"Art is a powerful weapon that society, or the powers that be, use to control or direct the way people think. Culture is used to perpetuate the status quo of a society. Even though I'm involved in music for the sake of entertainment, I always hope to offer some kind of enlightenment." - Max Roach
Max Roach, one of the most significant drummers of jazz and certainly one of my favorites, thought of jazz as a "democratic musical form" that comes from a "communal experience." Helping to 'un-define' the role of drummers as a mere "subservient figure," Roach opened music listeners to the idea that sound can be a force for social change. Shattering jazz hierarchies and exploring the subtle timbres and textural play that drumming afforded, Roach's brilliant career found him playing with everyone from Charles Mingus and Clifford Brown to free-jazzers Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton.
Blacklisted for a period in the '60s by club owners and record companies for his overt politics (heard on albums like We Insist!, It's Time, and Speak, Brother, Speak!), Max Roach was obviously never one to shy away from merging art and politics. His conception of music went beyond simply notes and rhythms -- it became a vehicle for his thoughts, his ideas. “My point is that we much decolonize our minds and re-name and re-define ourselves... In all respects, culturally, politically, socially, we must re-define ourselves and our lives, in our own terms.”
Of course, most of Roach's contributions to jazz were not overtly political, but with jazz becoming more and more a museum artifact and background music for White House banquets, I like to think that his overall contribution to jazz was more "enlightenment" than "entertainment."
TMT Makes Negativland A Shiny New Press Release Using Words From The Lengthy (Kinda Boring) Original; Everyone Learns An Important Lesson
Negativland, also known as the real brain of John Legend, announces a shit-stirring DVD release -- Our Favorite Things -- and a reissue of its brutally sticky 1983 Christian masterpiece, A Big 10-8 Place. ((subliminal)) It isn't just parody and satire -- it’s a consumer Gospel (complete with The 180 Gs’ doo-doo). The collective also intends to target “ten-thousand-million-billion” anti-corporate activists with gross advertising.
“Please, more unforgettable package...” - Wired
“Charming only to the hard European ((targets)) in of the trunk of their car.” – The New York Times
“Affecting like your high school science teacher’s Twisted Boy Cage... only lots more.” – RollingStone
Fans will be going Adbusters for sure.
The U.S. Government has announced this week that it will be cracking down on what can only be described as a "volatile furnace epidemic" that seems to be sweeping the country.
Throughout the past several years, news of "fiery furnaces" have been reported on and off again, seemingly every couple of months, in many of America's most prominently publicly-trafficked businesses. The main offender? Rock clubs. Clubs all across the country have reported playing host, wittingly or otherwise, to at least two or more fiery furnaces at one time or another since at least 2002.
"I was positively shocked when learned that these dangerously fiery furnaces have been reported in public buildings for practically five years now," says one federal lawmaker. "I can't believe that a problem like this has taken this long to come to our attention. We’re usually very much on-top of these matters."
Officials say these caustically inclined containers may be keeping these buildings warm and seats packed in the cool fall months, but the safety risks are far too great.
While initial speculation suggested the obvious work of Terrorist Groups, more recent reports have indicated that the main supplier of these faulty, fiery furnaces is a local company from Brooklyn, New York called "Friedberger and Friedberger," a brother/sister corporation headed by owners/operators Mathew and Eleanor Friedberger. When contacted by this news organization, both Friedbergers refused to comment, stating only that they were eagerly looking forward to "packing their bags and hitting the road this fall"; a very suspicious response, indeed, according to local police.
Although largely shipped and distributed by a company called Rough Trade until this year, recent tracking records also indicate that the duplicitous duo has teamed up with Chicago-based underground distributor called "Thrill Jockey" for the release of a new, perhaps even hotter and more dangerous furnace product called the Widow City model, which is scheduled to be on the market in October 2007. Police and officials are urging the public, and rock club patrons in particular, to be on the lookout for these these faulty furnaces and to steer clear of these offending businesses at all costs.
In the mean time, Furnace Inspections of the following U.S. Businesses have already been scheduled on the following dates:
New Pornographers Tour, Those Attending With The Hopes Of Seeing Something Lewd & Lascivious May Leave Disappointed
Whether you hear it as more mature, stripped-down, and confident or you think it's too slow, Fleetwood Mac-ian, and an overall letdown, the latest LP from The New Pornographers, Challengers (Matador), is yet another attention-grabber from the band. Those without an opinion can form one and support their local records store (if big box bitches haven't eaten them all) next Tuesday, when the record (on CD & vinyl) will be available in stores. Lovers of good power pop or purchasers of this will definitely want to check out the NPs on the Late Show With David Letterman, August 20. If perhaps you somehow got the album free, you can still support the band by seeing them at one of their seven zillion (edit: 39) North American tourdates on the "New Pornographers Challengers 2007 Tour."
The tour itself actually has two separate legs. The first starts on September 13, in Victoria, British Columbia (yes, Canada) and goes for two weeks, wrapping up September 28 in Vancouver, British Columbia (yes, they leave Canada at some point). Matador mates Lavender Diamond will be warming up the crowd at all these shows, save for the first one. Fancy, Immaculate Machine (both NP side projects) and/or The Awkward Stage will also be present during portions of this leg. After a two-week respite, the band strikes up the, uh, band, again October 11 for the second leg of NPC2007T. The full-time opener for this portion is Emma Pollock, formerly of The Delgados, who is set to release her first solo LP, Watch The Fireworks, on 4AD September 11 in the U.S. Others involved in this second leg are the mighty (popular) Spoon, Immaculate Machine, and Benjy Ferree.
Mr P Looked Me Straight in the Eyes and Said Every TMTer Is Required to Write About Arcade Fire at Least Once. I Took My Clothes and Ran to Find Out Why Arcade Fire Added More Fall U.S. Tourdates.
Did you know that The Arcade Fire released their album Neon Bible (TMT Review) earlier this year? Of course you know, because everywhere I go it's Arcade Fire this and Arcade Fire that. Frankly, I'm sick of all this Arcade Fire news. In fact, I've spent the first half of this year purposely avoiding writing any and all Arcade Fire news stories. There has been rainy Monday nights where Mr P has had to call me up and beg for me to write some fresh Arcade Fire news. But no, I would say; I refuse to write about The Arcade Fire.
So, how did I go from rebellious, anti-Arcade Fire-news-writing teen to
writing-unnecessary-Arcade Fire-news conformist monkey?
Mr P gave me a raise, if you know what I mean.
Tourdates (with LCD Soundsystem and supposedly the end of U.S. tour):
Note: The name Arcade Fire was mentioned only 12 times in this article, which does not meet the minimum quota of 22 shout-outs.
Special Limited-Time Offer! See Angels of Light Live and We’ll Throw in Boredoms For Half the Price!
Gira: 'Sup dude!! It's Michael Gira, former Swans member and current Angels of Light dude. I run Young God, etc.
eYe: Sigh... I know who you are, Michael; you called yesterday.
Gira: Hahah, oh yeah... weird.
eYe: So, what is it that you want today?
Gira: Oh, uh, nothing. Just kinda relaxing, doing laundry -- that sort of thing... A friend called earlier, so we made plans to go to SUBWAYÂ® later. I've never had their toasted Meatball Marinara yet, and I go practically every other day! Haha! What are you up to, dude?
eYe: Sigh... Look Michael, you know I respect you and everyone loves your music -- I can't wait for the August 21 release of We Are Him -- but you can't just keep--
eYe: Uh, Michael?
Gira: ...Hahahah!! Oh shit, man!! FUCKING INSANE!!
eYe: WHAT IS IT MICHAEL!?!?
Gira: Dude, turn to channel 4!! You won't fucking believe this!!
eYe: Okay, uh... what am I looking at here?
Gira: Dude, look at that dog go!! He keeps chasing his own tail, around and around -- hahahah!! Fucked up, man!
eYe: MICHAEL!! HONESTLY!! This is getting weird! You can't keep calling here every night, reintroducing yourself as the "former Swans member and current Angels of Light dude."
eYe: Look, I'm sorry. I've tried to be nice about this, but this is just getting out of hand man.
Gira: Well -- sniff sniff -- don't you want to know why I called?
eYe: Sigh... Yes, Michael. I would love to know why you called.
Gira: Dude, I BOOKED US A TOUR!!
eYe: Michael, why the FUCK did you do that?
Gira: I don't know... thought it'd be cool -- plus, I was itching to get out of the States. What's the problem, dude?
eYe: Well, MICHAEL FUCKING GIRA, I told you YESTERDAY that we can't fucking play any shows right now because of all the family obligations we have, and you promised me that you would fucking talk to me first before doing--
Gira: Dude, sorry sorry sorry! Jeez... I know you told me about the family obligations, but seriously, this'll be a fucking blast. And I promise that HAHHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAH!!!
eYe: Fucking A Michael! What the fuck is going on?
Gira: Are you watching this!? Hahahah! That dog sounds like it's actually saying "I LOVE YOU!" "AIII!! WUFF!! YOOO!!!!"
Angels of Light tourdates:
10.21.07 - Coventry, UK - Taylor John's House
10.22.07 - Manchester, UK - Academy $
10.23.07 - Glasgow, UK - Arches $
10.24.07 - Aberdeen, UK - The Lemon Tree $
10.26.07 - London, UK - Shoreditch Town Hall # $
10.27.07 - London, UK - Monto Water Rats
# The Wire/Electra Festival
Thurston Moore, cousin of director Michael Moore and brother of singer Mandy Moore, is most famous for Moore's Law, which has something to do with transistors and circuits and costs. Born in Moore, Idaho, Moore wrote about this law around the time he moved to Moore, Texas and befriended Henry Moore, the British sculptor, who was born in Moore, Chesire (England). The two moved to Moore, South Carolina, where they began talking to James Moore (a philosopher of science), who was schooled at Moore Catholic High School. But it was five year later, at Moore, Pennsylvania, where the three Moores began work on their pivotal Moore machine theory involving finite state automation. After philosophical discussions with Addison Webster Moore and George Edward Moore, all five Moores decided to move to Moore, Montana where they discovered Starbucks and Universal Records. After a lot of frappuccinos and major label deals, the Moores met some dude named Jack Konawalski who killed -- with a spear, mind you -- every Moore besides Thurston Moore.
Hear his story on the Ecstatic Peace release Trees Outside The Academy and on tour:
* Sexual Onslaught: Ramleh, Wolf Eyes, Putrefier, Carlos Giffoni & Prurient
Rammstein is set to release a two-disc DVD set titled Volkerball September 18. Keep your cursor over the image above to find out why you must own it.
(By the way, it isn't real.)
The Shins are über popular now, and if you don't know who they are, whatever, you're lying -- but if you really don't, then just go to Wal-Mart and pick up one of their albums. Their popularity, as you all know, rose to ridiculous heights because of Zach Braff's Garden State and, specifically, Natalie Portman's namedropping. So, in an effort to finally put an end to this mention in every single news story, feature, and review ever written post-Garden State, I stuck the dialogue from the famous/infamous scene into Babel Fish (a finality if there ever was one) and translated it into German and then re-translated back into English.
Let me set the scene for you. Zach Braff walks into the doctor's office; Natalie Portman is in the waiting room. She's awkward and hot. Zach Braff is just plain awkward, so she sparks a conversation with him. Fast-forward through the conversation to the part where Natalie talks about little people in the movies...
Natalie: It sucks, although, because it gives, that, you do not know much work for small people? Anyway I speak too much. I become straight... They received to fill your forms out.
Zach: To what do you hear?
Natalie: The Shins. They know it?
Natalie: They received to hear this a song. It changes your life. I am sad. They must... They received to fill your forms out. Do you think that you hear, uh... possibly could, while you fill your forms out?
Zach: I think that I can touch it.
Natalie: Yeah? Ok.
Zach: It is good. I like it.
Check out the Shins this fall in these cities:
09.01.07 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
09.02.07 - Chicago, IL - Download Festival
10.05.07 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre *
10.06.07 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl *
10.07.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre *
10.09.07 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheater *
10.10.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Popejoy Hall (University of New Mexico)
10.17.07 - Atlanta, GA - Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center
10.18.07 - Charleston, SC - The Plex #
10.19.07 - Raleigh, NC - Progress Energy Center (Raleigh Memorial Auditorium)
10.20.07 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVa #
10.22.07 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion #
10.23.07 - New York, NY - Terminal Five #
10.24.07 - New York, NY - Terminal Five #
10.27.07 - Las Vegas, NV - Sam Boyd Stadium (Vegoose Festival)
10.28.07 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel
* The Shaky Hands
RIAA Takes Congress To Ruby Tuesday, Subtly Hints At Maybe Just Dropping The Whole Legal Proceedings Thing, Gets Stuck With $650,000 Bill
It was reported by Digital Music News that the RIAA, recently christened as part of the Axis of Evil, spent $650,000 on lobbying expenses in the first half of 2007. Is that a lot? Well, in 2006, the RIAA spent $1.5 million, Time Warner spent almost $3.8 million, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association tops the TV/movies/music category at $14 million. This year, the RIAA is on pace to spend $1.3 million. So, yes, that is a lot, but the disgusting part to begin with is how much money is put into lawmaking by people who are not lawmakers.
Total Lobbying Spending for 2006: $2.55 billion. WTF America! Half of that is the wide category of pharmaceuticals and health products, which should make everyone wonder (again) about the role of the Food and Drug Adminstration. I saw something in the grocery store called Bio-Kult, and aside from seeming absolutely revolting and sounding like a name for an international crime syndicate, I am really skeptical that this cultured dairy probiotic energy drink, with its three-fingered alligator logo, is anywhere close to being safe. Lump that in with the ever-growing list of questionable yogurt products like Go-Gurt and Yogo-Bits and the vast list of genetically modified foods, and we will seriously need to reassess what we mean by "food."
So, could the RIAA be any better? Isn't DRM just another three-fingered alligator and payola its yogurt-related cousin? How are these things getting through to the consumer? Well, $1.5 million is certainly no $1.1 billion, but proportionately, they may very well be comparable -- ethically, it is all the same. There's nothing new in the moral gray area that is lobbying and its stranglehold on how laws are made, but when these things are hitting us, really hitting us, maybe we should fight back.
Title: Thunder Clap
Subtitle: BIO-KULT HEADQUARTERS. SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA.
"Leader! The American youth is upset. They're rousing the rabble as we speak! What do we do?"
"I knew this day would come. To the Lipitor-Mobile! Everyone, lobby like this is your last day on Earth. Those Washington fat cats need milk to delightfully lap up, and by god, that milk better be our fortified, enriched, cultured bacteria dairy product!"