No, not The Ruby Suns and, no, not Joe Versus the Volcano (a 1990 film starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Lloyd Bridges -- fucking great movie). I'm talking about Volcano Suns, a Boston group founded in 1983 by Mission of Burma's drummer Peter Prescott. Likened to groups like Hüsker Dü (Hüsker who?), Volcano Suns released six albums from 1985-1991 with a revolving cast of musicians.

Their first two albums, The Bright Orange Years and All Night Lotus Party, were originally released on Homestead Records, but Merge Records will do the band the honor of jizzing all over the albums January 27, 2009, just how the band always imagined. This will mark the first time the albums see release on CD, and this ain't no shitty vinyl rip using one of those shitty USB turntables either. Both discs will be remastered by Bob Weston, world-famous musician/engineer who at one point played bass for Volcano Suns.

Bonus tracks are expected, but here are the original tracklistings to get you in the mood.

The Bright Orange Years original tracklist:

I really want to watch Joe Versus the Volcano again.

Web-Friendly Musical Scores to Hit Internet, Provide Adequate Short-Term Politico-Economic Distraction to the Truly Poor and Nerdy

Attention band geeks, comp majors, and idealistic grade school music teachers with ’70s hairstyles everywhere! Get ready to flip-on the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th and rejoice! NoteFlight, a flash-based service for composing, editing and sharing musical scores online -- which is also, I might add, free to use if you sign up for the beta version -- is here to spruce up that lonely ivory tower of yours. No Faustian pact with the devil required!

Once you've registered for that free account, you can truly let your questionably-legitimate esotericism run (relatively) wild! Shame and embarrass the tiresome, life-ruining work of those great, consumptive Romantic composers by dragging notes onto a music staff to create scores, playing them with your computer's keyboard, editing the notes with the click of a mouse, and sharing them with others within the site's database using a simple URL! You can even embed a finished score right onto your cloyingly doting ‘Rachmaninoff Rules!’ fansite if you’d like. Then, wherever fellow geeks, er, devotees encounter your score, they'll be able to play it back as if they were on the main site, even if they don't have an account. This video does an every-good-boy-does-fine kinda job of explaining the site's basic features. All you have to do is sign up, bone up, and wham-bam! You’ll be shitting-out hits like Shubert shit-out lieder.

"Making music is not a solitary pursuit -- nearly everyone who works with music eventually wants to share it," stated NoteFlight founder and presumably fruitless comp. student Joe Berkovitz. "As both software creators and musicians, our team knows how painful it is to share notated music online today. That's because most musical applications treat the Internet as an afterthought: they’re geared to saving your music on your hard disk, not to sharing your music with other people." Software creators and musicians?? Man, these guys probably know how painful a lot of things are!

But seriously folks, NoteFlight plans to launch a paid version of the service eventually, although certain features will always be free to use. Apparently, if you sign up for the beta, you get grandfathered in and won't have to pay later to register. Which is good, because if you’re excited by this product, odds are you’re poor as hell.



New Orleans electronica ambient magic duo Telefon Tel Aviv are back after five years, and they have a new album called Immolate. Which is totally rad! They're releasing the album January 20 on Bpitch. Yes!




Apologies for the weak pun, and apologies to those Canucks who rely on a U.S.-based internet music zine for their tour news, because you have indeed missed some Herman Dune shows. Perhaps you should keep more of an eye out, so then next time you won't miss out on the sassy musical stylings of David-Ivar and Neman Herman Düne again. I don't know, maybe you were worried about the polar bears or your igloo melting and failed to notice that France's premier anti-folk band are hitting up North America in support of their upcoming album, Next Year In Zion. It certainly isn't my fault.

Nothing to regret for those of us in God's chosen country! All U.S. dates are with lovely and talented Texan Jolie Holland (we won't talk about her involvement with The Be Good Tanyas). And, as for all you Canucks, you've lucked out: some Canadian dates have just been added to the tour.

Next Year In Zion will be released in the States October 21. Here's the tracklisting:

Clinic Collaborate with Animator Clemens Habicht as Planetarium of the Soul on Upcoming Tour

Ade Blackburn and his cronies in Clinic are once again setting their sights on YOUR money with a relatively short European stint in November. But this ain't no typical stint. This tour will see Clinic collaborating with animator Clemens Habicht as Planetarium of the Soul, which is being dubbed as "live music and animation bleeding together in a contemporary vortex of psychedelic sight and sound." Sounds uh-mazin'!

Clinic's latest, Do It! (TMT Review -- it got , FYI), was released earlier this year on Domino, and the album's third single, "Tomorrow," will be unveiled November 24, just as the Planetarium of the Soul tour wraps up. The single will include a DFA remix, some new music, and a video by Wiz.

Most importantly, however, Clinic opened for Radiohead back in the day. Yep.

Planetarium of the Soul tourdates (all dates with Threatmantics):

DiMA & NARM Stand Up for Fair Use of 30-Second Song Samples; Find Inspiration After Watching Erin Brockovich on TBS

Market instability, oil price lunacy, hearing 30 seconds of 30 Seconds to Mars... it doesn't take much to get some organizations in a huff over what they believe to be their bucks. Music's publishing bodyrollaz like ASCAP and BMI are always trying to get paid in the name of protecting their musical charges, but it looks like they may be in for a fight when it comes to screwing royalties from those intent on using 30-second music clips. In an amicus brief filed jointly by DiMA (Digital Media Association) and NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) last month, the two groups asked a federal court to apply "fair use" with regard to the use of 30-second song samples on the internet.

"DiMA supports fair compensation for copyright owners," states DiMA Executive Director of Jonathan Potter. "DiMA members pay tens of millions of dollars in royalties to songwriters and publishers for online music sales. But the performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) who represent songwriters and publishers demand additional payment for the preview clips that facilitate these online sales."

The legal action stems from an ASCAP vs. AT&T case, which has the telephone/DSL/wireless giant fighting for its right to use 30-second ringtone and ring-back-tone song previews. Amicus briefs contain pertinent but unsolicited information filed by "friends of the court" in order to get judges to consider broader legal implications and third-party ramifications when making their decisions. In this instance, DiMA and NARM would like a federal district court, in deciding the AT&T case, to consider protection and fair use for internet retailers that use 30-second song preview clips. If the courts decide on the side of ASCAP, then it may mean a double payday for publishing houses and songwriters in the future.

Lay back and let Potter further seduce you with his amicus brief impetuses:

Internet retailers sell an extraordinary percentage of all recorded music. The iTunes Store is America’s largest music retailer, and, Best Buy and other DiMA members use 30-second clips to sell both CDs and digital downloads. If ASCAP succeeds in pressing its demand for a new payment for these previews, Internet music retailers would be disadvantaged simply because they are selling online, and songwriters and music publishers would be getting a royalty for the preview on top of the appropriate and well-deserved royalty that is paid when the music itself is sold.

The joint filers hope the federal court will see the possible benefits of protected use of these 30-second clips. Essentially this is free promotion for the artists, songwriters, and publishers themselves and could only help to sell their products in the long run. But the law is an unpredictable, prickly beast. For instance, a court found O.J. Simpson guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping last week. That guy's never done anything wrong!

Be careful the next time you fart... an ASCAP stooge may request royalties on behalf of someone like Daughtry or something.

Ween Release Early Live CD/DVD, Weirdness Free with Purchase

The very strange/very talented band we know as Ween will be taking fans on a trip down bizzaro memory lane November 11 with the release of an early live CD/DVD package from MVD. The CD will contain an entire show from 1992 at The Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC (which happens to be one of my favorite venues). Those of you who have seen Ween live in recent years should expect something very different from this package, as early performances consisted solely of Dean and Gene Ween with a few samples, tapes, and a drum machine.

Meanwhile, the bonus DVD contains footage from several shows, including some from Halloween 1991 in Holland and 1992 in Columbus, OH. Actually, here's the tracklist for the bonus DVD:

Don Caballero to Tour Europe; Che Must Be Sick of All the Math References, But We’ll Keep Doing Them Anyway!

Math Rockers rejoice: masters of intricate music Don Caballero are hitting the road in Europe this month to support their most recent album, 2008’s Punkgasm. The Pittsburgh-based trio has developed quite the following over the last 17 years, presumably for their innovation and complexity. While their lineup has changed rapidly over the years, drummer and founding member Damon Che is still at the forefront of the group, pushing the mathematical limits of Don Caballero’s music further with every album.

Don Caballero tourdates

Andrew Bird Whistles While He Works… And Finishes New Album!

Just the other day, I was thinking to myself “Isn’t it about time for a new Andrew Bird album? Because I could really use one.” Turns out, it is that time, which is great! Due January 27, 2009 from Fat Possum Records, Bird will bring us Noble Beast, the follow-up to 2007's Armchair Apocrypha (TMT Review). The new album will consist of 12 tracks, with the new single “Oh No” ready to be heard right here. In typical Bird fashion, this song is very literate and features his signature violin and whistle.

To prepare for the unleashing of Noble Beast, Bird will be making a few live appearances to road-test some of his new material. (The inclusion of Bird’s alter ego Dr. Stringz may or may not rear his head on these dates.) Meanwhile, the Bird man will be appearing on the new Final Fantasy EP, Plays to Please, out October 21.

Noble Beast tracklisting:

Asobi Seksu Announce U.S. Fall Tour, Only If That’s Alright With You, White People!

Asobi Seksu are often compared to My Bloody Valentine, but they've also proven that they do have their own special sound. That's partly why Polyvinyl has signed the band and are set to release the single "Me & Mary," both digitally and on 7-inch vinyl, on November 18.

Now, to be blunt, Asobi Seksu's lead singer Yuki Chikudate is very attractive and Asian. We all know that white guys like Asian girls. This is fine and dandy, of course, but how is it helping Asobi Seksu record sales to non-whites? Well, it's not, which is why they've gotta expand their demographic! I've scribbled a few ideas that Polyvinyl is free to steal if it wants:

- Sell the single at Taco Bell.

- Give a free Seksu digital download to anyone who buys a mahjong set in Chinatown.

- Put up posters in hospitals in the ghetto (Okay, okay -- this was a joke. There are no hospitals in the ghetto).

Early in 2009, the group will release their third LP, produced by Chris Zane (The Walkmen, Les Savy Fav). But for now, go see them play at one of their many U.S. dates.

I'm talking to you, white people!: