You Cannot Be Serious!!! – Yo La Tengo Confirmed U.S. Dates

Johnny Mac’s chat show career lasted slightly longer than Magic Johnson’s.  Only the former had the good taste to let Yo La Tengo perform “Today Is The Day” on his program.

Yo La Tengo, coming to a comfortable concert auditorium near you.

9/26 – Washington DC, 9:30 Club
9/28 – Boston, Avalon
9/29 – Jersey City, Loews Theatre
9/30 – Montreal,  La Tulipe
10/2 – Toronto, the Phoenix
10/4 – Ann Arbor, Michigan Theater
10/5 – Chicago, the Vic
10/6 – Milwaukee, the Rave
10/8 – Omaha, Sokol Underground
10/14 – Vancouver, Richard’s on Richards
10/15 – Seattle, Showbox
10/16 – Portland, Crystal Ballroom
10/19 – San Francisco, Fillmore
10/20 – San Francisco, Fillmore
10/21 – San Francisco,  Fillmore
10/23 – Los Angeles, Henry Fonda Theater

“If You Have To Spell It Out For People, It’s Not Really Artwork, Is It?”

Everclear’s Art Alexakis vs. Bill “You Make Me Feel Like A Whore” O’Reilly. (link swiped from Stereogum)

I’m trying to program TiVo to make sure I don’t miss Marcy Playground’s appearance on “The Colbert Report”, but the on-screen menus are way too confusing.

Yo La Tengo – Confirmed European Dates

(snazzy image swiped from here. due to severe label budget cuts, that’s the vehicle they’ll be traveling in, by the way)

Wed 1 Nov SWEDEN STOCKHOLM DEBASER MEDIS
Thu 2 Nov NORWAY OSLO JOHN DEE
Fri 3 Nov SWEDEN GOTEBORG STICKY FINGERS
Sat 4 Nov SWEDEN MALMO KB
Sun 5 Nov DENMARK COPENHAGEN VEGA
Tue 7 Nov UK CARDIFF POINT
Wed 8 Nov UK GATESHEAD SAGE
Thu 9 Nov UK CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
Sat 11 Nov UK LONDON FORUM
Sun 12 Nov FRANCE PARIS CAFÉ DE LA DANSE
Mon 13 Nov FRANCE TOURCOING/LILLE GRAND MIX
Wed 15 Nov FRANCE STRASBOURG LA LATERIE
Thu 16 Nov NETHERLANDS UTRECHT TIVOLI
Fri 17 Nov NETHERLANDS GRONINGEN VERA
Sat 18 Nov BELGIUM BRUSSELS AB
Sun 19 Nov GERMANY BERLIN POSTBAHNHOF
Tue 21 Nov GERMANY HAMBURG MARKTHALLE
Wed 22 Nov GERMANY DUSSELDORF ZAKK
Thu 23 Nov GERMANY MUNCHEN MUFFATHALLE
Fri 24 Nov GERMANY HEIDELBERG KARLSTORBAHNOF
Sat 25 Nov SWITZERLAND FRIBOURG FRISON
Mon 27 Nov ITALY MILAN RAINBOW
Wed 29 Nov FRANCE TOULOUSE MANGE DISQUE
Thu 30 Nov SPAIN BARCELONA APOLO
Fri 1 Dec SPAIN VITORIA AZKENA
Sat 2 Dec SPAIN MADRID LA RIVIERA
Sun 3 Dec PORTUGAL LISBON AUG

Tony Victory Sued By Ingrates

Though I’m sure our terrific legal system will sort this one out, isn’t there a way that both the plantiff and the accused can be sent to Camp X-Ray, at least for a few weeks?

From Billboard.com

Hawthorne Heights has filed a lawsuit against its record label, Victory Records, and label head Tony Brummel today (Aug. 7). The band claims that Brummel’s “overly-aggressive, unethical and illegal schemes and tactics,” including physically threatening music industry figures and scheming against other artists, have severely damaged the band’s reputation and its relationship with fans.

In February, Hawthorne Heights and Ne-Yo were vying for the top of The Billboard 200. On Feb. 28, an email from someone at Victory appeared to urge its street promotions team to tamper with Ne-Yo’s sales potential. “If you were to pick up [a] handful of Ne-Yo CDs, as if you were about to buy them, but then changed your mind and didn’t bother to put them back in the same place,” the message read, “That would work … just relocating a handful creates issues.”

Within hours of the email’s appearance on an industry message board on March 1, a second email appeared calling the first message “a joke.”

Band members Eron Bucciarelli-Tieger, Casey Calvert, Micah Carli, Matt Ridenour and JT Woodruff claim that Brummel then signed the band’s name without their knowledge or approval to a so-called manifesto, which falsely stated that the band believed it was in some type of war with artists in the hip-hop and R&B music genres, leading many to brand the band as racist.

The members of H.H. say their most recent album reaching no.3 on the charts “is now tainted much like Barry Bonds’ statistics,” an interesting analogy from guys who don’t wanna be called racists, and perhaps a more fitting one had they reached no. 1.

Anyhow, I look forward to these two parties kissing and making up, as I suspect at the end of the day, they’re made for each other. To paraphrase the Del Fuegos from their excellent Miller Beer commercial, “good luck to all bands.”

Except Hawthorne Heights.

Pretty Girls Makes Graves, New Dates

(live at London’s 100 Club last April, photo by Vern, used without permission)

Thursday, Nov. 9: Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
Friday, Nov. 10: Charlottesville, VA – Satellite Ballroom
Saturday, Nov. 11: North Myrtle Beach, S.C. – House of Blues
Monday, Nov. 13: Orlando, FL – The Club At Firestone
Tuesday, Nov. 14: Atlanta, GA – Earthlink Live
Wednesday, Nov. 15: Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater
Thursday, Nov. 16: Houston, TX – Meridian
Friday, Nov. 17: Austin, TX – Stubb’s BBQ
Saturday, Nov. 18: Dallas, TX – Gypsy Ballroom
Monday, Nov. 20: Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
Tuesday, Nov. 21: San Diego, CA – House of Blues

All dates supporting She Wants Revenge. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but as cannibalism is against the law in most of the states on the above schedule, please be advised that eating utensils are likely to be confiscated at the door (sorry).

Dead Meadow In Southern California

Washington DC’s…rather, one of the Planet’s great live bands returns to the left coast :

August 19, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

August 20, Fuck Yeah Fest, Echo Park, CA (also appearing, The Ponys, Icarus Line, Gris Gris and a ton more)

If you’re not the traveling sort, you can enjoy the Rhino podcast performance/interview with Dead Meadow’s Jason Simon and Stephen McCarthy here.

DM bassist Steve Kille has a new project, Rumpville, described as “children’s books for adults”.  That sounds way more appealing than a Dan Zanes CD, but if you’re a child and you’d like to disagree, please feel free to write in (with your parents’ permission, of course).

Injecting Ethical Debate Into Discussion Of Bands Who Aren’t Very Good

example a, from Greg Kot’s Lollapalooza coverage in the Chicago Tribune :

1:12 p.m.: Subways singer Billy Lunn leads his U.K. trio in a set that is high on energy, low on innovation with three-chord anthems that make Oasis sound like progressive-rock. Lunn complains about the state of U.S. commercial radio and blames it all on payola. He should know. His Warner Brothers record label just paid $10 million in fines as a result of a payola investigation by New York State Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer.

example b, Her Jazz’ Maria on Phoenix, French Kicks and the A-Sides performing at a Camel cigarettes sponsored event.

I’m not going to mention the health issues surrounding smoking at all. Nope, not one peep from me. However, I will politely point out that Camel’s parent company, Reynolds American Inc., has donated 87% of its political contributions to the Republican party. Conservativecocainesexjams all night long! Enlist with the party train soldiers! Get rad in Iraq! And with all the smoking going down tomorrow night, no one will notice how truly crappy Phoenix or the French Kicks are. As Philabuster pointed out, the French Kicks couldn’t even fill the North Star last time around. What sort of dumbass in Camel’s marketing thinks they can pack a 1,000-person venue? And how many years has it been since they’ve written anything remotely worthwhile?

When Press Junkets Go Horribly Wrong

(not Anne Heche)

The Boston Globe’s Suzanne Ryan
had the distinct pleasure of attendending a TV critics’ summer conference in Los Angeles recently, a occasion presumably designed so the various networks could showcase their offerings for the upcoming fall season. W.C. Fields’ admonishment, “never work with children and animals,” apparently never reached Anne Heche, but were Fields alive today, “never work with Anne Heche” could well be useful advice for the American Broadcasting Company.

ABC is launching a new drama starring Anne Heche, a New York relationship coach who finds herself stranded in Alaska. In the pilot episode, she is freaked out when she discovers a raccoon in her hotel’s closet.

During a press conference, reporters wanted to know all about the raccoon, whose name is Elvis.

Is that a real raccoon or an animatronic? (Real)

Did you fly him into Vancouver to shoot? (No, a local hire)

Is he a recurring character? (Yes)

In the pilot, Elvis had a STUNT DOUBLE that ran down the stairs for him? (Yes, a DOG NAMED BOOMER DONNED A RACCOON SUIT for a staircase scene since raccoons don’t run, they lope).

Since raccoons are noctural, did you wake Elvis up to shoot? (Yes and Anne pet him to make him feel better)

Later, a Touchstone Television publicist told me with all seriousness that he and his co-workers had tried to anticipate every question we reporters might have tossed out but no one even thought about Elvis.

“We should have brought him here,” he said sadly.

Insufferable Sap Prepares Latest Assault On The Public

Despite formidable competion (subject a, subject b) at Chicago’s luxurious Hidden Cove Sunday evening, I really think my rendition of Mac Davis’ “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me” was the sort of reimagining of a popular favorite that even Chan Marshall would’ve had a hard time matching.

That said, I’m quite ready to retire from the karaoke game, now faced with the unspeakable horror of Clay Aitken covering John Waite. (from Billboard.com)

Season two “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken tackles a host of enduring power ballads on his third album, “A Thousand Different Ways.” Due Sept. 19 via RCA, the set features 10 covers and four new songs penned by the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child, Andreas Carlsson, Jeremy Bose and Aldo Nova.


Seriously. Hasn’t this cretin brought enough pain to the planet…without reminding us of the existence of Aldo Nova? Was Art Alexakis busy?

A while back, in another, little read forum, I proposed that certain Americans be granted lifetime Get Out Of Jail cards, as thanks for their cultural contributions. James Brown goes on a PCP rampage? Big fucking deal, he’s the Godfather Of Soul. Chuck Berry put a hidden camera in your toilet? Who cares, he’s earned the right.

Conversely, even if Clay Aitken runs into a burning WTC II in ten years’ time to rescue children, cripples and kitties, even if Clay Aitken discovers a cure for the Big Disease With The Little Name, even if Clay Aitken personally finds all the missing votes from Florida and Ohio….there are some things you cannot live down.

Making us think of Aldo Nova is one of them.

‘Fewer Moving Parts’, Yet No Mention Of Assassinating Erik Lindgren

“Am I Christian ?/ Are you a Jew?

Did you kill my Lord / Must I forgive you?”

Believe it or not, those lines aren’t from the Mel Gibson arrest report (sorry) but are instead culled from “Selling Advertising”, one of the more provocative songs from David Bazan’s ‘Fewer Moving Parts’ EP How much of “Selling Advertising” is a glimspe in the mirror and what portion is aimed at Pitchfork, I can only guess.

Though not terribly removed from the aching, unflinching subject matter that populated PTL’s best work, ‘Fewer Moving Parts’ takes the unusual tact of placing stripped down, demo-ish versions of the same songs alongside fully fleshed out, relatively pro-rock renditions of the same compositions. Good luck getting any of them out of your head.

“Fewer Broken Pieces” might be the best, most succinct explanation to date (in song form, at least) for a popular band’s breakup.

There’s a quiet intensity to the best of Bazan’s work, and I think this CD might be just that. I’ve sloppily alluded to pre-Ambien REM or American Music Club circa ‘California’ when describing Bazan’s stuff in the past, and aside from offering my personal apologies for the killing of Christ (I promise never to do it again), I’d also like to say I’m sorry for damning David with what I thought was considerable praise. Sans artifice, exposing more on one EP than Ugly George did during his entire Manhattan Cable career, Bazan is a staggering, not nearly so-easy-to-define talent.

Real Estate, Pt. I

Until the day Chez Danzig goes on the market, you might wanna consider the above property : a Woodland Hills, CA abode that hosted the recording of Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’.

Opportunity Knocks! Coca Cola House Original Girard cabin on 3 separate buildable lots, Charming cottage with wood floors and magical views f rom every window. Private and secluded nestled among the trees, own your own hide out. Separate lot features mostly finished 2 story office/ studio, $849,000.00

(link swiped from Postive Ape Index via Boing Boing.net)

Mojo Critic Nails It..

…and now I need to get my head bandaged after falling off my chair. If writers are going to insist on actually listening to the CD’s we send them rather than merely paraphrasing the press release (or looking to see what someone else said) we might have to re-think our plans to blow up 625 Broadway for the insurance loot.

Calling Yo La Tengo’s forthcoming ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, “a return to the giddy, sticky-fingered eclecticism of 1997’s ‘I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One’, Mojo’s Steve Chick calls the album,

A wonderful, intimate love letter to pop (and its many subterranean offshoots), bookended by two hefty space-rock jams, the album ricochets from atmospheric piano vignette to gonzo garage fuzz to murky new wave disco to xylophone-scored waltz , the riot of styles bound together by warmth and wit, halcyon vocals and harmolodic guitar explosions. (4 stars)

So what if he misspelled the name of the album’s final song? We’ve done worse. And we’ll do so again!

“Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” (mp3)

Billy Bragg And Tom, Friends Reunited

From the New York Times’ Robert Levine, July 31, 2006

In May, Billy Bragg removed his songs from the MySpace.com Web site, complaining that the terms and conditions that MySpace set forth gave the social networking site far too much control over music that people uploaded to it. In media interviews and on his MySpace blog, he said that the MySpace terms of service made it seem as though any content posted on the site, including music, automatically became the site’s property.

Although MySpace had not claimed ownership of his music or any other content, Mr. Bragg said the site’s legal agreement — which included the phrase “a nonexclusive, fully paid and royalty-free worldwide license” — gave him cause for concern, as did the fact that the formerly independent site was now owned by a big company (the News Corporation, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch).

Mr. Bragg said that he himself had kept most of the copyrights to his recordings, licensing them out to the various record companies that have released his albums over the years. “My concern,” he said in a telephone interview, “is the generation of people who are coming to the industry, literally, from their bedrooms.”

About a month later, without referencing Mr. Bragg’s concerns, MySpace.com clarified its terms of service, which now explain who retains what rights. A sample line: “The license you grant to MySpace.com is nonexclusive (meaning you are free to license your content to anyone else in addition to MySpace.com).”

Mr. Bragg, who said he never had any direct communication with executives from MySpace, has put some of his music back on the site.

Yo La Tengo Vs. Sea Of Humanity

Jennifer O’Connor has far better photos of Yo La Tengo at the Pitchfork Fest (Union Park, Chicago) but if I can’t pull rank every now and then, where’s the fun in this job?

Even by the usual zero-attention span standards, the claim by one local jackass that Yo La Tengo were “so quiet ’til the last song I did not know they were playing” is kinda off the charts. Never again is the word “quiet” likely to be employed when describing songs like “Pass The Hatchet” or “Watch Out For Me Ronnie”, though I can’t deny even the loudest of bands come off as somewhat muted for someone whose head is up their ass.

Special recognition for the weekend goes out to the straw hat-wearing, backpack-wielding, hygiene averse dude (and when I say “dude”, I really mean “fuckface”) who put his paws upon me while trying to prevent entry backstage. You’d think this city would’ve learned a valuable lesson from the Democratic National Convention of 1968, but alas, how quickly they forget.
That said, the psychic blow delivered from spotting SS Decontrol’s Springa onstage during Mission Of Burma’s set is not one I’ll soon recover from. Time constraints (if not straw hat-wearing, backpack-wielding assholes) prevented an encore of “How Much Art (Can You Take)?”, but there’s always Coachella next year, right?