I know you remember those late-night cable TV specials with Sally Struthers and the Christian Children's Fund. For only cents a day, you could support a child's health and overall well-being somewhere in Africa. Lately, as a music fan, I've felt like maybe I needed a sponsorship group, or at the very least a counseling group. In a day and age in which fans can end up paying for their favorite artist's album with their entire paycheck, kidney, and first-born child, the musical panorama from a fan's point of view is looking rather bleak. Flip me a quarter a day and I might be able to buy a major label release in a month or six. It wears on us as fans and most of all on our loyalty, to stores, bands, labels, and music in general.
With each cog in the machine biting the hand that feeds them, all the way up the ladder, it is refreshing to see a band who still puts their blood and sweat into what they do, but also finds time to show us they care. One such band is The Black Keys. Like The White Stripes covered in Vaseline and rolled around in dirt, the blues-rock duo have consistently kicked out their fuzzy, filthy guitar/drums jams, as dynamic live as on record. Now, after touring in support of their fourth album, Magic Potion, the band is releasing a four-track EP from different shows throughout the tour. The best part? It is available for download for the price of on-the-house. Absolutely 100% free. Get it while it's hot.
The Live EP:
1. No Trust (recorded at Troubadour, Los Angeles 09.13.06)
2. Elevator (recorded at Mercy Lounge, Nashville 12.15.06)
3. Girl Is On My Mind (recorded at Troubadour, Los Angeles 09.13.06)
4. 10AM Automatic (recorded at Mercy Lounge, Nashville 12.15.06)
Again, you can download the EP in its entirety for FREE at the band's MySpace.
Self-proclaimed “Hip-Hop Bible” The Source has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with current CEO Jeremy Miller citing the mismanagement of former co-owner Raymond “Benzino” Scott and founder Dave Mays as the main cause. After Eminem and the Benzie beefed (in print and on record!), advertisers and subscribers started dropping, says SOHH.com. Since then, The Source has been struggling to overcome a number of publicity disasters, including a sexual harassment suit by former editor-in-chief Kim Osorio and claims that the magazine boosted the reviews (the “mic” rating) of several not-so-great records.
I don’t know about this rap stuff (if it’s not Clipse or Ghostface, it’s really just not indie enough), but judging from the SOHH's feedback forum, the regulars are torn about Source’s continuing financial troubles. Talk-backer Jaime wonders, “Where is SOHH Magazine”? While forum member Ohhh speculates, “No other mags are going bankrupt so the proof is in the pudding,” begging the question: so what’s the pudding in?
Hannity (????) writes that “[in] 10 years we'll be done with paper periodicals.” But forum user jquifov gwzq gets the final word, saying of the bankruptcy, “uhgsi xehpylamz nztamgb myhea pwsky bmyxtp vnmz.”
So it goes. An old magazine gets restructured. A young website lives. Unlike the beef-happy hip-hop media, the indie scene prefers pork, and we’re more than happy to play ball, shit, even to excess, to get those big money deals. Mr P has yet to challenge indie fashion guru and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney’s to a brawl-to-wall beard-growing match; though rumor has it P, following Charney’s lead, now interviews potential writers in his underwear. The dis record is probably not forthcoming.
Seriously, not only did I have to witness a skivvies-only interview to get this gig, the magic eight ball tells me some poor sucker is going to get strong-armed into giving The Twilight Sad’s new disc four dots instead of three-and-a-half. Do you know how many units that extra half moon will move? If only you, fair reader, were so impressionable. We live and die on the backs of our advertisers, so here it goes: fuck FatCat Records, Crystal Top Music, Token Boy, and whoever else is flickering in your eyeballs today. No amount of half naked men/women will make me click your fucking banner ad (honestly though, at some point I’m going to click it). Sixteen- to thirty-four-year-olds unite. You have nothing to lose but your $72k household income (on average!). Or just get Firefox.
Alright, I’m done snitchin’. Please keep advertising with us.
I forgot they even existed. With 57 side-projects currently touring and recording simultaneously, the boys from Wolf Parade have managed to find time to play shows for the folks tired of their recent musical misadventures. They've got Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, Johnny and the Moon, and Frog Eyes going -- the other 52 are top secret. It's just so incestuous. It kind of creeps me out a little, but... it's also kind of appealing. Like how I just wanted George Michael and Maeby to get it on, so I could see how David Cross would react to the situation in his fiery Ms. Featherbottom outfit.
Well it's a brief flash-in-the-pan tour, but it begins in the hippest place I could imagine... Kingston, Ontario. I can't picture any city cooler than a place home to the Royal Military College and where the biggest employer is the Armed Forces. I'm trying to picture one, but, but... no, I can't. Also in its favor, the city has a big maximum-security prison and a university full of bratty, upper-class private school graduates, too. So if there is a day-release program in effect and the inmates, jarheads, and conservative politic theory majors can all make it to the island for the festival, it could result in some interesting goings on.
In the mean time, there is supposed to be a new Wolf Parade album in the works for early 2008 to be released on Sub Pop. Chances are you'll have a leaked copy by Christmas and can provide your friends and Great Aunt Eida with seasonally decorated CD-Rs. Until then, you can see Wolf Parade play these places, on these days:
The friend who first told me about Quintron is actually the same friend who first informed me about this fine website. The three of us (Quintron, the friend, and myself) have been through a lot since then. Breakups, graduations, making albums with the Oblivians, goodbyes, losing all our rotating, five-oscillator, light activated “drum buddies” in hurricane Katrina: Just the tip of the iceberg.
Most recently, I’ve decided for the tenth time to try and quit coffee; the friend has decided to relax at her parents’ house for a few days; and Quintron and his wife/favorite puppeteer Miss Pussycat have made the decision to tour the American South and Midwest. Thinking about how much we’ve changed and how much we’ve yet to change fills me with a certain gentle melancholy. There’s a Japanese expression for that. Mono No Aware. I learned it from a video game.
Quintron and Miss Pussycat recently created a 10-episode puppet soap opera for VBS TV. CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST EPISODE!! They also just released a limited-edition 12-inch EP called JAMSKATE, which can be purchased or downloaded here. Check out some YouTube videos, too.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives:
You read The Da Vinci Code, right? Want to make your life as exciting as the adventures of Professor Robert Langdon? Self-described “true jack of all nerves, art cutter, freezer of voice, sampler, banger of keyboards, pill burner, hermetic independent music making friend maker, part-time propmaster, good learner, catman, and ref-poet for life,” Adam “Doseone” Drucker could be your ticket into this world of historical intrigue.
In December, the tour van of Doseone-headed Subtle (not to be confused with Doseone-headed Greenthink, cLOUDDEAD, Deep Puddle Dynamic, Object Beings, 13 & God, Themselves, Presage... [point is dude has got more band’s than Lil’ Wayne’s AK has got shells (which is more than the ocean, in turn, has [Source: Wayne, Lil’ & Drama, DJ, Dedication 2: Gangsta Grillz, 2006])]) was robbed of $15,000 worth of equipment and cash. Naturally, Dose chose to paint portraits of fans for $20 in an attempt to replace the lost items.
The offer is again available at this website, where 150 people will have a chance to commission a painting based on a picture e-mailed to Doseone, sure to be rife with Masonic imagery and ancient conspiracy. For $20, you can be presented with the opportunity to pretend that you’re in your own Dan Brown.
Think “Oh, lame saint!” is cryptic? Try “I think our tour guide is on the H2O/ You don't seem to understand the lasting impression a grade school gym teacher's chutzpah has on a modern nation's economy/ And I could write anything/ And I could write anything/ The average healthy rooster lives around twelve years/ This is amusing.” YEAH, the dude actually writes like that. Imagine how mysterious his paintings must be.
The last time I saw Ted Leo (solo, at a benefit for Callum Robbins), the hollers from the crowd, usually something hilarious like "FREEBIRD!," took on a different nature. This time it was a little less American band and a little more American Idol. Mr. Leo, who once covered the inaugural Idol Kelly Clarkson's smash-hit "Since U Been Gone," received numerous pleas from an overzealous crowd all calling for a cover of the pop gem. But like any self-respecting connoisseur of pop culture, Ted knew that the shelf-life of cover-song irony is comparable to a carton of milk (that is to say, in this case, expired). Preferring to stick to his more timeless repertoire of Wire and Springsteen, Leo politely ignored the persistent heckles and concurred when an audience member asked, "Don't you wish you never covered that song?" That's exactly why I've come up with this list of potential cover songs for Ted that just never get old:
"Higher" by Creed -- Come on, Teddy; you can't be so punk all the time. Get in touch with your Jesus side!
"It's All Coming Back to Me" by Celine Dion -- Because he has trouble booking shows, I heard he was looking for a residency at Caesars Palace.
"I'm A Flirt" by R. Kelly -- If only to hear Ted Leo say "I'ma chick mag-a-net/ And anything fine I'm bag-gin it."
"Sorry 2004" by Ruben Studdard -- We already know he can do the A-Idol thing; give Big Rube some love.
Taking requests all through the summer:
Smashing Pumpkins frontman and renowned bald-headed, pale-faced, trench coat-backed, egomaniac Billy Corgan has at least looked crazy for about seven years now. Now, with his long-on-hiatus Chicago rock outfit once again rising out of the pumpkin patch to fly through the air with copies of their new studio album Zeitgeist, due July 10 via Martha's Music/Reprise, to give to good little girls and boys all over the world, the infamously stubborn, scratchy-voiced singer is finally getting locked-up.
Well, sort of, anyway.
Apparently, despite all of his rage, Corgan and Co. are scheduled to cage themselves into clubs in both Asheville, North Carolina and San Francisco, California for several week-long “residencies” this summer, during which they will be performing a different setlist from the band’s infinitely sad career each night. Billy and the newest patch of pumpkins will smash themselves into The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC for a series of shows in June and July before they roll out West for a second residency at San Francisco’s Fillmore set for later July and a date in August. Tickets for these events are, of course, sold out.
And in a new twist, the Great Pumpkin is apparently asking any and all fans of the band (well, such as they still exist) to record shows throughout the residencies on their own audio and visual equipment. Logically, one would suspect that the reason for this ill-advised encouragement of piracy might be to later put together some kind of fans-eye retrospective... but no such reason has been given by the pumpkins’ spokesperson yet, save for to say that the band will be digging “deep into their back catalog” and playing material from their new album, as well as “songs written on the day of the show.” In other words, you might want to tape Corgan being full of himself now, before he breaks up this incarnation of the band, too.
Speaking of which, it still has yet to be announced who will be joining Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin on stage for all these shows, but bassist Ginger Reyes, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and keyboardist Lisa Harriton were the stoolpigeons last night in Paris for the Pumpkins' first show in seven years. Hopefully this time around the beginning doesn’t prove to be the end is the beginning is the... aw fuck... nevermind. Click here for tourdates.
Here's the setlist from last night:
Hardly Art, the new affiliate label of Sub Pop, has officially signed its second band. According to the Bible, this is glorious news as stated in Leviticus 6:12, "An independent label is nothing until it has at least has two signed bands." This so-called messiah is a seven-piece tyrant aptly known as Le Loup, which in French translates to ‘The Wolf.’ Though this may be another wolf band in French ‘wordery,’ there is more to offer than wolf-band comparisons. They are currently finishing up their debut album, The Throne of the Heaven of the Third Nations' Millennium General Assembly, which will be released in the fall. Historically, the ambitious title dates back to a piece of folk art of the same title, by James Hampton in the 1950s. You can learn (yes, learn) about the story behind the folk art here.
If you can't wait until the release, you can rush to be in-the-know before everyone is like, "Have you heard that new band Le Loup?" Simply visit their MySpace or website (yes, bands still have "official websites"). A year from now, you will be all like, "Beotch, I knew about Le Loup a long time ago. Way before your mom birthed you. I had sex with your mom. And I am your father. And I knew about Le Loup before all of this." You will be saying convoluted shit like that all the time in the future, and you'll even possibly be wearing a Tiny Mix Tapes shirt (we won't have those then).
Hardly Art's first-signed band Arthur & Yu will debut their album on June 19. So you might want to get a move on with that as well. You have a lot of work to do Mr. and Mrs. TMT reader! Get to it, or I will tell Mr P on you! Remember the book of P, "Thou shall take everything literally and do as TMT says, unless otherwise informed by the Lord (a.k.a. Billy Joel)."
What the Heck Fest Going Down: Everybody in the Pacific Northwest Gettin’ Tipsy, Ghostride the Pacific Northwest, Make it Rain on the Pacific Northwest, Etc.
So there are some dudes, right? And they’re doing this thing from July 19 to July 22. This’ll be the sixth time they do it. They do it in Anacortes, Washington. It’s some pretty interesting stuff, but I’m warning you in advance: You might miss a few television shows and/or internet memes if you check it out. So what’s your incentive?
Like 40 indie pop bands, stupid! Cripes! It’s called What the Heck Fest! Calvin Johnson is playing! Mount Eerie! YACHT! Adrian Orange! Mecca Normal! The Blow! Laura Veirs! Little Wings! A whole mess of other artists! Full passes for the entire fest can be purchased from the fest’s site for a mere $50 apiece. The $50 also will net you a full meal at the “dinner” show, which the site refers to as the “thematic center of the entire event.”
If the price seems like a lot, the site even has a neat, little manifesto deal that, in between parts that are kind of confusing, spouts wisdom such as “production values increase as the artist’s respect for the audience’s imagination decreases.” On top of being musically and thematically consistent, What the Heck Fest is probably the most articulate music and arts festival of the entire summer. If you choose to take your shoes off, make some cutoffs and attend, the hilarious cat pictures will probably still be on the ‘web’ when you get back.
Scene: A bunch of white-belt, indie-rock-oriented kids sitting cross-legged (formerly, ‘Indian-style’) in a large circle.
Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Goose! (slapping the head of Brian DeGraw)
(Brian chases me around the circle; I dive down into Brian's former seat. Brian is now the goose.)
Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Duck... Goose! (gently tapping the head of Tim DeWitt)
(Tim jumps up and chases Brian around the circle. Brian barely makes it into Tim's former seat. Tim is now the goose.)
(This process repeats itself until all members of Gang Gang Dance have been the goose. As a collective geese, Gang Gang Dance tour the collective United States, playing sympathetic venues in support of their new CD-and-DVD combo scheduled for release May 22 (today!) and titled Retina Riddim.
All dates on the tour have Ocrilim (which is Mick Barr of Orthrelm, Crom-Tech, Quix*o*tic, Octis, that collab with Zach Hill, etc.) opening, except the Los Angeles show with Ariel Pink and Architecture In Helsinki opening instead:
* Ariel Pink
# Ariel Pink and Architecture In Helsinki