Figurines Are Not Action Figures Or Dolls; They Are A Band On Tour

Denmark's own Figurines have made progress since 2006's Skeleton (TCG). While that album found the band sounding like a sped-up Danish Modest Mouse, last month saw the release of the group's new album, When The Deer Wore Blue (TCG), which is decidedly more mature and experimental in a Brian Wilson kind of way. In fact, the LP sounds a lot like Pet Sounds and Smile fooling around with each other whilst on vacation in Denmark. If you can't imagine what that sounds like, you could buy (I know, what an antiquated idea) the new record and find out yourself, or you could just check out their tour with the recently grounded Dappled Cities, starting this week.

Tourdates:

* Dappled Cities

Major Stars Release New LP on Drag City, Tour. Full Disclosure: I Am Somewhat Sure There Exists a Photograph of One of Them Shoving All Ten of His Fingers Into My Mouth At Once

Major Stars, the band CMJ recently described as “notorious” for some reason, have announced they are releasing their latest album on Drag City. The decision makes them labelmates with such zeitgeist-tapping luminaries as the Nig Heist.

Last night on MythBusters, they figured out that it’s way more efficient to turn your lights off when you leave the room than to leave them on.

Major Stars also has a short tour planned for next month and will be sure to turn the lights off before they leave.

MythBusters engineered their biggest explosion to date in the name of “Busting” ™ -- the myth that the shockwave from an explosion will break a dummy’s 500-foot fall. Something went wrong with the dummy, but they were still pretty sure it wouldn’t work.

Major Stars have never made a mistake like that.

The episode of MythBusters I watched was almost certainly a rerun. Major Stars have never done anything twice.

I couldn’t think of anything to write for this piece, and now it’s edging closer and closer to Chuck-Norris-Joke territory. Just go see Major Stars and buy their new record. Their shows are drunken catastrophes of the highest order and maybe if you leave the house and expand your mind, you’ll learn something for once, etc, etc.

Tourdates:

Love of Diagrams to Tour; Love Triangle Between Dawson, Joey, and Pacey Remembered Fondly

Let’s get figurative, Reader, Baby, Sweetheart!

Melbourne-based trio Luke Horton, (guitar, vocals) Monika Fikerle (percussion), and Antonia Sellbach (bass, vocals) form the gitchy-gitchy-ya-ya music triangle that is Love of Diagrams, a more recent acquisition of indie-huff-huff-majahhh-supahhhh-important label Matador.

ALEX TREBEK MOMENT; SAYIN’: The name actually pays testament to Antonia’s abstract art work, some influenced by Russian constructionist designs. Antonia designs posters for the trio, and “Love of Diagrams” was actually in one of her works.

THE DEAL: Love of Diagrams is traveling across America touring with Enon.

Joey and Dawson are not.

Compliment my angles, baby-baby:

# Enon

Mountain Goats Add Tourdates with Bowerbirds (No, I Did Not Read This In Peter Hughes’ Livejournal)

John Darnielle seems to be responsible for holding down Fort Blog at mountain-goats.com, but those of you who are awesome (?) enough to have a LiveJournal account leftover from middle school were totally wise to the influx of new tourdates on The Mountain Goats’ schedule. Hell, we can even tell you what PPH wore/drank/thought during the last Philly show. But we won’t. Scorned for too long on the basis of refusing to delete our LiveJournal accounts, we’re a testy bunch.

But hey! I’m laying these tourdates on you, ain’t I? I’ll also tell you that their new album drops in the new year, featuring sirens from the Bright Mountain Choir for the first time since 1996, which JD describes as “completely rad.”

Fresh jive. Tubular. Tourdates!:

Double Yr Pleasure, Double Yr Fun, Double Yr Freshness with a Double Viva Voce Reissue! (What the Hell Is a Doublemint Plant, Anyway?)

Without an inflated and inappropriate budget to work with, some bands have to make do with what they have and what they can afford in order to create effective records of quality. Others simply keep adding band members and guest players to build a grand sound. Viva Voce, the duo of Anita and Kevin Robinson, can probably command mucho recording bucks now that they have broken through from “hotly-tipped” to “unrestrainable force of nature.” They may even be able to enlist additional bandmates, too. We like Viva Voce as they are: a two-headed, two-hearted, yet synchronous beating beast that manages to make more noise than four quintets, seven octets, and ten Polyphonic Sprees. When Anita is torturing her double-necked axe and Kevin is pounding hell out of his kit in concert, they are even more ferocious, if you can believe it. The band’s own Amore!Phonics imprint will re-release the first two Viva Voce albums along with a smattering of demo and unreleased material tomorrow, October 9, as a double CD set. Viva the Robinsons, and the Robinsons alone!.

Disc 1: Lovers, Lead the Way!:

1. Fashionably Lonely
2. One in Every Crowd
3. Red D-Lish
4. Wrecking Ball
5. That’s Right…Watch out!
6. Birds On the Wing
7. N Luv W/U
8. Brightest Part of Everyone
9. Yr Epic Heart
10. Best Thing Ever (Maybe Not)
11. The Tiger & How We Tamed It
12. Perpetual No
13. Salsalito
14. Someplace Woth Being
15. Let’s Bend Light

Disc 2: The Heat Can Melt Your Brain + bonus material:

1. Alive With Pleasure
2. Lesson No. 1
3. Business Casual
4. The Lucky Ones
5. High Highs
6. Daylight
7. The Centre of the Universe
8. Free Nude Celebs
9. Mixtape = Love *
10. They Never Really Wake Up
11. Paper Doll (previously unreleased)
12. Wrecking Ball (Tunng remix)
13. Lesson No. 1 (original demo)
14. Red D-Lish (live)
15. Fashionably Lonely (live)
16. Wrecking Ball (live)
17. Doo-Wap Death Trap (previously unreleased)
18. Tonight You Belong To Me (live)

(* This song should not be confused with Viva Voce’s lesser known tune “TinyMixTapes = Pure Fucking Hatred.”)

Instead of heading into the studio to begin work on the follow-up to their breakthrough album Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, Viva Voce have opted to hit the road again (their NINTH tour this year!) to open a bunch of dates for Jimmy Eat World

10.26.07 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
10.27.07 - Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
10.28.07 - Raleigh, NC - Disco Rodeo
10.30.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30
11.01.07 - Toronto, Ontario - The Docks
11.02.07 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
11.03.07 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnagie Music Hall
11.06.07 - New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
11.07.07 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
11.08.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
11.09.07 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
11.10.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
11.15.07 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theater
11.16.07 - Champaign, IL - University of Illinois, Assembly Hall
11.17.07 - Omaha, NE - Kiewit Fitness Center

* Viva Voce headline show, without Jimmy Eat World

RIAA Continues Campus-Focused Wave Of Litigation; Hey! Here Comes The Man

Ever since their beautiful new stationery came back from the printers, the RIAA has been sending off letters nonstop -- mostly in the interest of strengthening relationships with distant (yet no less cherished) relatives, but there are a notable 403 that have a colder tone and are not lightly spritzed with perfume. These letters have been sent to 403 of the most notorious randomly selected file-sharers on college campus networks, and their demand for pre-litigation settlements is a continuation of the RIAA's campaign to crack the skulls of external-hard-drive-maxing-out college kids. Those who receive the letters are requested to visit p2plawsuits.com and settle their cases out of court at a discounted price.

"The music industry continues to develop exciting new digital models that offer fans, including college students, their favorite music how they want it and where they want it," said Steven Marks, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the RIAA. "The good news is that students represent some of music's biggest fans. Unfortunately, they too often turn to illegal sites for their music." Marks then put up an image of stick-figures being dangled over a pit of snakes on the overhead projector. "And that is why students must be punished. Punished like the days of old. Hear my words, students: you are not safe. Not anywhere. You'll go to a football game and all of a sudden the man on the loudspeaker will call for a doctor -- it's an emergency. In a forest even, by yourself, one day you'll notice how the deer are diseased or how the rivers are dried up -- something. Run to the edge of nowhere, John Q. Public. We have the best binoculars."

The campuses targeted this time around are: Arizona State, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State, North Dakota State, Purdue (West Lafayette and Calumet campuses), University of California - Santa Barbara, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland - College Park, University of Massachusetts (Amherst and Boston campuses), University of Nebraska - Lincoln, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens
Point, Stout and Whitewater campuses).

It appears that DeVry has received yet another pardon.

Halloween Is Coming and I Wanted To Share This Costume That I Totally Want With You; Well, I Guess I Could Tell You About eMusic’s New DRM Free Tool As Well

In the spirit of saving the best for last, you'll have to voluntarily read through this news article to get to the picture of the costume I want for Halloween. Let me just blaze through this story as quickly as possible, because I'm stoked to show you the costume!

Essentially, eMusic has a new DRM-free tool for downloading music instead of using its old proprietary downloader. The magic part about the OPEN SOURCE tool is that it runs on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, meaning it'll work with programs such as iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player, and Amarok. All of your songs will automatically download into your respective library as you purchase the music. Anyone can then freely edit the tool, and since it's based on Mozilla open source, Firefox extensions are a go! Gotta hand it to eMusic for this one, I like what they're doing by embracing an open source agreement.

Meanwhile, Epitaph has decided to pull out of eMusic because they aren't gettin' enough money per track. eMusic gives 27 to 33-cents a song, whereas iTunes gives 65 to 84-cents a song. It kind of blows to lose Elliott Smith and DangerDoom on eMusic, but whatevs.

Now time for that costume!

CLICK HERE.

Your Monday Morning Just Got A Little Suckier: Explosions In The Sky The Decemberists Cancel Their Summer Remaining European Dates

Explosions in the Sky The Decemberists have communicated in a brief statement on their website MySpace that they have been forced to cancel all of their summer European dates due to a family band member falling seriously ill. This includes an imminent date at All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, which I was totally going to go to.

"With much regret The Decemberists have cancelled the remainder of our European tour. One of our band members is ill and needs to return immediately home to mend.

"Our deepest apologies to all of our fans whom have purchased tickets to our forthcoming European shows. Unfortunately our calendar doesn't allow us to return to Europe at any point soon so please refund tickets at point of purchase.

"It saddens us to disappoint our fans. We hope everybody understands that it is because of an extreme situation that we had to make such an abrupt change in plans."

Damn, man.

TMT's thoughts are with the band and their family and hope for a speedy recovery.

If you live in any of the following towns, get ready to stamp your foot and go "Oh, for Fu":

* Laura Veirs

Thanks [Nunpuncher for the template.]

Michael Showalter Sells First Comedy Album; We Don’t Have This Money

More important than anything else being reported here today, if you haven't seen The Michael Showalter Showalter, I suggest you watch a few episodes NOW and then return to your beloved TMT. If all talk show hosts were as hard-hitting as Show (to Paul Rudd: "Are you... lonely?) I might stay up on weeknights past 8 P.M. Dude even manages to make Andy Samberg funny.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the single-season run of Comedy Central's Stella (starring Showalter along with compadres David Wain and Michael Ian Black), please exit your browser, jump into a car -- any car -- and demand that the driver take you to the nearest DVDerie so you can examine one of the finest, most ridiculous, actual-belly-laugh-inducing comedy shows of all time. Stella is right up there with Mind of Mencia, The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Bob Saget's stand-up special, Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl, and those "Big Dog" t-shirts they sell in shopping malls.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the Stella crew's previous show, The State, that might be something to check out as well. I was obsessed with this show at age 10 and enlisted my friends in a terrible reenactment of choice scenes. This videotape has since been lit on fire and buried nine feet below the soil, but I trust you will all value the discerning comedic taste of a pre-teen.

Oh, and if you haven't seen Showalter's movie, The Baxter, drop everything and... well, actually come on back. Set yourself down in that comfortable chair and keep reading. You don't need to see that. You don't even need to see the trailer for that.

This is what we call burying the lead: Michael Showalter has now decided to release an album for JDub Records on November 13. Entitled Sandwiches & Cats (...is Patton Oswalt going to sue?), the CD will mix up regular stand-up with sketches and improvised material, both live and in the studio. Janeane Garofalo and Eugene Mirman show up as featured guests, and one can imagine that the tracks will be either nothing short of amazing or better than The Baxter. So much better.

Sandwiches & Cats tracklist:

The iPod Anti-Trust Case Now Comes In Black, Pink, And White

An antitrust lawsuit against Apple mulls in the background, as new, enviously nubile iPods were recently announced. The suit-filers charge that Apple has continued to block files sold by other online music stores (Wal-Mart, Napster, Best Buy, Yahoo, etc., which all use DRM-ed up Windows Media files), despite how allegedly inexpensive licensing the WMA (and other) formats would be. The Apple “crippleware” that restricts WMA files is also charged with doing the “crippleware walk” in defiance of a previous court order. The argument is that buyers of the iPod are forced into buying music from Apple’s iTunes store -- or ripping music from their own CDs. Unfair!

Has Apple insidiously doomed purchasers of the iPod into a life of Apple serfdom? Do people listen to WMA files? How long have I scoured the internet looking for a way to convert my annoyingly bothersome WMAs into MP3s? What about FLAC? Does anyone care about FLAC???? No, not AFLAC, I’m talking about these. (Note: some iPods can play FLAC files, but who really cares about lossless, open-source audio formats.)

IN OTHER NEWS

A somewhat unrelated case pending in the EU challenges Apple’s country-by-country pricing model, which charges EU consumers differing amounts, depending on which country they live in. Pays for play?

IN OTHER OTHER NEWS

Then there’s this lawsuit that slaps Apple with damages for dropping the price of the iPhone so soon after launch, in turn pissing off people who really, really wanted to sell theirs on eBay.

As per usual, bootleggers, pirates, and otherwise unassuming file-sharers are unaffected.

  

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