A Ponys Listening Party? You Bring the Whips, I’ll Bring the Chains and Leather.

Barbaro is dead. Multiple fractures in his right hind leg meant multiple operations over the past eight months and resulted in multiple broken hearts from wannabe horse whisperers and shifty bookies throughout the land. Before you think the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner was put down by a cruel ownership conglomerate (Barbaro: "Oh c'mon bosses, you can't do this!" / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me, Barbaro?" / Barbaro: "Uh, I won the fucking Kentucky Derby, ass-wads." / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me lately???"), this sort of thing unfortunately happens all too often with suffering horses. The three-year-old colt whinnied for the last time on January 29 after continually failing to recuperate from shattering his leg at the Preakness Stakes last year. Not all lame horses have to be put down (one even went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich), but given Barbaro's devastating injury and subsequent ailments resulting from the broken leg, there was no choice in the matter.

But just as "every time a door closes, another opens," every time a horse gets euthanized another four take its place. Or something like that. Stunned into action by the recent news of its fellow equine's demise, Chicago's quartet of strong studs and fiery mare, The Ponys, have announced the imminent arrival of a new album called Turn the Lights Out on March 20. It is the band's third album and first for Matador Records, who wisely signed the skuzz-rock muckers back in September. Turn the Lights Out was recorded by John Agnello (The Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio.

It's all in the breeding:

Bonnie “Prince” Billy Upset About Super Bowl Halftime Show Snubbing; Goes on Retaliatory Tour

It was a grim scene at Drag City headquarters on Sunday night. Rather than the usual Super Bowl festivities, which have been known to include free barbecue, festive door prizes, and the occasional Bill Callahan keg stand, the group simply stared awkwardly at the TV, not knowing quite what to say. Not even Ben Chasny's book of football-themed Mad Libs could lighten the mood.

You see, since childhood, Will Oldham has harbored dreams of performing live at the Super Bowl Halftime show. In years past, there has always been something to prevent him from really having a go at it -- a tour here, a new album there -- but this year was his big chance. And when the Super Bowl Halftime Selection Committee announced it would be seeking an artist with the name "Prince," he knew it was 2007 or never. He fought valiantly, practicing for hours a day and trying to choreograph his show with a full marching band and pyrotechnics display -- even exposing his tasseled breast to an worldwide audience -- but in the end it just wasn't enough. As many of you know, the slot eventually went to Prince (although Prince Paul put up an impressive attempt as well).

Oldham was left with two choices: give up and let this setback get the better of him, or take all of that pent-up Super Bowl energy and unleash it throughout a series of European shows. Thankfully for the rest of us, he chose the latter. And don't quote me on this, but you might look for The BPB to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at this year's NBA Finals.

Cheer up, Will:

The Second Coming of Jarvis Cocker: Immaculate Conception on the Rise

And when he should return across the pond, all will be aware of his presence. Housewives shall shirk all duties in favor tawdry sexual affairs with tall boys in glasses. The working class shall revolt against the voyeuristic upper class. The lanky shall triumph over the muscular. The evils of matching furniture sets will be exposed. More books shall be read. Skeletons will rise and terrorize the Wild West. The common man is forewarned that the fat children will take to the streets, going on violent rampages of theft and mastication.

Jarvis will be released in America on April 3; a brief American tour will follow. Repent, ye sinners! Or perhaps those who have not yet sinned enough.

When Deerhunter Announce a Tour, They Announce a TOUR, Know What I mean?

Check out the following testimony taken from Deerhunter's MySpace page:

"Tonight I saw your group in Nashville. Please, STOP MAKING (what might be concieved as) MUSIC! You have no melodies, there was no songwriting skills involved, lack of chord structures, AND your songs are pathetically too long. It's an embarassment you opened for the yeahyeahyeahs. I turned my back to your group after 2 songs...and I remainded that way until your wannabe art student asses left. I would tell everyone I know not to see you...but it looks as if your front man is about to die. Seriously, get that half-ass man some help. You try to pull off this "shock and awe" pretentious bull-shit and its horrible! Iggy Pop, Velvet Underground, and Black Flag, all used some "shock and awe" BUT they had the MUSIC to back it up! You guys need to either quit for a year or learn how to play your damn intruments! I felt raped of my money tonight. I was ashamed to even play music because you guys are on this earth. I've seen over 100 shows in my life and I've seen bad, believe me, but you guys take the cake.Everyone around me was also disgusted. Stop, please just stop. If I see your flier in my town, I will take it down, if you are booked anywhere within a state of me I will publically speak and tell people not to go. You are a pile of shit in this "thing" we call the music business. Go get a job. Fuckin' wannabe's man....fuckin wannabe's. In the words of a brilliant band called Travis..."Peace the fuck out!" -Pissed and ashamed"

Now check out Paul Haney's TMT review here.

Somebody's wrong. Has to be. Either way, Deerhunter are about to head out on a newly announced tour. Is I going? Maybe, maybe. But one thing is almost certain: you are. Deerhunter's latest release is the hottest thing since Deerhoof's latest release, so if you're not actually there, then shit b, you're well on your way to losing some friends and family. Don't worry though; they're the ugly ones, and no one likes ugly people. In fact, I hate ugly people. "Does that mean you hate yourself?" Shut up, leave me alone. You're stupid.

Gang Gang Dance to Finally Release DVD/CD Project Because God’s Son (Nas) Told Them To

After experiencing delays last year, The Social Registry is set to release Gang Gang Dance's experimental film Retina Riddim May 22. What was once only a DVD release now boasts a companion 25-minute audio CD of remixed goodness, which is partly to blame for the delay. The other reasons? The original title (Twin Peaks: The Second Season) and plot (who killed Laura Palmer?) were apparently already taken. HAHAHAHHAHAH!!!!

According to Jim at The Social Registry, Gang Gang Dance "are currently working hard on their next full-length. And possibly they will be heading out on tour around the time of the DVD release." Which really means GGD has completed recording their new album and they'll definitely be touring in support of Retina Riddim around its release. You heard it here first.

Arctic Monkeys Release New Record, Forget To Change Ridiculous Band Name

Oh, them wacky Sheffeild boys are at it again, making music and wooing girls all over the world with their dashing good looks. Yep, that's right, kids, Arctic Monkeys are the coolest thing from the North Pole to hit the internet since Club Penguin. It seems that being named the Best British Band by the NME has gone to the band's head, as now they have opted to release a new record on their uber-hip label, Domino.

The new album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, is set to be UNLEASHED upon the world (oh, okay, on North America) April 23. The disc will be preceded by a single, "Brianstorm" (not sure if that's as clever as I think it's supposed to be), on April 17. If I could come up with something clever to say about that, I would. However, I can't, so here's the fancy-dancy tracklisting thing which really means nothing until you've heard the songs anyway:

The Fate of Sony BMG Merger to be Decided by March 1

The European Union recently announced that it expects to re-examine the Sony BMG merger and make a decision regarding its legality by March 1. Thanks to the independent, non-profit trade association Impala, a European court last year controversially threw into question the validity of the 2004 Sony BMG merger after Impala lobbied the EU. And now, because of Impala's efforts, either Sony BMG will either continue as a merged company (boo) or a potential four-month long probe will be launched, with a possible merger break-up.

"We have been contributing to the Commission’s investigation and will continue to do so, to ensure that the problems identified by the court are properly resolved," said Impala and Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills in a statement. "This is essential for artists and music fans alike."

Of course, parent companies Sony Corp. and Bertlesmann don't want to upset their stockholders by waiting passively with their thumbs wiggling oh-so-gently up their mothers' smellholes, so they reworded and resubmitted their merger application to European Union regulators, with a slight spray of Jacques Polge's Coco Mademoiselle perfume for good measure. And despite any indifferent aloofness you might detect from the other majors, you can bet your sweet, sexy hips that they're very much concerned with the verdict.

Everybody Have Fun Tonight…Everybody Sea and Cake Tonight…

1993 saw the World Trade Center bombing, the super-sad killing of toddler James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys in Liverpool, England, a massive blizzard which paralyzed parts of the eastern U.S., the deaths of GG Allin and André the Giant, and of River Phoenix and his possible supplier (in a roundabout way), Pablo Escobar, the bizarre 51-day stand-off/raid at a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, the even more bizarre Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt partial penis fiasco and its influence on a generation of stand-up comedians and rappers, and too many unfortunate natural disasters and senseless massacres to mention.

There were loads of less-shocking events too: the first time Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in some name or form, was observed in every state in the United States. The "Velvet Divorce" between the Czech Republic and Slovakia finally happened, as did the "Velour Divorce" between Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced us to the real "beautiful sport." Man, sorry to backtrack but can you believe Bonet and Kravitz are no longer together? That truly is catastrophic. I'm still in mourning. They had an unbreakable bond, with a passion and a love that was timeless, haunting and beautiful, like, a thousand storybook romances in one. Sigh... 1993 also saw the first blush of Beck's recording career. And Bush's (the band). The Fresh Prince still recorded music, as his "Boom! Shake the Room" told the story of a young man and his struggle to shake the room with his boom-boom. America caught the "Cyrus virus" and the Spin Doctors gave frat boys the chance to soundtrack their GHB-fueled gang-bang keggers with the sound of pockets full of kryptonite. Ah, them be simpler times.

Alright, I'll give the nonsense a break for once (I can't believe I just quickly glossed over the serious and catastrophic events above in favor of pop-culturing the shit out of this story like mentioning the Bonet/Kravitz divorce, twice!). Nah, for many of our lovely, loyal readers, 1993 marks the year gods Erik Claridge, John McEntire, Sam Prekop, and Archer Prewitt came together to form their "side-project" The Sea and Cake. Separately, all four members keep busy enough to make Van Gogh seem about as productive as 'Dude' from The Big Lebowski, but together, as The Sea and Cake, they have made us wait for new material longer than we would normally consider acceptable. We may be a trifle too eager, but since 2003, we have had to make do with repeated listens to the group's six wonderfully blissful indie-rock albums while surfing their website in hopes of updates other than reports of a "new kelly-green tee" and a forum that has forever been "coming soon." That just ain't frequent enough for us Ritalin kids! After a year or two's worth of new record whispers and rumors, we can confirm that the seventh Sea and Cake album will be out May 8, contains 10 Brian Paulson-produced songs, is being put out by Thrill Jockey, and is called Chinese Democ, um, Everybody. Make 2007 a year to remember because of The Sea and Cake. And only because of The Sea and Cake.

Hold Steady Tour for Boys and Girls in Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, England, etc., and Oh Yeah, America

The price of fame for The Hold Steady took the form of a hipper-than-thou crowd in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago, a crowd appalled at the possibility of beer soiling their immaculate Urban Outfitters threads, but not too proud to sip Pabst Blue Ribbon out of the can. Explain that one to me. Anyway, as my companions and I received dirty looks for screaming along to "Massive Nights" after a beer or five, the truth dawned on me. The $100 tickets on Craigslist suddenly made sense. Well, wouldn't you know it folks, people read music magazines! Especially One That Shall Not Be Named and decide that they just MUST check out this band, even if they hate beer and ecstatic drunken crowds and the boozy resurrection of classic rock. Oh, wait. I just described a Hold Steady show. Please go away and daintily sip your $5 beer where the word "daintily" is actually part of the territory. Thank you.

Love 'em or hate 'em, 2006 was a Hold Steady kinda year, as they showed up on a ton of best-of lists and landed their mugs on Letterman. In a few weeks, they'll be bringing the killer party across the pond and converting European crowds with a single power chord. Sweet.

Back in time for Spring Break 2k7, y'all!:

Chuck Norris Talks With Iraqi-American Rapper While Filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News, and I’m Officially Through With Making Joke Headlines For Tiny Mix Tapes

There really isn't much that I can say about President Bush's favorite actor Sir Chuck Norris that hasn't been said already. I'm not the kind of person that gets their laughs from an absurd Chuck Norris fact generator. "Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried. Ever." That was funny before my mom had cancer. It's that kind of in-your-face Norris-fever political agenda that has been going too far lately.

Now, I am the kind of person who likes to get a good chuckle or two from watching Fox News. It took me at least more than 15 minutes to realize that it was in fact Chuck Norris that was taking the place of Sean Hannity on the scrotum rockin' hit program Hannity & Colmes. Hannity and Colmes has always been my favorite duo since Hitler and Himmler, so I was shocked to see the well-groomed, faux-karate master corresponding as a talking head.

During this gig, Norris got a chance to talk to Iraqi-American rapper TIMZ, who was also promoting his anti-war single "Iraq" that is on the album Open For Business. You can watch the interview here (but you probably would rather watch this).

TIMZ admits that he feels Iraq was safer with Saddam's reign of terror than with Bush's reign of terror. Oops! Wrong answer TIMZ! Because the best conservative refute that Norris can deliver is his famous blank gaze into the soul of "human beings." This wasn't exactly good publicity for TIMZ. Let's face it. I'm onto Norris' pranks. I think he even drop-kicked that jello puss Colmes into Greta Van Susteren's face. Ironically, Greta can now move her fucking mouth up and down like a normal person.

Mr. Norris, you're not funny. There is no such thing as 50 years of fame for you, so please stop making cameos in movies like Dodgeball, and please stop talking about religion and politics. You are not a comedian Chuck, and you're ruining the credibility of Fox News. Also you are no comedian either, Dane Cook. And I'll admit that I am no comedian either, but I'll let you know who a real comedian was -- SADDAM!

Why Saddam Was Way Funnier Than Dane Cook (And Even Chuck Norris)

By TMT heartthrob Emceegreg

I mean, Saddam had some funnier jokes when it came down to it. I'd go to Saddam when I wanted to hear a good priest 'n' rabbi-walk-into-a-bar joke, but if I ever wanted to hear someone go on and on about how much they like eating at Burger King...well then I could just go to fucking Burger King. I don't need your shit anymore Dane Cook. You remind me of that spastic ugly half-jock from high school who was deemed as popular just because he is outgoing and off-the-wall. You people are fucking idiots. Now Saddam! That shit was off the wall. Saddam didn't run around making fucking sound effects or screaming from his taint. He had a little more fucking class than that man. Sometimes Saddam's humor would be a mixture of Bill Hicks and Carrot Top, but it worked when he would channel Sam Kinison at his best. It was pure comedic genius, folks. Get off you goddamn lazy ass, put down your fucking BK quadruple stacker, turn off that fucking awful "Tourgasm" shit, and go rent a good fucking Saddam stand-up. Hell, Saddam was also awesome in many early '90s comedies like Weekend at Bernies 2 and Hot Shots: Part Deux. I recommend getting you life together by realizing a true comedian when he is hanging right in front of your face. Team Saddam FTW!

  

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