In an attempt to promote equal rights and opportunity, as well as raise awareness 'bout the issues facing the queer community, Cyndi Lauper has founded True Colors Concerts, LLC, after her 1986 album True Colors. The company's first endeavor, the first annual True Colors Tour, begins June 8 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in celebration of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.
Margaret Cho will be hosting the performances, wherein The Gossip will take the stage with the likes of Erasure, The Dresden Dolls, Debbie Harry, The Misshapes, and Cyndi Lauper. There are a slew of special guests as well that will be appearing in select cities, including Rufus Wainwright, Rosie O'Donnell, Indigo Girls, The Cliks, Jeffree Star, Cazwell, and Amanda Lepore.
One dollar from each ticket sold will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign.
After the True Colors Tour, The Gossip will continue the remainder of their tour overseas. YAY!
^ True Colors Tour w/ Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, The Dresden Dolls, Debbie Harry, and The Misshapes; hosted by Margaret Cho
* Rufus Wainwright
# Rosie O'Donnell
$ The Cliks
% Cazwell, Amanda Lepore
Have… A Good Time… All The Time; Spinal Tap Reforms For Live Earth (You Know, like Live Aid and Live 8… Those Other Concerts That Saved The World…)
When we last left our coifed-haired heroes in Spinal Tap, dismal reviews were piling on (the review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two-word review which simply read "Shit Sandwich"), often hitting that nerve square between insult and truth. I even doubted my allegiance. After all, what day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day, too?
But like a phoenix risen from the ashes, Spinal Tap have reunited and will perform at Live Earth London on 07/07/07. Yeah, that's right. God's number. Coincidence? I think not. With Spinal Tap, we're very lucky we have two visionaries, David and Nigel. They're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries -- like fire and ice, basically. And there's no end to this kind of genius. Plus, I don't really think that the end can be assessed itself as being the end, because what does the end feel like? It's like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then what does that mean? How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what's stopping it, and what's behind what's stopping it? So, what's the end, you know, is my question to you.
Announced via the Tribeca Film Festival and viewable here, it was the tireless willpower of Marty DeBergi that brought the band back from the depths of rock purgatory (rightfully reserved for bands like Audioslave). Rumor has it the band has been working on a Mozart and Bach-inspired (Mach) musical trilogy four or five hours in length, in D minor (widely accepted as the saddest of all keys), titled "Lick My Love Pump." Designed to defeat global warming once and for all, Live Earth will stage concerts from New Jersey to Shanghai on one fateful day in July. Expect a new tune ("Warmer Than Hell") and a possible appearance from British funnyman Ricky Gervais. Thankfully, with Spinal Tap in tow, the score now reads "Live Earth: 1, Global Warming: 0". But we'll need all the star-power we can get. I mean, it's like, how much more black could this crisis be? And the answer is none. None more black.
You thought you had them beat, didn't you? All those years of pirating songs, albums, entire discographies. They were dumb record execs that had no idea what was going on. You were so guerilla, weren't you? You had them beat from the get-go. Whatever monkeywrench they'd throw your way would be dealt with. They'd never figure out what a file called eezerw.mp3 was; you were so smart. The thing is, you -- and of course I mean we -- have created your own demise.
Although at times it may seem like it, record execs aren't idiots. The older generation never had a chance when they were battling music pirates on the field of technology. So now, those Warwick MBAs who couldn't figure out how to work BitTorrent are bringing the fight back home.
It's old-fashioned advertising like grandma used to make, but there's a catch... using new technologies. This is by no means a completely novel idea, but it may actually represent a business structure that has the potential to boost the profit margins of record companies, although to a relatively small percentage. Steve Yanovsky, part-time used car salesman/part-time Atlantic Records executive, predicts that, "down the road a bit I think we'll begin to see brands subsidizing music in a much fuller sense." Way to be decisive Steve.
(And rumor has it, they're working with a witch! I was able to procure an interview with Yanovsky's neighbor Gladys Kravitz, who warned of strange happenings going on over there at the Stevens... er.... Yanovsky household. Apparently, led by Universal Music Group's Executive VP David Ellner and a shadowy character known as Endora, a coven of music industry execs are revamping their business models. Music is -- poof -- disappearing as the industries main point of return, and -- poof -- hawking cheap merchandise on the backs of their stars is appearing in its place. How'd they do that?)
"We're inventing a new business model with advertisers," says Warner Music's Senior VP of Global Something-Something Dan Patterson. "We are optimistic about the opportunity advertising presents; that's why we are we are investing in our ability to serve marketers with our asset."
Essentially, the music industry is recognizing that it cannot harvest music downloads in a profitable way sufficient to its shareholders demands, so it's partnering with all of your favorite products to offset projected losses -- it's creating community. Using file-sharing networks, streaming video sites, artist sites, and anywhere else it can find ad space, the industry expects to pummel you with ads telling you what to download before you even download anything, as well as what you should be wearing/drinking/smelling like while doing it. The business model shift reflects the music industry's goal of getting to know your kids a little better and playing a more active role in their lives.
Here's the question: would you rather consciously pay record labels for exuberantly priced recordings, or stream the new Lil Mamma track album off the Jive Records website and be inundated with five banner ads for lip gloss in the process? Either way, it's your fault.
I may just have a suspicious nature, or maybe I'm reading into things way too much, but it seems that there has been a lot of God talk finding its way into the Tiny Mix Tapes news section lately (yes, two stories equal "a lot" in my world). It might have something to do with the season or an unconscious, heavenly prod to straighten up after celebrating the summer sun a bit too much too early this year. It might be that writing something original is harder than plagiarizing Macka's biblical-biased blurb from last week. Still on a TMT tip, it certainly has something to do with my night out with fellow scribe Munroe (who is a fucking heathen, pure and simple), because since that fateful night, I have felt, well, different inside. I cannot shake the feeling that an all-powerful force is at work. I cannot chalk it up to mere coincidence that when I stumblebummed my way into the bar washroom for the nth time that night, I was hit with a sudden rush of strangeness, and I have a vague memory of picking up some sort of ephemeral off the top of the toilet tank at the same time (no, it was not VD or an eighth of a line, you skeptics!). When I awoke the next morning (feeling less than good, and feeling stupid for having dropped my fully loaded fries and Pogo combo on my shirt), I spied a booklet peeking out of my crumpled jeans' back pocket. The cover asked a simple half-question, Have you heard of…? and the booklet's innards contained the following Four Fantastic Facts:
#1. God loves you and wants to show you His wonderful plan for your life.
#2. Everyone is born with sin in their hearts.
#3. Only Jesus can clean our sinful hearts.
#4. We must each receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Meh, I went back to bed. While many will address these quips and their own spiritual center in their own time by checking out the likes of John 10:10 ("The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way."), Romans 3:23 and 5:8 ("Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory" and "But here is how God has shown His love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us."), and Ephesians 2:8-9 ("God's grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn't come from anything you do. It is God's gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it."), I already chose the right path when I became a follower of Michael Gira's teachings. Whenever I hear Gira, in solo artist guise, as the main man behind Swans, and more recently behind his Angels Of Light moniker, I am born again and excited to have received someone into my heart and life that won't steal my girlfriend and PIN number.
You would have to be the Antichrist to think that a new Angels Of Light album is not at least one and three-quarters of a great idea. Go ahead and test the notion: ask any street corner lunatic you are on good terms with, or that girl you met that trains pigeons inside her apartment, whether he or she isn't excited as hell about the prospect of a new glorious Angels Of Light album and you will invariably get the same answer: "Righteous!" Tons of news, song snippets, full tracks, and more than appropriate truisms from other artists regarding Gira and the new Angels Of Light album We Are Him can be found on the Young God Records site. The album, Gira's 73rd, is out August 20 and is chock full of superb guest players and friends and past collaborators from Gira's days in Swans and recent backing friends Akron/Family.
The only thing as exciting as beginning another great Angels Of Light record adventure would be to see Him live. We sent off an informal e-mail to Gira to find out if and when we can expect to witness the live faith, and he shot back right away with, "I will be touring extensively after release of album August 20 in two-week stints throughout the year following release...Touring solo exclusively... I enjoy solo much more than with band these days. More of a challenge, and in some ways more 'pure' and just as intense in its own way, I think... it's a little lonely though -- I go out by myself, don't bring a tour manager or extra driver or anything, hence the two weeks at a time limit..."
"Pure" and "intense" are good words to sum any Angels of Light story. It is a good thing too, because I'm running out of steam... I can't help it if piling on praise leaves me emotionally winded. It will do the same to you. What more can you possibly want anyway? News of an Angels Of Light album, a quote from the (God)head Himself, and some second-rate witticisms from yours truly don't come cheap -- they come free! Can I get an "Amen"!?!?
1 Black River Song
2 Promise of Water
3 The Man We Left Behind
4 My Brother's Man
5 This Is Not Here/This Is Not Now
6 Joseph's Song
7 We Are Him
8 Sometimes I Dream I'm Hurting You
9 Sunflower's Here To Stay
10 Good Bye Mary Lou
11 The Visitor
12 Star Chaser
Clinic Release B-Sides And Rarities Compilation; Free, Used, And Bloodied Surgical Mask Not Included
You’ve got to hand it to any band who describes B-sides on its own website as “Multiple formats, ironic cover versions, unplugged exclusives, and absolute shit that didn’t even make it onto a generic album. Buyers beware the world of contemporary b-sides and thinly veiled extortion.” And when that band then goes ahead and releases a compilation of its flip sides from the first ten years of their existence? They must have nothing but big and undoubtedly scrumptious balls.
In the unlikely event you’re interested in who the owners of the tasty testicles are -- well, who else but Scouse-groove magicians Clinic! FUNF is the name of the album, and despite the fact that the B-sides, they claim, are “riddled with unprofessionalism and unruly failures,” I reckon when they say that, they’re just being a bunch of cheeky little monkeys. Let me assure you that there is a ton of stuff on FUNF that’ll get you right in the mood for a night of dancing and puking at the local Top Rank club. And you’ve got plenty of time to wash your cock and get your mum to iron your Farah slacks for the big night out; the record won’t appear in your local stores until June 18 in the UK.
I will now attest to two trends (not bad trends, mind you) going on in 2007. Trend number one is to get your organization, company or whatever to ‘go green.’ Trend number two is for the journalists to always write about how these companies ‘go green.’ Who the hell said Tiny Mix Tapes shouldn't participate in this trend? Exactly -- no one.
The Forecastle Festival is taking place on 07/27 -07/28 in Louisville, KY at The Riverfront Belvedere. If you haven't heard of the festival, essentially it's a huge collaboration between musicians, artists, and activists coming together to ‘go green.’ In light of the whole global warming issue, it's perfect a time for a festival like this to gain a foothold in our country. All "going green" joking aside, it really is cool to see such a strong initiative for change when it comes to our earth and energy issues. What's in it for you? Well, now I will throw a bunch of musician names at you, because, damn, if you're going to support environmentalism, then you gotta know who is coming along for the ride. The current line-up includes:
De La Soul, Girl Talk*, Particle, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Mucca Pazza, How I Became The Bomb, Wax Fang, The Features, Early Day Miners, The High Water Marks, Kelley McRae, The Old Ceremony, The Impossible Shapes, Aloha, Cheer-Accident, De Novo Dahl, Scourge of the Sea, Captain of Industry, The October,Odawas, Lucky Pineapple, Black Diamond Heavies, The Pennies, Parlour, Ghostfinger, SKL, Stephen Simmons, The Harry Pickens Band, The Fervor, John Boys Courage, The Hiders, World Wide Wojo, Noizejoi, The Glasspack, Todd Coyle, Geoff Koch, and more.
The festival will also include a boat-load of artists and activists doing their thing to promote awareness. Tickets are $10-12 and it's all-ages, so bring your Great Aunt Patricia along and teach her about popping, locking, and dropping it to the gangstah sounds of Girl Talk. I guess you could teach her a thing or two about environmentalism while you're at it, too. If you and your Great Aunt need more info, hit up The Forecastle Festival's official website.
*Someone should really check and see if Girl Talk owns a time machine. Homeboy is literally in almost every festival this year. In fact someone should author a Where's Greg? children's book from satellite pictures.
In an unprecedented move, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame has teamed up with his record label for the most immoral sales promotion since the Paris Hilton Hardee’s commercial.
This promotion strikes with two hot prongs, much like the DP in a Penthouse magazine. The first bit comes in when Reznor’s label, Universal Music Group, tries to sell Year Zero, the latest release from NIN (deemed “not the most original dystopian yarn,” by P4K. Sick brah, right?!) for an exorbitant amount. To be precise, the Aussies have to pay more than $34, and we stateside kids are going to have to pay more than $29. There’s the first penetration. It’s rough, but you know you can handle it if worse comes to worse.
Then, Reznor drops trough and bends his cult-like fans over and readies them for the big DP. How on earth could we, the fans, get even more screwed over after paying a bijillion dollars for a CD that only registered a 6.7 on P4K’s scale?? Reznor writes on his band’s website about the absurdity of the price for his CD. In fact, we have a quote straight from Reznor: “As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more." And he continues, "Shame on you, UMG. 'Year Zero' is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne's record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 US)."
The scorcher here, the burn the morning after, is that this bitter squabble may be quite orchestrated. For if UMG tries selling NIN’s CD for stupid-expensive and Reznor tries to tell his fans he’s not behind the pricing and in fact he’s outraged, then fans may very well be all “Fuck you UMG. I’ll buy the CD anyway.” Then, both Reznor and UMG win, and you are left with your sea parted way too far to ever feel anything remotely pleasurable again.
Whatever. At least Reznor concluded his complaints by saying they are going to release a full-length remix collection.
My favorite Brooklyn noisy rock trio (Parts and Labour!) will be releasing a new album tomorrow!! The band just finished up a chunk of tourdates with ADULT and will be back on the road this June.
The new album, Mapmaker, was mixed and recorded at the Brothers Studio (!!!, Measles Mumps Rubella, Pterodactyl) in Brooklyn. According to Jagjaguwar, additional vocals and electronics were recorded by the band in a windowless room. Wow! The album will be released May 22 on Jagjaguwar/Brah.
If that wasn't enough to please you die-hard fans, check out what else P&L has or already had up their sleeves for this year, courtesy of Jagjaguwar:
- a bonus track on the 5RC/KRS Xiu Xiu tribute comp (covering the song "Apistat Commander"), available on iTunes
- an exclusive track for an upcoming compilation on No Pain In Pop, a new UK-based label
- an exclusive track for an Oh No Records vinyl compilation in support of Trees Not Trash, a Brooklyn non-profit organization
- an exclusive track to be featured on a 7-inch split with Fuck Buttons
- a tentative European tour in the fall
In addition to the above goodies, each member of P&L has been busy with his own solo material as well. BJ Warshaw is finishing up the debut release of Shooting Spires, to be released on Cardboard Records this summer; Chris Weingarten is also finishing up a full length with Poisson d'Avril; and Dan Friel is also working on a new solo album. Damn!
Phil Elverum Doesn’t Help Install Ubuntu on My Computer, But Releases Mount Eerie Pts. 6 & 7 and a Reissue of The Glow Pt. II
After months of annoying e-mails and shameless begging, multiple pitches and steady follow-ups, I finally agreed to interview Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie/The Microphones "fame." Blehhhh... Not like I don't have enough shit to do around TMT. Look, I don't care if he wrote "The Universe Is Shown" or "Antlers" -- shit, I don't even care if he wrote "November Train (Choo Choo Choo version)" -- I'm a busy guy! Do you know I edit practically everything on the site? Yep, that's right. I mean, just imagine how many e-mails I get daily in my seven inboxes. It's ridiculous. And guess what? So are the e-mails. Just this week, a writer (David Nadelle) said "Sorry this is written poorly. 'Twas in a rush. Fix it, please. Thanx..."? Fuck that noise. Hey, ever gotten a call from a publicist (Anna "Stupid Head" Bond, this time) saying "look, either you review their disc, or we ain't doing that $2,500 ad in July"? Didn't think so. BUT I HAVE.
Though, I'm not one to complain. In fact, there are good things about being editor-in-chief of possibly the most important, most culturally significant online magazine of all-time. I got an e-mail once from Ray Romano (dude from Everybody Loves Raymond) saying he loves when we cover DVDs and asked if we could write a review of ELR season 3 (best season, by far, IMO). And we recently hired one of the guys from The Strokes (can't remember which one). He can't write worth shit, but whatevs -- he looks great. My overall point is that being Mr P can be bittersweet.
I know what you're thinking. Oh P, tell me more please. I want to know more about you, you're amazing, great editor, blah blah blah. Visit my blog here; it's Mount Eerie time now! (Oh, forgot to mention that the whole TMT staff looks up to me, so...) Speaking via e-mail, Elverum says a hardcover, 132-page photo book, titled Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7, is being bound right now in Vancouver at the "best printer in North America on recycled paper and everything." No words, just photos, though the last page features a 10-inch picture disc of music, tracks "Mount Eerie Pt. 6" and "Mount Eerie Pt. 7." According to Elverum, the music is a vague continuation of the themes left off from The Microphones album Mount Eerie. "The songs are about 'the known world' of living in the house while the 'unknown world' (eerie mountain) is going on out the door. Comfort vs. learning, certainty vs. rich chaos, etc."
Elverum's also busy preparing a three-vinyl, two-CD reissue of The Glow Pt. II with K Records. "The vinyl was gone and the CDs were almost gone and all the packaging was gone, so we figured if we had to manufacture everything again, why not make a new version?" The new version will contain an extra record of "un-mixes" (e.g., vocals only), as well as demos, outtakes, and other "weird shit."
In other news, P.W. Elverum & Sun is also re-releasing a "20th Anniversary Platinum Series Digitally Remastered Double Gatefold Album" version of Thanksgiving's Welcome Nowhere (this album is GREAT, by the way). Look out for a DVD and new music eventually, too, and if any of you work at a "amazing periodical or literature distribution company" and want to carry Elverum's "weird booklets" or Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7, get in contact with Elverum.
Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7 and Thanksgiving's Welcome Nowhere are set for release July 19 at What the Heck Fest 2007. No date has been set for the The Glow Pt. II reissue. As for me? Well...
Animal Collective To Release Strawberry-Flavored Jam Session; Knob Twisting Never Sounded So Delicious
After the complete critical dismissal of Panda Bear's Person Pitch (TMT Review) and the unanimous cheer heard 'round the world for Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan's Pullhair Rubeye (TMT Review), the stakes are running high for our fuzzy friends. Who can predict what the final reception will be to Animal Collective's next slab of sugar-sqronk? Fortunately, while we knit our brows and ruminate on the group's proper artistic trajectory until we need to grab our albuterol inhalers, AC keeps right on churning out records. And now they're just about ready to put out a new one, essentially forcing us to renew our subscriptions to Asthma Explorers.
Strawberry Jam is its name and should be arriving sometime in September through Domino. Some of the album's tracks have been tested on the road, while others are fresher than strawberry jam before it gets all sour and watery, or maybe it's the bread that's making this taste weird (Is it the bread? Because I bought seven-grain this time instead of the usual 100% whole-wheat, so do different breads go bad at different rates, or maybe I didn't even check the expiration date before I picked it up, no wait, the seal was already broken on the jar of jam, okay, mystery solved, though now I need a ride to Meijer, and I know you don't like to take me twice in one week).
In a bestial celebration of their forthcoming disc, the Collective will be touring through the rest of May and then a few scattered dates in the months after. Please bring napkins; the Marfa ballroom can get sticky.
* Sir Richard Bishop
! Timothy McManus rules