Beirut (aka Zach Condon) Cancels Tour Due to Extreme Exhaustion

You remember The Decemberists, right? We just don't seem to give them enough attention around here. I mean, we give their records consistently low scores, we hardly ever report their tours on time, and we basically just think they're on the cusp of writing a Coke jingle. Doubtless they'll go downhill from here, now that we've made this statement of discontent with their progress.

Hot on the heels of their first album released on a major, The Crane Wife [TMT Review] — which barely registered on the TMT radar — The Decemberists have announced their latest scheme to garner publicity. They've decided to auction themselves off to hopeful fans in a sordid series of so-called "romantic encounters." Bizarrely, for a band comprising only five members, they intend to run 2007 dates on consecutive nights. I've never been on that many in my life! If you do the math, that's just over 400 dates for each band member. Colin Meloy is going to be sore at the end of this, no question about that.

What this means for the Decemberists' tour plans as yet remains unknown, but if you would like a chance at getting to know Jenny Conlee a little bit better, maybe lasciviously watching her play the keyboard lick from "The Island: Come and See/The Landlord’s Daughter/You’ll Not Feel the Drowning," then you might want to turn up at the following venues:

02.02.07 - Sheffield, England - Leadmill
02.03.07 - Dublin, Ireland - Village
02.04.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - ABC
02.05.07 - Manchester, England - Academy 2
02.07.07 - Nottingham, England - Trent University
02.08.07 - London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
02.09.07 - Southampton, England - University
02.10.07 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02.12.07 - Cologne, Germany - Prime Club
02.13.07 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
02.14.07 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
02.16.07 - Fribourg, Switzerland - Fri-son
02.17.07 - Bologna, Italy - Estragon
02.18.07 - Munich, Germany - Ampere
02.19.07 - Vienna, Austria - Flex Club
02.21.07 - Amsterdam, the Netherlands
02.22.07 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie

Oh, and don't forget: The Decemberists have released a digital-only EP, EXCLUSIVE to Sony. WOW! Here are some songs: "O! Valencia," "The Perfect Crime #2," "The Crane Wife 1 & 2," and a cover of "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)." Double wow!

Beirut (aka Zach Condon) Cancels Tour Due to Extreme Exhaustion

According to Pitchfork, Beirut's Zach Condon was briefly hospitalized in Paris last Saturday due to "extreme exhaustion." Apparently, the "stress of organizing and traveling with a full-blown, 12-person orkestar took its toll," according to a representative from Beirut's U.S. label, Ba Da Bing!. Condon is now out of the hospital recovering, thankfully, but the remaining four dates of his U.S. tour are cancelled. We'll let you know if/when we hear anything about some new dates. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE DO.

Oh, by the way, have you read this wonderful PopMatters article yet on Beirut? Yes, it may seem like quite the diatribe, but it's good (and important) reading for those of you interested in Beirut and perhaps Balkan and/or "World Music." Ever since I heard Beirut's Gulag Orkestar, I have been as highly suspicious as PopMatters (especially since everyone seems to be strokin'/rubbin' to the music without thinking twice about it). Now, I'm not one to say whether this is GOOD or BAD music (well, I am one to say, but I don't want to cuz it doesn't matter). All I know is that the topics discussed in the article ("authenticity," value, disconnection, tradition, culture, postmodern irony, aka Olskooly/P Funk/Mr P stuff) are things that need to be discussed on a wider scale. So read the article and at least THINK about SOMETHING when you listen to Beirut again.

11.16.06 - Providence, RI - Leung Gallery
11.18.06 - Bennington, VT - Bennington College
11.21.06 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.22.06 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

You Can Dance When You’re Dead; Kill Yourself for the Skeletons and The Girl-Faced Boys Tour

There's one thing that's far too often overlooked when reviewing, writing, or even talking about music – band names. I am aware that many people mention the worth of a strong band name, but then they quickly dismiss the significance of this feature. Sure, the quality of the music, the complexity of the song structures, the technicality of the instrumentation, and whatever else are pretty important, but the band's name is what's going to be said, and that's how they'll most easily be remembered (because we all know that the stuff that's coming out as "music" nowadays isn't going to last like that classical shit). Certain trends have been pointed out within the "indie" scene; types of animals (e.g. wolves), for one. And terrible band names from relatively good bands are quite often mentioned: Broken Social Scene, Say Hi To Your Mom, Arctic Monkeys, and so on. (P.S. - Some of those bands aren't good in addition to having bad names! Guess which ones!) But there has never been a definitive guide that rates bands simply by their names.

The quirky "indie" bands always have the quirky "indie" names; the cutesy, twee-pop bands always have the cutesy names; the punk bands always have the badass "fuck you" names; the abrasive noise bands always have the shocking, "I hate god/women/babies/nihilism/puppies/pussies/dicks/you" name; the ambient noise bands have the introspective, philosophically ambiguous, yet not so meaningful names; and there's generally a fairly accurate formula (with proper standard deviation, mind you) that can determine to a decent degree what genre a band falls into just by looking at their name.

Now, along comes this dude who decides to go solo and call himself "Skeletons." Not only does he deviate from the band-name norm, but he also has a plural name for his singular project! But wait, there's more! He decides that, instead of perpetually looking for collaborators to aid him in his journey-that-can't-be-classified-simply-by-his-band-name, he will have a true, full-time band. Not a very surprising decision, right? Wrong. In the same vein as original punk-rockers Iggy Pop and Richard Hell, he keeps his name and adds a name for the backing band on top of the original Skeletons! And that is how Skeletons and The Girl-Faced Boys were born. The name is so beautiful and so giddy that people often forget to wonder, what type of music do they play?

Have you ever wanted to tattoo yourself something special where people can't see?:

11.15.2006 – New York, NY – The Cake Shop
11.16.2006 – Baltimore, MD – The Bank
11.17.2006 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
11.18.2006 – Columbus, OH – Andyman's
11.19.2006 – Champaign, IL – Cowboy Monkey
11.20.2006 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
11.21.2006 – Madison, WI – Café Montemarte
11.22.2006 – Milwaukee, WI – Stonefly
11.24.2006 – Lansing, MI – Temple Club
11.25.2006 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
11.26.2006 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk

YouTube Becomes a Hater, Bans NYOIL’s Video

A story has been brewing the past few days in the Blog-o-Blag-o-Sphere, and this very moment seemed like the most appropriate time to bring it to you. So how are you anyway? Did you get a chance to listen to that new Tipper album yet? It's pretty fly. I enjoy its serenity while I spend countless hours writing code. Thanks Filmore. Shit... the story. Sorry about that.

So this is one of those ditties where first-hand experience would be a huge asset, but as a white kid who grew up in a predominately white community, I'm not really comfortable making any comments on the content of the video released by up-and-comer NYOIL. I will, however, agree that the black community seems to be in a rough place, and it's probably true that commercial rap is not helping the situation. Lynching people is obviously not the answer, and calling for the mass hanging of many visible members of the black community is probably not the best way to draw attention to your cause. NYOIL's supposed mission is to embody an ideal and remain faceless in the community. He claims that by not trying to become an icon himself it will allow him to speak for others who share the same viewpoints but can't afford the negative publicity. His main goal is to become the catalyst for a renewed sense of awareness in the community and to draw as much attention as possible in the process.

And YouTube took notice. Following nearly 5,000 page views in a single day, the powers-that-be canned NYOIL's video. The artist followed up the alleged censorship with a few e-mails looking for an explanation, but as of writing this he has yet to receive a response. In an interview with Unkut.com, NYOIL has this to say about the ban: "Why would a song like 'Y'all should all get lynched' be more troublesome to YouTube than the thousands of videos of underage black girls and white girls alike doing jigglit videos? Doesn't that sort of imply child pornography? That doesn't strike you as odd that of all the filth on that site one of the things that they are diligent about is a song that is in essence reminding the people of the sacrifices that were made and to live up to them?"

This entire brouhaha is reminiscent of the KMD fiasco of 1994, where Elektra refused to release Black Bastards due to the Sambo character hanging on the front cover. Years later, the album would be released to little-or-no controversy, but this situation may not mirror KMD's due to some key differences. First, with YouTube you see the video before it's censored; and secondly, NYOIL is dead serious. The remainder of his interview with Unkut reveals that he's speaking in the literal sense about lynching those who reinforce negative stereotypes and become caricatures themselves in the process, which lends a shred of credibility to YouTube for taking down the video.

Unfortunately, it doesn't entirely excuse them for censoring the video in the first place (if that's what they did). You can agree or disagree with NYOIL's politics, but removing the content he created without an explanation smells of the new financial backers leaning on YouTube to remove content that has the potential to snowball into their bottom lines. This is only speculation, of course, by some geek who spends entirely too much time on the Inter-Tubes. Take that as you will.

Tenacious D Take Pity on Neil Hamburger and Invite Him on Tour; Six Fans Rejoice

Dealing with a new man of the house is always a struggle for the children. In this week's episode of Bridging the Gap, step-grandfather Cyril (likes: "the three Ws: walnuts, westerns, and Welk") tries to bond with his new teenage grandson "Dagger" (nee Douglas):

[Our scene starts with Step-Gramps slowly shuffling into the basement rec-room after spending the last hour being lost in the laundry room.]

Cyril: (looking at Tenacious D playing on the television) There's ointment to treat that now, you know.

Dagger: (deadly still, glancing sideward derisively) Hrff.

Cyril: What movie's this, Fat and Fatter?

Dagger: Good one, Old Spice. It's Tenacious D. They’re friggin' hilarious.

Scene switches to Neil Hamburger, on TV.

Neil Hamburger: And why won't disgraaaaaced rock vocalist Courtney Love be having any craaaaanberry sauce for Christmas dinner this year? Ccccchhhhhhhhhhh! No Craaaaaanberry sauce to go along with the candied ham? No craaaaaanberry sauce to go along with the green beans... cccchhhheeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaa! Gramma's peach cobbler, huh, huh? It was reported today that she won't be having any Christmas dinner at all. She will have died by then of a heroin overdose..."

Cyril: ("neer beer" spewing from his nose) Now this is more like it! Hahahahahaaaaa! Who is this delightfully damp squib?

Dagger: Oh, you’re still here. That's Neil Hamburger. Listen, make with the "giving me cash routine" or go play canasta or something. I want to buy tickets to see Tenacious D live. This guy (sneering towards the TV) is opening the current tour for them.

Cyril: Well that playbill should be the other way around! Where's me corncob pipe at?

Neil Hamburger: And why did God, in his infinite wisdom... create Domino's Pizza? Well, to punish humanity for their complacency for letting the holocaust happen...

Cyril: Ha, ha... helter skelter; that's funny! Hahahahahaha... (coughs, clears throat, spits on basement floor) Who is this?

Dagger: It's NEIL HAMBURGER! I think he's got some sort of DVD out now on Drag City. A DVD machine is an invention that let's you play digital video formats. Apparently he thinks he has graduated from America's Funnyman to The World's Funnyman. He sucks.

Cyril: What the... digitalis? I remember 'Smilin' Sonny Viscount, the third, back at the old Cow Palace... he did a shtick — do you kids still call it that? — about having blue-balls and getting a gummer from Sadie Hawkins and hitchin' his pants to the saloon door at the old riders market. My word son, that had me guffawing for by-on two or three days!

Dagger: (in typical over-dramatic, family-tension scenario) I'm NOT your son! Or your grandson! You can't order me to do ANYTHING!!!

Neil Hamburger: I went to see an aromatherapist the other day...and she had bad breath.

Cyril: He, he, heeeeee! Furburger, you've stolen a piece of my heart!

Dagger: Ugh... MOM?!?!

Cyril: (slapping his knee) Yes, yes... talk to the Ham, talk-to-the-Ham!

Dagger: Are you having a stroke or sumthin'?

Cyril: You little ragamuffin! I'm not that hard of hearing, you know. I won't stand for this.

Dagger: I'm surprised your knees haven't given out already. You've been standing for 20 seconds now.

Cyril: A house divided against itself cannot stand. I'm off to tip seven cents on a coffee at the mall. Give me a call when your balls drop. 23 skidoo...

Dagger: Yeah, buzz off, buzzard.

[End of scene and series (due to poor ratings and poorer writing).]

Picks of destiny... which is to tour with Neil Hamburger:

11.17.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheater
11.18.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheater
11.20.06 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
11.22.06 - Denver, CO - The Fillmore
11.24.06 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion
11.25.06 - Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple Theatre
11.27.06 - Toronto, Ontario - Ricoh Coliseum
11.28.06 – Boston, MA – The Orpheum
11.29.06 - Camden, NJ - Tweeter Center
12.01.06 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
12.02.06 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Casino
12.03.06 - Washington, DC - Patriot Centre
12.05.06 - Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Center Arena
12.10.06 - Dublin, Ireland - RDS Arena
12.11.06 - Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
12.12.06 - Manchester, England - Manchester Evening News Arena
12.15.06 - Birmingham, England - NEC Arena
12.17.06 - Brighton, England - Brighton Centre
12.18.06 - London, England - Hammersmith Apollo
12.19.06 - London, England - Hammersmith Apollo
01.16.07 – Bellingham, WA – Chiribin’s #
01.20.07 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge #
01.21.07 - Eugene, OR – WOW Hall #

* w/ Tenacious D
# w/ Pleaseeasaur

Bloc Party Cancel Tourdates, Blaming Frailty of Human Existence

Bloc Party are not touring America any more. They say you're all stinky, and you smell, and they're not going to play for you guys any more, 'cause you smell. Ha! I'm just kidding.

Actually, what happened was that drummer Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung after their November 9 performance in Atlanta. He was rushed to a hospital and treated by doctors with medical equipment and stuff. A statement on Bloc Party's website reads: "Matt is in a comfortable condition and not in any danger, he will however be staying in hospital for at least the next three days for observation and it's not clear at this stage when Matt will be fit to resume performing."

Eventually, however, Bloc Party had to cancel their entire North American tour. Hey, go easy on the guy. Dude's got a collapsed freakin' lung over here.

I just checked Wikipedia to find out exactly how the hell Matt could have got a collapsed lung. Turns out you can actually get them spontaneously — especially if you're a tall, slim male. You know what, I'm gonna go right ahead and take a wild fucking guess that's what happened to Matt. But now I'm kinda worried. Tall, slim, young males? That's, like, everyone who reads Tiny Mix Tapes, ever. I swear, one day soon, you'll just be sitting there, minding your own business, when this huge WHADDA-BUMPH echoes across the planet. Just like that, TMT's readership is down to only one: that chubby dude in South Carolina eating nachos and wondering where the fuck everyone's gone.

Joking aside, TMT wishes Matt a quick recovery. Their next album, A Weekend In The City, will be released February 5, 2007, with a tour around then.

posted by nunpuncher

The Well-Meaning Crime Syndicate to Sabotage Bad Music Just Can’t Get it Right: They Cut Short Grizzly Bear’s Tour Instead

How to get your gear stolen while on the road:

(A) Realize that classic rock-infused post-punk is pretty hip these days and show the kids how it's done with reunion shows and the possibility of some new material (!!! I'm jawing 'bout Dinosaur Jr, by the way),

(B) Be palindromically from St. Louis (So Many Dynamos),

(C) Or stun the snotty critics with your simplistic, shimmering, string-laden (SUP ASSONANCE) album, Yellow House.

Sadly, Grizzly Bear chose (C). Throw in a grave family illness, and suddenly you've got the urge to raid Panic! At the Disco's liquor cabinet just to even the score.

A letter from the band, posted on their website:

Dear all,

It's with sad news we have to announce the cancellation of our final 12 European dates. Daniel's father has been struggling with cancer recently, and in the past few days he's gotten increasingly worse. We were already toying with the idea of coming home early so that Daniel could be with his family… but then the straw that broke the camel's back was when our van was broken into last night in Brussels and a good amount of our instruments and gear was stolen, leaving us literally with only the clothing on our backs. With that said, we are incredibly sorry to have to cancel. We don't have the money to buy new equipment right now and frankly, we are taking this as a sign that Daniel should get home immediately. We send all our thanks to the wonderful people that came out to our shows thus far this fall. Hopefully we'll have our lives sorted out this winter and can hit the road again sometime soon.
Many, many thanks and much love

Grizzly Bear

Canceled dates:

11.13.06 - Berlin, GE - Lido / KarreraKlub
11.14.06 - Copenhagen, Danemark - Loppen
11.15.06 - Goteborg, Sweden - PK Musik
11.16.06 - Aarhus, Danemark - Voxhall
11.18.06 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Ekko at Rumor Festival
11.19.06 - Cologne, Germany - Prime Club
11.20.06 - Brugges, Belgium - Cactus
11.21.06 - London, England - Scala
11.22.06 - Manchester, England - Star and Garter
11.24.06 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
11.25.06 - Edinburg, Scotland - Cabaret Voltaire
11.26.06 - Glasgow, Scotland - Mono

Eat True Ovary: Avey Tare is Going Solo This November

It seems like a lot of people these days are too cool to play board games, and to those people I say "Shut up, hippie." Unfortunately, it seems like the adrenaline-laden Monopoly battles that remain set in mid-play for weeks on end in the middle of the kitchen table are losing out to newer and flashier games, such as Street Fighter 2: Turbo and NHL '95. My daddy and granddaddy didn't fight the French in the Siberian wilderness so you could waste your freedom listening to FM radio and sniffing glue! Cut your hair and learn to play a real game, for God's sake!

One of the all-time greats is, of course, Scrabble. After several heated matches with a co-worker on lunch breaks, the game has finally seeped from the tiles through my fingertips and into my bloodstream, so that I no longer pump blood through my veins but rather anagrams. I don't dream of flying or casual sex with Kevin Federline or whatever the rest of society dreams about - I dream of the possibility of a triple word score, or, one perfect day: using all seven letters at once and getting that elusive 50-point bonus I've been wanting for so long.

I think that might help explain why, while trying to write an article on an upcoming Avey Tare tour, I can't help but find myself reflexively rearranging the letters of as many words as I can get my eyes on - for example, did you know that "Tiny Mix Tapes" converts into "I am spiny text?" A.T.'s label, "Paw Tracks," on whose website the tour was recently announced, becomes "Wart packs" when just a few letters are switched around. "Touring in like three weeks or so" becomes "sewer hookers like intrigue - not." The possibilities are endless, except with "Avey Tare", which doesn't really rearrange into anything remotely interesting.

Sharpen y'all's minds and bring them to the following tour stops:

11.26.06 - New York, New York - Tonic
11.27.06 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11.29.06 - Providence, RI - AS220
11.30.06 - Toronto, Canada - Sneaky Dee's
12.01.06 - Montreal, Canada - Main Hall
12.02.06 - Ottawa, Canada - Mavericks

$ - w/ Beach House and Over The Atlantic
% - w/ Peter Wright and Antony Milton

The very first tattoo I ever got was that of a Trans Am on my back. This thing was huge. I got home, took off my shirt, and showed it to my mom. Her name was under it in old English lettering, "La Chaguis." She hated it and kicked me out of her home. That Trans Am tattoo was the best thing to happen to me, aside from birth control (and TMT, of course).

Speaking of abortions, schizometric synthpop band Trans Am will be going on tour. After a one-off show later this year and a couple in February, this righteous trio will embark on a U.S. tour next April, in support of some sort of album, because that's what bands do. The last album put out was Liberation in 2004, but I'm positive they will be possibly and probably be playing new music. They have to have some surprises up their sleeves — maybe a Rumsfeld piñata, maybe smoothies for everyone. If you plan to join in on the fun, I have set up driving directions to each venue if that suits your fancy. Trannies, my work here is done:

12.30.06 – San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
02.24.07 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory * early show
02.24.07 - New York, NY – Knitting Factory *# late show
04.11.07 – Charlottesville, VA. - Satellite Ballroom ^%
04.12.07 – Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 ^%
04.13.07 – Atlanta, GA - The Earl^%
04.15.07 – Birmingham, AL - Bottletree^%
04.16.07 – H Town (Houston), TX - Engine Room^%
04.16.07 – Austin, TX - Emo’s Jr.^%
04.18.07 – Tucson, AZ - Club Congress^
04.19.07 – San Diego, CA - Casbah^&
04.20.07 – Los Angeles, CA - Troubador^&
04.22.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge^&
04.23.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos^&
04.24.07 - Vancouver, BC - Richards on Richards^&
04.27.07 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Club^%
04.28.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle^%
04.29.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick^%
04.30.07 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace^%
05.01.07 - Montreal, PQ - La Sala Rossa^%
05.02.07 - Boston, MA - Great Scott^%
05.04.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's^%

* with Oneida
# with Pterodactyl
^ with Zombi
% with Psychic Paramount
& with Black Taj

Bob Dylan on Billy Joel’s Broadway Crossover Success: “What Does He Have That I Don’t Have?”

Yes, I am incapable of ever moving beyond unnecessary poop jokes. And when I think of Green Day, it brings me back to fourth grade, where I first heard both the word "dookie" and the album Dookie. It wasn't long after that both Green Day and I became somewhat grown up. Billie Joe Armstrong & The Butt Puppets are still making the same kind of music that gained them the precarious title of "The Fathers of Punk," while I am still laughing at the word "dookie." It appears nothing has changed.

On December 19, Reprise will be reissuing the first two Green Day albums just in time for you to wet your Fall Out Boy panties before good ol' Saint Nick pile drives down the brick anus to deliver that Mary Kay eyeliner you put atop your wishlist. The 1991 album 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and the 1992 album Kerplunk! will be the historical context for the "Rise of Punk" for today's anarchist youth culture.

1,039 was already reissued a couple years ago and Kerplunk! was supposed to be too, until Lookout! fucked up everything. But when a major label reissues albums, that is when I start dishing out the cash. Reprise is packing 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours full of the same extra content found on the 2004 Lookout! reissue, including show flyers, nearly 20 minutes of live performances from 1990 to 1991, Billie Joe Armstrong's handwritten lyrics, and a 1991 radio interview.

It is also wise of me to inform you that Green Day is "hard" at work on their follow up to American Idiot, and their collaboration with U2, "The Saints Are Coming," was No. 27 on last week's Billboard Modern Rock chart. Green Day have a song with U2? Man, I am way out of the loop. I feel ashamed. Maybe I'm not the one who should feel ashamed, which brings me to my weekly clip of P. Diddy urinating, as it ties in with this Green Day story in no way whatsoever.

Irrelevant Clip of P. Diddy Pissing

Next week (or maybe later this week, we'll see), I will write a story about The Decemberists along with an unnecessary follow-up video of P. Diddy taking a "dookie." Oh, man!

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