Wake Up, Europe! The Hold Steady’s Coming And You’ve Got Drinkin’ To Do!

Yeah yeah, Europe. I know you think you know how to drink. Yep, I see your pubs, Britain. Uh-huh, nice vineyards, Paris. Oktoberfest? That’s cute, Munich. With all your hoity toity drinking traditions, I bet you think us Americans are just a bunch of Miller-swilling, Hee-Haw-watching amateurs. You don’t think we’re ready for the big leagues, do ya?

Well, let me introduce you to a band of our’s. They’re called The Hold Steady, and they grew up in cold-ass Minnesota drinking pints of whiskey and listening to Thin Lizzy. The Hold Steady look at a bar the same way a Viking looks at a monastery. But luckily for you, The Hold Steady wish you no harm. The Hold Steady want to be your friend. They want to party with you on their European tour, where they’ll be supporting their new album Stay Positive (TMT Review).

Their pond-jumping jaunt starts August 16 after a series of dates in the American South, so just remember this: When you keel over shortly after ordering your eighth lager, look over at your new buddy Craig Finn (he’ll be the one finishing his second handle of Old Crow) and just accept that you have been bested.


The Music Tapes’ Julian Koster to Release Singing Saw Christmas Album

Two young boys, Nigh and his older brother Will, were spending the night at their grandparents' house a week before Christmas. Grandma cooked a big hearty meal, and Grandpa helped them make Christmas cards for relatives. Fun was had by all. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers.

In a soft whisper, Will closed his eyes and began praying for some Christmas presents. "I'd love a new bike, Santa. And maybe a guitar, too... I've tried ever so hard to be a good boy this year."


Will, confused and agitated, leaned over and nudged Nigh. "Why are you shouting your prayers?? God isn't deaf." To which his little brother replied, "No, but Grandma is!"

Funny enough, Nigh's shouting was useless. Grandma died later that night.

The Singing Saw At Christmastime tracklist:

No Age, Dan Deacon, Tacos, and Whiskey? Must be F Yeah Fest 5

As I packed up my stuff and got ready to drive to Chicago for Lollapalooza yesterday morning, I read the details of Los Angeles' F Yeah Fest 5 and promptly smacked myself. Why, you may ask? Well, I'm going to spend this weekend trying to sneak food into a park overrun with corporate interests and sweaty, mostly uninteresting people, and I might get to see a dozen or so great bands play short sets on huge, unwieldy stages to apathetic crowds. Oh yeah, and Radiohead will be there.

Yet if only I'd saved my money for a plane ticket to head to L.A. August 30-31 for the F Yeah Fest's modest price tags ($16 the first day, $15 and $7 depending on which show you attend the second night), I'd be chillin' with acts from No Age to Negative Approach (!) to Dan Deacon to Trans Am. I'd also probably be winning the taco-eating contest.

Yes, that's right. The lineup includes a full crop of awesome bands, including high-profile locals like No Age, Abe Vigoda, and Mika Miko as well as hardcore punk pioneers Negative Approach and the omnipotent Fucked Up. But there's also a taco-eating contest. And 15 comedians. But most importantly, a taco-eating contest.

But that's only the first day. The second day includes a massive scavenger hunt leaving from Echo Park Lake at 2 PM and regrouping at an undetermined location at 7 PM, where the winner will receive $500 in cash and "the largest bottle of whiskey known to man" (or a keg of crystal clear Pepsi, depending on the winner's legality). By comparison, the closest thing to a scavenger hunt at Lollapalooza will be trying to find a single food or drink item under $4. The prize will be still being hungry.

After the scavenger hunt, F Yeah attendees will be able to choose between Polvo and Trans Am at one show, and a special guest headliner plus Hit Me Back and Final Fight at another. Oh right, Dan Deacon is playing a secret show at an undisclosed location at the same time, too. Best music festival ever?

Yahoo Music to Reimburse Customers for “Terminated” Music… Somehow

People were pissed when Microsoft first announced its abandonment of its DRM service, which would've caused MSN Music files to become useless (TMT News). After a big backlash, however, Microsoft of course backpedaled wildly and offered to support DRM for three more years. Nice gesture, I suppose. Luckily, Yahoo! Music, the next to leave their DRM files out in the cold, have got an exhaustively researched, well thought-out plan: "You'll be compensated for whatever you paid for the music," says Yahoo spokeswoman Carrie Davis. "We haven't said exactly what we will do, but we will take care of our customers."

I'm starting to sound, appropriately enough, like a broken record. Once again, if you bought songs from Yahoo! Music, they won't play on your computer or transfer to others after September 30. While you'll apparently see compensation for the lost files, it's, uh, great to know that Yahoo Music thought everything through before making the decision to pull the plug. Maybe you'll get a check in the mail. Maybe you'll get a year's supply of dog biscuits in the mail. Who knows! Keep 'em guessing, Yahoo! People LOVE it when you fuck around with their money... just ask Microsoft and Sony (TMT News).

It's like all of the DRM digital music services got really wasted one night and thought it would be the BEST IDEA EVER to make all of their customers as angry as possible... sort of like throwing down a gauntlet for their lowly customer service reps. Or maybe DRM was just the result of a coke-fueled three-day bender in the first place, because it's making about as much sense in the music industry as a Hannah Montana Greatest Hits album.

Last night, like I always do after Fraiser, I called my dear mother out in the suburbs to catch up a bit:

Me: Hey mom. It’s me. Just checking in.

Mom: Oh... hi, Dan. What time is it?

Me: It’s just after 10. Sorry to be calling kinda late. But... you know... Fraiser...

Mom: Oh, Frasier, huh?

Me: Yeah...? So? What’s wrong with--

Mom: Daniel, please! Why don’t go spend your evenings doing something constructive instead of watching that damn TV for 8 hours every damn day! When are you gonna get a job? When are you going to go back to school? When are you going to start going to church again? When are you gonna ask that girlfriend of yours to--

Me: Mom! Alright! I get it; look, just please don’t do this now. I told you; I’m going to be a professional musician some day.

Mom: Professional musician!?!? Ha! Watching TV sure isn’t gonna get you there! You wanna know how hard a real musician works? Just look at Jonny Greenwood, for God’s sake!

Me: Jonny Greenwood? From Radiohead? Why? What’s he doing that’s so spectacular?

Mom: Oh, only having the West Coast Premiere of his string orchestra piece “Popcorn Superhet Receiver” at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on August 21st!

Me: Wow. Really? I mean, isn’t he touring with Radiohead and stuff this summer, though??

Mom: That’s the point, Dan! While juggling that highly successful career, he has also managed become involved in the world of composition. I mean, Radiohead are playing at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco the very next evening! Talk about busy! In fact, the BBC Concert Orchestra premiered that "Popcorn" piece of his back in 2005! The BBC! Then, the Wordless Music concert series brought it stateside, where it debuted in New York City last January. Oh, and then the Alabama Symphony played it in April! Your Cousin Andrew lives there, remember?

Me: Yeah, yeah, mom. I know.

Mom: Oh, well then, Mister! Did you also know that Benjamin Shwartz, the resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, will be conducting that Magik*Magik Orchestra that night?! And that you can buy tickets starting next week at cityboxoffice.com? And, and that other works will include music by Arvo Pärt, Fred Frith, Mason Bates, and John Adams?!?

Me: Oh, so it’s all kinda minimalist stuff, huh mom?

Mom: Oh, don’t be such a smartass! No one likes a smartass! Now, why don’t YOU start doing productive things like that, huh? You never get anything done, even at that snarky internet music magazine that you supposedly “work” for!

Me: Hey! I do work there! I just... haven’t written anything... lately... hey wait a minute!

Mom: Oh, what is it, now??

Me: Nothing! Got an idea for a story! It’ll be cute! I’ll have to call you tomorrow! Love you, mom...
08.21.08 - San Francisco, CA - Herbst Theatre:

Arvo Pärt - Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

John Adams - Shaker Loops

Mason Bates - Icarian Rhapsody

Fred Frith - Save As (Joan Jeanrenaud, Cello)

Jonny Greenwood - Popcorn Superhet Receiver

Virgin Mobile Fest Announces Lineup, Two Days of Full-Length Sets from “All A-List” Acts

This August, 9-10 to be exact, Baltimore, Maryland will host the third annual Virgin Mobile Fest at the Plimco race course. The two-day fest will consist of rock, electronic, and hip-hop artists, as well as a variety of other acts of varying genres. Seth Hurwitz, chairman of festival organizer I.M.P., said that all performers are “must-see artists.” Since the lineup is freshly announced, I’ll let you take a look and judge for yourself.

Saturday, August 9:

12:00 – 12:50 Cat Power
1:10 – 1:55 Duffy
2:15 – 3:05 The Swell Season
3:25 – 4:15 Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
4:35 – 5:25 Rodrigo y Gabriela
5:45 – 6:35 Citizen Cope
7:00 – 8:15 Wilco
8:45 – 10:00 Jack Johnson

12:15 – 1:00 KT Tunstall
1:20 – 2:10 Gogol Bordello
2:30 – 3:25 Lupe Fiasco
3:45 – 4:35 Bloc Party
5:00 – 6:00 The Offspring
6:30 – 7:30 Chuck Berry and The Silver Beats
8:15 – 10:00 Foo Fighters

12:00 – 12:30 JDH & Dave P
12:30 – 1:45 Erol Alkan
1:45 – 3:15 DJ Dan & Donald Glaude
3:35 – 4:35 Soulwax
4:45 – 6:10 Steve Lawler
6:10 – 7:40 Ferry Corsten
8:00 – 10:00 Underworld

Sunday, August 10:

12:00 – 12:45 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
1:05 – 1:55 Shudder to Think
2:15 – 3:05 Paramore
3:30 – 4:20 Taking Back Sunday
4:50 – 5:50 Iggy and The Stooges
6:20 – 7:35 Stone Temple Pilots
8:05 – 10:00 Nine Inch Nails

11:30 – 12:00 Hollywood Undead (Book the Band winner)
12:20 – 1:05 The Go! Team
1:25 – 2:10 Andrew Bird
2:35 – 3:25 She & Him
3:50 – 4:50 Lil' Wayne
5:15 – 6:15 The Black Keys
6:45 – 8:00 Bob Dylan
8:30 – 10:00 Kanye West

12:30 – 1:30 Chromeo
1:50 – 3:20 Rabbit in the Moon
3:30 – 5:00 Deadmau5
5:00 – 6:30 Richie Hawtin
6:30 – 8:00 Moby (DJ Set)
8:00 – 10:00 Armin van Buuren

Personally I see about eight “must-see artists,” but because this is just a news piece and not a critical review of a festival yet to happen, I will back away from the snarky remarks. I just don’t think Moby or Citizen Cope or The Offspring are “must-see” now or ever.

Anyway, two-day tickets are $175 for general admission and $450 for VIP, while single-day tickets are $97.50 for general admission and $250 for VIP tickets. Expect a conscience-lifting “charity contribution” of $1.50 per day, per ticket to make your trip morally worthwhile.

Mr. Hurwitz goes on to explain one of the intriguing aspects of the show: "We’ve programmed the Virgin Mobile Festival so fans can enjoy extended sets and get the full concert experience of these top-tier acts." Now that, that’s pretty cool. I hate waiting in the sun all day just to see a quick 30-minute set from my favorite artists. Getting a chance to see a variety of performers with actual concert-length sets is definitely a plus.

First-Ever CD of Bob Dylan Rarities To Be Released This October

In a completely unpredictable turn of events, Bob Dylan has announced that he will release a two-disc collection of rarities, Tell Tale Signs, October 6. The collection will feature live tracks, demos, unreleased studio recordings, and rare songs from soundtracks. All of the material was recorded between 1989 and 2006.

The collection is actually the eighth installment of the "Bootleg Series," though releasing them legally would seem to remove their statuses as "bootlegs" (what say you to that Mr. Dylan?). The collection is also available as a three-disc box set, with the third disc containing ultra-rare tracks and two books of rare photos.

In order to promote the release of the collection, Dylan is offering a free download of the unreleased 1997 track "Dreamin' Of You" to those who sign up for his website. The MP3 is considered to be moderately rare. If you are among the first 5000 to pre-order Tell Tale Signs online, you receive a limited-edition Bob Dylan poster. And if your pre-order the box set, you also get an extremely rare 7-inch single, containing the tracks "Dreamin' of You" and "Ring Them Bells."

Jesus fucking Christ, this shit is rare.

Tell Tale Signs Tracklist:

Disc One:

1. Mississippi (Unreleased - Time Out Of Mind)
2. Most Of The Time (Alternate version - Oh Mercy)
3. Dignity (Piano demo - Oh Mercy)
4.Someday Baby (Alternate version - Modern Times)
5. Red River Shore (Unreleased - Time Out Of Mind)
6. Tell 'Ole Bill (Alternate version - North Country soundtrack)
7. Born In Time (Unreleased - Oh Mercy)
8. Can't Wait (Alternate version - Time Out Of Mind)
9. Everything Is Broken (Alternate version - Oh Mercy)
10. Dreamin' Of You (Unreleased - Time Out Of Mind)
11. Huck's Tune (Lucky You soundtrack)
12. Marchin' To The City (Unreleased - Time Out Of Mind)
13. High Water (For Charley Patton) (Live in Niagara, 2003)

Disc Two:

1. Mississippi (Unreleased version #2 - Time Out Of Mind)
2. 32-20 Blues (Unreleased - World Gone Wrong)
3. Series of Dreams (Unreleased - Oh Mercy)
4. God Knows (Unreleased - Oh Mercy)
5. Can't Escape From You (Unreleased - December 2005)
6. Dignity (Unreleased - Oh Mercy)
7. Ring Them Bells (Live at the Supper Club, 1993)
8. Cocaine Blues (Live, Vienna, Va., 1997)
9. Ain't Talkin' (Alternate version - Modern Times)
10. The Girl On The Greenbriar Shore (Live, 1992)
11. Lonesome Day Blues (Live, Sunrise, Fla., 2002)
12. Miss The Mississippi (Unreleased - 1992)
13. The Lonesome River (With Ralph Stanley, from Clinch Mountain Country)
14. 'Cross The Green Mountain (Gods and Generals soundtrack)

Disc Three:

1. Duncan And Brady (Unreleased - 1992)
2. Cold Irons Bound (Live, Bonnaroo - June 2004)
3. Mississippi (Unreleased version #3 - Time Out Of Mind)
4. Most Of The Time (Alternate version #2 - Oh Mercy)
5. Ring Them Bells (Alternate version - Oh Mercy)
6. Things Have Changed (Live, Portland, Oregon, 2000)
7. Red River Shore (Unreleased version #2 - Time Out Of Mind)
8. Born In Time (Unreleased version #2 - Oh Mercy)
9. Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Live, London, 2000)
10. Marchin' To The City (Unreleased version #2 - Time Out Of Mind)
11. Can't Wait (Alternate version #2 - Time Out Of Mind)
12. Mary And The Soldier (Unreleased - World Gone Wrong)

The Rosebuds Announce New Album; Annapocalypse Fondly Recalls The Time She Drunkenly Embarrassed Herself In Front Of Kelly From The Rosebuds

Last year, I went to see The Rosebuds at Plush, a popular bar/venue in Tucson, Arizona. Because it was summer and I had just graduated, most of my friends were out of town or had moved away. Therefore, I was stuck dragging my Top 40 radio-loving twin sister to the show with me. She proceeded to get incredibly drunk while I enjoyed sets from Land of Talk and The Rosebuds.

After the show ended, my sister threw drinks my way until I was as drunk as she was. Before I knew it, I was stumbling up to Kelly Crisp of The Rosebuds at the merch table and rambling on and on about how much I’d enjoyed their set and how fun they were live and how I’d read some good review of them on Brooklyn Vegan so I knew they would be good live anyway and how awesome their new album is and yeah. She smiled politely the entire time, and I tried to will myself to shut up, but, of course, I kept blathering on.

Several hours later, I was back home at my parents' house eating random cold cuts from the fridge (Ever notice how awesome deli meat tastes when you’re drunk? Seriously, try it sometime.) and watching a marathon of Degrassi. Moral of the story: now when I hear The Rosebuds, I think about eating salami and Paige being a lesbian.

So, with the recent announcement of The Rosebuds' forthcoming new album, Life Like -- due October 7 on Merge Records, featuring guest appearances from Mac McCaughan of Portastatic and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver -- I am going to celebrate by watching The N and eating a turkey sandwich.

The Flaming Lips’ Christmas on Mars Finally Finds Release on Warner Bros. in October

This Is a Movie from The Flaming Lips

(In Respect to poet Margaret Atwood)

It was filmed some time ago.

At first it seems to be

a Wayne Coyne

epic: oxygen generators and grey martians

blended with music;

then, as you watch

it, you see in the left-hand corner

a penis-shaped man: on a psychedelic trip

(acid or DXM) in space

and, to the right, halfway up

what ought to be a gentle

hobbit, a cameo of Elijah Wood.

In the background there are instrumentals,

and beyond that, Steve Burns from Blue's Clues.

(The movie will be released

in October on DVD with the score on CD.

Isaac Brock plays a small part

in the film, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say why

precisely, or to say

how good or bad this will be:

the effect of these musicians

on film is a distortion

but if you wait long enough,


you will be able to see this film.)


Best Buy Continues to Mysteriously Cater to Music Nerds and Professionals, Introduces Musical Instruments and Gear to Stores

Best Buy, the largest consumer electronic retailer in the country, is unveiling a plan to create music centers in dozens of outlets nationwide. This move, already in effect in California, Illinois, and Minnesota, will outfit 85 stores with over 1,000 different products ranging from drums to turntables to guitar picks. "We're trying to create an authentic and genuine musical instrument store look and feel inside of Best Buy," says Best Buy VP of musical instruments Kevin Balon. The "store within a store" locations are aimed at all consumers, from amateurs to professionals.

Not only does the announcement leave Best Buy poised to become the second-largest instrument seller in the U.S., it also comes on the heels of the company's decisions to reintroduce vinyl to its music racks (TMT News) and to start selling albums from local and unsigned musicians (TMT News). If you've begin to suspect that Best Buy corporate leadership is overrun by music nerds, you may just be right: according to the Star Tribune, Best Buy's CEO, Brad Anderson, attributed the vinyl decision to the fact that "we've got an executive here who's basically responding to his own children" and added that he, "as an old vinyl collector," saw that decision as "close to his] heart." With the local music and instrument announcements following on the heels of this quote, it seems Best Buy may continue to test the indie culture waters. What's next, a record label? A Best Buy-curated [ATP? An acquisition of Tiny Mix Tapes? Stay tuned.



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