Midterms are in the air, as you may have sensed from Nobodaddy's stress-inspired story last Wednesday (TMT News). Frankly, if I have to struggle with information I have learned and barely retained, then I think you should too. Thus, Tiny Mix Tapes is proud to inflict upon you: The Ladytron Challenge!!!!!
This test will be multiple choice with each question worth 666 points, so please do the best you can. Your reputation as reader with a strong repertoire of musical knowledge depends on it. Furthermore, Tiny Mix Tapes staff, myself included, shall personally shame each individual who scores poorly.
Properly motivated? Let's go!
1. Who is Ladytron?
a. Helen Marnie
b. Mira Aroyo
c. Daniel Hunt
d. Reuben Wu
e. All of the above, and don't you forget it.
Answer: E -- That's correct, vintage analogue electro-pop sensation, Ladytron (shit that was a lot of adjectives), has been harnessing the power and talent of Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu since they formed the group in 1999. An anonymous and overly informed asshole on Wikipedia notes that, "When playing live, Ladytron uses vintage synthesizers/keyboards, including a Korg MS-10 (played by Wu), an MS-20 (Aroyo), Roland SH-2 (Hunt), as well as four MS-2000Bs." And you know what that means? It means Ladytron doesn't fuck around.
2. Ladytron has how many studio releases?
a. Several hundred
b. Just 100
d. None -- they're currently working on their self-titled debut
Answer: C -- Three albums currently exist by the Ladytron-tastic
five-some. Debuting with 604 in 2001, their Light & Magic release
kicked clubs' asses worldwide with pedophilic anthem "Seventeen,"
whose popularity was only superseded by the single "Destroy Everything
You Touch" off their 2005 album, Witching Hour. Ladytron is currently
harnessing their collective sexiness into a new mind-blowing album
(title pending), set to be released to many electro-pop heads'
delight in May 2008.
3. Which label has Ladytron signed to?
a. Emperor Norton Records
b. Ed Banger Records
c. Nettwerk Music Group
d. XL Recordings
Answer: C -- Ladytron has joined the Nettwerk Music Group family alongside acts such as Datarock and Felix da Housecat, two acts who I've never fully appreciated. (Extra Credit will be rewarded to those who agree that the Datarock self-titled debut was nowhere near as ass-kicking as many have touted it to be.)
4. What sort of sheisty shit is Ladytron up to these days?
c. Being sexy
d. Engaging in rock-star workaholic-ism
e. All of the above
Answer: E -- Always sexy, dancing, touring, and working, Ladytron has been making appearances worldwide in support of their Witching Hour material for nearly two years now, both headlining and as support for acts such as Nine Inch Nails and The Chemical Brothers. Ever the multi-taskers, Ladytron continued to develop new material while on the road and are now in the studio with co-producer Vicarious Bliss of Ed Banger records to nail down the new release. "We came straight from our final shows in the US to the studio in Paris to complete what we have been working on for the last year or so," said band member Daniel Hunt in a Nettwerk press release. "The sessions are exciting, and we can't wait to get the new tracks out there."
A full North American tour is being slated for late spring of 2008.
Like rain on your wedding day, dying right after winning the lottery, and that t-shirt you bought at Urban Outfitters last week, irony takes a toll on everyone. It's preying on innocent fiction writers and hipsters alike, and now it's taken a new victim: the makers of documentary Steal This Film 2. The original Steal This Film documented The Pirate Bay controversy and its fallout; the sequel takes a look at the role of file-sharing in our culture on a broader scale. It's scheduled for release on trackers across the globe in a couple days.
Wait, you say, that's not ironic?! Well, reader, what's ironic is that someone leaked a cammed version of the film onto The Pirate Bay last Wednesday. The quality's pretty bad, so I would suggest waiting for it to be properly leaked. Jamie King, producer of STF2, told TorrentFreak, "We think people better not watch it, as we'll track them down via haxxoring their IPs and sue their asses off." Oh man, I think he was being ironic. Can someone please find that My Chemical Romance album? Because it's really good. No, seriously, someone get it for me.
Peter Bjorn and John are that sexy Swedish indie pop group that everyone was talking about last year and earlier this year. They topped the pop charts in the UK with their happening single, “Young Folks,” and successfully had their songs featured in Levi and Pontiac commercials. Go them! You may be asking why they're so fly, and -- let me guess -- you think it's because they have both a knack for creating really nice pop structures and a nice publicist who has helped them along the way. You'd be wrong. The reason Peter Bjorn and John are so cool is because they're Swedish.
Most people don't know that Sweden kicks an unusual amount of ass as a country, so let's cast aside our ignorance of the Swedes for a bit. I'm here to point out three really incredible facts about Sweden to you.
Sweden Is Second On The Environmental Performance Index
The EPI is a scale used to measure a country's environmental impact, using factors such as air quality, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and child mortality. Sweden is second in the rankings of the EPI, where Canada is eight and the U.S. is twenty-eight. The report is fairly new and these findings are from the pilot test, but Sweden obviously kicks a lot of ass when it comes to the environment.
Sweden Is The First Country To Officially Join Second Life
Second Life is a gigantic online computer game where tons of people sign up and play. The real draw for the game is its ability to offer a way to build and create your own avatar to explore a digital world that is built by other users like yourself. The game is pretty fascinating and possibly could be as addicting as World of Warcraft. This year, Sweden opened up a digital embassy in the world of Second Life to help promote and educate people about how kick-ass Sweden is.
The Same Dude That Invented Dynamite and Instituted The Nobel Prize Is From Sweden
That's right, Alfred Behnard Nobel was from Sweden. Homeboy patented dynamite in 1867, and not long after, he invented gelignite, or a blasting gelatin, that could be handled without protection. This sparked the eventual invention of other plastic explosives. Alfred ended up using his massive fortune to fund the Nobel Prize. Long story short, the reason he wanted the Nobel Prize to be established is because certain media sources condemned him for inventing dynamite and Alfred Nobel wanted to leave a more positive legacy behind him.
And to think you thought Sweden was only good for pop music! Shame on you! You might want to make it up to the Swedes by attending one of their biggest musical attractions in these cities:
According to a post titled "Goodbye 21st Century" on Deerhunter's blog, the band members have decided to go on hiatus after their appearance at the Estrella Damm Primavera Club festival in Barcelona, saying they need time to "organize" their lives. Check it out for yourself, straight from the loving fingers of Bradford Cox:
So we have one show left tomorrow night in Leipzig, Germany. Then we drive through the night to Prague where we fly home from early in the morning. This tour has been really insane. We met a lot of amazing people and finally got to play the UK, making our debut at the forum even. We are totally grateful for the opportunity to play everywhere we did. When we started this band years ago we never imagined playing outside of Atlanta, so this has all been like a hallucination. We are all exhausted now and ready to be home. I would like to announce that the show we are playing at Primavera in Barcelona (I hope to god i spelled that right) will be our last for quite some time. It will also be the last time we are ever playing the Cryptograms set we have been playing for the last two years. After that the band are going on hiatus. We all need some time to organize our lives. Thanks to everyone who has helped us out. This has been a crazy year that I will always remember.
Meanwhile, Bradford Cox's solo project Atlas Sounds will release an album, Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, on February 19, 2008 (TMT News). You can read our reviews of Cryptograms (TMT Review) and the Fluorescent Grey EP (TMT Review). And then you can weep like a stupid little baby, all the while knowing that this probably isn't the last we'll hear from Deerhunter. Do I smell a greatest hits?
Dan Deacon to Tour, People Like Me Never to Dance at Dan Deacon Shows, People like Tracy from Hairspray to Shimmy-Shake-It and Ultimately Find True Happiness While I Continue to Sit at My Computer Drinking Red Bull, Wondering Who Left Lifetime on in the Living Room and Why I Just Made an Overused Family Guy-esque Lifetime Humor Reference; Dan Deacon to Wonder Why I Make Everything About Myself and Not Just Do My Job and Discuss His Work
Dear Dan Deacon,
[See above headline.]
Yeah. I wonder also.
THE POINT, READER: The Good Deacon will tour with Jimmy Joe Roche, visual artist and partner in release of the recent Ultimate Reality DVD. Hipstahhhh females and fellas in attendance should expect:
1. Presentation of the DVD
2. Live drumming
3. So much dancing, so little time
4. The closing of the show culminating with a Dan Deacon set in the traditional crash-static-boom-boom bright-lights-wicked-flash-flash-electric sense*.
THE DATES:Tracy, the lead from Broadway musical Hairspray is (figuratively) singing “Good Morning Baltimore” with pride over the accomplishments of Deacon and Roche, fellow citizens of her great city; Tracy would also (most likely) be way pumped to note the Girl Talk inclusions below:
* When I grow up I want to be: Tom Wolfe.
EMI Labels Sue MP3tunes for Copyright Infringement; Have Still Not Mastered That Whole “Changing Business Model” Thing
1. Record companies sue online music industry executive Michael Robertson circa 2000.
2. Said executive pays $100 million to record companies in settlement.
3. Vivendi's Universal Music Group buys Robertson's MP3.com, which is later sold to CNET Networks Inc.
4. EMI sends take-down notice to Robertson's related company, Sideload.com, in September.
5. Robertson sues EMI in response to said notice.
6. See headline.
7. Michael Robertson sez; "These guys rush off to court and tell the court that I am terrible and then they end up buying my company. It is really a shame because instead of using these technologies to improve their business they make an enemy of every technology company out there."
8. TMT sez: WE ARE TIRED OF WRITING THE SAME NEWS STORY. SOMEONE PLEASE PROVIDE BIG RECORD LABELS (especially EMI, who have been hemorrhaging for quite some time now) WITH WHAT ONE WOULD REFER TO AS A "CLUE."
Oh yes, I could play the true-blue game of talking about a band’s name, in this case, how shitty it is to have Pissed your Jeans like this. I could also spitball y’all little ditties about a friend of mine who used to get drunk and sleepwalk nightly, eventually ending his stumble-bum stroll by pissing on himself, pissing in the household recycling box, pissing on his sleeping girlfriend’s head (true story), or pissing into an oven that was cooking a seven layer “good friends, good times, macho nachos” (untrue story). I will slyly tease you with those urine-soaked yarns and instead talk about Pissed Jeans, Sub Pop’s rather aggressive art-punk undergrounders, who will be embarking on a short ‘n’ sweet tour of the nation’s hot spots (and Allentown, PA) starting today, with copies of their new album, Hope for Men (TMT Review), in hand.
Although I will provide the formulaic dates, locales, and venues that you have grown to expect and love or else incur the wrath of getting bullwhipped by our editorial board, this tour is so short that I can also describe every date quickly using descriptive, insane sentences:
Pissed Jeans start their mini-campaign tonight in Baltimore, at Ottobar, named for the 14th descendant of Colonel Von Ottobar, a rarely heard-of general who bowed out of the Isis Crisis after getting his scrote stuck in the zipper of his jodhpurs (incidentally, that was the inspiration for Ben Stiller’s famous ball-twist scene in There’s Something about Mary). They will then march to Philadelphia to play the Vacuum Warehouse November 21, where it is an unwritten custom for every band that plays there to go through a strange hazing ritual of tea-bagging the nozzles of every Electrolux, Hoover, and Bissell in attendance. On November 30, the Pissed Jean Jeanies will entertain Allentown, where they’re closing all the factories down... out in Bethlehem they’re killing time... filling out forms, standing in line (Yes! I knew I’d get the chance to quote Billy Joel here eventually!). Then it’s off to New York, where they will play for the coolest people in the world -- first at the Williamsburg Music Hall to an audience of Vice Magazine writers, then at the Bowery Ballroom for Interpol, their posse, and their posse’s posse. The last U.S. date is in Austin at Beerland December 8. The band is not really playing a show but is contractually obligated to drink all the beer in the land and entertain fans by seeing which band member can ride a mechanical bull the longest without pissing their own jeans. The band will also play a All Tomorrow’s Parties vs. Pitchfork thing sometime in the future.
I told you it was a short tour, barely long enough to fill your bladder
11.19.07 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar #
11.21.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Vacuum Warehouse $
11.30.07 - Allentown, PA - Jan’s Room %
12.01.07 - New York, NY - Williamsburg Music Hall ^
12.02.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom ^
12.08.07 - Austin, TX - Beerland
05.09-11.08 - East Sussex, England - Camber Sands Holiday Centre, All Tomorrow’s Parties
# Black Dice, Wzt Hearts, Pony Tail
$ Black Dice
% Iron Lung, Off Minor, Salvation, Ghaddar
Merge To Reissue Big Dipper Discography Including Previously Unreleased Album; Tom Scharpling Soars Into The Night Sky On A Jet Of Satisfaction
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the fertile Boston music scene of the late ‘80s -- like most of the TMT staff, I wasn't born until 15 years later - but one of the most highly-regarded and under-appreciated rawk bands of that time was Big Dipper. Formed in 1985, the band managed to release one EP (Boo-Boo) and two bitchin' (my word is law) LPs (Heavens, Craps) before throwing in the sweat-soaked towel in ‘92. After that year, the Boston area entered a police state and no one dared mention the band for fear of immediate castration.
UNTIL NOW: the kind folks at Merge have announced that they will be remastering and reissuing all of the band's output March 18, 2008 in a 3-disc anthology, including an unreleased album culled from their final recording sessions in the early ‘90s, entitled Very Loud Array -- hopefully a description of the sounds within. The set is called Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology, and as an added feature, it will include nine bonus tracks, one video, and liner notes by "The Best Show on WFMU" host and fellow latter-day Seinfeld hater, Tom Scharpling, who campaigned to reunite the band in 2004 but was cruelly denied.
Speaking of reuniting the band, the original lineup of Big Dipper is currently working out their abs and investing in Rogaine before a planned East Coast reunion tour in April 2008. Precise dates are still being hammered out, but depending on how many drunk guys spill beer on their amps, shorting them out halfway through the shows, there may be a tour of the midwest later in the year.
Yes, no precise dates yet, but until then, may I recommend some other, far more delectable precise dates?
Kate Bush will release her first new material since 2005's Aerial in the
form of a song on a soundtrack. The soundtrack is for the film The Golden
Compass, a film based on a fantasy novel by Philip Pullman.
The track, "Lyra," is named after the title character in the film, Lyra
Belacqua. Written and produced by Bush and also featuring the
University of Oxford's Magdalen College choir, the song will play during the closing credits of the film.
The Golden Compass will play in theaters starting December 7, 2007, while the soundtrack will be released December 11, 2007 via New Line records.
What does the holiday season mean to you? As the snow starts to fall, the days grow shorter and the Salvation Army Santas reappear after their summer hibernation; families come together from all around the world to share in the love and warmth of the holidays. For most people, the whatever-December-holiday-you-celebrate season is a time to enjoy elaborate feasts and a healthy serving of alcoholic holiday cheer.
Seriously, %*@^ those people. Must be nice. Last year my family watched The Coneheads movie and my grandma gave us a rundown of all the people in their town who had died that year. There were lots of awkward silences and no wassail whatsoever. I got towels for a present. Not that I’m complaining or anything; the whole experience just made me realize the importance of inviting at least one super fun, totally interesting person to ensure the success of your festivities. Logically, this person would be Björk.
Just imagine. There’s absolutely no way this could go wrong. Björk is just so vibrant and vivacious, you have to love her! She would bring magical pies full of candy, and when conversation flagged, she would hop up onto the table and perform an innovative and beautiful song that she had written just for the occasion. Wherever she walked, sparkles would fall! It would be the best holiday season ever.
Now, this might not end up happening exactly as outlined in the above scenario, but the magic of Björk is guaranteed to make an impression on lucky concertgoers in Britain and Japan this spring. The lovely Icelandic lady and some musician friends will be touring in support of the single “Declare Independence,” ensuring that the post-holiday months will truly be the most wonderful time of the year.
* Big Day Out Festival
[Photo: Zach Klein]