MIA Pledges to Use $100K Payday to Build New Schools, Also Pledges to Use “Building of New Schools” to Sell More Records

Man, that M.I.A. is one slippery mango pickle down river! So much so, in fact, that we here in the TMT storyboarding department aren't even sure how to go about satirizing/caricaturizing her these days.

I mean, come on, Maya! Are you a corporate shill of the Warner Music Group?? Or are you a renegade hip-hop activist??? Those cammo-pants could readily suggest either! Sighhhhh... well, TMT ended up being so confused as to how exactly to play this bit of M.I.A. news that we never really got past the ‘rough sketch’ phase this time. Not exactly our proudest moment, but P says that the music news must be told one way or another (he's kind of a megalomaniac, people)... so, for better or for worse, here's our storyboarding department's initial reactions to some of the British/Sri Lankan hip-hop goddess’s recent antics (keep in mind that this department is mostly made up of unpaid high school interns):

- M.I.A. recently announced her engagement to WMG head Edgar Bronfman's son? Boooooo. Fuck that sellout! Waste her in this story!

- Oh, Edgar Bronfman's son is actually legitimate rock guitarist Benjamin Brewer? Hey, that's kinda cool! Never mind, she's all-good! :)

- Hang on, she reportedly collected $100,000 for a performance at an MTV Movie Awards after-party in West fucking Hollywood that was sponsored by Target?? Fucking Charlatan! She's going doooooooown!

- Wait, it was also sponsored by Converse One Star? Yaaaaaaaaaay!! I loooove One Stars!!

- Oh, she only performed for 30 minutes??? Laaaaaaaaaame! She's a sellout for SURE!

- Fuck! After the performance, she jumped on top of a photo booth and told the audience that she is "going to use it to build schools in Liberia... It costs $52,000 to build a school for 1,000"??? Sooooo AWESOOOOOME!!!! M.I.A. Ruuuuules!!! She could build like two schools! Give this story a photo! She's a real activist!!! Hoooooray for M.I.A.!!!

- Oh wait a second here, she then invited women onstage to dance to "Paper Planes," including Jessica Szohr, Jessica Stroup, and Rumer Willis???? uhhh... BOOOOOOOOO!

The Locust Prepare to Inflict Aural Destruction Throughout Europe This Summer

Once I went to this party where the host had infused the fuck out of some pineapple into vodka, thereby creating the perfect storm of sweet, tropical goodness and alcoholic potential mayhem. The next day I went to see San Diego band The Locust. I had a hangover that made me feel like I had been repeatedly brained in a dark alley the night before, while small larvae simultaneously hatched and tunneled into my skull. Consequently, watching grown men in fencing masks create extremely harsh, hardcore noise punk in a small, crowded room was one of the worst aural experiences of my life.

And now that magical experience can be yours! The Locust are getting ready for a late-summer European tour, during which I would entreat you to stay away from your coworker's fruity booze experiments and get a good night's sleep beforehand, so that you can actually enjoy the abrasive rock that you're paying good, solid euros to hear.

David Gilmour to Perform “Atom Heart Mother” with Italian Pink Floyd Tribute Band… Yeah, Can’t Really Improve Upon This Headline

From the hills, the anguished cry of Roger Waters could be heard as he read this choice bit of news. Cursing his "pretty boy" arch enemy, the self-proclaimed brains behind Pink Floyd then stalked off to hire a band for his next tour -- any band, as long as they absolutely loathed that baseless "rock and roll" and were willing to have stimulating, creative onstage discourse with Waters, the kind featherhead David Gilmour would never understand. Or would he?

Ron Geesin, co-composer of "Atom Heart Mother," the sprawling six-part instrumental that comprises Side One of its 1970 namesake album, has rounded up the following people for a performance of his (co-?) masterpiece: a 10-piece brass ensemble from The Royal College Of Music, cellist Caroline Dale, 40-member chorus Canticum, and... Italian Pink Floyd tribute band Mun Floyd. There will be two performances on June 14 and 15 during the Chelsea Festival at Cadogan Hall. And on the second day, Geesin said, "Let there be David Gilmour on guitar." And there was true culture ascribed to the performance, even before Gilmour's participation was announced.

Roger Waters looked and said, "THIS IS NOT GOOD."

Q: What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?

A: Not enough Giant Sand!

Ha, but seriously, folks, Tuscon's Giant Sand are set to release a new album, Provisions, on Yep Roc. (Hahah, shit, I'm still laughing about that joke! Lawyers suck!) Set for release September 2, the album "sonically explores love and loss in the socio-political climate of the modern world," according to the press release. Something tells me that this album will please anyone who's been yearning for an album that sonically explores love and loss in the socio-political climate of the modern world.

Provisions will feature guest spots from such artists like Henriette Sennenvaldt, Lucie Idlout and Lonna Kelley, as well as Neko Case, Isobell Campbell (ex-Belle & Sebastian), and M. Ward. (Wonder which set of artists you care about.) Meanwhile, the Giant Sand lineup for this release includes Howe Gelb (of course), Thøger T. Lund (bass), Peter Dombernowsky (drums), and Anders Pedersen (slide guitar).

Wait a minute, doesn't "gelb" mean "yellow" in German? Haha, Howe Yellow. Like, "Hey sir, Howe Yellow are you?" Haha!

Alright, fuck this, time to go out with a BANG:

Q: Why shouldn’t women drink beer at the beach?

A: Because they will get Giant Sand in their Busch!

Grab Your Goat… And We’re Not Kidding: Faun Fables To Tour and Release 4-Track EP

The crowd is gathered in heightened anticipation. For some, this forthcoming spectacle will be their first time witnessing the carnage. Many are dressed in gear typical of a crowd going to such a show or are carrying barriers to the forthcoming barrage: raincoats, umbrellas, plastic sheeting as far as the eye can see. For those in the first three rows, you will get messy. Finally, Dawn McCarthy rides out on an oversized Big Wheel, dressed in her trademark striped shirt, rainbow suspenders, and sporting her ridiculous bald pate paired with a back mane of thinning dark curls. After a preamble of weak political jokes and dated social commentary she pulls out her "Sledge-o-Matic" and proceeds to smash everyday objects like toothpaste, computer keyboards, cartons of milk, and Big Macs. It is all fine and dandy, except the audience wants the big guns, the show-stopper, the portal to a euphoric state of being. The mob wants watermelons! Grabbing the large green citruses from behind a office table set up on the stage, McCarthy slams the big sledgehammer down on the fruit until the braying public can't take anymore and are soaked with tears of laughter, recently-freed urine (of laughter), and the green rind, pink flesh, and the black seeds of comedy.

Okay, Dawn McCarthy, the constant guiding light behind Faun Fables shares little with lame prop comic Gallagher, but there is an important visual, visceral element to her live shows. Faun Fables performances are just that: "performances" instead of mere "gigs," and they are pretty special too. We didn’t explicitly ask for it, but Faun Fables is/are back for a healthy dose of touring AND a new four-song EP, A Table Forgotten, out July 22 on Drag City, and that is your daily cause for hysteric celebration. Yes, yes, more, more more!!!
06.13.08 - Hollywood, CA - Knitting Factory
06.14.08 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
06.15.08 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
06.16.08 - Farmington, NM - Gator’s
06.18.08 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
06.19.08 - Fort Worth, TX - Lola’s
06.20.08 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
06.21.08 - Houston, TX - The Mink (Backroom)
06.22.08 - San Antonio, TX - Rock Bottom Bar
06.24.08 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar
06.25.08 - Denver, CO - Bender’s Tavern
06.26.08 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
07.18.08 - Sacramento, CA - Bricka Bracka

A Table Forgotten EP:

1. With Words and Cake
2. Pictures
3. A Table Forgotten
4. Winter Sleep

Will Sheff to Reveal Part II of Concept Project Saga Thing, Kids to Overuse This Subsequent Release As a Back to School Conversation Piece and Probably Annoy Me, Me Bored With My Look and Wondering If I Should Start Wearing Penny Loafers Next Season, Oh, Yeah, Okkervil River to Tour

In an effort to give college indie kids something to banter about this September in all their back-to-school self-importance, Will Sheff (TMT Interview) has announced he will continue that concept thing he had going with the previously released, Pitchfork-hailed!!! The Stage Names.

The Stand Ins will be released September 9 on Jagjaguwar, reported to include a sequel to “Savannah Smiles” and rep Sheff doing the duet thing with now former bandmate Jonathan Meiburg on “Lost Coastlines.”

The Stand Ins:

1. The Stand Ins, One
2. Lost Coastlines
3. Singer Songwriter
4. Starry Stairs
5. Blue Tulip
6. The Stand Ins, Two
7. Pop Lie
8. On Tour With Zykos
9. Calling and Not Calling My Ex
10. The Stand Ins, Three
11. Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979

Penny loafers, Stream of consciousness, Will Sheff (and Rod Stewart) are GOLDEN GODZ:

A New Sloan LP: Like A Giant Trophy Bestowed Upon Anyone With Ears

Is everyone excited about the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup finals? No? Me neither. But, speaking of things that are more beloved in Canadian than America, Sloan are coming out with a new LP. The 17-year-old Toronto-via-Halifax group have more than a couple hits in their homeland, but are all but ignored outside the safe confines of the Great White North. Think of them as the Canadian Weezer, just more evenly talented (all four members contribute GOOD songs, none of this "Thought I Knew"-type garbage) and better adjusted in the coconut than R. Cuomo (TMT Review).

The multi-instrumentalist lads of Sloan (Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson, Andrew Scott) are releasing that new LP, Parallel Play (Yep Roc), June 10 on CD, vinyl, and digital download, their first since that 30-track, everlasting gobstopper of an album, Never Hear The End Of It. The new record's a simpler affair, with each member contributing three tracks, while he who occupies the drum stool the most, Andrew Scott, added one more to his total, rounding out a 13-track record that is a sonic extension of NHTEOI. Think of it as that album's younger, slimmer brother.

When it comes to Sloan, the LP is just half the prize. Live masters on the level of Robert Pollard (but sober), a Sloan show is an arena show on a club level, replete with sing-alongs and chanting, a raucous good time for sure. The boys are embarking on an East Coast tour (with a few homeland dates at the end) beginning June 14 in support of PP. You should do anything, including stepping over your own mother, to get tickets -- you will thank me later.

Parallel Play tracklist:

Bertelsmann Intensifies Talks to Sell Its Half of the Sony BMG Venture

Back in 2004, when the record industry was already having a few "issues," Sony and BMG decided to merge and become even more top-heavy in an effort to boost profits in an era when technology and nimble business models have proved to be the most successful.

Hang on. Something's not quite clicking there.

Bertelsmann CEO Hartmut Ostrowski, whose company heads up the "BMG" in "Sony BMG," hit the nail right on the head: "The good thing is, more people are listening to music than ever before. The bad thing is, it is not easy to monetize it."

People on the proverbial "inside" say that Bertelsmann has upped its talks with Sony about selling its half of the joint partnership and returning to more ho-hum investments like offset printing. Don't look now, but the two-headed monster could become significantly less threatening in a very short time, though it will still wear ugly three-piece suits and insist we listen to the new Evanescence album.

Mogwai Announce Tiny EP, Tiny UK Tour, Tiny Expectations for Fan Base Expansion

If there's one thing that UK [ost-rock devotees Mogwai are good at, it's doing the same thing... over and over again... for an extended period of time... at varying dynamic levels.

As such, the boys of Mogwai announced last week that they will, you know, continue to do the same thing that they always do (and the same thing that most bands always do, by Jove) and -- wait for it, wait for it -- release some new instrumental post-rock material and then tour on it!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!

And the dynamic level this time around? Well, it takes the form of a new EP, titled Batcat, which is slated for release September 8 in the UK via the band's Rock Action label as a CD, 12-inch, and digital download. Same deal across the pond on September 9 via Matador. The EP's title track is taken from the forthcoming album, The Hawk Is Howling, which will see release September 22, while B-sides include two exclusive songs: the hopefully Nick Cage-inspired "Devil Rides" (featuring a guest vocal from Roky Erickson of 13th Floor Elevators) and the hopefully not-awful "Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police And Loses His Slut Girlfriend."

"So what's this shit gonna sound like?" you ask? Brace yourselves here: probably just like Mogwai.

And if all of this news isn't exciting enough for you Mogwai fans (and, incidentally enough, for you non-Mogwai fans too), guess what else the band is doing this summer and fall? I'll give you a hint: it involves a TOUR-van, TOUR-dates, and a TOUR-manager. Hmmmm...

Batcat EP tracklist:

1. Batcat
2. Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police And Loses His Slut Girlfriend
3. Devil Rides


Clang. Thud. Screech. Perhaps you would imagine a written interpretation of Einstürzende Neubauten's music to be characterized largely by onomatopoeia and repeated usage of that little stick man symbol that's on all of their merchandise. Perhaps you have better things to do and have never really thought about this. In any case, you would be wrong. Because, in reference to the latter statement, they are awesome and you should care. And in reference to the former statement, if you are in the business of reading music-related press releases and had just read the one for the latest Neubauten release, JEWELS, you would suddenly be very keyed in to the fact that EVERYTHING about Blixa Bargeld and company is totally, completely indecipherable.

From what I can glean, the German industrial music pioneers have a new album, entitled JEWELS, which will be released in the United States sometime this summer on the band's Potomak label. According to the press release, the band came up with the album's brief, concept-driven songs by drawing cards related to past Neubauten experiments in a game the band called DAVE, which was "like Tarot without rules." The JEWELS album was envisioned around the same time as 2007's Alles wieder offen. The only other thing I can tell you about their latest offering is that the press release is pretty much the promotional media equivalent of James Joyce's Ulysses. Ouch.

JEWELS tracklisting (with song lengths!):