PARIS – Outside a closed café in the alleys of Montmarte stands Jacques ‘Johnny’ Gaffe, lead singer of French punk legends Les Gaffes. At six-and-a-half feet, Johnny casts a foreboding shadow on the cobblestone street in a turtleneck and a pair of oversized dime-store sunglasses. In between sips of Turkish coffee, he tells me about the band’s latest project: an attempt to recreate Dirty Projector’s Rise Above (TMT Review) from memory in Les Gaffes’s own unique style.
“Yes, ziz is our favorite song to do. Zo we decided to make a... how you say... cover song,” he says with palpable indifference. “I have zeen the album cover in a garbage can while I was pizzing in ze street one day, and zat is all ze research I have done. The rest iz from memory.”
“Ve are wrestling ze essential French... ehh... punkrockness from zis American album.”
The origin of Les Gaffes is, as much of French history and culture, shrouded in mystery. But with the upcoming release, there seems to be big things in the future for Les Gaffes.
“I don’t know if we vill ever go to America. Ze wine and cheese is shit I hear. Ziz is important for ze punk rock.”
TMT Exclusive: Les Gaffes - "Histoire de Police" (a reimagining of The Dirty Projectors' "Police Story")
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Dirty Projectors tourdates:
Travels to Self-Release Debut Album But Will Continue to Seek Sponsorship Deal from L’OrÃ©al (Because They’re Worth It!)
Don’t let the big words and sophisticated air phase you: supermarket tabloid writing is not as difficult as people make it seem. It’s simpleton work... trust us, we’re more gutter than The National Enquirer, The Weekly World News, and People combined. Here is how we stir and spin the pot:
Take a subject, one who has already oversaturated the market like Britney (ALWAYS kick them while they’re down), less high-profile celebs like Meg White (we liked the potential of your alleged sex-tape a few weeks ago, even if it turned out to be someone else), and/or a forgotten B-lister completely off the map (the old and the bad, or those who can be made to look old or bad, are good targets). An affair is good. An STD can add a nice touch of class. A “source” is essential, but preferably one who is untraceable or entirely fictional. The basic rule is there are no rules except the presence of mandatory exclamation marks at the end of every sentence. Just grab someone who is famous, infamous, someone whose 15 minutes o’ fame are just about done, someone who cannot be bothered to care if their life is being ruined by a “journalist,” someone that doesn’t even exist, etc. and put them together in any way, shape, or form you desire. E.g.:
I had a three-way with Meg White and Betty White!
I had a four-way with Britney, Sanjaya, and Pinhead from Hellraiser!
Britney: “Pinhead from Hellraiser gave me the crabs!”
Betty White Death Watch! Former lover, Pinhead from Hellraiser, devastated!
When we are lucky, it takes even less time and effort than these pitiful but passable efforts above. We grudgingly report true news from time to time too when it falls onto our laps. Take this: Travels, Anar Badalov (Metal Hearts) and Mona Elliott (Victory at Sea) will independently release their superb self-titled debut album October 30. Travels contains 10 tales of perceptive pop, detailing life in all its seriousness, sadness, hope, and triumph. You can order the album and check out a couple of songs that stink of intelligence and originality here. There, no truth-bending and no shadow sources equals no lawsuits. I didn’t need to drum up excitement with exclamation marks for this one; the news did all the work by itself. Actually, it is a nice change writing pure and honest news stori... wait, did I just hear someone say something about J. Lo, Jar Jar Binks, corn cob holders, and a hot tub? Gotta go...
Travels, without my aunt:
1. Golden Sun
2. The Smell of Kerosene
3. Sixty Five and Sunny
4. People Sleep
6. There Is Movement
7. Love I Could Not Afford
8. Friends in Quotes
9. Hearts Racing
10. Olivia Hurt (Desolation in My Heart)
Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips has a special announcement to make! Please hold your cursor over him to see what he has to say and what he insisted on showing you.
For more info on the Zaireeka parties, go to The Flaming Lips' MySpace page.
(If you really feel the need
Read Pitchfork's review)
Back to the story...
Hot Chip have a new record
Called Made In the Dark
Tracks inspired by
Their energetic live shows
Comprise the album
The record will be
Released on DFA next
Haikus sure are fun
Let's hear it for creative
A short, One-Act play entitled: "How Alex Kapranos Accidentally Cock-Blocked Himself; A Cautionary Tale."
Scene: A Basement billiard room in the Franz Ferdinand Glasgow mansion
Alex Kapranos (timidly): Guys, I think I'm ready to ask Eleanor out, finally.
Rest of Franz Ferdinand (spitting out beer and dropping pool cues): Eleanor Freidburger!? Are you daft, man?? She lives in Brooklyn, and we're way over 'ere in Glasgow. It'd never work, mate. Not to mention that weirdo brother of hers! That bloke’s a few sheep shy of a herd, after all! Have you heard the new Fiery Furnaces record?
Alex (chalking his pool cue nervously): I know, i know, but I think maybe I can win the old girl over anyway. I just need a... a good opening line! You know, to sweep her off her feet! Her brother’ll never have to know.
The Franz (sarcastically): yeah... well, you work on that, Alex. See ya...
The band exits. Alex takes another swig of the beer bottle he'd been nursing, sits down on a nearby La-Z-Boy, and sighs heavily
Alex (now alone): Okay. Think Alex, think! Just one or two good lines... By Jove! I've got it. Where's the bloody telephone??? Ah, here it is!
Alex leaps up and reaches for his antique, rotary Mickey Mouse telephone and slowly dials the long-distance number
Eleanor Freidburger (sleepy): Hello?
(Alex clears throat)
Alex Kapranos (with feeling): “Eleanor, put those boots back on.
Kick the heels into the Brooklyn dirt.
I know it isn't dignified to run,
But if you run,
You can run to the Coney Island roller coaster.
Ride to the highest point and leap across the filthy water;
Leap until the Gulf Stream's brought you down...”
Alex: Eleanor?? Well, what do you say... Oh, nevermind. You're probably just too busy anyway...
Eleanor Freidburger: No, no, Alex! Wait. Actually, that sounds great! I'll be there in November with the band, right after the release of our fifth Fiery Furnaces LP Widow City (TMT Review) via Thrill Jockey! Oh, Alex, I'm so happy! I can't wait to see you! Isn’t that convenient???
Eleanor: Alex? What's wrong, sweetheart??
Alex: Wait... you're not going to bring Matthew with you, are you???
Upcoming UK Dates (much to the chagrin of Alex Kapranos):
British Sea Power Tour, Release EP And LP With No Mention of Pirates, Actual Sea Power Of Any Kind, Or Historical Events Older Than Five Minutes In This News Story And A Woman Nearly Spills A Cup of Coffee On Me
I’m not one to believe in karma (Okay, I’m already lying; you don’t get $500 in parking tickets for helping old ladies cross the street), but in the last five minutes:
- A young woman in a business suit spilled a cup full of steaming hot coffee just inches from my leg, laptop, and this news story.
- A homeless man sitting next to the Staples, from which I am currently accessing the internet, started smoking a cigarette.
- A pair of Germans sitting next to me gently pulled a scrap of paper that had fallen out of my pocket and into the coffee water on the ground and offered it to me hopefully.
The signs of mojo a-workin’ are everywhere. Take, for example, British Sea Power. If they can keep it together, that just gives me all kinds of warm, fuzzy hope for the rest of us.
A new EP (Krankenhaus?), a new CD (Do You Like Rock Music?). WOW.
Krankenhaus? digitally out now, on CD November 20:
# Stardeath and White Dwarfs
## CMJ Show w/ Pela, 1990s, Tiny Masters of Today, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, The Grey Race
### Wild Beasts
@ The Vanguard, Tracy is Hot and the Clap
* Revenge of Shinobi.
#### Wild Beasts, Micky P, Kerr, Jonjo Feather, A Love Supreme
& Wild Beasts, The Witch and the Robot, Fear of Mountains
##### White Mischief Event 'From The Earth To The Moon'
Do you still need black wristbands to play a Martin? Does that aggressive stance work for fingerpicking? Will there be sweat?
All those questions will be answered October 27 and 28 when Metallica perform acoustic sets at the 21st Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA.
Metallica is not known for its sensitive side. The band is known for its dark side. And for its annoying side -- Lars. Nevertheless, for a good cause, even the guys who scared little kids with that creepy old guy in the "Enter Sandman" video will unplug to help out. It's for the kids.
Other performers include:
Advance tickets are $150.00 and $75.00 for reserved seating and $39.50 for general admission, plus applicable service charges.
The Bridge School is an institute for children with disabilities both physical and verbal. Neil Young began organizing a concert to benefit the school after its instructors cured him of a high, mournful whine.
Did you know that scissors were probably invented in Egypt by real
live Egyptians a real long time ago?
Did you know that different types of scissors exist? Here are a few examples:
Tin snips are scissors used for cutting tin.
Pinking shears are scissors with a serrated edge for cutting fabric
without frayin' the edges. Wow.
Trauma shears are scissors used in emergency response situations.
Poultry shears are scissors that cut poultry.
How 'bout those skizzer facts! Now onto some facts about sisters!
I lied, I don't have any fun facts about sisters, as I never had one,
but I'm sure she'd probably like Scissor Sisters. Plus, she'd be super stoked about their new DVD that's coming out on November 12. She'd love the name of it too, 'cause it's called Hurrah - A Year Of Ta-Dah.
I can't keep writing this story after writing that.
You love Wire. I love Wire. You probably have all three of the recently repressed, 180 gram collector's-edition LPs of the untouchable trilogy that was originally released in the late '70s but now available at their online store. I know I do. And like me, you might even wear your Pink Flag Enamel Badge in public as much as possible.
Or maybe you don't. In any event, we both know that Read & Burn 01 and 02 are so intensely good you want to shit your pants just thinking about putting them on again. So good, in fact, that anticipation for new material of the same caliber spoiled opinions of their otherwise stunning full-length, Send, with reviews usually consisting of cranky fans pouting about the presence of too many tracks already released on the Read & Burn series and a distressing lack of new facemelters.
Well, pout no more, dear reader: Read & Burn 03 is, according to pinkflag.com, "finished, mastered, designed and in production for a November 12th UK release." Not only this, but they've even gone so far as to defuse any reservations you might have about purchasing it immediately following its release, responding to the complaints about Send with a hypersensitive assurance that "none of the tracks will be included on the next full-length Wire album."
The EP will consist of 4 tracks spread over 25 minutes, meaning either a bunch of six-minute tracks or our first really long Wire tune -- either way, I'm getting myself all worked up here, so it's time to go consummate all this pent up exhilaration by putting Read & Burn 01 + 02 on at full volume and slam-dancing with my furniture.
Read & Burn 03 tracklisting:
Do you know how to speak Japanese? Can you learn it? Because if you do or can, then you could be translating Boredoms/V∞redoms news for TMT!
You see, every time there's news about Boredoms, it's a pain in the ass to even report it. Why? Everything is in Japanese! I know, I know... the Westernization of Earth is a little behind schedule, but I assure you: with some increased focus on free trade, liberating, and teaching non-white kids English one by fucking one, we'll one day live in a beautiful world where your favorite beer will be available in every bar, where sites like freetranslation.com will become an internet dinosaur, where any geographic variation will be smoothed out with a good ol' Rowenta iron.
Until that glorious day comes, we'll just have to settle for less-than-perfect (imperfect) news stories about Boredoms. Not that what I'm writing isn't gold or anything. Come to think of it, you should probably be thanking me for my research skills, because boy do I have news for you: Boredoms are releasing a new CD+DVD set December 19! Titled Live at Sunflancisco, the live document will be released on Commmons, the same label that released Super Roots 9 (TMT Review) earlier this year.
AND THERE IS MORE. Yoshimi of Boredoms seems to have written the soundtrack to a documentary. It's called Yunnan Colorfree, and according to Commmons, it will be released November 21. Or, as freetranslation.com put it: "The truck listing of the documentary film "cloud south COLORFREE" the original sound truck 'YUNNAN COLORFREE' that YOSHIMI of BOREDOMS manages music arrived. ! !"
Doesn't that kind of read like a Pitchfork review?
Oh, no I didn't!
Yunnan Colorfree tracklisting: