Corporate Blob That Is EMI Vows to Suck Up “Smaller-Scale Indie Labels”; Sex Pistols Quote Seems Inappropriate Considering How Bad Their Leno Appearance Was
In what, with proper care and handling, could balloon into a full-on debate about the nature of ‘independent’ music, EMI handlers Terra Firma have, via a NY Post report, indicated that, along with other cost-cutting/profit-enhancing measures, the label plans to allocate between $100 million and $200 million for acquiring ‘smaller-scale indie labels.’
Additionaly, Terra Firma, the private equity firm that now owns EMI (TMT News), is looking to cut $223 million in expenses from the bedraggled EMI, including a $31 million slice from U.S. sales and distribution costs and a shift away from business in ‘non-strategic countries.’ The report also indicates that Terra Firma is banking on digital distribution and online marketing to pick up the money-making slack at a lower cost. Just maybe, perhaps, and with a little luck, the practice of having an A&R bro in a blazer drop bucks to schmooze the next hot young band may find itself gone the way of the dodo. Then again: There's unlimited supply.
Last night, while watching Grey’s Anatomy (shut up, you love it too), I saw an ad for the American Music Awards. Apparently this year, they’re allowing the public to vote on the winners, instead of having them chosen by a bunch of record industry bigwigs and insiders.
Sorry, AMAs, but no matter what scheme you concoct to make people pay attention to your aging award show, you’ll never match the PLUG Awards. Go ahead and keep Jimmy Kimmel as your host; all of us PLUG fans know that Conan is far superior anyway.
Err, getting back on track, the 2008 PLUG nominations are in, and it should come as no surprise to any of you that the top contenders consist of Battles and Of Montreal -- each with seven nominations.
Like voting? Enjoy democracy? Do your part — place your vote in the PLUG Awards here and let your voice be heard. The last day to vote for such categories as Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and a veritable slew of others, is February 8.
The winners will be announced at the PLUG Awards Ceremony and Concert, taking place March 6, 2008 at the new Terminal 5 venue in New York City. Maybe Jimmy Kimmel and AMA performers like Alicia Keys and Maroon 5 will even be there. Or maybe I’m just trying to find a way to connect the end of this news story to the beginning of it. Figure it out for yourself... and vote, damnit!
Band of Horses Reject Wal-Mart’s Advances, Lose Potential Cash Money, or: Ben Bridwell Kills Future Chances of Becoming a Wal-Mart Greeter When He Is Old and Grey
It was (apparently) a mix of negative fan reactions and ye good ol’ fashioned righteousness that brought Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell to kill a deal with Wal-Mart that would have released rights for the track “The Funeral” to the aforementioned Warehouse O’The Man.
Though Band of Horses did previously release some rights for Cease to Begin tracks to Ford (corporate vroom vroom), Bridwell obviously decided that selling artistic output to big, bad Wal-Mart would make TMT writers too smug in their metaphors. In other words, people like me rushing to finish a story and take the easy way out (i.e., poking fun at Bridwell’s almost-deal-with-the-devil as symbolic of modern-day corporate-American-dream-killing1).
Apparently, profiting from Ford is fine by Bridwell, since calling Ford a corporate dream-killer nowadays is far too grossly anachronistic for any history-loving, metaphor-making fan to muster.
Had this been the 1920s, that metaphor could have been more palpable. If you didn’t have a Model T.2
LONG STORY SHORT: your favorite ponies are touring, continuing to tour, and picking up ladies with sweet Model Ts, and touring, and touring:
Maybe Joy Division just didn't reach the same level of prowess in Europe (this is a lie, BTW), but for some reason, Europe is just a-clamorin' for the unique and fresh sound of Interpol in the coming months. Don't get me wrong, "Obstacle 2" appears on one of my favorite driving mixes of all time, eloquently titled "CAR JAMS," but... yeah, that's all I got.
The band has been touring for most of 2007 in support of Our Love to Admire (TMT Review), and as we previously reported (TMT News), a new toy drops during this leg: a deluxe edition of the album arriving November 19 in the UK, including a live performance disc and some of them newfangled music videos. Sheeeit.
* Blonde Redhead
Oh, and don't even think about naming your band The Interpols. Confused? Keep it tuned right here on TMT...
Yesterday, I told you guys about My Bloody Valentine's three-show reunion (TMT News). Today, I tell you what happened.
The tickets went on sale this morning. After six minutes, they were all gone. Six minutes! Not quite Hanna Montana or Radiohead, but six minutes doesn't give you a lot of time. Actually... let's see just how long six minutes is in news form. Starting right NOW, I am going to type this story within six minutes. Shouldn't be a problem.
Okay, so yeah, the shows sold out in six minutes, blah blah blah. So, due to the demand, My Bloody Valentine have added
a couple four shows. Both will be at London's Roadhouse. Shit, I wasted all my time finding a link to my old news story and the tickets being sold on eBay. FUCK! Gotta end this. Good thing I formatted the dates first!
Here are the dates:
PeliCAN melt your face, melt limestone, melt polar ice caps, melt
M&Ms in hands.
PeliCAN'T bake a soufflé without it collapsing.
PeliCAN summon Geotic demons, summon unfound courage, summon jurors.
PeliCAN'T play WOW for more than 10 minutes without getting banned.
PeliCAN infuse emotion into indie kids, infuse herbs in oil and water.
PeliCAN'T build a Lincoln Log cabin.
PeliCAN tour Europe.
PeliCAN'T play in a minor key for more than a minute.
So, you see, Pelican is a band of duality. As a veritable taijitu of
post-hardcore, they represent the balance between unbridled emotion
and... bridled emotion. Their soul-reaping intros harken to a
youthful optimism, while at the same time their extended outros
represent the failing self-efficacy of an aging population. At least,
that's what your girlfriend said last night when Jack Hanna and David
Attenborough taught her a little duality. Oh Sh1t!!!
Caw? Chirp? Snarf? Eunnnnggggh?:
Respected free-jazz trumpeter Donald Ayler died October 24 of a heart attack. The 65-year old was the brother of alto/tenor saxophonist impresario Albert, the subject of the recent documentary My Name Is Albert Ayler, which opened in Athens, Austin, Cleveland, and Winnipeg this week and is slated for DVD release sometime next year. Don Ayler performed regularly with his wily older brother and appeared on such releases as Bells (Calibre), In Greenwich Village (Impulse!), and the essential Spirits Rejoice (ESP-Disk). Don was an essential cog of his brother's group from 1965-1968 and also performed in a group with John Coltrane in 1966.
Albert's mysterious death in 1970 forced Don out of the spotlight and he popped up occasionally for features and interviews but nothing substantial. A 1981 recording from a Florence gig with a septet does exist but has been out-of-print for several years. A couple of Don's compositions were included with Albert's die-hards-only 2004 Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings 1962-1970 box set.
[Photo: Larry Fink/ICA]
When I was in grade school, baseball cards were all the rage. My friends would peel back the wrapper, pop a stick of petrified gum into their mouths, and thumb through the glossy cardboard hoping for one that would offset their subscriptions to Beckett. I never got it. My heroes didn't swing pine, they swung steel. They didn't wear cleats, they wore capes as red as the blood they spilled. That's right, I idolized not the ball player, but the toreador!
Strong, agile, mustachioed, bronzed, and dapper, the toreador is the Spanish prizefighter who out-classes all athletes. Any man can challenge another, but it takes a steadied slayer to best an agitated beast bent on goring anyone in its path.
Now, finally, I'll be able to relive those heady days spent Indian-style on my bedroom floor sorting my matador trading cards. All the greats are here: El Sloth, El Bianca Rosa, El Perdador! Unfortunately, my mother disposed of my cherished collection. Perra!
Those with less of a thirst for beauty, machismo, and tight pants than I will no doubt be more interested in the limited-edition 7-inch The White Stripes/Beck singles, with which the matador trading cards are included.
For the release of The White Stripes Spanish-tinged new single, "Conquest," the band is issuing three 7-inch records.
- On black vinyl: Side A "Conquest" Side B "It's My Fault For Being Famous"
- On white vinyl: Side A "Conquest" Side B "Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap"
- On red vinyl: Side A "Conquest (Acoustic Mariachi Version)" Side B "Cash Grab Complications On The Matter"
The White Stripes collaborated on these B-sides with Beck, who, judging by his Guerro release, also has a taste for the spicier things in life. That funky little gringo added vocals and piano to "It's Not My Fault For Being Famous," slide guitar to "Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap," and he is listed as co-producer of all three new tunes, which were recorded in his living room over sangria and a sack of gorditas.
Your matador trading cards (which happen to come with the records) will be released in the U.S. December 18.
The songs will also be available for download via iTunes.
I am a recently-divorced father of two living in beautiful Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The break-up was hard, but I am beginning to heal, and I now feel ready to introduce my fraternal twins Eleanor and Jacob to experimental music. I’m taking small steps: going to the record stop, chatting with college radio DJs, and reading avant-garde music magazines. But there are so many new bands out there that I just don’t know what to do! I have just bought an especially ironic sweatshirt and would like to wear it for a family evening on the town. What do you suggest?
--Confused in Cleveland Heights
You are in luck! Classic noise-mongers Acid Mothers Temple are back on the road, tearing up the clubs and sound systems of America on a tour this spring. And they have TONS of new releases. This could be just the event you need to get your groove back, and what do you know, they are even stopping in your town! A night with the group would be a great opportunity to teach the kids about proper earplug usage and the wild world of Japanese rock. Good luck and keep your chin up!
Donovan has a concert DVD, cleverly titled Concert: Live in L.A., coming out January 22. Guests include David Lynch, Mike Love (who I refuse to consider a member of The Beach Boys), and Astrella Celeste, better known as Donovan’s own daughter. It is 60 minutes long, will be released through Raven, and has a SKU# of MVDV4592.
In celebration, I performed a series of Wikipedia searches while listening to Donovan. Here are just some of the things I learned:
- “Donovan” is also a city in east Illinois. It is 96.30% white.
- Mello Yello was introduced with the slogan "Mello Yello - The World's Fastest Soft Drink.”
- The Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymus Bosch depicts the first known instance of a buzzing bridge on a Hurdy Gurdy (a weird kind of mechanical violin).
- “Barabajagal” doesn’t mean anything.
- Atlantis lies beyond the pillars of Heracles.
- Regular Superman gains his power from the earth’s yellow sun and is therefore more or less indistinguishable from Sunshine Superman.
- “Elevator in the brain hotel” is the most perfect possible series of five words in the English language.
- The titular “Season of the Witch” is Spring.