As charming as it is to wonder whether that grating noise you're hearing while riding public transportation is the sound of gears coming loose or the latest 50 Cent ringtone, it seems that cell phone bling just ain't as hip these days. BMI has released projections for ringtone sales in the U.S. for 2007 (at long last!!), and word on the street is that the ringtone market will slip to $550 million, down nearly $50 million from last year.
Now, there're a few salient questions I have in regard to this startling discovery. First of all, do you know what I would do with $550 million in cash? I would wrap it all up tightly and hammer it into the shape of a bed, and then I would sleep in it for three blissful months. Secondly, what would $550 million worth of ringtones sound like if they were all played at once? The answer is something Prurient is currently working on.
Does this mean the end of obnoxious cell phone gimmicks? Are we as a nation moving on to more thoughtful and lasting uses for our money? Richard Conlon, Vice Prez of New Media and Strategic Development at BMI, remains optimistic: "We envision increased revenue opportunity in the streaming sectors of the mobile entertainment market, ranging from ringtones to audiovisual cellular phone TV-style offerings."
Mount Eerie, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone Set To Play Toronto’s Over The Top Festival (For Real This Time, Honest)
Don't you just hate it when perfectly good music magazines make up ridiculous festival lineups, then post their ludicrous claims on the internet? I know! Me too! Well, just for the record, the lovely lads in the lovely Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and the 20-piece orchestra that is Mount Eerie are really set to play at a Toronto's Over The Top Festival, which is happening this year on May 3 - 6. (Scout's honor!)
The festival, which is in its sixth year of operation, will also see performances from such TMT favorites as Michael Gira and Neutral Milk Hotel... no wait, that was a joke; please rescind that last mention. Other performers scheduled to appear (for real this time) are: Daniel Johnston, Matt & Kim, Julie Doiron, Our Brother The Native, Genghis Tron, Yah Mos Def (perhaps my favorite band name on the bill), and Pit Er Pat.
The CBC Radio 3-sponsored event will also feature some live performance art (such as the fascinatingly titled Giant Killer Shark: The Musical) and independent films, such as Jandek - A Duality of Self, Before The Music Dies, and The Guatemalan Handshake. If you're in Toronto, you should consider going! Chances are reasonably good that the festival will be better than reading an April Fool's Joke on an online music magazine.
UPDATE: Sorry everyone, but it looks like Tiny Mix Fest 2007 is not happening anymore. Weirdest thing: all the artists simultaneously dropped out because they realized TMT is full of irresponsible journalists! Okay, enough with the jokes. Truth is, as many of you already know, the fake fest was actually an early April Fool's joke. Thanks everyone for your gracious humor (including the artists who were in on the joke with us), and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might've caused, especially to those of you who had to answer e-mails on our behalf. Although we wish we could blame the holiday, we take full responsibility for our actions. Who knows, maybe if stop fucking around, we'll get a real fest going. Anyway, thanks for reading, and we'll be back Monday with more irresponsible journalism.
Oh, and here's that -- ahem -- "exclusive" NMH track.
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Greetings, TMT readers! We are excited to bring you Tiny Mix Fest, the first event ever sponsored by this piece of the internet. You may have heard about it from other sources beforehand, like this one, for example. I just want to thank Phil personally for making such a cute joke about our abbreviation and the ninja turtles. YEAH WE HAVEN'T HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE THANKS.
You're reading the poster right now, I'm sure, and yes, your Cheerios should be everywhere. The mighty Neutral Milk Hotel, the most indie-celebrated band of the past decade, is reforming to play one of the two days of TMFest in what Jeff has promised will be a one-off gig. (No opening for Pixies on a West Coast trip anytime soon, thank goodness!) We have the date with the Hotelers set, but the other day is being negotiated (read: arm-wrestled for) with the esteemed Triple Rock Social Club in lovely Minneapolis, hence the vague "August 2007" date. Maybe we will just decide to jam the whole month?
And jamming is not all that will be at TMFest. We will have a used book swap, a Slip 'n' Slide (well, Mr P lives a few minutes away, and I'm setting it up in his yard), and Mango Starr. Oh, and merch. You guys love merch, amirite?
Once we announce the dates, tickets will be on sale through Ticketweb. We hope to see you there! One-day passes are $30 each, and two-day passes are $50. We have been putting this together for a while now, and we gotta thank all the killer artists for signing on to what is sure to be one stupid, stupid party. (And no thanks to Jackson Browne for completely blowing us off. Dude must not read his e-mail.)
Oh, and the festival theme?? BALLOONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not really, but bring balloons, please. For me.
ONE MORE THING: Stay tuned later today (hopefully around noon) for an exclusive clip of NMH rehearsing. We just have to figure out how to put an MP3 player on this thing.
Brightblack Morning Light and Matador Continue Offsetting CO2, Must Believe in Global Warming Theory or Something
Spacey (like the sky, man) rockers Brightblack Morning Light, known for their activism, are sure making their left constituents proud lately. For example, there was that "No U.S. Military entities in any form allowed within the event" request in their tour rider. However, this turned out to be a mistake made by their record label, Matador Records; the band actually meant, "No military recruitment for the U.S. Government may be held on site." Sean Hannity did not see the difference.
Now Brightblack Morning Light are trying to help the environment. How, you might ask? By partnering with Matador and TerraPass to offset CO2 emissions from their upcoming Winter Crystal Totem Turr tour. And not just the band's emissions, but also those of fans going to and from the shows, as well as the electricity used to power said shows. That is an estimated 30,000 lbs of CO2 emissions. According to Matador, the "goal is to offset every single ounce."
Here's the deal: every time someone (or something) makes a purchase at Matador's webstore, the label will purchase 50 lbs of CO2 from TerraPass. TerraPass, in return, will match 10% of Matador's contribution. As of March 22, 6,550 lbs of carbon have been offset (see meter to the left).
I, personally, run on hot air and have suddenly run out of steam.
04.17.07 - Denton, TX - Hailey's
04.18.07 - Austin, TX - Emo's
04.19.07 - Houston, TX - Mink
04.20.07 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
04.22.07 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
04.23.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
04.25.07 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
04.26.07 - Bloomington, IN - Landlocked Music
04.27.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
04.30.07 - Buffalo, NY - Soundlab
05.02.07 - Middletown, CT - Eclectic House
05.04.07 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY - Bard College
05.05.07 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
05.06.07 - Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw
05.09.07 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
05.20.07 - Somerset, England - Butlins Minehead (ATP vs. the Fans)
TMT proudly presents Reason #45539202 for The Hold Steady to never tire of those Springsteen cracks!
According to a reliable source, The Hold Steady will be sharing the stage with the likes of M. Ward, Pete Yorn, Badly Drawn Boy, and Babyface (!?) to pay their respects to the Boss himself at the ultra-glam Carnegie Hall in New York City on April 5. Proceeds will benefit the UJA-Federation of NY Initiative Program to Support Music Education for Underprivileged Young People. You heard it here first! The Hold Steady clean up pretty nice AND throw down for the community. No word yet on whether or not I’ll pull a Courtney Cox during “Dancing in the Dark.”
Most of you probably remember the chart scorcher Mo’ Money Mo’ 40z. Self-released in 1998 by the pop-punk band Mest, it included the hits: "Muckaferguson," "Beer" and "R Ska Song." The cover art was probably something worth remembering as well. Naturally, the centerpiece was a forty with the label changed to read the same as the CD title. Stage left had some dolla bills backed by a pair of dice. The ever-present cigarette and ashtray filled stage right, and of course Mest was awarded the highly coveted Parental Advisory label. By 2000, Mest had been picked up by Maverick Records. This label probably pops up quite frequently in your home collection with such artists as Tantric, Story of the Year, and Michelle Branch (A little bit of laughs, a little bit of pain/ I'm tellin' you my babe, it's all in the game of love — oooow woooh. Yeah, I know you’re singing it now). But back to the matter at hand: we all love Mest. The wanna-be SoCo pop-punk band hailing from outside the sunny coast of Chicago made it big time when they signed on Benji Madden (Good Charlotte fame) to guest on the single "Jaded." This could have been a cheap move, trying to bask in Good Charlotte’s light, but Tony Lovato, the lead singer, said otherwise, “The song was going to happen, whether GC had become famous or not.”
GC is now the cool way to address Good Charlotte.
The lifestyle of the rich and famous (eww, sorry but I had to do that), however, caught up to Lovato last week when he went all O.J. Simpson on his ex-girlfriend’s new lover. Police in Los Angeles arrested Lovato Sunday for criminal homicide. Lovato was held on a $1 million bail and had admitted to stabbing Wayne Hughes, 25. The police had been called to the location of the murder once before to settle a dispute between the two, but evidently the second time was the charm, or something like that.
Although murdering someone is never really fun, nor is death a laughing matter, we can safely assume Lovato is pretty psyched to have landed a full-time gig in the big house. Since his band is now defunct and income was most likely unsteady, the guaranteed three meals per day, free clothing, and free shelter probably sound pretty nice. So first, shame on you, Mr. Lovato. Then, mad props for stickin’ it to the system.
I'd really love to know what happened when former Be Your Own Pet drummer Jamin Orral was like, "Guys? I know Thurston Moore thinks we totally kill it, and we get to drink a lot without asking that weird dude outside the convenience store to buy us beer, but... I'm gonna go to Target now. I need a Medusa lamp for my, uh, dorm room. Because... I'm going to college. To drink cheap beer at frat parties."
I'm guessing lead singer Jemina Pearl threw a big bleached-blonde tantrum and the rest of the band stood around looking distinctly underage. Never fear, the new and improved (though slightly grumpy) Be Your Own Pet hit the road in May with Arctic Monkeys, who have perfected their own special brand of British smarminess.
1, 2, 3, scowl!:
Reasons To Hate Lil' John
1) His stupid name.
2) His stupid face.
3) His stupid teeth.
4) His stupid music.
5) He was in Date Movie. You didn't know that, because you didn't see it, but I did. I had to. And he was in it. So I hate him more.
6) He's now a holder of a Guinness World Record.
Opened orphanages and hospices in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Shouts "HEYYYYYYY!" a lot.
Lived in poverty her entire life so that she could help those in need.
Shouts "YEEYYYAAAAAH!" a lot.
Beatified by Jean-Paul II in 2003.
Shouts "HEYYYYYYYY!" some more.
0 Guinness World Records
1 Guinness World Record
Lil' John now holds the record for -- ahem -- the largest pendant in the world. It is, apparently, 34.4 ounces in weight, 7.5 inches long, and 6 inches wide, set in white and yellow gold, and with a total stone count of 3,756 white diamonds. And what does this $500,000 monstrosity look like? What message does it hold? I was guessing "HEEYYYYYYYY!" maybe. Or possibly "YEEYYAAAAAH!" Or p'raps "HEEEYYYYYY! YEEEYAAAAAAHH!" -- I can't imagine "HEEEEEYYYYYY!" on its own taking up any more than 2,000 diamonds and 15 ounces of gold. But, no, Lil' John went for something a little more sophisticated.
"CRUNK'S NOT DEAD."
You sure? You absolutely positive? Because I think that if it wasn't before, it fucking well is now. Congratulations: here's the Nunpuncher World Record for most ironic pendant. You just killed crunk with the monumental, continent-shattering lameness of your neck furniture. You just killed hip-hop. In fact, fuck that -- you just killed music. That's it. It's dead. Go home.
7) His stupid goblets.
Billy Dill-Dill: Booo-hoo-hoo-hooooooooo... [sobs, sniffing noises, honking-on-hanky sounds, unintelligible mumbling, baby talk, more sniffing sounds, eye-wiping]
Granthegumshoe: [speaking in a condescending voice one might use to talk to a toddler] Hey, what's wrong Billy Dill-Dill?
Billy Dill-Dill: Well two more wet sniffs, one last gargantuan honk on hanky], I just bought [The Psychic Paramount's Live 2002: The Franco-Italian Tour CD (TMT Review) and there's something wrong with it. [voice quavering, cracking, breaking] Every time I... [another honk; thought he was done!] Every time I play it there's this weird distortion sound and way too much bass. I don't know if it's a defective disc or if I need new speakers, but I feel like I've nowhere to turn.
Granthegumshoe: Awww, that's so cute! [slap Billy's bum, pinch his nose, ruffle his hair] Don't worry young lad, the "defective disc" you speak of is actually working perfectly. You see, sometimes when a band really loves its listeners it wants to show its listeners just how much it loves them...
Billy Dill-Dill: [looking impatient] Hey, aren't you supposed to refer to bands plurally?
Granthegumshoe: FUCK YOU!!! ALWAYS INTERRUPTING ME EVERY TIME I TRY TO HELP YOU! DON'T YOU WANT TO LEARN? DON'T YOU WANT TO LEARN THE WAYS OF THE WORLD? THE BIRDS AND THE BEES? THAT KIND OF THING?
Billy Dill-Dill: So-rry.
Granthegumshoe: Okay then. Now, as I was saying, when a band really loves their listeners they want to show their listeners just how much they love them; they want to be as close to their listeners as they possibly can, and kissing can only take you so far. That's why bands sometimes release live albums that sound like total shit. They want you to feel like you were there. So, you see little Billy Dill-Dill, you don't have a defective CD at all! In fact, you might say your CD works even better than most!!! Besides, they're planning to release a new studio album on No Quarter in the fall of this year. Does that help?
Billy Dill-Dill: Wow! Thanks Grantie, I feel a whole lot better! Sometimes I just get scared, you know?
Granthegumshoe: Well you should be scared, Billy. Sure, your CD isn't defective, but your daddy's an unemployed alcoholic and your mommy is making boom-boom with the mailman. In fact, the mailman's actually your daddy and everyone in town knows. They all snicker and point at you when you're not looking; in fact, I'm pretty sure no one likes you. [pull up cuff of sleeve, look at watch, grimace] Ooh, looks like I gotta go! See you around fatty!
Billy Dill-Dill: WAHAHAHAHAAAAAAH, booo-hoo-hoo-hooooooooo... [sobs, sniffing noises, honking-on-hanky sounds, unintelligible mumbling, baby talk, more sniffing sounds, eye-wiping]
You might see your friendly -- and sexy -- neighborhood mailman at one of these tourdates:
All dates with Trans Am and Zombi
According to the Cuban state radio, Buena Vista Social Club member Faustino Oramas passed away yesterday in a hospital in Holguin, his hometown, after an extended battle with liver cancer. Reports state his age as being 95, though some claim that he was older. The former troubadour joins the ranks of outstanding Social Club members who are now no longer with us.
The singer spent much of his career known as "El Guayabero," named after a town where he got in trouble for flirting with a married woman. His love of erotic themes penetrated much of his work. He was also a master of the 'son,' a particular flavor of Cuban music, known for its structures and rhythmic properties, which is celebrated throughout the Buena Vista Social Club album. His sense of fun and irony will be missed.
So make sure you add "Candela" to your next mixtape in honor of him, okay, fellow music fans?