Ariel Pink Tours: With or Without Farty Armpit Sounds?

Since growing a cult following, Ariel Pink has formulated quite the live band, revising the self-recorded sound of Pink's earlier DIY albums. The band consists of keyboardist Kenny Gilmore (Lilys), bassist Tim Koh (White Magic, Lavender Diamond, Miho Hatori/Cibo Matto, All Night Radio, My Barbarian), drummer Jimi Hey (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio, Devendra Banhart, Mark Olson/The Jayhawks, Chris Robinson, Indian Jewelry, The Rapture, Strictly Ballroom), and guitarist Cole M. Greif-Neill (Ethnik Klensr, Young & Natural, The Samps).

Sure that all sounds fine and dandy, maybe even a little impressive, but I can't help but feel a void.

That void is the Ethiopian armpit music of Keith Terry. What makes Pink's lo-fi material so mesmerizing is not just his keen awareness of pop sensibilities and structures, but rather his incorporation of armpit sounds replacing bass drums. So, why not hire someone to authentically recreate the sound? What would any tour be without this guy?

If you're not dumb and immature like me, you might want to go to some of the following dates for Pink's amazing live show and a limited-edition, tour-only vinyl (released in partnership with Vinyl International).

"Thanks Mama I'm Dead Tour 2008":

Team Clermont Announces Summer Camp Festival Lineup, Featuring Music, Kickball, Scavenger Hunt, and Four Square!

Back in college, I was a DJ and Alternative Music Director for my University’s radio station (like many of you, I’m sure). So reading Team Clermont’s name (a PR firm based in Georgia, for those not in the know) transported me back to a time of dead air, broken CD players, and themed radio shows, and I found myself getting a bit nostalgic for my college radio years. Sad, I know. But, before I put on Loveless and contemplate how long it will take me to get drunk enough to call my college boyfriend, let me tell you about Team Clermont’s Summer Camp Festival.

The annual festival will be held July 31-August 2 around Athens, Georgia, Team Clermont's abode. Featuring such events as arts and crafts, karaoke, kickball, four square, and corn hole, the festival is already way cooler than everything else you have going on this summer. Where else can you get drunk, listen to awesome bands, and play four square?! On its final day, there will be a "Campfire Sing-Along," featuring cover bands dedicated to ESG, Paul MCartney & Wings, Mclusky, and Sonic Youth.

Here’s the schedule of Summer Camp’s list of activities/band lineup:

Day One: “Camp Orientation” (07.31.08 - Caledonia Lounge)

- So Many Dynamos
- Mostly Bears
- Megafaun
- Benji Hughes

Day Two (08.01.08 - Little Kings)

- Music Director Scavenger Hunt (12-2 PM)
- “Talent Night” featuring karaoke, dance party with DJs Cookies & Cream, arts and crafts, four square and corn hole tournaments, and a face-painting station

Day Three (08.02.08 - East Athens Community Park)

- Koalas vs. Walruses Kickball Showdown (10 AM-2 PM)
- Graham MacRae

Day Three Pt. II: “Campfire Sing-Along” (08.02.08 - 40 Watt Club)

- Tiny Sticks (ESG cover band featuring Josh McKay of Macha/Seaworthy, Bryan Poole, Heather Heyn formerly of Dark Meat, Aaron Wegelin formerly of Elf Power)
- Hi Hi Hi (covering Paul McCartney & Wings, featuring Bryan Poole from Of Montreal/Dark Meat/Elf Power/the Late BP Helium and Jason Nesmith of Casper & the Cookies)
- F*ck This Band (Mclusky cover band featuring Jeff Tobias of We Versus The Shark, Dark Meat and Pegasuses-XL; Scott Smith of We Versus The Shark; Andy Pruett of Cinemechanica; and Brion Kennedy)
- Nic Fit (Sonic Youth cover band featuring members of Dead Confederate).

Alright, now time for Loveless.

“The City That Knows How”.. to Steal Your Shit: Maria Taylor’s Van Robbed in San Francisco, People Suck

On Thursday, July 10, Saddle Creek darling Maria Taylor’s van was broken into while she and her band were in San Francisco. The jerks busted out the back window and stole six guitars (the right-handed ones belong to Maria, the lefties belong to guitarist Taylor Hollingsworth), two suitcases, two pedals and tons of Maria’s new EP, Savanna Drive.

Luckily on Friday, Maria and her band recovered one of the missing bass guitars at a local pawnshop. However, the loser pawnshop owner made them pay $250 to get it back, even though they had their police report. Much of the gear that was stolen has sentimental value and the band is quite upset.

I know how they feel, sort of. Some assholes broke into my house a month ago and stole all the computers in our house, two digital cameras, and my posh terabyte external hard drive. It had the most jams on it.

Anyway, here is the damage.

Stolen Gear:

- Left-handed Red Gretsch Tennessee Rose Guitar
- Left-handed Martin Acoustic Guitar
- Left-handed White American Fender Precision bass -- recovered at a pawnshop
- Right-handed Purple Fender Jazz Bass guitar
- Right-handed 1976 Black Les Paul Deluxe
- Right-handed Alvarez acoustic guitar (hand-painted white with black swirls -- guitar strap is nailed on)
- Boss Tuner Pedal
- Boss Distortion Pedal

If anyone has any information regarding the stolen goods, please email

Lykke Li Tacks on North America To Her European Tour

21-year-old Swedish-lo-fi pop darling Lykke Li is set to embark on a 10-city North American road trip in support of her debut album, Youth Novels (TMT Review), which is scheduled for release August 19 in the U.S. Sadly, Li's short tour romp will not be named "Madonna's Immaculate Collection Rules Tour of ’08," which does very little to honor the time Li spent with the album while living on a mountaintop in Portugal. Anyway, Li will also stop off in a couple Canadian cities, riding through America's hat in between hitting up various other international stopovers for previously scheduled shows and summer festivals.

For a full listing of all worldwide dates, visit her MySpace.

Full North America tour listing:

Melvin Van Peebles Collaborates with Madlib, Sues ASCAP for $20 Million, Prompts Reassessment of Relative Baadasssssness of Litigation

According to Variety's blog The Set List, Blaxploitation renaissance man Melvin Van Peebles (TMT Feature) recently filed a $20 million lawsuit with the New York State Supreme Court against ASCAP, a major organization that collects licensing fees and distributes royalties to musicians, songwriters, composers, and publishers.

Van Peebles is perhaps best known for directing, starring in, and composing the score for 1971's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, but he's also the writer and director of many other films, the writer and composer of the Broadway show Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, and the musical mastermind behind 10 full-length albums (many of them soundtracks).

Van Peebles' concern stems from ASCAP's failure to list all of his 157 registered compositions in their newfangled electronic database, which includes only 24 of them. He alleges that the disappearance occurred between 1992 and 2005. This oversight, he alleges, prevents him from charging appropriate licensing fees to those performing or using his songs. The Set List, on some detective shit, reports that " lists only one of his tunes being covered by an artist not associated with one of films, Grace Jones, who recorded ‘The Apple Stretcher.’"

However, as astute Set List commenter "dave" notes, Van Peebles has long been a source of hip-hop samples. Indeed, according to sampling database, more than a dozen hip-hop tracks have used pieces of Van Peebles' recordings. ASCAP's sampling policy puts the organization in a position to negotiate fees for sample usage, further legitimating Van Peebles' complaint about his missing compositions.

Interestingly, Van Peebles' future projects include a collaboration with Madlib, whose Quasimoto alias is one of the heaviest users of Van Peebles samples. According to Madlib's label, Stones Throw Records, Van Peebles' next release will be a double album encompassing one disc called Brer Soul Meets Quasimoto as well as an album-length "Madlib Invazion remix." Van Peebles also recently completed his eighth feature film as director, entitled Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus ItchyFooted Mutha. The film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in late April.

Who is Esperanza Spalding? You didn’t get the memo?

You’ve probably never heard of Esperanza Spalding. It's understandable. A friend of mine thought she was a type of Spanish basketball, so I try not to talk music with him anymore.

Esperanza Spalding is quickly becoming one of jazz music’s leading double-bass players, vocalists, and composers. Her innovative, intricate style, along with her sultry voice, is causing mass amounts of people to turn their heads and silently mouth: “Who’s that?” Spalding's first effort, 2006’s Junjo, was a soulful and fresh exploration of creativity that had both jazz fans and music critics craving for more. Spalding happily obliged with 2008’s Esperanza, her sonic statement to the rest of the music world that she is a force to be reckoned with. The album depicts Spalding’s youthful and charismatic style, while showcasing her seemingly infinite creativity and ability.

So, now you’re thinking how good can she really be, right? I was too, at one point. Then I found out that Esperanza Spalding is the youngest professor in history at the Berklee School of Music, at age 24. Most people I know, myself included, are hoping they still don’t live with their parents at 24.

Spalding recently made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with David Letterman last month, but you can catch her on tour, as she is currently on a non-stop world tour through October. Or you can catch one of the insanely tight videos of her ripping up the stage on YouTube. Either way, you’re going to see Esperanza Spalding very, very soon. Capitalize on her music now, so later on you’ll have your chance to be hip and say "Oh, I liked Esperanza Spalding stuff before she was big."

Check out her official website here or her MySpace here.

* opening for Carlos Santana

EMI Appoints New CEO, Easy as ABC

Ah, Guy Hands! That lovably ludicrous EMI chairman/specter (who seems to haunt at LEAST one TMT news story a week these days) has such an absurdly captain-goes-down-with-ship job title and equally ludicrous name that he could probably so much as go to the damn BATHROOM and we satirically-bent music writers would still probably hit the keys all 8-fingers-blazing to writeup a cheeky news piece about it as fast as we could... all (or at least, largely) for the joy of riddling that comic-book name of his with (hardly) revolutionary bullets of music-proletariat sarcasm.

I can see it now: "Hands Uses Rest Room, Fails to Wash Hands." Or maybe: "Guy Hands to Neighboring Stall: ‘Hands’ Off My Toilet Paper!" Maybe good for a yuk in that postmodern, "look how tired this reads!" kind of way, but generally not the kind of stuff we'd stake our dorky college-newspaper-editor reputations on. Frankly, we pun writers could probably use a break from Mr. Guy Hands. And fortunately (read: not a minute too soon) for all us cheapshotters, it seems as though we're about to get one.

Yup. Hands has promised to step back from day-to-day management of music industry mega-giant EMI, after appointing Elio Leoni-Sceti as chief executive of the company's "recorded music division" this week. Leoni-Sceti himself had this to say (or, more likely, to read carefully):

This is a hugely exciting time for the music business and for EMI. EMI is the world’s longest established music company operating in over 40 markets globally with a roster of some of the most successful artists in the world. They range from long established names such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and The Beach Boys to contemporary singers such as Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen and Norah Jones. Its current successes include Coldplay and Katy Perry topping both the UK and US charts. The potential that can be realised in this industry is massive, music consumption is growing more than ever across the world and I cannot wait to get started and to working with EMI’s artists and employees.

Ol' Guy "All" Hands (sorry, I'm an addict), meanwhile, has claimed he will take the roll of "non-executive chairman," leaving the company to return to its traditional bi-tyrannical structure of having separate chief executives for both its recorded music and music publishing divisions (the long-serving and less-comically-named Roger Faxon currently heads the publishing division).

So where did Mr. "Busy" Hands (last time, I promise) dig up EMI's newest chief executive? Well, you'll all be happy to know that Mr. Leoni-Sceti, a seasoned marketer, has absolutely no background in the industry whatsoever, having spent the past 16 years as executive vice president (and a bang-up vice president, to be sure) with Reckitt Benckiser, a European FTSE30 "consumer brand" company. Oh, yeah, and in case you were wondering, kids, this is the company that makes Clearasil acne cream, among other things, and, as we all know, music and teen skin-care issues have been going hand-in-hand at least since "The Limbo Rock" charted.

Citing his belief that EMI needs to focus on selling music more effectively (read: NOT going broke via cajoling the Jonas Brothers to stay a little longer and releasing more Radiohead best-ofs to the Starbucks generation), Handsy (shove it) sez that the pesky little matter of signing those whiny "new" artists is to be handled by Nick Gatfield, a former executive with Universal, who is joining up with Team Stayafloat to run its labels worldwide. So, you know, this should probably fix everything, right? Oh well. At least it might put a cap on some of those puns.

Mr. My Morning Jacket Records with Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Takes up New Alter Ego

It's official: Jim James can do anything he wants.

Not only is he touring the hell out of his divisive Evil Urges (TMT Review) with his band My Morning Jacket, but according to a story in the latest Rolling Stone, he's teaming up with fellow Midwesterner Conor Oberst and good friend M. Ward for a record. Additionally, Mr. James plans on adopting "Sec Walkin'" (a tune from MMJ's latest record) as a stage name/alter ego for another album.

According to Rolling Stone:

...he's recording an album with Conor Oberst and M. Ward; and, bizarrely, he's dead serious about making music as an alter ego he describes as an Asian country star named Sec Walkin (after the Evil Urges tune about walking). "It's such a great country name, like Trace Adkins," he says. "Look for us at the top of the charts."

While I don't really see this making it to the top of the charts, I would suggest catching My Morning Jacket while they're touring until New Year's Eve. Nice sarcasm, Jim.

Maybe Sec Walkin' will make an appearance during tour:

# solo show

$ "An Evening With My Morning Jacket"

Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other?: I Grew Rainbow Bangs! Shudder to Think Reunion Tour! Gas is $1.99 a Gallon!

The sly dogs of Shudder to Think have stopped dangling the idea of a reunion tour over our heads like an obscure, limited-edition on Japan vinyl wrapped in bacon. Stop drooling, nerds. Come August, Shudder to Think will kick off a North American tour in Baltimore at the Virgin Mobile Fest, their first proper jaunt since 1998. With the exception of the cock-tease that was their New York City Mercury Lounge show last fall and Baracking out in February, we've been relegated to our stereos to get a piece of this band for the better part of ten years. The lineup is a bit different, sans original bassist Stuart Hill, but we will be seeing Adam Wade for the West Coast portion, who was on drum duty for 1994's Pony Express Record. Additional shakeups include Time of Orchids' Jesse Krakow on bass and Gosling's Mark Watrous on guitar. And yes, original members represent: vocalist/guitarist Craig Wedren, guitarist Nathan Larson, and late-era drummer Kevin March for the East Coast tour.

To what do we owe this great honor, O Great Shudder to Think? Is it the booze? The strippers? The backstage massages? "Our music is continuing to seep out, like syrup from a tree or the remains of a sweet, sticky picnic," says frontman Craig Wedren. "Every day, new people -- many too young to have caught us during the first go-round -- are contacting us after ‘discovering’ our music. I'm constantly meeting people who feel the same way about our music that we do, and it makes me feel indescribably good. This tour is our way of saying ‘thank you.’"

Nuh uh, guys. Thank you. Especially since this will ruin my mid-year resolution: "Stop spending all of your money on concert tickets and booze." Lamest resolution ever.

It's gonna be a Hot One!:

Secret Machines to Go Public, Public Machines to Self-Release 3rd LP Through World’s Fair Label Group

An excerpt from my recent gchat with TMT Editor-in-Chief Mr P:

Nobodadz83: I just don't really have a whole lot of leads for TMT news stories this week, man. I don't know what it is. Slow week or something I guess.

Nobodadz83: Nothing really seems, you know, "newsworthy" around here.

PoonMan69: Really? What about that Secret Machines business that just went down?

Nobodadz83: What ‘Secret Machines Business’?

PoonMan69: Well, they officially announced the other day that they were going to be breaking with their major label and working with the World's Fair Label Group instead to self-release their newest full-length sometime this fall.

Nobodadz83: Huh... really? Hey wait, what's the World's Fair Label Group? Sounds like just another record label to me! That's not news!

PoonMan69: Dude, chill. I know. But World's Fair Label Group is technically a "full-service, worldwide record label administration company," not a record label.

Nobodadz83: blahhhh... go on...

PoonMan69: They've actually been in operation since 2004, and their thing is providing complete administration services to independent
labels... and directly to artists for self-releases. They're based in New York and Oklahoma and have a team of 11 full-time staff providing
press, radio promotions, online marketing, video promotions, sales,
manufacturing, design, and finance services. They've actually done stuff like this before with Midlike, Dandy Whahols, British Sea Power, 1990's... umm...

Nobodadz83: Wow, P, that's a lot of extraneous information you've got there.

PoonMan69: Hey, that's my job, bro.

PoonMan69: But what do you say? Do you want to write about that?

Nobodadz83: What's the "story" there? That vague Secret Machines "self-release" part?

PoonMan69: Yeah. That definitely counts as "news."

Nobodadz83: Wait a minute, P. Is it going to be FREE?

PoonMan69: Umm, no, I don't think so...

Nobodadz83: Is there a WEBSITE where fans can download it from?!

PoonMan69: No.

Nobodadz83: Will we be able to at least PAY WHAT WE WANT for it or download a FREE COMPANION EP though their website or get a free concert ticket with the CD or something?!?!

PoonMan69: Uh... probably not??

Nobodadz83: Ha!! That's what i thought, P...

PoonMan69: Sooooo... not interested, then, I take it?

Nobodadz83: Yeah, I’ll pass...

* Stone Temple Pilots

^ Coheed and Cambria and Russian Circles