"Guys, this is fucked up. We've got to re-evaluate our game plan," EMI was reported to say before filing a letter of resignation to the IFPI, effective March 31, 2008. Upon receiving said letter, the IFPI was all, "Dude, we totally suck," and then the RIAA was all, "Hey, if we merged, we could be, like, Kings of Assholes worldwide," and the IFPI was all "Stoked."
And that's pretty much how it might have and could have possibly went down. For months now, industry officials have been undergoing ball-crushing discussions in hopes of bearing an industry merge/restructure that will save them all, like a major label Jesus. Besides a possible merging of the IFPI (an organization that represent worldwide recording interests) and RIAA, which would become the somewhat ironic PIRAATE (Phonographic Industries and Recording Associations for the Amelioration of Troubled Earnings), industry sad-men are looking to consolidate functions with minimal overlap, which, yeah, sounds like a more solid business structure.
"What can be accomplished by one global trade group would be preferable and more cost-efficient than two," said a greasy, unnamed EMI source involved in the discussions. Essentially, EMI is saying that it will drop out of the IFPI by March 31 unless there is a "solution" it can "support," as it is undoubtedly worried about the cost of paying two industry groups on top of its piling bills. Whether that solution means a consolidation of the RIAA and IFPI or a 25% off coupon remains to be seen.
I always envied that Castanets guy. He tested out of high school at age 15! And then he traveled around the United States on a Greyhound bus for four years! This is like, my life dream! (Well, maybe I'd choose a train or a car instead of a Greyhound bus, but still.) Just imagine the diner waitresses and railroad tramps and wily bluesmen he must have encountered!
Not to mention the three amazing albums Mr. Castanets, Raymond Raposa, has released on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Sparse, haunting, and thoroughly lovely, the latest of these releases, 2007's In the Vines (TMT Review), is setting Raposa and friends on the road for a series of dates on the West Coast.
In the Vines features performances from frequent collaborators like Vanishing Voice's Nonhorse, Viking Moses, Jana Hunter, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck, Rafter Roberts, and Shaky Hands' Nathan Delffs. The album was inspired in part by Raposa's experiences on the road and by a Hindu fable about the inevitability of fate.
Prefix opens story with brilliance rivaling Pitchfork: “The Smog, or (Smog) if you will, has lifted, and now we’re left simply with Bill Callahan.” I, on the other hand, am taking a class on Hemingway this semester.
The man sits down at the bar. There are three bottles to his right. They are empty. To his left is a woman. She sits lower than the man.
"I don't understand," says the woman. She says this as a child might, wanting instructions from a father.
"I have to go," says the man.
"I love you."
"I can't believe you anymore," says the woman.
The man orders another beer and looks at his suitcase on the floor. It is covered with stickers of the places he's been. To the left of the suitcase is a guitar case. It is older than the woman.
"I don't know that you ever did," replies the man.
"If you leave, who will sing you to sleep?"
"When I leave you will no longer want to sing me to sleep."
"I still have my harp. Take me along."
The man takes three calculated sips. One is a taste. Two is a reassurance. Three is a goodbye. He looks at the door. It is the type that swings without the safety of a spring-loaded closing mechanism. It flows freely. He draws parallels. The man runs his fingers through the long hair of the woman. She reminds him of an elf.
"You are very pretty, but I must go."
EMI to Allow Live Concert Broadcasts in Movie Theaters for Those Too Lazy to Camp Out in Line for Tickets or Make Up Egregious Lies About Family Members Dying in Certain Wars
After the shame of having its ass bought out by private equity firm Terra Firma, EMI surveyed the wreckage and realized, "Hey! I still own the rights to these here Spice Girls and Coldplay, et al... let's whore them out a little more and see what they can do. Those dang scalpers won't know WHAT hit ‘em!" In this case, fans of said bands will be able to totally bypass that pesky live experience for a real-time streaming broadcast of the concert they want to see in movie theaters owned by Terra Firma, which holds the rights to Odeon/UCI, the largest movie theater conglomerate outside of North America. For all of you businessy types, this makes the bucks for EMI as such: "The format would be used to launch new albums, with fans, media and music executives invited to the screenings and given the option of picking up the CD or film of the concert on their way out of the cinema." Thanks, Mr. EMI Suit Man! You're so kind.
Now, I understand if you were all kinds of pissed that you couldn't seen Led Zeppelin's reunion show in London because, well, you didn't feel like going to London for one concert. That's legit. But broadcasting concerts live in the SAME city these acts are touring? Really? Could someone please help me understand the purpose behind physically standing up, walking out of your house, and going somewhere ELSE to sit on your tush and watch a concert? It's like going to a McDonald's drive-thru and going to Burger King to eat your Quarter Pounder. And I guarantee both practices will do nothing to enhance your cultural experience. Just sayin'.
Jens Lekman to Tour, Rocky Dennis Not to Tour, or: In 30 Years, I Will Wear Jumpers and Comfortable Shoes after Going to See Movies Featuring Diane Keaton
Dear Jens Baby Sweetheart,
Things could always be worse.
Like, for instance, rather than your likely frustration with the public thinking your name was “Rocky Dennis,” (due to confusion over the Mask-inspired song title “Rocky Dennis’ Goodbye Song to the Blind Girl” back in the earlier ‘00s), you could have, say, had your little sister Sarah agree with you when you mentioned that you thought in your old age you would look like your hefty, poofy-haired high school teacher of the past.
Eating my heart out, aiming for 100 extra lbs, old and new tourdates:
[Photo: Kristin Lidell]
I could give you the blabber on Rollins’ past and future endeavors (Black Flag, his TV show, other things I have no idea about), but that’s all better served by his website, 21361.com. Instead, what I want to talk about is Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, the straight-to-video horror sequel released this year starring Henry as retired Marine colonel Dale Murphy. At first look, the film has all the makings of a bland, formulaic, shock-gore throwaway flick. But with Henry Rollins in the credits, you might wonder if the trunk-necked pontificator is able to save the sequel from its seemingly preordained bargain-bin destiny.
While the film’s thoroughly disfigured inbred hillbillies -- its own West Virginia-inspired Texas Chain Sawers -- hit a bit harder than Black Flag fans circa 1984, unfortunately no amount of intestine splatter, no number of mutant makeout sessions, nor even an electronic music-hating 46-year-old could make the film any closer to being watchable. TMT wholeheartedly backs the advice of YouTube user pecker213323, who recently commented on the film’s trailer by asking, "are there any boobies in this? I'm not gonna bother watching this shitty movie unless a fine ass chick gets naked. (sic)" That would be a "don’t even bother," Mr. Pecker.
With that out of the way, I imagine this Rollins tour, Provoked: An Evening of Quintessentially American Opinionated Editorializing and Storytelling, will be essentially the same spoken word act he’s been doing for decades. You know what you’re getting into: a opinionated, rambling dude with a butt chin and a neck leathery enough to sharpen razors on.
Maybe this is for the best. With Rolling Stone and Pitchfork dedicating quite a bit of press to the favela stars, it could have only been a matter of time before Bonde do Role were forced to stop breaking U.S. copyright laws and stop singing about licking people's assholes. I believe very strongly that you should not stop liking a band simply because they begin to attract a wider audience, but my principles could have been tested if Bonde do Role had played the VMAs. “It is better to burn out,” they say, “than it is to record an album produced by Timbaland.”
Their recent press release explains that the band, now consisting only of D'eyrot and DJ Gorky, would be continuing under the name Bonde do Role and recruiting a new member. Perhaps they’ll actually get a guitarist, as they’ve mentioned in the past (I recommend going for Buckethead). As for Marina, she’s already made a solo appearance on the latest Go! Team album, so perhaps she can start a solo shouting career. The release also says that they are all still friends, so I wish them all the best, although I’m fairly sure that means nothing to them.
Well, I've been home for the holidays for a few weeks now, dealing with the transition from noisy, crowded London to the eerily quiet, suburban strip mall haven where I was born and raised. I'm unemployed and broke, but I have access to ‘free’ wireless from my parents' neighbor's houses and a large stash of vegetarian TV dinners! It has been a long and cold three weeks, and as the needles begin to drop from the Christmas tree and the holiday cookies start to disappear, my interest in fairly painful, but also pretty damn spectacular scream-y music is totally SKYROCKETING.
As a result, I have been listening to the tracks on Crystal Castles' MySpace page almost obsessively. (Okay, there's no "almost" to it, just a whole lot of "obsessively.") It's all Atari noises, aggressive dance beats, and screaming. And it's the perfect soundtrack to that "Yes, I have an MA, but what I really want to do is work at your chain coffee shop!" post-holiday malaise! Of course, there is also the fact that I truly like magical things like unicorns and She-Ra, and therefore if you name your band "Crystal Castles," I am probably going to be super into your music.
The Toronto duo is embarking on a six-week tour that will serve as a taster for their upcoming full-length, set to be released March 18, 2008 on Last Gang Records. The band has toured extensively in Japan, Australia, Europe, and the UK over the past year. On this upcoming North American tour, the LA awesomeness that is HEALTH will open all dates.
Everybody should have a happy place or a tranquil spot to retreat to whenever life throws a curve ball. If an idyllic cottage on the lake isn’t at your disposal, you could always “pull a Vashti" and leave for the highlands and sidelands of Scotland and Ireland like Ms. Bunyan did at the onset of the 1970s after her solo career failed to materialize the way everybody expected. Note: one can suppose that if Bunyan had a particular taste for fur rugs and [Mars Bars like another of Andrew Loog Oldham’s ingénues, she might have made a bigger splash, but that's another speculative story for another speculative time.]
One of Bunyan’s labelmates at FatCat is Norwegian artist Silje Nes, who creates similarly spectacular intimate “feel” music, proving handily that while guys may have the wussy mall-rock market cornered, the gals just cannot be beat at crafting highly integrated, emotive, personal, inviting, heartbreaking, berserk... well, you get the picture. Then there is Nes' pitch witchery; she makes someone like Hope Sandoval sound like a mongrel dog with a throat box and a bad case of crotch rot. She cannot be heard without envisioning an angel astride a gossamer-winged unicorn swooshing around near a silk-tasseled rainbow. Yes, that good.
Nes’ debut album, Ames Room, was written and recorded in spontaneous creative bursts using a healthy host of instruments, electronics, and found sounds. It is, frankly, peerlessly beautiful. Those with a particular penchant for imported models can pick up the UK/European album now, but those who prefer to build anticipation and wait for such things in a timely manner can realize their delay-engrossed goals on February 26 in North America.
“…an angel astride a gossamer-winged unicorn swooshing around near a silk-tasseled rainbow”? What the hell? One week in, and it looks like I have already blown my resolution to actually make some sense this year!.
1. Over All
3. Shapes, Electric
4. Ames Room
5. Giant Disguise
6. Dizzy Street
7. Long Shadows Left Behind
8. Bright Night Morning
9. Recurring Dream
10. Searching, White
11. Magnetic Moments of Spinning Objects
14. No Bird Can
With Kenya in a disputed-election situation gone increasingly south, those who were once making a steady living in the country -- and especially the nation's capital -- have seen their businesses destroyed or shut down and their lives reduced to day-to-day survival. One group in particular has been struggling since the start of the riots: musicians. Because of the spreading violence, curfews have been put in place that have effectively put an end to the career of anyone making ends meet via evening gigs.
Opiyo Bilongo, Onyango Wuod Omari, and Onyango Jagwasi, 3/5ths of the Obama-loving, Kenyan/American hybrid group Extra Golden, are three such musicians who live in Nairobi. Fellow bandmates Alex Minoff and Ian Eagleson, have put a message up on the band's website, appealing for financial help:
Opiyo Bilongo, Onyango Wuod Omari and Onyango Jagwasi [...] all have large extended families for whose well-being they are entirely responsible. Of course, as musicians, that well-being is provided for through nightly work at clubs. With dusk-to-dawn curfews in place, these men are all unable to work, and a subsistence that was already hand-to-mouth has become non-existent. They have been forced to leave their homes, which have subsequently been looted. Their families have almost no food and no clean water. Even with the swiftest possible resolution to the country's debilitating political situation, it is hard to foresee a time in the near future when these men will be able to go back to work.
As the bandmates and friends of these exceptional men, we are used to helping them out of financial jams but, as musicians ourselves, this critical situation is one that is simply beyond our own means. While the plights of Bilongo, Omari and Jagwasi are by no means unique in a country full of desperation, it is within our power to help them and their families directly. We are asking for donations of $5. Of course we will accept any amount you can muster, but we believe that with enough contributions of $5 we can make a huge difference in our friends' lives.
To make a donation, please go to http://www.paypal.com and choose "send money". When asked for the email address of the recipient, enter service [at] kanyokanyo.com. Please feel free to forward this message. We thank you in advance for your compassion and we hope that your help will enable us to compose a song of thanks for our next album.
The band's latest LP -- the excellent Hera Ma Nono -- was released last year on Thrill Jockey and should definitely be picked up after sending the band a much-needed donation.