Brother Ali Ignores MTV’s Advice, Locks in Freshness, Disses Martha Stewart, Tours

[Rustling of paper, a hand raking over face, sound of metal tapping glass table, two heavy snorts, licking of plastic bag]

WOAH, what the hell happened there? Sorry about that, folks; I was doing some crystal meth in my breakfast nook, and when I returned to my computer, I passed out. I woke up, peeled my bare torso from the seat of my pleather computer chair like a fruit roll-up from its wrapper and found this idiotic poem on my desktop. So sorry about that! Hey, speaking of wrappers, Brother Ali is a pretty good one. He doesn’t have the patented burp that locks in freshness, but he DOES have a secret weapon: twist-ties. You don’t need one of those trendy, blog-approved freshness seals when you’ve got a corral of twist-ties! They do the trick every time, from the backstreets to Blackstreet.

Another thing... in my blackout-induced haze, I realized Brother Ali isn’t taking the steps necessary to get famous in the rap game. First off, he needs to get shot a few times. Last time I checked, you had to have at LEAST 24 bullet holes in your torso to deserve a major-label contract. And where’s the "dancin’ bitches"? I saw this special on MTV and it said you HAVE to have "dancin’ bitches" in your videos to win the game. Hear that Brother? And not having a Martha Stewart-produced track is the nail in the coffin; look, you can spend your time writing seamless albums if you want, but only a M-to-the-Stewart shout-out will land you in a limo with Luda or a sitcom with Ice-T. Then she’ll make guest appearances in your videos and maybe sign you to her vanity imprint. Then she'll get hella-jealous of you and have you rubbed out. Then she'll write a tribute song to your sorry, dead ass. Hey, it’s all about survival. Thought you knew that.

Brother Ali's Undisputed Truth is set for an April 10 release through Rhymesayers.

Look for jiggling flesh at the following tourdates:
04.10.07 - Duluth, MN - Pizza Luce
04.11.07 - Fargo, ND - House of Rock
04.12.07 - Mankato, MN - What's Up Lounge
04.13.07 - Iowa City, IA - Picador
04.14.07 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground
04.16.07 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
04.17.07 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
04.19.07 - Menomonie, WI - University of Wisconsin
04.20.07 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
04.21.07 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
04.22.07 - Bloomington, IN - Bluebird
04.23.07 - St. Louis, MO - Washington University
04.24.07 - Louisville, KY - Uncle Pleasants
04.25.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
04.27.07 - Indio, CA - Coachella Festival
04.28.07 - Columbus, OH - Skully's Music Diner
04.29.07 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
05.01.07 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Lounge
05.02.07 - Boston, MA - Middle East
05.03.07 - New York, NY - Knitting Factory
05.04.07 - Philadelphia, PA - The Church
05.05.07 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
05.06.07 - Charlottesville, VA - Starr Hill
05.08.07 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
05.09.07 - Wilmington, NC - Soapbox
05.10.07 - Mt Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
05.11.07 - Orlando, FL - The Social
05.12.07 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
05.14.07 - Birmingham, AL - The Nick
05.15.07 - New Orleans, LA - Parish - HOB
05.16.07 - Austin, TX - Emos Lounge
05.17.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
05.18.07 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
05.19.07 - Flagstaff, AZ - Orpheum
05.21.07 - Pomona, CA - Glasshouse
05.22.07 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up
05.23.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
05.24.07 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Downtown Brew
05.25.07 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
05.26.07 - Reno, NV - New Oasis
05.29.07 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
05.30.07 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
05.31.07 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project
06.01.07 - Bellingham, WA - Night Light
06.02.07 - Missoula, MT - The Loft
06.04.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
06.05.07 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
06.06.07 - Kansas City, KS - Record Bar
06.07.07 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
06.08.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue (Homecoming Show!)

Ween Play Jazzfest Concert Series in New Orleans, But Julia Sweeney’s “Pat” Character Won’t Be Joining

When you hear the words "jazz fest," you may associate it with "Rib Fest." Possibly the same thing sometimes, but you can't cancel out the odds of an unexpected amazing act to play one of these festivals. No, I'm not talking about Hootie and the Blowfish, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, or Spin Doctors. This year, Gene and Dean Ween (and the other guys) will be hitting up the 2007 "Superfly during Jazzfest" concert series in New Orleans provided by Superfly Productions. The events start from Saturday, April 28 through Saturday, May 5 at various New Orleans venues, including the Contemporary Arts Center and the Riverboat Cajun Queen. The "Superfly during Jazzfest" concert series started in 1997, and since then it has been the foundation for iconic national events like Bonnaroo Music, Arts Festival and Vegoose. Spanning ten days over several venues, this is one jazz fest that you probably should check out. You can get tickets by visiting www.superflypresents.com.

The Superfly at Jazzfest 2007 lineup is below:

Saturday, April 28

The Radiators

Riverboat Cajun Queen

Friday, May 4

Greyboy Allstars

Riverboat Cajun Queen

Friday, May 4

Ween

With the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Contemporary Arts Center

Saturday, May 5

Gov¹t Mule / Dr. John¹s Night Tripper

Contemporary Arts Center

Saturday, May 5

North Mississippi Allstars

Riverboat Cajun Queen

Furthermore, this lousy TMT reporter believes that the reign of Ween will be returning sooner than you can shout Chocolate & Cheese. Since my predictions are usually 100% on, you better hurry and get your copy of Ween's film debut, It's Pat. Yeah, remember that androgynous character named Pat from early-90s Saturday Night Live, played by Julia Sweeney? If you remember that, you probably are already a fan and own a copy of the timeless classic that was an instant SNL-film-based-on-a-character bomb. When I first saw Pat rock out with Ween, I felt the rise of Ween in my jeans, and I knew someday they would have an even greater following. And I also knew they would play the "Superfly during Jazzfest" concert series on Friday, May 4 in 2007 with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, LA. Is it really possible to foresee the future from watching SNL films? The answer is yes; stop being stupid.

Something Pat didn't know, aside from whether he or she had a winky or a twinky, was that Ween is currently readying their new album and prepping for a memorable set at Bonnaroo! According to their website, Ween are in the studio recording everyday at a rented farmhouse. You can check this message out and view pictures from the studio by going to this handy dandy link here.

No, I'm just kidding, I mean here.

Ween scheduled shows:
03.29.07 - Falls Church, VA - The State Theatre (Gene Ween solo show)
04.30.07 - Ashevillie, NC - The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
05.01.07 - Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre
05.03.07 - Oxford, MS - The Library
05.04.07 - New Orleans, LA - Contemporary Arts Center
06.16.07 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival

Blood Brothers Hack (Tour) Their Way Through the U.S. with Young Machetes; No One Is Safe!

The Blood Brothers scare me. They remind me of those kids in middle school who painted their fingernails black with permanent marker and then sniffed the markers a whole bunch and got detention for starting mosh pits in the hallway after becoming, uh, stimulated. To be fair, the Blood Brothers are much more fashionable than those kids were, in that they appear to stay far away from parachute pants.

The well-dressed (read: terrifying) Brothers are coming fresh off a tour of Europe, where I’m sure they learned lots of naughty new words. They’ll be spreading their newfound knowledge across the unsuspecting U.S. and Maple Syrup/Bears/ReasonableDrinkingAge Land in support of their new album, Young Machetes this month, so ready your virgin ears.

Or you know, go. If you’re BLOOD enough:

Dan Deacon Tours, Unleashing Arnold Schwarzenegger Nightmares on Unsuspecting Nation

Memo to the terminally uncool: Baltimore is blowing the fuck up. It's the new black. It's the new white. It's the new DC. Most importantly, it's where Dan Deacon comes from, and this dude is poised for world domination.

Picture this: You're at a show in someone's semi-decrepit warehouse/living space so far into Bushwick you're almost in Queens. You're leaning against a broken '80s-era digital camera. There are some crazy noise loops going on. A psychedelic, sci-fi, absurdist reimagining of Arnold Schwarzenegger's campiest films (including Junior, natch) is projected on a screen that's been duct-taped up and keeps falling down. Two drummers are going so insane that one nearly passes out on his drum kit at the end of the 30-minute performance. And Thurston Moore is looking on from the back corner of the room.

No, I'm not recounting Mr P's latest wet dream. Strike that, maybe I am, but if so that would be pretty creepy since it's also what happened when I saw Dan Deacon play at Silent Barn last week! I know it sounds too good to be true, but this video provides the proof that keeps me (somewhat) sane. This new project, a collaboration with filmmaker and Wham City co-conspirator Jimmy Joe Roche, is called Ultimate Reality.

"What's this Wham City of which you speak?" you ask. Shut up, kid. I'm getting there. Wham City is a collective of Baltimoretastic musicians, artists, and other weirdos who used to live together in the eponymous warehouse space. In fact, the musical arm of Wham City, including Video Hippos, Santa Dads, Blood Baby, and Butt Stomach (you think I made this whole thing up and just chose the most random, absurd names I can think of, but I assure you I'm not that creative), is touring across the country RIGHT NOW!!! You can see the whole family at a shitload of dates across the country

03.15.07 - Austin, TX - Monitor Mansion (SXSW) ALL BALTIMORE PARTY!!!
03.15.07 - Austin, TX - Mrs. Breas (SXSW) %
03.16.07 - Austin, TX - Six Lounge (SXSW) Carpark Show Case
03.17. 07 - Las Vegas, NV - Slanted Clam %
03.18.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Pehrspace Space: 325 Glendale %
03.19.07 - San Francisco, CA - Knock Out %
03.20.07 - Oakland, CA - on a Rad Bus (info coming) %
03.21.07 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Blue Lagoon w/ Wildlife, Blood Bab
03.22.07 - Portland, OR - Dantes w/ Blood Baby
03.23.07 - Seattle, WA - 1412 Gallery %
03.24.07 - Missoula, MT - Elks Club w/ Video Hippos
03.26.07 - Denver, CO - Rhinoceropolis %
03.27.07 - Oklahoma City, OK - TBA %
03.30.07 - Richmond, IN - Earlham College w/ Video Hippos
03.31.07 - Chicago, IL - Shape Shoppe %
04.01.07 - Cincinnati, OH - Skull Lab %
04.02.07 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College %
04.06.07 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar w/ Girl Talk
04.13.07 - Jacksonville, FL - TSI*
04.14.07 - Orlando, FL -Back Booth*
04.17.07 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues Parish*
04.18.07- Houston, TX - Mink*
04.20.07 - Austin, TX - Emos Lounge*
04.21.07 - Denton, TX - Haileys*
05.03.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn
05.04.07 - Providence, RI - The Living Room
05.05.07 - Baltimore, MD - TBA: Spiderman of the Rings Baltimore Release Show!
05.10.07 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel
05.11.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas

* ADULT., Parts & Labor

% Wham City (includes Santa Dads, Video Hippo, Blood Baby, and Butt Stomach)

Photo: Ray Roy

Nas May Very Well Start Some New Beef on Tour

Everyone’s favorite religious rapper with street cred is touring this spring. Nas, in support of recent album Hip Hop Is Dead, has announced a 23-date trek that includes, along with the standard U.S. cities, a few spots for our brothers up north. Although the feud between the Street’s Disciple and Jay-Z is supposedly over, reports that initial titles for Nas’s recent release were Jay-Z Is Dead and Sean Carter Is a Pussy with No Cred and Would Rather Wear Button-Ups and Tennis Bracelets and Leather Shoes and Has Forgotten Where He Came from and Has No Friends and Can Only Get His Mom to Do a Collaboration keeps people wondering if the feud can ever end. Not to be outdone, however, Jay-Z had reportedly responded with: "This is not beef/ This is rap homie/ I don't have a scratch on me/ You feel Jay soft/ Rip jay off." I know what you’re thinking: "Feuds are soooo 1997." But just remember, he is married to Kelis, and you are not.

Insane Clown Posse Neatly ‘Linked’ to Murder; TMT Writer Ghost-Pens Diary of a Juggalo, Tops NYT Best-Seller List

“Look, I may be a Juggalo, ho, but that don’t make me a muh-fuh’n thugalo, yo. This one’s for my juggalettes, lettin’ ’em know y’all.”

For those of you who don’t READ EVERY PIECE OF INTERNET NEWS EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, 24 HOURS A DAY EXCLUDING SHABBAS, you might have missed a story about Insane Clown Posse in The Rocky Mountain News. Apparently, Crimes Are Being Committed. By People. That Listen. To Insane Clown Posse. You heard it here first folks, I--... oh wait, The Rocky Mountain News beat us to this salty sack of a news story, that’s right. Hmmmmm [drumming fingers on tabletop]... Well, since it’s been reported in a newspaper, it’s gotta be true, right? I’ll just trust my instincts on this one and print the straight facts (word to ya muzzah): People have committed murders in Detroit, Arkansas, and Florida.

And, since murders were never committed in Arkansas, Detroit, and Florida before Insane Clown Posse came along (particularly not the latter two), the group have been linked to their fair share of crimes as of late. And I can see why! You can pretty much bet they’re inciting kids to perpetrate violent crimes with their albums, currently put out by the fledgling, taken-seriously WWF Diamond Cutter label. Their fans reportedly call themselves ‘Juggalos’ and ‘Juggalettes,’ and do dastardly things like design their MySpace pages with ICP pics (lol!) and, as mentioned, listen to Insane Clown Posse’s music, often while plotting to kill humans. Strangely, the percentage of ICP listeners that actually commit crimes is statistically low. And, now that I think about it, aren’t Insane Clown Posse like a total joke now? When’s the last time anyone over 8 or 9 years old bought an ICP record? Aren’t people listening to more refined, role-model types like 50 Cent and fuckin’ C Murder these days? Are 50 Cent and C Murder arbitrarily linked to murders perpetrated by people who listen to their music? Are things in this country going to get all fucking stupid again, like with that whole Ozzy deal? Everywhere I go I hear a far-right nutcase yodeling....

Officers refuse to say whether the offenders were actually listening to ICP when they committed the crimes in question, but several of the band’s releases were found in roof-flap CD sleeves, travel cases, and even in a rogue Discman. All copies were taken into custody. Well, that probably happened. I mean, they ARE the law, right? They must have found discs, t-shirts, and posters upon searching cars and stuff. What are these kids going to do, deny that they did, in fact, at one time listen to Insane Clown Posse? They’re guilty! GUILTY. GUILLLLLTEEEEEEEE. I say jail them for the murders, EXECUTE them for their listening habits. I think we’ll all agree it’s tough but fair (ICP haven’t been good since Riddle Box anyway).

One man implicated in a murder had an ICP tattoo on his hand. Another kid in Colorado described himself as a Circus-Boy Dingleberry With Man-Boobs and a Toy Hatchet (or something like that) on MySpace. Both were known Insane Clown Posse fans, and both were linked to grizzly killings (but not with a real grizzly; that might actually be, well, not ‘cool,’ but maybe, you know...). A cop also claimed that Colorado-area police “know Insane Clown Posse gangs exist.” Ooh! There are also other pieces of evidence, but they’re just as, like, totally damning as all of the stuff above, and I honestly think I’ve already made and proven my case anyway: Some bands tour. Some bands record. Others? They incite murder. Insane Clown Posse, likely through their importance in the long-term musical stratosphere, are one of those bands.

‘Hendrix Electric Vodka’ Brand Sued By Hendrix Family; Memorial Shotgun In Shape Of Kurt Cobain’s Head Given The OK

No offense to any already-offended readers and/or members of Jimi Hendrix's family, but the main topic on my mind right now is Risk -- not the concept, but the board game. I was soundly defeated in this game of global domination not one hour ago, and the number of friends I now have has dropped from two to one: you, dear reader. What does my trouncing in this game have to do with the late guitar genius? Well, switch around the letters in Risk and you get Kisr, which is similar to Kisser, which is where Jimi Hendrix's family would like to punch the marketing department that thought up 'Hendrix Electric Vodka' and its psychedelic flavor.

Janie Hendrix, Jimi's adopted sister, called the brand "a sick joke" due to Hendrix's alcohol-related death in 1970, though Craig Dieffenbach, the businessman behind the product, is certain the lawsuit will fail because of a 2005 federal court case ruling that the Hendrix family owns the rights to neither his name nor image -- only his music. Dieffenbach also believes the proceedings will be much less hostile if everyone partakes in a few pre-trial shots of Jimi.

The vodka bottles in question are tinted purple and have Hendrix's face and signature on the label, presumably (and this is mere speculation) so that the drinker feels cordially invited to an electric ladyland of inebriation.

Squeeze Set To Reunite; Can A VHI Tour Sponsorship Be Far Off?

Let's see, there's The Police, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Van Halen, Bad Brains, Dinosaur Jr., Lifetime, Genesis (the really lame trio version, not the kinda lame Peter Gabriel version), The Dismemberment Plan, Rage Against the Machine, Crowded House, Sebadoh, The Toadies, Smashing Pumpkins, Slint, The Pogues, Smoking Popes, The Stooges, Lemonheads, Meat Puppets, and, of course, R.E.M. covering John Lennon with Bill Berry behind the kit.

Tell Winona and Janeane that their gas station favs Squeeze can now be added to that list of recently reunited rock acts. So far, the band's songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are the only members named as taking part in the reunion, which will be the first time they have played together since 1998. They must have been "Tempted" by all the money they would stand to rake in. No? What about: I guess they will be having their "Black Coffee" on tour. Worse, you say? How's this: Another reunion "F or My Heart," this sure will be "Cool For" fans, huh? If someone asked me to go to one of these shows, I would say "Take Me, I'm Yours." Getting me to go would be easier then "Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)." Seriously, that is "No Myth." Oops, that last one is Michael Penn. I apologize for all that, I have a tendency to "Babylon & On." Anyway, the dates only include the U.K. right now, as Universal & Warner will be reissuing the band's music in Britain later this year. The possibility of the band taking the show to any other countries has yet to be confirmed.

The Nation Is Cleaning Up Radio with Eight “Rules of Engagement”: Does Elvis Costello Know About This?

Those of you who have not given up on radio entirely will be happy to read one of the music industry's more pleasant surprises of 2007: The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has united with Entercom, CBS Radio, Citadel, and Clear Channel to create eight voluntary "Rules of Engagement," which in theory will help cut down on scandals of the payola variety, as well as securing more airtime for independent music to be played.

Wait... independent music? As in music "not owned and controlled by a major label, and [whose] market share is not reported by a major label"? According to A2IM's Peter Gordon, as stated in an interview with FMQB, that's exactly what it means. As part of the arrangement, independent music will occupy 8,400 half-hour blocks (a 30% marketshare) to be played between 6 A.M. and midnight. Does this mean you should expect to hear your local top-40 station playing Jandek tunes between traffic and weather updates during your morning commute? Not exactly, though that would be disquietingly awesome. The new regulations will ensure that independent and local artists from all genres, including hip-hop, country, rock, and others, are represented on their respective stations.

Other facets of the agreement include stipulations that "Radio should not be allowed to sell or barter access to its music programmers," that "Radio should not exclude independent promotion companies, as a class, from gaining access to music programmers except for independent promotion companies which are compensated based upon playlist additions," and that "Radio shall not ask for or expect, either directly or indirectly, any quid pro quo to play music." Theoretically, new regulations such as these will create a level playing field on which non-major labels will be able to compete. At this point you might be asking yourself: "Wait, we have to spell this shit out? You mean these haven't been regulations all along?" To which I would say: "Brah, now is not the time." Other rules include disclosure of promotional giveaway recipients by stations and ensuring that stations are properly publicizing procedures for music submissions.

The simple fact that Clear Channel would agree to these rules without a court order instinctively makes this reporter wary of the whole arrangement, yet on the surface, things certainly appear win-win. After all, the arrangement has received enthusiastic support from numerous organizations such as the Future of Music Coalition, The National Academy of Arts & Sciences, and others. To be sure, only time will tell whether or not these new regulations will truly make a significant impact on the musical world; but hey, it's a step in the right direction.

Record Label Founder Founds Record Label Shocker: Sub Pop’s Poneman Launches “Hardly Art”

Jonathan Poneman, co-founder of Seattle's Sub Pop, home of... -- oh, you know -- has juuuuuust announced the launch of his lovely shiny new record label, Hardly Art. Despite being distributed by Sub Pop and Warner's ADA and being based in the same building as his old label, Hardly Art is a completely separate and independent entity. So what makes this one so different, Johnny-Boy? Why don't we go check the press release...

"Building on the tradition of many other record labels, Hardly Art will indeed be focused on offering quality records for people to enjoy."

...Uh-huh. Some, uh, inspiring words there, guys. Real good stuff. Records for people to enjoy? I guess I could get into that.

But what would a record label be without records? Being a seasoned professional, Poneman isn't about to fall into that trap and has an album all ready to go, from local cage fighters and artists Arthur and Yu. Their debut, In Camera, is lined up to be released June 19 and promises to be chock full of all the fuzzy poppy druggy Velvet Undergroundy pop that ze kidz are all into nowadays. Should be worth a pop.

Stunningly, In Camera promises to be divided into ten shorter sections, called "songs" or "tracks." Each of these "tracks" has been given its own title. Now, you probably think this is all a little confusing. But helpfully, Arthur and Yu provided a "list" of the "tracks" -- what they are calling a "tracklisting" -- which we are replicating in full below: