Best Buy Continues to Mysteriously Cater to Music Nerds and Professionals, Introduces Musical Instruments and Gear to Stores
Best Buy, the largest consumer electronic retailer in the country, is unveiling a plan to create music centers in dozens of outlets nationwide. This move, already in effect in California, Illinois, and Minnesota, will outfit 85 stores with over 1,000 different products ranging from drums to turntables to guitar picks. "We're trying to create an authentic and genuine musical instrument store look and feel inside of Best Buy," says Best Buy VP of musical instruments Kevin Balon. The "store within a store" locations are aimed at all consumers, from amateurs to professionals.
Not only does the announcement leave Best Buy poised to become the second-largest instrument seller in the U.S., it also comes on the heels of the company's decisions to reintroduce vinyl to its music racks (TMT News) and to start selling albums from local and unsigned musicians (TMT News). If you've begin to suspect that Best Buy corporate leadership is overrun by music nerds, you may just be right: according to the Star Tribune, Best Buy's CEO, Brad Anderson, attributed the vinyl decision to the fact that "we've got an executive here who's basically responding to his own children" and added that he, "as an old vinyl collector," saw that decision as "close to his] heart." With the local music and instrument announcements following on the heels of this quote, it seems Best Buy may continue to test the indie culture waters. What's next, a record label? A Best Buy-curated [ATP? An acquisition of Tiny Mix Tapes? Stay tuned.
Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Animal Collective
5. They put the Strawberry Jam (TMT Review) on my toast.
4. I went to an AC party a long time ago, and Avey was a great host.
3. They are from Baltimore, MD, which is on Chesapeake Bay's western coast.
2. They leave Paw Tracks on my roast.
1. But this is why I love them the most:
And you thought Radiohead were green. Kurt Weisman, who recently released the critically-acclaimed-by-us Spiritual Sci-Fi (TMT Review), is about to head out on tour with his bud Rob Roy (a.k.a. Horaflora) on bikes! They're calling it the "Cycledelic (Music) Trip," and you can find on-the-road updates at their blog.
They're looking for help to fill out shows in late August/early September, so give a hand if you can. Since they're playing at "Marika's House" and "145 South Street" on this tour, something tells me they won't refuse many gigs. Meanwhile, check out Kurt Weisman's Spiritual Sci-Fi on Important Records, and then absorb yourself in the amazing sounds of Horaflora. Do other stuff, too.
$ Tumble Cat Poof Poofy Poof
& MV/EE and Travis Laplante
# Chris Weisman and Sheena Charland
Are you out of high school? Will you be soon? Unemployed or under-employed? Are you looking for a job that will offer you a real future, room to grow, world-travel, paid-vacations, early retirement, and more???
Then you should consider a career in the fast-paced (literally) world of booze-fueled, Bush-hating Punk-Rawk! With Punk Rawk, you'll have a career that you can really live with. But don't take my word for it... just listen to this totally unrehearsed testimonial from one of our most successful (i.e., most booze-fueled), middle-aged clients:
Yeah... ummm, we started NOFX on a whim back in 1983 after seeing a late-night infomercial for Punk Rawk. We thought, "what the hey?" you know? And here we are 25 years later, all past the age of 40, still touring the world with that same drumbeat in every song. No one has ever caught on! As a matter of fact, we just wrapped up a tour of Germany, Luxembourg, and Canada where we doubled our profit margins by turning the whole tour into a TV series for the Fuse Network, and now we're heading back to the U.S. for another round of shows in support of our most-recent live album (Yes, we've done more than one! That's how great our careers have been!), They've Actually Gotten Worse Live, currently out via our own label, Fat Wreck Chords! Life is unbelievable, and we're hammered all the time. And we owe it all to 25 years in the Punk-Rawk business. Oh wait, excuse me, my beer bong is ready for me... -- Fat Mike, NOFX
Well, there you have it, young job-seekers. Don't wait another second! Pick up the phone and start your own 25+ year career in the fabulous field of Punk Rawk today!
Here's that number one more time:
Jim O'Rourke, who has worked with everyone from Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse With Wound, Fennesz, Organum, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, Joanna Newsom, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, U.S. Maple, Takehisa Kosugi, Merce Cunningham, Werner Herzog, Olivier Assayas, Shinji Aoyama, Koji Wakamatsu, Chris Corsano, Weasel Walter, Kevin Drumm, The New Blockaders, Glenn Kotche, Carlos Giffoni, Akira Sakata, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Lonberg-Holm, K.K. Null, John Oswald, Mari Kimura, Eddie Prévost, Alan Licht, Andrew Chalk, Christoph Heemann, Thymme Jones, Darin Gray, Dylan Posa, Carolyn Faber, David Grubbs, John McEntire, Phil Knight, and Edward Ka-Spel to Otomo Yoshihide, is set to issue another long-lost album via Streamline Records, with help from Drag City.
Titled long night, the double album was recorded nearly 20 years ago and lasts for more than two-and-a-half hours! The best part? IT'S A DRONE. The album follows a string of recent releases that have been recovered from O'Rourke's early days, including 6 Oscillators 87/Guitar 88, Mizu No Nai Umi, and “Oscillators and Guitars” (from a split with Thomas Ankersmit). It also comes on the heels of the Drag City reissues of Tamper (TMT Review) and Osorezan.
long night is set for release August 19. Expect to hear it pumping in dance clubs across the nation.
WMG Stock Climbs 34% in 2008; Becomes the Year’s Best Performing Media Stock; Party at Seal’s House!
Warner Music Group, loving home to Ryan Cabrera
, Tangerine Dream, and every wonderful thing in between, has won a tremendous PR feather in their big conglomerate cap. According to the New York Post, WMG stock has soared 34% year-to-date with their share price currently valued $8.13. Yeah, it’s still not that high, but after facing a record low $4.36 per share on January 9, WMG did the dance called the bootstrap and now sits on top of the corporate pile as the best performing media stock of 2008 (so far)! Bully to you, WMG!
Nevertheless, WMG’s current listing is a far cry from its starting value of $29.48 when the company went public in 2005. Plus, since the stock was already so low at the beginning of the year, any minuscule improvement was bound to kick their percentage way up in comparison to their corporate homeboys. That doesn’t matter much, though, since the stock of every company in WMG’s peer group has tanked since January 1. Google fell 31%, the always charming News Corporation dropped 32%, and CBS is down 37%. So even though WMG didn’t gain that much ground, at least it can pat itself on the back for not sinking further into the current economic whirlpool.
But the whole inflated percentage thing did allow WMG to pass up the super strong nerd stocks of Marvel and Activision Blizzard, both of which saw 25% gains in their stock value, sailing each company’s price-per-share into the mid-30s. But screw them. Nerds don’t count. Let WMG have their day in the sun. Just this once.
Max Tundra Tours with Hot Chip, And Boy Do I Love Max Tundra (In Unrelated News, Broken Social Scene Are Not Releasing a New Album Anytime Soon)
Mastered By Guy at The Exchange is a perfect summer album. I've been recommending it to friends every summer since its release in 2002, and I'm still constantly listening to the album, which is a bit surprising seeing as though I'm a pretentious snob. Example: My mom asked me the other day if I wanted to do some karaoke and sing "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams. I was, like, "What are you dumb or something?? Bryan Adams sucks ass. His shit's so contrived!! Can't you see through the transparency of that innocuous buildup before the outro? USE YOUR EARS, MOM."
Anyway, Max Tundra (a.k.a. Ben Jacobs) has been hunkered away, working on his third album for years now. Back in 2006, he said that a new LP "might happen as early as this year," but added: "then again, what's the rush?" His MySpace's mini-biography makes another ridiculously false claim: "Max Tundra has been working on his third album for Domino. The work continues to this day, with a possible release date of spring 2008." But, of course, spring has passed and guest what? No new album.
But fuck it, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the new album is done and it's being released October 7. I have nothing (really, nothing) but my gut instincts to go off from, but October 7 would be a great date, as it would coincide nicely with his upcoming UK tour with Hot Chip. So, while there's no solid release date (aside from the one I made up), at least he's getting out there!
^ Hot Chip
$ Juana Molina
I guess when you’re a “rolling stone,” it’s pretty implicit that you just can’t stay in one place, isn’t it? Especially after 40-odd years, I would imagine that your band is probably more or less obligated to clean off some of that gathering moss and start living up to that name that you picked back when you were a heady 20-year-old who hated... well, people like you.
With that in mind, Mick Jagger and co. have decided to do the most reckless thing that a pack of rebels in their 60s can still do and leave their GIANT-ASS CORPORATE RECORD LABEL for another GIANT-ASS CORPORATE RECORD LABEL for the possibility of making even more money! Hey, there’s nothing more reckless than trying to fatten up your pension checks, right?
In a roughly $15 million deal that includes four decades of their catalogue, the Stones are up-and-leavin’ EMI for the hotter, younger, blonder Universal Music. “Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people,” the band’s management stated in a presumed swipe at EMI boss Guy Hands’ clutches. The new deal entails that Sir Mick and the boys will switch all their albums since 1971’s Sticky Fingers to the rival label from EMI, to whom the Stones first signed back in 1977.
The Stones’ back-catalogue (including the likes of Black and Blue and Exile on Main Street) currently generates about $3 million a year, but Universal believes it can squeeze a little juice out of these withered old turnips, indicating recently that it plans to re-release each of the band’s classic albums individually at some point in the near future. Further, since Universal also currently controls The Stones’ ’60s output in Britain (released through the Decca label), the deal will unify the band’s entire recorded collection (at least in the UK) under a single, “universal” banner (get it?). Meanwhile, poor old EMI wished the Stones well but couldn’t resist a swipe of its own at the notion of diminishing returns on such an aging band, saying in a statement that “EMI Music will only ever conclude mutually beneficial agreements with its artists.”
The Stones’ decision is the latest in a hilariously embarrassing series of clashes between major artists and Mr. Hands, after his company took over the struggling label last year for Â£2.1 billion, which include disgusted walk-outs by the likes of Radiohead and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). Jagger and crew’s Universal deal will last for five years, sources say, which, since they have at least one foot in the grave already, should be just long enough to allow those familiar artist sentiments of “I’d rather die than work for Guy Hands” to come true.
You have $5. Now, you could go to Burger King and buy a BK Value Meal. (YUM.) You could get a set of 12 rolls of party streamers. (FUN.) Or you could get a novelty shot glass. (NICE!) But you won't, because The Walkmen have just announced that they are exclusively teaming with AmieStreet.comÂ® to sell their new album, You & Me, for a measly $5! (WOWOWOWOOWOOWOW!!) And it's on sale now. Never mind that you've already downloaded the leaked version; the album's proceeds will go to benefit cancer research and treatment.
This early release is part of AmieStreet.com's Download To Make A Difference campaign. “All donations go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in honor of Luca Vasallo, a friend to the band and a current patient who is seven months old and doing a great job fighting a very difficult disease,” said Peter Bauer of The Walkmen. “This is a very good organization that certainly deserves the attention.”
August 12-16 marks the dates of the 5th Annual Athens Pop Fest in Athens, Georgia, presented by HHBTM Records. Headlining this year's festival are Roky Erickson & The Explosives (pictured), Boyracer, and The Music Tapes, the project of Neutral Milk Hotel's Julian Koster. This will be The Music Tapes' first performance since 2000, and will also precede the release of Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes by a few days (TMT News).
Other performers at Athens Pop Fest 2008 include Cryptacize, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Ruby Isle, Dark Meat, Dead Confederate, We Versus The Shark, Spring Tigers, Bunnygrunt, Nana Grizol, The Apes, The Coathangers, The Buddy System, My Teenage Stride, and Ham1.
Held at five different venues and featuring over 80 bands, you can attend the fest for a cool $60 for a 5-day pass, while individual day passes are available for August 14-16. You can also buy tickets at the door of the venues. If you live in Athens, you can get your pass from Wuxtry Records (probably from Mr. HHBTM himself); otherwise, do the credit card thing at the official website, where you will also find a full schedule for the entire event, hotel information, and other stuff.