon needs any tips on how to deal with the hype, he can surely ask touring mate, Elvis Perkins, who has received his own fair share of critical acclaim over the past year.
For Emma, Forever Touring:
& Elvis Perkins
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream to Ironically Miss Out On All Holiday Parties, Tour in Support of Live DVD
I'm going to be honest. I've always kind of hated the State of Ohio. Maybe it's just that I haven't given it a chance, but I've had really bad travel experiences there. I've gotten lost; I've had rough nights crammed in a dorm room there; I've had car trouble there -- you name it. Besides, who do they think they are having like five major cities, anyway? Texas??? I don't think so. Either way, everything about the place is kind of tainted for me. Even the music.
But luckily for Youngstown, Ohio-based, cheesy-electro-pop duo Gil Mantera's Party Dream, I have a good story. And it has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the State of Ohio...
Dateline 2006: It was a cold January evening in Champaign, IL. My then-band had booked a show at the Cowboy Monkey, a relatively unassuming but notable rock club on the good ol' Urbana/Champaign circuit. We were eager to give it our best shot, even though it was a Tuesday night. Feeling relatively good because we'd been gigging around that town for awhile, I remember feeling fairly confident that we'd get the place comfortably full and maintain our reputation in town. And besides, we weren't even the headliners that night. Instead, it was a curious band from Ohio that called itself Gil Mantera's Party Dream. Surely they would lend a hand filling the joint. I mean, that's just how it works, right?
Wrong. No one came.
We wrapped our doomed little set and settled in for drinks and cigarettes at one of the tall bar tables, wondering who the fuck this Gil Mantera character was and grumbling that he hadn't packed in the patrons that his headlining spot promised, when two of the drunken ne’er-do-wells who had been sitting at the bar all night rose, donned cowboy hats and panchos, and took to the stage, announcing themselves as Gil Mantera and Ultimate Donny and explaining that this was the first night of a lengthy tour and that, upon realizing that no one was really coming out to their inauspicious tour kick-off for their newest record called Bloodsongs on the Audio Eagle label, they had decided to just get drunk and play some of their favorite songs instead.
And with those remarks (as well as a few choice others), hilarity ensued as those two rubes from Youngstown, Ohio proceeded to stumble about the stage, bicker non-stop with one another between songs about which one of them was really the "talented one," serenade us all with goofy new electro-pop cuts like "Elmo's Wish," strip to their underwear, cover halves of Billy Joel songs, demand more drinks from the bar into the mics, and argue with various members of the audience (i.e., us) about their favorite Van Damme movies. (We thought that Bloodsport was the clear-cut #1. Gil Mantera's Party Dream disagreed.) It ended up being one of the coolest, most memorable shows I've ever been to, despite the fact that I ended up seeing much more near-nudity than I'd bargained for.
There. Now, if that ringing endorsement doesn't make you want to run to your nearest DVD emporium on February 5, 2008 to purchase a copy of the forthcoming comedy-of-errors-documenting live DVD, Gil Mantera's Party Dream: Live Video Archive (Volume 1), which apparently contains most-assuredly outlandish and hilarious footage of two shows (a 2004 set at Chicago's Fireside Bowl and a 2006 show at Chicago's Empty Bottle), then I don't know what will.
Oh, and, uh, just in case you were hoping to see them in person instead, there's a whole mess of live dates coming up this holiday season too. They'll even have copies of the DVD on tour, which will also be on sale for a limited time at their online store. Yeah, some of the tourdates are in Ohio, but it's okay, you can go anyway. But if you DO see those guys, tell them Bloodsport rules.
Dates on which you CAN'T schedule the office x-mas party:
Not long after releasing this year's Year Zero album, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails decided to release a remix album on November 20. However, this isn't a traditional remix album, as it contains all of the multi-track master recording files on a DVD so that fans can remix any of the songs on their computers using Ableton Live or Garage Band. That's right, Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (in all its leetspeak glory) is a remix album that encourages fans to upload their remixes to the internet. Reznor writes in the news section of nin.com that he felt obligated to create an official hub where fans could upload and share their creations with him and other fans, so he created remix.nin.com. So why is it currently shut down? According to Reznor, Universal shut down the site due to legal issues involving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Universal's current legal battle with YouTube and MySpace. The legal battle involves users uploading content owned by Universal and the inability of YouTube and MySpace to screen all of the user-uploaded content.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act lays down the law about how internet copyright infringement should be handled, but we won't get into any of the details. But I will explain the DMCA's safe harbor provisions using Mr P and I as an example.
First, assume that YouTube has nothing against porn, and let's say that Mr P and I make a porno that we upload to YouTube. In this video, we're humping and groaning to "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi. (My favorite part is when Mr P shouts, "How did you know I've always wanted to bone to this song!") Due to the overwhelming response to P's large pixelated cock, the video blows the fuck up, and Mr P and I are self-made internet porn stars. End of story right? Wrong. A Universal pervert stumbles upon our video one night while the wife is asleep. He notices we're laying each other to Bon Jovi's rawk and zips up his jeans, runs to the phone, and calls one of his higher-ups. With Bon Jovi being a Universal artist, YouTube receives a DMCA take-down notice and YouTube is forced to remove the video.
In this case, no one gets sued. However, it's virtually impossible for YouTube to take down every video that is flagged as copyright infringement. The safe harbor basically only applies if you take down every video that infringes on copyright. YouTube is obviously failing to meet these expectations and is being sued by Universal, which ties this all back to why Universal decided to take down the official Nine Inch Nails remix site. If fans were to mash-up and/or include samples from artists that aren't Universal, then Universal would come across as hypocritical, as they are currently in a legal battle to stop this sort of thing from happening already.
No word yet if the official remix site will ever be up and running again, but since the internet is still a free medium, net-savvy fans have already created their own remix site at ninremixes.com.
I love you, internet.
According to Billboard, My Bloody Valentine plan to self-release their long-awaited follow-up to Loveless as a digital download. This is pretty interesting because NO BAND TO MY KNOWLEDGE HAS EVER DONE THIS BEFORE.
"At the moment, all I can say is that Kevin is getting the band back together and they will go into the studio next month to work on the new record," says their manager Vinita Joshi. "The plan is that they will release the album themselves via the Internet, but there will also probably be a vinyl release."
Joshi also noted that the band will unlikely do the pay-what-you-want model. Not sure what he's referring to, but all I know is that NO BAND AT LEAST IN RECENT MEMORY HAS EVER DONE THIS BEE-FOUR.
Meanwhile, the Loveless lineup of Kevin Shields, Bilinda Butcher, Debbie Googe, and Colm O'Ciosoig will be touring the UK in 2008. Expect more dates as soon as I book them. Yeah, I book shows. What? Wanna fight about it?
Has there ever been a celebration of the great failure that is Moby, such as the TMT first and last annual MobyRama? Probably not, but as innovators with a slow news day, we're willing to take a chance on a more in-depth-than-usual look at the 46-year-old, nasally hipster who is rarely more than the butt of our jokes -- like this one:
Q: How many Mobys does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Trick question. Moby and his whole discography sucks.
Alright, alright, so we've heard that one before, but I bet you weren't aware of the following fun facts about Moby:
- Herman Melville was his great-great-great-great uncle, thus his nickname from birth as Moby.
- Moby plans to grace God with his presence, having agreed to pay $207,000 to become the first pop star to travel into space on the VSS Enterprise spaceship in 2010.
- At the time of its release, Moby held the record for fastest song ever -- "Thousand" reached 1015 BMP and appeared on Rare: The Collected B-Sides 1989-1993.
Unfortunately, presenting these facts to my associates seems to have had little to no effect on their impression of Moby, as a few rounds of free-word association still garnered a list with the recurring adjectives of bald headed man-child, vegan, techno, lame, and Gwen Stephani...
Dear readers, give him a chance. Moby is more than all this, and in an effort to illuminate it, I've turned to numerology. With the knowledge that Moby was born on September 11, 1965, I took the liberty of converting those digits into a sum that corresponds to the Life Path number of 5. This is, of course, a number associated with a highly progressive mindset and with those who look to improve upon the world around them. They are adventurous, compassionate, and freedom-loving individuals, and if there's one thing Moby's music has proven to embody release after release, it's freedom. I'm not making this shit up.
If I was truly interested, I would research the significance of 15 -- the number of tracks to appear on his sixth album Last Night, to be released March 10, 2008. Reported to be fraught with danceable tunes, Last Night will feature guest appearances by Sugar Hill Gang's MC Grandmaster Caz, Sylvia from Kodu, MC Aynlzi, and the 419 Crew. As stated by Moby in a somewhat elementary manner on his exhaustively updated personal blog, "My favorite guest is the rapper on 'I love to move in here.' His name is Grandmaster Caz, and he was one of the writers of 'Rappers Delight.' He's been rapping since 1975, and I'm really happy to have him on the record."
Had me, lost me, cue-ball!