The RIAA Finally Straightens Itself Out and Hires a Former FBI Agent

Kathy Leodler, a 23-year veteran of the FBI investigating everything from immigration to mail fraud, has signed on as the acting chief of the RIAA’s San Diego office. Bully for her, really, because she’s just the woman the RIAA needs to achieve its goal of stamping out every iota of illegal file-sharing.

Until now, the goal has always seemed just slightly out of reach for the RIAA constantly slipping through the fingers of the dedicated-but-inexperienced staff. With Leodler on the case, the organization can finally earn its keep. Pirates have waited far too long for the other shoe to drop, and I’d like to congratulate Leodler in advance for her swift and inevitable victory.

It will not surprise me if Leodler’s efficiency at her new post elevates her to a status similar to the rock stars she has altruistically vowed to protect, redefining not only the post of acting chief for an RIAA office, but the meaning of law enforcement itself.

As we raise our collective glass to toast Leodler’s inaugural few weeks in the position, I’d like to take a moment to look into the future, when Leodler, on her last day on the job, gets up from her desk and exits her office for the last time, her stoic expression belying the quiet confidence and shark-like detective skills that will no doubt have eliminated file-sharing forever. Cheers, Ms. Leodler.

Late that night, a stranger rolled into town. It was legendary punk band X on their 31st Anniversary tour!!

A lonely wind whistled through the parched streets of the small town. The sun beat down relentlessly and the townspeople stared at their feet as they trudged solemnly through the dusty lanes. It had not rained for weeks. At night, one could hear wolves howling in the distance.

The longer the town went without hydration, the more tempers flared. Anxious cattlemen huddled around the bar at the saloon, desperate for an escape from the rising heat and dying grass. Within the week, two men had been shot dead for cheating at cards. The wind blowing from the west carried the scent of the fires currently tearing down the coast.

The proprietor turned his back to put a new song on the Victrola. The crowd was starting to get loud and rough. It seemed all they ever did was wait for the rain to fall once again. Suddenly the saloon doors opened with a bang. In strolled John Doe and Exene Cervenka, trailed by Billy Zoom and, in the rear, D.J. Bonebrake. Heads turned as the legendary punk band X began to tune their instruments. "I hear you people have been having a mighty hard time of it," said John Doe. "Well, we can't make it rain, but we can make it ROCK!"

"We're touring to celebrate the band's 31st Anniversary," Exene added. "We've got a good number of shows announced, and possibly even more to come!"

"If only I'd known you were coming!" one of the ranchers exclaimed. "I would've put on my good hat."

"Well, from now on, I'd advise you to read Tiny Mix Tapes," said D.J. Bonebrake with a smile. "It's totally my preferred source for music news."

John Doe was right. It didn't rain, but no one cared because they got to hear "White Girl" and "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline."

Foreign Bjorn, Er, Born Just Ain’t One Of Us Tour

Bjorn started here about a month ago, and from the start, I could tell he just wasn’t one of us. Everyday when the lunch whistle blew, me and the guys’d go to the corner, talk about the missus', have a couple brews, heck, sometimes more than a couple.

Bjorn? ...Bjorn was different. Strange. An odd fuckin’ bird. He’d come into work all dressed up, somekinda thick gunk in his hair, always talking in that accent about something nobody could understand. One time he nearly dropped a girder on my head, not that I hold a grudge or nothing, but you get the idea. Frankly, we were all sick of it. So it’s a good thing he hasn’t come in these past few days.

It’s a damn good thing.

Tourdates:

It’s the TMT failsafe: when struggling for a story idea, confuse the band’s name with some other noun. Today, I confuse the English band, Clinic, with a methadone clinic. Don’t worry, Scout, I’m not really a junky.

Of course I know about Clinic. Where do you think I go every Wednesday at noon? Get my shit worked up real good. It's a bummer though, because if I had it my way, I'd only go once a month. Laws say they can only give me, at most, one week's supply of methadone. Major bummer. So, yeah, I know about Clinic.

It all happened by accident, of course. One of my dudes said, "Hey, inject yourself with this shit. It feels good." I figured it was something innocuous like vitamin C. Turns out it was heroin -- chick, brother, Harry Jones, China white, PURE H. Did it feel good? Did I feel like God? Hell yes, and before I knew it, I was full on like King Kong. I was floating. I was chasing the dragon. I was a sleepwalker.

So, yeah, again, I know about the clinic. So? Oh shit! You meant Clinic, not the clinic. Of course! What about them? They cleaned me right up... err, I mean, yeah rock ‘n’ roll! Just a sec, let me "Google" the fuck out of ‘em. Ahhh, yes, yes, now I remember: "a decade of funk, celebration and soft metal." They wear masks. Do you think they'd hook it up with methadone?

I know Clinic. They are the dudes who tour and don't come to Indiana. Don't you hate hearing tour announcements and then finding your state not on the itinerary? It's like a handjob with sandpaper. Maybe.

But yeah, these dudes, Clinic, not the dudes at the clinic, are pushing out their fifth studio album -- not weekly supplies of methadone. Titled, Do It!, the album will be released April 8 from Domino Records. Instead of turning into a cotton shooter, you should listen to the first single from Do It!. Visit clinicvoot.org February 1 for a free download of "Free Not Free"/"Thor."

There, of course, will be a tour to support Clinic's new album. Ideally, I'll be seeing these guys in NYC because I'm tired of the weak-ass Nixon shit that's been filtering into the Midwest lately. So, if anybody has a room for me in May, let me know. Okay? Thanks.

Do It! tracklisting:

What Made Milwaukee Famous Tours, Contemplates What Made Them Famous

What Made Milwaukee Famous:

- Miller beer
- Summerfest
- The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, a.k.a. the world's largest four-sided clock
- Harley-Davidson

What Made Milwaukee Famous (the Barsuk Records band, not the city):

- Performed on Austin City Limits with Franz Ferdinand, making them the only unsigned band to do so in ACL’s 32-year history
- Fooled everyone into thinking they’re from Milwaukee when they’re really from Austin
- Opened several shows for The Smashing Pumpkins in 2007

But don’t expect WMMF to be content with that list; they’ve got a city with the same name to compete with after all! Their sophomore album, What Doesn’t Kill Us, is due out March 4 on Barsuk, and they’ve got a whole slew of tourdates this spring to help spread the good Milwaukee name around. Good luck, boys -- I heard the city’s been around since the 1800s.

What Made Milwaukee Tour:

Open Wide: Black Dice To Blow Their Load on Tour

So, you think you figured out what Black Dice meant when they titled their latest album Load Blown (TMT Review)? Think again, junior. Had Black Dice answered my e-mails/calls, they would've explained how Load Blown isn't merely about jerking off and then having your "load" "blown." They're talking about you jerking off, having you shoot off an initial load, and then having that load get a blowjob -- hence, your "load" getting "blown." Fucking hardcore.

Now it's your turn to show Black Dice how hardcore you are, by jizzing all over fucking everything -- the walls, toiletries, bar stools, staff, fans, stage, music equipment, roadies -- fucking everything your load can reach at the European venues below. As for you women? Well, all I can say is that you should definitely consider sporting protective eyewear.

Back and forth, up and down:

Ice Cube Changing the Face of Hip-Hop, Not Including a “Feat. T-Pain” in a Potential Collaboration with Nas, Scarface

According to hip-hop’s sweaty-solid-cool Ice Cube, there could be an upcoming collaboration featuring the rapper himself, Nas, and Scarface in the future.

And, in bizarre departure from everything that’s been going on as of late, the potential collab does not mention a plan to feature T-Pain in any way.

Obviously, T-Pain will take this lack of inclusion as a personal insult, considering the incendiary, Earth-shattering nature of an American hip-hop artist NOT featuring the teamwork-happy artist, and NOT having to maybe share a Grammy with him.

A crazy gypsy (vagrant, whatever) grabbed me by the ankle yesterday and started screaming at me -- something about müm and how they aren't "just" glitch IDM and "can't you SEE it!?" I was of course freaked out and was all, "Yeah man, whatever, just let go of my leg," but he held tight. I kicked him a couple of times before he let go, jumped on my bicycle, and rode home. As I soaked myself in a hot bath, I thought more deeply about what the crazy fuck had said. "There be meaning in them words," I thought.

I got up and grabbed the müm lyric sheets that I had lying around, and took them back to the bath for contemplation. Nothing but nonsense. Or Icelandic. Same thing? Out of boredom, I hovered the pages above the bath water and swirled them around, watching the steam curl the edges of the paper before the hot water suffused and sank them. I got out and pulled the drain, the paper whirling around and around, and as the last of the water spiraled out of sight, I noticed the remaining bits of paper had rearranged themselves into an illuminating text, a telling prediction of müm's world tour to come.

- "I go away, go away/ Past the hills, past the day" – Nightly Cares

Having just finished a four-date tour in Japan, müm (while no longer joined by its founding Valtýsdóttir sisters still boasts seven members) are indeed going away, sweeping through Europe, Singapore, and Australia in support of their 2007 release, Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (TMT Review), their first release since Summer Make Good (TMT Review) released three years earlier.

- "Look how the lights lit/ Look how its tone shifts" – Oh How The Boat Drifts

The band has plans to hit a slew of cities with a schedule that's as fit for sightseeing as it is business (if you can call touring "business"): Dresden, Florence, Amsterdam, Sydney.

- "We who/ Lose our way/ Too drunk/ Scream and shout" – The Island of Children's Children

Hopefully not losing their way, müm's lined up some epic shows where you will be fully expected to drink, scream, and shout. Using a variety of traditional and non-conventional instruments along with pre-recorded material, microphones, computers, and on-stage improvisation, müm's live shows and DJ sets are widely recognized for their artistic impact and are not to be missed.

- "I hope tonight/ You will touch my hair/ And draw ghosts on my back" – The Ghosts you Draw On My Back

And they hope very much that you'll attend these shows and touch their hair...

- "Where are you/ I just want to say ‘how are you’/ Come here" – Abandonded Ship Bells

Despite the schism between old skool and new skool fans (original müm lineup with Valtýsdóttir sisters vs. müm post-Valtýsdóttir sisters), many people are attempting to bridge the gap, saying that the newer material and performances are, while markedly different, just as enjoyable as before. And müm thinks so too. müm wants their fanbase to be happy and wish very much to see you -- all of you.

- "A while go way [sic] nice and dark come back/ Home" – The Island of Children's Children

But they can't tour forever, and when March 19 has come and gone, the band will return home to begin work on their next release.

You never know what to expect:

Goodbye Crippling Boredom, Hello Raveonettes Tour!

Ahh... unemployment. While many people stuck in terribly boring, low-paying jobs may dream of the day their time at the local burrito shop or discount retailer will come to an end, leaving them with no greater responsibility than that of sleeping in late and watching judge shows on television all day, the truth is that unemployment very quickly becomes very lame. Perhaps my perspective would be better if I could identify myself as one of the idle rich. But I am not. (Attention idle rich people: if you are lonely and need someone to accompany you on a champagne-fueled yacht journey through the Florida Keys, or just need someone to screen your calls so Paris Hilton leaves you alone, please do not hesitate to contact me.)

For the past few weeks I have been filling my time in pursuit of three main goals. These goals include, but are not limited to: (1) obsessively searching for jobs on Craigslist, (2) obsessively drinking tea and coffee, and (3) obsessively looking up eBay auctions on which I cannot afford to bid. Also, I spend a lot of time making up new nicknames for my cat, looking for funny news on the internet, and checking concert
listings. Fortunately, this last hobby has been fairly fruitful. Today's discovery was that Danish garage rockers The Raveonettes have recently taken up residence in the United States and plan on bringing their feedback-infused live show from sea to shining sea for a Spring tour in support of their debut album on Vice Records, 2007's Lust Lust Lust. And now I am passing that discovery on to you, the reader, in hopes that I can be of help whether you, too, are unemployed and searching for entertainment in the upcoming months, or whether you just need someone to open endless bottles of Dom Pérignon on the SS Buffy or whatever your boat is called. Note: I am also available for rhino safaris.

* Blonde Redhead

Felice Brothers Tour, Repping the 845 Area Code Quite Nicely, IMHO

Here's a fact: when it comes to the Felice Brothers, I'm biased. First of all, they hail from my college stomping grounds. (Note: I have only been out of college for less than a year, but since I have indeed moved out of my college town, I have every right to refer to said town as "my college stomping grounds." Just clearing that up right now.) Secondly, they go quite well with a pint of whatever's on tap, and they manage to indulge in a few themselves while cranking out some of the most earnest Americana rock/folk I've heard in a long while. Simone Felice often opens for his own band with the help of his wife's keyboard accompaniment, and Bob Dylan comparisons run rampant right into the main set, where he's joined by his violin&accordion&guitar-wielding (hey!) brothers.
2008 seems to be treating these "upstate" (not really) New York boys quite well, kicking off a national tour with Son Volt and meeting up with the Drive-By Truckers on the West Coast. Pretty boss considering their First Real Record, Tonight At the Arizona, only came out last year. Tear. I'm rather proud.

No irony allowed, especially on a tour of such length, sheesh: