The Andrew Bird and Apostle Of Hustle Unofficial Power Hour Presents: The Whistle While You Tour, Hotel Tour of Death
Warning: The following account is violent, sexy, and a little misogynist. It is based on truth.
The still suspiciously named Andrew Bird just flew over my Ford Fiesta last month and dropped a giant splotch-of-an-album, Armchair Apocrypha (TMT Review), all over my windshield. Rather than get pissed and curse the sky, I took a listen after stealing a car stereo from a Camaro. While rocking out to the soothing sounds of the "Bird Man," I made my way to my drugs/arms dealer, who was having a shoot out in front of his house with gang members from the South Bronx. I was baffled and shat my pants. It dawned on me that my friend, Chance, from the popular VH1 crime-drama, I Love New York, had never listened to Andrew Bird's haunting violin. I ran into his house, dodging bullets, and handed him the CD. He said "thanks" and handed me a gat.
I shot the .45 while running (I am very amazing at running and shooting) toward the car of gang people. I found that underneath a red bandana, covering his face, was my old school mate "Skeet Dawg." We put our guns down and both laughed aloud. We did the special handshake and then I hopped in his ride. I was in the back seat eating a chicken chimichanga and shooting up when I heard space-y guitars facing off against rampant drums droning from Skeet's speakers. "Man, who is this?" Skeet, who was canoodling with a hooker in the front while driving, told me that it was a bootleg copy of the new Apostle Of Hustle album National Anthem of Nowhere, released March 6 on Arts & Crafts. I questioned his knowledge and preference of Indie Rock due to his stereotypical thug physique. He told me that he was a fan ever since he met Andrew Whiteman at a Broken Social Scene concert last year in Harlem. He explained to me how Whiteman is the 30th guitarist and MVP of BSS and how Apostle of Hustle is an underrated band.
It was then that Skeet said that Apostle Of Hustle would be touring with Andrew Bird. I called bullshit and threw a brick at his face. We swerved into a ditch where the car exploded. We all made it out alive, except for the hooker. Skeet made a few calls on his iPhone. He said he'd prove to me that the tour was real. I told him something that ironic was impossible. Within a half hour, an SUV pulled to the side of the street, and in the driver's seat was Andrew Whiteman himself. I felt embarrassed, as if my mouth was full of testicles. Skeet was right! Skeet and Whiteman told me that the "Bird Man" was giving a lecture on heretics at Illinois' Northwestern University, where Bird graduated with a bachelor's degree in violin performance. When we got to campus, I saw my TMT news editor, Matt Weir, who kicked me directly in the abdomen. He shouted at me to stop pointlessly name-dropping and writing weak articles for the scholarly journal, Tiny Mix Tapes. I told him he was mean, and then he drop-kicked me like '80s Jean-Claude Van Damme while saying, "Life is mean, asshole."
After cleaning off the blood, we watched Bird's thrilling lecture at a local Wendy's near campus. Before sundown, Bird had showed the crowd of seven people how to properly convert a Frosty into fossil fuel. At the end of the lecture, he announced that he would in fact be going on tour with Apostle Of Hustle. I was shocked at the night's events, and once again I felt those familiar testicles in my mouth. I met Bird that night (Larry Bird, not Andrew Bird -- he left with Skeet, Whiteman, and Weir to get hookers) and he taught me that life isn't about demeaning women, using drugs, or listening to hipster music. He taught me that life was about being clutch, like him, and that once you overcome the extreme pressures of others, you will succeed in life. That was when I shot him and said, "Life is mean, asshole." I left him for the dogs and caught up with my homies. That night underneath the stars, Skeet, Andrew Whiteman, Andrew Bird, and I learned that life is unpredictable and that Ice Cube has gone soft on all of us.
I forgot what this was all about. Oh, yeah! Andrew Bird tourdates:
04.11.07 - Grand Rapids, MI - Calvin College - Ladies Literary Club
04.12.07 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theater
04.13.07 - Columbus, OH - Southern Theatre
04.14.07 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Ballroom
04.16.07 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
04.17.07 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
04.18.07 - Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
04.20.07 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
04.21.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Pitman Theater *
04.22.07 - Columbia, MO - Blue Note *
04.23.07 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground *
04.25.07 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre *
04.27.07 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre *
04.28.07 - Indio, CA - Cochella
04.30.07 - Hollywood, CA - Amoeba Records
05.01.07 - Francisco, CA - Fillmore San *
05.02.07 - Sacramento, CA - Harlowe's
05.04.07 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom *
05.05.07 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Theater *
05.06.07 - Bellingham, WA - Viking Union Multipurpose Room, Western University
05.11.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05.12.07 - Grinnell, IA - Herrick Chapel, Grinnell College
05.16.07 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
05.17.07 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.18.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
05.20.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
* Apostle of Hustle
Live Earth Concert Lineup and Location Revealed; Right-Wingers Chop Down Trees and Go For a Roadtrip Across the Country in Stretch Limo SUVs to Celebrate
If you're among the group of people who did not happen to see former U.S. Vice President (some say former President) Al Gore's documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, then you may not have any idea what this whole Live Earth concert is all about. See, a few years back, Gore put together this documentary about a thing called "global warming," which some people believe is a myth. The film was Gore's attempt to bring the problem to a larger audience to invoke positive environmental changes. It has since become one of the most popular documentaries ever released.
Now, Gore has placed his brand on a worldwide, 24-hour long concert dedicated to global warming called Live Earth. The show will begin in Sydney, Australia and will move around the seven continents until arriving at the final show in the U.S. Al Gore is quoted as saying, "Live Earth will help us reach a tipping point that's needed to move corporations and governments to take decisive action to solve the climate crisis." A noble concept indeed, which, like all other political topics, has its critics.
The U.S. leg of the concert, which was previously planned to occur in Washington, DC, has now been moved to a more leftist-friendly location at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey and will happen on July 7. Tickets for the event are set to go on sale at 10 AM EDT on Monday, April 16.
The U.S. show will feature performances from a James Iha-less Smashing Pumpkins, Roger Waters, the recently reunited Police, the recently immortalized Bon Jovi, Fall Out Boy, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, and many other TMT favorites.
You can also expect to see acts such as Beastie Boys, Bloc Party, Madonna, James Blunt, Keane, Black Eyed Peas, and Duran Duran if you are living in the fabled Englands. Just for the record, Neutral Milk Hotel will not be playing at this or any of the other Live Earth events.
All of the concerts are set to be streamed thanks to your good friends at Microsoft/MSN and NBC in the U.S. More than 120 other television networks are also set to participate in airing the live event throughout the world. Here's to hoping that people can simply put down their ridiculous politics (including Gore's) to simply focus their collective energies on affecting positive change. Who really needs to drive an SUV anyway?
With such contagious euphoria, it's easy to get sucked into the clouds by a group like Animal Collective. So, sometimes it takes sad news to ground us back to reality. Suffering from late-stage [?Parkinson's Disease], the grandfather of Animal Collective member Brian "Geologist" Weitz has been in the hospital for the last two months due to surgery unrelated to Parkinson's. And now Weitz' grandfather is unable to "fully wake up or recover."
In an effort to support his grandfather and promote research initiatives for Parkinson's Disease, Weitz and his mom have joined the Parkinson Council's 2007 Walk for Parkinson's in Philadelphia. The sixth-annual Walk will be held on April 21, starting at the Philadelphia Art Museum and lasting for roughly ten miles.
You can help Weitz raise funds by donating to his personal Walk webpage.
Of course, the fight against Parkinson's Disease won't end after the walk, so bookmark those links and do what you can for future walks and fundraising projects.
Festivals, festivals, festivals! Fe-est-iva-a-a-a-a-ls! It's never too early for festival news, especially when you're dedicated to the still-flourishing folk revival movement we all know and love. All way-too-easy jokes about folkies with Aran sweaters and fingers in ears aside, the Green Man Festival seems to effortlessly straddle the tumultuous divide between long-standing members of the conventional folk establishment and their sometimes-dissed folktronically-inclined contemporaries.
All the hubbub about respecting the oral tradition will be put on the shelf for one weekend in August, when "folk" folk of all musical, philosophical and political persuasions will gather once again on gorgeous Glanusk Park in the Brecon Beacons, Wales for what has become one of the UK's most friendly festivals. Along with loads of the usual (and seemingly annually participating) suspects will be Joanna Newsom (herself a Green Man repeat performer), Stephen Malkmus, and Robert Plant -- yes Robert Plant -- who will take to the stage as headliners at this year's Green Man Festival August 17-19.
Besides the attraction of impeccable vibes and eats (past years have featured veggie, organic meat, and paella stands, and this year promises fresh seafood curries and an on-site smokery!), there will be plenty of obscure spinning in the DJ tent thanks to an esteemed array of crate-diggers of a different breed, and the popular film and literature tents will be back in full force (last year's tents featured obscure "psych-commune" film screenings and included talks with quintessential folk producer Joe Boyd and quintessential folk arranger Robert Kirby).
In short, there should be no excuse for not having your weird beard fully grown and your Morris Dancing steps down by mid-August. With its walled garden Children's area, 20,000 acres of idyllic parkland, massage and alternative therapy services, and possibly the presence of the Association of Radical Midwives, it might be the only festival you could ever consider bringing your three-year-old son, 93-year-old gramma, and ?-year-old lactating mother, daughter, wife, or partner to.
Here are the confirmed acts playing this year's Green Man: Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation, Joanna Newsom, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Bill Callahan, Vashti Bunyan, Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time, Dead Meadow, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Vetiver, The Earlies, Richmond Fontaine, Euros Childs (ex-Gorky's Zygotic Mynci), Tunng, Starless and Bible Black, Lisa Knapp, Men-An-Tol, Arborea, Alela Diane, Monkey Swallows the Universe, The Yellow Moon Band, Steve Adley, Gilbert, Gareth Pearson, and John Power (ex-Cast, ex-The La's), and hopefully a set by Green Man organizers, Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagen, better known as It's Jo and Danny. Expect many more freaks to be announced soon.
El-P is currently on a European tour, but according to several sources, he's not as ecstatic as the media blitz would have you believe. Apparently, El-P's not getting along with the other kids there. One mate teased El-P's flows by calling them "stupid" and another kid ridiculed his beats as being "dumb." "I don't understand it," complained El-P. "I just want a little respect."
"He wants respect? Shit, we'll give him respect," says Hip-Hop In The U.S. board member Jim Waldon at a press conference. After his last Euro date at the Minifestival Electronica in Madrid, El-P will fly to California for the Coachella Music Festival where Hip-Hop In The U.S. expects to pay "loads" of respect to El-P.
"If there's one thing we hate here at H-HITUS, it's not giving enough respect," said Waldon. "The media, the church, the government, corporate America -- we're all brainwashed not to respect each other. But it's like... respecting each other is, or at least can be, a positive thing, and it's frustrating that some people can't see that. How [can] you not want to respect each other? It's, like -- hi, I'm dumb and I don't respect anything. Pshhhh, you know? That's nonsense man. I don't respect those kinds of people at all. I wish they'd all die."
El-P recently released I'll Sleep When You're Dead (TMT Review) on record label Definitive Jux.
04.27.07 - Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field
05.01.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub
05.02.07 - Montreal, QC - Le National Music Hall
05.03.07 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
05.04.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
05.05.07 - Columbus, OH - Little Brother's
05.06.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05.07.07 - Cincinnati, OH - Top Cats
05.08.07 - Chicago, IL - Abbey Pub
05.10.07 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theatre
05.11.07 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
05.12.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
05.14.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
05.15.07 - Vancouver, BC - Richard's On Richards
05.16.07 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
05.18.07 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
05.23.07 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse Music Venue
05.24.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theatre
05.27.07 - Austin, TX - Emo's Austin
05.28.07 - Houston, TX - Numbers
05.30.07 - New Orleans, LA - Parish At House Of Blues
06.02.07 - Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds
06.03.07 - Ybor City, FL - Orpheum
06.07.07 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
06.08.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06.09.07 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
XBXRX Announce Tour and Release New Album? Slam Your Body Down and Wind It All Around! Slam Your Body Down and Zig-A-Zig Ahhhh!
Depending on who you ask, those from Connecticut are called Connecticuters or Nutmeggers, Michigan residents refer to themselves as either Michiganders or Michiganites, and Hawaiians are often divided into the kamaaina (native-born non-ethnic Hawaiians) and malihini (newcomers). But what the hell do you call inhabitants of the crazy state of XBXRX? Anyone who has seen the band live knows the most appropriate answer is "fucked up." Not since Sharon Stone spread her legs in Basic Instinct has an act been so open to filthy displays of vulgarity and violence as the California-cum-Alabama (ahh... that explains a bit of it) shit disturbers. It goes without saying that they hold a revered place in our dark 'n' dirty hearts.
Loathed (or feared) by as many as they are loved, XBXRX will head out on tour later this week on a self-destructive trek that will include a lot of shows in the U.S. and a few dates in Canada, where they were once allegedly barred from playing for a whole year. The tour takes in the eastern part of North America, then, surprisingly enough, the western part. There is a break between tour legs because the band either wants a bit of time off from their punishing live regimen or are planning on traveling out west on pummel horses mounted on wind-powered dune buggies
04.13.07 - Sacramento, CA - Fool's Foundation
04.14.07 - Berkley, CA - Rasputin Music (early)
04.14.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock Tavern (late)
04.17.07 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
04.18.07 - Milwaukee, WI - 2719 N. Pierre St
04.19.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
04.20.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's
04.21.07 - Ottawa, Ontario - End Hits
04.22.07 - Montréal, Quebec - Zoo Bizarre
04.23.07 - Amherst, MA - Mercy House
04.24.07 - Medford, MA - Tuft's University
04.25.07 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY - SMOG @ Bard College
04.26.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Uncle Paulie's
04.27.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
04.28.07 - Bloomington, IN - Art Hospital
04.29.07 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's
05.19.07 - Bakersfield, CA - Swimsuit House
05.20.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
05.21.07 - Flagstaff, AZ - Inner Beach
05.22.07 - Mesa, AZ - Hollywood Alley $
05.23.07 - Albuquerque, NM - The Launch Pad $
05.24.07 - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory $
05.25.07 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves $
05.26.07 - Austin, TX - Emo's $
05.27.07 - Houston, TX - Numbers $
05.28.07 - Mobile, AL - Cellblock
05.29.07 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues $
1. Center Where Sight
2. Freezing Water
3. Sheets and Organs
4. Here to Ruin the Party
5. Eight War
8. Sons of Horn
9. In Veins
10. Towers of Silence
11. Day Eleven
12. Ear Ever Hear
MTV is one of those organizations that I can't ever make myself commit to loving or hating. I have this problem with many things: the Democratic Party, Target, Steve Albini, hot dogs -- but the problem might be at its worst with MTV. Just when I'm prepared to write them off completely over their spring break coverage, mindless programming, and general music pimping, they come back with voter registration initiatives, anti-hate-crime documentaries, Wonder Showzen, and most recently, MTVU Campus Invasion.
Totally not as bad as it sounds: the idea behind each one is admirable, with the stated goal of the shows being to raise awareness of the problems facing the Darfur region. MTV will be pairing up with the Save Darfur Coalition on the issue, which is considered a legitimate one by pretty much everyone, everywhere. The "campus invasions" (none of which take place on any campus) will occur later this month in Austin, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, each with unique lineups: the lineup for the tragically show-starved students in Austin will include The Shins and The Rapture; the Atlanta show will feature city native Monica, Fabulous, and Rick Ross; while Philadelphians will see Dashboard Confessional, K-os, and Kenna. All shows will be supported by MTV Campus Battle of the Bands Winners.
Parts of each program, as well as artist interviews, will be shown on MTV and their website, and it should be quite interesting to see how their coverage compares to the last charity multi-concert event they covered (2005's Live 8), during which they became notorious for cutting to commercial during recently reunited Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" guitar solo -- MySpace Generation, represent. So to conclude: MTV is doing something positive, involving The Shins and The Rapture. Whether or not this is a strong step in a responsible direction for the channel remains to be seen.
Changin' times, these. Why, just last week ol' Winnie calls me up, flappin' that mouth of his about some "Awesome Color" or what have you. First couple times I just set there, stewin', but finally I can't stand it no longer. I says, "You talkin' about 'Awesome Color'?" Winnie just nods or somethin', who knows for sure, it's a dang phone. So then I says, "Winnie I known you all your life and I ain't never heard you give one spit about no colored, and that's plum fact." Winnie gets real silent 'til I think maybe he hung up, but 'fore I can set her back in the cradle, Winnie starts hollerin' again. "Awesome Color will be spending a large part of the tour with Dinosaur Jr. as well," the old coot slurs. Well I always pride myself on givin' people more'n one chance, so I says, real slow, "Now Winnie, I'm askin' as a friend... you been at the sauce all mornin'? Talkin' 'bout dinosaurs 'n' coloreds?" Well wouldn't you know it but the next thing I hear's a dang dial tone.
Next day I'm sidlin' over to Doc Holstein's place with one heavy burden weighin' on my mind. Now, Doc's been the first one this family calls since forever, no questions asked. The sort of man you bet your last dollar on, and the good Lord knows I done just that one too many times. So he lets me in that house of his, real cozy-like, asked me what's the matter. "What's the matter?" I says. "My best friend's waxin' poetic about some coloreds, that's what's the matter." 'Fore I can explain, Doc lets out a mean chuckle and starts speakin' in tongues, like. Says, "Awesome Color are touring in support of last year's self-titled debut, and Dinosaur Jr. are touring in support of comeback album Beyond, to be released on May 1." The kind of words that might break a weak man. Only thing I think to do is get out, but first I says, "I swear to Christ Doc Holstein, I heard things in my life, but this," and I stomp and stomp on that leg, and that ear, and them glasses too, and then I take a step outside.
Now what was I sayin'? Ah yeah. Things ain't how they used to be, no. Changin' times.
Dates for coloreds:
* Dinosaur Jr
Hey, Look Over There, It’s A Tactical Misdirection – Architecture In Helsinki World Tour 2007!!!!!!!!!
Northcote ne'er-do-wells Architecture in Helsinki are about to take a zigzag lap around the globe, playing shows in more than just a couple countries. Their passports will be stamped many times over this May and June as the band travel from country to country, show to show, and festival to festival. And while AIH have yet to announce a release date or title for their follow-up to 2005's In Case We Die (Bar/None), they have made known their plans for one song thought to be included on that future LP. "Heart It Races" will be released as a single, and not one of those one-version singles, but a single in many forms. Remixes to be exact, discombobulated and reconfigured by YACHT, A-Trak, Hey Willpower!, and more.
The press release for this story mentions that the many incarnations of the track will appear "magically." My mind boggles, thinking of the various varieties of magic that may be involved. Black? White? Street? Ervin Johnson? It might be that magi(k) stuff that Arthur seemed so fond of. I guess I jumped the gun a bit, as it seems that they just meant the single is coming out in different formats for different countries. Well, the first official appearance of the song, a remix concocted by DJ/Rupture, is now available on the band's MySpace. A lot of things (teenage inanity, News Corp, free giftcards, stalker stalking) come to mind when MySpace is mentioned, but magic is not one of them. It seems that the amount of magic involved in this endeavor has nowhere to go but up.
# Gang Gang Dance, Ariel Pink
It's hard to spend any time on Manhattan's Lower East Side without hearing about the ravages of gentrification. In what has become the city's most well-known and bitterly ironic vicious cycle, venues for unorthodox music and art move into cheap neighborhoods where they can afford the rent... only to unwittingly raise the property values and, after a few years, be priced out of these very same neighborhoods by khaki-wearing, SUV-driving yuppies. The past few years have been particularly brutal, with CBGB's closing on Halloween '06 and Sin-e shuttering its space only a few days ago. Now comes word that Tonic will be the next victim. I had considered excerpting the message below, but its refreshing frankness and insightful observations about the politics of policing bear unedited reproduction:
Dear Musicians, Fans and Friends:Obviously, Tonic has been a hugely important place, a small, intimate venue that dared to book adventurous, exciting acts, both new and established. Here's hoping that the owners find a new place (come to Brooklyn, guys!) to carry on the tradition. And come out to support these guys during their stellar farewell shows, featuring the likes of Ikue Mori, Erik Friedlander, White Magic, Yuka Honda, and Sean Lennon. A new "Tonic Presents" series as Abron's Arts Center also looks promising, with an opening show from Jandek April 14.
After more than 9 years as a home for avant-garde, creative, and experimental music, Tonic will reluctantly close its doors on Friday, April 13th, 2007. We simply can no longer afford the rent and all of the other costs associated with doing business on the Lower East Side.
The neighborhood around us has been increasingly consumed by "luxury condominiums", boutique hotels and glass towers, all making the value of our salvaged space worth more then our business could ever realistically support. We have also been repeatedly harassed by the city's Quality of Life Task Force which resulted in the debilitating closing of the ))sub((tonic lounge in January. Coincidentally, this campaign began as our immediate neighbor, the Blue Condominium building - a symbol of the new Lower East Side - prepared to open its doors.
As a business, we take responsibility for mistakes made along the way. If profit had been our chief motivation we could have changed our programming to something more mainstream and financially lucrative. Instead we were more committed to a certain type of music and loyal to the community that supported us. As a result, we've always just survived but never really prospered. It is, however, unfortunate that it is so difficult for small businesses to operate in this city and that a chain store that can afford a high rent is more desirable than a place like Tonic that has a different kind of value.
While this is certainly the end of Tonic at 107 Norfolk Street, we remain committed to what Tonic represents and plan to try again in some form as soon as possible. In the interim, Tonic will make efforts to present new music in existing venues such as the Abron's Arts Center located just a few blocks away.
We invite you to join us as often as you can over our remaining days to help us celebrate Tonic and more importantly the amazing artists, our unwavering staff, and the nurturing community that made Tonic possible. It's because of you that we've stayed open as long as we have. Thank you!
Sincerely, Melissa and John
While I'm at it, I might as well break the news, much as it turns my stomach, that the Knitting Factory may be next.