Last Thursday, editor Jay Babcock posted an announcement on Arthur Magazine's website, titled "Arthur Magazine needs $20,000 by July 1 or it will die." In it, he details the LA-based magazine's recent financial troubles, including poor ad sales, increased costs, "zero new backers," and more. Indeed, Arthur -- most famous for trumpeting the adventurous realms of the musical underground with writers like Byron Coley and Thurston Moore -- is still in ridiculous, credit-cards-maxed-out debt (created after Babcock saved the magazine from demise last year by purchasing publisher Laris Kreslins' half ownership).
But, in the TMT tradition of burying the lede, I'm happy to report some good news. Despite only having six days to reach its goal of $20,000, Arthur has already raised -- as of Monday morning -- $20,879 from 234 gracious "participants," thus essentially saving the magazine once again!
According to Babcock's post: "Our long-term prospects are good, if we are fortunate enough to make it through this rough patch." Apparently, the rough patch is over. But given the tightness of this situation, it definitely wouldn't hurt to donate more.
Will 2008 go down as the year that Sub Pop went rural? Sure, it has released a number of quieter folk-y/country-ish releases in the past, but this year alone we have been treated to Fleet Foxes, Grand Archives, and Sera Cahoone, not to mention the upcoming Blitzen Trapper LP. These bands sound like you might find them playing alone in a forest somewhere. Quite a change from the label's beginnings, with Green River, Nirvana, and The Fastbacks, don't you think? Yes, Sub Pop has also released Wolf Parade, Mudhoney, Kelly Stoltz, Foals, and Ruby Suns records this year, but just play along, okay?
Well, Hardly Art -- Sub Pop's sister label/subsidiary, started by SP founder Jonathan Poneman -- is not immune to this folk-ish outbreak, as it has just announced the upcoming release of a new LP by the duo of Jesse Lortz & Kimberly Morrison, a.k.a., The Dutchess & the Duke. Expect the presence of acoustic guitars, tambourines, the sound a beard makes touching a microphone, and vocal harmonies-galore on their debut LP, She's The Dutchess, He's the Duke , which you can purchase July 8. Continuing the familial feelings found at Sub Pop, the band is touring as the opener for the aforementioned Fleet Foxes. FF&D&D, fuckin' dynamite!
* Fleet Foxes
# Pink Reason
MTV to Start Accepting Political Ads… But More Importantly, There Are People Out There Who Refer to Diddy as “Poof Daddy”
I'm sorry, I don't know if I can write this story yet, because I'm still giggling like a moron. LOOK. Check out the first reader comment. Poof Daddy. Genius.
ANYWAY, political ads on MTV....
Here's an official statement from MTV Networks:
MTV Networks will accept political advertising that is national in scope, sponsored by a legally qualified candidate, a candidate's official campaign committee, a nationally recognized political party, or the official congressional campaign committee(s) of a nationally recognized party.
The change has been touted by various MTV execs as a great way for political candidates to reach youth voters, but since it will only be accepting ads from the two major political parties, I'll give you three guesses as to which presidential candidate will make better use of these new resources. Yes, even Democratic strategist Tad Devine agrees, saying, "I'm sure Obama's campaign will look seriously at advertising there, given his advantage with young people."
Let's do the math here. MTV Networks will only run political ads for the Democratic and Republican campaigns, and it's pretty much a given that Obama has the youth vote. However, the FCC states that political candidates must be given the opportunity to have equal airtime, which means McCain will probably have to come up with something for the Real World set. This is gonna be good. Republican Bikini Beach Party Jams! I see Mr P getting all hot and bothered already.
When they're not getting kicked out of rural liberal arts colleges, Toronto punkers Fucked Up have been working (no doubt ‘around the clock’) with Matador Records to prepare for the October 7 release of their forthcoming album, The Chemistry Of Common Life.
According to Matador's blog, FU guitarist "10,000 Marbles" describes the album's subject matter as “basically about rebirth and the Sun. And lightning.” Further, the album will showcase "10-15 guitar tracks on many songs, along with flutes, organs, and French horn." FURTHER, guests include Katie Stelmanis and the Vivian Girls on vocals and Max McCabe-Locos (from The Deadly Snakes) on organ.
Keep updated with Fucked Up in all its random glory at band blog, Looking for Gold. Interested parties can even download a full copy of the band's new disc (the very one repped above) here.... PSYCH! It'll be at least a month before you can download the leak of that.
* Sled Island Festival
SOHH, a site Rolling Stone labeled "the best overall hip-hip site," was invaded this morning by a "notorious hacking group." The site was plastered with Nazi images and racist, misogynist headlines. Street Knowledge has posted screenshots of the hacked website, and has also included an e-mail about the hackers from an anonymous reader. Here are some notable excerpts:
- "The details surrounding the cause of this attack is
sketchy at the moment, but it has also been reported that other rival
Hip-Hop sites such as World Star Hip-Hop, Dat Piff, and All Hip-Hop
were under siege by the hackers as well."
- "The attack was coordinated by the hackers in retaliation due to the taunting from several members in SOHH’s JBO (Just Buggin’ Out) forum, which is designed for general discussion. The attack begain with simple spamming and defacing of the website with grotesque pictures and derogatory terms, assuming this was enough for SOHH’s forums until members continued to provoke them."
I personally noticed something was fishy when my RSS reader was feeding titles like "Urgent News!!!!," "50 Cent marries a watermelon," and "OH LAWDY I BE USIN DEM INSTANETS BOSS!" After checking out what the deal was, my browser went crazy, popping up multiple windows and flashing pornographic images.
SOHH seems to be down at the moment, and I don't recommend you checking it out for yourself. I still can't get the elderly-couple-having-anal-sex images out of my head. What a way to start a Friday!
If you have a young child or are just some freak who still enjoys McDonald's Happy Meals, you may remember back in April when the fast food chain decided to promote American Idol by coming out with a series of toys that were each based on a different music genre. Collect ’em all: Disco Dave, Country Clay, Rockin’ Riley, Soulful Selma, and New Wave Nigel.
Wait... scratch that last one, as Devo are claiming that New Wave Nigel is a complete ripoff of their image. Nigel comes outfitted with an orange jumpsuit, pink sunglasses, and a hat that looks suspiciously like Devo’s famous “energy dome” hat. Hmm, sounds questionable, indeed!
Apparently, the toy also plays a “Devo-esque” song too. Devo bass player, Gerald Casale, had the following to say about the band’s position on the matter:
We are in the midst of suing them. This New Wave Nigel doll that they've created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it's copyrighted and trademarked. They didn't ask us anything. Plus, we don't like McDonald's, and we don't like American Idol, so we're doubly offended.
Oslo, Norway's Øyafestival may be one of the smartest summer bashes ever. Every festival I've attended in the great outdoors has the exact same ending: drunk people stumbling around in a sea of discarded plastic cups and other concert paraphernalia. Not so in Oslo. Øyafestival actually pays its patrons for the trash they pick up, as well as promotes a 100% eco-friendly mindset, extending even to the food served during the show. Sure, you can say your fest's earth-friendly, but how many festivals actually receive government certification backing that up? Øyafestival's got it. Here's the proverbial cherry on top: before the festival even starts, 30 different venues in the Oslo city center will put on shows featuring over 100 acts, and they're all free for festival ticket-holders. Lolla-what? Pitchfork who?
Oh, right. The lineup. It SUCKS! It's awful. That's what you sacrifice for such idyllic surroundings. I mean, who wants to see My Bloody Valentine anymore? We get it! You reunited! Bo-ring. Sonic Youth are always a total snooze; Girl Talk just has a secret boner for Britney Spears; N.E.R.D. are soooo 2004; and Sigur Rós are just totally out of place. At least there are four open-air stages, so you won't have to do all of your yawning in one place.
Here's the Big Lebowski:
My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, N.E.R.D., Sigur Rós, Clipse, Girl Talk, Jose Gonzales, Grinderman, Turbonegro (performing Apocalypse Dudes), Mayhem, Dirty Pretty Things, Health, Holy Fuck, Iron & Wine, Isis, Cut Copy, Mogwai, Lars Horntvedt w/KORK, Kid Sister & A-Trak, Notwist, Konono No 1, The Field, Jamie Lidell, Lightspeed Champion, Lykke Li, Diplo, Ida Maria, Yeasayer, The Mae Shi, The Sonics, Kaizers Orchestra, Mayhem, Buraka Som Sistema, The National, No Age, Okkervil River, The Sword, Sunn O))), Dark Meat, The Dodos, Fleet Foxes, Ane Brun, Silje Nes, Supersilent w/ Molvaer, Janelle Monáe, The Night Marchers, Dengue Fever, Booka Shade, The Presets, Kitsune Label Night, Boys Noize Label Night, Pilooski, Coliseum, The Urges, Strip Steve, Les Petit Pilous, A Place To Bury Strangers, Håkan Hellström, El Guincho, The Disciplines, Original Silence, Grand Archives, Whitest Boy Alive, Mental Overdrive, Don Juan Dracula, Nissenmondai, The Death Set, Claude VonStroke, Andrew Weatherall, LA Riots, and Best Fwends
Plus some acts from the Norwegian motherland: Raga Rockers / / Animal Alpha / Casiokids / diskJokke Band / We / Grand Island / El Cuero / Elephant9 / Gerilja / Roger Græsberg & The Anti-Music Bonanza / Thom Hell / Howl / Ingrid Olava / Kung Fu Girls / Lama / Master Piece Of Cake / Moddi / Pirate Love / Sigh & Explode / Tommy Tokyo & Starving For My Gravy / Truls & The Trees + just announced: Lukestar / Haust / Stella Mwangi / Rumble In Rhodos / Ingeborg Selnes / Bjørn Torske / Bonk / Bungalow Ranchstyle / Caddy / Le Corbeau / Like Rats From A Sinking Ship / Magnus Hænglse / Mattias Tellez / Now We've Got Members / Ost & Kjex / Rockettothesky / Shining / Nils Bech / Maribel / Nomber 5s / Hiawata! / Pow Pow
More info on Øyafestival here.
Andy Yorke, the younger brother of Thom Yorke, is set to release his debut solo album, Simple, on Aktiv, coinciding with a live appearance at London's 229. The album features contributions from Nigel Powell and Jason Moulster, both former Unbelievable Truth members (Andy Yorke's first band), who will also join Yorke onstage to perform the songs at the release show and throughout a European tour in the fall.
Unbelievable Truth's last album was released in 2000 on indie label Shifty Disco (after being dropped by Virgin), but the band has since reunited a couple times for one-off shows, as recently as last year. So why is the album filed under Andy Yorke and not Unbelievable Truth? More importantly, is the band better than On a Friday?
Simple comes out July 14 in the UK. Check out some Andy Yorke songs at Last.fm -- I know you're dying to.
Beatles May Be Featured in Future Rock Band or Guitar Hero Game; I’m Not That Stoked, But I Know A Lot of Other People Probably Are
According to The Financial Times, The Beatles' representatives recently met with Activision (Guitar Hero) and MTV Games (Rock Band) about the possibility of creating a Beatles-themed game.
See, I'm a young buck, a 19-year-old asshole who will never appreciate The Beatles as much as you do. I moderately enjoyed Across the Universe [Editor's note: Scout says the songs on the Across the Universe soundtrack are better than the original versions -- what an idiot.], and I most certainly do not have any Beatles in my music collection [Editor's note: When I asked Scout if he liked Sgt. Pepper's, he said "I like them in fajitas."] But for those of you who enjoy both music-simulation video games and Magical Mystery Tour, this may very well be exciting news to you.
So when should you expect to play some fab four on clunky plastic instruments? We'll let you know once more info is revealed.
Okay, picture this, reader: So, you're Billy Corgan (I know, gross, right?), and you’re down in the dumps. For starters, your manager has just vetoed your awesome idea of changing the spelling of the word “Billy” to include three #1s (Yeah, like “B#1#1#1Y.” Pretty rad, pretty rad!). But more importantly, you’ve recently realized that your "band" (uh, such as it is) -- in addition to having become a hideous self-portrait long distorted from its supernatural absorption of 17+ years of baby-genius fits, forced moans, bad trench coats, unwarranted forays into electronic music, and unapologetically barbarous feasting upon the fresh egos of fellow bandmates -- is saddled with a 1991-era band name in a 2008 world!
Every day you wake up and monologue to yourself (and to the biographer that you've hired to follow you around all day): "god DAMN ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ is a lame band name! If only I could somehow, I don’t know, turn back the hands of time... if only, instead of finally moving on with my life and my music, I could actually transport the whole world back to a time when the name ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ seemed cool and relevant!"
Well, good news, Billy. Now you can.
The solution? Why, you'd simply pull a Liz Phair and immediately make plans to re-release your band's 1991 debut album Gish as a box set later on in 2008. And just to one-up Phair, you'd probably just release it complete with plenty of pre-Gish material from the late-’80s, not only to give the public a sense that 1991 is actually pretty "futuristic," but also so that fans can finally hear the awkward, growing stages of your brain-child and finally understand just how large and imposing of a shadow you actually cast over Alternative/Rock! Ah, you can actually feel your hair growing back as I speak...
But how to spread the word about your re-ushering-in of the 1990s? Well, I suppose the easiest way would be to just get on your website and post a little enigmatic non-post. You know, just enough to get the online publications writing cheeky stories about it in the days and weeks that follow. Something kinda like this:
Does anyone else smell that in the air? Oh yeah, that's Gish!
SP.com has another small byte of information for you regarding your favorite first Smashing Pumpkins album: plans are currently underway that will lead to the eventual release of a pre-Gish/Gish box set!
What is to be included on here, no one knows for sure but it should be noted that its release is expected to coincide with the Gish tour sometime in 2008...
Expect more information as it becomes available.
And boom! Just like that, you're back in business, Billy. Ahh, safe and warm back in the early ’90s where violence toward the plant kingdom was as hip and popular as... well, as some other band besides yours is today! It's a wonder what a little sickeningly desperate nostalgia appropriation can do, isn't it? And look, you even get to tour on this shit, too! It's gonna feel great when you're paying like 83Â¢ a gallon for that sweet, sweet 1990s gas!
Oh, yeah, "but what about D'arcy and James," you ask? Hey. Don't worry about them, dear reader. After all, you're supposed to be Billy Corgan, remember?