Radiohead Love The Sound Of Radio More Than You Know; Near Radio Quality MP3 Downloads Of In Rainbows Out Now!

Okay, so that headline was a slight exaggeration; we all know that an MP3 file encoded at 160kbps is a better quality recording than that heard on FM radio. But perhaps the question we should be asking is "Why is Radiohead offering their new album in lower resolution audio files on the official launch date?"

According to the official e-mail distributed by the W.A.S.T.E. system, the digital release format for In Rainbows will be a ZIP file containing ten DRM-free 160kbps MP3 files. (Hey, at least they didn't completely screw over Mac/Linux users by offering the dreaded Windows Media Audio files I lovingly avoid like the plague.) Conspiracy theorists believe the 160kbps encoding may have been used to deter file-sharing on torrents/sites which require at least 192kbps.

Who knows.

On a positive note, iTunes offers really shitty, DRM-laced AAC files encoded at roughly the same bitrate for 0.99 cents a track. When you think about it that way, Radiohead's concept is still a step up from the usual horseshit song-and-dance that the music industry attempts to serve its customers on a daily basis. (No, not that puppet master dance that Elijah Wood did on Yo Gabba Gabba, the other horseshit song-and-dance.) Not to mention the fact that the majority of these artists aren't half as interesting as Radiohead.

Anyway, the download has been available for hours now. Happy listening!

Big Business to Kill Music by Reducing Shelf Space 20-40%, Wal-Mart to Ruin Everything

Get this, Reader Baby:

CD sales are declining.


And you won’t believe this, but it’s reported that 2008 sales will be strikingly worse.


Okay, don’t get a bee in your bonnet, Baby. Apparently, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target, who combined represent the biggest CD sellers, plan to cut their floor space for music by 20-40%

And I don’t have to tell you twice, So Incredibly Dependent on Wal-Mart Reader, that the diminished presence of discs in major retail chains could setback the process by which you’re able to get your hands on a sticky-sweaty-good copy of Kelly Clarkson’s latest by a good hour and change.

It’s a sign of the times, mmmmmhmmm.

M.I.A. Tours With The Cool Kids For The Cool Kids; Even Cooler Kids Skip These Shows Because The Venues Are Big and Like, Not Cool

[This news is super-interactive. If Teen Vogue can do it, so can we.]

Presenting... the inaugural Official Cool Points Quiz: M.I.A. & The Cool Kids Edition!

1. Award yourself a point if you can name the latest M.I.A. full-length as well as the rapper's heritage.
2. Give yourself 2 points if you can name M.I.A.'s ex-boyfriend and frequent collaborator. One bonus point for the title of their mixtape together.
3. Add 3 points to your score if you can name the sample used in the M.I.A. song "Paper Planes."
4. Tack on another 4 points if you can name the frog-voiced rapper that gets a verse on The Cool Kids' song "Gettin' It."
5. Five points if you can finish this Cool Kids line: "A little bit of gold and a _ _ _ _ _."
6. Increase your score by 6 points if you know the story behind the new M.I.A. single "Jimmy."
7. You earn +7 if you saw M.I.A. on tour for her first full-length. One bonus point if you can name that album.
8. Finally, please subtract 4 points from your score if you actually calculated your total up this question. You have to prove your coolness? Come on.

Answer Key: 1. Kala (TMT Review), Sri Lanka 2. Diplo, Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1 3. The Clash - "Straight to Hell" 4. Lil Wayne 5. pager 6. The song is a cover of "Jimmy Jimmy Aja" from Disco Dancer, a Bollywood film 7. Arular 8. Shame on you!

RESULTS: If your score totaled between 0-5 points, please read Pitchfork more often and hopefully you can catch M.I.A. on her next tour. If your score ended up between 6-12, this is your ticket to one of the following shows! Have a blast. If your score was over 13, you're probably totally over M.I.A., but you could always just go for The Cool Kids and leave before M.I.A. takes the stage. We bow in your presence.

M.I.A. with The Cool Kids:

Patience Is Not a Virtue, It Is a Waste of Time. We Want a New Six Organs of Admittance Album Now (or by November 20 at the very latest)!

“We shall support everything that the enemy opposes and oppose everything that the enemy supports.” Like Mao Zedong, some folks are just plain stubborn. Take Ben Chasny, for example. Just when you thought you could pigeonhole him with a convenient tag, he turns his heels and strides confidently into another guise, be it Badgerlore, Comets on Fire, August Born, Current 93, Plague Lounge, Basalt Fingers, or Six Organs of Admittance. I am positive there are more Chasny outfits that I am forgetting, but I am advancing the strict paragraph word count imposed by Chairman P dangerously close to the breaking point. I would go on, but if I show a bit of individualism and stretch the rules, the result may be castration (TMT’s book of state policies is fuzzy on this point; the only words I can translate clearly are “nuts” and “vise,” so I’m not going to take my chances, if you don’t mind).

After spending much of 2006 jumping in and out of a wide variety of studio and tour beds, Chasny opted to concentrate his efforts this year on his Six Organs of Admittance project. Flanked at times by Matt Sweeney, Elisa Ambrogio (Magik Markers), Tim Green (Fucking Champs), and Comets on Fire bandmate Noel Harmonson, the resulting album is bound to be his most focused and confident disc as Six Organs of Admittance. Or maybe it will be his most frazzled and fragile record. Regardless, Shelter From the Ash will be out November 20 on Drag City.

Chasny notes on the Six Organs website that Shelter From the Ash contains “Themes of war, the end of the world, the inherent evil in leaders as they send the young to die, abandonment, the singularity, the impending 'accident,' and those sorts of general good times abound. Have fun!” Um, I like the where you are going with this album Ben, but you forgot to mention rampant epidemics, intolerance, the increasing trampling of human rights, tragic poverty, global warming, stepping in doggie doo, and NASCAR among your list of underlying charged influences. Some people just cannot be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! Chasny is not a number; he is a free man, man! To rebel is justified!

1. Alone with the Alone
2. Strangled Road
3. Jade Like Wine
4. Coming To Get You
5. Goddess Atonement
6. Final Wing
7. Shelter From the Ash
8. Goodnight

Who wants to see a true master of guitar manipulation at a bar or venue where you can get pissed, be with like-minded people who follow and respect the artist, and get a full show’s worth of material in the manner intended by the performer when you can sit cross-legged on the shit-bum floor of a record store with scores of pea-brained cheapskates under the warm feel of fluorescent lights, sober? Hooray for no one! Yeah, yeah, sure... in-stores rule

11.16.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Amoeba Music (Hollywood), 6:30 PM
11.17.07 - Berkeley, CA - Amoeba Music, 4:00 PM
11.20.07 - Portland, OR - Jackpot, 6:00 PM
11.21.07 - Seatlle, WA - Sonic Boom (Capitol Hill), 7:00 PM

[Photo: Kami Chasny]

Jesus Tour. Shit. No. Wait. Jesus Tour. NO! God. I Mean, Jesus. SHIT! JESU TOUR!!!!!!!!

While paging through Jesu's press releases and writing this story, I'm noticing a theme. Fronted by Justin K. Broadrick, founder of GODflesh? "Conquering" the year 2007? My fingers inexplicably typing that stray "s" as I try in vain to write a TMT headline? The bright light filling my bedroom as I type? Thank god (Ha! No capital "g" for you!) New York City is so polluted, or I would surely be swept out the window by the force that is "Jesu."

Fresh off releasing the ultra-limited Pale Sketches (a compilation of unreleased material) earlier this month on Avalanche Recordings, the group releases new music today with the Lifeline EP (Hydra Head/Daymare). With loads of new tunes in queue, take to heart my warning when I tell you it is TOTALLY conceivable to be overtaken by the crushing beauty (she's getting all sincere-like, folks) that is Jesu on tour.

This would be longer, but quite frankly, my attention span barely made it through this list of dates. Holy Jesu, indeed:

Lifeline EP tracklist:

1. Lifeline
2. You Wear Their Masks
3. Storm Comin' On
4. End of the Road

Hey, Arrested Development Is Back! The Group, Not The TV Show

Back in 1992, the influential hip-hop group Arrested Development sang, "Take me to another place, take me to another land," on the hit 'Tennessee." Who would have thought that the group would have actually gone to such a far-off land (that land being Japan and the land of obscurity)? Not until now, actually: after 12 years of not releasing any material in the U.S., the group has decided to release Since The Last Time in the U.S. October 30. Since The Last Time was released back in September 18, 2006, but not in the U.S.

So, in case you were wondering, who is Arrested Development?

Arrested Development was founded by Speech and Headline as a positive hip-hop alternative to gangsta rap. Besides being politically driven, the group was also known for having their song 'Revolution" in the Spike Lee film Malcolm X. After breaking up in 1996, the group got back together in 2000 and to my amazement created a loyal fan base in Japan.

The group made a U.S. fuss in 2003 by suing the FOX Network and the fictional characters of the sitcom Arrested Development. The lawsuit was even referenced in the episode "Motherboy XXX," and has become a conspiracy theory to the show's cancellation.

Lately, the group has been resurfacing their live act, performing recently at an unprecedented gig in Jerusalem alongside the Black Eyed Peas. Yes, Fergie was in Jerusalem. Also other spectacular ("shitacular?") groups like Gym Class Heroes have been citing Arrested Development as an influence. Hell, even the group frontman Speech contributed guest vocals to the song "Biter's Block."

The group returns at a time when rap in general has been under fire by the media. Even "gettin' paid and laid" rappers, like Chamillionaire, have purposely cleaned up their act to dissipate the dreaded "Parental Advisory" sticker from their albums.

Arrested Development's album Since The Last Time will include 12 new tracks, with "Miracles" as the first single. Additionally, a special mix tape will be available October 30 on Vagabond Record & Tapes. The mix will feature 18 classic and unreleased AD songs, as well as some collaborations with Gym Class Heroes (gasp!), TY, DJ Hasabe, and Braille.

So, all you hip-hop heads out there better get ready to be uplifted. Positive messages may not always equal positive beats, but now it may be possible for children to learn that they can do more with their lives (and sexual organs) than skeet, skeet, skeet. And what do Chamillionaire and Will Smith think about the return of Arrested Development?

They said, "Fuck the shut up."

I think they meant to say, "Shut the fuck up," but they were both drunk and performing coitus interruptus. Go figure.

Arrested Development should have tourdates sooner than you can say "Fergaliciouspeepants."

Since The Last Time tracklist:

Probably Shouldn’t Have CCed the Intern, Dude: Leaked EMI Memo Indicates Fiscal Retooling of the Record Industry May Be A Good Idea (Duh)

As we've reported before, EMI has a new top executive. However, what we never really stressed before is that his name is Guy Hands, and that is extremely funny.

Anyway, in a memo that recently leaked, Hands (whom I picture as the lovable Hamburger Helper mascot) noted that "rather than embracing digitalisation and the opportunities it brings for promotion of product and distribution through multiple channels, the industry has stuck its head in the sand."

He went on to suggest that labels abandon their bloated, advance-based economic model, provide smaller amounts of funding for their artists to record and tour, and recoup a piece of all the gains or losses the artists then experience.

No proprietors of smaller labels could be reached for comment, because they’ve all been very busy either already subscribing to this business model or have been practicing it for years.

According to the memo, this all has something to do with Radiohead’s forthcoming digital release of In Rainbows (1) (2) (3), marking yet another time in which Thom Yorke slapping his name on something has caused the masses to hail it as the new guard. I expect the Spin article on my desk by next weekend.

Guy Hands!

Nine Inch Nails Are Now Indie!

Trent Reznor's Greatest Hits (in chronological order):

Pre-NIN: "Reznor always reminded me of Harry Connick, Jr," said former piano teacher Rita Beglin.

Pre-NIN: Reznor was "very upbeat and friendly," said former Mercer High School band director, Dr. Hendley Hoge.
1993: Nine Inch Nails win a Grammy for "Best Metal Performance."
1994: The Downward Spiral goes double platinum.
2005: With Teeth
2007: "Steal it. Steal away. Give it to your friends." (TMT News)

08 October 2007: Big News

Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008. Exciting times, indeed.

posted by Trent Reznor at 10:45 AM. 312 Comments

2008: NIN sign to Universal, Sony BMG, Warner, and EMI, sign up for Facebook.
2014: Reznor tells fans to steal his furniture. They do as they're told.

Figurines Are Not Action Figures Or Dolls; They Are A Band On Tour

Denmark's own Figurines have made progress since 2006's Skeleton (TCG). While that album found the band sounding like a sped-up Danish Modest Mouse, last month saw the release of the group's new album, When The Deer Wore Blue (TCG), which is decidedly more mature and experimental in a Brian Wilson kind of way. In fact, the LP sounds a lot like Pet Sounds and Smile fooling around with each other whilst on vacation in Denmark. If you can't imagine what that sounds like, you could buy (I know, what an antiquated idea) the new record and find out yourself, or you could just check out their tour with the recently grounded Dappled Cities, starting this week.


* Dappled Cities

Major Stars Release New LP on Drag City, Tour. Full Disclosure: I Am Somewhat Sure There Exists a Photograph of One of Them Shoving All Ten of His Fingers Into My Mouth At Once

Major Stars, the band CMJ recently described as “notorious” for some reason, have announced they are releasing their latest album on Drag City. The decision makes them labelmates with such zeitgeist-tapping luminaries as the Nig Heist.

Last night on MythBusters, they figured out that it’s way more efficient to turn your lights off when you leave the room than to leave them on.

Major Stars also has a short tour planned for next month and will be sure to turn the lights off before they leave.

MythBusters engineered their biggest explosion to date in the name of “Busting” ™ -- the myth that the shockwave from an explosion will break a dummy’s 500-foot fall. Something went wrong with the dummy, but they were still pretty sure it wouldn’t work.

Major Stars have never made a mistake like that.

The episode of MythBusters I watched was almost certainly a rerun. Major Stars have never done anything twice.

I couldn’t think of anything to write for this piece, and now it’s edging closer and closer to Chuck-Norris-Joke territory. Just go see Major Stars and buy their new record. Their shows are drunken catastrophes of the highest order and maybe if you leave the house and expand your mind, you’ll learn something for once, etc, etc.