Sitting here and writing this story is bittersweet, as I gaze across the road and see an abandoned barn and silo. It's red and falling apart, occupied by bats, owls, and the occasional family of birds. The silo hasn't been used for years; an ancient relic of a time that no longer exists since industrial farming became dominant. I loathe that silo.
You see, a few months ago my parents and I tried getting wireless high speed internet. The installer told us that he couldn't get a high signal strength because of the silo. I sometimes fantasize about strapping plastic explosives to that spire of evil. Now here I am, still stuck writing this story on a dial-up internet connection.
The point is I live in the middle of nowhere, so much so that I can't get cable and I can't get wireless high speed internet, so I'm restricted to dial-up. Don't even begin to tell me about satellite internet as an alternative; it's atrocious and you know it. Living in the middle of nowhere isn't the best, especially when one of your favorite bands play a ton of dates and none of them are near you. Page France is one of those favorite bands, and the pop-folk five-piece play some of the most beautiful folk I've ever heard. I hear they play an amazing live set, and with this year's May 8 release of their new LP, ...And The Family Telephone, they will have a lot of great songs to choose from.
If you go see them at any of the dates listed blow, then tell 'em Kyle wishes he could be there and they should hit up Dayton or Columbus, OH next time. Tell them even though they are neglecting me, I still love them. Time to go grab a box of tissues
06.14.07 - Washington, DC - The Red and The Black
06.26.07 - Lexington, KY - The Dame
06.28.07 - Bushnell, IL - Cornerstone Festival
06.29.07 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
06.30.07 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
07.02.07 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
07.03.07 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
07.04.07 - Davenprt, IA - Daytrotter house
07.05.07 - Madison, WI - Café Montmartre
07.06.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Stonefly Brewery
07.07.07 - DeKalb, IL - The House Café
07.08.07 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Division Ave. Arts Cooperative
07.09.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
07.11.07 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place
07.12.07 - Ottawa, ON - Cisco Systems Bluesfest/Black Sheep
07.21.07 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar *
07.22.07 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
07.23.07 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
07.24.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
07.25.07 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
07.27.07 - Austin, TX - Emo's *
07.28.07 - Denton, TX - Hailey's *
07.31.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *
08.01.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent*
08.03.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
08.04.07 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Café *
* supporting Bishop Allen
Andrew Bird Tours; Really Just the Only Feasible Platform for Me to Expound on a Recurring Three Dog Night Fantasy I’ve Been Having
There are three reasons why I should re-evaluate any moment in my life at which I entertained the possibility of attaining street-cred:
(1) My (undisclosed) first name;
(2) People frequently addressing me with exclamation points (damning, condescending, nose-to-the-sky punctuation);
and, MOST IMPORTANTLY,
(3) My resurfacing rock star fantasy.*
I’m dressed in all white. I’m on a bustling street corner. Passersby include (but are not limited to) my guitar teacher Gary, Hilary Duff, a former OMFG I WANNA LIKE MARRY U WE R IN LUV ex, my high school history teacher Mr. Kennedy, Alex Carusillo, Nancy: my former grocery store supervisor, and Roseanne Barr, (for good flannel shirt-ed measure). I'm performing an un-ironic rendition of Three Dog Night’s (repeat: Three Dog Night’s) “One is the Loneliest Number.” The crowd actually goes pleasantly wild in said fantasy, save Roseanne and Alex, who have bonded over their healthy distaste for everything [NOTE: Three Dog Night is, apparently, everything]. They arrange to get coffee after scoffing my second guitar solo, both scheming to spit on my superb white boots (a plan that is tactfully intercepted by a stern, deliberate head shake from my history teacher).
* loosely based on actual fantasy-occurring events
THE POINT: ANDREW BIRD’S LIST-O’-CRED
Three reasons why Andrew Bird doesn’t need to ease his sorrows in Three Dog Night:
(1) His gently unassuming first (and last) name
(2) (a) Armchair Apocrypha (TMT Review)
(b) He was on DAVID (FUCKING) LETTERMAN
(c) He’s a solo artist with a reputation for not letting such diminish an impressive live performance (he plays loops of his own sounds while performing to achieve more of a band feel, apparently).
(3) A quick check of this Filter article will reveal his farm boy roots. And if on said farm Andrew Bird put down his violin, snapped on some overalls, and wrangled some... chickens -- well, that’d certainly quell any association to his swing revival, Squirrel Nut Zippers past he might be stressing over.
* The Decemberists
Three reasons why this is in list format:
(1) Lists effectively feign organization;
(2) So does the rule of three.
(3) Roseanne Barr-Carusillo?
[Photo: Cameron Wittig]
Listen: I don't give a good god damn about this Pile-Up that's slammin' us bumper to bumper here; I just want to get to work. I don't even want to get to work; I just plain need to get to work. Yes, I understand, auto accidents are serious things and paramedics need time and space to sort out the victims, etc. Yeah, whatever!! I don't even know these people for crissakes. For all I know, it's just some 16 Bitch Pile-Up! Yeah, okay! A 16 Bitch Pile-Up!
Oh, don't give me these theoretical sob stories. Every human life is precious -- right. I bet if every single one of these Bitches had one more day to do whatever they wanted they'd probably do something incredible, right? They'd probably, what, put out a critically-acclaimed album? Call it Bury Me Deep (TMT Review) and release it on Troniks? Go on a tour through the U.S. and Canada during the month of June? I'm not trying to be a dick; I'm just giving an example of how ridiculous that idea is. This isn't a tragic tale of a 16 Bitch Pile-Up; it's the tragic tale of me coming in late one-too-many times and having the higher-ups tap me on the shoulder and scoot me out the door, on my ass, nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to call my own, not even a single noise record under my belt. That's what I'd call a real tragedy. That's something I'd get my hankie out for. This, this is just a pile of Bitches. And I mean that with all due respect.
There's nothing I wouldn't do for a woman in need:
* Monotract, Religious Knives, Alan Licht
^ Fat Worm of Error
Robert Wyatt is a true hero; always has been, always will be. Despite the fact he once described himself as merely “a very primitive, infantile folk singer,” it’s more accurate to say that he’s got one of the most perfect voices in music -- kind of fragile sounding at first, but emotionally involved and, allegedly, spanning five or more octaves.
Even though most have never heard of him, there are a ton of reasons that make you need to love him. He actually used to be a pretty big star in Britain back in the '70s as the drummer and singer in Soft Machine. He appeared on Björk’s "Submarine" (off Medulla -- TMT Review), which was recorded in his bedroom. Recorded a fucking song with Björk in his motherfucking bedroom! He fought back from falling out of a third-floor window at a party, which left him paraplegic, to continue his musical caree, despite haters like the Top Of The Pops producer in England who felt his wheelchair wasn’t “suitable for family viewing” and tried to get him to sit on a fucking ottoman or something when he appeared on the show. Being a hero and all, Wyatt duly appeared on the show in his wheelchair, whereas the producer hopefully ended up committing seppuku with a ballpoint pen after the show aired. And who else in the world would be totally tight enough to include on one of his albums Stalin Wasn’t Stallin’ (a post-war left wing ballad telling the ungrateful world just how rad the Soviet dictator really was) next to a slowed down, echoing, AMAZING version of the Chic disco ditty At Last I Am Free ? And he did Shipbuilding, which -- no word of a lie -- is just about the best song ever written. You’d think everyone would know about Wyatt and want to do the do with the dude (to me, he was the obvious choice as the replacement for naughty Akon on Gwen Stefani’s current tour).
Thing is, ver kidz just aren’t interested in our man. But that is going to change so fast you’re not going to have time for your morning shit. Indie megasaurus Domino have signed up Wyatt, and incredibly, he’s recorded an album for them! It’s called Comicopera and will be in stores September 24. I suggest we ignore the twin facts that the album is constructed as a three-act ‘opera’ and Paul Weller plays on it. Despite these apparent horrors, I am quite sure that it’ll still be totally worth hearing, so long as that scrawny turd Weller doesn’t give it a go at basso profundo.
World … North American… U.S. (???) Exclusive: Primal Scream Back With Red Hot Height-of-Their-Popularity DVD! Get Your Rocks Off! Woohoo…Rock ‘n’ Roll! Yeah! Groupies, Blow Like You’re Blowing a 24-Karat Trumpet! Etc.
Time for some exclusive news! It is our great pleasure to thrust upon you, the unsuspecting, the news that Primal Scream are to put out a DVD, entitled Riot City Blues Tour, June 25, which will include November 2006 Hammersmith Odeon live footage, promo videos, interviews, and backstage banter from the boys in the band! Oh, this has been reported by other music news sources already? Screw it. Exclusive news anyway.
17 live trax! 12 promo vids! Wristbands and bandanas! Act now and we'll throw in a 1923 Maxim C-1 Fire Engine diecast replica model 1:24 scale die cast (with retractable hose) for only $29.99! It's only one of the most important and celebrated machines in fire-fighting history! It's the only officially authorized die-cast collection of its kind! Fuckin' guaranteed to capture each original with extraordinary precision! It's all part and parcel of the Scream experience!
There you go, some bells and whistles and very little thought or consideration for your reading pleasure. Just read the facts and the tracks, ma'am or sir. We are not positive if the package contains one or two discs, but we will assume that it is a 29-SONG MONSTER MUTHA-FUCKIN' DVD as opposed to a two-disc biscuits-and-tea, family-viewing trifle. The band would have wanted it that way.
Live in London, Hammersmith Odeon, November 2006:
4. Shoot Speed/Kill Light
5. Suicide Sally
6. Burning Wheel
7. When the Bomb Drops
8. Hole In My Heart
11. Swastika Eyes
12. Country Girls
16. Movin' On Up
17. Kick Out the Jams
19. Movin' On Up
21. Miss Lucifer
22. Country Girl
24. Some Velvet Morning
25. Swastika Eyes
26. Kill All Hippies
27. Come Together
28. Autobahn 66
Overcoming More Communication Barriers Than Yao Ming in that Visa Commercial, Anticon Releases Digital Spring Sampler
I have this really idealized version of Anticon meetings, where they all sit in the boardroom from Richie Rich and attempt, but fail, to converse in linear discourse.
::Ironic Wayne’s World Transition::
Sole: So you’re all here to talk about the digital spring sampler we’re going to throw on iTunes to preview...
Doseone: GEORGE WASHINGTON! HUGER PAINS! SPOON! SPOON! TREE TRUNKS! SPOON!
Sole: Not again… we can’t do anything right. Humanity no longer fills my fancy…
Alex: Okay this is NOT working… writing dialogue is actually quite difficult, especially when one is attempting to recreate a ridiculously esoteric style of delivery and word choice.
Why?: Where did the omnipresent author functioning as a character come from... I feel like I’m in a Vonnegut.
Alex 2 (wearing a moustache and thus villainous and the story’s new antagonist): Or the new Coheed and Cambria comic.
Doseone: This seems relatively normal to me.
SJ Esau: Why am I on Anticon? That makes less sense than the flow of this conversation.
Alex: No seriously, writing dialogue is way too difficult, and breaking the fourth wall is guaranteed humor.
Alex 2: Or dropping references like Pynchon.
All: hahaha! How metatextual!
I was sifting through the pile of news briefs this morning when I landed upon a gem. Lately I have become so uninspired that all my stories have fallen ill with banality. Thanks to Akon, however, today is going to be different.
Here is the setup: Akon, the Senegalese/American hip-hop star, performed at WSPK-FM's KFEST concert June 3 at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York. While in the middle of ranting about how cool he is and how weird it was to come from Senegal, etc etc etc blah blah blah, some kid throws some trash onto the stage. Akon stops and asks for the crowd to point out the kid and then has security bring him to the front. Once the boy is near the stage, Akon uses his rippling body to yank the kid up and then hoists him on top of his shoulders and immediately launches the little dude into the crowd.
So yeah, that’s what I’m working with here. But I’m choking. I was given a story that practically had the punch line included, yet I have no idea how to deliver it. We could joke about Akon trying out for the World Wrestling Federation, but that just seems too obvious. Or maybe there is some way to tie it in with his previous controversy of grinding onstage with a 14-year-old girl. Hmm. Hmm, indeed...
Well, here are some more facts while I consider how to make this funny. Authorities have identified the boy who was catapulted, and since he is only 15, his mother would have to press charges. No word on if the family will go through with that yet, but the Akon camp (Akon/Family?) is saying nothing illegal happened.
Okay. After thinking about it, I feel it would be irresponsible to try and make a joke out of this incident. That would be like making fun of Nancy Kerrigan in text form when the video is much funnier. So, without further ado, peep these two videos:  .
Hot Topic To No Longer Smell Like Ass; TMT Newswriter AJ Pacitti Partners With Teen Spirit, Lysol, and Glade Plugins in a Landmark Effort To install Two Million Air Fresheners in Stores Nationwide; To Leave 13-Year-Old Goths With Nothing But Now-Realized Desire To Suck Each Other’s Blood
"People were telling us that the stores were too dark, gothic and intimidating to the average customer," said Hot Topic’s Chief Financial Officer James McGinty in a press conference, as quoted in this CNN article.
McGinty’s announcement marks a noteworthy attempt to soften the black-clouded blow of the “I like cheese”/”I hear voices”/”People like you are the reason people like me are on medication”-tee-shirted masses of Good Charlotte-listening, Napoleon Dynamite-laughing, vacant-staring-from-too-much-video-gaming clientele.
Generalizing aside: after enduring three years of declining sales (post the store’s '90s success), Hot Topic wants to go softer. Seriously. McGinty says HT is responding to changing customer interest, that the style of the store’s regulars is changing, and scaring away seemingly normal people isn’t making money anymore.
Now that’s business sense.
Forget a long-vested commitment to prickly exteriors. Forget ANGRY BOIZ finding love when accidentally touching hands with HOTT REBEL GURLZ while perusing a rack of parachute pants. Forget said ANGRY BOIZ defining said HOTT REBEL GURLZ by the size of their plastic-y messenger bag purses. Forget piercings paid for by allowances. Hell, forget everything the red-bleeding logo letters stand for.
Sure, paint over the black walls, brighten the color scheme, and re-organize the merchandise displays. I’m guessing HT could be (er..?) more marketable then. But in essence, McGinty & co. are making a tragic error: providing an easy platform for complaints from their exclusive market of dissatisfied ANGRY KIDZ. Great. Another thing for said ANGRY BOIZ and HOTT REBEL GURLZ to want to eat my puppy over, besides inner-conflicts over suburbia, growing up, and the boy/girlfriend they met while perusing the parachute pants rack that never understood their conflict over... suburbia and growing up. Mmmm. Things will be nice.
As long as a change is in order though (something that would be worth looking into), Mister McGinty is eliminating Hot Topic’s uninviting smell (a rank balance of incense, cheap fabric, and ass). That ought to round up some customers faster than you can say "Jesus Christ, Marilyn Manson kills puppies! OH MY GOD! I heard he eats puppies! Live! Who the FUCK kills puppies? I know you think it's an urban legend, but he even looks like a fucking puppy killer!"
Alright, so -- air fresheners, McGinty, please?
On that note, ANGRY BOIZ: maybe it isn’t your imposing parachute pants that pushed that aforementioned rack-perusing (HOTT REBEL GURL) honey away. This is the anthem. Throw all your hands up. Seriously. I’ll rub some Teen Spirit under your arms so fast you won’t smell the hygiene hitting you.
Gypsy punk is the new black. Or at least it should be. With all this so-called, new-fangled ‘blog house’ music going around right after ‘screamo’ and ‘dance punk’ went out of fashion, what we need is some diversity. The turnaround on the internet is working in cycles of about 12 minutes now, so we'll be poised for a Next Big Thing in about... 4 minutes if my calculations are correct. Peter, Bjorn and John aren't cool anymore, right? Here on this soapbox, I'd like to nominate the aforementioned genre of ‘gypsy punk’ for a spot in the limelight. Sure, Beirut and DeVotchKa were warming up, but its been a minute, and I just don't think the sub-genre has peaked yet. Plus, Gogol Bordello are legit to the max. Real immigrants!
I know being an immigrant isn't the hottest thing in the Red, White & Blue these days, but don't worry, these guys are not from Mexico. I repeat: Gogol Bordello are immigrants, but are NOT from Mexico -- and they're not even Muslim. That's right, you can stop shielding your children's eyes. Everyone is still safe and so are your jobs! Phew. I know I got you nervous for a little bit there when I brought in the whole immigration thing. Your palms got all sweaty and your heart started beating fast. Don't worry, I empathize; I really do. This is America. And as Toby Keith once said, "We'll put a boot in your ass. It's the American way." Just have to put it out there. We're watching you, Gogol Bordello. Stay lawful.
That said, Gogol Bordello have been holding it down on the Lower East Side since 1999 playing a hybrid of The Clash-style punk music, open to influence (but not like Mick Jones' Clash; that's mostly garbage) and traditional Eastern European music. Lead singer Eugene Hutz is even blossoming as an actor, starring alongside Iggy Pop-to-be Elijah Wood in the big screen adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated (in which music by DeVotchKa and Gogol Bordello can be heard). And while I can't personally vouch for their legality, I can say that I am anticipating their forthcoming full-length, Super Taranta!, due July 10 on Side One Dummy.
Say "No!" to amnesty.
06.08.07 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO
06.09.07 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO
06.16.07 - Bonnarroo Festival - Manchester, TN
06.24.07 - Donauinsel Festival - Vienna
06.25.07 - Sherwood Festival - Padova, Padova
06.26.07 - Villa Ada - Rome, Roma
06.28.07 - Festival - Milano, Milano
06.29.07 - Eurockennes - Belfore
06.30.07 - Roadfest - Zerajanin, Serbia
07.01.07 - Pier Pressure - Goteborg
07.04.07 - Rock For People - Prague
07.06.07 - Ruisrock - Turku
07.07.07 - T In the Park - Perth and Kinross
07.08.07 - Oxegen - Dublin, Dublin
07.12.07 - Festival D'ete d'Youville Square - Quebec City, Quebec
07.13.07 - Ottawa Cisco Systems Bluesfest - Ottawa, Ontario
07.14.07 - Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
07.15.07 - Vic Theatre - Chicago, IL
07.17.07 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
07.18.07 - 9:30 Club - Washington DC, WA
07.19.07 - Trocadero - Philadelphia, PN
07.20.07 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
07.21.07 - Iriving Plaza - New York, NY
07.25.07 - Fel Sziget - Tag Mures
07.26.07 - Storsjoyran - Ostersund
07.27.07 - Storas Festival - Trondheim
07.28.07 - Festival Musicas do Mundo - Portugal
07.29.07 - Festival - Paleo
08.09.07 - Oya Festival - Oslo
08.10.07 - Sziget Festival - Budapest
08.11.07 - Heitere - Zofingen
08.12.07 - Festival - Taubertal
08.14.07 - Parades de Couraua - Portugal
08.16.07 - Pukkelpop - Hasselt
08.17.07 - Openair -Gampel
08.18.07 - Beautiful Days - Exeter
08.20.07 - Radio Onda Durto Festival - Brescia, Brescia
08.21.07 - Ariano Folk Fest - Ariano
08.22.07 - Ippodromo - Firenze, Firenze
08.24.07 - Reading Festival - Reading
08.25.07 - Leeds Festival - Leeds
08.27.07 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
08.28.07 - Henry Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
08.29.07 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
08.31.07 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
09.01.07 - Bumbershoot Festival - Seattle, WA