Kurt Weisman Set to Tour on Bikes with Horaflora, Is Great

And you thought Radiohead were green. Kurt Weisman, who recently released the critically-acclaimed-by-us Spiritual Sci-Fi (TMT Review), is about to head out on tour with his bud Rob Roy (a.k.a. Horaflora) on bikes! They're calling it the "Cycledelic (Music) Trip," and you can find on-the-road updates at their blog.

They're looking for help to fill out shows in late August/early September, so give a hand if you can. Since they're playing at "Marika's House" and "145 South Street" on this tour, something tells me they won't refuse many gigs. Meanwhile, check out Kurt Weisman's Spiritual Sci-Fi on Important Records, and then absorb yourself in the amazing sounds of Horaflora. Do other stuff, too.

! Vetiver

$ Tumble Cat Poof Poofy Poof

& MV/EE and Travis Laplante

# Chris Weisman and Sheena Charland

NOFX Tour U.S., Hate U.S., Expect to Start Collecting Social Security From U.S. Right… About…

Are you out of high school? Will you be soon? Unemployed or under-employed? Are you looking for a job that will offer you a real future, room to grow, world-travel, paid-vacations, early retirement, and more???

Then you should consider a career in the fast-paced (literally) world of booze-fueled, Bush-hating Punk-Rawk! With Punk Rawk, you'll have a career that you can really live with. But don't take my word for it... just listen to this totally unrehearsed testimonial from one of our most successful (i.e., most booze-fueled), middle-aged clients:

Yeah... ummm, we started NOFX on a whim back in 1983 after seeing a late-night infomercial for Punk Rawk. We thought, "what the hey?" you know? And here we are 25 years later, all past the age of 40, still touring the world with that same drumbeat in every song. No one has ever caught on! As a matter of fact, we just wrapped up a tour of Germany, Luxembourg, and Canada where we doubled our profit margins by turning the whole tour into a TV series for the Fuse Network, and now we're heading back to the U.S. for another round of shows in support of our most-recent live album (Yes, we've done more than one! That's how great our careers have been!), They've Actually Gotten Worse Live, currently out via our own label, Fat Wreck Chords! Life is unbelievable, and we're hammered all the time. And we owe it all to 25 years in the Punk-Rawk business. Oh wait, excuse me, my beer bong is ready for me... -- Fat Mike, NOFX

Well, there you have it, young job-seekers. Don't wait another second! Pick up the phone and start your own 25+ year career in the fabulous field of Punk Rawk today!

Here's that number one more time:

Jim O’Rourke to Issue Double Album “Via Chicago“‘s Drag City and Streamline

Jim O'Rourke, who has worked with everyone from Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse With Wound, Fennesz, Organum, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, Joanna Newsom, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, U.S. Maple, Takehisa Kosugi, Merce Cunningham, Werner Herzog, Olivier Assayas, Shinji Aoyama, Koji Wakamatsu, Chris Corsano, Weasel Walter, Kevin Drumm, The New Blockaders, Glenn Kotche, Carlos Giffoni, Akira Sakata, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Lonberg-Holm, K.K. Null, John Oswald, Mari Kimura, Eddie Prévost, Alan Licht, Andrew Chalk, Christoph Heemann, Thymme Jones, Darin Gray, Dylan Posa, Carolyn Faber, David Grubbs, John McEntire, Phil Knight, and Edward Ka-Spel to Otomo Yoshihide, is set to issue another long-lost album via Streamline Records, with help from Drag City.

Titled long night, the double album was recorded nearly 20 years ago and lasts for more than two-and-a-half hours! The best part? IT'S A DRONE. The album follows a string of recent releases that have been recovered from O'Rourke's early days, including 6 Oscillators 87/Guitar 88, Mizu No Nai Umi, and “Oscillators and Guitars” (from a split with Thomas Ankersmit). It also comes on the heels of the Drag City reissues of Tamper (TMT Review) and Osorezan.

long night is set for release August 19. Expect to hear it pumping in dance clubs across the nation.

WMG Stock Climbs 34% in 2008; Becomes the Year’s Best Performing Media Stock; Party at Seal’s House!

Warner Music Group, loving home to Ryan Cabrera
, Tangerine Dream, and every wonderful thing in between, has won a tremendous PR feather in their big conglomerate cap. According to the New York Post, WMG stock has soared 34% year-to-date with their share price currently valued $8.13. Yeah, it’s still not that high, but after facing a record low $4.36 per share on January 9, WMG did the dance called the bootstrap and now sits on top of the corporate pile as the best performing media stock of 2008 (so far)! Bully to you, WMG!

Nevertheless, WMG’s current listing is a far cry from its starting value of $29.48 when the company went public in 2005. Plus, since the stock was already so low at the beginning of the year, any minuscule improvement was bound to kick their percentage way up in comparison to their corporate homeboys. That doesn’t matter much, though, since the stock of every company in WMG’s peer group has tanked since January 1. Google fell 31%, the always charming News Corporation dropped 32%, and CBS is down 37%. So even though WMG didn’t gain that much ground, at least it can pat itself on the back for not sinking further into the current economic whirlpool.

But the whole inflated percentage thing did allow WMG to pass up the super strong nerd stocks of Marvel and Activision Blizzard, both of which saw 25% gains in their stock value, sailing each company’s price-per-share into the mid-30s. But screw them. Nerds don’t count. Let WMG have their day in the sun. Just this once.

Max Tundra Tours with Hot Chip, And Boy Do I Love Max Tundra (In Unrelated News, Broken Social Scene Are Not Releasing a New Album Anytime Soon)

Mastered By Guy at The Exchange is a perfect summer album. I've been recommending it to friends every summer since its release in 2002, and I'm still constantly listening to the album, which is a bit surprising seeing as though I'm a pretentious snob. Example: My mom asked me the other day if I wanted to do some karaoke and sing "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams. I was, like, "What are you dumb or something?? Bryan Adams sucks ass. His shit's so contrived!! Can't you see through the transparency of that innocuous buildup before the outro? USE YOUR EARS, MOM."

Anyway, Max Tundra (a.k.a. Ben Jacobs) has been hunkered away, working on his third album for years now. Back in 2006, he said that a new LP "might happen as early as this year," but added: "then again, what's the rush?" His MySpace's mini-biography makes another ridiculously false claim: "Max Tundra has been working on his third album for Domino. The work continues to this day, with a possible release date of spring 2008." But, of course, spring has passed and guest what? No new album.

But fuck it, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the new album is done and it's being released October 7. I have nothing (really, nothing) but my gut instincts to go off from, but October 7 would be a great date, as it would coincide nicely with his upcoming UK tour with Hot Chip. So, while there's no solid release date (aside from the one I made up), at least he's getting out there!

Meanwhile, you can listen to Max Tundra's Rotogravure, his weekly radio show on Resonance FM. But why listen when you can check out his playlists here?

& Wiley

^ Hot Chip

$ Juana Molina

Rolling Stones to Leave EMI for Universal, Finally “Make It Big”

I guess when you’re a “rolling stone,” it’s pretty implicit that you just can’t stay in one place, isn’t it? Especially after 40-odd years, I would imagine that your band is probably more or less obligated to clean off some of that gathering moss and start living up to that name that you picked back when you were a heady 20-year-old who hated... well, people like you.

With that in mind, Mick Jagger and co. have decided to do the most reckless thing that a pack of rebels in their 60s can still do and leave their GIANT-ASS CORPORATE RECORD LABEL for another GIANT-ASS CORPORATE RECORD LABEL for the possibility of making even more money! Hey, there’s nothing more reckless than trying to fatten up your pension checks, right?

In a roughly $15 million deal that includes four decades of their catalogue, the Stones are up-and-leavin’ EMI for the hotter, younger, blonder Universal Music. “Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people,” the band’s management stated in a presumed swipe at EMI boss Guy Hands’ clutches. The new deal entails that Sir Mick and the boys will switch all their albums since 1971’s Sticky Fingers to the rival label from EMI, to whom the Stones first signed back in 1977.

The Stones’ back-catalogue (including the likes of Black and Blue and Exile on Main Street) currently generates about $3 million a year, but Universal believes it can squeeze a little juice out of these withered old turnips, indicating recently that it plans to re-release each of the band’s classic albums individually at some point in the near future. Further, since Universal also currently controls The Stones’ ’60s output in Britain (released through the Decca label), the deal will unify the band’s entire recorded collection (at least in the UK) under a single, “universal” banner (get it?). Meanwhile, poor old EMI wished the Stones well but couldn’t resist a swipe of its own at the notion of diminishing returns on such an aging band, saying in a statement that “EMI Music will only ever conclude mutually beneficial agreements with its artists.”

The Stones’ decision is the latest in a hilariously embarrassing series of clashes between major artists and Mr. Hands, after his company took over the struggling label last year for £2.1 billion, which include disgusted walk-outs by the likes of Radiohead and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). Jagger and crew’s Universal deal will last for five years, sources say, which, since they have at least one foot in the grave already, should be just long enough to allow those familiar artist sentiments of “I’d rather die than work for Guy Hands” to come true.

The Walkmen Release New LP Early for $5, Benefits Cancer Research and Treatment

You have $5. Now, you could go to Burger King and buy a BK Value Meal. (YUM.) You could get a set of 12 rolls of party streamers. (FUN.) Or you could get a novelty shot glass. (NICE!) But you won't, because The Walkmen have just announced that they are exclusively teaming with AmieStreet.com® to sell their new album, You & Me, for a measly $5! (WOWOWOWOOWOOWOW!!) And it's on sale now. Never mind that you've already downloaded the leaked version; the album's proceeds will go to benefit cancer research and treatment.

This early release is part of AmieStreet.com's Download To Make A Difference campaign. “All donations go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in honor of Luca Vasallo, a friend to the band and a current patient who is seven months old and doing a great job fighting a very difficult disease,” said Peter Bauer of The Walkmen. “This is a very good organization that certainly deserves the attention.”

You & Me will be physically released August 19 by Gigantic Music. Or you can buy it for $5 now.

# Golem

Check Out Athens Pop Fest, Featuring The Music Tapes (First Show Since Y2K) and Roky Erickson!

August 12-16 marks the dates of the 5th Annual Athens Pop Fest in Athens, Georgia, presented by HHBTM Records. Headlining this year's festival are Roky Erickson & The Explosives (pictured), Boyracer, and The Music Tapes, the project of Neutral Milk Hotel's Julian Koster. This will be The Music Tapes' first performance since 2000, and will also precede the release of Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes by a few days (TMT News).

Other performers at Athens Pop Fest 2008 include Cryptacize, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Ruby Isle, Dark Meat, Dead Confederate, We Versus The Shark, Spring Tigers, Bunnygrunt, Nana Grizol, The Apes, The Coathangers, The Buddy System, My Teenage Stride, and Ham1.

Held at five different venues and featuring over 80 bands, you can attend the fest for a cool $60 for a 5-day pass, while individual day passes are available for August 14-16. You can also buy tickets at the door of the venues. If you live in Athens, you can get your pass from Wuxtry Records (probably from Mr. HHBTM himself); otherwise, do the credit card thing at the official website, where you will also find a full schedule for the entire event, hotel information, and other stuff.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Set to Tour, Again; Gorbachev Reportedly Not a Fan

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (SSLYBY) have joined the running for easiest, most promotable band name, right alongside Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, and of course the infamous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. To celebrate, SSLYBY are set to tour Europe in September, supporting their sophomore album, Pershing (released in April on Polyvinyl Records). These guys sure like to keep themselves busy. The four-piece from Springfield, MO has been touring the U.S. all summer, and they're taking only a six-week break (with a couple shows here and there) before heading back out on the road.

Pershing has garnered lots of props, and I guess the album is pretty damned good if you're into that sort of catchy, harmonious power-pop thing. I am, so I hail "Glue Girls" as one of the catchiest songs of the year. Yeah, I said it.

Yeltsin Love Fest Dates:

FCC Gives Thumbs-Up to Media Consolidation, Approves Satellite Radio Merger

Billboard reports that a merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, first announced in February of 2007, was finally approved by the FCC on Friday.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin (who did something good recently, for the record) positively gushed about the merger, declaring that "the merger is in the public interest and will provide consumers with greater flexibility and choices" and that "it will also spur innovation and advance the development and use of interoperable radios, bringing more flexible programming options to all subscribers." FCC Democrat Jonathan Adelstein, who voted against the decision, remained less convinced of the mystical powers of media consolidation, noting that he hopes the companies "don't become a fat and happy monopoly."

The FCC decision does come with some baggage for the company, in the form of several conditions. The conditions include a three-month "a la carte" offering allowing consumers to purchase only certain channels, a three-year price cap, the devotion of several channels to "public-interest" and minority-based programming, and a combined $19.7 million fine for improperly located terrestrial radio repeaters. The latter particularly was crucial in getting Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate on board with the decision. Tate had initially been wary of permitting a merger between two companies with demonstrably consumer-unfriendly practices.

So the good news about this decision is that satellite radio customers will benefit from the FCC conditions and will be able to subscribe to both services automatically without having to pay new subscription fees. But the bad news is that there is now only one satellite radio company in the U.S. But the good news is that satellite radio is kind of a fringe format anyway. But the bad news is that it's a fringe format controlled entirely by one company. And so on...