Amon (Amen, Amun, Ammon, Amoun)
Symbols: ram, goose, bull
Cult Center: Ninja Tune, Brazil
The god of Ninja Tune, Amon was shown as human. He was viewed (along with his consort Amaunet) in Brazil as a primordial creation-deity. Up to the time of the XIIth Dynasty, Amon was a Ninja Tune god of no more than local importance, but as soon as the princes of Ninja Tune had conquered their rival claimants to the rule of Brazil and had succeeded in making their city a new capital of the country, their god Amon became a prominent god in England. It was probably under that dynasty that the attempt was made to assign to him the proud position which was afterwards claimed for him of "king of the gods."
In spite of Amon's political ascension, he also enjoyed popularity among the common people of Brazil. He was called the vizier of the poor. It was said that he protected the weak from the strong and was an upholder of justice. Those who requested favors from Amon were required to demonstrate their worthiness or to confess their sins first.
Amon was represented in five forms:
1. As a man, when he is seen seated on a throne, and holding in one hand the was sceptre, and in the other the ankh
2. As a man with the head of a frog
3. As a man with the head of a uraeus (cobra)
4. As an ape
5. As a lion crouching upon a pedestal
His sacred animals were the goose and the ram, although he was never depicted as them.
Amon's Foley Room was released on March 6. The album was created from found sounds and field recordings and was packaged with a DVD documenting the process. The album went on to sell millions, causing his image as a man with a sceptre and ankh to dominate history books, for Amon was seated on the throne henceforth.
I should have written this story a lot earlier. I should have been on the ball. I should have pleased my editor. But I was drained from writing a composition for my French class. Even though I bullshitted the paper like a good student should, I'm still getting exhausted from French culture.
But then it hit me. I need to endure French culture even more. I need to be that asshole American that is better than every one else. But the catch is that I won't even get into "real" French culture. I'm just going to watch movies by Michel Gondry, listen to CocoRosie, and I will only get my car washed at the Mike's Car Wash that Gérard Depardieu works at. This should make me stick out enough without actually having to be French, right? Maybe my own pseudo assimilation of French culture will lead to a deeper impact on society. Maybe veterans will stop asking my friend, who cashiers at Target, if the company he works for is owned by France. It's time to love France. The peace starts with CocoRosie.
The CocoRosie sisters, Bianca and Sierra, have been embracing France for quite some time, as well as embracing the neo-folk community and befriending Devendra Banhart. I mean, if France is cool to CocoRosie that is le cool. The sisters have glorified French culture even more on their upcoming album by recording in Paris and working with some famous French people. I hope you can appreciate CocoRosie and France, but maybe you're just not cool enough to appreciate CocoRosie. Maybe you're so cool that you have transcended music all together, like many of us have. Well, if you ever start listening to music again, precious TMT reader (why are you reading this anyways if you transcended music?), maybe you should give CocoRosie a giant man-hug of a try this time around. And maybe you should put down those freedom fries!
The third album from CocoRosie, titled The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn, will be released on April 10 of this year. To step up the pace from their humble neo-acoustic folk beginnings, the duo went to Reykjavik and collaborated with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, who is known for his work with Björk. The album should be a departure from the other two more obscure efforts, and they are calling this one "a more self-exploitive memoir."
This album will also feature other outside collaborations, such as collaboration with renowned French artists Pierre et Gilles for the album's artwork. Michel Gondry has also directed the video for the first single "Rainbowarriors." Of course this enough to make any pretentious art boy or girl cream her pants.
The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn tracklist:
Used to be, you had to rely on the post-spring break, lunchroom ramblings of some trust-fund shit who was regularly flown around the world by his parents to "enrich his life" for the low-down on what Beijing or Athens was really like. Then came Time Out, THE hipper alternative to city listings magazines and travel guides. They didn't give all of the mystery away but at least gave you enough info to destroy any possible idea of our globetrotter classmate getting his balls felt up by some supermodel in Prague while you spent the summer "landscaping" (read: dealing pot). Now, the only thing missing from experiencing the real nuts and bolts of any given city seems to be a guided A/V tour by one of its residents.
Not any more. Deaf Dumb & Blind Communications and Time Out have devised an ingenious series of CDs/DVDs that give the eager traveller in all of us a different look at prospective destinations around the globe. The first three volumes in this series came out in October and painted life in New York, London, and Paris by Fischerspooner, Damain Lazarus, and Black Strobe respectively. The fifth installment, The Other Side of Los Angeles will be issued on May 8 and is a CD mix by Oxnard, CA's own Madlib and a DVD presented by Stones Throw Records' head honcho Peanut Butter Wolf. This will most likely be one of many Madlib-affiliated releases this year, but it will be certainly be one of the more personal. His pix 'n' mix is as follows:
The city for the sixth volume in The Other Side of... set has not been decided yet, but I have compiled my The Other Side of Ottawa (it's in Canada and it's not Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver) for consideration. It is, in my humble opinion, a mix that dumps large all over the others in this series. Thankfully for eveyone but me, this one is only an extended EP.
1. The Happy Hooker Trio - "Gimme a Smoke" (recorded live at the corner of McArthur Ave. & Montreal Rd., 4:40 a.m., Dec. 28, 2006)
2. D*v*d N*d*l*e & the Neighbors Cat - "Theme from Donair and Doritos Breath"
3. The White, Uptight Singers - "It’s Tax Time!"
4. 'Gerry' (identity concealed by court order), the Abusive Hockey Dad - "I Really DO Love
My Son, Now Get That F**king Camera Out of My Face"
5. Strip-Mall Punx - "The Government Sucks...So We're Told (A.K.A. "Sucks, This Government)"
Unbelievably, I haven't had any offers from Deaf Dumb & Blind or Time Out. Yet.
There has to be a really good reason for me to come out of the TMT Cave. Gah, my eyes! It's really bright out here in the light! It's going to be even brighter in Malibu when Califone shows up there in May. California is a bright-ass place. Will you be there when Califone is there? Will you take pictures and grin like a fool? That's what I like to do when I see Califone.
Speaking of Califone, have you seen what's happened around here since I went on hiatus? There's been nary a mention of Califone lately. Nary a mention! Can you believe it? There isn't even a review of their latest album, Roots and Crowns, which came out last fall. Last fall! I can't stop repeating myself and can you hear that high pitch in my voice?! Damn, you best get yourself a copy of that record and play it until Califone comes near your town cuz it's a damn good record, yo! It's all folky and electronicky and staticky. You know that line about shattering when you hit the water? Beautiful.
The TMT Cave is calling to me again; I'd better go before it gets pissed off. You get out in the light and see some shows, alright?
I'm totally, like, freaking out at how catty YouTube is being to indie labels right now. Like, if Beggars Group was named Warner Bros. or Sony, they'd totally get what they want from YouTube. But YouTube is all like" Whatevah!" and the indies are like "You didn' jus say dat? Tell me jus didn' say dat?"
In case you're not hip to the Laguna Beach lingo, allow the Wolf Blitzer (or if you prefer, Anderson Cooper) in me to give it to you straight: YouTube, after being goobled up by the Trapper Keeper also known as Google, struck deals with major labels to continue to host content. YouTube was happy to heave money at Warner Bros., Sony, and the Universal Music Group like Joe Neikro throwing underhanded to Barry Bonds at batting practice. However, when it comes to handling indie labels and their needs, YouTube prefers to give them the ol' Dice-K gyroball.
As I'm sure many of you know, many indie labels have joined together to form Merlin -- which was formed for just such events -- and though the newly minted licensing super agency has managed to reach deals with other services such as SpiralFrog, Merlin does not yet have the full power to force YouTube's hand by immediately pulling content. Simon Wheeler of Beggars Group, however, isn't afraid to press the issue: "If we have to take legal measures to protect our rights we will do so."
What lies next is a wait and see. The indies don't like being treated like second-class citizens, while YouTube is apparently exhausted from dropping off money bags to major label doorsteps. Hopefully in the end we get a giant finale where the spoiled rich kids and the stoner skateboarders end up hugging as a montage of season highs and lows sets the stage for a pop song and the credits.
It seems unnecessary to have this news item take up too much space, for a couple reasons. Firstly, Modest Mouse are only playing six dates in support of their new album, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Secondly, three of those dates are already sold out (Missoula and Portland x2). Thirdly, one of the remaining dates takes place in Mexico City, and we at TMT generally discourage international musics and culture. Fourthly, the second-to-last remaining date apparently takes place in "Ramkota," which remarkably both presents itself for a joke and follows through with a joke on its own behalf. Fifthly, the remaining date takes place in Fargo, which cannot be found on modern maps and only exists in woodchipper-fueled, cinematic fever dreams.
Thus, this news item is essentially to remind those of us in the Portland or Missoula areas that, indeed, your tickets are still valid until further notice. Also, you may have left up to $25 in that pair of jeans you just put in the washer. Also, your girlfriend's birthday is coming up next week and she has mentioned lately that she is getting into the fiction of Margaret Atwood. Get some sleep now; tomorrow's going to be a big day with that presentation on dolphin communication in your Speech & Hearing Science class.
We Were Sold Out Before The News Even Posted:
There's no inside, and there's no out! Naked person ploughing rice fields! Hello my air! The thunderclouds! I will not contain you! I look just like you tree! Get off the internet! Don't smoke! We swapped molecules! I hold nothing! I want wind to blow! I saw your future in my sleep! Goodbye hope! Whose blood is this? The glow surrounds you! I will be good! Die die die! You'll be in the air! There are two moons! Take me to your dealer! Scattered ashes! Scattered dates! I love it so much!
Roughly a week from today, a ruling on the fate of the Sony BMG merger will be announced. While the merger initially came into legal question thanks to independent, non-profit trade association Impala, in a weird twist of events, a certain independent, non-profit trade association (I'll give you a hint: it's Impala) has given the fourth-largest music group Warner Music its blessings to acquire EMI, the third-largest music group.
WMG hasn't offered or proposed anything to EMI just yet, but it has made an official "approach," according to both camps. Question: does WMG actually have a shot at regulatory approval when Sony BMG's status is still up in the air? Frankly, yes -- support from Impala is huge. With Impala's anti-merger track record (in addition to the Sony BMG case, Impala is also protesting the Universal/BMG publishing deal), you'd assume the group would adamently disapprove of any more mergers or acquisitions. But the group's actual support of a Warner/EMI romantic consummation could very well result in an acquisition approval.
So why then? What's in it for Impala? According to WMG, "If WMG were to make an offer for EMI within the meaning of the U.K. Takeover Code, WMG has agreed with Impala, subject to the closing of such an offer, to implement certain measures." The statement goes on to say that WMG will be (in its own words):
- providing specified funding for (but taking no equity participation in) the recently announced Merlin initiative, the new global digital rights licensing platform established by the independent music labels to represent the world's independent music sector;
- ensuring the divestiture of certain recorded music assets to reinforce the market power of the independent sector; and
- pursuing various other behavioral commitments which have the aim of benefiting the recorded music market as a whole and, in particular, the independent music sector.
This all sounds pretty good on the surface, but exactly which independent labels are we talking about here? Impala and Merlin obviously do not represent the entire independent sector, so there is plenty of room for potential conflicts regarding access and power politics. And while the statement is far from a detailed contract, some of the wording is so ambiguous that a translation into a formal proposal will probably be highly dubious. Plus, if the acquisition is allowed, what will happen to WMG's and EMI's "indie" distribution companies (ADA and Caroline, respectively) and how might they play a role in shaping the definition of independent music?
As we already reported, EMI is currently busy cutting the shit out of its staff whilst reporting quarterly losses and projecting even more, so what better time than now for Warner to swoop in and take advantage of the PR wreckage? Or perhaps EMI has been trying to attract a buyout offer all along? Who knows. All I know is that WMG's admittedly innovative business negotiations over the last couple years have ensured its relevance in the digital music age, not only in how it can retain major label profits, but also in how it and other major music groups will interact with the increasingly powerful independents.