They Might Be Giants Ready New Album, A Certain Demographic of Nerds Rejoice

Little known fact: many of us here at TMT are giant nerds. What? It's clear as day? Shit. Well, anyway, I'm here to tell you why Judy Ain't No Punk and I are particularly nerdy, and surprise surprise, it has to do with They Might Be Giants.

Some little whipper-snappers spend their summers canoeing, making atrocious lanyards, and learning "Kumbaya" by heart, but not I. And not Judy. Instead, we spent three weeks during our early teen summers in classrooms at a Certain Gifted And Talented Program Run By a Prestigious University, learning logic proofs and the proper manner in which to craft an essay. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway at the age of 12. As a result, I still can't pass a swim test to save my life (literally).

But I digress. Each week, the 500 of us attended a very awkward social event also known as a "dance," and trust me, the nerdiness did not stop there. At each dance, if a certain number of "canonized" songs was not reached, the RAs would be nervous. (What we would have actually done, had our requests not been honored, I do not know. Perform terribly on our SATs to discredit the program? Refuse to use proper grammar? Horrors!) Included in this canon was not one, but TWO songs by the Johns: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul" from their 1990 album Flood. We would join hands, form a line, and RUN in a sort of misguided conga line as fast as we possibly could, tripping over our flip flops and invariably causing disastrous injuries, finally collapsing in a heap to the final strains.

While I don't know if their new album will yield another strange soundtrack for nerd-mating rituals, The Else promises to be another calculated lesson in the art of the Power Nerd, with a catchy, guitar-driven single called "Take Out the Trash" floating around MySpace for your listening pleasure. The Dust Brothers were enlisted as producers on this jam, so watch out for some slick drumbeats. Twenty-five years of songs about planets and geometrically shaped men, dudes. That's longevity. Devo would be proud.

Touch and Go Open Digital Music Store; Corey Rusk Owes His Mom $15.62 for Dial-Up Access Fees

My oh my, things must be pretty busy right now for Mr. Corey Rusk, the god-like generalissimo of the Touch and Go recording empire. First of all, of course, they’re releasing one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year in the form of Shellac’s Excellent Italian Greyhound on June 7. It’s going to be one HELL of a job for him to hand paint each and every one of those record sleeves to Steve Albini’s exacting specifications, don’t you think? It’s also unconfirmed at this point whether or not Corey has agreed to Shellac’s request that the CD and vinyl releases of the new album be preceded a week earlier by a wax phonograph cylinder pressing of the album (with a hand-painted papyrus sleeve, natch).

Before he can do that, though, he’s got to finish the huge job he’s given himself by deciding to launch the Touch and Go digital music store, due to be open for business sometime in June. It’s taken nine months of preparation to get to the point where the site is ready to go. TMT’s unsubstantiated rumour department can exclusively reveal that the reason it’s taken so long is that Mr. Rusk has created each and every non-DRM MP3 (yay!) for the site using his mom’s computer and an early version of Winamp (so early, in fact, that it’s actually called DOSamp), lovingly ripping from his own personal copy of every album and single in the Touch and Go back catalogue. HE CARES THAT MUCH, PEOPLE.

Maybe this hands-on approach is the reason that Albini and his past and present bandmates have finally agreed to allow their work to be available in the digital realm. Yep, you’ll be able to grab files by Shellac, Big Black, and Rapeman from the site! So much for the future belonging to the analog loyalists, I suppose. Inspiration for the pricing arrangement for the store seems to have been provided by another somewhat popular digital music site -- tracks will be 99-cents a pop, a full album’ll cost you $9.99.

To celebrate this undeniably wonderful news, I have a treat for you all. Shellac live at the T&G 25th anniversary gigs from last year. You’ll be pleased to know the video also includes exclusive footage of David Yow referring to the glory that is faecal vomit, and Steve Albini smiling (it’s as bad as it sounds, the baseball cap he’s wearing only accentuating the horror). Enjoy!

Final Fantasy Tour Walkthrough

w00t! Welcome to another awesome FAQ/walkthrough by TifaIsBeuatifulVII. Let's continue where my last update left off, kay!? Once you reach level 34 in the Dark Woods of Ulatakachimawaho, travel further down the forest path. You'll notice something glimmering in the grass; walk over it to it and pick it up. Congrats, you received the Canadian Saber! Equip this to your main character and continue to the boss. You'll see a cut-scene here before the boss. SPOILER ALERT! Sucks she had to die huh? Especially since she was the only healer in your party; hopefully you stocked up on potions and phoenix downs like I told you to. Stop at the save point, use a tent on your party, save and pray because this is the biggest boss fight yet! This is the first of the Machines. The German one. I've included the entire list and where to find them in this section. On to the boss!

[Ultimega German Blietzkrieg Machine]
2200 HP

This machine is extremely dangerous. During its attack series, it will lift up its arms; DO NOT ATTACK ULTIMEGA GERMAN BLIETZKRIEG MACHINE WHEN ITS ARMS ARE UP! IT WILL ABSORB MAGICAL AND PHYSICAL DAMAGE! Use a simple strategy of attack/heal/attack here and you should be fine. If you have a Dark Matter, now would be a good time to use it; it'll do mega damage to the metallic parts of the machine.

After the boss dies, another cut-scene will ensue. Owen Pallett will join your party. His main weapon is the Violin. He is an extremely powerful character and once he earns the Polaris Music Prize, you will be able to use his new attack, Poo Clouds. This attack is ridiculously critically acclaimed and will do 2006 damage against any enemy. Owen can also earn money from your party by playing different venues and destroying the Machines around the world. Since the game is in real-time, you have to actually be at the right venue at the right time for everything to work correctly, so I've listed the dates as well.

Here is a list of places to take Owen to play:

NOMO Says Yesmo to Touring, Notmo to Puns (Sorry)

Many have wondered when an heir to Kuti's throne (forgetting Femi for a minute) would be thrust into the musical world. Well, it seems that the musical bloodline has been traced to a little group from the U.S. (is there anything we can't do?). That would be NOMO, the Ann Arbor, MI afro-beat up 'n' comers who are as talented as they are educated. The group were formed in 2003 by University of Michigan Jazz Studies grad Elliot Bergman and some of his A2 buddies. Now, the band known for its exciting, impressive live shows is about to head out and do what it does best: play shows. This tour, like many before it, is in support of the group's 2006 LP New Tones (Ubiquity).

NOMO have vowed to play as many festivals as possible this summer, but in this case, "as many as possible" means as many as they want to play. In addition to the Detroit Festival of The Arts and Aspen Jazz Festival, the band is playing the hottest festival ticket of the summer, Albion's omnipresent Festival of the Forks. All the blogs are blogging (what else?) about this one, as the band is set to perform alongside The Hives from the year 2027. Not to mention the fact that NOMO pretty much owe their career to the City of Albion, MI, ever since they famously gave the group's last record Best New Dinner Music (these people really like food) in the local newspaper. All these events, plus the tilt of Earth's axis causing the Northern Hemisphere to get the most direct sunlight and therefore experience an increase in temperature from June 21 to September 21, seem to indicate that this summer is going to be hot.

% Dengue Fever

@ Dan Deacon

& Toroise, Besnard Lakes, Apostle of Hustle & more

* Stephen Malkmus, Of Montreal, Deerhunter, The Ponys & more

Hey Mindy, Buck, Todd, Etc.; Let Him Sit at Our Table! Ryan Adams to Release Easy Tiger June 26

Move down, fellow cool kids. Ryan Adams is a victim and I say we let him sit at our table.

Maybe it’s different for you, reader. But as I see it, Ryan gets unnecessarily bullied for his more than frequent, alcohol-induced, regret-love pondering. Sure, no one’s gone to lunch-money-stealing extremes in their criticism, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t make his life a little easier.

June 26 marks the release of his ninth full-length album, Easy Tiger (Lost Highway Records), which boasts guest vocals from Sheryl Crow on the appropriately placed second track, “Two.”

Oh! Sheryl Crow?!?

Okay, I’m not going to pull a holier-than-thou, music bullies. I’m just as bad to Ryan, a musician that I, on the record, don’t mind and, off the record, like. Ryan is (at times) an easy enough target (i.e., a simple man’s fight for work and love on Jacksonville City Nights’ “The Hardest Part”). Truth is, though we mean well in our commitment to irreverence, sometimes our exclusivity leaves little breathing room for men with guitars and –- gasp -- unironic, discernable messages.

Point blank: We can’t stand to see something plain through the impeccable side-swooping hair in our eyes. Remember, Ryan -– he too has an enviably side-swooping haircut. Plus, he’s making music; which is the point of our banter.

Listen, cool kids table, I’m not saying he needs to come with us when we cut last period, hop in Johnny’s convertible, and drive to Make-out Point, but doesn’t Mindy need some friends to help sew Todd, Buck and [insert 1950s cool kid name here]’s football letters onto their sweet leather-sleeved athletic jackets?

There’s room by me, Ryan. I may even share my cafeteria jello with you. Seriously.

Tracklisting:

Elvis Perkins Holds Ash Wednesday Service; Thinks to Himself “Denny’s Your Stupid,” But Secretly Orders “Moons Over My Hammy” Anyway

Elvis Perkins, up-and-coming troubadour, plunks chords in the folk warrior tradition. Hell, check out the name. It’s music that puts you in a weird place, and if you’re not paying attention, it’ll catch up on you quicker than a good bottle of hobo wine, the romance of liquid salvation, and the allure of folk-music emancipation. The tour is sure to be full of jubilation, commiseration, and maybe even procreation. But don’t settle for a consolation, check out the emanation without hesitation.

His first and newest album Ash Wednesday lives up to its biblical allusions, of which there are many. If my younger, more Catholic years serve me, its title references the day when priests smudge vaguely cross-shaped ash on the foreheads of school children. I’m just secretly happy that he didn’t highlight a more traumatic holiday like Saint Blaise’s Day. There’s something about fish bone references that poke me right in the trachea.

He has a killer tourmate in Joan Armatrading, a UK singer-songwriter who just released her 18th disc, titled Into the Blues. She’s got a better set of pipes than Royal Albert Hall, and her new record sauces up the blues with folk, soul, and funk (of the funkiest variety).

Elvis Perkins’ll take a vacation from Dearland and play solo (but not so low you can’t hear him) ::GUFFAW:: The ‘in Dearland’ jive is Perkins with his backup band; get used to it:

*Joan Armatrading

** Elvis Perkins in Dearland

You Might Be a Liar if You Read This News Story and Hint that You Didn’t Find it at Least as Indulgently Enjoyable as Drum’s Not Dead

Yew also might be a Liar if... you went to Disney's Wild Hogs and told your wife you “didn't really feel comfortable” with the skinny-dipping scenes

Yew might be a Liar if... you applied for a job as a satellite-dish installation expert after earning a journalism degree and told yourself you didn't feel like a total sell-out.

Yew might be a Liar if... you worked with Grant at a sporting-goods store and said you didn't take the money missing from the upstairs vault, all the while watching poor Grant get harassed by Rathdrum, Idaho police and forced to take a lie-detector test he knew from research would only be 60-70% accurate.

Yew might be a Liar if... you were to slate the release of your fourth, self-titled album for August 28.

Yew might be a Liar if... you told your wife your sleep-moaning last night wasn't the result of a dream about, to put it lightly, a case of Jungle Fever.

Yew might be a Liar if... you told your mom you didn't believe in God anymore and thus wouldn't be attending church when you really just wanted to watch football.

Yew might be a Liar if... you swore up-and-down to Rathdrum, Idaho police that you didn't steal the money... (but, you know, probably not).

Yew might be a Liar if... you said your upcoming album would be released care of white vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

Yew might be a Liar if... you told your boss on a long road trip that his karaoke-on-CD “sounded, you know, pretty good ... I mean, you know, not great, but it's good.”

Yew might be a Lair if... you assured your wife that the boxers she got you don't cramp your motzo balls.

Yew might be a Liar if... you said –- while you definitely didn't steal the money –- that you didn't at least steal a few batteries and a cool-ass butterfly knife from said sporting goods store.

Yew might be a Liar if... you said your new album is more “practical,” with traditional approaches to song structure and instrument usage.

You might be a Liar if... you said you didn't have to edit out a zillion “like” and “you know”s when you interviewed Karen O years ago.

Yew might be a Liar if... you said you didn't know how your DUI fees were magically paid off in full a few weeks after Grant successfully passed his lie-detector test.

Yew might be a Liar if... you said you didn't write this news post when you were supposed to be working.

Yew might be a Liar if... you said you “never felt like a songwriter” until you wrote the music for your aforementioned fourth album.

You might be a Liar if... you said you wouldn't prefer to read your music news without all the fancy-pants frills.

Yew might be a Liar (or something akin to one) if... you're one of the cud-chomping, redneck yahoos responsible for keeping lie-detector tests admissible in the Idaho court of law.

You might be a Liar if... you claimed bringing up Angus Andrews' lover isn't a cheap, all-in-all lousy thing to do.

You might be a Liar if... you said the tracklisting for your upcoming album is as follows:

You might be a Liar if... you claimed this news post wasn't about your life, down to the seediest detail.

Pitchfork Festival Lineup Finalized, Exclusive Interview with Ryan Schreiber

I could hardly believe it when I entered the coffee shop -- 3:00 P.M., right on time. Back in the corner with a blue hat (as promised) was the one, the only Ryan Schreiber, editor-in-chief of online magazine Pitchfork, reading Vice Magazine and sipping on a tall, dark roast, possibly fair-trade coffee. I took a moment to catch my breath and then staggered clumsily between coffee tables filled with attractive, hip-looking people. I felt so out of place there -- me being perhaps the least attractive of everyone (when did people learn how to dress so cool anyway?) -- but the moment I sat down and introduced myself to Schreiber -- "Hi, I'm Mango Starr, writer/reporter for Tiny Mix Tapes" -- I immediately felt at ease. Kind, gentle, and a little odd, Schreiber was amazing. Here's the interview:

Thanks for agreeing to do this interview, man. I know you're insanely busy.

No problem, Mango. And really, I'm not that busy.

Oh?

Yep.

So... um...

So, how's the weather?

Weren't you just outside?

Oh yeah, sweet weather, yeah?

Really sweet. I love it.

Nice.

Oh, Mr P says "hi" and that he "misses you."

Oh yeah? Cool, how's he doing? I kinda remember meeting him a long time ago.

He seems to remember it vividly. He brings it up all the time, like he's fucking obsessed!

Hmmm, I've only talked to him a few times. He seemed nice.

Weird. He says he talked to you like every night.

He's not white, is he?

Hah, fuck no.

Ahhhhhhh, okay, I remember now. He's a... well, you know.

Hahaha, yeah... He's a nice enough guy though, despite you know...

Haha! INDEED! So, what is it that you wanted to talk about? My hair? Hahahaha!

Hahahah!

Hahahah!

No, no. I wanted to talk about ATP... so, um... Ryan... hey, what are you doing?

[At this point, Ryan is starting to climb up onto the table.]

Sorry Mango, hold on a sec. [Yelling to the coffee shop, pumping his fists above his head] HEY EVERYBODY!! I'm Ryan Schreiber!! How's the weather, motherfuckers!?!? [Wild applause and cheers from the coffee shop] Hey did y'all motherfuckers know about the Pitchfork Music Fest?? [Laughter, because of course they do!] Well, we've just made the final confirmations for the lineup! [More cheers] I'll be posting flyers all around town. But, of course, you can always check out a little site that I call... hmmm, I forgot its name... so, I'm going to need your help, motherfuckers!!! What's the site called everybody!?!? [Schreiber puts right hand to ear; crowd yells at once: "PITCHFORK MEDIA DOT COM!!!!!!!!] HAHAHA! FUCK YES! See you guys there!!! [Thunderous applause as Schreiber plops back into his chair]

Wow, that was amazing, Ryan. You really know how to -- Ryan?

[Schreiber, wide-eyed and giggling hysterically, starts furiously carving the words "Interpol" into the table with a pocket knife]

Hey, um, should you be doing that?

Look, ask your questions, dude. I don't got all day. Gotta fest and shit to do, y'know.

Oh, ok. Alright then. Um, so I wanted to ask you about ATP. So, um --

Wait, stop right there. Actions speak louder than words, am I right? [Winks] Here's what I think about ATP...

[Schreiber signals to me to look under the table, grinning mischievously. Fearing the worst, I slowly peeked my head under the table. And there it was... oh my god. It was absolutely breathtaking... and it was hard: yes, folks, it was a signed copy of Thesaurus Musicarium: The Pitchfork Year in Music 2003.]

Needless to say, I had to have it, right then and there. Schreiber sure liked that. Boy did he like that. At least... I think he did. Shit, I hope he did! My jaw still hurts!

Festival lineup:

Day 1 (Friday, July 13 -- in conjunction with ATP):

Sonic Youth perform Daydream Nation

GZA/Genius performs Liquid Swords

Slint perform Spiderland

Day 2 (Saturday, July 14):

Yoko Ono / Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues (with members of Dirty Three, the Delta 72, and Blues Explosion) / Clipse / Mastodon / Iron and Wine / Battles / Grizzly Bear / Voxtrot / Califone / The Twilight Sad / Girl Talk / Dan Deacon / Oxford Collapse / Professor Murder / Fujiya & Miyagi / Beach House / William Parker Quartet / Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound

Day 3 (Sunday, July 15):

De La Soul / The New Pornographers / Of Montreal / Stephen Malkmus / Jamie Lidell / The Sea and Cake / Junior Boys / Menomena / The Ponys / Deerhunter / Klaxons / The Field / Cadence Weapon / The Cool Kids / Craig Taborn's Junk Magic / Nomo / Brightblack Morning Light / Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra

CHEAP AS HELL, TOO.

Going Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga for Spoon; New Album, Extra Goodies, Reissues, and More!

Okay, so I just pre-ordered Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, the new Spoon album scheduled for release by Merge Records July 10 in the US of A. And if you quickly head over to Merge's website, you'll have a chance to receive an autographed Britt Daniel 7-inch with two tracks that aren't on the new album, just as long as you're among the first 200 people to pre-order Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. YES!

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (named for the sounds in the album's second track, "The Ghost of You Lingers") was recorded all throughout 2006 by Spoon in Austin, Texas at drummer Jim Eno's studio with Mike McCarthy. The album will come packed with a limited-edition, 22-minute bonus EP.

Spoon have some upcoming shows and a tour in the works, but in the meantime, they are playing many-a-secret show, which you can only find out about by singing up for their mailing list here.

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga tracklisting:

Saatchi & Saatchi Pt 1: Fool me once, get played by Annie Nightingale. Fool me twice, get played by Judge Jules. Fool me three times, get banned by the BBC

Rarely a day passes without each and every one of us receiving the mandatory spam e-mail like “Bill Gates is giving away his money... it worked for me... I got $5000!” or “Sick child needs your help” or “Nigerian millionaire will pay you back 10x your loan!” into our already overcrowded inboxes. Even the most respectable newspapers occasionally flash a “Man gets kidney removed after passing out in snow!” or “Alien autopsy... real?” headline occasionally. From the Shroud of Turin, the Voynich Manuscript, the Cerne Abbas Giant and “Paul is dead,” Milli Vanilli and crop circles, hoaxes and scams are simply part of our everyday wack-off-in-the-shower-and-go-to-work lives. Unless it is someone getting shirked or swindled out of their old-age pension (hilarious, but sad) or something about Scott Stapp getting arrested (say it ain’t so!), we just shrug our shoulders and get on with our everyday wack-off-in-the-washroom-while-everyone-else-is-in-a-meeting/in-class/in-church lives.

For the most part, if there’s egg to be splattered on someone else’s face (but NOT a wrinkled old person’s or former Creed singer’s, heaven forbid!) most of us are pretty okay with it. Like, if someone was to pull the wool over some BBC executives' and DJs' sheep-like eyes, it would be a hoot. It has happened, and it is kinda funny.

Radio1 DJs Annie Nightingale and Judge Jules both gave “Style, Attract, Play” by Shocka (featuring Honeyshot) a spin, thinking they were servin’ up the latest piping-hot shit cold. The ditty also played on XFM and Kiss in the U.K. That isn’t anything in itself -- BBC and Kiss and XFM play a lot of bad dance-oriented, global girlie-group, electro crap -- but Honeyshot, the band, is a creation of Gum, a subdivision of advertising giants Saatchi & Saatchi, and “Style, Attract, Play,” the song, is nothing more than an ingenious ad pitch for hair gel brand Shockwaves.

NME reports that a press rep for Shockwaves at first denied all knowledge of the song but later said “there may be a link” between the two, after the track had been pulled by BBC. He then twisted his ‘stache between his thumb and forefinger and declared, “Got you again, you fooooools” (he drew out the “oo” in “fools” to emphasize a dramatic, evil effect) before grabbing his top hat and jumping out the window onto a train that happened to be passing at that very instant.

BBC claims that “Style, Attract, Play” was pushed at them via the usual process. However, no one mentioned it was a promotional song, despite the fact that Honeyshot and the marketing concept surrounding them had already been reported on a few times in the press, the fact that it is by someone called ‘Shocka,’ and the fact that the label bears the name Gum Records. A nameless, faceless spokesman for BBC1 (maybe the idiot that that didn’t clue in at first and playlisted the song, maybe just someone covering for an idiot at the BBC who green-lighted the song for rotation, your choice) said, “The track was presented to Radio 1 in the usual way, via a legitimate promotions company and we were not aware that it was a promotional tool for a hair product. As this is created by an advertising agency with the sole purpose of selling the product, and we do not play adverts, it is not something we would play again.” If only the same could be said about “Crazy Frog” and the dozens of novelty songs that get to number 1 in the U.K. every year. Isn’t every song played on the radio an ad placed by cutthroat music marketers to entice listeners to buy or download a full album anyway?

In a passionate addressing of the situation, Peter Robinson argues that it was important that the song “failed”; however, getting played on Radio 1, XFM, and Kiss, plus getting a ridiculous amount of attention from a world-press heavyweight like The Guardian and evenheavierweights Tiny Mix Tapes could hardly be considered a “failure,” could it? As Robinson himself claims in this article, “one must never underestimate the absurd desperation of companies attempting to Connect With The Kids,” sounding very much like a man who works for an absurd, desperate industry that is forever attempting to Connect With The Kids.

NME also reports that last year Andrew Wilkie, managing director of Gum (the company that created the fictional Honeyshot), offered this prescient nugget into the mind of modern advertising agencies: “It could be as simple as sponsorship of a tour through to clothing that could be worn, drinks, cosmetics -- all that stuff is possible.” Indeed it is, indeed it is.

Heavy research (read: 5½ pints and 3 bottle tokes) reveals that this kind of thing has been happening for a lot longer than one would have thought. Our diggers didn’t come up with the exact details of the arrangement, but there has to be some sort of thread between Jose Eber, “Achey Breaky Heart,” and the ensuing “Cyrus virus” and line-dancing combo that took hold of North America in 1992. Well, there is no other reason I can come up with to explain the ridiculous “Tennessee waterfall” atop both of those two douchebags’ heads, can you?