Music Tapes’ Julian Koster Organizes Elephant 6 March Across America with The Holiday Surprise Tour; America Surprised, Pleased

The Holiday Surprise Tour, a spectacular series of shows organized by The Music Tapes frontman Julian Koster, is set to take place throughout October, featuring various members of the Elephant Six Collective. The shows will act as a salute to select members of the Athens-based, loosely-defined, tight-knit collective. Artists slated to be memorialized include Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, The Music Tapes, Elf Power, The Gerbils, Scott Spillane, Nana Grizol, Nesey Gallons, and tons more. And it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that at least a handful of other Elephant Sixers will show up. Maybe even that one guy.

Koster described the whole extravaganza as “a big orchestra, variety show, silly happy thing,” according to Pitchfork. Want to go? You better want to. Here are the dates:

But wait, don’t go yet! I still need to tell you two more things! First, Koster will be releasing another album, The Singing Saw at Christmastime, October 7 via Merge, this time under his own name, not his Music Tapes moniker. Second, Orange Twin will be releasing a CD/DVD version of the decade-in-the-making short film Major Organ and the Adding Machine in the fall of 2009 (based on the crazy Koster/Mangum-related album from 2001). As an added bonus, the movie is also set to take its initial round of bows at The Holiday Surprise shows.

Wow! Music and movies! You better go to this show; the cool kids are all going to be there anyway, and you’re cool, right? Right.

Wolf Parade Announce Tour; I Get Closer to a Complete Set

I’m hoping that, by the end of the year, I will have accomplished a “complete set, mint” of all the news Spencer Krug feels fit to be in. In my personal quest to cover all Krug-related reports throughout the interweb and world as a whole, I have a couple brand new items for you! First off, Wolf Parade recently announced a quick little Euro-Trip throughout November and early December. Hopefully when they get back to North America, they’ll feel withdrawal from hamburgers and play throughout the States so I can see them live... so I can feel whole again. Here are the dates!

My second bit of news is a tad more on the personal side. While shopping at a “local” drug store, I observed Krug buying toothpaste and aspirin. I also scored a righteous interview:

Kid Midnight: Hey Spencer, can I call you Spencer? Wow! I love all your music! What’s going on?

Spencer Krug: Stay away from me, I got the court order.

Kid Midnight: But... I... I love you...

Napster Looking for Buyer… Again

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Seekers of free/unrestricted digital music, Nostalgic People, Rich People, lend me your ears!

I come to bury the current Napster, not to praise him;

The evil that men do lives after them,

The good is oft interred with their bones,

So let it be with Napster... The noble Julbucket

Hath told you Napster was ambitious

For Julbucket is an honorable man;

So are they all; all honourable men)

Come I to speak in Napster’s funeral...

In 1999, He was my friend, faithful and just to me:

He hath brought many record labels home to court

Whose lawsuits did the general coffers fill:

Did this in Napster seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Napster hath wept:

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Yet Julbucket says he was ambitious;

And Julbucket is an honorable man.

Help Julbucket buy Napster.

I Would Go Out Tonight, But I Haven’t Got a Management Company Anymore: Morrissey and ie:music no longer BFF

Life is a process of giving and giving up, of growing and growing apart. As we get older, relationships change, and what may have seemed like the perfect partnership yesterday might seem, in some indiscernible way, to have gone irretrievably in the wrong direction tomorrow. Many of us learn these truths from teenage serial dramas such as Gossip Girl or Judy Blume novels. Others of us -- namely Tim Clark and David Enthoven of artist management firm ie: music -- learn when prized roster addition Morrissey departs from your company after only three months.

Yes, it's been a tough year for Morrissey. So if you see him, give him a hug and my cell phone number, so that we can meet up in a dimly-lit 15th-century pub and direct cutting but affectionate witticisms at one another into the wee morning hours. Because, as you may or may not know, Morrissey has not been having the best of luck lately. His most recent completed work, Years of Refusal, was slated for a fall release on Universal music, but was later pushed back to February 2, 2009 for "unspecified reasons." At this date, no North American label has agreed to release the project . To make matters worse, Warner Bros. -- Moz's former label -- announced this year the DVD release of Live at the Hollywood Bowl, which the former Smiths frontman decried to Billboard as being planned "without any consultation to me whatsoever, and in breach of their terms as laid out by themselves in an agreement made for the film between Warner and my ex-manager." And since, as they say, bad things come in threes, this story wouldn't be complete without a mention of how Years of Refusal producer Jerry Finn passed away last week.

Wow! What a cheery story this has been! My offer stands, Morrissey. You pick the place, I'll pick the absinthe, or red wine, or whatever it is I happen to imagine you drinking at the moment. And to any Minneapolis/St. Paul radio stations who happen to be reading this story, please play "This Handsome Devil" today while I am at work; it has been stuck in my head for a little over two weeks.

Mount Eerie Adds 61-Date Tour to Single Date in Idaho, Considers Combining Single Date and Tour into One Giant Mega-Sized Tour

When not doodling or making music, Phil Elverum (a.k.a. Mount Eerie) is apparently booking tourdates. Beginning today, Elverum will head out on a gigantic tour that'll take him everywhere from the beautiful beaches of Idaho to the caves of Norway. As previously reported, Elverum will be touring with WHY? for part of the tour and later with Julie Doiron (picked to appeal to Hilary fans?), who will also perform with Dick Morello as Calm Down, It’s Monday for most of the dates. The Music Tapes, who inspired me to get all verbose a few weeks ago (TMT Review), will play a stripped-down show with him September 15 in Athens.

Capitalist that he is, Elverum is selling some of his new, COMMODIFIED tunes on the tour too, including his mini-album with Doiron and Fred Squire Lost Wisdom (in stores October 7) and Dawn (November 4). Don't like to go out? Spoiled, anti-social misanthrope like me? Thankfully, P.W. Elverum & Sun expects to implement a download store in the near future "where you can buy digital albums with extreme direct-ness, and featuring some rarities." It's kinda, like, shattering the glass ceiling into 18 million pieces or something. So inspiring. Things are changing. New politics. Hope, change, mavericks, blah blah blah.

Drawing by Phil Elverum, as part of [Fancy People Adventures for Arthur Magazine]

All the RIAA Wants for Christmas is Your Privacy

The RIAA knows no Santa Claus. Instead, they look to the G8 summit for their holiday wishes, and should they get their way, it'll be like a stocking fulla coal for the rest of us. The RIAA has been jonesing for a little something called the Anti-Piracy Trade Agreement Wishlist (ACTA) for awhile now. Let's take a look at the juiciest pretty pleases, shall we?

Require internet service providers and other intermediaries to employ readily available measures to inhibit infringement in instances where both legitimate and illegitimate uses were facilitated by their services, including filtering out infringing materials…

This means that your ISP, whether it be Time Warner or Comcast or any other provider, would be able to compare the files you download to a fingerprint database of sorts that identifies "infringed" material. So, not only would the RIAA slap you with a lawsuit, but you'd also get into some shit with your internet service. Kind of like a SWAT team breaking down the door before the cops come in and haul you out.

Establish, adequately fund and provide training for a computer crimes investigatory unit.

That's right. The internet police. Specially trained cops whose purpose is to weed out pirates on the internet. Better make sure Madonna doesn't lose a single album sale before we worry about the country's ballooning crime rate, right? Totally. Not to mention that the RIAA has been incredibly vague about what this crime unit would actually do, and we all know that, in this sort of situation, carte blanche is never a good idea.

…in the absence of proof to the contrary, an Internet service provider shall be considered as knowing that the content it stores is infringing or illegal, and thus subject to liability for copyright infringement…

Here's the kicker: Even if ISPs help the RIAA take down their customers who download illegally, they themselves can STILL get screwed for not identifying the offenders quickly enough! I'm not quite sure what incentive the RIAA is willing to offer these ISPs other than "do it or we'll punch you in the face." We're reverted to schoolyard bully tactics. Awesome.

I could keep going, but quite frankly, the list speaks quite well for itself. Oh, and hey, RIAA? Just met your buddy over here. Yeah, he appears to be green and has a heart that's about two sizes too small...

Fascism at Its Finest: Rage Against the Machine Performance Blocked by State Police in St. Paul; RATM Performs “Bulls on Parade” Through Megaphone

As you might know, the 2008 Republican National Convention is being hosted in St. Paul, MN. In addition to the $160 million or so boost that comes with this decidedly hyper-capitalist venture, $50 million is spent on "increased security." In such a volatile political climate, this nearly blank check for added security manifests in a whole lot of arrests, tear gas, and essentially an occupation by state police. But where there's power, there's dissent, and it is in this spirit that protesters and rallies reach their symbolic, ritualistic significance.

Enter Rage Against the Machine. As we recently reported, Rage Against the Machine is scheduled to play the Target Center tonight in Minneapolis, MN to coincide with the RNC. But in a surprise move, Rage announced yesterday that they were going to make a special guest appearance at the free concert Ripple Effect on the state capitol lawn, which included performances by Dead Prez, Anti-Flag, and Michael Franti. But things didn't go as planned. According to Above The Fold, a Minneapolis-based blog:

But when it came time for the band to perform, the Minnesota State Police formed a barricade around the band and would not let them on stage. After 20 minutes of crowd chanting that included "Let Them Play," "Music is not a Crime," "We'll be good, we promise," and a riveting rendition of the national anthem the band came into the crowd and performed an acapella performance of two songs.

Check out Above the Fold's amazing footage:

According to an eyewitness report, the permit for the concert was set to last until 7 PM, and the last band (Anti-Flag) had finished their set at 6:15 - 6:30 PM. So why were they not allowed to play? Apparently, RATM were not named on the permit. So, if Cloud Cult had been the surprise guest, they'd barricade them too? Whatever. Despite chants from the crowd (including a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner"), the plug was officially pulled on the concert, and Rage led a march that eventually joined with the Poor People's March through the St. Paul streets.

Suddenly It’s A…… Future of the Left Tour!

Everyone’s favorite band that isn’t Mclusky but kinda still wish that they were Mclusky, i.e. Future of the Left, will be embarking on an October tour of the U.S. to the delight and chagrin of hecklers and, uh, moms everywhere?

To quote inimitable words that continue to ring so painfully true in the hearts and blogs of stifled and misunderstood teens worldwide, “Parents just don’t understand.” Just ask Future of the Left message boarder gapu:

Not a minute, ago my mum was complaining about the noise. once again!!!

I was playing Small Bones Small Bodies, and she asked me: "what's that noise?". like this isn't even music... I told her this is the best so-called "noise", since over a year….i can't imagine better parents than mine... but i don't really like it when they call the stuff i like as "silly antics" or something like that.

Man, when will parents ever get it? This so-called “noise” is the expression of our universal yet uniquely distinct search for self-discovery-- and the desire to rock-out. But you know who does sympathize with your frustration and crumpled pride? Future of the Left do. That’s why the Cardiff-based trio, comprised of Mclusky alumni Andy Falkous and Jack Egglestone and Jarcrew’s Kelson Mathias, kick of their tour with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Against Me! September 30 at the Workplay Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. “Silly antics.” Sheesh.


* Dedicated to you, gapu.

Beck and His Father, David Campbell, Are Obviously Playing a Sold-Out Show at the Hollywood Bowl on My Father’s Birthday On Purpose

Gee, that was pretty nice of them. Though I won't be sending any thank-you notes until some gold-engraved invitations show up at my pa's place, you hear?

In case you didn't know, Beck's pater, David Campbell, is kind of a big deal. In the course of his career, composer-arranger Campbell has racked up credits on more than 400 gold and platinum albums, including performances on sessions with Marvin Gaye and Carole King and arrangements for Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Campbell will now direct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Strings as Beck performs a sold-out show in Los Angeles September 20. While he's done many of the string arrangements on his son's albums, this is the first time they'll take the stage together.

What finally made them decide to share the stage? Was it that bonding experience over a bottle of cognac? Campbell's tearful admission that he wishes he'd come up with the hook for "Sexx Laws"? The world may never know... but I'm going to go on the record and say that this is probably all happening in honor of my dear ol' dad's 64th birthday. If you think of a better reason, call me.

Chinese Democracy Leaker Hatches Devious Pyramid Scheme

So far: Axl Rose and his record company are suing the pants off this Kevin Cogill guy because Cogill leaked songs off the upcoming Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy.

In a new blog post, Cogill is both asking for donations towards his legal defense fund and posting a cool picture of Public Enemy:

Hi everyone. As you are all undoubtedly aware, I was arrested at gunpoint last Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I am now facing a federal criminal charge by the United States Government of copyright infringement, after allegedly hosting a stream of 9 Guns N’ Roses songs, for a brief period of time in June.


I am trying to take full responsibility for my predicament. I consider the burden of legal fees ultimately mine to bear; I have independently raised the funds required to retain my attorney. However, it has definitely been by far the biggest expense I have ever faced in my entire life, and my resources are very limited while formidable costs shall continue to pile up. It’s beyond daunting, being a single independent citizen facing a full-force prosecution by the most powerful government in the world.

I am aware that the re-emergence of Guns N' Roses is intended to hail some recapturing of the bombastic zeitgeist of the late 1980s, but this trickle-down Reagnomics nonsense is taking it a bit too far.

As far as I know, I'm the first person to call it: This is nothing but a viral marketing ploy for Chinese Democracy. If it's not, though, we should all learn from Cogill and use any leaks that come our way to fatten up our ratios on torrent websites instead of as a publicity stunt for our crummy music blogs.