If we've learned anything from the animated Disney smash hit The Lion King, it's that there is a circle of life. And for third-rate early ’90s grunge rock bands, it goes something like this: you and your unshowered chums start playing small clubs and then gradually progress to big clubs to arenas to casinos to everybody's favorite summer celebration, Taste of Arkansas. But not those contrarians Stone Temple Pilots! Whereas Silverchair and Everclear may soon be coming to a state fair near you, the hard-rockin' rock dudes in STP are keepin' it real by bringing Frank Black on tour with them. Yes, that Frank Black.
The former Pixies frontman and the recently reunited (who knew??) sorta-grunge band will be setting the hearts of nostalgic frat boys and late ’80s college rock fans alight during a very special string of dates this summer. Perhaps Mr. Black will be bringing the noise from his "mini-LP" SVN FNGRS to an amphitheater near you? Only time, or the following listing, will tell.
How To Be A Successful TMT News Reporter: Step One – Dig Through Jim James’ Trash To Retrieve New My Morning Jacket Tourdates
You may not be aware of it, but TMT news reporters go through a lot to bring you the latest music scoop everyday. In fact, we’re so intrepid that we go so far as to stake out the private residences of those who we’re writing about. Right, guys? No, that was just me? Uh... guess that's why Jim James wasn’t too happy when he found me staking out his Louisville home in my unmarked white van. Nor was he pleased when I started going through the garbage can he left out on the curb. But if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have these possibly exclusive My Morning Jacket tourdates to report to you that I found written inside a notebook in his garbage. Finders keepers, Jim!
$ Jim James solo
Okay, people, listen up and listen good! I'm only going to say this ONCE:
- No, I do NOT know what Sunset Rubdown is doing this summer.
- No, I do NOT know what Frog Eyes have planned for the coming months.
- No, I do NOT have any information about Swan Lake's latest whatever-the-fuck
- No, I do NOT have any clue what Fifths of Seven are up to.
And No, Of Montreal’s not even from there...
So don't ask. Now, I don't want to hear more questions. Everybody GOT IT?
Good. With that out of the way, I can tell you that everyone's third or fourth favorite Canadian band Wolf Parade will be hitting the road this summer for the first time in a Montreal minute to play a healthy string (or a "parade," as a lesser journalist might quip) of shows across the U.S. and Canada!
The sudden flurry of wolf activity is definitely not because Spencer Krug is bored (a masochist, maybe, but not bored). Nope, the boys will actually be hitting the trail in support of their newest full-length effort, At Mount Zoomer -- their first, if you'll recall, since 2005's buzzed-about Apologies to Queen Mary -- which drops June 17 via Sub Pop.
Will the band's sophomore effort live up to the acclaim of their debut? Will the three-year wait between records hurt their gig turnouts?? Will Spencer Krug found another animal band???
Hey, I thought I said no more questions!
Canis lupus trail:
Common to Star in New Terminator Movie and Release New LP, Both of Which, We Should Hope, Are Completely Unrelated Or Else We May Be Getting a New LP From Commonator
Adding one more flick to his IMDB profile, Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. (a.k.a. Common) will be starring in the newest Terminator flick due in 2009. Common will star as a freedom fighter saving the world, kicking ass, doin' chix, and drinking whiskey out of his bible flask*, while the lead role goes to Josh Brolin (not the governor of California).
On the music front of things, Common will be dropping his eighth album, Invincible Summer June 24, and it'll be produced by The Neptunes and Mr. D.G. Substantial guest appearances on the album include Cee-Lo and Santogold. Billboard reports that the new album sounds "techno-inspired," while Common himself said that "This is the type of music [he] felt was missing from [his] body of work."
Still, Common is an eclectic sonuvabitch, and with techno hip-hop albums and Terminator roles, you wonder where this guy finds balance.
*Possible true. Most likely not.
Until now, I've invoked my Fifth Amendment right in regards to who broke the organ in the garage, but it's confession time. Twas' me; I fucked it up.
It was late, and I was tripping on acid practicing my one-man, black-metal, psych-rock band act when, at the height of my ecstasy and with the volume cranked to 11 and pedals pumping, I leapt atop the organ and proceeded to jump up and down, smashing all the keys at once while screaming!
I think that's what did it. Don't expect that kind of behavior on the Six Organs of Admittance tour. I mean, they're good, but they're not that good.
Did you know Ben Chasny originally hailed from Eureka, CA? Fun little fact for ya:
In a move sure to stun industry bigwigs and casual hispters alike, LA’s HEALTH has decided to tour -- this time on not one, but two continents. They’ve only been on, like, four tours in the past year, leading many to believe that they didn’t really care about touring anymore at all. The TMT office has been abuzz all day following the announcement. Jspicer leaned over my cubicle just a few minutes ago, not knowing how to react to the news.
“I was beginning to think they’d never tour again,” he told me. “This is such a relief. Now I finally have a chance to see them live.” One David Nadelle chimed in on his way to the copy room: “This gives me hope that maybe Of Montreal will tour again one day.” The odds are slim, David, but only time will tell.
Then we all got drunk:
I stand by my previous statements regarding the SP20 Festival (TMT News), with one concession: things are shaping up. Really, though, The Vaselines (joined by members of Belle & Sebastian), Les Thugs, and Eric's Trip? It's like 1994 all over again, and if that wasn't the best year of your life, don't even talk to me. I'm already trying to fit into my acid-wash jeans with the massive thigh-holes under the back pockets that pretty much warrant them un-wearable.
And may I just say this about the epic Vs? They blow my mind. Coming together in 1986, they haven't been active for nearly 20 years, and their miracle appearance in July at SP20 will be their first ever U.S. performance. I didn't even think they were still alive. They have one album, one, and they broke up immediately after recording it (though you can hear a fuller catalog thanks to Sub Pop's 1992 compilation, The Way of The Vaselines: A Complete History, which I swore by in 7th grade).
Then there's Eric's Trip: Julie Doiron, Rick White, Mark Gaudet, Chris Thompson, Ed Vaughan, and no one named Eric -- a golden ’90s Canadian quintuplet who signed to Sub Pop in ’92, disbanded in ’96, and reunited for only a handful of shows in 2007.
Finally, we have Les Thugs. They're French and that's great.
So it's a question of math at this point. Do the sum of these bands necessitate your attendance? Let's find out. On Sunday, you have a lineup consisting of Flight of the Conchords, The Vaselines, Iron & Wine, Low, Fleet Foxes, Mudhoney, The Fluid, The Helio Sequence, Eric's Trip, Seaweed, and Pissed Jeans, for a total of 54% awesome. On Saturday, Green River, Wolf Parade, Beachwood Sparks, Les Thugs, Foals, No Age, Red Red Meat, Comets on Fire, Kinski, Grand Archives, and The Ruby Suns accrues only an 18% acceptability rating, for a two-day combined total of 36% good. Now, at a price of $50 for a two-day pass at approximately $2.27 per band, 64% which we've established aren't worth seeing, you're going to pay a total of $31.78 for music that you shouldn't, and will not, enjoy. Is that offset by the remaining $18.22 worth of music that you will enjoy? I don't know, I'm not your mother and, frankly, I have no interest in making that decision for you. That said, yes it does. The Vaselines, man. The Vaselines.
Reading some quotes from Doug Martsch, frontman of Built to Spill, I can’t help but think that his speeches and promises are no different than other leading musicians — empty promises.
“I was convinced the American people wanted something new and different,” said Martsch in Beloit, WI, while explaining the announcement of his upcoming tour. “They didn’t want an announcement that was about tearing each other down. They wanted an announcement that was about lifting the country up. They were tired — you were tired of spin and PR and negative attacks instead of straight talk and honesty and offering practical solutions to our problems. The American people want change.”
What kind of change is he talking about? Just put any person onstage, and we'd be just fine. Change our album release policies? We’ve been doing that a lot in the past few months. Change touring policies? New touring policies are made and old policies are modified everyday as the geomusical climate changes. What “change” is Martsch talking about?
Built to Spill have scheduled some dates, including a performance of Perfect From Now On in its entirety at New York's ATP Fest, as we previously reported (TMT News), as well as a pre-ATP performance of the album, as reported by Pitchfork.
I recently bought a bed from IKEA. I knew there was “some assembly required,” but didn’t realize the full extent until I opened the box and found no fewer than three bags of screws and bolts to match the dozens of wooden planks. I looked back and forth, in utter disbelief, between the picture of the bed I thought I was buying and what I actually had. I hypothesized that I had accidentally purchased a small ark; yet upon flipping through the instruction booklet, it appeared that a bed would in fact be the end result.
But I was on the verge of tears. How could assembling a bed really be this elaborate? “Only the socialists would take something so simple and make it so unnecessarily difficult!” I wish I had gone into some American store where everything would be pre-assembled or would come in a few pieces that'd slid neatly into one another. But it was too late. I had already given my money to the socialists, and I’ve been in their bed ever since.
Which brings me to The Carrots. First of all, they’re from Austin, which is to Texas what Scandinavia is to Europe (which is to say, full of hippies). And with something like a 2:1 member-to-instrument ratio, it looks as though these young people have a penchant for bureaucracy. Many of their influences can be traced back to girl groups of the ’60s or back to the time of the Iron Curtain, depending on how you want to look at it. In that sense, they are probably the only band I would compare both to the Soviet Union and The Ronettes. Their hearts are in the right place.
Bouffants and beehives welcome at any of the following:
It's been a long nine years since Merge released First Imaginary Symphony for Nomad, the debut full-length by The Music Tapes. That's the bad news. The good news is that The Music Tapes, a.k.a. Julian Koster -- best known for his saw work and creative vision for Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea -- will keep it to nine, as he has announced the release of a brand, possibly spankin' new LP, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, due August 19 on Merge.
Part tape collage, part indie pop, and singing saws all around, The Music Tapes' music definitely has a lot of heart -- yet it doesn't sound completely human. Why? Because Koster is as much an inventor as a musician. His band consists partially of E6 friends, but primarily of musicians that he created, including The 7 Foot Tall metronome, Static The Television, and The Clapping Hands Machine. And he's even created new members for Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, such as the Orbiting Human Circus Tapdancing Machine. According to Koster:
I just find the imaginary more real than the physical. Magic, the way we find things beautiful, the light behind eyes, kindness, and how we want to serve and protect the things we care about -- these things seem like the real foundation of the world to me. I hope that the songs on this record can be more than just postcards from a world, but an invitation to it, to anyone at all who may find such a place comforting and nice.
In addition to Clouds and Tornadoes, The Music Tapes are quietly working on a few other projects, including the official release of the much-anticipated 2nd Imaginary Symphony for Cloudmaking (which features some music from Clouds and Tornadoes), a film project, and an as-yet untitled album featuring Koster's father on flamenco guitar. Meanwhile, Julian, along with Static the Television, the 7 Foot Tall Metronome, and some sentient buddies, are scheduled to perform August 15 at Athens Popfest 2008. I hope the 7 Foot Tall Metronome malfunctions and kills someone in the crowd. Wouldn't that be hilarious?