M83 enjoyed enormous success with 2006's Before the Dawn Heals Us. I liked the album, just not those creepy intros to the songs where a schizophrenic mother is talking to herself and thinking that someone is stalking her. Yes, I'm sure it weirded you out too, but if you haven't heard it yet, pick up the album and prepare to be blown away by Anthony Gonzalez and his AMAZING AMBIENT ELECTRONICA MUSIC. Of course, also be prepared to be weirded out by the aforementioned schizophrenic mother skits.
Talk of the 2006 album aside, it looks as if the new, as-yet untitled M83 album will be released in early 2008. Gonzalez is currently in the studio working on it with Ken Thomas (Sigur Rós, Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, Suede) and Ewan Pearson (Tracey Thorn, The Rapture, Ladytron).
Sadly that's all the information released so far about the new M83 album, but lucky for you, we've got info on a side-project called Digital Shades. Featuring tracks that Gonzalez has been slowly working on (sans pressure and time constraints) since 2006, Digital Shades: Vol. 1 is ostensibly the first installment in a series of ambient works. The album is said to be influenced by Eno and Krautrock and is named Digital Shades due to both the process by which it was recorded and the way it will be distributed. Digital, digitally... Cute! I don't quite understand the "shades" part yet (maybe he recorded it under a tree?), but it sounds cool.
Of course, be prepared for extremely creepy vocal introductions to songs about the devil trying to capture little children and their mommies when these new Gonzalez projects drop.
"This isn't Wolf Parade!"
"Who is this guy and this girl?"
"What is going on?"
"Where did my pants go?"
"Why does that gorilla have a penis?"
Warning: A Handsome Furs show may not specifically be for Wolf Parade fans. Yes, it is true that Handsome Furs features Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade with his wife Alexei Perry. And yes, it is true that the duo is a side project of Wolf Parade. But we must realize that side projects do not often fully represent the same sounds as the residing band, as science has proved over and over again.
Most importantly, Handsome Furs is a musical act, not a Furry convention. I learned the hard way by showing up to a Handsome Furs show in a sexually explicit gorilla costume. Let's just say the crowd doesn't often take too kindly to Furries.
The Montrealites will be playing a handful of North American shows before heading overseas to play songs from the Sub Pop-released, Plague Park. You can come to any of these shows however you want, but please do not be disappointed that Handsome Furs is not Wolf Parade. You will know this when you purchase your ticket.
"I guess this sort of sounds like Wolf Parade."
IPI, a Texas-based "think-tank" more properly known as the Institute for Policy Innovation, released a report that claims the the annual cost to the glorious U.S. economy of music "piracy" runs to a cool $12.5 billion and precisely 71,060 jobs. Not 71,070. Not "around 70,000." No, 71,060 jobs, spread across all industries, not just the recording industry. The report also includes financial and job losses in industries hit by the ‘knock-on’ effects of the recording industry wobbling under the scourge of piracy. Like that platinum cocaine spoon manufacturer in Fresno that just closed down.
However, the report is riddled with assertions that seemingly appear out of thin air and some ridiculous omissions. For example, the exceptionally precise figures provided above are all calculated from an assertion that there are 20 billion ‘illegal’ downloads a year and a claim that 20% of everything that is downloaded would otherwise be sold through ‘legal’ channels. These figures, needless to say, are total crapshoots. The 20 billion is the industry estimate of download numbers for 2005 (which, in the extremely unlikely event that it is in any way accurate, is now totally out-of-date anyway). The 20% figure comes from an obscure 2004 study – here, if you’re interested – which itself only came to this number based on their analysis of the downloading climate between 1998 and 2002. The writers of this study themselves described this estimate as “crude”. Nowadays, this figure is both crude and nearly ten years out-of-date, but is being utilized in a report that advertises itself as containing “the latest data on worldwide piracy of recorded music.” Ha.
The reality of the situation is that there is literally no way of knowing what proportion of downloaded tracks would otherwise have been purchased -- hell, the RIAA are pushing in its noble and righteous private prosecutions that 100% of downloaded music would otherwise have been purchased! And, simply put, there are no existing reliable figures on the number of downloads that actually occur. Absent of any such reliable data, the headline figures offered by the IPI are simply not worth the paper they’re written on. The report also totally fails to address the arguments put forward by proponents of P2P networks -- you know, about downloads in many cases actually promoting sales of CDs through ‘introducing’ people to bands and genres they otherwise would never have heard.
This shadowy behavior isn’t overly surprising when you take a look at the mob that struggled to shit this turd out. These guys (the IPI), although claiming to be independent and non-partisan, are considered one of the most extreme right-wing think tanks in the country, scoring a perfect ‘eight’ on a scale of one (ultra-liberal) to eight (über-conservative) that was devised by the almost equally reactionary Capital Research Center. The Aryan Nation only managed to scrape a seven. Alright, I’m kidding about that last bit. But it’s nice to see who’s there on the barricades along with the RIAA and Lars Ulrich.
Additionally, the IPI will not, under any circumstances, divulge the names of any of their corporate donors; as such, the report itself could have been completely funded by the RIAA, and we would be none the wiser. I do know that the author of the report -- a wingnut economist who goes under the vaguely effluent-sounding name of Stephen Siwek -- has produced numerous reports over the years on behalf of the RIAA and another linked group, the International Intellectual Property Alliance.
Taking all this into account, it would be crazy to even dream of suggesting that the RIAA and its front organizations may have had contributed a five spot or two to the IPI’s “General Support Funds” that paid for this report to be cobbled together. So I won’t. But I will suggest that you all prepare to turn your leaked copies of Graduation up really high in order to drown out the noise of this report being parroted by the RIAA and their Congressional whores as yet more irrefutable evidence of the evils of file-sharing. It might get nasty.
Two weeks ago, Karl Rove left his White House Deputy Chief of Staff and senior advisor positions in a teary farewell. The Republican campaign wunderkind known as "The Architect" no longer serves at the pleasure of the President, and rumors of his future swirled without any regard for aerodynamics around the news media and Rove's husky body. What would he do? Where would he go? President Bush stood by his side, metaphorically arm-in-arm, as Rove dropped his bomb. If we could have heard Rove's thoughts at that moment, it surely would have been like the scene from the Brendan Frasier vehicle, The Mummy, in which Brendan's hired hand reassures him with the inspirational line, "Your strength gives me strength." And as Rove walked off into the sunset, bags packed and heart broken, America looked on, wondering whether Karl, Dear Karl, would ever love again.
Well, I am happy to report that, yes, Karl Rove has landed on his feet. It turns out, throughout his time in the White House as the professor of Dark Arts, Rove kept a delightfully upbeat paramour. His mistress: Music. His genre: Seduction!
Rove, split from the President, has poured all that broken love into his new project: Mates of State! That's right, Karl, Dear Karl, has joined forces with Kori and Jason, the only two people who have as much love as he. The new addition has not been without its headaches. Karl is an incorrigible alpha-male, and he can't shake his Architect role, leading to hilarious sitcom-like scenarios that I've coyly called "Karl's Snarls."
It sounds like bad news, but boy oh boy, our Dear Karl is whipping those Mates of State into action. Because of Karl, and Karl alone, the group has gone back into the recording studio. They've recorded three tunes with Chris Walla, wow! A new album is under construction. Meticulously crafted, 9/11 security-themed, and deliciously raucous and poppy, Karl is a little bit Mies van der Rohe, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.
Karl is in a good place now, and Mates of State, bless their souls, are in an even better place because of him. They're even going on a tiny mix tour with some sweet acoustic shows. It's a short list, so don't expect a show at the White House anytime soon. A breakup is always hard, and everyone needs time to heal. Karl's love is too strong to keep him down; luckily Mates of State caught it, for their sake and ours.
Battles to Tour, TMT Newswriter AJ Pacitti to Keep Her Typically Dirty Mouth Shut out of Actual Respect; Which Translates to “OMFG OMFG I LIKE TOTALLY WORSHIP U IAN WILLIAMS <3 <3 <3” in Internet Girlspeak
Dearest, Sweetest Math Rock Kid,
Battles are touring.
I have nothing cynical to say, so let's live in this sweetest, rare, life-giving moment.
Let's dance like no one's watching. Let's laugh often, and loud, and with -- not at -- each other. Let's hang poorly-decaled wall signs over our dressers that say "Dance as if no one is watching, sing as if no one is listening, love as if you've never been hurt," to further remind ourselves to dance... sing... and love. Let's look deeply into each others' eyes, run in fields barefoot, bask in the moonlight, and wear cut-offs. Let's go joy-riding, reader, baby sweetheart! Then, let's sit back in Adirondack chairs, sip lemonade, and enjoy an abridged version of these dated MTV pseudo-band remix lyrics.
Battles are touring, and we are in love, and drinking lemonade, and life is beautiful. Close your eyes dearest, sweetest math rock kid. Let’s listen, and dance, and live for love...
UMeUs Calculus Dream Maker Club Mix
Originally Performed By 2Gether
We'll I've never been good at history
And I don't give a crap
About Robert E. Lee
When it comes to close signs
I know a thing or two
And I kicked ass on the test about me and you
I know my calculus it says
You plus me equals us
Said I know my calculus
It says you plus me equals us
What the world needs right now is boy bands
Perfect, no problem, I've got a boy band
Boy band (x4)
What I need now
Is my troublemaker
I know where the bad boys hang out
Girl, Algebra or trigonometry
Could never equal up to what you do to me (do to me)
So let's integrate
If you were in my class
There ain't no way I could pass (way I could pass)
I hate English, gym
And not to mention
I can't even afford to pay my attention (pay my attention)
No philosophy could ever come between us
But we'll always have our calculus
U+ME=CANDY HEARTS, LOVE NOTES IN LOCKERS, MAKE-OUT SESHS IN MY PARENTS' DRIVEWAY... AND BATTLES TOURDATES:
$ Caribou, Born Ruffians
"God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. "God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. "God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. "God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. "God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. "God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply.
"God owns my life, not the Beatles," he said simply. Clockcleaner are releasing their second LP, entitled Babylon Rules October 2 via Load Records. It is accompanied by a short tour around the Northeast. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said.
“We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. “We're a generation that is kind of troubled," he said. Clockcleaner or Clockclean Er? One part concert, one part Christian revival, the rallies seek to "stage a reverse revolution" against secular popular culture. One part concert, one part Christian revival, the rallies seek to "stage a reverse revolution" against secular popular culture.
One part concert, one part Christian revival, the rallies seek to "stage a reverse revolution" against secular popular culture:
“Gonerfest” is just one letter away from “Bonerfest.”
Gonerfest is an annual celebration of garage and punk thrown by Memphis, Tennessee’s legendary Goner Records.
Bonerfest is a state of mind.
Gonerfest lasts five days, from September 26-30.
Bonerfest is always going on somewhere.
Gonerfest artists of note include about five Jay Reatard projects and the King Louie One Man Band, perhaps better known as “the guy who secretly wrote almost all of Guitar Romantic by The Exploding Hearts.”
Bonerfest doesn’t feature artists, per se, though its contents could easily be referred to as “art.” It’s complicated. Long story short, everyone would do well to attend both.
When I was growing up, Ma and Pa always used to argue over who made the cranberry sauce last Thanksgiving. Then Pa would edit the family Wikipedia page to say he was the one who had prepared the popular sauce. The next time the argument arose, he would shovel some coal into the back of the computer, screw on the internet hose, and turn the crank until the web browser was warm enough to display his self-made “evidence.” This method worked year after year. Ma could never prove that Pa had made the edit, as she was far too busy ordering looms from the Sears Roebuck catalog to trace his IP address.
Last week, things changed for us simple country folk, when a young upstart by the name of Virgil Griffith launched the website WikiScanner. Combining the Wikipedia database and the IP2Location database into a single search function, Griffith created a tool capable of determining the networks from which specific edits were made. While WikiScanner does not do anything that was not already possible, it makes the process far more efficient, thus unlocking its true potential (much like a six-chamber butter churn or an automated hog-feeder).
A variety of interesting edits have already been found: A user within Disney’s network deleted criticism of Digital Rights Management software, which is used by Disney. A computer owned by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca was used to delete references to claims that its product Seroquel made teenagers “more likely to think about harming or killing themselves.” And the motherfucker who ruined the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was working for the Republican Party.
It doesn’t end there. A multitude of edits have been made from within the networks of the FBI, CIA, BBC, Vatican, and, surprise surprise, the major music groups. The editing histories of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group mostly consist of adding links to official artist pages or corrections to the spelling of Steve Guttenberg’s biography. The one edit that stands out was made from a computer at Universal, adding the following two paragraphs to the page on “Copyright”:
“Authors and owners of intellectual properties throughout the ages have tried to direct and control how works would be used. Mozart's patron, Baroness von Waldstätten, allowed his compositions to be freely performed, while Handel's patron (George I, the first of the Hanoverian kings) jealously guarded 'Water Music.'
"Access control was always used as a measure to disallow intellectual property from being distributed without the consent of the author/owner. The [?Library of Alexandria] (aka "The Kings Library") wasn't a place that an average person could walk into and lend a book from. Ptolemy III paid the sum of fifteen talents of silver to be allowed to copy the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides."
It appears as if someone at Universal was trying to create a subtle historical case for the use of DRM (They’re right! We should have to pay for the library!). Whether this represents a grand scheme within the company or simply the actions of a rogue employee is indeterminable. All that is required to “trick” WikiScanner is an internet connection with an unfamiliar IP address. (I personally like to steal my neighbor’s wireless when I add boners to John Mayer’s Wikipedia entry.) While the major record labels have proven somewhat slow on the technological uptake in the past, it would be unrealistic to declare that the inner workings of Wikipedia must therefore escape them entirely. One should consider that the labels might already have separate IP addresses for editing Wikipedia and other sneaky internet business, which would beg reconsideration of the edits that WikiScanner has turned up. The very fact that we are able to trace them to a recognizable network could imply that they were not sanctioned by the higher-ups, but rather made by a single employee who was still bored after every Penny Arcade strip and Colbert Report clip available.
Wired has setup up an ongoing crowdsourcing effort to uncover more interesting Wikipedia edits. As for Griffith, he now plans to utilize the “treasure trove of information that people give away” on social networking sites. When I was growing up, we got our RSS feed updates via telegram. These days, even small, private, farming communities like Facebook could become sources of public information.
Elton John may have found an ally in his bold fight against technology, web comics, "all your base belong to us," and pictures of kittens speaking with poor grammar for no apparent reason; Guillermo Scott Herren (Prefuse 73, Savath & Savalas, Delarosa & Asora, A Could Mireya, Piano Overlord, and maybe Ahmad Szabo [still not totally sure on that one]) has announced that he abhors technology (that is not directly involved in the construction of supremely crunchy beats) and will do all he can to prevent its proliferation.
Reportedly, Herren was trying out his new catch phrase ("I has maked you a kookie... but I eated it") at a recent show in Brooklyn when the room was promptly flooded by twenty-somethings in ytmnd.com and homestar runner tees. In an effort to keep his audiences as isolated from internet trends as possible, Herren has announced (via skywriting plane, strategically placed billboards, and short-wave radios) that the full version of his upcoming Prefuse 73 album, Preparations, will only be available through physical retailers.
"Techheads will of course still be able to take a trip to GlitchtopiaÂ® when purchasing the album online. However, the only ones who will get the the full experience will be those kicking it so old school that they're stopping by their local Coconuts Music to pick up my disc... though I'm not totally sure chains stock my wares or if my fans have access to a local, independently owned record store," Herren was quoted as saying at the recent ILFSFOFCTPNRAPRY!ATGHYBHWANFODUYWOAHDCTWBF (International Luddite Forum Specifically Focusing On Forcing Consumers To Purchase New Records At Physical Retailers, Yup! Also To Get Here You Better Have Walked And Not Flown Or Drove. Unless You Were On A Horse Drawn Carriage. That Would Be Fine).
For those of you gobbling up the AACs at the iTunes music store, expect the following tracks, but not Herren's respect or approval, on October 23:
Apparently, the transportation rules of the ILFSFOFCTPNRAPRY!ATGHYBHWANFODUYWOAHDCTWBF do not apply to guest speakers, as Herren will be jet-setting throughout the world on his upcoming tour. His touring schedule makes me feel like a myopic asshole, as I do not even know what hemisphere the third tour stop is in
09.07.07 - Boulder, Co - Boulder Theatre (DJ Set)
09.13.07 - Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo - SESC Pompeia
09.14.07 - Recife Pernambuco - Recife - No Ar Coquetel Molotov - Teatro da UFPE
09.20.07 - London, Ontario - LOLA Outdoor Stage
10.14.07 - Dublin - Whelans
10.15.07 - Leeds - Room 237
10.16.07 - London - Scala
10.17.07 - Manchester - Apollo 2 *
10.18.07 - Brighton - Audio
10.19.07 - Reims - Electricity Festival
10.23.07 - Fribourg - Fri-Son
10.24.07 - Geneve - Usine
11.15.07 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar
11.16.07 - Miami, FL - Studio A
11.17.07 - Orlando, FL - The Social
11.18.07 - Tallahassee, FL - The Beta Bar
11.19.07 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
11.21.07 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
11.23.07 - Washington DC - Black Cat
11.25.07 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
11.26.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.27.07 - Boston, MA - Paradise
11.29.07 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place
11.30.07 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
12.01.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
12.03.07 - Missoula, MT - The Badlander
12.05.07 - Bellingham, WA - The Nightlight Lounge
12.06.07 - Seattle, WA - Nuemo's
12.07.07 - Portland, OR - Holocene
12.08.07 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
* Battles & Dirty Projectors
Ticketmaster and Live Nation Go The Way Of Brad & Jennifer, Whitney & Bobby, Reese & Ryan; High-Profile Divorce Rocks The Corporate Boat
Where exactly are our family values? In another blow to the American ethics system at the hands of high-profile celebrity couples, the country's most greedy ticket retailer, Ticketmaster, and its concert promoter beau, Live Nation, have halted negotiations, indicating a likely split come the end of the pair's contractual obligations in 2008. Per the Wall Street Journal, House of Blues venues and their parent company Live Nation accounted for nearly 20% of Ticketmaster's $1.1 billion generated last year. Ticketmaster, who's responsible for almost half of all ticket sales in North America, has sought to retain a level of autocratic control over sales, while Live Nation hopes to center more ticket-buying around their own website. Let's just call it irreconcilable differences.
Less of a couple than a money-grubbing corporate conglomerate, the pair have done their best to rid the concert-going public of any semblance of options, damning music fans from coast to coast and beyond to outlandish "service" charges and "processing" fees with few viable, or convenient, alternatives. Even TicketWeb, ostensibly a substitute, shares parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp with Ticketmaster. All this in the name of supporting "venues" that veer more toward tourist traps, the House Of Blues pairing stages with family dining and $15 hamburgers.
While the divorce is far from final (and what of the children!?), it has been reported that Live Nation Chief Bigwig Michael Rapino is considering his own ticketing venture as a way to pad profits, barring a reconciliation. So while the two industry behemoths jockey for position, I am reminded of the tagline for the fine feature film, 2004's Alien vs. Predator. "Whoever wins... we lose."