End of the Road Festival Announces Lineup; Those Who Like Watching the Likes of Yo La Tengo, Super Furry Animals, and Midlake from a Burning Porta-Potty Whilst Eating $10 Barf Burgers, You’re Gonna Be Disappointed!
H.L. Mencken -- who was blessed with a spectacular wit normally reserved to burn bureaucrats, religious zealots, politicos, censors, altruists, etc. -- was a mad genius wordsmith and, as The Christian Science Monitor claims, “had a zing that bloggers can’t touch.” We’ll ignore the professed view that bloggers have any sort of zing, because the quote is still bang on the mark. His least famous line is “There are those that Scooby Do, and those that Scooby Don’t.” Forget that the old brain was dead and buried a good decade before the Scooby Doo cartoon character first appeared. And never mind that the quote was first said while walking home from a three-week bender, to a lamppost. Okay, it was me who coined the phrase, but it is still a good line! Mencken-good in fact! Festivals have started to Scooby Do more often than Scooby Don’t, as organizers are going to great lengths to stage a friends-and-family, community atmosphere at turnouts normally as welcoming as “Bartertown” in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Taking the example and success set by much-celebrated “smaller” festivals such as the Green Man Festival as a starting point, the End of the Road Festival team have created a celebration that fits in with the modern festival aesthetic: a mass gathering with a cozy, intimate feel. Included this year are film nights, comedy and open mic stages, and workshop and children’s areas featuring a ton of activities to keep your children, and your workshops, happy while you bake your minds watching the talent up on the stage. The End of the Road Festival takes place September 14-16 at the Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset, England.
Here is the lineup so far: Alessi, Archie Bronson Outfit, Architecture in Helsinki, The Bees, Brakes, The Broken Family Band, Charlie Parr, The Congregation, CW Stoneking, Dan Sartain, Darren Hayman, David Thomas Broughton, David Vandervelde, Devastations, Euros Childs, Findlay Brown, Herman Dune, Howe Gelb, Hush the Many, Hyacinth House, Indigo Moss, James Yorkston, Jeffrey Lewis, Jim White, Johnny Flynn, Josh T. Pearson, King Creosote, Liz Green, Malcolm Middleton, Micah P. Hinson, Midlake, Misty’s Big Adventure, Monkey Swallows the Universe, My Brightest Diamond, Paris Motel, Pete and the Pirates, Port O’ Brien, Post War Years, Reigns, Richard Swift, Seasick Steve, Slow Club, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Stephanie Dosen, Sunny Day Sets Fire, Super Furry Animals, Telegrams, The Twilight Sad, Viking Moses, Woodpigeon, Yo La Tengo, and Young Republic.
Grim, Horrifying Specter of the Us Festival No Longer Haunting Steve Jobs’ Dreams; iTunes to Host Music Festival
It’s not even actually a music “festival.” Apple is just sponsoring a series of concerts at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art throughout the month of July. Among others, Mika, Amy Winehouse, Crowded House (?), Travis, The Editors, Stereophonics, and Beverley Knight are set to perform. You know what, Jobs? I’m using the enormous amount of financial and political clout I’ve earned in my month-and-a-half of writing news for Tiny Mix Tapes and putting my foot down.
It’s not an Apple-sponsored music festival without The Clash and Van Halen almost getting into a fistfight and the company losing eight figures of money.
It’s not an Apple-sponsored festival without a Simpsons reference in like ten years.
It’s not an Apple-Sponsored festival if the lineup deviates from the Gang of Four/Talking Heads/Ramones/I-Already-Mentioned-The-Clash quality of the Us Festival.
Jobs, give me the reins. In spite of the fact that I am using and enjoying one right now, I don’t care about your product. I’m the kind of freethinking rogue the iTunes festival needs. I see a Troggs reunion. I see at least an hour of Albini spoken word. I see at least four hours of Paper Rad videos. You’ll lose millions, Jobsy, and the world will finally know you for the eccentric billionaire genius you are. We’ll rule the world with a brushed metal fist.
Seriously, wouldn't that be trippy and all whacked out? Wouldn't that be totally frenetic, or something? Can you imagine? Imagine just standing around, okay, waiting for this band to come out that all your friends have been ravin' about -- you're just standing there at Sugar's Nightclub, feelin' the atmosphere, checking your watch, and then the band comes out, but here's the thing: they're all horses. Not dressed up like horses with brown felt on their heads, but real horses with thick tails flopping around and swatting at flies.
And at first you're like, come on, you're like, this cannot seriously be the band, and you even start to turn around and raise your right eyebrow to the guy next to you, as if to say, get a load of this, and he shrugs his shoulders, like, give 'em a chance, and then you raise your other eyebrow to match the first, as if to say, are you putting me on, but then you turn around and at that very moment the lead singer, who may very possibly be named Whinny, launches into the first song, using his powerful back legs to wail on the guitar. Are you imagining this? And still you're apprehensive, you're like okay they can play but are they a band, because this really, in a way, blows away all the ideas you had about what constitutes a band, and even what the limits of music are. But after a while, you start feelin' the groove and you look back at the guy you raised your eyebrows to before and he's feelin' the groove, so all in all you have a pretty good time at this weird concert that you went to by yourself without reading up on the bands that would be playing and ended up seeing horses play a rhythmically tight set and also swat flies on their muscled rears in between songs. That would be really off the wall.
Well, have a good night.
* The Decemberists
^ Modest Mouse
To officially launch the start of the new social season, Arts & Crafts will be holding a debutantes ball on September 18 to commensurate Colonel Reginald Drew's coming-of-age son, Kevin Drew. The debs ball will celebrate young Drew's eligibility to be married into the highest circles of the broken socialite scene. As you may remember, last year's debut of Aziz Ansari caused major rifts amongst the indie nobility for his failure to the adhere to the standard attire of dinner-jacket/bow-tie, resulting in his expulsion from the upper echelon of hipster aristocracy and his fall from grace into the crass world of MTV. Let's hope that Drew does not repeat this Faulkneresque episode and is able to retain his position of prestige as an outstanding member of polite society.
The debut of Kevin Drew will also mark the first of presumably many Broken Social Scene Presents... releases. Arts & Crafts has hired the Lafayette Dixieland Band to soundtrack the evening's festivities with selections from Drew's upcoming album, Spirit if....
Drew claims that he has been working on the soundtrack to his coming-out for the past two years, at times being tempted to release various tracks on Broken Social Scene albums or on other BSS solo projects; however, he found his bandmates' projects to be far to pedestrian for his work. Despite this obvious attack on the virtues and social graces of the other broken socialites, bandmate Leslie Feist has lent her talents to the project in hopes of establishing herself as the premier southern bell of the new season.
The September 18 debut of Drew and his first solo album controversially falls one week before the coming out of Vivien Leigh IV, who in response to this social faux-pas is undergoing a smear campaign to discredit Drew's social status by spreading rumors that his album was produced in part by low-culture icons Ohad Benchetrit and Charles Spearin of the tactless rock band, Do Make Say Think.
“What the World/ Needs Now/ Is Vibrators Shaped Like Gorillaz/ Sweet Vibrators Shaped Like Gorillaz”
O Richard Buckner, vast big-hand explorer of men’s souls, troubadour of the half-sentence, vague malaise-meister of bawling baritone balladry, traveling growl of a flannel clad man, palms the size of eagle wings and fingers thick as redwoods. Where is your Laundromat romance, transient blogger of drive-thru travails and motel misdeeds? Who folds your socks and creases your pant legs, solitary peddler of desperation? The slim chance second chance? Pencil sketches of our American truths, wrapped in greasy sandwich paper and munched by lake with a bottle of wine? The Impasse of communication in crisis, the Dents and Shells of faded valentine hearts, the Meadow of iridescent TV dinners. Hard scoop ice cream stacked too tall, inevitably toppling to the sticky tile floor.
All hail the tired tickler of those steel-stringed serenades. No road like open road:
“What the World/ Needs Now/ Is Vibrators Shaped Like Gorillaz/ Sweet Vibrators Shaped Like Gorillaz”
Just in time for a belated Father’s Day gift, Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett is designing a set of vibrators shaped like his most beloved creations (take that, Jet Girl) as part of a partnership with classy sex toy company JimmyJane, There will be six different designs, priced at $275 each. If just one vibrator shaped like a singing, dancing cartoon character isn’t enough for your insatiable appetite, all six will be available as a lot for the low, low price of $1,650. In case anyone has yet to click on the JimmyJane link, they also deal in “sexy blindfolds,” “luxury vibrators,” and “sexy gifts for her.”
If anyone reading this is considering purchasing one of these, please e-mail me. I have a few important questions regarding one’s ability to attain a lifestyle where they are able to afford sinking around $300 into something that will wind up anywhere near your pleasure regions. I am serious. This is not a pejorative “you are wasting your money” thing. I want sex toys shaped like bands I don’t even like that much. I want the American dream. I want to live like you.
A brief list of Gorillaz song titles that apply to this:
Beastie Boys Announce U.S. Tourdates; Paul Revere to Go with Da’ Boyz and Leave Da’ Honey at Home; Me to Remind Him that If He Had Been a Little More Considerate, It’s Possible He Wouldn’t Now Be Sleeping on the Couch Alone /Jockin’ Mike D. To My Dismay/
Relationship Cycle 1: Paul Revere's thinly-veiled attempt to win over an easy chick:
Paul Revere: The Beasties are coming! The Beasties are coming!
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: OH MY GOD! Are Beastie Boys actually touring? For real? M.C.A. gives me hot pants!
Paul Revere: ...The Beasties are touring! The Beasties are touring!
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: It’s really late, Paul Revere. You and your horse can sleep in my guest room tonight. Deal?
Paul Revere: /One lonely Beastie I be/ All by myself with nobody/.
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: Ahhh! That’s from “Paul Revere.” What a great Beastie jam. Seriously. [Lengthy conversation pause]... M.C.A. gives me hot pants!
Paul Revere: Listen, I didn’t want to tell you, but their song, “Paul Revere” -- it’s about me. I inspired it. Seriously. It’s about me.
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: Oh...
Paul Revere: Any other townsmen would have rode over here and used that to try to get in your pants. I’m just not like that, baby. I’m not like the others.
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: Gee, Paul, given the lyrical content of the song, that doesn’t really add up. I mean, the title of the song is “Paul Revere,” but I’m pretty sure Paul Revere is cited as the name of Mike D.’s horse briefly and nothing more comes of the reference. Yeah... the title was “Paul Revere” though... [Weighs options of vapid loneliness versus option to do it with Paul Revere].
So... um... It was way valiant of you to ride by my house to tell me about the tour. Way valiant.
Relationship Cycle 2: Two Weeks Later, The couple snuggles up to When Harry Met Sally:
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: I just know you’ll love When Harry Met Sally, Paul Revere. I just know it.
Paul Revere: ...
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: Billy Crystal gives me hot pants!
Paul Revere: ...
Relationship Cycle 3: It’s not you, It’s me:
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: So, the Beastie Boys concert is in a few days.
Paul Revere: Yeah, honey, I’m excited. Get me a Sam Adams.
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: I think you’re taking advantage of me. [Brings over his beer like a good girlfriend.]
Paul Revere: ...THIS ISN’T SUMMER ALE, BITCH! I THOUGHT I SAID I ONLY DRINK SUMMER ALE THIS SEASON...
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: You getting mad gives me hot pants!
Paul Revere: STOP SAYING THAT. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, STOP SAYING THAT!
Town honey who enjoys being taken advantage of: WELL I’M SORRY IF YOU’RE NOT SATISFYING MY NEEDS, BUT JESUS, PAUL REVERE! I DON’T KNOW WHY THE BEASTIES WOULD EVER NAME A SONG AFTER YOU!
Relationship Cycle 4: Two minutes later; Paul Revere has had it:
Paul Revere: Yeah, I’m taking your ticket for the concert. Deal with it. My friends want to see Beasties doing their hip-hop thing. Not like the instrumental shit going down in The Mix Up. But I bet that pending album release gives you hot pants, doesn’t it? I bet The Mix Up gives you hot pants! Go buy it June 26! June 26, your pants will be on fire, that’s a promise! Go buy your own tickets!.
BEASTIE BOYS SPREADING HOT PANTS LIKE WILDFIRE; U.S. TOURDATES:
"Conservation is... economically better for everyone else concerned,” says my homeboy Rick Kempler, the 100% biodegradable COO of the Capitol Music Group. Yep, the major labels are going greener than a first-year mechanical engineering student from Billings. Only problem is there are so many ways in which our chums are saving the world, I almost don’t know where to start with the good news!
Maybe I’ll kick off with EMI’s overhauling of its transportation policies. This includes the introduction of hybrid vehicles throughout the entire organization, setting minimum numbers for people per car, and so on. No more chartered ICBMs for you to visit the U.S., Lily Allen! EMI also worked to enviromentalize its Grammy party this year. This, I’m thinking, would probably involve making sure the charlie on offer was like totally organic and pure, yeah? Sweet.
Warner, bless the company, is “exploring” the impact of reducing the carbon footprint of its various office buildings. But these guys at Warner don’t just think the think and talk the talk, they actually prefer to walk the fucking Olympic 50km walk. Warner has already “cut back” on paper-based marketing and has done something which will likely reduce your brain to a little more than a bloody pulp reminiscent of strawberry jam mushed up with mashed banana...
... Prepare yourselves:
Warner Music Group has taken the near-cataclysmic step of phasing out ALL printers in its organization that cannot handle the stress of double-sided copies. I’m not kidding. Every last one of those prehistoric Epsons is motherfucking landfill toast! The revolution appears to have finally arrived. (The next move in the overhaul of the established order is rumored to involve obliterating all printers that can’t handle more than two pages per sheet. Just a rumor, though.) Warner greened up its Grammy party, too. Where was my double-sided invite, huh? The ticker symbol is WMG for those of you who are sane enough to sell up NOW.
But perhaps the most egregious ‘initiative’ being put forward as an example of the industry’s greening is Universal. The company has reduced its waste production fall from nearly 11,000 tonnes in 2004 to nearly 500 this year. WOW! Its carbon dioxide production has dropped by nearly 55 million tonnes in the same period, a reduction of nearly 80%. WOW! And its water consumption has also plummeted. WOW! And HOW? Well, the company has cited a number of “in-house conservation and recycling programs”... ah, and the fact that Universal no longer manufactures any of its own product. Yep, Universal sold the whole manufacturing side of its business off and dumped its shit elsewhere. Probably somewhere unfortunate in the Midwest. I’m guessing that this particular act has had just a little more impact on its environmental figures than encouraging its lackies to recycle their soda cans and produce margin projections on both sides of a piece of paper.
See? It’s not just digipacks.
Have you had your morning coffee today?
If not, you might as well save yourself that awkward trip to the break room past all of those co-workers whose names you still don’t know and just gas yourself up on the sugary fumes of British Six-piece Red Bull junkies The Go! Team (now with more B-50!)
Granted, it’s been a little while since these experts of exclamations have raised our sagging eyelids and graced the indie-rock news piles, following the remarkable success of their generally loved if not somewhat controversial debut long-player Thunder, Lightning, Strike (TMT Review) for Memphis Industries and subsequent re-release on Columbia here in the U.S. (minus most of the cool samples). But after a few scant spring dates in the U.K. and tour-only/live bonus-disc EPs, the jubilant juveniles are back with a new U.S. label and deviant plans to keep us all forever awake with their undoubtedly spastic sophomore LP this fall.
Their dark, aromatic, double-tall, non-fat new album Proof of Youth will be released by the Seattle-based Sub Pup label on September 11 of this year. No tracklist for the LP itself has surfaced as of yet, probably because the band hasn’t thought of enough '80s action movie phrases yet, but we can tell you that two new caffeine-infused singles, "Grip Like A Vice" and "Doing It Right," will be made available via Memphis Industries (still the Team's U.K. label) on July 2 and September 3, respectively, just to get rid of those killer withdrawal headaches we’ve been having. According to the band’s website, “Grip Like a Vice” will also include B-side “Myself,” a cover of Sonic Youth’s “A Bull in the Heather,” and a track remix by Black Affair (Beta Band’s Steve Madson’s new thang). I’m feeling more invigorated already.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Go! Team to Sub Pop," said Sub Pop's A&R rep Susan Busch. "They add yet another sound to our label that is nothing like anything else we have on the roster but at the same time they're a perfect fit. I am sure the release of Proof Of Youth will bring many exciting opportunities for the band as well as the label."
Sounds about right. “Exciting” and exclamation points go hand-in-hand, you know. But while we’re waiting for those perky purveyors of Saturday morning cartoon theme songs for shows that never were, I guess we’re all going to have to bite the bullet and wake up the old fashioned way...