In Negativland, your little brother gets a migraine during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but doesn't tell you, just waits until he gets home and cries to mom in thin, high, back-of-the-throat noises with his back arched against the couch cushions. Also in Negativland, your boss wears tie-dye shirts with brown fake-leather belts and tells stories that aren't true about punching holes through the walls of his office. In Negativland, you get to the bottom of a huge bowl of couscous and find a tiny, delicate, dead baby ant. In Negativland, you feel kind of sorry for it and also want to hurl. In Negativland, you are close to people you do not want to be close to and are far from people you do not want to be far from. Also in Negativland, there are lots of places spelled wrong for fun, like the Drugstor and the Movi Theatr and the Emergencie Rume.
If you like these sorts of things, then you will probably love visiting or even living in Negativland. Train tickets are wildly overpriced but worth it if you fall asleep reading the first part of a torn-apart copy of Newsweek and wake up hours later to discover that a large man in a Hawaiian shirt has been drinking a beer and watching you sleep.
P.S. In Negativland, your girlfriend writes a news story for you because you are too lazy and/or drug-addled to move.
I've never been able to get a line from John Vanderslice's "Exodus Damage" out of my head. Actually, it's not even the whole line, it's a word. The time of day, of all things, to be specific. It's burned in my memory, and I've often wondered if it was there because of what he says or how he says it. It could be because of both, I suppose, but I feel that it oscillates depending on my mood.
It's not from the version off Pixel Revolt; it's from a live version posted on his website. He says it loud and with force, with confidence. It sticks out; it floats above the rest of the line, and all that's left are these giant numbers written in dirty snow in red Helvetica. Yes, September 11 is there, the images of it are unavoidable, but it's how he says it. It's enunciated, it's slow, it's loud. It feels innocent, that he's speaking to a foreigner for the first time, that he thinks if you speak slow enough and loud enough, they'll understand.
Airplanes, too. He talks of airplanes, but those feel subverted, underneath the emblazoned red numbers. For some reason, they all seem to be going to California. Not L.A. or San Francisco, but Sacramento. The Sacramento of Joan Didion, too, a fading city. They're all leaving from the airport that's near my house, the first day planes started flying again after the disaster. The day when everyone stopped and looked up. The day we watched them move slowly and loudly across the sky.
I don't know if that's the effect John Vanderslice wanted, but that's really the best part. It reminds us that songs, intended for everyone, become ours and no one else's. It reminds us that there is value not just in the sum of parts, but the nuance of the parts themselves. John Vanderslice is touring starting on September 6 in Los Angeles, the Sacramento of the South. Go to hear everything, or a line, or just a word, but it will all be worth it
07.28.07 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
09.06.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
09.07.07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
09.08.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified
09.09.07 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
09.11.07 - Austin, TX - The Parish
09.12.07 - Norman, OK - The Opolis
09.14.07 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
09.15.07 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
09.17.07 - Orlando, FL - The Social
09.18.07 - St Augustine, FL - Café Eleven
09.19.07 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
09.20.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
09.21.07 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
09.24.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09.26.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.27.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
09.28.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
10.01.07 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
10.02.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
10.03.07 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop at Coventry Yard
10.04.07 - Athens, OH - Baker Theater
10.05.07 - Bloomington, IN - John Waldron Arts Center
10.06.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.09.07 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
10.11.07 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
10.13.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
10.15.07 - Vancouver, BC - The Red Room
10.18.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
10.20.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Cat Power, Feist Will Touch You And Maybe Each Other For The Hottest State; Thousands of Pale, Skinny Boys Experience The Ultimate Indie Wet Dream
In the most boner-worthy official soundtrack (or at least since Garden State changed our lives), some of the hottest indie stars and starlets of the moment, including Cat Power, Feist, and Bright Eyes, will combine to contribute to the soundtrack for The Hottest State. The hottest state, indeed. To be released August 7 on Hickory Records, the 2 score compositions and 16 original tracks that make up the record were all recorded exclusively for this compilation. Each track was written by executive producer and Grammy winner Jesse Harris, who shares production duties with none other than the star of the film, Ethan Hawke.
Hawke, who has had his fair share of hot indie moments (in 1995's Reality Bites and as Jesse in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), has padded his scene-point total by attaching his name to this sizzling project. First gaining notoriety in the world of hip for starring alongside Winona Ryder, who has been linked to indie-hearthrobs Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams, his cred was already through the roof; with The Hottest State, Hawke only solidifies his role at the top of the illustrious "Actors Who Could Hang With Credible Musicians" list, in good company with Johnny Depp and Sir Zach Braff. If Depp is the Sonic Youth of actors (impeccable pedigree slightly tarnished by recent Pirates/Starbucks debacles) and Braff is The Shins (obviously), then Hawke is most certainly Yo La Tengo, or at the very least Grizzly Bear.
Also contributing are dirty-hot blues rockers The Black Keys, rustic-hot folk singer M. Ward, stoner-hot Willie Nelson, and Starbucks-hot Norah Jones.
The Hottest State tracklist:
Extra, Extra! Old News Rehash: Avril Lavigne Awarded Now-Official Title of Culture’s Equivalent to a Coked-Up Street Hooker Courtesy of The Rubinoos, Who Thirst for Validation, Their Own Groupies, and Better-Looking Coked-Up Street Hookers; The Rubinoos To Go After Muzik’s Fav Mini-Slice: Lil’ Ol’ Av-Lav on Principle; Yea, Seriously, They Have No Financial Intention
It’s being argued that America’s most-delicious middle-finger-flicking, wet-skull-t-shirt-dripping, power-chord-ripping, black-and-angry-lollipop-licking crack baby Avril Lavigne ripped off The Rubinoos’ way popular (um, yea...) 1970zzzz jam “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.”
And, apparently, Lil’ Miss Tortured-Canadian-“Wife Beater Muscle Shirts Reserve Me the Right to Not Speak in Full Sentences”-Mangy-Sex-Kitten-Syndrome’s track “I Don’t Have to Try” rips Peaches’ “I’m The Kinda.”
I’m so offended, and so, so very validated!
Swift justice lives, America, now that The Man is breathing heavily down Avril’s neck!
Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty We Are Free At Last, Slaves O’ The Red, White, and Blue! Since a lil’ slice of crime-doesn’t-pay is being served to supposed copycat Avy Baby, there will be no war, no AIDS, and no AK-47s! Genocide in Darfur will be OVER! Excellent, expensive prizes, like Rolexes and James Bond figurines, will come in all breakfast cereals! James Bond will feed the less fortunate cereal, send all his tuxedos to inner-city school children, and teach them impressive tricks with switchblades! Violence as we know it will cease to exist and be used as performance art, with lofty pay for said inner-city school children, all of whom will use their knowledge of the streets for good and not evil!
It seems, though, everyone’s thrilled to shoot the shit about Lavigne’s alleged sticky lil’ fingers. Punch your own, less sticky, more indie!, limber little fingers through YouTube for very low budget, very poorly executed reaction films to accusations fired at Av, one of which includes a self-satisfied narrator reciting “Saturday in the Park” lyrics. Because, TMT reader, you’re intelligent enough to understand that close-but-no-cigar archaic references, even those seemingly disconnected from the overarching theme of a work, are really funny!
Possible reason for maybe-maybe-not Rubinoos rip-off:
Maybe our favorite Hostess-cupcake-with-the-mostest was paying musical homage to The Rubinoos in “Girlfriend.” Since they're really well-known. And often paid tribute to. And really, ridiculously well-known.
The truth, as I see it:
Oh-no-she-didn’t-girlfriend was trying to send a specific, back-up-dancers-included message to The Rubinoos about a possible future collaboration, obviously featuring herself and both the founding Rubinoos in a hot-and-sudsy-twofer-shower scene. Obviously, a fully clothed shower scene. With tuxedos provided by James Bond. Self-satisfied narrator will narrate said video. Because he understands humor. And has a really, really, sexy voice.
Job Location: various places in North America
Contract/Available: Full-time/September 2007
If hired, you must be Björk's muse from September 8-24. This position requires an exceptional ability on your behalf to be a source of inspiration. Björk, while undeniably brilliant, hates the daily grind of touring, so you must act as a guiding spirit and inspire her to perform on stage for six shows in North America.
Björk's muse must also originate and lead any other muse-related objectives that will provide a high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior Björk tour.
While being one of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus is not a requirement, having the genius and/or characteristics of a poet is desired. You will also have to operate heavy machinery, and your skin color must be white if you want to be taken seriously (all races/colors are encouraged to apply though).
How to Apply:
Please submit an application (in person only), three written references, and transcripts if you would like to be considered for the vacant muse position by August 15, 2007.
(Björk is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination based on age only. Non-white applicants must be handcuffed and accompanied by a white person. Chick applicants must cut their hair and be heterosexually active -- no exceptions. Persons with disabilities, who require accommodation in the application, testing, and/or interview process, should contact the Human Resources Department and tell them that you're totally unqualified, that you shouldn't have even applied in the first place, and that you should be escorted the fuck out of there pronto.)
09.08.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Virgin Festival
09.11.07 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park - Austin City Limits Festival
09.17.07 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
09.21.07 - Montreal, QC - Jacques Cartier Pier
09.24.07 - New York, NY - Madison Square Cargden
Having released the most critically acclaimed album so far this year, The Smashing Pumpkins have been the subjects of a media storm lately. And you know what? I bet Billy Corgan is just eating it up. Rumor has it that Corgan has a bit of an ego, so every mention of his beloved pet project must get his cherub cock so hard he could hammer up drywall with it. And I'm not just saying that to be anecdotal. I literally saw Billy Corgan hammering up some drywall with his penis!
That said, Explosions in the Sky -- a rock band at heart, post-rock band to journalists -- have been announced as month-long openers for rock behemoth The Smashing Pumpkins. Beginning in October, Explosions in the Sky will tag-along with the Pumpkins, playing songs that will most likely include dramatic nuggets from their latest LP, All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone (TMT Review), which was released on Temporary Residence earlier this year.
(Oh, this is exclusive news, btw. Please credit Mango Starr if you want your blog and/or online magazine to be taken seriously.)
Tourdates without The Smashing Bumpkins:
Open Your Mouth, Stick Out Your Tunng, And Say “New Album and Summer Dates” – Now Bend Over And Cough, Please
Unless I’m ripping Interpol a new one or snuggling up to the proverbial Tiny Mix Tapes “High School Musical” cock, I normally try to show a smidgen of impartiality when writing these terribly useless news stories. This time, my enthusiasm and excitement cannot be tamed. When I hear word of a new Tunng album coming out in August, I first lose control of my bowels (as is my style), then I quickly clean up all matters and matter and jump on the computer to write all about it. Whether the good editors at TMT post it is another matter entirely, but if you are reading this, then the picture of the entire editorial staff cavorting with this donkey at last year’s Christmas party did the trick.
Yeppers, Tunng’s third album, Good Arrows, is coming out August 20 on Full Time Hobby, and because the band has signed to the mighty Thrill Jockey in the U.S., we won’t have to wait a year or two for the album to come out in North America. But we will have to wait until September 25. Thrill Jockey plans on distributing the band’s second album Comments of the Inner Chorus as well. Good Arrows will be preceded by a limited-edition 7-inch single called “Bricks” August 6, which includes a remix by Dntel/Jimmy Tamborello. Oh yea, Full Time Hobby will also issue Good Arrows as a limited-edition that will contain two bonus songs (just like they did for Comments of the Inner Chorus). Good songs:
Unsurprisingly, the band tends to sign up for most of the UK festivals, as their music is the perfect soundtrack to sparkling summer nights. Here are the band’s remaining summer festival dates. Tunng plan on taking on the U.S. in their most extensive tour to date after the LP is released. We have included links to the festival shows below. We don’t normally provide this service, but we kind of have a little crush on all of you... yes all of you. Even you, Pizzaface
07.19.07 - Florence, Italy - Italia Wave Festival
07.22.07 - London, England - Lovebox Festival
08.02.07 - Rees-Haldern, Germany - Haldern Pop Festival
08.03.07 - Dranouter, Belgium - Dranouter Festival
08.04.07 - Herefordshire, England - Big Chill Festival
08.10.07 - Inverness, Scotland - Belladrum Festival
08.17.07 - Brecon Beacons, Wales - Green Man Festival
09.01.07 - Birmingham, England - Moseley Folk Festival
09.09.07 - Downsend, Isle of Wight, England - Bestival
09.21.07 - Derbyshire, England - Thermal Festival
10.10.07 - Brighton, England - Komedia
10.11.07 - Oxford, England - Carling Academy (The Zodiac)
10.12.07 - Leeds, England - Brundenell Social Club
10.13.07 - Pocklington, England - Arts Centre
10.14.07 - Cardiff, Wales - Glee Club
10.15.07 - Manchester, England - Academy
10.16.07 - Bristol, England - Thekla
10.17.07 - London, England - 229
You must be living under a RAWK if you haven't heard of the video gaming awesomeness that is Guitar Hero. It's this rad video game series that lets you play really RAWKIN' RAWK songs. Lemme explain it to you: You buy the game for a video game console, and you get a guitar-shaped controller with these big, bright, colorful buttons. It's kind of like Japanese sensation Dance Dance Revolution, but instead of dancing on a dance pad, you RAWK out with your fingers and hit the buttons as they appear on the screen. Kind of like a guitar and kind of like a cheesy video game controller with buttons. Either way, the plastic guitar controller craze is now coming to the Wii, and it's going to kick some ass.
If you aren't familiar with the Wii (and you probably aren't), it's Nintendo's newest entry into the console field. It's claim to fame is its completely motion-sensitive controller called the Wii remote. For example, instead of moving your old-skool analog stick to point your shotgun, you can use the Wii remote and actually move it around to aim. See, it just brings you closer to really feeling like you're killing something. I know for a fact that after playing the Wii and killing video game characters I hunger for more death and destruction. I hunger for extra lives and lots and lots of bloody bodies, all kneeling before the barrel of my gun. Whoops! Looks like I mixed up virtual reality and reality again! How silly of me! Maybe everyone is right, maybe video games are really teaching me to love murder. You're right Hilary Clinton, you're so god damn right about video game violence, but you're incredibly wrong about video games that bring the RAWK 'cause that's exactly what Guitar Hero 3 is going to do.
The unique thing about the Wii version of Guitar Hero is that you'll be able to stick your Wii remote inside of the guitar controller. What exactly does this mean? Well, for starters it means some really cool gameplay features that I predict will be announced in the future. Here are a couple of my ideas on the matter:
- You'll be forced to use the gyro sensors in the Wii Remote Guitar to bash the shit out of stage equipment after each set. The controller will be able to detect the speed at which you hurl your guitar at your closet door and calculate the impact it might have on your amp. So, in turn, the more shit you break, the more points you get! Score!
- You'll be forced to ride the guitar and move with it in a humping motion. The creators of Guitar Hero have actually added a sort of squirt-gun attachment, so when you're done with your phallic maneuvering, you can spray your RAWK all over the TV.
I'm pretty confident that Nintendo will approve of those new additions that will utilize their amazing revolutionary controller. Oh and did I mention you'll be able to RAWK out to some crazy RAWKIN' bands like The Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, and Beastie Boys? Kick it!
Guitar Hero 3 is reportedly set to bring the RAWK to the Wii in March 2008.
Zune Is What’s Hot On The Streets; Clipse, UGK, Mos Def, Common To Perform Microsoft-Inspired Verses In Chicago and NYC
If iPod has already cornered the hipster demographic, Zune is taking its marketing game to an entirely different one, courting some of the hottest acts in hip-hop for a summer concert series across the United States. With two separate upcoming shows, in Chicago July 22 and New York August 4, the software giant (but MP3 player dwarf) will attempt to spark otherwise lackluster sales for its newest, and least successful, flagship device. The shows will feature performances from Common, David Banner, Bilal, E-40, Large Professor, and more -- an impressive lineup, without a doubt, but still no reason to buy a Zune. Word on the street is that this guy will be DJ-ing the shows.
In the spirit of the event (and at the request of head G and ultimate playa Bill Gates), each MC will be switching up their lines a bit to help bring the struggling Zune to an urban demographic. For example, in their certified banger "Wamp Wamp" you might just hear the brothers Clipse rip a little verse that goes something like this:
Undeniably hot. For more info, check out Zune's official page.
Despite many setbacks in the past months, as well as this week's court denial of a "motion to stay" petition by webcasters, internet radio has been saved from the freakish royalty rate increases originally due to take effect this Sunday. "A commitment has been made to negotiate reasonable royalties, recognizing the industry’s long-term value and its still-developing revenue potential," wrote SaveNetRadio on its website.
Due in no small part to the public outcry (the Internet Radio Equality Act now has over 125 cosponsoring representatives), webcasters can now catch their breaths as negotiations begin. SoundExchange has said it will not enforce the new royalty rates until new rates are decided on.
Of course, royalty increases are still likely, and all of this is decidedly temporary. At best, the negotiations will produce a healthy discussion of the internet, copyright laws, and royalty rates, ending with reasonable legislation. At worst, internet radio supporters -- both hardcore and casual ones -- will slowly become complacent during the negoations, and the next timeline will be met with lukewarm protest.
Although this temporary victory is certainly a positive sign for internet radio, the Copyright Royalty Board and SoundExchange are certainly not ready to give in just yet. Go to SaveNetRadio to learn more.