Chicago’s Heroes On the Road: Wilco Expands Tour

Straying away, but not that far away from 2002’s Yankee Foxtrot Hotel and 2004’s A Ghost Is Born, Wilco has teamed up with Nels Cline -- one of Rolling Stone’s top 20 New Guitar Gods -- for their latest album, Sky Blue Sky (TMT Review), which was released last year. In support, Wilco has been hitting the road hard and are continuing to ride highways until they run out of highways to ride, adding the ever popular Lollapolooza that will have them playing alongside the likes of Thom Yorke and Nine Inch Nails.

And you know what? Tweedy lives in my neighborhood. Actually that’s just a rumor, but I’m pretty sure, like 85% sure, he lives in my neighborhood. And if that’s true, he probably lives in my neighborhood for the same reasons I do: it’s quiet and away from all the skinny hipster kids, but not so far that, when we both want to pretend we are skinny hipster kids, we can slip into our Levi’s and take the train on down to hipster park.

But I do know this for a fact: Tweedy babysat this one boy I knew from a class I took downtown Chicago one summer, ages ago. And I know this for a fact, too: Tweedy is a cool and sweet guy.

The boys are out expanding that yellow brick road, so they never ever have to leave the Land of Oz:

Akron/Family Love Pot, Hate Hitler, Tour

You know something? I know a lot of idiot stoners who are usually psyched (uh, such as they can be) whenever April 20 comes around. And this year, with the "high holiday" actually falling on the same day as the actual High Holiday (a.k.a. Passover), well... goodnight, right? Puns and innuendo are rampant. Or at least, they WOULD be, except that "rampant" just isn't really a lazy enough word to describe anything about these particular folks, save perhaps for the fervor with which they tend to seek-out and destroy their foliage of choice.

Also, no one I know is Jewish either, so...

But of all the cockamamie plans and schemes to commemorate 4/20 that I've been privy to recently, I have to say that none of them even come close to the ambitious plans set forth by New York freak-folk plant-lovers Akron/Family.

They're not skipping community college photography class and having some friends over to their mom and step dads' basements. They're not clearing their schedule to watch Alice in Wonderland together. They're not even organizing a Sublime listening-party (well, maybe they are at some point, I guess)!

Nope, Akron/Family is surprising us all by doing something completely astounding, utterly crazy, and irrevocably mind-blowing: They're going to WORK.

That's right, the communal quartet is outdoing every hippie in the ambition department by going for the gusto and launching a whole series of spring and summer tourdates on 4/20. Over the course of their odyssey, they'll hit both coasts, a few Midwest dates, a UK festival, and even Spain, all while their fanbase doesn't leave the garage!

Just imagine: while you and all of your dirty, hippie friends are working hard at doing nothing in a collective nod to international laziness, some of the dirtiest hippies of all will be working hard at hauling cases and consulting roadmaps! While you are eating brownies, they'll be popping No-Doz! While you are burning leaves and talking about Mother Earth, they'll be burning gasoline and strangling her senseless!

Whoa, can you believe it? I mean, what does all of this MEAN to your belief system, man? I mean, if a clan of oft-bearded, tree-hugging, chant-loving troubadours is getting their shit together like this and punching the clock on this sacred holiday, then maybe that means that you... should... maybe... think about...

...naw. Fuck it.

$ Vetiver

Liquid Liquid Get Shiny New Retrospective from Domino Records

Seminal New York quartet Liquid Liquid formed in 1980, put out a few releases on the ultra-cool 99 Records, and then disbanded in 1983. But not before they made a totally lasting impact on the music landscape of today -- mostly through the Melle Mel song "White Lines (Don't Do It)," which uses the bassline from a Liquid Liquid song to make one of the funkiest jams to ever dissuade impressionable youth from doing cocaine. And now the no-wave/mutant disco band is getting the old reissue treatment! In a Botox-free surgical procedure, Domino Records has found a way to reinvigorate three classic EPs from the band, as well as the requisite unreleased tracks and live recordings that will make people who already own the original stuff shell out the $$$ for the CD version. They're calling the retrospective Slip In And Out of Phenomenon -- I call it a GUARANTEED DANCE PARTY.

Tracklisting galore!

Sea Wolf to Tour North America Van-Surfing With His Friend “Styles” – Oh Shit, Sorry, That’s Teen Wolf

It may seem counterintuitive for someone named Sea Wolf to be traveling throughout the good ol' U.S. of A. and parts above and in between (read: Canada and Missouri) in a chartered bus when he could be traversing over water crouched on all fours, scavenging for morsels off raw leg-bones while marking his territory along the way. But we would be the last to tell pack leader Alex Brown Church what to do. With the Dangerbird-issued gem Leaves in the River behind him, Church and his collected abetters will continue to promote the guts out of it onstage with a long string of dates beginning mid-May.

This tour is the first headliner for Sea Wolf, who has/have previously played with Nada Surf and Silversun Pickups, but it is all part of an elaborate scheme for world domination: first opening slots, then a headline tour, then acquiring a speed dial list of celebrity heroes like Kim Kardashian and the “Half” from Two and a Half Men. I love it when a plan comes together

05.17.08 - Tucson, AZ - Plush #
05.19.08 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue #
05.20.08 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater #
05.22.08 - St. Louis, MO - The Bluebird #
05.23.08 - Nashville, TN - Exit In #
05.24.08 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 #
05.25.08 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel #
05.27.08 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge #
05.28.08 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge #
05.29.08 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star #
05.30.08 - Boston, MA - Paradise #
05.31.08 - Quebec City, Quebec - Le Cercle #
06.01.08 - Montreal, Quebec - Le Divan Orange #
06.03.08 - Toronto, Ontario - El Mocambo #
06.04.08 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theater #
06.05.08 - Chicago, IL - Schubas #
06.06.08 - Minneaplois, MN - 7th Street Entry #
06.07.08 - Winnipeg, Manitoba - Parkway Theatre #
06.09.08 - Calgary, Alberta - The Republik #
06.10.08 - Edmonton, Alberta - Velvet Underground #
06.12.08 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Media Club #
06.13.08 - Victoria, British Columbia - Lucky Bar #
06.14.08 - Seattle, WA - High Dive #
06.15.08 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge #
06.17.08 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent #
06.19.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex #
06.20.08 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah #

# The Jealous Girlfriends

Still here? Well, we would be remiss to not mention that Sea Wolf has contributed the exclusive “Song of the Magpie” to an Augusten Burroughs audio book. A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father will be available April 29 and features Burroughs' reading alongside songs by Sea Wolf, Patti Smith (with daughter Jesse), Ingrid Michaelson, and Tegan (sans Sara).

TMT Poetry Corner: 90% of Amazon MP3 Store Users Have Never Purchased Music From iTunes

Amazon's MP3 Store is Growing at an Alarming Rate

Will Amazon Seal Apple's Fate?
90% of Amazon MP3 Customers Never Used the iTunes Music Store

Thats Impressive, Considering this Nation Is an iPod Whore

NPD Group are to Credit For This Study

Such An Incredible Indication That Steve Jobs is Not Everyone's Buddy

Amazon is Second and iTunes Is Still Number One

With Such Competition, Everyone Can Have Fun

Such Good News

No More Record Industry Blues

Oh No, What's This?

Here Are Some Details We Can't Dismiss:

Digital Purchases Are Up, But Piracy Is Still on the Rise

DRM is Dead and The RIAA Tells Us More Lies

What Will Happen in the End?

Will The Pirates or The RIAA Ever Bend?

TMT Interviews Brian Wilson For This News Story

Mango Starr: Hey man! I'm Mango from Tiny Mix Tapes, an online dating/music magazine.

Brian Wilson: Dude, I know you! I'm a big fan of your writing. That one story you did on Death Cab? Brilliant.

Mango Starr: Thanks, thanks. I'm really excited for this interview. Your publicist says I only have 10 minutes though...

Brian Wilson: Ha, yeah, sorry. As they say where I come from, "Less do dis!"

Mango Starr: Okay, so tell me about grapes.

Brian Wilson: Well, grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green and pink. However, "white" grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the red grape.

Mango Starr: Interesting. Go on, please!

Brian Wilson: Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins which are responsible for the color of red grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in red grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.

Mango Starr: What about seedless grapes?

Brian Wilson: Seedlessness is a highly desirable subjective quality in table grape selection, and seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction. It is, however, an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques.

Mango Starr: Wow, that's crazy. I'd like to be a grape breeder someday.

Brian Wilson: Hahaha! Whatever, dude...

Mango Starr: What do you mean?

Brian Wilson: Well, being a grape breeder takes a lot of work. It's not like writing a silly news story. It takes "real" work, you know?

Mango Starr: Ahh, I could see that...

Brian Wilson: Anyhoo, I have to bust. Sorry to end this early. But I'm assuming you're publishing this as a "news story," so it's probably already too long.

Mango Starr: Good point. Anyway, you have my number!

Brian Wilson: Indeed! Expect a ring-a-ding soon!

Tourdates (via BrooklynVegan):

Bollywood Film Producer to Pay 20 Million Rupees for Music-Copyright Infringement; Producer to Composer: “It’s A Secret To Everybody”

Okay, I'll be honest. When the mail room kid brought me this scandalous story, I was a little disheartened. Oh, Bollywood! I always thought that you were the place where magic lived and dreams were made! Who knew that, beneath your multi-colored, escapist veil of deliciously illogical song and dance routines, you could be such a corrupted place? Come on, readers! Am I the only one who is outraged??

Alas, one of the last vestiges of our noble humanity has crumbled. In what is apparently being called a "landmark judgment," a Bollywood filmmaker has been ordered to pay 20 million rupees (that's $5 million U.S. dollars) to renowned(?) jingle composer Ram Sampath in a music-copyright infringement case.

Following an April 10 hearing, the Bombay High Court ruled that Mumbai-based Bollywood filmmaker/swindler Rakesh Roshan's film production company Filmkraft must pay Sampath, who claimed that two tracks and two remixes (don't ask) from Rochan's latest and presumably greatest film, uh... titled Krazzy 4... were lifted from a jingle that he had composed last year for the Sony Ericsson company. That's krazzy!

Justice did prevail, however, as Judge D. G. Karnik ruled that Rakesh and his sneaky composer/brother, Rajesh Roshan (who composed the Krazzy 4 soundtrack), were "guilty of copyright violations and plagiarism." The judge also added, classily, that "to my untrained ear, the music (in the two works) appeared to be similar." Soooo krazzy!!

Anyway, the court initially passed a thing called a "stay order" to block the film's release until the disputed songs were removed, but, well, Bollywood simply could not wait for Krazzy 4, so that order was quickly overturned after Filmkraft agreed to pay the cuckolded composer damages and give "due credit" to Sampath, as per the initial legal notice that he filed on March 24, just after the Krazzy 4 soundtrack was released. Hella krazzy!!! Bollywood, I mourn for thee...

Now, who's in for going to see this thing with me? The fourth movie is always the best, you know.

No Age Tour: Best Mother’s Day Present Ever or Opportunity to Get Really Shitfaced? If the Answer is “Both,” You Win an Incredibly Awkward Morning After

Mssrs. Spunt and Randall are going on tour in Europe, and their stop at ATP is conveniently timed on May 11 for maximum family-bonding. Awww. So if your mom likes fuzzed-out punk beats, ditch the flowers and take her out to hang with the cool kids. Nothing says “I love you” like accidentally hitting the woman who brought you into this world in the face with your arms flailing around.

But if you’re one of those people who just don’t “get” No Age, you should treat this tour differently. Although we here at TMT voted Weirdo Rippers one of our favorite albums of 2007, not everyone feels the same way. Not to fear, though! A couple months ago, I was checkin’ up on the band’s page and saw the following note in their comment box:

“I didn’t get this band until I was drunk and puked up in my room to it.”

I can verify that being drunk and listening to No Age is pretty awesome. You, dear reader, already know from our Shitfaced Newsathon that some of us (not all) here at TMT condone ingestion of liquor, so why not take this fellow’s advice and cover your own beloved carpet in vomit!? If it’s for the excellent cause of liking good music, the cleaning bill should be worth it.