In response to the Bush administration's covert wiretapping activities, lovable crackpot Ralph Nader has formed an organization that will secretly record phone conversations between randomly-selected Christians throughout the nation. The watchdog group, called Ears for Justice (EJ), performed its inaugural phone tap late last week. Unfortunately, since everyone who would ever work for Nader is a social pariah with no appreciation for the finer things in life (kidding guys), no one at EJ realized that the two parties on the line were none other than critical darling Sufjan Stevens and his mentor, Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile/Brother Danielson/just plain Danielson fame. We at TMT discovered this egregious oversight and now bring you the exclusive transcript of their conversation.
SMITH: Hey, Sufjan?
SUFJAN: Uh, who is this?
SMITH: It's me, Soof. You know, Daniel Smith? Your spiritual father and musical inspiration?
SUFJAN: Oh, wow, Daniel! It's been so long!
SMITH: You're telling me! I've been trying to contact you for weeks, but I had to go through about three different label executives and publicists to get your new number!
SUFJAN: Well, you know how that is, man. I'm sure you have an army of handlers and stuff, too.
SUFJAN: So anyway, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?
SMITH: I called to let you know that my documentary, Danielson: A Family Movie, is showing in a few theaters and, thanks to the good folks at IMAGE Entertainment, will be out on DVD on April 10!
SUFJAN: Hey, that's great, Daniel. But, uh, what movie is this again?
SMITH: Come on, Sufjan, you were in it for a few minutes toward the end! The documentary by JL Aronson about the family and me! It features appearances by Steve Albini, Daniel Johnston, and Rick Moody! It was, you know, before those state albums and sold-out tours. You actually didn't do too much in the movie, but you're all anyone can talk about in reviews. That and how weird my voice is.
SUFJAN: Oh, hmm, interesting.... Listen, I'm in the middle of recording a song about Wichita for my new Kansas album, so I'm gonna have to get off the phone now...
Don't let some stiff do Daniel Smith this way. See the film and experience Brother Danielson's nine-fruit tree costume for yourself, and then send that dude some hate mail.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made an unexpected visit to the National Conference for Media Reform, held in Memphis, TN over the weekend. Originally expected to be announced in D.C. this week, Kucinich jumped the gun at the conference, stating that he would spearhead a House subcommittee that will deal specifically with issues concerning the FCC ([?Federal Communications Commission]).
"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," said Kucinich. "We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."
Topics the new committee will tackle include [?net neutrality], the [?fairness doctrine], mergers, media ownership, and how to get a stain out with baking soda.
A woman died roughly five hours after she appeared on KDND's The Morning Rave show due to "water intoxication," according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.
Jennifer Lea Strange, 28 and mother of three, was participating in a contest titled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii," in which she had to drink as much water as she could without using the bathroom in order to win a Wii video game console. She dropped out of the contest after drinking nearly two gallons of water. According to reports, Strange immediately felt ill, called in sick to work, and was later found by family members dead at her home.
"The circumstances regarding this matter are being examined as thoroughly as possible," says John Geary, vice president and general manager of KDND. "In the interim, the Morning Rave is off the air indefinitely."
According to the Sacramento Bee, however, it was announced yesterday that the Morning Rave show is now canceled and 10 employees, including station manager Steve Weed, no longer work for KDND.
Park The Van Records, a Philadelphia-based record label, has had increased success over the past couple years. Albums from Dr. Dog, The Capitol Years, and others, not to mention the Fast Food Nation soundtrack, have all served to raise awareness for this up-and-coming label. Now it seems 2007 may be the biggest year yet for the label.
First off, Dr. Dog, who have been around in various forms for about six years (no dog-year jokes, okay?), signed to Rough Trade in Europe. Their new LP will be out February 27 in the U.S. under the title We All Belong. The 11-track record was recorded last spring in Philly by the band, with the help of Bill Moriarty, who also mixed the group's last record, 2005's Easy Beat. Two tracks from the upcoming record -- "Ain't It Strange" and "Die, Die Die" -- were featured on the Dr.'s EP from last year, Takers & Leavers. The band is a touring beast, not just a studio one, with the last year seeing them co-headline a tour with the Spinto Band, as well as opening for Architecture In Helsinki, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and many others. Therefore, it goes with out saying that DD will be embarking on a monster-sized tour to promote the new record. They will be playing most of the shows with non-PTV band What Made Milwaukee Famous and labelmates The Teeth. Later in the tour, the band will hook up with Bobby Bare Jr. and his crew for a series of shows.
Speaking of The Teeth, they too have an upcoming record, which was given the rather forward-sounding title You're My Lover Now. The Nick Krill (of the Spinto Band)-produced LP is set to come out on April 24. The band has some pre-release tourdates with Dr. Dog and will also be teaming up with one of PTV's newest signings, Detroit's masters of smart, catchy, time-tested rock, The High Strung.
The High Strung are poised to release the most music this spring of anyone on PTV. The label plans to re-release the group's previous record, Moxie Bravo, on February 13, which was put out first time around in 2005 by Future Farmer. In the LP's new incarnation, MB has been augmented with a new running order and three new tracks that date back to the LP's original sessions. The HS also have a new album, Get the Guests, coming out in May, which was recorded last year by Jim Diamond. The band is promising a coast-to-coast version of their library tour this summer, in which they play for young and old in, yes, a library. Before all that, however, The High Strung will play their own shows and opening slots for the Teeth.
So, figure on all three of these groups being fairly inescapable for the near future.
We All Belong tracklist:
One time a friend of mine heard me listening to The Dismemberment Plan and thought it was The Alkaline Trio. Ha! It is in this spirit that we report to you that V2 has "let go" its staff of 35 or so people (including president Andy Gershon) and, aside from its Gospel artists, has rendered all its newer artists free agents -- yes, even The Alkaline Trio. V2 will instead expand its digital ventures and concentrate on its catalog releases, which includes albums by Moby, Mercury Rev, and The White Stripes. Alright, time to eat some Lean Cuisine. Bye!
Alongside news of Thurston Moore arriving in Saudi Arabia to rally support for the forthcoming troop surge in Iraq, Sonic Youth recently announced tourdates to an excited fanbase that just can't get enough of their love songs ("Flowers With Not One, But Every Smile" debuted at #1 on the singles chart last week!). Beginning with an East Coast trip on Valentine's Day with Wooden Wand, Sonic Youth will eventually make their way to Mexico for two dates to finish off February, which has everyone wondering who the hell February is, and does she have a MySpace with pics?
In April, Sonic Youth will meet up with V∞redoms for a few dates in Japan, which will surely be life-changing if we are to believe the propaganda. But really, what's the deal with putting on sweet shows in Japan? I mean, these shows really don't do anything for me, and even my friend said "yeah, kinda sukcs." So if I don't like them, and my friend (who's super picky, actually) says it "kinda sukcs," then why? Maybe I just don't "get" it, but perhaps I don't want to "get" it when Sonic Youth could just as easily import V∞redoms to the U.S. and play for their fellow Americans.
The Story of How Animal Collective Signed to Domino, Panda Bear Set a Release Date and Tracklist for New Album, and How Slimer from Ghostbusters Joined the Band
I saw Animal Collective live just about a year ago. My friend asked Geologist (that's the name his parents gave him!) to say "Let's turn up the AC!" I'm pretty sure Avey Tare said it at some point during the show, and ever since then, the collective has been turning up the AC like money growing on hypothetical trees.
AC began this year by signing to U.K.'s Domino Records. As previously reported, a four-track EP, titled People, will be released on FatCat on January 23 in the U.S., while The AC's back catalog will still be released via FatCat, and the new Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox, member of Animal Collective) solo album, Person Pitch, will see release March 20 on the group's own Paw Tracks.
Lennox's new album focuses on his personal life and the topics of fatherhood, marriage, and living in Lisbon. Four of the tracks from Person Pitch will be released on 12-inch vinyl under FatCat, Paw Tracks, and UUAR. Panda Bear is also planning to tour this coming spring and summer. (Oh, by the way, it is insipid to think Lennox likes panda bears just because that is his stage name. Panda bears are the demons of Asia. They steal the souls and cameras from foolish Americans. Lennox is more like a charming Yogi Bear of sorts with harmonizing feel-good vocals and surreal blips and beeps.)
Furthermore, people will most likely be seeing a whole ass-full more of the white-bred animals of Brooklyn with a spring tour, a follow-up to the 2005 critical success Feels, a live box-set, and a movie. Hopefully, the movie will be full of the typical AC explosive behavior we have all come to expect. And by that I mean masks, guns, drums, lasers, and full-frontal nudity. I just hope that it is somewhere along the lines of the Ghostbusters series.
The bottom line and the 'in conclusion' part of this essay is that I could write a 600-page novel worth of Animal Collective news. And if I were you, I would have stopped reading after the title. It's not even funny. What the hell does Slimer have to do with Animal Collective? I could've also made lame attempts at humor on a Shins article or a more obscure artist, but that'd be equally ridiculous. I still like the AC, but you guys are wearing me out. The morals of all this blatant ranting are that (1) sometimes it's okay to turn down the AC, (2) an Animal Collective movie could be interesting, and (3) Slimer was really an encompassing metaphor for the still remaining prejudices between whites and African Americans in contemporary society.
Person Pitch tracklist:
1. Comfy in Nautica
2. Take Pills
4. I'm Not
5. Good Girl
7. Search for Delicious
If your plans for July 7 (7/7/07) of this year include "getting high" and "being in New York City," you might want to consider attending a special performance by the legendary Japanese outfit Boredoms. Not feeling content with a mere reputation as one of the greatest live acts of our time, they have decided to one-up themselves with "77 DRUM": a Boredoms show featuring 77 drummers. The show will take place in NYC at a location that has not yet been disclosed.
Not since the recent announcement that Sofia Coppola will be directing a sequel to the 2002 classic Drumline have music lovers everywhere been so excited about a drumming performance. Titled "Drumline: Miami Beach," the movie will star Brad Garrett, and in honor of his sure-to-be monolithic performance in the upcoming film, Vice Records has decided to reissue six Boredoms albums in the first two months of this year: January 23 will see the release of Super Roots, Super Roots 3, and Super Roots 5, while Super Roots 6, Super Roots 7, and Super Roots 8 will be released on February 20.
Further details and interesting fun Boredoms tidbits can be found at the Vice website.
Yes, The Talkdemonic Tour Started Already, But We’re Here to Tell You That It’s Eventually Going to End
So, everybody (not literally everybody) is talking about Lisa Molinaro, Talkdemonic's viola whiz, and her touring gig with the mother-scratching Decemberists. They're kind of a big deal right? Not like Paul Wall big deal, but whatever. That is some kick-ass shit that puts me in a "Hell motherfuckin' yeah" kind of mood for Talkdemonic, who will be meandering their way down and then back up the West Coast following shows in Seattle and native Portland. Shit has been going well for the duo who recently found themselves ankle deep in a, thus far, 12-track bucket of an album I have tentatively dubbed, The Bucket Album, the follow-up to 2006's sophomore ARRCO release Beat Romantic (TMT Review). Talkdemonic is also currently in the heavy petting process with One Little Indian, a pretty sweet label in the United to the Kingdom. But before all that, get out while the gettin' is good. And don't be using weather as a reason to not go Eugene, Oregon. You're better than that: