The wall featured in the background of Elliott Smith's Figure 8 album cover is actually part of a building that houses an electronics store called Solutions, located in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Since Smith's 2003 suicide, the wall has transformed into a memorial to the songwriter, covered with scrawls bearing messages and poems. This past summer, however, an exemplary specimen of the human race decided his "artwork" was more worthy of the wall, obscuring the top half of the memorial with blue spray paint. Not long after, another aspiring artist decided that large bubble letters were the extra touch the wall needed, essentially ruining the memorial. What's next, a touch-up on the John Lennon wall in Prague?
A group of fans restored the wall this week, but all of the previous messages written to Smith have been lost. The owner of Solutions, Stephon Lew, is planning to create a monument in memoriam to Smith, following the original artistic theme of the wall:
These are my dreams: I plan to place an electronic object of importance….a 5 foot 7 inch tall monument (of Elliott’s size--with two loudspeakers at the base of the monument to represent his two big shoes) formed from crushed electronics parts---to play and to identify Elliott’s musical influences (Elliott’s hobby, I hear, was to experiment with electronics to make music tone)---to have the monument--emanate new energy and the many solutions that music can provide.
Listener supported radio WFMU calls it their 50th anniversary pledge drive, I call it a karaoke wet dream. Let us rejoice in an event that's primarily about you, your radio, and Yo La Tengo ruining your favorite songs over and over again.
Since 1996, Yo La Tengo and the gang have been taking pledger's requests and hurling themselves headfirst into reckless covers, a phenomenon immortalized in the group's 1996-2003 compilation Yo La Tengo Is Murdering The Classics, released on their own label Egon and available here.
While past WFMU pledge drive events have included DJs setting themselves on fire, self-inducing sickness on junk food, and getting Eagles tattoos, Yo La Tengo is hands down the highlight of the annual pledge-drive marathon. It's all for the cause.
Shh shh shhhhhh. No words. Just emotions.
This Sunday, March 2, on WFMU with hosts Gaylord Fields and Bob Brainen, 5-8 PM Eastern time. Stream it if you got it.
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Water Curses EP, to be released on Domino May 6:
* Kria Brekkan
[Photo: Adriano Fegundes]
Here at TMT, I am like the guy who sleeps on the couch and puts in little input. I don't even pay rent. Actually, I'm writing this right now in my Little Bill pajamas at the TMT offices in Brooklyn. As I twirl my hair with my grotesquely long penis*, I am thinking of what would make an article about M83 special.
I mean, what could I possibly say about M83, a.k.a. Anthony Gonzales, that hasn't been said before?
I could do the meticulous routine of mentioning that M83's fifth studio album Saturdays = Youth will be released April 15, and a U.S. tour will start five days after the release, beginning in Los Angeles.
I could make up a false, humorless story about how I am pissed that Gonzales stole his new album's title from me. I had a similar title for the first LP from my imaginary band, Pelvis Pressley, entitled Saturdays = Sodomy.**
I could try to write about a true life event that has absolutely nothing to do with the news article. For instance:
I had a dream last night I was at a night class for mentally handicapped newswriters. The teacher told a long story about how surfers sometimes have "maggot nests" attached to the ends of their boards. The teacher then told me to look up at the ceiling. I tried to look, but my head wouldn't move. I slapped my thigh, as it felt like there was a bug sucking the blood out of me. I woke up and found no bugs. I called cousin Dirk and told him about the dream because he is an avid surfer. He said that my dream was ridiculous, and then he told me he was busy visiting his girlfriend's family in Michigan. He said they lived right off of route M-83. I said, "Whoa!"***
Saturdays = Youth was produced by Ken Thomas and co-produced by Anthony Gonzales and Ewan Pearson. The single "Couleurs" was released February 26, with a remix by Jori Hulkkonen.****
* I always have to unnecessarily mention some form of the male anatomy in a news article.
** I commonly make up false stories that often result in a lame anecdote about butt sex.
*** I tend to turn my TMT articles into my own personal, "Who Give a Shit?" diary, where I try to resolve the story around the band. In this case, M83 is named after the planet, not the highway.
**** I vaguely remember what I was writing about in the first place, so I end with a couple of facts, and then I cry myself to sleep next an oiled-up and nude Mr P.
M83, you slay me -- tourdates:
A conversation between Giant and Karl Blau from November 2007:
Giant: I will tell you three things. If I tell them to you, and they come true, then will you believe me?
Karl Blau: Who's that?
Giant: Think of me as a friend.
Karl Blau: Where do you come from?
Giant: The question is, where have you gone?
The first thing I will tell you is: Shell Collection, your out-of-print Knw-Yr-Own release from 1997, is being reissued on deluxe vinyl because of an internet petition. You will request black and white drawings of shells to be included in the album's artwork. You will set the deadline for March 31.
Karl Blau: Shell Collection...
Giant: The second thing is: You released an album titled AM on Kelp! Monthly (issue #16) in 2005. On March 18, 2008, you will release a re-recorded, remixed, and re-sequenced version of AM on Whistler Records.
The third thing is: without chemicals, he points.
Karl Blau: Huh?
Giant: You have a tentatively titled album Nature's Got A Way to release in demo form again on Kelp!. You will release a new version of it on K Records late 2008 or early 2009.
Karl Blau: What do these mean?
Giant: This is all I'm permitted to say. Give me your ring. I will return it to you when you find these things to be true. We want to help you.
Karl Blau: Who's "we"?
Giant: One last thing: Leo locked inside a hungry horse. There is a clue at Leo's house. You will require medical attention.
Karl Blau: Uh... could you PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!?
Remember that news post you read a few days ago about Maxim publishing a review of the new Black Crowes album, Warpaint, after only listening to one song?
Well, according to The New York Post, it has happened again. This time, rapper Nas is claiming that Maxim published a review of his new album, Nigger, when he’s not even finished recording it yet! Yes, that’s right, kids; it appears that Maxim are such a superior magazine that they don’t even need to listen to singles any more to write “educated guess preview reviews” (as in the Black Crowes case). Nope, Maxim is so forward-thinking that they know what an album is going to sound like before they even hear a single note! It seems that their ESP skills were only strong enough to earn Nas two-and-a-half stars out of five.
The good news, though? Nas could really care less: "I'd prefer [a review from] Playboy," the rapper said to The New York Post. "That kind of stuff doesn't reach my radar or affect anybody around me. I don't know what a music rating from Maxim is... I don't know what it even means really."
In the meantime, look for real reviews of Nas’ new album Nigger around its release date April 22, and amuse yourself by watching dumb CNN newscasters try to make sense of The Black Crowes debacle.
From Buddy Miles' official website:
"It is with tremendous sadness that we must share with all Buddy's fans around the world that Buddy passed away peacefully and quietly at his home last night (Tuesday, February 26, 2008) in Austin, Texas surrounded by his family. Buddy will be greatly missed as a wonderful person and as a truly gifted musician who gave so much to so many through the years.
The family ask for your prayers and that you respect their privacy. A tribute show will be announced within a short period of time and all are welcome to come and share in the magic that was Buddy Miles.
Fans, friends and family will all join in a celebration of the life and music of this talented and big hearted musician, so we hope everyone can be a part of this fond farewell.
God Bless each of you, Buddy truly appreciated EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU."
Herbie Hancock’s Grammy Win Boosts Sales 967%; Adults to Kids: “Can You Put This On My IPod Nano For Me?”
Proving once again that our parents will damn-well like whatever the fuck CBS tells them to like, thousands upon thousands of our otherwise apathetic moms and step dads haplessly descended upon Target and Wal-Mart stores everywhere following the 2008 Grammy Album of the Year win of Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters to purchase their first non-holiday-themed record in years.
And now, in addition to feeling self-satisfied at the prospects of (a) being able to tell their friends at work that they "like some jazz" and (B) finally feeling justifiably "non-racist" for officially owning a contemporary black musician's record, our parents can add yet another fine statistical feather to the cap of their collective purchasing power.
Yes, believe it or not, all of these latent, Grammy-fueled purchases have bumped sales of River up a whopping 967%, earning the aging jazz-ster a #5 spot on the equally taste-reactive "Billboard 200" chart. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, #5 is actually Hancock's highest chart spot ever in his illustrious career, despite what you may recall about how insanely awesome of a song "Rockit" was.
So, there you have it, dear readers. Behold the power of the Recording Academy! Gee, I'm glad that I don't just buy into whatever some faceless organization tells me to solely on the basis of their manufactured authority. No sir! I listen to real music and make my own decisions, thank you very much.
Oh, speaking of which, the new Beach House album just made Pitchfork's "Best New Music." I wonder if it's on iTunes...
For once (and I mean only once, so savor this), I have essentially nothing snarky to say about this bit of news. I could crack a few Woody Allen jokes or snark about Art Garfunkel's comparably less-than-stellar solo career, or even make such unfounded claims as "Grizzly Bear are totes pigeonholing themselves by associating with an old folkie like Paul Simon," but it's not happening. Oh God. I'll be sacked, not unlike Bridget Jones.
Let's not make this more awkward than necessary. Grizzly Bear should be feeling pretty great right about now, being as their Paul Simon stint is prefaced with a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, supported by the LA Philharmonic. That's right, a big ol' coat-and-tails, tuba-toting, Tchaikovsky-loving outfit is supporting Grizzly Bear. Orchestras just got way cooler in your book (they were already way up there in mine).
A mere month later, it's off to the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Gilman Opera House to backup Paul Simon in the final installment of his BAM residency. The Bear-friendly portion is entitled "American Tunes," which promises to feature songs from the more well-known portions of Simon's discography. Additional supporting acts include The Roches and Olu Dara. Call it cliché, but a Grizzly Bear-powered rendition of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"? Again, the jibe fails me, and you know it would be fantastic. I don't care if it's in Brooklyn, the breeding ground of disaffected humor... and inexplicably, beards.
I'm sorry honey, not tonight:
* LA Philharmonic
** Paul Simon, Olu Dara, The Roches
Pack Up Your Troubles in an Old Kit Bag and Tour, Tour, Tour; Hair Police Announce First Stateside Tour in Almost Two Years
3:00 PM on February 26 marked the NHL's trade deadline for the 2007/2008 season. For players dealt by their teams to others, it is the chance of a lifetime to angrily uproot their family, making sure their spouses are nervous newbies in the neighborhood and their kids are the picked-upon students at a new school, all in the hopes of perhaps making it past Round 1 in the post-season playoffs. While some significant trades had already been made prior to “deadline day,” most of the real action was on the 26th itself. The day started slowly, with scores of retired players stupidly standing around sports station studios looking at their blueberries every few seconds hoping to break a deal. As the deadline loomed ever so closely, trades began to flow like so much pre-game crude steroid mixtures, game-time blood and sweat, and post-game roofie cocktails at Skip ‘n’ Jacks Bar and Grill.
Obviously, there is nothing more we like doing than reporting non-music news on a music news site, so here are the biggest deadline day hockey moves according to TMT central dispatch. And because Canadians already have every deal memorized and Americans couldn't give a toss, we'll include news of a Hair Police tour too!.
- Los Angeles Kings deal D Brad Stuart to Detroit Red Wings for a 2nd round pick in 2008 and a 4th round pick in 2009.
- San Jose Sharks acquire D Brian Campbell from Buffalo Sabres for RW Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick in 2008.
- Atlanta Thrashers RWs Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis traded to Pittsburgh Penguins for RW Colby Armstrong, C Erik Christensen, C Angelo Esposito, and a 2008 1st round pick.
- Hair Police announce "Our Minds Problems" North American tour. New album The Empty Quarter out now on Harbinger Sound, coming soon on LP via Troubleman Unlimited. As-yet untitled album forthcoming on No Fun Productions. West Coast dates expected in July and August
03.06.08 - Lexington, KY - Buster's $
03.07.08 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Roboto Project #
03.08.08 - New York, NY - Club Midway %
03.09.08 - New Haven, CT - BAR w/ Sickness
03.10.08 - Providence, RI - Cat's Riot Hall/Hilarious Attic @
03.11.08 - Amherst, MA - Hampshire College Red Barn ^
03.12.08 - Boston, MA - Piano Craft Guild !
03.13.08 - Montréal, Quebec - Zoobizarre *
03.14.08 - Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's &
03.15.08 - Ann Arbor, MI - Halfway Inn (
$ Handicapper Horns, Caboladies, Wretched Worst
# Mike Tamburo, Slices, Cock Scene Investigator
% Kites, Carlos Giffoni, Halflings
^ Mirror/Dash, Paul Flaherty/Noise Nomads, Mouthus/Axolotl
@ Kites, Mudboy, Mouthus/Axolotl
! Heathen Shame, Craniopagus
* Yomul Yuk, Thames
( Dead Machines, Hive Mind
& Gastric Female Reflex, Disguises, Fossils
- Tampa Bay Lightning ship C Brad Richards and G Johan Holmqvist to Dallas Stars for G Mike Smith, LW Jussi Jokinen, C Jeff Halpern, and a 4th round pick at the 2009 entry draft.
- Montréal Canadiens trade G Cristobal Huet to Washington Capitals for 2nd round 2008 pick.