1/31/2005

must make money soon before end


I don’t think I’ve ever previously received a press release attempting to rationalize [my own language] a musician’s decision to put her music in a beer ad, but here it is. The gist is that SF deep house DJ Kaskade’s “upbeat acoustical dance mix” “Steppin’ Out” has been tapped [hey now!] by “leading music design company” DeepMix for use in a “dynamic Budweiser spot” that is “visually driven” and concerns “how various people enjoy Budweiser.”

Amazing. You really can’t write this stuff. Except for that somebody did.

Cue house thump: DeepMix Takes Budweiser On A Musical “Journey”…
“American Journey” opens on a close-up of Budweiser bottle spraying as its cap is popped open. The view segues to bottles of the beer raining down from the sky and into the hands of people in various situations -- a couple enjoying the outdoor weather, patrons at an art event, friends hanging out at home, and customers enjoying dinner at a restaurant and at a bar. As the bottles continue to drop with precise delivery into people's hands, an attractive woman turns towards a man at the bar and grabs a falling bottle of beer -- apparently the last one since the guy comes up empty-handed.

The music-oriented spot concludes with the recognizable Bud crown logo and the motion graphics "Bright. Crisp. Clean. Pure."
Like I always say: This blog writes itself.

And there’s even info about the music in this press release from Om Records: "We felt the track fit well into the spot since it had an organic and contemporary feel, as well as global appeal,” says Dave Curtin, “DeepMix Music Supervisor.” “Also, we had a strong relationship with the record label and artist so we knew we could work out a deal that would fall within the agency's budget."

I appreciate how he candidly addresses not only having to work on the cheap, but also his ambition to take this thing global. If I were sitting on a concept so novel as budget beer, attractive women and an empty-handed, drunken male gaze, I’d so be all over that shit!

turn the bullshit off

Although I'm not a big Jin fan, I really can't overstate the quality of sentiment behind his response to Hot 97's "Tsunami Song."

Listen to it here, courtesy of his website.

putting the dude back in dfa


Much as I want to keep this from being a gossip column for indie (by which, in this case, I sorta mean "indie") geeks...

It all started out last week when I noticed that someone had come to Promocopy via a Google search for "hey dude jonathan galkin." I recognized the name, as Jonathan Galkin is the DFA label manager who's kind of the behind-the-scenes guy, handles the paperwork, the press, all that.

Curiosity piqued, I checked out the Google search and found that someone named Jonathan Galkin had appeared on a television show called "Hey Dude " that ran on Nickelodeon between 1989 and 1991. I didn't bother writing the person I know as Jonathan Galkin about it, as, in my experience, it's hard enough getting in touch with him when you want to give his label real press, let alone making fun of him on your blog. But IMDB seems to think it's the same guy.

I don't know how well this translates to anyone outside my head, but I'm thoroughly humored that this guy who's been thickly involved in the arbitration of indie cool over the past few years has entertainment roots in a television show about kids lounging at a ranch. Although Galkin's presence on "Hey Dude" apparently started out slowly, by episode 32, "Superstition," his character's superstitious nature preventing him from trying out for a TV game show was the stuff that would drive a whole episode.

(Despite the fact that he didn't ultimately pan out to be a favorite of viewers.)

Uh, so: During the course of the show's lifespan, Galkin's character Jake would go on to "discover the identity of a mysterious peeping Tom who's been bothering the gang" in "Return of Ted," he would "investigate a case of thievery" in "Presumed Stupid," and in "The Legend of Jed," "the staff invents an imaginary worker to blame for [Jake's] mistakes" in order to keep him from being fired. Yeah yeah yeah!

Go here to hear a clip of what I'm assuming is the theme song. So rad. I can only dream of hearing this clilp on a future DFA release...

crib notes

Rather a novice on the topic of UK Garage, I've been reading quite a bit from Chantelle Fiddy's World of Grime of late, and I just noticed that she's now an "overseas correspondent" at The Tofu Hut.

Here's an informed consideration of the LCD Soundsystem album. I'm probably more willing to just let it ride as a singles collection. And "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" (although described here with such humorous precision as the Strokes doing the Stranglers) is still dumbly moving me, as it will, I think, a lot of people.

Rolling Stone continues to suck capitalism. All reverent and shit.

At least one person likes the new Daft Punk.

That damned Coachella.

Yeah, I don't know what any of this has to do with promotional copy. It's been kind of slow.

1/30/2005

love and law

Still fairly new on the scene, I've only had the good fortune to come into contact with (aka) the Unicorn's tear quite recently, and I only ventured so far as to link it this morning. Much to my delight, Jessica of said blog had a very nice thing or two to say about Promocopy this very afternoon. Thank you kindly!

(Relegated to the) Third Division status is a bit of a misnomer on that one, as tinyluckygenius only entered the ranks today. I foresee a bright future in which I just pay even more attention to that blog because I'm such an unabashed sucker for compliments.

In further world-revolves-around-this-blog news: I spoke to my lawyer today concerning that law firm checking me out the other day. He told me that I'm worth so incredibly little that there would be no incentive to go after me in any way.

(Full Disclosure: I am indeed so poor that I am in no position to retain a lawyer. This is just how my friends talk to me.)

He then dove into some analogy about the internet being some sort of wild west of free speech, all muffled against the throb of my aching pride. Or whatever. Point being that I shouldn't bother thinking twice about posting stuff like this:
Music from EMI

This e-mail including any attachments is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you have received it in error please advise the sender immediately by return email and then delete it from your system. The unauthorised use, distribution, copying or alteration of this email is strictly forbidden. If you need assistance please contact us on +44 20 7795 7000.

1/28/2005

takin' it back

I'm not a huge fan of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who--since we're here--are described by Judy Miller at Motormouth Media as "today's premier source of real Funk & Soul." I don't think I need to address the overstatement.

Anyhow, these folks just released Naturally this week, an album of very decent retro soul and funk. The album is good, but up against Aretha Franklin and the Meters--I mean, there's a reason Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are going back to reference these artists.

All of that said, this last week's Soul Sides, which is Oliver Wang's informative and entertaining (if a bit dry) "record-appreciation [audio]blog," offered fine retro-sympathies toward the Dap-Kings' cause. Wang also posted a great Paul Nice remix of "Got To Be Love," originally a track by Greyboy, featuring Sharon Jones.

1/27/2005

any review, retransmission or other use of this information...

Somebody from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, apparently one of the largest law firms in the world, was looking at Promocopy for over five hours today. Sounds potentially annoying.

1/26/2005

more information


Out Hud's new album Let Us Never Speak of It Again! is ready to go, due for release on March 21. You can hear annoyingly truncated pieces of several of the album's tracks at the band's website.

You'll also find a portion of the first single, "One Life To Leave" (out Feb. 7) on the site. It's described by the band's label as "two exclusive tracks and an indication of the awesomeness of the album to follow." I'm not going to argue with that kind of Cali-talk. And anyway, I'm not here to tell you how good or bad this album is.

This band can probably do without promo copy (and the offerings are quite slim), as critics were falling over themselves to file Street Dad's highest bid. While I never thought Street Dad was the godsend it was hailed to be--sort of spotty to my ears--I think Out Hud is amazing live and I was intrigued to see what would happen as this band developed in the studio (although many of these tracks date from early 2003).

The oft-cited post-Street Dad vocals from Phyllis Forbes and Molly Schnick work very well, helping to flesh out some of the undercooked pastiche passing as songs on the first album. Some of these tunes also sound conspicuously club friendly without loosing any of the weirdness. I don't hear anything that reaches the heights of "Dad, There's a Little Phrase...," but that's just me.

1/24/2005

take money


I'm told that former Ms. BIG Faith Evans' "time is now. You can see it in her newly toned physique." No kidding. Those are literally the first lines of the press release. I suspect that pic on the right wasn't taken at the gym, but that's beside the point.

Her forthcoming album The First Lady is supposedly "Faith Evans as you've never experienced her...Rich with womanly insight and wisdom..." What the fuck is "womanly insight"? Is that better or worse than real "insight"?

Aren't there any better ways to condescend to this person than to simply file her "womanly" qualities? I'll say it again: The public isn't stupid, it's these publicity machines creating an environment of stupid consumption (I'm talking concepts here as much as product). Art isn't about physique. Unless someone wants to make an analogy between pop music and porn. I'm all ears.

"Ten years into a career that has had its share of tribulations..." OK, that's what the pic is all about. I know it sounds like I'm making fun of her, but I'm really making fun of her publicist.

"I'm still here," Evans says. OK, I'm kind of making fun of her. She's on the Coach Carter soundtrack and the album comes out on some major label on March 29.

1/22/2005

big city nights



This info courtesy of Jon Galkin over at DFA: The new LCD Soundsystem site is up, where you can find videos for "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" and "Movement," two tracks from LCD's forthcoming LP (in stores 2/15). Both videos are fairly boring but mere dressing for two fairly righteous songs, the latter of which documents James Murphy's sustained evolution toward Mark E. Smith (in vocal if not in lyricism) better than anything else on the record. All in my humble opinion, of course.

The video for "Daft Punk..." makes direct allusions to Spike Jonze's video for--and this makes perfect sense, really--Daft Punk's "Da Funk." There's also this corny in-the-red motif throughout the video, as well as a conspicuously near-absolute presence of caucasians, which I guess is all part of the DFA revolution.

But that's all promocrap--the songs themselves, particularly "Daft Punk...," are damned catchy, and I've been listening pretty regularly. There are also a few fine promocopy.blogspot.com possibilities in the press release for the album, but out of respect to the disc's publicist, I will promote this thing no further.

1/21/2005

down for a jack move

Mixed thanks to digitalbul1et for pointing me toward Revolution In The Head, where I found this absurdist take on "Straight Outta Compton."

I'm in favor of rendering the voice of the oppressed comical and white people using the word "ni*ga" under the shield of irony as much as anyone (hey, it's a post-racism world, right?), but it's the cheap exchange of melody for rhythm that really bothers me.

power ballin'


As much as I hate to say it, I'm here to give respect to both Ashley Chafin, publicist at Capitol Records (EMI), and the capitalist machine she's playing the role of cog within. "Capitol Recording Artist Chingy Announces US Tour," reads the headline of this press release in front of me, and all copy that follows is as straightforward and factual. No hyperbole, no quotes from crooked critics, no begging for press, none of the bullshit that I'm here to complain about--just straight references to multiple top ten Billboard chart placements, half a dozen recent talk show appearances, (triple) platinum and gold (so far) selling albums, live appearances and duets with gigantic stars, an appearance on the soundtrack of a #1 movie at the box office last week, and a handful of shows next month opening for DJ Quik.

There's literally nothing in this press release for me to talk shit about.

I guess I could sit here and tell you this MC sucks, but does it really matter?

london calling


Inspired by Catchdubs and in the face of a bitter aversion to service fees, I picked up that MIA ticket last night. I didn't want to say anything until all purchases were final. I hate the competition.

1/20/2005

floating in my tin can [sic]


In case anyone out there recognized the first Fischerspooner album as "a shot heard around the world, an end-of-the millennium musical statement of pure digital and visual style," this one's for you. Come April 5, the art-pop goes back on stage with Fischerspooner's sophomore release, Odyssey.

(In some ways, I don't even know why I'm approaching this topic: Is there any way that promotional copy about Fischerspooner could not be ridiculously over the top?)

Ahem. According to Jason Roth at Capital (that's EMI), the duo's new album, Odyssey ("so named for the unexpected emotional and artistic journey it took to make") is no less than "a vast musical leap forward, and its realization would...stretch the duo to their physical and creative breaking point." Gosh.

"For their second album, Fischerspooner had a new agenda--to create a cohesive album of songs"... Hah! Ok, just kidding. That's selective quotation. "...that were more expressive and emotional than their predecessors." Much improved.

"Like the albums that inspired it, Odyssey is a bona fide headphone album, layered with hidden sounds and ideas that reward the close listener. 'I was thinking of songs I remembered hearing on the radio as a kid,' says Fischer.  'That warm seventies FM sound coming off the radio from bands like The Beatles or Pink Floyd.'" [sigh]

Why even bother with the musicality of it all when it seems clear to anyone paying attention that the stage show is really what Fischerspooner is about. I mean, look at that picture above. That's not even anyone involved with the music! That's just the help! Fischerspooner is way less about music than it is art. And by "art," I'm talking about halfway between this type of thing and this. Am I wrong?

Although I think that's enough, this dude cut/pasted track by track info from the press release. Go ahead and look--you know you want to.

OK, Just one more delectably pretentious nugget from this press release, which goes on about how "Spooner reached out to the unlikely pairing of hit songwriter Linda Perry and pre-eminent intellectual Susan Sontag in a bid to reflect the twin pillars of their inspiration--high art and pop culture."

Spooner: "When I approached Susan, it was September 2003. I went to her house and had this fantasy that we would pick something to work on together from my notebook of ideas." 

Roth: "Instead, after a brief discussion, she disappeared into her library and returned fifteen minutes later with a printed sheet of lyrics titled 'We Need A War.'"

Spooner: "I read them and said, I don't think I can say the word 'war.' I'm not comfortable saying it." 

Sontag: "You need to get comfortable saying it. Your president approved eighty billion dollars for a war in Iraq yesterday."

fin

1/19/2005

unpaid programming



Petra Haden, who you may recall is currently preparing for the Feb. 22 release of her Who Sell Out vocal album, has fetched economical praise for the project from Who guy Pete Townshend, himself: "I love it. It is exquisite."

Howard Wuelfing describes Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (there's a tiny photo at right from those tight bastards at Bar None) as "a tour de force," a statement that I don't really have anything to say about other than the fact that I kind of doubt its accuracy. But then again, what do I know.

Haden is also apparently singing backup vocals on that new Beck album that was leaked--you know, the one at that link that no longer works.

More interesting still, she's featured on the forthcoming Decemberists record, Picaresque, offering vocals and strings, and she'll be touring with the band in March/April. Wuelfing further notes that Haden has "not join[ed] as a permanent member," in case anyone was wondering.

rick james, bitch!



So, after (merely annoyingly) making off with a stolen dime bag of DFA hand-claps and Richard X's hangover, Peter Hook, paranoid and sleepless, flees to Tokyo, where he happens upon a young Frank Black method acting the hazy memory of dubbing Tron into Japanese two weeks past deadline. Hook likes what he sees, and asks Black to audition for his next project--but only after retiring to the bathroom for a rail that's going to push off sleep just long enough to conceptualize what's about to happen...

As promised, here's a taste of the new Mu record, Out Of Breach (Manchester's Revenge), out February 21 on Output Recordings:

"We Love Guys Named Luke"

"Stop Bothering Michael Jackson"

You'll also want to check out the current issue of XLR8R, which features a cover story on the fab Mu herself.

As one of the above tracks is already readily available for purchase, and the other is nowhere near the best track on the record, I do suggest that you go out and buy Out Of Breach next month. I'm also kind of pulling for Gamall Awad, one of the good guys, who is promoting this record for Backspin.

rita spits out her laurel leaf

Of course, I'm not the only one doing this sort of thing.

1/18/2005

with measured steps...


Although I balked the other night when a friend mocked me for "counting hits," I have to admit to periodically checking up on where this blog's traffic is coming from. I noticed this weekend that multiple entries had come from a secured zone at the web site of They Walk In Line, a band that readers probably won't recall having been poked fun at around here. Upon following the link, a page on the band's website informed me that, "This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested."

Was Promocopy being discussed behind closed doors? My very own? I can only dream that anyone is paying so much attention.

Nonetheless, sap that I am, I began to feel bad for dismissing this band before hearing its record, even though my criticisms in that post had specifically to do with an uncreative band name (one that unfortunately evokes the image of mechanical adherence to a mindless structure). (What?! This blog's about music promotion, after all.) To boot, the band's bio finds the group compared to various "pillars of alternative/indie rock" while admitting that, as recently as one year ago, "the band was not ready to settle on a direction"--immediately followed by a brief description of meeting with some A&R dude (gets a band focu$ed every time).

I combed the incoming media pile for this disc--which I don't remember seeing--fruitlessly, giving up to the notion that perhaps this band's publicist sent only the one-sheet, which actually happens quite often.

Fortunately, as it were, the band's site boasts mp3s: one track from the band's forthcoming LP Medical Necessities, and two from a former EP. Midtempo, slightly whiney, shoegazer stuff with inoffensive and predictable soft/loud exchanges, all reverby and comfy with echo. Not at all terrible.

So there you are. I'm not taking anything back, but now I can say with a guilt-free conscience that this band's name is worse than its music. And in all fairness, it's not like naming your band after a song penned by another band is without precedent. I'm sorry if I gave anyone that impression.

1/17/2005

of course

On the heels of that last post:
If Martin Luther king was alive today what would he be doing tonight?

Mr. King would tune into KXLU's Neuze Pollution @ 11pm for BEDROOM WALLS!

KXLU 88.9FM
http://www.kxlu.com/

BEDROOM WALLS
http://www.bedroomwalls.com

we thank you for caring and so does the great Mr. King!

Dave freeman and Bedroom Walls
aim: fallingelevator
323.344.1972
Anyone bothered with this kind of handling of Dr. King should feel free to get in touch with Dave Freeman and tell him about it: dave_femg@earthlink.net

MLK

Pleased to find publicists giving it a rest today, and moved by reading what Kris Ex pulled together for the occasion.

if you happen to be accustomed to getting rubbed



Now, I'm hardly the type of person who would make light of another individual whose loneliness in the world might cause him to express the anguish of an alienated, emotionally destructive life in public view, but DJ Jester & Quad Rod recently made a whole album for Fever Pitch about this type of thing, called Table for One.

Here's a piece of it
, a track that doesn't nearly do the album--essentially a DJ's concept record about breakups--justice but still kind of gets the agenda across. But that's all you're getting, because this blog's about lame promotional materials. And the stuff that DJ Jester wrote to promote his own album is all pretty sincere and candid, so I'd kind of be doing you, the reader, a disservice by giving you any more on this record, right?

(Not Yet Titled)

I hear that a new Beck album has been leaked (am I late on this?) for any of you ingrates out there who might be interested. But you're going to have to go to digitalbul1et to find out about it.

1/14/2005

daily feature

Finally with this new Pitchfork business.

whip crack

In further egotistical and overbearingly self-referential Promocopy news...

I know I said the other day that this was a one-man effort, but someone who had been furnishing me with press releases just got shit from a publicist about my treatment of the material. So there you have it, while I'm doing all the writing here, there's at least one person out there pushing material my way and (so far) taking the fall for my trash talk.

I'm not going to mention this guy's name, so as not to aggravate him further or belittle the single publicist who cares about the issue (stay tuned and watch her name disappear from the blog...forever). I will, however, apologize to this (the former, not the publicist) sad jerk who so foolishly forwarded to me a personalized email message, which I in turn posted here as a message intended for me. The message drew heat toward him, once the original writer recognized the language, and for that I'm sorry.

Please don't out me, old man. All in good fun, this is.

And in all seriousness, it appears as if I may have cost the guy who took shit for me a fine opportunity. So to that publicist I cannot name: please do not take away from that person I cannot name the chance to do that thing with that third party I cannot name.

Love,
Promocopy Robot

michael franti slamdances w/ riddim

In more Slamdance Film Festival News, Michael Franti, who fronts Spearhead, and kind of cares so much that it's annoying, now has a documentary film titled I Know I'm Not Alone, which will debut at the aforementioned festival.

Slamdance festival director Kathleen McInnis has this to say in general, which Franti's publicist Wendy Weisberg has co-opted for her own purposes in that way publicists do so very deftly: "We feel the documentary film to be the last stand of truly independent filmmaking--not yet co-opted by studios or the mini-majors but instead fresh voices from filmmakers almost always nearly shy of resources but rich in story."

There's no truly independent film out there taking any stands against corporate cinema. This is that same limp argument from people who are too lazy to seek out independent art and thusly feel more comfortable in suggesting that it does not exist. I would even take the argument that independent film doesn't matter over this. Anyway, I digress.

Weisberg then goes on to make Franti sound like a total corn-dog, although, it must be said, not out of character:
"Armed with an acoustic guitar and a video camera, Michael Franti takes viewers on a musical journey through war, life and occupation in Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Palestinian occupied territories...and everyday people who in turn reveal to him the often overlooked [???] human cost of war...Michael's storytelling and songs masterfully weave the film into a visual and musical tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
There's some other absurd stuff about Franti "hanging out in a poet's lair," Franti singing his tune "Bomb the World" ("...you can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace...") to a roomful of soldiers who just fled a bomb, how he "ends the day on a joyful note" and then gets to go home to San Francisco.

"Joy, a desire for peace and love for the human spirit embody Michael Franti's musical message and with I Know I'm Not Alone, the artist spreads his ideas to a different audience via a new medium."

Not to be daft, but really, isn't Michael Franti just sitting around waiting for a war so he can pick up his guitar and soothe bruised souls with positive vibrations? Truly amazing the manipulative tone with which we utilize the destruction of the very fabric of Iraqi culture [woah--the rhetoric is contagious] in the promotion of art.

1/13/2005

precipitation

'Bout time the criticism started coming in. Everything I've heard about this blog so far has just been so very kind, so it's nice to hear a real response from the likes of catherine's PITA:
if i was having a little parent-teacher conference with the following blog's mom, i'd say it has a lot of potential: promocopy, wherein a bored music writer aims to skewer music publicists. a little highlighting would go a long way, anonymous. no one wants to read reams and reams of that shit for no apparent reason.
I guess a good excuse would be that I'm bored. Not to be difficult, but I'm a little unclear on what highlighting means. Given the sentence that follows, I think it may have something to do with editing. Point taken.

Also big thanks to Michaelangelo Matos , a writer whose work I greatly admire, for mentioning this new blog. I've yet to make a firm decision on the biggest problem with Promocopy, but its primary agenda being criticism of a subject matter that is largely only on the radar of people who write about indie rock music and know what it's like to deal with publicists is probably top three for me at this point. I think Matos is near the mark, noting that this blog is seemingly only for writers who work in this very self-centered arena.

I do, however, get some satisfaction out of the possibility that readers might take away from this blog that independent music is very much an industry, an evolving monster, complete with its own set of crooked and manipulative ringleaders. While I'm open to the argument that independent music can be art, the way that we are exposed to it is commerce, and in the past fifteen years folks have been figuring out how to make some serious profit without really sacrificing too much indie cultural capital.

If this is all clear to you, step back into the embrace of "us writer types" and make some room for those kids (myself included, although really no longer a kid) spending time mocking the unwashed masses. We've got our own wee capitalism going on out here, and I'm just taking a few notes, hoping to shed a little light on the topic.

Again, thanks very much to Catherine and Michaelangelo for their advice, which plays a significant hand in my attempt to hone and focus this young blog.

1/12/2005

shake yer body-body

Just in case Mu's "Paris Hilton" wasn't bizarre enough on its own, here's the video, courtesy of Gamall Awad at Backspin Promo. Fairly out there and oh-so-rad! Seriously.

Says the publicist: "Utterly unique, Out of Breach [out Feb 21] unleashes a sonic assault of demented discoid punk, twisted beats, and screeching vocals, which is single handedly demolishing traditional musical boundaries." Over the top as that is, go ahead and listen to "Paris Hilton" again for confirmation: "a tribute to everyone’s favourite media princess, which has been tearing up dance floors worldwide with it’s pounding beats, acid squelches, and crazed chicken squawks." Ok, Ok, you get the picture.

Stay tuned for somebody or other to leak album tracks.

And still: Mu January tour dates:

17-JAN-05, Boston @ Middlesex Lounge
20-JAN-05, NY @ Joes Pub
21-JAN-05, Chicago @ Logan Square Auditorium
22-JAN-05, Detroit @ Oslo
26-JAN-05, Austin @ Copa
27-JAN-05, SF @ [TBA]
28-JAN-05, LA @ The Echo
29-JAN-05, NY @ Tribeca Grand Hotel

bloc party w/ chromeo (+ new video)


I was a little confused about not seeing that Bloc Party EP [that's them, at right, Paul Frank-ing it out] on more US best-of-2004 lists (as a singles collection, it slayed, and this band is not slowing down). But whatever, 2005 is going to be something else entirely, methinks. Do pay attention to this band.

Bloc Party has scheduled UK shows with New Yorkers Chromeo for March, which I find to be thrilling and weird. (I mean, aside from Bloc Party being in the Vice stable now, but strangely still not out loud. hmmm) Straight from the Bloc Party site:
We're chuffed to announce our our latest brace of UK headline shows:

01.03.05 Edinburgh Liquid Room
02.03.05 Sheffield Leadmill
04.03.05 London Forum
05.03.05 Portsmouth Pyramid

We have also persuaded one of our favourite acts from across the pond Chromeo to come and open for us on all these shows. Make sure you arrive early to check them out.

Postscript: Just noticed a video for "Tulips" (UK b-side to "Little Thoughts" and US 12" out on Dim Mak in a couple weeks). Apparently it's exclusive there.

zeppelin reunites!

Bobbie Gale at Capitol (that's EMI) seems proud to announce tour dates for Leed's (UK) own The Music. Anyone paying attention will likely recall that the band's sophomore LP Welcome to the North arrived in the US last October. You may possibly even have noticed that a video for "Breakin'," the album's first single, has just been put into rotation on MTV2.

I jest in the post heading because I saw The Music a couple years ago and I thought they sounded way too much like Led Zeppelin, which I think is humorous and should be made fun of. Get it? Hear it for yourself. (I send you there, because at the band's "official" site there's nothing under the downloads section but wallpaper's, screensavers and e-cards) And anyway, it's not just me making the Zep connection. Says The Music site that EMI built: "Celebrated by The Los Angeles Times for 'a grand sound that mixes Zeppelin, Queen and U2 into an electronics-spiked sonic storm.'" Right.

The band is going to be in the States throughout February and March, performing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on March 14th... They are also apparently scheduled to appear at South By Southwest. Recall that this is one of those major label bands marketed as indie. Playing at SXSW. Remember when the majors didn't care about the indie market share? Thanks Nirvana. Hey, thanks Matador!

Robert Plant (aka Robert Harvey, The Music's lead singer) has this to say about Americar: "We're excited to get back over and play our own gigs out there. It's been an amazing experience touring a country as diverse and intense as America."

So get all diverse and intense with The Music this Feb/March:

February
17 New York, New York Irving Plaza
18 Washington, D.C. 9:30 Club
19 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Theatre of the Living Arts
22 Providence, Rhode Island The Call
23 Boston, Massachusetts Paradise Rock Club
24 Montreal, Quebec The Imperial
26 London, Ontario Centennial Hall
27 Detroit, Michigan St. Andrews Hall
28 Covington, Kentucky Jillians

March
2 Chicago, Illinois Metro
3 St. Louis, Missouri The Pageant
7 Seattle, Washington Neumos
8 Vancouver, British Columbia Commodore Ballroom
9 Portland, Oregon Crystal Ballroom
11 San Francisco, California Slim's
12 Los Angeles, California Henry Fonda Theatre
13 San Diego, California Canes Bar & Grill
15 Tempe, Arizona Marquee Theatre
17 Dallas, Texas Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom

1/11/2005

ice age

Capping off a year that saw descriptions of "indie" rock's finest as (merely) "derivative" becoming totally passe (see Tannenbaum quote), even these new bands' names are turning into straight references:
Happy New Year! Just wanted to make sure you have the advance copy of They Walk In Line's new CD, "Medical Necessities." The album will be released Feburary 8 on Rock Ridge Music. Have you had a chance to check out the CD?
Oh yeah, I guess we already had Radio 4, so, we're on a roll here. (And yes I know it's "Walked In Line," but don't get smart, folks.)

I actually feel sympathy for the kind of publicist--like, say, Jennifer Levy Niederhoffer at Impress Media--who has to deal with this sort of thing (zzz). Willful ignorance of the need for music to be unique in order to be meaningfully lasting you might say, but, hey, that counts too.

But, uh, as to the actual music: I haven't heard this record yet, so stay tuned for me eating serious crow!

1/10/2005

diplo's hook

Voice readers will have come across this article by Douglas Wolk on Brazilan Rio Baile Funk a month ago, and I'm So Sinsurr readers would have caught on to Favela Booty Beats even before that, but, you know, I'm just here to pick up the scraps for the indie rockers.

Anyway, try a dash of this Tourettes Bass at your next house party and see if you can tease out some seizure. Plenty more where that came from.

hope i die before i get old

Cut/paste:
Hi there,

Happy new year!  I wanted to let you know about CITIZEN COPE who is coming back thru town again on Wednesday, February 2 (with Marc Broussard).  He was just there in December so you should have the music and press info already.  In more recent news, Cope's album The Clarence Greenwood Recordings was recently selected as one of the Top 10 staff picks of 2004 on NPR's "All Songs Considered".

Please let me know if you're interested in attending the show or can provide any further coverage.

Thanks!

Maggie Wang
Sr. Director, Publicity
RCA Records/SONY BMG
1540 Broadway, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10036
212 930 7007 tel
212 930 4479 fax
maggie.wang@sonybmg.com
www.rcarecords.com/press/

koala does australia

I know I'm supposed to be taking the piss or whatever, but after dealing with stacks of pro publicity month in and month out, I can't help but to have a soft spot in my heart for people who do their own PR. Here's the word from Kid Koala , via DJ Jester, on Short Attention Span Theatre tour dates in Australia later this month (+ Jester dates in New Zealand):
"...Inspired by episodes of 'The Muppet Show' and 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'. I imagined if all the Muppets bought turntables and did an episode of the show on stage it might end up a little like this. There are loud moments, there are melancholy moments and there are silly moments. It's DJ Jester, P-Love and myself with 8 turntables set up in five turntable stations like a band (one for each layer of the track) and we have to move around between the different stations depending on what we're doing on each track. On some tracks I'll be doing drums and piano so there's a lot of running around which is all part of the fun. The whole thing is set up so you can figure out where all the sounds are coming from and which DJ's are doing what. It keeps it pretty dynamic that way. There's a drum turntable set up, there's a solo turntable set up and there's two sets of piano turntables. There's also a piano on-stage which we use to do some of the piano and turntable routines from the 'Nufonia Must Fall' soundtrack and we're doing a slide show to introduce the audience to some of the characters from the books and to set the scene for some of the musical pieces. We've also got some short animated films by Monkmus. They're really demented! There's one about a wine drinking pterodactyl and there's one about inflatable crocodiles and cockroaches flying into space." --Kid Koala

SHORT ATTENTION SPAN THEATRE TOUR WITH KID KOALA, DJ P-LOVE, DJ JESTER, AND LEDERHOSEN LUCIL:

1/25: Adelaide, Australia @ Adelaide Festival Theatre
1/27: Kid Koala, P-Love, Jester on PBS FM Studio Five Live, 7PM (45 minute live set and interview)
1/28: Melbourne, Australia @ The Prince
1/28: KID KOALA, P-LOVE, JESTER on RRR radio, 12noon (Live Interview w/ Ennio Styles)
2/3: Sydney, Australia @ The Gaelic Club

..and then to New Zealand for:

THE FRUIT SALAD TOUR w/ LEDERHOSEN LUCIL AND DJ JESTER:

2/10: Auckland, New Zealand @ The Kings Arms
2/11: Napier, New Zealand @ O'Flaherty's
2/12: Wellington, New Zealand @ Indigo Bar
2/16: Onekaka, New Zealand @ The Mussel Inn
2/17: Christchurch, New Zealand @ Jetset Lounge
2/19: Dunedin, New Zealand @ Arc Cafe

time loves a hero

The Arcade Fire, which received 2004's honorable Record that Nobody Heard But Indie Journalists Went Curiously Apeshit Over On Year-End Lists award, will be appearing live on Los Angeles' KCRW on Monday, January 17. That would be, of course, on the much ballyhoed Morning Becomes Eclectic show, during which the band is set to play at 11:15am. (The show should be archived shortly thereafter for anyone online.)

Also from the desk of KCRW publicist Debbie Adler: Inara George, LA vocalist and daughter of Lowell George will be performing on the show the next day at the same time. Just thought my dad might want to know about that.

1/07/2005

on and on with the danger mouse-isms

Well, if we thought there was any artistic credibility to the Grey Album (I mean, I did), we might now be squelching it as fast as we are able. The Grey Video, news to me courtesy of Sasha Frere-Jones.

And no, I don't know what this has to do with promotional copy, but I can probably think of something over the weekend.

Postscript: Of course, now that I take a look, Gothamist was going on about this in mid-November, as was Sleep Not Work, holycola, I'm sure the list goes on while I stretch from sleep.

new enon, feb 2

I've personally never really been into the band, but I know how much you indie kids love this crap. Nice guy Chad Nelson at Touch and Go has this to say:
Enon has "Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence" out 2/22/05. This is a collection of hard to find singles (vinyl and web-only) that dates back to the initial incarnation of Enon back in 1998. Plus it comes with a fancy DVD that has some videos, live stuff, and band hijiinks. Enon continues to refine, reshape, and renew their sound, and this look back at the band's different eras more than defines that.
Ah, Chad Nelson. I feel so bad for how little press I get for this guy in response to the wealth (at least in numbers) of music he sends me, and I feel like I'm always slighting him. I absolutely love T & G's other publicist, Miranda Lange. She's a total straight shooter, I like her taste in music, she's fun, friendly, hooks up the shows (admittedly, so does Chad), wants to hang out when she's in town, all that. So whenever I call Touch and Go, I always want to talk with her. And I don't know how it works out, but those two publicists always, invariably, manage to to divide the the stuff that I love (TV on the Radio, !!!) and the stuff that I'm unmoved by (Pinback, Enon) between her and him, respectively. I feel like a heel, because Touch and Go is good people and has been nothing but a pleasure to work with. But what are you going to do.

Maasai Hip Hop

OK, I really do have to get some work done, but... Just sayin'. This is a positive recommendation, in case anyone has accurately assessed that I sometimes have trouble being sincere around here.

this is what i do all day

If anyone asks what it is that I do beside blog, I'm quitting.

This one below has been sitting in the inbox for a couple months, but this is essentially what stage one of publicity correspondence looks like for me these days.
I am updating the publicity database for TVT Records - home for Lil Jon & The Eastside Boys, Dashboard Confessional and Ying Yang Twins to name a few.

Please fill in your contact information below:

Name:
Company:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip:
Phone:
Fax:
E-Mail:
Do you cover Hip-Hop and/or R&B?
What type of stories are most likely to pique your interest?
Prefer phone or email follow-up?

Thank you very much for helping me in this endeavor. If I can help you on any upcoming features/projects, please do not hesitate to call or email.

--
Joe Wiggins
Urban Publicity
TVT Records
23 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
212.979.6410 x290
212.979.6489
joe@tvtrecords.com

***Ying Yang Twins ** My Brother and Me - CD/DVD * November 2, 2004
***Jacki-O ** POE LITTLE RICH GIRL * IN-Stores NOW!!!
***Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ** CRUNK JUICE * November 16, 2004
***Various Artists ** CRUNK CLASSICS * IN-Stores NOW!!!
***Teedra Moses ** COMPLEX SIMPLICITY * IN-Stores NOW!!!
***213 ** THE HARD WAY * IN-Stores NOW!!!
***Pitbull ** M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue)* IN-Stores NOW!!!
***Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ** PART II - CD/DVD * Gold Status!
***Ying Yang Twins ** ME & MY BROTHER * Platinum!
***Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ** KINGS OF CRUNK * Certified 2x Platinum!
Which is way better than what it used to look like, which was me contacting them: "Hi, my name is [promocopy Robot] and I write for a bunch of free 'zines and websites that nobody reads and you've never heard of, but can you send me some free music?"

Anyway, try it for yourself. There's the man's info.

return to jarboe

And yes, I understand that Jarboe is behind Swans, so, indie rockers, please don't get excited.

who says a flesh peddler can't write rock crit

This guy at Howlin' Wuelf Media, who weirdly almost never actually sends me music--just the one-sheets via email--has been on about someone called Jarboe for several weeks (months?). He just sent another press release that includes an interview with Jarboe that ran at SuicideGirls.com.

Is Suicide Girls a valid source of criticism at this point? I personally think they still have some third wave feminism issues to tackle before they take on art. But that's just me (white male). The interview starts out--seriously, first two sentences of the intro--with how beautiful Jarboe is. I was going to say something about the male gaze informing and hindering assessment of art created by women, but, again, we're talking about Suicide Girls here, so I'm not sure what the point would be.

Read it here (I guess, as I've still not heard Jarboe and can in no way recommend it) if you can stand not looking at all the skin (not to be prudish, but I'm merely under the impression that looking at naked women is what SuicideGirls.com is for).

post-Parliament (and other "Major Music Stars") at some film festival

Here's some cutting-edge shit for you film people: (I don't know anything about the Slamdance Film Festival--or who Vanessa@slamdance is, for that matter--so I'm not going to make fun of anything--although, I understand it's some sort of alternative to Sundance) Anyhow, here's the cut/paste, sans witty commentary:
Los Angeles, CA--Slamdance Film Festival announced a major music line up today for their festival events in Park City, Utah, January 21-28, 2005. The Festival, which has long been known for its cutting edge, music driven parties and events, has secured both local and national acts to perform. The artists include several filmmakers whose work is in the festival, including Michael Franti whose film "I Know I Am Not Alone" is the Closing Night film.
There was a quote at this point from Guitar Player magazine about how vibrant and rewarding the music at this thing always is, but it was sort of boring. And I used to work for the publishing company the put out Guitar Player, so I think I've given those people enough of my energy.

The history of me shuffling paper around a desk aside, the festival will be screening a short documentary on Bernie Worrell called Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth, which I'm guessing will be pretty hot. Here's who's performing and when, with promocopy by Vanessa:
Jan 15: Purr Bats and JW Blackout will play after a showing of a selection of Slamdance 2005 shorts at Brewvies in Salt Lake City.

Jan 21 (608 Main), 9:30 PM: Elliott Sharp http://www.elliottsharp.com
Acoustic / electric set - Elliott Sharp is an amazing guitarist and composer (he won the Guitar Player magazine award for Best Guitarist). Elliott did the soundtrack for Slamdance 2005 Special Screening documentary COMMUNE.

Jan 22: The Rubes and The Apex Theory will play after a showing of the Slamdance 2005 Special Screening film MALE FANTASY at Brewvies in Salt Lake City. There will also be a special guest DJ playing.

Jan 23: Mike Doughty http://www.mikedoughty.com
Indie icon / musician / writer Mike Doughty will headline at Suede (in Park City) with an exclusive solo acoustic set in support of his ATO Records (My Morning Jacket, North Mississippi All Stars, David Gray, Ben Kweller) release Skittish / Rockity Roll. Mike is the former frontman of the slacker jazz rock band Soul Coughing, performing under the moniker M Doughty. Rockers The Apex Theory will do a performance visual art rock set as support. Live DJs throughout. Event starts at 8 PM.

Jan. 27: Michael Franti of Spearhead will play a solo show at the 608 Interchange in support of his film, the Slamdance 2005 Closing Night documentary, I KNOW I¹M NOT ALONE.

Jan 28: Prince Paul (Handsome Boy Modeling School, producer: De La Soul) will perform a live DJ set at Suede. Headlining will be hip hop / funk pioneers: Bernie Worrell (founding member of P-Funk, subject of Slamdance 2005 documentary short, STRANGER: BERNIE WORRELL ON EARTH), Will Calhoun (world class drummer, credits include Living Color, BB King, Wayne Shorter), & bassist Doug Wimbish (resident bassist for Sugar Hill Records, Bronx, NY). and

Jan 29: Modern Soul Movement and Starmy will play after a showing of the Slamdance 2005 Narrative Competition film, PHIL THE ALIEN, at Brewvies in Salt Lake City.
And most importantly, here are those corporate sponsors:
The Slamdance Film Festival Presenting Sponsors are Kodak and BAWLS Guarana. Fox21 and Continental Airlines are year-round Presenting Sponsors. Major Sponsors include NC Soft, Modern Digital, Crest National, the Director¹s Guild of America, Digital Film Group, DigiScreen and the Maryland Film Office. Official Sponsors include Corazon Tequila, Dr. Martens, Dos Equis, Salt Lake City Weekly, X Mission, Different by Design, HD Cinema, ASCAP, Alpha Cine, Screen International, X96 and TimBuk2. Venue sponsors are Suede and the Wilshire Grand, while media sponsors include Activision, Be Seen Communications, Penny-Arcade.com, KJQ and SLUG Magazine.

1/06/2005

a little bit of rain

Big thanks to Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage, a blog that continues to school my white ass daily, for mentioning promocopy.

Perhaps a bit of clarification is in order. While the fragmented disorganization of this young blog's first steps often feels like "a band of [half-wit] pubs. who've banded together" to form something resembling wit, it's actually just one individual at the helm of this thing. The promocopy Players in question are merely the (unwitting) actors in this play of trash talk. I like to think these folks are bringing it all upon themselves.

I'm actually a small-time magazine writer (I was going to say journalist, but after reading what Kris Ex has to say about that, I'm not so sure anymore--thanks for that one O-Dub), and I'm just trying to figure out a) how to keep from getting cut from those promocopy Players' lists once they figure out who's talking this shit (anonymity) and b) how to make this thing work for me (popularity).

Any advice is appreciated.

2005 GRAMMY Nominees CD predicted for 2006 GRAMMY nomination!!

Coming straight at you lazy bastards who don't have any opinions of your own, on Feb 1: "the 11th edition of the best-selling series that honors many of the year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and songs."

Judi Kerr at Capitol Records (EMI, people) makes it all happen, promo-style: "This year's compilation...encompasses some of the year's best music...[and] contains [music from] many of the most widely recognized GRAMMY categories." You would think she couldn't top that, but: "The nominee CD is made possible by a special arrangement with all of the major music distribution companies [totally not a conspiracy at all -ed.] and rotates from year to year."

(...)

Back to the comedy: Capitol Records President Andrew Slater is quoted as reciting, "It is an honor to join with The Recording Academy in presenting some of the most significant, adventurous music of the past year in one volume."

You want me to stop?

OK, just a little more. Here's the track listing:
1. "Let's Get It Started," Black Eyed Peas (Nominated for: Record Of The Year, Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group)

2. "Here We Go Again," Ray Charles w/ Nora Jones (Nominated for: Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Album)

3. "American Idiot," Green Day (Nominated for: Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

4. "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys (Nominated for: Record Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

5. "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys (Nominated for: Album Of The Year)

6. "Burn," Usher (Nominated for: Album Of The Year)

7. "Through the Wire," Kanye West (Nominated for: Album Of The Year, Best New Artist)

8. "She Will Be Loved," Maroon 5 (Nominated for: Best New Artist, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

9. "You Had Me," Joss Stone (Nominated for: Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album)

10. "Redneck Woman," Gretchen Wilson (Nominated for: Best New Artist)

11. "The First Cut Is the Deepest," Sheryl Crow (Nominated for: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance)

12. "Sunrise," Nora Jones (Nominated for: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album)

13. "You Raise Me Up," Josh Groban (Nominated for: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance)

14. "Daughters," John Mayer (Nominated for: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance)

15. "Cinnamon Girl," Prince (Nominated for: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance)

16. "Love's Divine," Seal (Nominated for: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance)

17. "My Immortal," Evanescence (Nominated for: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

18. "Good Vibrations," Brian Wilson (Nominated for: Best Pop Vocal Album)

19. "Monkey to Man," Elvis Costello & the Imposters (Nominated for: Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

20. "Vertigo," U2 (Nominated for: Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal)

21. "Ch-Check it Out," Beastie Boys (Nominated for: Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group)
There's so much to say about how lame these decisions are (here are three great year-end lists right here--1 & 2 & 3--that really speak to the variety of significant and adventurous music that came out last year), but I'll just play nice with a list that encompasses Kanye West, Gretchen Wilson and Prince. I don't think that's so bad.

catch a bone

Big thanks to Catchdubs for throwing traffic this way. Read it.

promocopy at your door

So, I told you the one about how this blog writes itself, yeah? About a month ago I sent out the first in a series of Please read my blog/No one is paying any attention to me/I'm really sad about it messages, the first one being sent specifically to people I know who work in or have some sort of interest in the indie music industry. One of the recipients was this guy called George Chen who I went to school with and who did this incomparably rad print 'zine with his sister Yvonne in the '90s called ZUM. I guess they still sort of do it online, but he has a bunch of other stuff going on, including show promotion and ZUM Records.

I digress. After pouring out my heart for support and feedback, dude writes back with the following:

cool
hey, can you list this?

zum is putting out a cd in the new year, it is a split between growing and
mark evan burden. mark evan burden does electro acoustics and piano, he
also performs as silentist and used to be in the get hustle (31g). growing
are drone masters and have releases on kranky and animal disguise.
http://zumonline.com
thanks!
george


"Cool
hey, can you list this?
"

Big or small, associate or friend, getting ahead kind of trumps it all, right? And, of course, there's more:

oh yeah other stuff that i am doing at the smell...

Friday December 31st:
Ring in the New Year The Smell style...
D. Yellow Swans (Portland, OR)
Mika Miko
K.I.T. (members of XBXRX, Warbler and Li'l Pocket Knife from Oakland, CA)
Bobb Bruno (member of Polar Goldie Cats)

feb 11 2005
amps for christ
carla bozulich
warbler
7 year rabbit cycle
rose for bohdan

Sorry for posting this so late, George. I'm sure New Year's went swell.

Anyway, here's more on Mark Evan Burden (see byline for full effect) and The Smell.

1/05/2005

cheeky midget


(I apologize to anyone who knows who this is and is tired of seeing the same damn picture all over the web, but) Can anyone British explain to me whether or not Lady Sovereign is the UK Vanilla Ice? While there seems to be some testimony out there to suggest otherwise, I have to wonder if she's being taken seriously.

First track I heard was "Random," which I picked up at Sticker Shock last month and actually like quite a lot. I then saw the video for "Little Bit of Shhh" at her website and, although I also liked that track, the visual was about all I could take. Suffice it to say that much laughter ensued. It's ultimately all kind of cute, really, because she's only 4'11", refers to herself as a midget and looks like she couldn't handle a food-fight in the cafeteria, much less a battle (lyrical or otherwise), but I'm not sure the kind of cuddly response she inspires is what she's looking for.

berklee on the ones and twos, Jan 6, nbc morning show

This just in from DJ Jester the Filipino Fist, fine DJ and super nice guy:
So, do you remember when I taught a master-class at Berklee College of Music last summer?

Just thought I'd let you know, the piece NBC shot about the turntable technique class is scheduled to run on the Today Show Thursday, Jan 6th during the 3rd hour of the show.

I won't be on any of the footage, but if you'd like to check out what the class is all about, peep the Today Show tomorrow. . .Very interesting, because Berklee is the first music college to offer instruction on turntables.

Later,
Jester

Fwd: SLINT ADD MORE DATES TO TOUR - including LA!

I'm thinking about changing the name of this blog to The [deleted] Newsletter as I'm in correspondence with those folks so regularly. But it's just because they have so much going on and so many people to promote it all. For the type of PR company I'm used to (by choice) dealing with, they are big, with a lot of resources. I keep waiting to hear that they are funded by a major, but their roster would (mostly) seem to indicate otherwise. But I'm honestly still pulling for the little gals/guys.

Anyway, on to the news: There's a dude at [deleted]! I got an email from him this morning, and his name is [deleted]. I had really become accustomed to the idea taking form in my head that [deleted] was this militantly femme organization that just wouldn't hire men, even if they do promote male artists. Oh well. Of course, I'm not opposed to the idea that [deleted] is just some sort of secretary being bossed around and given all the crap that no one else wants to deal with.

Crap or not, I've got Even More Slint News! Not real news, but I'm being considered for the chance to interview the band (or, more likely, one of them), which apparently isn't in dire need of press (must be those damned bloggers posting new live date announcements every five minutes). I can't imagine Pajo has so much going on that he can't speak with anyone, so I'm guess this is some kind of Brian McMahan power trip. Like I have any idea.

Here's the direct quote from [deleted]'s mouth: [deleted].

Yeah! Sorta sounds like something may happen, maybe, possibly.

when it rains, it pours bloody mother fucking assholes

While I've been bombarded by [deleted] at [deleted] of late, this one comes from [deleted], and I really don't have anything to say about the press release in front of me beside the fact that I childishly found the title of Martha Wainwright's forthcoming record Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole thrilling. But it's not just funny--it's not funny at all, is it? whatever--but it says a lot about why I listen to independent music instead of what's produced by labels afraid to release items with titles like this.

There, I said it: I'm not really into good music--I'm just into raunchy expression.

Just kidding. But I really have no clue who Martha Wainwright is, although this note tells me that she's Rufus Wainwright's sister (which, of course, also means she's the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle) and that Heidi Anne-Noel finds her "both a wittily subversive composer and compelling, dynamic performer."

Anyway, this five-song EP is due January 25 in the US (she has a full-length scheduled for April) and Wainwright will be performing in New York City on January 17 at the Mercury Lounge.

1/04/2005

Stop!

[deleted] is on a roll this season, and although I've been looking at this message in my inbox for almost two weeks, I can no longer bare to not deal with the following statement: "Vince Clarke and Andy Bell are arguably the original innovators of modern dance music." That's Erasure, folks. "Arguably" is right. Aside from obvious contemporaries like Depeche Mode and electronic/synth-pop groups that dwarf these jokers, like, say, New Order (or why the hell not OMD), isn't it kind of absurd to be crowing Erasure "the forefathers of elegant electro" [I'm not making this up] when Kraftwerk is still kicking?

The duo has a new album out on January 25 called Nightbird, and they apparently just came out with a DVD. They're picking up steam and will be rolling through the States in April (curiously not playing any casinos while in Las Vegas). All of that sniggering dismissal aside, the tour schedule is pretty outrageous. Five nights at Irving Plaza and three at the Avalon in LA. That's a few Erasure fans.

Full Tour Dates (just becasue I think it's funny):

4/14 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/15 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/16 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/18 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/19 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
4/29 Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
5/2 Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
5/3 Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
5/6 Miami, FL @  Mansion
5/7 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
5/10 Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater
5/11 Dallas, TX @ Nokia Theatre
5/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Avalon
5/14 Los Angeles, CA @ Avalon
5/15 Los Angeles, CA @ Avalon
5/21 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/22 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/24 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/27 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint

what is it?

And you thought xmas was over. Come March you're looking at the first installment of the X-Ecutioners/Mike Patton project General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners. I hear that Mike Patton is great, worked with John Zorn and the Automator and all that, but all I ever see in my mind is that Faith No More video with the fish flopping around. I'd like to say that it was the animal cruelty that turned me off to the guy, but I think it had a little more to do with the accompanying music.

I guess anything new by the X-Men, on the other hand, is something to look out for. This one reeks of cross-genre opportunism, but we'll see how it goes. The 23-track LP is due on January 24 in Europe and sometime in March over here. Look for it on Patton's own Ipecac Recordings, with [deleted] playing it cool and understated on the PR: "Inspiring awe, style, terror, and soul, it attacks with the kind of originality and freshness only the finest in revolutionary minds could dream up."

artists to watch

Whoever it was that said that irony is dead has yet to experience the theater of Silvertide. If you or your parents can even remotely recall what "bitchin" means, this band has something to say. So rad how these guys have undoubtedly--even while Silvertide was being conceptualized by a bunch of record execs at the height of the boy band phenomenon--always thought that NSYNC are "a bunch of fags." The boy band analogy posited, I somehow fear that the hard knockin' Silvertide nights of the plump fellow on the far right are numbered.

I reviewed this band's record in a local newspaper strictly because of sympathetic feelings toward their PR rep Bryn Bridenthal. The publicist writes me and essentially tells me that what you see is what you get. I find it pretty rare that a publicist comes off embarrassed about acts she's promoting, and maybe I was taken advantage of, but I have a definite soft spot in my heart for that kind of sad realization that you are pushing crap upon the public--product that not even you--a person paid to support it--can bring yourself to believe in. I recall the phrases "mary jane" (marijuana) and "body that won't quit" incorporated within the lyrics, which says way more about this band than I could.

But there's also this:

"Silvertide wows crowds with their powerfully bluesy Seventies' revival sound."
--"Artists to Watch," Rolling Stone, November 11, 2004

1/03/2005

late breaking slint news and more news about the 17th wonder of the world M.I.A.

Courtesy of your pals at [deleted], Slint has finally succumbed to the pressure of the West and booked an LA show for March 13 at the Avalon to go along with a third (3!) SF show at the Great American Music Hall (a far superior venue to Avalon, methinks), the first two of which are already sold out. Go Slint! Rock that DJ town!

One night at La Cartonnerie, in Reims, France, has also been scheduled for March 3, as well as a March 21 show in Philadelphia.

Speaking of Philadelphia, I just spent a week there over the new year. Nice place. I fruitlessly crawled the streets in search of native Diplo's Piracy Funds Terrorism project with M.I.A., but then I came home and found it here, courtesy of the wonderful Boom Selection. Please do download. Because it's that good.

And while you're at it, check out Sasha Frere Jones' New Yorker piece on mash-ups right here. I labor in the shadow of this writer's sense of what's what.

1/02/2005

radio ass kiss [back] on the air

Wendy Weisberg, who I don't think I've ever heard from before, just wrote me and a bunch of other people about the Wonder Stuff's new record. Yes, that Wonder Stuff, the self-consciously problematic social commentary voice of '90s UK pop. The awesomely titled Escape From Rubbish Island is scheduled for a March 22 release on Reincarnate Music (formerly iMUSIC), distributed by BMG.

Troubled by the possibility that the album title's jab would be lost on dumb Americans, the sardonically irreverent Hunt quips hella unpatriotic: "I've been trying to get out of England for a couple of years now. I'd rather be a guest in someone else's country than feel like I bear any of the responsibilities of how our government treats Britain's population." Blimey! Why not make a pop record about it.

Looks like it's going to be Wonder Stuff originals Miles Hunt and Malc Treece, along with somebody else and somebody else. Press release has a rad quote from Hunt: "It's taken a line-up change...but when it comes to getting a record right, a band has gotta do what a band has gotta do." Sounds promising! Kind of an odd insight in explanation of 12 years with no new material, but there you are.

The album was released last fall in the UK, and I can't be bothered to look into how it did. I'm reminded [because I've totally been paying attention] by this press release that the Wonder Stuff got together three years ago "to perform live shows only, [but] the overwhelmingly positive response from fans..." blah blah blah.

US tour in April. Wicked!

if you've got a warrant, i guess you're gonna come in

Someone responded to that Fugazi post below, but they broke the golden rule of not mentioning my name so as to clue in these publicists that I'm making fun and who keep sending me free CDs. In full disclosure, here's what was said:
Anyway just to clarify something about Fugazi, they have ALWAYS allowed people to record their shows from the get go. As a matter of fact, once, at the Hollywood Palladium, security took my tape recorder and Joe Lally got it back for me. Then he told me that they tape all their shows and will make tapes for people. So I sent him some blank tapes, and $5 for postage. A few weeks later I got my tapes, and a dollar. It turns out postage was only like $4. (If you like, I'll make you a copy of this awesome show at the country club in Reseda. When Beat Happening opened up, and someone threw an ashtray at Calvin. Later, the dudes in Fugazi chastised the audience for being so lame.) I don't even think of Fugazi as having some kind of wall of character, but it seems to me that they got really huge, but managed to keep their D.I.Y. ethic.

So, I stand corrected. Fugazi have been allowing people to record live shows all along and is now selling recordings of live shows. I had been criticizing Fugazi for being less kind to its fans than the Grateful Dead had been to its own fans, but turns out Fugazi is the post-punk Grateful Dead after all. Thanks for the insight Steve Reeder!