RIAA Chairman Delivers Pro-DRM, Pro-Litigation Message: “Now See Here

Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman and former drummer for Young Marble Giants, gave a keynote speech on Tuesday at the Digital Summit in Nashville. His message was notably juicy for the way it defended the use of digital protection in the music industry -- in spite of record low sales for the major labels, Bainwol remains optimistic and committed to making no changes and listening to no other alternatives. "Excuse me?" he asked in response to a question regarding EMI's decision to go DRM-free. "You're going to have to speak up; I simply can't hear you from all the way back there. Does... does anyone else have a question? Good."

Earlier this year, the RIAA started a more aggressive push toward litigation, specifically targeting college campuses. Their strategy was to offer discounts and copies of Mew albums to any suckers willing to fork their dough over to the RIAA directly. Bainwol offered up a real brain-twisting quote at the time ("Our job is to provide sufficient oxygen for the legal marketplace to show its true promise"), and when asked for an update on this strategy's progress, he secluded himself in a room with a dictionary and a pack of Big League Chew for two months before emerging to declare that the strategy is, indeed, "changing the risk calculus."

Merge Records Signs Caribou & Shout Out Louds, Calton Fisk Deemed “Too Old”

This is the story of two "indie" bands that have had very little in common in the past. Caribou started life as Manitoba, Canadian Dan Snaith's moniker under which he released dreamy tunes for four years, until receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a punk footnote and changing his moniker to Caribou for 2004's Milk of Human Kindness (Domino). It's good for him that animals know little of the legal system.

Meanwhile, on a different continent, Sweden's Shout Out Louds formed in 2001, with the unspoken (but known to me) goal of making all your indie-pop dreams come true. They had previously put out a few singles, an EP, and an LP, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, when the American (music industry) Dream, a Major Label contract, was delivered to them by Capitol Records. The label released an updated version of Howl, which came out in the Fall of 2003 and in the band's homeland in 2005, augmented with a few tracks from the SOL's singles and EP. What followed was a year-and-a-half of touring and promoting the record, culminating in the band being dropped by Capitol who instead, allegedly, preferred to use the money earmarked for the Shouts on more National Geographic photos for Interpol record art.

Now it's 2007, and one critically lauded Canuck and one group of under-appreciated Swedes have something in common; a new home. Merge Records has announced that it has signed Caribou and Shout Out Louds, and new albums from both will appear in late summer.

Caribou comes first on the new release schedule, giving unto the world Andora on August 21. The nine-song record, which Snaith has been working on for the better part of a year, is said to have more of a full-band feel to it, but without all the full-band hassle. Yup, it is still just Dan the man making all the racket, although the Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan appears on the track "She's the One," which he also co-wrote with Snaith. In advance of the LP, look for a CDEP of "Melody Day" on July 10.

The Shout Out Loud's latest, Our Ill Wills, which came out Wednesday in Sweden, will emerge on U.S. shelves September 11. The 12-track LP was recorded last fall with fellow countryman Bjorn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn & John) behind the board. The band will also be issuing a CDEP before the album comes out. The EP will contain the album's first single, "Tonight I Had To Leave It" with other, as-yet unannounced tracks. Information on things like tracklists for the CDEPs (or are they CD5s?) and fall North American tourdates for both groups are said to be forthcoming, so make sure to check TMT and click on all the ads everyday, and the info will undoubtedly appear at light speed.

Andorra tracklist:

The Fucking Champs Fucking Tour

I wonder what The Fucking Champs say when their parents ask what their band is called. Recent addition Phil Manley can technically say Trans Am, in which he does double duty, and Tim Green can (and does) very easily pull the “Shut up, mom, I was in Nation of Ulysses and I can do whatever I want” routine. With the recent release of VI on Drag City, though, drummer Tim Soete is going to have some explaining to do. For him, I have compiled a list of excuses:

“I’m holding the Fucking for a friend.”

“The older kids named it. They’re in college. You don’t know them.”

“I learned it from you, dad.”

“When kids say ‘bad,’ they mean ‘good.’ When kids say ‘fucking,’ they mean ‘bad.’ ”

“My dog ate it.”

“That says ‘The Cramps.’ I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Fortunately, the band are skipping town before Soete gets grounded:

All dates with Birds of Avalon and Red Fang:

Brotherly Love Spreads Like Fire Crotch As The National Release New Album and Tour, Nationally

When I think of The National, many things come to mind. The first memory I have is of the 2005 album Alligator, along with the self-deprecating lyrics and the sonorous vocals of Matt Berninger. I think about Mr. November and Reggie Jackson too, of course. If anyone knew how to work under pressure, it was Reggie. And there is a decent amount of pressure being placed upon The National with the May 22 release of Boxer on Beggars Banquet. But pressure is meaningless.

The third thing that I think about when I think of The National is the ill-faded sitcom Brotherly Love, which starred Joey Lawrence and his two younger brothers, Matthew and Andrew. Those brothers knew what they were doing just like Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf of The National. I think wholesome values and savory high-fives for minor accomplishments. That's The National I've grown to know and love. Brotherly love also reminds me of the incest masterpiece Harry + Max, which reflects more on the brotherly love of Nick and Aaron Carter. But that is neither here nor there.

Boxer was written in the span of 13 months at their home in Brooklyn, NY, which is not the city of "brotherly love." But since Boxer was produced and mixed by the band and Peter Katis (Interpol, Spoon) and engineered by Greg Giorgio, there shouldn't be too many worries for its success. So will Boxer be another happily depressive high-anthem album with a catchy single worthy of another ghastly One Tree Hill montage? Or will the album be a worthy follow-up to a critical darling? These answers will all be revealed on May 22, unless of course you're too busy making out with your brother. Boo-yah! Now, that's brotherly love.

Boxer Tracklisting:

I used to be flipped off by cheerleaders; tourdates:
05.01.07 - Atlanta, GA Atlanta - Civic Center $
05.02.07 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium $
05.04.07 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall $
05.05.07 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre $
05.07.07 - New York, NY - United Palace Theatre $
05.08.07 - New York, NY - United Palace Theatre $
05.09.07 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall $
05.28.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ The Broken West
05.29.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ Doveman
05.30.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ My Brightest Diamond
05.31.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ Elysian Fields
06.01.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ Philistines Jr

06.02.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
06.04.07 - Montreal, Canada - Caberet
06.05.07 - Toronto, Canada - Opera House
06.06.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
06.07.07 - Chicago, IL - Metro
06.08.07 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
06.09.07 - Madison, WI - High Noon
06.11.07 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
06.12.07 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
06.13.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
06.14.07 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
06.15.07 - Cinicnnati, OH - 20th Century Theater
06.16.07 - Columbus, OH - Little Brothers
06.18.07 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.20.07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 CLUB
06.21.07 - Cambrdige, MA - Middle East
06.25.07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
06.26.07 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater
06.27.07 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbos
06.28.07 - Portland, OR - Berbatis Pan
06.29.07 - Vancouver, BC - Richards On Richard
06.30.07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos

$ Arcade Fire

San Fadyl of The Ladybug Transistor Passes Away

According to a post on The Ladybug Transistor's MySpace page, drummer San Fadyl passed away this morning in Zurich, Switzerland. Fadyl was resting in his home after having been hospitalized a few weeks prior due to "serious asthma problems" and experienced a "severe attack" related to his asthma.

"It's hard to put into words just how much we will miss San after 10 years of music and friendship," said the group's MySpace statement. "He was a genuinely beautiful person that touched everyone who met him with his warmth, kindness, generosity and humor. His wide smile is something people often remember first. We know there are lots of you out there who love him and will miss him as much as we do already."

Tiny Mix Tapes' deepest condolences go out to Fadyl’s family, friends, and fans. He will be missed. Please visit The Ladybug Transistor's tribute page for more on San Fadyl.

Domino’s Reissues The Freed Man; Limited-Time Offer On Seba”dough” Crust

Get the door. It’s everyone’s third favorite indie, lo-fi band, Sebadoh. Hot out of the oven from their recent March tour, the boys from Westfield, Massachusetts are teaming up with everyone’s third favorite pizza chain, Domino’s, once more. This time they are re-releasing the 1989 classic, The Freed Man. This is the first time the album will see proper CD formatting, having previously only been available on LP or cassette. The Freed Man will contain more than 50 tracks on a single CD, of which many have never been released.

How do they plan on doing that, you ask? “The same way we plan on putting more than 50 toppings on a single pizza!” explains Domino’s CEO, David Brandon. “You see, we don’t just want this to be another promo-bullshit release; we really want the American public to get excited. That is why I have single-handedly picked over 30 new toppings to be added to the menu. Among them are Hershey Kisses, granola, asbestos, fiberglass, and many more to tickle your tongue.”

But David, tell us how on earth you can cram 50 toppings onto one pizza, or even why you would want to do that. “Sebadoh, or Seba'dough,' as they’re referred to around here, are an important part of our history. Many people don’t realize this, but Eric Gaffney, one of the band’s founding members, was a pizza delivery boy for a good part of his life, and we feel now that we are in the position to give something back to him -- we should take full advantage. And with a little magic in the kitchen, it will be no problem creating the Seba'dough' pizza. Of course, with all those toppings, it is estimated the new pie will weigh at least six pounds.”

Well, there you have it. Sebadoh re-releases The Freed Man, and Domino’s Pizza has some new six-pound promo deal. Any last words, Mr. Brandon? “As Emceegreg would say, this deal is going to be sexellent!”

Here’s the tracklisting for The Freed Man:

1. Healthy Sick
2. Level Anything
3. Soulmate
4. Ladybugs
5. Close Enough
6. True Hardcore
7. Julienne
8. Wrists Sebadoh
9. Amherst Hanging House
10. McKinley's Lament
11. Solid Brown
12. Narrow Stories
13. Bridge Was You
14. Drifts on Thru
15. Overturns
16. Yellow Submarine
17. Squirrel Freedom Overdrive
18. Little Man
19. Land Of The Lords
20. Bolder Sebadoh
21. Believe
22. Deny
23. Wall Of Doubt
24. Crumbs Sebadoh
25. I Love Me
26. K-Sensa-My
27. Lou Rap
28. Punch In The Nose
29. Resistance to Flo
30. Stop The Wheel
31. Loose n Screw
32. Oak Street Raga
33. Last Day of School
34. Jealous Evil
35. Moldy Bread
36. Made Real
37. Cindy
38. Nest
39. My Decision
40. Fire Of July
41. Jaundice
42. Design
43. Dance
44. Cyster
45. Powerbroker
46. The Lorax
47. Pig
48. Hung Up
49. Slow To Learn
5. Elements
51 Attention
52 Your Long Journey

Here’s the abbreviated list of toppings for the Seba’dough’ Pizza:

Pepperoni / Sausage / Green peppers / Banana peppers / Anchovies / Mushrooms / Sprouts / Granola / Asbestos / Pineapple / Ham / Bacon / Battery acid / Garlic / Cannabis / Basil / Oregano / Onion / Chicken / BBQ sauce / Tomato / Potato / Avocado / Adhesive strips / Chewing gum / Hershey Kisses / Spinach / Chorizo / Shrimp Scampi / Ginger root / Tofu / Pesto / Beets / Turnips / Tootsie Rolls

Steven Malkmus Too Long-Winded for 2007, Slates New Jicks Album for ‘08

Looking forward to the new record from post-Pavement coy-boy Steven Malkmus?

Well, you'd better grab some water and a seat, son, because according to a recent post on Billboard.com, Malkmus, a.k.a. The Original Guitar Hero II, is looking at an early '08 release for his 4th full-length batch of quirkily tongue-twisted, psych-rock-mind-fucks via good ol' Matador, despite the fact that the album should be completed by June.

"Basic trax committed to tape," said the apparently verb-shy Malk Man on his website, sounding a little more Cro-Magnon than usual (although now that I think about it, he does kinda look like that-there Geico Caveman, doesn't he?).

"Looks to be done sometime in late June," he continued in proper English. "Apparently the songs are so big that Matador is pushing for an early 2008 release."

Big, eh? Sounds sexy.

To make matters a little more convoluted, however, a Matador Spokesperson also told Billboard.com that the set may potentially arrive as early as late October, but that January or February 2008 are also possibilities. So, you know, take your pick. Ole!

The project, which is as-of-yet untitled and untracklisted, will be the first to feature Sleater-Kinney/Quasi drummer Janet Weiss following the departure of former Jicks drummer John Moen to play with that one band The Decembersomethings.

But while we're waiting, here's some Jicks Facts that you can set your watch to:

- Malkmus will perform solo on 7.15.07 at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago's Union Park.

- Malkmus will perform with the whole krazy Jicks Krew in Mid-August at the Green Man Festival in Whales.

Don't work too hard, guys.

How-To: Rent a Beach House, Dine at a Beach House, Own a Beach House, and See Beach House Live

Welcome to the latest How-To feature on Tiny Mix Tapes. Today we are going to discuss Beach Houses. What are these tropical getaways and how can we use them to better our lives? I’m going to answer all of these questions and more.

Before we begin today’s How-To, we have to think about how to rent a Beach House. My friends at the travel agency tell me that www.beachhouse.com is the perfect place to find and rent your perfect Beach House. Log on and rent one. Done? Good, so grab a plane and fly there. Now you are situated at your rented Beach House. What do you plan to do now?

Well, you could go to sleep; I’m sure the trip was tiring. Alternatively, you could dine at your rented Beach House. My comrades at the travel agency inform me that The Beach House is the perfect place to dine. Did you know that this particular Beach House offers spectacular ocean and sunset views of the Poipu coastline? Yes, I didn’t either until I Googled it.

After your tasty dinner, one would assume you don’t want to leave your rented Beach House. Have you noticed how I keep saying “rented Beach House”? You see, that’s because you don’t own it. But you can! Remember that handy-dandy web address where you found your rental Beach House? You can go back there and possibly purchase the very Beach House you are renting. Hot damn!

So what now? You’ve rented a Beach House, dined at The Beach House, and now you own one. Only one thing is left, silly. You should go out and listen to the dream-pop outfit that coincidentally refer to themselves using the same name as your home away from home. Beach House even released their first album last year on Carpark Records. Talk about the perfect vacation package!

Want a little taste of paradise before investing in a Beach House? Beach House are touring right now! Get out there and try a life of luxury for a night.

All dates with The Clientele:

All Aboard The Gravy Train Exclamation Point Exclamation Point Exclamation Point Exclamation Point

Given the context of a music-related website, I don't see anything inappropriate about telling you that Gravy Train!!!! will be going on tour this summer in support of their album, All the Sweet Stuff, out July 10 on Cochon Records. However, I feel that it would be inappropriate to discuss these matters in other contexts, such as:

It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! during a funeral. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! in the middle of a final exam. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! before saying 'Grace.' It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! with a vegan. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! while participating in a three-on-three basketball tournament. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! while refereeing a three-on-three basketball tournament. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! during a romantic dinner. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! within the pages of a 700+ page novel focusing on agrarian uprisings. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! on a plane that has just lost one of its engines. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! with someone trying to sleep. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! while Gravy Train!!!! is playing on stage in front of you. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! with Maury Povich. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! in a bus full of Argentine anarchists. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! during a lengthy hospital stay. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! while placing flowers on Ezra Pound's grave. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! after taking a six-month vow of silence. It would be inappropriate to discuss Gravy Train!!!! with anyone not named Ghost Boobs.

I'm just sayin':

$ Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Def Jam Co-Founder Russell Simmons Seeks Voluntary Ban on “Bitch,” “Ho,” and “Nigger”

With a war in Iraq, a genocide in Sudan, and a health care crisis, it's interesting how some white dude named Don Imus could overshadow it all with his shock-jocking "nappy-headed ho" comment. Suddenly, hip-hop lyrics once again became the center of attention, resulting in high-profile forums, intense debates, and a media shitstorm all framed in terms of racial responsibility. In this complex web of productive and ignorant discussions, here are two reactions that I found particularly interesting:

- "Don Imus is not a hip-hop artist or a poet. Hip-hop artists rap about what they see, hear and feel around them, their experience of the world... Sometimes their observations or the way in which they choose to express their art may be uncomfortable for some to hear, but our job is not to silence or censor that expression. Our job is to be an inclusive voice for the hip-hop community and to help create an environment that encourages the positive growth of hip-hop."

- "[Hip-Hop Summit Action Network] is concerned about the growing public outrage concerning the use of the words ‘bitch,' ‘ho,' and ‘nigger.' We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words ‘bitch' and ‘ho' and the racially offensive word ‘nigger.' "

Believe it or not, both quotes are actually from Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, and were released on behalf of Hip-Hop Summit Action Network on two different occasions (1 2). To be fair, he does say the ban should be "voluntary" and that it's "not about censorship," but what is this really about then? Out of respect for "African Americans" and females? Or is it because people are suddenly demanding accountability for a white person's comments by looking to hip-hop, a style of music dominated by black artists? Public relations?

It's hard to shake the feeling that Simmons (who everyone seems to call a "rap mogul") is changing his tune because talking heads like Rev. Al Sharpton have been so vocally insistent that labels and artists crack down on hip-hop lyrics (Sharpton plans on buying stock in Time Warner and Universal Music Group to earn rights to go to shareholder meetings and complain about hip-hop lyrics). That and, of course, the influence of the private HSAN meeting that was held between record executives, industry leaders, and community activists at the home of Warner Music's Lyor Cohen. Yeah, a private meeting. In this context, if hip-hop lyrics are reflections of the artist's experiences, as Russell Simmons says, would a sudden absence of, say, the word "nigger" reflect a cultural progression or a cultural imposition?

Speaking of cultural impositions, in February, the New York City Council passed a resolution that symbolically bans the word "nigger" and asks that any album with "nigger" in its lyrics be excluded from Grammy considerations. But if the word is being used as a term of endearment, why should artists feel pressured to self-censor, and why should the album be exempt from the Grammys? I mean, does the appropriation of the word "nigger" by African Americans mean anything anymore? Sounds like a big ball of power and control to me. Misogyny and racism extend far beyond radio broadcasting and hip-hop, and the effectiveness of banning certain vocabulary in hip-hop lyrics to eliminate such deep-rooted problems with such widespread manifestations is, to this particular writer, misguided.

  

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