O, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone! How I once laughed at your band
name and assumed that you were some emo wuss unworthy of my
That all changed one day in college, when I heard your song "I Have
Mice" and realized your life and mine were inextricably intertwined. Truly, we are fellow travelers in this world of scummy kitchens and renegade rodents.
As I lay awake in my crumbling, infested Baltimore rowhouse, I took
solace in your song, heartily identifying with those wrenching
lyrics: "Sometimes at night I watch the mice across the kitchen floor/
I used to think that they came from the fireplace/ But they come in
under the pantry door/ They get so close I could touch them all."
Amen, man. A-FUCKING-MEN. We used to think that they came in from
the pantry, but they came in from behind the oven.
Slowly, all of my roommates grew obsessed with the song. One of us
went so far as to make a mouse's eye view music video for the
song and turn it in for a film class. I should mention that I really
wanted to include that video in this article, but the auteur has
decided that it's not up to his high standards of excellence and will
not allow me to post it. He got what the kids called "a gentleman's
C" in that class. I'm sure Casiotone himself, reportedly a film-school dropout, would understand.
These days, I'm more into "Don't They Have Payphones Wherever You Were Last Night" (can I get another AMEN????) from 2006's Etiquette (Tomlab), but "We Have Mice" earned Mr. Casiotone a permanent place in my heart.
I would tell you all about how I also identify with certain songs by
tour headliners Xiu Xiu (who will continue to play shows after the Casiotone stint), but I'm afraid that would scare the shit out of you.
I used to think that they were touring in Europe, but they're actually
touring in the United States:
Barbaro is dead. Multiple fractures in his right hind leg meant multiple operations over the past eight months and resulted in multiple broken hearts from wannabe horse whisperers and shifty bookies throughout the land. Before you think the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner was put down by a cruel ownership conglomerate (Barbaro: "Oh c'mon bosses, you can't do this!" / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me, Barbaro?" / Barbaro: "Uh, I won the fucking Kentucky Derby, ass-wads." / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me lately???"), this sort of thing unfortunately happens all too often with suffering horses. The three-year-old colt whinnied for the last time on January 29 after continually failing to recuperate from shattering his leg at the Preakness Stakes last year. Not all lame horses have to be put down (one even went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich), but given Barbaro's devastating injury and subsequent ailments resulting from the broken leg, there was no choice in the matter.
But just as "every time a door closes, another opens," every time a horse gets euthanized another four take its place. Or something like that. Stunned into action by the recent news of its fellow equine's demise, Chicago's quartet of strong studs and fiery mare, The Ponys, have announced the imminent arrival of a new album called Turn the Lights Out on March 20. It is the band's third album and first for Matador Records, who wisely signed the skuzz-rock muckers back in September. Turn the Lights Out was recorded by John Agnello (The Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio.
It's all in the breeding:
It was a grim scene at Drag City headquarters on Sunday night. Rather than the usual Super Bowl festivities, which have been known to include free barbecue, festive door prizes, and the occasional Bill Callahan keg stand, the group simply stared awkwardly at the TV, not knowing quite what to say. Not even Ben Chasny's book of football-themed Mad Libs could lighten the mood.
You see, since childhood, Will Oldham has harbored dreams of performing live at the Super Bowl Halftime show. In years past, there has always been something to prevent him from really having a go at it -- a tour here, a new album there -- but this year was his big chance. And when the Super Bowl Halftime Selection Committee announced it would be seeking an artist with the name "Prince," he knew it was 2007 or never. He fought valiantly, practicing for hours a day and trying to choreograph his show with a full marching band and pyrotechnics display -- even exposing his tasseled breast to an worldwide audience -- but in the end it just wasn't enough. As many of you know, the slot eventually went to Prince (although Prince Paul put up an impressive attempt as well).
Oldham was left with two choices: give up and let this setback get the better of him, or take all of that pent-up Super Bowl energy and unleash it throughout a series of European shows. Thankfully for the rest of us, he chose the latter. And don't quote me on this, but you might look for The BPB to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at this year's NBA Finals.
Cheer up, Will:
And when he should return across the pond, all will be aware of his presence. Housewives shall shirk all duties in favor tawdry sexual affairs with tall boys in glasses. The working class shall revolt against the voyeuristic upper class. The lanky shall triumph over the muscular. The evils of matching furniture sets will be exposed. More books shall be read. Skeletons will rise and terrorize the Wild West. The common man is forewarned that the fat children will take to the streets, going on violent rampages of theft and mastication.
Jarvis will be released in America on April 3; a brief American tour will follow. Repent, ye sinners! Or perhaps those who have not yet sinned enough.
Check out the following testimony taken from Deerhunter's MySpace page:
"Tonight I saw your group in Nashville. Please, STOP MAKING (what might be concieved as) MUSIC! You have no melodies, there was no songwriting skills involved, lack of chord structures, AND your songs are pathetically too long. It's an embarassment you opened for the yeahyeahyeahs. I turned my back to your group after 2 songs...and I remainded that way until your wannabe art student asses left. I would tell everyone I know not to see you...but it looks as if your front man is about to die. Seriously, get that half-ass man some help. You try to pull off this "shock and awe" pretentious bull-shit and its horrible! Iggy Pop, Velvet Underground, and Black Flag, all used some "shock and awe" BUT they had the MUSIC to back it up! You guys need to either quit for a year or learn how to play your damn intruments! I felt raped of my money tonight. I was ashamed to even play music because you guys are on this earth. I've seen over 100 shows in my life and I've seen bad, believe me, but you guys take the cake.Everyone around me was also disgusted. Stop, please just stop. If I see your flier in my town, I will take it down, if you are booked anywhere within a state of me I will publically speak and tell people not to go. You are a pile of shit in this "thing" we call the music business. Go get a job. Fuckin' wannabe's man....fuckin wannabe's. In the words of a brilliant band called Travis..."Peace the fuck out!" -Pissed and ashamed"
Now check out Paul Haney's TMT review here.
Somebody's wrong. Has to be. Either way, Deerhunter are about to head out on a newly announced tour. Is I going? Maybe, maybe. But one thing is almost certain: you are. Deerhunter's latest release is the hottest thing since Deerhoof's latest release, so if you're not actually there, then shit b, you're well on your way to losing some friends and family. Don't worry though; they're the ugly ones, and no one likes ugly people. In fact, I hate ugly people. "Does that mean you hate yourself?" Shut up, leave me alone. You're stupid.
After experiencing delays last year, The Social Registry is set to release Gang Gang Dance's experimental film Retina Riddim May 22. What was once only a DVD release now boasts a companion 25-minute audio CD of remixed goodness, which is partly to blame for the delay. The other reasons? The original title (Twin Peaks: The Second Season) and plot (who killed Laura Palmer?) were apparently already taken. HAHAHAHHAHAH!!!!
According to Jim at The Social Registry, Gang Gang Dance "are currently working hard on their next full-length. And possibly they will be heading out on tour around the time of the DVD release." Which really means GGD has completed recording their new album and they'll definitely be touring in support of Retina Riddim around its release. You heard it here first.
Oh, them wacky Sheffeild boys are at it again, making music and wooing girls all over the world with their dashing good looks. Yep, that's right, kids, Arctic Monkeys are the coolest thing from the North Pole to hit the internet since Club Penguin. It seems that being named the Best British Band by the NME has gone to the band's head, as now they have opted to release a new record on their uber-hip label, Domino.
The new album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, is set to be UNLEASHED upon the world (oh, okay, on North America) April 23. The disc will be preceded by a single, "Brianstorm" (not sure if that's as clever as I think it's supposed to be), on April 17. If I could come up with something clever to say about that, I would. However, I can't, so here's the fancy-dancy tracklisting thing which really means nothing until you've heard the songs anyway:
The European Union recently announced that it expects to re-examine the Sony BMG merger and make a decision regarding its legality by March 1. Thanks to the independent, non-profit trade association Impala, a European court last year controversially threw into question the validity of the 2004 Sony BMG merger after Impala lobbied the EU. And now, because of Impala's efforts, either Sony BMG will either continue as a merged company (boo) or a potential four-month long probe will be launched, with a possible merger break-up.
"We have been contributing to the Commission’s investigation and will continue to do so, to ensure that the problems identified by the court are properly resolved," said Impala and Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills in a statement. "This is essential for artists and music fans alike."
Of course, parent companies Sony Corp. and Bertlesmann don't want to upset their stockholders by waiting passively with their thumbs wiggling oh-so-gently up their mothers' smellholes, so they reworded and resubmitted their merger application to European Union regulators, with a slight spray of Jacques Polge's Coco Mademoiselle perfume for good measure. And despite any indifferent aloofness you might detect from the other majors, you can bet your sweet, sexy hips that they're very much concerned with the verdict.
1993 saw the World Trade Center bombing, the super-sad killing of toddler James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys in Liverpool, England, a massive blizzard which paralyzed parts of the eastern U.S., the deaths of GG Allin and André the Giant, and of River Phoenix and his possible supplier (in a roundabout way), Pablo Escobar, the bizarre 51-day stand-off/raid at a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, the even more bizarre Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt partial penis fiasco and its influence on a generation of stand-up comedians and rappers, and too many unfortunate natural disasters and senseless massacres to mention.
There were loads of less-shocking events too: the first time Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in some name or form, was observed in every state in the United States. The "Velvet Divorce" between the Czech Republic and Slovakia finally happened, as did the "Velour Divorce" between Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced us to the real "beautiful sport." Man, sorry to backtrack but can you believe Bonet and Kravitz are no longer together? That truly is catastrophic. I'm still in mourning. They had an unbreakable bond, with a passion and a love that was timeless, haunting and beautiful, like, a thousand storybook romances in one. Sigh... 1993 also saw the first blush of Beck's recording career. And Bush's (the band). The Fresh Prince still recorded music, as his "Boom! Shake the Room" told the story of a young man and his struggle to shake the room with his boom-boom. America caught the "Cyrus virus" and the Spin Doctors gave frat boys the chance to soundtrack their GHB-fueled gang-bang keggers with the sound of pockets full of kryptonite. Ah, them be simpler times.
Alright, I'll give the nonsense a break for once (I can't believe I just quickly glossed over the serious and catastrophic events above in favor of pop-culturing the shit out of this story like mentioning the Bonet/Kravitz divorce, twice!). Nah, for many of our lovely, loyal readers, 1993 marks the year gods Erik Claridge, John McEntire, Sam Prekop, and Archer Prewitt came together to form their "side-project" The Sea and Cake. Separately, all four members keep busy enough to make Van Gogh seem about as productive as 'Dude' from The Big Lebowski, but together, as The Sea and Cake, they have made us wait for new material longer than we would normally consider acceptable. We may be a trifle too eager, but since 2003, we have had to make do with repeated listens to the group's six wonderfully blissful indie-rock albums while surfing their website in hopes of updates other than reports of a "new kelly-green tee" and a forum that has forever been "coming soon." That just ain't frequent enough for us Ritalin kids! After a year or two's worth of new record whispers and rumors, we can confirm that the seventh Sea and Cake album will be out May 8, contains 10 Brian Paulson-produced songs, is being put out by Thrill Jockey, and is called Chinese Democ, um, Everybody. Make 2007 a year to remember because of The Sea and Cake. And only because of The Sea and Cake.
Hold Steady Tour for Boys and Girls in Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, England, etc., and Oh Yeah, America
The price of fame for The Hold Steady took the form of a hipper-than-thou crowd in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago, a crowd appalled at the possibility of beer soiling their immaculate Urban Outfitters threads, but not too proud to sip Pabst Blue Ribbon out of the can. Explain that one to me. Anyway, as my companions and I received dirty looks for screaming along to "Massive Nights" after a beer or five, the truth dawned on me. The $100 tickets on Craigslist suddenly made sense. Well, wouldn't you know it folks, people read music magazines! Especially One That Shall Not Be Named and decide that they just MUST check out this band, even if they hate beer and ecstatic drunken crowds and the boozy resurrection of classic rock. Oh, wait. I just described a Hold Steady show. Please go away and daintily sip your $5 beer where the word "daintily" is actually part of the territory. Thank you.
Love 'em or hate 'em, 2006 was a Hold Steady kinda year, as they showed up on a ton of best-of lists and landed their mugs on Letterman. In a few weeks, they'll be bringing the killer party across the pond and converting European crowds with a single power chord. Sweet.
Back in time for Spring Break 2k7, y'all!: