Menomena Phenomena! Third Time’s the Charm, As Barsuk’s Intrepid Troubadors Hog All of Earth’s Highways, Muscling and Flowing Their Way Across the Globe… Again

Do your blog-savy eyes deceive you?

Is Portland three-piece, nerd-tronic, loop-rock troupe Menomena really heading back out for an international fall/summer tour mere weeks after wrapping up their lengthy, already second (and also international!) tour of the year at the, uh, Something-fork Fest last month?

Well, you know what they say. It's always the nerds who have the best stamina!

(wha-BAM! ZING! What a punchline! Well... goodnight everybody, good-- what is it, TMT editor???... oh, really? You need me to fill HOW much more space?!?... Well, i really only had that one joke planned, and-- ... ah, i see... wow, Mr. P said THAT!??! Well... well, FINE then! I'll see what i can do... this just figures... )

Uh... let's see here. Oh! I know!

Unfortunately, in order to make room for this delicious double-dip of Menomena's signature matriculating-loops-turned-organic-rock fare -- as heard most recently on this past winter's Friend and Foe (TMT Review) -- we here at TMT have decided that a couple of other indie rock bands will have to stay home in order to make room for the ensuing Menomena Mania this fall.

I know, i know. This isn't going to be easy, guys, but come on now, there's an energy crisis! So, let's all work together here. Now, are there any bands out there besides Menomena who do the following particularly well:

1. Big, stiff, hip-hop inspired drums (sorry, Mr. Drozd, i'm afraid this means you)
2. Thick, party-time blasts of funky, syncopated sax (ouch, sorry dance-punk collectives; you had a good summer, though! I still love you, !!!)
3. Huge, layered-vocal moments with not-quite-perfect, but really heart-on-sleeve intonation (hmmm, Panda Bear, I guess that means you can stay comfy in your Nautica gear for a little while longer, at least)
4. Fairly accessible and concrete, yet symbolic and brainy lyrics... oh shit, there goes all of Indie Rock...

Welp, sorry readers! But come on, that whole "independent music" thing was on the way out already, anyway, right?

Hope you like you some Menomena:

! The Decemberists

* Illinois

14 (Actually One Less, But I Refuse to Acknowledge the Existence of That Number) Things I Learned from Sole’s New YouTube Video

YouTube video.
1 - Sole is releasing a new album featuring The Skyrider Band.

1.5 - Somehow this relates to a solar eclipse behind a rooster impaled on a scythe.
2 - Sole is a blood relative of Will Oldham.
3 - The editing team used iMovie to put this together.
4 - “Things are generally fucked up everywhere, but things are wonderful up everywhere too... not everywhere... Darfur isn’t that hot right now.”
5 - The new album is more “personal,” “mature,” and “grounded.”
5.5 - That said, the video for the song “Stupid Things Implode On Themselves” does feature an apparently biblical Sole firing an anachronistic machine gun.
6 - Beats are much more organic than the past, coming out of improvisation.
7 - There is a link between pushups, Levitowns, Dairy Queen, and Sole’s new album.
7.5 - Where it lies is unclear.
8 - Sole either hates Akon or Pop-Punk; his impression could be construed as either.
9 - Sole aims to be less cryptic on this album.
10 - The animated Anticon logo looks so cool Pixar should base a short on it.
11 - Album is called Sole and the Skyrider Band and drops on October 23.
12 - Fans can garner that the new album will be a classic through only hearing three 15-second sound clips.
14 - Though I hate hearing him talk, the new tracks sound undeniably hot

Let me be open and honest with you, TMT reader. A couple days ago, I played spin the bottle with the news section. What felt like a semi-slow news week in the music world needed some hot, steamin' action. I may have crossed some sort of journalistic line, but at the moment, I thought the "line" was just a sexual object waiting to be trampled.

First off, I wrote down ten pending new articles yet to be written on to ten multi-colored note cards. I pricked my finger with a dragon letter opener and wrote the headlines in my own blood. I then took a 45-minute shower until every inch of my body felt and looked like Grandpa Gene's testicles.

I then drank an expensive bottle of Chateau d'Yquem and placed the empty bottle next to my feet, as I laid out the ten note cards in a circle around me. I spun the bottle, and it landed on this news article that you're reading now. No, I don't mean an article about me finding a news article to write. That would make no sense. It was fate that I happened to be holding the card in my hand that read "Konono No°1 Release Live CD."

I started to stroke the note card like a kitten and began to lightly purr into the note card's ear. I gave the note card about four Jägerbombs, and it started to tell me all about the Konono No°1 album. According to the note card, the DIY group from Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo are releasing a live, eight-track mini-album called Live at Couleur Café August 27 in Europe and September 11 in the U.S. The note card also said that, with never-before heard material recorded at Brussels' popular Couleur Café festival and production by Vincent Kenis, no one should be disappointed.

We both agreed that we enjoy Konono No°1 immensely and that we are both anxious to buy the album. It was around that time when things got intense.

The next morning, as I awoke naked and throbbing, I realized I had a drunken, fantasized sexual encounter with a note card. A few days had passed, and I built up the strength to write this all-too-revealing news story. However, last night when I went into my bedroom to sleep next to my wife, the note card was laying on my pillow with a gigantic hole in it. I awoke my wife and confessed the whole story to her.

Emceegreg has learned to leave the experimentation up to the musicians and not the writers who write about them.

Daughters Embark on “Creem of Sum Yung Gai” Tour

THE STRANGER:

Take it easy, Daughters -- I know that you will.

DAUGHTERS:

Yeah, man. Well, you know -- Daughters abide.

THE STRANGER:

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' they're out there, Daughters, takin' her easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope their tour goes okay. Welp, that about does her, wraps her all up. Things seem to've worked out pretty good for Daughters, and it was a purdy good story, don'tcha think? Made me laugh to beat the band. Parts, anyway. Course -- I don't like seein' Daughters go. But then, I happen to know that there's a little Daughters on the way. I guess that's the way the whole darned human comedy keeps perpetuatin' itself, down through the generations, Westward the wagons, across the sands a time until-- aw, look at me, I'm ramblin' again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya further on down the trail.

EMI, DRM, and BK Get Together in Hopes of Forming a Complete Word

Apparently, one of the higher-ups at EMI owns an XBOX 360. After hours spent playing Burger King’s Sneak King video game, it became clear to this higher-up that there was no better way to reach consumers than through the big taste of Chicken Fries. Accordingly, EMI has announced that it will release DRM-free tracks to customers looking to have it their way, saying:

"Under the campaign, consumers will be able to search for, sample, and download a pre-paid EMI Music track from a specially created microsite after inputting a unique code. Codes are being distributed to Burger King consumers upon purchase, and there will be links from the microsite to an online retailer, allowing consumers to purchase further tracks by EMI artists featured on the microsite."

The question remains, however, if Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” will be available for download, seeing as she left the label in 1999.

Finally, I Have An Excuse To Write About How Much I Like Bonde Do Role: Bonde Do Role Tour

Bonde do Role is the kind of band we'd start together. You know, the one where we’d just cut up samples and loop them over some loud, funky beats, and then all shout into microphones like crazy people? And we’d writhe around the stage and hump each other and bring fans up on stage and then hump them too? And fuck the FCC, because we’d use any samples we wanted! We’d even illegally sample music that sucks! That would show them! It would be so awesome!

Well, that band already exists, and it is awesome. Bonde do Role were the first artists signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, which makes them far realer than our proposed band. Other cool points they have over our band include:

- Their first LP, With Lasers, came out June 5, and it is totally sweet.
- They were featured in Rolling Stone, the only magazine that still has the guts to tell the truth about music.
- They are a baile funk group from Brazil, which is a much cooler scene than the collective space in front of our laptops.
- They use funk carioca beats in their songs; we'd use mostly Apple Loops.
- They make music videos like this; we'd make music videos like this.

This fall, MCs Marina Vello and Pedro D’Eyrot, along with MC/DJ Rodrigo Gorky, will cause boners to be popped all across the North American continent. They will play shows nearly every day for a month, only taking brief breaks to apply Marina’s more severe hair dyes. We should totally see them. Check out this video if you don’t believe me! Come on, this will be cooler than that time we found that pineapple full of bees!

At least we knew about their tour before Todd did:

Anteater to Eat Ants, Fly to Fly, Diplo to Tour

My theory is that Diplo is actually a set of identical twins taking 12-hour shifts. One is a Buddhist and blind in the left eye. The other can run slightly faster and has 11 fingers, which no one seems to have noticed. This is the only possible way I can imagine how he (they?) can have so many projects yet still have time to buy milk and sponges. (Either that, or Diplo has evolved a gland that secretes liquid productivity. In this case, it would be my job, as a journalist, to find Diplo, kill him, harvest his gland, synthesize the chemical, and sell the formula to the highest bidder.)

This summer alone, Diplo has released an iTunes-exclusive EP, produced some tracks for M.I.A., toured throughout Europe, and started a non-profit program to support young musicians in underprivileged communities (which you can support by buying their first single on iTunes). On top of all that, Diplo has been making mixes/remixes, updating his podcast, and editing his baile funk documentary, Favela On Blast.

How does he even have time to listen to records?

I've already told you how: secret twins. Think of the wacky situations they must get into! I bet, at least once, they coincidentally took two women out on separate dates to the same restaurant at the same time, and one woman saw the wrong Diplo, so they had to switch places, but then they almost got caught when one Diplo didn’t realize that the other Diplo’s date was casually referencing something the first Diplo had said during coitus the previous night and thought she was quoting the movie Duck Soup.

Even for two people, Diplo absorb and create an impressive amount of music. Just check out their podcast, Mad Decent Worldwide Radio, the “NPR for the streets.” Posting their own mixes or mixes from local DJs, Diplo set out to expose the local music of different communities to listeners who would never hear it otherwise. Quite a few cultures are represented, and any of these mixes can rock a party much harder than that last dance mix you made (the one with “I Want You Back” on it three times).

As for Favela On Blast, Diplo have not yet set a release date for the film. They also have not set an announcement date for the release date of the film, but they have hinted that this release date is soon-to-be announced. They have, however, released SEVEN TRAILERS (my favorite is the sixth). This movie focuses on the bailes funk in Rio de Janeiro, a remarkably underexposed scene that Diplo have become enamored with in recent years.

Sipping sweet secretions of your mutated anatomy on the following dates:

Lee Hazlewood Dead at 78

Songwriter, producer, performer, and outsider genius Lee Hazlewood died on Saturday at the age of 78. He had been battling renal cancer for over a year.

Although his echoing late-‘50s production work for Duane Eddy and others attracted the attention of Phil Spector (and became a major influence on Spector's Wall of Sound production style), Lee was probably most famous for writing Nancy Sinatra’s "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'." Legendarily, he instructed Sinatra to sing the song “like a 16-year-old girl who fucks truck drivers.” Given these circumstances, the song inevitably became an international megahit, and Hazlewood went on to write and produce much of Sinatra’s hugely successful '60s output, including their incredible 1968 duet album, Nancy and Lee. Ever the visionary, he also signed Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band to his own LHI label in 1967.

Additionally, and no less notably, Hazlewood continued to furrow his singularly idiosyncratic solo career. His nicotine-stained baritone will undoubtedly remain one of the most perfect instruments of the pop canon, although his echoing, dark, and droll brand of countrified pop was not marked for any kind of commercial success. Indeed, most of his albums remained out-of-print and largely forgotten for years until Steve Shelley’s Smells Like imprint re-released many of them, to great success, in the late-‘90s. Notable highlights included gems such as Cowboy In Sweden (released after he had moved to Sweden in 1970), Poet, Fool or Bum, and his 1999 comeback album Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! & Me. His self-proclaimed final album was last year’s Cake or Death.

Hazlewood is survived by his third wife, Jeanne, and three children.

Metal Machine Music Live Performance To Be Released on CD/DVD; Entire Death Metal Community Veers Into Collective Apoplexy

“Recommended cuts: None” – Billboard

“Sounds like the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator” – Rolling Stone

“An experience…both brutal and numbing” – allmusic.com

No, these hipsters aren’t talking about Ryan Adams’ latest nuggets of sun-dried shit, although they may as well be. They’re referring, of course, to Metal Machine Music, Lou Reed’s 1975 towering noise epic/contractual obligation -- your own opinion essentially depending on whether you are a “winner” or a “loser.” Either way, you could never really imagine Sweet Lou ever playing anything off the record live, especially considering that he himself claims never to have listened to it all the way through (although I’m sure he’s listened to Mistrial on more than one squalid occasion). This is because he is a “loser.”

That was until the hot and heady days of 2002. Inspired toward hitherto uncharted heights of creativity -- no doubt after hearing Hot Hot Heat for the first time -- German saxophonist Ulrich Krieger managed to transcribe the whole four sides of Reed’s career-ender, even though he had to use ‘special notation’ on some bits. Loser Lou described the results as “unbelievable,” and he agreed to play guitar in a live performance of the album with the German chamber music ensemble Zeitkratzer, at the Berlin Opera House, no less. (The Apollo Grill in Easthampton was unavailable that weekend.)

Why am I wittering on about this now? Well, five years on, the CD/DVD set of the performance is being released September 4 in the U.S. via Asphodel. In addition to providing the performance in its entirety, the DVD will also contain a 30-minute cheeky chat with Lou Reed himself. Wowsers!

But before all you ambrosial little noiseniks start auctioning off your Wolf Eyes lathe-cuts on eBay in order to afford the purchase of this undoubtedly expensive little package, I should leave you with a few choice words of warning from G. Naugle, “a music fan,” broadcasting from that bastion of critical profundity, Amazon.com. I quote:

“Horible![sic] Avoid this album at all costs! And just for the record for the so called "fan" who gave this a better rating than Death's albums, THIS ALBUM IS NOT DEATH METAL, NEVER WAS NEVER WILL BE! UTTERLY CRAP!”

Think on.