When N*Sync said "bye, bye, bye" to the shackles of the greedy management that held them down, the world listened, and No Strings Attached went on to sell nearly 15 million copies. In a more indie-centric example, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah skipped the label process completely during their initial explosion, instead riding the internet tidal-wave that accompanied their self-titled debut. But the latter example just seems like so much work! Doesn't that take dedication, some sliver of uniqueness, real word-of-mouth, and even some skill? It is so much easier to just be content as the dummy while some dollar-brained "ventriloquist" sticks his hand up your backside, not only pulling the strings, but framing your lies, moving your mouth for you. After all, the bigwigs know exactly when and what the public will lap up like slobbering dogs eager for their next sip.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the girl behind the latest YouTube explosion may not be as DIY as she once appeared. Marié Digby, whose cover of Rihanna's smash "Umbrella" has been featured on MTV, appeared just another viral multimedia meme with her grainy, homemade renditions of popular tunes. The press release for her "recent" signing to Disney's Hollywood Records even touted her as a "YouTube Phenomenon." But after a little bit of muckraking, it has been revealed that Digby was actually signed by Hollywood in 2005, a year-and-a-half before her videos hit big. Hollywood Records purchased Digby's computer and software and allowed her to leave her MySpace reading "Type of Label: None," all the while Digby was telling audiences "I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" as per the WSJ.
The stunt is an arrogant attempt by the mainstream to co-opt and manipulate the ease and arbitrary nature of viral hype that the internet has beget with more and more frequency in recent years. With News Corp.'s purchase of MySpace and Google's purchase of YouTube, it is no secret that the corporate world sees the same contagiousness on the web that each site's respective users do. Unfortunately, they feel the need to undermine the entire system, slapping ads on every blank space and feigning struggle for their artists. But here's a thought: maybe if Disney put as much creativity directly into their projects as they do into their lies, they wouldn't have to rely on faking credibility or creating hype through devious means.
The Road to Recovery Starts with Arthur & Yu Touring the World (The United States & Japan) in a Matter of Minutes (Months)
Arthur & Yu were the first band to sign to Sub Pop subsidiary label Hardly Art, and they will also be known as the first band named Arthur & Yu to impregnate fine U.S. cities with their gravitational melodies.
With that said, my friend woke me up at 7:15 A.M. this morning to tell me he was "Messed up, man." I called him back later to tell him I was going to kick his ass next time I saw him. He said he was sorry, and that no intervention would change his hollow ways. So, I invited him to see Arthur & Yu in Chicago with me. Having always been a fan of simplistic music with interchangeable male and female vocals and soft rhythms guided by the flute, he said he was "down with it." I told him I'd buy his ticket and it would be a great time. He said, "I'm bringing lots of drugs."
Thus: I really wish I could see Arthur & Yu during their fall tour, but the truth is I'll be setting up an impactful intervention for my muscular friend (think Benicio del Toro with huge pecks). This fall, many tears will be shed, but it will be a time for change. I allow Arthur & Yu to play the soundtrack to my life as I potentially fail in "cleaning up" my friend and learn to shoot up, break down, snort, sniff, digest, smoke, blow, suck, lick, fuck, chew, and stick objects up my ass that I never thought I would. In five months, Emceegreg will be at the finest rehab clinic that TMT can afford (a.k.a. M. P's shower). [Editor's note: bring your own shampoo, boy.]
Laura Veirs Tours With The Decemberists, and I’m Uneasy About Making a Joke Because Her Music Is Just So Damn Innocent
Go on, just try and make a joke regarding Laura Veirs. If you do end up making a funny about her, then you're an asshole. That's right, you're a fucking asshole if you can't take Laura Veirs seriously. Homegirl is crazy talented and makes some beautiful music. Don't even call her out on her education either. She's fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has a degree in Geology. Also, don't even attempt to say that she's not musically versatile or active in supporting her gender either 'cause Laura soooo totally started an all-girl punk rock band called "Rair Kx!" when she was in college. Did you start one? Didn't think so.
Alright, I guess I could make fun of her for camping a lot with her family when she was younger. Come on, you can't get much lamer than that. I usually spend my summers inside being antisocial and playing video games, and look at me, I'm totally fine.
Catch the nicest and sweetest artist in the industry making magic with Colin Meloy and the gang at these dates:
* The Decemberists
Midwest Punk Rock Ethos Swarms Through Your Area with The Lawrence Arms (Ostensibly To Cause Mass Hysteria)
The Lawrence Arms will be touring with their own side-projects, The Falcon and Sundowner, in the "8th Annual Unbelievable Self-Indulgence Fest" for a punk rock explo... What. Yes, I know this isn't punknews.org.
What do you mean? Yes, it's Midwestern punk rock... but... they're all literary... and stuff.
You guys like that, right?
Ever read Bulgakov's Master and Margarita? So did they... they based an album on it!
I bet they can hang with Dostoevsky too. You consider yourself deeply spiritually troubled like Ivan Karamazov, right? You can probably find solace in their music!
See, you guys already have so much in common!
Look at how well this is going... you'll be in a circle pit before you know it.
What? Yes, there's a little bit of yelling... but so what?
No... no there are no synths... or unnecessarily complex... WHAT?
I mean. It's... No, they're not ironic...
What do you mean scene cred?
YOU CAN WEAR TIGHT JEANS AND ENJOY THE CRUNCHY GROOVES OF JUSTICE WHILE STILL LISTENING TO THEM.
THE LARRY ARMS ARE COOL! TOURING WITH YOUR OWN SIDE PROJECTS IS COOLER!
YES, I do agree that Dan Bejar is phenomenal at linking words together.
That's unrelated. WHEN DID I SAY THAT IF I LISTENED TO MIDWESTERN MUSIC I HATED PAVEMENT?
I DON'T EVEN GET HOW THOSE RELATE.
YES, I LOVE STEPHEN MALKMUS. I KNOW. HIS INDIFFERENCE ON STAGE IS FASCINATING.
I MEAN THAT'S WHAT THE LAWRENCE ARMS DO ,TOO. DESTROY THINGS. GET DRUNK.
THAT'S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.
YES ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS A FUNNY SHOW.
I KNOW. DAVID LYNCH IS FASCINATING AND INTRICATE. I GET IT.
I DONT CARE THAT YOU SAW WILL OLDHAM BEFORE HE WAS BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY AND THAT YOU UNIRONICALLY ENJOY MAINSTREAM RAP.
I LIKE EVERYONE'S EARLIER STUFF BETTER AS WELL... I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY HERE.
I CAN STILL LIKE A PUNK ROCK BAND
*All supported by American Steel
A. Sunglasses, the very same pair he wore when he had sex with rock critic Robert Christgau.
B. "I want the bomb/ I want the chronic/ I gots to get fucked up." - "The Roach," Dr. Dre
C. Used condom, post-Lydia Lunch.
E. BiC ® .5mm Mechanical Pencil with Color Rubber Grip. Fun fact: Chance prefers pencils over pens.
F. Aerosol hairspray product, in order to achieve his beautiful coif. When asked whether he'd consider switching out of aerosol for environmental reasons, Chance quipped, "I will, once you sell your car."
G. Bottle of holy water with "X"s on it.
H. Burger King DOUBLE WHOPPER® (without cheese; Chance has high blood pressure).
I. Mahjong tile, in case that specific piece is missing should he ever find himself in an underground basement in Chinatown with a bunch of old Chinese people. "Hey, you never know," said Chance to Time Magazine writer Susan Schultz.
J. Lit cigarette.
K. CD version of Ornette!.
L. Vase from Weasel Walter, sent through USPS, First-Class Parcel with Signature Confirmation. Chance wasn't actually home when the package arrived, so the mail carrier instead forged Chance's signature on the 3489 form (those little pink slips) and scanned it as if he had, and then clumsily plopped the package in a shaded area on Chance's front porch. Luckily, no damage was done to the vase, but Chance was initially worried when he saw the package was slightly damaged due to the rough handling of the sometimes-irresponsible USPS workers. This wasn't the first time Chance was upset at the postal service, and he was certain it wasn't the last. Though, little did Chance know that his carrier has 434 houses/schools/churches on his route, and in order to get back to the station in time to get the outgoing mail on the last truck, he had to hurry that day; so, sometimes packages are dropped a little harder than they should be. But it's not all bad for the mail carrier. He brings his own music in the truck and he gets to sort half the day and enjoy the weather the other half. However, he often forgets to bring doggy treats before he heads out on his route, and the dogs bark like crazy because of it. He especially hates when cars park in front of the mailboxes, forcing him to get out of his truck. He always considers spitting on the car that's parked in front of the box or, at the very least, to passively-aggressively roll his eyes in the hopes that someone might see his disgust. I mean, what the fuck, he's delivering in a suburban neighborhood -- they have, like, three-car garages and plenty of driveway space.
M. Nude picture of Chance playing sax in his apartment. Photo taken by Brian Eno. Frame from IKEA, developed by his friend, Jerry "Cable Guy" Torque, who claims he wrote the guitar part to "Flip Your Face."
N. Faxed upcoming tourdates with Burger King DOUBLE WHOPPER® Nutrition Facts (as requested):
Internet’s Ad Revenue Surpasses That Of Radio; I Was Wondering Where This Rocket Car and Enormous Pile of Cocaine Came From
Don't know if you guys have heard, but the internet's basically THE place for advertising nowadays. Unlike with radio, young people use it. Unlike on television, there's no fear of piracy and having commercials edited out*. Unlike on billboards, Joe Camel can stand tall, maintaining a strong, respectable presence. Unlike in magazines, you can play rap through an internet ad. Unless you count inserting backwards messages into Beatles records, it is the ultimate advertising medium.
Finally, those pesky economics have proven what we've known to be true since the days of acquiring, distributing, and trading our precious online ads via usenet: Advertising on the internet is more profitable than advertising on the radio. Right now, figures for both media are in the $20 billion range, but within a few years, the information superhighway is set to overtake the $40 billion monolith of television.
I would normally recommend that you keep an eye on this website for details, but as critical mass approaches, the risk of this website turning into a sentient being made entirely of money and pure energy is greatly increasing. This new entity, with its unpronounceable name and vicelike talons, will not be interested in cultural commentary and discourse as much as it will have a completely insatiable craving for power. But, of course, it will still love boners. Boners boners boners.
*Editor's note: Some people use programs to block internet ads. (I'm not linking to any in fear that you'll block the very TMT ads that pay for my yearly Roth IRA investments. Live for today and tomorrow. That's what I always say.)
Ramones Offer New Double Disc DVD, Get Charged With Assault and Battery for 30+ Years of Beating on Brats with Baseball Bats
Attention all punks, runts, pinheads, sedative-addicts, electro-shock patients, beach-hitchhikers, glue-sniffers, wild pig-lovers, disgruntled high school students, people named "Bonzo," Klansmen, and Nazis:
Now is your chance to show the world that you haven't been stone cold crazy all these years (well, except for the electro-shock patients, I guess) and that there actually used to be a band that you could identify with, back before this formerly freak-flag-flyin' country went all right-wing on you with its PC-ass Soul Asylums and Goo Goo Dolls. With the impending release of a newly announced Ultimate Ramones Double DVD set, due October 2 via everyone's favorite stalwart torchbearer of the still-commercialy-viable-bygone-artist, Rhino, you can rest assured, because no one's gonna call you "animal boy" anymore (well... okay, they might)!
The punk rawk rarefying DVD, mercifully titled It's Alive: 1974-1976 instead of something like The KKK Took My Baby Away, features over four hours of freak relief via rare and previously unreleased concert performances from around the world. That's FOUR HOURS, you weirdos. Just imagine how many two-minute songs that translates to in "Ramones Time"! F-ing hundreds! Trust me; you crazies won't have to leave the house (i.e., your parents' basement) for a WHILE.
But don't be fooled: even though the performances may be DIY-speedy, there was nothing "punk rawk" about the prep time for this thing. More than four years in the making, Tommy Ramone lovingly (as it were) served as music supervisor for this entire collection. Arranged chronologically over two DVDs, It’s Alive relives some of the band's best performances, with impossible-to-find and unreleased live footage of more than 100 classic songs about freaks, geeks, and general outcast revelries, including "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker," "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Beat On The Brat," and "I Wanna Be Sedated."
Spanning The Ramones' entire career, It's Alive follows the band from its earliest performances at CBGB to their last international performance in Argentina, while traveling around the world with The Ramones and capturing priceless performances in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Argentina, Finland, Italy, and the U.S. Some of the highlights include nine performances from the 1892 US Festival in San Bernadino, which are featured here in the decidedly UN-punk rock "5.1 Surround Sound." The DVD also includes previously unreleased footage the band's incendiary New Year's Eve 1977 performance at The Rainbow Theatre in London, the entire concert of which was released in 1979 as the It's Alive album, a record considered by High Fidelity-type record store nerds to be one of the best live records ever. And if that's not enough to get all you shock-treatment patients a-salivating, The DVD also features 14 songs in 5.1 taken from that show, including "Pinhead," "We're A Happy Family," and "Havana Affair." Trust me, if I were a freak, geek, music snob, snarky music writer, or fanatic music fan, i would be WAY into this thing. Oh wait...
In order to conserve the limited area allotted to TMT's rental space, you can check out the lengthy tracklist for the DVD release here.
Da’ Personals <3 <3
Single white male seeking compassionate, inspirational, gentle acoustic-lovin’ snuggle muffin. Must whisper “Easy, tiger” in my ear during nightly cuddle fests. Sloppy drunks welcome. College-education not preferred. Call 555-5555, and ask for Ryan, for a good time.
<3 <3 <3 Or visit me in my party van, oh, baby, baby:
Yellow Swans and Mouthus Provide Humanitarian Aid to Those Who Suffer From Halitosis on Upcoming Tou
Dear TMT readers,
Will you ever learn?
I mean, what's it gonna take for Yo La Tengo to show you that they're not fucking around here?
I guess it's just not enough anymore to simply assure you audience ingrates via some remote recording studio that they could beat all of your sissy, aging hipster asses (Although, come on now, who couldn't knock some horn-rimmed weenie on his or her ass, right? Even another horn-rimmed weenie could do that). They wrote and they taped and they roared and rampaged, but you still laughed in their faces!
And it's also apparently no longer good enough for the Matador megastars to go so far as to demonstrate the physical force behind that threat with the kind of ear-blistering, face-peeling, metaphysically ass-pounding power-riffage behind such serious tunes from last year's highly acclaimed LP I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (TMT Review), such as the muscle-bound "Pass the Hatchet I Think I'm Goodkind," with its 'roid -popping guitar solos and ferociously locked-in beat.
Nope: it seems that for all of their "don't mess with us, we're fucking serious this time" warning signs, you people just can't take the hint. You all HEARD what this band did to that "Mr. Tough" guy, but you still just laughed at all of the cute horn parts and shrugged these guys (and girl) off, and now seems you're a-callin' down the fury.
That's right. Yo La Tengo is sick of your shit, and now they are rolling up their sleeves, puffing out their chests, outfitting their hands with badass fingerless gloves, stocking up on toothpicks and sunglasses, and COMING OVER TO YOUR PLACE to throw down. If you live in one of these select cities... uh, and if you're going to be in those particular cities on these specific dates... uh, then I'm afraid you are going down, my friend. And may God have mercy on you. Not even someone as bad-ass as Uncle Jesse can save you now.
Scheduled Beat-downs (with some tales, stories, and chit-chat):
09.09.07 - London, UK - Royal Festival Hall
09.10.07 - Brussels - Botanique
09.11.07 - Paris - Le Trabendo
09.12.07 - Brighton - Concorde
09.14.07 - Dorset/Wiltshire - End of the Road Festival
09.16.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park - Austin City Limits Festival
09.17.07 - Austin, TX - The Parish
09.29.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
10.09.07 - Pittsburgh, PE - Warhol Museum
10.10.07 - Bloomington, IN - Buskirk-Chumley Theater
10.11.07 - Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater
10.12.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Discovery Museum
10.13.07 - Grand Rapids, MI - Calvin College Fine Arts Center
10.19.07 - Port Washington, NY - Jeanne Rimsky Theater at Landmark on Main Street
10.20.07 - Woodstock, NY - Colony Cafe
10.22.07 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
10.23.07 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
11.10.07 - North Adams, MA - Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art