Summerfest Kicks Off with a Big Bang! Shit, You Missed Steely Dan and REO Speedwagon. FUCK!

"I don't even really consider Summerfest to be a music festival," were my friend Elliot's words today when describing the world's largest music festival — now in its 40th year — which opened last night in Milwaukee, WI and runs through July 8.

The vision of Summerfest, purportedly to revitalize the Milwaukee downtown and unite the community, at least serves to draw out much of Wisconsin's riff-raff, usually content with dairy consumption, for a week or so of increased beer drinking, cigarette chain-smoking, and marijuana use along the rocks lining the Lake Michigan shore/Summerfest grounds.

To be certain, music can be heard. The festival includes year-in, year-out, washed-up mainstays Styx, Weird Al Yankovic, Finger Eleven, Reel Big Fish, Rusted Root, Collective Soul, Peter Frampton, and comedian Lewis Black.

Summerfest also presents the impossible task of choosing between Umphrey's McGee, Bob Weir & RatDog, and Keller Williams, all of whom play on July 5, at least for the likely doped-up, dreaded-out, noodle-dancing attendees.

Other headlining, national touring acts include O.A.R., Silversun Pickups, Shiny Toy Guns, Wolfmother, Sugarland, Blue Oyster Cult, Sum 41, Fuel, Goo Goo Dolls, Rise Against, Slaughter, Lindsay Buckingham, Lifehouse, Sister Hazel, Big & Rich, George Thorogood, Saliva, King Solomon, Heart, Social Distortion, Femi Kuti, The Wailers, Jackyl, Buddy Guy, A.F.I., WAR, Randy Travis, The Black Crowes, Plain White T's, Less Than Jake, Asia, Arrested Development, Local H, Los Lonely Boys, B.B. King, Sevendust, Augustana, Chevelle, Dashboard Confessional, Hellyeah!, Cowboy Mouth, Live, Papa Roach, Guster, Old 97s, Son Volt, Lupe Fiasco, G. Love & Special Sauce, INXS, and Brain McKnight. I know, I know — stop me when I mention something you like, something that was moderately cool to your kid sister years ago. The entire schedule can be viewed here.

Offering the slightest bit of redemption value or what may be of interest to Tiny Mix Tapes readers are Built To Spill and Spoon.

Rounding out the festival are a slew of local Wisconsin acts including, but not limited to, The LoveMonkeys, Pat McCurdy, Willy Porter Band, and Speakeasy, featuring the Iron Mike Dison on trombone, one of my middle school assistant band directors, who I could tell you a seedy tale or two about.

Admission will run you $15 if you're an adult (over 10 years old) attending the fest after 4 PM. It'll cost a mere $8 if you enter the festival grounds prior to 4 PM on a weekday, but I'd advise strongly against it. Then again, if you're hell-bent on seeing Spoon, staking out spots several hours before their set could guarantee better "seats" — everyone stands on the rows of metal, bleacher seats, all of which sit on a level surface -- no theater or stadium seating here, so no un-obstructed views either.

For that kind of luxury seating you can pay mega bucks to see Def Leppard w/ Foreigner and Styx; The Fray w/ OK Go, Ludacris w/ Chris Brown, Ciara, and T-Pain; Roger Waters; John Mayer w/ Ben Folds; Tool; Bon Jovi; Daughtry; Panic at the Disco! w/ Gym Class Heroes; or Toby Keith w/ Miranda Lambert, and Flynnville, who play the Marcus Amphitheater on successive dates, each show requiring its own individually purchased, full-priced ticket, as well as the normal admission into the festival grounds.

What I'm getting at here, and I apologize for burying my lead at the end of the story, is that the world's largest music festival is potentially also the world's most expensive and may not even be worth attending. Unless you really like Miller Lite.

Weezer is back in the studio, and I’m stuck wondering how long my series of Dada-influenced stories will last before I’m eventually fired from a volunteer position.

My friend, Ryan, told me, over beers (lots of beers), that the last two Weezer albums weren’t very good because Rivers realized he could make a lot more money releasing highly accessible pop versus songs about infant Japanese girls. Infant Japanese girls, however, have been having J-Pop shoved down their throats by parents.

Soooo, Weezer’s accessible pop has been interfering with the natural process by which young children’s ears mature and develop. By the age of 13, a youngster’s eardrums are strong and able! They can handle the intense vibrations and discern highly inventive tunes from the throbbing immaculate, diamond–studded cut of Chris Benoit’s legacy.

The Canadian Crippler crippled his ties with Weezer last week when he did away with his life and wife. But that hasn’t kept Rivers from preaching the good times. Early '08 is the projected date for the good word.

Rivers and Co. may be coming to your town, so if you ladies out there have a free night to get crazy with the “Blue Boys” and watch [Vera Drake] on the big screen in their giant pink and purple Streamliner tour van, but NO HANKY-PANKY! So you girls who want to get drunk and humped will have to find some cute Harvard alumni.

But in all seriousness, the main point of this essay is not to talk about Rivers and his battle with abstinence, but that the good ol’ boys are back in the studio starting July. Really, that is all I wanted to say. I’m not sure how we started talking about Chris Benoit or young Japanese girls. I mean, it’s true those topics couldn’t be avoided, but I just want to make clear that Weezer is releasing a new album sometime in the early of 2008. Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.

XBXRX Consider Being Special Middle East Envoys for Palestinian Governance and Economic Issues

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Three reasons to go see XBXRX:

1

2

3

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Three reasons why you might not go see XBXRX:

1

2

3 (listening to this in privacy is your best bet)

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Your choice

07.21.07 - Baltimore MD - Whartscape Festival
07.22.07 - Johnson City, TN - The Hideaway
07.23.07 - Murfreesboro, TN - The Boro Bar
07.24.07 - Athens, GA - Caledonia
07.25.07 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
07.26.07 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree Cafe
07.27.07 - Pensacola, FL - Sluggo‘s
07.28.07 - Orlando, FL - Taste
07.29.07 - Miami, FL - Churchill‘s
07.30.07 - Jacksonvoille, FL - TSI
07.31.07 - Wilmington, NC - Soapbox Laundro Lounge
08.01.07 - Washington DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
08.02.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Toddpnyc.com
08.26.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fuck Yeah Festival @ The Echo

Sounds tracklist (improv EP out later this year on Important!):

[Photos: Chris Woo (first photo), Sun Humns (second photo)]

Now This Is What It’s Like When Worlds Collide, Now This Is What It’s Like: Acid Mothers Guru Guru Tour

At my (real) place of employment — we'll call it a warehouse job — the employees are allowed use of the Musicmatch Jukebox. This is a luxury no other previous workplace I've encountered has afforded its employees, so we all feel very privileged.

But, more than a privilege, it's a responsibility.

But no one IS responsible; we're all a bunch of greedy fucks. No one takes turns: everyone puts their track selections ahead of everyone else's; people select outrageous amounts of music. Worst, no one has any sense of decency when selecting picks in music tracks — there's a lot of R. Kelly, shitty reggaeton, and Top 40 R&B.

Come to think of it, maybe the true crime is that which is not available through the service — 95% of The Beatles' catalog, good Captain Beefheart, the early Suicide albums, etc.

But I was surprised to see one Acid Mothers Temple album, Electric Heavyland, and so I selected the first track, the 15-minute "Atomic Rotary Grinding God/Quicksilver Machine Head." Not two minutes of the track played until it was skipped by Krista over to Powerman 5000, which caused her to lip-synch and bop her head in delight. Now, I guess, this is what it's like when worlds collide. Now this is what it's like.

Out there in the real world, when Tsuyama Atsushi and Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple and Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru collide, they become Acid Guru's Temple — no, Acid Mothers Guru Guru, and then they go on a U.S. tour:

I know right?

...

Okay, writing this article without the 200-word space filler of arbitrary letters is more difficult than I thought (I’m totally aware that this does not say much for my ability as a writer). Additionally, I made an OiNK joke the other day, so I can’t fall back on that. So uh... straight news?

Artist in Residence has released a book that follows Sigur Rós through Iceland on their 2006 Takk tour. The “Classic” (read: lame) version of In a Frozen Sea: A Year with Sigur Rós retails for $20 and contains 32 pages of “never before seen photographs, observations and quotes that captures the band in their words, in their world.” The Limited Edition (what is with bands doing this lately) (I think I’m subconsciously linking myself to prove that I do not ALWAYS suck at writing) sells for $150 and contain 12-inch vinyls of Agaetis Byrjun, ( ), and Takk. Additionally, the set holds the first 12-inch pressing of Smaskifa (this is where the OiNK joke would have gone). This edition is limited to 5000 units, 50 of which will be signed by the band.

The book’s site (which may or may have not been an area from cut from Myst IV: Revelation) will allow visitors to listen to Sigur Rós’ music, watch videos, interact on message boards, learn more about the D’ni civilization, and hopefully save Atrius from certain doom.

Finally, the site contains a section for independent musicians to submit their own music to be judged by Alan Moulder, Flood, and Sigur Rós. However, according to the release we received, the purpose of this judging is left as a cliffhanger worthy of a Trapped in the Closet chapter.

Clear Channel Is That High School Bully Who Had More Money Than Anyone But Had Really Bad Body Odor So No One Liked Him

You really have to beg the question, "When will these assholes give it up?" The only answer for that probably is, "Never." Sad too, because I can't imagine those corporate jackasses are actually happy with their lives. I mean, they really aren't happy with anything, because they're always trying to fuck things up. Let me tell you what our good friends at Clear Channel have been up to.

Clear Channel allows independent and local artists to submit music for air and online play. Normally artists get digital performance royalties if their music is streamed online. Clear Channel has decided to do away with this detail, opting for a solution that requires the artists to waive their performance royalties. Essentially, this means the artists get absolutely nothing out of it. Even worse, when the artists submit their material, it immediately gets placed under a "royalty-free non-exclusive right and license," which means Clear Channel can use the songs for other things besides air play and internet streaming. You and I know what those other things can encompass. Advertising, etc, etc.

You may also be asking, "why in the shit would an artist be interested in giving their music to Clear Channel and what the shit would Clear Channel want to do with indie music anyway?" Well, aside from the obvious answers (exposure, money sans digital performance royalties, etc.), earlier this year, CBS Radio, Clear Channel, and Entercom struck a deal with the American Association of Independent Music to set aside 8,400 half-hour blocks of air-time for local and indie artists. But why again was that "deal" struck anyway? Well, have you heard of payola before? Perhaps not lately with these particular broadcasters, because in addition to the blocks of air-time devoted to indie/local artists and a $12.5 million payment, the settlement for the recent payola scandal included no admission of wrongdoing.

I guess there was no scandal after all!

Eric Copeland of Black Dice is a Mysterious Hermaphrodite Who Likes to Have Relations with Grizzly Bears. Not Grizzly Bear the Band, But Actual Grizzly Bears. Oh, and He’s Releasing His First Solo Album in August.

The word "hermaphrodite" can explain many different things. For one, it can define the sexual orientation of a person. For instance, there is a staff member at TMT who is a hermaphrodite. Can you guess which one? It rhymes with Ant Murdem. The word "hermaphrodite" can also mean the combination of two opposite qualities or extremes. When thinking of the experimental voyage of Black Dice, you may often hear sounds that are contradicting and disparate. This experience is akin to Eric Copeland, member of Black Dice and Terrestrial Tones, and his solo music. So how fitting is it for Copeland's first solo effort to be titled Hermaphrodite?

It is a perfectly fine-ass fit for Copeland and a much anticipated, if not, mysterious release. And we often associate these compelling atmospheric loops and layers with the unknown. According to Paw Tracks, the sexy label releasing Hermaphrodite: "like a good mix tape, Hermaphrodite flips the listener with each new song, engaging them to keep up, make the connections, and, ultimately, enjoy." Now that doesn't sound too mysterious. So to clear things up, I did some research, and in classic Emceegreg fashion, I slept on that research and a bag of Cheetos for three days straight. My conclusions of the life of Copeland are exalting and are as follows:

- Hermaphrodite will be released August 14, 2007. This is the same day as Emceegreg's birthday. Concidence?

- Eric Copeland is often mistaken as Eric Stoltz by New York City passerby. This enrages Copeland, not because he dislikes Stoltz' work, but because they think Copeland is the Stoltz' character from the Cher-tastic film, Mask.

- Eric Copeland made some of this album to work with the films of visual artists Theo Angel, Yuki Kimura, and Jim Mickle.

- Eric Copeland is only "doin' the music thang" to upstage his brother, Bjorn.

- Eric Copeland will be touring throughout North America sometime this year. Only Oprah's vag (va-jay-jay) knows exactly when this will occur.

- Black Dice will be releasing a new full-length on Paw Tracks in October, including a North American tour.

- Eric Copeland will be staring in the film Grizzly Man 2: Back in Action. The film will document Copeland's enthusiastic but trite love affair with an Alaskan grizzly bear named Scarla. The film will win many awards.

- Eric Copeland hates Emceegreg. They are mortal enemies but have much respect for one another at the same time.

Hermaphrodite tracklist:

The New Pornographers Tour, Joe Francis Doesn’t

WARNING: The following story contains material not suitable for children.

Ever wonder what happens what you take an all-star band of absolutely outrageous co-eds, get a few instruments in ‘em, put them all up on stage together, and fly them all around North America for a summer???

Of COURSE you have!!!

(Cue the Hawaiian Party music, please)

Introducing British Columbia’s own New Pornographers, Uncut, UN-fettered, and UN-leashed!!!

This summer, you can hear ALL of what you’ve been missing (and we mean ALL of it!) on the new Challengers LP, on sale August 21 from Matador, and catch eyeful after unbelievable eyeful of the sensuous action as the colorful cast tours the continent in search of the hottest clubs, theaters, and festivals around!

That’s right! These seven sexy singles are packing themselves into a tour bus and bearing it ALL while they support the release of their fourth studio album. But when the houselights turn OFF, these rowdy boys and girls turn ON... if you get my awkward innuendo!

WATCH all the action as Neko Case and A.C. Newman let it all hang out at the Pitchfork Festival Afterparty in Chicago...

LOOK-ON as Dan Bejar and Kathryn Calder end up “accidentally” sharing a hotel room together in Seattle...

OBSERVE as I run dangerously low on synonyms...

But that’s not all! Order NOW and receive a complementary MP3 download of the song “My Rights Versus Yours” from The New Pornographers’ website FREE with your purchase!!! Man, this band is Outta-control Krazy!!! You’ve got to hear/see it to believe it!

Don’t miss your chance to see the most outrageously out-of-control show in Indie Rock! Don’t make me use another exclamation point! Just look at theeeeeese beauties:

The Challengers LP is NOT available in stores! (Yes it is!)

Call Now! (Don’t call anywhere!)

Iceland. The word rarely has the chance to breathe before the ethnocentric in all of us quickly jumps up whenever the country’s name is spoken and spurts “cold,” “weird,” and “northern” before downing the last of our cigs and Silver Bullets and drifting off to dreamland mumbling something that sounds like “ bunchh neer f‘fn sslandinavbian....”

But did you know:

- Phonebooks in Iceland list residents by their first name because most Icelanders practice patronymic and matronymic name calling... who knew? You?

- Lots of people fish in Iceland. Surely this is strange for an island community, no?

- There is a ring road in Iceland that links many cities together. Roads linking cities? Wow. I... am... truly... speechless!

Iceland, with its phonebooks, fishing, and roads, doesn’t seem that different from Porkey, PA, Chicken, AK, or Yeehaw Junction, FL, but different it is. We can read all of the useless trivia we want, but us last-name cataloging nitwits will never come close to understanding this peculiar republic unless we all go over and spend a month in a turf house writing Nordic sagas after consuming large amounts of Brennívin and pickled ram testicles. A more palatable option for “coldweirdnorthern” comprehension is to learn a little about Ice-island culture through enjoying their artists: poets, writers, composers, and for our purposes, their musicians.

Normally, Tiny Mix minions throughout the land do this by embracing the bigger Icelandic stars like müm, Sigur Rós, and Björk. Like those incredibly odd and incredibly talented artists, umpteen-piece pop orchestra Benni Hemm Hemm will soon be commanding some attention of their own Stateside when they undertake their first U.S. tour.

Benni Hemm Hemm -- which is either Icelandic for “Birdy Num Num” or the nickname of band leader Benedikt Hermann Hermannsson -- released their debut album in May on Morr Music called Kajak. If you are not familiar with the band, our very own master bird-watcher, raconteur, “extreme fencing” instructor, and resident BDSM dominant with a knack for knots Jeffrey Canino thought this about the album. There. Now you’ve read the review and you’ve read the news tour blurb. I guess the only thing left to read is a completely unrelated and wholly inappropriate and nonsensical Led Zeppelin and Benni Hemm Hemm/Iceland-referencing lyric mash-up: “Ah-hah-aaaaaa-ah! Ah-hah-aaaaaa-ah!/ Come from the land of the ice and snow from the midnight sun where the glaciers glow/ Hemm Hemm of the Gods/ We drive our tour trucks to new land/ To fight the self-important TV chefs, celebrity poseur whores, and douchebag politico pundits/ America I am comii-iii-iii-iing...!”

Benni Hemm Hemm: their only goal will be the Western shore:
07.05.07 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
07.06.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East, Upstairs
07.07.07 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s
07.08.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
07.09.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
07.10.07 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
07.13.07 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Café
07.14.07 - Portland, OR - Towne Lounge
07.16.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
07.17.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
07.18.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Paperheart
07.20.07 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
07.21.07 - Houston, TX - Proletariat
07.24.07 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
07.25.07 - Wilmington, NC - Bella Festa
07.26.07 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
07.27.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
07.28.07 - New York, NY - Union Hall

Jay Reatard (ex-Reatards, Lost Sounds, Bad Times, Final Solutions, Terror Visions, Destruction Unit, Nervous Patterns, current Evil Army) Gets Off His Lazy Ass and Tours

Reasons Jay Reatard is Cool:

- Displays stick-to-itiveness by retaining nickname he adopted in his mid-teens.

- My friend Liz says so, and she regularly gives me free stuff from the coffee shop where she works.

- Cool Go-Betweens cover on his new "I Know a Place" 7-inch.

- Swears sometimes.

- Has been constantly recording music for over a decade and has toured the world multiple times in near-countless bands.

- I am sorry for copping out and using the list format.

- Has mounted a tour of southern Europe and eastern North America.

- Released his solo debut Blood Visions and a new a 12-inch single, entitled "Night of Broken Glass" on In the Red Records, known for releasing material by The Ponys, Sparks, The Black Lips, and other luminaries.

- In spite of its high-profile release and subsequent tour, retains underground appeal after blogs refer to the single as “the sort of crusty nugget that will make students of the post-punk era wish they studied harder.”

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