If you have a young child or are just some freak who still enjoys McDonald's Happy Meals, you may remember back in April when the fast food chain decided to promote American Idol by coming out with a series of toys that were each based on a different music genre. Collect ’em all: Disco Dave, Country Clay, Rockin’ Riley, Soulful Selma, and New Wave Nigel.
Wait... scratch that last one, as Devo are claiming that New Wave Nigel is a complete ripoff of their image. Nigel comes outfitted with an orange jumpsuit, pink sunglasses, and a hat that looks suspiciously like Devo’s famous “energy dome” hat. Hmm, sounds questionable, indeed!
Apparently, the toy also plays a “Devo-esque” song too. Devo bass player, Gerald Casale, had the following to say about the band’s position on the matter:
We are in the midst of suing them. This New Wave Nigel doll that they've created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it's copyrighted and trademarked. They didn't ask us anything. Plus, we don't like McDonald's, and we don't like American Idol, so we're doubly offended.
Oslo, Norway's Øyafestival may be one of the smartest summer bashes ever. Every festival I've attended in the great outdoors has the exact same ending: drunk people stumbling around in a sea of discarded plastic cups and other concert paraphernalia. Not so in Oslo. Øyafestival actually pays its patrons for the trash they pick up, as well as promotes a 100% eco-friendly mindset, extending even to the food served during the show. Sure, you can say your fest's earth-friendly, but how many festivals actually receive government certification backing that up? Øyafestival's got it. Here's the proverbial cherry on top: before the festival even starts, 30 different venues in the Oslo city center will put on shows featuring over 100 acts, and they're all free for festival ticket-holders. Lolla-what? Pitchfork who?
Oh, right. The lineup. It SUCKS! It's awful. That's what you sacrifice for such idyllic surroundings. I mean, who wants to see My Bloody Valentine anymore? We get it! You reunited! Bo-ring. Sonic Youth are always a total snooze; Girl Talk just has a secret boner for Britney Spears; N.E.R.D. are soooo 2004; and Sigur Rós are just totally out of place. At least there are four open-air stages, so you won't have to do all of your yawning in one place.
Here's the Big Lebowski:
My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, N.E.R.D., Sigur Rós, Clipse, Girl Talk, Jose Gonzales, Grinderman, Turbonegro (performing Apocalypse Dudes), Mayhem, Dirty Pretty Things, Health, Holy Fuck, Iron & Wine, Isis, Cut Copy, Mogwai, Lars Horntvedt w/KORK, Kid Sister & A-Trak, Notwist, Konono No 1, The Field, Jamie Lidell, Lightspeed Champion, Lykke Li, Diplo, Ida Maria, Yeasayer, The Mae Shi, The Sonics, Kaizers Orchestra, Mayhem, Buraka Som Sistema, The National, No Age, Okkervil River, The Sword, Sunn O))), Dark Meat, The Dodos, Fleet Foxes, Ane Brun, Silje Nes, Supersilent w/ Molvaer, Janelle Monáe, The Night Marchers, Dengue Fever, Booka Shade, The Presets, Kitsune Label Night, Boys Noize Label Night, Pilooski, Coliseum, The Urges, Strip Steve, Les Petit Pilous, A Place To Bury Strangers, Håkan Hellström, El Guincho, The Disciplines, Original Silence, Grand Archives, Whitest Boy Alive, Mental Overdrive, Don Juan Dracula, Nissenmondai, The Death Set, Claude VonStroke, Andrew Weatherall, LA Riots, and Best Fwends
Plus some acts from the Norwegian motherland: Raga Rockers / / Animal Alpha / Casiokids / diskJokke Band / We / Grand Island / El Cuero / Elephant9 / Gerilja / Roger Græsberg & The Anti-Music Bonanza / Thom Hell / Howl / Ingrid Olava / Kung Fu Girls / Lama / Master Piece Of Cake / Moddi / Pirate Love / Sigh & Explode / Tommy Tokyo & Starving For My Gravy / Truls & The Trees + just announced: Lukestar / Haust / Stella Mwangi / Rumble In Rhodos / Ingeborg Selnes / Bjørn Torske / Bonk / Bungalow Ranchstyle / Caddy / Le Corbeau / Like Rats From A Sinking Ship / Magnus Hænglse / Mattias Tellez / Now We've Got Members / Ost & Kjex / Rockettothesky / Shining / Nils Bech / Maribel / Nomber 5s / Hiawata! / Pow Pow
More info on Øyafestival here.
Andy Yorke, the younger brother of Thom Yorke, is set to release his debut solo album, Simple, on Aktiv, coinciding with a live appearance at London's 229. The album features contributions from Nigel Powell and Jason Moulster, both former Unbelievable Truth members (Andy Yorke's first band), who will also join Yorke onstage to perform the songs at the release show and throughout a European tour in the fall.
Unbelievable Truth's last album was released in 2000 on indie label Shifty Disco (after being dropped by Virgin), but the band has since reunited a couple times for one-off shows, as recently as last year. So why is the album filed under Andy Yorke and not Unbelievable Truth? More importantly, is the band better than On a Friday?
Simple comes out July 14 in the UK. Check out some Andy Yorke songs at Last.fm -- I know you're dying to.
Beatles May Be Featured in Future Rock Band or Guitar Hero Game; I’m Not That Stoked, But I Know A Lot of Other People Probably Are
According to The Financial Times, The Beatles' representatives recently met with Activision (Guitar Hero) and MTV Games (Rock Band) about the possibility of creating a Beatles-themed game.
See, I'm a young buck, a 19-year-old asshole who will never appreciate The Beatles as much as you do. I moderately enjoyed Across the Universe [Editor's note: Scout says the songs on the Across the Universe soundtrack are better than the original versions -- what an idiot.], and I most certainly do not have any Beatles in my music collection [Editor's note: When I asked Scout if he liked Sgt. Pepper's, he said "I like them in fajitas."] But for those of you who enjoy both music-simulation video games and Magical Mystery Tour, this may very well be exciting news to you.
So when should you expect to play some fab four on clunky plastic instruments? We'll let you know once more info is revealed.
Okay, picture this, reader: So, you're Billy Corgan (I know, gross, right?), and you’re down in the dumps. For starters, your manager has just vetoed your awesome idea of changing the spelling of the word “Billy” to include three #1s (Yeah, like “B#1#1#1Y.” Pretty rad, pretty rad!). But more importantly, you’ve recently realized that your "band" (uh, such as it is) -- in addition to having become a hideous self-portrait long distorted from its supernatural absorption of 17+ years of baby-genius fits, forced moans, bad trench coats, unwarranted forays into electronic music, and unapologetically barbarous feasting upon the fresh egos of fellow bandmates -- is saddled with a 1991-era band name in a 2008 world!
Every day you wake up and monologue to yourself (and to the biographer that you've hired to follow you around all day): "god DAMN ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ is a lame band name! If only I could somehow, I don’t know, turn back the hands of time... if only, instead of finally moving on with my life and my music, I could actually transport the whole world back to a time when the name ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ seemed cool and relevant!"
Well, good news, Billy. Now you can.
The solution? Why, you'd simply pull a Liz Phair and immediately make plans to re-release your band's 1991 debut album Gish as a box set later on in 2008. And just to one-up Phair, you'd probably just release it complete with plenty of pre-Gish material from the late-’80s, not only to give the public a sense that 1991 is actually pretty "futuristic," but also so that fans can finally hear the awkward, growing stages of your brain-child and finally understand just how large and imposing of a shadow you actually cast over Alternative/Rock! Ah, you can actually feel your hair growing back as I speak...
But how to spread the word about your re-ushering-in of the 1990s? Well, I suppose the easiest way would be to just get on your website and post a little enigmatic non-post. You know, just enough to get the online publications writing cheeky stories about it in the days and weeks that follow. Something kinda like this:
Does anyone else smell that in the air? Oh yeah, that's Gish!
SP.com has another small byte of information for you regarding your favorite first Smashing Pumpkins album: plans are currently underway that will lead to the eventual release of a pre-Gish/Gish box set!
What is to be included on here, no one knows for sure but it should be noted that its release is expected to coincide with the Gish tour sometime in 2008...
Expect more information as it becomes available.
And boom! Just like that, you're back in business, Billy. Ahh, safe and warm back in the early ’90s where violence toward the plant kingdom was as hip and popular as... well, as some other band besides yours is today! It's a wonder what a little sickeningly desperate nostalgia appropriation can do, isn't it? And look, you even get to tour on this shit, too! It's gonna feel great when you're paying like 83Â¢ a gallon for that sweet, sweet 1990s gas!
Oh, yeah, "but what about D'arcy and James," you ask? Hey. Don't worry about them, dear reader. After all, you're supposed to be Billy Corgan, remember?
Starting tonight, Warmer Milks will be hitting the road in support of their new cassette EP Slave to Suicide and, of course, their new full-length album Soft Walks, an homage to folk traditions of yore. Both were recently released on Animal Disguise, which is also home to acts like Sic Alps and Eloe Omoe.
Warmer Milks will be carrying a bunch of limited tour merch with them, so all you eBay power sellers better catch them if they come to your town.
This August, Stereolab are releasing a new LP (TMT News) that will hopefully follow in the footsteps of its nine-million brethren and make me feel like I am riding my bed very slowly through both outer space and France.
Replace “my bed” with “a bus, I assume” and “outer space and France” with “the United States and Canada,” and I’ve just created a neat segue from my moronic approximation of Stereloab’s sound to their impending North American tour. Depending on the speed of my bed in your imagination, you might also want to switch up “very slowly.” Your call, though.
The latter half of the tour will see Stereolab playing with Monade, perhaps better known as Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadler’s other band, which also sounds sort of like Stereolab. Stereolab, Stereolab, Stereolab.
# Thanks J. Ketterfool!
Tindersticks Short-Term Itinerary: Release Album in North America (Check); Tourdates (Confirmed); Mess With the Zohan (Tentative)
Oh, we at "le petit Mix" are a precocious bunch. When we’re not bulldozing our way into freebie shows to load up on backstage grub and booze, we are camped out at a hidden (but not too hidden) table at your trendy neighborhood café, putting on airs of world-weariness and intense sophistication, scribbling furiously in our Moleskin notebooks (Who cares if they cost $20 a piece? If they are good enough for Hemmingway, they’re good enough for us!), desperately hoping you see us jotting down ideas for the next great American novel (or more often than not, a to-do list or some god-awful poetry that would make even our mom's vomit). You see, we like to think that beneath our testosterone-fueled outer shells beats a tender heart seeking attention... any attention you will afford it. In this case, it’s a "tinder" heart, for when one of us gets the chance to report on the where- and what-abouts of truly classy gents like Tindersticks, our love muscles skip some beats.
While Tindersticks have always had the sophisticated style down pat, they also have always oozed bountiful pop beauty since their inception. They are basically everything we strive to be, but are not. So with news of a new album finally getting its deserved North American release, there is a reason to stand tall and look good. After a five-year break, Tindersticks will issue The Hungry Saw September 16 through the very apropos Constellation Records (released in UK/Europe in April). Recorded by original members David Boulter, Neil Fraser, and Stuart Staples, along with Thomas Belhom and Dan McKinna on drums and bass respectively, and a host of helping hands at Staples' Le Chien Chanceux studio, The Hungry Saw is more than a welcome return from one of the UK's most beloved acts. Constellation, no strangers to impeccable style themselves, will release The Hungry Saw this summer on digital download and in September with updated artwork and a fine artstock lyric booklet on CD and 180-gram virgin vinyl.
2. Yesterdays Tomorrows
3. The Flicker of a Little Girl
4. Come Feel the Sun
6. The Other Side of the World
7. The Organist Entertains
8. The Hungry Saw
9. Mother Dear
10. Boobar Come Back to Me
11. All the Love
12. The Turns We Took
And because you know damn well that NOTHING gets a crowd into a moshing frenzy like the noir melancholy of Tindersticks, here's some summer and fall shows:
07.20.08 - Suffolk, England - Latitude Festival
08.08.08 - Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal - Sudoeste Festival
08.14.08 - St. Malo, France - Route du Rock
08.15.08 - Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium - Pukkelpop Festival
08.16.08 - Halden, Norway - Down on the Farm Festival
08.29.08 - Co. Laois, Ireland - Electric Picnic Festival
09.11.08 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Nasa
09.14.08 - North Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
10.05.08 - Glasgow, Scotland - City Hall
How your skinny pants can help Darfur: Amnesty International seeks bands and fans for Small Places tour
So, as a musician or a music fan, you're doing stuff to make the world a better place, right? You're supporting local venues, stimulating the economy by drinking lots and lots of cheap beer, and boosting self-esteem by helping otherwise socially awkward band dudes get laid. But now there's an opportunity to do something MORE, whether you're that totally rich dude from Coldplay (because he totally reads this website every day), or just some kid who wants to see, for example, The Shins and also try to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Amnesty International is looking for bands (like you, guy from Coldplay!!!) to be part of what they're calling the Small Places tour. Named as a nod to an Eleanor Roosevelt quote about human rights being important "in small places close to home," the tour will be more of a collection of music-related events and opportunities than an actual caravan of tour buses. Spearheaded by Amnesty supporters like U2's The Edge and Peter Gabriel, the performances kick off September 10, my birthday, and run till December 10, the date of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's Amnesty's biggest music-based project in 10 years.
So, what is it? Well, it's an opportunity for artists to take the initiative themselves to get their fans involved with Amnesty's message. Since it's not a traditional tour, bands can offer incentives like meet-and-greet opportunities, special seating packages, and awesome performances. Musicians and fans will be supporting Amnesty's 60th anniversary campaigns like campaigning to stop violence against women, ending torture, stopping the killing in Darfur, protesting China's activities in Tibet, working for the release of Burma's Aung San Sui Kyi, and demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
To get involved with Amnesty International's Small Places tour, visit its MySpace page.
Heads up, English-speaking peoples of the world (uh, and any French-Canadians as well, I guess). You'd better stock-up on garbage-related puns this summer, because you can't stop pride-of-Portland Stephen Malkmus and his merry band of emotional trash-talking Jicks from gettin' their psych-rock swerve on all over the world, infesting the festival circuit this summer with their... uh, "filthily-rockin' noise polluting, litter-music"... or, you know, whatever. You can think for yourselves, can't you?
And speaking of thinking for ourselves, according to a recent post by Pitchfork, the Malk-man and co. have recently lined up a deliciously rotten "slurry" of new summer dates all over the western world, including a couple of pre-Siren Fest romps up in the clean, white land of Canada, a dirty one-off at Fuji Rock in Japan, and four grimy little UK gigs to close out the month of August. Yum! And by the way, no showers are accounted for in the tour itinerary...