I bet you stopped by the old TMTsted today just to check out which beloved band of yore has reunited now. As of late, bands seem to be getting back together at a rate of once-per-day. Fans of reuniting in general would be wise to visit this site at least that often. If you didn't read the headline, I won't keep you in suspense anymore; today's re-entry into the rock world is Eric's Trip.
Part of the '90s Eastern Canadian scene (Sloan, Jale, Superfriendz, etc.) and the first Canadian band signed to Sub Pop, Eric's Trip's initial run of producing lo-fi fuzzy-rock started in 1990 and had come to an end by '97. But reuniting is old hat to the Trip -- both 2001 and 2006 saw the band "reforming" to play a handful of shows. Now it looks like the itch has hit them again, as the group (Julie Dorion, Chris Thompson, Rick White & Mark Gaudet) has announced it will "reunite" only to play a small number of shows over the next few months.
The years in between reunions appear to have been good to the members of Eric's Trip, Like ET, its individual members have found a fair amount of success, more so in their homeland than anywhere else. Dorion has received much acclaim as a solo artist, winning a Juno Award (Juno is to Canada as Grammy is to USA, but one has better taste) and was on the shortlist for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize (Polaris is to Canada as Mercury is to England; they are pretty much equal). Thompson plays in an outfit called Moon Socket, while White has a solo career and has played with Gaudet in Elevator. White will be pulling double-duty as the group's opening act for these shows beginning August 8.
The first show will take place August 5 at Sappyfest, a festival put on by Sappy Records (duh!), which just so happens to have been started by Dorion. The band plans to play five other shows and is trying to put together a sixth in its hometown, Morton, NB. If you are planning on attending any of these shows and do not currently reside in Canada, remember: Compared to the States, Canada has less crime, better access to healthcare, larger subsidies for the arts, and its beer has a higher alcohol percentage. It appears that Canada rules, so be on the lookout for some secret downside to living in Canada; my research has turned up nada. Except for Windsor, ON, the place where sleaziness is palatable.
# Rick White
According to the New York Post, Sprint will be the first company to underwrite its logo onto a song to be distributed freely to peer-to-peer networks. Sixteen-million files of what is sure to be a tuneless piece of piss by hip-hop artist Plies will be unleashed onto a variety of P2P networks over the next three months. “Diamond” Jon Diamond, CEO of ARTISTdirect, claims the deal, which is worth a substantial “six figures” to its MediaDefender, Atlantic, Piles, and his publishing company, will have a three-pronged purpose: (1) generate income for record labels, (2) curtail piracy, and (3) allow brands to associate with key artists to reach a desired demographic. News of the deal ushers in a new line of thinking vis-à-vis P2P networks with companies actually embracing the technology and sharing avenues it has previously been trying to destroy. The deal sounds simple enough, but a handy graphic courtesy of the Post explains it even better.
The song file will have the Sprint logo embedded in it, so it will appear on any device screen you are playing the track on. From an advertising standpoint, this permanent form of branding is a better idea than the previously popular one of shaving the Sprint logo into the hair of thousands of people, because hair tends to grow and eventually covers the shaved design. Needless to say, hairstylists are pissed. I knew it... P2P technology is still in its relative infancy, and we are already seeing industries being torn apart! And it is no coincidence that it just so happens to be affecting the most important industry too, when you consider that if you are bald or have an asinine ‘do, cut, or style, your life is pretty much over. Any winner will tell you that the secret to success is “matte finish, high hold,” bitches!
This partnership is just one of the latest deals brokered by ARTISTdirect this year. In February, Suretone Records signed up with the burgeoning buzzkill company to let users download legitimate files from the label onto illicit peer-to-peer networks. This deal includes the creation of a Suretone video channel on ARTISTdirect.com, because listening to music without accompanying video clips is just not enjoyable. Suretone is a subsidiary of Universal and apparently has Chris Cornell, The Cure, and Weezer on its roster. Hmm, you learn something new everyday, I guess.
ARTISTdirect acquired the Marina Del Rey-based MediaDefender in 2005. They spent a lot of money. MediaDefender is a leader in the development of software that detects illegal file trading and is used frequently by music and entertainment companies in order to combat the twisted evil bastards who should be kicked repeatedly in the nads (if any) because they download copyrighted music and video. MediaDefender should not be confused with this blockbuster that is sweeping the nation.
Of Montreal Sells Rights to “Bunny Ain’t No Kind Of Rider” For Kevin’s Porsche And Tour Fund To Yard Machines; Jingle Goes Like This: “Eva I’m Sorry, But You Will Never Have Me, To Me You’re Just Some Faggy Girl And I Need A Lover With A Snow Plower And You Ain’t Got No Snow Plower”
I know, I know! I'm so pissed off, too! Why don't you go start a petition to boycott Of Montreal or something? I'd totally sign! Oh, you should start a poll asking what color his Porsche should be too. Yeah!
I'd choose pink, because he'll probably be wearing his cute lil' pink cowboy boots for this newly expanded tour:
* with Grand Buffet, MGMT
Rogue Wave Release Asleep At Heaven’s Gate September 18; We All Wonder If It’s A Clue to 1.18.08 (Answer: It’s Not)
I've been going without sleep for days, after I saw the mysterious trailer for the untitled film produced by J.J. Abrams (of Lost fame) that played before Transformers. The film, currently being known as Cloverfield or 1.18.08, has been creating "ginormous" (yeah, I hate that word too, but I'll freely use it now that is it in Webster's dictionary) buzz due to its viral marketing campaign of mysterious clues and arcane websites. I think this is obviously lame, but a fun and stressful way to kill time at my job. My mind is so tired from searching for clues that anything could be a clue now.
For instance, I should be discussing the Rogue Wave album Asleep At Heaven's Gate due September 18 on Brushfire Records. However, all I can think about is how Rogue Wave might have something to do with that damn movie. FYI: I have no life other than TMT and catering to my Mr P altar/nudity room, so it is understandable that I am totally nerding-out on all the hype. Fuck this Rogue Wave news. Lead singer Zach Rogue gets enough attention anyway, like getting his music played on popular television shows like Weeds,Friday Night Lights, and Heroes. Okay, so there was that time when "Bird on a Wire" was playing at the abortion clinic where my sister was getting a... um... controversial procedure done. But that is neither a humorous nor entertaining story to share. I did get a free t-shirt from the whole experience though.
Eh, alright I forgot what I was rambling on about. I'm so tired. I should go to sleep. Okay, quick Rogue Wave wrap-up. Let me see, Asleep At Heaven's Gate was produced by Roger Moutenot (Elvis Costello, Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney), so that is a definite upside. The album will also feature guest appearances from Matthew Caws of Nada Surf and John Vanderslice. I know at least one TMT writer who would buy this album on the Vanderslice collaboration alone. The downside to this might be that Brushfire Records is a record label that was started by Jack Johnson and his wife in 2002. Do I despise Jack Johnson? Maybe I did at one point, but maybe the hate will wear off eventually.
Truthfully, I highly doubt Rogue Wave have anything to do with 1.18.08, but maybe this album will put me in much-needed peace. Still, I need some sort of clue. If you do know something Mr. Rogue, and you are keeping it secret, you better spill the beans. I mean why are you asleep at heaven's gate anyway? Is the monster up there? Is God the monster? I know you know. Tell me! I am now beginning to realize that maybe it's "us" who are the monsters. We are the consumers and the impatient fanboys who are as quick to realize our own downfall as we are to realize that premature ejaculation is not impressive to anyone.
Now, I must head back to the IMDB boards to obsess some more. I have learned nothing. But at least this article has been absolutely successful.
A beginning is a very delicate time. Know, then, that it is the year two thousand seven. The known interblag is ruled by the... Vista Emperor... William the Gates... my... oh hell with it.
Last week, in a totally not unprecedented step in a years-long, time- and money-wasting tug of war, geeks everywhere let out an audible "kekeke" at the news that an elite h4X0r had cracked the DRM of Microsoft's Zune Marketplace -- the weird irony being that the two groups most affected by this news are Slashdot-reading technophiles and Zune Marketplace shoppers, forming a nice little well curve (against an x-axis of snobbery). The crack seems to have been achieved by the same guy who cracked Microsoft's DRM last time, and the time before that, and from whom Microsoft dropped a lawsuit earlier this year, on the basis that they knew nothing about him other than his totally rhombus handle, Viodentia.
Microsoft had developed this particular DRM technology to force its music shoppers to play purchased music on Zunes and Zunes only -- expecting, I suppose, that people would choose a digital music store before they chose a portable device? At any rate, they also began a "PlaysForSure" campaign, essentially offering shiny stickers to any devices that promised to play nice with Microsoft, particularly Vista, their new OS. Can this be construed as hypocrisy, or is it just a vague dicking over?
I don't know, I can't even think straight about it anymore. Honestly, if you had asked me yesterday, I'd have guessed that this happened months ago. Point is, with a little know-how, that Sting album you bought at the Zune Marketplace will play just fine on your iPod, at least until the next laughably brief DRM patch/crack do-si-do.
Although the ever-so-lovely-to-listen-to crew of Les Savy Fav have released songs here and there since their previous record, the world has not been graced by a new long player by the quartet since 2001. (So that's why I've felt like there hasn't been anything worthwhile in my life since Radiohead released Amnesiac!) When the NY-based group is not busy pleasing all them blogs out there, they're busy collecting voicemail from eager fans, preparing them for their ultimate demise on their forthcoming disc, entitled Let's Stay Friends.
The album will be released on Frenchkiss Records and hosts an action-packed guestlist that even the most choice non-believer would admire. Featuring collaborations with Emily Haines (Metric), Nick Thorburn (Islands), Enon, Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces), and Joe Plummer (Black Heart Procession), the 12-track disc will hit shelves September 18. That's right, folks... a Tuesday! How surprised are you that a new album is coming out on a Tuesday!?
Oh, that's right, you'd like to know what the song titles are. Don't you know that these lists of titles are almost meaningless until you hear the songs? Gosh!
Let's Stay Friends (even when I'm being a jerk):
* bonus track found only on the Chris Gliddon version (limited edition of 1 copy on CD-R)
Most are already aware of M.I.A.'s problems with acquiring a visa back in 2006. In addition to having genetic links to activists considered "Un-American," M.I.A.'s lingo regarding rubber-band bombs, purple haze, diversity and empowerment, Kate Moss mascara ads, boyz, and fast food were deemed completely unacceptable by U.S. leaders. Statements like "Don't sell out to product pushers," "Pull up the poor," "Put away your stupid gun, yo," and "Try something new" are NOT American. How can you be American if you're not a drooling, oblivious consumer? Leaked confidential documents confirm that Homeland Security thought her beats were too evil. We all thought the feds were gon' get her.
But M.I.A. is a fighter and back on the radar: as you all know, the follow-up to 2005's Arular, Kala, will be released on XL Recordings in Japan August 8 and in the UK August 20. Kala hits the United States August 21 via Interscope. Kala is reported to have been recorded in a number of different countries, and the video for the first single, "BirdFlu," is said to have been filmed in Jamaica. Kala is sprinkled with appearances by Afrikan Boy (Hussel), Wilcannia Mob (Mango Pickle Down River), and Timbaland (Come Around).
Kala dirty tracks:
* Björk (Say what! what!)
Kanye Can’t Write, Can’t Flow, And Can’t Rhyme, But Can’t He Also Not Edit Magazines Badly? (Quiz for Kanye: Can You Spot The Grammatical Error In This Headline?)
It looks like Kanye West has finally found a business venture that is as much of a commercial bastardization of hip-hop culture as he is. This fall, the Louis Vuitton pawn will guest edit Complex, a fashion magazine for rap listeners with iPhones. As it is doubtful that Kanye knows what a coordinating conjunction is, he probably won't do much actual editing. He is more likely to disguise poorly written articles by including lengthy quotes from talented, recently dead authors like Kurt Vonnegut (after having them rewritten by popular writers like Dan Brown). Of course, Kanye has already told his critics that they "Can't Tell [Him] Nothin'," which is just as well, as the previous sentence's analogy would probably be lost on him.
Kanye has chosen auto-tuned model Cassie as the fall issue's cover girl. Purely coincidentally, Cassie also appears in the video for Kanye's latest crime against music, "Stronger." The song "features" Daft Punk, in the same way that "Touch The Sky" features Curtis Mayfield. Sure, Daft Punk may "appear" in the video, but how can you prove it's not just Kanye and Cassie wearing Daft Punk masks?
Kanye, or "Ye" as he is known by assholes, is also preparing to release the follow-up to his first two albums, The College Dropout and Late Registration. The August release of the new album, Graduation, is highly anticipated by college radio DJs and sixteen-year-old girls alike. Ye has been pre-approved for a Grammy, which he is expected to accept at the ceremony while actually nailed to a crucifix. One can only imagine the praise that will follow album four, Working In Real Estate, or album five, Gradual Decline Into a Rote And Meaningless Existence In Order To Support Ungrateful Children Until Inevitable Death In A Nondescript Institutional Building.
It's easy to see why Kanye is so popular. Just check out these lyrics from "Stronger":
"Heard they'd do anything for a klondike/ Well I'd do anything for a blonde dyke"
In Kanye's defense, when not busy pretending to be upset with all the press he's receiving, he has often used his fame to illuminate various political issues, ranging from the government's involvement in the AIDS and crack epidemics to homophobia in hip-hop. And after all, he's no worse than Paul Wall, David Banner, Chamillionaire, T.I., Yung Joc, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Slim Thug, Lil' Flip, Z-Ro, Pastor Troy, Young Jeezy, Young Money, Chamillionaire, Bow Wow, Afroman, Lil Wayne, Peedi Crakk, Lil Wyte, Young Buck, Jim Jones, cpulfer, Diddy, Bun B, Mike Jones, Rich Boy, Swizz Beatz, Ja Rule, J-Kwon, Chingy, Petey Pablo, Papoose, Unk, Dem Franchise Boys, Clipse, Pretty Ricky, Ying Yang Twins, The Black Eyed Peas, or Three 6 Mafia, and none of those dudes produced "Izzo."
How to Synthesize LSD in Your Bathtub; Galactic Zoo Dossier #7 Hits Streets; Limited Availability; Try Good (Independent) Record Stores!
I was going to preface this story with simple "how-to" instructions for synthesizing LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) in your own home. As I discovered after a few minutes of cursory research on the internet, which I should have done before I started writing, a complete chemistry lab is necessary, oh, and a basic knowledge in chemistry isn't enough.
But who needs LSD? There are plenty of hallucinogenic psycho-actives out there. So, without further ado:
How to Grow Magic Mushrooms in Your Closet Under the Stairs:
Wait... there are probably certain legal ramifications I might want to consider before I continue, not to mention the amount of time necessary for the 'shrooms to grow (more like fester).
I guess the legal alternative we're left with is, sad to say, Salvia (Salvia divinorum), which, according to Erowid.org, "is a sprawling perennial herb found in the Sierra Mazatec region of Mexico. Its leaves contain the extremely potent Salvinorin A. It has a history of buccal use as a divinatory psychedelic, and has been widely available since the mid-1990s primarily as a smoked herb. Its effects are considered unpleasant by many people."
Allow me reiterate and highlight that last point: Its effects are considered unpleasant by many people.
The one and only time I tried Salvia was after a night of drinking in bars whereupon I ran into two underage drinkers — they seemed nice enough — and offered that I could enjoy a smoke with them back at their apartment. One guy was wearing an Audioslave T-shirt, the other a Che Guevara; I mention this mainly just because I remember it, but you can also see what I'm getting at here.
I didn't know before departing the bar that we were going to be smoking Salvia, and when I arrived and discovered such, it seemed like my effort (and slightly drunken state) necessitated that I at least try it — it was legal after all. To say that the sensations I felt were unpleasant would be an understatement — first my face became numb, then I lost peripheral vision, and then the media barrage around me (the dudes had The Beatles playing on their shit stereo, their computer was streaming really bad hip-hop, and they had their TV on mute) blurred into a mushy ball of sound and light which resembled Rosie O'Donnell more than The Beatles or really bad hip-hop. I wonder now if a typical Salvia den consists of this horrific media barrage.
And then after just a few minutes — good luck divinizing, finding God, in just a few minutes — I was back to normal, albeit with a terrible headache, as if I had collided with the curb or had been cracked across the skull with an aluminum baseball bat. [Belated disclaimer: my experience is meant as a warning more so than an advocation, is it obvious?]
With the legal status of Saliva coming into question — it should be illegal, really — a new alternative is about to hit the market, of which I am a huge advocate.
The Galactic Zoo Dossier Issue #7 hit stores earlier this week and is available through Drag City Records. In addition to a 100+ page comic book/magazine of hand-drawn pages, including features and interviews, it contains 2 CDs of new and old, rare and exclusive jams by Devendra Banhart, The Stooges, Dog of Mystery, Ed Askew, Blossom Toes, and Michael Yonkers, among others.
The psychedelic primer that is The Galactic Zoo Dossier generally runs in limited quantities of about 1,500 copies and is superiorly priced around $17, give or take a few bucks. Considering that this package is entirely legal, in comparison, to the waning legality of a dose of Salvia for about the same street value and with no side effects, I'd highly recommend not ingesting any drugs (legal or otherwise) and just sticking to the music.
SoundExchange Make Attempt to Not Suck, The Attempt Sucks, They Suck: Royalty Fees Capped Only for Anti-Streamripping Stations
I was briefly shaken out of a morbid heatwave torpor last week when the recording industry appeared -- if only for a fleeting, beautiful moment -- to show just a modicum of common decency. I’m referring to SoundExchange’s agreement (under congressional pressure) to temporarily cap the onerous royalty fees they were preparing to impose upon internet radio stations. Those new fees would have theoretically cost some stations no less than a billion dollars a year and, as an obvious consequence, force them to stop broadcasting. The new agreement stipulated that these fees would be capped at a maximum of $50,000 per year, per station.
As you might have guessed, however, there’s a rather big catch in the whole deal that SoundExchange proposed. They’re now saying that the $50,000 ‘cap’ on webcasters’ fees will only be made available to those stations who “work to stop users from engaging in “streamripping” -- turning internet radio performances into a digital music library.” It’s not as if the RIAA mob have even provided any information as to how they actually want the stations to “work to stop” streamripping. Without such divine guidance being available, it would be fair to infer that what they want is for the internet radio industry to basically lock down all of their content with so much DRM that, before long, the shit will be gushing out of your tweeters like a veritable torrent of necessarily emasculated gism. I say this because there’s really no other way of ‘protecting’ the music broadcast on web radio from the claws of stream-ripping software; although it does seem to appear that no one even knows if it would actually be feasible to fully implement DRM in the web radio sphere.
It’ll be interesting to see what transpires from here. SoundExchange’s stance appears to be a blatant attempt at self-aggrandizement -- they want to make sure everyone knows that they still consider themselves to be the fucking daddy when it comes to this issue, despite last week’s beatdown. The difference is that the imposition of web radio fees, when compared to the other agendas the industry has been pursuing of late, is one where the various arms of government have not currently thrown their support fully behind the RIAA line. Added to that, the vagueness of the language used by SoundExchange suggests that even THEY don’t really know what they’re proposing here. Fun all 'round. Except if you listen to internet radio, of course.
As is always the case with this issue, you can read more at SaveNetRadio.