It's not all songs about anti-consumerism and torturing someone in your basement for Michael Gira anymore! Oh no! After the demise of his abrasive and often disturbing New York rock group Swans, Mr. Gira chose to eschew the heavy rock sound with which his name had become synonymous and focus on crafting more quietly menacing albums both on his own and with his art-folk project The Angels of Light.
Michael Gira currently resides in the Catskill Mountains, where he is much less frightening but busier than ever before. In between writing books I wouldn't want my mom to read, discovering Devendra Banhart, and founding Young God Records, Gira has also managed to book a solo European tour this February. After fleeing the frigid climes of northern New York state, Michael Gira will bring his darkly beautiful brand of Americana to Italy and the Iberian peninsula. Surely there's time for a side trip to Andorra, Mr. Gira?
[Photo: Peter Kondyrev]
The National And Modest Mouse Announce Upcoming Opening Tour For R.E.M.; Michael Stipe Sleeps Soundly Knowing That His Band Is 2% More Relevant Than They Were A Week Ago
Michael Stipe: All right guys, we need to pick some hip openers for this upcoming tour so people realize we’re still a relevant band.
Mike Mills: But, Michael, our last album came out in 2004, and all three of us are in our early-‘50s or late-‘40s. We’re no spring chickens here!
Peter Buck: He’s right, you know.
Stipe: Sigh. Fine, I guess you’re both right. Sometimes it’s just hard for me to admit that we’re not as cool as we were during the ‘90s.
Buck: No worries, man, the fans are still out there.
Mills: I think you’re onto something though, Michael. We need to book some up-and-comers for this tour, if we ever want to land a new generation of fans.
Buck: What about that National band?
Stipe: National? What kind of a band name is that?
Mills: No, they’re pretty good actually. I read about them on one of those blogging websites. Apparently they’re originally from the Midwest, they have self-deprecating lyrics, and they love The Boss.
Stipe: Well, any band that loves Bruce is fine by me. Let’s give ‘em a call!
Buck: Hey, do you guys think we should try and get a cool sponsor for this tour as well? I hear those youngsters really like that PBR drink... what about PBR Presents: R.E.M. Summer 2008?
Mills: Yeah, Peter, you took it a bit too far there. Let's just add Modest Mouse too and call it a day. I need a steam anyway.
See The National live out their boyhood fantasies by opening for R.E.M. at the following dates:
02.22.08 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn Next Festival
02.23.08 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
05.23.08 – Vancouver, BC – Deer Lake Park &
05.29.08 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl &
05.31.08 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theater &
06.03.08 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre &
06.06.08 – Chicago, IL – United Center &
06.08.08 – Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre &
06.10.08 – Raleigh, NC – Walnut Creek Amphitheatre &
06.11.08 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion &
06.13.08 – Boston, MA – Tweeter Center &
06.14.06 – Long Island, NY – Jones Beach &
06.18.08 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center &
06.21.08 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre &
& R.E.M., Modest Mouse
We're living in a post-9/11 world. Anyhoo, Beck's Odelay was reissued this week as a 2CD set, with remixes, B-sides, and much more (TMT News). What we or any other media outlet failed to report, however, was that this "Deluxe Reissue" also came complete with a brand spankin' new, incorrect lyric sheet!
According to Beck's publicity company:
The first pressing of the recent Odelay Deluxe Reissue was found to have gone out with unproofed lyrics that were taken from a lyrics website as place holders for layout purposes.
Beck apologizes for this unfortunate oversight and is making
arrangements for the corrected lyrics to be available gratis via
Beck.com. Subsequent pressings of the Odelay Deluxe will also include the corrected lyrics.
Of course, Beck's way too cool to actually apologize himself on his webpage or on his MySpace. But wait -- is it even his fault? Was he doing the layout for the Odelay reissue? Was he supposed to give the final green light or something?
Either way, I like the new lyrics better. "GOT A DEVIL'S HAIRCUT! IN MY MINE!"
He must have finally found the right... er, "outlet," because, here in 2008, things are flowing!
And currently feeling refreshed, revalidated, and reforested with his infamously iniquitous Bad Seeds, the uncouth impresario is hitting the autobahn this April for a whirlwind tour in support of his first record with da Seeds since 2004's Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus! See? Male enhancement can do wonders!
Cave and co.'s manly, exclamation-studded new album DIG, LAZARUS, DIG!!! is scheduled for, uh, "release" on the 3rd of March through Mute Records. Tickets go on sale TODAY (February 1) for all of you beautiful European TMTers. But if you chose to go, lookout, cuz Cave is on the proooowl!
Go Lazarus, Go:
The Dirty Projectors are going on tour! They've been practicing their performance moves in front of the mirror, so expect to see Dave Longstreth execute some new moves, like....
AND "THE JERK OFF"!
"They were doing a brand new step that everybody isn't moving to":
Shifting away from their peers in the television and film communities, the music industry has decided to include striking writers in its upcoming Grammy Awards show. The ceremony, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles February 10, is the first such awards show to utilize the work of striking writers. A press release was issued Tuesday, January 22, by The Writers Guild of America stating that it will not protest the upcoming Grammy Awards like it has other award shows in the recent past.
Since there will be no picket line to cross, recording artists with sympathies toward the striking writers are more likely to attend the Grammys. The decision allows the Grammy Awards to sidestep problems fraught throughout the Golden Globe Awards when actors refused to cross picket lines.
There had been growing concerns lately expressed by members of the music industry regarding the writer’s strike and its effect on the Grammy Awards. In a statement with MTV.com last week, John Silva, manager of The Foo Fighters, articulated his concerns. “We are hopeful that we will see a resolution to the current situation affecting our entire industry.” It appears that John Silva and others in the music industry will not have to be concerned any longer.
The Grammy’s have taken a great step forward with the strikers by including them in the Awards show. Hopefully the strides that the music industry is making will show the television and film community how very important these writers are and will increase the chances that this continuing strike will come to a quicker conclusion.
The beginning of every semester is always tedious, with professors of overcrowded journalism classes struggling to cater to both nervously inexperienced underclassmen as well as the hot-shit "I already have a writing job" students. Yesterday's meeting of JMC 330, for example, consisted of a painful 1.5 hour review of "the keys to good journalism" that left me bitter and bored. As such, I will now sadistically (albeit briefly) reproduce that very information for those of you who may be ignorant to the facts, yet are still aspiring to partake in the Unofficial 2008 TMT Reader News Story Pledge Drive (if you can't say that 6 times fast, you ain't ready to play with the big boys) as recklessly proposed by a TMT staffer yesterday at approximately 9 AM CMT.
There are a few very simple rules for ensuring that your article qualifies as "good journalism." By following these rules, you can create an outline that you may surround with fluff and details -- and voila, a well-rounded article. Don't worry -- being witty, clever, creative, endlessly informed, and intensely talented all come later.
To start the class session of which I'm recreating, the anonymous professor gave the either intensely clever or painfully idiotic advice that, "to write something great, you must first start writing." Writing what, you may ask? Some people begin by making a general outline and then going back to fill in the gaps, while others start from the top and work their way down until they're done. I personally, cannot write a single word until I have a solid lead. So if one were writing an article about, say, a Pinback tour, one may want to start from the top with something like this:
Whether you've been listening since 1998's This Is A Pinback Album or only just picked up their latest release Autumn of The Seraphs (TMT Review), every Pinback song feels instantly familiar, playing like the soundtrack to a High School memory of an aimless summer road trip with your girlfriend in the driver's seat, best friend in the backseat, and an empty pack of Djarums in the center console, which you now vehemently deny ever smoking. Or maybe that's just me.
With an established lead, you'll now need three or more sources with which to flesh out the piece. Optimally, these sources will be credible experts on the subject and should say everything so that you don't have to. Your roommate, by the way, does not count as a credible source on anything, ever, no matter how sagely they may seem after you've both lit up.
"Pinback is shamelessly indulgent indie pop," said Esteban Svenska, age 22, when asked his opinion of the San Diego subterranean heroes. "It's for people who take pictures of their sneakers to post on their MySpace profiles. That said, I'm a huge fan."
Others when approached were equally torn on the subject. "Autumn of The Seraphs sounded way overproduced," said Eve McClain*, age 27, "too clean for me. But the first single off the album was drummed by that guy Mario from Earthless, which I'm cool with."
"I heard they're touring." said Jeff Dalwick, age 20, refusing to comment much further, "I don't actually know that much about the band."
Three sources: check. But you're not done yet. Like sex, baseball, and important business commitments, follow-through is important, so you may want to include supplemental data that supports you and your sources' assertions.
Said a press release sent out by the band's label, "Pinback is back from their European tour and anxious to reconvene with their West Coast chums. The band will be kicking out the jams starting February 5 for two nights at Chula Vista's House of Blues. They'll continue up and down the coast for two weeks and then head over to Japan for three dates in late February."
Hear the new single from Autumn of Seraphs here.
And that's when the lecture ended and I rolled my eyes and said to the guy sitting next to me, "Thank fucking god," to which he replied defensively, "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" making me feel awkward and effectively expediting my departure.
Oh shit. Yeah, don't forget to list the tourdates. That would be amateur of you.
Pinback, Rocking Your Body The Way You Like It:
* my roommate, who's an exception to the rule because she actually is a credible expert on everything at all times.
! Clipd Beaks
& Gil Mantera and Friends, Mahjongg
* Beachouse, Papercuts
^ Foot Village
( Clipd Beaks, Oh Sees
# Panache SXSW Showcase HEALTH, Monotonix, Clipd Beaks, The Apes, RTX
) The Apes
% The Slits, Shellshag
Def Jam Denies Dropping Nas Due To Controversial Album Title, The World Groans, Rolls Their Eyes, And Says “Yeah Right.”
There are certain things in life you can always count on. Observe the following examples:
- Britney Spears will never fail to make headlines.
- If you wear a Red Sox hat at Yankee Stadium, you’re going to get your ass kicked.
- That Thai restaurant on the corner may be cheap, but that doesn’t mean your stomach will thank you for it.
- If you title your album Nigger, you will risk being possibly dropped by your record label.
Yes, Nas, I’m talking to you. Okay, okay, so Def Jam claims that it's not dropping Nas, but the mere fact that it was brought up means that most likely (1) Def Jam thought about it and decided against it, (2) Def Jam intends to drop Nas in the future, or (3) the drop was fabricated, which means, no matter how you slice it, there's some cultural dissonance here about the word "nigger."
But don’t worry; if Nas can handle Kelis’ “Milkshake,” I’m sure he can deal with anything that Def Jam throws at him. Nigger is still due to be released sometime next month.
It Will Be a Great Day When Kimya Dawson Has a Best-Selling Movie Soundtrack and Alicia Keys Has to Hold a Bake Sale to Buy a New Piano… Wait, Really?
Behold the power of folk. The Juno soundtrack, which heavily features songs by sometimes-Moldy Peach and world-class mommy Kimya Dawson, has officially knocked Alicia Keys' As I Am out of the #1 spot in the Billboard Top 200. Let me take a moment here to tell you about the time Kimya Dawson played a show to 30 kids in my friend's basement. This was, oh, I dunno, six months ago? My friends hung out with her babydaddy Angelo Spencer and fed her daughter Panda vegan snacks. Good times were had.
Girl is now mostly responsible for record label Rhino's first #1 on the Billboard charts. Ever. It's also the first time an Academy Award-nominated movie's soundtrack has topped the Billboard charts since Titanic in 1998. I don't think I'm alone in suggesting that the quality of music on the Juno soundtrack just might be a step up. A smidge, anyway. And even if people aren't buying it for the Dawson tunes, it does mean that they're interested in hearing Mott the Hoople, The Kinks, Sonic Youth, and Belle and Sebastian, as they are also featured. I can live with that. God damn, can I live with that!