Indies Call Emergency Meeting to Discuss Impala’s Support of Warner Music Group’s Potential EMI Takeover
Last week, the media was buzzing about indie trade group Impala's support of a potential EMI acquisition by Warner Music Group. Indies supporting majors? I guess! In addition to heavyweights like Beggar's Group (Matador, 4AD, Too Pure, XL, etc.), Cooking Vinyl, !K7, and Tiny Mix Tapes U.K. Edition, Impala also lists The Association of Independent Music (AIM) as one of its members, another indie trade group from the U.K. that evidently also boasts Beggars Group, Cooking Vinyl, !K7, and maybe even TMT U.K., too (wink).
Since the announcement, however, two members have announced their intentions to leave AIM because of its support of Impala's support of WMG's intentions to support EMI with a takeover bid, which is a support system these former AIM supporters can't support. Do you know what this means? EMERGENCY MEETING TIME!! AIM has convened an "emergency" board meeting for this week to vote on AIM's position on this hot topic, and you my friend, are invited.*
The first member to leave AIM was Ministry of Sound. Although hardly known in the U.S., MoS is actually the largest indie label in the U.K., so its intentions to split with AIM isn't being taken lightly. MoS was "shocked and outraged" that it was not consulted about the decision and read this cute little poem to the media:
As far as we are concerned IMPALA support appears to have been bought by Warner in order to avoid the costly legal implications of another long winded merger investigation by the European Commission. On top of that we believe that any concessions made by Warner are in effect rhetoric and in reality impossible to enforce on a day-to-day operational basis. The music industry is a very fast moving business and should Warner choose not to honour its commitments, recourse through litigation is impractical, slow and too expensive for any independent to undertake.
The second member to announce its intentions to leave AIM is independent music firm Gut. Yep, Gut. There are several sources claming as many as half a dozen other members are considering leaving too, although AIM suggests most of its members support AIM's support of Impala's support of WMG's intentions to support EMI with a takeover bid.
The meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday in London. If you're a major label tycoon, you should consider protesting. Fuckin' G8 summit up in this.
* You may or may not be invited.
The Blow To Whoosh Across Austria, Glide Through Spain, Waft Through France, Flutter Through Germany, Discharge All Over Sweden
In the interest of upholding this site's staggeringly unbiased journalism practices, I'd like to humbly mention that The Blow's Paper Television sucks. Her voice sounds too confident, the lyrics are too cutesy, and the beats are dead-on-arrival. And let me tell you, this comes on good authority; I own a Blow t-shirt. It's got disembodied hands crawling up the chest, partially covering my Blow-loving bosom. Furthermore, the last track on their Bonus Album was the cause of quite a stir during my formative years (yes, my formative years were less than four years ago), so don't think I'm a hater of da music, either.
The last track, "Little Sally Tutorial," is simply Khaela Maricich giving instructions on how to properly play the schoolyard game, "Little Sally Walker." I had never heard of the game, since my childhood was centered around avoiding balls being thrown to me in gym class, so I was thoroughly excited to be given the go-ahead to "do that thing" with some of my closest friends. Unfortunately, my closest friends were uninterested in both "Little Sally Walker" and The Blow in general. It wasn't until one magical night that we spent hours upon hours at a local drinking establishment that their minds began to change. Sufficiently drunk, I lured them back to my place like a common pedophile and put on the tutorial. Irritated groans gave way to excited giggles as we formed into a circle and let Khaela (and Phil Elverum!) guide us in humiliating ass thrusts. So yeah. I like The Blow, but not Paper Television.
And that's how I spent my summer vacation.
Sweden must be this year's Canada. Nowadays, people (including you) can't seem to get enough of the bands from this glorious country. So, get with the program (the program = Mando Diao, not that horrible '90s college football flick). Mando Diao, Sweden's best rock 'n' roll band to combine crowning vocals & angry vocals (courtesy of the band's two vocalists), non-psychedelic-Oasis tunes, and Libertines-ramshackle-urgency are coming back to the USA with their third LP on Mute Records April 24. Ode to Ochrasy, which was produced by Owen Morris (Oasis), came out last fall in most European countries, where it has already gone gold. The record finds this five-piece giving us more of what they do best: melodic, soulful, rhythmic, and intense rock songs with occasionally broken-English lyrics that are still somehow poetic, all played with abandon. Speaking of playing, the band has a spring tour lined up, beginning with an appearances at SXSW and Coachella. All post-Coachella shows will take place indoors, be with South Carolinians The Films, and won't subject attendees to desperate-to-end-you-life temperatures.
Amon (Amen, Amun, Ammon, Amoun)
Symbols: ram, goose, bull
Cult Center: Ninja Tune, Brazil
The god of Ninja Tune, Amon was shown as human. He was viewed (along with his consort Amaunet) in Brazil as a primordial creation-deity. Up to the time of the XIIth Dynasty, Amon was a Ninja Tune god of no more than local importance, but as soon as the princes of Ninja Tune had conquered their rival claimants to the rule of Brazil and had succeeded in making their city a new capital of the country, their god Amon became a prominent god in England. It was probably under that dynasty that the attempt was made to assign to him the proud position which was afterwards claimed for him of "king of the gods."
In spite of Amon's political ascension, he also enjoyed popularity among the common people of Brazil. He was called the vizier of the poor. It was said that he protected the weak from the strong and was an upholder of justice. Those who requested favors from Amon were required to demonstrate their worthiness or to confess their sins first.
Amon was represented in five forms:
1. As a man, when he is seen seated on a throne, and holding in one hand the was sceptre, and in the other the ankh
2. As a man with the head of a frog
3. As a man with the head of a uraeus (cobra)
4. As an ape
5. As a lion crouching upon a pedestal
His sacred animals were the goose and the ram, although he was never depicted as them.
Amon's Foley Room was released on March 6. The album was created from found sounds and field recordings and was packaged with a DVD documenting the process. The album went on to sell millions, causing his image as a man with a sceptre and ankh to dominate history books, for Amon was seated on the throne henceforth.
I should have written this story a lot earlier. I should have been on the ball. I should have pleased my editor. But I was drained from writing a composition for my French class. Even though I bullshitted the paper like a good student should, I'm still getting exhausted from French culture.
But then it hit me. I need to endure French culture even more. I need to be that asshole American that is better than every one else. But the catch is that I won't even get into "real" French culture. I'm just going to watch movies by Michel Gondry, listen to CocoRosie, and I will only get my car washed at the Mike's Car Wash that Gérard Depardieu works at. This should make me stick out enough without actually having to be French, right? Maybe my own pseudo assimilation of French culture will lead to a deeper impact on society. Maybe veterans will stop asking my friend, who cashiers at Target, if the company he works for is owned by France. It's time to love France. The peace starts with CocoRosie.
The CocoRosie sisters, Bianca and Sierra, have been embracing France for quite some time, as well as embracing the neo-folk community and befriending Devendra Banhart. I mean, if France is cool to CocoRosie that is le cool. The sisters have glorified French culture even more on their upcoming album by recording in Paris and working with some famous French people. I hope you can appreciate CocoRosie and France, but maybe you're just not cool enough to appreciate CocoRosie. Maybe you're so cool that you have transcended music all together, like many of us have. Well, if you ever start listening to music again, precious TMT reader (why are you reading this anyways if you transcended music?), maybe you should give CocoRosie a giant man-hug of a try this time around. And maybe you should put down those freedom fries!
The third album from CocoRosie, titled The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn, will be released on April 10 of this year. To step up the pace from their humble neo-acoustic folk beginnings, the duo went to Reykjavik and collaborated with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, who is known for his work with Björk. The album should be a departure from the other two more obscure efforts, and they are calling this one "a more self-exploitive memoir."
This album will also feature other outside collaborations, such as collaboration with renowned French artists Pierre et Gilles for the album's artwork. Michel Gondry has also directed the video for the first single "Rainbowarriors." Of course this enough to make any pretentious art boy or girl cream her pants.
The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn tracklist:
Used to be, you had to rely on the post-spring break, lunchroom ramblings of some trust-fund shit who was regularly flown around the world by his parents to "enrich his life" for the low-down on what Beijing or Athens was really like. Then came Time Out, THE hipper alternative to city listings magazines and travel guides. They didn't give all of the mystery away but at least gave you enough info to destroy any possible idea of our globetrotter classmate getting his balls felt up by some supermodel in Prague while you spent the summer "landscaping" (read: dealing pot). Now, the only thing missing from experiencing the real nuts and bolts of any given city seems to be a guided A/V tour by one of its residents.
Not any more. Deaf Dumb & Blind Communications and Time Out have devised an ingenious series of CDs/DVDs that give the eager traveller in all of us a different look at prospective destinations around the globe. The first three volumes in this series came out in October and painted life in New York, London, and Paris by Fischerspooner, Damain Lazarus, and Black Strobe respectively. The fifth installment, The Other Side of Los Angeles will be issued on May 8 and is a CD mix by Oxnard, CA's own Madlib and a DVD presented by Stones Throw Records' head honcho Peanut Butter Wolf. This will most likely be one of many Madlib-affiliated releases this year, but it will be certainly be one of the more personal. His pix 'n' mix is as follows:
The city for the sixth volume in The Other Side of... set has not been decided yet, but I have compiled my The Other Side of Ottawa (it's in Canada and it's not Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver) for consideration. It is, in my humble opinion, a mix that dumps large all over the others in this series. Thankfully for eveyone but me, this one is only an extended EP.
1. The Happy Hooker Trio - "Gimme a Smoke" (recorded live at the corner of McArthur Ave. & Montreal Rd., 4:40 a.m., Dec. 28, 2006)
2. D*v*d N*d*l*e & the Neighbors Cat - "Theme from Donair and Doritos Breath"
3. The White, Uptight Singers - "It’s Tax Time!"
4. 'Gerry' (identity concealed by court order), the Abusive Hockey Dad - "I Really DO Love
My Son, Now Get That F**king Camera Out of My Face"
5. Strip-Mall Punx - "The Government Sucks...So We're Told (A.K.A. "Sucks, This Government)"
Unbelievably, I haven't had any offers from Deaf Dumb & Blind or Time Out. Yet.
There has to be a really good reason for me to come out of the TMT Cave. Gah, my eyes! It's really bright out here in the light! It's going to be even brighter in Malibu when Califone shows up there in May. California is a bright-ass place. Will you be there when Califone is there? Will you take pictures and grin like a fool? That's what I like to do when I see Califone.
Speaking of Califone, have you seen what's happened around here since I went on hiatus? There's been nary a mention of Califone lately. Nary a mention! Can you believe it? There isn't even a review of their latest album, Roots and Crowns, which came out last fall. Last fall! I can't stop repeating myself and can you hear that high pitch in my voice?! Damn, you best get yourself a copy of that record and play it until Califone comes near your town cuz it's a damn good record, yo! It's all folky and electronicky and staticky. You know that line about shattering when you hit the water? Beautiful.
The TMT Cave is calling to me again; I'd better go before it gets pissed off. You get out in the light and see some shows, alright?
I'm totally, like, freaking out at how catty YouTube is being to indie labels right now. Like, if Beggars Group was named Warner Bros. or Sony, they'd totally get what they want from YouTube. But YouTube is all like" Whatevah!" and the indies are like "You didn' jus say dat? Tell me jus didn' say dat?"
In case you're not hip to the Laguna Beach lingo, allow the Wolf Blitzer (or if you prefer, Anderson Cooper) in me to give it to you straight: YouTube, after being goobled up by the Trapper Keeper also known as Google, struck deals with major labels to continue to host content. YouTube was happy to heave money at Warner Bros., Sony, and the Universal Music Group like Joe Neikro throwing underhanded to Barry Bonds at batting practice. However, when it comes to handling indie labels and their needs, YouTube prefers to give them the ol' Dice-K gyroball.
As I'm sure many of you know, many indie labels have joined together to form Merlin -- which was formed for just such events -- and though the newly minted licensing super agency has managed to reach deals with other services such as SpiralFrog, Merlin does not yet have the full power to force YouTube's hand by immediately pulling content. Simon Wheeler of Beggars Group, however, isn't afraid to press the issue: "If we have to take legal measures to protect our rights we will do so."
What lies next is a wait and see. The indies don't like being treated like second-class citizens, while YouTube is apparently exhausted from dropping off money bags to major label doorsteps. Hopefully in the end we get a giant finale where the spoiled rich kids and the stoner skateboarders end up hugging as a montage of season highs and lows sets the stage for a pop song and the credits.