I'm drunk, which is why it's a good time to write about the Thrones/Growing tour, which also apparently features Wolf Eyes on same dates. But I acstuallyu should've started this like an hour ago. I wa s much more drunk!! But now it's too late. I had this sweet cajun burger and shoestring fries with lotsa beer. it was grea,t but i felt kinda sick afteward. Now i'm writing this story, trying to salvage what drunkness i can. It' skinda pathetic. (Even more pathetic that this'll actually get published!! i feel like i could write anything, like that Merzbow story. I'm kinda undermining the editorial staff aren't i?)
So yo yo there's a story I sholud be talking about, and it's the story of Thrones. It's also the story of Growing. Together, they are growing thorns that attack as you sleep! Oh my god, look out brother!! AHHH!!! What's with the nane Wofl Eyes anyway? Cnat' tell if it's supposed to be a tounge-in-cheek name or if they actually they think it's a cool name. Honestly, i think it's one of the worst names EVER. But fuck it. Your name sucks too. What is it, Steve? Lame.
I'm tired. Okahy, next time i'm going to get reaaaaally drunk, and i'll hvae some other staffers get drunk with me. And we'll have a day of drunk news stories! what do you think readers!? funny or hwat?! Maybe it's a waste of time. Mabye writing about music is a waste of time. JK dude!! Hmm, i should end this with some kind of joke... let's see. .................. . . . . . . . ok. Got one.
Q: What's green and whistles when it walks?
A: Bloc Party.
Wait, tha'ts not funny. And it doen'st make sense. Okay, here's another one:
Q: How can you tell a penis from your palm?
A: Bloc Party.
[Music stops, audience applauds]
Wow! What an audience tonight, you guys are all right! We've got a great show, great show for everyone tonight! Okay, everyone settle down. Settle down, indoor voices. Actually, you know, why doesn't everyone just shut up?
I'm serious. I'm not shouting over you, not again. You want these jokes? I'm not up here whistling dixie, let's get our acts together.
[Silence, man coughs]
Hey! But let's have some fun! Right Mark?
[Band leader laughs and nods]
Okay, quiet fun... So Congress is in the news and -- no, this doesn't feel right. It's not going to be funny now. I, I, I blame you. Yeah, some audience. I wanted to come out here, tell you some jokes, but obviously you didn't want that, did you? I do this every night, no one's ever had a problem. Last night, the fabulous Mariska Hargitay was on from Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday nights at 10/9 central on NBC; she told a delightful story about dealing with her kids, and that audience didn't fly off the handle!
Look, okay, let's just get through this. I know it's not going to be funny now, but whatever. I don't even really remember it now, but fine. You don't even deserve the punchline anyway.
So Congress is in the news. It's true. They just passed a non-binding resolution against President Bush's troop surge. The President responded by, uh, he said... this is what he said, he goes, "No binding, that's going to fall apart just like my planned troop surge!" That's uh, dammit.
[Rim shot, audience boos]
Oh screw you! You had to be there, okay? It was funny if you saw it! It's your fault. Don't like the joke, it's on your heads. Yeah, fine, let's take these idiots to commercial. But hey! We've got a wonderful show for you tonight! Ernest Borgnine is here for some reason, as is Julianne Moore. Later, indie-folk-man wordsmith Richard Buckner is here to play for you and talk about his recent album Meadow. You can catch him on tour next month starting right here in New York.
We'll be right back:
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I Guess LCD Soundsystem Will Just Have To Learn To Be Satisfied With The Sound Of Silver, But Seriously, Guys, Let?s Shoot For The Sound Of Gold Next Time
Alright, listen up! James Murphy (you know, the guy from DFA that made it cool for uncool people to dance, which made it cool, I think? Has someone got a flowchart?) has stuffed the new LCD Soundsystem LP firmly into his release tube and is ready to fire it all over the world. Ooh, I'm so excited just thinking about it!
Recorded at a farm in New York, The Sound of Silver apparently finds LCD Soundsystem further expanding their sonic palette, taking their experimental impulses to wild new places, but also firmly establishing themselves as a singularly great pop group. Here, pulsing beats, abstract funk, crystal melodies, and towering walls of sound combine to create a sound genuinely like no other. Alright, I got that bit off the press release. Sue me. It features performances from the LCD Soundsystem live members, including Pat Mahoney, Tyler Pope, and Nancy Wh?
I can do this! I can do this.
Nancy Whang. There you go.
Clever lead-in joke to the tracklisting:
Glasses Are Useful, A Short Play by Heidi Vanderslice (Alternate Title: The Constantines Are, Like, Touring or Something)
Setting: The Warsaw Club, Brooklyn, watching The Constantines
Characters: Myself, my +1 Jess
Jess [surveying the stage]: Where's the cute one? Where'd he go?
HV: Jess, they're twins.
Jess: No, they're not. No, they're not. That one's cuter.
HV: He can't be cuter. They're twins. [starting to feel like she's in the Chris Kattan/Jimmy Fallon SNL sketch where they score dates with twins, and the Rachel Dratch twin has a baby doll arm growing out of her head]
Jess: Hey, little dude, I swear, I like that one better.
HV: [gesturing wildly] You're not wearing any fucking glasses!
Jess: Yes, I am. Oh. No, I'm not. Fine. [Puts on her glasses] Oh. They're both pretty cute. [Pointing at stage] Heyyy! Heyyy.
HV: I need another drink.
Brooklyn Lager goes well with these dates, but you might have troubles finding it, eh?:
Please don't run away:
Rough Trade! Beggars Group! Tommy Boy! Ministry Of Sound! Epitaph! Cooking Vinyl! With Your Powers Combined… I AM MERLIN!!!
This past weekend, at the yearly, international MidemNet music marketing forum, a new mega-superhero was born. Near the sunny beaches of Cannes, the world caught its first glimpse of the mysterious being known as Merlin. Uniting some of the most formidable independent labels in the music world, the London-based organization will combine the special powers of each affiliated record company to form a whole far more fearsome than the sum of its parts.
Meet the Recordteers:
- Rough Trade... packing the punch of tight pants-wearing Eurotrash everywhere!
- Beggars Group... encompassing every hip record label ever to exist!
- Tommy Boy... bridging the gap between classics like De La Soul and crap like Jock Jams within a single roster!
- Ministry of Sound... clinging bravely to extinct genres of electronic music with the strength of 10 DJs!
- Epitaph... providing the soundtrack to half-assed adolescent rebellion throughout suburbs everyhere!
- Cooking Vinyl... housing bands like Hanson and The Prodigy, who might as well have stopped existing 10 years ago!
Apparently when all six labels put their unique rings (Epitaph's has a li'l spike on it; Tommy Boy's is predictably iced out) together, a big green dude in tights flies out of them. That's Merlin, and he works to even the playing field for (large, successful) independent labels! Dubbed the fifth major and helmed by Chris Caldas, Merlin will represent the companies in digital licensing deals. He's already made friends with SNOCAP -- which is not a new club drug endorsed by those crazy Ministry of Sound kids. It's actually the company that represents MySpace, and the deal will give Merlin artists access to partnerships with the social networking site and other, less important Snocap partners.
Label reps leaving MidemNet were quoted as singing:
Fuckin' Merlin, he's our hero,
Gonna take the majors down to zero,
He's our rosters magnified,
And he's fighting on the indie side!
Hear what Merlin has to say:
"THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL LICENSING AND OTHER BUSINESS SHIT IS YOURS!!!"
I am looking out my window right now at one of the busiest intersections in the city. I see 12 cars in two left-hand turning lanes waiting for the light to flash green. I count only four with turn signals blinking in wait. Deep down, I think these non-signalers believe they are being a little rebellious in their driving. Can I be witnessing the start of a revolt against the rules of the road? Will this lead to a complete abolition of traffic restrictions, by-laws, and warnings and the beginning of a more humane relationship between drivers and pedestrians, where slowing down is natural and traveling by motor vehicle will require a new set of communication aides using eye contact, nods, gestures, and (seriously) kindness? Could traffic be our new target of "the war on...," like drugs or obesity or jealousy before it? Have I had too much coffee this morning?
History's political revolutionaries (and perhaps traffic pioneers too... I really don't know) are much more lauded than their musician equivalents. But sure enough, these freedom fighters exist and are carrying out their subversive missions right under our noses to little acclaim from society at large.
Canada's leading electronic hell-raiser Tim Hecker has quietly shown himself to be a realistic rebel with release after release of disorienting abstract and ambient sounds. They may not be the equal to those of grand radicals such as Moses, Robespierre, Jefferson, Bonaparte, Gandhi, Lenin, Tse-tung, Perro, and the like, nor are they like the cities of Ejby in Denmark, Ipswich in England, and Ostende in Belgium, which have implemented some of the "traffic calming" practices described above, but Hecker's efforts have effectively constructed change and spread basic truths throughout the musical word, and that's not something to scoff at.
It's small-scale stuff, but it's a hell of a lot more than the do-nothings do! Montréal label Alien8 Recordings is re-releasing Hecker's 2003 super-acclaimed-but-long-out-of-print set Radio Amor today. Growing stature and popular demand would dictate an expanded deluxe reissue, but Radio Amor will appear without any bells or whistles, buttons, or lick-me temporary tattoos. Nope, it is just the wonderful album now made more readily available for fans and friends to reacquaint themselves with and for new audiences to discover.
Hecker does perform live from time to time, but it is a rare treat. Rumor has it that there will be a show in April at Tonic in NYC featuring Hecker with fellow revolutionary forces Phill Niblock and Mario Diaz de León. Best keep your eyes peeled for details and date.
Radio Amor, again:
1. Song of the Highwire Shrimper
2. (They call me) Jimmy
4. I'm Transmitting Tonight
5. 7000 Miles
6. Shipyards of la Ceiba
7. Careless Whispers
8. The Star Compass
9. Azure Azure
10. Trade Winds, White Heat
TMT is sympathetic. We know you have been balls deep in Christmas-spending spirit for months, so the last thing you want to hear is news about potential purchases. We also know what complete consumer behemoths you all are, so we feel it is our duty to fuel your insatiable inner spendthrift gluttons and tell you that GM have hooked up with XM Satellite to offer, what they say is, a compelling deal. It supposedly went down like this:
[The scene is at GM HQ. A conference call is happening.]
Steve Cook [EVP of Automotive at XM]: "So Rick, what do you think about partnering up and offering XM in some models this year?"
Rick Lee [GM Executive Director]: "Well we've had good luck over the years, but we are always looking for new ideas to grab new car buyers. Satellite radio is hot right now, and we need something big this year. We need something that still shows why we are the best."
Lee's Suckup PA: "Best in the West! Um, the East too..."
Lee: "Uh, yeah... Anyway, where was I there? We need something big this year. As far as marketing it goes, we've always had success with our Chevy ads. America can't get enough of real-life images with a soundtrack of non-threatening, middle of the road, bright-white rock by Bob Seger and John (Cougar) Mellencamp. We definitely will have to throw in some sort of patriotic heartstring-pulling campaign to go along with it."
Cook: "Great. I'm sure we can come up with something super-duper!"
Suckup (rambling): "...North and South too I guess..."
Lee: "Ok, what do you say we go for 1.8 million vehicles? And I'll start right this instance on the advertising."
[Lee presses button on desk and half a wall recedes, exposing Bob Seger sitting on a backwards chair looking intently at a Rubik's Cube, while John Mellencamp dances around flicking watermelon seeds at Seger's greying mullet.]
Lee: Boys, boys!!! Hey, over here! Yeah, that's right, over HERE! Listen up you two... we don't pay you for horsin' around, now…"
Suckup: "Yeah, you heard Mr. Lee... no horsing around! You dick-lices."
Lee (rolling eyes): "Alright. We love what your commercial songs have done for our Chev truck line, so we thought we might pick your brains about an idea we have for partnering up with XM Satellite."
Seger: "A satellite? Where are they going to put that?!? My satellite takes up half the friggin' back porch. Mind you, I do like my Larry the Cable Guy.
Lee: "Bob... any thoughts?"
Seger (elsewhere): "He, he... 'Get ‘er done'... he, he..."
[Frisbee sails into Lee's face, bloodying the corner of his mouth.]
Mellencamp: "Hey, gimme back my fuckin' Frisbee man! C'mooooooon! I got that fuckin' Frisbee in Louisville."
The Seeg (crooning): "My America... includes Louisville, Jacksonville, Lafayette Ville, Doggerville, Villeville..."
Cougar (reaching desperately for frisbee): "Don't you take Louisville for your song. Louisville is mine. That's where I got my frisbee! Give it baaaaaack!"
Lee (giving back frisbee to Mellencamp while he tussles his hair): "There you are kiddo. Now listen, we really need to inject some life into our new oh-eights this year. Sedan sales are the shits."
Seger: "Sedaaans... ooh la la... look who's hawkin' freakin' sedans now! I can't write a song for a sedan company! Trucks. Trucks! TRUCKS! Trucks and 8-tracks, what else do you need?"
JayCeeeM: "Yeah, my kin won't go anywhere unless we're in a truck! Ask 'em. Teddy Jo, Justice, Hud, Speck, the twins Choate and Scrote, and Queenie Beth Skoal Bandit travel in style, in the back on the flatbed on air mattresses."
Lee: "Cool down you two. We're planning on spreading the offer to 50 of our GM models. Trucks included."
Mellancoog: "Do you know what C-H-E-V-R-O-L-E-T stands for? 'Cheap, Hardly Efficient, Virtually Runs On Luck Every Time'!!! Hahaaaaaaa!"
Secretary (taking dictation and smiling): "Oh you..."
Mellencamp: "You like that one? I got a million of ‘em. All the people on my tourbus think I'm the funniest person they ever met. Fer sure."
Cook (trying to make his voice heard): "Uh."
Lee: "Boys! Boys! Any thoughts?"
Seger: "Well, let me noodle a bit. Mi, mi, mi... myyy. Myyyyy A-merica..."
JCM (playing the exact same chord sequence as Segar): "Myyyyy A-merica..."
Seger: "Hey man!!! He's stealin' my tune!"
Cougar Mellencamp: "America... is Like a Rock..."
Seger: "Oh no, you did not!"
Lee (interupting Cook): "Jesus H. Crispies! Will you two knock it off!"
Mellen to the Camp: "...stumbling out the door / Like a Rock / falling on the floor..."
Lee: "Alright Johnny…time for bed little one."
Johnny Cougar: "Fuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkk yooooooooooouuuuuuuuu…I'm a big boy now! Maaan! I don't want to go to bed! Tits, no, I won't go!"
Lee: (consoling Mellencamp and nodding to Seger to follow him into their hidey house behind the wall): "I know, I know... you're a big boy now."
JCM: "Tits! Titstitstits!!! Hahahahaha... tiiiiittttttsssssssszzz."
Lee (handing a slumbering 'Camp into Seger's arms and whispering): "Bob? Anything?"
Seger: "Nah. Leave it with me for a bit, and I'll come up with something for yas."
[Door slams shut and wanders back to his desk, sighing deeply.]
Cook: "Jesus, how the hell do you put up with that? Why do you even keep them around?"
Lee: "Ugh, they had some kind of crazy contract clause and we had to give in. Plus, Beavis and Butthead in there have made our company a ton of cash."
Suckup: "Beavis and Butthead! Hahaha... you've still got it Boss!"
Lee: "Uh, yeah. Anyway, as a I was saying, we really need something that says we're hip to the scene (aside to secretary... 'Did I say that right'?) and we have some history with XM when we introduced satellite in our Sevilles and Devilles a couple of years back. It's not like we're not going to do something original or use an idea that isn't stolen, even if it is from ourselves. Am I right or am I right?"
Suckup: "Right as rain, Big Guy!"
Cook: Well then, I think we're done here. Are we going to go with a free three-month trial period on all factory-installed models with XM?
Lee: "You know it!"
[Later, at a joint press conference.]
Lee: "This announcement continues to demonstrate General Motors' commitment to providing XM Satellite Radio services to our new vehicle buyers. This, coupled with our August announcement to lower the option price of factory-installed XM to $199, supports our effort to offer XM Satellite Radio to more customers (suckers...)."
Cook: "General Motors has been instrumental in growing our business by introducing millions of car buyers across the nation to the extraordinary content of XM Radio. XM has been focused on the new car market since inception and GM has led the way for the industry. It is exciting to see GM driving the installation of XM into significantly more cars and trucks as a means to differentiate and enhance the appeal of their vehicles (suckers...)."