Remember when Camel cigs and Rolling Stone jointly contributed to a recent co-optation of "indie rock" (TMT News)? Of course you do, because the whole thing was and is total bullshit. I mean, Rolling Stone's defense was to say the pullout ADVERTISEMENT was an "editorial." Shit, I guess they do have a sense of humor. Too bad no one was laughing, which is why some of our very very favorite independent labels -- Kill Rock Stars, 5RC, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, Lovepump United, Audio Dregs, Lucky Madison, Fryk Beat -- went out of their way to pen an open letter to Rolling Stone.
Here's the letter, in its entirety:
We, the undersigned independent record labels, wish to share our indignation regarding Rolling Stone’s November 15th pull out editorial, which featured the names of our artists in conjunction with an ad for Camel cigarettes. This editorial cartoon gives every impression of being part and parcel of the advertisement wrapped around it.
The use of an artist’s name to promote a brand or product should be done only with the artist’s explicit consent, something that was neither solicited nor obtained from the labels or bands.
When questioned, Rolling Stone has referred to the “Indie Rock Universe” pull out section as an “editorial”, but it hardly seems accidental that this editorial content is wrapped in a giant ad from R.J. Reynolds announcing their support for independent artists and labels. The idea that this was a coincidence in any way seems dubious at best. There are two other pull out sections in this same issue of Rolling Stone. Both are wrapped in advertising, but neither of these ads could be construed as part of the editorial content within.
Many of the bands named, and the labels that represent them, are very unhappy with the implication that they have any involvement with R.J. Reynolds and Camel cigarettes. We ask that Rolling Stone apologize for blurring the line between editorial and advertisement, and in doing so, implying that the bands named support the product being advertised.
Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, Lovepump United, Lucky Madison, 5RC, Audio Dregs, and Fryk Beat.
At the start of a concert this past June (TMT News), Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam was struck by a small thrown object, which has been rumored to have been ‘a piece of a pretzel,’ ‘a ball of paper,’ or possibly ‘nothing worth getting angry about.’ He demanded that the crowd produce the object-thrower, and was soon presented with a gangly 15-year-old boy. Akon called upon the wisdom of King Solomon as he removed his shirt. "You who would throw objects at me," he bellowed, hoisting the offending 15-year-old over his head, "now you shall know what it is like to be thrown." And with that, Akon effortlessly tossed the boy up in the air, into the crowd, directly into my client, Abby Rosa, your honor.
It was at this time that Ms. Rosa became concussed.
Now, Mr, Thiam’s attorney, Mr. Benjamin Brafman here has released a public statement which begins, "Given the information that we have reviewed to date, it does not appear to us that Akon was involved in any criminal conduct whatsoever." I ask you, Mr. Brafman, what kind of Strega Nona justice do you believe in that makes Mr. Thiam’s conduct anything other than criminal?
Your honor, at this time, I would like to bring to the attention of the court the following evidence:
Without further ado, your honor, I’d like to bring up my first witness, Mr. Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam...
Abby Rosa, if you are reading this, please e-mail me. I would like to defend you in court. Imagine me saying all this in a slow southern drawl.
Young God Releases EP by Fire on Fire; Metallica Withdraw Hastily Filed Lawsuit Against Young God’s “Fight Fire With Fire” But Will Continue to Contest the “Master of Puppets” Children’s Show. Hetfield: “There’s no friggin’ way we’re backing down on this one, dude!”
It's been said that everyone in the world has a twin... except Michael Gira. From early ramblings sidewalking around Europe, kibbutzing around Israel, and no-waving around New York, Gira has lived a life full of eye-opening exploits; many good and some, I’m guessing, not so hot. Without going into too many details (that you could find on your own anyway), it is sufficient to say that the man’s “life experience” section on his CV runs a few reams long.
However, as unique an individual as he is and as venturesome as his life has been, Gira’s taste in music has always been predictable. When it comes time to sign acts to his Young God label, his choices range from the sublime to the remarkably sublime. The latest troupe touched by the hand of Gira is Fire on Fire, a five-piece nouveau bluegrass band that have that same Young God feel to them: southern gothic, down-hominess with swelling almost gospel-touched unison singing... you know the drill. Fire on Fire screams realness and authenticity (or they at least fake it marvelously). Their debut 5-song EP is out now, but not available at your reliable music outlets.
We're all for the handsome, handmade sleeves that hold this divine disc (created by Fire on Fire’s multi-talented warbler Colleen Kinsella), and we will not be deterred by the limited number available (1000 copies only), but knowing that the release is only purchasable exclusively at shows and on Young God's website, well, let’s just say that, as sure as sugar is sweet, we'll buy the EP, but damn you, Gira, Sir! This EP demands widespread distribution and should be readily available all our favorite eateries and knocking shops!
Easy peasy EPeasy:
2. Liberty Unknown
3. My Lady Coffin
5. Three or More
I had a dream that there was an awesome Liars and No Age (pictured) mashup. It came true. This might be the most seamless, yet intricate mashup I've ever heard.
Liars' "What Would They Know" with No Age's "Boy Void" (exclusive Firefox version; sorry IE users):
width="400" height="16" >
quality="high" bgcolor="#E6E6E6" name="xspf_player" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain"
align="center" height="16" width="400">
Pay me whatever you feel like, and you can hear the entire thing.
I also had a dream that Liars and No Age were touring together starting January 2008. It came true again. Now hopefully I'll have a dream where "the monster" will awake from its long slumber, if you know what I mean.
Normally, here at TMT, we like to gently poke fun at musicians and lash out angrily at the music industry. Headlines are typically absurd and vaguely hint at what the article will be about. We usually encourage you to buy a large bag of salt to go with what we write.
But we can do serious, too. Like right now. Now I’m serious.
Influential metal outfit Ministry are saying goodbye on a trek to promote their final album, September’s The Last Sucker. The shows will feature a multimedia presentation, including a retrospective video of Ministry’s career.
“C U LaTouR” tourdates:
Ah, hello, Jens here again! You know I woke up the other day and realized that Christmas/Yule is only a couple weeks away, and I still haven’t decided what I want! So, here it is, Mr. or Mrs. Diary, my complete wishlist:
- an IKEA bed frame
- avocados (note to self: try not to cut finger while slicing)
- a frame picture of Morrissey
- a smorgasbord
- a girlfriend
- a tour of Europe starting in February
...Wait, what’s that diary? You’re telling me I already have a tour scheduled for February? Ah, be still my heart! Sure wish I had that girlfriend to share the experience with..... (hint hint, to anyone who might be reading this).
Until next time,
Jens Falls Over Europe:
02.15.08 – Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
02.16.08 – Berlin, Germany - Lido
02.18.08 – Turin, Italy - El Barrio
02.19.08 – Ravenna, Italy - Teatro Rasi
02.20.08 – Geneva, Switzerland - PTR-Usine
02.21.08 – St. Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
02.23.08 – Munich, Germany - Atomic Café
02.24.08 – Frankfurt, Germany - Mousonturm
02.25.08 – Njimegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
02.26.08 – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.27.08 – Paris, France - Nouveau Casino
02.28.08 – Brussels, Belgium - AB Club
02.29.08 – Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
03.01.08 – Cologne, Germany - Gebäude 9
03.02.08 – Hamburg, Germany - Molotow
05.09-11.08 – Rye, England - Camber Sand Holiday Centre (ATP vs. Pitchfork)
05.16-18.08 – Minehead, England - Butlin's Holiday Centre (Explosions in the Sky ATP)
After nearly 16 years of releasing and touring music so confrontational that it makes Stravinksy's The Rite of Spring sound like a love theme, The Flying Luttenbachers have officially decided to call it quits. Featuring a rotating cast of musicians -- such as Ken Vandermark, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Hal Russell, etc., and ending with Mike Green, Ed Rodriguez, and Rob Pumpelly -- the only man present for the entire Luttenbachers ride was Weasel Walter, a composer/producer who was described by Glenn Branca in a Pitchfork interview as "one of the greatest rock composers who ever lived, and he's struggling and living like a poverty-stricken hermit."
"I feel like people have not really begun to deal with the music the band has already made, so it feels redundant and futile for me to make any more at this point," explained Weasel Walter to TMT. "I am confident that in the future there will be a much wider appreciation for The Flying Luttenbachers' music, and perhaps then we may finally reappear. Until then, there are a lot of other things that need to be done. Death is only the beginning."
Including live albums and retrospective collections, The Flying Luttenbachers released a total of 17 full-length albums, virtually all of them self-released through Weasel's own ugEXPLODE Records, as well as through Skin Graft and Troubleman Unlimited. The last Luttenbachers album, Incarceration By Abstraction (featuring a solo Weasel Walter), was released last month on ugEXPLODE. Also released at the same time were three other albums, including a solo disc by Weasel titled Firestorm and an album from black metal group Nondor Nevai. The future will see reissues and remasters of old Luttenbachers albums, including the free jazz album, Trauma, originally released on double-vinyl only.
And just when you thought it was safe to let your kids roam free again, Weasel will continue playing in XBXRX (the band released an improvised album called Sounds earlier this year on Important) and he recently joined Burmese, which Weasel tells us is now a 6-piece, with vocals, two drums, two basses, and Luttenbacher Ed Rodriguez on guitar. He'll of course continue his work in improvised music and composing for large ensembles, while Opulence, a duo CD with guitarist Mary Halvorson, is slated for a Spring 2008 release.
I've had the pleasure of seeing XBXRX and The Flying Luttenbachers live, and I can tell you now that it all but made me realize that being visceral doesn't always have to be at the cost of intellect. While The Luttenbachers as we know them may be gone, there'll be surely enough Weasel-related projects to satiate our decadent appetites. Let's show this "poverty-stricken hermit" some support.
- MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theflyingluttenbachers
- Official website: http://nowave.pair.com/luttenbachers
- ugEXPLODE website: http://nowave.pair.com/ugexplode
- Weasel Walter's webpage: http://nowave.pair.com
Pinback To Once Again Mercilessly and Ferociously Pillage and Plunder The West Coast Into Terrified Submission
Had a weird night recently, after being up for two days straight and just getting back into town off the Greyhound, addressing the consequences of indie rock on one's personal mythology and the psychological ramifications of Web 2.0. It could be said to have begun after spending over an hour on Facebook before going to bed. Nodding off, laptop open on my crotch, I began to dream; somehow, I'd managed to add Rob Crow and Armisted Burwell Smith the Third's marginally successful side project to my friend list on Facebook, like one of those old friends not spoken to in ages, expecting to resume a cherished friendship only to be endlessly assaulted by status updates of their design on my home page. Before waking up in a fetal position covered in cold sweat, I very well could have experienced the following:
PINBACK is back in Encinitas.
PINBACK is watching Darkstar.
PINBACK is not 3 Mile Pilot.
PINBACK is DEVO
PINBACK is playing Star Control.
PINBACK is wishing someone remembered his birthday.
PINBACK is playing at the Che, but don't tell anyone.
PINBACK is hotboxing the new recording studio.
PINBACK is meticulously assembling tour-only EPs in the garage.
PINBACK is breaking into your spaceship and stabbing you in the heart to keep you from flying a gigantic bomb into the sun.
PINBACK is watching Darkstar.
PINBACK is touring the West Coast again.
Waking up suddenly in this panicked yet trance-like state, I must have somehow been compelled to etch the following dates into my chest with an old, broken Star Wars figurine:
Mike Patton Makes Weird Sounds in Upcoming Film I Am Legend, And Will Smith Just Goes, “Yo home to Bel Air”
Patton fans everywhere united over the lameness of being able to play "Epic" by Faith No More in the video game Rock Band. The fun train doesn't stop there, though, as Patton has recorded his sensual voice for the video games The Darkness and Portal. Oh, but there is more. Just listen closely to the next advertisement that you see on TV for the Will Smith film, I Am Legend:
Sound of explosions
Someone shouts "I'm not infected!"
Words scroll on screen: "The Last Man on Earth Is Not Alone"
Sounds of growling
Will Smith is sleeping in a bathtub with and AK-47 and his dog,
He opens one eye when he hears another growling sound
He jumps up and sees Mike Patton perched on the toilet.
Will Smith says, "Holy shit, it's Mike Patton!"
Patton leaps from the toilet and speaks like Gollem.
"Hey, I thought you didn't curse?" says Patton.
Smith retorts, "Only in music. I can say whatever the fuck I want in
"Oh, well this is awkward."
"Yeah... I thought I was the last man on Earth."
Gollem-Patton shrugs his shoulders, "I guess not."
Action montage ensues with "Midlife Crisis" playing
Quick shots of explosions and shootouts with poor-quality CGI looking
A quick flash of the image of "Xenu" as placed in the film reel by
Mr. Smith himself
The trailer ends with the title flashing on the screen
Smith and Patton are beat boxing to "Summertime" on a beach
Fades to black
So, that is that. Mike Patton is a busy man, and I blatantly discriminated Will Smith for being a scientologist. But nobody cares. And I should clarify that Patton won't really be seen in the film, only heard -- making sounds is what he does best/gets paid for. Anyway, I Am Legend is based on a novel of the same name, but if the film were about me, I would have Lance Bass play me. I would also have the main character meet up with a random girl from middle school. You know, the girl who said, "I would never be with you, even if we were the last two people on earth." Ha, the joke will be on her, because Lance Bass is not "into the ladies." Goodbye world!
As Bill Murray said in Where The Buffalo Roam, "I'm going to gnaw on his skull, because it just hasn't gotten weird enough for me." Mr. S. Thompson, many of your words are still hauntingly relevant when it comes to this crazy little thing called the music industry.
Not content to just sue plain old illegal file-sharing thieves for downloading shitty, moderate-quality MP3 rips of groundbreaking artists like Maroon 5, it seems the RIAA wants to clamp down on those who convert their own CDs into digital formats.
A few months back, 26 year old Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG's anti-piracy lawyer, was quoted as saying that making a copy of a song you purchased is like "steal[ing] just one copy." After all, "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we [could] say he stole a song," right?
Now the RIAA has gone on record in an Arizona court involving Atlantic Records stating a similar sentiment. According to Wired, the defendant in the Atlantic v. Howell case "converted Plaintiff's recordings into the compressed ‘.mp3’ format and they are in his shared folder; they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs." So much for fair use, apparently.
Except that in a 2005 case, the record companies indicated that it is ‘lawful’ to ‘rip’ a CD into MP3 files to put onto your own iPod or other music player. It seems that within the two years, some ‘adjustments’ have been made to the industry's approach to protecting their intellectual property.
It is understandable that the record companies would want to set up some defenses; after all, music sales are their bread and butter. However, going to such an extent as to indicate that making a personal copy of a song is ‘stealing’ is a generalization of absurdist proportions. It's intriguing that the same lawyer who made this claim in October also admitted that the labels' anti-piracy lawsuits are costing the company "millions" of dollars.
The irony doesn't even stop there; the RIAA's website even indicates that there is "no legal ‘right’ to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However, burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer hard drive or your portable music player, won't usually raise concerns." Creating a convoluted twist of mixed, vague messages isn't a great way to establish faith in your product, by the way.
The sad question that I have to ask is who is benefiting from this twisted approach to such a positive product? It's not the artists, it's not the journalists covering them, or the publicity workers, or even the listeners. If the lawsuits are costing the industry millions, then it's not even benefiting the labels themselves. I'm not feeling very mathematic right now, so you do the math; I'll go gnaw on a skull until this whole thing just calmly blows over. Because it just hasn't gotten weird enough for me.