Ah, Sam Coomes! He sure has gotten a whole lot CRAZIER in recent years, wouldn't you say, dear reader?
I mean, I always did kind of feel this serial killer vibe coming from that man for some reason... (Although, to be fair, that whole serial killer thing could just be coming from the press photos. Ummm... yeah... see what I mean??) Heck, I always just chalked it up to the fact that Coomes seems to have spent the past eight years or so playing the same kind of über-obsessive and one-sidedly freaky cat-and-mouse games with U.S. Prez George W. Bush that... say, the Joker usually plays with Batman.
But now, with the oncoming of a new presidential election year sure to usher in a fairly substantial change of the guard one way or the other, Quasi frontman is rapidly running out of excuses for always looking so damn insane and homeless. How can he possibly manage to KEEP that good ol' Manson Family edge, despite the fact that the Bush era is slowly, albeit pretty universally distastefully, fading into our collective memories and (surprise, surprise!) the weary world is still turn-turn-turning???
Simple: start recruiting women.
And that's just what keyed-up keyboardist and disenfranchised blooze guitarist is doing for the band's upcoming fall tour, as it was confirmed last week that bassist Joanna Bolme, of "Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks" fame, has joined up at the creepy Coomes Family Compound (alongside longtime chick-drummer-extraordinarie and fellow Jicks faculty member, Janet Weiss), thus expanding this duo of indie rock royalty into a trio and furthering the possibility that Coomes is farming some sort of bizarre cult of bad-ass female rhythm players in order to gear up for some sort of anti-Malkmus revolution!
Either way, the group/cult will be road-testing this new lineup on a short tour this fall with Touch and Go's own Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. No word yet as to just how permanent of a fixture the lovely Bolme will be in the Quasi Compound. Look out, though, Steve Malkmus. You must have pissed-off Coomes straight-up Beach Boys style!
* Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Careful, I am a fox. You may have seen me around in recent years, on product boxes, in various advertisements, as the mascot for disreputable universities. This should not be. At heart, I feel I am a delightful little fox, nibbling on tasty treats, occasionally wrestling with a few sheep. I keep to myself. I donate to NPR. I watched Live Earth. Yet I am a victim, just one of thousands every month. I am a victim of identity theft.
When it first went down, I thought, "How could this happen to me? I'm just a fox. I don't even have a credit card." I soon learned that they could take more than just a few numbers and passwords. They took my face, my fur, my essence -- those poachers of the credit card on my soul!
I tried to move on with my life, but I was bitter. No longer could I nibble on treats quite so tasty. Sheep were flavorless. On NPR, I waited, waited for them not to tell me, but my heart wasn't in it. I just wanted them to tell me and be done with it. I was defiled, and I watched my identity get plastered all over intellectual and actual property. Now, I must speak out. I must reclaim the identity that was taken, viciously and unscrupulously from me, a once care-free fox.
- NO, I am not the fox of the television network, FOX, who tragically died of dehydration and embarrassment because he thought he could dance.
- NO, I am not the FireFox that hugs a blue earth. I like the earth, but I have never hugged anything, except to steady a timid sheep who thought it could get away but couldn't because, if it took the time to get to know me a little bit, it would know that I'm not a pansy like the aforementioned FireFox.
- NO, I am not the Star Fox who has a laser gun and pilots a space ship. Though it would be beneficial for the moon sheep, I have never been able to breath in outer space. Or hold a laser gun, which would be beneficial for earth sheep as well.
- NO, I am not the fox who works for the emergency service, 9-1-1. This is not a fox but a monster, possibly lobotomized. Notice the cold, vacant stare. He is lewd and dances bottomless, yet still wears a belt.
- NO, I am not the adjective 'foxy,' although I appreciate the compliment.
- NO, I am not Jamie Foxx. I did not care for Ray.
Now that's out of the way, we can get down to the business of honesty. Identity theft is an assault on the truth, and we foxes tell inconvenient truths: WHO I AM is the Fox Confessor who brings the flood. The one and only.
Deal with it.
A tumor of guilt has lodged itself in my stomach.
All this talk of honesty is making my fox eyes tear. You see, I've left out some crucial facts about my case. This puts me in a troublesome and awkward position. We foxes have the reputation for being sly, for lurking in truth's basement. And part of this whole thing is to dispel some of the fox myths that have built up over years of neglecting my identity theft. So, no more will I beat around the bush in which I was previously hiding. Come clean, that's the new fox way.
WHO I AM is a thief. Yes, it is true. I have stolen an identity as well. "An Egregious Act of Irony" will be my charge when I plead my case to the Poetic Justice of the Peace. They will through books upon books at this little fox, for I am but an impostor of the real Fox Confessor.
I am the re-issue. Neko Case, the sultry ranch-hand who tends the soft sheep of whom I like to innocently tussle in a Tom Sawyer sort of way, has decided to re-release Fox Confessor Brings the Flood with a bonus disc of five tracks. She's touring with The New Pornographers and continuing to re-release Furnace Room Lullaby and Blacklisted, fine albums that came before me and my original identity.
Poor fox, you're saying. Don't say it. I've duped you, just as you thought I might! Maybe I'm a victim, maybe I'm a thief, maybe all this has been a lie because my reputation precedes me. But did I not warn you? Perhaps not even that is worth taking at face-value from a fox. Let it serve to remind you never to trust the confessions of a fox, not even this one. Careful.
Fiction: Wu-Tang is the "first-ever" group to secure a Beatles sample.
Fact: You can hear Beatles sampled on The Beastie Boys' legally released "The Sounds of Science." Plus, Ja Rule got clearance to sample "Eleanor Rigby" for his new album, The Mirror, due November 13. (You can hear way more on The Grey Album by Danger Mouse. But this one's illegal.)
Fiction: Wu-Tang sampled "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for their track titled "The Heart Gently Weeps."
Fact: It's technically a composition sample, not a master sample. It is also referred to as an "interpolation."
Fiction: Erykah Badu, John Frusciante, and Danny Harrison -- George Harrison's son -- guest on the track.
Fact: It's "Dhani," not "Danny," FYI Wu-Tang.
Fiction: Wu-Tang's The 8 Diagrams comes out November 13.
Fiction: The album will be released via Secretly Canadian (with a sample of a Phosphorescent song. JK).
Fact: Loud will release it, not SC, silly.
Fiction: TMT has done one of these fact/fiction stories before.
Fact: It's so true!
It ain't easy being cheesy, and it's even harder being Dan Deacon (TMT Interview). Touring like a motherfucker for the better part of this year, Deacon recently announced the cancellation of select dates on his current tour due to exhaustion. The affected cities are Oberlin (OH), St. Louis (MO), Grinnell (IA), and Kansas City (MO), and possibly Brooklyn (NY). Yeah, I know! Very upsetting. But very understandable, too, right patient, sympathetic, sexy reader?
So, the question now is what are you going to do instead of going to the Dan Deacon show? TMT has compiled a list of activities that we endorse:
- Fly a kite. Nothing says "fuck you Deacon" like flying a kite.
- Eat some cereal. Shit's good. Use lactose-free milk if you get the squirts.
- Dry your laundry on a clothesline. Who said being eco-friendly wasn't cool?
- Masturbate. It's healthy. Don't be ashamed of your body. Get to know it.
- Practice your speech. Public speaking is vital to your future success.
- Order In Rainbows. Chris Martin will. You should too.
- Write Dan Deacon a sympathy note. He needs your encouragement.
- Fly another kite. Nothing says "fuck you Deacon" like a symmetrical task list.
Be sure to check his MySpace for any future updates regarding his exhaustion.
I have a problem with Portishead. The group recently announced that they are mixing their forthcoming album and are still making minor adjustments here and there -- sure, fine, cool. The problem I have is not with what was said, but how they said it. Let me refer you to a blog post on Portishead's official website:
"hello we have mixed all the tracks and the whole album is shit, so were going to start all over again. ok only kidding...sorry ! its sound pretty good but we have to go back to a few things in the next few weeks though. it sound pretty different from what we have done before i dont think the fondue society will be happy oh well , like the bee joke ends....... fuk em bye geoff"
I don't know about you, but I think Portishead's blog needs a good editor. Like, for example, me. Here's how I would've posted the news:
"Hello, friends of Portishead! Thanks for visiting our website. We have mixed down all the tracks for the forthcoming new album, and it doesn't quite sound magnificent enough, so we're going to start from scratch, like a pastry cook unsatisfied with his/her delectable treat. Only kidding! It sounds 'decent,' like recent Mogwai albums, but we'd like to take another shot -- like a gun at a driving range or a needle at the doctor's office -- in the next few weeks. It sounds pretty different from our first two AMAZING releases, and we're very excited to get this album finished (like a good book) so all of you can hear what we've been working on. I thank you again for visiting this blog. We'll make sure to give you an update as soon as we have something worthwhile to say, kinda like how TMT updates you throughout the day with news now. Love, Geoff."
Better, huh? Man, my editing skills are impeccable. Oh, almost forgot! I snuck into the studio yesterday and took a snapshot of Beth:
It's hard to tell from the picture since it's black and white, but it appears that she was in the middle of coming up with a word to rhyme with "epidermis."
Meanwhile, Portishead recently confirmed both Silver Apples and GZA/Genius (Wu-Tang, bitch) to play the Portishead-curated Nightmare Before Christmas ATP. They'll be joining artists like Aphex Twin, Glenn "Raise the Muthafuckin' Ruckus" Branca, Sunn 0))), Oren Ambarchi, Sparklehorse, and Oneida.
Hey, once they're done with the album, they should totally release it within 10 days and let consumers pay whatever price they want. Yeah? YEAH!! STROKE ME! YES! YES! RIGHT THERE RIGHT THERE!! RUB RUB RUB!! DON'T YOU STOP!!!
Icelandic heartthrobs Sigur Rós have four shiny new discs all prepped and ready to spray over your glistening body one fine morning, but word now has it that the shower of circular rainbow plastic will be coming in two spurts. In the interval, you can... lather yourself with Anticipation brand shampoo?
Let's abandon the shower metaphor. As was previously announced, a 2-CD album called Hvarf-Heim (bless you!) is slated for release on November 6 and will be a mixture of new studio tracks and reworked versions of old songs. Rumor has it that Jón Ãžór Birgisson's main instrument during the sessions was a gently bowed pile of whale blubber. Whale blubber, as we all know, is world-renowned for its delicate, angel-in-an-outhouse sound.
As for the 2-DVD documentary/concert film Heima, the band has decided to shift its release date to November 20, giving you two extra intimate weeks alone with their new album. Filmed by Oscar-nominated director Dean DeBlois, Heima
tells the story of Arlo, a trash-talking chihuahua who just might learn a thing or two when his owners send him to the strictest obedience school in the country documents the band's return to Iceland for a series of free concerts last August, playing special shows in abandoned fisheries and (dangerously) on the edges of cliffs. The second disc features a full concert in Rekjavik from the same tour, and thus cannot be called a pointless Takk-on. Yuk yuk.
It's been wonderful. However, after reading that Steve Hewitt, the
drummer of Placebo, has decided to call it quits, I've decided it's
for the best that you pack your shit and leave before nightfall. Shh,
quiet, don't try making any connections; I know you may not understand,
but love is a complicated thing. Don't bother making dinner either; S. Kobak is taking me out this evening.
Honey, as you may or may not know, Placebo changed my life in middle
school, but now that I'm in college, I realize that any self-respecting
band that goes on tour with Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance
deserve to have a drummer quit. Besides, I caught you listening to that
Soulja Boy song in the shower the other night, and it made me realize
that any man who could sing "Superman those hoes" and still somehow be
a legitimately good human was impossible. So we're done.
I'm sorry, baby.
P.S. Placebo's drummer position will be replaced quickly, but your position
in my life will take a while to replace. In fact if you still wanna do
the friends with benefits thing, I'm in.
Sony BMG Merger Approved for the Second Time; “Take that, whiny bitches,” says Sony BMG rep Chris Wool
Since the merger of Sony and BMG in August 2004, the major music group has acted more like a towel over the face of the already suffocating major music industry than as a resuscitating device. Things started off with the payola scandal of 2005, in which Sony BMG (among others) was caught bribing radio DJs to promote artists like Franz Ferdinand and Jessica Simpson. It was fined $10 million. Then, of course, there was the rootkit scandal in 2005. As equally funny as the payola scandal, Sony BMG's shitty DRM software auto-installed onto the consumer's computer and auto-compromised its security. Even one of Sony BMG's uninstallation options for the rootkit made personal computers vulnerable.
Talk about bad PR. Which is probably why Sony BMG decided to skip a scandal in 2006. Or maybe because that's when Impala (indie trade association) convinced the European Union to annul the Commission's decision to clear the merger in the first place. Who has time to worry about a new scandal when the company's own marriage is skating on thin ice?
It's now October 2007, 15 months since the annulment, and the EU Commission (who earlier this year approved Universal's giant takeover of Bertelsmann's BMG publishing arm) has FINALLY announced that... the... Sony... BMG... merger... has... been... for... the... second... time... cleared. According to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes:
"This investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the commission in a merger procedure. It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets. [...] It analyzed all retail net prices, discounts and wholesale prices for all CD chart albums sold by all major record companies to all of their customers. This was an enormous exercise. We found no evidence to support any theory of actual or likely anti-competitive effects of this merger."
The investigation also supposedly offered "tangible evidence" of Sony BMG's activity since 2004, something the Commission couldn't possibly predict in its original 2004 decision to allow the merger. But with the above-mentioned scandals and the bad press that came along with it, doubts are raised as to whether or not this "tangible evidence" is truly representative of Sony BMG's potential clout.
Impala, of course, reacted strongly to the decision. The group claims the Commission ignored the Court's ruling, calling the decision "indefensible" and wondering why the merger was cleared a second time without remedies. Chairman Martin Mills said the decision ignored the "independents' evidence on anti-competitive behavior in retail, radio and television, press and the online market," according to Billboard. Meanwhile, Impala President Patrick Zelnik said "The Commission has ignored the simple fact that four companies control 95% of the music most citizens hear on the radio throughout the world. What kind of a message does this send to European citizens?"
Shitfaced Newsathon Continued! Beatlez Help! Coming out on 2-Disk DVD this October, go fuck yourself.
Editor's note: This story was written for last week's [Shitfaced Newsathon. But due to various circumstances, the story was never published. Now, for the first time ever, we present Nat's shitfaced news story on The Beatles. Enjoy it in all of its unedited glory.]
Apple Corps Ltd and EMI Music are set to release The Beatles “Help” on a special two-DVD set on October 31. Help! Is about Ringo and a magic ring that makes him ringo extra hard. The new DVD offers some sort of surround sound and people talking about the film. The DVD is also maybe available in another box set that involves the original script and a [rare] picture book.
If you are one of the thousands of Beatles fans still waiting for Let It Be, the film that chronicles the Beatles final years, you can “eat a bag of dicks,” said an Apple Corps representative last week in a press release. For those of you who live in New York City, Kim’s Video has a VHS copy, but don’t even think of taking it out, because I rented it yesterday.
The Beatles (formerly “The Silver Beatles” and “The Quarrymen”) were a 1960’s British Invasion band that took the US by storm with their hit singles “Ticket To Ride’ and “Freefallin’”
Fugazi Drummer Works On New Material, Tiny Mix Tapes Staff Writer Works On Ian McKaye (WHO IS NOT DEAD)
Honestly, seeing “Fugazi” and “new” in the same sentence is just cruel when it don’t mean what we want it to. I speak in the royal “we,” of course, because what crazy bitch doesn’t miss Fugazi? I’ve talked plenty of shit on this here page about whacked-out reunion tours with eyes only on the big fat profit prize, but all y’all know that Mr. Ian McKaye wouldn’t take too kindly to Madison Square Garden, nor would there be enough people excited about their reunion to fill MSG (this is what’s wrong with our world today).
Instead, drummer Brendon Canty has been laying down some new tracks with Ian Svenonious of the Make Up, the latter of whom claims this whole solo project thing was his idea in the first place. The project is unnamed at this moment, so you’ll have to write something else on your Trapper Keepers for now. In the meantime, drool (natural please, not drug-induced, homies don’t play that) all over a new Fugazi photobook, aptly titled Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs.
P.S. (unrelated): Someone still loves you, New York Mets.