It’s that time of year again, kids, when stuff happens. It always seems to take place right before the money from tours come in and when rent is due. But Costello is re-releasing some stuff. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not exactly calling these potboilers. It’s just what’s the point? But fear not, for that question among two or three others will not go unanswered. The King, Elvis himself, is with me.
Petya: What exactly is being released?
Elvis: The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years and Rock and Roll Music. Also, we are releasing my first 11 albums digitally.
Petya: Ew, bringin’ it back to binary I see.
Petya: What is the point of reissuing these shits, my man?
Elvis: It wasn’t really my initiative.
Petya: Yeah, whatever. Blame it on the Universal Music Group.
Elvis: Okay, I will.
Petya: What if I say I don’t want to buy any of these rehashed, gilded bits of history?
Elvis: There's no compulsion to buy these records. If they interest you, you'll buy them. The fact that they're going to be available (digitally) makes people's ability to buy them in excerpts easier, because people tend to do that these days when they're online -- if they haven't stolen them already.
Petya: Ew, in my face. Psh.
Well, that’s all the quotes I could round up from Billboard.com. Seriously, though, while Elvis Costello is doing well (including a ten-day tour starting May 2 in California), there are plenty of other Elvises who have been blowing it lately. For example, Elvis Presley is super-dead. Elvis Grbac? The boy gets constant boos in Baltimore, and after he tore his vagina or something, people starting yelling, “Elvis has left the building.” Bringing up the rear is Elvis Stojka. He used to be a decent figure skater, but now he’s retired. Wait, a figure skater? Yeah, he sucks. Moral of the story: support Elvis Costello before we run out of a reputable Elvis to cheer for.
One could draw a line graph representing level of cool on the Spiderman 3 soundtrack; jumping off the charts with artists like Black Mountain and The Walkmen and hitting the ground with Jet. But I digress. While many would feel that allowing Snow Patrol to compose a movie theme (or produce any new material whatsoever) is not a wise choice, The Flaming Lips kinda make up for it by throwing down their new Spiderman-inspired track, "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love." However, it used to be called “Spiderman vs. Muhammad Ali.” Personally, I’d love to see the Lips write an entire album of imaginary face-offs. “Anderson Cooper vs. Bill O’Reilly”! “Fall Out Boy vs. The Black Lips Resulting in Many Busted Lips for Fall Out Boy”!
The “indie-leaning” (thanks, MTV) comp also includes the likes of Rogue Wave, Wolfmother, Wasted Youth Orchestra, Chubby Checker (!?), and uh, The Killers -- who probably don’t live up to their name at all and would definitely get their asses whooped by The Flaming Lips.
Yours to mock/appreciate May 1 on The Record Collection, three whole days before the film release.
1. Snow Patrol - "Signal Fire"
2. The Killers - "Move Away"
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Sealings"
4. Wolfmother - "Pleased to Meet You"
5. The Walkmen - "Red River"
6. Black Mountain - "Stay Free"
7. The Flaming Lips - "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love"
8. Simon Dawes - "Scared of Myself"
9. Chubby Checker - "The Twist"
10. Rogue Wave - "Sight Lines"
11. Coconut Records - "Summer Day"
12. Jet - "Falling Star"
13. Sounds Under Radio - "Portrait of a Summer Thief"
14. Wasted Youth Orchestra - "A Letter to St. Jude"
15. The Oohlas - "Small Parts
Google Still Plans to Implement YouTube Filter That Will Add Technicolor Effect to All Videos; Industry Can’t Wait
On Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "We are very close to turning this on." He's referring to Claim Your Content, the new name for Google's YouTube filtering system that would supposedly cut out your favorite music videos (and TV shows and movies, etc.). But how does it work? Will the burden be placed on the content uploaders or the content owners? With little details revealed in Las Vegas, Schmidt left the industry -- particularly the media conglomerates -- confused.
A little more to the mystery was revealed yesterday at a keynote discussion at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Schmidt explained further: "Under law, the copyright owner has to monitor what’s going on your sites. So we’re automating that process.” To the dismay of content owners, it's appearing that the "filtering" system may continue placing the burden on the media conglomerates to find and remove copyrighted material, a currently non-automated shitball that has already prompted a $1 billion lawsuit from lovable, friendly giant Viacom.
It's been roughly four months since an announcement was made to filter out copyrighted content from YouTube, and media companies are increasingly frustrated with what some call Google's "stalling tactics." But hey, Google's busy selling ads on all of the radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications and acquiring ad-serving software DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Can you blame them? And the traffic at YouTube is skyrocketing!! Besides, the filter couldn't possibly work good enough to please the media companies. Could it? Gotta please the media companies!! Sigh.
'Scuse me while I iron some wrinkles.
It's just not fair. On June 12, a brand-new double-disc edition of Sonic Youth's 1988 Daydream Nation will be released in all fine record shops nationwide. Which means that I'll have one more deluxe Sonic Youth album to gaze at longingly, trying to convince myself that spending around $93 for an album I already own is, in fact, wiser than wise, which, by the way, is simply not possible. Adding insult to injury, and racial slur to insult, a four (4) LP set will also be issued by the band's own Goofin' Records. I only pray that Warren Buffett will appreciate a newly-remastered "Providence" as much as I would.
The bonuses on this one look nice, but I do have one gripe that shall extend to all multiple-disc reissues: why (oh why) stick one extra track at the end of the disc containing the original album, an album that is presumably a "watershed moment in music history"? Remember the end of "Eliminator Jr."? Are the last few seconds of that song something we want to follow up with a home demo? Maybe if there's still enough room left, they could squeeze in a few seconds of Lee Ranaldo clipping his toenails?
Disc two is largely a collection of live tracks pulled from various performances during the "Daydream Nation" tour. It contains live versions of every Daydream track but mixes up the order to disorient and dismay you. The final four tracks are studio covers that have long collected dust in ill-fated tribute albums of years past. I think the least Geffen can do for my having written this news item is to send me a copy of the reissue and a lock of Thurston's hair. He won't miss it.
Disc 1: Original Album
Fridge Are So Smart! Fridge Are So Smart! S-M-R-T! I Mean, S-M-A-R-T… (When in doubt, steal an idea for a news title from The Simpsons)
Intellectual giftedness is something that carries with it a funny little burden. Those possessing it in abundance often squander it. Stories of the absent-minded professor or the lonely genius or smarties cracking under pressure are common (and hilarious for us lesser-thans). Conversely, I started out with none and still have most of it and I managed to write this story y'all are reading right now all by myself! Yeah, I know, that's not really comforting, is it? Thankfully we don't have to rely on Tiny Mix Tapes writers for instruction, illumination, and inspiration; some eggheads to come through in the crunch with the goods that we have come to expect from them. For example, if it's well-adjusted musical brains you're looking for, you could no worse than checking out the three members of Fridge.
Adem Ilhan? A Mensa candidate if there ever was one. Kieren Hebden? His cleverness fully ferments meat without the need for oxygen. Sam Jeffers? Would it surprise you to learn that he has figured out the true origin of the universe and that it has nothing to do with random chance or intelligent design (heres a hint: it involves a man, a can, and a plan!)? Who the hell do these smart-arses, these braincases (...these princes of Maine, these Kings of New England...) think they are? As if living with having an embarrassment of riches in the smarts and skills departments isn't enough, now comes word that the three will once again join together as Fridge, the band they played in prior to their respective individual success stories: Ilhan in Adem solo guise, Hebden as Four Tet, and Jeffers working in web design, playing politics, composing soundtracks, touring and session drumming, and presumably doing a few more things popular with polymaths.
Good things do indeed come to those who wait, but let us hope that the things that come are not just the things left over from before (although we would probably be okay with old Fridge toss-off tracks too, if that was the case). The Sun will be Fridge's fifth album -- their first in six years -- and will be released on Temporary Residence, Ltd. June 26 (on Hebden's Text Records in the UK, Domino in Europe). August promises a Four Tet/Sunburned Hand of the Man collaboration called Fire Escape, but if you want to prove to everyone that you know your ass from your elbow, look first toward The Sun in June.
1. The Sun
3. Our Place in This
4. Drums of Life
9. Lost Time
10. Years and Years and Years
As reported in March, the new royalty regulations created by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in which internet radio rates will dramatically increase 149% over the 1999-2005 period, pissed off NPR. "These new rates, at least 20 times more than what stations have paid in the past, treat us as if we were commercial radio — although by its nature, public radio cannot increase revenue from more listeners or more content, the factors that set this new rate," said NPR's Andi Sporkin.
Since then, the internet royalty hike has generated dissent aplenty. The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc., Small Commercial Webcasters, and National Public Radio (NPR) used their pull on March 20 to get an order to allow motions for a rehearing. It seemed at least somewhat hopeful that the CRB would reconsider the rates that will, among other things, bankrupt small-time internet radio stations, cripple independent artists, homogenize internet radio, and of course piss off TMT.
But to the dismay of radio peeps and humans all over, the CRB yesterday officially denied motions for a rehearing (read the PDF here): "Having reviewed all motions, responses to those motions, and written arguments, the Judges now deny all such motions," stated the five-page document. "We find, however, that none of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or a clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant a rehearing."
While organizations that represent major recording labels and artists, like SoundExchange, applauded the CRB's denial, various stations and artists effectively said "fuck off" by announcing yesterday a new group called SaveNetRadio, a group committed to fighting the rates. Although SaveNetRadio's member list has not been revealed, it received public support from organizations like Live365 and Pandora.
"Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop," said the group in a statement. "Without a doubt, most internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters' demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio." Various humans at my local record shop had this to add: "Fuck the CRB."
And for your reference, check out the new rates established by the CRB (from Live365):
Before Tim Armstrong (Rancid) collaborated with diarrhea like Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Kelly Osbourne, he was actually pretty cool when he played in the ska punk Bay Area group Operation Ivy in the late '80s. Op Ivy was the shit back then, and after all these years, they still have a strong cult following. I was never cool/dumb enough to sport a mohawk, but I did memorize just about every song on Op Ivy's Energy LP. Plus, one time I played "Bombshell" for this cute girl in my German class, and I swear her left boob touched my elbow when the bell rang. Accident? Fucking doubt it!!
Energy was released on Lookout! back in May 1989. Not only was it the same month Sweet Children performed as "Green Day" for the first time, but it was the same month Operation Ivy broke up. Still, the album went on its own legacy, selling like hot cakes for years. But since Lookout! managed money like my uncle Brent (he sucked at managing money), Energy was pulled from their catalog in 2006 and has since been out-of-print.
But on May 1, Rancid Records will be reissuing the record (this is, what, the fourth reissue or so now?), completely remastered with a digipak case. It'll feature all 19 tracks from the original album, plus bonus music that was released in several other reissues, including the band's Hectic EP. No reunion is in sight (thank god), but you can bet your Girbaud jeans that left boobs the world over will be reuniting over this shit, possibly squirting milk out of them by now -- who knows, right? Life is so weird and awesome.
Julian Lennon – Perhaps the Most Critically Acclaimed Musician of All-Time – Sells Stake of His Dad’s Music to Publishing Firm
Julian Lennon, who sucks at writing music, has sold a "significant" stake of his share of his father John Lennon's songs for The Beatles to U.S. publishing company, Primary Wave. Julian, who couldn't write a song if his life depended on it, said, "I felt it was the appropriate time to take on a partner for both my interest in my father's legendary music and for my future music endeavors."
Although Primary Wave will receive payments from CDs, live performances, and radio airtime, it does not own any of the music, which means it can't do shit with them except collect payments. But it can market Julian Lennon's music if it wanted to. And, for some fucked reason, it wants to. Julian "I-Have-No-Good-Sense-of-Musical-Style" Lennon is releasing some new "music" later this year.
Is that Santorum in your mouth or are you just happy that bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Rapture, and Man Man are playing Urban Outfitters in-store concerts?
Perhaps finally feeling the pangs of guilt for charging big bucks to every Tom, Dick, or Moishe for "Jesus Is My Homeboy" t-shirts, young 'n' sexy clothing and novelty chain Urban Outfitters has announced it will put on free in-store appearances by today's hot hot hottest acts at some of the company's locations around the U.S. The Free Yr Radio promotional tour has been put together in conjunction with Toyota and its car of choice for the indie set, the Yaris. Most importantly and not sarcastically (seriously), the shows will raise funds and much-needed attention for a bunch of non-commercial community radio stations.
The idea for the "Free Yr Radio" tour came about after the positive response Toyota and Urban Outfitters received from their co-sponsored SXSW gig which featured The Rapture and The Pipettes. At each of the upcoming in-stores, a Toyota Yaris will be given away to one lucky radio lover along with extra funds to pay for car specifications suggested by the band playing that particular show. Cassette deck modification courtesy of Tapes 'n Tapes? A hitching post suggested by The Ponys? Tire chains from The Long Winters? A detachable walker frame per Dinosaur Jr.? Sorry, that's not nice.
Why would Urban Outfitters jump in to help out the fragile state of non-commercial radio? Because it cares. It cared when it decided to sell something as racist as "Ghettopoly" in its stores (despite heavy protest). It cared when it retailed and copied items from independent clothing firms like Crown Farmer and Johnny Cupcakes without permission (allegedly). It cares by continuing to charge ridiculous prices for sweatshop-fabricated, offensive t-shirts (popular opinion, not fact). And it especially cared when its twat of a President named Richard Hayne chose to support the campaign of that twat of a homophobic Republican Senator named Rick Santorum to the tune of $10,000-$13,000 (depending on who you ask).
Whatever. It is (hopefully) ALL for supporting community radio, which is indeed a good cause. I'm not here to preach or take sides on the forever-blurred line between a company's public image and its business practices (or did I just take a rather strong one-sided opinion in the paragraph above?). This is only about cynical marketing and choosing to support your companies wisely if you want it to be. Me, I'm a walking contradiction: I abhor hate-criminals as much, if not more, than most, but I would probably go see a freebie Dinosaur Jr. or Man Man show if it was co-hosted by the local "White Is Right" and "Gay Bashers Against Drunk Driving" chapters.
All of the up-to-date info is listed below. The Westlake Urban Outfitters show is apparently on, but details are not yet set.
Woo-hoo! When I feel heavy metal! Woo-hoo! When you free yr radio!
04.15.07 - Chicago, IL, 1521 N. Milwaukee Ave. (benefit for WLUL) - Klaxons
04.24.07 - Lawrence, KS, 1013 Massachusetts St. (benefit for KJHK) - The Ponys
04.28.07 - Houston, TX, 2501 University Ave. (benefit for KTRU) - Voxtrot
05.01.07 - Seattle, WA, 401 Broadway East (benefit for KEXP) - The Long Winters
05.09.07 - Durham, NC, 8030 Renaissance Pkwy. (benefit for WKNC) - Annuals
05.19.07 - Boulder, CO, 934 Pearl St. (benefit for KGNU) - Man Man
05.21.07 - Philadelphia, PA, 1627 Walnut ST. (benefit for Y-ROCK on XPN) - The
05.25.07 - Santa Cruz, CA, 1401 Pacific Ave. (benefit for KZSC) - Rogue Wave
06.05.07 - Minneapolis, MN, 3006 Hennepin Ave. (benefit for The Current) - Tapes 'n'
06.11.07 - Cambridge, MA, 11 J.F. Kennedy St. (benefit for WERS) - Dinosaur Jr.
TBA - Westlake, OH, 33 Main St. (benefit for WEWC) - TBA
When the chart-topping country music band BLOODYMINDED ran afoul of audiences back in 2003 after Mark Solotroff made anti-Bush and anti-war comments, the incident should have been nothing more than a blip on the pop-culture radar -- an Entertainment Tonight sort of news story that was worthy of a Charlie Draheim mention and little more. But instead it turned into -- for whatever reason -- the launching pad for a national debate about freedom of speech in post-9/11 America, as well as yet another indicator of how divided Americans have become in recent years on matters of politics, religion, culture, and yes, even... pop music. The end.
Terminal Phase Luna Tour 2007 (BLOODYMINDED, Charlie Draheim, Climax Denial, and Silvum) + No Future Fest:
04.16.07 - Chicago, IL - Elastic Arts Foundation
04.17.07 - Columbus, OH - Cafe Bourbon Street with Envenomist
04.18.07 - Lexington, KY - The Frowny Bear
04.19.07 - Atlanta, GA - Eyedrum
04.21.07 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight (No Future Fest)
04.22.07 - Baltimore, MD - The Bank
04.23.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Circle of Hope with Air Conditioning, Leslie Keffer, Macronympha
04.24.07 - Cleveland, OH - Embassy