Pinback To Once Again Mercilessly and Ferociously Pillage and Plunder The West Coast Into Terrified Submission

Had a weird night recently, after being up for two days straight and just getting back into town off the Greyhound, addressing the consequences of indie rock on one's personal mythology and the psychological ramifications of Web 2.0. It could be said to have begun after spending over an hour on Facebook before going to bed. Nodding off, laptop open on my crotch, I began to dream; somehow, I'd managed to add Rob Crow and Armisted Burwell Smith the Third's marginally successful side project to my friend list on Facebook, like one of those old friends not spoken to in ages, expecting to resume a cherished friendship only to be endlessly assaulted by status updates of their design on my home page. Before waking up in a fetal position covered in cold sweat, I very well could have experienced the following:

PINBACK is back in Encinitas.

PINBACK is watching Darkstar.

PINBACK is not 3 Mile Pilot.

PINBACK is DEVO

PINBACK is playing Star Control.

PINBACK is wishing someone remembered his birthday.

PINBACK is playing at the Che, but don't tell anyone.

PINBACK is hotboxing the new recording studio.

PINBACK is meticulously assembling tour-only EPs in the garage.

PINBACK is breaking into your spaceship and stabbing you in the heart to keep you from flying a gigantic bomb into the sun.

PINBACK is watching Darkstar.

PINBACK is touring the West Coast again.

Waking up suddenly in this panicked yet trance-like state, I must have somehow been compelled to etch the following dates into my chest with an old, broken Star Wars figurine:

Mike Patton Makes Weird Sounds in Upcoming Film I Am Legend, And Will Smith Just Goes, “Yo home to Bel Air”

Patton fans everywhere united over the lameness of being able to play "Epic" by Faith No More in the video game Rock Band. The fun train doesn't stop there, though, as Patton has recorded his sensual voice for the video games The Darkness and Portal. Oh, but there is more. Just listen closely to the next advertisement that you see on TV for the Will Smith film, I Am Legend:

Sound of explosions

People screaming

Someone shouts "I'm not infected!"

Words scroll on screen: "The Last Man on Earth Is Not Alone"

Sounds of growling

Will Smith is sleeping in a bathtub with and AK-47 and his dog,
completely naked.

He opens one eye when he hears another growling sound

He jumps up and sees Mike Patton perched on the toilet.

Will Smith says, "Holy shit, it's Mike Patton!"

Patton leaps from the toilet and speaks like Gollem.

"Hey, I thought you didn't curse?" says Patton.

Smith retorts, "Only in music. I can say whatever the fuck I want in
my movies."

"Oh, well this is awkward."

"Yeah... I thought I was the last man on Earth."

Gollem-Patton shrugs his shoulders, "I guess not."

Action montage ensues with "Midlife Crisis" playing

Quick shots of explosions and shootouts with poor-quality CGI looking
creatures

A quick flash of the image of "Xenu" as placed in the film reel by
Mr. Smith himself

The trailer ends with the title flashing on the screen

Smith and Patton are beat boxing to "Summertime" on a beach

Fades to black

So, that is that. Mike Patton is a busy man, and I blatantly discriminated Will Smith for being a scientologist. But nobody cares. And I should clarify that Patton won't really be seen in the film, only heard -- making sounds is what he does best/gets paid for. Anyway, I Am Legend is based on a novel of the same name, but if the film were about me, I would have Lance Bass play me. I would also have the main character meet up with a random girl from middle school. You know, the girl who said, "I would never be with you, even if we were the last two people on earth." Ha, the joke will be on her, because Lance Bass is not "into the ladies." Goodbye world!

You Buy CD + Computer = Ripped MP3 File = Illegal = RIAA Mathematics

As Bill Murray said in Where The Buffalo Roam, "I'm going to gnaw on his skull, because it just hasn't gotten weird enough for me." Mr. S. Thompson, many of your words are still hauntingly relevant when it comes to this crazy little thing called the music industry.

Not content to just sue plain old illegal file-sharing thieves for downloading shitty, moderate-quality MP3 rips of groundbreaking artists like Maroon 5, it seems the RIAA wants to clamp down on those who convert their own CDs into digital formats.

A few months back, 26 year old Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG's anti-piracy lawyer, was quoted as saying that making a copy of a song you purchased is like "steal[ing] just one copy." After all, "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we [could] say he stole a song," right?

Now the RIAA has gone on record in an Arizona court involving Atlantic Records stating a similar sentiment. According to Wired, the defendant in the Atlantic v. Howell case "converted Plaintiff's recordings into the compressed ‘.mp3’ format and they are in his shared folder; they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs." So much for fair use, apparently.

Except that in a 2005 case, the record companies indicated that it is ‘lawful’ to ‘rip’ a CD into MP3 files to put onto your own iPod or other music player. It seems that within the two years, some ‘adjustments’ have been made to the industry's approach to protecting their intellectual property.

It is understandable that the record companies would want to set up some defenses; after all, music sales are their bread and butter. However, going to such an extent as to indicate that making a personal copy of a song is ‘stealing’ is a generalization of absurdist proportions. It's intriguing that the same lawyer who made this claim in October also admitted that the labels' anti-piracy lawsuits are costing the company "millions" of dollars.

The irony doesn't even stop there; the RIAA's website even indicates that there is "no legal ‘right’ to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However, burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer hard drive or your portable music player, won't usually raise concerns." Creating a convoluted twist of mixed, vague messages isn't a great way to establish faith in your product, by the way.

The sad question that I have to ask is who is benefiting from this twisted approach to such a positive product? It's not the artists, it's not the journalists covering them, or the publicity workers, or even the listeners. If the lawsuits are costing the industry millions, then it's not even benefiting the labels themselves. I'm not feeling very mathematic right now, so you do the math; I'll go gnaw on a skull until this whole thing just calmly blows over. Because it just hasn't gotten weird enough for me.

Beastie Boys Radio Is Back Again… Today!

Remember that Beastie Boys internet radio show I told you about (TMT News)? I know I said it was happening every Tuesday, but it turns out it’s happening whenever the Beastie Boys feel like it. In fact, the next show is today (Wednesday), 4-6 PM EST. Listen to this one, because I’m not gonna keep warning you. This show’s theme is “freaky,” so don’t listen with your mom in the room.

Here you go: http://www.littleradio.com

The U.S. Finally Gets Hey Willpower’s LP; No Procrastination Jokes In This Article

In any article about San Francisco’s Hey Willpower, there are myriad opportunities to make a cheap joke about how the band overcame an obstacle or stopped procrastinating to do something (because, get it, their name is Hey Willpower... funny). But I’m not going to do that, no. I am better than that.

I’m going to make cheap jokes about their album.

It’s been out for awhile overseas, but January 22, the band’s full-length debut, P.D.A., will hit U.S. record stores’ displays. Hey Willpower feel very affectionate toward this new version, which features a different tracklist, new artwork, and a cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s track, "Heart It Races." Commenting on an announced but no-dates-yet tour, the band’s own Will Schwartz gave this public statement:

Hey Willpower feels like something new and postmodern without being smug or ironic. When we're performing live and people are doin' their dances and making noise, we know it's right. Dance is becoming a big part of our live show. I'm good with the chin scratchers and musicologists and philosophers too, but sometimes you have to let the emotions take over. Let's dance now and we can talk about it later if you want.

Sounds like the LP’s going to display some rockin’ dance tunes, Will. I’m sure the public will feel -- oh god, I can’t do this anymore. This LP sounds pretty sweet, people, so go check them out instead of sitting here groaning at my lame jokes.

P.D.A. US Tracklist:

Wilco Map Spring Jaunt, Plan Complete Recitation Of Entire Wilco Catalog

It appears Jeff Tweedy and entourage have decided to unclutter their closets for the New Year with the recent announcement of February's residency at Chicago's famed Riviera Theatre. Entitled "Wilco Winter Residency 2008" the five shows will run February 15, 16, and 18-20. The shows, which boast no supporting band, will delve deep into the Wilco back catalog and will include a "one-of-a-kind" setlist each night.

In the past, Tweedy has been hesitant to play older material seeing as that a majority of it was written when Wilco was a very different band with very different members (exhibit A: Sam Jones' essential 2002 film, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart), but it appears he's mentally and physically prepared this time around. It's also probably no coincidence that the band dipped into early material for their recent November run, including the fantastic "Too Far Apart" off 1995's A.M. (Sire/Reprise).

The boyishly handsome sextet has also announced a busy spring fling set to begin February 22 in Cleveland, OH and concluding March 26 in Brisbane, AU, with a two-night stand March 4-5 at Tipitina's in New Orleans somewhere in the middle.

Explosions in the Sky Confirm Huge Tour, Add Even More Acts (Animal Collective, Ghostface, Jens Lekman) to ATP 2008

Explosions in the Sky will curate 2008's All Tomorrow's Parties Festival. The Texas post-rockers confirmed in October that they would be playing with acts like Broken Social Scene, Iron and Wine, Dinosaur Jr, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and Adem.

The past couple weeks brought more names to the festival's roster, including Animal Collective, Ghostface Killah, Polvo, Four Tet, Silver Jews, and Jens Lekman. Temporary Residence labelmates Eluvium, Mono, and Lazarus are also scheduled to play. According to the band's website, roughly 20 more bands will be added to the roster over the coming months.

The festival will be held May 16-18 at Minehead's Butlins Holiday Park in the UK (what is it about Minehead's Butlins that screams PAR-TAY?). Tickets are available at the ATP website.

And without further ado, here are the dates for their 2008 tour.

The Department of Justice Says $9,250 Per Song in a RIAA Lawsuit is A-OK by Them

Back in October, 30-year-old Jammie Thomas was sued by the RIAA for allegedly sharing songs over the P2P network, Kazaa. The total was $222,000 for supposedly downloading and sharing 24 specific RIAA songs (TMT News). The RIAA picked the perfect target, as Jammie Thomas is a single mother with an annual income of $33,000. Even funnier, neither a hard drive containing the files nor evidence that would link Jammie's Kazaa account with the music was ever presented on trial to the Minnesota jury of 12. Yet the jury fell for jury instruction 15, which told the jurors that simply "making available" the files was enough justification.

After the Minnesota court ruled in favor of the RIAA -- this was the first time the RIAA has won in courts against music piracy -- the case was taken to the U.S. Department of Justice to question the constitutionality of the ruling. Many lawyers and experts on the matter believed it would have been shot down as unconstitutional, since suing someone for sharing 24 songs for $222,000 can be viewed as excessive. Sadly, they were wrong. As ruled by the Department of Justice, it turns out that suing a single mother for seven times her annual income is "constitutional."

Standing assistant attorney general of Minnesota Jeffrey Bucholtz agreed with the ruling, stating that the $222,000 is not only for compensation, but acts as a "deterrent" to scare file-sharers.

A ruling like this is a terrible blow to the supporters of file-sharing, and it could only mean negative things for anyone else who has or will be targeted in the RIAA's righteous quest for compensation.

If you'd like to show your support for the victim in this case, Jammie Thomas, you can go to freejammie.com.

Sole and The Skyrider Band Tour, Instill Fear Over Dystopia, Insert Predictably Overused Philip K. Dick Reference Here

Since by Sole’s logic, “Stupid Things Implode on Themselves.” one can only predict that by the close of 2007, there will be no more:

(1) Crocs

(2) Drinkable, liquid yogurt

(3) Bret Michaels

(4) Michael B., Pizza Delivery Guy, Warwick, RI

(5) Shoddy loan-sharking companies taking advantage of the lower middle class

(6) Animated penguin movies

(7) Article about crocs; drinkable, liquid yogurt; Bret Michaels; Michael B., Pizza Delivery Guy, Warwick, RI; shoddy loan-sharking companies taking advantage of the lower middle class; or animated penguin movies.

It’s going to be such a mess of imploded stuff, reader baby. Drink your yogurt smoothie while you still can.

SOMETHING THAT WILL NOT IMPLODE:

Sole and The Skyrider Band’s Itchy-Sticky-Good tourdates:

* Telephone Jim Jesus

# The Apes

Mexican Musicians Increasingly Targeted For Violence

Jose Luis Aquino, trumpet player for Los Conde (a popular group from
Oaxaca), was found dead last Thursday with his hands and feet bound
and a bag over his head, marking the third murder of a Mexican
musician in less than a week. The other victims were Sergio Gomez,
former resident of Chicago and lead singer of K-Paz de la Sierra and
Zayda Pena of Zayda and the Guilty Ones -- both popular mainstream
singers who received posthumous Grammy nominations for "Best Banda
Album" on the same day as the discovery of Aquino's body.

Violence against Mexican musicians has been a problem in the recent
past, but most victims have been performers of "narcocorridos," or
drug ballads, and have thus had ties to organized crime and
drug-trafficking. None of the latest victims appear to have any of the
same connections, which is leaving authorities puzzled as to possible
motives -- though in Aquino's case, a "crime of passion" is suspected.

  

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