Muxtape, the online playlist service which launched in March to a user base larger than Germany but smaller than Japan, seems to have run into problems with the RIAA, according to a message posted on the site late Wednesday evening. While it alerts users that "Muxtape will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA," the Muxtape tumblr insists that "the site is not closed indefinitely" and "no bands or labels have complained."
Many people — including you, me, intellectual property attorney Fred von Lohmann, and site creator Justin Oullette — have speculated as to the soundness of maintaining such a website in the era of RIAA lawsuits and other digital music crackdowns. The optimism of the message displayed on the official site and on tumblr echo Oullette's assertion in interviews that Muxtape's primary purpose is to introduce listeners to new music and that labels and artists have been encouraging when talking to him. Indeed, it appears from the tumblr post that Oullette has been developing a service called "Muxtape for Bands," an as-yet-unexplained feature first hinted at in a tumblr post early last week.
For more details about "Muxtape for Bands," as well as about the issues with the RIAA, keeping an eye on the tumblr page is probably your best bet.
I went to see incredible Japanese garage rock band DMBQ once at a record store in Austin, TX, a detour from the usual SXSW showcases and shit. This was the year I discovered Sparks Caffeinated Malt Beverage and ended up consuming enough of the stuff that I thought it would be a good idea to buy every single Siouxsie and the Banshees 7-inch in the store -- and, so, I drunkenly brought up my pile of prizes to the register while the drummer from DMBQ dismantled and reassembled her drum kit without ever missing a beat or failing to kick out the jams. Okay, I didn't technically "see" it. My friends told me about it. It sounded awesome, though!
And now... imagine! You can have this very same sort of magical experience yourself, at one of several DMBQ tourdates planned for this October!
DMBQ -- or Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet, their longer, more difficult to remember full name -- have been around since 1988 in one form or another. They've released albums on Less Than TV, Estrus, and more, and have embarked on many a tour in these here parts. They're loud, they're fast, they're awesome, and apparently they just can't get enough of small New York liberal arts colleges, judging from this tour schedule. Enroll now!
After all the bullshit surrounding illegal music downloading, like the lawsuits against minors that in turn cost their parents thousands of dollars, iTunes is in talks of imposing a tax on the next Jonas Brothers track your little sister is downloading. Indeed, nine states are currently discussing the possibility of imposing a digital downloading tax, with four of them having already passed "digital taxation plans," including Indiana, South Dakota, Utah, and Nebraska.
However, it looks like it has proven quite difficult so far for most states to actually pass this law, since it's almost impossible to define state boundaries over the World Wide Web. The CNET report states, "Because most state tax laws were written long before the Internet existed, they may accidentally immunize downloads from taxation." And don't get too pissed off yet -- several eco-friendly groups are protesting the idea. "A digital download is the greenest way to buy music, movies, and software, since it requires no driving to the store, no delivery vans, and no plastics or packaging," according to Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice.
Everybody loves Johnny Cash. Hollywood director James Mangold loves Johnny Cash. Rockabilly dudes love Johnny Cash. Elderly Southern women love Johnny Cash. Yes, everybody loves Johnny Cash -- but, most of all, record companies love making holiday scrilla off of this unabashed, universal adoration for the man in black. That's right: just in time for the holidays come two fancy, new reissue treatments of some live Cash performances! Calculated to warm your heart and nestle nicely under the tree next to the Wal-Mart gift certificate given to you by the relatives you only see once a year, the Johnny Cash Christmas Specials and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition will be released October 7 and October 14, respectively.
But what exactly do these two DVDs contain? Why, Christmas Specials alone guarantees you a performance unseen and unscreened for 30 years. This latest DVD collection features the 1978 and 1979 specials, and combined with last year's reissues of Cash's 1976 and 1977 specials, you'll be able to subject your cousins to an entire Christmas marathon of country music gems! You'll see Johnny live in Los Angeles with his friends Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Martin, and wife June Carter Cash in 1978. You'll see him live in Nashville with Andy Kaufman, Tom T. Hall, and Anne Murray in 1979! And you can do so by purchasing any of the yearly Christmas special DVDs alone or as part of a super special box put together by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Shout! Factory.
Folsom Prison offers even more chances for holiday glee. Released by Columbia/Legacy in boxset form consisting of two CDs and one DVD, you'll get both of Cash's 1968 performances at the slammer. The CDs promise 31 unreleased tracks, including duets with June Carter Cash and hits like "Blue Suede Shoes." The DVD includes concert footage and interviews with prisoners who were at the performance, as well as legends like Merle Haggard and Roseanne Cash. And last but not least, there's the liner notes, put together by Steve Earle, biographer Michael Streissguth, and even Johnny Cash himself, who wrote his portion back in 1999.
For months now, many of us have been enjoying Deerhunter's forthcoming album, Microcastle. Due October 28 on Kranky Records, the album was leaked nearly five months before the release date. However, it only got worse for the band and frontman Bradford Cox when unmastered versions of both his upcoming solo album and what appeared to be another album from Deerhunter were leaked accidentally by Bradford himself this past Saturday.
For those of you who unfamiliar with the Deerhunter blog, Bradford often provides free downloads of tracks and EPs from his solo project Atlas Sound. While posting a link to a new Virtual 7", Cox instead unknowingly posted a link to a page with all of his Mediafire uploads, which included unmastered versions of both a new Deerhunter album (not Microcastle) and an upcoming solo album.
After realizing the mistake, the link was fixed, but by that time, the albums were already widespread. What ensued were several angry posts directed at bloggers and forum-posters. One of the more unsettling comments made: "It's stuff like this that made Jeff Mangum stop Neutral Milk Hotel."
Shortly afterward, Bradford put up a second, presumably more recent version of the Atlas Sound album, titled Logos, as a free download and claimed that he was abandoning that project and starting from scratch. But he soon replaced the post, removed the link, and claimed that he would resume work on the project regardless of the leak.
So what's up with that Deerhunter album? Bradford left a comment on one of the posts claiming that it was a surprise LP titled Weird Era Cont. to be released with Microcastle as a double LP. The title can also be seen on newer versions of the Microcastle artwork.
Total bummer, but don't let it hold you back Bradford.
& Times New Viking
$ Nine Inch Nails
Oh my god. I'm so excited. This is so awesome. Bloc Party, perhaps the best band that has ever existed, will release their third album, Intimacy, this Thursday, August 21. Oh my god. I'm so excited. This is so awesome. According to the press release:
Bloc Party alerted fans to Intimacy’s existence, as well as their ability to purchase the record instantly, via their first-ever web chat this afternoon. After an unfinished version of their last album, A Weekend in the City, was leaked four months prior to its release, the band decided to get their newest collection of songs out to fans immediately upon the album being mastered and ready for the hearing.
Intimacy is available now for pre-order at the band's website. Meanwhile, the physical version is due October 28 via Atlantic Records and will apparently contain different tracks. It's unclear at this point whether or not these "different tracks" are shittier.
@ Apostle of Hustle
Built To Spill, Quasi, Citay Join Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker at the Fourth Annual Campout Music Festival
September marks the fourth annual Campout Music Festival in Pioneertown, California. Yeah, I said Pioneertown, the very same town where Westerns and TV shows, like The Cisco Kid, were filmed in the ’40s. Badass. Music festivals are always more fun when they are held in cool locations. If only Dollywood was in California.
The festival will take place September 11-13 at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a hot minute from Joshua Tree National Park. A pass for the whole festival is a cool $62, which includes camping fees. That shit sounds way nicer than hanging out next to some granola dude noodle-dancing in the mud in Tennessee.
Aside from the lineup, which includes Cracker, Built To Spill, Quasi, Citay, and Brant Bjork & The Bros, Camper Van Beethoven is celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band. Holla. For more information, check out the Cracker website.
Thursday, September 11:
- David Lowery & Johnny Hickman (acoustic duo-set)
- Greg Lisher, Victor Krummenacher, and Jonathan Segel
Friday, September 12:
- Camper Van Beethoven
- Built To Spill
- The Dangers
Saturday, September 13:
- Brant Bjork and The Bros.
- McCabe and Mrs. Miller
- Jonathan Segel
- Hod Hulphers
- Kenny Margolis Band
Abe Vigoda Tours, The Term “Tropical Punk” Still Conjures Mental Images of Tattooed Hipsters with Malaria
Let me make this clear. Abe Vigoda, the California foursome so often referred to as “tropical punk,” is on tour, not Abe Vigoda, America’s favorite caterpillar-browed thespian. Well, maybe Peter Gallagher is more your style. Either way, this is about punk rock, not eyebrows.
Abe Vigoda (the band) will be trekking across a fine chunk of the USA this autumn, including a brief California jaunt with none other than Vampire Weekend, the group everyone loves to love but then hate when everyone loves them then love again because everyone hates them now and you need to keep yourself separated from the pack and so on and so forth. But as we saw in the inscrutable Abe Vigoda (the actor) vs. Peter Gallagher debate, all that shit doesn’t matter except for the fact that Abe Vigoda is a rad punk band that you should probably see on its current U.S. tour.
Dead City Waste Wilderness:
$ Vampire Weekend
# Diplo, Telepathe, Boy 8 Bit
The Rap Game, Part 26 in a Continuing Series:
A Day in the Life of Master P
After years of toiling under a moniker, struggling to find the credibility incapable with just a title and a letter, Master P seeks something more, something deeper, something prestigious. We enter into the life of the Master in a scene of heartbreak...
A Fortune 500 company, a floor higher than level 25, a department where the men are separated from the boys. Percy Miller waits patiently; he may have found the opportunity for which he has craved for so long: an office, a staff not made up of family members, friends, hangers on, and the respect of the business world at large. All that stands before him is the interview.
“Mr. Johnson will see you now, Mr. Master.”
Master P enters the office, brimming with confidence, sure of his future.
“Hello, Mr. Johnson.”
“Hello, Mr. ... P?”
“We’ve had a chance to go over your resume, and let me just say that we are quite impressed. You truly seem to be a man with goals and the drive to reach them. What you lack in formal education and training, you more than make up for with your ability to create your own opportunities. You seem adept at tapping into trends and exploiting them. Overall, you seem to be a great candidate for the job.”
“Thank you, Mr. Johnson. As I always say: No future but what we make for ourselves.”
“An excellent philosophy. However, we do have one, quite large, ‘problem.’ We can’t hire you until you have a last name. Our organization refuses to refer to anybody by just a letter, and we can’t write checks to pseudonyms. I’m sorry.”
Sad from the defeat, Master P later that night addresses Lil Romeo and the No Limit Army; "I'm changing my name, because Master P is who I used to be. I call it my childhood, and P. Miller marks my manhood... People grow mentally and spiritually through life experiences."
And that is how Master P grew mentally and spiritually into P. Miller.
Ian Mackaye and the boys over at Dischord Records have launched a DRM-free digital music store, which offers most of their catalog in 320 Kbps MP3 format. The store has nearly everything that comes to mind, including releases from the label's Dischord, Northern Liberties, Peterbilt, and Fugazi Live Series categories, with more rare and possibly unreleased material to come.
Along with digital downloads, the site continues to offer releases on LP, CD, and DVD. Everything is extremely affordable, with standard CDs and LPs going for about $10 and downloads going for a mere $7. The best part of it? Every 12-inch vinyl purchase comes with a free digital download of the album so you can listen to it before the record gets shipped to your house.
Now, excuse me while I purchase me some Red Medicine.