A few weeks ago, we were talking about Radiohead for one reason or another, and I mentioned Thom Yorke. My friend's face looked completely puzzled. You mean, "Thom" Yorke, right? I told him, "No, it's pronounced just like ‘Tom.’ " His face looked horrified.
"I've been going to parties and various places my whole life saying ‘Th-om’ Yorke. Everyone must hate me," he said.
"Yes, everyone probably thinks you are a douche," I told him.
He was giving me those puppy-dog eyes, so I decided to refrain from being an asshole myself. I told him I'd let him in on the best and freshest Radiohead-related news I had. So, I says to him, I says:
You may know Jonny Greenwood (not to be confused with this guy), multi-instrumentalist and lead guitarist of Radiohead, but you may not know Jonny Greenwood The Composer. Greenwood will premiere his award-winning piece Popcorn Superhet Receiver (not to be confused with this song) in the U.S. early next year. The performance will be presented by the Wordless Music Orchestra and take place at the Church of St. Paul The Apostle in New York on January 16 and 17 of 2008.
Popcorn Superhet Receiver is a piece that was aptly inspired by radio static and dissonant chords of Polish composer Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. It won the Listener's Award at 2006's British Composer Awards. The Wordless Music series will continue with future presentations by Müm, Beirut, and Do Make Say Think.
My friend said that my "insider" news was pure shit, so he stabbed me in my testicles with a mechanical pencil.
Naming trends are incredibly fun in the music world. One has to wonder if we'll eventually run out of words in the English language to accompany the myriad of bands that are sure to keep forming until the very End of Time. I suppose we can continue borrowing from other languages (e.g. Telefon Tel Aviv, Xiu Xiu, Les Savy Fav, Gastr Del Sol, Le Tigre, etc.), but this undoubtedly brings up other problems such as registering domain names, and everyone knows about those goddamn cyber squatters and why the internet is running out of addresses. And then, probably most prevalent in our world, there's the problem with band names all using the same words, like "wolf."
I could list some "wolf" bands, but we're not talking about wolves today. We're talking about bears. As I mentioned in the headline, my favorite "bear" artist isn't Grizzly bear. No, my friend, it's Panda Bear. Besides, onclick="window.open('http://www.fragilityproductions.com/weblog/pandabear.htm','popup','width=360,height=341,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0'); return false">he's much cuter than that Grizzly Bear dude (Dan Rosen), and his autograph is also a cute li'l panda! Aw. But alas, we're talking about Grizzly Bear and their tasty brand of rock that so many people have come to love. Here at TMT, we crowned their 2006 release, Yellow House, number seven on our favorite albums of 2006, and Filmore gave the album a solid four outta five in his review. With a TMT track record like that, how can you go wrong with Grizzly Bear? You can't -- you just can't.
Check out Grizzly Bear in these fine cities:
(As far as the naming of Grizzly Bear goes, I'd much rather have a more original name like Grizzly Poot, and as far as Panda Bear goes, I'd also prefer something like Panda Poot. I just think "poot" is a much better word than "bear." Besides pandapoot.com is totally available. So aspiring indie artists, name your band Panda Poot and you'll get to the top. I promise. You better hurry though; Yahoo is having a domain sale, and I just might squat on the domain until you can cough up enough cash and casual sex for me to give it to you. Think about it, kiddies.)
YouTube To Host Amateur Hip-Hop Contest, P. Diddy to Watch, To Be Inspired by the Passionate Hip-Hop Youth, To Get Back With J Lo and Stop Channeling Latent Sexual Frustration into New Seasons of Making the Band; or Shoezies are an Undisputed Favorite of Indie Culture
There are few things, reader, baby, sweetheart, that you and I get hot-pants over more than a good old-fashioned, itchy-spicy-good,
Well-Intentioned, Sure-to-Fail, Bad Idea.
Take Shoezies. A few years ago, someone at Hasbro thought kids would get a kick out of (literally) miniature shoes you could fit on your fingers and pretend to walk around with on coffee tables, and the like.
Shoezies were, in all honesty, just mini-shoes that little girls would put on their fingers, and pretend were shoes.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE. That was it. Mini-shoes, in mini-shoeboxes.
Without further ado, allow me to introduce a similarly smooth ‘n’ tasty little cultural Robo-trip, a most filthy, stagnant gulp from ye rusted goblet of The Way Things Are, in the same vein as my wicked-fav finger shoes.
YouTube plans to host a hip-hop-it-don’t-stop competition: You Tube “OnTheRise” Rap Edition, which will allow unsigned artists to upload videos and be judged by such jam-tastic greats (...) as 50 Cent, Common, and Polow da Don, who will select 20 finalists from the broz and (probably only there for novelty) hoz who choose to apply. YouTube members will vote August 29, and a winner will be announced September 7.
The contest is open for entry August 10 (today), and will close in, yes, seven days, which, is prolific as shit.
So, what’s the earth-shattering Shoezie-type dilemma of a well-intentioned competition that could shoot a worthy lad or lady to blingtastic stardom?
People like me may apply.
Okay, seriously, I would never apply, but I still smell a Shoezie-type dilemma in this cultural waste product. YouTube has proven itself a hotbed for potty-mouthed frat-boy humor, and I can only imagine how THIS SHITFEST will just... desecrate... everything Curtis Jackson’s dollar-splittin’ success stands for.
Like, sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
Vitamin Water, and more importantly, providing appropriate background music for bad-ass 14 year olds in Lee Pipes sitting in their basement with friends (who are also in Lee Pipes), huffing paper bags colored with Hi-liter.
Hip-hop will be so dead, fellas.
Find your own tourdates.
With benefits? Fuck if I know. What I do know, and what the Wall Street Journal told me, is that a Silicon Valley company called BayTSP ("Solutions for Digital Rights Holders") has hired over 20 analysts to do some diggin' around on YouTube and other sites for $11/hr. What, for the Growing Pains music intro? Boob shots of the wife from Everybody Loves Raymond? Some other funny/weird video that relates to some shitcom? Maybe when no one's looking. But these "analysts" are supposed to be searching for infringing material on behalf of their clients (which may very well include cleavage from the wife on Everybody Loves Raymond, now that I think about it), that is, videos that are copyrighted and illegally posted on YouTube.
Most BayTSP client names are kept confidential for "contractual reasons," but Viacom is listed as one. Seeing as though most of the clients are TV and movie studios, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out the remaining four, but fuck the muppet; the point is, with the vast amount of content generated on YouTube, it takes a concerted effort to track down infringing material. And since Google's hyped filtering system isn't in effect yet (it is expected to be released this fall, but we've heard that before), I guess the copyright infringing videos for now are job creators! Way to go!
Word to the wise: If you posted a video on YouTube and get a take-down notice, you better hope BayTSP's 0.1% error percentage includes your upload.
Polka America Corporation Rolls Out the Barrels of Polka Pain on Sound Exchange And All The Polka Haters of the World; Polka Medleys Of The Chili Pepper’s “Give It Away” Echo Through Hill And Vale
I won’t bore you with the typical David-and-Goliath analogy uppity writers like to spurt anytime a nobody nobody’s ever heard of starts picking fights with an evil corporation doing evil corporation-type shit. No way. This is more of a modern-day Fraggle Rock. You see, the Fraggles and the Gorgs each use radishes in their own way (radishes, in this case, being the internet licensing of polka music). And while the Gorgs believe themselves to be King and Queen of the Universe, they are, in reality, living an un-enriched life of assholedom, in effect oppressing the cute, songster Fraggles. Cue Fraggle mischief which ruefully points out Gorg inaneness, plus a big pile of trash (physical manifestation of the internet?!?) teeming with wisdom. Everything is interconnected -- and I’m not even going to get into the Doozers.
Nay, not since Connecticut librarians stood up for our right to lend Chicken Soup for the Enterprising Jihadist’s Soul in anonymity has a more unlikely, and duly respectable, contingent sought to challenge the status quo. But it’s not necessarily all Good v. Evil, like the guys upstairs like to make it out to be (to bring it back to Fraggle Rock, those are the “Silly Creatures of Outer Space”).
In a Fraggle-like move, the Polka America Corporation is working to provide an easy alternative to SoundExchange’s licensing program for the polka community. PAC, who is registering interested artists on its website, plans to license the artists’ music to qualifying stations free of charge. By an agreement with SoundExchange, PAC can license music in its database to “Internet polka broadcasters,” which include the online streams of “internet websites broadcasting polka music, all non-commercial educational radio stations that broadcast polka music, and commercial radio stations that simulcast on the Internet who have more than fifty (50) percent station polka programming.” Those stations would then be exempt from having to pay SoundExchange the equivalent fees for PAC licensed music. Stations that play non-PAC registered polka music would still be subject to SoundExchange regulations, and artists that sign up for the internet radio free polka can work with SoundExchange to collect their royalties for commercial and satellite radio broadcasts.
Basically, Wired’s The Listening Post Blog contains some discussion/information on how easy/hard this is to do, which situations such an agreement would apply to, various ways one can opt out of SoundExchange’s program, etc. etc.
It’s all very confusing, I assure you.
NASA (WHO?) Featuring David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, Z-Trip, E-40, Method Man, DJ Swamp, RZA, John Frusciante, Barbie Hatch, KRS-One, Fatlip, Slim Kid Tre, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Lovefoxxx, Amanda Blank, Sizzla, Gift of Gab, Tom Waits, Kool Keith, RZA, Nina Persson, George Clinton, Kool Kojak, M.I.A. Spank Rock, Nick Zinner, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and DJ Qbert (WHAT)
I know you only scanned that list. Read it again.
Apparently Spike Jonze has more pull than I knew. His brother Squeak E Clean (Sam Spiegel) and DJ Zegon (If I may repeat... WHO?) are releasing a currently untitled disc under the name NASA, featuring a cast of all-stars that rivals the Battle of The Network Reality Stars.
I don’t understand, and they have not been all that forthcoming with details (not that I actually attempted contacting them). But this disc is actually original material and a direct fuck you to Gregg Gillis.
Seriously, did you fully read that list? WHAT? EXCUSE ME?
In addition to snagging every single relevant living human being to record a track (I hear Obama and Travolta actually play uncredited hype men on the outro), he has gotten on that Jesus-tip and brought back O.D.B. Well, either that or, like pac (I’m TOTALLY going to be getting hatemail), he has been faking his death and was coaxed out of it by the gyrations of Karen O who will be dropping a verse on the same track.
LOOK AT THE GUEST APPEARANCES. LOOK.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS
The fifth song has no one on it... odds are that Jeff Mangum will be singing at least the hook.
SERIOUSLY COME ON.
Additionally each track will have an animated short co-written by Spike Jonze. That somehow seems less impressive than the track list.
2. The People Tree [ft. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, and Z-Trip]
3. NASA Music [ft. E-40, Method Man, and DJ Swamp]
4. Way Down [ft. RZA, John Frusciante, and Barbie Hatch]
5. Hip Hop [ft. KRS-One, Fatlip, and Slim Kid Tre]
6. Four Rooms, Earth View
7. Money [ft. David Byrne, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Z-Trip]
8. Strange Enough [ft. Karen O, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Fatlip]
9. Samba Hey (Portuguese Version) [ft. Seu Jorge]
10. A Volta [ft. Lovefoxxx, Amanda Blank, and Sizzla]
11. The Ultimate [ft. Fatlip and Gift of Gab]
12. Spacious Thoughts [ft. Tom Waits and Kool Keith]
13. Electric Flowers [ft. RZA and Nina Persson]
14. There's a Party [ft. George Clinton]
15. O Pato [ft. Kool Kojak]
16. Whachadoin? [ft. M.I.A., Spank Rock, and Nick Zinner]
17. Samba Soul [ft. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and DJ Qbert]
18. I Am God [ft. Kool Kojak]
Okay, a lot of you probably already know the history of SoundExchange, but I want to make sure everyone's caught up so we can all understand the tangled mess of ass-sucking going here. So, ready, steady, go -- here's an abbreviated history lesson:
Acronyms are fun right? SRCO, SRCO, SRCO. Whatever does that acronym mean? Well, SRCO stands for Sound Recording Copyright Owners, and prior to 1995, SRCOs (a.k.a. musicians, artists, record labels) didn't receive performance royalties if their music was used in "public performances," such as on the radio. Eventually, both The Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act (1995) and The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) were passed, securing royalties for artists whose work was publicly "performed."
Fast-forward to the year 2000. The great music industry leaders known as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) created SoundExchange, a division of the RIAA, which later spun off into its own "independent" organization. Magically, SoundExchange became the only organization allowed by the Copyright Office to distribute due royalties to artists and record labels, or SRCOs (sound recording copyright owners, remember?). Basically, SoundExchange is an independent nonprofit entity that collects money on behalf of artists.
Now to the new stuff: according to Wired's blog, SoundExchange was caught lobbying. Question: How in the fuck can a nonprofit organization lobby? Well, according to the law, it can't. SoundExchange is only supposed to collect money on behalf of SRCOs and not for public relations.
So, how do we know its involved in lobbying and public relations? Well, we first need to talk about one more entity, the musicFIRST Coalition. The musicFIRST Coalition is another annoying group using another annoying acronym. This time, the acronym FIRST stands for Fairness In Radio Starting Today. Right, whatever. It's a public relations organization that started up back in June of this year. Its ultimate goal is to get congress to pass a law, mandating that big radio stations pay up to the big boys of the RIAA. Even Celine Dion is part of the coalition. Wait! Celine Dion? This must mean the RIAA is a part of the coalition as well? Not the same guys who had the balls to arrest 16-year-old girls for using P2P programs to download some Papa Roach, is it!? Oh, my friends, the very same. The RIAA is part of this coalition as well. Wow!
So, here's how SoundExchange (a nonprofit) and musicFIRST (a public relations group) are related:
- SoundExchange is listed as a member on musicFIRST's homepage.
- SoundExchange supports musicFIRST financially (the amount remains undisclosed).
- SoundExchange and musicFIRST are both inextricable from the RIAA.
- SoundExchange owns musicFIRST's homepage... Wait. What? Oh my children, just go here and type in "musicFIRSTcoalition.org" into the text field. Scroll down a little bit and you'll see this:
Hey, SoundExchange, is your nonprofit ass supporting a lobbying organization called the musicFIRST Coalition with your money? I'm afraid this doesn't make any sense and is, in fact, may very well be against the law (can I get a lawyer?).
SoundExchange is helping target the land radio stations for royalty collection, using nonprofit money for their own agendas. If they're already getting away with shoddy shit like this, then the Copyright Royalty Board is no better. The Copyright Royalty Board was meant to be a neutral government body that monitors SoundExchange, a neutral organization. None of this sounds very neutral.
With all this lobbying talk, it's no wonder why SaveNetRadio is having such a hard time getting the Internet Radio Equality Act through.
Fred Wilhelms, a well-known entertainment lawyer (you know him, right?), wrote a letter to SoundExchange. Here's an excerpt:
I happen to believe, based on my own reading of the law, the lobbying efforts do exceed the legislative and regulatory authority given to SoundExchange. I also believe that the lobbying activity on a matter outside the scope of SoundExchange’s original charter constitutes a violation of the 501 (c) (6) tax-exemption held by SoundExchange
Menomena Phenomena! Third Time’s the Charm, As Barsuk’s Intrepid Troubadors Hog All of Earth’s Highways, Muscling and Flowing Their Way Across the Globe… Again
Do your blog-savy eyes deceive you?
Is Portland three-piece, nerd-tronic, loop-rock troupe Menomena really heading back out for an international fall/summer tour mere weeks after wrapping up their lengthy, already second (and also international!) tour of the year at the, uh, Something-fork Fest last month?
Well, you know what they say. It's always the nerds who have the best stamina!
(wha-BAM! ZING! What a punchline! Well... goodnight everybody, good-- what is it, TMT editor???... oh, really? You need me to fill HOW much more space?!?... Well, i really only had that one joke planned, and-- ... ah, i see... wow, Mr. P said THAT!??! Well... well, FINE then! I'll see what i can do... this just figures... )
Uh... let's see here. Oh! I know!
Unfortunately, in order to make room for this delicious double-dip of Menomena's signature matriculating-loops-turned-organic-rock fare -- as heard most recently on this past winter's Friend and Foe (TMT Review) -- we here at TMT have decided that a couple of other indie rock bands will have to stay home in order to make room for the ensuing Menomena Mania this fall.
I know, i know. This isn't going to be easy, guys, but come on now, there's an energy crisis! So, let's all work together here. Now, are there any bands out there besides Menomena who do the following particularly well:
1. Big, stiff, hip-hop inspired drums (sorry, Mr. Drozd, i'm afraid this means you)
2. Thick, party-time blasts of funky, syncopated sax (ouch, sorry dance-punk collectives; you had a good summer, though! I still love you, !!!)
3. Huge, layered-vocal moments with not-quite-perfect, but really heart-on-sleeve intonation (hmmm, Panda Bear, I guess that means you can stay comfy in your Nautica gear for a little while longer, at least)
4. Fairly accessible and concrete, yet symbolic and brainy lyrics... oh shit, there goes all of Indie Rock...
Welp, sorry readers! But come on, that whole "independent music" thing was on the way out already, anyway, right?
Hope you like you some Menomena:
! The Decemberists
14 (Actually One Less, But I Refuse to Acknowledge the Existence of That Number) Things I Learned from Sole’s New YouTube Video
1 - Sole is releasing a new album featuring The Skyrider Band.
1.5 - Somehow this relates to a solar eclipse behind a rooster impaled on a scythe.
2 - Sole is a blood relative of Will Oldham.
3 - The editing team used iMovie to put this together.
4 - “Things are generally fucked up everywhere, but things are wonderful up everywhere too... not everywhere... Darfur isn’t that hot right now.”
5 - The new album is more “personal,” “mature,” and “grounded.”
5.5 - That said, the video for the song “Stupid Things Implode On Themselves” does feature an apparently biblical Sole firing an anachronistic machine gun.
6 - Beats are much more organic than the past, coming out of improvisation.
7 - There is a link between pushups, Levitowns, Dairy Queen, and Sole’s new album.
7.5 - Where it lies is unclear.
8 - Sole either hates Akon or Pop-Punk; his impression could be construed as either.
9 - Sole aims to be less cryptic on this album.
10 - The animated Anticon logo looks so cool Pixar should base a short on it.
11 - Album is called Sole and the Skyrider Band and drops on October 23.
12 - Fans can garner that the new album will be a classic through only hearing three 15-second sound clips.
14 - Though I hate hearing him talk, the new tracks sound undeniably hot