It's hot outside. Too hot for soup. Too hot for pants. Too hot to be sitting in a coffee shop where the staff is playing bad trustafarian hippie reggae and I am struggling to write a story about Oneida on my day off from my crappy, soul-sucking job. But you know what else is hot? Experimental, art-punk kinda jams from the 11-years-young Brooklyn powerhouse known as Oneida. And that is what I'm here to tell you about. Not how my legs are sticking to the coffee shop chair. Not about the ultratan, swaggering middle-aged dude in cut-off jean shorts and no shirt, who's currently obstructing my view through the coffee shop window. No, this is about Oneida.
Oneida has a slew of summertime dates on the way, and you can be there to experience the magic. They haven't put out a full-length since 2006's Happy New Year (TMT Review), but they've got a little something something on the way for you this August, coming out on Jagjaguwar. In the meantime, the band will be takin' it to the streets in cities across America, with a quick detour into Quebec. The New York shows promise to be extra special, as the band will be performing all their songs from the 2005 album The Wedding backed by a string quintet and with the assistance of a lightshow. A lightshow! Nothing says summer like a lightshow.
* Carla Bouzulich's Evangelista
** Dirty Faces
This week, stores are finally selling copies of the Black Wooden Ceiling Opening EP (TMT Review), a 10-inch+CD bootleg of Mount Eerie as a "hard core" band. But that's just the tip of the teat. For the rest of the year and into next, Mountain Eerie, a.k.a. Phil Elverum, has a bunch of releases set for release, including three full-length albums. How do you sort through the mess? Well, you could visit P.W. Elverum & Sun and get detailed info about each release straight from Phil, OR you can check out the bullet-point lists below from an online magazine best known for misapprehending, misconceiving, misconstruing, misreading, misjudging, and misinterpreting. We know you'll make the right choice.
- Dawn - CD + book (a journal from Phil's time in Norway), with a double LP version too -- 17 songs on acoustic guitar
- Lost Wisdom, an album with Julie Doiron and Fred due September 2008
- Wind's Poem - a "colossal sounding new album" for Spring 2009
Forthcoming EPs, DVDs, etc.:
- "Through the Trees"/"Prisoner of Desire" single - a split single with No Kids on Caff/Lick
- Black Wooden EP - different from Black Wooden Ceiling Opening, to be released as part of Southern Records' Latitudes series
- Fog Movies - live DVD from What The Heck Fest 2007 (grab it on tour!)
- Song Islands Vol. 2 - a compilation of Mount Eerie singles (in the future)
- Water Activated Alpine-Themed Packing Tape #2
Mount Eerie just wrapped up a tour with No Kids this past weekend and an appearance at Primavera Sound yesterday, but he's starting up another tour tomorrow with Geneviève Castrée (also known as Ô Paon and WOELV). But first, a spot on Polish Radio 3! Awww yeah!
$ Eric's Trip
! Typhoon and Kickball
@ Geneviève Castrée
Drawing by Phil Elverum, as part of [Fancy People Adventures for Arthur Magazine]
The last time I touched a piece of pumice was the fourth grade. We were holding a science fair in the gym, and my exhibit consisted solely of a pumice chunk floating blithely in an orange plastic drinking glass filled with water. Its entrancing buoyancy and rugged texture failed to impress the judges, but boy oh boy was I smitten. The rock ended up vanishing (I suspect the sticky-fingered Joshua), and so began my love affair with the the igneous rock called pumice. Since then, it's been a daily ritual to scan Wikipedia and Google News for signs of my beloved, before listening to Merriam-Webster's pronounce her sensuous adjectival form ‘pumiceous’ over and over and over...
This summer, the musical Pumice, lo-fi pop wiz Stefan Neville, is floating over to the USA toting forthcoming album Quo, out June 24 on Soft Abuse. Neville hails from New Zealand, a country best known stateside for providing the scenic backdrop for all those helicopter shots in LotR and exporting quirky acoustic-comedy duo FotC. For proof of Neville's Zealander cred, see his great MySpace blog about Scotland, rugby, and microwaved steak.
* King Darves, Car Commercials
$ Enos Slaughter, Folk Spectre, Zaimph
% free in-store, 6 PM sharp
How terrifyingly appropriate! This year's Night Before Christmas celebration -- which, by the way, is presented proudly by All Tomorrow's Parties -- is being curated by Mike Patton and The Melvins. Taking place at Minehead Butlins Holiday Resort on December 5-7, the three-day fest will feature Melvins-curated artists like Isis, Neil Hamburger, Dälek, Big Business, and of course themselves, as well as Mike Patton-curated artists, such as Fantômas, The Locust, and Zu. Patton's Fantômas is scheduled to play their 2001 album, The Director's Cut, in its entirety!
LESS ABOUT PATTON, AND MORE ABOUT THE VENUE. According to ATP: "Butlins Minehead looks out across a superb sandy beach. The new site not only has a supermarket, newsagent and cash points, it also has Burger King, Pizza Hut, Finnigan's fish and chips, Sun and Moon, Skyline Cafe and Yacht Club Dining room. Onsite facilities include a cinema, Splash Water World - a sub-tropical environment that has a huge wave pool, a swimming pool, 3 flumes and also a flume based raft ride -- Ten-pin bowling and amusement arcade. Sports include Archery, Football, Basketball, Darts, Petanque, Fencing, Kwik Cricket, Netball, Rounders, Table Tennis, Outdoor Bowls and Crazy Golf (some of these subject to availability but most usually operate during the weekend)."
Who needs music when you have pentaque and kwik cricket!
The schedule for Nightmare Before Christmas 2008 is obviously in its early stages, but we at TMT have full confidence that this nightmare will be one to remember. AHHH!!! NO!!! YES!!! Mwahahahahah!! Blood dripping out of decapitated human head, etc.
Jello Biafra Turns 50, Plans Awesome Birthday Shows, Has New Band, Still Hangs Out With The Melvins, Pretty Much Forces Two Generations of Cynical Punks to Grudgingly Admit He’s Still Cool
Jello Biafra, former lead vocalist of R&B mainstays The Dead Kennedys, is turning 50 soon. So is my father. However, announcements of Jello’s birthday celebrations have seemingly put my longstanding suspicious that the two men were one and the same to rest.
I am reasonably sure that my father will spend his birthday eating at a steak-based restaurant within ten miles of his home and, maybe, eventually getting drunk with me and one or two of his friends. Jello, on the other hand, has arranged a weekend of concerts at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, showcasing both a new, unnamed band and his work with longtime collaborators The Melvins. Both nights will feature the “Jelvins,” the new band and The Melvins playing Mangled Demos from 1983 in its entirety.
Reunited skate-rock legends Drunk Injuns/Los Olvidados (listed separately on the press release, even though they’re the same band?) round out the first date, while relative newcomers Triclops! and Akimbo finish up the second.
The concerts will be held June 16-17. Tickets can be purchased at the GAMH website, and more information can be found at Alternative Tentacles. Advanced tickets to my father’s birthday aren’t available at this time, but if you show up early, you should be able to get in.
Tonight, The Mae Shi will wrap up its European tour in Berlin, Germany. Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe travel back to the U.S.? Maybe listen to their fourth album, HLLLYH, on vinyl? Maybe clean the bathroom? Maybe do some landscaping? Maybe play online pictionary? Maybe stretch before running? Maybe come up with an excuse to not go to Saturday's party? Maybe kick a dog in the face? Maybe choose a salad this time? Maybe figure out the lyrics to "Who Could Win a Rabbit"? Maybe consider switching locations? Maybe give a friend a ride to the airport? Maybe look for fragrance-free hand lotion? Maybe imagine what it'd be like to live in a yellow house? Maybe try a nylon guitar? Maybe grab some organic coffee? Maybe go biking around the lake? Maybe masturbate before hitting the bars? Maybe make a music video? Maybe find a new hobby? Maybe watch a Godard movie? Maybe RSVP to Jon's wedding? Maybe try creating a board game from scratch? Maybe go to Best Buy to return that media box? Maybe relax more? Maybe join a knitting club? Maybe listen to the new Weezer? Maybe read Pitchfork? Maybe switch to paper-less bills?
Who knows. All I know is that in July, the band will embark on yet another U.S. tour.
Do You Like The Sonic Youth You’ve Heard, But Find Yourself Thurston For Moore? Quench That At Your Local Starbucks June 10
Anyway, you didn’t misread that -- Sonic Youth’s music will soon be sold in Starbucks. Total legends and creators of the now-ironic “The Sprawl,” Sonic Youth have teamed up with the coffee monolith’s entertainment division to create Hits are For Squares, a compilation of tracks from throughout their career, along with the recently recorded “Slow Revolution” as a bonus. And it has a cover:
It’s difficult to overstate Sonic Youth’s importance to the history of independent music, but album collaborator Eddie Vedder made an attempt: "From my experience nothing gets you going like putting on ‘Teenage Riot’ at full volume... 0 to 60, standing still... Play it twice and you will have cleaned the house and shoveled the walk. In a car you'll find yourself doing 95 and getting pulled over before the first chorus." Also cheaper than snorting a 30 mg Adderall every morning.
But I digress. Once the initial shock has been absorbed, it doesn’t seem like the end of the world. Equal or worse transactions take place every day without a fuss, and Coco’s college ain’t payin’ for itself. Those of you in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. can buy the album in stores; otherwise, check The Starbucks Entertainment Website.
P.S. The entire tracklist was chosen by celebrities, but when Barack Obama, Holden Caulfield, and the movie Garden State were unavailable, the group was forced to look elsewhere for input. Check it:
Boy, oh boy, what a win, folks! A real barn-burner! If you're just joining us, the collecting arm for U.K. mechanical and performance rights societies MCPS and PRS reported last week that combined revenue from those lovable underdogs, broadcasting and digital uses, have out-performed revenue from recorded physical product for the first time in league history in a dramatic, come-from-behind win in the late innings!
Yessiree! The MCPS-PRS Alliance, which collects performance and mechanical royalties from broadcasters, online service providers, record companies, and other performance businesses, dug in deep this post-season and announced that online royalties have managed to put up some big-time numbers! How big? Try L10 million ($20 million), an increase of 54% since last year. Oh, doctor! Can you say "triple crown?"
This year's MVPs? We here at TMT are attributing it to both a 20% increase in royalties from live pop concerts and improved licensing activity among leisure and industrial premises for their unmatchable contributions to the increase in overall public performance revenue.
But let’s take a look at the losing team this year. What went wrong for the Mechanicals? Many coaches and analysts are pointing fingers from the 11% decrease in royalties from the worldwide downturn in physical unit sales to Â£151.8 million ($303.9 million) squarely in the face of what they call "improvements in licensing other new formats," such as pre-loaded USB sticks and musical novelties. In other words, this is a classic example of a franchise being too interested in packing the seats and marketing t-shirts than with signing winning players. Are you listening, Chicago Cubs?
Still, the general managers of both teams seem pleased with the league's overall exposure as of late. "Much is written about the state of the music industry, but these results show a healthy story about the increased use of music in almost all areas of our business," says Alliance chief executive Steve Porter. And before we get carried away with Performance/Digital fever, this reporter would just like to remind our readers that, while the number of transactions processed by the Alliance increased by 40% since the prior year, the cost of collecting and distributing royalties was just over 10% of total revenues. So, you know, don't go doing anything stupid like flipping over juke boxes and torching CD racks. We are trying to live in a civilized society, after all. You listening, Boston?
Broadway Bloc Party: STS9, Islands, Sebastien Grainger Offer Up New Production of Jesus Christ, Superstar?
Broadway Bloc Party? That’s right! All your favorite bands have apparently taken a break from music to pursue their true passion of musical theater, right on the Great White Way. (I'm guessing Nick Thorburn/Diamonds/Whatever the Fuck His Last Name Is Now will portray Our Lord. Not sure who’d be a good Judas, but my suggestion is that it will be a reunited Unicorns. That’ll really throw old Nicky off; though I guess in that situation, Nick should be Judas to the betrayed Unicorns’ Christ. I’m tempted to make more music/Bible comparisons, but I’d probably get shot.)
Wait, what’s that you say? Broadway Bloc Party is in Oregon? And it’s a music festival? Oops! Sorry, folks, I thought "Broadway" was referring to Broadway Broadway...
Okay, let's clarify: The Broadway Bloc Party is NOT a theater production and IS in fact a fabulous two-day music event in Eugene, Oregon on June 13-14. The first night will feature STS9 and Pnuma Trio, while the second includes Islands, The Devil Makes Three, Sebastien Grainger, and others. Although I originally advised you to buy tickets for an apparently nonexistent production, I now advise you to get refunds and instead buy admission for this shindig.
Keep your hopes up though for a theater production. Maybe this just wasn’t the right play. I can personally imagine a long run of Phantom of the Opera starring Spencer Krug as the gifted but shy titular character. Lord knows that man needs another side project.
From El-P's Okay Player blog, posted May 25, 2008:
"Today, at around 2pm, our dear friend, family member and musical collaborator Tero ‘CAMU TAO’ Smith passed away in his home town of Columbus, Ohio. Tero had been quietly fighting for his life for the last year and a half after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
To those who knew Tero, he was an almost uncategorizable force of nature. Wild, hilarious, proud, loving, tough, outspoken, spontaneous and brilliant. He wore his heart on his sleeve and he dripped creativity, leaving inspiration and awe in the hearts and minds of anyone who was fortunate enough to see him work.
We, his friends and family, have truly had our collective hearts broken by his passing. Not only because of the loss of our friend, but because of the loss of his contribution to those who never knew what we knew about his talent and his potential. He was the secret that no one wanted to keep and we always knew that one day his vision and his heart could change music forever the way he changed all of our lives.
His departure from us all 1 month away from his 31st birthday is nothing less than a tragedy… nothing less than a crime. he was a gift to us all and he is irreplaceable. Rest in peace, Mu. We will love you forever. May god bless you and your family."
[Photo: Definitive Jux]