Shh. Do you hear that? Shh! Under that tree stump over there! I think it's... Yes! It is! It's the distinctive call of a fully-grown Early Day Miner! Oh, my. I don't think he's seen us. He's sticking his little head out... Be very quiet; he's easily scared and will hide at the first sign of danger.
He's... Yes, I do believe that he's coming over! Have you got some food with you? Nuts or chocolate? Let him feed out of your hand. No sudden movements. Trust, that's the main thing with a Early Day Miner. If you gain his trust, you may even be able to coax him on a full-blown tour!
I do believe it's done the trick! Look at the little fella, whittling a crude guitar-like instrument out of a beech twig with his front teeth. Soon, he'll scamper off... there he goes!... and find a nice, warm, dark venue where he'll perform his traditional mating call. If you're very, very quiet, he might just let you listen. Wouldn't that be a treat?
So, maybe you live in a place that, for some reason unknown to you, is about 30 fucking degrees hotter than it should be, which makes it about 50 degrees hotter than you're used to. You're not accustomed to this, probably because your blood has yet to thin since moving to the deep south, the low country, that portion of the East Coast that has almost zero "liberals" among its population. What I'm getting at here is that due to the current summer-like climate situation, Americans find themselves clamoring for summertime jams (no Fresh Princes need apply) more than any other winter in the nation's history.
Saturday Looks Good To Me are perfect musical companions for the faux-summer(or if you prefer, the "damn this is one hot" fall)like-temps. All those crazy things you feel every couple days (happiness, melancholy, longing, love, discomfort, hotness, coldness, reverb) are found on any one of the 26 bazillion tunes in the SLGTM catalog. Their convincingly "authentic" '60s-ish song-stylings make apocalyptic-like weather situations seem like a just another day at the beach.
Now (er, the end of February) is just as good a time as any for SLGTM to go on tour. This particular jaunt finds the group playing shows with Canadian-favs Ladyhawk and fellow Michigan resident Chris Bathgate. SLGTM's 2006 LP, Sound On Sound (Redder), was a B-sides/rarities album with 30 tracks culled from many a demo tape, 7-inch, EP, and tour-only release. So, the band has to get back on the road, if for no other reason than as an excuse to record another tour-only EP that could be considered for inclusion on a future odds & sods LP. Green Mansions is that EP, a limited edition (250 copies), one-sided LP of all new material put out by head SLGTM-er Fred Thomas' own Ypsilanti Records.
The recording of the EP was done in stark contrast to the process for SLGTM's as-yet to-be-released LP, Fill Up The Room. As Thomas tells it, the recording of the future LP saw the band spend "the better part of the year meticulously recording in elaborate studios all over the place." For the EP, they returned to what Thomas calls "our early supremely lo-fi roots," even recording the EP masters "on a no-name tape found on the ground." Only one song from GM, "Peg," is scheduled to make an appearance on FUTR. GM will be made available to lame-os, slackers, and invalids who can't make it to a Saturday Looks Good To Me show on the upcoming tour or through the band's regular site or the Ypsilanti Records site and/or either one of those organizations' MySpace pages. That makes it pretty impossible to whine about not getting a chance to own one, so save it.
Green Mansions tracklist:
All featuring combos of Weasel Walter (drums) with Damon Smith (bass), Henry Kaiser (guitar), Marshall Allen (alto), Elliott Levin (tenor), John Gruntfest (reed), Jon Raskin (reed), David Slusser (reed), Phillip Greenlief (reed), Jennifer Hicks (movement), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Marco Eneidi (alto), Marc Edwards (drums), Lisle Ellis (bass), and Elliott Levin (tenor).
Ho, ho, ho! Yes, that's right, boys and girls, Santa was in a nasty mood this year and was caught giving out coal to all the artists signed to any independent music label beginning with the letter "S". While the folks over at Secretly Canadian were happy with their newfound energy-creating resource, the poor souls over at Sub Pop weren't so lucky. Word on the street is that Low were so distraught they wrote a slow song about it. Oh, that Santa! Turning the world on its head, I tell you!
The mighty trio, currently consisting of Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and new bassist Matt Livingston, have decided to turn their Christmas Crisis into a Christmas Opportunity. The group, set to release their new LP, Drums and Guns, in March, are heading out on a little romp around the globe.
The dates include a short stint at this year's Dirty Three-curated All Tomorrow's Parties in Somerset, UK, which, for those of you keeping track, will be happening at the same time as Coachella 2007 in Indio, CA.
Low Tourdates Here (sorry readers, I was running out of time)
Here's a list of all the artists you will not be seeing at Coachella 2007, because you will be happily attending ATP 2007 instead:
Nick Cave / Grinderman / The Dirty Three / Low / Papa M / The Drones / Faun Fables / Brokeback / Tara Jane O'Neil / Magnolia Electric Company / A Silver Mt. Zion / Devastations / Felix Lajko / Bill Callahan (Smog) / Josh Pearson / Mick Harvey / Shannon Wright / Conway Savage / Cat Power / Spiritualized / Mum Smokes / Small Knives / Joanna Newsom / Yann Tiersen / White Magic / Psarandonis / Ian Wadley / Art of Fighting / Afrirampo / Youpi Youpi Yeah / Alan Vega (Suicide) / Roscoe Mitchell
By the way, Santa Claus gave me a gigantic pile of coal for telling you that. Sorry, St. Nick.
Dave Longstreth: You really love me, North America?
North America: Passionately!
DL: Darling! You don't know how happy you've made me.
NA: My own Dirty Projectors!
DL: But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if my name wasn't The Dirty Projectors?
NA: But your name is The Dirty Projectors.
DL: Yes, I know it is. But supposing it was something else? Do you mean to say you couldn't love me then?
NA: [Glibly.] Ah! that is clearly a metaphysical speculation and like most metaphysical speculations has very little to do with the actual facts of life, as we know them.
DL: Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don't much care about the name of The Dirty Projectors... I don't think the name suits me at all.
NA: It suits you perfectly. It is a divine name. It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.
DL: Well, really, North America, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Dave, for instance, is a charming name.
NA: Dave?... No, there is very little music in the name Dave, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations... I have known several Daves, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Dave is a notorious domesticity for David! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called David. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really safe name is The Dirty Projectors.
DL: North America, I must get christened at once -- I mean we must get married at once. There is no time to be lost.
The Dirty Projectors will marry North America at all of the following:
By now, I'm pretty used to reading about dumb moves by the U.S. government, but this one made me spit out my coffee. Apparently, the FBI has until recently declined to release documents containing details about John Lennon's leftist ties and activities, for fear that they would spark "military retaliation against the United States." Shit, girl! I'm thinking these "details" gotta be pretty juicy, dig? Sorry to disappoint, but it goes more like this: apparently, John Lennon committed such heinous and shocking acts as being interested in helping finance a left-wing book shop and reading room in London. Lennon never even forked the money over, but the very IDEA that he would was enough to send the FBI into a tizzy.
But wait, there's more! Another document describes an interview Lennon gave to an underground newspaper, noting that "Lennon emphasized his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world." Clearly, John Lennon was a damn commie pig and a danger to the welfare of fine upstanding capitalists everywhere! For real.
In actuality, the FBI's reason for squirreling away these documents is shrouded in mystery, shall we say. Says the rather hi-larious Mark Rosenbaum of the American Civil Liberties Union, "The ultimate lesson of these documents is that the head of document classification for the FBI must be Stephen Colbert."
Click here to read the Super Top Secret Files rumored to bring on Tony Blair's game face.
Akron/Family are touring. They're touring! Touring! Touring!
Oh, yeah! Yeah! Touring! TOOOUUUUUUUUURRRRRRIIIIING! In support of their new album (album album album!!!) Meek Warrior (TMT Review)! Oh yeah! TOOOOOUUUUUUUURRRRIIING!
Ah-whoooaaaaaah, Akron/Family are touring! YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAH! Touring. Touring.
Touring. Touring! Touring! Touring! TOURING!
They're gonna play on the following daaaaaaay-hey-hey-heytes:
Photo: Deborah Samantha
Congratulations, U.S. government! You've managed to show that you've got bigger control issues than freaking Russia. Jesus Chri— I mean, Unspecified Denomination's Hailed Figure (one of my New Year's resolutions is to be more Politically Correct).
So Russia's trying to play nice and join the WTO, and the U.S. government's all (in a Bill Lumberg voice), "Hey Russia... what's happening. We need to talk about this website you've got... yeah, it's AllofMp3.com?... yeah, about that. We're going to have to ask you to go ahead and uh... get rid of it... yeah."
Although AllofMp3 is totally legit in the motherland paying royalties to Russia's music licensing company, ROMS, its copyright laws are a tad lax compared to ours. I know, can you believe it? Anyway, this all went down in November after the sweethearts over at Visa gave AllofMP3 the "fuck all y'all" and stopped processing their credit card transactions. And it gets juicier
Enter the RIAA, a name we all know and love. Somehow they managed to take a break from suing soccer moms and wallowing in a sea of denial about the changing structure of the music industry long enough to get in on the AllofMp3 action by introducing a nice little lawsuit. Check these fightin' words: According to the lawsuit, AllofMp3's "pretense of legitimacy makes its enterprise potentially even more damaging than the shadowy pirate operations that cater only to those users willing to engage in intentional copyright infringement." SLICE!
The website's chances don't look so hot, what with losing tons of money to credit card transactions and other economic pressures — but hey, they've got some fangirls and boys right here on this new-fangled doohickey they call a "blog." It contains an "official" statement from AllofMp3, which reminds us that they are located in Russia and also reminds us that Russia is in fact, not located in New York, and therefore not subject to U.S. copyright laws. Choice comments include: "Fuck the american Comercialfreaks. shoot down and break necks" from "c-ra," which, weirdly enough, appears to be the only username commenting on the blog.
So, what now, AllofMp3? "Stick it to the man," as your supporter(s?) so cleverly suggest? Your website is still pretty bangin'. That 20% off sale looks pretty sexy. How about this... give me your digs and we'll keep everyone updated on your "status," okay? 'Cause this could get interesting, kna'mean?
Remember, when we told you about the conflicting dates for the release of Mos Def's new album Tru3 Magic last month? We reported (hesitantly) that it was coming out January 9. Well, according to MTV, turns out Geffen freaked and instead released it on Friday, December 29, just about the worst possible time you could release an album.
Geffen decided to prematurely release Tru3 Magic after the album leaked online in early December. Additionally, according to MTV, "sources close to Mos Def said the rapper also wanted to move forward with Tru3, which is his last contractual obligation to Geffen under his current deal, according to a label rep." As soon as they both realized how little time there was to market the album, Mos and Geffen decided to push the release date back -- but it was too late. The CDs were already shipped to stores, and even though they officially "recalled" the album, it's up to the stores whether or not to send the albums back.
The solution? Release two albums! The over 11,000 copies of Tru3 Magic that sold (and all the ones sitting in stores) are now touted as a limited-edition "pre-release." A second, re-released version, which will contain FULL artwork (not this) and a slightly altered tracklist, will be released in the springtime.
So, go download Tru3 Magic now, and as soon as they release the tracklist info for the second version, alter your MP3s and you'll already have the re-released version. Shit, maybe they'll release a third version!
Ladies and gentlemen:
We, as Summer Hymns, have come to a decision which we felt we should tell you and all of our fellow American citizens, as soon as we were certain in our own minds and in our own conscience that it is the right thing to do.
Our conscience tells us clearly and certainly that we cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. Our conscience tells us that only we, as Summer Hymns, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. Our conscience tells us it is our duty not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility, but to use every means that we have to insure it. We do believe that the buck stops here, that we cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell us what is right. We do believe right makes might, and that if we are wrong, 10 angels swearing we were right would make no difference. We do believe, with all our hearts and minds and spirits, that we, not as Summer Hymns but as humble servants of God, will receive justice without mercy if we fail to show mercy.
Therefore, we, Summer Hymns, music group of the United States, pursuant to the touring power conferred upon us by Article IIX, Section 42, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, low-cost, and absolute tour unto the United States of America, with fellow Athens group Folklore (fronted by Elf Power's Jimmy Hughes), which will occur during the period from January 23, 2007 through February 10, 2007.
Summer Hymns, January 9, 2007: