Paul Westerberg Self-Releases New Full-Length Album for 49¢ on Amazon

Artists are spoiled nowadays. No, I'm not talking about "artists" like Vampire Weekend (side note: I hope they die). I'm talking about artists like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Girl Talk. They think they can do whatever the hell the want, with little-to-no regard for the perfectly fine, finely tuned, tunely perfected, perfectly-pitched, pitchfork media music distribution template.

Add Paul Westerberg, former Replacements dude, to the list of spoilers. Last Monday, the guy completed a new album called 49:00, delivered it to his manager the next day, and by the weekend, the entire album was selling for a measly 49¢ on Amazon, apparently the only digital retailer willing to sell the album for that price. Keep in mind, this is coming from an artist who doesn't own a computer and whose official website is a page.

We're on to you Mr. Westerberg. You and your kind are trying to shake up this capitalism-driven distribution system, but we aren't having a bite of it. What you're promoting is borderline communism, my friend -- do you really think you can get away with this?

Ani DiFranco To Release 20th Album, Napolitano Cites Concerns: Economy, Inability for ’90s Feminists to Experience Love

(New York – TMT) Feminist musician Ani DiFranco is set to release her 20th album, Red Letter Year, via her label, Righteous Babe, September 30. Though the album is apparently her “cheeriest, funkiest and most collaborative to date,” partner and producer Mike Napolitano addressed some concerns over Red Letter Year’s ability to engage listeners in a private interview yesterday.

Napolitano said label insiders cite United States economic downturn as affecting Birkenstock, oft-cited as an unofficial political hub for DiFranco – a circumstance which could negatively influence how the album is received.

“People can’t even afford Birkenstocks. This means they certainly won’t be in a position to accept Ani’s politics. See, liberalism is a learned thing, though Ani is afraid to admit that in some sense a corporation cultures her fanbase,” he said.

Additionally, Napolitano says the low childbirth rate of DiFranco’s former ’90s “free spirits” could distance longtime fans from the discussion of her loving a child in tracks like “Present/Infant,” something he says could cause a crucial rift between songstress and listeners.

“Frankly, I’m worried,” he said, adding that for this reason he urged DiFranco to include “Alla This,” a seemingly anti-government track.
“Plus, I made her start shaving. The fans don’t know that. Hey, don’t print that, though,” he added.

Brian Wilson Refunds Disappointed Fans After NYC Charity Benefit Fails to Make Them Feel Better About Themselves, Preps New Album

Following a series of complaints from disgruntled fans, Brian Wilson and Melinda Wilson (whom some press sources insist on calling his "manager-wife") will be refunding attendees of a July 11 show at which Wilson played for an allegedly scant 75 minutes. The show, a charity benefit for NYC-based non-profit Stand Up For a Cure, took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Fans who attended the show complained that their pricey seats offered poor visibility, that Wilson's band was too small, that the set was too short, and that Wilson did not play enough solo or Beach Boys rarities.

In response to these complaints, Melinda Wilson posted on her husband's official website to offer Brian's apologies and to announce that fans who wanted a refund from the July 11 concert could send their ticket stubs to Wilson's publicist and receive their money back. Explaining the decision, she said that Brian is "really sensitive to all of your feelings and doesn't want to offend anyone. He wanted to make this offer to keep everyone cool."

Wilson has a handful of U.S. tourdates currently scheduled for the rest of 2008. He also plans to release a new album, That Lucky Old Sun, September 2. The album was written in collaboration with Van Dyke Parks, who also worked with Wilson on Smile.

RIP: Khia Edgerton, the “Club Queen K-Swift”

From an article in The Baltimore Sun:

Khia "K-Swift" Edgerton, one of the city's most popular radio DJs and performers, died early Monday morning after a pool accident at her home. She was 29. The cause of death was unclear, but an autopsy was planned. [...]

Edgerton, known as the "Club Queen," introduced a younger generation to Baltimore's club scene and helped breathe new life into an aging genre. Born in Baltimore, she started working at WERQ-FM 92.3 10 years ago as a mixer and worked her way up the ranks.

- Club Queen K-Swift official website
- Club Queen K-Swift MySpace
- Baltimore Sun: "DJ K-Swift is dead at 29"

A Place To Bury Strangers and Sian Alice Group Tour Together, Discover Their Love Of Board Games While Hanging Out On A Submarine In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean

When two bands are selected by their respective booking agencies to tour with one another, it’s best that they spend several days getting to know each other before jumping on the road together. In the case of A Place To Bury Strangers and Sian Alice Group’s upcoming fall tour, the two groups, in an effort to acquaint themselves with one another, decided to meet up halfway between their hometowns. Since APTBS hail from Brooklyn and Sian Alice Group are from England, it was only natural that the members would find themselves hanging out inside a giant submarine in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Turns out, a submarine isn’t the most exciting place in the world, so both bands decided to play some board games to get to know one another. Here's a quick recap: APTBS won the first two games of Parcheesi, but lost the third after vocalist/guitarist, Olivier Ackermann, was caught cheating. Sian Alice Group ruled at Apples To Apples, but were sore losers when it came to Monopoly. But at the end of the day, each group was happy about their tour together and eagerly awaiting another chance to win at Scrabble in the fall.

Rock and Roll and Scrabble Tiles:

Silver Jews Press Blitz; Plus Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea Tourdates

We at TMT realize that you may not have had time to catch up on the flurry of Dave Berman/Silver Jews interviews that have surged online in the wake of the band’s latest release, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (TMT Review). It’s all a bit overwhelming – dangling the formerly reclusive songwriter before ravenous music journalists is a lot like dangling a fifth of Wild Turkey, a syringe of smack, and a Ziploc of assorted prescription drugs in front of a recovered addict. Don’t worry; none of the interviewers bring that analogy up. At least I don’t this so.

Most of them go pretty easy on the ol’ softie about the new album too.

Alphabetized Interview Survey

- Aquarium Drunkard
- The AV Club
- Beat Route
- Chimpomatic
- Coke Machine Glow
- Ear Farm
- Junk Media
- Largehearted Boy (Cassie Berman interview)
- New York Magazine
- Paste Magazine
- Pitchfork Media
- Pop Matters
- Prefix Mag
- Said the Gramophone
- Tiny Mix Tapes
- The Village Voice (plus a feature)
- The Washington Post (in audio form)

And just in case anything else pops up, here’s a Silver Jews Interview Google News Feed.

A detailed analysis to follow the next time Drag City announces something Silver Jews-newsworthy... Extended tourdates anyone?


# Monotonix

Ratatat Release New Album, Enter Billboard Chart for First Time, Tour the U.S., Clean-Up Street Crime

Ratatat have come a long way since the release of their first record, and this summer is shaping up to be their grandest peak yet. Having already released their third album, the plaintively titled LP3 (TMT Review), to generally favorable reviews across the board, the boys are now looking to get noticed on a wider scale. It doesn't hurt that their hard work is now being validated by their induction into the” Cool-Kids-Only” Cool-Club of the Billboard Top 200 chart. While most young bands may be happy to just appear on the list, Ratatat have entered the sales race at a satisfying #82. They also appeared as the #2 Electronic album, #4 Indie album, and #15 on the Digital chart.

In an effort to cater to this new and ever growing fanbase, Ratatat have announced a nice, little summer tour to satiate their fans' desires to dance.

Finally and easily the best news: Ratatat have vowed to use their chic, quasi-electronic music to fully eradicate street crime from all the cities on their tour itinerary. They plan to offer a revolutionary “Move Your Feet, Don’t Hurt Your Street” motivational tactic to turn all current and potential criminals into loyal members of their audience and street team.

Why do birds suddenly appear, every time Swervedriver and Interpol are near?

Romance, she is a beautiful thing. The catch in your throat, the scent of fresh-cut flowers, the sigh in the air when that special person brushes past you in a crowded room. They say penguins mate for life. According to a website I found, so do termites, barn owls, and gibbons. All these creatures, although at varying stages on the adorable-to-gross scale, embody the delight and wonder of loving partnership. But do any of them make kick-ass rock jams? Probably not. And for that we must turn to one of America's most recent creative alliances, that between members of Interpol and Swervedriver.

Divided, they are Interpol's Sam Fogarino, Adam Franklin of Swervedriver, and Toshack Highway. Together they are -- Magnetic Morning. Introduced by a mutual music journalist pal, the two plan on heading to Athens, GA to record a full-length debut this August. Earlier this spring, Magnetic Morning released a self-titled EP of five dream-pop tracks on DH Records. This project marks a change in Interpol drummer Fogarino's musical trajectory. He describes how he doesn't "contribute all that much to the melodic side of Interpol, only in the ways it's colored, treated, and effected. But in Magnetic Morning, I'm usually the one to bring forth a chord progression, or a melody that Adam will add to, musically, lyrically, and vocally."

The intrepid duo will be hitting the road this autumn, with more dates in the works.

Fall Festival Fans: Mark Your Calendars for Fun Fun Fun Fest in November!

Fun Fun Fun Fest, presumably the funnest fest in Texas, has begun announcing its initial lineup, with a few artists starting with D (I really hope they're not doing this alphabetically). While it's the fourth letter in the alphabet, these artists are decidedly first-rate: Dan "Spiderman of The Rings" Deacon, Deerhoof, and punk legends The Dead Milkmen.

A few rumored acts are also starting to show up on blogs around the web. Pollstar has Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino and Swervedriver's Adam Franklin making an appearance as Magnetic Morning, and Trail of Dead's Jason Reece has said a few words about the festival. Keep an eye on FFFFest's official website and MySpace for more confirmations.

FFFFest will make its third appearance November 8-9 in downtown Austin's Waterloo Park. And if last year's lineup has shown us anything, it's that one of the best spots in town is not in Zilker Park. Sure beats paying $150+. See you in November.