Cat Power's 2006 album, The Greatest claimed this year's Shortlist Music Prize, beating out albums by Girl Talk, Band of Horses, Beirut, Bonnie Prince Billy, Hot Chip, Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor, Tom Waits, and Spank Rock. The Shortlist Prize has been around since 2001 and honors artists who haven't become certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America. Which is a good thing, but who really gives a fuck about the RIAA? Anyway, so Cat Power won it this year, so good for her/them.
The judges are a collection of well-known artists who, honestly, mostly suck real bad. See, the terrible injustice here is that these asshats are nominating some indie artist who could own their ass any day. To make it worse, they give them a prize that basically says, "well, sorry you didn't go Gold, we did and you didn't, so here is a music prize for you." That's really not very nice. Let me go on and name a few of these so-called "artists": Panic! At The Disco, The Killer's Ronnie Vannucci, and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. Panic! At The Disco? Are you kidding me? That's almost a fucking insult to Cat Power and all the other great artists up for the prize. It's hard to believe they're serious.
Well, congratulations Cat Power -- although, you probably didn't care whether or not you won it. I'm going to guess that you make music because you love it. Not to have some atrocious teenie emo band vote for you. Making music because you love to. That's kind of the point isn't it?
In other news, The Killers still can suuuuck it.
In 1998, we thought The Jesus and Mary Chain released their final album, the conflicted and divided portrait of a band on the brink of deterioration titled Munki (spelling courtesy of Jonathan Davis).
In 1998 Scarlett Johansson starred in the Robert Redford vehicle The Horse Whisperer, the year's winner of Oscars for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Picture, and Best Child Actor (if I'm not mistaken).
In 2003, Jim and Will Reid (a.k.a. Jesus and Mary, respectively) were sitting around in their underwear, eating Oreos and playing Battleship.
Also in 2003, Scarlett Johansson was blasting off into superstardom as the apple-bummed beauty she is, lighting up the screen as Charlotte in Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation. The film's final moments included a tense whisper from Scarlett's Charlotte into the ear of Bill Murray's Bob Harris (proof that starring in Ghostbusters will ALWAYS get you laid) to the sound of the JAMC's "Just Like Honey" from 1985's Psychocandy.
On April 27, 2007, Scarlett joined the Scottish lads on stage at the Coachella Music Festival in Pomona, California to sing backup on "Just Like Honey" and proceeded to announce her commandeering of the entire entity, effective immediately. The Reid Brothers, now subservient to Scarlett's sex appeal and sultry voice, would follow every order and fulfill every whim of the starlet.
Luckily for fans of washed-up, money hungry has-beens (just kidding, I still love you JAMC... and Pixies... and Morrissey... and The Police... and Genesis... and Poison.. and...), Scarlett has demanded a new album be recorded as soon as possible. The album is said to be built around the centerpiece of the new jam "All Things Must Pass," which the band performed live on The Late Show with David Letterman, as Scarlett controlled the Reid Brothers by a combination of remote control and puppet strings from the wings.
From the mouth of Jim Reid himself (with Scarlett playing ventriloquist), the reunion "is not necessarily about any nostalgia trip," but is purely about money, I mean, love and art (and money). "There will be a new record, otherwise there wouldn't be any point to reforming," said Reid. Well, besides the cash and blow, Jim... besides the cash and blow...
[Who's up for some good ol' misogyny-lite? Good! Keep reading!]
The genius behind Tegan and Sara lies within the simplicity of both their music and looks. When most girl bands come on the scene, they either bring it home with their music or with their looks; a la Aretha Franklin versus Hilary Duff. Tegan and Sara, however, keep both at an even pace. Their music is modestly good and looks much the same; so they innocently draw in girls who think the dream is still alive and boys who dream they can date them.
Since TnS are talented and pretty, most girls relate to them and hope that some day they can reach the point that TnS have. This, unbeknownst to the female fan base, is a clever way to draw in tons of money. Then, also because of their talent and looks, the males think they have a chance to get with them. Males will sacrifice masculinity points and listen to TnS in hopes that one day they will get to sleep with one of the members.
This whole talk of modesty leads me right away from whatever dribble I was just talking about to the current event's topic: TnS’s modest tour of looks in the key of modesty.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Neil Hamburger is touring. He isn't stopping until all the dates are complete, whether you like it or not. And, truth be told, a lot of people don't seem to like him. I did my own unofficial polling of people facing me, and half of them, when prompted, decided to face a different direction. Compelling results? Of course. Neil ‘The Burger’ Hamburger is, to some, hard to stomach. He coughs a lot. He's awkward. He tells bad jokes. People boo him. If you were in any doubt that the ‘boo’ was passé, that it had fallen into the annals of public appearance lexicon, watch him perform his stand-up. There certainly are laughs to compete, however, and apparently enough to propel a bunch of CD releases and this tour from Drag City.
With my unofficial poll and common understanding, those that boo fail to get the joke: that he is acting 'bad' on purpose (or at least it appears that way). Those that cheer have a strange sense of humor, or are laughing at him. It is perplexing. I have friends who tell bad jokes, and they do not have CDs and tours. I tell bad jokes all the time, too, and I think I would be much better off if I were rewarded with tourdates instead of a whopping dose of humiliation and mockery. But in Neil Hamburger's defense, he has a certain image and charismatic appeal that I will never have. Maybe we are indeed laughing at him, but I get the feeling the joke's on us.
Like a fine trip to Dick's Last Resort, where the waitstaff insult and abuse the patrons and we all pretend to enjoy it, Neil Hamburger is giving us what we don't want and making us laugh. That's something, isn't it? It's the perfect marketing strategy: give us a product to solve a problem we never knew we had. He's good for the economy, he's good for comedy, and he's good for us (Neil Hamburger prevents free radicals!). So boo or don't boo, either way he's touring, and you'll wonder if he's for real or not, but rest assured, he is. Help us, he is:
# Dr. El Suavo
Freeloaders can catch a glimpse of America's $1 Funnyman here.
In a darling action that has surprised environmental activists and computer nerds alike, Steve Jobs has reportedly been undergoing a one-man struggle to protect the earth and all that is sacred therein from the brink of environmental destruction. News feeds from the small Pacific island of Iwo Jima recount eye-witness testimony of a wet-suit clad Jobs single-handedly commandeering Japanese whaling ships and harpooning all crew members on board in the heart. When asked about his newfound passion for the elephants of the sea, Jobs stated that he's really just a bandwagon jumper trying to capitalize on North American's new green-chic movement in an attempt to corner a larger share of the home computer market.
Coincidently, Greenpeace has started championing Apple as the green computer of the new century. Apple has announced it will phase out the worst of the worst e-waste chemicals, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. Greenpeace representatives were reached for comment but were too busy ejaculating in their pants to respond; however, they did make a statement on their website. The plan puts Apple ahead of Dell by one year; Dell committed to stop manufactoring products with these chemical by 2009. But c'mon, Dell announced its plan first. It's like bidding your way on-stage on the Price is Right. If some asshole bids $560,000 on a pair of scooters, you get the change to bid $1 and walk away looking like a genius. Of course you're going to win, and this is exactly the same thing.
To be completely fair to the world's fifth-largest computer manufacturer, it did take the environmental lead in 2006 by being the first company to fully dump cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays. Now you may be asking, "EZ, how bad can these monitors be? I know they're big and all, and don't get you laid very easy, but its not like they're killing children or anything."
Well they kinda are, just not in North America. A typical CRT monitor contains approximately 3 lbs. of lead. And since our illustrious leaders have brokered some pretty liberal free-trade deals with our East, South, and South East Asian friends, the vast majority of our monitors end up in landfills in Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, where some industrious children make a relative shitload of money (compared to your little brother's paper route, and... well that's probably the only job), salvaging what their politicians, currency speculators, and military leaders throw away. But we send them our old monitors, so the tetnus is their leaders' fault. The lead poisoning? That's all us.
And even if you're an elitist douche bag who couldn't give a fuck about some Tamil kid in Sri Lanka, you should be concerned. Because the good ol' US of A still allows a lot of e-waste to find its way into your landfills. Currently, e-waste makes up only 2% of all garbage in the United States but releases 70% of all toxic chemicals found on American soil.
But hey, why should you care, Steve Jobs has it all taken care of. And with Greenpeace on his side, he's an unstoppable behemoth... a whale savin', Japanese harpoonin', kid-savin' behemoth. Wait... I'm confused... I thought Greenpeace hated capitalism. What a bunch of sell-outs.
Just like my clamoring baby niece who likes to wail and bang away on just about anything she can put her fleshy little fingers on until someone pays some goddamn attention to her, Austin eating utensil advocates/overgrown toddlers Britt Daniel and Co. aren't about to let you forget their presence in the upper indie rock echelon this summer.
And as if squawking guttural nonsense at you (in the form, of course, of their new record Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, due July 10 via Merge in the U.S. and July 9th via Anti- in Europe) wasn't obnoxious enough to get our attention, the babyboys of Spoon will turn the tables on all of us buttoned-down adults this summer when they get all up in our collective grill, forcing us to open the ol' hangar and slurp down a chunky slurry of vitamin-enriched tourdates as they rev-up this weekend and rampage their way through a series of festival and show dates that won't tire them out until sometime in mid-October.
That's quite the attention span, when you think about it. So we might as well all just give in and eat up now if we want to get any sleep tonight. Besides, when's the last time you got spoon-fed anything that was this delicious???
Here comes the airplaaaaaaaaaaane:
06.10.07 - Chula Vista, CA - KZBT Independence Jam
06.16.07 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.29.07 - Calgary, Alberta - Sled Island Festival
07.04.07 - Detroit, MI - Comerica CityFest
07.05.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
07.11.07 - New York, NY - Rockefeller Park - River to River
08.04.07 - Chicago, IL - Grant Park - Lollapalooza
08.05.07 - Baltimore, MD - Virgin Festival
08.10.07 - Oslo, Norway - Øya Festival
08.11.07 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
08.12.07 - Leicester, England - Summer Sundae Weekender
08.14.07 - Paredes de Coura, Portugal - Paredes de Coura Festival
08.16.07 - London, England - Cargo
08.17.07 - Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop Festival
09.07.07 - Vancouver, British Columbia
09.10.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
09.11.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park - Austin City Limits Festival
10.10.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10.15.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
10.20.07 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga tracklist:
My favorite band in the whole wide world just started a fan club, and I'm in it! I get a free t-shirt and a hat and a poster and access to the online forums, and I get to buy front row seats before YOU and I get to read their super secret blog! However, since I'm promoting the fan club, I get to share some secret info with you! You're soooooo lucky to be reading Tiny Mix Tapes because you know you don't have enough money to join the fan club and I do cause daddy said I could. ["When you're standing there/Tokyo Police Club!"] Gawd, I love that song. Such great indie rock goodness with a little pop touch and robot lyrics! So saweet! OMG! I almost like totally forgot about the super secret info from the fan club that YOU ARE NOT IN! Lolz! Below is a post from Dave Monk's blog! He is like the singer of the band! He is soooo hott! Whateva you do, do not judge him or I'll judge you!
I just wanted to reach out to all of you and explain some of the things that I have been faced with recently. It's so funny how many stories are put out there about people. It's like we all want our side of the story out there as well, but at the end of the day only a few people care to hear what is really going on since the bad is always so much more interesting than the truth. I don't know why, but this is so weird to me. I used to be angry at the tabloids for printing horrible things about me, but now I try to just be numb to what I see. I saw Tyra Banks once get really upset and cry on her show because they made her look fat. We all want a certain image of ourselves out there, and at some point we all do really care what other people think or we wouldn't be here.
Recently, I was sent to a very humbling place called rehab. I truly hit rock bottom. Till this day I don't think that it was alcohol or depression. I was like a bad kid running around with ADD. I had a manager from a long time ago come in and try to direct me and my life after I got my divorce. I was so overwhelmed I think that I was in a little shock too. I didn't know who to go to. I realized how much energy and love I had put into my past relationship when it was gone because I genuinely did not know what to do with myself, and it made me so sad. I confess, I was so lost.
I am only human people and I love you for still loving me. I am sitting here at home and it is 6:25 and both of my sons are asleep. I am truly blessed to have them in my life. Everyday is so surreal. Life in general is so surreal and crazy. I just hope this letter made some of you think a little bit more of me and where I am coming from. I just want the same things in life that you want...and that is to be happy. It is just so weird because everyone has their own perception of me and how they think I really am. It is so weird how stories are told. There is your side, my side, and the truth. Somebody has to figure it out. I guess we will never really understand or figure out life completely. That's God's job. I can't wait to meet him...or her.
OMG, he is so dreamy and hott and sexy and I want him to touch me in all the wrong places! He's been through so much, and it's just messed up how people treat him! Well, I am totally glad he is back on his feet and touring. Go see him and tell him you love him (but you'll never love him as much as me!) and buy his t-shirts! Oh and don't forget to say hi to the other band members, but like they matter! The only thing that matter is that Dave's sexy buns will be here:
07.17.06 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection^
07.18.07 - Indianapolis, IN - Birdy's^
07.20.07 - Omaha, NE - Slow Down^
07.21.07 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge^
07.23.07 - San Francisco, CA - Independent^
07.25.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour^
07.26.07 - San Diego, CA - Beauty Bar^
07.27.07 - Scottsdale, AZ - Anderson's Fifth Estate
07.29.07 - Austin, TX - Emo's^
07.30.07 - Houston, TX - Meridian Red Room
07.31.07 - Dallas, TX - House Of Blues
08.01.07 - New Orleans, LA - The Republic
08.02.07 - Atlanta, GA - Vinyl
08.04.07 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.07.07 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
08.08.07 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
08.09.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
08.10.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
08.11.07 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
08.12.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
^ Dappled Cities
UPDATE: Shoot, guess the secret isn't so secret anymore; here's a direct link to the Tokyo Police Club site. Wow, doesn't he look smokin'!?
No Age and Mika Miko Spend a Month Touring Europe; A Few of Us Probably Touring the Pizza Place on the Corner Later
Ah, Summer in Europe! Young people the world over flock to spend time marveling at many of the roots of western civilization. The Champs-Elysees! The Parthenon! Big Ben! Where artists are able to retrace the steps of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, TMT writer Nat Towsen, and so many other artistic expatriates sick and tired of America’s limitations!
These roving, worldly bands of youngsters are bringing their respective brands of noisy, jubilant post-punk across the Atlantic. I have no advice to give them. I hope they have fun, and this seems like the sort of thing where they should call their parents once in awhile, just to check in.
No Age's debut full-length, Weirdo Rippers, was released in Europe yesterday and will be released via FatCat August 28. And if you really want to know what Mika Miko sound like and their MP3s and albums are not at your disposal, please make use of this handy, potentially inaccurate bass tab I just wrote for the introduction and verse of their song “Capricornications.”
No Age and Mika Miko tourdates:
More Mika Miko tourdates:
08.02.07 - Pomona, CA - Glasshouse w/ Gravy Train!!!
08.03.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo w/ Gravy Train!!!
08.05.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
08.06.07 - Sacto, CA - KFJC live radio performance
08.06.07 - Sacramento, CA - Fool Foundation w/ Twin, Mikaela’s Fiend
08.07.07 - Eureka, CA - accident Gallery
08.08.07 - Olympia, CA - Manium w/ Scream club, The Old Haunts
08.09.07 - Missoula, MT - TOTALFEST!!! - THE BADLANDER
08.10.07 - Seattle, WA - The Atlas Café
08.11.07 - Portland, OR - Satyricon w/ Johnny X and the Groadies
08.12.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand w/ Twin, Sexy Prison, Mikaela’s Fiend, XBXRX
08.13.07 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Buchon House
Alright, I’ve been asked to provide an update to all interested parties on what’s been going on recently and what’s planned for the near future in the world of "Matt and Eleanor." Well, six months ago, we had our first child, a little baby boy. Frankly, he’s a total nightmare. He smiles at us almost constantly, and we totally feel compelled to weakly smile back. His very existence also means we can never get out and see shows anymore. Consequently, we’re looking into the possibility of making some infertile rich people very happy. For roughly three grand, you can buy lifetime rights to the shit machine. It’ll pay for the trip to LA we’re planning for the end of the month, and as a bonus for us, The Locust are playing there! Rad.
We also moved into a new house last fall, and unfortunately the neighbors are making our lives even worse than the baby did. You know the score -- snide looks, ignoring our cheery greetings, acid thrown into the baby’s pram. The mad lady next door threw a badly decomposed squirrel onto our porch last Tuesday, with a message stapled to it claiming “YOUR NEXT” (sic). I know it was her, because I saw her zooming back up the path in her wicked, motorized wheelchair. I guess they just don’t know how to cope with the white-hot style we’ve brought to the neighborhood. Makes ‘em feel small.
On a positive note, Eleanor’s new job is going just great; we’d heard that the pimps in our new town were far, far less brutal than where we were living before. I’m glad to report our experiences have, for the most part, borne this out. I mean, she gets a little slap or two from time to time, but it’s a pretty small price to pay, seeing as she loves the work so much. Dirty cow...
[Real-Time Editor's Note: Macka, when I said I wanted a Matt and Eleanor update, I was talking about Matt and Eleanor from THE FUCKING FIERY FURNACES!!! DUHHHH. Serious, we like you around TMT, but u gots to step up your game if u want to make it in the industry.]
Oops. I’ve just been told by the editor that it’s not my wife and I’s scintillating life together that the readers of TMT want to know about; it’s the Matt and Eleanor out of the pop band The Fiery Furnaces! My apologies! This has hurt my feelings just a little, I must admit, because in common with most residents of the North American continent, I just fucking love talking about myself ALL THE TIME. But, you know, Mr P is a pretty hard person to argue with, especially when he looks deep into your pathetic soul with those delicious eyes of his...
So, yes, The Fiery Furnaces. The other Matt and Eleanor. Well, they’ve evidently had enough of Fat Possum, the label that released last year's Bitter Tea (TMT Review), and have signed with Thrill Jockey for their new album Widow City, due in October (woo... a very Charles Bronsonesque title, no?). Prior to the release of the album, they're going on a tour titled “The Fiery Furnaces Fourth Of July Tour,” which is crazy, yeah, because they’re not playing a show on July 4 at all! Even crazier is that they’re promising to play “some” tracks off the new album on tour as well. Wow. Gonna be GREAT.
Interestingly, Matt (the Fiery one), has stated that the tour is dedicated to Nancy Faust, organist for the hyphey collective that go by the name of the Chicago White Sox. Ms Faust is entering her 38th year as organist for the club, so yes, she’s pretty old. Fiery Furnaces... old women... fucked-up records... what could happen here is just too gruesome to comprehend. I’ll just concentrate on the tourdates:
all dates with Dios
Whenever I think about Frank Black (which, admittedly, isn’t all that often... dude’s kinda freaky looking, isn’t he?), I think about Jurassic Park.
Chaos Theory, my man.
Let’s face it: Jeff Goldblum's sputtery, pseudo-science nerd-cracks about those incorrigible (read: ferociously murderous) dinos might as well have referred to the wanton, impulsive, and ultimately enduring career of the sometimes bombastic Black, who is kind of a snarling reptile in his own right. I mean, come on; he growls, he roars, he’s relatively hairless, and, just like life, he “finds a way.”
Dubbing himself “Black Francis,” for his successful but ultimately strained run as frontman of Pixies until 1993, Black then changed his path like a drop of water rolling off a hand and decided to revert back to using his real name for a string of solo albums through the rest of the '90s and well into the '00s, most recently culminating in the Dylan-inspired Honeycomb. Even when Pixies reunited, Black stuck to his real name and tended to avoid the old stage moniker like Raptors avoid a T. Rex. Now THAT’S Chaos Theory!
But get ready for another random jerk-around, America, cuz that’s not the end of it. For no terribly apparent reason, “Black Francis” is back, and he’s fixin’ to release a new record called Bluefinger September 11 of this year on Cooking Vinyl Records. According to a press release meant to “explain” the sudden change of heart (apparently Chaos Theory isn’t really a valid reason for things in the REAL world and a legitimate explanation was sought... hmmmm), the newly re-monikered madman had the following convoluted and, dare I say unpredictable, Chaos Theory-affirming nonsense to say:
"I privately went back to the old stage name, if that even makes any sense, almost as a joke. I couldn't get The Pixies back into a studio, but I would transform into my alter ego of yesteryear. I spoke the magic syllables aloud and nothing happened; just as I thought. Soon after, my new manager asked me for a bonus track for a 'best of' compilation to be released later in the year. And as I prepared for the session, I became (honestly) gripped by the spirit of Herman Brood, and my bonus track expanded into an 11 song record called Bluefinger in just a few days. Thank you Herman. You were at the distant edge of my vision for years when suddenly I was under your influence like a cloud of opium, like the scent of the house of the rising sun. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. I had spoken the magical name and nothing had happened, but I was impatient, and like so many people, I thought the magic would reveal itself in an instant, as depicted in films. Magic is more subtle. And Herman Brood did turn me back into BLACK FRANCIS. Funny how things work out. You just never know."
Yeah, funny how things work out, indeed. So, “Who in the hell’s Herman Brood,” you ask? Well, apparently he was an eccentric Dutch painter and musician who committed suicide about 6 years ago by jumping off the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel (at least, according to Google, anyway). Does that clear things up for you at all? I didn’t think so.
So what IS the significance of the moniker switch and will be its effect on Black’s music this time around? Ladies and gentlemen, not even Dr. Ian Malcolm could answer THAT question. Looks like we’ll all just have to wait until September to try and make sense out of Black’s beautiful chaos. Here’s hoping we all survive.