Michael Bay May Want to Greenlight This One: A Live-Action Fraggle Rock Musical to Grace the Silver Screen… and a Zappa Is Involved!
Last weekend while attending an elegant performance from Broken Social Scene, lead singer Kevin Drew went on and on with some rant about the Pope and how pedophiles only listen to Jimmy Buffet. He continued to get the crowd riled up by speaking of Fraggle Rock.
After hearing all of the drunken cheers of the audience, I thought about how cool it would be if someone would make Fraggle Rock into a feature-length film. I later that night prayed to God to make this wish come true. Days later, I discovered that God had made my wish come true, with a little help from Ahmet Zappa (son of... uh...).
Here is the formal letter I have written to God:
I know you're listening to me and answering my prayers. I really appreciate it, dooder. I see that you have answered one of my recent, more outrageous prayers. I also think it is swell and all that you have summoned Ahmet Zappa, son of Frank Zappa, to executive-produce a film about the glorious Fraggles, along with the Henson kids.
See, my problem with this is that I was just really drunk when I asked for this. You know how things seem like a good idea at the time when you're wasted. Remember that time in college? Yeah, exactly.
They want to have the Fraggles venture out of the rock and into the "real world." Yeah, there will be puppets and human actors interacting. This is unnecessarily capitalizing on a commercial success. It would never work for today's audience.
The only miracle that could save this film is if it became an anti-war vehicle and tolerance epic. I can see it now; people won't accept the Fraggles at first. Many men will not share the same urinal as Boober, and women will not know how to interpret the trans-gendered Mokey.
Signs will read: "We Serve Vanilla Coke, But We Don't Serve Fraggles." This will lead up to an all out war between Devendra Banhart and the Fraggles (good) and David Duke and the Gorgs (evil). There will be music, celebration, and most importantly there will be a meaningful lesson that we are all the same deep down inside. Everyone will learn to feast on radishes and "doozer sticks" as one.
Of course, this has all been done before so this will all just be a disaster. Maybe we'll have to wait and see how Transformers does at the box office next summer before we go and ruin my childhood completely.
And for your enjoyment, here is the song that got me into folk music.
On Saturday night at the Paradox in Seattle, someone walked backstage and took So Many Dynamos guitar player Griffin Kay's wallet, jacket, and cellphone. Whoever entered also took the following three guitars from the band's storage space:
"-1978 Gibson SG, tobacco sunburst finish. Guitar case has a Smokey the bear sticker on it
-2004 G&L Tribute ASAT Classic, semihollow telecaster-style guitar. Sunburst finish, gold hardware and straplocks.
-Fender Squier Supersonic guitar, black with lots of wear, "Anyone can do this" sticker on back."
The band noted in their e-mail to their publicist that Griffin is "totally bummed."
If you know anything about the jerks who took it, message them at their MySpace. So Many Dynamos are a St. Louis four-piece and they just released Flashlights on Skronki Records this year. The album boasts a string section and a 30-member choir (not the Polyphonic Spree), pretty great for a jitter-pop band. Members of SMD have also played back-up for Emperor X. Catch the palindromic SMD and their Chris Walla-borrowed guitars at these remaining dates:
10.26.06 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Two Dogs Cafe
10.27.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland %
10.28.06 - Tucson, AZ - The Compound
11.01.06 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen ^
11.02.06 - Pittsburgh, PA - Lava Lounge !
11.04.06 - Boston, MA - Middle East #
11.05.06 - Grove City, PA - Sun Gins $
11.07.06 - Norfolk, VA - Relative Theory Records *
11.08.06 - New York, NY - Pianos @
11.09.06 - New Haven, CT - The Space
11.10.06 - Baltimore, MD - The Talking Head +
11.11.06 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel =
11.12.06 - Philadelphia, PA - The Khyber
11.13.06 - Chapel Hill, NC - Wetlands ?
11.14.06 - Charlotte, NC - Milestone ?
11.16.06 - Athens, GA - Caledonia Lounge $
11.17.06 - Jacksonville, FL - Jackrabbit's
11.18.06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Cafe
11.19.06 - Huntsville, AL - Flying Monkey Arts Center
11.20.06 - Chattanooga, TN - Cafe Mi Aroma
12.05.06 - Lawrence, KS - Bottleneck 666
% w/ Figurines
^ w/ Ladyhawk
! w/ The Divorce
# w/ Oxford Collapse, Chin Up Chin Up, Georgie James
$ w/ Cinemechanica
* w/ The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower
@ w/ Now It's Overhead
+ w/ The Cassettes
= w/ Rye Coalition
? w/ Cities
666 w/ Parts and Labor
McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Apple Want to Ensure Viruses Not Limited to Smut-Centric Users; Sony-BMG Settles with Canadians
I've always hated the fact that if I want a virus quick and easy, I have to go to a porn site to get one. What's worse, though, is that 9-times-out-of-10 I have to download a grainy, 15-second video that ends just before the "release." Aside from the occasional virus, what's the point of the clip if it's not going to fully deliver, especially if I have to download about 20 of them (organized in dated folders within a hidden folder titled "porn vidz") before I even get the virus? Listen, I like the build-up too, but watching those clips is like Usual Suspects without the last 30 minutes. I want an assured climax.
Enter the big, bad boys of business. Last year, Sony-BMG made the first step toward offering free viruses. On select CDs, Sony-BMG included anti-copying DRM software that would secretly install spyware, rendering your computer susceptible to viruses and hijackings. Indeed, Sony-BMG stopped short of offering a virus itself, but its rootkit sure got the attention of the industry. Hell, because Sony-BMG didn't fully deliver, it has recently settled with an Ontario court to give $8.40, a replacement CD, and free downloads to thousands of customers who wanted to see the climax, not just the build-up. (A Quebec court has also recently approved of a class-action settlement.)
But exciting things are finally starting to shake the foundations of the industry once again.
Following Sony-BMG's lead, McDonald's and Coca-Cola in Japan were recently offering a portable MP3 player giveaway that gave away a completely FREE, totally awesome Trojan horse virus to roughly 10,000 lucky people. And all the contestants had to do was buy a large drink and submit a serial number! The MP3 players were pre-loaded with 10 free songs that would auto-load the Trojan during the sync process. Hackers, then, would receive usernames and passwords, with little-to-no effort. Of course, paradise is usually short-lived, so the giveaway is unfortunately no longer available. But it was sure beautiful while it lasted.
Of course, Apple wasn't about to fall behind on the virus game. Apparently, "a small number" of Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006 contained one of my favorite all-time viruses, the Windows RavMonE.exe Trojan. (Precisely which Trojan virus is still not clear, but any dealing with RavMonE.exe is pretty sweet.) Oddly, though, Apple has stopped shipping the iPods and are even offering instructions on how to get rid of the virus. I be like, what the fuck? Has the world gone completely mad? Despite the confusion, those who wanted a virus got their virus, even if it was just a handful of people.
So, yes, the free virus offers are still relatively scarce, but it's nice to know that corporations are keeping eyes and ears on public demands. Perhaps if more news agencies actually reported this sort of stuff, more people would know about these wonderful viruses and then everyone would be as happy as, say, homeless people who can't afford housing, or low-income families that can't afford health care, or even Iraqi civilians. Until then, TMT is going to continue fighting the good fight, for we can't live without remote access Trojans and cryptoviral extortion attacks.
If you keep up with the world of news headlines that warrant use of the phrase "this is not a joke," you've probably heard about the unlikely marriage of Nike and LCD Soundsystem. It's all true. The group did indeed record a 45:33 track for the hypergiant-ultramonstrosotile-conglomogasm, aptly titled "45:33." The track is available for purchase on iTunes for slightly more than what an average Nike factory worker makes in one year ($9.99 USD).
Okay, okay, you knew all of this already. But do you know the detailed story of how the track was recorded? It's really quite fascinating. It all started when a Nike board member found himself taking jiu-jitsu classes with LCD frontman James Murphy. Murphy often forces everyone in his workout group to listen to Daft Punk, for reasons obvious to fans - and it just so happened that the board member was a fan of DP's song "Digital Love." Apparently, digital love is something that Nike is actually developing in laboratories, to be heavily marketed, manufactured overseas, and sold in easily consumable units called "Swooshes." (Look for it in your local shopping mall by the end of the decade). Anyway, the two got to talking, one thing led to another, and LCD Soundsystem soon found themselves recording a track for Nike.
After accepting, the band dove into the project. They really wanted to get people pumped up when they listened to "45:33." To really make them sweat. And suddenly it all became clear to them. Murphy and Co. knew exactly what they needed to do. Soon, they boarded a private jet which would take them all the way to a shoe factory at an undisclosed location in Indonesia to learn the art of sweating from those who know it best: employees in a Nike sweatshop. After meticulous observation and detailed note-taking, LCD were finally in the right mindset and ready to record. Afterward, they flew back in the same private jet, which had since been outfitted with an in-plane spa and racquetball court. Nike was very pleased with the results, and even rewarded the group for their efforts with an advance case of 100 Swooshes.
Now you know the full, uncensored, totally factual story. "45:33" can be found on iTunes, and digital love should be out shortly.
Writing something about a "Detroit-based SSM" may just be the thing to get me on some sort of "terrorist watch list." Now don't worry freedom lovers, I am not speaking about a Surface-to-Surface Missile, I am referring to the band that takes gritty, groovy, and driving rock, then adds some psychedelic sounds to the mix, creating some of the loudest music you could ever shake your ass to, SSM (Szymanski Shettler Morris). Fuck The Raconteurs, and don't even try with that D12 nonsense, this is the real supergroup from the D. The three guys in the band, John Szymanski (vox/keys), David Shettler (percussion), and Marty Morris (vox/guitars) are (or have been) in some of the best Motor City bands of the last few years (The Hentchmen, The Sights, The Paybacks, Cyril Lords). Combining their skills has defiantly taken the tired sound of "garage rock" to a new level.
After 2005's limited-pressing LP (500 copies), LP 1, the band released their proper debut, SSM, this year on Alive/Bomp. Now they are set to release a new six-song EP, EP 1, on November 7. The extended player features "Put Me In" from the self-titled record, alongside five unreleased songs. Three of the tunes were engineered by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys, reprising his role from LP. Jazz/Funk/R&B legend Lyman Woodard even plays organ on the band's cover of his song "Belle Isle Daze."
SSM are currently playing shows, which included a stop at the much-ballyhooed Arthur Nights Festival. Oh, and don't worry about me and the whole "terrorist watch list" thing, either; watching me would definitely be a marathon of boring, akin to having to keep an eye on those evildoers on the high school golf team, or being assigned to keep watch over Ladybird Johnson's grave.
EP 1 tracklist:
1. Put Me In (edit)
2. Fiction Rock + Roll
3. Bell Isle Daze
4. Country City
5. You'll Be Glad You Did
6. Belle Isle Dub
10.20.06 - Arcata, CA - The Alibi
10.22.06 - Los Angeles, CA - The Palace Theatre (Arthur Nights Festival) *
10.28.06 - Athens, OH - The Union #
11.03.06 - New York, NY - R&R (CMJ Music Marathon)
11.17.06 - Ferndale, MI - Magic Bag ^
* w/ Comets On Fire, The Fiery Furnaces, Kyp Malone, Archie Bronson Outfit
# w/ Buffalo Killers
^ w/ The Paybacks
I really like EPs. Who's with me? I know, lately everyone thinks of them as some sort of album preview. Wolf Parade, Cold War Kids, and others just compile those (usually newly recorded) EP songs for their first LP. It makes it weird then to think about, because what a good EP does is it makes you want to hear more and wish that group's undoubtedly impending LP (with all new songs, 'cuz you're greedy) would reach your ears toot-sweet.
Austin's own Voxtrot love the EP. They have released two in the last two years (three in the last three, if you count their locally-sold, 2003 CD-R EP), and have just announced their intension to release another one. November 7 will see that EP (on CD and 7-inch), Your Biggest Fan, coming out in the U.S. only on PlayLouder/Beggars Group. While PlayLouder has stated that an LP may come out in early 2007, the V says on their web site that "it's going to be a while before the world sees a Voxtrot long-player" and that this EP will have to hold over you Voxtrot-ters out there. Ramesh Srivastava, (Vocals, Guitar) says on his blog "We [Voxtrot] should (fingers crossed) be recording an album in London during November and December." Until then, you Voxtrot-iacs will just have to take solace in the EP and few tour stops.
Your Biggest Fan tracklist
1. Your Biggest Fan
10.26.06 - Houston, TX - Walters On Washington #
10.27.06 - Denton, TX - Hailey's #
10.28.06 - Austin, TX - Emo's *#
11.01.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour &
11.02.06 - San Francisco, CA - Popscene ^
11.04.06 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall #
11.05.06 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle #
11.06.06 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.07.06 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
* = w/ Beirut
^ = w/ Love Is All
# = w/ Yellow Fever
posted by c. schell
The Stooges Recording First Album Since 1973; Iggy Pop, Experiencing Writer’s Block, Makes Every Song a Big The Adventures of Pete and Pete Reference
(The only confirmed show so far is an appearance at the All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas 2006 event, curated by Thurston Moore and running December 8-11. The Stooges will actually be playing two performances there, one on the first night and another on the penultimate. Besides The Stooges, My Cat Is An Alien are also playing — and probably some other bands? If any of you want to read more about the recording process, you should get on the Internet and read Mike Watt's blog about it.)
It started a couple of months ago, I guess. Peeping Tom called and asked if I fancied going out for a few beers. I knew that he hung out with Gnarls Barkley, and I had a bit of a thing for Gnarls at the time, so I thought, what the hell. I arrived at the bar, and Justin was already there, chatting with Gnarls. We chatted, got along fine, but it became pretty clear pretty quickly that nothing was happening. This was Gnarls Barkley, with a gajillion platinum records under her belt, and here's me, lowly lil' nunpuncher, with his busted Superstars and unfashionable haircut. Talk all you like about feelings and being genuine, but a girl's gotta have standards, and I fell short. Hey, it's cool. It happens.
Anyway, that's when Red Hot Chili Peppers came over. I had heard of him, although we didn't really move in the same circles. He struck me as a bit loudmouthed, a bit sure of himself, but apparently he's bloody rich, so fair play to him. Gnarls certainly took a shine to him. Laughed like a train when he made some dumb joke about French people. In the end, I got drunk and depressed, so I pretended I had work in the morning and left.
So, that was then and this is now. I can't say I've changed my opinion a lot about Red, but he seems to make Gnarls happy, and that's something, at least. Me, I ended up hooking up with some unsigned band from Coventry. Pleasant enough, but, like, I don't know if it's going to last. I still see Gnarls around quite a lot, although she's busy preparing the deluxe version of her debut album. It's limited edition, with a DVD, a 92-page booklet, four music videos and some new songs. She's getting it all ready for November 7. It's cool, we're friends now. But it all seems to have got pretty serious pretty quick for her and Red. She says that he invited her on a tour. Oh so very romantic. They're gonna play all over the USA, although they haven't decided where yet. You can imagine, though — nothing but the biggest, finest stadiums for good ol' Red. Ah well. I can't say I'm not jealous, but good luck to them.
Figurines are Touring! It’s Totally Time for a Music-Themed Re-Interpretation of Everyone’s Favorite Danish Folk Tale, “The Troll Turned Cat”
The story goes that there lived an aging metal-vocal troll in North Jutland, Denmark. He was mean to all, and we'll call him "King Diamond" because he kind of looked like King Diamond. When King returned home from a long night pissing about at the tavern screaming about "Tetragrammaton," "family ghosts," and other such shit in his trademark makeup and top hat, he found his beautiful young bride in bed with one of the village's talented indie gringos. Some say this punk was fairly decent at handball also, which, as anyone with wits knows, is a proven panty-remover. Even in this notorious liberal country, this was too much for King. It sounds harsh, but imagine if you walked in on a sight like this! The brute was mad with pain and was about to challenge the whippersnapper to a "manhood and melody" clash, as was the mode of duel back then and is still now. He quickly remembered that his one-inch shrivel-pickle and tone deafness might have precipitated his piss-poor predicament in the first place. The shrapnel-voiced troll instead simply threatened the horny homewrecker by promising eventually to take his life. Fearing Diamond's retaliation the young up-and-cummer quickly decided to quit the scene entirely and turned himself into a cat. After all, he had heard tales of King's previous threats. He had often been heard proclaiming "death to false metal!" and believe me, although false metal is still living, it hasn't really been the same since. Anyway, the boy left and uprooted a few towns over with a lonely single man named Splat.
The newborn cat lived for quite a while, as comfortable as any starving-musician-turned-cat could possibly live: saucers of milk at the ready, nibbles of delicious food tossed from the supper table, and plenty of catnip for relaxin'. And who's going to turn down ample time for carefree licks at his own groinal region, I ask you? Life was a big bowl of coziness, or hygge if you prefer.
One day, Cat laid in wait for his master Splat to return from the hard grind at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, where he worked drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban made of bombs. Upon his return, Splat bounded through the front door and called out to his four-legged friend, "I have to tell you what happened today min kat! I was walking home by way of and a bum rolled out of the bushes and said:
Tell yer cat
That King Diamond is dead.' "
The man-as-cat, as man-as-cats often do, stood up on his hind legs and with a bit of a cocky swagger, simply claimed, "Well, if what you say is true, I gotta bolt and go back from where I first came." Much to Splat's amazement, the cat then hurried over the hills (did I mention there were hills nearby?) and sure enough was losing no time at all making advances toward his old flame, the fresh young widow.
There may be more to this bizarre folk tale than I care to remember (or have time to make up right now), but I will conclude the yarn by saying the young music man eventually told his beloved to eff off, and then he went and formed a band with three fellow countrymen called Figurines, who are loved to this day.
Oh Tiny children of the Mix Tape, Figurines have now traveled to the Northern Americas to play their little ceramic hearts out. And because everyone knows how in-demand Danish indie pop is to turntablists, their excellent second album, Skeleton, will be available on vinyl via The Control Group. By the way, here's the moral of the uselessness posted above: don't swear vengence on Figurines at any of the shows below or these well hung, gifted Danes just may steal your girlfriend or turn into a cat or, er, abandon you after a bit of time.
Um, or something.
10.23.06 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
10.24.06 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
10.27.06 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
10.28.06 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
10.30.06 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
10.31.06 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe #
11.01.06 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (CMJ)
11.02.06 - New York, NY - Cake Shop (CMJ Juryrig Party)
* w/ You Am I
# w/ The Ark
After years of gradual decline at the hands of irresponsible downloaders across the globe, the album is getting a little push into the limelight for a moment.
Insound, the online music retailer known for its selection of mostly indie CDs and records, has launched its own version of an MP3 store. The twist? To buy a song, you must buy the album as a whole.
As someone who fully endorses albums vs. songs, (see my commentary on How Legal Downloads Will Kill The Album Dead), I am ecstatic that someone is promoting the album-sale concept. Truthfully, I do actually believe that the "songs you hear on the radio" should cost more than the other songs; even if just to get people to buy albums.
Feel free to send me e-mails telling me I'm an old fogie if you want, but I still enjoy putting on a 12-inch slab of wax with my dentures out. When I talk, it sounds something like this:
"FARAAAYYYY CHAAAEERRSS FARRRR EEENSOOOOUNNNDDD! HEP HEP HAARRRAY!..."