What a great month to be from the Atlanta area -- not only are these living saints trying to break off from the rest of Atlanta to form an independent country (which they will name "Milton County"), but, on January 17, DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon were arrested for making mix tapes.
MAKING MIX TAPES. Not only were they arrested (for making mix tapes), but 17 others were detained in connection with the arrest, which, incidentally, was made due to reports that the DJs had in fact been making mix tapes. These mix tapes (that the two men were arrested for) were made from music given to them by record companies, and was in no way a direct burn-and-sell operation.
In lieu of a quote-by-quote mockery of other statements from officers who were involved with the arrests and seizures, I'll post a link to the news report, which shows video of the Aphilliates recording studio being raided, in confiscations which included over 50,000 CDs, money, bank statements, posters, musical equipment, and cars. As an added bonus, you can watch an official for the RIAA (an organization which received a rare "5/5" in the Tiniest Boners of the Year TMT year-end feature) spout statistics about how "counterfeit" CD distributors can make up to 900% profit (which Drama and Cannon didn't) and how it is not uncommon for counterfeit CD distributors to be connected with drug and weapon sales (which Drama and Cannon aren't).
What does this mean for a website with the phrase "Mix Tape" (by the way, our Automatic Mix Tape Generator is back up) in the title? It wouldn't hurt to think up some alternate titles and even formats to avoid an RIAA bust of our own. But since it would be too much of a hassle to go back and change the initials every time "TMT" was used in the body of an archived article, we might have to switch to something that keeps the same initials but is politically friendly towards RIAA and related groups. Possibilities include:
The Microphone Titans (Hip-Hop)
Totally Metal Tales (Metal)
Thoroughly Moving Tailfeathers (Pop)
True Man's Tractor (Country)
Tickle My Testicles (Current Version)
Twenty-one Means Twenty-one (Dedicated to Stephen Baldwin's Clothing Line With the Guy From Korn)
Tough Meat Times (Alt-Rock)
...And so on and so forth.
Once again, all of this is due to two people making mix tapes.
I'm drunk, which is why it's a good time to write about the Thrones/Growing tour, which also apparently features Wolf Eyes on same dates. But I acstuallyu should've started this like an hour ago. I wa s much more drunk!! But now it's too late. I had this sweet cajun burger and shoestring fries with lotsa beer. it was grea,t but i felt kinda sick afteward. Now i'm writing this story, trying to salvage what drunkness i can. It' skinda pathetic. (Even more pathetic that this'll actually get published!! i feel like i could write anything, like that Merzbow story. I'm kinda undermining the editorial staff aren't i?)
So yo yo there's a story I sholud be talking about, and it's the story of Thrones. It's also the story of Growing. Together, they are growing thorns that attack as you sleep! Oh my god, look out brother!! AHHH!!! What's with the nane Wofl Eyes anyway? Cnat' tell if it's supposed to be a tounge-in-cheek name or if they actually they think it's a cool name. Honestly, i think it's one of the worst names EVER. But fuck it. Your name sucks too. What is it, Steve? Lame.
I'm tired. Okahy, next time i'm going to get reaaaaally drunk, and i'll hvae some other staffers get drunk with me. And we'll have a day of drunk news stories! what do you think readers!? funny or hwat?! Maybe it's a waste of time. Mabye writing about music is a waste of time. JK dude!! Hmm, i should end this with some kind of joke... let's see. .................. . . . . . . . ok. Got one.
Q: What's green and whistles when it walks?
A: Bloc Party.
Wait, tha'ts not funny. And it doen'st make sense. Okay, here's another one:
Q: How can you tell a penis from your palm?
A: Bloc Party.
[Music stops, audience applauds]
Wow! What an audience tonight, you guys are all right! We've got a great show, great show for everyone tonight! Okay, everyone settle down. Settle down, indoor voices. Actually, you know, why doesn't everyone just shut up?
I'm serious. I'm not shouting over you, not again. You want these jokes? I'm not up here whistling dixie, let's get our acts together.
[Silence, man coughs]
Hey! But let's have some fun! Right Mark?
[Band leader laughs and nods]
Okay, quiet fun... So Congress is in the news and -- no, this doesn't feel right. It's not going to be funny now. I, I, I blame you. Yeah, some audience. I wanted to come out here, tell you some jokes, but obviously you didn't want that, did you? I do this every night, no one's ever had a problem. Last night, the fabulous Mariska Hargitay was on from Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday nights at 10/9 central on NBC; she told a delightful story about dealing with her kids, and that audience didn't fly off the handle!
Look, okay, let's just get through this. I know it's not going to be funny now, but whatever. I don't even really remember it now, but fine. You don't even deserve the punchline anyway.
So Congress is in the news. It's true. They just passed a non-binding resolution against President Bush's troop surge. The President responded by, uh, he said... this is what he said, he goes, "No binding, that's going to fall apart just like my planned troop surge!" That's uh, dammit.
[Rim shot, audience boos]
Oh screw you! You had to be there, okay? It was funny if you saw it! It's your fault. Don't like the joke, it's on your heads. Yeah, fine, let's take these idiots to commercial. But hey! We've got a wonderful show for you tonight! Ernest Borgnine is here for some reason, as is Julianne Moore. Later, indie-folk-man wordsmith Richard Buckner is here to play for you and talk about his recent album Meadow. You can catch him on tour next month starting right here in New York.
We'll be right back:
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I Guess LCD Soundsystem Will Just Have To Learn To Be Satisfied With The Sound Of Silver, But Seriously, Guys, Let?s Shoot For The Sound Of Gold Next Time
Alright, listen up! James Murphy (you know, the guy from DFA that made it cool for uncool people to dance, which made it cool, I think? Has someone got a flowchart?) has stuffed the new LCD Soundsystem LP firmly into his release tube and is ready to fire it all over the world. Ooh, I'm so excited just thinking about it!
Recorded at a farm in New York, The Sound of Silver apparently finds LCD Soundsystem further expanding their sonic palette, taking their experimental impulses to wild new places, but also firmly establishing themselves as a singularly great pop group. Here, pulsing beats, abstract funk, crystal melodies, and towering walls of sound combine to create a sound genuinely like no other. Alright, I got that bit off the press release. Sue me. It features performances from the LCD Soundsystem live members, including Pat Mahoney, Tyler Pope, and Nancy Wh?
I can do this! I can do this.
Nancy Whang. There you go.
Clever lead-in joke to the tracklisting:
Glasses Are Useful, A Short Play by Heidi Vanderslice (Alternate Title: The Constantines Are, Like, Touring or Something)
Setting: The Warsaw Club, Brooklyn, watching The Constantines
Characters: Myself, my +1 Jess
Jess [surveying the stage]: Where's the cute one? Where'd he go?
HV: Jess, they're twins.
Jess: No, they're not. No, they're not. That one's cuter.
HV: He can't be cuter. They're twins. [starting to feel like she's in the Chris Kattan/Jimmy Fallon SNL sketch where they score dates with twins, and the Rachel Dratch twin has a baby doll arm growing out of her head]
Jess: Hey, little dude, I swear, I like that one better.
HV: [gesturing wildly] You're not wearing any fucking glasses!
Jess: Yes, I am. Oh. No, I'm not. Fine. [Puts on her glasses] Oh. They're both pretty cute. [Pointing at stage] Heyyy! Heyyy.
HV: I need another drink.
Brooklyn Lager goes well with these dates, but you might have troubles finding it, eh?:
Please don't run away:
Rough Trade! Beggars Group! Tommy Boy! Ministry Of Sound! Epitaph! Cooking Vinyl! With Your Powers Combined… I AM MERLIN!!!
This past weekend, at the yearly, international MidemNet music marketing forum, a new mega-superhero was born. Near the sunny beaches of Cannes, the world caught its first glimpse of the mysterious being known as Merlin. Uniting some of the most formidable independent labels in the music world, the London-based organization will combine the special powers of each affiliated record company to form a whole far more fearsome than the sum of its parts.
Meet the Recordteers:
- Rough Trade... packing the punch of tight pants-wearing Eurotrash everywhere!
- Beggars Group... encompassing every hip record label ever to exist!
- Tommy Boy... bridging the gap between classics like De La Soul and crap like Jock Jams within a single roster!
- Ministry of Sound... clinging bravely to extinct genres of electronic music with the strength of 10 DJs!
- Epitaph... providing the soundtrack to half-assed adolescent rebellion throughout suburbs everyhere!
- Cooking Vinyl... housing bands like Hanson and The Prodigy, who might as well have stopped existing 10 years ago!
Apparently when all six labels put their unique rings (Epitaph's has a li'l spike on it; Tommy Boy's is predictably iced out) together, a big green dude in tights flies out of them. That's Merlin, and he works to even the playing field for (large, successful) independent labels! Dubbed the fifth major and helmed by Chris Caldas, Merlin will represent the companies in digital licensing deals. He's already made friends with SNOCAP -- which is not a new club drug endorsed by those crazy Ministry of Sound kids. It's actually the company that represents MySpace, and the deal will give Merlin artists access to partnerships with the social networking site and other, less important Snocap partners.
Label reps leaving MidemNet were quoted as singing:
Fuckin' Merlin, he's our hero,
Gonna take the majors down to zero,
He's our rosters magnified,
And he's fighting on the indie side!
Hear what Merlin has to say:
"THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL LICENSING AND OTHER BUSINESS SHIT IS YOURS!!!"
I am looking out my window right now at one of the busiest intersections in the city. I see 12 cars in two left-hand turning lanes waiting for the light to flash green. I count only four with turn signals blinking in wait. Deep down, I think these non-signalers believe they are being a little rebellious in their driving. Can I be witnessing the start of a revolt against the rules of the road? Will this lead to a complete abolition of traffic restrictions, by-laws, and warnings and the beginning of a more humane relationship between drivers and pedestrians, where slowing down is natural and traveling by motor vehicle will require a new set of communication aides using eye contact, nods, gestures, and (seriously) kindness? Could traffic be our new target of "the war on...," like drugs or obesity or jealousy before it? Have I had too much coffee this morning?
History's political revolutionaries (and perhaps traffic pioneers too... I really don't know) are much more lauded than their musician equivalents. But sure enough, these freedom fighters exist and are carrying out their subversive missions right under our noses to little acclaim from society at large.
Canada's leading electronic hell-raiser Tim Hecker has quietly shown himself to be a realistic rebel with release after release of disorienting abstract and ambient sounds. They may not be the equal to those of grand radicals such as Moses, Robespierre, Jefferson, Bonaparte, Gandhi, Lenin, Tse-tung, Perro, and the like, nor are they like the cities of Ejby in Denmark, Ipswich in England, and Ostende in Belgium, which have implemented some of the "traffic calming" practices described above, but Hecker's efforts have effectively constructed change and spread basic truths throughout the musical word, and that's not something to scoff at.
It's small-scale stuff, but it's a hell of a lot more than the do-nothings do! Montréal label Alien8 Recordings is re-releasing Hecker's 2003 super-acclaimed-but-long-out-of-print set Radio Amor today. Growing stature and popular demand would dictate an expanded deluxe reissue, but Radio Amor will appear without any bells or whistles, buttons, or lick-me temporary tattoos. Nope, it is just the wonderful album now made more readily available for fans and friends to reacquaint themselves with and for new audiences to discover.
Hecker does perform live from time to time, but it is a rare treat. Rumor has it that there will be a show in April at Tonic in NYC featuring Hecker with fellow revolutionary forces Phill Niblock and Mario Diaz de León. Best keep your eyes peeled for details and date.
Radio Amor, again:
1. Song of the Highwire Shrimper
2. (They call me) Jimmy
4. I'm Transmitting Tonight
5. 7000 Miles
6. Shipyards of la Ceiba
7. Careless Whispers
8. The Star Compass
9. Azure Azure
10. Trade Winds, White Heat