If history has taught us anything, it is that people will go the extra mile attempting to prove the existence of mythical sea monsters despite conclusive proof to the contrary. Thousands of these legends have been reported throughout time and most have been proven to be hoaxes. But there is still something nagging about the tales. Every dreamer quietly wishes that these mutants actually tread the earth’s waters, living a peaceful but lonely life as (probably) the only type of its species to ever subsist.
Imagine if you will one of these creatures -- so mysterious and so camera shy -- taking the reverse-plunge and actually revealing itself, in front of a paying audience and playing awesome music no less! No longer will we have to rely on grainy, doctored photos of our favorite part marine dweller/part rabid fangster Sea Wolf, because he has announced more dates in the U.S. Shows started last week and continue sporadically into November. Fellow leviathans, coelacanths, and krakens are upset. They have been sending e-mails to Sea Wolf like, “don’t come ‘round here no more for any of that quickie aqua-love, nuh-uh bitch!” and “give me back my lawnmower I lent you... we are no longer friends.” Needless to say, it is harsh times being a freak of nature with high hopes of an easy integration into society at large, too. Meanwhile, cryptozoologists are creaming their Dockers at the prospect of finally seeing the once-mythical Sea Wolf on dry land. These hotshots are more rabid than paparazzi, so let us hope “Wolfie” doesn’t decide to disappear forever after this foray into the hearts and loins of American landlubbers.
No, there’s no real chance Alex Church -- the not-really-mythical Cali song-serpent who goes by the stage name of Sea Wolf -- will disappear too soon. He’s just getting started. After killing 'em softly with his talent on the Get To the River Before It Runs Too Low EP that was released earlier this year, Sea Wolf’s next release is ready to pop and will be a more lengthy exercise. The Sea Wolf debut album, Leaves in the River, will be out September 25 via the lovelies at Dangerbird Records. Heartfelt balladry, mini-epicness and whatever the hell hacks will throw into inevitably gushing reviews is expected. However you describe it, it works; Sea Wolf can warm up the strictest disparager’s black heart over with his wistful choons and chops. As if you won’t go to see this fabled beast playing live!
The Cold, The Dead, and the Tracklisting:
1 Leaves in the River
2 Winter Windows
3 Black Dirt
4 The Rose Curtain
5 Middle Distance Runner
6 You’re a Wolf
7 Song for the Dead
8 Black Leaf Falls
9 The Cold, the Dark & the Silence
10 Neutral Ground
See Sea Wolf:
07.26.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Hammer Museum
07.29.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue *
07.30.07 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre *
08.01.07 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown *
08.02.07 - Boulder, CO - R&R Convention CHECK
08.04.07 - Lawrence, KS - Gaslight
08.06.07 - Toledo, OH - Frankie’s *
08.07.07 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Ballroom *
08.09.07 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue *
08.10.07 - Newport, KY - Southgate House *
08.11.07 - Chicago, IL - Chubas Tavern
08.18.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Sunset Junction
09.13.07 - Santa Barbara, CA - Soho Restaurant and Music Club
10.15.07 - Columbus, OH - The Basement #
10.16.07 - Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century Theatre #
10.17.07 - Louisville, KY - Jim Porter’s Good Time #
10.18.07 - Indianapolis, IN - Birdy’s #
10.20.07 - Chicago, IL - Schubas #
10.22.07 - St. Louis, MO - Gargoyle Club, Washington University #
10.23.07 - Nashville, TN - Exit In #
10.24.07 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree #
10.26.07 - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre #
10.27.07 - St. Augustine Beach, FL - Café Eleven #
10.29.07 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club #
10.30.07 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel #
10.31.07 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle #
11.01.07 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom #
11.02.07 - Baltimore, MD - The 8 x 10 #
* Silversun Pickups
# Nada Surf
Simian Mobile Disco Do The Gorilaz Thing And Hide Their Faces As They Tour; Except They’ve Hired Real Monkeys To Play For Them
Writing really happening dance music is one thing, but getting some prime apes to play your tunes live is another. Everyone knows about those Gorillaz videos with cartoon monkeys, and they were really famous because of them. MTV didn't play those videos non-stop simply because the music was good; they played them because monkeys are fun to watch. James Ellis Ford and James Anthony Shaw have figured out that having monkeys in your band is the secret to success, and now they're taking it one step further.
Scientific evidence reveals that monkeys can already play Nickelback songs and some monkeys can even emulate Chad Kroeger's voice pretty well. So, why can't they be injected with steroids and other vitamins to be able to mix some of the ridiculous beats Simian Mobile Disco are dropping? Well they can, and this Fall they will. Here are some quotes I've been able to dig up on the subject:
"Yeah, we've been experimenting with monkeys, kind of like what the Wicked Witch of the West did in the Wizard of Oz, except we don't want our monkeys to have wings, we want them to have rhythm." -James Ellis Ford
"Most people think it's unethical to do this to the monkeys, but if monkeys are so similar to humans like all those scientists say, then isn't it apparent that their goal in life would be to reach rock stardom?" -James Anthony Shaw
"Our new album focuses on the ethical treatment of monkeys; we believe that we can coexist together in a world full of good music and simian peace." -Chad Kroeger
Obviously the views of "some" people are slightly varied, but James and James seem like caring human beings, and using monkeys to play your set while you sit backstage and pop ex with some groupies isn't really so bad. In fact, it's smart.
See the Simian Mobile Disco monkeys spin some crazy shit at these fine establishments:
Bye Bye Birdie; Pelican Currently On Tour, Proves Instrumental Post-Rock Is Infinitely More Manly Than Fauna-Based Names and Musicals
If you've ever had a day at the seashore ruined by the bloody carnage of a swooping pelican treating itself to an afternoon snack, you know the slaughter these animals leave in their wake. With a mouthful of tattered fish, it becomes clear that this is no Flock of Seagulls. And in a day and age of soft cuddly band names, we need a little bit of ferociousness. Honestly, I mean... Panda Bear!?
Luckily, the band that shares a name with these fearless birds is no different. Leaving a bloodbath in their wake, the audience ripped to shreds from sludgey, bone-crushing post-rock, Pelican is embarking on less of a tour, and more of a quest, playing date after date of their epic rawk in support of their newest full-length, City Of Echoes, out now on Hydra Head Records.
London’s teeming population of amplifier-hire guys and earplug hawkers are all no doubt rubbing their hands in unrestrained glee over the news that Boris and Sunn 0))) are continuing their apparently never-ending love-in with a full live performance -- I’m sorry, LIVE AKTION with guest VOKILLISTS -- of their Altar elpee (TMT Review) in that filthy city in December. You may not be especially surprised to learn that Earth are going to be there too, providing support. Not spiritual support though; I reckon that only Lucifer himself could provide suitably evil guidance to this particularly blackened triumvirate. The whole thing is being put on by All Tomorrow’s Parties.
In related news, ‘The’ Boris, ‘The’ Sunn O))) and ‘The’ Earth have been added to the lineup for ‘The’ ATP Christmas festival. As previously reported, the ATP knees-up is being curated by former yuppie favorites Portishead, yuppies who now ‘keep it real’ by listening to Amy Winehouse, no doubt. Speaking of which, Portishead themselves are playing their first gig in FOREVER at the festival. I’m sure this will bring out more than a few of the aforementioned young and upwardly mobile individuals for a weekend by the seaside and the chance to smoke a couple of spliffs -- just like they used like to do with Julian and Tristan in ’94 and ’95 -- whilst chilling out to some ultra mellow trip-hop beatz. I’m sure they’re going to be totally wowed by the satisfyingly non-festive bands Portishead have so far chosen to play with them:
Crippled Black Phoenix
Fuzz Against Junk
A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Jah Shaka Soundsystem
Glenn Branca Presents New Work For Guitars (with Special Guests)
Glenn Branca with The Paranoid Critical Revolution
Those precious highs are going to be severely compromised by some of those dudes, I reckon. No Amy Crackhouse, either. The ATP gig is at Butlins in Minehead and is on December 7-9. The Altar gig is at the Forum in London December 10. And then, on December 11, why not go and see this guy?
Rough Trade Escapes Capture by Universal Music Group; Our Lives as Consumers Continue Unfettered, Terrorists Officially Lose
Have you ever passed by beggars on the street corner and wondered if they’re really just eccentric billionaires who spend the first few hours of their days making multi-million dollar wheelings and dealings before spending their leisure perpetrating jokes of conscience on us unsuspecting, middle-class sidewalk-trudgers??
Well, if you have, then first of all, you’re a cynical, cold-hearted prick. I mean, come on, man! These people are fucking destitute!
Second of all, you’d actually be on to something, because earlier this week, the hallowed Rough Trade record label (home to The Smiths, Destroyer, Super Furry Animals, The Long Blondes, etc.) was purchased by the independent record group Beggars Group for Â£800,000, which figures to be roughly $1,400,000. And you thought that they all just bought drugs with that pocket change!
The iconic record label was owned by UK record group Sanctuary Group, who, in a pretty darn Old Testament Biblical move, apparently had the good sense to wrap the legendary label in a warm blanket, put it in a basket, and float it on down the metaphorical Nile to the promise of a better life before the struggling music group itself is purchased by power-hungry Universal Music for Â£104.3 million in the coming days.
The Beggars group, already the proud poppa of such iconic indie labels as Beggars Banquet, Matador, XL, and 4AD, seemed happy to take in Sanctuary’s 49% ownership of their erstwhile baby for the aforementioned Â£800,000, despite the not-so-cute Â£3 million loss that the label had racked up. Now that’s love.
Rough Trade owner Geoff Tarvis, who founded the label in 1978, has touted the transition as entirely positive and hopes that the label can now reach “a worldwide level of stability and expertise.” And odds are good that Mr. Tarvis will indeed be saying sooth, as Rough Trade will soon benefit from the Beggars Group’s hefty distribution power, which makes, in addition to making me personally mad as hell that I spent all of that money on that Albert Hammond Jr. import (TMT Review), is sure to make all of the label’s releases easier to find in the U.S. And isn’t our ease of record browsing what’s REALLY important in all of this?!
So, the next time you see a beggar on the street, stop, shake his or her filthy hand, and tell him or her “thankyou” for doing his or her part to help further indie-rock by making that Jarvis Cocker 12-inch a tad bit easier to find. But don’t you DARE give that rich-ass one red cent of your pocket change!
Parts and Labor Part with Drummer After Four Years 3, Looking for New Labor; I, Devastated, Entertain The Posession Of Better Drum Skills As Well As Less Obvious Play-On-Words Tactics For This Article
After four years, drummer Christopher R. Weingarten has left Parts and Labor to further pursue his blossoming writing career and full-time position as editor-in-chief at Paper Thin Walls (purchased by Getty Images in May for $850,000), the popular music website. Meanwhile, Weingarten is currently completing a book about Public Enemy's It Takes A nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.
His reasons for leaving reportedly stem from the recent explosion of interest in Paper Thin Walls, as well as the band leaving him stretching his efforts too thin. The rest of the band says that the split wasn't unanticipated, there's no bad blood, and they're way psyched to read Weingarten's book once released.
Now that a third of the Parts need to be replaced, the remainder are laboring to fill the full-time position. What does it call for? According to the band, they're looking for a "brilliant and sexy solar-powered drum machine with a clean driving record" Interested? Drop them a line.
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Hip-hop’s earthworm with the mostest Aesop Rock is hitting the road in support of None Shall Pass, for release August 28.
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None Shall Pass Tracklist:
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For Aes of Def Jux, we pray - Dear God, Bless Ian Matthias Bavitz and his wife, Allyson Baker on this tour. Let Ian’s fly earthworm (…demeanor)…eat Allyson’s…dirt, consummating their sweet love to make little earthworms, which Aes will drop rhymes to in the womb, and, once out, challenge to freestyle living room rap battles while Allyson leaves behind any of her own musical aspirations to cook, clean, and read Danielle Steele novels. Amen.
4.5 of 4:
This was actually written.
The Mendoza Line Call It Quits, Literally, and Depart with 30 Year Low in August; A Writer Reflects on the Loss and His Own Personal Relationship with a Woman Who Didn’t Purchase Him Dunkaroos When She Had the Chance
In unfortunate news, like their songwriting heroes Richard and Linda Thompson, The Mendoza Line bandmates Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle have ended their musical collaboration. The double-disc 30 Year Low and The Final Remarks of the Legendary Malcontent will be released on August 21 as a somber farewell to fans and an end of a magnificent venture. 30 Year Low is a mini-album of sorts that tackles the hurt feelings of the distraught couple. The Final Remarks of the Legendary Malcontent is made up of live tracks, radio programs, rehearsals, demos, and covers inspired by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Replacements.
While listening to the beautifully haunting album, I began to reflect on my own personal life. Recently, while my fiancée was visiting family in Canada for two weeks, she came across an item that meant much to me. She informed me that she passed up the chance to purchase the hard-to-find-cookies-dipped-in-chocolate snack, Dunkaroos. I was overwhelmed by sadness as the taste of Dunkaroos lingered on my tongue from various childhood experiences. When I ate Dunkaroos, it was like my taste buds lost their virginity and experienced a little taste of heaven.
With my hurt feelings trapped inside, I listened carefully to the jaunty Dylan-esque vocals of Bracy as he sings against scraping guitar on "I Lost My Taste," and I realized the importance of relationships. I shouldn't chastise my fiancée for making such a huge mistake, but maybe it's my fault for being obsessed with Dunkaroos. Even with McArdle's duet with Okkervil River's Will Sheff on the track "Aspect of an Old Maid," I heard the voice of a woman at the edge of 30 who has truly experienced heartbreak. I understand the timelessness of the message that settles alongside 30 Year Low. Life is short, my friends. We must enjoy our loved ones and the good music that is out there while we can. So, I formally apologize to my future wife for the torment that I placed on her and myself over the misery of missing an edible delight to the extreme. And may Bracy and McArdle have the best of luck with their future projects and experiences in their lives.
But damn, I really wish I had some Dunkaroos right now.
LOUD.COM and WU-TANG OFFER CHANCE TO OPEN FOR THE WU IN HAWAII, SOME PEOPLE WAIT A LIFETIME FOR A MOMENT LIKE THIS (Some people search forever for that one special kiss, I can’t believe its happening to me, Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this)
HIP-HOP is the GOOD FIGHT, ladies and gents. Get yo’ head in da’ game – show off yo’ rhyme-dropping for a chance to open for Wu-Tang in Oahu, Hawaii this September. Who knows. You could be the next rose to grow from concrete.
Better lace those kicks a little faster, son; the contest closes August 20.
THE DEAL: From a pool of ten finalists, The RZA himself will choose da’ internet hip-hop contest king.
Seriously. That means you, Kelly Clarkson.
Careers CAN turn around; I mean, just look at Kirstie Alley. Everyone thought she was over with after Cheers and that movie with the Olsen twins and Steve Guttenberg. But look at her now. Just look at her now. Self-marketing, Kelly Baby.
Whatever happened to predictability? The milk man, the paperboy, evening TV? (Clear Channel Revises Agreement So Indie Musicians Aren’t Forced to Sign Over Digital Performance Royalties)
When the world ends, when it crumbles and the last musicians are standing on a cliff, damned to hell, a scrappy lawyer will trot onto god's playing field to save them. It will be difficult, a high-wire act over flame. These poor souls, these artists, they will go through trials and tribulations. Eventually, hopefully, our hero lawyer, who never got to be President but was the biggest man, will save them -- when the world ends. Until then, they're stuck in the middle of a singed rope.
These poor souls! How did it come to this? How did these musical artists end up in such a fix? In 50 years, if our giant of a lawyer can help, if the way business is done changes, apologists will say it was bad luck. Bad luck is a quick, blanket statement that covers all the legal turmoil and copyright battles and creative rights wars that small, independent artists struggled with. Our poor artists would sew the seeds of creativity and receive only blight and famine. Stores of music, locked away with no means of broadcast! What but bad luck would drive these men and women to throw their hands up and be done with the whole business?
It's enough to make one sell their rights to the devil. The devil, looking down on his hot rock, sensed a very shrewd business opportunity. Our artists, though as down-and-out as any Dust Bowl farmer -- good people that they are -- were unwilling to sell. Not wanting to miss out on a deal of an eternity, the devil sent his top salesman, Clear Channel.
Clear Channel sidled up to our artists as they tended the fields of the few outlets of broadcast that were still available. The artists dropped their hoes when they heard Big Radio's case: "Sign over your digital performance royalties to us, and we'll play your music!"
One musician loudly objected, "But you're supposed to play our music anyway, on account of your settlement with the FCC for your payola scandal!"
The devil's salesman smirked and boasted, "4,200 hours worth, for free. Alls' you gotta do is sign over your rights, and it's yours! If you want airplay, sign, sign, sign!"
Another interjected, "But this is America!"
The smirk only grew as the salesman exclaimed, "Exactly!"
He had them, he really had them. The artists talked amongst themselves, wondering what they did to deserve such horrid treatment. Bad luck, perhaps. Greed from Big Radio, more likely. Some signed. And yes, life did get a bit better. Others didn't, and all were outraged. Then, shining from above, our giant stomped onto the scene.
A modern-day Daniel Webster, the collective force of the FCC and the Future of Music Coalition, looked Clear Channel in its eyes. This was something the devil's salesman wasn't used to. Perhaps the artists' luck was about to change. Perhaps. Clear Channel stepped back, shuddering, giving way out of surprise. The devil has a keen business sense, and knows that much of a good deal comes from good timing. Today wasn't the right day, tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow.
As for now, everybody is friendly. Clear Channel has revised the agreement: "In the instance when Clear Channel makes the decision to use the content for terrestrial broadcasting and, as a result, for simultaneous transmission through online streaming ... Clear Channel shall be subject to and pay for all applicable current and future statutory royalties as well as public performance royalties." Friends. Tomorrow, the devil's salesman will wait in the tall grass.
How does it end? Unfortunately, we come into this tale in medias res, and only time will tell what will happen. Artists are hoping to extend their public performance rights to include over-the-air broadcasts, but the future looks grim. Bad luck. So much bad luck, hanging over fire, today and tomorrow, stuck between the devil and our Daniel Webster.