Okay, picture this, reader: So, you're Billy Corgan (I know, gross, right?), and you’re down in the dumps. For starters, your manager has just vetoed your awesome idea of changing the spelling of the word “Billy” to include three #1s (Yeah, like “B#1#1#1Y.” Pretty rad, pretty rad!). But more importantly, you’ve recently realized that your "band" (uh, such as it is) -- in addition to having become a hideous self-portrait long distorted from its supernatural absorption of 17+ years of baby-genius fits, forced moans, bad trench coats, unwarranted forays into electronic music, and unapologetically barbarous feasting upon the fresh egos of fellow bandmates -- is saddled with a 1991-era band name in a 2008 world!
Every day you wake up and monologue to yourself (and to the biographer that you've hired to follow you around all day): "god DAMN ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ is a lame band name! If only I could somehow, I don’t know, turn back the hands of time... if only, instead of finally moving on with my life and my music, I could actually transport the whole world back to a time when the name ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ seemed cool and relevant!"
Well, good news, Billy. Now you can.
The solution? Why, you'd simply pull a Liz Phair and immediately make plans to re-release your band's 1991 debut album Gish as a box set later on in 2008. And just to one-up Phair, you'd probably just release it complete with plenty of pre-Gish material from the late-’80s, not only to give the public a sense that 1991 is actually pretty "futuristic," but also so that fans can finally hear the awkward, growing stages of your brain-child and finally understand just how large and imposing of a shadow you actually cast over Alternative/Rock! Ah, you can actually feel your hair growing back as I speak...
But how to spread the word about your re-ushering-in of the 1990s? Well, I suppose the easiest way would be to just get on your website and post a little enigmatic non-post. You know, just enough to get the online publications writing cheeky stories about it in the days and weeks that follow. Something kinda like this:
Does anyone else smell that in the air? Oh yeah, that's Gish!
SP.com has another small byte of information for you regarding your favorite first Smashing Pumpkins album: plans are currently underway that will lead to the eventual release of a pre-Gish/Gish box set!
What is to be included on here, no one knows for sure but it should be noted that its release is expected to coincide with the Gish tour sometime in 2008...
Expect more information as it becomes available.
And boom! Just like that, you're back in business, Billy. Ahh, safe and warm back in the early ’90s where violence toward the plant kingdom was as hip and popular as... well, as some other band besides yours is today! It's a wonder what a little sickeningly desperate nostalgia appropriation can do, isn't it? And look, you even get to tour on this shit, too! It's gonna feel great when you're paying like 83Â¢ a gallon for that sweet, sweet 1990s gas!
Oh, yeah, "but what about D'arcy and James," you ask? Hey. Don't worry about them, dear reader. After all, you're supposed to be Billy Corgan, remember?
Starting tonight, Warmer Milks will be hitting the road in support of their new cassette EP Slave to Suicide and, of course, their new full-length album Soft Walks, an homage to folk traditions of yore. Both were recently released on Animal Disguise, which is also home to acts like Sic Alps and Eloe Omoe.
Warmer Milks will be carrying a bunch of limited tour merch with them, so all you eBay power sellers better catch them if they come to your town.
This August, Stereolab are releasing a new LP (TMT News) that will hopefully follow in the footsteps of its nine-million brethren and make me feel like I am riding my bed very slowly through both outer space and France.
Replace “my bed” with “a bus, I assume” and “outer space and France” with “the United States and Canada,” and I’ve just created a neat segue from my moronic approximation of Stereloab’s sound to their impending North American tour. Depending on the speed of my bed in your imagination, you might also want to switch up “very slowly.” Your call, though.
The latter half of the tour will see Stereolab playing with Monade, perhaps better known as Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadler’s other band, which also sounds sort of like Stereolab. Stereolab, Stereolab, Stereolab.
# Thanks J. Ketterfool!
Tindersticks Short-Term Itinerary: Release Album in North America (Check); Tourdates (Confirmed); Mess With the Zohan (Tentative)
Oh, we at "le petit Mix" are a precocious bunch. When we’re not bulldozing our way into freebie shows to load up on backstage grub and booze, we are camped out at a hidden (but not too hidden) table at your trendy neighborhood café, putting on airs of world-weariness and intense sophistication, scribbling furiously in our Moleskin notebooks (Who cares if they cost $20 a piece? If they are good enough for Hemmingway, they’re good enough for us!), desperately hoping you see us jotting down ideas for the next great American novel (or more often than not, a to-do list or some god-awful poetry that would make even our mom's vomit). You see, we like to think that beneath our testosterone-fueled outer shells beats a tender heart seeking attention... any attention you will afford it. In this case, it’s a "tinder" heart, for when one of us gets the chance to report on the where- and what-abouts of truly classy gents like Tindersticks, our love muscles skip some beats.
While Tindersticks have always had the sophisticated style down pat, they also have always oozed bountiful pop beauty since their inception. They are basically everything we strive to be, but are not. So with news of a new album finally getting its deserved North American release, there is a reason to stand tall and look good. After a five-year break, Tindersticks will issue The Hungry Saw September 16 through the very apropos Constellation Records (released in UK/Europe in April). Recorded by original members David Boulter, Neil Fraser, and Stuart Staples, along with Thomas Belhom and Dan McKinna on drums and bass respectively, and a host of helping hands at Staples' Le Chien Chanceux studio, The Hungry Saw is more than a welcome return from one of the UK's most beloved acts. Constellation, no strangers to impeccable style themselves, will release The Hungry Saw this summer on digital download and in September with updated artwork and a fine artstock lyric booklet on CD and 180-gram virgin vinyl.
2. Yesterdays Tomorrows
3. The Flicker of a Little Girl
4. Come Feel the Sun
6. The Other Side of the World
7. The Organist Entertains
8. The Hungry Saw
9. Mother Dear
10. Boobar Come Back to Me
11. All the Love
12. The Turns We Took
And because you know damn well that NOTHING gets a crowd into a moshing frenzy like the noir melancholy of Tindersticks, here's some summer and fall shows:
07.20.08 - Suffolk, England - Latitude Festival
08.08.08 - Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal - Sudoeste Festival
08.14.08 - St. Malo, France - Route du Rock
08.15.08 - Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium - Pukkelpop Festival
08.16.08 - Halden, Norway - Down on the Farm Festival
08.29.08 - Co. Laois, Ireland - Electric Picnic Festival
09.11.08 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Nasa
09.14.08 - North Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
10.05.08 - Glasgow, Scotland - City Hall
How your skinny pants can help Darfur: Amnesty International seeks bands and fans for Small Places tour
So, as a musician or a music fan, you're doing stuff to make the world a better place, right? You're supporting local venues, stimulating the economy by drinking lots and lots of cheap beer, and boosting self-esteem by helping otherwise socially awkward band dudes get laid. But now there's an opportunity to do something MORE, whether you're that totally rich dude from Coldplay (because he totally reads this website every day), or just some kid who wants to see, for example, The Shins and also try to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Amnesty International is looking for bands (like you, guy from Coldplay!!!) to be part of what they're calling the Small Places tour. Named as a nod to an Eleanor Roosevelt quote about human rights being important "in small places close to home," the tour will be more of a collection of music-related events and opportunities than an actual caravan of tour buses. Spearheaded by Amnesty supporters like U2's The Edge and Peter Gabriel, the performances kick off September 10, my birthday, and run till December 10, the date of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's Amnesty's biggest music-based project in 10 years.
So, what is it? Well, it's an opportunity for artists to take the initiative themselves to get their fans involved with Amnesty's message. Since it's not a traditional tour, bands can offer incentives like meet-and-greet opportunities, special seating packages, and awesome performances. Musicians and fans will be supporting Amnesty's 60th anniversary campaigns like campaigning to stop violence against women, ending torture, stopping the killing in Darfur, protesting China's activities in Tibet, working for the release of Burma's Aung San Sui Kyi, and demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
To get involved with Amnesty International's Small Places tour, visit its MySpace page.
Heads up, English-speaking peoples of the world (uh, and any French-Canadians as well, I guess). You'd better stock-up on garbage-related puns this summer, because you can't stop pride-of-Portland Stephen Malkmus and his merry band of emotional trash-talking Jicks from gettin' their psych-rock swerve on all over the world, infesting the festival circuit this summer with their... uh, "filthily-rockin' noise polluting, litter-music"... or, you know, whatever. You can think for yourselves, can't you?
And speaking of thinking for ourselves, according to a recent post by Pitchfork, the Malk-man and co. have recently lined up a deliciously rotten "slurry" of new summer dates all over the western world, including a couple of pre-Siren Fest romps up in the clean, white land of Canada, a dirty one-off at Fuji Rock in Japan, and four grimy little UK gigs to close out the month of August. Yum! And by the way, no showers are accounted for in the tour itinerary...
EMI Initiates Layoff Extravaganza©, Ex-Employees Ecstatic at the Possibility of Entering the Vibrant Job Market, Thankful for Trickle-Down Theory Economics
EMI's owner Guy Hands is a visionary, and he's been having visions of cutting jobs at least since January, when EMI announced job cuts of roughly 1,500-2,000 (TMT News). In April, word got out that 2,000 more jobs would also get the axe. If in fact this second round of layoffs becomes true -- EMI denied the cuts -- the company would be reduced to roughly 2,000 jobs. And since Guy Hands and his buyout firm Terra Firma originally purchased EMI with 4,500 employees, that means roughly 56% of the jobs will have been axed by the time the last ex-employee shuffles out the door.
The latest round of layoffs are currently happening (since yesterday), and if you can't glean my excitement, I'm literally jumping up and down here, smiling from ear to ear. Here's a bullet-point list courtesy of Hypebot:
- 10 are out at Blue Note, mostly in NYC
- Capitol Nashville VP of A&R Larry Willoughby and VP of Sales Bill Kennedy
- Denise Arguijo, a production manager in Nashville
- Capital_records David Pak and a number of others exit from Caroline
- In house art and design staffs suffering severe cuts
- Anything that can be outsourced will be
- Expect more pink slips and details today
EMI will continue to focus on A&R, digital music, and corporate sponsorship, but maybe it should look into outsourcing Mr. Hands' job. Meanwhile, Coldplay's Viva La Vida (TMT Review) will top the Billboard charts with 721,000 sold.
After an exhausting summer of sweating it out at music fests like Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and the ever-impending TMT Fest, Midwesterners will be happy to hear that Forward Music Fest, hits just as the weather cools off, coming September 19-20 to Madison, WI. Don't matter that it's indoors -- by September, the land of dairy and snow will be well into single-handedly disproving global warming with ball-shiveling gusts. But that wont stop acts like Neko Case, Bob Mould, Shearwater, Leslie and the LYs, Dan Deacon, The Detroit Cobras, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Dillinger Four, Killdozer, Pale Young Gentlemen, Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons, The Gomers, Blueheels, Droids Attack, Things Fall Apart, and more TBA from congregating in the various Madison venues participating in FMF.
And more: concert-goers, after buying an all-access pass for $25, can shell out an extra $10 for guaranteed entry to select shows, which is damn egalitarian if you ask me. VIP status at a nominal price. I love Wisconsin!
Remember when you lost your virginity? Yeah, me neither, but to honor The Black Kids' upcoming fall tour with The Virgins, we asked our readers to share their stories of how they lost their V-cards:
Erin Matterson (Athens, GA): “The first time we made love, I had no idea what was going on. Afterward, he didn't speak; he passed out. I was so alone. I've never hated myself more. But it was done, my virginity was gone. It didn't matter after that: sex became an everyday occurrence. My only fear was losing Bobby. He was the first, and even if he treated me bad (and there were those times), I was going to do anything I could to hang onto him.”
Darren Haas (Rochester, NY): “I messed up big time my junior year of high school. I started having regular sex with my girlfriend. I was a Christian, therefore the momentary pleasure was there, but the relationship was a miserable one. I am still scared from the instances that took place. It took me until the summer before my freshman year at college (during camp) before I realized that God had already forgiven me, but I wasn't letting go. I found out that I have to totally let go of something to keep it from holding me down. I will never completely forget what happened, but I worship an awesome and forgiving God. The biggest statement I would like to make is the fact that I would give anything to take it back and to have my virginity still to this day. Hang on to it; you will only know later how happy you'll be!”
Eric Glenbeck (San Jose, CA): “Losing my virginity has caused many problems in my life. For the longest time, I cried myself to sleep -- I felt dirty and ashamed of myself. A few days ago, I finally mustered up enough courage to go and get tested for STDs. I'm still waiting for the results.”
You can read more “real life stories” here, or you can ask The Black Kids about theirs at the following tourdates (I dare you):
$ The Virgins
I know him as Ryland, and you probably know him as The Robot Ate Me -- but we all know him as obscure ’50s tennis superstar Pancho Gonzales, which makes it exciting for everyone to know that Mr. Bouchard is currently in the studio with Alan Lechusza (who did the arrangements for Robot Ate Me's Carousel Waltz), putting the finishing touches on the music for a massive "wood holding box" called SEEDS. Engraved, numbered, and set for release on his own Swim Slowly label, the set not only features three "mini-albums" both on CD and spread across three colored seven-inches, but it also contains a full-color book with illustrations by Daniel Gibson, an additional CD of B-sides/unreleased tracks, a DVD, and hand silk-screened items, including a t-shirt, poster, lyric sheets, carrying bag, and more. Phew!
You can order SEEDS October 1 for $125, but Ryland is already taking pre-orders, which reduces the price to $100. Keep in mind that you won't be able to find the set in record stores, and the music isn't expected for release on a "regular" format. And did I mention it's limited to only 500 copies? Yeah, so if you want these yummy, sweat-infused fetish objects, I'd recommend putting your economic stimulus checks to use sooner rather than later. For all you get in this set -- CDs, vinyls, book, t-shirt, etc, etc. -- you can bet your sweet smellhole that I already plopped down my cash (and then picked it up, deposited it into PayPal, and then used PayPal to buy the set).
Check out Ryland's MySpace page for early versions of "Henry The Devil," "nohandnoclothes," and "Born in the Middle." And make sure your upcoming fall/winter schedule is flexible, as Ryland will be making the rounds throughout Mexico, North America, Europe, and Japan.