I know right?
Okay, writing this article without the 200-word space filler of arbitrary letters is more difficult than I thought (I’m totally aware that this does not say much for my ability as a writer). Additionally, I made an OiNK joke the other day, so I can’t fall back on that. So uh... straight news?
Artist in Residence has released a book that follows Sigur Rós through Iceland on their 2006 Takk tour. The “Classic” (read: lame) version of In a Frozen Sea: A Year with Sigur Rós retails for $20 and contains 32 pages of “never before seen photographs, observations and quotes that captures the band in their words, in their world.” The Limited Edition (what is with bands doing this lately) (I think I’m subconsciously linking myself to prove that I do not ALWAYS suck at writing) sells for $150 and contain 12-inch vinyls of Agaetis Byrjun, ( ), and Takk. Additionally, the set holds the first 12-inch pressing of Smaskifa (this is where the OiNK joke would have gone). This edition is limited to 5000 units, 50 of which will be signed by the band.
The book’s site (which may or may have not been an area from cut from Myst IV: Revelation) will allow visitors to listen to Sigur Rós’ music, watch videos, interact on message boards, learn more about the D’ni civilization, and hopefully save Atrius from certain doom.
Finally, the site contains a section for independent musicians to submit their own music to be judged by Alan Moulder, Flood, and Sigur Rós. However, according to the release we received, the purpose of this judging is left as a cliffhanger worthy of a Trapped in the Closet chapter.
Clear Channel Is That High School Bully Who Had More Money Than Anyone But Had Really Bad Body Odor So No One Liked Him
You really have to beg the question, "When will these assholes give it up?" The only answer for that probably is, "Never." Sad too, because I can't imagine those corporate jackasses are actually happy with their lives. I mean, they really aren't happy with anything, because they're always trying to fuck things up. Let me tell you what our good friends at Clear Channel have been up to.
Clear Channel allows independent and local artists to submit music for air and online play. Normally artists get digital performance royalties if their music is streamed online. Clear Channel has decided to do away with this detail, opting for a solution that requires the artists to waive their performance royalties. Essentially, this means the artists get absolutely nothing out of it. Even worse, when the artists submit their material, it immediately gets placed under a "royalty-free non-exclusive right and license," which means Clear Channel can use the songs for other things besides air play and internet streaming. You and I know what those other things can encompass. Advertising, etc, etc.
You may also be asking, "why in the shit would an artist be interested in giving their music to Clear Channel and what the shit would Clear Channel want to do with indie music anyway?" Well, aside from the obvious answers (exposure, money sans digital performance royalties, etc.), earlier this year, CBS Radio, Clear Channel, and Entercom struck a deal with the American Association of Independent Music to set aside 8,400 half-hour blocks of air-time for local and indie artists. But why again was that "deal" struck anyway? Well, have you heard of payola before? Perhaps not lately with these particular broadcasters, because in addition to the blocks of air-time devoted to indie/local artists and a $12.5 million payment, the settlement for the recent payola scandal included no admission of wrongdoing.
I guess there was no scandal after all!
Eric Copeland of Black Dice is a Mysterious Hermaphrodite Who Likes to Have Relations with Grizzly Bears. Not Grizzly Bear the Band, But Actual Grizzly Bears. Oh, and He’s Releasing His First Solo Album in August.
The word "hermaphrodite" can explain many different things. For one, it can define the sexual orientation of a person. For instance, there is a staff member at TMT who is a hermaphrodite. Can you guess which one? It rhymes with Ant Murdem. The word "hermaphrodite" can also mean the combination of two opposite qualities or extremes. When thinking of the experimental voyage of Black Dice, you may often hear sounds that are contradicting and disparate. This experience is akin to Eric Copeland, member of Black Dice and Terrestrial Tones, and his solo music. So how fitting is it for Copeland's first solo effort to be titled Hermaphrodite?
It is a perfectly fine-ass fit for Copeland and a much anticipated, if not, mysterious release. And we often associate these compelling atmospheric loops and layers with the unknown. According to Paw Tracks, the sexy label releasing Hermaphrodite: "like a good mix tape, Hermaphrodite flips the listener with each new song, engaging them to keep up, make the connections, and, ultimately, enjoy." Now that doesn't sound too mysterious. So to clear things up, I did some research, and in classic Emceegreg fashion, I slept on that research and a bag of Cheetos for three days straight. My conclusions of the life of Copeland are exalting and are as follows:
- Hermaphrodite will be released August 14, 2007. This is the same day as Emceegreg's birthday. Concidence?
- Eric Copeland is often mistaken as Eric Stoltz by New York City passerby. This enrages Copeland, not because he dislikes Stoltz' work, but because they think Copeland is the Stoltz' character from the Cher-tastic film, Mask.
- Eric Copeland made some of this album to work with the films of visual artists Theo Angel, Yuki Kimura, and Jim Mickle.
- Eric Copeland is only "doin' the music thang" to upstage his brother, Bjorn.
- Eric Copeland will be touring throughout North America sometime this year. Only Oprah's vag (va-jay-jay) knows exactly when this will occur.
- Black Dice will be releasing a new full-length on Paw Tracks in October, including a North American tour.
- Eric Copeland will be staring in the film Grizzly Man 2: Back in Action. The film will document Copeland's enthusiastic but trite love affair with an Alaskan grizzly bear named Scarla. The film will win many awards.
- Eric Copeland hates Emceegreg. They are mortal enemies but have much respect for one another at the same time.
WARNING: The following story contains material not suitable for children.
Ever wonder what happens what you take an all-star band of absolutely outrageous co-eds, get a few instruments in ‘em, put them all up on stage together, and fly them all around North America for a summer???
Of COURSE you have!!!
(Cue the Hawaiian Party music, please)
Introducing British Columbia’s own New Pornographers, Uncut, UN-fettered, and UN-leashed!!!
This summer, you can hear ALL of what you’ve been missing (and we mean ALL of it!) on the new Challengers LP, on sale August 21 from Matador, and catch eyeful after unbelievable eyeful of the sensuous action as the colorful cast tours the continent in search of the hottest clubs, theaters, and festivals around!
That’s right! These seven sexy singles are packing themselves into a tour bus and bearing it ALL while they support the release of their fourth studio album. But when the houselights turn OFF, these rowdy boys and girls turn ON... if you get my awkward innuendo!
WATCH all the action as Neko Case and A.C. Newman let it all hang out at the Pitchfork Festival Afterparty in Chicago...
LOOK-ON as Dan Bejar and Kathryn Calder end up “accidentally” sharing a hotel room together in Seattle...
OBSERVE as I run dangerously low on synonyms...
But that’s not all! Order NOW and receive a complementary MP3 download of the song “My Rights Versus Yours” from The New Pornographers’ website FREE with your purchase!!! Man, this band is Outta-control Krazy!!! You’ve got to hear/see it to believe it!
Don’t miss your chance to see the most outrageously out-of-control show in Indie Rock! Don’t make me use another exclamation point! Just look at theeeeeese beauties:
The Challengers LP is NOT available in stores! (Yes it is!)
Call Now! (Don’t call anywhere!)
Iceland. The word rarely has the chance to breathe before the ethnocentric in all of us quickly jumps up whenever the country’s name is spoken and spurts “cold,” “weird,” and “northern” before downing the last of our cigs and Silver Bullets and drifting off to dreamland mumbling something that sounds like “ bunchh neer f‘fn sslandinavbian....”
But did you know:
- Phonebooks in Iceland list residents by their first name because most Icelanders practice patronymic and matronymic name calling... who knew? You?
- Lots of people fish in Iceland. Surely this is strange for an island community, no?
- There is a ring road in Iceland that links many cities together. Roads linking cities? Wow. I... am... truly... speechless!
Iceland, with its phonebooks, fishing, and roads, doesn’t seem that different from Porkey, PA, Chicken, AK, or Yeehaw Junction, FL, but different it is. We can read all of the useless trivia we want, but us last-name cataloging nitwits will never come close to understanding this peculiar republic unless we all go over and spend a month in a turf house writing Nordic sagas after consuming large amounts of Brennívin and pickled ram testicles. A more palatable option for “coldweirdnorthern” comprehension is to learn a little about Ice-island culture through enjoying their artists: poets, writers, composers, and for our purposes, their musicians.
Normally, Tiny Mix minions throughout the land do this by embracing the bigger Icelandic stars like müm, Sigur Rós, and Björk. Like those incredibly odd and incredibly talented artists, umpteen-piece pop orchestra Benni Hemm Hemm will soon be commanding some attention of their own Stateside when they undertake their first U.S. tour.
Benni Hemm Hemm -- which is either Icelandic for “Birdy Num Num” or the nickname of band leader Benedikt Hermann Hermannsson -- released their debut album in May on Morr Music called Kajak. If you are not familiar with the band, our very own master bird-watcher, raconteur, “extreme fencing” instructor, and resident BDSM dominant with a knack for knots Jeffrey Canino thought this about the album. There. Now you’ve read the review and you’ve read the news tour blurb. I guess the only thing left to read is a completely unrelated and wholly inappropriate and nonsensical Led Zeppelin and Benni Hemm Hemm/Iceland-referencing lyric mash-up: “Ah-hah-aaaaaa-ah! Ah-hah-aaaaaa-ah!/ Come from the land of the ice and snow from the midnight sun where the glaciers glow/ Hemm Hemm of the Gods/ We drive our tour trucks to new land/ To fight the self-important TV chefs, celebrity poseur whores, and douchebag politico pundits/ America I am comii-iii-iii-iing...!”
Benni Hemm Hemm: their only goal will be the Western shore:
07.05.07 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
07.06.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East, Upstairs
07.07.07 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s
07.08.07 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
07.09.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
07.10.07 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
07.13.07 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Café
07.14.07 - Portland, OR - Towne Lounge
07.16.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
07.17.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
07.18.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Paperheart
07.20.07 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
07.21.07 - Houston, TX - Proletariat
07.24.07 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
07.25.07 - Wilmington, NC - Bella Festa
07.26.07 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
07.27.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
07.28.07 - New York, NY - Union Hall
Jay Reatard (ex-Reatards, Lost Sounds, Bad Times, Final Solutions, Terror Visions, Destruction Unit, Nervous Patterns, current Evil Army) Gets Off His Lazy Ass and Tours
Reasons Jay Reatard is Cool:
- Displays stick-to-itiveness by retaining nickname he adopted in his mid-teens.
- My friend Liz says so, and she regularly gives me free stuff from the coffee shop where she works.
- Cool Go-Betweens cover on his new "I Know a Place" 7-inch.
- Swears sometimes.
- Has been constantly recording music for over a decade and has toured the world multiple times in near-countless bands.
- I am sorry for copping out and using the list format.
- Has mounted a tour of southern Europe and eastern North America.
- Released his solo debut Blood Visions and a new a 12-inch single, entitled "Night of Broken Glass" on In the Red Records, known for releasing material by The Ponys, Sparks, The Black Lips, and other luminaries.
- In spite of its high-profile release and subsequent tour, retains underground appeal after blogs refer to the single as “the sort of crusty nugget that will make students of the post-punk era wish they studied harder.”
If You’re Thinking of Being An Akron/Family Groupie, Here Are Some Awesome, Somewhat Famous Places You Should Check Out Throughout Their Tour
So you've already packed your bags, loaded up your debit account with funds, and are waiting for each venue to begin selling tickets. Okay, after you've bought all of your tickets and are well on your way to the first show, you may start thinking, "Wow, if I'm going to be doing this for a while, I should totally check out some really cool landmarks and vacation hot-spots!"
That my friends, is where I come in. Using my excellent tourist intuition, I'll direct you to all the right places. But first off, let's cover one thing quickly: Akron/Family is an excellent band that totally owns ass (your ass, ya damn groupie), and that's why you want to be a groupie right? Right! Okay, let us continue! Today I will select five special places for you to visit while on your exciting trip to see Akron/Family more than they want to see your screaming groupie face. You will be passing through all of these cities, I promise. Let's begin:
Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #1
The Michigan Soldiers' And Sailors' Monument (Detroit, MI)
*It's an awesome Civil War monument, check it out and buy some postcards while you're at it!
Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #2
All The Oak Trees In Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)
*Just walk around the city and find out why it's really called the "City of Oaks"! Take some pictures!
Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #3
The Horseshoe At Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
*Their football stadium is a fucking horseshoe! How rad! Be sure to take a tour!
Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #4
The National War Memorial in Ottawa (Ottawa, ON)
*This isn't just any ol' war memorial; it's in Confederation Square. That has to mean something. Marry someone in front of it!
Awesome Famous Place/Landmark # 5
Strip Clubs (Portland, OR)
*It's a known fact that Portland has more strip clubs per capita than any city in America. I don't think you can take pictures at these famous places, but you can most certainly try.
I highly recommend all the above places (and Akron/Family!), five stars to each and every one of 'em. Expect news of a new Akron/Family LP soon, but for now, I'm sure your crazy groupie ass just wants some tourdates, so here you are (I've even used annoying asterisks to mark which cities the Awesome Famous Places/Landmarks are!):
* Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #1
** Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #2
*** Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #3
**** Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #4
***** Awesome Famous Place/Landmark #5
I have always had mixed feelings about Dave Eggers' McSweeney's and its umbrella of publications. Style is as important as substance, and that bothers me. There is a great essay on Design Observer on the saturation of books and publishing, and it does a particularly excellent job of describing exactly the look and feel of independent publishing houses:
"These publications have a very particular voice and visual appearance both of which derive from the dustier corners of book publishing’s history: the heavily footnoted meanderings of science textbooks, earnest political treatises and tracts, hobby manuals and the like. For many, the ultimate goal is to channel the essence of an out-of-print illustrated pamphlet on the preferred techniques for the propagation of indoor ivy plants. The best-known touchstones of this meticulously arcane tone can be found in the satirical output of the McSweeney’s empire."
And yet, for all the criticism -- which McSweeney's tends to gather like a lightning rod, for all this reduction of the creativity that is The Internet Tendency and The Believer and Wholphin and everything else they do, we would be less than whole without it. McSweeney's combines media in the way NPR airs audio stories on sculpture, but doing so in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and in a unique package. I love, love picking up the three books held in a binder by magnets, and I don't even know why. This is new forms and history with clever writing, and we need it. The internet, most of all, needs it. Unfortunately, we may not have it much longer, because McSweeney's in the midst of a financial hardship.
According to The Trip Wire, "on December 29 their distributor filed for bankruptcy and McSweeney's lost about $130,000. As a result they now are holding a special sale and auction on eBay to help raise funds. Some of the items up for grabs include a personal tour of The Daily Show, original artwork from Chris Ware, Marcel Dzama, David Byrne, and Tony Millionaire; a limited-edition music mix from Nick Hornby; rare early issues of the quarterly, direct from Sean Wilsey's closet; and more. Rumor has it there is even a Dave Eggers's painting of George W. Bush as a double amputee, from the cover of Issue 14."
If there is oversaturation of anything, it is creative work on the internet. McSweeney's is a bastion of quality, and whether its online or in a magazine, we need Eggers' "empire." Although I may be on the fence with it sometimes, McSweeney's is respectable, clever, and fun. Criticize it, but read it and save it, as I will.
Click here for the special sales and auctions.
You know that one part of the record store with all of the box sets? Does anyone buy those things? Yeah, the ones with 73 previously unreleased Velvet Underground or Bruce Springsteen B-sides, demos, and live cuts that absolutely no one needs. Don't even try to justify a 2-track demo of "I'm On Fire" or paying $74.99 for a warped full-length demo of "Sweet Jane." And yes, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can be wrong. Regardless, Rhino Records is joining the box set party (again), which should appeal to the richest (and show-offy-est) obsessives and/or yuppie bankers who'd like to impress that bitchin' alternative chick from Whole Foods with their knowledge of '70s Lou Reed. Their anthology, however, sounds fairly enticing and is titled The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze and Brit-pop Gems of the Last Millennium.
I can just hear the infomercial now -- and God knows I'm holding out for Moz to host it. If he can't sell a $65, 4CD set in the shape of an English phone box complete with an 80-page book of essays and interviews, then I don't know who can. The set is pieced together in chronological order as follows: Disc 1 (1984-1990), Disc 2 (1991-1993), Disc 3 (1994-1995), and Disc 4 (1996-1998). It features acts such as Cocteau Twins, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Suede, The Divine Comedy, and many more. For 17 easy payments of $3.82, The Brit Box can be yours! But wait! Call within the next 15 minutes and we'll throw in a second set of steak knives at no additional cost! And if you aren't completely satisfied...
The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze and Brit-pop Gems of the Last Millennium tracklist:
1. The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now?"
2. Cocteau Twins - "Lorelei"
3. Felt - "Primitive Painters"
4. Shop Assistants - "Somewhere in China"
5. The Mighty Lemon Drops - "My Biggest Thrill"
6. The Cure - "Just Like Heaven"
7. Echo & The Bunnymen - "Lips Like Sugar"
8. The Jesus and Mary Chain - "April Skies"
9. Spacemen 3 - "Walkin' With Jesus (Sound of Confusion)"
10. The Primitives - "Crash"
11. The Wonder Stuff - "Unbearable"
12. The Stone Roses - "She Bangs the Drums"
13. The Charlatans UK - "The Only One I Know"
14. Happy Mondays - "Step On"
15. Primal Scream - "Loaded" [single version]
16. Inspiral Carpets - "This Is How It Feels"
17. The Trash Can Sinatras - "Obscurity Knocks"
18. The La's - "There She Goes"
19. The Sundays - "Here's Where the Story Ends"
1. Ride - "Vapour Trail"
2. Pale Saints - "Sight of You"
3. My Bloody Valentine - "Only Shallow"
4. Lush - "For Love"
5. The Telescopes - "Flying"
6. Chapterhouse - "Pearl"
7. Catherine Wheel - "I Want To Touch You"
8. Bleach - "Trip & Slide"
9. Curve - "Coast Is Clear"
10. Five Thirty - "You"
11. Moose - "This River Will Never Run Dry"
12. The Family Cat - "(Thought I'd Died) And Gone To Heaven"
13. The Dylans - "(Don't Cut Me Down) Mary Quant in Blue"
14. Thousand Yard Stare - "0-0 A.E.T. (No Score After Extra Time)"
15. Ned's Atomic Dustbin - "Grey Cell Green"
16. Birdland - "Shoot You Down"
17. Manic Street Preachers - "Stay Beautiful"
18. Teenage Fanclub - "Star Sign"
1. Suede - "Metal Mickey"
2. Swervedriver - "Duel" [radio edit]
3. Eugenius - "Breakfast"
4. Superstar - "Barfly"
5. New Order - "Regret"
6. James - "Laid"
7. Nick Heyward - "Kite"
8. The Boo Radleys - "Lazarus"
9. Saint Etienne - "You're in a Bad Way"
10. Stereolab - "Wow & Flutter"
11. Blur - "Tracy Jacks"
12. Oasis - "Live Forever"
13. Pulp - "Common People"
14. These Animal Men - "Speed King"
15. Mega City Four - "Wallflower"
16. Echobelly - "Insomniac"
17. Gene - "Sleep Well Tonight"
18. Menswe@r - "Sleeping In"
19. Supergrass - "Alright"
20. Cast - "Alright"
21. Elastica - "Stutter"
1. Dodgy - "In a Room"
2. Ash - "Girl From Mars"
3. Sleeper - "Sale of the Century"
4. Marion - "Sleep"
5. Kula Shaker - "Tattva"
6. Ocean Colour Scene - "The Riverboat Song"
7. Babybird - "You're Gorgeous"
8. The Bluetones - "Slight Return"
9. Super Furry Animals - "Something 4 the Weekend"
10. The Divine Comedy - "Something for the Weekend"
11. Cornershop - "Brimful of Asha"
12. Silver Sun - "Service"
13. Spiritualized - "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space"
14. Mansun - "Wide Open Space"
15. Hurricane #1 - "Step Into My World"
16. The Verve - "Lucky Man"
17. Rialto - "Untouchable"
18. Catatonia - "Mulder and Scully"
19. Placebo - "You Don't Care About Us"
20. Gay Dad - "Oh Jim"
Tonight’s main event: a rumble to end all rumbling, a match to end all matching... (it’s not that exciting but I’m gonna keep going)...
In the red trunks, weighing in at an even two-hunnie pounds... the musicFIRST coalition, best known for its mean right hook aimed at getting legislation passed to force U.S. radio stations to pay performer royalties (on top of the current songwriter royalties) for AM and FM bands! Supported by friendly musicians like Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Buffett, Celine Dion, Don Henley, Wyclef Jean, John Legend, and Jennifer Lopez, as well as philanthropic organizations like the RIAA and Sound Exchange, it’s hard to see what’s not to love about musicFIRST!
In the other corner, the challenger sporting the blue trunks, weighing in at a lean 195, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is set to “aggressively fight RIAA's proposed performance tax on local radio stations”! With NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton saying things like “Congress has long recognized that radio airplay of music generates millions of dollars in revenue for record labels and artists” and “were it not for radio's free promotional airplay of music on stations all over America, most successful recording artists would still be playing in a garage,” it looks to be a heated and protracted affair.
Looks like the musicFIRST website isn’t pulling any punches, repeatedly referring to radio as “Corporate Radio” (with Capital Letters) and posting a mysteriously dead link citing a January 2007 study by the University of Texas at Dallas claiming “radio play does not have the positive impact on record sales normally attributed to it. Instead it appears to have an economically important negative impact, implying that overall radio listening is more of a substitute for the purchase of sound recordings that it is a complement.” Meanwhile, the NAB points out that purported musicFIRST supporter John Legend has voiced a radio PSA thanking radio stations for their role in promoting his music. So what now University of Texas at Dallas? And John Legend, what the fuck side are you on? Billy Bragg wants to know, the NAB wants to know, I want to know, Marvel Comics wants to know, and YACHT wants to know too.
Little Tony is taking side bets over by the slot machines, but the fact that musicFIRST addresses Corporate Radio and NAB reference local stations makes me wonder if these guys are really even in the same arena (I'm broadcasting from abroad). Anyway, I hope they do such a great job at getting legislation passed we get another royalty collection company so they can kill terrestrial radio just like they want to with internet radio.
So, which side are you on?
No, not you. I still want to know about John Legend. He’s standing behind you.