An Open Letter To St. Vincent (a.k.a. Ms. Annie Clark):
Ms. Clark... or can I call you Annie?... Annie, I hope this letter finds you well. I'm sure your world is buzzing, what with the release of your debut album rapidly approaching on July 10. But then again, you're no stranger to the music biz (as we like to call it) after the release of The Polyphonic Spree's The Fragile Army, an album on which you played. As an aside, I do have to say I'm very glad you didn't drink the Kool-Aid that Jim Jones -- er, Tim DeLaughter -- had to offer. You're better off on your own than in that sea of robes, anyway.
But with releasing an album, doing press, and touring with Scout Niblett (!), I'll bet your life is going to be pretty hectic. Point being, I want to be your rock. If you accept my proposal and Marry Me, I can prepare us a warm, cozy home for you to return to when all of this brouhaha dies down. I'll water the plants and scramble the eggs, and all you have to do is sing me your beautiful songs when we wake up in the morning. You know what they say: "Behind every great female songstress, there's a great online music news writer." I know in the title track to your album you ask some "John" to marry you, but honestly, what does John have that I don't? An 'h' and an 'n'? Come on! And I know you have a thing for 'J' names, as proven by your work with SufJan Stevens.
Well, Joe here, and I'm ready to settle down. Hit me up.
Marry Me tracklist:
07.06.07 - Denton, TX - Hailey’s*
07.07.07 - Austin, TX - The Parish*
07.08.07 - Houston, TX - Walter’s*
07.09.07 - New Orleans, LA - The Parish / House of Blues*
07.10.07 - Decatur, GA - Wordsmiths Books In-Store (solo)
07.11.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl*
07.12.07 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle*
07.13.07 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506*
07.14.07 - Washington, DC - The Rock and Roll Hotel*
07.15.07 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar*
07.17.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom*
07.18.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East*
07.19.07 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa*
07.20.07 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern*
07.21.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern*
07.22.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle*
07.24.07 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry*
07.25.07 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room*
07.26.07 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar*
07.27.07 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive*
07.28.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue*
07.30.07 - Vancouver, BC - Lamplighter #
08.01.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge#
08.03.07 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord #%
08.04.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo #
08.05.07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah #
08.07.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified #
08.08.07 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
08.09.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
09.01.07 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot
* Scout Niblett
# Death Vessel
% Ferraby Lionheart
# Born Ruffians
Melody Day, the single EP from the forthcoming Andorra, out on July 10:
1. Melody Day
2. Melody Day (Four Tet remix) featuring Luke LaLonde, Adem and One Little Plane
3. Zoe *
* not on the 7-inch
This is what we call investigative journalism. Hearing that Aesop Rock had made his new album None Shall Pass available for a limited-edition pre-order, I hit the Hip-Hop Database forums to see what the kids were saying. Due to the overwhelming ignorance, I planned to change the names to protect identities and maximize hilarity. However, after 15 minutes of struggling to create funny-sounding aliases, I resolved to just imagine this forum bashing occurring at the Doha Extremism Debate... because sloppy political references are funny?
shaykh Hamza Yusuf: heheh you ready? Im'a ghost write for aesop!
platypus splash mercury sting hamburger in in sperm blimp retrospection
crack epileptic stepfather villianous vaginal postal erection
tunafish spongecake japanese head cold balls piece of paper
venereal disease laptop 67 mustang lobster windshield scraper
actually, this shits too good for aesop, half of the time that MF dont even ryhme.
John Esposito (founding director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University): yeah right,,
arock is tight...basically..compare YOUR rhymes..on a cassette player..(oh sorry..cd player)..rRIGHT next to his....PROLLEM Solved.///..
Diana Buttu (former spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority): more like asuk rock
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: he's different...he's gonna have haters and homies
For the homies, the disc is available for pre-order now. The first 500 copies will be signed and include stickers and a poster. The title track is available for free download from the Adult Swim/Definitive Jux collaboration Definitive Swim and torrent sites everywhere.
Fans of all things twee, fey, and cute: get out those pixie stix and rejoice! Athens, GA-based Kindercore Records is back! Now hold on, you Thurston acolytes & No Fun Fest-ers, don't tune out yet; Kindercore isn't much different from the obscure labels you love today. It too (occasionally) releases ‘albums’ on cassette, just like some of your most beloved limited-edition-friendly labels. Plus, its roster's musical style (mostly fun, bouncy, smart-but-saccharine pop tunes with a fair amount of Brit-inva love) is... well... something most underground music fans can only handle in small doses. On second thought, Kindercore is probably the exact opposite of everything your scratchy, distorted heart holds dear -- no way around it.
During the label's initial run (1996-2003), Kindercore was, at times, ahead of the curve. Kindercore fostered Of Montreal when they were using more guitars than keyboards, and Norway was just a twinkle in Kevin Barnes' eye. They put out the best Essex Green records before Merge jumped on their bandwagon, and I Am The World Trade Center's name was one of the first things to offend overly sensitive “patriots” in the days following September 11, 2001.
After some bad business dealings in its last few years, the label was forced to shutter (against founders Ryan Lewis & Daniel Geller's wishes) by its financial backers. Lewis & Geller only recently were awarded legal rights to the Kindercore name and musical catalog, and decided to bring KR back from the dead. The label plans to sell its catalog on iTunes, while putting out new releases from local groups King of Prussia, Ruby Isle, and USSR. It hopes to provide other kinds of entertainment and info, too, with future plans to release comics (an anthology, The Trouble Revolution, has already been announced) and feature videos, contributions from writers, t-shirt designers, and other surprises on its website. If all that doesn't put a smile on your face, then you probably stopped reading a long time ago.
“A new Sunset Rubdown album is like the bee’s knees and the monkey’s eyebrows rolled into one,” says Sir Cophagus.
Day 14: a Saturday:
I was two weeks into my journey without making any serious headway whatsoever. But I was close. I knew it from the unmistakable scent and sense of wonder I smelt and felt. (If you’re not a true treasure seeker, you wouldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about... and shame on you for thinking you are worth the time and effort to breathe the same air as us exalted archaeologicos. WE are important; you are not.) I was getting paid to search for the mummy of Queen Hatsoffnshutup in what used to be known as Mesopotamia, or “Ol’ Pot” as it is called in the biz. I knew I wouldn’t find the tomb -- I was searching in the wrong area of the continent, and it didn't exist anyway -- but I didn’t want to break the heart of my benefactor, who was a psycho crackpot. He had visions of me unearthing the Queen and him marrying it in a small civil ceremony. But I was hoping to find a few valuable trinkets to flog, so I could rent my sofa bed for another week. Admittedly, I had been going through a rough patch as far as the adventure stakes were concerned.
I mopped my brow with the PVC loin cloth I stole last night off of a beefy stripper at the “Ace Club” after running out on a bill that included three pickled eggs, a quart of lemon gin, and a VIP-room private dance. I smiled briefly before stepping on a loose stone and falling into a dark, shallow pit. I brandished my trusty Zippo and noticed a piece of parchment, possibly goat’s skin, which bore a list of titles or names in thin-ink cursive. It was spotted with what looked to be a three-legged burro’s cum stains (they looked a little like the 1558 map of Italy, around the time of the accession of Elizabeth I).
I hightailed it out of there and quickly returned to my home base to have my efficient office gal Pepita analyze the specimen for identification purposes and possible value. “Hmm,” she began. “It looks newer than the parchment would indicate. Recent, but pre-Paris Hilton jail term period, I reckon. Not my sort of thing, but some people will be excited by this discovery, for certain.”
I knew Pepita’s “thing” quite well, as she plays nothing but ear-splitting, obscure polka around the office. “What is it?” I asked.
“It seems to be a tentative song list for the forthcoming Sunset Rubdown album, Random Spirit Lover. Common sense dictates that the ones in bold are the actual tunes that will find their way onto the album, and the others are some stupid fucker’s joke titles."
“What are the stains?” I queried.
She sighed. “I dunno. Tears of joy from a pathetic indie-rock loser?”
I crumpled up the hide, threw it in the garbage, and stretched. “Alright, do you wanna grab a burrito?” I asked Pepita.
“Nope,” she retorted rather too quickly for my liking. “I’ve decided I’m only going to go out with guys who can actually pay some bills and get it up in the sack.”
I should have known this adventure was going to be a bust.
Possible Random Spirit Lover tracklist, out in October on Jagjaguwar:
The Mending of the Gown
He Had Trombones for Limbs and Dice for Teeth
Magic vs. Midas
Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days
For the Doctor Who Used His Saw
The Courtesan Has Sung
Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns
Unglue Your hips, Thunderlips
Hairshirt vs. Babyskin
For the Pier (and dead shimmering)
The Taming of the Hands that Came Back to Life
(esirper) snaej s’ivoJ noB gniraew saw eh tub rekihhctih eht pu kcip ot tnaw t’ndid I
Settling vs. Rising
Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!
Here Comes Dumb Bum Gibby Gorilla!
Remember that coming up with something original is hard work. So don’'t. Why bother trying when you can string sentences together like a useless tit by using catch-fire phrases? For example, if you are writing a story about Richard Hawley, it has been proven time and time again these lazy words always do the trick nicely:
former Pulp guitarist (acceptable to combine this with entry below)
former Longpigs guitarist (acceptable to combine this with entry above)
2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner
*(bonus tip: use snappy phrase for album like “long-player”)
For album news, you will have to mention the album’'s title, release date, label, and tracklisting. Try something like this: “Bespectacled Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley will be releasing a new album on August 20 in the UK and on October 2 in the U.S. The long-player, entitled Lady’s Bridge, will be released through Mute Records and is the follow-up to the former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist’s 2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner. Here is the tracklist!”
2. Roll River Roll
4. Tonight the Streets Are Ours
5. Lady Solitude
6. Dark Road
7. The Sea Calls
8. Lady’s Bridge
9. I’m Looking for Someone To Find Me
10. Our Darkness
11. The Sun Refused To Shine
For tour news, you will have to list the show dates, the host city and country, and the venue name. Repeating album news (like in the example posted above) is encouraged. Try something like this: “Bespectacled Sheffield crooner Richard Hawley will be touring the United Kingdom in September in support of his forthcoming album out on Mute Records on August 20 in the UK and on October 2 in the U.S. The long-player, entitled Lady’'s Bridge, will be released through Mute Records and is the follow up to the former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist’'s 2005 Mercury Prize-nominated album Coles Corner. Here are the dates!”
09.02.07 - Southampton, England - Guildhall
09.03.07 - Cambridge, England - Corn Exchange
09.04.07 - Brighton, England - Dome
09.05.07 - London, England - Roundhouse
09.07.07 - Birmingham, England - Symphonic Hall
09.08.07 - Liverpool, England - Philharmonic
09.09.07 - Oxford, England - New Theatre
09.10.07 - Bristol, England - Colston Hall
09.12.07 - Sheffield, England - City Hall
09.14.07 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Queens Hall
09.16.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - City Halls
09.17.07 - Gateshead, England - Sage
09.19.07 - Leicester, England - De Montford Hall
09.20.07 - Bradford, England - St. Georges Hall
09.21.07 - Manchester, England - Bridgewater Hall
09.23.07 - Dublin, Rep. of Ireland - The Place
Pump your fist in the air and yell, “"I'’m a music journalist"!” Feel free to call your friends and family to gloat about the success and fame that you will soon be experiencing. Look into the mirror with a smug, self-congratulatory grin. Pretend you are banging a supermodel while you beat off into the crapper.
End of lessons.
Chemical Ali will go down in history as one of the most brutal pieces of shit in history. But because he is in the news, and because we are news reporters of some sort, it would be unprofessional not to mention these four little-known facts about the man:
1. Chemical Ali actually got his nickname when he was the only person to not lose his cookies while on peyote with The Doors in the desert. Coincidently, he was the inspiration for the “Mr. Mojo Risin’” nickname after Jim Morrison awoke during the night to see the wild Iraqi dry-humping a cactus.
2. He was seen cheering the Hell’s Angels’ murder of Meredith Hunter at the free Stones concert at Altamont Motor Speedway, CA near the end of 1969 and freaked out the notoriously tough gang when he was overheard offering to get rid of the evidence by eating the poor victim’s body for a gram of hash.
3. “Shimmy A” once had creative musical hopes and dreams like we all do. For instance, he used to envision recording with Phil Spector, using the producer’s patented wall-of-sound technique to record a hi-energy house workout album. He got the idea after taking E while raping and pillaging his way across Europe during his gap year (clarification: this wish to hook up with Spector may have more to do with his orgiastic urge of getting guns pointed at his head).
4. Chemical Ali has always been an evil bastard consumed with plans of killing off the Kurd and Shi'ite peoples in Iraq but he has been responsible for other hate crimes as well. He has been responsible for the mass decline of Latin curricula in schools over the last 30 years, and he also helped kill off skiffle and be-bop. In a rare interview published by Tiger Beat, Ali claimed his hatred for the sickening TV show 7th Heaven. “You’re next 7th Heaven!”, he shouted. The next year, it was canceled.
The fact that he may be hanged before Magik Markers release their new album BOSS on September 25 through Ecstatic Peace may finally have him uncharacteristically rattled. Not even Ali could deny the greatness of this band, could he? Well, he might be the only one actually... dude hates everything and has a fucking tin ear to boot.
The sound of one hand hitting another is called clapping. The sound of two hands hitting out at anything in their way is called Pete Nolan. The sound of choreographed step-kicking is called Stomp the Yard. The sound of someone shit-kicking your grey matter is called Elisa Ambrogio. The sound of children singing “Do-Re-Mi” is The Sound of Music. The sound of children blowing up bullfrogs by making them inhale cigarettes is the sound of Magik Markers.
Boss BOSS tracklisting:
1. Axis Mundi
2. Body Rot
3. Last of the Lemach Line
4. Empty Bottles
6. Four/The Ballad of Harry Angstrom
7. Pat Garrett
8. Bad Dream/Hartford’s Beat Suite
By now we all know what All Tomorrow's Parties is. The ATP website describes itself as such: "Details to be updated soon." So, we're left with little, but you know it as both the curators of across the pond-cum-in our backyard music festiveness as well as a record label with Bardo Pond, The Drones, and Jackie-O Motherfucker — among others — on its roster.
But, lest I forget, this is not an ATP story.
I nearly shit my pants the other day when I learned of a brand new Jackie-O Motherfucker release. They're a droney, folky psychedelicacy. As they're prone to releasing on multiple independent labels, like ATP, Ecstatic Peace, and now Uzo Audio, JOMF releases tend to go unnoticed among the uninitiated. I'm personally nominating all of you for initiation.
Freaker Pipe, JOMF's new album, limited to just 1000 copies, contains some of their newest live recordings and features Jessica Rylan of Can't (among other things) and members of My Cat Is An Alien and Moglass for a freak-out collab.
Willowz: [adopting the accent and tone of Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, from The Sopranos] Heyyyy Grant, how are ya sport! Nice eyelineah, Nancy boiiii! Say, you reviewed our new CD yet?
Grant: What? I--... no.
Willowz: Curious. We sent yas the CD eight montts ago!
Grant: I know, I know. Actually, I’m kind of relieved to see you because I’ve been meaning to tell you that I dig Chataqua a lot, seriously.
Willowz: Tanks. I wish it didn’t require a ‘seriously,’ but tanks.
Grant: I’m just sayin’ you know, in case you thought I was dodgin’ ya. [laughs nervously]
Willowz: Oh, and what would give us that idea? [punches Grant straight in the gravy basket, cracks him on the face with a roundhouse left, then gives our beleaguered reporter a toe-punch to the stomach] Fackin’ deadbeat.
Grant: I’m-sorry I’m-sorry, look, maybe I can write a news story [cough, gasp] or... I dunno, recommend it to my [spit bloody loogy]... friends.
Willowz: Yeah, ye’re gonna recommend it tah yah friends AN relatives [another kick, more gentle this time, which I appreciate], am I making myself cleah? Othahwise I scoop out ya eyes like a coupla pitted olives I’d find in a nice antipaste... you know, ‘cause I like ta eat. You’ve seen my show.
Grant: Yes, you could even say I’ve borrowed ideas from the show quite a bit. And yes sir, I’ll get right on that. I won’t come up short next time... in fact, how about this; next time I review a Willowz CD, I’ll add two points.
Grant: That I can’t do.
Willowz: G, I’ms askin’ you ta reconsidah!
Grant: Well, ok. Now, I’m off to pick up some mozzarella...
Willowz: Woah-ho-ho Ernhawt, slow down, ain’t you forgettin’ somethin’? I mean, you’s gonna mention da’ touah too, right?
Grant: The... wha--.... the what?
Willowz: THE TOUAH, THE TOUAH... the TOUah.
Grant: Oh right. But how will I write a Tour News story without everyone knowing that a well-known gangster stereotype has coerced me into it?
Willowz: I’m sure you’ll think a somethin’. Fackin’ deadbeat.
And so it goes:
* w/ The Detroit Cobras
The Cure to Tour This September in Support of Pending Release, Titled Maybe We’re Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline!; Tyra Banks to Bitch Slap Cover Girl Execs for Losing Album Title Plug to Better-Taglined Makeup Rival; America’s Next Top Model Girls To Put Tyra Out of Her Marginally Overweight Misery
NOTE: Included are three letters written to those most likely to be emotionally, spiritually, and seriously, honestly, sincerely, affected by news of The Cure’s fall tour and pending album release.
Dear Billie Joe Armstrong,
Grab a figurative tissue for those raccoon eyes. You’re about to go Wake Me Up When September Ends* on us.
Your trailblazing predecessors, i.e., those who wore smudgy black eyeliner before you, i.e. The Cure, are set to start touring this September.
The thing is, after giving your rabble-rousing, life-changing, rock-and-fucking-rolling American Idiot album an oh-so-righteous spin, it seems you’ve already got plans hiding under the sheets all September, being drenched in your pain (again?) and becoming who you are. Oh, man!
Please accept these from me to you for the long, hard, soul-emptying month o’ depression. I’m sincerely sorry you’re missing The Cure’s first month of touring! Maybe you’ll buy the album they’re releasing? Maybe we’ll go see them in October, when you wake up?
Lunch date, soon, okay?
* Re: a whiny, shrill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-watching, diary-keeping, Ben & Jerry-binging, "it’s that time of the month" brand of bitchy. No, seriously, though. You taught us, Billie! WAR IS SENSELESS! Now that you’ve earned a “Renegade of the Year” title from Rolling Stone given the wild success of your CONCEPT ALBUM!, trumpeting such incendiary Jesus of Suburbia musings, I GET THAT WAR IS SENSELESS, not to trust my government, and to subsequently question whether you are in fact the Christ to Bono’s God the Father. Amen, peace be with you. Seriously.
Dear Tyra Banks,
The Cure looks better in eye makeup.
Okay, I’m kidding. You don’t look a little rough next to the girls on America’s Next Top Model, not at all. Not even when you wear weird headbands. Never. Especially not then.
Look, a cheeseburger!
Kidding. Honestly. You totally have three or so hot points on Kirstie Alley.
Go see The Cure. In spirit of eyeliner! Makeup tips for da’ models? For you?
THE REAL DEAL: The Cure’s album, still no word on its name, is set for release sometime this fall.
As for the tour, tickets went on sale yesterday (Thursday), and are now available. 65 Days of Static are slotted as the opening gig for The Cure (including Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, and Porl Thompson).
Eyeliner is always sexy, Kirstie Alley rarely is: