Ladies and gentlemen:
We, as Summer Hymns, have come to a decision which we felt we should tell you and all of our fellow American citizens, as soon as we were certain in our own minds and in our own conscience that it is the right thing to do.
Our conscience tells us clearly and certainly that we cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. Our conscience tells us that only we, as Summer Hymns, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. Our conscience tells us it is our duty not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility, but to use every means that we have to insure it. We do believe that the buck stops here, that we cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell us what is right. We do believe right makes might, and that if we are wrong, 10 angels swearing we were right would make no difference. We do believe, with all our hearts and minds and spirits, that we, not as Summer Hymns but as humble servants of God, will receive justice without mercy if we fail to show mercy.
Therefore, we, Summer Hymns, music group of the United States, pursuant to the touring power conferred upon us by Article IIX, Section 42, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, low-cost, and absolute tour unto the United States of America, with fellow Athens group Folklore (fronted by Elf Power's Jimmy Hughes), which will occur during the period from January 23, 2007 through February 10, 2007.
Summer Hymns, January 9, 2007:
In late 2006, Sony BMG dismantled its Sony Urban Music label. Artists Wyclef Jean, Three 6 Mafia, and Beyoncé were then shifted to subsidiary Columbia. In case you didn't notice, these artists are all black, which just so happens to be the same skin color of all the employees who were laid off from a Manhattan sales office, according to a story in the New York Post.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that a Sony BMG office "overwhelmingly" targeted black employees during the merger restructuring of 2004. The office consisted of seven black workers, eight white, and one Asian (gong would sound here if I were racist). After the restructuring, however, six employees were laid off -- and they were all black.
Predictably, the EEOC ruling provides ex-employees a good opportunity to sue. But of course! Now claiming she "was the victim of race discrimination," ex-employee Tamieka Blair initially accepted the layoff, until the ex-employees called each other and "realized it was all the black people." (That's like getting laid off from a job, but only getting pissed after finding out it was due to your skin color -- oh wait, that's exactly what this is! Funny.)
Thanks to an insider, who looks kinda Native American, TMT was lucky enough to obtain a copy of the Manhattan office's restructuring plan:
Of course, Sony BMG claims its layoff decisions were based on job performance, while the EEOC said Sony BMG "no documented procedure for determining who the best players were" and "lacked performance standards." Either way, I can't stop laughing!
In more PR disaster news, Sony BMG recently announced rootkit settlements with 41 states and the District of Columbia to the tune of $5.75 million and erected a new, fancy website that allows customers to file claims. Meanwhile, the EU is still re-examining the Sony BMG merger and is expected to make a decision on its fate soonish.
That break was too long wasn't it?
Jesus Comes Down To Earth To Return The Deserving To The Holy Father; Kinda Overshadowed By Talib Kweli/Madlib Collab Being Released For Free Online
UPDATE (01/09/07): Unfortunately, the files are no longer available. But please still read the story.
Christ, you know what, it's been days since I've read a decent best-of list. It's such a shame when it comes to this time of year and, try as you might, you can hardly find any socially frustrated cultural studies students with a perverse desire to delineate what albums made them nod seriously and say "Yah, yah, that's really important" in 2006. So I thought I'd make a couple of lists of my own. To tide you over, you know. Yeah, thank me later.
Best Album Released For Free So Far In January 2007:
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Best Album Available In A Zip File At at this web address
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Best Album That I Am Listening To Right Now:
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Best Album With Cameos From Consequence, Strong Arm Steady And Candice Anderson:
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Best Collaboration Between Talib Kweli & Madlib:
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Best Album With More Information Available At Rappcats
Talib Kweli & Madlib - Liberation
Alright, I think I'm pretty much done. Wasn't that fun? Right. Now go grab the album already.
Uh, uh, it's a tracklisting, uh, yeah:
Ever since I saw the music video for TV On The Radio's single "Wolf Like Me" I haven't been able to stop thinking about the preeminent masterpiece we all know as Teen Wolf. I cannot focus on anything except the sheer enjoyment I get from Michael J. Fox's impassioned characterization of a teenage boy trapped in a werewolf's body. Wow, just thinking about all of this right now is giving me the jitters.
I'm sure right now that YOU, the regular and attractive TMT reader, are wondering, "How the hee-haw is this horrible writer going to connect the brilliant film Teen Wolf with the innovative TV On The Radio??" Well, reader, you better go get a mop and bucket, because I am about to blow your mind out the back of your skull.
1. TV On The Radio unveiled their first self-released album OK Calculator in 2002. Michael J. Fox had an interview about his battle with Parkinson's disease on NPR in April of 2002. I'm guessing that TVOTR, along with Michael J. Fox, disliked diseases in 2002, which makes them all "blood brothers." And Michael J. Fox became Tunde Adebimpe's guardian angel fo' life.
2. When TVOTR's album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes was released on March 9, 2004 on Touch & Go Records, I am going to go ahead and assume that on that same exact day somebody, somewhere was watching or at least owned Teen Wolf.
3. Recently, the Greek mythical manifestation that is Tiny Mix Tapes named TVOTR's Return to Cookie Mountain the third best album of 2006. I am also going to go out on a limb and say that many TMT writers and readers enjoyed the short-lived Arrested Development. Justin Bateman was the star of Arrested Development, as well as a multi-thrillion dollar epic, aptly-titled Teen Wolf Too. Coincidence?
4. Teen Wolf Too was fucking awesome. Consider your mind blown.
In closing, I advocate seeing TVOTR on one of their many U.S. tourdates. Forget what all the playa haters may have said about their live shows, because I know for a fact that just staring at and finding objects in Kip Malone's beard is as fun as those hidden-picture activities in Highlights.
Now I present you with a long list of tourdates with intermissions featuring Teen Wolf Too taglines. Enjoy.
Garden State, Garden State, Garden State. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'd like to keep reminding everyone that The Shins were name-dropped in Garden State, the super-duper INDIE movie that hoisted The Shins' popularity to such great heights. But there's more: Zach Braff, the director and lead dude of INDIE movie Garden State, has joined The Shins. Yes, Braff and his teeth will be replacing Mercer, who evidently decided to date Natalie Portman to blur the line between reality, film-reality, and absurdity... weird!
With Braff and his fans in tow, The Shins are poised to have the best month of all-time. The group is scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live (January 13), CBS's Late Show with David Letterman (January 23), KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic (January 26), and in Virgin (January 22) and Amoeba (January 26) -- and oh yeah, they're releasing a new album. Titled Wincing the Night Away, the new LP is set for release on January 23 via Sub Pop, though you can stream it in its entirety on MySpace starting January 18.
"You're not the boss of me now, and you're not so big. Life is unfaiiiiiiir":
Neko Case to Tour with Merle Haggard; Haggard Voted “Sexiest Babe of Country” in Playboy’s 2006 Poll
So, Merle, how goes it? Oh, I'm doing pretty good man. Pretty fucking good. BURP] Hey, good to hear that! I'm also doing good. Hey, TMT's website is looking pretty sweet. Shitty you have to do ads, but what can you do, right? Yeah, exactly. Anyway, so what is it that you want? Well, Merle, I kinda have a beef with you. BEEF? WHAT BEEF? BEEF? THERE'S NO BEEF. Merle, stop doing that Seinfeld impression; I'm serious here. I just want to know... What? What is it Mango? Well, Merle, Neko is kinda mad at you. Uh oh, because of that fire joke? It was just a fuckin' -- No, no. Then why is she mad at me? Okay, let me show you an excerpt from her [official website, Merle:
You see, Merle, Neko is excited about her tour with you. Look at all them exclamation points! ... Merle? MERLE!!! Stop looking at my crotch and look at them exclamation points! Alright, you see, the problem is Neko thinks you don't give a shit about her. But, but why? Well, for starters, you don't even mention her on your website!! You'd rather muscle some Haggard fan to relinquish a MySpace address than even mention her in both your news section and tour section. Merle? Merle!! Seriously, stop staring at my fucking crotch and listen to me! You're being weird. Sorry Mango. It's quite the crotch. Um, I'll pretend I didn't hear that... okay Merle, if you want to make up with Neko, here's what you have to mention on your website:
- Neko just finished an Australian tour with The New Pornographers but is going back to Australia with a 6-piece band in January.
- New West Records released Neko's Austin City Limits performance on DVD.
- Neko will be part of New York's American Songbook Series at the Lincoln Center. She'll play two shows.
Think you can handle that, Merle? I think I can. As long as I get a taste... A taste of what, Merle? I'm really craving mango, if you know what I mean. Hmm, you want a mango? I can run to the store and grab you one. No, no, Mango.. I want your... you know... Oh, my mango drink that's in the fridge? Shit's pretty good if you want to try some. Here let me -- No, no, no... just forget it. No, c'mon, tell me. Hey, forget it alright? Are you sure? Yeah. I think I hear Neko coming anyway.
Neko Case tourdates:
Oh snap, he meant my penis!
When I first read the news “Sigur Rós frontman to release picture book,” I immediately imagined lead singer Jón Ãžór Birgisson hunched over a desk, busily creating a children’s picture book. He seems like the type that would use a quill to write, probably lit by a candle in the musty storage attic of an Icelandic modern art museum, so I imagined that too. It was only later that I learned his book was not a “story” picture book at all, but rather a genuine picture book, filled entirely with... well, pictures. Perhaps I just liked the idea of Birgisson as a children’s author, the idea of children and hipsters everywhere uniting around such a cute commonality. Perhaps I liked the idea that kids would give up kickball on playgrounds in favor of improvised, ambient jam sessions. Perhaps I just liked the idea that another musician might one day come along and dethrone Madonna as dictator of the musician/children’s author world.
Regardless, Birgisson’s book (which he co-wrote with his boyfriend, Alex) entitled Rice Boy Sleeps, was released in Iceland on November 24 and is due for international release in 2007. No clues have surfaced as to what, if any, plot the book will be centered around, but both the title and sources close to the author have hinted a possible “vegans taking power-naps” theme. Faxes and e-mails were sent to Birgisson’s publicist, but all were returned in Hopelandic and therefore were useless from a journalistic standpoint.
More information on Rice Boy Sleeps can be found here.
I don’t know about you, but the kids at my elementary school were a bunch of little comedians, little Richard Jenis in training, if you will. On the last day before winter break (one that usually lasted about three weeks, starting in mid-December), a specific scenario would be played out multiple times throughout the day:
Little Comedian: I guess I won’t see you again until next year.
Clueless Kid: What? Is your family moving overseas? Are you getting an operation or something?
Little Comedian: No, not next school year, next year. Get it? The next day of school will be NEXT YEAR. Ha ha ha.
Clueless Kid: That’s stupid.
Anyway, it’s kind of like what Emily Haines is doing to us. She, of Metric, Broken Social Scene, and countless (if you're lazy) other bands, is taking her solo act on the road, but you have to wait until next year to see the shows, specifically January 4, 2007. Haines and her backing band The Soft Skeleton will be playing songs from Knives Don’t Have Your Back, put out earlier this year by Last Gang Records.
Hopefully, Metric fans like the solo stuff, because Ms. Haines says that the mellower style from the solo LP will also be present on the next Metric album. She told Billboard, “I can already see how my work on 'Knives' has affected the direction of the next Metric record, which is cool," adding "We're making up lots of music in a bit mellower vibe.” The band spent part of this month writing songs in a “secret” studio in the Seattle area.
Drummer Scott Minor and bassist Paul Dillon will come along to back her up during these dates, and the show will also contain films projections by director Guy Maddin. Tall Firs, who are supporting their 2006 self-titled album on Ecstatic Peace, will open the entire tour.
Jagjaguwar Officially Going Steady With Canada; Canada Welcomes Attention but Not Ready for Full-On Penetration Yet
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of little-known author and poet E.C. Bentley. While his name means sweet F.A. to most, the man should be given his proper dues for two significant achievements. First, his early 20th-century story "Trent's Last Case" set the benchmark for future mystery novels and influenced giants of the genre like Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. (It's also notable for being really funny, too; the main detective, Trent, falls for a primary suspect — always a really dumb idea — and figures out the motive for the crime, but only after getting every one of his deductions incorrect and only after being told by the criminal himself how it was envisioned.) And secondly, he was the inventor of humorous, biographical, four-line, limerick-like poems called clerihews (his middle name). With irregular line lengths and simple structure and rhyming (AABB), the clerihew is the perfect medium for wannabe poets, pranksters, and roasters, and hence, for this amateur-in-every-way TMT scribe.
Not one to rest on its huge laurels, Jagjaguwar Records has announced that it will start the new year with one obvious goal: to continue its amazing run of strong albums. If anyone can follow up a year in which it put out two Simon Joyner albums, Pink Mountaintops' Axis of Evol, the self-titled Ladyhawk LP, Swan Lake's Beast Moans, Oneida's Happy New Year, and a slew of other releases, our favorite Bloomington, Indiana-based label can.
You might be wondering what a long-deceased, mysterious author/poet has to do with the never-forgotten record company. Um, nothing. But when I put them together, it gives me a chance to post tracklists and try my hand at writing some truly terrible clerihews of my own about two upcoming Can-rock Jagjaguwar releases: The Besnard Lakes’ The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (out February 20) and Woke Myself Up by Julie Doiron (to be released January 23).
Besnard Lakes are from the Montreal,
The home of le smoked meat, y'all.
You know they are hung, of course,
Because they are the Dark Horse.
The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse:
That old David Nadelle
Thought he was as smart as a bell. (Wha?)
Oh yeah, a genius, a real academic,
He's about as cool as a flu pandemic.
Nothing would be meaner
Than to knee him in his weiner.
But you know he would deserve it,
Because his clerihews stink like shee-it.
Okay, you think you got the skill
to write some clerihews that kill?
The best one sent to me
Will win a mixed CD!
Click on my name below
And attach your verse and address, yo.
I promise this single thing to you,
My mix will be better than my clerihews...
Listen, is there any way we can get this out of the way, like, really fucking quickly? My Wii arrived a few hours ago, and to be honest, I don’t really care too much about Isis going on tour in some country I don’t even live in. Like, Isis are great and everything, but, like, Zelda, dude! There’s even this bit where you can throw goats around for no reason at all.
Jesu: SUPPORT! (Holy shit, that’s actually pretty damn cool. Way to go, yanks!)
Dates: AS BELOW!