When you invent your own genre, it's difficult to transcend said genre, as it is defined by whatever music you play. These Are Powers are the only "ghost punk" band I've ever heard of (except for that band of ghosts from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets who all play the saw). And yet, they still manage to expand into the lesser-known subgenres of "cough punk" and "squeal punk" on their new EP, Taro Tarot, out April 1 on HOSS. These genres are so obscure that they don't even have Wikipedia pages, because they have not yet received enough press to meet Wikipedia's notability standards. Well guess what? I am the media. And I just made them notable.
These Are Powers have recently finished playing four ghostly/coughy/squealy punk shows for hip businesspeople at SXSW looking for that "new sound." With any luck, they'll get picked up by a major label, who will laud them as "the future of alternative rock" or maybe even "the next Jet." This week, they finish off their U.S. tour with scattered dates scheduled for later (including a release party at New York's Knitting Factory), occasionally accompanied by Skeletons, Extra Life, Sightings, and maybe some other bands that sound like they might consist entirely of ghosts.
I feel like I should let you know that I considered making a joke about The Ramones being a ghost punk band, because some of them are dead. But then I decided the joke would be in poor taste. But then I decided that I value honesty. So, now you know that I thought of a joke in poor taste. Alas, it is not my discretion that is faulty, but my thought process. I should stop before I dig myself any deeper, because I might get buried alive and come back to haunt obscure bands. Or I could come back and start a ghost punk band. YES! FULL CIRCLE, BITCHES!
Taro Tarot tracklisting:
For the first time in 30 years, the FCC has decided to examine what's naughty and what's nice -- in other words, revisiting the standards for what constitutes an "indecent" broadcast. Sparked by Bono's ill-fated F-bomb on the 2003 Golden Globe Awards and Janet Jackson's, um, flash in the pan during the Super Bowl, the FCC cracked down in 2004 and slapped NBC and Fox respectively with hefty fines, promising to do the same to all other offenders in the future. This includes any accidental airings of curses or other no-nos, which means Courtney Love should probably never be on TV again. "No bueno," said the networks, and after suing to block the new process, a New York judge ruled that the institution of such fines should be hung up until a further decision was reached.
The FCC, however, is determined to shield our virgin ears and eyes, bringing the case to the Supreme Court. Chairman Kevin Martin is stoked: "The Commission, Congress and, most importantly, parents understand that protecting our children is our greatest responsibility. I continue to believe we have an obligation then to enforce laws restricting indecent language on television and radio when children are in the audience." TV networks already use a 5-second delay for live broadcasts, and most radio stations use a similar such animal to avoid the airing of potty words, but that's not good enough for the FCC, who have decided that, from now on, everyone needs to ask Zandar and anticipate these sorts of things. Yes, they've got that kind of faith.
I applaud the FCC's noble crusade to clean up these filthy, nasty airwaves! Imagine a world without indecency... Hey, wait. Why is VH1 just showing a test pattern? I want my wholesome girls-in-bikinis-climbing-all-over-washed-up-rock-stars programming back! Sure, there's innuendo and sexism galore, but all bad words are bleeped out... and that's a real family show right there.
Not Sure If Anyone Has Reported This Yet, But The Raconteurs Are Releasing Their New LP Next Tuesday
In the spirit of the quick turn-around between the completion and actual release of the new Raconteurs album, here is a short news story (because we, as a race -- the human race -- don't have time to wait for a finished record, and we don't have time for long news stories):
The LP is called Counselors of the Lonely (Third Man/XL/Warner), and it comes out March 25 on CD, LP, and digital formats, like the single 320kb MP3 posted on the band's website. They're also going on a short Western U.S. (with a little dip into Canada) tour, including a two-day stint at Stubb's BBQ, which I am sure is more prestigious than it sounds.
For my final act, I will now paint you a word picture using the list of all the words that were capitalized in Brendan, Jack, Patrick, and Jack's press release: EVERYWHERE, EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE, EXACT SAME TIME, THEN, FOR YOU, IMMEDIATELY, NOT, REACTION.
Consolers of the Lonely tracklist:
What do fresh green grass, tiny adorable baby lambs, and swirling, droning guitars all have in common? Why, they're harbingers of spring, of course! And if you're getting tired of those pastel-colored marshmallow chickens and rabbits that make your teeth hurt, then this April/May holds the perfect solution to the sweetness and light that have been plaguing the season. That's right, just in time to complement the budding roses of spring comes a Dead Meadow tour. The psychedelic sludge rock band, beloved by stoner metal fans and hipsters alike, is hitting the road for an extensive tour of the United States, as well as a brief but titillating dip into Canada.
The list of dates is long, so I'll let the itinerary just speak for itself.
* Indian Velcro Lewis
A week ago, an Australian woman Karen Lee Cooper pleaded guilty to stabbing her boyfriend to death. She claims that her motive was that he didn't like her listening to Bruce Springsteen's music.
The Australian Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court of Bisbane sentenced Cooper to eight comfy years in prison. Trying to get out of the sentence could lead Cooper to be "Wanted: dead or alive," some might say.
According to the Courier Mail newspaper, Cooper told police "I couldn't even play Bruce Springsteen on my stereo. Can you believe that? Can you believe that?"
When being bossed around by her boyfriend, Kevin Watson, she probably felt like shout-singing, "Shot through the heart, and you're to blame." Now, living with what she has done, she will most likely be "Livin' on prayer."
Bruce Stringsteen is an American, singer-songwriter, known for his Top 40 hits, "It's My Life" and "Have a Nice Day."
Phew, good thing I didn't screw up this article by making light of a tragic situation. Please, just do not date anyone that has opposite taste in music.
What do you get when you cross the latest country LP by Neil Hamburger with Drag City? A shitty album you can’t get rid of.
After graciously hosting a joke-writing contest earlier this year and pleasing audiences the world over with jokes like.......
- What do Osama Bin Laden and Chevy Chase have in common?
- Neither one has released a new film in the last year.
- How do you keep flies from landing on your Big Mac?
- Unwrap it.
- Why did Julia Roberts rub shit on her vagina?
- Because she was horny.
- What did Santa Claus give Paris Hilton for Christmas?
- Well, he raped her.
- Why did Metallica cut their hair?
- Their hairdresser said it was the only way to get all that matted cum out of it.
- What do you call five fingers that are grasping a small boy's penis?
- The Jackson Five.
...Neil Hamburger has gone and recorded a COUNTRY album. Titled Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners, Drag City has the fortunate/unfortunate task of releasing the album April 21. Hamburger's band includes guitarist Dave Gleason, bassist Atom Ellis, Rachel Haden (Rentals, Weezer), and pedal steel player Joe Goldmark. Alright, take it away Hamburger:
For those who aren't interested, and would prefer to hear only the Jokes, I have ten other albums out filled to the rafters with side-splitting gags. And there will be plenty of laughs in this music as well, not all of it related to my inability to sing in tune. There will also be many tears shed, at the pain, that is documented, in song.
Check out a sample of his "music" here.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mango Starrrrrrrrrrr. You've been great. Good night. Fuck you.
Stop taunting me with your awesome lineup, Estrella Damm Primavera Sound festival! Stop shining a totally kickass rock ‘n’ roll spotlight on how there is absolutely no way, either geographically or financially, that I will be able to attend your late spring smörgåsbord of incredible bands. But for those of you able to jet off to Barcelona, the festival has announced some killer new additions to the roster. And for those of you -- like me -- unable to make your way to Spain, I would suggest that you just stop reading now. Because some of this is going to hurt.
Question: What could make a lineup already consisting of artists like 808 State, Bon Iver, Boris, Cat Power, Clipse, Deerhunter, Dr. Octagon, Ellen Allien, The Go! Team, Health, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las, Mission of Burma, No Age, Pissed Jeans, Portishead, Public Enemy, Rufus Wainwright, Sebadoh, Simian Mobile Disco, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Throbbing Gristle and Young Marble Giant and more (OMG soooo much more!) even better?
I have 16 words for you: garage punk legends the Sonics make their European debut 40 or so years after their formation. Oh yeah -- there's also the addition of seminal artists like Devo and Shellac, along with newer but no less awesome favorites like Explosions in the Sky, Devastations, Times New Viking, Mount Eerie, Moho, MGMT, Bestia Ferida, La Estrella de David, The wave Pictures, Matt Elliot, Mi and l'Au, SJ Esau, La Orquesta del Caballo Ganador, and The Clientele.
It's enough to make me want to take out another student loan.
Things You Should Expect To See At A Les Savy Fav Show:
- Singer Tim Harrington kissing audience members
- Singer Tim Harrington changing outfits on stage
- Singer Tim Harrington writhing about on stage as if he’s having a seizure
- Singer Tim Harrington wearing really, really, really short shorts
- Singer Tim Harrington deep-throating his microphone
Unfortunately, you won’t get to see any of these things April 29, but you will get to hear them. Yes, that’s right, Brooklyn’s own, Les Savy Fav, are releasing via French Kiss their first live album, The Balls Drop, recorded live during their 3 AM New Year’s Eve performance at New York City's Bowery Ballroom on January 1, 2008. Digital only!
Not only will The Balls Drop feature the usual Les Savy Fav crowd favorites, but it also includes their covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Pixies, Nirvana, The Misfits, and Love.
Don’t take my word for it though, check out the tracklisting:
Or film your own Les Savy Fav live DVD at their upcoming shows:
04.04.08 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat
04.05.08 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
04.25.08 - Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival
04.27.08 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
05.08.08 - Kingston upon Thames, England - The Works
05.09-11.08 - Rye, England - Camber Sands Holiday Centre (ATP vs. Pitchfork)
05.29-31.08 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
06.23-27.08 - Arendal, Norway - Hove Festival
Fresh off a February tour with Russian Circles, Dälek -- notorious for not giving a fuck about the past (maybe) -- are now looking to the future. As we already reported back in the good ol' days of TMT, Rjd2 is hitting the road in April in support of his sample-light LP, The Third Hand, which was released last year, not on Def Jux, but XL Recordings. Beef? Maybe! Anyway, what we didn't tell you then (because we didn't know) is that MC Dälek and Oktopus will be sharing the stage at each Rjd2 show for the better part of April. We also didn't tell you that Dälek plan to fly to Europe for even more dates, a majority of them being in France. BUT, you know what, we did give you four haikus, so you know...
Dälek released both a new LP, Abandoned Language (Ipecac), and a rarities compilation, Deadverse Massive Vol.1 (Hydrahead Records) last year, which rank at #75,651 and #68,474, respectively, according to Amazon's sales. The weird thing is that if you add those two numbers together, minus 2,358, multiply by 2, and then minus 283,534, you get 0. Spooky.
I’m Going to Blame the Lack of a Witty Headline Quip on a St. Patty’s Day Hangover: Here’s a Shitload of Mark Kozelek Album and Tour News, Ya Blarney-Kissin’, Leprechauns!
It has been a winter of catastrophic snowfall and poor sleep, and I am eagerly looking forward to the normally unappealing prospect of sweating my balls off in a non-air conditioned car this summer more and more. I have had it with the frozen nostrils and lips and eye-lashes. I'm sick to death of running outside at 6 AM, in -30 weather, in my pajamas, just to ensure the garbage truck hauls away the diaper-filled stinkcans. Sit and spin, Jack Frost!
The upside to this nasty season has been a marked increase in my Mark Kozelek listening, regardless of guise: Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon, or the ultra-sexxxy moniker “Mark Kozelek.” Kozelek always sounds good, but there is something about his magic catalog that warms the soul nicely against the tumult of winter chill. After April 1, there will be an even stronger temptation to stay inside and curl up with a good book and CDs, all by Kozelek.
Through his own Caldo Verde imprint, our favorite red house sound painter will release Nights of Passed Over, a 2,500 limited-edition hardcover book containing lyrics, setlists, and a new preface by the minstrel himself (Nights of Passed Over was originally released in Portugal in 2002). The CD is not a Gary Busey-narrated audiobook of lyrics (gawd, that would be beyond wicked), but rather a beaut of a rarities compilation, collecting live, alternate, and demo versions of Kozelek beloveds, as well as the previously only-available on 10-inch vinyl “Duk Koo Kim,” dating back to 1996. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Nights of Passed Over CD:
1. Michigan (Live at Union Chapel, 2007)
2. Drop (Live at Union Chapel, 2007)
3. Heron Blue (Drum Version, 2007)
4. Leo and Luna (Only Version, 2006)
5. Carry Me Ohio (Jam Version, 2002)
6. Gentle Moon (Live at FNAC, 2002)
7. Duk Koo Kim (10” Version, 2001)
8. Wop A Din Din (Live in Lisbon, 2001)
9. Metropol 47 (Demo Version, 1999)
10. Cruiser (Malmo Version, 1999)
11. Smokey (Demo Version, 1997)
12. River (KCRW Version, 1996)
Guitar hero Kaki King of Atlanta says, “Mark’s words paint a picture of both the bleakest and most beautiful moments of the human condition. He can turn the most mundane events into vivid coming-of-age stories and the simple thoughts of a narrator into the words of a sage.” Guitar hero Kerry King of Slayer probably says the same thing. See what all good Kings and queens are talking about at these live dates:
04.16.08 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall #
04.17.08 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater #
04.26.08 - San Francisco, CA - Palace of Fine Arts #
05.13.08 - Tokyo, Japan - Shibuya O-nest
05.14.08 - Tokyo, Japan - Kichijoji MANDA-LA2
06.06.08 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
06.07.08 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
06.08.08 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk
06.10.08 - Toronto, Ontario - Lee’s Palace
06.11.08 - Boston, MA - Museum of Fine Arts, Remis Auditorium
06.13.08 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
06.15.08 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
06.18.08 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
# Dave Bazan
You want more, you got it. The new Sun Kil Moon album, April, is also available April 1. No joke, fool.
April showers bring April album:
1. Lost Verses
2. The Light
3. Lucky Man
4. Unlit Hallway
5. Heron Blue
7. Harper Road
8. Tonight the Sky
9. Like the River
10. Tonight in Bilbao
11. Blue Orchids
1. Tonight in Bilbao (Alt. Version)
2. The Light (Alt. Version)
3. Like the River (Alt. Version)
4. Tonight the Sky (Alt. Version)