When we last heard from good ol’ Ted, he had just wrapped up a new, untitled album and was about to start another tour, which found him and his Pharmacists opening for Death Cab For Cutie in large theaters and hockey arenas. Now, weeks later, that DCFC business is behind him (save one show), and we have more album info. The new record, entitled Living With The Living, will be released on March 20 by the reliable ladies and gents at Touch & Go.
As you may remember, Mr. Brendan Canty produced the 15-track LP at Longview Farms Studios in Massachusetts. A few of the new songs will be familiar to anyone who has seen Leo & Co. perform recently -- or to those who look around the interweb for mp3s and stuff -- as many were road-tested before, during and after recording. Tracklist and remaining dates after the jump. What? We aren’t doing that jump thing everyone seems to be loving lately? Even with the redesign? Oops.
Living With The Living tracklist:
Boy do I sure miss the days of my innocent childhood. It's weird though; I really can't remember the broader picture of what happened during those formative years. I can recall some very specific instances from certain Nicktoons for example, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what I did on an average day. I know that this one time, in kindergarten, my teacher was going to use my homework as an example, but while she was holding it up to show the class, she noticed that I had circled something wrong. But little did she fucking know, that circle was actually erased, it was just that my bullshit pencil didn't have a proper eraser so I had to make do. I was so fucking pissed off about that, you don't even know. But if you asked me what subject that was in or what I learned from that year until last, I really couldn't say. My memory is disturbingly blurry, and I don't quite understand why.
I feel like I've been cheated because of this. Just because I couldn't comprehend the world around me from ages 0–13 doesn't mean that I don't deserve those memories. I had emotions, worries, cares, intellect, and friends (kind of). Why can I only remember that one episode of Ren & Stimpy where they're trapped in a spaceship and slowly lose their sanity until they struggle over who gets to eat the last bar of soap? (You can tell what generation I belong to now.) Why can't I remember when and how I met the friends I have today or why they still talk to me? How will I rid myself of this demonic syndrome that has no name?
I feel as if I'm growing disillusioned, and yet I'm totally aware that I have no right to make that bullshit claim. I'm not even old enough to be properly sarcastic yet. Now is the age of optimism when I'm supposed to believe in some shit and make some fucking changes in how things are done. Cynicism? Nihilism? Anarchy? Fuck that. I need someone to take me back to my innocent days – someone who knows what pure, unadulterated bliss sounds like. I need some Magik Markers to fucking help me find my way back. You don't really have to grow up. Just grab a couple and take a big whiff. You will always remember.
Don't listen to me; listen to this:
Michael Gira is back in the studio recording the follow-up to The Angels Of Light Sing "Other People." (among the best albums of 2005 in my opinion, which should also be your opinion now, FOR YOU SEE, MY FRIENDS, I AM A SEASONED MUSIC CRITIC). Instead of enlisting Akron/Family this time around, Gira is surrounding himself with a new ensemble, including multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin (Swans, Ministry, R.E.M.), guitarist Christopher Hahn, cellist Julia Kent (Antony & The Johnsons), and a whole crew of people I don't currently know but will love to get to know via hammer dulcimers, violins, and some sweet, sweet vocals.
The album is tentatively titled We Are Him and is scheduled for an April 2007 release through Young God, of course. The only real mystery about the whole thing is where it's being recorded. There are rumors flying around about the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, lesser-known studio Petersburn, and even Steve Albini's Electrical Audio. Oh wait, this just in: it's some studio in Brooklyn. Mystery solved, now get the fuck away from me.
It had been five days since Tiny Mix Tapes went into operation, and Shelly was excited to see how it turned out. Flashes of old memories from Geocities ran through her head -- first date, first kiss, first love. She even remembered what shirt TMT was wearing the day they met. Shelly started getting nervous. What could he be doing in there still? Why isn't he out yet? She only hoped the operation was successful. Shelly isn't normally one for surprises, but TMT assured her she'd love this particular surprise.
"Yes?," Shelly replied.
"He's ready to see you."
This was it. Shelly sprung from her chair and followed Dr. Rosenfield.
"Here's the room... I'll let you and TMT have some... privacy."
"Hey Doc... how.. how'd it turn out?" Shelly asked.
"Oh, you'll see..." he said coyly
Shelly knocked twice and slowly cracked open the door. "Hello?" On the hospital bed was TMT, wearing see-through music reviews and a tight news story. Shelly scanned his body, with her mouth open in awe.
"Oh my god, TMT... Did.. did you... Did you do what I think you did??"
"Yeah... what do you think of it?" TMT said shyly.
"But why? I thought you were perfect... I mean, the operation looks amazing, really, but.. I hope you didn't do this because you thought I wanted you to!" exclaimed Shelly.
"No, no. Don't worry Shelly. I did this because I love you. You've been so good to me over the years, and I wanted to just... you know, spice things up."
"Well... thanks TMT. It's amazing."
"Of course, it's not perfect just yet. It'll probably take through at least the rest of the year for it to be completely 100% ready... hell, you'll even see some changes throughout the day, but I was so excited I wanted to show you now. Plus, the doctor said it's alright if we want to... you know..."
After an uncomfortable pause, their eyes met. Shelly couldn't help but stare at what he had done. She started smiling, giggling nervously. TMT began taking his clothes off, as Shelly thought to herself how funny it is that years of studying the cultural implications of objectification could fly out the window so quickly. It was time to get it on.
We TinyMixMunchkins have never had much time for the whole "good is better than evil because it's nicer" adage. It's not that we’re insensitive. Far from it! In fact, sources close to us joyful minions swear they saw Mr. (mono)P(oly) just the other day drop a shiny 25-cent piece into an overturned flat cap in front of a couple of down-on-their-luck street urchins whilst declaring, "There! The world is yours, you adorable scamps!" Even though some claim it was a nickel that he spent the morning pounding out to the size of a quarter, and others say he quickly demanded a foot rub and the Caramilk secret in return, it really is the thought that counts, I guess. Nope, in our minds (and in P's... no matter what he'll have you believe!) evil kicks ass. We're all about it, hence we're busting our y-fronts to tell you that the evilest incarnate Acid Mothers Temple will once again be poaching souls across the country (yes, yes... and Canada too... calm the fuck down hosers. I KNOW Canada isn't part of the U.S.).
Set your phasers to stun, set the controls for the heart of the sun, and set your agendas to fun beginning April 14 in Los Angeles, because the band who puts the... wait a second... April? Oh well, we won't hold this distant future tour announcement against AMT, because it is clearly a band driven mad by the tour lust it needs to survive. And like the looney on the corner who walks the line between pure genius and pure nonsense and who smells a smidgen like doodie and screams passages from the "good book" (Sweet Valley High: The Pom Pom Wars), but who, at the same time, kinda starts making sense after you've had nine pints and a chicken shawarma platter and is darn near impossible to look away from, Acid Mothers Temple are just as mesmerizing when they play live.
Take the brown acid... take all the acid:
Kiwis, Crocodile Hunter, Lord of The Rings, Crocodile Dundee, kangaroos, water draining clockwise. These are the only things related to Australia and New Zealand that Americans seem to be familiar with (even though the thing about water draining clockwise is bullshit). Kinda sad, isn't it? Well, maybe M. Ward can shed some light on these oh-so-mysterious lands at the conclusion of a string of shows he has scheduled in the two countries. Look for an upcoming college lecture tour, entitled, "Australia & New Zealand: Actually, Not the Same Place" sometime in the near future.
While M. (no, I don’t feel silly referring to him as M.) has played in Australia before, these will be his first shows in the land of Flying Nun Records. He is still promoting his latest LP, 2006’s Post-War, put out by the tastemakers at Merge Records (in America, sorry if that is confusing). The album was recently nominated for three Plug Independent Music Awards, as was Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit-Fur Coat (Team Love), which Ward co-produced. The Aussie shows will have M. accompanied by his usual backing band, which features percussionists Rachel Blumberg (ex-Decembrists) & Jordan Hudson (ex-thermals), guitarist Adam Selzer, and multi-instrumentalist Mke Coykendall. On the flipside, the NZ dates will see the man playing solo. Get your tix quick, Southern hemisphere-ians, two of the shows have already sold out.
I am 15 years old and have a sickening habit of chewing the inside of
my mouth and also my tongue. I have tried everything to get myself to
stop, but the problem keeps coming back! I'm worried that it may gross
a guy out when I kiss him. What can I do to stop?
--Chewed in Chicago
Chewed,Dear Mr. Ferry,
I contacted a dermatologist who described your habit as something
similar to nail biting. Becoming aware of when and why you chew is the
first step toward change. A second step is to go ahead and purchase my
new album that comes out in March. You see, Chewed, I recorded some of my favorite Bob Dylan songs and wanted to share them with people just like you! I mean, heck, have you ever heard of a "chewer" listening to Dylan? Nope! If that doesn't work, I'd suggest investing in a pack or
two of sugar-free gum.
Last weekend I got a tongue piercing in a moment of insanity, and
without the permission of my parents. I feel so bad about it and
regret my decision. I'm also really scared because my tongue is
starting to turn yellowish, and sometimes there's this sticky blood in
the back that doesn't rub off. I urgently need your advice. Is there a
way to tell my parents without making them angry or grounding me?
--Pierced in Pasadena
First of all, show your parents some respect and let them know you got
a piercing. Parents can be difficult (oh boy how I know!) but deep
down they want you to be safe and healthy. At the very least, they
will be able to arrange to get you to an appropriate physician, and if
they're the kind of parents who love you, they might even go ahead
and buy you a couple tickets to go see... well, me, of course!
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine, and nothing spells out
laughter like a warmhearted performance in the United Kingdom by yours
truly. If that still isn't enough to heal your tongue, try to loosen
it up by repeating the following: "A brand new Roxy Music album will
also be released sometime in 2007." Try that a few times at varying
speeds and you'll be healed in no time. If you continue to feel pain
after no time, please buy another tour ticket.
Around two months from now, peace activist/musician/Queen of Bizarre Happenings Yoko Ono will release a new album entitled Yes, I'm a Witch. Many of the songs on this particular album were created by giving artists (such as The Flaming Lips, DJ Spooky, Peaches, Cat Power, and The Bomb Squad's Hank Shocklee) access to vocal and audio tracks from any song of their choosing, plucked right out of Ono's extensive collection of recorded works. The artists would then experiment and see what would result.
Though most artists agree that the existence of this album will be primarily positive for the music world, others are not so pleased. Enter Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, who is visibly upset by his exclusion from the album.
"At first, I thought I just needed to get on Ms. Ono's good side." Durst said. "Not only did I send her a custom-made pair of Jncos, I also sent her one of her own head shots, autographed by me. Oh, and also, a tray of 'Cherries 'n' Cheesecake' Fig Newtons and a Best Buy gift card worth $20. And still, no response. She's really playing hardball." Ono has declined to comment. Durst has yet to make mention of the controversy on his Xanga, but an update regarding the album from a distraught Durst would come as no surprise to fans.
Yes, I'm a Witch will be released on Astralwerks in February of 2007.
TMT likes bands that try to make a positive impact, if not to your ears, then to your surroundings. Calexico are a prime example. Soon, they'll embark on a short tour presented in association with Music for America, a non-profit organization that engages young people to get involved with politics through music communities, informing concert-goers about human rights issues on the border and registering voters.
The first stop is a hometown gig in Tucson, AZ, at the Rialto Theatre, which marks the continuation of Calexico's yearly benefit concert bash. Calexico will be donating a portion of the proceeds to KXCI-FM, a local community-sponsored radio station, and to Humane Borders, an organization that, according to a press release, "offers humanitarian assistance to those in need through more than 70 emergency water stations on and near the U.S.- Mexican border, ultimately trying to quell the hundreds of deaths every year in the Arizona desert due to dehydration." A representative from Humane Borders will make appearances at all of Calexico's headlining Southwestern shows to answer questions and/or provide insight into HB's cause.
Vocalist Joey Burns explains, "The issue is a complex one, and now with President Bush signing the bill that would build a massive wall between the two countries, the problems will undoubtedly become more severe and horrifying." I guess we haven't learned a thing from the Berlin wall.
Calexico's latest release, Garden Ruin, is lyrically more politically conscious than their previous albums. Burns recently stated, "In the past, there were songs that brought up social political issues like 'Service and Repair', 'Sanchez', 'Sunken Waltz' and 'Across The Wire,' but never has an album been so concentrated on these themes as this album. I would say we are confronting these times of political extremism on songs like 'All Systems Red' and 'Deep Down'."
"I think we are trying to do what we can in the music and lyrics to help people relate to the sense of frustration that's so prevalent," drummer John Convertino agrees. "I don't think we have ever had such 'political' thoughts going through our brains in the process of making a record as we have had with this one. There are monsters lurking all over it, even in the pretty bits."
Special online pre-sale for the Southwest shows may be bought here. Each ticket purchased here comes with a free MP3 download of an unreleased acoustic version of "Deep Down." So, if you're into that acoustic shit, bring toilet paper. The band is also hosting a contest to win free tickets, a copy of World Drifts In (Live at the Barbican) DVD, and a vintage Calexico tour poster without having to sell your soul. All you have to do is promote their shows and be as charming as humanly possible. For more information on the contest click here. No not there, here!
It feels good to hear about bands making an effort to change political injustices. Kick out the jams, Calexico:
United Kingdom’s Copyright Law has Midlife Crisis, Regains Composure, Seems Surprisingly Lucid at 50 Years
Every once in awhile, there's a news story that reminds us why we all love the United States — and we ALL love the U.S.A, especially me! United States of Amazing, am I right about that? Am I right about that being the United States of Amazing? Sure I am. Where else can you get U.S. flags? And where else can your copyrights last longer than 50 years? That's right; right here in the red, white, and blue.
Copyrights, as always, are a hotly contested issue. In the U.S., copyright owners get the rights to works for their life plus 70 years. The majority of commercial music, film, and literature is 'work for hire,' meaning that a label, studio, or publisher owns the copyright (making them the owner of the material). Here, the term is 95 years, and it can be renewed when the term is up. That's the U.S., so when my free-style rap about pieces and walking gets released on Sony, I can die happy knowing that it will never enter the money-grubbing public domain. Here's an excerpt:
"So I flip through the pages and what should I find?You won't get that kind of protection in the United Kingdom, no sir. Worse, you won't get royalties! And isn't that what it's all about? The BBC is reporting that a recent push for British copyright law to parallel the U.S.' probably isn't going to happen. 50 years is the term for work for hire, and it is coming at a critical time for artists like Sir Cliff Richard and The Beatles. Richard's earliest recordings will lose their copyright in 2008, and The Beatles will be out of theirs just a few years after that, in roughly 2012.
Holy shit, pieces before my eyes!
I need pieces
I'm walking, step one, step two
I'm walking down the street and damn, I see you
Cause I got to find these pieces in my mind
Walking down the street, one at a time
One foot forward and then the next one
It's taking me places because its lots of fun
If you don't really walk, then you gotta run
Fuck, walking. Walking!
So I'm walking again, yup, stepping down the street
Everybody sees me but I don't want to compete
With the running
That's why I choose to walk
An independent review, conducted for Chancellor Gordon Brown by Andrew Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times, is recommending the copyright terms stay at 50 years. The British Phonographic Industry is up in arms over the possible move, and rightly so. To them, losing copyrights means losing money, and doing that on groups as profitable as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones isn't exactly fair.
"This outcome would mean the report had 'missed a great opportunity' to support the music industry," the chairman of the British Phonographic Industry claimed. I guess England will have to wait for my free-style rap. As you plainly can see above, it's their loss.