!!! (or chk chk chk) are a damn sexy band. And the best part? Hardly any "normal" people know who the hell they are or even how to say their name. So for simpletons with lofty ambitions of quick feet, bumping and grinding, they're the ultimate enablers. By no fault of their own, the New York City group has become the dance-punk name-drop of the moment, as The Rapture flounder and LCD Soundsystem bursts through the stratosphere. Trying to impress one of those "party" girls who might normally scoff at your pasty skin, timid demeanor and fragile frame? Just watch in awe as they can hardly contain themselves as soon as you drop some knowledge about your "all-time favorite band."
It might go a little something like this:
Pasty, Timid, Fragile Reader: Great party, eh?
Out-of-Your-League Person: OMG, I know! Don't you just love "Ay Bay Bay"? I could dance to this all night...
PTFR: Oh, is that what's playing? This isn't really my style... I usually stick with !!! and the like.
OOYLP: Excuse me? Are those real words?
PTFR: Actually, no. !!! are a band from New York City by way of Sacramento that plays pulsing and dynamic dance music. Their name is pronounced "chk chk chk" or any other combination of percussive noises, but when written out, it's spelled !!!. Edgy, right?
OOYLP: Tell me more; you're making me hot.
PTFR: Well, they're actually heading out on a tour later this month, hitting up all kinds of venues around the United States and a date in Canada. They're supporting their latest album, Myth Takes (TMT Review).
OOYLP: Oh, baby.
PTFR: Some of the songs groove so hard that you just need another body up against you.
OOYLP: Damn... do you wanna go upstairs?
It'd love to describe what happens at this point, but since this is a family-friendly site, I'm going to have to leave the rest up to your imagination. But let me just say that Myth Takes has some sexy grooves. When they come through your town, maybe you'll have someone to rub up against instead of awkwardly eyeing that stranger next to you in the front row. The bottom line? Flex this kind of tasteful prowess, and you'll be buying two tickets instead of one faster than you can say "Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)."
Bring! A! Date!:
Billy Blanks*, the inventor of Tae Bo and an influence on a national exercise fad of little-known rip-offs, is teaming up with Spank Rock on a new project. 2006's "colour/rock/rap/punk confusion" men-of-the-year Naeem Juwan and producer Alex Epton of Spank Rock have joined hands with the late-'90s exercise sensation (Billy Blanks, dude) to drop a new EP about losin' weight, gettin' drunk,' and poon ("dick" too!). Which, actually, go hand-in-hand, so it's about time someone released a beat-oriented rumination on weight-loss, alcohol consumption, and sex.
The new EP is called Beggars & Cash. MySpace will be debuting each track weekly starting September 6, culminating in an official release October 9. Not confident that Spank Rock can make great music? Just check out Fillmore's review of Spank Rock's debut album, YoYoYoYoYo here.... See, told you!
Here is the MySpace release schedule for the tracks:
September 6: "Shake That"
Septmber 13: "BOOTAY"
September 20: "Loose"
September 27: "Bitch"
* Apparently, Spank Rock isn't collaborating with Billy Blanks. He has been replaced last minute with Benny Blanco. Sorry for the mix up. Basically, the new EP is some mad tracks from producer Benny Blanco using samples from 2 Live Crew's catalog and some crazy vocal spitting by Spank Rock's Naeem Juwan. I have to admit, though, I would shake the fat right off my ass if Billy Blanks released Spank Rock exercise DVDs.
Morrissey to Tour For the Last Time in the “Foreseeable Future”; Robert Smith Cackles from Under a Bush
Moz: master of the pompadour and the sweet lamenting croon, but thankfully NOT of the “Hey let’s reunite even though we hate each other’s fucking guts, I’ll just do enough drugs with all this cash to not care” bandwagon that so many of our dearly non-departed '80s favorites have leaped upon, ripping their spandex in the process. Plenty of promoters sleazed around our boy in hopes of tempting him to get in on the action, but there will be no shows from The Smiths anytime soon. So sorry. You may go see The Cure if you wish. (I’m not so sure if I wish, but I am admittedly partial to Morrissey’s superior skills in hairstyling.)
HOWEVER! If you would like to gaze deeply into Mr. Moz’s limpid pools of angst and heartbreak without those pesky Smiths, please relocate to one of the cities listed below on the appropriate date. These venues have been specially chosen on account of their being “small and intimate,” according to a press release, “where Morrissey can see the eyes of everyone in the audience and those in attendance can be in the thick of it.” Whoa, looks like homeboy’s finally realizing the unfair amount of eyesex he’s been racking up all these years... I guess it’s time to give back.
Washed-Up Reunion Tours Give Moz a Thorn In His Side*:
*all dates with Kristeen Young
[Photo: Fabio Lovino]
Iggy Pop recently said “Like the guy in Psycho, voices tell me hello.” Now, these same voices have told me to inform you about a new Iggy Pop live CD.
This has been one mommapoopa of a year for Iggy Pop. First of all, who can forget the unparalleled triumph that was The Stooges reunion album? I don’t know about you, but I had been waiting for what seemed like my whole fucking pathetic life for someone, anyone to write a song about getting some cash out of an ATM machine. But Iggy, man, Iggy did it! And that line about his dick getting hard like a tree or something, and that line about the beer in England being warm, and that line about stinky French cheese -- man, fucking genius, like this never grows old.
In an apparent attempt to capitalize on the globe-pulping success of that album, you lucky bastards are soon gonna be able to pick up a live recording from the year that’s unanimously acknowledged to have been the most fertile of Pop’s career -- well, prior to this year. Naturally, I’m speaking of 1981, the apex of the fabled “Arista Years.” This beauty is entitled Live In San Fran 1981 and is being unleashed by MVD Entertainment Group September 18. The band includes Blondie drummer Clem Burke and former Bowie guitarist/future Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar on git, and most of the killer cuts from Iggy’s stone-cold 1981 classic Party are on here. You may also remember Party as being housed in the most totally rad artwork of the Pop’s long career. And -- as if that wasn’t enough -- the disc also contains two previously unreleased tracks from a fabled 1983 session Iggy recorded with the famously unattractive Ric Ocasek at the controls. Recordings of this session, commonly referred to by Iggy fans as “The Unheralded, Largely Forgotten and Almost Certainly Insanely Overproduced Session,” have long been coveted by pretty much next to no one.
Not as if the tracklist matters with a purchase this essential, but whatever:
Techmology is definitely killing your love of music. Don't believe me? Well, does this scenario look familiar?
First, you download the latest pre-release leak. Second, you start to listen to it after somewhere between 1 and 1000 minutes -- do people even try something like this with dial-up? -- and begin to have thoughts along these lines:
Track 1 - Wow, they've still got it.
Track 2 - Man, this one is even better.
Track 3 - A slow song? Meh.
Track 4 - Boring, I already heard this one on their MySpace.
Track 5 - This sounds like a Fiddler on the Roof outtake, "If I Were A Bored Man."
Track 6 - What, another slow one? Damn.
The remaining handful of tracks on the album don't stimulate any further music-related thoughts, and your mind has started to drift. You start watching shit like this, that, and searching for theories as to why such a jolly guy would try to do this (honestly, if "Needle In The Hay" is playing, it doesn't matter how satisfied you are with life -- all bets are off) to himself, allegedly.
Just another example of how downloading can actually murder musical passion, turning you into a soft-skulled zombie, searching out things online that the lady with the big head will be talking about later on CNN.
So, what was the point of all this? Ha, if you think there is a point, this must be your first time reading TMT. Thanks for stopping by. Now grab your Lorgnettes and check out Beirut on tour, starting September 23. Oh, and don't forget that Beirut's newest record, Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing! Records), will be available as a CD, LP, digital download, or a set of Russian stacking dolls October 8.
% Wordless Music Series
FLASHBACK: A YEARBOOK MESSAGE TO EMILY HAINES:
Wow. Senior year. So many memories. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, thank you.
1) You looked, like, perfect at prom, you are like, so beautiful.
2) LOLZ @ the mall cutting class!!!!!
3) Smoking under the bleachers WOOOO!!!!
4) Broz before hoz.
5) I hope we play in not one, but two, wildly successful Canadian indie rock bands.
P.S. I’d love to meet up and jam, Em, and maybe test forthcoming material on the open road. If, say, we got together, did a band thing, and had material to present for our fourth album. That is, after we do three other albums. Wow. High school memories are way prophetic:
Have you ever marveled at the modern world in which you live, here in 2007? Doesn't it seem like we've finally ARRIVED at the final frontier?? I mean, just look at all of the crazy, never-in-a-million-years, future shit that we've all got jammed into our houses, cars, and pockets: robot-vacuums, iPhones, LCD flatscreen televisions, navigation systems that tell us where to go, tiny MP3 players, Coke Zero... fucking ROBOT VACCUUMS, man!
Seriously. Okay, so maybe we're not hanging out in that sweet Minority Report future yet, but I'd say that we're definitely at least hanging out in Doc Brown's Hill Valley circa 2015 right about now... well, minus the flying cars part.
But have you noticed that, in just about EVERY future-fantasy designer's cinematic vision of tomorrow, one of the most telltale future-y things about the place is ALWAYS the curious over-abundance of interactive advertising? Whether it be hologram movie posters of the 19th Jaws Movie biting poor Marty McFly's head off or an on-the-lamb Tom Cruise being confronted with ironic American Express ads reading "It looks like you could use an escape, and Blue can take you there," the nightmare of encroaching capitalism seems to be a recurring and terrifying theme.
So what do you say? Don't think that we're quite there yet? Well, let me just say this to you, buddy: Where we're going, we don't need... roads.
That's right! The whacky/scary future is upon us. Fine internet video purveyor/international time-waster extraordinaire YouTube proved once and for all last week that you apparently can squeeze blood from a turnip if you just try hard enough when it unveiled its long-promised, long-awaited new advertising platform, "inVideo Ads." And there's no real mincing of words with that title, either. This in-video advertising system places semi-transparent (where I come from, we call that "translucent," but whatevs) ad "overlays" across the bottom portion of the viewer's video player for the first ten seconds of the video's overall length. If said ad isn't clicked-on within those ten, precious seconds, it vanishes like the siblings in Marty McFly's family photograph.
And now for a more in-depth explanation, brought to you by PetCo: "Where the Pets Go."
So, say you're some kind of 'roided up freak who's watching a Limp Bizkit video for inspiration. Under this new system, instead of those tedious pre-video ads that are so frustrating that make you wanna "break stuff," you'll be shown an ad for something a person like yourself might find appealing -- say, an ad for Chris Angel's Mindfreak or a Pepsi Max commercial -- while you watch your beloved music video. Those suckers, er... those consumers who click on the ads will either follow a link to a new website or launch a new video player that will run the full video ad. With this kind of demographic specificity at their disposal, advertisers can choose which videos will carry their ads, based on such target criteria as age, gender, location, and genre of video. They can't quite call you by name the way they do to poor Mr. Cruise in Minority Report yet, but god knows they're probably working on that part.
And so far, these sweet future ads seem to be paying off big-time, as they invade our privacy with the greatest of ease. Early launch partners include BMW, New Line Cinema, and of course, Warner Music Group, who is hoping to cash in on the fact that music videos account for a substantial portion of all video streams on YouTube. According to the Associated Press:
Shiva Rajaraman, product manager for YouTube, said internal tests show more than 70 percent of people give up when they see a pre-roll. By contrast, less than 10 percent decide to close an overlay, which they can exit by clicking on an "X" in a corner. The overlay format also gives advertisers more flexibility, he said, because they aren't constrained to keeping a video ad at 15 or 30 seconds to avoid defection.
And heaven knows we wouldn't want to have to "defect" from whatever aimless YouTube video we're watching to get some actual work done, now would we?
***This Just In: Snickers Really Satisfies!!!
So how does it all work? Well, The company will charge on an impression basis, as well as provide click-through data. The initial cost for advertisers will be $20 per 1,000 views, regardless of whether or not the user clicks on the ad. Revenue will be split between the website and the content provider. For example, Linkin Park's "What I've Done" music video has been viewed over 19 million times (yes, that's apparently true). At $20 per 1,000 views, Warner Music Group's share would be just over $190,000.
For a major artist on a major label, that's a fair amount of money. And considering the large video catalog that many-a-major label artist boasts, that revenue will add up to quite the handsome sum of, well, basically found income. In many ways, these ads mark the dawn of the new, ad-supported era (dreamed up years earlier by Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, mind you). Rather than collect money from an end sale, other levels of consumer participation matter. As if paying for things that you were genuinely interested in wasn't enough, now there is a way to properly monetize the curious, mildly interested viewers.
What an age we live in, huh? Maybe this means that those Hover Boards have got to be coming any day now.
Keith Richards Attempts to Blindfold the World from the Truth, One Filthy Bandana at a Time; Demands Apology from Journalists
Life, TMT reader, is comfortably predictable:
Rolling Stoner-getting-older guitarist Keith Richards recently acted on a good bit' o' mid-life crisis.
After fringing some Levi's in his bedroom to the sweet sounds of a Styx album, ironing his show bandana, and sparking up a juicy roach, Richards decided (aside from the fact that wearing a really frayed, TOTALLY BAD ASS bandana IS rock ‘n’ roll) that with rock ‘n’ roll comes considerable responsibility.
So, Richards decided to fight like hell against free speech. Seriously.
After performing in Sweden to less-than-rave reviews, Richards composed an impassioned letter knocking down reviewers for doing a hefty disservice to what he considered a great show. The letter, published in Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter, marks his first response to hater reviews.
Richards demanded an apology -- not only for himself, but for the good of rock, ladies and gents!
For the fans!
For America's inner-city school kids!
For starving children!
For kittens caught in trees, contemplating that they can't always get what they want, but may get what they need!
For the puppies, America!
Don’t sit there shaking your head “I told you so,” cynical TMT reader. Richards KNEW that the fans&etc's life depended on a favorable Swedish Rolling Stones review. And, like the good, down-to-earth rocker he is, in addition to an apology, Mr. Rich also demanded some weed, liquor, and topless women. Obviously, to be shared with fans, inner-city school kids, starving children, kittens, and puppies everywhere.
Who says altruism is dead?
And now, the letter:
"This is a first! Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review. But this time... I have to stand up... for our fans all over Sweden... to say that you owe them, and us, an apology... There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert -- and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed.' How dare you cheapen the experience for them -- and for the hundreds of thousands of other people across Sweden who weren't at Ullevi and have only your 'review' to go on. Write the truth. It was a good show."
“I Can Sell Out Madison Square Garden Masturbating”; Fucking Champs To Tour In The Spirit Of Mike ‘The Fucking Champ’ Tyson
On his latest release, Double Up, a certain R. Kelly declared his arrival on album opener "The Champ," while triumphant horns blared a victory march. San Francisco's very own The Fucking Champs, however, did it first, their dynamic breed of metal packing the bone-crushing punch of a heavyweight fighter -- 'roid raging with the best of them. Imagine the slow-motion saliva slinging when the Drag City band's right hook lands on the unsuspecting face of audiences everywhere, beads of sweat erupting at contact, raining down onto the mat.
On their impending tour, The Fucking Champs are taking the championship spirit to the limit, embodying the fury of a young Mike Tyson in a raw display of brute strength, testosterone and a homicidal streak. The band channeled Tyson himself as they spoke on their approaching dates:
On Their Fans
"You're sweet. We're going to make sure you kiss us good with those big lips. We're gonna make you our girlfriends."
On Their Detractors
"There are nine million people who see us... and hate our guts. Most of them are white. That's okay. Just spell our name right."
On The Live Show
"[We] just want them to keep bringing guys on and [we're] going to strip them of their health. [We] bring pain, a lot of pain."
On Why You Should Show Up To A Date Near You
"We're coming for you man. Our style is impetuous. Our defense is impregnable, and we're just ferocious. We want your heart. We want to eat your children."
"We just want to conquer people and their souls":
Dear TMT Reader,
Do you dream of starting an internet radio station but don't think it's right for you because the government and big corporations are breathing down your neck? Believe us, we at SoundExchange know what you're talking about! Heck, we're in cahoots with the government and the big corporations, so ain't nobody know this business better than us. Here at SoundExchange we want to help you out as much as we can. You see, we're in the business of collecting royalty rates from webcasters; it's what we specialize in. We were appointed by the Copyright Royalty Board to do this job, so if the government trusts us, then you should too. Right? Right.
Lately we've been on TMT a lot, so if you're confused as to who we are and how exactly we might be in cahoots with the government and the RIAA, you might want to read some of this:
Now that you know what we've been up to recently, we're positive that you'll like the deal we're offering. We essentially want to charge more webcasters for more money, and when we use that money, it won't be used for our own agenda. Nope, not at all.
We're here to reduce the financial burden caused by trying to be a successful webcaster and are now offering discounts to smaller webcasters. So, here is the deal:
(1) If you make between $250,000 and $1.5 million in revenue a year, you're qualified!
(2) If you accept, you'll be able to stay under the terms established by the Small Webcaster Settlement Act from 1998. Even better, you'll be able to stay under the terms of the SWSA until 2010.
(3) The rates are as follows: If you make under $250,000, then we'll take 10% of your revenue. If you make between $250,000 and $1.25 million, then we'll take 12%.
You're probably asking, "what's the catch?" Well a slight one does exist, but we don't think it'll bother you. If you decide to play music from artists that aren't associated with SoundExchange, then you'll be subject to the new rates, just like everyone else, once they go into effect. Fair is fair, right? Of course, if you don't make much revenue at all, then you'll still be subject to give us $500 a year. Mere pocket change when you think of us giving you the chance to spread the love of art and music to your listeners. We've also just recently been persuaded to cap the annual fee to only $50,000. We wanted more, but of course, we respect you and your business.
What about the larger webcasters? Well, we haven't thought of a better way to fuck them over yet.